RTM’d today: Customizing My Site in Microsoft SharePoint 2010

We’re very pleased to announce that Michael Doyle’s book, Customizing My Site in Microsoft SharePoint 2010 has shipped to the printer!

Customize your implementation of My Site in Microsoft SharePoint 2010—and capture the enthusiasm for social networking in your organization. With this concise, practical guide, SharePoint expert Michael Doyle shows you how to modify key My Site features to meet specific business needs. You’ll learn how to apply best practices, tackle hard-to-solve problems—and create a valuable sense of community for your employees. It’s the ideal quick reference for IT and business professionals alike. Learn to set up My Site user profiles with Active Directory data; help users share ideas, documents, and personal information; create several My Site hosts to serve distinct audiences; establish unified profiles across multiple SharePoint farms; apply your company's look and feel with themes; determine a user content quota to avoid taxing your database; manage metadata to keep user tags consistent on each site; and edit profile properties to personalize the Twitter widget.

Michael’s book will be available via online retailers around September 16. In the meantime, here’s more information about the book:

Contents at a Glance

Chapter 1: What’s New in SharePoint 2010 My Sites

Chapter 2: The User Profile Service

Chapter 3: Setting Up My Sites

Chapter 4: Multiple Farms and My Sites

Chapter 5: Customizing My Site Navigation

Chapter 6: Modifying the My Site Host

Chapter 7: Organizational Charts

Chapter 8: Tags and Notes

Chapter 9: Site Membership

Chapter 10: Colleagues

Chapter 11: Profile Properties

Chapter 12: People Search

Chapter 13: Outlook Integration

Chapter 14: Personal Sites



The My Site component of SharePoint has been around for a long time (since SharePoint 2003) but it has only recently caught the attention of the greater SharePoint Community. The explosion of social networking has made the My Site component one of the key pieces in creating a cohesive SharePoint solution. Straight out of the box the My Site component is quite powerful, but it is far from easy to customize. When I first started customizing the My Site interface several years ago there was basically nothing on the internet or in the books stores to help me so I had to do things the hard way. Hoping to help others avoid my pains I started blogging and speaking about how to customize the My Site Host. This went on for a while and I decided there needed to be a more comprehensive piece of work out there for people to have so they can see what is possible and be empowered to make changes for themselves. This led to the creation of this book. It is my hope that the contents within will help guide you on your way to personalizing the My Site Host to fit the business needs of your organization. When it comes down to it, the whole goal is to for users to be enabled and focus on the business needs rather than on how to use the technology.

This book is intended for a wide audience. The My Site Host covers too many aspects of SharePoint to be pinned down to one or two particular roles. A proper implementation of My Sites affects administrators, developers, managers, engineers, and pretty much anyone that deals with personal information. That being said, the bulk of the content of this book would come under the SharePoint administrator’s realm with another large section aimed at designers. There are some sections that are more developer oriented. The point to be made here is that it takes a wide range of skills to customize the My Site Host (and personalization sites beneath) and almost anyone connected with My Sites would benefit from reading parts of this book to get a better idea of how it all fits together and what is possible. While it is possible to do almost anything given enough time and resources, I hope this book will readers some insight into what they can change with the resources they have available and get the largest return on their investment of time and money.

This book is generally divided into two main sections. Generally, the first part is how to get the My Site host set up and running correctly. The rest of the book is how to customize various parts of the functionality and social components. It can be used to get an idea of what is involved with creating and customizing a My Site host as well as a reference manual if you have specific tasks that need to be accomplished. The chapters and a brief description are outlined here:

Chapter 1, What’s New in SharePoint 2010 My Sites, SharePoint 2010 brought a host of new functionality to My Sites. Chapter 1 goes over the new functionality in brief detail and outlines some of the benefits. This is a good start to get a feel for what is coming in the rest of the book.

Chapter 2, The User Profile Service, Getting the User Profile Service running is the first step in creating the My Site. It is also one of the most challenging steps. Unlike SharePoint 2007 there are a lot of caveats involved and doing it wrong can waste a lot of time and may require you to delete the User Profile Service and start over. This chapter covers creating the User Profile Service, repairing it, profile pictures, and upgrading from SharePoint 2007.

Chapter 3, Setting Up My Sites, This chapter goes over creating a My Site Host and the decisions involved afterwards such as setting quotas on personalization sites and Trusted My Site Hosts. There is also a part on upgrading the look and feel from a SharePoint 2007 My Site.

Chapter 4, Multiple Farms and My Sites, Connecting multiple farms requires a lot of very specific steps. There are two methods that can be used. You can consume a central farm’s User Profile Service or you can replicate User Profile data between farms. This chapter shows both ways and why you would choose one over the other.

Chapter 5, Customizing My Site Navigation, Modifying the navigation of a My Site Host is a lot more complicated than a regular SharePoint site. There are multiple levels of navigation and additional components to worry about such as Audience based Personalization Sites. This chapter will cover the various navigation elements and how to customize them to fit your needs.

Chapter 6, Modifying the My Site Host, The My Site Host appears as a single page with multiple tabs, but it is actually multiple pages in multiple locations. This presents difficulty in being able to customize the pages. This chapter addressed how and why to customize the pages so that it can be branded to fit the needs of your organization.

Chapter 7, Organizational Charts, There isn’t a lot that can be modified with Organizational Charts but this chapter will go over what can be. It also covers the redundancy of the various Organizational Charts and how some of that space can be regained.

Chapter 8, Tags and Notes, These are two new features in SharePoint and they are tied to the My Site Host. These social components present some new issues in both training and customization. This chapter will focus on turning them on and off as well as managing them.

Chapter 9, Site Membership, Site Membership shows the SharePoint sites that a person has been added to individually. There are some issues with how the sites are added. This will be covered as well as how to modify the page in SharePoint Designer.

Chapter 10, Colleagues, This chapter focuses on the emails that get sent about adding colleagues and goes over how to controls how them.

Chapter 11, Profile Properties, There is a lot to consider when creating and using profile properties. This chapter covers the options available and how to use them. It also shows an example of how to use profile properties to provide a customized Twitter feed on people’s My Site About Me page.

Chapter 12, People Search, The People Search page really shows the power of properly populated User Profile properties. This chapter shows how to customize the people search page by showing how to customize the refinement panel and the results. This is a challenging topic but can yield impressive results to the end user. It also shows how to improve accuracy and add counts.

Chapter 13, Outlook Integration, This chapter focuses on the Outlook Social Connector that hooks into the My Site Host enabling items to be shown from the Newsfeed. It also shows how to get pictures from My Sites into Outlook by exporting them into Active Directory.

Chapter 14, Personal Sites, Personal sites provide an interesting challenge to the administrator of the SharePoint farm since every personal site is its own site collection. This chapter shows to maintain consistent master pages across all these site collections as well as some general guidelines about how to deal with the difficulties of managing personal sites.

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