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21 March 2016

Smooth Document Management With SharePoint Customer Portals

SharePoint iconApart from our standard products, the kalmstrom.com team provides custom solutions, often built on SharePoint. In one of our recent projects we have helped the US business advisory firm Alexander Remington International Associates, Inc. (ARI) migrate lots of documents from a cloud based file storage system into SharePoint. Today, I will give you some glimpses of that project.

One site collection per customer 
ARIs main request was that kalmstrom.com would build site collections to be used by the ARI customers, so that each customer had their own site collection. We have therefore moved all data from the earlier cloud based file storage system into SharePoint libraries in different site collections, in general one library for each folder in the earlier storage system.

The home page of each site collection displays a summary of all document libraries in that collection. We have also added a custom SharePoint Search Center to perform a smooth search. Next step is to enhance the site collections with more resources, like instructional videos, links and other self-service features.

The customers log in to their site collections with their free Microsoft accounts, so there is no SharePoint Online license fee for them.

PowerShell to migrate data
PowerShell iconA PowerShell script helped us migrate all the existing files, from the folders in the file storage system to each customer’s specific document libraries. There were so many files that a manual transfer would have been practically impossible, but once the PowerShell script had been constructed the process was quick.

As you probably know, SharePoint sets a new created day when you upload files to document libraries. With our PowerShell script the original created dates of the files are retained.

Custom security groups
Instead of using the default SharePoint security groups, we have added two groups with different permissions to the site collections, one for ARI employees and one for their customers.

In general, the customers have permission to upload documents only to one library, called Inbox, but they can search and read documents in the other libraries. The employees are the people who administer the site collections, so they must of course have full rights.

This project is just an example on how we can help organizations build an efficient system for a work process. Please contact us if you want to discuss a change within your own organization. You don’t need to know the solution to your problem – that is our job! Just tell us what you are discontent with, and we will find a better process for you.

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions