Office 365 Saturday Europe is going to be Epic!

I have the honour and privilege to be accepted for the 2nd year in a row to speak at Office 365 Saturday which is an online event available to everyone around the world. The event boasts 20 top class speakers and excellent topics. It’s a great way to get your knowledge on from the comfort of your couch or get a few peeps into the office and share a pizza and make a day out of it. It’s also the easiest way to win an XBOX ONE ever, just attend and you have a chance to win.

Register Here

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What is the Value of Keeping Your SharePoint Farm Healthy?

Let’s take a step back quickly to assess this question. Let’s pretend you have saved up for a very long time to buy your dream car, and during that time you sacrificed so much to make your dreams a reality. When that faithful day arrives and you walk into the dealer pick out the gorgeous rear weal drive, cherry red convertible giving you eyes from the showroom window. While you start to sign the papers the sales person asks “Would you like a maintenance and service plan with that?”, and you reply “Of course sign me up!”, Why did you not say “No Thanks I got it covered, I have google to assist me when a problem arises” Well the reason you most probably didn’t say that was because you know how much time and money you have put into your purchase and the last thing you need is for something to go wrong to it right?

This is exactly why keeping your SharePoint farm healthy is of utmost importance to anyone who uses the platform. If you are like the hundreds of thousands of business’s out there that utilise SharePoint as a platform for business critical day to day requirements then keeping the motor running is of utmost importance. It doesn’t matter what workflows and business automation you have developed, or how many users have adopted or the fact that it works everywhere on any device, because the fact remains that if SharePoint is not running none of those features work either.

It’s not all doom and gloom though, why don’t you join us for a free webinar on how we at GTconsult manage hundreds of SharePoint farms worldwide run at peak performance with maximum uptime day in and day out.

Join the Umlindi webinar on Thursday, October 30th at 11am Pacific to learn more.

Register here

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GTconsult expands

GTconsult is a SharePoint solutions company which was founded by Bradley Geldenhuys and Craig Tarr.  They currently have office locations in Cape Town and Durban with their sights on Johannesburg in the third quarter of 2013.  Their motto “Everything SharePoint” is exactly what they deliver speaking to the founders.

“With combined experience of over 20 years in SharePoint we believe that we can provide Everything SharePoint, from best practise implementations, exciting look and feel, world class business productivity solutions, business critical workflow design and structure, quality end user and administrative training, end to end governance and ground breaking business intelligence.”  Bradley Geldenhuys

“We have extended our SharePoint Everything offering with fantastic 3rd party products provided by Metalogix, Axceler and Nintex Workflow to ensure our clients get the best quality solutions from best of breed products. “ Craig Tarr

“We have also created an offering that provides remote SharePoint support, maintenance and monitoring we have coined this “Umlindi”, which the Zulu word for “Guardian”.  Our clients who are currently utilising Umlindi have the peace of mind that their SharePoint environment is safe, up to date, secure and always online.” Bradley Geldenhuys

With this amazing experience and success in the world of SharePoint GTconsult have decided to broaden their horizons to farming and production, specifically Pineapples.

GTconsult gets into pineapples

GTconsult gets into pineapples

“Since being in KwaZulu Natal, I have seen a huge gap in the industry for gourmet pineapples and pineapple produce, and we believe at GTconsult we can use our expertise gained from our clients during the many SharePoint projects in food manufacturing, farming and shipping to exploit the pineapple market.” Bradley Geldenhuys

“Using the same passion we have for SharePoint we shall transfer that energy to making pineapples a South African staple and ensure a truly unique and unforgettable experience for all.” Craig Tarr

From Everything SharePoint to delectable pineapples GTconsult is defiantly a company on the rise.  Check out their website here http://www.gtconsult.co.za

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Installing SharePoint Server 2013 on Windows 2012 and SQL 2012

Ensure you have the following before getting started

Setup a basic Windows 2012 Server no frills required.

Setup a basic SQL 2012 instance or SQL 2008 R2 SP1

Create a domain service account with DBcreator and SecurityAdmin rights on SQL 2012 Instance

Download SharePoint Server 2013 from MSDN

*Change IMG to ISO to mount using Hyper-V

Run the pre-requisites tool

Click Next

Accept the terms and of the Licence Agreements and click Next

Server might need a restart, click Finish and the server will reboot.

After the server has rebooted you will be greeted with the above window which will continue the pre-requisite installation

Once this has completed successfully click Finish and Reboot

Go to your SharePoint Server 2013 server image location and run Setup as Administrator by right clicking on Setup.

Click Yes

If you have not yet rebooted after the Prerequisites installation you will need to reboot before the installation can complete

Add the SharePoint 2013 Server Key

6RNT8-XV26M-GWH36-VMGQH-94MMH

Accept the terms of the agreement

I have decided to install a complete solution onto a pre-existing SQL instance

The installation will begin and finish quickly -+3 minutes

After the installation a configuration is required.  Click close to continue with the SharePoint Products Configuration Wizard

Click Next

Click Yes

Create a new server farm and click next

Add the Database server alias/instance

Add the SharePoint Config Database name

Add the Username provisioned earlier with the DBcreator and SecurityAdmin rights

Supply the password and click next

The next setup is to add a Farm Password

I like to specify a manual port number in order to access the Central Administration from any machine and 2723 is my signature deployment port.  Click next to continue to the installation

This took -+ 10 minutes, I would recommend a drinks break at this point.

Once this has been click Finish

This should open up the following Central Administration view.

Complete!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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User cannot be found SharePoint 2010

I had an issue today when trying to get to the Library settings of a SharePoint 2010 document library.

User cannot be found

I checked out the corrilation ID and got the following


Unexpected       Microsoft.SharePoint.SPException: User cannot be found.    at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPUserCollection.get_Item(String loginName)     at Microsoft.SharePoint.Workflow.SPWorkflowNoCodeSupport.LoadWorkflowBytesElevated(SPFile file, Int32 fileVer, Int32& userid, DateTime& lastModified)     at Microsoft.SharePoint.Workflow.SPWorkflowManager.AddDeclSiteTemplates(SPWeb web, String visibility, SPWorkflowTemplateCollection wftemplates, SPListTemplateType templateType)     at Microsoft.SharePoint.Workflow.SPWorkflowManager.<>c__DisplayClass4.<RegisterNoCodeTemplates>b__0()     at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPSecurity.<>c__DisplayClass4.<RunWithElevatedPrivileges>b__2()     at Microsoft.SharePoint.Utilities.SecurityContext.RunAsProcess(CodeToRunElevated secureCode)     at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPSecurity.RunW...   1cb4ed13-c851-4083-9b20-1b2502ebaa0b

06/18/2012 15:21:17.22* w3wp.exe (0x1BD0)                                0x14C0  SharePoint Foundation               Runtime                                   tkau      Unexpected       ...ithElevatedPrivileges(WaitCallback secureCode, Object param)     at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPSecurity.RunWithElevatedPrivileges(CodeToRunElevated secureCode)     at Microsoft.SharePoint.Workflow.SPWorkflowManager.RegisterNoCodeTemplates(SPWorkflowTemplateCollection wftemplates, SPWeb web)     at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPWeb.get_WorkflowTemplates()     at Microsoft.SharePoint.ApplicationPages.ListEditPage.SetSectionLinks()     at Microsoft.SharePoint.ApplicationPages.ListEditPage.OnLoad(EventArgs e)     at ASP._layouts_listedit_aspx.OnLoad(EventArgs e)     at System.Web.UI.Control.LoadRecursive()     at System.Web.UI.Page.ProcessRequestMain(Boolean includeStagesBeforeAsyncPoint, Boolean includeStagesAfterAsyncPoint)     1cb4ed13-c851-4083-9b20-1b2502ebaa0b

Somewhere in there it mentions Workflow a number of times.  So I had a look at the workflows on the site, and noticed that the workflow was created by a user on an alternative Domain that SharePoint no longer has access to due to a domain migration.

Solution

Save and publish the workflow with a the current user that has access to the site via SharePoint designer.

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I am speaking at SharePoint Saturday Johannesburg #SPSJHB

It’s that time of year again and that means SharePoint Saturday Johannesburg is taking place on the 19th of May 2012.

The event this year will be boasting numerous MVP’s, International Speakers and awesome Local talent as well as yours truly.

It happens every few years and the present is no different, Microsoft has released a new server operating system and a new SQL server.  What’s really cool this time round is that SQL 2012 has major BI enhancements and Windows 8 runs light, really light, which means your SharePoint server now has more power to serve you fantastic fancy graphs! Let’s not forget that SQL Always on and Server 8 Failover Clustering makes the SharePoint 2010 just as Die Hard as John McClane. Join me in a session where I will demo the speed, the beauty and attempt to kill a SharePoint 2010 Farm on its new environment.

For more information and registration check it out here

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Response to This is why Business hates IT

Response to This is why Business hates IT Recently I had the pleasure, well in this situation if pleasure meant gut wrenching soul crushing, absolutely dumb stuck horror of a read, Why Business hates IT http://veroniquepalmer.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/why-business-hates-it/

The user requested a site overhaul and attached a number of pictures aka mock ups and suggested that SharePoint Designer was sufficient to update the site. The site is hosted on a SharePoint 2010 environment and serves as a SharePoint Internet facing website.

I have passed many exams and have a hand full of certifications that have been awarded to me from a governing body that state I am highly competent in the Microsoft, notably in the SharePoint space. I run my own company that provides SharePoint consulting, which I personally provide. On a daily basis I take queries and requests from business users and provide them with a robust, stable and workable solution. I have done this for more than 5 years and not looking to slow down any time soon. Hence the reason why I thought my input would be worthwhile.

I believe when the business request a solution, they are doing just that, requesting something to be completed, the discussion should then move to IT because they will no longer understand what is actually required to complete the request otherwise they would of done it themselves. If the business user continues to be involved in the IT discussion they will become confused, angry, and in this situation air their dirty laundry to the world in order to gather a force of angry confused business users against IT.

So when I read something by a business user that starts off stating that they hate me because IT did not respond to their vague request adequately because of their own lack of insight as to how the product actually works is very upsetting.

Usually I would just laugh this off, well actually I wouldn’t have, I would of thought shame Business is really a brat and backed IT silently, but I was actually a part of the conversation (I was the one who suggested a DEV environment to the wrong individual as I was only added halfway through the discussion, cause we don’t DEV on LIVE where I come from) that was posted. It was both a shock and an embarrassment to realise how badly behaved and ill-tempered some people can be, what ever happened to diffusing the situation and reiterating a point to get it back on track. A compromise would be great, how about allowing IT to come up with a plan, which was suggested, and let them run with it to improve the idea of Business for a better end result. Instead Business decided that one lined responses to IT queries would suffice.

Business user: “Ok never mind.”

And

Business User: “You people are unbelievable……………………………………………. Epic fail!”

Not to mention that the original request wasn’t simply a contacts page it was actually the entire site. Which was meant to be completed with just hotspots? Why bother using SharePoint if you are going to put pictures and hotspots together. Use Word press and get on with it.

I have am involved on a daily occurrence with business and 9 times out of 10 a pleasant experience, because IT will take the ideas from business, work on them and present it back to them without involving them in the ‘magic’ that goes behind the solution. Business doesn’t care about that goodness we IT care about, they are simply all about the end product. They should however just stop and think every now and again, if IT wasn’t here where would I be? A field picking cotton, a bathroom unclogging a blocked toilet or a human traffic deterrent waving a bright yellow flag and wearing a chevron waist coat? That’s right everything revolves around IT, and don’t ever forget that, treat us well and you will in return be lavished with fast internet connectivity, fancy websites and untold media riches, treat us badly and you will be shunned to unexpected errors, lack of permissions and blue screens of death.

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TopSharePoint.com uses threats to take down blog post

As you can see in the comments of my previous blog “TopSharePoint.com is rigged” TopSharePoint is now trying to blackmail me in order for me to remove the article. What really annoys me about this situation is I have clearly explained above how everything went down and I have nothing to hide. Yes we used TOR sites but it was only because we knew that this practise was already been put in place by the TopSharePoint team to put whoever they deemed fit as site of the month.

Now I get bombarded with messages from Top SharePoint to remove the article or they will publish the Log files of what we all know will only include a one sided view of what happened. TopSharePoint you are already dabbling in the dark side so no matter what you do now, how can we the public believe that what you are saying is true?

TopSharePoint here is something you should try, add a Facebook like button to each site instead, that way all votes will be accounted for. I don’t see you actually carrying this out, simply because then you won’t be able to guarantee the highest bidder the site of the month will you?

As for your requests to take down this article, how about no … and how about you stop trying to blackmail people? I have been afforded the right to Liberty, which if you have forgotten is the souls right to breathe. I will not be pushed around and be told what to do, not by you or by any of your threats.

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TopSharePoint.com is rigged

The month of February 2012 GTconsult appeared on the Top SharePoint website boasting Best site of the month!

They had a fantastic new approach to a typical SharePoint UI creating a fresh look using the inspiration from Microsoft Windows 8 Metro UI.  Their avg rating was just under 5 stars and going strong.

However after a few days the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation site was on top.  Visit their site here.  So the GTconsult team did a huge drive to get their site back on top, and by the end of the day and tapping every possible resource they had taken back the lead.  I did notice however our ratings where around three and half stars at the beginning of the day which meant we had to have gotten a few 1 star votes, I put it down to jealousy and moved on …

The next day the Canadian Breast Cancer site once again was beating the GTconsult website and once again our average vote had diminished to almost 3.  I see what game we are playing now, not only vote for one’s site but down vote other sites which gives it a lower average.  That’s not really very scrupulous but since there are no rules other than the fact that you can only vote one time from your computer then I guess it’s allowed.

I tried an experiment and got a bunch of friends to vote up other contenders for Site of the Month, and we managed to get Fiat on top with an avg just over 4, and low and behold the site was knocked down the next day and had an avg of under 4.

Perplexed as to how this could be happening as it is only possible to vote once for each site I chatted to a buddy of mine, who is the spawn of Neo and Trinity.  He managed to work out a very easy method to bypass the voting system on TopSharePoint, which he then explained to me was either already being used or the site was being manipulated on the backend in order for results to favour whoever they deemed fit.

I asked him to prove it, so he moved every single site as well as GTconsult site to the top of the charts sending the Canadian Brest Cancer Foundation site to the very bottom of the list … I apologise for that but I was fairly confident it was only going to be for a few moments.

The next day I noticed GTconsult was not only no longer on top but had been removed from the site all together! And the Canadian Breast Cancer site is back on top, even though the previous day at this time it had an average of 3.4 with 289 votes compared to the current standing of 4.06 with 320 votes

Let’s do the math shall we.  Over 29 days required 11 votes a day all of which had to be 4 stars and every now and again a 5 star.  The next best site with that type of average is Recovery.gov with 419 votes at 4.03 average, the difference being Recovery.gov was uploaded in December 2009.  What’s the math?  Well it’s not 11 votes a day, it is around 1 vote every second day ….

I really don’t want to be labelled as a hater of Canada or the Breast Cancer foundation I think it’s a fantastic organisation and it really has a great presence on social media as well as the internet.  Please visit the site here and donate here https://donate.cbcf.org/become/don_online.asp

My issue is that TopSharePoint is a site that should showcase the best SharePoint site regardless of what the site is actually representing, and if the public is not in control of the outcome don’t allow them to vote. Simply state that TopSharePoint will decide which site is best, instead of lulling the site visitors into a false sense of security merely to entertain them with a vote just to throw it in the trash because the victor has already been decided.

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There are no addresses available for this application

I got the following error after creating and trying to manage a Business Data Connectivity Service on SharePoint 2010

There are no addresses available for this application.

All I needed to do was start the Business Data Connectivity Service in Manage services …. doh!!

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