Tuesday, January 26, 2010

SharePoint 2010 Beta 2 virtual machine available

UPDATE: These virtual machines are now available for download for everyone. Click here to get it from Microsoft Download pages.


Microsoft has published a virtual machine ready for download, containing SharePoint 2010 Beta 2. The download is (as of January 21st 2010) only available for Microsoft SharePoint Deployment Planning Services (SDPS) partners, and can be downloaded from the SDPS Partner web site.

The following information is taken from setup document that comes with the image:

The software installed on the image is as follows:

1. Windows Server 2008 SP2 Standard Edition x64, running as an Active Directory Domain Controller for the “CONTOSO.COM” domain with DNS and WINS
2. Microsoft SQL Server 2008 SP2 Enterprise Edition with Analysis, Notification, and Reporting Services
3. Microsoft Office Communication Server 2007 R2
4. Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 Ultimate Edition
5. Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise Edition Beta 2
6. Microsoft Office Web Applications Beta 2
7. FAST Search for SharePoint 2010 Beta 2
8. Microsoft Project Server 2010 Beta 2
9. Microsoft Office “Mondo” 2010 Beta 2
10. Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 R2

There is also a second image available for download, which contains the following:

1. Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard Evaluation Edition x64, joined to the “CONTOSO.COM” domain
2. Microsoft Exchange Server 2010

This is for testing Exchange with SharePoint. If you just want to test Exchange, you can download and run this image. The Active directory however, runs in the SharePoint image.

The Active directory has been preconfigured over 200 “demo” users with metadata in an organizational structure. All of these user profiles have been imported and indexed for search within SharePoint Server 2010, with “contoso\administrator” granted administrator permissions.

A note on requirements for running these images: Microsoft Windows® Server 2008 R2 with the Hyper-V role enabled is required. It is highly recommended that you use Windows Server 2008 R2, since older versions of Hyper-V will not be able to import the VM package, will likely trigger activation of the software included in the image, and will have reduced performance.

Monday, January 4, 2010

SharePoint Saturday EMEA

SharePoint Saturday is putting together a full day of sessions, with first-class speakers from around the world. And this time it's set up on a time suitable for us living in Europe, the Middle-East and in Africa (EMEA). And the best of all: it's FREE!

The date is Saturday 23rd of January, and it starts at 08:00 AM GMT, which is London time. To find the startup time in your region, visit this page. It finishes around 5:00 PM GMT.

The content of the sessions is mostly concerned around SharePoint 2010, but a few also on MOSS 2007. A full list of the sessions and its speakers visit this page.

I've registered, and looking forward to attend this. It will just be me, my laptop, and a lot of coffee this day. Can't wait!
If you'd like to attend, go here for registration.

Monday, November 9, 2009

SharePoint 2010 Certifications

I recently attended the SharePoint Conference 2009 in Las Vegas. There I picked up a flyer with information on certification opportunities on the next generation of SharePoint; SharePoint 2010.

While still waiting for Beta 2 (public beta) to be released, I would like to share with you what information I have gathered so far on these new certifications:

IT Professional track

There are now two brand new certifications for IT Professionals. These are:Before taking the 70-668, you need to pass the 70-667.

  • 70-667 TS: Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Configuring
    Microsoft Official Curriculum: Will cover configuration of SharePoint 2010 including deployment, upgrade, management, and operation on a server farm.
  • 70-668 PRO: SharePoint 2010, Administrator
    Microsoft Official Curriculum: Will cover advanced SharePoint 2010 topics including capacity planning, topology designing, and performance tuning.
When these two exams are passed, you are given the title SharePoint 2010 MCITP (Microsoft Certified IT Professional).

Developer track

As for IT Professionals, there are two new certifications for Developers as well. These are:
  • 70-573 TS: Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Application Development
    Microsoft Official Curriculum: Five-day instructor-led course designed for developers with six months or more of .NET development experience. Course covers what you need to know to be an effective member of a SharePoint development team using Visual Studio 2010.
  • 70-576 PRO: Designing and Developing Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Applications
    Microsoft Official Curriculum: Five-day instructor-led training course designed for development team leads who have already passed the Developing on SharePoint 2010 technical specialist exam. The course covers choosing technologies for and scoping a SharePoint project, best practices for SharePoint development, configuring a SharePoint development
Before taking the 70-576, you need to pass the 70-573. When these two exams are passed, you are given the title SharePoint 2010 MCPD (Microsoft Certified Professional Developer).

Master track

As today, the Master (MCM) track will be available. To go for the SharePoint MCM title, you can proceed in one of the two following paths:
  1. Pass all four SharePoint 2007 exams (70-541, 70-542, 70-630 and 70-631), and also fulfill the experience requirements mentioned here.
  2. Complete both the tracks mentioned above, passing the SharePoint 2010 MCITP and SharePoint 2010 MCPD.
In both cases, you will the be invited to apply, attend and successfully complete a three week training program, pass three computer-based tests during the training, and successfully complete the final qualification lab exam (taken from MS Master program description).

All SharePoint 2010 exams and certifications will be available in June 2010.
For more information on SharePoint 2010 exams and certifications, and how you can get ready for SharePoint 2010, please visit this page on the MS Partner site.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Follow that geek!

Twitter has become quite popular over the last couple of years, and soon everyone has something to say about anything!

Well, if you're using Twitter to get work-related information, or you just want get it all in, head over to Jason's blog post on Tech Republic. He has got a new article listing [in his opinion] the top 100 technology experts [or geeks :-)] on the planet.

So if you're looking to fill up your screen with twitts, then go follow that geek!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

SharePoint "14" officially renamed to SharePoint 2010

Head over to the Microsoft SharePoint Team Blog, where they have published some new information on the next generation of SharePoint.

The codename for the next version has been SharePoint "14" and Office "14", but it is now officially renamed to Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and Microsoft Office 2010.

No word on the release of the first betas, though... :-(

For more information, see this article.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Office 14 not released in 2009

Mary Jo Foley over at ZDNet has published an article stating that Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer has commented that Office 14 won't be released this year (2009).

Read more in this article at ZDNet.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Avoid those nagging 304's on custom themes!

In my effort to make one of our customer's intranet speedy, we started analyzing what took time loading the pages.

We soon discovered the wonders of the blobcache, and its many advantages. Using Fiddler, we saw our elements "disappear" (going from 40+ requests to only 10-15 requests), but some elements were stuck behind.

The blobcache caches all the types of elements you specify in the configuration file. By default this is jpg and gif files, among others. So, when hitting the pages, the theme images are also being cached. But since they reside in a special folder (a so-called Web folder) named _themes, these images get checked on each request. This check is what's causing the 304 messages, also known as hand-shaking. This is not needed, so we want these requests to go away.

BTW, using the default theme (the famous and SEXY blue one), this is not an issue. But once you select another one of the themes that comes with either WSS or MOSS, or you develop your own theme to be used, this will be the case.

Luckily there is way to fix this, and I will demonstrate it using av copy of the theme named Belltown that ships with SharePoint.

When a web application in SharePoint is created, it also creates a number of virtual folders. Among these are the _layouts and the images folders. Viewing these through IIS, you will discover that these are set to be cached for 365 days by default (see screen shot below). We are now going to exploit this by moving our images being used by our custom theme into a subfolder under the images folder.

First, make a copy of the folder for the Belltown theme in the 12\TEMPLATE\THEMES folder. Rename the copied folder to something like CacheTest (I will continue using this name throughout this article). This new folder should now be like 12\TEMPLATE\THEMES\CacheTest.

Also rename the inf file inside this new folder from Belltown.inf to CacheTest.inf. Then open this file, and replace the text "Belltown" with "CacheTest".

Next, go into the folder 12\TEMPLATE\Images, and create a new folder named THEMES, and inside that folder create a new folder named CacheTest.

Now, go back to the new CacheTest folder under 12\TEMPLATE\THEMES, and move all the images (jpg, gif, etc.) from that folder and into the folder 12\TEMPLATE\Images\THEMES\CacheTest.

Then open the css files in the CacheTest theme folder and search and replace the following:

url(" with url("/_layouts/images/themes/cachetest/


with url('/_layouts/images/themes/cachetest/

Now you should be all set for testing the new theme. But before you do so, either recycle the application pool of your web application, or run an IISRESET.

Finally, go into a site's Site Settings, and change the theme to CacheTest. Now go back to the front page of the site and use Fiddler to see the results. Number of requests should now be greatly reduced. On my installation, I ended up with only 5 requests. Voila!

Thanks to Shane M for input on how to accomplish this.

For more information on how to create a custom theme, visit this MSDN article. Also, Heather Solomon has some great articles on how to achieve this.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2009 Announced!

Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2009 is finally announced. This year's conference has been pushed from March, when it's been usually held, to October. This is probably due to the upcoming release of Office "14".

The conference is being held October 19th to 22th 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, and full attendance will cost you $1199. Register among the first 500, and get a $300 discount!

The agenda will mostly contain what's new in Office "14", but will also contain sessions on experiences and best practices on SharePoint 2007.

Whether you're an IT Professional, an IT Decision Maker, an Architect or a Developer, this will be the place for you SharePoint dudes!

For more information, agenda and registration, visit http://www.mssharepointconference.com/.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Where is what in the database?

Ever wondered where things are being stored in the database? Or do you need to check that your web part contains the right information?
I've been struggling to get a good overview of the different databases and their tables. Now I've finally found it. And this it's Microsoft themselves who comes to the rescue!

Check out the Databases reference here:

This reference contains information on all tables (both content database tables and configuration database tables) and stored procedures.

Also check out Ethan Bertsch's blog post on the content database: Inspecting The SharePoint Content Database. It contains information on the most common used tables, as well as some SQL scripts on common queries. But the best part is the excellent database diagram of the content database. Thanks, Ethan.

Finally, to repeat what cannot be said often enough:
Direct editing in the SharePoint databases is NOT supported by Microsoft, and should therefore never be done. If you however need to, make sure you BACKUP your databases or farm before doing so.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Forefront Security for SharePoint with Service Pack 2

Mostly for those wanting to upgrade to Windows Server 2008, but also for those of you wanting to get the latest fixes in Forefront for SharePoint.
More information here...

Friday, March 14, 2008

Editing XSL Style Sheets - beware!

Made a discovery yesterday afternoon.
I have made some changes to my default XSL Style Sheet, ItemStyle.xsl. I'm gonna be honest, I'm no style sheet guru! But I have managed to create a few methods for formatting things, for instance formatting and displaying a date. (I found tips for this on this article.)

At first I had these methods in ItemStyle.xsl, but then I saw that these came up as alternatives in the ContentQueryWebPart Item Style dropdown list. So I thought that I would put them in the Main style sheet, the ContentQueryMain.xsl. I also changed the method names, to more alike the ones that are already there, for instance "OuterTemplate.FormatDate". And it worked! Beautiful!

But on some of sites, the SummeryLinkWebPart has been used. This is a pretty straight-forward "display my links" kind of web part. For some reason, this web part now didn't work as it should. It displayed the following error:

"Unable to display this Web Part. To troubleshoot the problem, open this Web page in a Windows SharePoint Services-compatible HTML editor such as Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer. If the problem persists, contact your Web server administrator."
After much error searching inside the definition of this web part in my site definition, I found out that the custom methods I created in ContentQueryMain.xsl, also had to be added to a style sheet file called SummaryLinkMain.xsl. This file also resides in /Style Library/XSL Style Sheets/, along with the style sheets for the ContentQueryWebPart and the RSS web part.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

How to display all fields available in the content query web part (CQWP)

When working with customizing the Content Query Web Part (aka CQWP), you often want to know what you're dealing with. In this article I'm going to show you how you can show all the fields and their contents for all the items being displayed.

There are several suggestions out there on how to accomplish this, but here's my take. This recipe involves editing the style sheets (XSLT) for the CQWP. The CQWP uses three different style sheets for rendering the content set up to be displayed. By default these three are:

  1. /Style Library/XSL Style Sheets/ContentQueryMain.xsl
  2. /Style Library/XSL Style Sheets/Header.xsl
  3. /Style Library/XSL Style Sheets/ItemStyle.xsl
The one we are going to focus on, is the last one: ItemStyle.xsl.

Using SharePoint Designer, open this file. Add the following template text in the bottom of the file (but before the closing tag):

<xsl:template name="ShowXML" match="Row[@Style='ShowXML']" mode="itemstyle">
<xsl:variable name="SafeLinkUrl">
<xsl:call-template name="OuterTemplate.GetSafeLink">
<xsl:with-param name="UrlColumnName" select="'LinkUrl'"/>
Item: <i>
<a href="{@LinkUrl}">
<xsl:value-of select="@Title" />
<xsl:for-each select="@*">
<xsl:sort select="name()"/>
<xsl:value-of select="name()" />
<xsl:text disable-output-escaping="yes"> </xsl:text>
<xsl:value-of select="." />
<br />

  • Save the file, and do a Check-in.
  • Now go back to your page containing your CQWP, Edit Page, and choose Modify Shared Web Part on the CQWP.
  • Under the Category Presentation, in the Item Styles dropdown list, now choose your new style called ShowXML. See screen shot below

  • Finally, click Apply or OK.
The CQWP will now display all the items with all the fields and their content. I've formatted the output somewhat, but as you can see from the code pasted into ItemStyle.xsl earlier, it's easy to make changes.
For example of result, see screen shot below.

That's it! There's nothing to it!

But, the point of doing this in the first place is not only to see which fields you have available. You have probably created your own fields you want to use in the CQWP. So, to make them available here, I would like to send you over to Heather Solomons' excellent article on how to accomplish this. Check it out here: Customizing the Content Query Web Part and Custom Item Styles

For more information on how to customize the CQWP and its style sheets, check out my de.icio.us bookmarks on http://feeds.delicious.com/rss/frankove/cqwp. I won't bother posting all the links in this post, since I constantly find new good links. But here are a few good ones:

Monday, February 18, 2008

Visual Studio 2005 extensions for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, version 1.1

An update has been published to this tool. For those who are unfamiliar to this, it enables Visual Studio developers to create SharePoint elements (lists, web parts, features, etc.) directly from Visual Studio, and deploy directly to your SharePoint installation.

It also enables you to export sites and lists from your SharePoint installation using a tool called SharePoint Solution Generator. When doing this, it automatically wraps the exported elements into a Visual Studio project, ready for you to develop in.

For download and more information, check out this page on Microsoft Download.

Here's what's new for version 1.1:

  • Support for "Web Solution Package" editing
    • View and edit all solution content (no more hidden generated content)
    • Create new Features and rename existing ones
    • Reorder elements between Features
    • Check for conflicts with existing Features
    • Change Feature activation order
  • Visual Basic support
  • List Instance item template
  • List Event Handler item template
  • File System template (project file deployed to the SharePoint application file system)
  • Bug fixes

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Default values on columns

In SharePoint Portal Server 2003 and Windows SharePoint Services 2.0, default values were entered using the index on the value you wanted as, well, default. An example is given in the screen shot to the right:

In the new version, however, default values are now entered in clear text.
As I discovered in document libraries after migrated from SPS2003 to MOSS 2007, You will be prompted by a dialog box stating "The default value for a Choice column must be chosen from amongst the specified choices.

In this case, you would need to enter the text "Final" instead of the index 0 (zero).

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Passed 70-541!

I finally got around to it. Last Friday I passed 70-541 WSS 3.0 Application Development. Yeehee!

Now on to the next one... Which I think will be WSS Configuration.

For more information on how you can get certified on MOSS or WSS, check out these pages:

MOSS 2007:
  1. MCTS: Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 – Configuration (70-630)
  2. MCTS: Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 ― Application Development (70-542)

Windows SharePoint Services 3.0:

  1. MCTS: Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 – Application Development
  2. MCTS: Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 – Configuration

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Announcing The SharePoint Capacity Planning Tool (Beta)

I recently attended DevConnections 2007 in Las Vegas, and on one of the sessions, a new SharePoint Tool was presented: The SharePoint Capacity Planning Tool.

The tool is now released in its first beta version, and it can be downloaded here.

The SharePoint Capacity Planning Tool is both a pre-sales/pre-deployment, and planning tool, and can be used for helping out companies in several scenarios. Here are some examples:

  • I don’t know if I need 10 Servers or 1 server to meet the needs of my large law firm of 1000 users.
  • Should I buy 10 Server CALs or 5? I know I need something to get started, but not sure where to start.
  • I’m confused by the capacity planning documentation; I wish I just had a tool I could put in a few inputs to get me started.
  • I don’t want to have to hire a consultant to tell me I can handle my small 200 person deployment with a single server, but I can’t figure it out on my own based on available product documentation.
  • I’ve used the HP capacity planning tool and I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do, but I would like a more platform agnostic view.
  • My deployment is blocked until I can figure out what kind of topology I should be running to get basic high availability
This tool uses the System Center Capacity Planner 2007 (SCCP) as an engine to provide for data collection, visualization, simulation and report writing.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Windows Update didn't update - follow-up

Thought I would update you all on what has happened since this occurred.

The day after I manually installed the updates, things really began to happen. Nothing worked...

To sum it all up, if you are experiencing any trouble at all after applying one or both of these updates, please check out this thread on MSDN Forums.

I had to reinstall both SQL Server 2005 and MOSS myself, being unable to wait for a resolution. I was able to this, since in my case, it happened on a test server. However, people have been in contact with MS Support. Look for a resolution in the end of the thread.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Automatic Windows Update didn't update...

This morning I got to work bright and early, the sun was shining, and the weekend within reach.

After grabbing a cup of coffee, I logged on my test server. As a geek I am, I always log on to my test server to check the Central Administration... :-)

But this morning, the output was somewhat different. First it gave me the error "Page cannot me displayed..". I immediately checked my SharePoint web application on the test server, and it gave the same message.

OK, on to the IIS, only to find out that all the sites were down... Hmm...
So I started them up again (actually I did an "iisreset"). Going back to the browser to check my Central Administration again, this time with the following error:

"Could not load file or assembly 'Microsoft.SharePoint, Version="

What the f¤#"!!??!! OK, then I thought this day is going to be interesting...

I started a deeper error searching, including Event Log, SharePoint logs, and the assembly.
I actually found out that Microsoft.SharePoint was missing from the assembly. (How did that happen??) Anyway, I still found it in the usual place (C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\12\ISAPI\Microsoft.SharePoint.dll), and dragged it over to the assembly. Crossing fingers...

New error:

"Method not found: 'Void Microsoft.SharePoint.Library.SPRequestInternalClass.SetHttpParameters..."

What the h¤#" is going on...?

I went back to the event log again, this time looking with both eyes. I managed to find a GUID for a component: 5A94BDCF-C8C8-4858-9FD0-8597018B7348. Did a search on the local harddrive, and found one file in C:\Windows\Temp. This file was called MSIxxxxx.LOG, and it contained the following:

Error 1935.An error occurred during the installation of assembly component {5A94BDCF-C8C8-4858-9FD0-8597018B7348}. HRESULT: 0x80070005. assembly interface: IAssemblyCacheItem, function: Commit, assembly name: Microsoft.SharePoint,version="",processorArchitecture="MSIL",publicKeyToken="71E9BCE111E9429C",fileVersion="12.0.6039.5000",culture="neutral"
=== Logging stopped: 12.10.2007 03:01:12 ===

Notice the time the logging stopped? 03:01? What is running each night at 03:00 (if you have it enabled to do so? You guessed; Windows Update!

So I opened up Windows Update, and checked the update history. Finally I've seemed to find the reason for the errors. A couple of SharePoint updates failed to update:

I started Windows Update manually, and the updates were installed successfully. Rebooted the server, and voila! Everything was back to normal. Puh!

Funny thing with this, is that when the update fails, it crashes your entire SharePoint installation. Probably because it re-registers some dll's. But if it fails, it should be able to roll back the installation. Microsoft, shame on you!

Tip: Check your Windows Update settings, and set it to automatically download at an interval, but not install. This way, you can manually install updates when you get in to the office in the morning, with all the updates already downloaded and ready to install.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Migrate from MCMS 2002 to MOSS 2007

Thinking about migrating your Content Management Server (MCMS) to MOSS 2007? Head over to Stefan's blog for this 4-part article on the whats and wheres on how to accomplish it.

The article series is called "Deep Dive into the SharePoint Content Deployment and Migration API", and consists of some samples and advanced deployment scenarios.

Monday, October 8, 2007

SharePoint Conference 2008

Don't miss out the SharePoint Conference 2008.
It will be held in Seattle, between March 3-6.

For more information, see http://www.mssharepointconference.com/.