Thursday, September 25, 2008

Compacting virtual harddisks (vhds)

When you are busy setting up a new virtual environment you will notice that dynamically expanding disks only grow in size - they don't compact automatically when you clean up your disks. If you want to reduce the size follow the next steps:

  • Load your virtual pc image and from the the CD menu, select Capture ISO Image and browse to the Virtual PC additions directory, which is %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Virtual PC\Virtual Machine Additions by default.
  • Mount Virtual Disk Precompactor.iso. The precompactor will start automatically.
  • When it's finished, shut down the guest OS.
  • Open the Virtual Disk Wizard from the Virtual PC menu and select Edit existing disk, next choose the compact option - this can take a while to complete

For more info take a look at KB888760 - How to prepare a Virtual Server 2005 virtual hard disk file to send to Microsoft Product Support Services

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Troubleshooting errors for InfoPath forms deployed on SharePoint

I was deploying some InfoPath forms today and testing them out when I stumbled on the not so helpfull error "An error occurred while submitting the form". Luckily SharePoint offers a logging system which allows you tune at what level you want to get error logging. So I went to SharePoint Central Admin > Operations > Diagnostic Logging (Underneath the Logging and Reporting section). Next select the Event Category - Forms Services Runtime and change the Trace Log to Verbose. This showed me that the there was actually an error with the filename of the InfoPath which was composed right before the submit action.

If you want to visualize the SharePoint ULS logs within SharePoint it might be a good idea to install the SharePoint Log Viewer feature from the SharePoint features project on Codeplex. The latest version (build also allows you to open the latest log file (the previous version gave an error that the file was locked.)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Patterns & practices - SharePoint guidance on Codeplex

The Patterns&Patrices group is providing information on how to build SharePoint Intranet applications at . The site provides regular alpha drops of a reference implementation (a training management application) that demonstrates how to correctly use SharePoint as development platform - take a look at SharePoint guidance Vision and Scope document for more information.

Project Description
We plan to provide guidance to customers on how to build SharePoint Intranet Applications. This includes guidance on how to Architect, Design, and Develop applications as well as best practices.

Intended Audience
This guidance is intended for software architects and software developers who are building applications on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server. Familiarity with Windows SharePoint Services, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server, and ASP.NET is useful for evaluating the guidance.

Take a look at the latest drop - SPG Drop 9-9-2008

Monday, September 08, 2008

Be carefull of tech speak ...

Interesting posting - What language are we speaking? - which I must admit has a lot of truth to it. We seem to take it for granted that everybody understands all of those terms that we are using - next is a list of terms I noticed myself using during a customer presentation:

Thesaurus, taxonomies ,relevancy ranking ,metadata, information architecture,faceted search,Web 2.0,Blogs, Wikis,content types, web parts, findability,usability,information design, governance model,...

And things get even worse when we are using acronyms such as:


Next time if you are using these terms maybe take some time to explain them.

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Saturday, September 06, 2008

Patrick, you will be missed

Life is full of unexpected things and not always for the good - so it was with great disbelief that I heard about the passing away of Patrick Tisseghem. Patrick was one of the big icons in the SharePoint community.

I met him a couple of times at conferences but it wasn't until in august 2005 that we started working/talking a lot more when Patrick came up with the idea to start a Belgium SharePoint user group. So in august 2005 we started BIWUG of which Patrick was the president. He quicly managed to get a group of enthousiast together to spread the word about SharePoint as a platform. So I learned to know him a little bit more as  a very gentle and easy going guy who was always in for a couple of beers  or a little bit of fun. He knew his stuff but never seemed to brag about it ...

I wish his family, friends and colleagues all the best during this terribly difficult time. If you have any memories of Patrick that you would like to share with his family, please send them to

Monday, September 01, 2008