SharePoint and Content Deduplication

Let me start off by saying that in this short posting, I don’t intend to provide or discuss any solutions, that specifically address de-duplication of content in SharePoint. But rather explore the idea, that duplication of content is often mistaken for a problem its not, and that while de-duplication may seem like the most logical solution; it may really cause more problems then it solves.

I believe that when the topic of duplicate content comes up it generally revolves around content discovery, primarily the impact that duplicate content has on search results. While duplicate content is quickly pegged as the culprit, it’s really more of a discoverability issue around authorative content. Removing duplicate content may not really be the solution, but perhaps effectively surfacing authorative content by reconfiguring search result page(s), fine tuning your search configuration, and doing a better job leveraging refiners and scopes.

As a user who sometimes copies documents and presentation from other areas into my own collaboration or personal sites, I wouldn’t be in favor of a solution that automatically removes my copies. I believe that in trying to remove duplicate content, you’ll quickly find many such users, and you may ultimately find yourself trying to change too much about how your users get work done.

Of course, discoverability may not be the issue you are trying to solve with de-duplication, in which case it may ultimately have to do with storage. If so, it may point to a bigger issue around information architecture, lifecycle management, and content expiration… But I’ll leave those topics for another time in the interest of keeping this posting short.


SharePoint 2010 ActivityEvent Owner vs Publisher

I was recently asked to provide some clarification around the differences between ActivityEvent.Owner and ActivityEvent.Publisher. Each of these are properties of SharePoint ActivityEvents, that is the actual activities in your SharePoint activity feeds; these are the feeds that you would typically see in the “My Newsfeeds” section of your “My Sites”. I’ll assume that if you are reading this posting you are looking to understand what the differences are between these 2 properties and already have a relatively good understanding of the SharePoint 2010 Activity Feed model; if you don’t, I highly recommend you start by looking at the following blog posting Activity Feeds, Social Ratings, Tags and Notes which provides a good overview of the Activity Feed underlying architecture in SharePoint 2010.

As far as the differences between the ActivityEvent.Owner and ActivityEvent.Publisher, we need to take a quick step back and reflect on the overall activity feed architecture; specifically how each activity event propagates and how each user ultimately has their own activity feed. In essence, if I generate an activity such as tagging or liking a document, that activity event gets created in my activity feed; but it wont appear on my colleagues activity feeds until its been propagated (in a way duplicated,) to their personal activity feed.

So with that in mind, when an ActivityEvent originates, the publisher and owner would probably the same; it first get created in the originating users activity feed (hence that user owns it), and he/she is also the person that performed the activity (the publisher.) Once the activity propagates to another users activity feed, such as that of a colleague, that other user would be designated as the owner of the newly created (propagated) activity (its in their personal feed), while the publisher would remain the originating user.


Office 2010 Migration Guides

Microsoft has made available 6 migration guides to make it easier for users transitioning to Office 2010. Whether you are new to Microsoft Office or upgrading from a previous version, each guide provides useful information such as; the most frequently used commands, how to use the Ribbon, the Quick Access Toolbar, the File menu and the Office Backstage, and using Key Tips.

There is a migration guide for each of the core Office products; Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Access. Each put together based on feedback from users.

Check them out at: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel-help/office-2010-migration-guides-HA101982272.aspx

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Announcing Exchange Active Sync Support for Hotmail E-Mail, Calendars, and Contacts

The Windows Live Blog just announced exchange support for Hotmail E-mail, Calendars, and Contacts. Check out the announcement at http://windowsteamblog.com/windows_live/b/windowslive/archive/2010/08/30/hotmail-now-supports-push-email-calendar-and-contacts-with-exchange-activesync.aspx


Office 2010 Web Apps on Facebook

By now you’ve probably heard the news that the Office 2010 Web Apps are available for all Windows Live Customers, essentially anybody with a Windows Live or Passport ID. If you haven’t heard, logon at http://www.live.com  and check out the “Office Link” in the top menu or go directly to http://office.live.com
 
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Click here for the original announcement.

What you probably haven’t heard, is that the Office 2010 Web Apps are also available in Facebook via the “Docs” application; from where you can easily create, upload, and share your MS Office documents (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) with your friends, or everyone for that matter.

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You can even designate your friends as editors, and collaborate on documents, worksheets, or presentations. Once you are done, you can easily post it to your wall and share with everyone. All via your Web Browser.

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I’ve uploaded several presentations to “My Facebook Docs” for you to check out (you must be logged in to Facebook).


Consumer Reports recommends against buying iPhone 4

Consumer Reports arrived at this conclusion after testing three devices purchased at three different retailers, and testing them in a controlled environment. Their findings call into question the recent claim by Apple that the iPhone 4’s signal-strength issues were largely an optical illusion caused by faulty software that “mistakenly displays 2 more bars than it should for a given signal strength.

Check out the posting at:

http://blogs.consumerreports.org/electronics/2010/07/apple-iphone-4-antenna-issue-iphone4-problems-dropped-calls-lab-test-confirmed-problem-issues-signal-strength-att-network-gsm.html


Changing SharePoint 2010 Managed Account Passwords with PowerShell

A SharePoint 2010 Managed Account, is essentially a Service Account whose credentials are managed by SharePoint, which can automatically change the password of the account based on a given policy / schedule. Check out the posting “Managed Accounts” in Bill Baer’s Blog for more detailed information.

While most of the configuration of managed accounts will likely take place in Central Administration, at some point you may need (or simply prefer) to change the password via PowerShell. Personally, I ran into the need, as my farm account password had been changed and the Central Administration site would not run.

I used the following PowerShell script to change the Managed Account password.

$ver = $host | select versionif ($ver.Version.Major -gt 1)  {$Host.Runspace.ThreadOptions = ReuseThread"}Add-PsSnapin Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShellSet-location $home

$inManagedAcct = Read-Host 'Service Account'

$managedAcct = Get-SPManagedAccount $inManagedAcct

$inPass = Read-Host 'Enter Password' -AsSecureString$inPassConfirm = Read-Host'Confirm Password' -AsSecureString

Set-SPManagedAccount -Identity $managedAcct -NewPassword $inPass -ConfirmPassword $inPassConfirm -SetNewPassword

Click here to download the PS1 file. You may need to remove the first few lines that load the SharePoint PowerShell snap-in, if you intend to run the script from the “SharePoint 2010 Management Shell” console.


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