Archive for the ‘SharePoint 2007’ category

New Blog Site! This will be my last entry on this one.

March 23, 2010

Great news! I will now be blogging at http://www.rharbridge.com which is my new blog site. This is a major move for myself as I intend to try and focus on blogging on other topics besides just SharePoint in the future, so I didn’t want to clutter this one.

I will be leaving this site intact with all of it’s entries (so it doesn’t break anyone linking to it), but I would love for anyone and everyone to come to my new site and let me know what they think. How can it be improved? What errors or issues do you see?

Looking forward to sharing and learning with you in the future,
Richard Harbridge

SharePoint Camp in Toronto on March 20th

March 11, 2010

If you live in the Toronto area and like learning, technology, SharePoint, or wonderful people you NEED to come to SharePoint camp on March 20th.

http://www.torontosharepointcamp.com/Pages/Default.aspx

Go ahead, register at the link above. I’ll wait here patiently.

I attended it last year and gave the event a 5 star review: http://sharepointkb.wordpress.com/2009/01/26/toronto-sharepoint-camp-review-5-stars/

For me personally this was really my first ‘community conference’ and is what got me interested and involved with the SharePoint community. Up until this time I had been answering questions on the forums, blogging tidbits, attended the odd user group session, and was working away on my own (with contact with various experts) but had never really embraced the community. Seeing that there were so many other passionate people out there with their own experiences, skills, and opinions really had a powerful impact on me both professionally and personally.

  1. I wanted to hear the challenges other SharePoint professionals had experienced and how they overcame them.
  2. Technology is one thing, but I loved that topics on things like mind mapping introduced me to new ways of working and thinking I had not used before.
  3. Meeting people became a passion of mine. I was always reserved and fairly quiet at Conferences, but knowing this was a community event, and that I wasn’t representing my company or their interests, and instead was representing my own allowed me to connect and meet with people in a very different way. I have found this to be far more enjoyable, beneficial, and powerful than ‘corporate’, or even pay conference/events personally.
  4. It made me want to share many of the experiences and things that I had learned with everyone else. I had presented at internal conferences, or other industry events, but never in a free, personal, and community driven environment. Seeing the great presenters, activity, and energy at the event it was hard to contain my excitement at becoming a part of it.
  5. I brought up the idea of a Mississauga SharePoint User Group at the event and found that other people were also interested (or had similar thoughts). We all went away and now a bit over a year later we have a Mississauga SharePoint User Group that allows us to see/share/and learn more without that difficult Toronto commute.

Trying to explain how much the community and people I have met have enriched my career and my personal life is very difficult. I just thought I would share a little bit with you and really hope to see many of you out there on the 20th. Even if you aren’t interested in SharePoint :)

Take care,
Richard Harbridge

SharePoint Tips from Indiana Jones?

December 23, 2009

I just commented on Michael Gannotti’s latest post “The Adventure Begins… Productivity Adventures” about how Indiana Jones had a lot of good business lessons. I decided I could probably expand that into a short blog post in case someone out there finds this stuff interesting.

So what sort of lessons, or tips can Indiana Jones teach us that are related to achieving a successful SharePoint?

  1. You have to have the courage to take on something challenging.
    Indiana Jones never ran away from a Challenge (well not the ones that mattered). It’s important to first be ready and dedicated to accomplishing a goal. SharePoint is a very challenging thing to implement successfully, and the business problems it helps solve are even more daunting. Courage always helps.
  2. Know your limits and what your good at.
    Remember that scene when Indiana Jones is being chased by that giant unstoppable boulder? While courage is important you still need to know your limits and when it makes sense to ‘run away’. Or in a business sense cut your losses. Sometimes things are unstoppable and we have to be ready to admit it to ourselves to help us survive (hopefully with lots of lessons learned so we don’t do it again). Not every idea you come up with is going to work. SharePoint certainly has limits of it’s own and you also need to understand these.
  3. Simplicity is often the best option. (Gun vs Sword)
    There is a scene, Gun vs Sword, where a scary bad guy is waving his sword around and there is a build up where you expect a big fight. Instead Indy pulls out his gun and just shoots the guy. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DzcOCyHDqc) Sometimes the solution to something is simple and there is no need to make it more complicated. This is especially important for SharePoint as complexity often leads to bad choices being made, especially when it’s unnecessary.
  4. You need to know your stuff and be ready to learn.
    Indy is a super subject matter expert and professor in his field with plenty of knowledge about history, archeology and foreign lands. If you are diving into something like SharePoint you should hit the books first, and will need to learn a ton. Not only about the technical aspects but also about the business, and business processes you will be effecting by your SharePoint implementation.
  5. You don’t have to be a superhero.
    Indiana Jones was more or less an ordinary guy who did extraordinary things. We can all be just as extraordinary as Indy. Anyone can implement SharePoint successfully. I mean that.
  6. Some things never change.
    Indy uses pretty old fashioned methods, and techniques often and they work. There is no need to reinvent the wheel if something works. Think about even the traps he faces, most of these are extremely ancient, but still serve their purpose (albeit they aren’t up to the daunting task of taking out Indy). In SharePoint the challenges we face aren’t new. They aren’t unique either.
  7. Know what your are afraid of, or bad at and let other people help.
    Indy was afraid of snakes. He knew it, and we all knew it (because he shared that openly). As a result it is much easier to work around the fears.
  8. You can’t do it alone.
    He also wasn’t the best at everything, and without the help of other people could never have achieved all that he did. Implementing SharePoint successfully is absolutely a team effort and involves many people working hard and effectively together.
  9. You have to believe in yourself and it doesn’t hurt to be unique or have your own image.
    Indiana Jones has a very unique outfit and look. When you see it, it tells you a lot about him and his style, personality and attitude. Your own portal should also have a brand, it’s own attitude even. You also have to believe in it, and get other people to as well. If you don’t think SharePoint is a good  thing, then why should anyone else?
  10. You have to see things through and stay focused.
    Indiana Jones always stayed focused on the treasure or end goal. Constantly moving towards it regardless of significant obstacles. It’s a long difficult journey or adventure to that treasure of an effective SharePoint implementation, but when you get there it is absolutely worth it.

This was fun and I hope you enjoyed it or got something out of it,
Richard Harbridge

Indiana Jones teaches us a lot about important business things. As an example I will go through a couple here.

1. You have to have the courage to take on something challenging. Indiana Jones never ran away from a Challenge (well not the ones that mattered). It’s important to first be ready and dedicated to accomplishing a goal.

2. You need to know your stuff and be ready to learn. He is a super subject matter expert and professor in his field with plenty of knowledge about history, archeology and foreign lands. If you are diving into something like SharePoint you should hit the books first, and will need to learn a ton.

3. You don’t have to be a superhero. Indiana Jones was more or less an ordinary guy who did extraordinary things. We can all be just as extraordinary as Indy.

4. Know what your are afraid of, and work around it. Indy was afraid of snakes. He knew it, and we all knew it (because he shared that openly). As a result it is much easier to work around the fears.

5. You have to believe in yourself and it doesn’t hurt to be unique or have your own image. Indiana Jones has a very unique outfit and look. When you see it, it tells you a lot about him and his style, personality and attitude.

6. You have to see things through and stay focused. Indiana Jones always stayed focused on the treasure or end goal. Constantly moving towards it regardless of significant obstacles.

So I think the photo-shopped picture is perfect Mike! Looking forward to seeing more from your adventures soon,
Richard Harbridge

SharePoint Saturdays

November 20, 2009

One other small update. I will be presenting at both SharePoint Saturday DC on December 5th and at SharePoint Saturday Virginia Beach on January 9th. Closer to the dates or when I have something worth sharing from my slides I will post it here as well.

If anyone from the Toronto area wants to come I will be driving down both times I think, and so I have open spots in my car if you want to come :). Just email me harbrich <{at}> hotmail.com and we can work it out.

Take care,
Richard Harbridge

Canadian SharePoint User Groups Galore

November 20, 2009

There are more than a bazillion posts now out there about SharePoint and Office 2010. Yes I counted them. So I will just reference this address and tell you to visit it and get the beta’s and have fun: http://www.microsoft.com/2010/en/.

A whole slew of things are going on that are also exciting. In Canada we have two new user groups for SharePoint.

There is the Mississauga SharePoint User Group (http://www.mspug.ca) and the Calgary SharePoint User Group (http://www.calspug.com).

Let’s not forget the other great SharePoint User Groups in Canada in fact here is a list of all of them!

  1. Toronto SharePoint User Group – http://www.tspug.com/
  2. Mississauga SharePoint User Group – http://www.mspug.ca/
  3. Calgary SharePoint User Group – http://www.calspug.com/
  4. Quebec SharePoint User Group – http://www.sharepointquebec.org/
  5. Ottawa SharePoint User Group – http://sharepoint.microsoft.com/sharepoint/worldwide/ca/ottawa/
  6. Vancouver SharePoint User Group – http://www.vanspug.com/
  7. Victoria SharePoint User Group – http://www.vsharepoint.com/
  8. Winnipeg SharePoint User Group – http://www.sharepointgroups.org/wsug/

P.S – Microsoft please update your website here: http://sharepoint.microsoft.com/sharepointcanada/Community/Pages/default.aspx

Hope this helps someone and GET INVOLVED the SharePoint community is awesome!
Richard Harbridge

SPC09 and The Mississauga SharePoint User Group

October 27, 2009

Well the SharePoint Conference 2009 in Las Vegas is over. I will be watching the many recorded sessions I didn’t get to see (which was quite a few of them) and really enjoyed the opportunity of talking with so many familiar faces in the SharePoint community as well as a bunch of ones I had not met before. I even got to be on camera a couple times thanks to Dux’s great “what would you do if SharePoint never existed” videos (http://duxquax.com/what-rharbridge-would-do-if-sharepoint-never and http://duxquax.com/what-wonderlaura-would-do-if-sharepoint-never) and photo happy SharePointers.

I also have to admit that this was the first large conference where I relied on twitter for my updates and direction and it didn’t fail me once. Knowing where everyone was, what they were up to, their opinions on content, as well as reading some of the live blogs really made the entire conference experience much more enjoyable and engaging for me personally.

On Live Blogging

Among many others I did some live blogging with EndUserSharePoint to help share the experience and if your interested I can be found in group two here: http://www.endusersharepoint.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/SPC09-AllStreams.htm

Some simple lessons learned on live blogging:

  1. Get to the session early so you can score an electrical outlet. There aren’t many of these and they go pretty fast.
  2. It’s probably easier to record everything and add thoughts to points after the session is over than it is to articulate those thoughts while still maintaining concentration on the presentation.
  3. Don’t transcribe everything. Just grab the important points (if everything seems important only the most important or the points that stand out to you personally).

Do you have any thoughts on how I can improve?

I was a little sad that all the sessions I have seen so far were so high level, but considering 2010 was new to almost everyone there it did make sense. For me personally my favorite parts were the discussion group sessions (especially the social computing one) with the Microsoft teams as well as the IT Analyst session where I got an opportunity to talk a bit more in depth with Tom Rizzo and many industry analysts about SharePoint, the economy, partnerships, and Microsoft’s direction.

Be sure to check out things like Joel’s thoughts on the conference/2010, the videos at http://www.mssharepointconference.com and the many blogs that covered the event and are now talking about SharePoint 2010 features and changes.

User Groups and SharePoint Camp!

Upon returning to a much colder Canadian climate I could see the excitement was still very much alive. In fact just last night (Monday October 26th) the Mississauga SharePoint User Group had it’s first meeting at Microsoft! A huge congratulations to Ray Outair for his passion in getting this going as well as Eli, Bill and everyone else who has supported this and came out to the first meeting. For me personally this is really important as it offers many people who are unable to get downtown Toronto for the Toronto SharePoint User Group sessions a chance to still talk, share, and support one another.

As a reminder there will be another SharePoint 2010 session hosted by the Toronto SharePoint User Group this wednesday (October 28, 2009) which will also be shared via live meeting. I will post the linkage onto twitter as soon as the live meeting address is confirmed.

Here is the session abstract:

Presented by Savash Alic (Microsoft Canada) Principal Specialist, Ent Sales – SharePoint (MOSS, WSS, MCDBA, MCSE certified, MBA)

Join TSPUG for a special meeting on the last Wednesday of October where Microsoft’s Savash Alic will present Canada’s first look at SharePoint Server 2010. Savash is a SharePoint loyalist who is dedicated to the product since its’ very early days in 2001 implementing solutions.  He has been selling SharePoint in a technical capacity for the last 4 years at Microsoft Canada however he is a technologist at heart who started his professional career in ’94 and worked at several Microsoft Gold Partners delivering and managing projects.

Don’t forget that SharePoint Camp is coming early next year as well at the end of January or start of February (which is a free and incredible SharePoint mini conference) so the SharePoint community should be very exciting for the next while.

See you around the SharePoint community,
Richard

Get the Productivity Hub for SharePoint

September 16, 2009

So over the past while I have been raving about how happy Microsoft has made me with their announcement for continued support/updates to the productivity hub. Well I realized I hadn’t even mentioned it on my blog here.

So now I am.

This is a bit of old news, but in case you haven’t heard about it…

The Productivity Hub is a Microsoft SharePoint Server 2007 site collection that offers training materials for end-users. It has blogs, discussion groups, a coach ‘program’ (listing of coaches you can define and extend), change management (to reduce load on IT staff) and tons of great starting content for a powerful SharePoint and Office help center.

Download it here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=277fefca-d62f-41bc-943d-79002254cfee&displaylang=en

Why is this so good?

  1. The obvious one is that this reduces cost and overhead related to training. It acts as a tool for training departments and IT.
  2. Not just one way to learn. Since the content can be video, documents, coached training, forums, blogs and more it means you have many learning paths available for individuals.
  3. Drives adoption. The coach concept and if you properly highlight the productivity hub with featured material, or roll up a tip/trick each week on your intranet homepage with a reference to the productivity hub you can begin to imagine how it can help improve shared understanding and overall user adoption of SharePoint.
  4. The content updates for the hub (more released on a schedule like this: Aug 2009, November 2009, February 2010, May 2010 etc) will add more and more great documents, videos and help for end users without you having to do any discovery on your own. You simple download and run the content updates. You can review the content each time to ensure it falls in line with your solution, customizations, and objectives but it can save you tons of time.
  5. It provides a framework/starting point for a great knowledge sharing/community solution. If you have never played with/experimented with PKS, or built knowledge sharing areas this is a good example of some important features/techniques. There is a built in feature listing/functionality where certain material can be featured. It has a rating system to help ensure the community moderates and promotes the best content, it runs in SharePoint so you can control and customize the permissions to your hearts content, and so on and so forth.

Ian over at at wssdemo.com has done a wonderful thing and installed/made this available here: http://templates.wssdemo.com/sites/productivity/Pages/Default.aspx

Brief note here for Administrators: It is intensive on the SQL side on install so make sure to do this in off hours or plan accordingly.

I was a bit excited in writing this, but I really am excited and hope you are as well,
Richard Harbridge

P.S – As a social media aside: http://www.slideshare.net/sachac/smarter-work-why-social-networks-matter is a slide show on “Smarter Work and Why Social Networks Matter” from Sacha that is a fantastic, short, and simple explanation of why things like this matter. In our case this is a community building toolset (productivity hub) and will help boost adoption. :)


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