Deep Dives, TechNet, User Group Tours…

Wow so much great stuff happening over the next month or so here in St. John’s, Newfoundland (if you are a geek like me)!

February 10, 2005 – 7:00pm
Engineering Building, Memorial University, EN-2006

Our .NET User Group will be having its regular monthly meeting featuring a presentation from Adam Gallant on Code Access Security. For More details and to sign up – please go here.

February 22, 2005 – 7:00pm
Engineering Building, Memorial University, EN-2006

The MSDN Canada User Group Tour hits town with a special focus on Interoperability. Again we will be joined by Adam Gallant from Microsoft. More details here.

February 22, 2005 – 9:00am
Studio 12, Avalon Mall

The TechNet Winter Tour 2005 hits town featuring best practice information and tips for managing change and securing your IT environment. For more information on this event and to sign up – go here.

March 1, 2005 – 8:30am
Studio 12, Avalon Mall

MSDN Deep Dives is coming to town (FINALLY!!) as part of a National campaign to spread the good word on ASP.NET 2.0 and VS 2005. For more information on this event and to sign up – go here.

And if you are in town and going to any of these events – drop me a line – I will be at each of these.

Office Web Component Web Parts

An odd thing happened today…

I was replying to an email that came in asking how one could use Pivot Tables, Charts and Spreadsheets on a SharePoint site to display data from an external datasource (ie Access / SQL DB, SharePoint Lists etc…) – so of course I suggested the Office Web Component Web Parts. To help illustrate what I was referring to I grabbed a couple of quick screenshots and dropped them in my reply along with a link.

I then figured that since I had most of the work already done I should write a blog post about it when I got home from work. The components are actually quite helpful even though they have been around for ages and most experienced SharePoint users probably already know about them. Besides – the key is getting information out there for the non-experienced users isn’t it?

Of course then I look and see that Daniel McPherson also posted about them…Today! Daniel are you watching my email? ;-) Just kidding – great to see someone else is thinking on the same track. But just a little freaky too.

Leaked Screenshots of SharePoint Syndication Tool!!!

In late breaking news yesterday (actually early for my time zone), Jan Tielens reported that screenshots of an application he is developing were leaked onto his desktop in a very strange and unexpected series of eventsÂ…umm wait that don’t make sense. Cute approach though Jan!

Possibly one of my favorite uses of RSS is for syndicating SharePoint content into Outlook (through Newsgator). It is just convenient for me since that is the one application I always have open on my desktop.

That is why it is no surprise that I am quite eager to see Jan’s application. My favorite feature is the fact (according to the screenshots) that you can select which views you wish to syndicate. This will be very nice for personalized views such as My Issues or Due Today items.

Looking forward to seeing the final product Jan – let me know if a Beta release gets discovered on this mysterious desktop of yours. :)

In related RSS news…

Daniel McPherson lists some of the other SharePoint Syndication web parts that exist. I have tried almost all of these in the past and found them quite good as well. Especially Addy Santo’s Feature Rich Blogwave!

Predictions for SharePoint Portal Server v3

Now here was an interesting post today from Mauro Cardarelli on the next version of SharePoint Portal Server. I’d have to say I am pretty comfortable with his predictions:

(1) There will be no SPS 2005. The timing doesn’t make sense. I think a more reasonable timeframe is (late) 2006.

(2) SPS 2005 will support both SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2000. You won’t be required to upgrade your database servers.

(3) The underlying technology will be the next version of the .NET Framework (2.0). The core functionality will be improved (i.e. tighter integration with the next version of Exchange and Office) but not radically different.

I’d also say I would agree with some of his wishlist items for next version.

(1) Late-Bound Security – people hate seeing links that they don’t have privileges for

(2) Better Search Interface – the SPS search engine is great; the interface for entering queries and seeing results is terrible

(3) Better Customization Tools – You shouldn’t have to manually alter CSS and XML files to expose additional functionality

(4) No more DOS – template publishing should be cleaner… the current generation doesn’t know how to use DOS…

Although I would say on number 4 that I can’t personally see the command-line tools going anywhere but who knows.

If you don’t like the command-line for stsadm tasks – you can do a lot through Frontpage already and there is always the little windows app for it that I haven’t tried before.

Thanks for the post Mauro – it’s always nice to think about what’s ahead. I’d post some of my wishlist items but most of them are items my team is developing now for the current version so I must stay hush for now. :)

Too Much Stinkin Snow!!

Last week I was in Moncton, NB and got caught in the middle of a blizzard. It wasn’t too bad because the place where my meetings were was directly across the street from my hotel.

Yesterday we got hammered with 60 cm of snow (piled 5 feet high in some places due to drifting). Now they are saying another 20-30 could come between now and tomorrow morning.

I need a vacation…somewhere HOT!!

Disclaimer: I know better than to complain about weather with all the nasty things taking place in the world these days – I’m just a little crabby until my feet thaw out from shoveling.