Cloud and Microsoft technologies enthusiast architect in Switzerland RSS 2.0
# Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Title : Delivering Happiness – A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose

Author : Tony Hsieh

Summary :
This is the first time since a long time that I did not read anything else than SharePoint books. Tony Hsieh is the CEO of Zappos.com, a e-Commerce platform for shoes, clothes, bags and a lot of other things. In his book, Tony traces his path from his boyhood and his first motivations, through the current state his flagship company. Going into several details or anecdotes of the building of first LinkExchange, then Zappos.

The book is split in three sections, the first setting the stage, describing his first attempts for businesses during his childhood, then at college and at university, finishing with the funding of Zappos through a self-made incubator. The second section focus on how he and his team built the culture of the company, some tricks to be better than some competitors and how they made Zappos the number one of the customer service (some other companies should take some examples…). The third section talks more about the public communications and marketing of the brand before selling Zappos to Amazon.

Book Review :
Wow ! Smile I read this book like a novel. When you start, you want to continue reading.

Reading how an entrepreneur starts, fails then starts again and fights against external factors like logistics issues or economic crisis is really interesting. Seeing also how he changed his focus from just making money to make everyone happy with all the way to this end is very exciting. Definitely, some ideas or variations of them can be taken from him, even if I think that most of them can (only) apply to start-ups. Some others are more applicable to retail companies than other sectors. It is a very stimulating book. I don’t want to emphasize too much on the only one less-positive point I found : one cannot let me think that at the end, writing such book was not with some marketing or sales improvements in mind, which I would totally accept.

Finally, the concept of “delivering happiness” worth on itself to be spread and tried to be applied. A book to read for all enterpreneurs.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011 9:31:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Book Review
# Thursday, August 11, 2011

Title : SharePoint 2010 User's Guide: Learning Microsoft's Collaboration and Productivity Platform

Authors : Seth Bates, Tony Smith

Summary :
Starting from the basics of the use of SharePoint 2010, this book starts with a description of sites and workspaces in SharePoint Foundation 2010 before going in some details of SharePoint Server 2010. After that, it goes to the lists and libraries and how to use and configure them, before addressing the workflows, pages and web parts. Two chapters are respectively dedicated to the personalization features and to the Office Services of SharePoint. The book ends with 3 cases of usage of the before-mentioned functionalities of SharePoint, with document management, project collaboration and finally dashboards and reports.

Book Review :
If you want a step-by-step guide to SharePoint 2010, it is definitely the one you need. It is the 2010 version of the book I reviewed one year and half ago. Nevertheless, it is efficient and guides the reader through all the steps of configuring your SharePoint environment, as a power user or as a regular user. Even if I can say that I am a quite advanced user and that I know pretty well the platform, it is a good thing to make a stop on this book. You always learn some little tricks here and there that your users will see and not you, because you always have the head down to the difficult things. On the other side, it is not a book for administrators. As the title mentions it, it is a user’s guide. Finally, I was looking for a good resources to help consultants starting on SharePoint and with this book I think I found the right tool.

Thursday, August 11, 2011 12:15:00 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Book Review | SharePoint
# Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Title : Pro  SharePoint 2010 Solution Development

Authors : Ed Hild, Chad Wach

Summary :
After a quick introduction to the new features of SharePoint 2010 and how to develop solutions using Visual Studio, the authors continue with an overview of what Office development can offer to the users. Then, they continue by explaining how to integrate Excel workbooks with an interesting collaboration between Excel, InfoPath and SharePoint. After Excel, it is the turn to Word and how to get SharePoint list data in a document or creating a PowerPoint presentation to build reports automatically. The way external data are consumed is presented with an example of integration of LOB data into Outlook, before an interesting example of a site provisioning using a workflow designed in Visio. The last chapters go through the use of Access, Visio Services and the use of external services like Bing Map in a SharePoint application.

Book Review :
At first glance, I was surprised, given the title of the book, that not a lot of SharePoint development was explained. In fact, the complete title of the book “Pro SharePoint 2010 Solution Development – Combining .NET, SharePoint, and Office 2010” should be read to understand what is inside. Not a big deal, as nowadays, integrating an enterprise solution like SharePoint with the Office applications is almost a daily job. And for that, this book is really good. Rather than trying to absolutely have standalone SharePoint applications, it is pragmatic and proposes business solutions to help people working in their familiar environments (Excel, Word or PowerPoint). This book proposes a lot of practical examples with possible improvements that at least can give ideas when the need for solution for your information worker appears. Nice examples, many samples, if you want a good Office / SharePoint development book, it is a good one.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011 8:02:39 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Book Review | SharePoint
# Wednesday, July 06, 2011

During a migration from SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2010, there was a site containing several Forms Libraries and, among them, a library relying on a template calling the UserGroup web service of SharePoint.

So, after the migration of the libraries themselves, the change of the datasources to point to the correct servers and different little other things, we faced the error below when the form was loading :

infopathsoaperror

Or, in full text : “The SOAP response indicates that an error occurred on the server:

Exception of type 'Microsoft.SharePoint.SoapServer.SoapServerException' was thrown.
<detail><errorstring xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/soap/">The parameter name cannot be empty or bigger than 255 characters.</errorstring><errorcode xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/soap/">0x80131600</errorcode></detail>”

Luckily, my colleague Julien told me about the not enough popular blog post of Ian Chivers about using the User Group web service. But, it was not the end. Even after the change of the GetUserCollectionFromGroupX.xsd file as written in the before mentioned post, the message was still displaying. It seemed that the parameter sent to the web service was empty, so the question was “how to set the parameter” ? Our requirement was not to have a dynamic parameter to be set at runtime. It was sufficient to have a constant group sent to the web service. Therefore, after having extracted the files composing the .xsn file, modified the .xsd one, we had to modify the GetUserCollectionFromGroupX.xml to precise the parameter, as follows :

1 <dfs:myFields xmlns:dfs="http://schemas.microsoft.com/office/infopath/2003/dataFormSolution" xmlns:tns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/soap/directory/" xmlns:my="http://schemas.microsoft.com/office/infopath/2003/myXSD/2010-12-22T15:30:19" xmlns:soap="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/soap/envelope/" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema"> 2 <dfs:queryFields> 3 <tns:GetUserCollectionFromGroup> 4 <tns:groupName>TheGroup</tns:groupName> 5 </tns:GetUserCollectionFromGroup> 6 </dfs:queryFields> 7 <dfs:dataFields> 8 <tns:GetUserCollectionFromGroupResponse> 9 <tns:GetUserCollectionFromGroupResult> 10 <tns:GetUserCollectionFromGroup> 11 <tns:groupName> 12 </tns:groupName> 13 </tns:GetUserCollectionFromGroup> 14 </tns:GetUserCollectionFromGroupResult> 15 </tns:GetUserCollectionFromGroupResponse> 16 </dfs:dataFields> 17 </dfs:myFields>

The steps after that were easy : opening the .xsf file in design, saving it as a .xsn one and publishing it to the target library.

So, after several hours, we were finally able to connect again the web services, but we spent a quite amount of time in trying, googling and so on. It was then obvious to share and also keep a self note about this topic.

Ah, yes, before closing this post, I take the occasion to congratulate my friend and colleague for his nomination as a Windows Azure MVP : @bsoulier (Benjamin Soulier). Well Done man !

Wednesday, July 06, 2011 9:45:52 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] -
InfoPath | SharePoint
# Monday, April 04, 2011

TD2011logo If you attend the Microsoft Techdays in Geneva that are taking place tomorrow (Tuesday) and Wednesday, you are welcome to meet the Cambridge Technology Partners team. On the booth, there will be a demo showing an application, SharePlus, made by SouthLabs used to access SharePoint content. We will show you how you can still have your documents and data at your hand, with an iPad.

This year, the TechDays will focus on the Microsoft’s answer regarding the cloud with Azure. Indeed, several presentations will speak about this technology.

And don’t forget to attend the two presentations of my friend Benjamin Soulier, with “Les nouveautés de Windows Azure”, Tuesday at 3pm in the development track, and with “Le meilleur des deux mondes : SharePoint et Azure”, Wednesday at 4pm, also in the development track.

Monday, April 04, 2011 9:29:11 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] -
SharePoint | TechDays
# Saturday, February 05, 2011

Title : Microsoft SharePoint 2010 – Building Solutions for SharePoint 2010

Author : Sahil Malik

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Summary :
This book explores different areas of the SharePoint 2010 developments starting from the beginning namely the deployment using the feature and solution framework and the development of webparts.
It then continues with the different aspects of accessing data stored in SharePoint, ADO.NET Data Servers, the REST API, writing custom WCF services and also the Client Object Model.
Two chapters focus on the SharePoint data management, talking, among other things, about scalability, list throttling, CAML and LINQ queries.
The last chapters describes the BCS, the workflows and the Business Intelligence features of SharePoint 2010.

Book Review :
I don’t think there is a need to present Sahil Malik, the famous MVP. The book is taking practical examples, and what I really liked is the first chapters about the build of the SharePoint development box along with the other environments needed. Moreover, whenever it was possible, he used Sandboxed solutions to illustrate the concepts and the code presented is clear and easy to follow.
The only thing I might say is that he could have gone more deeply in some concepts, but that is likely because with some experience you expect more in-depth content.
But, at the end, it is an excellent book and with the previous book I read, you have a quite complete reference on SharePoint 2010 development.

Saturday, February 05, 2011 2:30:00 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Book Review | SharePoint
# Wednesday, February 02, 2011

orchardlogo The last week-end I wanted to give a try to the install of the free and open-source content management application, named Orchard. I knew before that Orchard is based on the .NET framework 4.0 and that could cause some issues with my existing blog engine (dasBlog). Nevertheless, I decided to take the chance and to try to make then working together.

First, the deployment. This is really simple as I took the Orchard web which only needs to be copied on the web server. This did not cause any problem.

Then, update of the configuration and this became more difficult. I had to make the blog engine virtual directory to specifically use the .NET 2.0 framework and breaking the inheritance of web.config, using the <location> element. The Orchard install then went almost fine, but the blog was in a very bad state, complaining that the file eurl.axd/[AVeryBigNumber] was not found.

In fact, as soon as you set your IIS root application to run the .NET framework 4.0, no matter the configuration inheritance is broken or using the .NET 2.0 framework using a dedicated application pool, the sub virtual directories detect that the version 4.0 is present. For a complete explanation, please read the ASP.NET 4 breaking-changes whitepaper.

The conclusion of this journey is that I had to revert back to a plain .NET 2.0 runtime in order to have this blog back up and running.

Thanks to the Brinkster support team who spend long time to help me and to try different configurations on the server. But unfortunately, except having another web site, there is no solution, as changing a registry value is of course not possible in such environment.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011 9:02:05 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Blog Life | Programming
# Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Sometimes, checking permissions on a SharePoint site is quite a hassle and I several times had permissions issues especially when working on an anonymous access enabled application (see one reference here) and you don't know where it is coming from.

I found a tool that can be very helpful in discovering the permission details for an item or a page.

See the article on the Rodney Viana's blog, and the tool download on Codeplex

Wednesday, December 01, 2010 6:07:02 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] -
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