Saturday, December 31, 2011

Project Server 2010: Bug When Creating PWA Project Sites after CU patches are Installed

We applied the latest Cumulative Updates to our SharePoint installation after doing some testing, and immediately ran into an error trying to create Project Server 2010 project sites.

Project Site Provisioning Settings (/pwa/_layouts/pwa/Admin/WorkspaceProvisioningSettings.aspx) had the default web app set appropriately and was set to auto-provision project sites (and this had been working for a year).

However when viewing the Project Sites from the Project Sites admin (/pwa/_layouts/pwa/Admin/ManageWSS.aspx) it showed there wasn't a Project Site.

When we tried to create the Project Site manually it said the site had already been created. The errror in the event log was as follows:

PSError: WSSCreateSiteFailure (16400) project server

After some testing I realized the error was being caused by some custom site templates we were using. They had been corrupted by the Cumulative Updates we had installed.

The fix is simple: I recreated the templates from the basic Microsoft Project Site template, resaved them into the PWA site collection’s Solutions Gallery, and can now auto-provision. I was also able to manually recreate the project sites for the projects that were missing them.

Hope that helps!

Monday, November 14, 2011

SharePoint Bug: 2010 Menus Not Working in IE9

I setup a new laptop on the weekend and this morning found a crazy bug – my SharePoint 2010 and Project Server 2010 menus and ribbon would not work at all, basically rendering my laptop useless unless I could figure this out.

After much poking around in F12 Developer Tools and searching around the web, I finally figured out the solution myself.

I had dragged the IE icon to my taskbar and for some reason it was loading the 32 bit version of IE instead of 64 bit. After starting IE using the 64 bit version all was well.

I’m not sure what the exact issue was – I have used both 32bit and 64 bit IE 8 and 9 browsers on other computers and never had any issues loading SharePoint 2010 menu items.

Anyway hope that helps someone else.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Stevey's Google Platforms Rant: Awesome Insight Into the Web Platform Wars

FASCINATING blog post from a Google engineer who used to work for While the gist is a rant about Google+, the bits I dig are around Amazon’s transformation into a Service Oriented Architectural company (as well as hearing some insights about Amazon, a company I greatly admire).

Some insights about massive SOA:

  • “every single one of your peer teams suddenly becomes a potential DOS attacker. “
  • “if you have hundreds of services, and your code MUST communicate with other groups' code via these services, then you won't be able to find any of them without a service-discovery mechanism. And you can't have that without a service registration mechanism, which itself is another service. So Amazon has a universal service registry where you can find out reflectively (programmatically) about every service, what its APIs are, and also whether it is currently up, and where.”
  • “monitoring and QA are the same thing.” … “In order to tell whether the service is actually responding, you have to make individual calls. The problem continues recursively until your monitoring is doing comprehensive semantics checking of your entire range of services and data, at which point it's indistinguishable from automated QA. “
  • “Organizing into services taught teams not to trust each other in most of the same ways they're not supposed to trust external developers.”
  • “ Bezos realized long before the vast majority of Amazonians that Amazon needs to be a platform.”
  • “That one last thing that Google doesn't do well is Platforms. We don't understand platforms. We don't "get" platforms.“
  • “The Golden Rule of Platforms, "Eat Your Own Dogfood", can be rephrased as "Start with a Platform, and Then Use it for Everything."  "”

My whole love affair with SharePoint revolves around it being a platform. You can read the whole post here: 

Hopefully they don’t yank it down!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

SharePoint Conference 2011: Using Claims for Authorization in SharePoint 2010

Rough notes of the presentation by Antonio Maio at Titus Inc. Antonio walked everyone through a complicated Claims setup and made it look pretty easy.


  • What are Claims?
  • How they are used in 2010
  • Enabling Authorization through claims
  • Customer requirements and scenarios
  • Infrastructure and Architecture
  • Demonstrations
  • Benefits and Goals

What are Claims?

User attributes

Metadata about a user

AD Attributes / LDAP Directory Attributes

But really it’s an assertion I make about myself – “I’m a senior product manager” – and claims can be believed if they are backed up by a trusted identity provider.

Allows us to solve problems like federation and complicated authentication schemes

Deciding what we can see and do not only based on who we are but on our clearances or the type of data, or even if we connect via a secure connection and so on.

Examples – Claims about Antonio

  • Name: Antonio Maio
  • Department: Product Management
  • Security Clearance: Secret
  • Employment Status: FTE
  • Country of Birth: Canada
  • ITAR Authorized: No

How Are Claims Used In SharePoint 2010?

  • Authentication
  • Single Signon across systems across domains
  • Maintain End User privacy (you can configure who can see what)
  • Authorization

Claims for Authentication in SharePoint 2010

New option in SP2010

Allows: Claims Based, Classic Mode (Windows), and Forms Based – must be configured via claims

Using Claims – authorization can be specific to the user. Can be dynamic – ex changes in security clearance. Consider environmental attributes (ex current time, geo location, connection type, etc).

Enabling Authorizations Through Claims

Infrastructure and configuration has to be considered. Where are you going to store, manage, and retrieve claims.

Planning is required – policies

Development required or 3rd party applications. Native SharePoint 2010 functionality is manual. Use WS-Trust and WS-Federation to retrieve and validate claims. Design apps to verify specific required claims only – remember privacy.

Customer Scenarios

How do customers want to make use of Claims?

Document Metadata + User Claims

Ex Document classification and a user’s security clearance

Goal: Sensitive content sitting beside non-sensitive content

Policies and rule-based system that determines access control

Automation is critical and policies are simple to start.

"I believe you shouldn’t let security policies dictate where you manage your content”.

Keep policies simple to start and let the business drive new requirements.

Customer Scenario #1:

Claim: Employee Status.

Document Metadata: Classification (High Business Impact,Moderate Business Impact, Low Business Impact)

If employee.status=FTE and document.classification = HBI them PERMIT access to document

If employee.status=Contract and document.classification = HBI then DENY access to document

Customer Scenario #2:

Claim: Group membership

Document Metadata: Project

If user belongs to GroupX and belongs to GroupY and document.project=”eagle” then PERMIT access to document

If user belongs to Groupx and DOES NOT belong to GroupY and document.project=”eagle” then Deny access to document

Customer Scenario #3:

Claim: Client Case Numbers

Document Metadata: Document Case Number

If AND client.casenumbers includes X then PERMIT access

If AND client.casenumbers DOES NOT include X then DENY access

Infrastructure and Architecture

Client Web Browser talking to SharePoint:

1. User login (with user name and password)

2. SharePoint requests token  from Secure Token Server (ADFS v2 is an example)

3. ADFS2 wants to get claims about the user

4. Packages these claims up and signs them. Because there is a trust relationship set up between SP2010 and the claims provider SharePoint will trust this package

5. Then SharePoint does something with this claim token for authorization. SharePoint is the Relying Party application (it is RELYING on the trusted identify provider (ADFS in this case) for the claims


AD is running on its own W2008 R2 server. Using default schema, using OrganizationalStatus attribute


1, ADFS v2 Configuration – installed as Federation Server and IIS has self=signed certificate

2, Use Wizard to create new Federation Service in IIS – note the Federation Service Name.

3. Add a Claims Description – note the claims type URL

EmployeeStatus added by Adding Claim Description – uses this URL – http://schemas.sp.local/EmployeeStatus in the example and sends Claim to calling application

4. Add Relying Part Trust – selected WS-Federation Passive Protocol. Relying Part URL = “Federation Service Name” + “/_trust/”

Relying Party Trust Identifier – urn:ServerName:application – urn:sp-server-2010.sp.local:sharepoint2010

5. Create Claims Rules for the Relying Parties. Add SharePoint 2010 trust rule – use templates – Send LDAP attributes as Claims which allows us to map LDAP mappings to claims.

ex LDAP attribute: mail maps to E-Mail Address outgoing claim attribute

LDAP attribute: organizationalStatus maps to EmployeeStatus which we created earlier

7. View and export the ADFSv2 Token Signing Certificate = c:\adfs20Certificate.cer

Transforming Claims – Claims Rule Language

example: send custom claim called “EmployeePermission” with the value of Full Control if the user belongs to the SeniorManagement group and if the value of the employee’s organization attribute in AD is “Titus” 

SharePoint 2010  Configuration

1. Create a new web app in central admin. Use Claims Based. Use NTLM to start. Ensure public URL matches the one in the ADFSv2 certificate – trust between this web app and the ADFSv2 server

Do not create a site collection yet

2. In IIS, setup SharePoint Site to use SSL

3. use powershell to map the claim types in SharePoint

Have to run new claims using Powershell

Will be provided on blog where the information will be available on these steps.

4. In Central Admin, access authentication providers and check Trusted Identify Provider and then check next to the ADFSv2 Provider you added. Normally you would remove NTLM

5. Create your site collection.

6. Create sites and libraries.


Authorization Policies

Questions you need to ask:

  • Which policies are right to protect the business?
  • Which user attributes are important? Are you using AD or LDAP or something else?
  • Which content items or content types are important?
  • Which policy language do you need? (XACML, SECPAL, etc)

Tip: Keep it simple

Titus Demo

Install Metadata Security product as a Farm Solution

Apply rules to items or folders

Created 3 rules – High Business Impact, Moderate business impact, Low business impact.

Showed how Bob could log in as a contractor and not see HBE docs, could read Moderate impact, and could edit low business impact.

Then changed Bob in AD to be a Full Time Employee, and now Bob had full control over everything.

Goals and Benefits of Titus Metadata Security


  • Security is automated
  • Security is consistent
  • Data Governance and Compliance Policies are fine grained.


Authentication and Authorization are different but both important. Use Claims today in SharePoint 2010.

Infrastructure and Planning is required

Plan policies with business stakeholders – Keep Simple to Start!

SharePoint Conference 2011: How eBay Successfully Upgraded their Intranet to SharePoint 2010

These are my rough notes of the presentation by Ramin Mobasseri and Chris Givens of eBay. The Hub is pretty impressive for the way it organizes information for its users and the lengths it goes to in order to default metadata for improved searching.


  • Why upgrade?
  • Methodology
  • About the Upgrade (Technical)
  • About the Upgrade (Tactical)
  • About the Upgrade (Functional)
  • Q&A

Why Upgrade

On MOSS 2007.

Got more complex requirements from business users who didn’t want to write code.

Better search.

Enterprise Social Networking

Better device and browser compatibility.

Demo: The Hub – the core eBay site. ESN is Enterprise Social Networking. Proud of combining managed metadata store with FAST search.

Extensively branded (yellow, large icons for the main menu items.

Global Nav

  • Who We Are
  • News
  • My HR
  • Teams
  • Workplace
  • Our Businesses

Have people search and all sites search at the top of each master page.1 click people search using FAST and typeahead

People results

Contact Info, Department info

Search Best Bets

People look for 3 scopes of things at eBay

1. Business Unit

2. Location.

3. Organization

Managed Metadata filters on the left to allow those scopes. DIfficult to tag pre-existing sites with managed metadata

Upon creation of a site you get Best Bets added automatically

Visio Services

Used by IT Tools team – wanted way to watch health of their servers at all times. Didn’t want to spend money. Took 45 minutes to draw visio diagram and connect to backend systems. Can filter by Production and DR environments or by Dev environments.

Why Upgrade

Social Media at work – did pilots – decided on Yammer, Chatter, Newsgator, and other social networkings. Decision to not dictate technologies on end users, but recommend tools they feel are best.

1st Attempt – try to integrate these tools. If it doesn’t succeed, we aggregate.

List of social networking services under My Social link

End users can make a post and it sends to multiple networks.

Expertise locator tag cloud

Expertise Search

Better Browser and Device Compatibility

Built feature grid – against all browsers. And put a level of support from 0 to 4.

Better performance: Increased performance by 29% (for global users) since servers are based in Denver.

Upgrade Methodology

Upgrade took 3 months.

Agilistic Scrum over the Spiral Waterfalls!

Blend of project methodologies. Started in Agile mode. Had MS Architects vet the scrums to make sure everything was in place. Meanwhile business analysts could create waterfall project plan.

Communication Plan: Write to end users, team site owners, don’t surprise them. They used a grid:

Subject | Type | Target Users | Description | Date Sent.

Governance Plan: Your blueprint. Over 345 new features – yes or no answers with each team and work with IT Operations to get their blessing. If “Yes” how is it configured and who can do what?

Feature Matrix for each set of features.

About the Upgrade (Technical)

Had access to MS Architects to ensure everything was possible.

Project Requirements:

  • 3 month timeline, multiple solutions to be upgraded.
  • Data  Mining/ Farm Documentation
  • Detailed Analysis of existing farm
  • 3rd party solutions audit.

Ran a source code comparer to diff the SharePoint files in 12 hive against the OOTB files.

Biggest challenge was 3rd party solutions. Had to build whole mockup of 2007 environment and then try migrations into 2010 to see what broke.

You need business users who can test this to see if it works or not.


Large server farm. 14 servers, 20,000 users world-wide, 12,000 sites and 33,000 My Sites. 20+ content databases.

Disaster Recovery. Redundant Data Centers for failover.

eBay has full failover – 4 hour failover time window.

$1.5 M of hardware.

Hardware and Performance Topics

Farm Configuration: Had to figure out capacity planning, how many servers, what the SLA’s are and tolerance for risk. For Disaster Recovery you might have to double the costs.

Microsoft offered access to MS Data Centers to test performance. Problem: eBay required other systems to be connected so that didn’t really work. Microsoft provided Architecture review.

IOPS are VERY important – FAST requires high Input Output for disks

SANs – very expensive, work with SQL Server. Everything else is Direct Attached drives for WFE and App servers.

Capacity Planning -  how many users concurrently – what will the transaction mix be? Plan for growth.

VS Ultimate Test Tools – allows for performance testing of your applications.

Performance Optimizations: Page weights, global network.

High latency network can cause end user dis-satisfaction. Top 3 HTTP request types tend to be: CSS, Images, JS

How to minimize the page weights?

  • Minimize the CSS (remove un-used CSS classes)
  • Compress the CSS
  • Make images 1px wide
  • Minify the JS files

Got page weights down to 67k. Users were happier in global locations


  • IIS Output Cache – causes weird page weight issue with browser
  • ASP.NET Caching
  • BlobCache -
  • ProxyServers
  • CDNs

About the Upgrade: Tactical

Provisioning a site – a  custom form. Long running process within a webpart. Anyone can create a site, IT gets a notification.

You specify a Business Unit, Organization, and Office Location default values using Managed Metadata. So when they search it will automatically filter from those sites with those values, they don’t have to do anything. They can find their site using their keywords. This took the longest time.

Rich Proifles: Encourage the end users to modify their user profiles

Offer them incentives.

Get rid of unwanted unused sites (clean your house)

Start your brownbag series early

Build an Upgrade Community to get feedback

Have weekly status meetings with the stakeholders

Make sure you have a Technical PM on the team

Watch out for the phrases: “That’s taken care of” or “That’s finished” – you have to test.

Test test test test

Productivity Hub

Power User Training

About the Upgrade: Functional

Master Pages – colliding requirements between functional groups

Editorial Issues: Did you use Word to edit in MOSS

Watch out for DIV and SPAN tags

Rich Text Editors and Content Editor webparts

The Ribbon: You will see some resistance. Users will settle after training

3 sets of users: Pioneers, Settlers, Stay-Behinds

Managed Metadata Services - Brilliant for search. Allow time for Information Taxanomy, do not rush! Planning to add them to lists and libraries (auto-tagging)? Watch out for Datasheet views.

Service Packs – don’t do SP for 6 months. But plan for it early


How many people were on the project? 3 devs, 3 IT Pros, 2 PMs (9 or 10 people for 3 months)

Physical or virtual? FAST and Admin was virtual, otherwise it was all physical (due to internal eBay policies)

Training: 20,000 user base – have trained 150 users so far. Train the trainer – Productivity Hub is 3rd most visited hub in the last few months so this is helping with training

Methodology – what do they recommend? Use whatever works. eBay recommends Scrum in Dev and get branding requirements via traditional models. Dev moved ahead while waiting for requirements (had a general idea)

Did you have to change any functionality? Had to rename thousands of host header name changes. InfoPath data connections were statically set – big issue.

Did you have constructive feedback on the intranet? Yes – put up a blog on the issues – have weekly call with Microsoft on post-upgrade lessons learned keeping Microsoft informed

Migration Approach? Was Database Attach in new farm. All database fail – that’s a given. The amount of time it takes to upgrade is directly related to the number of sites – so delete all the empty ones.

SharePoint Conference 2011: Integrating Social Media with SharePoint Websites

These are my rough notes from an SPC presentation by Brian Rodriguez and Ryan Sockalosky. Awesome session – my favourite type – really matter of fact and presenting and solving issues clearly.

Leveraging Social Media Example

Examples of leveraging social media on Facebook sites.

Ticketmaster on FaceBook: Daily Deals, large following, evangelism, popular items. Popularity leads to large revenue.

Front and center placement, put the like button as part of purchasing experience. You go to concerts with your friends and your friends are on facebook.

What can you do to leverage Social Networks?

Help users “Like", Tweet, and share content. Reach a broader audience. Allow your customers to evangelize for you. Drive traffic to your site.

How to Do it: Facebook

Facebook Plugins – has plugins you can use.

iFrame or XFBML (facebook XML language)

Some options: Like button, send messages, embed activity feed

plugin on page.

Facebook OpenGraph Protocol – you can use Facebook insights to get insights into traffic patterns, who is liking what

How to do it: Twitter

Embed twitter RSS feed into your page, embed plugin to allow tweets from a page.

How to Do It: Other Social Networks

AddThis – social network sharing


Contoso eletronics website

Add “Follow” button in master page at the bottom. Added tweet and like buttons next to the content. Defaulted Tweet content makes it dead easy for a user to click tweet and share the link

By function of tweeting that page, it is now part of the “Social Stream” – given a bit more weight in search engines and enabled for discovery by followers of the user or his or her friends.

Created a custom webpart to allow users to tailor the text to configure the Twitter content dynamically. The page owner can decide that they want to automatically embed hashtags in any tweet via a webpart property.

Facebook webpart – same options – defaulting text, show like button, show activity feed, people’s faces etc.

Tip: Make sure the tweet or facebook or sharethis links go to the home page consistently, so set some buttons in the master page footer or header and ensure every page on the site shows the sharing buttons.

One of the limitations of sandbox solutions is you cannot call RegisterClientScript so webparts containing these facebook or twitter plugins cannot be handled as sandbox solutions. Also a separate mode is created for Design Mode to allow rendering in SharePoint Designer otherwise you will see the controls as broken in Design Mode.

Demo of modifying master page by overriding AdditionalPageHead content placeholder in order to inject OpenGraph metadata tags (title, site name, description).

Enable Engagement and Conversations

Allow Social Commenting

Educate others that the conversation is happening

Increasing brand awareness and credibility by inviting the conversation to your site

Customers can engage with you and with each other

Facebook: Login plugin on your page and activity stream

Twitter: Widgets around searching or surfacing profile on your website

Demo of wrapping code in content editor webpart for these

Enabling Engagement and Commenting

Governance is key – to keep engagement clean and managed

Store and publish content on Social Sites: Examples: YouTube, Twitter, Facebook “fan pages”

Increased visibiltiy and re-use

Customers can view/subscribe/join without ever seeing your site

Surface your external social content on your site

1 out 6 minutes people are on a social networking site

Send to Twitter: Workflow in Action

Content added to SharePoint List – triggers approval SP workflow, results in REST post to Twitter. Need to store oAUTH credentials in SharePoint 2010 secure store service to allow staff members to sign in and post via the company account.

Content of tweet needs to be approved before posting

Register an application with Twitter to use their API.

REST Based api using OWA to allow approval

Setup oAuth sending consumer key and secret to Twitter using the Access Token they give us once signed up for the REST based api (while logged in as the company’s Twitter account).

Now go into Secure Store Service and add new Group access (single version of the credentials) although you could have different Twitter profiles and those could be individual secure tokens. Define the attributes we are capturing (Screen Name, Token, TokenSecret, ConsumerKey, ConsumerSecret).

Demo of creating automatic tweet via workflow that includes page title (for a press release) and then a link back to the page automatically

Other Integration Scenarios

Leverage FAST Search for dynamic content  with the FB Graph API

Connect BCS to Twitter – use native UI and WebParts with twitter content

Federated Search of Twitter, YouTube etc

Use federated login to Live or Facebook – use native SP Claims Based Auth instead of using the FB Connect plugin. Allows for audience targeting or storing a rich SP user profile

Allows for back end LOB integration (ex CRM, SAP, etc)

Tips and Considerations

Do you need to own the conversation / content?

SharePoint’s Social Networking capabilities require login

Linking is tied to pages / uRLs – if pages change or are deleted conversation goes away

Performance of plugins – Facebook like button is at least 2 calls to Facebook. You could try to load JS asynchronously after pages load to keep down load.

Reference javascript in master pages or page layouts

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

SharePoint Conference 2011: Developing SharePoint Applications with HTML5 and JQuery

These are my (very) rough notes of a session by Ted Pattison at the SharePoint 2011 Conference in Anaheim.

It was a great session – Ted went into great detail in a short amount of time – and it was very entertaining.


  • Using JQuery with SP 2010
  • HTML5 Fundamentals
  • Leveraging HTML5 Features in SP2010
  • Adding support for IE8 and IE7

JQuery Fundamentals

JQuery was designed to hide differences between browsers.

Design focuses on 2 primary tasks:

  1. Retrieving sets of elements from HTML pages.
  2. Performing operations on the elements within a set

Linking to the JQuery library -  link to Microsoft CDN. Or you can add JQuery source to SharePoint environment in _layouts directory or via content DB in site collection. Adding to _layouts is not friendly to sandbox of Office 365

Tip: Use <SharePointScriptLink tag in the content layout

Tip: Create a feature to deploy the library. Deploy as Visual studio solution and deploy the wsp file which contains the JQuery script files and uploads them as a module.

Configure IntelliSense for JQuery

Copy JQuery source files to folder on local machine

Need a way for JQuery code to fire at the right time (when the DOM is available).

DocumentReady Event Handler

JQuery Objects

JQuery object represents a collection of zero or more elements referred to as a “Wrapped Set”. Example:

$(“p”).css({“color”: “#333” });

Most objects are created to cascade (i.e. do a bunch of things at once)

JQuery leverages familiar CSS selector syntax

Demonstrated using Browser debugging tool (which can be used in Office 365) to create new HTML tags dynamically using the DOM

JQuery UI Widgets

Pre-coded UI components based on built-in theming scheme – an extension to the core JQuery library

JQuery UI Widgets:

  • Auto-complete
  • Date Picker
  • Slider, Progress bar
  • Tabs
  • Accordion
  • Dialog

Download themes – which have CSS files you can use to configure the colours and look and feel

Working with Data

JQuery Templates: An additional extension – this is in BETA.

Templating mechanism for replacing XSLT transforms

Provides strategy for converting data collections into HTML

Demo: Creating an HTML Table with JQuery templates and making AJAX Calls with jQuery

Makes it possible to call REST based services

_vti_bin/listdata.svc for any SharePoint list returns a feed in XML format

$.getJSON(requestUrl, null, OnDataReturned);

You can POST using JSON to the SharePoint _vti_bin/listdata.svc list

Edits-  have to view the DOM’s etag to see if another user hasn’t updated the SharePoint list data in the meantime. Use If-Match and pass in a MERGE method


SharePoint uses XHTML 1.0 and CSS2.1

HTML 5 allows page elements to degrade gracefully. Adds JavaScript APIs and some new properties

Motivations to move: Want CSS, JavaScript and HTML to work well across all browsers. Want to target mobile devices.

Primary Pain Points: Modern browsers only support portions of HTML. IE does not offer HTML5 tag support until IE8.

New functional elements such as canvas, geolocation, video and data list

CSS3 Changes

Borders can have rounded corners. Colors can be expressed with gradients and opacity. Text can have drop shadows and more control over text wrap. Partial adoption of new properties has been going on for years.

New JavaScript 5 APIs

Not universally supported

Demo of creating a master page supporting HTML 5 – add document type and some new tags.

You still need to keep some special named HTML divs for SharePoint 2010 (for the Ribbon)

Creating an HTML 5 Site

Demo: Creating pages using new HTML 5 features: use the canvas, use SVG graphics

Videos: tip – include multiple sources for video formats because for the moment browsers support different formats

Geolocation: Can get navigator.CurrentPosition to figure out where you are and load a map using JavaScript information

Browser Support Fallback

IE8 and 7 still make up significant amount of user base

Polyfills is a way of providing fallback functionality for older browsers. Supporting older browsers begins with modernizer – Modernizr open source project that helps with this.

Some things you do in HTML5 will not work in IE 7 or 8 no matter what you do.

Added ScriptLink to the Modernizr script. Modernizr allows you to specify via CSS and JavaScript what will happen if the browser does not support one of the items (such as the new Canvas tag).

Saturday, September 24, 2011

SharePoint Data Governance: Achieve Consistent & Automated Security Webinar Invite

Next Friday September 30 I will be co-presenting a live webinar on SharePoint Data Governance with Microsoft and our partners Titus. I will be speaking to some real world examples of handling SharePoint security and regulatory compliance challenges using SharePoint and Titus Metadata Security.

The amount of data - and sensitive data - is growing within SharePoint environments every day, but is your organization set up to keep it all secure?

Date: September 30, 2011
Time: 12:00pm EST
Dr. Soheil Saadat
Principal Program Manager

Nick Kellett
Microsoft MVP & CTO

Antonio Maio
Senior Product Manager

Register Now!

You can find out more information on our website here:

Friday, July 15, 2011

Microsoft: Submit your story on SharePoint and Get Showcased!

Microsoft has posted the following contest – a great way of sharing SharePoint success stories with the world. Read on for details:

There are so many fantastic success stories on SharePoint 2010 that are just waiting to be told and shared. Now’s your chance to get your story heard!
You’re invited to share your unique story on SharePoint 2010 to win the chance of being professionally filmed and showcased on the Canadian site for Microsoft SharePoint. Winners also get a complimentary conference pass to attend the Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2011 in Anaheim, California from October 3-6 2011 (a $1,199 value.)

1st prize

Your story professional filmed, plus a pass to the Microsoft SharePoint conference 2011

2nd prize

One pass to the Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2011

Contest Categories
SharePoint 2010 is a versatile solution and can address many different business challenges. Choose a submission category from the following list on how you used SharePoint to address the following business priorities:

  • Increase productivity
  • Reduce cost
  • Rapidly respond to business needs

Please note that you can submit to multiple categories, provided each submission is a unique and different SharePoint 2010 solution (i.e., one solution per category).

Don’t miss this great chance to be rewarded for all your hard work. Your journey with SharePoint is important and it needs to be heard!
All submissions must be received by August 22nd, 2011.

Good luck!


Monday, July 11, 2011

SharePoint 2007 Search Quirk–Hit Highlighting on Integers

While working on a SharePoint 2007 custom search project we found an interesting little quirk in the search engine.

We were using the XML iFilter rather than the regular html iFilter due to a requirement to tightly constrain some date metadata as type datetime (with the OOTB filter SharePoint was returning these as text and not allowing proper date range filtering).

While searching for numbers contained within text, if the number was on its own line of text and not preceded by anything else, the result would return correctly but hit-highlighting was not applied.

However, if we put any text at all in front of the numbers, the hit-highlighting applies perfectly.

Therefore the workaround was simply to alter the text that was being displayed to include at least one letter or word before the integers in the line.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

SEO Tool for SharePoint 2010 WCM Sites

There is a great tool from Mavention called Meta Fields that allows SharePoint 2010 administrators to add metadata properties to the source code of their pages. This makes it easier for a search engine to crawl and rank the content and so is helpful for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

To use this you just have to download (for free as far as I can tell) and install Mavention Meta Fields which is a SharePoint solution. After activating the feature and adding metadata columns to your page content type, you can now edit the properties and the source code spits out metadata such as (for example) keywords, subject, DC.title and DC.keywords.

Anyone with a public website SharePoint 2010 web site should consider using this. Complete instructions are on creator Waldek Mastykarz’s blog:

Great solution Waldek!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Managed Metadata Term Set Tools

One of the great new features of SharePoint 2010 is the new Managed Metadata service, which allows you to centrally manage your metadata. You can setup hierarchical terms in a variety of languages, and delegate the administration responsibility to end users such as Information Management staff or Records Managers.

Although it is easy enough to add individual terms, there are a variety of great tools that make it easy to create and upload entire term sets (the largest we have migrated so far is Medical Subject or MeSH data with about 16,000 hierarchical medical terms).

Here are some of the tools we use at StoneShare:

Excel Template with Macro

Wictor Wilen has created an Excel Template with a Macro to make it easy to populate SharePoint 2010 Term Sets.

I have uploaded the file to the Agora Development site under Shared Documents > Development Tools:

The instructions are located here:

Term Set Importer / Exporter

When uploading large term sets (such as the MeSH one we used for a client) you might get timeouts in Central Administration – this is because the out-of-the-box import tool uses a web interface). There is a great (FREE!) tool on CodePlex which uses a little desktop utility, and hence does not time out: 

Pre-Built Term Sets for Sale

Rather than going to the trouble of creating your own term sets, you can also purchase existing term sets from Data Facet. I haven’t yet used these so I can’t speak for them but this could be a good way to quick-start your managed metadata for a particular industry.

One advantage of this approach (apart from the time saved recreating these) is that you will be using the identical term set as other organizations, which may help with data portability. Whether this is your business requirement or not is an open question.

I hope these tools help!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

There is a great SharePoint maturity model created by Sadie Van Buren we use to help educate our clients and anticipate their growing use of our products and solutions.

It's easy to use - just examine the particular section you are considering, and depending on the answers to the statements in the section you can determined where the organization fits. Generally organizations have different maturity in different areas of SharePoint.

SharePoint Maturity Model