Friday, 30 January 2009

BBC NEWS | Business | Davos 2009 | How companies tackle the interweb thingy

BBC NEWS | Business | Davos 2009 | How companies tackle the interweb thingy

Of course, every company worth its salt has a website, not least those who have sent their executives to the World Economic Forum in Davos.

But the discussions here suggest that many companies are still struggling to move beyond having a colourful website towards really using the internet to their advantage.

And to make things worse, hardly any company knows how to cope with the rise of social media - the Facebooks, Twitters, blogs and YouTubes of the digital world.

Digital confidence

Getting the web right starts with the basics: spam, privacy and fraud.

"The internet is seen by many [consumers] as an extremely dangerous place," says Thomas Stewart of consulting firm Booz & Company.

Companies have to tackle the "killers of digital confidence", he says, from issues such as network security to fraud prevention.

This is not just about having a secure website. It begins with basic issues such as being honest and upfront with your customers.

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BBC NEWS | Business | Davos 2009 | Gates predicts four-year downturn

Microsoft founder Bill Gates has told the BBC that it could take as much as four years for economies in trouble to return to positive growth.
BBC NEWS | Business | Davos 2009 | Gates predicts four-year downturn
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Thursday, 29 January 2009

I meet this guy when he started his career


Add iFilters to Index Unstructured Content
From the SharePoint best Practices Manual

      Most unstructured content is locked up inside files. Although we can find this content by
      searching for metadata that was collected and indexed when the file was added to SharePoint
      Products and Technologies, we’ve already discussed how requiring too much metadata can
      lead users to look for other ways to store their content. One way to overcome the limitation of
      searching only by metadata is to index the contents of the files themselves. But to do this, you
      need to be able to read the contents of the file. iFilters are small programs that make it possible
      for SharePoint to read the contents of files so that they can be indexed. iFilters are usually
      made available by the company that programmed the software that creates the file. Microsoft
      has pre-loaded iFilters for most of its own file formats into SharePoint Products and Technolo-
      gies, but there are exceptions. For example, iFilters for Microsoft Visio and Microsoft One Note
      are not part of the default load for SharePoint Products and Technologies. Third-party file for-
      mats like Adobe Acrobat and Open Office are also not pre-installed. If you use these programs
      in your environment, you should consider loading the iFilter for the appropriate format.

I would also add that as of date few iFlilers are 64 bit and one should generally deploy the Search Engine as 32 bit if there is any chance of having to run iFilters/
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Microsoft SharePoint - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Pretty Bad Info

Microsoft SharePoint products and technologies include browser-based collaboration and a document-management platform. These can be used to host web sites that access shared workspaces and documents, as well as specialized applications like wikis and blogs from a browser. Not clear if SharePoint is hosting the or accessing. Actually WSS is the core sharepoint technology which is an extension of the .NET object model

Users can manipulate proprietary controls or pieces of content called web parts to create or modify sites.
User security model is more complex than this. Actually users, or reviewers and readers have limited or not access of web parts, administrators and designers do.

SharePoint is not intended to replace a full file server. Instead, it is targeted as a collaborative workspace, a tool for the management and automation of business processes, and a platform for social networking.
SharePoint can be used to replace file servers. Deployment of SharePoint at the very least will make file servers usages less, and potentially and likely in most cases remove all need.

Microsoft markets this as Collaboration, Processes, and People.Really? Never saw this myself.

SharePoint interface is through a web interface, such as a task list or discussion pane. SharePoint sites are actually ASP.NET 2.0 applications, which are served using IIS and use a SQL Server database as a data storage backend. SharePoint can be interfaced through Office documents and using Office 2007 allows use of SharePoint WITHOUT any accesss via a web browser. Though it is an HTTP interface.

All site content data is stored within a SQL Server database called WSS_Content. FALSE: Database name can be given any name by installer. Each site collection can have a unique dtabase with unique name
Microsoft SharePoint - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Comment: I hope to spend some time correctly some of these sections because they have gotten very poor. The main problem with Wikipedia is finding all the hundreds of places poor data can hide out.

Not SharePoint, but just too cool to keep out

A story that goes in to the "not about SharePoint but too cool to keep out" from MSNBC.COM

When black holes are perturbed, they vibrate somewhat like a ringing bell. Now astronomers have narrowed down the rotational speed at which that vibration should stop.

As is typical, they did it out by running a simulation. But instead of a supercomputer, they used a batch of Sony PlayStation 3 gaming consoles wired together.

The so-called PS3 Gravity Grid, a network of 16 PlayStation 3 consoles grouped together in a cluster capable of running simulations that rival a dedicated supercomputer at a much lower cost.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

RSS Feeds and Microsoft SharePoint Hosting Sites with WSS 3.0

RSS feeds in Microsoft SharePoint Hosting sites are automatically created for any SharePoint list. These enable all subscribers to keep themselves updated and track updates by subscribing to the RSS from the SharePoint hosting site. Any enabled RSS reader may be used in hosted SharePoint site, including Microsoft Internet Explorer and Outlook 2007.
RSS Feeds and Microsoft SharePoint Hosting Sites with WSS 3.0
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RSS Feeds and Microsoft SharePoint Hosting Sites with WSS 3.0

RSS feeds in Microsoft SharePoint Hosting sites are automatically created for any SharePoint list. These enable all subscribers to keep themselves updated and track updates by subscribing to the RSS from the SharePoint hosting site. Any enabled RSS reader may be used in hosted SharePoint site, including Microsoft Internet Explorer and Outlook 2007.
RSS Feeds and Microsoft SharePoint Hosting Sites with WSS 3.0
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Windows SharePoint Services - Wikipedia, I am making edits please include feedback Wikipedia on MOSS is pretty bad and I want to change that

Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) currently in version 3 provides all the objects underpinning all Microsoft SharePoint technology. WSS is provided as a free download from Microsoft to Windows Server 2003.
Windows SharePoint Services - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The SharePoint Object Model provided by WSS offers objects to support collaboration and document management functionality, centralized repository for shared documents. WSS also provides support for blogs and wikis WSS supports browser-based management and administration.

WSS allows web based document collaboration can be shared for collaborative editing. SharePoint provides access control and revision control for documents in a library.

Installation of WSS on a server makes available a collection of web parts that can be embedded into web pages to provide a certain functionality. SharePoint includes web parts such as workspaces and dashboards, navigation tools, lists, alerts (including e-mail alerts), shared calendar, contact lists and discussion boards.

SharePoint serves content via IIS Web Sites. These use SQL Server technology to store content.

The web sites can configured to return separate content for Intranet, Extranet and Internet locations. In WSS these deployments have no licensing implications do so when Microsoft Office SharePoint Server is used.

SharePoint uses a similar LDAP permissions model to Microsoft Windows, via groups of users. This can be provided via Active Directory. Alternatively, other authentication providers can be added through or even HTML Forms authentication.

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BBC NEWS | Politics | Tories consider IT contract cap

The Conservatives are considering plans for a £100m cap on government IT contracts to prevent "white elephants" such as the NHS computer system.Instead of awarding long-term contracts to large IT companies they could open up the procurement process to smaller firms using "open source" software.
BBC NEWS | Politics | Tories consider IT contract cap
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Monday, 26 January 2009

USAF Blogging Guidelines

Good stards for anyone I think.
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Branding a Blog The Easy Way

The easiest way to brand a blog is to select a theme

Go to site settings and then select Site Theme

This gives you a set of colour schemes you can use to quickly style a site
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Saturday, 24 January 2009

Creating a Blog in MOSS 2007

For now lets assume you know how to create a Web Application in MOSS, which I will cover again and again later. Web Applications create unique Web Sites in IIS. When first created they are empty. The provide a Web Site, and Application Poll and a Database to store the application poll, but as I said they are empty. To create Site Collection link on the document above should be clicked to put a site collection in the Web Application I have created.

In the web application on port 2009 I select a Blog template and give it the name "Home" You can call it anything.

One of my bones with MOSS is there is just room for 2 primary administrators at start. More can be added later but it would be nice to declare one for business, one for IT and a top level Enterprise account. These administrators can not be group accounts but only unique accounts. I find a best practice is to have a shared account like SharePoint Admin of Administrator used to create all of these. Therefore in the future you will always have administration control.

In this case I select no quota and just press okay.

A blog is created with Out of the Box styling. I do prefer the Blogger set up where you select one of many template styles as part of the blog production, but remember MOSS is more for Enterprise and in the wild and generally you will have a stand look and feel in place on your estate.

The above steps also work with WSS 3.
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Friday, 23 January 2009 MarkLogic Announces Connector for SharePoint and a Free Toolkit for Word

John Kreisa, director of industry solutions at MarkLogic, says many customers are looking for a way out from under cumbersome, expensive ECM solutions. His company saw one possible solution to customers’ problems when it realized so many were migrating to Microsoft’s SharePoint. By connecting "out of the box SharePoint applications with the MarkLogic server," the company hopes to provide a nimble alternative to heavier applications, says Kreisa. MarkLogic Announces Connector for SharePoint and a Free Toolkit for Word
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Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Why SharePoint?

If I had to sum of the core thing using SharePoint will get your staff I would do so in a true story that happened to me.

About 4 years ago I I had a HP laptop that one day fell out of my locker.

Slowly but surely over the next few days the blue screen of death popped up again and again. I took it to support and a few hours later a very worried looking young man came to my office.

He was clearly scared to tell me that my computer's hard drive was damaged and lost.

I grinned and simply asked when I could get a new hard drive.

He seemed surprised by my lack of concern. Certainly I had lost some things that would need to be re-installed but I was using SharePoint 2003 for team sites and my own MySite. Most of my critical content I needed to work was stored.

That is the core utility of this tool.

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Open Text releases Recruiting Management for Microsoft SharePoint

WATERLOO - Open Text(TM) announced yesterday the release of Open Text Recruiting Management for Microsoft SharePoint, a native Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 application for collaborative hiring case management that helps to simplify the recruiting process within organizations. This release is part of a continuing Open Text strategy to build applications that extend Office SharePoint Server 2007, based on the Open Text ECM Suite.
Daily Exchange

Open Text is really pushing its partnership with SharePoint pretty hard.  The fact that the industry leader ECM product is embracing SharePoint is all the proof you need of the future of SharePoint.
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Product Demo: Mainsoft SharePoint Integrator for Lotus Notes, from Mainsoft Corp. - White Papers, Webcasts and Case Studies - ZDNet

Mainsoft SharePoint Integrator for Lotus Notes integrates your Lotus messaging and SharePoint collaboration environments, without the hassles or risks of a migration. In this demo, watch a Lotus Notes user access, modify, and publish Notes emails and document attachments on SharePoint using Mainsoft's sidebar application. Mainsoft SharePoint Integrator is available as an add-in for Lotus Notes 8 and as a rich, standalone client that docks to Notes 7.x and 6.5.x.
Product Demo: Mainsoft SharePoint Integrator for Lotus Notes, from Mainsoft Corp. - White Papers, Webcasts and Case Studies - ZDNet

Technically speaking SharePoint and Lotus Notes are in competitive positions.  In my experience firms that are drawn to SharePoint have probably already invested Lotus Notes years before.  Full replace of the stack is what Microsoft wants but are not likely.  That is why this integration tool from Mainsoft is worth looking into.
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So you are stuck with SharePont 2003?

Many companies installed Microsoft SharePoint 2003.  With SharePoint 2007 many managers are wondering if it is even worth working with 2003.  Often there are no plans to migrate to 2007 and many office workers have to make due with 2003.  I hope to show that 2003 is a very useful tool to establish collaboration and it is all you have by all means use it.

There is an unwritten law of Microsoft technology that the third release is the one that gets it right.

This is certainly the case with Microsoft Office SharePoint 2007.  Its a shinny star in what has been overall a poor performance of Microsoft to lead users with Vista and Office 2007.

But many very large firms that I have worked with have invested in SharePoint 2003 server farms.  So is it worth even trying to use it?

The answer is yes.  Though 2007 is better than 2003,  SharePoint 2003  provides tools to help get your teams to start collaborating better.  As long as you keep in mind what it can do and what are some of its limits.

It is my opinion that SharePoint 2003 does the following things well:

  1.  Broadcast a message: It does require a bit of HTML skill to get it to look good but a department can effectively communicate with it.
  2. Collect feedback:  You have chat groups. Chat groups can be very productive spaces for collecting feedback. 
  3. Document Collaboration: You get collaborate on making Office documents.  This is wonderful for producing team documents like bids or manuals.  I have also seen it used for annual reports.
2003 lacks some key features:

Effective Search.  SharePoint 2003 has 2 levels of search, I won't go in to details but it is confusing.   Make sure you test your search and get IT to insure its working.  I don't have space to go in to all the problems with 2003 Search but many firms decided to install other products.

Workflow: when I was first asked about 2003 workflow I could only say "there is nothing there that impresses me"

Web Content Publishing: Got to get 2007 for that.  Again you need to know some HTML to get it to look professional.

But still 2003 offers more features that most people not on a good Lotus Notes system will not have. It is my experience that even though Lotus Notes is a good system it is often implemented poorly and unpopular.  Many firms are using both systems, don't think that just because you have Lotus you can't use SharePoint.

Warning:  Make sure you delete sites when you don't need them any more. Be strict about this, make your users prove they still need their systems.  SharePoint 2003 can become a bloated collection of outdated text, pictures, and endless drafts of unnecessary or dated documents. Remember that everything needs to be stored in a database and that can get very expensive for the company.  Don't let using SharePoint 2003 create a new problem.  Set clear rules on how long people can have team sites for and delete them when no longer needed.  People can still use their own computers to share files.
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Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server

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Welcome to my SharePoint blog from London

I hope to make this a major location for SharePoint. I am going to try and follow Jorn Barger in his rule of linking, but I would like to present some text as well.

For those of you who don't know SharePoint 2007 is Microsoft tool to, at the highest level replaced file shares for smaller documents, Office documents and documents that are going to be collaborated and require metadata and workflow.

A lot of people are getting commands from above to use SharePoint. The good news is its a good tool. The band news is that is had dangers I will try to go in to in this blog.