Managing My Sites


My Sites in SharePoint Server 2007 provide a means for users to centrally manage and link to their content and documents throughout SharePoint sites, monitor their memberships of SharePoint sites and distribution lists, create alerts, and link to their colleagues. My Sites also allow users to share their information, such as shared documents and user profile details, with other users. User profile details include information such as skills and organizational hierarchy.

Through My Site personal and public views, users can store their own private documents and also decide what information other users or groups of users can view. A user's default views of his My Site include two pages: My Home and My Profile.

The My Home page is the user's private page and the default page for the user's My Site. Here the user can integrate his personal Outlook folders, such as Inbox and Calendar; customize the page for his own personal folders, documents, content, and Web Parts; choose and track colleagues; and manage alert settings for SharePoint sites.

The My Profile page contains the user's information, or My Information, which will be made available to other users based on special controls, referred to as privacy controls. Using privacy controls, the My Site owner can choose which users to show information to, such as certain profile properties and memberships of distribution lists and SharePoint sites, links, and colleagues. The display options are as follows:

  • Everyone (default, refers to authenticated users)

  • My Manager

  • My Workgroup

  • My Colleagues

  • Only Me

When other users navigate to a user's My Site, they will see a selective view of that user's My Site, entitled My Site. The view will be based on who the visitor is-that is, the visitor's user ID-as determined by the owner of the My Site. For example, if Content A on a user's My Site is made available only to My Workgroup and User A, a nonmember of My Workgroup who visits that user's My Site will not see Content A.

Table 8-5 summarizes the private and public My Site views.

Table 8-5: My Site Private and Public Views
Open table as spreadsheet

Page title

View

Audience

My Home

Private

The My Site Owner

My Profile

Private/Only Me

The My Site Owner

My Site

Public-views determined by privacy controls

Users with read access-for example, NTauthenticated users and specific user views as determined by privacy controls

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Planning My Sites Deployment

In planning your SharePoint Server 2007 deployment, you should include My Sites as part of your initial design strategy. You should consider the storage quotas for My Sites, such as whether you will allow your users the 100 MB of default storage, or increase or decrease this storage quota. Remember that these quotas are applied at the site-collection level, and each My Site is a separate site collection. Although you can adjust settings such as storage quotas after deployment, you should adequately plan for this from the outset.

You should also consider where in your farm you want to have your My Sites hosted. For instance, where there are multiple SSPs, you may choose one SSP to host My Sites, and remove the ability for users to create My Sites on other SSPs. Alternatively, in a geographically distributed scenario, you may choose to elect a dispersed model for My Sites and assign My Site creation across multiple SSPs to different groups of users.

Given that each My Site is in fact a site collection and includes features-such as incoming e-mail to lists and document libraries and workflow-that are enabled on Web applications and site collections on the SharePoint server or server farm, you might also want to plan for additional impact to your network and infrastructure.

This is especially true in a large organization where thousands of users are creating My Sites and generating additional e-mail addresses on your Exchange Server for the lists and libraries on each of their My Sites. For instance, you might want to establish a policy for naming standards on incoming e-mail in My Sites to denote those e-mail addresses as specifically for My Site usage and catalog those addresses accordingly in your Global Address List on Exchange.

A further consideration is to provide end-user training to ensure that your users understand how to effectively use their My Site and that the My Site features are fully realized. My Sites are much more than a simple document repository!

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User Rights for My Site Creation

By default, the NT AUTHORITY\Authenticated Users group can create a My Site on a designated Web application. However, in some instances you will want to disable users or certain groups of users from creating My Sites. For example, if you are running several SSPs, which include common users, you might want those users to be able to create My Sites under only one of those SSPs, or you might want users from one part of your organization to create their My Sites under one SSP and have other users create them on a separate SSP. Or you might want to block contractors currently working for your organization from creating My Sites. You can do this by granting permission to users and groups from Active Directory.

To manage User Rights for My Sites, follow these steps:

  1. On the SSP home page, click the Personalization Services Permissions link under the User Profiles And My Sites section.

  2. On the Manage Permissions: Shared Service Rights page, note the existing groups, including the default group, NT AUTHORITY\Authenticated Users, as shown in Figure 8-14. You can choose to add more domain users and groups to this page to granularly add My Site permissions, such as adding and only allowing the Sales domain group to create My Sites.

  3. To review default permissions, click on the NT AUTHORITY\Authenticated Users group to access the Modify Permissions: Shared Service Rights page, shown in Figure 8-15. Review the permissions for the NT AUTHORITY\Authenticated Users group.

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Figure 8-14: Domain groups with rights to create My Sites

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Figure 8-15: My Site creation permissions for NT AUTHORITY\Authenticated Users

If you want to remove the ability for all users to create and use My Sites, clear the Use Personal Features check box. This action removes the My Site link from appearing in the navigation of your site collection or collections, and those users who had previously created a My Site will no longer be able to access their My Site. Instead, those users will receive an access denied page.

If you clear the Create Personal Site check box, existing My Site users will still be able to access their My Site but the My Site link will no longer appear in the navigation of your site collection (or collections) and new users will not be able to create My Sites. Existing users and new users will still be able to use personal features, such as My Links to view their site memberships and centrally manage their links.

Creating My Sites

A basic, or non-collaborative, version of user My Sites is established in conjunction with creating or importing user profiles. As each user profile is created, a basic My Site is created that includes core user information imported from the directory source, such as user name, e-mail, title, contact information, distribution list membership, and organization hierarchy. This information is used as the basis for people searches.

Assuming the administrator has enabled the permission for users to create My Sites, each user's My Site is created the first time an authenticated user visits the SharePoint site and clicks the My Site link in the navigation of the SharePoint site. When a user clicks the My Site link on subsequent visits to the site, the user is directed to her existing My Site.

During My Site creation, the user is prompted with a dialog box to set the newly created My Site as her default My Site. The dialog text is shown here:

"Microsoft Office is attempting to set this site as your default My Site. Verify this is a location you trust as Microsoft Office connects with your My Site to offer it as a place to save your documents and share information. Do you want to set your default My Site to http://server_name/personal/username/?"

If the user chooses to not accept the My Site as her default My Site during the initial My Site creation, she still has the option to do so subsequent to her My Site creation by clicking on an additional tab- Set As Default My Site-on her My Home page. When the My Site is chosen as the user default My Site, two events happen:

  • The My Site location is saved to a registry key on the user's client machine at HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Common\Open Find\Places\UserDefinedPlaces\PersonalSite. If this key is removed, it will be recreated when the user next selects her default My Site.

  • The My Site location is written to the Active Directory, to the wWWHomePage attribute of the user account, as shown in Figure 8-16, where the wWWHomePage attribute is denoted by the Web Page field on the General tab of the user properties dialog box.

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Figure 8-16: User My Site value written to the Active Directory wWWHomePage attribute

By selecting the default My Site, the user's My Site location will be included in the Save dialog boxes of applications, and any links published to Office clients, another feature of My Sites, will be included in the associated Office applications.

Note 

When a user creates a My Site, that user automatically becomes the site collection administrator of that My Site, with full control. This means that the user can choose to modify permissions on the My Site, including adding users and groups for specific access rights, such as contribute, and removing and deleting users and groups. If the user removes the default reader group, NT AUTHORITY\authenticated users, from the My Site, that user will still be found in people searches, but users other than those given specific rights to the My Site will not be able to access the user's My Site. Users attempting to access the My Site will instead receive an HTTP 403 (Forbidden) "You are not authorized to view this page" error.

If a user accidentally deletes the NT AUTHORITY\authenticated user group from her My Site, the user can reapply the group by adding the group back in under the Site Permissions for the My Site. The SharePoint Server 2007 administrator can also reapply users and groups to a user's My Site by selecting the user on the View User Profiles page and choosing the Manage Personal Site option from the user contextual drop-down menu.

Changing a User's Default My Site Location

If, after establishing an initial SSP and enabling users to create My Sites under that SSP, you create a second SSP and the users from the first SSP are granted access to that second SSP, including the ability to create My Sites, then your users could end up with duplicate My Sites. In this case, users will have the ability to set one of the My Sites as their default My Site for association with Office applications. A user can set a My Site as their default My Site by accessing the My Home page of the chosen My Site and clicking the Set As Default My Site link. In the case of a user clicking on the Set As Default My Site link on a secondary My Site, after having chosen that option on the initial My Site, a Configure My Site for Microsoft Office dialogue will be displayed notifying the user of the intended change in default My Site from the first My Site to the current My Site. The dialogue text is shown here:

"Microsoft Office does not recognize this site as your default My Site. Your default My Site should be a location you trust as Microsoft Office connects with you're my Site to offer it as a place to save your documents and share information. Do you want to change your default My Site from http://server_name/personal/username/ to http://server_name/personal/username/?"

An administrator can also change a user's default My Site, by launching the User Properties dialog box in Active Directory and changing the Web page, or wWWHomePage, URL to the desired My Site URL.

Moving My Sites

After deploying My Sites, you can choose to either move the My Sites location to another Web application within the same SSP or move the Web application currently hosting My Sites to another SSP. If you choose to keep your My Sites under the existing SSP but change the My Site host to a new Web application under that same SSP, you need to configure the Personal Site Provider URL under My Site Settings. You accomplish this from the User Profiles and My Sites section of your SSP home page. After you have updated the URL to point to the new Web application address, users will automatically be redirected to that new address when creating and accessing their My Sites.

Note 

If you move the My Site host to a new Web application, any existing My Sites remain at the old location and need to be manually moved to the new Web application.

If you choose to move the Web application currently hosting your My Sites to another SSP within your farm, you need to associate that Web application with the other SSP. To do this, click the Application Management tab from your Central Administration, and click Create Or Configure This Farm's Shared Services under the SharePoint Server Shared Services section. On the Manage This Farm's Shared Services, click the Change Associations link in the toolbar and change the Web application to the new SSP.

Note 

If you have the same users accessing Web applications across multiple SSPs, you should consider disabling My Site creation on those SSPs other than the SSP intended for My Site creation to avoid duplicate My Sites.

Customizing My Sites

My Sites, including user profiles, can be customized using the SharePoint Object Model. For example, using the object model, you could tap into the My Home page of users' My Sites and programmatically add more Web Parts or change the layout of pages for all users, such as including a preconfigured Real Simple Syndication (RSS) feed or custom list. You could also use the object model to retrieve users' My Site URLs and have those URLs displayed in a custom Web Part elsewhere in your Web application. For additional information on using the Object Model to affect My Sites, refer to the SharePoint Server 2007 Software Development Kit (SDK) documentation found at http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms550992.aspx, specifically the Personalizing Your Portal topic.

Social Networking in My Sites

Through the use of My Site custom Web Parts, such as the Colleague Tracker Web Part, SharePoint Server 2007 helps bring people and knowledge together throughout an organization. Users can easily locate other users with similar interests and skills, and through My Sites, SharePoint Server 2007, they can also suggest other users for a user to connect with, such as users sharing common SharePoint sites and distribution lists. The Colleague Tracker also displays and highlights any changes to a user's connected colleagues, such as user profile changes and changes in user memberships.

The My Profiles section of this chapter will show you how you can leverage privacy controls to selectively expose user information, such as user skills and interests. The people search functionality throughout SharePoint Server 2007 will also leverage user-configured information, such as skills and interests, to further disseminate user information throughout an organization and help users to more effectively connect to one another.

The Knowledge Network (KN) section, discussed in the latter part of this chapter, delves further into the social networking aspects of SharePoint Server 2007 by explaining how you can extend the social networking aspects of SharePoint Server 2007 by installing and configuring KN.

Configuring My Home

My Home is the default page for a user's My Site and also the user's personal, or private, space for adding additional and custom Web Parts. From My Home, users can access the Site Settings for their My Site, set the site as their Default My Site, and create and add new lists, libraries, Web pages and sites (such as a blog) to their My Site. Users can also integrate their e-mail inbox and calendar, from Exchange Server 2003 and later, into the My Home page by using custom Web Parts. Figure 8-17 shows some suggested Web Parts for the Middle Left Zone of the user's My Home page. Some Web Parts include dependencies, such as My Contacts, which require Exchange Server 2007.

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Figure 8-17: SharePoint suggested Web Parts for My Home

When a user first creates his My Site, the My Home page is populated with default Web Parts, as shown in Table 8-6.

Table 8-6: New My Site, My Home Web Part Population
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Default Web Part Name

Description

Status at Time of My Site Creation

Getting Started with My Site

Includes reader aids to help the My Site owner configure his My Site, such as a Describe yourself and Upload your picture aid.

Textual instructions with hyperlinks to actions where appropriate

RSS Viewer

Add RSS feeds direct to the user's My Home page. RSS feeds are configured by opening the Web Part's tool pane and entering RSS feed URLs.

Unpopulated-configured by the user after My Site creation.

SharePoint Sites

A rollup Web Part that displays the SharePoint sites the user is a member of, as well as any documents belonging to that user throughout each of those sites. It also shows a rollup of tasks for the user throughout the membership sites. Users can modify the Memberships details by deleting associations with sites and distribution lists on their My Site and choosing who to display those memberships to using privacy controls.

Unpopulated-dynamically populated by incremental search scope updates, by default every 14 minutes. Also configurable by the user; the user can choose to add more tabs, including URLs to other sites.

My Calendar

The user's Calendar, from Exchange 2003 and later.

Configured by the user after My Site creation, which includes adding the Outlook Web Access (OWA) address (for example, http://exchangeserver/exchange) and the mailbox user name (for example, Christine [*]).

Colleague Tracker

Lists the user's colleagues from the user profile, organizational hierarchy, and other information as chosen by the user. It also alertsthe user of changes to colleagues' properties and displays those changes (for example, if a colleague has joined one of the user's SharePoint sites, distribution lists, or updated user profile properties). Alerts on changes are configurable via the Colleague Tracker Web Part properties.

Dynamically populated with users at the time of My Site creation based on organizational hierarchy, as dictated by the user profile, such as Manager and Peers. User can choose to remove and add colleagues after My Site creation.

Recent Blog Post

Displays the most recent blog posts; each post is displayed based on user permission.

On My Site creation, blog site is created with an initial post, entitled "Welcome to your Blog!"

[*]You should include in your end-user documentation the instructions for configuring Web Parts, such as My Inbox and My Calendar, that involve adding the OWA address on your Exchange Server.

Just as in other SharePoint sites and site collections, users can add Web Parts to their My Home page by clicking on Site Actions, selecting Edit Page, and then clicking Add A Web Part in one of the Web Part zones on the My Home page. Users will have access to the Web Parts deployed as part of the Web application hosting the My Sites. Available Web Parts can be viewed by accessing the user's Site Settings and clicking on Web Parts under the Galleries section of the user's My Site, Site Settings page.

Adding and Managing Colleagues

Colleagues are added to a user's My Site automatically as part of the user profile and My Site creation process, referred to as My Colleagues. Colleagues who are part of a user's hierarchical or reporting organization in Active Directory are dynamically populated in the Colleague Tracker on a user's My Site My Home page. Colleagues are also governed by the privacy controls in My Sites, and users can configure visibility on colleagues as well as the degree of their own information that will be shown to the added colleagues.

Colleagues are added as interlinked colleagues-that is, each colleague name a user adds is formatted as a hyperlink that links directly back to that user's My Site details. SharePoint includes special controls to dynamically reference linked colleagues to return any updates to colleagues on linked My Sites, such as changes to colleague profiles and colleague site and distribution list memberships. For example, in Figure 8-18 , Christine Koch's Colleague Tracker Web Part has been automatically populated with her peers from the imported Active Directory information and includes Greg Weber, Gregory Alder and Suzan Fine. You can see that Gregory Alder and Suzan Fine are new members of SharePoint sites and distribution lists that Christine Koch is also a member of-that is, Gregory Alder is a new member of the SharePoint sites Reports X, Litware and Archive, and Suzan Fine is a new member of the Project X distribution list.

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Figure 8-18: Dynamic population of Colleague Tracker on the My Home page

Clicking on Suzan Fine's name would redirect you to Suzan Fine's My Site shared view, which would show you the most recent changes to Suzan Fine. As shown in Figure 8-19, the most recent changes are denoted by a yellow highlight-in this case, the updated Memberships We Both Share Web Part.

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Figure 8-19: Interlinked colleagues-Memberships We Both Share

Adding Colleagues

Colleagues can be added to a user's My Site either by the user clicking on the Colleagues link under the My Information section of the user's My Site or by the user choosing to click on the Add To My Colleagues link returned in people search results.

To add colleagues from within a user's My Site, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Colleagues link under the My Information section of the My Site lefthand menu.

  2. On the My Colleagues page, click the Add Colleagues link in the tool bar.

  3. On the Add Colleagues page, select colleagues either by clicking on the address book link to find users within the organizational directory or by selecting users listed in the Suggested Colleagues list, as shown in Figure 8-20. In the Privacy And Grouping section, you can define who you want to show colleagues added to your site to by selecting names from the Show These Colleagues To enumerated drop-down list (also shown in Figure 8-20). The default value is Everyone, which means that all users with access to your My Site, such as the NT AUTHORITY\authenticated users group, will be able to view those colleagues.

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Figure 8-20: Adding colleagues to a My Site

When adding new colleagues, you can also choose, as part of the Privacy And Grouping section on the Add Colleagues page, to add those colleagues to your workgroup, My Workgroup. By adding colleagues to your workgroup, those colleagues have access to any other My Site information made available to the My Workgroup group, such as user profile properties made explicitly available to My Workgroup-for example, the My Site user's Birthday property. Along with adding colleagues to My Workgroup, you can also specify a New Group to add new colleagues to. For example, in Figure 8-21 two new users have been added to Christine Koch's colleagues in a new group named HR.

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Figure 8-21: New HR group on My Colleagues page

Back on Christine Koch's My Home page, the additional HR group is shown in the Colleague Tracker Web Part. In Figure 8-22, you can see that the new group includes the two new colleagues.

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Figure 8-22: New colleagues added to Colleague Tracker on My Home

Colleague Alerts

My Site users can choose to show all colleagues in the Colleague Tracker or only show colleagues based on custom alert settings. For example, you can use a custom alert setting to show colleagues who have any membership changes to sites or distribution lists or who have changes to their blogs. To modify the colleague alert settings, click the Modify Alert Settings link under the Colleague Tracker Web Part on the My Home page of the user's My Site. Figure 8-23 shows the Colleague Tracker Web Part opened in edit mode and the configurable Alert Settings.

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Figure 8-23: Configuring Colleague Tracker alerts

Configuring Memberships

Memberships are dynamically created by SharePoint, based on the My Site user's membership to SharePoint sites and distribution lists. The user membership configuration drives the display of the sites shown on the tabbed section of the SharePoint site's Rollup Web Part on the My Home page and also on the Document Rollup Web Part on the My Profile page. The user membership configuration also determines the display of the distribution lists in the In Common With Web Part on the user My Site My Profile page.

Note 

If you have created and are accessing your My Site based on the SharePoint administrative account-that is, the account being used for the application pool-SharePoint views this account as the System Account and the SharePoint site's Web Part does not display any documents or tasks in the Rollup Web Part. This is by design. You should always work with My Sites using a non-system account, such as your domain user account.

If a My Site user decides to limit who can see her memberships, she can adjust the display properties by changing the privacy settings. To change the privacy settings for membership, click the Memberships link under My Information in the lefthand menu of the user's My Site, and then, on the My Memberships page, select from the SharePoint sites or distribution lists. For example, Figure 8-24 shows the Privacy And Grouping options available for the user's memberships-in this case, for the Litware SharePoint site. If the default value of Everyone is selected, all users with access to the user's My Site are able to see the Litware site as one of the tabbed sites displayed on the Documents tabbed interface on the shared or My Profile page of the user's My Site.

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Figure 8-24: Editing Privacy And Grouping options for memberships

Creating Private Documents in My Sites

If you have previously worked with SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Personal Sites, you are familiar with the notion of private documents. The equivalent in SharePoint Server 2007 My Sites is the Personal Documents document library, By default, access to Personal Documents is limited to the My Site owner and administrators for the server. This means that when other users navigate to a user's My Site, such as NT authenticated users, those users will not see any documents stored in Personal Documents. A user can choose to modify the default Personal Document document library permissions but in doing so then opens up access, and exposure to, documents within Personal Documents.

The Shared Documents document library, also included on a user's My Site, is by default accessible to other users, such as NT authenticated users, browsing to the user's My Site. Users should add any documents they wish to share to the Shared Documents document library.

Creating a Personal Blog

The option to create a personal blog is created at the time of My Site creation, denoted by a Create Blog link in the upper right hand corner of the My Home page. After creating a personal blog, My Site users can create and edit new blog posts and set permissions against each post to their blog. Each blog post generates an RSS feed, to which authorized users can subscribe.

Blog post titles from the user's personal blog are displayed on both the My Home and My Profile pages, using a preconfigured Data Form Web Part entitled Recent Blog Posts. The blog post titles displayed in the Recent Blog Posts web part on the My Profile page will be displayed to other users browsing the user's My Site based on the user access to each post.

Users can also send blog posts to their private blog directly from Microsoft Office Word 2007. For example, Figure 8-25 shows a New Blog Account being configured for a SharePoint blog site. This means that a user can then publish any new blog postings from Word 2007 using that account, which also includes the URL parameter for the personal blog on the My Site. A typical SharePoint blog URL you can use to publish blog postings to directly from Word 2007 is depicted as http://server_name/personal/username/Blog/.

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Figure 8-25: Configuring Word 2007 for publishing a blog post to a personal blog

Figure 8-26 shows the resultant Word 2007 blog post confirming the post has been successfully published to the user's My Site private blog.

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Figure 8-26: Blog Post successfully published to My Site personal blog from Word 2007

Configuring My Profile

The My Profile page is the public-facing page of a user's My Site. It includes custom controls and Web Parts to display information about the My Site user, based on the visiting user's credentials and association with the My Site user. It includes user profile information as imported from Active Directory, such as User Name and User Title.

When a user profile is created, a My Profile page for the user is also created to display that user's information. When a user creates a My Site, the My Profile page is further enhanced with custom Web Parts and filtered views based on user credentials. Figure 8-27 shows a user's view of his My Profile page, which includes the enumerated As Seen By drop-down list. The values in this drop-down list determine the view of the My Profile page that will be shown to visiting users. For example, the Everyone view shows all users with access to the My Site user information as determined by the My Site user. Some user profile properties-such as the My Site User Name, User Title, Work Phone and Work E-mail-are preconfigured for the Everyone group by the administrator and not configurable by the My Site user.

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Figure 8-27: Privacy controls enumerated on the My Profile page

The My Profile page also includes an In Common With You Web Part. This is a custom Web Part that, when viewed by a visiting user, includes the My Site user's Memberships and shows memberships that the My Site user has in common with the visiting user. Only memberships that the My Site user has made accessible are displayed.

Configuring User Details

Users can modify some of the user profile properties on their My Sites to selectively display their information on the My Profile page. This includes targeting information to one of five selections, which includes Everyone (default, refers to authenticated users with access to My Sites), My Colleagues, My Workgroup, My Manager and Only Me.

Table 8-7 shows the default user profile properties in a user's My Site, including those for which the user can adjust visibility.

Table 8-7: User Profile Property Settings in My Site User Details
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Property

Show To (Locked/Configurable)

Values

Name

Locked

Everyone

Title

Locked

Everyone

About Me

Locked

Everyone

Picture

Locked

Everyone

Responsibilities

Locked

Everyone

Skills

Configurable

Multiple

  

All 5 selections

Past Projects

Configurable

Multiple

  

All 5 selections

Interests

Configurable

Multiple

  

All 5 selections

Schools

Configurable

Multiple

  

All 5 selections

Birthday

Configurable

Multiple

  

All 5 selections

Assistant

Locked

Everyone

Mobile Phone

Configurable

Multiple

  

All 5 selections

Fax

Configurable

Multiple

  

All 5 selections

Home Phone

Configurable

Multiple

  

All 5 selections

Account Name

Locked

Everyone

Work Phone

Locked

Everyone

Office

Locked

Everyone

Department

Locked

Everyone

Work E-mail

Locked

Everyone

To edit the configurable profile properties on a user's My Site, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Details link under My Information in the left-hand menu on the user's My Site.

  2. On the Edit Details page, enter details and modify the visibility of the configurable profile properties by choosing them from the Show To drop-down list alongside each configurable property. For example, Figure 8-28 shows that the user Interests have been changed from the default of Everyone to My Colleagues and that the user Birthday has been changed to My Manager.

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Figure 8-28: Editing user details on a user's My Site

The result of these changes is that users who are not part of the My Site user's My Colleagues group cannot view the user's Interests and only the My Site user's manager can view the My Site user's birthday.

Adding Responsibilities and Skills

When My Site users add values to the Responsibilities and Skills properties on the My Site Edit Details page, they have the option of freely entering text in the corresponding property text fields or selecting values from a populated list, as shown in Figure 8-29. To open a list and select from existing values, click on the plus sign icon to the right of the text field.

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Figure 8-29: Adding user responsibilities and skills from existing values

Each time users enter new values into the text fields, those values are dynamically appended to the respective list. Otherwise, administrators can prepopulate, or edit, the lists as per the following:

  1. Go to the SSP hosting the My Sites and click on User Profiles and Properties on the Home page of the SSP.

  2. On the User Profiles and Properties page, navigate down to the User Profile Properties section and click on View Profile Properties.

  3. On the View Profile Properties page, locate either Responsibilities or Skills and click on Edit from the contextual dropdown menu.

  4. On the Edit User Profile Property page, scroll down to the section Choice List Settings. You can choose to Allow Users to Add to Choice List, which allows for dynamic list population as users enter new values against the Responsibilities and Skills profile properties on their My Site Edit Details page. You can also choose to Add A New Choice, Edit or Delete existing values, import values from an existing file, or export an existing list to a file.

Responsibilities and Skills are included as fields on the Search Options for People search form and users can choose to search against either of those properties. For example, entering JAVA in the Skills search field would result in a search on all people who had entered JAVA as one of their Skills.

Configuring User Alerts

Users can subscribe to SharePoint sites and lists and receive e-mail alerts when a document or an item is created, modified, or deleted. Alerts can be set at different frequencies, such as an immediate e-mail notification, a daily e-mail notification, or a weekly e-mail report.

Users can create and configure their alerts throughout sites in a site collection by clicking on the Welcome Username drop-down menu in the SharePoint top navigation pane and selecting My Settings. Alerts are set with respect to the current site location. For example, users working in the Litware site who decide to add an alert are presented with a list of available document libraries and lists within the Litware site on which they can then set alerts. This gives users a complete view of all site-specific alerts and saves users from having to navigate through a site's site settings to view and create alerts.

Note 

You can centrally manage users' alerts with a third-party product, DeliverPoint. DeliverPoint, found at http://www.barracudatools.com/, also includes other features, such as the ability to centrally manage user permissions.

Navigating to Users' My Sites

Users can find other users through the SharePoint Server 2007 People Search or through the My Sites Add Colleagues option. If you search for and locate a user, you can also choose to add that user to your Colleagues list in your My Site by clicking the Add To My Colleagues link in the search results, as shown in Figure 8-30.

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Figure 8-30: Adding to My Colleagues from People Search results

If a user has created a My Site and you know the username of the user, you can navigate directly to that user's My Site by entering the URL parameter http://server_name /personal/username. You will be redirected to the user's public view of the My Site.

Publishing Links to Office Clients

As part of My Sites deployment, you can publish links to users' Office applications to further streamline functionality between your SharePoint sites and those of other users. For example, you can publish a link from a SharePoint Data Connection Library, containing a specific data connection, to Excel applications of other users so that they can then access that data connection from directly within their Excel applications. They can then use that data connection to directly send data from Excel back to a database. Or you can publish a link from a SharePoint Slide Library so that other users can then add that link as an object directly to their PowerPoint applications as a link or additional slide.

Figure 8-31 shows a link that has been published from a SharePoint Data Connection Library that appears in the user's Excel workbook under the Existing Connections option in the Data Menu. It appears as one of the Connection Files on the network and is named Project Analysis.

image from book
Figure 8-31: Published link to an Excel client

To add a published link, click the Published Links To Office Client link under the User Profiles And My Sites section of the SSP home page. On the Links Published To Office Applications page, add a new link to the SharePoint site containing the feature you want to have published. You can also set target audiences for the published links. For example, you can choose to publish only a particular data connection link to users in the Finance group of your organization so that only those users have that link available within their Excel applications. You can set target audiences either by selecting from an existing audience you have configured for SharePoint or selecting from a security group or distribution list in your Active Directory.

Note 

If you have changed your default My Site location to another SSP, any links pushed out from the old SSP remain in your Office applications.

Personalization Links

You can selectively target links to your users' My Sites by using personalization links. Personalization links appear as an additional navigational tab in a user's My Site. For example, you can choose to send a link to details for an upcoming company event to all users, or you can send links to different groups of users' My Sites, including links back to specific sites (such as a specific site collection or a link to all users' My Sites where the users are members of the Sales group).

You can create Personalization Links from the SSP home page by clicking on the Personalization Links link in the User Profiles And My Sites section. This will take you to the Personalization Links For My Site Navigation page, where you can create links for My Sites. Links are targeted to specific My Site users by selecting either from an existing audience or from a security group or distribution list. Figure 8-32 shows an additional tab, named Global IT Conference, that includes a link to the conference details and that has been specifically targeted to IT users throughout the organization.

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Figure 8-32: Published link added as an additional tab on a user's My Site

You can remove personalization links from My Sites by deleting the link from the Personalization Links For My Site Navigation page.

Using Personalization Links for My Site Navigation

Given that you can have many Web applications associated with a single SSP and users might have a different main intranet or Internet home pages, a novel way of leveraging personalization links is by targeting links to users' My Sites back to the respective main intranet or Internet home pages or to various Web applications. For example, User A sees a link back to his home page (A), while User B sees a link back to her home page (B).

Setting Quotas for My Sites

By default, My Sites are provisioned with a storage limit of 100 MB. This limit is defined in the Personal Site template. If you change this limit, any new My Sites will adhere to the new limit, but existing sites will not.

You can view the storage capacity for an existing user's My Sites by clicking the Site Actions link on the user's home page and selecting Site Settings. On the Site Settings page, under Site Collection Administration, click the Storage Space Allocation link. Figure 8-33 shows the default storage allocation on a user's My Site.

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Figure 8-33: Default storage allocation for a user's My Site

You can change the storage quota for all new My Sites by clicking the Quota Templates link in the SharePoint Site Management section on your Application Management page in Central Administration. You can increase or decrease the maximum site storage.

To change the storage quota on an existing My Site, do the following:

  1. Click on the Site Collection Quotas And Locks link in the SharePoint Site Management section on your Application Management page in Central Administration.

  2. On the Site Collection Quotas And Locks page, you can choose the My Site from the Site Collection drop-down list and adjust the Individual Quota settings for the selected My Site.

Note 

Items in a personal site's Recycle Bin are counted in the total storage for that site.

Creating My Sites with Duplicate User Names

If your organization includes multiple domains or you are configuring access for both domain and local users, you might run into a situation in which a user attempts to access his existing My Site only to be met with the following error message:

"Your personal site cannot be created because a site already exists with your username. Contact your site administrator for more information."

This message is generated because the user is using the same username in another domain and logging in to a site from that domain, or the user is using the same name for a local server account. SharePoint will match the username but not the domain. You can correct this by changing the Site Naming Format from the SSP administration site. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. From your SSP home page, click My Site Settings in the User Profiles And My Sites section.

  2. On the resultant My Site Settings page, navigate down to the Site Naming Format section and change the naming format that you'd like to use to resolve conflicts.

Essentially, you have three choices: User Name (Do Not Resolve Conflicts), User Name (Resolve Conflicts By Using domain_username), or Domain And User Name (Will Not Have Conflicts). Examples of each choice are given in the interface. You need to select which type of conflict resolution you want.

Deleting My Sites

Each My Site is stored as a site collection. You can delete a My Site either through the SharePoint Server 2007 Central Administration interface or by using the command-line tool.

Note 

Deleting a My Site does not delete the associated user profile. The user can still be found in people searches and have access to all sites to which he or she has membership. Subsequent to deleting a My Site, you should run a full crawl to remove any references to the deleted My Site.

To delete a My Site using the Central Administration interface, follow these steps:

  1. In Central Administration, click the Application Management tab.

  2. In the SharePoint Site Management section on the Application Management page, click Delete Site Collection.

  3. On the Delete Site Collection page, click the Site Collection drop-down list, and then select Change Site Collection.

  4. On the Select Site Collection page, click the My Site you want to delete. The personal sites are denoted by the /personal/username parameter in the URL list on the left side of the page. Alternatively, if you have many personal sites, use the URL Search option to locate the My Site to be deleted. After you have selected the My Site to be deleted, click OK.

  5. Back on the Delete Site Collection page, review the Site Collection to ensure it is the correct My Site. Also review the warning that you are about to delete the following site collection. When ready, click OK to delete the My Site.

To delete a My Site using the stsadm.exe command line, from your command prompt, enter the following text:

 stsadm.exe -o deleteWeb -url http://server_name/personal/username 




Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server 2007 Administrator's Companion
MicrosoftВ® Office SharePointВ® Server 2007 Administrators Companion
ISBN: 0735622825
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 299

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