I recently attended SPC12 with many of my colleagues from AIS.  One of the sessions I really enjoyed was High Availability Solutions with SharePoint Server 2013 delivered by Bill BaerThis sessions was geared toward the ITPro (admin) audience and detailed the options when making SharePoint Highly Available.

During this session I found it interesting how much time was spent talking about mirroring.  Mirroring is now considered a deprecated technology but is still supported by SharePoint 2013.  Today I’d like to break down the session and talk about my thoughts on each point.

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Like the rest of the AIS team, I’d thought I’d share one of the most interesting sessions I attended during SPC12. It was called SharePoint Center of Excellence: Why you need one. Those IT Pro and Dev guys/gals might have missed this one because it was in the basement (politely known as the conference’s Business Section), but I found it extremely valuable.

The session was run by Andrew Woodward from App 21 on the usefulness of (and strategies for) successfully operating a Center of Excellence within an organization. For those that have never had the pleasure of actively participating in the evangelizing/educating/promoting of technology in reshaping workforce processes, Centers of Excellence serve as visible and real recognition by organizational leadership on the commitment of the investment. In other words, they help put weight behind the words.

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Windows 8 Desktop

Microsoft has been a busy company this year with refreshes on most of its biggest solutions. Not only has SharePoint gone through a massive update, but so has Windows. If you’re still unfamiliar with the changes in Windows 8, then be prepared for a shocker. In the new UI, applications have been stripped of chrome and are full-screen solutions. Windows 8 was designed with touch as a first-class input method.

SharePoint 2013 brings several new features, but the two that will empower client application development the most are the greatly expanded Client-Side Object Model (CSOM) and the REST APIs. While the maturity of these features is important for Microsoft’s push to SharePoint Online and client-side development, it also opens up complex functionality for Windows, mobile, and external web applications. Read More…

Visio is a product that all of us in the business solutions world should eventually master. Graphics make very complex information easier to convey and grasp quickly. At this year’s SharePoint Conference, the Visio product team outlined some of the updates they’ve made during the Office 2013 release cycle. The updates for the Office 2013 release center on three major themes: More Professional, Easier Collaboration and Powerful Platform.

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This week, many AIS team members are attending the Microsoft SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. We’ll be posting blog posts from each of them as they learn what’s new and what’s exciting during sessions, demonstrations and other conference highlights.

We’re out at the SharePoint Conference 2012 this week and learning a ton about the new features of SharePoint 2013. One of particular interest to the IT pros should be the introduction of PowerShell 3.0. There are a number of new features available in PowerShell 3.0 not to mention the cmdlets!

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This week, many AIS team members are attending the Microsoft SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. We’ll be posting blog posts from each of them as they learn what’s new and what’s exciting during sessions, demonstrations and other conference highlights.

I just attended the “Delivering Winning Projects in SharePoint with Microsoft Project” breakout session, and Project 2013 (along with SharePoint 2013) brings some compelling new and improved functionality to those managing and working on projects.

Some of the goals of the latest version of Project were to make it easy to quickly set up a project, improve collaboration and provide flexibility in managing and consuming project data.  The session was largely demo-driven with each of these goals highlighted throughout.

Project and SharePoint 2013 are much more tightly integrated now than they were in the past.  Project schedules can be built in either the Project 2013 client or in a SharePoint 2013 task list, and changes are synchronized in both directions.  When creating a new project schedule, a project manager can create a SharePoint 2013 project site from the Project 2013 client by using the “Sync with SharePoint” option on the “Save As” menu. This will create a new SharePoint project site, create a task list (populated with the tasks from your project schedule), and also upload the project file to the new project site.

Very cool.

Project 2013 Save Dialog
The Project 2013 Save Dialog

SharePoint enables collaboration with your project team and the new task list in SharePoint 2013 will significantly enhance this capability.  The new task list is much less cumbersome to work with, especially the new datasheet view which is rendered completely in the browser and no longer is dependent on having Office or Access installed.  Sub-tasks can be created, keyboard shortcuts are supported, and tasks can be completed simply by checking them off in the datasheet sheet view.

The entire experience is very similar to managing tasks in the Project client.  As many project managers know, collecting status updates on development tasks is not always easy, but with the new streamlined SharePoint 2013 task list and the ability to seamlessly sync with Project, this becomes much easier. Custom fields can be created in your project schedule using the Project 2013 client, which will in turn create those fields in your SharePoint 2013 task list.  These fields can also be mapped and synchronized selectively, so the project manager can prevent overloading the project team working on tasks with data.

Other new Project 2013 features include:

  • Full-featured reporting capabilities, with around a dozen charts available out-of-the-box and the ability to create ad-hoc reports and graphs to report on the status of your projects.
  • The Team Planner view which provides a visualization of the tasks that are assigned to each resource in your project schedule, making it simple to identify and correct resource utilization problems.
  • The Task Path feature makes it easy to visualize and assess the impact that a single task has on a project schedule.

I am definitely looking forward to using these new features of Project 2013 (and using the new SharePoint 2013 task list) to manage my project.

This week, many AIS team members are attending the Microsoft SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. We’ll be posting blog posts from each of them as they learn what’s new and what’s exciting during sessions, demonstrations and other conference highlights.

During the Microsoft SharePoint Conference keynote yesterday morning, there weren’t a lot of surprises (if you’ve been paying attention for the last few months, that is).  However, you can always learn something from the emphasis that Microsoft puts on certain topics.  The biggest “announcement” was that the enterprise features of Yammer are now included with Office 365 E Plans and SharePoint Online.  SharePoint 2013 also went up for sale (at least for some customers) yesterday. The rest is all about the cloud and apps.

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