Thursday, June 29, 2006

Project GlidePath and Project Real

Stumbled today on Project GlidePath - Project Glidepath is a Microsoft-developed, community-supported, platform for building applications from web to desktop to mobile with one common denominator: Windows Vista.

Project Glidepath delivers workflow-based guidance, code, templates and other content via a software factory, a Visual Studio add-in, consisting of tools for building a product which is a member of a product family.

Another interesting initiative is Project Real which is a complete sample solution for Business Intelligence with Microsoft SQL Server 2005 - it includes
1. A set of instructions for setting up the environment
2. Guidance on how to explore the implementation
3. A sample relational data warehouse database (a subset of the Project REAL data warehouse)
4. A sample source database (from which we pull incremental updates)
5. SSIS packages that implement the ETL operations
6. An SSAS cube definition and scripts for processing the cube from the sample warehouse
7. Sample SSRS reports
8. Sample data mining models for predicting out-of-stock conditions in stores
9. Sample client views in briefing books for the Proclarity and Panorama BI front-end tools

Have fun with it ...

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Disable warning on right-click in SharePoint document library explorer view

When you switch a SharePoint document library to explorer view, you can directly copy documents from within explorer view to your desktop. However, when you perform a right click in a SharePoint document library, you get a warning "running a system command on this item might be unsafe. Do you wish to continue?"

This is actually caused by a security setting in Internet Explorer - to remove this warning, you need to perform the next steps: Go to Tools > Internet options in Internet Explorer. Select the second tab Security and click Custom level. Under the miscellaneous section, you will see Launching program and files in IFrame. Change the radiobutton to enable.

PS Thanks Tom ...

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Monday, June 19, 2006

Office 2007, SharePoint Server 2007 and Windows SharePoint Services V3 beta2 and Link Galore (beta)v5

Here it is again, ... another round of links about 2007 Office System ... Microsoft has announced a lot of new cool stuff at TechEd US amongst others LOBi and Office Business Applications, MOM management packs for MOSS2007 and WSS v3.0 have been announced, etc ...

SharePoint 2007 - General information

Resource kits

  • ECM Starter Kit for Beta2 - contains ECM feature extension code samples, supplemental developer white papers, and Microsoft® Visual Studio project templates for workflow in Microsoft Office SharePoint® Server 2007 - SharePoint Sequential Workflow Library & SharePoint State Machine Workflow Library (Beta 2 version).

Microsoft Sites

Architecture and administration

Developer documentation

VSTO - Visual Studio Tools for Office and Office 2007

Microsoft Product team blogs

Office 2007 Clients

Tools and utilities

Windows SharePoint Services 3.0

SharePoint - functional enhancements

SharePoint community

Webcasts & Videos


Business Intelligence

SharePoint 2007 - developer stuff

Records Management

SharePoint Designer 2007


Migration/upgrade to MOSS 2007

Web Content Management

Business Data Catalog

LOBi and Office Business Applications

SharePoint conference material

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

More about LOBi, SharePoint 2007 and Office Business Application (OBA) Services

A short link overview:

  • TechEd : LOBi and Office System unveiled - Office Systems 2007 will include a series of common services (=Office Business Application Services) such as business process/data repository, search, security components, UI components,workflow and XML file formats
  • Microsoft opens next versions of Office, SharePoint to developers - On June 12, company officials announced that they have christened six Office 2007 and SharePoint Server 2007 platform technologies as "Office Business Application (OBA) Services."
  • Microsoft previews LOBi (Line Of Business interoperability) for SharePoint Server
  • Want a Duet of your own, try SharePoint - LOBi will be the seventh Office Business Application service, officials said. These services are designed to enable developers to create applications of their own that are like the "Duet" Microsoft-SAP mash-up.
  • Microsoft outlines app integration plan in TechEd keynote - In his keynote, Capossela said unified communications and collaboration was one component of the strategy, along with enterprise content management and business intelligence. This will all be delivered through Microsoft's Office 2007 System, in products like Office Sharepoint Server 2007 and Office Enterprise 2007, the engineering of which is on track to be completed by October 2006, Capossela said.
  • Office Business Application Services & Dynamics - Think of OBA as the platform support for "business mash-ups" in Office. To date we have been using Sharepoint 2.0 on the server and VSTO on the client in Office 2003 for our integration. With Office 2007, we get many additional services across - on the server we get Business Data Catalog, Workflow, better provider models for security & search, new Excel server; and on the client new UX extensibility; Open XML Formats. All these services enable developers to start using Office as the "data middle tier" and "client" that "composes" multiple back end applications into more "role centric" experiences ... Dynamics AX 4.0, being released at Tech Ed, has its entire portal in Sharepoint. Dynamics SNAP apps are great examples of "business mash-ups" we deliver using VSTO and enable Word, Excel and Outlook to get at any business entity from within Dynamics in the context of the Office document. Its important to note that "out of the box" Office 2007 OBA services will work with Dynamics given that work we have already done exposing Dynamics in Sharepoint and also general Web Services infrastructure in Dynamics. That said we will exploit some of the new capabilities in Office 2007. For example in Dynamics GP 10.0 (early CY 07), will go further and embed Office 2007 Server and exploit BDC, BI, search and workflow capabilities.

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Office Business Applications andLOBi for Office SharePoint Server

Quite an interesting press release - Microsoft unveils Office Business Application Strategy, marrying enterprise applications with Microsoft Office - here are some of the most interesting excerpts:

Introducing LOBi for Office SharePoint Server, New Capabilities Enabling Traditional Business Applications to Deeply Integrate into the Familiar Office Environment

The development of Office Business Applications is made possible by new platform capabilities in the 2007 Microsoft® Office system. These capabilities are called Office Business Application (OBA) Services and consist of: workflow; search; the Business Data Catalog; a new, extensible user interface; Microsoft Office Open XML Formats; and the Web Site and Security Framework. These services can be used to extend Microsoft Office system investments in business intelligence, unified communications and collaboration, and enterprise content management, as well as other business applications by ISVs or corporate developers.

Microsoft also announced LOBi (line-of-business interoperability) for Microsoft Office SharePoint® Server. LOBi for SharePoint Server is a future set of capabilities that will work together with Microsoft Office client applications and Office SharePoint Server 2007. LOBi enables deep structured process integration with Office client applications, the ability for people to update transactional applications from within Microsoft Office, and the ability to more securely take structured business processes and data offline. A technical preview of LOBi for Office SharePoint Server will be available at the end of 2006.


Underpinning connectivity and process integration with line-of-business applications, Microsoft also announced plans to deliver the BizTalk® Adapter Pack, a set of line-of-business application adapters that simplify the connectivity between the 2007 Microsoft Office system and other applications.


"LOBi for Office SharePoint Server provides a clear path for developers and industry partners to solve one of the biggest problems facing IT: making business applications that end users actually embrace because the interfaces are familiar and in the context of where they do their work," said Lewis Levin, corporate vice president of the Office Business Applications Group at Microsoft. "The customer value of deep interoperability between Microsoft Office and business applications has been validated by Microsoft Dynamics(TM) business management solutions and products like Duet, our joint product with SAP. By building LOBi on Office SharePoint Server, we allow customers to get started today creating Office Business Applications and then grow with LOBi when it becomes available."

Microsoft Dynamics CRM and ERP business solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics AX, which was also announced today at TechEd, take advantage of Office Business Application Services for close integration with the 2007 Office system. Microsoft Dynamics solutions will also utilize LOBi as it continues to expand on these capabilities.

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SkyScrapr - your window on architectural perspective

I just found this interesting site on which the team of Ron Jacobs (product manager for Microsoft's Patterns & Practices team) has been working for educating folks on Architecture - check out Skyscrapr and see what they are saying about themselves:

"You can't build a stable system without a good plan. And you can't develop a good plan without a strong model that fits the needs of the organization. A coherent vision of how all of a system's parts need to come together that protects you. Without a plan you risk inefficiency, or even chaos, for your organization.

How essential is good system architecture? It can be the difference between growth and stagnation, availability and breakdown, or success and failure.

Skyscrapr is your window on the architectural perspective. Discover the different disciplines of system architecture, as well as perspectives on building successful systems. Check out our architects' blogs, learn about industry trends, download webcasts, watch videos, find training, and more."

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Microsoft PerformancePoint Server 2007 previously known as BizSharp Server

I read about it a long time ago when it is was still called BizSharp server (See Microsoft werkt in het geheim aan BizSharp Server - article only in Dutch) - but now it is official - here are some article excerpts from Microsoft to bulk up Office Business Intelligence:

The Office PerformancePoint Server 2007, due mid-2007, will provide a set of programs geared at helping knowledge workers to make more informed decisions.

The package, formerly code-named "Biz Sharp," will include a server and tools for analyzing data, creating "scorecards" for measuring corporate health, and planning applications.


Office PerformancePoint Server will have tools for data analysis, corporate scorecards, and planning applications, Levin said. For example, a finanical controller could create a forecast for spending on marketing in the coming year and measure progress periodically.


Office PerformancePoint Server will include the business intelligence software from ProClarity, a company which Microsoft acquired in April. The ProClarity tools, as well as an existing Microsoft program for scorecards, will continue to be sold separately, Levin said.

Also take a look at Ian Tiens posting - Follow-on version to Business Scorecard Manager - see what he writes:

From the publicly available information, you can see that PerformancePoint is going to bring together scorecards and KPIs from BSM05, with analytical assets from the Proclarity acquisition as well as additional functionality from a project codenamed "BizSharp".

Check out PerformancePoint Server press release and Microsoft PerformancePoint Server on Office Online

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.Net Framework 3.0 = WinFX + .Net Framework 2.0

Kirk Allen Evans has a great posting about the different components in .Net Framework 3.0 in which he describes .Net Framework 3.0 as an additive release to .Net Framework 2.0, adding WF (Workflow Foundation formerly known as WinOE), WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation formerly known as Avalon), WCF (Windows Communication Foundation formerly known as Indigo and WCS(Windows CardSpace formerly known as InfoCard), ... Also take a look at the original post from Somasegar about .Net Framework 3.0.

I think this name change will cause a lot of confusion - you have the .Net compiler 2.0 which works with the .Net Framework 3.0 ...Mmmm - let's vote for keeping WinFX.

After reading the feedback from Brad Abrams in Towards .Net Framework 3.0 as well as Even More on .Net Framework 3.0 I kind of understand the reasoning behind this all. For some more interesting background information about the strategy behind .Net Framework 3.0, take a look at the posting from Joe Wilcox - .Net puts on weight.

There also is a new website available to host available content about NetFX3 -

P.S. I also have to admit that I did not recognize the WCS acronym at first, ... I always dismissed InfoCard as something that infrastructure or IT Pro should care about not developers... maybe I have to catch up on this new stuff as well.

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Sunday, June 11, 2006

Scoble leaving Microsoft

It is quite funny, normally you don't get that much fuzz about a "PR" guy leaving a company ... but this one seems to attract some attention in the blogosphere - Scoble - Microsoft's blogging guy by excellence - is leaving Microsoft to go and work for PodTech.Net. Some guys took the opportunities to bash Microsoft to which Scoble already responded - Correcting the record about Microsoft . Chris Pirillo has a nice list of postings about Scobble leaving...

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Saturday, June 10, 2006

Zoundry, Omea Reader and Windows Live Mail Desktop

My portable got stolen this week and so I had to get a new one, after I received it I noticed that the new master install did not contain Outlook Express anymore and since Windows Live Mail Desktop is not available yet ( By the way, it looks way cool - mails, RSS feeds and newsgroups all in one place - check out Channel 9 about Windows Live Mail ... ) I started using Omea Reader which also has these features. I also decided to give a new blogging tool a try - no, I'm not (yet) using Word 2007 for blogging- so I installed Zoundry Blog Writer as well

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Monday, June 05, 2006

To pdf or not to pdf?

I guess this news is going around in all of the blogosphere - Microsoft has to remove its "save as pdf..." because Adobe seems to threaten with a lawsuit. I think it is still unclear what is the rationale behind this decision from Adobe... but this definitly seems like a dumb move especially since Open Office has implemented the same functionality and Adobe didn't complain about it either... I guess the title of Peters posting says it all - "Is Open Software not open for everyone?"

Here are some interesting posts about this topic:
  • Open XML formats: legal issues around PDF support- Definitely take a look at the comments, they are definitely an interesting read - also take a look at the follow up

  • Microsoft to Adobe: let's make a deal

  • Will Adobe take its Microsoft malcontent to the courtroom?

  • Slashdot on the Microsoft-Adobe stand off- Always fun to read to unbiased comments on slashdot ;-) ...

  • Microsoft, Adobe squabble over PDF

  • It's back

  • >Is Open Software not open for everyone?
  • Sunday, June 04, 2006

    More on architecture - are you a snob ?

    I posted an article about architecture and architects a couple of weeks ago ... where Jelle added his comments upon - defining himself as a technical solutions architect. Just a couple of days after - Hans posted about the snob - ism of architecture and Jelle added some comments.

    I just love these blog conversations ;-) ...

    Does Microsoft care about UML?

    I recently stumbled upon a posting from Roy Osherove - Q&A: Microsoft, UML and Software Factories. I'm going to take out some snippets and comment on these:

    Microsoft have sort of adapted an easy to use and understand version of the UML. They took the basic idea of shapes and arrows and made it work on the level of a specific domain which is in turn used in a Software Factory.

    This is actually the first point where I definitely see some problems - one of the goals of UML was to provide a standard for modelling software. Creating your own version of it, seems to defeat the purpose of having a standard. I recently read an interview with Jim Rumbaugh about it - Rumbaugh was one of the "Three Amigos", stating:

    Q: Microsoft is not really supporting UML. Theyve told me they dont see that much demand for it. What kind of problems does that present?
    A: Well see if theyre really on board or not. Theyre supporting it in some ways, too. They seem to cover all bets. I bet if they find [that] enough people want it, theyll come around eventually, if they cant beat people into doing it their way. But again, a lot of people seem to think UML is useful. And just because Microsoft says something else, [that] doesnt mean its not going to happen. They havent managed to have it their way in every possible area, thats for sure.

    Next comes this statement from Roy Osherove:

    In projects where you are forced to write so much documentation and use cases using UML it usually turns out to be a very complicated set of design docs that developers have trouble reading. When they finally get to reading the whole thing its usually way out of date anyway and one has to talk to the man who actually wrote the thing. See? *Communication* always wins.
    This is not a statement about the merits of UML but it says something about the way you organise your project - I think that UML provides a bridge between your business analysts and your technical architects. It is vital that these two have some common grounds where they can discuss things clearly. Communication is indeed essential in a project but you definitely need some things in writing as well.

    So, in short UML is too complicated, most people dont know even half of it. Microsoft tries to make it simpler and more usable in the real world of its tools.

    I have to agree with this statement - lots of people really don't understand UML or use only parts of it. But I think there is nothing wrong with only using parts of it - some types of projects don't really need all of those UML different diagrams. But at least Visual Studio should have added support for genuine UML as well, next to the "simpler Microsoft-tasted UML"... Hey, maybe we will see it pop up again in Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Business Analysts ...

    I heard another interesting statement about UML recently - "UML has marked its end since it does not fit the SOA design principles - the alternative is DSL" Anyone care to comment on this?