10 Things SharePoint Can Do for Your Firm

By Mark Gerow
Special to Law.com
July 28, 2009

"I often find myself staring at Microsoft SharePoint and wondering how I can do more with it to enable a 21st century law firm; one in which attorneys, clients and staff can easily share ideas, expertise and information across time and distance. How can it be used to reduce costs while expanding the ways in which we collaborate?
In this article I'll suggest 10 ways you can use SharePoint today in your firm to improve attorney effectiveness, deliver better client service and reduce costs. This is not a "how to" but a "what now" article, written to answer that perennial question: "now what?" "

1: REPLACE YOUR DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

2. AUTOMATE NEW BUSINESS INTAKE

3. SEARCH ACROSS ALL YOUR SYSTEMS

4. ENCOURAGE 'COMMUNITIES OF INTEREST' USING 'MY SITES'

5. CREATE A FIRMWIDE CALENDAR

6. CREATE A PRACTICE GROUP WIKI

7. COLLABORATE WITH CLIENTS USING EXTRANETS

8. MANAGE PROJECTS

9. DISPLAY 'KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS'

10. CREATE A 'MASHUP'

How to programmatically determine customized pages in a site

What happens when the need is to determine programmatically that a given page has been customized/ghosted or not?

We can use the "vti_hasdefaultcontent" property of the "SPFile" class to determine whether a file is customized or native.

SPFile file = SPContext.Current.Web.RootFolder.Files["default.aspx"];

bool IsCustomized = (bool)file.Properties["vti_hasdefaultcontent"];

SharePoint 2010 Technical Preview

From SharePoint's team blog:
"Today, we’re announcing that SharePoint 2010 has reached the technical preview engineering milestone. The SharePoint team is running a limited, invitation only Technical Preview program. While we’re not sharing SharePoint 2010 details at this point, we did want to give our customers & partners a sneak peek at SharePoint 2010! We’re very excited about SharePoint 2010 and looking forward to the SharePoint Conference this October where we’ll talk about all the investment areas across workloads and the platform. What we’re sharing today is just a fraction of what will be in SharePoint 2010!"
More here...

UPN (User Principal Name) for Authentication

It's common for end users to complaint about the domain prefix that they have to use at the login for a SharePoint site (windows authentication). And it frustates users when they can't login with their usernames and have to be reminded time and again about the domain prefix.

One alternative is to use UPN or User Principal Name to be used as login. UPN is nothing but a suffix that is added after a username which can be used in place of "Samaccount" name to authenticate a user. So lets say if your company is called Microsoft, then instead of Microsoft\Username you can use username@microsoft.com at the authetication popup.

Adding an UPN to active directory is straight and simple (only requirement is the access to global catalog server). http://support.microsoft.com/kb/243629