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Personalization Services in SharePoint Products and Technologies

Archived content. No warranty is made as to technical accuracy. Content may contain URLs that were valid when originally published, but now link to sites or pages that no longer exist.
Published: June 9, 2004

This is a sample chapter from the Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies Resource Kit. You can obtain the complete resource kit (ISBN 0-7356-1881-X), which includes a companion CD-ROM, from Microsoft Press.

As the body of corporate knowledge on a portal site increases, it becomes increasingly difficult for individuals to find relevant information, and to have it presented in an intuitive way. Content presented on home pages for corporate and divisional portal sites is typically general in focus and forces workers to access multiple pages to view role-specific and user-specific content.

Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 creates a portal site that knows who you are and what information you care about and work with, thus providing a personal context for users. Based on Web Part Pages technology, SharePoint Portal Server delivers customization and personalization that is flexible, secure, and reliable. SharePoint Portal Server provides a rich set of features focused on ensuring that users have easy access to relevant information from a variety of entry points.

Web Part Pages and Web Parts.

  • SharePoint Portal Server provides site managers with a flexible policy for personalization and customization. Site managers can customize the portal site to users based on specific criteria. Portal site users can personalize the site to facilitate collaboration or to provide custom views of their projects, including by using websites based on Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services to facilitate team collaboration. This topic is discussed in detail in Chapter 30, “Default Tools to Customize SharePoint Services.”

User profiles.

  • User profiles allow you to search for and connect with people within your organization based on information people publish about themselves.

Audiences.

  • SharePoint Portal Server allows you to target content to people according to their membership in a particular audience.

My Site.

  • My Site is a personal Windows SharePoint Services site that provides personalized and customized information for you.

Alerts.

  • SharePoint Portal Server can alert you about new or updated information on topics that match your interests.

If a corporation has divisions or customers in different countries or multilingual regions, the need arises to provide information and content in multiple languages. This chapter discusses how personalization services can be used to implement multilingual scenarios.

Personalization services can be provided by a corporate portal site and consumed by different divisional portal sites through SharePoint shared services. This chapter discusses the personalization services of SharePoint Portal Server 2003.

On This Page

User Profiles
Audiences
Personal Sites
Portal Site Alerts
Summary

User Profiles

User profiles enable you to search for and connect with people within your organization. User profile information is also used to generate a personal site in the portal site for individual users. Users can personalize their view of this site, called My Site. In addition, user profile information is used by index and search services to provide better search results, and it is used in targeting content to audiences. You can import user profile information directly from Active Directory directory service or enter it manually. You can also customize the properties of the user profile according to the needs of your organization or to map to Active Directory properties, such as Territory or Geography.

As a portal site user, you can view and change your own user profile from My Site, a default area in the portal site that provides personalized information for you. You can change only profile properties that are marked as editable by profile administrators. You can view your own profile by using either the private view or the public view. You can edit your profile from either view, but the actual profile details are only displayed on the public view by default. The private view contains private information that is viewable only by you. Portal site users with the Manage Profiles right can manage profiles and quick links only. Other private information, such as your Private Documents Library, is only viewable to you and global administrators.

The public view of the user profile is visible to all other portal site users when they click your name in the portal site. For example, when viewing search results, you can click the author name to view the public user profile for the author.

Adding User Profiles

After clicking My Site a user profile is automatically created for you. During profile creation SharePoint Portal Server attempts to retrieve data from the Active Directory directory service which is configured as an import source. Users who do not have user profiles available by using Active Directory directory service as an import source must enter their user profile properties manually. Once user profiles are added or imported, you can update information by editing each user profile. Editing a user profile does not change the set of properties displayed in that user profile. You can add, edit, or delete the individual profile properties on the Manage Profile Database page in the User Profile Properties section.

Add a user profile manually

You can add user profiles manually if you do not want to or cannot import user profile information automatically from an Active Directory directory service. For any properties that you do not specify manually SharePoint Portal Server will attempt to import values from the Active Directory directory service specified in the configuration settings.

  1. Use one of the following methods:

    • On the Manage Profile Database page in the Profile and Import Settings section, click Add user profile.

    • On the View User Profiles page, click New Profile on the toolbar.

  2. Type values for the required properties and for any other properties you want to include for this user.

  3. On the toolbar, click Save and Close.

  4. To leave this page without adding a user profile, click Cancel and Go Back on the toolbar.

It is also possible to edit and delete user profiles using the View User Profiles page, which is shown in Figure 23-1. If you delete a user profile, you also delete the properties and values for that user. Personalized links and alerts for that user are also deleted. The personal site for that user is not deleted. Before deleting the user, you should use the Manage Personal Sites option in the User Profile, Audiences, and Personal Sites section on the Site Settings Administration page to delete the personal site and copy items from the personal site for archiving purposes. Although you can import any properties mapped to Active Directory directory service during the next scheduled import, you permanently lose any custom properties that you added. You also lose any values for properties mapped to Active Directory that have changed since the last import.

Cc750129.f23xr01(en-us,TechNet.10).gif

Figure 23-1. Add, edit, or delete user profiles on the View User Profiles page

Cc750129.note(en-us,TechNet.10).gif  If you delete a user profile for a user that remains in Active Directory directory service, that user profile is automatically recreated the next time user profiles are imported. If a user account is deleted in Active Directory, it will not be deleted automatically from the profile database during the next import. Instead, the SharePoint profile will be marked as deleted. Then you can use the selector on the Manage User Profiles page to manually delete the user profile. Remember that this action deletes only the user profile—you’ll still need to delete permission assignments and the user’s My Site manually.

Importing User Profiles

You can import user profile information from Active Directory. This saves time in entering user information for every user in your organization, because otherwise all user profiles will have to be added manually. However, the user information might not include all the properties you want to show for each user. Also, if you do not import user profiles from Active Directory, you will lose some audience features and the ability to create audiences based on SharePoint-specific criteria. We do not reconnect back to Active Directory to dynamically pull the user profiles for SharePoint Portal Server because by copying and holding the user profiles in SharePoint Services, you are free to create new SharePoint-specific profile objects without extending the Active Directory schema. In addition, there is no performance decrease on your domain controllers by not servicing user profile requests from SharePoint Portal Server 2003. Finally, by not writing back to the Active Directory, we do not turn SharePoint into a meta-directory service that would create additional management and security issues.

A user profile based on Active Directory information can contain values in profile properties that are mapped to Active Directory or are unique to SharePoint Portal Server. Active Directory is used to uniquely identify users and resources on the network. By importing user profile information from Active Directory, you keep a single central repository for storing SharePoint-specific user information within your organization.

To import user profile information, you must first configure the import settings. You set up an import account for a specific server running Active Directory directory service in your organization. Then you enable full or incremental imports and schedule when those imports should regularly occur.

After you have configured the import settings, you can import user profile information from the list of actions in the Profile and Import Settings section on the Manage Profile Database page, which is shown in Figure 23-2. You can also stop any import currently in progress and view a log of past imports.

Cc750129.f23xr02(en-us,TechNet.10).gif

Figure 23-2. Manage user profiles on the Manage Profile Database page

This page has two views. The Active view includes all active user profiles that were imported during the last full import. The Missing from import view includes the user profiles that were imported in the past but were not imported in the previous three full imports because the user profile information was not available from Active Directory. This usually means that the person has been deleted from the Active Directory, which might happen when someone leaves the company. The user profile is not deleted automatically. Instead, you should decide how you want to delete or preserve their personal site. Then delete their profiles on a case-by-case basis. If you just want to delete all of them, you can use the Check All check box to quickly delete them.

To configure import settings

To import user profile information from Active Directory, you must configure import settings first.

  1. On the title bar of the portal site, click Site Settings.

  2. In the User Profile, Audiences, and Personal Sites section, click Manage profile database.

  3. On the Manage Profile Database page, click Configure profile import.

  4. In the Source section, select the server running Active Directory from which to import user profiles. This can be from the Current domain, the Entire forest, or a set of Custom source domains that include the current domain. If you select Custom source, the Manage Connections page appears when you click OK on this page.

  5. In the Access Account section, type the account name and password for an account that has rights to Active Directory.

  6. In the Full Import Schedule section, select Schedule full import.

  7. In the Incremental Import section, click Schedule incremental import to show this option on the Manage User Profiles page.

  8. For each type of import you have enabled, select a start time from the Start at drop-down list. To schedule imports at this time every day, select Every day. To schedule imports on certain days of the week, select Every week on and then select the days on which you want to import user profiles. To schedule imports once a month, select Every month on this date and then select the day of the month on which to import user profiles.

  9. Click OK.

To start full import

After configuring the import settings, you can start importing user profile information.

  1. On the Manage Profile Database page, in the Profile and Import Settings section, ensure that Source of user set lists the correct set of users.

  2. To select a different set of users, click Configure profile import.

  3. After verifying the set of users, click Start full import.

During a full import, values of Active Directory properties overwrite the values of user profile properties mapped to Active Directory. If the value for an Active Directory property is empty, any customizations in the value of the user profile property mapped to Active Directory will be retained. Deleted Active Directory accounts will not be deleted from the profile database during a full import.

Another type of import exists: the incremental import. During an incremental import, profile information about users whose Active Directory records have changed or have been added since the last import is overwritten. Incremental imports will significantly shorten the time it takes to complete the import. To perform incremental imports, the account must have the Replicate Changes permission for Active Directory directory services provided by Windows 2000 Server. The permission is not required for Windows 2003 Active Directory.

Incremental imports can be started from the Manage Profile Database page. If a full or incremental import takes too much time or if server performance drops to an unacceptably low level, you can stop the import, which can also be done using the Manage Profile Database page.

To view an import log

You can view a log of past imports, which can be used for troubleshooting purposes. You can do this by going to the Manage Profile Database page, in the Profile and Import Settings, and clicking View import log.

To view active and missing user profiles

The View User Profiles page has two views. The Active view includes all active user profiles that were imported during the last full import. The Missing from Import view includes the user profiles that were imported in the past but were not imported in the previous three full imports because the user profile information was not available from Active Directory.

  1. On the Manage Profile Database page, in the Profile and Import Settings section, click View user profiles.

  2. On the View User Profiles page, in the Action pane, click the view that you want to see.

    • To view active user profiles, click Active.

    • To view missing user profiles, click Missing from import.

Managing Active Directory Connections

When you configure import settings for user profiles, you can choose to import user profile information from servers running Active Directory for your current domain, from servers running Active Directory for your entire forest, or from servers running Active Directory on one or multiple custom domains. You can import user profile information only from Active Directory, environments running Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 domain controllers will not be able to benefit from this.

To add an Active Directory server

If you decide to import user profile information from one or multiple domains, on the Configure Profile Import page, select the Custom source option in the Source section. Next add the servers to the set of servers available to import user profile information.

  1. On the Manage Connections page, click New Connection.

  2. In the Connection Settings section on the Add Connection page, type a domain name in the Domain name box.

    Cc750129.note(en-us,TechNet.10).gif  By default, a domain controller is automatically detected for you. To select a controller, click Select a domain controller and type a domain controller name in the Domain controller name text box for the Active Directory server that you want to add.

  3. To access this server by using a secured socket layer (SSL) secure connection, select the Use SSL-secured connection check box.

  4. To limit the amount of time spent attempting to access a server that is not responding, type a value in the Time out box.

  5. In the Search Settings section, type a name in the Search base text box. If you do not enter anything in the Search base text box, SharePoint Portal Server enters the appropriate information.

  6. In the User filter section, you can add query clauses to further filter the user profile data that you are importing.

  7. The default value in the User filter text box is a specific Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) query. Specifying an LDAP query enables you to granularly define the data that will be imported into the profile database.

  8. In the Scope section, select how deeply in the Active Directory server to search for user profiles to import. You can limit the scope by selecting One level or search more deeply by clicking Subtree.

  9. Type a value in the Page size box to limit the amount of data imported in each user profile.

  10. Type a value in the Page time out box to limit the amount of time spent attempting to access a page that is not responding.

You can also edit the settings for existing servers or delete servers from the set used when importing user profile information from the Manage Connections page. Deleting a server from the list of connections removes the connection to that server so that user profiles found only on that Active Directory server are not imported.

LDAP Search Filters

Active Directory connections provide the possibility to specify an LDAP query that granularly defines the data that is imported into the profile database. An LDAP query consists of the following four parts:

Base distinguished name.

  • For example: DC=Woodgrove, DC=COM.

LDAP search filters.

  • Search filters enable you to define search criteria.

The LDAP display name of the attributes to retrieve.

  • This is managed by specifying user profile properties, which will be described in the next section.

The scope of the search.

  • Valid values are “onelevel” or “subtree”.

The following table gives examples of LDAP search filters.

Table 23-1. Examples LDAP Search Filters

Search Filter

Description

(objectClass=*)

All objects

(&(objectCategory=person) (objectClass=user) (!cn=amy))

All user objects but “amy”

(sn=sa*)

All objects with a surname that starts with “sa”

(&(objectCategory=person)(objectClass=contact)(|(sn=Purcell)(sn=Bezio)))

All contacts with a surname equal to “Purcell” or “Bezio”

(&(objectCategory=person) (objectClass=user) ( !(userAccountControl:1.2.840.113556.1.4.803:=2)))

Imports user profile information of only user accounts that are enabled

Additional Notes for Better Import Setting

The following list provides information on importing user profiles.

  • If possible, search on indexed attributes only. Try to use index attributes that you expect will generate the fewest number of hits, therefore higher performance.

    Cc750129.note(en-us,TechNet.10).gif  A comprehensive list of indexed attributes for Windows 2000 and Windows .NET can be found in the Active Directory Schema section of the Active Directory guide.

  • Search on objectCategory instead of objectClass since objectClass is not an indexed property.

  • Stay away from searching for text in the middle and at the end of a string. For example, “cn=*hille*” or “cn=*larouse”.

  • Properly scope your searches by specifying innermost search base and minimum search scope so as to not retrieve more than is necessary.

Managing User Profile Properties

The set of properties that are included in the user profile might not contain all the information about users in your organization that you want to include on the site. You can add new properties to enhance those included in the user profile. You can also edit existing properties to change how those properties are displayed in the user profile. You can also map properties to properties in Active Directory directory services. When you add or edit a property mapping, you must run a full import before the changes take effect.

To add a profile property

If the default user profile page does not include all the properties that you want to show for each user, you can add additional properties.

  1. In the User Profile Properties section on the Manage Profile Database page, click Add profile property.

    -or-

    On the View Profile Properties page, click New Property.

  2. On the Add User Profile Property page, type a name for the property in the Name box. This name is not displayed on the user profile, but instead is used programmatically whenever the property is accessed by SharePoint Portal Server 2003.

  3. Type a display name for the property in the Display name text box. The display name is the name for the property that is shown on the personal and public views of the user profile.

  4. Select a property type in the Type list and if applicable, type the length in the Length text box. These define the acceptable values for this property and cannot be changed once the property is created.

  5. To display this property to the user and administrator on the personal and edit views of the user profile, select Private – Only the user and users with the Manage Profile right can view the settings for this property. To display this property to all users in the public view of the user profile, select Public – All users of the site can view the settings for this property.

  6. To allow users without the Manage Profile right to change the value of this property, select Allow users to edit this property. Otherwise, select Do not allow users to edit this property.

  7. In the Display Settings section, you can choose whether or not the property is displayed in the Details section of the user profile in the public view. You can also choose whether the property is displayed on the Edit My Profile page.

  8. To map this property to a property in Active Directory directory service, select a property from the Active Directory property to map drop-down list.

  9. Click OK.

On the View Profile Properties page shown in Figure 23-3, the properties available for user profiles are listed and organized by sections. You can add, delete, and edit properties from this page. You can also add, edit, and delete sections and move properties within and between sections.

Cc750129.note(en-us,TechNet.10).gif  Sections are only used for display in the Details section of the user’s public view of My Site. It is not used when editing a user profile.

Cc750129.f23xr03(en-us,TechNet.10).gif

Figure 23-3. The View Profile Properties page can be used to add, edit, and delete profile properties and sections

Audiences

The audience feature is supported only in SharePoint Portal Server 2003. Audiences allow organizations to target content to users based on their job or task, as defined by their membership in a Windows 2003 security group, a distribution list, an organizational reporting structure, or the public properties in their user profiles. Only users imported into the Profile Database populate audiences.

There are three components to using audiences effectively. First, you must add an audience. Second, you target an item such as a document or news item to one or more audiences. Third, you put the targeted item in one of the areas that uses the Links for You Web Part to show targeted items to portal site users. You can also target Web Parts to audiences. In this case, the targeted Web Part will only be displayed when the audience matches the current user. This is discussed in Chapter 30.

By default, SharePoint Portal Server includes an audience named All portal site users. In addition to this audience, you can create other audiences, such as by department or by security group. These audiences can span one or more portal sites in a deployment.

Managing Audiences

Audiences are managed centrally across one or more server farms hosting SharePoint Portal Server 2003. They apply across one or more portal sites in a deployment, not to individual areas, sites, or items. You must have the Add, Change, or Delete Audiences right to manage audiences. As an audience manager, you can create, edit, or delete audiences, view all members of a specific audience, and find the audiences to which a specific user belongs, as well as manage the rules defining audiences and compile audiences as the rules and members of an audience change.

Cc750129.note(en-us,TechNet.10).gif  Audiences are not used to assign rights and permissions. SharePoint Portal Server uses site groups to assign rights and permissions to users within the portal site. Audiences are used to manage how content is distributed, not to enforce security. They push information to a user, instead of restricting or permitting access to information.

To create an audience

You can create an audience and define audience rules to define audience membership.

  1. On the Managing Audiences page, click Create audience.

  2. Alternatively, on the View Audiences page, click New Audience on the toolbar.

  3. On the Create Audience page, type a name and description for the audience.

  4. Click Satisfy all of the rules or Satisfy any of the rules. Complex rules, for example rules that combine OR and AND operators, can be created only through the Object Model.

  5. Click OK.

  6. The Add Audience Rule page appears. See the “To add audience rule” procedure for more information.

    Cc750129.tip(en-us,TechNet.10).gif You must add rules to an audience and then compile the audience before content can be targeted to the audience.

You can add, edit, or delete audiences from the View Audiences page, which is shown in Figure 23-4. Deleting an audience does not delete content; rather, content is no longer targeted to members of that audience. If that content is only targeted to that audience, it is no longer seen on the site.

Cc750129.f23xr04(en-us,TechNet.10).gif

Figure 23-4. Add, edit, or delete audiences on the View Audiences page

Compiling Audiences

Changes made to audiences and audience rules are not reflected in audience membership until the audience is compiled. During compilation, all existing audiences will be compiled. You should start audience compilation after creating a new audience or after important changes in user profile information have taken place. You can schedule audience compilation during offline hours. If you’re using scheduled profile imports, you should schedule audience compilation after profile imports have taken place. You can also start a compilation manually at any other time if you must update an audience before the next scheduled compilation.

When you compile an audience, the property values in user profile and membership in distribution lists, security groups, and reporting structure are checked to see if they match the audience rules you have created. Users that match the audience rules for an audience are included in that audience and receive content targeted to that audience.

From the Manage Audiences page, you can start a compilation. You can also view the compilation status and most recent compilation time and see the number of uncompiled audiences.

To specify compilation schedule

You can set compilation schedule from the Manage Audiences page.

  1. On the Manage Audiences page, click Specify compilation schedule.

  2. On the Specify Compilation Schedule page, click Enable scheduling to turn on audience scheduling.

  3. Select a start time from the Start at drop-down list. To schedule compilations at this time every day, select Every day. To schedule compilations on certain days of the week, select Every week on and then select the days you want to compile audiences. To schedule compilations once a month, select Every month on this date and then select the day of the month on which to compile audiences.

  4. Click OK.

Viewing Audience Membership

You can check the membership of an audience to see if the audience is targeting the right users. This is particularly helpful after adding or editing an audience, after adding or editing audience rules, or after changing the property or organizational structure used by an audience rule. The audience membership summary shows the last time the audience was compiled and the number of members in the audience at that time.

To view audience members

You can determine the members of an audience.

  • On the View Audiences page, click the audience whose membership you want to view and then click View Membership.

    -or-

    On the View Audience Properties page for an audience, in the Audience Member section, click View membership.

  • To view a different page of multiple page audience membership, click the page number in the Go to page drop-down list.

Managing Audience Rules

Audience rules determine who is or is not a member of an audience. An audience includes all the members who match the audience rules when the audience is compiled. Changes to audience rules do not change the membership of the audience until the next time the audience is compiled.

To ensure that an audience is current, you must compile the audience after adding, editing, or deleting an audience rule. Audiences also must be compiled if the values of public properties used by the audience rule change or new users are added, even if the audience rules itself is not changed.

You can define audience rules based on profile properties, organizational hierarchy, distribution lists, or Windows NT security groups. Using audience rules, you can specify audience membership using complex expressions. Audience rules use simple queries to include or exclude users from membership in an audience. Each rule includes an operand, an operator, and a value.

The operand is the user or the property you want to include in the query for this rule. The operator indicates how users compared to the value should be queried to include or exclude them from the audience. The value is the point of comparison used by the query.

For example, using the following audience rule you could build an audience based on distribution list membership in combination with the value of a profile property:

MEMBER OF “IT Staff” (DL) 
AND
Office CONTAINS “Tokyo”

To add audience rule

Define audience membership based on rules.

  1. On the View Audience Properties page, in the Audience Rules section, click Add rule.

  2. On the Add Audience Rule page, click User to add a rule based on distribution list membership, security group, or reporting structure, or click Property to create a rule based on a user property.

  3. If you clicked Property, click the relevant property in the drop-down list.

  4. In the Operator drop-down list, click an operator to indicate how you want to compare the user or property with a given value.

  5. In the Value text box, type a value to which to compare the user or property selected for this rule.

  6. Click OK.

You can edit audience rules on the View Audience Properties page. You can delete an audience rule on the Edit Audience Rule page. Deleting an audience rule changes how the membership of an audience is determined when the audience is compiled. The audience is compiled using the remaining audience rules. If the deleted audience rule was the only remaining audience rule, the audience membership is empty and content targeted to only that audience is not seen.

Show Targeted Items to Portal Site Users

You can display targeted items in the following three ways:

  • Any items can be displayed in the Links for You Web Part on My Site.

  • News items can be displayed in the News for You Web Part on My Site.

  • Any items can be displayed on the default home page of the portal site or on any area which has a Links for You Web Part or a Grouped Listings Web Part, which is grouped by audience.

Whether individual users see items targeted to these locations depends on whether the users are members of the audience to which the items are targeted.

To add an item targeted to the Links for You Web Part on My Site

You can display any item on the Links for You Web Part.

  1. Click Site Settings, and in the Portal Site Content section, click Manage targeted links on My Site.

  2. On the Targeted links on My Site page, click Add Listing to target a link to the Links for You Web Part on My Site.

  3. On the Add Listing page, in the Title and Description section, type a title and a description for the listing.

  4. In the Content section, for existing items, click Existing listing and type the address for the location of the item.

    If you are adding a completely new item, click Add a listing by entering text and then click Open Text Editor. Type and format the text for the item, and then click OK.

  5. In the Group section, you can click the group to which you want to assign this listing. By default, listings are in the General group.

  6. In the Image section, you can decide to type an address for an image to represent this listing when it appears in the portal site.

  7. In the Audience section, select the audience that you want to target from the Available audiences list and then click Add. If the list of available audiences is long, you can type part of the audience name into the Find audiences that start with text box to go directly to the audience in the list. You can select more than one audience.

  8. On the Add Listing page, click OK.

    Cc750129.note(en-us,TechNet.10).gif  You can also add a person to the Links for You Web Part by clicking Add Person from the Quick Launch bar. This is a useful way to provide information to a team about a manager or new employee.

You can edit or delete an item targeted to the Links for You Web Part on My Site on the targeted links on My Site page. If this is a news item that you would prefer to target to the News for You Web Part, click Move. On the Move Listing page click Change location and then select the News area or one of its subareas. If you want to target this item to the home page of the portal site, you can change the area to Home or one of its subareas. If you change this to any other area, this item is not targeted to any users on the home page or in My Site.

To show the item in the News for You Web Part on My Site

You can target items to the News for You Web Part.

  1. On the title bar of the portal site, click Site Settings.

  2. In the Portal Site Content section, click Manage portal site structure.

  3. In the Show list, click All.

  4. Select the item that you have targeted to an audience.

  5. Drag the icon of the targeted item to the News area or one of its subareas.

    Cc750129.note(en-us,TechNet.10).gif  After you have dragged the item, the page will refresh. Dragging an item to a new area moves the item. To add a link to the item in the new location without removing the item from its old location, click the new area and then click Add Listing.

To show the item on the default portal site page

You can show items on the default portal site page to provide relevant information to your end users. By doing this you’re basically telling your end users that certain information is probably of interest to them. This is an entirely different tool with an entirely different purpose than setting security permission on areas, which makes sure your end users are not allowed to see certain information.

  1. On the title bar of the portal site, click Site Settings.

  2. In the Portal Site Content section, click Manage portal site structure.

  3. In the Show list, click All.

  4. Select the item that you have targeted to an audience.

  5. Drag the icon of the targeted item to the Home area.

You can show items using this procedure in locations other than the default portal site page. You can show targeted items to portal site users in one of the areas that use the Links for You Web Part.

To target an item to an audience

To target an item to an audience, you must edit the display properties of the item in the portal site map to select the audience or audiences to which to target the item.

  1. On the navigation bar of the portal site, click Site Settings.

  2. In the Portal Site Content section, click Manage portal site structure.

  3. On the Portal Site Map page, click the arrow next to Show on the toolbar and then click All to change the default view to show all items.

  4. Select an item to target. You must select a specific item, such as a document or a news item. Selecting an area does not work because content is targeted by item and not by area.

  5. Click the arrow next to an item to select it. In the drop-down menu that appears, click Edit.

  6. Click the Display tab to select an audience.

  7. On the Display Properties page, in the Audience section, click the audience you want from the available audiences list and then click Add.

  8. Click OK.

    Cc750129.note(en-us,TechNet.10).gif  Another way to target an item to an audience is by going to the page where the item is located and selecting Edit Page. Use the item’s drop-down menu, and select Modify Shared Web Part. Expand the Advanced section, and click the Target Audiences Select button.

Personal Sites

A personal site, named My Site in the SharePoint Portal Server 2003 user interface, is your personal starting point for accessing and contributing to your organization’s intranet through the portal site. A portal site has two natural entry points: the portal site home page and your personal site. The portal site home page shows information based on the viewpoint of your organization. Your personal site is about you: it contains information directed by you to reflect your information interests. It also contains information about you to help other users to find out more about you.

Every personal site has a private storage area for personal content and work in progress, which provides personalized and customized information for you. On a Windows operating system, the My Documents folder fulfills a similar role, providing a private directory. The private storage area of My Site should be seen as a replacement for the My Documents folder.

The personal site also contains a public storage area for easily sharing the projects and documents you are working on. The public storage area should be seen as a replacement for a personal file share. The public storage area enables you to customize the information you use or present to other people in your organization. Because the personal site includes some profile information from the Active Directory directory service, it also provides information to others about the role you play within a team or organization.

Just as you share information with other people in your organization through the public view of your personal site, you can also find and connect with other people through the public views of their personal sites.

When a user name appears in the portal site, you can click the name to view the public view of that person’s personal site. Everything that a person chooses to share is available for you to see. You can see a person’s shared links to sites, people, and documents that might help you to get your work done. You can also see what workspaces you have in common. The business card shows contact information, like a user’s cell phone. The About Me section contains a message written by a person. Also, by default, the personal site contains information about the organizational hierarchy related to that person.

To create your personal site

When you first click My Site on the navigation bar of the portal site, SharePoint Portal Server 2003 creates your personal site for you. Once your personal site is created, it appears every time you click My Site on the navigation bar of the portal site.

Personal Site Views

Your personal site consists of two views: a private view for personal information that only you can see, and a public view seen by everyone else. The private view is shown by default when you view your own personal site.

To change the view of your personal site

You can switch between the private and public view of your personal site.

  • To switch to the private view from the public view, click Private in the Select View section of the action pane.

  • To switch to the public view from the private view, click Public in the Select View section of the action pane.

Personal Site Navigation

As with most other SharePoint sites, your personal site has a top link bar with the following links:

Home.

  • This link returns you to the home page of a personal site. If that page is your personal site, you see the private view. If it is another person’s personal site, you see the public view.

Documents and Lists.

  • This link shows all the lists for your personal site and the number of documents in each list. You can also create lists of various types from this page.

Site Settings.

  • This link provides administration, customization, and information management pages for your personal site.

Help.

  • This link shows help for the current page.

Up To.

  • This link will get you back to the home page of the portal site.

Private View

The private view of your personal site provides a personalized view of the portal site and the documents, sites, and people found in the portal site. This view contains content targeted to you based on your membership in a particular audience. For example, if you are a new employee, you might find links to key training resources.

The private view of the home page for your personal site includes several Web Parts for organizing information specific to you. The private view Web Part layout can be customized by changing to Shared View. In Shared View, any changes made to Web Part properties or layout will be reflected to all users’ personal sites. By default, these Web Parts include the following:

My Calendar.

  • Meetings and appointments scheduled in Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. You must provide the address of a Microsoft Outlook Web Access server to use My Calendar.

My Links Summary.

  • A summary of links that you have created on your personal site for regular use. To add a link, click Add new link. Links in this list that you share also appear on the public view of your personal site.

Links for You.

  • Links to items targeted by audience managers in your organization to certain audiences. Links for the audiences to which you belong appear in this Web Part.

My Alerts Summary.

  • All the alerts you receive are listed here. To view the item that sent the alert, click the alert in the list. To change the properties of a specific alert, click the arrow next to the alert in the list. To manage all your alerts, click Manage Alerts in the Select Action section of the action pane.

News for You.

  • News items are targeted by the audience managers in your organization to certain audiences. The news items for the audiences to which you belong appear in this Web Part.

You can add, remove, or modify Web Parts for the home page of your personal site just like you do for any other Web Part page. The private view of the home page for your personal site is shown in Figure 23-5.

Cc750129.f23xr05(en-us,TechNet.10).gif

Figure 23-5. Private view of a personal site

When using Microsoft Office, you can set your personal site as the Office default website. You can expand your personal site by creating lists of various types and new Web Part pages. You can choose whether to share lists or pages with other people in your organization. You can also manage alerts. The My Lists link in the action pane provides links to all the lists on your personal site that are not hidden. To view hidden lists, click Documents and Lists on the top link bar of your personal site. The My Pages link in the action pane provides links to the pages on your personal site that are in the My Pages document library.

To edit your profile

You can provide information about you by editing your profile.

  1. In the action pane, in the Actions section, click Edit Profile.

  2. On the Edit Profile page, type information for the properties that you want to display to other people in your organization. Some of these properties, such as the About me property, have formatting menus to change the appearance of your user profile. The site administrator decides what properties are available for you to edit.

  3. To save these changes, click Save and Close on the toolbar. To leave your user profile without making changes, click Cancel and Go Back.

Public View

The public view of your personal site is a convenient way for you to manage the way that other people in your organization find you and your work. The design, layout, and Web Parts on the public view cannot be personalized. They are designed to look consistent across the organization. Other people in your organization can see your public view even if you have never created a personal site. The public view can be customized through Microsoft FrontPage.

The public view shows the following information:

Your public profile.

  • Depending upon your organization, your profile can include such things as your picture, information about you, and contact details. Your profile allows other people in your organization to learn information about you and to contact you.

Organization.

  • Organizational information, such as your manager and reporting structure.

Recent Documents.

  • Your five most recently modified documents on the intranet, listed in order starting with the most recent and highlighted so that other people in the organization can find them. All your recent documents that are crawled by the portal are listed here, and not just documents stored in your personal site. You can click the Recent Documents link to display all documents by this author.

Shared Links.

  • These are links that you specifically decide to share with other people on your personal site.

Shared Workspace Sites.

  • SharePoint sites, Document Workspace sites, and Meeting Workspace sites that you share with other people in your organization. For other people to see these workspace sites in the public view of your personal site, you must first invite them to join the workspace sites. Only workspaces created under you personal site will show up here, not all workspaces across the portal.

Shared Lists and Shared Pages.

  • Action pane links to your shared lists and shared pages. People can see only the lists and pages to which they have access.

The public view is shown in Figure 23-6.

Cc750129.f23xr06(en-us,TechNet.10).gif

Figure 23-6. Public view of a personal site

Your personal site also includes all the functionality of Windows SharePoint Services sites. You can create document and picture libraries, calendars, surveys, tasks, and other SharePoint lists. You can create other pages on your personal site. Any of the documents you create in your personal site can be shared with other users by adding them to public document libraries.

Managing Personal Sites

Site administrators control the location and site naming format for the personal sites on the portal site from the Manage Personal Sites page. If you are using shared services, you can create and store personal sites for any portal site on a different portal site in the server farm. Site administrators can also select the users and security groups that are part of the default Reader site group. You can view and manage site settings for individual personal sites from the View User Profiles page.

To select the personal site location

The personal site location is the name of the directory where you want to create and store personal site directories for users. This directory is created immediately under the root directory. For example, if you click personal, all the personal site directories are created under http://servername/personal. You can change this location at any time without affecting the location of existing personal sites.

  1. Click Site Settings, and then in the User Profile, Audiences, and Personal Sites section, click Manage personal sites.

  2. On the Manage Personal Sites page, in the Personal Site Location section, in the Location list, select the location where you want to create and store all personal sites.

  3. Click OK.

To select the site naming format for personal sites

The site naming format describes the naming convention to use when creating directories for the personal sites for specific users, and how to resolve conflicts with existing directories. This is important because user names can potentially conflict with one another across multiple domains.

  1. Click Site Settings, and then in the User Profile, Audiences, and Personal Sites section, click Manage personal sites.

  2. On the Manage Personal Sites page, in the Site Naming Format section, select the naming format to use when creating and storing information for personal sites. For example, you can specify that a new personal site is created in a directory with the format domain_username.

  3. Click OK.

To add accounts and groups to the Reader site group for personal sites

Personal sites are important when organizations want to share information about their employees, at least within the company itself. In most cases, you should consider giving all your employees reader access to all personal sites. You can decide which users can view personal sites by adding accounts and groups to the Reader site group.

  1. Click Site Settings, and then in the User Profile, Audiences, and Personal Sites section, click Manage personal sites.

  2. On the Manage Personal Sites page, in the Default Reader Site Group section, type the accounts or groups that you want to add to the Reader site group in the text box, separating accounts and groups by using commas.

  3. You can also select accounts or the groups to add to the Reader site group by clicking Edit. The Default Reader Site Group page appears.

  4. On the Default Reader Site Group page, in the Find by list, click the option for the name or alias of the user or security group for which you are searching.

  5. Type the text for the name or alias for which you are searching, and click Find. All names or aliases starting with that text are returned in search results.

  6. In the Results box, click the users or aliases that you want to add and then click Add.

  7. Search for and add as many users as you want, and then click OK. The Default Reader Site Group page is closed.

  8. Click OK.

Portal Site Alerts

Alerts notify you when information that interests you is added or updated on the portal site and associated content sources, thus providing you with the ability to search in the future. You can define your areas of interest and identify how and when you want to be told about something new or updated that you might want to investigate.

Alerts are important tools for portal site users. As information from diverse sources is pulled together, sifting through so much content can be a time-consuming task. Alerts provide a proactive solution to staying informed. Alerts in SharePoint Portal Server 2003 build on the concept of subscriptions in SharePoint Portal Server 2001, extending and refining the feature to make it even more powerful.

An alert can be added to track the following types of items:

  • Search queries

  • Documents and listings

  • Areas

  • News listings

  • Sites added to the Site Directory

  • SharePoint lists and libraries

  • List items

  • Portal site users

  • Backward-compatible document library folders

For example, you can add an alert for an area in the portal site, such as a topic area, as shown in Figure 23-7. An area page is any area of the portal site other than the home page.

Cc750129.f23xr07(en-us,TechNet.10).gif

Figure 23-7. Add area alert

The portal site sends alert results whenever changes are made to the content that you added an alert for. You can view alert results on the portal site or receive them in e-mail messages. You can specify how frequently you want to receive alert results by e-mail and receive them immediately, as a daily summary, or as a weekly summary. When you no longer need to follow changes for the item, you can delete your alerts at any time.

You can manage your alerts and alert results from My Alerts, a page available from My Site. This does require “User personal features” rights. In addition, by using Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, you can view all alerts and alert results from all alert providers, including alerts from Windows SharePoint Services.

To edit an alert

After adding alerts you can manage them on your personal site.

  1. On the title bar of the portal site, click My Site.

  2. In the Actions list, click Manage Alerts.

  3. In the list of alerts, click the alert you want to edit.

  4. In the Actions list, click Edit Alert.

  5. Change the settings.

  6. Click OK.

To activate or deactivate an alert

If you deactivate an alert, you will not receive alert results until you reactivate it.

  1. On the title bar of the portal site, click My Site.

  2. In the Actions list, click Manage Alerts.

  3. In the list of alerts, click the alert that you want to activate or deactivate.

  4. In the Actions list, click Activate Alert or Deactivate Alert.

  5. Click OK.

    Cc750129.note(en-us,TechNet.10).gif  If your alert generates an excessive number of results, the portal site might automatically deactivate it to conserve resources. Activate the alert to begin receiving results again. If you activate this alert and then your alert is automatically deactivated again, edit the alert to reduce the number of alert results you receive. For example, under Alert Results on the Edit Alert page, you can narrow the scope of your alert results by specifying that the results contain a specific word or phrase.

To delete an alert result

This deletes alert results but does not delete an alert. You will continue to receive alert results.

  1. On the title bar of the portal site, click My Site.

  2. In the Actions list, click Manage Alerts.

  3. In the list of alerts, click the alert whose results you want to delete.

  4. Under the result you want to delete, click Delete alert result.

  5. Click OK.

    Cc750129.note(en-us,TechNet.10).gif  If you receive alert results in e-mail messages, you can click Delete These Results from My Alerts in the message to automatically delete the results listed in the message.

The Manage Alerts page also offers the possibility to delete all alert results in one single action.

Manage Portal Site Alerts Settings

Administrators have the possibility to manage alerts on a portal site level via the Manage Alert Settings page. From this administration page you can accomplish the following tasks:

  • Managing individual user alerts

  • Deleting all alerts and alert results

  • Deleting all alert results e-mail messages in the alerts queue

  • Setting alert quotas, setting and/or locking the user’s default alert e-mail address

  • Setting the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) server used for sending e-mail alert notifications

To enable portal site alerts

Alerts are an important feature within SharePoint Portal Server. You must enable this feature before users can benefit from alerts.

  1. On the title bar of the portal site, click Site Settings.

  2. In the General Settings section, click Go to SharePoint Portal Server central administration.

  3. In the Portal Site and Virtual Server Configuration section, click Configure virtual server settings from the Virtual Server List page.

  4. Click the name of your Virtual Server.

  5. In the Virtual Server Management section, click Virtual server general settings.

  6. In the Alerts section, you can enable alerts on the virtual server and specify the maximum number of alerts per user.

To manage portal site alerts

Administrators can manage alerts for all users.

  1. On the title bar of the portal site, click Site Settings.

  2. In the General Settings section, click Manage alerts settings.

  3. In the User Alerts Management section, click Manage user profiles to go to a page where you can delete or deactivate an individual user’s alerts.

  4. In the Delete All Alerts and Alert Results section, click Delete all alerts and alert results to remove every alert and alert result stored on the portal site for all users. Click OK to confirm that you want to delete all alerts and alert results for all users. This action cannot be undone.

  5. In the Delete All Alert Results E-mail Messages section, click Delete all alert results e- mail messages to remove all alert results e-mail messages waiting to be sent in the alerts notification queue. Click OK to confirm that you want to delete all unsent alert results in the queue. This action cannot be undone.

  6. In the Alert Quotas section, specify limits for the number of alerts per user, the number of alerts per site, and the number of alert results per site.

  7. In the Default E-Mail Address for Alert section, you can specify a User Profile field to use as the source of the default e-mail address when a user adds an alert. Select Always use user profile field to prevent users from changing the default e-mail address supplied by the User Profile.

  8. In the SMTP Server for E-Mail Alerts section, click Change default e-mail settings to configure SMTP server settings. If an SMTP server is already configured, the name and status are displayed.

You can configure SharePoint Portal Server 2003 alert notifications to use any SMTP server. Only a member of the SharePoint administrators group can configure an SMTP server.

Using the Command Line to Configure Alerts

You can manage alerts from the command line by using the GetProperty and SetProperty operations with Stsadm.exe. You can set the properties shown in the following table to configure how alerts work.

Table 23-2. Command Line Properties to Configure Alerts

Property

Description

alerts-enabled

Turns alerts on or off

alerts-limited

Specifies whether users are limited to a specific number of alerts

alerts-maximum

Specifies the maximum number of alerts users can create

job-immediate-notification

Specifies how often to check for immediate alerts (in minutes)

job-daily-notification

Specifies the time of day (using a 24-hour clock) to send out daily alerts

job-weekly-notification

Specifies the day of the week and time of day (using a 24-hour clock) to send out weekly alerts

The following example shows the syntax to use to turn off alerts:

stsadm.exe -o setproperty -p <port> -pn alerts-enabled 
-pv false
Using the Command Line to Configure E-Mail Settings for Windows SharePoint Services

You can also configure e-mail settings from the command line by using the e-mail operation with Stsadm.exe. The e-mail operation takes the following required parameters: outsmtpserver (the out-going SMTP server), fromaddress (the e-mail address to send messages from; can be an unmonitored address), replytoaddress (the e-mail address to send replies to; must be a monitored address), and codepage (the codepage to use). In addition, you can use the optional url parameter to specify settings for a particular virtual server.

Cc750129.note(en-us,TechNet.10).gif  The valid codepages are listed on the Configure Default E-mail Server Settings page in SharePoint Central Administration, in the Character set box. To specify a codepage on the command line, use the number for the character set, rather than the full name. For example, use the number 65001 to specify the codepage for 65001 (Unicode UTF-8).

The e-mail operation uses the following syntax:

stsadm.exe -o e-mail -outsmtpserver <smtp server> 
  -fromaddress <from address> -replytoaddress <reply-to address> 
  -codepage <codepage> [-url <url>]

For example, to configure the e-mail settings to use the server \\SMTPServer, and to use someone@example.com as both the from and the reply-to address, you would use syntax similar to the following:

stsadm.exe -o e-mail -outsmtpserver SMTPServer 
  -fromaddress someone@example.com 
  -replytoaddress someone@example.com
  -codepage 65001

To set the http://myserver virtual server to use codepage 65001, you would use syntax similar to the following:

stsadm.exe -o e-mail -outsmtpserver SMTPServer 
  -fromaddress someone@example.com -replytoaddress someone@example.com 
  -codepage 65001 -url http://server_name

SharePoint Site Alerts

SharePoint sites include an alerts feature comparable to the portal site alert mechanism. The SharePoint site alerts feature is an e-mail notification service. When users who have signed up for alerts create, modify, or delete documents, lists, or items on a server running Windows SharePoint Services, they receive messages informing them of these changes. Users can create alerts to track lists, list items, document libraries, and documents within a site. Users manage these alerts via the My Alerts on this Site page, which is shown in Figure 23- 8.

Cc750129.f23xr08(en-us,TechNet.10).gif

Figure 23-8. Manage alerts on the My Alerts on this Site page

Troubleshooting Alerts

If you cannot create alerts to be notified of changes to Web content, take the following actions:

  • The server administrator must check whether the alerts feature is turned off. This feature must be turned on before you can use it.

  • The Windows SharePoint Services timer service is responsible for coordinating the processing of alerts. The server administrator must turn on this feature for alerts to function.

  • Check whether the site group to which you belong has permission to create alerts.

If alerts are sent to the wrong e-mail address, do the following:

  • Check whether the correct e-mail address was specified when you were invited to the site. You might need to update your account information.

  • Check whether the alerts are being sent to the mail account that you use for instant messaging. When you enable instant messenger integration, the e-mail address that you specify is also used for alerts.

If a user who is removed from a site still receives alerts from it, do the following:

  • After removing a user from a website, site group, or cross-site group you should manually remove any alerts created by the user. This is also true for any lists or libraries for which you change security settings to limit access. If a user has set up alerts for the list or library, the user will continue to receive them after you change the security settings.

Summary

This chapter shows the personalization services that are available in SharePoint Products and Technologies. First it covers how profiles are used to store user information and how this information can be imported from Active Directory. Based on user profiles, you can create audiences that are used to target content to certain groups of users within your organization. The chapter also discusses the role of personal sites within SharePoint Portal Server and what you can do with them. Finally, the chapter explains what alerts are, how you can manage them, and how to solve problems with alerts.        

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