Published: June 16, 2013 03:06 AM by
As you probably know in my lists of SharePoint books
(http://SPF2013FAQ.mindsharp.com/Lists/SharePoint%202013%20Books%20and%20Extracts/V%20Books.aspx is the SP 2013 list)
I always try to include links to more than just the Amazon US site. So these days I also have links for most books to Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Amazon Spain, Amazon Italy and Amazon Canada.
For most of these sites it's a labour of love rather than a paying proposition as apart from the Amazon US site there are few clicks in the month and even less purchases through those clicks (read zero for most months for all except Amazon US where a very good month is seven and a normal month one).
Yet when I did my regular check yesterday I found clicks in the fifties for UK, Germany and France and in the twenties for Spain and Italy. Further checks showed that almost all clicks came in three successive days and with remarkably similar numbers of different people clicking.
All very encouraging apart from the fact that there still were zero buys and I must confess that as each individual person seems to have made only one click in total I'm wondering just what is going on here. Bots?
On an allied subject I also try to check out on a weekly basis what new books are being listed and which books are been released. For months there was virtually no change so I did what most people do I suppose - I missed a week ("there's be no change anyway"), then another week until I finally got out of the habit.
Until now that is.
I discovered that not only had half a dozen SP 2013 books become available (= Amazon US in Stock) but a much larger number of SP 2013 books had been delayed.
All have now been corrected but apologies are in order for people who have been relying on the list to tell them what is already in print. Sorry!
Published: June 01, 2013 02:06 AM by
Later: While still working through the past month's webcasts I came across this one.
The guy talks for exactly TEN MINUTES about his company before starting the webcast.
The "worst" example I used earlier in this piece seems positively short by comparison.
If you want to start your web cast viewing by having a woman shout at you, then this (Microsoft via EPCGroup2010) one is a perfect start to your day.
Clearly people at Microsoft are deaf. (Through early exposure to grunge?)
None of the above make the cut to the web page listing. I wonder why. (and I'm still wondering whether the ones with a presenter with a strong Finnish accent are worth suffering through despite the good content)
Now that I've been back from my 2 week UK trip without a PC I have been able to process the past *month's* YouTube SharePoint 2013 webcasts. I have had of course quite a few to go through.
Seeing a large number in one short time period has reminded me that some companies just don't get the point of publishing their web casts to YouTube.
It IS to get their name in the public view as a helpful organisation in the SharePoint area.
It IS NOT to spent an interminable amount of time telling us what the company is - when it was formed; how many employees it has; what merits does it have in the SP area etc. etc. That is stuff you can bore us silly with if you are providing us with free food and drink (and, incidentally, when we are a captive audience). Even then, spend too long over that phase and we'll usually not be having positive thoughts about the company (because our minds will be filled with "Get on with it!" and other even less favourable comments).
So while it is possible to have a first screen saying the company's name and if really necessary a woman (it's almost always a woman) to introduce the speaker (although I could well do without her too), she should introduce him (yes, mostly it's a him) in a sentence or two ("XXX has been a SP MVP for n years and often speaks on SP at Microsoft conferences" is good) and then step back and let him start his presentation.
Perhaps the worst example I came across this time around was this one.
where not only did the woman spend three long minutes telling us about the company ("let me first say a few words about the company") but then the male speaker decided that he wouldn't start his talk right away either.
Hopeless and the opposite of being positive PR for a company called Planet Technologies. (It also had the effect of me not listing it in my list of web casts here
because why should anyone else be subjected to that).
P.S. I used to go quite a lot to IBM presentations - they were within easy walking distance and I needed no specific permission to go to them - and quite often experienced the same kind of thing there.
They had typically invited in a male expert from abroad who naturally didn't understand Finnish. A smartly dressed Finnish woman (something that in Finland shouts out "Marketing woman") would then spend ten minutes upwards introducing the expert using information she had previously gathered from him or his slides after which he would be called onto the stage. At this point things often became farcical because as he hadn't understood what the woman had said he gave his own standard introduction which repeated a lot of what the woman had said only this time in English [to of course a Finnish audience].
Published: May 29, 2013 11:05 AM by
Five Days Later: It's still there and now I also notice that three of the four explanatory articles after "For more information, please the following articles" are SP 2010 articles ....
(and, yes, that quote is accurate. It does say "please the following articles" !!!!!)
The title here is not a misprint.
The KB article (already at version 4.0) here
says both in the Title and the Applies To section that it is only for SharePoint 2013.
Yet if you look at both (alternative) solutions they say that you should "Start SharePoint 2010 Central Administration".
Four versions and that still slips by ...
[If by the time you read this it has changed to something that makes more sense, it's because I made a comment on that web page pointing out this inconsistency. I'm nice that way ...]
Published: May 25, 2013 05:05 AM by
While going through my RSS fields I came across something interesting that was listed there as "Deciding between apps for SharePoint and SharePoint solutions".
So as usual I clicked on the link in Google Reader (Yes, still using Google Reader until it drops) which led to this page
which had the title "Reimagine SharePoint Development Guidance" which I can't say that I found particularly useful as I wanted to get the Deciding between apps ... white paper.
That page said "These downloads provide guidance on how to migrate legacy full-trust code solutions to apps and the cloud app model." [Note **downloadS**] and listed a number of "Popular Downloads" which all seemed to be about Windows or SQL Server.
So I presumed the link was incorrect and gave up.
Luckily I unmarked the RSS feed and later went to have another look at the page only to discover that if I clicked on the details button below the "These downloads ..." text I was shown the details of a PDF file "DecidingBetweenAppsForSharePointAndSharePointSolutions.pdf".
Naturally I couldn't click on that text so I had to look around on the page again only to see a rather large Red "Download" button. I'd ignored this first time around as it was just above the "These Downloads" text and thus clearly if I clicked on it I'd be doing a bulk download of all those Windows and SQL Server files that were listed lower down on the page.
Only of course when I did finally get out of Walsh logic mode and move into stoned Microsoft logic mode I realised that clicking on that link was what I needed to do to get hold of the file that was specified under Details *once I'd clicked Details*.
So there you have it. You have a web page for a white paper where the title of the web page has nothing to do with the subject of the white paper; where you need to open something to see the pdf file name from which you (luckily) can guess what the PDF file contains; and then finally you can click on a Download button which is above a completely misleading description.
Later: This other page
has the same confusing format [i.e. the need to click Details to see what file you are downloading + list of non-relevant other files] but at least the page's title says what the file to be downloaded is.
Published: May 04, 2013 03:05 AM by
I'm shortly going to be in the UK for a couple of weeks and I'm only taking my iPad with me.
Fine for e-mail and otherwise keeping up-to-date with IT developments but semi-useless for the copying and pasting needed in order to update web sites.
So I won't even be trying to do it and instead will try to deal with the backlog as quickly as possible when I get back.
On another matter from an earlier post here, I've just added links to some more SP 2013 webcasts to the SPF 2013 site. Some of them unfortunately continued to be given in a strong Finnish accent. (and continue to annoy me)
This time I put a note about this when adding them but why they can't ask their other native English speakers that they have doing other webcasts from "EPCGroup 2010" (i.e. Microsoft) is beyond me.
Published: April 23, 2013 00:04 AM by
In order to help me track down free On-Line chapters for SharePoint 2013 books I have various publishers' RSS feeds.
because I already list both the book and the Kindle edition.
Another reason for not doing so is that these bundles are not good value as the Wrox web site charges full price for these things whereas of course if you buy the book at Amazon you tend to get a discount of maybe 30% on the list price.
Another reason is that often if you have an electronic version you no longer need the paper version so why not buy just the electronic version.
The final reason though is for me the crucial one. In the past many SharePoint (and other computing) books - especially from Microsoft, but not only - came with a CDROM that contained a digital version. Some that didn't, had a code on the back cover that enabled buyers of the book (and people who saw it in a physical bookstore!) to download a digital copy. Now, though, Wrox are expecting you to pay a considerable premium for the same thing.
Provide a digital edition included with the book and I'll be happy - just as I am happy when I discover that the Blu-Ray I was already buying because the price was right also included a DVD - but don't expect me to pay extra for it.
Published: April 10, 2013 09:04 AM by
Most of the SharePoint people under you are probably aware that Microsoft have *removed* functionality from SharePoint Designer for its 2013 version so that creating a Data View Web Part is no longer possible without difficult coding.
As seems to be typical for today's Microsoft all the protests about this both before and after RTM were ignored.
Well we've seen the same thing with the Windows 8 Start Button (or rather lack of a Start Button) where a third-party jumped into the breach.
Now, thankfully, a third-party company has provided a Data View Web Part and it's good too that this company has been around for a few years (i.e. I was still a SP MVP with a couple of years "MVP-hood" left when the company was founded by a British SP MVP and an American) with a good track record.
After all that ....
The company is Lightning Tools and the product naturally is the "Data Viewer Web Part for SharePoint 2013".
A free copy of a Trial version can be requested here:
Published: March 13, 2013 09:03 AM by
I don't know the background to this, but two upgrades to SPS 2013 out yesterday (12th March) say that you need to have installed the SPS 2013 Cumulative Upgrade for March (2013 logically, although why they don't use those five - with space - extra characters to say so is beyond me) before you can install any subsequent upgrade.
Why don't they instead write "You need to have installed the March 2013 Cumulative Upgrade before you install this"?
Moving on .... As usual I found the *description* of the Cumulative Upgrade easily enough (although why they broke the habit of a lifetime and didn't say "Cumulative" in the Title is again something I don't understand) but need to wait for Stefan to post his regular monthly post to get hold of a link for the CU itself.
Published: March 09, 2013 02:03 AM by
I noticed a long time ago that all the webcasts posted to YouTube using the name EPCGroup2010 were actually Microsoft posts.
What however I didn't discover until recently (which means I haven't cleared up the duplicates yet - and won't until I'm back home using a decent-sized keyboard) is that typically the EPGroup2010 comes a day after an identical *content* post using the name GetStartedSharePoint.
The reason I didn't spot this earlier (and it's probably been going on for several months) is that the title of the first post was "tidied up" for the second post - typically by writing SharePoint 2013 where the original title just said SharePoint.
Whether this is MS trying to disguise that they are posting the same content twice, I'll leave up to you to decide. But I'll give you one clue to take with you - after several months of improving a title by adding "2013", you would have thought that they would have tipped off whoever is making the posts with the inaccurate title.
As for me, adding a single web cast to the site probably takes me at least a minute. I hate to think how many minutes I've lost through all these duplicates and how many minutes I'm going to lose by getting rid of them.
Published: February 28, 2013 02:02 AM by
P.S. IE 10 for Windows 7 that is.
P.P.S. Getting even more annoyed about this when trying to add new books to the 2013 book list is made more fiddly by needing in Safari to amend the (often duplicated) HTML code, I realised that using the 32-bit version of IE might clear this up. To my disgust the update to IE 10 64-bit had removed IE 9 32-bit from my system as well as IE 9 64-bit which is what it ought to have updated. So now there is no 32-bit IE version on this PC. After trying with too much difficulty to find the download of IE 10 32-bit I realise that - as such - this doesn't exist and I actually need to download IE 10 for a 32-bit *Windows 7*. The hope then being that that is in fact a 32-bit version of *IE*. The things we do (and the lack of thought shown by MS) ...
P.P.P.S The previous para is right - MS show an amazing amount of lack of thought. The IE for Windows 7 32-bit refuses to run on Windows 7 64-bit. Are they ****** mad? Don't they remember that you *can* run 32-bit software in a 64-bit Operating System AND that sometimes you need to. [In this case because their 64-bit IE has problems with some of the web sites created by their own software!]
Luckily this "upgrade" to IE 10 came when I was on holiday with a small portable which means that my main (=large) portable is still running IE 9 (and still has both 32-bit and 64-bit versions) so when I get back I'll be able to add books again without needing to amend the HTML source code which takes about twice the time. Needless to say that machine will not be upgrading to IE 10 any day soon.
Don't they check these things?
I updated yesterday to IE 10 and today I tried to add a new item to the KB Articles section of the v4 WSS FAQ site which is a WSS 3.0 based site. (Yes, I know ... but then the SPF 2013 site is a SP 2010 based site so who's counting).
So back to Safari it was. Discontinued in the Windows version I am using of course but maybe that's a good thing as at least it continues to work when used as a browser for WSS 3.0 based sites.
By the way, the details of "couldn't add" is that New works; I can fill in the form but then Add / Save is ignored - shades of how iOS doesn't work with SP forums (or maybe - as it's been a while - "didn't" work.).
Published: February 23, 2013 03:02 AM by
Prentice Hall have just announced a new SharePoint 2013 book (for release in July) called "Your Office: Getting Started with Microsoft SharePoint 2013".
The price is $33 which seems reasonable perhaps until you see the number of pages ONE HUNDRED.
Three pages per dollar for an introductary book. I don't think so.
As Prentice-Hall have done this before you must wonder whether the main market for their books are (captive) libraries.
Published: January 27, 2013 03:01 AM by
My web cast list is at
As you can see language is not a reason for a web cast not making it, so what is?
Well to start with the webcast needs to have sound - not just any old sound like a musical background but the sound of someone speaking us through the subject. (and note that if a webcast starts off with pounding music I assume that's what it's going to be like throughout and do not list it)
It needs to be clearly about SP 2013 rather than any other version of SharePoint. This doesn't necessarily mean that the title has to include "2013" but it helps as otherwise I have to go on things like "is this part of a series where some webcasts *are* clearly labelled 2013.
The accent (or style) needs not to be extremely annoying. I'll discard webcasts where you need to guess at what the speaker is saying because the accent is very thick but I'll keep webcasts in all kinds of accents provided they can be ignored.
The speaker should neither speak so quietly that you have to strain to hear the words nor should he/she speak so quickly that again it's a stress to follow him/her (a problem especially with some Indian speakers)
Webcasts that are propaganda for products are not listed. Occasionally some third-party product companies' webcasts make it through because in that particular podcast the emphasis is on standard SP 2013 functionality, but that still means that 99% of third-party product companies' webcasts are discarded.
That's about it. At the moment I am getting the vast majority of the webcasts I list from YouTube; some few are coming from Channel Nine; some few from people's blogs and even fewer (virtually none) come from "Microsoft On Demand webcasts" which used to be a very good source for SP webcasts but nowadays is virtually useless. Send me any other good sources of webcasts to my hotmail address englantilainen and I'll incorporate them too.
Finally why bother going to my web page when you can go to You Tube
- I use different sources not just YouTube
- I listen to the start of each webcast so serve as a filter
- You Tube isn't sorted by date so you either need to restrict yourself to a short period or a long period when looking at what is there.This makes it harder to find the latest webcasts you haven't yet seen. (I try to do this on a regular basis so as not to miss (m)any.)
Published: January 19, 2013 06:01 AM by
I live in quite a small house and since I discovered things that were over fifty years old in the attic of my mother's house that duplicated and triplicated more modern pieces of electronic equipment that were in use (and also a mass of books that when the crammed-full bookshelves had overflowed were also dumped in the attic) I've been going through our house with a keen eye to what I no longer needed.
So we come to SharePoint 2007 and 2010 books which thanks to publishers wanting a review or to the publishers of "my" books who were happy to give me a selection of their SP books in place of some of the free copies of "my" books I had quite a lot of.
By now the SP 2007 books had mainly made it behind other books in an out-of-the way cupboard so they were clearly the first to look through, but over half the SP 2010 had already made it to level two (behind other books in a non-out-of-way cupboard so they clearly might as well be sorted through too.
I already knew that a former colleague now working for a small consultancy was the person to get the ones I was giving away so all that was left was to decide which ones I should keep.
To a large extent (if you ignore the first two groups) this is a reflection of the quality of those books so I think it worth writing down in a blog *but note that the Developer books go because I can see that I am never going to develop for SharePoint*.
Group 1: (Obvious) Keep a copy of each of the four books I have either written (2) or written a chapter for (2).
Group 2: (Because I needed recently to customize a web site and realised I hadn't used SPD for far too long) At least one SPD 2007 and one SPD 2010 book.
Group 3: (Really Good SP 2007 books without a SP 2010 equivalent in my book "collection")
Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Best Practices (MS Press and in my opinion the best SharePoint book ever written)
[Ben Curry, Bill English]
SharePoint 2007 Disaster Recovery Guide (Charles River Media. There's a SP 2010 version but I didn't have it. A unique book covering areas most books either don't bother with or don't treat seriously / detailed enough). [John Ferringer +]
Group 4: (Very Good SP Admin books)
Both SharePoint Pocket Companions (2007 and 2010). (Microsoft Press. The 2007 was a perfect size to fit in your pocket. The 2010 is just a bit too large hence keeping both. [Ben Curry]
The Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Administrator's Companion (MS Press - like the equivalent 2003, 2007 books a must have even if the 2007 book was in time eclipsed by the Best Practices book. [Bill English et al]
Professional SharePoint 2010 Administration (Wrox and probably the one I would have picked of the two full-sized ones here if I was new to SP 2010 and hadn't been brought up on the "official" SP Companions) [Todd Klindt et al]
Group 5: The rest
SharePoint Foundation 2010 Inside Out (MS Press and kept mainly in case I want to see what I should have included in my own SP Foundation 2010 book.) [Penny Coventry and others]
Beginning SharePoint 2010 Development (Wrox and just in case I ever do feel really mad and want to look at why I shouldn't do any SP programming!) [Steve Fox]
Clearly the recommended books are those in Groups 3 and 4 (as I'm English I can't recommend my own books in Group 1 although the two "MVP" books I wrote a chapter each for are pretty good) and looking through the books in Groups 3 and 4 now I see that the names Ben Curry and Bill English are over-represented which might mean something.
Finally I'd like to warn again that as well as dropping (almost all!) Developer books I also dropped Content Management books which is why Andrew Connell's 2007 book wasn't mentioned here.
P.S. Yes you may regard the books from Groups 3 and 4 as good indications of what might well be good SP 2013 books.
Certainly I found that the 2007 books I didn't like hadn't become any better when their 2010 versions came out ....
and really finally here is a plug for my book sites
Published: January 11, 2013 02:01 AM by
I've often wondered whether the comment possibility you get at the bottom of every KB Article really does give texts that people read. One other theory is that - as these comments unlike comments to blogs are never published - providing a comment function just lets annoying people let off steam.
Well maybe there are actually people who read these things.
I've many times written in comments to the effect that Office KB articles that mention SharePoint never bother to say *which* SharePoint versions are affected.
Finally today there was a KB article
where they do clearly state that the problem affects SP 2007 and SP 2010 sites.
Let's hope that the other KB article writers follow suit.
Published: December 26, 2012 07:12 AM by
I've finally taking the plunge and have gone to Channel9 and have been adding most of the web casts linked to there to my SP 2013 web cast list here
Most are not Channel9 sourced but come from various events throughout the world including Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland.
Some few seem to be Channel9 productions and yet some of those are ones I have not added to the list so that you folks too will not be annoyed by the woman they use as their introducer.
This web cast is a good example
Just start the web cast and listen to the first few seconds of a tatooed women shouting at you.
Maybe what comes from the SharePoint people who follow her is actually worth watching, but she is so irritating that I have never bothered to find out.
What I can't understand is why Microsoft uses someone with this total lack of style for their technical web casts. She'd be perfect in a Monty Python Abuse sketch but not here in a serious technical web cast.
Published: December 25, 2012 13:12 PM by
I was wondering in view of the total lack of anyone clicking on the few Google ads there if anyone was actually looking at my SP 2013 information or whether I was completely wasting my time in adding all those links and book information.
Well at least I now know that people have found the SP 2013 site because someone (I guess just one person as all three "books" were ordered on the same day) ordered three SP 2013 Kindle Books from my book list at
That was a major relief so now I just need to wonder whether anyone is looking at the UK, French, German, Canadian (and especially the Spanish and Italian) links because all the hits they seem to be getting seem to be generated by *myself* accessing them in order to find out the latest price and/or availability of the books there in order to create/update those sections of my book listings.
I was also glad to see those Kindle book purchases because all three "books" were written by long-term SharePoint MVPs who have given a lot back to the community. In particular Asif Rehmani who has made available quite a lot of free (but well-done) teaching videos.
It's an interesting fact - and neither of those authors should feel this is a reflection on the quality of their work, because that isn't my intention - that the very first books available on a SharePoint version do better than they would if they came out later. I remember myself buying the first book that came out for the 2007 product even though it was a book for programmers and I was really interested in Administration.
The other interesting fact is that as far as I can see this over-interest doesn't last long - in other words there is a very short window of opportunity. Books that come out even only three months after the first ones will no longer be sold only because they were out first, because by then there will be several in the market all competing.
The annoying thing for authors is that try as they may to get their book out so quickly that it sells only by being available, they can still have all their hard work foiled by their publishers.
My own experience of my 2010 book was that I was ready very quickly but that the publishing review process (at their end) seemed to take forever, thus delaying the availability of the book by several months. Of course part of this I caused myself. I was going to be away for 6 days so I asked for the suggested edits for a few chapters to be delayed for that period. In fact what seemed to happen is that I lost ca. 3 weeks because they didn't just keep doing their edit suggestions while not sending me the files; instead they took the guy off my chapters and on to someone elses! So when I got back not only were there no chapters waiting for me but it took a while for them to re-start coming.
The other thing from my experience that I can pass on is that if you miss that initial rush (say up to six months after the first one comes out), you might well be better to bring a book out much later that for instance includes SP1 additions to the product. Here again though you should try to be out as soon as possible after the release of SP1 and also make sure the fact that it covers SP1 is in the blurb and preferably on the cover.
These days, though, maybe the rules of the game have changed. Certainly I am happy for the two MVPs who managed to get their Kindle editions out while the publishers still don't seem to have managed to get any paper books on SP 2013 out yet. Something which by the way I associate with Microsoft's extremely brief (my guess as far as the private betas are concerned) private and public beta periods for SP 2013 which has meant that writers who typically have written a book based almost entirely on the private beta are still having their work go through the entire publishing process even a couple of months after RTM of the product. (Whereas usually that would be happening during the public beta phase for the very earliest books)
P.S. I should have made it clear that with "publishers" above, I am refering to commerical companies like those publishing books by Sams; Apress, Microsoft Press etc. There are a few self-published books already available - two of them in fact the paper versions of two of the Kindle books that I referred to earlier.
Published: December 21, 2012 02:12 AM by
I've just added SharePoint 2013 webcasts in Finnish and Rumanian to my list of SP 2013 web casts here
where they join a list where Russian, Spanish and many other languages including (madly, in my opinion) Swiss German [almost incomprehensible to anyone other than Swiss Germans ...] and of course with the largest number by far in that odd language English.
Before anyone writes in to complain that the country is Romania and the language Romanian (with an "O" rather than a "U"), well that is what the Rumanians call it themselves, but the correct English spelling continues to be with a U for both the country and the language.
Meanwhile if I want to offend even more people, I will continue to call Bombay, Bombay and not Mumbai and Peking, Peking and not something else I'll probably make a mess of spelling (Beijing?), because that is what they were called when I did Geography at school. (However Leningrad has become St. Petersburg for me - as the older name for that city - except when I talk about when I spent a week in Leningrad, that is (1967), or for that matter read about the siege of Leningrad or listen to the Leningrad Symphony (Number 7) by Shostakovitch [Take your pick on the spelling of that composer, as it varies on almost every CD I have!])
Back to the plot - my list of links to web casts.
For the moment all of them are taken from YouTube. In the good old days I used to have a page with the latest Microsoft web casts (from TechNet, MSDN and the MS Office team) that I could look at but then Microsoft "improved" that set of pages and gave it a nicer font but also made it completely unusable. (Par for the course - flash over convenience)
I also used to make regular checks of Channel 9 but now I'm retired and have less time (!!!!) I haven't done that for a while and in the early days of SP 2013 I couldn't in any case find anything there.
Anyway this is a plea. If anyone has some useful Microsoft web pages with SP 2013 web casts please send them to me at outlook.com where I am englantilainen.
(Don't use comment here. It's a complete waste of time as there is so much spam there I have given up spending at least 15 mins a day deleting it- [It's not visible, as it's all waiting for approval])
Published: November 22, 2012 07:11 AM by
I set up everything to add a couple of new books to the SP 2013 book list and then just as I was about to add the first of the two new books my "SharePoint 2013" search had given me at Amazon.com, I discovered that they were both SP 2010 books.
What's going on here?
Why bring out books for SP 2010 on July 15th 2013 when SP 2013 has already been out by then for well over half a year?
It's not as if we didn't have a very wide and deep selection of SP 2010 books already.
Published: November 02, 2012 04:11 AM by
How about this for a very clear, definitive statement
"You cannot upgrade from Windows Server 2008 to Windows Server 2008 R2 after you install products in the "applies to" section on a computer that is running Windows Server 2008"
This is very clear. You can not upgrade to Windows Server R2 if you are running MOSS 2007 (listed in the applies to section).
Except that you can ...
Now that isn't what that KB article title (clearly and definitive) says, is it?
Published: October 30, 2012 14:10 PM by
is a KB article dated the 29th of October 2012, which like all the other SP KB articles dated the 29th of October 2012 (with versions 3.0 or 5.0) is new to my 2007 and 2010 KB Articles listings.
That means there's a 99.9 % chance that the first time this article found the public light of day it was already at version 10.0. (I added them all early afternoon [Redmond] on the 30th)
Now you can understand the first draft being changed once after a review and even maybe that revised draft being changed again, but NINE reviews including changes before publication does seem rather a lot even for the KB Article team.
Published: September 21, 2012 04:09 AM by
I rarely add web casts from third-party companies because mainly they are trying to say how good their products are.
However Mike Fitzmaurice has continued with his refreshing, open style that made him such a pleasure to listen to / watch in his time at Microsoft and so I've made an exception for a Nintex webcast by him and Microsoft's Richard Riley.
and it's a worthwhile visit for those who want to know about Nintex's plans for SP 2013 in the non-pushy (dare I say, Canadian) style that is Mike Fitzmaurice.
You might however want to skip the first 23:25 mins which is an more normal Microsoft-type overview by Richard Riley with annoyingly poor sound.
Published: September 09, 2012 04:09 AM by
Showing the benefits of self-publishing (and who knows the curses of self-publishing), the first SharePoint 2013 book is already out in both printed and Kindle formats.
It's Using PowerShell with SharePoint 2013
by Steven Mann
and what's more it's available from all the Amazon sites that I list (US, UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy) with the strange exception of Amazon Canada.
Published: August 29, 2012 03:08 AM by
P.S. The URL feed of the latest downloads hasn't been much use recently either. One day a few days ago it showed *496* new downloads since the previous day! Most of which were about products from 2001 and 2003 .... No prizes for guessing that these were actually not the very latest downloads.
If you go to
i.e. direct to the Microsoft download site and search on All Products with the latest downloads first
the latest download is dated the 25th of August (and there are only two of them).
Well today is the 29th of August in Finland even if it is still (just) the 28th in the US West Coast, but surely something came out on the 26th; 27th or 28th? Not according to that search.
But here a Google+ post from René Modery came to the rescue because he pointed out a new download "IT Professional Reviewer's Guide for SharePoint Server 2013 Preview" dated the 27th of August and as you will see if you click on the link below, that download is located in the Microsoft Download Center.
So why then doesn't the search (URL 1 above) on the Download Center for ALL downloads show it?
Published: August 24, 2012 06:08 AM by
is just out from Asif Rehmani MVP who co-wrote a couple of SPD books.
It gives a very clear picture of why there is such a storm among Power Users about the removal of Design View from SharePoint Designer 2013.
Published: August 18, 2012 02:08 AM by
This is something that has annoyed me for years but the reason for writing about it now has to do with my adding a lot of links to Microsoft SP 2013 Training modules to http://SPF2013FAQ.mindsharp.com
As a good part of the description is the same from one link to the next, the way I did this was to copy in the description of the previous post; amend it and then click on the Video link to get the URL of that video.
While addding the URL and copying the description for the next link, I let the Video run (with sound) and after several videos that didn't catch my ear, there suddenly was a feeling "Hang On, I know that accent" and of course it was a Finn speaking English - something which I here in Southern Finland come across more often than most people throughout the world even if I hold my own conversations in Finnish.
This then caused me to wonder again about the logic of Microsoft using non native English speakers for their webcasts.
No doubt the first argument that will come from them is that "this guy is the expert in this".
Well he might well know a lot about it but I bet in a company of Microsoft's size there are others (accentless others) who know as much.
But that's not really the point. Even if he is the only expert, all he is doing is reading up the script he prepared for the webcast. (There is surely a script!) Once the script is there, what is stopping Microsoft from using a native English speaker to read it?
Microsoft have gone to a lot of trouble to get quality documentation and informative webcasts on-line and available to all from day one of the release of the Preview version and it's hard to understand why then they are reducing that quality by having speakers of their *training* material who have annoying foreign accents.
[I should at this point note that the Finn was by no means the most annoying non native speaker I have heard (the next section's webcasts were done by someone with a strong Italian accent and some of the Indians that MS use outdo even that by miles), and he's being used here merely because him suddenly appearing after the earlier training webcasts were done by a US American prompted this post.]
[I should also perhaps point out that MS are not the only organisation doing this. I used to have a podcast[cancelled because of this] from the Swedish Radio with reports from their (native Swedish) correspondents (speaking Swedish) throughout the world. Swedish Radio had employed as link person in the studio in Stockholm someone who when reading the link script consistently made errors when saying the words [typically stressing the wrong part of the word] and who otherwise clearly was not born in Sweden as there was a foreign accent present throughout (not a Swedish regional accent, this was clearly someone for whom Swedish was a foreign language and whose Swedish was much worse than mine). Swedish Radio could have picked up someone off the street and they would have done a better reading job!]
Just as Microsoft Finland would have been mad to choose me to do SharePoint presentations in Finnish (in the days when I possibly knew more about it than the Microsoft Finland staff who were available for presentations [a local MS consultant told me once that the MS consultants were too expensive to do presentations at local MS conferences!]), so in my mind Microsoft US are mad to use Finns, Italians etc. to do their English language webcasts.
Note: there is sense in getting non native speakers to do live presentations as then their knowledge can be used to respond to the audience and cope with technical problems etc. but pre-recorded training sessions are something for which non native speakers add nothing and in fact for people with good ears detract considerably from the information presented.
Later: I wasn't surprised to quickly get a comment on this but was surprised that it was complaining about this blog post giving a hit on a Inet search and thus wasting the commenters time on something he considered unimportant. Besides which his other comment about MS probably employing a Finnish company to do the web casts was way off as all the training web casts were done by people who clearly stated at the start of each web cast that they worked for Microsoft (and this was also visible on the first screen). Odd that he found time to comment but no time to actually listen to even the start of the relevant webcasts.
Another comment, this time from New Zealand
great article, I thought I was the only one to have noticed this. Here in NZ, most of the MS webcasts we get seem to be presented by Indians, now you can't necessarily fault their technical knowledge, but often their accent gets in the way of getting their message across, which makes for a very poor presentation.
It does make you wonder about the cost though, as what are the chances that MS has pay parity across all its global offices?
Just my 2c.
Certainly for me too the accent gets in the way of getting a message across. I doubt though that this is a cost issue. I think it's more likely to be a convenience issue - i.e. the SharePoint team used the people they had around *in Redmond*.
For instance the Finn here is listed as Finland (+Microsoft) in the list of SharePoint MCMs, but then so too is another Finnish SharePoint MCM who I only ever have met at conferences outside Finland because he apparently spends a lot of his time in the US.
The Italian too stated that he was a Product Manager (hence my assumption was "in Redmond") and I doubt in any case if Finns or Italians come cheaper than US Americans; Brits; Australians or even New Zealanders!
Published: August 15, 2012 08:08 AM by
This is only to let you know that there is a forum thread about this issue here
where most people who contribute there are complaining that the lack of a Design View in the new SharePoint Designer 2013 is a major minus - some going as far as to say that it is a reason for not moving from SP 2010 *ever*.
Of particular importance to me is the statement in the first post in the thread that several SharePoint MVPs complained about this at the pre-public beta stage but were ignored.
That in turn reminded me of me complaining - at the pre-public beta stage - about the SPF 2010's default database system having a limited db size compared to the unlimited size of the equivalent db system in WSS 3.0. One MS person was brave enough to respond (in a private e-mail list) that he too had complained about this but had been overruled.
As that complaint was no doubt at least partly responsible for me first being dropped from that private e-mail list (and later from the MVP program?) I only hope that the same fate wasn't in store for that MS guy and now for the starter of the thread linked to above.
The days when MVPs were there to point out the errors of MS thinking as they affect the real world seem unfortunately far behind us as they more and more seem to be regarded by MS as beneficial for product marketing and the undoubted real world skills and knowledge of MVPs are mostly ignored.
Published: August 10, 2012 04:08 AM by
This article is as far as I am aware new in the Internet
It's a fairly normal KB article about a specific problem (specific compared to the KB articles that over several years of availability and changes have reached a high version number) and yet the first public version (afaik) of it is showing version 14.0.
Have the KB article writers gone mad?
For one they should always start their public versions at version 1.0 (they don't - recently that isn't the norm as most articles when publically introduced have been at version 4.0 or greater).
But more important is their complete ignorance about the difference between a minor change (0.1 increment) and a major change (1.0 increment). These days clearly every change howwever small is in Microsoft's eyes a major change.
Yet even so, how can you possibly reach version 14.0?
P.S. I got the following comment to this article.
Mike - I totally agree with you on your assertion that the KBs MSFT is pumping out are a mess. I would point out however the article is Revision 14 and not Version 14. It's very possible their back end system increments the revision every time the article is saved and the revision is just pushed out to the public from that authoring system as is. I agree the revision/version does not make sense but to be honest I never really looked at it - there are too many other "issues" which catch my eye first - example, why are Delegated Task, Rescind Task, Forward Tasks on the same lines with other actions and not worthy of their own bullet?
I suspect that he/she is right about it being the back-end system which is upgrading by a full point every time something has been changed and that this is all occuring before that same back-end system automatically pushes out the article.
What I, however would like to see is that the automatic push-out automatically reverts the version number to 1.0. After all does the public really care just how many times MS people have tweaked (and tweak it must be to get up to 7.0 let alone 14.0) an article before it is published?
Also then - once we start with ver (/revision) 1.0 - could we please have some sense shown about whether a change to the public article is major or minor.
Published: August 04, 2012 06:08 AM by
P.S. SharePlus has fields for Name and password but if you don't fill them out you get anonymous access. Briefcase Pro has similar fields - both marked as required - and if you do'nt fill them out you get a pop-up asking for name and password. SharePlus has another nice feature in that the name/password you give (even anonymous) is given a name. When you later add a new site you are automatically given the same authentication information as an option. This saves a very small amount of time if all the sites are actually part of the same SharePoint system.
This piece will look at two iPad apps - Briefcase Pro (Colligo) and SharePlus Lite (Infragistics) which is the free version of that product for which there is also a chargeable Pro version that I have not tested.
[Colligo kindly provided me with a code to enable me to access the Pro version of Briefcase for nothing while it was in beta and despite an only partially positive review of the first released version, have continued to offer me free codes.]
The versions used were the very latest version of Briefcase Pro (the Update option only appeared in the App Store yesterday and wasn't there a day earlier) and a version of SharePlus that was downloaded a couple of months ago and which probably still is the current version.
In order to make the test accurate, I added the (SP 2010 based) latest SPF2013FAQ site to SharePlus in addition to the WSSv4FAQ (SP 2007 based) site that was already there.
The same two sites were also created in the new version of Briefcase Pro.
So a level playing ground.
The first test was to see if Colligo had removed the requirement of needing a name and password on specifying a site. They hadn't.
Thus for all the rest of you who need anonymous access, the only product you can use to access any of my sites is SharePlus.
Game Over ....
However for those of you who want to have off-line copies of sites you can use authentication with, I'll continue.
The installation of both products and the adding of SP sites and specifying which Lists are to be shown goes smoothly.
Earlier problems with Views (not choosing the correct default view; unable to cope with grouped views) with Briefcase Pro, have mostly vanished in the new version. SharePlus always coped well with views (at least since I first saw it and used it).
Both seem to work fine with (my) SharePoint 2007-based sites. (Later I'll try to compare the speeds of opening one of the very large lists [4000+ items] in wssv4faq because I seem to remember that Briefcase Pro seemed snappier with large lists whereas SharePlus seemed snappier with normal sized lists).
With the SP 2010 based site being tested there were problems with both products. As the largest problem occurs probably because of the way a particular list was created, I'll need to explain just how I created the list so please bear with me.
I had already in the v4 site created a URL List for SP 2013 documents and had already added a mass of links to it by the time the SPF 2013 site became available to me. So I didn't want to lose all that work.
[I'd also made the mistake - which didn't cause problems in a SP 2007 based site - ofcalling a column Category and also had specified (madly) Info - SP 2010 Products as the default for it (instead of S 2013 ...)]
So when I finally got access to the SPF2013FAQ site I intended to create a copy of that SP 2007-based view in the SP 2010 site and use datasheet view in both to copy the date across in bulk. [This had worked before when upgrading to a new SP version] I then discovered that I couldn't get datasheet view to work on ANY of my Windows machines!
So I went to the final idea of creating a spreadsheet file from the SP 2007-based list (which after telling me it wouldn't work, did on the second attempt) and then used the "Create a List from a Spreadsheet" option in the SP2010-based site.
This worked fine BUT I discovered that not only was the column called Category no longer in third place in the list of columns (as it was in the spreadsheet) but that it also had the wrong info (2010!) AND that it was no longer a column that could be deleted or changed - so I couldn't change it to Choice type as I needed to. Two other similar text fields were in the correct location in the list and could be changed to Choice type.
Clearly it was a blunder using Category for my column name and what I should have done would have been to amend the name of the column in the spreadsheet; change by copy and (a single large) paste the value to Info - SP 2013 Products; and create the list in the SPF2103FAQ site again.
I might well still do that but what I did do was to add a new column in the newly created list called CategoryX and add the text Info - SP 2013 Products to the latest 40 or so items.
Then of course I needed to revise the views so that they include CategoryX and not Category both in the views that included that column and in the Views that were grouped on that column.
In the browser of normal PCs these new Views all look as they should.
But in both Briefcase Pro and SharePlus the look of the views is extremely off to say the least.
<save to go and get noise reduction headphones as kids are screaming behind my back [I'm in the garden - they are about 10 yards away]]. Back and I needed the Stones on the iPad as well as the noise reduction to drown them out>
Let's start with the simplest View. The Latest 20 View is default to allow for quicker loading when the number of items in the List gets to over a thousand. As the name says, it's only the most recent 20 items (i.e. links to documents created or updated in the last few days). It's sorted by Descending Date and URL (=Description).
In SharePlus there is no restriction to the latest 20 and the view shows all the items (although still being sorted correctly). Also, although it shows the items that have the same date in the correct description order, above the description there is also visible the contents of the Category field (yes, the wrong one), even though that doesn't appear in the View at all.
In Briefcase Pro it's even odder.
Firstly the default view isn't the one shown when you first click on the list, so you need to select it.
Secondly when you do select it it too doesn't stop at 20 items.
But the really odd things are
a) again the values from the Category column are what you see (here in the normal view, ONLY the Category column with an arrow at the right to open up the original sheet for the single item with all the details
b) if there is no value in the Category column - which there obviously isn't for new additions because the CategoyX field is what is being used - then there is a value show such as 425_ which presumably means this is the 425th item in the list.
c) if you use the whole vertical page view (click the arrow to remove the left-hand colum with the List Names), then you get different look with the actual URL (not the description - the actual URL) in the first column; Issue Date ín column 2; CategoryX (col 3); Product (col 4) and again the arrow to show the full info stored for the item.
You need still to see the full info to get a URL you can click on however.
Similar problems occur in both products when the View "Group on Category" is selected (where in the View specification the List is grouped on the CategoryX field).
In both products this view groups on the Category field even if this isn't specified at all in the View.
Finally another list that both products have problems with.
This is the SP 2013 Book list which at the moment has only one item in it,
In Briefcase Pro the view (not the correct default view which should be per type of book) shows the name of the book; selecting it (not necessarily the arrow - a click on the name is enough) gives the full page for the book and the description part while messier than it should be is scrollable.
In SharePlus the default view *is* selected automatically and so you see the Group "D. General" above a line with the book title (and a line below that with the Amazon US and Amazon UK links that I added to the List compared to the old v4 version).
Those two links work from this page too ..
But clicking on the book title to give the full data for the item gives all the columns with contents BUT the Description column just shows "html content" and you need to click that to see the (in comparison to Briefcase Pro, correctly formatted) full information for the book - i.e. the links to all the Amazon sites and the (rough) prices at those sites.
So if you are Canadian; Spanish; Italian; French or German (or a user of those Amazon sites), you have an extra click.
I am for these versions of the products calling SharePlus a (to me surprising as I have always liked the PC-based Colligo products and thought them to be best of breed) winner here.
BUT please note that if your key function is quick access to your SharePoint lists then once synced Briefcase Pro provides almost instantaneous access to different views of Lists whereas SharePlus needs to load them every time (yes, even after View A has been loaded even if then the next view doesn't take long to load it is certainly not instantaneous.).
So if you are impatient then go for Briefcase Pro, but in most other test "categories" SharePlus is a better choice as it provides a much cleaner look on the iPad than Briefcase Pro.
[Both products tested on an iPad2 running the latest version of iOS.]
Published: August 03, 2012 03:08 AM by
It's amazing to me that Microsoft instead of (only) improving SharePoint from version to version also manage in small ways to make it worse.
We all no doubt remember that with SharePoint Designer 2010 it was no longer possible to work with previous versions (to 2010) of SharePoint sites and that the workaround of having 32-bit SharePoint Designer 2007 on the same PC as your SPD 2010 was not a major success - for instance you couldn't then use 64-bit versions of Office 2010 on that PC - so you were virtually forced to have one PC with SPD 2010 (and Office 2010) and one PC with SPD 2007 (and Office 2007 because as we all know mixing one "Office" product of year X with another Office product of year Y on the same client and then trying to access a SharePoint site was rarely a positive experience).
The ones of you who moved from WSS 3.0 to SPF 2010 will also remember that the "free" database included in WSS 3.0 installations allowed virtually unlimited size databases while the one included in SPF 2010 installations didn't.
But now Laura Rogers has spotted yet another restriction when moving to SP 2013. This time it's the fact that SPD 2013 no longer has a Design View and therefore you can no longer create any no code Data View Web Parts.
I can't believe this as this kind of easy-to-do site improvement was something that gained SharePoint its reputation as an easy-to-use system.
So this change - for which MS surely have a buzzword that trys to give the impression this is an improvement - is for me far worse than the two examples mentioned earlier as it means that SharePoint has well and truly moved onto the list of "difficult" systems to implement.
This is not a major problem for companies with masses of specialist staff running large size SharePoint server systems, but it's hard to see how one man "Foundation" sites are going to thrive.
But anyway back to the Laura Rogers blog post:
In it she suggests using SSRS reports to replace (in some cases) those now missing data view web part implementations.
It's a well-written post but I have my doubts if the one man SPF sites are likely to be able to find the time to learn SSRS.
Published: August 02, 2012 07:08 AM by
Take a look for yourself. Here's the KB article
which has the Title
"Windows Server 2012 does not support SharePoint Server 2007"
The summary is the killer
"Windows Server 2012 does not support Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. Therefore, Microsoft does not support SharePoint Server 2007 in Windows Server 2012."
Therefore ... !!!!
Yes, I think we got that when we read the Title and if we didn't, we got it when the first sentence in the Summary said the same thing.
Just think of all the things Microsoft can put KB articles out for based on this.
How about "The iOS app Angry Birds Space doesn't work in Windows 7. Therefore Microsoft does not support the iOS app Angry Birds Space in Windows 7"?
Maybe something for their summer interns to do when they are not creating new (major) versions of KB articles by adding a new code at the bottom of them.
P.S. The summary for the equivalent SPS 2010 KB article is somewhat better but it still has a rather stupid "Therefore ..." sentence. <P
"Currently, Windows Server 2012 does not support Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010. Installing SharePoint Server 2010 on a computer that is running Windows Server 2012 can lead to unexpected behavior. Therefore, Microsoft does not support SharePoint Server 2010 in Windows Server 2012."
Published: July 30, 2012 06:07 AM by
I earlier reported that I was unable to access The Official Blog of the Microsoft SharePoint Product Group (="Microsoft SharePoint Blog") on my now main PC running 64-bit Internet Explorer.
As I wrote earlier, I could get the RSS feeds on that machine (in Google Reader running as a tab in IE 9) and those showed the full text, but when I then clicked on the title to go the web page itself I got an error.
Today I tried the same address on the iPad's Safari and had no problem, so as the error message I was getting on the PC was saying that my hotmail address was the wrong address, I decided to log myself out of Hotmail (which like Gmail is always in another tab in the same copy of IE 9).
Having done that, I tried the address again - and got the same error message, but only after I had been given a login box and had specified the same Hotmail address.
So I removed the tab for Hotmail even though I wasn't logged into it - and now all new SP Team Blogs opened fine.
I suppose I'm not the only one who suspects that this is not the kind of "feature" any MS Product Team is looking for for their blogs. After all Google's rival GMail system *can* be still open ....
P.S. Now that I finally know the reason, I'll be adding several links to the better SP Team Blog posts about SP 2013 Preview to the new site. After all I still have the RSS feeds ...
Published: July 29, 2012 05:07 AM by
You may have noticed if you have looked at my new List for SPF 2013 Preview that I have added a new Source to the list that I used for the same list in the WSSv4FAQ site - namely "MVP Blog".
Just as the "Team Blog" before it (referring to semi-official Microsoft comments), the "MVP Blog" designation is intended to be a sign of quality - i.e. a blog from someone who is very likely to know what they are talking about. That's not to say by any means that I pick up on every blog from a SharePoint MVP because with rare exceptions many of even their blog items are only about their training courses and conferences they will be speaking at and of course many are short pieces of information about something to avoid.
So instead I try to pick on the longer pieces where it's clear that the blog owner has probably included the kind of information it would be hard to get elsewhere. [Spencer Harbar's blogs are quite often in that category.]
When it comes to non-MVPs (designation="Blog"), I have the same kind of line but there I tend to do a bit more checking before I add the links.
A case in point was two Blogs about installation that I found in a forum - http://sharepointgeorge.com/2012/installing-sharepoint-2013-preview-windows-2012-server-sql-2012part-1/ and http://sharepointgeorge.com/2012/installing-sharepoint-2013-preview-windows-2012-server-sql-2012part-2/
The reason I then didn't add the links was this comment from "Doug"
George, I wanted to comment here. When installing SQL 2012 SSRS to pair with SharePoint 2013, you cannot install SSRS during the SQL install BEFORE SharePoint 2013 is installed. Plus, SSRS and PowerPivot in SQL 2012 with SharePoint 2013 require you to use SQL 2012 SP1 CTP3 for the whole build. Plus, you have to follow their install order on TechNet (Install SQL DB, install SP2013 and psconfig, then install SSRS, PowerPivot, run configs). Read the readme in the SP1 CTP3 as there are lot of gotchas......
I suspect that most people who have installed earlier versions of SharePoint would automatically do the installation in the order suggested - i.e. only install a basic SQL database system before SP and add the SQL Server extras later - but I also suspect that had I included the Blog articles, many people would have followed them without reading the comment first - and would therefore have to do it all again from scratch.
So those were two Blog articles I didn't include. There's still no guarantee that all the ones I include are 100% accurate but at least I'm trying.
P.S. I received a comment suggesting that I "consider also including mcm in the metadata" as the posts from SP MCMs are often valuable.
It's a good idea that I'm grateful for and I'll add "MCM Blog" to the list but unless they mention it somewhere, it's not always going to be possible for me to know if someone is an MCM or not so it's going to be a bit hit-and-miss. [and while I know that Spencer Harbar is an MCM, he's going to stay as an MVP given his dual credentials and similarly Microsoft employees who are MCMs will also be left as "MS Blog"].
... and I get a comment giving a web page where they list MCMs!
most of the current MCMs are listed http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/master.aspx#SharePoint
some aren't on that list, but those don't blog anyway :)
Published: July 27, 2012 12:07 PM by
The new address is
and at the moment - with no 2013 KB Articles or books in sight - there's only a list for the documents and downloads.
Despite the name, like the 2007 and 2010 sites before it, it is for all SP 2013 products and download links for a few connected with them like SQL Server.
Many thanks as always to the Mindsharp people for providing the hosting for the site(s).
P.S. When I get round to it, the site will look better than it does now. For the moment just click on the SP 2013 Preview Articles link. At least I've got all the Views in place.
Published: July 26, 2012 02:07 AM by
Even though I've had the software downloaded on my PC since the day it came out (along with SPD 2013 and SPS 2013 Preview versions), I've yet to install it.
The reason that I wrote about long ago - namely that the beta is planned to come out in the middle of the short Finnish summer - doesn't really apply as there hasn't actually yet been anything remotely resembling a Finnish summer (and with a week to go, there's unlikely to be one either).
However I didn't plan for the mass of documentation that in particular the TechNet technical writers have managed to produce for the Preview product, all of which came out on the 16th of July and all of which I have been adding day-by-day to the List I created for them (for the moment in the WSS v4 FAQ site and when it's available in the SPF2103 site - which will be for SPS 2013 too despite the name). So that's this year a rather better excuse as entering those does rather take up most of the time I want to spend indoors at a desk.
But I very much suspect that this year there's a physcological reason too why this doesn't seem so urgent.
I was a pre-public beta tester of WSS 2.0; WSS 3.0 and SPF 2010 and thus had over a long period of time (a very long period of time in the case of WSS 3.0) lots of opportunity to - at length - read about the new product long before the code arrived. Then the code arrived and it was like being in a select group of people - you could discuss the implementation of the functions and features you had read about earlier among yourselves and yet not speak about them to people outside the group.
By the time the public beta came out, therefore, you had lots of knowledge about the product and you installed it mainly just to see if the bugs you had reported had been fixed and so that you'd have something public (and close to the final version) you could use for the intial writing pass of your next book.
Given all that is now in the past, you can perhaps understand why there wasn't this time the rush to install the product itself. After all the SP 2013 Preview forums are full of comments from SharePoint MVPs which - only days after the release of the public beta - show how much they already know about it. Clearly I'm not going to catch up no matter how much of these light summer days (it's still light in Southern Finland for about 21 hours a day even if it's cold and miserable) I spend with the public beta.
So why rush it? It's hopefully going to more useful for other people if all of the documentation (and blogs) various Microsoft organisations are putting out are concentrated in a single list that can easily be searched without fear of getting lots of SP 2010 etc. hits. So that's where I'm spending the effort at the moment.
Published: July 24, 2012 03:07 AM by
A curious fact in all this is that I CAN access MS Technet Blogs (of the form http://blogs.technet.com/b/tothesharepoint/archive/2012/07/23/new-sharepoint-technical-content.aspx ), which makes this problem with sharepoint.microsoft.com/blogs even odder.
Here's an example of my problem.
is a blog post from a MS guy. Clearly they want users to read them (and I can read the post when it's in my RSS feed), but when I try to access that address and others like it, I always get a message telling me that my e-mail address is ****@hotmail.com (where **** is indeed my address used for things like accessing the Microsoft forums - i.e. it is a perfectly valid address for everything Microsoft that needs an e-mail address).
If I try the same URL later, I get a HHTP 404 Not found message.
Now clearly other people can access these Microsoft blogs, but why can't I [This is not the first time by any means in the recent past - it's the reason why there is no link in the SP2103 Preview List to a recent blog post by Bill Baer for instance.]
Grateful for any hints !
Published: July 21, 2012 07:07 AM by
For the moment I'm frantically updating (frantically = as fast as I can go and retain my sanity) the list I created in wssv4faq.mindsharp.com for SP 2013 Preview information.
As always there seemed to be only one *Microsoft* source (many of the SharePoint MVPs as usual were able to post useful information from day one of the public beta as they (sob, sob) had had pre-public copies) of SP 2013 Preview downloads and information (i.e. the Microsoft download site) but again as usual that proved to be completely misleading as all the various Microsoft "properties" got in on the act.
So in addition to the ca 27 downloads (3 of products; 24 of documents) that were available from day one on the MS Downloads site there are also a mass of web pages in both the MSDN and TechNet site - roughly divided up in respectively Developer info and "ITPro" information. (and more elsewhere?)
So that's a mass of links to add from both places - some extremely nastily nested. (Nasty because you need to decide how to title the lower nested posts when adding the link)
Oddly, I've yet to see a post about beta forums but I suppose if I went looking for new forums they would be there somewhere (I'm hesitant to get involved with the forums again except in a reading-only "role" and even that is probably asking for trouble as there would be an itch to ask some questions that MS might not want to see.).
P.S. The above-mentioned list will be moved to the new SPF2013FAQ.mindsharp.com site as soon as I can login to it!
Published: July 17, 2012 08:07 AM by
When I started the procedure to download the Preview version of Sharepoint Server 2013 I very carefully copied and pasted the product key that was on the download page into a Notepad file.
I've namely been caught before by this. You go to download something and zoom to the part of the page where it says "download" and click on it. Then you wait for several hours for it to download and by the time it does it's time for bed and you turn off the computer.
Next day you try to install it and it demands a product key. "Where the heck is that? It's a Preview and so it doesn't need a product key". Ah, but it does.
Another thing I saw on the page that download page led to was the information that MS would be sending me two e-mails to "increase my enjoyment" (something like that ...) of the preview product.
I sighed. As much for the additional and unnecessary e-mails as well as for the American positiveness (which always reminds me of NPR saying "the programs you love are sponsored by ..." - and the ones I don't?).
But this time - and at least for people who haven't been doing this kind of thing for long enough to remember to copy the product key from the download page - the first e-mail (which arrived well before the download had completed) was actually useful.
Why? Because it included (again) the product code you would need when you install it. Not much use for me - although I was muttering about my wasted effort in copying it to a file - but still something very useful for most people because now you just go to your e-mail inbox to dig out the product code.
Now I'm just wondering if the threatened second e-mail about the Preview will be equally useful to most of its readers ...
Published: July 17, 2012 07:07 AM by
I woke up this morning to a mass of SharePoint 2013 Preview posts (product downloads and help articles) in my MS downloads RSS feed.
Clearly it's now time to either add those links to the v4 "FAQ" site or indeed add them to a new v5 FAQ site.
So I'm hoping that those very nice people at Mindsharp will once again help me out and create me a v5 site on their server.
While I'm waiting (and hoping) for that to happen, I'm downloading the preview of SPF 2013 (and it's taking quite a while to download - what a surprise).
The I suppose I'll have to download some of the help articles to see what Server software is needed ...
Later: In the meantime I've added a new list for the Preview articles to the v4 FAQ site
On another note, I was shocked to see that the download link in a OneNote 2013 post was actually for Office 365. I really hope that's a mistake - I would hate for PC-based Office to vanish and in fact if it did I just wouldn't update from Office 2010.
Published: July 12, 2012 03:07 AM by
Microsoft have just issued new versions of 17 WSS (2.0 - i.e. the first version of WSS not the 2007 version) and 1 SPS 2003 Hot fix KB Articles.
Some are from the second half of 2004 and the rest are from the first half of 2005.
Clearly by now these hot fixes for really ancient (and non-supported?) products are of little interest to anyone so you have to wonder just what the point is of creating a new version number of them (and thus filling people's RSS feeds of "new" KB articles with ancient stuff).
Needless to say the articles I looked at had no indication of just what change in them had made it necessary to go for a (major) point change in the version number.
As it is summer (still), my guess is that once again summer interns have been "usefully" employed. Usefully maybe for them (although I doubt if they went to Microsoft in order to do this kind of ritual upgrade) but certainly the opposite to anyone relying on RSS feeds to keep them up-to-date with SharePoint problems.
Published: July 11, 2012 03:07 AM by
One of the many SharePoint 2010 books that has long been announced but still hasn't made it into publication is one that - at least as originally defined - was intended to be the hard copy version of a number of Joel Oleson's blogs.
Rather than disguising the fact that his latest Kindle book takes the same approach, Todd Klindt has made sure we know that by saying so in the Title of the Kindle book that it is a collection of (his own) blog posts
"Free Advice (And Worth Every Penny) - A Collection of SharePoint 2010 Blog Posts" - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008GP65WI/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=heme0f
So what we have is a large number of high quality SharePoint 2010 blog posts collected (and tidied up) and made more easily available in "book" form for reading on your Kindle (or after conversion - perhaps in Calibre) on your iPad [or indeed without conversion on the iPad using the Kindle for the iPad app.]
As the first comment there said " Think of it as a dump from your OneNote library." - without of course the need to actually copy and paste those Blog items into your copy of OneNote.
As the second comment said "While the content in this eBook is available for free on Todd's blog, I found the Kindle version to be worth the price ..."
Soo if you - like me - tend to spend most of your time with an iPad (or Kindle) rather than with a "real" PC, or even if you want to read about SharePoint on your holiday, this Kindle offering is well worth considering.
Published: July 06, 2012 02:07 AM by
Occasionally I get an e-mail offering me a free download of the digital version of Windows ITPro.
These days after clicking on the link (which gives you the on-line version), I then click on download to give me the PDF version and then - via e-mail - transfer that to the iPad where there is much more chance that I will read it. (Apart from Ticket to Ride my iPad is used almost entirely for reading magazines and once I've read the monthly magazines I've paid for there is always a gap that I can use to read the monthly / weekly magazines I've not paid for [some thanks to Calibre]).
This time however both the links in the e-mail led me to a "Preview" edition of the magazine which was clearly not the full thing and in order to get the full thing you needed to enter the e-mail address connected to your subscription.
If you happen to get this, just enter the e-mail address that the Windows ITPro people sent their e-mail too. It may not be a subscriber address but it does mean that you will now see the full issue and will be able to download it.
Oh,yes, and there is a SharePoint article in this issue too (July 2012)!
Published: July 03, 2012 11:07 AM by
P.S. As always I was thinking mainly about me (= reading the latest KB articles). The problem of hidden dates is even more important for people who find KB articles via Search. The first thing they need to know is whether the article is still valid or whether a later Hot fix has removed the need for it. They can find at least an indication of this by looking at the date of each article - if it's more than a year old, the chances are the problem has been solved in the meantime. Now of course it is just more difficult to do that look at the date.
(Using Sysprep to create SharePoint 2010 images for use in Azure IaaS)
shows the latest form that it seems (this was the first one I have seen) Microsoft are using for their KB articles.
The changes that I have spotted as part of the new look are
1. the font has been changed
2. the date and version number have been moved down from their (for me) correct place near the top of the article to the Properties section which will always make them close to the end of the article.
3. the Applies To section (now within Properties) is expanded on accessing the page (you used to need to expand it yourself - at least in the previous version - although even earlier versions had it in expanded form).
The main problem (apart from wondering why Microsoft always seem to spend the summers tampering with their sites and pages that already work fine - is this what they get summer interns to do?) is that knowing the date and version number of an article was very useful information when deciding whether to read a KB article or not.
Clearly if it was ver 1.0 you hadn't seen it before if it was coming to you via an RSS feed of the latest articles. [The reverse wasn't true as Microsoft these days seem to take great pleasure in issuing KB articles that are already at version 2.0; 3.0 or even 4.0 when first seeing the light of day].
Similar the date always provided confirmation that the RSS feed was indeed [Don't laugh, some of MS RSS feeds these days delight in giving me TechNet Mag items from 2009 as "latest"] a newly issued or newly updated KB article.
With this new and unnecessary "upgrade" to the page format, you have to look really hard to find this key information.
Now I realise that once you've worked out that it is in the Properties section then you will quickly zoom down the page to find the date/version number but then in order to read the new article you will have to zoom back up to the top of the page again.
What a waste of time!
Published: June 24, 2012 07:06 AM by
I've just been adding rather too many (*) books - in both Paperback and Kindle form - to the WSS v4 FAQ.
[(*) For the sake of my typing fingers / copying/pasting efforts]
After adding something like six Kindle versions of German language books from Microsoft Press Germany that had (the Paperback version that is) all been out for several months at least, I found three self-published books (i.e. Paperbacks) from a - to me - completely unknown author called Ray Stuyvesant.
Now we've seen that before but none so far have had the cheek of this guy.
All three books are priced at a (high) $ 49.95 at Amazon US and yet when you wonder at that and then look at the number of pages, you wonder again.
The three books in the order I added them have 158 / 118 / 76 pages. Not only that but all three are labelled "Volume 1" so we can expect a Volume 2 on each of these subjects, presumatively also with a very low page count. (X)
So there you are. Anyone in the market for a self-published book of 76 pages on SharePoint Security written by an author nobody has heard of and costing $49.95?
[The books are all called "SharePoint Artifacts" plus the topic itself, which even I admit is quite catchy, but with better books available from known authors and known publishers I don't think a catchy title is enough to sell these.]
Finally for those wondering about the Title. The author in his self-written blurb about himself (the Capacity Planning book) wrote among other things that he is "is a U.S. citizen and a military veteran". Now just what do those two things have to do with expertise in SharePoint?
(X) The guy who always comments that the page count isn't important, it's the quality of the content, should bear in mind that these books are from an unknown writer who didn't manage to get a gig with a recognised publisher. Given that, we can have large question marks in our minds about the quality of the writing; editing and production.
Published: June 08, 2012 06:06 AM by
I got RSS feeds to four newly amended SP 2010 articles today. (The "Newly Published" list.)
The articles should have included the text "Updated 7th June 2012" but instead all for contained a "Published On nnnn" text even though in two cases - with a 2010 date - I could track (via my WSS FAQ links) that there had been a revision dated 6th December 2011.
Now it may be just the RSS feed playing up but then I should have got many more than just four "new" articles and for one of them I had mentioned (in my text at my site) that the originally published version had only one URL and this version had two!
So it looks very much as if MS have decided that the wonderful (sarcasm intended) standard they have nowadays for KB articles (only a move from 1.0 to 2.0 (etc.) gets a new date - a move from 1.0 to 1.1 doesn't) ought also to apply to their TechNet articles.
Up to now you see the original article included "Published on nnnn" and in later versions this was changed to "Updated on nnnn"
A standard that was clearly far too useful and clear to be retained.
Published: May 12, 2012 02:05 AM by
I've noticed quite often that people in different Microsoft Office product teams are rather blinkered. They know a lot about their own product but often don't know much about other products grouped as part of the Microsoft Office range.
This often becomes apparent when you look at KB Articles for an Office product. They will carefully list all the versions of their own product that it affects, but then - despite having another Office product mentioned in the Title and/or text - they won't bother in the same Applies To section to mention that other product.
A case in mind is the following Access KB Article which as the Applies To section says is for Access 2007 and Access 2010 (and that's all).
(This comment of mine is about ver 1.0 dated 11th May 2012. I've informed them of the problem and the KB article may have been corrected by the time you see this.)
The title of this KB article is
"Access: Errors Publishing or Exporting to SharePoint when Attachment File Name is Invalid"
and the text of the article talks only about "SharePoint" too.
Clearly anyone reading the article needs to know which SharePoint product(s) can be affected by this problem. Equally clearly the (Access specialist) writers of the article couldn't be bothered to say.
Published: May 04, 2012 09:05 AM by
"You cannot view a list in Datasheet view on a Windows SharePoint Services Web site" (revision 6, April 30th 2012)
and try to see how many mistakes you can find.
The mistakes (or rather the main ones I could find) are below
1. The main one is that the symptoms say that this KB article only applies to WSS 2.0 and WSS 3.0 (which does match the title) and yet the Applies To section has a long list of products including the other two 2003 and 2007 SP products as well as the highly unlikely - given the title and the symptoms text - SPF 2010 and SPS 2010.
2. The minor point is that they *once again* don't know the name of their products as the word "Office" (valid for the 2007 charged product) has crept into the name of the 2003 charged product (where it isn't valid).
P.S. In case anyone cares, I do always (OK, mostly) fill in the Comments section and I did so here for point 1 above. Even I didn't expect them to invent a product name "Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2003" so my comment was sent off before I spotted that - and of course you only get one change per KB article to tell them how wrong they are.
Occasionally even I have my doubts so I went off to check the Internet to see if I was wrong and the product actually *was* called "Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003".
This site http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/office/sharepointserver/bb267364 gives a clear indication of the problem.
It's clearly been "improved" by the same kind of bozos who amended the above KB article because the title is "Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003" however you need to look at the name of the product in ALL the links on the page - Yes, they all refer to "SharePoint Portal Server 2003".
A further check was to look at my SP 2003 book page here - http://wssv2faq.mindsharp.com/Lists/v2%20WSS%20FAQ/VII%20view%20%20SPS%202003%20and%20WSS%20Books.aspx - without exception all the book titles were "Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server 2003" with no "Office" in sight.
Published: April 25, 2012 12:04 PM by
I received a number of RSS feeds for several new (and a few revised) KB Articles for both the 2007 and the 2010 SharePoint products.
While adding them to the relative WSS FAQ sites, I noticed a few things.
1. Two of the KB articles for SharePoint Server 2010 hot fixes had already been withdrawn (= the link didn't work and then a search on the title from the RSS feed gave a link to a KB article number that was not available).
Sloppy to make public a KB article on the 24th of April and then withdraw it by the 25th.
The above wasn't in the title of this blog, I know, but number 2. is
2. The cumulative update; and the hotfix for MOSS 2007 called it "SharePoint Server 2007" in the title when as we all know Microsoft were very keen in calling this at worst "Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007" [hence MOSS 2007] (and at best "Office SharePoint Server 2007") which makes it clear that this is the 2007 product and not the 2003 product [included "Portal" but not "Office" in the name] and especially that this is not the 2010 product which IS called "SharePoint Server 2010 with no "Office".
Mind you even "SharePoint Server 2007" was an improvement in the name chosen for one of the two security updates which didn't bother with the "2007" and just called it SharePoint Server yet there was no sign of SPS 2010 in the Applies To section and it was clear from the date also mentioned in the title that the KB article could only be for MOSS 2007.
The other security update actually had "Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007" in the Title. So one lot of MS guys was on the ball. But none of the other ones.
Published: April 06, 2012 02:04 AM by
Later: A week or so on and another RSS feed for an item from the SharePoint Team Blog people. Naturally the link still goes to an internal Microsoft web page. Clearly these people are not reading my blog items!
there's supposed to be a Microsoft SharePoint Team Blog item called
However when I try to access it I'm told that my e-mail address (the one at hotmail that I use for the forums for instance) is incorrect and I should sign in with a different address (which, no doubt, wouldn't work either).
It's an interesting concept. Write blog items to help Microsoft customers and then make sure they can't read them ...
It was also interesting that - when I tried to google this to see if it was just my RSS feed from MS playing up (it wasn't), the first link was from Bamboo Solutions who were refering to an article at the "secrets of SharePoint" site who in turn were refering to the actual MS Team Blog.
So, so far I know only that the article starts with
"The User Profile Service Application stores information about users in a centralized location used by SharePoint’s social computing features to support natural collaboration. The User Profile Service Application is also required when provisioning "
which is the part of the article that both Bamboo Solutions and "Secrets of SharePoint" quoted.
For my part I think that my system of simply including a link to the article (when the link works that is) in a SharePoint URL list is a far more suitable approach that doesn't give the impression of own content. But then I would.
I'm happy to say that people are actually reading this blog.
Here's the content of a comment to this post. (Thanks!)
Mike, here's the real link to the article:
It would appear that it's less of a conspiracy and more of a publishing workflow issue. Looking at the URL you linked and the one I linked, the password protected one is using the built-in blog feature in SharePoint, while the accessible one is a Publishing Services page. My guess is that they use the internal blogs (and there are multiple from what I can glean via search) for developing the articles and then use something like SharePoint's publishing workflows to go through an edit/approve/publish process to move them to the public internet facing part of the site which uses Publishing pages and masterpages.
(I'd give credit if I knew the person who posted it would want credit *and* if I knew who they were.)
It's an interesting (and probably correct) idea. I wonder if the same sort of thing is the reason why for the past few weeks my RSS feeds from the MS Downloads page all have links that don't work. (Unlike the above link they don't fail with an authorisation problem, they fail with page not found). At the moment I'm using the RSS feed to point me to new SP articles/downloads and then Bing/Google to find the correct link for them.
Published: April 05, 2012 06:04 AM by
There's a new MS Team Blog from the SP 2010 team here
which in effect says that they have withdrawn their table comparing browser support for SP 2010 (oddly with only text "browser support matrix table" in the blog that was not linked to a web page) because in effect any browsers and any versions of any browsers are now supported.
(Seems a wild claim, but read the above linked article and see if you think it says anything different)
I tried to comment to that Blog in the space provided and for some reason their system didn't accept my comment. So here it is.
Supporting all browsers is all very well, but there are lots of things that can't be done as well with a non-IE browser in connection with SharePoint sites.
I, for instance, have a (SP) web page with a list of SP 2010 books (here: http://wssv4faq.mindsharp.com/Lists/v4FAQ/V%20Books.aspx
) and I add new items to it by copying the main contents of an existing item and pasting it into equivalent field of the new item. I then amend the item by changing things like the price and the links to the various Amazon sites' pages for the book.
In IE I change one link per Amazon site (that covers both the text of the URL and the URL). Using another browser, I need to change the HTML code and thus have to change the link twice (once for the text of the URL; once for the URL itself).
I also remember lots of things where as an Administrator there were problems in using anything other than IE and needing to switch to IE to do them at all or at least to do them comfortably.
Are you saying with this post that the "experience" for the Administrator is now identical irrespective of whether he is using IE or some other browser? (Because that is certainly the impression this post gives)
I think it's a fair comment. What about you?
The first comment came in quickly (and although I approved it, it doesn't seem to have been linked to this post) so here without giving anything personal away [even I don't know which Ben this is] is that comment.
I think the article makes it quite clear that browsers other than IE will result in reduced functionality. This makes sense as it means that SharePoint shops are effectively forced to stick to IE.
I think Microsoft are just stating that they will "support" the latest version in that PSS won't hang up on you if clients are using Chrome or Firefox.
Personally I think stating that only the latest versions of browsers is ridiculous especially given Microsoft's good track record of supporting Enterprise deployments (where upgrades can take months or years).
Just my $0.02.
Published: March 25, 2012 08:03 AM by
Simply the frustration of - for the first time since the private betas of Office 2003 / SharePoint 2003 - needing to wait for the public beta.
- no longer a SharePoint/Office MVP there's no longer access to pre-public beta information or software
- no longer working for a company with a special agreement with Microsoft, there's no longer access via the employer either
So from having the rather stupid situation for Office/SharePoint 2010 of having access via both the above sources to the software (often within days of each other), this time around I have none.
This year I have the time - at least now while the Finnish winter continues along its merry way (snow overnight last night in South Finland where I live) - to do a good job of testing the software and time to report bugs.
I have finally (after the cheap machine I bought for the SP 2010 betas [I needed one with at least 4GB memory and the ones I had all had 2GB maximum] gave up the ghost) been able to go out and buy a portable that is both fast enough (fastest current i7 mobile processor) and has enough memory (16GB) to allow me to run several VMs at once. [and that has enough disk storage (750+500GB) to no longer need to store VMs on an external disk]
(remember the title was why *waiting* is painful)
By the time the piublic beta comes out my situation will have changed dramatically with the coming of the Finnish summer and with that the start first of the golf season and then (also) the start of the sea-kayaking season.
Both these activities take a lot of time (say four-five hours at a time including getting to the course or the sea) and there's only a few months to do them in so unless it rains a lot there's not going to be much time over for more than a cursory look at the public beta.
So, what do you think? Should I just ignore it and first load it once at least the sea-kaying season is over and I'm down to "only" one sporting activity?
[I imagine what I will do is load it but not give it the time it really deserves. Rather that than mutter to myself all through the (following) Finnish winter about "why didn't I do more kayaking last summer *while I could*".]
Published: March 23, 2012 08:03 AM by
I was given a link to download Briefcase Pro which is a new iPad product from Colligo.
Like their earlier products for Windows machines, the idea is that you have an off-line copy of key parts of your SharePoint site(s) with very effective syncing between the two.
The free versions of those Windows products were Read-Only and the versions that cost money also allowed update.
The Windows version has been developed over the years and is a solid product that I have always recommended especially to people who say that they want people at their foreign subsidiaries with slow lines to be able to work with a central SP site.
The question is whether the iPad version is as good.
The short answer (and the title of the post gave this away) is that it's not as there are a number of problems with it.
Firstly the installation went as smoothly as most iPad apps installations. The problems started later.
The first thing you do is to select a site you want to make an off-line copy of. You do this by (of course) entering the URL of the site but then (not of course) you are forced to enter a Name and Password for accessing the site.
I did this automatically the first time as I was accessing my own wssv4faq.mindsharp.com but later I tried without it (and with a nonsense name and password) when accessing wssv3faq.mindsharp.com and indeed it refused to accept no entries there even though the site is completely freely accessible to anonymous users. (The fake name password got past that screen but then didn't work).
The next step is that once the web site is accessed you are given a list of Lists and Libraries to select from. This works well.
Problem 2 is that by default by selecting the lists all that is happening is that you are getting the contents of the list *when you are on-line*. The Problem in other words is that by default you are not getting an Off-Line copy of the site.
As default settings for a product that we are used to using with Windows portables to give us just that - an off-line copy - this is a very strange default setting.
It's clear that the logic is that iPads have limited amount of storage space but then a) we know that when selecting the List/Libs we want to access and b) we are capable of turning off the off-line setting.
In the case of my sites all the lists except the FAQ (which is text only and therefore also small in size) only contain links so hardly any storage space is needed.
[Yes, these are links that you need access to the Internet to access, but you can do your research off-line; collect the suitable URLs to try (put in iPad Notes for instance) and then access them in rapid succession next time you do have Internet access]
Problem 3: (Views)
Views do not work at all well.
When you first open a list the items are in alphabetical order. Always. The default View is ignored completely.
Some of the views don't work even if selected (later).
For instance I have a View that shows the latest 20 items in descending date order. There's no sign of that 20 items restriction.
Another example are what I'll call "nested" views. They don't work at all.
In fact all that seem to work are the straightforward single thread sorted by description; sorted by date etc. views.
So there are the three main problems (today: March 2012).
Installation is fine and the sync works well which is probably the most difficult thing to get right, but they must solve the above three problems before I start recommending the product.
Later: It may be that I am mistaken about Problem 2. I was turning things on and off around about the time I noticed this so maybe I'd already moved away from the default setting (if so - oops!). So if anyone wants to confirm or deny this, please sent me a comment.
Even Later: I now see that the original title (now changed) said iPod. Oops.
Published: March 03, 2012 05:03 AM by
Unfortunately with almost two weeks to go before I get back to Finland, the portable I had with me has given up the ghost and is no more (is a dead parrot etc.). This leaves me with the iPad. As updating the sp2010 books page would be very very time-consuming on an iPad (copy / paste is sometimes a major pain and the browser isn't IE so what you copy needs twice as much editing), for the next ten or so days there won't be any new items added. The main problem is that I was halfway through adding new Kindle content so there are all the items from February but only some of the ones for January. But wait and that too will be corrected (and there's plenty of books listed to keep you going in the meantime).
P.S. (Later) A week or so after coming back and I'm fairly up-to-date. Those missing Kindle books have been added as have been a couple of new ones. A few print books have in the meantime become available and thus their status changed to OUT and I seem to remember adding a couple of new books (not released) to the listing too.
Published: February 28, 2012 11:02 AM by
There's a link here
to all those 101 Samples, the first one listed of which (??) is the download of them all.
[Does that make these 100 samples ?]
Another minor complaint is that I used that address to add the links to each single sample to the wssv4faq site. With a hundred to do I decided to split them up into two pages (so 20) a session. So I did the first twenty and then the next day I went back for the next twenty. A good plan you may think except that I discovered several duplicates after I'd done forty in that way.
So for the remaining sixty I needed to spend time checking whether I had already listed the next entry in the list. Mostly I hadn't, but sometimes I had and that means that despite spending a lot of time on adding these links, I've maybe added links to around 90 Samples rather than the 100 out there.
Once I'm at home with a printer handy, I might remember to try to print out both lists (mine and theirs) and see if I can spot the missing ones, but for now for the full list you'll have to go to the above page (and look at all the entries in the same session!).
P.S. I'd better confess to an earlier error on my part in a blog item here on the last day of 2011. I wrote that one of the signs that the developer team are concentrating on the next release was that "there are very few new MSDN and TechNet articles and the updated articles don't seem to contain much that's new".
Producing 100 (or 101) samples doesn't seem to fit in with that does it?
[Or - ducking - is this the last hoorah?]
Published: February 28, 2012 10:02 AM by
OK. Maybe I have taken my mind off the ball recently since the Moderator rights vanished but still in what's left of my mind the word "Metro" is associated with the new Tablet (virtually) only Windows 8 (and at a pinch with the new disastrously bad TechNet forums makeover which they are saying is the Metro look [which isn't a recommendation]).
Yet in a very recent (don't let the version number 4.0 fool you, this IS a new KB article) KB article (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2661910/en-us
) there's a quote "This only occurs with the newer, "Metro" Office file formats: .docx, .pptx, and .xlsx."
Now we all know these nnnX file formats have been out for years and presumably come from a time when nobody had the idea of making a major Windows release suitable only for a handful of devices competing with a dominant market leader (who good sense tells me won't be adopting Windows 8).
So why are they saying these file formats are Metro?
Is everything Metro these days or was I really out of it when the nnnX formats came out?
Published: February 25, 2012 07:02 AM by
I've always had the feeling that books written by Microsoft people about Microsoft products should be treated with a certain amount of caution.
While the writer(s) may have information that only an insider can have, you wonder just how much of that insider knowledge he/she is prepared to write about, while at the same time it is definitely not going to be a career enhancer for them to talk about the things the product should do but doesn't.
Similarly while some publishers seem to think that a foreword by someone from Microsoft is a plus, to my mind all such forewords tend to give us are rather bland prose - the blander they are, the higher up in Microsoft the writer is - and of course several unnecessary words about how great the product is.
When I received the book on SharePoint 2010 by Yvonne Harryman (SharePoint 2010 Site Owner's Manual: Flexible Collaboration without Programming - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1933988754/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=heme0f
) I thought there was perhaps a good chance that for once her experience (as a Microsoft consultant working on several - and no doubt large - SharePoint 2010 implementations) would provide a useful book on actually using SharePoint 2010 without programming. (Something which to my mind many more companies ought to do rather than spending fortunes customizing what often doesn't need to be customized [just say "No!" to the pointy-headed boss.].)
Well the jury is still out on that but what I have here are some pieces of prose that quite frankly make this Northern British-born reader simply feel sick.
"Say hi to SharePoint" (a section header) - need I say more. [Yuck]
"a great get-to-know-you chapter" - Yuck again for the get-to-know-you (mainly for the "you") and why for goodness sake write that something you yourself are writing is "great"? That's for us to judge, not for you to tell us.
"Here you'll see what SharePoint is and why it's so great". - I'd certainly leave the "and why it is so great" out. Wouldn't you (non-US person - Canadian, maybe) do too?
"you and SharePoint will be at the beginning of a long-standing, beautiful friendship." (I give up)
All these quotes come from a single, early, paragraph.
I didn't pay for this book, so I'm wondering given that whether it's worth my while proceding any further.
I want to be told about what the product does - warts and all - and how to use it to get the most out of it. I don't want at every step of the way to be told how great it is or how great the writer's text is going to be (and as for beautiful friendship, with a piece of *software*, come on!)
This, however, is I suppose what you are bound to get when the writer(s) and the publisher's editors are all US Americans. Greatest country in the world, apparently - the presidential candidates certainly keep telling us so. Maybe - until China takes over - but surely not everything there is "great".
So, given that this book was not published by Microsoft Press, is this kind of thing in technical books
a) Microsoft speak
b) US positiveness
Published: January 23, 2012 10:01 AM by
When I was working in a company that had Microsoft Premium Support, I used to get extremely annoyed with the first reply I got from the Nordic support centre in Stockholm because typically I had given all the detail necessary and that reply very rarely asked me anything at all useful for solving the problem.
When I was later on a Nordic MVP tour of the MS Nordic Support Centre, I found out that one of the two criteria on which the boss of the support people was measured on was the quickness of that reply (the other was the speed in which a problem was "solved" which was why they spent half their time asking their customers if they could close the thread). Needless to say in a world run by meaningless statistics it didn't actually matter that the first reply was meaningless, the only important thing was that it came quickly.
The cheap man's version of Premium Support is the TechNet (and MSDN) Subscriber Support program. Now I've already mentioned in a recent blog that whereas one web page from that program offers a guaranteed reply within 48 hours, another web page says this guaranteed reply will come from an MVP or a peer - neither of which Microsoft can possibly guarantee.
Perhaps that is one of the reasons why the TechNet support threads are beginning to feel more and more like my old Premium Support ones.
Because, you see, lately I've been seeing a mass of threads with a question and then a reply (often between 24 and 48 hours after that question) from a TechNet Subscriber Support person (you can tell from the sig they use). The text of that "reply" is invariably
Thank you for your post.
This is a quick note to let you know that we are performing research on this issue.
I guess their managers too have been given "a reply" within 48 hours as one of their success criteria ...
Published: January 14, 2012 07:01 AM by
In the second half of December 2011 I wrote a piece about a new trend in Kindle books - private publishing of "books" covering a limited part of SharePoint 2010.
The ones I mentioned were written by someone I had never heard of called Vishal Gupta and varied in price from a few dollars to something like 13 dollars.
Well he's issued a few more, but perhaps of more interest is that a well-known and respected SharePoint MVP - Todd Klindt (one of the authors of the high-selling SP 2010 Admin Guide) - has joined in and has produced a Kindle "book" for less than 4 dollars.
It's about Changing Service Account Passwords and you'll find it here
At that price you can't really complain but I did notice that the download is remarkably small 119KB where some of the Vishal Gupta ones are over 4000MB. Of course quality is always better than quantity but it does seem rather a small "book" even for that money.
This post provoked a comment which didn't appear as a comment to this post when it appeared (and I don't know which Mark wrote it). Here it is with my comment.
I usually don't respond to these types of posts, but your comments were shortsighted in the extreme. If you are placing the value of the download on its size (119k), then NOTHING will be of value to you if it doesn't reach an arbitrarily threshold that you personally find acceptable. That doesn't make much sense to the person who can utilize the snippet Todd is providing in order to solve an immediate problem.
I clicked on the link to see the Kindle listing and it has a price of significantly less than "less than 4 dollars". Yes, 99 cents is certainly less than 4 dollars.
Your argument for prcing content based upon quantity, is odd, to say the least. For 99 cents, Todd's entry is serving two purposes. First, as a respected member of the SharePoint Comunity, he thinks the value he is adding to the subject is worth writing about. Second, it's a good way to test a new model, seeing if it is viable to offer highly targeted snippets as a download for 99 cents.
I'm not sure where you're going with your post, but from a reader's perspective, it doesn't doesn't stand up to further examination.
Let's look at a couple more quotes from this blog.
1. "a well-known and respected SharePoint MVP - Todd Klindt "
2. "Of course quality is always better than quantity."
3. It should also be noted that the Kindle price quoted when I (from outside the US) access the listing was (and is) $ 3.44 not 99 cents.
In other words my comment about the size was merely indicating that this was a relatively small "book" - in fact "a snippet" as you describe it. Otherwise I was certainly in favour of the writer's expertise.
Note too the old phrase that any publicity is good publicity. If the whole post is read and not just the comment on the file size, anyone can see that the post in total is by no means bad publicity for Todd's work (added here: which many people might otherwise not have been aware of)
Published: January 14, 2012 07:01 AM by
Anyone who is wondering why in the past couple of months I haven't added many Microsoft SharePoint webcasts to the WSS v4 FAQ site needs look no further than this - very good-looking, but completely useless - web page
The problem with webcasts and Microsoft used to be that each part of Microsoft made their own web casts. For SharePoint this meant (at least) Office; Channel 9; MSDN and TechNet.
So rather than search each of these sources I used to go to a single page for US on-demand webcasts where they had in a simple list (in date order with newest first) a list of every single TechNet and MSDN (and Office?) on-demand webcast and within a few minutes I could quickly see if any new SharePoint webcasts had appeared.
Then they "improved" the webcasts page so that it had interesting fonts but you couldn't find a thing.
I don't give up easily so I tried several times to get to grips with that site and nothing helped so today I thought I'd go back to basics and go to the TechNet side and look there for *its* on-demand webcasts.
Guess what, all the relevant links there led to the single useless page in the URL above. Sighs.
[and did you notice that it's now marked as Beta? Is this a good sign (it wasn't marked as beta before) or a bad one (why are production sites linking to a Beta page?)?]
Later: Anyone wondering about the "another" in the Title should know that in my Google+ "blog" I recently wrote about the "improved" GMail look where the menu bar with descriptive names has been replaced by obtuse icons making it more difficult to use.
Published: January 07, 2012 10:01 AM by
The Microsoft forums mostly are supported by "peers" - i.e. people like you and me. Any Microsoft support is only available in certain forums and is mostly provided by contractors working on Microsoft's behalf.
As I explained in two earlier posts about the forums and Microsoft' role in them, support is not guaranteed (i.e. your post could lie there for years without any reply) unless you have a TechNet or MSDN subscription and in addition sign-up within that subscription for forum support.
Then it used to be that Microsoft would in certain forums only guarantee that a Microsoft support person would reply to your post within 48 hours (I think actually that originally it was within 24 hours but maybe my memory is playing tricks on me) of the (Chinese) working week. [The contracted support personnel are based in Shanghai.]
Well now that I no longer have a MSDN license that I can use I've been looking at the cheapest way to optain some software to test and quickly came to the conclusion that I should forget MSDN (too expensive) and go for the cheapest TechNet version at some time.
This meant trying to work out just what test software the subscription would give me access to and that in turn (as it proved difficult) led me to look at the rules for the TechNet subscriber support mentioned above [out of curiosity].
While looking through the rules I came on this:
When will I get a response to questions I have posted on the Forums?
You will receive a response within two (2) business days (English only) by a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) or one of your peers. A Microsoft Support Professional will review responses for accuracy and post a response if needed.
Note you WILL get support and that the people providing this "guaranteed" support don't work in any way for Microsoft.
As an ex-MVP I know very well that while MVPs are encouraged to post in the forums, there is nothing in the MVP rules which says that they have to and even if the MVPs had to provide say 100 responses to forum posts in a year (which they are not) there would still be no guarantee that each subscriber post would receive a reply from an MVP let alone within 48 hours.
As for peers. Well they have no connection at all to Microsoft and there is absolutely no way that Microsoft can guarantee that every single post in a forum with TechNet Subscriber support will get an answer from someone somewhere in the world.
The final point is that posts made by TechNet Subscribers look to MVPs and "peers" (and MCC holders for that matter) just like normal posts. The only people who know they are posts from TechNet Subscribers work for Microsoft either as a contractor or as an employee. However the guarantee nowadays doesn't say that one of them will reply within 48 hours instead it says that a reply will come from a goup of people who aren't even aware that a thread is from a TechNet subscriber!
So whereas the previous support by Microsoft support person within 24/48 hours for TechNet Subscribers was possible to guarantee, the new guarantee isn't worth the virtual paper it is written on.
What were Microsoft thinking of?
Published: December 31, 2011 05:12 AM by
[When you lose the MVP title you immediately become a non-person and lose most of your contacts and certainly all access to non-public information - a bit of a shock after having that access for many years. As a result this end of year look is based entirely on publically available information.]
SharePoint 2010 came out in May 2010 so we are now just over halfway through the usual three year cycle before the next version of the product.
There are lots of indications of this.
- new book releases have started to become a trickle
- there are very few new MSDN and TechNet articles and the updated articles don't seem to contain much that's new.
- there are very few new KnowledgeBase articles (some of them completely obvious and not worth being issues as KB articles) and even very few updated articles
Also while clearly most of the developer team have been working on the new version since they virtually left the SP 2010 forums in summer 2010, people from the team such as Bill Baer seemed to have stopped writing anything on SP 2010 and there was even a Microsoft SP 2010 blogger who recently announced the end of his SP 2010 blog articles because he had moved to working with the next version of the product.
Clearly they are ratching up to the next level.
Whether this means that they are already informing people - such as SharePoint MVPs and members of companies that have signed TAP contracts with Microsoft - about what the next version will include is something that I don't know. [In my newish status as a non-NDA signee I could say if I knew, so I really don't know.] I do however suspect that if that stage hasn't been reached yet it will be by maybe May 2012.
That would be followed by the first private betas (end summer 2012?) and in time by the first public beta. But the date of that will depend on when in 2013 the next version will be out.
My own guess is that we'll be back to the October (2013) release date we had for the 2007 products. This is based on the idea that whereas SP 2010 was a sort of iPhone 4S, SP 2013 will probably be much more than just the improvement of most of the existing functions that SP 2010 to my mind was [with a couple of steps backward for SPF 2010 however]. If that's going to be the case then the first public beta might not even make it until the first week in 2013.
As for what's in it, I haven't a clue, but no doubt the cloud is there somewhere. I'm not too happy about that from a performance point of view (and if they spend too much time on that, will they have enough time to give us good and solid new features?).
Published: December 18, 2011 07:12 AM by
There have been the occasional privately published Kindle books before, but someone who has started doing this in a big way is Vishal Gupta (a new name to me).
His first ones were priced at around 5 dollars each but he's started trying out higher prices with one around 8 dollars and the part two of that ca 12 dollars.
(All prices estimated ones because I can only see the price for me - based in Finland - which is higher)
He's writing so many of them; covering such small areas and releasing them so quickly that they can't each be the equivalent of many pages of a "real" book, so whereas the original price of ca 5 dollars was priced suitably for "try-and-see" people, the new prices seem excessive to me.
For a list of them, whip down to the bottom of my list of v4 SP 2010 books.
[Last time I wrote only that I got a comment back asking where the list was so here it is again
Published: December 13, 2011 09:12 AM by
Somehow the recently announced Addison-Wesley book at over 70 dollars (mentioned in an earlier blog item here) looks positively cheap now.
Cheap that is compared to this rip-off. A Kindle version of a book (if there is a book version) on SharePoint Governance.
It costs a mere $ 231.15 for European visitors to Amazon.COM and presumably well over $ 200 even for US visitors.
I suppose the thinking is something like "selling ten at this price is way better than selling 300 at $ 7.50". I just wonder if there are ten total idiots in the SharePoint space.
Published: December 10, 2011 14:12 PM by
My RSS feed for TechNet Mag just gave me a feed for an article with the title "Microsoft Office: Get Better Metrics With New Reporting Tools For SharePoint Portal Server".
The title should then link to an article but they'd clearly forgetten to include the link so I did a search on that Title and came up with this
which is exactly that title and where the description at the top of the article starts with "If you have Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server (SPS) 2003 deployed in your organization."
Clearly it's an old - in fact a very very old - article. Yet why did my TechNet Mag give it me today; December 10th 2012?
(It's actually from the Nov/Dec 2005 TechNet Magazine)
Later: (13th of December). There was another one today. Different article but also from Nov/Dec 2005. RSS feeds clearly totally out of control somewhere in the Office team at MS.
Published: December 10, 2011 02:12 AM by
There's actually a fairly clear line between what is a KB article and what is a TechNet article.
It's roughly that a KB article is a problem (such as an error message) with information usually on how to solve it [with occasionally such statements as "by design"; or "no solutions at present available"] and TechNet articles are descriptions of how to do things.
It might be clear to us, but not it would seem to some Microsoft people because recently there have been several TechNet articles that actually ought to have been KB articles.
(Trial period for this product is about to expire (SharePoint Server 2010))
Would you believe that the reason for this problem is that the trial version you are using is about to expire soon !
(Or that the solution is to buy a full copy!)
Now that is hardly worth being a KB article but one thing it certainly is NOT is a TechNet article.
Published: December 03, 2011 06:12 AM by
It's not often these days that I bother to pick out a (set of) blog article(s) that I find particularly interesting but in this case I'll make an exception.
For one the writer (Stefan Gossner) is very well worth following as even thought he is a Project Server guy, he still knows (and knows how to inform about) an awful lot about SharePoint.
The other thing is that he's German which means that unlike most of you stuck in your own English language worlds he is aware of the need for SharePoint sites to handle more than one language.
Hence his knowledge about Variations and this article series (of 18 of which today 16 are out) about it.
Published: December 02, 2011 06:12 AM by
I did however read a good review of it and that said (as a minor complaint) that there was a section about PerformancePoint Services in the book that - as that isn't part of SPF 2010 - shouldn't have been there.
This of course gets me right back on my old hobby horse again. All my time as an MVP I was an MVP for STS and later WSS and not for SPS / MOSS / SPS.
For most people it seemed to be a matter of a toss of a coin on Microsoft's part if they were made an MVP for the free SP product or the chargeable "server" line but in my case it really was justified as I always spent all of my time in STS / WSS environments and therefore was often passionate about what I saw was often the poor way in which the free product line was treated.
(Aside: Typical of this was the decision in SPF 2010 to make the included db system for the single server installation to be size restricted after having a non restricted database size for the WSS 3.0 equivalent. A case of without thought ("It's only the free product - who cares!") taking away from users something that had got used to and making their upgrades to SPF 2010 unnecessarily difficult).
One of the main items of complaint was that rarely did Microsoft bother in their presentations to indicate just what SP functions were in what SP product. This applied also to talking about functions that were only available in the Enterprise version of the "server product" and not the Standard version but hit hardest (more things not available) with the free product.
(Aside: The only honorable exception I can remember to the rule of always talking about functions from the Enterprise version as if they were in any SharePoint product was the amiable Canadian Mike Fitzmaurice who always in every presentation or talk I heard him give made quite clear what function belonged to what.)
Despite this it was still a surprise that a BOOK about SPF 2010 should spend time talking about a SPS 2010 function that you can't even pay to add to SPF 2010.
Surely the expert who wrote the chapter (or whatever it was - as I wrote I haven't seen the book) would know that PerformancePoint Services simply didn't fit in a book about SPF 2010?
All I can think is that it was Microsoft Press who insisted on such a chapter. The question then becomes who (from Microsoft itself) pushed for this.
It is anyway self-defeating. All publicity isn't good publicity and any reason to make an Amazon review 4 rather than 5 stars won't help with Amazon Sales of the book.
Published: November 06, 2011 07:11 AM by
Clearly Longman / PrenticeHall think that book buyers are mad [either that or they are relying on every library in the world to buy a copy] because otherwise I can't justify their pricing on a couple of SP 2010 books due out in January 2012 from a (for me) unknown author (Robert T Grauer).
How can they possibly justify the price of $33.33 for a book of only 96 pages?
(Exploring Getting Started With Sharepoint 2010 - Longman)
As for the other book from him on the same date, there the publisher (in this case PrenticeHill - which is the same publisher group of course) is too shy to quote in Amazon US a number of pages, but a list price of $78 is way over-priced for even a 1000 page blockbuster (which I somehow doubt this is).
(Exploring Microsoft Sharepoint 2010)
Do they really expect us to consider buying either of these books when there are so many SP 2010 books already out that were written by well-known and respected SP people and which cost considerably less?
Published: November 06, 2011 06:11 AM by
I suppose it's in the nature of computer people to continually improve their web sites.
In Microsoft's case I'm sure this tendency is enhanced by the habit they seem to have - Like "I've Been Moved" in the old days - of moving people from job to job in Redmond. Every time this happens, the site design of the former staff seems to be regarded as useless by the new people and thus either a new site is created alongside it (and the old one left to wither away) or a completely new version is created.
Amazingly often this new site then turns out to be a wonderful-looking site which however has a very low level of useability compared to the original more straightforward looking site.
This is what has happened with On Demand webcasts.
There used to be a page I could go to that listed in reverse date order all the web casts produced by Microsoft [well of course as this is Microsoft, not exactly all as small teams went on creating their own and locating links to them elsewhere, but at least all the main MSDN, TechNet and Microsoft / Office ones.].
This was a simple box with each web cast name on one or two lines so that fifty web casts fitted on a single screen (with scrolling) and so it was easy to check - usually without going to the next page - whether there had been any new SharePoint or SP-related web casts since I last looked.
Now that simple page no longer exists and what we have when you go to that old URL is a new font and new organisation so that you can see that latest 3 or so web casts per category and need to click more on each category to see even a few more web casts in the category.
[That the categories are not that clear should surprise no one and is another part of the difficulty in using this new (with wonderful looking fonts!) version of the site.]
Hunting around for anything that could give me simply all the latest on demand web casts in reverse date order led me finally to this page (based on a search).
It does show the latest web casts it's true, but thanks to the format used you now get only ten web casts listed per page and thus need to click on 2, then 3, then 4, and then 5 until you finally get what the previous system gave you at a glance.
Progress? I don't think so. Normal. Oh yes, it's normal for Microsoft and it's only the latest attempt to make it difficult to find *and run* on demand web casts, because whereas this set of new people seem to be font-crazy, the previous sets of new people were always fiddling with the format in which the on-demand web casts were provided and with the authorization needed to be allowed to watch them.
[I remember being forced to register for all the on-demand web casts as if I was going to be watching them live so they needed a screen (participant) name - and that in fact wasn't so bad as Donald Duck and even worse names were accepted rightaway (making somewhat a mockery of the whole thing).]
This latest phase is just icing on that particular cake. But, oh, what annoying icing.
Published: October 20, 2011 03:10 AM by
I doubt if many of the writers of SharePoint 2010 books are getting much payback on the time and stress they have invested in writing the books.
Even if there seems to be a fairly large market for books on SharePoint 2010, there has to come a point when there are quite simply too many books chasing these potential readers and I'm fairly sure we reached that point quite a while ago.
My own list of SharePoint 2010 books now lists 179 titles.
Now some of those haven't been released yet (making it even less likely that they'll sell well); some of them are translations of English language books (meaning that those books are in effect listed twice [or more]; and some of the item numbers in my list probably don't have a book listed (but probably only a couple), but still. Even without all those cases we're still well over a hundred with more being added (that is making it into the shops) almost weekly.
Can there really be a need for (?) 150 books about SharePoint 2010 and how many of those are what could be called "parallel" editions - meaning the same things covered in a different series from a different publisher?
Published: September 19, 2011 07:09 AM by
They can disguise it however they want (typically "customer service") but it's clear that the main reason Microsoft puts money into its forums is to save money.
Now having people able to use their products thus buy more of them is clearly also a good (financial) reason for via the forums helping people to use the products, but setting up free support (phone) lines and free support e-mail addresses would be a more customer-friendly way to achieve this - only it would cost the earth.
So we have the present system where Microsoft provides the infrastructure (both hardward and software) and then adds "bells and whistles (earlier points; now "achievements" in Gold, Solver, Bronze and also the "Microsoft Community Contributor" award - run on a shoestring and costing virtually nothing, certainly compared to the MVP system) to encourage non-MS people to provide (free) support to other non-MS people.
There seems to be a fairly standard pattern for the forums now that they are well-estabished.
This is the phase when a new product version is just out in public beta.
Rather than as before setting up special beta forums (still done for the earlier private betas no doubt), the Microsoft Developer team ask for new forums for the new product.
This is the phase between the new product version being available as a public beta and it being released.
Members of the developer team are active in the forums - more however in the earlier stage of phase two than in the later stages. This seems to be that with the product not 100% set in stone they want to clear up the problem areas both with using the product (so they can correct it) and with understanding it (so they can order suitable explanatory articles).
This is also in a sense a pre-Sales phase - i.e. this is a phase where they are trying to be nice to the potential customers of the product. The kind of moderation that is called for is thus extremely light moderation - i.e. the customer is king even if he posts to a completely unsuitable forum.
This is the early phase post-RTM.
The developer team reappear in the forums for a few weeks to make sure customers can install the product but then typically vanish never to be seen again (or at least until the next version goes into public beta some two to three years later).
Most support is already provided by "peers" for nothing.
A few months after RTM, Microsoft respond to requests that *Microsoft* provide free support for the product and not just let "peers" do it. In other words at this stage the Chinese support people arrive - at first only in the most affected forums; but later in all forums.
This is still however people paid for by Microsoft (under contract) to moderate the forums and to provide answers to *some* questions. All the other questions are answered as before by "peers".
Once the people contracted by Microsoft are in the forums providing support and moderation, MS becomes aware of the need to have a second-level of support for those (few) cases where neither the MS contracted people nor peers can solve or help to solve a problem.
This is thus the phase where official Microsoft Employees enter the forums as people for the really tough questions. Their replies tend to be semi-official answers rather than the educated suggestions of the Microsoft contract staff.
At some stage (and it often seems to be later than the arrival of the Microsoft Employees in Phase Five) the new product versions are included in the list of forums for which free support is provided for TechNet subscribers.
Here is where it starts getting really odd because the people providing this support are the same MS contract staff who started providing support to everyone in Phase Four. The difference is that now there is a guaranteed response (for TechNet subscribers only) within (I think) 24 hours (workdays).
The other odd thing is that as the posts of TechNet subscribers look to normal forum members just like normal posts, there is no way of knowing a thread is a garanteed support thread until a reply comes back from one of the MS contract staff in which they use a TechNet subscriber support sig. What's even odder is that they sometimes (need to) reply when there is no need just to indicate to their own system that "Yes, I have replied to this TechNet subscribers post".
Anyway there you are.
The main thing to remember is that the forums for new products are setup to match the needs for only a few months of the product developer team but then hang on for several years without being changed even though they don't necessarily reflect the needs of the MS support people.
That's why you have for most new product forums sets far too few individual forums. (Because as I wrote above, the product developer team don't really care in the beta phase which forum a post was made to because they want to keep their potential customers happy. In that situation all you need is a few forums especially given that the volumes of posts don't really grow that much until a product is released and people have it in production. Once those volumes do increase more forums to split the load more efficiently would be useful, but clearly the support people don't have as much power as the developer teams so no such thing happens. Pity.)
Published: September 18, 2011 01:09 AM by
As this is likely (bar something unexpectd happening on the 1st of October) to be my last week in the forums, here are some words about the wisdom or not of having new forums for new product versions.
To look at this properly we need to go way back to the newsgroups.
At the time of STS and SPS 2001 there were two different sets of newsgroups for the two (completely different) products that shared the "SharePoint" lable.
STS had two - one for normal questions and one for "programming" questions which meant in effect CAML.
When WSS 2.0 came out and was already in public beta, I requested and got new WSS 2.0 newsgroup(s) [Actually I can't remember if there was more than one but I presume so]. Meanwhile the newsgroups called SharePoint Portal Server continued as such and now covered two products SPS 2001 and SPS 2003.
The SPS newsgroups almost certainly had the problem that people just asked a question and didn't give the product name, so they needed to be asked if they were using SPS 2001 or SPS 2003.
The WSS newsgroup(s) didn't have that problem (much if at all) because of the clear difference in the newsgroup names [and probably because people found it relatively easy to find the correct newsgroup in the newsgroup system].
The main problem in the WSS newsgroups was that were created for people using the "product" WSS 2.0 and yet got lots of posts from people using SPS 2003. The reason for this was that an installation of SPS 2003 first installed WSS 2.0 and then carried on installing the additional SPS 2003 bits, so people felt justified in posting questions in the WSS 2.0 forums even if they were using SPS 2003.
Mostly they were however asking about functions that were only in SPS 2003 and thus not in WSS 2.0 the product....
When WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007 came out, no new newsgroups were created. There was felt to be no need for WSS 3.0 newsgroups as there were already newsgroups called Windows SharePoint Services [2.0 wasn't in the Title] and the SPS newsgroups just kept on going too despite the presence of "Office" in the 2007 product name.
Both sets of newsgroups now had the old problem of people not saying which product they were using.
Moving on, a very keen product manager arrived at the SharePoint team called Lawrence Liu and he set about the creation of SharePoint forums in the then new Microsoft forum system [completely under Microsoft control whereas the "Microsoft" newsgroups weren't].
Rare for Microsoft was that although retaining the last word on the naming and the number of the forums, he did consult extensively with SharePoint MVPs about the naming which meant that various interpretation problems on what a forum covered were avoided.
His policy was to have specific forums for specific functions and then in addition to have a few "catch-all" forums to pick up the rest of the questions.
The forums were designed from the start from the basis of WSS 3.0 / MOSS 2007 and thus many of the forum names reflected this - BDC, Excel Services, for instance. There were also a few rather confusing names - Collaboration; Social Computing [although that latter came to be Wikis; Blogs and MySites] - and a few exotic forums - Accessibility [MS term for functions for the physically challenged]; Community [meaning posts about upcoming Community events which was something Lawrence felt to be very important.]
If anything there were rather too many forums [BI could have included Excel Services questions for instance; and Collaboration questions rarely were so could have gone to Admin] but by an large the system worked.
It was however helped a lot by the fact that people using the back products still tended to use the newsgroups and thus almost all questions in the [new!] forums were for the current product range.
Then the SP 2010 products were about to come into public beta and the SP 2010 developer team decided they would have new forums for SP 2010.
Luckily they confered with some MVPs and the names of some the four (Lawrence Liu) 2007 "catch-all" forums were amended slightly to make what was covered in them clearer [SPD was included in the title of one; Visual Studio in the title of another] but although there was talk of having a few additional forums for specific function areas (but less than before) this in fact has still not happened almost 2 years later and no doubt will not happen. [One of those suggested forums was a combined BI / Excel Services one.]
After an initial period where lots of SP 2010 questions continued to go to the forums that didn't specifically say SP 2010 in their titles, the words "pre-SharePoint 2010" were added to all the original forums. (Unfortunately at the end of the titles)
It hasn't made much difference however. There are still far too many SP 2010 posts made to the pre-SP 2010 forums and amazingly even some posts on pre-SP 2010 products in the SP 2010 forums (where SharePoint 2010 is at the start of the Title").
So the question is - would it have been better to have simply used the original forums for all SP products?
Pros: No need to continually move SP 2010 questions to SP 2010 forums.
Cons: People will still post assuming you know which SP product they are using and so before answers can be made, there will need to be posts made in a thread asking.
It's very much an even game except for one thing. The Moderators are the only people able to move threads so they bear the entire brunt of having two different sets of forums. If the same forum set had been used all forum members would have been involved in writing posts asking which product was being used.
But no doubt none of this was in Microsoft's minds when they created new forums for SP 2010. What was in Microsoft minds and how Microsoft support the forums will be in the second post in this short series.
Published: September 16, 2011 04:09 AM by
The new Spanish Amazon site (amazon.es) will ship to all European countries for a fixed price of 6 Euros per order.
This - and the pricing there of the books (at least for now, maybe these prices are just to start things rolling) mean that there are some unlikely SharePoint 2010 bargains there.
For instance, they also sell original German language books there and at so great a reduction from the price at Amazon Germany (that is bound by the German laws that require you to sell books at full price) that you can happily pay the 6 Euros even on an order containing one book and make a big saving.
A case in point is this one
where today's Amazon Germany price is € 49.90 but today's Amazon Spain price is € 31.81
Even with the 6 Euro postage charge that's a saving of over 12 Euros!
I'll be adding to existing listings the books that I see are also available from Amazon Spain. There will also be new original Spanish language books to add (I've seen one already).
Published: August 21, 2011 10:08 AM by
The first indications are that the removal of the need to keep track of what amendments I've made to the v4 and v3 FAQ sites has had the desired effect.
If there are a couple of new or revised KB articles they are now added immediately because there's no need to either be on a PC with the correct text file or to go to Gmail to transfer the text file to another PC.
This and not having to post the weekly post at all also gave me the time to check out the Amazon France site for the first time in quite a while and to find there that there are several new SP 2010 books written in (original language) French most of which are out already.
That just abouts doubles the number so if you happen to speak French as your native language, check them out at:
Published: July 09, 2011 09:07 AM by
I just added 6 KB articles to the WSS v4 FAQ site - these were all dated the 8th of July 2011.
To be sure I checked whether any of them were already in my list of KB articles and none of them were.
I checked them because none of these NEW articles were at version 1.0 level (which naturally is what they ought to be when first made publically available).
Instead THREE were at version 7.0 level; and one each at version 6.0; version 5.0 and version 4.0.
It makes you wonder whether the people issuing these things need some time off.
Published: June 11, 2011 03:06 AM by
I'm sure I read somewhere (and more than once) that Microsoft said there weren't going to be any Application Templates for SharePoint 2010, yet now there is one.
Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Application Template for Health Organizations: Absence Request and Vacation Schedule Management
9th June 2011
Of course as usual the description stinks. There's a long list of Windows Server versions it runs on (who cares?) but when it come to which SharePoint it's for all we get is that it is for "SharePoint 2010"
Microsoft people never were any good about correctly writing their own product names so whereas this usage *usually* means both SPF 2010 AND SPS 2010, there's always the possibility that they were being lazy and it in fact requires SPS 2010 and won't work on SPF 2010 (something which the list of requirements seems to confirm - see below).
That description by the way also tells us to
"Create a new Web Application on SharePoint 20102."
(yes, 20102) is there something we don't know.
and it also says that you should
"Make sure that the following "Site Collection Features" are activated: - SharePoint Server Enterprise Site Collection features - SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure - Sharepoint 2007 workflows."
(Yes SharePoint *2007* workflows)
Methinks someone has started celebrating the end of the Seattle rainy season in a big way.
Published: May 01, 2011 08:05 AM by
I am regularly less than amused when Microsoft KB articles talk about Windows SharePoint Server 2007 and various other incorrect variations of the real product names,
But the people behind these have at least partly the excuse that these articles were written in a hurry (how else do you explain that they sometimes reach version 7.0 before being publically available).
However books go through a long pre-publication phase so it's a surprise to see that a Prentice Hall book due in May this year has on its title "Go! with" then "Microsoft" [in small letters] and then [normal size letters] "Office SharePoint Server 2010" and "Getting Started". (See the book's image at Amazon.com)
The product has been out for a year and they still haven't got that the "Office" part of the name has gone and that unlike MOSS 2007, the name is no longer MOSS 2010 but SPS 2010.
This kind of thing makes you wonder if the book is worth bothering about at all. After all if they can't even get the name right ..