David Overton's Blog and Discussion Site
This site is my way to share my views and general business and IT information with you about Microsoft, IT solutions for ISVs, technologists and businesses, large and small.  

May 2007 - David Overton's Blog

  • Interactive Developer Map - want to develop something on top of a Microsoft platform, but don't know where to go for information - now you can do it all interactively

    Microsoft Office Interactive Developer Map The Microsoft Office Interactive Developer Map is a Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) application that helps developers visualize the different programs, servers, services, and tools that will help them build solutions. It allows them to drill down to each product and technology and learn about new features, objects, Web services, namespaces, and schemas required to extend Microsoft Office and build custom Office Business Applications (OBAs) . Source: Interactive Developer Map I have a look at this and was quite impressed with the list of resources available to you. For example - look at the link below - it is the Office Live drill down - look at all the places to get information - I checked - the sites are good! ttfn David
  • Windows Live Writer Beta 2 Now Available (The best blogging tool in the world)

    OK, so this is beta number 3 for the day and the one I use for about 95% of my blog writing. Hope along to Writer Zone: Windows Live Writer Beta 2 Now Available to get all the details, but once again, here is the summary: from here :-) This release incorporates a ton of feedback from our discussion forums and your blogs. Here are some of the new features you'll find in Beta 2: New Authoring Capabilities Inline spell checking Table editing Ability to add categories Page authoring for WordPress and TypePad Support for excerpts and extended entries Improved hyperlinking and image insertion Paste Special Integration and Compatibility SharePoint 2007 support New APIs enabling custom extensions by weblog providers Automatic synchronization of local and online edits Integration with Windows Live Gallery Support for Blogger Labels Plus... New look and feel Available in 6 languages Improved accessibility and keyboard support Many other frequently requested enhancements! Tables and spell checking Adding categories Page...
    Filed under: ,
  • Windows Live Mail beta

    This is beta number two from the Live team today - Windows Live Mail. My family now use it to access our Window Live Hotmail and other e-mail accounts. Anyway, for all the gossip, hop over to their blog at Windows Live Mail . Below is what has changed (well, in fact this is less that what has changed as there is so much goodness - go to the blog to get more information) Click here to get the latest build! Here are the build specifics... Build #: 12.0.1184.0517 (just refer to it as build 1184); Languages available: English, German, Spanish, French, Japanese, Chinese What’s New? Setup It’s much faster than it was in the past. Shortcuts for Windows Mail and OE will be replaced by WL Mail shortcuts. New Windows Live location in the Start Menu. Sign-In Auto-configuration of your accounts. Windows Live ID (formerly known as Passport…) signin not required. Migration of your old accounts. Now you’re in! Sleek new frame Improved shortcut buttons Compact View for folders No more visual advertisements Updates to the compose...
    Filed under: ,
  • Windows Live Messenger v8.5 beta 1 is released

    I know that you like the odd beta, so this is the 1st of 3 I will post today, so enjoy the code. Lots more information and pictures at Inside Windows Live Messenger . Important Details: Get Messenger 8.5 Beta1 (build 517) here Markets (Country + Language) in order to get this Beta out asap we limited the number of supported markets. If your market is not listed below, please know that we are working on it! English - United States, United Kingdom, India French - France Japanese - Japan German - Germany Chinese (Simplified) - China Spanish - United States, Spain What's new (ever get the feeling that this is a usability and eye candy update) Setup - the look, the desktop short cut, the start menu short cuts, Microsoft Update Sign-in - the look Menus - the look and feel Contact Window - the look Conversation Window - the look and a little feel New Emoticon - the bunny ttfn David Technorati Tags: beta , Messenger , Live
    Filed under: ,
  • Can customers find you on the Microsoft web site? Did you know that the "old" method for customers to find you is being turned off on June 14th? Have you added your solution Finder profile yet? If not, prepare to disappear

    Promote your business online The Microsoft Resource Directory, listing all Microsoft partners, will be retired on 14 June, when all traffic will be redirected to the increasingly popular Solution Finder tool. This is where existing and potential customers can search for partners who offer the specific business solutions they are looking for. To be included in this partner listing, and to help increase your sale leads at no additional cost, you need to ensure your business offerings are entered in our Solutions Profiler tool. This is a great opportunity to promote your business online and it takes just a few minutes to profile your solutions. I saw this and somehow figured that a few people might need a little prompting. I have written on how easy it is to add a solution using solution finder here . ttfn David Technorati Tags: Solution Finder , Partners [updated @ 2:20pm to fix access error]
  • Don't e-mail me and then block me with your spam list

    I get lots of e-mail. I answer it all hours of the day and while I can be snappy sometimes (sorry Guy), I do try to get the right information out there. One thing that has caught me out a few times (especially when I am mailing from a train or while disconnected from a useful Internet connection) is that when I reply I get a message saying that my address is blocked, could I go and verify myself. I know this is a bit of a rant, but if you want me to reply, please go and put me into your system so I don't have to do this... pretty please, it just makes my life sooo much easier when I get hundreds of mails a day. thank-you David
    Filed under:
  • Do you want to ask Microsoft the hard questions on Vista and Office before you sell them to your customers - well now you can in June - Live!!

    Your Office and Vista questions answered We are offering UK partners the opportunity to talk directly to one of Microsoft Europe's leading technology specialists in a series of online Q&A sessions. These sessions will seek to answer the nitty gritty questions you need to answer to transition your customers over to Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007. Book your place now. Register for 4 June Register for 5 June Register for 6 June Register for 7 June Register for 8 June ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Vista , Office , Partners
  • How I created my popfly carousel

    If you go to the blog entry on Microsoft Surface you will be asked to install Microsoft Silverlight. When you do so you will see a carousel effect to show the 12 Surface pictures. As many of you know I am NOT a developer by any means, so I thought I would show you what I had to do to get to the finished product - it is not hard at all. 1st off I signed up for a Popfly account at http://www.popfly.com and was lucky enough to get an account very quickly. OK, so I dropped 3 blocks onto the screen - one to read the RSS fead of the Surface pictures, one to pull out the picture urls and one to display them. That was it (well I did drag those blue lines across too) Here is what I put in the RSS feed Here is what I put in the filter Here is what I put in the carousel initially (I changed it to a more complex piece of code later to change the screen resolution of the images it pulls down) that was it. That is why popfly is so simple to combine things together. ttfn David Technorati tags: popfly , mashup , silverlight
  • Do you sell Microsoft product and went something to make it easier to understand our licensing and products? Something that will help you up-sell and cross-sell to your customers? If so, then the Gear Up book is for you

    In a recent mail it announced: The Microsoft Sales Toolkit is your source for driving sales. It is the licensing and sales 'product handbook' that will help you generate up-sell and cross-sell opportunities, giving you and your Partners information on the full portfolio of Microsoft products and services. You can find information on what the product is, how to sell it, relevant SKU numbers and FAQs. The toolkit is produced twice a year and is available as a hardcopy, to keep on your desk, or to download as a pdf, to take out with you to meet customers. Visit www.microsoft.com/uk/gearup for more details or to download the pdf version. Go get it, it might just answer one or two of those questions you have!! ttfn David Technorati tags: Gear Up , licensing , sales , Microsoft
  • WOW!!! Microsoft Surface has just made me say - "I have to have one" and so does everyone else in the family too. This is seriously cool (and not really much to do for most small businesses)

    [updated 1:05 with more information and moving silverlight code to a 2nd page] I'm a difficult person to impress - Silverlight is one technology that impresses me seriously as to the future direction of media and web applications. Now however we have a new platform that I really like the look of - Surface . Have a look at the web site - see the possibilities of this touch and object sensitive device. Put a camera on it and the pictures poor out of it. look at photos and movies on it. It is just a wow, how cool is that type of device. Maybe I should run some form of competition on the blog and see if anyone wants to win one when they ship!! For more information go to www.microsoft.com/surface/ with the "Executive Q&A: What the new surface computing category means for Microsoft and consumers" found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2007/may07/05-29Surface.mspx and the general PR at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2007/may07/05-29MSSurfacePR.mspx . Finally you can see more...
  • Clint Covington: Software design, Microsoft Office Access : Cool As Ice uses Office Live and Access 2007 with custom ribbon

    I saw this and thought you might like to see how one ISV has joined Office Live and an Access application. Web access and rich client applications. Nice!! Here is some information about the Access 2007 application that I’ve developed for Cool As Ice, which is a leading Norfolk-based supplier of air conditioning and refrigeration here in the UK. Cool As Ice wanted a bespoke customer contact system that they could use to hold data securely yet allow their workforce to use that data on their laptops, including adding and altering data, i.e. not just a read-only copy. Access 2007’s integration with Sharepoint meant it could provide the basis for a good solution. The application holds its data in a workspace that is part of my company’s Office Live site. The choice of Office Live to provide the SharePoint part of the solution means that their data is secure and that Cool As Ice do not need to get involved in organising that part of the solution, concentrating instead on the things they do best. Backups of data are...
  • Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Public Beta

    I just came across this. Should you want to play with our VoIP solution that also integrates into Exchange 2007 then this is for you. Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Public Beta Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 provides users with streamlined real-time communications on an extensible VoIP foundation that provides the operational control your organization requires. Featured Resources Now available: Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 public beta Download Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Public Beta with Office Communicator 2007. Download the documentation for Office Communications Server 2007 beta Featured Webcasts Join us for an overview of Microsoft unified communications solutions and to learn more about Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007. Microsoft Unified Communications Overview Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Overview Scenarios for Using Office Communicator 2007 Source: Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Public Beta ttfn David Technorati...
  • Windows Server 2008 'The Last 32-bit Operating System' - unless you have SBS in which case it is SBS 2003 R2

    Read this carefully and repeat after me "64-bit is the future, 64-bit is the future". If you are playing (testing) Longhorn (Windows Server 2008) then use the 64-bit version. Why, well SBS & Centro (I guess) will be 64-bit only, Windows 2008 will have a 32-bit version primarily to enable people to migrate (since it is the last version it will not be the most future proofed version IMHO). This is a great way to prepare for the future, so just do it!! "Windows Server 2008 is the last 32-bit operating system that we'll produce," Laing then pronounced. "Post-2008, we will transition to 64-bit. Many Microsoft products are becoming 64-bit only today, because they're realizing the benefits of 64-bit computing. Exchange Server 2007, Windows Compute Cluster Server, and Windows Server Virtualization are all 64-bit only today, because they give significant benefits." Source: BetaNews | Windows Server 2008 'The Last 32-bit Operating System' ttfn David Technorati tags: Cougar...
  • Free exam vouchers to help you become a SBSC member - use by 22nd June 2007!

    Since I re-published how to become a SBSC member I thought it would be worth pointing out that you can now also get a little bit of help in the way of FREE EXAM VOUCHERS. Jen Brinton has told me that "As a special incentive we have a limited number of FREE EXAM VOUCHERS which can be redeemed against any of the exams above. If you would like one of these vouchers please contact jbrinton@microsoft.com but please hurry as these vouchers will be offered on a first come first serve basis and must be redeemed before the 22nd June." So, grab voucher and join the community today. ttfn David Technorati tags: SBSC , Exam Vouchers , Free
  • If you want to get UK dialect words into the Microsoft dictionary then send the words asap (by 31st May)

    I have only just seen this in my inbox, but it looks worth doing!! Do you have a ‘benny’ if you can’t find ‘owt’ in your familiar local lingo when you are writing documents and letters? To celebrate the launch of the 2007 Office system and the richness of the British language, Microsoft has partnered with the British Library to develop a series of online dictionaries made up of local dialects...and we want you to contribute! How many people talk about ‘hoying’ a ball or even taking a ‘crib’ when they have a cup of tea? With an ever increasing mobile population, Microsoft and the British library and keen to preserve local identities and heritage. Jonathan Robinson, curator of English accents and dialects at The British Library says: “Britain has a rich heritage of different accents and dialects and, contrary to popular opinion, there is still a great deal of lexical diversity across the UK - where else would you find the words ‘cob’, ‘batch’, ‘bun’, ‘barm cake’, ‘stotty cake’, ‘scuffler’ and ‘bread cake’, all meaning...
  • Should you be recognised as a Small Business Specialist Community (SBSC) partner (or do you want to be), here is how - do it today including the new technical areas that are accepted into the program (Sharepoint skills)

    A couple of years back Microsoft realised that it needed a specialised group of partners that it could recommend to small business customers, invest time and effort into helping succeed and help elevate themselves above the 33,000 other partners in the UK. From these desires the SBSC program was born. What are the benefits of becoming a SBSC Partner Use the Small Business Specialist logo for advertising and marketing (eg http://www.bmsnet.co.uk/blog/?p=58 ) Be listed as a Small Business Specialist in the Microsoft Resource Directory Gain access to premium content on the Microsoft Partner Program Web site Access exclusive Small Business Specialist Private Managed Newsgroups If you don't have it already, using the Microsoft Action Pack which has LOADS of software in it and it costs less than £200 per year (10 copies of Vista, 10 copies of Office, SBS Server, Exchange 2007, MS CRM and much, much more) How to become a SBSC Partner From scouring our records some parnters qualify, but haven't signed up yet,...
  • Chris Parkes: Microsoft Office Word 2007 and OpenOffice.org 2.2.0 Mail Merge Comparison

    I know I need to wear my flame proof shorts for posting this, however, Chris has done an amazing post comparing the pain, process and time of doing a mail merge in Office 2007 and Open Office. He found that something that he could do without trouble in Word was not easy to understand and ONCE ALL SETUP, still took five times longer to then just process itself. When time is money, this pays for itself in Office 2007 (or 2003 or XP :-) ) All in all, the whole process took just under fifty minutes , five times longer than it did using Microsoft Office Word 2007 although this was considerably longer on my first few attempts as I struggled to locate the functionality in OOo and how to put the whole thing together. The conclusion... The time taken to complete essential tasks therefore is extremely important. If organisational end users were to be so unproductive then staffing overheads would considerably increase. Whereas Microsoft Word 2007 handled the process with the minimum of fuss and flexibility, using OOo actually...
  • OneNote Calendar at OneNote PowerToys to view your notes against the day you wrote them

    I saw this and knew it was an awesome tool! Josh Einstein, the developer of TEO 3.0, has created a nifty new application for OneNote. The OneNote Calendar gives you a calendar view of all of your notes, allowing you to view them by when they were created or modified. There is a preview pane that allows you to view your notes. More good news. It is free. Source: Josh Einstein’s OneNote Calendar at OneNote PowerToys
  • How to configure SQL Server 2005 to allow remote connections on Windows Server 2008 (Longhorn) / Windows Vista

    Just a quick one - I was playing around with SQL2005 on my Longhorn server and I could not connect from a remote machine - Ahh I thought, the firewall is in the way, but it turned out I had to do 3 or 4 things to get things working. The Microsoft KB article that pointed to the light was How to configure SQL Server 2005 to allow remote connections which covers how to enable the firewall for the 2 programs you need and so on. When you try to connect to an instance of Microsoft SQL Server 2005 from a remote computer, you may receive an error message. This problem may occur when you use any program to connect to SQL Server. For example, you receive the following error message when you use the SQLCMD utility to connect to SQL Server: Sqlcmd: Error: Microsoft SQL Native Client: An error has occurred while establishing a connection to the server. When connecting to SQL Server 2005, this failure may be caused by the fact that under the default settings SQL Server does not allow remote connections. This problem may occur...
  • Responding to another "I can't load Office 2003 on Vista" e-mail

    [updated to correct a typo - 10:48 27th May 2007] I get lots of mails similar to the one below as a result of the blog entries on the EULA not going away and the Office 2003 on Vista and in some cases the issues have been Vista, sometimes the CD and sometimes non-genuine software that someone has been sold (as a side note - it has never been the new security - UAC that has been at the root of the problem). Hi David, I have read your blog entry re: 2003 installation on Vista but I have a problem not previously mentioned. I am doing an install from the CD and have disabled UAC. I attempt to run the SETUP.EXE (as Systems Admin and even with the compatibility set to WinXP SP2) to no avail. The next dialog window comes up saying that the SETUP.INI file cannot be found (path: ./FILES/SETUP/SETUP.INI). I'm baffled because I take the same installation CD and I put it in my old WinXP box and I can explore to find the SETUP.INI file exists. Why is my Vista box not able to see this .ini? Do I need to install the mentioned...
  • Trial Software Kit for Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2

    I was recently asked how to get a trial of SBS. You can't download one, but as a customer you can order one here. Note that if you go to the international pages you might have to scroll around a bit to find the right bit of information. If you are a partner and wish to give them to use them with your customers then you only need one copy as you can re-use the key we provide you and you can get it from the Partner Marketplace For customers: Trial Software Kit for Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 North America – Order your CD package here. Other Locations – The SBS 2003 R2 Trial is not generally available outside North America. Please select your country from the SBS Worldwide page to determine whether the trial software is available in your location. For Partners: Partner MarketPlace - eg Market - Partners - Microsoft UK You searched for items of collateral related to the Small Business Server (SBS) group. To add items to your order, select a quantity from the drop down box. Description Type Audience Price...
  • Office Live extensibility - Business Applications, Mash Ups, Workflows, Live IDs, Share data between the public and private (internal) site and rich client side applications

    Office Live is an amazingly flexible web design and business application tool, but understanding how to build customisation services around Office Live can be a bit of a hard one, especially when it includes things like Live ID from a client application. The presentation video from Mix07 goes through the process by initially doing a couple of site design. Then they build a reservation mini application that shares information between custom sharepoint lists internal to the site and present input/output information on the public site. Then workflow is added to make the reservations move from requests to processes when the status is changed and update a calendar. Remember that Office Live is built on a Windows SharePoint Services V3, so a platform that is already hotting up. A simple mashup is built using the customer information and a Local.Live.com map. Finally a client based application is created to log into the web service and then access the lists to update information. While this is nothing revolutionary,...
  • Action Pack abuse / misuse and customers who are registered as a partner and should not be - what can be done about it?

    Over the past months I have had people say to me something like: "I have a customer who wants to use the Action Pack, what can I tell them as to why it is wrong" "I know someone who is abusing the action pack by selling it to customers" "I think someone is listed locally as a partner and should not be" I think this customer does not qualify or how do I tell people what is required to use the Action Pack So here is how we can help. To qualifty for the action pack you must (from https://partner.microsoft.com/UK/program/managemembership/actionpack/mapslicensing ) Who can subscribe to the Microsoft Action Pack? The Microsoft Action Pack Subscription is available exclusively to consultants, value-added resellers, value-added providers, system integrators, developers, system builders, hosts and service providers who are enroled as Microsoft Partner Programme Registered Members and who distribute or influence their customers’ acquisition of Microsoft software and Microsoft-based solutions...
  • I hate seeing computers advertised on TV with 512MB of RAM with Vista

    This is a personal rant !! I was watching TV and saw a device advertised at a very attractive price, but with only 512MB of RAM. While Vista will work on a machine with 512MB of RAM the RECOMMENDED MINIMUM for all versions other than Home Basic is 1GB , meaning that the systems are shipping with just half the recommended minimum they should ship with. The recommended minimum amount of RAM for Windows XP was 128MB RAM with 64MB being the absolute minimum. Shipping a home premium or business machine with below the recommended minimum is a bit like running Windows XP with 64 (or even 128MB RAM). Think what XP would be like and while Vista is not that bad with 512MB, it is definitely not great. So, please, please, please, 1GB minimum, 2GB and above for power users. I've seen this discussed in so many places, but please, 512MB is just no fun - don't let it happen to your customers - prepare them now. I just bought 2GB of RAM for about £30 per stick so when buying new PCs, be a good person and put it in there...
1 2 3 Next >

(c)David Overton 2006-17