Friday, December 21, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Is it funny how the simple things in life are often the best. I had a classic example of this last week. We were working in a virtual team on a bid for some work - familiar story?
Let me explain how it worked, there was about 5 of us on the bid team, we used sharepoint as the central file storage and it worked like a treat, no emailing with attachments, no multiple versions. All that we used was one simple document in a sharepoint document library. Versions were kept, the document was checked in and checked in out when being modified and alerts were set by the various team members to know when changes had been made.
I was actually offline for most of the working hours during the week doing jury duty and this didn't even present any challenges or stop the progress of the bid. It was with smooth sailing and we delivered the bid well before the closing date.
The collaboration was so easy, all I could think was finally - this is not rocket science, it was SharePoint at its finest.
That said though, I came across this little video - Google Docs in Plain English which explains the collaboration above and also introduces some friendly competition to this space - so stay tuned.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
I was asked a bunch of questions the other day on the Web 2.0 technologies and platforms like wikis, blogs and RSS and how they could be used to advance an organisation's collaboration strategy and it got me thinking more and more about this wave of technology.
I was having a conversation with my sister in law, her uni semester involves doing an online class, taking part in another subject online forum and collaborating for an assignment in another subject on facebook. It really dawned on me what is happening here. We finally have content for the masses by the masses en masse. Ok some of this stuff isn't new, its just that its really catching on. The ability to easily produce and broadcast mass amounts of content has arrived and its social. If you look around on the net you can see its kind of taken off like wildfire. Ok, first there was the deluge of myspace and Youtube. Now facebook is having its time in the sun. And the one close to my heart, good old SharePoint is standing in the shade but I don’t think it will be for long.
As a matter of fact SharePoint isn't far away from hosting a party of its own and being on the A list to a few others shin digs.
SharePoint shares those ingenuus character defining elements that all web 2.0 killer apps share - market share and differentiation!
Size goes without saying, its come from the Microsoft stable so global computing reach is a given.
The differentiation of SharePoint is a little more subtle. There's a whole bunch of collaboration tools out there, but you see this little guy is different. This little guy is designed to sit inside your organisation and is integrated directly into your organisational security and directory and then what this little guy does is it works with the applications most of us already know like Office, Word and Excel.
So the platform is just kind of sitting around waiting to be used for inside the organisation and when everyone starts to cotton onto this - look out, its going to be a keeper.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
I had configured the user profile import, which imported over a 1,000 profiles, configured an instance of search and began a full crawl of the environment to create the index. Once this completed I then went into the portal site and tested profile searches were working by querying user names. At this stage everything was ok.
Later in the day I went back into the search configuration and edited some of the addresses in the Local Office SharePoint Server sites content source. A day later I noticed user searches were not displaying any results.
I went back into the SSP to have a look at this, it seems at this stage everything was ok, so I tried to reset the index and re crawl. It was here I got the message ‘Error in PortalCrawl Web Service’ for each of the user profiles I had imported.
The resolution for this was to delete a batch of the user profiles and then re crawl. This did the trick of sticking the user profiles data back into the search index and I was away from there.
There’s quite a few blog posts out there on this issue but a lot of them are related to SharePoint Portal Server (SPS 2003) and I think you can save yourself a lot of time but trying this approach early on.
Sunday, August 5, 2007
It looks like Microsoft is running an awareness campaign for an Enterprise Search on SMH and who knows what other sites. The click through for the ad takes you to http://www.microsoft.com/australia/business/financialservices/enterprisesearch/default.mspx
The call to action is a complimentary 3 hour Enterprise Search workshop offer provided by key Enterprise Search partners. I was involved in one of these about a week ago and its great to see SDM listed as one of the partners so we can do a whole bunch more.
Friday, August 3, 2007
Feeling rather inspired by the SEO & SEM (search engine optimization/marketing) from the last user group by Fred Schebesta, I am going to talk about using Search within the boundaries of the organisation, so this should be quite interesting as we talk about some of the subtle differences between whats needed within the company as opposed to what works out in the web landscape.
When: Wednesday 29 August 2007
Where: 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Microsoft Sydney Office
1 Epping Road
North Ryde NSW
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
The challenge for Knowledge Managers is to find tools which aid them and encourage employees to share information leading to bottom line cost reductions across the business. Nearly half of all labour costs are now allocated to employees performing so-called ‘Information work’. And so with a typical information worker spending up to a 25% of their time searching for the right information to complete a given task, some organisations could be frittering away their staff costs.
It makes good business sense to make the information access and knowledge management process as productive as possible, and one way in which organisations can reduce the burden associated with information work is to implement an enterprise search and find solution.
The hands-on workshop is designed to:
- provide an avenue for Knowledge Managers to discuss different issues and road-blocks in managing information
- demonstrate how a tailored Information Management solution can reduce your workload
- provide tips and tools on how you can reduce time and increase productivity through tools which help people help themselves including desktop searches and intranet search
Tuesday, 1 May 2007
Level 26, 91 King William Street, Adelaide
Thursday 3 May 2007
Level 2, 1 Epping Road North Ryde
Tuesday 8 May 2007
Level 5, 4 Freshwater Place
Sunday, April 15, 2007
An important first step in the upgrade is to run the prescan.exe over your SPS 2003 environment and content database.
On the source SharePoint Portal Server, run the Office SharePoint Server 2007 Prescan utility.
You will need to copy the following files from a base MOSS installation (i.e. from C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\BIN)
- PREUPGRADESCANCONFIG.XML (if you have created custom site definitions in SPS 2003, then update this file)
The syntax of the command is:
prescan.exe /c preupgradescanconfig.xml /V http://urlofsitecollectiontobeupgraded/
When I first ran this command, the results I got was the scan finished with failure.
And errors like these in my log file:
- Error: The following site has not been scanned. Id = 2ceb5f7d-gb8b-41ff-ad61-0712e0e9098a and Url = test/jr
- Error: The following list has not been scrubbed: Id=2ceb5f7d-gb8b-4c71-b251-0712e0e9098a, Name=Web Part Gallery, Containing Web=personal/alfpha
What I found out here was the prescan was failing because of some orphaned lists that needed to be removed from the content database.
The resolution to this involved:
1. As well as making sure you have SPS 2003 SP2 and WSS SP2, you will net to get this hotfix http://support.microsoft.com/kb/918743
2. Once you have the hotfix, follow the steps on this KB http://support.microsoft.com/kb/918744
• To detect orphaned items, use the following command line:
stsadm -o databaserepair -url http://URLofWindowsSharePointServicesSite -databasename DatabaseName
• To delete orphaned items, use the following command line:
stsadm -o databaserepair -url http://URLofWindowsSharePointServicesSite -databasename DatabaseName -deletecorruption
3. This resolved all my issues but one.
To resolve my last issue also involved using the stsadm command line.
In this case I used it to delete the site /test/jr with the following syntax:
Stsadm –o deletesite –url http://SITENAME/test/jr
From there I was able to successfully run the prescan.exe utility and get to the next step of the upgrade process.
A couple of other good references for similar prescan and orphan issues are:
- William Baer - Understanding PRESCAN.EXE Errors
- Joel Oleson's SharePoint Land - SharePoint Orphans and Twins - Gotta love the little guys http://blogs.msdn.com/joelo/archive/2006/06/23/644954.aspx
Sunday, March 4, 2007
I have had the opportunity of the last few days to explore the new integration capabilities of the SharePoint and SQL Reporting Services recently released courtesy of SQL 2005 SP2 with my co-worker Nick Barclay.
As a SharePoint specialist, it's great to see the release of another integration capability that further deepens the relationship between SharePoint and the rest of the MS product family. This is another sign of the convergence into the SharePoint sun that knowledge workers will orbit around in the coming years.
Troubleshooting SQL 2005 SP2 installation
First of all, I had some problems installing SQL 2005 SP2, so if you do have this problem, this is the work around that worked for the VPC image I was testing on.
Error message when you try to install a SQL Server 2005 service pack or a SQL Server 2005 hotfix package: "Error 29528. The setup has encountered an unexpected error while Setting Internal Properties"
Installation and Configuration
- SharePoint Team Blog
Microsoft SQL Server 2005 SP2 Reporting Services integration with WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007
- Liam Cleary's post –
MOSS2007 – Reporting Services Add-in
In terms of installation and configuration, I found that going through these 2 articles put me on the right track, so I recommend following these. The one thing I did find a little bit different compared to Liams post in the Application Management > Grant Database access, my SQL server name was already configured (same machine) and when I went into it and was asked to enter credentials, I entered the admin credentials, I got 'Unable to log on with the given username and password'. At first this bugged me but in the end I thought it would be ok and it turned out to be the case.
Working with Samples
To road test the new capabilities I grabbed some of the SQL sample databases from:
SQL Server 2005 Samples and Sample Databases (February 2007)
Grab and install:
- SqlServerSamples.msi -- 25,469 KB
- AdventureWorksDBCI.msi -- 29,177 KB (case-insensitive collation)
- AdventureWorksBICI.msi --
Open All Programs > Microsoft SQL Server 2005 > SQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio
Open the solution AdventureWorks Sample Reports.sln found at
Go into Properties in AdventureWorks Sample Reports
Deployment paths need to change deploying to a SharePoint Document Library with settings.
In this case, I am deploying to the reports center site I have at http://sharepoint/reports and creating two folders to be the container for these http://sharepoint/reports/data , http://sharepoint/reports/reports
Given that I haven't changed any of these, this should deploy successfully and if you browse into your site you should be able to browse the reports, proving a successful implementation of the Reporting Services Integration.
I can now see Data and Reports libraries added to my sharepoint site:
We can then go and view some of the reports:
Add a Reporting Services Viewer Web Part
The final step in this walk through is to create and add a web part page that displays the Reporting Services reports.
To do so create a page under pages and a web part as below:
Open the tool pane to configure the web part and browse to the folder, in my case, http://sharepoint/reports/reports and select report.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Now in another show of their movement and commitment to web 2.0 applications, Microsoft has launched a SharePoint Wiki on MSDN.
It can be found at http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms550992.aspx
The community grows at large!