Archive for October, 2015

Here is an invite from my friends at Microsoft for Microsoft Data Platform Days to learn more about Cortana Analytics Suite‚ Data Lake‚ Azure SQL Data Warehouse and new features in Power BI as well as how to ensure your upgrade from SQL 2005 is going to go smooth, since the end of Support is coming really soon!

English

You are invited!
The rise of machine learning and advanced analytics‚ combined with cloud unlimited capacity for data storage & computation marks a unique point in history. This is an incredible opportunity for organizations to innovate with agility and drive incredible impact using data‚ and this opportunity is here today.  Join Microsoft and industry experts to explore how Microsoft Data Platform solutions and services can help you to crunch the huge amounts of data available to your business‚ discover insights and turn them into results.

Top 3 Reasons To Attend:

  • Discover the latest details about Cortana Analytics Suite‚ Data Lake‚ Azure SQL Data Warehouse and new features in Power BI
  • Connect with product experts from Microsoft and Partners.
  • Update and sharpen your skills.

Also‚ with SQL Server 2005 End of Support coming soon‚ if you are still using this legacy technology‚ it is critical to develop a migration plan. We will guide you on how to ensure a successful move to SQL Server 2014 to secure your data and realize significant gains in performance and scalability.

Cities and Dates:

Calgary 29-October  Registration page
Montreal 27-October  Registration page
Ottawa* 26-November  Registration page
Toronto* 9-10 November  Registration page

 Agenda*

9.00 AM Registration
9.30 AM Keynote: Data Innovation
10.30 AM Enabling action with data: Advanced Analytics & The Internet of Things
11.30 AM Lunch and Microsoft Partners presentations
12.30 PM Interactive Data: Visualization and Story Telling
1.30 PM Modern Enterprise Data Warehouse: What’s Under the Hood?
2.30 PM SQL Server 2005 End of Support. Time to upgrade
3.30 PM Closing

 

French

Journée
Plateforme de données
Microsoft

Démarrez une transformation opérationnelle grâce à l’analytique et à l’Internet des objets.
Microsoft Data Platform Days

La montée de l’apprentissage artificiel et de l’analytique avancée, alliée au pouvoir du nuage, donne aux entreprises d’aujourd’hui une chance en or pour innover, faire preuve d’ingéniosité et avoir une influence notable grâce à leurs données.
 

Rejoignez Microsoft et les experts de l’industrie pour découvrir comment les solutions et les services de plateforme de données Microsoft peuvent vous aider à gérer de grandes quantités de données, à exploiter de vraies perceptions opérationnelles et à en tirer des résultats significatifs.

 
  Trois raisons principales d’y assister :  
 
  • Découvrir les derniers détails concernant Cortana Analytics Suite, Data Lake, Azure SQL Data Warehouse et les nouvelles fonctionnalités de Power BI.
  • Rencontrer des experts en produits de Microsoft et de ses partenaires.
  • Mettre à jour et renforcer vos compétences.
 
  De plus, avec la fin imminente du soutien pour SQL Server 2005, si vous utilisez toujours cette technologie, il est essentiel de mettre en place un plan de migration. Nous vous aiderons à réussir votre passage vers SQL Server 2014 pour permettre la sécurisation de vos données et la réalisation de gains de performance et d’extensibilité significatifs.  
  Programme :  
 
9 h Inscription
9 h 30 Thème central : innovation en matière de données
10 h 30 Prendre des mesures grâce aux données : analytique avancée et Internet des objets
11 h 30 Lunch et présentations des partenaires Microsoft
12 h 30 Données interactives : visualisation et narration
13 h 30 Entrepôt de données de l’entreprise moderne : qu’est-ce qui se cache sous le capot?
14 h 30 Fin du soutien SQL Server 2005 : il est temps de se mettre à niveau
15 h 30 Conclusion et synthèse
  J’espère que vous pourrez vous joindre à nous pour cette journée fort intéressante. Les places sont limitées. Réservez votre place gratuitement.  
  INSCRIVEZ-VOUS AUJOURD’HUI!  
  Montréal  
  27 octobre  
 
 
  TECHNOLOGIES COUVERTES :  
 
  • Cortana Analytics
  • Power BI
  • SQL Server 2014
  • IoT suite
  • Azure Machine Learning
  • Datazen
  • Azure SQL DW
  • Azure HDInsight
  • Azure Data Lake
  • Analytics Platform System
 
  POUR QUI?  
 
  • Responsables des TI
  • Chefs des données
  • Décideurs du monde des affaires
  • Data Scientists
  • Architectes d’entreprise
  • Analystes d’affaires
  • Développeurs d’applications
  • Administrateurs de bases de données
 
 
 
  EN APPRENDRE DAVANTAGE  
  Regardez ici pour d’autres événements et ressources SQL Server, Analytics et IdO  

 

 

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I am extremely happy to announce that my second Pluralsight course has been published over the weekend and this one is on PowerShell for Office 365. PowerShell is a must-know tool for every Microsoft sysadmin as well as application admin, and with companies moving to Office 365 more and more, mastering PowerShell for Office 365 will be a very useful skill to have!

PowerShell for Office 365

In this course, you will learn how to use PowerShell to manage Office 365 services. You will learn how to connect and manage users and licensing, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, Compliance Center and last but not least, Skype for Business Online. You will learn not only how to change the advanced settings that are not even available in the user interface, as well as how to automate those boring tasks you’ve wanted to get rid of forever.

What I really wanted to do in this course, is not only give you a list of commands, but put the listener in real scenarios and have a lot of automation scenarios where we can use what we learn, in an actual business case. Almost every chapter has one or more Automation Scenarios that are explained from both a business point of view as well as technical.

PowerShell for Office 365

The course is a total of 3h30 minutes, and is available to all the Pluralsight subscribers. All the scripts showed in the demos is available for download for those who have the Pro Subscription. Click the image below to go to the course page on Pluralsight

PowerShell for Office 365

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For the past 24 hours, there have been numerous news that Ignite 2016, Microsoft’s IT pro and client conference got cancelled or postponed. However, Ignite just got moved from May 9-13 in Chicago to Atlanta on September 26-30 2016!

Ignite 2016

 Furthermore, you can already pre-register for the discounted rate of 1920$. However, it doesn’t ask you for your credit card information right away! SO if you think about going, write down your email right away, so you secure your place at 1920$

Ignite 2016

By pre registering, I also found out that Registration will open Early February, and if you want to keep the 1920$ rate, you have about 2-3 weeks to pay!

 

Ignite 2016

So, what does everybody think about Atlanta? Did you prefer Vegas or Chicago? Let me know in the comments!

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According to the latest sources by Chicago Tribune, a Chicago newspaper, Microsoft has cancelled the Ignite 2016 conference, supposed to take place May 9-13 at the McCormick Place in Chicago.

UPDATE:  Ignite 2016 moves to Atlanta in September

While the Chicago Tribune article focuses on the economic impact such a conference has on a city (90 000 hotel room nights, probably even more beers and thousands of deep dish pizza slices), they do say that Microsoft wanted to reschedule for later in the year, when the McCormick Place was unavailable. There is no official announcement yet, so those might still be rumors, however let’s look at some of the reason why it might have happened.

First, originally, Microsoft Ignite Chicago in 2015, was supposed to be THE global Microsoft conference to rule them all. It was a replacement of TechEd, SharePoint Conference, Project Conference, Lync Conference, Management Summit, Exchange Summit and any that I missed. People traveled from all over the world in Chicago to attend this huge, 23 000 person conference. While the free lunch food wasn’t the greatest, the speakers, quality of the announcements and the overall atmosphere was really cool.

However, not too long after Ignite 2015 finished, Microsoft announced two more Ignite conferences, Ignite New Zealand (September 1-4) as well as Ignite China (October 26-28).

Why might Microsoft have cancelled/Postponed Ignite 2016 in Chicago?

  • The products/features that they wanted to release maybe weren’t ready for May 2016.
  • Setting up a conference like this takes a lot of time, and with Microsoft Ignite China finishing at the end of October, maybe 6 months just isn’t enough for the Microsoft Events team to properly plan for “the big” Ignite in 2016.
  • The feedback that the Microsoft team got from the 23 000 attendees wasn’t that great. I heard lots of negative comments about the distance of the hotels from the conference, the food, the distance between sessions etc.

I will try to update the article as soon as more information becomes available, but remember that for now it’s still a rumor and nothing got confirmed by Microsoft! Maybe this is fake, maybe we’ll stay in Chicago but later in the summer or maybe we’re going back to Vegas!

If this announcement is true, it will sure have an impact on all the third party conference organizers in the Microsoft space!

Where / when do you think the next Big Microsoft conference will be? Post your idea in the comments.

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

One of the big down sides of SharePoint out of the box is that it’s not easy to create a pretty site. Even with all the improvements in SharePoint 2013 and 2016 around HTML5, creating a pretty site in SharePoint is really hard, compared to other platform such as WordPress. Even when SharePoint public sites were still a thing, even the SharePoint MVPs were avoiding it for their blogs, since any customizations to make your site cool, took hours to create. I am not talking anything super complicated but a simple accordion or some cool tiles.

That is where Apptex Designer wants to come in. Apptex Designer is a tool & framework that provides you with pre-built components required to make your sites look fancy with minimum configuration

Apptex

Apptex Designer Review

After easily adding the app from the app store, you can go to the documentation page to learn what you can do and how to do it. For every item you can do, there is a page that shows you a screenshot, supported browsers, as well as everything you need to add it and customize it.

 

Apptex

If you want to see the fields required to do something, you simply look at the Fields section. For the Nivo Slider, I need 4 columns. A title, an Image, a link and a description. As you see in the note, you don’t need to have the exact same field names, you can do the mapping when applying the style, however they need to be of that certain type.

So, I have created a list with those links, added it as a Webpart on the home page and as you can see, it’s not pretty right away!

To create our cool slider, , you simply go in the “Apply” Tab, where you can simply select all the options you want for your slider such as Target Page, Field Mapping ad variables. So, first, let’s select the Page as well as the Webpart on which we want to apply the slider.

Afterwards, I map the Template Field, with the field name in my custom list. I like the fact that we can create a list with more fields and different names then the ones needed by the app and we can map them afterwards.

Lastly, we can choose all the properties such as start slide, animation speed, effect and more! After you are done customizing it,

After you click Apply, your web part will not become automatically beautiful, as some of you might have expected, but the screen will refresh, and Apptex will show you the link to the JS file that will make your WebPart beautiful.

To apply this to your WebPart, you simply edit page, go in Web Part properties, and change the JS Link field to the link Apptex gave you. You then click Apply, save the page and the trick is done!

Your boring SharePoint list is now a cool modern slider with all the properties we selected!

Apptex

It was really easy to create, however one thing I would have loved is to have the option to easily edit the text color, to make it White for example! However, you can easily do this by customizing the templates, which is another cool thing that Apptex lets you do! To customize the template, you simply go in the top right corner, and choose “Template Customization”

You then have to select the template that you wish to customize.

You then have a warning that tells you that what you will change, will only change future styles, and not the ones you currently have in place. Click Proceed to continue customizing.

In my case, I wanted to add some text that tells people to click on the image to go to the news, so I added this:

And I also wanted to make the title White!

I applied the changes, and then I recreated the JS file and applied it to my Webpart on the home page. Result is that I now have the extra line of text as well as the white title!

What else can I add with Apptex?

Apptex covers a lot of the most common scenarios that a Power User would need to make their site cool! You have:

Tabs

Accordions

Google/Bing Map

Really cool Charts!

And what is cool is that those charts only require two fields! Title and Value! After that you can use the same data, to show it in different ways, which is purely amazing!

Testimonials / Quotes

Conclusion

I have really enjoyed playing with Apptex Designer and I was surprised by its easiness. With only basic SharePoint knowledge, you are able to add some cool stuff to make your SharePoint site really pretty, and all the cool effects are supported on all major browsers. The fact that the app is really easy on your field names and data requirements makes it easy for Power Users to create the lists, add the JavaScript to the Webpart, and then any End User can add values in the list, and they will be reflected in the Webpart. The App is currently still in beta, however it already has most of the features a really cool app that I would buy off the SharePoint Store. What I would like it to have is some extra options for simple stuff like text color, However as long as you have a basic HTML knowledge, you can easily update the template and make it fit with your company colors and policies!

You can download the app for free from the Office Store by clicking the logo right under, and you can also look at this video on YouTube!

To learn more about Apptex Designer, check out their site at: http://spapptex.com/

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