SharePoint 2013 Foundation now available

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

 

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=35488

 

Here’s a walk through of the installation process

 

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Launch the downloaded file and it will expand files

 

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

 

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Click Next.

 

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Accept the terms of the License Agreement and press Next.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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Pre-requisite programs will be downloaded and installed.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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The process will commence.

 

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Accept the terms of the agreements and press Continue.

 

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

 

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The SharePoint binaries will now be installed.

 

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

 

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Press Next to continue.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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Press Next to continue.

 

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Verify the details and press Next proceed.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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Enter a service account and press Next.

 

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Enter the details for the site collection.

 

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Process is complete, press Finish.

 

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Interesting, Central Administration has a few more options.

 

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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.

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 (www.linkedin.com).

 

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.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTfr1J7gaB0

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.

SkyDrive Pro Primer webinar–preview

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

 

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.

 

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.

 

Details:

Date: Thursday 21st February 2013

Location: North Ryde RSL Club Sydney

Price: $299 inc

URL: http://ciaops210113.eventbrite.com.au

 

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.

 

Testimonial:

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 – http://www.ciaops.com/bootcamp/

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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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. 

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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

 

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

 

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Likewise, if the appointment is changed in SharePoint,

 

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

 

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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.

 

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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.

SharePoint Careers


I maintain that there is a huge amount of opportunity in the SharePoint field, whether that be on premise or in the cloud. If it is SharePoint, then there is opportunity. If you are considering what options in the field maybe available to you here are some thoughts on the three major career paths open to you as I see it.
1. Infrastructure
If you are an IT Professional who likes fiddling around with servers, running them up, configuring them, installing drivers and so on then this is probably for you. SharePoint requires Windows Servers and SQL to operate. That means it also requires server hardware on which to run. Many larger organizations may prefer the flexibility of their own version of SharePoint to that hosted in the cloud. I would therefore expect plenty of opportunity to not only implement SharePoint but also maintain the infrastructure on which it operates.
However, I see that the skill set required here is going to demand enterprise grade experience. You are going to need to be comfortable with things such as multi-server environments, load balancing, advanced SharePoint configurations. From what I have seen, there are not a lot of people with the experience to be able to design and implement a SharePoint extranet (internal and external users) for a large user population (100+ users say). I certainly know that there is the demand, however I also appreciate that the experience and skill set required is unique.
If you have chosen to stick with the on premise side of IT I believe that for you to remain employable you need to look at skilling yourself up to the enterprise level. Dealing with a single server environment like SBS is simply not going to provide a decent living anymore. However, moving up to the enterprise can provide a real challenge for those that already get a kick out of working with physical machines.
2. Developer
If you are more into code cutting then SharePoint also has a bright future for you. There are in fact even more options available to SharePoint developers.
Firstly, you could use tools like Visual Studio and create web parts that plug into SharePoint. Now with the market place available in SharePoint 2013 (including SharePoint Online) and Office 2013 the opportunity to create a sell a solution to a world wide audience has never been easier.
Secondly, there is huge demand for the ability to brand SharePoint sites. That is, to add logos, create themes and generally make SharePoint look ‘pretty’ in the customers eyes. To achieve this you are going to need to know things like HTML, Javascript, CSS and so on. The good thing about these skills is that they will translate to many other web technologies.
The challenge with being a developer is that there is a lot of learning that is needed. In most cases you can’t really start obtaining revenue until you can produce something and for that you need not only skills but also experience. The good thing is that once you have all these they can be easily replicated. Thus, if you develop a web part and it proves popular you can resell it multiple times. So the rewards can be great (given the new Office marketplace) but there is fair amount of investment up front in knowledge that is required.
3. Business Intelligence
This career path is more for those who assist customers create processes and automate them using technology. They would analyse a customers business and then determine how to improve that using technology.
With SharePoint this could mean things like using document libraries to better manage files. It could mean interfacing SharePoint to desktop applications like to provide better collaboration. It could mean using SharePoint Designer to automate processes that are currently being done manually. It could also mean using a tool like InfoPath to help create ‘intelligent’ forms to remove the paper clutter within a business.
The big challenge here for many traditional IT resellers is that you will need to be skilled in business. You will need to be able to look at business and determine what is the best solution for them, not what is the ‘coolest’ technology out there. If the customer doesn’t use it then it doesn’t matter how cool it is does it? This means you are going to not only need to know all the abilities of SharePoint you are going to need experience in how to integrate them into a business. That means no more drivers, patches, updates, screwdrivers and like. It means being able to construct business processes and translate them into a tool like SharePoint.
My experience again is that there is huge demand for this. Most businesses do things so inefficiently that they are crying out for help. But here’s the catch with this opportunity, most businesses, even if they know they need help rarely see benefit in implementing it. It is so much easier for most to simply retain the old inefficient ways of doing things because that’s what ‘they know’. I see this so much these days. A small implementation of a SharePoint solution can make such a huge difference to a business but many are strongly resistant to any change, especially where it involves them having to learn something new.
The benefits again here are replicability. If you develop a solution for one business chances are that solution (or one very similar) will work in another business. Thus, the second time it is implemented the less time it takes. Once you build up a portfolio of solutions you can pretty much solve any business problem by plugging the pieces together.
Conclusion
As with anything in business there is opportunity but there are also challenges. I believe SharePoint offers at least three distinct paths for IT Professionals to choose from depending on where they want to take their careers. That is pretty unique in the technology field today. However, all paths have their challenges and all paths require work and development to not only learn the products but also understand how they can be implemented to solve customer ‘pain points’.
At the end of the day I believe the opportunities far outweigh the challenges and would encourage people who are looking to get more into SharePoint to pick one of the three paths above and go for it sooner rather than later. I say that because I believe you really can’t do all three, two maybe but definitely not all three.