SQL Saturday 89 Summary

SQLSat89

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:

Permalink

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.

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SharePoint Saturday Atlanta Wrap Up, Better late than never!

SharePointSatATL

Wow, it seems like it has been a long time since I went down to Atlanta with a friend to attend my first SharePoint Saturday conference at the Microsoft offices in Alpharetta, GA on the weekend of May 7th. Event Link

It was packed out, and for good reason! I had heard that this area had a great user base and people who were passionate about SharePoint. At the time I didn’t know much about many of the people who were speaking at the event, but I knew that they would be giving some great insight as to how I could use some of their tips and tricks to make my daily battle with SharePoint go a little easier.

I started off in the first session with Scott Lavoie (Profile) on Best Practices and Pain Points of Implementing SharePoint Training, because at the time I knew we needed to be thinking about this same theme when we begin rolling out a new big project I was working on at the time. Scott gave out some good advice on incorporating the users in the testing phase of the training ( I know, duh, right!!??) as well as many points to think about when bringing new applications into your environment and using things like a Sustainment Plan to make sure you are constantly updating existing users and educating new users as well as showing upper management you have a strategy to execute your ideas.

Next I went to the session Under SharePoint’s Big Top given by Lori Gowin (Blog|Twitter). This was a great admin focused talk relating to the ups and downs of installing and setting up SharePoint 2010 (like never using Stand-Alone) as well as some of the other programs involved in the mix like PowerShell, PSConfig, and the Products and Configuration Wizard. I enjoyed the talk as well as learning that the source of many of the photos used were from family and friends who worked in the circus as well. Neat-O!

Okay, nom-nom’s a plenty and then off to The Business side of Upgrading: Clean-up, Shape-up, and Ship-over by Virgil Carroll (Blog|Twitter). What I found interesting about this presentation was he hit many of the same points I am currently going through with our current upgrade project. Mainly garbage into SharePoint equals garbage out for an upgrade. Also he went over some good business questions to ask when going through a SharePoint upgrade process. I’ll definitely be referencing this a few more time to make sure our business reasons for upgrading are clear before we take the plunge.

Later in the afternoon was Taming the Beast: A SharePoint Survival Guide for the Server that was done by Craig Trulove (Twitter) and mainly the thing I really liked about his presentation was how he showed us some ways to make your admin life easier through PowerShell. He went over some good tools to have in the SPAdmin arsenal like Fiddler, ULS Viewer, Developer Dashboard, PowerGui, and SharePoint Manager to name a few. I have yet t try out the SharePoint Manager, so that’s next on my list to try in dev.

Finally to round out the day I went to see SharePoint Scalability and Performance by Pablo Gazmuri (Profile). Which was a great topic and I really enjoyed his demos and examples he used to get an idea of page performance and  caching in SharePoint. The C# information he discussed went right over my head only because I don’t know C# (although I should) but will be good to reference later for any of our developers building things in our SharePoint environment. Definitely need to delve more into this topic hopefully at a later time.

Overall this was definitely time well spent. If you have never been to a SharePoint Saturday or SQL Saturday event, let me give you one word of advice. Go! I know many people have a hard time being away from family or friends on a weekend, but this is you improving yourself for your career, which I think is the main reason why these wonderful organizations put on these events. And I appreciate them for doing it.

Now if I could just win one of those Xbox prizes in the giveaways at the end of the day… I would be set! Or an IPAD or Kindle would work also…

SharePoint needs coffee?

When running SharePoint in your environment, I don’t know about you, but I always want it to behave like a finely tuned machine giving the best performance possible.

One thing you may not have noticed until someone mentions it to you might go something like this: “Every morning when I come in and log into SharePoint, it seems slow at first, but after that it seems much faster the rest of the day.”

Well how can we prevent this from happening? With another project on CodePlex I ran across called SPWakeUp

This project works on either WSS, MOSS, Foundations, or SharePoint Server 2010. It can be run manually or can be scheduled to run at a certain time each day (which is what I do). I am in the process now of putting it on all of my servers and once I have used it for a while I will write another follow up post describing some more of the functionality.

In the meantime, enjoy! No more first time slowness!

BJ

Data Sheet View doesn’t work under IE 9…

Here recently I had been working on organizing some content under SharePoint 2010 and I kept running across this error when trying to open a list or library in the datasheet view:

DataSheetError

This was frustrating so I went to MSDN and fortunately a good discussion was done over this topic:

HERE

Thanks to Jenny E for the answer, but to recap, the solution for me was to install the 2007 Office System Driver: Data Connectivity Components.

After I installed the AccessDatabaseEngine.exe file locally and exited and cleared my IE cache, it works perfectly!

I can now edit my lists and libraries in the data sheet view under IE9 x64 version.

Enjoy!

B.J.

Add .csv image to SharePoint 2010

As I was researching for a way to do this I ran across several blogs that told me how to add an image for a .csv icon to show up under SharePoint 2010.

Here’s one that I really liked:

http://www.sharepointedutech.com/2010/02/17/changing-file-associations-icons-in-sharepoint-2010/

(Dave Coleman is awesome BTW)

Which the process here can pretty much be copied with any file extension type you want to connect with any other icon. Dave does a great job explaining this.

So I was originally looking for a way to map the .csv icon here to map to the icon that normal shows up when you save a .csv under excel.

I found out (to my surprise) that if you look under the images folder at:

C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\TEMPLATE\IMAGES

There actually is an image of a .csv (csv16.gif) there, it’s just not associated with anything.

So in order to hook this bad boy up to SharePoint we need to go into:

C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\TEMPLATE\XML

and add:

<Mapping Key="csv" Value="csv16.gif" OpenControl=""/>

under the heading <ByExtension> and directly under the entry:

<Mapping Key="css" Value="iccss.gif" OpenControl=""/>

Then do an IIS Reset and upload a .csv file to test it out and see if it works. I have confirmed that this file does exist for both Foundations and SharePoint Server 2010.

Enjoy and happy SharePointing

Looking back…Looking forward

I know, I know.

Doing a year in review post when January is almost over seems kind of lame. Regardless, this post falls in line with a few of things I have done in 2010 and also ties into things that I want to do more in 2011. 2010 was a great year for me professionally. I was able to put my first SharePoint installation into production back in February 2010. It was a SharePoint Server 2007 instance with all the bells and whistles activated. This was the completion of work that started simply as research back in August of 2008. it was very satisfying to see this come to fruition.

The main reason I used the past tense with this is because the 2007 install didn’t last long. In August 2010, we upgraded all of our sites and our Business Intelligence rollout to a full blown SharePoint Server 2010 instance. I am still amazed at how much of an improvement that Microsoft has made in this new version from the 2007 version and I continue to learn new things about it every day.

In October and November I was fortunate enough to get enrolled at Dale Carnegie training at work. While in this I was able to meet a fantastic group of people and share many details about myself and learned that in order to communicate better, I needed t be myself more often. That may sound corny, but it worked and I was fortunate enough to be chosen by my peers to win the Dale Carnegie Excellence award.I was floored and very humbled to be chosen for it. I hear this award is the only thing that Warren Buffett has hung up in his office, so that makes it seem to me even more special.

So onto 2011. The year looks ripe with opportunities. I want to continue to make myself better each day so here are a few areas I want to improve on in 2011:

1. Blogging – yes, mainly why this post is so late. I want to write more in this new year to improve my communication skills. I also want to write more technically based articles and maybe even try to get published as well.

2. Speaking – I want to try and speak either at a user group or other technical gathering at least twice this year. I have one opportunity coming up soon and I hope to do another one as well this year. I would also like to make one of these engagements possibly a training event where I could train users on SharePoint or another topic I am familiar with.

3. Training/Certification – last year was good, but I did not meet my goal of trying for a certification and passing. So this year I want to not just go to training, but make it count by getting some more abbreviations to add to the end of my title… Smile

I think that’s a good place to start and are good solid specific goals that I can look back on and make sure that throughout this year I stick to.

So onward and upward…

Site Locks…always check for them

This week I had an interesting stuation happen to me and I thought I would share it so if anyone else runs across it they may not bang their heads up against the wall too many times like I did.

I had a 2007 site I was converting to 2010, but I needed to make sure that no one would try to update anything on the site while i was trying to convert it to the new 2010 version.

Enter site locks. These handy little things are normally automatic once you get ready to do a conversion or backup. What they so is set a site collection to read only so that any other actions can be performed on them and the content isnt able to be modified. Which makes sense when your trying to do a conversion or backup or other change.

My only problem was forgetting that i had run the stsadm command on this to make the site read only.When I did my backup and conversion I brought my converted site over to 2010, but I couldnt do anything to it. I needed to add some new permissions to it, but I couldn’t do anything.

Oh yeah the site lock <face palm> after then releasing the site lock I was able to add the new permissions I needed. A good summary of this in 2010 can be found over at technet here.

Enjoy! 🙂

Help! I lost my config menu in Hyper-V!!??

If you are like me and recently trying out the new version of Windows 2008 R2 Hyper-V everything was working great. I like the command line interface and the ability to log in and configure things about the server from a very low level without having to install all other kinds of “features” in the operating system.

That is until one day I came in and logged in and all I found was a black command line and a blinking cursor. Before I panicked i did some research (ie. googling) and found out that if you do lose this screen it can be easily brought back up from the command line by typing:

sconfig.cmd and then pressing enter…

After that, you are back and are able to configure your Hyper-V machine locally!!! 🙂

ConfigMenu

Hope this helps clear the confusion. After I originally read the first technet article at

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee815280%28WS.10%29.aspx

I missed this originally and was lost. Enjoy!

October CU SharePoint 2010 – Danger Will Robinson!

Lately I have not had a chance to stay on top of the updates that are getting released in SharePoint, but I definitely wanted to let everyone know about the following issue related to the October Cumulative Update.

You can read more about on the SharePoint Team Blog here:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/sharepoint/archive/2010/11/05/critical-information-about-the-sharepoint-server-2010-october-cumulative-update.aspx

Several users have reported that it causes issues with the User Profile Synchronization in 2010. So take heed! If you have applied this, beware!!

For those of you currently on 2007, there does not seem to be any issues with the CU at this time.

Ready, Set, Go!!

Indeed. Today is a great day! I plan on writing technical articles and trying to share my knowledge that I run across in work and through others in my daily life. The focus of this blog will be professional in nature, but we may steer into the strange and unusual every now and then.

Next I plan on making a sort of vision statement as my next post. So stay tuned for all the techy goodness. The FDA requires at least 8 servings of technology a day, so let’s get to stocking up!!