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  • Feb.12.2017

    How would you like to be able to edit branding files locally on your machine (not through Windows Explorer to SharePoint), make that your local path for TFS for proper source control, and have your changes immediately sync to SharePoint on premises or in the cloud for testing?  This is the story of how we achieved that, and how you can easily integrate that into your own development processes.

    I'll start by describing the end result, then our journey that got us there, and end with what you need to use this yourself.

    [Read More]
  • Mar.30.2015

    ​It's long overdue, but I've published a major update to our Envision Shakespeare Company reference project.  The previous update was last November, and a lot has changed since then.  The full package is available for download at

    The idea of the project is the same.  It still provides for a single scripted process that will create a complete web site, with adaptive mobile design, master page and page layouts, term-store driven navigation and friendly URLs, cross-site publishing and catalogs, and lots of content.

    [Read More]
  • Mar.01.2015

    ​CollabCon is coming next week to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.  As well as playing host for the three days, I will be presenting two sessions and two half day workshops.  Check them all out at

    • Building a Website on SharePoint 2013
    • Collaborating with External Users
    • SharePoint Extranets Half Day Workshop
    • Web Content Management Half Day Workshop
    [Read More]
  • Apr.26.2013

    ​Establishing a solid information architecture is the key to a successful SharePoint project, regardless of the type (web content management, enterprise content management, etc.).  Over the years I've learned a lot about this from my good friend and fellow MVP Ruven Gotz. 

    Ruven has done more to promote how to gather and build a solid IA from the business than anyone else in the SharePoint space.  His book Practical SharePoint 2010 Information Architecture is an excellent resource, regardless of what version of SharePoint you are using.  I also recommend checking out Ruven's blog at

    One of the tools that Ruven introduced me to that all of our Senior Consultants at Envision IT use now is MindJet's MindManager (now just called MindJet).  It is a great tool for brainstorming and information planning and organizing.  It is not focused on the presentation details of the information, but rather just capturing the ideas and the relationships between them.

    For our Envision Shakespeare Company site, we have started to flesh out the information architecture, along with some of the feature and term store ideas.  Joe did most of the work on this, and I've included both the PDF and MindJet versions of the files for you to see.

    Envision Shakespeare Company Information Architecture.pdf

    Envision Shakespeare Company Information Architecture.mmap

     Return to the Table of Contents

  • Apr.26.2013

    ​​The Envision Shakespeare Company is a fictional theatre company focused on the works of William Shakespeare.  The idea is to capture the works of Shakespeare themselves, along with the requirements of an active theatre company, together into a web site delivered on SharePoint 2013.  Since Shakespeare's works are in the public domain, we have a large set of content to demonstrate the rich WCM features of SharePoint 2013.

    The main goals of this project are to:

    • Provide a rich user experience with both strong visuals and content for visitors
    • A responsive design that works ideally on smartphones, tablets, and desktops​/notebooks
    • Leverage as many of the SharePoint 2013 WCM features as are feasible
    • Built in a way that supports a full enterprise software development life cycle

    The functional elements of the site are:

    • General company information
    • Calendar of productions and performances
    • News articles
    • The full known works of Shakespeare

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  • Apr.26.2013

    ​ Wireframes are where the functionality and user experience of the site start to take shape.  There's no creative design yet (that comes next), but the pages of the site start to come to life.  This is where Jeff starts to work his magic.

    There are a number of wireframe tools available for this task.  In Ruven's book that I mention in the Information Architecture section, he is a fan of Balsamiq wireframing.  We've used that, but more recently we have settled on Axure RP.  Yes it is a fair bit more expensive than Balsamiq, but it's not significant dollars, and it is very powerful yet quick to work with.

    The key to wireframing is to not get caught up on the visual aspect.  There shouldn't be any images or colours, and fonts are not​ important.  The key is to capture the different type of pages in the site, the elements in them, and their functionality at a very high level.

    One of the nice features of Axure is the ability to generate HTML versions of the wireframes.  This lets anyone with a browser view the wireframes, but more importantly they can have clickable elements in them, so the flow through the pages can also be experienced.

    Jeff is still getting going on the wireframes, but I wanted to share what we have so far.  As with the IA, both the source Axure file and the HTML rendering are available below.

    Envision Shakespeare Company Interactive HTML Wireframe

    Envision Shakespeare Company Axure Wireframe

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  • Mar.04.2013

    ​I haven't been very active this past year on my blog site, and it hasn't been for a lack of topics.  The last twelve months have been a whirlwind.  I first got the beta bits for SharePoint 2013 at the MVP Summit in February 2012, and I've spent a lot of the last 12 months getting up to speed on all the changes and new features.  I have to say I'm very excited about 2013.  One of the comments I heard from Microsoft was they made a much bigger investment in ECM in the 2010 release, and this time in 2013 that switched to focusing on WCM.  That along with the recent pricing changes that have made SharePoint much more affordable for public web sites should open a wealth of opportunities to develop sites on SharePoint 2013.

    During the last year we've updated all of our products to run on SharePoint 2013, converted our Envision IT site, internal collaboration site, and my blog site to 2013, and delivered a lot of talks and webinars on SharePoint 2013.  You can see much of this on our Envision IT site at  Now it's time to start getting that knowledge organized so both our staff at Envision IT and the community in general can leverage it.

    [Read More]
  • Mar.04.2013

    ​​Table of Contents​

    • Introduction
    • Envision Shakespeare Company Project Background
    • The Team
    • Vision and Scope
    • Agile Development
    • Responsive Design Goals
    • Information Architecture
    • Wireframes
    • Creative Design
    • Twitter Bootstrap
    • HTML Mock-Ups
    • Application Lifecycle Management
    • Development Environment
    • TFS and Continuous Integration
    • Site Columns and Content Types
    • Design Manager and Snippet Gallery
    • Master Page
    • Navigation
    • Page Layouts
    • Multi-lingual
    • Accessibility
    • Site Structure
    • Search
    • Content Search Web Part
    • Display Templates
    • Cross-Site Publishing
    • Topic Pages
    • Image and Video Renditions
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Usage Analytics
    • Workflows
    • Permissions
    • Extranet Requirements
    • Digital Marketing Suite
    • Custom Web Parts and Apps
    • Hosting Options - On-Premise, Office 365, Azure, Third-Party
    • Technical Architecture
    • Staging and Production build and deployment
    • Quality Assurance
    • Change Management
    • Training
    • Content Authoring
    • Go Live
    • Post-Launch Support
Copyright ©2013 Peter Carson