The Information Worker

November 3, 2009

Installing SharePoint 2010 on Windows 7

Filed under: SharePoint Technology — adamclark @ 8:48 am

At last, announced (publicly) at SPC09 in Vegas a couple of weeks ago, it is now possible to load SharePoint technology directly onto a Windows 7 machine (without a VM). This is something that has been missing in the product supporting development of complex solutions for some time. Microsoft have also already released an article on the steps required to install SharePoint 2010 on Windows 7 here:

There are still some prerequisites to take into account before you install SharePoint onto your desktop machine such as ensuring you are running a 64-bit OS and you have the right service packs installed (for Vista). However from reading through the above install article it all ‘appears’ fairly straight forward.

I myself look forward to giving this a go once the beta is released on the 26th November.


September 20, 2009

Tech Ed Australia Day 3 & Lock note

Filed under: SharePoint Technology — adamclark @ 7:11 pm

This is a bit of a belated post since Tech Ed finished a little more than a week ago, however I thought I would take this opportunity to provide my view for the third day of Tech Ed, my thoughts on the lock note and just a couple of general thoughts (both good and not so good).

The beginning of day three for Tech Ed saw a number of us User Group leads up early for a catch-up breakfast on the balcony of the Gold Coast Convention Centre, It was great to catch-up with everyone in one place and here a little of the UG leader space.

The rest of the day was great to meet a number of new people (some of who are now going to start coming to the User Group) and continual catch-up with a number of people I was not aware were attending Tech-Ed. Session wise I only made it to one session early in the day (other than the lock note), as I found that the majority of my time was spent networking with people.

All in all, I thought that the lock note was better than the key note with more interesting topics from Microsoft Research. You can check my tweets (@crazzysyfen) for more on this. Overall I found this Tech-Ed event a great event to attend and I am hoping to attend next year’s once again being held on the gold coast.

September 11, 2009

Tech Ed 2009 Day 2 Thoughts

Filed under: SharePoint Technology — adamclark @ 10:25 am

Well the day after is always a little harder (especially when you have been doing late night ‘networking’ every night since Monday), but thinking back on the second day of Tech Ed here on the Gold Coast it was an interesting day. Firstly I should note that I didn’t make it to a single session yesterday L. But I did hear a lot of what was happening in each session through the Twittersphere…

I personally spent a lot of the day once again catching-up and meeting people all around the convention centre, with such a concentration of people all around the place I found someone to chat too everyone few steps. I found that a great tool for finding people was using the OCS R2 client that we have been given on our HP Mini Notes, If I noticed (usually on Twitter) someone around me I found it easy to ping them over OCS and say “Let’s Meet”).

About the only not so good thing for the day, was a couple of people complaining about the event and the Internet connection. This really irked me. I think the Microsoft and all the guys involved arranging this event have done a fantastic job arranging it. Jorke in particular leading the technical deployment and Infrastructure is a legend. With over 2,500 laptops handed out and working on a wireless network the configuration required is incredible. My only hope is that the SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas next month runs as smoothly as Tech Ed has run. Well done guys!

The big event for this Tech Ed was if course the Dream World (#DWParty) part where all of the Tech Ed delegates took over ½ the park. I believe that I was lucky to be one of the first into the park and managed to get onto a number of rides early before the lines got too large. This included: Cyclone (Roller-coaster), Alien vs. Predator (Laser Skirmish), The Claw (rotating pendulum), MotoGP (Roller-coaster), Various Arcade games (Time Crisis, Air Hockey, Dance-Dance Revolution, etc) and a few other rides that I don’t recall the name of. I liked the fact that all around the park in most area’s that I wandered there were food and drink stations was good, although I did get a number of almost flat beers. If there was one thing that was somewhat disappointing it was the entertainment. While the rides were great there was very little roving entertainment or something that pulled us altogether. this would have really solidified the event in my view. At this point I have to laugh as one of the rides that was open was a controlled surfing event. I saw some ‘interesting’ attempts to ride the wave, however one guy really threw himself into body surfing the wave which was awesome. I sat with this guy (can’t remember his name) on the bus home and it was great to hear his perspective on the (wave) ride and the overall event.

Following on into the evening, Moo Moo’s has been the bar to be at, and last night was once again, with a few good drinks, meeting even more people (I love Tech Ed for this) and discussions around the event and its people, myself and a few hardy souls moved onto a night club (called Platinum) around midnight. I think I’ll leave the rest for in-person conversations…

So overall Day 2 of Tech Ed was once again a great event, lots of good things going on and people to talk too.

September 10, 2009

Tech Ed 2009 Day 1 Thoughts

Filed under: SharePoint Technology — adamclark @ 11:48 am

I didn’t get a chance to get my thoughts down before drifting off to sleep last night (well actually it was early) but now sitting down and enjoying a Muffin and some fruit before heading off to the next session I thought I would just recap some of my thoughts and impressions from the first full day of Tech Ed 2009.

Following the Keynote (See previous post), overall I only got to about ½ the session’s day one, and the sessions that I did get to were good. The presenters were well spoken and obviously knew their topics well. My favourite session would have been the Windows 7 Virtualisation session where we saw the capabilities of Windows 7 to show us a variety of modes and capability to support our virtual environments.

The rest of my time was spent networking with the oodles of people that have frequented the floors of TechEd Australia. It has been awesome to meet so many new people, hear a little of their story, their passions and what they have liked and disliked about TechEd so far. The people here while a little more subdued the I was expecting have had big expectations of all aspects of the event, and from what I can tell ‘most’ of them have been met.

As my first TechEd under the Sharing Minds banner, I have really enjoyed talking to my fellow attendees, getting interviewed for Windows 7 (on-the-spot) and talking to the various vendors about the floor. A lot of the vendors represent some great products and I have seen great products from Secret Server, Mimosa and AvePoint. As an Office and SharePoint specialist I have also enjoyed catching up with the Microsoft Office team including Ian, Alistair, Gayan and Rich. These guys are very passionate about the office space and I am looking forward to continuing building relationships with these guys as the Office and SharePoint 2010 product range launch over the next year.

Moving onto the evening I must admit that I was initially disappointed that there was no event being run for the evening (like an ask the experts dinner), however I managed to head on over to the WardyIT party at the Beach House, where some good food and drinks where had by all. The rest of the night was a great time had by all were we talked shop and life, shared a few drinks and frequented the local night spots around the place.

So day 1 was good and day 2 is also shaping up to be a great day with the BIG Microsoft event at Dreamworld to be held this evening. Stay Tuned….
Posted from my HP Mini

September 9, 2009

Tech Ed 2009 Opening KeyNote Address

Filed under: SharePoint Technology — adamclark @ 9:58 am

I have just finished watching the Opening KeyNote address for TechEd 2009. I found this was interesting more from the perspective of what has happened across the twittersphere rather than the event itself. The first two speakers our MC Colin Timm and Paul Lamb (HP) talked a lot of business and almost sales type information to the crowds, which on twitter most people gave a bored expression. I must admit the Techie in me was a little bored, however the business man in me found a lot of the POV’s interesting.

The rest of the presentations in the Key note were a lot more technical orientated with the two stand out highlights around Sarah and Jorke giving information around windows seven.

Overall I was a ‘little’ disappointed in the KeyNote, while a lot of the information was good, I have seen a lot of the information at UG’s around the place over the past few months. However what I did see was interesting, well presented and set a good base for everyone to learn over the next three days. Now i’m off to learn around Exchange 2010. More later.

June 18, 2009

SharePoint Content Database Sizing

Filed under: SharePoint Technology,Sharing Minds — adamclark @ 1:48 pm

Over the past few days I’ve had some questions from a couple of different clients around the right process to define SharePoint content database capacity planning.  This is quite an interesting topic and there is a lot of different theories out there  as to the right method to use.  Having planned several large and small SharePoint implementations I thought I might throw a few comments into the ring around capacity planning for SharePoint sites and how and when to worry about content database size.

 First up, in my view I don’t think that there is any one method that fits all SharePoint builds and site collection deployments, and second there are no hard and fast limits to (most) content database size related items.  In my view each SharePoint solution should be looked at in regards to a number of factors including:

 –          Disaster Recovery Tools,  One of the most contentious issues I find is that the choice of tool that will be used for backing up the SharePoint database will affect the recommended content database size.  For example, If your SharePoint site is only using the Out of the Box (OOTB) SharePoint Backup/Restore tool then I don’t recommend that you exceed 15Gb in any content database.  In the past I have found timeout and restore issues using the OOTB tools.  If your using a 3rd Party tool for backup/restore (i.e. Backup Exec, AVEPoint, CommVault, etc) I don’t see an issue on this front.

–          Type of Content being stored,  To a lesser extent I have found in the past that the type of content your storing will affect how big you want to plan your SharePoint content databases.  If your mainly storing list based information or lots of little pieces of information on your SharePoint site then you will likely want to have smaller content databases, thereby allowing content to be indexed and retrieved faster.  SO at the other end of the extreme I hold the view that if your databases is holding large files (i.e. couple of MB or larger) that having a large content database (up into the range of 50 – 100Gb) is allowable.  Of course there are also a number of factors to cover in regards to SQL config and the like that may affect the maximum size you want your content database to be, so use this as a starting point only!

–          Server Specifications, One of the big ones to consider is the specifications of the server that is hosting the content databases.  Is your SharePoint implementation on a single server or are you managing your SharePoint sites on a farm with a dedicated SQL Server (in most cases I hope your using the latter).  I take the view that larger databases will require different underlying SQL configurations to those of smaller databases.  I find the key is to ensure that organisations know their stance on SQL configurations and that they are open to talk both immediate and longer term SQL goals.

–          Information Management Policies / Governance, Now in my view the theories on how to implement governance are as broad as the amount of people working in the SharePoint field,  We’re still trying to get to some type of common thinking in this space and everyone will have their view.  However, in my view it is important to defined how your going to manage the information lifecycle of information within your SharePoint sites, know when your going to archive information, when your going to delete information, know how many versions of information your going to keep, etc.  Knowing / defining this will provide you with a way to limit the size of your content databases.   This is actually a REALLY big and COMPLEX area so i’ll leave it here.  But!!! Take a look at this area and always plan to do this work, you’ll never regret it.

 So at a very broad and high level there is my view on the way to plan and look at the right way to approach SharePoint Content Database Sizing,  hopefully while note giving you the hard and fast response you need on “What’s the Maximum size of my content database?” these items can help you on your way to defining these things.

 There are also a number of other great blog entries out there that can provide further assistance.  In some cases they don’t always follow the same path, however always good a reference material:

 – (This is the one that I find most clients reference and a good place to start).

– (Some good information and views, though I have some different thoughts on some content).

– (Overview on a Microsoft Capacity Planing tool)

– (The system Centre Capacity Planning tool, I use this a lot of the time to begin the capacity planning process).

May 6, 2009

The Social Networking Dilemma

This is something that has been on my mind for a while, however at the Brisbane SharePoint Users Group last night (#BSPUG) we where lucky enough to have Adam Cogan up from Sydney where the topic was discussed passionately with the group. At the core of the matter around social networking is the point that out on the net there are a Multitude of social networking tools and sites that facilitate the sharing of our status, information, documents, IP, photos and anything else you can imagine out to the greater community of people (99% of who we don’t even know). And while the readership is one issue that we will not discuss now, the question is which too do I use?

At the moment I have my blog page open, MSN with three conversations, Twittering my status, reading a face book page and syncing my Skype with my latest outlook contacts (well exaggerating that last one, but you get my gist). A big problem is that all of these tools take time and creative talent away and stifle my already stretched focus.

Since starting Sharing Minds, I have found most of my time goes there, posting blogs has become non-existent and replying to email and MSN gets tiresome, sometimes even reading a twitter is time stretching. The proliferation of these tools a lot of the time means that I have to follow on all of them to stay connected, but I don’t have the time to provide quality content, feedback and social connections on all of them. So what is the answer to stretching your time on social networking tools and quality input. I’ll be honest, I don’t know, I’m still attempting to figure out what it means to both me as a person and a business, however there are a number of thoughts that I am developing, solutions in the background I am working on, and once I have something i’ll be happy to post it!

March 20, 2009

New Theme’s for SharePoint

Filed under: SharePoint 2007 — adamclark @ 7:59 am

It’s always nice to see new theme’s for SharePoint sites, in some ways I wish that Microsoft would bring out more than they do. But Just noticed this blog post from Michael Gannotti on 10 new SharePoint theme’s.  You can find them on the Microsoft Web Site here!

March 19, 2009

Working SharePoint over Hamachi

Filed under: SharePoint Technology,Sharing Minds — adamclark @ 2:31 pm

Ok, this is a little different to most remote access requirements for MOSS but is a kewl little trick to know if you ever need a quick access method for Internal resources. The Requirement Recently I rebuilt my entire environment to fall in line with the policies lined out by my company Sharing Minds. Being a young company and still finding our feet in the world we need an Intranet to store and share our information and build our IP base. So being SharePoint guys we have of course deployed SharePoint as our Intranet.

The construction of the Intranet is ongoing and takes a back seat to the development of client items, but most important is the ability for the Intranet to be accessible to our resources out on site. Add to this that when we’re in the office we want to access the Intranet over the URL http://intranet and when we’re out of the office we want to access the Intranet over the URL https://Extranet (for example). The Solution With the rebuild of the environment, I have yet to finish configuring the remote access and SSL capabilities for everyone to access the Intranet resources stored securely on our network. SO how is it possible to allow access to the Intranet without SSL and a fully configured remote access policy. The answer is fairly simple, Hamachi and Alternative Access Mappings.

Hamachi is a client to client VPN tool available from , is free and secure. I have used hamachi for various tasks over the years from sharing files to playing games and it has always worked well.

Alternative Access Mappings (AAM) is a way that SharePoint can provide content from a single web site on different URL’s.

To describe the process I used, here are the steps:

1. Create the base SharePoint Site Collection (i.e. http://Intranet)

2. Define a static IP address for the Site Collection and apply that IP Address with a Host Header in IIS.

3. Ensure that a DNS entry has been created for the URL with the IP addressed assigned.

At this point if set-up correctly you will be able to access your site collection via the URL specified.

4. Set-up Hamachi on your SharePoint Server, hamaci will supply the server with an IP address for the VPN connection, you will need to note this IP address.

5. Create a AAM that points to the new URL (i.e. http://Extranet)

6. Assign the Hamachi IP address and DNS name as a new host header in IIS..

7. Create a DNS Entry that points the Hamachi IP address to the DNS name.

From a server perspective your SharePoint site will accept connections from the hamachi (VPN) address to the external DNS name provided. If your remote machines don’t have the correct cached credentials it is possible that you may need to a Hosts file entry that maps the DNS name to the hamachi IP address on the client machine, then it will work. This has turned out to be a quick secure way to get our organisation up and running with a minimum of fuss while we get a full remote environment up and running.

January 27, 2009

Install MOSS 2007 on the Windows 2008 Platform

Filed under: SharePoint 2007,Sharing Minds — adamclark @ 9:18 am

Recently I began the process of rebuilding my internal compnay environment to a Windows Server 2008 base for all systems that were supported on the platform.  This included installing SharePoint onto the server 2008 platform.

So after backing up my old environment and building my brandnew Intranet server on 64bit windows server 2008 platform (previous was on 32bit) I niaviely installed my MOSS install disk in the DVD drive and hit install….

This is the point that most IT professionals dread, support the application on the platfrom is there but are there instructions on how to install the app, of course not!  At this point my great friend Google came to the rescuse and I started reading a number of blogs on how other people have gotten round the issue  of installing MOSS on Server 2008.  Simply put here is how I did it:

1.  Get a MOSS 2007 install that has Service Pack 1 included with the install (my install media did not, hense my issue in the first place).  The best thing I found was to download the trail version of MOSS + SP1 from the Microsoft Web site, you can find the 32bit version HERE and the 64bit version HERE.  Also note that the download is around 400Mb so for those of us on slower links give yourself a little time.

2. Next, once you have the download run the install on your Windows Server 2008 environment. From this point there are two options:
A – During the install wizard use your compnay license key to install the product (Recommended).
B – If your compnay license key is an old one I have read posts that state you need to use the trial key that comes with the download.  In this case install MOSS on Server 2008 with the tiral key then go into Central Admin and ‘Upgrade’ the install to you compnay license.  (not 100% sure on the details of this one as I was able to do option A).

Following this you should have a fully functioning MOSS 2007 install on the Windows Server 2008 platform.

Let’s hope that Microsoft soon release install media with the full MOSS + SP1 application so we don’t have to play around as much!

I also found these blog posts handy while sorthing this out for myself:

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