SharePoint 2007 gives you so many tools and toys to use within the Central Administration website that sometimes these tools get over looked and are never used. Well on that I hadn’t used until recently was the Site use confirmation and delete tool, which when setup will make sure that your SharePoint 2007 websites are being used and I they aren’t then the system will purge the websites from SharePoint 2007 to save space and resources. This guide will give a few tips on best use and a step by step guide on setting up and applying the tool.
So for many SharePoint administrators this probably isn’t a tool you will use very often, depending on your setup. I would guess most SharePoint setups have either customers or server as an internal website that uses SharePoint 2007 and either the customer or users would be pretty upset if their pages suddenly disappeared.
Some setups might vary much like mine, I host SharePoint sites for users and once I have built the base site it’s up to the user what to do with the site. If they build it into an amazing site that millions of people visit daily that is great, if they just let it sit there then that is fine too. Well recently I have been tasked with cleaning up the SharePoint 2007 instance and getting it ready for the upgrade to 2010. I found a lot of sites haven’t been used and probably never will be (inactive since day 1) so I decided to setup the Use Confirmation and Deletion settings to get rid of the sites that aren’t active.
I know that some people are going to lose their SharePoint 2007 website and then suddenly want to start building their site (they will call me and complain). I have for the past two weeks been warning all my users of this implementation and what it will do (they won’t pay attention until their site is gone). They are aware (or should be) that if they don’t use their site and confirm that its being used it will be gone. Now like I said depending on your setup this may or may not work for you, I suggest before implementing this you warn all of your users who have a site on your SharePoint 2007 instances that this is going into affect and how it might affect them.
Once they know then you can finally turn on the settings and let the Use Confirmation and Deletion tool do its job. Helping you to get rid of any and all websites in your farm that aren’t actually being used and are just wasting resources.
Keep in mind that this setup will start to delete sites that aren’t used so make sure you have a backup of all of your sites and their content DB’s before you start this tool, just in case something goes wrong and a site that is actually used gets deleted or something like that. You can then restore it and try to fix your settings on the Use Confirmation and Deletion tool.
Now to turn on the Use Confirmation and Deletion tool follow these steps:
Open Central Administration Website
Click on Site Use Confirmation and Deletion (SharePoint Site Management Section)
Click Web Application Drop down
Click Change Web Application (select web application you want to apply settings to)
Click Check Box next to Send email notifications to owners of unused site collections
Click Check Box next to Send email notifications to owners of unused site collections again (first click activates option, second checks the box to make setting active)
Set all options for your email notifications to site collection owners (I set 30days, daily checks at 2am)
Check Automatically Delete the site collection if use not confirmed
Set number of notices you want to send before auto delete (I set mine to 30, one month)
Repeat above steps for all Web Applications you want this setting applied to
SharePoint 2007 should go to a processing screen and then once it completes the settings change to the web application it should prompt you that it was successful. Once you are done you will want to find out if the notifications are going out, I would suggest creating a dummy site collection and applying the settings to it first, and have the email sent to yourself, if it works then you can start applying the settings to your production sites.
Well I hope this guide helps you to either get your site collections in use by the owners who maybe forgot about their SharePoint sites or helps you to clean up any and all orphaned sites that aren’t being used.