Wednesday, November 14, 2012

SharePoint Conference 2012 Keynote is Now Online

If you were unable to make it to Las Vegas for the annual Microsoft SharePoint Conference, you can watch the keynote right here and see what Microsoft is sharing about the future of SharePoint. Speakers include Jared Spataro, Jeff Teper, Scott Guthrie, and David Sacks.

Some highlights:
  • Drag and drop files from your desktop to SharePoint Online (Office 365) document libraries.
  • Deep integration with personal and corporate SkyDrive.
  • Conversations are attached to all sites by default.
  • Aggregation of SharePoint, Exchange, and Project tasks.
  • SharePoint 2013 Windows phone app for version 7 and 8
  • Yammer social capabilities will be integrated into SharePoint to improve communication both internal to your company, and externally with partners and customers. Over 200,000 companies use Yammer including 85% of Fortune 500.
  • Access SharePoint documents from Yammer.
  • Yammer will be free to SharePoint online customers.
  • Cloud, cloud, and more cloud. You can run your own servers, but they recommend cloud.
  • Search - personal re-find links will show when you search for things you've already looked at saving you from going to the search results page. Search results will give links to sections inside a document.
  • You can now create SharePoint content with virtually any designer tool (not limited to SharePoint Designer).
  • eDiscovery uses discovery sets and queries to make you a hero to legal. Works across multiple Microsoft Enterprise apps (ex. Exchange).
  • "Site mailboxes" show data like a document library in your Outlook .
  • 40% better use of bandwidth.
  • 4X image compression.
  • The new Cloud App Model Ecosystem allows developing SharePoint apps for on-premise or SharePoint Online.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

SharePoint 2013 RTM Available

Just noticed on MSDN that SharePoint Server 2013 is available for download. Office 2013 is there as well. If you don't have volume licensing, you can probably expect to get your hands on it in early December. For preview copies you and other developer tools, you can go here.

This is a little earlier than the November date we'd been hearing fo a while.


SharePoint Server 2013 on MSDN

Monday, October 22, 2012

SharePoint Farm on Windows Azure

***Update: Microsoft Azure Infrastructure is live (no longer demo) as of April 16th, 2013***

Microsoft recently announced that you can install SharePoint on virtual machines (IaaS) on Azure.

Why would you want to do this? The main motivator is the speed at which you can bring the environment up. If you don't have a robust Hyper-V or VMware environment in house, Azure gives you an easy way to spin up servers with no trips to the data center and no ordering/provisioning hardware. Unlike the Office 365 offering, you have complete control over your SharePoint farm and guaranteed uptime of 99.9%.

What type of SharePoint environment is a candidate for Azure?
  • SharePoint for Internet Sites - Move your external website to Azure and you don't need to deal with DMZ's and firewalls (or your networking co-workers).
  • Developer, Test and Staging - Bring them up and blow them away as needed. With Azure PowerShell this can all be scripted.
  • Hybrid Applications - You can setup a SharePoint environment that pulls or pushes data to applications in your local data center (on-premise).
  • Disaster Recovery - When your local environment takes a hard nap, bring it up in Azure and then blow it away when you get it restored.
To learn all about the offering, check out the following paper from Microsoft:

You can also find a great article detailing how to setup a basic Azure SharePoint farm with step-by-step instructions and screen shots over at PointBeyond.

You can also watch the following video from Channel 9 presented at TechEd.  

SharePoint 2010 Event ID 7043

We recently noticed the following error in the Application event log on our SharePoint 2010 servers:

A quick Google search turned up the following article on the SharePoint forum:

It turns out the issue is caused by bad code. Simply do a search for the file called TaxonomyPicker.ascx (C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\TEMPLATE\CONTROLTEMPLATES) and open it up in Notepad. Do a search for the characters “,” and replace it with a “,” (minus the quotation marks in both cases).

From this:

To this:

Thanks to Brian Lala, this can all be accomplished by creating and running the following script:

# Powershell script to implement the fix suggested in

$TaxonomyPickerControl = "$env:CommonProgramFiles\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\TEMPLATE\CONTROLTEMPLATES\TaxonomyPicker.ascx"
Write-Host " - Making a backup copy of TaxonomyPicker.ascx..."
Copy-Item $TaxonomyPickerControl $TaxonomyPickerControl".bad"
$NewTaxonomyPickerControl = (Get-Content $TaxonomyPickerControl) -replace ',', ","
Write-Host " - Writing out new TaxonomyPicker.ascx..."
Set-Content -Path $TaxonomyPickerControl -Value $NewTaxonomyPickerControl
Write-Host " - Done! Press any key to exit..."
$null = $host.UI.RawUI.ReadKey("NoEcho,IncludeKeyDown")

Microsoft finally release a KB article on the issue which can be found here:

Saturday, October 20, 2012

SharePoint 2013 - Everyting We Know!!!

***Update October 31st - SharePoint 2013 and Office 2013 are now available for download****

Microsoft just released a pile of info on the next version of SharePoint. Check the link for everything you need to know:

Download the SharePoint 2013 Server preview

Office 2013 training site

Download SharePoint Designer 2013

Download SharePoint 2013 Foundation

Download SharePoint 2013 Client SDK

IT Pro training material

Download SharePoint 2013 IT PRO Training material

Office/SharePoint 2013 store

MSDN for Office and SharePoint 2013

Download SharePoint 2013 technical library compiled

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Exchange 2010 Archiving Features


Why would you want to get rid of .pst files and move the data into Exchange server archive databases?
  • Unmanaged files Generally, .pst files are created by users and reside on their computers or network shares. They aren't managed by your organization. As a result, users can create several .pst files containing the same or different messages and store them in different locations, with no organizational control.
  • Increased discovery costs Lawsuits and some business or regulatory requirements sometimes result in discovery requests. Locating messaging data that resides in .pst files on users' computers can be a costly manual effort. Because tracking unmanaged .pst files can be difficult, .pst data may be undiscoverable in many cases. This could possibly expose your organization to legal and financial risks.
  • Inability to apply messaging retention policies Messaging retention policies can't be applied to messages located in .pst files. As a result, depending on business or applicable regulations, your organization may not be in compliance.
  • Risk of data theft Messaging data stored in .pst files is vulnerable to data theft. For example, .pst files are often stored in portable devices such as laptops, removable hard drives, and portable media such as USB drives, CDs, and DVDs.
  • Fragmented view of messaging data Users who store information in .pst files don't get a uniform view of their data. Messages stored in .pst files are generally available only on the computer where the .pst file resides. As a result, if users access their mailboxes using Outlook Web App or Outlook on another computer, the messages stored in their .pst files are inaccessible.
  • Dispersed Disk Usage Users create .pst files then put them in multiple locations causing laptops and desktops to run out of disk space. Often they make copies of them “to be safe”. This has a negative impact on backups.
Where can you put an archive mailbox?
You can provision a user's personal archive on the same mailbox database as the user's primary mailbox, another mailbox database on the same Mailbox server, or a mailbox database on another Mailbox server in the same Active Directory site. This provides flexibility to use tiered storage architecture and to store archive mailboxes on a different storage subsystem, such as near-line storage. In cross-premises Exchange 2010 deployments, you can also provision a cloud-based archive for mailboxes located on your on-premises Mailbox servers.

What are the client requirements to use archives?
Access to archive mailbox
Outlook 2010, Outlook 2007, and Outlook Web App
Yes. Outlook 2010, Outlook 2007 and Outlook Web App users can copy or move items from their primary mailbox to their archive mailbox, and can also use retention policies to move items to the archive.
Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2007 users can also copy or move items from .pst files to their archive mailbox. Outlook 2007 users require the Office 2007 Cumulative Update for February 2011. Some differences in archive support exist between Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2007. For more information, see Exchange Team Blog article, see Yes Virginia, there is Exchange 2010 archive support in Outlook 2007.
Outlook 2003 and older clients
Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync

What do you need as far as licensing?

Personal archives are a premium feature and require an Exchange Enterprise client access license (CAL). For details about licensing Exchange, see Exchange Server Licensing. For details about the versions of Microsoft Outlook required to access an archive mailbox, see License requirements for Personal Archive and retention policies.

Is data from your archive added to the .ost file of Outlook users who are using caching?
Outlook doesn't create a local copy of the archive mailbox on a user's computer, even if it's configured to use Cached Exchange Mode. Users can access an archive mailbox in online mode only.
Do delegates of a mailbox get access to the associated archive data?
How can users move messages into the archive?
  • Move or copy messages manually Mailbox users can manually move or copy messages from their primary mailbox or a .pst file to their archive mailbox. The archive mailbox appears as another mailbox or .pst file in Outlook and Outlook Web App.
  • Move or copy messages using Inbox rules Mailbox users can create Inbox rules in Outlook or Outlook Web App to automatically move messages to a folder in their archive mailbox. To learn more, see Learn About Inbox Rules.
  • Move messages using retention policies You can use retention policies to automatically move messages to the archive. Users can also apply a personal tag to move messages to the archive. For details about archive and retention policies, see Archive and Retention Policies later in this topic.
Personal tags are available only in Outlook 2010 and Outlook Web App.
  • Import messages from .pst files In Exchange 2010 SP1, you can use a mailbox import request to import messages from a .pst file to a user's archive or primary mailbox. For details, see Understanding Mailbox Import and Export Requests. Tools used to locate .pst files within an organization are available from Microsoft partners. For a list of Microsoft partners for archiving, see "Archive and Compliance Partners" in Independent Software Vendors.

What are archive and retention policies?
You can apply archive policies to a mailbox to automatically move messages from a user's primary mailbox to the archive mailbox after a specified period. Archive policies are implemented by creating retention tags that use the Move to Archive retention action.
Messages are moved to a folder in the archive mailbox that has the same name as the source folder in the primary mailbox. If a folder with the same name doesn't exist in the archive mailbox, it is created when the Managed Folder Assistant moves a message. Re-creating the same folder hierarchy in the archive mailbox allows users to find messages easily.
You can't apply a managed folder mailbox policy to mailboxes that have a personal archive. Managed content settings created for managed folders can't use the Move to archive action. To learn more about managed folders, see Understanding Managed Folders.
Exchange Setup creates the default archive and retention policy Default Archive and Retention Policy. This policy contains retention tags that have the Move to Archive action, as shown in the following table.
Default archive and retention policy
Retention age (days)
Retention action
Default 2 years move to archive
Move to Archive
Personal 1 year move to archive
Personal tag
Move to Archive
Personal 5 year move to archive
Personal tag
Move to Archive
Personal never move to archive
Personal tag
Not applicable
Move to Archive
Recoverable Items 14 days move to archive
Recoverable Items folder
Move to Archive
1 Week Delete
Personal tag
Delete and Allow Recovery
1 Month Delete
Personal tag
Delete and Allow Recovery
6 Month Delete
Personal tag
Delete and Allow Recovery
1 Year Delete
Personal tag
Delete and Allow Recovery
5 Year Delete
Personal tag
Delete and Allow Recovery
Never Delete
Personal tag
Not applicable
Delete and Allow Recovery

If you enable a personal archive for a mailbox user and the mailbox doesn't already have a retention policy assigned, the default archive and retention policy is automatically assigned. After the Managed Folder Assistant processes the mailbox, these tags become available to the user, who can then tag folders or messages to be moved to the archive mailbox. By default, e-mail messages from the entire mailbox are moved after two years.
Archive policy in Outlook 2010 and Outlook Web App
Before provisioning archive mailboxes for your users, we recommend that you inform them about the archive policies that will be applied to their mailbox and provide subsequent training or documentation to meet their needs. This should include details about the following:
  • Functionality available within the archive, the default archive and retention policies.
  • Information about when messages may be moved automatically to the archive.
  • Information about the folder hierarchy created in the archive mailbox.
  • How to apply personal tags (displayed in the Archive policy menu in Outlook and Outlook Web App).
If you apply a retention policy to users who have an archive mailbox, the retention policy replaces the default archive and retention policy. You can create one or more retention tags with the Move to Archive action, and then link the tags to the retention policy. You can also add the default Move to Archive tags (which are created by Setup and linked to the Default Archive and Retention Policy) to any retention policies you create.
In Exchange 2010 SP1, the default archive and retention policy contains additional retention tags with the Delete and Allow Recovery action. To learn more, see Understanding Retention Tags and Retention Policies.
Is there a quota on the archive database mailboxes?
Yes, and it’s based on size. You can configure archive mailboxes with an archive warning quota and an archive quota. When an archive mailbox exceeds the specified archive warning quota, a warning event is logged in the Application event log. When an archive mailbox exceeds the specified archive quota, messages are no longer moved to the archive, a warning event is logged in the Application event log, and a quota message is sent to the mailbox user. By default, in Exchange 2010 SP1, the archive warning quota is set to 45 gigabytes (GB) and the archive quota is set to 50 GB.


Friday, June 22, 2012

SharePoint 2010 Event ID 6398

Although it shows up as a Crital error which can be a little alarming, there's nothing to worry about here. It's simply the Microsoft Cutomer Experience Improvement Program trying to collect data and send it back to the mother ship. We go ahead and disable the feature at the farm level, and at the web application level.

To disable at the farm level, go to Central Admin - System Settings - Configure privacy options and select "No, I don't wish to participate" and "Ignore errors and don't collect information".

To disable at the web app level, go to Central Admin - Manage Web Applications. Highlight each web app and select General Settings, then scroll to the bottom and say No where it asks if you want to enable the CEIP.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Exchange 2010 Update Process

From time to time, Microsoft release service packs and update rollups for Exchange. There are some things to keep in mind when it comes to applying these updates to your environment:

• Update rollup packages are cumulative. For example, if you apply Update Rollup 4 on a computer that is running Exchange 2010, you receive all the fixes in that specific update package together with all the fixes that were released in all earlier update rollup packages. That is, in Update Rollup 4, you receive all the updates that were released in the previous Update Rollup 1 through Update Rollup 3 packages plus the updates in Update Rollup 4.

• This approach to updating doesn't replace service packs for the product. Additional product fixes and features are released in separately available service packs for Exchange 2010.

• Microsoft releases update rollup packages approximately every six to eight weeks. The rollup packages are available via Microsoft Update and the Microsoft Download Center. In the Search box on the Microsoft Download Center, type "Exchange 2010 update rollup" to find links to the rollup packages.

• For Exchange 2010 configurations, the recommended order in which to apply the update rollup is as follows: Client Access server, Hub Transport server, Mailbox server, and Unified Messaging server.

To find out which version of Exchange 2010 you're running, logon to your server then go to Control Panel - Programs and Features. Highlight Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and make a note of the Version.
Or run the following Exchange Management Shell command:
Get-ExchangeServer | fl name,edition,admindisplayversion
To see a list of Exchange versions, follow this link:

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

New eBook for Splitting an Oversized Sub Site into a New Site Collection & Database

Most companies strive to implement solid governance plans and design their site structure accordingly, but reality often gets in the way. What was supposed to be a small site can have a sub site which grows unexpectedly. Next thing you know, your sub site alone has grown to over 100 GB. What do you do? If you don’t care that the URL of the sub site changes, then you can simply copy it to a new site collection with a new content database. This usually isn’t an option when people have links in documents and SharePoint sites that point to the original location. Moving it and trying to put forwarders or links to the new location is simply too painful. This detailed eBook will show you how to split that troublesome sub site off into a new site collection with its own content database using powershell and central administration while maintaining your URL structure. You'll get all the required steps with screen shots for the low price of $9.99 USD. If you're not satisfied, we'll gladly refund your money!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

SharePoint 15 - What's Next?

*** UPDATE - July 18th**** See also

So you finally finished migrating all your SharePoint 2007 and WSS 3 sites to SharePoint 2010. Congratulations! The bad news (or good depending on how you look at it) is that the next version of SharePoint is right around the corner. Microsoft are very adept at keeping partners who've seen it quiet, but this is what's known so far. Keep in mind that all of this is based on leaks, and we won't know anything for sure until Microsoft announces it.
  • SharePoint 15 (as it's currently called) is scheduled to be Released to Manufacturing (RTM) November 12th. Only people who are involved in the Microsoft Technology Adoption Program (TAP) will have access to the bits before that. There are rumors the Beta will be realesed June 13th. 
  • SP 15 will include an application marketplace similar  to what you use with your mobile devices.
  • It will be better able to handle multi-tenant installations so hosters can get environments up and available faster and more securely. It will also make it easier to sell apps built on SharePoint to multiple companies.
  • It will be built to use an Oracle back-end (just kidding). Make sure you're running the latest version of SQL to speed your migration.
  • There are rumors there will be a an education module which allows schools to setup a virtual learning environment. Details here are murky.
  • More integration with Silverlight.
  • Built-in Information Rights Management.
  • Expansion of the cloud SharePoint offering (Office 365) and integration of on premise and cloud based SharePoint. It's clear Microsoft want to remove any objections companies have to moving their SharePoint environments into the cloud.
  • Better support and integration for mobile devices.
  • Simplified development tools. We would assume this means a new version of SharePoint Designer?
  • Tighter integration with the next version of Office (Office 15).
  • Expansion of the social networking capabilities. Weather this means a re-vamping of the existing My Sites or a complete overhaul is unclear. Maybe integration with Microsoft's partner Facebook? 
  • Minimal Download Strategy (MDS allows websites to take much less bandwidth than with traditional technologies.)
  • Site versioning (an extension of the existing document versioning).
So, lots to look forward to, but also a lot to wrap your head around. We'll continue to update this post as more information becomes available. In the meantime, you can subscribe to this twitter feed:!/NextSharePoint and visit the following sites:

Be sure to let us know if you've heard anything we haven't mentioned here.

Monday, May 7, 2012

New eBook for Automating SharePoint Backups with PowerShell

We've had a lot of requests for more details on how to setup automated SharePoint backups with PowerShell, so we've gone ahead and created a detailed ebook which outlines the steps and permissions you need to get your backups up and running. In addition to screen shots, there are also copies of the scripts we use as well as an email notification section that will let you know if your backups failed. Simply click on the Buy Now button below and you can pay with your Paypal account or credit card. At only $9.99 USD, it's thousands cheaper than a 3rd party solution and will let you sleep a little sounder at night. If you're not satisfied, we'll gladly refund your money!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Windows PowerShell Command Builder for SharePoint 2010 Products and Office 365

If you're like us, you're starting to figure out that you can do much more with SharePoint through PowerShell than you can through Central Admin. Microsoft recognize that not everyone is comfortable with PowerShell so they've created an excellent tool to help rookies create scripts they can use for everyday administration tasks.

Windows PowerShell Command Builder for SharePoint 2010 Products and Office 365 is a Silverlight® 4 application that is designed to help IT professionals and power users learn how to use Windows PowerShell for administrative tasks. The Windows PowerShell Command Builder enables IT professionals and power users to visually assemble commands related to SharePoint 2010 Products and Office 365 in the browser and take those commands to their respective products.

You can access the tool here:

And the getting started guide is here:

Here's a screen shot to give you an idea of how the drag and drop interface looks:

If you're interested in learning more about administering SharePoint with PowerShell, have a look at the following:

Happy scripting!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Disable "Anyone outside my organization" in Outlook/Exchange 2010

We had a requirement in our organization recently to disallow sending auto replies (formerly know as out-of-office messages) to recipients outside our organization who are not in our contacts. The basis for the request was to stop spammers from finding valid email addresses and to prevent SMTP loops. There are also concerns around privacy. You don't want people you don't know being aware you're out of town on vacation for the next two weeks!

To achieve this we run a script which changes the mailbox settings to disable the “Anyone outside my organization” in Outlook:
The following script was setup on our Exchange 2010 server to run as a scheduled task every hour (D:\scripts\lockextooftocontactsonly.ps1):
Get-Mailbox -database "DB01" | Get-MailboxAutoReplyConfiguration | where {($_.AutoReplyState -eq "Enabled") -AND ($_.ExternalAudience -eq "All")} | foreach {Set-MailboxAutoReplyConfiguration $_.Identity -ExternalAudience "Known"}

Note: You need to change DB01 to the name of your mailbox database.

The script does not disable the ability of a user to select the “Anyone outside my organization” option. It simply changes the option to “My Contacts only”. As a result the script needs to be run numerous times throughout the day to update the mailboxes with the proper setting.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Select the credentials you want to use to logon to this SharePoint site

Our users came across the following error when they were trying to login to their My Site (http://mysite/):

We had recently had to restore the My Site from a backup and it appears the restore process had changed the authentication type the extended website http://mysite/ was using from Kerberos to NTLM. We have another version of the site published as which was still set to Kerberos hence the authentication error.

The fix was to go into Central Admin - Manage Web Application (My Site) and then select Authentication Providers. I selected the offending Intranet zone and changed it back to Negotiate (Kerberos) so it matched the other Custom zone:

After an IISRESET, the error stopped appearing.