Office 365 News Clips – Office 2016 Preview is here

Well hello there and Happy Tuesday to you!
This time it’s been exactly a month and a day (29 days total) since the last O365 SNUSE Letter.
We apologize and we assure you there were extenuating circumstances that caused the delay.

For example:

  1. Typing is hard with a gimpy handy – This is a self-correcting problem. The pins will be removed soon (allegedly).
  2. Disney Cruises make you question everything – How did I get here? How do I work this? What is the definition of fun? Do I agree with this definition? Is it possible to have too much of it? What is that large automobile?
  3. Work – You can go on vacation but, rest assured your work does not. In fact, it multiplies. There is a theory that the reproductive rates of “work items” increases by a factor of 10 when you go on vacation. It might be due to a lack of oversight & control…similar to when parents leave town for a couple of days and their son invites all his close friends to party at his house. It’s a risky business, vacations.

Luckily for you (& all of us really), the Office 365 world remained busy producing loads of news items for our consideration.

Office 365 & SharePoint News Clips

  • Office 2016 Public Preview ready for your testing amusement :: We will have a new Office version sometime this year. The bet here is Q4 of 2015. If they release it earlier than that, MSFT can’t call it Office 2016 and look themselves in the mirror. But if they release it in October, they can do their best Stuart Smalley and say, “And doggone it, that’s close enough to 2016 that people will like it.
  • First look at the Office 2016 Preview for Windows :: Read this if you want to know what the future is like but don’t want to install it.
  • Office 2016 for Mac :: It’s about time! Maybe the wait is worth it. I’m running it and so far it is fast and the UI is clean. In typical Mac fashion, you can’t customize squat! Outlook supports the Office App Store but it looks like Excel, Word, and PowerPoint do not. That’s interesting. Seems like a major omission to me but who cares because these apps or so pretty!!

I like all these versions of Office (in addition to the iOS and Android versions). It shows MSFT is embracing their roots as the best creators of software on the planet. The developer-side of me loves that all these versions will give IT Infrastructure-types an ulcer or two.

Office 365 Developer Notes

  • PSImaging Part 3: Group-ImageFile :: I read this and thought it was kinda cool. Then I looked at who the author was and said, “Oh, I gotta include this in the next SNUSE letter!” There is a Part 1 and a Part 2 as well. These are some good PowerShell samples.
  • Office 365 Developer Podcast: Episode 038 on SharePoint Server :: I keep linking to these podcasts but I’ve only listened to a few of them. This is due to 1) I l am too busy producing my own Podcast (ahem hosting GoToMeetings), 2) in my off-hours I’m a part-time bus driver, 3) I prefer to read instead of listen. I’m betting you are more of an auditory learning so, grab a Pot Belly and listen during lunch. You’ll learn something and be entertained by Mr. Thake’s accent.

Microsoft News Clips

  • Skype for Business is here :: C’mon MSFT, pick a name and stick with it! Maybe Skype will do the trick. Read about it for yourself if you want but know this,Pig_quote Skype for Business is really only Lync re-branded. It’ s Lipstick on a pig if you ask me.  But hey, if the pig’s name is MSFT, I still love it. FWIW, there is a download link in the article. I will not provide it here. That would be too easy.
  • Acrobat strategy coalesces into Adobe Document Cloud :: You are correct, this is not (necessarily) Microsoft-related. It is cloud-related and I didn’t want to create a separate heading. Be sure you read this one. Knowing info like this can be the difference between looking smart vs looking dumb in a client’s eyes. Unfortunately, info like this does little to change your current intellectual status (smart or dumb)…but sometimes, appearance is all that matters. Read-on my friend and know how Adobe is formulating their cloud model.
  • Complex, Legacy Code Creates Security Headaches for Microsoft Users :: A wise software engineering sage once told me, “This would be easy if not for all my damn users!” Truer words have never been said.

Bits & Pieces TabMan-color

That’s it and that’s all.
We’ll try to do better next time.
Enjoy your week and don’t hurt yourself out there (i.e. watch out for cats).

Office 365 News Clips–SharePoint On-Premises isn’t leaving the building

It’s been 17 days since the last O365 SNUSE Letter.
To some, no doubt that is good news.
But others (dare we say it is the majority?) feel as if a light (or a small glimmer of hope) has been snuffed out before it could shine brightly.

Where did it go (this light)?
Will it be granted time enough to shine brighter and brighter?

Suffice it to say it will take more than a cat & some asphalt (biking accident, long story) to stop this newsletter.

Hope is alive friends and this light will shine-on.
We are back to abuse your inbox another time.


This remains a new endeavor, therefore, let’s review the rules one more time.
There is a general format to the O365 SNUSE Letter:

  • There a several sections.
  • In each section are several news items.
  • Each news item has a short summary.
  • The idea is you can read the newsletter and pretty much know just what’s going on with Office 365 (& MSFT) this week.
  • If you want the full details, click the link and read the original article.

Office 365 & SharePoint News Clips

Let’s lead with the news related to OneNote for iPad updates. OneNote now includes OCR capability.

  • Microsoft brings its digital ink to the iPad with OneNote handwriting update :: I wonder if this is  something we could eventually tap into via iOS and O365 APIs. It would be cool to provide additional capabilities to users after they scan a document in OneNote.
  • Analysts Outline Microsoft’s 2015 Product Roadmap :: The premier edition of O365 Snuse contained roadmap related links. It is an important topic and we’ll include related links here early and often. There is news here regarding O365, Office 16, Windows 10 y más.
  • The SharePoint Journey :: “This is not my beautiful house. This is not my beautiful wife. Good God, how did I get here?” If you find yourself asking these question related to SharePoint, read this brief history to jog your memory.
  • SharePoint MVPs: ‘On-Prem is Very Much Alive and Well’ :: Thank you very much. Worth a read (or it wouldn’t have made the list). Interesting quotes on both sides of the “Alive or Dead” argument. Either way, On-premises isn’t going away anytime soon. Don’t forget, there are companies out there still using Lotus Notes. A key difference here is MSFT continues to invest in SharePoint.

The Cloud :: An Infographic

Below is a screenshot taken while reading the news. The source is lost and a Google search proved unproductive. The graphic really sums up why the cloud is kind of a big deal (for all organizations…not just PSOs).


Office 365 Developer Notes

  • Developing Native iOS Apps using the Office 365 SDK for iOS :: For the next time you find yourself with nothing to do. Why not learn a bit of iOS and O365 programming? Maybe you can figure out how to hook into OneNote for iPad?
  • O365 Developer Podcast :: Hear from one of the key team members that brought us Agaves…aka Apps for Office. MSFT had to do something to provide extensibility that will support desktop, web, and mobile versions of their apps. This is it. MSFT pretty much screwed this up on the first release. They have enough money to get it right and the signs are they are closing in on a good model.
  • Use PowerShell to Add Headers to Word Documents :: In the future, we will only code with PowerShell. Add to your skills by completing this tutorial.

Microsoft News Clips

Bits & Pieces

Overhead While on GoToMeetingclip_image004

Sometimes people say something great. Some quotes are deep, some are silly, and some are so simple they could be the basis of a book. Here is a quote from last week worth repeating.

That’s it and that’s all.
We’ll try to do better next time.
Enjoy your week and don’t hurt yourself out there.

Office 365 News Clips–What is Office Delve, etc.

It’s Friday morning!
The work week is almost over…
Football season is over and baseball season is yet to start.
It’s the sports fans’ version of Purgatory (unless you like basketball or hockey…in which case, whatever).



There is a general format to the O365 SNUSE Letter:

  • There a several sections.
  • In each section are several news items.
  • Each news item has a short summary.
  • The idea is you can read the newsletter and pretty much know just what’s going on with Office 365 (& MSFT) this week.
  • If you want the full details, click the link and read the original article.

Office 365 News ClipsClippy

Look, if you are of a certain age you know all about Clippy. This section takes its name in tribute to this eager-yet-unhelpful Office Assistant. And Clippy, this is a newsletter! Dang it.

Office 365 Developer Notes

Microsoft News Clips

Bits & Pieces

A few items that necessarily fit anywhere but are worth including nonetheless…

  • Outlook for iOS :: Microsoft built one of the best mail apps for the iPhone and the did it the best way possible…they purchased an existing app (Accompli) and rebranded it. That’s how decrease “time to market” folks.
  • Trek adopts Power BI :: Trek purchased our software and used PS to install it and configure it. They recently implemented Power BI and MSFT loves them for it. In the future, we want to be in the middle of this type of work.
  • Play Monopoly in Excel :: Excel is more than just nerdy accountants crushing numbers. Read the creator’s comments here.
  • SNL Mocks Clippy :: His name is Pushy and he is here to help. We started with Clippy and we’ll end with Clippy’s cousin. This is how you tie things together people.

That’s it and that’s all.
We’ll try to do better next time.
Have a great week and don’t hurt yourself out there.

Get Started Developing for SharePoint Online & Office 365

My company has been a subscriber of Microsoft’s current Office cloud offering (BPOS) for a over a year. It’s great in a lot of ways:

  • It’s easy to administer
  • It bundles Exchange, SharePoint, & Live Meeting
  • It includes a nice single sign-on app that allows you to move about SharePoint, Outlook, and Live Meeting without entering your credentials multiple times.
  • Users have up to 25 GB of space (although in reality mileage may vary)
  • It doesn’t break the bank
  • It’s almost always working. Given the recent press about an outage, the outages we have experienced is less than if we were hosting it ourselves.

These benefits are great except for the fact that I’m a developer. When we adopt a platform, I start thinking about how we can extend it so that our business processes are integrated with it. With BPOS, our options stunk. The extensibility features just weren’t there.

Office 365, however, has a nice extensibility story…at least with SharePoint online. As more information becomes available, I’m hoping to see development possibilities for Lync, Exchange, and Office Web Apps.

But what I do know about SharePoint Online is that Microsoft is giving developers a lot to work with. If you know anything about Sandboxed solutions for SharePoint 2010, then you already know what you need for developing with SharePoint Online. Of course there is more to it but I’ll direct you to two great resources rather than fill you in myself:

  1. The SharePoint Online Developer’s Guide: This white paper tells you what you need to know to get started. After that, it’s up to you and your creative mind to take it from there.
  2. Channel 9 Video – Start Developing for SharePoint Online: Microsoft Evangelists Donovan Follette and Chris Mayo spend 24 minutes filling you in on Office 365 and the developer “story”. It’s a good video and worth spending your lunch break watching it.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend everyone.

Tips & Tricks for Office 365’s SharePoint Online

Office 365 is still in beta but Microsoft is already producing a lot of content. If you are thinking of moving to the cloud to take advantage of things like SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, & Lync (not to mention Office 2010 Professional Plus)..then this podcast is worth you time. The podcast is 60 minutes and is filled with tips for using Office 365.

To me, one of the most compelling features of Office 365 is the various document services that are part of SharePoint Online. It has services for Word, Excel, Visio, and Access. Early in my career I developed lots of Access-based applications and I believe Access + SharePoint Access Services is a winner. We use them internally at my consulting firm, Cogent Company. I’ll have more to say about them later. For now, you can learn about them and other topics by listening to the podcast.

End User Tips and Tricks for Office 365: Focus on SharePoint Online

Are you wondering what Microsoft SharePoint Online is and how it impacts your organization? Are you curious about what role it can play in your employees’ productivity experience? Join us for a fast-paced 60-minute session that is designed to highlight the most exciting features of SharePoint Online. An instructor showcases a tip or a feature every few minutes, which provides you with a broad and real-world understanding of what the platform can do for your users. Topics include collaborating with team sites, simplifying document access through Microsoft Office Web Apps, coauthoring content by using Microsoft Office and SharePoint Online, automating business processes, and improving communication with Microsoft Lync Online integration.

A Professional Developer’s Intro to the Office Development Platform

Thanks to everyone attended my sessions at Tech Ed North America and at SharePoint TechFest. It was a lot of fun and everyone had great questions. This type of session is a challenge due to the plethora of overlapping technologies involved.  Hopefully, the session did as advertised:


Provide an understanding of the developer technologies provided by the Office platform and explain when to use each technology.

You will leave here with an understanding of when to use Office technologies like Open XML, VSTO, SharePoint Document Services (Word, Excel, Visio), SharePoint REST API & Client Object Model, Business Connectivity Services, etc., and how to build them.

I have attached the slide deck and the demo code to this post. As a I mentioned at the beginning of the session, the MSDN Office Developer Map is a great place to go to find content related to any Office Development task. Here is the link:

The session deck has even more links and I’ll post a ton of material so be sure and check those out as well.


Download the files here.

The Asus Eee Slate is Compelling

I’m ready to get my hands on the the Asus Eee Slate. I think I could get into that. Channel 9 has a video that shows how Asuss + Office 2010 will work. It looks good to me.

It isn’t an iPad but I don’t want it to be. I want to be a table/slate-based PC. Highly portable and highly productive.



I wonder what impact the Eee Slate will have on Office Development.

When I have my grubby hands on the Eee slate, I plan to find out.

Using SharePoint Business Connectivity Services to Expose Line of Business Data: Tyson Developer’s Conference

I wanted to thank everyone who came out to my presentation. Here is a link to the slide deck:

Using SharePoint Business Connectivity Services to Expose Line of Business Data

Building Business Applications with SharePoint 2010 and Office 2010: Presentation from Tyson Developer’s Conference

I wanted to thank everyone who came out to my presentation. Here is a link to the slide deck as well as a link to the source code.

Building Business Applications with SharePoint 2010 and Office 2010

Source Code
Nortwind Office Business Application

Xobni Sets Its Sights on the Enterprise

I’ve been waiting for this one for awhile. I’m a fan of Xobni and have found it to be a useful addition to my Outlook inbox. I have enjoyed Xobni’s integration with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. I find it interesting, if not useful, to quickly see what the person who sent me an email has had to say in the social realm. It helps me understood who they are, etc.

Despite Xobni integration with these tools they lack integration with other key technologies that I use on a daily basis…like Microsoft SharePoint. Also, Xobni has not been an open platform for developers. SDK and other tools to allow developers to extend Xobni have not been available…until now.


Xobni Enterprise

Xobni enterprise provides organizations with the ability to deploy the Xobni Outlook client and centrally manage the features available to employees. The server component is accessible through an admin web site. Via the admin portal, you can control deployment to groups of Active Directory users. You can also activate/deactivate Xobni Enterprise features.

Xobni Enterprise includes features for end-users as well. For example:

  • AutoSuggest
  • Advanced Filtering
  • Unlimited PSTs
  • Appointments and Tasks

Xobni Developer SDK

With Xobni Enterprise arrives a Xobni SDK for anyone that wants to extend Xobni. From reading their press release, it looks like integration with just about any type of application will be possible.