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Top Stories

I am pretty passionate about Enterprise Search and with MOSS 2007 I saw customers really struggle because wildcard search was not offered out of the box and most of the web parts in Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.WebParts are sealed. Luckily, the most important one CoreResultsWebPart was in fact not sealed and I was able to hack together a wildcard search solution by inheriting it and using some hacky reflection. Since SPC09, we’ve been hearing “the search web parts are no longer sealed”, this unfortunately is not true at all. What they mean to say is that they have added a couple of override to CoreResultsWebPart that allow you to affect the query going in and the results going out. This is a nice win, but there is still more desired. It took me asking a lot of people at SPC09 to finally get a straight answer.  It was in the session, Customizing Search in SharePoi... (more)

Integration Concerns No Barrier to Enterprise Cloud Adoption

Study from Mimecast Finds that Security and Integration Concerns are not Preventing Enterprises' Cloud Computing Adoption London - February 4, 2010 - Mimecast®, a holistic email management company offering SaaS-based email archiving, continuity, security and policy control, today announced the results of its Cloud Computing Adoption Survey, which examined the perception and adoption of cloud computing solutions among 565 respondents responsible for managing their organization's IT operations and budget across the U.S. and Canada in the Fall of 2009. Data from the recently completed online survey highlights the complex, often contrasting, thought process of IT decision makers regarding cloud computing. While security and integration issues are clearly users' biggest fears about cloud computing, these concerns have not dissuaded companies from implementing cloud-based... (more)

Lead Generation is Not IT

As the latest research, surveys and reports about content marketing begin surfacing, I'm wondering if  B2B marketers are really embracing change or if they're stuck in the past? Time and again, I see lead generation as a top priority goal while lead nurturing comes in at the bottom of the heap - behind web traffic and brand awareness for crying out loud. Lead Generation is a hello and a handshake. Lead Nurturing is the art of building a relationship with purpose. Big difference. HUGE. To be successful, marketers need to integrate them both into a lead management process. In the 2010 B2B Content Marketing Trends report from Marketing Profs and Junta42 they found: "Marketers report that content marketing supports multiple business goals, led by brand awareness (78%), customer retention/loyalty (69%) and lead generation (63%); the least widely employed goal for content... (more)

Solution Dependencies in SharePoint 2010

With MOSS 2007, I often got asked what order do I install these solution packages in.  Oftentimes, it was critical that they get installed in a particular order.  With features, we have had the ability to set dependencies, but we really didn’t have anything like that for solution packages.  Well, I haven’t heard people talking about this new feature yet, but we can in fact set solution dependencies in the manifest.xml file. The way it works is that it checks to see if a dependent solution has already been deployed on your farm (or site collection for sandbox solutions).  However, it won’t chain deploy child solutions for you like you can do with hidden dependent features.  It does this check when you attempt to deploy the feature (not when you add it).  It also won’t remove a parent solution should you remove any of its dependent child solutions.  Solution dependen... (more)

Cloud Replication Is Not Backup, But Backup Is!

Early Bird Registration at Cloud Expo Go read that headline again: W. Curtis "Mr. Backup" Preston points out on his blog that replication is not backup, and we can't disagree. Keeping alternative copies of data in multiple locations is a great idea, reducing the risk of data loss and potentially enabling enhanced access, but it's not a historical data protection (aka, backup) strategy. Backup requires management of multiple historic copies of a data set. Clearly, cloud storage in itself isn't backup. Backup vs. Storage SNIA defines "backup" thus: [Data Recovery] A collection of data stored on (usually removable) non-volatile storage media for purposes of recovery in case the original copy of data is lost or becomes inaccessible; also called a backup copy. To be useful for recovery, a backup must be made by copying the source data image when it is in a consistent stat... (more)

Phonetic People Search in SharePoint 2010

Maybe you hadn’t noticed, but talking about Search is my favorite topic in SharePoint (with ECM closely following it). :)  This is why I am so excited about the new features we are seeing in Enterprise Search.  Wildcards and built in refinement were enough to bring a tear to my eye, but People Search is what I think a lot of people will be impressed by.  You see People Search is the gateway to many of the new social aspects in SharePoint 2010.  Your old stuffy CIOs are going to absolutely hate it (since they were probably the ones that blocked twitter and facebook at your organization).  The new hip CIOs that find value in social media are going to totally embrace it and organizational efficiency and the sense of community is really going to go up.  Not to tangent on the whole social thing though, let’s just take a look today at how it’s easier to find people in Sha... (more)

When Is A Copy A Backup?

Ocarina's Carter George continued the conversation on backups, asking if the conventional backup paradigm was obsolete, and if file copies could serve the same purpose. As mentioned in our "What Is a Backup?" post, this is the same question posed by EMC's Scott Waterhouse recently. Putting Copies To The Test George suggests a copy-based scenario: "Why not just move files that are candidates for being backed up to a separate tier of storage, keeping them as files in their native format, and organizing them in time coherent views?" To determine whether this is truly a backup, let's apply our new rules to determine when a copy becomes a backup: A copy is, by definition, a copy of a set of data. This copy is not mentioned as being protected or offline, which worries the IT admin in me. Could they be overwritten or corrupted? Would they disappear along with the primary data... (more)

Microsoft’s First Step Toward Cloud Computing

Azure Session at Cloud Expo Pundits talking about how Windows 7 is all about Microsoft competing against Apple, recovering with Vista consumer adoption disaster, or getting people off of XP, are missing one other – extremely important – part of the Windows 7 story. Windows 7 and its server counterpart – Windows Server 2008 R2 – are actually the first real step in Microsoft’s Windows Cloud Story. Before Windows 7 Microsoft could offer some services (such as Exchange Online) from the cloud – but could not provide full enterprise directory, security and so on – now they can. Microsoft has always called its SaaS plan Software + Services, emphasizing that it can enable rich Windows and application experience over the internet. The reality however has been that in most cases these have been limited to a few web-enabled (e.g. Outlook) or pure web (e.g. SharePoint) applicati... (more)

SPC 2009 Wrap-Up

Java Developer's Journal The last day of the SPC had some tech-laden sessions hosted by Andrew Connell. The first was about migrating from 2007 to 2010, and how you can add the nice 2010 development features (like the ribbon and the developer dashboard) back into your 2007 master pages when you migrate them. The theme seems to be that you invested in branding and customizing 2007, and Microsoft is making it straightforward to move that content to 2010. The idea is to not have to stop doing work in your 2007 instance waiting for 2010 to release. All in all, it looks like going from 2007 to 2010 should be much easier than 2003 to 2007. Andrew’s second session was on the ability to create Service Applications. When I first heard it described (local versus proxy execution, service discovery, etc) I started having flashbacks to an app we built back in 1998 in C++ – the... (more)

Behind the Scenes, SANta Claus Global Cloud Story

Cloud Expo New York There is a ton of discussion, stories, articles, videos, conferences and blogs about the benefits and value proposition of cloud computing. Not to mention, discussion or debates about what is or what is not a cloud or cloud product, service or architecture including some perspectives and polls from me. [Santa Photo Via ABC news] Now SANta does not really care about these and other similar debates I have learned. However he is concerned with who has been naughty and nice as well watching out for impersonators or members of his crew who misbehave. In the spirit of the holidays, how about a quick look at how SANta leverages cloud technologies to support his global operations. Many in IT think that SANta bases his operations out of the North Pole as it is convenient for him to cool all of his servers, storage, networks and telecom equipment (which ... (more)

Microsoft Azure and Open Data Protocol - OData

Windows Azure Session at Cloud Expo In an increasingly interconnected world interoperability finds the highest resonance. The Open Data Protcol (OData) provides developers from many progrmming background such as C#, Java, Javascript, PHP etc. an open protocol to produce and consume data. Windows Azure Platfrom not only stands to gain from conforming to this protocol but also answers Google's GData with a rich data ecosystem. Microsoft Azure is not Microsoft specific but opens its doors to everything under the sky. Who produce OData? The ones that expose data using OData protocol. There are a number of OData producers: Applications exposing OData Services Sharepoint 2010 IBM Web Sphere Microsoft SQL Azure Windows Azure Table Storage SQL Server Reporting Services Live OData Services Netflix Open Science Data Initiative Open Government Data Initiatives Northwind database ex... (more)