Monthly Archives: November 2007

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As I was writing just a couple of days ago, Microsoft is releasing 2008 products hand in hand. After releasing Windows Live Writer 2008, it was time to release Windows Live Messenger 2008 afterwards. Windows Live Messenger is the next-generation MSN Messenger. It has everything you already love about Messenger - your contact list, emoticons, and instant access to your friends via text, voice, and video - plus new ways to connect and share photos and documents effortlessly. It’s faster than e-mail and is a great choice for conversations and the perfect alternative when you can’t be there in person. As always, it’s free to download Messenger and use most of its features.


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Windows Live Messenger (WLM), still commonly referred to by the previous name of MSN Messenger (MSN for short). You can download WLM from here. Use this link http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=7A1AAE73-48CC-4F7A-B445-0487BD5E84EF so you can chose which language user interface you want to use.


Changes and additions in Windows Live Messenger 2008:



* In conjunction with the release of Windows Live 2.0, a new setup program was introduced. This program will download the selected product(s) during the setup. Unfortunately I haven't figured out some of Direct Download Links, because in some organizations this installer will fail to download.

 live


* It is now installed to a ‘Windows Live’ folder in the drive where Windows is installed, and the shortcuts are placed in a ‘Windows Live’ folder in the Start Menu.
* All Messenger windows have a new look.

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* A new ‘bunny’ emoticon has been added.
* Windows Live OneCare Family Safety integration was added.
* Updates can now be downloaded and installed through Microsoft Update.


 Summary
Another free product from Microsoft which many of you guys out there use. I use it very often and you can find me on my IM at mike.glaser@casema.nl


 


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Microsoft is releasing the first of many 2008 products. Not only Visual Studio and SQL Server will become 2008, also Windows Live Writer.

Windows Live Writer

You can download Windows Live Writer from here. Use this link http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=d2baeda0-aa9a-4080-9202-1f23902d1169&DisplayLang=en so you can chose which language user interface you want to use.

Here a some of the Highlights

  • Vista x64
    x64 is becoming more popular every day. So a wise decision.
  • WYSIWYG editing
    Writer knows your blog’s visual theme. So you can see exactly what your posts will look like as you write them, before you publish. No more wasting time previewing your posts online.
  • Support for more spell checking languages.
    Still not nearly as many as possible, but it’s a start. English spell checking is now available in all builds.

    spelling 

  • Localized versions for lots of new languages/markets.
    Select your own on the above link
  • Powerful editing features
    Creating compelling blog posts is much easier with the ability to insert and edit tables, check spelling as you type, and format and hyperlink content at your fingertips.
  • Rich media publishing
    Writer makes publishing rich media as easy as sending e-mail. Insert and customize photos, videos, maps, tags, and lots of other cool content—then click the “Publish” button. It’s that easy.
  • Offline editing
    Now you can blog anytime, from anywhere. Writer synchronizes drafts on your blog with changes you make when you’re offline, so you don’t have to worry about reconciling different versions.
  • <pre> handling in XHTML mode is fixed.
    Beta 3 would collapse whitespace in all tags, including <pre>, in XHTML mode.
  • Print / Print Preview -
    You can print blog posts directly from WLW just like you would do inside Microsoft Word or any word processor.

printblogs

  • Embed YouTube Videos in Blogs - Earlier you had to download a separate Insert Video plugin to embed web videos in your blog posts but now that feature is inbuilt - just type the video URL and WLW will automatically generate the embed code. Pretty handy. More Windows Live Writer Plugins.

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Windows Live Writer supports YouTube, Splashcast, Brightcove, Google Video, MySpace, Revver and MSN Soapbox.

Summary
Another great product from Microsoft and it's free as well. Besides its own features, you can also download dozens of plug-ins. So start blogging!

 

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Christmas comes early this year. Microsoft is releasing cool tools by the day. One of these tools is the TFS to TFS Migration Tool. With this tool you're able to migrate your work items and source from one TFS server to another. Since a lot of my customers started with TFS as soon as it was available, they started putting code in it. But before you can add code to the Version Control of TFS, you have a process as well. Most of my customers chose MSF Agile, but in time they changed, chose another one or deleted some of its features. In some cases you just want to start all over again, but nobody is willing to offer the history of their sources.

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Check http://www.codeplex.com/tfstotfsmigration for the full details. Download it today and tomorrow you can rearrange all you projects. Keep in mind this tool will work for the same server as well on other servers. When you migrate on the same server, your sources won't be destroyed since TFS 2005 doesn't support such a feature. You sources will deleted but still be visible for users who wants to see deleted files.

tfstotfs2

Summary
This tool was built using the Migration and Sync Toolkit http://www.codeplex.com/MigrationSyncToolkit, so it should prove to be useful for anyone that is writing a custom migration tool.  We have received some comments in the past about the WSS to TFS sample tools containing too much WSS specific code that makes it hard to understand the toolkit.  Although this tool has plenty of TFS specific code, it will probably more closely resemble a tool built to integrate with another version control or work item tracking system.  There is also a GUI built on top of the tool to make configuration easier, which also serves as a good example of how to build a configuration layer for a custom migration tool.

 

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More and more people are migrating their Report Server environment to SharePoint. This migration will give you the ability to open your reports in SharePoint instead of just another UI. For a complete explanation on this migration check a previous blog of my at SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2 (Integration between Reporting Services and SharePoint 2007). Before you can integrate between Reporting Services and SharePoint you have to decide if you'll setup a separate Application Tier. Almost all my customers have a similar setup as pointed out below.

SERVER 1 - Data Tier

.NET Framework 2.0

SQL Server 2005 SP2 (Database)

SERVER 2 - Application Tier

Internet Information Server 6.0

.NET Framework 2.0 & 3.0

Windows SharePoint Services 3.0

SQL Server 2005 SP2 (Reporting Services)

Reporting Services Add-in for Microsoft SharePoint Technologies

It's also possible to install all these products on one machine, but it isn't advisable. Reporting Services installs some Web Services and a Web manager (will be replaced by the Reporting Services Add-in for Microsoft SharePoint Technologies). After installation you can find all files at the Program FilesSQL ServerMSSQL.#Reporting ServicesReportServer directory. If you've installed al of the above products and updated it with the latest service packs and updates you can start the Reporting Services Configuration Manager. This tool can  be started for the Start menu at All Programs - SQL Server 2005 - Configuration Tools - Reporting Services Configuration. Depending on the choice of installation you will see a similar screen like this.

screen01  

If some of the above sections displays a red cross mark fulfill these steps.

  • The Report Server virtual Directory should point to the web site where you installed and configured SharePoint.
  • The Report Manager Virtual Directory will become obsolete, so it isn't necessary to implement this step.
  • The Windows Service Identity is used under which the Report Server Windows service runs. The Report Server Windows service performs initialization, reversible encryption, database maintenance tasks, and all scheduling and delivery. The service runs in the background. It performs end-to-end processing for reports that run on a schedule (specifically, it creates report snapshots and runs subscription reports).
    Because it performs all encryption operations, the Report Server Windows service must be running whenever you specify or use encrypted values. Specifying stored credentials, running a report that uses stored credentials, and publishing a report to a report server (data source information is encrypted) are all operations that require the Report Server Windows service.
  • The Web Service Identity creates or uses a application pool under which the identity runs in IIS.

Now all steps are completed and Reporting Services is initialized you can start completing the last step to complete SharePoint Integration. Click on the Database Setup section and Change the Server Mode from Native to SharePoint Integration. After hitting the change button fill out the following screen and make sure the Create the report server database in SharePoint Integrated mode is selected. 

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Type in new Database Name (e.g ReportServerWSS). Note. Don't start to create a database which starts with WSS because in some cases the connection will fail. After creating the database the SharePoint integration is completed.

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Summary
Although it isn't hard to install and configure the add-in, it will give you a lot of steps to fulfill. First of all you have to make a decision about your server topology. Secondly you must setup Reporting Services to use you're data tier (remote or local). Third upgrade your database, so all content will be added to SharePoint and the rendering and caching stays in SSRS. In my next blog I'll explain how Activating SharePoint for Reporting Services works.

 

I wasn't blogging for a long time, but now I'm back with a strong rhyme.
Look, near the camera, snap my picture. I'll sign my name on it, then I get richer.
Like LL said don't call it a comeback and face the fact Jack I'm all that.

The last couple of months I spend a lot of time developing and giving courses. Like a few of my colleagues already posted on their blogs, I spent a lot of time on our Summer Classes . Check Update summer classes 2007 at http://blogs.class-a.nl/blogs/anko/archive/2007/04/18/update-summer-classes-2007.aspx and Summer Classes 2007 at http://bloggingabout.net/blogs/dennis/archive/2007/06/08/summer-classes-2007.aspx for the details. My part in these classes was the developing an teaching the BI part. I had lots of fun with all my students and they appreciated my experiences as well. By the way these classes will be held again in January or February of 2008. See Class-A Summer Classes become Winter Classes at http://bloggingabout.net/blogs/dennis/archive/2007/10/04/class-a-summer-classes-become-winter-classes.aspx for full details.

Besides the BI part, I also developed a couple of our SharePoint modules. SharePoint is the reason why I was unable to post blogs for a long time. Our SharePoint courses SHAREPOINT 2007 DEVELOPMENT UNLEASHEDSHAREPOINT 2007 BI and SHARPOINT INSTALLING & CONFIGURING are almost every week sold out. I'm not surprised because SharePoint is HOT and other course provides can't deliver a training because the MOC (Microsoft Official Curriculum) material isn't available yet.

Here is some info about my next posts. More and more people are migrating their Report Server environment to SharePoint. I already received a couple of emails how to setup such an environment, but I never had the time to create a post. Today I received another mail requesting me to explain this. So my next posts will be about this subject. I'll divide this subject in three post.

  1. Post: Installing & Configuring the Integration between Reporting Services and SharePoint
  2. Post: Activating SharePoint for Reporting Services
  3. Post: Developing Reports for Reporting Services under SharePoint

I'll keep you posted.