Saturday, December 27, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Presentations BIWUG december 2008

The last BIWUG session was a success with over 60 persons present. Unfortunately I had to send out a mail to some people to tell them that we were overbooked.

I just uploaded the presentations on our BIWUG site:

If you are interested in presenting a session just leave a comment.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Installing Expression Encoder 2.0 on Windows Server 2003 SP1

I had some problems when installing Expression Encoder 2.0 (Available through MSDN or download Expression Encoder 2.0 Trial) on my Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1. It kept on nagging about an incorrect version of Windows Installer.

Setup requires a minimum Windows Installer version 3.1.4000.2435 and detected version 3.1.4000.1830. Please update your system and run Setup again.

But when you look for the latest version of Windows Installer you will find this one - Windows Installer 3.1 Redistributable (v2) which will not install on Windows Server 2003 SP1. Instead use this one - Update for Windows Server 2003 SP1 Service Pack 1 (KB898715). Restart your server and continue installing Expression Encoder.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

SharePoint Governance Presentation

Thursday I will be doing a session at the CM Innovation Event about SharePoint Governance.

Session abstract: Because of the viral nature of SharePoint -  without effective governance - SharePoint will only replicate your business’ existing problems at a faster rate and on a larger scale than you thought possible! In this session we will focus on some key principles for developing a SharePoint Governance plan and show you how you can manage risks when deploying or running a SharePoint environment.

Registration is free.

Monday, December 01, 2008

SharePoint - It's all about making the right choices and decisions - Part II - One or multiple site decisions

Part 1 - It's all about making the right choices and decisions: Visual Studio Workflow Extensions vs SharePoint Designer

Site collections allow for your intranet to scale as well as provide for a model where it is easier to delegate control to power users for specific subsets of your portal.

Most people will tell you that you will need to have multiple site collections because of the database size restrictions but this is just a myth. There is no physical restriction on your database size, there's only the constraint of how long your backup/restore might take. For some background info - How large for a single SharePoint database as well as Tips on site collection sizing and How many databases for my x TBs of data? and SharePoint deployment capacity & performance planning 2003 & 2007 - what you need to know

There are however some other reasons for using multiple site collections  - one of the main reasons being a controllable management of security. Security groups are shared at the site collection level so you will have one specific group of owners,members and readers for each division. When you use multiple site collections it will be easier to delegate security settings to the site collection administrator. 

Some more background information:

LOL - The Simpsons mock (M)Apple

Saturday, November 29, 2008

SharePoint WCM - Quick start guide

If you walk through the next links you will be up and running with SharePoint WCM development in a couple of hours:

You might also want to check my blog series about WCM:

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Shift Happens

I just stumbled upon another YouTube video (based on the original Did you know video) about the change we will be facing - this time in Dutch - Shift Happens.

The message is quite clear - change is omnipresent and it's pace will only accelerate. This message is very powerfull but still lots of organizations don't seem to grasp it's impact. This is my favourite quote out of the vid:

We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

Albert Einstein

The original Did you know video was based upon a presentation given by Karl Fisch. There's another update called -  Did you know 2.0. For some more background take a look at 

PS The music on the original Did you know video was taken from The last of the Mohicans soundtrack - great movie.

Related posts:

Thursday, November 20, 2008

December 8th - BIWUG on SharePoint, Silverlight and e-ID

We are ready to restart BIWUG so expect a number of planned sessions in the coming months. We start off by organizing another BIWUG meeting on December 8th:

18:00-18:30 - Registration and welcome

18:30-18:45 - Introduction

18:45-19u45 - Silverlight and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007

Microsoft recently released Silverlight 2.0 - it's latest version of the framework to build Rich Internet Applications. This session will start off with looking at how Silverlight works and how you can use it as a developer. In the second part we will explore some examples of how you can integrate SharePoint and Silverlight.

Speakers: Gill Cleeren ( and Joris Poelmans ( )

19:45-20:00 - Break

20:00 -21:00 - Integrating e-ID and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007

More than ever, applications will use eID for securing online transactions, spreading and obtaining information and for the signing of documents. eID will be available for every Belgian citizen in 2009.

In our presentation we will talk about:

  • What is eID? What are the business benefits?
  • What are the pitfalls of eID implementations?
  • How can we integrate eID with SharePoint in an efficient way?

Speakers: Michiel Scharpé and Benny Glassée

Event location:

Microsoft België
Corporate Village
Da Vincilaan 3
1935 Zaventem

Win Free versions of Visual Studio 2008

We will give away a number of free versions of Visual Studio 2008 to the attendees of this BIWUG event.

Register for this event

SharePoint - it's all about making the right choices and decisions - Part I

The key to a succesfull SharePoint implementation is making the right choices. Not only about choosing which functionality to implement first - see Leveraging the SharePoint platform - what capabilities to start with - but also about making the right choices when you try to extend the platform. This blog series will focus on making the correct customization/design choices.

Let's explore one of the choices you have when looking at workflows in SharePoint.

SharePoint Designer for workflows vs Visual Studio Workflow Extensions

One of the most telling statements about this you can find on the SharePoint blog -  "SPD is geared toward the Web Designer/Business admin.  It's easy to learn, and you don't have to write any code.  You can put together a lot of workflows with just sequence of actions and conditions."

One of the limitations of SharePoint Designer for workflow development is the fact that you need to design your workflows directly on your production server. There is no "easy way" to export a SharePoint workflow from your development environment and deploy it later on your production environment. If you want to do this you are up for some ugly hacking of the XOML code.

If you build your workflows using Visual Studio - you can quite easily build a SharePoint solution package containing the workflow and pass it from test to acceptance and finally to production.

You might also want to take a look at Workflow Development Tools Comparison

Related links:

Next up in this blog series - creating one or more multiple site collections.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Guidance about InfoPath Forms Services

InfoPath Forms Services is like one of those hidden gems in SharePoint Server 2007 (SharePoint Server 2007 Enterprise Edition only). It still is a little rough on the edges but if you know it's limitations and take a look at some good documentation it will get you going quite quickly. Great  place to start is the blog series on the InfoPath blog - these guys have been busy during the summer season - some nice reads  for those long winter nights:

Some other interesting stuff out there:

SharePoint Guidance and best practices

If you are an architect who is new to SharePoint development - you should start of by looking at the latest updated version of SharePoint guidance - SharePoint Guidance - Patterns & Practices [MSDN]. Definitely take a look at  SharePoint Guidance on Codeplex and download SharePoint guidance for November 2008.

This guidance helps architects and developers build SharePoint intranet applications. A reference implementation (RI) demonstrates solutions to common architectural, development and lifecycle management challenges.

This guidance discusses the following:

  • Architectural decisions about patterns, feature factoring and packaging.
  • Design tradeoffs for common decisions many developers encounter.
  • Implementation examples demonstrated in the RI and in the QuickStarts.
  • How to design for testability, create unit tests, and run continuous integration.
  • Set up of development, build, test, staging, and production environments.
  • Managing the application life cycle including upgrade.
  • Team-based intranet application development.

The following areas are not discussed in this version of the guidance:
  • Content-oriented sites that use Web content management
  • Internet and enterprise-scale SharePoint applications
  • Multilingual SharePoint applications
  • Scale or security testing of SharePoint applications

Next step -  Best Practices Resource Center for SharePoint Center 2007 :

To avoid common pitfalls and keep your Office SharePoint Server 2007 environment available and performing well, follow these best practices based on real-world experience from Microsoft Consulting Services and the product team.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

SharePoint Accessibility

About a year ago the Accessibility Kit for SharePoint was announced but lately some new options became available to built an accessible website on SharePoint. One of them is the Alternative Rendering Framework (ARF) for SharePoint. Another option is the Barriere-frei kit for SharePoint (BKS).

BKS was developed according to the Access for All (AA+) guidelines and will help to make the Internet more accessible. For example BKS helps to annotate pictures with a meaningful description, which can easily be accessed. Screenreaders use the html-<header> tags to figure out the structure of a page. If there is a WebPartZone is place on a page this structure is broken by static <header>-tags produced by the WebPartZone. The BKS includes an alternative to the WebPartZone.

The already existing Accessiblity Kit for Sharepoint (AKS) targets to solve the problems described above. The BKS has other technical approaches,offers more flexibility and better performance.

Related resources:

Monday, November 17, 2008

Talking about Microsoft Master Data Management or Bulldog

Master Data Management (MDM) comprises a set of processes and tools that consistently defines and manages the non-transactional data entities of an organization (also called reference data). MDM has the objective of providing processes for collecting, aggregating, matching, consolidating, quality-assuring, persisting and distributing such data throughout an organization to ensure consistency and control in the ongoing maintenance and application use of this information. (Source: Wikipedia MDM)

In june 2007 Microsoft announced the acquistion of Stratature -  a major player in the MDM market. Stratature MDM products +EDM will be rebranded and currently has the codename Bulldog.

Appararently MDM will be part of  the SharePoint vNext platform if you look at the new MDM section on  - If you want to know where all this is heading, take a look at the Microsoft's MDM Roadmap.

It is quite strange though - if you look at Kirk Haseldens blog post - Surprise! MDM Technology Preview available tomorrow (dated November 2007) - it states that a CTP should be available somewhere in Q3 2008 - but the last few months - no more news about it.

Mental Note - SharePoint and WCF

Just a reminder for myself to check out the following blogposts about the SharePoint and Windows Communication Foundation (WCF):

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Office 14 hits the web

Lot of buzz around the Office 14 webapps - basically web -based versions of Word, Excel and OneNote, using  Silverlight and Ajax. One of the things which excites me most is collaborative editing of documents, with automatic synchronisation of changes when multiple users are editing a document. For more info take a look at Channel 9 Webcast - Office 14 for the web . And for some excellent screenshots of Office 14 webapps take a look at  Microsoft Office 14 Web Applications Preview as well as Microsoft to Extend Office to the browser

So when to expect this stuff to be released? Mary Jo Foley provides some "educated guesses":

There will be a private tech preview of Office Web applications starting later this year. Those interested in participating will be able to sign up for the preview  from the Office Live Workspace site.

Microsoft officials still won’t talk about when Office 14 is due to ship. Until recently, many expected it to be released in the latter half of 2009. But I’ve been hearing recent scuttlebutt that 2010 might be a more realistic target.

PS Apparently Office 14 webapps will also offer cross-browser support  ...

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Visual Studio 2010 Tools for SharePoint

Jason Zander just announced support for SharePoint in Visual Studio 2010 at TechEd Emea. For those still working with Visual Studio 2005 - take a look at Visual Studio Extensions for WSS 1.1 (VSEWSS 1.1) - or VSEWSS 1.2 when you are using Visual Studio 2008. Some interesting features for SharePoint developers - (taken from Paul Andrew's blog)

  • Server Explorer for SharePoint viewing Lists and other artifacts in SharePoint directly inside of Visual Studio. Apparently they extended the current Server Explorer to make it SharePoint aware.

  • You can import a SharePoint WSP to create a new solution

  • Added a new web part project item and showed the Visual web part designer which loads a user control as a web part for SharePoint. Well we already had the Smartpart but is nice that finally it is provided within Visual Studio 2010 itself.

  • Showed adding an event receiver for SharePoint and using the wizard to choose the event receiver and to just create a source file with that event receiver.

  • Added an ASPX workflow initiation form to a workflow project and showed how this workflow initiation form has designer capability.
  • Showed the packaging explorer and the packaging editor which lets you structure the SharePoint features and WSP file that is created. This is one of my dislikes with the current VSEWSS tools - they are not flexible enough with regards to building your SharePoint Solution packages - therefore I uses WSPBuilder

Apparently they also added support for BDC schema editing directly into Visual Studio 2010 if you look at the available project types.

Definitely take a look SharePoint Development with Visual Studio 2010 on Channel 9 for more info.

Remark: these features are not available yet in the current download of Visual Studio 2010 CTP.

SnagIt Tip : Capturing Windows Media Player media files

I like SnagIt - it is one of the best capturing tools that you can find on the market but today I had some troubles when trying to capture images from a media file which was playing in Windows Media Player - everything time again it produced a black screen. Luckily I found the workaround on the Techsmith site - Black or blank video and image captures - I needed to disable hardware accelaration....

SharePoint Security Access Check Codeplex

A colleague of mine just pointed me to this interesting tool ...

Quickly check what objects within a Sharepoint site hierarchy a user has access to.  The Access Checker Web Part is a Windows Sharepoint Services Web Part, for use within Windows Sharepoint Services v3 and Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server 2007, that displays a tree view showing permissions on objects for a user scoped to a Site hierarchy. It also has a second mode which will show the permission inheritance of objects within a Site hierarchy.

I haven't found time to take a look at it so if you have tried it out - leave some comments....

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Guide to SharePoint workflow development

Introductory material - things you should know before opening Visual Studio :-):

Intermediate and advanced resources

Thursday, November 13, 2008

MS Project 2007 Visual Reports

Cool new feature in MS Project 2007 - Visual Reports

Visual Reports is a new feature in Project Standard and Professional that allows you to report on your project’s data in Excel using PivotTables and PivotCharts, and in Visio using a new feature called PivotDiagrams (think fancy WBS charts). Using Visual Reports you can now easily create eye-catching reports that are also informative off data from your project using formats that are familiar to your target audience. To help get you started we are shipping Excel and Visio templates. You can also create your own templates that you can share out to others to provide a consistency across everyone’s reports.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

SPLongOperation and Threadabortexception

SPLongOperation allows you to show the nice SharePoint spinner page when you have code in a SharePoint application page which runs for quite a while  (See for example Compiling SharePoint 2007 audiences using the SharePoint object model (C# code sample) ). Unfortunately there is not a lot of documentation about it the use of it out there. So when I stumbled upon a ThreadAbortException when trying to create a new SharePoint site in my application page. Apparently the only way around it was adding an empty Catch block... Maybe this is because internally SPLongOperation uses Response.End internally (See ) but I'm not sure. Can anyone confirm that this is the way to go?

string sRedirectUrl = "http://moss";

using (SPLongOperation operation = new SPLongOperation(this.Page))

using (SPSite sitecollection = new SPSite("http://moss"))
using (SPWeb toplevelsite = sitecollection.OpenWeb())
toplevelsite.AllowUnsafeUpdates = true;

using (SPWeb newsite = toplevelsite.Webs.Add("demo", "demo", "",

Convert.ToUInt32(1043), "STS#0", false, false))
//TODO Add some extra stuff in here ...
sRedirectUrl = newsite.Url;

catch (ThreadAbortException tex) { }
catch (Exception ex)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Follow up - Folders in SharePoint document libraries - Why???

Last week I wrote a posting about the use of folders in SharePoint document libraries. After reading the comments I must admit  that I probably took a too rigid approach.

There are valid reasons why you can still use folders in SharePoint document libraries but are are also a lot of cases in which metadata/libraries or views are a better approach.

When migrating documents from file share into SharePoint the easiest approach is to copy (and paste) all of the documents including the existing folders into a document library. It is therefore quite tempting to continue working like this in SharePoint but as soon as the naming conventions of your folders carry meaning it might be a good idea to start thinking about converting the folders into metadata.

The only goal of using folders is to group them for the benefit of the authors, the people who need to work with it. Grouping documents in  a simple folder without adding extra metadata and creating views is an easy approach - especially when the "Explorer View" is frequently used or when large numbers of documents are used.

So let's compare:

Advantages of using folders in SharePoint document libraries:

  • It looks familiar to people used to work with file shares
  • Folders are required when you have a large number of documents in a document library (remember the 2000 item limit - for some background check out - Can you have more than 2000 items per folder and Why 2000 item limit per view in SharePoint
  • It is possible to define security on folders
  • Possible to define metadata on folders. Remark: the metadata is not replicated on the documents within the folder
  • Possible to create an alert on a folder

Disadvantages of using folders in SharePoint document libraries:

  • Not possible to use it for filtering or to create filtering
  • Only allows for adding a single dimension of information
  • When you move a document to another folder (because you miscategorized it) - the url will change. This is not the case when you change a metadata field
  • Will increase the length of the URL - remember URL length for Docs in SharePoint is still at 260 characters

          LOL - Der Untergang-Bedrijfsuitje [Dutch-speaking only]

          First JBoss User Group Belgium event

          Since I'm a strong believer in the power of the community - here a quick promo for the the first Belgian JBUG event - for more details check out Joram's blogentry - Announcing- The first JBoss User Group Belgium event!

          PS And no, I'm not going to convert to the dark side :-) ...

          Sunday, October 26, 2008

          Using Windows Mobile ActiveSync via Bluetooth

          I needed to sync my Windows Mobile smartphone with my portable - so when looking for some guidance - I stumbled upon this excellent walkthrough - Setup ActiveSync via Bluetooth

          Thursday, October 23, 2008

          Building a SharePoint custom site definition with a project tasks list and a listviewwebpart in Gantt view on the homepage.

          The next walkthrough will show you how you can create custom site definition with specific lists and their associated listviewwebparts on the homepage - as an example I will use the new Project Tasks list type in SharePoint 2007.  To get you going first take a look at Creating a custom site definition in WSS V3/MOSS 2007. Start off with something simple such as a completely blank custom site definition.

          Next let's add a new list instance of type Project Tasks to the site definition - to do this open up ONET.XML and navigate to the <Lists> node - for the Project Tasks you will need to add the line marked in bold.

          <Configuration ID="0" Name="Default">
                <List FeatureId="00BFEA71-7E6D-4186-9BA8-C047AC750105" Type="105" Title="Contacts" Url="Lists/Contacts" />     
                   <List FeatureId="00bfea71-513d-4ca0-96c2-6a47775c0119" Type="150" Title="Project Tasks" Url="Lists/ProjectTasks" />

          Now, how did I find the FeatureId and the Type - well quite simply - just try creating a new Project Tasks list through the UI and you will notice this in the URL - http://[servername]/SiteDirectory/demo/_layouts/new.aspx?FeatureId={00bfea71-513d-4ca0-96c2-6a47775c0119}&ListTemplate=150

          Looks similar no?

          Next, let's add a web part on the home page which will display the items in the Project Tasks list - the webpart which does this is the listviewwebpart. Again, you have to modify ONET.XML - take a look at the line in bold.

          <Module Name="Default" Url="" Path="">
                <File Url="default.aspx" NavBarHome="True">
                  <NavBarPage Name="$Resources:core,nav_Home;" ID="1002" Position="Start" />
                  <NavBarPage Name="$Resources:core,nav_Home;" ID="0" Position="Start" />
                   <View List="Lists/Contacts" BaseViewID="0" WebPartZoneID="Left" WebPartOrder="1" />
          <View List="Lists/ProjectTasks" BaseViewID="0" Type="GANTT" WebPartZoneID="Left" WebPartOrder="2" />

          Again, how did I find out about the BaseViewID and the Type property. I first searched for the feature with ID=00bfea71-513d-4ca0-96c2-6a47775c0119 in the Features folder underneath the 12 hive - apparently the Project Tasks list is based on the GanttTasksList feature. If you want to know about the available views  which you can use in the listviewwebpart take a look at the schema.xml file.

          Once you understand how you do this for the standard list definitions you can do something similar for custom list definitions as well. Happy sharepointing ...

          Wednesday, October 22, 2008

          SharePoint and it's partner ecosystem - addons to extend the platform

          The success of a platform is best measured by the success of its partner ecosystem. With over 3300 certified partners who provided solutions on the SharePoint platform 2 years after the launch I guess it is safe to say that SharePoint has gone mainstream. Lately some new interesting addons where released. Next is a list of some recent announcemnt with regards to released addons (Remember - this is not an exhaustive list - if you think there is something missing leave a comment):


          Tuesday, October 21, 2008

          Updating my SharePoint-Silverlight developer VPC

          After some issues with regards to lack of space on my SharePoint Developer VPC (See Extending an existing Windows 2003 system VHD image) I finally got around to complete the installation of the new Silverlight 2 development tools - things you might want to take a install yourself to start experimenting

          PS Remember to clean up all of the previous beta stuff such as the Silverlight 2 SDK Beta 2, Silverlight Tools for Visual Studio 2008 beta and Expression Blend 2.5 June 2008 Preview to avoid problems.

          Sunday, October 19, 2008

          Extending an existing Windows 2003 system vhd image

          When you try to install Visual Studio 2008 SP1 you will notice that you will need a lot of free space on your system drive. Unfortunately this was not the case with my SharePoint development VPC. Luckily it is possible to extend your existing C-disk.

          • Download VHD Resizer from
          • Next boot up your VPC with the newly resized disk as a secondary disk (This is important since you can't resize a system or boot volume) - and use Diskpart
            • Go to command prompt
            • Type diskpart
            • Type list volume
            • Type select volume [Your Volume Number]
            • Type extend
          • Save your VPC and change the settings of your Virtual PC image to use the resized disk as boot volume.

          Thursday, October 16, 2008

          Folders in SharePoint document libraries - Why???

          This is something which happens everytime again when you look at users who start working with SharePoint. They start creating folders within document libraries.

          NOOOOO .... metadata is the way to go in SharePoint - if you use metadata you can use search, filters and custom views to organize your documents. This provides for a lot more flexiblity.

          But unfortunately people are not eager to change the way they are working. So maybe it is possible to combine the best of both worlds - it would be nice that you could couple a fixed set of metadata to a folder so that when a user drops a document inside the metadata is added automatically. I know that you can add metadata to a folder  - take a look at Adding metadata to a folder or Implementing folder content types . Unfortunately the metadata is not replicated to the individual documents ... interesting feature to write - anyone up for it?


          Wednesday, October 15, 2008

          Introducing the Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) specification

          On september 10th the  new Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) specification was submitted to Oasis. The goal of this specification is to define a web service standard which will allow easier interaction between different ECM systems such as Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, EMC Documentum, IBM FileNet P8, etc ...

          Some interesting background info is to be found on the Microsoft ECM blog -

          The CMIS specification defines a standard "domain model" for an ECM system - a set of core concepts that all modern ECM systems have, like Object Types (which in SharePoint we call "Content Types"), properties, folders, documents, versions, and relationships - and the set of operations that can be performed on those concepts, like navigating through a folder hierarchy, updating a document, etc.

          The specification does NOT try to include all the capabilities of an ECM system - because many of these are simply too different between ECM systems. But the specification does attempt to include the fundamental concepts that are (a) relatively common across current ECM systems, and (b) enable the common integration scenarios that we've heard from customers to date.

          The specification then defines how to bind the CMIS "domain model" to two different web service protocols: SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol), the web services protocol used by many ECM systems (including SharePoint), and Atom, a newer web services model used in many "Web 2.0" applications.

          The ultimate goal of CMIS is comparable with JSR170 (or Java Content Repository 1.0/JCR) with the main difference being  programming language indepence.

          I believe that CMIS will further accelerate the commodization of ECM and that it will become a standard IT component of every organization similar to databases. The big differentiators in ECM platforms will be ease of extensibility, available development tools, workflow support, collaboration and search services. All things in which SharePoint Server 2007 excels.

          Lots of organizations have already invested in traditional ECM players but this investment can only be monetized upon when you can extend its use throughout the enterprise. This means that your platform will need to be built with broad adoption in mind and built for extensibility.  With CMIS it will be feasible to offer content management functionalities 'as-a-service' to other platforms and applications.

          Related links:

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          Tuesday, October 14, 2008

          Updating to Zune 3.0

          I just tried installing Zune 3.0 using the standard Zune setup package (which contacts Windows Update) but it failed with the error -  Can't contact Microsoft Update. Please try again later. (Check out for more error details). 

          Luckily there is a full download of the Zune 3.0 client software and after this everything went quite smoothly.

          The Zune.Social functionality is not available in Belgium however. But I still think that it is amazing that you can use all the new features (such as games) on old zune devices...

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          SharePoint at PDC08

          Not a lot of sessions about SharePoint at PDC08 - but if you look very hard you will find a couple :-) ...

          • Dublin" and .NET Services: Extending On-Premises Applications to the Cloud
          • FAST: Building Search-Driven Portals with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Microsoft Silverlight
          • SharePoint 2007: Advanced Asynchronous Workflow Messaging
          • SharePoint 2007: Creating SharePoint Applications with Visual Studio 2008
          • Sharepoint Online: Extending Your Service

          For more details check out Paul's blog.

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          Monday, October 13, 2008


          I just created a Wordle of my current site feed ... pretty neat - try it out yourself

          Clusty - The clustering search engine

          Interesting concept - try it out at - I found this information about the way that it works ...

          Rather than focusing just on search engine result ranking, we realized that grouping results into topics, or "clustering," made for better search and discovery....

          Clusty queries several top search engines, combines the results, and generates an ordered list based on comparative ranking. This "metasearch" approach helps raise the best results to the top and push search engine spam to the bottom.

          But what really makes Clusty unique is what happens after you search. Instead of delivering millions of search results in one long list, our search engine groups similar results together into clusters. Clusters help you see your search results by topic so you can zero in on exactly what you’re looking for or discover unexpected relationships between items.

          Microsoft releases Silverlight 2

          Check out the press release -  Microsoft releases Silverlight 2, already reaching one in four customers worldwide - some interesting details:

          • Microsoft announced plans to support additional tools for developing Silverlight applications by providing funding to Soyatec, a France-based IT solutions provider and Eclipse Foundation member, to lead a project to integrate advanced Silverlight development capabilities into the Eclipse IDE. Soyatec plans to release the project under the Eclipse Public License Version 1.0 on SourceForge and submit it to the Eclipse Foundation as an open Eclipse project - check out Eclipse4SL
          • Microsoft also will release the Silverlight Control Pack and publish on MSDN the technical specification for the Silverlight Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML) vocabulary. The SCP, which will augment the powerful built-in control set in Silverlight, will be released under the Microsoft Permissive License, an Open Source Initiative-approved license, and includes controls such as DockPanel, ViewBox, TreeView, Accordion and AutoComplete. The Silverlight XAML vocabulary specification, released under the Open Specification Promise (OSP), will better enable third-party ISVs to create products that can read and write XAML for Silverlight.

          PS Kurt Brockett also states that we will see Mac and Linux support in next versions of Silverlight.

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          Sunday, October 12, 2008

          Interesting thing to know about Definition Extraction in SharePoint

          Apparently the definition extraction feature in SharePoint Server 2007 does not use security trimming - for more info take a look at I don't like the Definition Extraction Feature . Fortunately, you can just disable it all together - go to the Search Center Results page - Modify the Search Core Results web part, and turn off ‘Display Discovered Definition’.

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          Photosynth - How to get synthy

          If you are into photography you should definitely take a look at Photosynth. Photosynth allows you to reconstruct a scene or object from a bunch of flat photographs. It allows for an interesting new new photoviewing experience.

          Photosynth also uses the Deepzoom (originally called Seadragon) capabilities which you can use in your own Silverlight apps.

          For more information about similar projects take a look at the Microsoft LiveLabs.

          Tags van Technorati: ,,,

          Wednesday, October 08, 2008

          Installing Office 2007 SP1 - make sure you have enough free disk space

          I got this error when installing Office Enterprise 2007 SP1 on a VPC where I only had 400 MB of free disk space on C-drive

          Product: Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007 -- Error 1307.There is not enough disk space to install this file: C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\MODI\12.0\XIMAGE3B.DLL.  Free some disk space and click 'Retry', or click 'Cancel' to exit.

          After I freed up 1 GB everything went smoothly...

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          Monday, October 06, 2008

          Moving the ServicePackFiles directory in Windows Server 2003

          My installation of Office 2007 SP1 just failed because of insufficient diskspace on my virtual disk. So I decided to clean up some space - if you look in the c:\Windows directory you will notice a directory ServicePackFiles. Instead of deleting it, you can also move it to another disk - if you do this you will also need to update the registry - go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup and change the pointers to a new location.

          For more information check out Can I remove the ServicePackFiles folder from my Windows folder.

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          Saturday, October 04, 2008

          Quick tip: Search Center and SharePoint site collections

          You might notice that when you you upgrade a SharePoint Portal Server 2003 setup to MOSS 2007, sites are upgraded to site collections. If you look at the  search scope dropdown for these upgraded sites, you will only see the "This site" option. Correcting this is quite easy - just go to Site Actions > Modify All Site Settings > Search Settings (Underneath Site Collection Administration). Check Use custom scopes and fill in the URL to the Search Center (default /SearchCenter/pages/).

          Thursday, October 02, 2008

          [MVP] Congratulations ! You have received the Microsoft MVP Award

          Yep, this is the 4th year in a row that my title of MVP Windows SharePoint Services  is renewed. Thanks to everyone who in one way or another contributed to my (re)nomination.

          Here are the things that I plan to do in the next few months:

          Thanks again for all the support.

          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