Wednesday, October 28, 2009

So Much to Learn...

With Microsoft’s unveiling of SharePoint 2010 at its conference in the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas, and with the limited release of the beta software, there is now a ton of new information for users to grok. Already, a lot of material has made its way onto the Internet to help users gain a better understanding of the new capabilities and features. Among the best we’ve seen are on the MSDN blogs page, this post from “SharePoint Joel” Oleson of Quest Software – a “Top Ten” of features and resources, and Jeff Teper’s post on the Microsoft SharePoint team blog. Teper is Microsoft’s corporate vice president for SharePoint Server, and there is much depth and detail in this post – the third of a series describing the new features ...

To help SharePoint users get up to speed with 2010 more quickly and to stay on top of the latest news, SPTechReport will go to weekly distribution beginning with our Nov. 11 issue. With that issue, we will begin a series called “Spotlight on 2010,” in which a number of different SharePoint experts will offer a deeper look into the new features provided in the new software.

Oh, and a quick “get well soon” to those suffering from H1N1 contracted at the conference. There are even Twitter tags: #ShareFlu, or #ShareH1N1. You can talk amongst yourselves, and not even have to wear a face mask!

-- David

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Third-party vendors piggyback SharePoint 2010

Third-party software providers piggybacked the release of SharePoint 2010 at the Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2009 with releases of their own that flesh out the platform or plug some gaps.
Informative Graphics Corp. launched Brava! Enterprise 6.2 and Redact-It Enterprise 6.2 for MOSS 2007. Brava provides viewing and annotation capability for documents, with the ability to recognize search terms used in SharePoint and apply them to the document being viewed. Redact-It offers the ability to automatically redact sensitive data such as social security numbers or medical records from specified document libraries according to pre-set redaction specifications. Versions of the software supporting SharePoint 2010 are expected to be available when Microsoft makes that platform generally available ...
iTechnology was displaying its free Forms Accelerator software, designed to enable business users to take control of the forms they use without involving developers or IT. Built on Silverlight 3, the software includes templates for basic forms such as timesheets and status reports, and short “how-to” videos offer instruction for using Forms Accelerator. Drag-and-drop functions and fields let users create custom forms, and APIs are included to bring in Web services and other external assets. The software is to be generally available Nov. 1…
MicroLink introduced DiscoverPoint, software to automate the delivery of data and other information relevant to users through the use of social networking tools. Providing context that is not currently available in SharePoint 2010, DiscoverPoint compares search results within organizations to locate people with common interests or certain areas of expertise …
RepliWeb released version 2.2 of its RepliWeb Operational Synchronization for SharePoint (ROSS) with the ability to replicate MySites and Site Variations, and Workflow Definitions, including those built in Designer, Visual Studio and Nintex Workflow 2007. The updated tool also now provides the ability to manage .WSP deployments across farms; to replicate such things as Structure, Look & Feel, Data, Workflows, Security and more; to reverse unintended deployments and restore to the last known good state; and to issue reports and notifications …
Simplement, an SAP consulting firm and Microsoft ISV, unveiled is Data Liberator, which helps organizations migrate data from SAP onto SharePoint via its SQL Server-based abstraction layer. Upon installation, Data Liberator takes a snapshot of the SAP implementation, and going forward, captures every new data entry and replicates it. SharePoint users then get the data delivered into that platform from Data Liberator (through a Web Part created by Lightning Tools) with no performance impact on the SAP server.
-- David

SPC09? Too Much Information!

From my perch inside booth 711 (lucky Las Vegas coincidence?), I can feel the excitement of the people here at Microsoft's SharePoint Conference '09, fueled by the official unveiling of SharePoint 2010. Tom Rizzo, Microsoft's director of SharePoint, described the release of details in SharePoint 2010 as "getting hit by a fire hose."
He's right. Several folks I've spoken to here are shaking their heads at the volume of information being thrown at them. But Microsoft has done a nice job of summarizing all the changes to the software in a thick book distributed to all conference attendees, and it is making videos of the presentations available to all here on its "MySPC" website. No word yet if this information will ultimately find its way into the public realm.
Meanwhile, Microsoft's Patterns and Practices Group is working overtime to get out the documentation surrounding SharePoint 2010. That group was originally targeting a date three months from now, but Jeff Teper, Microsoft corporate vice president of Office SharePoint Server, indicated the work will now be mostly completed by Microsoft's PDC event in November. But, Teper added, "I'm not committing."…
-- David

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Title? There are enough already

At Microsoft SharePoint Conference '09, the New Zealand-based SharePoint search company Pingar announced venture capitalist Chris de Boer has been appointed as non-executive chairman of the company. de Boer replaces The Earl of Erroll, who had been in that role. It's assumed The Earl will land on his feet, though; according to a company handout, he's the 24th Earl of Erroll, 25th Lord Hay, 24th Lord Slains, 12th Bt (Moncreiffe of that Ilk), 28th Hereditary Lord High Constable of Scotland, 32nd Chief of the Hays. Further, and perhaps more importantly, he helps promote Scotch Whisky as a Patron of the Keepers of the Quaich, and he's also one of the Hereditary Peers elected to stay in the British Parliament's House of Lords. If he actually had the time to answer, I'm sure he would agree that SharePoint is -- ahem -- without peer!
-- David

Monday, October 19, 2009

Idera Picks Up Sonar

Idera, a provider of SharePoint management and administration solutions, announced at the Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2009 today that it has acquired the Sonar performance management product from SharePoint consultancy BinaryWave.
Sonar enables administrators to monitor the performance of SharePoint pages in real time with a rich set of analytics, and pass any information along to developers to fix performance problems. Sonar is available today at US$395 per Web front-end server on a farm.
“SharePoint has quickly become the de facto standard for collaboration in enterprises big and small, ” Rick Pleczko, CEO and president of Idera, said in a statement. “By adding Sonar…we are able to help our customers better ensure the performance of their SharePoint 2007 and SharePoint 2010 servers and applications. ”
-- David

More knives and corkscrews

The fourth release of SharePoint —“the Swiss Army knife of collaboration platforms, ” according to Microsoft vice president Jeff Teper —just got a whole lot more knives, and corkscrews, and scissors.
The three big areas of focus in SharePoint 2010, Teper told SPTechReport today at the Microsoft SharePoint Conference ’09 in Las Vegas, are around developer support, running Internet sites on SharePoint, and running sites in the SharePoint Online hosted environment. A public beta of the new software will be available in November, he said.
The new developer scenarios “are among the most exciting areas,” Teper said. “[Microsoft Office SharePoint Server] 2007 was such a successful release for us. Now, companies have said the infrastructure is up and running, and now they want to move up the chain to higher-value business processes. ”
To help organizations create more robust applications on SharePoint, Teper said Microsoft made SharePoint a “first-class platform” for Visual Studio. Further, the API support is a lot richer.
Another key piece for developers is the introduction with SharePoint 2010 of Sandbox Solutions. If you ’re building a custom Web Part, you can run it first in a sandbox to protect your live SharePoint implementation. “This was a big thing developers asked for,” Teper said. “The next step is to run that custom Web Part in the cloud. ”
For end users, productivity and collaboration enhancements include “a lot of new social networking capability,” Teper said, including the ability to tag content for review, search for people, and infer interests from data.
Further, the FAST search technology now built into SharePoint 2010 gives greater relevance to navigational experiences, and the Gemini in-memory database enables “amazing” dashboards to be created via integrations with Excel and SharePoint, Teper said.
Companies using SharePoint for their Internet sites will find a new Ribbon-style page-editing model and one-click editing, as well as support for Silverlight, AJAX and other streaming media, enabling users to more easily bring different sorts of data into SharePoint Internet mashups.
There ’s a lot to learn about SharePoint 2010, and Microsoft ’s faithful have packed the Mandalay Bay conference hall here. “To sell out a conference of 7,000 people for a single product in a down economy, we ’re pretty humbled by that,” said Teper.
Let me know the areas of SharePoint 2010 that most interest you, or that you find to be most important. We ’ll cover them in future SPTechReports, and we’ll look to add the hottest topics to our own SharePoint Technology Conference being held Feb. 10-12, 2010, right outside San Francisco. I ’m at drubinstein@bzmedia.com.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

SharePointers: Adding a Touch of Style to SharePoint Web Parts with Code

By Larry J. Riemann

When developing SharePoint Web Parts, there is often a need to style the content of those Web Parts using cascading style sheets (CSS). For Web Parts that will leverage known or existing styles, this is as easy as adding the class name to each element that is to be styled. However, for creating new styles or extending existing ones, that matter is not so clear-cut. In these scenarios, you have many options at your disposal, all of which have pluses and minuses.

Some of the options include:

Including the new or extended styles in a new or existing CSS file that will be linked on every page whether the Web Part is in use or not.
Declare the styles inline in the HTML using style tags.
Add the link to the CSS file through code.

The last option can be the cleanest. It allows you to only load the style(s) for the Web Part if needed, and it keeps the styles in a separate file.

Read the rest of the article here.

Monday, October 5, 2009

ComponentOne's Web Parts Focus on Interactivity

.NET control maker ComponentOne has delivered a new batch of Microsoft Office SharePoint Web Parts that it says will make portals more interactive, with drill downs into data and custom behaviors. Last week's 2009 v2 release included Web Parts for charts, for a data grid and for a mapping component. Each Web Part has built-in designers for configuring and styling data views without coding, as well as a new code editor for developers.
Also new to this release, the ComponentOne Web Parts can connect to each other, eliminating the need for page refreshes and server post backs. The mapping Web Part has a geocoding capability that associates address information to geographic coordinates to enable drill-down information. “In the first release, we focused on a code-free experience for the novice Office SharePoint user, and in the 2009 v2 release, we focused on making the experience more customizable and flexible for power users and developers,” said Dan Beall, product manager at ComponentOne.
The Web Parts work in the Office SharePoint Server 2007 environment and with Windows SharePoint Services 3.0. The cost is US$500 per Web Part per server, with $15 per Client Access License (CAL) for the first 100, and $5 for each CAL thereafter, said communications manager Eve Turzillo.
-- David Worthington, SD Times senior editor

Thursday, October 1, 2009

River Logic Brings BI Planning to SharePoint

River Logic, Inc. has announced the integration of its Enteprise Optimizer solution with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. This integration gives users the ability to collaborate on models for business plans, improving their ability to make decisions.

"This move by River Logic can enable customers to maximize their BI and collaboration investments," Kathleen Winder, director of SharePoint marketing at Microsoft, said in a written statement. "We're excited to see River Logic's commitment to the SharePoint platform, and believe this integration can deliver users real productivity improvements."

Enterprise Optimzer is used for long-term strategy, business policy, tactical planning, and financial planning. The integration enables strategic modeling, for such things as marketing, supply chain and workforce capacity, as well as tactical planning processes, according to the company.

-- David