Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

It's all about community!

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Australian and New Zealand SharePoint Conferences 2012 - Call for Speakers Closes 1 December



    The Australian and New Zealand SharePoint Conferences are JUST around the corner. These events are organised by a dedicated group of NZ and AUS Community Leaders and MVP’s - Debbie Ireland, Mark Rhodes, Nick Hadlee, Mark Orange, James Milne and Kathy Hughes.  Once again, the team are organising SharePoint conferences in Australia (Melbourne 20-21 March 2012) and New Zealand (Auckland 28-29 March 2012).


    Deadline for submissions into the technical tracks is 1 December : Please go to to register.

    Voice of Customer / Case Studies

    This track is being revised. The idea is to promote "what SharePoint does", "what cool things we have done with SharePoint" and "what business processes we have improved/ productivity gains etc." - Customers will  do shorter (20-30 min) demo based sessions – on things they have done, following a prescribed structure - Business issue, solution, gains, in time, productivity, $, ROI, or something to that effect.

    This is an ideal opportunity for partners to work alongside customers to demo stuff, and show what they have helped to do. Note that these DO NOT have to be technical, complex solutions. They can be simple - the objective to help people see what is possible. If you have any ideas please email to

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Estimating and prioritising a product backlog in Sydney on 9 Feb


    Richard Banks is presenting a Readify Dev Day in Sydney early next month on a topic that I suspect most of us could do with a bit of brushing up on. From their event site:

    At the conclusion of this Dev Day, attendees should not only understand the theory of estimating and prioritising a product backlog but would have also experienced the practices themselves so that they can feel ready to directly apply these techniques to their own projects the very next day.

    More information and registration details

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Scott Guthrie, David Campbell and Mark Russinovich at the Cricket


    [I originally posted this as an editorial for the MSDN Flash]

    Happy New Year!

    As some of you may have spotted, I'm a certified cricket tragic. In fact, I'm writing this from the top deck of the M A Noble stand, waiting for play to start on day 2 of the Sydney test. I've had plenty of time to kill since I started queuing at 4am both today and yesterday and apart from the good-natured and very knowledgeable banter with my fellow tragics, I've been whiling away the hours watching recordings from the Learn Windows Azure event that was held in Redmond and online on December 13 last year.

    The event features some of the top technical brains at Microsoft including Scott Guthrie, David Campbell and Mark Russinovich.

    We made some interesting announcements at the event including:

    • Support for Node.js, as well as a number of other Openness initiatives for Azure;
    • A new 90-day trial subscription model that guarantees you won't get charged for the trial
    • A tripling of the maximum database size in SQL Azure to 150GB, along with built-in support for federation of SQL Azure databases

    There are some great presentations that were recorded at the event itself, as well as a bunch of supporting interviews and webcasts that area available from the event landing page. My favourites so far are:

    I've not yet watched, but am very much looking forward to:

    Of course, these sessions are all available to watch streamed, but I suggest you do yourself a favour and download them so you can watch them in half the time.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Windows Phone 8 SDK Available for Download

    The Windows Phone 8 SDK is now available for download from the Windows Phone Developer site. Grab it today to start developing for Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 7.5. There’s also a great MSDN article - What's new in Windows Phone SDK 8.0
  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    More useful Windows Phone 8 Resources


    Announcing the new Windows Phone 8 Developer Platform by Kevin Gallo

    Visual Studio Blog – Introducing Windows Phone SDK 8.0

    .Net Framework Blog – Announcing the release of the .NET Framework for Windows Phone 8

    Windows Phone Blog – Meet Windows Phone 8

    Windows Phone Dev Center Twitter Feed

    Windows Phone Twitter Feed

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Windows Phone 8 Development Internals book for only $10 - this week only


    Cover ShotJust spotted this over on the Microsoft Press blog. This looks like an awesome book and you can have access to bits of it now for $10. If you wait until next week, the price goes up to $20, and it keeps going up as more of the book's available (although for your $10, you keep getting more of the book for no additional charge).

    All of the details are available in the Microsoft Press post.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Building a Windows Phone Transport App for NSW


    Dave Glover’s just posted a call to Be Part of the Windows Phone Developer/Designer Virtual Team "NSW Transport App Hot House".

    Transport NSW are making a set of data feeds available around real-time bus and train status (vehicle locations, station maintenance, accessibility etc.) and are running a comp to find developers and designers to consume and expose it in interesting and useful ways.

    Dave’s putting a team together to do a Windows Phone version.

    Check it out.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Joining a Lync Webcast as a Guest


    To attend one of our Lync Webcasts, you'll get a notification (either by email or on a web page) that looks like this;



    There are three ways you can join the meeting

    1. Audio alone (dial-in);
    2. Web client for screen casting and dial-in for audio; or
    3. Lync Client

    Audio alone

    Simply dial one of the numbers shown in your invitation or click the "Find a local number" link to get a list of all of the available dial-in numbers from around the world. When prompted, enter the Conference ID in your invitation (I've scrubbed out the ID above so you're not tempted to enter it, you need the ID from your invitation).

    That should be it. Depending on the settings from the meeting organiser, you may be in the "meeting lobby" until you're admitted to the meeting, or you may go straight into the meeting.

    Web Client

    If you need to see what the presenter is doing as well as hearing the presentation, you'll need to connect to the web client (or using the Lync client below).

    Click on the Join Lync Meeting link in your invitation, and one of two things will happen. If you've already got a Lync client installed, it will open and the meeting should start (see the Lync Client section below).

    If you don't have a Lync client installed, after a couple of redirects, you should be presented with the following choice:



    Click the Join the meeting using your web browser link (we'll talk about the Lync Attendee option later on)

    A new browser window will open:


    Choose Join as a guest and enter your name (as you'd like to have it appear in the meeting)


    then click the Join Meeting button.

    Depending on how the meeting organiser has set up the meeting, you may see this message:


    and then this message:


    Click OK, and you'll be in the meeting:


    There are a few things to point out here.

    First, the area marked Presso in the image above is where the presentation will happen. In the screenshot, the presenter is conducting a poll, but this is also where you'll see PowerPoint slides, the presenter's screen or whatever else is displayed.

    Next, the area marked IM allows you to type questions/comments that will be seen (and potentially responded to) by everyone else in the meeting. This is a great way to ask questions as the presenter (or someone assisting the presenter) and answer them asynchronously, without interrupting the presentation itself.

    Finally, clicking the highlighted tab marked Phone pops up the options for getting audio to go along with the meeting:


    Option 1 gets the conference to call you - simply enter your phone number and click Call Me.

    Option 2 is the same process as the one outlined in the Audio Alone section above.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Adelaide Windows Phone 8 Training Days May 3 and 4


    Dave’s just blogged about some excellent Windows Phone 8 training in Adelaide at the beginning of May. If you’re in the area, you should go.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    IISExpress - Configuration file is not well-formed XML


    [UPDATE 2013-04-26]

    After consulting with my brains trust (thanks Damo), I tried one last thing. I manually copied the folders IISExpress had created in the c:\temp\IISExpress folder back into my MyDocuments\IISExpress folder, and VS seems happy. I’m calling this one closed for now.

    [UPDATE 2013-04-23]

    This is only half solved. It looks like VS still insists on launching IISExpress with a specific command line switch pointing at the old config location.

    I installed a new machine the other day and on loading a VS project that uses IISExpress, I got the following error:

    Filename: \\?\UNC\[our My Docs Server]\MyDocs1\acoat\My Documents\IISExpress\config\applicationHost.config 
    Line number: 1
    Error: Configuration file is not well-formed XML

    Turns out that IISExpress is writing config information to my My Documents folder, but because I’ve got folder redirection turned on, this is a UNC path, not a local path. It looks like an applicationHost.config file is created, but it’s 0 bytes and the IISExpress process doesn’t have permission to write to it.

    Fortunately, from IISExpress 8 onwards, there’s a registry key you can setr to point IISExpress at another home folder.

    Thanks to this post on StackOverflow, I was pointed to the IIS 8.0 Express Readme FIle, which, in the New Features section says:

    Changing the User Home Directory

    IIS 8.0 Express supports changing the user's home directory, which is mapped to the %IIS_USER_HOME% variable in configuration. By default this path is located at %UserProfile%\Documents\IISExpress, but users can change this by setting a CustomUserHome registry property in HKCU\Software\Microsoft\IISExpress, or by specifying the "/userhome" parameter when launching iisexpress.exe.

    So, I fired up RegEdit, added a new IISExpress key under HKCU\Software\Microsoft and then added a string key CustomUserHome set to "c:\Temp\IISExpress" (a folder I’d created manually) and IISExpress starts in the expected manner and creates all of its config, logs and tracelogfiles folders (and their accompanying files) there and starts successfully.

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