Contents tagged with SharePoint

  • SharePoint Online: App Only policy PowerShell tasks with ACS

    Tags: SharePoint, Office 365, PowerShell, Apps

    Here’s a little nugget that I’ve planned to blog about for some time, that I needed today for a small task. I needed to do a background job to SharePoint Online that at a scheduled interval downloads list data, process them and optionally updates some data in my site. This can of course be done by creating an executable storing username and password combos, and with the help of the TokenHelper.cs class from the App for SharePoint Web Toolkit NuGet package and some stored username and password combos we can make the Auth pieces quite easy. I don’t like that approach. There’s two big drawbacks with that approach. The first one is storing the username and password – we can solve that with an AppOnly policy, which I blogged about in the SharePoint 2013: Using the App Only policy and App Principals instead of username and password combos post. The second issue is that I very much prefer to script these kind of tasks, it makes it more flexible. Problem with that approach is that we need to manually do the Auth pieces. But from now on you just copy and paste from this post.

    Creating the App Principal

    In order to create our PowerShell script we need to create an App for it. This step is exactly the same as we did in the blog post mentioned above. But let’s repeat it. Note! I do use the traditional way of registering apps in this scenario using ACS – I do not use an Azure AD app. The reason for this is I want every Site Collection admin to be able to script like this. Azure AD apps requires way to much permissions for the normal user.

    imageIn your site collection, navigate to /_layouts/15/appregnew.aspx. Click on both Generate buttons, so that you get one Client Id and one Client Secret. Next enter a Title, an App Domain and the Redirect URI. The App Domain and Redirect URI can be basically anything in this scenario. Then click Create to create the App Principal. On the next screen you will get all the details of your App. Copy and paste that data so you don’t loose it.

    Next head on over to /_layouts/15/appinv.aspx. Paste your Client Id in the App Id (Microsoft has never been good in naming conventions) text box and click Lookup. This will retrieve the rest of the app details. Since we will not have any UI or install any App we need to manually ask for permissions and then grant the permissions. What we do is that we create a permission request XML. Depending on your requirements your XML may be different from the one below. The following permission request XML asks for Full Read permissions on the whole web.

    <AppPermissionRequests AllowAppOnlyPolicy="true">
      <AppPermissionRequest
        Scope="http://sharepoint/content/sitecollection/web"
        Right="Read"/>
    </AppPermissionRequests>

    Note the AllowAppOnlyPolicy=”true” attribute – that one is the key to allowing the App to run without username and password. Once you paste the XML into the permission request XML textbox and then click on Create. You will see the Trust screen for your app. Make sure the permission request is what you expect and if so, click on Trust it!.

    Auth in PowerShell

    Now, let’s get to the core of this post and let’s create a PowerShell script that uses this app to read items from a list. I split it up in a few different parts to make it easier to follow. In the end of the post you will get a link to the full code sample.

    Defining some constants

    Let’s start by defining some constants:

    $clientId = "16119847-8ac7-4a3a-a2e5-18debd9fc9d2"
    $secret = "KuZj5UD22oy2.....=";
    $redirecturi = "https://localhost"
    
    $url = "https://tenant.sharepoint.com/sites/thesite/"
    $domain = "tenant.sharepoint.com"
    $identifier = "00000003-0000-0ff1-ce00-000000000000"
    
    

    The $clientId, $secret and $redirecturi are copied directly from the results of my app registration. The $url parameter is the URL of the site where I registered the app, and $domain is just the server part of that URL. Finally the $identifier is a static Guid value, which represents SharePoint (Exchange, Lync, Workflow etc has their own Id’s).

    Retrieving the Realm

    The next step is to retrieve the Realm or Tenant Id. You might already know this or you might just run these commands once and store it as a static variable.

    $realm = ""
    $headers = @{Authorization = "Bearer "} 
    try { 
        $x = Invoke-WebRequest -Uri "$($url)_vti_bin/client.svc" -Headers $headers -Method POST -UseBasicParsing
    } catch {
        #We will get a 401 here
          $realm = $_.Exception.Response.Headers["WWW-Authenticate"].Substring(7).Split(",")[0].Split("=")[1].Trim("`"")
    }
    

    What we do here is to send a request to the client.svc endpoint and actually expect to get thrown a 401 back. When we get the 401 we’ll locate the WWW-Authenticate headers and retrieve the Realm property. Yea, that PoSh line could be a bit more prettier and failsafe, but it works on my machine.

    Retrieving the access token

    When we have the realm we can create the authorization code. This is how we combine all our variables into an authorization code:

    [System.Reflection.Assembly]::LoadWithPartialName("System.Web") | Out-Null
    $body = "grant_type=client_credentials"
    $body += "&client_id=" +[System.Web.HttpUtility]::UrlEncode( $clientId + "@" + $realm)
    $body += "&client_secret=" +[System.Web.HttpUtility]::UrlEncode( $secret)
    $body += "&redirect_uri=" +[System.Web.HttpUtility]::UrlEncode( $redirecturi)
    $body += "&resource=" +[System.Web.HttpUtility]::UrlEncode($identifier + "/" + $domain + "@" + $realm)
    

    Let’s walk this through. First of all I load the System.Web assembly, if you run this as a scheduled task this assembly is not loaded in your app domain, compared to when running it in PowerShell ISE for instance, and we need that assembly for some encoding.

    The actual authorization code starts with a grant_type which we set to the static variable of client_credentials, which means that we do not pass any user credentials or refresh tokens. Client_Id is not exactly the same Client Id as above, here we need to append “@” and the realm to scope the request to our tenant. The Client secret and redirect Uri is the same as when creating the app. Finally we have the resource token which is a combination of the SharePoint identifier, the domain and the realm. Note that if you’re targeting the anything in a Personal Site, you not only have to update the $url variable but also the $domain variable.

    We send all this data to the Azure Access Control Services (ACS), remember we did not use Azure AD, endpoint like this:

    $or = Invoke-WebRequest -Uri "https://accounts.accesscontrol.windows.net/$realm/tokens/OAuth/2" `
        -Method Post -Body $body `
        -ContentType "application/x-www-form-urlencoded"
    $json = $or.Content | ConvertFrom-Json
    
    When invoking the endpoint, using our authorization code above, we will get a JSON formatted string back. We convert this string into an object using ConvertFrom-Json.

    Use the access token

    Finally we can use the result from the ACS endpoint and get our access token which we’ll pass into the REST end point (as an Authorization Bearer token) of the site where we want to do operations.

    $headers = @{
        Authorization = "Bearer " + $json.access_token;
        Accept ="application/json"
    } 
    
    Invoke-RestMethod -Uri "$($url)_api/lists/GetByTitle('Documents')/Items" -Method Get -Headers $headers
    

    Summary

    That wasn’t to hard right? All we needed to know was the basic process of OAuth 2.0 and know how to create and pars the requests and responses. The full code sample can be found here: https://gist.github.com/wictorwilen/db67725a66a3e40789e3

  • Finally time for another SSUG meeting in Stockholm

    Tags: User Group, SharePoint

    It’s been way to long since we had a Sweden SharePoint User Group meeting in Stockholm, but the wait is now over.

    On the 26th of February we are all invited to the local Microsoft offices to learn more about SharePoint. Specifically this evening we will be able to hear from Erwin van Hunen, who will talk about the Office 365 Patterns and Practices project. We will also be able to hear from Microsoft about their Hybrid OneDrive for Business experiences. If this doesn’t get you fired up, then what would!

    We are limited to 100 seats, but have a waiting list. You can sign up for the event, starting at 12:00 today (2015-02-11) at the following link:

    https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ssug-mote-stockholm-26e-februri-2015-biljetter-15723746148

    Remember. If you register and don’t plan to show up, please unregister so someone else can take your place. If you don’t unregister, then we’ll call you out on the meeting!

    See you all there!

  • Summing up the year of 2014 and embracing 2015

    Tags: Personal, SharePoint, Microsoft Azure, Office 365, SharePoint 2013

    The time has come for me to do, as I’ve done now for eight years (2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006), my annual post to sum up the year. It is always fun to look back to what happened the past 12 months. This past year has been a somewhat “in-betweeners” year.

    We (me, my clients, colleagues etc.) are standing on the edge of something big and the bridge over to the other side is really, really long. Some hesitate to pass the bridge, thinks it is to steep down, some people are running across it in fear, some take it just easy and some pass it half-ways and then stalls there not knowing which direction to go. Microsoft has already passed the bridge to the other side, they ran as fast as they could. But, they dropped so many things on the way over, things that I and others need to pick up and fix and very often even remind Microsoft that they dropped it at all!

    Confusing – yes, stressing – hell yea, annoying – yup, new opportunities – oh YEA, wanting to go back – nope!

    Writing

    I think I hit an all-time low in blog postings this year. Not that it has been so little to write, rather that I’ve been having to little time. I have a bunch of posts in the works, that never has been published, due to various reasons.

    According to my telemetry this is what you peeps liked this year:

    I’m really glad that the last two of those posts ended up that high. Really liked working those scenarios out.

    Speaking

    I’ve been fortunate to be invited to a number of conferences the past year as well. The highlight of course is the SharePoint Conference 2014, where I had a total of three sessions. The most awesome experience from that conference was when the room after one of my sessions were empty and people stayed for an hour and a half just asking questions!

    See you in May at the new Microsoft Ignite conference. You can keep up to date on my past and future presentations on this page.

    MVP

    For the fifth time I was awarded the Microsoft MVP Award for my community contributions. Always an honor and passing the five year mark was a bit special.

    Predictions

    Each year I try to predict what is going to happen to us and our business in the future. Last year I talked a lot about SharePoint being a service (six years after the SharePoint Services announcement at PDC08), Azure dominating the cloud space and Microsoft focusing everything on Services. SharePoint may not yet be dead, this product has more lives than a cat. Azure is still growing faster than I can keep up with and I like it! And the Services piece – I think this is the most important of all my predictions last year. Microsoft is focusing on owning the services and the data – the device, product etc. is not the top prio. Take a look at the Microsoft Band – an awesome device but the service behind it is what makes the big difference, no other vendor is even close to competing in that space.

    So, 2015, what will happen? I think I stick to my Services, services, services prediction. 2015 is all about the services! I’ll leave it to that. If you don’t understand how the services will change our business you better look for a career change.

    What’s next?

    I have to admit that 2014 was not one of my favorite years, due to multiple reasons. I’ve been pretty tired of this whole “SharePoint & Office 365” situation and it has taken me some deep reflections and analysis to get my inspiration back. But 2015 will be a really interesting year. Too keep you on the hook a little bit more, head back to this blog on Friday!

    Happy New Year!

    I whish all of you a Happy New Year and I hope that your 2015 will be an awesome ride!

  • SharePoint MVP AMA on October 29th

    Tags: SharePoint, Office 365

    You should mark the 29th of October at 1pm EST (18:00 CET) in your calendar. The MVP Chats are back!

    A couple of years back we regularly held MVP chats where anyone could ask SharePoint MVPs anything (almost at least). These chats was really successful and we received really good feedback. Unfortunately the tool we used for the chats was abandoned and we have been looking for a new way to do this. We think we’ve found a really interesting format for this by using the AMA format at Reddit (/r/sharepoint).

    [Update 2014-10-29]: The thread is located here: http://www.reddit.com/r/sharepoint/comments/2kojof/ama_time_we_are_a_bunch_of_microsoft_mvps_for/

    There will be at least fifteen SharePoint MVP’s answering YOUR questions so feel free to tune it the 29th. We will try to make sure that at least one MVP answers your question, the ones most skilled in the topic of the question, and we’ll make sure that not everyone answers it (which normally is an issue with forums like this).

    We will have experts from infrastructure, to design, to development, to no-code (all definitions of that!) solutions and more, for both SharePoint and Office 365 This will be a great opportunity for all of you to finally get that hard question answered.

    If this turns out to be a successful event I’m pretty sure we will do it again! And to get as much questions as possible, spread the word and use the hashtag #spmvpchat.

  • Speaking at Share-The-Point Southeast Asia 2014

    Tags: Conferences, SharePoint, Microsoft Azure

    See you there!I’m so excited to be once again going to Singapore and speak at the Share-The-Point Southeast Asia 2014, held November 25-26 2014. It is one of my favorite conferences and this will be my third time in the awesome country and city of Singapore! Everything is just great about this; the people, the speakers, the attendees, the city, the food – you name it!

    This year I will have two sessions:

    • Using Microsoft Azure for your SharePoint and Office Apps
      One of my personal favorite sessions, scenario based and packed with demos showing you tips and tricks, awesome Azure features and lots of code.
    • Building out your SharePoint Infrastructure using Azure
      Another really interesting session where I’ll walk you through the pros and cons, the do’s and don’ts of hosting your SharePoint infrastructure in Azure.

     

    If you are planning to be close to Singapore during those days you should make sure to get your conference passes as soon as possible! OR, if you have trouble convincing your boss about what you and your company will miss if you bail out of this, leave a comment (with your e-mail) and the first three persons will get a free pass (full attendance to the 2 day event, including catering and access to the exhibition area and all sessions) – what are you waiting for?

  • Renewed as Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for the fifth time

    Tags: MVP, SharePoint

    April 1st 2014, for many a day full of jokes, but for 966 individuals this is the day they either is being awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award or being renewed as MVPs. I’m fortunate to be one of those this time, and now for my fifth year!

    This award is given to exceptional technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with others. We appreciate your outstanding contributions in SharePoint Server technical communities during the past year.

    image

    Thank you everyone for your support!

  • Summing up the year of 2013 and embracing 2014

    Tags: SharePoint, Azure, Personal, SharePoint 2013, Office 365

    Wow, 2013 was an interesting year and the time has come for my annual blog post to sum up the year that soon has passed us and looking a bit into the crystal ball for the next one. This is my seventh summary post and it is always fun to look back at what has happened during the last 12 months (2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006).

    For me the year has been really intensive on all levels; I don't think I´ve ever experienced such a huge demand for my professional services as of now, there is so much new stuff to learn and it´s harder and harder to keep up, I have a hard time resisting doing tons of community stuff and at the same time we had a huge construction work at our house, and of course having two soon-to-be teenager girls takes its toll!

    Writing

    The number of blog posts I create every year continues to decrease, but I do hope the quality improves and that you still get some decent value out of my posts. There are so many good bloggers out there and I don´t want to repeat what everyone else is writing about. There are a couple of posts that I´m quite proud of and here´s the list of the ones you have visited the most the last 12 months:

    There´s no coincidence that four of the top five posts written this year is about Office Web Apps Server 2013 (WAC) – it is my new favorite server product, and I think it is one of the core server products/services that will be a huge and integral part of the "One Microsoft" and its services.

    I also had the benefit of participating in a "real" writing project – as a co-author of "Inside Microsoft SharePoint 2013". This was my second book written together with some of the most famous SharePoint book authors. If you still haven´t ordered yourself a copy then you´re missing out on something!

    Speaking

    I´ve continued to do sessions at conference, perhaps not that many this year. I try to choose conferences that fits me, my family and clients and also I try to focus on creating good, new and interesting content. I´m not the kind of person that like to do the same content over and over again. I´m incredibly lucky being in this position and being able to travel and meet all the awesome people around the world. I know there are a couple of conferences that I would like to have presented at, but had to turn down due to other commitments…maybe next year. To read more about the presentations I´ve done over the last year and see the decks and some video recordings, check out my Presentations page.

    MVP

    I got re-awarded the MVP status once again, now my fourth time. It´s always really nice to be given this award.

    MCSM

    Talking about the Microsoft Certified Solutions Master, MCSM, could be a couple of posts on its own, but let´s try to crunch it down. Early January this year I attended the beta rotation of the brand new MCSM program for SharePoint. This program was totally redone to suit both on-premises SharePoint 2013 and Office 365/SharePoint Online (contrary to what some people think and say). There is/was no better training for SharePoint, in the cloud or not, than this program, and there will never be such a good program again! I was fortunate to pass both the written exam and the qualification lab "in-rotation" (that is no retakes or anything), being one of the first ones. Unfortunately the whole MCSM program was cancelled during this year. But once a Master always a Master. I´m really proud that I am one of the few who has passed MCM for SharePoint 2010, MCA for SharePoint 2010 and MCSM for SharePoint (2013) – a bit sad I didn´t get the chance to get the 2007 exam and get a full hand :-(

    SharePoint…

    Can´t write this post without a little section about SharePoint. What will happen to SharePoint, will it cease to exist? To some degree I do think so. But SharePoint as a product has played out its role in my opinion. SharePoint is just a piece in the puzzle of future collaboration software. Take a look at how Workflow has been moved out of SharePoint, how Office Web Apps is a separate product, how applications now are Apps outside SharePoint, how Enterprise Social now is a service (in Yammer). SharePoint will be there in the form of building sites and acting like a glue between all the other services. Will it be known as SharePoint? I don´t really know, but in a few years, I don´t think so. It sounds like judgment day for some, and it might be, unless you are prepared. I think this "brave new world" will for the ones who can accept the change be full of opportunities…and I´m looking forward to it! On the other hand the recent messages from Redmond that SharePoint on-premises ensures the current on-premises customers that SharePoint as a product will be here for another couple of years, which is good, it gives you good options to slowly move from a product to a service. But the innovation will be in the services, Office 365 and Azure, not in the products.

    Predictions

    Last year's predictions was not that off the chart. The Cloud message is ever increasing, and there´s no end to it. I also predicted a "collapse" of the SharePoint community, to some degree I think that has started to happen. The community is still thriving but there is not a single community as it used to be. There has been several new community sites and community conferences started this year. Not that it is a totally bad thing, but in my opinion it does not help the community moving forward. We´re also seeing many of the old community celebs and influencers moving away from SharePoint as a specialty and instead focusing on the new set of services.

    So what about 2014 – what do you think Wictor?

    SharePoint is dead, long live SharePoint. I wrote it above; SharePoint as a product is slowly going away, instead "SharePoint as a service" is where the focus should be. If anyone of you watched the PDC08 keynote, when Azure was announced – do you remember the slide where "SharePoint Services" was one of the listed services. I think this is where we´re going, six years later.

    Azure domination! The Azure team at Microsoft is really impressive right now, look at all the different services they announce and improve. Being a bit late to the game, but now being captain of the Cloud movement. If it was something I would bet my career on now, it would be Azure.

    Services, services, services! Everything will be services. Combine the things I said about SharePoint, with the things about Azure and add the recent announcements of the killed ForeFront products (and others). Microsoft is all in on the Devices and Services thing and you should be too. This changes the way we design, build and sell our professional services.

    The future does look a bit cloudy, doesn´t it.

    Happy New Year

    That was it! I do have a lot more to say, but you all should be on vacation right now stocking up on energy for 2014 so I keep it short. Next year will be an intensive year for me, I know it. I´m already excited about the new engagements I have planned for early 2014, about the SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas (last SP conference?) where I will be a presenter for the first time, and also the big change at Microsoft with a new CEO – how will that affect me!?

    So, to all of you I wish a Happy New Year and I´m looking forward to seeing a lot of you out there next year!

  • SharePoint Saturday - In Stockholm for the first time

    Tags: SharePoint, Conferences

    imageFinally we’re getting SharePoint Saturday to Stockholm! Next year in January, or to be more precise the 25th of January 2014, the global SharePoint Saturday event will come to central Stockholm and World Trade Center.

    What is a SharePoint Saturday?

    SharePoint Saturdays are a free events that happens in cities around the world, unfortunately most of them are on the other side of the pond. But once in a while we see these great events pop up in Europe. It’s free in that meaning that it is organized by volunteers, the speakers do it because they have nothing better to do on Saturdays and there is no entrance fee and if you’re lucky you can get some swag as well! But, the events are sponsored, but just to get a good venue and of course the accompanying SharePint after a full day of sessions.

    SharePoint Saturday Stockholm

    As I said, now for the first time we will have our first SharePoint Saturday here in Stockholm. The event is organized by my colleague Hannah Swain, Mattias Einig and fellow MCM Erwin van Hunen – a great bunch of committed people They are currently setting up the speakers, agenda, venue and all of gazillion things that needs to be done. The event will be held at World Trade Center, which is right in the middle of Stockholm and as close as you can get to all the communications.

    You can be a speaker!

    One of the key things, and what I really like with these events, is that everyone can and should apply for a speaker slot. It’s a great opportunity to practice your speaking skills, learn more about how it is to contribute to the community, get your name out there and perhaps boost your ego a bit. I know that there are lots of people, including shy Swedes, that can, will and should be on our very first SharePoint Saturday as a speaker. Don’t just sit there – go and submit your sessions proposals right away!

    I’m really looking forward to meet all of you there!

  • SharePoint and Exchange Forum 2013 – wrap-up

    Tags: SharePoint, Presentations, Conferences

    Stockholm ArchipelagoTwo weeks ago the ship returned to Stockholm from a 48 hour cruise on the Baltic Sea hosting the 10th edition of SharePoint and Exchange Forum. As usual the conference was a great show arranged by MVP Göran Husman and his Humandata crew. Thank You!

    We enjoyed a lot of great sessions from well-known speakers around the world and we spent the nights in the bars (and on the tables) during the nights. I had a lot of fun even though it was a bit weird having my first session just as the ship left the harbor and turned sharply – as far as I could see no one got sick, at least not from the sea.

    My session slides, and from all the other speakers sessions, can be found on the SharePoint and Exchange Forum website – http://www.seforum.se. All my demo code can be found here.

    Hope to see you next year, who knows what we will be doing then!

  • Microsoft Advanced Certification (MCA, MCSM, MCM) - the end of an era

    Tags: MCSM, SharePoint, MCM, MCA

    This is a sad and dark day for the Microsoft community, especially for us who love products such as SQL Server, Exchange, Lync and SharePoint. Microsoft Learning (MSL) has decided till kill their advanced certifications; Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) and Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM) formerly known as Microsoft Certified Master (MCM). This is also a post I hoped not to write, as the matter of fact I started drafting a post a couple of weeks back that should recommend these certifications to the community out there, that post will never see the light now.

    Breaking up with an e-mail!

    This morning I and the whole MCA/MCSM/MCM community got an e-mail from Microsoft Learning stating that “we [MSL] are continuing to evolve the Microsoft certification program” but “[MSL] will no longer offer Masters and Architect level training rotations and will be retiring the Masters level certification exams as of October 1, 2013”. This e-mail came as a shock to me, and as it seems to all involved, including instructors. All already certified will retain their certification status and can still use the logo (well, thank you very much), and those in rotation or with scheduled exams have barely one month to get it or get just a small amount of refund! This is truly a slap in the face for everyone! Also sending this e-mail out on a weekend with a US holiday coming up, just to try to get under the radar is a cowardice action – and just shows how not thought through and quick the decision has been made.

    Why are MSL retiring the advanced certifications?

    imageWell, that is one question that I would like to have answered. In the rather offensive e-mail sent the following was stated: “The IT industry is changing rapidly and we will continue to evaluate the certification and training needs of the industry…”. Doh! We know it is changing, but that definitely doesn’t mean there is less requirement on training and certifications, especially these advanced certifications! About one year ago the MCM certification was changed into MCSM that took this new “era” of cloud into the curriculum. For those who have attended the last updated training know this. We’re talking a lot about Office 365, Azure etc. during the training and exams.

    I think Microsoft has to much belief in the cloud – that it will change over night – it won’t. The vast majority of SharePoint installations are on-premises today. Even if we/you see a cloud only future, there is a long way to go, and that road required skilled professionals staking out the route. And just because Office 365 satisfies the most common scenarios it will never be in parity with the requirement of Enterprise solutions. And Lync, SharePoint, Exchange and SQL are each on its own still a billion+ dollar segment for Microsoft.

    Today I’ve seen a couple of blog posts and tweetface posts from people who hasn’t attended any of the rotations. These persons claim to know why MSL is retiring the certifications with reasons such as 1) we’re on a way to a cloud-only world, 2) the program costs Microsoft to much money, 3) there’s no demand for these certified masters etc. Oh boy, they have no clue! One thing I can agree upon is that MSL have done a really bad job in marketing the advanced certifications – most of the marketing has been done by the attendees! Another reason stated is that it was written in the stars – well, all parties will eventually end, but this is not how to end it, punching their most dedicated fans in the balls!

    I’m still waiting for a decent reason from MSL…

    Why do I think the MCA/MCSM should remain?

    Noone except those who actually attended the rotations (which is what we call the training, which was required to get certified) really knows how valuable the certification is. Or to be more precise the certification in itself doesn’t mean that much – the training and the community is what matters. The Master certification has increased the SharePoint knowledge and expertise since the dawn of the certification, in the whole community. The blog posts, conference sessions, webcasts, books etc written by Masters would not have been as good if they didn’t attend the training, and eventually achieved the certification. This is a big loss for all of us, with no new training and no new fresh blood in this group we’re looking into a darker future.

    Ok, what about the MVP’s then you think! Well, an MVP is award, not a certification. I have been awarded the MVP award, but not for my knowledge – it’s all about visibility and connections. I’m still proud of being awarded and thankful for what it gives me. But the MCA, MCSM and MCM means much more to me (even though the benefits are way less than for an MVP and you have to pay big bucks for it). You can ask any of my customers and my employer and they will tell you how much I and they have benefited from these certifications. But the “new Microsoft” doesn’t care about its customers as I see it…

    Summary

    I’m very proud and thankful to have learned as much from the amazing instructors and my fellow masters. There will be no more Certified Masters or Certified Architects or recertified Certified Solution Masters…

    I could have written a way longer post on this subject, but this is the end of this road. What it actually means in a bigger perspective is another question for another day – but I do know that it will influence my future considerations and investments in certifications and the products that I used to love.

    Updates

    I’ll try to share some updates on the matter here…

    [2013-09-01] A fellow MVP from the SQL charter, Jen Stirrup, has created a plea on the Microsoft Connect site (currently 213 upvotes!). The one who claims to be responsible for the decision, Tim Sneath, has answered. His answer contains some of what should originally been communicated. But, stating this has been in the plans for months – I don’t believe it, why would MSL then have spent all the time on making the certifications available on Prometric centers, B**sh!t

About Wictor...

Wictor Wilén is a Director and SharePoint Architect working at Connecta AB. Wictor has achieved the Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) - SharePoint 2010, Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM) - SharePoint  and Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) - SharePoint 2010 certifications. He has also been awarded Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for four consecutive years.

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