Updated JD’s Version of the User Profiles Properties Worksheet for 2013


About two years ago, I went through and made a spreadsheet containing all of the default user profile properties information from the User Profile Service (UPS). Well, I needed to do some work in SharePoint 2013 UPS and took the time to update the spreadsheet. You can read the background information in my old post but the updated spreadsheet is available for download.

As always, if I made a mistake or you think adding some information to the spreadsheet would be helpful, just leave a comment please.

Posted in Microsoft SharePoint | Leave a comment

Hitting the road to present


I am looking forward to travelling to Indianapolis to present on August 10th at SQL Saturday Indianapolis. I haven’t been on the road for months to go and present so really looking forward to it. Presenting in the SQL community gives me a great opportunity to meet some new folks. The schedule has been posted to the site.

Hopefully folks will find “What SQL DBA’s needs to know about SharePoint” helpful. Here is the synopsis:

With the number of deployments of SharePoint exponentially growing every day, as a DBA, it is very likely you are going to have SharePoint databases on SQL Servers you support. This session reviews SharePoint strictly from the SQL Server perspective. You will learn how SharePoint is optimized for SQL, how to properly manage and maintain the SharePoint databases, how to optimize the SQL configuration for SharePoint, what settings in SharePoint need to be changed or not changed to maintain SQL Server performance, supported methods for providing high availability and disaster recovery, and the part SharePoint and SQL each play in the Microsoft Business Intelligence story.

If you are there, make sure you say hi!

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Upcoming Presentation in St. Louis


Just wanted to get the word out for SQL Saturday St. Louis which is occurring on August 3rd. Just like SharePoint Saturday, this is very inexpensive mini-conference here in St. Louis. There are going to be a bunch of great speakers and you won’t want to miss this opportunity. A full schedule of all the presentations has been posted.

In the afternoon, I will be presenting “What SQL DBAs need to know about SharePoint.” Here is the session overview:

With the number of deployments of SharePoint exponentially growing every day, as a DBA, it is very likely you are going to have SharePoint databases on SQL Servers you support. This session reviews SharePoint strictly from the SQL Server perspective. You will learn how SharePoint is optimized for SQL, how to properly manage and maintain the SharePoint databases, how to optimize the SQL configuration for SharePoint, what settings in SharePoint need to be changed or not changed to maintain SQL Server performance, supported methods for providing high availability and disaster recovery, and the part SharePoint and SQL each play in the Microsoft Business Intelligence story.

Hope to see you there!

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SPC12: Just Around the Corner


Happy Friday everyone! Well, this Sunday morning, I fly out of St. Louis to head to the Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2012 in Las Vegas. Really looking forward to hanging out with friends and just being at the conference with over 9,000 registered attendees.

Booth

This year, Horizons Consulting, the firm I have been with for 7 years now, has a booth for the conference. I will definitely be hanging out at the booth on Sunday evening and some times (to be determined) during the rest of the week. I will be sure to tweet when I am there. Please come by booth 1124 and say Hi!

Speakers

Just wanted to say good luck to some of my friends who are speaking including but not limited to: Mark Rackley, Corey Roth, Chris Caplinger, and Matt Bremer.

MySPC

Be sure to register on MySPC as it is a great way to organize what sessions to attend but, even better, to find out who is going to conference you know and organize a meetup.

Topics of Interest

Some of the things I am really looking forward to dig into more are Request Management, Claims/Authentication, Search, High Availability/Disaster Recovery, Workflow, and Social. Most of these from a general architecture perspective (how they are put together and how the fit together). How about you?

Hope to see you there!

Posted in Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft SharePoint Conference, Sharepoint Foundation 2013 (SPF 2013), SharePoint Server 2013 (SP 2013) | Tagged | 2 Comments

Counting Usage of SP2010 UPS User Properties


I needed to report on the usage count of particular UPS user properties such as Skills and Responsibilities. If you look at the property in Central Administration, you can see a usage count on the screen. This field is populated using an internal class so I needed to look for another way to do it. When looking, I found the following property:

Microsoft.Office.Server.UserProfiles.CoreProperty.UsageCount

However, when you go to use it, it does not return a value and you will find it is producing a SQL error. You can find all the ins and outs of the issue in this blog post:

http://pholpar.wordpress.com/2010/03/12/bug-in-the-usecount-property-of-the-coreproperty-class/

However, the resolution in this blog post is NOT supported by Microsoft as it requires modifying the SharePoint database. After a quick call with Microsoft, I learned you can use this method to get the count:

Microsoft.Office.Server.UserProfiles.UserProfileConfigManager.CountProfileswithProperty

Hopefully this will help someone else out who runs into this issue. Here is an example PowerShell script with the method used in it:

Add-Type -Path “c:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\ISAPI\Microsoft.Office.Server.dll”
Add-Type -Path “c:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\ISAPI\Microsoft.Office.Server.UserProfiles.dll”
$propertyName = “SPS-Skills”
$siteUrl = “http://dev”
$site = Get-SPSite $siteUrl
$context = Get-SPServiceContext $site
$upcm = New-Object Microsoft.Office.Server.UserProfiles.UserProfileConfigManager($context)
Write-Host $upcm.CountProfilesWithProperty($propertyName)
Posted in Microsoft SharePoint, SharePoint Server 2010 (SP 2010) | Tagged | 1 Comment

Lync and SharePoint Integration: More Than Presence Information


Today I had a conversation with a client who is investigating using an IM/UC vendor other than Microsoft. They let me know that the vendor said they integrate with SharePoint just like Lync because “they show presence information on SharePoint sites.” So my response was “Oh really?” Then I proceeded to share several of the ways that Lync and Sharepoint integrate. I realized it would make a great blog post to share this information so here it is.

Here are major ways that Lync and SharePoint integrate:

1. Online presence indicator next to an individual’s name wherever their name appears in a site collection in SharePoint.

2. Assist in providing colleague suggestions for use in My Sites, My Profiles and People Search.

3. Through Lync, provide access to SharePoint people and skills search including names and skills and a link to the user’s My Site.

Let me provide more detailed information about each of these aspects listed above.

Online Presence Indicator

The online presence indicator shows whether the individual is offline or is online and available to respond to queries via an instant messaging client. When an individual is online, you can click the online status indicator to send an instant message. Also it provides the ability to send and receive e-mail, call the person, and to display free/busy information. The indicator status is rendered by an ActiveX control that is installed with Microsoft Office. The ActiveX control enables online status to be displayed. This control verifies the e-mail address on record for the user and directs a query to the presence server for that client to see if they are online. The ActiveX control does not store online information or e-mail addresses; it simply directs queries from the site to the e-mail address and renders the appropriate status.

To display the presence indicator and its associated contact card (in Office 2010) or menu (in Office 2007 and Office 2003), SharePoint uses the Microsoft ActiveX control name.dll. The ActiveX control makes calls directly to the Microsoft Lync 2010 API, and then Lync makes MAPI or Exchange calls to supply the requested information. More information about name.dll can be found here:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms455335%28v=office.14%29.aspx

Colleague Suggestions

Lync as well as Outlook are used to provide colleague suggestions. It is good to know why colleagues are important in people search and how the suggestions are gathered:

SharePoint Server uses your list of Colleagues to help compute the social distance used to rank People Search results. Your Colleagues list starts with your manager, anyone who reports to your manager, and your direct reports. You can remove any of these names and add any name from your company’s directory. You can organize your colleagues into groups and choose whether to show a colleague on your public page.

SharePoint Server proactively suggests colleagues and displays them in a Suggested Colleagues web part on a user’s My Site. It does this through a number of different features.

The user’s Communicator or Lync contacts are examined and are collected from the Communicator client via the ActiveX control (name.dll) for colleague suggestions.

The SharePoint Server Colleague Add-In in Microsoft Outlook 2010 scans the user’s Sent Items folder periodically (every 5 days or so, depending on usage) to look for names and keywords along with the frequency of those names and keywords. The list of possible colleagues is updated periodically and stored under the user’s profile on the user’s local computer. This list is accessed by the Add Colleagues page on a user’s SharePoint My Site through an ActiveX control when you click Suggested colleagues where they can choose the colleagues they want to add to their My Site. The user can approve or reject contact names before they are added. Outlook 2007 supports this functionality but is not as extensive in searching for colleagues.

Although you can enable e-mail analysis for all users in Outlook or only for specific groups by using Group Policy, users can opt out of this feature. If e-mail analysis is disabled for all users, individual users can still opt in. Also, you can choose not to install the add-in as part of the Office install. More information about configuring the add-in can be found here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff384821.aspx.

Lync client direct integration with SharePoint

Through Lync client policy, the Lync client can be configured to use the Skill view, in Lync search results, to search Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 My Site pages for people with specific skills or expertise. Also, it can be figured to access the user’s personal SharePoint Server 2010 My Site profile page from the Lync – Options dialog box.

To see a good overview of skills integration, see this blog post: http://blogs.catapultsystems.com/tharrington/archive/2010/11/15/enabling-skill-search-in-lync-2010.aspx.

To get the best overview of most of this integration, see the SharePoint Integration chapter in the Lync Server 2010 Resource Kit: http://download.microsoft.com/download/9/4/E/94ED1EF4-A2EF-4686-9841-B0390072D524/Chapter_16_SharePoint_Integration.doc.

For instructions for adding the link to the user’s My Site, see the ShowSharepointPhotoEditLink field information on this page: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg398806.aspx.

Well, hope you found this informative and feel free to comment away!

Posted in Microsoft Lync Server, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS 2007), Microsoft SharePoint, Sharepoint Foundation 2010 (SPF 2010), Sharepoint Foundation 2013 (SPF 2013), SharePoint Server 2010 (SP 2010), SharePoint Server 2013 (SP 2013), Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (WSS 3.0) | Tagged | 13 Comments

User Profile Properties Worksheet: A More Useful Version


In helping a group getting ready to launch My Sites and My Profile pages, I wanted to go through the User Properties and review their settings with this group. I went out to Microsoft to grab the MS version of the User Profile Properties worksheet. From my perspective, I was disappointed in it since it didn’t have all the information you needed to gather, didn’t contain any of the default user properties settings, and information was in a different order than how it is in the User Profile Service (UPS) service application screens.

So what I did was go through and document the User Properties for a default install of SharePoint 2010 documenting all settings for all properties. Also, I added a couple columns for additional information. First, I added “System of Record” which allows you to record where the master copy of the data lives. An example may be employee number and its system of record could be the HR system rather than SharePoint. This helps you when you need to make updates to information. Secondly, I added “Update Time” which is where you can record how long it takes information to replicate from the System of Record into SharePoint. In some larger organizations with complex systems, this may be a couple days before the information makes it through the various systems. This helps you to think through what times you replicate information which may help you shorten this replication time.

So here is my copy of the User Profile Properties Worksheet. Please feel free to make comments about any errors, updates, or enhancements you think can be made as you have a chance to use it.

Finally, there is another scenario this worksheet can be helpful! How about for disaster recovery documentation? This form allows you to record all the changes you make from the defaults. So if you ever need to rebuild a farm and need to reconfigure the UPS, you would be able to leverage this documentation. So hurry up and get documenting since we all love to do it (this is a sarcastic remark).

Posted in Microsoft SharePoint, SharePoint Server 2010 (SP 2010) | Tagged | 1 Comment

SharePoint Conference 2011 Recap


Well, I am sitting here on the plane returning home to St. Louis, MO after a lovely week in Anaheim, CA. SharePoint Conference 2011 is finished. Many people are worn out and folks are going home with a lot of information to think about. I wanted to take a moment to highlight some of my thoughts and experiences from the conference.

Beginning the week with KnowledgeLake

I arrived in Anaheim, CA on Saturday to be able to attend KnowledgeLake’s first user conference which occurred all day Sunday. For those who don’t know, KnowledgeLake is a software solution that works along with SharePoint to extend its enterprise content management features.  In the way of announcements, we learned about new integration with Office 365, the ability to use their Capture product on Windows Azure, new features coming down the pipe for their current products, the overall software roadmap, and a new solution released called Unity are the ones that come to mind. KnowledgeLake has several press releases which provide more details.

In the couple breakout sessions, we reviewed information and tips for upgrading a SharePoint environment to 2010 which has KnowledgeLake’s Imaging solution deployed. From Russ Houberg (@rhouberg), we reviewed important new items that Russ learned while upgrading his Microsoft Certified Master’s certification to 2010. Congratulations Russ on passing!

SPC11 gets fully under way

Then came Monday, when the SharePoint Conference got into full swing. There was so much going on and information shared that if I wrote about all of it, I would have a book chapter. That isn’t very effective for a blog so I just wanted to hits the highlights.

The conference was exactly what I expected and I was pleased to see Microsoft did a good job with it. Some folks I talked to were disappointed. I think it was a difference in expectations. For me, with this being a non-release year, I didn’t expect to be overwhelmed at the keynote or to have a lot of sessions where I was exposed to an incredible amount of new concepts and information. The keynote was as I expected except for the incredibly brave demonstration of SQL Server “Denali” “Always On” failover and the new Office 365 BCS being able to use web services announcement. The “Denali” demonstration went beautifully and Microsoft has done some fantastic work on that product. I look forward to being able to implement “Denali” for SharePoint 2010 at customers in the near future and was pleased to find out they added support for it in SP2010 Service Pack 1. From the sessions, I regularly got useful “nuggets” of information that I can go back and utilize immediately which again met my expectations. Finally, there was the joy of being able to catch up with and see so many of the great folks in the SharePoint community.

I spoke a little before about the sessions but there are a couple I wanted to highlight as they are still in the forefront of my thoughts.

Eric Shupps’ SPC373 Performance Tuning SharePoint 2010

Eric Shupps (@eshupps) had a wonderful session on different items you can do to improve the performance of your SharePoint sites. He reviewed items such as the different methods of caching, IIS compression, and the developer dashboard. His use of the Visual Studio Load Testing application to show the improvements was a great choice and Eric kept the presentation fast paced and interesting. I have to point out a couple great blog posts by Sean McDonough (@spmcdonough) if you want to dig in even deeper into the subject of blob caching:

We Drift Deeper Into the Sound … as the (BLOB Cache) Flush Comes

Client-Server Interactions and the max-age Attribute with SharePoint BLOB Caching

Spencer Harbar’s SPC407 Enterprise Deployment Considerations for the User Profile Service Application

Spencer Harbar (@harbars) did a fantastic 400 level session with detailed information about everyone’s favorite subject, the user profile service application. Spence reviewed the importance of planning your identity management solution, explained the overall architecture, how to properly provision the UPS using PowerShell, and reviewed deployed considerations just to name a few things.

In the end, it was a great week with a great group of folks and has me energized again to go back and do exciting things with SharePoint. But even more exciting is the announcement of SharePoint Conference 2012 occurring in Las Vegas on November 12-15, 2012. Look forward to seeing you there!!!

Posted in Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft SharePoint Conference, SharePoint Server 2010 (SP 2010) | Tagged , | 1 Comment

MS Federated Search Connectors


I just saw a series of new federated search connectors show up on my Microsoft Download site feed. I personally hadn’t heard anything about these being released but wanted to post the links to them and the description provided for them.  Here is what the site has to say:

”Federated Search Connectors allow a search solution based on any Microsoft Enterprise Search product (Microsoft Search Server 2010, Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, Microsoft FAST Search for SharePoint 2010, Microsoft Search Server 2008, or Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007) to pass a query to a target system and accept and display results from that system.”

So here are the different types of connectors available…I look forward to trying them out:

Google News

Google Blog

YouTube

Bing Search

Bing News

Bing Images

Bing Local

Yahoo Search

Yahoo News

Yahoo Images

Flickr

Technet

MSDN

Wikipedia

Encyclopedia Britannica

Business Week

The Register

Posted in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS 2007), SharePoint Server 2010 (SP 2010), SharePoint Server 2013 (SP 2013) | Tagged | Leave a comment

St. Louis Day of .Net


Well, it is that time of year again. The St. Louis Day of .Net is coming around again this August 20-21. I just found out this week that I get to participate as a speaker for a third year in a row. I am excited to see the event continue to grow and for there to be such great community involvement.

As with other years, they are getting a great lineup of speakers and a greatly diverse topics which more than makes the price of admission well worth it. You can find all the information you need at the website.

This year, I will be presenting a 300 level session called the “Kerberos Survival Guide.” Here is the synopsis:  If it were just IIS, Kerberos, and you alone in a jungle, would you be able to survive the encounter? You will after you attend this once in a lifetime event! OK…in reality, if you come to this session, you will the learn basics of how Kerberos works, when you want to use it, what is needed to deploy it for any web site (including SharePoint) in IIS, how to troubleshoot issues, and how to do advanced delegation in code.

Hope to see you there!

Posted in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS 2007), Microsoft SharePoint, Presentations, Sharepoint Foundation 2010 (SPF 2010), SharePoint Server 2010 (SP 2010), St. Louis (STL) Day of .Net, Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (WSS 3.0) | Tagged , | 2 Comments