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Archives / 2012 / December
  • Summing up the year of 2012 and embracing 2013

    Tags: Personal, SharePoint, SharePoint 2013, Office 365

    Only one day and a few hours left of the year of 2012 and the time has come for me to make my (now traditional) summary post. I’ve done it now for six years (2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006) and it’s always fun to look back at what has happened during the last 12 months.

    This year has been an interesting year to me and contained some really interesting milestones, happenings and events.

    Writing

    This year I’ve written basically the same amount of posts as in 2011, even though a new SharePoint version has been released. Basically it comes down to that I’ve been working a lot and haven’t had time to finish up some of the posts I’ve started and I’ve been busy with other commitments in the community. Anyways, I hope you enjoyed what I’ve written – I try to keep the quality up rather than the quantity.

    What’s really cool is that I now on average have more that 1.300 daily subscribers to my blog, a 30% increase since last year. Thank you!

    The most popular posts this year has been:

    1. How Claims encoding works in SharePoint 2010 – a post you should read IMO and still valid for SharePoint 2013
    2. Visual Guide to Azure Access Control Services authentication with SharePoint 2010 – part 1 – The first part of six posts in the series.
    3. SharePoint 2013 – Introduction to the Minimal Download Strategy – MDS – An MDS overview.
    4. SharePoint 2013 – Claims is the new black – the post title says it all
    5. SharePoint 2013 – A look at the hardware and software and other requirements – my pov on the hw and sw requirements

    The most popular post (from all years) is still the “Fix the SharePoint DCOM 10016 error on Windows Server 2008 R2” post.

    No books this year – done that once…

    MVP again..

    I was re-awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional, MVP,  award for SharePoint for the third consecutive year. I’m honored by still being a part of this group of community contributors.

    Microsoft Certified Architect – MCA

    What I’m most proud of this year is that I passed the Microsoft Certified Architect for SharePoint, MCA, certification. This is a certification, currently only held by five individuals worldwide, which proves that you can “architect” a business and technical solution based on SharePoint and related technologies. What I do like about this certification is that it is not just a test or a lab (you get those tests while doing the MCM/MCSM, which is a pre-requisite for the MCA) but instead it is a mix of interview, business case, portfolio, presentations and Q&A’s, where you really must show that you understand business requirements, budgets, time plans etc. You can read more about my take on the program here – What is a Microsoft Certified Architect?

    Conferences and travels

    I got my fair share of travelling this year as well, a bit less than last year – which my family appreciated though. I had the opportunity to speak at a couple of conferences – where the International SharePoint Conference 2012 was the highlight. This conference was something extraordinary for both the attendees and us speakers. I really enjoyed working together with the team on the dev-track building out our solution and sessions and it was so fun having the whole team on the front row supporting (and a little bit of heckling) each other during the three days. I will be back next year in London!

    I also had a blast at the first SharePoint conference in Croatia, and I hope I’m invited again and as usual our local SharePoint and Exchange Forum – which just keeps growing!

    Microsoft arranged the SharePoint Conference 2012 in Las Vegas to unveil the spanking brand new SharePoint version…well it turned out that the product was released a month ahead, so the conference didn’t have much new information. In my opinion this was a pretty bad conference – the depths of the sessions was to low, to many of the speakers should not have been allowed on stage, and what a total disaster when all Microsoft talked about was how good the cloud is and they had no Internet connectivity. I really hope that the conference team get their stuff together and rethink a lot of things for the next conference!

    The Cloud

    I can’t really write a summary post of 2012 without talking about the Cloud. Microsoft (and other vendors) really put all their money on the cloud this year – nothing new with this, it’s been going on for years, but this year it’s more clear than ever. Well, the cloud is nothing new – it’s just a new name for the Internet, Application Service Providers, etc etc, it’s more of a marketing term.

    Since the release of Office 365 the transition of SharePoint to the cloud has started (BPOS was first but SharePoint wasn’t cloud ready at all at that time). With this new wave of SharePoint and 365 the SharePoint cloud offering is even more evident – and we don’t know now where it will end, I’m not sure even Microsoft knows that yet.
    We’ve been running 365 for a year and a half now and we still suffer a lot from different strange issues (that could be a post on it’s own!). Hopefully once upgraded the service will be more stable and useful.

    I might sound a bit doubtful about the cloud – and I am. For the vast majority the cloud (read 365) is a great option instead of hosting and managing their own instances. But for large enterprises (the clients I’m normally working with) 365 is not even an option…

    Only time will tell…

    Predictions

    This is the part I really enjoy writing and thinking about at this time of the year – looking back at my last years predictions and looking in the crystal ball for the upcoming year.

    Last years predictions wasn’t that good – Silverlight is till not dead (someone hooked it up to a CPR machine) and all the browser vendors seems to be on some kind of honeymoon. My wish that 2012 was a bit less cloudy failed miserably! The only thing I think I got right was that Windows Phone would have momentum and by looking at some stats there’s some truth in that.

    So what do I think about next year?

    • Cloud, cloud and cloud! The cloud marketing will continue, it will be shoved down our throats, we’ll be so sick of it by the end of 2013. But this will be the way forward. It will be really interesting to see what will happen to traditional “on-premises” products – will they vanish? Just take a look at how Microsoft has discontinued a lot of products this year!
    • Identities, certificates, federation! I think one of the most important things for next year and the years following are having a good identity infrastructure and identity management in place. This should be a priority for all companies and architects working in our business. It’s also the basic requirement to get any cloud services to work properly.
    • Apps, devices and integration! For the cloud, hosted services etc to work the integration story must be better. We’ve seen a good start with Windows 8 (RT), Windows Phone 8, Office 2013 etc – but it’s not fully there yet. I think that this is what will be improved over the next 12 months and that might also be the key differentiator between the three large “ecosystems” – Windows, Linux/Android and the fruit camp.
    • SharePoint community! The SharePoint community has grown really large and it has reached some kind of “critical mass”. I’m not saying it’s to big or anything but I see the community being more divided than ever splitting up in different directions with different specializations, aspects, mind-sets etc. The number of conferences, user group is ever increasing. This year the community will change (due/thanks to the cloud) – we will see a big change in focus, we will see SharePoint professionals being Azure, Windows 8/Phone, JavaScript professionals.

     

    What do you think?

    Thank you and a happy new year!

    With that I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year and say thank you for 2012. I‘ve been having my doubts about 2013, but now I ‘m really looking forward to it. I have some cool events and travels planned, I know that my work at Connecta will contain some interesting opportunities and I know that the demand for SharePoint is ever increasing…

    A view from our summerhouse

    See you on the other side!

  • SharePoint 2013: Unable to install the pre-requisites on a disconnected machine

    Tags: SharePoint 2013

    You all know that you need to install the SharePoint 2013 pre-requisites before installing SharePoint 2013 – this is done either online or offline using the pre-req installer. All the requirements are listed in the Hardware and Software requirements for SharePoint 2013 Technet article.

    Once in a while you need to do the installation on a disconnected machine, that is a machine that is not connected to the interwebz. Then you typically Bing for a fancy script that downloads all the pre-reqs for you and you run the pre-reqs installer in unattended mode. That is where you pass in the local path to all the downloads either through a file or through the command line (I’m not going to cover that – it’s all over the web and even in the TechNet article mentioned before).

    Trouble in paradise?

    One thing that you might stumble upon when doing a disconnected install of the SharePoint 2013 pre-reqs is that your scripts or the pre-req installer just keeps asking you to run the installer again and it just says that you need to restart your server and run the installer again. After doing that for a couple of times you most likely start inspecting the log files and you will see stuff like this:

    2012-12-03 21:38:40 - Installing Microsoft WCF Data Services 5.0
    2012-12-03 21:38:40 - "\\server\SP2013\PrerequisiteInstallerFiles\WcfDataServices.exe" /quiet
    2012-12-03 21:42:50 - Install process returned (-2146762486)
    2012-12-03 21:42:50 - [In HRESULT format] (-2146762486)
    2012-12-03 21:42:50 - Last return code (-2146762486)
    2012-12-03 21:42:50 - Install needs restart
    

    We’ll it looks like it needs a restart – but what about that HRESULT code? Let’s turn it into a hexadecimal representation – 0x800B010A. Ahaaa! Ya’ll know your HRESULTs, right. It starts with 0x800B01?? so it must be some certificate issue, and it sure is.

    imageAs you can see it fails when installing the WCF Data Services 5.0. Let’s run that installer by itself. When we do that we’ll see an error that clearly says that it is a certificate error – A certificate chain could not be built to a trusted root authority.

    The installer log file for WCF Data Services also tells it right in our face:

    [0B48:0C78][2012-12-03T21:52:06]: Error 0x800b010a: Failed to verify certificate chain policy status.
    [0B48:0C78][2012-12-03T21:52:06]: Error 0x800b010a: Failed to get certificate chain for authenticode certificate.
    [0B48:0C78][2012-12-03T21:52:06]: Error 0x800b010a: Failed to verify signature of payload: wcf_dataservices

    So there’s something wrong with our certificate validation chain here…

    These darn certificates!

    Having disconnected machines means one or two things with regards to patching – either they are not patched at all or the admins control the patching themselves and don’t let the right ones through. The problem here is that the machine experiencing this problem does not have its root certificates updated. It’s an easy fix – make sure you let those updates from Windows Update through or update the root certificates manually.

    A manual update, which should only be your last resort, can be done by downloading the Update for Root Certificates for Windows XP [April 2013] (KB931125). Yup, they are for Windows XP but works perfectly on a Windows Server 2008 R2 (that’s where I tested it). Download the rootsupd.exe file and run it on your server before the running the pre-req installer and all should be running fine from now on.

    Summary

    A short explanation and solution for something that hopefully isn’t that common – since all of you have patched servers right?

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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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