Monday, April 22, 2013
Hey guys just a friendly reminder submissions are still open until Tuesday, April 30th for SharePoint Saturday New York City on Saturday, July 27th, 2013. Rumor has it Tasha Scott and myself will be wearing centurion hats this year.
Some may ask what are we looking for this year. I will say everything. People submit on Logistics, IT Pro, IT Pro Advanced, Development, Development Advanced, End User, and Special Interest. We get topics from search to how to build apps in 2013. We are looking for full submissions from anyone in the world, however lightning talks are for n00b speakers who are locals. What this means is that if you have never spoken at an event or user group and you live within the NYC Metro Area you can submit a 7 minute talk and chances are good that you will get into the event to speak. You can cut your teeth at this event and eventually this will lead you down the slippery slope of more SharePoint Saturdays.
So basically what am I stating in this blog post kids? I think you should all submit, despite thinking that you might not get into the event it’s a blind vote. Everyone has a chance to get there submission selected or denied. If I were you I wouldn’t live with regret and go to this website to submit to SharePoint Saturday NYC: http://spsevents.org/city/nyc/SPSNYC2013/Pages/Speakers.aspx.
If you guys still are not convinced to submit my first event was MOSS Camp St. Louis in 2008. I was about 26 years old and nervous. I was speaking on a windows application I wrote for admins to quickly add a bunch of people in batch to security, plus read active directory users in groups, plus create a bunch of SharePoint Sites. My dad and Paul Schaeflein were in the session. It wasn’t amazing, but look where I am now. I spoke at SharePoint Conference, a couple Best Practices Conferences, The Expert’s Conference a few times, SP Tech Con, several SharePoint Saturdays and Code Camps. It’s worth a shot no matter who you are in this world. If you know something about SharePoint and you think you can talk about it at an event you should fill out the form and write an abstract. It’s a really great confidence builder plus it leads to a lot of great things in the long run. If you have any questions contact me or the form on this site. You can run ideas off of me if you don’t feel comfortable submitting. I hope to see you at the event in July!
Monday, April 8, 2013
So I had a fun day last week and today trying to figure out why a managed metadata column would not get consumed within the search indexer for SharePoint 2013. I spent several days on this issue. I spoke with Corey Roth and various other SharePoint people on twitter. I ran at least 6 full crawls within a few days. I had at least 100 tabs open on FireFox and at least 20 google searches going trying to figure out this issue. I sent an email to an internal dl at work. Then finally Shannon Bray spent about 30 minutes with me and sends me an email on how to consume a managed metadata field into the search crawler.
At that point I had this crazy idea what if the “Document” Content Type had some crazy issue and for some reason stopped custom columns from entering the search indexer. I thought this is not possible, but why not try it. I removed the column from the “Document” Content Type and then created a custom content type. Guess what after I threw in a few fake documents with metadata…BAM…It just worked.
So remember guys don’t add any custom columns that you want to be searchable to any of the base content types. You need to go in and create a new custom content type that inherits from the base content type that you want. Then the search crawler will auto index that field once you attach it to a library or list and drop some data in using that column. The column has to be attached to something in a list or library, otherwise it won’t work either. I believe this existed in 2007 and 2010, but I am not sure if the base content type issue exists. I still don’t understand why you can add more columns to a base content type. I think that should not be allowed if you can’t consume the column in the search indexer. There must be some code in the form of a handler or receiver blocking the crawler. Anyway I hope that this saves one of you guys trying to attempt the same thing that I did last week. I do dumb things on accident, so that the rest of you can learn from my mistakes. Until next time…
Every single year for the past 3 years Tasha Scott has tried to get Bill Gates to come to SharePoint Saturday NYC. She asks the Bill Gates Foundation if they would like to speak about how they use SharePoint in the foundation. I think it would be cool if for the 5th Anniversary of one of the greatest ever SharePoint Saturdays that we could make it happen this year.
I’m not sure if this is common knowledge, but this is the last year we will be using the 1290 building. The third ever SharePoint Saturday was in NYC. I came to the event in February of 2009 as a volunteer after speaking at the last ever Jacksonville Office Geeks User Group. I was about one month shy of my 27th birthday working for B&R Business Solutions. It was the first time I ever met Kris Wagner, one of my most trusted friends in the SharePoint Community. It gave me the taste that I needed to push me to move to the northeast. It was one of those exhilarating events that you remember for years to come.
So I am going to ask you guys out there if you can make this happen. If you know anyone that might be able to talk to Bill’s foundation and pull a few strings just to get him to show up for a minute or do some form of quick Lync/Webcam thing to talk about how the foundation is using SharePoint. Or maybe he can even talk about SharePoint from the 10 year anniversary perspective and how it came to fruition. We’re not picky. I think we’d take a few minutes or anything SharePoint related from Bill.
For the rest of you we have speaker submissions open. If you are a new speaker in the NYC Metro Area and would like to submit a 7 minute lightning talk without doing a whole session you could drop us something. Or for those veteran speakers and new speakers who want to submit a full session we have the normal flavor 1 hour and 15 minute sessions. We also have numerous sponsorship opportunities available and a sheet laying everything out. For all this information follow this link: http://spsevents.org/city/nyc/Pages/Home.aspx.
Volunteering, such as bag stuffing, and helping out on the day of the event will get posted later. Check back on my twitter account or you can following @spsnyc for more information. We will open up attendee registration about 6 weeks prior to the event somewhere in June for anyone interested. It’s going to be an amazing event. Tasha and I will be wearing Centurion Hats in the spirit of a new funny hat each year. If anyone wants to wear a Centurion Hat with us the day of the event we encourage silliness. See you on July 27th guys!
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Last month I decided to switch to Verizon and in doing so switch to an HTC 8x after around 4 or 5 years with an Apple iPhone. I wanted to try something new and see what the other side was like and I wanted to give Microsoft a chance. The phone I had moved from prior to choosing my first iPhone was a Motorola Razr with barely any type of text messaging or data. I initially switched to the iPhone, because I was carrying a phone and music device. I wanted something simple where I could put my massive music collection and also talk/text with people. In those 5 years I grew in the app world and social media world by using twitter, facebook, email, meetup, and gps maps more and more. So here are a few things I found disheartening when I switched to a wp8 device...
- There is no official meetup.com application. I use meetup as half my calendaring system and I use the app to remind me when to go to meetups each day. It helps me plan my schedule for the week and tells me what new meetups exists in the 50 or so groups I'm in. I am a huge meetup addict and without this app it was a big loss for me.
- Small tiles that would not show a distinction between GMail or Office 365 accounts. I have 5 email accounts - 2 Office 365 Accounts, 2 Gmail Accounts, and 1 Live.com Account. I could not tell which Office 365 tile was which in the smaller tile version and the same problem exists with GMail and any other mail system where you have multiple accounts. I like the smaller tiles because it gives me better real estate. I was saddened that I would have to make the tiles bigger to determine which tile went to which account.
- No folders or grouping exists. I use folders and grouping constantly on my iPhone. I am a heavy search driven user on my iPhone. The search on the WP8 was pretty terrible and no form of folders or grouping exist yet. I did not like having to scroll on my home page. The search went to Bing search and not some native app search.
- The search button does not go to an app search. The search button goes to Bing search unfortunately and was just not quite what I was looking for in search. I wanted a more native app search that found the various apps and could launch the internet search like on the iPhone.
- The Spotify app killed the battery life of the phone. I have no issues streaming Spotify on the iPhone 5 or 4, but on the 8x it killed the battery in 30 minutes. Even the native music app could kill the battery within a few hours. It was pretty terrible.
- Notifications do not integrate with apps. You could receive push from some applications and not others and none of the apps integrated with the centralized hub like in iOS and Android. I don't want to type in multiple user accounts and passwords in the hub and in each application I download. Not all applications include push and most of the official apps were terrible compared to there Android or Apple counterparts.
- Battery life was terrible. I could last a few hours and not even an entire day on the battery using push on twitter, email and Facebook. I expected a higher battery life and not having to turn off certain push features to make the battery last longer.
- Some of the applications were not touch responsive, such as Facebook. A lot of the applications that were official versions were terrible, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare. I couldn't click on notifications on Facebook half the time it wouldn't register my finger. I had similar problems with some other apps like twitter replies would not launch without a few touches. Also, there were more arbitrary clicks to like things on Facebook and sharing features were missing.
- The music app on the home screen would not pop up with the controls half the time. I had to hit the power button a few times to get the play and pause buttons to work. Also, I could not get the podcasting apps to integrate properly with the music app and keep the place of my podcasts. I had to constantly move the bar forward if it even allowed me to move the play spot. Sometimes on a video or music item I could not even go forwards or backwards.
- Apps in memory were only 5 apps and they were not in a specific tray of apps that I had clicked on and wanted opened. I could not close apps really, because the back button was really more like a go back 5 places button. It was not like the suspended apps in memory in iOS or other devices. You really don't have control on what you can open and close in that back area. It's more like a browser history. If you go back all the way you no longer have anything in memory, so you no longer have the 5 items in the back try anymore.
- The power buttons were pretty flimsy. I had to push the power button pretty hard to get it to respond to anything. Turning on the phone and off was a pain plus getting the music controls to pop up on the lock screen was hard.
- GMail would not sync and delete items most of the time. I had to manually go on the website and delete items. The syncing with the WP8 device was pretty poor.
At this point I was fed up and it was the last straw so I traded in the HTC 8x for an iPhone 5. I would never go back to WP8 or a Windows Phone again until they reach a 3 rev consistency by building on top of the same OS. If you guys noticed they are not supporting WP8 as of mid-2014, which looks like a sign that the WP8 devices are a flop. When I do my iOS talk I ask people if they are doing any WP8 development and not a single person raises there hand. This says a lot about Microsoft phones right now. I know some of you will disagree and some of you think I'm an Apple Fangirl. I am not an Apple Fangirl. I just like reliable and simple usability. Apple has that usability plus I love music. The Apple music interface works for what I need when I'm walking down the street or taking a subway in New York City. For right now I will stick with my Apple device. I just so happen to be posting using a Macbook Air, but honestly I love my Windows Computers and Apple Computer for various reasons.
My desktop is a great gaming pc and has Windows 8 on it. My Macbook Air is great for presenting with Office 365 and traveling light. My work Lenovo is great for SharePoint 2013 development and if I'm traveling with some spare hotel time I can play World of Warcraft and a few other video games. Each device serves a purpose and I like all of them equally, but I cannot vet the WP8. I really tried and it failed in testing. Hopefully this saves some of you from disappointment on the phone front.
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Hey guys it’s been a busy year so far. I have a lot of goals unrelated to technology, but fear not I will be at Code Camps, Other Tech Events, and SharePoint Saturdays. Here is a list of my upcoming speaking, booth duty, and organizing schedule:
- New York City SharePoint Developer User Group, Wednesday, March 20th – I will be speaking on iOS Development in SharePoint 2013 this upcoming Wednesday at the local SharePoint Developer User Group that meets nearby Grand Central Station for more information visit: http://www.meetup.com/nycsdug/.
- SharePoint Saturday Boston, Saturday, April 27th – I will be helping out the Planet Technologies booth. If you want to have a mobile development or SharePoint discussion come by our booth at the Microsoft Office in Cambridge.
- Kansas City Developer Conference, Saturday, May 4th – I will be speaking about iOS Development in SharePoint 2013 in a one hour session at the event. If you want to learn about the topic attend my session or I will be at the event all day long. I expect to see some old faces and some new faces from Kansas City.
- (Tentative) SharePoint Saturday DC or Atlanta, Saturday, June 8th – I have not submitted, but will probably submit something before either deadline. I need to decide on which city to submit my speaking application first. I also need to get past PAX East volunteering (gaming convention if anyone is coming just ping me @mosslover on twitter).
- SharePoint Saturday New York City, Saturday, July 27th – As usual I am helping out with the event in coordination with Greg Hurlman, Jason Gallicchio, Tasha Scott, and Tom Daly. We will be opening sponsorships applications and speaker submissions soon. I will do an announcement on this blog once that happens.
I have also submitted to TechEd in New Orleans or I might show up and volunteer at the hands on labs again this year. I will most likely submit to Code Camp NYC and SharePoint Saturday New Hampshire plus other east coast events. I am limiting my submissions to events outside of the east coast. I might also submit to a SharePoint Saturday in Kansas City if one comes up in the future. Check back on this blog for more announcements. If you would like to contact me about speaking at your user group please use the contact form or submit an email to email@example.com. I am limiting travel to anything within a couple of hours due to budget limitations and work constraints. I will make exceptions if the user group is located in a spot where I can visit family if I can fit it into my schedule. Please be advised I may turn you down, but I sincerely wish I had a transporter and will look into it in the future. Have a nice day guys!
Here is the code samples and slides for my presentations at SPS Austin, NJ .Net User Group, and NYC SharePoint Developer User Group: https://skydrive.live.com/#cid=8E2654C5F01E6069&id=8E2654C5F01E6069%21138
Technorati Tags: iOS
So I just had an interesting experience recently at work. I did my first webpart upgrade from Visual Studio 2010 to Visual Studio 2012 last week (SharePoint 2010 to 2013). I realized when I deployed the webpart that I got a “this user control does not exist” error, when the ascx file for the Visual Webpart did exist. I’m not sure if it was something simple and ridiculous or if I had to change the entire webpart, but here is what I had to to do to fix things:
- Open your webpart in Visual Studio 2012 or 2010
- Create a brand new solution in a new window in Visual Studio 2012
- Copy all your properties from the cs webpart container file in your old webpart to your code behind for the new webpart. You only need one set of properties, so you can dump anything in the user control code behind that involves a property.
- Copy all your code other code behind data and make sure to change in appropriately referencing only the webpart properties.
- Compile your webpart and it should deploy properly.
So there was a tool called Visual Studio Power Tools that was an add-on for Visual Studio 2010. It included a webpart called the sandbox visual webpart. This webpart is now the sandbox and farm visual webpart in Visual Studio 2012. Everything compiles into a design and cs file, instead of deploying an ascx file to the control templates. You might be able to mess with the xml to get everything to deploy, but honestly it’s not that hard to drop everything into a new webpart and test it. Now that you have read this blog post you should understand what needs to be done. I hope that you guys enjoy my trials from this week. I know that it was an adventure and it was fun. Good luck!
Thursday, January 24, 2013
So I kept getting this really weird “Unable to load Visual Studio Project” basically it was the I’m missing a template error message look in the output. I eventually realize there is a dependency for the web tools in Visual Studio. It doesn’t yell at you when you install Visual Studio 2010 and say “hey you need so and so tools”. So remember guys install the “Web Tools” if you want to do SharePoint 2010 Development or open up old projects. Most people don’t run into this issue because they take the space hit and do the full installation. I don’t like all the junk that comes with Visual Studio. At a minimum you need C#/Visual Basic, SharePoint Templates, and the Web Tools to perform SharePoint 2010 Development. You really only need Visual Studio 2010 Professional.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
As you guys know I have decided to start delving into mobile development. I bought a Macbook Air a few months back and I am now getting an HTC 8x. Here are some things that I have learned in my attempts to play with both technologies with Office 365/SharePoint 2013:
- Microsoft has created templates for Windows Phone 7 and Visual Studio 2010: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30476.
Note that these templates were not created for Visual Studio 2012 and will not work in concurrency with the Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 7 Templates created for Visual Studio 2012. DO NOT install them if you want to get the 2012 SDK and Templates.
- There are Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 7 Templates for Visual Studio 2012: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=35471
Make sure you have Windows 8 Pro installed, because the virtual phone component requires Hyper-V. Also, these templates do not include any special SharePoint templates or dlls. You must copy the Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Phone and Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Phone.Runtime from the following directory: C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\15\TEMPLATE\LAYOUTS\ClientBin
You need an on-prem install of 2013 or you need to copy from the first set of templates the mobile dlls. I would recommend creating some type of virtual machine with one set of templates installed if you are going to try and get both versions of templates and extract the dlls somehow.
- Read this blog post: http://deviantpoint.com/post/2012/07/27/Building-Windows-Phone-apps-with-SharePoint-2013.aspx
Don Kirkham sent me this blog post link to SharePoint 2013 and WP8. The jist of it is with Office 365 and claims there is an authenticator class. This class handles the rTFA and FedAuth tokens that you need to talk to Office 365. So when you reference the above two dlls you can authenticate much easier than Android or iOS.
- Once your app is done you need to pay $99 to get it in the store…The virtual components are essentially free. There is a code you can get from MSDN to bypass this payment on the ultimate version. I am not sure if you can get the code from a lower version…
- You need an Apple computer or a Hackintosh, because as far as I know you cannot build an app on a virtual machine and upload it to the store. Apple may have changed there requirements, but the rules used to not allow virtualization and OSX.
- Download XCode from the ITunes store or grab MonoTouch from http://www.xamarin.com.
If you get MonoTouch you have to pay an additional fee to be able to upload your applications to the store. It is around $300, which is expensive. Personally I’d rather learn Objective-C and not pay the money. I will be posting about MonoTouch, however, in the future and how it works versus XCode with SharePoint 2013 and development in general.
- Buy “iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide” on Amazon or another bookstore. If you google or bing Aaron Hillegass he actually owns a big nerd ranch and teaches iOS classes that are comparable to Critical Path Training in the SharePoint realm. If you have the money drop it down for a class in one of the cities. I hear it’s totally worth it.
- Now that you know Objective-C read this article on MSDN on JSON and REST in SharePoint 2013: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/fp142385.aspx
This article is the best oAuth, REST, and SharePoint 2013 article out there. It gives you all the header and call information that the RESTful webservices need in SharePoint 2013. It is the best documentation I could find on MSDN.
- Read this blog post from James Love and download his code file from GIT: http://e-junkie-chronicles.blogspot.com/2012/12/sharepoint-2013-rest-api-in-ios.html
James Love wrote a wrapper that does the Authenticator bits to get the rTFA and FedAuth tokens for claims and pass them into the REST calls. You must do a call to the authentication wrapper and get a set of tokens per call. You cannot cheat and use the same tokens. If you think you can grab the tokens from a webservice call and copy and paste think again it’s per application.
- Once you have written an app in iOS you have to pay another $99 to apple to register a certificate and get your application in the store.
So essentially what have I learned from all this research and pain…Basically there are a lot of inconsistencies in the Windows Phone Development Platform on what is where and on what version of Visual Studio. There is also an inconsistency on what you can install together. I am a little disappointed that the templates for SharePoint 2013 only exist in Visual Studio 2010 and work with Windows Phone 7 only. I would expect there to be a consistent set of templates for Visual Studio 2012 since all the other SharePoint 2013 templates are in Visual Studio 2012. I am hoping in the future there is an SDK for 2012 where I don’t have to copy and paste dlls from the ClientBin directory. Also, there is no official MSDN documentation on SharePoint 2013 and Windows Phone 8. Everything is Windows Phone 7 documentation and mainly using Visual Studio 2010.
iOS, obviously, is not easy to work with trying to get data into an application from SharePoint 2013, especially not in a claims environment like Office 365. The other caveat is that you need to learn a new language or you have to pay a ton of money for MonoTouch that you might not readily have available. The upside is that if you live in the U.S. and plan to sell an application you might be able to write it off in the future on your taxes as a business expense. The downside is without any type of SOAP wrapper we would have a lot more more pain working with iOS (thanks James Love), because this entire claims process is almost a telepathic link to the SharePoint Product Team. There is absolutely no documentation on MSDN aside from two sentences potentially that iOS and Android works with the REST webservices. I am hoping the mobile documentation in general gets better.
So where do we stand with each version of mobile technology and developing applications…We obviously have a way to create applications with each version of mobile technology. I am hoping with this blog post people will reference it and create applications knowing the pros and cons for each system. I am not telling anyone to go with either mobile technology yet. I think that Windows Phone is in its infancy and will provide us a more robust development platform in the future. iOS, however, is pretty mature and I am hoping the SharePoint Product Team creates some MSDN Documentation that will provide us with a better mobile story. For now at least we have something and it works. I will be traveling to SharePoint Saturdays, code camps, and user groups in the future. If you are interested in hearing my talks on iOS, Windows Phone, and SharePoint 2013 hit me up through the contact form. For now I hope this helped the two of you out there who read my blog.
Saturday, January 12, 2013
Here are my slides and code samples from SPS UK, SPS STL, and SPS VB: https://skydrive.live.com/#cid=8E2654C5F01E6069&id=8E2654C5F01E6069%21138