Bruce Kyle has been really busy recently and has written a 7 part series on how you can secure applications on Windows Azure. Whilst many of you are not developers it is always good to keep up to date on what best practices are floating around especially when it comes to IT security so I thought it would be useful to share the series with you.
The series not only goes into what you should do but also how best to respond to security threats on Windows Azure.
Windows Azure Security Best Practices – 7 Part Series
Pass these tips and tricks onto your development team and ensure that they are looking after your systems.
Remember to share your tips and tricks with us! I’m sure we can all learn from one another’s experiences.
Andy Hodges is a SharePoint Solutions Consultant at Mando Group, a leading digital agency specialising in creating enterprise web sites and RIAs. Andy works with SharePoint to create engaging Intranets, Extranet and Internet sites. Andy can be found on twitter @AndyRHodges
Cloud technologies have been around for a number of years and are increasing in maturity, which is filtering down to organisations, as not just a viable option when building a new application, but the best option. Working for a digital agency we build a lot of critical online systems using the SharePoint platform. Most of these systems are externally facing to the public and the biggest need to be hosted on large server farms. A lot of the work we do is design led, it is important to be able to have control over the presentation of the HTML and CSS in a SharePoint Solution.
I started to look into SharePoint Online which is part of the Office365 suite to see if the external facing aspects of SharePoint Online have the potential to be used for hosting SharePoint internet sites. As you may know SharePoint Online has the ability to host an externally facing website on your own domain. There is also a comprehensive interface that enables business to quickly setup their own website. Unfortunately this interface doesn’t provide the control over the HTML and CSS that we require for some of our customers, but there are ways around this. Before I look at the ways around this I wanted to test getting one of my own domains setup in Office365, in this article I will explain how I did it.
Step One – Confirm your domain ownership with Office365
I am not yet moving my whole site to SharePoint Online so I setup up a subdomain http://cloud.sharepointrescue.com. Setting up a subdomain requires a bit of knowledge around DNS records, but if you have access to you domain admin account you should be able to do this fairly easily.
To be able to use a “Vanity” or custom domain with SharePoint Online you must first add the domain into Office365 using the admin portal. After logging into Office365 as an Admin user, select “Domains” from the left menu and add a new domain and click check domain.
Now you need to verify the domain. To do this you need to add a CNAME record to you DNS, which is auto generated for you.
Once you have added the record you can try and verify the domain.
This part took a relatively short time to wait for the record to propagate, probably about 10 minutes in my case. If successful this will add the domain to Office365.
Step Two – Change the intent of the domain to SharePoint Online
Right, this is a part I got stuck on briefly, if you thought you could use the same domain for Lync Online, Exchange Online and SharePoint Online you would be wrong, like I was. If you want to use the domain for SharePoint Online, un-tick Lync Online and Exchange Online, then tick SharePoint Online.
Step Three – Change the domain of the SharePoint Internet Site to your new domain
At this point we need to jump into SharePoint Online so click the SharePoint Online Manage option. If you haven’t already create a Site collection, select your site and click on the Website Domains option on the ribbon when it appears. The domain that you have added to Office 365 will be in the dropdown, select this and click ok.
Step Four – Amend the DNS of your domain to point at SharePoint Online
Now the difficult bit, for your domain to resolve to SharePoint Online you will need to change the DNS once again to point at SharePoint Online. Again in the site collections part of SharePoint Online, select the site you have just renamed and click the DNS Information button on the ribbon.
This gives you the target for the CNAME record that you now need to add to your DNS. The Alias or Host name should be the (root), which it doesn’t tell you in the help. I also did two other things here that are not mentioned in the help, firstly I deleted the previous CNAME records that had been created to get the domain verified with Office365 and secondly I deleted the A record for my domain. Whether you need to do the second step is debatable, but it worked, so I am leaving it as it is. This took a good day to propagate so it is difficult to know if you have it right the first time, be patient.
Great you now have a SharePoint Internet facing site on your own domain in the cloud! Here is mine http://cloud.sharepointrescue.com. You will notice that the standard Adventure Works master page has been applied. This is not something that I will cover now, but there is a way to enhance the external facing website by allowing custom master pages and CSS. I will be writing a follow up on this topic.
In this short video IT Professionals talk about their experiences with Microsoft Certification and how it has helped support both organisational and personal progression in the IT industry. For more information about Microsoft Certification and Certification Training, please go here.
The SQL Server 2012 Virtual Launch is an exclusive, online event designed to give you an overview of the exciting new capabilities of SQL Server 2012.
Maurice Martin, Server UK Lead, will welcome you to the event where you will discover how early adopters, customers, and partners are already benefitting from these new capabilities in SQL Server 2012! You will be able to visit the partner pavilion where 10 UK partners will be showcase further the benefits of the new release.
Go Further. Forward. Faster. with Microsoft SQL Server 2012!
Those of you who have been around the TechNet world for some time might remember this old-school Microsoft video, created by the IT Pro team many years ago. It resurfaced internally a couple of weeks back and we thought it would be fun to share for old times sake and a bit of Friday afternoon light relief!
Whilst purely tongue in cheek, how many of you are secretly disappointed that this project was never made a reality?!
We are delighted to announce that the Call for Speakers for the European SharePoint Conference 2013 is now open online and look forward to seeing a few UK speakers on the list!
The entry period for submissions will be open until 30th April and there has all ready been numerous submissions, so if you are interested then put your proposal forward now.
The 2013 conference in Copenhagen will be a fantastic opportunity to exchange knowledge and learn from others about SharePoint - the business collaboration platform for enterprise and the internet. We look forward to receiving submissions to speak on SharePoint as a platform or environment in areas such as collaboration; document - content and/or knowledge management; search; business intelligence; social networking; composite applications; web development; cloud; governance and or any other SharePoint related topic you feel that your colleagues in the European SharePoint Community would or should be interested in.
Submissions are invited from IT Managers, Business Users, IT Professionals, Developers, Consultants, Project Managers, Researchers, Testers, Test Managers, Development Managers or anyone with an interesting lessons learned from the field/case study about implementing, embracing & enjoying SharePoint technologies.
Submit here to speak!
This recent Computer Weekly article caught our eye in the office the other day. It details how Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs are set to save £50 million on their IE6 Upgrade, opening the way for further modernisation, including a planned move from Windows XP to Windows 7.
Working with CDG and Browsium, a pilot plan has been put in place to start testing the first 15-20 of the company’s applications in the next few weeks. To find out more about what Browsium have to offer, be sure to come along to our App Compat Session in London on the 3rd May! They will be presenting alongside Microsoft and Camwood on the many different techniques you can employ to join take the same path as HMRC, moving off of IE6 and saving money for your business.
Click here for more information and to register with Camwood.
On 26th May 2012 all UK websites must offer users opt-in consent tools to allow cookies that pass information about your browsing activities to 3rd parties. The law was passed almost a year ago but many websites haven’t yet updated to take this into account. The big question is are you compliant?
If you’ve not yet reviewed your websites then take a moment to watch this video of John Mannix from Governor Technology who talks about cookielaw.org, a service that used crowd-sourcing to farm cookies from volunteers who installed an agent on their machines and provide later analysis and gave advice on whether a particular site's cookies existed within the limitation of the EU directive that came in to force on the 27th May 2011 (and that will be enforced in May 2012).
This video features an interesting discussion on how they architected to use Azure features so they could easily scale up/down depending on the number of cookies that were harvested as well as potentially being a way to identify what your company needs to do to comply.
This week’s book of the fortnight is Windows Internals Part 1, and thanks to our friends at Microsoft Press TechNet Readers can get it with a special 40% discount! For more information, check out the Microsoft Press Shop’s TechNet Book page, or order an electronic copy using the code ‘Technetuk’ at the checkout.
Windows® Internals, Part 1, 6th edition
Delve inside Windows architecture and internals and see how core components work behind the scenes. Led by three renowned internals experts, this classic guide is fully updated for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Understanding how the operating system works “under the covers” facilitates understanding the performance behaviour of the system and makes troubleshooting system problems much easier when things go wrong. After reading this book, you should have a better understanding of how Windows works and why it behaves as it does.
TechNet Offer – 40% discount:
Buy a print copy with free UK p&p for just £18.59.
You can also buy this as an eBook - enter code TechnetUK in the basket.
One of my memories of TechEd from the past was IT Forum(the previous name for the event) 2004, in Copenhagen. My first role at Microsoft was working with universities in the UK. As part of the activities associated to IT Forum I had organized a session with Bob Muglia, a senior executive at Microsoft. I can remember having to provide Bob’s team with a comprehensive briefing document that had taken me hours to fill out and having to send personal invites to the customers attending. I had just over 100 senior representatives from UK Universities waiting for him to arrive.
About 5 minutes before he was due to present, I received an international phone call, which turned out to be Bob’s assistant. He told me that Bob had taken off from Paris airport, the plane he was in had developed a problem and had to be diverted back to Paris. This meant there was no chance he was going to be able to present. It was one those times where you have to deliver bad news and reset expectations. We ended up delivering a session about how we could work better with Universities that was really well received. That was one of my lasting memories of TechEd/ IT Forum.
If you would like to find out more about TechEd Europe 2012 then pop over to the website and check out the blog.