Thursday, October 30, 2008

How to configure a MOSS VPC Development image

On the Microsoft TechNet site, there is a couple of articles on how to set up a MOSS environment. Following those steps will give you a good environment.  However, I have found that there is not that much control over the naming of the databases.  This is fine, but then you have to come back and do some extra steps to rename them correctly.  These are the steps that I follow to avoid having to come back and do all of that work.

I have already configure a VPC image with Windows Server 2003, SQL Server, Visual Studio 2008, etc.  I have also set it up as a Domain Controller (DC) and create a couple of accounts (SharepointService, SQLService, etc).

There are instructions on TechNet on how to setup the SQL Server before setting the MOSS environment: Prepare the Database servers. Follow those steps.

Now start the MOSS setup, select the Advance installation


I choose to install the Web Front End, since it gives me the most flexibility


Once this step has finished running, this is a good point to rename the Content DB's.


Do not run the configuration wizard yet.


Uncheck and close this window. Now use the psConfig utility, which it is available on this location:

C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\BIN

parameter value
Server MossOnlyAW
User SharepointService
Password *********
Config DB name STS_Config
Admin Content DB name STS_AdminContent

this is the parameters to configure the initial Databases

  -cmd configdb
  -create -server MossOnlyAW  
  -database STS_Config
  -user MOSSBSG\SharepointService
  -password <myPassword> 
  -admincontentdatabase STS_AdminContent

Run this from the command prompt window and you will get the following results:

SharePoint Products and Technologies Configuration Wizard version 12.0.4518.101
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation 2005. All rights reserved.

Performing configuration task 1 of 3
Initializing SharePoint Products and Technologies configuration...

Successfully initialized the SharePoint Products and Technologies configuration

Performing configuration task 2 of 3
Creating the configuration database...

Successfully created the configuration database.

Performing configuration task 3 of 3
Finalizing the SharePoint Products and Technologies configuration...

Successfully completed the SharePoint Products and Technologies configuration.

Total number of configuration settings run: 3
Total number of successful configuration settings: 3
Total number of unsuccessful configuration settings: 0
Successfully stopped the configuration of SharePoint Products and Technologies.
Configuration of the SharePoint Products and Technologies has succeeded.

C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\BIN>

now if you check your SQL server, you will see the 2 databases that were created, it also went and added that SharepointService account to the valid logins in your SQL Server.


Now go ahead and run the SharePoint Configuration Wizard. It will pick the databases that you have created, do not disconnect from this server farm:


I like to specify a port number that is easy to remember


Gotchas:  You might run into an error if the service account does not have enough rights:

Server Error in '/' Application.

The current identity (MOSSBSG\SharepointService) does not have write access to 'c:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\Temporary ASP.NET Files'.

so open up this folder and add the SharepointService account to the list of  authorized users. Give this account access to modify.


Close the browser and re-open the Central Administration page. You can now start to configure your MOSS sites.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Certification vs Google Developer


I have seen this thread so many times.  Those who don't have certifications always batching those that have them. Yes there are lots of paper certs developers out there.  Braindump sites has brought the core values of the certification down.  But consider the facts:

Certification Preparation Facts:

  1. to become certified you need to at least study the preparation guide for the exam
  2. you will need to read at least one book on the subject
  3. you would probably take some simulation test before taking the exam

 Summon the vast power of certification - Dilbert

A certification WILL not get you a job.! There are lots of factors that influence the decision to hire someone.  However, having achieve a certification in a new technology goes a long way to show that you have the Passion and Commitment to stay on top of the technology.

Yes, writing a blog entry does show that you are into technology.  But having to study to pass a test is a different beast.  A blog is written on your spare time, and there is no commitment to when you need to blog.

I hate when someone will tell me that they don't know something, but they are fast learners and they can find it really quick on google.  That's great, but when you are in presenting in front of a client, they expect you to know EVERYTHING right there.  When hiring a developer, there should be a base level knowledge that they should have. Knowing the basics first and then knowing how to find information in the internet for other stuff is fine with me.

Basic knowledge like how to use the xmlWritter, or what the background worker is? or creating a delegate. Using globalization and resources?  About ClickOnce deployment?  All of these concepts and more are required on the certification exam for .NET.

When you start getting into the Enterprise playing field, certifications are more valuables in terms of knowledge, rather than chrome on your resume. i.e. knowing what can be done and how it can be done in BizTalk is more important to a client, than the actual detailed implementation of it.  This is because every client out there has a different problem that they want you to solve, and they are looking at you for answers.

Once again, certification alone does not qualify ANY developer to get a job, but at least it shows that this person has the determination to study and learn the basic to do his job.  Which one will I hire?  The one that has a black belt in google searching or the one that took the extra time, to learn something.

Do you have the time to study?  Do you have the determination and commitment?  Do you have the experience? and most important of all Are you Passionate about Technology?

Certification Pros:

  1. your team will only move as fast as the slowest developer.  Requiring a certification, will set the base by which you can start moving forward.  You don't have to start guessing what level is each of your team members.
  2. Invest some training $$ on your team, they will feel appreciate [read more...]
  3. Think like an owner..!! Everyone wants to work for a Gold Certified Partner. Well, getting those Microsoft competencies takes some requirements:
    1. Customer references
    2. CERTIFICATIONS Requirements...!!

If you think that certifications are used only for evaluating a prospective candidate, think again. How does your company benefits from having certified developers?  Can you company truly stand out among other companies out there without certified people? If you want to be a Business Partner with some of the big companies out there like Microsoft, IBM, Sun, guess what?  You need certifications...!

The guy that study and did that extra effort is the one I want on my team, and in my Company [Quick Solutions, Inc.]

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Visual Studio 2008 free eBooks

Offer from Microsoft to download some cool content, check it out

Programming Microsoft LINQ
Introducing Microsoft® Silverlight 2, Second Edition Programming Microsoft® ASP.NET 3.5
by Paolo Pialorsi and Marco Russo by Laurence Moroney by Dino Esposito
ISBN: 9780735624009 ISBN: 9780735625280 ISBN: 9780735625273

Thursday, October 02, 2008

DocTools not working

For one of the projects we are working on, we need to make sure our end user documentation matches correctly the template provided by the customer. I have started playing with one of the products that the Patterns and Practices at Microsoft is using to generate their documentation. Take a look at their package:

After going through all of the installation and pre-requisites.  I was ready to try the sample Word Document they provide.  Snag.!  

First thing I notice is that the sample scripts are looking for the Microsoft DocTools in the c:\program files\Microsoft DocTools.  Changing those scripts brought to my attention that the install program gives you the ability to specify the path on where to install the DocTools.  However, it will always install to the (x86) directory on my Vista x64.

The main error I was getting was:

PS C:\DocToolsDemo> .\HTML.cmd

C:\DocToolsDemo>PowerShell ConvertToHTML.ps1 ESBIntro.docx .\outputHTML """C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft DocTools\Document Converter\Formatting\MSDN2\xsl""" convertESBConfig.xml

    Directory: Microsoft.PowerShell.Core\FileSystem::C:\DocToolsDemo

Mode                LastWriteTime     Length Name
----                -------------     ------ ----
d----         10/1/2008   9:10 AM            outputHTML

    Directory: Microsoft.PowerShell.Core\FileSystem::C:\DocToolsDemo\outputHTML

Mode                LastWriteTime     Length Name
----                -------------     ------ ----
d----         10/1/2008   9:10 AM            html
Add-PSSnapin : No Windows PowerShell Snap-ins are available for version 1.
At C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft DocTools\Document Converter\ConverterLibrary.ps1:9 char:15
+         Add-PSSnapIn  <<<< ppConverter.Cmdlets

--Splitting: C:\DocToolsDemo\ESBIntro.docx
An Error Ocurred: The term 'Split-Document' is not recognized as a cmdlet,
function, operable program, or script file.Verify the term and try again.

PS C:\DocToolsDemo>

After doing all of the regular stuff (check PATH, re-install, start/stop program, google), I could not get this error to go away.

The problem seems to be with the OS I am running.  Since I am running a 64bit OS, I need to call the PowerShell that is on the c:\windows\syswow64 and not the one in the regular 32bit.  This is accomplish by running the one marked with the (x86)


Once I opened this one, ran the set-executionpolicy remotesigned command.  It ran and split the Word document successfully and generated my HTML help compile file.


One of those simple bugs that can waste a whole hour for you.!