SharePoint resources for demos

Today’s post I thought I would include in order to find anything needed to create a working demo of SharePoint locally. Nowadays,  Azure or other cloud providers make this much easier, but if you want more control you can spin up your own locally.

Windows Server

2019 (still beta as of now)




SQL Server





SharePoint 2016


SharePoint 2013


Server (Standard and Enterprise)


SharePoint 2010


Server (Standard and Enterprise)


Enjoy and happy lab building!


SQL Saturday Chattanooga 2016

On Saturday June 25th, 2016 at the campus of UT Chattanooga the local SQL Server User group (SPOC) help their annual training event for the area.
This was a great even and the venue was a really great setting to take a day and get some knowledge related SQL Server and all the new features of 2016. The sessions I attended were as follows:
Using SQL server data tools 2015
16 enhancements for SQL Server 2016 (@SQLCowBell) Robert Verell
Connecting Power BI to On-Prem data with SSAS (AirborneGeek)
MS BI 2016 – More love for your data(TameraClark)
Perceptual Intelligence with Cortana Analytics
Keys to successful SharePoint Administration for the DBA

How’s this for an intimidating venue to present in? 🙂 Kudos to all the speakers who tackled this one:

The sessions were great and really enjoyed all of the sessions given. Thanks to all the presenters and volunteers who put this event on! If you’ve never attended one of these events, head over to

BI Architecture Talk for SPOC

Happy New Year everyone!

I wanted to get the word out that this month’s SQL Professionals of Chattanooga (SPOC) meeting this month on January 27th at 5:30pm at the Business Development Center (BDC) in Chattanooga, TN. It’s located at 100 Cherokee Blvd and you can get there by heading over to the northwest side of town. See here for a map. You can check out the announcement and the group website here:

I will be speaking about the business intelligence (BI) architecture of SQL server at Life Care.

Come on out and learn how we have implemented SQL and how we have taken advantage of the many features and functionality that SQL Server can offer. We have been running this solution in our environment for about 8 years now and there’s not a lot of the ins and outs we haven’t tried. From clustering, to Analysis Services and Power Pivot, to Reporting Services, to Integration Services and everything in between; we try to pull as much business value out of SQL server that we can (and have to for what it costs…).

So if you are interested to hear more about this please feel free to join us for some free food, tech talk, and networking on January 27th at 5:30pm.

Even if you don’t work directly on SQL server or would like to learn more about SQL Server or aren’t even sure where to start learning, we are always open to having new people from the area to attend so that we can learn from each other. In the end that’s what this is all about! Creating a community of knowledge that can benefit anyone who wants to learn more.



Woohoo! We are getting a (local) PASS Chapter!

I can barely contain myself. I found out at another user group meeting that my area is getting a local PASS chapter!

The local chapter is going to be call SQL Professional of Chattanooga (or SPOC) and our first meeting is tomorrow October 28th from 5:30pm until 7pm EST.


If you have never come out to a SQL Server User group meeting I highly encourage you to come out and get to know other people who work in your area who more than likely have the same problems and maybe even a few cool solutions to things you have been struggling with.

If you haven’t already head on over to and read up on what is coming up.

Next week is the big PASS conference in Seattle, Washington. Head on over to to learn more about it as well. Even if you can’t go they usually stream the keynote presentations and offer all of the sessions to be purchased at a later date.



Create search in SharePoint Foundations 2013 without GUID

When SharePoint Server 2013 was first released, I was curious what new things I could do with it. I saw the new search capabilities, a different look and feel, a similar management interface, and several other BI things that made me happy. I then also realized that I support SharePoint Server and also the free version SharePoint Foundations. In SharePoint Foundations you get SOME of the things that makes SharePoint great (like Search for example), but with Foundations there are usually strings attached to that functionality.

In SharePoint, if you create your farm by clicking on all the defaults and using the wizards your databases look like this:


With SharePoint Foundations 2013, we don’t really have the option to create search by scripting with PowerShell… or do we?

Originally my research pointed me to Gary LaPointe’s blog here.

Which is great because this is in PowerShell and I can understand this, but it still doesn’t give us what we are wanting in the end like this:


Fortunately I found the following post by Jasjit Chopra’s blog here.

Finally!!! What we have been searching for all along! One thing to note at this time is that I have tried this myself on two different farm configurations (a three tier farm and a single box farm) and in both cases the search service and databases were created with the clean names and the service functions just fine.

I’m doing my happy dance now… enjoy!


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.

SQL Saturday 89 Summary


Well, well, well. another year has come and gone so it seems and it’s time to head to SQL Saturday again. I am psyched because last year after going to SQL Saturday in Nashville I began doing a lot more in the areas of Blogging, Twitter, and the SQL community itself. It was good to be going back for another event to get some good free training and networking.

First talk of the day was a new area that I need to get up to speed on named SQL “”Denali” AlwaysOn High Availability Solutions given by Geoff Hiten (Blog|Twitter). The demo of failover and other features makes me glad that we are already looking at moving to Denali when it is released next year! The clustering features alone are making me drool…

The next session that I went to was given by Kevin Kline (Blog|Twitter) titled Top 10 Admin Mistakes on SQL Server. Wow, Kevin is definitely one of the pros at giving presentations. Being one of the founders of PASS and a long time blogger and author he gave some great advice through this presentation. If you have a chance to see Kevin speak at an upcoming event, it will be hilarious and educational at the same time.

During nomnom time we kicked back and heard a good talk from Dean Richards (Profile) and the folks at Confio showing us how to Light the Fire on Database Performance using a product called Ignite8. The demo was impressive and looked like the software gave a lot of finely detailed information about how to diagnose and monitor the SQL servers in your environment. Cool stuff!

Next was a very good and developer focused talk that I was a little hesitant about attending at first titled Storing BLOB’s in SQL Server using FILESTREAM given by Sven Aelterman (Blog|Twitter). This talk went over my head a little, but gave me a better appreciation of what is going on in the background of SQL Server when you start to use FILESTREAM in SQL for storage.

My second favorite session of the day was given by Mark Tabladillo (Blog|Twitter) called Social Marketing 2011 for Microsoft Professionals. This session was almost like a round table discussion in that Mark went over some tips and tricks for how to best market yourself as a professional. The best part of the discussion was hearing about what other people in the room were doing to create their own networking circles.

Finally for the end of the day I went to Stupid PowerShell Tricks given by Jim Christopher (Blog|Twitter). I enjoyed this most of all just for the sheer enjoyment of it. It was taking something useful like PowerShell and making it do weird, crazy stuff. I cant do it justice, but I can put in the link that Jim gives to sum up the session:


BTW, thanks Jim, you were the only speaker I went to that posted slides or a summary of the presentation.Many thanks!

All in all a great time to be had and another SQL Saturday under the belt. Looking back I want to thank all the folks who put this on and give up a Saturday to put this event together and provide the people who attend with a great place to attend and good content to stoke the fires of curiosity with.