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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

Wednesday night was a great re-connect for me.

Bill English, master presenter, speaker, knowledgable technologist, authoradozentimesover and heavily credentialed super-cool guy flew into Austin to speak to our local SharePoint Users Group.  

Ok, I gotta say… that photo right there is probably 8 years old.  He looks way cooler than that now, mainly because now he has a goatee.   And, as we all know, really good looking people end up converting to goatee.

Bill hailed from Minnesota (my birth state, another awesome checkmark on his list of awesome traits that make him awesome) and I soon found out why he was so willing to come down to Texas — when he boarded the plane in Minneapolis earlier that day, the high temperature for the day was five below zero.

That?  Is cold.

Here in Texas all we get is a little bit of freezing rain or sleet.  It hardly ever snows.  We just get the cold water pooling up and then the wind cools it just enough to make it really really cold.  Cold enough to freeze your butt off.

Like here:

That’s where I literally froze my butt off.  Nasty, isn’t it?

Bill came to speak to us (shoot, there were 40+ people there; I think it was our biggest gathering ever!) about Findability.  This topic is very apropos for SharePoint people because evidently being able to find your stuff is important. 

Someone should tell Google.

I first met Bill wayyyyyyy back in 2002 at a SharePoint class he was giving in Orlando.  We got along famously and he helped launch me into giving strong user community support of the SharePoint product.  I believe I authored over 1400 newsgroup answers on the Interwebz for the rest of 2002, gave training classes, authored some white papers and before I knew it, I was awarded the Microsoft SharePoint MVP.  

I was found to be one of only eighteen (18) MPV’s in the world, Bill included.  Being an MVP was a great ego boost, because they’d bestow some sort of cool gift, some “Microsoft money,” membership into MSDN or TechNet, and a trip to Redmond for the big MVP bash, among other things.  It also gave me some street credz when I posted because it’s like “hey, listen to me because I’M AN MVP!”  

Nowadays there’s 135 SharePoint Server MVPs worldwide, so I guess anyone who can correctly capitalize SharePoint can be let in.

Um, that was some humor right there.  Did anyone miss it?

Is this thing on?  tap-tap-tap.

Seeing Bill again and talking SharePoint has refueled my passion for the product.  At work, I’ve mostly delegated the SharePoint torch so I don’t work with it day-to-day very much but it’s not for lack of wanting to.   I love getting lost in coming up with new ways to help the company save time, automate processes, search for what people want, and write nifty little solutions that help someone with a business problem.   I love picking apart the engine under the covers and pushing an out-of-the-box implementation to the limit.

I also like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain. 

…silence…

…crickets…

ahem.  

Well, Bill is at it again, with upcoming speaking engagements, probably another book deal or two, and is expected to be one of the leading authorities on the next version of SharePoint, whatever and whenever that will be.  It’s an exciting time and I can’t wait to see what comes out!

Thanx for spreading some SharePoint love in Austin, Bill!

This is yet another in an apparent series of articles on SharePoint.  And, like some of the more recent articles, this one requires a tip of my hat to Matthew McDermott of Catapult Systems for helping us tackle this with a million times more safety than would normally occur if we were attempting these actions on our own.

catapult systems
Use Them.  Really.

With Sharepoint, there’s this thing called “MySite”.  It’s a personalized, customizable, directory-enabled site for users.  It’s really cool – most of the information comes from Active Directory, like phone number, email address, reporting structure, etc. and it can show you the files you’ve been working on (anywhere in the company) and give you document libraries to store personal and project-based documents.

mysite generic wayne hall

  1. Private and Public Views
    When a user looks at their own MySite, they can switch between these two views.  The above is an example of a “public” view – normally if I look at my own MySite, I don’t want to look at my own picture.  Well, I *do*, but I don’t want everyone to know that.  The Public view is what everyone else sees about me, and the Private view is customizable and presentable to me and me alone.  I might put my calendar on there, or pictures of my kids… it’s a drag and drop kind of workspace, like the Yahoo and Google’s of the world where you can put whatever you want wherever you want.
  2. Active Directory info
    Most of the time, our corporate directory is up to date with reporting structure, phone numbers, email, etc.  SharePoint pulls this info straight out of Active Directory so I don’t have to keep and maintain yet another set of information on employees.  It also has neat dropdowns that let me schedule meetings, use VOIP to call an end user, do instant messaging, email them right from the page, and see their presence info (ie, at their desk, in a meeting, etc).  It even lets me know if they’re free in the next 8 hours or what office they’re from.           sharepoint presence outlook integration
  3. Shared Lists
    Each employee can use the web to store documents, lists, or have private documents.   They can create new websites without knowing any HTML or coding, and collaborate with other employees easily.
  4. Recent Documents
    This is really cool – since SharePoint indexes not only itself but also other fileshares throughout the company, it can know what YOU have modified or own, and shows the recent documents not just on the SharePoint server but any file server in the company.  When other people view your site, they can see the documents you’ve been working on that THEY have access to, again increasing collaboration.  This is cool for system admins who have access to EVERYTHING, and then we can watch people make their resumes.  Ok, I’m kiddding there a little.  Just a little.
  5. Shared Workspaces
    If the employee happens to have other sites they made with other employees, they can show up here, giving kind of an automatic bookmark

Now, none of this is new.  This is from a product called SharePoint 2003, which you can probably guess is about 4 years old now.  Microsoft has released SharePoint 2007 (aka “MOSS”) and it improves a lot of this.

Why am I telling you about old stuff?  Well, for one, it’s still in use at a lot of places.  And secondly, if one of your SharePoint administrators inadvertently edits the MySite in FrontPage and breaks it, you just might want to know how to recover.

That’s what this article is about.  In the extended entry, so’s I don’t bore most of you all.  See how I put YOU first?

(more…)

March
13
2007
7:34 am
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I saw a link to this 82-minute webinar/how-to on how this one guy created a Training Portal in Sharepoint 2007.  I’ve started watching it and already know it has enough info that I’ll likely make use of it’s tools.

That is, if IE7 would just STOP CRASHING ALREADY!

    

September
8
2006
1:11 pm
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James Edelen‘s Sharepoint Database Explorer saved my butt today.  Thank you James!  And a special tip-of-the-hat to Catapult Systems, a local consulting company we use for Windows, Exchange, Sharepoint, SMS help… Richard Calderon, one of their top-notch folks, reminded me of the tool about 5 minutes after asking for some help.

Here’s the story:

  1. We still have a legacy Sharepoint WSS site hanging around that was set up for beta use, but ended up being used in production (I’m sure many are familiar with this horrible practice)
  2. Since it was a beta server, it never got proper backup mechanisms put into place.
  3. All it had for backup was SQL Server-based backup.  And it was WMSDE at that. 
  4. So then (you know it), someone “accidentally” deletes an entire document library containing 1,381 critical files. (insert comment here about “well if it was critical, why was it on a beta server without proper backups”)
  5. I take that backup, create a new database on another SQL server and restore the backup to the new database.
  6. Thankfully, I see the DOCS table and I’m able to do a SQL query and I do see the documents in there
  7. I try all sorts of ways to import these rows to another sharepoint database to see if I can browse them, but it never fully works.
  8. However, I point James’ way cool db explorer tool to this restored database, and it immediately lets me browse through the sites, document libraries, and multi-select all the documents in the library and save it locally.
  9. Then all I need to do is manually re-upload the documents into a newly-created document library

Woohoo!

Misc items:

  1. This doesn’t restore versions automatically.  The tool does, however, let you restore versions one at a time.
  2. We’re still looking for a decent backup tool that’s more automated for deleted items so we have undelete or the ability to restore documents, lists, items, document libraries or even full sites.  I don’t like our current backup method.  We own Backup Exec and also the sharepoint module for backup exec but it doesn’t seem to give us document-level restore.
  3. I met and worked with James some at the 2004 MVP summit.  He’s quite a gifted person, full of all sorts of talent.  It was an honor to work with him the very little that I did.  I know he did a lot of work with the Resource Kit with Bill English and a bunch of other MVP’s.

 


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