Mark Bower

Random thoughts on Collaborative Apps, Social Software and SharePoint in the Enterprise

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  • Blog Post: The Future of Groove and SharePoint

    Some hints from Ray Ozzie this week on the future overlap between Groove and SharePoint: "You asked if Groove is the future UI of SharePoint. I might ask the same thing, is SharePoint the future UI of Groove " Microsoft will increase the connections between SharePoint and Groove by tying together specific...
  • Blog Post: Better Intranet Navigation: Statistically Improbable Phrases

    On Amazon.com today, I noticed a feature that David Weinberger mentions in his book, but I don't think is yet available on Amazon's UK site. Books for which they have electronic access to the text have been scanned and effectively auto-tagged. These tags then become navigational aids to allow you to...
  • Blog Post: SharePoint Designer Workflow Tips

    I spent some time this week creating workflows in SharePoint Designer. I have done SharePoint workflows in Visual Studio before, but this was my first time using Designer. I was surprised at how powerful it is, and yet also confused at several points as to how the UI worked. One particular thing I wanted...
  • Blog Post: Last Piece in the Jigsaw

    I guess I am a little behind the times as this went live a week or so back, but I thought it was still worth calling out that the RTW build of WSS 3.0 Extensions for Visual Studio 2005 is now live. Visual Studio 2005 Extensions for WSS 3.0 This is the last of the Beta tools and SDKs to hit RTW. (That...
  • Blog Post: SharePoint: The Operating System

    For a while now I have been using an operating system analogy when explaining SharePoint to complete newbies: As Vista is our client OS, and Windows Server our data centre OS, you can think of SharePoint as the OS for your intranet. That's how fundamental it is to everything Microsoft is doing in the...
  • Blog Post: Calling Web Services From InfoPath Web Forms

    Today I needed to get an InfoPath Forms Services web-form to make a call out to a web service. I was non-too pleased to get a cryptic error message from SharePoint when I tried to do this first-off. SharePoint claimed it had written details of the error to the Windows Event Log, but there was nothing...
  • Blog Post: Arsenal's Office & SharePoint 2007 Deployment

    It's been frustrating not being able to write about some of the great projects I have been working on over the past year, but with the launch of 2007 Office system last Thursday I can finally start to talk about some of the work I have been doing. One of my projects was selected as the primary EVO (Exchange...
  • Blog Post: Office and SharePoint Training Material

    The number 1 question I get asked at the moment: What training resources are available? Here's a quick summary: www.microsoft.com/learning/office2007 TechNet MSDN Office Developer Center MSDN SharePoint Developer Portal http://blogs.msdn.com/sharepoint WSS and MOSS ITPro/Developer...
  • Blog Post: WSS 3.0 is here!

    Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 RTM is now published and available for your downloading pleasure. As I write it is ranked the #14433 most popular download. I wonder where it will be by the end of the week? But the URLs you ask...here they are: Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 x86 Windows SharePoint...
  • Blog Post: Free SharePoint Training

    For a limited time these self-paced online learning courses are available free of charge: WSS v3 Development: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/elearning/course/5045.asp WSS v3 Infrastructure: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/elearning/course/3369.asp MOSS Development: http://www.microsoft...
  • Blog Post: Knowledge Network for SharePoint 2007

    Announced yesterday at the CEO Summit, Knowledge Network is a free download for Office SharePoint Server 2007. This starts to answer a question I have had from customers many times over the past few years who want to better way to find experts within their organisation. One that springs to mind immediately...
  • Blog Post: OfficeLive

    This is one to keep an eye on. www.officelive.com Aimed at the small business market this is the Information Worker group's first foray into online services and will be based sqaurely around SharePoint v3. Keep an eye on the OfficeLive site to see how the offerings evolve.
  • Blog Post: SharePoint in Education / Academia

    I had mail from someone at a college yesterday asking about use of SharePoint in education sector. It ocurred to me that we have set of SharePoint customizations available as a fully supported product that not a lot of people know about. Class Server and is billed as a learning management platform for...
  • Blog Post: Just how important is SharePoint to Microsoft?

    In this morning's keynote session Steven Sinofsky told how BillG has personally taken the role of Lead PM on the Windows SharePoint Services v3 User Experience team. If you are in any doubt about how strategically important this product is to Microsoft, that should give you some clue. And if you don...
  • Blog Post: Adding a context menu to a SharePoint custom web part

    Jessica and I were chatting on Tuesday about the possibility of reusing the SharePoint context menu infrastructure in a custom web part. The basic idea was to take the context menu customization concepts explained here , and extend this so that any table rendered from a custom web part could make use...
  • Blog Post: New SharePoint blogger on the block

    Please welcome my buddy and sometime room-mate Michael O'Donovan to the blogosphere. Michael is posting on SharePoint, Commerce Server and Content Management Server. http://blogs.msdn.com/modonovan/default.aspx
  • Blog Post: At last…an integrated web/email/NNTP discussion platform!

    Rob Howard ’s recent post on the future of Community Server Forums (formerly ASP . NET Forums) ties in nicely with my main gripe about discussion lists. In Rob ’s case his team are planning to implement NNTP access to their fora. Rob also reports plans for list-serv integration too. This is way cool...
  • Blog Post: MSDN Magazine Office Special

    The February MSDN Magazine is devoted in large part to Office development. John Durant write on creating Research Pane services to search IM logs. Alok Mehta writes on intregrating data into Excel from Web Services Maxim Karpov and Eric Schoonover discuss adding recycle bin functionality to SharePoint...
  • Blog Post: Wrapping-up the chat on SharePoint Discussion Lists

    Thanks for all the great comments over the past week or around SharePoint discussion lists. The Program Manager for Discussion Lists in WSS v.next was has told me that the majority of the issues you raised will be addressed in the next version. Looking forward to hearing your comments when the Beta ships...
  • Blog Post: SharePoint discussion lists: What's needed to make them work?

    I posted my theory yesterday on why SharePoint discussion lists aren't used more. The votes are in and it looks like I am out-gunned on this one with most folks blaming poor feature set for low take-up. So let's flip the discussion around and ask what new features are required to make discussion lists...
  • Blog Post: Does anyone use SharePoint Discussion Lists?

    One of the most underused features of Windows SharePoint Services is discussion lists. I don't think I have ever seen an implementation where a vibrant community has been interacting using discussion lists. On the face of it you'd think this would be a killer feature. Web-based discussion lists are a...
  • Blog Post: What's in a name? The Information Worker, The Knowledge Worker and The Structured Task Worker

    The other day I was explaining to a customer about the different types of Information Worker. Doing a web search afterwards I found very little information available about a bunch of terms we tend to bandy about quite freely without ever really explaining: Information Worker, Knowledge Worker, Structured...
  • Blog Post: How To Submit Ideas and Suggestions for Microsoft Office Products

    Do you have an idea for a new feature or addition to one of the Office products? Maybe there is something about the way a feature works that really annoys you? Believe it or not, there is a simple way to submit your ideas to the Office team for consideration. The problem is the web page is hidden away...
  • Blog Post: Document Library TreeView WebPart [via Patrick Tisseghem]

    This looks like a valuable addition to the SharePoint developer's arsenal. I haven't tried it personally yet, but this is a web part I could have used on many occasions to get customers more comfortable with storing their documents in SharePoint. http://blog.spsclerics.com/archive/2004/12/12/484.aspx
  • Blog Post: New Article: Applying Branding to SharePoint Portal Server 2003

    My buddy Dan has just had a couple of truly excellent artictles published on MSDN. Highly recommended reading. Office Developer Center: Branding a SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Site: Part 1, Understanding the Use of a Corporate Brand Office Developer Center: Branding a SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Site...
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