Flaming wreck

Buster the SharePoint 2010 beta crash test dummy is back again with some good and bad news. First, the good news is that the recent light bulb moment from last time allowed the successful install of SharePoint Foundation 2010 beta on SBS 2008.

 

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The bad news is that the upgrade process after this failed.

 

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Digging through the log file produces the following error:

 

[psconfigui] [WyukonToSqlExpress] [ERROR] [11/21/2009 7:10:00 AM]: An error occured while trying to grant the user
NT AUTHORITY\NETWORK SERVICE access to the SharePoint_AdminContent_d4e397f2-a27a-48a0-a628-d25db6672bab database
on the SQL server, CIASVR01\SharePoint.  This may be expected if the caller does not have permission to perform
this operation in sql server or if the database is read-only.  To ensure that SharePoint functions correctly,
manually grant this user access to the database before performing this operation.  The user must also be granted
access to the db_owner group in the database.  The following information was provided with this error:
System.Data.SqlClient.SqlException: Cannot open database “SharePoint_AdminContent_d4e397f2-a27a-48a0-a628-d25db6672bab”
requested by the login. The login failed.
Login failed for user ‘SBS2008\robert’

 

Which unfortunately results in http://companyweb ceasing to work.

 

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Blast. So close. Seems like an error that can be over come with a little bit of tweaking on the permissions so we’re now off to try that.

 

Message from the labs is currently still – DON’T install SharePoint Foundation 2010 beta on SBS 2008!

Light bulb moment

It’s Buster the SharePoint crash test dummy back with you again for the next enthralling episode of Installing SharePoint 2010 beta.

 

In this episode we’ll attempt an install of SharePoint Foundation 2010 beta onto a Windows Server 2008 Standard machine to get a bit of a base line.

 

Once we have a Windows Server 2008 Standard machine we install Windows 2008 Service Pack 2 and complete all the Windows Updates. We then commence the installation of SharePoint Foundation 2010 beta.

 

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Unfortunately, we don’t get very far before the following message appears telling us we need to install KB971831 and Microsoft Geneva Framework. The KB is easy enough to install via:

 

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=160770

 

But the Microsoft Geneva Framework proved a little more difficult. I eventually found a version here:

 

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=118c3588-9070-426a-b655-6cec0a92c10b&displaylang=en – Beta 2 of Active Directory Federation Services 2.0, Windows Identity Foundation & Windows CardSpace 2.0

 

But don’t install it until you’ve ready the WHOLE blog post!

 

With those two pieces of software installed the reinstallation process if recommenced.

 

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Everything is going well and I select the Standalone installation. The files get installed but when I run the configuration wizard I get the following:

 

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An exception of type System.IO.FileNotFoundException was thrown. Additional exception information: Could not load file or assembly ‘Microsoft.IdentityModel, Version=1.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35’ or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified.

Damm. After a bit of Googling turns out the issue may be with the version of Microsoft Geneva Framework that was installed as mentioned here. So now the current version of Microsoft Geneva Framework is uninstalled and the following new version of Microsoft Geneva Framework is installed:

 

http://download.microsoft.com/download/F/3/D/F3D66A7E-C974-4A60-B7A5-382A61EB7BC6/MicrosoftGenevaFramework.amd64.msi 

 

The configuration wizard is run again and viola,

 

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So where’s the light bulb moment you are probably asking? This error I got installing on this standalone Windows Server 2008 looks almost identical to the error I got when attempting an installation on SBS 2008! So now I’m off to put those two updates on my SBS 2008 box and THEN try another installation of SharePoint Foundation 2010 beta on SBS 2008. Wish me luck.

SharePoint Foundation 2010 beta on SBS 2008

It’s Buster the SharePoint crash test dummy back again with more early experiences of SharePoint 2010 beta. In our last episode you’ll remember that I tried to install SharePoint Server 2010 beta onto SBS 2008 with the results being a fiery wreck. I’m sorry to say that it is much the same story if you try and install SharePoint Foundation 2010 beta on SBS 2008.

 

When you do install SharePoint Foundation 2010 beta on SBS 2008 it at least recognizes that a previous version of SharePoint exists and gives you the option to upgrade.

 

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Problem is, that is the ONLY option you get to choose. After merrily clicking away and waiting for the installation to complete you get a screen displayed like so:

 

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So the end result is that it doesn’t install. I’m a little annoyed that I have to pick through the flaming pieces to find the location of the setup log. Why couldn’t there simply be a link here? Maybe in the full version.

 

The good thing, from I can see, is that even after this failed upgrade process http://companyweb and the SharePoint Administration site all appear to be working ok. Thank goodness. So even though the upgrade of the existing SharePoint v3 failed, the upgrade process doesn’t destroy the existing SharePoint installation unlike what happens when you attempt an install of Search Server Express on SBS 2008.

 

Now, just because it didn’t work the first time doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t work with some ‘tweaking’. Let me get back into the lab and see what I can work out. However, in the meantime I’d recommend you DON’T install SharePoint Foundation 2010 beta on SBS 2008.

SharePoint crash test dummy

If you don’t already know, Microsoft have released the beta of Office 2010, which you can download and test out for yourself. As expected they have also released SharePoint 2010 beta.

 

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As you can see from the above you only have two options, both of which are SharePoint Server (i.e. the old MOSS) and not SharePoint Foundation (i.e the old WSS). Ah ha, as it turns out the beta of SharePoint Foundation 2010 is also available for download, you just gotta know where to look!

 

Now, fans of the show Mythbusters know about Buster the crash test dummy they subject to all kinds of cruel and inhuman tests in the name of science. If you don’t then you are a poorer person for it. In honour of Buster I have decided to volunteer myself as a SharePoint crash test dummy so you can see what happens when you install SharePoint in different scenarios. Are you ready? Here we go. One, two, three…

 

I downloaded SharePoint Server 2010 Beta (Enterprise CAL features) first and decided to throw it onto SBS 2008 initially. Now boys and girls don’t attempt this at home as I am a trained SharePoint Professional with far too much time on his hands. And in all seriousness, please don’t install beta enterprise software on a production server. Please!

 

The end result?

 

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A flaming wreck that kinda looks like what happens when you try and install Search Server Express 2008 on SBS 2008. The files get copied but the configuration wizard bombs. So now you know. SharePoint Server 2010 beta doesn’t install on SBS 2008 by default. NEEEEEEXT.

 

Now I wonder what happens if you instead use the SharePoint Foundation 2010 beta on SBS 2008? More details of what’s sure to be another flaming wreck on SBS 2008 soon.

Vehicles and drivers


The aim of most car manufacturers is to win a Formula One motor racing championship. Now, there is no way they can achieve this without a vehicle (let’s just consider the rest of the team part of the vehicle for the time being) and a driver. Both items are vital to achieve this aim.

If either of these components don’t work or don’t work well together then there is little chance of winning the championship. You can have a great driver and lose because of a lousy car and likewise, a fabulous car and a lousy driver. So either one could be a limiting factor.

Lets now translate this to a business. If the business is going to achieve the dreams of an owner it needs to not only have a successful driver but also a vehicle. If a business is not achieving the goals of the owner then these are the first two places you need to start looking for a solution.

Firstly ask yourself, is the driver the right person? If you are running your business, are you in fact the right person to be doing that? If you are also the person doing the customer service, accounting, marketing, etc are you the best person to do that? The less a driver has to worry about the more they can focus on getting the best performance from the vehicle. That’s why they have a team of people to help them. Someone to look after the engine, the tyres, the fuel and so on. At the speeds formula one cars travel you certainly don’t want to have a driver worrying about those things do you. Isn’t a business similar? If you’re driving it and you have lots to worry about, aren’t you are going to have trouble keeping it on track aren’t you? Can you perhaps do  better job somewhere else in the team?

Now consider the vehicle. Is the business (or occupation) you’re currently in really going to allow you to achieve what excites you? Is the business (or occupation) going to provide you with the end result you are looking for? Win the world championship if you may? Like I said before, you may be the most brilliant business person (or driver) but with a hobbled and limited business (or vehicle) you’re only going to be frustrated aren’t you?

So if the driver, and let’s assume it is you, needs to improve what can be done? You must continually work to improve your skills, your knowledge and experience. To survive the rigours of driving at such speeds one thing Formula One drivers need to be is pretty fit. That’s not something that just happens, it is not something that gets easier the older you get and it is not something you get while driving in a race. It is something that needs to worked at outside a race but ultimately helps a driver perform better. Let me ask you, in relation to your business (or position), what are you doing outside of that to improve your skills, enhance you experience and knowledge?

If, however, the vehicle is the issue what are the alternatives? You could tune it but maybe it would be better to abandon the vehicle altogether for something else that better suits the track and the driver. What’s the use of driving around in something that doesn’t work for you? It is only going to cause greater frustration and thereby impede performance and the ultimate goal even more. Ask yourself, is this the best vehicle for me to win ‘my championship’? If not, then maybe a change of vehicles is in order.

I feel there are a lot of similarities between Formula One racing and business. The teams that manage to get everything together win championship but they don’t achieve this by chance. They closely examine both the driver and vehicle all the time to determine whether they have ‘the winning combination’. If not, they don’t simply settle, they make changes because they want to WIN.

If you’re not looking to win ‘your championship’ then you’d be better off heading to the pits and retire. Let the real racers get on with their jobs.

Dumb businesses

Most businesses in this day and age are constantly looking at ways they can grow their sales and generate more revenue from new customers. In many cases this total fixation with ‘new’ sales is blinding them to collecting ‘easy pickings’, and in some cases may even be driving business away.

What do I mean? Let me give you an example from my own experience. I wanted to buy something, so I contact the business via email and obtained all the details. I tell them to send me an invoice so I can do an electronic funds transfer. Sale complete right? Nope. Firstly, there are no banking details on the invoice I received. I then troll through the lengthy email and find the account details, but guess what? They’re wrong. So now I gotta email them back and I HAVE TO ASK for the correct details. Can you see the issue?

It is almost like they are TRYING to make it hard for me to purchase from them. Wouldn’t you think that the most logical thing would be to put the transfer details on the invoice? Failing that, don’t they have a standard payment document that lists all the payment methods, including the right funds transfer details?

How many things like this are you overlooking in your business? It all comes down to building effective procedures. If you take the time to create a payment method document you can send it out every time you need to and you know it is right every time. As I have mentioned many, many times in this blog people are so happy to waste their time repeating low end tasks, duplicating information and promoting errors yet they constantly complain they are too ‘busy’. A businesses failing to conduct itself professionally, especially at the transaction moment of the sale, tells me a whole lot about how well that business generally operates. In some respects it may even warrant me taking my business elsewhere, because if they can’t do that what else aren’t they doing properly?

So rather than investing significant amounts of time constantly taking the rough road looking for new sales, have you examined your own processes to ensure that they are as efficient as possible? Have you ensured that it is as easy as possible for your existing customers (i.e. those who ALREADY pay you money) to keep giving you more money? Have you asked them whether you can make their dealings with you simpler?

Remember, what I’m saying here is making the process easier for money coming into your business not necessarily what suits you best. You want to make the whole process of getting paid as quick as possible. This means you need to look at it through the customer’s eyes, not your own. Remember the more friction there is in a process, not only the slower the process becomes but also the more heat it generates (i.e. customer frustration).

So, spend the time ensuring your gears are as oiled as possible before commencing on the great quest for more sales, because greater revenues may be just a tweak away.

I’ll bet

Many people I’ve spoken to are under the misapprehension that I’m already working with SharePoint 2010. Sorry to say that I currently have exactly the same access to the product that everyone else has. This means I’m reading the while papers and watching the video but not working with product.

 

We all know that SharePoint 2010 is due for public beta sometime in November as Steve Ballmer announced recently at the SharePoint conference. I’m willing to bet that the announce of the beta releases of SharePoint 2010 and Office 2010 will be made at the upcoming Microsoft Professional Developers Conference to be held next week (17-19 November 2009).

 

As I said, I have just as much of an idea about the release as the next person but hopefully my bet will pay off and I can finally get my hands on the new SharePoint 2010 product.

You know times are changing

When Microsoft is set to release a version of Office that is free to consumers and supported by advertising. It is called Microsoft Office Starter 2010. Here’s the details from the Microsoft Office 2010 Engineering blog:

As part of Office 2010 software that will be pre-loaded by the PC manufacturers on their PCs, we’re introducing Microsoft Office Starter 2010. Office Starter 2010 is a reduced-functionality, advertising-supported version of Office 2010, available exclusively on new PCs. Office Starter 2010 will provide new PC owners with immediate exposure to the Office 2010 experience on new PCs right out of the box.

Office Starter 2010 will include Office Word Starter 2010 and Office Excel Starter 2010, with the basic functionality for creating, viewing and editing documents. Office Starter 2010 will replace Microsoft Works, offering a consistent Office user experience, such as the Ribbon, with a simple path to upgrade to a fully-featured version of Office 2010 directly from within the product.

Microsoft will soon be offering the product in beta and is asking people interested in the product to complete a quick survey as a way to nominate for the program. If you are interested then you’ll find the nomination process at:

http://survey.confirmit.com/wix5/p1059269618.aspx?type=1

This is further evidence of how much Office 2010 will be a game changer not only for Microsoft but for all those people that make living selling Microsoft Office. With the product available free on the web as well as free for download, how many existing are likely to upgrade to these products? Most, I reckon. Alternatively, how many people are going to upgrade to a paid edition? Not many, at least initially I believe. As I have said before, not only is the technology changing but also the economics. People who made their living from selling Microsoft Office are going to have to re-think their strategy as free versions of Office cannibalize existing sales. If they were smart they’d realize that there is going to be a huge potential market implementing and training customers on all versions of Office 2010 but luckily most won’t see this and will unsuccessfully continue to try and sell Office.

Why do I say luckily? Because it means more business for me as they focus on the wrong area. Sorry, as Donald Trump says – ‘It’s not personal, it’s business’.