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Dear all,

it is my pleasure to announce a new initiative of communicating SharePoint knowledge via videos using the “SharePointFive” approach: Show how technical configurations are done within only a few minutes (guideline: 5 mins per video, up to a max of 15 in special cases.

If you want to learn about SharePoint 2010 configurations, but only want to invest a few minutes at a time, if you are looking for the essentials that make up what you actually want to do, then SharePointFive is for you.

SharePointFive (SharePoint5)

SharePointFive is a youtube channel, that you can access under the below mentioned URL. It contains all videos (currently 1 only :-)) that have been and will be published, showing how to apply SharePoint (or related) configurations in just a few minutes. Usually, like in this case, there will be published a related blog post on angler.wordpress.com, in order to facilitate it for you to copy scripts and apply them.

SP5Logo

http://www.youtube.com/sharepointfive

The Video

The video will give you an idea of the steps to be executed, a few caveats. But most of all, it is only a few minutes long and won’t take a long time to watch. This first episode of SharePointFive is  a bit longer (about 12-13 minutes), since it contains also the explanation and motivation why SP5 has been launched.

The Scripts

1. Create the Master Key:

 1: USE master;
 2: 
 3: go
 4: 
 5: CREATE MASTER KEY ENCRYPTION BY PASSWORD = 'n0PWStealingAll0w3d!';
 6: 
 7: go

2. Create the Certificate:

 1: CREATE CERTIFICATE SP5Certificate WITH SUBJECT = 'SP5 DEK Certificate';
 2: go
 3: 

 

3. Back up Certificate & Private Key (EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO KEEP IT BACKUPPED AND SAFE!):

 1: USE master;
 2: go
 3: BACKUP CERTIFICATE SP5Certificate TO FILE = 'C:\Certificate\TDECertificate.cer'
 4: WITH PRIVATE KEY (
 5: FILE = 'C:\Certificate\PK.pvk',
 6: ENCRYPTION BY PASSWORD = '?pkP4SsW0rD!');
 7: GO

4. Create Database Encryption Key:

 1: CREATE DATABASE ENCRYPTION KEY WITH ALGORITHM = AES_256 ENCRYPTION BY SERVER CERTIFICATE SP5Certificate;
 2: 
 3: GO

5. Enable Transparent Data Encryption for a Specific Content Database:

 1: CREATE CERTIFICATE SP5Certificate WITH SUBJECT = SP5Certificate;
 2: go

Please bear in mind:

  • Scripts need to be adapted to your needs, of course
  • Please run everything in a isolated test environment, before applying on production level
  • Consult your DBA before applying any changes to the SQL Server Instance, like running the beforementioned scripts.
  • The author of this blog cannot take responsibility for any damages caused by executing scripts, programs and configurations shown
  • It is your responsibility to inform yourself about possible side effects that are not reported. Usually, Technet and MSDN are good references for complete documentation of the concepts shown.
  • The scripts of SharePointFive are provided “as is”

Stay tuned till the next episode of SharePoint 5 and enjoy!

Best,

Martin

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The good news

The manuscript is finished and submitted! Now I’m waiting for feedback, and certainly some corrections will be made. However, the big stuff is done.

Einstieg in Business Intelligence mit Microsoft SharePoint 2010: Überblick und Konfiguration der Business Intelligence-Features von SharePoint 2010

Preview it here: Einstieg in Business Intelligence mit SharePoint 2010

Below you can get some numbers about how I passed the last 4 months writing:

 

Book numbers

  • 1 Book
  • 9 chapters
  • 3 appendices
  • 340 pages
  • 250 images
  • 1.5 GB of content created

Time statistics

  • 500 hrs of writing
  • 142 hrs/month (yes, it’s become my second fulltime job)
  • 4.5 hrs sleep/day
  • 14 holidays taken for fulltime writing
  • Average hour of going to sleep:
    • First month of writing: 11.30 p.m
    • Last month of writing: 03.00 a.m.

Trivia

  • 15 albums listening to while writing (7 from which Rammstein)
  • 1 640GB backup hard disk smashed on the floor, causing:
    • INF swearings over the broken hard disk
    • 1 shock proof hard disk purchased
  • 1 MacBook Pro AC adapter cable chewed to death by cat
  • INF amount of:
    • Coffee
    • Red Bull
    • Tea
    • Fresh Fruit
    • Sweets

It was a great experience to write the book and I had the chance to take a 4 month intensive course in specializing on selected topics. However, now I’m really looking forward to increase my sleeping again back from 4.5 to 8 hours!

😉

 

Stay tuned and best regards,

Martin

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Hi there,

a few days ago I received the definitive confirmation that I’m going to speak at the Collaboration Days in Lucerne, Switzerland. The conference’s motto is as follows:

creating hands-on value’

Hence, the goal is to communicate best practices and tutorials, sessions that can be used right away in the field. No marketing or ads, just real-life SharePoint 2010 usage scenarios. Microsoft is supporting the conference as platinum sponsor, among many other sponsors.

 

Contents and Speakers

Here are some numbers:

  • 2 days (November 29th and 30th)
  • ~20 speakers
  • 7 MVPs
  • 4 tracks (IT Pro, Developer, Management, Solutions)
  • 40+ sessions

My session has been placed in the “Management” track and is called “Einstieg in Business Intelligence mit SharePoint 2010”. It will deal with the configuration of PerformancePoint Services and the creation of BI content using Dashboard Designer.

It’s a great honor to speak alongside with gurus such as Thorsten Hans, Dux Raymond Sy, Christian Glessner Michael Greth, Samuel Zürcher (who organises the Collaboration Days) and many many more!

 

Where and when?

The conference takes place at the KKL Luzern (CH).

Check out the official information at www.collaborationdays.ch.

I’m really looking forward to meeting many of you at the conference. More or less at the same time, my book, titled “Einstieg in Business Intelligence mit SharePoint 2010” should be printed and available. For the ones who want to give a glance at the book’s summary, here it is:

 

Einstieg in Business Intelligence mit Microsoft SharePoint 2010: Überblick und Konfiguration der Business Intelligence-Features von SharePoint 2010

http://www.amazon.de/Einstieg-Business-Intelligence-Microsoft-SharePoint/dp/3866456832/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315309414&sr=8-1

 

Hope to meet many of you there!

Best regards,

Martin

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Dear all,

while you can plan and organize availability on farm level by configuring Network Load Balancing and also SQL Server database mirroring and failover clustering, you do also have the possibility to plan for high availability on service application level, especially for critical service applications like PerformancePoint. In order to perform this, you must have a failover database server along your normal SQL server.

 

Higher availability for PerformancePoint Services can be achieved by adding additional failover databases to the PerformancePoint Service Application.

 

Go to the Central Administration, choose the row of the PerformancePoint Services Application (don’t click the name, otherwise you’ll “Manage”), and select “Properties” from the ribbon. Just like in Fig. 1

 

image

Fig.1: Open the properties window for the PerformancePoint Service Application

 

Next, in the “Failover Database Server”, insert the name of your failover database server.

image

Fig. 2: Specify the database failover server

After you did this, click “OK” to confirm.

 

Before fully relying on this mechanism, it could make sense to do a test run to verify whether the failover is working at all.

 

Caution: Do not execute the following steps in a production environment, unless you know what you are doing. At all costs, before testing the settings, notify users, schedule downtimes and make sure to do this together with a SQL administrator. Before applying any changes in production, test them in a similar test environment. The following steps assume that you have a working failover cluster for SQL server. If you don’t, DO NOT PROCEED at this point. If you are having only a single instance of SQL server (tested or untested) or a failover cluster that has been untested or is known not to be working, DO NOT EXECUTE the following steps. Otherwise you might lose data and functionality of your SharePoint environment.

 

1. Open a PPS dashboard.

2. Then, shut the principal SQL server instance down (again: Caution! do not do this in a production environment or without experience. You might lose all or partial functionality of SharePoint temporarily). This is the machine that is running Configuration Manager.

3. The failover server should now take over all the workload of the principal server.

4. Refresh the dashboard. It should work fine.

5. Try to modify it to see whether also write operations work on the PPS failover database.

6. Make sure to start again the SQL Server instance and verify that everything is up and working again.

 

The PowerShell approach:

The same result can also be achieved using the following PowerShell cmdlet:

 

Set-SPPerformancePointServiceApplication –Identity <Identity> –DatabaseFailoverServer <Servername>

 

This is very straightforward and increases the availabilty of your PerformancePoint Services.

Upshot: If you have a running SQL Server failover cluster, with little effort you can achieve high availability also for you Business Intelligence data. Not bad, is it?

 

Stay tuned, and till next time!

Martin (still in Calabria)

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Dear all,

The developer dashboard is a very handy tool in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, when it comes to analyzing how your site is loading and finding potential bottlenecks. It displays information about databases, webservices, the current page itself and so on. You can see an example of the developer dashboard here. Once enabled, it can be found scrolling at the bottom of the page you want to analyze.

The Developer Dashboard

There are three states the developer dashboard can be in:

  • On: Displayed
  • Off: Not displayed
  • On Demand: Can be toggled by the user.

And you have three possibilities of turning it on or off:

  • STSADM.exe
  • PowerShell
  • SharePoint COM

In this post, we’ll just focus on the STSADM.exe method, since it is the fastest one. STSADM.exe is located in the HIVE folder of SharePoint 2010 (usually “C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\”, and there in the “BIN” folder).

The STSADM.exe Method:

On:  stsadm -o setproperty -pn developer-dashboard -pv on

Off:  stsadm -o setproperty -pn developer-dashboard -pv off

On Demand:  stsadm -o setproperty -pn developer-dashboard -pv ondemand

Turning it on “On Demand” creates a new button in the menu, which is shown in the following picture:

On Demand Developer Dashboard Toggle Button

On Demand Developer Dashboard Toggle Button

That’s it! The command takes a few seconds to run and then quits with a “Operation successful” message.

Best regards and stay tuned till the next time,

Martin

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Dear all,

This is a video I stumbled across doing research on SharePoint 2010 Business Intelligence. I found it very useful to get an idea of how useful SharePoint 2010’s BI capabilities are.

Click this picture to watch the video

Click this picture to watch the video

It features:

  • PowerPivot
  • Enterprise Data Warehouses
  • Out-of-the-box reports
  • Dashboards

… all without programming – just configuration!

I hope this helps to spread the word how important BI insight in companies is in order to make timely and hard-facts-based decisions. After all, the setup of such a BI system is performed in little time and offers a great value.

Best regards,

Martin

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