Archive for the ‘SharePoint 2010’ category

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: https://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

SharePoint 2010

July 13, 2009

I cannot express enough how happy I am that I am now able to talk about SharePoint 2010. Trying to bite my tongue, and keep it all in for the past months has been really difficult because there are so many things that have been greatly improved and are just so darned exciting. http://sharepoint.microsoft.com/2010/Sneak_Peek

Be sure to also look at their “Get Ready” for 2010 guidance: http://sharepoint.microsoft.com/2010/Sneak_Peek/Pages/Get_Ready.aspx. Personally I think they should also have a ‘get ready for end users’… but anyways.

SharePoint Ribbon:

My all time favorite is something that seems relatively simple/non technical but has a huge impact which is the inclusion of the Ribbon interface into SharePoint. If you think of the typical SharePoint page it has a ton of different navigation and option bars. My number 1 ‘surprise’ remark from clients and users is: I didn’t know it could do that! With the ribbon it brings the options to the user in an easy/obvious manner instead of hidden in menu’s. This will greatly improve/reduce the number of people that say “I didn’t know it could do that” empowering users even more than it has done previously.

It also makes training/user adoption significantly easier since things are logically grouped. I still remember when I first saw this how I jumped up and down (literally) with excitement.

SharePoint Dialog Interface:

Now you know where you need to look/take action without thinking. This is a great improvement in my mind and was also my second favorite change. It will greatly improve usability, user adoption and make using SharePoint a much more pleasant experience.

“Web Edit” and Rich Text Editing:

No more clunky menu’s and Rich Text Editor. Now it makes it much easier to modify a page’s content. The image browser/uploader is also a much needed enhancement that will greatly help end users with improving pages. (Ever tried to train a user to upload an image then copy source/urls? Not an easy task).

Silverlight:

Great if you have silverlight controls, but more importantly you can imagine the templates/silverlight controls they might include in the product release. This is also great news for those getting into the new UI/UX experiences Silverlight provides.

Rich Theming:

For anyone who has ever worked with branding this is a wonderful enhancement that can help greatly reduce the amount of effort involved in theming SharePoint (if any effort is necessary). You can also imagine how useful it can be to develop your own Rich Theming options for end users.

Multiple Browser Support:

Not going to say much about this one because I would hope this was expected from most people. Especially with the changes in SP2 that greatly improved alternative browser support.

SharePoint Designer 2010:

To be safe I am just going to say I LOVE the changes they have made with SharePoint Designer and the vast improvements done to make it even more indispensable to those working with SharePoint. (Especially power users/super users, not just designers).

Groove 2010 (Err SharePoint Workspace):

One stop super solution for offline synchronization. Not really more needs to be said here. (IMO)

Rich Media Support:

Really wish they went into more detail on this stuff. The features under Rich Media are very powerful and have been implemented in a very easy to use manner.

Business Connectivity Services:

Really it’s all about the connection in Office 2010 here that’s the most important part. Think about how much more robust/useful you could make Office 2010 solutions if you can easily have users access business data from other systems/places.

Visio Services:

Take what they did with excel and excel services and imagine that with Visio. That’s probably the best way to describe this one. Very powerful when you think about how many users don’t need/have visio. Think about process diagrams and workflows and how they will be impacted by this and Visio 2010 upgrades… *nudge nudge* *wink wink*

Admin Upgrades:

Just understanding that administration has been greatly improved and designed to be more automated (best practices analyzer) and to provide clearer visibility on issues, usage, and logging should give you the right idea of how administration experience has been GREATLY improved.

It’s also important to note the significant cost reduction in recovery with Unattached Content Database Recovery. Then there’s the Large List Resource Throttling which provides more information to end users and makes it easier to control/support large lists.

Lastly the upgrade process has been broken into two steps. First you upgrade the ‘back end’ and then you upgrade the ‘user experience’. This is my absolute favorite change from 2003-2007. As you can imagine this will make the entire process much easier. It also enables you to do it on a situational basis. So converting one area of the site that has little unghosting and little customization can be switched over, but converting the significantly customized areas can be done separately with lots of planning.

Developer Upgrades:

For me personally the Developer Dashboard is my favorite new developer change. No more ridiculous test harnesses/reporting modules that I have had to build in the past. 🙂

LINQ for SharePoint(might be new/a bit of learning for some developers but it’s a great improvement that will help speed up development and reduce potential performance issues, bad code, and reduce errors. (IMO)

The templates/process improvements they have made in VS 2010/Business Connectivity should really make it MUCH easier for new developers coming into SharePoint. Many of the other things aren’t really new so much as slightly improved (more automated) or centralized/included into VS 2010 (IMO).

Hope you are as excited as I am. If you are coming to the Conference in October and want to hang out/talk I will be there.
Richard Harbridge