Community Sites in SharePoint 2013 – Part 1

Preface: I have presented the same content in RSUG event held in Riyadh in November 2012 in Dar-ul-uloom University. Slides were taken from Ignite (2012) Series & content is modified based on my research and TechNet Articles / Official documentation from MS. Any suggestions are welcome. Same slides are also available on YouTube.

There are several improvements in SharePoint 2013 “Social” features. I will give you a brief here and then we will go into details with Community Sites.

  • Microblogging
    • Share content, links, and media
    • Follow people, sites, content, and conversations
  • Activity Feeds
    • Provides a view into recent activity related to content, links, media, and people
  • Communities
    • Community sites with self-service administration and moderation
    • Modern community features such as achievements and reputation
  • Discussions
    • Modern discussion boards
  • Blogs
    • Client application integration
    • Categories, comments, and moderation

Community Sites

Community Sites offer a forum experience to categorize and cultivate discussions with a broad group of people across organizations in a company. Community Sites promote open communication and information exchange by fostering discussions among users who share their expertise and use expertise of others who have knowledge in specific areas of interest. In short:

  • Microsoft has Enhanced Discussion List and provided two new site templates, called Community Site & Community Portal.
  • Available in SharePoint Server 2013 & SharePoint Foundation 2013.
  • It promotes open communication & information exchange across organization.

SharePoint_CommunitySites1   This is a how a fully active Community sites looks like (Home page).

Communities and Reputations

  • Builds on the concepts of discussions, likes, ratings, badges and reputations
  • Communities can be created by using a new Site Definition
    • Template available for site collections and sites
  • Underneath is a feature that can be activated on any site.
  • By populating a community with email messages from a distribution list. This approach is one way only. Email messages populate discussions in the community, but new posts and replies originating from the community do not appear in email.
  • Uses Wiki Pages infrastructure
  • A community is based on set of functionalities and lists that exist in the community:
    • it is self-consistent.

Community Site Template (OOTB)

The Site template is based on Team Site Template. Elements of Site Template: >>

Pages Lists Web Parts
Home Discussion What’s happening (Visitor/Member)
Categories Badges Top contributors (Visitor/Member)
Members Community Members My Membership (Members)
Administration Settings Categories Manage (Site Owner / Moderator)
About

 What’s happening: Available for visitors and members to display how many members, discussions, and replies the community has. Top contributors: Available for visitors and members to display the members who contribute most to the community. My Membership: Available for members to display information about their membership in the community, such as the number of posts and replies. Manage: Available for site owners and community moderators to manage discussions, categories, members, reputation settings, and community settings.

Communities by Design

  • Content is organized by Categories, with a rich UI comprised of image and data
  • Presentation pages are «wiki pages»
    • Rich content experience
    • Easier to customize doesn’t need to be SharePoint master for creating content
  • Users can use rating for content and «reputation» for people
    • Can vote 1 to 5 stars, or Likes
    • Reputation is only available in community sites and it is «per community»
  • People can also report “abuse” for a moderator to act upon
  • Moderators can choose the “best” reply

Community Categories SharePoint_CommunitySites2Communities – Posting

  • Every post can be edited and deleted by the original owner as well as moderators
  • Every member of the community can report a post to the moderator (if the setting is enabled)
  • Marking a post as “featured”: once marked, a specific post will render at top of its category.

SharePoint_CommunitySites3 SharePoint_CommunitySites4

Conversations and Replies

A conversation can have zero or multiple replies

  • Replies can happen for the main topic or for other replies as well (replies of replies)
  • A reply can be reported to moderator
  • Community moderators can also delete or edit a reply
  • Best Reply: bubbles up in a specific reply and shows it up as the first reply in the discussion thread SharePoint_CommunitySites5

Community Owners Tools

 SharePoint_CommunitySites6
  • Available in the home page and in site settings
    1. Home page is «security trimmed»: only moderators see tools
  • Provides access to the main community settings and underneath lists:
  1. Discussions
  2. Categories
  3. Members
  4. Gifts
  5. Reported Posts

Ratings Model & Settings

  • Owners can enable ratings on Community
    • Ratings can be a star system or like system:
    • Both are completely decoupled from Social DB and live only in the Content DB
    • Owner can switch between the two systems and rating values get preserved in the switch
    • Mouse hovering on the rating provides quick information at a glance:
      • Who rated
      • The value of the rate
      • Visual representation for your likes

SP_CommunitySites1

Tracking Your Reputation

  • People reputation is impacted by activities like creating posts, adding replies, etc.
  • Reputation is per community – reputation in one does not affect it in another community
  • Reputation model cannot be extended
  • Community owners control points for each activity.

SP_CommunitySites2

Community Standing

  • Administrators also configure what point thresholds are required to achieve reputation rankings
  • Once a member reach a specific level he/she receives a «badge» that shows achievement goals reached
    • Badges can be customized in term of text
    • Badges image cannot be customized
      • But the color is inherited from the site theme

SP_CommunitySites3

Community Badges

  • There are two type of badges in communities:
    • Achieved badges
      • Gained by people by collecting points performing specific activities
    • Gifted badges
      • Assigned by community owners
  • Achieved badges can be displayed as a ranking level or as a specific text

SP_CommunitySites4

Gifted Badges

  • It’s a way for Community moderators to “push” recognition to member
    • Not achieved by members
    • By assignation only from Community moderator
  • List of Gifted Badges can be managed to add or remove badges
  • Gifted Badges are showed in the people status and are colored
    • Again: color is inherited by site theme

SP_CommunitySites5

Continue Reading Part 2

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Service Applications in SharePoint 2013

New service applications are available in SharePoint 2013 and improvements on existing ones.

Same services model as introduced in SharePoint 2010

  • Services can be individually consumed from any Web Application
  • Allows for a very rich (and complex) farm structure if required
  • Provide flexibility to utilize services based on application needs

SharePoint_ServiceApps01

Key changes in service applications in SP 2013

  • General architecture identical as in SharePoint 2010
  • Numerous new enhancements in platform level
  • New service applications to provide more enhanced functionalities
  • Office Web Apps is no longer a service application but it is Separated to own product
  • Web Analytics is no longer service application
  • Analyses and reporting process incorporated to search service application

Service Databases

Service Applications with their own DBs:

    • App Management Service
    • Business Data Connectivity
    • Managed Metadata Service
    • Search
    • Secure Store Service
    • SharePoint Translation Services
    • State Service
    • Usage and Health Data Collection
    • User Profile
    • Word Automation Service
    • Access Services App databases

SharePoint_ServiceApps02

Cross farm services in SharePoint 2013

  • Remote farms don’t need perms to parent farm DBs*
  • Any farm can publish SAs
  • One web application can use both local and remote SAs
  • Enables centralized “enterprise” SAs
  • Support only in specific service applications
    • Business Data Connectivity
    • Managed Metadata Service
    • Search
    • Secure Store Service
    • SharePoint Translation Services
    • User Profile

SharePoint_ServiceApps03

Service Applications and WAN environments

Service application Recommended for WAN environments?
Search  Yes
Managed Metadata Service Yes
Machine Translation Service Yes
Business Data Connectivity (BDC) Yes
User Profile No
Secure Store  No

Deploying Service Applications

Deploying service applications by using the Initial Configuration Wizard Deploying service applications manually or by using Windows PowerShell
Application pool All service applications are deployed to the same application pool. You can deploy service applications to dedicated application pools, if desired.
Service accounts The same account is used for all services. You can edit service accounts later. You can apply different service accounts to service applications.
Databases Database names are automatically generated, including GUIDs that are long and difficult to remember. You can assign database names and implement a naming convention.
Service application settings Default settings are applied to service applications. You can change these later. You can implement custom settings when the service application is deployed.

SharePoint Governance, MOF & Service Maps

Recap:
We talked about SharePoint Governance in last 2 articles (Part 1 & Part 2).
Now we will see how to plan Governance & Introduction to Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF). Consider SharePoint as a Service and all your users as clients. Think about Service Level Agreement (SLA) or Operational Level Agreement (OLA) & how to meet them. Mostly disasters  happens unexpectedly & Recovery Time Objective (RTO) or Recovery Point Objective (RPO) is another challenge to meet to satisfy business needs & minimize the impact of downtime. Microsoft Operations Framework can help you in planning for Service availability in general & provide you some tools to identify the dependencies that you can add to your watch list for continues improvements & monitoring.

Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF)

Overview

MOF is a series of guides aimed at helping information technology (IT) professionals establish and implement reliable, cost-effective services. It integrates, community-generated processes; governance, risk, and compliance activities; management reviews, and Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF) best practices. Encompasses all of the activities and processes involved in managing an IT service: its conception, development, operation, maintenance, and—ultimately—its retirement.

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Structure

  1. Planning Phase
  2. Deliver Phase
  3. Operate Phase
  4. Management Layer

Read more about MOF on following links:
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/solutionaccelerators/dd320379.aspx
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Operations_Framework

Download MOF Guides:
https://www.microsoft.com/en-sa/download/details.aspx?id=17647

If you are Microsoft Premier Customer, you can ask your Technical Account Manager (TAM) for engagement about MOF and Service Maps as per your Company’s contract.

Service Mapping

A service map is a graphical display of a service that illustrates the various components upon which successful delivery of that service relies.

  • Hardware
  • Software
  • Configurable settings or roles
  • Customers
  • Services

SharePoint As a Service (Collaboration or Search)

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Stream Typical components Potential data sources for this service map stream Example components
Software All software associated with a given service including the core application itself, any supporting or dependent applications, network and control software, maintenance software, and versioning information. Software data usually comes from service catalogs or software portfolios. This also includes any dependent software related to the service being mapped. Windows Server® 2008 SP2 x64
Hardware All servers, network devices, storage equipment, and desktop PCs required for a service to function, including model and configuration information where appropriate. Hardware data can be identified through the configuration management system (CMS) or other similar sources of configuration data. HP DL 385 G2
Services Other services upon which the primary service depends. Upstream services feed required input to the service in question, while downstream services are fed output from the primary service. For example, a service like Exchange or SharePoint will typically rely on several downstream services such as Active Directory®, Backup, and Service Desk. Service catalogs and service portfolios are a good source for this type of data. DNS and Help Desk/Call Center/Level-1
Settings The configurable settings needed for the service to function effectively. Configuration diagrams are an excellent source for setting data since they typically include details about settings or roles of other dependent equipment such as server or network devices. Server roles such as Index Server, Query Server, and Database Server

Domain authenticated to gateway IP address

Customers The consumers of the service and relevant information about them such as department, location, and means of contact. This could include specific business units, geographical regions, or classes of users (such as “Executives”). Design packages created during requirements analysis or the design phase of the service management lifecycle are excellent sources of customer data. Service owners and the service level manager may also be able to provide data about customers. HR Department.

How to create Service Maps

You can sketch by hand or use any tool to help you publish the service maps later to any shared location where all Operational People or team that is responsible for Troubleshooting can find it. These services maps are live documents and should updated or reviewed periodically.
Microsoft Service Map Designer tool can help you drawing these maps easily. This tool is available only for Premier Customers (as per my knowledge as I did not find any download link on internet or Volume Licensing Site) and can be requested through your TAM.

Key Features of the Service Map Designer

  • Manage Group Ownership in the Legend with Automatic Coloring
  • Drop-down choices for entering Service Map attributes such as Business Owner, Operating Level Agreement (OLA), Service Hours, and more
  • Enter custom data for all Service Map attributes
  • Hyperlink shapes to important documents or Web sites
  • Improved Service Map Display, including expanding and collapsing branches, and multiple layout options
  • Export Service Map to a Microsoft® Visio® drawing, a JPEG file, or a Web page (HTML)

Once its installed it will create a desktop icon on your computer.
SharePoint-Governance17

Click to start.
SharePoint-Governance18
You will see standard ribbon toolbar and working area. Click New and Start designing your Service Maps.
SharePoint-Governance19Enter the Service Name like SharePoint-Intranet and Company Name like Contoso & Click Create.
SharePoint-Governance20

Notice that the five initial streams are created: Application Stream, Hardware Stream, Services, Customers, and Settings.

The Service Name and Customer name can be edited by clicking the root node (in this example, SharePoint-Intranet) and then clicking the Attributes tab in the lower-left Properties Window.

There are two different shape types used in a Service Map.

Streams are typically used under the Services, Settings, and sometimes Customer top-level streams, Values are typically always used under the Hardware Stream and Application Stream.

SharePoint-Governance23
You can right Click on any existing Stream or Value and Add a Child Item on Specific Number.

SharePoint-Governance21
A rule of thumb is “Value” always should be the Right Most Item and it shows a tangible information. You can add as many Streams to a Parent Stream depending upon your requirements and available information and a Value should be added to complete it. You can add a Value to a Value Object as well.

Managing Groups in the Legend

Legend shows ownership on the Service Map

  • For most items on the Service Map, it is essential to know who owns them.
  • The legend allows for entry of group names and allows shapes to be colored based on the group.
  • From the top menu, you can hide or show the menu as needed.
  • This is called the Properties Window and also contains attributes that will be shown later.

SharePoint-Governance24

You can change the color of the shape as well, Just Right click and see the option for Color.

Adding Additional Information

  1. Store Contact Information, SLAs, OLAs, and more
  2. For every shape on the Service Map, attributes can be stored
  3. This example uses the Messaging Stream (root node of the Service Map)
  4. In the Properties Window, choose the Attributes tab at the top.
  5. Click  Add   to add new values. The drop-down menu has suggested attributes. Or, enter custom attributes.
  6. Click  Delete   to delete values.

SharePoint-Governance25

I have designed a detailed Service Map for a SharePoint Intranet Service for your reference only (At the bottom of this page). All the items used in this map are for guidance only. You can download its Visio version from here.

There are other tools which can help you in creating service maps such as Visio.

To get basic understandings of Service Maps, you may need a Microsoft PFE who is specialized in MOF and can help you designing Service Maps for Services according to your Company’s Business. Please note that Service Maps are independent of Industry which means they can represent both Technology (Tools) & Services (Process) together.

Sample Service Map:
SharePoint-Governance22

BENJAMIN NIAULIN from Sharegate has rephrased the SharePoint Governance in a precised way and its worth looking at it here.

Introduction to SharePoint Governance (Part 2)

For Part 1, Please Click here

Information Management

Information management is the governance of information in an enterprise — its documents, lists, Web sites, and Web pages — to maximize the information’s usability and manageability. Another aspect of information management is determining who has access to what content – how are you making content available internally and externally and to whom?

SharePoint-Governance8

Information Architecture
Information architecture determines how the information in that site or solution – its Web pages, documents, lists, and data – is organized and presented to the site’s users. Information architecture is often recorded as a hierarchical list of content, search keywords, data types, and other concepts.

Good information architecture supports the following goals:

  • Manageability: can the IT team effectively implement and manage the information?
  • Requirements: does the information architecture meet regulatory requirements, privacy needs, and security goals?
  • Business: does the architecture add to your organization’s effectiveness?

Questions to ask when designing a site or solution:

  • How will the site or solution be structured and divided into a set of site collections and sites?
  • How will data be presented?
  • How will site users navigate?
  • How will search be configured and optimized?
  • Is there content you specifically want to include or exclude from search?
  • What types of content will live on sites?
  • How will content be tagged and how will metadata be managed?
  • Does any of the content on the sites have unique security needs?
  • What is the authoritative source for terms?
  • How will information be targeted at specific audiences?
  • Do you need to have language- or product-specific versions of your sites?

Integrate your information architecture with your environment’s search strategy. Take advantage of Enterprise search features like best bets, people search, and content sources and connectors for external content.

SharePoint-Governance9

Information Access
Be sure to consider access to content when you design your solution and sites. This overlaps with IT Governance as you consider your entire environment. Ask the following questions:

SharePoint-Governance10

Tools
Govern your content by using tools for content management, including:

  • Use workflows and approval for document centers and site pages – wherever official documentation is stored.
  • Use approval for published Web sites to control pages.
  • Use version history and version control to maintain a history and master document.
  • Use content types with auditing and expiration for document libraries to manage document life-cycle.
  • Manage uploads to large libraries by using the Content Organizer.
  • Use site use confirmation and deletion to manage site collection lifecycles.
  • Identify important corporate assets and any sites that contain personally identifiable information – be sure that they are properly secured and audited.
  • Use Records Centers to store, audit, and control records in compliance with regulations or laws.

Determine the rules or policies that you need to have in place for the following types of items:

  • Pages
  • Lists
  • Documents
  • Records
  • Rich media
  • Blogs and Wikis
  • Anonymous comments
  • Anonymous access
  • Terms and term sets
  • External data

When thinking about content, consider the balance between the following factors. Which of these factors is the highest priority for each type of content?

For example, having a single copy of a document is good for reducing redundancy, but it is a problem for availability and access if it is deleted.

 SharePoint-Governance11

  • Map out the preferred content life-cycle. What steps need to happen when a list item, document, or page is created, updated, or deleted? For best results, develop a long term rather than a temporary solution.
  • Much of this should be covered by your document and records management plans, but also consider the storage costs for the content. Understand the capacity planning limits for documents and items, and keep performance and scale in mind.

Application Management

How will you manage the applications that are developed for your environment?
What customizations do you allow in your applications ?
What are your processes for managing those applications?
SharePoint-Governance12

Customization Policy
Determine which types of customizations you want to allow/disallow, and how you will manage customizations. Your customization policy should include:

  • Service level descriptions
  • Processes for analyzing customizations
  • Process for piloting and testing customizations
  • Guidelines for packaging and deploying customizations
  • Guidelines for updating customizations
  • Approved tools for development
  • Who is responsible for ongoing code support
  • Specific policies regarding each potential type of customization, whether the customization is code-based or no-code (done through the user interface or SharePoint Designer)

Sandbox Solutions
Consider using a restricted execution environment, called a sandbox, to isolate custom solutions.

  • Sandboxed solutions cannot use certain computer and network resources and cannot access content outside the site collection they are deployed in.
  • Sandboxed solutions can be deployed by a site collection administrator.
  • Only a farm administrator can promote a sandboxed solution to run directly on the farm, outside its sandbox, in full trust.

Branding

Consistent branding with a corporate style guide makes for more cohesive-looking sites and easier development.

  • Store approved master pages in site galleries for consistency so that users will know when they visit the site that they are in the right place.
  • Define which parts of the template can be changed by site owners and which cannot.
  • Allow room for sub-branding of individual team or project brands.

Life-cycle Management

Follow these best practices to manage applications that are based on SharePoint  Products throughout their life-cycle:

  • Use separate development, pre-production, and production environments (see Deployment model) and keep these environments in sync.
  • Test all customizations before releasing initially and after any updates have been made before you release them to your production environment.
  • Use source code control and solution and feature versioning to track changes to code. Such as Microsoft Team Foundation Server TFS.

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1-Initial requirements are gathered and tasks assigned.

2-Developers use tools to track development and store source code for customizations.

3-Automated builds are generated for integration testing.

4-Build verification farm is used for additional testing (larger environments).

5-Testing personnel test the customizations.

6-After testing, customizations are deployed to pre-production environment.

7-Pre-production environment matches production environment as closely as possible.

8-After verifying in pre-production, customizations are deployed to production.

9-Previous testing ensures that when customizations are deployed to production, there are no unexpected issues or problems encountered.

10-End users use the production environment, provide additional feedback and ideas. Issues are reported and tracked.

11-Feedback and issues are transformed to requirements and tasks, cycle begins again.

Governance & Site Types

  • Different types of sites frequently require different governance policies.
  • Typically, published sites have tighter governance over information and application management than team sites and My Site Web sites.
  • Each type of site should have a specific IT Service plan, so that the service level agreements match the importance of the site to the organization as a whole.

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What is Next ?

We will introduce a very simple tool that will help you in Governance Planning and Implementation & Introduction of Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) in Part 3.

Introduction to SharePoint Governance (Part 1)

I presented this in September 2012 Riyadh SharePoint User Group (RSUG) event. Since than more has been written about SharePoint Governance planning on following Technet article & i tried to summarize here.

We will cover this in three parts and below is Part 1 of this series.

Governance Overview

1.What is Governance ?

2.What should be Governed ?

3.Who should determine Governance Policies?

4.How should Governance be implemented ?

What is Governance ?

Governance is the set of policies, roles, responsibilities, and processes that control how an organization’s business divisions and IT teams work together to meet organizational goals.

  • A comprehensive governance plan can benefit your organization by:
    Streamlining the deployment of products and technologies, such as SharePoint Server 2010.
  • Helping protect your enterprise from security threats or noncompliance liability.
  • Helping ensure the best return on your investment in technologies, for example, by enforcing best practices in content management or information architecture.

What should be governed ?

Every organization has unique needs and goals that influence its approach to governance. For example, larger organizations will probably require more — and more detailed — governance than smaller organizations.

A successful SharePoint Server 2013 deployment requires the following elements:

  • Information Architecture
  • IT Service Hosting SharePoint Server
  • Customization Policy
  • Branding

Note: These elements are for demo purpose only, you can add more to this list according to your requirements or understanding.

Governance Areas

SharePoint-Governance

  • IT governance of the software itself and the services you provide
  • Application governance of the custom solutions you provide
  • Information Management governance of the content and information that users store in those services.

We will talk about Governance Areas in details below.

Who should determine Governance Policies ?

You must ensure that your governance policies are appropriate to your organization’s goals, and you must keep them up-to-date as business needs change. Form and use a governance group to create and maintain the policies and include the following roles:

  • Information architects or taxonomists
  • Compliance officers
  • Influential information workers
  • IT technical specialists
  • Development leaders
  • Trainers
  • IT managers
  • Business division leaders
  • Financial stakeholders
  • Executive stakeholders

 How should Governance be implemented ?

  • Implementation Plans
  • Training

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  • Governance doesn’t work without user adoption and compliance.
  • End-user training and education, good content, and search are keys to user adoption.

Governance Planning

A governance plan establishes the processes and policies that you need to do the following:

  • Avoid solution, team site, and content proliferation (for example, unmanaged sites and content that is not periodically reviewed for accuracy and relevance) by defining a content and site review process.
  • Ensure that content quality is maintained for the life of the solution by implementing content quality management policies.
  • Provide a consistently high quality user experience by defining guidelines for site and content designers.
  • Establish clear decision-making authority and escalation procedures so policy violations are managed and conflicts are resolved on a timely basis.
  • Ensure that the solution strategy is aligned with business objectives so that it continuously delivers business value.
  • Ensure that content is retained in compliance with record retention guidelines.

Keys to an effective Governance Plan:

  • Vision Statement
  • Roles & Responsibilities
  • Guiding Principles
  • Policies & Standards

Governance Areas

SharePoint-Governance

 IT Governance

For IT governance, you can control the services that you offer, and you can control or track software installations in your environment to prevent proliferation of unmanaged servers for which you can’t provide support. What will you provide with each service, and what will you include in service-level agreements for each service?

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IT Service Governance

When you develop an IT service to support SharePoint Products, a key to success is your enterprise’s ability to govern the service and ensure that it meets the business needs of your organization in a secure and cost-effective way. A successful IT service includes the following elements:

  • A governing group defines the initial offerings of the service, defines the service’s ongoing policies, and meets regularly to evaluate success.
  • The policies you develop are communicated to your enterprise and are enforced.
  • Users are encouraged to use the service and not create their own solutions – installations are tracked and rogue installations are blocked.
  • Multiple services are offered to meet different needs in your organization. Offering a set of services enables you to apply unique governance rules and policies at various levels and costs. In addition, you can phase in services in a manageable way.

What to Govern ?

  • Quotas – Quota templates define how much data can be stored in a site collection and the maximum size of uploaded files. Associate different quota templates with site collections at different service levels.
  • Site life cycle management – You can govern how sites are created, the size of sites, and the longevity of sites by using self-service site management and site use confirmation and deletion. Set expiration and access policies to control content in sites.
  • Asset classification – Classify sites and content by value and impact of the content to the organization (such as high, medium, or low business value/impact). Classification then controls other behaviors, such as requiring encryption for high business impact information.

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  • Data protection (backup and recovery) – Vary the level of data protection that you offer based on service levels. Plan the frequency at which you back up the farms and the response time that you will guarantee for restoring data.
  • Security, infrastructure, and Web application policies – how is the system and infrastructure maintained and who has access at what levels. Are you controlling use of fine-grained permissions?

SLA (Service Level Agreement) Should Includes

  • Length of time and approvals necessary to create a site.
  • Costs for users/departments.
  • Operations-level agreement – which teams perform which operations and how frequently.
  • Policies around problem resolution through a help desk.
  • Negotiated performance targets for first load of a site, subsequent loads, and performance at remote locations.
  • Recovery, load balancing, and failover strategies.
  • Customization policies.
  • Storage limits for content and sites.
  • How to handle inactive or stale sites.
  • Multi-language support.

Deployment Governance

In addition to governing services that you offer, you also need to govern installations of SharePoint 2010 products in your environment. You can block all installations, or track and monitor installations. And you should make sure that your installations have the current software updates installed.

Block Installations: You can block unauthorized installation of SharePoint products on servers that you can’t support by using Active Directory Group policy.

Keep current with software updates: Always keep your SharePoint Farm with the latest software updates.

Track Installations: An Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) marker named Service Connection Point identifies the SharePoint Products Servers in an organization. To use this marker, create a container in AD DS and set the permissions for the container before you install any SharePoint Product in the environment. Then, when any user in your organization runs the SharePoint Products Configuration Wizard as part of installation, this marker is set and can be tracked by using AD DS. You must set this marker for each domain in your organization if you want to track installation in all domains. This marker is removed from AD DS when the last server is removed from a farm.

Introduction to SharePoint Governance (Part 2)
SharePoint Governance, MOF & Service Maps (Part 3)