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April 16 2018

Microsoft 365 Initiative Offer

18342_MW_Organic_siderail_300x250_Partner_Implementer

The right training means smooth deployment

Training empowers your Microsoft 365 team to proactively address deployment and usage challenges through a combination of valuable, flexible, and trusted training materials and resources. Your team will acquire the skills they need to ensure a smooth, informed deployment in Powered Devices, Collaboration, Security, Office 365, and Windows 10—or a combination that fits your needs.

Windows 10/Powered Devices:

20697-1 – Implementing and Managing Windows 10

20697-2 – Deploying and Managing Windows 10 Using Enterprise Services

10982 – Supporting and Troubleshooting Windows 10

Office 365:

20347 – Enabling and Managing Office 365

10997 – Office 365 Administration and Troubleshooting

Collaboration:

20339-1 – Planning and Administering SharePoint 2016

20339-2 – Advanced Technologies of SharePoint 2016

Security:

20537:  Configuring and Operation an Hybrid Cloud with Microsoft Azure Stack

20744 – Securing Windows Server 2016

July 23 2012

Three Reasons You Should Switch to Office 365

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Office 2013 will soon be here, along with a new and improved version of the cloud-based Office 365. If you’re looking to upgrade, you have to decide whether the traditional desktop version of Office is the way to go, or if Office 365 is a better fit for your needs.

Office 2013 is impressive, but Office 365 is a better value in most cases.

1. Cost
Microsoft hasn’t yet shared what the price tag will be for the new Office 2013. But, unless it follows the same bold path laid out in offering Windows 8 for a mere $40, history suggests the new productivity suite will start somewhere in the $150 neighborhood.

Office 365 plans start at $4 per month. Small businesses can get access to Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync in addition to the core Office productivity applications for only $6 per month. Larger businesses that want to take advantage of Active Directory integration can do so for $8 per user per month.

Breaking those down, it takes more than three years to reach $150 based on the $4 per month plan, and more than 18 months under the $8 per month plan. The 18 months is less time than a business typically gets out of an investment in the desktop Office software, but it also comes with more than the software itself.

Of course, those are the current subscription prices and plans for Office 365, so those figures are subject to change as well.

2. Updates and Maintenance
What else do you get with your Office 365 subscription? An IT department. Sure, you can set up your own Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, and Lync infrastructure. You can manage and maintain the desktop Microsoft Office software, and install the patches and updates every month yourself. How much will that cost?

Consider that implementing the same capabilities in-house requires servers, and network infrastructure, and IT personnel to install, manage, update, and maintain it all. Plus, you still have to buy and maintain the Office software itself.

With Office 365, Microsoft takes care of all the dirty work so you don’t have to. Updates, patches, and upgrades just happen in the background without you needing to worry about it. When the server crashes, its Microsoft’s problem. When a hard drive needs to be replaced, Microsoft will handle it. You get the benefits of using Office without any of the headaches of updating and maintaining it all.

3. Accessibility
Office 365 lives in the cloud. That means you have access to Word, Excel, Outlook, and other Microsoft Office tools from anywhere you can get a Web connection, and from virtually any device–Windows or Mac desktops and laptops, Android devices, iPhones, iPads, and other smartphones and tablets.

Office Web Apps provide basic features and functions for free.This isn’t quite the selling point it once was for a couple reasons. First, even with the desktop Office 2013 suite Microsoft is pushing users to save files to the cloud-based SkyDrive, or to a SharePoint server by default. So, there’s no reason the data can’t be accessible regardless of whether you choose Office 2013 or Office 365.

The second reason it may not be all that compelling is that Office Web Apps are already available for free from the SkyDrive site. So, even without Office 365 users can create, view, and edit Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote files from the Web.

For businesses, though, SharePoint, Active Directory, and other elements of Office 365 that go beyond simply creating and editing Office documents still make Office 365 a better value.

Your mileage will vary of course. There are a number of factors involved in calculating the cost of purchasing, installing, configuring, updating, and maintaining Microsoft Office and the accompanying back-end services versus the ongoing subscription costs associated with Office 365. Office 365 is a solid service providing tremendous bang for the buck, though, so it won’t be easy to beat the value it brings to the table.

July 20 2012

“Send to” Function not working properly in SharePoint 2010?

I recently had an issue with a  new install of SharePoint 2010.  A user was trying to send/copy documents between libraries on the site, and the “send to” function was not available, it was grayed-out.  After a little research, I found that there is an add-on in Internet Explorer that can cause problems with the “send to” feature of SharePoint.  To fix this problem, go to “Manage Add-ons” in the Internet Explorer tools menu.  Change the view to “show all add-ons”, and disable “STSUpld CopyCtl Class”.  Your “send to” should now work without a problem.

-Mike

August 30 2011

Configuring a split tunnel PPTP VPN in Windows 7

While working remotely I noticed my bandwidth would drop when I connected to our VPN. It appeared that all internet packets were being routed through our VPN connection. While this normally wouldn’t be a problem, I often found myself downloading large files and my connection performance was limited to the available bandwidth to the VPN connection. That’s when I learned about what a “split tunnel” vpn connection is. I wrote this article to walk you through the process of setting up your VPN to take advantage of this option in Windows Networking.

With a “split tunnel vpn” connection, the internet traffic is routed through the local gateway connection. All other network traffic works through the vpn connection as you would expect. This is a feature that is available with Windows Vista and XP PPTP VPN connections, but it isn’t the default setting.

Here is how you configure your VPN connection to use the local gateway:

Step 1

Right click on your VPN connection and choose “properties”

Step 2

Click on the “Networking” tab. This is where we will need to make changes to the TCP/IP settings for your VPN connection. If you are using V6 IP addresses or V4, you’ll need to make the change in both locations just to be sure.

Step 3

Click on the “Advanced” button to get to the Advanced TCP/IP options

Step 4

The VPN connection by default configures all packets to route to the remote server’s gateway. We want to turn this option off by clicking on the “Use default gateway on remote network” option.

That’s it! Once you have made those changes you will notice your internet packets are no longer automatically routing through the VPN server.

August 18 2011

Advanced T-SQL Querying, Programming and Tuning featuring Itzik Ben-Gan – Sept 12-16, 2011

 

Itzik Ben-Gan is returning for another session on SQL Server 2008 Advanced T-SQL Querying training in Sacramento on September 12-16, 2011.

Description

The course focuses on writing and tuning queries and programming with T-SQL in SQL Server 2005 and 2008. In this course you will learn the details and capabilities of T-SQL in the following areas: Logical Query Processing; Query Tuning; Subqueries, Ranking Functions, Joins and Set Operations; Aggregating and Pivoting Data; TOP and APPLY; Data Modification; Data Type Related Problems; Programmable Objects (Dynamic SQL, Views, User Defined Functions, Stored Procedures, Triggers, Transactions and Concurrency, Exception Handling); Graphs, Trees and Hierarchies.

Along the course you will learn how to use T-SQL to solve practical problems such as: Relational Division, Ranking, Missing and Existing Values (Islands and Gaps), Separating Elements, Tie Breakers, Running Aggregations, Pivoting and Unpivoting, Custom Aggregations, Histograms, Dynamic Analysis of Grouping Sets, TOP Problems, Paging, Median, Handling Sequences, and more.

You will learn how to tune your queries, how to develop efficient routines including user defined functions, stored procedures and triggers, work in multi-user environments with transactions and isolation levels, and use dynamic SQL securely and efficiently.

You will also learn how to maintain and query hierarchical data. You will learn what graphs, trees and hierarchies are, what the common requests against graphs are, and how to write T-SQL code to handle those requests. Several different solutions will be presented including: Enumerated Paths, Nested Sets, Nested Iterations using Recursive Queries, and using the HIERARCHYID datatype.

The course provides a dedicated module focusing on query tuning. The module covers internals and index tuning, index access methods, temporary tables, set vs. cursors, and query tuning using query revisions. Moreover, query tuning is in the heart of this course and is incorporated in the different modules throughout the course.

With each querying/programming problem the discussions will revolve around logical aspects, set-based vs. procedural programming and optimization of the solutions.


Author

This course was developed by Itzik Ben-Gan, a mentor and one of the founders of Solid Quality Mentors, author of several books about T-SQL, a columnist in SQL Server Magazine, and a regular speaker in SQL Server related events.


Audience

This course is intended for:

  • T-SQL Programmers, DBAs, Architects, and Analysts
  • Those that need to write or review T-SQL code in SQL Server 2005 and 2008

Prerequisites

Before attending this course, it is recommended that students have the following skills:

  • At least one year of T-SQL querying and programming experience in SQL Server

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  • Understand logical query processing
  • Understand SQL Server’s internal data structures
  • Be able to analyze and tune query performance
  • Be able to analyze query execution plans
  • Be able to solve complex querying and programming problems
  • Think in terms of sets
  • Be able to compare set based and cursor based solutions
  • Know how to handle date and time data
  • Understand compilations, recompilations and reuse of execution plans
  • Understand transactions and concurrency aspects of database programming
  • Know how to handle hierarchical data and write recursive queries
  • Be familiar T-SQL enhancements in SQL Server 2005 and 2008

 

Click here for more information, or to register

SharePoint 2010 Document Content Types and Embedded Metadata in Word

In this post we will look at how to create new document content types and insert the metadata fields in the header of the Word Document.

Creating the Content Type

1. Make sure you are in the site where you want to create the content type. Click Site Actions | Site Settings.
2. In the Galleries section click Site Content Types.
3. Click Create.

4. Fill in the appropriate information on the form to create a new content Type. Give the content type a name.
Make sure to select “Document Content Types” on the Select parent content type from drop down menu. Make sure to select “Document” in the Parent Content Type drop down menu. Put the new content type in either an existing or new group. Click OK.

5. Scroll down to the bottom of the new site content type property page to find the columns section. Here you can either create new site columns or add an existing site column. The column will then be associated to the content type.

6. Content types can also have workflow, retention schedules and modified document information panels.

7. Upload a document template to

SharePoint Training

July 18 2011

Microsoft has officially released Office 365!

 

You might be wondering, what is Microsoft Office 365?

It’s familiar Microsoft Office collaboration and productivity tools delivered through the cloud. Everyone can work together easily with anywhere access to email, web conferencing, documents, and calendars. It includes business-class security and is backed by Microsoft. Whether you are a small business or multinational enterprise, Office 365 offers plans designed to fit your organization’s unique needs.

There are two plan families available:
Plan P – for professionals/small businesses
Plan E – for midsize businesses and enterprises.

Microsoft Office 365 for professionals and small businesses
This service plan is designed for up to 25 employees who want:

•A solution without dedicated IT staff
•Essential email, calendar, and website services
•Free online community support
•Month-to-month subscription

Microsoft Office 365 for midsize businesses and enterprises
This service plan is great for any size organization that wants:

•Advanced IT configuration and control
•Office Professional Plus, Active Directory or advanced archiving
•24×7 IT Administrator support
•Choice between monthly and annual contracts

Please contact an ISInc account representative for more information, or email [email protected].

November 19 2008

Using Windows XP Task Scheduler to Automate an FTP Upload

I recently came across a problem where I needed to schedule the daily FTP upload of a set of files to one of my client’s FTP servers. I was a bit out of my element and found that locating a solution to this task was surprisingly challenging. I thought I would post the steps here so that someone in a similar situation might benefit from the time I spent in trial and error.

1. My first goal was to make sure I could upload via ftp using the command prompt in Windows XP. I created the following script, ftp_script.txt, which I placed in a scripts folder on the C drive:

open www.yourhostname.com
username
password
put c:\test.txt test.txt
quit

Plug in your corresponding hostname, username, password, and file locations. This script will upload the local copy of test.txt to the server. The above script can be passed into your command line ftp client. Open up your command prompt and type:

ftp -s:path_to_script\scriptfile

Which, in my case, was:

ftp -s:c:\scripts\ftp_script.txt

The “-s” allows you to specify a file name in order to pass your username, password, and put commands to the command line ftp client.

2. If you get Step 1 working, the next step is to create a command file to run the ftp script. The command file is just a text file with a .cmd extension that calls up the command line ftp. In my case, I created ftp.cmd with the contents:

ftp -s:c:\scripts\ftp_script.txt

Test your command file by double clicking it to make sure that it executes the FTP successfully.

3. Finally, create a daily task using the Windows Task Scheduler. Go to Start > Control Panel > Scheduled Tasks (in Classic view). Click Add Scheduled Task and when it prompts you for the application, browse to your command file that you created in Step 2. As you finish out the task scheduler, you’ll get to choose how often you want the task to run and at what time.

After you complete these steps, your ftp job should be ready and waiting for its next scheduled execution time. I hope you find this trick as useful as I did!

November 7 2008

Coding CSS – Essential Firefox Add-Ons

If you spend any time coding CSS from scratch or debugging existing stylesheets, you know how tricky it can be to find that pesky error! Whether it is getting IE6 to play nice or just understanding where all that white space is coming from, these Firefox add-ons should help you do the job better and faster. I’ve only chosen a couple of my favorite add-ons and my favorite features of each. Feel free to include your favorite features or add-ons in the comments as this list is anything but exhaustive.

The Web Developer Toolbar by Chris Pederick has many useful features like an easy-access javascript disabler, a simple window resize to test 800×600 screen resolution, and an option to view all of the stylesheets associated with a page (easily searchable!).

One of my favorite features, however, is surprisingly simple and incredibly useful.  Using the Outline menu, you can outline any block level element on the page with just two clicks of the mouse.  Personally, I can end up spending minutes of wasted time adding borders to elements here and there trying to figure out why I am seeing too much or too little space in a certain area.  No need to do that anymore with this feature. It outlines your div tags for you, making spatial debugging a much simpler and faster process.

My other favorite feature in the web developer toolbar is the quick access to the W3C XHTML validator.  It will upload your local file and display your pass/fail status quickly and efficiently!

Next on my list is the Firebug add-on which again, has a wealth of useful and time-saving debugging tools.  My favorite, by far, is what I’ve coined as their CSS specificity revealer.  Ok, you got me, I just made that up.  The feature I’m referring to goes something like this:

1. You add some CSS rule

2. Your CSS rule doesn’t work

3. You can’t figure out why it doesn’t work

4. You wish to yourself there was some tool out there that could tell you if someone wrote a rule that is somehow overriding your own

5. You realize that firebug has that very feature and you’re going to use it now!

Launch firebug after you’ve installed it and click the “Inspect” button at the top of the console.  Now, watch the Style panel on the right hand side.  As you mouse over different elements on the page, you will see which rules apply to which elements.  You will also see which rules are being overridden by others as evidenced by the line through.

For instance, in the above example, the #description rule is overriding our normal <p> tag line height of 1.4em because #description is an ID (which will always have a higher specificity than a non-ID rule).

Personally, I think this feature of firebug makes it one of the best CSS debugging tools out there.

And remember, feel free to leave me some tips and tricks in the comments section if you have any!

October 31 2008

IE6 Float Drop in the California State Web Template

A question that recently came up in one of my CSS classes was about the California state web template that was created to standardize state websites.  The template can be downloaded at webtools.ca.gov and you can see live working copies of the customized versions of the template in many places, including:

The template is distributed with three optional column based layouts.  The webpage author can select a style sheet appropriate to the layout they are interested in: one, two, or three columns.  One of the problems with the three column layout in the state template is something known as float drop and you will only see it in Internet Explorer (IE) 6.

Float drop is a phenomenon that occurs when you have a floated element on a page and the width of the page become too small to accomodate the floated element and its neighbors.  Instead of displaying as they should, one of the elements will drop down below the other content.

For example, see this Department of Transportation webpage at full screen width:

Caltrans 3 column page at normal width
Figure 1

However, this is what it looks like on a lower resolution monitor.

Caltrans 3 column page at low width, float drop is evident
Figure 2

See how the middle column drops down below the right?  To prevent this from happening, they have added the following rule to the master css file attached to the state template:

 


#heading, #navigation, #main_content_1, #footer {
min-width:774px;
}

 

This means that those four div tags, which hold the main content of the page as well as portions of the header and footer, will never fall below 774 pixels in width.  This preserves the layout when the user’s screen width is too small, rather than having the elements  stack on top of each other.  The problem with this method is that IE6 does not honor the min-width property.  Thus, what looks lovely in Firefox and IE7 looks like Figure 2 in IE6.

When my student came to me with this question, I went in search of an answer.  The solution I came up with is the following code sample, which can sit anywhere within the head tag of your document:

 

<!––[if IE 6]>

#main_content_1, #heading, #nav, #footer { width:
expression(Math.max(document.documentElement.clientWidth, 774)+'px');
}

<![endif]––>

 

Internet explorer allows you to embed JavaScript within CSS by using an expression, so we can set the width property equal to the result of an expression.  That expression checks to see which value is larger, 774 pixels or the width of the page?  Whichever is the larger of the two will be the new value for width.  This entire rule is embedded within an IE6 conditional comment (<!––[if IE 6]> … <![endif]––>), so that only IE6 will obey these instructions.  Since the expression function is proprietary, the conditional comment also serves the purpose of leaving our current CSS in a standards compliant state.  Simply embed this code snippet into the head of your three column pages and voila, no more float drop!