Administration Options in SharePoint 2013 with CloudShare!

By Danielle Arad - August 1, 2012

As you know by now, Microsoft released a public preview of SharePoint 2013 products & technologies a couple of weeks ago.A lot of new cool stuff was built on top of the strong pillars of SharePoint 2010. If you want to start checking out the new goodies coming with SharePoint 2013, I recommend you try CloudShare’s SharePoint 2013 template described by Chris here.

There are many things to show with SharePoint 2013, but I have decided to start with a basic one: how to administer the platform. In this article I will show you the available approaches you have to handle administrative tasks for SharePoint 2013. These approaches are essentially the same as in SharePoint 2010 with one big exception: you are not supposed to use (or even see!) the Stsadm command line tool that is now considered as deprecated.

SharePoint 2013 Central Administration

As in previous versions, Central Administration is the hub when configuring SharePoint 2013. The user interface is similar to SharePoint 2010:

So, what’s new in Central Administration? At first glance, not so much! However once you start playing, you’ll soon find there are several major differences:

  • By default, the Ribbon in any SharePoint 2013 site (including Central Administration) is hidden… you have to unhide it by using your mouse or your fingers … and yes, undoubtedly this way of working with the Ribbon was thought out with Touch in mind.
  • There is a new administration section not available in SharePoint 2010: ‘Apps’.As you know, in SharePoint 2013 everything is an application (a List, a Site, a Web Part, etc.). You’ll need to configure some settings to manage and administer applications installed in your SharePoint environment. Apps add a new secure approach to extend SharePoint 2013 sites without compromising key aspects of your farm: e.g. security and performance.

Of course, through Central Administration you can configure services that are new in this version like the Translation Service Application, the Access 2013 Service Application or the rebuilt Search Service Application, among others.

PowerShell

PowerShell is the recommended and most powerful, option to administer SharePoint 2013 products and technologies. All of the options available in Central Administration can be managed through specific PowerShell cmdlets. However there are some administrative tasks in SharePoint 2013 that can only be edited in PowerShell.

For example, if you want to use SharePoint 2013’s multi-tenancy capabilities, you’ll have to use PowerShell. The best way to run these cmdlets is the SharePoint 2013 Management Console. This pre-loads all the commands available with Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell. You can use a more GUI-based tool through [Integrate SharePoint Environment] available in Windows Server. In this case you have to specifically load the cmdlets through Add-PSSnapin.

In SharePoint 2013 there are more than 750 cmdlets and you can list them all by using the following PowerShell commands:

$commands=Get-Command -noun sp*

$commands.count

$commands

For instance, if you want to list all the site collections in a SharePoint 2013 farm, excluding Central Administration, just use the Get-SPSite cmdlet:

SharePoint 2013 Object Model

Finally, as a developer you can do essentially the same administrative tasks by using the server side Object Model. For example, the following code allows you to list information about all the site collections available in each web application you have created. You’ll need to add the Directives: Microsoft.SharePoint and Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration to be able to use the SharePoint classes needed for this purpose.

Output this:

And that’s all about how to administer SharePoint 2013 with CloudShare. Happy CloudSharing!