Did you know a Blank Site created using STSADM is different than via the browser?

Ted Pattison pointed this out a few days ago and I’ve been meaning to mention it ever since as I was fairly suprised by the news.

Try these two things…

1) Go to the WSS Central Admin application and create a new Blank Site

2) Run STSADM -o CreateSite -url http://MyServer/sites/Site2

ownerlogin: your choice
owneremail: your choice
sitetemplate: STS#1

The one created through the WSS Central Admin application has the 3 standard groups for Owners, Members and Visitors. However the site created with STSADM has no groups at all.

The thought runs that since it’s possible to create groups via stsadm, e.g.,

stsadm.exe –o creategroup –url -name -description -ownerlogin -type

It’s preferable to give more flexibility and let the admin create their own custom groups.

I can’t help but hear, “The more you know …”

Home Again

Well my Ottawa trip has come to an end.  I was at the GTEC conference where I think I performed more consecutive SharePoint 2007 demos in a 3 day period than has ever been done before.  I even had my first experience of doing a demo while someone translated for me.  Very interesting…  Overall it was great though and I had a wonderful time meeting all the great people that dropped by the booth.  

I was amazed at how many people were seeing Vista, Office 2007 and SharePoint for the first time.  It obviously shows that its good for me to break out of my little world of early adopter geekdom once in a while since it was great to see the expressions on people’s faces as I walked them through some of the new features of each. 

All went really well.  However unfortunately not without a price.  It seems after I finished up at the conference on Wednesday my body decided to punish me for too many late evenings in a row and overall lack of sleep by delivering me a nasty headcold.  It made the flight home yesterday less than comfortable as I thought my ears were going to explode.  Though there was an adorable lady next to me on the plane that reminded me of my grandmother and spent the flight offering me treats such as chocolate bars and candy.  Very sweet lady!

Interested in the CENTRO Beta

Direct Copy,
So, what is “Centro” you ask………..?
I am glad you asked…. :) 
We are looking for a few good testers to help influence the direction of this new Microsoft® Windows Server Solutions Product. Do you have three 64 bit machines that you can spare to test some of the most exciting technology Microsoft is working on? I know the system requirements are a daunting one, but this is the only way we can test “Centro”. So, if you are already on the Longhorn Beta or the Exchange Beta, then you are already two thirds of the way there.

The “Centro” Product team is looking to you to help test the Beta of “Centro”. “Centro” is the code name for a new Microsoft® infrastructure solution that will help midsize businesses with less than 250 PCs in their environment.  Centro will bring together key server products for midsize businesses, including Windows Server “Longhorn,” Exchange Server 2007 and security technologies, plus a new, integrated management experience.  Centro is designed for IT professionals in midsize companies, helping them with server technologies that are easier to purchase, install and manage.


If you are interested in joining the “Centro” Beta please go to http://connect.microsoft.com click on Invitations sign in with your Windows Live ID (Passport ID) and enter the following invite ID; Extr-GHBC-JCJM. You will be asked to take a short Survey. Once you complete the survey look for an email from MsftConn@microsoft.com. If you don’t already trust this address, please add it to your trusted email addresses.
Microsoft MVPs:

Please contact me directly about this techbeta. I have a different invite ID to the Beta for you.
If you are really serious and would like to do the TAP, here is a message from Mike van de Merwe who is running the TAP for Centro:

You know you want to be more involved in Centro.  You even want to start using it to run your business!  Techbeta doesn’t let you do that but TAP does!  We are looking for more people to nominate themselves for the Centro Technology Adoption Program to do exactly what you want to do: run Centro in your production environments.  Why would you do something like this?  You get access to product support once you deploy Centro in production; you will have an assigned program manager from Microsoft who will work with you to mitigate risks in deploying and maintaining Centro; and you will be invited to participate in 1-2 onsite training sessions in Redmond.  Let me (mikevdm@microsoft.com) know that you are interested and we’ll get the ball rolling.

If you have any questions what so ever, please post a comment here or send me an email direct, kbeares@microsoft.com.
Centro press release: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2005/sep05/09-06Infrastructure.mspx 

Kevin Beares

Centro and SBS Community Lead

UDC Series on InfoPath Blog

Back in the day…you know way back before InfoPath 2007…I used InfoPath 2003 (and SharePoint) to address a lot of my needs as a Product Manager and consultant.  I created a custom CRM system for managing our customer opportunities, billing requests, and project initiation processes.  I created custom templates for project costing, team status reporting, leave requests, purchase requests and virtually anything else I encountered as part of our operations that resembled a repeatable process or information that had to be easily shared or merged for reporting purposes.  InfoPath provided a customizable UI that made many activities easy that would have previously required me to dedicate a team of developers to create…thereby taking them off important product development activities.

However those days as great as they were did have their pain points.  One in particular was related to managing the massive number of data connections many of my form templates were using.  Or more especially, managing multiple templates that linked to a common data source.  This situation only got more complex as I started working on applications and sites that had to move from development environments to production environments.

The InfoPath team blog has always been a favorite of mine due to their ability to write great summaries of the functionality of their product with excellent walkthroughs and examples.  Over the past month, they have continued this tradition by putting together some great articles on data connections and udc files that I have found very helpful. 

Check out all the recent articles on data connections from the InfoPath team blog here.


SharePoint Designer 2007 problem connecting to a site which uses a managed path?

If you are using managed paths and having trouble connecting to a site using a managed path in SharePoint Designer 2007 try the following steps:

  • Check to see if the server you are connecting to is referenced in the Open Site Dialogue Box (ie: http://myserver)
  • If so, delete this reference from the Open Site Dialogue Box and try again.

Note I have only received an error while running Windows Vista RC1.  The managed paths glitch is known as of B2TR and has already been fixed for the final. 

Good Luck!

Been bitten by the repeating icon bug in a custom SharePoint 2007 B2TR theme?

If you have been creating custom themes in B2TR, you have likely come across the reapeating icon bug which shows up behind the lists/libaries in the quick launch menu.

This is a known (and very minor) issue in B2TR – The class which is causing this is table.ms-navitem.  It’s a simple case of a repeating background.

If you have access to SharePoint Designer 2007 and would like a quick, temporary fix complete the following steps:

  • Connect to your site in SharePoint Designer 2007 (File, Open Site)
  • Open the themename1011-6001.css file located the _themes directory.
  • Locate the table.ms-navitem class and add the following property: background-repeat:no-repeat;

Alternatively just scroll to the bottom of the stylesheet and copy/paste this.

/* Quick Launch Repeating Background Fix */

table.ms-navitem {

Still Kicking…

Just a quick post to break the silence.  It has been a difficult and long week.  As Shane has pointed out on his blog, we lost over dog this past week.  An event that has been far more difficult to deal with than I had even imagined it would be.  Given she had been very sick for a while, I had myself convinced that I would be able to take things much easier knowing that her suffering would be over and perhaps taking comfort in the fact that she lived a long good life.  Turns out I had no idea what I was talking about.  As it happens you cannot lose a significant part of your life and family for nearly a decade and just take it in stride. 

What makes it worse is that as hard as I am taking this, I know it has been even harder for Shane who loved Zhiva more than I have ever seen anyone love a pet.  She adored him as well and lived to receive all the attention and love she got from him.  So it was fitting that right up until her last moment he was there to assure her she was a good pup and that she was loved.

My heart is broken in two places this week.


CSS Tip: Please use ALL Link States

There are four link states which can be specified and each one is equally important – especially when you have multiple link styles in your CSS.  If you miss a state, it can (and does) get picked up by a previous link style either in the same style-sheet, or another style-sheet which can cause issues. I run into a lot of these issues daily while editing SharePoint style-sheets. 

It may seem like you save time and or bandwidth by using shortcuts such as:

.blah a:link, .blah a:visited { color white; } and leaving out the hover/active states, but the fact remains if you use all states, all the time and in the correct order you have complete control at the exact point you need it and there will be no overlap either from styles within the same style-sheet, or other style-sheets.

So please, for the love of all that is holy start using all link states and in the correct order as listed below.  If you have trouble remembering them, think “LoVe HAte”. 

a: link
a: visited
a: hover
a: active


When you lose something you can’t replace

Today I said good-bye to someone very special to me, a great friend of 10 years – my dog Zhiva.  She was much more than a pet, she was quite simply a family member. 

While it’s hard to accept, and easy right now  to dwell on the pain, I want to instead acknowledge 10 years of sheer joy and the fact that if I had to do it all over again – I wouldn’t change a thing.

I’m thankful I was there at her strongest and most fragile points, including the very end.  I am glad I was there to comfort her and I will miss her more than anyone could possibly imagine.

Zhiva (Oct 27 1996 – Oct 7 2006)