sp1fi

SharePoint Server 2013 SP1 pulled by Microsoft and why that should matter

Note: This blog does not describe any errors found in Service Pack 1.  It is intended to provide insight for companies that want to remain on the cutting edge while preventing their environments from getting hosed by upgrades that don’t quite upgrade correctly.

We live in a fast paced world, and it is almost impossible for any person or company to stay up to date on the latest product releases for everything. A lot of the experts and top drivers in the tech. industry rely on communities to track, test and provide feedback on new things as they hit the markets.

While it is desirable to have the newest version of technology, that luxury can cost you due to many unknown factors that just can’t be vetted or tested.  Even the big giant, Microsoft, showed this to be true.  In early April 2014, Microsoft pulled the SP1 download from the web and then they posted this little notice:

A Trip With Colligo Briefcase A Trip With Colligo BriefcaseA Trip With Colligo BriefcaseA Trip With Colligo BriefcaseA Trip With Colligo BriefcaseA Trip With Colligo Briefcase

A Trip with Colligo Briefcase

On April 1st, I received an email with an invitation to try a new product: Colligo Briefcase for Mac. This must be an april fool’s joke, I thought. I hovered my mouse cursor over the email to see the link preview. It wasn’t a fake ad selling me snake oil - it was real. Now at 11pm at night, I’m excited. I downloaded Colligo Briefcase for Mac to check it out. I thought I’d write up a quick review of the product.

Most Mac users today have to use Microsoft’s tool “Document Connection” to work with files in SharePoint if they’re not interacting with the browser. Before SharePoint 2013 this was the solution because the web interface of SharePoint did not support Safari well at all. It’s different now, fortunately. Newer products in the collaborative space are considering all platforms. It’s no longer just a Windows world.

I’m not going to lie. I stopped using Document Connection for Mac about a year ago because of numerous problems with the application. If you’re using O365 with your Mac it can be especially frustrating if the sites have long URLs.

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App Step or Impersonation Step in SharePoint Designer 2013?

I recently opened SharePoint Designer 2013 with the intent of creating a workflow using an Impersonation Step when I realized this option was missing. After some quick research, I discovered this workflow action had been deprecated in SharePoint Designer 2013. This article from MSDN explains why this action is no longer available for use on the SharePoint 2013 workflow platform, in addition to a list of all other actions that are no longer available. But not to worry! In SharePoint Designer 2013, you can choose the SharePoint 2010 Workflow platform during creation and still have all of those workflow actions available to you. Problem solved! End of blog. Just Kidding!

My intent of this blog is to use an example workflow scenario requiring elevated permissions, and walk through step by step how to implement this in SharePoint Designer 2013. I plan to use the new method, which requires you to wrap any actions in your workflow that require elevated permissions in an App Step. Why did I decide on the new method rather than using the Impersonation Step available with the SharePoint 2010 workflow platform? I will get into that as well. But first…

SharePoint Saturday Nashville 2014 Jamye Few SPS Nashville

SharePoint Saturday Nashville 2014 Re-cap and Slide Deck download

I had previously blogged on the Importance of SharePoint Events and the responses I have received and overheard from attendees just confirmed my points. You learn a lot in a dynamic environment like a SharePoint Saturday Event. Not to mention, the number of people you meet who become a support structure for you in your career. I saw people having deep technical discussions about issues they were having with their SharePoint projects, and I heard tons of laughter as people bonded over the challenge that is SharePoint. We really are social creatures, and I know I like putting real faces with the blogs and twitter post I see on a day to day basis.

I had the honor of both speaking and serving on the organizing committee for the first SharePoint Saturday in Nashville, TN. The turnout was great and the sessions I attended and others I heard about were outstanding. This was the first time I have helped in organizing a SPS event. Let me tell you, there is a lot to do. Many thanks to those on the team with me: Daniel Glenn (@DanielGlenn), Cathy Dew (@catpaint1), Nesha Lankford (@0NENE), Elizabeth Hutson (@CTSHutson), Brian Purdes, any others I missed and all the volunteers and sponsors who helped make it possible.

WORKFLOW 2013 STARTS AND THEN IMMEDIATELY CANCELS Worfklow 2013 starts and then immediately cancelsWorfklow 2013 starts and then immediately cancelsWorfklow 2013 starts and then immediately cancelsWorfklow 2013 starts and then immediately cancels

Workflow 2013 starts and then immediately cancels

While trying to implement a SharePoint 2013 workflow I ran into several snags. This blog will hopefully help anyone else that is running into workflow problems and provide a few solutions.

The problem:

I created a SharePoint 2013 workflow using SharePoint Designer 2013. The workflow was simple. It logged text to the workflow History List (http://your.site.com/lists/Workflow%20History). I wanted to keep it as simple as possible to help debug my error.

Worfklow 2013 starts and then immediately cancels

Once the workflow was created and published I went to an item in the list to manually start the workflow. The workflow would start and then after a few seconds instantly cancel. Checking ULS, no errors appeared, checking the server logs, no errors appeared. I could only find one error. Select the item -> Click the (…) -> Workflows -> Select the workflow you just ran to open it, click the blue information button.

Is the cloud really for my small business? Is the Cloud really for my small business?

Is the Cloud really for my small business?

Once all the buzz and hype around "the Cloud" and the importance of various Cloud services has naturally died down, small business owners inevitably find themselves still contemplating the actual importance of Cloud storage and other Cloud services.

There are two myths that I would like to challenge briefly:

1. The cloud isn’t relevant enough for my business yet

2. My internal/on-premises data is safer than in the cloud

How relevant is the cloud?

The mere fact that a number of specialist Cloud service providers invest heavily in making services such as Cloud storage available should attests to the importance of the Cloud. The likes of DropBox, Google Drive, OneDrive, etc. have risen up to offer cheaper pricing options in an attempt to attract people like you.  Their goal is to lighten the costs associated with the IT infrastructural burden many small businesses could seriously do without. Simply put, with strategic use of various Cloud services small business owners such as yours can easily off-set a number of factors that would otherwise contribute to your overhead.  The costs associated with hosting and maintaining physical IT equipment alone can be a big budget item if you did it correctly.