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October 2009 Entries
SharePoint 2010 Emerges from NDA

With the start of the SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas, the much awaited information on SharePoint 2010 is beginning to emerge from NDA. For those SharePoint community members itching to share information there have been a flurry of obviously pre-prepared articles on the changes and improvements we can come to expect.

My only caveat at this early stage (the product has yet to reach public beta) is that many of the articles are a bit on the light side, so the depth of material like we have with MOSS 2007 is absent at the moment.

Two blogs to check out are those of Spencer Harbar and Andrew Connell. Both have a bit of a history in Web Content Management, but Spencer has also got a good bit of security and enterprise deployment in his background and the spread of articles released by the guys in the last 24 hours is a good taster of what is to come.

I predict the head strain that you get when introduced to Shared Service Providers will continue with Service Applications, but I wholeheartedly recommend sticking with them. I think that the flexibility that you get from them will be really useful and it is worth taking the time to understand them.

And yes, no big apologies for a meta blog entry – I don’t get my hands on SharePoint 2010 until next month, so I’m standing on the shoulders of giants here.

Spencer Harbar

Spencer has blogged a few entries that then link on to articles on the subject matter, I’ve linked to the blog articles which I think is the courteous thing to do:

  • SharePoint 2010 Developer Tools Overview – We got a good hint of this in the Visual Studio 2010 introduction at Tech Ed last year, finally SharePoint gets better support as a development platform.
  • SharePoint 2010 Enterprise Readiness – I was going to summarise what Spencer had written here, then realised I was simply going to list the whole thing. All of the elements that Spencer has chosen to highlight are real issues with MOSS 2007, it wasn’t impossible with MOSS it is just that things could be better. Managed Accounts and Service Applications are a couple of highlights to take a look at.
  • SharePoint 2010 Service Applications Part 1 – Ok, so it is a taster article and leads you in to what is to come. I’m looking forward to what has been done to replace Shared Service Providers – yes those!

Andrew Connell

Andrew has so much to say that, like Spencer, his introductory article is split.

posted @ Tuesday, October 20, 2009 10:25 AM | Feedback (0)
That was the week that was

So where do I start? I’m in quite a different working arrangement at the moment, spending the working week in Basingstoke of all places. We’ve getting towards completion a project for the website of a High Street retailer and if you know anything about retail you know that the bulk of their annual sales fall around the Christmas period.

I’ve worked on a handful of retail websites in my time, only a handful for a number of reasons. One of them is that there are very few organisations that are big enough to be able to afford to run a sizeable presence on the internet, and of these perhaps one or two are based in Scotland. So the opportunity for a Microsoft based Internet Retail job is quite a rare one.

So I’ve been down in Basingstoke for a few weeks, backfilling for some of the team members who work in the “pre-live” team – the team that handles the final stages of taking a development project to live – checking deployment, managing the pre-live environments which tend to be a half-way house between the free-for-all that is a development environment and the “don’t touch” of a live environment.

My primary role is to do with Microsoft SQL Server administration, so I had to swap my SharePoint hat off and start thinking of life in terms of T-SQL, transactions and general stability. I’ve also had great opportunity to get my hands on environments with replication – another thing that only tends to live in the larger environments. As well as that I’ve also had opportunity to muck in with the deployment of environments – all good stuff for someone with a development background. I’ve always said that a distinction between Developers and Infrastructure consultants is the willingness to subvert change control and make changes to live operational systems, and then to forget what was changed. Infrastructure consultants tend to be a bit more measured in their approach to change. I think this may be because support etc tend to fall more to Infrastructure types and if you have had the joy of live support you learn to be a bit more careful.

Repeatability of complete build is also an interesting situation too – automated build goes a long way to checking over a solution, but getting from a “base” operating system to a running website is a complex beast and demands a combined set of skills to build on a single machine – split this over a number of different servers in different roles and you also have to understand networking, firewalls, and all that stuff too.

Posts will be sporadic while I have a lot more time doing and less time thinking, but keep up with me over on twitter - http://twitter.com/alistairl/

posted @ Friday, October 16, 2009 5:56 PM | Feedback (0)
Create custom movie settings for Windows Movie Maker

I’ve got a bullet camera and solid state video recorder that I use on my motorcycle from time to time, and I use Windows Movie Maker to edit them a little and then upload to YouTube. The unit I have is the so-called MiniDVR1 from dogcamsport – which creates videos at 640x480 resolution at 25 fps.

The only thing is since I upgraded to Vista Ultimate, it offers all sorts of excellent HD based resolutions in Windows which are way over the top for the budget recording kit I have. I found this guide on Microsoft.com on how to create a custom output profile which is nearer to the quality level I record at.

Be careful to follow the instructions on the settings – i found that missing a step meant that the profile wasn’t read by Windows Movie Maker.

The guys at dogcam pointed out they have a new version of the MiniDVR – superb :)

posted @ Sunday, October 11, 2009 3:09 PM | Feedback (0)