Friday, September 30, 2005


There's a summary page on MCMS FAQ about MCMS SP2 - definitely some interesting news:
  • SP2 will ship in the .NET 2.0, Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server timeframe. As these products will ship on November 7th 2005, expect SP2 to ship by January 2006, and March 2006 at the latest.

  • Support for SQL 2005 and .Net 2.0

  • New functionality - support for ASP.Net 2.0 Master Pages and Authentication & Navigation providers support

  • ... and much more.

    New collection of SharePoint articles

    Another random collection of sharepoint articles after cleaning up my "Items for Follow up":
  • Heathers Uber Big SharePoint Resources Page

  • Adding "OpenInNewWindow" option to SharePoint Links lists

  • Edit summary-view in Web Sites Area on the portal

  • PortalBuilder RSS Extensions for SharePoint

  • Using SharePoint with hostheaders

  • Easy tab webpart

  • SharePoint Bug - Publish to source location

    From Victor VogelPoel:

    In SharePoint (Portal 2003 SP1), Within a document workspace, created from a document using "Create Document Workspace", you can use the "Publish to Source Location" option to publish the document back to its original document library in a Team site. I get, however, the following error: Invalid data has been used to update the list item. The field you are trying to update may be read only.
    It appears that a Lookup field in the document library of the Team Site is causing the failure. In the document library of the Team site we've defined a lookup field (to a list in the same Team site); this field is used to categorize the documents. Unfortunately, this lookup field is causing "Publish to Source Location" to fail. Out-of-the-box SharePoint cannot update the source document if the lookup field is present in the document library!

    Where's the first post about WSS and Atlas?

    Atlas is definitely a must see for ASP.Net web developers, it is the name for Ajax-style web app development on the .Net platform. I'm however still waiting on a first post about how you can use it in Windows SharePoint Services 2003, since WSS also support ASP.Net 2.0 with SP2. In one of the sessions about WSS3.0 they showed that the next version of WSS uses Ajax-like controls out of the box - so I guess it should be possible to do this with WSS 2.0 as well.

    Some Atlas resources:
  • Atlas Community Preview Site

  • Atlas Unleashed...

  • Atlas Keynote Walkthrough

  • Atlas Architecture Overview

  • Atlas XML Script

  • Atlas Presentation Slides and Demos

  • More about ASP.Net Future versions - Atlas project

  • ASP.NET "Atlas" - A Reason To Be Excited About The Web Again

  • Thursday, September 29, 2005

    WSS SP2 released - Quick repost

    I got this info from all over the blogosphere,....

    Windows SharePoint Services SP2 has been released - includes a number of hotfixes and security updates but also
  • Support for running on 64-bit systems in 32-bit emulation mode

  • Support for reverse proxy

  • Support for IP-bound virtual servers

  • Support for off-box SSL termination

  • Support for Microsoft SQL Server 2005

  • Maurice wrote an excellent FAQ about WSS and SP2:

    With WSS SP2, will the SharePoint worker process run in v2.0?
    Yes, it can. Alternatively, you are not forced to use v2.0.

    Can I use Whidbey Web Parts on WSS SP2?
    No. Out of the box, WSS will not use any v2.0 constructs. At the core level, SP2 will not change the rendering behavior of WSS. In other words, WSS will not suddenly gain the ability to use master pages or Whidbey web parts. If you wish to use v2.0 web parts in WSS SP2, you will need to build your own shim that allows the v2 web part framework to load and interact with the Whidbey Web Parts. Otherwise, you will have to wait until v3 where such behavior is the default.

    What is Mike alluding to about being able to use Whidbey Web Parts in SP2?
    Stay tuned! It's all about extending the WSS platform (as noted above)... :-)

    What is the advantage of running my virtual server in v2.0?
    Once youre running in the v2.0 space, the corresponding CLR libraries are available. Your code will be able to take advantage of new features as well as the security and performance enhancements found in the new runtime.

    If my my virtual server continues to run in v1.1, can my code another assembly which was been compiled in .Net v2.0?
    No. CLR fundamentals state that you can't "upstream" the clr version from the current running version. In other words, if you decide to run with v1.1, you are limited to loading/working with assemblies compiled with v1.1 or less.

    If my virtual server runs in v2.0, will my web part code need to be recompiled?
    No. This is basically the reverse scenario of the last question; but the answer is not the same. "Downstream" is possible; therefore, any existing 1.x compiled assemblies should continue to work.

    Can I create a virtual server/directory that runs in v2.0 and have my v1.1 WSS site call into the pages and web services exposed by the v2.0 site?

    Will I need to specify assembly redirection or runtime information for my web part assemblies?

    Will I need to specify assembly redirection or runtime information anywhere else?
    Yes. If you wish to deploy web part packages that contain clr v2.0 compiled web part assemblies (i.e. SharePoint web parts compiled using the new clr), you will need to create a *.config file for stsadm.exe that specifies the following:
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
    <supportedRuntime version="v2.0.50727" />
    <supportedRuntime version="v1.1.4322" />
    The config file (appropriately named stsadm.exe.config) will need to be placed next to stsadm.exe. If you don't add the config file, you will get an error message that states "Version 1.1 is not a compatible version".

    Can my SPS server run on v2.0?
    No. See the "Bad News" section of Mike's post - Web Part Interoperability the good news and the bad.

  • More info about WSS SP2 from Bill English

  • Upgrade a WSS to support ASP.Net 2.0

  • WSS SP2 download

  • KB887624 - Description of Windows SharePoint Services Service Pack 2

  • WSS Admin guide upgrade for SP2
  • Wednesday, September 28, 2005

    Microsoft and JBoss link up

    Interesting article - Microsoft and JBoss link up: Bowing to market realities, Microsoft (Profile, Products, Articles) said Tuesday it will begin working with an ideological foe, open-source development and services company JBoss (Profile, Products, Articles), on optimizing interoperability between JBoss' middleware and Microsoft's Windows Server software.

    Developing with Office Communicator - sample code

  • Presence Controls for Microsoft Office Communicator 2005 - The Presence Controls are designed to provide presence information and real time collaboration options to Microsoft Windows Forms, Web Forms and GUI applications that are based on the Microsoft Win32 application programming interface. The controls provide developers of these applications with the ability to drag-and-drop the control from the toolbox in Visual Studio onto applications and provide access to the capabilities of Communicator in an easy to incorporate manner.

  • Role Agent for Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005 - Role Agent is a sample Microsoft Windows service application that implements a role-based messaging agent for managing sessions and for brokering and dispatching instant messages between users and members of a defined group. The RoleBot sample application is built on the .NET Framework and is written in C#. The base component of this application is a base class derived from the Real-time Communications (RTC) API 1.3. The RTC API 1.3 contains a set of COM interfaces and methods for building real-time communications applications and the interop assembly used in this application provides a managed wrapper for the API.

  • Group Alerts Sample for Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005 - The group alerts sample application provides a simple user interface for sending instant messages to the online members of an Active Directory group or distribution list and its subgroups. The names of available groups for alerting are stored in a configuration file between application sessions. The user may also type the name of a group to add an existing Active Directory group to the list. The sample application uses Active Directory as its catalog, but application developers can easily modify the application to use any catalog that suits their organization.

  • Sam is blogging

    Another co-worker of mine is blogging , check out Sam's blog. He recently joined our SharePoint team but has a lot of experience with .Net development and Biztalk. So I expect a couple of postings on this subject. Gert, I'm still waiting to see your blog...

    Wednesday, September 21, 2005

    CMSVNext and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 - another braindump and a stroll through some blogs...

    One of the pillars of Microsoft's new ECM (Enterprise Content Management Offering) is web content management, previously Microsoft had its own server product for it, Microsoft Content Management Server. At PDC05, Microsoft finally revealed some technical details about the next version of CMS - here's a list of the things I noticed:
  • CMSVNext is built on top of Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 - a name mentionned was Office Web Content Management Server. One of the main goals of this new architecture was to take away the divide between functionality in SharePoint and CMS since customers basically require both

  • The equivalent of a channel in MCMS2002 will be a WSS3.0 web - there will be a special type of document library for webpages called "Pages library". This library will contain a page layout column which will contain the URL to the template. All the content will be stored in the fields in this page library. On a page request, a page will be assembled dynamically from the content in the different fields. You can use all the functionality of standard WSS libraries such as checkin, checkout, versioning,...

  • CMS Template = Page Layout column

  • CMS placeholder control = WSS field controls

  • CMSVNext will offer some extra WSS field controls e.g PublishingWebControls:AuthoringContainer with better support for table layout, server side spell checking, ...

  • A custom ASP.Net 2.0 navigation provider for CMSVNext, you just have to write your own navigation control and use the provider as a datasource

  • Membership providers to write your own authentication mechanisms

  • While MCMS2002 basically is a toolbox - it offered an API but you still had to write a lot of code. CMSVNext will offer more functionality out of the box and will require less custom code

  • Support for multilingual scenarios through a core website which will have multiple variations, with a certain replication mechanism built in... not a lot of details known about it yet

  • A migration tool for CMS2002 content will be provided, all the templates and custom code you will have to rewrite

  • Support for smart client authoring of webpages - extends on Document Conversion Services - this will allow you to plug in your own code to automatically generate webpages from different applications

  • Extra security added typically needed for CMS - e.g. a viewer role, which allows you to view pages but not to view the WSS UI (e.g. allitems.aspx), no remote API possible, no minor or historic versions visible

  • Define master pages on the level of the web - can be easily changed from within the SharePoint UI

  • Extra deployment options - OOB deployment through the UI

  • Better support for anonymous access

  • Extra caching options: ASP.Net caching, binary caching, use cache profiles,...

  • Can use the search of SharePoint

  • Built in summary pages available - Query by Content controls (e.g. all news postings), Summary links, TOC

  • Better OOB workflow through the same mechanism that WSS3.0 based on WWF - approval of webpages will be similar to approval of documents in document libraries.

  • Some interesting resources:
  • Web Content Management information from PDC (Braindump) - Angus Logan

  • MCMS v.Next - The curtain has been lifted at PDC - Stefan Gossner

  • Designing Your MCMS 2002 Solution for Reusability - Use best-practice design recommendations for Microsoft Content Management Server 2002 applications and Web sites to help you create your site in a way that prepares it for future versions of MCMS technology.

  • Posting from Arpan Shah about the confusion surrounding CMSVNext

  • OFF313 Web Content Management Application Development and Engine Extensibility - slide deck from PDC

  • [PDC05] What about MCMS? SharePoint, yes!

  • mscms

    Competitive Analysis: Choosing BizTalk Server Over IBM WebSphere Integration Server v5

    Interesting post by Scott Woodgate - Competitive Analysis: Choosing BizTalk Server Over IBM WebSphere Integration Server v5

    Google launches blogsearch

    Go and try it out: - great to see I'm finally in a top 10 search for SharePoint on Google ;-)

    Tuesday, September 20, 2005

    BIWUG site online - first meeting 22th of september

    The Belux Information Worker User Group site is finally online... Check it out at
    Snippet from the site...

    What is the BIWUG?

    The primary goal of the Belux Information Worker User Group (abbreviated as BIWUG) is to be a central meeting point for the Information Worker community in Belgium and Luxemburg. BIWUG members are people, technical and non-technical, who are interested in Microsoft Information Worker products and technologies. We cover the whole range of products and technologies that influence in some way or another the daily activities of the information worker. BIWUG is there to provide the members the needed organization, infrastructure and support to share their experiences, learn about products and technologies in a different way than at Microsoft organized events, seminars or trainings, discuss problems with other members or IW peers in round-the-table sessions, get product demonstrations from third-party vendors, and much more.

    First meeting will be held 22th of september at Dolmen - main topic : "IW Technologies, what's to come in 2006?". You can still register or find more info here.

    The theme of the meeting is 'IW technologies, what's to come in 2006?' and our goal is to give you a broad overview of all the publicly available information that is available after the Professional Developers Conference 2005 on the various products and technologies related to the information worker Microsoft will release in 2006. And probably, you are already aware that 2006 will be a very important year for all of us here at the BIWUG because some exciting new things are going to happen. New Office, new version of Windows SharePoint Services and SharePoint Portal Server, new version of Content Management Server, versions of BizTalk Server and Commerce Server, the Information Bridge Framework going forward, and a lot more.

    Monday, September 19, 2005

    Great Office 12 Blog

    Jensen Harris started his own blog, I saw this guys presentation at PDC05, certainly worth a look if you want to learn more about the Office UI.

    Friday, September 16, 2005

    K2.Net builds on top of Windows Workflow Foundation

    K2.Net will release a new version of their succesfull workflow product next year using Windows Workflow Foundation. Read the press release:

    SourceCode Technology Holdings, Inc. (SCTH), a global leader for enterprise business process management software built on the .NET platform, today at the Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference in L.A., announced that, following on a year of extensive research and development and work with the Microsoft product teams, it will deliver the next version of their® product (code name "BlackPearl") on the Windows Workflow Foundation. BlackPearl is scheduled for general availability by late 2006. More about BlackPearl

    The company I work, Dolmen, for is one of the K2.Net partners in the Benelux.

    For more info check out my previous blogpost - Windows Workflow Foundation and SharePoint.

    IBF has a new brother, here comes BDC - Business Data Catalog

    The last session of thursday was very interesting "Surfacing your application's Line Of Business Data and actions within Enterprise Portal"... This was really amazing...with minimal code, you can create a connection to webservices or a database from within SharePointv3, displaying the data in 2 new webparts - business data details webpart, business data list webpart. Afterwards Jonah Burke used the same data as a lookup field in a SharePoint list and integrated it into the new search interface. All thanks to the new Business Data Catalog in SharePoint.

    Now for the title - for those of you who don't know IBF (Information Bridge Framework) - here's a quick summary:

    IBF is a new solution that provides a standardised way for developers to integrate data from enterprise applications (CRM,HR, ERP,...) into Office. IBF is an example of a service oriented architecture in which your LOB applications are connected to Office through a webservices layer. At the clientside IBF leverages the smart tag and smart document functionality of Office 2003 Professional. (More about IBF)

    Now, it seems that Microsoft will offer a rock-solid alternative in the new Office Servers (... details are still very sketchy), which is called the Business Data Catalog (BDC). BDC is a repository for metadata about LOB datasources and their corresponding business entities. All this metadata is defined in XML format. BDC seems to use analogous terminology as IBF:
  • Entity : XML representation of your business object

  • Method: operation on a business entity

  • Association: relationship between entities

  • IBF defines both UI and business data in XML format and this made it fairly complex with lots of XML metadata definitions, XSLT transformations, etc... IBF was mainly targeted at Office as a client. BDC can be used from all kinds of applications through the API that they define for it. SharePoint already provides a UI out of the box with the 2 new webparts and is seems to integrate very well. By the way, Jonah finished off with a nice demo of connecting to SAP.... pretty need.

    Same remark though as for the other sessions, details are still sketchy how this product will positioned, ... it will not be part of WSS but probably one of the new Office Servers... For more details check out this posting by Eli Robillard

    Thursday, September 15, 2005

    Enhancements in SharePoint V3

    Next to the first public presenations about Office 12, there was also a lot of exciting news about SharePoint. Most of the focus was on Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and a lot less information was given about SharePoint Portal Server V3.0. But the announcements definitely fullfilled the expectations which I formulated in the previous posts (I marked my favorite ones ...):

    General improvements
  • WSS introduces a new concept called "Content type" - content types will allow you to define a type of information and associated with it the available metadata, its policy and workflow options. More about it in a next post

  • WSS 3.0 has a recyle bin functionality out of the box. This is actually a 2-level recycle bin - even when a user empties his personal recycle bin, an administrator can still recover the documents

  • WSS 3.0 will support blogs and Wikis

  • SharePoint is RSS enabled - there is basically an RSS feed for every type of list and library

  • Out of the box support for workflow - it will be possible to attach a workflow to any kind of list, to a specific content type or to a specific document in a document library. More about it a next posting

  • Support for document policies - this will include archival and retention management policies, audit trails, etc...

  • Item-level security .... wow, just what we needed

  • A new listtype is introduced, Project Task List, this even includes a Gant chart view which you can use to modify data in the list. It will be possible to use this Gantview also in other listtypes which make use of dates

  • Possibility to add metadata to folders in libraries - you can also use folders in every type of list

  • Possibility to limit the number of versions created for lists with versioning enabled, all lists will be version enabled

  • Improvement of the issue tracking list

  • E-mail integration - it will be possible to send an email to any type of list... when you send an email, it will even store the attachments in a document library and the other recipients in a contact list.

  • Improvement of the calendar view

  • Support for multilanguage - you can use resource files

  • Lots of improvements from a development perspective... I will provide more information about it in a next posting.

  • SharePoint Portal Server vNext
  • SPSvNext introduces an enhanced search - called the Searchcenter

  • A nice feature they demoed in the keynote was "Did you mean?", this will give a suggestion for the searched keyword when you have made a typo or when your searchquery didn't return any results

  • It will possible to integrate your LOB (Line of Business) data within SharePoint Search

  • Office 12 and WSS 3.0
  • Outlook can be used as an offline document repository for SharePoint document libraries - with 2-way synchronisation

  • Access will be positioned as the data integration tool for SharePoint, you will be able to use Access as a frontend to SharePoint datasources

  • Publish from Excel to SharePoint - you can now publish an integral spreadsheet to SharePoint - it will show up with very rich Excel like user interface. This feature provides more options than you currently have with the datasheet view of a SharePoint list

  • Support for distribution lists from Outlook 2003 through integration with AD

  • You can open any list in Access in datasource

  • We can expect a first beta of WSS3.0 near the end of the year, an RTM will probably be available in the second half of 2006

    Office 12 - you got it first at PDC

    At the day one keynote they also gave the first public preview of Office 12. Here's a list of random observations ( I still have to go over all of my notes - but this will already get you pretty excited):

    General remarks
  • Vista and Office 12 will be released at the same time - release is expected for the second half of 2006

  • They completely reengineered the user interface - the "File, Edit,..." menu's have gone and are replaced with the "Ribbon". The "Ribbon" is a collection of tabs which instantly display your most commonly used functions - the Ribbon will show different options for Excel and Word. Next to the standard tabs which appear also context-driven menu information will be available through the Ribbon. The goal of Office12 is to create a result-oriented UI and I think they have succeeded pretty well. Other new stuff:
          - Galleries
          - Live preview - when you are selecting a new font or other formatting options, you get a live preview when hovering over the possible options.
          - Quick Access Launch - special area in the ribbon with your most commonly used functionality
          - Great zoom in & out for all Office types - with a very UI from within the new statusbar
          - New XML model to create customisation for the UI - RibbonX
          - Floatie - when you select a certain part in your Word document - text or image - a new UI will appear called floatie. This will show the most commonly used functions and is kind of a replacement for the right click menu.

  • Word 12 - new features and enhancements
  • More possibilities to create great looking text: better handling of margins, better options to insert images into a text

  • Great tool to add nice looking borders round portions of text

  • ... and much more

  • Excel 12 - new features and enhancements
  • Excel has a pretty neat feature which allows you to visualize the data in a very nice way - with color schemes (red,green, orange,...) or with color gradients

  • An interesting feature for Word was the Document Inspector - this allows you to scan your Word document for hidden info, comments, track changes and lets you remove them before you want to publish your document

  • Powerpoint 12 - new features and enhancements
  • The nicest feature for Powerpoint was the "text to graphics" tool - this tool can convert your typical bulleted lists to graphical elements

  • Lots of new galleries with templates

  • Synchronisation with a new type of library in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 - a powerpoint resource library. When you send a powerpoint to a WSS3.0 library it will split up the presentation into multiple slides (items) in the library. You can then reassemble easily a new presentation based on the info in this WSS library.

    Outlook 12 - new features and enhancements
  • New UI element added - Todo side bar

  • Enhancements of tasks in Outlook - explicit assignment and duration added

  • Preview of attachments

  • Possibility to overlay multiple calendars

  • RSS reader and aggregation of feeds in Outlook 2003

  • Outlook 12 can be used as an offline storage for WSS3.0 document libraries

  • Wednesday, September 14, 2005

    Blogging from another timezone

    This is weird, Blogger was not showing my posts because it completely messed up somehow with timezones...

    Windows Workflow Foundation and SharePoint

    The day 2 keynote had some new surprises but the best was without a doubt Windows Workflow Foundation (WWF) - for more info check out WWF will offer a unified way to create both system and human-based workflow (There goes Biztalk HWS ...). Products such as Office12, WSS V3, Biztalk and MBS will make use of this new architecture. I can't wait to get my hands on that one.

    The demo with WSS V3 was especially interesting:
  • You can now define workflow directly from within the SharePoint user interface.

  • It is possible to attach workflow to individual documents, to document library and also to a new functionality in SharePoint called content types (still have to check out how this exactly works

  • FrontPage 12 will be used as a primary tool to create new workflow definitions and to link these workflow definitions to SharePoint.

  • A workflow is defined as a set of activities, great integration with Outlook 2003 - activities in a workflow can be linked to tasks in Outlook 2003

  • Some interesting links:
  • WWF Beta 1 download

  • WWF PDC Lab download

  • I will write some more postings about enhancements to SharePoint in the coming hours... but this definitely was worth it.

    .Net Language Integrated Query

    At the PDC05 keynote on tuesday Microsoft gave the first official announcement about the .Net Language Integrated Query (LINQ) support - it definitely seems that the dream of the unified storage is over (they even said so in the keynote) but to ease the pain Microsoft introduces LINQ.

    .Net Language Integrated Query will add query capabilities directly into the CLR and this will be supported by both VB.Net and C#. This means that you will be able to use standard query operators directly from within your code. Something like the next line of code:

    IEnumberable expr = from s in names where s.Length==5 order by s
    select s.ToUpper();

    Other standard query operators such as sorting and grouping and aggregation will be available as well. It even allows for nested queries so that you can combine multiple datasources in one - at the keynote they showed a demo in which they enumerated all the processes running on a computer which consumed more then 4 MB.

    var query = from p in Process.GetProcesses() where p.Workingset > 4*1024*1024

    Afterwards they showed that DLINQ will allow you to map classes declaratively to tables and databases through the use of attribute ( [table] and [database]). So they created a class and mapped it to a SQL database to retrieve some other info about the processes retrieved in the previous query.

    In the last step they demoed how you can use XLINQ to create an XML object based on the previous queries - and they created an RSS feed from the data about the in memory process joined with database information. All this was written in about 30 lines of code without having to create any intermediate datatables or custom collections to store the data and without ever having to write some datasource specific code such as creating a datareader, xmlwriter, etc...

    It will be possible to use common SQL operators such as select, group by, where clauses, aggregation options, and these operations will be available for any <IEnumerable>-based information source (Or as Don Box said in the keynote - if you can for each it, you can use it - this means e.g. arrays and collections of objects). This language enhancement will be available for XML (XLinq) and is integrated with ADO.Net (DLinq) as well.

    Windows Vista at PDC05

    I never saw something from Vista before PDC so the demos and the info simply blew me away. I definitely was mighty impressed. Great things were shown:
  • My favorite keyboard combination Alt-Tab can still be used, but now you get a graphical preview of all the programs you are running

  • Search is embedded all over Vista, it is an integral part of the OS and you can use it virtually everywhere with the new searchbox

  • You get thumbnails for files - so you get a preview of the contents of word files, excel documents etc... From within explorer view you also see all the metadata of the document which you can also change without having to open the file

  • Vista introduces the notion of virtual folders - these are like prebuilt queries - e.g. show all excel files in the whole of my system, give all documents with a certain metadata field...

  • The sidebar seems to be back, I don't like most sidebars (I definitely didn't like the Office 2000 sidebar) but the one shown yesterday was pretty cool. The really good thing about it is that you can develop your own apps which run inside the sidebar. The RSS sidebar widget was a nice example.

  • Vista has some new builtin system management tools such as Superfetch - this tool enhances your virtual memory management in a significant way. Vista monitors the way you use your computer over a longer period of time (days, weeks,...) and creates a certain usage profile which for example monitors which programs you open frequently. Based on this profile it will preload your most commonly used applications. In the demo we saw they opened a number of applications in a row (Outlook, Word, Excel,...). After a cold boot, it took about 36,8 seconds, with the superfetch it only took 10,5 seconds.

  • And now.... this definitely rocks... you can now use your USB memory sticks as if they are extra virtual memory - yes I did say memory. Want to speed up your system, get some USB memory sticks... (and don't worry about security... they encrypt everything).

  • Tuesday, September 13, 2005

    High expectations for PDC05 concerning SharePoint and MCMS

    I was going over my postings of 2005, just checking all the stuff I wanted to see in next versions of SharePoint:

    SharePoint v3.0 and other speculations (Posting: 2005/06)

    Bill has put together some insights about Office 12 and SharePoint Portal Server v3.0 - of course he knows more, he just can't tell us.

    Here are some of the things I'm betting on (or hoping for ...):
  • SharePoint and CMS will merge together into one product, I guess SharePoint will be the main component and CMS will be available to plug into SharePoint. This model will more or less ressemble the model that IBM uses with their IBM workplaces

  • There will be more extensive support for workflow out of the box, my guess is that they will base it on the Biztalk rule engine - which works pretty good- and add extra webparts for administering human workflow on top. Although you can never rule out that Microsoft will finally acquire one of their workflow partners, be it K2.Net or Captaris

  • IBF will be integrated into Visual Tools for Office and will be further pushed as a way of integrating different systems - a statement I heard today "IBF is the next generation smart tags". Development with 1.5 has already become a lot easier but especially the Office side - smart tag recognizer still isn't easy enough

  • Integration of features of the newly acquired Groove product set into Office 12 - I especially like the Mobile Workspace for SharePoint. Although there are still some serious limitations which need to be solved - See Limitations in using Groove to Offline SharePoint

  • Possibility to publish InfoPath forms on your SharePoint Portal Server through InfoPath Server - clients do not need a full blown version of InfoPath anymore

  • Full localization of the SharePoint environment - it will be possible to change languages at runtime - this information will be dependent on the user who logs into your portal

  • Single document security (This is definitely a must - we have done a huge project based on SharePoint which needed single document security and I can assure you, it is not easy ...) with further enhancements to Rights Management Server

  • Lots of emphasis on charting, scorecards and data analysis - Maestro will use SharePoint as its main UI

  • Full integration with lots and lots of different Microsoft products and solutions, SQL Reporting Services, Project Server, Team Foundation Server, Biztalk,...

  • SharePoint will be RSS enabled out of the box - it will possible to create RSS driven alerts on all items in SharePoint

  • More consistency in the way that SharePoint uses site definitions - admin and user facing pages should both rely on the same server controls to render their content. For those of you who have been playing with AlternateCSS and AlternateHeader now what I'm talking about

  • A plugin for VS.Net to edit site definitions - we know that CAML isn't going away, but at least provide us with better tools...

  • Better integration of WSS and SPS - it would be quite nice that when a site gets deleted it also automatically gets unlisted from the site directory

  • More options to troubleshoot SharePoint search - this is one huge black box for the moment and quite troublesome if you encounter problems

  • Support for 64-bit (of course since this is a common engineering criteria)
  • Update 23 june:I just read this article by Kay Slagman and it pointed me to another thing - mobile support for SharePoint. I don't think this is a must however, ...

  • Update 23 june:Support for database replication - especially when you have SharePoint Portal Servers in different locations, this is a must

  • SPSvNext wishlist (Posting: 2005/02)

    A couple of days ago, Heather published a prediction and wish list for the next version of SharePoint.
    Things she mentionned on her wishlist:
    (1) Late-Bound Security - people hate seeing links that they don't have privileges for
    (2) Better Search Interface - the SPS search engine is great; the interface for entering queries and seeing results is terrible
    (3) Better Customization Tools - You shouldn't have to manually alter CSS and XML files to expose additional functionality
    (4) No more DOS - template publishing should be cleaner... the current generation doesn't know how to use DOS...

    Ok, lets add my wishlist ... (Everybody feel free to add your own in the comments)
    (1) Possibility to attach events to every type of list and not only to the document library
    (2) Real multilanguage scenarios both on Portal as on the site level - come on Bill, just take a look at websphere and learn... ;-)
    (3) Give us single document security
    (4) More integration between the Portal and the WSS sites
    (5) An easier way to develop custom site definitions
    (6) Make it possible to develop webparts like normal usercontrols (this one will probably be done...)
    (7)A different licensing model - create license models which don't need the extra investment in CALS.
    (8)Possibility to replicate data between SharePoint Servers in different geographical locations

    Overview of most important IW postings of 2005 - expectations, speculations and ranting:
  • MCMS and SharePoint architectures merging

  • First glimpse of Office 12

  • SharePoint v3.0 and other speculations

  • MCMS V.Next and MCMS SP2

  • Rumors about CMS and SPS merging

  • SPSvNext wishlist

  • Connected systems, Office 2003, InfoPath and XML

  • Workflow in Office 12

  • Rumors about K2.Net and Microsoft merging denied...

  • WinOE workflow prepared for Whidbey, Longhorn and Office 12 in 2006

  • Workflow solutions on Microsoft Platform

  • mscms

    Sunday, September 11, 2005

    Photos from PDC05 uploaded

    I just upload the first pictures from PDC to my MSN space, go to

    Update: Uploaded the pictures from Sunday ...

    Trip to PDC2005 - Day 1

    After a 12 hour flight to Los Angeles I finally arrived at PDC 2005, ... the hotel is definitely worthwhile, check it out Renaissance Hollywood Hotel. On the flight I had some very interesting talks with somebody from UNeta (Ukraine .Net Alliance - site only in Ukrainian), Viktor Shatokhin. On the way to the hotel, we passed the Convention Center which is located next to the Staples Center (Home of the LA Lakers). More technical stuff coming soon, so check out my blog.

    Wednesday, September 07, 2005

    InfoView evaluation - convert InfoPath forms into pages

    We recently did an evaluation of InfoView (Version 1.0, in the meanwhile a newer version has been released). InfoView is an application which converts InfoPath forms into aspx pages. This way InfoPath forms can be used without having a full InfoPath client installed. This is a very handy utitliy at least untill we will see the new InfoPath server - I expect to see a first demo at PDC

    Points in favor:
  • Forms are very nicely converted, even detailed style elements such as dotted lines for mandatory fields

  • Very easy procedure to convert InfoPath forms

  • Effective solution for not to complex forms

  • Points in minus:
  • Not all controls and control properties are converted (Improved in version 2.0)

  • Script validation for controls is not converted. These scripts have to be rewritten in the aspx pages

  • Date picker loses formatting and validation (Improved in version 2.0)

  • Section: only possible to use shading for conditional formatting

  • No custom commands converted for optional sections, repeating sections or repeating tables

  • Master/detail control not supported

  • Choice group control, the default option is shown but it is not possible to switch to other options

  • This product shows promise but we will definitely need to reevaluate the new version of the product. It seems that I will get an opportunity at PDC as well,InfoView 2.0 at PDC 05

    Tuesday, September 06, 2005

    My PDC schedule

    The schedule is still a little bit tight and I still have to make some choices but these are roughly the sessions I want to follow...

    Tuesday, September 13
    8:30 AM - 11:30 AM  
    11:45 AM - 1:00 PM  
    11:45 AM - 12:30 PM  
     FUNL02 Lap around the WinFX and Win32 SDKs   515 AB     
    1:00 PM - 2:15 PM  
     OFF201 ''Office 12'': Introduction to the Programmable Customization Model for the "Office 12" User Experience (Part 1)   515 AB     
    2:45 PM - 4:00 PM  
     OFF302 ''Office 12'': Developing with the Programmable Customization Model for the "Office 12" User Experience (Part 2)   402 AB     
    4:15 PM - 5:30 PM  
     DAT307 Windows Vista: Exploiting New Capabilities for Search and Organization   402 AB     
     OFF304 Assembling, Repurposing and Manipulating Document Content Using the New Office File Format   406 AB     
    9:00 PM - 10:00 PM  
    10:00 PM - 11:00 PM  
    11:00 PM - 12:00 AM  

    Wednesday, September 14
    8:30 AM - 10:30 AM  
    11:00 AM - 12:15 PM  
     OFF306 "InfoPath 12": Creating Browser-Based Forms for Enabling Data and Application Integration   502 AB     
    12:30 PM - 1:15 PM  
     COML01 Case Study: Revolutionizing Microsoft Axapta—Harnessing Web Services, Workflow and SharePoint   403 AB     
    1:45 PM - 3:00 PM  
     COM210 Introduction to Workflow in Windows Applications   150/151 (Hall E)     
     OFF307 "Access 12": Developing Collaboration Solutions with "Access 12" and Windows SharePoint Services "v3"   411     
     OFF308 Windows SharePoint Services 'v3': Creating and Defining Custom Templates, Sites, Features, and Solutions   501 ABC     
    3:15 PM - 4:30 PM  
     OFF409 Windows SharePoint Services: Advancements in Document, Content, and Data Storage   409 AB     
    5:00 PM - 6:15 PM  
     OFF310 Windows SharePoint Services: Developing Collaboration and Tracking Applications   402 AB     

    Thursday, September 15
    8:30 AM - 9:30 AM  
    10:00 AM - 11:15 AM  
     OFF313 Web Content Management Application Development and Engine Extensibility   404 AB     
    11:30 AM - 12:45 PM  
     OFF415 Windows SharePoint Services: Developing Custom Workflows   408 AB     
    1:00 PM - 1:45 PM  
    2:15 PM - 3:30 PM  
     OFF405 Windows SharePoint Services: Using ASP.NET 2.0 Technology to Extend Pages, Sites, and Server Farms   518     
    3:45 PM - 5:00 PM  
     OFF319 ''InfoPath 12'': Developing Forms for the Smart Client and the Browser   502 AB     
    5:15 PM - 6:30 PM  
     PRS329 Windows Presentation Foundation ("Avalon"): Building User Interface with Advanced Layout Techniques   152/153 (Hall F)     
    9:00 PM - 10:00 PM  
    10:00 PM - 11:00 PM  
    11:00 PM - 12:00 AM  

    Friday, September 16
    8:30 AM - 10:00 AM  
    8:30 AM - 9:45 AM  
     OFF322 Building a Solution Using a Spreadsheet in Server-Based Scenarios   404 AB     
    10:30 AM - 11:45 AM  
     OFF323 Building Business Intelligence Solutions Using "Excel 12" and SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services   404 AB     
    10:30 AM - 12:00 PM  
    12:00 PM - 12:45 PM  
     DATL03 Tips, Tricks & Hacks to MSN Search and Desktop Search Platforms   403 AB  

    Monday, September 05, 2005

    Harnessing properties in SharePoint Search - Feedback

    Patrick pointed to an article from Robert Bogue on Intranet Journal - Harnessing properties in SharePoint Search. This is definitely a must read for SharePoint developers...

    There is however something he talks about which is not correct:
    ...But this also means that non-Office documents don't share the same relationship between fields in the document library and the properties of the document itself. So if you're trying to develop a searching mechanism for documents like TIF documents or PDFs, you'll find that setting up a meta data field for those document libraries won't allow you to search for those documents directly via their properties. You'll still be able to organize the information...

    There first sentence is true, property demotion only works with Office. But then there is a mistake, you can still search by property even when the document is not an Office format - property demotion does not affect your ability to search a document based on the metadata assigned to it in a document library. I tried it with SharePoint Portal Server 2003 with Adobe IFilter 6.0 installed and it worked...

    Friday, September 02, 2005

    Belux Information Worker User Group (BIWUG) and PDC

    BIWUG is a brand new User Group in both Belgium and Luxemburg which will focus on Information Worker Technology like Sharepoint,Office, CMS, IBF, etc... We are currently busy setting up our new site on (which will be a SharePoint site off course). If you want to find out more check out our (temporary) site -

    The primary goal of the Belux Information Worker User Group (abbreviated as BIWUG) is to be a central meeting point for the Information Worker community in Belgium and Luxemburg. BIWUG members are people, technical and non-technical, who are interested in Microsoft Information Worker products and technologies. We cover the whole range of products and technologies that influence in some way or another the daily activities of the information worker. BIWUG is there to provide the members the needed organization, infrastructure and support to share their experiences, learn about products and technologies in a different way then at Microsoft organized events, seminars or trainings, discuss problems with other members or IW peers in round-the-table sessions, get product demonstrations from third-party vendors, and much more. BIWUG will be registered as an INETA user group. Read more on INETA at

    The first meeting will be held on the 22th of september at Dolmen in Huizingen. One of the main topics will be what to expect in the coming months in the area of Information Worker. At Microsoft’s Professional Developer Conference 2005 in Los Angeles September we can expect a lot of new information about Office 12 and SharePoint. BIWUG will be one of the first places where you can learn more about all these new exciting things.