Category Archives: SharePoint Conference


Data Access with Search and the KeywordQuery API (SPC334)

Great session by Phil Wicklund today about SharePoint Search.

Phil’s session consisted of:

  • Overview of data retrieval with Search
  • Introduction to data retrieval with Search
  • Programming search
  • Topology & capacity considerations

Phil gave a very nice overview of possible ways to aggregate data in SharePoint, accessing data with:

  • SharePoint Object model
  • SPQuery
  • Linq to SharePoint
  • Webservices

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Business documents using Word Automation Services and Open XML (SPC349)

Having already seen some of the great sessions Scot Hillier gave in the past, I decided to attend his session on Open XML and Word Automation.

Scot gave us a very interesting look inside a project he did for a company, generating all kinds of documents from several data sources. Generating documents like resumes, company pitches and bid documents, etc.

Scot demonstrated how to create documents from a external database using BCS to get to the data. Using content controls (in MS Word) and Open XML. Continue reading

Developing and getting the most of sandboxed solutions (SPC336)

Mike Ammerlaan held a really great session yesterday about developing sandboxed solutions.

After some initial slides about possible techniques for developing sandboxed solutions, Mike showed a really great looking sandboxed solution for support tickets. And more awesome: it was Metro-styled! Continue reading

Solving Enterprise Search challenges with SP 2010 (SPC392)

Matthew McDermott started off this session with the question: “if metadata is invisible, how do you get it into the search index?”. He then showed us where metadata resided in Word documents (kinda obvious) but also where metadata was in photo’s en acrobat files. A nifty tool to view metadata is IFilterview from http://ifiltershopcom (should be freely available soon).

Matthew then showed us some great ideas and techniques for spicing up the search result pages. There were some fantastic looking images galleries, based on search. Also, a very clever constructed video gallery. Continue reading

Leveraging Project 2010 with Office 365 for Project Management success Starting (SPC242)

The second day of the SharePoint Conference 2011, I decided to attend the session, given by Dux Raymond Sy about Project 2010 and Office365.

Dux is a gifted speaker, so the session got off to a great start. Right off the bat, Dux made an excellent point about the need for a PMIS when running a project.

Every project needs a PMIS to manage:

  • Communication
  • Expectations
  • Planning

If you don’t get this right, you’ll end up in a situation like this:

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SPC11: Planning and managing sandboxed solutions (SPC376)

Almost right away, Maurice Prather announced that his session was for IT PRO’s. Now, I’m not an IT PRO kinda guy, but I decided to stay anyway. And I’m glad I did.

Maurice started talking about the SPUSERCODESERVICE. Right away, I was surprised to discover that the Sandbox Service is by default configured to 1 worker process and 1 connection per process. So only 1 user at a time can use a sandboxed solution. Not very usefull…
So, if you’re not aware of this default configuration, and start using sandboxed solutions on your production environment, you’ll get errors in no time at all.

You can look at the configuration in Powershell:

$sandbox = [microsoft.sharepoint.administration.spusercodeservice]::local

If you haven’t modified the sandbox configuration yet, you will see:
ResourceMaxValue = 2147483647 (resource points)
MaximumWorkerProcess = 1
MaximumConnectionsPerProcess = 1

And then it got even more interesting.

By default, there’s only one tier for the SPUSERCODESERVICE. A tier in this context can be configured to behave in a certain way, depending on the configured values.

So, what you want to do is configure several tiers that control the way sandboxed solutions are controlled.
Based on the metrics and behaviour of the sandbox solution, SharePoint will decide in which tier the solution will be run.

Maurice gave a great example where he configured 3 tiers:

Tier 1: Good solutions
ResourceMaxValue = .05 (resource points)
MaximumWorkerProcess = 2
MaximumConnectionsPerProcess = 10
This tier will be used for ‘good’ solutions that use few resources. 10 users will be able to use this concurrently.

Tier 2: Iffy solutions
ResourceMaxValue = .25 (resource points)
MaximumWorkerProcess = 4
MaximumConnectionsPerProcess = 5
This tier will be used for ‘iffy’ solutions. we will give it some more worker processes and 5 users will be able to use this concurrently.

Tier 3: Bad solutions
ResourceMaxValue = 2147483647 (resource points)
MaximumWorkerProcess = 5
MaximumConnectionsPerProcess = 1
This tier will be used for ‘bad’ solutions. we will give it more worker processes and only 1 user will be able to use this.

When a ‘bad’ solution is run, only 1 user is permitted to use it. When the process is killed by SharePoint, only 1 user suffers.
When a ‘good’ solution is run, 10 users are permitted to use it. The change that this solution will be killed it a lot less, because SharePoint knows by the metrics of the solution that it is a ‘good’ solution.

Good stuff in this session. I have got a much better understanding of how we can configure SharePoint to get our sandbox environment much more stable and responsive. Gladd I stayed the course!

SPC11: Document are boring. Document solutions are not! (spc340)

John Peltonen started off the first session I attended on the first day of the SharePoint Conference. He was pleasantly surprised so many people turned up to a session with the title “Documents are boring” 🙂

The sessions main goal was to show how you can streamline processes with documents.
Nowadays, we work inside ‘document factories’. We create a lot of documents. Documents that consist of thoughts, specific fields, standard text like disclaimers, etc.
Our goal is to make working with these documents more efficient.

John’s showed us 3 scenario’s:

1. A simple scenario with a document library containing contracts.
When creating a new contract, several fields can be edited through the Document Information Panel or just straight in the document text. Nice to see there’s a 2-way binding.
But even editing a column in the document library (edit properties) propagates the changed value back into the document. Simple but very powerful!

2. Complex scenario for co-authoring
This scenario demonstrated co-authoring in a Word document, but with a twist.
Instead of two people authoring, it combined co-authoring between a user and SharePoint.
John created a quick part in Word that a user could insert into a Word document. This quick part contains content controls.
When a user edits the quick part and saves the document, a event receiver is triggered, goes out and creates a task.
When the task gets updated, this is reflected back into the document. Again, very powerful.

3. Nice demo with REST services and Excel
John demonstrated how to use REST services to extract charts from Excel documents in a document library and saving them as pictures in a picture library for further use.

We have to use creative document solutions so we can:
– save money for the organization
– make processes easier  for the organization

Personal note:
The content of the session wasn’t quite new at the technical level.
But it is good to realize: with the SharePoint technology available today, how creative are you to streamline the document processes?
Document solutions aren’t about technology (anymore), they’re about creativity.

Crosspost from SharePointEduTech