Solution Documentation

12 Nov

Its important to think about what we need for the solution to get started such as search requirements, content types, fields, sub sites etc. This will help out with development if we know what is required here, then I can add some test data in when I start developing.

Web Application

Name: GISIT Portal
Url: http://gisitportal

Managed Paths

There will only be one managed path for search (/search). This will be an explicit path, so there can only be one site that the url /search goes to (instead of /search/mysearchsite if it was wildcard).

Site Collections

The data requirements are quite low as there will only be around 200 documents uploaded each year. Because of this we are only going to use one site collection for the main portal. The search center will have its own site collection and will be based on the enterprise seach site template.

Site Collection Name: GISIT Portal
Database: SP2013_GISITPortal_Content_PROD
Template: Team
Url: http://gisitportal
Managed Path: /

Site Collection Name: Search
Database: SP2013_GISITPortal__Search_Content_PROD
Template: Enterprise Search Center
Url: http://gisportal/search
Managed Path: /search


Most of the content will be driven from the course sites which will be created each year.

Root Web
It Support Site
Social/Fun Zone Site
— 2012
—— Course One
—— Course Two
— 2013
—— Course One
—— Course Two


Course sites will have a template with content types and lists required already set up. This will save tutors time each year when they have to create new course sites that are the same as last year, the only difference is the documents. Documents can be easily uploaded by clicking and dragging them into a library, so this will be an easy task each year.

Page Layouts

I’m not sure at this stage what OOTB page layouts are provided with SharePoint 2013, but at this stage we would need two:

Home Page (3 column + no left hand nav)
Generic Page (2 column + left hand nav)

Managed Metadata

— WEB701
— SEC601
— ITC501
— WEB601
— WEB501
— NET501
— SYD601
— DAT701
— RES300
— PRJ300
— PRJ301
— SDV201

Course Document Type
— Course Outline
— Assignment
— Course Resource
— Generic

— JQuery
— C Sharp
[ More to be added]


Course Document Type (Single select managed metadata)
Course (Single select managed metadata)
Person Away (Single select person field)
Tags (Multi select managed metadata) – students can add new items to this
Issue Status (choice)

NOTE: Most of our fields are managed metadata, this will help students to search and refine documents based on course and type, and find discussion items easier with tags. In SharePoint 2010, search automatically set up refinements for managed metadata where the results included values for a specific field, so I am hoping this is the same if not better in 2013…

Content Types

There won’t be a lot of documents in this system, and the documents that are in the system will be for similar purposes such as a course document, or an assignment. Because of this we won’t have many content types, but will create a structure that can be expanded on in future. For documents, there is a base type called GISIT Base Document which is purely a placeholder. This will come in handy if the structure expanded significantly and another field was all of a sudden required across all documents. Instead of adding the field to all documents, we can just add it to the place holder.

— (GISIT Base Document) [placeholder CT]
—— Course Resource (Course, Course Document Type)
—— Course Document (Course)

— Course Event (Course)
— Away Today (Person Away)

— GISIT News

— Course Discussion (Course, Tags)
— Support Issue (Issue Status)

Naming Decisions
– Discussions vs. forums. We decided to go with discussion instead of forum, this is mostly a preference thing but consistency is the key here (i had used the term forum and discussion in the designs which wont be reflected in the implementation).
– Course resource vs. course document. There are two main types of documents, documents that  a tutor uploads that are purely course related, and documents that students upload which can be assignment based, class work based or group based. We decided to use Course resource for the tutor documents and course document for the students, this gives us a bit of flexibility and fields can be added later on to distinguish the different types if needed, or the content types could be extended downwards to more levels.

Lists – Top Level

Away Today (Calendar)
Course Events (Calendar)


Search is going to be fairly simple as we dont have many content types at this stage. We have however identified a couple of scopes that could be useful for students searching content!

— All Content [OOTB]
— Discussions
— Course Resources

We are hoping that the course discussion areas will be popular for students asking for help and sharing ideas. If these are tagged appropriately with subjects for certain types of issues or technologies an additional search option to search will be useful.


Only I.T students can access the system. For group assignments a new sub site will be created under the course site. The tutor will have access to this as well as the members in the group, other students wont see each others group sites. Students that are in a course will have contribute rights to their course site so they can upload items into discussions and document libraries. At the top level of the site only administrators will edit content, this is the mostly the pages library and news list, the rest of the data is rollup data from elsewhere. We will know more about this as we get further into development.


I will likely be changing this post as time goes on as there are usually changes in terms of fields or forgotten items. Also, i havent figured out all the managed metadata options for tags yet….


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