Speaking at the Columbus Buckeye SPUG

BuckeyeSPUG_TranspI will be speaking at the Columbus Buckeye SharePoint Users Group on Thursday, January 16th. The meeting will start at 5:30pm. My topic will be "Share, Follow, and Sync: How SharePoint 2013 uses Personal MySites for Social functionality”. Here’s a brief description of the talk:

Prior to SharePoint 2013 many organizations built a MySite Host but never implemented personal MySite storage. This was a very viable strategy in 2010. But with the introduction of the Social features in SharePoint 2013 things have changed. In this talk we’ll review all the new "Social" features in SharePoint 2013 that depend on personal MySites. We’ll also look at how to control and manage personal MySites in your organization and discuss how future integration with Yammer may change this requirement. 

Next Buckeye SPUG Meeting: Jan 16th – 5:30 pm @ the Microsoft Polaris Office

Agenda

5:30pm – 6:00pm –> Food Sponsor’s Presentation

6:00pm – 6:30pm –> Community Time

6:30pm – 7:30pm –> My Talk

7:30pm +           —> SharePint @ The Pub

SharePoint MVPs Volunteer for Typhoon Relief

MVP

A few days after Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines one of my fellow MVPs, Dux Raymond (@meetdux), suggested that we should all band together and do something to support the relief effort.  His idea was that we would all volunteer an hour or two of phone consulting time for anyone who would contribute to a charity for the relief of the victims of Typhoon Haihayn.  I’m happy to report that almost 50 MVPs, including me, have volunteered to contribute to the effort.  If you would be interested in some consulting time with an MVP check out Dux’s blog where the list of MVPs who are contributing to the effort is being kept up to date.  YOu can find it here:

http://meetdux.com/2013/11/12/operation-sharelove-help-typhoon-haiyan-victims-sharepoint-experts-will-help-you-rescueph/

 

Unfortunately, my contribution to the effort has already been snapped up by a contributor.  But there are lots of other knowledgeable MVPs waiting to help you (and the people of the Philippines) out.

MCM, MCSM, and MCA Programs Cancelled

tombstone-rip

Less than two months after Microsoft announced a major change to the Microsoft Certified Masters (MCSM formerly known as MCM) program they’ve dropped another bombshell on the community. At the end of June Microsoft abruptly announced that they were removing all the pre-requisites from taking the MCSM Knowledge Exams and Qualification Lab to make the certification available to more people.  Last night at about 1:00 AM Eastern Time they sent out an email to all currently certified MCMs, MCSMs, and MCAs to give them the bad news that as of October 1, 2013 (Yes, that’s only 30 days from now) all the MCSM and MCA certification exams and training will be retired and the certification will no longer be offered.  Here’s the beginning of the email:

We are contacting you to let you know we are making a change to the Microsoft Certified Master, Microsoft Certified Solutions Master, and Microsoft Certified Architect certifications. As technology changes so do Microsoft certifications and as such, we are continuing to evolve the Microsoft certification program. Microsoft will no longer offer Masters and Architect level training rotations and will be retiring the Masters level certification exams as of October 1, 2013.

Words cannot express how deeply disappointed I am by this news.  The MCSM community has helped me several times in the last few months alone to find the answers to SharePoint problems that I’ve experienced in the projects I work on.  And I hope that I’ve helped some of my other MCMs with their problems.  After the news earlier this summer I was trying to decide whether recertifying my MCSM: SharePoint certification was worth it or not.  I had just about made up my mind that it was and had started talking to my management about getting the time to go back to training (one of the best parts of the program) to complete my recertification before time was up next June.  I guess I don’t have to worry about that anymore.  Crying face

SkyDrive Pro Storage Increased to 25GB

sharepoint-2013-logo_sm

Microsoft announced today on the Office 365 technology Blog that they are increasing the default storage available in each user’s SkyDrive Pro to 25GB from the current 7GB.  They’ve also added an option allowing increase to 50GB or 100GBs of storage on a user by user basis.  The optional additional storage will come out of your regular tenant storage allocation.  Tenants can buy additional storage if needed at a cost of $.20 USD/GB/Month.  Microsoft is also adding a new view to SkyDrive Pro that will display links to all the documents that have been shared with you personally, no matter whose SkyDrive Pro they are stored on.  So you get more room for storing and sharing your own documents and easier access to all the documents that others have shared with you.  That’s what I call a Win/Win.

You can read the whole announcement here:

http://blogs.office.com/b/office365tech/archive/2013/08/27/skydrive-pro-increases-storage-and-ease-of-sharing.aspx

Configuring Search Authoritative Pages with PowerShell

logo-powershellSomeone at work recently asked if you could configure the Authoritative Pages settings in SharePoint 2013 Search using PowerShell or whether the only way to do it was using the Search Service UI.  After a bit of research I found out that indeed you can configure the settings using PowerShell.  But I also found out that there isn’t a lot of documentation available on the web about exactly how to do it.  The difficulty is made worse by the fact that most of the documentation that does exist is for SharePoint 2010 Enterprise Search and there is a new required parameter in 2013 that makes all those Blog posts invalid.  So I decided it would be a good idea to write a “How To” post that would explain the required PowerShell.

What are Authoritative Pages?

When SharePoint web site pages and documents are returned in Search results one of the factors that effects their relevance placement is static rank.  Static rank is computed as the smallest number of clicks it would take a user to navigate from an authoritative page to a document. The closer a document is to the most authoritative page, the higher its static rank is.  Search Administrators can enter three (3) levels of authoritative pages for calculating the static rank of a search result.  They can also add site addresses to a fourth level which will demote the static rank of a specific result when compared to all other references.  In other words the closer a specific document is to one of the three authoritative pages the higher it will appear in a set of search results, while results that come from the non-authoritative sites will be at the bottom of the search results list.  For example, you might list a team site that contains draft copies of documents in the Non-authoritative sites and the home page of a document center site contains published copies in the most authoritative pages section.  This would lead to the elevation of published copies in search results instead of draft copies.

The PowerShell Cmdlets

There are two sets of PowerShell Cmdlets used to manipulate the authoritative pages settings.  First, there are four (4) Cmdlets for creating/managing the three (3) main authoritative page lists.  They are:

  • Get-SPEnterpriseSearchQueryAuthority – retrieves existing authoritative page(s)
    -Identity <AuthorityPagePipeBind>
    -Owner <SearchObjectOwner>
    -SearchApplication <SearchServiceApplicationPipeBind> 
  • New-SPEnterpriseSearchQueryAuthority – creates a new authoritative page setting
    -Url <String>
    -Level <Single>
    -Owner <SearchObjectOwner>
    -SearchApplication <SearchServiceApplicationPipeBind> 
  • Set-SPEnterpriseSearchQueryAuthority – changes the level of an existing authoritative page
    -Identity <AuthorityPagePipeBind>
    -Level <Single>
    -Owner <SearchObjectOwner>
    -SearchApplication <SearchServiceApplicationPipeBind> 
  • Remove-SPEnterpriseSearchQueryAuthority – removes an existing authoritative page
    -Identity <AuthorityPagePipeBind>
    -Owner <SearchObjectOwner>
    -SearchApplication <SearchServiceApplicationPipeBind> 

There are also three (3) Cmdlets for creating/managing the non-authoritative page list.  They are:

  • Get-SPEnterpriseSearchQueryDemoted – retrieves existing authoritative page(s)
    -Identity <AuthorityPagePipeBind>
    -Owner <SearchObjectOwner>
    -SearchApplication <SearchServiceApplicationPipeBind> 
  • New-SPEnterpriseSearchQueryDemoted – creates a new authoritative page setting
    -Url <String>
    -Owner <SearchObjectOwner>
    -SearchApplication <SearchServiceApplicationPipeBind> 
  • Remove-SPEnterpriseSearchQueryDemoted – removes an existing authoritative page
    -Identity <AuthorityPagePipeBind>
    -Owner <SearchObjectOwner>
    -SearchApplication <SearchServiceApplicationPipeBind> 

The Parameters

As I mentioned before some of the parameters have changed since SharePoint 2010.  Most importantly the –Owner parameter is now a required parameter and it wasn’t in 2010.  Here’s what you need to know about each of the parameters:

  • Url – The New commands require a Url to designate the page or site address to be added as an authoritative page entry.
  • Identity – Identity is optional for the Get command.  Without an Identity the Get command will return all the authoritative pages.  The Set and Remove commands require that a specific page be identified.
  • Level – Specifies the level where the page address should be added.  Valid values are integers 0, 1, and 2 with 0 being the Most Authoritative Pages and 2 being the Third-level Authoritative Pages.
  • Owner – This was optional for 2010 but is required in 2013.  It must be set to a Search Object Owner designating either a Search Service Application or a Tenant Subscription in a Multi-tenant environment.  I’ll provide an example of how to get the Search Object Owner in the sample code below.
  • SearchApplication – This is the Search service application object to which the pages will be added.

PowerShell Sample

Now that we’ve looked at the commands and parameters lets look at a sample script that demonstrates how to use the commands.

   1:  #Get the Enterprise Search Service Application
   2:  $ssa = Get-SPEnterpriseSearchServiceApplication
   3:   
   4:  #Get the Search Owner object.  
   5:  #Must be either SearchServiceApplication (Ssa) or Multitenancy SiteSubscription (SPSiteSubscription) 
   6:  $owner = Get-SPEnterpriseSearchOwner -Level Ssa
   7:   
   8:  #Identity is either a valid url or an AuthorityPage Object(Retrieved with Get-SPEnterPriseSearchQueryAuthority)
   9:  $url1 = "http://siteURL/"
  10:  $url2 = "http://siteURL/sites/sitecollection/"
  11:  $url3 = "http://siteURL/Pages/Default.aspx"
  12:   
  13:  $mostAuthoritative = 0
  14:  $secondMostAuthoritative = 1
  15:  $thirdMostAuthoritative = 2
  16:   
  17:  #Try to get an existing Authoritative Page 
  18:  $sqa = Get-SPEnterpriseSearchQueryAuthority -Identity $url1 -Owner $owner -SearchApplication $ssa -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue
  19:  if ($sqa -eq $null)
  20:  {
  21:      #Create a new Authoritative page if one doesn't exist
  22:      $sqa = New-SPEnterpriseSearchQueryAuthority -Owner $owner -SearchApplication $ssa -Url $url1 -Level $secondMostAuthoritative 
  23:  }
  24:  else
  25:  {
  26:      #Change the level of an exiting Authoritative page
  27:      Set-SPEnterpriseSearchQueryAuthority -Identity $sqa -Level $thirdMostAuthoritative -SearchApplication $ssa -Owner $owner
  28:  }
  29:   
  30:  $sqa2 = Get-SPEnterpriseSearchQueryDemoted -Identity $url3 -Owner $owner -SearchApplication $ssa -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue
  31:  if ($sqa2 -eq $null)
  32:  {
  33:      New-SPEnterpriseSearchQueryDemoted -Owner $owner -SearchApplication $ssa -Url $url2
  34:  }
  35:   
  36:  Remove-SPEnterpriseSearchQueryAuthority -Identity $url3 -Owner $owner -SearchApplication $ssa -Confirm:$false