Cloud and Microsoft technologies enthusiast architect in Switzerland RSS 2.0
# Thursday, June 10, 2010

Title : Business Process Change - A Manager's Guide to Improving, Redesigning, and Automating

Authors : Paul Harmon

Summary :
In the software industry, BPM or Business Process Management is present since the mid-90's. Even earlier according to different sources. But nothing is really new and nothing has really changed since Henry Ford in 1903 when he started Ford Motor to design and build a high-quality but easy to assemble car. What is done since ages in the manufactory industries tried to be applied to many other sectors.

Nowadays, having the best product on the market is not enough and companies have to constantly adapt themselves to changing parameters such as new competitors, suppliers, new technologies and so on. Today, it seems that the only way for a company to survive is its business processes and its ability to change them quickly (others would put the word "agile" here, but I keep myself making this shortcut).

The book starts by explaining the value chain and what is process management. A whole part is dedicated to the modelisation of the processes before going into BPM, including Six Sigma. In the middle of the book, some technologies are explored, such as XML and some ERP systems without forgetting UML.

Review :
Really good book, with excellent explanation. What I liked was also the level of details and the numerous examples and case studies. Nevertheless, if requires a little knowledge of what is BPM and is definitely not a technical book (I knew this before reading it, but it is more for clarification as most of the posts I do on this blog are technical). In addition, there are a lot of diagrams that help to understand the concepts explained throughout the book.

Thursday, June 10, 2010 11:31:36 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Book Review
# Saturday, June 05, 2010
The first part of this article focused on how to create a taxonomy with SharePoint 2010. This one goes a bit beyond and describes how to use the defined taxonomy
Saturday, June 05, 2010 7:14:11 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] -
SharePoint
# Thursday, May 13, 2010

The 8th of May, Microsoft released a set of two Information Worker Demonstration Virtual Machines with the 2010 wave of Office products. It includes the following software :

  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • SQL Server 2008 R2
  • Office Communication Server 2007 R2
  • Visual Studio 2010
  • SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise Edition
  • Office Web Applications
  • FAST Search for SharePoint 2010
  • Project Server 2010
  • Office Professional Plus 2010
  • Visio 2010
  • Project 2010
  • Office Communicator 2007 R2

To download and for the instructions, it is here : http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=751fa0d1-356c-4002-9c60-d539896c66ce&displaylang=en

Thursday, May 13, 2010 10:49:53 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] -
SharePoint
# Thursday, May 06, 2010

Microsoft revealed couple of weeks ago a new service called docs.com.

This service offers the possibility to share Office 2010 documents and integrate directly them in Facebook. In other words, it will add a new tab in your Facebook profile, named Docs, where you will have all your published documents.

It will be possible to either upload Office 2010 documents, or to use the web version of Office 2010 to create your documents and publish them, except that it will not allow concurrent edition of the files, like in the Office Web Apps of SharePoint 2010.

The question I have in mind then is : what about Skydrive ? I have a Skydrive account which enables me to share documents in my Microsoft Live ecosystem, so what brings docs.com that is not in Skydrive ? How will Microsoft position this new product ?

Currently, the product is still in Beta and I am sure that new amazing features will be added in the next weeks or months that will help the users answering the questions....

Thursday, May 06, 2010 10:03:46 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] -
web
# Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Designing a SharePoint 2010 workflow in Visio 2010 is just great. You can put the shapes on the design surface, draw the transitions, and it is really interesting for people that need visualization of their workflows. Unfortunately, this is where it stops. Because there is no direct link between Visio and SharePoint (meaning that no information from SharePoint comes to Visio), it is not possible to set the conditions or roles or users to the shapes. In other words, you can put a decision shape, but you cannot set the condition itself.

This is why the Visio file has to be exported into a .vwi (Visio Workflow Interchange) and then imported into SharePoint Designer 2010. After that, you have to set the conditions and all the parameters to the different shapes that are part of the workflow. Ok, so far, so good. But, how can I take my workflow and import it somewhere else ? How could I reuse the workflow with the parameters ?

When you export a workflow from SPD, you cannot import it, even if it is not in the same site. The message specifies that “This workflow cannot be imported because it was created in SharePoint Designer for a different site, or the original workflow has been moved or deleted. To move a workflow between sites, use Save as Template (.wsp file) instead of a Visio workflow drawing.

I tried to see what is inside a .vwi file to check what was different between the original .vwi file and the one exported by SPD. To do this, it is possible to rename the .vwi file into .zip and to look inside the compressed folder. The main difference is that an additional file has been generated, named “workflow.xoml.rules” "workflow.xoml.wfconfig.xml". Deleting this file will make this file importable again and, surprisingly, all the settings that were set in the SPD are still there.

Ok, I did it several times, in the same environment (AD), but I can imagine that it is not a “supported” way to move workflows, knowing that exporting a .wsp and deploying it is the recommended way…

Tuesday, May 04, 2010 9:49:52 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [1] -
SharePoint
# Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome on stage Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 !!!

Since today, both products are available for MSDN subscribers, earlier than I expected to say the truth. At the time I am writing this post, I already started the download :-)

Thursday, April 22, 2010 10:49:25 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] -
SharePoint
# Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Friday last week, the SharePoint Team announced a major milestone in the SharePoint 2010 release process. One day after the TechDays in Geneva, Microsoft has frozen the code of Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010, meaning that it gives a go to release the software to the vendors.

Shortly, the bits should be available on MSDN (probably by the end of this week), but the official launch will take place the 12th of May.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010 8:32:00 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] -
SharePoint
# Friday, April 09, 2010

Because I had to move my virtual machines to VMWare to enable the 64-bits guest operating systems to be installed (for SharePoint 2010), I encountered a very weird problem.

When using the NATed network, the guest OS was able to connect the Internet, but then, I had a separate network on my LAN and it was not very convenient. That is the reason why I switched them to "Bridge" on one of my NIC. The guest OS was receiving an IP address from the DHCP, was able to access the local resources (router, shared printers, etc) but impossible to go on the web.

When pinging an internet server, I received a "host unreachable" message and I tried things like "route print", setting a fixed IP, nothing solved the issue. And googling was not that successful as many people had more or less the same issues and their resolution did not help me.

In a final try, I launched a nslookup for www.google.com and got a "DNS request timed out", which was strange as the guest DNS settings were exactly the same as my Windows 7 host OS. That popped something in my mind and tried to ping google and then browse google using its IP address directly and......it worked !

The problem was then the name resolution that was not done for the guest OS. I was then able to refine my search on the web and found this : http://communities.vmware.com/message/1472066 . At the end of the thread, the solution was there "...it turned out that ShrewSoft VPN client was interfering with VMWare...". As I have Shrew VPN installed, I checked the status of this service : started.

The final word is that I stopped the "ShrewSoft DNS Proxy Deamon" and everything was working like a charm, at least on the VMWare machines side.

Friday, April 09, 2010 12:34:33 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] -
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