Microsoft SharePoint servers targets of attack!

 

According to ZDNet

Hacker groups are attacking Microsoft SharePoint servers to exploit a recently patched vulnerability and gain access to corporate and government networks, according to recent security advisories sent out by Canadian and Saudi Arabian cybersecurity agencies.” find out more in the ZDNet Post.

 

Microsoft SharePoint
Logo: Microsoft // Composition: ZDNet

 

https://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-sharepoint-servers-are-under-attack/

My story with Sharepoint – 10 years and counting

In January of 2004 I had my first contact with Sharepoint, at that time it was the 2003 version, and my first project was to implement an Intranet Portal for a Government Entity, related to the energy area.

I never heard of Sharepoint before, so when I started searching for information, the first thing that I realized was that there wasn’t that much!

So the beginning was learning to install, configure, administrate, manage and USE!

The first Intranet was implemented without any specific development, only adjusting the clients requirements to the way Sharepoint worked. I have to say that the project was a success, and ever since I have been working with Sharepoint almost constantly, not exclusively, but there seems to exist always another Sharepoint project to me 🙂

So after 10 years, I have followed, implemented and some times been the alpha and beta implementor of some of the Sharepoint versions. Currently I have implementations of 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2013 versions of Sharepoint.

  • Sharepoint Portal Server 2003 – Intranet builder, this version was purely for internal use! A very poor community with very few information.
  • Office Sharepoint Server 2007 – The merge between the Sharepoint 2003 and CMS 2002, it was an adventure to start using! a very exciting new approach, that for the first time allowed us to use the same platform for internal and external solutions. Nevertheless it was clear that the merge between the Sharepoint 2003 and the CMS 2002 capabilities was still to be ended. The boost of the Sharepoint community, because the information from Microsoft was limited, the community took for itself to create the information ans solutions, it was the start of one of the most “rich” communities in the IT industry.
  • Sharepoint 2010 Server – A much merged platform, giving the social enterprise boost, and with a real document management capability (instead of managing documents). The community keeps growing, beginning to include other products knowledge. A very timid approach to Sharepoint in the Cloud.
  • Sharepoint 2013 – The more recent version, were we are all at this moment! A very strong community is still growing, and with the reality of Sharepoint in the Cloud a new approach on implementation is being done.

After 10 years working with Sharepoint, sometimes I am asked if I don’t get bored with it and if Sharepoint’s life is reaching the end . . . well, there is no such thing as a Sharepoint project!!! believe me when I say that every project is unique 🙂

About the Sharepoint’s longevity it seems that for every new version that is released it becomes more of a core platform for Microsoft, some examples of this are the inclusion of Project Server and Commerce Server as services on Sharepoint, instead of standalone products.

A real threat to Sharepoint’s continuous use can be the licensing, because in these times of crisis one of the first cuts of costs that companies do is licensing, and if Microsoft doesn’t adjust to this “new” reality it will suffer, as well as the platform.

 

 

 

 

 

Why I Use Sharepoint – Videos

I found a series of funny videos to illustrate some of the situations that Sharepoint can help. The situations are very close to some of the realities I have come across 🙂

I don’t know who is the author of these videos.

Approval

 

Team Sites

 

Recover work

 

Proposal

Reimagine SharePoint Development Guidance

With a new version of Sharepoint comes new challenges and doubts.

Microsoft has released a new Development Guidance to help us make some decisions.

When should we use APPs? Cloud or premisses? … Should I ask for a raise? ok, the last one is not part of the guidance 🙂

 

In the download you can choose between Deciding Between Apps For SharePoint And SharePoint Solutions and Moodle And Office365 With ADFS, both in pdf and xps formats.

 

You can download this new Guidance here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=39047&WT.mc_id=rss_alldownloads_all

 

 

Visual Studio 11 – Productivity Booster !!!

Last Wednesday I went to a Microsoft’s Portugal Event on Visual Studio 11, it has been a while since my last event and the topic is very interesting to me.

This was an event that was divided into 6 sessions:

  • Keynote – Welcome to Visual Studio 11 (with Jay Schmelzer)
  • What’s new in the Visual Studio IDE (with Michael Koster)
  • Agile Application life-cycle Management with Visual Studio 11 (with Mitch Lacey)
  • Async -New Feature for Responsive Programming in Visual Studio 11 and .Net 4.5 (with Caio Proiete)
  • Software Testing with Microsoft Test Manager 11 and Lab Management (with Luis Carvalho)
  • Visual Studio 11 and Windows Azure (with Jay Schmelzer)

 

To sum up the event I think the new version of the VS is much programmer friendly, on subjects like Search, Snippets, Project Templates, functionalities and preview.

So, the new VS11 will support HTML5 (DOCTYPE) and has code snippets of HTML. The Code Snippets were largely upgraded and have much more than only C#, you can even find MVC specific snippets.

Another excellent new feature is the search, you will have search in almost every context. This allows you to be more productive in finding what you are looking for.

The preview tab, allows you to see a specific file content, without opening a new tab, this will help prevent the flooding of tabs that we all know and hate.

On project templates, specifically to Sharepoint, Microsoft has made available much less than the previous version. This was done because the templates used were only a few, this way we can continue to use the solutions templates and add all the other project types that we need.

So we get to the TFS (Team Foundation Server) part, here we have some very exciting news.

We will be able to suspend and Shelve using snapshots, this will allow us to freeze an environment up to the break point 😉

Both have the same principle, but the suspend is to be used when we are interupted, and the shelve when we want to save changes without checkin to the TFS.

The Lab management part has also some very useful news, we now can set has target environments any type of Virtual Machines and our own laptops or desktops. This is managed using agents installed on the target machine.

This is just a small sample of the VS11, that you can start using right now, the beta version is available for download.

You can find the download here: http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/11/en-us/downloads#vs

 

Sharepoint Browser Support – All browsers latest version supported . . .

One of the questions we get a lot in the beginning of projects is what browsers are supported by Sharepoint, this is usually after the clients demand that the implementation must be supported for all browsers . . . or at least most of them!

Microsoft had made available a compatibility matrix that we all used to support our pains . . . well it seems that this matrix is no longer available and now Microsoft states: “Unless otherwise stated,  all browser versions are supported. Period” followed by ” . . .The only browser that will clearly state known limitations is Windows Internet Explorer . . .”

These statements were taken of Kirk Stark post on this subject, that you can find here: http://blogs.technet.com/b/tothesharepoint/archive/2012/04/04/updates-to-plan-browser-support.aspx

I really think these are very good news, let us just see what impacts on  already deployed implementations . . .

So all browser latest versions are supported . . . unless otherwise stated, of course 😉

Sharepoint 2007 – Updating Child Content Types problem

There are still a lot of implementations of Sharepoint 2007, and I still work with some. This week we came across a problem updating content types across a site collection using the User Interface and I didn’t find any reference to this problem or solutions. So because I had to figure it out on my one, here it is my contribution on this issue. It is a long post, but I am trying to detail as much as I can.

  • Problem:

Actually we had two different problems that resulted in the same behavior, we had to add 4 new site columns to a Site Collection Content Type, that is the Parent of a 120 Child Content Types, most of them direct Parent, some of them is the indirect Parent [Content Type A -> Content Type AA (inherits from A)-> Content Type AAA(inherits from AA)]. And to help the scenario we have these Content Types are applied in document libraries in 450 sites and sub-sites.

Problem 1: We added 4 new site columns to the Base Content Type (Content Type A) and set the update option to true, this option would update all Content Types that inherit from the Content Type A.

Problem 2: We changed the order of the columns in the Content Type A and set the update to true, this option would update all Content Types that inherit from the Content Type A.

  • Behavior:

Problem 1:
When we applied the changes to the dependent Content Types, after a long time, we had the page were we were executing the process, returned a Time Out error.
The result was that we had some document libraries Content Types updated and some not updated. apparently the process was terminated and the update didn’t finish. After a few hours we checked and there was more updates done, but didn’t finish all the updates. No more updates were observed.
During this update process the server started consuming a lot of RAM, sometimes getting to use up to 90% of the available RAM. You can check this using the Task Manager or in the IIS Manager the Worker Processes and looking to the Sites Application Pool process.
The final result was that we had only some Document Libraries Content Types updated, leaving the others to be updated.
Problem 2: The behavior was the same has described in the Problem 1 behavior.
  • Solution:
At least my solution 🙂
Problem 1:
To force an update in a Content Type we need to change something, otherwise Sharepoint won’t start any update.
We started by trying to update only 1 Site Column, the trick was to remove the 1 site columns from the Content Type A without updating the child Content Types. After this we add the 1 Site Columns again this time setting the update option to true.

This time the process didn’t failed and all Child Content Types were updated with the new field. To the Child Content Types that already had the new field no change was done, and to the ones that didn’t had the new field was added.
Feeling confident we then tried with the remaining 3 Site Columns, again the trick was to remove the 3 site columns from the Content Type A without updating the child Content Types. After this we added the 3 Site Columns again this time setting the update option to true.
This time the process didn’t failed either and all Child Content Types were updated with the new fields. To the Child Content Types that already had the new fields no change was done, and to the ones that didn’t had the new fields were added. In this 3 Site Columns update process was done in 2 separate times, when we checked the update times we had one major update 14 hours before and another 8 hours before.
Problem 2:
So now we had all new Site Columns in the Content Types and we needed to change their order, remember that this update order process had been done and like the Site Columns update had stopped with a Time Out error and only updated some.
To force an update of the order of a Content Type we need to change something, otherwise Sharepoint won’t start any update.
We started by trying to update the order again, the trick was to change the order in the Content Type A without updating the child Content Types. After this we reorder to the desired order again this time setting the update option to true.

The update process failed again and we had to check which Child Content Types were updated with the new order. What we found was that some of the updates that previously failed were now done, but not all.
So, what can we do???? run it again 🙂
So always apply the complete changes you want to do, in this case I changed the order of new all fields, without updating the Child Content Types, and then reorder them all to the desired place before updating the Child Content Types. Done, updated them again and  . . .
This time we didn’t get the Time Out error, the process ended and all Child Content Types were updated with the correct order.
This solution to update the order is not a pretty one, but im my case it worked and did the trick. You can do these  updates using code, or running the STSADM extensions, just remember that if you already have information in Site Columns in a List or Library you cannot simply remove that columns and added again, that was my case, and that is why we choose to run the User Interface process. It works, but sometimes it needs a little push 🙂
Hope this helps someone!

Sharepoint new version – what we expect!

Well, here we are in the silly season of the launch of a new version of Sharepoint.
We know that the information available is under NDA (non disclosure agreement) so any info is generic or simply imagination.
I would prefer that some of the information on the new version were public, so that the community could start investing in the areas that will be “the future”.

Nevertheless I will enlist some of the wishes I personally have on the evolution of Sharepoint:

– Better mobile experience: The mobile vision of sharepoint has been present for quite a few years, but never had a strong implementation. With the era of applications in mobile devices Microsoft has to step up their game regarding Sharepoint.

– Developing Internet Web sites: Sharepoint is a great platform to build sites, but for the web we have to build a LOT of functionalities and interfaces some of them because the interfaces that Microsoft provide us simply are not internet oriented (a small example surveys).

– Better cross browser experience: this is a tricky one, but in a time were clients want their site in every device available, it is essential that the platform helps on this one.

– The Cloud: Microsoft is investing big in the cloud, so it makes sense that the new version in cloud enabled, were we can have better and easier integration and hosting.

– Web Design integration: For everyone that has to integrate web design into a sharepoint site, knows the pain that this can be. With the evolution of the design and the new trends, it is important to have the ability to have the minimum limitation on this subject.

– Social Networking: Microsoft has already bet on this part in the present Sharepoint version, but is seems a bit basic to me. So with the evolution of social computing I believe that Sharepoint has also to adapt. We need to make the distinction between Social Enterprise and Social Computing, Sharepoint needs to have better integration with the Social world.

This is a small list of wishes and I DO NOT have knowledge of the new version of Sharepoint.

For now we just have to wait and see what Microsoft will give us on the next version of Sharepoint.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑