SPDocKit 6.2 is officially available, and yes, we call this release a minor one, but let’s be honest and leave all the modesty aside—nothing about this release is actually minor!
Our orange-colored team has been working hard to deliver all the novelties, but our primary goal for this release was to improve the way our monitoring SharePoint ULS and Windows event viewer logs feature functions. We also worked on the compare wizard possibilities, user experience with the database and snapshot settings, and, of course, feature requests made by our customers.
So, here is an overview of the biggest improvements and features delivered to you with this application version. For more details about other improvements read our official release note.
Event Collection Service + SPDocKit Event Viewer = Ultimate Farm Health Monitoring
Receiving the message “Sorry, something went wrong” is never a joyride, that is for sure. We radically redesigned our monitoring feature to help you detect and deal with all the issues that may arise on your farm. The old version of the monitoring reports requested you to periodically load ULS events from your servers and had limited search possibilities. In addition to the redesigned user interface, the new version comes with:
- continuous and real-time collection of SharePoint ULS logs and Windows event viewer logs;
- the ability to reach and collect SharePoint logs from multiple servers and multiple SharePoint farms;
- one centralized place from which to search for gathered events by correlation ID, event ID, category, source, server, and parts of the error message; and
- an export to Excel format that you can use to manipulate collected information more easily.
Now you see me, now you don’t – Custom Report Columns
We received a lot of customer inquiries about adding a user email address, username, URL, or some other property to the permissions reports.
You should never change the winning team, so we didn’t change the permissions reports; we just added the option for you to choose which report columns you would like to see.
To customize your report columns, go to the desired Permissions or Content and Usage report, open the View ribbon and click the Column Chooser button. Some of the new columns are: Created On, Last Modified, URL, Object Type, Unique Permissions, Email, Principal Username, and Account Enabled.
A File Name column can be added to the Snapshots grid to help you organize more easily.
Ring my bell – SPDocKit Subscriptions and Alerts
Subscriptions and alerts are yet another frequently requested feature by our customers. You can receive a complete update on your farm’s environment by email, to a File share location, or in a specific SharePoint document library. Configure SPDocKit alerts for any of the currently available best practices reports, and SPDocKit will send you a report when warnings or errors appear in the latest farm snapshot.
The same thing can be done for detecting permissions or farm configuration changes. If you like to be thorough, SPDocKit can alert you that some permissions changes have been detected, down to the list item level, or can let you know when a group membership has changed.
Last but not least, you can finally receive an automatic Farm Differences report for two different farms—tracking whether the latest configuration changes have caused a big difference between your QA and PROD farm has never been easier.
Crazy little thing called Compare Wizard
Compare Wizard definitely deserves a place in this overview. We added two new compare options: track group membership changes during a selected time period or compare two different groups.
Also, a Permissions Differences report no longer has to be executed only on the Site Collection level, but can now be executed for any desired level down to the list item.
We didn’t neglect the farm compare. It is now possible to compare two different farms with multiple server mappings (1:N), meaning that you can now compare one source farm server with multiple target farm servers and vice versa.
‘Cause it can get hard to see forest for the trees – Content Overview Report
Not everything has to be so hard when SharePoint is in question. We added the Content Overview dashboard—a centralized place to track down some general SharePoint metrics without going through a bunch of dull reports. And we made it pretty, too!
The available metrics are: Site Collection and Content Database Sizes, Used SharePoint Space, Servers by Role, and Site Collections per Web App. If you find any other metrics interesting, please let us know and we will try to incorporate them into this overview.
Time is money! – Database Connections
Using SPDocKit on a workstation and managing numerous SharePoint farms? We are aware that it can get frustrating to go through the configuration wizard every time you would like to switch to another SPDocKit database to explore another farm’s reports, especially when this is something that must be done quickly.
Our new option, Database Connections, allows you to move to another database simply by adding it to the SPDocKit database connections depository and selecting it when needed.
These items may not deserve an entire category for themselves in this competition, but are still useful:
Live Site Explorer—you no longer have to take a snapshot for the entire farm to see Site Explorer reports; just select the one you need and it will be available in real time.
The Snapshots tab got a couple of improvements as well. Farm snapshots are now colored differently depending on the save location—a green icon shows that the snapshot is saved to a disk location and a blue one shows that it is located in the SPDocKit database.
Also, from this version on, snapshots marked as good will no longer be removed when a data retention job kicks in.
Both the Farm Differences report and Farm Documentation can now be exported to Excel. Reports examples are available in our resources center.
If you wish to see the new SPDocKit Event Viewer in action, play this quick intro video.
If you are still eager to find out what else is new, here is the official release note with the complete overview.