SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint 2016 brought new social networking capabilities to the SharePoint collaboration space. With My Sites, users can store documents, keep up their profile information in the news feed, contribute to the organization via blogs, follow activities on sites, people, tags, documents, etc.! In short: My Site is the personal space for individual users in an organization. At a high level, configuring my sites in SharePoint 2016 involves the following steps:
- Create a dedicated web application & My Site host site collection
- Add a wildcard inclusion managed path to the web application
- Enable self-service site creation for the web application
- Create a permission policy & Grant everyone permission to My Site web application
- Configure My Site settings for the User Profile service application
The primary advantage of SharePoint My sites in a real-world scenario would be:
- People Search – My Sites lets your users update their contact details on their personal sites. At organization level, This leads to locate and get someone’s profile rapidly.
- Skill Search – SharePoint people search automatically indexes expertise from the profile data; and in SharePoint people search, we can find anyone with a specific skill sets within the organization!
This article walks you through step by step on creating and configuring My Sites for SharePoint 2016. Although this article aims at SharePoint 2016, the same steps apply to SharePoint 2013 as well.
Before creating My Sites in SharePoint, you need to have the following services adequately configured.
- User Profile Service application – SharePoint My Sites depends on UPS! User Profile Service Application will be used to map the My Sites with the User Profiles.
- Managed Metadata service application – My Site users Keywords! so have MMS created & configured prior setting up My Sites.
- Search service application – not mandatory, but best practice for people search results!
Step 1: Create New web application for My Sites
Although you can use an existing web application, it’s best to create a dedicated web application for My sites for reasons like security, performance, etc. So, To start with, let’s create a dedicated web application to host our my sites in SharePoint 2016.
- Open SharePoint 2016 Central Administration site.
- From Application Management >> Click the Manage Web Applications >> Click New to Create New Web Application.
- Provide a Name, Port, Host Header, and fill the rest of the new web application form. Hit OK to create new web application.
Create My Site Host Site Collection in SharePoint 2016:
Once the web application is created, proceed with creating a site collection at the web application’s root.
- From SharePoint 2016 Central Administration, select Application Management and then select Create site collections
- Select the Web application we created in the previous step.
- Provide a name and description to the site collection.
- Choose the “My Site Host” as template.
- Provide a primary site collection administrator.
- Leave the quota option default.
- Click the OK button to create the site collection.
Step 2: Add new managed path to the My Site Web Application:
Managed paths define the location to host site collections within a web application. In our environment, When SharePoint users provision their My Sites, we would like them to reside at https://mysite.crescent.com/personal/name-of-person/. So, We defined a wildcard managed path for “/personal/” as follows:
- From SharePoint Central Administration >> Manage Web Application >> Select the My Site Host Web Application you just created.
- In the ribbon click the Managed Paths button >> Define Managed Paths dialog, Add a new path called “personal” (or “my” or whatever you like!) and make it Wildcard inclusion. Click “Add Path” and then OK once done.
- Optionally, You can delete the OOTB “Sites” managed path from My site web application.
Step 3: Enable self-service site creation for the web application
The self-service site creation option enables the end-user to automatically create their own My site collection.
- Select your web application from Manage Web Applications page of Central Administration site.
- Click on “Self Service Site Creation” button for the web application
- Select “On” for Site Collections and “Prompt users to create a team site” under Start a Site. Provide the managed path we created (“/personal”). Leave the rest default.
Step 4: Add Permission Level Policy & User Permission to My Site Web Application (Optional):
Perform this step only when you want your users to create subsites under my site collection. Create a permission level policy with “Create Subsites” rights.
- Select your My Site web application and Click on the “Permission Policy” button from the ribbon. In the “Manage Permission Policy Levels”, click on “Add Permission Policy Level” link.
- Under Permissions, scroll to Site Permissions, select the Grant option for “Create Subsites – Create subsites such as team sites, Meeting Workspace sites, and Document Workspace sites”. Now, the new permission policy level should appear among other policy levels.
- You need to grant that policy level to all users. Highlight your my site web application, click on the “User Policy” button from the ribbon.
- Click on the “Add users” link >> Choose All zones and enter the users as “Everyone”. Click OK to commit your changes.
Step 5: Configure My Site URL in the User Profile Service Application
Alright, now you have a My Site Web Application, My Site Host root site collection, wildcard managed path, and self-service enabled for the web application. The only remaining thing would be to set up My Site URL on User Profile Service Application So that the user profile service knows where to create new site collections for user My Sites.
- Go to Central Administration >> Application Management >> Manage service applications.
- Select your User Profile Service Application >> On the Manage User profile service page, in the My Site Settings section, click on “Set up My Sites” link.
- Enter the Site Host URL and click Save.
- Specify other settings like Personal Site Location, Site Naming Format, Secondary Owner, etc.
Each My Site exists as a separate site collection to provide security isolation in SharePoint.
Optional: Set up interval for activity feed timer job
Go to the Central Administration >> Monitoring >> Timer Job >> Review job definitions
Find “User Profile Service Application – Activity Feed Job”, and set up the activity feed sync time according to your needs. By default, it’s set to run for every 10 Minutes.
Create My Sites in SharePoint 2016:
So, we completed all configurations to get My sites up and running. Let’s perform a quick test.
- Go to any of the SharePoint sites on the farm and select the “About Me” link from the welcome menu.
- You will be redirected to your personal My Site home page if all fine, Where you can edit Your personal details like the profile picture, contact information, etc.
My Site Quota & Content Database sizing – Best Practices:
Setup Storage Quota for My Sites! By default, this setting is unlimited. – But you don’t want your SQL disks to get filled by My Sites, isn’t it?
By default, The maximum number of site collections created per content database is 5000. If you plan for 10,000 My Sites of 100 GB each, you’ll need 1000 TB disk space! So, plan to adhere to Content database sizing recommendation – 200 GB or less per content database for better performance.
Technet reference: Configure My Sites in SharePoint Server 2016