In case you haven’t seen it yet, the Office Sustained Engineering team has announced the availability of Office 2010 SP1 and SharePoint Server 2010 SP1. You can find there post on it here: Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 Service Pack 1 Availability
Here are the relevant links for anyone interested:
Updates Resource Center For SharePoint 2010 This page provides resources for IT professionals who are responsible for installing software updates on SharePoint 2010 farms.
Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 (white paper) Describes the fixes and improvements to existing functionality that are included in SharePoint Server 2010 SP1 and SharePoint Foundation 2010 SP1.
Service Pack 1 for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 (KB2460045) Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 contains new updates which improve security, performance, and stability. Additionally, the SP is a roll-up of all previously released updates.
Service Pack 1 for SharePoint Foundation 2010 (KB2460058) Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 contains new updates which improve security, performance, and stability. Additionally, the SP is a roll-up of all previously released updates.
Service Pack 1 for Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 Language Pack (KB2460059) Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 Language Pack contains new updates which improve security, performance, and stability. Additionally, the SP is a roll-up of all previously released updates.
Service Pack 1 for Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 Client Object Model Redistributable (KB2508825) 64-bit Edition Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 Client Object Model Redistributable 64-bit Edition contains new updates which improve security, performance, and stability. Additionally, the SP is a roll-up of all previously released updates.
Service Pack 1 for Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 Client Object Model Redistributable (KB2508825) 32-bit Edition Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 Client Object Model Redistributable 32-bit Edition contains new updates which improve security, performance, and stability. Additionally, the SP is a roll-up of all previously released updates.
There were many common issues that could occur in WSS v3 and MOSS that would require you to clear the configuration cache on your servers. While less common, these issues can still turn up occasionally on SharePoint Server 2010 (And Foundation). While the resolution for these issues might be the same, the steps are a bit different. The main thing to note is that the Configuration Cache is located in a different directory on Windows Server 2008 then it was in Windows Server 2003. The new path for the Configuration Cache under Windows Server 2008 is: %SystemDrive%\ProgramData\Microsoft\SharePoint\Config\<GUID> The overall steps remain largely the same:
Stop the Timer service. To do this, follow these steps:
For the original steps for clearing out the configuration cache in SharePoint 2007, there are many articles that cover the steps, one of them is the following: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/939308
Here is a preview of some of the content that I am currently working on for the next two months:
There will be more coming as well, this is just the top items I am building out for the immediate future. Stay tuned and check back next week.
Just a quick heads up on some upcoming training coming your way in April. Amanda Brophy will be presenting on BI integration with SharePoint and Performance point server. This is a 60 minute webcast that will take place on April 21st. You can find out more and register on the following page: https://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/WebCastEventDetails.aspx?EventID=1032477752&EventCategory=4&culture=en-US&CountryCode=US
Here is a brief summary of the event and the topics covered:
Product(s): Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010.
Audience(s): Non-Tech Influencing BDM, Tech Influencing BDM.
This webcast gives an overview of the value of business intelligence (BI) and an introduction to Microsoft PerformancePoint Server in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010. Learn about product capabilities such as dynamic scorecards, dashboards, decomposition trees, and capabilities for self-service access to information. Presenter: Amanda Brophy, Senior Product Manager, Microsoft Corporation
At 9pm tonight Pacific time Internet Explorer 9 will go live! To watch the Live Keynote from SXSW go to http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/internetexplorer/liveevent.aspx Live right now! 5:40PM Pacific Time
So I took some time this morning to go ahead and take the MCTS: SharePoint 2010 Configuration (70-667) and MCITP: SharePoint 2010 Administration (70-668) exams. I have been planning on taking them (along with the developer exams) since last year, but between work and home life, I had not gotten around to it until now. The tests actually covered a lot more topics than I had anticipated.
Coming from the background of taking the SharePoint 2007 exams a couple years ago, the new exams were a whole different approach. There really isn’t a WSS/Foundation Specific exam anymore. Both exams cover topics that relate to the full SharePoint Server 2010 family (outside of project). Some of the things that really threw me for a loop were topics like Performance Point, Search Index Partitioning, Managed Metadata, OLAP cubes, Health and Web Analytics Monitoring and Migrations from various 2007 architectures.
Overall I felt these exams really do a much better job of testing your experience with SharePoint than previous exams have. Next week I will take a day to knock out the developer exams and see how these have changed from the 2007 exams as well. The main thing to have going into the current 2010 Configuration and Administration exams is experience with configuration for multiple topologies including mixed intra/extranet environments and multiple authentication methods (Windows, Forms Based, etc…) as well as familiarity with the use, configuration and fault tolerance features of Service applications.
Of course if you go over the exam topics in advance you will already know what topics are covered… I never bothered to check, so some of it was a surprise to me. And yes, I did pass both exams.
For more info on the SharePoint Server 2010 Certifications and Topics covered, see the following:
Microsoft Learning SharePoint Certifications Home Page
MCTS For SharePoint Server
Microsoft Professional (MCITP and MCPD) for SharePoint Server
For those looking to earn Microsoft Certifications this year, the Microsoft Learning group has extended the expiration on the Certification Packs. So if you buy a certification pack and take your first exam by June 30th, 2011, you will have until December 31st, 2011 to take the remaining exams in your pack. Also please note that the exams you purchase in your pack still qualify for the free retake policy should you not pass on your first attempt. Here is a break down of the available packs:
Included with each exam
15% Additional Cost
For more information on the Certification Pack offerings: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/career/en/us/career-offer.aspx#certification
That should give you some extra incentive to knock out those exams for that certification you have been working on.
For those who may not have seen this yet, there was an issue discovered in some of the SharePoint 2010 October Cumulative Update packages. This issue causes actions that use the user profile service to fail. Here is a brief description of the issue from the SharePoint team’s blog:
“The October Cumulative Update for the packages listed above (SharePoint Server Package 2394320 and Project Server Package 2394322) makes some changes and updates to the user profile database. Unfortunately there are certain situations where this update does not complete as expected and leaves the update in an inconsistent state. This causes issues with several SharePoint features that use the User Profile Application such as MySites, People and Expertise Search & Ratings.”
There is currently a workaround published on the Product Teams blog as well as more notes about the issue. If you have not installed the October CU for SharePoint 2010 yet, do not install it at this time. The updates have been pulled from the update servers and new versions will be published that do not cause the issue.
For those who have already installed the October CU, check the SharePoint teams blog for the current workaround:
SharePoint 2010 October Cumulative Update Issue: Details and Workaround (From the SharePoint Product team blog)
The October CU for SharePoint 2010 is now available for download. Continuing the theme started by the August CU for 2010, the October CU for SharePoint 2010 also consolidates the update packages depending on what products you have installed, you will only need to install 1 patch. Similar to how things were done with the August updates, here are your patches for SharePoint 2010 and related products:
Microsoft SharePoint Foundation (MSF) October CU Server-Package(Article is not Live yet for the MSF Package): http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;2394323
Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 (MSS) October CU Server-Package: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;2394320
Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 + Project Server 2010 October CU Server-Package: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;2394322
Though the SharePoint Foundation KB Article is not live yet, the Server-Packages for MSS and MSS + Project include the Foundation Server-Package. Again, similar to the August updates, if you have SharePoint 2010 Server, you only need to install the SharePoint Server 2010 Server-Package as it includes all the Foundation updates as well. The same applies for the MSS + Project Server-Package, it includes all the Project, SharePoint Server and SharePoint Foundation packages. So you should only need to download and install one package.
So something that the SharePoint team has been working towards for awhile has finally come to fruition in the August CU this year. In the past it could be a real pain trying to figure out what patches were actually needed to get the different versions of SharePoint up to date and patched to the latest and greatest. Not anymore. At least, not in the case of any of the SharePoint 2010 versions. Sorry 2007 admins out there, there are reasons that 2007 has not been able to do this yet, but that is outside the scope of this article.
As of the August CU, SharePoint Server Packages are now Consolidated based on what SharePoint products you have installed. Running Microsoft SharePoint Foundation (MSF)? How about Microsoft SharePoint Server or SharePoint with Project Server 2010? Well your life just got a whole lot easier. There is now a CU Server Package for each of these that includes all products. We have a CU for just Foundation, One for Server that also includes the CU for Foundation, and even one for SharePoint + Project Server that includes all the patches for all 3 products! Also included are the language packs, etc… So you should truly have one SharePoint patch to apply when it comes to CU’s. The key to figuring out which ones contain all the needed patches is to look for the term Server-Package. These are the ones the contain multiple hotfix packages. Here are the relevant links for the August CU Server-Packages:
So each CU now contains the patches for the its base or dependent products. For example, You can’t have Microsoft SharePoint Server without having Foundation installed, so the MSS Patches now include all fixes for Foundation. Project Server Relies on SharePoint Server, so it includes all the MSS patches as well, and since again, MSS depends on Foundation, it also includes the foundation packages. So the SharePoint + Project CU Server-Package contains the updates for all three.
The easiest way to verify this is to look at the Files listed towards the bottom of the KB articles for each package. Notice that in the Foundation Server Package, you have the file STS-X-NONE.msp listed with all the files and versions that it will update in SharePoint Foundation Server. Then look at the MSS and MSS + Project Server KB’s and notice that the same STS-X-NONE.msp is listed as part of each package with the same files and version numbers. So each package contains the patches from it’s base or dependent products.
So now your life should be much easier when managing your 2010 SharePoint environments, well, at least the patching piece should be easier. Also for those wanting some more guidance around patching SharePoint 2010 in general including limiting downtime for High Availability etc… here you go:
Software updates overview (SharePoint Server 2010) This article provides an overview of the software update process for SharePoint Server.
Prepare to deploy software updates (SharePoint Server 2010) This article helps you determine which approach to use to update the servers or server farms in your environment, and lists the steps that you must take before you can start to install the update.
Install a software update (SharePoint Server 2010) This article contains instructions for installing a software update and upgrading your content to that level.
This October will see the return of the Silicon Valley Code Camp. There are a ton of great sessions and great presenters with sessions covering just about any topic a developer could ask for. Everything from different programming languages and methodologies to writing code for specific products and platforms. You can find out more about it here: Silicon Valley Code Camp 10
I will also be onsite presenting a session on custom logging services and instrumentation in SharePoint 2010. The session will focus on creating a custom logging service in SharePoint 2010 to log events to the SharePoint Trace(ULS) Logs. The main focus is to allow for logging from custom code such as features, web parts, etc… to better troubleshoot issues with custom code in SharePoint 2010. This will hopefully allow many developers to avoid hitting that brick wall where your deployed code fails, but there is no useful data in the SharePoint logs to help troubleshoot or resolve any conflicts or issues.
You can register for the Code Camp here: http://www.SiliconValley-CodeCamp.com/Register.aspx
For a listing of all the available sessions you can go here: http://www.SiliconValley-CodeCamp.com/Sessions.aspx
For those interested, you can sign up for my session as well by going here: http://siliconvalley-codecamp.com/Sessions.aspx?id=524
Even if you are not interested in my particular session, feel free to let me know you are going to be at the code camp in the comments below, maybe I will see you there!
**Update – Channel 9 Interview link has been updated and is Live** The Silverlight PivotViewer is a powerful new control that allows you to visualize large amounts of data is now officially released. Everyone from developers to designers can quickly and easily build large collections of data and embed them in your website. Ever wanted to visually sort and group large amounts of data? Ever needed to quickly recognize patterns in your data? The PivotViewer gives you the power to view and manipulate large sets of data quickly and flexibly. You can find the PivotViewer and associated documentation and training materials here: http://www.silverlight.net/learn/pivotviewer and here are some more useful links to get you going as well:
PivotViewer in Action
· Silverlight PivotViewer Control Download and technical documentation: http://www.silverlight.net/learn/pivotviewer
· Silverlight PivotViewer Community forum, feel free to post your collections and technical questions: http://forums.silverlight.net/forums/68.aspx
· Check out a partner that is using the PivotViewer live on their website today: http://www.hitched.co.uk/wedding-venues/visual-search.htm
· Interview with Brian Goldfarb and Brett Brewer on channel 9: http://channel9.msdn.com/posts/LarryLarsen/Silverlight-PivotViewer-Now-Available (**This is now live, this is the new URL**)
· You can view and feel free to comment on the http://getsatisfaction.com/live_labs_pivot/topics/the_silverlight_pivotviewer_control_is_now_available - GetSatisfaction post from Live Labs
· Live Labs Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Pivot/108488546605?ref=mf
Recently one of my customers was seeing some odd behavior in SharePoint 2007 while attempting to restore a site. Each time the restore operation (STSADM –o restore) was run, the following error message would appear:
No content databases are available for this operation. Create a content database, and then try the operation again. To create a content database, click "Content databases" on the Application Management page, select the Web application to use, and then click "Add a content database".
Now this seems pretty straight forward. Except for on thing, the particular web application that the site collection was being restored to, had plenty of Content Databases (around 10) and most of them had plenty of room for new sites. The site quotas had not been hit for these content databases and none of the Content databases was locked or in read-only mode.
Looking at the ULS logs, we got more information about the error included in the stack trace, here is the full error in the ULS logs:
05/17/2010 14:57:22.18 STSADM.EXE (0x11C0) 0x19F0 Windows SharePoint Services General 72ju High stsadm: No content databases are available for this operation. Create a content database, and then try the operation again. To create a content database, click "Content databases" on the Application Management page, select the Web application to use, and then click "Add a content database". Callstack: at Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPContentDatabaseCollection.FindBestContentDatabaseForSiteCreation(Guid siteIdToAvoid, Guid webIdToAvoid) at Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPSiteCollection.Restore(String strSiteUrl, String strFilename, Boolean bOverwrite, Boolean hostHeaderAsSiteName) at Microsoft.SharePoint.StsAdmin.SPAdminRestore.RunSiteCollectionRestore(StringDictionary keyValues) at Microsoft.SharePoint.StsAdmin.SPAdminRestore.Run(StringDictionary keyValues) ...
05/17/2010 14:57:22.18* STSADM.EXE (0x11C0) 0x19F0 Windows SharePoint Services General 72ju High ... at Microsoft.SharePoint.StsAdmin.SPStsAdmin.RunOperation(SPGlobalAdmin globalAdmin, String strOperation, StringDictionary keyValues, SPParamCollection pars)
The part that tickled my brain was this bit:
Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPContentDatabaseCollection.FindBestContentDatabaseForSiteCreation(Guid siteIdToAvoid, Guid webIdToAvoid)
FindBestContentDataBaseForSiteCreation tells us exactly what it is doing, the code at this point attempts to locate the best content database within the web application to restore the site collection to. The part to pay particular attention to, is that it takes two GUIDs when making this call, siteIdToAvoid and webIdToAvoid.
So assume that when this call is being made, the GUID from the site collection that you are attempting to restore is being used. Makes perfect sense, what we are doing is looking for a content database that does not already contain a site collection with this ID. Further investigation showed that this particular restore file, was being used in place of a template in order to create new sites based off of an existing one. The issue with this, is that backup/restore, maintains the Site Collection (siteIdToAvoid) and Subsite (webIdToAvoid) ID of the backed up site. You cannot restore the same site to the same content database more than once unless you overwrite or delete the existing instance. So using a backup as a template for creating new sites, will not work more than once per content database.
So in our case, the site had been restored enough times so that each content database in the web application already had an instance of the site, which is why the above error message was being displayed. Though a bit misleading depending on how you read it, it is actually an accurate error message.
If you really need to take an existing site, and create other sites based on it, save the site as a template. And use STSADM to add that template to the gallery. You can then create new sites based on it. There are of course some limitations with templates as well, but they are pretty straight forward. Here are some references for site templates:
Note that these are both direct from the Site Actions in the Browser. In order to add a site so that it can be globally available, you need to use STSADM to add the template to SharePoint.
So one of the best little items I have seen recently is the release of the MS Web Platform Installer. This is a nice tool(Free Download) that makes setting up an ASP.NET (or other technologies) development environment fairly painless. You simply launch the installer, tell it what kind of web development you want to do and it will download and install all the tools needed for you.
For example if I choose that I want it to install the requirements for asp.net development, it will download and install the following:
There is also the Web Application Installer or Web AI. This is a free download that will allow for installation of additional web development tools and includes support for items such as php, .Net Nuke, Graffiti, WordPress, Drupal and others. The overall goal is to get you up and running as quickly as possible without the need to worry about setup and installation of required components.
You can get both the Web Platform and Web Application installers here: http://www.microsoft.com/web/channel/products/downloads.aspx
One of the additional benefits is that the installer will check to make sure it is getting the newest version of each component, so you don't have to worry so much about figuring out what updates you need to download when the install runs.
Try it out, and let us know your thoughts!
So after much experimenting and also talking to co-workers… I have gotten a nice little list of some of the more useful desktop keyboard shortcuts for Windows 7. I will post the list here just in case you might find it helpful. If you have found or know of other useful keyboard shortcuts in Windows 7 please feel free to let me know and I will add them. These ones mainly deal with manipulating windows on the desktop in Windows 7:
That is about all I can remember off the top of my head, if I think of or find any more I will update this post, also if you have found any new ones, please let me know via comments, and I will add them to this list as well. I will also do another post this week, that covers some of the changes to the way other bits within Windows 7 desktop function. Hopefully this is helpful for you.
Great news! The SharePoint team has updated their blog with the latest update info as of the August Cumulative update. In addition they have started listing the correct patches needed as well as the order of patches, to get up to date from RTM (Fresh install) SharePoint all the way to the current updates.
You can find the article here: http://blogs.msdn.com/sharepoint/archive/2008/09/29/announcing-august-cumulative-update-for-office-sharepoint-server-2007-and-windows-sharepoint-services-3-0.aspx
This should help for anyone who is looking to get up to date. Looks like I don't have to update my post now :) Enjoy! And thanks to the product team for putting this out. This should help ease a lot of confusion.
I will be posting an update on patching SharePoint in a few days. This will account for updates that have come out after the infrastructure updates.
One of the most common topics in regards to MOSS/WSS lately has been around the question: "What patches do I need in order to be up to date with MOSS/WSS?". The following will allow you to be up to date as of the Infrastructure update with the fewest number of patches/hotfixes that need to be applied. Included are a couple bits on the next updates as well. I will start with RTM and move to current patching levels. When applying updates to WSS and MOSS one of the important things to look at is going to be downtime. One common way to help streamline the update/patching process is to apply all needed updates at once. Todd Carter did an excellent post on this recently that can be found HERE. This will allow you to minimize your patching time. Basically when patching, apply the latest updates for WSS and MOSS at once so that you do not need to run the PSConfig utility multiple times. Once you are familiar with the process you can use the below list of patches to make sure that you are up to date. Here is a summary of the process:
This is just a summary, Todd's article covers this in much more depth including detaching Content Databases to speed up the process as well as some other configuration details to streamline the process. I highly recommend reading his article before patching.
The below section covers the patches that are needed and the order they should be applied. This will get you up to date from a fresh RTM install all the way to the Infrastructure Updates (IU).
From an RTM MOSS installation use the following patching to get current(Make sure you read the articles and get the appropriate patches for 32 or 64 bit):
The AAM hotfix is mentioned in the notes on the infrastructure updates. The KB for this is forthcoming and I will post when it is released as well. You can call customer service to request it using the link above. Always read the known issues portions of the KB articles when downloading a particular patch or hotfix. The above list is from RTM to current. If you already have SP1 installed, you can start at step 3. If you already have the patch from step 3 applied, you can go to step 4.
Much of the confusion and conversation around patching seems to stem from the fact that there are different types/levels of patching when it comes to MOSS. Let's break it down a bit. We have two products, WSS and MOSS. Since you can have WSS without MOSS, it makes sense that you need patches for both. So at any one time when looking at patching you need to make sure that you are up to date on both products if you are running MOSS. If you are in a WSS only deployment, you then need only worry about WSS patches. Most of the patches when released will contain the previously released patches as well. So for example in the MOSS infrastructure update, all the patches between SP1 and the Infrastructure update are included in the package. This allows for minimizing your patch time by allowing you to only need to apply the latest patches most of the time.
The next level of confusion often revolves around the fact that we have two different patch types for each product. These are Global patches and Local patches. Global patches apply to all installations. Local patches are specific to a language. So for example, for some patches you may need to have the Global update, as well as a local patch for your particular language install (Russian, Chinese, etc...) this is due to the fact that some patches have localized data that only applies to installs that use that particular language. This includes English as well. There are local patches that are specific to English language installs of SharePoint. Note that step 3 above says that you need to install a patch that is local because it is not included in the IU update.
So when doing any patching to MOSS/WSS you need to keep the following items in mind:
SharePoint patching resources:
Updates Resource Center for SharePoint Products and Technologies
Understanding and deploying hotfixes, public updates, and service packs (WSS)
Deploying software updates for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0
Understanding and deploying hotfixes, public updates, and service packs (MOSS)
Deploying software updates for SharePoint Server 2007
Hopefully this helps sort through some of the confusion when it is time to patch your SharePoint environment. I will post more information as it becomes available especially in regards to the upcoming AAM hotfix KB.
Special Thanks to:
So now that I have been playing around for a while with WPF I have finally started to wrap my head around the shift in the Design/Development flow. I have actually found the easiest way to describe how WPF works, is to view it as a very similar paradigm for desktop apps, as ASP.Net is for web apps. With ASP.Net we have a page that controls the UI, which is the .aspx page which gets rendered as HTML for the end user. For all the logic that reacts to the users interaction on the page, we have the .aspx.cs (or aspx.vb if you are using Visual Basic) which holds all the code, also known as the code behind page. WPF gives us a very similar experience for our Desktop apps. We have the XAML file which describes the UI in a very declarative way very similar to working with HTML or XML, and then we have the code behind page the XAML.cs that holds the actual logic. Very similar to asp.net this allows me to very clearly and efficiently separate my presentation from my logic. As long as I use a common naming convention in my UI, I can change the look and feel all I want without having to affect the back end logic.
Where WPF further draws comparison to ASP.Net is in the ability to apply themes and styles to my application UI. I can define styles inline or in separate files in a manner similar to how I do it for web applications. Though in WPF I am not using CSS or .skin files, the overall system is very similar. Where WPF really shows it's power however is in the ability to describe the UI not only using controls, but also by using the built in Drawing functionality and classes. In the past to truly customize your UI in desktop applications you ended up doing a lot of GDI work and for the most part re-writing the render behavior for your controls. WPF gives us the ability to use declarative markup to describe the appearance and behavior of our controls. Once you get familiar with the Drawing APIs and Objects in WPF, you will find it much easier to work with than GDI ever was. And if you still don't want to do even that much work, you have tools like Expression Blend that will allow you to draw your UI and apply animations etc... in a very designer familiar environment, and it will output all the XAML for you. While these tools do save time, I highly recommend doing some work directly in XAML to get the hang of it. This will definitely help when you are looking for a very specific affect or outcome and having a hard time trying to get some of the tools to do it for you.
Having spent some time working strictly in XAML lately to force myself to get used to it and avoid using any of the tools that will generate it for me has really helped a lot. For those of you who are interested I will start posting some simple step by step tutorials soon focusing on using XAML to create basic UI elements and effects. Till next time...
So now that I am back from Texas (well technically I am now in Nashville Tennessee doing some SharePoint work with one of our clients.) I am immersing myself WPF and Silverlight. I am currently in the middle of Adam Nathans book: "WPF Unleashed" It is a great read so far. Gives me a lot to play with on the road. My current traveling setup is a Lenovo T61p (Intel Core 2 Duo T7500 @ 2.20GHz, 4GB RAM, Windows Ultimate 64bit.), I am running the Expression Suite 2, as well as Visual Studio Team System 2008. So plenty of toys to play with. I am working on getting up to speed on Expression Design 2 so that I can create my own graphics for my UI's and games. I am definitely enjoying the expression suite so far. I have always loved slick user interfaces and figure if I am going to learn WPF and Silverlight I might as well get good with all the tools. Eventually outside of working on making some games, I am going to start working on some Silverlight SharePoint controls; I want to bring the Sexy to SharePoint! Especially now that I have gone through Andrew Connells course on WCM in MOSS, and have gone through his book on the same subject (Andrew's Book) I am really interested in seeing how I can leverage Silverlight to enhance the publishing controls in MOSS.
I have also been spending a lot of time over on Silverlight.net and WindowsClient.net and there are a ton of good videos and tutorials, starter kits, etc... on there. I have downloaded about 6 gigs of videos and slapped them onto my Zune so that I can watch them on the plane. Really good stuff. Something I hadn't really paid much attention to but seems really great is the Silverlight streaming service. This allows you to have your Silverlight applications hosted remotely so that you can use them within your web apps or even just in plane web sites. Very nice, right now it is a free service that gives you 10GBs of storage and I believe 5TB of aggregated bandwidth per account, per month. CRAZY! I just signed up myself and hope to start using it soon. If you want to find out more check the following links:
Everything is going good so far. There is a lot of great content out there on Silverlight and WPF. I can't wait to start building something exciting. Talk to you later...
I just realized that the SharePoint extensions for VS2008 have shipped. The official name is Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Tools: Visual Studio 2008 Extensions, Version 1.2 Not sure how I missed this! You can find them HERE. The user guide is the same as the 1.1 toolset and can be found HERE. The package includes everything from the last toolset including project types for both C# and VB.NET. This package is still for the 32 bit version of VS 2008. I will keep my fingers crossed for a native 64 bit version in the future. Currently you can still develop on 32 bit and test/deploy on 64 bit environments as needed. There are plenty of places on line to find out more on the ins and outs of developing for MOSS 64 bit with the 32 bit toolset. Some of the features for this release are:
Visual Studio 2008 Project Templates
Visual Studio 2008 Item Templates (items that can be added into an existing project)
SharePoint Solution Generator
So go grab it, get your feet wet and let me know what you think...
This week I will be attending some training with Andrew Connell digging into the WCM (Web Content Management) aspects of MOSS. Though I spend the majority of my time troubleshooting and supporting MOSS with our clients, I have yet to really get to go deep on the WCM portions of the product. This will be a nice chance to take a step back from the daily fire fighting and enjoy some time getting to dig into one of the pieces that I haven't really gotten to play with yet. I am looking forward to an excellent week in Texas and will post about my expereince over this next week as well.
For more info on the WCM offerings that Andrew Delivers with Ted Pattison group:
Office SharePoint Server 2007 Web Content Management Developer Training
SharePoint Education for Users, Administrators and Developers
Anyway, Off to a week of fun in Texas...
So in a break from my normal SharePoint related posts, I have decided to do something fun as a change of pace. In a previous life I was a Flash Developer trained by Macromedia (before Adobe took over) and spent years working with Flash. At one point I helped to train some of the Design staff at AOL when they first began working with flash to redesign the AOL experience. But since coming to Microsoft in 2005, I have had no contact with any type of design work outside of SharePoint, and especially nothing that would allow me to flex my creativity and design muscles the way that Flash used to. So it is with great excitement that I have been watching our newer UI technologies (WPF, Silverlight) develop over the last year or so.
So now I am ready to give myself a challenge and to have some fun. I am going to dive into WPF and SilverLight and see how I can put the skills I used to use with flash together with my .Net development knowledge and my love of games. What better way to learn a new technology then to write a game with it. I know that I have a ways to go before I am at the point where I should start looking at creating a game, so first I am going to learn the core/basics of WPF for rich UI design, and once I have a solid grounding I will start working on a simple game. I don't know how long it will take or how much of my flash history will be of use, but I will be posting my experiences here. If you have had any similar experiences or are currently going through the same process, feel free to share here, as well as sharing any resources you find useful in your WPF/SilverLight ramp up.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Expression suite 2 has been released. For more information you can always use http://www.microsoft.com/expression. This release brings new versions of all the expression products (Blend, Design, Web, Media, Encoder).
A couple of notes of interest:
Blend 2 supports Silverlight 1.0 applications natively now! Expression Web 2 supports PHP! Just a couple of things that stuck out to me :) Below are the links to the MSDN documentation, Tutorials and Feature descriptions for each product!
I will be back with more in the near future!