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