“You talkin’ to me?!” The Future of SharePoint


Having commented on a question that was posed from a SharePoint Users Group inquiring about the future of SharePoint, l was naturally curious as this happens to be my current main area of expertise.

Much like the famous movie line in Taxi delivered by Robert DeNiro, the truth is it did feel like they were talking to me. As I’m sure many others out there are questioning the same thing, the truly safe answer would be, it depends!

From a corporate view you might start by knowing what is the current investment and the ROI. Is this even being measured and if so, how?

What I have learned is that the platform has a place in business and can be used for incredible out of the box solutions. The question is did you find ways to achieve this? How heavily invested are your users? What are the future alternatives?

IT members are now looking at on-premises versus off-premises, not to mention the possibility of hybrid solutions. Think about the Office 365 offerings that include the SharePoint Online app. Is this a sign of a product in decline?

Our roles using this platform are wide and varied and there are many moving parts that I’ve not laid out. All in all I do see this as I valued product, but the key is to find core people to help implement when feasible.

Moving forward, I will be keeping my ear to the ground and interested in participating in its ongoing future in the new year.

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How to clear Information Management Policy Settings errors

After hours of attempting to clear on error page I was receiving when selecting the Change Source hyperlink in the Information Management Policy Settings, I feel compelled to send our this solution as a post.


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Why Use a Run Command?

Regardless of what technology you support, this quick “Run Command” tip can come in handy while you are flipping and flopping over the course of the day!


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Deprecated Features in SharePoint 2010 & 2013

SharePoint 2013 Deprecated Features

SharePoint 2013 Deprecated Features

What’s coming and what’s going in SharePoint 2010 & 2013?

Now is the time to take an overall look at the deprecated features in SharePoint.  For those that haven’t considered migrating yet, this is first step in educating yourself and your “users” on what they won’t  have in the future and the ability to start coming up with a game plan of how to get around some of these impending deprecated features. On one hand, it’s sad to see some of these features go away, but there are many alternatives in what SharePoint 2013 is bringing to the table to offset this. So far one of the biggest issues I’m hearing is the removal of the Document & Meeting workspace site templates.  According to Microsoft, here’s what they have to say about it:

Reason for change: SharePoint 2013 and Office 2013 provide other features that support meetings and collaboration. For example, you can use Lync to conduct live meetings, OneNote to take notes during meetings, and a SharePoint team site or My Site to store shared meeting notes.

It will be interesting to see how companies will handle this moving forward to say the least.  It seems that of late I am thriving in OneNote and have started using this as part of the whole concept of collaborating as intended by the SharePoint platform.  Why?  For starters you can put OneNote in a SharePoint document library and then share it with those you intend to work with.  Once it’s in OneNote you can access this by way of the OneNote installed on your computer (assuming you have this), otherwise you can use the Office Web App feature to access. 

I find this all intriguing as I discuss this whole topic with friends operating small businesses and more so with artists that are looking at ways to collaborate with their web designers and photographers.  This might fall more in the realm of Office 365. 

For a quick summary of all the features, see my recent page; Deprecated Features
Here is the complete documentation article from Technet.

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The Plateau Effect

What is the Plateau Effect and how can I relate this to SharePoint 2013?

As it so happens, I’m very new to SlideShare and just recently started looking at how I might use this new tool for my toolbox in preparing for demos and such.  This was as a result of the wonderful follow-up tweet from Michael Greene as he provided a link to his slides that were used at the May 7th North Carolina Triangle SPUG demo on Branding Best Bets.

This morning I checked my email and stumbled across a slideshare slide deck called “The Plateau Effect.”  As I proceeded through, I was intrigued in how this was going to provide me with a way to get from stuck to success?  Then I reached slide#15  “Anything You Want To Do Better” and it started to make sense!

“The Plateau Effect shows you why the world is full of one-hit-wonders, why all good things come to an end, why all trends eventually fall, why most people get less for more, and how you can break through, again and again.”

What does this mean in SharePoint terms?  It means that depending on your role with SharePoint, it’s up to us to figure out how this platform can work for you as a consultant or your business. 

We hear and read about how in some cases SharePoint doesn’t have a high adoption rate and that it falls through the cracks.  I say we take charge and find new ways to challenge ourselves and educate on what is possible.  That is how we will break through again and again.

There are wonderful resources out there to help us through these struggles.  Just this morning I read through the free book I received at the Vegas Microsoft SP2013 by Asif Rehmani.  This is a wonderful way to engage the power users for a quick dive into new features of SharePoint 2013. 

SP2013 Book

Microsoft SharePoint 2013 | First Look for Power Users

Additionally, you might want to consider putting together 2-3 minute video clips of these features for your end-users, IT Pros.  Put these into a central SharePoint location such as a library, (oops….I mean APP) so they can get a quick preview prior to testing.

I certainly don’t want to be considered a one-hit wonder nor have what I consider an awesome product come to end due to my lack of finding ways to break through with great solutions!

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SharePoint 2013 Development for Beginners

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Promote SharePoint 2013 Development

Looking for a new SharePoint 2013 development book?
Take a look at this Wrox book as it is structured specifically for beginners.  It’s chalk full of wonderful dev resources and examples to follow.  Hands down this is the best book I’ve found so far. 

As I continue my journey in SharePoint 2013 on-premise and Office 365, this book will be my bible moving forward.

Check out Chapter 5 as it desribes exactly what the cloud is.  I love its simplity, but yet technical overview.  If your eager to begin accessing line of business date, dive into Business Connectivity Services in Chapter 13.  This will help you to understand how to build app-level external types in OData. 

Hats off to the Wrox Programmer to Programmer, Steve Fox, Chris Johson, Donovan Follette, and Andrew Connell.

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What’s New with Workflows

Let’s face it, workflows are just awesome and do things we could not normally do in SharePoint to help aid in dealing with our SharePoint data.  There are the OOTB workflows, SharePoint Designer based workflows and then…..Visual Studio.

I recently came across a fellow by the name of Richard Harbridge that has a new post pertaining to workflows that is quite impressive.

Take a look at this article on workflows and see if it gives you new insight into what they are and how to use them.

SharePoint Workflow:
What Should We Use It For? What Are Other People Using It For?


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How SharePoint Chose Me!.

I concur with all parties that have already added to Henry Johnson’s recent blog “How SharePoint Chose Me”.

I’ve been affiliated with the SharePoint platform since 2003 and have loved every minute of it.  This Microsoft “platform” continues to not only make sense to me, but made me grow as a professional on levels I never realized possible.  The beauty of it all is that it provides a way for people to collaborate.  Isn’t that what we truly need when you get down to the basics?  If you’re really, truly interested in diving off the deep end, I suggest you make it talk to other line of business applications as well by way of External Content Types and List.  This is available in the BCS segment of SP2013.  I believe this is one of the biggest secrets that need to be revealed throughtout businesses using this platform. 

Most importantly, it’s about providing a way for everyone, yes IT – that means you too, to interface with each other in a cooperative and cohesive way.  I am a firm believer that this can do done. [Traditional smiley face insert here.]

I was once lost, but now I’m found and I can’t stop doing things “SharePoint Style”!!

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SharePoint 2013 Wizard of Oz

“Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” – L. Frank Baum

Moving forward on our quest to begin migrating from SP2010 to  SP 2013, I think we may all be off to see the wizard indeed!

There are many great resources available for learning about what is happening with SharePoint 2013.  Mostly I would say that overall if you had access to SharePoint Designer, it appears that you probably need to consider looking into a obtaining a test envirnoment by way of a VM and installing Visual Studio 2012. 

This of course is pertaining to customizing and creating highly funtional business solutions.

Quick Notes from Module 3:

SP2013 Dev Tools  [Ted Pattison]
Module 3

What’s New?
10 Farm Solution & Sandbox Solutions
13 Creating Apps – Main investment concentrating on making apps.

SP13  Apps
-Functinality add to VS12
All CSOM made available through REST
New Security Model created based on OAuth

VS12 | App vs. Solutions Development
Dialog Box | 2 Models
1. Apps for SharePoint
2. Classic SharePoint Solution

1.a Apps for SharePoint |  Development | .APP
Standalone apps that provide specific configuration info and functional components so a SP site.

How to add – Coporate Catalog or Marketplace
Hosting models;
 – Lighter App = hosted inside SP (HTML/Java)
 – Cloud Hosted App = Windows Azure

2.a Classic SharePoint Solution |  Development | .WSP
    [.WSP – Windows SharePoint Services Solution Packages]
Small to large scale packages that are used to customize or augment SP sites in some way.

Farm Solutions
-Test Site
-Configure & Debug as either Farm or Sandbox

Solution Deployment [vs_solutions.txt | cd]

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SharePoint Saturday | Baltimore, MD

SPS Baltimore

Spending Saturday with SharePoint 2013

SharePoint Saturday | Baltimore, MD | May 18, 2013
Location:  Loyola University Timonium Campus 2034 Greenspring Drive Timonium, MD 21093
Details:  Site Information
Twitter:  #SPSBMORE

If this event is anything like SPS Richmond, count me  in.  Where else can you network, learn and collaborate in a single day for free?  Yes, I said free!!  Hats off to SPS for recognizing this need.  Plans are underway.

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