In this blog post, we give a short summary of this week’s webinar about key SPDocKit features with a general overview of our SharePoint administration tool.
In the SPDocKit Hands-on: Features Overview webinar, Toni Frankola, CEO of Acceleratio and product owner of SPDocKit gives a demo on SPDocKit, and new ways to manage your SharePoint environment.
Table of contents:
0:00 Intro - Product Overview
4:15 Introducing Snapshots, Farm Explorer and how to generate Farm Documentation
12:19 Best Practices Reports
15:59 Permissions Explorer, Reports and Management Actions
21:11 Compare Wizard
24:13 SPDocKit Event Viewer
SharePoint Administration Tool: General Overview of SPDocKit Features
SPDocKit is the ultimate SharePoint administration tool and we are going to show you why.
In the following demo video, Toni shows you what SPDocKit is all about and how you can best utilize it to perform every day SharePoint administration tasks with ease, such as the following:
Generate SharePoint Documentation
The most basic and frequently used feature is the ability to create SharePoint inventory documentation.
SPDocKit goes into your SharePoint system and documents all the settings, servers, web applications, site collections, and service applications.
For each setting you see in the SharePoint administration, you can create a report about it, which will be displayed in the SPDocKit user interface.
SPDocKit even documents the SQL Server information, IIS settings, and features and solutions that have been deployed to your farm, and you can back up those solution files. You can export a user-friendly Word or Excel document containing these SharePoint configuration settings.
Audit SharePoint Farm Documentation
When SPDocKit gathers all the SharePoint farm settings, you can analyze them according to the latest best practices created by Microsoft and influential community members. That way, you can detect potential problems that your farm might be having.
Visit our SPDocKit Best Practices Library and check out how to validate and optimize your farm configuration according to the latest SharePoint best practices.
Manage SharePoint Permissions
The ability to manage SharePoint permissions is among the most important features.
We all know that as your SharePoint sites grow, the number of users also increases, and it can be challenging, at times, to be efficient when it comes to SharePoint permission management. That’s why we’ve built in some additional features that can help you to be more effective and to assign or remove permissions from SharePoint users and groups in just a few seconds.
Additionally, you can clone and transfer permissions from one user to another.
Create SharePoint Structure, Content and Usage Reports
Check your entire SharePoint content and structure with SPDocKit to get inside information about the size and structure of your SharePoint sites. Check the database size, feature usage, and more.
Compare Farms and Track Changes
Once you create a snapshot of your farm, you can easily compare it with the same farm in a different time frame, or you can compare two different farms, which can be very useful if you have multiple farms. For example, if you have a test farm, development farm, or QA farm, you can compare all of their settings to make sure they are the same.
Monitor SharePoint Farm Health
You’re in for a surprise!
We’ve re-engineered one of our monitoring features and made it even better—it makes tackling ULS and Windows Event Logs a piece of cake.
Check out the SPDocKit Event Viewer!
This feature has the ability to search all ULS and Windows Event Logs. SPDocKit has a dedicated small search engine that can crawl through these and troubleshoot a certain issue or correlation ID that has been troubling you. We’ve designed the SharePoint log monitoring feature to best serve the needs of a large SharePoint enterprise farm.
At the end of each webinar, we leave some time for a Q&A session, as well as to discuss everything that we talked about. If you have any additional questions after you’ve watched the SPDocKit Hands-on: Features Overview webinar, the SPDocKit team would be more than happy to help you, so feel free to contact us.
Q: Is there a report that shows when a site collection was last accessed? Is it possible to get this report for all site collections under a web application?
A: Currently, we can show you when a site collection or the documents within the site collection were last modified. Unfortunately, SPDocKit can’t show you when it was last accessed; that’s a feature we are evaluating at the moment and hope to be able to incorporate it into the application soon.
Q: If SPDocKit detects a problem in SharePoint, what are the proper steps to solve it?
A: SPDocKit can show you some of the best practices that are being violated, and it provides you with comprehensive documentation on how you can fix a problem you encounter, compliant with the recommended best practices, but SPDocKit cannot going to fix the problem for you on its own.
Q: Will the Permission Report be included in the Full Farm Report?
A: No. The farm documentation we have shown you in this demo is a Word document, and for a typical farm, the inventory settings of the central administration alone are going to be around one hundred pages. So, adding permissions to the whole documentation would be complicated, to say the least. To export the Permission Report, go to the individual report in the reports section and export it as a separate document.
Q: Is there documentation for the SPDocKit?
A: Yes, of course. Visit our website at www.spdockit.com and refer to the “Help” section, where you will find each SPDocKit feature explained in fine detail. If you have any additional questions, you’re welcome to contact us. If you have a specific problem you can’t solve, we also offer remote assistance and would be happy to help.
Q: Do you offer diagnostics for the InfoPath forms and workflows?
A: Unfortunately, no; however, SPDocKit documents workflows, and it can show you if workflows have been deployed to any particular sites, but for InfoPath forms, SPDocKit only detects if there are any forms in the library.
Q: Is the latest version of SPDocKit compatible with all versions of SharePoint?
A: Yes, it is. SPDocKit supports SharePoint 2010, SharePoint 2013, and SharePoint 2016. SPDocKit version 5 still supports SharePoint 2007.
Q: What is the recommended installation place for SPDocKit? Is it the web front-end server or an application server?
A: SPDocKit needs to be installed on the SharePoint server, so it can be either of the two. We always recommend you use one of your back-end servers, preferably an Application server, or if you have a dedicated central administration server, that’s another choice. If you only have two servers, I would recommend going for the Application server.
Q: Can you clone permissions for all sites, from one user to a new user?
A: Yes, you can. You can use the Permission Wizard to clone permissions across different site collections.
Q: How big is the snapshot?
A: This depends on the amount of stuff you want to document. A snapshot of a typical SharePoint farm is usually under 1 MB. However, if you are documenting permissions and doing so on every single list item, this will increase the size. A typical SPDocKit database is going to be around a couple of GB. This is something you can monitor with SPDocKit as well. SPDocKit has a built-in report that helps you track the size of your database, and after a couple of snapshots, you can see how much space it takes up.
Q: Can I install SPDocKit on a separate server other than on the SharePoint server?
A: No. SPDocKit needs to be installed on a SharePoint server to gather data. We have the Workstation license which you can use to install SPDocKit directly on your PC. This is ideal for consultants when managing a client: they can instruct the client to create a snapshot and export it, and then the consultant can perform an analysis on his or her laptop without having to access the client’s SharePoint servers. Or, if have a site collection administrator who is not a SharePoint farm administrator, you can use the SPDocKit Workstation license to manage permissions directly from his or her workstation—the individual doesn’t even need to have access to your configuration settings.
Refer to our blog post titled “View SPDocKit Directly from Your PC Workstation” to find out how to generate SharePoint documentation and audit SharePoint farm configuration using the SPDocKit Workstation license.
Q: How can I find out whether I have the latest version of SPDocKit?
A: Navigate to “Backstage Screen” and then to “Help.” There is a button that checks for updates and verifies that you have the latest version.
Q: Does SPDocKit need the administrator login or the installing admin account (SPFarm vs. SPAdmin)?
A: SPDocKit doesn’t require your login information, and you can run it from your farm administrator Remote Desktop session. You need the SPFarm administrator account. It doesn’t have to be your Service account, but if you have a dedicated SP admin account, that would be ideal. For a user to gather configuration information with SPDocKit, he or she must have privileges to access the Central Administration—so, basically, any SharePoint admin user account.
Q: Where and how do you configure SPDocKit for a multiple farm environment?
A: If you have three farms, we recommend you create a single SPDocKit database and then install one instance of SPDocKit for each of your three farms. Then, point all the SPDocKit instances toward the central SPDocKit database so that you can see all the snapshots in one central location. This makes it easier for you to compare changes between your farms.
Discover today why having SPDocKit makes all the difference when it comes to SharePoint administration!
Make managing SharePoint farms a pleasant experience. Download SPDocKit and try it out!