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August 13, 2011 / red1s

SharePoint 2010 Interview Questions


Funny as the above image is sometimes an interview can take a turn for the worst if your not prepared, especially with the breadth of SharePoint positions and specialities which exist. The below information has been put together after I came across some interview questions while doing a search on functions within SharePoint. I therefore decided to highlight some of the questions I thought suited some of the roles best.

As with a real interview, topics can change quickly so be on your toes for a change in questions if you’re doing well on  a particular topic/subject.

There are a few SharePoint 2010 questions I’ve categorized from the reference sites which I thought would be helpful to an interviewee in this sort of situation:

IT/Pro Questions:

Question

How are Shared Service Providers now handled ?

Answer

In SharePoint 2010 Shared Service Providers (SSP’s) are replaced by Service Applications. Services are no longer combined into a SSP. They are running independent as a service application. The service application architecture is now also built into Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010, in contrast to the Shared Services Provider (SSP) architecture that was only part of Office SharePoint Server 2007.

A key benefit here is that all services are installed by default and there is no SSP setup.

image

 

 

Question:

What is the 14 hive (folder) in SharePoint?

Answer:

image

Microsoft has replaced the “12 hive” structure that we had in SharePoint 2007 with “14 Hive” structure in 2010.

It has apparently added four new folders to its hive.
The Folders are :
* Policy
* UserCode
* WebClients
* WebServices

See the Details at : 14 hive Directory structure
In SharePoint 2010 This is a step-by-step tutorial to learn using SharePoint 2010′s Server and client object model.

Server Object Model –
Here we will look at how to use SharePoint API’s, LINQ, REST and SharePoint web service to extract data from SharePoint server.

Lets Start with using the API’s in Microsoft.SharePoint and Microsoft.SharePoint.Utilities namespaces.
Firstly, to work with SharePoint 2010 components, your code must first establish the site context or site collection context for requests that are made to the server.

Please Note : In SharePoint, the SPsite object also refered to as Site is actually a “Site Collection” object, not a website

and the SPweb object also referred to as “web” is a single site in the site collection.(It can be a top-level site collection site).
also, object of type SPWebApplication is a big boss object which has reference to the web application that contains the site collection.
To get the reference to site context in your code use the recommended Microsoft.SharePoint.SPContext class and its members.

Question

How would you re-deploy the old custom solutions in SharePoint 2010.What Changes are needed to the old Solution files.

Answer

SharePoint 2010 object model contains many changes and enhancements, but the custom code will still compile and, will run as expected. You should however, rewrite and recompile any code that refers to files and resources in “12 hive”.

Question

How many types of Client Object model extensions are available in 2010 and when would you use one or the other.

Answer

To develop rich client side solutions, three set of client-side APIs has been introduced in the Microsoft.SharePoint.Client namespace. The three APIs are targeted for three different types of clients.
1. .net Managed applications – These are used when we have to create console applications or window applications, web applications which are not running inside SharePoint Context.
2. For Silverlight applications
3. ECMAScript – It is a client object model extension for using with JavaScript or JScript. This is used for creating applications which are hosted inside SharePoint. For example, web part deployed in SharePoint site can use this JavaScript API for accessing SharePoint from browser using JavaScript.

Question

What are the security improvements in SharePoint 2010 ?

Answer

In SharePoint 2010 a variety of security methods have been introduced.

Claims-Based Authentication – Claims based authentication is based on identity. and trust.

Code Access Security – in which you can specify your own code access
security (CAS) policy for your web parts.

Sandbox Solutions – Sandbox Solutions which when deployed to the server, SharePoint runs in a special process that has limited permissions.

Cross-Site Scripting – Introduced to prevent Cross – Site Scripting (XSS) attacks.

Question

What are the Visual Studio 2010 Tools for SharePoint.

Answer

Visual Studio 2010 includes SharePoint-specific project types and project item types, and includes powerful packaging, deployment, and debugging features that help increase your efficiency as a SharePoint 2010 developer.

image

Some of the Templates available are :
1.Visual Web Part project template.
2. List definition template.
3. Content Type template.
4. Empty Project template.
5. Event Receiver template.
6. some workflow template.
7. the Site Definition template
and many more….

 

Question

What are SharePoint Sandboxed solutions ?

Answer

SharePoint 2010 provides a new sandboxed environment that enables you to run user solutions without affecting the rest of the SharePoint farm. This environment means that users can upload their own custom solutions without requiring intervention from administrators, and without putting the rest of the farm at risk. This means that the existing sites\pages or components will not be effected by the newly added solution.

image

Users can deploy the below four things as sandboxed solutions :
1. WebParts.
2. Event Receivers.
3. List Definitions.
4. Workflows.

Question

What are Requirements for SharePoint 2010.

Answer

SharePoint Server 2010 will support only 64 – bit. It will require 64 bit Windows Server 2008 or 64 bit Windows Server 2008 R2. In addition to this, it will require 64 bit version of SQL Server 2008 or 64-bit version of SQL Server 2005.

 

Question

What Changes are made in SharePoint 2010 to enforce Referential Integrity?

Answer

In SharePoint 2010, Referential Integrity is enforced using two options, available with Look-up columns.
While creating a Look-up column, you can either choose a) Restrict Delete or b) Cascade Delete to define a relationship between the Look-up list and the list containing the look-up Column. Read Details at SharePoint 2010 Referential integrity – Using LookUp Column

Question

What’s a Ribbon in SharePoint 2010?

Answer

image

The Ribbon Bar, is one of the finest improvements that Microsoft added to Office 2007 . SharePoint 2010 follows the same path. The ribbon basically, is a toolbar that appears across the top of each page in SharePoint.
The top-level elements in the Ribbon are tabs. Each tab organizes a set of groups (like Edit.Browse) and contains a set of controls. The controls inside the groups include buttons, drop-down menus, check boxes, combo boxes, split buttons, and galleries. In short, the users now can see the options like checkOut,Check In, Edit Page,Publish Page, delete page under edit tab, on the top of the Page itself.

Question

What’s New in SPALerts ?

Answer

image

In SharePoint 2007, alerts were send only through e-mails, but in SP2010 users can also send an alert to mobile devices as SMS Messages. A New property DeliveryChannels is introduced to indicate, whether the alert is delivered as E-mail or as an SMS Message.

 

Question

What is Managed Metadata?

Answer

Managed metadata is a hierarchical collection of centrally managed terms that you can define, and then use as attributes for items.

Admin Questions:

Question

What are some of the tools that can be used when backing up a SharePoint 2010 environment?

Answer

image

  • SharePoint farm backup and recovery
  • SQL Server
  • System Center Data Protection Manager

 

 

Question

Describe the potential components for both a single server, and multiple servers, potentially several tiered farms:

Answer

A single-server SharePoint Server 2010 environment leverages a built-in SQL Server 2008 Express database. The problems with this environment is scalability, not being able to install the with built-in database on a domain controller, the database cannot be larger than 4 GB, and you cannot use User Profile Synchronization in a single server with built-in database installation.

An example of a multiple tier farm would be a three-tier topology, considered one of the more efficient physical and logical layouts to supports scaling out or scaling up and provides better distribution of services across the member servers of the farm. This is considered a good architecture since one can add Web servers to the Web tier, add app servers to the application tier, and add database servers to the database tier.

Question

What is Business Connectivity Services in SharePoint ?

Answer

SharePoint 2010 provides a new set of technologies known as Business Connectivity Services for retrieving, editing, updating, and deleting data from external systems(for e.g. data from ERP or CRM database). BCS enhances the SharePoint platform’s capabilities with out-of-box features, services and tools that streamline development of solutions with deep integration of external data and services.

Question

How is BCS Different from BDC in SharePoint 2007 ?

Answer

Even though the BDC made it relatively easy to create read-only solutions that display data in the Business Data List Web Part, it was not so simple to create a solution that enabled users to make changes and write that data back to the external store.
BCS, on the other hand, provides you with Read-Write capable connectivity from Client and Server to Database, WCF/Web Services and .Net Sources. A Developer can now use SharePoint Designer 2010 and VS 2010 rapid development tools to access external data. Read more at Business Data Catalog(BDC) VS Business Connectivity Services(BCS)

 

Question

What would you clean up before upgrading to SharePoint 2010?

Answer

Before you begin upgrading from Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 to Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, you should make sure that your environment is functioning in a healthy state and that you clean up any content that you do not have to upgrade. (More info can be found in my article on upgrading to SharePoint 2010 from 2007)

Question

What Browsers are not supported with SharePoint 2010?

Answer

Older browsers — such as Internet Explorer 6.x and Internet Explorer for Macintosh are not supported by Microsoft. Read More Browser Support at Browser Support in SharePoint 2010

 

Developer Questions:

Question

Can we use our custom master page with the application pages in SharePoint 2010 ?

Answer

With 2010, you can now set whether the pages under _Layouts use the same Master Page as the rest of your site. You can enable or disable this functionality through the web application settings in Central Administration. This however, is not applicable to your custom application pages. If you want your custom application page to inherit the site master page you must derive it from Microsoft.SharePoint.WebControls.LayoutsPageBase class.

Question

What does CMDUI.XML contain?

Answer

The definitions for the out-of-the-box ribbon elements are split across several files in the SharePoint root, with TEMPLATE\GLOBAL\XML\CMDUI.XML being the main one.

Question

Why would you use LINQ over CAML for data retrieval?

Answer

Unlike CAML, with LINQ to SharePoint provider, you are working with strongly typed list item objects. For example, an item in the Announcements list is an object of type Announcement and an item on a Tasks list is an object of type Task. You can then enumerate the objects and get the properties for your use. Also, you can use LINQ syntax and the LINQ keywords built into C# and VB for LINQ queries.

Question

How do you write to SharePoint ULS logs in 2010 ?

Answer

In SharePoint Foundation, ULS exposes configurable settings in two ways, through the – Object model and Windows PowerShell cmdlets. For writing to SharePoint ULS logs developers can can use Diagnostics Service, which will make the customized categories viewable in the administrative UI for our errors.
or they can use the number of cmdlets available for accessing ULS logs using powershell. Some of the cmdlets are Get-SPDiagnosticConfig ,Get-SPLogEvent etc.

Question

How does the Client object model work ?

Answer

When we use SharePoint client API’s to perform a specific task, the SharePoint Foundation 2010 managed client object model bundles up these uses of the API into XML and sends it to the server that runs SharePoint Foundation. The server receives this request, and makes appropriate calls into the object model on the server, collects the responses, forms them into JavaScript Object Notation (JSON), and sends that JSON back to the SharePoint Foundation 2010 managed client object model. The client object model parses the JSON and presents the results to the application as .NET Framework objects (or ECMAScript objects for ECMAScript).

Question

Whats New with SharePoint WebParts?

Answer

image

1. Visual Webparts – Allows you to Drag and Drop the controls from the Toolbox to WebPart Design surface. You can of course write your custom code in the code file. You can also package and deploy your webparts directly to Sharepoint from VS by pressing Clt+F5. Visual studio 2010 also provides you with three different views for developing webparts. The views are split view, design view and Source view(as we have in designer 2007).

Note : The Visual Webpart project Item basically loads a User Control as a WebPart.

2. ASP.Net WebParts – Where a developer can build up User Interface and logic in a class file. You do not have designer for drag and drop of controls. This webpart inherits from standard ASP.Net webpart. For Deployment we can again use ctrl+f5 to deploy this webpart.

Question

What is LINQ. How is it used in SharePoint ?

Answer

LINQ is a feature of the programming languages C# 3.0 and Visual Basic .NET. LINQ allows you to query in an object-oriented way, supports compile-time check, gives you intellisense support in Visual Studio and defines a unified, SQL like syntax to query any data source. But unlike other languages and query syntaxes which vary from one type of data source to another, LINQ can be used to query, in principle, any data source whatsoever. It is commonly used to query objects collections, XML and SQL server data sources.

The LINQ to SharePoint Provider is defined in the Microsoft.SharePoint.Linq namespace. It translates LINQ queries into Collaborative Application Markup Language (CAML) queries.

 

In closing the better your understanding of the product the better the questions you are able to create. Using the above questions as well as some from the links should allow you to create a good overall measure of the candidates ability.

I normally use the questions as a gauge to figure out what position would suit the candidate best moving from the initial basic admin/IT Pro questions up to development depending on how they fare.

I think the point is also not to confuse what the responses are with what is required information from the respondent, in other words if the interviewee has a good understanding of the information being queried and not responding as per the answers outlined; then that would be good enough for me.

 

And here are a few general tips on the general interview process, which I thought were quite interesting as well (non technical) – http://lifehacker.com/hiring/

 

Some of the references for the above questions:

Developer Interview Questions – http://mysharepointwork.blogspot.com/2010/11/sharepoint-2010-developer-interview.html  

General Interview Questions  –  http://mysharepointwork.blogspot.com/2010/01/sharepoint-2010-interview-questions_20.html

Admin Questions – http://mysharepointwork.blogspot.com/2010/02/sharepoint-2010-interview-questions-for.html

IT/Pro Questions – http://www.sharepointsecurity.com/sharepoint/sharepoint-architecture/50-sharepoint-2010-interview-questions-with-answers-it-pro-architect/

A few more developer questions – http://www.codepoll.com/cp-Sharepoint/post/SharePoint-2010-developer-interview-questions-Part-2.aspx

A 4 part developer questionnaire – http://www.learningsharepoint.com/2011/09/03/sharepoint-2010-developer-interview-questions-and-answers/

Developer Questions with no answers (for those of you that know your stuff Winking smile ) – http://blog.robgarrett.com/2011/03/09/interview-questions-for-sharepoint-developer-position/

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