SharePoint Wonders of SPDocKit 7

Back in 2007, our dear Toni was buried deep in Central Administration doing SharePoint consulting. One day, he decided it was time to create a tool that could do farm documentation for him in just a couple of minutes, instead of spending hours and hours writing PowerShell scripts and searching for the right settings across the farm’s servers.

The first SPDocKit version was born in 2011. and it had one job – to create farm documentation. This has changed the way people deal with SharePoint documentation, but at the time, he couldn’t even imagine what SPDocKit was going to become.

generate-sharepoint-farm-documentation-v1

Six years and six versions later, Toni and our amazing crew here at Acceleratio share the same vision. We are happy to present SPDocKit 7 – which took us six months, countless hours of planning and discussion, and more than 400 product backlog items to develop and deliver.

Once more, we are hoping that this will change the way all of you trying to keep SharePoint a lean, mean, working machine spend your days. Let’s take a look at some of the SharePoint administration wonders of SPDocKit 7!

Read the official release note for more detailed overview.

SPDocKit Insights Performance

Nobody likes a poorly performing SharePoint. So we’ve added a performance dashboard as part of the new feature set called SPDocKit Insights. Insights help you keep an eye on some of the most important performance counters. Start with the farm overview of all your servers to quickly detect performance bottlenecks.

Choose which dashboard view suits you best – compact, grid, or tile. Once you detect the server in red, drill down to a server dashboard overview, and explore which counter is most critical and requires your immediate reaction. The red exclamation mark is your biggest enemy.

CPU going wild, server running low on memory, disk almost full, and numerous other indicators – nothing can hide from SPDocKit.

Performance dashboard - track server roles, RAM, CPU and disk data. Colored tiles will instantly notify you when a server reaches a critical state

SPDocKit Insights Event Viewer

You’ve met our Event Viewer in previous versions, but we have improved it even more. Crawl ULS, Windows event, and SQL logs, store them in one centralized location, and find problems by correlation ID, keyword, server name, or just the time the problem occurred.

Again, switch between grid styles to maximize the search experience.

If you can’t afford going through the logs as often as you would like, create Event Viewer alerts to receive an email notification each time events matching your query criteria are found in the ULS, Event Viewer, or SQL logs history.

Easily search through Windows Event Log, SharePoint ULS and SQL logs. Set up alerts to proactively track and detect possible issues

Project Server Documentation

We’ve decided to add a Project Server section to SPDocKit farm documentation.

If you navigate to Farm Explorer, you will find new reports addressing the Project Server. Among others, you can find a list of project server sites, security settings such as the permissions mode used on each site, a list of groups, group members, security templates, and more.

Even more appealing, you can track changes made on your Project Server using the farm comparison and receive email alerts with lists of detected differences.

Explore Project Server sites, security and database information, operational policies, time and task management settings, projects lists and project permissions

Restore Permissions

Have you ever changed a permission and instantly regretted it? Or even worse, has someone else changed permissions and you instantly regretted giving that person the privileges to do so? There is no undo button in life, but there is a restore permissions button in SPDocKit.

Select the SPDocKit snapshot you want to revert to, and follow a few simple steps to finish the process. This will revert directly assigned permissions, SharePoint group memberships, permission levels, and accidentally deleted groups to a state found in the selected snapshot.

You will be able to restore: permission levels, directly assigned permissions, SharePoint group memberships, and missing SharePoint groups.

SharePoint Online

We didn’t want to neglect SharePoint Online, so from now on, SPDocKit permissions reporting works for it, too. Take a snapshot of your tenant to easily find information about the site structure, who has been granted permissions on a certain securable object, or which permissions a principal has across sites.

External sharing has never been easier, and as much as it makes collaboration more powerful, it also makes admins’ lives that much harder. Keeping your security at the highest level is a challenge. The new report section called Externally Shared will help you detect which content has been externally shared and with whom. Content shared using anonymous access links can be tracked as well.

You can also use Compare Wizard to detect permissions changes from the last snapshot and differences in group memberships, as well as the restore feature we’ve added in this release.

SharePoint Online reports - explore externally shared content, external users and anonymous access links

Permissions Fine-tuning

Keeping SharePoint permissions neat is not an easy task. So we decided to implement a couple of new reports that represent some of the most cited best practices when it comes to permissions.

Health check reports will help you find all users who have directly given permissions and lists with the list items that have broken permission inheritance. Having many list items with the unique permissions scattered in a large library is not considered a good governance plan.

Use the Permission Level Usage report to find out where a certain permission level exists on your farm and whether it is even being used. Make sure that SharePoint is not cluttered with unnecessary permission levels.

If you want to know who changed a permission, on which securable object, and which specific action that was, the Permissions Audit report is designed just for you. It is always good to know what is going on with site collection security.

Directly Assigned Permissions Report - avoid granting permissions to individuals, and work with groups instead. These reports guide you through permissions-management best practices

Servers

Compare Wizard has been a part of SPDocKit from day one, but it has gained more power with each release. Finally, with this version, we bring you server comparison. Compare any two servers from the SharePoint farm, or track changes for one server in a certain period. IIS and SQL servers have a dedicated comparison type, so you can compare their settings in more detail.

And you can finally add a third-party server to SPDocKit farm documentation. Navigate to the Snapshots tab, and use the Manage Servers button to include all the servers that are not part of the SharePoint farm by default but logically belong there.

Compare settings between two servers, IIS or SQL Servers. Track changes or check if servers are configured equally.

Best Practices

We didn’t forget our old MVP of SPDocKit features – the best practices report section has been heavily reinforced. We’ve added support for SharePoint 2016 and integrated some new configuration recommendations.

Have you accidentally left your SharePoint farm in trial mode? Has the number of your web applications, site collections, or content databases passed the recommended threshold? These and many more search topology limits are now part of the best practices checks.

Read more

There are plenty more additions, including the licensing changes. Please go to our official release note to find out more about them, and of course, do not forget to download the new version and give it a try! We await your feedback and suggestions.

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