28 September 2005

WSS SP2 Released!!!

It’s FINALLY available!  The long awaited SP2 for Windows SharePoint Services was made available on Microsoft’s Download Site yesterday!
Get it while its hot… or even better, BEFORE its hot! 
This download only ranks 10,436th right now, but I suspect it will get plenty of downloads in the next week.

The SP can be found here: 

If you wish to get the full WSS with SP2, only ranked 11,119th, you can find it here: 

For a more detailed description, check out Bil Simser’s blog here:


22 September 2005

WSS v3 – What is coming?

Now that Microsoft has lifted the veil on WSS v3 at the PDC05, I think it is safe to publish on the upcoming features.  There’s been several blog publications on it, but I am going to attempt to address not only the question of what is coming, but also what it means to current users of v2.  I have to be careful not to step over my NDA boundary, but it is safe to publish on everything that was shown publicly at PDC.  I won’t be publishing anything new that someone else has not published as I respectfully will stick to my NDA, but I will attempt to take what is public information now and apply it to the problems we face daily in v2 showing how such problems are addressed in v3, so stay tuned…


It’s the wind, I tells ya, it’s the wind!

Barely had I returned home or we have a massive thunderstorm come through our neck of the woods.  We have a beloved old Maple tree in the back yard.  It’s really old and really big!  Unfortunately, it has a tendency of self destructing and dropping limbs whenever heavy winds are abound.
Needless to say, the storm was intense enough to take one of the main limbs down.  The limb came crashing down, taking out our copper wind chimes (a wedding gift), the shrub bush next to the house, the gutters on the one side of the house and end up partly on the roof.
I was on my way home from my client in Lafayette, IN trying to battle through the storm when Amy, my wife, called and said that the tree just fell on the house.  How to get home faster in a major storm without killing yourself?  What a dilema!  I could do nothing more than just patiently wait for the road to pass on my way home.
Upon my arrival at home, I found Amy in the back, hopelessly trying to pull the massive limb off the roof.  With as hard as it was raining, the the fact that the limb had crushed the gutter, the water was just pouring off the roof… right next to one of our basement windows!  That was not good and needed to be corrected or we were going to have flooding in the basement as well!
I went and got my chainsaw, a Craftsman 20".  I must say I’m not too impressed with it as it did not seem to want to run very well in the rain.  I know it probably wasn’t designed to be used in the rain, but nonetheless, having to restart the darn thing every so often was a real pain.  I knew we needed to cut the limb into smaller, more managable pieces if we were to get it off the roof at all.  I started cutting away…
My neighbours, Mike and Joan and their son Ben, herd the chainsaw and upon seeing the problem Mike brought his chainsaw as well.  His was electric.  Just as well as my gas powered piece of crap kept quitting on me.  Anyway, between the five of us, we got the branches of the limb cut off and removed.
We were now at a point where we could try and remove the limb from the roof.  We tied a rope to the end resting on the roof and gave it a big rug.  She came right off!  We then cut the limb up into smaller, more managable, firewood size pieces.  I tried bending the gutters back into place to be able to carry some water away when the next storm came through.
Of course then the next storm came through about 10 minutes after we had completed the cutting.  This one was dumping massive amounts of rain, so much so that the damaged gutters was once again overflowing.  Amy managed to keep the water from the basement window with buckets while I got a copper pipe and a 2×4 left over from our barn building experience this summer.  I used the pipe and 2×4 to wedge the gutters back into position allowing the rain water to drain normally again.  A temporary fix until we get the gutters fixed, but effective nontheless.
Of course we still have branches all over the yard, but at least we don’t have water entering the house… WHAT A WAY TO SPEND YOUR MONDAY NIGHT!… and then the Cowboys lost too!!!  Damn!
The bright side is that it could have been worse.
Check out the photos and video for more…
The video can be found here:

19 September 2005

The “break” was GREAT!!!

I just got back from a 10 day, get away from it all break.  I visited a friend in northern Michigan and for 10 days I had no access to internet or cell phone.  It was GREAT to just get away from it all for a while.  Now I’m recharged and ready to go! 


08 September 2005

SmartPart 1.1 is available!

Jan Tielens is one of my favorite SharePoint MVP’s.  He’s the author of several SharePoint tools, most importantly, SmartPart.  Version 1.1 was just released and if you’re not using SmartPart yet, here’s a chance to try it out!  This tool will save you many hours in web part development time!


SharePoint Auditing

There has long since been a need for a good auditing tool for SharePoint.  There are several options on the market such as the one from Syntergy, but the problem is that most of these solutions achieve their ability to audit what goes on in SharePoint by adding table triggers to your SharePoint databases.
Microsoft does not support the direct modification of either structure or data of any of the SharePoint databases and doing so effectively violates your SharePoint support agreement.
It stands to reason then that installing a product that adds triggers to your tables will effectively place you in the no man’s land that is Unsupported SharePoint.  This would place a very tough decision in front of most of my clients.  I’ve seen people walk away from using SharePoint as a whole because clear auditing could not be done.  Add to that the growing trend toward records management and retention compliance and it is evident that a good auditing tool has been desperately needed for some time now.
Fortunately, I picked up a post from Anil Rhemtulla from Aliantiz about their product called Web Obs.  I cursory scan of the features seems very promising to me and it is quite possible that this might be the "holy grail" of SharePoint auditing as we know it.  Unfortunately there does not seem to be a trail version for download, but maybe the company would work with potential buyers on such issues.
Either way, we may finally have a good tool to do SharePoint auditing with that does NOT violate Microsoft’s support policies. 


SharePoint Remote Event Receivers are DEAD!!!

 Well, the time has finally come.  It was evident when Microsoft started pushing everyone to WebHooks, but this FAQ and related announcement...