Surprised for Christmas

Wowza. I still can’t believe it. Kris heard about a friend that was in need of parting with a car, and she had heard me coveting for a while about it. Either in the spirit of Christmas, or to help me break the habit of coveting my friends’ cars, she bought me a 1997 BMW Z3 Roadster. Wow. I can’t believe it. Thanks, Kris! (And Santa!)

The funny part is that when she told me to put my shoes on and come outside after we had finished with the presents under the tree, I thought she was going to have me carry in some furniture or something (she’s a CraigsList fiend)…

Winter Storm Damage

Here’s a catch-up post in regards to the winter storm that blew through our area on the night of December 14th.

My family lives in the Sammamish area, East of Seattle, and it’s a fairly wooded area.  When the trees fall over, or get knocked down, they get spiteful, and take things down with them.  If you heard about electric power being knocked out to a lot of folks in the Seattle area because of this storm, here are a couple of photos of neighborhood streets that will help explain what happened.

The power was out at our home for 3+ days, but some other folks went 8-9 days, unfortunately.  For Christmas, everyone was back up.  It was fun to walk and drive around in the days afterwards with the kids and watch the Puget Sound Energy trucks loping from one pole to the next, stringing new cables and taking down damaged lines.  Everyone was safe in our home, but 7 folks in the metro area died of carbon monoxide poisoning because they brought barbecue grills or other heating devices indoors.

Add MSDN/TechNet Search to your IE7 Search Toolbar

In IE7, you’ve got the ability to customize teh search bar with different search providers.  Wouldn’t it be useful to have a search provider that searched within MSDN?

Go to and click on the link "Got IE7? – Get Our Search" to add The TechNet Search provider to IE7.

Recommend Reading for December

Thanks, Lawrence, for a good list of reading materials while I’m waiting for Santa this month!

Recommended Reading for December (click here for previous recommendations):

·         MOSS 2007 Design Component Relationships and Diagrams — written by Heather Solomon, SharePoint MVP; provides a logical break down of the relationship between master pages, page layouts, controls, and content types.

·         HOW TO: Prevent creation of sub sites within MOSS 2007 My Sites – written by Todd Baginski, SharePoint MVP; provides a solution to a frequently requested feature by SharePoint sysadmins.

·         Kickstart to editing styles in MOSS 2007 – written by Shane Perran, SharePoint MVP; provides a walkthrough on how to add and edit CSS in MOSS 2007 as well as an overview of how style sheets work and some of the class naming conventions in SharePoint.

·         Announcing the Return of SmartPart – written by Jan Tielens; SharePoint MVP; provides the official announcement of the long awaited and extremely useful and SharePoint 2007 compatible and free and open source (yup, everything about it is good) webpart that can host any ASP.NET 2.0 Web User Control. The SmartPart allows you to create a Web User Control (.ASCX) in Visual Studio and then deploy it without modification to a SharePoint site. This addresses one of the most often asked questions by ASP.NET developers, who want to leverage their existing user controls for use on SharePoint.

·         SharePoint 2007 Update – Enterprise Search Rocks!! – written by Tom Baldwin, Chief Knowledge Officer of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, LLP; provides a success story on the use of MOSS 2007 for enterprise search.

·         SharePoint Governance Part 1 and Part 2 – written by Robert Bogue, SharePoint MVP; provides guidance on managing the risks, costs, and adoption of SharePoint deployments.

·         Tool to export and import Search Configurations from an SSP in MOSS – written by Angus Logan, SharePoint Insider; provides the back story for a tool that can take the output of Search settings from one Shared Services Provider and import them into another SSP, which eliminates human error when deploying Search settings from a dev environment to a test environment and ultimately to production.

·         Office Business Applications: What is it, and how can I get started? — written by Erika Ehrli, Site Manager for the MSDN Office Dev Center; provides an introduction to Office Business Applications, a new category of business applications that connect line-of-business systems and processes with the people that use them through a familiar user interface: Microsoft Office.

Nice MOSS site – has launched a good-looking site based on MOSS.  Way to go!  We need some great examples of corporate internet sites for the public.  Let me know if any that you find, and I’ll add them to the list of public SharePoint sites over on the side.

Response to “What the heck is Microsoft SharePoint 2007?”

John Newton wrote an article about SharePoint last October and a customer was asking me about it today.  I know that a lot has happened since John wrote the article, but I was also intrigued by his reference to and his association with Alfresco, a competing content management software package.  So, I made the below two comments to my customer and thought I’d re-open some of these discussion items here.

Most of John’s article is opinion, and he’s welcome to that.  There are two items in this article that are questions and I’ll answer those below.SharePoint is not a very good platform?

Windows SharePoint Services v2 and SharePoint Portal Server 2003 were difficult for programmers.  That has been changed for Windows SharePoint Services v3 (WSS v3) and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS 2007), in that the architecture below WSS v3 and MOSS 2007 has been converted to ASP.Net v2.0.  Today, your ASP.Net developers no longer ask whether an application should be designed around ASP.Net or around SharePoint, they determine which SharePoint services and APIs should they include within the ASP.Net application.

There is a LOT of developer-focused information in the SharePoint 2007 Developer Center.Scalability?

The whitepaper that is referenced in the article has now been released and can be found here:

  • WSS Performance and Capacity
  • MOSS Performance and Capacity

Now that that’s out of the way, I’d like to know if you think that people in industry are able to see through the other comments that John makes in the article, or if the other comments also need to be addressed.

As to what SharePointIS, I can certainly say that SharePoint is HUGE.  When I have only 2 hours to spend with a customer discussing SharePoint in detail, I still have to utilize the first 10-15 minutes of the meeting narrowing down the scope of the presentation so it will be relevant to the business problem that the customer is experiencing and so that we will fit within the allotted time.  Remember, the mind can only absorb as much as the seat can endure.J

For more detail, and if one is able to investigate the features and the pieces of what SharePoint is, instead of trying to capitalize on a gap between customer interest and released product, Here is a link to the SharePoint product overview.  Yes, it is only skin deep, but SharePoint is HUGE.