Outlook-Style Calendar Room Booking System using Access Services in Sharepoint 2010

By peter.stilgoe

Outlook-Style Calendar Room Booking System using Access Services in Sharepoint 2010

Room Booking System using Access Services


categoriaSharepoint 2010, Sharepoint Access Services commentoComments Off dataJuly 27th, 2010
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Excel Web Services Compatibility Checker – Automatically fix common errrors

By peter.stilgoe

Excel Web Services Compatibility Checker is a great tool for when you’re trying to publishing Excel dashboards to Sharepoint and you keep getting various web services errors. This tool will check your workbook for compatability errors & also will autofix most errors if you choose.

Typical error message:

“The workbook that you selected cannot be loaded because it contains the following features that are not supported by Excel Services:

External references (links to other workbooks)
Comments, ActiveX controls, Shapes, Text Boxes, Pictures, WordArt, Clip Art, Embedded OLE objects, Ink Annotations, Forms Toolbar controls, Control Toolbox controls, Charts that are part of a group, Signature Lines, or Camera objects

Contact the workbook author.”

Download Excel Web Services Compatibility Checker


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Sharepoint 2010 – Access Services

By peter.stilgoe

With Access 2010, you can move your tables to SharePoint, and create end-user forms in Access that will show up in SharePoint as a special site. The MS Access 2010 web forms have a similar look and feel to normal SharePoint pages, and you will need to design your web forms in MS Access 2010 separately from any client forms you want to display to users when they view your database using Access on their own machine. The formal name for the feature is “Access Services,” but expect it to be replaced by something more descriptive and less “techie” in the years to come.





categoriaSharepoint 2010, Sharepoint Access Services commentoComments Off dataJuly 16th, 2010
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MOSS 2007 features compared to Sharepoint 2010

By peter.stilgoe




categoriaSharepoint / MOSS / WSS, Sharepoint 2010 commentoComments Off dataJuly 16th, 2010
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Characteristics of different RAID configs

By peter.stilgoe

RAID 0 (Stripe set without parity)

•No Fault Tolerance
•Best read and write performance
•I/O per disk calculation: (reads + writes) / number of disks

RAID 1 (Mirrored Volume)

•Fault Tolerance: 1 Disk may fail
•Performance: Good read, Acceptable write
•I/O per disk calculation: [(Reads + (2 x Writes)] / 2

RAID 5 (Stripe set with parity)

•Fault Tolerance: One disk may fail
•Performance: Excellent read, fairly poor write
•I/O per disk calculation: [(Reads + (4 x Writes)] / Number of Disks

RAID 10 (Stripe of Mirrors)

•Fault Tolerance: Half of the disks may fail (but not both disks in any mirrored pair)
•Performance: Excellent read and write
•I/O per disk calculation: [(Reads + (2 x Writes)] / Number of Disks


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Software licensing in the National Health Service is about to get a lot more complicated, and a lot more expensive.

By peter.stilgoe

Back in 2004 the Office of Government Commerce signed a massive deal with Microsoft to provide all desktop software within the NHS. This followed some very high-level lobbying from both Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer when it looked like the health service might ditch Microsoft from desktop PCs.

But the NHS enterprise agreement has now been scrapped. A message on the relevant page of the Microsoft website says: “We are currently updating these pages to reflect new licensing information as of May 2010. Please check back shortly.”

The nine year deal was signed by Richard Granger back in 2004 and was worth £500m. It had break points every three years. It was meant to provide major savings for the health service – £300m over the full nine years.

Microsoft also promised “a health specific user interface for clinical systems” and to spend £40m in R&D.

Granger got such a good deal in part by publicly threatening to move the NHS to Sun’s Java desktop software. Shortly after that Bill Gates arrived to negotiate directly with Granger, visit the Department of Health and pick up a knighthood. We reported the shenanigans at the time here.

One source at a PCT who asked for anonymity said documents they had seen estimated the extra cost for a medium-sized trust at between £100,000 and £150,000 for software licensing alone.

There are 151 PCTs in England with Wales and Scotland run separately. There are also mental health trusts, care trusts, GP surgeries and other organisations – the NHS employs over a million people in total.

Apart from extra licensing costs there will also be a massive management problem. The previous agreement allowed some leeway in counting individual machines for licenses.

Without a new agreement every NHS organisations will be looking at expensive hardware audits of all their various offices, labs and surgeries. The original deal was good for up to 900,000 desktop machines, at the time the NHS had approximately 500,000 machines.

Our source said the only alternative – a move to open source software – was unlikely to overcome reluctance from staff to move to less familiar systems.

A Microsoft spokeswoman said:

Microsoft and the NHS have had an Enterprise Wide Agreement (EWA) for the last 12 years; during this time we have jointly addressed a number of the major challenges faced by the NHS.
Microsoft and the NHS have been negotiating a replacement to the current agreement for 6 months. The basis of much of the Microsoft investment into health R&D and the NHS is as result of the NHS agreements in place over the last 12 years. The current negotiations have not resulted in an agreement and, as a result, the NHS’ EWA will not be renewed.

The bottom line is that the NHS uses £270m of Microsoft software and pays less than £65m per year for it. For the next three years the cost would have risen to £85m as the NHS deploys more and more technology while the National Programme rolls out.

A spokesman for the Department of Health said: “The Department of Health has already invested so that NHS Trusts are able to have access to the latest versions of Microsoft desktop software. Future investment decisions will be taken at a local level in line with the proposals set out in the White Paper published this week.”

Source: http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2010/07/15/nhs_microsoft/


categoriaNHS Sharepoint commentoComments Off dataJuly 15th, 2010
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What really motivates us at home and in the workplace

By peter.stilgoe

The hidden truths behind what really motivates us at home and in the workplace.


categoriaBusiness Physcology commentoComments Off dataJuly 15th, 2010
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Government scraps £80m Microsoft enterprise agreement with NHS

By peter.stilgoe

Unless you’ve already got your enterprise cals, Sharepoint 2010 projects in the NHS just became whole lot more expensive !

The government has scrapped the long-running NHS Connecting for Health (CfH) enterprise agreement (EA) software licensing deal with Microsoft after deciding there was no business case or budget to renew it.

The EA, which was scheduled to kick off on 1 July, had already been pared back from the original value of £80m to just £21m, and was set to run for three years through Microsoft large account resellers Softcat, Trustmarque and Phoenix Software.

However, sources said that at the eleventh hour the Cabinet Office pulled the plug on the EA, which was originally agreed in 2004 for a total of nine years, including three-year breakpoints to allow the NHS to review its application requirements.

“Out of the blue, the Cabinet Office rejected the cut-down version of the renewal,” said a source. “The noise from the top is that they are not sure national agreements work. It will be down to the trusts to make sure they are fully licensed.”

The EA covered about 800,000 desktops in all NHS regions in England, and was believed to be the biggest deal of its kind in the world.

The Cabinet Office did agree to pay Microsoft about £50m to cover software used in the previous agreement that was not licensed, but attributed the spend to the last administration’s budget.

“The money is coming out of the same pot but, politically and on paper, it looks like the new government is saying it has not spent any money as the last lot used it all,” said another insider.

But others have questioned the value of the EA. “The NHS was given a free lunch that it didn’t order – was the deal any good if certain entities were not using the software?” said another source. “It makes sense for those using the software to buy it.”

Software prices are expected to rise two to three times without the economies of scale that an EA agreement would provide, but the decision will also lead to massive licence compliancy issues, according to sources close to Microsoft.

“There are around 400 NHS trusts in the UK and although they are licensed for some elements, there is a big hole out there that could be as large as £100m,” added the source.

Microsoft is beginning the process of knocking on trusts’ doors to ascertain the software under use and now much of it has been paid for.

The move has put a further question mark over the future of CfH, which had agreed the deal with Microsoft. CfH was created to oversee the £12bn NHS National Programme for IT, but that troubled initiative is also under review.

Only last week, the government met the largest suppliers to the public sector to ask them to cut profit margins to reduce the cost of IT contracts.

Despite repeated requests, the Cabinet Office, CfH and Microsoft failed to provide comment for this story.

Source: ComputerWeekly

This is, maybe, only really going to impact new projects at the moment but futher down the line say in 3 – 5 years time trusts will be running on old technology / rickety server estates……flood gates open when they look at the new costs associated with Microsoft upgrades, some stick & some twist on open source alternatives, are we welcoming the wild wild west into NHS IT and Government IT systems as a whole?


categoriaNHS Sharepoint, Sharepoint 2010 commentoComments Off dataJuly 15th, 2010
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SharePoint 2010 Deployment Considerations

By peter.stilgoe

A challenge for IT Pro’s in SharePoint 2010 is getting to grips with the deployment options that SharePoint 2010 brings, this article deals with two considerations:

. Physical Architecture
. Installation and Configuration

A successful SharePoint Design includes not only the deployment pieces but also other key architectural pieces such as the Information Architecture, Applications Services, Web applications and the collaboration structure.

Physical Architecture
64 bit requirements for SharePoint 2010 and SQL Ensures you have sufficient resources to power the products and a minimum 8GB of memory is however recommended for SharePoint and 16GB for SQL, it is recommended that SQL Server is on its own server and clustered or mirrored for high availability. A single server could support your concurrent connections but does not offer resilience however SharePoint’s topology is flexible so you can easily add additional servers and scale services across them. Adding application services can change a physical topology such as Performance Point which due to its workload could be dedicated its own SharePoint Server. With more SharePoint Servers you will need to ensure your SQL server has sufficient resources available, 64 bit enables SharePoint to handle more requests making SQL now work harder.

Installation and Configuration
Installing binaries is the easy bit although you do need to be aware of where you are locating certain files such as the SharePoint data folder which by default locates the Index flat file which can easily grow to 10% of your content crawled. You can also automate the installation and farm configuration process by using PowerShell and the PSconfig tool which gives you much more flexibility in defining your naming conventions and service account for central administration.

TechNet Deployment Guides
Scripted Install Guide
Planning for Capacity

Steve Smith is a SharePoint MVP and owner of Combined Knowledge which specialises in Global Education on all aspects of SharePoint including how to correctly build and deploy. Find out more.


categoriaSharepoint 2010 commentoComments Off dataJuly 9th, 2010
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RAMMap – How Windows manages memory, analyze application memory usage, how RAM is being allocated

By peter.stilgoe

Have you ever wondered exactly how Windows is assigning physical memory, how much file data is cached in RAM, or how much RAM is used by the kernel and device drivers? RAMMap makes answering those questions easy. RAMMap is an advanced physical memory usage analysis utility for Windows Vista and higher. It presents usage information in different ways on its several different tabs:

Use Counts: usage summary by type and paging list
Processes: process working set sizes
Priority Summary: prioritized standby list sizes
Physical Pages: per-page use for all physical memory
Physical Ranges: physical memory addresses
File Summary: file data in RAM by file
File Details: individual physical pages by file

Use RAMMap to gain understanding of the way Windows manages memory, to analyze application memory usage, or to answer specific questions about how RAM is being allocated. RAMMap’s refresh feature enables you to update the display and it includes support for saving and loading memory snapshots.



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Porting a SharePoint 2007 WSPBuilder solution to SharePoint 2010

By peter.stilgoe

When we decided to make our popular PDF Converter for SharePoint compatible with SharePoint 2010, we had no idea what we were in for. Will it be a nightmare, will it just work, will we need to throw everything away?…. we simply didn’t know. Fortunately SharePoint 2010 is much like SharePoint 2007 and as a result we released the SharePoint 2010 compatible version earlier today. Continued here….


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Error occured Accessing Data Source Error ID 5566

By peter.stilgoe

If you are getting the error when opening an Infopath Form ‘Error occured Accessing Data Source Error ID 5566′ its normally an authentication issue with the datasource the form is trying to retrieve data from. This normally occurs in ‘cross domain’ environments. The fix for me was to disable the ‘Authentication Loopback’ check:

1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.

2. Locate and then click the following registry subkey: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa

3. Right-click Lsa, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.

4. Type DisableLoopbackCheck, and then press ENTER.

5. Right-click DisableLoopbackCheck, and then click Modify.

6. In the Value data box, type 1, and then click OK.

7. Exit Registry Editor.

8. Restart the computer.


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Populating an Infopath dropdown using a specific Sharepoint list view

By peter.stilgoe

If you have a Sharepoint list containing multiple views, one view shows all approved items and another view shows all items that are pending approval. You have an Infopath form where you have a dropdown control that you want to be populated with only ‘Approved’ list items from your Sharepoint list.

If you create your Infopath data connection & copy the URL to this list view as your source you will notice it still returns ALL items as opposed to your filtered view listing only the approved items.

The way round this is to create you data connection using an XML source, use this link to find out how to view your list data as XML and get the source URL – http://www.petestilgoe.com/2009/11/converting-a-sharepoint-list-into-xml/

Now you need to expand on this & add the particular view to the url to make the data connection get the filtered data for you.

Currently your URL looks something like this:

1) Now in your Sharepoint list click ‘Settings’ –> ‘List Settings’

2) Scroll down to the bottom & click on the view you want to use as your datasource

3) Now your URL contains the {List GUID} as well as the {View GUID}

eg. /_vti_bin/owssvr.dll?Cmd=Display&List=%7BD66DCB51%2D80B0%2D43AB%2DB80B%2DCD7D23E63B09%7D&View=%7B6D0CEF69%2DF899%2D40D0%2D86B2%2D6E01CC7D9CA1%7D&XMLDATA=TRUE

4) The URL is encoded so you will need to replace “%7B” with “{” and “%7D” with “}” and “%2D” with “-” so now your url will look something like


5) Use this url as your XML data source in Infopath and your drop down data will be filtered as per your chosen view.


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N3 (NHS) Network Hosting Providers

By peter.stilgoe

Here is a list of some providers who can provide hosting services on the N3 (NHS) network:

BT Engage


categoriaNHS Sharepoint commento2 Comments dataJuly 5th, 2010
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How to display HTML in the Dataview & Content Query Webpart (DVWP CQWP)

By peter.stilgoe

If you try & display rich html columns or any other columns that uses HTML in a DVWP/CQWP it will display as the actual HTML as opposed to outputting it as HTML formatted text.

If you added your data using Sharepoint designer “Insert Selected Fields” you need view your DVWP code in SPD & search for:

<xsl:value-of select="@MyHTMLFormattedColumn">

and replace it with

<xsl:value-of disable-output-escaping="yes" select="@MyHTMLFormattedColumn">

Now your data in this column will display as you expected ie. formatted with the HTML code applied.

Note: In SPD 2010 you will need to convert your DVWP to XSLT, On the ribbon:

List View Tools –> Design –> Customize XSLT

To do the same in your CQWP you need to edit the itemstyle.xsl & follow the above ie.

<xsl:value-of disable-output-escaping="yes" select="@MyHTMLFormattedColumn">


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Commercial Sites Built On MOSS

By peter.stilgoe

A couple of impressive commercial sites built on MOSS platform:




categoriaSharepoint Commercial Websites commentoComments Off dataJuly 1st, 2010
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  • cosmical