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.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Keeping Relevant to Evolving Technology

Over the past 20 years, Microsoft Certifications have continually stayed relevant to the needs of technology professionals and the companies that employ them. Let’s look at some of the ways they’re keeping the certifications themselves relevant to changing technologies.
And speaking of changing technologies, IT departments all over the world have heard the news:

A private cloud delivers fundamentally new capabilities that represent a generational paradigm shift in computing.

By pooling resources across the datacenter and the enterprise and offering an elastic and usage-based self-service model, a private cloud solution simplifies deployment, maintenance, and cost, while increasing agility and power.

And this paradigm shift in computing means a paradigm shift in the skills IT professionals will need to configure, deploy, monitor, and operate private cloud solutions of today—and tomorrow. The increased capacity and capability of Private Cloud solutions means that IT Professionals and Developers will need to have a new and broader set of skills.

Microsoft Learning is addressing this need for new skills by ensuring it offers training and certifications that enable IT Pros and Developers to develop and validate their skill sets across this new range of skills with a focus on specific technology solutions.

One example of this effort is the recently announced private cloud certification. Available as a Beta release in April, the certification starts with the foundation of current Windows Server 2008 exams, and adds two new System Center 2012 exams, currently in beta.

Get started today by heading over to the Microsoft Private Cloud Certification Overview page. That’s where you can prepare and practice for the certification, sign up for our upcoming Private Cloud Jump Start course, and get a head start on your private cloud certification by starting your MCITP Server Administrator certification.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

SharePoint 2010 Products: Upgrade and the Fabulous 40 Application Templates

Many of us have used the "Fabulous 40 templates" that were created for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0. Some of these templates were created as site admin templates (.stp files) and some as server admin templates (.wsp files). Microsoft is not releasing new versions of these templates for SharePoint 2010 Products. Also, .stp files are deprecated and can't be used to create new sites when you upgrade to SharePoint Server 2010 or SharePoint Foundation 2010.
So, what do you do when you want to upgrade?
Sites based on these templates should upgrade, but you'll want to try out your upgrade in a test environment before you upgrade your production environment so that you can catch any potential issues. Definitely use the pre-upgrade checker to identify any issues (some people have seen problems with custom workflows or CAML-based views in the templates). However, after upgrade, you won't be able to use STP files to create new templates.
Type of templateCan I upgrade sites based on this template?Will I be able to use the template after upgrade?
Site admin (.stp file or site template)YesNo
Server admin (.wsp file or solution package)Yes*Yes*

*There are issues with a few of the .wsp files after upgrade. In particular, after upgrading, some customers are unable to create new sites based on the following templates: Absence Request and Vacation Schedule Management, Call Center, Help Desk, IT Team Workspace, Knowledge Base, and Physical Asset Tracking and Management. If you have trouble using any of these templates, you can post an issue in the SharePoint 2010 – Setup, Upgrade, Administration and Operation TechNet Forum at, or contact Microsoft Product Support.

So, what do you do if you're using an .stp file and you want to continue using it after upgrade? You can convert the .stp file to a .wsp file manually. To do this, in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 or Office SharePoint Server 2007, create a site based on the template, and then upgrade the site to 2010. Then, follow this procedure:
  1. On the Site Actions menu in the site, click Site Settings.
  2. On the Site Settings page, under Site Actions, click Save site as Template.
  3. On the Save as Template page, enter a file name and Template name and then click OK.
  4. The site template is saved as a WSP file to the Solutions Gallery for that site collection and you can create new sites based on that solution.
TechSolutions has already converted some of these templates to 2010 for you. Take a look at

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Script installations to save time and maintain consistencies

As SharePoint gets more and more complex, the use of scripted installations is essential to maintaining consistencies in your different staging environment. With the introduction and tight integration of PowerShell in SharePoint 2010, PowerShell has taken scripted installations to a whole new level. You should always use a scripted installation to not only save time, but to make sure that your installations look the same, allowing you to easily set up a new farm in case of a disaster.

There are a number of scripts out there to help you get started. The codeplex project AutoSPInstaller is a very good resource:

Friday, February 17, 2012

Awesome SharePoint-powered Sites

Great article from TopSharePoint awesome list of SharePoint-based websites that really stand out.


SharePoint : Choose Cloud or On-Premises?

Determining whether to use SharePoint Online instead of on-premises SharePoint can be complicated.Here’s a simple set of questions to help determine if SharePoint Online makes sense
Are you already using custom-coded SharePoint solutions, such as third-party tools or in-house Visual Web Parts?
Are you free from strict geographic control and accountability for your SharePoint content ?
Do you already have SharePoint engineers on staff?
Do you have a limited IT capital budget, but significant IT operating budgets?
Do you have a mature, on-premises installation of SharePoint 2010?
Do you have access to dedicated SharePoint developers?
Do you have as many or more users outside your corporate network as you do inside the firewall?
Do you need to downsize or eliminate physical servers and data centers used with SharePoint?
Do you need to migrate off a legacy installation of SharePoint 2007 or Windows SharePoint Services 3.0?
Do you need to rapidly set up a pilot or proof-of-concept SharePoint site, independent of any current usage?
Do you project growth to a very large content pool over the next year (500GB or more)?
Do you use or need to use SharePoint-hosted business intelligence solutions such as Performance Point?

Add up your scores, and see how you match up:
32: You are probably already on SharePoint Online or Office 365.    

24-31: You are a strong candidate for SharePoint Online. Study carefully and understand some of the functional tradeoffs of the platform. SharePoint Online doesn’t support the following:
  • Deployment of custom solutions that require direct access to the server, such as Visual Web Parts. It does support sandboxed solutions, however.
  • PowerPivot
  • SQL Server Reporting Service Integration
  • Business Connectivity Services (originally this was a blanket restriction, but a slipstream release in 2011 added support for access to web services-based remote data in O365 BCS).
  • FAST Search Server Integration
  • Web Analytics
  • Site collections greater than 100GB
10-23: You are somewhere in between. Understanding the platform advantages and tradeoffs is essential to figuring out your cloud strategy. Odds are good that you may use a hybrid approach in which parts of your SharePoint world remain on premises, with other aspects living on Office 365.

0-9: If SharePoint is already living in your data center, it’s probably in the right place.

Office 365 and SharePoint Online lack features relative to on-premises SharePoint, this isn't expected to be a permanent situation. If we project forward through the next release of SharePoint, we can forecast a time when the on-premises and cloud versions of SharePoint provide nearly identical functions.
What will make it really interesting comes after that – when new features start showing up in the cloud before they are bundled into the next major SharePoint on-premises release. A cloud-hosted SharePoint offering with better functions and simplified ease of operation will be a hard combination to deny for many current on-premises users.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

My Profile, Microsoft SharePoint Forum :)

Large List Throttling over 5000 items in SharePoint 2010

If you are planning to upgrade from SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2010 -
you might want to consider your users that have list view lookups of over 5000 items and/or data column lookups of over 8 lookup columns. In SharePoint 2007, it was recommended not to go over 2000 list items to prevent poor performance on your farm.

In SharePoint 2010 throttling is enabled by default (This is configurable however in Central Administration). Throttlng is set to not display list view lookups of 5000 items or lists that have over 8 lookup columns.

The reason for this out of the box throttle is that if you are doing a lookup in SQL on less than 5000 rows, SQL executes a row level lock. If you execute a lookup with over 5000 items SQL executes a table lock which can potential impact all your site collections in that one ContentDB.

Here is a clever a SQL script to help audit your farms for these large lists and over 8 lookup columns - so you can warn your customers if they have any lists that will be throttled after you deploy SharePoint 2010.

t3.fullurl [WEBURL],
t1.tp_title [LISTNAME],
COUNT(t1.tp_id) [ITEMCOUNT],
ISNULL(MAX(t4.lookupCount),0) [lookupCount]
FROM DBO.alllists t1
JOIN DBO.alluserdata t2 ON t2.tp_listID = t1.tp_id
JOIN DBO.webs t3 ON = t1.tp_webid
SELECT siteID,listID,COUNT(listID) [lookupCount] FROM dbo.AllLookupRelationships
GROUP BY siteID,listID HAVING COUNT(listID) >= 8
) t4 ON t4.listID = t1.tp_id
WHERE t1.tp_title != 'User Information List'
GROUP BY t1.tp_id,t3.siteid,t3.fullurl,t1.tp_title
HAVING (COUNT(t1.tp_id) >= 5000 OR MAX(t4.lookupCount)>= 8)

SharePoint 2010 Chart Web Part

To get started, first you need an Enterprise version of SharePoint 2010.  Assuming, you do have an Enterprise key, you then need to activate the SharePoint Server Enterprise Site Collection Features.ChartWebPartFeature

This adds the chart web part (among other things). Then edit any page and add a Chart Web Part. You can find it under Miscellaneous

When you add it to the page, it uses some dummy data and displays a simple bar chart.

At this point, you might be asking yourself “What kind of data can I bind this to?”. By clicking Data & Appearance, you will see the following screen which leads you to links to customize the appearance or bind to data.

We’ll start by going to Connect Chat To Data. Look at these great options we have to choose from.

We can connect to another web part, a list, an external content type (looks like they need to update the BDC wording they have there), and to Excel Services.

What I did is I created a new custom list to contain Sales information. I used an External Data field to allow the user to pick a product from the external content type and enter in some sales data in a field.

This is the list we are going to use on our chart. On the next step of the wizard, we are allowed to pick a list. Note that it also allows you to choose other sites in the collection as well.

The next step allows you to filter your data first if you are so inclined.

The Chart Web Part has a ton of configurable options. On this last step is where you will start seeing some of them. The main thing to set here is your X and Y fields. You can also specify something to group by as well.

Once you finish this last step, you’ll get something that looks like this.

So, what we have here is a chart bound to data coming from a database (via external content type) and a SharePoint list. Pretty cool, right? I think so. It gets better though. What if your boss doesn’t like bar charts? No problem. There are tons of chart types to choose from. Just click on Data & Appearance again and then Customize Your Chart. Look at all of these built in chart types you have.

On the next step, you can further customize the chart you choose. It has some nice pre-built color themes and you can customize the size and what not. It also gives you a live preview as you change settings.

Here is what my new chart looks like.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Forrester’s latest Wave for Enterprise Social software

Forrester has just published their latest research on Enterprise Social software systems. The Wave chart shown here indicates that Jive, IBM, NewsGator and Telligent lead the list of vendors. You can get the entire report at
In analyzing the top four leaders in the Enterprise Social Software space, Forrester says:
  • Jive SBS: “… continues to drive to establish and lead “social business” as a new software category.”
  • IBM Connections: “… continues to move fast and exploit early bets on social. The company is now actively integrating Connections with its broader portfolio — including its portal, content, and business intelligence product lines”
  • Telligent Enterprise: “… maintains a razor-sharp focus on analytics, a platform designed from the ground up for extension, and a growing and impressive stable of partners.”
  • NewsGator Social Sites 2.0: “…takes SharePoint’s social offering to higher levels through its close partnership with the software giant. “

Office 15 video demo

Saturday, February 4, 2012

What’s NEW in SharePoint 15

    Microsoft is, not surprisingly, not commenting. Anyone who is a member of the Technical Preview is, as Hough points out, under non-disclosure. So the answer is: wait and see.

Hough’s post included a thankfully short chunk of standard language: “Office 15 will help people work, collaborate, and communicate smarter and faster than ever before.”

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to recognize the trends in the market, some of which Hough indicates in his post, including mobile devices, and the blurring of public and private cloud services and on-premise servers and clients.

Social and search are clearly hot, and Microsoft has demonstrated its commitment to investing in these spaces over the years.

Microsoft always works to improve scalability and manageability, and the features of SQL Server 2012 and Windows 8 Server certainly point to significant improvements in those areas, as well as redundancy and recoverability.

You’ve got to assume these features will feed up the “stack” into SharePoint’s capabilities.
There are also rough spots and gaps in functionality in the current versions of the product, and Microsoft has proven over the years that it does recognize many of those and fills them as the products evolve.

So there’s a lot of incredible opportunity for Microsoft to hit it out of the park with Office 15. My hope is that, for the enterprise, the impact of Office 15 could be as significant and valuable as what we’re seeing with the potential of Windows 8 in the client and consumer space.
It’s going to be a very interesting ride, and I look forward to reporting developments to you as Microsoft releases information.

WHEN will Office 15 release?

The Technical Preview milestone means that select customers can access the products now, or very soon. These customers typically have a tight support relationship with Microsoft during the preview.
While most customers will work with the product in non-production environments, my experience has been that some push the envelope and the limits of “bleeding edge.” Either way, when something goes wrong, Microsoft works to understand the problem, to support the customer, and to gain in-the-field experience with customer usage and product performance, to improve the product before releasing it as a public beta.

The Office 14 technical preview launched in July of 2009 and the public beta was announced at the SharePoint Conference and made available in November of 2009. That’s approximately four months of technical preview.
If I were a marketing wiz at Microsoft, I’d look at the calendar and spot TechEd North America and Europe in June—four months away—as a great place to pull back the curtain on such a significant overhaul of Microsoft’s lineup of non-OS products.

Doing the math, and looking at the calendar, I can certainly make educated guesses. I’d expect Microsoft to have ambitious targets, but to maintain its traditional public stance of “it’s ready when it’s ready.” Mary Jo Foley reports that her contacts peg the release by the end of the calendar year.
In any event, it’s clearly going to be in Microsoft’s next fiscal year, which runs July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013.
It’s also obvious that, regardless of the exact product release date, the SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas will be well enough into the product release cycle to be chock-a-block with Wave 15 information.

HOW can I get my hands on it?

Right now, you cannot, unless you or your company are members of the Technical Preview, which according to Hough is already full. Keep in mind that Technical Preview used to be called Beta 1.
The product is not meant to be production ready at this stage, and Microsoft’s goal with the preview is to incorporate customer feedback into the product.

Office 15 Technical Preview

Microsoft announced the launch of the Office 15 Technical Preview on January 30. There’s some big news in the short announcement made on the Office Team Blog.    Let’s dissect the announcement and get answers to the questions that I hear from people about the next version of Office and SharePoint.
As announced by PJ Hough, the Corporate Vice President of the Microsoft Office Division, Office 15 reached the Technical Preview milestone on Monday. As word spread like wildfire, the most common questions are these: What’s Office 15? When will it be released? How do I get my hands on it? and, of course, What’s new?

WHAT is Office 15?

“Office 15” is the code name for the next versions of Microsoft Office products and services, just as “Office 14” was the code name for what became Office 2010, SharePoint 2010, and Visio 2010. Of course, the name of the product will likely change and I can’t imagine Microsoft straying from the decade-old trend of branding the product with the year—for example “Office 2012” or “Office 2013.” But, for now, it’s “Office 15” and you’ll hear its components referred to with the 15 moniker for coming weeks and months: SharePoint 15, Outlook 15, Visio 15.
‘Softies regularly refer to this new generation as “Wave 15.” And “wave” might be an understatement: tsunami is more like it. Microsoft’s ambitions are huge, as reported by Hough:
"With Office 15, for the first time ever, we will simultaneously update our cloud services, servers, and mobile and PC clients for Office, Office 365, Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Project, and Visio."
Read this statement again folks: Microsoft is publicly saying it will update cloud services (Office 365), servers (SharePoint, Exchange and Lync), mobile and PC clients simultaneously. Unified communications (Lync/Exchange), Office apps, and collaboration, all at once. Holy upgrade, Batman! That’s huge!
There had been buzz about Microsoft releasing one side or the other (on-premises versus in the cloud) “first.” You might remember that Office 365 launched a full year after the on-prem version of SharePoint.
Not so this time around. Looks like Microsoft is delivering on its promise to be “all in” with the cloud this time around.   

Monday, January 16, 2012

SharePoint Implementation Checklist: Aligning People, Technology & Process

By Dux Raymond Sy
SharePoint adoption in the enterprise is growing at a rapid pace, but many organizations are still struggling to achieve the proper mix of “people,” “technology” and “process.” In the midst of just trying to figure out the technology side of SharePoint, many organizations overlook the people and process side of an implementation.
Pushed even further to the backburner are the “business value” considerations of SharePoint.
What is the purpose of implementing SharePoint in the first place?
How will SharePoint improve operations and drive overall business results?

Here’s a 30-point checklist that covers the business, people, technology and process components of a SharePoint implementation. Use this checklist to make sure that you have all of the correct elements in place during the planning phase of your SharePoint implementation which can apply to a brand new rollout, migration or even custom solution development. If you have already implemented SharePoint, you can use this list to uncover possible gaps and identify areas in need of improvement.

30-Point SharePoint Checklist

Business Drivers

  • What are the quantifiable top 3-5 objectives of the implementation? This means defining the value and scope for which all other questions will be framed.
  • Does the implementation have a sponsor from senior leadership that will champion the objectives mentioned above? Is there enough support at the right level to prevent starts/stops/restarts?
  • Will the implementation be funded out of IT or through the departments or divisions receiving the technology? Are there other major stakeholders that can change scope?
  • Is there a critical target date that cannot be missed? What resource costs will be involved to reach the target date? 


  • Who will define and steer the SharePoint platform as a service? How will this implementation impact other stakeholders and sustain the direction/funding for the project?
  • How many potential users will be using the system? Estimate by periods over time such as 200 Q1, 800 Q2, 5000 Q4, etc. to help project support resource needs.
  • What support model does the company currently use (e.g. help desk, train power users, online knowledge bases, etc.)?
  • How much excess capacity/budget is available for adding SharePoint to the current support mix? What is the resource bandwidth availability and required augmentation?
  • Do you have IT professionals in Microsoft Windows Server, Web technologies, Microsoft SQL Server, e-mail, network load balancing, etc.? What additional training or augmentation might be needed?
  • Do these IT professionals have sufficient bandwidth for the early peak of activity? Will they be able to sustain the system long-term? Do you need to add personnel for the peak of activity?
  • Is organizational change a managed process? If so, is there bandwidth for promotion, training, etc., to make the implementation successful in the organization? Are additional contract resources needed to help with the rollout?
  • How are IT policies enforced? More time might be needed to align security if enforcement mechanisms aren’t in place.
  • Have you done a stakeholder analysis to understand the change effort? How much time will need to be spent to convince opponents of the implementation?


  • Is your organization already running 64bit hardware/software in your data center? What possible hardware/software costs exist?
  • Are your environments virtual and/or full hardware based? Will hardware need to be purchased if the farm needs to expand beyond projections?
  • Is this implementation planned to offset current file storage? If so, what does current storage size look like in projection against SP storage (e.g. "we plan to move fileserver based storage to SP to take advantage of versioning and document/record management aspects and today we have 2TB of file shares which we want to condense to 1TB through use of this technology")?
  • Thinking about the objectives, what would the number of page visits look like after one year? How many times a day would someone access the system and how many files/lists would they interact with? This projects the farm configuration.
  • What SharePoint services are being projected to be used in the first year (Excel Services, PerformancePoint, InfoPath, Access Services, etc.)? This might increase the amount of support and training required.
  • Is there sufficient storage and server capacity to support this implementation for at least one year (2-3 years would be preferable)?
  • Is the Microsoft stack of products currently well used in the environment (Start-up, training, support costs)?
  • If Microsoft Office is currently being used on the desktop, what version(s) are supported and will there be a desktop rollout component?
  • Will there be non-Microsoft computing platforms used with this implementation (e.g. Mac, iPad, Android devices, non-Microsoft smart phones, etc.)? If so, how knowledgeable are your current development/branding resources in supporting multiple browsers (support, UI development and training costs)?


  • If this implementation is to enhance current processes, how stable and defined are those processes (how crisp will workflows or custom code be defined)?
  • Has a gap analysis been done to map the processes to the technology to see if customization will be required? What is the potential amount of custom development?
  • Is branding important for this implementation (look and feel customization)?
  • Will this implementation support custom programming (multiple environments and lifecycle processes)?
  • How does this implementation fit into your current data security and disaster recovery processes? Will you need additional offline storage and recovery?
  • Will there be external company resources that will need to access this implementation (firewall and additional environments and security considerations)?
  • Are there compliance regulations that must be met (SOx, HIPAA, etc.)? This can add additional levels of configuration complexity.
  • Are there IT Audit requirements? Will there need to be additional storage for logs to support the detail required?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

5 SharePoint 2010 Configuration Mistakes

#1: Using Virtualized Microsoft SQL Server

Virtualization isn't bad. But virtualization allows administrators to make mistakes on a much grander scale. Take virtualizing SQL Server. In the context of SharePoint, this process can be especially painful. The main mistake I see when virtualizing SQL Server is overcommitting the host, be it through RAM, CPU, or drive space. Because everything in SharePoint is stored in SQL Server, if SQL Server is slow, SharePoint is slow.
If you can't get a physical SQL Server box, then at the very least ensure that your virtualized SQL Server has a fighting chance. First, make sure that its virtual drives aren't thin provisioned. I/O is one of the areas in which virtualized SQL struggles the most, and thin-provisioned drives exacerbate that problem. Also try to put the SQL Server guests' virtual drives on their own spindles on the host. Doing so should improve I/O by preventing SQL from fighting other guests for time with the drives. Finally, you shouldn't allow the virtualization host to overcommit its RAM. If the host must swap to meet its RAM obligations, then it's slowing down SQL Server.
Brent Ozar has recorded a brilliant video on how best to virtualize SQL.

#2: Using the Farm Configuration Wizard

Using the Farm Configuration Wizard was a pretty common mistake when SharePoint 2010 first came out but thankfully has diminished as our familiarization with SharePoint 2010 has increased.
First, and maybe most heinous, is that all the databases that the wizard creates have nasty globally unique identifiers (GUIDs) at the end of their names. The wizard also creates a content web app, at http://servername, that just doesn't scale well. To add insult to injury, the wizard creates your My Site host on that same web app, at http://servername/my.
Finally, the wizard encourages you to create service applications that you might not actually use. It's tough to resist the siren song of those check boxes, I know.
The Farm Configuration wizard leaves its dirty handprints all over SharePoint, and it can be a challenge to clean up all of them. However, a few places can be easily fixed.
Start with your web apps. Create a web app for My Site and give it a Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN), such as Create a My Site host at the web app's root. Use the Windows PowerShell cmdlet Move-SPSite to move any My Site to one content database, and then attach that content database to your new web app. You'll also need to adjust your User Profile Service and tell it about your new My Site location.
Next, clean up your service applications. Go through your list of service applications and delete any that you aren't using. You gain no benefit from having a service application that you aren't going to use for another six months. After you've deleted unnecessary service applications, stop the associated service instances (also called services on server) that power them. If possible, remove the GUIDs from the service application database names. The technique for completing these tasks varies among service application; the Microsoft article "Rename or Move Service Application Databases (SharePoint Server 2010)" has directions for all the service applications. Of course, take good backups before doing any of this.

#3: Using One Account for Everything

Security is complicated, and SharePoint doesn't necessarily make it any easier. Using just one account -- maybe even the coveted Domain Administrator account -- is so easy. We've all done it, even though it's a bad idea. When you use an existing account, you open up SharePoint to several security issues. Anyone who knows the account password can do anything in SharePoint, so you can't separate duties. You also lose the ability to audit who made which changes. And if that common account password is compromised or needs to be changed. Even if you use one dedicated account for SharePoint, you leave yourself vulnerable to attack. If that account is compromised via a security exploit, the bad guys will have access to everything in SharePoint.
To fix this mistake, Add the sp_webapps and sp_serviceapps accounts as managed accounts.
You can change the default content access account for the Search service application at the Search Service Application page. Under Central Administration, Security, Configure Service Accounts, you can change the accounts that other processes use as well. (You can even change the Farm Account there. I've done so in test environments but haven't been brave enough to do it in production.) If you're using the User Profile Service, make sure that your new sp_userprofile account has the correct permissions in Active Directory (AD), and recreate your AD connection in the User Profile Service.
You can also use the steps that I describe in "How to create a SharePoint 2010 admin account and stop using sp_farm" to give an account the correct permissions to administrate SharePoint, without needing to use another highly privileged account.

#4: Keeping Default SharePoint Database Settings

When SharePoint creates its multitudes of databases, it makes some bad assumptions. Take the autogrow settings: The database files grow by 1MB at a chunk, almost ensuring that they're going to autogrow with every upload. Not only does this slow down SQL Server (which slows down SharePoint), but it also results in database files that are spread all over your drives in itty-bitty 1MB chunks.
SharePoint also creates most of its databases, notably the Config and Content databases, with the recovery model set to Full. Although this is great if you want to recover data, you must manage the process correctly or those sneaky .ldf files will slowly, methodically fill your hard disk. If you think users get upset when SharePoint is slow because of fragmented databases, you should see how angry they get when SharePoint stops completely because the SQL Server drives are full.
To fix this mistake, set your databases' autogrow settings in such a way that they don't need to grow frequently.
For most farms, I recommend changing the 1MB autogrow to something like 500MB or 1GB. Autogrow should also be a last resort. Someone, either the SharePoint administrator or a dedicated DBA, should pregrow your databases so that autogrow is unnecessary.
Your recovery model setting needs to be consistent with your disaster recovery plans. If you need your transaction logs, make sure you're performing routine log backups to keep those .ldf files in check. If you don't need your transaction logs, then consider switching your databases to the simple recovery model. Doing so will keep your .ldf files from swelling up like a nasty bee sting.

#5: Not Installing a PDF iFilter

Most organizations have a tremendous number of PDF files in their SharePoint farms, and those files represent a wealth of information. End users want to be able to discover that information by using SharePoint Search. Getting users excited about SharePoint Search is a great way to get them excited about SharePoint in general.
Installing a PDF iFilter is fairly easy. Adobe has a free PDF iFilter that you can install. You can find the download link and detailed installation instructions in the Microsoft article "SharePoint 2010 - Configuring Adobe PDF iFilter 9 for 64-bit platforms." You need to install the iFilter only on those SharePoint servers that run the Search Index role, although installing it on the rest of your SharePoint servers doesn't hurt. If you have a large farm and want to reduce the time needed to index your PDF files, you can use the PDF iFilter from Foxit. This product has better performance than the Adobe iFilter but isn't free.

Monday, January 9, 2012

a “solution” means just that—a solution to a problem

After your SharePoint implementation is up and running, users start to discover its capabilities and to demand solutions to business problems. How do you help users solve business problems with In fact, many solutions can be built with no code, using browser-configured functionality of lists, libraries, and content types, along with SharePoint Designer, InfoPath, Access, Excel, and other Office client applications.
From my point of view, There are three “best practices”—that create a trifecta for success.


Much of SharePoint’s powerful functionality is easily accessible to end users through the browser-based UI, SharePoint Designer, InfoPath and Office clients. Just because it’s easily accessible does not, unfortunately, mean that it’s easy to figure out how to build a specific solution—such as a form or a workflow to support a business process.
Even fundamental components—lists, libraries, content types, and metadata (columns)—are not necessarily straightforward to end users, particularly as they are focused on addressing a yet-unsolved business problem with SharePoint.

I am not a fan of the following statement:
“We sent our users to a five-day course on SharePoint.”
I’m a MCT. So for me to say, “Do NOT train users to use SharePoint” may seem surprising.

I do believe that users need various levels of training on SharePoint—at least a fundamental understanding of some of the core components and concepts. But my experience is that it is not effective—or at least not efficient—to teach a new user “everything they need to know” about things like workflows and forms and the inner workings of SharePoint because, simply, it’s too much.
What’s more important, in my opinion, is that users see the potential of SharePoint as a business problem solver, and that they know where to go for help.

When a user needs to create a solution—a form with a workflow for example—they only need to know the steps for doing so with InfoPath and SharePoint Designer for a couple of minutes or an hour. It’s at that moment that you must have resources ready to help the user succeed in helping themselves.
Google and Bing are not the best answer. There’s a tsunami of information much of which is irrelevant to your specific business, poorly written, or inaccurate.

Point users to specific resources, including the Microsoft Office website and to other selected resources that you find accurate, helpful, and relevant.
I also recommend two specific sets of resources as an internal training and knowledge base. Fellow MVP Asif Rehmani’s SharePoint Videos provides hundreds of short video clips that are excellent at providing just-in-time guidance to specific SharePoint tasks, including and importantly SharePoint Designer and InfoPath. Another MVP, Rob Bogue, offers the SharePoint Shepherd resources which tend to be more “text-and-picture” (versus video) based, and which cover many of the core concepts and functionality.


Your users are the best sources of knowledge about how to use SharePoint in your environment, to solve your problems. You are missing out on a golden opportunity if you don’t capture this resource from Day 1.
Create a discussion forum about SharePoint usage. Keep it focused on usage—have a separate forum for technical support. Spotlight your internal evangelists and success stories.
A build a library of solutions. Again I mean this in the broadest sense.
Find a way to collect the knowledge that your users build about using SharePoint in your environment. A wiki and a library where they can drop documentation about “How I built X” is a start. Create a gallery where templates and other solutions can be found.


Above all, there needs to be someone—or a team of people—to whom SharePoint usage questions can be addressed.
Someone who really knows how to use SharePoint and the tools listed earlier—or at least someone who is capable of “figuring it out” on demand.
Ideally, this person is highly skilled with no-code development (browser, SPD, InfoPath and Office) and has a knack for business analysis—for eliciting real requirements.
Even more ideally, this person or team can drive the development of self-help resources and community, so that as your SharePoint implementation scales, you do not need to scale the escalation resource, but rather escalation needs start being filled by self-help and community.
Most ideally, the escalation resource ends up putting themselves out of business by effectively integrating their knowledge and experience into evolving self-help and community resources.
At several clients' locations, I’ve worked with the person in this role. Honestly, these people tend to be among the most vibrant and exciting people I work with.
They’re expert, enthusiastic, and deeply aware that SharePoint doesn’t really matter—the business matters. And that focus on business first means that business problems do get solved.