May 2006 - Posts
Subtitled: "You mean you really want to install it?"
Before you kick up the bits, go read the aptly titled "Please read this before installing Beta 2" post from the product team, which includes links to known issues and guidance for the installation and configuration of your shiny new toy.
A grat starting point for resolving problems is the SharePoint Community Page, which was recently refreshed to provide way more information than before. 'Attaboys will be duly distributed to all involved.
If your question is unanswered online then the Office Newsgroups are your best bet to make your issue known. Please do a cursory search online with your favourite search engine before heading to the newsgroups -- pasting the error message inside quotation marks is the best start -- and if you use the newsgroups please go to the group most appropriate to the issue (SPS/WSS and dev/admin). Note that there are/will be beta-specific newsgroups as well, I'll provide links as soon as they're available.
For those of you anxiously waiting to try out MOSS 2007, the version at the download site will get you SPS and WSS combined. A number of people have asked whether it's possible to install just WSS, and now it is! Thanks to the product team for compiling the elements.
[Components required to install WSS 2007 without SPS 2007]
or, "Everything you know about Word is wrong."
With all the talk about the SharePoint 2007 beta, it would be easy to miss the fact that SharePoint and Office are now really two sides of the same product. Both were released for public trial yesterday with Beta 2. So what's different?
Everything! All the Office apps got a facelift in the form of a new navigation system called the Ribbon. See Jensen's post to see what Willis is talkin' 'bout. Well, except for Outlook, which evolved in its own way with the To-Do Bar (as described by Melissa Macbeth).
I've been using O12 for a few months now and here's the scoop: if you've used Office for years, you have a bit of unlearning to do, but it only takes a few hours to fly, and you'll feel even more strange and awkward going back to the old.
If you're ten years old and using Office for the first time, you'll catch on right away.
If you use Outlook, you don't need to change at all. But if you take advantage of things like Right-Click, "Follow-up. . . Next Week" and "Categorize. . . [your folder list here]" you'll find it pretty fresh.
Don't feel comfortable installing beta software? You don't have to uninstall your old versions, um, except for Outlook, darn. But yes, you can happily have Word and Excel and Access and all the other apps sitting side-by-side with the 2007 betas and use either at will.
Worried about generating a whole bunch of documents in the new format and being stuck when the beta expires? No worries, there will be a free download from Office 2000 forward that will allow old versions to read/write in the new Office format. This was announced last week at the SharePoint conference, and it's great news for planning a migration.
Get The Beta!
Dmitri Safine is one of our fantastic team members at ei :: eidenai innovations, and he's doing a presentation on the BizTalk Rules Engine at the BizTalk Users Group in Toronto next Tuesday. He knows his stuff, it should be a great session. You can read more and register here:
By the way, if you're interested in BizTalk, Rod DaSilva has a great BTUG site where you can learn about a BTUG user group near you. And if you'd like to start a group, he'll host your announcements. It's a pretty sweet deal, check it out.
In this morning's session, one of the questions that BillG could have answered better was about cross-browser support. Simply put, it's not that strong in SPS / WSS 2003, and every admin with Mac or public clients to support wants to know what will be different.
The answer is that cross-browser support will be great. The presentation layer is no longer a SharePoint thing, it's an ASP.Net thing and with v2 (aka Whidbey), ASP.Net does a fantastic job of supporting browsers other than MSIE. Pop open any site hosted with it (http://www.asp.net/) and see how it behaves. Another big step forward is support of forms authentication - Safari was the only other browser that supported NTLM but now that's becoming a non-issue. Again, this is an ASP.Net advance that SharePoint can simply take advantage of. Ditto support for mobile devices.
AJAX in fact is dividing industry standards all over again with proprietary DHTML features. If anything, IE7 is coming back in from the cold by supporting core standards, and it's the other guys coming up with non-standard ways to do things. That makes true cross-browser AJAX support difficult for the Atlas guys, given their tacit goal of making all the team's products cross-browser. Decisions have to be made at some point, and people on either side of the line will criticise where that line is drawn; so inform yourself and at least understand why the line is where it is.
I'll leave you with a specific example. In WSS v2, you have drag and drop Web Part layout. At PDC 2005 we saw better-organized fly-out menus in WSS v3 listing web parts, but drag and drop wasn't there. Why not? Because you can't provide a great, consistent experience in all browsers. If that's the sort of sacrifice you need to make for this to work, I'm all for it. For the SharePoint team to now bring drag and drop back, they would need to branch from the ASP.Net way of doing things, and personally I hope they don't create another SharePoint-ism at the presentation layer by doing so. But that's just me. What do you think?
I'm writing today from the Meydenbauer Conference Center in sunny Bellevue, Washington. Bill Gates just gave the keynote, and as always he was fascinating, a few cool demos were shown, there was a touch of revisionist history, and it gave everyone an aspect to think about.
Top Five Things Bill Gates Loves About SharePoint 2007
5. Community Features - Wiki, Blogs, RSS
4. Excel Services
3. Client Integration
2. Search and the Business Data Catalog
1. Integrated Applications
Bill's #1 needs a little explanation. It's really about the way that SharePoint is now an end-to-end application platform. It's a real extension of the way people work with each other and it doesn't just enable more efficient communication and discovery of knowledge; and really to me those are just cold words that sound more like marketing sound bites. Really, SharePoint is an organic extension of how we work, and this release makes it possible for that extension to feel natural.
I'll caveat this by writing that this release does not always feel natural. There are ways that the flow and layout of the presentation layer could be a lot better, but the underlying mechanics are now in place, on a unified platform, and this is a massive step.
So why doesn't it quite feel natural? Microsoft dogfoods their own work. But their culture is unlike most. Dogfooding Visual Studio in a software company resulted in the best IDE available. Dogfooding an environment for office workers (and really, why call them Information Workers? Let's show some product pride and call them Office Workers) in the same space results in another case of developers teaching end-users how to be developers. Office 12 is a big improvement, no question. But on the Office Server side we're not yet at the endgame. This could be easier and more obvious.
I'm encouraged by improvements through the O12 lifecycle. Some tasks are easier. The road warrior scenario of checking out and resynching entire libraries was shown today and it looks great. The hands-on demo I went through last night for creating and deploying content types leaves something to be desired. Let's hope there will be further progress between now and RTM next year.
Tonight's Toronto SharePoint Users Group meeting will feature the Business Scorecard Manager:
Business Scorecards provide graphical snapshots of your business data, revealing underlying trends and critical inflection points. Come learn out how this latest Business Intelligence tool works with SQL Server Analysis Services (for SQL 2000 or 2005) to make real-time business dashboards that management will love. [See a demo]
You can register at the link above. See you there!