Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Enterprise Search User Group NY – registration window is closing

The registration for the first meeting is going to close today. This is not to miss even, so register right now, if you do not register today it will make it harder for you to get into the building since the security is very strict there. The meeting will provide plenty of time for networking and we will not leave you hungry as well ;-).

Here is the meeting information:

December 9, 2009

How Microsoft and FAST are defining Next Generation Search

Microsoft made a big bet on enterprise search with its acquisition of FAST in 2008. The powerful FAST Enterprise Search Platform (ESP) is now the centerpiece of Microsoft’s enterprise search strategy and will be the foundation for search in future versions of Microsoft SharePoint, as well as stand-alone enterprise search offerings. In this session, you'll get a front seat view at how this game-changing search technology offers new opportunities to provide better search solutions to both your colleagues and your customers, emphasizing why you should care in the first place (hint – money and productivity). We'll also reveal Microsoft's product plans for search within the SharePoint 2010 platform and beyond, and discuss practical steps you can take in order to take advantage of Microsoft’s new strategy immediately today, whether you’re running MOSS, planning to upgrade to SP2010 or use FAST ESP stand alone. We’ll be sure to leave plenty of time to have an open discussion with user group participants to talk about your specific situation.


Speaker: Nathan Treloar, Principal Search Technology Evangelist in the Microsoft Enterprise Search Group

I’ll see you there

Monday, November 16, 2009

Enterprise Search User Group GRAND OPENING!

This is very exciting for me to announce the grand opening of the Enterprise Search User Group. This is NY based User group, but we are getting technology to record the meeting and make it available on-line.

Here is the “official” description of the group

The site is still work in progress, but we will get there :-)

Out first meeting is on December 9, 2009

Welcome time 5:30 PM.

It is important to register as building security is pretty strict and will not let people that are not on the list inside the building.

Register now!

Topic: How Microsoft and FAST are defining Next Generation Search

Microsoft made a big bet on enterprise search with its acquisition of FAST in 2008. The powerful FAST Enterprise Search Platform (ESP) is now the centerpiece of Microsoft’s enterprise search strategy and will be the foundation for search in future versions of Microsoft SharePoint, as well as stand-alone enterprise search offerings. In this session, you'll get a front seat view at how this game-changing search technology offers new opportunities to provide better search solutions to both your colleagues and your customers, emphasizing why you should care in the first place (hint – money and productivity). We'll also reveal Microsoft's product plans for search within the SharePoint 2010 platform and beyond, and discuss practical steps you can take in order to take advantage of Microsoft’s new strategy immediately today, whether you’re running MOSS, planning to upgrade to SP2010 or use FAST ESP stand alone. We’ll be sure to leave plenty of time to have an open discussion with user group participants to talk about your specific situation.

Speaker: Nathan Treloar, Principal Search Technology Evangelist in the Microsoft Enterprise Search Group


I will see you there :-)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

SharePoint Shop Talk Tomorrow (11/12) from 12:30PM to 1:30 PM EDT

This is a repost form Paul Galvin’s blog.

The next SharePoint Shop Talk takes place tomorrow at 12:30 PM EDT.

This is a free event to anyone that has a telephone.  A panel of SharePoint pro’s take questions and do their best to provide useful guidance and advice.  We regularly hijack audience members and make them answer questions and try to have a good time.

Send your questions or topics to questions@sharepointshoptalk.com.

Register here: https://www.livemeeting.com/lrs/8000043750/Registration.aspx?pageName=sx9p9r6prwxp5mk9

Monday, November 9, 2009

Vertical Bar Graph in Data View Web Part (DVWP)

I recently had to work with the following scenario:

Clinical Trial site for weight loss study, on the site as part of the functionality patients had to track their weight loss weekly. As part of their weight loss dashboard it was a nice touch to add a simple bar graph that would visually help them to see their progress.

End result:


End By clicking on the link on the bottom “Enter New weight measurement” they would get to the following screen (See image bellow):


Entering new weight is pretty obvious, it is Data View Web Part (DVWP) with insert new item functionality. The bar graph is DVWP as well but XSLT was modified so that every row in a “Weight Tracker” list is presented as a column instead of conventional row style.

How does it work?

I have a simple list “Weight Tracker”


  1. Title (renamed to Weight) – is used to hold weight value in pounds
  2. Date – Contains the date when the measurement took place.

In SharePoint Designer (SPD) I opened dashboard page and inserted DVWP that uses Weight Tracker list as source.

Selected my title and date columns to show up and sort by date.

Next I have modified the XSL to create a column for each row. I’ve searched on the internet for examples like this one, where you need to create column (in DVWP) for each row in the list and create row (in DVWP) for each column that you display in the DVWP. Unfortunately nothing came up beyond all the stuff that had been copied from Fab. 40 templates.

Here is the code, hope it will help someone.

BTW, it took a bit over 30 minutes to configure that bar graph.

<WebPartPages:DataFormWebPart runat="server" ShowWithSampleData="False" AllowRemove="True" AllowHide="True" SuppressWebPartChrome="False" PartImageLarge="" ViewContentTypeId="" ExportMode="All" Dir="Default" MissingAssembly="Cannot import this Web Part." ID="g_7dec9695_2438_4cbe_94e7_cb233f1c5352" IsIncludedFilter="" DetailLink="" AllowEdit="True" UseSQLDataSourcePaging="True" HelpMode="Modeless" IsIncluded="True" Description="" NoDefaultStyle="TRUE" FrameState="Normal" AllowConnect="True" ViewFlag="0" AllowZoneChange="True" AllowMinimize="True" Title="Weekly Weight Tracker (past 3 months)" PartOrder="1" PageSize="-1" FrameType="Default" HelpLink="" PartImageSmall="" ConnectionID="00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000" ExportControlledProperties="True" IsVisible="True" __MarkupType="vsattributemarkup" __WebPartId="{7DEC9695-2438-4CBE-94E7-CB233F1C5352}" __AllowXSLTEditing="true" WebPart="true" Height="" Width=""><ParameterBindings>
                   <ParameterBinding Name="ListID" Location="None" DefaultValue="{D399E205-25E8-4A13-A076-CBDF2B1CB76D}"/>
                   <ParameterBinding Name="dvt_apos" Location="Postback;Connection"/>
                   <ParameterBinding Name="UserID" Location="CAMLVariable" DefaultValue="CurrentUserName"/>
                   <ParameterBinding Name="Today" Location="CAMLVariable" DefaultValue="CurrentDate"/>
<DataFields>@Title,Weight;@Date_x0020_Submitted,Date Submitted;@Date,Date;@Chart_x0020_Bar,Chart Bar;@ID,ID;@ContentType,Content Type;@Modified,Modified;@Created,Created;@Author,Created By;@Editor,Modified By;@_UIVersionString,Version;@Attachments,Attachments;@File_x0020_Type,File Type;@FileLeafRef,Name (for use in forms);@FileDirRef,Path;@FSObjType,Item Type;@_HasCopyDestinations,Has Copy Destinations;@_CopySource,Copy Source;@ContentTypeId,Content Type ID;@_ModerationStatus,Approval Status;@_UIVersion,UI Version;@Created_x0020_Date,Created;@FileRef,URL Path;</DataFields>
<SharePoint:SPDataSource runat="server" DataSourceMode="List" SelectCommand="&lt;View&gt;&lt;Query&gt;&lt;Where&gt;&lt;Leq&gt;&lt;FieldRef Name=&quot;Date&quot;/&gt;&lt;Value Type=&quot;DateTime&quot;&gt;&lt;Today/&gt;&lt;/Value&gt;&lt;/Leq&gt;&lt;/Where&gt;&lt;/Query&gt;&lt;/View&gt;" UseInternalName="true" ID="dataformwebpart1"><SelectParameters><WebPartPages:DataFormParameter Name="ListID" ParameterKey="ListID" PropertyName="ParameterValues" DefaultValue="{D399E205-25E8-4A13-A076-CBDF2B1CB76D}"/></SelectParameters><UpdateParameters><WebPartPages:DataFormParameter Name="ListID" ParameterKey="ListID" PropertyName="ParameterValues" DefaultValue="{D399E205-25E8-4A13-A076-CBDF2B1CB76D}"/></UpdateParameters><InsertParameters><WebPartPages:DataFormParameter Name="ListID" ParameterKey="ListID" PropertyName="ParameterValues" DefaultValue="{D399E205-25E8-4A13-A076-CBDF2B1CB76D}"/></InsertParameters><DeleteParameters><WebPartPages:DataFormParameter Name="ListID" ParameterKey="ListID" PropertyName="ParameterValues" DefaultValue="{D399E205-25E8-4A13-A076-CBDF2B1CB76D}"/></DeleteParameters>
<xsl:stylesheet xmlns:x="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" xmlns:d="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/dsp" version="1.0" exclude-result-prefixes="xsl msxsl ddwrt" xmlns:ddwrt="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WebParts/v2/DataView/runtime" xmlns:asp="http://schemas.microsoft.com/ASPNET/20" xmlns:__designer="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WebParts/v2/DataView/designer" xmlns:xsl="http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Transform" xmlns:msxsl="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:xslt" xmlns:SharePoint="Microsoft.SharePoint.WebControls" xmlns:ddwrt2="urn:frontpage:internal">
    <xsl:output method="html" indent="no"/>
    <xsl:decimal-format NaN=""/>
                            <xsl:param name="dvt_apos">&apos;</xsl:param>
    <xsl:param name="Today">CurrentDate</xsl:param>
                            <xsl:variable name="dvt_1_automode">0</xsl:variable>
                            <xsl:template match="/" xmlns:x="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" xmlns:d="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/dsp" xmlns:asp="http://schemas.microsoft.com/ASPNET/20" xmlns:__designer="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WebParts/v2/DataView/designer" xmlns:SharePoint="Microsoft.SharePoint.WebControls">
                                            <xsl:call-template name="dvt_1"/>
                            <xsl:template name="dvt_1">
                                            <xsl:variable name="dvt_StyleName">2ColCma</xsl:variable>
                                            <xsl:variable name="Rows" select="/dsQueryResponse/Rows/Row" />
                                            <table align="center" border="0" class="ms-vb">
                            <xsl:call-template name="dvt_1.body">
                                            <xsl:with-param name="Rows" select="$Rows" />
                            <xsl:template name="dvt_1.body">
                                            <xsl:param name="Rows" />
                                            <tr valign="bottom">
                                            <xsl:for-each select="$Rows">
                                                            <xsl:call-template name="dvt_1.rowview" />                                                    </xsl:for-each></tr>
                                            <xsl:for-each select="$Rows">
                                                            <xsl:call-template name="dvt_2.rowview" />
                            <xsl:template name="dvt_1.rowview"> <!-- For Bar Graph row-->
        <td valign="bottom" align="center">
            <xsl:text disable-output-escaping="yes">&lt;table height=&quot;100%&quot; border=&quot;0&quot; valign=&quot;bottom&quot; width=&quot;20&quot;&gt;&lt;tr&gt; &lt;td&gt;</xsl:text> <xsl:value-of select="@Title" /><xsl:text disable-output-escaping="yes">&lt;/td&gt;&lt;/tr&gt;&lt;tr&gt;&lt;td valign=&quot;bottom&quot;&gt;&lt;div style=&quot;background:#FF9900;height:</xsl:text><xsl:value-of select="@Title" /><xsl:text disable-output-escaping="yes">px;width:20px;font-color:white;&quot;&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;/td&gt;&lt;/tr&gt;&lt;/table&gt;</xsl:text>
                            <xsl:template name="dvt_2.rowview"> <!-- For dates Row-->
        <td valign="bottom" align="left" width="20" bgcolor="#CCCCCC" class="ms-vb">
            <xsl:value-of select="ddwrt:FormatDate(string(@Date) ,1033 ,1)" />


Enjoy :-)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

It is a flue season. Is you SharePoint farm “healthy”? SharePoint Health check

The best scenario when you can say “ I know my SharePoint Farm” is when you actually just set it up, not months after. Giving your environment a health check is a good idea, especially in environments that do not have on staff people 100% dedicated to SharePoint.

This week I was at a client to do exactly this, the “health check” of their farm. There were no complains about the performance or bugs, but because there was no SharePoint monitoring or maintenance set up they thought it would be a good idea to take advantage of our “Health Check” offer. The company also wanted us, based on the findings, to give them recommendations on how they can better use and utilize SharePoint features.

Here are some notes from the “Health Check”, and pointers on what to look for during the process if you decide to do it your self:

Infrastructure Architecture.

analysis and documentation of the existing physical structure of the farm can help to determine at a glance where possible performance issues might happen as well as points of failure.

Infrastructure architecture includes, but not limited to:

  1. Hardware configuration
  2. Topology setup for the farm
  3. Server roles.
  4. SharePoint Server and SQL server storage.
  5. Patching and Updates level on all servers
  6. Virtualization
  7. Event logs on all servers in the farm

Analysis of this will also greatly help in evaluation of the existing backup and D/R strategy as well.

Logical farm setup:

IIS setup on all WFEs

  • Application pools
  • Web applications
  • Hostheaders
  • logs location

SharePoint Architecture.

General farm settings

  • Incoming, Outgoing eMail settings
  • Quota Templates.
  • Web Applications and their content databases
    • Web Application Policies
    • Managed Paths
  • AntiVirus

Shared Service Provider

  • User Profiles
    • Schedule
    • Source
  • Search
    • Content sources
    • Rules
    • Schedules
    • errors log
    • Security settings on the content sources for the crawl account


  • Administrative and Service Accounts
    • app pools
    • web apps
    • Search content access accounts
  • SQL
    • SQL Database accounts

Site Collections

As the result of the discovery process, besides the documentation of the existing environment along with all other findings, there should be a good recommendations document produced with information on how to and best practices.

For example: event viewer application log was full of Even ID 6432, 7076, 6398 which was indicative of necessity of the following patch http://support.microsoft.com/?id=946517, along with this we have provided the whole guide on application of patches and their verification process.

There were no incremental backups on the farm, instead there were nightly full, granular (Third Party) backups that sometimes would take more than 12 hours to finish up and would have to be interrupted. And no OS or file level back ups was happening as well :-(

There were app pools in the IIS that were not used, some app pools that were used should not have been created in the first place. SQL server and WFE all had farms admin account as local admin account, number of other “sharepoint” logins were created on the SQL side, but in reality were not used.

Part of the Findings and Recommendations also outlined some of the general performance monitoring for SharePoint server, including SharePoint and SQL specific performance counters and what to look for.

I’ll post some of the best practices and recommendations at some point, but now I’m back to 2010 content :-)


Technorati Tags:

Document management Sharepoint 2010

 Document center

Document libraries now allow end-users to select multiple document, upload documents with drag and drop option. Tag documents with tag such as "I like it" which will make them easily available on MySite, this way you can always refer to them later. At the same time users can be more specific about tagging by means of tagging with taxonomy and view suggestions for taxonomy.

  • Documents rating provides social tagging of the documents with comments provided by end-users.
  • Hierarchical Taxonomy can be shared not just across site collections but across entire Farm.

Documents are now identified by their respective document IDs. With custom setup for ID mapping, ex: you can specify that document IDs in a library can be mapped to "HR_Policies_2009_XXXXX. At the same time if needed existing documents IDs can be reset to specific ID schema.

Reach client application for editing documents (most popular office formats) directly from the browser, perfect in scenarios when users access environment form kiosk computers or from the road.

Records Management features.

Documents can be declared as records from within the doc libraries. Compliance details can be viewed from the document edit drop down menu. Granularity of the complience goes down to the folder level.

·"send to" menu option can be set up to send documents to multiple records management centers, not just 1 as it is in 2007. You can also "Send To" by means of Move the document, copy the document, or move it and leave a link to it so it is still accessible from within the document's original library.

Retention policies can be set up:

  • per content type
  • per libraries and folders

Folders are being looked at as means of security and retention policies granularity. Nested folders can either inherit policies from parent or have their own.

Retention policy consists of retention stages. There can be multiple stages set up for policy, stages that can fire off after specified period of time, ex: after 90 days move document somewhere, then after a year another stage might delete the document.


Managed metadata

  • auto complete from managed term set
  • managed term sets are taxonomy
  • taxonomy is geared towards foxonomy
  • terms sets can be managed by individuals or by owners of the part of the taxonomy
  • Central taxonomy
  • Create your own taxonomies
  • Taxonomy structure tree view
  • Taxonomy store (centralized service)
  • Taxonomy term store
  • Multi language support for taxonomies

Modifications that can be done by end users to the taxonomy, depending or rights.

  • copy term sets (taxonomy branch)
  • move branch or term
  • deprecate term
  • merge terms
  • reuse term sets
  • specify owners and security for term sets that will control governance for taxonomy
  • specify terms that are available for tagging or make them just grouping categories for term sets.

Document sets

Folder like structure for grouping multiple documents together with advanced capabilities, almost like folder with special meaning

  • Provision multiple content type docs in one doc set
  • Add Web Parts on the landing page of the doc set, ex: description or instructions, or even dashboard
  • Automate repetitive content creation – EX: response to RFP
  • Allows consistency and process insight
  • Foundation for document assembly

Content Types

  • Content types Syndication
  • Sharing across site collections and across forms
  • Content type hub site- central management location for CTs


Content organizer

Automatic routing of documents appropriate place in SharePoint. This is true Document management System feature, end users don’t even have to be aware of SharePoint and think which document library this document should go into. now they just work in word or office and SharePoint moves documents that were submitted by users to appropriate place, based on:

  • Rules for content rerouting
  • Metadata
  • Content Types
  • Property based conditions
  • Can apply multiple rules


Sunday, October 25, 2009

SharePoint Saturday Phylli, November 7th

This is another SharePoint Saturday even in the area.

This time it is put together by Dave Mann.

Join SharePoint architects, administrators, developers, and other professionals who work with SharePoint for a special 'SharePoint 2010 Themed Saturday' on November 7th, 2009.  The day will be filled with educational and informative SharePoint 2007 and 2010 sessions and provide you with an excellent opportunity to network with Microsoft MVPs and other SharePoint professionals in Philly area. SharePoint Saturday is FREE and is open to the public. 

REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED.  But you can get added to Event’s waiting list.

I’ll be there speaking on Search for SharePoint 2010, come and learn about new Microsoft Enterprise search offering built on FAST ESP technology.

See ya there :-)


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

SharePoint 2010 overview for IT Pros

Great session at SPC 2009 by Simon Skaria,  Lead of Customer Advisory team, Microsoft.

In short, this session was oriented around 3 main topics:

  1. Flexible deployments
  2. IT Pro productivity

From the flexibility of deployments stand point, Skaria was highlighting the following features of SharePoint 2010, such as:


Installations of the Sharepoint is simplified by server preparation feature such as, one click prerequisites install. this alone is a great time saver, isn’t it? it also provides Progress Reports. this is not available in the Sharepoint 2007. this report notifies you of the progress and steps that are happening during the installation and upgrade. you don’t have to stare at the Config Wizard for hours without knowing where you in the process.

Predictable upgrade:

  • Pre upgrade checker.

Checks for best practices, configuration and farm setup settings.

  • Visual Upgrade

Allows to preview upgraded site in the new UI before flipping the switch

  • Resumeable upgrade

Provides an ability to resume upgrades that were previously aborted without the necessity or rerunning the upgrade from the very beginning.

  • Parallel DB Upgrades

These feature provides support for read only upgrade, meaning that while the upgrade is running, your farm is still available to end users but in read only mode. Unlike previous version upgrade, this feature provides availability of services during the upgrade it's self.


From the IT Pro productivity stand point….

LEARN POWERSHELL! Powershell, as the name implies is powerful scripting language that will make your IT Pro life easier.  It does not mean that stsadm is going away, it’s not, but ….

Consider the following, 500 OOTB commands are available in 2010… and you can extend these to suit your needs and your deployments

  • Logging, monitoring, and alerts.
      • Unified logging

Gathers info from all kinds of counters from servers in the farm, including SQL.

Logging info is pushed to open schema SQL DB, use it the way you want.

  • OOTB reports
      • Rich Web analytics

Beyond just troubleshooting, rich web analytics provide detailed usage reports, reports on slowest pages load where you can trace the root of the performance degradation with details on these pages through the developer dashboard.

  1. Developer Dashboards

Developer dashboards provide call stack, operations, queries, web part events offsets information(analysis of load time for each individual webpart)

Integrated Health analyzer

This provides the info that SP best practices analysis tool provides with SP 2009… and some more :-). This built in tool analyses security, storage, orphaned items in content DBs, etc.

Business continuity management

  • High availability servicing
  • No down time on servicing SharePoint
  • Lights out recovery
  • Fail over is managed by the SharePoint


Scalable Infrastructure

  • hosting
          • Supports multi tenancy
          • SP online standard
          • SP online dedicated
  • On premises deployments
  • Services “a la carte”

Lists are highly scalable!

Support for blob storage

Large document libraries

  • Support for more than 1 million documents in one library.
  • Performance on large lists and document libraries - is a promise with sub-second response time
  • OOT library view comes with the flexible navigation, filtering and refining views by metadata, taxonomy, other defined filters on the fly
  • Automatic routing of documents to a drop off library with rules on automatic creation of folders
          • Content organizer rules, that allow to create manageable IA
  • Easy configuration of library navigators
  • Automatic column indexing for lists (where IT pros do not have to worry about the technical side of the set up of lists) instead they can just concentrate on the end user experience

Security and governance

  • support for automation of password changes management
  • Addition of servers in the farm can be secured by pass phrase
  • 7.3 APIs for permissions reporting
  • APIs are very rich to provide great starting point for custom reports on security and governance

Information governance

  • ediscovery – records management
  • search for documents that are subject for records center, preview search results, and without moving them in to records center apply a “hold” on them. The docs are remaining in their original location but become records.

Application governance

  • Control over consumption of resources and ability to terminate processes that are running over the limit

IT governance

  • block and track sharepoint processes – very useful for sandbox solutions
  • AD recognizes Sharepoint machines within environment
  • Enabling automatic password change from the Sharepoint
  • Apply AD group policy to prohibit implementation of SharePoint servers other than SPs existing in your Farm.

Enjoy :-)

SPC SharePoint 2010 features highlights, key note sessions.

The first 2 sessions of the conference were key notes with speakers such as: Steve Bulmer, Tom Rizzo, Arpan Shah, and many others. Some of the key highlights from the session are here.

So let’s start with..

Business Connectivity Suite

The concept of external content types makes it easier to connect external data sources from within SharePoint designer and to surface this info in familiar interface like office, with ability to edit / insert / delete data.

One of the examples that Tom Rizzo used was connecting sql "contacts" SQL table, map SQL fields to office properties, and managing these contacts from within outlook as if they were originated there.

SharePoint Workspaces allow you to take data off-line and work with it within SP workspace (previously Groove), with enhanced UI.

Rich mobile client for SharePoint, windows mobile 6.5 also supports SharePoint Workspace. There is no special SP implementation needed for the Mobile support, it's all based on MicroBrowser technology for mobile.

New Administration capabilities.

  • Easier to navigate UI
  1. Better scripting capabilities with Power Shell.
    1. Up to 500 commands OOTB
    2. Ability to create fully scriptable environments
    3. Managing farm remotely
  2. Proactive monitoring of the SharePoint farm from within SharePoint admin interface.
  3. Analytics capabilities of SharePoint pages performance.
  4. Central admin includes SharePoint Health analyzer.
    1. check security
    2. configuration
    3. performance
    4. databases

Usage analysis database that allows you to write your own custom reports.

Better upgrade experience, with the new model of upgrade “visual upgrade” providing an ability to preview pages with new UI before flipping the switch (remember 2003 to 2007 upgrades? :-)

In  between releases of CUs, Service Packs, etc. new upgrade features allow for much less down time during upgrades and patches.

Visual Studio 2010

First of all it becomes available to the public... TODAY! Go and download it, explore all the new features and support for development for SharePoint platform. The new enhancements are, but not limited to:

1. New templates, from workflows to Visual web parts development.

2. Explore SharePoint objects with server explore window

3. Solution explore, customized for features, packages, web parts. No more writing custom XML :-)

Visual web parts development.

  • Drag and drop controls
  • Productivity enhancements
  • Mapping folders to SharePoint that allow you to use relative urls images, ex: _layouts/.....
  • Support for threading
  • Support for debugging natively from within the Visual Studio
    • insight into what is happening during one click deployment
  •  developer dashboards, if enabled on the page, they allow you to take a look into the processes that are being run on the background during the rendering of the web part on the page
    • look into db queries
    • call stack

Sandbox solutions

  • Track and/or block server resources usage for sandbox solutions
    • Specify rules and granular development permissions
  • Even ability to upload written in Visual studio solutions to Sharepoint online
  • Solutions that are controlled and governed by IT

Cloud, SharePoint Online - this is one of my favorite topics. Not all companies can afford to be hosting their own SP environment for many reasons: licensing cost, support and maintenance resources, hardware investment. Or sometimes companies just cannot afford to put certain information onto the cloud. There are several scenarios available with SP 2010 online:

  • Mix and match on premises hosting and online
  • Internet sites hosting in the cloud - is a completely new offering
  • SP environment fully hosted in the cloud

SP 2010 Online is offering much greater depth of features in the cloud, even though it does not support full trust APIs, but is still offering a very robust development environment.

In general the are over 1 million users right now in the cloud, 7000 partners

This will revolutionize the Microsoft’s online offering.

I’m off to the next session :-)


Thursday, October 8, 2009

SharePoint Shop Talk – October 7th

Join us for our weekly SharePoint Shop talk.

We have been  thinking about introducing the idea of group questions into categories and addressing them one category at the time. In this case all workflow questions could be answered in Workflow SharePoint Shot Talk, or something like that.

For today and future Shop Talks send your questions to:

Sign up here: https://www.livemeeting.com/lrs/8000043750/Registration.aspx?pageName=0z40kg9nb0t0842f

And Just dial in on October 7st, at 12:30 EST.

Talk to you there

Friday, October 2, 2009

MVP again!

Yesterday I have received email notifying me that I’ve been awarded the Microsoft SharePoint Most Valuable Professional (MVP). this is exciting second time in the row.

Congratulations to all newly awarded, and re-awarded MVPs.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

SharePoint Shop Talk – October 1st, 2009

Another one in our series of SharePoint Shop talk.

Harry Hones is back from vacation, last week he did not participate on the call.

Send your questions to:

Sign up here: https://www.livemeeting.com/lrs/8000043750/Registration.aspx?pageName=h6hm9ptg8zt7302t

And Just dial in on October 1st, at 12:30 EST.

Here is a photo that I snapped during our SharePoint Shop Talk on September 17th.


On Photo: Paul Galvin and Harry Jones (your can see his back)


Friday, September 4, 2009

SharePoint Saturday in New York

SharePoint Saturday is on the road again, it is coming to NY on September 12th.

SharePoint Saturday NYC is an educational, informative & lively day filled with sessions from respected SharePoint professionals & MVPs, covering a wide variety of topics focused on Microsoft SharePoint technologies.
SharePoint Saturday NYC is FREE, open to the public and is your local chance to immerse yourself in SharePoint!

Sign up now http://www.sharepointsaturday.org/ny/default.aspx


Learning Tree New York
One New York Plaza-31st Floor
New York, NY 10004
Tel:  917-206-0500
Fax: 917-206-0521

Please stop by to say Hi.

I’ll be speaking on one of my favorite subjects, FAST ESP.

Why you might be interested in this subject?

Read sessions description…

Search: Next generation of search – Raise your expectations. Part1

SharePoint 2010 is coming soon, but what do you know about its search offering.
File shares, database records, document libraries, tons of information that is only useful if you know what you have. Do not loose you intellectual property, discover and organize it through search. Apply multiple layers of information architecture and start  treating search as your business Intelligence  tool. 

Search: Next generation of search – Raise your expectations. Part2

This session offers a technical dive into FAST enterprise search engine.  Walk through content sources, document processing pipelines, index, and query results processing. As well as tips on tuning documents ranking based on the data extracted from documents.  Exploring lemmatization features, entity extraction, and dictionaries. As well as fine tuning search to speak you company language.

I’ll see you there :-)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Business Case - SharePoint in the Cloud

In addition to our regular SharePoint Shop Talk webinars, I’d like to invite you this Thursday, August 27th at 12:30 PM EDT

for a webinar where we will talk about SharePoint in the Cloud.

The world is talking about Cloud Computing and moving IT infrastructure out of corporate data centers and utilizing the services of an organization that is better suited to providing reliable service cost effectively. Microsoft is aggressively moving to provide businesses with a choice in running business applications on premise or hosted "in the cloud". During this 1 hour webinar, being presented by ISS Group with Strategic Partners Cloud Strategies & Arcovis, learn about the following:

  • The Cloud Computing Value Proposition: When to Consider Moving to the Cloud
  • Microsoft's Online Services: Business Productivity Online Suite Overview
  • SharePoint™ Online Spotlight
  • Live Demonstration: Empowering your Business using SharePoint Online
  • How to Get Started with Cloud Computing


Join Us This Thursday, August 27th at 12:30 PM EDT

For Audio, dial: (800) 914-3395
For Toll/International Users, dial: + 1 719-867-7628
When prompted, enter your conference ID: 2779234 
Register today for complete login in details, including link to web access.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

SharePoint Shop talk – Open Q&A Session

This is another webinar in our series of “SharePoint Shop Talk” sessions. This is open to everyone and it is a free Questions and Answers session.

Show up with your SharePoint questions and we’ll do our best to entertain you.

This week’s “official” panel includes yours truly, my Arcovis partners (Paul Galvin and Harry Jones) and Laura Rodgers (of twitter & EndUserSharePoint fame).  Hopefully Bil Simser will join us again, he is very good when it come to specific development questions.  Last time, we had a great level of audience participation which blurred the line between panelists and attendees and I expect the same will happen this Thursday, August 20th at 12:30 PM EST.

You can also email your questions to us

Here is the Registration Link: https://www.livemeeting.com/lrs/8000043750/Registration.aspx?pageName=xnddgb0b7zh5w9xs

Audio Information:
Toll free: +1 (800) 914-3395
Toll: +1 (617) 475-0117
Participant code: 3655555

Friday, August 14, 2009

Explaining SharePoint

Have you tried explaining what is sharepoint to … let’s say your mom.

If you’ve ever tried to do this, you may want to check out a new Common Craft video that explains “SharePoint in Plain English”. 

As far as I’m concerned, my mom sais “my daughter works with computers”, … SharePoint what?

Check out this video


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

SharePoint Shop Talk // open Q&A session August 13th 12:30pm EDT

Arcovis will be hosting our second “SharePoint Shop Talk” session this Thursday at 12:30 PM EDT. This is the second even of it’s kind, it is a free form Q&A session, we will start off answering questions that have been emailed to us, but you can post your questions here in a form of comments.

Questions can be of any kind, administration, customization and end user/power user.

Just show up and ask your question!

Presenters are: ….Me, Paul Galvin and…join and you will find out :-)

Registration Link: https://www.livemeeting.com/lrs/8000043750/Registration.aspx?pageName=9xrzxfs9x34sb0sm

Thursday, August 13th at 12:30pm EDT

Audio - Toll Free (800) 914-3395 Passcode 2779234

Talk to you there :-)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Scalability issues with SharePoint - Poll

New poll had been posted on the ISPA site

The working assumption is that reliance on SQL Server database mirroring/log shipping leaves some big gaps in terms of availability (due to failover time, potential loss of data with async mirroring, inability to allow online db maintenance etc.) and scalability (no scale-out for site collections that grow big and live in a single SQL instance).

Are these real pain points for SharePoint users?

Cast your vote here http://www.sharepointpros.org/Pages/Default.aspx

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Microsoft SharePoint and the FAST Enterprise Search Platform article

In this article, I have given an overview of the current state of search in SharePoint and how it will be affected when FAST is added to the mix.

FAST ESP is an enterprise search engine that provides an extensive content processing and indexing functionalities. FAST search for SharePoint is going to deliver high end search capabilities to enterprises. The ease of use of SharePoint Server with FAST Search high-end filtering and navigation features creates a new enterprise search, collaboration, and publishing solution. FAST search is highly customizable and configurable product that allows to index structured as well as unstructured content and impose multiple layers of Information Architecture.

Read more here


Windows 7 RTM’d

With a slight delay, Windows 7 just RTM’d!!!!

I’ve ran Windows 7 Beta since January 2009 as my main OS . If I have installed it on just VM, I would probably use it once or twice, not more.

When I had upgraded to RC…. let me tell you, I’ve never been so excited about windows OS as I am about Windows 7.


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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ensuring SharePoint Success – Mentoring Workshop


You may have seen the buzz about upcoming “Ensuring SharePoint Success” workshop. Running in the D.C. area the week before the Best Practices Conference, Andrew, Dux, Paul and Ruven  are getting together for three days to deliver a collection of workshops on Organizational Change, Project Management, Requirements Development and Agile Methodology. The goal is to have an intimate group (less than 30 attendees) so that they can give lots of time to answering specific issues in small groups and one-on-one.

This is the link to register for this event


Read more here:

- http://www.cleverworkarounds.com/2009/06/23/who-wants-to-spend-3-days-with-me-and-the-gang/

- http://sp.meetdux.com/archive/2009/07/19/ensuring-sharepoint-success-mentoring-workshop.aspx

- http://www.21apps.com/sharepoint/dcworkshop/.

I urge you to attend this workshop as the people that are running it

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hotfix for the SP2 issue is available now

Service Pack 2 Update.

The public update for the Service Pack 2 expiration date issue<http://blogs.msdn.com/sharepoint/archive/2009/05/21/attention-important-information-on-service-pack-2.aspx> is now available for download.

Whoo-hoo, I hope that you caught this one!

The update can be applied before or after Service Pack 2 installation. If the update is applied prior to installing Service Pack 2 it will prevent the expiration date from being improperly activated during installation of Service Pack 2, if it is applied after Service Pack 2, it removes the expiration date incorrectly set during installation of Service Pack 2.

Installation instructions and download links for x86 and x64 are available in this KB: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/971620

For 32 is this link: http://download.microsoft.com/download/2/F/5/2F51AB71-1325-49D2-9CB9-18DEC4780E99/office2007-kb971620-fullfile-x86-glb.exe

For 64, this one: http://download.microsoft.com/download/5/B/B/5BBD34A9-C528-42B0-8A5F-9A8997B25C32/office2007-kb971620-fullfile-x64-glb.exe

Profile properties import through BDC connection to Oracle SAP

Interesting fact was uncovered during our enterprise deployment project, and I wanted to share it.

The client has Oracle SAP that they are using across the globe, and we were supplementing user profile properties that have very limited information in AD through BDC to Oracle. Import through BDC was very slow, I mean VERY slow.

If AD full import was taking 1 1/2 hour to import 70,000 user profiles, then BDC part would take around 20+ hours. with this numbers, there was no way for us to meet SLAs.

After Oracle team, Microsoft team, and us started investigating the issue, some interesting things were uncovered.

Apparently in our ADF we were using simple select statement, to oracle side our “identifier” or record ID (ex:“win_no”) field was being passed from SharePoint as a numeric field. In the world I know, this is how you treat record ID.

But on the Oracle side this field was defined as a character. In this scenario, Oracle disabled the use of the index because the field types do not match. With the index disabled the process of retrieving records was slow.

The issue was solved by the “to_char” we put in select statement to make sure that BDC “does not lose anything in the translation”. Final testing showed that BDC import was brought down from 20+ hours to under 2.

When I was at NY User Group meeting in June, I have heard someone saying that their BDC import was taking about 8 hours to finish, and for a while, I thought that it was normal. Well… It is, if your field types do not match! :-)


Converting Hyper-v VHD to VMware

Real bummer. I had to power off my server that was running Hyper-v and the whole bunch of VMs. Until I get the hyper-v host back, I decided to continue my development on one of the machines by converting it into vmware. The general VMware converter that allows you to convert from VHD is not working with POWERED OFF hyper-v VHD. apparently you can convert it only as a physical machine by giving the IP address, which in my case is not possible as I do not have another Hyper-v host. I guess I have to be patient and wait for the server to get back


Publishing Search Results in MOSS

Never noticed it before, but after checking it on several installations of MOSS, it appears that the search is “ignoring” “start Date” on publishing pages and includes all documents that had not been published yet.

If you create for example an article and set publish date one week from now, you have to modify your search not to include these articles into search results until this date had been reached.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

New York SharePoint User Group meeting June 3, 2009

It is a short notice, but I urge you to attend this meeting.

Jim Kane will present on "Challenges and SharePoint Enterprise Deployments (& a few solutions)"

This presentation will focus on the many and varied challenges of implementing SharePoint on an enterprise level, whether for a small company or for a large company. Enterprise deployments present unique issues; from expectations through politics, from infrastructure decisions through going out-of-the-box or customizing. Deploying SharePoint across an enterprise can get messy quickly once more than a few people are involved in decision making.
We'll look at some real-life examples of challenges, and some ways to meet those challenges. Be prepared to participate in the discussion!

I’ve known Jim for quite a while and the first time I met him it happened at one of the New York User Group meetings. Jim and I are currently working on the same project (enterprise deployment), but from different side. Sides do not really matter form the project point of view, but I’m curious to find out how the challenges that we all are facing are being viewed from a different perspective.

I’ll see you there :-)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

FAST ESP 5.3 Installation trick

The installation is not that cumbersome, but the trick here is to install the right prerequisites especially java JDK(Java SE Development Kit with JavaFX (JDK 6u13 / FX 1.1)), you can find it at http://java.sun.com

If you do not have the right version of JDK, your installation will fail on Windows ( never done it in other OS), unfortunately you can’t really find it in documentation, so you can spend sometime struggling with it.

One of the great features of the FAST installer is that once installation is done, FAST generates installation profile XML document that can be reused in the future to perform that same type of installation scenario, this is especially useful in multi-node scenarios.

Monday, May 4, 2009

FAST search engine for SharePoint PART 3 (Content Sources and Connectors)

Each “content source” is represented as a “Collection” within FAST ESP. Data is being fed into Document Processing Pipelines for refinement through the use of “Connectors” that are defined for a specific collection.

There are three types of connectors for FAST search engine:

  1. FAST OOTB connectors
  2. Third Party (proprietary)  connectors
  3. Custom connectors, using FAST API

YES! FAST allows you to go against APIs

FAST OOTB connectors

Enterprise Crawler: used to feed content from Web Pages. Content sources, and many other settings for this connector are easily configurable through the Admin UI, including: Content Request rate, Start URIs, Include and exclude host name filters, content crawl interval, etc. Enterprise Crawler allows you to crawl unlimited number of start URIs, detects deleted content, and removes it from index, and retrieves both: static and dynamic content.

ESP File Traverser: traverses and submits files from file system to content pipelines in batches via Content API. Files that this connector serves can be in any binary or text format, as long as this format can be handled by processing pipeline (PDFs, TXT, XML, DOC, and many more).

JDBC Connector or FAST Smart Connector for JDBC: This connector uses database data or structured data for feeding into pipelines (Oracle, SQL, MySQL, DB2, etc). This connector uses JDBC driver that must be registered on the server prior to establishing a connection to the database. It extracts data to be indexed on a column level through the use of SQL query that you supply, this connector is managed through command line and through Web Interface as well.

Connectors mentioned above support content modification detection through the use of checksums as well as timestamps that are kept either in FAST built-in db or some other MySQL db.

Third Party Connectors 

There is not much I can say about these connectors except to list some of them: Lotus Notes, WebSphere, Exchange, Documentum, Hummingbird, and of course SHAREPOINT. So even if you are not looking to upgrade to the SharePoint 2010 when it becomes available with FAST, you still can integrate with SharePoint without reinventing the wheel :-)

Enjoy :-)

Monday, April 27, 2009

FAST search engine for SharePoint PART 2 (Overview of FAST)

The right way to introduce FAST would be to give an overview of how the indexing and search is really done and what processes take place.



I’m sure it’s not the best graphic you have ever seen, but I’m not a designer for a reason.

This picture provides a VERY simplified overview of processes, but it is a start.

FAST terminology: document is not a Microsoft Word document per-say (even thought it can be), document is data entity that is subject for indexing. Document can be a file, db record, web page, etc. XML docs are a bit different story, but I’ll talk about it later.

  1. Content: Content can be in many formats, structured and unstructured. Content sources are defined at a “collection” level, collection has to be created as a very first step that you take when defining a logical grouping of searchable content.
  2. Connector is assigned to a “Collection”, and is used to feed documents in batches to document processing pipelines.
  3. Document processing pipelines refine your documents, apply entity extractors, matching process and business logic. Only one pipeline can be associated with a “Collection”. There are many stages that document goes through within the pipeline, but they all can be split into three groups: pre-processing, document manipulation, post-processing.
  4. If the document is not discarded within pipeline it gets indexed with all appropriate attributes that were assigned to it within the previous step, original content is also being stored in FXML format (FastXML)
  5. Query Processing pipeline comes into play when end-user submits query, it provides additional analysis to content retrieved from index and further refines the result set.
  6. Finally, end user interface renders results and provided further ways of drilling into search results.

In the next post I’ll cover Content sources and connectors in more details.

Enjoy :-)

Friday, April 24, 2009


So what is all the fuss about? Why do we even want to consider FAST as a search engine? What FAST does that other search engines fail to do and why?

As we all remember in early 2000 it was all about data, collecting data, “information is the power”. Almost all companies jumped on “Data collection” wagon.  Few years later they were forced to collect data in the light of all laws and regulations that were imposed by government. At around the same time and even earlier wave of data analysis, and data mining became incredibly strong. Companies realized that the data they have is an unknown mass, potentially incredibly valuable, but the value of it was obfuscated by the quantity and often poor quality of the data.

SharePoint “age” started educating companies about true meaning of “garbage in, garbage out” concept. I personally often tell clients that SharePoint deployment stage should be treated as “Spring Cleaning” and reorganization of content.

But is “Spring Cleaning” approach always valid and feasible? No.

Can large enterprises afford such undertaking? Most likely not. Because hiring an army of temps to tag documents will not cut it, since they are lacking subject matter expert’s knowledge and business insight.

Properly configured FAST can impose multiple layers of information taxonomy structure on already existing content, thus providing unparalleled insight and access to information.

When FAST “bug” bit me, I tried to be devil’s advocate for myself and started researching FAST competitors in the enterprise search market, such as: Autonomy, Endeca, and Google appliance.  Unfortunately ns my FAST competitors research journey, I could not pass through sales reps, who had troubles answering even basic questions, to more “techy” people (and I’m so far drinking sales reps cool-aid). I had to resort to comparison of the type and level of influence or administrative intervention you have on the search engine, in terms of content relevance, analysis, ranking… and you name it. FAST had prevailed on many levels over other guys.

If we take the analogy of apple trees in an orchard. (ha-ha-ha, my Russian really comes through here) Companies say: I want Google quality search within enterprise.

Google is famous for Internet search, but this is the same as you going to a free range farm and shaking an apple tree. Then using the fruit that falls to the ground where you have no control over what apples fall first, and their pattern of falling and arrangement on the ground does not clue you into their quality of “fruits”.

Using FAST Search is like going to a farm which specializes in cultivating the best apples. So you get the best fruit all the time. It is presented to you in ways that you need by the ton, baskets, 5 pound paper bag, raw, or processed into apple cider, puree etc. (even by colors)

In conclusion, I just wanted to add couple of facts about FAST (in no particular order):

  • FAST can handle 40,000 Terabytes/ or 40 Petabytes of data
  • 10 billion documents
  • 2,000 queries/second

And  expansion of it all through Federated installations!

And according to Dstar – Data News company:

  • 1,000 terabyte is about one-hundred times the contents of the Library of Congress, the largest library in the world, with more than 18 million books, 2.5 million recordings, 12 million photographs, 4.5 million maps, and 54 million manuscripts

According to Answers.com

  • Approximately fifteen thousand terabytes of data will be generated each year in particle physics experiments using CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, launched in May 2008
  • As of November 2006, eBay had 2,000 terabytes of data
  • In 2007, NOAA maintained approximately 1,000 terabyte of climate data. NOAA expects that their Comprehensive Large Array-data Stewardship System (CLASS) library will hold 20,000 terabytes of data by 2011, 140,000 terabytes by 2020

Isn’t it alone impressive?

Enjoy :-)

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FAST search engine for SharePoint PART 1 (Dictionaries)

In this post I’d like to introduce you to FAST ESP dictionaries and their benefits.

FAST ESP (Enterprise Search Platform) has many prebuilt dictionaries. Dictionaries that support basic entity extraction such as: locations, people names, and company names. Dictionaries that help to facilitate a context recognition through the use of lemmatization, synonyms, spelling variations, stop words elimination, etc…

Lemmatization: generally speaking, lemmatization means the mapping of a word to its base form or its other inflectional forms. Ex: searching for “to do” will bring “doing”, and “done”.

Dictionaries also support advance phrase recognition, but this feature and lemmatization do not go together, they are mutually exclusive. Phrase recognition provides you the following: If I’m executing query on “SharePoint for Squirrels” Fast will immediately recognize that “SharePoint for Squirrels” is a PHRASE and will not bring absolutely irrelevant results with “Count of squirrels in SharePoint”, or “maintaining squirrels database in SharePoint” mentioned in the source documents.

Dictionaries as almost any feature of FAST is a big topic that can fit into a small book, but I’ll try to cover at a high level some of the OOTB dictionaries (index and/or query side):

  1. Phonetic search
    1. Used for detection of sound-a-like words
  2. Spelling
    1. Within spelling dictionary each word has a weight value which might be used to influence ranking value. Weigh value is based on the frequency of the word in specific language. Lower values mean more frequency of usage.
  3. Synonyms
  4. Tokenization
    1. Detection of characters that might be irrelevant in the query, ex: “-“, white spaces, etc.
  5. Character normalization
    1. Used for characters with accents that are not commonly supplied by users
  6. Locations and Proper Name recognition
    1. Used to identify locations, addresses, and names of people and companies.
  7. Anti-phrasing and stop words
    1. used to eliminate irrelevant words or often repeated words

FAST also provides automatic language detection in 70 languages, and dictionaries are language specific.

Custom FAST Dictionaries

Now a days almost every company is using their own terminology, or industry, or department specific jargon, and abbreviations. When searching for information people are using keywords in their queries, keywords that make  sense to them, ex: If I’m searching for “PTO”, I’ll get results with documents where “PTO” is mentioned, but not “vacation”, or “personal day”. While entering “PTO” in my search query, I simply wanted to lookup my company’s vacation days policy. When people are searching for information it is very important for search engine to understand what they REALY are looking for in the context of their keywords.

Dictionaries can be used on the content processing side (document pipelines) before document even gets indexed, and supply more information about a document into the index.

Though it will contribute to index growth, but will make query results serving a bit faster, since less work will have to be done there.

Also they can be used on the query processing side, which might directly affect query performance.

Keep in mind that almost all updates to index side dictionaries will require re-indexing of the content.

Just an idea on building custom dictionary: I’ve heard this idea at the first FAST Forward Conference 2008 in Orlando.

What is we start using internet to built our dictionaries. Internet is the biggest data repository in the world, and data on the Internet is often contained in tables. Table structure can be easily recognized in the document Pipeline of FAST.

Example of FAST indexing a web page with cars table:

Make Models    
BMW 325 XI Sedan  
Acura MDX SUV  
Acura RL Sedan  
Acura TL Sedan  
Acura RSX SUV  
Acura TSX SUV  

By utilizing GetAttributes() method in document processor, FAST can return this document as a dictionary, it will populate your  custom dictionary based on values from the above table. Just think about all the opportunities WWW opens for you :-)

When I say “document”, do not confuse it with MS Word document, document in FAST vernacular is any type of information entity: DB record, web page, file, etc.)

How will it help? let’s say that someone goes to my FAST Search engine and decides to find a car by entering  “Acura sedan” into the search box. While documents in my index do not have “sedan” keyword, but they do have make and model names. Without dictionary based on the above table, search results would bring everything on “Acura”. But with this dictionary through the matching stage in my document pipeline, FAST will identify relevant documents in my index by matching “RL”, and “TL” models to “sedan” in the dictionary. And return both sedan models in result set as opposed to the whole bunch of irrelevant content where “Acura” keyword is mentioned.

FAST dictionaries are created, populated and viewed using Dictionary manager from command line script dictman. You can use this utility in interactive mode for manual population of dictionary and in non-interactive mode, to populate dictionary through a batch file.

Dictionaries are used to improve relevance and can drastically improve search results if properly deployed.

There are pros and cons to deploying different dictionaries, so there is a pre-planning process that has to take place. Considerations must be given to what dictionaries to deploy based on the content that you want to serve and business requirements, when to deploy index side dictionaries and when to deploy it on the query end. This is more of a “Best Practices” talk, I’ll try to cover it in some other posts.

Enjoy :-)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

FAST as SharePoint search engine

While I was in UK at the beginning of this month, I had a very interesting conversation with one of SharePoint MVPs (no names, but he knows who he is :-). The conversation was mainly revolving around FAST and the fact that most SharePointers don’t have a clue what FAST search engine is and what it does. The common knowledge is that FAST is going to be tightly integrated with SharePoint and will make search better….. That’s it! 

As a result of the above mentioned conversation, I’ve decided to start series of blog posts about FAST features and the value they bring to the enterprises. Stay tuned, in the next post, I’ll start unveiling some of my favorite features. Posts will be titled “FAST search engine for SharePoint PART 1,2,3….etc”


Monday, April 13, 2009

UK Best Practices Conference

The European Best Practices Conference just passed and it was one of the biggest SharePoint Conference that UK has seen. First of all I’d like to thank Combined Knowledge for inviting me to speak at 2 sessions, and 1 “ask the experts” panel. The Conference gave lots of opportunities to learn and to network with other people in the industry.  Organizers of the conference did show what it is to take “Best Practices Conference” to the next level. Steve Smith and Zoe Watson from Combined Knowledge took a lot of care in personally making sure that all speakers and attendees felt very welcomed in London and at the conference itself. The only sad part was that great weather stayed only for the duration of the conference, since I took the rest of the week to enjoy my little vacation in London I did need an umbrella afterwards :-)

Once the conference was over, Eric Shupps has dedicated all his time to show us (Bob Fox, Stacy Draper, and George) the beauty of London, and all the great places to visit. Eric, Thank you!

To wrap up this post I urge you to become a regular attendee of this great event, as it provides deep insight into the technology and the community.  It was great seeing old friends and meeting new ones along with all the attendees that came to the event and my sessions as well. 

As they say…. Cheers!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My Site web application root site collection

Scenario: root top site collection for My Site web application got deleted (don’t ask how :-).

All my sites are still in tact as each of them is a separate site collection on it’s own, but if the top site collection under /">http://<mysitesURL>/ is deleted then people will not be able to create new my sites, this root site collection servers as provisioning mechanism for new MySites and also hosts Person.aspx page where end-users can view other people profiles.

So some of the things that you will notice right away:

1. No new My Sites can be created, instead people are getting “Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage”.

2. When people search result set is displayed, clicking on the person’s link to profile will bring to the “Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage” as well.

3. Your SharePoint search will not crawl people profiles anymore. This is because the top level site collection does not exist.

At this point you can recreate this mysite root site collection from Central administration under my sites web application, but only if you have the option to recreate it in the root. If you don’t have this option (I did not), you might have to recreate the whole web app, but backup all existing “my sites” firsts. For the first site collection that you will create use “My sites host” template under “enterprise” tab. After this create a managed path named “Personal”.

After you have done all of this restore all "”Mysites” that you have created backups for but not under the root URL :-), under /pesonal">http://<mysites>/pesonal

And you should be all set.


Friday, February 6, 2009

BP 2009 - Educated approach for selecting third party products and Vendors presentation

The conference is over and I enjoyed it very much. I’ve met a lot of great people “Hi all!” and as promised here is my presentation on third party products.

Educated approach for selecting third party products and Vendors

Description: SharePoint has become the platform that companies and businesses are turning to in search of solutions for their business needs.  Windows SharePoint Services also provides a foundation platform for building Web-based business applications that can easily scale to meet the changing and growing needs of business, as a result there is plethora of 3rd-party suppliers. In some cases third party applications and add-ons add some flexibility or more functionality to the basic feature set offered by SharePoint, and in others they enable powerful administrative capabilities and allow integration with critical business applications and databases. The number of third-party SharePoint applications and Web Parts is growing at a remarkable rate. This growth brings a lot of confusion on how to select the right vendor and product to customers that are looking to supplement their SharePoint environment. In this session, you will learn to identify difference categories of third party products available on the market and their value, select the right product and vendor that would fit their budget and business needs, and understand implications of introducing different products into their SharePoint environment

BP 2009 in San Diego – Training your SharePoint staff presentation

Just Got back home from the conference and even though I greatly enjoyed the conference and people attending, but home is home :-)

As promised here is the presentation on Training Staff Responsible in the Various Roles and Responsibilities

Description: The SharePoint implementation can be very complex, involving many types of roles and responsibilities within an organization, it’s critical that all groups involved are competent enough to take advantage of its functionality. Even if your portal solutions are state of the art, but when end users don’t use it, the implementation is a waste of time and budget. This session will cover all roles and role based training approach. This presentation covers the identification of the key roles involved in the usage/development/maintenance of the SharePoint Portal, describes the type of training each role is required to receive based on their responsibilities, and how to deliver more focused and relevant training. It is hoped that audience members walk away with enough understanding of the importance of delivering training to all roles involved and with concrete and useful information that help them to develop the right training strategy.

Enjoy :-)