Archive for August, 2013

Hello SharePointers and other IT Pros,

While on the Microsoft Learning website I found out that the Second Shot program is back until May 31 2014!

Microsoft Exam Second Shot is back

What is the second shot exam?

Retake an exam for free

Earn a Microsoft Certification and prove your skills with current technologies and solutions. Passing Microsoft Certification exams can be tough, but for a limited time, you’ll get a free second chance to succeed.

With Second Shot, if you fail your exam the first time you take it, you can use the same voucher for your retake exam.

In other words, if ever you fail the exam on the first try, you can attempt it for free without paying another 150$.  If you are working with SharePoint, but not sure which exams you need to take, check out the The ultimate SharePoint 2013 Certification Guide

You can request the voucher here:  http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/second-shot.aspx

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Monday Fun, 7 Steve Ballmer moments

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The news that was on all the tech sites last Friday was good news for some and bad for others… Steve Ballmer is retiring sometimes in 2014.

Here are some of his best moments to light up your Monday:

1. The most known one :  Developers!

2. Steve Ballmer entering the stage

3. Steve Ballmer selling Windows 1.0   (only thing missing is “IF YOU CALL IN THE NEXT 2 MINUTES, YOU GET A SECOND ONE FOR FREE”).

4. Steve Ballmer Throws a Chair at an employee who leaves for Google!

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/09/05/chair_chucking/

Side Note:  5 years later, the same employee left Google for VMWare!  I wonder what Eric Schimdt threw at him.  Story: http://techcrunch.com/2009/07/13/google-loses-engineering-director-who-once-caused-steve-ballmer-to-melt-down/

5.  After showing so much love for Developers, Web Developers asked for some love as well. Ballmer Delivered!  PS: Ballmer, if you are reading is.. we want some SharePoint love at SPC14

6. Ballmer Shows he is a good guy.. and he signs a student’s Mac!

7. Ballmer gets Egged in Budapest

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I recently had a client ask me, how he could migrate only a list from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013 by keeping the data in it. I tried a quick Google, and nothing came up. I tried to export the list into a .cmp file, and import it into SharePoint 2013, but I got this Error. Importing SharePoint 2010 Files is not supported in SharePoint 2013.

move a List from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013

FatalError: The version of the package 14.0.0.0 is different from the current version this program supports, 15.0.0.0.

After eliminating the easy option, I found three ways to move a list, each with its advantages and disadvantages. It basically resumes to this:

How to move a List from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013

  1. Fast & Cheap : “Dirty” export and import
  2. Fast & Clean : Third party solution
  3. Clean & Cheap: Content Database Import

1. Fast & Cheap — > Modify the .CMP file

This is the “dirty” method to make it work fast. What I mean by dirty, is that it isn’t supported by Microsoft officially since we will modify the .cmp file. Here is how to do it step by step.

  1. Export the list from SharePoint 2010 using either the Central Administration or PowerShell (Export-SPWeb). In the Central Administration, go to Backup and Restore > Export a site or list. Choose your list, and click Start Export

  1. Copy the exported list (.cmp file) to your desktop and change the extension to .cab. You can then extract it using a software like WinRar. You will then have those files:


  1. Open the SystemData.XML file with an editor like NotePad++ and change the version from 14.0.0.0 to 15.0.0.0 , and the build version from your 14.0.x.x to 15.0.x.x (depending on the build you have on both your farms). Here is a screenshot with before and after.

  2. Now we have to repackage it as a .cab file. I used a software called CabPack. Select your Source and Destination. Change the CabinetNameTemplate if you want, and click on OK.

  1. Change the extension from .cab to .cmp

  2. Copy the .cmp file back on the network share or directly on the SharePoint 2013 Server.
  3. Open SharePoint 2013 Management Shell as an administrator. Run this command by changing the parameters of course! Import-SPWeb -Identity http://teamsite.vlad.local/ -Path \\sp2010-itest\Exports\MyCusttomList.cmp -Verbose

  4. Open up your SharePoint Site and your list should be thereJ.

2.Fast & Clean

The Fast and proper way to move a list is moving it with a third party tool. The advantage with the third party tools is that they are very simple, and they work well. The Downside, of course is that they are not freeJ. However, I am sure that if you only want to move a list, you can simply download a trial and get the work done. Here is the one I heard the most positive comments about.

  1. ShareGate >> They offer a 15 day free Trial.

3. Clean & Cheap

If you don’t want to buy a third party solution, the other “best practice” solution would be to create a new temporary web application, upgrade your content DB to SharePoint 2013, and then export the list. However, if you have a lot of customizations and development done on the site collection, this might really get messy.

  1. Backup the Content Database of the Site Collection in which the list is. (SharePoint 2010)
  2. Create a Temporary Web Application in the SharePoint 2013 Farm.
  3. Run SharePoint 2013 Management Shell as an administrator, and run the following command to dismount the content database:

    Get-SPContentDatabase -WebApplication http://sitename | Dismount-SPContentDatabase

  4. Restore the Backup you took in Step 1, on the SQL Instance hosting your SharePoint 2013 Farm. Make sure you give the farm account db_owner permissions on the database.
  5. In the SharePoint 2013 Management Shell, run the following command.

    Mount-SPContentDatabase MyDatabase -WebApplication http://sitename

  6. Navigate to the Site Collection, and if you didn’t have too many development and custom things done, it should open no problem. Make sure the list you want to export is ok.
  7. Go in the Central Administration, go to Backup and Restore > Export a site or list. Choose your list, and click Start Export
  8. Open SharePoint 2013 Management Shell as an administrator. Run this command by changing the parameters of course! Import-SPWeb -Identity http://teamsite.vlad.local/ -Path \\sp2010itest\Exports\MyCusttomList.cmp -Verbose
  9. Open up your SharePoint Site and your list should be there J.

    ——————————————————————————————————–

Important Information! If you used Site Columns in your list, by using method 1 or 3, your columns will be imported as list columns. If you still want to use Site Columns, you will have to migrate them as well, in order to keep the same GUID. I found this script by Phil Childs really interesting, and it worked with my test list. http://get-spscripts.com/2011/01/export-and-importcreate-site-columns-in.html

Those are three ways to get a list from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013. You choose which one fits you best!

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In case you don’t know, Microsoft releases the Microsoft Partner Roadmap (Now named the “Microsoft Partner Network Disclosure Guide”) in which it talks about the requirements for a company to be a part of the Microsoft Partner Network.  Let’s check the July 2013 Guide and see what’s interesting on the Collaboration and Content (aka SharePoint) side.

SharePoint Partner Competency

First of all, as always recently, Microsoft is trying to push the cloud really really hard. One of the first pages of the document talks about how great O365 sales are, and what’s important to see is:

Updated requirements. Partners who are qualifying through the standard track will be provided incremental cloud training and an accompanying online assessment to qualify for relevant competencies.

Also

The most notable changes to Microsoft Partner Network in the coming year revolve around the integration of the cloud into relevant competencies starting in January 2014. Our goal is to enable partners to sell, deploy, and support cloud products and thus enhance customers’ power of choice.

To achieve this we will:

  1. Introduce new cloud, hosting, and application qualification tracks for relevant competencies.
  2. Start testing on cloud expertise by integrating exams and/or assessments for Office 365, Windows Intune, Windows Azure, and CRM online into the requirements for the relevant competencies.

Does that mean we need to do an O365 exam in order to be a Gold/Silver partner? Let’s head to the Collaboration and Content section to find out.

SharePoint Partner Competency

When we get on the first page of the Collaboration and Content track, we see something new that hasn’t been announced on the Microsoft Learning Portal yet.

The 2010 versions of the SharePoint developer exams will be retired in April 2014

We already know that January 31st 2014 is the retiring date for the IT Pro (70-667, 70-668) but this is the first mention of the developer exams.

first

Click on the image to view it in a better size.

As before, for the Gold Competency you need two persons with both IT exams (70-331 & 70-332) and two persons with 2 Developers Exam (70-488 & 70-489 (recommended) or 70-573 & 70-576). However what is new is:

All four individuals must also pass the new Office 365 Technical Assessment

An Office 365 Technical Assessment?  I tried getting more information by searching it on Google… however the only information I seem to find is the actually Exam Answers… And not more info about the exam from Microsoft.

SharePoint Partner Competency

What do you think about Microsoft introducing Office 365 Technical Assessments in the  SharePoint Partner Competency?

You can download the full Microsoft Partner Network Disclosure Guide July 2013 here:  https://partner.microsoft.com/download/global/40141257

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Hello SharePointers,

The SharePoint August Cumulative updates have been released for both SharePoint 2010 and 2013.

The Build Number for SharePoint Server 2010 is now 14.0.7106.5000

The Build Number for SharePoint Server 2013 is now: 15.0.4535.1000

Here are the download links:

Logo Microsoft SharePoint 2010

SharePoint 2010

SharePoint Server 2010: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2817570

SharePoint Foundation 2010 : http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2817594

Project Server 2010: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2817573

SharePoint August Cumulative updates

SharePoint 2013

SharePoint Server 2013: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2817616

SharePoint Foundation 2013: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2817517

Office Web Apps 2013: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2817521

Project Server 2013: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2817615

Fun Fact

In order to slipstream an offline  SharePoint 2013 installation up to August 2013 CU, your binaries will now be 6.37 GB.  The SharePoint 2007 Service Pack 3 was only 287 MB.

Don’t Forget:  Make sure you test them in a QA/Test Environment and not in the Production!

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Unless you were on vacation for the past three weeks, by now you know that SharePoint 2010 Service Pack 2 is out and ready to be installed! If you’re looking for the announcement, or download links, check out this post: SharePoint 2010 Service Pack 2 Released . This article will be focused on some questions I got from SharePointers from SharePoint-Community.Net and also from friends… How do I patch my SharePoint 2010 farm the right way? Let’s start with some SharePoint Myth Buster action!

Install SharePoint 2010 Service Pack 2 the right way by Vlad Catrinescu

Myth 1: I need to apply both SharePoint Foundation SP2 and SharePoint Server SP2

That is not true! In SharePoint 2007 and until August 2011, you had to do this, but it is not true anymore! Here is the Best Practice quotation from the official technet article:

The packaging of cumulative updates changed as of August 31, 2011. […]As a result of the new packaging, it is no longer necessary to install the SharePoint Foundation cumulative update and then  install the SharePoint Server cumulative update.

You can read the full paragraph here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-ca/sharepoint/ff800847.aspx#LatestUpdates

Conclusion : If you have SharePoint Server 2010, you only need to install the SharePoint Server Service Pack!

Myth 2: If I have SharePoint Server 2010 in English and X Language Pack, I need to install the Service Pack 2 in English and Service pack 2 in X language.

This Myth is also BUSTED. You only need to install the SharePoint Service Pack in the language of the original installation, then install each Language Pack Service Pack in the languages deployed to the farm. For example, if the farm is installed with en-US, and you have installed the French Language Pack, simply install the SharePoint Service Pack 2 from the English download, and the French Service Pack 2 from the Language Pack download (Service Pack 2 for Microsoft 2010 Server Language Pack).

Myth 3: I need to test Service Pack 2 in my test farm before installing it in production

You NEVER install any update (Windows, CU, PU, SP, etc..) in any SharePoint Environment without testing it in a Test Farm. You have been warned!

Myth 4: Since the Service Pack 2 came out in July, and June 2013 CU came out.. in June, Service Pack 2 is the latest available build.

False! June 2013 is a post-Service Pack 2 release (though it does not require SP2). Furthermore, you can’t install June 2013 CU over Service Pack 2 due to patch detection logic errors in the June 2013 CU. Official Microsoft Recommendation? Wait for the August 2013 CU!

How to Install SharePoint 2010 Service Pack 2

Now that our Myth Busting is done, let’s get to business and see what steps we need to take to properly install Service Pack 2 on your SharePoint 2010 Farm. For the sake of the article, let’s suppose you have a super SharePoint 2010 farm with 1 APP server, and 2 Front Ends (WFE). Furthermore, you also have Office Web Apps and the French Language Pack. Here is a small diagram stolen from blog.sharepointedutech.com

1. Install SharePoint Server 2010 Service Pack 2 on all of the SharePoint servers in the farm. The installation of the binaries can be done in parallel, or sequentially.

2. Install the Office Web Apps 2010 Service Pack 2 on all of the SharePoint servers in the farm.

3. Install the French Language Pack Service Pack 2 for SharePoint 2010 on all of the SharePoint servers in the farm. When downloading Language Packs, make sure to select the appropriate language from the drop down and wait until the page appears in the desired language before clicking the Download button

PS: If you have Project Server 2010, make sure you read this post from the Microsoft Project Support Blog: http://blogs.technet.com/b/projectsupport/archive/2013/07/23/project-2010-and-project-server-2010-service-pack-2-sp2-released.aspx

4. Now that the binaries are installed on all the servers, it’s time to go to the more stressful part which is running the SharePoint 2010 Configuration Wizard. On any one of the SharePoint servers, start and run the “SharePoint 2010 Configuration Wizard” as an administrator. In the Configuration Wizard, it may ask you if you want to change anything. At this time, do not change anything, simply click next, next, and next. If you cheated in any of the previous steps, you will have an error in this step!.

5. After the Configuration Wizard is done running on the first server, run it on the next SharePoint server in the farm! Repeat Step #5 until all SharePoint servers are upgraded.

6. Time to test everything!

You are done and successfully installed SharePoint Server 2010 Service Pack 2 using the best practices from Microsoft!

I also want to give a huge thanks to Trevor Seward, SharePoint MVP,  for reviewing this post to make sure every step is done according to Microsoft’s Best Practices.

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Recently I read a great article by Wendy Neal called 10 Ways to Make a Splash in the SharePoint Community, in which she explains some steps that you can take to become more popular in the community. The Article is really great, and I agree with everything she says, however I would like to elaborate her point #1, which is “Write Great Content“, aka “Write good Blog Posts on your blog”.

This is great, however as a lot of people asked me on SharePoint-Community.Net, How can you get your great content actually seen by people. Here are 5 ways to get more reads on your SharePoint Blog!

1. Write Great Content

I know, you have seen this over and over, but even if you do the other steps, and you miss this one, you still won’t succeed. You need to write something that is NEW or with added value over the posts that already exists. If you write how the command “get-spsite” works, by only copying things from TechNet, you won’t get a lot of views, and your readers will be left with a bad taste in their mouth, since you just wasted 30 seconds of their life. Instead, if you write how you can do something really awesome with the command “get-spsite”, like “How to get the date a SharePoint Site has been last accessed using PowerShell”, then it’s a win! Users that will look for this information will find what they are looking for, and that’s stuff that isn’t already on Technet! Once you got great content done, do the following steps.

2. Work on your SEO

SEO, stands of “Search engine Optimization”. Is it important? Yes. How Important? Imagine Steve Ballmer screaming “SEO, SEO, SEO, SEO” in his keynote speech. If you don’t know what I am talking about, you definitely need to check this video! Why is it so important? Once the initial hype of your post goes down, and your post goes down your blog page, the only hits you will receive on it will come from Search Engines. When someone makes a google Search, you got a big chance that if your post is in the first 5, you will get a hit. If you are on the second or third page, they will never get to you. There are many articles there on how to get better SEO, since there are millions of them, however I will give you some tricks I found the most useful!

5 ways to get more reads on your SharePoint Blog Posts

  1. Google/Bing Webmaster Tools

    Google and Bing Webmaster tools is where you sign up, to view stats on how their respective bots crawl for content. You can submit XML Site maps, see search statistics and key words, see if you have any 404 errors, and a lot more! Check them out!

  2. Ping Services

Ok, now Google/Bing know you exist, but how do you notify them that you posted something? The answer is Ping Services. What are they? In blogging, ping is an XML-RPC-based push mechanism by which a weblog notifies a server that its content has been updated. What Servers are notified? Mr. Google, Mr. Bing and the others. For WordPress, you can automatically add a list of Ping Services in your Writing settings, if you use Blogger or another service, you can google for free ones. Most people use Ping-o-Matic which, with just one “ping” from you, will let many other services know that you’ve updated.

3. Share your Blog Posts everywhere

These days, there is a ton of content to read on every technology. There are lots of people who share interesting articles, and it’s virtually impossible for readers to check every blog that exists for new content. However, if they see it pop up in their newsfeed, you got a lot bigger chances of them reading it. Fortunately, there are some nice free websites that will automatically share your new blog posts on LinkedIn/Twitter/FaceBook for Free! This is the one I use, and it’s called dlvr.it. For a small fee, you can even do it share on Google+, as well as on LinkedIn groups that you are a owner/ moderator off.

Talking about LinkedIn groups, they are a great source of readers as well! You can share your link in there, and it will appear in other people’s newsfeeds, as well as sent in email for people who receive daily/weekly updates of the group’s activity! However, be very careful to respect the rules of the groups. Some of them might not allow sharing blog posts in the discussion area, so make sure you put it into promotion, so you don’t get banned.

4. Make it easy for people to share your Blog Post

If you did step 3, that’s good. All your followers will now see you posted something, which is good. But, what if they could easily share what you posted to their followers? That will bring new visitors, who might become your followers and your reader base will grow significantly! If you don’t make it easy for them to share it… they probably won’t. Here is a very nice way to make it easy for them to Tweet your blog post! First of it is click2tweet. Click2Tweet is a service which lets you prepare a tweet in advance, and then share it by a simple link. For example click one or all of the following.

  1. Tweet “5 ways to get more reads on your #SharePoint Blog Posts by @vladcatrinescu” 
  2. Tweet “Easy ways to make your #SharePoint Blog more popular by @vladcatrinescu”

While you’re at it, sending a tweet sharing my article with be a nice from youJ.

How About other social networks? There are a zillion plugins that will help you get Share Buttons on your site such as the ones below:

5. Make it easy for people to subscribe to your blog (you)

Now that you got new readers on your blog either from LinkedIn groups or from your friend’s followers who shared your article, try to make them your direct followers, so you don’t depend on your friends sharing it. There is no exact science on this one, however make sure you share your things on as many social networks as possible so you make sure everybody can subscribe to at least one. Furthermore, make sure they can easily find the links. Personally, I use the signature bellow after every post!

If you don’t want to deal with this SEO/Sharing stuff, and want it all done for you already, make sure you check my blog post here:7 Good Reasons to setup your blog at SharePoint-Community.Net

PS: Make sure you also read Wendy Neal’s Article on “10 Ways to Make a Splash in the SharePoint Community” here: http://www.sharepointwendy.com/2012/12/10-ways-to-make-splash-in-sharepoint.html

I hope that this has been useful for you. Leave a comment and don’t forget to like us on Facebook here and to follow me on Google+ here and 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!

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