Saturday, August 23, 2008

Installing the SharePoint Infrastructure Update

I finally got around to installing the SharePoint infrastructure update on MOSS dev machine. Everything went very smoothly ... I had SP1 already installed (yes that's a prerequisite) so just three steps for me

  1. First installed the update for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (KB951695). Cancel out of the "SharePoint 3.0 Products and Technologies Configuration Wizard".
  2. Install Infrastructure Update for Microsoft Office Servers (KB951297)
  3. Run the "SharePoint 3.0 Products and Technologies Configuration Wizard".

What's included in the Infrastructure update for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server:

For detailed information take a look at:

Be aware though that there are also some things that you have to watch out for when deploying these updates - I  think these are the main problem areas:


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Why Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 might interest SharePoint developers ...

One of the reasons why Dynamics AX 2009 might be of interesting to SharePoint Developers is the Enterprise Portal functionality. Enterprise Portal in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 is built on, it uses Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 or Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and provides full power and flexibility  to  developers to build real , modern , interactive and responsive web applications for intranet, extranet and internet scenarios.

Resources [All links require Partnersource login]:

Friday, August 15, 2008

Podcasting Kit for SharePoint (PKS) on Codeplex

The Podcasting Kit for SharePoint is definitely one of the coolest projects on Codeplex using SharePoint -

So what does Podcasting Kit for SharePoint (PKS) do:

  • It provides a platform for delivering audio/video podcasts (with support for Zune, Smartphone or other podcasting devices).
  • I has a built-in rating system, tag cloud support and feedback through comments.
  • Provide RSS feeds for updates about podcasts which are being delivered.
  • Provides a Silverlight-based media plyer with support for progressive playback.

The source code for PKS is free for SharePoint customers under the Microsoft Public License.

I started playing around with PKS in june and after struggling to work myself through the 35 pages of installation documentation - I noticed that the June release was not compatible with Silverlight 2 Beta 2 (Bummer .... :-( ). Another important notice - PKS has been built to work on top of SharePoint Server 2007 - it does not work with WSS 3.0.

So what's new/fixed in the july release (still no support for Silverlight 2Beta 2 - expected for august release)

  • Large file upload support via http and silverlight
  • Podcaster search functionality working as designed
  • RSS feeds working as designed
  • Publish dates displaying correctly
  • The RSS feeds have been updated to handle podcasting tags for any kind which will allow any podcast catching software to read them.
  • The documentation has been updated significantly with many user-feedback requests added. One item that is specifically addressed in the documentation is the post installation configuration.

Can't wait to get my hands on the august release ....

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

How to increase SharePoint user adoption

Adoption is definitely the toughest part about SharePoint projects ... if you want your project to be a success  a "build and users will come"-strategy is not a good approach. The next tips are a compilation of an email discussion with some other MVPs about user adoption.

  1. Communication - involve people early. Provide a sandbox to play with before the production system system is ready. Provide short informal training sessions. This goes a long way, but it’s not enough.
  2. Education and training  are key components for success. Try to use a "train-the-trainer" principle so that people within the organization will promote your solution.
  3. People will resist change so deal with it. So people don't like it when something looks, and or acts differently than what they people are used to.  Through customization and development, you should be able to deliver a much more familiar experience and subsequently promote user-adoption. “Delivering a familiar experience” is good, but a lot of SharePoint concepts are just plain different, and people do need to change how they think. That’s hard, no way around it. Instead of a familiar experience, I aim for an obvious experience.
  4. Use the "What's in it for me" principle. People probably won't use your SharePoint solution just for the fun of it (well some of them will).  So try to explain them the benefits using examples out of their daily work routine. If that doesn't work you can always try to appeal to their better nature, appeal to their egos. You don’t need to reward people with free stuff, but some sort of recognition for “most docs migrated” or “most posts” or any sort of recognition at all goes a long way.  You can even take it one step furhter by integrate SharePoint within role descriptions/responsibilities.
  5. Look for senior sponsorship/leadership within the organization. People are sheep so look for need a senior project sponsor to actually use it and make it the way they do business.

Don't take the list above for an exhaustive list - you will probably come up with some other thoughts. Don't hesitate and leave a comment.

Other resources:

Installing Visual Studio 2008 SP1

I just finished installing Visual Studio 2008 SP1 (after cleaning up for extra disk space on C-drive).

Interesting new functionality/enhancements (something unusual for a service pack):

  • ASP.Net MVC
  • ASP.NET Dynamic Data
  • ASP.NET AJAX Back/Forward Button History Support
  • ASP.Net Routing (System.Web.Routing)
  • ADO.NET Data Services
  • ADO.NET Entity Framework
  • WCF 3.5 SP1
  • .NET Framework Client Profile : a trimmed subset of the full .NET 3.5 SP1 framework, targeted towards desktop/client applications. The trimming offers a few benefits - smaller size will make it easier to deploy online , trimmed API reduces the surface area of the framework on the client
  • SQL 2008 support for Visual Studio (I was waiting for this one :-))
  • Visual Studio Support for Classic ASP Intellisense and Debugging



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  • Monday, August 11, 2008

    Announcing International SharePoint Professionals Association (ISPA)

    International SharePoint Professionals Association (“ISPA”) was announced mid july - see the press release as well as the announcement of Bob Fox for more details. I'm proud to work together with them as the ISPA Regional Evangelist for Belgium. I also registered BIWUG on their site. So if you have any questions - do not hesitate to contact me (but first check out the FAQ)

    The International SharePoint Professionals Association (“ISPA”) is the first independent, community-run, not-for-profit organization designed specifically for SharePoint Professionals. ISPA is a professional association dedicated to the promotion and global adoption of Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies.  The Association provides support and guidance to the community  by establishing connections between SharePoint professionals and groups, resources, education and information.

    Services which currently are available through the ISPA web site:

    • SharePoint User Groups can request their own web site - Submit a request
    • Add your user group to the listing - Submit your information here.

    Definitely check out the site -

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    Tuesday, August 05, 2008

    Getting started with SharePoint and Silverlight - Part II - Update for Silverlight 2 Beta2

    In Getting started with SharePoint and Silverlight - Part II I talked about the Silverlight Blueprints for SharePoint. With the recent release of Silverlight 2 Beta2 I was wondering how easy it would be to get the Silverlight BluePrint to work with it. Unfortunately, things did not work quite easily - for an overview of changes in beta2  take a look at

    For the HelloSilverlight sample the change is pretty simple:

    • Rebuild Silverlight applications and copy the XAP file to the clientbin directory
    • Remove the version property for the SilverlightControl - this seems to be removed in beta2.
    • Rebuild and deploy to the GAC. Perform iisreset.

    If you look at the Silverlight Mediaviewer webpart you will notice that this one is a little more complicated to update to Silverlight 2.0 beta.

    The main problem with SharePoint integration and  Silverlight 2.0 beta 2 is the change  to HttpWebRequest class - delegates are called on a new non-UI  background thread. This means that you will need to use System.Threading.SynchronizationContext to update the UI on the background thread. It took me a while to figure this one out ... after I finally found the solution I found this great posting about the necessary changes (would have spared me a couple of hours) - Porting the Silverlight Blueprints for SharePoint to Silverlight 2 Beta2.

    Monday, August 04, 2008

    Interesting free SharePoint platform extensions

    Here are another couple of interesting tools that you can use to extend SharePoint - happy SharePointing

    • Community Kit for SharePoint - especially the Enhanced Blog edition and the Enhanced Wiki Edition are quite interesting ...
    • Search Community Toolkit - The Search Community Toolkit is comprised of a number of tools and code samples that have been contributed to enhance the Microsoft search experience (Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS) Search, Search Server 2008 and Search Server 2008 Express).  Most of them were already available but there are some new additions as well such as the Search ASP.NET controls - these controls replicate the Search Box and Core Results Web Parts but as ASP.NET Server Controls bound to the search web service. This way you can easily integrate it into your own web site.
    • RSS Reader webpart - This web part serves as an alternative for the MOSS RSS Viewer web part, especially if you do not have MOSS or if you need to display RSS feeds on a WSS site. I needed to write this web part for that exact reason, I didn't have MOSS and I needed an RSS web part on my WSS site. The web part is Ajax enabled for faster page loads.
    • Poll web part - Provides the ability to quickly and easily place a poll onto a site and get feeback from end users, without making them jump to a different page.
    • SharePoint SearchCoder - allows you to use the Search object model in a cleaner fashion.

    OBA Composition Reference Toolkit

    OBAs' (Office Business Applications) are an interesting concept but unfortunately I don't see a lot of traction in Belgium. Here's a short recap of what OBA's are about:

    Office Business Applications are an emerging class of applications that helps business unlock the value of their line-of-business (LOB) systems and turn document-based  processes into real applications.

    Agnes has some interesting postings about the OBA Composition Reference Toolkit

    Related resources:

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    MSDN Chopsticks - ASP.NET MVC

    My colleague Maarten created some very nice MSDN chopsticks (webcasts) about the ASP.NET MVC framework - check them out