My SPC 2011 SharePoint Conference Sessions

Sunday, October 02, 2011
6:00 PM
Session: Welcome Reception
Room: ACC: Hall B
Monday, October 03, 2011
7:30 AM
Session: Breakfast
Room: ACC: Hall A
8:30 AM
Session: Welcome & Keynote
Room: ACC: Hall D
11:00 AM
Session: Drive
Adoption and Get Users Excited About SharePoint
Session Code: SPC102
Room: ACC: Ballroom A
Speaker(s): Chris Bortlik, Scott Jamison
12:15 PM
Session: Lunch
Room: ACC: Hall A
2:00 PM
Session: Got
iPads, Android tablets, smart phones and Windows devices? …
Session Code: SPC350
Room: ACC: 201
Speaker(s): Quin Nikel, Jeremy Chapman
3:45 PM
Session: Integrating
Microsoft Visio Services with System Center …
Session Code: SPC358
Room: ACC: 303CD
Speaker(s): Marshall Copeland, Scott Wold, Julian Soh
Tuesday, October 04, 2011
8:00 AM
Session: Breakfast
Room: ACC: Hall A
9:00 AM
Session: SharePoint
2010 Planning and Adoption Framework
Session Code: SPC266
Room: ACC: 303CD
Speaker(s): Todd Ray
10:30 AM
Session: Visio
Services – Creating a No-Code Visio Services Dashboard …
Session Code: SPC289
Room: ACC: 304AB
Speaker(s): Christopher Hopkins, Krishna Mamidipaka
11:45 AM
Session: Lunch
Room: ACC: Hall A
1:45 PM
Session: The
Inside Scoop: How Microsoft IT Enables Information Discovery …
Session Code: SPC398
Room: ACC: Ballroom B
Speaker(s): Pam Green
3:15 PM
Session: SharePoint
Infrastructure for Geographically Distributed …
Session Code: SPC388
Room: ACC: Ballroom D
Speaker(s): David McNamee
5:00 PM
Session: What’s
new for SQL Server “Denali” Analysis Services and …
Session Code: SPC291
Room: ACC: Ballroom A
Speaker(s): John Hancock, T.K. Anand
8:00 PM
Session: Evening Event
Room: Disneyland
Wednesday, October 05, 2011
8:00 AM
Session: Breakfast
Room: ACC: Hall A
9:00 AM
Session: Solving
Office Compatibility to accelerate Office deployments
Session Code: SPC250
Room: ACC: 303CD
Speaker(s): Curtis Sawin, Brian Shiers
10:30 AM
Session: Why
Your Next SharePoint Deployment Should be Virtualized
Session Code: SPC3999
Room: ACC: Ballroom D
Speaker(s): Damir Bersinic
11:45 AM
Session: Lunch
Room: ACC: Hall A
1:45 PM
Session: The
Inside Scoop: How Microsoft IT Created their CIO Scorecard …
Session Code: SPC282
Room: ACC: 304AB
Speaker(s): Sanjay Soni, Sreepada Santhegudda
5:00 PM
Session: Creating
Vivid BI reports with “Project: Crescent” for SharePoint
Session Code: SPC217
Room: ACC: 210
Speaker(s): Carolyn Chau
6:15 PM
Session: Exhibit Hall Reception
Room: ACC: Hall B
Thursday, October 06, 2011
8:00 AM
Session: Breakfast
Room: ACC: Hall A
9:00 AM
Session: Access
Services – Everything You Wanted to Know
Session Code: SPC302
Room: ACC: 303AB
Speaker(s): Greg Lindhorst
9:00 AM
Session: Building
Self-Service BI Applications using PowerPivot v2 …
Session Code: SPC325
Room: ACC: 213
Speaker(s): John Hancock
10:30 AM
Session: Landing
SharePoint Data in Office Client Solutions
Session Code: SPC361
Room: ACC: 303AB
Speaker(s): Donovan Follette
12:00 PM
Session: IW
(heart) Office. Helping Information Workers Love Office …
Session Code: SPC381
Room: ACC: 303AB
Speaker(s): Chris Auld
1:15 PM
Session: Lunch
Room: ACC: Hall A
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MCITP SharePoint 2010 Administrator

I finally took exam 70-668 today and passed to give my two exams for MCITP.

I few tips to this exam as it was a lot different from what I expected.

Almost all the questions were based off a scenario. This meant you often had to switch between question and scenario to determine the answer. I think most of the answers that seemed hard came to make sense after reading it a few times. Several were more like trick questions. If you read it too fast you could easily pick the wrong answer.

There are 50 questions on 70-668

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SharePoint Enterprise or Standard CAL ?

Common question right?  Actually it is for most organizations looking to deploy SharePoint 2010.  I often hear the question “what are the differences between SharePoint standard and Enterprise?”

I have a lot to say on this subject because it is far more than just some features.  It truly is how you plan to use SharePoint and who plans to use SharePoint. 

Top 5 reasons for SharePoint Enterprise:

  1. Excel Services
  2. Performance Point Services
  3. Forms Services
  4. Full BCS use
  5. Visio Services

It really comes down to the BI tools the Microsoft platform offers.

I cannot imagine many companies not deciding Excel Services is the best thing in the World.  Why don’t they? They just don’t understand the power of it for productivity as well as the savings and headaches from emailing and merging Excel files over and over.

It only makes sense that there should be one Excel workbook that is the truth and everyone that needs to can update and contribute to this workbook from one spot and all other users can see the important information to them visually from a webpage and not an email of a locked spreadsheet or a screenshot/copy and paste.  It is all about the visuals we want to show executives and management.  We want to allow this to be easily consumed by the end users.  Excel Services makes this so easy.  If you are going to us BI in your organization and looking at a platform, do not look past Microsoft’s BI platform.  SharePoint, SQL 2008 PerformancePoint and Excel/PowerPivot are just the beginning of some of the greatest tools around

Just want the full comparison of features – SharePoint 2010 versions

I have asked many business decision makers over and over how they get daily numbers or quick sales information or the like.  Almost all of them say they get an email at the end of the day with a spreadsheet or a table that was copied from a spreadsheet from the IT department or a sales admin.  No interaction. No access anywhere. If this information changes 10 minutes after that email are they up to date viewing this?  Of course not! Also they might being viewing this on a phone or other device. Email is great, but it is not the best means of collaboration.  It is a good means of communication, but it should not be considered a collaboration tool anymore the way SharePoint can add this value.

Quickly back to the first thought here – The Enterprise CAL.  Licensing SharePoint 2010 seems very complicated, but in most cases it simple and easy.  One nice thing about it is the Server/CAL model. This means all SharePoint servers need a server licensing and every user needs a CAL.  Simple!  Another nice feature is that the Enterprise CAL is an additive CAL, meaning you would purchase a Standard CAL and then add Enterprise on top of this giving you access to Enterprise features.  There is no Standard and Enterprise version of SharePoint media.  So no reinstall is needed if you decide to add Enterprise features later.  Also this means that a subset of users can have access to the Enterprise features while other users only get Standard.  For an example if you organization has 1000 employees and most of these users are your sales force and do not need access to the BI tools that management needs.  Let’s say that 300 users need Enterprise features.  You would license 1000 standard CAL’s and then 300 Enterprise CAL’s thus saving you tons of money you might waste.

More to come on this topic…

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A year without me

It has truly been a year since my last post. To think my last post even had SharePoint 2007 all over it. 

I must say I have been very busy in the world of SharePoint Solutions and have not contributed as much to this site as I wanted to. Let’s start the New Year off with more SharePoint for the Masses… What does mean?  This blog is dedicated to provide simple, fun answers and solutions to SharePoint and related technologies to everyone.  I promise to keep it simple enough that you will not need an aspirin while walking through a solution or answer to your problem.

I have always felt that Microsoft needed to focus on to aspects of SharePoint. 1. They needed to focus on the developer and allow for great, complex solutions to be integrated into SharePoint. 2. They needed to focus on the Business user and allow for Self Service SharePoint.  Wow! I sound like a Microsoft Sales rep.  That aside, Microsoft has done this far better in SharePoint 2010 and I want to be able to share with you the problems and solutions I see business users use every day.

Have fun and come back soon for more.

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Should I deploy SharePoint 2007 or wait until SharePoint 2010?

 

This seems to be the question lately.  It seems everyone I speak to wants to know the answer to this.  I have noticed that this answer is different depending on many circumstances.  I will highlight a few of these and maybe help you determine a  good approach to SharePoint in these uncertain times.  So, should I deploy SharePoint 2007 or wait until SharePoint 2010?

 

First – are you new to SharePoint?  This question is important and often overlooked.  If you are running an earlier version of SharePoint (WSS 2.0 or SPS 2003) you cannot upgrade to SharePoint 2010.  You could move some data into a new 2010 environment, but no supported upgrade path.  So this means the answer right away is to deploy 2007 now and plan an upgrade path to 2010 during that planning phase. If you do not care about any of your structure, sites or data in 2003 then it does not matter and you can move on to other scenarios.

Second – Do you have the budget or hardware to support SharePoint 2010?  Deploying SharePoint properly is not a cheap project.  You should consider plenty of time spent with a consultant planning the deployment and governance of SharePoint not to mention the actual deployment and implementation. If you need to add $30,000+ into your budget for new hardware can you you still afford the project? Let’s not forget that SharePoint 2010 will require all hardware and software (OS and SQL) all to be 64bit.  If you are not at this point yet and will not be for a number of years I would suggest getting your hands dirty in SharePoint 2007 for a while and plan an upgrade path to 2010 when you can move to new hardware. This could mean you need time and resources for a SQL upgrade as well.

ThirdI am brand new to SharePoint and I have the budget to get all new, supported hardware and software.  This is a great scenario and most common.  it’s also the hardest to answer. It may seem that if you can you should, right?  Not always in the case of SharePoint. SharePoint is not like any other Microsoft application.  It’s a living, breathing application with a lot of flexibility and almost limitless possibilities.  SharePoint 2010 does offer some great advantages over 2007, but that does not mean you should hold off and jump right into 2010.  Why?

SharePoint 2007 was highly adopted and shared within the SharePoint community.  The thing about those heavily into SharePoint is that they love to..well…Share. So this means you can find just about anything you want to do or an answer to almost every issue out there with SharePoint 2007. You can buy plenty of prebuilt solutions and addons.  SharePoint 2010 will get there, and is even starting off with far more documentation than 2007 had at this stage, but it will take some time.

So to make this answer shorter and clearer – I would recommend diving into SharePoint 2007 using all the supported hardware and software for 2010 and get the basics built out and define a true strategy to your business goals for SharePoint first. You will also spend less money on a SharePoint 2007 expert than on a SharePoint 2010 expert at this stage in the game. In fact I would be cautious of anyone that calls themselves as SharePoint 2010 expert at this point.  Myself and many other friends and colleagues have been using SharePoint 2010 since June of 2009.  We are not at the level to call ourselves experts.  We can take what we know of 2007 and incorporate it with what we know of 2010, but we are far from being the experts and so is everyone else that is not on the Microsoft Product Team.

Small Business – So smaller companies have more of an opportunity to jump right into SharePoint 2010.  If you have not been into SharePoint yet and are a smaller <100 user company that has the supported hardware and software you might be just fine getting a consultant to help you plan out your deployment for a day or two and go right into SharePoint 2010. Medium and Large businesses should really look at all angles before jumping straight into 2010 at this point.

While this does not answer all  of the questions you may have it should get you thinking a little about how you should approach your SharePoint future.

Follow me on – @DonPistulka

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10 things you should never do on a consulting job

 

If you want to establish a reputation of integrity and professionalism, you should never…

 

1: Ridicule another consultant’s work

Nothing can make you look more unprofessional than mocking someone else’ work. Oh sure, the techs before you might have made some glaring mistakes… or did they? Maybe there was a reason for what they did. You never know. So it’s always best to play it safe and keep the running commentary to yourself. It doesn’t make you look better when you say things like, “Well, I never would have done it this way!” or “That previous tech sure did a poor job configuring this machine.” That just makes you look petty and/or catty. Do your job the best you can and keep the remarks “offline.”

2: Make deals you aren’t authorized to make

If you work for a consulting firm, you know there are channels for clients to take in ordering hardware or services. Of course, if you have time and they need one more issue resolved, it’s probably safe to do that — so long as they’re being billed the regular fee. But when it comes to hardware, let those clients order through the proper channels. Don’t go quoting prices and fees you’re not 100 percent sure of. If you think a client might request a quote, either have a menu of prices with you or give them the right number to call.

3: Take shortcuts

The last thing you want to do is to take a shortcut that you aren’t sure will last. Band-Aids are fine if you know you are coming back to make a more permanent fix. But eventually, those shortcuts will fail and will need further attention. And the time to failure is an unknown. It could be the minute you drive away or months later. This is not the type of chance you want to take. It frustrates the client, and it makes you look bad.

4: Book time spent socializing

Make sure you bill the client only for the time you actually work. This can be tricky if your clients are friends or they employee your friends. When you go to a job like this, you know there will be a period of time spent socializing, especially when you first arrive. Don’t bill for this time. Start the billing period when you start working, not when you’re talking about last night’s game, a date, your +3 vorpal sword, or The Big Bang Theory (or all of the above).

5: Act like employees are in your way

You are there to serve those employees, who may or may not be able to do their jobs while you are working. You are actually in their way. But they understand you have a job to do, and most often, they respect it. It’s when you start behaving as if those employees are in your way that things can get a bit tense. Even if you are working in a small space, remember that you are the invader — not them.

6: Flirt

No matter how cute, pretty, sexy, or smart employees are, do not engage in flirtatious activity with them while you are working. You are there to do a job and to do that job right. Nothing can get in the way faster than when your mind has been body-slammed by your libido. Not only that, you never know when the line between flirting and sexual harassment has blurred. You do NOT want a sexual harassment suit brought against you and your company. If you feel a strong desire to connect with an employee on the job, share your phone number and ask that person to call you.

7: Engage in political or religious discussions

There is really little more I can say to drive this point home. We all know that the last two topics you ever want to discuss in the work place are politics and religion. No matter how strong your views, don’t poke this bear. If you do, you most likely will regret it.

8: Leave without explaining what you’ve done

Don’t assume that you have monkeyed with desktops in such a way that the users won’t notice. If the “owners” of those desktops are there, you should let them know of any changes you made that may affect them. No matter how small. You never know their competency level, so you can’t be sure how small a change is change enough to throw them off. This is especially true if you have to do something on the periphery of the assigned job.

9: Fail to document

Documentation is almost always one of the last thoughts on a consultant’s mind. It should, however, be one of the first thoughts. Documentation will always make your job easier. When you return to a site, you don’t want to have to try to figure out what you did the last time you were there. Document it, map it, draw it — whatever you have to do so that if you come back, you can pick up as if you just left.

10: Refuse to listen to employees’ needs

It is inevitable that while you are working, employees will talk to you. Many times, they will be fascinated with what you are doing. And sometimes, they will assume that they know more than you and want to help you. But in the cacophony of all that blather, one of those employees might mention something you need to hear. Someone might know of a smaller issue that is a fundamental cause of the bigger problem. Or someone just might have another problem that can be resolved (and billed). Keep your ears open and don’t make the employees feel like what they have to say is unimportant (even if it is).

Getting it right

Consulting can be a tricky business. You have to be professional at all times and you have to treat all your clients as if they are the most important client you have. Follow this simple advice, and those clients will bring you back and refer you to others. Blow off this advice, and your competition will thank you.

 

Orignally posted by the great team at TechRepublic

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How to Create a Document Set in SharePoint 2010

First posted with the BETA of SharePoint 2010 

With all this talk about the new ECM and Document Management features in SharePoint 2010 I thought I would start with one and dig a little deeper into it.  One thing I always thought SharePoint Server 2007 lacked was the ability to have a set of documents with the same metadata and the ability to treat them as one document  especially for workflow.  Of course you could always zip up documents and call them “Sets”, but this meant you had to download the zipped file and see what was in it.  It really lacked and having to work with all or none was what you have in zip files.  With Document Sets you can take action against the entire set or individual files while keeping them part of the set.  You may have some new hire documents that can all be part of the same set with the same metadata and yet treat each document separately so you can have a workflow run on each file after filling it out for example.  The ideas are endless when it comes to Document Sets.

So, I decided to put this post together because for something as easy as creating a Document Set in SharePoint 2010 it was actually pretty annoying to get going and really play with.

Here are the steps to create a Document Set in 2010.  This is done with the beta so this can always be different when the RTM comes out.  i doubt it, but I thought I would warn you.

1. You need to enable the Document Sets feature at the Site Collection level.

Now that we have this figured out we can easily go create a document set.

A Document Set is actually just a content type.  This is important to know when planning out site collections because, as we know, we can add a content type to any library in the site collection now.  So, what that means, is a Document Sets can only be created within a document library that is using this content type. We may have enabled Document Sets across the site collection, but really all we did is allow the use of the content type and pages that go with the set.

2. Just like in SharePoint Server 2007, we need to allow the management of content types.

Choose the document library you would like to be able to create document sets in and click library settings on the ribbon

Then click Advanced Settings and allow the management of content types. Then click save

 

3. Create a Document Set just as you would use a content type.  Go to New and choose Document Set.  For whatever reason the icon seems to be missing in the beta.

4. Create a name and description for your Document Set. You might get an error if you try to add any managed metadata and this is not active in your site

5. You add documents to your document set by choosing the Library Tools > Documents and upload multiple documents.  Yes you can have only one document in a set if you need to add more later.

6. Drag your files you want uploaded.

7. That is it.  You now can manage your documents in a set.  You can see your set within your library even when you have other documents in that library that are not in a set.

Now we can treat this Document Set as a single file or multiple files.  We can delete the set and thus delete all the documents.  Really we can act like it is a zip file with the ability to manage the documents within it.  The documents that are part of a set are indexed individually unlike zip files so search is much better when it comes to Document Sets.  Everyone will have their own reasons for creating Document Sets and I am sure you can think of a few now.

My favorite part of sets is being able to run workflow on a set of documents. Now an approval workflow can be based on an entire set of documents rather than one document.

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