Monday, May 25, 2015

How to Create Custom Result Blocks using Query Rules on SharePoint 2013

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In this article we are going to explore SharePoint Search Custom Result Blocks configured using Query Rules.
What are Results Block?
A Result Block is set of filtered results that are combined with core search results and displayed on top of the core search results as a block or can be ranked with in the Core Search Results depending on how you configure it to be.
It is not required to have results for Result Blocks from Local Search index only. A Result Block can use any of the result source from the below list:
  1. Local SharePoint farm
  2. Remote SharePoint farm
  3. OpenSearch
  4. Exchange
In order to setup this demo, I have prepared the system with some test User Profile data as described below:
I have setup three User Profiles with different job titles as shown below:
User 1 : SP\Administrator
User 2 : SP\Guest
User 3 : SP\SPDeveloper
In order to configure Result Block, we need to start it with Query Rules configuration by using the following steps:
Go To Site Settings
Under Search, Click Query Rules
Choose Result Source as applicable, here I am working on Local SharePoint Search Results
Click on New Query Rule
Under General Information, Enter Rule Name
Under Query Conditions,
  1. Select Query Options as needed, here Advanced Query Text Match works for me
  2. Select phrases which you want to be included while matching query text issued by the user
Click on Add Result Block
Enter Block Title, this title will be added as Header with the Result Block displayed on Search Result Page.
Click on “Launch Query Builder” Button
Select the number of items to be displayed inside the result block from Items Dropdown as shown below, here I will go with 4 items to be displayed inside Result Block.
Configure the Query as shown below:
  1. Select a Result Source to as target for the query, here I am using “Local People Results” as I have setup test data in User Profiles.
  2. Choose suitable property to filter on from Property Filter Drop Down
  3. Choose suitable Operator
  4. Choose suitable value type
  5. Choose suitable value as shown below
  6. Click on Add property Filter
  7. This will add the query filter to the Query Text box
  8. Click on the Test Query Button, to validate the query you have just created
  9. Search Result Preview Section will show few of the total search results returned by the query just configured in the previous steps
  10. Click OK to close Query Builder Dialog
Always Choose the setting as shown below, if you want to have Result Block Displayed on top of Core Search Results as a separate block.
You can also choose to display “More” Items link, in case you want to show case the complete result set retuned based on the Query Rule. For this to happen you have to have a separate page configured with the same query to show all the results. I am choosing here not to display it.
And That’s it.
We are all done with the configuration work for the result block and now it is time to test the results returned based on the configuration we did above.
Final Configuration would look like as shown below:
In order to test the scenario, Enter “MOSS” or “sps” or “wss” as Search Term, remember we added “MOSS, sps, wss”in the search phrases while configuring Query Rules.
Since we got the search term “MOSS” or “sps” or “wss” as a Query issued by user, SharePoint Search System identifies a suitable query rule by matching this term with the phrases we specified while configuring Query Rules above and filter out the results based on the query we specified, in this case it was“JobTitle:SharePoint”, which mean finds any Profiles for which Job Title Property contains the word “SharePoint” .
Based on the query treatment as mentioned above we got two profiles “User 1 : SP\Administrator” with Job Title “SharePoint Administrator” and “User 2 : SP\Guest” with Job Title “SharePoint UI Designer”, displayed as valid results inside Results Block.
On the other hand we do not get “User 3 : SP\SPDeveloper” listed in the Result Block as Job Title Property for this profile is blank, due to this“JobTitle:SharePoint” match gets failed and this result get filtered out as shown below.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

10 Things Great Leaders Know and Do by Lew Jamison

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10 Things Great Leaders Know and Do

“He’s a pretty easy guy to follow.”

That was the response from a friend when we were recently talking about how much she enjoys her job. She’s worked with this person for several years, they have a great rapport, and she loves her work. She said the fact that her boss is easy to work with is a primary reason for her success and job satisfaction.
Her statement got me thinking about my own leadership. Am I easy to follow? I’d like to think so, but of course, the only real opinion that matters is that of my team members. Considering leadership in general, what makes a person easy to follow? I think the answers are pretty straight forward and common sense, but often not common practice because our own personality quirks and baggage get in the way.
As I’ve considered this question, the following 10 leadership practices have come clear to me as characteristics of leaders who are easy to follow:
1. Be nice – It’s kind of sad this has to be called out but it does. Too many leaders are jerks. They let power go to their heads and think they have the right to lord it over their people. Don’t do that, please. Just be nice. Smile every once in a while. Say please and thank you. Ask people how their day is going. It doesn’t cost you a dime to be nice and you’ll be amazed at how much more engaged and productive your team will be if you treat them nicely.
2. Give people your time – The greatest gift you can give your people is a few minutes of your time. Leaders like to say they have an open door policy, but is that the case with you in reality? When people stop by your office, do you stop what you’re doing and give them your full attention, or do you ask them to schedule a meeting with you for the following week? Does everyone on your team know without a doubt that they can meet with you regarding any topic, or are there barriers (real or imagined) between you and your employees that prevent them from opening up to you? Giving people the gift of your time shows you value, respect, and genuinely care about them. I know from experience that the larger your team the harder this is to accomplish. Get creative by scheduling regular communication forums (quarterly meetings, town hall meetings, etc.) and make sure you leave enough white space on your own calendar to be available for those impromptu drop-in meetings. We often over-schedule ourselves to the point where we don’t have any availability for our own team members.
3. Don’t expect everyone to be like you – This can be challenging, particularly for leaders who have personalities that favor perfectionism. It’s great to have high expectations for yourself; that’s probably what helped you rise to a leadership position. It’s good to have high expectations for your staff as well, but remember, they may not do things exactly the way you would. Give people the freedom to be who they are and leverage their strengths to help them achieve their goals and those of the team. Don’t try to make them your personal mini-me’s.
 4. Solicit and incorporate people’s ideas – Many leaders are great at asking for ideas; only a few actually do anything with them. One of the quickest ways to alienate your team members is to tell them you want to hear their ideas and are open to feedback, but not actually do anything with it when it’s shared with you. Incorporate the ideas of your team members into your action plans and they’ll be invested in the success of your team. People who plan the battle rarely battle the plan.

5. Be good at what you do – This one may see odd, but people want to follow leaders who are good at what they do. Set a good example for your team by continually improving your skills, both in your technical role as well as your leadership skills. Many people get promoted into a leadership role because they were star performers in their role as an individual contributor. Leadership is a whole different skill set so be sure to focus on developing the skills and abilities that will help you lead effectively.
6. Empower people – Empowerment was a popular buzz word in the 90’s and soon fell out of favor, however, the concept is still valid and effective. Good leaders establish the boundaries of the playing field for their team members, make sure everyone is clear on the rules and objectives, and then let them play the game. They don’t micromanage and dictate how the work should be done, but they manage to the outcome of what needs to be done.
7. Recognize and reward good performance – Leaders who are easy to follow are experts in finding people doing something right. They take the time to acknowledge the good performance of their team members and to celebrate their (and the team’s) success. When I conduct training sessions with clients and this topic comes up, I will frequently ask participants to raise their hand if they are sick and tired of all the praising they receive at work. No one ever raises their hand. People crave hearing positive feedback about their hard work.
 8. Treat people with respect and create an environment of trust and safety – The spirits of too many people die at the office door each morning because they dread their work environment. No  one should have to feel bullied, intimidated, or afraid to go to work. It’s the leader’s job to foster an environment of trust and safety that allow team members to unleash their power and potential for the good of themselves and the organization.

9. Show a sense of humor; make work fun – Making work fun and showing a sense of humor is a hallmark of leaders who are easy to follow. They create a sense of camaraderie within the team and keep the mood light when times get tough. They know how to take work seriously but themselves lightly. Showing a sense of humor and laughing at yourself once in a while shows your vulnerability and authenticity that draw people to you, not away from you.
10. Maintain perspective on the most important priorities in life – Work is important; life is more important. Easy to follow leaders maintain the proper perspective about what’s most important in life. These kinds of leaders understand they have to lead the whole person, not just the worker who shows up to do a job eight hours a day. Kids get sick, employees have personal challenges, life happens….good leaders understand this and are sensitive to the needs of their team members. Show a little compassion and understanding with your team members and you’ll earn their loyalty, trust, and commitment.
Leadership is a complex proposition, but it doesn’t have to complicated. It’s these common sense principles that help us be successful leaders, if only we can get out of our own way.
What else would you add to this? What makes a leader easy to follow? Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts and ideas.

3 Things Really Successful People Master Differently by Alexander B. Batsuk

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3 Things Really Successful People Master Differently

Every day is a battle whether we want to recognize it or not.  It is when werecognize it as such, and have mastered the fight, that we can win.  But, if we don't fight, we can't win.
 If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.  Sun Tzu
Our days are not a sequence of events and situations that just happen to us.  In fact, they are much more controlled and less formidable than some of us think.  To influence the outcome of every day, you need to understand how to master your three main interactions with: environmentpeople, and self.
1. Interaction with Environment
Our environment has a significant influence on us.  It can make us more productive, happier, and more successful.  And as easily, it can have a negative effect on us.  In some instances, you may be able to change your environment to influence the outcome and in others you can’t.  But even when you can't, the mere recognition of the fact that a particular aspect of your environment is influencing you can help you control how you react to it.  Following are some examples.
Clutter.  Is your car cluttered? Clean it.  Many of us spend more than an hour in car every day.  Cluttered or dirty car can negatively influence your mood by the time you get to work.  In fact, it can condition you to not think clearly.  Although our things are often a reflection of our inner selves, changing our things has the potential to change us—how we feel and how we perform.  You may think it’s insignificant, but it’s not.  Clutter subconsciously makes you feel not in control of your life because it is in control.  Learn to recognize that you are in the driver’s seat and take control. You may be pleasantly surprised how a clean car can help you positively start your workday.  De-cluttering your life (car, home, or office) is a battle with our human hoarding instincts.  
Clothes.  Do they discomfort you in any way?  Change them.  Many of us tend to attach emotions to clothes and can be seriously affected by them.  When you thinkyou look good, you will feel good, and in return you are likely to perform better Every morning, consider consciously selecting your clothes and pay attention to the reasons behind your choices.  Changing your wardrobe or dressing up with a purpose every day is a battle with the closet inertia that many of us have for one reason or another.
Email. Do you have many unread emails in your inbox? Schedule the time to read them (if you plan to read them) or mark them 'read' or just delete them (if you do not intend reading them).  I have noticed over the years that the majority of employees, whose email inboxes are filled with hundreds or even thousands of unread emails, tend to be more stressed and are prone to inconsistent performance.  You see, every time you look at your inbox that has a high number of unread items, you subconsciously self-inflict stress and worry—“Have I missed anything important?”, “Is someone waiting for my response?”, or “Do they think I am not paying attention?”  Some of us even have bad dreams because of it.  People who know how to manage email (on a daily and hourly basis) feel more balanced and in control of their lives.  Consider adopting David Allen’s 2-minute rule to email processing.  Managing email is a battle with procrastination. 
2. Interaction with People
Conversations. Do you like to talk and be the center of attention? Just stop. Instead,listen more and learn to ask questions.  If you think that your eloquence and eagerness to speak are viewed positively, think again because they are likely perceived as arrogance and disrespect.  Also, resist the temptation to talk about your talents or to market them constantly.  Instead, let people discover them. Humility is a virtue.  Being humble is a battle with your ego.
Confrontations.  Do you tend to avoid confrontations? Resist this natural pull. Confrontations are normal aspects of any personal and business relationship.  Any attempts to try to avoid dealing with them could be perceived as cowardliness or slipperiness.  Instead, expect confrontations as you would expect different points of views.  Always focus on facts, respect others’ feelings, speak tentatively, and never accuse.  Accepting the view of confrontations as a tool for problem-solving is a battle with your fear of rejection.
Presentations. Are you afraid of “the stage”? Relax, so do most people.  I heard it say that most of us would rather be in our own coffins than give a eulogy at a funeral.  Yet, in today’s business environment, it’s almost impossible to find a job where you would not be in front of a group of people making a presentation.  Ample practice and visualization of the presentation act before the presentation day are the keys to reducing the anxiety and increasing self-confidence. I am an introvert, and these two techniques helped me tremendously. Interestingly, having occasional mishaps with presentations are also seen as authentic and favorable because most people naturally relate to this.  So, don't worry too much about needing to be perfect.  Not avoiding public speaking opportunities is a battle with disbelief, a habit of telling yourself that you can't do it or that the worst will happen.
3. Interaction with Self
Emotions.  Do you have a short fuse? Replace it with a long one.  While we may not be able to prevent the feelings that cause many of our negative emotions (e.g., anger, fear, frustration, anxiety, alarm), we can definitely learn how to control them. First, identify the situations that evoke your negative emotions.  Then, try to either shift your focus or modify your response.  For instance, when being accused of something, instead of firing back with “You are wrong”, take a deep breath and say, “Can you help me understand…?”  Or, when disagreeing with something, replace "I disagree" with "Could I share my point of view?" Likewise, don't say, “I don't care about X”, but instead say, “I am more focused on Y…”  And above all, remove your negative body language—no folding of arms, no clenched fists, no fidgeting, no rubbing throat, and no movement of crossed leg.  Controlling your emotions is a battle with your particular human nature and cognitive wiring.
Motivations. Do you expect others to motivate you? Don't waste your energy or you will be disappointed.  Instead, take control by considering some of the following: visualize your successful self every day, develop a habit to read books, commit to regular cardio workouts, practice quiet time, create and follow your own morning routine, etc.  For instance, my morning routine consists of an early morning cardio exercise, making fresh grapefruit juice, reading inspirational material, and visualizing a successful day while reviewing my calendar.  If I skip this routine, I tend to feel demotivated and down.  Establishing and keeping such self-motivating routines is a battle with denial, a state of mind that suggests that either you don't have a problem or that the solution isn't going to help you.
Attitude.  Do you tend to act as “glass half-empty?”  Change your attitude!  Your attitude can determine your success or can create the foundation for your failure.  It shapes how you react to events, people, and the world in general.  Your attitude toward an object is your chosen perception of the object based on the initial value you placed on it.  The key word here is “chosen.”  We consciously choose to see obstacles as either barriers or hurdles.  We consciously choose to see our mistakes as failures or lessons.  We consciously choose to see difficulties asproblems or challenges.  Our chosen attitude can control our emotions and can also become our motivation.  If you tend to use these phrases, you have chosen a negative attitude: “I am concerned about…” or “I worry that…”  When confronted with a difficult situation, instead of saying, “I have a problem,” try to say, “I have an opportunity.”  Consciously choosing a positive attitude is a battle with many things: fear of failure, risk aversion, inertia, and others.   
To put a spin on Winston Churchill's quote, some people dream of success while others wake up and fight for it.  Learning to understand and deal with your physical and social environments, and most importantly yourself, can help you overcome the many unfavorable perceptions, negative pulls, and undesirable tendencies to be able to succeed in your endeavors and not fear the result of many battles.  
Finally, as you may have already noticed from the above, it turns out that the difference, in which really successful people master their interactions with the environment, people, and self, lies in mastering just one thing—yourself

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

7 Things To Do Before Your Next Performance Review by Bernard Marr

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7 Things To Do Before Your Next Performance Review

Performance reviews, while not necessarily the most effective way to do business, are a realistic part of the work year for many employees. Many people find the review process stressful, but I believe a great deal of the stress and anxiety around performance reviews can be reduced or eliminated with proper preparation. 
Try working through this list of ways to prepare before your next performance review, because feeling prepared can reduce anxiety tremendously.
  1. Understand the review process.If you’ve been through the process before this may be unnecessary, but if you’re in a new job or there is a new process in place, contact human resources and find out as much as you can about the review process so you can be properly prepared. Don’t forget to find out how the review is related to compensation and promotions.
  2. Keep a work journal.A work journal doesn’t have to be fancy; it can be as simple as a running to-do list (with dates) where you mark of what you accomplished and when. I like thebullet journal method, but any list will work. This will help you remember your own accomplishments over time, as well as have evidence of those accomplishments.
  3. Do your own review.If you are provided with a self-analysis worksheet, fill it out honestly. If not, make a list of your job responsibilities and conduct your own review of yourself. Be honest with yourself — that way, you won’t be surprised if you receive constructive criticism, and you can have answers ready for your manager on how you will improve in any areas that need it. Pay particular attention to making a list of your accomplishments and anticipating any feedback you may receive.
  4. Come up with your goals.Managers often ask about your goals for the next year during a performance review, so take some time to come up with solid goals before you enter the review, so you’re not left stammering.
  5. Prepare feedback for your boss.
    Depending on the format of your review, your boss may ask you to rate his or her performance as well. Take some time to formulate any feedback or constructive criticism you may have.
  6. Drive the discussion.
    Before you head into your review, make a short list of topics that you would like to cover with your manager. Your annual review is a perfect opportunity to talk about anything that might be on your mind with regard to your career trajectory, team, projects, and so on. Take the opportunity to make the review work for you.
  7. Research salary data.
    If you plan to ask for a raise, take the time to research average salaries for your position, location, and work experience, so that you have data to back up your request.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Programmatically set - Allow items to appear in search results?

The following sample code  helps you to setup the following setting through CSOM. 

Allow items from this document library to appear in search results?

 using (ClientContext SourceSiteClientContext = new ClientContext(SourceSite))

                            Web SourceWeb = SourceSiteClientContext.Web;

                                SourceSiteClientContext.Credentials = new NetworkCredential(SourceSiteUserName, SourceSitePassword, SourceSiteDomain);

                                WriteStatus("Successful..", false);

                            ListCollection collList = SourceWeb.Lists;

                            foreach (List oList in collList)
                                if (oList.Title == "Pages")

                                    oList.NoCrawl = true;


Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Do’s & Don’ts of Your Social Media Profile by Ken Cameron-Weiser, JD, DD

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The Do’s & Don’ts of Your Social Media Profile

If you’re wondering whether or not it’s important to keep your social media profile looking cleaned up and professional, then the answer is – you absolutely should. If you’re currently in the market for a new job, looking for your next promotion, trying to make sales on your internet business, or simply have your networking feelers out there, it’s time to make sure your social media profiles are up to par. My brother Steve and I talked about it a bit during MAWC in February, discussing exactly how crucial it is making a good impression online. But here, I’m offering a more detailed breakdown that I hope will  help you. Keep reading for the do’s and don’ts of your social media profiles.
Do’s & Don’ts of Your Social Media Profile
Do – Highlight what makes you unique. What is it that sets you apart from all the other job applicants out there? Have you had an incredible volunteer experience or have to traveled the world? Perhaps you put yourself through school or even have an incredible and unique talent. Whatever it is that sets you apart – showcase those skills and talents.
Do – Actively use your accounts. If you’re on social media, use it! Rather than having your social profiles sit silent, get on there and engage. It’s the first step in creating an excellent and extensive network.
Do – Have someone else take a quick look at your profiles for grammar. Are you seeking a job that requires good writing or editing skills? Don’t absent-mindedly leave your social profiles hanging with poor spelling or grammar.
Do – Join groups and communities related to the industry you work in or are interested in. Taking an active role in the industry shows your interest in the field and your willingness to learn more.
Don’t – Post images of your big nights out at the bar. Leave the party time to private profiles or as inside jokes between friends. The last thing you need is a prospective employer thinking you’re more focused on the party than in furthering your career.
Don’t – Make negative or nasty comments about your current or previous employer – or anyone for that matter! Leave that for private conversations, not social media. Same goes for making offensive comments in general – social media just isn’t the place for that.
Do – Keep it positive! When you have the opportunity to comment on your job or previous roles and teams, take social as the opportunity to be encouraging and positive.
Don’t – Sit idle. If you’re simply going to create accounts and skip all the work that goes into it, you’re leaving a potential employer with a poor impression of you and your capabilities. Get in there start a conversation and make connections – that is what it’s for, after all.
Do – Give a succinct but thorough career history and a good synopsis of what your day-to-day is like now. People really do want to know.