Kevin Remde's IT Pro Weblog
This is cool.
For a limited time, users of Windows Vista can get free T-Mobile Hot-Spot wireless internet access. That's a pretty sweet deal, considering how many Starbuck's coffee shops there are in the United States.
Full Details Here: https://selfcare.hotspot.t-mobile.com/accountcreate/VistaSignUps.do?promoCode=MSWV17
Props to Stacey Copeland for e-mailing that tidbit to our team. Stacey, if you had a blog, I'd be linking to you. :)
Part II - The Road to Milwaukee (Actually, Brookfield, Wisconsin.)
This part 2 video is of the first half of my second week of "Launch" events for Microsoft Across America.
"Is the footage of you driving as boring or as long as in part 1?"
<sigh> No. This time I spare you all 5-1/2 hours of drive time, and just give you the highlights.
Also - you gotta see this video if only for "The Wave".
Video: Kevin's "Ready for a New Day" Video Diary - Part 2
Here is the streamable version, too.
Huge thanks to my Milwaukee audience! You guys were wonderful!
If you work in or for a small business, or are thinking of starting your own, you should really check out this 5 day event.
Well.. for starters, it's free. And you could win prizes.
Not so fast, muffin-boy. The true value of the event is the wealth of information, delivered to you by top experts in their field. You'll definitely recognize some of the names, and probably the products or amazing success stories they are known for.
"Great! Where is the event going to be?"
Where would you like it to be?
"In my basement office."
You got it. Actually, it's an interesting animal as far as conferences go. It's live, and it's on-line. You can attend the event at a location near you (just enter your zip code to find a CompUSA or Regal Theater near you that's participating), or you can attend entirely online in the comfort of your own bathrobe and basement office.
And on a purely selfish note - several people from my group at Microsoft (Microsoft Across America) are delivering many of the sessions. So you know it's gonna be good!
Yes, it can.
"Just 'out-of-the-box'? Or do I have to download and install something?"
You need to download and install something. It's an Office Add-in, and it's found here:
2007 Microsoft Office Add-in: Microsoft Save as PDF
This works in all of these products:
We also have an add-in for saving to XPS files:
2007 Microsoft Office Add-in: Microsoft Save as XPS
And if you want support for both PDF and XPS in one download:
2007 Microsoft Office Add-in: Microsoft Save as PDF or XPS
Cool. So... I know what a PDF is, but what the h*** is an XPS file?"
Watch your language, buddy. XPS stands for "XML Paper Specification". It can be thought of as a rendering of a document that is XML, but is printable. Many printers are supporting this XML specification directly. A good starting-point link for you is the "View and Generate XPS" page. (additional links to information on the right-side of that page)
"Wait.. doesn't Windows Vista have built-in XPS support?"
Indeed it does. if you are running 2007 Office on Windows Vista, you do not need the "Save as XPS" Add-In. You can basically "print" to the "XPS Document Writer" and create an XPS file that way.
I'm sure many of you who have run into this problem will be glad to hear that there is a solution. And the rest of you will be saying, "Oh... yeah. I was just assuming it was going to work!"
Well.. if you were planning on doing a backup with XP on your computer prior to upgrading or installing a fresh copy of Windows Vista, and then using Backup to restore the files - you were going to be in for a nasty surprise: It won't work.
"No? I can't restore?"
Nope. Not, that is, unless you have THIS HERE NEW TOOL. This is an installable version of the NT Backup/Restore utility that you can put on Windows Vista, so that you can restore that backup you created.
Please make sure you read the system requirements before you use it. There are additional steps you have to take, such as enabling the Removable Storage Management feature. The instructions are on the download page.
Chris is a coworker and friend of mine, whose blog "Blue" is also listed on the left-hand side of this blog.
Here is the "Let's Talk Computers" site. You can listen to the complete show for January 27, 2007 using --- Real Audio --- or --- Windows Media Player.
I was attending my son's swim meet last night (Go Wayzata!). They happened to be taking on my old school (Go Armstrong!) And I ran into an old coworker from my previous life as a full-time Information Systems manager. He is still there, doing development. We got to talking about old acquaintances (who's still there and who's gone), and about how development is going (prior to doing IT I was also a Software Engineer there)... when he starts telling me about all the frustration he's having with Windows Vista.
Now... granted, this guy says he only changes operating systems because he "has to". He didn't like Windows XP either ("Too cartoon-like"). He would buy Windows 2000 for his home PCs if he could. But his comments and frustrations around User Account Control and how the new security model in Windows Vista were really interesting.
"I hate it. I hate Windows Vista. I hate having to click three-or-four times to move a file into the Program Files area."
Now, I'm sure that his distaste was based on some earlier builds of pre-RTM Windows Vista, where we were still working out the kinks with regard to permissions. But he didn't care about that. His view is now forever that it's all just a nuisance, and he'd rather "take the chance" of getting a virus or spyware installed on his PC.
What do you think?
Me - I disagree. In my opinion and experience, UAC and the protections in Windows Vista are well done, well-thought-out, and very worthwhile. Disabling that functionality might be a temporary solution for getting through some development issues he's having, but I do hope that he and others like him will still open up to the idea of letting UAC do what it is designed to do. An extra click here and there for administrative tasks (which we typically don't do much of anyway) is a small price to pay for the added protection you get.
A former teammate and really sharp guy, Kai Axford, has a great post about this kind of thinking on his blog. Kai is one of Microsoft's star security experts and presenters, and his expertise is often sought out by big businesses, security firms and government agencies. And, as you can read in his blog post, this notion that "security is a burden" really "frosts" him.
Props to Keith Combs. I saw the link to Kai's Blog there first. (Gosh.. "Kai's Blog". I've waited a long time to hear those words! We miss you, Kai!)
I thought this was worth sharing. I've been doing demos of Windows Vista for awhile now, and it's been great talking to business owners, and "BDMs" (Business Decision Makers), and IT Professionals about the benefits to their business bottom-line that Windows Vista will bring to them.
And, in case you didn't realize it, we have an online virtualized "test drive" all set and ready to go for you. Check out www.vistatestdrive.com.
(Note: the test drive is currently "available only to web visitors from the United States and Canada". Sorry.)
Last week I was among the Microsoft employees, presenters, and evangelists who were fortunate enough to speak at launch events on behalf of the release of Windows Vista, 2007 Office, and Exchange Server 2007. These events are definitely not anything like our usual TechNet Events. We have a whole crew of workers handling check-in and AV, we have big back-drops, fancy video screens, and long rows of partner tables. And we have hundreds of people coming to see what's new and cool about these products.
Or maybe they're coming for the free software.
"Gee... do you think?!"
Okay... well, in any case, the prospect was very exciting.... So much so that I thought it would be fun to bring my video camera and get some footage of what my week on the road sometimes looks like. So I captured "the sights, the sounds, and the smells" of a real TechNet road warrior.
It was also a little first test of the built-in video capturing, editing, and rendering that is included in Windows Vista Ultimate Edition.
My first week of events were to Des Moines, Iowa, and Omaha, Nebraska. And here is the video diary entry:
Video: Kevin's "New Day" Video Diary - Part 1
Of Interest: This first version is being hosted on SoapBox on MSN Video.
UPDATE: Here is a higher quality version using streamed video.
"Kevin, where have you been? Your blog and your blog readers have been missing you!"
Yeah.. sorry about that. In the preparation and delivery of our first week of huge launch events, I was rather busy. But I think the tradeoff was worth it. My time in Des Moines and Omaha was GREAT! (Watch my blog. I'm going to be posting a short video diary of my first week of "Ready for a New Day" events soon.)
"That's nice. Now.. did you mention a chance to win something?"
Oh yeah. An e-mail is being forwarded around to all of us bloggers, promoting a little contest to win a XBOX 360 (which is strange, because as it turns out, the MS Employees on the e-mail thread are ineligible. <sigh>).
Here are the specifics (The full details are on Mike Giannotti's blog here.):
"But, what's the REAL catch?"
The goal (or "catch", if you like) is that you learn something about the really cool collaboration possibilities that you'll get with the new 2007 Office System, and in particular, Groove 2007.
Here are some resources relating to the webcast I presented on January 10, 2007, entitled “TechNet Webcast: Planning for and Deploying Office SharePoint Server 2007 (Part 2 of 2)”.
I hope you find them useful.
PS - Resources and links to part 1 of this 2 part series are here.
Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Product Guide
Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Demo
Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Product Overview
Windows SharePoint Services Highlightshttp://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/technologies/sharepointtechnology/highlights.mspx
Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Integration with Office SharePoint Server 2007 (great diagram of the components that make up the whole)
Webcast Series: 2007 Microsoft Office System – Plan and deploy with confidence
Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies Team Blog
SharePoint Security Highlights
Microsoft Business Intelligence Product Guidehttp://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/solutions/bi/guide.mspx
SharePoint Portal Server Architecturehttp://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/sppt/reskit/c0561881x.mspx
This session’s resource page:
Live TechNet Events
Microsoft Events page:
Here are the "Best Of" the questions and answers from today's TechNet Webcast: "Planning for and Deploying Office SharePoint Server 2007 (Part 1 of 2)".
Thanks to all who attended!
PS - Here is my resource page for this webcast
PPS - Here is the link to register for Part 2
“Will this cover a server farm install or a single installation?”
We actually did a build of a new installation of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 on a single server, but it was as the first server in a server farm installation.
“We'd like to deploy an internal SharePoint server along with a external unlimited access server accessible by our customers and partners. 1.) What are some considerations we need to take into account? 2.) Can we seamlessly publish content to the external server concurrently using ISA 2006 link translation?”
1. Judging from your second question, I think you already have a handle on some of the main considerations – those being security and external vs. internal access and namespaces. Also, depending on how you plan on setting up the external access, you‘ll want to be sure you have the proper licensing model that will support it.
2. Absolutely. ISA can do the link translation for you. But there is also that same capability built-in to Office SharePoint Server 2007. Make sure you attend (or view) part 2 of this webcast, where I demonstrate how to configure that support.
“When will MOSS 2007 become available? Also, can the blogs and wikis be easily tied to user's AD groups?”
Check out the “How to Buy” page. Also, you can download a trial of MOSS 2007.
And as for your second question – I’m not sure what kind of a tie you’re looking for. But users in MOSS 2007 are associated with their AD account, and security group memberships are used to secure or allow access to resources in MOSS.
“Is there any restrictions for installing MOSS 2007 on an IIS server that has Frontpage Server Extensions enabled?”
I don’t think so, but I’ve sent the question to some very knowledgeable people. I’ll put an update here when I get it.
“Will scenario 2 work if the goal is to start small, but to be able to expand environment easily as this service takes off?”
(Scenario 2 is the small farm scenario)
Yes. The biggest benefit to starting out with a small one-server farm as opposed to the “basic” (one server, and we’ll put SQL Express in for you) install is that you have the ability to scale. Each of those scenarios can be built one after the other as needed, to scale up and/or out.
“Can you use Virtual Server 2005 and Virtual PC 2007 in conjunction to create scenario 2 & 3 for testing?”
Absolutely. It’s what I intend to do for my own server farm. In fact, my personal user-base is so small that I’ll probably get away with running it as virtual servers all on one box, next to my virtual DC and two virtual Exchange 2007 servers.
“Can you combine a search server role with Excel services?”
Yes. Those roles can run from the same machine.
Now… if I misunderstood your question, and if what you’re really asking is, “Can I search an Excel Spreadsheet that is being served up by Excel Services?”, then the answer is the same. Yes. A file that is available through those services is also saved to a document library, and can also be crawled, indexed, and made available to those who have rights to get to it.
“Is there a way to restore individual documents, if they get deleted, or does the entire DB need to be restored?”
Ah.. I’m sorry I missed this question when you asked it, because I forgot to show you the beauty of the new Recycle Bin. (I’ll be discussing it in greater detail in Part 2.) At its simplest, the recycle bin in WSS and MOSS acts just like the bin you have on your desktop. You can recover items you delete yourself. And where it differs is that it also adds an additional layer of protection – kind of a recycle bin of deleted docs – so that even if it leaves your own recycle bin, it may be safe for a certain time period before it’s permanently deleted.
Yeah.. we’ve done a lot to address that problem of restoring what was accidentally or incorrectly deleted.
“Sharepoint URL's are notoriously long and cumbersome. What is the recommendation for aliasing sites? Is there a way to do it through sharepoint or does each site need to have it's own IP and then use DNS for the aliasing?”
I’m not sure the solution is any better in WSS v3 or MOSS 2007. You have to target web applications in some unique way – either by name or by port used. SharePoint does the configuration for you – basically setting up the name and port information that is used by IIS.
“I noticed Clustered SQL Servers in the diagrams, Is Database mirroring supported? Is the auto failover function supported?”
DB Mirroring is indeed supported, but only automatic failover for the content databases. Other databases (Config DB, Search DB, SSP content or SSP Search) are not going to failover automatically. However, you can manually fail them over by using the STSADM “renameserver” command to point the services to the formerly-secondary-now-primary mirror server.
“Kevin, could you please tell us what the recommended audiences for each deployment topologies (small,medium, large farm..) are ? I mean what is the maximum of users ?”
As I said in the webcast, this is one of those “it depends” questions. I don’t have any firm figures on how many users can be supported by which scenario.
“Do you have to complete all the tasks on the Central Administration front page before adding content sites?”
No, you don’t. As I showed in the demo, when my creation of the SSP went too long (for demo purposes), I was able to create the main web site even before the SSP was done.
“Any online learning or Virtual lab for MOSS and or WSS 3.0?”
The best place to go for learning is www.microsoft.com/learning. There is indeed an online “clinic” entitled “Getting Started with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007”, which is found here: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/elearning/course/3370.mspx
You can also try SharePoint Server 2007 in a virtual lab.
“What did you do about all the update the Windows Server 2003 R2 need to install when freshly deployed ? Did you installed them all ? And also the .NET 3.0 downloadable package ? Any recommendation?”
My recommendation is to always have all updates in place before you install a new piece of software such as WSS v3 or Office SharePoint Server 2007. And yes, the .Net Framework 3.0 is downloadable. You can find it here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=10CC340B-F857-4A14-83F5-25634C3BF043&displaylang=en
“Are the exchange public folders going away and being replaced by MOSS 2007?”
No, Exchange Public Folders are not going away in the foreseeable future. However, we’re still hoping that people will see that, even in the free Windows SharePoint Services v3.0, the benefits of content management on a SharePoint site far outweigh what you have in Exchange Public Folders.
“If a document library document has a footer enabled with the path and filename, what will the path be when saved in a document library?”
The path will be the web address of the document – so something like http://www.litwareinc.com/documents/mydocument.doc.
Is there a SharePoint architecture diagram showing how the various components are related and explaining the purpose of each?”
I couldn’t find one, but I’ll ask around.
“What is needed to get business data catalogs to work?”
At the heart of it you’ll be building/configuring an .xml file that is the definition of what the data looks like, how it’s accessed, and how it should be rendered for SharePoint to use it.
Here is a good starting point, with additional links to further information, on how to plan for using Business Data Catalogs: http://technet2.microsoft.com/Office/en-us/library/604431c9-de72-43b9-a3a9-3b0c3bf3444e1033.mspx?mfr=true
“If you have 1 web server and 1 database server, it the deployment still considered a ‘farm’?”
Yes. Although you don’t yet have any load-balanced web servers or database clustering, SharePoint still considers this a “farm”. (Like an Active Directory “Forest” is still a forest if it has only one “tree”, so too a SharePoint “farm” is still a farm even if it only has one.. um.. tractor web server.)
“What is the difference between SharePoint2007 with regard to earlier versions?”
Here’s an Excel spreadsheet that spells out what is new or different compared to SharePoint Portal Server 2003: http://office.microsoft.com/search/redir.aspx?AssetID=XT102011901033&CTT=5&Origin=HA101978031033
“Is there a migration path from Sharepoint Team Services to MOSS 2007?”
Check out the Migration Resources Here.
“Regarding web accessibility, has the MOSS 07 CMS improved for accessible content and CSS? Just curious since this was an issue in the past and if you could provide a webcast or online resource on the topic.”
“Does the Experience Improvement program transfer hostnames, ip addresses, domain names, other company-confidential information?”
No. There is no company confidential or identifiable information transferred by default. Check the disclaimer/description on the form where you sign up to see the details.
“Can we change the site template once define? For instance, I create a site using the team template and now I want to set it as a meeting site--is it possible??”
I don’t think so. You can modify the site design and layout after you create it, but I don’t think you can switch templates once it is initially built.
“What are your recommendation in terms of which roles are installed on the MOSS server when deploying in the context of domain network (Active Directory) ? Do you add the Active Directory role ?
You could put MOSS on the same server that is also a Domain Controller (AD Role), but it’s not recommended. As long as your server is a member of a domain, you can use the accounts and groups in the directory to set permissions on services and resources. The MOSS server just needs to be able to access a domain controller and global catalog server.
“How would you replicate site content to another MOSS server somewhere else?”
You can actually set up content rules and paths, with jobs to replicate content. I’ll be talking about that in part 2 of the webcast.
“Is it possible to allow authentication to two different subsites using two authentication providers? For instance, we want to use another active directory domain controller with isolated accounts on the same SharePoint server?”
I believe there are restrictions in terms of what SSO (Single-Sign-On) or pluggable authentication providers can do for you here. (another topic I’ll discuss in part 2) However, if you’re talking about two AD domains or forests with a trust relationship established, I wouldn’t think this should be a problem.
“Kevin, what will be giving away during launch events?”
Check out my blog post all about it.
Here are some resources relating to the webcast I presented on January 8, 2007, entitled “TechNet Webcast: Planning for and Deploying Office SharePoint Server 2007 (Part 1 of 2)”.
PS - Resources and links to Part 2 of this two part series are here.
Thanks to an e-mail I just received from Charlie Kindel (see his blog), I'm now able to publicly express my excitement for this new, until now very-hush-hush product that Microsoft has been working on. Apparently Bill G just announced the product at CES this evening.
Here is the official web page that has been hinting at the name: www.stopdigitalamnesia.com
"What is it?"
I don't know fully myself just yet, but from what I've read, it's aiming to be a home digital repository. So, it's a central place for all of your digital photos, music, videos, files, etc. It's especially good for families like mine, who have more than one PC or Media Center, and would like a way to safely and securely centralize access, as well as protect those files. And it will keep this online repository safe and backed up as well as available to any computer in the universe, if you choose.
As a digital media enthusiast and the defacto digital family historian, I love this. This is really, really exciting. What do you think?
It's time to consider coming to our live Microsoft Across America events. I mean it. Seriously. You'll want to be there. Not only will you be getting a great overview of Windows Vista, the 2007 Microsoft Office System, and Exchange 2007, but we're also giving a free copy of Office 2007 Professional to every attendee.
"Wow! But... what's the catch, Kevin?"
No catch. In fact, here is the official wording of the offer, plus the disclaimer:
As an attendee at the event, you will receive a COMPLIMENTARY COPY of Microsoft Office 2007 Professional 2007*.
*FREE copy of Microsoft Office Professional 2007 and Microsoft Office Groove 2007. Offer good only to registered attendees of event on the date of their event, while supplies last. This offer is nontransferable. Limit one item per attendee. Taxes, if any, are the sole responsibility of the recipient. Must be present to receive the product. Products will be distributed as a download.
"What does 'Products distributed as a download' mean?"
I'm glad you asked. In fact, I've honestly heard two stories on this. I thought originally that we were going to have little shrinkwrapped DVD packages for everybody; but now it looks like we're giving out a key and a web site address where you'll go to download your software. If this changes, I'll let you know here.
"Cool! How do I sign up?"
You'll go to www.technetevents.com and pick the city to find the date of the event nearest to you.
(Note: There are also the main "Ready for a New Day" Launch Events going on in other cities. For information on those, go to this site.)
"Ah.. if I come to both your morning TechNet event and the afternoon MSDN event, will I be able get two pieces of software?"
Nope. It's one per customer. These events are a bit different than our ordinary events. You'll only be able to receive one software giveaway. Sorry, but them's-the-rules. And anyway, if you're at all interested in developer topics you really should consider going to the MSDN Events. You'll get the same free software, and the topics will be useful for developers.
"Which IT Pro events are you going to be speaking at, Kevin?"
Here's where you'll find me doing these events in January and February:
Jan 16 - Des Moines, IA
Jan 18 - Omaha, NE
Jan 30 - Milwaukee, WI
Feb 1 - Madison, WI
Feb 27 - Chicago, IL
"But aren't you doing an event in your home town of Minneapolis this quarter?"
As I mentioned, Microsoft is holding other major events in larger cities on other dates, which includes Minneapolis. The "Ready for a New Day" event in Minneapolis is on February 1st (I'll be in Madison that day). HOWEVER, we are working to also schedule Microsoft Across America Events using our Jan-Feb content in Fargo, ND on March 6, and Minneapolis, MN on March 8. Watch the www.technetevents.com site for these to go live. (Note: We will likely NOT be able to give away the free software at those March events. I just need to make sure that that is clear.)