Thursday, January 29, 2009

SharePoint Auditing

SharePoint out of the box auditing features is giving us very good functionalities for keeping track of opening or downloading documents, deleting or restoring items, editing users and permissions and many more, by default its turn off on top site collection level. 

Configuring Settings for Auditing

The following screenshot shows that how we can configure audit settings from main top level site collection-> site settings-> configure audit settings. 



 
 configure-audit-settings

 

 

Viewing Reports for Auditing

 
The following screenshot shows the various auditing reports available to administrators, who can view them through top-level site settings.   

view-auditing-reports
 
When we clicked on any of the above reports, it will generate XML excel document which we can save to local disk or open for viewing purpose. 

 



Limitation for audit reports:

1. the generated XML excel document report don’t have user friendly data, like in “Event Data” column, it will display user id, group id instead of friendly user name and group name, it showing site collection GUID instead of Site Collection name and many more.

2. For viewing of auditing reports, user needs site collection administrator’s rights and user can see reports from going to top level site collection. 


 



3. If we have large server farm with plenty of SharePoint sites under one site collection level, then at some point, we can have performance issue due to tracking all users’ requests for audit purpose. 

We can write custom code into visual studio and generate audit log reports as per our requirements.


I have also searched on the internet for tool and web part to display and capture audit trail reports from SharePoint.

Here is link for useful AvePoint tool for SharePoint auditing

http://www.sharepointreviews.com/component/content/article/69-sharepoint-auditing/210-DocAve-Auditor-for-SharePoint-by-AvePoint.html 

Below are some good useful links which talks about how to configure auditing, viewing reports and how to write custom code for generating user friendly reports.
 

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/microsoft.sharepoint.spauditentry.aspx SPAuditEntry Class which will use for writing custom event data into audit report.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb397403.aspx Item Level Auditing in SharePoint 


http://www.developer.com/net/net/article.php/3755726  Source code for custom audit log reports 
 


 

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepointserver/HA101000051033.aspx how to view audit log reports

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/cc794261.aspx custom auditing 

Monday, January 26, 2009

Working with SharePoint meeting workspace site

From last 3 weeks, I have been working in SharePoint meeting workspace site, so thought to share with you some of the experience and what’s actual inside into meeting workspace site.


 Our main purpose was to create calendar event into SharePoint and store meetings documents and agenda for respective meeting into central location repository, so anybody can go into meeting workspace with proper permissions rights and browse through the documents uploaded and approved by meeting organizer, meeting workspace is working in same manner like outlook calendar, we can create recurring event, single day event and add attendees, agenda for the meeting and upload documents.


In traditional outlook meeting, organizer has to send documents, agenda to attendees by e-mail, so they were no central repository for all work items and documents.


 


We had met our requirements by out of the box functionality provided by SharePoint Meeting workspace site template. We can also do custom coding into meeting workspace as per our needs.


 


Below are some useful links which I had followed while starting working on meeting workspace. It’s very beginner’s level information.


 


http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook/HP030921661033.aspx Overview about meeting workspace site


 


http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepointtechnology/HA100656201033.aspx Creating meeting workspace site


 


http://community.bamboosolutions.com/blogs/sharepoint_blank/archive/2008/10/31/create-a-sharepoint-meeting-workspace.aspx How to create and start with meeting workspace site


 


http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook/HA012304711033.aspx#2 Create, Link and Update meeting workspace site.


 


http://communityclips.officelabs.com/video.aspx?videoid=601655a8-2111-4406-821d-690f2fce6b35 creates recurring meeting workspace and connects to Outlook


 




I had also faced some of the challenges while working into meeting workspace

1. we can’t link to an existing meeting workspace that contains recurring events, like when we create any new calendar event into SharePoint, we can specify that current event will be recurring or not, after that we can create new meeting workspace subsite for storing all documents, agenda items and attendees, we have the option to link current site with existing meeting workspace site in which there was no recurring event, but we cant link to existing recurring meeting workspace site. So conclusion of the story, we need to create separate meeting recurring workspace site if we want our recurring dates and agenda different from existing one.

 


2. Meeting workspace site has some limitation with office 2003, we can also create new meeting workspace site from outlook calendar by creating new calendar event, select invites, here we have two options, either we can link to existing meeting workspace or create new workspace site, but in both the case, the meeting organizer needs to have full control to the Meeting Workspace from SharePoint site, with the full control rights, they can achieve the functionality from outlook 2003.