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Several Improved Administrative Features Make SharePoint Server 2013 an Attractive Option for Communities of Users

In a 14 minute video tutorial titled What’s New in SharePoint 2013 for Administrators – Part 2, Michael Noel presents a number of administrative features of SharePoint 2013. Noel considers each of these to be important. SharePoint stakeholders considering either a first-time implementation of SharePoint, or a migration from an earlier version to the current server platform, will want to take the time to view this video tutorial. Noel’s list of features, and my thoughts as to why stakeholders should think about them, follow below:

  1. New Features for User Profile Sync: As long as the security of the overall SharePoint platform, as implemented for a specific community, is kept at a maximum, but still operable, level, the improved ease of use reflected in the User Profile Sync service for SharePoint 2013 should be considered a substantial improvement. If, as Noel notes, breakdowns in earlier versions of this feature were the most frequent complaint of users, then migrating up to SharePoint Server 2013 if, for nothing more than gaining access to this feature makes sense, especially if user adoption is a clear objective for stakeholders.
  2. Claims Based Authentication is Now the Default for Any Web Application that is Created. Any community planning on a migration from SharePoint Server 2010 to 2013 needs to note the default type of authentication for web applications, once the content of each application is added in, post migration, will no longer work in the 2013 environment. As Noel points out, the “default” setting for authentication for 2010 was “Classic Mode”, which is no longer supported in SharePoint Server 2013. Noel does mention a handy PowerShell commandlet administrators can use to hasten the migration of 2010 web applications, complete with a change in authentication type
  3. SharePoint Server 2013 Implements a “Shredded Storage” method of storing data. This new feature is very similar to the concept of incremental change backups. In contrast to earlier versions of SharePoint Server, where unstructured data (reposed in Binary Large Objects, or BLOBs) was duplicated, in entirety, as activity occured, the “Shredded Storage” feature handles this better, actually adding only the changed content. Stakeholders can leverage this feature to plan on smaller storage infrastructure. Caveat: the “Shredded Storage” method is only applied to new content, and not, retroactively, to content migrated into the new server platform.
  4. Entire SharePoint Sites can be Added to Exchange as Team Mailboxes. Stakeholders after a solution lest end users not respond to adoption efforts can look at this new feature as a method of accomodating dependence on email file exchange, etc. within a SharePoint computing model.
  5. Fast Search is now part of SharePoint Server, and delivers a much improved search experience for communities of users. Stakeholders after a modern search feature, delivering comparable results to popular search engines, will want to implement SharePoint Server 2013 for this feature, alone

Ira Michael Blonder

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