FREE SharePoint 2010 Branding Workshops

Posted by on May 8, 2012 in Branding Series, General, SharePoint | 21 comments

Hey Everyone,

I have a Workshop I will be delivering in Boston in July and I wanted to do a run through of the four 90 minute parts to the session online.

The sessions are instructor led and therefore all you need is a PC and audio.

I will take ~10 people so that I can get varied feedback and it would be great to have some people that have never bothered with Branding in the past.

Leave a comment in the post to register your interest and I look to scheduling them in June.

Sessions will be as follows

Session 1 – Introduction to Branding, planning, tools etc etc

Session 2 – Creating a simple branded solution part 1

Session 3 – Creating a simple branded solution part 2

Session 4 – Advanced branding

The sessions are subject to change as I write the content and materials although that’s how I see it going.

No written materials will be provided although I will make the master page and associated CSS files available to attendees at the end of the four sessions.

Thanks

Matthew Hughes

Read More

SharePoint User Group what are the benefits?

Posted by on Jun 16, 2011 in 2007, 2010, General, Matthew Hughes, SharePoint, Software, SUGUK | 2 comments

On June 30th (Nottingham – click here for details) and July 12th (Manchester – Click here for details) I will hopefully be attending the SharePoint UserGroup meetings at their respective locations and I wanted to share some of the benefits of the usergroup and this great community we are in.

1) Free Sessions

The first and most obvious benefit is the sessions that take place at these events, they are free and are led by some of the industries top professionals as well as your local SharePoint guru they provide you with the chance of Q and A’s and the answers you get are of far greater value that that of a Google search not to mention that usually the Q’s will open up some great dialogue between the speakers as well as the attendees.

2) Community

Mark Rackley has an interesting take on the Community in that usually technology focused usergroups can be sometimes uninviting, sometimes elitest and sometimes there are just idiots who like to try sound like they “know it all”.

Well my take on this is that the SharePoint community has been very welcoming as Mark says, you can meet some interesting people and create friendships out of this common interest and beyond that.
The community itself tends to be fairly small and the people that attend you will see at lots of different events, this makes going to these events a lot easier as there’s a friendly face to have a chat to during the breaks etc.

3) Networking

In the events there are people that work for Consultancies, Vendors, Gold Partners, the local school or College an unheard of printing company etc. There are a vast array of attendees and the networking opportunity is great I have personally had Interviews off the back of the events and I believe the role I am in currently wouldn’t have been possible had I have not met the people at the usergroups so that can be a 3a) Career Progression.

4) SharePint, ShareCurry, ShareGolf, ShareWhatever

There is a rule in at SharePoint UserGroups and that is, whatever the social event that follows, it must be prefixed with “Share” and there is at the very least, a SharePint after each usergroup. In Nottingham there is usually a Curry too and in Edinburgh last year, Chris Forbes gave some of the travellers a night out in Edinburgh and showed us the sights.

5) SharePoint Saturday

It’s worth mentioning SharePoint Saturday an event that came over here from the US, SharePoint Saturday UK is a commercial event (paid for by sponsors as opposed to the UG which isnt sponsored) that isn’t backed by the usergroup but has been organised by members of the User Group and it’s the members of the User Group that have put so much effort into publicising it. Representatives from ID Live and Lightning Tools organise the event but I think they would agree that the success is based on everything good about the usergoups (as well as a lot of personal hard work from Mark, Tony and Brett).

Lastly I asked on twitter and the responses I got are on the right, who are the people that replied? Current SUGUK attendees so if you were thinking of attending and were not sure whether to, I hope this gives you the motivation to sign up.

Thanks

Matthew Hughes

P.s. as Sam (@PinkPetrol) mentioned above, he wrote a post on this last year http://sp365.me/k3lhUJ

Read More

MOS SharePoint 2010 Beta Exam 77-886 – Review

Posted by on May 19, 2011 in 2010, Exam, Featured, General, Matthew Hughes, Microsoft, SharePoint, Software | 2 comments

Today I visited the lovely campus of Walsall College to take the Microsoft Office Specialist SharePoint 2010 Beta exam which is aimed at SharePoint Power Users. This was of particular interest to me given that I am currently training people in the Combined Knowledge Power End User 2010 courses as part of my day job.

The exam breakdown is available here but basically focused heavily on Content Types, Search and Social SharePoint or community building as they describe it in the above site. This was all fine and pretty much expected the only surprise was the inclusion of a few questions inside Central Admin (services and service apps) and a few questions on PerformancePoint although I should have guessed that by the dashboards mention on the above site.

The exam would be a great starting point for deciding who to give site ownership to or even just as a nice addition to the CV’s of those power users within your organisation, I certainly hope it’s something Combined Knowledge decided to offer at our very own onsite test centre and something I shall be discussing with Steve Smith on his return from holiday.

Also arrived at Walsall College on the day they were rolling out their SharePoint 2010 environment. Coincidence? maybe! And I got 768 on the exam so hopefullythe pass rate is the same as the professional exams.

Thanks

Matthew Hughes

Read More

Sam Dolan, PinkPetrol – Live Blog Part 2

Posted by on Apr 11, 2011 in 2010, BPCUK, Live Blog, SharePoint | 0 comments

So with lunch done I caught up with Neil Hodgkinson and had a chat about his session where he informed me of the Microsoft Police telling him to remove secret stuff from his slides! Interesting talking to him about the aspects of his job particular the support side of things for their big clients, where from discussing with him they are pretty busy.

My next session is with Chris O’Brien and Implementing automated builds into SharePoint 2010 Development Process. What Chris’ session is showing me is that automating your builds can obviously save a lot of time but can help with upgrading you builds. Now hes talking about unit testing something I am familiar with from attending Andrew Woodward’s sessions in the past. If this is something you are interested in then look at www.21apps.com/blog for more information on Unit Testing etc. So what is coded UI Test? Recorded on test agent desktop, generate code which can be modified e.g. to pass data, point and click to add assertions for example navigate to web part gallery.

Took a bit of time out talking to people such as Seb Matthews from AdeoPoint & James Love from Intelligent Decisioning. Was interesting to hear what they are working on both different but at the same time exciting. I recommend following these chaps, I will update there twitter names shortly.

My final session of the day is Creating Dynamic Client Applications in SharePoint 2010 by Eric Shupps & his cowboy hat. Getting started with 3 things you need to know – 1. ClientContext is the central object, 2. Before you read a property you have to ask for it & 3. All requests must be committed in a batch. Client object limitations such as you need to handle synch/update semantics. No elevation of privileges capabilities, Requests are throttled and you only get what you ask for – nothing more.

Later on tonight is SharePint, a great opportunity to have a beer or two and talking to fellow experts which can be really helpful as a way to connect, network and share experiences, problems and hopefully get some answers!

Read More

Sam Dolan, PinkPetrol – Live Blog Part 1

Posted by on Apr 11, 2011 in 2010, BPCUK, Live Blog, SharePoint | 0 comments

What I am going to try to do today is document my day at SharePoint Best Practice Conference – to try and give people and insight into the conference and why they should attend.

A woke to a crisp London morning and made my way over the conference centre, checked it and caught up with Dan McPherson & Serge Solomons of Attini Software & Zevenseas respectively, who I have been working closely with on Sharevolution – The first SharePoint Appstore.

Headed into Keynote Speech with Chris Johnston from Microsoft talking about the future of SharePoint and what is coming up – looks very exciting. We watched a few videos which were very American, but the final Microsoft video was brilliant, I loved the technology & gadgets they ‘had’, all touch screen type future gadgets that looked like something Tony Stark from Ironman would use – super cool.

Heading into my first session Creating custom SharePoint service apps with Todd Bleaker on the Dev Track in the Fleming Room. This session isn’t something I would normally go to but I feel as a designer I can still gain lots of understanding of the development side of SharePoint, which ultimately helps towards team integration and essentially building cool stuff. This session is very much for the developer looking to building SharePoint apps, Todd Bleaker clearly knows what he is talking about, very enthusiastic and knowledgeable. So what do service applications also provide? Many things such as Provisioning, Option Management Pages, Claims aware, backup, restore, upgrade and support as well as custom permission which is useful because of the ability to create custom permissions.

Now for a little bit of SharePoint History from Todd. SharePoint 2003 Server had web application – based Shared Services Portals with limitations of One Shared Service or up to 20 Unique Services. SharePoint 2007 Server had Shared Services Providers (SSPs Supersede Portals). SharePoint 2010 Foundations – managed in Central Admin, building WCF (secure, runs on Port 80), extensible, hence this talk – every component is heavily abstracted/pluggable, as you can see many benefits. Few examples excel services, PerformancePoint search all as applications. Centralise state (according to Todd) such as Web analytics to name a few. Another thing Todd mentioned was Custom Service Applications for example Offload Resource Consumption, Cross Platform such as Sandbox solution gallery – very powerful.

Todd has some good resources on his blog, I missed the address, will add back to this maybe at the end if he mentions, if not later on today.

One thing I am learning is know Powershell and really have a think about what you want, one example Todd mentioned was a gentle used Powershell to have all permission set to him personally – there is no undo button, this is a powerful tool that can cause some serious problems! Another thing I am learning is it is not a case of opening up Visual Studio and building code, there are many many things to consider such as where is this application going to sit, what is it going to talk to, what will it do, what implication will it have on other things such as page load, server load etc, I have a lot of respect for good developers but this is getting higher the more sessions I visit.

My next session will be Data View Webparts with Laura Rogers in the Henry Moore Room. Battery going, so juice is needed. Ending up going to Neil Hodgkinson’s session Turning & Optimising your Infrastructure for the Cloud in the Whittle Room. Been to a lot of session from Neil, he has a ridiculous amount of knowledge as well as a nice & approachable guy who is always happy to talk to people – recommend talking to him about servers, farms etc.

Whilst I am listening to the sessions I am monitoring twitter, it is interesting to see a lot of interest around me as a designer going to a lot of development sessions. Reason why I find this interesting is it shows the large gap between designs and developers. Obviously the skill set is completely different but I think to be good at anything you must try and understand all aspect of that said thing. So as a designer I am keen to understand the mindset of the developer which I think can help when working together and I stated before respect where they are coming from as well as understanding why they recommend doing things.

This session is about cloud services and I think the message that is coming across certainly to me is that is not just a case of saying “oh we offer this services, anyone can use it” it’s a case of planning, understanding what you are doing and fully knowing all aspect of the service and the potential headaches that come with that. When using Dedicated cloud space this will have increased flexibility for customisations and its more secure. For Shared there is only SharePoint Designer and sand box solutions as the only choices as well as potentially being faster to market. I guess its a case of understanding where you want to be in the future making your choice and rolling with it to provide something great. And who cares? Future state is single infrastructure such as Office 365.

Ah I wondered when the ‘L’ word would be mentioned again licensing is now being mentioned on a trust basis – interesting but there are implications with offering applications such as Performance Point.

What is the single most important objective for a hosting provider? SLA. Example 99.9% – 3 nines – 43 minutes per month.

Time for lunch – I hear its the fish pie, I might try this and not for the halibut…

Read More

Replacing New Page dialogue with the web part page selection screen

Posted by on Mar 12, 2011 in 2010, General, Matthew Hughes, Microsoft, SharePoint, Software | 0 comments

Ok so this is a quick post.
An interesting point at the Combined Knowledge Power End User 2010 course today, when you create a new page in a team site it will create the default page and not give you the same options that you get in “more options”.

So we would like to change the default behaviour from the above image to the image below.

This is easily solved by opening the masterpage for the site and finding

<SharePoint:MenuItemTemplate runat="server" id="MenuItem_CreatePage"
	Text="<%$Resources:wss,siteactions_createpage%>"
	Description="<%$Resources:wss,siteactions_createpagedesc%>"
	ImageUrl="/_layouts/images/NewContentPageHH.png"
	MenuGroupId="200"
	Sequence="210"
	UseShortId="true"
	ClientOnClickScriptContainingPrefixedUrl="if (LaunchCreateHandler('Page')) { OpenCreateWebPageDialog('~site/_layouts/createwebpage.aspx') }"
	PermissionsString="AddListItems, EditListItems"
	PermissionMode="All" />

and then replacing this with the following

<SharePoint:MenuItemTemplate runat="server" id="MenuItem_CreatePage"
	Text="<%$Resources:wss,siteactions_createpage%>"
	Description="<%$Resources:wss,siteactions_createpagedesc%>"
	ImageUrl="/_layouts/images/NewContentPageHH.png"
	MenuGroupId="200"
	Sequence="210"
	UseShortId="true"
	ClientOnClickScriptContainingPrefixedUrl="if (LaunchCreateHandler('Page')) { GoToPage('~site/_layouts/spcf.aspx') }"
	PermissionsString="AddListItems, EditListItems"
	PermissionMode="All" />

This will then give you this page when you select new page

Hope this helps someone.
Thanks
Matthew Hughes

Read More