Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Upcoming Microsoft Webcasts

Keeping up on technology is important and I find to be a valuable resource on learning what Microsoft is providing.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009 2pm - - Building a Silverlight Application in One Hour - provide an overview of creating forms-based applications in Microsoft Silverlight 2, the new rich Internet applications platform

Thursday, January 15, 2009 2pm - - Enterprise Build Automation with Team System and Team Build - Explains the five key characteristics of every enterprise build automation solution. Even a discussion on integrating legacy code into your automated builds.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009 2pm - - Discover the Windows Azure Services Platform - Provides an overview of the components and services that make up the platform and the development environment for developing and deploying cloud-based applications. Windows Azure represents Microsoft's firm commitment to making cloud computing a compelling and cost- effective platform.

Thursday, January 29, 2009 2pm - - Windows Workflow Foundation Overview with Visual Studio 2008 - Covers the fundamentals of what Workflow Foundation is and where you might use it. Demonstrates using the development tools and several of the interesting activities included out of the box in Microsoft Visual Studio 2008.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Blog engines at CodePlex with source code

Some of the most popular code projects at are blog engines. Here's a few to see: - Apparently this is the most popular one if you measure by downloads and its had a lot more use experience than the others. - This one will probably surpass BlogEngine in functionality and code quality based on the support for it. - DotNetNuke seems to have the biggest ambitions with plenty of subsites and functionality planned. However its yet to get as big of a mindshare as BlogEngine or Oxite.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Some Sharepoint solutions to evaluate

If I had more time ..... I'd look at the following more carefully ..... - Community Kit for Sharepoint - A set of best practices, templates, Web Parts, tools, and source code that enables practically anyone to create a community website based on SharePoint technology for practically any group of people with a common interest. - SharePoint Learning Kit - a SCORM 2004 certified e-learning delivery and tracking application built as a Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 solution. It works with either Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 or Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, and has the following core features: (1) Supports SCORM 1.2, SCORM 2004, and Class Server content, allowing users to store and manage this content in SharePoint document libraries. (2) Supports learner-centric and instructor-led (assigned) workflows. (3) Allows assignment, tracking and grading of both e-learning and non-e-learning content. - STSDEV: Simple Tools for SharePoint 2007 Development - A SharePoint developer's utility designed to quickly transform your ideas into real-world components that you can deploy into a staging or production Web farm with confidence. - ChartPart for SharePoint is a web part for Microsoft SharePoint Services 3.0 or Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 which generates charts from SharePoint lists. The ChartPart is free to use for everyone, as long as you follow the License, who would like to "light" up their SharePoint installation with some nice graphs and charts. - PowerEventReceivers, PowerWebPart (supports AJAX and JQuery, execute PowerShell Script in a WebPart, render HTML and write ASP.NET code with PowerShell syntax), PowerActivity (execute PowerShell Scripts in a SharePoint Designer Action), Lookup Field with Picker (Single- and multi-Selection Mode, searching, search operators, select the fields you would like to search for, supports default values...), PowerShell Scripts V1.3, List without Title Column (you often doesn't need the title field but unfortnuately the context menu is attached to the title field so you're forced to use it anyway. Tha's over! Just try the List without Title Column. The context menu is attached to the ID of the List Item), User WebService (useful to switch views depending on the current user's SharePoint groups in Infopath; actually the WebService has only one method: GetUserGroupsFromCurrentUser ... a build-in SharePoint WebService which does the same?! Yes, but the built-in service doesn't work with Infopath 2007), Codename SPAC - SharePoint Assembly Cache (realized with SharePoint and WCF), and much much more. - SharePoint 2007 Test Data Population Tool - The SharePoint 2007 Test Data Population Tool (WSSDW.exe) is a capacity planning and performance testing tool that populates data for testing SharePoint deployments. The SharePoint 2007 Test Data Population Tool is available as a command-line executable program that extracts information about how to populate the server from an XML configuration file, and calls Microsoft .NET assembly: WSSDWLib.dll. Use this tool to populate test data for SharePoint capacity planning. Also included are some sample test scripts that can be used for performance and load testing SharePoint and Excel Services with the test data. - Podcasting Kit for SharePoint - Listen and watch audio/video podcasts, anywhere on your PC or mobile device (Zune, SmartPhone, or any podcasting device); Share content by producing your own audio/video podcasts and publish them on PKS on your own; Connect and engage with podcasters via your integrated instant messaging program; Find the most relevant content using the five star rating system, tag cloud, search engine and provide your feedback via comments; Get automatic podcast updates by subscribing to RSS feeds fully compatible with Zune and other podcasting devices; Simple RSS feed based on a defined podcast series; Simple RSS feed based on a person; Dynamic RSS feed based on search results (will be implemented later in 2009); Play podcasts in real-time using Microsoft® Silverlight™ and progressive playback; Retrieve instant ROI and metrics with the ability to track the number of podcasts downloaded and/or viewed, instant feedback via rating system and comments, and subscribers via the RSS feed; Access the richness of SharePoint to extend the solution: workflows, community sub-sites, access rights, editorial and more; Customize your own PKS User Experience

Writing to the SharePoint Unified Logging Service

See!8F5DEA8AEA9E6FBB!236.entry for some helpful code on using a class library for writing to Sharepoint ULS - i.e. the Unified Logging Service.

TraceProvider.WriteTrace(TraceProvider.TagFromString("XXXX (must be 4 letter tag)"), TraceProvider.StringToSeverity("Exception or Information"), Guid.NewGuid(), "Method Name", "Assembly Name", "Project Name", "Message");

Some must-reads

Some must-reads I've bookmarked: - This blogger named Ian Nelson is good at keeping up on the latest/greatest for TFS, Sharepoint, .NET and all things Microsoft development related. Watch this video on "Introduction to Manual Testing with Team System".

Videos for some training

I highly recommend looking at, and for training videos on Microsoft Team Foundation Server (TFS) and Visual Studio Team Suite (VSTS).

Some other links to see for training material on TFS, MOSS, Sharepoint, .NET, etc. include: \

List of 5 Simple SharePoint 2007 Fixes

Before you waste time on trying to fix complex TFS or MOSS problem I suggest doing 5 things.

1. Run an IIS Reset

2. Run 'SharePoint Technologies and Configuration Wizard'

Only #2 on the list because it takes slightly more time than #1. On the other hand, this should fix more problems than any other on the list. This does automatic IIS resets, so you will have temporary downtime.

3. Reboot your machine(s)

4. Make sure account has proper rights

This one is more for stsadm operations and scripts, but most of the time I have found if a command is giving you some strange failurethat it shouldn't, it is more often the account you are using doesn't have the specific right you need for that operation. The command line runat command is your friend for testing this.

5. Install most recent Service Pack/Update

Be sure to check with Microsoft for any updates. SharePoint is one of their most premier products at the moment, and they are spending a lot of time and money developing for it.

Important to note: Recycling your app pools, restarting IIS and rebooting your machine are no-brainers in a dev environment. However in production you need to proceed cautiously. That's why its important to stage a stable prod server with config/settings changes made off-hours with some automated scripts to generate thousands of hits immediately afterwards as this will find 98%+ of potential problems before the users do.


StsAdmn Documentation

I found a page on a MSDN blog that provides links to wall posters and technical specs on the Stsadm tool/parameters for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0.