SharePoint Fest DC Wrap-up and Slides


I finished up my last session at this year’s SharePoint Fest in Washington DC earlier today.  Both of my talks were well received with lots of good compliments and questions from the attendees.  I want to express my thanks to the conference organizers and the attendees for the wonderful conference.  I really enjoyed myself this year and hope I can come back for a future session.

I had lots of attendees at both sessions who asked for the slides so I’ve uploaded them here.  You can also get the from the conference and they’ll be on Slideshare.  You can download a PDF of the slides from each talk using the links below:

Users, Profiles, and MySites: Managing a Changing SharePoint User population

Building an Extranet with Office 365

I’m a New SharePoint 2010 MCM


Some journeys take a lot longer than you originally expected.  I started my journey in pursuit of a Microsoft Certified Master’s SharePoint certification when I attended rotation 8 in May, 2011.  If you are wondering what it was like I can’t do a better job of describing the experience than was done by my friend, fellow MVP, (and now fellow MCM) Wictor Wilén does here.  Wictor and I were in the same rotation, but where he passed all his qualifications at the end of the rotation, I took an additional two years. After passing everything but the qual lab during the rotation I took a second try at the qual lab about 6 weeks later in July.  I made a silly mistake on that one that cost me about 2 hours of troubleshooting time.  I knew by the end of the lab that I had failed.  After that life just got too busy with billable work, and then a change of employers.  It wasn’t until this spring that I decided I couldn’t give up and had to take my last shot at the qual lab. So I spent five days at the beginning of May reviewing all the old material and on Wednesday May 8th I had my chance.  At the end of 8 1/2 grueling hours I had a good feeling about the results.  On Friday I got confirmation that I had indeed passed.  After starting over 2 years ago I am finally a SharePoint 2010 MCM and it’s a great feeling.

I’ve also want to extend a big Thank You to my former company ShareSquared and to my current company Blue Chip Consulting for giving me time away from billable work to attend the training and prepare for my re-take of the Qual Lab.  Without their support I would never  have made it.

Now on to planning for MCSM SharePoint 2013!

Fix for “PDF iFilter Doesn’t Crawl Contents”

searchPDFI was working at a client this last week where we were having trouble getting SharePoint search to crawl the contents of PDF files.  My client said they followed this Microsoft installation guide (KB Article #2293357)  but the iFilter still wasn’t being used to crawl the contents of PDF files.  When I checked their installation I couldn’t find anything wrong either.  I was even more surprised that when I followed the same steps in my virtual dev environment I got the same results.  PDFs were searchable but only by title or other metadata.  The contents were not being indexed.  At that point I started searching the Internet for a solution and although I found lots of people with the same problem I didn’t find any solutions that would work.  For most people the solution was to make sure they added a registry key they missed or make sure it was installed on the correct server.  But there were some people, like my client and I, who followed the instructions correctly and still couldn’t get it to work.  At this point we opened a support ticket with Microsoft and were immediately provided with a solution that worked.  But since I haven’t been able to find this documented anywhere I thought I would record it in my BLOG.  So if you have tried setting up the 64 bit Adobe PDF iFilter and still can’t get it to work, then read on and try the following.  To be thorough I included all the steps required to install the iFilter, but highlighted the additional step that we took which made the difference.

Installing a PDF iFilter

  1. Download and Install the Adobe PDF iFilter 9 for 64-bit platforms
  2. Download a 16X16 PDF icon file from the Adobe web site and copy it to C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\TEMPLATE\IMAGES\
  3. Add the following entry in the docIcon.xml file, which can be found at: C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\TEMPLATE\XML
        <Mapping Key="pdf" Value="pdf16.gif" />
  4. Add the pdf file type to the Search Service Application’s File types
  5. Open regedit and navigate to the following location:
        HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office Server\14.0\Search\Setup\ContentIndexCommon\Filters\Extension
  6. Right-click and select New > Key to create a new key called ‘.pdf
  7. Add the following GUID as the default value for the .pdf key 
  8. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the following location:
        C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe PDF iFilter 9 for 64-bit platforms\bin
  9. Add your Search Service Application’s Content Access Account to the list of users and groups who have security access to this folder.  Make sure the account has Read, Read & Execute, and List Folder Contents permissions.
  10. Reboot the SharePoint servers in your Farm to restart the Search Service Application


Note:  The Adobe installation instructions also recommend adding the bin folder location to the server’s environmental path variable.  But this has not been required in any of my installations and is not included in the Microsoft instructions.

Pittsburgh SharePoint User’s Group

I will be speaking at the Pittsburgh SharePoint User’s Group on Wednesday, January 18th. The meeting will start at 11:00 am and my topic will be "Users, Profiles, and MySites: Managing a Changing SharePoint User population”. Here’s a brief description of the talk:

Users, Profiles, and MySites: Managing a Changing SharePoint User population

Every organization has some level of personnel change and turnover.  The question is, in the midst of this fluid user population how can you manage a user’s access to SharePoint and retrieve important information stored in their personal site efficiently?  Updating existing user information is also often a problem and most people have questions about how security permissions work in SharePoint. In this talk we will examine how SharePoint stores information about users and the underlying processes controlling user accounts, permissions, profiles and personal MySites. We’ll look at what works, what doesn’t work, and possible workarounds.  Along the way we’ll discuss the Best Practices for managing users, their profiles, and MySites in a SharePoint environment. We’ll discuss how this works in both 2007 and 2010.

The group will meet at the Pittsburgh Technology Council.  You can get a map by clicking on the link below.

Pittsburgh Technology Council
2000 Technology Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

SharePoint Saturday Denver Wrap-Up

spsDen_logo_smallI’m at the airport waiting on my flight home from the Denver SharePoint Saturday event. Since I promised attendees that I would post my slides I thought I would do it today before I got busy with other things when I get back to work on Monday.  I was originally scheduled to present two sessions. But I ended up presenting a third session when one of the presenters had to cancel at the last minute.  That was a session I did a couple years ago on strategies for implementing SharePoint governance in a collaborative fashion. 

The event was a pure pleasure and I hope I can come back again if there is another.  For any of those who attended, I’ve attached the slide decks from my talks below:

SharePoint Governance:  Dealing with the Culture Change, Power Struggles, and Conflict (Slides) Implementing SharePoint changes the traditional model used for governing most Information Technology projects.  Gone are the days when IT departments controlled the life and work of end users through software.  Instead SharePoint is built on a model of cooperation where end users control their own data and the IT staff is dedicated to providing them with better more powerful tools.  But change like this inevitably results in power struggles and conflict.  Being successful with SharePoint requires recognizing and confronting this culture change with a new spirit of partnership and cooperation.  Anything less will at best be painful and at worst lead to disaster.

Intro to Developing for SharePoint Online: What Tools Can I Use? (Slides)The introduction of Office 365 drastically changed the SharePoint development landscape. As a managed online service the rules for developing customizations for SharePoint Office 365 are radically different from the ones for an “on-premise” installation. They are also slightly different than developing sandbox solutions. In addition many companies who currently use dedicated SharePoint installations are beginning to consider eventual migration to the Office 365 cloud environment. That means even current “on-premise” development is often constrained in new ways. No matter what kind of development you currently do you need to know how to develop for Office 365. In this workshop/session we’ll cover the following topics:

  • Setting up an Office 365 development environment
  • Developing sandbox solutions for SharePoint Online
  • Building reusable workflows in SharePoint Designer 2010
  • Why the Client Object Model is even more important in Office 365

Users, Profiles, and MySites: Managing a Changing SharePoint User population (Slides) – Every company has some level of employee change and turnover. The question is how do you manage the graceful removal or modification of user information from SharePoint? If everything is perfectly aligned SharePoint will automatically process and delete the user account, permissions, profile, and MySite for users that are deleted from Active Directory. Updates to user information are also automatic in many cases. But most SharePoint installations don’t have all the necessary components aligned for automated removal of old users and some profile properties refuse to update. In this session we will examine the underlying processes controlling user accounts, permissions, profiles and MySites and how they interact. We’ll look at what works, what doesn’t work, and how to work around it. Along the way we’ll recommend Best Practices for managing users, their profiles, and MySites in a SharePoint environment.