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Archive for the ‘General Moss’ Category

Now let’s talk about development on Sharepoint. We all know that it is painful to use Visual Studio 2008 to develop Sharepoint solutions, even integrate with the office tools for it. For instance, it takes more than 12 steps to design, develop and deploy a feature to the local host through VS tool. Now with two weeks developing practices on VS 2010 and SPD 2010, I can finally say: It is easier than ever.

1. SPD 2010 plays a bigger role in developing now. SPD 2007 was a tool for end user/power user/IT Pros only, and it is really limited because of the GUID key used widely by sharepoint 2007 and WSS3.0. Now Microsoft Sharpeoint team removed most of that restriction and added much more features on SPD tool. For instance, you can develop a reusable workflow combined SPD 2010 with VS 2010 and deploy it as a reusable workflow template. You can create an external content type directly from SPD tool and build up a BDC file using SPD 2010 for a BCS service, then publish the external content type on the farm level.

2. SPD is not just a tool to modify html file anymore, it becomes a visual tool to manage a sharepoint site and lists, and provides all metadata information for an end user to work on, without any coding.

3. Now let’s talking about the key part for development using Visual studio 2010. Huge changes!

— most important Architecture change is that no more post backs, now all is based on Ajax Call Back using JSON and XML techniques, Server side Ribbon controls, and Web 2.0 Style. All major Browsers are supported. Client sides have two level: IE 7/Safari/Firefox and IE 7 64 bits version.

— one click deployment: I like it very much! Most of the development and testing process can be done just by one click to Deploy, it is feature driven, and integrated with best practice coding templates.

— SandBox dev and deployment: it is not difficult even you are the first time user to develop a sandbox solution. And this solution relieves so many pains from an admin, and a developer as well.

— more Sharepoint solution templates, based on the best practiced guide and provides more standard approach and sample coding guides, this is very useful, as there might be 4 different ways to develop a web part, while visual studio gives you one of the best by default.

— Silverlight support. Sharepoint 2010 not only provides an out of box Silverlight web part, it also provides some architecture object Model–like client OM, to support codes being executed on the client side, not caring which forms(web, window, console, etc) it is running, which relieves heavy work load on the Sharepoint server side.

— Client OM. Yes, now you can run Sharepoint services on you client machine, no matter what OS and tools you are using, as long as you can connect to the Sharepoint server and has the authetication to access Sharepoint. It supports most, if not all, the Sharepoint service and Object Models on client side, this, combined with .NET component, Silverlight and ECMAScript support, really enhanced the Sharpoint development into a higher level (.Net 3.5+).

— Sharepoint Server explorer. — this is big too. From a Visual studio tool you can link to any sharepoint site and list and create a link to it and use the exposed Object on the web site and drive through the Sharepoint objects.

— LINQ to Sharepoint. No more CAML statement bother you programming queries and searches. LINQ to Sharepoint Engine will take care of transfer it into CAML to take with Sharepoint. Using SPMetal tool, all Sharepoint enitities(site, web, list, doc library, etc) are automatically built into entity classes, and you can directly use Strong typed codes with LINQ to Entity, and it will take care the fastest way to query the Sharepoint Database for you.

–Workflow enhanced. Now you can build a site level workflow, it is no longer only tied with a list item or a document, and SPD workflow can be reusable, lots of new activities added and it can take the external parameter to drive the workflow to different directions.

4. Overall, programming is based on .NET3.5 SP1, tool is VS 2010 only, sorry have to say bye with VS 2008, IIS 7.0 is the web engine, and 64 bits is a requirement, Now you can do development from a box either Windows Server 2008, or Window 7!

5. Introduced a new federated Authentication: Claims Based Authentication. This is the basic SOA style standord security Token that using SAML. Which also requires Sharepoint Database support the particular security component.

6. Developer Dashboard. This is new and brilliant! After turn on the Dashboard, you can see each major page rendering, data caching, and query performance, and look into the time spent there, thus provides absolute clear clue where and how to improve your web part/customized codes performance. Admin can also use this to identify some front server/DB server issues.

7. Powershell integration — Sharepoint 2010 provides End to End integration to Powershell, no as a developer or an admin, you should, or MUST use Powershell to enhance the programming and administration skills and functions. It is a Swedish Knife for Sharpeoint 2010.

In Summary, Sharepoint 2010 programming has more:

Efficiency: fast program, deployment and live debugging. Enhanced project template with best practice guide, more existing tools.

Features: Sandboxed solution, reusable workflow from SPD, farm level content types, managed metadata, Client OM, LINQ feature, WCF based communication, Silverlight and ECMAscript support.

A lot more, waiting for you to adventure.

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Is this the hardest exam among the four Sharepoint certificate exams? The answer is Yes. Windows Shared Services 3.0 Development is the basic and the most important concepts around Sharepoint, and the exam lasts more than 3 hours. With 55 questions, your knowledge about how to develop a sharepoint component and entity is tested. Here are the basic concepts tested in this exam:  

Deploying Windows SharePoint Services and Custom Components

  • Deploy a Web Part to the Windows SharePoint Services server — Register an assembly as a safe control ile; Configure Web Part permissions; Enable a Web Part to access resources by creating a custom security policy.
  • Create and deploy a Windows SharePoint Services solution package.
  • Deploy a site definition to a Windows SharePoint Services front-end Web server — Deploy a site definition manually
  • Deploy a feature manually; Install and activate a feature using STSADM.
  • Deploy a Web service within the context of any Windows SharePoint Services site and to the Windows SharePoint Services context.
  • Deploy user controls to Web server.

Creating Site and Feature Provisioning Components

  • Create a feature definition — Specify a feature that depends on another feature to activate; Event Receiver; using a resource file; action to add an option to the site settings menu
  • Create a site definition — top and side navigation; list definition to use in a site; Hide a list definition from the Create Page; Specify a Document Template in a site definition; Document Template
  • site definition module — Force a Feature to install when a site is created by using the site definition
  • Specify the configurations of lists and modules in a site definition — Create multiple configurations; site created as the root Web site in a collection
  • Create pages and layouts for a site — Page Layout that has multiple Web part zones; Modify the page layout for a site using master pages

Creating Metadata and Workflow Provisioning Components

  • Create a site column — in a site definition in a Feature
  • Create a list definition — hiding it on the list Create Page; Add a new view
  • Create a Custom Field Type
  • Create a Workflow definition  — Attach a workflow to a list on creation; Package a workflow in a feature
  • Create a Content Type: multiple Content Types; Apply a Content Type to multiple file types; Inherit properties; Update an existing content type

Developing Windows SharePoint Services Components by Using the .NET Framework

  • Handle Windows SharePoint Services events by developing an event receiver — Handle a list event; Cancel an operation; feature event
  • Develop a Web Part — postback using control life cycle; Handle exceptions within a Web Part; Convert a user control into a Web Part; caching; personalized Web Part property; shared Web Part property; Create a Web Part that uses CSS styles; custom tool part.
  • Share data between Web Parts — data provider; data consumer; Filter information from one Web Part to another.
  • Elevate application permissions by using impersonation.
  • Enable a custom Windows SharePoint Services administration page to access the Windows SharePoint Services object model.
  • Schedule tasks by using the SharePoint Timer service.

Manipulating Site Content by using the API

  • Manage an alert — Create, Remov and Change the frequency of alerts.
  • Enhance the Windows SharePoint Services search service — SPQuery; cross-site search.
  • User access permissions — Add, Remove and change user to a site group.
  • Manipulate items in lists.
  • Manipulate documents in lists.
  • Manage records by using the records repository.
  • Manage document versions.

Manipulating Site Configuration by Using the API

  • Manipulate a list structure.
  • Dynamically handle events.
  • Manage site hierarchy.
  • Customize navigation in a Windows SharePoint Services site.
  • Create a custom site group and set permissions for the group.

  

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I took the Sharepoint Development exam before Windows Shared Service 3.0 Development exam because I have been working on MOSS for 3 years. The exam covered each MOSS topic and it is the shortest test(33 questions), not the easiest, though. Here are the highlights for the key concepts being tested:

Managing Enterprise Content

  • Enforce document storage business rules by using Document Policy –Create a custom document policy; Deploy a document policy by using a policy feature; Specify logic for a document policy by using a policy resource; Manage document retention rules by using the expiration feature policy; Launch a workflow when a document expires
  • Audit Windows SharePoint Services content by using a custom policy.
  • Manage records by using Office SharePoint Server 2007 record management features — Create a custom audit report; Create a custom legal hold.
  • Create content by using the Office SharePoint Server 2007 Web content management features — Create pages dynamically; Create a custom field control; Localize a site by using resource lists.
  • Deploy content between servers.
  • Provide variations of Web content — Redirect a user to a variation based on profile setting; Provision multiple sites in a hierarchy.

 Creating Business Intelligence Solutions by Using Office SharePoint Server 2007

  •  Display data from a Microsoft Excel workbook by using Excel Services
  •  Create a trusted workbook location by using the Stsadm.exe command-line tool. 
  •  Implement business logic by using an Excel Services user-defined function.
  •  Expose a data source by adding a data connection to a Report Center Web Site.
  •  Create a key performance indicator (KPI) Web Part by using data from a report data source. 

Integrating Business Data with Office SharePoint Server 2007 by Using the Business Data Catalog (BDC)

  • Create a BDC Application Definition –Create a line of business (LOB) system.
  • Describe an external application in the BDC Application Definition –Create an LOB system instance; Create an entity
  • Display data from an external data source – Create a Finder method.
  • Enable indexing of data stored in an external data source — Create an IDEnumerator.
  • Enable searching on a BDC Application Definition — Enable a single item query by creating identifiers for entities; Create a filter descriptor.
  • Create a custom action on an entity — Create an association between two entities.
  • Create a Web Part to browse data — Execute a wildcard filter on an entity.

Accessing Office SharePoint Server 2007 Application Platform Services  

  • Display an InfoPath Form from within an ASP.NET page by using the Form Services control.
  • Automate Office Forms Server administration tasks –Activate a previously uploaded form template.
  • Manage credentials by using the single sign-on (SSO) credential store — Create a custom SSO provider for use by the BDC
  • Transform a custom document format into another format.
  • Display a user profile retrieved from an Office SharePoint Server 2007 Web service.

Customizing Functionality by Using Profiles

  • Import users into the user profile store from an LDAP store.
  • Manipulate profile properties –Add a profile property to the user profile store; Store a user’s attributes in the user profile store by creating a multivalue property; Map a BDC data item to a user profile property; Set the privacy policy for a user profile property.
  • Add a distribution list to a new membership

Searching Data by Using the Search Service

  • Programmatically enhance the search service –Access the search context for the Shared Services Provider (SSP)
  • Add a custom search page for searching the BDC — Extend the user interface by adding a tab to the search page.
  • Provide custom search capabilities by creating an enterprise search Web Part.
  • Customize the display of search results by modifying the Search Core Results XSLT.
  • Display results from a Windows SharePoint Services search Web service.
  • Display the results of a keyword query

Targeting Content Based on Audience Membership

  • Create an audience.
  • Specify conditions for audience membership by using rules.
  • Target a list item to an audience.
  • Display all audiences to which a user belongs.
  • Display all users in a given audience.

 Overall, there are more questions focus on BDC, Reporting service, Excel Service and WCM.  

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It’s been a while since my last post. So what’s new: I passed other two sharepoint development certificates: 070-541 and 070-542. Yes, I Did! In two months, I got all four Sharepoint certificates.

I really appreciate the supports from my family. And I also want to share my experience about how to manage this while working on company project. Here is my suggestions:  

  • Be Focus: We have some many things to do each day, if you always concentrate on your focused goal, you’ll find that you do have time to use, just be focus.
  • Be Smart: Learn what is covered in the exam quickly and find the right resource for the solution. There are some really good e-learning courses that Microsoft provides. Being smart means that you do not jump into the sea and lose the target, learn how to adjust yourself quickly.
  • Be Hungry: There are so much to learn for the exams, even for a very experienced Sharepoint Guru. If you desire to learn and want to know the truth badly, you are on the right direction to the success. 
  • Be in good shape: I was working on these for over 12 hours each day, inluding the company projects. I have to spend some time to do exercises and play soccer to keep myself in good shape, it is so important to study with high efficiency.
  • Be Ready: Yes, to make this happens, you have to be an exper, with at least 2-3 years experiences. That helps to build up the common concepts and working experience, which is so important in the exams — they do test and exam your working experiences. So keep practice, and practice more…  

I will post some detailed information for each development exams later on.

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I passed MCTS 70-630 Sharepoint Server 2007 Configuration certificate exam today, It takes me 20 days from the day I decided to start.

So what is the feedback and suggestion I can give to you?

First of all, you do need to have experiences Microsoft mentioned as followings:

Internet Information Server—administration and configuration  
 
Windows Server 2003 Active Directory administration  
 
Networking infrastructure services, including TCP/IP and clustering 
 
Microsoft .NET 2.0, as it relates to Office SharePoint Server 2007 
 
Internet Security and Acceleration Server 
 
Network load-balancing for applications 

Microsoft SQL Server 2000 or SQL Server 2005, as it relates to Office SharePoint Server 2007—administration 

Security, as it relates to Office SharePoint Server 2007

Back-up restoration of data  

Most of above skills are tested in MCTS 70-631, and you do need to gain enough experiences on these before you can feel confident to handle 630 exam.

Here are the details I add for 70-630 exam feedback. I marked the point from 1-10 to indicate the importance I feel the exam covers during the exam. — Again, this is my personal opinion.

Configure site management  – 8 – in General

Configure personalization – 9 – user link, personalization vs. Customization, personal lniks in my site 

Configure users and groups – 9 – audience, audience targeting, permissions, user profile importing, managing property

Configure alerts – 6 – at item level with alerts settings in SSP

Configure Single Sign-on (SSO) – 7- combine with infopath form permissions and excell service permissions

Managing Search – 9 – in General

Configure Search Center – 8 – Regular search box web part, defualt search site page 

Configure Search settings – 9 – indexing, full crawling, search in BDC, serach content source, etc 

Monitor Search activity – 9 – searching monitor and analysis, including file type list, etc. 

Configuring Content Management – 9 – in General

Configure document management – 8 – site templates, check in/out, Content type with DIP  

Configure records management – 10 – record center routing table, site template, etc

Configure Web content management – 7- WCM content deployment cross site collections

Manage policies and compliance – 8 – document information policy settings, client/server conversion

Configure workflow – 7 – conditional worlflow, builtin workflow

Configuring Business Forms – 8 – in General

Configure Forms server – 8 – Web-compatible form, SSO, permission, uploading form to Doc Library with permission

Manage data connection files – 7 – ODC/UDC

Configure Web service proxy – 8- Excel service proxy, UDC web service proxy settings

Manage form templates – 8- Qieuce forms, session state setting.

Managing Business Intelligence – 8 – in General

 Configure Excel services – 7 – Workbook client permission, configuration in SSP, etc

Configure Report Center – 8- Site Template, contents, Dashboard page

Configure Web parts – 6 – Filter web parts and usages

Configure Business Data Catalog (BDC) – 7- SSO integration and search on BDC 

Managing Administration – 7 – in General 

Manage the central administration interface – 6 – generak magement tools from UI

Manage the shared service provider – 7 – Detailed my sites and user profile configurations

Use the STSADM tool – 7- Some stsadm command

Configure usage analysis and reporting – 8 – Detailed usage analysis configuration and reporting format

Deploying or Upgrading – 5 – in General 

Manage Microsoft Content Management Server (CMS) assessment – 6 – Migration from MCMS 2002 to Moss 2007 prescan

Configure shared services – 5- Details about permission and configuration

Manage Business Intelligence tools – 3 – not a question I can remember 

Manage portal and site migration – 5- migration re-link URL

Finalize upgrades – 6- upgrading and migration user permissions

As a non-admin sharepoint personnal, I now passed both configuration exams, the knowledge does gives me a better general view about sharepoint and its most important features it covers. And it helps me do architecture, implement and development work better.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I passed the MS 70-631 certificate exam last week. This exam is focused on the administration and configuration of sharepoint server. And there are some  requirements on the following fields, I added my comments based on my preparation and exam experience:

  • Web administration/Internet Information Services 6.0  — Focus on security, authentication, application pool and web Admin and IIS Monitor
  • General Windows Server 2003 directory administration — LADP, AD with Form based authentication configuration
  • General networking infrastructure — firewall, intranet, perimeter network and Internet security and network configuration, infrastructure, some question is difficult
  • General knowledge of Windows SharePoint Server 2007 — configure a sharepointserver and web application, permission settings and admin knowledge, sharepoint concepts – workflow, features, web part, site definition, site template
  • General understanding of Microsoft .NET 2.0 as it relates to Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 — Master page, designer, and web part pages
  • General understanding of Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server — set up ISA server to protect the sharepoint web server, need understand details, network topology, network security
  • Network load-balancing for applications — NLB with Multicast and UniCast configurations, tough questions
  • Administering SQL Server 2000 or 2005 for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 — Configure SQL authentication, default content and configuration DB settings
  • General security and authentication practices — SSO, NTLM, Form/windows Authentication and sharepoint security, IIS security configuration, SSL, IRM and AAM.
  • Back-up and restoration of data — How to use web and STSADM tool to backup and restore sites on the web farm environment. Restore deleted files and web sites.

Besides these, the exam also tested sharepoint migration, upgrade, monitoring and customization.

In general, the exam is not an easy one. Because I did not have too much time to prepare for it, I chose to get the microsoft on-line training courses to get some idea about the exam.

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So why Sharepoint?

– Well, it is fast, smart, out of box, flexible, intelligent… for sharepoint workers.

As a designer, you can:

  • Creating pages using SPD or Infopath form — without coding.
  • Customization and personalization of site pages, integrate

security, permission, LOB — without coding.

  • Get SSRS and SSAS reporting and excel sheet, KPI — without coding.
  • Searching company’s sites, file systems and other LOB — without coding.
  • A lot more…

For a Developer, you can:

  • Create a customized site/application page by using Master page, css file, resource file…  — with less coding
  • Extend the MOSS2007 and WSS3.0 features by explore the OM sharepoint provided — With less coding
  • Dig deeper, using tools like log file reader, fiddler, lots of down-loadable free sharepoint tools from www.CodePlex.com, reflector (MS guy may not like this), using reflection…, etc. You could discover the magic world of MOSS and Sharepoint. You can create your own tools, build up features and solutions for reliability — Because sharepoint are a product, a tool, a platform..

For an Administrator, you can:

  • Automate the solution deploy process across the farm servers with little manual works and simplify complex steps used to bother you a lot
  • Set security level with much clear security hierarchy structure and have full control of the site content for right people with right permission levels
  • Be a better Admin…. by configure the Web solution using more options and flexibilities, with helps from sharepoint.
  • Learn more, and be loving it…

Welcome to the  Kung Fu Moss World.

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