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Tag: SharePoint 2013

Speaking at RISPUG on 4/3/2013

Speaking at RISPUG on 4/3/2013

If you are in the Southern Massachusetts/Rhode Island/Eastern Connecticut area Wednesday night (or even if you aren’t, it might still be worth the road trip… I’m doing it!) and are interested in learning about what’s new in SharePoint 2013 for ITPros, then come out to the Rhode Island SharePoint Users Group at Providence College.  In it’s seventh month RISPUG is alive and thriving, so come out and join us for a good old fashion geeky evening of SharePoint talk!

I will be presenting my ITPro’s taking the SharePoint 2013 Red Pill deck which is available on my on my SlideShare site.

Upgrading an existing Office 365 Tenant to the latest SharePoint Online

Upgrading an existing Office 365 Tenant to the latest SharePoint Online

After a very long wait I finally had a SharePoint Online tenant that was ready for upgrade.  For those who have not yet been blessed with this gift from Microsoft, I have screen captured the process for you to check out.  Sadly, SharePointLonghorn.onmicrosoft.com has not yet received the upgrade so I have not yet cut over completely to the cloud.

Enjoy!

How to: Create Active Directory Users using PowerShell

How to: Create Active Directory Users using PowerShell

Not unlike several posts in recent weeks, tonight’s adventures in PowerShelling started with from a conversation at SharePoint Saturday New Hampshire with the Iowan treasure Todd Klindt. The conversation was around the script that he used to create Active Directory users. I had my own bit of jumbled together code for this purpose, but his has some snazzy ifelse-ness to it and the ability to set Managers and add Pictures that made it especially appealing.

At the same time there were things in his script that I felt were a bit lacking and it lead to the whole “I can write that code in 2 hours” game not unlike a name that tune style geek-out.

Rather than reiterating all of the goodness that Todd built into his version of the script I will refer you to his post: http://www.toddklindt.com/PoshMakeUsers to read all of his fun comments.

Instead I will regale you with the updates that I have made:

  1. Specify an OU – I am an old school AD guy at heart and I HATE a mess Users directory where I can’t find anything. I always end up moving my SQL & SharePoint Service accounts to their own OU, as well as my dummy test accounts. This tweak to the script asks you what OU you want the accounts created in and then will create the OU if it doesn’t already exist (given you have those rights). If you hit enter it will default to attempting to place the accounts in an OU called “SharePoint Service Accounts”.
  2. Prompt for the CSV input file – I have multiple files that I use in different dev environments for different purposes: a.) SQL service accounts b.) SharePoint service accounts c.) Dummy user accounts d.) Smart user accounts e.) etc, etc, etc. The script now prompts for which CSV file you want to import the users from. Hitting enter when prompted will look for a file called Users.csv in the local running directory.

    **Updated**

  3. Change the default passwordOn Todd’s Netcast tonight he mentioned this little bit of code, however I hadn’t actually written it yet. Nothing like throwing down the gauntlet there, Mr. Klindt! In response I whipped up version 3.1 of the script which now allows you to change the default password as a variable when run. If you choose nothing it will default to the pass@word1 standard.

Here is a copy of the code:

# Script to create Active Directory accounts
# v3.1 11/26/2012
# Updated by Jason Himmelstein
# http://www.sharepointlonghorn.com
# Based upon the script by Todd Klindt
# http://www.toddklindt.com

# Add the Active Directory bits and not complain if they're already there
Import-Module ActiveDirectory -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue

$OU= Read-Host -Prompt "Enter OU name you want. Press Enter for SharePoint Service Accounts"
If ($OU -eq "") {$OU = 'SharePoint Service Accounts'}
$FQDN = (Get-ADDomain).DistinguishedName

If ([adsi]::Exists("LDAP://OU=$OU, $FQDN") -eq $True){
write-host "The OU already exist" -ForegroundColor DarkGreen -BackgroundColor Gray}
else{dsadd ou "ou=$OU,$FQDN"}

$OU_specified = "ou=$OU,$FQDN"

# specify the file location
$csvfile = 'users.csv'
$userfile = Read-Host -Prompt "
Enter the location of the CSV file containing the users you want to import. Press Enter for $csvfile"
If ($userfile -eq "") {$userfile = $csvfile}

# set default password
# change pass@word1 to whatever you want the account passwords to be
$userpassword = Read-Host -Prompt "Enter default password you wish to set for all of these accounts. Press Enter for pass@word1"
If ($userpassword -eq "") {$userpassword = 'pass@word1'}
$password = (ConvertTo-SecureString $userpassword -AsPlainText -Force)

# Get domain DNS suffix
$dnsroot = '@' + (Get-ADDomain).DistinguishedName

# Import the file with the users. You can change the filename to reflect your file
$users = Import-Csv $userfile

foreach ($user in $users) {
if ($user.manager -eq "") # In case it's a service account or a boss
 {
try {
New-ADUser -SamAccountName $user.SamAccountName -path $OU_specified -Name ($user.FirstName + " " + $user.LastName) `
-DisplayName ($user.FirstName + " " + $user.LastName) -GivenName $user.FirstName -Surname $user.LastName `
-EmailAddress ($user.SamAccountName + $dnsroot) -UserPrincipalName ($user.SamAccountName + $dnsroot) `
-Title $user.title -Enabled $true -ChangePasswordAtLogon $false -PasswordNeverExpires  $true `
-AccountPassword $password -PassThru `
                    }
catch [System.Object]
 {
Write-Output "Could not create user $($user.SamAccountName), $_"
 }
            }
 else
 {
try {
New-ADUser -SamAccountName $user.SamAccountName -path $OU_specified -Name ($user.FirstName + " " + $user.LastName) `
-DisplayName ($user.FirstName + " " + $user.LastName) -GivenName $user.FirstName -Surname $user.LastName `
-EmailAddress ($user.SamAccountName + $dnsroot) -UserPrincipalName ($user.SamAccountName + $dnsroot) `
-Title $user.title -manager $user.manager `
-Enabled $true -ChangePasswordAtLogon $false -PasswordNeverExpires  $true `
-AccountPassword $password -PassThru `
                    }
catch [System.Object]
 {
Write-Output "Could not create user $($user.SamAccountName), $_"
 }
             }
 # Put picture part here.
 $filename = "$($user.SamAccountName).jpg"
 Write-Output $filename

 if (test-path -path $filename)
            {
Write-Output "Found picture for $($user.SamAccountName)"

 $photo = [byte[]](Get-Content $filename -Encoding byte)
Set-ADUser $($user.SamAccountName) -Replace @{thumbnailPhoto=$photo} 
            }
   }

If you are looking for the downloadable PowerShell or text file version, please find them linked below. Happy PowerShelling!

powershell notepad

SQL Server 2012 SP1 is here & it’s huge for SharePoint 2013 BI

SQL Server 2012 SP1 is here & it’s huge for SharePoint 2013 BI

This is a massive deal for SharePoint 2013 BI.  Here is an excerpt from What’s New in SQL Server 2012:

Business Intelligence highlights (with SQL Server 2012 SP1, Office and SharePoint Server 2013 )

Business Intelligence highlights (with SQL Server SP1, Office and SharePoint Server 2013 Preview) are:

  • Enable self-service BI as a natural part of users day-to-day activities in Excel 2013:

  • Access and mash-up data from any source (PowerPivot). Documentation related to PowerPivot in Excel 2013 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkID=255958).

  • Stunning visualizations and data discovery (Power View). Documentation related to Power View in Excel (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkID=255957).

  • Work with hundreds of millions of rows of data (powered by xVelocity in-memory technologies).

  • Discover, assess and audit user created spreadsheets via SharePoint Server 2013 Preview.

  • A new version of the Reporting Services add-in for SharePoint and an updated SharePoint mode report server that supports SharePoint 2013. For more information, see the following:

  • A new architecture for SQL Server 2012 SP1 CTP4 PowerPivot that supports a PowerPivot server outside a SharePoint 2013 farm. A Windows Installer package (spPowerpivot.msi) that enhances the PowerPivot for SharePoint experience. Additional features include PowerPivot Gallery, schedule data refresh, and management dashboard. For more information, see the following:

  • Share and collaborate on self-service BI assets via SharePoint Server 2013 Preview and SQL Server 2012 SP1.”

The key takeaway and true game changer is that the SQL SSAS engine for PowerPivot is no longer required to be on a SharePoint box.  This means you no longer need a SQL license for your SharePoint App server to be able to run PowerPivot.  Don’t miss understand, you still need to license SQL to run PowerPivot, but you can do it on a separate box that can support multiple SharePoint farms and multiple Tabular BISM solutions.  Pretty huge shift.

You can download SQL Server 2012 SP1 & SQL Server 2012 SP1 Feature Pack from these links.

Enjoy… I know I will!

Planning a SharePoint Saturday: A recap of #SPSNH

Planning a SharePoint Saturday: A recap of #SPSNH

We are now almost a month removed from SPSNH and it has been just enough time for the glow to start to fade and for life to start getting back to normal.  The event was wildly successful and somehow managed to receive nothing but positive reviews.  There were a few things that I noted that are worth mentioning:

1.) Drop off between registration and attendance was between 30-40%. 

2.) Doing 6 keynotes instead of 1 made the day interesting, but did not draw people in for the early sessions the way that a big name keynote might have.

3.) Planning 3 tracks (ITPro, Dev, End User) at 2 different skill levels (Beginner & Advanced) and keeping the tracks consistent in the same room so that people weren’t hunting for their next session was a BIG hit.

4.) Todd Klindt is a freaking rock star.  This isn’t something that we learned, but it was certainly reinforced.  The dude stepped up to deliver a session he had never seen until 5 minutes before when someone called in sick for the first timeslot & then presented to a standing room only group later in the day.  Todd’s heroic efforts win the booby prize with Chris McNulty coming in a close second for taking on an extra session with only a day’s notice.  The edge went to Todd because he had less prep time. 

5.) Bags and paper collateral are passé.  Give people a jump drive with digital collateral.

6.) Varying things up between 2010 & 2013 was very positive.  The people who came to hear about 2013 wanted some 2010 as well & the folks who wanted to hear about 2010 were interested in some about 2013 too.

7.) Hot coffee available all day is a MUST.

8.) Speaker gifts instead of speaker shirts.  We gave a nice warm jacket with the SPSNH & NHSPUG logos on them and I am still getting twitter comments about how much the speakers enjoy them.  Plus, SPSRED “borrowed” our idea and their speakers loved them too smile

All in all, I am happy to say that SPSNH was a great success and we are looking forward to doing it again next year.  There are things that we will look to do differently, but with a second SPSNH under our belt I think that we have a pretty good thing going up here in the “Live Free or Die” state.

My presentation from SPSNH can be found here. The slides that Todd presented on 5 minutes notice can be found here. (I had done a webinar the week before, so this was my deck from that)

My pictures from the weekend can be found here on my SkyDrive.

spflogging_32

Office 2013 has reached RTM… SharePoint, Lync & Exchange as well.

Office 2013 has reached RTM… SharePoint, Lync & Exchange as well.

The big news of the [yester]day (after presenting at NHSPUG & then doing other work this post won’t actually go up until morning) is that Office 2013 has reached RTM.  Big excitement for those of us who are already huge fans, but especially exciting is the announcement that Office, SharePoint, Exchange and Lync will all be dropping at the same time.  The MSDN & TechNet availability is stated to be “mid-November” (can’t imagine what event that might coincide with​) and Volume License with SA customers will have availability by December 1.  General Availability is expected in Q1 of 2013.  For a feature overview please refer back to my post SharePoint 2013 Unveiled!

office While Office, SharePoint, Lync and Exchange are all completely separate products with different product teams within Microsoft and their own processes and development methodologies it is very impressive that everything has come together for this release and was announced by Kirk Koenigsbauer, the Corporate VP of the Microsoft Office Division.  It was a unified message that was echoed by the rest of the products.  We know the tight integration across this version of the stacks, but this seems like a pretty big shift to a unified stance within Microsoft. 

SharePoint

The biggest statement in the post from my perspective is: “We will begin rolling out new capabilities to Office 365 Enterprise customers in our next service update, starting in November through general availability.”  This suggests that the shift that many of us have been predicting is coming to pass and that true availability of this version of SharePoint is going to be in Office 365 first. 

Lync

The announcement coming from Kirk seems to signal that Microsoft is pushing these 4 very distinct products together and that, ready or not, Office 365 is THE future.  It seems like a question of when, not if we are going to see Microsoft abandon the on premises model for these products.  I hope that I am reading the tea leaves wrong, but that is certainly what it is looking like after today.  </prognostication>

Exchange

Read the entire post on the Office News Blog site here, The SharePoint Team Blog announcement can be found here, the Exchange Team Blog announcement can be found here, and the Lync Team Blog announcement can be found here.

Hooray, it’s a book!: “Developing Business Intelligence Apps for SharePoint”

Hooray, it’s a book!: “Developing Business Intelligence Apps for SharePoint”

book

Over the past year I have been spending my night’s & weekends working on a book with my co-author, Dave Feldman, and I am proud to say that we have completed our draft of “Developing Business Intelligence Apps for SharePoint”

Through the book you will learn to create dynamic Business Intelligence solutions for SharePoint, using Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch, SQL Server 2012, and other tools and technologies. This hands-on book shows you how to create data-rich BI applications with SharePoint faster and with more capabilities than previously possible. You’ll learn the entire process, from high-level concepts, to low-code development and deployment, to setup and configuration.

  • Quickly build a robust schema and applications with Visual Studio LightSwitch
  • Leverage PowerPivot v2 to build a business intelligence semantic model
  • Create reports with Excel Services, Report Builder, and Power View

The happy thing about our book is that we saw the CSOM model of SharePoint 2013 coming down the road and architected our solutions in the book so that they are relevant to both the 2010 & 2013 platforms (and hopefully many versions of SharePoint to come).

The book is available for pre-order on Amazon now and will be available via O’Reilly Early Release.   Dave & I will be at the SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas where O’Reilly will have a form of the book available (not quite sure if it will be a few chapters or what at that point, but there will be something!). 

I will say that Dave & I were warned by Andrew Connell & Scot Hillier when we started talking about writing this book that taking on a book project is much like having a child.  9+ months of long uncomfortable sleepless nights to give birth to something that you hope goes on to do good things in this world (I am paraphrasing a bit here… basically they both said it was going to suck something awful, but we would be happy when it was all over).  Well gents, you were right on all counts.  The fun part is that while I have 2 kids and sort of had an idea of what something like that was going to be like, Dave’s wife is pregnant with their first child and is due this SUNDAY.  Needless to say, we are glad to be done before Baby “Cookie Monster” Feldman arrives. smile

Planning a SharePoint Saturday: A recap of #SPSNH

Planning a SharePoint Saturday: A recap of #SPSNH

We are now almost a month removed from SPSNH and it has been just enough time for the glow to start to fade and for life to start getting back to normal.  The event was wildly successful and somehow managed to receive nothing but positive reviews.  There were a few things that I noted that are worth mentioning:

1.) Drop off between registration and attendance was between 30-40%. 

2.) Doing 6 keynotes instead of 1 made the day interesting, but did not draw people in for the early sessions the way that a big name keynote might have.

3.) Planning 3 tracks (ITPro, Dev, End User) at 2 different skill levels (Beginner & Advanced) and keeping the tracks consistent in the same room so that people weren’t hunting for their next session was a BIG hit.

4.) Todd Klindt is a freaking rock star.  This isn’t something that we learned, but it was certainly reinforced.  The dude stepped up to deliver a session he had never seen until 5 minutes before when someone called in sick for the first timeslot & then presented to a standing room only group later in the day.  Todd’s heroic efforts win the booby prize with Chris McNulty coming in a close second for taking on an extra session with only a day’s notice.  The edge went to Todd because he had less prep time. 

5.) Bags and paper collateral are passé.  Give people a jump drive with digital collateral.

6.) Varying things up between 2010 & 2013 was very positive.  The people who came to hear about 2013 wanted some 2010 as well & the folks who wanted to hear about 2010 were interested in some about 2013 too.

7.) Hot coffee available all day is a MUST.

8.) Speaker gifts instead of speaker shirts.  We gave a nice warm jacket with the SPSNH & NHSPUG logos on them and I am still getting twitter comments about how much the speakers enjoy them.  Plus, SPSRED “borrowed” our idea and their speakers loved them too smile

All in all, I am happy to say that SPSNH was a great success and we are looking forward to doing it again next year.  There are things that we will look to do differently, but with a second SPSNH under our belt I think that we have a pretty good thing going up here in the “Live Free or Die” state.

My presentation from SPSNH can be found here. The slides that Todd presented on 5 minutes notice can be found here. (I had done a webinar the week before, so this was my deck from that)

My pictures from the weekend can be found here on my SkyDrive.

SharePoint Saturday New Hampshire is upon us!

SharePoint Saturday New Hampshire is upon us!

speakerbadge_newhampshire_2_4C4297A5

With only 3 days to the big event things are rapidly coming together.  The bags, speaker gifts, t-shirts, buttons, digital collateral, prizes and jump drives are all here and ready for Saturday.  I am excited for my presentation “ITPro’s taking the SharePoint 2013 “red pill” will be a ton of fun to present and should be informational as well. 

More than anything I am excited that my co-organizers and I have been able to assemble an amazing cast of speakers to come out to New Hampshire and talk about SharePoint on their own time.  We have speakers coming from Texas, Iowa, Indiana, Washington DC, and all of the New England states to share their expertise with our attendees for free. Being a regular speaker at SharePoint Saturdays for the past year and a half I take for granted all of the hard work that goes into these events and all of the people who give freely of their weekends to come out and speak at these events; it could partly be, as my colleague Mike Gilronan likes to tell people, because “Wherever there are two or more people asking about SharePoint, Jason feels obligated to show up and talk”.

I have really enjoyed helping to put this event together and am excited to see our efforts come to fruition.  If you are in the New England area and want to learn about SharePoint, please find your way up to Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday.  You won’t regret it!

To learn more and register to attend this FREE SharePoint training please visit http://www.sharepointsaturday.org/NH

Getting PowerPivot & Power View working in Office 2013

Getting PowerPivot & Power View working in Office 2013

One of the many exciting features of Office 2013 is that PowerPivot now comes as a part of the installation & Power View is now available in the client for Excel 2013 , rather than being an post installation add-in for PowerPivot and web resident only for PowerView.  PowerPivot is still a COM add-in, but is not more tightly integrated with the product & Power View is now a COM Add-in.

I upgraded to Office 2013, removing the 2010 version, on Monday night and immediately I was faced with a problem.  PowerPivot showed in the ribbon, but was not clickable! After attempting to click in the greyed out bar for about 5 minutes I started digging in.  I found that PowerPivot was active in the Add-ins section, but something didn’t seem quite right:

1

This Add-in was the SQL 2012 version.  Once I unchecked this and went back to the Add-ins section I found the newer version of PowerPivot was now available.  There was a conflict with the older version blocking the newer version from being able to be activated.

2

Once I checked “Microsoft Office PowerPivot for Excel 2013” (and Power View since I was already here and excited to check it out) the Manage option in the ribbon lit up and I was off to the races.

3

Since I still need to do work with PowerPivot v2 models and am not willing to upgrade everything to the beta version yet, I did re-install Office 2010 and now have the fun experience of two PowerPivot tabs in my ribbon in Excel 2013 (doesn’t happen in Excel 2010), but if I disable the older version of PowerPivot in 2013, it disables it in 2010 as well. 

4

5

I have yet to have an issue with having both add-ins active at once since reactivating the older version, as the active add-in is the only one that lights up.

6

More to come on the great new features of PowerPivot, Power View and Inquire, but for now its time to get back to my vacation smile