Contents tagged with Windows Live

  • Visual guide to Azure Access Controls Services authentication with SharePoint 2010 - Index Post

    Tags: Security, Windows Live, Windows Azure, SharePoint 2010

    This post serves as an index for all the articles in the Visual guide to Azure Access Controls Services authentication with SharePoint 2010

    This series is a set [not yet determined amount] of articles where I show you how to leverage the Azure Access Controls Services (ACS) in combination with SharePoint 2010 to make it easier for you to use identity providers such as Google ID, Windows Live ID, Facebook AuthN etc.

    Posts

    • Part 1 - basic setup This article guides you through the basic setup of ACS and SharePoint 2010, from creating the Azure ACS endpoints to configuring the identity providers and relying party to finalizing the setup in SharePoint 2010  and finally log in using Google ID credentials.
    • Part 2 - common problems Even though if you follow all the instructions in part 1 you or more likely your colleague will run into problems. This article discusses the most common problems - and will hopefully be updated as time flies by.
    • Part 3 - Facebook Authentication The third part shows how to enable Facebook Authentication for your Azure ACS namespace and log in using a Facebook account to SharePoint 2010.
    • Part 4 - Multiple Web Applications This post will show you how to handle the case when you have multiple web applications and would like to use the same Azure ACS settings.
    • Part 5 - Custom Claims In this post we'll take a look at how we can add custom claims through Azure ACS and leverage them in SharePoint.
    • Part 6 - Facebook Integration In this post we'll use the features in Azure ACS to do deeper integration with the Facebook Graph API.
    • Part 7 - Customize the login experience
    • ...

    Note: this is what is actually written and planned for now . Any planned posts might change over time...

    Happy reading!

  • How to make Live Mesh conquer the world...

    Tags: Microsoft, Microsoft Office, Internet and the Web, Windows Live, Live Mesh

    Today almost everyone have more than one computer; one at work, a few at home, a media center, a PC, a Mac etc, your family members, friends and colleagues have the same. One problem is that a lot of us need access to files on one machine when we are using one of the others. For example I want to access my images when I’m at work sometimes and I do not want to copy all of these images onto my work laptop, when I’m at home I want to have the same favorites and documents that I use at work and so on. Then I have another scenario, let’s say that I do not have any of my computers with me and I want to access one of my files, then I want to have some way to access the files using a standard browser - and why not have editing possibilities.

    There are several ways to accomplish this, but none (that I discovered) covers all of these scenarios. Today I use a mix of services from Microsoft (there are other vendors with similar services, but none as good IMHO); Live Mesh, Office Live Workspaces, Live Skydrive and Live Sync. Read my previous post which compares some of these features.

    Live Mesh synchronizes folders between my machines as well as keeps a copy of it in the cloud. Live Sync synchronizes between the machines only. Office Live Workspaces allows me to store, share and access Office documents, lists and calendars in the cloud. Skydrive is currently a backup repository in the cloud. This pretty much covers it all, but has a few problems:

    1. I need to have several applications/services installed
    2. I need to go to different web sites to configure or access files
    3. They all use different storage mechanisms
    4. The synchronization (Mesh, Live Sync) always make a bi-directional synchronization

    Why not take these services and make one über-Mesh and add some additional features. Take the Live Mesh application and add this features then you would have a synchronization service that would take the world with storm.

    Modify Live Mesh in the following ways

    1. Merge the Skydrive storage with the Mesh storage - then we will go from 5Gb to 25Gb online storage
    2. Allow the Mesh folders to synchronize only between the computers and not the cloud, like Live Sync. I do not need all my files available in the cloud. For example I use Mesh to have some applications synched across my machines, just like Andrew Connell does.
    3. Allow you to set how the files will be synchronized; one-way or bi-directional. For example I only want my images taken with my mobile phone to be copied to the mesh, not to synchronize all images with the phone. This should be a setting per device and folder
    4. Today in Live Mesh you can only add top-folders, it would be awesome if you could make your own folder structure and set the synchronization options per folder
    5. Integrate the Office Live Workspaces folders into the Live Mesh
    6. Integrate the upcoming Office Live Applications into the Live Mesh, the opportunity to edit my Office documents using a browser only would really rock
    7. Have a REST based API to the Live Mesh - then all vendors could Meshify their applications
    8. Make the Live Mesh WebDAV compliant, then I could use any Office application from anywhere and edit my documents directly in the Mesh, without having to synchronize the folders
    9. Keep the Live Mesh RDP access
    10. Keep the Live Sync remote folder access
    11. Keep the Live Sync file size limit, Skydrive does not allow upload of large files

    Anything else you would like to have?

    Of course I realize, and don’t mind, that some of these services should have some fee; for example the Office Live Applications integration could have some fee and extra storage space (25Gb is not that much in these days) should also cost.

    I’ve even tried the Live Mesh CTP version, which have support for custom applications - which looks awesome, throw that into the wish-list also.

    So, Microsoft Program Managers hear me! Now when Ray Ozzie is in partial command in Redmond I think this should have a high priority (anyone remember Groove?)

    I do not think I am the only one out here that would just love to see this happen.

  • PDC 2008 Photosynth

    Tags: Windows Live, PDC 08

    Today I have spent a few hours tagging photos using the incredible Windows Live Photo Gallery application. It’s quite slow and still has some buggy features, but it’s so good for cleaning and tagging photos.

    As I tagged along I found some images I took during the PDC 2008 at the LA Convention Center entrance hall. From the Windows Live Photo Gallery I fired up Microsoft Photosynth and made me a Synth. Creating the synth was really easy and done in a few minutes and here it is:

  • Live Mesh, Skydrive and Office Live

    Tags: Microsoft Office, Windows Live

    Microsoft is currently extremely offensive on their new cloud services targeted to consumers and business users with their Live services. I use a number of them daily with the Live Mesh as the newest addition.

    A couple of months back I started to move my and my family's documents to Skydrive, 5Gb free online storage, and I’ve made some efforts to get started with the Office Live Workspace, to have a better place work working with the documents. Then Live Mesh came into the picture, and it lets me automatically sync documents between our PC’s and cell phones – really awesome!

    All of these three services are really good, but currently none of them is perfect, and the problem is that they do not work together at all. Below is a comparison of some of the features. All three services can be accessed from a standard browser and has features for sharing files and documents with other people.

      Live Mesh Skydrive  Office Live
      Live Mesh Skydrive Office Live Workspace
    Storage Space 5Gb 5Gb (25Gb announced) 500Mb
    API (i.e. programmable) Yes No No
    Synchronization with workstations Yes No No
    Calendars No* No* Yes
    Custom lists No No Yes
    Remote Desktop access Yes No No**
    Office integration No*** No Yes (plugin)
    Mobile devices support Yes**** No No
    Office Live applications integration No Yes***** No
    Office file previews No No Yes
    Office Live 14 support ****** No No Yes

    * You have the feature in other Windows Live applications ** SharedView is used instead *** If the folder is synchronized with the local PC, then an update to the Office document is synced into the Mesh instantly **** Currently in a limited closed beta **** Integration with Office Live Photo Gallery announced ****** Currently not available

    As you can see there are several features that do not overlap.

    What I would like to see is some kind of merge or collaboration between of these three services.

    Imagine having 25Gb online storage of which you can have parts synchronized with different machines and full integration with the Microsoft Office suite (or other Office-like suites for that matter).

    I did pop this question to one of the Microsofties at the Live booth at the PDC a few weeks ago, and the reply was that there were no plans of this. I think this is really bad. Yes I understand that they are three different services but I think that the underlying storage should be the same and that some of (if not all) the features above should be available in all three of them. If it would become true, this would truly be a powerful service that no one can neglect to use.

    Then just add some subscription to this and let’s say that you can have 100Gb online storage, then I would for sure place all my data and images up there in the cloud.

    Do you use any of these services and what do you think?

  • Creating custom 3D models with Virtual Earth

    Tags: Windows Live

    During the Virtual Earth that I attended yesterday we were shown a really nice beta in which you easily can create your custom 3D Models for Virtual Earth called 3DVIA.

    Add a 3D Model The tool is a browser plugin which will open when you, from the Virtual Earth 3D mode right-click where you want to insert a new model and select Add a 3D Model. Since this is a beta it will take a while until the 3DVIA interface opens up. In my case I had to retry about 10 times due to some unexpected errors. It is also really slow and hogs your CPU.

    When the interface is up you just have to align the map and then start drawing rectangles, lines or arcs. If you ever tried Google Sketchup you will immediately find yourself content with the functionality, otherwise use the tutorial. All actions such as modifying objects feels like a rip-off from Sketchup. Nothing bad about that since I really like it. Sketchup has been my family's favorite tool when we are redecorating our house.

    Virtual Earth - 3DVIA (Beta)The screen shot to the right shows a really fast created model of our house and garage done in just a few minutes.

    When done you can publish the model(s) to Virtual Earth and the model is added to your VE collection and you can view it using VE 3D and share it with your friends.

    3D model in VE

  • Virtual Earth event and Microsoft licensing issues

    Tags: SQL Server, Windows Live

    Today I attended a really interesting event at the Microsoft Stockholm location about the Microsoft Virtual Earth Platform. The event was a result of large amount of questions from partners and customers and the bi-weekly webcasts by the VE team. During the day the team from UK presented the Virtual Earth platform including the Virtual Earth AJAX controls and the MapPoint web services as well as SQL Server 2008, which contains impressive spatial data management.

    I was there to hear what the Virtual Earth platform could do for my customers and our solutions and during the day I noted down some really interesting ideas and pitches that I will try on them, but...

    Unfortunately the licensing model behind Virtual Earth is really bad and expensive and it currently only suits large customers who can earn/save large amounts of money using the services. Many of my clients are small or medium businesses which I think would place Virtual Earth in the nice-to-have slot on their investment strategy and as soon as they will see the licensing fees they will place it in the bottom of the stack of feature requests.

    Let's assume that you would like to use some Virtual Earth functions in an application for your clients which will not be your main income channel, but more aimed at making you application going that extra mile. Then you immediately have to throw up the big bucks to Microsoft. Of course, if this part of the application eventually becomes something extra and you make heavy usage of it, you can justify the current licensing prices.

    I think that Microsoft currently have a licensing issue when it comes to small and medium sized businesses who want to use these nice products and features that Microsoft have. I would like to see some more starting licenses for customers who would like to start out using the features. Microsoft, the Microsoft partners and the customers will gain on this;

    1. Customers can start out using these features, without a huge investment and risk. More customers - more licenses
    2. Microsoft Partners can get more consulting in this area. More partners - more customers.
    3. Microsoft will get more VE implementations and eventually get even more licensed applications

    Do you have any thoughts on this issue, please drop me a line...

    If you take a look at Microsoft Office SharePoint Server, there are the same issues right now. For small businesses it's not justifiable to invest in a SharePoint site, especially when it's Internet facing...

  • Windows Live Writer released!

    Tags: Windows Live Writer, Windows Live

    The great blogging application Windows Live Writer has left the beta phase and is now released, as a part of the Windows Live Wave 2, with version 12.0.1366.1026.

    About Windows Live Writer

    Below is the previous About screen and as you can see there are no Beta remark anymore...

    About Windows Live Writer (Beta)

    I have not yet found any information on what's new or what's updated, but I guess we will soon here about it!

    Update 2007-11-07: The Writer team has written a post about this new release "Windows Live Writer: Out of Beta". There you have it all!

    You can find the installer here: http://g.live.com/1rewlive/en/WLInstaller.exe (Thanks to LiveSide).

    Published with Windows Live Writer - non beta!

  • Windows Live Developer Community launched

    Tags: Windows Live Writer, Windows Live, Silverlight

    ViaWindowsLive

    A new developers community for Windows Live developers - Via Windows Live - has just been launched. The community site contains sections about Silverlight, Live ID, Live Writer, Messenger, Alerts and all the other Live products.

    As of now the content is quite thin, but it's up to you/us to fill it with useful information. Just register and then start using it. The site has a Wiki, a Gallery, Articles and more. And you can subscribe to the "aggregated blog of everything Windows Live".

    Why Via Windows Live uses their own login procedure instead of Live ID gives me a headache, but that's just me...

  • MSN Mobile vs. Windows Live Mobile, first round

    Tags: Internet and the Web, Windows Live

    HTC TyTNLiveSide reports that MSN is trying to get back in the business, taking back whatever they have lost to Windows Live. The first battle looks like it's going to happen on the mobile arena.

    In the first corner we have the mobile version of www.live.com  - mobile.live.com. And in the other corner the mobile MSN version - beta.mobile.msn.com.

    At a first glance, for me, the winner is live.com since when logging in you have instant access to the feeds, mail, gadgets and other personalization you have done in the rich live.com. The mobile MSN of course contains the classic MSNBC news, FOX sports and other types of content. So if you are interested in that maybe MSN will be the winner. Content vs. customisation?

    The user interfaces differ somewhat; Windows Live Mobile uses a really slick and clean look, really suitable for mobile access while MSN still looks like MSN :-)

    Since they both are in beta, the now pretty common state of a web application, there will be more rounds in this fight...

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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