Category Archives: SharePoint 2010

SharePoint Fest Chicago

I’ve got two sessions this week at SharePoint Fest Chicago.

PWR104 – Build a SharePoint Intake / Request List

PWR202 – Customizing Sites and Pages in SharePoint 2013

Slide decks for both will be up shortly. I need to make a few tweaks and updates to capture a few missing screenshots that were missing. Thank you for your patience.

SharePoint Saturday Twin Cities–May 2013

Another great event this past weekend – for those of us that were able to navigate the monsoon in the morning. Almost 500 attendees made it in.

Slide decks should be posted to the soon. Until then I posted mine out on Slideshare if anyone wants to take a peek at them.

SharePoint 101: What is this thing called ‘SharePoint’?
This is a really high level overview of what SharePoint is and what it offers to an organization…

Understanding SharePoint Roles
This is an overview of all the different roles and responsibilities that can play a part in a SharePoint implementation… lots of discussion during the session…

Use SkyDrive Pro with a Office 365 2010 account

I want to keep my stuff in SharePoint, but also have it synched down to a local location. Should be cake with SkyDrive Pro, but my 365 account hasn’t been upgraded yet. So, what to do… Well, it turns out as long as you have the SkyDrive Pro app installed, you can still do it with your 2010 ‘era’ site.

UPDATE: SkyDrive Pro client is now (5/22/13) available for download for Windows. More info can be found HERE.

  1. Create an account on the NEW Office365 – the latest ‘2013’ version. At the present time existing accounts are being upgraded while new accounts are all on 2013. What we’re doing  can be one of the free demo accounts – we just want to get the SkyDrive Pro client installed.
  2. Create a user account and have the user log in to the account.
  3. In the top navigation bar towards the right side, click on the ‘SkyDrive’ link. If this is a new account, you might need to do some basic configuration steps – it’s creating a My Site for you, etc.
  4. Just below the top navigation bar and further to the right, click on the ‘Sync’ button and follow through a few dialogue boxes.

As I understand it, configuring your first library to sync locally will get the app installed and working locally. By default, the initial Sync action uses your My Site document library as the default library to configure – the “Share with Everyone” library. Once this is set up, you should have a synched folder that shows up in your Favorites in File Explorer called ‘SkyDrive Pro’. You can remove this sync folder later.

Now that you’ve got the app installed, let’s go ahead and add a 2010 library to be synched.

In your Windows tray, you’ve now got a SkyDrive Pro icon (the blue one) – you may also have a ‘normal’ white SkyDrive icon as well…

  1. Right-click on the SkyDrive Pro icon and select ‘Sync a new library’
  2. Paste your 2010 version 365 document library URL in there… it’ll now create a ‘SharePoint’ folder in addition to the ‘SkyDrive Pro’ folder and sync your 2010 library in there.

Good to go!

I don’t know if there’s a way to get the SkyDrive Pro install without doing this, but this process does work.  Smile

Oh, and here is an article from a MS blog on it as well:

Registration is open for the Spring 2013 SharePoint Saturday Twin Cities

SharePoint Saturday Twin Cites will have its Spring event on May 18th, 2013. We will again be at the Normandale Community College campus, but this time will be using the brand spanking new wing and rooms (still using the same entrance area on the West side).


The last few events have filled up – so get signed up early. Also please be courteous to other hopeful attendees and cancel your registration if you are unable to join us.

We’ve got one of the largest SharePoint Saturday events in the country and with feedback from attendees, speakers and sponsors, one of the most successful as well. So join us for another day of SharePoint with tracks for SharePoint 101, Information Workers, Developers, IT Pros and a new vendor showcase room – all for free.

We have a new web site on the way as well. Keep an eye on for information on sponsors, speakers, sessions and schedules coming soon. Also ‘Like’ our Facebook page for more immediate updates.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Group Work Site, Feature and Lists: 2010 to 2013

The short answer/story is that they are deprecated – no longer available… The reason given was that they were not widely used. The Group Work  site is not available when selecting sites in 2013 and the site feature is no longer available to be enabled.

The template ID does still show up in the 15 hive – to accommodate migrations from 2010. However, the article listed below also states that these templates and features will NOT be available in a future ‘major’ release.

The official notice can be found here from Microsoft: 

So, where does that leave us if we DO want to use these features?

Group calendar and Resource Reservation
For the Group Calendar and Resource Reservation features added to the traditional calendar, the better long term replacement is using Outlook/Exchange. Ideally, the people being scheduled would be in Exchange as users anyhow so they could get the benefit of alerts, personalization, etc. It is unfortunate that this does go away however for some small businesses that with the feature could do without additional licensing. However much more capability comes with having ‘real’ accounts.

‘What’s New’ Web Part
First of all – Laura does a wonderful job of giving a detailed look at this web part here: 

The properties of this web part have made the filtering much easier for users. However the same capabilities do exist with normal date, item number and column filtering. What this web part does that others don’t is include content from multiple lists – which is really nice. Now, you can still use separate web parts to accomplish this, but its not as nicely wrapped up as this web part does. 

Circulation List
Much of this functionality can be replicated by using workflows on a document library list. But it was nice to have it pre-baked and wrapped up nicely to use without the additional work.

Phone Call Memo
Much of this one can be replicated fairly easily using a custom list, views and SharePoint Designer workflows. But, as many have commented much of this also goes away with all the social tools and other capabilities we have available to us these days with automated phone systems, etc.

Whereabouts List
Again, much of this functionality is available via Exchange/Outlook or other communication tools. A SharePoint list/calendar can certainly be used for this when all the parties are not in the system and accomplish much of the same thing, without the nice interface that this list and web part provided.

One thing I have not yet tried is exporting web parts from a 2010 farm and importing them into a 2013 farm to see if that works. HOWEVER, I would recommend finding better – supported – solutions to doing this so that you’ve got a solution that will be supported going forward rather than just finding a way to extend a capability that we know is going away. (just in case you were wondering or thinking about that option…)

At the end of the day, this feature set was a nice group of pre-baked mini solutions that were handy in certain circumstances – most of the scenarios were for small business users that didn’t have some of the tools available through Exchange, etc. Now, with the availability of Office 365 for organizations of all sizes, these capabilities (and much more) are available through those licenses – though getting the specific solutions takes a little more stitching together to get. 

SharePoint Fest – Chicago 2012

Last week I presented a few sessions at the SharePoint Fest Chicago event. 

The first was the SharePoint Lists: Used, Abused and Underappreciated session that I’ve given a number of times. 

For those of you interested in the “List” content, I plan on updating this session soon with 2013 content as the platform get finalized and released.  I’m also putting together a session/workshop on the Request/Intake example that I frequently mention and use as examples during the presentation.  So, keep an eye out for that. 

The second session was a new one for me “Demystifying Governance and User Adoption”.  Yea, it’s another session with the ‘governance’ and ‘user adoption’ buzzwords, but my hope is to add some useful tips and thoughts to the conversation. 

Idera ACE Program

This past summer, Idera introduced a program to the SharePoint community – an expansion of an existing program for the SQL Server community – called the Advisor and Community Educator (ACE) program for SharePoint.

The ACE program is one of Idera’s ways of contributing to, and investing in, the SharePoint community by assisting active community members by sponsoring their travel to SharePoint events. This allows those of us who don’t have large companies supporting our community efforts to go to events we might not have submitted to.  In exchange, we recognize Idera for that sponsorship and community contribution.  We don’t advocate for their products or company as a salesperson would, but we are given access to their products to learn about them ourselves and provide feedback to Idera.   

I was lucky enough to be selected to be part of the first ‘class’ of SharePoint ACEs along with John Ferringer, Liam Cleary, Nedra Allmond and Michael Lotter.  We only get to participate for a year, after which a new class will be chosen. Being this was the first year that Idera offered the program, the community exposure was pretty low – spread by word of mouth.  We hope there will be a lot more interest in it next year as word gets out.

My first trip through the program was to attend the Ozarks SharePoint Saturday a few weeks ago.  I hope to get some more trips in and make the best of the opportunity.


My Organization Chart – User Experience

SharePoint Server 2010 has a web part on the My Site page called ‘My Organizational Chart’.  This web part (and the related Silverlight control on the Organization tab) use the ‘manager’ field in the Profile database to show the company org chart from the perspective of the My Site that you are visiting.  For example – if you are looking at ‘Bob’s My Site, the org chart shows Bob’s manager, Bob’s co-workers (folks that report to the same manager), and people that report to Bob.  It may also show further up the ‘tree’ (manager’s managers, etc.…) – which is where this tidbit comes in. 

What I haven’t been able to find thus far is any reference to the functionality that we recently noticed: If two different users are viewing the same person’s My Site, they may not see the exact same content in the My Organization Chart web part. No differences in the people or relationships, but in the scope of the results. One user may see the org chart go all the way to the CEO/President, while another user may see only the My Site owner’s manager. 

Again, this is likely documented somewhere, but I haven’t found it yet.  What I think the web part is doing is showing the current user us enough content to be able to draw a line / see the relationship between themselves and the My Site owner.  

So, if you are in IT and are looking at someone else in IT, the Org Chart will only show as far as the common IT manager.  If you (someone in IT) is looking at someone that works in Marketing, the Org Chart may go all the way up to the CEO because both the CIO/IT Director and the Marketing Director report to the CEO and that is the ‘lowest common denominator’ as it were. 

Of course, there also seem to be exceptions – and I likely haven’t seen them all.  One, however, is if you search for and are looking at a person who IS a manager in your reporting structure.  In that case you will also see their manager in the Org Chart web part. 

Note: You can still click on other people in the Org Chart web part or jump to the Organization tab and navigate up, down and across the org chart data to your heart’s content.  

I think this is another example where Microsoft did something that’s pretty cool and forward thinking – it just works. However it may cause some frustration with users (kind of like ‘social distance’ in Search).  I’ve been looking at these pages for years and had never noticed this until a particularly attentive QA person brought it up because they by default expect the results to be the same for every person. In most cases, that’s not an unreal expectation.


SharePoint Saturday – Twin Cities – Fall 2012

Yep, it’s that time of year again.  We’re ramping up for the Fall 2012 SharePoint Saturday Twin Cities event.  We’ll be meeting on November 3rd this year, still at the Normandale campus down in Bloomington.  

We’re not planning on covering a lot for 2013 in our sessions just yet – too many folks are still interested in and using 2010 and the final 2013 version hasn’t been released yet. So, we’ll be focused on 2010 for one more round at least and then see where things are in the Spring.  You’ll likely hear a LOT of news about 2013 the following week with the big Microsoft SharePoint Conference in Vegas happening and most of it centered on the 2013 platform. 

Speakers and sessions have all been posted – take a look when you have a chance.  We’ve got great folks coming from all over and bringing a ton of great sessions, content and experience. 

We are also continuing with our 101 Track – so if you have folks that are new to SharePoint, the event has content for them as well.  We’ve got 4 sessions specifically in the track – starting with my ‘What is this thing called SharePoint’ session – but there are other sessions throughout the day not in the 101 Track that folks new to the platform can certainly benefit from as well. 

Keep an eye out for registration to open next Monday – Sept 10. We will be limiting registration to 600 people again this time as it seems to be getting us to about the level we can manage at the current location.  The Spring event had over 460 attendees…  Smile  We’re one of the largest SPS events in the country. 

There are lots of great sponsors again as well, we hope to fill up our space with 30 vendors – they’ll be added to the site as soon as they are validated. 

Finally, when putting the event in your calendar, don’t forget to set aside Friday night as we’ll be having our SharePint (the night BEFORE the SPS event).  More info to come on that…

If you have any questions about the event, let me know!!  I look forward to seeing you there.