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SharePointers - 20 Oct 2008

I’d like to take a break from my own pontificating to point out some great resources, guidance, tools and updates that have been released over recent days and weeks. I think there’s something for everyone here!

Update Time

Microsoft has released an update to address a number of issues discovered since the release of SP1. You can learn more about the update at the SharePoint team blog.

The update is titled the August Cumulative Update (CU) for Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0. Kind of trips off the tongue, don’t it? And it's interesting that all the knowledge base articles about the August update are dated late September... Anyway...

Along with the update, Microsoft has announced that such updates will now be released "in an acceptable time and on a predictable schedule," specifically every two months - at least until Microsoft changes its mind. The SharePoint team blog recommends that the August CU be applied only if you are affected by the issues fixed in the CU. But guess what… some of the issues are so ubiquitous that it’s highly likely that you are affected. So my guidance is to read the knowledge base articles referenced in the blog entry, but go into the effort assuming you’ll be applying it - budget time accordingly. Microsoft will, of course, roll all of these fixes into SP2 when it is released.

Designing Better Content Management Pages

One of the drivers for using SharePoint as a web content management tool is to empower content owners to make updates directly, without requiring intervention from IT staff, but while maintaining control over formatting and business rules related to the content. One way to allow a user to make changes to a page is to use the content editor web part; another is to use a field control, such as the Publishing HTML field type available in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS). If you’re using SharePoint in this way, you should definitely read the blog entry posted by SharePoint MVP Andrew Connell, who lays out the important distinctions between web parts and field controls.

Building Collaboration Infrastructures with SharePoint

I’ve been soapboxing about how Microsoft needs to provide more scenario-based, prescriptive guidance for designing effective SharePoint implementations. The SharePoint product team has been busy, and has heard my plea (and that of other customers of course), and has released a set of guidance around the collaboration scenario. The collaboration scenario is a particularly powerful one that SharePoint addresses as well or better than any other product on the market. SharePoint’s support for collaboration is one of the primary drivers for SharePoint in the marketplace, and is the cause of the "SharePoint tidal wave" washing over many organizations. But if you don’t design it right, SharePoint can quickly become unmanageable. So I’d count this stuff in the “required readings” list for any organization implementing SharePoint.

I’ll add the caveat I always add when Microsoft starts talking about collaboration and SharePoint: Remember that the vast majority of collaborative functionality is supported by Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) and does not require MOSS. So keep your antenna tuned to Microsoft’s "nudging" you towards MOSS if you don’t really need it. But do read up!!

A Peek into Top Notch Collaboration

Speaking of collaboration, I was recently working with a customer who has an engagement with Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS). MCS "dogfoods" Microsoft technologies—it walks the talk—and so the customer was introduced to leading edge collaboration technologies combining SharePoint, Office 2007, and Groove. If you haven’t had a chance to wrap your head around how Groove fits into the picture, a new SharePoint team blog entry will help you to see what’s possible, and why Groove can be such a valuable addition to the collaborative scenario.


Your servers are 64-bit, right? No? Well, if you are still waiting to go 64-bit, or wondering why you should, there are lots of reasons. Of course, most or all Microsoft OSs will be going 64-bit exclusively in the near future. But there are good reasons for doing it now, particularly with applications as potentially memory intensive as SharePoint. This recent blog entry does a nice job of laying out one of the technical reasons why 64-bit can deliver better performance, even without additional memory.

Test Drive MOSS with MOSS VPCs

There are a lot of reasons why it’s helpful to have virtualized MOSS systems. If you’re not using MOSS yet, and want to evaluate it… If you’re a developer trying to test your solutions... If you’re delivering training. And, heck, setting up a MOSS server takes quite a bit of time—installing the OS, adding IIS and SQL, installing and configuring MOSS. Sometimes you want to get right to work with the 'real thing.' Microsoft has released a new edition of its MOSS virtual machines. You’ll need 1GB of RAM for the VM (on top of your host OS requirement), 30GB of free disk space, and Virtual Server R2, which you can download for free. The image is valid for 30 days once you boot it up. A real time saver!

Until next week, all the best!

Dan Holme
danh at intelliem dot (top level commercial domain)


     Events and Resources

Podcast: The Hot Topic of Virtualization
Listen to David Chernicoff on the technical and economic sense of virtualization. Download this podcast to learn how combining a remote backup service and a virtualized environment makes you better able to pulley solutions to locations that would have required a much larger investment in both time and money to securely deploy to remote and regional locations.

Backup and Restore for Your Exchange "Filing Cabinet"
Few organizations can afford to try to recover from an Exchange failure using the Exchange resident recovery solution. Is a "one-step restore" solution available? How fast can it back up and recover lost data or restore downed email servers? Read this white paper to find out what to expect from third-party backup and recovery products when you need to recover a single message or mailbo, or restore from a catastrophic failure.

Batch Job Scheduling and .NET in 2008
This white paper discusses a solution that helps IT organizations optimize the performance of batch processing across the enterprise. Also see how application developers are integrating a batch processing engine into their own .NET and PowerShell-based applications.

Insider Threats--Who Can You Trust?
80% of the threat to any organization comes from inside. Read this white paper to learn how to identify the key business processes in your organization that must be secured, and you will be highly equipped to build a solution that prevents insider threats.

SharePoint Conections event returns to Las Vegas November 10-13
Connections returns to Las Vegas for this exciting event. Each attendee will receive a copy of SQL Server 2008 Standard edition with one CAL. The event is colocated with Microsoft ASP.NET, SQL Server, and Windows Connections and offers over 250 in-depth sessions delivered by 150+ Microsoft and industry experts. Last year's Connections event sold out at 5,000 attendees, so register today. or call 1-800-438-6720

Ease Your Scripting Pains with the Flexibility of PowerShell!
Join MVP Paul Robichaux on December 11, 2008, at 11:00 AM EDT as he equips you with PowerShell basics in 3 introductory lessons--all on your own computer! For only $99, you’ll learn how to
* enter and run commands with and without aliases and experiment safely with the -whatif switch
* string together information to format and export it in a variety of ways
* mix and match variables and command output.

Seats are limited to allow for lots of live Q&A at the end. Register today!

Access All Our SharePoint Resources!
With the online VIP Monthly Pass, you can have all the SharePoint solutions in Windows IT Pro and SQL Server Magazine right at your fingertips, PLUS VIP-only content on hot topics such as Vista and virtualization. You'll also receive a full digital copy of the latest issue of Windows IT Pro!

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