SharePoint Foundation Search Broken after installing Service Pack 1 (Update with fix)

Service Pack 1 for SharePoint was released a couple of weeks. Unfortunately it appears to break Search in SharePoint Foundation and it doesn’t look like we will see a fix until the April 2014 Cumulative Update is released at the earliest.

More Details can be found in this article “SharePoint Foundation 2013 broken search experience

I have seen this problem first hand on two SharePoint Foundation sites. Others are reporting that the problem occurs after installing KB2850058.

The bad news is that this update cannot be rolled back. Once installed your choices are put up with broken search or install a new SharePoint Foundation farm.

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UPDATE: 24 March 2014

Microsoft have released a fix to resolve the issue: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2760625

My kids want to code and it makes me nervous!

This morning I read an article in the Wall Street Journal about “why we should learn to code”. I shared it on Facebook and it generated an interesting response from a friend I went to primary school with who is now faced with raising kids who are really into technology and want to learn to code!

I think it is fantastic that her kids want to learn this stuff. What I didn’t think about was how scary this might be for a parent who doesn’t know much about this stuff. I am sure my parents had a similar fear when I was that age, 30 years ago, but about mathematics!

Keep Calm

Here are my opinions on some of the questions raised:

Question.1: Is the education system letting them down?

I don’t think the education system is letting us down but I do think it could do better. We need to think about technology in a holistic way and recognise that we won’t all be Software Developers, but chances are we will all engage with technology throughout our lives and careers. Teachers can provide the tools, but reality is you’re better learning some things yourself and Coding falls into that category.

Question.2: Should we be teaching them ourselves?

Definitely! I see it kind of like reading. A child reads at school only, they won’t develop the skill as fast as someone who reads at home and has parents who read to them. Coding is kind of like reading, combined with a bit of math and critical thinking.

The good news is there are a lot of free resources online that make it easy to start learning, all that is needed is time and a little motivation. I’ve included some links below.

Questions.3: I am nervous…is this OK?

YES! You can expect to be asked complicated questions that might as well be in a foreign language. Think back to the days when you had quadratic equations in your homework. How do you think that made your parents feel?

It is OK to be nervous, the trick is to have a strategy. Now with math my Dad would say “ask your mother”. In today’s world you might say “take a look on Google” or “have you tried breaking the problem down into smaller parts?”

How hard can it be?

Learning to code takes time but can also be a lot of fun. Why not learn with your kids at home. Here are a few tips for parents with wannabe geeks!

  • Sign your kids up to Code Academy – everything they need is online.
  • A beginners HTML and (basic) CSS course is a good place to start (age 10+)
  • Take baby steps and repeat. Coding is like learning a language, so repeating the lessons will reinforce the concepts and make it easier to remember the core concepts and syntax.
  • If you have older children then languages like JavaScript and Python are popular in schools and Universities.

Expectations:

Now just because your child genius is learning to code doesn’t mean they will become the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. Chances are they won’t become a Billionaire but they will never the less have many other fabulous opportunities. Learning to code will give them a skill they can use for the rest of their lives in many careers, not just IT – think engineers, accountants, managers, sales, marketing, education to name a few.

Of course there is always the odd exception to that rule. If you do happen to have a genius then don’t worry about learning to code yourself, teach them business skills!

What are you thoughts on this?

SharePoint 2013 Service Pack 1

Microsoft have released Service Pack 1 for SharePoint 2013 Foundation and Server. Here is a quick round up of what’s new.

WARNING: Search issue with SharePoint Foundation after installing Service Pack 1

Compatibility with new stuff:

  • Support for Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Fixes for users with Windows 8.1 and Internet Explorer 11

Rollup:

  • Service Pack 1 rolls up previous cumulative updates and hot fixes. No need to install the March 2013 CU for SharePoint before installing later updates.

New Features:

  • Support for OData JSON light – allows developers to select the level of metadata returned by requests.
  • Ability to turn off the SharePoint News Feed and replace it with a Yammer feed.

One Drive:

  • SkyDrive Pro has been renamed to One Drive for Business

SharePoint Service Pack 1 can be downloaded from TechNet.

Related to this is Service Pack 1 for Office 2013 (including Office RT for Surface users) which was released at the same time.

The future of IT – an interesting discussion indeed!

Yesterday I attended a meeting of “Microsoft Infrastructure Influencers” where the discussion revolved around the future of IT and what that means for all of us. The discussion was lead by Norm Judah, Chief Technology Officer of Microsoft Services on a fleeting visit to New Zealand.

Three take-aways from the discussion:

  1. Microsoft’s focus is cloud first, on-premise second.
  2. On-premise infrastructure isn’t going away anytime soon, but it will become a legacy as new systems are built for the cloud only.
  3. Everyone is learning, adapting and improving. The cloud has problems now but these problems will decrease over time.

There are many issues with the cloud from latency and bandwidth to constantly updating API’s. The reality is the it is like any IT system that is being developed and the only constant is change. The problem is often this isn’t visible to the people building solutions on top of the core platform whether it is CRM, SharePoint online or Azure. The same issues are true for non-Microsoft clouds too.

A good tip for the IT Pro, keep an eye on what is happening in developer land. Those guys and girls are building with new tools, targeting mobile, deploying to the cloud and provisioning infrastructure with a mouse click, no 6 month delay, op-ex budget and they are by-passing the server jockey! Time to update your skill set on the new tools.

In the classic on-premise model the IT Pro typically had 3 years to learn a new product or solution before the next version was released. This is no-longer the case with cloud. We need to become agile in our approach to learning and supporting the business and users when it comes to the cloud.

In summary, if you are an IT Pro, panic when Microsoft announces the last version of on-premise Exchange. That will be a pretty good indicator of start of the end-game for on-premise.

Pebble Smart Watch

I was lucky enough to get a Pebble Smart Watch from Santa for Christmas. This is a very cool device for many reasons. Firstly it was funded via KickStarter.com, secondly it is programmable and finally it is actually useful! Pebble has enormous potential and while it might not be 100% yet, development of Pebble OS and third-party App support is improving rapidly.

Pebble Box

A few nice tricks Pebble does out of the box:

  • Lots of watch faces
  • Control music on your iPhone e.g. skip tracks, pause, play etc.
  • Caller ID for incoming calls to your iOS 7 device
  • Notifications
  • Vibrate alerts

Crowd Funding

One of the coolest things about Pebble is how it came about and how its development was funded via Kick Starter. The Pebble team needed $100,000 to fund initial manufacturing, more than 68,000 people liked they idea and they raised a staggering $10,000,000 and as they say, the rest is history.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/597507018/pebble-e-paper-watch-for-iphone-and-android/posts/

Specifications 

The Pebble watch tech specs:

  • 80MHz ARM processor
  • ePaper display with back light
  • Bluetooth 4
  • Water proof to 5ATM
  • 5-7 day battery life
  • USB Charger

A Smart Watch

Pebble is a smart watch that works with your iOS or Android device via Bluetooth 4. That means it will work with iPhone 4S or later or some of the latest higher end Android devices. Pebble can display notifications from apps like Twitter, FaceBook, Caller ID, iMessage and SMS (TXT) messages.

Pebble has an API allowing third-parties to build Pebble support into their iOS or Android Apps. The number of apps supporting Pebble is very limited currently. The best is RunKeeper (see below), while others like WakeSpeed definitely need some work.

Pebble FaceBook

2014 will see a lot of new Apps appearing for Pebble including sport scores, Yelp and many others. Just think of the possibilities.

RunKeeper and Pebble

Pebble is a great addition for anyone using RunKeeper. It displays Average Pace, Time and Distance on the Pebble and allows you to pause and un-pause RunKeeper using the Pebbles buttons (with your phone safely stored in your back pack or pocket). This is a very simple but extremely useful feature, especially if you are waiting for traffic lights and don’t want to have the delay affect your pace stats.

More details of the RunKeeper with Pebble can be found here: http://help.getpebble.com/customer/portal/articles/1133779-runkeeper

Verdict

Pebble is a great device, well built and has lots of potential. The number of Apps for Pebble will grow rapidly in 2014, so expect it to get better with time. In the meantime, it has enough to be useful and makes you feel like you’re at the edge of something new.

Contract Management with SharePoint

SharePoint has some great Document Management capabilities out of the box, no need to purchase expensive third-party add-ons if your requirements are straight forward.

Here’s a little video I put together to show off some of the features. Yes the demo is using SharePoint 2010, but the same functionality is available in SharePoint 2013 and Office 365 SharePoint. I have used Document Sets which aren’t present in SharePoint Foundation (the free version of SharePoint), but all of the other features are present and you can build reasonably sophisticated solutions with Foundation.

If you like what you see and want to know more, get in touch with me and I’ll send you a free White Paper based on this solution and some tips for building it yourself. My Contact details are here.