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  • Sep.27.2012

    ​On September 27th I delivered a seminar at Microsoft with a simultaneous live webinar on Web Content Management in SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013.

    We explored what's new for SharePoint 2013, particularly as it applies to Web Content Management and upgrading to the new platform from SharePoint 2010. Some of the exciting features demonstrated were:

    • Design Manager - Build and manage your branding with any web design tool
    • Channels - Tailor your content to the device or browser
    • Managed Navigation
    • Customizing search with HTML display templates
    • The new Content Search Web Part
    • Image Renditions - Manage your web-friendly images through the browser
    • Cross-Site Publishing - Share your content between Intranet and public web site
    • SEO and Analytics Enhancements
    • Improved content author user experience

    We also looked into enhancing the experience in both 2010 and 2013 with our Digital Marketing Suite, Microsoft’s exciting announcements around Azure Media Services and SharePoint on Azure, and how you upgrade your 2010 publishing sites to SharePoint 2013.

    You can view the presentations and videos from the link below:

    Web Content Management in SharePoint 2010 and 2013

  • Jun.14.2012

    ​On June 14th I delivered a seminar at Microsoft on Creating Dynamic Web Sites with SharePoint Web Content Management.

    Microsoft SharePoint is a powerful platform for creating rich internet web sites that put you ahead of your competition. Many organizations are already familiar with SharePoint’s collaboration capabilities; in this seminar we demonstrated how you can leverage SharePoint Web Content Management capabilities to:

    • Allow business users to easily maintain content
    • Create dynamic sites with modern creative designs and branding
    • Keep customers engaged with social media
    • Create rich content including video and images
    • Customize your site to specific visitors
    • Provide a rich interactive user experience
    • Manage content from multiple sources
    • Decrease costs by leveraging SharePoint for your Internet, Extranet, Intranet and collaboration needs
    • Ensure a broader reach with sites that offer multilingual support, cross-browser and mobile functionality and W3C accessibility
    • Learn about search engine optimization and web analytics

    Showcasing some of the client sites Envision IT has built, we demonstrated WCM key features in SharePoint, some SEO optimization techniques and best practices, and use of Social Media. You can view the presentation by clicking the link below:

    Presentation - Create Dynamic Web Sites with SharePoint Web Content Management

  • Mar.20.2012

    ​This week I had the pleasure of attending Convergence 2012 in Houston, Texas, the big event for the Microsoft Dynamics Community. On Tuesday I delivered 2 sessions on Trends in Digital Marketing: How Microsoft SharePoint Powers the Internet, together with Geoffrey Edge of Microsoft and Didier Oliver.

    My session focused on the work Envision IT has done with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, developing a public web site with members Extranet. I demonstrated how the solution integrates Dynamics CRM into their public site to expose details from their database on their Clubs and key contacts, while feeding back information from registered donors and members through the Extranet to the database.

    Key learnings included:

    • A real life customer web experience using Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Commerce Server, and SharePoint
    • Digital marketing trends
    • SharePoint internet capabilities and Microsoft Dynamics CRM integration

    You can click the links below for more information:

    Presentation - Trends in Digital Marketing-How SharePoint Powers the Internet
    Learn more about the solution Envision IT developed for Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada

  • Feb.13.2012

    Having a SharePoint publishing site render well on a mobile device doesn't happen automatically.  SharePoint tries to optimize the experience on a mobile device, but this is really of benefit only to collaboration sites and a hindrance to publishing sites.

    ​In my previous Mobile SharePoint public sites post I described using the browserCaps option in the web.config.  This is actually not the best approach, and is no longer supported.  The current supported method is:

    1. Go to the web application folder on the web front end(s)
    2. Go into the App_Browsers folder
    3. Open the compat.browser in Notepad
    4. For each device that you want to turn the mobile experience off for, change the isMobileDevice to false

    Typically I set the isMobileDevice value to false for all the sites.  I don't see the value of the mobile experience in this scenario, as it really isn't designed for publishing sites.

  • Sep.20.2011

    It's been a while since I've posted. It hasn't been for lack of things to write about, but rather a lack of time. Hopefully I'll be able to address that over the next while.

    I've been working on a better way to publish video content in SharePoint for some time now. Sure there is a Silverlight video player web part, but it doesn't address all the platforms that may be consuming that content. Silverlight is a great video streaming client, but it only works on PC and Mac browsers. With tablets and mobile exploding, we need to support them as well.

    I started thinking about ow best to support video, and naturally that needed to work in HTML5 support. The latest browsers for the most part all support video in HTML5, both on PC/Mac platforms and mobile/tablet. The question was how to tailor the page to the device, and also support older browsers and devices.

    I decided to support the following hierarchy of players in the page that I was designing.

    • Silverlight
    • HTML5
    • Flash
    [Read More]
  • Apr.16.2011

    So you've got a public-facing web site built on SharePoint 2010, and you'd like to use the surveys to poll anonymous users.  How do you go about doing that?  Well there's a number of different things you need to do.

    The first step of course is to create your survey.  Go ahead and create a new survey (typically from the View All Site Content page).  Setup your questions and defaults, and make sure everything looks good from that perspective.

    You would think that your next step is to setup permission.  Actually it isn't.  Before you can do that, you need to turn off the ViewFormPagesLockDown hidden feature that is turned on by default on publishing sites.  Now don't worry, we're not going to leave it off, as that opens a big security hole on your publishing sites.  We just need to turn it off temporarily.  To do that, run the following command on your farm.

    [Read More]
  • Apr.11.2011

    As we see more and more public web sites being launched on SharePoint 2010, mobile support is becoming a hot issue on those sites.  Depending on your approach, you may want to create a simplified version of your site targeted to mobile devices, or you may just want your site to render as normal on mobile devices.

    The first approach of a targeted site I'll save for a later date.  We've done this for one of the sites we built for CAMH at  If you visit the site on a mobile device, you'll see a significantly simplified site targeted to mobile.  You can still reach the full site, but the default is the mobile version.

    In the second approach you just want your site to render on mobile devices.  In both scenarios actually, SharePoint tries to outsmart you to your detriment.  It detects a mobile device, and tries to redirect you to SharePoint's mobile version.  This really only applies to lists and libraries on collaboration sites, and typically gives a 401 Unauthorized on a public site.

    [Read More]
  • Dec.23.2010

    I've been meaning to post about this for some time now, so I decided there is no time like the present.  All of the tips below apply to both MOSS 2007 and SharePoint 2010.

    When you are setting up a SharePoint site, performance is often an overlooked item.  It is particularly important for public web sites, but Intranet sites an collaborative sites benefit from this as well.  We'll use our own Envision IT public web site ( as the example.  The items that we'll cover are:


    • Setting up the site collection object cache to improve the content query web part performance.  These web parts are used extensively in the sites
    • Enabling and configuring the cache profiles (which are off by default)
    • Turning on the disk-based BLOB cache for binary objects (images, PDFs, etc.)
    • Setting up a wake-up script to run nightly to hit the sites and cause the caches to get initialized and populated, as well as ASP.NET started up
    [Read More]
  • Apr.19.2010

    To start with, you should probably begin with my Upgrading a MOSS 2007 WCM Site to 2010  post.

    Once the 2007 content database and site has been restored and upgraded to 2010, go to the Site Settings (e.g.  http://sharepoint2010/_layouts/settings.aspx )

    The Settings pages should have the original “2007” look to them.   To upgrade the Settings site to the new 2010 branding, you will need to located the Visual Upgrade feature.

    [Read More]
  • Apr.19.2010

    Last week I delivered a web content management session (including upgrading from 2007 to 2010) at the SharePoint Summit.  For a copy of the presentation deck, please refer to Upgrading from MOSS and Leveraging WCM in SharePoint 2010.pptx

    For details on the process we followed to upgrade the master page, see my Converting 2007 branding masterpages to 2010 post.

  • Feb.24.2010

    I spoke last week on web content management in 2010.  The talk gave an overview of WCM in SharePoint, and then we went through two scenarios.  The first was a live upgrade of a 2007 to 2010, followed by a new net build.

    For the upgrade we used the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario's Intranet site called Tickr.  This is a MOSS 2007 site that we launched for the HSFO last summer.  As part of Microsoft's Rapid Deployment Program, we are working with HSFO to create a 2010 version of the site (along with a net new Board of Directors portal in 2010).

    For the net new build, we are working with Samuel & Sons on building a new public web site, also as part of Microsoft's 2010 RDP program.

    I've made the PowerPoint slide deck from the presentation available as a download.  You can find it at What's New in Web Content Management in SharePoint 2010 2010-02-17.

    I promised during the session to post the details of the upgrade process, so I've created another post at Upgrading a MOSS 2007 WCM Site to 2010.

  • Feb.24.2010

    So you want to upgrade your MOSS 2007 web content management site to SharePoint 2010?  Here's my recipe of the process we've been following.  Note that this was last updated on the RC version of SharePoint 2010.

    The following are the steps that you need to go through:

    1. You need to be on MOSS 2007 first.  If you're coming from SPS 2003 or CMS 2002, there is no direct upgrade path to SP2010
    2. You need to have SP2 installed on your MOSS 2007 environment.  This is the only supported path, and SP2 includes some tools for preparing for the upgrade
    3. You can do either an in-place upgrade or a database attach.  In-place means you actually upgrade the server that is running MOSS 2007.  This doesn't give you an easy fallback position, so we're not fans of it.  Content database attach means you attach a backup of the content database to a new SP2010 farm.  Much safer
    4. First step is to run the pre-upgrade checker on your MOSS 2007 server - Stsadm –o preupgradecheck
    5. Review the log file that comes out of this, and perform any appropriate cleanup to your 2007 farm prior to performing the upgrade.  We recommend running this step periodically even if your upgrade isn't planned  for some time
    6. Prepare your new 2010 farm.  You'll need Windows Server 64-bit for both the SharePoint and SQL servers, and SQL Server needs to be 64-bit
    7. Backup your existing database through SQL Server Management Studio
    8. Restore it to the 2010 farm's SQL Server
    9. Create a new web application on the 2010 farm
    10. Delete the content DB that was provisioned with the web application
    11. Attach the content database to the web application with the command line Stsadm –o addcontentdb –url siteurl –databasename DBName
    [Read More]
  • Feb.10.2010

    I'll be speaking at the next TSPUG meeting on Wednesday, February 17, 2010.  My topic for this meeting is Web Content Management with SharePoint 2010. I'll be covering the following:

    • Overview of WCM in SharePoint (site columns, content types, master pages, and layouts)
    • Upgrading an existing MOSS 2007 WCM site to 2010
    • Content database attach upgrade
    • Steps involved in updating a master page to be SP2010 compliant
    • Building a net new SP2010 WCM site
    • Building the site columns, content types, and site structure
    • Creating the master page and layouts in SharePoint Designer
    • Building a custom component in Visual Studio 2010
    • Site deployment

    6:00pm – Pizza and social

    6:30pm – Introductions and Q&A

    6:50pm – Web Content Management in SharePoint 2010

    8:30pm – Prizes and closing

    To register, click here

  • Nov.23.2009

    If you've read my last post at Accessing SQL 2008 Express, you'll be up to date on our upgrade plans.  We've restored the database to our new environment, and we're ready to attach it.  Before starting that there are a few caveats:

    • We still haven't gotten our production web server updated with SP2.  I know we should, and we will shortly, but in the interim I used a content database from our development server.  You need to have SP2 installed on MOSS before you can upgrade to SP2010
    • Once you've got the content database restored, you attach it with an STSADM command.  To run that successfully (see the post above for the details) you need to run the command prompt as administrator.  Failing to do that gives you a "Access denied" when you run the STSADM -o addcontentdb command

    Other than some complaints about missing features, that upgraded fine.  I wasn't ready to try installing 2007 features, so we just copied the required branding files that are normally installed by a feature (we'll do that properly later), edited the web.config to get all the controls loaded, and the site came up nicely.

    Of course we're still running in the version 3 user experience, so now the task is to update the master page to work with the new user experience.  James Brett is one of our web developers, and that's his task now.  I'll post the results of that once they become available.

  • Oct.29.2009

    Digital asset management is something of particular interest to me.  For those of you that aren’t aware, at Envision IT we have a number of products for image management.  You can see them at  So naturally I was very interested in what was new in SP2010 for image management.

    I’ll save the image management changes with respect to web content management (WCM) for another post (there’s lots there too).  Here I want to focus on the changes to the picture library.

    For those of you that are familiar with picture libraries in MOSS 2007, you may understand that they were really second class document libraries.  Things like major/minor versions and content approvals didn’t exist in them.  Ever wonder why the Images and Site Collection Images libraries in the MOSS publishing template are not picture libraries, but rather just document libraries.  Unfortunately that means you lose the great picture library features like automatic thumbnail and web-friendly image generation, and picture metadata extraction (like image size).

    [Read More]
  • Oct.21.2009

    Okay, so maybe charging ahead on Beta 1 isn`t always the best idea.  I got my blog site up at with very little difficulty.  I pasted up a few of my posts, and things were still looking good.  We registered the DNS name, setup the rules on our ISA Server to publish it out, and voila, my blog site was live on the web.

    That’s where things went off the rails.  Our site is coming along nicely too, and that was published in the same way.  In both cases I wanted the sites to be available anonymously.  No sense in doing all this writing if no one can see it.  Well the www site was publishing fine, but the blog site wouldn’t stop requesting authentication.  It wasn’t the ISA Server, as the same thing was happening inside the network. 

    [Read More]
Copyright ©2013 Peter Carson