So, what do, you do here?

For this post I decided to ask myself this question, in order to reflect on the past year. So, in no particular order, here are my highlights of the (work) year:

To begin the year, I attended a great class in SharePoint 2010 Administration put on by Solartech and Rich North where I learned a lot about everything in SharePoint 2010 and some of the great do’s and don’ts when setting up and configuring an environment. I am still going back and forth through my notes from this class trying to remember things that were mentioned.

Moving to a virtual server environment was a big adjustment for me this year. To be honest, at first I was hesitant and a little resistant to this even though I use VM’s all the time for testing. In the beginning we had issues with our virtual boxes going down, but as the year has gone on, I really don’t see any difference now in my physical and virtual boxes. This area has also peaked my interest and made me want to study more about clustering, the cloud, and other options that minimize downtime in servers and applications.

During April I transitioned into a role of a SharePoint Administrator and it as been an interesting ride so far. Before this I was used to keeping the SharePoint environment up for around 300 people. After this change, that number increased to about 4000 users as we began implementing a new intranet website. With this change, I also was given a promotion and became a Senior Business Analyst. Yay!

In May I went to SharePoint Saturday in Atlanta and had a great time listening and learning from a lot of people who live and breathe SharePoint each day just like me. Check out my review in a previous post here.

In September a group of us headed back down to Atlanta again for my second SQL Saturday event. It was awesome, again! Many of the great talks were focused on clustering and backups and options for failover and a few previews of the new SQL 2012. That review can be found here.

Shortly after this, I attended a conference on MS Project Server 2010. It was interesting to see how Project Server fits into the overall SharePoint environment and just how much of a beast it can be to maintain. I can see why now many people specialize in implementing Project Server . I did a short review here.

Team Foundation Server 2010 was another big task undertaken this year to replace our old SourceSafe databases at work. I was excited to tackle this because it integrates quite nicely into SharePoint for things like project sites and other functions. I even got to mess around with code a little bit while I was creating this. But enough on that coding and other junk, back to SharePoint. Enough about coding and other junk…..Of all the things I did this year, SharePoint 2010 consumed more of my time and efforts than anything else by far!

SharePoint 2010. Of all the things I did this year, this by far consumed more of my time and efforts than anything. I was involved in several major upgrade projects this year moving from older versions (WSS2 and WSS3) of the product to the newest 2010 version. The knowledge that I have gained from this experience just cant be measured.

The intranet move alone was such an undertaking that looking back on it I cant believe what we had to do to get to this point! In April, the first draft of the website was given to the pilot users, then in July, we opened it to all users with a link back to the old site. Finally, in September, we officially cut the old version off and switched over fully to the new website. I think taking this process gradually was the main reason why we were able to be successful.

I have come to both love and hate SharePoint after using it for 4 years. Seeing how businesses use SharePoint is what excites me professionally and drives me to learn more about the product. If any of the blog posts I have read so far about 2012 are true, this could be an interesting year for SharePoint again.

So this year has been a great one overall. I think from a technology standpoint there are so many things that will be released in 2012. I cant wait to see what happens…oh and maybe write a little about it.

To everyone I wish you a happy and healthy 2012 New Year! God Bless.

– B.J.


Project Server 2010 Conference wrap up

Back on Sept 20th my boss and I were invited to a one day conference down at the Microsoft offices in Alpharetta, to learn more about Project Server 2010. We have looked at it a couple of times before and I have installed and configured it in development for our project managers to test out and see if they liked it, but I personally had not gone much further than getting the bits installed and going.

I was fortunate to meet some great folks and learn some new things I‘ll have to go try out in development when I get back to the office. Mainly the items related to timesheets and resource tracking. I think both of those areas are something we can take advantage of.

The one thing I do see that could be frustrating is how Project Server 2010 handles permissions. It almost seemed like there was a whole different subset of users that you would have to keep track of that would be using Project Server separate from AD. That gives me stomach pains immediately. And at this point for me, it would be a deal breaker with the product. I think I need to do some more research on this before passing any kind of judgment.

In the meantime I want to thank all of the speakers who gave sessions there and I really enjoyed the event. Here is one thing on Project Server 2010 I came across that I thought was a good reference, but also exceptionally well designed. Kudos to whoever thought this up!

MS Project Server 2010 Reference