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New Life, Old stale site

Posted by sharepoinTony on September 3, 2019

Unlikely anyone is reading this as stale as the site is…but here is a little history and future plans for anyone out there.

Believe it or not I had a lot of posts after 2014 but they went to a new site hosted elsewhere.  Family life/health took over and it was slim postings, especially after sometime in 2017.  That led to the hosting company to delete my site and all content.  That stuff is gone, long gone.  No crying over spilled milk as the old saying goes.

The good news is I plan to breath some new life in this site.

Current plans are to fast forward to my current activities, so you can expect to see posts on topics ranging from SharePoint, O365, Azure, PowerShell, and who knows what else I end up working on.  I may have to change the name of the site – or at least the tag line.  For now I will only commit to posting something more frequently than every 5 years!

If you have been here or checking back from time to time….I thank you with full heart.  Life has given me some big road blocks and many challenges still lie ahead, but it is time for me to at least attempt to peek my head out from under water and re-engage as best I can.  Here goes….




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#SPSSD SharePoint Saturday San DIego 2014

Posted by sharepoinTony on November 7, 2014

This is a rough edit version – for the final version please go to my active blog:

#SPSSD SharePoint Saturday San Diego 2014

The #SPSSD 2014 event is shaping up to be something special, from start to finish and everything in between.

Why is this so special?

Well, let’s look at some of the stats to get the story started.

· We have over 127 different companies represented in attendee registrations.

· We have roughly 300 people registered to attend.

· We have 14 fabulous sponsors who are making the event possible – and Free to attendees!

· We have @ 23 speakers volunteering their time and weekend to present at the event.

· Among those speakers are SharePoint MVP’s, widely recognized authors and trainers as well as coveted expert speakers – all nationally or internationally known.

· Additionally, we have many great speakers who may not be as well-known but are full of experience and are experts in their own right.

· We have 6 tracks and nearly 30 sessions covering topics for Business, End User, IT Pro, Developer, Office 365 and Sponsor Solutions – the day is jam packed with SharePoint gems.

· UCSD Extension is our venue – and it is perfect for a SharePoint Saturday, with fully equipped professional classrooms and facilities that are comfortable, we couldn’t be more lucky.

Now let’s add the pre and post events to the mix. Speakers will be treated to a beach party luau complete with ukulele serenades and hula dancers around a beach bon-fire. Attendees will be treated to lunch during the event and have the opportunity to mingle with the speakers, sponsors and each other at the SharePINT post-event gathering. Saturday wraps up San Diego Beer Week, and so it is fitting for us to host the SharePINT gathering at the La Jolla Brewing Company (LBC).

Due to our sponsors’ willingness to make this an awesome event, and K2 for providing extra funding to help host the SharePINT, we will have the Tasting Room at LBC reserved for our private party. How much better can it get – SharePINT, Beer Week, and a private room at a brewing company? How about a free drink or two! LHC offers a full bar, appetizers and a great dinner menu that should accommodate everyone’s tastes. What a great way to wrap up a full day of SharePoint sessions.

For the “cherry on top”, we also have some great prizes for the raffle….so I encourage you to stay for the day, pick up a prize during the raffle and then join us at the SharePINT. The whole package is what makes this a special event.

Posted in Announcement, Commentary | Comments Off on #SPSSD SharePoint Saturday San DIego 2014

A Secure Browser

Posted by sharepoinTony on October 29, 2013

I recently read this article:! and I like the concept.

First of all, I really like the idea of businesses using one browser for internal browsing and another for external (which is a more secure browser). This is just common sense and a simple solution.

Granted it isn’t fool-proof, nor would it be ‘easy’ to get business users to switch browsers for different activity. But I speak from my perspective, as a user who uses 2 different browsers at work every day already. I just like being able to jump to one browser where I am researching or have reference material open and then back to another where I am working on something.

Secondly, I think it makes sense to have a browser that Doesn’t allow any advertising or tracking, that makes the tool good for business use.

Why would your company want to help marketers track your users?

Why would your company want to help advertisers distract your employees?

Why wouldn’t your company want to use a secure browser?

The COST of a business-focused browser may go up from free to some dollar amount. But take that in context – how much cost is there in your business trying to secure your browsers, limit your employees browsing or repairing systems damaged by a virus, worm or ransomware?

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Stale for a reason

Posted by sharepoinTony on December 12, 2011

The holidays are here and this blog has been neglected for long enough. The neglect is not without cause; I have simply been quite busy with SharePoint installations, upgrades, migrations , implementations and family matters. Everyone seems to experience the hectic feeling that seems to captivate us at the end of the calendar year. But the time has come for me to play a little “catch-up” with this blog.

I have a few things pending, so I won’t offer up much now, however I have started working on a few changes that I hope to have in place by New Years.

Until then,
Happy Holidays & thanks for browsing my blog!

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USPJ does a great job

Posted by sharepoinTony on September 26, 2010

I finally got to read through the latest Understanding SharePoint Journal and I have to say I was impressed.  

The journal is clear and concise, it is very informative, and it is very easy to read.  The level of detail is great for anyone learning about SharePoint and provides sufficient information to allow you to build something of value by the time you finish reading.  In fact, the examples allow you to follow along and build something while you are reading. 

The format of these journals focus on one topic at a time, allowing you to get more depth in the topic and learning more without feeling like you sat through a lecture.  The coverage of the topic is excellent and fits the audience well.  I highly recommending the Understanding SharePoint Journal to anyone trying to learn SharePoint or learn more about SharePoint.   I certainly learned more about SharePoint 2010 Workflows than I expected after reading this issue.

Kudo’s to Bjorn and the USPJ team.

Posted in Commentary, SharePoint Tools, Workflow | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

What not to do – buying web parts

Posted by sharepoinTony on September 10, 2010

This is a message to business managers trying to solve problems using SharePoint.

First, good job using SharePoint!

Now, please DO look at the options available to you that will help you get things done or enrich your SharePoint environment.

Please DON’T puchase web parts without talking to your SharePoint Administrator, Specialist or whomever you have focused on SharePoint.

Why?  Well, here is a short story (which I will call a fairy tale) that should make my point.

Once upon a time there was a department looking for a more robust solution than was available in their OOTB SharePoint 2007 environment.  They happily danced around while looking for solutions and discovered a shiny web part package that was priced very well.  The joyful department manager purchased the package and gleefully notified the SharePoint Administrator of the wonderful find.  The glorious admin reviewed and installed the tool and went about configuring for the perfectly good solution for the happy department.

The happy department requested a meeting.  Before they start using this new dandy they want a few changes.  The excitement filled the air as the team listed requirements for their solution.  What’s this?  They want to change the columns used by the solution’s installed list.  They want the solution to use existing InfoPath forms.   Gee, that seems reasonable doesn’t it?

A cloud of darkness appeared over the happy crowd, evil seemed to rain over them, sadness ensued.

You see children, the solution is a good one only if it meets the requirements set forth in the beginning.  Oops, no requirements had been written.  That’s OK as long as the needs to enrich the environment and make the identified task easier for the joyous department members are met.  Oops, the solution won’t allow those desired changes to the list.  Oops, it will not allow the use of InfoPath forms.

Hmm, what went wrong?

Then End.

Posted in Best Practice, Commentary, SharePoint Tools | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Daily Twitter Newspaper

Posted by sharepoinTony on September 8, 2010

I am really getting hooked on reading articles in the #sharepoint Daily and the SharePoinTony Daily !

Tweets containing links to articles, videos, and photos are captured and placed in an online newspaper format  for you to review.  I often miss many great tweets with excellent articles and reference material because of when they are tweeted and what I am doing (not watching twitter).  Reviewing the Daily daily helps me find those gems.

The topics sometimes range from things like PowerShell cmdlets, SharePoint governance, and Microsoft announcements to new books, vendor announcements and wacky photos.  This displays the breadth and depth of the SharePoint community.  Recently there was an article on “Boss Management” and another with photographs of Pakistan’s deadly flood.  These things are not gathered by a news organization and placed on these daily’s…these are things that SharePoint people are talking about, promoting and sharing with the community.

What I find interesting is that these daily papers can be personal or social, but are always very different.  It is amazing how different they are, even with the overlap and occasional duplicates between them, they are unique to the ‘owner’.  Thinking about it, if you read the SharePointTony Daily you are reading things that the people I follow are posting.  If you read the #sharepoint Daily you are looking at the posts by anyone in the twitter community who uses the #SharePoint hashtag.  If you create a daily with a narrow focus you can get a very personal “paper”.

In testing out this concept I created a daily paper using a SharePoint MVP and Certified Masters twitter list.  I also created one for my family, it obviously has a very small number of “articles” posted but it could be a great family sharing tool.  These have a much more personal feel and I can’t wait to monitor them over time to see how I feel about them months from now.

With the growing number of social media outlets, sites, and tools it can become overwhelming.  I hope the growth doesn’t create competing twitter Daily papers, but rather complimentary papers each with their own personality.  For example, I look forward to reviewing the EndUserSharePoint Daily and WonderLaura’s Daily to find other gems I missed or might have never seen.

Try searching for newspapers, check out the SharePoint 2010 Daily – it is slowing growing as people use the #sp2010 hashtag – and build your own. Look at the media with a different point of view and often you will see something new.

Posted in Commentary | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Moving MOSS 2007 SQL Databases part 3

Posted by sharepoinTony on July 27, 2010

If you haven’t seen the earlier posts on this topic: Part 1 and Part 2

D-Day has arrived, it is time to actually move my SharePoint 2007 sql databases to a different SQL Server.  My previous posts touched on the research I did leading up to this event.  This post will cover the actual tasks and outcome.  I am writing this as I go through the process, so let’s all cross our fingers that it goes smooth.

My Plans

A summary of my plan is as follows:

  1. Backup the SharePoint farm
  2. Backup all SQL db’s
  3. Move those backups off to a “safe” spot on the network.
  4. Start the process defined in the TechNet article Move all databases (Office SharePoint Server 2007)
  5. Backup the SSP’s
  6. Remove SSP’s
  7. Stop the Farm (services)
  8. Backup sql db’s
  9. Copy backups to new sql server
  10. Restore sql db’s on new sql server
  11. Apply roles, permissions, etc. to new sql server & restored db’s
  12. Restart Farm
  13. Restore SSP’s from backup
  14. Cross-fingers and check to see that our SharePoint intranet is up and running
  15. Go have a beer

Round 1

I attempted these steps and all went smoothly until I got to step 13 – Restore SSP’s from backup.  The restore made it to 50 percent complete then ran into this error:

SqlException: Timeout expired.  The timeout period elapsed prior to completion of the operation or the server is not responding.

After several attempts and a grueling session of troubleshooting I found that the SQL Server Agent was not running on my ‘new’ SQL server (SQL Server 2008 R2 64-bit, running on Windows Server 2008 64-bit).  The fun part was that I couldn’t get it to start.  The Agent would just stop after every attempt to start it.  I tried several solutions found on-line, none of which worked.

At this point my weekend was over and we needed the production server back online, so I did the restore BACK to the original SQL Server.  SharePoint was up and running fine very quickly.

Finally, I un-installed SQL Server 2008 R2 from the new server and started over.  After carefully reinstalling SQL Server 2008 R2 I no longer had any problem with the SQL Server Agent.  Hurray, now will the SSP restore work?  I have to wait until the next weekend to find out.

Round 2

Friday – A week has gone by and I am now preparing to walk through all of those steps again.  More confident than last time perhaps, but concerned at what I might run into this time around.  I will do all of the initial steps – the backups – tonight, Friday night.  Saturday morning I will start the scary part, removing the SSP’s and moving everything to the new SQL Server.

Saturday – Everything went well up to the restore, again. This time the error was an Access Denied error pointing to the SharePoint backup directory.  Short-story resolution: change the SQL Server account to use a Domain account, make sure that domain account had permissions to the backup folder and to the sql database files folder.  I also wanted to make sure I didn’t have any more trouble getting to the backup folder so I opened it up (temporarily) to several other accounts – my ssp and app-pool users.

The SSP Restore completed successfully, with zero errors and zero warnings.  Hurray!

Hold-on, the process outlined by Microsoft ends here.  What about my content databases?

Searching about I found that I need to use stsadm to detach the content databases, one by one, from the SharePoint server and add the databases on the new server.  So I begin this task and have no problems until I get to the Config database.  It detaches fine, but then the services become disabled and the attach (setconfigdb) results in “Value cannot be null.  Parameter name: str” !  What the?!  Time for Microsoft Support calls.

Support helped resolve the ‘migration’ issues, however now the SSP is not working-including search, and there are several other things missing.  I am told I will have to add any solutions back in, and find whatever features or web parts that might not work and fix them.  Also have to open a new ticket for ‘advanced troubleshooting’ on the SSP.  It has been a long Saturday.

Round 3

Sunday – Monday (ouch)

After hours on the phone and several rounds of running psconfig we were able to get a new Config db setup and restore over it to capture most of my configuration data.  The SSP is a different story.  We had to create a new SSP, which left me with a few more days of reconfiguring the SSP, Search, Audiences, etc. before I was “back” to normal.


Some good came from this pain… since I had to reconfigure the SSP I could apply some lessons learned since the original install.  Now I feel like my SSP is “better” than it was before. 😉   I improved our Search features, including a federated search we were using, I cleaned up some Audiences that were not used, etc.   I just had to find some improvements!

Posted in Commentary, Install and Configure, SharePoint 2007 | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Daily Twitter Newspapers

Posted by sharepoinTony on July 22, 2010

Some creative folks are compiling twitter feeds into a newspaper format on a daily basis. These papers capture twitter streams that have links and group them onto the page. The streams are from the previous day, but a ‘live twitter stream” is presented on the page – it seems to scramble everything over the past 24 hours and present it in that section.
Here are some of the Daily papers related to SharePoint:

#SharePoint2010 hastag stream:

#SharePoint hastag stream:

Laura Rogers Daily:

and your’s truly:

There may be other great ones out there, I just haven’t found ’em yet. Let me know if you find an interesting Daily paper related to SharePoint.

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SharePoint Conference “season” never ends

Posted by sharepoinTony on June 9, 2010

If your new to SharePoint, or have been working with it for awhile, you should notice that there are lots of conferences and events.  This is a good thing, actually it is a great thing for the community.  Variety and options are always good and in this case essential to bring information to the large and growing crowd of organizations using SharePoint.  If you are trying to choose a conference, often the options are overwhelming.  I know, I have been there.  I wanted to go to all of them and not miss a thing when I got started with SharePoint.

OK, to be honest, I still do…but that isn’t the point of this rambling article. I’ll get to the point soon, I promise.

Unless you are a SharePoint consultant or vendor you can’t attend all of these events due to budget and time constraints.  So don’t let it get you down, look at the volume of conferences and events as a great opportunity for YOU to work some of them into your schedule.  Think of it this way, what if there were only one SharePoint conference a year and you couldn’t attend because of some conflict?  Ouch!

As others have pointed out, choosing a conference depends on your needs and environment.  You have to decide what conference is best for you & your situation.  You have to look closely at the conference and the sessions offered to see what fits your needs.  My best tip is to review the session abstracts, do the work, and choose what works for your schedule and budget.

The bottom line is, I love SharePoint Conferences! I loved attending the Best Practices Conference last year & SPTechCon in San Fransisco earlier this year – and I got a lot out of useful information from both of them.  The SharePoint community is awesome and you get to experience that first-hand when you attend any one of the conferences or any of the other SharePoint events such as SharePoint Saturday (another awesome set of events!).  That is why I have a bone to pick with all of the conference organizers out there. [Ahh, now we are finally getting to the point.]

Here is the conflict as I see it…
  • SharePoint 2007 is huge, there is a very large user base, and many companies have invested in this platform.
  • Microsoft always pushes business to stay current and upgrade software.  With the huge 2007 base, they are eager to get everyone to move to SharePoint 2010.
  • Businesses always need to strech their investment, and they focus funds on strategic needs rather than constantly upgrading tools used to run their business.  Therefore, many, and I emphasize many, are not rushing to upgrade to SharePoint 2010.
  • Budget dollars are shrinking.  Training and conference spending is scrutinized more than ever before.  People have to justify going to conferences. If your company isn’t moving to SharePoint 2010 in the near-term you have a very hard time justifying your attendance at nearly any of the SharePoint conferences this year.

Conference organizers (and Microsoft) fail to recognize these points (IMO) and are making it hard for many (like me) to attend.  I know, I know, many of the conferences have some 2007 content.  But we are talking scrutinized justification here.   Would you pay for someone to go to a conference where only 25% of the conference was applicable to your company?  10%?  5%?  Business managers are looking for higher percentages than that.

Thousands are attending SharePoint Conferences and events, but that doesn’t mean businesses only want 2010 content. It means there are thousands who are new to SharePoint and want to start with the latest version.  It means that some businesses are ready to upgrade and are looking for the 2010 focus.  It means that the huge SharePoint 2007 community is left without a conference.

Will there be a conference with lots of topics around migrating to 2010 next year when many businesses are finally considering the upgrade?  What about 2007 topics for the next 2 years?

Companies feel like they are behind the curve often enough because software and hardware vendors continue to innovate and push those upgrades (a good thing).  That is why we need conference organizers to bridge the gap and provide content that leads them to the latest version.  We just need them to do it closer to the pace of most businesses internal software lifecycle.

The truth is that most companies don’t want to upgrade until after new release settles in – often after sp1.  Businesses approve attendance for conferences that help them deal with today’s challenges more often than they do for ‘preparing for next year’.  They want to know that something will be addressed in this quarter or next quarter because of what is gained at a conference.

So Conference Organizers, you are missing a whole segment of the market and leaving lots of potential customers behind.

That is my opinion.
Since the original posting of this rant, the organizers of SPTechCon and The Best Practices Conference have communicated and corrected some of my beliefs.  These specific conferences do in-fact have a significant amount of content either applicable to or directly focused on SharePoint 2007. Clarity in my message was needed and I am thankful for the input.
I still feel that the marketing and focus of some conferences are overly “2010”  and that feeds the hype created by Microsoft for the purpose of pushing upgrades on customers.   That said, I have to agree to the valid points made in the comments section of EndUserSharePoint by these organizers.  Their response is further evidence that this community is awesome and demonstrates another reason why I loved attending the above-mentioned conferences.  My Thanks to David Rubinstein and Bill English for your insights and efforts, we all appreciate how much you care about your attendees!

Posted in Commentary, SharePoint 2007 | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »