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.  

David Overton's Blog

  • Sync for Windows SkyDrive

    [updated 25/02/2013] - The next version has now been submitted to Microsoft. Information on the updated version can be found here . This is an update on my Sync tool. Thank-you to all those who have provided input, submitted bugs and made other suggestions. The updated version is not yet ready to go into the Windows Store yet, but feedback and suggestions are still welcome. I’ve been asked by Microsoft to change the logo and name, so this is what we now have: [Changelog] Adding selective folder sync Made more “metro like” with reduced colours, no rounded corners, remove gradient background Bug fixing on file upload Bug fixing on file download Detect deleted files to enable removal Removed the cache files from the SkyDrive sync folder Sync activities now reported in flip out panel New 1st time experience Link to web site included in the settings menu Hopefully the updates will make people happy and unless you are syncing all your folders, after the first time start-up, scanning of both local are...
  • Small Biz Ignite - Could you improve your customers remote tools with SBS, need to get much more out of SharePoint Services (WSS), benefit from understanding what Live Communication server cam do and see what hosted solutions can offer....?

    If any of this sounds really useful, then why not book on a local ignite tour - for the 1st time we are coming as the small business team to your location. The events have plenty of technical show how (i.e. we will show it, might even show a config screen or two, but not build and install it in front of you). Click http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/training/ignite/default.aspx to book on the event and click on a location close to you on the map and select the Small Business Ignite or, if you are into CRM, the CRM one. Overall the event lasts 2 - 2:30hrs and is very interactive. While you may say you know everything about these technologies (and thankfully, to date, everyone has learnt something about the technology at the events) The existing ignite tours have been very well received - I got a mail today saying - if you liked the event and have already been to one, drop a comment and say how much you did so: "I always come away from your presentations fuelled with new ideas which I can implement for customers...
  • Is Linux making a move into Small Business

    I read this CRN article that Jo sent me earlier today and it makes me wonder about why people choose SBS. I love it because it is an action packed package in the size of a matchbox and a price to match. Others love it because it has a bunch of cool features and plays to their Windows experience. One thing the article said, which I think applies not just to those Linux folks, but also to us SBS folks is: Another partner said Linux rivals should worry less about the 800-lb. gorilla they are competing with and focus on making customers aware of their products and their benefits . "The smallest companies with one to 20 employees often don't understand the benefits of server technology or don't trust the ROI projections," Fogg said. "Those companies often elect to stay with peer-to-peer networks I think we can all learn more on how to do this. ttfn David
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  • Need Norton Anti Virus for Vista - get the beta then

    I have just seen that the beta for AV and security software from Symantec is now available for download . As one would hope, it comes with the following information: What is a Beta? A “beta” is a pre-release version of a Symantec product that is available for public testing before the final version is released. Through public testing, we can evaluate how the product performs in “real world” environments and collect valuable feedback from you. We want you to tell us what you like and don’t like about the product and report any problems to us directly. Be among the first to experience the new features and functionality of our latest products. Current betas: Norton Internet Security 2007 Vista Public Beta Norton AntiVirus 2007 Vista Public Beta Norton 360 All-In-One Security Learn More
  • Using Windows Vista and Outlook 2007 in a Windows Small Business Server 2003 Network

    [updated 28th Feb 2007 - 07:47 with correct link for Outlook 2007 and Windows XP] Use this document to join computers that are running Windows Vista to your Windows Small Business Server 2003 network using the "Update for Windows Small Business Server 2003: Windows Vista and Outlook 2007 compatibility (KB 926505). http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=46E95C56-1A4C-45BD-8D69-5F41FF8F1F22&displaylang=en File Name: SBSVista_Conceptual.doc Date Published: 2/8/2007 Download Size: 265 KB The “Update for Windows Small Business Server 2003: Vista and Outlook 2007 compatibility (KB 926505)” adds support for the Client Deployment tools in Windows Small Business Server (Windows SBS), and it resolves compatibility issues for running Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007 in a Windows SBS network. Use this document to join computers running Windows Vista and Outlook 2007 in your Windows SBS network. You might also want to look at: · Vista and Office 2007 FAQs · Related Knowledge Base Articles KB 926505...
  • Microsoft tool to transfer programs from a Windows XP machine to a Windows Vista machine - Windows Easy Transfer Companion (WETC)

    This tools works alongside the Easy Transfer Wizard using an Easy Transfer Cable, however it has a list of known programs that it will transfer should you so desire. The Windows Easy Transfer Companion (WETC) is a program that you can use to help transfer programs from a computer that is running Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2) to a computer that is running Windows Vista. WETC does not replace Windows Easy Transfer. Instead, WETC is an independent program that complements Windows Easy Transfer. You can use WETC to transfer many kinds of programs between two computers that are connected by an Easy Transfer Cable or by a network connection. For more information click onto http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=931696
  • How to do mail merge letters and labels in Office 2007

    I got a mail on this today, so thought I had better drop a quick note. The Office 2007 web site has a great search system that got me an answer straight away that includes screen shots to make it real simple. (I searched on the site for mail merge and then picked Word 2007 from the product picker). Please note that you can also e-mail merge to result in a number of e-mails being sent (perhaps with a newsletter) and that if you use publisher then you can also do things like put in place web links that have a unique identifier so you can tell who clicked on them. The answers can be found at: http://office.microsoft.com/en-gb/word/HA100819761033.aspx?pid=CH100626281033 for the letters http://office.microsoft.com/en-gb/word/HA101091611033.aspx?pid=CH100626261033 for the labels ttfn David Technorati tags: mail merge , word 2007 , Office 2007
  • How to customize Business Contact Manager 2007 forms in Outlook 2007

    I found this on the Office Website when someone asked me about form customisation for BCM. I thought I would share it. Demo: Customize Business Contact Manager forms You can customize Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 with Business Contact Manager forms by adding fields and list items (drop-down lists) that are unique to your business. You can customize the following types of forms: Account Business Contact Opportunity Business Project You can customize drop-down lists by clicking Edit this list and then adding your item to the list. Watch this short demo to see how to customize a Business Contact Manager for Outlook form. How to do it (text version) Customize your Business Contact Manager forms through user-defined fields Customize drop-down lists on Business Contact Manager forms Demo: Customize Business Contact Manager forms - Outlook - Microsoft Office Online ttfn David Technorati Tags: Business Contact Manager , BCM , Customise , Customize
  • Malware Removal Kit from Microsoft, including a boot from CD solution

    Malware Removal Kit The Malware Removal Kit is a download from TechNet that provides you with excellent guidance and tools to help you restore PCs infected with malware. The newest Solution Accelerator from Microsoft, it provides free, tested guidance to help you combat malware attacks and restore infected systems - so users can safely get back to work. The kit shows you how to use the Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) to discover malware by performing a thorough offline scan of your computers, uncovering malware that may be hiding in the operating system. And once malware is located and identified, it can be quickly removed from infected PCs with a number of free anti-malware tools, like the Malicious Software Removal Tool from Microsoft. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Malware Removal , WinPE , Security
  • Business Contact Manager (BCM) on Office 2007 error and the .Net framework

    I got an e-mail a few week back that showed a customer getting the following error with BCM: "Business Contact Manager failed to load". "Business Contact Manager failed to initialize Common Language Runtime Class not registered I was not able to respond timely, but I did get feedback that the issue was caused by a problem with the installation of the .Net framework. Updating and re-installing the framework fixed the problem. The partner that solved the problem was Pat Summers of PCS Enterprises in the US :-) ttfn David Technorati Tags: Business Contact Manager , BCM , error , .Net
  • WSS v3 Search and Search Server - how to mix the two and fix the error "The search request was unable to connect to the Search Service"

    I got this e-mail the other day: Hi David,From your posting "How to install Microsoft Search Server 2008 Express - including how to install on Windows Home Server" it seems that you had some similar problems that I am experiencing regarding running wss3 and ssx on the same server. In my case it effectively broke the "search this site" option and I'm trying to find a solution to this do you by any chance now what is my problem? I keep getting the error message: The search request was unable to connect to the Search Service . Regards Peter After a bit of research the answer can be found at http://wss.asaris.de/sites/walsh/Lists/WSSv3%20FAQ/DispForm.aspx?ID=1256 . While I have not used this, the feedback from Peter was excellent "Thanks a bundle, This was the solution to my problem.", so I feel confident sharing it. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Search Server Express Edition 2008 , Search Server , Windows SharePoint Server , WSS , SSX
  • Manchester SBS Group (Kick Off Meeting) - 27th March 2008 - be there to see how it all starts again - with Chris Parkes, Ceri Thomas and me

    Ceri Thomas is planning a new group in Manchester and Chris Parkes will be there to host things with him for the 1st meeting. I will also be there slightly later in the evening. Below is the mail sent out by Danny Ovens to SBSC members in the area, but all are welcome. Dear Partner New: Manchester SBS Groups (Kick Off Meeting) What is the purpose of the SBS User Group....? SBS User Groups are partner meetings, run by partner, for partners. They are an independent forum that enable partners to meet one another, share best practice, learn how to better engage with IT Vendors and also hear directly from Microsoft about our products and strategies. · Partner to partner networking – how can collaborating, learning what successes others have had, sharing problems and concerns or working as a group help your business · Connect with Vendors – The group can invite Microsoft and others to attend and present to your agenda...be heard! · Plugged in to Manchester Northwest activities – We’re increasing our engagement with...
  • How to configure a Smart Host for Internet e-mail in SBS 2008

    The Console setup process ( Once SBS is set up, how to do the basic configuration through the management console ) sets up SBS 2008 for use. Once the internet facing services are set up you might have to enable “Smart Hosts” – which basically means that your e-mail is sent out via your ISPs mail server. This is a simple process which I have documented below: Since I am using NTL / Virgin media as my provider, I had to send via mail.ntlworld.com. Do this and and hit next and then the system will send mail this way. That is it. One again that is it for this stage. Finally, all the SBS 2008 entries can be found at http://davidoverton.com/blogs/doverton/archive/tags/SBS+2008/default.aspx ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , SBS 2008 , SBS , Tips , SBSC , Small Business , Small Business Server 2008 , Community , Partner , Console , E-mail , Smart hosts
  • Why Microsoft Partners should embrace S+S and still deliver on premise solutions

    I was at the Microsoft World Wide Partner Conference when Microsoft announced their S+S (Software plus Services) and some partners decided to throw their toys out the pram and start a whole bunch of scare mongering around the partner opportunity. I’ve decided I will cover both off here, so here are some thoughts – please note, this is not an official communication, but simply my view and response having spoken to partners and Microsoft people alike. What are the customer options? A customer can choose from two non-exclusive models for their IT Services – On Premise on Hosted. The reasons why someone might want to have a solution hosted are many, but can includes: Remove IT from premises Remove soft off of the books Outsource the IT management Deliver IT from the best place for their customers (eg where they have low bandwidth) Outsource IT upgrade & delivery Enable simple price per seat solutions Should a customer choose to have a solution hosted then their is a choice as to who hosts the solution – Microsoft...
  • I’ve been asked to write a SBS 2008 book … and it is “in progress”

    I know this is a bit early, but I’ve been asked to write a SBS 2008 book.  I aiming it at those who are not super dooper IT experts, along the lines of the level I blog at, with more explanation for some areas.  I’m awaiting final comments from a solicitor and then hopefully I can sign the contract and then it is count down.  I hope to have finished the book by January, but that might be a bit optimistic!!   I’ll update you as I progress with the book.  If anyone wants to share thoughts, your always welcome, although I can’t promise things will get incorporated.   ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBS 2008 , Book , Personal , Microsoft , Small Business Server 2008
  • Lots more about the new Office UI - and some scenarios on how it all works together

    Hello, It is rare that I copy from MS newsletters, but I suspect many people do not get the UK MSDN (developer) newsletter, so since this issue talks about the online videos for Office 2007 and scenarios on how it all works together, I thought I should highlight David Gristwood, a great colleague who cares passionately about Office Development and also wrote this little article. I have clipped it to remove some of the more developer oriented content. Note the links for the videos to see more of the product. ttfn David Office Developers Conference, Redmond - David Gristwood <sniped> One of the big announcements was openXMLDeveloper.org , a community site supporting Open XML. You can see the video on demand here . (Bill Gates also gave an interview with InformationWeek just before the dev con, which you can read here , which explains more of his thinking) Part of the keynote included a very compelling demo, that showed end to end the various client and server elements of the Office platform all fully integrated...
  • SBS vs Linux - don't take my work for it, listen to Vlad

    Linux... what an emotive word around Microsoft that is! I used to be a Unix/Linux boy, but there again, I used to be a Mainframe boy, and then a security boy... I have worn too many hats. I can see the things people like about all of these, but too often the discussion is religious rather than customer centre'd or factual. Howvever one more factual and yet spoken from the heart can be found at http://www.vladville.com/2006/06/sbs-vs-linux-the-response-from-email-battles.html Vlad tells it how he sees it. Rock on. ttfn David
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  • OFF TOPIC - Overton Family has another child - Lizzy May

    Hello everyone, just a quick note to say that today Lizzy May was born into this world at 2:24am GMT. She is happy and health, as is her mum and the rest of us. She weighs 6lbs 15 1/2 ounces and was 54cms long. If you want to see some lovely pictures, go to http://uksbsguy.com/photos/doverton/category1018.aspx obviously this will slow down some of the posts over the next few days or weeks. ttfn David
  • How can you improve the performance of Windows Vista with a USB drive or key - have you heard of ReadyBoost yet?

    Windows Vista is no small operating system. The additional graphics functionality, search databases and security measures all increase the amount of RAM needed to run a task. Now of course, buying RAM is quite an easy thing to do on a personal basis, but it you have a small business with 20 people to upgrade, perhaps a simpler solution is required. The Hard Disk - this is the normal solution used by most operating systems when you run out of RAM, but the problem is that hard disks are ssssslllllloooooooooooowwwwww when compared to RAM. This is why "paging" as it is known is such a poor idea except when absolutely necessary. This of course brings us to ReadyBoost - Vista needs more RAM, you and your customers can not necessarily just go and throw some RAM into each system, especially if it is a Laptop, so how does the USB key help? Well, we can page through the USB key, meaning that it also acts just like a hard disk for those out of RAM moments. Most sticks and some hard disks can easily do a 40MB/s sustained...
  • Nottingham, England, 7th September - be there to learn so much more - Small Business Partner Ignite Tour

    Click the map above to see the Local.Live.Com technology at work - you can get driving instructions to the venue, see the area by birds' eye view, map view etc. We will be there (I will be for sure) explaining, showing via live demos, talk about how to sell and make money while enabling your customers to get more from their systems, get truly mobile (using XP, Office, SBS, Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) and Windows mobile solutions), more productive and easier to manage. If you want more details, go to http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/training/ignite/default.aspx?id=Nottingham ttfn David - see you there
  • New Vista Gadgets

    There are some new gadgets on the web site - http://gallery.Microsoft.com/Results.aspx?vista=la... My Favourites are: (Outlook Info, Media Shuffler, Poker beta, IP Info) ttfn David
  • Finger improving - stitches removed

    I am not one who likes to dwell on things, but the doctors have said I can drive and this is in part to the progress of my finger. I am off the big pain killers too, so the mind is less numbed, although I do now feel like I want my drugs back - they made the world a more smiley place. To see how I did this, go to here . For those who like the gross things in life, once again, some links to the gory detail: Finger from above before the stitches were removed Finger from side before the stitches were removed Finger from above after the stitches were removed ttfn David
  • Exchange 2007 - what is in it and why David got it wrong in Bristol

    Exchange 2007 - what a product :-) I was guilty of underselling it at the Bristol SBS Partner Group. I said some of the features people wanted were only in the Enterprise Edition, but I was wrong, they are in the Standard Edition, but require the Enterprise License (which is a top up on the standard License). Obviously SBS 2003 can work with Exchange 2007, but only on a seperate server as SBS 2003 is 32-bit only and production Exchange 2007 is 64-bit only. The enterprise CAL is only a few dollars on top of the Standard CAL, so if you want the features, definately something to look for. So, what is the difference between the two version? http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/evaluation/editions.mspx Exchange Server 2007 Edition Offerings Feature Standard Edition Enterprise Edition Storage Group Support 5 storage groups 50 storage groups Database Support 5 databases 50 databases Database Storage Limit No software storage limit; storage limit is hardware dependent No software storage limit; storage limit is hardware...
  • One word for the 2007 Office System

    This is a really simple exercise - If you have used Office, please summarise it in one word. The word from me is "Stylish"
  • Why Windows Vista Home can only be Upgraded to Home Ultimate online, but can upgrade via retail media from XP Home to Vista Business (or any other version)

    Following a bit of a discussion on the user groups around this area, I thought I would add my thoughts here. Many home PC users will be getting Windows Vista Home Premium and then potentially discovering that they really wanted the business edition ( SKU ) as they are not just home users. The problem we have is that if you look at the Windows Vista product feature matrix you will notice item like those to the left (click to see larger image) where features are available in the Home edition, but not the business edition. When people "upgrade" within the same release of the OS they expect to not loose features and some of those features include items that Microsoft potentially pays licensing for. Because of these reasons, home users can either "upgrade" to Ultimate, or buy Business in retail and do a full clean install. Now, if someone has any version of Windows XP or Windows 2000 then they can "upgrade" to any of the Windows Vista editions, however the key item to note here is that if someone will loose functionality...
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(c)David Overton 2006-20