TechEd South East Asia is going to Rock!

I had a great time at TechEd US in Orlando.  WOW it was awesome!  The sessions were great, the venue wasn’t bad (Go Disney/Universal/SeaWorld etc…), but the social experience was tough to beat.  Obviously it’s better when we can combine the IT Pro and Dev audience.
TechEd South East Asia for parties is THE best!  Last year I found a few MVPs to hang with that knew the best places to go.  KL is very alive at night.  Last year’s attendees party we were at a top club of Malaysia and we had Malaysian idol.  They had models, pictures, awesome music, and games.  Everyone had a great time.
Where else can you combine great technical sessions for cheap, awesome social environment with people from all over asia and only the best from corp, plus the best of the best repeat speakers that know how to have fun.  Then add on a firefly tour, and Elephant reserve where you can feed the elephants and ride one into a river!  Not in the US! The very cheap Tours are unique, I blogged about a few of them last year while Europe has become prohibitive in cost.  Malaysia and South East Asia has continued to be a great place to visit from around the globe. 
I put together a couple Youtube videos from my South East Asia experience and me with monkey on my head.
Of course you’ll likely go for the rich technical sessions.  I’ve got 3…
SharePoint High Availability, Backup/Restore and Disaster recovery
The most frequently asked question of a SharePoint Administrator is how do I backup my farm, and then what do I do for high availability and disaster  recovery.  This common, but often complex question will be broken down with the best practices and lessons learned.

SharePoint Governance: Chaos No More, 10 Steps to Success
The chasm between business and IT can be breached with SharePoint.  These 10 key steps to successful SharePoint deployments will help you bridge that gap and help you utilize the full power of SharePoint and without it… it’s chaos.

STSADM – Automating SharePoint Administration
STSADM is the hidden path to simplify and automate SharePoint Administration.  There are many properties and commands that are only accessible to the command line interface.  This session will provide examples and tips for using the power of STSADM and demonstrating how it can simplify your life.
See you there!


Troubleshooting Indexing with ULS Log

I thought this addition deserved it’s own post.  Not burried in the previous which again comes from Nick Hardin and Sam Crewdson’s MS IT performance presentation AG207.  Not sure who gathered this, but this was in the appendix and not shared at the conference other than in the deck…
The following process can be used to figure out where search query time is being spent.
ULS logs should be on a separate fast drive
Set tracing level for MS Search Query Processor category to High.
01/23/2008 19:29:28.42  w3wp.exe (0x0680)   0x13C8    
Search Server Common MS Search Query Processor    0    High        
Completed query execution with timings: 437 328 297 234 172 124 – File:c:o12spdev12spsearch2ytriptripoliicommandqp.cxx Line:1750
The 5 numbers v1,v2,v3,v4,v5, v6 (in the sample above 437 328 297 234 172 124) are time measurements in milliseconds
V1 = Total time spent in QP. V2-V1 = Time spent retrieving properties and hit highlighting.
V2 = Latency of the query measured after the duplicate detection. V3-V2 = Duplicate detection time
V3 = Latency of the query measured after security trimming. It includes V4 plus retrieval of descriptors form SQL and access check. V3-V4 = Security Trimming time
V4 = Latency of the query measured after the joining of index results with the SQL part of the query. This includes V5 and the time spent in SQL for resolving the SQL part of advanced queries (e.g. queries sorted by date or queries including property based restrictions like AND size > 1000).  In short: V4-V5 = Join time
V5 = Time spent waiting for the full-text query results from the query server (time spent in index).
V6 = Cumulated time spent in various  calls to SQL except the property fetching.
Then use the logparser on it !!!!
LogParser "Select Timestamp, Extract_token(Message,6, ‘ ‘) as TotalQPTime, Extract_token(Message,10, ‘ ‘) as TimeSpentInIndex from ‘<servername>-<output-format>.log’ Where Category = ‘MS Search Query Processor’ AND Message Like ‘Completed query execution with timings:%’" -i:TSV -iCodepage:-1 -fixedSep:ON

Great MS IT Goodness on Search/Indexing Optimization From SPC

I was looking at the SharePoint Conference Deck from Nick Hardin and Sam Crewdson and found some golden nuggets in their deck as well as in the appendix that likely hasn’t seen the light of day until the DVDs just went out.  Now it’s totally public… like it wasn’t before 🙂
I’m a bit supprised some of this hasn’t made it to the blogosphere, but I wanted to give them credit for sharing their findings or at least their gleanings from their own tests, reverse engineering or from their conversations with Devs, PMs, Testers or whoever.
I’m sure Corey Burns should get some credit and even Andre Heymann who I’m sitting with in his apartment in Zurich wants some credit.
Maximizing Indexing Performance on Servers with 64 bit and 8GB or more RAM.  Improves speed.  (Obviously I have to really caution you since this is registry and you should not do this in production without testing it first, and always remember to back up your registry first!)
RegKeyName  RegKey Value (Decimal) Suggested Value (Decimal)
DedicatedFilterProcessMemoryQuota  104,857,600 209,715,200
FilterProcessMemoryQuota  104,857,600 209,715,200
FolderHighPriority 50 500

Reporting samples with LogParser

Looking for Cheap Reporting?  Look no further than the text based log parser.  When you’re ready for real reporting then check out Nintex Reporting 🙂

Top 10 users sorted by alias
logparser.exe "SELECT TOP 10 cs-username, count (*) AS TOTAL from \servernamelogshareW3SVCex080215.log group by cs-username order by TOTAL desc“

Top 100 hits by Username
logparser.exe "SELECT top 100 * from \servernamelogshareW3SVCex080215.log where cs-username like ‘%%username’ order by time desc“

Number of hits by IP Address
logparser.exe "select count (*) as number, cs-host, cs-username, c-ip, cs-uri-stem from \servernamelogshareW3SVCex080215.log group by c-ip, cs-host, cs-username, cs-uri-stem order by number desc“

Number of hits by URL match
Logparser.exe "SELECT count (*) from \sp-sfw-r07e$WWWLogW3SVCex080228.log where cs-uri-stem like ‘%%userprofileservice.asmx’"

Microsoft Operations Framework 4.0 (MOF v4) is important to SharePoint

I don’t know how many of you have followed the exciting world of Operations Frameworks from ITIL to MOF to MSF and even ISO 20000.  When I found the forums I searched for SharePoint and came up with no results.  Not a lot of content on operations content for SharePoint unfortunately.  A lot of people focused on the PLAN portion, but not a lot on Manage and Operate. 

So, one thing I wanted to gauge interest in is Operations Frameworks, specifically MOF v4 and SharePoint.  Now that I’m working on doing product management for Nintex Reporting, I was thinking… a cool topic would be how to manage your Operations with various reporting needs with an obvious focus on both what you get with SharePoint reports, the Assessment tool (more below), PerformancePoint (or the old Business Score Card Manager) and with Nintex Reporting 2008.

As I look around the wheel there are obviously a lot of processes and policies that simply need to be put into place, but some examples of real world uses of reporting for example are around "Reliability, Operational Health, and Compliance."  Taking each of these individually when you look at reliability there are performance counters that capture system uptime.  Those perf counters could be gathered with the performance collector, or captured and viewed in perfmon.  The Operational Health could be a special dashboard that lists various things like Consumption of the following… % disk, % CPU,   Memory Available and so on.  Compliance is something that would also need either a custom dashboard or web parts assembled to track specific document consumption or tracking policies.


What you’ll notice in the diagram below with MOF v4 they have combined MSF with MOF 3.0.  They’ve also simplified some of the service management functions.

Here’s a great summary of what MOF is from the IT library on TechNet referenced below… "The goal of MOF is to provide guidance to IT organizations to help them create, operate, and support IT services while ensuring that the investment in IT delivers expected business value at an acceptable level of risk. 

MOF’s purpose is to create an environment where business and IT can work together toward operational maturity, using a proactive model that defines processes and standard procedures to gain efficiency and effectiveness. MOF promotes a logical approach to decision-making and communication and to the planning, deployment, and support of IT services."


MOF IT Library

Get the Microsoft Operations Framework 4.0

MOF Team Blog Announcement

MOF v4 Diagram by Microsoft (listed on blog and in MOF library)



I would like to give you some concrete examples of how MOF can be used with SharePoint.

From the Manage quadrant.  Deliverables, purposes taken from MOF documentation.

Governance, Risk, and Compliance
Deliverable: IT objectives achieved, change and risk managed and documented
IT services are seamlessly matched to business strategy and objectives

Purpose: Support, sustain, and grow the organization while managing risks and constraints
Example: SharePoint policy for customization allows 10 people in the corporation to manage sites with SharePoint Designer thus mitigating IT risk and providing business strategy for designs and business objectives.  Plan is support only those people trained to be allowed to use it for simple workflows and master page design which is managed centrally.  More common workflows and business processes would use Nintex Workflow a tool which doesn’t require any client side requirements or use of the all too powerful SharePoint Designer as it can manage it’s workflows and reports in the web UI.

Change and Configuration
Deliverable: Known configurations and predictable adaptations
IT services are predictable, reliable, and trustworthy

Purpose: Ensure that changes are planned, that unplanned changes are minimal, and that IT services are robust
Example: SharePoint Deployment team decides they need a change advisory board for their change management process.  Certain big changes including service packs would be required to go through proper testing and all custom code would be rolled into SharePoint solutions deployment packages and go through proper testing to ensure security trust levels (CAS) and GAC usage was set an appropriate level based on what was needed.  Thus ensure predictable and tested results introduced during planned downtime with proper verification.

Deliverable: Clear accountabilities, roles, and work assignments
IT solutions are delivered within specified constraints, with no unplanned service degradation

Purpose: Agile, flexible, and scalable teams doing required work
Service operation that is trusted by the business
Example: How do you have clear roles in SharePoint?  You have separate Dev teams from Ops or production teams.  These teams would have clear roles.  Using RACI a simple spreadsheet is used to identify what actions are taken during deployment and a list of maintenance tasks in SharePoint to determine who needs to perform the work, who is responsible, accountable, consulted and informed… Obviously you need to have the right skin in the game with everyone agreeing to these responsibilities so you know who to talk to if there’s a problem and to manage appropriate risk when something unexpected (like a required hotfix or something more odd like out of memory issues) is introduced.

Should I put together a whole whitepaper on the topic?  I am working with Nicola Young and John Ross on a Planning and Governance Course and you’ll definitely see this type of content plus exercises in this class.

Loved these examples and looking for some templates?  I found some good starts…

IT pros can choose the Operations Framework tools and templates also referred to as MOF Job Aids that are likely to be most useful given the task at hand. Here is a list of what is available within each package:

  • Manage
    • Change Management Forward Schedule Template
    • Request for Change Template
    • Risk Template Tool
  • Plan
    • Operating Level Agreement Template
    • Operations Level Agreement
    • Privacy Policy Sample
    • Service Level Agreement Template
    • SIP Service Catalog Sample
  • Deliver
    • Functional Specification
    • Migration Plan
    • Site Deployment Project Plan
    • Test Cases Workbook
    • Test Plan
    • Test Specification
    • Training Plan
    • Vision Scope
  • Operate
    • Incident Management Ticket Template
    • Operations and Services Description Template

Look for the following packages

MOF Job Aids –, MOF Job Aids –, MOF Job Aids –, MOF Job Aids –

I think we need to each send feedback to to let them know we’d like SharePoint specific templates.  Be sure to let this alias know if you like those job aids or if they don’t work.  Why is it all about desktop and Vista?  Why not some Exchange or SharePoint?

If you are confused about MSF, MOF, and ITIL in continuous improvement there is a decent diagram from MOF solution accelerator article that shows the relationships and talks about how they come together.

When I was looking at the MOF v4 content I came across another tool that I worked on when I was at MS.  The Asset inventory tool is about discovering what SharePoint Servers are out there.  Looks like it is still in beta since February, which is when I think I saw it last.  I mention this tool in this context ’cause I do think it’s a very early step in MOF.  You need to know what you have before you can start to optimize it or a late step if you’re considering retiring the service or servers.  Here’s a bit of info from the TechNet resource on this solution accelerator:

The main purpose of the SharePoint Asset Inventory Tool is to give the IT administrator answers to a number of important questions through the generation of reports. These reports include information on:

  • The servers running some version of SharePoint.
  • The installed SharePoint features.
  • The total number of SharePoint sites on each server. 
  • The total number of documents on each server.
  • The total number of documents grouped by extension on each server.
  • The time since the SharePoint assets in each server were last modified.
  • The customized SharePoint sites and items on each server.
  • The number of SharePoint lists on each server, grouped by the number of items on each list.

Finally, if you’re in my TechEd Governance session next week, you’ll see a slide on this with some more emphasis about how important operations frameworks are to deployment success.

Blogging Ethics

I think there are some understood, and yet not understood underground ethics that have been emerging around blogging.  I thought I’d discuss a few of these and get your feedback.  A corporation may want to consider some of these topics in their blogging policy.  I recommend the bloggers code taken from Journalists Code of Ethics as a template for your policy and maybe a bit of copy and paste from these with proper citation… (This will be funnier and make more sense after you’ve read the post.)

1. Plagiarism is the biggest and scariest – There is actually a setup to help define it and is an online resource designed for INTERNET plagiarism.  "Plagiarism is the practice of claiming or implying original authorship." Source: Wikipedia… now there’s a challenge for plagiarism.  There are some excellent resources there, but let me "borrow" 🙂 and repeat their definition with the proper HTTP citation. I quote from the plagiarism site…  "The fact that many of these sites have become profitable ventures (complete with paid advertising!) only attests to the unfortunate truth that plagiarism has become a booming industry."  My recommendation is we should be careful to get permission to repost entire posts, especially when including content in books.  Many of us are happy and willing to share some of our posts with the proper citation.  All we really want is a bit of credit.  Is it ok to repost someone’s entire post without their permission.  Simply.  No.  Is it cool to just include a link to a blog, not these days.  Much cooler to at least tell us why you like it or what’s cool about it.  I see some bloggers with simply just link lists, but that maybe useful for newbies, but once they get a blog reader they can just as easily sift through all the SharePoint bloggers posts, but if someone wants to sift through them for us, please tell us what’s cool or good about it.  If someone lets say wanted to translate my content into some other language, I would totally want to discuss that with them.  I’ve allowed that a couple of times.  (Haven’t turned anyone down for including content in books either…)  SharePoint best practices don’t have anyones names on them, but occasionally I hear things that I came up with and people put it on their blogs as if it were their ideas… It is flattering, and evolution will happen with ideas, the idea of no harm nor foul and as long as it’s honest intentions, I’ll forgive you Bill.  (Just kidding.  I know there’s a hundred SharePoint Bills, and each of them are thinking I’m referring to them.  I’m not.)  We’re all just trying to do what we do best, and not trying to intentionally hurt anyone else.  This post isn’t to rile up anyone, but more to help people thing through stuff.

2. SPAM and Viral Marketing – What is spam outside of email.  SPAM exists nearly everywhere these days.  Is it possible to spam on Facebook?  Did you ever get the "What Microsoft Product are You?" That viral marketing campaign required you to send the "app" to 10 friends before you could find out what product you were.  I was Windows 2008.  It told me I was arrogant, I think I filled out the form too quickly (which I know I did) or was it someone who created an app to make Microsoft look bad?  Why would they force you to send it to 10 people before you can use it?  I definitely have seen that issue a few times.  Forward this image real fast and you’ll see something cool happen.  Yeah, and Bill Gates might give me a million dollars and send me to Disney World if I send it to all my friends really fast too, yeah really.  No he’s sent me to Orlando a few times, like next week, but not because of spamming anyone… well, I guess that’s debatable too 🙂  Just kidding.  I hate comment spam.  If you’ve got a blog, you may have had to wade through that muck.  I hope none of you ever get involved in that, I also hope the SharePoint PMs look at blogs and see the Internet and SPAM as a real reality.  Products have to be designed with SPAMMERS in mind.  Trackbacks as well, who came up with Spam trackbacks needs to be… 

3. Ads (Can you read the content) – I’m still out on this one in terms of details.  I know I am annoyed when there is more ad than content.  Please let me know if you wouldn’t mind if I put up adds or linked anything like a book to an amazon account.  I don’t have a problem with either of these, but I do hate seeing my own posts surrounded by ads.  I think that’s my biggest internet pet peeve is seeing half of a post or even full posts of mine surrounded by ads on some other blog.  It’s really irritating when they are getting better comments.  Specifically Google ads these days, It’s normal to see one column of them, but do we have to see 5 columns top bottom left and right, with a sliver of content somewhere in the middle… maybe?  I’ve heard other MVPs suggest that a blog is "google ad driven" and that the poster is simply trying to make money.  I think that’s sad if it’s true.  I’d hope that all SharePoint bloggers have pure hearts, but I know we’re all still trying to make a living as well.  I know I’ve bought books and the links that referred me were Amazon referrals.  Didn’t make the books more expensive, but adds do sometimes make it harder to read.  So let’s agree it’s cool for one column if you can still distinguish the content and can read it without getting caught in the ads?  Let me hear your thoughts.

4. Changing Content in posts – I’ve read blogs should not be changed or rewritten.  I know I’ve been guilty of updating content, but another blogger suggested that I put <update 1/1/80></update> tags with dates so people can tell that the post changed.  If you look at the Top 100 SharePoint Blogs post for example, I’ve changed that post more than 10 times since my original posting trying to make it more correct and adding additional columns to make it more valuable to my readers.  With the typical blog, you wouldn’t be changing old posts, but I’ve found when readers make suggestions I want to make the post more accurate, and I think that’s got to be ok.  I think the update tags are a decent way of keeping us all honest.  This is an area where I think as long as it wasn’t meant to deceive it’s not as big of deal as the other areas, but there might be some deception in some cases.  Did you realize there were strike out HTML tags?  That should help to show changes.  <strike>No longer truth</strike>

5. Conflict of Interest – With my recent consulting gig with Nintex and the course I’m teaching with Shane Young at the Ted Pattison Group and a Planning and  Governance one I’m developing with Nicola Young and John Ross, it’s important for me to disclose that the posts like the recent Reporting launch announcement is essentially sponsored.  I hope it’s obvious, but often I assume someone reading a post has read the previous ones, and I think I need to be more careful about that assumption.  I ran into a payperpost service where they pay people to post blogs, you’ll find at that link they have been explicit about conflict of interest and citing paid sources.

More Articles on Blog Ethics

Great writeup… quite historical as well Rebecca Blood -Weblog Ethics, 2002

Funny example of a guy who summarized Rebecca’s article into a simple list.  Cool or not cool?  Definitely seen this. Note that he didn’t add his own take on her work or add anything original, but at least he included a link to the source.

An entire blog devoted to the discussion of Blogging Ethics.

WOMMA (Word of Mouth Marketing Association) Code of Ethics – 10 Principles – they suggest reading the "10-item checklist with which to make sure that they are always appropriate and ethical when communicating with bloggers"

I am a fan of this simple "Bloggers Code" by CyberJournalist and after just reading it realize we agree on a lot of things.

I’d like to take that Bloggers code and have us plagiarize it and make it a SharePoint bloggers code where we all agree to give each other proper credit and all be a big happy family.  I think overall we’re all pretty cool to each other and the newbies that may copy and paste are learning that the internet makes it way to easy to compare and find the original source.

No harm nor foul.

– Joel