Archive for December, 2013

Hello Canadian SharePointers,

Microsoft Canada has setup a really nice contest in which you can win a geeky t-shirt by completing at least two modules of select MVA courses. It frankly only takes about 20 minutes and it can show you how great MVA is as a free resource offered by Microsoft. Here are all the details. (I am not running the contest, Microsoft is. If you got any questions, post in comments and I will try to get answers ASAP).

Microsoft Virtual Academy has courses that cover the entire Microsoft developer platform. Complete two (2) or more modules from any one (1) of any of the below MVA courses and we’ll send you an awesomely geeky t-shirt that will help you share the knowledge achievement that you’ve unlocked!

To claim your “Achievement Unlocked” t-shirt:

  1. Start and complete two (2) more modules of any one of the courses listed below between 12/1/2013 and 1/31/2014. Courses started before 12/1/2013 cannot be submitted.
  2. Take a screenshot of the course page (as shown below) showing you logged in, Canada as your country, and at two (2) or more completed (green) modules.


  3. Send your screenshot to mvachallenge@microsoft.com with

    Your first name
    Last name
    Mailing address.

Your transcript will be validated and your t-shirt will be sent to you! Simple as that!

All Eligible Courses

The following are the SharePoint courses that you may take to qualify for the offer above:

HTML5 & CSS3 Fundamentals: Development for Absolute Beginners

Developing in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3 Jump Start

Developing ASP.NET MVC4 Web Applications Jump Start

Building Web Apps with ASP.NET Jump Start

Developing SharePoint Server 2013 Core Solutions Jump Start

Terms and Conditions

The offer for a Microsoft Virtual Academy “Achievement Unlocked” t-shirt is good for residents of Canada. Offer good only to the first 500 MVA students (registered in Canada) that qualify for the offer. In order to qualify for the offer, each MVA student must complete two (2) or more MVA modules from one (1) of the eligible MVA courses listed above. Course transcript must be shown (in the form of a screenshot) like the image above and must then be sent via e-mail to mvachallenge@microsoft.comby 11:59pm on January 31, 2014. The screenshot must include their name and clearly display the student’s country as Canada. Limit one submission/t-shirt per person. This offer is non-transferable and cannot be combined with any other offer. This offer expires at midnight on January 31, 2014 while supplies last, and is not redeemable for cash. Any gift returned as non-deliverable will not be re-sent. Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery of your t-shirt. Microsoft Canada reserves the right to substitute the t-shirt with a gift of equal or greater value.

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I was recently hit by an error that when a user clicked on “My Settings” under his username to access his MySite, he had an Unexpected Error!

An unexpected error has occurred My Settings

An unexpected error has occurred My Settings

With nothing in Event Viewer, I checked the ULS log and found this:

System.Data.SqlClient.SqlException (0x80131904): The EXECUTE permission was denied on the object 'Admin_GetPartitionProperties', database 'Profile DB', schema 'dbo'.
at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlConnection.OnError(SqlException exception, Boolean breakConnection, Action`1 wrapCloseInAction)
at System.Data.SqlClient.TdsParser.ThrowExceptionAndWarning(TdsParserStateObject stateObj, Boolean callerHasConnectionLock, Boolean asyncClose)

SqlError: 'The EXECUTE permission was denied on the object 'Admin_GetPartitionProperties', database 'Profile DB', schema 'dbo'.'    Source: '.Net SqlClient Data Provider' Number: 229 State: 5 Class: 14 Procedure: 'Admin_GetPartitionProperties' LineNumber: 1 Server: SPSQL\SharePoint1

Failure checking user access permissions for User Profile Application Proxy 'User Profile Service Application'. Exception: System.Data.SqlClient.SqlException (0x80131904): The EXECUTE permission was denied on the object 'Admin_GetPartitionProperties', database 'Profile DB', schema 'dbo'.

Following that, I found out that the account running the Web Application Pool where I had the problem didn’t have access to the User Profile Service Application “Profile” Database. I gave it the “SpDataAcces” role like in the following screenshot:


Immediately after, my top suite bar changed! The “My Settings” changed for “About Me” and I also had all the “Newsfeed SkyDrive Sites” elements added. I was then able to access MySite without problems!


That fixed my problem and I hope it will help you fix yours as well!

Leave  a comment and don’t forget to like the page 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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While running PowerShell scripts on a SharePoint Server you might encounter this error “Exception has been thrown by the target of an invocation”

Exception has been thrown by the target of an invocation

The error is really not self-explanatory, however the only problem is that you don’t have enough permissions on the Site or Web in question. Even if you are a farm admin and local admin on the server, some SharePoint PowerShell Commands will not allow you to run at the SITE or Web level.

Easiest way to fix it, since you already have access to the server, give yourself Full Control at the Web Application Level (in User Policy) and you shouldn’t have this problem anymore!

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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Product analysis by Vlad Catrinescu – requested by harmon.ie, but thoughts are my own.

Introduction

You might have heard it one thousand times, but one of the most important things in any SharePoint Project is User Adoption. The majority of the users embrace technology changes as long as it makes their life easier and the changes benefit THEM and not only the company. Forcing your users to do 3-4 extra steps for each document they work on daily only for the company to have it on SharePoint might in a lack of adoption. The old “standard” of transferring documents is sending them through email, mostly Microsoft Outlook.

The best practice and what organizations aim for is users to upload the document to SharePoint and then send the link through email. It would be the perfect scenario, however since users need to do that extra step, they might just go the old way and exchange documents by email. And that’s where third party applications such as harmon.ie for Outlook come in!

In this Blog Post, I will review the Free Edition of harmon.ie SharePoint Outlook Integration plugin and see how well it integrates with SharePoint and if it makes my life as a SharePoint user easier!

The Application

Let’s first start with what this tool is. Harmon.ie for outlook is an Outlook Plugin that you can access directly from your top bar.

SharePoint Outlook integration

Once you click on the “Show Sidebar” you will eventually see your SharePoint Site and the documents inside a document library. It looks something like this:

SharePoint Outlook integration

I said eventually, because for it to show in there, you have to add your site manually before it can display it. However, with the enterprise edition, the network administrators can have a Centralized Distribution and every user will have a set of SharePoint Sites directly available in their sidebar. Once you click on the “Add Site” button you can enter the SharePoint Site you wish to add and select your authentication method. Since I installed it on my home PC, I selected “Custom Credentials”, however if your PC is in the same domain as your SharePoint you can simply use your Windows Credentials!

Once we added our site we can play around a little and see how we navigate, but the big “wow” factor comes when we send an email with an attachment! When we click send, we get the popup from harmon.ie that asks us if we want to upload the document to SharePoint and change the attachment from the email to SharePoint!

We also see the option of “Replace attachments with links”. Does that mean I don’t have to go to SharePoint, upload my document? Yes! Harmon.ie will upload the document for you to the SharePoint library of your choice and delete the attachments from the email and insert a link instead. The email your recipients will receive will look something like this:

In my opinion, that alone makes the product great, however let’s take a look at the other features the product offers. If ever a client or somebody else not using the product sends you something by email as an attachments, you can easily right click on it and send it to SharePoint.

The product has plenty of other features such as document check out and check-in, “Show preview” that use Office Web Apps to show your documents.



And of course you can have Versions…. All this directly from outlook!

Continuing on Document Management, there are many things you can do with harmon.ie directly from outlook. For example, you can edit a documents metadata or content type without having to open the browser. You can also Drag and Drop documents from the Desktop or from a mail attachment and they will be uploaded directly in SharePoint. While I am not showing screenshots of it, you can approve documents and publish Major versions of documents to your team! Furthermore, you can also create a new document directly from outlook!

The New document icon is the “Document with a Plus”, however at the begging I had problems finding it since it was gray so I thought it was a “disabled” or not active button.

A point I have talked about briefly but would like to show a bit more is the way you navigate in the document library to find your documents. First of all, you can filter by views so if you have a personalized view you can only see what is relevant

We also have the breadcrumb you are used to in SharePoint at the bottom of the add-in. You can then click on any of the previous titles to go back there.

And we also have the ability to Search Documents. If you are not sure in which of your site or document library it is, you can Search it as you would do in SharePoint and find the relevant results!

Lastly, one of the points I really liked is that it integrates well with Yammer. You can view and reply to discussions, and can easily switch between Networks and Groups.

Final Thoughts

I found the harmon.ie SharePoint for Outlook add-in very easy to use and very rich in features. I had already tried an “Outlook and SharePoint” integration plugin before, however it was only to send documents from outlook to SharePoint… and that’s what I thought harmon.ie would do as well… but I was wrong. Actually replacing the attachments with the URL of the document in SharePoint alone would make the product awesome and increase user adoption. The fact that people can do pretty advanced SharePoint operations such as check out/ check in, change metadata and content types, approve documents , preview documents and… Yammer is the cherry on top of the cake. In my opinion, this product can clearly be a game changer in the adoption of a new SharePoint implementation and I won’t hesitate to suggest it to clients.

To learn more about harmon.ie for Outlook please go to harmon.ie’s website.

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New Certification: MCSA Office 365

Categories: Learning
Comments: 14

Microsoft is silently working and has made public a new certification about the cloud: Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate: Office 365. As Microsoft is increasingly trying to push companies to the cloud, IT pros will have to learn the migration process as well as learn how to help business get the most out of Office 365. The MCSA Office 365 will probably be the highest O365 certification level (no MCSE) and will provide IT professionals a certification that they are experts in the migration and administration of Office 365 business productivity services.

Even though as you see, the MCSA Office 365 is not on the official MCSA List yet, I will try to share as much information as I can with you. All this information is public, but hidden in the Microsoft Learning Website.

Exams

This MCSA Certification will only require two exams as opposed to the others who most require three exams:

1.   Exam 70-346: Managing Office 365 Identities and Requirements

Summary of Skills Being Measured:

  • Provision Office 365
  • Plan and Implement Networking and Security in Office 365
  • Manage Cloud Identities
  • Implement and Manage Identities by Using DirSync
  • Implement and Manage Federated Identities [single sign-on (SSO)]
  • Monitor and Troubleshoot Office 365 Availability and Usage

Furthermore, there seems to already be a MOC (Microsoft Official Course) for this exam :
20346B: Managing Office 365 Identities and Services (5 Days) , however there is no info on it on the internet yet, and it’s the “B” version but there is no “A” version either!

2. Exam 70-347: Enabling Office 365 Services

Summary of Skills Being Measured:

  • Manage Clients and End-User Devices
  • Provision SharePoint Online Site Collections
  • Configure Exchange Online and Lync Online for End Users
  • Plan for Exchange Online and Lync Online

This Exam also has not one… but two MOCs listed on the website. One of them is the 20346A and the second one is 20346B. In my opinion this is either a typo from MS Learning, or in 5 days you could learn for both exams, which would actually be a good deal!

Both Exams are currently in Development and should come out on February 17th 2014!

Audience

Candidates for this exam are IT professionals who take part in evaluating, planning, deploying, and operating the Office 365 services, including its dependencies, requirements, and supporting technologies. Candidates should have experience with the Office 365 Admin Center and an understanding of Microsoft Exchange Online, Lync Online, SharePoint Online, Office 365 ProPlus, and Windows Azure Active Directory. This includes experience with service descriptions, configuration options, and integrating services with existing identity management and on-premises infrastructure to support the business requirements of an organization.

Public Beta

Not sure if this is the right term, however if you want to try the exams and maybe be one of the first O365 MCSA, you can now already book them at Prometric, however you will still have to pay the 150$ . Note: The Beta Exams start with 071- while the “RTM” ones start with 070-

MCSA Office 365

If you pass the exam, it will count as passed and you won’t have to re-do it again, and if you fail… well you fail. However you’re in luck! Microsoft Learning currently has the Second Shot Promotion at the moment! This is how the Second Shot works for Beta Exams: (Thanks to Dan Usher for finding the info!)

If you fail a beta (prefix 071) exam using your Second Shot voucher, Prometric will email your retake voucher code for the live (070) version within a week of receiving your beta results. This only applies to regular-priced individual technical exams, not certification pack exams.

Source- MS Learning

So, if you ever fail the beta and you used the Second Shot, you can still take the Real Exam for free when it comes out! I think it’s a pretty sweet deal from the part of Microsoft!

Personal Remarks

I think finally having a solid and planned O365 Certification is a good thing for the Microsoft Partner Ecosystem. Talking about MPN, I do believe that maybe in the future, this certification might become a requirement for certain competencies, or even replace the Office 365 Technical Assessment required in january for Collaboration & Portals. Furthermore I think that having 2 IT-PRO exams focused on O365 proves that O365 isn’t the “end of the IT-Pro”. In fact, the IT-Pro will be needed just as much, but we(I am an IT-Pro as well J ) will have to learn new skills and scenarios.

Don’t Keep all this cool Knowledge to yourself! Share it with your followers on twitter by clicking the big bird image right under or view the end of the post for more options!

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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