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  • Mar.26.2015

    ​​We've had a number of clients recently inquire about hosting their SharePoint in the cloud, but not in Office 365.  There are a number of scenarios where this makes sense.  It could be that you are looking to host your public web site, which Office 365 no longer supports.  Or you could be looking at hosting an Extranet, and the external sharing or licensing of your external users individually doesn't make sense (look for another post from me on that topic).  Regardless of the reason, one of the first questions we get is what are the costs.  Of course that depends, hence the white paper and calculator I've created.

    [Read More]
  • Mar.01.2015

    ​CollabCon is coming next week to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.  As well as playing host for the three days, I will be presenting two sessions and two half day workshops.  Check them all out at

    • Building a Website on SharePoint 2013
    • Collaborating with External Users
    • SharePoint Extranets Half Day Workshop
    • Web Content Management Half Day Workshop
    [Read More]
  • May.08.2014

    ​Last day of the conference and my second talk is in the can.  This one was on Office 365 REST APIs.  It started with some background and history on APIs, and then dove into the Documents API for SharePoint.  We then went into the Search API, and talked about REST and Search Driven Apps.  Some customer samples were presented, and then we proceeded into the bewildering world of authentication with REST and Apps.  This included Form Digest, OAuth, High Trust (Server to Server), Office 365's new Common Consent Framework, the Graph API, rolling your own REST, JSON Web Tokens (JWT) and frameworks such as AngualrJS and KnockoutJS.

    A lot to cover, including getting right into the code and walking through how it works.  The ESPC14 TH3 Office 365 REST APIs presentation is available for download.

  • May.07.2014

    ​It's been a whirlwind trip to Barcelona for the European SharePoint Conference 2014.  It's bee a great event, very well organized and a fantastic lineup of speakers from around the world.

    I did two talks, and this was the first one.  Titled Cloud Business Apps, it a case study of Apps work we're currently doing on client projects.  The three clients highlighted are:

    • Toronto Stock Exchange
    • Baxter Canada
    • Supreme Court of Victoria

    The ESPC14 W7X Cloud Business Apps presentation is available for download.

  • Feb.02.2013

    ​SharePoint Saturday Montreal was a great event on February 2, 2013.  You can go to the event page at to see all about it.  Serge Tremblay, Nicolas Georgeault. Alain Lord, Philippe Ouellet, and Benjamin Niaulin did a fantastic job organizing.  Not only was the venue ideal, the Wi-Fi solid, and the speakers delivering both English and French sessions, but they even had Montreal's famous Schwartz's Deli serving Montreal smoked meat sandwiches for lunch - awesome.

    I gave two talks at the event.  The first was my Extranets in SharePoint, and the second was Upgrading and Migrating to SharePoint 2013.  Links to the presentations can be found below.

    Sessions were only 45 minutes long, and there was a lot of material to pack in.  Particularly for the upgrade talk, I didn't get into any of the special upgrade considerations like My Sites, User Profiles, or Search.  I promise to start blogging more frequently again, and expand on these topics shortly.


  • Dec.04.2012

    ​On December 4th I delivered a Webinar on Rich Media Support in SharePoint 2013.  I focused on enhancements to image and video support in the new platform, specifically:

    Image renditions
    • Site owners can define standard sizes (renditions) for images that apply across the site
    • As content authors load and use images, SharePoint automatically creates these different renditions to optimize the site visitor's experience
    • Content authors can resize and crop images right in the browser, without the need for Photoshop or image management software
    • Video is becoming more and more important for both internal and external sites
    • 2013 has a new video content type that is actually a document set
    • Drag and drop a video into SharePoint, and the video and thumbnail (automatically extracted from the first frame) are put in the document set
    • Content authors can play the video in the browser, and select a different frame for the thumbnail, or upload their own
    • Additional video formats (renditions) can be loaded into the document set for playing back on different devices
    • Windows Azure Media Services further extends this by providing cloud-based transcoding (converting to different formats) and massively scaled streaming support (think London Olympics), as well as Smooth Streaming and HTTP Live Streaming (HLS, for Apple iOS adaptive streaming) support

    Links to the presentation and video can be found below:

    Presentation - Rich Media Support in SharePoint 2013 
    Video - Rich Media Support in SharePoint 2013

  • Dec.04.2012

    On December 4th I ​delivered a Webinar on Extranets in SharePoint 2013, and also spoke to the licensing changes that will really change the game for both Extranets and public web sites. For on-premise installations, Microsoft is eliminating the For Internet Sites license requirement, bringing the licensing costs down significantly. Likewise in the cloud, Microsoft now provides up to 10,000 external user accounts for Extranets in Office 365, with no additional subscription fees.

    More details about the webinar as well as links to the presentation and video can be found below

    Presentation - Extranets in SharePoint 2013
    Video - Extranets in SharePoint 2013

  • Dec.01.2012

    ​SharePoint Saturday Ottawa on December 1st was a great day packed with sessions, and as expected, the focus and buzz was all on SharePoint 2013. You can find full coverage of the day's events at

    Envision IT was a sponsor at the event, and I delivered 2 presentations on Extranets in SharePoint 2013 and Rich Media Support in SharePoint 2013.  You can view presentations and videos of my sessions on the event page here:

    SharePoint Saturday Ottawa



  • Nov.06.2012

    ​On November 6th I delivered a Webinar on SharePoint 2013 and the Envision IT Digital Marketing Suite of Products. I demonstrated how images and videos are handled in SharePoint 2013, and showed how the Digital Marketing Suite of Products help make SharePoint easier to use and provide a richer end user experience.

    • Video Player allows you to stream videos from a variety of sources onto different devices
    • Photo Viewer provides easier sharing and management of images
    • Image Rotator allows images that are stored in a SharePoint Asset Library to be displayed in rotating sequence on a web site
    • Custom 404 will help eliminate 404 errors, broken or missing links, and mistyped URLs

    You can view the presentation from the link below

    Presentation - SharePoint 2013 and the Digital Marketing Suite

  • Oct.30.2012

    ​On October 30th I delivered a Webinar on What's new in Search in SharePoint 2013.

    Microsoft has made and continues to make massive investments in Search in SharePoint.  Following the acquisition of FAST in 2008, portions of the FAST search technology made its way into SharePoint Search, but FAST remained as a separate product.  For SharePoint 2013, there is only SharePoint Search, combining the power of FAST and the work that Microsoft has been doing to go beyond that.

    Some of the key features highlighted are:

    • Architecture and scalability
    • 2013 Search user experience
      • Live Office Preview using with integration of Office Web Applications
      • Customization of the search presentation, using HTML display templates rather than XSLT
      • Concept of Search Verticals
      • Managed Metadata driven refinement
    • The new Content Search web part - killer replacement for the Content Query web part
    • Topic pages - leveraging managed Metadata Navigation, Content By Search web part and Improved Keyword Query Language
    • Cross-site publishing to share content between sites or even farms, by leveraging search
    • SEO enhancements - end user and search engine friendly URLs, on page SEO properties, auto-generated XML site map
    • Usage Analytics - feeding right back into Search, usage based ranking, no. of views information in search results
    • Top Viewed Pages - pre-configured Content Search web part

    You can view the presentation and video at the links below:

    Presentation - What's New in Search 2013
    Video - What's New in Search 2013

  • Oct.23.2012

    ​On October 23rd I delivered a Webinar on Extranets in SharePoint 2010 and 2013.

    As more organizations recognize than an Extranet is a vital part of their web strategy, business partners are finding ways to dramatically improve on Extranet performance, functionality and user experience.

    Microsoft SharePoint delivers a secure platform that allows a tailored approach towards achieving business goals with an Extranet. A SharePoint Extranet can support the following objectives:

    • Build an online community
    • Allow interaction between organization and customers, partners, vendors, and volunteers
    • Reduce supply chain inefficiencies
    • Offer customer self-service strategies
    • Share business resources with partners

    In this webinar, we demonstrated the latest technology enhancements and customizations for Extranet Portals that ensure organizations achieve their goals. We showcased how our clients are using SharePoint to transform their businesses, lower costs and maximize growth potential in a variety of scenarios:

    We also discussed the various ways to extend SharePoint outside your organization.  We compared and contrasted the following technical solutions, and outlined where each is appropriate:

    You can view the presentation and video from the links below:

    Presentation - Extranets in SharePoint 2010 and 2013
    Video - Extranets in SharePoint 2010 and 2013

  • 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

  • Aug.13.2012

    ​It's been a while since I've posted, and now I have a backlog of SharePoint 2013 content that I'd like to get posted out there, so I need to find the time.  I've been playing with the beta since early this year, but now that it is public, it's time to start talking about it.

    I figured the best place to start would be two of my favourite topics: Upgrading and Web Content Management (WCM).  What better place to start on that than on my blog site itself, which is hosted on SharePoint 2010.

    Being a WCM fan, when it came time to move my blog site to SharePoint 2010, I decided not to use the blog template, but rather base it off the full WCM publishing site template.  This gave me much better control over the branding and user experience, but it required some extra work to pull it all together.  Some of it I never did get fully completed, so I'll have to get back to that too.  I have custom web parts for the archive and tag cloud sections that I need to deploy, as well as ideas around the anonymous commenting and CAPTCHA requirements for a public blog.  I'll save that for another day, but hopefully soon.

    [Read More]
  • Aug.13.2012

    ​If you have a look at the TechNet SharePoint 2013 Preview articles, you'll see that Microsoft has done a great job of documenting a lot of the cool new features in 2013.  The first paragraph briefly describes an improvement to the Word cut and paste experience for content authors.  I can't say enough how important I see that being, so I've devoted a full post just to that topic at SharePoint 2013 Word Cut and Paste.

    Naturally I was keen to try the feature out, so one of the first things I did was open my new 2013 blog site (which still looked like 2010), and paste some rich text in from Word.  Boy was I disappointed to see that it didn't work.  What I didn't realize is that I had to complete the site collection upgrade to be able to see the new feature (yes 2010 mode really does work like 2010).

    It was now time to try the Site Collection Upgrade.  Much like in 2010, in the Site Collection Administration section of Site Settings, there is a Site collection upgrade option.  Running this goes through the site collection upgrade, and another log file is generated.  I still had missing features for some of our products that I hadn't tested the upgrade on yet, but otherwise the upgrade went well.

    Again like 2010, the resulting site worked but looked all wrong, for the same reasons.  The upgrade had changed the master page reference to a new v15.master page, that didn't have any of my custom branding on it.  It was time to figure out Design Masters, which are the new way of doing master pages in 2013.

    [Read More]
  • Aug.13.2012

    ​Cutting and pasting content from Word into SharePoint is something that every content author on a WCM site needs to do.  One of the first things we stress in our WCM training is to make sure you paste as plain text.  Pasting the rich text results in poorly formed HTML that causes all sorts of problems later for both authors and consumers.

    To give you a sense of how this works, I started with a small amount of Word content from an earlier post.  You can see the content in Word below.

    [Read More]
  • Aug.13.2012

    ​It's time to start getting my Fall speaking schedule in place, and my first talks to get booked are on upgrading a SharePoint 2010 publishing site to SharePoint 2013, along with an overview of the changes and new features in Web Content Management (WCM) in SharePoint 2013.

    The first part of the talk will be a discussion of the process for upgrading a site to 2013, as well as a live demo of that process using this blog site.  The main steps I'll be following are:

    1. Building the 2013 farm (briefly, this is a whole topic on its own)
    2. Attaching a backup of the 2010 content database to 2013
    3. Performing the Site Collection Upgrade
    4. Updating the branding with the new Design Manager

    The second half of the talk will be a walk-through of some of the cool new features in 2013 from a WCM perspective.  These include:

    • Branding changes with Design Manager
    • Much improved Word cut and paste
    • Video content types
    • Image renditions (automatically generated resized versions of images for different purposes, such as web friendly, thumbnail, or full fidelity for download)
    • Content search web parts versus content query web parts
    • Catalog-enabled libraries and lists versus reusable content
    • Friendly URLs
    • Design channels for different devices

     You can come see this talk at the following venues:

     I repeated the same talk in person at Microsoft Canada and as a webinar the following week.  Presentations and recordings are available at

Copyright ©2013 Peter Carson