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Friday, December 14, 2012

Really using User Ratings in SharePoint 2010

Help – We’re not seeing User Ratings in SharePoint!

A common issue unfortunately - yes, it’s great they gave us User Ratings in SharePoint but for cryin' out loud, how are we supposed to use them?

Let’s look at the ratings settings – be it a list, library or a blog post. You can enable the ratings but then the problem comes in with how does a user access them? Really, you expected we’d send them to the library directly and they will look up the item and rate it? Sure.

In addition, even if ratings ARE enabled, it takes a long time for them to show up (if they show up at all!). Well, here’s the fix for all of that…

First: Ratings not showing after being set? The culprit is the User Profile Service Application - Social Rating Synchronization Job. By default, this guy is set to run on an HOURLY basis – this means ratings are accumulated every hour. If your users expect to see this faster, you have to adjust the job in Central Administration to a more realistic number (like every 10 minutes).

Second: Wait a minute, I set the ratings but there is no job called “User Profile Service Application - Social Rating Synchronization Job”? Ah – another problem. This means the service hasn't been completely setup. So – quick fix: Navigate to the site and create a new Document Library, enable Ratings in that library and delete it. The job should ‘appear’ in Central Administration.

Third: What good are ratings if users can’t realistically get to them? Use the User Rating Web Part created by SICG – available on CodePlex: User Rating Web Part

Fourth: Want to have a web part that will setup a blog site automatically? See CodePlex: Add User Ratings to Blog Sites

By the way - not sure how to setup ratings? See the instructions on the CodePlex site - I put full instructions there too.

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