Contents tagged with Software
A recent discussion about how the licenses of Windows, SQL and SharePoint Servers should be handled when we are developing solutions using Virtual Machines made me throw away a mail to Emma Explains Licensing. The concern was that; do we have to pay licenses for every VM or test server? That would have been insane! But I wanted to have this explained how this licensing works - a lot of you perhaps already know but I always have a hard time getting all the different licensing options and rules.
To make her excellent explanation a bit shorter; if you are a MSDN subscriber or a Visual Studio licensee then you are fully covered. You may use as many copies on any number of devices you like of the server products for developing, testing and demonstrations. You may not use it in live production or for staging environments.
To understand everything, please read Emma's post.
Have a nice weekend…
I made some updates to my Windows Search Index Tool so it also displays all the inclusion and exclusion rules and even functionality for adding and removing rules. So now you can easily exclude folders by creating a rule like this:
On the Rules tab, click on the Add button. The button should only be enabled if you are running in elevated privileges on Vista. Enter the pattern, like the image shows and choose if it is an inclusion or exclusion rule and hit Add.
Note: Only do this if you are sure on what you are doing!
You can download the Windows Search Index Tool here. Update: link is now correct
I recently was forced into using McAfee VirusScan Enterprise, due to domain policies at my new employer. This was not what I have wanted! For years I have been using Grisoft AVG both at work and at home (they have a great free product for personal use). AVG is great, I have not had a single virus or similar on any of my machines for six or seven years (that has not been intentionally installed - to see what will happen), and I'm sad to not use it on my primary working machine anymore.
McAfee VirusScan Enterprise is not good in any way (at least I think) and the main reason is how it scans.
Scanning is incredible slow and CPU intensive. Standard schedule is set to scan at 9 a clock in the morning, just about that time when you have read through your mail and have started all you applications and ready to get to work. So you have to abort the scanning process, which is not good.
I had almost the same settings using AVG, of course there was a performance downgrade when scanning, but the machine was still usable.
When you are trying to abort the scanning process, you have to enter the VirusScan Console, which requires elevated privileges. So you have to wait for the UAC to pop up and then confirm, which on a heavy loaded machine can take forever (it feels like forever when your angry). This is of course not only McAfees fault, Vista could be a whole lot faster. Then you have to stop the scanning. I would have preferred a quick access to a Cancel Scan method directly on the icon in the notification area.
I think the scanning process should first of all not run using Normal priority, it should use Below Normal, or at least configurable. It should detect if it's hogging the system and then pause until the machine is idle.
Now it's configured to run late at night. Problem is that my machine is not running 24/7 - you have to think about the environment, so it will not run that often that I want to...
Phew, just had to get it out of me...
Have you had any similar experiences? Or can you tip me how to configure it for better performance and a safer experience?
Today Microsoft announced that it will be extending Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 with new enterprise social computing capabilities, by adding features from the partners NewsGator (Press release) and Atlassian.
SharePoint Connector for Confluence
This connector will integrate the Atlassian product called Confluence which is an enterprise wiki that makes it easy for your team to collaborate and share knowledge. The connector is allowing you to create more advanced wikis and blogs than the standard features of SharePoint or you can include SharePoint lists into Confluence, it even allows you to search both SharePoint content and documents as well as the Confluence content in one location.
Every SharePoint user will get their own personal blog and wiki, which will enhance the possibility of making a great Enterprise 2.0 site.
This connector is currently available as beta at no cost.
Newsgator Social Sites
NewsGator Social Sites is a set of site templates, Web parts and middleware to enhance the social computing for Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0. Here you will find even better feed/blog management, tag clouds, feed statistics and more.
These are great additions to SharePoint, I have not yet tried them out, but it's on my agenda for sure! I have for a long time talked warmly about the enterprise version of Web 2.0 called Enterprise 2.0. At least here in Sweden it is difficult to get this concept going but this tool will surely get us in the right direction.
It's still a beta but called Joost 1.0 beta and it's getting better and more importantly it's getting more channels and content (more than 15.000 shows). So if you have not tried Joost, head on over and download it.
The one thing I think is missing, is a seamless Media Center Integration - wouldn't that be something? Microsoft currently released Internet TV Beta for Media Center (only for the US customers, so us living up north in Sweden are left out as usual...) which I would like to test and compare to Joost - anyone have any interesting comparisons, is it a competitor or can they cooperate?
Yet another It sucks post! Yesterday I installed the Apple Safari browser on my Windows Vista machine. I thought that it would be nice to use the fastest web browser in the universe to do some application/site compatibility testing without having to have a Mac OS/X system.
Yes it is a beta, so I won't complain about all the bugs and rendering problems (it might of course be the sites I'm testing but in some cases I don't think so) - I will instead complain on the ugly look and appearance of it.
Safari for Windows is a Windows application created by Apple for the Windows platform and nothing else. So, the window layout should apply to the Windows standards! The brushed metal thingies Apple uses don't work with me, that's one of the reasons I always disliked QuickTime. Resizing the window is only allowed in the lower right corner - don't like it either. Since I'm using Vista Aero it does not look good, no shadow nor transparency! OS/X scroll bars and all other OS/X stuff don't get me on.
If Safari is to be some kind of success and if Apple is trying a hostile takover of the desktop then make it look and behave like a Windows application.
Yes I've read Joels post on why Apple and Microsoft uses different methods of displaying fonts on the screen and I understand why. But it does not look pretty - it looks like someone poured water on the screen and let all the liquid crystals float around and get all blurry! I get a headache when reading text in the Safari - it feels like I'm not wearing my glasses!
I just had to get all this off my chest, and I'm not alone having some troubles with Safari.
And now we don't have to get a Mac OS/X license to make website compatibility testing!
My favorite Windows Explorer replacement has finally been released in it's 7th version.
Total Commander, which much remainds of the classic old Norton Commander, is a fast and intuitive file and folder manager by Christian Ghisler. It performs much faster than Explorer and has nice built-in features such as packing (ZIP, RAR...), FTP support, multi-renaming, quick-access to common directories... you name it!
Version 7 contains a number of new features and fixes, read more about them in my previous post on the subject or on the Total Commander home page.
The success of XPS, vs PDF and others, are really depending on the number of supported devices, operating systems and tools. Right now the XPS support is limitied in applications outside the Microsoft Windows sphere, but there are plans for other operating systems. (Maybe Silverlight will boost this with the CoreCLR).
Windows Vista has the tools you need to create XPS documents by using the Microsoft XPS Document Writer printer. Just hit Print in any application and select the XPS Document Writer and voila - you have a fixed page XPS document.
Windows Vista also have a built-in XPS reader, which allows you to view XPS files.
Microsoft Office 2007
XPS Essentials Pack
NiXPS is an interesting software company, with a product with the same name that is used for changing and checking XPS files. NiXPS v1.0 is currently in beta and is available for Windows 2000/XP/Vista as well as for MacOS 10. This product is not for viewing XPS files, instead NiXPS is currently developing a shared C/C++ XPS library - so any creative developers out there: here is your chance to create some nice XPS viewers. Follow the development at their blog.
Open Xml Package Explorer
Not really an XPS tool but Package Explorer is a nice Office Open Xml application created by Wouter van Vugt. It is created for Office Open Xml documents but since XPS files are built on OPC, which Package Explorer supports, Package Explorer might be extended to support XPS files in the future. Package Explorer is available at CodePlex. Maybe if I get time and Wouter allows it I'll have a look at it :-)
Here are some other useful XPS utilities
- XpsStat - An XPS statistics tool by Feng Yuan
- PDF Suite v3.0 for .NET - now supports creating XPS documents.
- Siberix Report Writer 8.0 - reporting solution for .NET 2.0 and 3.0
- isXPS Conformance Tool - test an XPS file's conformity to the XPS and OPC spec.
- XPS Removal tool - (A fox in the hen house) Removes the Microsoft XPS Document Writer :-(
Do you have any other tools worth mentioning, have I missed any?
Joost has delivered unlimited invites to all the beta testers and I thought I share a few of them. Since I can't invite people all day long then the first ten to comment on this post will recieve an invitation.
Please supply first- and last name and an e-mail address.
One of the features of XML Paper Specification, XPS, is the light-weight reader approach and the portable format which Adobe have had the major market share for, and still has, with the PDF format. We all like the approach with having some kind of document format that can be sent to anyone without worrying that they don't have a reader for the document.
I like that there now are competition on this market, even though I really think that Microsoft with XPS have a long road ahead until they reach an acceptable level of XPS users, even with an XPS reader built in to Windows Vista.
PDF is today the de facto standard for digital documents and since january this year Adobe has been working with an ISO technical comitee to submit PDF as an open formal standard (ISO 32000).
I had no luck searching the ISO site for any reference to the ISO 32000, but I easily found the ISO/IEC DIS 29500 which is the proposed standard for Office Open Xml which contains the basic functionality for creating XPS documents.
This topic is currently pretty hot and for your information here is a good article on the subject XPS vs PDF worth reading: With XPS as PDF killer, Microsoft opens second front on Adobe from Computerworld. The article discusses the main topics in where XPS has an advantage over XPS, such as making XPS more printer friendly by avoid the usage of for example PostScript.