Reusable SharePoint: Sandy Ussia at SharePoint Saturday DC

Sandy Ussia from Lightning Tools started off my day at
SPSDC. Her session: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle with SharePoint was a wonderful 100
level look at doing work up front so that end users don’t have to. Her main
focus was around reducing data duplication and inconsistency. She started off
small and built-up in complexity as she went along. So here we go.

The first step is looking at the column level. Sandy gave us
a rundown on choice and look-up columns. Basically the take away there is that
you can set-up custom columns to use throughout your farm so that end users are
using the same sets of columns that are, more importantly, configured the same
way. Even this little thing can prove valuable when it comes to reporting.

The next step is managed metadata. A little time spent
setting up metadata choices will ensure end users are keeping things
consistent. By creating custom parameters around your organization’s data, you
can give end users only the options you want them to have thus fostering consistent

Moving on from there Sandy talked about external data. For
those that have access to Business Connectivity Services, you are able to set
up external data to pull into these custom parameters mentioned above.

The next step in complexity is content types. A content type
allows you to pull together these various customized elements so that end users
can have them all in one easy place. These content types can then be referenced
in content type hubs. This is a designated site collection that can be used
end users to configure new ones. This allows the simple fast creation of a site
collection while knowing all the data that will be entered will be done so in a
consistent manner.

Beyond that, Sandy talked about reusable
content, workflows, and site templates. These are pretty self-explanatory at
this point. One good thing to know is that a site template will not carry over
permissions, so set them up wisely.

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