The Information Worker

January 16, 2009

BSPUG Dates for 2009!

Filed under: Brisbane SharePoint Users Group,SharePoint Technology — adamclark @ 3:05 pm

It’s been a little while coming, but at last we have dates for the Brisbane SharePoint Users Group in 2009!

Dates are a little different to last year but in 2009 I am happy to announce that each month we have both a Lunch Time BSPUG and evening BSPUG events.

The evening BSPUG events will be held on the 1st Tuesday of every month,  the focus of these events will be around provding information that will assist small orginisations and vendros with information arround collaboration,  this will include the regular presentations by community members and product demonstrations, however with the evening BSPUG we are looking to include some sponsors for the Food and Beverage!

The lunch time BSPUG events will be held on the 3rd Wednesday of every month and these events will focus on the general communities with regular presentations on solutions and the cool SharePoint stuff!

And in anticipation of supporting the user group community this year, Micorosoft has also taken the chance to bring all the user group leaders from the community together next Friday in Sydney.  As a user group leader this is a great chance for me to meet up with the other SharePoint UG leaders from arround Australia and meet a lot of new people who also look after these crutial community groups for free (and most of the time from their own pocket!).  So I in 2009 get into your local communities and come say hi at the Brisbane SharePoint Users Group and i’d be happy to buy you a drink and get to know you better!

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Learning to Grow, Walk, Eat, Ask, Seize, Give…

Filed under: SharePoint Technology,Sharing Minds — adamclark @ 2:53 pm

When I first made the decision to leave my old workplace, I knew that I could do something great, that was different to everyone else.  The founding of Sharing Minds was a big step into a great big world that I knew was there but had never truly entered into.  While I have not yet been running Sharing Minds for 12 months I have to say that for the most part I still have that sense of awe for those people who run their own businesses.

The challenge that I now find is having enough time to proactively do things rather then just reacting to requirements.  The chance to Grow Sharing Minds is awesome and I am really happy to now be adding my second full-time employee (Now there are Three!).  But in growth there is risk, you have to take a chance, step out of your comfort zone, pray that the work will be there, that your employee’s are going to say and do the right thing to clients.  These are the lessons that I am now learning in growing Sharing Minds.

When I started Sharing Minds, SharePoint opportunities were abounding, and work was plentiful.  Now the work is still there but harder to find and learning to Walk in the current downturn in the economic climate is not easy.  I think that small businesses just need to adjust to longer sales cycles, help their customers to find the benefit in the product and make sure they get what they need.  Within Sharing Minds we have the saying that “We help our clients on the Journey”.  We don’t want to do the work for them, the best result is when they have learnt from us and they ask us back to continue walking the journey with them.

Another area I am really learning is is that of discussion,  for most of my career I have always had aa degree of comfort when talking to people, the gift of the gab as some people call it. But now running Sharing Minds I am learning (and really enjoying) the opportunity to grow my linguistic skill and social abilities. 

Microsoft have a saying ‘ Eat your own dog food’.  That is that they use all of their products within the organisation before they release a product to a client/customer.  At Sharing Minds I am really trying to get a similar process up off the ground.  But I also find that challenging at the same time, being a small business still in start-up mode, we don’t have lots of processes or methodologies documented, our hardware is not always up to spec and we’re always playing catch-up.  But things are getting there, we’ve got a great Intranet that is slowing getting some content running on it.  And hopefully in the first few months of 2009, we’re going to have a proper, professional Internet site running in a hosted environment.  All in all though I have to say that this is what I have so far found to be the single hardest aspect of running a business.  Eating is hard!

When I worked for a company I found that asking for information, tools, clients (or sometimes permissions) was easy.  I had skills and the need was always easy to define.  With starting Sharing Minds I have found the need to learn how to Ask.  Asking for tools is more internal but harder as I see the bottom line.  Asking clients to pay invoices on time (all of them have so far which is great) and the hardest is learning how to ask a new customer to give you work.  I still have a long way to go on that last one, but I am once again finding the process an interesting challenge that I am enjoying!

Carpe Diem! This line to seize the day and go for what your after is something that has always been of great encouragement.  Being bold in a lot of circumstances brings great results, but learning to temper that is also a skill. 

Do unto Others… that famous line is a cornerstone upon which I have created Sharing Minds,  like all business we’re there to do business, but at the same time I have found it important to give back to the community.  In 2009 I hope to get Sharing Minds more active within the business and greater community with all Sharing Minds employees giving some of their time to community activities that benefit others. 

I find this is a great time that I am in and my journey is just beginning, what has gone before has only prepared me for what lies ahead and I hope that Sharing Minds will continue to grow to become a leader in the collaboration areana, a partner to those who normal compete and a company that is both respectfull and respected in the community!

June 25, 2008

Trip Down Memory Lane

Filed under: SharePoint Technology — adamclark @ 2:11 pm

Now for the most part I leave this blog as a professional blog that I don’t post on too often (though I would like to more). But after the past few days I had to post this link for a trip into the Lego vault http://gizmodo.com/5018990/lego-secret-vault-contains-all-sets-in-history

There is a tear in my eye, reading the article and watching the video.

June 2, 2008

The Poor State of Broadband

Filed under: SharePoint Technology — adamclark @ 2:53 pm

I must admit that I am currently feeling quite frustrated at the poor state of broadband in my beloved country of Australia. Too make matters even worse this is an age old issue that all Australian citizens appear to come across, everyone knows how bad it is, some of us complain about it. Companies and Governments say they are going to do things about it, yet nothing changes!

To put a little more context around this I have recently started my own business and I wish to upgrade my Internet connect to something a little more suited to a work from home technology business. Currently I have a ADSL 1500/256 account that has severed my ok (not great but no great issues) and to upgrade to a nice fast ADSL 2+ account would be great. If I look on Whirlpool (one if Australia’s best broadband review sites) then I find that my local exchange is full but Telstra has ADSL 2+ ability, frustrating as I do not want to use Telstra as they are not what I need from a service provider. However If I look at other service provider sites I find that my area has been enabled for ADLS 2+. And thus my frustration comes full circle.

I guess I have a few questions, but I don’t know how to answer them as everyone has a different answer.

  1. How is the space issue at exchanges being addressed?
  2. This space issues appears common among many exchanges for extended periods of time, what is being done (is anything)?
  3. Is there a way to find out what and when exchanges are going to be upgraded?
  4. Why is it that the exchange owners can upgrade their exchange but other providers cannot?

 

This is something that is really frustrating and I get further frustrated that my 3G card (a mobile connection) is faster than my old ADSL connection. Come on world I just want at high speed broadband connection at home so I can do business.

January 16, 2008

MOSS / Reporting Services Integration Issue

Filed under: SharePoint Technology — adamclark @ 2:13 pm

After a short (but nice) break over Christmas, I am spending a little time getting ‘the little things’ finished off that I had no time to do in the last half of 2007. On off these things includes completing my new MOSS development image with everything included!

But for the past half a day I have been pulling my hair out trying to resolve a couple of issues with configuration of reporting services, while most of these have been relatively simple fixes and alignment of permissions for access . I have come across one particularly nasty little bug!

During the MOSS / Reporting Services configuration process there is a step where you assign permissions to the Reporting Services Service accounts to be able to access the MOSS databases. Unfortunately for me when trying to enter these details I keep getting an error stating “A new member could not be added to a local group because the member has the wrong account type”. After checking permissions for the groups that the service account details (and passwords) were correct and even a read through the help files (yeah I even went to RTFM!!!) I came up with nothing. I found a number of similar issues doing a search on Google but nothing conclusive until I found the end of this Microsoft Support Case.

It appears that there is a bug in the integration between MOSS and SQL Reporting Services 2005 that when you come to assign the permissions the process wants to assign the service account to a local security group. Now since I have built everything on one server (including Domain Controller functions) there are no local security group’s only domain security groups. Needless to say this is an issue with my development image. You’ll note that at the bottom on the support case it notes a possible work around, using either the FQDN or the server IP address may work around the issue.

For me the FQDN got past the original error message but provided me with the error “Report Server WMI Provider error: Invalid namespace“. Which I didn’t investigate any further at this point. Using the IP Address of the server has allowed the process to complete and me to complete the configuration of the MOSS / Reporting Services integration, however I have yet to test how this functions in a full MOSS reporting site, so it is possible I could be back to square one (but for the moment I have a workaround).

Hopefully this may help people in a similar situation in the future…

November 29, 2007

Issues with the MOSS Thesaurus

Filed under: SharePoint Technology — adamclark @ 9:50 am

So a couple of weeks back I was working on a document for a potential client and I came across a reference to issues with the MOSS thesaurus. Having only worked with some basic functions in the MOSS thesaurus I was quite intrigued to find that this is quite a large issue. After doing a little hunting around I was put onto this awesome article by Jonathon Frost who walks through the implementation process deploying the MOSS thesaurus. But overall lets hope that Microsoft fix it for us in the upcoming MOSS Service Pack 1 Release.

The use of 64bit MOSS

Filed under: SharePoint Technology — adamclark @ 9:43 am

With all the new 64 bit architecture now available it is even easier these days to implement your server applications of a x64 platform. But in the case of a MOSS implementation should an orginiation look to use 64 Bit MOSS or should they stick with the tried and true 32 Bit platform? These are questions which get passed around the forums at my work on a regular basis and include topics such as:

  • 32 vs. 64 bit performance
  • 64 Bit information architecture
  • Disaster Recovery on the 64 Bit platform
  • 64 Bit application integration (adobe I-filters are a big one here)

There are of course a lot of variables which should go into the choice of platform architecture and myself I lean towards a 64-bit architecture where possible. But if your interested to know more Joel Olsen has written a nice little blog post that has some very valid opinions you can view it here http://blogs.msdn.com/joelo/archive/2007/01/12/why-wss-3-0-x64-and-moss-2007-x64-what-s-the-deal.aspx

If you are looking at making the choice between 64 or 32 bit architectures then my only piece of advice is to look at what is going to give you implementation more stability and longevity from a user perspective in the long run. The rest is just technology…

November 8, 2007

Level 400 – Microsoft Search Course Available

Filed under: SharePoint Technology — adamclark @ 9:42 am

And while we are on the topic of search, Microsoft have also announced a new Search Course available for those companies in the Microsoft Partner Program. I’m still looking at the material (after registering for the course) so i’ll look to do a follow up post next Thursday.

New SharePoint Search Options

Filed under: SharePoint Technology — adamclark @ 9:10 am

So in the spirit of Thursday Blogging I thought I would open with a new announcement from Microsoft on some new SharePoint Search Offerings. Microsoft will soon be releasing two new SharePoint Search applications the first “Microsoft Search Server 2008” which from the small amount of reading is an upgrade to the current search server available (still need to confirm this though). The second application and the more exciting is “Microsoft Search Server 2008 Express” which is a free version of the full search engine. Looking at the feature range available with Search Express it is fairly impressive including Relevance Tuning, Push/Pull Notifications, customizable Search Centre Interface.

News.com have also written a good article announcing the search release that discusses some potential strategic direction Microsoft may be taking to compete with rival search technologies such as Google…

November 2, 2007

Friday Wisdom…

Filed under: SharePoint Technology — adamclark @ 3:28 pm

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A little wisdom for a Friday, Many thanks to Olivia!

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