I need to tell you about something fantastic.
SharePoint Documentation Kit – SPDocKit Review
I’ve been using SPDocKit from Acceleratio for about 6 months now, on and off. One of the services we offer at JFDI Phoenix is our SharePoint 2010 Farm Health Check, and this involves a lot of boring navigation through Central Admin and some gnarly PowerShell to gather farm insight. Collecting settings information by hand is tough and time consuming.
The value-add for customers comes from what I can deduce from their configuration – what problems they’ll see; whether their platform will scale; whether it will be secure enough.
SPDocKit helps me gather the vast majority of the information I need, and formats it into a very detailed, very useful report in Word format.
Here’s just a snippet from the table of contents:
It goes on to produce a detailed inventory of each server in the farm:
It even builds a Visio-style diagram showing the farm topology. OK, I know it looks daft when I run it on a one-server farm, but it is vastly more impressive on a multi-server farm!
It also identifies and lists:
- Services on server, per server
- Site topology (site collections per web application)
- Web applications
- Self-service site creation settings
- Alternate access mappings
- IIS settings
- Site collection usage
- Quota templates
- Service applications
- Detailed settings for each application
- Databases used
- Associations to web applications and proxy groups
- Content databases, usage and quotas
- System settings, including email and SMS settings
- Features and solutions
- Sandbox configuration
- Monitoring and reporting
- Managed accounts
- Service accounts
- Products and versions
- Scheduled tasks
- Server information
- Hardware / cores
- Installed programs and hotfixes
- Drives and free space
If this wasn’t enough, it also lets you record all this information and monitor changes over time.
And there’s more! The SPDocKit application itself has a pretty useful UI. You can browse the web application and site structure without needing to generate documentation:
It also lets you walk the permissions of your sites. Very useful if you’ve been breaking inheritance and you want to know who has access to what. Having said that, SharePoint’s built-in “Check Effective Permissions” button is still invaluable to debugging permissions problems.
There’s also a Detailed Permissions report, but this is still a very interactive tool:
There’s even best practices analysis built in:
Although obviously not exhaustive, it does give a very good start for a more detailed analysis of a farm.
There’s also a Scheduled Tasks viewer:
Whilst SPDocKit is not magic, it certainly saves me a great deal of time on SharePoint farm health checks. The licensing is pretty cool also. You can either buy it for an individual farm, of have a yearly subscription as a consultant. If you’re using the latter, the setup exe lets you run it on a server without leaving it installed afterwards.