Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Preparing for Exam 70-583

I was recently studying for the Exam 70-583 and wanted to share my experience and study information that I used. First of all, if you are Microsoft partner then you can also use this link http://assets.msleap365.com/content/lpguid/htmh/D5107A83DB7D4A2BAE48234748525C51.htm

The most helpful information from this Microsoft resource was the technical pre sales and architectural guidance sections. The other VERY helpful resource from Microsoft is the “Learning Plan for Designing and Developing Windows Azure Applications (Exam 70-583)”

This learning plan is intended to help developers gain the knowledge and skills required to design and develop Windows Azure applications, and ultimately to prepare for Microsoft exam 70-583.


you can login with your live ID and add those classes to your learning, this way you can access the training videos. When I was watching them I would pause on slides, they do not keep slides up all the time and some slides they will show only for few seconds even though slides have helpful information. Here is the list of Microsoft online free video trainings

Session 01: Windows Azure Overview
Session 02: Introduction to Compute
Session 03: Windows Azure Lifecycle, Part 1
Session 04: Windows Azure Lifecycle, Part 2
Session 05: Windows Azure Storage, Part 1
Session 06: Windows Azure Storage, Part 2
Session 07: Introduction to SQL Azure
Session 08: Windows Azure Diagnostics
Session 09: Windows Azure Security, Part 1
Session 10: Windows Azure Security, Part 2
Session 11: Scalability, Caching & Elasticity, Part 1
Session 12: Scalability, Caching & Elasticity, Part 2, and Q&A

Along side with the post from BuckWoody, who compile a very comprehensive list of resources that he used for preparation (I did not read books he was referencing though), you will be all set for the exam http://blogs.msdn.com/b/buckwoody/archive/2011/01/31/certification-notes-70-583-designing-and-developing-windows-azure-applications.aspx

Good Luck

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

SharePoint 2010 Search – change the style of hithighlighting

I recently had to change the style of hit highlighting in the search center from the default bold style like testing to testing as it is being displayed in other search engines. It is very simple to accomplish this effect by going to the search results page and setting it in edit mode. Next click edit on the “Core Results Web Part”.

In the edit web part menu, under "Display Properties" uncheck "Use Location Visualization" and click on XSL Editor.


Copy and paste the XSLT into editor of your choice and locate the following section.

<xsl:template match="c0">

<strong><xsl:value-of select="."/></strong>


Replace it with:

<xsl:template match="c0">

<span style="background:#ffcc00"><xsl:value-of select="."/></span>


Save the page and you will notice the new style taking effect.


For the sake of consistency, perform the same steps for you people search results web part.

Enjoy :-)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Making the Best Search Choices for your Organization–Session

There is an GR8 SharePoint Conference going on in PA, on April 5th. This is a unique from the perspective that none of the selected presenters are presales representatives from a 3rd party product company but rather proven consultants that have real-world experiences working with many SharePoint vendors and solutions. Each partner has been carefully chosen because of their vast experience and success at assisting customers achieve their business goals through the planning, design, deployment and management of the topic they are presenting.

Harry Jones and myself will be presenting there the following session:

Making the Best Search Choices for your Organization–Session

There is an increasing demand for IT to deliver better search capabilities. As users evolve with technology, they rightfully expect a greater experience from search than simply finding a document. Consequently, organizations that still view search as merely a search box and a list of results, are in real danger of losing competitive edge and potential streams of valuable revenue.

During this session, Arcovis, one of Microsoft's top search partners, will arm attendees with the tools needed to navigate the various decision points in both selecting and applying their Enterprise Search platform. Topics will cover choosing the right platform (SharePoint vs. FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint), examples for monetizing Search, using search to drive operational and business intelligence, Search as a service and more.

Attendees will leave with the tools they need to make the right decisions for their organization as well as examples on leveraging search within their company.

Please join us at the conference or just come by to say Hi. Please use the following registration link, if you use this link organizers will know who referred you to the conference http://www.eventbrite.com/event/3107621981/Arcovis/11615147849

Here is more information on the conference, speakers, location and more http://www.gr8technologyconferences.com/Pages/philadelphia-20120405-Agenda.aspx

Enjoy Smile 

I hope to see you there.

Enterprise Search Summit 2012

Two years ago, I’ve conducted a workshop with Jeff Fried, Miles Kehoe and Mark Bennett at the Enterprise Search Summit 2011. This was my first time at the Search Summit and I’ve surely recognized the value and the great experience that it has provided to me personally and to all others attending the even. This year I urge you to attend it as well. Here is more information on the event, speakers and discount.

Early Bird Registration Ends April 13!
Register today to save $200 off the regular rate!
You only have until April 13 to take advantage of our early bird discount! Enterprise Search Summit is the premier event in enterprise search - we'd love for you to be there! Don't miss your chance to attend and save off the cost of your registration!

5 Reasons to Attend
You won't want to miss this spring's Enterprise Search Summit and your chance to learn from the leading minds in the industry. We've compiled a list of 5 reasons why you should attend Enterprise Search Summit to erase any doubt in your mind that this is the place you want to be May 15-16.

1. Excellent speakers
We have a full program featuring the best of the best speakers in the enterprise search industry! Learn from the experiences of leading organizations and gain expert insights from the search world. See a full list of speakers here.
2. Networking opportunities
Enterprise Search Summit brings together an unparalleled group of search experts, vendors, and practitioners. Network at breakfasts, lunches, coffee breaks, the welcome reception, and in the Enterprise Search Showcase. See the conference program for break times and showcase hours.
3. Enterprise Search Showcase
For two days only, the Showcase features the top companies in enterprise search and offers attendees the opportunity to explore new developments in product and service solutions. Admission to the Enterprise Search Showcase is also FREE with the purchase of a full-conference pass!
4. In-depth Pre-conference Workshops
Join us for a series of workshop sessions on Monday, May 14, featuring discussions about taxonomies, project management, search platforms, text analytics, and more! See the schedule of pre-conference workshops and descriptions here.
5. Learn from Real-World Implementations
Enterprise Search Summit features representatives from leading companies such as Sematext, Search Technologies, Raytion, and many more, who will share real-world examples of search implementation and their experiences. See a full list of speakers and companies here!

The Venue

Hilton New York
1335 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10019
The Hilton New York is the official conference hotel for Enterprise Search Summit.  The hotel is located on Avenue of the Americas (6th Ave.) between West 53rd and West 54th Streets. 53rd street is west bound and 54th street is east bound.

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SharePoint 2010 Enterprise Architect’s Guidebook

I’m happy and excited to announce that the “SharePoint 2010 Enterprise Architect’s Guidebook” is available now.

I was honored to become a contributor to this great book. It was a real pleasure to work with the Authors Brian Wilson, Reza Alirezaei, Bill Baer, Apran Shah along with such contributors as Matt Rantlett, Paul Olenick, and many other great names in the industry.

This book is great for all SharePoint!!! Get your copy

Enjoy Smile

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thesaurus in SharePoint 2010 Search (SharePoint Shop Talk Question)

I wrote this quick blog entry about last week’s discussion on SharePoint Shop Talk. The question is documented below in orange. I believe this would be a good blog entry because the situation that cause this question is fairly common and the approach to this is not necessarily the best practices approach.  Also from the response from the audience it appears that people found it insightful. 

By the way, do not hold you breath, I’m not going to answer the technical details of this question:

This is kind of a long post, but mostly because I want to make sure all of my details are in it. I mainly am looking for answer for the first two questions. The third is just a bonus!

I have a SP 2010 Standard farm (1 app server, 1 WFE, 1 SQL) with out of the box search set up.  I am trying to edit our Thesaurus file to help our employees find what they are searching for……

I followed the TechNet instructions editing the files at

\Program Files\Microsoft Office Servers\14.0\Data\Applications\GUID\Config, where GUID of the new Search service application, and nothing I try seems to work.

I noticed that the path where I am editing the files (which is the only folder under Applications) is:

D:\Program Files\Microsoft Office Servers\14.0\Data\Applications\8340232b-513b-4ed8-81f4-50a1980af0f0\Config

However, if I run the powershell command:  Get-SPEnterpriseSearchServiceApplication

The guid returned is:  9ea80497-bf69-4ead-b14e-5188c7cecf03

  1. Should I have a folder in the applications patch that matches my Search Service Application guid?
  2. In Central Admin, when I look at my Search Application Topology, under Index partition ... property store,  it shows Query Component 2 = my WFE and Query Component 1 = my app server.  However, the above path is only on my app server so that is where I have been changing the files.  Is this normal to have both app and WFE showing.
  3. Is there a way to either exclude views or set weight on one view, to prevent same result being returned multiple times with different views.

As I mentioned above, I’m not answering the technical details here, but instead asking a question back: “Why this approach?”. Adding/editing thesaurus file to achieve the goal is not the best option here. SharePoint 2010 Search has such functionality as keyword management and best bets.

Keywords are search terms that users type into a search box when executing a query. When a user query includes a keyword that you have configured, the search results can provide a definition for the term together with links to recommended locations or documents at the top of the search results page.

You can define keywords, provide synonyms (words that closely relate to the keyword), and create Best Bets (links to featured documents or locations for the specified keyword), to provide a relevant set of search results for popular search terms. Synonyms are useful and specifically in this particular case when the requirement and the whole idea for editing the thesaurus is to use several search terms to find the results that match the same concept and content

When you create a keyword, you can also provide a definition of the keyword that appears in search results. When keywords have synonyms and associated Best Bet links, they help guide users to recommended resources. The list that is updated when a site collection administrator creates keywords and adds synonyms is called a thesaurus. The thesaurus for SharePoint Server 2010 is compatible with the thesaurus for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007.

You can delegate the creation of keywords to Site collection administrators to create keywords at the site collection level. This is a better way of implementing and maintaining the required functionality then modifying thesaurus files directly.

Enjoy Smile

Monday, January 9, 2012

The infamous : Property doesn't exist or is used in a manner inconsistent with schema settings (SharePoint Search and FAST)

I bet we all have seen this error from time to time. This usually happens when you create new managed properties and try to expose them on the search center, but it can also happen is cases when  always. There is a check list:

1. Make sure that the managed property has been added to the managed properties and mapped to crawled properties

2. After adding managed properties start the crawl

After ensuring that the managed property has been created and populated with values, ensure that your web parts are referring to this managed property and the name is not misspelled. if you still get this error, it might be because the SharePoint Query components are not updated. Restart the IIS on the query servers, to resolve this error.

With FAST, there are also additional thing that can go wrong. In some cases you can see this error on OOTB Fast search center as well and in can be inconsistent if you have multiple query servers. This is indicative that the query servers got out of synch.

The Index Schema defined in SharePoint Central Administration at the Query SSA's FAST Search Administration section is stored in SQL Server, and deployed to FAST Search through a timer job. It's possible that not all steps of the deployment occur, leading to a newer schema in SharePoint / SQL than the FAST qrserver is using.

It is easier to restart QR components to get them back in synch than to find the one out of synch and re-synch it.

Here is what you can do to resolve it:

Open up the FAST Search for SharePoint powershell and run the following on each QR server.

(Only do the ones that exist from the list from nctrl status)

nctrl stop qrserver qrproxy search-1

nctrl start qrserver qrproxy search-1

Enjoy Smile

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Past, Present and Future of Search: A Round Table Discussion

Happy New Year! We are excited to announce our next meeting, a Round Table Discussion. Sign up now

The Past, Present and Future of Search: A Round Table Discussion

Last month, The NY Enterprise Search User Group celebrated its Two Year Anniversary. This month we would like to take a look back at past talks, hear how user group members are currently using Search, as well as the group's vision of the future of Search.
Carlos Valcarcel Technical Solutions Professional at Microsoft, Natalya Voskresenskaya SharePoint MVP & Search Engineer along with Paul Olenick SharePoint and Search Engineer at Arcovis will lead a Round Table Discussion around Search.
Take a trip down memory lane here: Past Meetups

Carlos VCarlos Valcarcel has been in software development since the mid-80's working in financial services, insurance and technology....Read More.
Natalya VNatalya Voskresenskaya has been working in the field of Information Technology for over 10 years. With experience in design, architecture...Read More.
Paul OPaul Olenick is a Sr. SharePoint and Enterprise Search Consultant for Arcovis (Gold Partner and Microsoft V-TSP) where he leads projects for large enterprise customers across multiple verticals...Read More.

Leonardo SouzaLeonardo Souza, Senior Technical Instructor at FAST University/Microsoft is a professional with thirteen years experience working with Microsoft...Read More.
Michael McCabe2Michael McCabe currently works as an Information Architect for Gig Werks and focuses on the SharePoint product. He has 18 years experience...Read More.