Monday, November 29, 2010

Need to Know podcast – Episode 10


I’ll first let you know is that thanks to Applied Marketing Technologies (www.amt.com.au) the Need to Know podcast distribution mechanism has undergone a complete revamp. You can now find all the episodes at http://ciaops.podbean.com along with numerous ways to subscribe via automatic updates, downloads to iTunes and even playing in a browser. They are still in the old location (www.ciaops.com/n2k) but the new medium is so much better.

Firstly let me tell what’s in Episode 10. It features George Sierchio from the Consultants Coach speaking about the important of running a business like you are going to sell it. Putting it another way, asking yourself what exit plan you have from your business? Even though you may never actually need to implement such a plan, circumstances may transpire that are outside of your control that could force you to exit your business. How are you going to ensure you receive maximum value for all the hard earned time and effort you have invested over the years? George covers off what you need to consider and how to go about putting these plan into place. This a hugely valuable episode for anyone running a business.

The new podcast site allows listeners to rate each show and provide comments and feedback which I hope everyone will do. The site also provides a way for listeners who like what I’ve done to provide direct assistance via a donation. It doesn’t matter how small a donation, it all goes into improving what is being offered. If you are interested in some commercial sponsorship like Applied Marketing Technology (www.amt.com.au) then I’d encourage you to get in contact with me directly.

As always I’m constantly on the look out for guests so if you’d like to come on the show or you would like to hear someone on the show please let me know (director@ciaops.com). With this revamp listening to the show on a regular basis should now be much easier and I hope the podcast will continue to grow.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Me and virtualization



I have been an avid user of virtualization for many years. Initially I started out with Virtual PC on the desktop to accommodate all the operating systems I had to support. These days I use Hyper-V to run both production and test machines. In this post I want to mention a very specific use I have and how I recently benefited from the machine being virtual.

Apart from all the technology I run a business day to day. This means I have to do my accounts and pay tax. I have done this via electronic submission for many years. As soon as I was given the opportunity by the Tax Department to use electronic submission I did and over the years I have had very little problem. The one major problem came about when I had to shift the software to a new machine. The issue had more to do with obtaining new digital certificates than it did changing hardware. However, none the less it was painful.

After that experience I decided to virtualize the machine. Why? Firstly, it meant that I could fairly easily transport the machine between host hardware systems without needing to reinstall. It meant that I could minimize what software I had on the machine (effectively just the electronic submission software). It meant that I could run it up as needed, make my submission to the tax office, update the machine, take a snapshot, back up the machine and then have it ready for next time. If I ever had issues during a submission I could easily rollback to the last snapshot and start afresh.

Now times move on and once again I was faced with an update to the electronic submission software. I installed it but was having issues updating it via the Internet. Because the machine was virtualized I could test just about every aspect of the machine without fear of ‘losing’ anything. After exhausting my meagre brain I contacted the nice people at the tax office technical support area for assistance. They got me to do all sorts of things to no avail. Again, because I had a virtual machine I could try any request they threw at me and return the machine to the original clean state. Another very handy aspect of virtual technology is that I could ‘freeze’ the machine in any state. This means when they called I could quickly have the machine running without the need to physically boot it up in exactly the same state I left it in.

After finally getting to level 3 support I was given a solution that works just fine. So now I have updated my virtual machine, taken a snapshot and shut it down ready for when I have to actually do my submission.

The take-aways? If you haven’t played with virtualization then you really should, on the desktop and the server. Rather than piling everything on a single desktop PC have a think about creating a ‘clean’ virtual machine that you use for specific tasks (maybe internet banking?). I think virtualization is great solution to some of life’s little ‘incompatibilities’!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The poor step child

Unfortunately, in the world of SharePoint Foundation 2010 not all file types are created equal. Here is an example.

 

I have saved two identical documents to my SharePoint Foundation 2010 site. One is a Word 2007 document (i.e. docx format) the other is an Adobe Acrobat document (i.e. PDF). Both are pretty standard right? Well, one is certainly a second class citizen as far as SharePoint is concerned. Can you guess which one?

 

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Here are the two documents in my document library. You can clearly see which one is the Word document because of the little file icon but alas, note that the Acrobat document has no file icon so you really aren’t sure what type of file it is. This can be rectified with some configuration but is not so out of the box.

 

If I click on the Word document (and I have Word on my system) the document opens. If I click on the Acrobat document (and I have Acrobat on my system) I see.

 

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Ahhh..where’s the option to open the file? Guess what? That’s also not enabled by default.

 

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To enable this you need to go into the SharePoint Central Administration, under Manage Web Applications you select the Web Application and then General Settings (easy eh?).

 

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Half way down the list change the Browser File Handling from Strict to Permissive.

 

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Now when you click on a PDF in SharePoint 2010 Foundation it will open in a browser window so you can view it.

 

Note that in this document (and the identical Word one) is the term ‘collaboration. How about we perform a search for this in SharePoint?

 

image_12_60D24BCB

 

After ensuring that indexing is running and that we have indexed all the SharePoint content we run a search for the term ‘collaboration’, which we know appears in both the Word and Acrobat document.

 

We only get one returned result as shown above, that being the Word document, even though we know it also appears in the Acrobat document.

 

image_14_60D24BCB

 

Apparently, the ‘solution’ to PDF indexing on SharePoint Foundation 2010 is to install Search Server Express 2010. As you can see from the above I get exactly the same result. Only one document match and again it is the Word document not the PDF.

 

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Ah ha, you say, but Search Server Express 2010 doesn’t come configured by default to index PDF documents and you are right as you can see from the list of files Search Server Express 2010 above does index be default.

 

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Luckily, I can configure Search Server Express 2010 to index any file type. So I add PDF as shown above, initiate a full crawl of the data and try to search again.

 

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Again, same result no PDF matches are returned.

 

Ah ha, you say again. You need to install the 64 bit iFilter for Acrobat to allow indexing for SharePoint Foundation 2010. Spot on once again Holmes. So I download and install that.

 

With that done and another full manual crawl run the result is once again.

 

image_14_60D24BCB

 

Do an IISRESET followed by a full manual crawl – same result.

Reboot server followed by a full manual crawl - same result.

Etc, etc.

 

But with the wave of my magic wand, hey presto

 

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I now have a ‘duplicates’ hyperlink which when I open I see

 

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It now works! I end up with duplicates since it is effectively the same file and when I expand these duplicates (since I am using Search Server Express 2010 here after going to all the hassle of installing it) I see not one but TWO matches finally Amazing what you can achieve if you have my SharePoint Operation Guide eh? How much more valuable does this make SharePoint Foundation 2010 now?

 

The real question for me is why it is not enabled by default out of the box? Isn’t PDF a common enough format? Doesn’t having the ability to index PDF documents greatly add to the value of SharePoint? How many people are going to know to go in and ‘tweak’ SharePoint Foundation 2010 (and WSS v3 for that matter) to all PDF indexing? Most are going to call the product ‘crap’ and move on to something else because it lack what should be common functionality (at least in my opinion).

 

Worst of all? The configuration to do PDF indexing really isn’t that difficult to enable.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Migration by the numbers – Step 15

Step 15 (and final) in a series of posts documenting the Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 upgrade process on SBS 2008. This is based on the document:

 

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=2dc66a0f-f840-4b29-93d3-13db70c85cba&;;displayLang=en

 

Previous steps:

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Step 6

Step 7

Step 8

Step 9

Step 10

Step 11

Step 12

Step 13

Step 14

 

Step 15 - Edit the site bindings for the companyweb site

 

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Click Start | Administrative Tools | Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager.

 

Accept the UAC that appears.

 

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Expand the tree under the Connections section on the left of the IIS Manager until you see SBS SharePoint under Sites and click on it.

 

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Locate the Bindings hyperlink on the top right hand side of the screen in the Actions column. Click on Bindings.

 

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Select the existing http item and then press Edit.

 

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In the hostname field enter companyweb.

 

Press the OK button.

 

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Click the Add button.

 

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Change the type to https.

 

For the SSL certificate select remote.<domain name> where <domain name> is the name of your internet domain. (*Authors note – not shown here as I have not configured this on my test box).

 

Set the Port = 987.

 

Press OK to save settings.

 

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(*Authors note – you should see something like shown above).

 

The installation process is now complete. You can use SharePoint 2010 Foundation on your SBS 2008 server.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Migration by the numbers – Step 14

Step 14 in a series of posts documenting the Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 upgrade process on SBS 2008. This is based on the document:

 

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=2dc66a0f-f840-4b29-93d3-13db70c85cba&;;displayLang=en

 

Previous steps:

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Step 6

Step 7

Step 8

Step 9

Step 10

Step 11

Step 12

Step 13

 

Step 14 - Install Windows Small Business Server 2008 Update Rollup 4

 

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In a browser visit http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=199703

 

In the search box enter 979454 and press Search.

 

For the item Update Rollup 4 for Windows Small Business Server 2008 (KB979454) select Add.

 

Click View basket.

 

Click Download.

 

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Browse to a folder where you want to save the file and click Continue.

 

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Open the location where you saved the download and open the folder called Update Rollup 4 for Windows Small Business Server 2008 (KB979454).

 

Double click the CAB file located there. Double click the MSP file this displays and enter a location on your disk to extract the file.

 

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Right mouse click on this extracted file and select Apply from the menu that appears.

 

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Note that after the process is complete you may need to complete a manual crawl of your data to update the search indexes.

Need to Know podcast – Episode 9

The next CIAOPS Need to Know podcast (Episode 9) with Jeff Alexander from Microsoft Australia.

The details of the podcast are:

 

http://www.ciaops.com/n2k – Episode 9 = 50MB (53 mins)

 

or via direct download:

 

http://bit.ly/cia-n2k9

 

Jeff and I discuss Windows Home Server and Vail as well as Windows Phone 7.

 

So let me know what you think and if you are interested on being on the show please also contact me (director@ciaops.com) as I am always looking for people to talk about business and technology.

Migration by the numbers – Step 13

Step 13 in a series of posts documenting the Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 upgrade process on SBS 2008. This is based on the document:

 

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=2dc66a0f-f840-4b29-93d3-13db70c85cba&;;displayLang=en

 

Previous steps:

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Step 6

Step 7

Step 8

Step 9

Step 10

Step 11

Step 12

 

Step 13 - Recreate the original internal website environment

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Click Start | All Programs | Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Products | SharePoint 2010 Central Administration.

 

Accept the UAC.

 

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Under the System Settings heading select Manage services on server.

 

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You should see that the Microsoft Foundation Search is currently Stopped. Click the Start hyperlink in the Action column.

 

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Enter account details into the Content Access Account area.

 

(*Authors note – this doesn’t have to be a domain administrator account. The account you choose will be given full read only rights to the site. It is recommended that you utilize a dedicated account with appropriate security).

 

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Scroll down the screen and press the OK button.

 

(*Authors note – You may wish to adjust the default indexing schedule to something more often).

 

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You should your configuration being saved.

 

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When complete you will see that the SharePoint Foundation Help Search is started.

 

(*Authors note – You see a service of a different name listed. As long as it says Started your search is enabled).

 

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Select System Settings from Central Administration menu on the left hand side.

 

Select Configure incoming e-mail settings from under the E-Mail and Text Messages (SMS) section.

 

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Press OK to accept the warning message about an SMTP service not being installed.

 

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For Enable Incoming E-Mail choose Yes.

 

For Incoming E-Mail Server Display Address enter companyweb.

 

For E-Mail Drop Folder enter c:\inetpub\mailroot\drop.

 

Scroll down the screen and press OK to save the configuration.

 

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Under E-Mail and Text Messages (SMS) select Configure outgoing e-mail settings.

 

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In Outbound SMTP server enter SharePointSMTPServer.

 

In the From address and Reply-to address enter companywebadmin@domain-name (where domain-name is the name of your organizations Internet domain name).

 

Ensure that Character set is 65001 (unicode UTF-8).

 

Select OK to save the changes.

 

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Select System Settings and under Farm Management select Configure alternate access mappings.

 

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Now select Edit Public URLs from the menu.

 

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Click on the box No Selection in the top right of the screen. From the menu that appears select Change Alternate Access Mapping Collection.

 

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Click on SBS SharePoint.

 

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The box should now read SBS SharePoint.

 

Set the Intranet box to http://companyweb.

 

If you have already run the Set up your Internet address task in the SBS Console set the Internet address to https://<FQDN>:987.

 

If you have not run the Set up you Internet address task in the SBS Console set the Internet address to http://sites:987.

 

Press the Save button to continue.

 

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You should now see the additional URLs you just configured displayed.

 

Return to the main Central Administration screen.

 

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Select Security from the menu on the left.

 

From under General Security select Specify authentication providers.

 

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Click in the Web Application box in the top right of the screen and select Change Web Application from the menu that appears.

 

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Select SBS SharePoint from the window that appears.

 

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Locate the IIS Authentication Settings section which is current set to NTLM. Select Negotiate (Kerberos).

 

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The following warning will appear. Click OK to continue.

 

Scroll down the page and save the changes.

 

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You will then be returned to the Authentication providers screen.