SharePoint Reporting is an organization-wide function and an important task that several different power users must perform depending on the role they play in SharePoint such as, general administration, security & policy audit, site / content ownership etc. A good SharePoint reporting solution must help users address the day-to-day needs such as usage monitoring, health analysis, performance & optimization, audit, resource utilization, security administration, policy management etc.
SharePoint 2007 and SharePoint 2010 provide several out-of-the-box (OOTB) SharePoint reports to help organizations comply with legal or governmental regulations, monitor the health of SharePoint on a regular basis, provide usage activity insights, analyze growth trends & plan for storage resources etc. A few areas where OOTB reports fall short is the depth of information that it provides depending on the user role, robustness, centralized management & reporting (e.g., reporting permissions), item level analysis of data etc.
Some of the major challenges or hurdles involved in SharePoint reporting & audit is as follows:
- SharePoint’s IT Audit process must facilitate system personnel to work with IT Auditors to meet regulatory compliance obligations such as Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), Gramm-Leach-Bliley (GLBA), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the European Union Data Protection Directive (EUDPD), Basel Capital Accord (Basel II) etc. SharePoint auditing feature dumps the raw data to the audit logs and the administrators must integrate this data into familiar tools like MS-Excel and analyze the data in-depth for details. This is a manually intensive process and tracking and managing audit logs is yet another pain-point for administrators.
- One other major challenge is the complexities involved in interpreting compliance regulations such as SOX, HIPPA, Basel II etc. and mapping them to current SharePoint implementations.
- SharePoint administrators must put control measures in place to manage security and privacy of SharePoint content based on detailed permissions reports from the reporting framework. The output reports must carry relevant and precise content as defined by the user and be in a ready-to-use format capable of getting piped into other tools and systems.
- IT Administrators require an effective solution to report about information management policies that can help organizations comply with legal or governmental regulations and/or enforce internal business processes.
- IT Managers can be quickly overwhelmed with manual documentation efforts as documenting an entire SharePoint infrastructure configuration requires automated tools that can report every aspect of SharePoint configuration in granular detail.
- IT Security Managers or System Administrators have the arduous task of locking down corporate information and putting information security controls in SharePoint. They must be constantly monitoring who’s accessing sensitive or confidential data and why. This lock down procedure could be a major challenge, especially when content security is defined broadly by the content owners. Therefore this requires frequent and regular analysis using reports on who can access and perform what actions on sensitive content.
- Management must monitor and measure the usage & effectiveness of Microsoft SharePoint by the user community by analyzing SharePoint reports that aggregate data at a list, site, site collection, web application or farm level. Aggregation of information is the key especially since SharePoint sites, lists, applications and users tend to grow large very fast.
- Management must have a comprehensive audit solution in order to trace how individuals access and use resources and execute business processes & information policies.
Vyapin’s SharePoint Farm Reporter (formerly known as ARK for SharePoint 2010 / Admin Report Kit for SharePoint 2010) provides you a comprehensive SharePoint reporting solution, covering all aspects of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 collaboration platform.
The SharePoint reporting solution presents insights into events and activities that take place in SharePoint farms on a day-to-day basis and collates them as useful information for SharePoint Administrators, Site Administrators and Site Content Owners to take action.
SharePoint Farm Reporter can help you analyze SharePoint farm events and activities from audit, usage, security, policy, & configuration changes perspective.
Vyapin develops Management, Migration, Reporting, Auditing, Configuration, Administration & Reporting solutions for Microsoft products. Our solutions help reduce man-hours spent on time-consuming and resource-heavy activities that burden IT administrators and managers.
Our products are designed and built to:
- deliver substantial savings in the time and cost incurred on various projects
- improve IT infrastructure and systems utilization in companies big or small;
- provide better value for money and a substantial return on investment.
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Published in August 2012
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