WordPress Stats for 2010

Edit from Mark : Not a bad year, especially considering I’ve only been on WordPress for around 5 months!

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 9,600 times in 2010. That’s about 23 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 19 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 60 posts. There were 68 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 4mb. That’s about 1 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was September 14th with 144 views. The most popular post that day was Set Site Collection Search Settings by PowerShell.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were google.com, google.co.in, social.technet.microsoft.com, msexperts.org, and stackoverflow.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for setspn, setspn -l, mark rhodes, http/1.1 200 ok server: microsoft-iis/7.5 connection: close, and remove-spmanagedaccount.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Set Site Collection Search Settings by PowerShell September 2010
8 comments

2

Resolving a HTTP/1.1 200 OK Server: Microsoft-IIS/7.5 Error with a SharePoint 2010 Web Application August 2010
1 comment

3

SharePoint Designer 2010 – The server could not complete your request. The content type of the response is “”. March 2010
2 comments

4

Moving a SharePoint 2010 Site Collection to another Content Database March 2010

5

Enabling or Disabling Claims Based Authentication July 2010
2 comments

2010 in review

Seeing its New Years Eve and I’m home early (perils of a young family) I thought I’d take a few minutes to reflect on 2010.

For me professionally 2010 was a phenomenal year.  Here is a bit of a break down :

This year I spent a lot of time presenting.  I presented at a grand total of 12 events, which is a huge improvement on the 5 of the previous year, some highlights include :

  • Over the course of the year I presented at every SharePoint Saturday in Australia except for Perth.  Sorry Perth, you were just too far… this year!
  • In May and December I organised and ran two successful events in Brisbane, SharePoint Saturday and Infrastructure Saturday
  • In December I presented at an overseas gig, SharePoint Saturday New Zealand
  • In June I presented at the Australian SharePoint Conference, this was a great experience and one I hope to repeat in 2011.
  • In August I had the privilege of presenting at Tech Ed Australia with Ben Fletcher.  This one was a long term goal I did not really expect to achieve this year, but somehow got there.  Thanks for the help Ben!
  • And finally the highlight of the year, I had the honour of attending the inaugural Microsoft Evangelist Academy.  I could rave about this for days, but its probably easier to look back a post or two on the blog for the full details.

Career wise what I think is probably the best and most exciting step and joined OBS in April as an Infrastructure Consultant.  Since before I even started I have been in awe of just how fantastic this company is, after sharing an office with them for 18 months prior to joining up, I got a very exclusive sneak preview into the exceptional people and work that really makes this company pop.  I had a fantastic first eight months, worked on some mammoth projects, got to work shoulder to shoulder with some of the people I consider to be the best in the SharePoint world, learnt a heap and generally had a blast.

So what is there to expect in 2011?

There are two professional aspects I am really going to focus on in 2011.

  1. I’m really looking forward to seeing what 2011 has to offer for me at OBS.  There are some fairly exciting things on the boil, and I have a few goals I’d like to achieve that I’d rather not share here yet.
  2. With the help of the Microsoft Evangelist Academy and a lot of my own hard work I’m going to really focus on my Presenting.  There are a lot of things I can do to really improve my presentation skills and making some really excellent presentations at events this year.  I also have a mini-goal of presenting at an event in the States, hopefully I can make that happen!

So 2010, thanks for a exceptionally good year.  Bring on 2011, I think it will be even better!

Upcoming Events

The next couple of months are going to be very busy as I have a handful of presentations and events that I will be presenting at :

Infrastructure Saturday
Brisbane – November 6th 2010

Join System Administrators, System Engineers, Architects and other IT Pro’s that work with Microsoft Server products for our ‘Infrastructure Saturday’ event. Infrastructure Saturday is an educational, informative & lively day filled with sessions from respected IT Pros, MVPs and other Community Members covering a wide variety of Microsoft server orientated topics. Infrastructure Saturday is FREE, open to the public and is your local chance to immerse yourself in Microsoft Infrastructure!

Infrastructure Saturday – Introduction to SharePoint Server 2010
Brisbane – November 6th 2010

SharePoint 2010 adds an amazing amount of new and exciting changes for IT professionals including radical improvements to Farm, Service and Health architecture.  Join Mark as he introduces all of the new functionality that will make IT Professionals drool with possibility.  This session will cover new functionality, including Service Applications, PowerShell, Health Monitoring, Redundancy and Performance improvements and even more.  If you are looking at deploying SharePoint 2010 do not miss this session!

Infrastructure Saturday in a very exciting one in particular.  A few people have likened this to a “Community driven mini Tech Ed”.  Places for this event are filling up fast and if you want to go I’d click the above link and register now!  Check out the site for more information on the Speakers, Sponsors and also how to register.

SharePoint Saturday Melbourne – SharePoint 2010 PowerShell Primer
October 2010

Whether you are a developer, IT Pro or even a day to day user if you are not using PowerShell you are missing out! In this session Mark will introduce the audience to PowerShell with a focus on its role with SharePoint 2010. While this session starts out aimed at helping first time users get started with PowerShell, even more seasoned users will benefit from the introduction to SharePoint 2010′s huge range of functionality.

Brisbane Infrastructure Group – Cloud Secret Sauce and What you can cook with it (With Ben Fletcher)
Microsoft Brisbane – 12 October 2010 – 5:30 PM

Ever wondered how a public cloud is made? Considered using cloud techniques and methodology in your own infrastructure? In this session Enteprises can learn how to improve security, efficiencies and services by utilising the methods and principles applied in hosting cloud services in their own infrastructure. This high level and thought provoking discussion will talk about the challenges of hosting, what tools and principles used in hosted and cloud services can be used to provide services in the enterprise such as user and department self management, control panels, identity management and automation. It will highlight the challenges and limitations of hosting cloud services from an enterprise point of view, with a focus on AD, Exchange, SharePoint, OCS, and IIS. It will also talk about Microsoft’s Dynamic Datacenter and how you can create your own private cloud.

For anyone that was not able to go to TechEd and wanted to see our “Cloud Secret Sauce” session, we will be doing this again at this months BIG.  Hope to see you there!

Set Site Collection Search Settings by PowerShell

Setting your Site Collection Search Settings by Powershell, what a tongue twister, try saying that six times fast. Setting your search settings via PowerShell is not something that is immediately obvious and requires a bit of digging.

First – how do we see what settings we’ve currently got?  First lets get our web and throw it into a variable to make it a bit easier to handle.

$web = get-spweb http://address

By digging down through the properties of the $web object we can see two areas that might house this : allProperties and Properties.  I do not know why there are two property areas, seems a little confusing.

The properties we are after are in AllProperties and are called :

SRCH_ENH_FTR_URL and SRCH_SITE_DROPDOWN_MODE

SRCH_ENH_FTR_URL is pretty straight forward, it is the URL or relative path of the Search Center you want to use and can be set like follows :

$web.AllProperties[“SRCH_ENH_FTR_URL”] = “http://address.to/searchcenter”

Controlling the drop down is a little more difficult, as there are lots of not too transparent options to pick.  Here they are mapped out :

Site Collection Search Dropdown Mode Property Value Search Results URL
Do Not Show Scopes Dropdown, and default to contextual scope HideScopeDD_DefaultContextual Y
Do Not Show Scopes Dropdown, and default to target results page HideScopeDD N
Show scopes Dropdown ShowDD Y
Show, and default to ‘s’ URL parameter ShowDD_DefaultURL Y
Show and default to contextual scope ShowDD_DefaultContextual Y
Show, do not include contextual scopes ShowDD_NoContextual N
Show, do not include contextual scopes, and default to ‘s’ URL parameter ShowDD_NoContextual_DefaultURL N
It is pretty easy to set this with the following :
$web.AllProperties[“SRCH_SITE_DROPDOWN_MODE”] = HideScopeDD_Defaultcontextual
If a dropdown mode is selected that requires a results URL set, then this can be set using the SRCH_TRAGET_RESULTS_PAGE property.  Please note that this is NOT my typo, this is how it is in the Web AllProperties property.
$web.AllProperties[“SRCH_TRAGET_RESULTS_PAGE”] = “http://address.to/searchcenter/_layouts/OSSSearchResults.aspx”

Nice and easy, and you’ve just set your search settings via PowerShell.  If you are like me, and I’m guessing you will be, you’ll be doing a $web.update() just to finish this off and write all the settings back to the site.

Here is the full script, please note it assumes you have loaded Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell

$web = Get-SPWeb http://www.address.com
$web.AllProperties[“SRCH_ENH_FTR_URL”] = “/search/”
$web.AllProperties[“SRCH_SITE_DROPDOWN_MODE”] = HideScopeDD_Defaultcontextual
$web.AllProperties[“SRCH_TRAGET_RESULTS_PAGE”] =”/_layouts/OSSSearchResults.aspx”
$web.update()

Presenting at Tech Ed Australia 2010

I’ve had some very good fortune this year and will be presenting two sessions this year at Tech Ed Australia 2010.

My two sessions are :

1.  ARC203 – Cloud Secret Sauce and what you can cook with it.

Thursday 9:45 AM – Meeting Room 5

Hosting services poses unique challenges, and for good reason – exposing services to 6 billion people has to be secure, but also has to be efficient to be commercially viable. Enteprises can learn how to improve security, efficiencies and services by utilising the methods and principles applied in hosting cloud services in their own infrastructure. This session will talk about the challenges of hosting, what tools and principles used in hosted and cloud services can be used to provide services in the enterprise such as user and department self management, control panels, identity management and automation. It will highlight the challenges and limitations of hosting cloud services from an enterprise point of view, with a focus on AD, Exchange, SharePoint, OCS, and IIS. It will also talk about Microsoft’s Dynamic Datacenter and how you can create your own private cloud.

This session is being presented with an old friend of mine Ben Fletcher, and should be an entertaining and informative look at the advantages, disadvantages and difficulties that can come with having your own private cloud.

2.  THR007 – SharePoint 2010 Server Health Monitoring

Thursday 1:15 PM – AvePoint Interactive Theater

SharePoint 2010 adds an amazing amount of new and exciting changes for IT professionals and one of those changes is the dramatic improvement to the health monitoring within SharePoint.  Join Mark as he introduces these new features, demonstrates how they work and shows you how to keep your farm healthy!

A huge thanks must go to AvePoint for this, as a major sponsor they are putting on an Interactive Theater and have asked a slew of community experts to present on a variety of interesting SharePoint 2010 topics.  I think that this theater is going to be at capacity the entire event!

I am also looking forward to Wednesday night SharePint which promises to be a lot of fun, come along to meet with Australia’s SharePoint community, have a few laughs and beers!

Looking forward to it already, if you haven’t already bought a ticket to Tech Ed, better jump on it quick as they are selling out fast!

Happy New Year, I have Writer's Block

I don't really go in for New Year's Resolutions, but I had promised myself to blog more often in 2009.  It looks like I've already gotten to a bad start this year as it is already 11 days in and this is only my second post.  I really couldn't find anything interesting to talk about and so I've gotten into a kind of writer's block.  Each time I opened OneNote to write anything down I'd end up within a few minutes doing something idle like browsing Wikipedia, Indeed even while doing this post I've already gone off on a Wikipedia tangent.

After mentioning this on Twitter, one of the friendly guys that is following me suggested I do a post on Writers Block.  It is an interesting idea and surely in the age of personal publishing there must be a few people out there suffering from the same problem?  And surely in aforementioned age someone else has decided to blog about it? A quick visit to the search engine gods show that "yes, it has been mentioned, blogged and dissected in detail".  Here are a few that I foudn useful :

http://www.problogger.net/battling-bloggers-block/
http://www.lifeclever.com/10-tips-for-beating-bloggers-block/
http://www.bigsmoke.us/bloggers-block/
http://www.problogger.net/archives/2005/11/29/20-types-of-blog-posts-battling-bloggers-block/

What I will do is quickly detail the ways to overcome writer's block.  There are an almost endless number of suggestions out there, but here are the few more helpful that I found across various postings:

  1. Mention your block to someone else.  Being challenged instantly jogged my mind.
  2. Take a break.  Spend some time with the family, play a game, listen to music or watch a movie.  If you are reading this this there is a good chance you work too much, stop working and take a break!
  3. Exercise.  This one could be a little painful for some technical people like me, but getting oxygen into the brain surely can't be a bad thing.
  4. Write down your ideas.  I know I get a few ideas, especially late at night trying to get to sleep, but I never ever write these down.  I am going to start keeping a notepad next to the bed.  I would advise against keeping a notebook next to the bed for instantly blogging your ideas, they can make a little less sense in the light of day.
  5. Case Studies and Interviews.  These can be an easy way to get content out quickly that will interest other people, especially outside of your regular readers.
  6. HitTail.  This is my favourite as it is a technical solution to a non-technical problem.  HitTail analyses your blog content and may give you an indication on what other topics you could cover. 
  7. Write something, write anything.  Automatic Writing, Free Writing and Mind Writing are all well documented.  This may get you out of your block, but you could also end up writing about something you have no desire publishing.   As a technical writer, this particular step could be less useful.

I also took a different tack on this, one of my colleagues mentioned to me that just because a concept was elementary to me did not mean it was not worth blogging about or documenting.  After giving this some thought I realised it could spawn a whole series of topics for me to cover including some of the following:

  • Configuring Site Collections, Web Applications and SSPs.  This stuff has been covered before by many people, but this does not mean it is not worth covering again, and perhaps with some of my own practices that we have found to work best in our environment.  Note how I cunningly avoided putting the words best and practices next to each other.
  • Configuring Excel Services, Search, Profile Importing within an SSP.  I've put this on its own bullet as I think that from a beginner's point of view these topics could all stand a bit more coverage.
  • Reporting on the various Licenses used in your SharePoint Installations.  This is a difficult one, and I'm still trying to work out how to automate this process.  Once I figure this out it will be a decent post.
  • Configuring CRM4 to disable the "Add Multiple Users" feature which can be considered a security flaw in a multi-tenanted Internet Facing Deployment.
  • Using ISA 2006 to secure HostHeader based Windows Sharepoint Services Sites with their own SSL certificates.

These are a few of the ideas that I have decided to cover in the coming weeks, and I would welcome any comments on those ideas. Hopefully by using a few of the tips above, and picking one of those ideas I will be punching out a new post in no time.

Anonymous access to Lists in MOSS

I spent a little time today trying to figure out why I could not grant anonymous access to a list in Sharepoint.  I tried just about everything I could trying to track down why I was continually being prompted for authentication each time I connected.

My first guess would have been an IIS issue, however I was not getting an IIS 401 error, I was getting a Sharepoint 401 error.  So that ruled out IIS pretty quickly, also the fact that the rest of the site was working anonymously was indicating obviously that it was working.

I really couldn’t understand why when I clearly had anonymous access enabled I was being continually prompted for authentication.  It turns out this is a sharepoint feature (literally here, its a feature, as in XML and in the features folder) called “Lockdown”.

What it appears to do is severely reduce the granularity that permissions can be assigned to objects, such as lists.

To turn it off just run this command :

stsadm -o deactivatefeature -url http://www.website.com -filename ViewFormPagesLockDown\feature.xml

Then go back to your list, and remove the permissions for anonymous access, then readd them.  This will force a reset of the granular permissions that have been defined.

You should now be able to acccess the list with anonymous auth.

Naturally, after finding the problem and the solution, I was able to find a technet article on it.  Tap ViewFormPagesLockDown\feature.xml into goolge and a technet KB comes up immediately.  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927082