Last week, Microsoft did a pretty big announcement that will probably impact all organizations around the globe. Starting July 1st, the on-premise User CAL pricing will increase 15%.

CAL prices to increase

With this move, Microsoft further delivers its message of “Mobile First, Cloud First”, by encouraging companies of going with the cloud licensing options (Office 365 Enterprise, Enterprise Mobility Suite and Enterprise Cloud Suite) that offer both online services and on-premises server software!

At first, this may seem like a bad move by Microsoft, who has been criticized of pushing the cloud and forgetting about on premises. However with the new on premises SharePoint, Exchange and Lync versions coming out this year, and with Hybrid promising to be a big part of SharePoint 2016, it might be a good time to review your licensing agreement, so you’re not blocked from going Hybrid only by your licensing team in the coming years! For more information, and how it affects you, make sure you talk to your account managers!

Make sure you spread the news about the Microsoft User CAL Increase on twitter by clicking on the birdie below:

Leave a comment and don’t forget to like the Absolute SharePoint Blog Page  on Facebook and to follow me on Twitter here  for the latest news and technical articles on SharePoint.  Also, don’t forget to check out SharePoint Community.Net for more great SharePoint Content.

While configuring SharePoint Server Reporting Services (SSRS) at my client, I had a really strange problem on one of the farms… I couldn’t get the SSRS Addin to install. I tried rebooting, repairing but nothing. After digging out in the logs, I found this funny error message:

CA MSG : rsCustomAction.exe failed to configure, Error code is: 1

CustomAction RSSP_CAInstall_64 returned actual error code 1603 (note this may not be 100% accurate if translation happened inside sandbox)

rsCustomAction.exe failed to configure, Error code is: 1

Also, for the information I was running SQL 2012 SP1 + Windows Server 2012 R2. You might also see something like this in the logs:

Long Story Short, after a lot of googling and asking for help from SQL & SharePoint masters, I found out that the bug is because I had a line commented in the web.config file of a web application. As strange as this may sound, after deleting the commented line, the install went through perfectly. I couldn’t find any official documentation on this, so if this worked for you please share it in the comments!

Drop a comment if this helped!

Leave a comment and don’t forget to like the Absolute SharePoint Blog Page  on Facebook and to follow me on Twitter here  for the latest news and technical articles on SharePoint.  Also, don’t forget to check out SharePoint Community.Net for more great SharePoint Content.

Earlier this month, the great team at Microsoft Learning launched a new initiative called “The Know It. Prove It.” (KiPi) Challenge. During this month-long learning challenge, you’ll earn badges and points, compete against other learning challenges, and best of all, and learn the real-world skills that can make an impact in your job and career.

 A few things about the challenge:

  • There are 8 different learning tracks, ranging from Cloud Development to Web Development.
  • Each track consists of a learning module which is accessible from anywhere so learners can watch video tutorials and do assessments whenever is easy!
  • During The Know It. Prove It Challenge, you can track your progress, earn badges and points, compete against other challenges, and share experiences with others who have accepted the challenge.
  • Although the challenge officially kicked off on February 1st, it’s not too late to get started.

Let’s focus on the SharePoint & Office 365 tracks of the challenge. Here are their descriptions:

ChallengeCourse Titles
Office 365

Take this challenge to learn how to get the most out
of Office 365 services,security, and performance at
your small, medium, or large business.

• Office 365 Performance Management

• Expanding Office 365 with Enterprise Mobility Suite

• Managing Office 365 Identities and Services

SharePoint

Take this challenge to learn how to develop and
administer SharePoint sites to improve information
sharing and organization at your company.

• Manage SharePoint Online Documents and Lists

• Support Corner: Configure SharePoint Outbound Hybrid Search

• Office Guides: SharePoint Online Overview for IT Pros

• Office Guides: Apps for Office and SharePoint

• Tuning SQL Server 2012 for SharePoint 2013 Jump Start

• Developing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Core Solutions Jump Start

• Developing SharePoint Server Advanced Solutions Jump Start

I find that MVA has done a very good job lately in giving out free learning resources to the community, and joining a challenge like this can motivate you to pass a Microsoft Certification exam in 2015! Also, if you’re a bit stressed for a Microsoft Certification, remember Second Shot Offer is back in 2015 for Microsoft Exams until May 31st, so in case you fail the first time, you can try a second one for free!

Furthermore, during the Know It. Prove It. challenge, you’ll also have an opportunity to connect with others just like you who are looking to accelerate their tech skills and this starts by completing your profile. After that, you’ll be able to track your progress, share your experiences with other members in the KiPi community. You’ll also receive badges and points, compete against others, and get encouragement to help keep you moving forward!

So don’t hesitate to participate in the challenge and learn more about SharePoint & Office 365 in order to boost your skills and career! Check out the website over here: knowitproveit.com

Last Friday afternoon, the SharePoint team at Microsoft made a few interesting changes on their blog about the future of Forms on SharePoint Lists (FoSL).

For some history on the subject, on January 31st 2014, Microsoft posted a blog post titled “Update on InfoPath and SharePoint Forms” in which they announced that InfoPath 2013 will be the last version of InfoPath, and they are currently working on a new version of FoSL for both SharePoint Server & Office 365. They promised an update at the SharePoint Conference 2014 in Vegas, and they delivered. Microsoft presented Session number SPC348 at SPC that showed us a new way of editing FoSL directly online! If you want to look at the session, you can find it here: SPC348: Update on InfoPath and SharePoint Forms

Fast forward to February 6th, 2015 and after 8 months without any news, Microsoft updated their blog post to include the following:

“As part of the update shared around the Evolution of SharePoint and the next SharePoint Server on-premises release, we are also updating the timelines for removal of InfoPath Forms Services components of SharePoint and SharePoint Online. Specifically, InfoPath Forms Services will be included in the next on-premises release of SharePoint Server 2016, as well as being fully supported in Office 365 until further notice. Customers will be able to confidently migrate to SharePoint Server 2016 knowing that their InfoPath forms will continue to work in their on-premises environments, as well as in Office 365.

The InfoPath 2013 application remains the last version to be released and will work with SharePoint Server 2016.”

So, while it’s a good thing that InfoPath 2013 will work in SharePoint Server 2016, and will make migrations so much easier, a lot of SharePointers remembered that FoSL vNext was supposed to be released with SharePoint Server 2016 so Microsoft probably didn’t finish it in time.

Those SharePointers were actually quite right, however it might be worse than they expected. In a less mediatized change on Friday, Microsoft did a huge change to their Office 365 Roadmap site. The Forms on SharePoint Lists moved from “In development” to “Cancelled”

According to the roadmap, cancelled means: “Previously planned updates that are no longer being developed or are indefinitely delayed“. So while that doesn’t mean InfoPath 2013 will still be  only option to edit forms until 2023, it does mean that a new version of FoSL will probably never arrive in SharePoint Server 2016, and we probably won’t see it in Office 365 in 2015.

Furthermore, for now, there are no sessions on FoSL on the Microsoft Ignite 2015 conference website, so that adds to the rumor that there is no planned release on anything new. (The only session about Forms in SharePoint only shows up because of the word “platforms”)

VLADI7 2-8-2015 8.29.12 PM

If you are curious to know how FoSL vNext was supposed to look like, here are some screenshots from SPC348.

Dual InfoPath and FoSL vNext on the ribbon:

SharePoint 206 FoSL

The new “Edit Form” view, directly in the browser:

SharePoint 206 FoSL

Moving stuff around in the form, as easy as drag & drop

SharePoint 206 FoSL

New way of viewing list items:

SharePoint 2016 & FoSL

So, even if there was an InfoPath Funeral at SPC14, InfoPath is now back from the dead and will probably be the only way to customize Forms on SharePoint Lists in SharePoint 2016. I really hope we will be able to learn more at the Microsoft Ignite conference this year in Chicago. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for an InfoPath alternative that works with any version of SharePoint and uses mobile apps to fill forms, you might take a look at third-party vendors such as Formotus.

Make sure to spread the word about the future of InfoPath on twitter by clicking on the birdie below:

tweet-button

Leave a comment and don’t forget to like the Absolute SharePoint Blog Page  on Facebook and to follow me on Twitter here  for the latest news and technical articles on SharePoint.  Also, don’t forget to check out SharePoint Community.Net for more great SharePoint Content.

Hello Canadian SharePointers,

KWizCom, a Canadian company that has been very active in the SharePoint Community in the past few years by sponsoring bloggers and various SharePoint Saturday events just shared one of the coolest promotions I have seen in a while in the Tech Space.

http://www.kwizcom.com/special-offers/canadieneh/

During the whole month of February, KWizCom would like to reward ALL Canadian SharePoint users with a production license of ANY KWizCom add-on of their choice! You simply got to send them an email, and you have it! If you’re looking for a SharePoint forms add-on, make sure you checkout my review on SharePoint Community: Review of KWizCom Forms Enterprise edition for SharePoint

To get your free license, just visit the page over here for all the details: http://www.kwizcom.com/special-offers/canadieneh/

What add-on did you pick?

While working on SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013 migration, a site collection with Business Intelligence on it had quite a lot of bugs after being upgraded to 2013.. One of the bugs I found is that in a PowerPivot Gallery, whenever you want to create a new PowerPivot Gallery Document, you get this instead:

PowerPivot Resource File not found

$Resources:PowerPivotFeatures,ReportGalleryDocumentDisplayName;

$Resources:PowerPivotFeatures,ReportGalleryDocumentDescription;

 

After investigating, I found out that you get the same message when you look at the PowerPivot Gallery Document content type.

 

With the info we got in those screenshots it’s pretty clear that the problem is a resource file, but why? The problem is that Microsoft, decided to rename the resource file names between SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013. If you go on SharePoint 2010 in “C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft shared\Web Server Extensions\14\Resources ” You will see that all the PowerPivot resource files are named “PowerPivotFeatures.resx” + language. You can view this in the image below.

 

However, in SharePoint 2013, when we navigate to the resource folder “C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft shared\Web Server Extensions\15\Resources” , we realize that Microsoft decided to change the name of the resource file to “PowerPivot_Features.resx” As you can see an underscore is now added to the name of the file as you can see in the picture below:

Since we got our Site Collection from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013, everything still references the old resource file, which does not exist since you migrated. Unfortunately, Microsoft did not automatically fix this when you attach the Database, or when you run the “upgrade-spsite” command.

 

I fixed the problem by simply copying all the “PowerPivotFeatures.resx” files from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013. Since the filenames are different, you won’t have to override any SharePoint 2013 ones. So when you copy them all, your folder will look something like the screenshot below. Notice the SharePoint 2013 resource files in blue and the 2010 ones in Orange.

 

I would do this during off hours as you may need an IISReset in order for SharePoint to pick up the new resource files.

Drop a comment if this helped!

Leave a comment and don’t forget to like the Absolute SharePoint Blog Page  on Facebook and to follow me on Twitter here  for the latest news and technical articles on SharePoint.  Also, don’t forget to check out SharePoint Community.Net for more great SharePoint Content.

While working on a migration project of a SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013 site collection using BI, I found quite a few bugs. One of them is that, when you go in “All Site Content”, the PowerPivot Gallery doesn’t show the image, or better said, cannot show the image.

No image for PowerPivot Gallery in SharePoint All Site Content

It’s not the biggest SharePoint bug, however it can be annoying especially for end users. I opened up Chrome Dev tools, and I found out the source of the bug… the developers did a spelling mistake in the image reference. Instead of PowerPivot… meet the new LowerPivot.

It’s pretty hard to change the code that brings this bug and given the importance of it, it won’t probably be fixed by Microsoft soon, so here is how you can easily fix it in your farm. Navigate to “C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\Web Server Extensions\14\TEMPLATE\IMAGES\PowerPivot” and no, 14, is not a spelling mistake! Even if we are in SharePoint 2013, the picture still resides in the 14 hive.

Copy the “powerpivot_32_32.png” image, and name it “lowerpivot_32_32.png”. You will now have to exact images with different names in the layouts folder.

At the end, everything should work well and you will see the pretty PowerPivot Gallery image!

Drop a comment if this helped!

Leave a comment and don’t forget to like the Absolute SharePoint Blog Page  on Facebook and to follow me on Twitter here  for the latest news and technical articles on SharePoint.  Also, don’t forget to check out SharePoint Community.Net for more great SharePoint Content.

Last month, I created a step by step tutorial on how to Create a SharePoint 2013 Farm in Azure Step by Step by using the new “SharePoint Farm” template in the new (and still beta) Azure portal.

One of the most popular questions I got is how much does a farm in azure cost? So, I decided to sacrifice my monthly Azure credits for the community in order to give you the exact answer.

SharePoint farm in Windows Azure cost

So by using the same step by step I started to create my farm at exactly 1PM on Day 0. I created a SharePoint farm that respects the SharePoint Minimum requirements and should be able to run a good development environment without any problems. At the moment of starting the wizard, I had exactly 157.48$ left on my MSDN Subscription.

DC SQL SharePoint
VM Template A1 A5 A4
RAM 1.75 GB 14 GB 14 GB
Number of Cores 1 2 8

 

The SharePoint Farm was successfully deployed at 2:18 PM on Day1 and I used it very lightly for about one hour.

In order to determine when exactly my credits finished, I used the email that Azure sends when your credits run out. So, I received the email at 4:48 PM on Day 8. Therefore, 157$ gives us about 194.5 hours of a SharePoint farm in Azure. So, if you work about 9h per day, for 20 days a month, that makes 180h so, provided you turn off your Virtual Machines at night, you should have enough time to run your SharePoint farm for free in Azure!

However, please note that under heavy usage, you might have a lot more bandwidth & storage usage than I did on the farm I barely even played it, so you might get a little less time than I got in this test.

If anyone has other metrics that they took from their experiments with SharePoint in Azure or tips on how to make your SharePoint farm last longer on the credit, please do not hesitate to share!

Leave a comment and don’t forget to like the Absolute SharePoint Blog Page  on Facebook and to follow me on Twitter here  for the latest news and technical articles on SharePoint.  Also, don’t forget to check out SharePoint Community.Net for more great SharePoint Content.

Microsoft Virtual Academy is a website created by Microsoft that has a ton of free learning material about its products. Since Office 365 is a growing trend, I decided to create a list of some SharePoint related MVA Courses you can watch whenever you want!

SharePoint Microsoft Virtual Academy

DEV:

IT Pro:

Office 365

Leave a comment and don’t forget to like the Absolute SharePoint Blog Page  on Facebook and to follow me on Twitter here  for the latest news and technical articles on SharePoint.  Also, don’t forget to check out SharePoint Community.Net for more great SharePoint Content.

To welcome to New Year, Microsoft Learning brought back the very popular Second Shot Offer for MCP exams! For those who are not aware, the Second Shot offer allows you to retake an exam if you failed it the first time between January 5th 2015 and May 31st 2015!

Second Shot Offer

Since Microsoft stopped dealing with Prometric, all exams are now taken at Pearson Vue testing centers and scheduled directly from your MCP portal and there is no coded needed! Here is some information about the Second Shot offer:

What exams are included in this offer?

All of the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA), Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE), Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD), and Microsoft Specialist certification exams are eligible. Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) exams and Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) exams do not qualify for this promotion.

How do I get my free retake?

When you register to take an MCP exam between January 5, 2015, and May 31, 2015, you become eligible for a free retake if you don’t pass it. You have 30 days from the date you took the initial exam to schedule a retake. To schedule your retake, sign in, select your exam from the exam list, and click Schedule now for free.

You can also read the Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ) over here> https://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/second-shot.aspx#dl-ID0EAAABBA

Second Shot Offer

To see the offer, check out the official page over here > https://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/second-shot.aspx