Featured Post

Kerberos constrained delegation (KCD)

Last week I found myself struggling with some Kerberos delegations. I read everything there was to read about it online and got most information from a lot of other blogs. But.. none of them could really tell me everything I needed, so there for another blog about KCD. The objective: Use Excel services...

Read More

European SharePoint Conference Day 2

Posted by andre | Posted in European SharePoint Conference | Posted on 19-10-2011

2

Day 2 started as planned with keynotes from Mirjam van Olst and Spencer Harbar. their presentation on experiences from the field on SharePoint migrations was a pretty straight forward story. The session was split into work-related fields like management, development and ITPRO. Although most information was known information, it was a good ‘freshen up’ and eye opener on things which are usually forgotten in the process.

After a good opening we went for the session on Project and SharePoint. By using Project Server 2010 it becomes possible to view your project timelines and keep track of costs directly in Sharepoint. SharePoint has the functionality to create an overview for all projects. All project have their own project page where project related information is shown. It is presented as a dashboard. By use of SharePoint a graphical view is presented about the timeline and information on the project.
Right after the break we went for a session on SharePoint upgrade by Joel Oleson. The main decisions were discussed, like migrating, in-place upgrade, pre-upgrade considerations and experiences in the field.
After lunch I went to a BCS session by Andre Vala and Raul Ribeiro. They gave a nice demo on external list with read and write functionality. And not just to a single source but by using a SQL database and information stored in Azure at the same time.
Tom Zitter went to Bob Kreha’ Bridging the Gulf. Implementations of SharePoint are usually viewed and planned from a technical perspective and sight is lost on the ultimate goal; collaboration throughout the organization. Before a collaboration platform can but used to the fullest it is necessary to have everybody on the same page. It is important that everyone knows what is coming and everybody can accept errors and mistakes. At the start all users should be able to post their content on the ECM. Even non-work related blogs or news items should be accepted at start and filtering should not be a bottleneck to a employee to make a post. All of this should be taken in to account and be documented in a considered governance design.
Then it was up to John Baldwin from EMC to update our knowledge on storage optimization and he did! When SharePoint lacks performance storage is the problem in most cases. So making sure that your storage is in optimal shape when you start using SharePoint is key. Make sure you think about how to configure your storage before you start installing SharePoint and SQL, don’t just drop your installation on the disks, but think about where to put your content databases and how many should share a disk, LUN or volume.
Especially the provisioning of diskspace, the minimal amount of IOPS per GB in a farm viewed from the user perspective and the planning on IOPS and GB kept me thinking.
Just like Mirjam van Olst mentioned in the morning presentation John Baldwin mentioned it again, don’t use RBS just because you want to or you think it’s ‘cool’. Make sure you have the right reasons!
After the storage session it was but a small step to Steffen Krause’s session on SQL Best Practices. With the new gained knowledge we jumped into SQL’s need for storage allocation and performance. Making the wrong choices or not choosing it at all could lead up to a 30% to 50% loss of performance!
Just like John Baldwin best practices on usage for RAID and NTFS block sizes were given and multiple tools and settings like SQLIO.exe, quick formats, MAXDOP and autogrowth passed the review.
Day 2 was even better then day 1, let’s hope that day 3 is even better! See you all tomorrow and remember “Never shrink your database!”.
On a personal note we went and explored some more of Berlin and literally tasted some culture!

European SharePoint Conference Day 1

Posted by andre | Posted in European SharePoint Conference | Posted on 18-10-2011

0

After a goodnight sleep and almost an hour of traffic we arrived at the Estrel Hotel. We were ready to attend sessions hole day and soak up information.

The opening session from Bjorn Olstad gave us a refreshing view on the meaning of SharePoint as a platform and how most delegates agreed on that.
At 10.00 we kicked-off with John Kleemans session on “Measuring Social Learning in SharePoint with Assessments”. His interactive presentation was a good start of the day. Especially his view on learning and forgetting curves and the 70:20:10 Framework by Charles Jennings.
After John it was up to Jan Tielens’ session on Office 365. His perspective on the presentation was based uppon busting the ITPRO myths. Topics like management, public sites, enterprise features, user profile synchronization, Exchange and Lync past the review. Where most administrators or ITPRO’s stay on premise because of management, administration, off-premise storage and so on is out of their hands, light was shed on all topic and Jan tried to convince them otherwise.
Also the possibilities and limits of custom code, PowerShell and sandboxing were addressed.
The possibility to connect the Office 365 cloud with your own Active Directory for a full user import really lifted some weight of my shoulders. Not having to create every user again, but the ability for each user to logon with their own domain account in the cloud is a great feature.
With all this together I think working in the cloud is ‘a thing’ for the small and medium sized companies. A full-size corporation would most likely still want to keep their data and application on premise. I’m glad Jan Tielens mentioned that as well.
Before lunch I attended Rafal Lukawiecki’s presentation on BI, or as he called it PI.
He planned on putting 90 minutes of content in 45 minutes time. So from the start till the end it was a rapid flow of information.
All methods of BI came to pass. From the most popular Excel to the yet to be released PowerView.
The PowerPivot review with his endless (over 100 milion rows) Excelsheet gave a excellent view on the possibilities and performance. Even with those amounts of data his virtual machines had to trouble generating calculations and filtered views in a matter of a second.
The PivotViewer review got the crowd pretty worked up due the awesome animations of the pictures he showed. For Centric that is a everyday thing of course. Wait till they see our ‘Faceboek’!
Other ways to gather and filter data where based upon the Bing Maps data connector and the SQL Reporting Services Report builder.
His graphical demos were a good example on the possibilities of these tools.
In the afternoon it was up to the best practices for SharePoint Enterprise Search by Agnes Molnar. The session was pretty straight forward and the shown options and points of attention were basic information.
A few points on federated search are up for further research, but all other were pretty much known information.
In the for last session of day 1 I went for Peter Viellefont’s session on templates. I expected some more on planning and structure on the basic business templates, but it turned out to be a sales pitch. So not much learned there.
Last but not least we attended Matthew Hughes’ demo on “SharePoint branding from start to finish”. His demonstration on changing the look and feel on a site by using SharePoint designer made it look easy enough! He gave a few ins and outs on how to change headers, footers, the ribbon, menu’s and logo’s by using a custom masterpage and a style sheet.
If he can do it in about 30 minutes I could at least put in an hour or 2 of effort to give it a try myself!
Ending his session with the quote “I’m not an expert but I can do stuff” gave a nice touch to his demo.
Day 1 is done and 2 more yet to come. See you tomorrow!

Berlin here we are

Posted by andre | Posted in European SharePoint Conference | Posted on 18-10-2011

0

After 7 hours of travel and a big bucket of KFC hotwings we arrived at the city of Berlin. On the east-side of the city we checked in the hotel and got ready to make the first blog post and here we are!

In just a matter of hours the European SharePoint Conferance 2011 will kick-off their first session and we’ll be there waiting to check in and gather some new SharePoint intell. We’ll most likely start our day with the Best Practices for SharePoint upgrades (after a good cup of coffee that is of course) or maybe PowerPivot, followed up by Jan Tielens’ session on Office 365.

I’m off to a couple hour of sleep. See you all in the morning!