• 25/3/2014

    Outstanding announcements of the SharePoint Conference 2014 for Office 365

    Microsoft has given much information during the SharePoint Conference 2014. It is sometimes difficult to not miss something, so I made a summary of information that marked me.

    Storage evolution 1 TB and beyond!

    During the SharePoint Conference 2014 Microsoft announced a significant change in the limitations of SharePoint Online Storage: 1 TB Max per site collection (including the "mysite" or onedrive for business) and unlimited storage (understanding billed per GB) by tenant.

    Key points:

    - Plans E1 to E4 and A1 to A4 are concerned, small business and medium plans are limited to 1 and 20 TB because they have only one and twenty collections of sites. Government, dedicated plans and home prenium are not concerned.

    - By default the onedrive for business remains limited to 25 GB, we need to change the parameter from your administration of holding.

    New plan available

    A new plan emerged, the personal. Identical to the Home Prenium (which will be now called Home) but cheaper and restricted to one person only.

    Free Apress eBook for migrating to Office 365

    A press has recently directed a free ebook which deals with the migration to Office 365

    Change management in Office 365

    I came across a very good article by Chris O'Brien referring to this problem and future developments. The updates publication time for SharePoint online is very fast. Customers have no pre-production environments and are not warned in advance when an update is the impact. This can lead to some surprises during the deployments of updates by Microsoft especially when the customer has customized its environment.

    Fortunately Microsoft will address this issue with:

    - Implementation of an infrastructure of tenant notification to notify changes.

    - Creation of a pre-release clients group (reduced number, under NDA).

    - Creation of a first to be deployed to clients group (updates take several days to deploy on Office 365), you can activate it from your tenant.

    - More communications about what happens (public roadmap) via the office team blogs

    The main article is available at this address

    Office Graph and Code Name Oslo

    Microsoft introduced two new technologies working together. The first one, office graph is a learning machine that will iterate through all your data, contacts, appointments, etc and link the items to each other in a logical way. For example Office graph will overlap with the fact that you attended a meeting and that a powerpoint presentation was made at this meeting. This way you will be able to search "presentations which I assisted" for example.

    Another technology introduced: Olso. Olso analysis data provided by Office Graph, analysis your search behavior and other parameters to present proactively the elements that might assist you in your work. For example the records of my domain on which my colleagues have worked recently. Or at least, it will provide an enhanced search.

    These are two quite complex concepts to explain in writing. But I think it's a big step forward: the computer becomes little by little "smart." Best remains that you were watching the video below or you do a tour on the team blog to get your idea.

    Last detail, Oslo is already available to members of the TAP program customers. General availability is expected at the end of calendar year.

    Power BI and data connection on premise

    Finally something that has been a little less heard of during the SPC, the general availability of Power BI. It is true that it happened about two weeks before but it is also a big feature of office 365 platform.

    Reminder: Power BI provides the possibility to operate your data in-house, external, in documents, on the internet, in short all your data and view them in a simple, intuitive and meaningful way. This is the BI made available to users who are now themselves capable of building their reports, dashboards, to query data to finally draw their conclusions.

    If you want to see what looks like Power BI, a lot of videos and examples are available here iHsGFNGKN85 (as well as a free trial version)

    Recently Kameron Berget has posted a great article on how to expose your data on prem in power BI.



    So here are the outstanding office 365/SharePoint online facts that I found very interesting in recent weeks.

    If you want some more you can go take a look at the blog of the office team or at Chris O'Brien’s, very complete.

    What may I have missed? What are your outstanding announcements?

    • 12/3/2014

    Anonymous access for SharePoint autohosted apps

    These days I’ve been working on an auto hosted app for SharePoint (office 365 actually).

    I had to grant an anonymous access to one of the pages without requiring clients to give anonymous access to their SharePoint site. But I still needed to read a few properties from the App Web web site (the SPWeb provisioned by SharePoint when installing an app)

    I had to play around a lot but I finally found the solution:

    //uri of the app web, you can pass this url via a query string parameter

    var targetUrl = new Uri("https://<tenantname>-<appinstallationid><appname>");

    var token = TokenHelper.GetAppOnlyAccessToken(TokenHelper.SharePointPrincipal, targetUrl.Authority, TokenHelper.GetRealmFromTargetUrl(targetUrl));

    using (var ctx = TokenHelper.GetClientContextWithAccessToken(targetUrl.ToString(), token.AccessToken))


    You also need to add the “allow app only calls to SharePoint” in the manifest.


    I hope it’ll save you a lot of time.


    • 11/3/2014

    Operating system compatibility of SharePoint 2010/2013 has evolved


    Service pack 2 for SharePoint 2010 and Service pack 1 for SharePoint 2013 recently came out.

    A support of 2012R2 at last !

    Both service packs bring support for Windows Server 2012R2. This is a recurrent problematic for IT services. How to reduce the number of different versions of an operating system in order to make maintenance cheaper and easier?

    Warning: “in place” upgrade of operating system for SharePoint 2013 is not supported by Microsoft. You need to reinstall the farm and migrate the content. See section “overview of improvements” in this article

    I won’t be surprised if it was the same for SharePoint 2010, even if it’s not indicated (see )

    Therefore I decline any responsibility in damages you may cause using following instructions.

    Migration of my dev vm’s

    However I tried to migrate my development machines to WS2012. Again, if I break those, no big deal. (plus I had some snapshots)

    Starting migration from:

    - SP2010: windows server 2008R2

    - SP2013: windows server 2012

    I began by installing sp2 on the 2010 machine and sp1 on the 2013 one. Once it was installed, I updated system to 2012R2. I was surprised to see that SharePoint was working pretty well on both machines after the installation. I only had a couple of log entries

    Encountered (and solved) problems after migrating

    Secure Token Service

    On both machines I had this error:

    Sender Information: System.ServiceModel.ServiceHostingEnvironment+HostingManager/62476613

    Exception: System.ServiceModel.ServiceActivationException: The service '/SecurityTokenServiceApplication/securitytoken.svc' cannot be activated due to an exception during compilation. The exception message is: Exception has been thrown by the target of an invocation.. ---> System.Reflection.TargetInvocationException: Exception has been thrown by the target of an invocation. ---> System.ArgumentNullException: Value cannot be null.

    Just in case I re-ran the psconfig in order to register again SharePoint services. But it didn’t solve the issue. Solution came from this msdn forum thread, the author indicated that we only need to re-provision services to solve the problem. He also provides us the powershell script to do so.

    SharePoint management Shell not working

    The second problem I had due to the upgrade is related to powershell 3 which runs on .net 4. (problem I had only on the 2010 machine). Solution is pretty simple, you only have to edit the shortcut to management shell as documented in this article.


    Migrating my dev vm’s went well. I’ve done it a week ago and I had no other problem at this time. Bu again these are developments machines, beware on your environments where the consequences could be bigger.

    • 8/3/2014

    Repackaging of SharePoint 2010 language packs

    SharePoint 2010 service pack 2 came out a few months ago from now. It brings lot of new things, I’ll blog about that in further posts.

    One of these new things is the repackaging of language packs.

    Indeed you may have missed it but it is not required anymore to do a progressive installation in order to support MUI in SharePoint 2010 when setting up a new farm.

    Before, when one wanted to install language packs (let’s take for example French English and Spanish), one had to:

    - Install SharePoint RTM in English

    - Install French and Spanish Language packs

    - Install SP1

    - Install SP1 for French and English language packs

    - Etc…

    And one had to do it on every server of the farm, which could take time.


    Fortunately Microsoft repackaged language packs when SP2 came out, you only need to install lp’s over it, which gives us with same example:

    - Install SharePoint SP2 in English

    - Install French and Spanish language packs

    That will save us a lot of time during deployments.

    You still can (should) update an existing farm installing SP2 + SP2 for language packs.

    Here are the links:

    - SP2

    - SP2 for language packs

    - Repackaged lp’s

    - All SP2 related downloads

    (hey, don’t forget to run psconfig on every machine after installing sp2 ;-) )

    I hope you’ll save time when installing new farms.

    • 6/3/2014

    March Update of Visual Studio tools for Office

    Microsoft recently publishing an update for Office development tools.

    This update integrates SP1’s benefits. It also allows you to develop app for PowerPoint and Access, enhances/add creation/configuration wizards for projects elements and includes more data sources types.

    You can find the detailed description of the update here

    It’s very simple to update your installation, open Visual Studio, tools, Extensions and updates.


    Have fun coding!