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I just inherited a SharePoint farm and am trying to sort through everything and figure out whats going on. Are there any tools built-in or 3rd party that can show me the current configuration details? I know powershell probably has some useful get commands as well, but I'm not very familiar with it. The old admin has very little as far as original set up and change management, so I'm a little lost.

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What kind of configuration are you talking about? Settings, Features Installed, Web Parts Installed? This is a really good tool for locating and sifting through features. It's also good for removing broken references to features scattered throughout the farm. – War10ck Aug 28 '13 at 14:18
I'm looking for any and all info I can find. Any information about settings for different site collections as well as settings for the service applications and any features installed. Thanks for the tool I'll have to take a look at that. – LostAdmin Aug 28 '13 at 17:10

SharePoint is huge and has settings at every level from the Farm right down to the individual list item. Trying to create a comprehensive list of all of these settings is almost impossible so it is usually better to simply use the tools already built into SharePoint.

The three main settings locations are :

  • Central Administration, which is a separate web application installed on one of the servers. If you remote into one of your SharePoint servers, the link to it will be found on the Start Menu under All Programs and then either "Microsoft Office..." or "Microsoft SharePoint.." depending on the version of SharePoint you have.
  • Site Collection settings. This is the Settings page for the root level in a site collection. As such it has access to properties that affect the whole site collection. the Site Collection is a major data boundary in SharePoint, as such, each Site Collection has its own settings.
  • Site Settings. Each site in Sharepoint has its own unique settings

Both the Site Collection Settings and Site Settings can be accessed while viewing your sharepoint site and choosing Site Settings from the Site Actions menu.

Also, since you just inherited the farm, make sure you have all of the right passwords for all of the service accounts used in the farm, particularly the Farm and Setup accounts.

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Has anyone tried this tool? – LostAdmin Aug 28 '13 at 18:38
Most of what you need to know is already exposed through the tools I listed. I can see a tool like that if you need to create some comprehensive report but the day to day stuff is already there. On a related note, I have never had a good experience with server software from Dell. It seems like even the stuff they buy from someone else "goes bad" in a version or two. – Dave Wise Aug 28 '13 at 18:45
I just want to create a report to start off with and then actually keep up with change management logs, so the next person doesn't run into the problem I am with there being next to no documentation. – LostAdmin Aug 28 '13 at 19:07
What might work a bit better than aging and disconnected documentation would be to create a new Calendar list on one of the Administrative content sites and then keep that updated whenever you make a change, explaining the details about the change. That makes it easily update-able and anyone else can quickly run reports on the history of changes. SharePoint administration is not a job for someone who is not familiar with SharePoint as there are a million ways someone like that can crash the farm. Someone familiar with SP Admin. knows where to look for the data they need. – Dave Wise Aug 28 '13 at 19:33
I know that I can go everything I need through Central Admin, site collection settings, and using a bunch of Get commands with PowerShell. I was just looking for an easier way to get all of it at once as a nice place to start. I believe it's always a good idea to have more documentation than not enough especially in the off chance of a disaster and the farm needing to be rebuilt. – LostAdmin Aug 28 '13 at 20:34

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