Archive for the ‘Giles Hamson’ Category

Exporting Admin Approved #InfoPath Forms. #SP2007 to #SP2010

Just a quick blog to remind myself for some research I am doing.

We need to export existing Administrator Approved InfoPath forms and I came across this article:

In short, use STSADM to export a CAB and reimport using PowerShell.

As it is an older article soooo… just in case I lose it.  The details are below:

Admin approved form from MOSS 2007 get deployed as features within the 12 features hive under folders named with GUIDs. These need special handling to be moved to SharePoint 2010. The following steps need to be performed.

a) Export the Admin approved IP templates using stsadm command.

using stsadm -o exportipfsadminobjects command export the IP forms to a CAB file.

b) Import this into the SharePoint 2010 environment using the Windows PowerShell 2.0 Import-SPInfoPathAdministrationFiles cmdlet.

c) Check if the files are imported correctly by browsing to the Central Admin –> Manage Infopath Form Templates.


Other useful resources I found in my research on this topic:

Details further usage and includes updating of data connection files associated with InfoPath forms.

The Update-SPInfoPathUserFileUrl Command will allow you to updates your data connections in InfoPath form templates (.xsn files) and universal data connections (.udcx files) where references in the current farm should be updated when content is migrated to a different farm URL.

Upgrade resource links SP2007 to SP2010 from Microsoft

PowerShell CMDLets for importing into SharePoint 2010


Imports Microsoft InfoPath 2010 form templates and .udcx files that are located on the SharePoint Central Administration Web site.


Updates InfoPath form templates (.xsn files) and universal data connections (.udcx files), including all .xsn files and .udcx files that were deployed by an administrator.


Runs a Microsoft InfoPath 2010 .xsn/.udc fix-up on Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010.


Upgrades all Microsoft InfoPath form templates on the farm.

Till the next time…


#Skype and #Lync seamless harmony? My experience of getting them working #O365 #Office365

So I’ve come into work today all happy because I am actually on some time booked out for management time and learning.

Given that Microsoft have opened up the interoperability between Skype and Lync, what better thing to try for 20 mins. (Articles from Skype here and from Microsoft here)

I happen to be in a lucky scenario:

  • My company has just moved to using Lync Online (as part of a general move to Office 365). 
  • We are also in a transition between Lync 2010 and Lync 2013.
  • We also use Skype heavily for clients who do not have Lync.
  • I also have a Windows Live Messenger account that is linked to Skype
  • I have a personal version of Office 365 that I use as well.
    So pretty much, with no setup time, I can test all the scenarios without any of the pain.

Initial Setup – Server (Office 365)

So my initial setup in Office 365, Lync Online Admin is as follows:


  • External access: On except for blocked domains
  • Public IM connectivity: checked (Turn on communications with Skype users and users of other public IM service providers)
    Initial Setup – Client

So after playing with it today, here are some facts that you need to know.

Ensure that you are logged into Skype as your Microsoft account.

    Skype Name

    Microsoft Account

You do not appear to need to update your clients, I am using Lync 2013 (RTM) and haven’t updated Skype in a while (there is certainly an update pending, but it is working).

Other than that, we are good to go.

Scenario One – Lync 2013 to Skype

  • So load up Lync as per normal and go to add a user:


  • Enter the Microsoft Account username and click OK:


  • On clicking ok, after a little while (couple of minutes), the Skype account will get a contact request:



  • Click Add to Contacts and away we go…


Scenario Two – Lync 2010 to Skype

  • Very similar to Scenario One, but instead of searching of a contact “Outside of your organisation”, just type in the Microsoft Account address, click the plus and add to the appropriate group.


  • Upon adding the user the group, a contact request is sent to Skype and after a couple of minutes you can chat away.


Scenario Three – Skype to Lync

  • Fairly simple again in this scenario.
  • Click Add Contact button
  • Type the Office 365 Account Name
  • Add them to the appropriate List in Skype


Now in order for it to kick in (and this maybe a timing issue), I had to send an instant message to receive a connection invite within Lync.  Other than that, we are cooking on gas!.

Windows Live Messenger, Huh?

Why did you mention Windows Live Messenger, isn’t it supposed to be dead?

Well as an interesting thing to note, I used to separate my personal and business IM activities, therefore WLW was the personal and Skype / Lync was the business.

However, now that WLW is almost no more, I found that logging into my Skype account with my Microsoft Account brought my personal status message into the Lync contact list.  Not the most professional thing I could have done, potentially.

So surely, we can just go into Skype and change it… right?  Well apparently no, as this only controls the Skype status message… so I downloaded Windows Live Messenger, logged in and changed it and all was well with the world again.

And Finally…

So there you have it.  Skype, Lync working together with a bit of Windows Live Messenger thrown in for good measure.

Voice calls work well too, as does IM via mobile.


Group has Full Control but you cannot add a user to the group? #SharePoint

So we had an interesting support call come in today which had us stymied for about 5 minutes until we realised the obvious.

Essentially the user was in a SharePoint group that had a Permission Level with Full Control of the SharePoint site, however they could not add users to the group.

Site Collection Administrators of course could add users without issue.

The answer is of course to update the Group Settings to allow Group Members to edit.

In detail

  • Go to the group “Portal Administrators” in this case (Site Actions (or Cog in SP2013) > Site Settings > Site Permissions)
  • Under Settings select Group Settings


  • Under the Group Settings section
  • Who can edit the membership of this group?  Group Members


And we’re done… just a little tidbit for today… till the next time.

The #Office365 Upgrade Experience

May 23, 2013 1 comment

So the magic email finally arrived recently.  Microsoft have finished upgrading my Office 365 (2010 version) to the new 2013 (Wave 15) version (both the E1 and P1 plans that I have).


Now as some of you know already, I have created a new Office 365 tenant for my partner who has recently entered the world of HR consulting.  It is just a small endeavour at the moment whilst we sort out other personal to do’s like weddings etc…

Anyway, we needed a good email system, Lync is useful and a site for document collaboration.  Office 365 fits the bill perfectly.

I also created a very basic public website and sorted out all the DNS entries etc…

Anyway, enough of the background stuff – lets talk about the upgrade went?

Well Exchange & Lync is all done for you behind the scenes.  This worked perfectly for us and the new Outlook Web App interface is great (very similar to and now includes Lync presence information with the ability to control your online status.



Lync is of course changed in look and feel and the user interface is certainly a lot nicer than Lync 2010 and Office Communicator 2007 R2.

It is nice to see this all working together.  More on this in a minute!

Now for the interesting bit – The SharePoint Online upgrade:

So logging into any of your site collections you will see the following message on the top of the site:


Clicking on Start now takes you to this…


And given that I have a pretty much blank sites at this point (a few document libraries here and there), I went straight for the upgrade.


Even after this warning, you still get the chance to stop the process:


In my case, for the main site collection, there seemed to be a warning around task lists, which presumably is not upgraded from the 2010 version, since they are all new in 2013 with great integration with Microsoft Project 2013.

Now after all that, go back to the root of the site collection and you are done!

A few things to note

This needs to be done on every site collection.  By every site collection, they mean every one – including:

  • Team Site
  • My Site (each individual)
    • My photo had to be re-uploaded but otherwise details stayed the same.  The photo also took quite sometime to propogate to Lync and Exchange, however this is a huge improvement.  One picture to fit them all!
  • My Site Host
    • Interesting this had to be upgraded separately to the My Site Content
      • Although technically this makes sense, I know that some of the non-technical business using Office 365 won’t understand this.
  • Search
    • Upgraded without issue but left old search symbol in place.
      • Interestingly, search box is no longer centred but the page layout could be updated as required.

That is about it, so nothing major to an experienced SharePoint and Office 365 techy like myself but I know that a number of my friends who use their Office 365 for their small business will be giving me a call when the time comes.

Anyway…  lets start talking about some of the new unexpected features that come with the upgrade:

New Features

We now have new Mobile Apps

  • Lync 2013
    • Works as per Lync 2010 but contains the new style and options about video / voice over 3G connections etc…
  • SharePoint Newsfeed
    • A new mobile app that relies upon My Sites being used.  Here are some screenshots…

photo 0

photo 2

photo 4

photo 3

And last but not least…Outlook Web Access

New look and feel but mostly the same but some new capabilities that caught my eye:

  • Lync presence capability is built in
  • Offline Access – which works a treat in IE and Chrome
image image


That’s it for now, but expect more as I come across it!

Categories: Giles Hamson, Work Tags: , ,

Syncfusion Metro Studio #ModernUI #SharePoint #SP2013 and other products I use day to day

April 18, 2013 Leave a comment

Now I don’t often talk about the products that I use on a day to day basis.  However, I got introduced to a free product yesterday that is going to make my life sooooo much easier when creating POC work around SharePoint as well various Slide Decks I may create in the future in PowerPoint.

Anyway, this isn’t a review or an endorsement really, but it has been out for a while now (looks like almost a year) and I totally missed it, so I figured others may have missed it also.

Makes life soooooo much easier… 🙂

oliver-stickleySpecial thanks to Oliver Stickley (CPS) for finding this gem of a tool 🙂 – It has already been used for one of our projects and POC’s

You can find out more about Oliver here:

Other products I use on a daily basis:

Apart from the usual SharePoint Designer, Microsoft Office and Project and Visio tools, here are some other tools that I use on a regular basis.

Nattyware – Pixie


Useful for getting the colour palette directly from a web page / application.  So useful, I have this on my taskbar all the time for quick and easy access.

U2U CAML Builder

Useful in 2007, 2010 and 2013.  In a 2010 / 2013 world, I use this to create my CAML for my JavaScript CSOM work.  In 2007, I use this to aid my jQuery SOAP request calls.

Expression Encoder 4 including Screen Recorder

expression_encoder_screen_capture_3_1_thumb1This is the main tool I use for recording my screen.  It records the mouse pointer (as well as highlighting the pointer in a cool orange glow), can use the web cam and microphone as well as partial screen to full screen capture.

This is no where near as good Camtasia, but it is also free and easily available too Smile

Windows Live Essentials 2012


I use these tools to edit the videos I create for my blog / CodePlex solutions as well as blogging itself.

Quick image edits via the web:

Not a replacement for Photoshop or your preferred image editor, but when you’re stuck on client site, can’t install software and need to make a quick change… Pixlr to the rescue


Colour Gradient Generator

Again, another quickie although potentially out of fashion now-a-days in this bold colour Modern UI world


URL Encode / Decode

Whilst coding, I often have to URL encode or decode based on some kind of output.

I have used this site for years:


As I gather more unusual tools I will blog again, but hopefully this post will be useful for people.

Till the next time, happy SharePoint-ing.

Categories: Giles Hamson, Work Tags:

#Windows8 update failure during configuration

April 16, 2013 Leave a comment

Folders-OS-Windows-8-Metro-icon I know it has been a while since i have posted on the blog directly myself.  A lot is going on personally at the moment with Weddings and other potential big plans going on…

In the meantime, I am still working on projects at CPS and to add to the personal busy-ness, projects are going into the go-live stage as well.

Some how I have managed to find time to work with Windows 8 and Office 2013 on my day-to-day laptop, but recently I have found that my Windows Updates have been failing to install / configure.

Anyway, a quick search and the following came up:

  • Downloaded the fix-it application and it restarted various services including the crypto + other Windows Update based services.
  • Update and restart and et-voila! all is well with the world again.

More blog posts will come along soon (when I get time), as I have been working extensively with the JavaScript CSOM and the REST API’s in JavaScript.

Combined Knowledge, DEV Boot Camps and the 70-573

October 8, 2012 1 comment

It has been a few weeks since I attended, which has given me some time to reflect on the SharePoint 2010 development boot camp that myself and various others at CPS have attended over the last couple of months.


Now in my role as a SharePoint Consultant / Solution Architect, I primarily get involved in solution design, estimation of work and the leading of project teams during implementation.

In my experience however, clients rarely want to pay purely for oversight of implementation alone.  As a result, my skill set extends to SharePoint configuration, client-side development (JavaScript, jQuery, XSLT, CSS, HTML etc.) SQL / reporting and very very occasionally I get involved in the .NET side of things also.

So to round out my knowledge, aid work estimation and my ideas for future 2013 concepts, I joined our developers on the Combined Knowledge – Development Boot Camp and I thought I would share my experiences (please note this is a personal thought piece and is not sponsored in anyway).


Combined Knowledge

Setting the scene

We contacted Combined Knowledge and it would appear that these development boot camps are popular, so book early.

As a company, it is important for us to have our employees Microsoft certified to ensure quality solutions and our Gold Partner status in Project Server and SharePoint capabilities.  As a result, we took the Boot Camp and 70-573 certification options for all staff members attending the course.

Cost of the training covers:

  • Hotel for the week (board and all meals)
  • Combined Knowledge training materials
  • Microsoft official training manual for the course (used for night time reading and exam preparation)
    To kick off the Development Boot Camp piece, the trainer (Gary Yeoman in this case) sends study material suggestions for the night before the training, setting the tone for the week.

Gary Yeoman


                        click for course overview


The Training

So now that we have set the scene, the training course side was the usual affair:

  • Start time 9:30
  • Finish time: 17:00 ish
  • Virtual machine environment with SharePoint Server 2010, SQL Server, Visual Studio 2010 and various other tools as required
  • Various refreshments throughout
  • Click on the course overview for full course details.
  • Full, detailed course notes of slides used and plenty of examples for anything you can think of for SharePoint development.

However, the development boot camp piece top and tails this with study in the evening based on MSDN documentation, course material and code examples to work through.

On each day at 8:30, Gary is in place ready to go through the study material and code samples for the evening before.

Certification and Community

If the moons align, you may also get the chance to join in with the SharePoint User Group community.  Steven Smith supports the SUGUK for the Midlands and we were lucky enough to catch the meeting discussing SharePoint 2013.  (Further details available here:


And finally at the end of the course, the option to take the 70-573 – SharePoint 2010, Application Development exam is available at the Combined Knowledge offices, 10 minutes from the training location.

Thankfully, I managed to pass due to the excellent development course material and week full of studying.



And that concludes my review of the Combined Knowledge Dev Boot Camp experience, probably the best training experience I have had with knowledge that will serve me well now and for the future with SharePoint 2013. 

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below and I’ll come back to you.

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