Microsoft Ignite Conference: Day 4 Round-Up

Last day of the MS Ignite conference for me. Let’s take it to the bridge:
Bridge

Another metaphor? You betcha:

– Cloud vs on-premise
– Microsoft as Service Provider vs Shrink Wrapper
– Unified experiences vs Diversified devices
– People-driven Intranets vs Intranet-driven people
– Windows OS as a true personal & biz life and productivity platform vs Windows OS as a 900 pound gorilla

My top picks for Day 4 in the SharePoint/Office 365 realm (with a little .NET 5 in there to maintain my Dev street cred):

My last-day sessions:

JEA: A PowerShell Toolkit to Secure a Post-Snowden World

When asked what to do about corporate hacking, Ex NSA Director Michael Hayden replied, “Man up and defend yourselves.” Edward Snowden then rocked the world by disclosing privileged NSA information. JitJea stands for “Just In Time, Just Enough Admin.” It’s a Windows PowerShell toolkit that admins use to perform functions without giving them admin privileges.

MVP Panel: SharePoint On-Premises, Online and Everything in Between
Imagine five great minds coming together to talk about Microsoft SharePoint across the board, be it within Microsoft Office 365, in Microsoft Azure, on-premises and certainly hybrid. Via a panel Q&A format, these MVP experts expose how online and hybrid improvements increase both deployment scenarios and value. This session is designed to help ITIs and ITDMs find the right cloud formula to deploy based on practical business and technical considerations. This is a must-not-miss session for any IT pro!

How to Decide When to Use SharePoint and Yammer and Office 365 Groups and Outlook and Skype
Your users may struggle with these questions: Should I share a message via Skype for Business instead of Yammer, Office 365 Groups, or Exchange? Should I collaborate on data using an Excel sheet or a SharePoint list? Should I share a file in Outlook, in a meeting, from OneDrive for Business, on Yammer, in a Group, or in a SharePoint site? This session is the ‘How To’ user’s guide What happens when your users can’t decide what technology or feature to use? They use what they know, or what’s easy; even if better options exist. In this session, Richard and Kanwal help you maximize the value of your Office 365 investment by providing the guidance you need to help your users make better, more effective decisions on how they get work done.

Experts Unplugged: Office 365 Security

OneNote for OneLife: From Notes to Productivity and Platform
OneNote is awesome. Really. Knowledge, learning and info on the bleeding edge benefits from structure – but not too much structure. We all need a place to inscribe understanding, without having to go overboard on the word-processing end of things.  I’m always thrilled to hang out with the OneNote crew as I sometimes wonder if they know they have the future of Education and Wikis in their hands.

Microsoft OneNote gives you one place for your notes and other content with you, anywhere now that OneNote is across all platforms and devices. Write by hand, type, record, snap a picture, clip from the web, or use a growing number of other partner apps and devices and OneNote saves it. Organized or not, you can easily find your notes in any form (text, writing, picture, or audio) with OneNote search. This session demonstrates end-user productivity scenarios at work to give you a clear understanding of how OneNote can help drive adoption of Office 365 with cross-platform, real-time collaboration, and extensibility with OneNote API. You’ll walk away wanting to use, evangelize, and build on OneNote personally or for your organization.

Microsoft Ignite Conference: Day 2 Round-Up

Day 2 started off with a walk to the shuttle bus under the looming John Hancock building. Infrastructure into the Cloud, this pic worked out well as a deep ol’ metaphor 🙂 :
John Hancock

Here’s some of the most awesome SharePoint/Office 365 sessions from Day 2:

There are over 150 Day 2 sessions available for immediate viewing.

Source: Microsoft Ignite Day 2 Sessions On-Demand

Here’s my takeaways from the sessions I had scheduled:

Microsoft Office 365 Groups Overview and Roadmap

“It’s not an email, it’s a conversation.”
Dynamics CRM and Group’s integration.

Office 365 Groups helps you collaborate by easily bringing together your colleagues and the applications you need to get work done. Office 365 Groups leverages a standard definition for team membership and permissions across Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, and later Skype for Business, Yammer and the rest of Office 365, managed through Microsoft Azure Active Directory. This session provides an overview of Office 365 Groups, demonstrates its capabilities today, and provides a roadmap for future investments.

Designing and Applying Information Architecture for Microsoft SharePoint and Office 365

Provide Clear Guidance
Make it Easy
Keep it Simple, Stupid
Define > Design > Implement > Govern

This session demonstrates a proven process for defining, designing, implementing, and governing your information architecture (IA). IA is more than just columns and metadata. Learn how the different components available in SharePoint and Microsoft Office 365 can be leveraged to their fullest potential and your users’ ultimate benefit to content organization and discovery.

Managing Change in an Office 365 Rapid Release World

Selective First Release! Roll out first release changes to selected users only. ’nuff said.

Before moving to Microsoft Office 365, your team planned each and every change or update before your users saw anything new or different. Now in a services-first world, changes are introduced at a rapid pace, sometimes before you or your help desk may be prepared. Office 365 provides communications to help you manage change, stay informed, and inform your users. Learn how to best use the Office 365 Message Center, Roadmap.office.com, and Success.office.com to get ahead of updates and help your business take advantage of the latest and greatest Office 365 has to offer.

Microsoft Office 365 Groups Deep Dive
Office 365 Groups helps you collaborate by easily bringing together your colleagues and the applications you need to get work done. Office 365 Groups leverages a standard definition for team membership and permissions across Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, and later Skype for Business, Yammer, and the rest of Office 365, managed through Microsoft Azure Active Directory. This session follows the introduction session “Microsoft Office 365 Groups Overview and Roadmap,” and covers the following topics: architecture, administration, security and compliance, and extensibility.

All in all a great day- I was also lucky enough to be able to work at the Microsoft MVP Booth (in the “Microsoft on Microsoft” section of the Expo Hall). Very rewarding to answer questions about the MVP program and connect with people from around the world.

MS MVP Booth

MVPS

Microsoft Ignite Session Catalog is now live

Microsoft Ignite
The Microsoft Ignite Session Catalog is here!

http://ignite.microsoft.com/Sessions?WT.mc_id=IG15W5BL09127#fbid=gylT_kORi_X

Be sure to take a look at the hundreds of sessions covering cloud infrastructure and management, big data and analytics, productivity, unified communications, operating systems, and mobile devices at the biggest enterprise technology event of the year! You’ll find sessions that provide deep technical detail on specific products, as well sessions that provide strategy, guidance and best practices on security and topics including deployment, operations and usage. We will be adding more sessions and labs in the coming weeks, so please check back often for updates.

Get more out of Ignite with a Pre-Day Session
For an additional investment of $500, Pre-Day Sessions on Sunday, May 3, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. offer a unique opportunity to extend your learning experience with a full day of focused training the day before the conference opens. These sessions are designed to provide you with a deep knowledge base and skills that you can apply as soon as you’re back in the office. You’ll be able to tap into the knowledge and insights of the people who, in many cases, literally wrote the book on their subject.

Network and network, then network some more
There is something special about the connections you make at events. That’s why we’re making it easy for you to find and connect with others interested in similar topics. There will be meet ups in lounges; fire-starter and birds-of-a-feather community-led sessions in theaters; regional, industry and technology-focused meal-time mashups; and after hour networking events with Microsoft tech and business leaders to add to your agenda to unwind, kick back, and truly enjoy the scene. You can talk tech all day and night.

Mark your calendars for #IgniteJam on Twitter
On February 3rd at 9:00 am PT, we’ll have the whole event team and lots of speakers ready to chat with you on Twitter. We’ll be ready to answer your questions about the event and hear what you’re excited about in terms of community experiences and things to do in Chicago. Add the event to your calendar with this link.

To participate in this #IgniteJam

1. Join us on Twitter (or for easier real-time participation join us on Twubs at:

http://twubs.com/ignitejam to participate (you’ll need to sign in, it’s free)

1. Log in to Twitter at 9:00 AM PT on February 3rd
2. Follow us on Twitter at @MS_Ignite
3. Start tweeting and include #IgniteJam in your tweets!

Feeling fired up? See where technology is headed and meet who’s fueling it—at Ignite. Register today, and add a Pre-Day Session to your Ignite agenda.

Using the built-in Windows Problem Steps Recorder to document user woes

I’m re-introducing the Windows PSR (Problems Steps Recorder) as one of those cool tools we come across, get distracted, forget about, and then come back to as “wow that’s hot”.

Problem Steps Recorder (PSR.exe), is shipping on all builds of Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1.1, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012 & Windows Server 2012 R2. Unfortunately, there is no equivalent Microsoft provided program available for Windows Vista, Windows XP, or other Microsoft operating systems prior to Windows 7. This feature enables the collection of the actions performed by a user while encountering a crash or running through the things they are trying to do, so that we as Consultants, Developers, Support Technicians & Admins can figure out what exactly is going south.

To begin creating their documentation, the user would press the Start Record button.

They would then begin going through the steps that took them towards their question or problem. At any point during this process, they can press the Add Comment button to highlight a problem area and add comments. Once they are done, they click the Stop Record button. Once they stop recording, a Save As window appears letting them browse to the location they want to save the documentation. A zip file is created and saved to that location. Inside the zip file is a .mht file containing the documentation. You will need to use Internet Explorer to view the MHT file.

Opening the documentation will present the help desk, admin, or family tech guy with a step-by-step walkthrough of what the user did, complete with screenshots and any comments made by the user.

Click here for a sample of what the recorded output looks like:
Windows-PSR-SharePoint-Problem-Steps-Recorder-Debugging

In addition to the screenshots, at the bottom of the report file the PSR generates you’ll find a copy & pastable (plain text) output of the events, like the following:

Recording Session: ‎2014-‎05-‎29 7:35:48 PM – 7:36:51 PM

Recorded Steps: 4, Missed Steps: 3, Other Errors: 0

Operating System: 9600.17041.amd64fre.winblue_gdr.140305-1710 6.3.0.0.2.48

Step 1: User left click in “Sites – Internet Explorer”
Program: Internet Explorer, 11.00.9600.16384 (winblue_rtm.130821-1623), Microsoft Corporation, IEXPLORE.EXE  SCODEF:13064 CREDAT:1782837 /PREFETCH:2, IEXPLORE.EXE
UI Elements:

Step 2: User mouse wheel down in “Pages – Engineering – Internet Explorer”
Program: Internet Explorer, 11.00.9600.16384 (winblue_rtm.130821-1623), Microsoft Corporation, IEXPLORE.EXE  SCODEF:13064 CREDAT:1782837 /PREFETCH:2, IEXPLORE.EXE
UI Elements:

Step 3: User left click in “Pages – Engineering – Internet Explorer”
Program: Internet Explorer, 11.00.9600.16384 (winblue_rtm.130821-1623), Microsoft Corporation, IEXPLORE.EXE  SCODEF:13064 CREDAT:1782837 /PREFETCH:2, IEXPLORE.EXE
UI Elements:

Step 4: User Comment: “This is where it breaks”
Program:
UI Elements:

How to Use the PSR

Notes

  • When you record steps on your computer, anything you type will not be recorded. If what you type is an important part of recreating the problem you’re trying to solve, use the comment feature described below to highlight where the problem is occurring.

    Some programs, like a full-screen game, might not be captured accurately or might not provide useful details to a support professional.

To record and save steps on your computer

  1. Open Problem Steps Recorder by clicking the Start button, and then typing psr. In the list of results, click psr.

  2. Click Start Record. On your computer, go through the steps on your computer to reproduce the problem. You can pause the recording at any time, and then resume it later.

  3. Click Stop Record.

  4. In the Save As dialog box, type a name for the file, and then click Save (the file is saved with the .zip file name extension).

    To view the record of the steps you recorded, open the .zip file you just saved, and then double-click the file. The document will open in your browser.

To send the problem steps in e‑mail

  • After recording and saving a .zip file, click the help down arrow , and then click Send to E‑mail recipient. This will open an e‑mail message in your default e‑mail program with the last recorded file attached to it.

    Note

    • You won’t be able to click the Send to e‑mail recipient option until you’ve recorded and saved a file.

To annotate problem steps

  1. Open Problem Steps Recorder by clicking the Start button , and then typing psr. In the list of results, click psr.

  2. Click Start Record.

  3. When you want to add a comment, click Add Comment.

  4. Use your mouse to highlight the part of the screen that you want to comment on, type your text in the Highlight Problem and Comment box, and then click OK.

  5. Click Stop Record.

  6. In the Save As dialog box, type a name for the file, and then click Save.

    To view the record of the steps you recorded, open the .zip file you just saved, and then double-click the file. The document will open in your browser.

To adjust settings

When you adjust settings for Problem Steps Recorder, they’re only saved for your current session. After you close and reopen Problem Steps Recorder, it will return to the regular settings.

  1. Open Problem Steps Recorder by clicking the Start button , and then typing psr. In the list of results, click psr.

  2. Click the help down arrow , and then click Settings.
  3. You can change the following settings for Problem Steps Recorder:

    • Output Location. If you don’t want to be prompted to save a file after recording, click the Browse button to set a default output file name.

    • Enable screen capture. If you don’t want to capture the screen shots along with the click information, select No. This might be a consideration if you are taking screen shots of a program that contains personal information, such as bank statements, and you are sharing the screen shots with someone else.

    • Number of recent screen captures to store. While the default is 25 screens, you can increase or decrease the number of screen shots. Problem Steps Recorder only records the default number of screen shots. For example, if you took 30 screen shots during a recording but only had 25 screen shots as the default, you would be missing the first five screen shots. In this case, you would want to increase the number of default screen shots.

What about the other screenshot tool <X>?

As usual in software-type things, there’s more than one product around that does the same type of thing. For screenshots, even just in the Microsoft stack there’s:
OneNote Screen Clipping – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6yutoKDZLE
Office Screen Clipping – http://office.microsoft.com/en-ca/word-help/insert-a-screenshot-or-screen-clipping-HA010355185.aspx

On the general market, there’s:

I use the great SnagIt on a daily basis to make screenshots (just trying out version 12 this week myself) however, it’s more for us as Consultants to create content for consumption by others. The Problem Steps Recorder has the advantage over SnagIt for particular scenarios where you need the user to show you what’s going on:

– Free
– Built into most Windows environments you’ll encounter these days
– Can be run by end users with very little instruction
– Can be used on workstations where remote desktop’ing in isn’t available, performed autonomously by end users
– Handles all the screenshot’ing, layout, description of user interaction events
– Provides detailed descriptions of interaction events that would be otherwise time-consuming/difficult for a human to collect manually

Final Victory of the PSR

2014-05-29_20-24-13
The final advantage I see in the PSR in general (as a troubleshooting tool), is a huge one:
By empowering the user to document their own grief, with their own mouse button and on their own time, you are creating a purer user story:

– they are not being influenced by weird remote desktop software running on their workstation
– they don’t have to worry that the visiting technician invading their desktop is going to discover what kinds of oddball websites they visit while poking around
– there’s less time constraints as the user can run this on their own time, again without someone breathing down their neck
– there’s less chance of their user story being tainted as there’s no one coaching them, directly or indirectly

References:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/patricka/archive/2010/01/04/using-the-secret-windows-7-problem-step-recorder-to-create-step-by-step-screenshot-documents.aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/problem-steps-recorder-overview.aspx
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-CA/windows7/How-do-I-use-Problem-Steps-Recorder
http://www.maximumpc.com/article/how-tos/how_use_windows_7_problem_steps_recorder_make_easy_pc_guides
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd371782%28v=vs.85%29.aspx
http://www.7tutorials.com/easy-troubleshooting-and-problem-solving-problem-steps-recorder
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6EgLm3-XcQ

Free Online SharePoint Conference

SharePoint24
https://www.sp24conf.com

Facts

SP24 will last for 24 hours and will comprise of 48 sessions running across a business and technical track. SP24 will be held on-line using live streaming and will feature many speakers who have been voted for by the community, plus a few well knowns! Last but not least, it’s completely free for all attendees.

The Team!

Team

SP24 is being faciliated by some of th  Community Reps from the SharePoint-Community.net. We’ve been asked many times to run on-line SharePoint events, so here we are with something pretty big! To find our more about the team, please visit our ‘Meet the Team​’ and don’t hesitate to ask anyone a question!

The Date!

The Teaser

SP24 will start with an amazing keynote at 10pm GMT on April 16th and will finish at 11pm GMT on April 17th. We will shortly be releasing the sessions shown in your local time ​as soon as we have finalised the list of speakers. Each ses​​sion will fit into a 60 minute slot and there will be 2 live slots every hour.

​​​​​We think SP24 is a SharePoint Conference with a difference and if you are interested in SharePoint we think you will love it, and here’s why :

  • SP24 lasts for 24 hours and will follow the sun from New Zealand to Hawaii.
  • SP24 will feature speakers that are        voted for by the community.
  • SP24 has 2 tracks, one to appeal to Business Users and one that will excite technicians such as developers and adminsitrators.
  • SP24 is going to be held entirely on-line.
  • SP24 is following a similar format that has already proved to ​be really successful at two TFT13 conferences.
  • The SP24 conference will be run using this site which is built on SharePoint 2013 hosted by Fpweb.net.

When is SP24?

SP24 will start in New Zealand on the     16th April at 10pm GMT and will finish 24 hours later.

Who is organizing SP24?

SP24 is a big event and requires a lot of co-ordination and management, so is being collectively managed by the SharePoint-Community.Net Reps. To read more about the Team members please see our ‘Meet the Team​‘ page.

The Teaser

Before we launched this site we released this promotional video to introduce the concept of SP24. Please take a moment to check it out.
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(Please note! ​the date showing in the clip is incorrect).​​

The SP24 site will be launched in 3 phases

SP24 is being built entirely with SharePoint 2013 Foundation hosted by Fpweb.net. The construction of the site has been planned over 3 phases as follows :

  1. Phase 1​ – Speaker Submissions (Live now)
  2. Phase 2 – Attendee Registration ​​(Live December 24th, 2013)
  3. Phase 3 – Conference Manageme​nt site (Live February 2014)​

Where can I find out about the sessions and how do I watch them?

You can catch the live stream event on Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOj3UECdDLc

As soon as we have concluded the voting process, we will start to fill all of the sessions slots and this will be made available via our Session Browser. Each session will be live streamed via an individual session room on this site.

A typical session room will contain :

  • The Live Stream
  • Twitter Feed (based on the hashtag for the session)
  • Session Overview
  • Integrated Chat (so you can ask the speaker questions)
  • Feedback forms
  • Quizzes
  • In-session Voting
  • Speaker BIO / background.

I want to speak, how can I apply?

If you are interested in speaking at SP24, then please read our ‘Speakers Guide‘ for more details.

I want to sponsor SP24, are there any opportunities?

As you can imagine to develop, host and run such a conference requires substantial effort with associated costs. We intend to have several sponsorship opportunities available and are currently working on the finer details. If you are interested please contact     Vlad Catrinescu​.