Thursday, April 9, 2015

SharePoint Migration and Administration Notification Tool

Scenario
  • You are performing an administrative change at the SharePoint site level or for all sub-sites starting at a particular location
    • Examples
      • Migration
      • Retention, Archival or Deletion
      • Redesign
      • User Acceptance Testing (UAT)
      • Upgrade
      • Restructure
      • Merge
      • Urgent or emergency notifications to show up in all sites
  • You need to convey the administrative status to all users on the site.
    • Likely as part of your SharePoint administrative communications plan.
    Issue
    • There is no simple or easy out of the box way to accomplish this.
    • We don't want to manually replicate notifications on each sub-site, modify the master pages, or configure content roll-ups on each site.
    Resolution
    • I developed the SharePoint Migration Notification Tool specifically for this purpose.
    • Here are some examples of the default notifications you can configure:

    • Here is the list configured at the Site Collection root level that defines your notifications:

    • Notification Tool Feature List
      • Site Collection Deployed full trust solution (Currently designed for SharePoint 2010+)
      • Client object model exclusively used for notification processing in order to support SharePoint 2013 app model and Office 365 environments
      • Drop down selection of common notification scenarios
      • Migration notification list definition
        • Must be added to the root site collection
      • Configurable notification text with wiki-like syntax for inserting hyperlinks or a date from the Migration Notification List
        • More Info URL
        • New URL
        • Migration Date
      • SharePoint client object model property bag caching to reduce server load and increase performance
      • Supports the standard notification color selections
      • Include all sub-sites (notification can be overridden at the child site level)
      • New / test site URL replacement including the full path to the current page/form
      • Notification disable flag
      • Automatic population of the title field from the New Site URL wiki when sent to a ".../NewForm.aspx?source=..."  page (Using "New URL Set Title" syntax)
    • Contact me for SharePoint Farm Upgrade or Migration services, to request a customized version of this solution, or to provide SharePoint Solution Architecture services.

    Tuesday, March 10, 2015

    CRM and xRM vs SharePoint: Business Solution Architecture

    Scenario
    • You are tasked with developing an enterprise application or business process solution using a stable platform tool
    • You have MS SharePoint and MS Dynamics CRM options available and need to decide which to use
    SharePoint and Microsoft Dynamics CRM and xRM Comparison
    • SharePoint is a(n)
      • Customizable and flexible business solution platform
        • Content-centric
      • Content/document management and versioning system (CMS/DMS)
      • Enterprise search engine
      • Workflow system (WWF/Azure Workflow)
      • Alert engine
      • Extension for MS Office client apps and MS OfficeWeb Apps (OWA)
      • Web site development and web content management tool (WCM)
      • Publishing tool
      • Personalizable web interface
      • Social platform
      • Cloud capable, multi-tenant framework
      • MS Access web database platform
      • MS Project platform
      • MS Team Foundation Studio site platform
      • MS Dynamics CRM document repository
    • Dynamics CRM (xRM) is a(n)
      • Customizable CRM line of business system
        • For Sales and Marketing departments
      • Entity management platform
        • Ex: Accounts, contacts, orders, cases and opportunities
        • May be configured for case management solutions such as health and human services, benefits administration, legal cases, grant management, etc.
      • Query tool
      • Workflow engine (WWF)
      • Analytics tool
      • Extension for MS Outlook, Excel, and Word
      • Custom business solution platform
        • Email and conversation-centric applications
          • Customer service, tech support, employee relations, outreach, campaigning, contracts, etc.
    Summary

    MS Dynamics CRM is designed as a customer relationship management system and the platform has native relational design at its heart.  It can be adapted to many conversational and relationship based business processes.  The primary problem with CRM, is that it lacks the popularity of SharePoint due to reduced feature set and increased cost and is therefore less likely to be available as a platform to most business developers and end users.  This makes finding third party solutions, developers, community forums, and experienced users difficult or costly.  Dynamics CRM as a line of business app has many competing products that make the base feature set less important when choosing a solutions platform.  These include those from MS partners built directly on SharePoint such as BPA Solutions CRM, SP CRM Template, and SP Marketplace CRM.

    The capabilities of SharePoint far outweigh those of Dynamics CRM for general purpose custom business solutions.  This is especially true when business solutions incorporate enterprise search, documents and content management, publishing and approval, personalization, collaboration, or public web content.   SharePoint with a typical set of third party add-ins provides the best long term, affordable, and flexible solution architecture.  Microsoft has embraced SharePoint as an application platform within most of its divisions, Dynamics being the outlier.  SharePoint is also the fastest growing product within Microsoft due to its rapid adoption globally.  Finally, SharePoint has many more third party solution providers and COTS line of business systems than Dynamics CRM.

    For highly relational and performance based web applications it is better to develop a user interface in SharePoint (app model or web parts) with a SQL DBA developed backend or MS Access Web Database rather than develop a solution using the Dynamics CRM drag drop interface or native SharePoint lists/libraries.


    Microsoft Corporate Strategy and Product Roadmap Commentary

    Ideal Objective: SharePoint = Microsoft's Web Operating System

    SharePoint must be the single web based application platform for all Microsoft's business solutions.  MS Dynamics CRM has not been ported to the SharePoint platform for the main reason that customizable relational models are not embraced within SharePoint.  Every attempt by the SharePoint product team to incorporate true relational database (RDBMS) integrity, performance, and design into the product have met with limited success.  External lists and lookups are feature deprived and difficult to configure. Access web databases are siloed from other SharePoint features and sites.  Native lookup fields lack basic features and have limited relational support. Database synchronization to or from lists is non-existent.  Many third party vendors have stepped up to fill these gaps, but that leaves Microsoft without the capabilities for internal development utilizing these missing features.  For now, we are stuck in that period where the Dynamics CRM platform is not yet obsolete, but SharePoint (without third party add-ins) is not ready for the port.

    If Microsoft is to succeed in its primary focus towards enterprise software, then these product teams need to work together to bolster SharePoint's feature set as a solutions development platform and then port the Dynamics business solutions onto the improved platform.  This would allow the Dynamics teams to contribute to the design of the SharePoint platform while also removing the CRM team's burden of having to re-invent the wheel regarding the existing and continually improving SharePoint feature set.  Examples of these shared functionality opportunities include: workflow engine, search engine, forms engine, list engine, authorization, authentication, UI, admin consoles, deployment methods, device support, mobile applications, OneDrive for Business synchronization, web services, application object model, BI, content management, metadata, analytics services, patches, upgrades, and MS Office integration.  Microsoft has taken the first steps with incorporating the MS Access team into SharePoint forms and Access web database design, but the SharePoint team also needs the real world requirements and feedback from the Dynamics teams to ensure the future success of both products.

    Nearly 10 years ago, at the last SharePoint Conference he keynoted, I asked Bill Gates if SharePoint would get true relational design functionality.  His answer was that they were working on some of these features (which turned out to be External Lists and Lookup RI) but he still insisted on using SQL RDBMS for highly relational solutions.  This answer was inadequate and shortsighted.  It is now time for Microsoft to step up and take advantage of the monumental opportunity to combine relational design into the worlds most prevalent and feature rich Web OS, SharePoint.

    Sources and Other Resources

    Thursday, September 25, 2014

    Office 365 E1-4 Subscription Fail - Now Fixed by Microsoft!

    Scenario
    • You created an account under the Enterprise plans (E1, E2, E3, or E4)
    • You don't have more than 300 users and would like to change to the Office 365 small or midsize business plans (Small Business, Small Business Premium, Midsize Business)
    Issue
    • As of 10/4/2014 Microsoft now supports this.  Thank you Microsoft! :) 
      • I have redacted the complaint below.

    • Microsoft is scalping its clients by not providing an option to downgrade these accounts
    • Their recommendation is to delete your old account and then create a new account, then migrate all your emails, sites, and apps to the new account!
      • This is a ridiculous requirement that will result in tens of hours of configuration and system downtime
      • This may also result in data loss if not done correctly
    Resolution
    • Downgrading the account must be done by adding the new subscription, reassigning licenses, and then cancelling the old subscription.
      • Note: Just ignore the your data will be deleted warnings.  As long as a user has valid licenses assigned, they will not lose their data.

    • If creating a new Office 365 account NEVER create an E1 plan unless you are immediately surpassing the 300 user limit
    • Please open tickets with MS to support automated conversion from your Enterprise plan to Small Business plan
    • Also petition MS to provide a billing discount solution to the enterprise plans to make up for their incompetence

    Tuesday, August 5, 2014

    AutoSpInstaller Notes

    Scenario
    • Using AutoSpInstaller to run a multi-server farm install.
    Issues
    • When provisiong the User Profile Service the second window pops up and immediately closes, then the main window eventually hits a Timed Out error
      • This was caused by the Farm account being unable to run PowerShell commands on the app server despite being configured correctly as local admin and having the log on locally permission
        • When running any command  as the farm account, the following error is displayed: "The term 'Get-ChildItem' is not recognized as the name of a cmdlet, function, script, ...."
          • 'Get-ChildItem' here could be any PowerShell command
      • This anomaly only occurred on the app server in the farm and only with the farm account, but unfortunately, the User Profile Service must be configured as the farm account.
      • The solution ended up being that the PSModulePath environment variable had been removed for the farm account.  We re-added and it ran fine.

    Tuesday, June 3, 2014

    Office 365, SharePoint, and OneNote Slides

    I enjoyed speaking at SharePoint Saturday 2014.  Here is the link to my presentation.

    One item I forgot to mention is how to create a new OneNote notebook if OWA is not installed and you do not get the default Notebook for the team site.  The correct way to do this is to create a new Notebook from OneNote and then save it to your SharePoint document library.

    Wednesday, May 21, 2014

    SharePoint 2013 Virtual Development Environment Installation Guide - Part 1

    SharePoint 2010 dev server deployment guide can be found here

    Scenario
    Prerequisites
      • Your workstation must be running a 64bit processor with Hardware Virtualization enabled
      • You must have enough memory (6 GB), disk space (60 GB), and processor power (2 cores) to run the VM and hold all snapshots.  Disk space will need to grow as you add content.
        • I highly recommend running this VM from a solid state drive (SSD) for optimum performance.  Disk speed is the greatest limiter for performance and if your RAM is limited, then the SSD swap file will help compensate.
      • You must have access to and appropriate licensing for above products
        • ex: MSDN Subscription
      • You must have time (about 8 hours) to install everything.
        • Hints:
          • Look for "Wait" for good break points
          • Snapshots can be used to create other virtual machines or to test minimally installed environments
          • Hyper-V, VirtualBox and VMWare specific settings will be called out
    How To
    • Download the Software Listed Above - Wait
    • Enable Windows 8 Hyper-V, install VMWare, or install VirtualBox and the Extension Pack
    • Hyper-V: Enable a Shared/NAT virtual switch
      • ICS can only be set up from one network card at a time in Windows 8 so if you have a laptop and switch between WiFi and Ethernet you will need to change the ICS if you need the VM to access the internet
    • Create a new virtual machine named "sp2013"
      • Hyper-V: Generation 2 option
      • 6144 GB RAM (not dynamic)
      • Network: Use a Shared/NAT connection
      • 125GB dynamically expanding boot hard disk
        • You will likely use 45GB of this without any content
      • Increase the processors: 2-8 range
      • Mount the Windows Server 2012 R2 ISO
      • VirtualBox: Enable RDP support
    • Start the sp2013 virtual machine and boot from DVD
      • Hyper-V: Hold down a key to boot to DVD
        • Don't wait till the prompt to "Press a Key" or you will get this error: "Boot Failed. EFI SCSI Device."
    • The Windows Server 2012 R2 installer should begin
      • Select Windows Server 2012 Standard (Server with a GUI)
      • Select Custom (new install)
      • Short Wait
    • Set a new administrator password
      • pass@word1
    • Install VM guest tools (none for Hyper-V)
      • VirtualBox: VirtualBox Guest Additions
        • Auto Reboot
      • VMWare: VMWare Tools
    • Configure Server Manager: Local Server properties
      • Rename the server to sp2013 (Both the name and the computer description)
        • Note: If you forget this step, you will have a randomly named server.
          I have included instructions for aliasing and configuring a randomly named server
        • Restart later (so we can shut down instead)
      • Enable Remote Desktop
      • Disable IE Enhanced Security Configuration
    • Shut down and take a Snapshot named "Windows Install" then boot the machine
    • Server Manager Dashboard: Add Roles
      • Server Roles
        • Active Directory Domain Services
          • Add features and Include management tools
        • Application Server
        • DNS Server
          • Add features and Include management tools
          • Ignore Static IP warning
        • Web Server (IIS)
          • Add features and Include management tools
      • Features
        • ASP.NET 4.5 (under .NET Framework 4.5)
        • Telnet Client
          • SMTP connectivity troubleshooting tool
        • User Interfaces and Infrastructure
          • Desktop Experience
            • Also adds Ink and Handwriting Services
      • Application Server / Role Services
        • Web Server (IIS) Support
          • Add features and Include management tools
      • Allow auto-restarts then Install
      • Short Wait
      • Click "Promote this server to a domain controller"
        • Select "Add a new forest"
        • Root domain name: sp.local
        • Next
        • Forest and Domain functional level: Windows Server 2012 R2
        • Password: pass@word1
        • Continue pressing Next until Install
          • Short Wait for NetBIOS domain name to be recognized and for Prerequisite check
          • Ignore the 3 warnings
        • Install
        • Short Wait
        • Accept reboot prompt
        • Log back in as Administrator
    • Server Manager Dashboard: Add Roles
      • Features
        • ASP.NET 3.5 Features
        • Before installing specify the following alternate path
          • D:\sources\sxs  (where D: is the Windows Server DVD drive)
    • Verify Internet connectivity by opening Internet Explorer and browse to Bing
    • Disable SmartScreen Notifications from the Action Center
    • Windows Update: Turn on auto updates
      • Install Updates and Wait
      • Reboot when prompted
      • Some errors in windows update may occur as they are installed and the server is rebooted. Here are some solutions:
        • Several updates fail and require reboots
          • Open System Configuration (msconfig)
          • Check Selective startup
            • Uncheck Load Startup items
          • OK
          • Restart when prompted
        • Hyper-V: Security Update for Windows Server 2012 R2 (KB2920189) Failed 800F0922
          • Only occurs on Gen 2 Hyper-V with Secure Boot
          • Temporarily disable Secure Boot in the VM settings while installing the update
    • Open Active Directory Administrative Center (Pin to desktop and Start menu)
      • Administrator account
        • Account / Password Options: Password never expires
        • Organization / Email: administrator@sp.local
      • Create a user in the Users OU
        • Full Name: User
        • User SamAccount: sp\user
        • pass: same as Administrator password
        • Account / Password Options: Password never expires
        • Organization / Email: user@sp.local
      • Add User to the Users group
      • Create a user in the Managed Service Accounts OU
        • Full Name: spservice
        • User SamAccount: sp\spservice
        • pass: same as Administrator password
        • Account / Password Options: Password never expires
    • Open Group Policy Management console
      • sp.local / Domains / sp.local / Domain Controllers / Default Domain Controllers Policy
      • Right click and Edit
        • Policies / Windows Settings / Security Settings / Local Policies / User Rights Assignment
        • Edit Allow log on locally
          • Add the Users group
    • Stop and Disable the following Services
      • DFS Namespace
      • DFS Replication
    • Shut down, snapshot "DC and IIS", and start virtual machine
    • Mount the SQL Server ISO to the VM DVD drive
    • Start SQL Server Setup 
      • Install Stand-alone
      • Use MS Updates
      • Ignore DC and Firewall warnings
      • All Features with Defaults
      • Continue
      • Server Configuration / Service Accounts
        • Use the same account for all SQL Server services
          • specify the sp\spservice account and password created above
      • Continue
      • Analysis Services Configuration
        • Account Provisioning
          • Add Current User
      • Reporting Services Configuration
        • Install only for both
      • Distributed Replay Controller
        • Add Current User
      • Continue then Wait
    • Shut down, snapshot "SQL Server", and start virtual machine
    • Open SQL Server Configuration Manager
      • SQL Server Network Configuration
        • Protocols for MSSQLSERVER
          • Enable Named Pipes
    • Restart the SQL Server (MSSQLSERVER) service
    • If your server is randomly named - not sp2013
      • DNS Manager
        • Forward Lookup Zones
          • sp.local
            • Add a new alias
              • Name: sp2013
              • FQDN: Browse to splocal\servername
                • servername will be a randomly generated value
    • Mount the SharePoint Server 2013 iso
    • Start the Prerequisites installer
      • Run D:\Splash.hta (open with MS HTML Application Host)
      • Short Wait
      • Finish to restart
    • Start the SharePoint Install
      • Enter your Enterprise license key
      • Wait
      • Run the Configuration Wizard
      • Create a new server farm
      • Configuration Database
        • Server: sp2013
        • Name: SharePoint_Config
        • Username: sp\spservice
        • Password: same as above
      • Farm Security Settings
        • Passphrase: same as admin password above
      • Central Admin Web App
        • Port: 8000
        • Auth: NTLM
      • Wait
      • Finish
    • IE will open to the central administration website.
      • Join the experience program (or don't)
      • Start the wizard and configure as follows
    • Central Admin Initial Farm Configuration Wizard steps
      • Use existing managed account: sp\spservice
      • All items should be checked except for Lotus Notes
      • Next
      • Wait
      • Create Root Site Collection
        • Title: SP2013
        • URL: /
        • Experience version: 2013
        • Template: Collaboration \ Team Site
        • OK
          • If you encounter a  error, skip to the next step (AAM config) then delete the running timer job, restart IIS, and re-run the wizard from Central Admin
        • Finish
      • Open central admin (http://sp2013:8000) and add the following Alternate Access Mapping (AAM) internal URLs
    • Set the browser home page to http://sp2013
    • Configure Search from Central Admin
      • Central Admin \ Manage service applications \ Search Service Application (first one)
        • Content Sources
          • Local SharePoint Sites
            • Incremental every 30 minutes (or other value here based on needs)
              • Recommend disabling incremental crawls for performance
            • Note: Continuous crawls will require more resources on VM startup
          • Start a full Crawl
    • Open http://sp2013 in IE
      • Add sp\administrator to the sp2013 Members group
      • Add sp\user to the sp2013 Visitors group
      • Validate that the following workset
        • Any workflow
        • Search scopes
        • My Sites and User Profile
    • Performance Tuning
      • Run the following PowerShell scripts (in SharePoint 2013 Management Shell)
        • Set-SPEnterpriseSearchService -PerformanceLevel Reduced
      • Disable the following system services unless/until needed
        • SQL Server Analysis Services (MSSQLSERVER)
          • From Automatic to Disabled
        • SQL Server Reporting Services (MSSQLSERVER)
          • From Automatic to Disabled
        • Optional (if you do not need SharePoint search and want to reduce memory footprint)
          • Remove the incremental crawl scheduled earlier
      • More tips from Andrew Schwenker
    • Shut down, snapshot "SharePoint Configured", and restart
    • Part 2 coming soon

    Monday, April 7, 2014

    Remove Site Collection and Reclaim Database Disk Space

    Scenario
    • You need to remove a large site collection from your content database.
    • SharePoint 2010 or higher
    Resolution
    • Use PowerShell after hours to remove the site collection:
       
      Remove-SPSite –Identity http://sitename
       
    • If you are on 2010 SP1 or later and if you used Central Admin or the SharePoint UI instead of the above PowerShell command or if you specified the -GradualDelete flag, then you must use PowerShell to remove the site collection from the recycle bin and then run the "Gradual Site Delete" timer job (or wait overnight for scheduled job), otherwise skip this step: 

      Get-SPDeletedSite -webapplication http://sitename | Remove-SPDeletedSite
       
    • Wait a few minutes for the database size to finish reducing (monitor via SQL Management Studio)
       
      Perform a FULL database backup on the content database (this will truncate the log files)
       
    • Then shrink the database via SQL command in SQL Management Studio:
       
      DBCC SHRINKDATABASE ('database_name' ,5 , NOTRUNCATE)
       
    • Then reorganize the indices (this should run automatically every day, but you can kick it off manually now):
       
      Run the following from Central Admin Health Analyzer (/Lists/HealthRules/AllItems.aspx) using Run Now:
       
      Databases used by SharePoint have fragmented indices

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

    Xbox One Headset Adapter – Sharkoon Xtatic Pro Headset Fix

    Note: This has nothing to do with SharePoint or Solutions Architecture. :)

    The problem with the new Xbox One Headset Adapter is that it simply does not work with a standard TRRS 4-pole (3 ring) 3.5mm male to male cable or standard 3.5mm stereo auxiliary cable.

    Working example:
    2014-03-18 20.49.52

    4-pole TRRS Does not work - Xbox audio feeds back into the microphone:
    2014-03-18 20.29.57
     

    Does not work (at all) or with stereo 3.5mm:
    2014-03-18 20.34.05

    FIX:

    Using the Xbox 360 cable (with modifications) that came with the Sharkoon Xtatic Pro and the new 2.5mm adapter together, we get a working cable.
    2014-03-18 20.30.312014-03-18 20.30.54 2014-03-18 20.35.57

    Unscrew the 2 screws using the small Phillips head screwdriver.
    2014-03-18 20.39.16 2014-03-18 20.39.42

    Lift up on the plastic wings and then pull back.
    2014-03-18 20.41.31 2014-03-18 20.41.53 

    I had already clipped the tabs off in the above pictures but you don’t need to do this.  Instead you just cut off the entire wing as pictured here.
     2014-03-18 20.44.05

    Post surgery:
    2014-03-18 20.44.48

    Now just wrap it with a small piece of electrical tape.
    2014-03-18 20.46.44-1

    Now plug it into the 2.5mm adapter that came with the Xbox One headset adapter and all should work.  However you may want to turn down the adapter game volume so you only get voice through the adapter and not game audio, since you get that through the optical surround sound adapter.  Also note that this is mono, not stereo so you could alternatively modify a TRRS 4-pole cable to provide that stereo headset sound you’ll never use.

    Monday, March 10, 2014

    SharePoint Farm Infrastructure Architecture Recommendations

    Following are some recommendations for a typical SharePoint Development environment topology:

    In addition to the corporate Test/Stage and Prod farms, I recommend a standalone Dev VM for each of your MSDN subscriptions/developers.  Development VMs contain a standalone single server farm as well as all development tools.  Any content only solutions (OOB site collection or web scoped) should be configured directly in Production in a new site collection.  Custom development (Visual Studio) is completed on the development VMs, released to Stage, tested, and then released to Prod.  Each Dev VM should be semi-isolated from the corporate network (separate subnet and domain).  Dev VMs should be disposable, distributable, and standardized as in my article here: SharePoint 2010 Development Farm VM

    In this way every new developer would only need to copy the VM to their workstation and would be up and running after connecting to Source Control.  They would also have full control of their VM so IT admin requests would be minimized.  Simply recopying the template VM would fix any issues.

    The development VM operating system drive should be a solid-state drive.  Optionally, an external BLOB storage and search index partition may be stored on a low cost drive (requires a little more configuration).  Workstations must support hardware virtualization.

    The Test/Stage servers may need to be used for debugging and development of integration issues.  Alternatively, a standalone Dev farm on the corporate network can be set aside for this purpose.

    In each case, a process for synchronizing Production site collections back onto the Test/Stage and Dev VMs should be maintained.  Usually this includes site collection backups being made available as needed.  However care must be taken to ensure information security policies are maintained.  This can include scrubbing/redacting content, disabling alerts and emails (this may be done through network isolation), and populating sample data.

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

    SPC14 - MS SharePoint Conference 2014

    I am attending the Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2014 in Las Vegas.  I will update my session notes here.  If you'd like to meet up with me during the conference, please comment here or contact me via LinkedIn or VoteMatrix.  Also, I set up a Sacramento SharePoint Community page on Facebook if you'd like to share your experiences and meet up with other Sacramento SharePoint professionals at the event.

    Itinerary and Session Notes

    Sunday - 3/2

    • Flight in
    • Blue Man Group

    Monday - 3/3

    Keynote

    • Bill Clinton
      • No real info
      • Compared Ukraine policy to the inclusiveness embraced in the gay rights movement
      • Stressed technology for solving inequalit
    • Jared Spatero
      • Intr
    • Jeff Teper
    • Transformation of Office
      • Cloud
        • Accelerating Office 365 updates
      • Personalized Insights
        • Office Graph
        • Oslo Hero Experience
      • Next Gen Porta
    • Julia White - Office 365
      • Groups
        • Yammer included on top navbar
        • Available in Outlook Online
          • Meetings
            • Can import into your calendar
          • Conversations
            • Integrated into Office Web Apps Online
      • Oslo - SharePoint Graph
        • Metro interface
        • Metrics
          • Modified by me
          • Presented to me
          • Liked by me
          • Trending around me
          • Shared with me
      • OneDrive for Business
        • Demoed on ipad
        • demoed mobile website
      • PowerBI
        • Q&A
          • Freetext pivots
            • EX: "Average annual income per person vs population"
        • PowerMap
          • Map visualization of pivot dat
    • Jeff Teper
      • Contextual Apps
      • Robust APIs
      • Services
      • Tools
        • MS Access
    • Arpan Shah - Dev
      • Demo
        • Compose App Feature
          • Outlook Online (Office 365) App
        • Android API app demoed for approval and notification
    • Jeff Teper (IT Pro)
      • Cloud Platform
        • 250000 req per secs
        • 400000 cores
        • 400 PBs storage
        • 99.98% uptime
        • Datacenter acquisitions
        • Privacy
        • Monitoring
        • 1TB site collections
        • Compliance - HIPAA, etc
      • Trust
        • E-discovery
      • Controls
    • Michal Gideon Demos
      • Compliance in Office 365
        • eDiscovery
          • Search query tool allowing policies to be configured
        • Log viewer component
      • Multi-factor auth in Office 365
    • Jeff Teper
      • Cloud onramp
      • 2013 SP1
        • Hybrid switch
      • OneDrive for Business
        • 25GB
    • Jared Spatero
      • File sync and share

    Dev Keynote (Rob Lefferts - Director of PM, Brian Jones – GPM)

    • App Model Redux - Principles
      • Open and flexible
      • Consistent platform
      • Multiple Devices

    image

    • Contextual Apps
    • Office 365 Apps

    image

    • Tools
    • Demos
      • Outlook (OWA) Apps integration
        • Works in rich client as well
      • Site provisioning CSOM API
      • Excel App API
        • Bing map sample app
      • DocuSign Outlook integration component demo
      • PollEverywhere poll shows File extension handler is most popular at this event
    • GitHub
      • OfficeDev O365 API open source solution
    • SAP
    • Access Web Apps
    • API Updates

    image

    Anyone can build a SharePoint app with MS Access (Jeff Conrad and Chris Usher)

    • MS Access web apps
    • Uses SQL Server for the table back end
      • SQL Azure in Office 365
      • SQL connection info available in Access Client
    • Consuming Lists
      • Link to or import
    • Cascading combo box feature
    • MS using internally
      • Being used to reorganize MS Office and Windows divisions
      • Attorney tracking
      • Training feedback
      • TAPs

    Advanced Performance Analysis (Ryan Campbell)

    • Intro
    • Caching
      • BLOB cache too low
      • Page cache too low
    • App pool recycles caused issues
    • Load time and user count per site path request

    Tuesday - 3/4

    Wednesday - 3/5

    Thursday - 3/6

    • Flight out

    Monday, January 27, 2014

    Friday, December 6, 2013

    SharePoint 2010 Search - View Properties Link w/ folder and case support - Federated

    Issue
    • You have SharePoint 2010 Server Standard or Enterprise
    • SharePoint search results provide a link to the document, but no other links
      • Often times a user has to copy and paste the document library url into the address bar and then search for the document in the library to view the properties or kick off a workflow.  This is extremely inconvenient.
    • You would also like a link to the document's View Item (DispForm.aspx) form
    • You would also like a link to the document's Document Library
    • You would like to configure this at the Search Service level so that the links appear in any search center in the farm utilizing the Search Service and also on the OSSSearchResults pages
    • Utilizing code from the following blogs

    Solution
    • Configure the Search Service in Central Administration as follows
    • IMPORTANT
      • Xslt variables and parameters are case sensitive
      • Make sure instructions are followed exactly as written
    • Create 2 managed properties (Metadata Properties in Search Service Application) after your sites have been crawled
      • basic4
        • map to basic:4(text)

          • You have to page to the right after selecting the "basic" group.  It does not show up on the first screen when searching for the crawled properties.  You cannot use the free-text search filter to find this item.
      • listitemid
        • map to ows_ID(integer)
      • Configure Federated Locations in Search Service Application.
        • Click "Local Search Results"
        • Expand "Display Information"
        • Modify the following "Core Search Results Display Metadata" sections
          • Uncheck "Use Default Formatting"
          • Add the following columns to the "Properties" window

            <Column Name="ServerRedirectedURL"/>

            <Column Name="listitemid"/>
            <Column Name="basic4"/>
             
        • Copy the contents of the XSL into a text editor like Visual Studio or Notepad  
          • Find the IsDesignMode parameter and modify as follows

            <xsl:param name="IsDesignMode">True</xsl:param>

            <xsl:param name="listitemid" />
            <xsl:param name="basic4" />
             
        • Find the DisplaySize template call and modify as follows

          <xsl:call-template name="DisplaySize">
          <xsl:with-param name="size" select="size" />
          </xsl:call-template>


          <xsl:call-template name="DisplayViewPropertiesLink">
          <xsl:with-param name="basicFour" select="basic4" />
          <xsl:with-param name="itemUrl" select="url" />
          <xsl:with-param name="siteUrl" select="sitename" />
          <xsl:with-param name="listItemId" select="listitemid" />
          <xsl:with-param name="contentclass" select="contentclass" />
          </xsl:call-template>

          <img style="display:none;" alt="" src="/_layouts/images/blank.gif"/>

        • Find the end of Stylesheet tag at bottom of document and modify as follows

          <!-- A custom template to display a link to view the properties for a document -->
          <xsl:template name="DisplayViewPropertiesLink">
          <xsl:param name="basicFour" /> <xsl:param name="itemUrl" /> <xsl:param name="siteUrl" /> <xsl:param name="listItemId" /> <xsl:param name="contentclass" /> <!-- Variables to convert siteUrl to lower -->
          <xsl:variable name="smallcase" select="'abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz'" />
          <xsl:variable name="uppercase" select="'ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ'" />
          <xsl:if test="$contentclass='STS_ListItem_DocumentLibrary'">
          <xsl:choose>
          <xsl:when test="contains($basicFour,'http')">
          <xsl:variable name="library" select="substring-before(concat(substring-after(translate($siteUrl, $uppercase, $smallcase), concat(translate($basicFour, $uppercase, $smallcase), '/')), '/'), '/')" />
          <xsl:variable name="viewPropUrl" select="concat($basicFour, '/', $library, '/Forms/DispForm.aspx?id=', $listItemId)" />
          - <a href="{$viewPropUrl}">View Properties</a>
          </xsl:when>
          <xsl:otherwise>
          <xsl:variable name="docLibLoc" select="substring-before(substring-after($itemUrl, concat($siteUrl, '/')), '/')" />
          <xsl:variable name="viewPropUrl" select="concat($siteUrl, '/', $docLibLoc, '/Forms/DispForm.aspx?id=', $listItemId)" />
          - <a href="{$viewPropUrl}">View Properties</a>
          </xsl:otherwise>
          </xsl:choose>
          </xsl:if>
          - <a href="{$siteUrl}">
          View Library
          </a>
          </xsl:template>

          <!-- End of Stylesheet -->
          </xsl:stylesheet>

           
        • Copy the contents of the text file into the "Properties:" textbox, replacing all existing text
        • Hit OK to save the changes
      • You may need to reset the index and run a full crawl to get everything working afterwards
        • Sometimes the Search Centers cache the old XSLT for awhile, so the index reset and possibly an app pool recycle may get it to refresh from the federated location.  Or toggling the Core Results web part on the search center page can work as well.


      Thursday, November 21, 2013

      Attach a Document from SharePoint or Office 365 in Outlook

      Scenario
      • You would like to attach a document to an Outlook email that you have located within SharePoint or Office 365.
      • Note that for internal documents, you should always just link to the document in SharePoint.  Only when sharing with a user who doesn’t have access to your SharePoint site should you send a document as an attachment.
        • You can still use the following to get the link to the document.
      Issue
      • You don't want to have to download it and then attach it from you local file system first
      Resolution
      • In addition to being able to email attachments directly from MS Word, you can attach the file directly from Outlook using the SharePoint shortcut as follows
      • Right-Click Document Name (This works from anywhere in SharePoint, even search results)
      • Select Copy Shortcut (This puts the Link to the Document in your clipboard)

      clip_image001_thumb

      • Open the email you wish to attach to
      • Select Attach File 
        • If the recipient does have access to this document in SharePoint, you should just paste the link into the email instead, increasing security and avoiding change management issues.

      clip_image002_thumb1

      • Paste the shortcut into the File name field (Right click and select Paste or use Ctrl-V)

      clip_image003_thumb1

      • Click Insert and finish composing the Email

      clip_image004_thumb

      Friday, November 15, 2013

      Unable to display this Web Part. SharePoint Designer modified XSLTListViewWebPart

      Scenario
      • A list or library view in the farm has ben modified in SharePoint Designer 2010
      • SharePoint Server 2010
      • An app pool recycle occurs (usually due to automatic nightly app pool restart)
      Issue
      • You get the "Unable to display this Web Part." error message on any modified view.
      • SP Logs for the correlation id contain the following:
        • Failed to cache field with id "{GUID}", overwrite=0
        • Error while executing web part: System.InvalidCastException: Unable to cast object of type 'System.Reflection.RuntimeMethodInfo' to type 'System.Type'.     at Microsoft.Xslt.MethodCollection.MethodDescription.DeclareDynamicMethod(MethodCollection methodColl)     at Microsoft.Xslt.MethodCollection.CreateDynamicMethods()     at Microsoft.Xslt.MethodCollection.GetMethodInfoInternal(Int32 methodNumber)     at Microsoft.Xslt.MethodCollection.GetMethodInfo(Int32 methodNumber)     at Microsoft.Xslt.STransform.GetCompiledTransform()     at Microsoft.SharePoint.WebPartPages.BaseXsltListWebPart.LoadXslCompiledTransform(WSSXmlUrlResolver someXmlResolver)     at Microsoft.SharePoint.WebPartPages.DataFormWebPart.GetXslCompiledTransform()     at Microsoft.SharePoint.WebPartPages.DataFormWebPart.PrepareAndPerformTransform(Boolean bDeferExecuteTransform)
      • This seems to be a Microsoft bug and only occurs after occasional app pool resets
      Resolution
      • IIS Reset
      OR
      • Open the view in SharePoint designer and save

      Thursday, November 14, 2013

      Event Receiver AfterProperties Choice field null bug

      Scenario
      • You are developing an event receiver where you are evaluating the AfterProperties value of an SPFieldChoice column.
      • The column's internal name does not match the display name.
      Issue
      • The AfterProperties value for this field always return null/nothing.
      Resolution
      • MS oddly decided that this field should utilize the Title instead of the InternalName for the AfterProperties Key.  I have not verified this with the BeforeProperties, but wouldn't be surprised if it's the same.
      • Following is the code I used to workaround this:

      Dim afterObj As Object = properties.AfterProperties(field.InternalName)
      If afterObj Is Nothing AndAlso TypeOf field Is SPFieldChoice Then

        'Microsoft Bug that choice field uses Title instead of InternalName on AFterProperties.
        'Checks for null value first in case MS fixes this later and to reduce overhead.
        afterObj = properties.AfterProperties(field.Title)
      End If

      Tuesday, October 15, 2013

      Projected Lookup Field - Lookup Column Additional Fields Missing

      Scenario
      • You want to project a lookup column (add an additional field or related field).
      • Example:
        • You have a Clients list and a Projects list
        • The Projects list includes a Client lookup column
        • You have a Timesheet list which includes a Project lookup column
        • You would like to project the Client lookup column into the Timesheet view via the Project lookup field.
      Issue
      • SharePoint 2010 does not support lookup field types as a projected/additional field
        • Some other column types are also not supported
      • Example
        • The Client column will not show up in the "add a column to show each of these additional fields:" checkbox area under the Project lookup column settings, under additional column settings
      Resolution
      • One workaround is to synchronize the fields using SharePoint Designer Workflows with an extra Client Name column in the Projects list.  This requires 1 workflow.
      • This will work with Office 365, SharePoint 2010, or 2013.  Additionally this can be done on SharePoint 2007 except projected columns are not available, so you'd have to sync another column within the Timesheet list as well (meaning 1 more workflow)
      • Note that this workaround will not automatically sync down to the Projects list from the Clients list
        • If you need to sync renames of a client down to the project and timesheet levels, you will need to do one of the following:
          • Create a sandboxed event receiver that will propagate the changes from the Clients list to the Projects list Client Name column
          • Create another workflow on the Clients list or at the site level that updates multiple list items by one of the following means:
            • Acquire or develop a custom workflow action/tool that does this looping
              • Possibly CodePlex
              • Possibly Nintex, Bamboo, K2, or HarePoint
            • SharePoint 2013 REST solution
          • Use a scheduled synchronization utility
      Workaround (Only synchronizes on Projects item change)
      Add a Client Name field (Single line of text) to the Projects list (do not display in view)
      Hide the Client Name field by modifying the Projects list content type
      clip_image006
      clip_image007
      Now create a workflow on the Projects list to update the field whenever a Project item is changed.  
      In this case the field was required, if it's not required, add in a condition to check for null values.
      clip_image008
      clip_image009
      Use the Set Field in Current Item action
      clip_image010
      Remove the workflow status column from the views on this list.

      Wednesday, October 2, 2013

      FileNotFoundException on SPWeb.GetList

      Scenario
      • You are writing code using the server object model and encounter an intermittant FileNotFound error when using the GetList command after using New Site and OpenWeb(FullURL), passing in a subsite url to OpenWeb. Note that if you add in a delay between OpenWeb and GetList the error does not occur.
      Issue
      • Apparently Opening the web at a specific location causes the GetList function to behave inconsistantly, throwing a File Not Found exception. Note that we only tried this on SharePoint 2010 in a Visual Studio 2010 console application. This may have been an environment specific issue, so if this solved your problem also, please comment if the environment was the same or different.
      Resolution
      • Pass the web url into the SPSite constructor and call GetWeb with no parameters. Then, when you call SPWeb.GetList(FullUrl) you will not get the FileNotFound exception.

      Tuesday, September 17, 2013

      Office 365 Registration "Partner Information"

      Scenario
      • You are signing up for an Office 365 account and would like to register me as your partner for solution architecture, custom development, integration, and support.  :)
      • This is now known as "Delegated Administration"
      Resolution
      Office 365 Microsoft Partner ID:
      3831100

      Thursday, September 5, 2013

      Web.Lists, GetLists, and TryGetLists Performance

      Scenario
      • Getting a list or library from a spweb with a large number of lists and libraries. In my test case each spweb had about 90,000 document libraries on sp2010 sp1.
      • You cannot cache the spweb.Lists object across calls. 
        • Ex:  Dynamically looking up a library for each document uploaded via a custom web service or event receiver.
      Issue
      • Each call to spWeb.Lists.TryGetList(libName) took 13 seconds to process since any access to the Lists collection returns the metadata for all lists in the spweb.
      Resolution
      • Had to recode the solution to access the libraries using the URL rather than the list name, resulting in sub-second processing. spWeb.GetList(listURL)

      List Template Event Receiver Bug

      Scenario
      • You have an event receiver enabled on a specific list via the Receivers ListUrl attribute.
      Issue
      • If you make a List Template of a list that has been mapped to an event receiver, new lists created from that list template will have the event receiver attached to it regardless of the new URL.
      Resolution
      • Use SharePoint Manager to fix this or disable the event receiver before making the template.

      Wednesday, June 19, 2013

      Database to SharePoint List Synchronization Tools

      MS: Out of the box
      Third Party COTS Synchronization

      Tuesday, June 11, 2013

      BCS BDC external data lookup field migration

      Scenario
      • You want to programmatically set an External Data lookup field
        • Ex: Migrating data into a SharePoint list or library
      Issue
      • In this case, we used Idera / Metalogix Migration Manager, which does not support External Data fields, nor do they plan on supporting it in the near future
        • This is likely due to the fact that they offer a client only (non-server deployed solution) and haven't figured out how to do this using the remote content deployment APIs
      • The result was that the external data field only displayed correctly in the View Item form and did not populate in the Edit item form or any of the related/projected fields in the view.
      Resolution
      • Luckily I did have access to deploy a server solution, so I developed the following web part to handle the migration
        • If you are using Office 365 or don't have this access then you will need to develop your own solution or need to use a data synchronization solution instead (several vendors make these)
      • In order for this solution to work, you need to add a temporary column to the list that will store the IDs of the field you wish to migrate.  Note that this is not necessarily the display name.
        • In our case we migrated the ID column to a list column named SourceId, ran the tool, then deleted the SourceId column.
      • I utilized code from StackExchange and Jaspers' Weblog along with some forum posts, converting all to VB.Net for aesthetics
      • Download the code
        • The wsp solution file is located in the \SetExternalDataWebPart\bin\Release folder
        • You must enable the feature at the site collection level and add the web part to a page in the subsite that contains the list. 
        • In my test environment this tool updated 25 records every 10 seconds.
      • Notes
        • I found that in addition to setting the display name you also need to set the RelatedField to the BDCIdentity to get the correct value to display in the edit form and to be updateable via the refresh icon.
      // Set the BCS field itself (Display Value)
      listItem[dataField.Id] = dtBDCData.Rows[0][dataField.BdcFieldName].ToString();
      // Set the related field to the BDC Identity
      listItem[dataField.RelatedField] = dtBDCData.Rows[0]["BdcIdentity"].ToString();
      • Some other tips:
        • I had to use the RevertToSelf (BDC Identity) connection to get the refresh to function
        • I did not need to run with elevated or allowunsafeupdates except when debugging permissions.
      • Updated release info:
        • 6/27/2013
          • Added list ID range support to split copies into smaller chunks
            • Uses an SPQuery on ID field.
          • Added refresh interval for regular mid-copy status updates
            • These are actually just auto post backs using an asp.net timer control
        • 7/5/2013
          • Fixed refresh bug

      Tuesday, May 28, 2013

      Every SharePoint Team Site should have a OneNote notebook

      In my experience, any "team site" should have a document library containing a OneNote team notebook.  My theory behind this is that a team site is typically created for collaboration and a team notebook is likely the best tool for many collaboration needs.  These features are listed herein.  Note that team sites gutted and used as the base for a custom solution would not be considered a "team site" for this argument.  I would consider the use of EverNote or similar notebook solution as a decent alternative, albeit not as fully featured/integrated.

      Windows 8 tip:  Make the desktop version the default one to get the most features.

      OneNote Notebook features
      • Continuous Save (No Save Button)
      • Automatic track changes / version history
      • Automatic synchronization and offline editing
      • Simultaneous editing (changes highlighted)
      • Windows-Shift-N desktop shortcut or right click via the control panel
        • Also the Windows-N new side note and Windows-S screen clipping shortcuts
      • 1-4 click left/top/right navigation (can go deeper at the section level)
      • Recent notebooks are easily accessible
        • These are available on the left Nav
      • Audio recording with note taking time stamps
        • Notes taken at any time during the recording can replay the recording at the appropriate time
      • Mobile device support
      • Embedded documents
      • Screen clip tool (Windows-S or Insert screen clip from note page)
      • Embedded links (Linked Notes)
        • If researching on the web, notes taken in OneNote will automatically embed the related URL
        • Also works when viewing other OneNote notebooks, PowerPoint, or Word documents
      • Drawing/tablet support (Ink to Text, Ink to Math)
      • Linked meeting notes from Outlook invitation for quickly accessing meeting notes for scheduled meetings
      • Freeform layout
        • Text, drawings, images, etc. can be inserted anywhere on the note page
        • Can markup a screenshot or document
      • Dock to desktop and full screen features
        • Docks to side of screen displacing the desktop so that you can take notes while demoing or working
        • Full screen mode removes the notebook navigation and menu items
      • Save to SharePoint or SkyDrive
        • Notebook sections are saved as folders within the document library, so don't be surprised if you see this in explorer view
      • Print to OneNote
        • Quickly markup or take notes on any document source
      • Math (Trig/Calculus support )
        • Higher math and graphs may require this add-in
      • Web based version of OneNote
        • Included with SkyDrive, Office 365, or with on-premises Office Web Apps
      • Share pages and notebooks via Email (to facilitate notebook adoption)
        • Link to web viewer (if saved to a OWA enabled server) and client (if installed)
      • MindMapping (aka Bulleted Lists)
        • MindMaps are just graphical bulleted lists.  Make the bulleted list in OneNote and then copy the list to your favorite MindMapping tool.  This way you can collaborate with others who don't know or own the MM tool and you can look cool demoing the info.  Note that my whole blog could be converted into a giant mind map. :)
      When not to use OneNote
      • Final published or printable document
      • Blogging
        • Use Windows Live Writer instead (send to blog is supported but not as good)
        • Drafts in OneNote are ok
      • Heavily formatted content or page oriented layout
        • This is better done in Publisher or Word
        • When copy/pasting or sending to MS Word, bullets may need to be reset and other formatting corrected
          • Highlight the bulleted list and then double click the bullet icon to fix the lists in MS Word
      • Diagramming or presentations
        • Use Visio or PowerPoint
        • Quick hand drawings or draft object drawings are ok
      • Spreadsheets
        • Use SharePoint lists or Excel and embed a link in OneNote
      • Dynamic/sortable/filterable lists, data, or documents
        • Use SharePoint

      Monday, May 13, 2013

      Projected Field in View Item Form

      Scenario
      • You are using Projected Fields (a.k.a. additional columns) from a lookup column in a list or library. 
        • This may be a standard lookup column or a BCS External Data column.
      • You would like these fields to show up on the list/library display (View Item) form.
      Issue
      • Normally you will only see projected fields in list views configured to display these columns.  For some reason, MS did not include them by default on the display form.
      Resolution
      • Add these fields below the standard item form.
        • The form will continue to be dynamic since the standard Data Form Web Part is still used for all other fields
          • Example: A new column added to the list will automatically show up on this customized display form.
      Steps
      • Create a New Form in SharePoint Designer on the appropriate list/library.
        clip_image001
      • Set the File Name to "DispFormWithAdditionalFields", Type to Display item form, and set as default
        clip_image002
      • Temporarily Insert a Display Item Form in the div Below the existing content
      • This will populate the Data Source Details window. Open this window if not already visible. Data view Tools (ribbon) / Options / Data Source Details (Data section)
        clip_image003
      • Right click on the Projected Field you wish to display, right click it, then select Copy Item XPath
        clip_image004
      • Now delete the temporary Display Item Form. This was just used to populate the Data Source Details window.
      • Insert a SharePoint ListItemProperty control (Insert / Controls / SharePoint) at the same location
        clip_image005
      • Right click the control and edit properties.
      • In the Tag Properties window Set the Property property. :)
        • Paste the XPATH copied earlier and delete everything up to the @ sign
          • /dsQueryResponse/Rows/Row/@Exam_x0020_Number_x003a__x0020_Company_Name
          • Change to: Exam_x0020_Number_x003a__x0020_Company_Name
      • Add a column header above or to the left of the new field.
      • Save and Preview in Browser
        clip_image006
        (names removed in image)
      • Enjoy!