Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars, Reviewed by Agnes Molnar
I've been preparing for this review for a LOOOONG time. Not because I was hesitating if the product is good enough (it's more than awesome!) but because I was thinking about the best words to describe my thoughts about it.
I work as Independent Consultant, with several customers at the same time. And each of these customers has several SharePoint farms, with different features and services. And SharePoint farm documentation is always a challenge…
Here's the point where Acceleratio's Documentation Toolkit for SharePoint comes in: this tool is "designed to help administrators and consultant to automatically generate SharePoint farm documentation, compare farms and track configuration changes."
Here is a list of the features of the features of SPDocKit (for more information please go to the product's web site):
- Generate SharePoint farm documentation
- Explore configuration settings
- Document passwords and product keys
- Compare farms
- Track farm changes
- Automatic snapshots
- Email notifications with configuration changes
- Preview scheduled tasks
First, let me mention SPDocKit's licensing and installation: there're two licensing models, you can buy it for your own farm OR you can have a consultant license (like me). In this case, you're allowed to run SPDocKit on as many farms as you want, even without installing it! For example, you can take it and run on your customer's farm and generate a full farm documentation with a few clicks in minutes. It's more than amazing!
Second, the documentation it generates. Here's what I've got on my demo environment:
In Farm Topology, you can even see your servers on a Visio-like diagram. In my two-server farm it's not a big deal, but in bigger environments it might be a much stronger benefit:
There's a similar review of your site collections, services running on your servers, etc. In the Site Explorer, you can also review the features and solutions by site collections.
In Permission Explorer, you can explore loaded SharePoint permissions settings on Site Collection and Site levels. For example, this is the info of my user on my demo Search site:
There's a big feature called where you can check a lot of OOTB administration Best Practices, and also you can create your own ones and run reports on each. Through the nice and clean visualization, it makes administrators' job much easier:
Finally, as someone who works with Search a lot, let me highlight some Search-related features too. In the Farm Explorer, you can overview the Service Applications, including Search, of course. You can overview and document the search settings, countent sources, crawl rules(!), etc. – and my most favorite one: Managed Properties! This has been always a big issue, where I've been using PowerShell, and now, it's here, I can generate this list and export to a document in seconds:
As you can see, there're TONS of options in SPDocKit. But at the same time, it's very easy and obvious to use. It helps a LOT, saves a LOT of time when you have to document (and/or compare) your SharePoint environments.
If you like this post and would like to try the Documentation Toolkit, just go to their web site and download its trial or buy the product. Its licensing is as simple as having Farm and Consultant subscriptions (as I have mentioned above), with two levels of packages: Starter and Premium:
Let us know what you thought about this review and the product.