Monday, January 22, 2007

Live on SharePoint 2007! Recap and Leasons Learned....

Well, our portal was officially switched over last Tuesday, January 16th, 2007. We spent last week doing office-by-office roadshows, giving demos to both staff and lawyers. Because of how we designed the site, it was important to break out the training sessions and we used 'volunteers' from the audience to log in with their account so people could see first hand how the system would look to them.

The feedback has been overwhelming. Our targeting of webparts, quick access to financial data and WorkSite document search features are scoring big points with our users. Since going live, we are AVERAGING over 1,000 document searches per day. We wouldn't be maintaining that level of use unless it worked :) Stuff that we had in our old portal is now looked at as 'new' features because they're actually easy to find!

Since going live, we have learned a few things. First, those of you on previous versions of SharePoint should proceed with caution if you're converting over webparts that worked in '03, looking to buy webparts from vendors converting their webparts from '03, or any freeware webparts. We were running webparts from '03 for MONTHS on our SharePoint 2007 environment with any issues and only found problems as the load begin to reach critical mass. So, don't be fooled into thinking that just because you didn't get an error right from the start that your webparts are safe.

  • Make sure to properly “dispose” of SharePoint objects when programmatically accessing the API to avoid excessive memory consumption and performance/stability problems.(see
  • Make liberal use of caching in memory, particularly of objects resulting from CPU or memory intensive processes, such as XSL transformations or disk access, but must also be mindful of caching or session state across processes (in a “web garden”) or across servers (in “web server farm”).(see
  • Load test and look for memory leaks or process hogs *before* going live to identity potential problem areas. For example, a bug in the .NET Framework was causing a memory leak in XSL transformations that used inline script, which in turn was crashing the IIS worker processes and stopping the server. After a simple rewrite of these XSL transformations, memory usage returned to normal and stabilized the server.(see
The feedback from our users has been awesome and the folks from XMLAW were instrumental in our success. I hope that all of you doing SharePoint 2007 deployments are as fortunate/lucky as we've been :)

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