Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ten Productivity Reasons to Move to Microsoft SharePoint 2013

One huge risk in any technology roll out is training and adoption of the new version, which is often the biggest sticking point of moving off of technology with which users are comfortable. There are still plenty of people on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, even though the support window is coming to a close.

The key to success with any technology upgrade is proving that return on investment from a productivity perspective. My Top Ten Productivity Reasons to Move to Microsoft SharePoint 2013 are:

1. Document Management

Uploading documents in previous versions of SharePoint have always meant a lot of awkward clicking and a huge change from using the file share where I just drag and drop off my local machine. Sure, there was “Open in Windows Explorer” but it was slow and unstable. The new drag-and-drop functionality of SharePoint document libraries, is amazing.

The other option of getting documents into SharePoint 2010 quickly was utilizing SharePoint Workspace, but that often was unpredictable and had document library scalability limitations. In SharePoint 2013, SkyDrive Pro is a new attempt at taking your content offline and replace SharePoint Workspace. The experience of taking your documents offline has also been improved by simply clicking the sync button. This is much more of the “drop box” experience that I hear is massively being adopted for its ease of use in businesses.

2. Sharing

Some of the major reasons SharePoint doesn’t get adopted as a document management system is the ease of simply sharing files via e-mail attachments or through Sky Drive or Dropbox. SharePoint 2013 introduces a new concept of “Share” that really takes the effort out of security management for business users by simply nominating the user or group and what permissions with two clicks. In itself, it also introduces some concerns around the security mess you could be left with so usage policies need to be thought about.

3. User Interface

When you first see SharePoint 2013, you realize it is a significant change over what is now in SharePoint 2010. The main changes are the “less is more” theories being applied in cleaning up the interface. Getting rid of some of the SharePoint-nuances like “Site Actions” and replacing with settings cog icon, having the getting started “Modern UI” tiles being front and center – but more importantly removable – getting rid of the useless photo that survived both SharePoint 2007 and SharePoint 2010 in team site template! It feels like a more polished, ”user first” user interface.

4. Social

Facebook and Twitter are the kings of social and have been around for a long time, and with the release of SharePoint 2013 some of the user experiences have been introduced. For me, the biggest additions are the “@” symbol to lookup people to reference in social activity updates, the new communities with badges to gamify collaboration, and the ability to follow not only people but also documents, sites and tags. SharePoint 2010 was really missing the last piece to truly encourage users to adopt social and invest the time in social tagging.

5. Search

I, like many SharePoint users, spend a lot of time trying to find documents. I don’t have the capacity to think how every person in the business files documents away. No matter how good the information architecture is, stuff doesn’t always get put in the correct spot. Search enables me to discover information quickly, and SharePoint 2013 enables me to find things much more quickly with quick document previews in the web browser, much better search refiners on the left-hand side, and subtle improvements like “view library” and “send”.

6. Managed Metadata

When I reflect back on SharePoint 2010, the major addition was certainly the Managed Metadata service to allow me to tag content with a taxonomy or folksonomy of terms. This is a huge area for helping to improve discovery of content by searching and refining by terms. Although the user interface hasn’t changed since SharePoint 2010, there are a number of improvements – such as being able to follow terms from a social perspective. The other addition is the ability to have properties associated with terms, which has been introduced to have navigation driven by term sets. One great shame here is that this cannot be used to solve the cross-site collection navigation issue.

7. Site Policies

Site Policies were also available in SharePoint 2010 by accessing via the Central Admin user interface. The site policies allowed you to send email notifications to business users if their sites were not accessed for a set period of time. This really helps with business users who are accountable for sites and need to clean them up over time. This was really a “nag” email, and there was no real visibility of which sites were out of policy. In SharePoint 2013, the site policies now trigger workflows that you can build and have various configurations for handling inactive sites.

8. Web Content Management

Running internet facing sites on SharePoint has been around since MOSS 2007, but didn’t really mature in SharePoint 2010. With that said, it is clear that there is a great focus on this for SharePoint 2013. From a business productivity perspective, this not only benefits internet facing site authors, but also internal sites that want these advanced publishing features. Improvements in embedding video directly into pages, much shorter URLs, and the ability to have better multi-lingual and multi-device support means that your Intranet, Extranet will work much better!

9. Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence continues to evolve in SharePoint 2013 with improvements across the board in Excel client, Excel services, PerformancePoint services and Visio services. The in-memory capabilities of Excel client now allow business users to pull data from various sources and build amazing sheets in minutes.

10. Apps and the Marketplace

The new app model takes the risk out of customizations from an upgrade perspective and allows for much more flexibility than the sandboxed solution model. Out of the gate, there is not much there – but you can be sure that the marketplace will grow exponentially to benefit users.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Windows 8 has been released to manufacturing (RTM)!


  • August 15th: Developers will be able to download the final version of Windows 8 via your MSDN subscriptions.
  • August 15th: IT professionals testing Windows 8 in organizations will be able to access the final version of Windows 8 through your TechNet subscriptions.
  • August 16th: Customers with existing Microsoft Software Assurance for Windows will be able to download Windows 8 Enterprise edition through the Volume License Service Center (VLSC), allowing you to test, pilot and begin adopting Windows 8 Enterprise within your organization.
  • August 16th: Microsoft Partner Network members will have access to Windows 8.
  • August 20th: Microsoft Action Pack Providers (MAPS) receive access to Windows 8.
  • September 1st: Volume License customers without Software Assurance will be able to purchase Windows 8 through Microsoft Volume License Resellers.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

SharePoint 15 / 2013 is here! Preview

There’s a lot to know.

Here are some links that will help you gain an understanding of what’s coming down the road from Microsoft.
·         SharePoint 2013 training videos
·         SharePoint 2013 for IT pros
·         What's new for developers in SharePoint 2013
·         Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Preview Evaluation Resources
·         Download Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Preview

Friday, May 4, 2012

Installing SharePoint 2010 on SQLSERVER 2012

If you are using SQL Server 2012 features with a SharePoint farm, you must apply SharePoint Server2010 Service Pack 1 (SP1) to the farm before adding SQL Server 2012 features. Pre-SP1 version of SharePoint 2010 uses a deprecated feature that was removed in Microsoft SQL Server 2012 . Applying SP1 adds a new methodology for connecting to SQL Server 2012 features.

This section describes the errors that will occur if SP1 is not installed. Errors are most likely to occur when you create a farm or update information in the configuration database. The following list summarizes the more common ways you will encounter this error.
  • In ULS logs, you will find the following error: Could not find stored procedure 'sp_dboption'.
  • In the SharePoint Products Configuration wizard, the wizard fails to create the configuration database.

  • Error in farm configuration wizard

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

What's New for SharePoint Development in Visual Studio 11 Beta

The SharePoint developer tools in Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview contain new designers and templates to facilitate SharePoint development, as well as new options for deploying and testing SharePoint sites. See the following descriptions to learn about these and other new features.
This topic contains the following sections.
  • Create Lists and Content Types by Using New Designers
  • Create Site Columns
  • Create Silverlight Web Parts
  • Publish SharePoint Solutions to Remote SharePoint Servers
  • Test SharePoint Performance by Using Profiling Tools
  • Create Sandboxed Visual Web Parts
  • Improved Support for Sandboxed Solutions.
  • Support for JavaScript Debugging and IntelliSense for JavaScript
  • Streamlined SharePoint Project Templates

What's New for SharePoint Development in Visual Studio 11 Beta

Sunday, April 1, 2012

SharePoint Server 2010 OOTB Web Parts

To cover the web parts available with SharePoint Server 2010 for a comparison of the two versions. With the server version there are 11 categories but in SharePoint Foundation there are only 5 which is very understandable when you compare a free version to a fully featured server application that can support millions of users.
This list of web parts is based on the enterprise edition the next time I do a standard install I will also list those.

The categories and web parts are as follows:-

List and Libraries
  • Announcements – Use this list to track upcoming events, status updates or other team news
  • Calendar – Use the Calendar list to keep informed of upcoming meetings, deadlines, and other important events
  • Links - Use the Links list for links to Web pages that your team members will find interesting or useful
  • Shared Documents – Share a document with the team by adding it to this document library
  • Site Assets – Use this library to store files which are included on pages within this site, such as images on Wiki pages
  • Site Pages – Use this library to create and store pages on this site
  • Tasks – Use the Tasks list to keep track of work that you or your team needs to complete
  • Team Discussions – Use the Team Discussion list to hold newsgroup-style discussions on topics relevant to your team
Business Data
  • Business Data Actions – Displays a list of actions from Business Data Connectivity
  • Business Data Connectivity Filter – Filters the contents of Web Parts using a list of values from the Business Data Connectivity
  • Business Data Item – Displays one item from a data source in Business Data Connectivity
  • Business Data Item Builder – Creates a Business Data item from parameters in the query string and provides it to other Web Parts
  • Business Data List – Displays a list of items from a data source in Business Data Connectivity
  • Business Data Related List – Displays a list of items related to one or more parent items from a data source in Business Data Connectivity
  • Chart Web Part – Helps you to visualize your data on SharePoint sites and portals
  • Excel Web Access – Use the Excel Web Access Web Part to interact with an Excel workbook as a Web page
  • Indicator Details – Displays the details of a single Status Indicator. Status Indicators display an important measure for an organization and may be obtained from other data sources including SharePoint lists, Excel workbooks, and SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services KPIs.
  • Status Lists – Shows a list of Status Indicators. Status Indicators display important measures for your organization, and show how your organization is performing with respect to your goals.
  • Visio Web Access – Enables viewing and refreshing of Visio Web Drawings
Content Rollup
  • Categories – Displays categories from the Site Directory
  • Content Query – Displays a dynamic view of content from your site
  • Relevant Documents – Displays documents that are relevant to the current user
  • RSS Viewer – Displays an RSS feed
  • Site Aggregator – Displays sites of your choice.
  • Sites In Category – Displays sites from the Site Directory within a specific category
  • Summary Links – Allows authors to create links that can be grouped and styled
  • Table Of Contents – Displays the navigation hierarchy of your site
  • Web Analytics web Part – Displays the most viewed content, most frequent search queries from a site, or most frequent search queries from a search center
  • WSRP Viewer – Displays portlets from web sites using WSRP 1.1
  • XML Viewer – Transforms XML data using XSL and shows the results
  • Choice Filter – Filters the contents of Web Parts using a list of values entered by the page author
  • Current User Filter – Filters the contents of Web Parts by using properties of the current user
  • Date Filter – Filter the contents of Web Parts by allowing users to enter or pick a date
  • Filter Actions – Use the Filter Actions Web Part when you have two or more filter Web Parts on one Web Part Page, and you want to synchronize the display of the filter results
  • Page Field Filter – Filters the contents of Web Parts using information about the current page
  • Query String (URL) Filter – Filters the contents of Web Parts using values passed via the query string
  • SharePoint List Filter - Filters the contents of Web Parts by using a list of values
  • SQL Server Analysis Services Filter – Filters the contents of Web Parts using a list of values from SQL Server Analysis Services cubes
  • Text Filter – Filters the contents of Web Parts by allowing users to enter a text value
  • HTML Form Web Part – Connects simple form controls to other Web Parts
  • InfoPath Form Web Part – Use this Web Part to display an InfoPath browser-enabled form
Media and Content
  • Content Editor – Allows authors to enter rich text content
  • Image Viewer – Displays a specified image
  • Media Web Part – Use to embed media clips (video and audio) in a web page
  • Page Viewer - Displays another Web page on this Web page. The other Web page is presented in an IFrame
  • Picture Library Slideshow Web Part – Use to display a slideshow of images and photos from a picture library
  • Silverlight Web part – A web part to display a Silverlight application
Outlook Web App
  • My Calendar – Displays your calendar using Outlook Web Access for Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 or later
  • My Contacts – Displays your contacts using Outlook Web Access for Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 or later
  • My Inbox – Displays your inbox using Outlook Web Access for Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 or later
  • My Mail Folder – Displays your mail folder using Outlook Web Access for Microsoft Exchange Server 2000
  • My Tasks – Displays your tasks using Outlook Web Access for Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 or later
  • PerformancePoint Filter – This web part displays PerformancePoint filters. Filters may be linked to other web parts to provide an interactive dashboard experience. Filter types include lists and trees based on a variety of data sources
  • PerformancePoint Report – This web part displays PerformancePoint reports. Reports may be linked to other web parts to create an interactive dashboard experience. Report types include: Analytic charts & grids, Strategy Maps, Excel Services, Reporting Services, Predictive Trend charts, and web pages
  • PerformancePoint Scorecard – This web part displays a PerformancePoint scorecard. Scorecards may be linked to other web parts, such as filters and reports, to create an interactive dashboard experience.
  • PerformancePoint Stack Selector – This web part displays a PerformancePoint Stack Selector. All PerformancePoint web parts, such as filters and reports, contained in the same zone will be automatically stacked and selectable using this web part.
  • Advanced Search Box – Displays parameterized search options based on properties and combinations of words.
  • Dual Chinese Search – Used to search Dual Chinese document and items at the same time.
  • Federated Results – Displays search results from a configured location
  • People Refinement Panel – This webpart helps the users to refine people search results
  • People Search Box – Presents a search box that allows users to search for people
  • People Search Core Results – Displays the people search results and the properties associated with them.
  • Refinement Panel – This webpart helps the users to refine search results
  • Related Queries – This webpart displays related queries to a user query
  • Search Action Link – Displays the search action links on the search results page
  • Search Best Bet – Displays high-confidence results on a search results page.
  • Search Box – Displays a search box that allows users to search for information.
  • Search Core Results – Displays the search results and the properties associated with them
  • Search Paging – Display links for navigating pages containing search results.
  • Search Statistics – Displays the search statistics such as the number of results shown on the current page, total number of results and time taken to perform the search.
  • Search Summary – Displays suggestions for current search query
  • Search Visual Best Bet – Displays Visual Best Bet
  • Top Federated Results – Displays the Top Federated result from the configured location
Social Collaboration
  • Contact Details – Displays details about a contact for this page or site.
  • Note Board – Enable users to leave short, publicly-viewable notes about this page.
  • Organization Browser – This Web Part displays each person in the reporting chain in an interactive view optimized for browsing organization charts.
  • Site Users – Use the Site Users Web Part to see a list of the site users and their online status.
  • Tag Cloud – Displays the most popular subjects being tagged inside your organization
  • User Tasks – Displays tasks that are assigned to the current user.
  • What’s New – This Web part shows new information from specified lists and libraries
  • Whereabouts – Use to display Whereabouts information

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Developing Applications for SharePoint 2010

Patterns & Practices Developer Center for SharePoint 2010 introduces rich new areas of functionality that create more choices and fresh opportunities for developers and solution architects. Sandboxed solutions, new options for data modeling and data access, and new client programming models with Silverlight and Ajax integration offer a step change in what you can accomplish with SharePoint applications.
The documentation is divided into four core sections.

SharePoint 15 Features and Resources

“SharePoint 15″ – Its a hot topic in SharePoint world right now and I finally felt a need to write something about it. I am no expert on SharePoint 15 and I have no inside details about what features are included in SharePoint 15 but I have collected few key features that were mentioned by some of the great SharePoint gurus out there. Don’t forget to check the references for them at the end.
Features -
1. SharePoint 15 will include a new SharePoint Apps Marketplace.
2. New App Store Database Provider – App ‘package’ can be configured to use any back-end database that supports the new Database provider interfaces.
3. SharePoint Apps will support multi-tenant installations so that hosting providers can make available the same set of applications to multiple customers.
4. SharePoint 15 gets a new Education module/option.
(Another FYI – Microsoft is also working on making its Office 365 for Education globally available this summer as the successor to Live@Edu. Microsoft plans three pricing/licensing plans for it, namely A2, A3 and A4, the first of them being free for both students and faculty.)
5. SharePoint 15 and Exchange Server 15 are both getting additional built-in information-rights-management (IRM) document-protection functionality as part of the base products.
6. SharePoint Server 15 will also feature Rights Management Services (RMS) integration.
7. SharePoint 15 supports OAuth.
8. MDS or Minimal Download Strategy (MDS allows websites to take much less bandwidth than with traditional technologies.)
9. Project Online: New Project site to manage lightweight projects.
10. Visio cloud service component.
11. SharePoint Duet: A cloud version of the Duet add-on Developed by SAP and Microsoft that allows SharePoint to integrate with SAP applications.
12. Support for viewing business intelligence content on Apple iPad devices.
13. New Versioning – Now you will be also able to version entire parts of SharePoint. An entire site for instance.
14. Improved Client Object Model – The Client Object Model is extended with Search. Also no need to add Form Digest control in your page you can include that in your ClientContext.
References -

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Industry is Changing—What about Your Skills

You’ve probably noticed that IT Technology cycles continue to compress. The advantages of Microsoft’s private cloud solution mean that it is easier and quicker than ever to develop and deploy new applications in a private cloud datacenter. And the software companies you depend on for your tools and environment—like Microsoft—have compressed their cycles, too. That means new more change, more often, as your work environment updates with new software and technologies.
Microsoft Certification continually updates too, to help you keep your skills up to date in this changing environment. We’re keeping Microsoft Certifications current with more streamlined, solutions-based certification paths covering the latest trends in the industry. For example, in addition to our upcoming Private Cloud certification, a Windows 8 Certification is coming soon.

And having a Microsoft Certification sends a clear message to employers that you have proven skills in the latest technologies. For instance, a 2011 CompTIA study found that IT professionals gain an average 9% salary increase immediately after receiving certification, and 29% over the long term, versus peers who are not certified (, 2011-10-19). And in a in a 2010 survey of hiring managers, 91% said they consider employee certification as a criterion for hiring (Microsoft Learning, 2010).

Friday, March 23, 2012

Online Free SharePoint 2010 Trainings for Developers

  1. Get Started Developing on SharePoint 2010
    Use these ten modules to get started with development for SharePoint 2010 using Visual Studio 2010.
  2. Video Center | SharePoint 2010 Development
    Have just a few minutes to learn something new? Watch these short videos about creating custom solutions with SharePoint Online, SharePoint Server, and SharePoint Foundation.
  3. SharePoint 2010 Developer Training Kit
    Guidance that provides developers with advanced guidance on how to develop for SharePoint.
  4. SharePoint 2010 Advanced Developer Training
    SharePoint 2010 Advanced Developer Training offers technical training as self-paced modules and hosted labs for SharePoint 2007 professionals who want to upgrade their skills to SharePoint 2010.
  5. SharePoint 2010 Enterprise Search Developer Training
    The Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Enterprise Search training course provides a series of hands-on labs, presentations, and videos that demonstrate how to enable high-end enterprise search with Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 for Search and Microsoft FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint
  6. SharePoint 2010 for Internet Sites Implementers' Course
    This course describes how to implement and brand a SharePoint based public website using SharePoint web content management (WCM).
  7. SharePoint 2010 Enterprise Content Management Implementers' Course
    This course teaches implementers how to leverage features in SharePoint Server to implement an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system.