SharePoint Productivity Hub–In Depth

One of my favorite add-on to SharePoint from a on going training perspective is the Microsoft SharePoint Productivity Hub. This free product from Microsoft allows organizations to have a self-help for training.

Microsoft introduced the Productivity Hub back in SharePoint 2007. The hub took much of the content that on Microsoft Office and made it readily available within the SharePoint environment on a number of topics related to Microsoft products including SharePoint. Information was broken down into different products including:

  • Access
  • Excel
  • InfoPath
  • Internet Explorer
  • OneNote
  • Outlook
  • PowerPoint
  • Project
  • Publisher
  • Ribbon
  • SharePoint
  • Visio
  • Windows
  • Word

The solution also including:

  • Internal forums
  • Product Coaches can be designated
  • User can bookmark specific content for later use
  • A Learning Roadmap can created and displayed on the Product pages (one of my favorite tools)

So with the addition of SharePoint 2010 the Productivity Hub has been updated to include more up to date content. This includes Microsoft Lync and Microsoft SharePoint workspace. The 2010 version also includes content from the 2007 version of Office.

Some more specifics about the installation of the product. This training solution is a site collection for 2007 and a Sandbox Solution within SharePoint 2010. You can download the Productivity Hub 2007 and Productivity Hub 2010 directly from Microsoft. Included with the download is the base installation as well as content packs that will need to be added.

** Word of warning: It is important to carefully read the installation instructions for the different content packs since they do not all install the same way.

One of the drawbacks from the SharePoint 2010 version of the Productivity Hub is the lack of ability to use Office Web Application for displaying documents within the web browser. Luckily I found an excellent blog post by Dave Mihalik that talks about how to use this features within the Productivity Hub. Just make sure that you adjust the link tags to account for your URL hierarchy.

Another interesting variation was created by Avi Sujeeth that deal specifically with internal policies called the Policy Hub.

Hope this has been helpful!

***UPDATE***

If you are on SharePoint 2010 SP1 you will need to get the SP1 version of the Productivity Hub. If you do not have that and you try to install the RTM version on SP1 you will receive an error when trying to run the install.ps1 script. Get the SP1 version here. They also made adding the content to the Productivity Hub easier to download (less files) and add into the hub.

***ANOTHER UPDATE***

Also make sure that you have your current farm to not only SP1 but anything after the SharePoint 2010 August 2011 Cumulative Update. Otherwise for the SP1 version of Productivity Hub you will get a PowerShell error when trying to install.

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14 thoughts on “SharePoint Productivity Hub–In Depth

  1. CJ Gerhardt says:

    I have an important question that seems to be stepped around but not quite dealt with wthin this article. If we have a SharePoint 2007 environment set up within our company, will we be able to install the Microsoft Productivity Hub 2010? Will it work in SP 2007 as well as within SP 2010?

    Quick background… we are implementing Office 365 and will eventually upgrade to SP 2010 (cloud) but in the meantime, we could really use the training material for Lync 2010. Thanks a bunch for the post and any help that can be provided.

    CJ

    • talesfromitside says:

      Great question Chris. Unfortunately the answer to your questions is no you cannot do it that way. What I would suggest is creating a SharePoint 2010 development environment using the trial keys. The easiest installation for SharePoint 2010 Prod Hub would be the SP1 version. You need to ensure that is up to SP1 with August Cumulative Updates. Then go into the content library and extract the Lync 2010 documents and add them into your 2007 Productivity Hub environment. That would be the easiest way to do that.

      • CJ Gerhardt says:

        Thanks a lot for your response! I believe we will stand up a new (trial) 2010 farm alongside our SP 2007 farm in order to install the MS Prod Hub. That really shouldn’t take much effort and it solves both problems. Thanks again!

        CJ

    • talesfromitside says:

      Great points Mack. From what I have seen between 2007 and 2010 there are also some little things that have also changed but for the most part it is the same.

    • talesfromitside says:

      There is a possibility that if you installed the SP1 version. I had an issue where there were around 10 SharePoint files in that version. It is possible the exact same thing happened with Word. Luckily we were able to figure out which ones and bring those in manually. As far as what I have seen, the solution on Codeplex has not be updated since the SP1 version. Do you know if the installation had any issues or if it was interrupted during the overall process?

  2. I have run into this and it was usually an error during the install. The fix is pretty easy, download the latest version, extract it and manually upload the content. or you can edit the powershel script and leave only the part that loads the content. You can look at http:\\cop.fedspug.org to see what it should look like

    • talesfromitside says:

      Thank you Mack. At this point a manual process is the best bet. All of the Word content can be found in the ContentPack2010SP1-4.exe.

  3. James Lundgren says:

    Hi – Great blog post and I’m glad I found it. At our company we also have are huge fans of the Productivity Hub and have it available in its own Site Collection for our users to utilize for quick “how-to’s” on most effectively using SharePoint 2010 while reducing call volume to our service desks. We are considering an upgrade to 2013 however, and are having a difficult time finding out if Microsoft will be releasing a Productivity Hub 2013, or if so when. Would you happen to have any insight? Thanks!

    • talesfromitside says:

      James that is a great question. I have been doing some research and have not found anything out as of yet. However as soon as I find out something I will update my blog with that information. In a typical transition between product versions tools like the Productivity Hub will take months to update. The added issue with SharePoint 2013 is most of us figured that the product would release Quarter 1 of 2013. With the release being November it is possible that those tasked up updating Productivity Hub were not ready. As soon as I find something out I will post. Thanks.

    • talesfromitside says:

      Really there is nothing from Microsoft. The only way to move use it would be move it into it’s own content database, migrate to a SP2013 environment and leave it in SharePoint 2010 mode. Or if you do not currently have it up and running, create a site collection in 2010 mode and install. I have repeated heard there will be something else coming, but I am not going to hold my breathe. Sorry there is not a more definitely answer. Thanks for asking.

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