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Archive for June, 2011

I just received the Microsoft Community Contributor Award!
Microsoft Community Contributor Award 2011

Today, while watching TV, I received an email from support@microsoftcommunitycontributor.com. It was stating:

Congratulations! We’re pleased to inform you that your contributions to Microsoft online technical communities have been recognized with the Microsoft Community Contributor Award.

The Microsoft Community Contributor Award is reserved for participants who have made notable contributions in Microsoft online community forums such as TechNet, MSDN and Answers. The value of these resources is greatly enhanced by participants like you, who voluntarily contribute your time and energy to improve the online community experience for others.

[…]

This is a great honor to me to be awarded with this recognition. After all, it’s a great pleasure to dedicate time and to contribute something meaningful to the community. So thanks, Microsoft for awarding me the MCC award, and thanks also to the unknown promotors who have proposed me for this.

This is a big motivation for going on like until now. So I’m looking forward to many, many more contributions!

Thanks and best regards,

Martin

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Hi all,

 

these are the latest news about the Office 365 launch in NY, where Mr. Steve Ballmer presented the following information. Office finally has moved to the cloud.

 

Janice Kapner gave a brief introduction and welcomed then Steve Ballmer.

image

 

These are the key points Ballmer named before the demo:

 

  • Simultaneously working on documents
  • Realtime collaboration and meetings
  • Suited for business of any size
  • Instant access
  • Small- and midsized businesses can compete now with the “big shots”

 

 

image

 

During the demo, the following things were shown:

 

  • Office 365 start screen w/quick access to Apps
  • Office Web Apps – simultaneous editing the same document
  • Browser-based Applications render exactly the same result as client-based applications
  • Connecting Windows Phone 7 to Office 365 thru Office Hub
  • Integrating OneNote on WP7, Browser and Client Apps – really fast synchronisation
  • 25 GB Email access
  • Lync meetings’ organization
  • Video conferences w/ simultaneous presentations
  • SharePoint Online website editing using the SP Online UI

 

For the rest of the talk, Ballmer was mainly pointing out the opportunities for small- and midsized businesses to get an enterprise collaboration platform with Office 365, that will help not only to maintain contacts and collaboration among employees but also with the outside world.

 

Some more facts:

 

Monthly subscription is available.

70% of the Office 365 Beta users were small- to midsized companies.

 

One big advantage Ballmer mentioned is the possibility for small businesses, to decide not to run an IT infrastructure of their own, but to outsource it to the cloud.

 

Best regards,

Martin

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Hi all,

as you probably know, Office 365 is about to be released to the public. Today, Steve Ballmer is going to talk in a live webinar and probably will announce that Office 365 is final and ready.

 

http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2011/jun11/06-20MSMOD365MA.mspx

 

I also joined the beta and found the interface very fast and efficient. Especially the web apps rock and are just as responsive as their corresponding client versions are. Great stuff so far!

 

However, there is a weird error that I stumbled across: When creating a new document, opening the dropdown for the font, then *not* selecting a font but clicking back in the writing’s area, the Word Web App crashes.

 

image

Fig. 1: After creating a document: Everything’s still fine

 

image

Fig. 2: After opening the fonts’ dropdown: Still fine

 

image

Fig. 3: After clicking back into the writing’s area.

 

It’s not much of a problem, since you can easily restart the Word Web App and re-open the document using the “Restart” button of the dialog in Fig. 3, but any unsaved text is lost in such a case.

 

Has anyone else encountered this?

Best regards,

Martin

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Dear all,

While reviewing the Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) and Checklists for the daily use of monitoring health of SharePoint environments, I found the following interesting information about memory leak detection.

 

These for sure are among the worst things that can happen to a SharePoint administrator, since they can cause occasional downtimes and cryptic error messages.

 

As with almost any troubleshooting approach for SharePoint, you should go to the ULS logs and search for specific error messages. These are the two most common sources of memory leaks:

 

1. “An SPRequest object was not disposed before the end of this thread. To avoid wasting system resources, dispose of this object or its parent (such as a SPSite or SPWeb) as soon as you are done using it. This object will now be disposed”

Careful: Watch out for large numbers of this error message. It can be the case that such messages are “false positives”. Luckily, the ULS logs provide also object counts, so you can easily see whether this is occurring often or only a single event.

 

2. No specific error message, but:

Symptom: Intermittent application pool recycles.

Result: Downtime.

Problem: Hard to reproduce and debug for the administrator.

Explanation: Not properly disposed objects cause the garbage collector not to be able to recover used memory. As a result, the growth of memory by the application pool can increase greatly, causing a security protection mechanism to trigger an application pool recycle.

 

Solution for both problems: Dispose objects properly. Microsoft provides a guide on how to do this properly here:

 

Best Practices: Using Disposable Windows SharePoint Services Objects

 

Also, there is a very handy tool to detect memory leaks, which detects possible memory leaks in custom SharePoint solutions which do not comply with Microsoft’s best practices. You can find descriptions and the download of this tool here:

 

SharePoint Dispose Checker Tool

 

Happy and (safe) coding & stay tuned till the next time!

 

Best regards,

Martin

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1. Close Distance Rule:

Keep Web Frontends, Application Servers and Database Servers physically located as close as  possible.

 

Rule of thumb: No more than 1 ms of latency between WFEs/AS and DB servers. In practice, this means: WFEs/ASs should reside in the same data center as DB servers.

 

 

2. Co-Location/Separation of Databases

Certain databases must be co-located or ideally separated from other databases.

 

Rule of thumb: Separate the following databases:

 

 

 

image

Source: Microsoft Technet

 

Rule of thumb: Co-locate the following databases:

 

 

image

Source: Microsoft Technet

 

3. Constantly Monitor Database Servers

Size: Rules of thumb:

    Pre-grow databases and logs.

    Monitor disk space at all times.

    < 50 Databases per SQL Server instance (when mirroring)

                          < 200 GB per content database

 

 

Metrics: Rules of thumb:

    Network Queue: 0 or 1 for best performance

    Average Disk Queue length (latency) : < 5 ms

                       Memory used: < 70%

                       Free disk space: > 25%

                       Buffer cache hit ratio: >= 90%

 

4. Transaction Logs Backup

Rule of thumb: Back up and truncate the transaction logs every 5 minutes. Shrinking the transaction logs is not recommended since it will have a performance impact while it re-grows.

 

 

For preventing the transaction logs to grow unexpectedly, view the following KB: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/873235

 

That’s it for this time. Have fun configuring your DB servers for your SP2010 environment. As usual, no responsibility is taken for any damage that could occurr. And as ususal, I highly recommend trying all changes on a test environment and the adaptation to your specific IT infrastructure.

 

Enjoy and best regards,

Martin

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… is the title of a research study carried out by Forrester Research and commissioned by Microsoft. The study shows the following results:

 

image

 

Interesting ROI rates, a short breakeven point (lower than 18 months) and the above mentioned table 1 (source: Forrester Research, Inc.) mention that there is some upfront investment needed which would however pay off within comparably short time.

 

Forrester carried out interviews among 11 organizations (that were selected by Microsoft). The following customer organizations were interviewed:

 

 

image

Source: Forrester Research, Inc.

 

Main reasons for the adoption of SharePoint 2010 were:

  • Flexible collaboration platform, responding to changes
  • Reduce maintenance through consolidation of existing tools
  • Support team activities on single platform
  • Documents and records management
  • Deploy ECM platform
  • Take advantage of user familiarity w/ MS Office apps

I think these are valid reasons, and some of them have been also named in the AIIM study that I wrote about before: AIIM Study: SharePoint 2010 Adoption for ECM.

 

Cheers,

Martin

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Dear all,

 

a recent study of AIIM has revealed a few interesting statistics about the adoption of SharePoint 2010 for Enterprise Content Management, among the following, in my opinion most interesting ones:

 

  • 70% of 5000+ employees sized firms: Already implemented SP
  • 30% of 10-500 employees sized firms: No intention to implement SP
  • 13% are first-time SP2010 users
  • 27% performed an upgrade from MOSS 2007 -> SP2010
  • 49% plan to integrate SP w/ their existing or new ECM
  • 4% throw away existing ECMs to replace them with SP2010

 

While 76% of the participating companies are from the US, an estimated 18% are from Europe.

 

Here’s the statistics about which SharePoint versions are spread:

 

  • 6%: SharePoint 2010 production system
  • 13%: SharePoint 2003 production system
  • 36%: MOSS 2007 production system

 

… which was expectable: Most of the hitherto known installations are still on 2007. However, I’d expect number of SP2010 production systems to increase in the next months and years, while existing MOSS 2007 production systems would decrease. After all, it is some effort to upgrade from MOSS 2007 -> SharePoint 2010, but certainly it is worth the effort, as SP2010 is offering some nice additional functionality, such as the integrated PerformancePoint Services.

 

Many different industry sectors were participating in the surveys which lead to the above statistics, among them government, social businesses, . The total number of participating companies is 583.

 

What is really interesting to see is that the main business driver for adopting an ECM at all is the improvement of communication, namely an „Increased collaboration within and between teams“ (60% of the companies named this reason).

 

Most Frequently Used Features of ECM Systems

Moreover, the most frequently used features of ECM systems are concurrent document editing and wikis (58%) and blogs (53%). Another indicator that companies do value the inter-communication and knowledge sharing of their staff.

 

Let’s see how long it takes for smaller companies to recognize this value. After all, there are free editions of ECM systems, one of them being SharePoint Foundation 2010.

 

Stay tuned till next time!

 

Best regards,

Martin

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