Andrew's Blog

Random Thoughts of an ASP.Net Code Monkey

SUGUK Newcastle Meeting Date Changed - Now 3rd July 2008

June 19, 2008 15:05 by Andrew Westgarth

The forthcoming SUGUK meeting in Newcastle which I mentioned in my previous post, SharePoint UserGroup Returns To Newcastle! 26/6/08 - MOSS Architecture Whiteboard Session, has now changed date to the 3rd July 2008.  Once again the registration URL and further details - http://suguk.org/forums/thread/11086.aspx

SharePoint UserGroup Returns To Newcastle! 26/6/08 - MOSS Architecture Whiteboard Session

June 4, 2008 12:35 by Andrew Westgarth

The SharePoint User Group are hosting there next Newcastle meeting on Thursday 26th June 2008.  The details of the event are:

John Timney (MVP & MOSS Principle Consultant at Capgemini) and Philip Hunter, (MOSS Technical Lead from BT) will be hosting an open forum whiteboarding session on MOSS, WSS and best practice for architecting platforms using these products.

Although we cannot guarantee being able to answer every obscure question, we'll do our best! Participation is welcomed and expected from the audience, especially when the hosts get themselves in a mire and need rescuing. This is not death by powerpoint not product central, its an opportunity to ask your questions about architecture, platform sizing, backup and recovery, server virtualisation, publishing, database sizing, central admin, DNS, IRM, records management, support strategies, how best to handle Requests for Change. No topic is off the cards and we expect a healthy discussion to determine what might be a good architecture for your specific requirements, and what issue you might face in deploying MOSS or WSS either for your own compnay, or for customers.

Come along, sit yourself down and take part! 2 hours of free consultancy.

Venue:

BT Innovation Place
Delta Bank Road
Riverside Park
Innovation Place
Metro Centre, Gateshead
NE11 9DJ

Time 6.30 - 8.30 pm

http://local.live.com/?v=2&sp=Point.t4t652gvtvyw_NE11%209DJ%20(postcode)%2C%20United%20Kingdom___&encType=1

To register go to http://suguk.org/forums/thread/11086.aspx

SharePoint User Group and VBUG North East Meeting - December 10th 2007!

November 27, 2007 05:08 by Andrew Westgarth

After the very successful first meeting in Newcastle back in September, I've been working with Nick Swan from the SharePoint User Group to put on another meeting.  This time we have two great speakers and SharePoint MVP's, Penny Coventry and Steve Smith delivering two great sessions:

  • Penny will be covering SharePoint Designer for All - Penny Coventry During this session, you'll see how SharePoint Designer can be used to customise SharePoint Team Sites, advanced data manipulation using the DataView Web Part, consume RSS feeds and how to complete administrative tasks, such as moving documents, including their metadata and limiting what users can do with SharePoint Designer
  • Steve will be covering ForeFront Security for SharePoint - Steve Smith Find out how to use Microsoft’s security product lo lock down your SharePoint environment including Anti Virus , Keyword Checking and Content Filtering

The meeting is being held at the BT offices, Unit 7, Room 3, Innovation Place, Delta Bank, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, NE11 9DJ - for a map go to http://local.live.com/?v=2&sp=Point.t4t652gvtvyw_NE11%209DJ%20(postcode)%2C%20United%20Kingdom___&encType=1

To register for the event please go to the VBUG website - VBUG and SUGUK: Newcastle - SharePoint Designer for All and Forefront Security

If you are a SharePoint Administrator, Developer or just want to find out more about MOSS, please come along all are welcome.

Tech Ed Developers 2007 - Day 1 and 2 - Catch Up

November 7, 2007 02:30 by Andrew Westgarth

I've finally managed to take a few minutes and sit in the community lounge and write up some notes from the first two days of Tech Ed Developers 2007.  We've had a couple of very busy days so far and the pace is most definitely not slowing.  On Monday morning a large group of like minded community individuals from all over EMEA went along at a MS Influencers event where various topics and issues that the community face were discussed, such as how to increase numbers, get funding and sponsorship, increase engagement and how to take the benefits of online technologies, such as Live Meeting as we at VBUG use for online meetings.

Soma Somasegar Monday afternoon was the Keynote from Soma Somasegar, Microsoft VP of Developer Division, this was by far a better keynote presentation than we received last year, it was vibrant and upbeat.  Plus although it had an element of marketing to it the key message was that Soma and Microsoft are very, very focussed on involving the Community and enabling everyone to benefit from the power which the community has behind it.  This is a great message to be hearing as a UK Community Leader and reinforces all that I believe in and it's a great boost to hear a senior VP have such passion that myself and the many other great leaders in the UK do.  There were a number of announcements in Soma's keynote, but what I really liked about the way he handled the announcements, was that yes they are important (some very), they were not the reason he was delivering Tech Ed - his other announcements and content was more important to him, it was an excellent way to handle the announcements.

Announcements in Soma's Keynote:

  • Visual Studio 2008 will be available for download by MSDN Subscribers by the end of November 2007 with full retail launch February 27th 2008;
  • Consequently .Net Framework 3.5 will be available for download by the end of November 2007
  • Microsoft Sync Framework CTP -
  • Software and Services Blueprints (The first in a series of blueprints for developing S&S)
  • Changes to Partner Program
    • New open license terms for extending the VS IDE to support any platform
    • VS Premier Partners get access to VS IDE Source Code
  • Popfly - 100K downloads since public beta was opened on October 17th!
  • Popfly explorer plug in for VS released!

Dick Lantim Read Soma's blog post about his Keynote - TechEd Developer in Europe.  Following Soma's keynote I attended a session on Developers and Designers working together delivered by Dick Lantim and Aude Moussett. Aude Moussett I was looking forward to seeing the interoperability between the process flow from Designer and Developer however I was very disappointed with this session.  There seemed to have been very little preparation put in and the speakers seemed extremely nervous and uncomfortable with the language.  I didn't get as much as I'd hoped from this session.  I will review the session on video when the Tech Ed DVDs arrive but I was very disappointed.

Roy Osherove From a disappointing session came a great one.  Next I saw Roy Osherove deliver - Agile Development with Team System.  Roy is a great speaker and I remember hearing about his infamous songs last year on the NxtGenUG podcasts.  Indeed Roy finished his session with a version of The Police's Every Breath You Take - this was amazing and as a Police fan I really enjoyed it.  Roy covered Agile Development, Scrum and TDD and I found this whole session development and whilst Roy showed how we can use Team System for elements of the Agile Process he actually covered the methodology more and explained what it is all about which was great and brought a lot of clarity to Agile Development for me.

Monday finished with the Exhibition Hall Welcome which was a great way of meeting people and socialising with exhibitors and the community.  Also it was the start of the community activities including Speaker Idol and Swaggily Fortunes, we have some pictures on the Tech Ed Facebook group - http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2713709966&ref=mf  and they can also be found on my skydrive account for those who don't have a Facebook login - http://cid-f697bcd4bd5a1c5a.skydrive.live.com/browse.aspx/Tech%20Ed%202007/

Francois Ajenstat Tuesday was another great action packed day and I saw a great session on SQL Server 2008 and the Entity Framework, from Francois Ajenstat.  This was a great introductory session covering elements such as Resource  Francois Ajenstat - Co PresenterGovernance, Intellisense, no longer having a requirement for IIS for Reporting Services and Multi Server Management.  The release date was also cleared up in that there are expected to be at least two more CTPs before a full release in Q2 2008.

Ben Robb Following this session I went to Ben Robb's session on Building Accessible Web Sites using Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and the Accessibility Toolkit for MOSS.  I am currently involved in a large project with MOSS for content managed sites and as I am very interested in Accessibility, and have been for a number of years, this was a must see session.  I'm going to cover this topic better when I get back home and can install the Accessibility Toolkit and have a full look at it and write up my thoughts and experiences.  In the meantime you can find out more about the Accessibility Toolkit at http://aks.hisoftware.com

Shanku Niyogi The Final session I am going to cover from Tuesday (as the last one I saw was part one of a two parter due to finish on Wednesday morning) was Shanku Niyogi covering Developing Data Driven Applications using the New Dynamic Data Controls in ASP.Net.  I was quite intrigued by this session but I was disappointed by the delivery and therefore will follow up on this session also on my return to the UK.  Overall the first two days have been great and full of information, I think I could do with a pensieve though so I can save my thoughts, free some room up and add them back in at the end of the week!

VBUG/SUGUK September with Spencer Harbar - Meeting Slides and Resources

September 20, 2007 16:05 by Andrew Westgarth

Spencer Harbar has now uploaded the slides and materials from the VBUG/SUGUK Meeting held in Newcastle on 10th September 2007.

http://www.harbar.net/archive/2007/09/19/Newcastle-VBUGSUGUK-Meeting-presentation-materials.aspx

Spencer has also posted a link on the SUGUK website to the end user materials and these can be found at customizable-everyday-productivity-education-epe-content-developed-by-microsoft-it-for-end-user-

Apress Book Review - Microsoft SharePoint: Building Office 2007 Solutions in C# 2005

September 19, 2007 00:03 by Andrew Westgarth

My colleague Aidan Garnish has written a great review of the Scott Hillier's book, Microsoft SharePoint: Building Office 2007 Solutions in C# 2005.  It appears that this is a great book to get a good overview and grounding in the main concepts relating to Application Development using Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007.  Check out Aidan's review at http://aidangarnish.typepad.com/aidangarnish/2007/08/book-review---m.html and you can get the book at Computer Manuals - http://www.compman.co.uk/scripts/browse.asp?ref=814091

Aidan's blog is a great resource too for anyone getting into developing on MOSS2007.  Aidan has a lot of experience with SharePoint 2003 and is now along with the rest of the team working with MOSS 2007 to develop Internet Content Managed Sites.

VBUG and SUGUK Newcastle Meeting

September 12, 2007 00:00 by Andrew Westgarth

Last night saw the first SUGUK meeting in Newcastle and the first cooperative event between VBUG and SUGUK in the North East of England.  The attendance for the event was great we had in the region of 35+ attendees and the meeting went down very well.  We had the pleasure of having Spencer Harbar, MOSS MVP,  present two topics - MOSS Server Farm Architecture and Design; Top 10 Tips for your SharePoint Development Environment.  Both topics were extremely interesting and provoked some interesting discussions both at the refreshment break and after the meeting.  Indeed my colleagues are looking already to use many of the 10 tips as we develop on MOSS for our latest project.  We also had an impromptu, quickfire chalk and talk session from John Timney, ASP.Net MVP, and his colleagues on how BT were implementing MOSS at an Enterprise Level.  This sparked lots of questions and discussion during the break also.

Here are a few pictures from the event.  Hopefully there will be more similar events in Newcastle in the future - keep an eye on the VBUG and SUGUK Web sites for more info.

 

Picture from VBUG and SUGUK MeetingPicture from VBUG and SUGUK Meeting

Picture from VBUG and SUGUK Meeting Picture from VBUG and SUGUK Meeting

Picture from VBUG and SUGUK Meeting Picture from VBUG and SUGUK Meeting

SharePoint User Group and VBUG North East Meeting - September 10th 2007!! - Updated

September 3, 2007 16:53 by Andrew Westgarth

Yes, thats right the next VBUG meeting in Newcastle, is a joint venture by both VBUG and the SharePoint User Group and is being held on Monday the 10th September 2007.  We are very pleased to be having Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 MVP - Spencer Harbar - presenting two topics for us.  The topics Spencer will be covering are:

  • Server Farm Architecture and Design (Key Influencers, models etc) Update: This session introduces the fundamentals of MOSS Farm design including server roles, topology constraints and design goals which are paramount for delivery of a secure, available and scalable MOSS hosting platform. Each server roles? unique characteristics will be covered with their associated trade-offs. In addition, three common models will be presented with a discussion of their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Top 10 Tips for a SharePoint Development Environment (Tools, Utilities, etc) Updated: This session will present 10 essential tips, tricks, tweaks or utilities for making your SharePoint Development easier and quicker. All tips can be used equally in a Virtual Machine or on a ?real? server. Many of the tips are also useful for systems administrators working with SharePoint 2007

The meeting is being held at the BT offices, Unit 7, Room 3, Innovation Place, Delta Bank, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, NE11 9DJ - for a map go to http://local.live.com/?v=2&sp=Point.t4t652gvtvyw_NE11%209DJ%20(postcode)%2C%20United%20Kingdom___&encType=1

To register for the event please go to the VBUG website - SUGUK & VBUG- 'Sharepoint' with Spencer Harbar

If you are a SharePoint Administrator, Developer or just want to find out more about MOSS, please come along all are welcome.



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The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in anyway.

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