Tips and Tricks Using Wikis

Using Wikis in Microsoft® Windows® SharePoint® Services 3.0
What is a Windows SharePoint Services Wiki site? A Wiki, which in the Hawaiian language means “quick”, is a website that allows visitors to easily add, remove or edit content on the site, often without the need for registration. Content ‘policed’ on by the a who site is often of the community have

contributors,

capability of editing inappropriate or incorrect information. The most powerful element of Wiki sites is the ease of creating and editing web sites, enabling non-technical users to wholly participate in Figure 1

knowledge sharing or collaboration efforts through Wiki sites. Within Windows SharePoint Services, a wiki site also enables the capability of viewing versions of a wiki site entry, along with when changes were made and who made those changes. Users have the capability of ‘rolling back’ to a previous version if updates are considered incorrect or inappropriate. Users with Full Control permissions, often administrators of the wiki site, also have the capability to tightly control who has the capability to edit wiki site entries, choosing to allow only a certain group of users to edit a wiki entry, while allowing everybody else to read the wiki site. How should I think of using a Wiki in my business? Wikis were originally used by businesses as a primary knowledge sharing tool for employees within the corporate firewall. However, with the simplicity of wiki technology enabling mainstream adoption by users on the public Internet, Wikis are beginning to evolve from a corporate knowledge management system into a place for general collaboration. Topics such as meeting agendas, marketing documents or other internal documents such as official job descriptions, as shown in Figure 1 can be created by a mix of team members from within a company or external vendors and consultants. The uses of Wikis within the business environment are varied and could be considered a solution

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whenever a business need calls for multiple users collaborating openly on a single set of text documents. To read more about how Wikis can be used in a business environment, refer to the article “Using Blogs and Wikis in Business” at: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/windowsserver/sharepoint/techref/blogs.mspx. Additionally, the Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies Team has their own blog built at http://blogs.msdn.com/sharepoint. How do I edit an existing Wiki page? Editing an existing Wiki page is extremely simple for the non-technical user. When visiting any page that is available for editing, the ‘Edit’ button will appear in the top right of the screen. The user simply clicks on the button and makes the changes necessary to improve the wiki site. Within the doucment, there are multiple formatting tools available, which are similar to those found in Microsoft Office Word 2007. Figure 4 (next page) shows a small subset of the capabiliites shown on the user interface for creating and / or editing pages within the wiki site. While editing a page, users may choose to ‘check out’ the site, which precludes other users from making changes at the same time to a particular site. They can then ‘check in’ the changes they’ve made, which enables them to type comments on what changes were made and why. How do I begin to create a Wiki page? After your IT team has created the base Wiki site, any user of the site has the capability of creating the first wiki page. When first deployed, the Wiki site displays a generic “Welcome to your wiki site” page, as shown in Figure 2. The easiest way to get started is to click ‘Edit’ in the top right corner, and change the text to what is appropriate for the site, for example editing the text to that Figure 3 shown in Figure 1. To create a new wiki page, the easiest thing to do is

Figure2

create a link by typing [[NAME OF NEW PAGE]] (include the double brackets). When ‘OK’
The example companies, organizations, products, domain names, e-mail addresses, logos, people, places, and events depicted herein are fictitious. No association with any real company, organization, product, domain name, email address, logo, person, places, or events is intended or should be inferred. This document is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY. © 2007 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

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is clicked after editing is completed, a new hyperlink is created as “NAME OF NEW PAGE”. All a user has to do is click on this hyperlink to create their new page. Note that a new page is not created until a hyperlink is clicked. Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 designates hyperlinks with pages that have not yet been created as having a dashed underline beneath the hyperlink (See Figure 3). By clicking on this dashed hyperlink, a user generates a new page within the Wiki as shown in Figure 4. Users create the text, using formatting tools similar to Office Word 2007 and then clicks “Create” to save the new Wiki page. How do I track the history of edits made on the Wiki site? One of the more powerful features of the Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Wiki site is the ability for users to view who made what changes to a page and when. At a first glance, it is possible to see on the main page which registered user made the last modification to a site. At the bottom of each page is text stating when and who last modified the For example “Last document. Poe”.

modified at 2/22/2007 4:21PM by Toni In addition, any user can click on the History button at the top of the page to view a series of screen showing color coded additions and deletions to a text, including the various versions of the document, as shown in Figure 5. On the left hand Figure 5 side of the screen are the versions of the page, in this case version 1.0 through version 6.0. By clicking on The gold highlighted words are In addition, a user can view a

each of these versions, the user sees the changes that were made from the prior version, as well as who made the changes and at what time. additions while the crossed out grey words are deletions.

summary of all changes made to a particular site by clicking the button “Version History”

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from within the History page. Doing this shows a chronological display of the changes made between different versions. How do I restore the site to an earlier version? Once a user views the versions of a wiki site available, it may be necessary to revert the site back to a previous version. There are three simple ways to change back to a previous version. The first, of course, is to use the Edit button to manually change the site back to the way the user would like to see it. The second is to delete the most recent version, which automatically reverts back to the second to the last version listed. The better way is to click on the link on the left side of the site representing the version the user feels is most appropriate and then click “Restore this version”. Windows SharePoint Services restores a previous version, labeling it as the next version number in the sequence. For example, in Figure 5, a user has clicked on the 2.0 version created on 2/22/2007 at 9:53am. If that user decides this version is more appropriate, they can click on “Restore this version’, which creates a version 7.0, but is exactly the same as the text found in version 2.0. How do I know when a site changes? Within the History button of any wiki site, a user has the capability of being alerted, via email, when a wiki page is updated. By clicking on the “Alert Me” button at the top of the History page, a user can designate what changes they want to be notified of, how often the notifications should arrive and what the subject of the email should be, Figure 6 which will help the user identify which pages have been changed. The user can also choose to enter in user ids for others who might want to be notified. This alert sends an email with a view of the changes made as well as a link to the relevant pages. Additionally a user can select the “Alert Me” button from the pull down list of the actually document library containing the wiki pages. This would enable a user to receive alerts only for the page selected, and not for changes made to any page on the site.
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Another way that a user can track changes made to an entire wiki site is to sign up for an RSS feed of changes made to a wiki site. This is done by clicking “View All Pages” from the main page and then selecting View RSS Feed from the Actions pull down menu. The RSS Feed can then be viewed through an RSS Reader such as the one provided with Microsoft Office Outlook® 2007, shown in Figure 6. What permission levels are set by default within the Windows SharePoint Services Wiki site? By default, there are three levels of security within the Windows SharePoint Services Wiki site: Owners, Members and Visitors. The table highlights the main differences between the three levels of security: Table 1 Windows SharePoint Services Security Group Visitors Members Owners

Description of Permissions Read the current and historical versions of a wiki site. Does have the capability to create alerts and RSS feeds for wiki page change notification. Has Visitor permissions plus capability to edit, restore, delete and check out wiki pages. Has Members permissions plus capability to manage permissions for the entire wiki site as well as unique wiki pages.

How do I change permissions so only a select group of users have the capability to edit a wiki page? In some cases, it might be desired to limit changes to a wiki site or page to a smaller subset of users who visit the site. This may be done, for example, to allow a broad group of users to read the progress of a document that is being collaborated upon by a smaller group of users. Or, it may be used to ‘lock’ a version as might be done for a meeting agenda a week before the event. In order to change permissions on a Wiki site, the authenticated user must be a member of the Owner group, defined in Table 1 above. To change permissions for a particular wiki page, click on “History” and then click on “Manage Permissions”. Within this Manage Permissions, page, select “Edit Permissions”
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from the Actions pull down menu. The user is asked to confirm whether they wish to “Copy permissions from the parent, and then stop inheriting permissions”. Note that once you click ‘OK’, this particular wiki page will no longer inherit permissions from the partent site. Therefore, if a group is added to the main wiki site, it will not automatically be added to the individual wiki page site, but instead must manually added by an administrator. Once the user clicks “Ok”, they tick the Users/Groups for which they desire to change permission levels, and then select “Edit User Permissions” from the Actions pull down menu. The user can then change the permissions for Users / Groups by selecting whether they desire the User / Group to have Read Only, Design Group or Full Control permissions, as defined above. Selecting Visitor will ‘lock’ the wiki page so that only those groups remaining have the capability to edit the wiki page.

Technical Dependencies The Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Wiki site requires the following to be installed  Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 3.0* *Review Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 system requirements for additional information: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/windowsserver/sharepoint/techinfo/sysreqs.mspx
The example companies, organizations, products, domain names, e-mail addresses, logos, people, places, and events depicted herein are fictitious. No association with any real company, organization, product, domain name, email address, logo, person, places, or events is intended or should be inferred. This document is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY. © 2007 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

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More Information Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 is technology in Windows Server that offers an integrated portfolio of collaboration and communication services designed to connect people, information, processes and systems both within and beyond the organizational firewall. Now available at no additional cost, Windows SharePoint Services makes it simpler for IT professionals to implement and manage a team collaboration infrastructure. Application Templates are tailored to address the needs and requirements for specific business processes or sets of tasks for organizations of any size. The templates provide out-of-the-box, customizable scenarios which solve business needs as well as providing a starting point for partners and developers looking to build more sophisticated Windows SharePoint Services solutions. For more information on the technologies described in this article, please visit: Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 3.0: http://www.microsoft.com/sharepoint Application Templates for Windows SharePoint Services: http://www.microsoft.com/sharepointapps Microsoft Office Word 2007: http://office.microsoft.com/word Microsoft Office Outlook 2007: http://office.microsoft.com/outlook

The example companies, organizations, products, domain names, e-mail addresses, logos, people, places, and events depicted herein are fictitious. No association with any real company, organization, product, domain name, email address, logo, person, places, or events is intended or should be inferred. This document is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY. © 2007 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

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