Friday, 29 June 2012

Azure WCF Role - url issue

Problem:  Created a WCF service using Visual Studio (VS) 2010, I called my endpoint TimesheetBOL.svc.  This WCF worked perfectly when deployed locally but then I used the Azure emulator or the Azure Service role, the scv endoint was pointing to the local machine and not using the host header.
Here is the issue. I have a simple service that I deployed to Azure. It is accessible via: but the link to the wsdl uses the internal machine name instead of the host header, like this:
svcutil.exe http://rd006123e/TimesheetBOL.svc?wsdl Obviously, the wsdl is not accessible.

WCF test util throws the following error:
The communication object, System.ServiceModel.Channels.ServiceChannel, cannot be used for communication because it is in the Faulted state.
Server stack trace: at System.ServiceModel.Channels.CommunicationObject.ThrowIfDisposedOrNotOpen()

Resolution:  Us an attribute supported in .NET 4, "useRequestHeadersForMetadataAddress".

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Working with SP2010 offline

Problem:  Often users are disconnected from SP2010 on premises, they need to work with data and update the SharePoint farm with the changes.

Initial Hypothesis:
Groove 2007 (Ray Ozzies company bought by MS) was the approach for off line content for MOSS, it is not call Workspace 2010.
Lists can be exported to Excel (this can be kept in sync or decoupled, the 'Design tab > Refresh' ribbon button will pull the current list data). 
Access can be used to retrieve and write back the data to the SP list. 
Outlook "You can synchronize a SharePoint library, contact list, task list, Project task list and a certain type of SharePoint external list with Microsoft Outlook 2010. Because many SharePoint 2010 users also use Outlook 2010 to collaborate and coordinate activities and projects, the ability to synchronize these libraries and lists can help you become more efficient, especially if you work offline or don’t have convenient access to your SharePoint sites all the time."

  • Workspace 2010 is brilliant for offline conent watch out as it doesn't work with SP calendars and come other conent types such as publishing pages.  Also not the size is limited to 2GB or 30,000 items per list/document library.
  • Excel is a great option for working with data out of SharePoint and it can be kept current.  Maximium number of items is limited to 50,000.
  • Access can either take the data as an export from SP or have it linked to the live SP list.  Working with the live data can not use SQL/Query builder in Access.  Updating any data in Access will update the SP lists, so useful for updating data as opposed to Excel being read-only of the data.
  • Document librarts can be brought into Outlook allow for offline usage.  Calendaars can be overlayed and tasks are easy to setup with 2 way sync.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

SP2010 List View Throttling

Overview:  IT pro's and developers in SP generally understand the properties that can be used in setting list views in SP.  Users of SharePoint and department site collection administrator types seem to find it confussing.

How Lists Throttling Works - Simplified:
SharePoint's default list view threshold is 5000 items.  This does not mean the list is up to 5000 items simply that your list view will querry the list and work with a maximum of 5000.  Now the point to understand is that if you are filtering on 6000 rows event though you are displaying 100, you have passed the threshold as you need to look at all 6000 that you are filtering/sorting.  If you add an index to the property that you are filtering/sorting on, it will work. 

"For a view to quickly filter through a large number of items, the first column that you specify in the filter must be indexed. Other columns you specify in the view filter may or may not be indexed, but the view does not use those indexes. You also need to make sure that the first column of the filter does not return more items than the List View Threshold, even if the final result of the filtered view returns less than the List View Threshold. " from MS.

The smallest the list view threshold can be set to is 2000 results.
List thresholds can be increase for general users, this can have performance issues.

Glyn Clough explains list view throttling clearly in more detail.

Steve Peschka explains working with large lists.
Tutorial from MS.  This blog and movies explains view limit thresholds perfectly.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Windows Azure SDK update

Problem: I want to ensure I have the latest Visual Studio 2010 .NET SDK for Windows Azure.

Initial Hypothesis: Check the version of Visual Studio (VS) by open VS click > Help > About Microsoft Visual Studio.

I know version 1.7 is the current release as of 23/06/2012.
Update 27 October 2012 - The latest version is 1.8 released in October 2012.


Unlike the extension manager that can check for updates, I don't think this is an option with the Windows Azure SDK.  I manaually installed the latest SDK (version 1.7).

Verify that the WA SDK has been updated for VS2010.

Note: At the time of this post Visual Studio 2012 RC is available I am using VS2010 to do my Windows Azure dev.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

SharePoint Competitors

Overview:  This post looks to examine what are SharePoint's competitor products for Enterprise Collaboration.  As SharePoint is an amalgamation of several Microsoft server products which has made it extremely big it is difficult to have 1-to-1 mapping for competitor products.  Additionally SharePoint has many complementary products such as Lync which competitors product stacks may bundle as part of their product.  In short this is a very rough list and certainly open to addition.  Pls let me have you comments and suggestions.

SharePoint's EMC competitors:
 Gartner EMC magic Quadrant 2011 

Cisco Quad - Cisco Quad is an recently launched enterprise collaboration platform designed for social, mobile, visual, and virtual collaboration. Tight integration with WebEx (Lync replacement).  Believe Cisco Quad has good integration with Documentum.  2015/02.03: Product is no longer being sold.
Oracle Beehive - Oracles product stack is comprehensive and with addons and integration it covers a wide spectrum of services needed in Enterprises.
IBM Lotus - I'm not a big fan of Lotus Notes but depending on your organisations existing infrastructure and preferences definitely worth considering.  IBM product stack is comprehensive but the tie-in to the vendor is a big consideration.
OpenText -  Lightweight functionality but if you want blogs, wikis and document collaboration, a viable option.