We'll be taking a short holiday "hiatus" for the next two weeks, and so today we wrap up 2007, which was of course an insanely busy year for anyone working with SharePoint, the Office system, Windows Vista, and the upcoming Windows Server 2008. For those of us involved with all of them it was...wild! I am so grateful for the efforts of each of our community leaders--to the MVPs, to the product team, and to all of you who ask questions, provide answers, and share your knowledge. We're in it together and it's working!
Next year, we'll be increasing the participation in our Office and SharePoint Pro community with some great new contributors. We'll be adding significant amounts of content addressing administration, use, and development of the entire Office system. And we'll be reaching around the world, with events in many corners of the globe.
And, as a teaser for our next issue of this newsletter on January 7, I will have an insanely cool personal announcement that will give you an inside view of an implementation of SharePoint in a very exciting, high-profile environment. Stay tuned for that announcement!
Wow.... one year after the RTMs of all these products, they're all getting updated. I think that's what we asked for, right? More frequent service packs (in contrast to the once-a-decade-it-seems service packs for Windows XP)? Well we got it! SharePoint, Office 2007 clients and, soon, Vista will all get their annual maintenance update! Here are the details--try not to lose your holidays evaluating and testing these!
SharePoint Service Pack 1
Big news! The long-awaited release of WSS/MOSS SP1 has hit the streets. And this is a doozie of a service pack. So big that a page on TechNet has been created to guide you through it. Note! Even the product team is saying "be thoughtful" here. Per Joel Oleson, "It is essential that you understand the appropriate guidance and test out the patch in a separate test environment." Spend the time it takes to evaluate the SP--don't just roll it out.
Microsoft Office 2007 SP1
Microsoft has released Office 2007 SP1, an update for all Office clients. This is the client application Service Pack--a rollup of bug fixes and other patches that Microsoft has released since Office 2007 went public.
The service pack is a mere 218MB (50 percent of the size of the original distribution)... ha! Why's it so big? Well, Microsoft also incorporated a number of fixes for bugs that they previously had pretended didn't exist, unless "called to task," like the highly problematic (and baffling as to how it slipped by) bug related to Excel's handling of 65534 and 65536. A quick analysis of the Excel file that lists fixes shows more than 300 fixes that have no associated KB article, versus less than half that amount that do.
There are enough fixes and security tweaks that this service pack, like all major updates, should be tested extensively before it's widely deployed. Microsoft hasn't had a great track record with Office service packs, so listen to the "buzz" as others stub their toes.
The service pack is not (yet) on Microsoft Update, but you can download it and the associated information at the following links:
The 2007 Microsoft Office Suite Service Pack 1 (SP1)
Description of the 2007 Microsoft Office Suites Service Pack 1
Office 2007 Service Pack 1 Changes
Unlike enterprise-class IT organizations, IT departments in mid-market companies rarely have a large IT staff or the ability to dedicate a lot of resources to proactive IT management. Businesses in the middle of the SMB market space face a unique set of IT management challenges.
Attend this web seminar to learn how to deal with mid-market IT management challenges and get an overview of a new integrated management solution from Microsoft, called System Center Essentials 2007.
SharePoint Monitoring Toolkit 1.0
Microsoft released the SharePoint Monitoring Toolkit, which includes two management packs (one for WSS and one for MOSS) for System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) 2007. Microsoft has drastically increased the number of rules, has added new reports and views and improved existing ones, and has generally brought the monitoring story "up to snuff." The packs allow SCOM to monitor the health of services (e.g. timer, tracing and search) and events (including SharePoint, IIS, and SQL). You can get it at Microsoft's downloads site. There's also a great overview of the capabilities of the management packs at Joel Oleson's blog
New White Paper Addresses SQL Storage Sizing & Performance for SharePoint
Microsoft released a white paper focused on the planning and optimization of SQL storage for SharePoint. This "final" white paper is focused exclusively on SQL, as compared with the beta capacity and planning tools I mentioned last week. Check it out at here.
Until next time, all the best!