With our initial launch of DocAve Governance Automation and the subsequent Service Pack (SP) 1, we introduced a powerful product that enables you to automate the implementation and enforcement of your documented governance plans and deliver Microsoft SharePoint as a service. Because we strive to provide an enterprise-strength product to meet your changing SharePoint governance needs, we built additional service requests in Governance Automation SP2 to empower your business users to easily manage their SharePoint workload, and reduce IT workload through automation while proactively enforcing governance policies. With new extensibility enhancements, we made strides in enabling Governance Automation to seamlessly integrate with your existing systems and business processes as your evolving infrastructure architecture dictates.
There are many new exciting features and enhancements in Governance Automation SP2, and I’m pleased to share the top five themes in this post:
1. Updated look and feel. In light of Microsoft’s recent release of Windows 8 and SharePoint 2013, along with the increasing popularity of tablet computers and other touchscreen devices, we gave Governance Automation a makeover! Users can easily and quickly navigate through the new tile-based interface to see the various system options available to them. As end-users interact and navigate their way through requesting resources and submitting tasks, special focus was placed on providing detailed, step-by-step instructions and prompt feedback on conflicts to help guide users for ease of operation.
For more details on the new Governance Automation GUI design, look out for an upcoming blog post by our talented User Experience Designer, Ting Zhi.
Figure 1: Easily view, select, and request services from an intuitive service catalog displaying all available options to end-users.
2. Empowering SharePoint content owners to easily manage their content when they need to move, copy, or restructure SharePoint sites, content, and topology within or across SharePoint environments. Governance Automation SP2 enables business users to submit content migration or restructuring service requests on demand through our newly redesigned management console or within SharePoint itself via a web part. In order to align with your predefined organizational governance policies, as well as data security and compliance initiatives, the request is then routed to all appropriate parties for approval and swiftly executed without direct IT involvement. This enables easy and quick response to organizational structure changes while maintaining all content configuration, security settings, and metadata. The new content move service provides intuitive, visual guidance to users on how to request content restructuring.
Figure 2: Governance Automation SP2 allows business content owners to easily select their desired content source and map to their desired destination for site restructuring requests.
3. End-to-end site lifecycle management from provisioning through daily management to end-of-life. As organizational structures and roles change, users can manage their sites with the ability to change primary or secondary contact owner’s information and even modify metadata due to a change in functional purpose. Governance Automation SP2 also allows IT administrators to delegate the management of site ownership, classification, and archival or deletion directly to accountable business owners to complete the site lifecycle. The new Site Directory Web Part in Governance Automation SP2 offers users visibility to all sites managed by Governance Automation within a site collection along with relevant information, such as site owners, classification, and lease expiration.
Figure 3: A new Site Collection Directory Web Part can be accessed directly within SharePoint for end-user ease of use and adoption.
Figure 4: A new site collection policy was added to proactively enforce maximum site depth within a site collection, preventing users from requesting a new site beyond the site depth threshold.
4. Additional workflow extensibility that adapts to business processes. With Governance Automation SP1, we provided the ability to call an external program to execute custom activities at the end of the execution of the service request. This enables you to incorporate custom activities such as turning on specific site collection features at the end of site collection provisioning. With Governance Automation SP2, we added two more “hooks” in the workflow which allow the insertion of custom activities before the start of the approval process to perform any necessary pre-checks as well as checks after the completion of the approval process. The inserted custom action can be in the form of an executable file, such as a Windows PowerShell script file or an Assembly DLL file. This extensibility is available on all types of service requests in Governance Automation SP2.
Figure 5: With Governance Automation SP2, you can now escalate and re-assign an approval task to an alternate user so that the task does not sit idle when an approver is not available for an extended period of time.
5. Client application programming interface (API) to enable integration with your existing infrastructure. Do you already have a system where all of your users request IT services? Would you like to use that same system to offer SharePoint services? If so, our new Governance Automation APIs enables you to do just that. With Governance Automation SP2, we provide APIs to submit site collection and site provisioning requests. You can place the new site collection or new site request form in an external system, and submitting the request via APIs will trigger the corresponding Governance Automation service workflow for approval and automated execution while enforcing your governance policies.
We hope you enjoy Governance Automation SP2. To try it for yourself, download a free trial today!