Ignite 2017 SharePoint Cliff Notes

Cliff Notes from Microsoft Ignite on SharePoint, OneDrive, and Office 365 and SharePoint 2019

  • Microsoft 365 == Office 365 ++
  • Bing for Business – data from both on-premises and cloud resources can be embedded in the same search results list using Microsoft Graph and AI to connect relevant contextual data from Office 365 and Internet based Bing results based searches. There is a preview.  When you search for a file, regardless the file type, you can preview the file directly in the search result without opening or downloading it.
  • Linkedin data coming to profiles in Delve and Graph, more to be announced for developers
  • New Office 365 App Launcher
  • Teams is the new shizz. It is taking front and center as intelligent communications.  It is getting call in support for meetings, better SharePoint integration, better everything integration and development support for much more.
  • New Yammer Vision/Roadmap think of it as the outer ring of communication.
  • Flow deeper SharePoint integration including column list access and support in SharePoint 2019
  • SharePoint 2019 TAP and Preview is open. https://aka.ms/sptap (Code: SPT232).
  • OneDrive announcement – When you share a document with outside users, they will receive one email with the shared document and one email with a one-time passcode. Then they can access, view, or edit the document even if they don’t have an Office 365 account.
  • OneDrive Files On-Demand is also now generally available which allows you to sync OneDrive files to File Explorer and manage your files directly through File Explorer without utilizing any of your device’s storage.
  • Microsoft’s SharePoint Migration Tool was also launched today. This allows users to migrate home directories, file shares, and document libraries to Office 365
  • SharePoint Hub sites were announced. This allows you to organize your intranet bringing associated sites together and create cohesion with shared navigation and look-and-feel.
  • New Security Controls – site classification, conditional access based on location and device
  • OneDrive UI improvements including sharing files from explorer
  • New Templates and Designs – SharePoint Mobile Natively – Communication Sites improvements
Who is SharePoint

Who’s Who in the SharePoint and Office 365 World at Microsoft HQ

There’s been some serious shuffling that has gone on since we were last looking at the who’s who of the SharePoint world at Microsoft.  Over the years many have gotten familiar with Jeff Teper as our one neck to choke in the SharePoint world.  Jeff Teper moved on back in June of this past year with little fanfare in the SharePoint community.  In fact I was reading Mary Jo Foley’s article about the structure at MS since the move and it wasn’t even tweeted or shared on facebook.  So it’s possible that this is not widely known.  When I was at the Office 365 event in San Diego a few weeks ago, I was talking with Bill Baer and Sonya about some of the restructuring and I was blown away with the changes.  It shows a united world with serious focus on Office 365 and on OneDrive.

I didn’t get a chance to salute to Jeff, so I wanted to start with his send off and while Satya Nadella isn’t directly involved in SharePoint/OneDrive, you must know who he is and plan to hear him speak at Ignite.  Surprises me that there are still some folks out there who don’t yet recognize his name, so this is another chance.

This list is mostly to help you understand who is out there fighting for you.  Go up and thank them sometime.  If you’re going to Ignite or SPTechcon or other major SharePoint or Office 365 summits, say hi.

Microsoft reorgs its Office business to focus on four new investment areas

(Note: This isn’t designed to be everyone.  There are tons of people and entire groups I’m missing, this is just a handful of the visible ones.) 


SharePoint and Office 365 People you should know:


Jeff Teper – previously the Corporate VP of SharePoint since 1999 (headed up the original PKM team and launched Tahoe the V1… SharePoint Portal Server 2001!).  We sometimes called him the Father or Grandfather of SharePoint.  Some may say the godfather, but that role is taken, wink, wink.  Jeff Teper is now head of corporate strategy to work in areas such as acquisitions and development reporting directly to the CFO of MS. (Photo from LinkedIn)

– Led SharePoint from inception to the leader in portals, collaboration, and content management with $2B+ in annual revenues, 150M+ users, and an ecosystem of 700K+ developers
– Managed 1000+ person, globally distributed engineering team
– Led successful $1B+ acquisitions of FAST, the leader in enterprise search, and Yammer, the leader in enterprise social networking
– Led Corporate Strategy team supporting new Microsoft CEO and CFO on cloud and mobile-first strategies and acquisitions



Satya Nadella – Microsoft CEO, Hired by Jeff Teper! “Teper said he was the one who hired Nadella to work at Microsoft. Nadella had been working at Sun Microsystems Inc., and Teper’s team was looking for someone to help persuade developers to move from Sun’s server operating system to Windows NT, he said.”  He will be at Ignite and keynoting the event.  Satya Nadella leads Microsoft’s transformation to a productivity and platform company in the cloud-first, mobile-first world. Prior to becoming CEO, he held leadership roles in both enterprise and consumer businesses across the company. (Photo MS Ignite)



Chris Jones, Corporate Vice President, OneDrive and SharePoint, Microsoft

Chris Jones joined Microsoft in 1991 and currently leads the engineering team for OneDrive, SharePoint Online, and SharePoint Servers. Prior to his current role, he led the engineering for Outlook.com, OneDrive, Microsoft account, and Messenger; and he served for several years as Vice President in both program management and engineering in the Windows Division.


Dave Campbell – Chief Technology Officer, Cloud & Enterprise, Microsoft

Dave Campbell helps formulate, implement and communicate Microsoft’s cloud strategy. Over the last five years he has focused on the Azure platform and Microsoft’s Big Data strategy

(Photo from LinkedIn)


Julia White – General Manager : Microsoft Office Division, Technical Marketing. Responsibilities include Office 365, Office, Exchange, SharePoint, Developer and IT Pro audience marketing.

(Photo from Facebook Ignite ad)

(Photo from LinkedIn)


Jared Spataro – General Manager, Microsoft Office



Arpan Shah – Office 365 Technical Product Management group at Microsoft

Sonya Koptyev

Sonya Koptyev – Senior Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft (Apps for Office cloud app model)


Jeremy Thake – Senior Product Marketing Manager in the Office 365 (focused on Developers)

(Photo from his twitter profile)


Chris Johnson

Chris Johnson – Group Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft

(Linkedin photo)

Michal Gideoni

Michal Gideoni – Director, Product Management at Microsoft

(Photo from LinkedIn)


Bill Baer – Senior Technical Product Manager at Microsoft Corporation

(SP24 profile photo)

Olaf Hubel

Olaf Hubble – Senior Technical Product Marketing Office 365 at Microsoft

(LinkedIn photo)

Mark Kashman

Mark Kashman – Senior Product Manager at Microsoft

(Photo via LinkedIn)


Bonus: For those who remember Tom… He’s not far!


Tom Rizzo – Director of Skype and Skype for Business (formerly known as Lync)

Azerbaijan SharePoint Community

SharePoint Community Baku Azerbaijan

In my travel quest and quest to build communities around the world and reach out the underserved emerging markets and help connect communities with our global community I visited Baku Azerbaijan.  Where is that you might ask?



Well, it’s on the Caspian sea… Sounds like Narnia a little bit.  Well, It is a magical place with a history of fire worshipers, early man sites, mud volcanoes, and fire that dances on the buildings at night.  You’ll have to read my Azerbaijan travel blog to hear more about the Fire temple and ancient petroglyphs we visited.  This magical place has a lot of Oil, and is very strategic in between Asia and Europe.  They are host of the very first European 2015 games.  This event will put Baku on the map and their place in the world will rocket.  I already see a bit of Qatar and Dubai in their skyline, but unlike those other places, there’s a lot more history and sites to see that have a fascinating past.

Flame Towers

Picture: View of Fire Towers from Old Town.  See more photos on my trip to Azerbaijan on my traveling epic blog on the “Top destinations in Azerbaijan

We worked with Microsoft to put together a 1 day event in Baku.  Special thanks to Aydin Aliyev a local Microsoft MVP and Gachay Mirzayev from Microsoft.

At this first SharePoint Saturday in Baku Azerbaijan, I talked about Enterprise Search Strategy (click to view or download the slides).

Microsoft Azerbaijan


Gobustan petroglyphs

The community is truly rich around the world. Aydin, our local friend took us to the Fire Temple, petroglyphs and night view of the flame towers, nice local cuisine and more.

7 Things You Should Do Before You Escalate to Microsoft Support

We had a meeting today to discuss what we should do prior to escalating a ticket to Microsoft. There’s obviously a lot of troubleshooting that Tier 2, Tier 3, and Engineering should do prior to an escalation to Microsoft, and all of that due diligence, but I wanted to put together an escalation checklist that goes beyond it. Kudos to Microsoft Support and Microsoft PFEs.

  1. Review the Service Pack and Cumulative Update level – You know one of the first things Microsoft support will want to know is what version and patch level you are at. If you’re way back, they are going to ask you to upgrade. At a minimum you should be on the latest service pack to address the majority of bugs they will point to. Now understanding that there is different tolerances to patching, this will be something you will need to decide. My recommendation is you don’t install a CU unless you need it. Well, when you’re dealing with what you think is a bug, there’s a chance it’s fixed a CU rollup or more recent CU. I’m not saying you HAVE to install the latest CU before you call Microsoft. Just know your service pack hotfix, patching and CU level and be able to defend it. It’s also an opportunity to make sure that any outstanding OS "windows update" style patches are installed as well. (Why is JSON from the list web service not working? Well, it has something to do with the fact that we’re missing ADO.NET SP1.) Make sure your house is in order before you make the call.
  2. Reboot / Recycle – If you’re ready to escalate an issue is it possible it’s client cache? Of course not, you’ve tried it out on multiple browsers and on multiple machines. Well what about server cache? One of our most recent escalations was addressed by cycling a service on an app server. It was a bit embarrassing, but taught me an important Microsoft lesson. Do a rolling reboot or at a minimum cycle iis on all your servers prior to calling MS.
  3. Eliminate Third party add-ons as the issue – One of the more common things that Microsoft will do is tell you to turn off your antivirus. You’d be surprised how many expensive tickets are resolved by finding that the server antivirus that’s installed is messing with SharePoint or SQL in some way. You’ll want to make sure it isn’t that Bamboo webpart, or codeplex solution. Microsoft won’t want to hear about issues you’re having that relate back to something you installed from someone else.
  4. Engineers Escalate / Partner / Awareness – It was a little embarrassing when we found out one of our users was on the call with Microsoft troubleshooting a workflow issue and engineering was getting looped in asking for access to the databases. Ops and Engineering and architects should all get a chance to troubleshoot and isolate the issue. They’ll also want to give the nod to make the call. Even if tickets from MS were free, you’re still going to want to make sure everyone has had the opportunity to figure out the issue. The most embarrassing escalation of all time was one that involved 3 days of troubleshooting and nearly 36 continuous hours on the phone to find out that the server was missing the Fab 40. I could have told him that was what was going on… that’s what the preupgradecheck or test-spcontentdatabase would have told us.
  5. Isolate the issue – You may not have the answer, but any good troubleshooting would narrow down the issue as far as possible. Is the issue with one front end? Well, then maybe you can take it out of load balancing and do some windiffs on the GAC. Maybe the issue is in a specific site collection, or only on a certain list. Have you tried exporting the contents to another site collection? Believe me, corruption and orphaning can and DOES happen in SharePoint, but often and import/export will leave the corruption behind.
  6. Code Issue – When you make that call, they are going to try to see if you’ve done your homework and narrow down the issue to what is in your software stack and slowly narrow it down. They’ll start very broad and then keep narrowing it down. Sometimes the broadness level they go to will drive you crazy, but it is part of the process to make sure all is taken into consideration. Do you have project server and TFS installed in your SharePoint farm as well? It matters, believe me. Now we’re looking at the issue and it looks like it might be in the code, and that’s where the strange error is coming from. Do you have a coorelation id? Hopefully you’ve already gone down that path to investigate those errors. The key is also to eliminate your own code. Not only will third party issues get closed down as you talk to Microsoft, if you want them to troubleshoot how your code interacts with their APIs you will likely need to talk to a totally different group, so make sure you keep that in mind as you ask for help. There’s a big difference between break fix and saying it’s not working like you expect it should when you build something against their API.
  7. Reach out to the Community (Twitter and/or Newsgroups) – Searching for the error message, or searching for a solution is already so common I’m not even going to suggest that you haven’t searched for an answer, but have you reached out to the community? I’m not saying this is the end state by any means, but where are you getting your list of known issues, known bugs, and how do you know if this is in that latest CU, but not in black and white? The importance of community is HUGE, and don’t overlook the power of this. I still get facebook messages from people bouncing ideas off to see if I know the answer to the issue. Many will post the explanation of the issue in the Microsoft Newsgroups and then reach out to the SharePoint Community on twitter to ask people to look at it. I’m sure many of us are not bothered by helping out others especially since we’ve stubbed our toe in exactly the same way. In fact in early SP 2010 it was amazing just how many had the same issues trying to configure the SharePoint User Profile service. Amazing how many conferences I’ve been at where someone raises their hand and says they spent 3 days and still couldn’t figure it out. Obviously we’d point that person to the purple blog, and Spence would get obvious kudos, but we’d also say, hey we’re in this together reach out. Don’t waste 3 days or 2 weeks when we’ve been there before.