Archive for the ‘Giles Hamson’ Category

Office 365 Products Visio Stencil & Icons available (updated for 2019) #o365 #visio

Just a quick post to say that I have uploaded a new Visio stencil for Office 365 products that I created to aid my own solution designs and I hope you find them useful too.

Link on Technet Galleries:

Here is an example of the Visio Icon Set

I have also included the original image icons used to create the stencil which is useful for PowerPoint etc. too

Below is an example of the images used in the stencil. I have updated them to be inline with the new Office 365 Icon Re-Design that rolled out recently.

All images are available either in PNG format as part of the download and in some cases, the original SVG files.


Windows XP SP3 windows updates not working with 100% CPU–this will sort it!

November 22, 2013 Leave a comment

So I am setting up my new environment at home and I decided to create a Windows XP client machine for myself for the rare occasion that I need it to try out some functionality with XP or Office 2003.

So I install Windows XP Service Pack 3 into Hyper-V on my Windows 8.1 Pro machine and I find that the Windows Update will not install anything.  In fact it just kept running with no errors and the CPU would stay at 100%.

Well it turns out that the first thing the Windows Update checks for is updates to Internet Explorer and if you are not up to date with the latest security patch (November 2013 at the time of writing) then you will run into this issue.

The fix… install the latest security fix for either IE6, IE7 or IE8 and then run Windows Update.

That’s it, you’re all done Smile

Original article:

And the fix was found in the comments:

“The secret is to install the LATEST Cumulative Security Update for your version of Internet Explorer. This stops Windows Update from searching for any IE updates and blocks this update bug.

This is a recurring problem so the current latest version changes each month.

The latest updates are dated November 2013 (as of writing this). Download and install the update that corresponds with your currently installed version of Internet Explorer:

IE6: WindowsXP-KB2888505-x86-ENU.exe

IE7: IE7-WindowsXP-KB2888505-x86-ENU.exe

IE8: IE8-WindowsXP-KB2888505-x86-ENU.exe

Thanks to DougCuk for the comment!

For the latest security bulletins, go to this link assuming you are reading this after November 2013:

Presenting @HSPUG Transitioning from #SP2013 to #PS2013 for #EPM / #PPM November 20th 2013 #MSProject #ProjectServer

November 11, 2013 Leave a comment

One of my first tasks at BrightStarr is getting myself known in the area and what better way than to start presenting at the local user groups.  So without further ado:

Transitioning from SP to PS for Enterprise Project Management

Presenter: Giles Hamson

As a Project Manager, challenges exist with determining what are the best tools to use to help you be most effective. Project Server and SharePoint are two different tools for Project Management that include their advantages and disadvantages.

In this session, you will come away with the following information:

        • A high level understanding of how SharePoint and Project Server work together
        • The benefits of enterprise project management
        • Project management maturity expectations as solutions become increasingly more complex

        About Giles Hamson

      Giles Hamson has been working with collaboration technologies since 2001 and has been implementing SharePoint solutions from 2004; starting with SharePoint Portal Server 2003 whilst working in the Microsoft Dynamics division in Reading, UK.

      Giles has worked in multiple roles throughout his career working as a business analyst, moving into system analysis and development roles.BrightStarr_SmallLogo

      After gaining experience across Linux, Solaris and Microsoft disciplines, Giles moved into consultancy within the education market creating learning platform solutions based on SharePoint and integration with 3rd party vendors. After several successful implementations Giles moved into consultancy in SharePoint and Project Server across multiple industry verticals.

        Giles has recently moved from the UK to Austin, TX and joined BrightStarr.

      Also being presented at the November H-SPUG meeting is:

        H-SPUG Logo


          Bringing it all together with the Content Search Web Part

          Presenter: Paul McCollum

          Finally take full advantage of the power of search. Construct powerful IT Pro solutions using the Content Search Web Part, Keyword Query Language and the new query builder. Gain perspective on enterprise-wide events and content from a single location.
          About Paul McCollum

          A very early computing adopter, Paul has been programming for more than 30 years, writing his first lines of code in the 2nd grade. The past 20 years have been focused on the Portal space starting by hand with Notepad and Vi. 7-ElevenHe hopped over to SharePoint in 2007 and hasn’t looked back. More recently his role is as an Enterprise Solution Architect and Platform Manager at 7-Eleven. His current focus is around empowering power users and IT pros with rapid development solutions without code or with highly accessible JavaScript and jQuery. In his spare time, Paul contributes to technology forecasting news sites and coaches volleyball


          Microsoft Office, 2000 West Sam Houston Parkway South, #350, Houston, TX 77042 (

          Date & Time

          20th November 2013 – 17:30 till 20:00


      If you manage to make it, come up and say hello Smile

    New Country, New Job! #SharePoint #MSProject #SP2013 #PS2013

    November 11, 2013 Leave a comment

    Ok, so it has been a while since I have been engaged with and I see that lots of posts are still happening on a regular basis.

    It is now time to fill you all in on why I have been so quiet and to promise that more posts will be forthcoming now that things have settled down.

    So before the quiet period, I was Giles Hamson, living and working in the UK for Corporate Project Solutions as a SharePoint and Project Server Architect. 

    I am now Giles Hamson, living and working in the US (Austin / Round Rock, Tx) for BrightStarr as a Principal Consultant.

    So the last 6 / 9 months has been dialing down existing projects and selling / packing all my stuff in the UK, getting married to my gorgeous wife Michele (don’t mean to embarrass hunny but it is true, you are beautiful!),  buying a house, emigrating to Round Rock, Tx, filling the house with furniture, driving tests, visas and all the rest of the stuff that comes with moving your world across the pond (don’t worry the cat made it safely!)

    So, let the good times roll and the SharePoint (and Project Server) knowledge be shared!

    You will see announcements and me turning up at the Austin and Houston User Groups whenever my schedule allows.  I appreciate all the visitors who come to the site and I look forward to posting on a regular basis again!

    #Office365 Two Factor Authentication (Preview) (Phone Factor) #O365

    August 13, 2013 1 comment

    So I am about to embark on a client who is interested in two factor authentication in their existing Office 365 environment.

    Oliver StickleyWith the speed Microsoft is going at these days, surely there is a solution to this and speaking to some contacts with Oliver Stickley, Microsoft helped us out.

    What is Two Factor Authentication?

    Single factor authentication is via a single method such as a Username and Password.

    Two Factor Authentication adds an extra measure into the mix to ensure that you are who you say you are.  This could be an RSA Security Key or more recently the market is shifting towards using mobile phones as the security key with the use of automated phone calls, text messaging (SMS) or mobile apps.

    The Solution

    In October 2012, Microsoft acquired a company called PhoneFactor (more info) which has been developing two factor authentication solutions in the cloud for a while now and recently the capabilities have been added to Office 365 in the form of a preview which is free to try for Administrators.

    NB: Please be aware that this is currently in preview, so they are still working out the kinks, pricing model, release schedules etc..

    Given that we are in preview, not everything will be perfect, but there is still options that you can try out now assuming you have an Enterprise plan.

    Three options are available:

    • Cloud IdentityOffice 365
    • Directory & Password Synchronisation
    • Federated Identity (ADFS)
      The various pros and cons of each option are described below in the video presentation.

    NB: I can confirm that this is not available on the P1/P2 plans but unsure about the small business plans.

    How does it work?

    As part of my research I came across this excellent presentation from Microsoft Consulting Services which goes into detail about how the solution works.

    Understanding Identities and Single Sign On.



    Ignite Webcast – Understanding Identities and Single Sign On 

    NB:   Please note that some limitations exist with non-ADFS setups and local client software (Outlook, Office etc.).  (it is a preview after all)

    Original Source:

    2nd Factor Authentication Options

    So we know what two factor authentication is all about and we have seen how it is likely to work within Office 365, lets explore the options we have available to us:

    Phone Call & SMS

    Using any mobile phone (smart, non-smart or event an office phone), you can log-in with an automated phone call from Microsoft or an SMS Text Message which provides and authentication code.


    Mobile App – Windows Phone 7 & 8

    If you don’t have phone signal, then you can use generated no. authentication methods via a mobile app.  Microsoft of course support their own platforms

    0c787737-55ad-4991-81af-c887758fe456 b675cbdd-f4f5-42c6-971c-1d5f8b61ab61

    Mobile App – iOS / Android

    The mobile app is also available for iOS and Android as well which pretty much covers most of the mobile market.  Search for Active Authentication from the Microsoft Corporation or use the links provided below.

    iPhone Screens:

    screen568x568 screen568x568 (1) screen568x568 (2)
    Before the Microsoft re-brand iOS demonstration

    iOS (iPhone / iPad) App Download:

    Android Screens:

    android1 Android2

    Android App Download:


    That’s great, how do I get started?

    Excellent question, it’s available in your Office 365 admin panel right now and is incredibly easy to setup without ADFS…

    Login to your Office 365 admin portal, click Users and Groups:


    Click the set up link shown above.

    Now select the name you want to use two factor authentication with and click enable.


    Please keep at least one admin account with single factor authentication whilst you are using this preview version.

    NB: Admins are free to use the capability, standard users require a license.

    Once you have turned it on against your admin user account.  Log out and log back in.  You will be asked to initially verify your second type of authentication.

    Choose your preferred option from below:


    NB: You will find this link useful later as in the preview there doesn’t appear to be a link within the Office 365 interface:

    Even though it is Windows Azure based, login with your Office 365 account details.

    That is it.  You are setup and working.

    Preview documentation is available on TechNet here:

      If you would like to use ADFS, take a look at the links above and perhaps contact your favourite Microsoft partner (hint: CPS ( to help you out.
      Ok, v.long post today but hopefully you will all find it useful.  Till the next time…

      So… you want to print a List Item (dispform.aspx) in #SP2010 #SharePoint do you? We’ll see about that!

      July 31, 2013 4 comments

      As my project continues to go through UAT, it is always when you let your projects loose onto the world that you find the niggles and the minor issues.

      So having worked out the email issues (previous post) and a few other bits and bobs.  This issue came along and flumuxed me for a sec.


      Browser: IE8, IE9

      Environment: Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise SP1

      When opening the view item value from a list (dispform.aspx), those with a large body of text in any multiple lines of text fields appeared fine on the screen. 

      However on print preview / paper the text stopped at the end of the page, then it moves on to the next field.


      I hear you say.


      What on earth could that be?

      I checked the previous system that I was migrating from (SharePoint 2007) and the issue was not present there.  So it had to be something to do with the HTML markup right?

      Well I compared the SharePoint 2010 dispform.aspx markup with the SharePoint 2007 output and apart from more divs to encase it in, the output is pretty much the same.

      So I tried to override with my own print CSS but to no avail.


      After Further Investigation…

      It appeared to be the doc type.  By default, in SharePoint 2010, this is set to IE8, where as in SharePoint 2007 it is set to IE7.  This combined with IE8 or IE9 caused the issue.

      Internet Explorer 10 and Chrome however, no issues.


      How did we resolve?

      At the moment we are potentially going to set the doc type to IE7 for this web application.  We are lucky that in this scenario, this may work as a quick fix.

      However, as for the full solution, that is still to work out!


      Useful Links:

      Group Policy reference for IE8:

      Attachment is missing from an e-mail message #SharePoint #SP2007 #SP2010 #SP2013

      At a client recently, we were having the issue of emails being sent to a list but the attachments were not appearing with the email.

      In this scenario, it was working if we sent it directly to the list email address, but if we forwarded from Exchange via a contact, no attachments came through.

      Anyway, it would appear the following needs to be set:

      If attachments are missing from email messages that are sent to a SharePoint document library, it might be because you associated the document library with an email address. When you do this, Directory Management Service may not add the following two attributes to the user associated with the email address:

      • internet Encoding = 1310720

      • mAPIRecipient = false

        Full details are below.

      Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 / Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007

      SharePoint Foundation 2010 / SharePoint Server 2010

      SharePoint Foundation 2013 / SharePoint Server 2013

      More #SharePoint / #ProjectServer 2010 Service Pack 2 details #SP2010 #PS2010

      So I see my fellow bloggers Paul and Khurram posted about Service Pack 2 for SharePoint and Project Server 2010.

      Having looked around the blog-o-sphere, I came across some extra information that I believe will be useful to all:

      Known issues when you install Office 2010 SP2 and SharePoint 2010 SP2

      In particular if you are installing Office 2010 SP2 on Windows Server 2003 (SP2) you will need to install this patch first: 

      For SharePoint Server SP2 on Windows Server 2008 R2, you need to be careful of your custom XSL views from SharePoint Designer.  Apparently they break but the fix is already available and it is recommended to install the June 2013 CU (or later) on top of the SP2

      Links for June 2013 CU for SharePoint 2010:

      The Full Server Packages for June 2013 CU are available through the following links:

      After installing the fixes you need to run the SharePoint 2010 Products Configuration Wizard on each machine in the farm.

      Locations of all the SP2 download packages around SharePoint, Project Server, FAST, Office Web Apps, Office 2010 products etc…

      Next up is that we of course need to consider the different products that we have installed in our farms.  Do we have FAST or Office Web Apps?

      This link will help:

      Further links are available here, including Office, Project, Visio, SharePoint Designer and the CSOM binaries:

        I haven’t seen a service pack 2 for the language packs yet, but will update if it comes up soon.

      Changes for SharePoint / Office 2010 SP2 that are not in Cumulative / Public Updates

      Handily Microsoft have also released a spreadsheet detailing the changes and additions as part of Service Pack 2.  Be aware that these are not included in any previous CU / PU.


      Ok, hopefully you will all find the above useful.  Till the next time…

      DATEADD DAY parameters and the float based values #SQL #SSRS #SharePoint #CPSReportLink

      Just a quick one.  Recently bug fixing an issue with an SSRS report that calculated the date and time an SLA was due and highlighted fields accordingly.

      The Setup

      A choice field in SharePoint determining the expected SLA with values as follows:

      • 0.5 days
      • 1 day
      • 2 days
      • 3 days
      • 5 days
      • 10 days
      • 15 days
      • 20 days
      • 30 days
      • 60 days
        What I am trying to achieve
        The values are inside SQL (thanks to CPS ReportLink) as a string value but I need to work out based on a start SLA date and time, when the target SLA date and time is.
        So I need to strip “day” / “days”, convert to a float and then run a dateadd function to determine my target date.
        In SSRS we will then compare that to today and create a nice RAG indicator in some form or another.
        The Issue
        The DATEADD function doesn’t appear to like a float based number.  In fact it rounded 0.5 down to 0 making the start date the same as the target date.  This ultimately raised an issue in the UAT process I am going through today at a client.

      The Original SQL

      DATEADD(day, CONVERT(float, REPLACE(REPLACE(wss_SLA_String, ‘days’, ”), ‘day’, ”)), CONVERT(datetime,[wss_SLA Start Time_DateTime])) as [Target SLA Finish]


      The Resolution

      So given that I am on-site and the developers who created the SQL are nicely on holiday, I have had to roll up the sleeves and delve in.

      So taking my developers original concept, rather than working with days, if we convert it down to hours, we get the desired result without any CASE co-fuffle in the SQL. (Co-fuffle – official word of the day @

      Update the stored procedure and bob’s your uncle, we are set and another UAT issue checked off the list.


      The Updated SQL

      DATEADD(HOUR, CONVERT(float, REPLACE(REPLACE(wss_SLA_String, ‘days’, ”), ‘day’, ”)) * 24, CONVERT(datetime,[wss_SLA Start Time_DateTime])) as [Target SLA Finish]


      And lastly, a shameless plug

      So how did you get SharePoint list data into a database for reporting without breaking the rules and going directly to the content database, I hear you ask…

      Why I used CPS ReportLink of course. 

      It copies data from a list into a database and keeps everything in sync for easy reporting using the standard Business Intelligence tools provided as part of SharePoint (Excel Services, PerformancePoint etc…) / SQL Server (SSRS, PowerView etc…)CPSLogo

      Full details here:

      That’s it!, Keep SharePoint’n

      Useful List based InfoPath form information

      So as I continue my research, I have found a couple more interesting facts.

      • You can use InfoPath 2013 against SharePoint 2010 to create, edit and update List based InfoPath forms.
      • You can also save that List with the InfoPath form as a template and the XSN file comes along with it, whether you check the “with content” box or not.
      • This also works across site collections

      Have fun! Till the next time…

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