A week ago, we organized a webinar with our friends from Rencore in which we talked about the governance of SharePoint solutions using SPDocKit and SPCAF reports, which we recently integrated into our tool. Our presenter was Adis Jugo, SharePoint Solution Architect and Microsoft MVP.
In case you missed it or you'd like to refresh your memory here is a recording and an overview of our presentation.
SharePoint Governance – Application Management
As Adis said at the beginning of the webinar, SharePoint governance is a set of policies and procedures to keep your SharePoint environment in good shape, and a set of procedures on how to implement those policies. According to Microsoft's guides, we can divide governance into three subcategories: IT governance (infrastructure), information management (architecture, how you store information and policies), and application management, which we talked about.
He pointed out that every organization needs a policy for customizations. There should be guidelines for updating customizations e.g., knowing which are approved and what can't be deployed. In addition, there should be a procedure and rules for analyzing customizations etc. In the webinar, we demonstrated how to analyze SharePoint solutions and check their code quality using the SPCAF reports in SPDocKit.
Solution Analysis and Health Check
The first part of this webinar covered an analysis and health check of deployed solutions. In this first part of solutions governance, Adis suggests using SPDocKit – especially the Farm Audit options and Compare wizard. Use SPDocKit to create a snapshot of your farm. Then go to the Farm Explorer's report called Solutions, which provides an overview of all the solutions in a farm along with an option to validate a solution assembly deployment. You can use SPDocKit to easily create a backup of the solutions .wsp file with all your custom solutions, and there is no need to depend on the vendor of the customizations.
Use this to find the source of a misconfiguration so that you can easily fix a problem. This can be very useful also when upgrading SharePoint from 2013 to 2016, as we mentioned in our previous webinar about updating SharePoint.
You may also need a report to show what has changed in your farm solutions during some period of time. This is one more situation where SPDocKit comes to the rescue. Open the Compare Wizard and choose one of the Compare Farms options, and then select two different snapshots of the same farm to track changes. It will show you a list of all solutions in your farm along with an overview of what has changed between two dates (e.g. file version). You can also use it to compare different farms (DEV, staging, production...). With the alerting system, you can schedule email notifications to track changes using a differences overview report. You can choose to send alerts to any desired email address.
Solutions Quality Check
After you have detected and analyzed all solutions (where they are deployed, if there are differences etc.), you should monitor the quality of the code in these solutions and this is where you need the SPCAF reports. Since the newly established integration, these reports are now available directly from SPDocKit as an extension. The Analyze Summary report under Content and Usage reports will show you all the errors and warnings for your solutions. The filter will allow you to choose the solution you wish to analyze. You will see errors grouped per category (security, supportability, deployment, correctness etc.) with a lot of useful information. This will help you to easily check and correct whatever solution you want.
Please note that to use the other SPCAF reports, you'll need to get an SPCAF Farm Protection license.