The CodePlex Corner: SUSHI

The CodePlex Corner: SUSHI

The link to the project is https://sushi.codeplex.com/

The project that this edition of the CodePlex Corner is going to look at has been part of the SharePoint community for quite a while. It goes by the name of Sushi (which stands for SharePoint Utility with a Smart, Helpful Interface) and was originally intended to be an administrative Swiss army knife for those that look after infrastructure. Sushi has been created by Joseph Fluckiger, a senior software architect at ThermoFisher, with additional SharePoint 2010 contributions being made by SharePoint MVP Ryan Hayes.

Sushi is a Windows form application that needs to be run from one of the SharePoint servers in order to work. It is available for SharePoint 2007 and 2010. There is no SharePoint 2013 version currently available. When you download and run Sushi from CodePlex, it does not install any DLLS, web parts or anything that can be considered invasive. However it does search for the appropriate hive folder for your version of SharePoint. It’s for this reason that Sushi cannot currently be run from a desktop client.

It has been built as a server client application for the following reasons: –

  1. Richer client interface, which is deemed easier to use than web parts
  2. The security reports feature (that reports on specific user rights) within Sushi does not hide anything from the person generating the report. This is something that you might not want all users to have access to
  3. It was felt that more functionality was available by creating the tool as a windows form application rather than via web parts and layouts pages

Historically, Sushi popped up on the SharePoint stage back in the SharePoint 2007 era with a number of handy utilities and functions that stsadm just couldn’t provide. The introduction of PowerShell support from SharePoint 2010 onwards has lessened the usefulness of Sushi slightly but it hasn’t eliminated it entirely. It is still a valuable tool for active SharePoint 2007 deployments and a handy addition for SP2010 administrators who have limited PowerShell knowledge. Sushi has enough literature of its own to guide a user through what it does but for the sake of convenience its current features are document below. The following table provides a snapshot view of what Sushi provides: –

Category

Actions & Notes

Administration

  • User Security Reports: View all sites / lists a user can access
  • Profile Images Import: Upload profile images and apply them to User Profiles
  • Site Backup: Backup a site
  • Site Restore: Restore a site
  • Email Test: Send a test email to make sure that outbound email is correctly set-up

List / Library Management

  • Copy View: Copy view from one list to another
  • Metadata: Get detailed information about metadata in a list. Move metadata from one column to another for all items in a list
  • Bulk List Creation: Create a large number of lists based on a template
  • Bulk Site Columns: Create site columns
  • Import Documents: Upload file structures from a file share or source folder into a SharePoint document library
  • Delete Old Documents: Copy documents older than a specified date into an archive folder and then delete from SharePoint

Site Management

  • Bulk Site Creation: Bulk-create sites based on a site template
  • Bulk Apply Themes: Apply a theme to many sites at once

 

This is a screenshot of the Sushi interface once it has been downloaded and started. The options detailed in the table above are present on the left hand side of the application with the main window available for interacting with each feature.


Something that needs to be reconciled is how old Sushi is and the fact that there are now other facilities available that may compete with it. With the stsadm utility is a deprecated utility and that many SharePoint technical staff are becoming fluent in PowerShell it would be prudent to review each of the features that Sushi offers against modern day alternatives. The table below is provided for illustration and to help users decide which features may be of use to them.

Action

Notes

Alternatives

User Security Reports

This feature allows the administrator to display which sites and lists/libraries a user has access to within a site collection. It also allows an administrator to view which AD groups an account is part of.

SP Admin toolkit and PowerShell scripts are free utilities but these are not as easy to use.

 

SPFarmReport, is a CodePlex alternative that allows you to generate holistic reports for all uses

Profile Images Import

A very useful feature that is limited by the need for an image name to match an account name. Some characters are also hardcoded.

PowerShell can be used for SharePoint 2010 deployments that have image present in AD and kb2394320 installed. Script and instructions detailed here.

 

PowerShell can also be used to upload the images to a SharePoint 2010 library and alter the –PictureUrl parameter. Script and instructions detailed here.

Site Backup

The Sushi back-up facility is a wrapper for stsadm functionality. Its time r functionality plugs into the Windows Task Scheduler

PowerShell commands for back-up / restore and export / import for SharePoint 2010 deployments. These provide more functionality.

 

Very good utility for SharePoint 2007 deployments still

Site Restore

The Sushi restore facility is a wrapper for stsadm functionality. Its time r functionality plugs into the Windows Task Scheduler

PowerShell commands for back-up / restore and export / import for SharePoint 2010 deployments are best suited for these tasks.

 

Very good utility for SharePoint 2007 deployments still

Email Test

Very useful utility for both SharePoint 2010 and 2007. It still requires the SMTP settings to be configured but removes the need to create an alert manually. This feature is also useful for SharePoint migrations into 2007 / 2010

Matthew Yarlett has discovered and documented a mock SMTP solution in CodePlex .

 

The link to the smtp4dev facility is https://smtp4dev.codeplex.com/

Copy View

Incredibly useful feature and no other facility exists that allows easy replication of views from one list to another.

 

This only works within a single site level.

Nothing else exists that can do this for either SharePoint 2007 or SharePoint 2010

Metadata

This facility allows provides bulk and easy editing for metadata within a list / library. A tutorial for this has been written here.

Very useful for both SharePoint 2007 and 2010. Sushi provides more flexibility than the datasheet view and removes the need to filter and interact with data

Bulk List Creation

Quick and easy facility for bulk list creation. Limited to single site level

PowerShell is an alternative but the complexity of the sort of scripts needed for this needs some familiarity with PowerShell

Bulk Site Columns

Quick and easy facility for the creation of site columns in bulk.

PowerShell is an alternative but the complexity of the sort of scripts needed for this needs some familiarity with PowerShell

Import Documents

With this feature, Sushi allows you to import a directory tree into SharePoint. It’ll remove illegal characters for you too.

 

This usability of this feature is determined by how you approach metadata. If you use the term store or columns instead of folders, than this may not be as useful

  1. Metalogix Content Matrix is an commercial alternative
  2. DocAve File System Migrator is a commercial alternative
  3. Vyapin Document Import Kit is a commercial alternative
  4. SharePoint 2010 Bulk Uploader is a CodePlex alternative

Delete Old Documents

Another potentially useful, Sushi allows you to archive files from a SharePoint library onto the desktop / servers. It is an on demand facility that does not provide the ability to schedule when archiving is done.

This can be achieved with PowerShell as documented here.

 

OOB functionality that can do this is Information Rights Policy.

Bulk Site Creation

Useful site that creates sub-sites swiftly. It accepts copy / paste parameters from the clip board that you may have prepared with an Excel spread sheet

PowerShell will also allow you to achieve this but it would be tricky

Bulk Apply Themes

This allows you to apply sites to a site and its subsites.

PowerShell will also allow you to achieve this but it would be tricky

 

Link to SharePointReviews.com product review

Currently there is no product review for Sushi on SharePointReviews.com

“End User – Developer” scale

Sushi sits comfortably on the administration spoke of the End User à Developer scale. It has some tools that could be useful to power users but the need to run this from any of the SharePoint servers means is a potential security risk. Therefore, those that will be using Sushi are more than likely going to be experienced, technical staff.

Potential pitfalls / problems

The following points are ones that should be taken into account whilst using the application:

  1. The utility has to be run from a SharePoint server and has no client version
  2. The profile images import hardcodes a backslash character before the username and does not allow you to specify mappable attributes. The image name must match a profile name
  3. The import document function has hardcoded file types that it blocks rather than relying on those specified in the S
  4. The back-up / restore stsadm commands are still subject to stsadm size limitations

Tutorial

A Sushi tutorial is being written and will be linked from this article shortly. This tutorial only covers the features of Sushi that cannot easily be recreated. These are: –

  1. Security Reports
  2. Email Test
  3. Copy View
  4. Meta Data
  5. Delete Old Documents

Conclusion and relevant links

Sushi, despite being one of the elder statesmen of the CodePlex SharePoint project community, is still worth a place in an administrator’s arsenal. The niche that it occupies has shrunk a little, mostly due to the addition of PowerShell support to SharePoint but the attention and care that was originally put into the application has made it very resilient to the aging process. Whilst a few features such as the back-up / restore tools are somewhat redundant almost everything else is still useful. In the long run however, unless the tool is upgraded for the SharePoint 2013 / Office 365 era its scope of usefulness will eventually diminish.

The links below are my reference list: –

  1. Sushi Project Site on CodePlex
  2. Joseph Fluckinger Blog
  3. Ryan Hayes Blog
  4. Patric Luka’s Metadata tutorial for metadata
  5. Matthew Yarlett’s smtp4dev TechNet article
  6. Roger Cormier’s Bulk Download Script