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April, 2014:

Administrator-approved form template, what really happen?

I receive a question around Administrator-approved InfoPath form templates. Here is the answer.

Q. Haaron, what really happen when we upload a new version of an InfoPath form in central admin?

A. When you upload an InfoPath form template using SharePoint Central Administration some things happen:

1. In Manage Form Template you can provision the same version of the form in more than one Site Collection, you can manage the form, activate or deactivate.


2. It creates a WSP file based on your InfoPath Form Template version and deploys as a farm solution, automatically creates a Site Collection Feature that you can Activate or Deactivate.



3. In Manage Form Templates page, when we Activate To a Site Collection basically activate a Site Collection Feature in the target Site Collection, and that provision the form in the Form Templates library.


4. Behind the scenes, when the WSP is generated SharePoint maintain a version of the form template. That make sense because forms instances can point to older version of the template


And this behavior is the same for MOSS 2007, SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise and SharePoint Server 2013 Enterprise.

Slides for my session at SharePoint Saturday Gulf

Thanks attendees for share with me during this presentation. Here are the slides of my session:


How to install .NET Framework 2.0 in Windows 8.1

Yes, I have older versions of products and development tools that require .NET Framework 2.0 or 3.0 and when trying to run in my Windows 8.1 just doesn’t work. Windows 8.1 inform that you need to add the software required, so when I run the built in download or update wizard I just don’t install what I need. Nothing happen, nothing, nada!. Then, I go and download .NET Framework 3.5 redistribute package and run and again Windows 8.1 download or update windows doesn’t do nothing. Doing some research turns out that there is some Group Policy we need to change in order to make it work.

The following image shows the steps for updating a specific group policy with a setting that will describe the path of the binaries required to update Windows 8.1 software, that mean, that you need to mount your Windows 8.1 installer ISO or put your Windows 8.1 installer DVD.

Update Group Policy in Windows 8.1 for supporting Windows 8.1 system updates

Update Group Policy in Windows 8.1 for supporting Windows 8.1 system updates

Then you just add the feature .NET Framework 2.0 using the regular Programs section in control panel.

Add .NET Framework 2.0 and 2.5 to Windows 8.1

Add .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.0 to Windows 8.1



Chat with the Experts: All you ever wanted to know about SharePoint, but were afraid to ask

Tomorrow morning April 10, 2014 I will be part of the Chat with the Experts: All you ever wanted to know about SharePoint, but were afraid to ask online event where Spanish speaking professionals from all over Latin American and Spain will get together in a live Q&A kind of conversation around our favorite product and platform “SharePoint”. We bring together experts from the SharePoint community and we offer you to bomb us questions. Do you dare to ask what you always wanted to know about SharePoint and have never asked?

Some of the attendee are knowledgeable SharePoint experts, Speakers and MVPs:

  • Gustavo Vélez
  • Juan Carlos González
  • Fabián Imaz
  • Alberto Díaz
  • David Martos
  • Miguel Tabera
  • Mario Cortes
  • Edin Kapic
  • Gerardo Reyes
  • Ricardo Muñoz
  • Juan Manuel Herrera
  • Juan Andrés Valenzuela
  • Haarón González
  • Juan Pablo Pussacq
  • Andrés Rojas
  • Vielka Rojas
  • Adrian Díaz
  • David Sánchez
  • Santiago Porras
  • Marco Antonio Canales

This event brings together people from Spain, Costa Rica, Colombia, Mexico, Argentina, basically anywhere Hispanic. Thanks for the good vibes.

That one initial question

I know, is exiting to be able to take a product like SharePoint and install in your environment. It’s nice to see how easy is to follow recommendations from Microsoft TechNet or some blogs, YouTube videos out there and implement the platform in your premises. From the technical or engineering perspective, is awesome. SharePoint is a very big product, it offers significant number of tools and options for dealing with majority of enterprise challenges like search, content management, data interoperability, workflows etc. and it requires more than a SharePoint clean install to make sure we deliver value to a specific business goal. So, today I want to share the importance of asking that one question we need to ask to the business and be able to properly implement SharePoint.

Some question:

  • How can I make sure that a particular SharePoint feature or set of feature represent a solution approach for a specific business challenge?
  • How can I really envision the level of effort and cost of a SharePoint implementation?
  • Wait, did I say business challenge? What are my business challenges?

Yes, it’s critical to identify what are the business pain point and real issues that departments, processes, areas, business people or company as a whole are facing on daily basis on a given scenario. Maybe we should start from there.

Connect your data with Layer 2 Cloud Connector

layer2 There are always scenarios where products fit and represent a viable solution for a specific technical challenges. Today I want to talk a little bit about Layer2 Cloud Connector, this is handy tool for dealing with data synchronization between any data source and our favorite product, SharePoint. This tools allow you to define a source connection to one data source and a target connection to a second data source, then you define the mapping between those data sources and just let it run, will sync the data between data source 1 to data source 2 or you can configure bi directional sync so data will get updated in both data sources.

Maybe you have the scenario to sync on premise list to Office 365 SharePoint Online list, or maybe your are not ready for a Hybrid scenario between on premise and Office 365 and you need a solution now, or, maybe you want to sync data from an CSV or excel file in the network on daily basis, this tool can make the difference.

Some general comments:

  • The process of setting the source and target data connections is easy and very straight forward
  • Support key columns identifier in the source database
  • Support key column identifier in the target SharePoint list
  • It use .NET Data Providers including .NET OracleClient Data Provider
  • It use Layer 2 Data Providers to SharePoint, it’s based on CSOM so will connect to any SharePoint List

Some sync comments:

  • Cloud Connector reads the source data and insert in to target list
  • I created a mapping between database columns and SharePoint Fields using the tool
  • The tool automatically identify inserts, updates and deletes that need to be performed on target list
  • Tools has a log that will show how the sync process outcome so you can tell how many records were updated
  • Tool can run as service so we can do a sync schedule

The licensing model it’s based on the number of source and target connections you need to do, so be careful with that.

Her is an example of the resulting log, I was able to open a local excel file in a share drive, run a SQL query to filters the data from excel and sync the data to a SharePoint list, that was awesome, here is the result:

  • -> Current product edition is ‘Shareware’
  • -> Loading items from the data entity ‘SQL Customers’… 91 items retrieved.
  • -> Loading items from the data entity ‘SharePoint Customers’… 25 items retrieved.
  • -> Loading metabase…
  • -> Executing uni-directional synchronization…
  • -> Instructing data entity ‘SharePoint Customers’ to perform 0 inserts, 6 updates and 0 deletes…
  • -> Performing post synchronization tasks…
  • -> Synchronization of connection ‘Customers to O365’ finished:
  • -> 19 records were already up-to-date, 6 records have been synchronized and 0 records have been skipped. 1 warning occurred. (0.43 minutes)

Is your SharePoint implementation capable to engage with your business people

Just think about it. Is your SharePoint operational state capable enough to support your business enterprise content and information? A SharePoint implementation is more than one server, yes, you can install one server just for testing purposes, not recommended for production. Any software product or solution that your business relies need to be carefully planned and implemented in away to ensure that your business will not be impacted by technical issue or problem that can arise over time specially if you own the hardware and software.

SharePoint has been architected to support high availability and scalability so the business is not impacted with potential hardware or software risks. Make sure your staff knows the implications of an specific server configuration or what we like to call "topology" for your SharePoint implementation.

Yes, it’s expensive, so with your technical staff make sure you explore the implicit costs of owning a server product like this, there are several approaches for using SharePoint this days, third party hosting or the cloud are some examples that can help us with the ROI.

Rolling up SharePoint is not a matter of installing the server infrastructure, also, plan an structure or what we like to call "taxonomy" that represent and fit your business model also is critical and important to ensure that what we present to people make perfect sense.

The following list are some artifacts and configuration settings we also need to plan for:

  • Corporate Branding
  • Content Types
  • Site Columns
  • Term Sets
  • Sub Sites
  • Security Groups
  • Pages
  • Videos
  • Web Parts
  • Site Templates

Interested on understanding more about this concepts? Just join to my session "Introduction to Intranet Planning" next April 12, 2014 during the First Online SharePoint Saturday Gulf event!


Haaron Gonzalez
SharePoint MVP and Lead Solution Architect
Hershey Technologies

MVP for 10 years!

Haaron Gonzalez MVP Anyversary

Haaron Gonzalez MVP Aniversary

You have no idea how the MVP program has motivated and influenced my career. Today I was renewed for the tenth consecutive time as a valuable professional Microsoft. Doing some history is clear that this recognition and the opportunity to learn, share and interact with a network of 4000 experts in Microsoft technologies from around the world, has been an experience in my professional and personal life. First I was recognized as valuable professional in ASP / ASP.NET category since February of 2004 and since then I received opportunities and challenges that put me in a position to challenge my paradigms and conceptual models of thought and language. Also, in April 2009 I was recognized as a valuable professional in SharePoint Server. It has been a long journey with a variety of scenarios and people that have left something significant in my life and every day, in every experience I can see and feel their influence. In this journey I have been with my wife and children whom without their support and understanding would not be possible to continue. Thanks Microsoft to renew, thanks friends and colleagues for sharing your experiences, thank to my family for understanding and be part of this effort.