Thursday, November 29, 2012

Office 365 Recipient limits raised

One objection I hear regularly from business who are using their emails incorrectly is that Exchange Online ONLY allows email to 1,500 recipients a day. Many use that as an excuse for staying on premise because they want to bulk email from their own inbox.

Firstly, Microsoft has just raised that limit to 10,000 recipients a day from 1,500.

Secondly, you really shouldn’t be using your normal email accounts for bulk email. A much better bet is something like Mailchimp, but if you must (and some MUST) then ensure you follow the guidance provided by Microsoft when it comes to bulk emails and you’ll never reach those limits!

Podcast with Karl Palachuk

I’ve just completed a short podcast with a good buddy of mine and a leader in the SMB community space in the US, Karl Palachuk around Office 365 and the opportunities for resellers in the Cloud space. You’ll find it here:


so you can download and listen to it at your leisure.


In the podcast I also speak my SharePoint and Office 365 Guide and Karl is making a special offer of $50 off the price of the Guide until December 25 (what a great geek Christmas gift eh?).


Remember if you have any feedback on the episode or have any questions you’d like to ask feel free to email me directly (


I thank Karl for the opportunity as well as everyone who takes the time to listen.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Less site options in Foundation 2013

Been poking around SharePoint Foundation 2013 and noticed the following reduction in site template options.


Here’s the site template options when you go to create a new sub site:


Collaboration tab


SharePoint 2010 Foundation




SharePoint 2013 Foundation




i.e. the following templates are no longer available:


- blank site

- document workspace

- group work site


There is no longer a meeting tab as there is in SharePoint 2010




There is now an Enterprise tab that contains:




So the following site templates are no longer available by default in SharePoint 2013 Foundation:


- Blank site

- Document Workspace

- Group Work Site

- Basic Meeting Workspace

- Blank Meeting Workspace

- Decision Meeting Workspace

- Social Meeting Workspace

- Multipage Meeting Workspace


The following have been added:


- Basic Search Center


The reason? My guess is that most people never used the site templates that have been removed and the thinking is that if people want to get them then they will probably be available via the new Office Marketplace that is part of SharePoint 2013.


However, the more I look at Foundation 2013 the more I am convinced that it is far more basic that Foundation 2010 was. Maybe the addition of the Office Marketplace in the 2013 products is where additions to the product will appear? I’ll be interested to see whether they do.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

SharePoint Foundation 2013 setups

The previous blog post I did on setting up SharePoint Foundation 2013 I will admit to cheating a little. There is did the installation completely on a single windows 2012 Server that I had converted to a Domain Controller (DC).


Now, technically that isn’t supported, so here are some other ways you can attempt to install it.


If you simply try and install it on a stand alone server that is not part of a domain you’ll see




If you select stand alone and follow it through you’ll end up with the following error during the configuration wizard:




which is the same sort of error I received when testing the beta.


If you instead try and do a complete install you end up at:




So as:


notes, SharePoint 2013 is NOT supported unless it is on a domain connected server, only then will you see:




and the ultimate end results you are after




When you use the GUI installation method.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

New CIAOPS SharePoint book–preorder offer

I am just about set to publish my latest SharePoint title -


SharePoint Client Side


This book covers all of the desktop applications that can be interfaced to SharePoint 2010. It shows you how to use common Office applications like Word, Excel, OneNote and Outlook with SharePoint Document Libraries and lists. It shows you how Office Web Apps functions as well as more advanced applications such as Access, Visio and SharePoint Workspace. It also provides a brief introduction to the power of applications like InfoPath and SharePoint Designer.


In essences it demonstrates that the real power of SharePoint is how it can be integrated with the applications user every day. If you want to get more out of SharePoint than what you are getting now then this book will show you how by providing extensive information and tutorials on how to use, Windows Explorer, Outlook, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access, SharePoint Workspace, Project, Visio, InfoPath and SharePoint Designer with SharePoint 2010.


If you use SharePoint you need this book to give you the complete picture of what is possible with SharePoint on the desktop.


I expect to have the book ‘e-published’ by this time next week and until then I am going to make the following pre-release offer:


- 50% discount off the price of the finished product (i.e. $4.38 vs $ 8.76 RRP)

- all 3 ‘e-versions’ of the finished work (ePUB, Kindle and PDF)




- full payment of $4.38 receive prior to the ‘publishing’ of the final product most likely next week.


To take advantage of the offer please contact me ( to arrange payment.


If you are already a CIAOPS SharePoint and Office 365 Guide subscriber you’ll receive a copy of the title once it becomes available as part of your subscription.


Do wait to too long to take advantage of this offer.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

SharePoint Online backups - when?

What many Office 365 users don’t seem to appreciate is that Microsoft backups up their data. Not only their emails but also their SharePoint data. This is all part of the service.


Now, equally valid questions are how often do they do that and for how long is a backup retained? The answer to these questions can be found in the service descriptions for each service:


Enterprise plans -


In there (under SharePoint Online Service Description, P18) you’ll find:


Data Backup


Data protection services are provided to prevent the loss of SharePoint Online data. Backups are performed every 12 hours and retained for 14 days.


It is always good to have multiple backups of any data source in multiple location but part of the Office 365 DOES including automatic backups of that data residing there.

Need to Know Podcast–Episode 41

Join me in this episode as I speak with Microsoft OneNote MVP Ben Schorr about a product we both love - OneNote. Ben explains how OneNote works and how it can help just about any business manage information overload.
Don't forget all the other podcasts at and appreciate a like over at
Remember if you want to be a guest please contact me (

Monday, November 19, 2012

Windows 8, end of an era?

Now let me ask you, what do consumers want when it comes to technology? I’d suggest that they want new gadgets (devices) and apps. I would also suggest to you that most apps are simply the front end onto larger online “services”. So, I would contend that consumers want devices and services.


I’ll bet that if I now ask you what Microsoft does you won’t know. Impossible I hear you say. They do software is your reply. Are you sure? Really sure? If you visit the Microsoft homepage and have a look at what the name of the tab says I think you’ll be surprised.




It says Devices and Services, right there on the homepage.


Would it be fair to say that Microsoft is now aiming itself squarely at the consumer who wants devices and services rather than software? I would think so and nothing confirms that to me more than Windows 8.


I would also contend that Windows 8 signifies something else significant. It signifies the end of the IT Professional age. Look at the landscape today, most major providers (Apple, Google via Android and now Microsoft) are all providing a very similar technology platform. Sure there are some minor differences but basically it is all about devices and services. They are beginning to look the same both in their hardware and software. Doesn’t this indicate the final phase in the consumerization of technology? Doesn’t this mean there is less room for the traditional IT Professional?


Technology has become mainstream. Just about everyone has a smart phone, most are replacing their PC with tablets. Don’t believe me? This article spells out the Dell suffered a 47% drop in profit and pointedly:


Revenue from PCs, which still account for about half of Dell's sales, declined 19% from a year ago to $6.6 billion. The biggest drop was in sales to consumers, which fell 23% to $2.5 billion.


PCs are in the thick of an industry-wide decline as customers increasingly turn to tablets or smartphones. In the third quarter, world-wide shipments of PCs plunged more than 8% from a year earlier, according to research firm IDC. Dell's shipments fell 14% in the quarter, IDC said.


Many bemoan the loss of the Start button in Windows 8 but I reckon many, many more will welcome the new ‘touch friendly’ interface with open arms. Like it or not it is simply the way the world is going and that world is being driven by the consumer who simply sees technology as part of the landscape. For example, consumers don’t care whether they are running ice cream sandwich or jellybean on their Android phone, they just want to access the services they want on the device of their choice. Simple. They want nice icons they can tap with their fingers.


The IT Professional age was characterized by a knowledge few who understood how to twist the knobs to make technology work. That need is becoming no more. Most people can work it out for themselves or can find it using a search engine. To me Windows 8 is recognition from the final big player in the market that the world has changed, technology is a utility and they now need to focus on a different audience. All that means that traditional SMB IT Professional ‘PC generalist’ is fast becoming an extinct species.

SharePoint 2013 Foundation now available

SharePoint 2013 Foundation 2013 RTM is now available for download. You can do so from:


Here’s a walk through of the installation process




Launch the downloaded file and it will expand files




Next the splash screen will be displayed. Select Install software prerequisites.




Click Next.




Accept the terms of the License Agreement and press Next.




The server will be configured, additional roles will be added.




The first phase will complete and you will need to reboot.







After you reboot and log back into the system the process will continue.




Pre-requisite programs will be downloaded and installed.




The next phase will complete and you will need to reboot again.




After you reboot and login you will see the summary screen (above) detailing that everything is complete.




Run the downloaded file again and this time select Install SharePoint Foundation.




The process will commence.




Accept the terms of the agreements and press Continue.




Specify a location for search index files. Best bet is not to install these on a boot partition. Press Install Now when complete.




The SharePoint binaries will now be installed.




Leave the box checked to run the Products Configuration Wizard. Press Close to continue.




Press Next to continue.




Note, the process will start and stop IIS which may affect other users. Select Yes to continue.




Select the option to Create a new server farm and press Next to continue.




Enter the database details and login. Press Next to continue.




Enter the farm passphrase (and don’t forget it!). Press Next to continue.




Press Next to continue.




Verify the details and press Next proceed.




The wizard will now go through its 10 step configuration phase.




When successfully complete you’ll see a summary page. Press Finish to complete.




Select whether you wish to participate in the Customer Experience Program.




Normally you don’t want to run the wizard here but for the sake of this walk through we will.




Enter a service account and press Next.








Enter the details for the site collection.








Process is complete, press Finish.




Interesting, Central Administration has a few more options.




Open a new browser window and enter the URL of the site and in a few moments you should see SharePoint 2010 Foundation up and running.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Getting serious about Linkedin

One of the greatest advantages that Internet based technologies can provide is leverage. Nothing could be more the case than with social media. Unfortunately, too many businesses and professionals fail to see the potential that it can provide themselves and their businesses. Probably the most effective social network for business is Linkedin (


You may be surprised to know that Linkedin in has been around for over 10 years! It was around long before Facebook and Twitter as a source of connecting business people together. Linkedin allows you to create a profile for yourself or your business into which can put all sorts of information. Many professionals use Linkedin as a ‘living CV’ where they can post their career and achievement records for others to view. Sharing that information with others help them grow their potential network and makes it easier for others to locate people with the right skills.


This is where the key technology of search begins to reveal the true power of Linkedin, for not only can you share your information with others, independent parties can search Linkedin and locate individuals with the skills they need. This is reason why so many HR people use Linkedin to locate and target individuals with the skills they require. Posting resumes and trawling employment website is now ‘old school’, the highest quality applicants are signed up via Linkedin even before a job is offered.


This means that if you are not using Linkedin your competition probably already is. So what can you do to catch up? Firstly, you’ll need to create a Linkedin account and then fill in the information about yourself. The more professional information you provide the better. It is also important to include a professional headshot as part of the profile so if you don’t have one of these go out and get one. Once you have all your information entered start looking for people and associates you know who are already on Linkedin. When you find them send them an invite to ‘connect’ with you on Linkedin.


Once you network starts to grow make sure that Linkedin becomes an ongoing part of your business strategy. Don’t let the information you have entered get stale. Revisit your account regularly and ensure it is always as current as possible. As you meet new contacts look them up on Linkedin and as them to ‘connect’ with you. Always be looking to grow your network and don’t afraid to ask people in your network for introductions to other on Linkedin.


When you start to feel comfortable with Linkedin use the testimonial feature to ask business contacts and clients for referrals. These referrals can be directly posted on your profile for all to see. Nothing lends credibility like endorsement so always continue to seek them out and grow the number that you have. Once the endorsements start to flow make sure you direct other information about your business to your Linkedin information. Use it on your website, business cards, etc.


The more you work with Linkedin the more powerful you will find it. When you need something you can  ask your network of contacts, you can search their skills for what you need and you can join any number of special interest Linkedin groups on the very topic that you are seeking assistance on. The power of search means that when you need something or somebody professionally chances are it will be in Linkedin. Remember, Linkedin is a business tool. It is something that you’ll need to understand and continue to work with to obtain benefit. However, when you do you’ll find that power of leverage will return far more than you will ever invest in it.

Connecting SharePoint 2010 Calendar to Outlook

One of the most handy features of SharePoint is that you can connect it to Outlook. The most common connection you can make is for a SharePoint calendar that you can then use directly in Outlook.


Connecting SharePoint 2010 Calendar to Outlook

This video will take you through all the steps of making this connection as well as creating shared appointments. The steps here will work with both SharePoint on premise and Office 365.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

SkyDrive Pro Primer webinar–preview

I have uploaded a 10 minute preview of the webinar I did today on SkyDrive.


SkyDrive Pro Primer–Preview


CIAOPS SharePoint and Office 365 subscribers receive a complete copy free as part of their subscription. More details about the Guide at


Look out for future technology webinars from the CIAOPS.

Smart marketing

So we all know that Windows Phone is behind the ball when it comes to market share. I think some of the things they have done (like the Smoked by Windows Phone challenge) have been a really smart idea and boosted the products profile.


Again, here’s what I think is quite clever (and necessary). Celebrity endorsement.


Meet Gwen


Meet Jessica


I also think that it is smart to target women and mums.


Hopefully, this will tick the adoption of Windows Phone along a little more.

Monday, November 12, 2012

CIAOPS SharePoint Online bootcamp

Come and learn about SharePoint in the cloud and the opportunities it presents. With the major focus on SharePoint via Office 365 this bootcamp will teach you all about what products and versions are available, how to configure them, options for migrating data and how to build solutions for businesses.



Date: Thursday 21st February 2013

Location: North Ryde RSL Club Sydney

Price: $299 inc



Discount codes:

- CIAOPS SharePoint Guide and Office 365 Guide subscribers contact me directly for a special promotional code

- Super Earlybird (prior to Dec 21, 2012) use SUPEREB for $50 discount on entry

- Earlybrid (prior to January 21, 2012) user EARLYBIRD for $25 discount on entry

Any questions let me know and I hope to see you there.



We attend so many 'official' courses and training sessions that lack meaningful content which are led by 'instructors' who are sadly lacking in knowledge. By contrast, EVERY one of Robert's training sessions that I have attended are packed full of relevant content and supplemented with in depth and meaningful discussion. Exceptional value for money. (Mike Hatfield)


CIAOPS bootcamps -

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Lest We Forget


After over four years of fighting and horrific casualties on both sides the First World War ended on the 11th hour of the 11th month 1918. On the anniversary it is poignant to pause and remember those who have been killed in war and those who may still be serving. They put their lives at risk for what they believed in and if only for that, they should be remembered.


I like to recognize the contribution that the Australian and New Zealand (ANZACS) made on the Western Front of the First World War at the web site I created:


May their memory and actions continue to live on and may their sacrifices help us build a better world without the horror and destruction that war brings.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Adding a SharePoint calendar

One of the features that SharePoint provides teams is the ability to share a calendar in SharePoint. This means that everyone can access and view the calendar directly from the SharePoint site via a web browser. What many are not aware of is that this same calendar can be linked to Outlook on a users desk. This linking can be accomplished with SharePoint on premise and via Office 365.




When you visit a calendar in SharePoint you can press the Calendar tab at the top of the page to expose the Ribbon Menu as shown. In the Ribbon Menu you will find a Connect to Outlook to button. Press this to connect this calendar to a local copy of Outlook on the desktop.




A security dialog will now be displayed. This is asking whether to be allowed to open content from the Internet (since in this example the SharePoint site is from Office 365). Press the Allow button to continue. Once allowed this prompt should not reappear.




Another security dialog may be displayed. This one is asking whether to allow content from the Internet onto the local computer through the inbuilt Windows Firewall (since in this example the SharePoint site is from Office 365 in the cloud). Press the Allow button to continue. Once allowed this prompt should not reappear. 




The final security option will be to allow the calendar to connect to the Outlook application. This prompt appears because the request is to have Outlook to connect to external content. This prompt will be evident no matter which version of SharePoint in linked to. Press the Yes button to continue. Once allowed this prompt should not reappear.




You should now see the SharePoint calendar displayed side by side with the normal personal calendar. The linked SharePoint calendar is on the right and you can see it contains a single appointment.




If the SharePoint appointment is opened you will see in the lower part of the window that it is In Shared Folder Office – Calendar. This is an indication that the calendar is from SharePoint.


You will also notice a Copy to My Calendar button on the ribbon menu for this item. If you select this a copy of this appointment will be made to the users personal calendar. It is important to realize that this is only a copied appointment, it is no linked back to the SharePoint calendar in anyway. This means that if the appointment is changed in SharePoint those changes will not be reflected in the copy that is now in the users personal calendar. Likewise, if the user changes the copy of the SharePoint appointment in their own personal calendar that change will not flow through to the SharePoint calendar. Only the linked SharePoint calendar will reflect changes.




If however the appointment is changed in the SharePoint calendar that was linked (i.e. the calendar on the right previously) as shown above, then




that change WILL flow through to the SharePoint and to all users who have linked to the calendar as shown above.




Likewise, if the appointment is changed in SharePoint,




the appointment in the linked SharePoint calendar in Outlook will reflect that change, however




the version that was originally copied to the users personal calendar, as shown above, will not have any of the changes since it is not linked.




So, in summary, calendar linked from SharePoint are displayed as separate calendars in Outlook. Items can be copied from the synced SharePoint calendar to the users calendar but those items are not linked.