SharePoint Inventory Assessment

By Michael Hickins  |  Posted 2008-06-11 Print this article Print

The first tool, still being tested, is an inventory assessment tool; the other tools are a SharePoint capacity planner, a cross-site configurator and a SharePoint monitoring tool kit, all of which can be downloaded free of charge.

The inventory assessment tool allows IT administrators to discover and run detailed reports on SharePoint assets, including servers, Web applications, active features, folders, lists, documents and customizations. This tool was designed to work without the use of agents, a choice Microsoft made after hearing from customers, according to Manoel.

The tool functions by making a Windows Management Instrumentation call to remote servers and, if SharePoint assets are discovered, then making a SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) call to determine exactly what content exists on those servers.

The tool then uses SQL Server reporting services to generate reports. Administrators interact with the tool through a wizard that allows users to enter ranges of IP addresses or limit searches to specific addresses.

The tool provides different levels of reports. At the highest level, it provides the number of SharePoint servers and versions, modification dates, and customization of SharePoint pages. That last item "bears relevance if you're considering an upgrade of your version of SharePoint," Manoel noted.

The tool also reveals file extensions, which gives administrators an idea of where storage growth is going to come from, he added.

However, the reports do not reveal document size, which is a limitation of the SOAP-based system. "SOAP doesn't discover document size," Manoel said. He said Microsoft plans to achieve that level of granularity in a future iteration of the product.

The tool also provides a pre-migration inventory report-a file count broken down into categories based on file type, and a topology inventory that shows SharePoint versions installed on various sites.


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