Moving your team online with Windows SharePoint Services technology

Applies to
Microsoft Windows® SharePoint® Services technology

Does the following situation sound familiar?

  • Your team needs to communicate and share documents and ideas.
  • Your organization wants you to move from paper, phone calls, e-mail messages, and shared folders to online collaboration with Windows SharePoint Services technology.
  • You’ve got a brand-new, out of the box SharePoint site, you own it, and you’re not sure what to do.

If this describes your situation, you’re trying to move your team online. Moving your team online can seem like a complex process and you may not know where to begin. Here’s how to get started as your team moves online with a SharePoint site.

Step 1: Get a site

Your company may already have a site set up for you to use. If so, you can start with that site. If not, you need to create a site before you can start moving content online. When you create a site, use the Team Site template for the most flexibility. This template includes all of the default list and document library types so you have the most to choose from.

If you do not yet have a site, use one of the following methods to create a site.

  • Create a top-level Web site by using Self-Service Site Creation

ShowHow?

  1. Go to the top-level site in the site collection.

 Note   This announcement appears only on the top-level site for the site collection at the root directory of the virtual server. If you are in a different site collection, you will not see this link. Try the next procedure, "Create a site under another SharePoint site."

If you are in a subsite, click the Up to parent_site_name link on the top link bar to navigate to the parent site. Repeat this step until you reach the top-level site.

  1. On the home page of the top-level site, click Announcements.
  2. Click the announcement titled Self-Service Site Creation.

 Note   If the announcement isn't in the list, contact your server administrator to get the address (URL) of the Self-Service Site Creation page.

  1. In the body of the message, click the link to the Create Web Site page.
  2. In the Title and Description section, type a name and description for the new site.
  3. In the Web Site Address section, type the Web address (URL) that users will type to go to the new site.

 Note   The first part of the address is provided for you.

  1. In the Your E-mail Address section, type the e-mail address that you want to use for receiving alerts about this site.
  2. In the Language section, select the language to use for the new Web site.
  3. Click OK.
  4. On the Template Selection page, click the Team Site template, and then click OK.

 Note   For these steps to work, Self-Service Site Creation must be enabled, and you must have the proper rights to use Self-Service Site Creation.

  • Create a site under another SharePoint site

ShowHow?

  1. On the top link bar, click Create.
  2. In the Web Pages section, click Sites and Workspaces.
  3. In the Title and Description section, type a name and description for the new site.
  4. In the Web Site Address section, type the Web address (URL) that users will type to go to the new site.

 Note   The first part of the address is provided for you.

  1. In the Permissions section, specify whether you want the site to use the same accounts and site groups information as the current Web site.
  2. Click Create.
  3. On the Template Selection page, click the Team Site template, and then click OK.

 Note   If you enable unique permissions, a copy of the parent site's user accounts and site groups remain with the subsite. You can then delete any accounts and site groups that you don't want and add new ones as needed. The subsite will also retain the same site group setting for anonymous (guest) users as the parent site, unless you specify a different site group.

 Note   To complete these steps, you must be a member of a site group with the Create Subsite right. The Create Subsite right is included by default in the Administrator site group.

Step 2: Figure out what your team needs

Creating a site is a quick process — it is deciding what to put in the site that takes some time. As a member of the team, you probably know what information your team works with and where it is. Take some time to evaluate what you’ve got and what you want to put online.

Some information to consider putting online:

  • Documents (project documents, plans, proposals, presentations, bids — anything that your team needs to read or contribute to).
  • Team schedules (holiday schedules, individual work and vacation schedules, project schedules, and so on). You can log shared events on your site and display then in Calendar view.
  • Contact information (team members, partners, customers, suppliers and vendors, and so on). You can create separate contact lists for internal and external contacts, or mix them using fields that you can sort and filter.
  • Tasks or assignments (who’s doing what?).
  • Frequently-used links to other Web sites (including sites about related projects or teams).
  • Important announcements or news that your whole team needs to hear about.

This is only a start of the kinds of information you may need online. Check with your team to find out what they need. And if they come up with something that doesn't match up with one of the built-in lists in your SharePoint site — no problem! You can always create a custom list to contain it.

Step 3: Build it, and they will come

Moving online involves changing how your team works together and to make this change successful, you need to create an inviting, organized, and (most of all) relevant site for your team.

 Note   You must be a member of the Web Designer or Administrator site group for your site to be able to complete the procedures in this section.

To build your site, start with the default site, and then:

ShowCustomize it!

You can customize the default items to suit your team. You want your events to show up on a Calendar? Great! Change to calendar view.

Customize the home page to show your organization's logo, or apply a theme to add a custom touch to the entire site. For individual lists, add or remove columns to display the data you want. For example, if you want your Contacts list to include both internal and external partners, you can add a column for internal/external. And you can change the views for that list to include only the columns you use, or to display the data in a more meaningful way for your team. For example, you can change your Events list to show in a Calendar format instead of a list.

  • Change the picture on the home page

ShowHow?

  1. On your site's home page, click Modify Shared Page, point to Modify Shared Web Parts, and then click Site Image.
  2. In the Site Image Tool Pane, in the Image Link field, type in the full Web address of the image file that you want to use, and then click OK.
  • Apply a theme

There are several, very different themes to choose from. For example, the Compass theme looks like this:

Compass theme preview

And the Sonora theme looks like this:

Sonora theme preview

ShowHow?

  1. On the top link bar, click Site Settings. On the Site Settings page, in the Customization section, click Apply theme to site.
  2. On the Apply Theme to Web Site page, select a theme, and then click Apply.
  • Add or change a column

ShowHow?

  1. On the page that displays the list, document library, or discussion board, click Modify settings and columns.
  2. In the Columns section, to edit a column, click the column name. To add a column click Add a new column.
  3. Fill in the form, and then click OK.

 Note   Some types of data cannot be converted when you change a column type. For example, if you change a column with multiple lines of text into a number column, the existing text data is lost.

  • Delete a column

ShowHow?

  1. On the page that displays the list, document library, or discussion board, click Modify settings and columns.
  2. In the Columns section, in the Column (click to edit) list, click the name of the column you want to delete.
  3. At the bottom of the page, click Delete.

 Note   There are certain built-in columns, such as Title, that you cannot delete.

  • Change the default view to include a new column

ShowHow?

  1. On the page that displays the list, click Modify settings and columns.
  2. In the Views section, click the view name (for example, on the Contacts list, the default view is All Contacts) in the View (click to edit) column.
  3. In the Columns section, select the Display check box next to the new column name.
  4. At the bottom of the page, click OK.
  • Create a calendar view for a list

By default, the Events list has a Calendar view, so you don't need to create a Calendar view for that list. If you want to create a calendar view for any other list that contains date and time information, you can do so easily.

A calendar view looks like this:

Calendar view

ShowHow?

  1. On the page that displays the list, click Modify settings and columns.
  2. In the Views section, click the Create a new view.
  3. On the List Name: Create View page, click Calendar View.
  4. Fill out the form, specifying which columns to base the calendar on and whether to display data in daily, weekly, or monthly view, and then click OK.

 Note   The Base calendar on and Base calendar on the following interval lists are generated by pulling any columns that contain date/time information. For example, by default, the Contacts list includes two columns that contain date information: Modified and Created. You can either base the calendar on one of these columns, or show an interval between the values in the column.

ShowCreate it!

If the default items aren't enough, you can always create the other things you need. Create custom lists, additional document libraries, subsites for special projects, and so on. For example:

  • Need more than one calendar? Create another! You can create new instances of any of the default lists or libraries in your site.

ShowHow?

  1. On the top link bar in your site, click Create.
  2. Click the name of the list you want to create.
  3. Fill in the form, and then click Create.
  • Need to display data that doesn't fit a standard list? Create a custom list.

ShowHow?

  1. On the top link bar in your site, click Create.
  2. In the Custom Lists section, click Custom List.
  3. Fill in the form, and then click Create.
  4. On the List_Name page, in the Actions section, click Modify settings and columns.
  5. In the Columns section, use Add a new column to create the columns you need in the list, and then, in the Views list, click All Items and add your columns to that view.
  • Need a whole Web page? Create a Web Part Page to contain custom HTML code and list data.

There are several Web Part Page layouts to choose from. For example, the Right Column, Header, Footer, Top Row, 3 Columns layout gives you a page with zones that look like this:

Web Part Page layout

ShowHow?

  1. On the top link bar in your site, click Create.
  2. In the Web Pages section, click Web Part Page.
  3. Fill in the form, and then click Create.

 Note   Web Part Pages are created inside of document libraries. But you can link to the Web Part Page from anywhere, including from the Quick Launch bar if you customize the Quick Launch bar in a Web page editor compatible with Windows SharePoint Services technology, such as Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003. For more information, see "Customize the Quick Launch bar" later in this article.

  • Need to organize your documents? Create folders in your document library to keep related documents together.

Folders in document libraries look a lot like folders in the file system:

Folders in a document library

ShowHow?

  1. On the document library that you want to change, on the toolbar, click New Folder.
  2. In the Name box, type a name for the folder, and then click Save and Close.
  • Got side-projects? Create subsites for them.

ShowHow?

  1. On the top link bar in your site, click Create.
  2. In the Web Pages section, click Sites and Workspaces.
  3. Fill in the form, and then click Create.

ShowRearrange it!

You can customize the home page to display just the information you want. You don’t have to keep what is there by default — expose your team’s most important information! The home page is just another Web Part Page — you can add, remove, and rearrange Web Parts to change what appears on the page easily.

  • Add a Web Part to the home page

ShowHow?

  1. On your site, click Site Settings.
  2. On the Site Settings page, in the Customization section, click Customize home page.
  3. In the Add Web Parts pane, browse to find the Web Part for the list, document library, or other item you want to add.
  4. Click the name of the Web Part you want to add, and drag it to where you want it to appear on the home page.

 Note   You can also click the name of the Web Part, and then in the Add Web Parts pane, in the Add to box, select the zone that you want the Web Part to appear in, and then click OK.

  1. When you're finished adding Web Parts, click the Close button Close button on the Add Web Parts pane.
  • Move Web Parts around on the home page

ShowHow?

  1. On the home page, click Modify Shared Page, and then click Design this Page to enter editing mode.

 Note   If you see Modify My Page instead of Modify Shared Page, you need to switch to Shared View. Click Modify My Page, and then click Shared View. Then continue with these steps.

  1. Click the title bar of a Web Part that you want to move, and then drag the Web Part to its new location.
  2. When you're done rearranging, click Modify Shared Page, and then click Design this Page again to return to viewing mode.
  • Remove a Web Part from the home page

ShowHow?

  1. On the home page, click Modify Shared Page, and then click Design this Page to enter editing mode.

 Note   If you see Modify My Page instead of Modify Shared Page, you need to switch to Shared View. Click Modify My Page, and then click Shared View. Then continue with these steps.

  1. On the title bar of the Web Part that you want to remove, click the Web Part Menu button Web Part Menu button, and then click Close.

 Note   Be sure to click Close, rather than Delete.

  1. When you're done rearranging, click Modify Shared Page, and then click Design this Page again to return to viewing mode.
  • Customize the Quick Launch bar

You can customize the Quick Launch bar by using Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003 or another SharePoint-compatible Web Page editor. In FrontPage, open the home page (default.aspx) for your site, and then click under one of the categories (Documents, Pictures, Lists, Discussions, Surveys) to add a link. For more information, see the topic "Change the Windows SharePoint Services Quick Launch Bar by using FrontPage 2003" in the FrontPage Help system.

ShowDelete it!

Go ahead and delete any default items that you don’t need. No need for Announcements? Get rid of it! You can always create another Announcements list later if you change your mind.

The default lists can all be created again easily from the Create page. So, you can delete any of the default lists that you do not need, without worrying about whether you'll need them later. Keep in mind that this is only for the default lists (Links, Announcements, Contacts, Events, Tasks, and Issues). Any list that contains information already, or that has been customized or is completely custom cannot be created again easily, so exercise caution — double-check that they will never be needed again before you delete them.

 Note   If you are deleting a default list that does contain one or more items, it is a good idea to back up the list first. To back up the list, you can either export the list to a spreadsheet, or save the list as a list template and include the contents. For more information about saving a list as a template, see the topic "Manage list templates" in the Windows SharePoint Services Help system.

  • Delete a default list

ShowHow?

  1. From the home page or the Documents and Lists page, click the default list that you want to delete.
  2. Verify that the list contains no data.

 Note   The default lists often contain one item, just as an example or place to start. For instance, the Announcements list contains an item titled "Get started with Windows SharePoint Services." It is okay to delete this item along with the list, because it can be created again if you create the list again. It is not okay to delete the Announcements list and all announcements if they are ones that your team members have created.

  1. In the Actions list, click Modify settings and columns.
  2. On the Customize List name page, in the General Settings section, click Delete this list.
  3. In the message box that appears asking if you are sure you want to delete the list, click OK to delete the list, or Cancel to leave it on your site.

Windows SharePoint Services does not include an undelete feature. If you delete a custom list, or any data, items, or documents from a list or document library, that list or data is really gone, unless you have a server backup that you can restore from.

ShowSecure it!

If you are an administrator for your site, you are responsible for determining who has access to the site. You control who can read, add, and change data in the site. You control people's access to the site by adding them as members of the site and by assigning rights, either through site groups (which are used to grant access across the site) or by giving them individual rights to a specific list.

Some things to keep in mind as you consider site security:

  • What rights do people need on your site?

It is best to assign people to the lowest level of access (for example, the Reader site group) to start, and grant more advanced rights (such as the Contributor or Web Designer site groups) to those who truly need them. Add your users and grant them rights through site groups.

ShowHow?

  1. On your site, click Site Settings.
  2. In the Administration section, click Manage users.
  3. On the Manage Users page, click Add Users.
  4. Follow the steps in the wizard to add your users and assign them to a site group.
  • Do all users need to have the same level of access to all lists? Be sure to secure sensitive or restricted information.

If you have a list that only some people should access, use list permissions to restrict who can read or write to the list.

ShowHow?

  1. On the list page, in the Actions list, click Modify settings and columns.
  2. On the Customize List_Name page, click Change permissions for this list.
  3. On the Change Permissions: List_Name page, do one of the following:
    • To add users with specific permissions for the list, click Add Users and follow the steps in the wizard to add the users and assign permissions for them.
    • To remove a user, select the check box next to their name, and then click Remove Selected Users.
    • To change permissions for a user, select the check box next to their name, and then click Edit Permissions of Selected Users.
  • Are there document libraries that should require that new content be approved before it is added?

If so, you can use the content approval feature to regulate what is added to the document library.

ShowHow?

  1. On the document library page, in the Actions list, click Modify settings and columns.
  2. On the Customize List_Name page, click Change general settings.
  3. On the Document Library Settings: Library name page, in the Content Approval section, under Require content approval for submitted items?, click Yes.
  4. Click OK.

Your goal is to know and control who’s accessing your site, so before you roll it out, make sure that you've added the right people and given them appropriate rights on the site.

Step 4: Try it out

After you’ve build it, make sure it behaves the way you want. Add some real or temporary information to the lists. Upload a document or two. See if the information you need shows up the way you want it to. Get rid of information you don’t want, and add information that is missing. Move things around on the home page. Play with the views. For help with all of these tasks, see Step 3: Build it, and they will come and the Help system for Windows SharePoint Services.

When you’re satisfied that the site behaves the way you want it to, it is time to get other people involved.

Step 5: Take it to the people

It is time for the big rollout. At this stage, you can finish adding all of your people to the site and granting them the appropriate rights. When you're ready, send an e-mail message to your users (if you haven't already added your users, you can use the Add Users wizard to send your e-mail message) to publicize the site. In the message, tell them where their new site is, and what they can expect to see. Your customized home page should be a good place for them to start, and it is included by default in the Add Users e-mail message.

You can also start gathering feedback: Is this what they expected? Needed? It is a good idea to give people a way to give you feedback about the site and let you know what they need. Some ways to create a feedback loop include:

  • Create a suggestion box in the form of a list.

 Tip   Create a custom list and include fields for Suggested by, Suggestion, and Follow up (or Status). Call the list "Suggestion box" and make sure it appears on the Quick Launch bar.

  • Use the Form Web Part to create a feedback form on the home page.

 Tip   If you know your way around HTML and JavaScript, you can program the form to automatically notify you, or to log suggestions in a list.

  • Add a feedback e-mail address to the home page.

 Tip   Use the Content Editor Web Part to add text that says "Contact us:" and then include a hyperlink to the e-mail address.

  • Send out a survey

 Tip   Use the Create page to create a survey asking for people's opinions. Name they survey "Site Feedback" and include it on the Quick Launch bar so people can see it when they view the home page.

You may not get a lot of feedback, but you may be surprised. And you do want to know if some content moved and a link to it doesn’t work anymore, or if someone’s not finding a document you posted just yesterday.

Step 6: Keep it fresh

After the rollout, you can relax a bit. But remember, every site needs a little maintenance. Here are a few suggestions for keeping your site fresh:

  • Check in on your site on a regular basis — make sure you've still got the important stuff on the home page. If your team has changed (either in membership or in purpose), make sure that is reflected on the site.
  • Use your feedback loop to determine what needs to be updated or revamped. If people keep asking who is in charge of the snacks for next Tuesday's meeting, perhaps it is time to add a "Treat Schedule".
  • Look at usage analysis data to see what is getting the most use and what is getting the least. If it hasn't been used in 6 months, do you need to keep it, or can you archive it?
 
 
Applies to:
Deployment Center 2003, Windows Sharepoint Services 2.0