Archives / 2006 / September
  • Excellent example of MOSS 2007 in action

    If you're looking for an excellent example (maybe the first public site) built on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, then check out the 2007 European SharePoint Conference site here.

    This is an excellent example of what you can accomplish with MOSS. It uses an online InfoPath form (served up via Forms Services), variations for 3 different languages (French, English, and German), and master pages and styles for the look and feel.

    Well done guys!

  • Join the Windows XP club... for 5 more years or so

    If you’re a developer today writing .NET apps, you’re either writing them with Visual Studio 2003 or 2005. I don’t know what the actual numbers are out there, but for those writing apps with VS2003, forget about developing on Windows Vista when it ships. You won’t be able to run your precious IDE. Visual Studio 2003 is not supported on Vista. Does it mean it wont run? Maybe, I’m not sure, but the “official” word (and what’s flying around the blog-o-sphere these days) is that it won’t be supported. Also if you’re running VS2005, you’ll need to install SP1 (which just went public recently).

    To me this means I’ll be running Windows XP for another 5 years until the next OS comes along. It works, the kinks are pretty much out of it now, all my hardware works with it, and I can develop apps using VS2005 and 2003 along with .NET 3.0 (God, I still hate that name) on it. I’m sure MS will at least consider correcting this (especially since almost every feed I read is discussing this problem). I mean, how freakin’ hard is it to support 2003 on the Vista Platform? Don’t answer that, and I swear I’ll ostracise the next blogger who uses “first-class” with anything and Microsoft, that saying is getting so overused.

    Is Visual Studio 2003 really that “legacy”?

    What really kills me about all this, is that your good old VB6 IDE will run fine and be supported. VB6! I thought we killed that thing off when we had the chance. While I understand Microsoft is focusing their efforts on supporting VS2005, I would think you generally have a few good brain cells to know that most people haven’t switched over/upgraded yet and it’s not going to happen overnight for some (most?) apps. So why wouldn’t you support the masses?

    Or am I that out of tune with the universe and everyone has silently moved to VS2005 and this isn’t an issue.

    If that’s the case, why is everyone blogging  about this?

  • Enabling anonymous access in SharePoint 2007

    Even though Microsoft has done a great job on improving the user interface in SharePoint 2007, some things are still buried and require a little “black magic” to get done. In this entry I’ll show you how to enable anonymous access on your site.

    First, you need to enable anonymous on the IIS web site (called a Web Application in SharePoint land). This can be done by:

    • Launching Internet Information Services Manager from the Start -> Administration Tools menu
    • Select the web site, right click and select Properties
    • Click on the Directory Security tab
    • Click on Edit in the Authentication and access control section

    Instead we’ll do it SharePoint style using the Central Administration section:

    • First get to your portal. Then under “My Links” look for “Central Administration” and select it.
    • In the Central Administration site select “Application Management” either in the Quick Launch or across the top tabs
    • Select “Authentication Providers” in the “Application Security” section
    • Click on the “Default” zone (or whatever zone you want to enable anonymous access for)
    • Under “Anonymous Access” click the check box to enable it and click “Save”

    NOTE: Make sure the “Web Application” in the menu at the top right is your portal/site and not the admin site.

    You can confirm that anonymous access is enabled by going back into the IIS console and checking the Directory Security properties.

    Now the second part is to enable anonymous access in the site.

    • Return to your sites home page and navigate to the site settings page. In MOSS, this is under Site ActionsSite SettingsModify All Site Settings. In WSS it’s under Site ActionsSite Settings.
    • Under the “Users and Permissions” section click on “Advanced permissions”
    • On the “Settings” drop down menu (on the toolbar) select “Anonymous Access”
    • Select the option you want anonymous users to have (full access or documents and lists only)

    Now users without logging in will get whatever option you allowed them.

    A couple of notes about anonymous access:

    • You will need to set up the 2nd part for all sites unless you have permission inheritance turned on
    • If you don’t see the “Anonymous Access” menu option in the “Settings” menu, it might not be turned on in Central Admin/IIS. You can manually navigate to “_layouts/setanon.aspx” if you want, but the options will be grayed out if it hasn’t been enabled in IIS
    • You must do both setups to enable anonymous access for users, one in IIS and the other in each site

    Hope that helps!

  • How the web could be

    The phrase always comes up. “Blame Hanselman”. Scott Hanselman is the bane of new technology, gadgets, and tools for me. Like a lemming, he mentions something cool and we all flock to it. Today he was rambling on about a new reader from the NY Times (written using WPF) that is the cat’s meow. I’m not one to normally read the times as I find it bloated and boring, but figured it was WPF and Scott’s blog entry on it looked interesting.


    This really is the killer app for WPF, as it not only has everything but it’s brilliantly done. So many times paper publications have tried to make electronic versions of themselves and just basically failed. Others will convert their paper copies to something like a PDF file, but for whatever reason, the fonts/images just don’t look that great. Take a look at the image above. Even in the size the image is now (500px wide) you can still read the text (and that’s at the second lowest setting).

    The layout is simple yet functional. The designers didn’t take the “one-resolution-fits-all” approach. As you resize the reader window, it moves elements around and fits them in smartly (for example, the newspaper sections wrap as the window changes size. However, everything stays relative so you’re not hunting around for a button or function that vanished off the page because you sized the screen too small. Too many developers omit little things like this when they build software. The NY Times guys got it right.

    As for the features, you can search, change the font size, save the article (only in Times Reader format), email an excerpt (with links to the reader for those that don’t have it), and even create ink notes (if you have a tablet). Very slick.

    The app is updating and you can just click on the update icon to download newer content. Like I said, I don’t read the Times so not sure if they post multiple issues during the day or if this app is fast becoming a more “live” version of the newspaper. People always say newspapers and magazines are so outdated because they report the news but then have to print and distribute. This removes that problem.

    Okay, it’s not the first time a newspaper or magazine put their content into a reader (like I said, some have tried and failed) but I think it’s the first in using the Windows Presentation Foundation so there’s a cool factor here. And it’s well done. That says a lot.

    However, just imagine if your favourite RSS reader delivered it’s content this way? Some newsreaders offer a “newspaper-like” view (Omea reader can do this, and I think FeedDemon can) which reformats RSS feeds into this style (and sucks in any photos in a blog entry to supplement the article). I don’t see why an RSS reader can’t be like this all the time as it’s a very user-friendly experience and would make reading feeds that much more fun everyday.

    While I know the WPF is not for the web, with the advent of Atlas coming and web apps getting all AJAXy on us, why not have a web like this? Why can’t we have rich-web apps like the New York Times reader online? Sure this implementation is a client application, but the UI is so thin it could easily be done as an AJAX/Atlas website. The next step is to have the choice or a seamless transition from one to the other. Why can’t your browser be a shell for rich-client ClickOnce apps instead of a HTML rendering engine. I would like to see more apps built this way (both web and client) where appropriate.

    I agree with Scott that the NY Times should have made this a ClickOnce app so it would always be current but other than that, this is a freakin’ cool demonstration of the Windows Presentation Foundation and how it can deliver a simple, yet effective solution.

    You can download the NY Times Reader application from here (registration required, free to those who are breathing with an email address)


  • Buying a laptop that doesn't explode

    I guess I have one rule when I’m buying hardware. It shouldn’t explode on me (unless it was designed to).

    I’m struggling with buying a new laptop. I have a nice Compaq Presario R4000 that I’ve enjoyed for a year or so and it’s okay spec wise. AMD Athlon 64 processor (3500+), 2.2Ghz, 2GB of RAM. However it’s a big of a dog for doing daily development. I tried doing development on a desktop and sync up things via an external USB drive but it’s just too painful. Paths are wrong, sometimes things don’t work, software not the same, websites or services are not all there, VMs have to be reconfigured, etc.

    So now I’m looking at a dual-core system. Dell and Toshiba have some okay laptops but lately everything is just blowing up on people. I mean Apple, Dell, Panasonic, and Toshiba have all done recalls on their systems. There are also reports of ThinkPads blowing sky high. Doesn’t give me a warm fuzzy. The one option that I saw via a review by someone was an ASUS A6Jc-. Looks nice and at least they haven’t started turning into ash piles.

    Any suggestions?

  • Presentation of BDC to NYC SharePoint Group online

    Matt sent me a note saying that they’ve posted the web cast I did for the New York City SharePoint Users Group a couple of weeks ago on the BDC on their site. You can watch the 30 minute session here. It covers walking through some of Todd Baginski’s BDC generator tool, and showing results in SharePoint. With only 30 minutes, its hard to get into things like building custom search tabs, sucking in data from a web service, and other BDC goodness. I’ll get into all that at DevConnections in November as I have a 75 minute session I’m presenting on the BDC.

    You know, I really have to improve my speaking skills. Either I was nervous, on drugs grown in my homemade crystal meth lab, or really need to listen to myself more often. Lots of “ums” thrown in as I was speaking so I apologize to listeners. I really do know what I’m talking about (at least I hope I do) and have done enough of these that I should know better. Although I’m doing these web casts with a cell phone on one ear with one hand and typing with the another. I probably should invest in a headset.

    And no, I wasn’t wearing any pants during the web cast.

  • WSSv3 setup this weekend

    Now that my web hosting company, Webhost4life, has got their act together I’m going to be upgrading some of my sites to WSSv3. This will include my SharePoint dev site with all the application templates. Not sure if I’ll spin up an extra site or what I’ll do, but my main vanity site (currently running on DotNetNuke 4) will get a SharePoint facelift along with a few others. If you’re trying to access them this weekend, they may go offline as domain and sub-domain names swap around. Then it’ll be time to start uploading custom web parts and really going to town.

  • First iteration done as in dinner

    Well, 30 days later and our first sprint is done. We finished ahead of schedule at about 2pm the day before the sprint “officially” ended with one task remaining that the QA guy had to do. It was a fun ride and challenging. The entire team (sans me) had to deal with the following new technologies:

    As well as adapt to the Scrum process as they were mostly used to waterfall-esqe approaches (BDUF, highly detailed specs, etc.). I think everyone adapted pretty well. We had some churn the first couple of weeks as the plumbing got settled, we got used to using Team System (as a team) without clobbering each others work. Here’s the burndown from the iteration:


    Things were a little goofy. First off I entered all the features into the Product Backlog, but then another guy (while I was enjoying the backwoods of B.C.) entered the same set and deleted my initial ones. Then we forgot to enter the initial estimates for the sprint. Finally we had entered the estimates but then had entered them in hours and Scrum for Team System uses days for the product backlog items. So that explains the false start (I’m still trying to manipulate the original warehouse database to correct that).

    The other three gaps were caused by over estimation. On the 28th of August, we introduced a data layer using NetTiers and a few simple tables. That knocked two tasks that were pegged at 14 hours each down to nothing in a day. On the 11th of September we did the same thing for the next set of data we needed to store. Finally on the 18th of September we realized there were 3 or 4 tasks that were estimated at about 8–10 hours but they were really just rolled up in another screen, so that was knocked off in a day.

    Not the prettiest sprint burndown chart out there, but it’s real numbers.

    As for our Sprint Review, that was almost a huge guffaw. Our review with the customers was yesterday at 10am. We had stopped development and put out a release for final QA testing by noon the day before. Everything worked fine. The QA guy and some devs were working until about 9pm that night either just admiring what we did or were adding little things we wanted to put into the system (but we weren’t going to show this) and all was well. Then at 7:30 the next morning, our QA came in and couldn’t run the app. By the time 9am rolled around and we were checking the release to go over the demo, nothing worked. We tried on every machine and still no dice.

    At 9:30 we reset the database and I thought we had done something horrible because the app wouldn’t even launch. Man, we were sweating bullets. Finally we determined that something happened with the proxy server on the network, so launching our ClickOnce app was failing and the exception handler couldn’t deal with it (for whatever reason). The network guys push stuff out all the time but apps for this customer never were this complicated, so nothing ever was affected. Anyways, to get the demo up and running we commented out some handling and it ran fine.

    As we were really cramped for time and didn’t have time to start up the laptop to demo the system, I didn’t want to chance having that fail so we grabbed the one dev’s desktop (a Dell Dimension E521), his keyboard and mouse and screen (luckily it was a LCD and not a CRT) and hauled ass across the street to the building where we did the review.

    At the end of the day, the customer was happy with what we did. There were a few suggestions and ideas that we’ll add to the next sprint. We spent an hour and a half going over the backlog items for the next sprint and ended up with a nice list to deliver the first release at the end of October. That burndown will be more of a slope than a bumpy ride, but the team had fun and we delivered working software which was the key thing.

    One more note. We couldn’t figure out why when we were going through the product that a list of values were not coming back from a corporate web service. A different list we used was being populated from that same service, but the one list of numbers we wanted wasn’t. Later that day I found out that one of the devs in the other building had deleted that web service method because he thought it was a duplicate. Luckily, our system was built using Smart Web References (part of the Smart Client Software Factory) and will simply return us the list of values and a success/failure value of the web service call. This isn’t exposed to the user, but at least the app didn’t hit and unhandled exception during the demo. Thanks Les!

  • Ahoy! You scurvy SharePointers

    Yes, just like your favorite MVP, International Talk Like a Pirate Day comes but once a year and it's today, September 19th. So go ahead, wander around your offices like a blubbering peg-leg idiot and feel free to slip in a few "argghhs,"  "mateys," and "shiver me source code" comments to anyone who looks like a land-lubber.

  • Spend an hour searching with SharePoint and Robert Bogue

    Robert Bogue has been around in the SharePoint sphere for sometime now and is just starting to put together screen casts (web casts, whatever you want to call them) for SharePoint.

    The first in his screen casts is based on a live presentation he’s been giving for the past year and a half. It explains all the ins and outs of SharePoint search. It’s based on 2003 but the principles apply to 2007 (and I’m sure he’ll update it for 2007 hint, hint). So he’s offering up his SharePoint Advisor presentation, repackaged into a web cast. All free as in beer, which is always good.

    You can check out his blog entry here and watch the screen cast here.

    Watch for more screen casts from the entire SharePoint MVP community (and other SharePointHeads out there) over the next few months (including yours truly) as we discover what we can do with this wonderful technology ;)

  • Omea is the new FeedDemon

    I seem to be doing software service announcements lately, but I’m just levelling out my 3rd party tools and whatnot on my laptop as I spend a Sunday afternoon catching up on podcasts and coding stuff in the background (I’m just too A.D.D. to be doing one thing at a time).

    Recently I’ve been struggling with my RSS feeds, newsgroups, and email. Basically I’ve been trying to find a good set of tools/add-ins to manage email, RSS feeds, newsgroup postings, and (to a lesser extent) bookmarks). I mean here we are in the information age, but there’s so much information out there. So many inputs coming in, and trying to sort it all out with tools. I’ve installed and tried out various tools and tool combos which went through a folly of tools:

    • RSS Bandit for RSS feeds
    • RSS Bandit for newsgroup posts
    • Outlook 2003 + Newshound for newsgroup posts
    • Outlook 2003 + IntraVnews for RSS feeds
    • FeedDemon for RSS feeds
    • Outlook 2007 for RSS feeds
    • Outlook 2007 + Newshound for newsgroup posts

    I think I’ve finally found the sweet spot. Thanks to Andrew Connell who uses Omea reader, I decided to give it a try. It’s by the guys from JetBrains who make ReSharper, IntelliJ, and a whole bunch of cool tools. AC uses the notify feature of it to read newsgroups, and be notified when someone replies to a thread (usually one he replies to). This is a great feature of the tool because in this day, we’re trying to sift through hundreds of posts a day in a half dozen SharePoint newsgroups. No easy feat even for a super-human MVP like myself.


    I downloaded the tool, imported my OPML and found it to be slick. It lets me categorize the content as there are many blog entries I keep as a knowledge base. It’s fast and downloads/updates in the background and doesn’t require a gob of memory (one of the problems with RSS Bandit). And the notify feature just rocks.

    So I’m now hooked on JetBrains Omea Reader for RSS feeds and newsgroups and Outlook will just be fine for email. Omea can handle your mail as well, but I think I’ll stick with Outlook for now.

    Anyways, enough with the tools. Time to get back to writing tests. Red. Green. Refactor. It’s a great Sunday!

  • Joel on Team System

    Just listening to Joel Semeniuk on the latest podcast of .NET Rocks! as they talk about Team System. As a Scrum-junkie, I really love the fact that Microsoft did something right with Team System when they left the system open. It opened the door for people like Conchango to put out their very excellent Scrum for Team System set of process templates. As Joel mentions in the podcast, for a developer who’s savvy with Team System but doensn’t know about Scrum the plugin lets you understand Scrum a little better, and vice-versa for the Scrum guy who doesn’t know Team System. It works for both types of developers which is nice. If you’re trying to struggle with Team System, or you’re trying to get Scrum working with the MSF Agile template MS ships then you might want to take a look at Scrum for Team System. It’s very slick (and free!).

  • Beta 2 Technical Refresh fever

    It’s B2TR fever this week as Microsoft released the technical refresh. Of course it’s got a lot of people scratching their heads about installing, but there are also a lot of new cool features there. Be sure to keep an eye on the SharePoint blogs (SharePointKicks is an excellent source for this) as many people are posting screencasts, walkthroughs, and all that good stuff for installing and upgrading the TR.

    Also the SDK for Office Server has been updated and is avaiable. It also includes a download with samples. These samples include Business Data Catalog metadata samples, Custom Single Sign-On Provider, SampleWebService, and Custom Filter Web Parts. You can grab both new downloads from Microsoft here.

  • Newshound on Outlook 2007 Beta 2 TR

    Just downloaded the latest version of Newshound, an add-in for Microsoft Outlook that lets you read and reply to usenet newsgroups in your Outlook client. They’ve updated it to work with Outlook 2007 and I just tried it with the Technical Refresh released yesterday. Here’s the results:


    Works great and the thread in newsgroups seems to be working much better than last time! Finally getting some traction with having to deal with email, newsgroups, and RSS feeds (although I’ve switched over to FeedDemon for my RSS feeds as RSS Bandit was just a memory pig and Outlook 2007 doesn’t update the RSS properly).

    So if you’re looking for an integrated solution, give Newshound a try!

  • More 2007 Technical Refresh links

    Just a quickie this morning. Seems people find it difficult to locate download links. Maybe I’m just Google-gifted or something. Here are the software development kit links for the Office 2007 technical refresh:

    There’s no update to the SharePoint Server (MOSS) SDK yet as the last link is still from May 22nd but I’ll post an update once it goes online.

  • Ken Schwaber introduction to Scrum video on Google Tech Talks

    Ken Schwaber is the co-founder of the Agile process called Scrum (which BTW is not an acronym) recently gave a talk which has been put online via a serivce called Google Tech Talk.

    It’s an hour long presentation but gives you an excellent introduction to Scrum (if you’re not already familar with it) including the interesting history behind it. If you don’t know what Scrum is and are interested (or haven’t heard Ken talk as he’s a great speaker IMHO), you can check it out here.

    Nothing like getting the facts straight from the horses mouth (so to speak).

  • Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Beta 2 Technical Refresh - Thursday

    Wow, that’s a big blog title to say three times fast (or one time slowly).

    Anyways, after the public beta release of MOSS back during the TechEd days, you can grab the latest bits for what Microsoft calls a “Technical Refresh” as of tommorow morning (Thursday, 9AM PST). It’s not another full-fledged beta, it’s an update to it and corrects various issues, adds some new things, and “refreshes” your beta 2 install here and there (including cosmetic changes).

    The news is out on the various websites with some reviews and additional info about the release:

    The update is available for the entire Office 2007 stack, but of course I’m a biased blogger and this entry only talks about Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) and Windows SharePoint Services v3.

    Like I said, it’s a technical refresh but it does improve things. At the same time however, it might break other things. For example, some of the BDC entries might be “off” and require reconfiguration. There are other areas that have changed that might break things you have in place. While this is a technical refresh, Microsoft is providing an upgrade path from Beta 2 to release so installing this is optional, but recommended. Why? It’s more stable and there are more features and generally it’s creeping closer and closer to a release candidate flavour.

    Now for the zinger. As has been mentioned around the blog-o-sphere, installing the TR is not going to be a “ClickOnce” type scenario. There are some vital steps you have to take, otherwise you may invalidate the install or (worse case) corrupt your data. Of course always backup your data before you try this. Also, when/if you do download the bits and start your install remember…


    Yes, I know. We as developers, architects, and internet gurus laugh at the mere thought of documentation however if you have to read one doc (besides your kids report card) in your life, make it this one. If you don’t, you’ll be travelling a path I cannot follow (or help you as will most other people).

    The two key facts to highlight for your install that I want to mention here (besides backup and RTFM) are:

    • Shut down the Search Services before you upgrade
    • As I mentioned, there’s the potential to corrupt data during the upgrade if the Search Service is still running. So go into your Services in your Administration screen and shut it down. There, now wasn’t that easy?
    • Install all the Beta 2 products and language packs before you upgrade
    • You know the saying “Once you go black…”. Same thing here. Once you install B2TR you won’t be able to install any additional products or language packs. So make sure you have everything installed in your VPC, Server, etc. before you upgrade.

    Also if you’re upgrading a Beta 2 standard installation, there’s a workaround required so again, crack open that README and just do it.

    In a nutshell (and this is by no means a replacement for the documentation) here’s the sequence you’ll go through to upgrade from Beta 2 to Beta 2 TR:

    • Turn off WSS Search and Disable OSS Search
    • Install the update to Windows Workflow Foundation (.NET 3.0)
    • Install the WSS patch
    • Install the MOSS patch (if upgrade MOSS)
    • Restart forms services and workflows
    • Restart the Search Services

    Watch the blogs for detailed instructions, gotchas, workarounds, screenshots, etc. from the various SharePoint bloggers (including myself). If you do run into problems of course just yell. We’re always here to listen and try to help (or make crazy fish jokes like the one about the walrus, the nurse, and the prostitute, your choice).

  • Getting ready for B2TR and SharePoint Comparisons

    A bit of a mish-mash this morning as the caffeine hits the veins and all of my cylinders start firing.

    First there’s a quick post about the upcoming Beta 2 Technical Refresh for Office 2007 (which includes MOSS/Windows SharePoint Services) from the SharePoint team. It’s basically a RTFM post and it is important. As Lawrence pointed out in his own post, the upgrade is not just simply a double-click of an EXE. There are some steps you have to manually do before and after the install to ensure a fully upgraded version. So keep an eye out for these and I’ll post more info when the update is released to the wild.

    The second thing is a nice summary that MS put together on the differences between 2003 and the various flavours of 2007. It’s in the form of an excel spreadsheet and really sums up what’s changed. Something to keep handy when you’re scrambling to explain what the differences are to those high-priced execs. You can download it here.

  • Exposing business objects to the UI

    I've been working the past few months with the Composite UI Application Block (CAB) and the Smart Client Software Factory (SCSF). They're all great but the documentation throws me for a loop sometimes.

    In an entry called "Map Business Entities into User Interface Elements" it suggests creating a mapper class and using it to convert some business object into a UI one. This makes sense however the implementation and references cause my head to hurt.

    In a typical MVP pattern, you have the Model (your business object), the View (the UI), and the Presenter (a go-between guy). The presenter knows about both the view and the model. It needs to inform the model to update based on messages recieved from the view, and tell the view about changes in the model. Neither the model or the view have any knowledge of each other.

    Introduce the mapper which knows about the Model and the View. This is the other side of the equation so when given a business object, the mapper will spit out a drop down list, a grid control, or whatever UI element is appropriate to display something from the business layer (say a list of customers).

    In the example Microsoft provides via the guidance package, the view has a method that accepts a business object which then calls the mapper to translate it into a ListViewItem. The view then updates its UI control (a ListView control) by adding list items to it created by the mapper.

    However this means that you're exposing you business objects to the user interface, which creates a coupling between the UI and the business layer (at least from a deployment perspective). If you don't do it this way you have to have the presenter (which should know about domain objects so that's ok) update the view but what is it going to update it with? Certainly not a ListViewItem which will make the presenter dependent on the windows form control assemblies.

    Without creating a intermediate object (like a CustomerDTO with nothing but getters/setters) are we really bound to have the UI reference the business layer and is the documentation here really a best practice for exposing business objects to the UI? How do you guys do it?

  • Hello <<NAME>>

    As the Ricky Bobby of the SharePoint world (too bad Matt, it’s sticking now even if nobody gets it) I receive a lot of weird emails.

    And then there was this:

    Hi <<NAME>>,

    My name is [REMOVED], and I'm a recruiter with [REMOVED].  

    I came across your resume in our system, and I thought I'd try to touch base because I wanted to talk with you in regards to a high profile project that I'm working on in [REMOVED] that seems to fit fairly well with your skill set. 

    I'd love to get a better understanding of your career ambitions and availability. Is there a number I can reach you at, and a 10 minute time slot that you could open up for me?  If it's more convenient, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.  You can reach me via email or at [REMOVED]. 

    Thanks very much <<NAME>> -- I'm looking forward to speaking with you!


    (Note: the [REMOVED] part is information about who sent it with phone numbers and such. I’ve blanked it out to protect the village idiot who sent me this in the first place.)

    My geek-to-be promptly told me to send this message back to the firm:

    Hi <<NAME>>,

    Thank you for your personal interest in my career, however at this time I am currently working for a company that is better versed in using mail merge techniques.

    Thanks very much <<NAME>>

    Bil Simser


  • Titles and Reflections

    Last nights webcast went pretty well with the NYC SharePoint User Group (say that three times fast). There was a great turnout (over 60 peeps including Scot Hillier, Box Fox and other SharePoint luminites) and there were some good questions and hopefully equally good answers. Compressing the BDC into a 20 minute session is like fitting Rosie O'donnell into a tutu. Ugly. However it went pretty good and I hope everyone got introduced to what's a very cool part of MOSS 2007.

    Shout outs to the entire group and especially Matt from CorasWorks and his minions for making everything work smoothly. Matt introduced me as the Ricky Bobby of the SharePoint world. While that may be true (although I probably share that distinction with Todd Bleeker) I always thought of myself more as the Weird Al Yankovic of the SharePoint world. Anyways, I believe they captured the web cast and will hopefully be putting it online for all to cry over.

    Finally (off-topic), I had an errand to do today and wandered outside to get there. The weather here in Calgary is still short-sleeve'ish so it was a nice walk. I noticed I passed by 3 statues commemorating dead people. All people who died in the service of their country. Now I'm all for honoring people and such, but when are we going to see statues of people who died of natural causes rather than those who went down in a flaming plane?

    One can dream.

  • NYC SharePoint User Group Presentation on BDC Tommorow

    It’s a hot time in the cool city tommorow. Well, it’ll be hot here in Calgary and I don’t know the weather in New York but anyways I’ll be doing a webcast for the NYC SharePoint User Group tommorow (Wednesday). The webcast is on the BDC and while I only have a half-hour to present, we’ll run through some samples in the BDC, how to create and use Content Types defined in the BDC and a little coding sample calling the BDC services to programmitically “make stuff happen”.

    If you’re signed up then great (they tell me there’s about 60 people coming already), otherwise see if you can get in by visiting the NYC SharePoint User Group Portal here. The meeting starts at 5:30pm EST at the MS office in New York. This is the first in their “MVP Series” that they’re presenting so hopefully I won’t screw it up too badly for you guys that follow ;)

    This is a Live Meeting presenation and I’m not sure if they record the demo or if I’ll be able to, but hopefully we can put it online for anyone else to suck down and kick back with after the fact. After all, they only have so many sandwiches they can muster up at the user group meeting.

    See you then!