Thursday, June 12, 2008

I'm baaaaaack! Back from Oceania and freshly installed in my native city of Ottawa, Canada. The last couple of years have been a happy blur. I'll definitely miss Oz and the great people at Dimension Data Australia but it's nice to be in the same time zone as most of my friends and family.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am working on some new projects.
One of these is collaborating with echoTechnology as their new Technical Product Manager to help develop and promote their tool, echo for SharePoint. This is like a Swiss-army knife utility suite that makes changing SharePoint easy. It's a product I've had my eye on for over a year, ever since I first interviewed the echo guys in these posts: echo demo and interview.

The reason I'm so keen on the tool, and why I agreed to work with them, is that after two years of SharePoint consulting I have yet to find a suite of tools that makes it so easy to manage SharePoint configurations and settings. Trying to migrate my solutions from Dev to Test to Prod has been an exercise in frustration. Keeping the state of a farm consistent when multiple team mates worked in parallel, pushing out changes to more than one site, or sharing the deltas with colleagues who are working in their own virtual machines has required a relentless search for scripts, code snippets, and any means possible to gain a little development consistency and control.

Part of my brief with echoTechnology is to work with the community to help develop best practices on SharePoint governance and change management. This is an area dear to my heart, and the focus of many of my workshops and engagements over the last few years. I've devoted a fair bit of space on this blog to those kinds of issues and that will continue.

Whenever possible I plan to release white papers, site templates, and snippets of code on this blog. I hope they will be useful to anyone planning to govern their SharePoint implementation - which should be EVERYONE!

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