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SharePoint Conference 2009

October 14, 2009

For anyone interested I am posting my schedule (and will try and update it) with where I will be/what I will be doing at the SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas next week in terms of Sessions. It was a very difficult selection process since so many sessions looked good, but I have decided upon these ones for a number of reasons and will watch the many hours of recorded sessions for other ones. If you are also going to any of these sessions let me know so we can exchange notes and thoughts in follow up. 🙂

Monday, October 19th, 2009

9:00 AM

Keynote: Unveiling Microsoft SharePoint 2010
Mandalay Bay BallroomSpeaker: Steve Ballmer

10:30 AM

Keynote: Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Drilldown
Mandalay Bay BallroomSpeaker: Jeff Teper

1:15 PM

Microsoft Business Intelligence Vision & Strategy
Islander ISpeaker: Amir Netz, Ariel Netz, Tom Casey

2:45 PM

ECM for the Masses – How SharePoint 2010 delivers on the promise
Lagoon HSpeaker: Ryan Duguid

4:30 PM

Mobile SharePoint: Driving More Productivity & Collaboration with…
ReefSpeaker: Chip Vollers, Sean Pirtle

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

9:00 AM

Part 1: Business Case for Social Computing
ReefSpeaker: Daniel Rasmus

10:30 AM

Part 2: Adoption Strategies for Social Computing
ReefSpeaker: Alina Fu

 

1:15 PM

Developing SharePoint 2010 Applications with the Client Object Model
Mandalay Bay FSpeaker: Paul Stubbs

2:45 PM

Deep Dive into SharePoint 2010 My Sites and Social Networking…
Islander GSpeaker: Gaurav Doshi, Venky Veeraraghavan

4:30 PM

IT Analyst Panel: AMR Research, Forrester, IDC and Gartner Analysts…
ReefSpeaker: James Murphy, Leslie Owens, Rita Sallam, Stephen Powers, Susan Feldman

Wednesday, October 21th, 2009

9:00 AM

The Art of the SharePoint Story: Connecting With Decision Makers &…
South Seas DSpeaker: Robert McDowell

10:30 AM

Building A Great Intranet: Proven Principles & Best Practices
Lagoon HSpeaker: Amanda Murphy, Jonathon Wynn

1:15 PM

Building an enterprise knowledge management solution on SharePoint…
Mandalay Bay HSpeaker: John Demaris, Sean Squires

2:45 PM

Developing Social Applications with SharePoint 2010
South Seas DSpeaker: Matthew McDermott

4:30 PM

Creating Data-Centric Composite Applications using SharePoint…
Mandalay Bay KSpeaker: Dustin Miller

Thursday, October 22th, 2009

9:00 AM

Deloitte: The Why and How of Social Networking and Collaboration at…
Breakers ESpeaker: Patricia Romeo, Rob Foster

10:30 AM

If You Build It, They Will Come: Driving End User Adoption
Lagoon HSpeaker: Scott Jamison

12:00 PM

Building Rich, Dynamic Websites with SharePoint 2010
Mandalay Bay GSpeaker: Tony Jones

I will also be at many of the #Share events and Microsoft sponsored events around the Conference so feel free to message me on twitter, comment on my blog, or email me so we have an opportunity to meet.

Looking forward to networking with many of you,
Richard Harbridge

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Windows Live Blogging!

February 23, 2009

So the other day I downloaded all the new Live tools (along with the new live messenger, and decided to give the blog writer another shot).

I was extremely impressed. It handled everything better in my mind than the wordpress editor (built in) and I fully intend to now write my posts using this tool from this point onwards. It’s editor does a really good job of ‘what you see is what you get’ taking into account custom CSS even.

The following is my simple test post with the tool which can be found here: http://windowslivewriter.spaces.live.com/default.aspx?sa=424591536

I wonder how well this will work with the template I have running on wordpress.

There is only one way to tell I suppose!

  1. First I will write a blog post.
  2. Then I will post it through Windows Live Blog Writing Tools
  3. Then I will see how well it handles advanced formatting.
    1. Such as another level of steps.
    2. And another level of bullets.
  • Example A
  • Example B

It’s pretty impressive actually. Far better so far than the wordpress editor!

I loves you Live Writer. Like this turtle loves this strawberry.2651265613_c8595434e8_b

<script language="javascript">alert("Yeah Man");</script>

More on PerformancePoint Announcement (SharePoint + PerformancePoint Services)

January 27, 2009

Earlier I mentioned changes to Microsoft PerformancePoint and SharePoint (https://sharepointkb.wordpress.com/2009/01/23/performancepoint-server-to-become-performancepoint-services-for-sharepoint-vnext/)

A few days ago I received notification of cancellation on PerformancePoint courses I was taking as well, so I figured for anyone with questions I recommend watching this video announcement from Microsoft about the change: http://download.microsoft.com/download/A/E/E/AEEE26CB-1536-4EC9-809E-536F6E49A1BB/Guy_Weismantel_BI_Announcement_MBR.wmv

It’s pretty simple and I won’t reiterate it here, but again I do think consolodation of BI services with SharePoint is great news. It needs to be easy to use, implement, and understand and reducing the complexity (of many products, and license schemas) will greatly improve adoption and integration of BI in our daily lives.

This impacts many of us, and will impact more in the future, but I think while it complicates the current situation for myself and others who have invested time and energy in the current 07 server product, I do believe that energy and time will help us get a leg up in the months to come.

Hope this helps,
Richard Harbridge

Toronto SharePoint Camp Review (5 Stars)

January 26, 2009

What a fun weekend. Saturday’s SharePoint Camp was wonderful. I can’t describe how exciting it is to see such knowledgable and friendly speakers talk about different ways of using SharePoint better.

I was lucky enough to attend a few sessions which were just terrific. Here’s my day more or less at SharePoint Camp 2009.

I arrived in the ridiculously cold morning (seriously my face pretty much froze off in my short walk from the car to the building) and was met in the lobby area by very friendly people. Graham Marko (from the Metro Toronto .Net User Group) helped me feel welcome and later in between sessions told me all about the other usergroups in the GTA area. Thank you Graham! For those of you wondering these are the ones that were on the back of a nice little business card that was available at the conference.

  1. Metro Toronto .NET (Downtown) – http://www.MetroTorontoUG.com
  2. Toronto Visual Basic (North York) – http://www.tvbug.com
  3. Toronto.NET (Mississauga) – http://www.TorontoUG.net
  4. East of Toronto.NET (Whitby) – http://eastoftoronto.netusergroup.org
  5. Canada’s Technology Triangle (Kitchener) – http://www.cttdnug.org
  6. North of Toronto.NET (Barrie) – http://www.northoftoronto.net
  7. Toronto SharePoint (Downtown) – http://www.tspug.com
  8. Toronto XNA Developer – http://www.xnaToronto.com
  9. Toronto BizTalk – http://www.btug.biz
  10. Toronto SQL Server – http://www.tsql.ca
  11. IT Professionals Community (GTA) – http://www.itprotoronto.ca
  12. Waterloo-Wellington IT Pro (Waterloo) – http://www.wwitpro.com

Next I excitedly sat down and listened to a very happy and energetic Eli Robillard discuss the day, and all the exciting things that were packed into it and awaiting hundreds of us. There were quite a few presentations going on that day, but I had to choose to see only a few. It was a difficult choice but I was very pleased and satisfied by each of the sessions I went to.

Ruven Gotz did a terrific presentation on Mind-Mapping and how to do it with relatively low cost tools in an effective manner. It was extremely interesting and I highly recommend reading about it on his blog: http://spinsiders.com/ruveng/2008/11/11/mindmanager-version-8-released-today/ or asking him about it sometime. I can’t imagine how much time I will no doubt begin to save using the ideas and software he has outlined in his session. Thank you Ruven! 🙂

Reza Alirezaei did a great presentation on SQL Reporting Services 2008 Integration with SharePoint that taught me a ton about how to configure and troubleshoot SQL Reporting and SharePoint. He also made me laugh a few times and continued to provide the friendly energy that seemed to be all over the Conference. It was just terrific. If your interested in learning more I highly recommend his blog (http://blogs.devhorizon.com/reza) which is jam packed with all sorts of terrific information. You can see him at Techdays as well if your traveling and interested.

During lunch and throughout the entire day I continued to meet intelligent and interesting individuals who had a passion for technology. As a group we all got to ask many questions to the MVPs and presenters of the day, and even got to select a topic for one of the presentations at the end of the day. This was a great idea, and makes me wonder if leaving a small time slot open at the end of that day for everyone to vote on and attend might be a good idea to always do at any camp/conference. Just a thought.

Nadeem Mitha did a phenomenal job of talking about MOSS Search, and powerful ways to improve it from it’s default out of the box configuration to something that provides users with a much richer and more effective experience. He even did another talk at the end of the day (the one we voted on) which he is presenting again soon (More here: http://home.infusionblogs.com/nmitha/archive/2007/04/03/toronto-code-camp-session-follow-up-rapid-web-application-development-using-windows-sharepoint-services-3-0.aspx). I even learned something I didn’t know about a “u” parameter that can be used with search! (Scope without scopes :)) Faceted Search can be found and downloaded here: http://www.codeplex.com/FacetedSearch

Jim Schwartz and Boyan Tsolov showed how they have managed to stretch InfoPath and SharePoint beyond the typical limits. I cannot describe how exciting it was to see Jim and Boyan actually reproduce many of the methods they used to implement a highly successful InfoPath project in front of us all, with full explanations and helpful suggestions. You can find the material here: http://www.imason.com/blogs/jim_schwartz/archive/2009/01/25/advanced-infopath-development-with-sharepoint.aspx and I highly recommend giving it a review. If everyone at imason is as friendly and intelligent as these two guys then I expect to see them be pretty darned successful and am rather envious.

I couldn’t let the entire day be about me. So I attended Tim Knechtel‘s presentation on K2’s BlackPoint software to see if it could be applied to some automation we are working on at my work (http://www.compugen.com). Wowzers. I have seen quite a bit on Nintex Workflow, and have been very pleased with what I have seen, but am pretty impressed by what I saw from K2 on Saturday as well. It will be a difficult and exciting choice determining what workflow solution we might go with in the future. Great informative presentation Tim!

Then came the bajillion prizes from the wonderful sponsors of our SharePoint camp day and more fun discussions with great people.

If you didn’t go this year, then go next year and go to some of the user group meetings near you. I know I will be doing that a heck of a lot more now. What a great weekend, and great SharePoint and .NET community we have in the GTA. I hope all you other people who aren’t near by are envious, because we have some amazing talent and friendly people here.

Oh and keep in mind that the content from the SharePoint Camp has been uploaded in the SharePoint Camp’s site here: http://www.torontosharepointcamp.com/Presentations/Forms/AllItems.aspx (If you don’t see something it will be uploaded soon. Several Session Presenters have already uploaded their content.) I know I will be reviewing all the wonderful sessions I didn’t get the chance to see on Saturday.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend,
Richard Harbridge

SharePoint Mobile Development Help

December 2, 2008

So today I came across a terrific question.

“I’ve reviewed MSDN’s documentation:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms464268.aspx

However it still leaves me at a bit of a loss on the best strategy for rendering custom web parts for mobile browsers.

Has anyone had any experience in creating custom web parts that will detect a mobile browser and render accordingly?

Here are my questions:

1. What is the best way to detect that the web part is being viewed by a mobile browser. Is this a good approach?

2. Is it better to create a “mobile skin”, and have that skin as a configurable option, then configure the web part accordingly on the mobile page layout? I was thinking this might be better as it would leverage SharePoint’s browser detection as found in compat.browser .”

This is a good question.

Mobile pages are pages that are designed for Mobile browsing. If you open that page in your browser, it will render exactly the same as it would in the phone. This is necessary to improve usability and compatibility with all of the phone operating systems/browsers out there. (Plus it makes testing easier, don’t forget to have an emulator in your testing environment though as there are subtle differences in how phone browsers may render content.)

The secret to a good mobile page/part/anything is understanding Microsoft’s recommendations and use of their normal mobile pages. When you go to the http://portal/_layouts/mobile page you are visiting the mobile pages of SharePoint. This allows you to modify lists, and libraries, but has limitations related to how mobile devices render certain objects and the fact you don’t want to overload a mobile device with useless data.

Take a look at the mobile pages of SharePoint. These are found within the 12 hive, and you can examine how they build/render mobile content. “C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\12\TEMPLATE\LAYOUTS\MOBILE” Notice they do not use webparts. A webpart in itself really just renders HTML and processes server side code. Instead they use controls which you can also use.

If you think about it the pages you develop that house controls should be stored with the other Mobile pages of SharePoint. SharePoint does all the mobile checking for you, and your developed material sits/works in the same place. So instead of trying to check if the user is using a mobile device, you can assume if they are viewing the mobile pages that they are, and if they are using the non mobile pages they are not.

My advice would be to read all of the articles/sections here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms464268.aspx (especially the fields part) and take a good look at those files in the Hive Directory, and then finally look over the Microsoft.SharePoint.MobileControls namespace: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/microsoft.sharepoint.mobilecontrols.aspx these controls can really help, and if you can use them, do so, don’t reinvent or re-create everything if you don’t need to.

By looking these over you should be able to figure out how to best develop for mobile using SharePoint (the key to using SharePoint is building/using what they have already done, don’t do it all on your own, it will take much longer and be more prone to customization issues.)

Hope this helps,
Richard Harbridge

P.S – Wondering what mobile devices are supported and have been tested? Find that out here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/930147

Mobile ‘Limits’ for SharePoint

December 1, 2008

So I was playing with mobile views the other day and noticed that there seemed to be limits (Ellipses) on mobile views. When I say limit I just mean something that requires custom code and is not available out of the box. I could not seem to find an article that summarized the mobile ‘limitations’ so here they are.

Afterthought: Oh and an Ellipses is where it goes ‘…’ and cuts off text.

Mobile ‘Limitations’:

A very quick google search brought up the following table of what is limited for views of lists and libraries on mobile devices (from http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepointserver/HA100215771033.aspx).

What’s interesting (and terrific) here is the fact that this table is just the default values for these view limits, you can change them (more on that a bit later). This is what will render before it ‘cuts off’ with the ellipses.

Item

Limit

Characters in the Web title of a list or library

20

Characters in a list or library name

20

Number of mobile views

10

Number of items displayed in a view

100

Characters in a list item title

20

Characters in a column name

20

Single-line text field type

256

Multiple-line text field type

256

Each choice in a choice field type

10

Number of options in a choice field type

10

Characters in each item in a lookup field

20

Number of options in a lookup list

20

Characters in a hyperlink or picture field

20

Characters in an attachment file name

20

Number of attachments (to list items) displayed

3

Characters in a calculated field

20

I also found out that certain lists do not render in SharePoint mobile views (example Discussion Boards). I do know that these four lists DO render in mobile views though.

  1. Announcements
  2. Calendar
  3. Tasks
  4. Shared Documents

So always curious I decided to look into why and how these values seem to function and what can be done, and lots can be done! The above limitations for the ellipses can be configured, and if you can develop on top of the work the SharePoint team has already done!

Fields (and Field Behavior in Mobile)

Fields themselves will display differently (or not at all) in Mobile views.

The following field types are not displayed in mobile list views:

  • Attachments field
  • CrossProjectLink field
  • Recurrence field

Only the following types of Computed fields are displayed in mobile list view pages:

  • LinkTitleNoMenu
  • LinkCheckedOutTitle
  • LinkFilenameNoMenu
  • LinkTitle
  • LinkFilename
  • LinkDiscussionTitle
  • BodyAndMore
  • PersonViewMinimal
  • NameOrTitle
  • URLwMenu.

For the following keep in mind that any control that exceeds a rendering limit becomes read-only even if it is nominally read/write.

Read-Only Controls in Mobile Forms

Windows SharePoint Services Field Type

ASP.NET Mobile Control

Comment

Single line of text

Label

Same as ASP.NET control except for rendering of ellipses.

Multiple lines of text

TextView

Renders plain text of rich HTML text field type.

Choice

Label

Same as ASP.NET control except for rendering of ellipses.

Number

Label

Leverages Windows SharePoint Services field type controls for format conversion.

Currency

Label

Leverages Windows SharePoint Services field type controls for format conversion.

Date and time

Label

Leverages code in Windows SharePoint Services field type controls for local date/time conversion.

Lookup

Label

Does not support presence or linking to user information.

Yes/no

Label

Same as ASP.NET control except for rendering of ellipses.

Hyperlink or picture

Link

Same as ASP.NET control except for rendering of ellipses.

Calculated

Label

Same as ASP.NET control except for rendering of ellipses.

Attachment

Link

The number of attachments to display is limited. Up to three attachments are displayed, which is set by a rendering limit.

Recurrence field

Label

Same as ASP.NET control except for rendering of ellipses.

Read/Write Controls in New or Edit Forms

Windows SharePoint Services Field Type

ASP.NET Mobile Control

Comment

Single line of text

TextBox

Displays read-only Label control the same as in a Display form if the data to edit exceeds a maximum character limit.

Multiple lines of text

TextBox

Displays read-only Label control the same as in a Display form if the data to edit exceeds a maximum character limit. If the markup language of the current browser is not Wireless Markup Language (WML), theTextBox control is used. The TextBox control does not support rich HTML text formatting, and so in the Edit form, if the field type is rich HTML text, the field is rendered as a read-only control. In the New form, however, the TextBox control is used even when the field is in rich HTML text format.

Choice

SelectionList

Supports drop-down list boxes only, and allows multiple selections. In the New form, if the number of choice options exceeds a maximum number, the first n options (n = maximum number) are displayed and a warning message is displayed below the options. In the Edit form, a read-only Label control is displayed.

Number

TextBox

Does not provide minimum-maximum value range validation.

Currency

TextBox

Does not provide minimum-maximum value range validation.

Date and time

TextBox

Displays description text. Does not support the calendar date picker. The current locale in Windows SharePoint Services determines the date and time input format, but the current calendar type is ignored.

Lookup

SelectionList

The cutoff maximum limit behavior is the same as for the Choice field type.

Yes/no

SelectionList

Same as ASP.NET control except for rendering of ellipses.

Hyperlink or picture

TextBox

Does not display description text or allow the typing of descriptive text in the Display, Edit, or New form.

If the display name of the hyperlink or picture exceeds a maximum character limit, the remaining characters are truncated and an ellipsis () is appended. The URL itself is not truncated.

Name

TextBox

Read-only in Edit form. Does not support the New form for document libraries.

(Above from: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms479269.aspx)

How to Configure a View Limitation (for Ellipses):

Rendering limits are determined in one of two ways:

  1. Through default configuration settings that are set in the mobile web.config file.
  2. Through the Properties property of the SPWeb class that can be configured per Web site through the object model.

Modifications you make to web.config are global to a front-end Web server, while changes you make through Web properties are scoped per Web site, which are not inherited by subsites.

So… to change it for an entire web application just modify the web.config for the web application you want these limits to be adjusted on.

Each limit setting is represented as a key-and-value pair within the <appSettings> section of the web.config file—for example, <add key="mobile_webtitlelimit" value="20" />. If the configuration for a text length limitation is set to 0 or no entry is specified, ellipsis rendering does not work.

OR

Property bag settings for a particular site override the global settings in web.config. So if you modify the property bag for a specitic web you can have it changed for that web. Just use (C#) code like this:

SPWeb webSite = SPContext.Current.Site.AllWebs["WebSite"];
SPPropertyBag propBag = webSite.Properties;
propBag["mobile_listtitlelimit"] = "15";
propBag.Update();

Using the above code you should also keep in mind that you requires a using Microsoft.SharePoint, and Microsoft.SharePoint.Utilities namespaces, and you must insert a FormDigest control in the default.aspx page of the custom web application.

The following table describes the rendering limit parameters used in mobile pages and shows their default maximum values. The unit of measure is character, regardless of half-width or full-width character.

Name

Description

Value

Base Rendering Limit

mobile_basetextlengthlimit

Base limit for text length

255

System Rendering Limits

mobile_enablelimitationondispform

Flag for ellipsis rendering on Display form

FALSE

mobile_fieldnumberlimitforinputform

Limit for the number of fields to show on New and Edit forms

100

mobile_fieldtitlelimit

Limit for the title of each field on forms

20

mobile_itemtitlelimit

Limit for the item title shown on forms

20

mobile_listtitlelimit

Limit for the List title on list views

20

mobile_viewitemnumberlimit

Limit for the number of items to show on list views

100

mobile_viewnumberlimit

Limit for the number of Views to show in the View drop down list

10

mobile_viewtitlelimit

Limit for the length of View names in the for View drop down selector

20

mobile_webtitlelimit

Limit for the length of the Web site title shown on the top page of the Web site

20

Field Related Limits

mobile_attachmentsfieldnumberlimit

Limit for the number of attachments to show

3

mobile_attachmentsfieldtextlimit

Limit for the file name of an individual attachment

20

mobile_calculatedfieldtextlimit

Limit for field value length for Calculated field

20

mobile_choicefieldoptionnumberlimit

Limit for the number of options to show on the New and Edit forms for a Choice field

10

mobile_choicefieldoptiontextlimit

Limit for the name of any individual on the New and Edit forms for a Choice field

20

mobile_fieldtextlimitforview

Limit for the length of any individual field value on list views

19

mobile_filefieldtextlimit

Limit for the field value length for File fields

20

mobile_lookupfieldoptionnumberlimit

Limit for the number of options to show on the New and Edit forms for a Lookup field

10

mobile_lookupfieldoptiontextlimit

Limit for the name of any individual option on the New and Edit forms for a Lookup field

20

mobile_multichoice_

displaylimitforselectedchoices

(The above is one word, I cut apart so it would display in my blog properly)

Limit for the number of selected choices, in a multi choice field, to show in list views and item Display forms

10

mobile_multilinetextfieldtextlimit

Limit for the field value length for text fields with multiple lines

256

mobile_multilookup_

displaylimitforselectedlookups


(The above is one word, I cut apart so it would display in my blog properly)

Limit for the number of selected lookup values, in a multi value lookup field, to show in list views and item Display forms

10

mobile_multiuser_

displaylimitforselectedusers

(The above is one word, I cut apart so it would display in my blog properly)

Limit for the number of selected users, in a multi user field, to show in list views and item Display forms

100

mobile_singlelinetextfieldtextlimit

Limit for the field value length for single line text fields

256

mobile_urlfieldtextlimit

Limit for the length of the text for a URL field (the URL itself is not shown and not truncated)

20

mobile_userfieldoptionnumberlimit

Limit for the number of options to show on New / Edit form for a user field

100

mobile_userfieldoptiontextlimit

Limit for the length of any individual option for a user field

20

(Above taken from: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms468470.aspx)

Looking for more information on Mobile Settings, and Development in SharePoint? Look here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms464268.aspx (Most of the information above was taken from this area.)

Anyways I hope this helps someone when they work with Mobile Views in SharePoint,
Richard Harbridge

AD, Audiences and AD Group Memberships

October 2, 2008

Today I was working on attempting to determine the impact of various AD changes to SharePoint. This is because (like many many organizations out there) the AD structure must be revised and groups must be removed and renamed as a great many are no longer used (such as SharePoint Admin 2001 etc).

First of all “How can I find out the memberships (or the users) who are contained in an AD group?” This should be a simple thing to answer but if you don’t have access to AD directly (as I do not) then my recommendation is to use the Audience management functionality of SharePoint as a good alternative.

  1. Add a new “Test” Audience.
  2. Add a new rule with “Member Of” being the AD group you want to know more about.
  3. Compile this new Audience.
  4. Click “View Membership”

Now you can see the users in various AD groups from within SharePoint and you don’t need access to AD directly (with your user).

So now you can start to look over AD groups (in SharePoint) and you can see them all listed (ignore the nickname ones etc created by SharePoint). You might notice a couple odd things next.

The first one that stands out is multiple listings of an AD group. I struggled with this one for a bit and found this article: http://www.sharepointblogs.com/mcotw/archive/2008/07/28/do-you-use-sharepoint-audiences-beware-of-ad-changes.aspx (Thanks Monty for writing this one.)

So let’s summarize: “What do you need to know about AD and SharePoint?”

  • Changing an AD Group’s canonical name can result in duplicate entries in the audience targeting searches.

If I discover anything else I will be sure to update this post and let all of you know,
Richard Harbridge