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SharePoint Asset Inventory Tool Executive Overview

Published: February 18, 2008

 

The wide availability of Windows® SharePoint® Services (WSS) 3.0 and the explosive popularity of Microsoft® Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007 in enterprise environments, combined with the widespread use of online collaboration tools, have resulted in a proliferation of SharePoint technologies that sometimes escape the notice of IT.

SharePoint servers that are not managed by IT often host business-critical Web sites, applications, documents, and processes. It is vital to the health of the organization that these servers are brought under corporate IT management and oversight.

The SharePoint Asset Inventory Tool allows IT professionals to inventory all of the computers in the network and identify servers that have SharePoint installed on them. The information gathered by the tool is used to generate reports that give IT the information it needs to bring the servers under its control. This allows the resources of the ever-changing SharePoint environment to be optimized and adjusted as needed.

Business Scenarios

You can use the SharePoint Asset Inventory Tool to help you in many different business scenarios. One such scenario occurs when an organization has a significant number of server licenses deployed or if it has a relaxed policy regarding the use of IT-controlled servers. It is highly likely that many of these servers support mission-critical processes and information without the stability of central IT management.

In order to regain control of these valuable company assets, unmanaged SharePoint servers must be discovered and then migrated to an IT-managed environment.

Another scenario concerns a well managed but complex SharePoint infrastructure that has to be monitored in order to keep it performing optimally. IT can fulfill these needs by using the SharePoint Asset Inventory Tool to perform the following tasks:

  1. Discover servers that have SharePoint assets on them that are unmanaged by IT.
  2. Categorize and prioritize SharePoint servers that need to be managed by IT or migrated to a managed environment.
  3. Report on the current utilization of the managed SharePoint infrastructure.

Documentation

The SharePoint Asset Inventory Tool comes with two guides:

  • The SharePoint Asset Inventory Tool Installation Guide provides directions for installing the tool.
  • The SharePoint Asset Inventory Tool Guide includes:
    • An overview of the SharePoint Asset Inventory Tool.
    • Basic “how-to” guidance for using the tool to select the inventory method—Active Directory or IP Range—and to scan your SharePoint servers.
    • Descriptions of the data collected by the tool.
    • Directions for generating reports from the collected data.
    • An appendix that describes how the tool collects the data.

Using the Tool

The SharePoint Asset Inventory Tool must be installed on a server that connects to all of the computers in the network so that it can discover which ones contain SharePoint assets.

The tool allows you to choose the method for specifying which computers to scan: the IP range method to scan selected computers or the Active Directory method to scan all computers. Once you identify the scanning method that best serves your needs, the tool prompts you to supply the credentials necessary for the scan to be successful.

The main purpose of the SharePoint Asset Inventory Tool is to give the IT administrator answers to a number of important questions through the generation of reports. These reports include information on:

  • The servers running some version of SharePoint.
  • The installed SharePoint features.
  • The total number of SharePoint sites on each server.
  • The total number of documents on each server.
  • The total number of documents grouped by extension on each server.
  • The time since the SharePoint assets in each server were last modified.
  • The customized SharePoint sites and items on each server.
  • The number of SharePoint lists on each server, grouped by the number of items on each list.

With this information, the IT administrator can determine which unmanaged servers have SharePoint assets on them and prioritize the order in which to bring them under IT management based on such factors as their frequency of use, the number of SharePoint sites on them, and the number of documents they contain. For existing managed SharePoint environments, running the tool periodically allows IT to detect changes in server usage that may warrant the addition of hardware or adjustments to configuration that will keep the SharePoint infrastructure working optimally.

Prerequisites

The following must be present on the server where you plan to install the SharePoint Asset Inventory Tool:

  • Microsoft SQL Server® 2005
  • SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)
  • .NET Framework 2.0

Obtaining the SharePoint Asset Inventory Tool

The SharePoint Asset Inventory Tool and documentation can be downloaded as a beta on the Connect site at https://connect.microsoft.com/programdetails.aspx?ProgramDetailsID=1600.  The download files available are:

  • SharePoint_Asset_Inventory_Tool_Setup.exe (contains the SharePoint Asset Inventory Tool Setup Wizard, the SharePoint Asset Inventory Tool Wizard, and the SharePoint Asset Inventory Tool Guide.doc)
  • SharePoint Asset Inventory Tool Installation Guide.doc
  • SharePoint Asset Inventory Tool Release Notes.rtf

Providing Feedback

The Solution Accelerators – Communication and Collaboration (SACC) team would appreciate your thoughts about this and other Solution Accelerators. While this Solution Accelerator is in Beta, you can contribute feedback on the Microsoft Connect site where you downloaded it. We look forward to hearing from you.

Solution Accelerators provide prescriptive guidance, tools, and automation for cross-product integration. They present proven tools and content so you can plan, build, deploy, and operate information technology with confidence. To view the extensive range of Solution Accelerators and for additional information, visit http://www.microsoft.com/technet/solutionaccelerators/default.mspx.

 

 

This accelerator is part of a larger series of tools and guidance from Solution Accelerators.

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