Sharepoint (Office Systems) SP2 beta is out to selected users.

The SP2 for Office Systems 2007 was announced not long ago. Today I got positive confirmation that some MVP, and other select users, already is beta testing the upcomming SP. The official word is that it will be availiable sometime between Febuary and April. However given the circumstances that selected users already have been given a beta I would be very supprised if it wouldn’t be a more generally availiable SP this side of new year. But just guessing here.. =)

 Some of the better improvements is:

  • Better support for XPS, and PDF
  • Performance and manageability improvements to variations in Enterprise Content Management (ECM) including STSADM commands for repairing links between source and target pages
  • Improvements around processing status approvals from Office Project Web Access into Office Project Professional 2007
  • Improvements to read-only content databases and index rebuild timer jobs in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0

Also; the team will also release a Upgrade Advisor which will help you to make sure that your system is ready for SP2 and list all additional task needed to be perfomed. No more guessing (or reading a lot) as with SP1. =) Will update blog as soon as I have more information.

A bit of mixed november rain and Sharepoint love

Back from Bacelona and TechEd; one part with lots of new inspiration of things to test, do and develope, the other part is just tierd from all the tapas and social life. =) One of the nice things I was playing with the last week was content expiration policies. Offen when I do ECM projects the built-in functionalities isn’t enough and previously I always turned to my developer friends for assistance but now I found a realy simple, yet good, step-by-step howto of how to create your own policies – even something that a non-programmer as myself pulled of. Read more at WinSmarts

In way of certification two new “certifications” became availiable during the TechEd IT-Pro week. Theese are not “in the same legue” as our traditional MCTS on sharepoint. It is the Certified Master for Sharepoint and Certified Architecht for Sharepoint. The following is a quote from the Sharepoint blog: “The Master program is designed to be the top-tier technical certification for SharePoint Products and Technologies for years to come. The goal of the MCM is to provide a means for training, recognizing, and developing the top SharePoint technical experts in the world. Specifically, the MCM is intended for technical professionals whose primary responsibilities include designing, building, configuring, deploying, and supporting large, often complex, MOSS 2007 environments. Building on the MCM, the MCA certification is designed for professionals who possess an additional skill set focused on the larger business strategies and technical architecture as a whole. This skill set includes the ability to communicate with business and technology leaders, to understand the customer’s current and long-term organizational and technical needs, and to design a solution to meet those needs. To receive the MCA for SharePoint, students must first graduate from the MCM for SharePoint program and will then have the option of sitting for a comprehensive Review Board interview conducted by Microsoft experts and MCA’s. ” More information is availiable on the Microsoft Learning site

Lastly a quick note about the Windows Azure plattform and Sharepoint Online. This was announced two weeks ago at PDC, and re-launched again during TechEd. The services are “clould” services. Today Sharepoint Online does not build on Azure. Sharepoint online do not carry nearly as many features as the real Sharepoint (on premise) installations do. I will be back to map the diffrences in a few days. Until then please read the sharepoint blog.

TechEd EMEA Status update

If you read my blog before you probably know that I am on-site at TechEd IT-Professionals EMEA in Barcelona as a MCT-Ambassador. Have had the time to go to lots of exciting seminars and more importantly I’ve met lot of people who I only had contact with trough newsgroups and mail before. Haven’t been bloging yesterday, since I could not find any network cable (panic!) and my wifi seems brooken. Finally found a MediaMarkt and now I’m connected via some kind of hotel-isdn-type of connection.

As a MCT-Ambassador for Microsoft Learning I’m in the Ask-The-Experts area and answering questions about learning, certifications and that kind of stuff. It’s a challange to remember all of the certifications, paths and books. But very fun – over my expectations – I think it is due to all the people I get to meet.

Today I attended a seminar about what I thought to be Sharepoint External webs, optimizing and configuring etc. But the seminar was about something completely different (even if it kind of was external access – just not what I expected): it was about IAG (Intelligent Application Gateway). The IAG is a application layer security software which lives on top of ISA-server. Currently only availiable as a appliance but soon also as a virtual appliance (running in Hyper-V I would presume).

The IAG will inspect the health of a visitors computer, for example looking for anti-virus software and based on that health information restrict access to Sharepoint. Whats exciting (realy sexy actualy) is that it does limit specific functionality and not the whole site. For instance you might be able to browse the extranet while not having a anti-virus program but you cannot upload. Great stuff I think and will deep dive into this as soon as I can find the time.

Also discovered, or rather got reminded of, the large number of protocolls and ports used in Sharepoint for all sorts of communication. Could be a real challange to setup a multi-layered setup with segmentations and firewalls. One thing I learned today is that the search query from the WFE actualy use SMB for the querys (not the index transfers – already knew that).. will look into that tonight I think..