SharePoint “Spring Cleaning” Tips!

It’s spring cleaning time – and that can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people.

Did you know? … Spring cleaning began ages ago when houses were kept warm though the winter by burning wood and using kerosene lamps to stay warm.  By the time the cold weather had left and you could open the windows, there would be a sickly layer of soot covering the house.  ‘Spring Cleaning’ involved the unfortunate task of scrubbing the walls and ceiling to prepare for the bright days of summer.

But if you’re a SharePoint administrator, Spring Cleaning can also be a time for renewal and clean-up of another kind. Has your SharePoint installation become unwieldy? Are there extra applications or old collaboration sites bogging down your performance- even though they’re no longer being used?

So whether you’re at home cursing yourself for still using kerosene lamps or just debating whether you really need that 1970’s paisley print couch in the corner of an otherwise barren basement, this Spring you should also be considering another environment that may need the soot knocked off it: your SharePoint environment.

Fortunately for you, Fpweb.net has some suggestions to get your SharePoint platform back into tip-top shape:

Update SharePoint to the Latest Service Pack

Updating SharePoint to the latest service pack ensures two things:
1. You are in good support standing with Microsoft
2. You have the latest features available for your SharePoint farm

For example, one of the extremely useful (and long overdue) features implemented in SharePoint 2010 SP1 is the ability to restore a deleted site from the recycle bin. This new feature has saved many hours of headache and pain (and quite a few jobs, as well, I imagine).

To know if you’re up-to-date, refer to this Microsoft site: Update Center for Microsoft Office, Office Servers, and Related Products. This lists the latest service packs and cumulative updates for Office, SharePoint, and all related products. It also has directions on installing each of the updates.

By the way, we do not recommend staying current with cumulative updates for the sake of being current. The only time a cumulative update should be installed is if it resolves a specific issue you are having. Otherwise, wait for the fixes to be rolled into the next service pack.

Detract and Uninstall Solutions No Longer Used

If you have installed a solution and discovered it didn’t quite fit your needs, you may have just let it sit there, unattended, features disabled, and all alone. Why not put it out of its misery and just remove it from the farm? In addition to being merciful, there is a very solid reason for doing this. When updating, upgrading, or ultimately migrating SharePoint, custom solutions have been known to cause problems. Remove them from the farm now while you’re thinking about it. Otherwise, that custom solution that you ignored may get its revenge later on down the road.

If you’re not a faithful follower of Fpweb.net’s blog then you may have missed my previous SharePoint tips post on Deploying or Retracting a solution.

Find and Remove Orphaned Sites

Orphaned sites can cause all sorts of havoc in a SharePoint farm. Sometimes there are repeated errors in the event viewer or the ULS logs that point to an orphaned site. Sometimes orphaned sites are only revealed when trying to run the SharePoint configuration wizard. Sometimes you don’t know about an orphaned site until a migration goes horribly awry.

There’s a good chance you may not know of any orphaned sites… so the first step is discovering them. Enter:

stsadm –o enumallwebs.

From the command console, you will want to run

stsadm –o enumallwebs –databasename SQLNAME –databaseserver SERVERNAME

This returns a sitemap of all sites discovered in the specified content database. You want to find the sites where the InSiteMap property is False. When they’re false, they’re orphans. The Site ID value is the GUID, which is what you’ll use for the next command.

To delete these sites, use

stsadm –o deletesite –force –siteid GUID –databasename DATABSENAME –databseserver SERVERNAME

For the TechNet articles on each stsadm command, go to http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd793606(v=office.12).aspx for enumallwebs and http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc261873(v=office.12).aspx for deletesite.

So there you have it… some quick tips to clean up your SharePoint environment this Spring. You’ll want to perform maintenance like this periodically to ensure your SharePoint environment is running as smoothly as possible with the latest updates, and is supported by Microsoft.

If you have any questions, as always, don’t hesitate to ask!

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About Matt Milsark

At Fpweb.net, Matt builds many of our clients' environments as well as supports and maintains them. These range from a simple dedicated single server to large multi-server SharePoint farms. Because of the sheer number of clients we have and the myriad of ways they use SharePoint, Matt has become intimately familiar with many aspects of SharePoint. Matt warns, "SharePoint is a beast. You may think you’re an expert at SharePoint, only to find out later you’re an expert at merely a small aspect of the beast's capabilities." Matt is also passionate about vinyl records. Check out his music site at lplives.com.
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