ASPHostCentral.com SharePoint 2013 Hosting BLOG

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Important SharePoint 2013 Download Links

clock January 8, 2013 19:22 by author Administrator

The final(RTM )release of SharePoint 2013 is now available on Microsoft Website for download.  The following are important things about SharePoint 2013:

SharePoint 2013 Hosting:

If you are looking for a host that supports SharePoint 2013, you can take a look at ASPHostCentral.com


Free Software:

Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2013 (~ 816 MB) –
Download Link
Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2013 – 32bit (~ 282 MB) – Download Link
Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2013 – 64bit (~ 324 MB) – Download Link
Microsoft Office Web Apps Server 2013 (~ 386 MB) – Download Link
Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2012 (Non-RTM / Preview 2) | Installer Link | Announcement News on 12-Nov-2012

Trial/Evaluation Software:

Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 (180 days Evaluation) –
via TechNet |Product Key: NQTMW-K63MQ-39G6H-B2CH9-FRDWJ
Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 (by using Office 365 Developer trial, you need not setup environment) -
via MSDN

Licensed Software:

Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 – (available to
MSDN Subscribers)

Pre-RTM Versions:


Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Preview (
Evaluation Version link / Product Key: 6RNT8-XV26M-GWH36-VMGQH-94MMH)

Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2013 Preview (~ 947 MB) –
Download Link

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Microsoft Emphasizes Cloud-First with SharePoint 2013 Hosting

clock December 20, 2012 17:18 by author Administrator

As Microsoft showcased its new SharePoint 2013 and the SharePoint online upgrades to its Office 365 service this week, it raises the question of how far organizations are willing to go to phase out their premises-based software in favor of shifting everyday work to a service-based model.

That's not to suggest that organizations will or should scrap their SharePoint deployments in favor of Office 365 or some other instantiation of Microsoft's collaboration platform that's subscription-based or hosted elsewhere. It's not an either/or proposition. But Microsoft left little doubt it wants you to gravitate to the SharePoint Online component of its Office 365 service.

"We really recommend moving to the cloud for the best experience overall," said John Teper, the Microsoft corporate vice president known as the "father of SharePoint," speaking in his opening keynote at the annual SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas Monday. "We understand not everyone is there yet. This will take time. People who want to run their own servers, that's great. We have the best server release we've ever done in SharePoint 2013. The thing you should take away from our cloud focus is all we've learned about optimizing the system and deployment and monitoring, we've put into the server product and put into the deployment guidance."

SharePoint 2013's "Cloud-First" model follows in the footsteps of Microsoft's promise that it will deliver infrastructure software and applications as a cloud service first or simultaneously with the release of the on-premise version of its key products. That came to life with last year's CRM Online Dynamics CRM duo. Now Microsoft is employing the same approach with the latest version of SharePoint Online in the Office 365 service and SharePoint 2013.

One of many distinctive new cloud features in SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint Online is the new SkyDrive Pro, an evolution of the SharePoint Workspace. SkyDrive Pro raises the bar in synchronizing content between SharePoint Sites and workers' various devices. SkyDrive Pro is modeled after the consumer-based SkyDrive service, except it's built into SharePoint, which allows IT organizations to manage it.

Experts are predicting more rapid than usual uptake for the new release of SharePoint and Office 365, primarily due to the major overhaul of the SharePoint experience, which brings enterprise social networking to the forefront.

A Forrester Research poll of 153 clients who already have SharePoint found 68 percent of respondents planned to introduce the new version within two years (37 percent within the first year and 31 percent within the second). What's interesting about that finding is 70 percent of that sample said they already have upgraded to SharePoint 2010, which is unusual since organizations typically skip subsequent releases to amortize their investments.

"This is conjecture here but it could be around the social experience," said Forrester analyst Rob Koplowitz in an interview. "The feedback on the social facilities in SharePoint 2010 was pretty dismal. That might be the driver but others include the need for improved document and records management. Also, it could be they're trying to move to a more stable development environment."

Speaking of social networking, that's where Yammer comes in, the popular social networking company Microsoft just acquired for $1.2 billion. Microsoft announced it's bundling the popular cloud-based enterprise social networking service, into SharePoint 2013 and Office 365 in addition to offering it as a standalone offering and plans further integration.

In the annals of Microsoft's cloud transition, 2010 will be remembered as the year CEO Steve Ballmer proclaimed the company is "all-in." With the revamp of SharePoint and Office, we may get our biggest sense yet how many Microsoft's customers are all-in.

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SP 2013 Hosting :: How to solve error message "Unable to retrieve topology component health states. This may be because the admin component is not up and running"

clock December 16, 2012 13:32 by author Administrator

Sometimes, when you are playing with SharePoint 2013, you will encounter this error message: “Unable to retrieve topology component health states.  This may be because the admin component is not up and running.” You will see this error message on your Central Administration page -> Application Management -> Manage Services on the server -> click on the “SharePoint Search Server”




This article provides resolution on SharePoint 2013 that is installed on Windows Server 2008 R2 SP 1 and SQL Server 2008 R2. The server is not a domain controller or hosting SQL either.
 
To resolve this issue, please download the following fixes on Microsoft website

KB 2554876
KB 2708075
KB 2472264

If after installing the above hotfixes and you still encounter issue, you need to run Windows Update and installing all patches/hotfixes reported as critical.

Once this had been done (and a reboot or two later), the problem will be resolved!

The updates in installed are below (so it’s one or more of them?)

 

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SharePoint Foundation 2013 Hosting :: Setting up your App domain for SharePoint 2013

clock December 9, 2012 13:43 by author Administrator

The most important change in SharePoint 2013 for developers is the introduction of SharePoint apps. An app for SharePoint is a small and isolated application that provides a specific bit of functionality. SharePoint apps can and have to be added to or removed from a site by the site owner.  Apps have their own, isolated URLs, which are separate from the URLs of the sites where the app is being deployed to and where the app is being used. In order to provide isolation apps run in their own domain, instead of in the same domain name as your farm. Using a different domain name for apps helps prevent cross-site scripting between apps and SharePoint sites.

Each installation of an app has its own unique URL within the app domain. The app’s URL is based on a template “http://[app prefix][app hash].[app domain]/[relative site url]/[app name]. When you add an app to a site, a subweb of that site is created to host the app content. This subweb is not visible on the Site Contents page though.

Because apps run in their own app domain you will have to configure Domain Name Services (DNS) in your environment in order to be able to host apps. There is a page on TechNet that describes how to setup you DNS, but because it took me a while to get it all working I decided to write a step by step guide, which is what you’re reading now.

You can choose whether you want your app domain to be a subdomain of the domain that hosts the SharePoint environment (option B), or whether you want to create a completely new domain for your apps (option A). Creating a new domain specifically to host your apps in is a bit more secure, but it also requires a little bit more configuration. I will describe both approaches in this article. If you don’t have control over your DNS you will have to ask an administrator to perform these steps for you.

Option A: Create a new domain to host your apps in

- Go to “Start”
- Click on “Administrative Tools”
- Select “DNS”
- Right click “Forward Lookup Zones” and select “New Zone…”
- Click “Next”
- Keep the default and click “Next” again
- In most cases, especially if your development server is in it’s own domain you can use the default on the next tab again and can just click “Next”
- You now have to specify a zone name. It’s up to you what you choose here. My domain name is “solutions.com” and for my app domain I will use “solutionapps.com”
- Click “Next”
- Click “Next”
- Click “Finish”
- Right click on your new zone and select “New Alias (CNAME)…”
- Fill in a * for “Alias name (uses parent domain if left blank)”
- Click “Browse”
- Double click on your server name
- Double click “Forward Lookup Zones”
- Double click the domain of your SharePoint environment. In my case this is “solutions.com”.
- Select “(Same as parent folder)” and click “OK”
- Click “OK”.

* Note that selecting the FQDN of the domain in here will only work in single server scenarios. If you are using more than one server you should be pointing to the DNS record of the web server in here. This is either the DNS A record for the web server, or the DNS record of the primary cluster address for NLB environments.

You are now done setting up your DNS and it should look like this:

Option B: Create a subdomain to host your apps in

- Go to “Start”
- Click on “Administrative Tools”
- Select “DNS”
- Right click on the name of your domain and select “New Alias (CNAME)…”
- Fill in “*.app” for “Alias name (uses parent domain if left blank)”
- Click “Browse”
- Double click on your server name
- Double click “Forward Lookup Zones”
- Double click the domain of your SharePoint environment. In my case this is “solutions.com”
- Select “(Same as parent folder)” and click “OK”
- Click “OK”

* Note that selecting the FQDN of the domain in here will only work in single server scenarios. If you are using more than one server you should be pointing to the DNS record of the web server in here. This is either the DNS A record for the web server, or the DNS record of the primary cluster address for NLB environments.

You are now done setting up your DNS and it should look like this:

Configuring SharePoint

I’m assuming you already created an App Management and a Subscription Settings Service Application and that you already started the App Management and Subscription Settings services on your servers. If not this MSDN article will tell you how to. Note that you have to use PowerShell to create the Subscription Settings Service Application. There is no user interface for it.

- Go to Central Administration
- Click on “Apps” in the left side navigation
- Click “Configure App URLs”
- Fill in the URL of the app domain that you configured. If you choose to use Option A the url will be something like “solutionapps.com”, if you choose to use Option B it will look like app.solutions.com.
- Fill in an app prefix. This can be anything you like, although it is best to keep this short. I used “app” myself.

Beware of host headers

You are now ready to deploy your apps. Because of all this extra domain stuff though there are a few things you should know about your web applications and site collections.

If you are using a host header for your web application apps won’t just work for that web application. Because of how the redirect for the app domain works IIS will try to resolve the app url by using the default IIS web site, which of course doesn’t work. If you want to use host headers for your web applications you have to create an extra web application that is listening on port 80 (or 443 if you are using https) and that doesn’t have a host header.

This means that you have to create a web application like you normally would. You have to make sure that you select port 80 (or 443 if you are using https) and you should not fill in a host header. Note that you have to stop the Default Web Site in IIS in order to be able to do this. The web application will use the server name as its url. The web application can be empty except for a root site collection.

Another option is to use web applications without host headers and to create Host Header Site Collections. Be aware that Host Header Site Collections cannot be created via the user interface, they can only be created by using PowerShell.

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Multi Tenancy with SharePoint 2013 Hosting : What’s new and changed

clock November 29, 2012 19:14 by author Administrator
Introduction

SharePoint 2013 Preview introduces a number of new elements and additional considerations for multi tenancy deployments. This article is intended as a companion to my Rational Guide to Multi Tenancy with SharePoint 2010 article series and will cover what’s new and changed in this release with respect to configuration and functionality. It is assumed you are familiar with the material in the article series.

Please note that this article applies to the SharePoint 2013 Preview release. Things are likely to change between now and the final release of SharePoint 2013. I will update this article shortly after RTM.

Fundamentally not a great deal has changed. The majority of the configuration, operations and core functionality are the same as with SharePoint 2010. However as SharePoint 2013 introduces changes to existing services along with brand new ones, these services’ degree of multi tenant awareness also changes. We must also factor in the new functionality in the core SharePoint offering as it pertains to a multi tenant deployment.  

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New and Changed Service Applications

Three new Service Applications are introduced in SharePoint Server 2013, along with substantial changes to two existing service applications. Here’s a summary of how these changes impact multi tenant deployments.

App Management Service

The App Management Service is the key infrastructure enabler for the new SP Apps platform. App Management allows the configuration of the App Store, Licences, App Purchases, App Catalog, App URLs and App Permissions.

Whilst the App Management Service is not required, as SP Apps are the future of customisation within multi tenant deployments, the App Management Service should be considered a pre-requisite core service, like the Subscription Settings service application. Indeed for the App Management Service Application to function there must be a Subscription Settings service application provisioned.

The App Management Service is inherently Subscription aware and does NOT need to be provisioned in Partitioned Mode (there is no option to do so anyway).

Appropriately most of the Apps configuration “moves” to the Tenant Administration site, allowing each tenant administrator to configure their individual settings from the Marketplace section:  

The configuration of App URLs and Monitoring of Apps remains at the Farm scope, and appears exposed via Central Administration. However these pages are useless when in a multi tenancy environment! For some unknown reason Apps get it’s very own top level section in CA. Anyway the configuration of App URLs must be done via Windows PowerShell cmdlets, just like the other main tenant specific settings for MMS, BDC and UPA. This can be done at the time of provisioning or at a later date.

There’s quite some kerfuffle in the developer community about SP Apps since the release of SharePoint 2013 Preview. Ignoring all of the discussion about the new model’s strengths and weaknesses from a customisation perspective, SP Apps are a huge piece of the multi tenancy model in SharePoint 2013 and should not be underplayed. I will probably post more about SP Apps specifically over the coming months.

Translation Service

The Translation Service, also known as the Machine Translation Service, supports multi tenancy by means of its service application being created in Partition Mode. Similar to the Word Automation service application, there is no tenant specific configuration, and the service is managed at the farm level. However just like the Word Automation service, its database is effectively a queue and therefore needs to be partition or tenant aware.

Work Management Service

The Work Management Service does not store any data, and therefore does not need to be created in Partition Mode.

Search Service

The Search Service in SharePoint 2013 is completely re-architected. The provisioning of the service application and it’s constituent components changes significantly, however from a multi tenancy perspective all we need to do is create the service application in Partition Mode as we did with SharePoint Server 2010. What is brand new and you should like this, is that unlike SharePoint Server 2010 which did not expose any tenant specific configuration, Tenant Administration now provides access to all of the key settings. It’s a beautiful thing!

Many of the *.EnterpriseSearch* Windows PowerShell cmdlets also are partition aware and can be used to automate some of the above configuration. Note the Export and Import Search Configuration options above.  

User Profile Service

The User Profile Service hasn’t changed at all with respect to multi tenancy, however it is important to note some of the critical aspects once again. The related bug where a UPA created with a Windows PowerShell session not running as the Farm Account prevents provisioning of the UPS service instance, has NOT been fixed. We still need to use the workaround here. There is also no change to the support of only a single OU per tenant for Synchronization. Furthermore it appears as if Active Directory Import mode does not understand Subscription IDs and therefore cannot be used with a Partition Mode UPA.

All other service applications remain unchanged in terms of their configuration for multi tenancy. Of course where features and functionality have changed (e.g. MMS and BDC) those changes are naturally also available from Tenant Administration. Indeed some of the Search configuration above takes you to the Tenant Manage Term Store page.  

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Additional Functional Elements

Feature Packs

Feature Packs provide the ability to constrain the Features available for a given tenant. The fundamental capability isn’t changed in any way here, but of course the Features in the product have. Thus the old Feature Pack definitions for SKUs are no longer valid. A new set of feature pack definitions are required encompassing all of the new Features in SharePoint 2013.

Information Rights Management Integration

Information Rights Management (IRM) integration can now be configured to be tenant aware, thus providing the ability for each tenant to have different IRM settings. This will be incredibly useful especially in federated IRM scenarios. At the Farm Level we can configure multi tenant support, and we then can add tenant specific settings as part of the tenant provisioning or at a later stage. IRM will then be available to our tenants within Library Settings.  


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Configuration

The good news here is that the large majority of configuration remains unchanged. With the exception of the creation of the Search service application, all of my previous Windows PowerShell scripts can be used as is, with no modifications. The other changes are simply additions to those scripts.

Configuring the App Management Service

Nothing exciting here, we simply start the service instance and then create the service application and it’s proxy. This is the exact same pattern as used in my previous Windows PowerShell scripts for the other services. We do not need to provide a –PartitionMode parameter.

Configuring the Translation Service

Again, using the same pattern, we simply start the service instance and then create the service application and proxy. This time we add the –PartitionMode parameter. However, there is an “interesting” aspect to this guy. Creating the service application automatically creates a proxy, but it does not allow you specify a proxy name. It just uses the same name as used for the service application! If you care about consistent naming in your farm (and you should!) you have to delete that proxy and create another one, this time with the name you desire. This continues the trend of wildly inconsistent cmdlet behaviour in SharePoint!

Configuring the Search Service

As the Search service has had a complete overhaul, the old script is no longer valid. The good news is that the Windows PowerShell for working with the Search service and it’s constituent topology elements has been refined. The following script replaces the old version for deploying on a single server farm. Of course we would need to do more work in the topology arena if deploying in a real farm with articulated search roles. The only multi tenancy aspect here is the use of the –Partitioned parameter when creating the service application and proxy.

Configuring (or not) Feature Packs

I don’t currently have a set of Feature Pack definitions corresponding to the SKUs of SharePoint 2013. I am not entirely sure I will actually produce them. The use of feature packs to represent SKUs is really only useful from a demonstration perspective, and it’s likely I would make mistakes. I am not the guy to be defining which of the vast number of features included are part of individual SKUs. Obviously if you are running multi tenancy in the real world and are using Feature Packs, you will already have a Feature Pack management toolset, and that will work with no changes for SharePoint 2013 Preview.

Configuring Information Rights Management (IRM)

IRM support for multi tenancy can be enabled via Central Administration or the updated Windows PowerShell cmdlets. In Central Administration, simply navigate to the IRM settings page as normal:

Central Administration –> Security –> (Information Policy) Configure information rights management

Then select the RMS server as normal and check the Check this box in multi-tenant configurations to allow tenants to configure tenant level IRM settings check box.

In Windows PowerShell we can use the updated Set-SPIRMSettings cmdlet:

There are no configuration options for IRM within Tenant Administration, so this configuration must be applied using the new Windows PowerShell *.SPSiteSubscriptionIRMConfig cmdlets. We could also build this into the tenant provisioning function of my previous scripts.

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Conclusion

This article covers a number of new elements and considerations for multi tenancy deployments introduced with SharePoint 2013 Preview along with the necessary changes to the configuration and Windows PowerShell scripts from my Rational Guide to Multi Tenancy with SharePoint 2010 article series. To the cloud, baby!

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SharePoint 2013 Hosting :: Things to consider before Upgrading to SharePoint 2013

clock November 22, 2012 14:21 by author Administrator

SharePoint 2013 certainly has some great new functionality and features that you may find enticing, and it may tempt you to expedite the deployment of SharePoint 2013. A few of those temptations include the FAST search technology integrated into the out-of-the-box (OOB) SharePoint search functionality.

SharePoint 2013 also includes several enhancements to the social computing environment, such as status updates, newsfeeds, mentions, as well as improvements in mobile device integration and e-Discovery.

Upgrade Methods for 2013

Another big change is in the upgrade methods for SharePoint 2013. The in-place upgrade option no longer exists for SharePoint 2013 so the only upgrade method, which was always the preferred upgrade method in SharePoint 2010, is the database attach upgrade.

However, there are several improvements in the SharePoint 2013 database attach upgrade process. These improvements include: upgrading service applications, a Site Health Checker feature for site collections, and the option to upgrade site collections after upgrading the database that contains the site collections.

These enhancements streamline the upgrade process and provide a more flexible upgrade process. However, the decision to upgrade to SharePoint 2013 and the process used to upgrade will depend heavily upon your current version of SharePoint and whether or not you are already planning an upgrade from SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2010.

Getting Up to Speed

If you are running SharePoint 2007, you will have to perform a two-step process to upgrade to SharePoint 2013. The first step is to upgrade to SharePoint 2010, and the second step is to upgrade from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013. At this point you may be wondering, “What is it going to cost to perform the interim upgrade to SharePoint 2010?” The answer is, “It depends.”

If you already have the required hardware for SharePoint 2010, then you will most likely meet the hardware requirements for SharePoint 2013, although I would suggest you beef up the RAM for SharePoint 2013. The core software requirements are slightly different: Server 2008 R2 SP1 or Server 2012, and SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 or SQL Server 2012. If you already have these, you are set for both the SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 installations.

You may be thinking, “But wait! That means I need to obtain the SharePoint Server 2010 software to create the interim farm? I certainly don’t want to buy SharePoint 2010 just to upgrade to SharePoint 2013.” The good news is that you can locate a standard or enterprise trial copy of SharePoint 2010 from the Microsoft Download Center, and use this to build the interim SharePoint 2010 farm.

After you have upgraded your databases to SharePoint 2010, you can then copy them to your SharePoint 2013 farm and upgrade them to SharePoint 2013. By default, when you upgrade your databases to SharePoint 2013, the site collections contained in the databases remain in a true SharePoint 2010 format, not just visually, but functionally as well.

Identify Issues


This is where the Site Health Checker comes into play; you can run the Site Health Checker on the SharePoint 2010 site collections contained in the SharePoint 2013 databases to determine if there are any issues with the site collection prior to upgrading it to SharePoint 2013.

However, I think something even more helpful is that you have the option of creating a SharePoint 2013 evaluation copy of your SharePoint 2010 site collection. You can now see how the site collection will look and perform in SharePoint 2013 without disrupting your SharePoint 2010 environment. After resolving any issues discovered in your SharePoint 2010 site collection, you are then ready to upgrade it to SharePoint 2013.

These two options make the upgrade process from SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2013 quite easy, and the options help you perform the upgrade at a pace that is comfortable for your users, yet it still allows the farm administrators to complete the farm upgrade to SharePoint 2013 when they are ready.

For organizations that are close to upgrading from SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2010 in the next few months, consider pausing the rollout of SharePoint 2010 and waiting for the SharePoint 2013 release. This will allow you to take advantage of all the new functionality when using the upgrade process mentioned above.

While You Wait

With that said, you may be asking what you can do during the few months that you are waiting to upgrade to SharePoint 2013 from SharePoint 2007 or SharePoint 2010. How about building a governance plan or improving an outdated governance plan? You could also take some time to clean up your SharePoint data so only current and relevant data is migrated to SharePoint 2013. This time could also be used to review and update the organization of your SharePoint information to ensure a user-friendly environment in SharePoint 2013.


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SharePoint Foundation 2013 Hosting - SharePoint 2013 workflows in Visio

clock November 12, 2012 17:12 by author Administrator

Visualizing processes is at the heart of Visio's DNA and in Visio 2010 we took a big step forward in that area by including support for SharePoint workflows. This lets users create a workflow in Visio, import it into SharePoint Designer, and make it an executable workflow on SharePoint.  In the new Visio we've added SharePoint 2013 workflows and made SharePoint Designer an even more integral part of creating workflows visually.



What are SharePoint workflows?

If you're not familiar with SharePoint workflows, they are process flows that use pre-defined common activities (such as send email) that can be executed as an automated process on a SharePoint server. This workflow could represent any of a number of business processes, such as a credit approval process, document review feedback, document approval, etc.  In Visio 2010 we added a template that would allow you to design a workflow visually, then export your workflow to SharePoint Designer, where you could add parameters to your workflow and publish it.

The new Visio still includes SharePoint 2010 workflows that you can use as you have in the past, but it adds the new Microsoft SharePoint 2013 Workflow template.

Some major changes

Once you create a new SharePoint 2013 workflow, instead of a blank canvas you'll see that every new workflow starts with an empty container called a "stage". Support for stages was a highly requested feature that allows you to simplify complex workflows. Each stage contains all of the actions that make up that logical section of the workflow. Simple workflows might be only a single stage, while complex workflows could have many stages. Within stages, "step" containers allow you to further organize actions. While all actions must be within a stage, decision shapes can determine the flow both within and between stages.



With Visio open, if you look at the stencil pane at the left, you'll see all new shapes.  These are not just a visual update; SharePoint 2013 workflow actions and conditions have been updated to support .Net 4.0 workflows.  We've also added a new stencil, Components, where you'll see the shapes to support stages and steps as well as loops, another new highly requested feature.

Along with adding new workflow elements, we've eliminated the export step to save workflow for use in SharePoint Designer.  SharePoint 2013 workflows you have saved as new Visio Drawing (VSDX) files can be opened in either Visio or SharePoint Designer with no export step needed.

Let's take a look at how this all works together.

An example of creating a workflow

Imagine that your team wants to create a workflow to track credit approvals of your customers.  As a first step you decide to rough out the high-level process.  To make this easier, after creating your new workflow you first go to the Process tab and click Stage View on the SharePoint Workflow section.  It creates a Default Stage View page that uses Simple Stage shapes to represent each stage. Since you hadn't added any additional stages, all you have is a single, unnamed stage, which looks like this:



Now you can add additional Simple Stage shapes and Conditions to flesh out your workflow until you have the overall flow of the workflow designed.  Then, by selecting the shapes and typing, you can edit the names to reflect the actual stage and condition names and add "yes" and "no" labels to the decision branches.  When you're done, it looks more like:



If it's a complex workflow, at this point you would probably want to review the workflow with your team, so you could use the new collaboration features to get feedback on the workflow and make sure you have correctly defined the major stages.

Once you're sure that the diagram is as you want it, you can go back to the Process tab and click Create Workflow and Visio builds you a diagram where empty stage containers replace your stage view shapes, which gives you a framework for your workflow.



Now you'll need to flesh out each stage by adding the proper workflow actions and conditions.

If you look at the Actions stencil you'll see a lot of different possible actions, such as "Send an email" and "Create list item".  Each of these actions represent an action that can be part of the steps that are executed on the SharePoint server when the workflow is running.  You can combine these actions to determine what happens in each stage of your workflow. Let's focus in on one of the simpler stages, the Bankruptcy Check to see how building a stage works.

Since our stage view had the names of each of the stages, the generated workflow already has a stage called "Bankruptcy check".  We can zoom in on that stage to make our work simpler.  The first step we want is to assign a task to the person who will do the research into possible bankruptcies.  This is as simple as dragging the "Assign a task" shape onto the stage and dropping it on the line you see running across the stage.  Connector splitting will break the connector where you dropped the shape and reattach connectors on each side.



You can then rename the action so that it's more meaningful.  The bankruptcy check has several other steps in it, including a condition that changes the execution of the workflow depending on whether there has been a bankruptcy or not.  You simply add the additional shapes to reflect the flow of the decision, add the names, add labels to indicate which decision connector is "yes" and which is "no", and you're done.  You'll end up with a stage that looks like this:



Hint:  If you design your workflow so that "yes" decisions go to the right and "no" decisions go down, your diagram will be more consistent and Visio's routing engine will do a better job whenever automatic layout occurs.

Once you've filled out the entire workflow, used collaboration to get comments and make any adjustments, and you have a workflow that you all agree properly models the steps you want your SharePoint workflow to execute, then you can make the workflow executable.  For that you use SharePoint Designer.

In Visio 2010, workflows had to be exported using an intermediate file format that was used only to interoperate with SharePoint Designer.  Once the file was opened in SharePoint Designer, adding parameters was a matter of editing text in a programming interface. We've simplified both steps in this version.

Since there's no export step, you simply need to open your saved workflow in SharePoint Designer; Visio's new Visio Drawing (VSDX) file format lets you seamlessly move between Visio and SharePoint Designer.  

SharePoint Designer also now hosts Visio as an ActiveX control, which lets you use the familiar Visio interface to visually edit workflows in SharePoint Designer and add parameters using action tag dialogs if both the new SharePoint Designer and the new Visio are installed on your computer.

First you use the action tag dropdown to select the action you want:



Then you set the properties using the Action Designer.



After you do this for each of the actions, you can then set the conditions for each of the decision shapes:



When you're done, the finished workflow can be published so that it will run on the SharePoint Server.

For more information on how you add parameters and publish a workflow in SharePoint Designer, take a look at Sam Chung's blog post, Introducing the new Visual Designer.

In summary

The new Visio lets you design a SharePoint 2013 workflow from an outline to a finished diagram using simple drag and drop and basic editing.  You can share and collaborate on the diagram to work with your team to perfect and finalize the workflow.  Since SharePoint Designer now supports visual design using the Visio diagramming engine, editing and parameterizing can now be done with a visual interface.

If you haven't already, download the Visio Preview and try out the new SharePoint 2013 template

 

        

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ASPHostCentral.com offers Windows and ASP.NET Hosting on Singapore (Asia) Server

clock October 14, 2012 17:24 by author Administrator

ASPHostCentral.com has a strong commitment to provide global access and service to all our new and existing customers. To meet this commitment, ASPHostCentral.com proudly launches the latest and newest data center located in Singapore (Asia). Starting from 15th Oct 2012, ASPHostCentral.com opens an opportunity to everyone to host their websites on our Singapore Data Center.

Our Singapore data center is supported with Multiple connections to major Internet backbone carriers via SingTel, SingNet, NTT Communication, Deutsche Telekom AG, Hurricane Electric and PCCW with OC-12 connections using BGP-4 routing protocol. This Singapore Data Center hosting is suitable to anyone who plans to do an online business in Asia. If you are targeting Asian market or if you like to mirror your US-based or Europe-based website or if you are located in Asia and want to host your site in Asia data center, our Singapore server is certainly suitable for your needs

Our Singapore Data Center Network Advantages

- Multiple and geographically redundant dedicated connections to Tier-1 Internet backbones from the largest ISPs in South East Asia, Europe and USA

- Multiple connections to major Internet backbone carriers via SingTel, SingNet, NTT Communication, Deutsche Telekom AG, Hurricane Electric and PCCW with OC-12 connections using BGP-4 routing protocol

- Peering relationships are monitored and maintained 24x7x365 and upgraded as needed

- All Data Centers deploy Border Gateway Protocol (BGP4 Routing Protocol) that enables a multi-homed provider to setup a truly redundant network. By connecting to multiple backbones, ASPHostCentral.com data center distributes data out quickly in the shortest possible path. In the even of a failure in one circuit, our network automatically re-routes data to another backbone, ensuring uptime and redundancy for our customers


Singapore (Asia) Windows Hosting with ASPHostCentral.com

- New Customer - You can start from as low as $6.99/month to start hosting your website on our newest Singapore Server. If you do not have a domain name, please do not worry as we will give you one FREE domain name (worth $14.99/year) if you register for any of our hosting plans for 12 months service(*). We will do our best to help you create your first web presence on the internet and we will continuously support the growth of your business.
- Existing Customer - For all existing customers, a migration to a server located on our Singapore data center is required and hence, a migration and setup fee apply. Starting from 15th Oct 2012, we have offered Windows Server located on our Singapore data center and for clients who registered before this date is required to pay this setup fee. Thank you.

Currently rated 1.7 by 30 people

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SharePoint Foundation 2013 Hosting with ASPHostCentral.com

clock September 13, 2012 17:51 by author Administrator

ASPHostCentral.com, the leader in ASP.NET and Windows Hosting Provider, proudly announces that we have supported the latest SharePoint 2013 Hosting

We offer this newest
SharePoint 2013 Hosting Package from just $15.99/month. Our SharePoint 2013 hosting plan comes with a list of complete features, such as:

- Massive Document Storage Space
- Massive Bandwidth
- Unlimited Number of SharePoint Users / Accounts
- SharePoint Designer 2013
- Support Third-Party (Custom) Web Parts)
- Support International Language Packs
- Support SSL for higher data integrity
- Support Anonymous, Public-Facing Access



To make our SharePoint 2013 even more complete, we have added extra features free of charge to the package. These features are:

- .NET 4.5 and ASP.NET MVC 4.0 Framework
- Silverlight 5.0
- SQL Server 2012
- Entity Framework (EF)
- WebMatrix and WebDeploy
- Windows 2012 Hosting
- WCF RIA Service
- World Class Control Panel
- 24/7 Support
- 99.9% Uptime Guarantee
- Choice of US or European Data Center
- 30-days Money Back Guarantee

SharePoint 2013 is the new way to work together. A simplified user experience helps you organize, sync and share all your content. New social capabilities make it easy to share ideas, keep track of what your colleagues are working on, and discover experts you never knew existed.

Putting a SharePoint team website in place for your business is a fast, cost-effective way to facilitate team communication while creating a professional looking website. Team sites based on Windows SharePoint Services are useful right out of the box. You can customize your site, changing its appearance and adding functionalities without using other applications or doing any programming

Obviously, we still support the SharePoint 2010 Hosting on our Windows Server environment.

Currently rated 2.1 by 32 people

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Windows Server 2012 Hosting with ASPHostCentral.com

clock August 29, 2012 17:20 by author Administrator

ASPHostCentral.com
 proudly supports the latest Windows Server 2012 on all our newest servers. You can certainly run and deploy your project on our highly-secured Windows Server 2012 environment instantly! 




Windows Server 2012 Essentials 

An ideal server for small businesses, Windows Server 2012 Essentials (formerly known as Windows Small Business Server Essentials) provides a powerful and flexible solution that helps protect your business data while allowing you to access the information you need from virtually anywhere using almost any device. Windows Server 2012 Essentials supports the applications you need to run your business and also helps you to quickly connect to additional cloud-based applications and services to extend your server’s functionality. 

Benefits 

Small organizations want to focus on their core business, not on managing an IT infrastructure. Windows Server 2012 Essentials can help to minimize the time, effort, and money that you spend on IT. 

Windows Server 2012 Essentials provides you and your employees highly secure access to your company’s data and applications so that you can be productive—even when you’re not in the office—and offers you the flexibility to make technology decisions based on your individual business needs. 

With Windows Server 2012 Essentials, you can: 

- Protect and secure your business. The server’s intuitive user experience and powerful data protection features, such as full client PC backup, can simplify your life and help you focus on your core business.
- Access your resources from virtually everywhere using almost any device. Empower your remote workforce with the freedom to work where and when they choose with an Internet connection and web browser.
- Leverage the power and flexibility of cloud-based services on your terms. Windows Server 2012 Essentials helps you run your business operations, be more efficient, and enjoy competitive advantages by making it easier than ever to use and manage cloud-based applications and services, on-premise applications, or a combination of both. 

Currently rated 2.0 by 11 people

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Sharepoint 2013 Hosting

ASPHostCentral is a premier web hosting company where you will find low cost and reliable web hosting. We have supported the latest ASP.NET 4.5 hosting and ASP.NET MVC 4 hosting. We have supported the latest SQL Server 2012 Hosting and Windows Server 2012 Hosting too!



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