Wanted to drop a quick post about hiding the Search Box at the top of a Team Site in Office 365s SharePoint Online. I came across the idea of adding a content editor web part to a page in SharePoint ON PREM but I was having trouble tracking down which class was the class that managed the display of the search box in SharePoint online.
The customer I was working with wanted to just hide the search box on a specific team site page (main landing page) hence why we wanted to add it to a CEWP directly on the page. If you would want to hide it on all pages of a site or site collection simply add create a class (shown below) on a custom CSS file that you add to your SharePoint Online site collection/site and you can hide it across the board.
So enough chatter, what needs to be added to the page. Simply add the below if you're dropping it on a CEWP:
Now if you want to simply add that class to a existing style sheet you're already loading, simply add
By Eric Harlan
Published: February 9, 2013
The Sponsor role in SharePoint Saturday
A long topic of discussion around the SPS committee as well as the SharePoint community has been about the role that Sponsors play in the overall operation of a SPSEvent. The rise and fall of the SPS movement in addition to community acceptance and advancement has been the availability of sponsors to donate their time, money and manpower to show up at an event just as the volunteers to organize and speak. That said, truth is (try to hold your shock for a moment), SharePoint Saturdays do not need nor have they ever needed sponsors to run a successful event. Allow me to explain before you put away your checkbooks . At its core SPS is a movement deeper than money, deeper than self-progression and most certainly deeper than any sponsor ROI. SPS started as humble as can be with ZERO funding with the sole purpose to cater to the community in which it finds itself. To that end in my opinion and many others’ the events will continue as long as there is need for education and a desire to help an individual foster their career, better their quality of life and their families quality of life. There will probably come a day hopefully in the unforeseen future that there will be zero sponsorship funding available to run an event. At that time a host must make the decision to either get creative or not have an event as well as question the real reason they are having an event. My faith as well as the faith of many attendees relies on that dedication to KEEP OUR TECHNOLOGY STRONG, keep each other strong and keep ourselves technically sharp. The funding is dwindling, and as a host you will need to come to grips with that notion. We as a NEW committee cannot be in the business of collecting from the rich (markets) and giving to the not so rich ones. There will be events higher funded than others and it’s not the sponsors fault it’s just logical. Spend money where they are most likely to recover that funding as well as create more business. Its why there are only a few GLOBAL sponsors that are seen at most high visibility events. The reason is because the local firms in that market are the ones sponsoring the events most. Ok now with that out of the way, I propose a different mentality. This is in no way a bashing or a “come to Jesus” post it’s just about reality and evolution of the organization. For years sponsors have been getting mostly the same contacts, same booth, and same attendee list. Something at some point may have to change. I’m not here to propose what that is as that information is in the midst of being gathered. As the events evolve and get bigger, demand more sponsorship funding and essentially offer the same thing back to those sponsors (other than maybe even more names) as bigger events are held the ROI for such an event has started to come into question. At one time sponsoring an event for 1,000 USD (plus the cost of materials, travel and time for employees) for the opportunity to speak and have a booth was an excellent venture. Really all a sponsor had to do to recoup those costs was to close one or maybe two sales to make it all worth it. This was compared to other conferences where literally thousands are paid for the almost identical audience. We as a “COMMUNITY” will (if not already) need to embrace that we are all in this. I owe personal and career success to a percentage of all of you and I hold that truth to be immovable. As such this ecosystem that is the SharePoint community in all of its quirkiness is ever changing and we, as a community, need to try to understand that and be tolerant of that. It is NOT all about the speakers, it is NOT all about the advancement of an attendee and it is not all around a sponsor. We are all 100% equal in desire to see this community and its technology we all orbit around succeed. Lastly a gut check to the attendees of SPS events. And when I say attendees I literally mean all of us in every aspect of the word attendee. Whether you are giving a session, or you stepped away to listen to one. Whether you are a sponsor in a small company who gave up time with your family to attend an event that you hope will build that business and in return build that families future. Or if you came out because you come out every year to attend and you’ve watched the event in your area, grow mature and get bigger and better. There will come a time where something isn’t done to your liking, there will come a time where something is by golly scaled BACK instead of forward. Where you were once used to hot buffets or table service and now you’re rocking a slice of pizza (if we’re so lucky). Remember, it’s a free event and with that come all the ups and down swings. That may mean there are no more speaker shirts, or no mobile app or maybe the SharePoint Saturday is 1 single track with 3 speakers. Accept it, embrace it and keep carrying the banner forward. Other wise, its back to unix for a lot of us. And no one wants that do we? (btw I totally just watched “Lincoln” find that pretty obviously proof reading) Submit Article 350713 Views -
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By Eric Harlan
Published: February 9, 2013
Windows Azure for SharePoint – Its Free!
A few months back I was given access to a Widows Azure environment through PFE. The test was to see if I could build a viable virtual environment to fully power a SharePoint 2013/2010 instance. When I say fully I mean 1-domain controller w/AD, 1-SQL Server, 1-2013 App Server, 1-2010 App Server. Now first things first, you yes you can go and sign up for a free 90 day preview of Windows Azure. That said, you will probably not be given the same resources I was given and then obviously it does expire. However, the good news is we have options and I’m going to tell you about them. Additionally, I’m going to tell you all about the learning curve I had to endure in order to understand exactly what the environment could and couldn’t do. First the gotchas: 1) Technically (at least from when I wrote this) Windows Azure is in “Preview” state. Think of it as Azure Beta. Because of that, especially from the free side of it, the environments can go up, down, be unresponsive or even not function correctly. This is a growing pain that I fully expect to be worked through. The reason I say that is because through my ordeal I’ve been in touch with a lot of folks on the Azure team and lay privy to what is coming down the pipe. Don’t worry this is if not already is going to be a 100% reliable replacement for on-prem VM servers. 2) As of right now there is no way to technically “save state” or export your VMs in their entirety. There is a third party tool I was testing out. But because I was so sensitive on time and a flawless instance I didn’t want to mess with what I had going so I didn’t pursue it too far. Now that we’re finished I’m going to play with it more. Basically it claims to allow you to export the blob that the VM is stored in and save it down as a file on your computer. I’ll give it some testing and post up what I’ve found. 3) You can technically “back up” your VMs but really you are saving down an XML file that has all of your actual VM settings. None of the configurations you make after a VM is provisioned are saved. So configuring SharePoint or joining your DC won’t come down with that back up. Again I fully hope and expect to see this addressed. 4) I have had issues where for literally no reason I could not delete objects in my account. Example, I try to delete a virtual disk and I’m simply not allowed. The option for me will be grayed out, I come back later and I can delete it no problem. Additionally there were times when I was setting up my virtual machines and joining them to the domain I created and I couldn’t connect to the VMs both by domain join or simply pinging the machine. Even though all the settings checked out. I chalk this up to growing pains. So if that happens don’t bang your head against the wall, just come back in a few hours and try again. I understand the reasoning for a lot of these shortcomings in preview as a lot of the pricing model is built around storage and uptime. Technically if you have a VM in your environment but not running you’re still paying for the space it takes up. Now for the good stuff! First up, Azure rhymes with badger. I just saved you some giggles from you saying “Asuuure” to someone. Send checks payable to me please.
Its Free! Well sorta, here's the 90 day link.
http://aka.ms/AzureCloudLab Depending on what you’ve given access to or what you pay for you will see a TON of options in your Azure portal. Everything from domain and network services to affinity groups and virtual disks. In fact at first it can be very confusing but fret not, I’m here to walk you through it. One of the big questions I had up front is if I can have an active directory instance in Azure do I need to stand up a server to host it. Technically no, however I found it much easier to have a very small core build 2012 server be my Domain Controller and Active directory management than if I created it through the portal itself. Server 2012 has a new (very bad ass *excuse my language*) feature. You can now build out a full server, walkthrough domain creation and active directory setup THEN when you’re all done scale the server back by literally removing the feature that controls the bloat from the UI of windows. So basically you can go from full server to core(ish) server without going through the pain of starting from square one, even though doing that once is a right of passage. In Azure you control the resources of a server in real time. So you can scale up a box or scale down a box WITH OUT RESTARTING THE VM. So in full UI mode I had the machine running with 8 cores and 12 gigs or RAM. I do this just to make sure I’m not lagging or waiting for things to happen. After I remove the UI feature I scale down the VM to 256 MB and 1 core. Brilliant! You can also use Windows Azure to work as a domain controller or setup virtual networks. HOWEVER for your SharePoint VM’s domain (i.e. contoso) you’ll want to provision all your domain as you normally would in your DC VM except for some key points. If you’re familiar with VMWare or HyperV you would create your virtual network with its subnets etc in the virtual network settings of those respective applications. This is one of the pieces of functionality you do use directly in the Azure portal. I’ll post a link below on how to setup that portion, just know all your networking is done here so your VMs can see and use those v-net setting. Next up Azure can also allow you to create “SQL Servers” as well as standalone SQL databases. So do I need to create a VM server that has a full OS and SQL installed. Well technically no, but would you not want to? First up Windows Azure SQL databases aren’t supported for SharePoint. I’m assuming because it’s very hard to define permissions and roles for a SQL server or a SQL database that technically lives as a blob. So the answer to this question at least for me was yes. Yes you should probably create VM that houses your SQL environment. If you want to stretch your company dollar or want to have a different setup with your free account and decide to go SQL Azure for your SharePoint databases and are successful please write up your approach and drop me a note for a link back. See a theme here? Affinity Groups. Awe.Some. So check this out, you can create these groups that basically move the bandwidth that supports your network geographically at will. Example, if you are building a virtual SharePoint instance for your office in India you can create an affinity group in Western Asia to support that office. So the hop itself doesn’t need to go from India, back the US then back to India again. Then get this, you can then change it to support the same farm. Example, you’re giving a demo in … I dunno say Western Europe. You can create an affinity group for that region and use that affinity group while you’re in Western Europe to get the best connectivity to your farm. Then when you’re done and back home in the states, you can move it back to North America to allow you to have the best bandwidth back home. Sweet! Kind of a no brainer but still really sweet, you can remote desktop into all of these machines you create. You are given a URL based off the DNS name you give the machine when you create the VM and literally RDP’ing into that machine is as easy as dropping that URL into RDP and hitting connect. That’s a good note actually, the DNS name you give a machine when creating it has nothing to do with the virtual networking and everything to do with connecting to the machine from the outside world. When you create and crush Virtual Disks & VMs be careful because when deleting one or the other doesn’t mean both are deleted just because their bound together. You can use virtual disks to provision more than 1 VM so by default Azure keeps the disk unless you say so. Now for the best news of all. Literally step by step creation of a SharePoint farm in Windows Azure has already been written up by my colleague Keith Mayer you can see his write up here. http://blogs.technet.com/b/keithmayer/archive/2013/01/07/step-by-step-build-a-free-sharepoint-2013-lab-in-the-cloud-with-windows-azure-31-days-of-servers-in-the-cloud-part-7-of-31.aspx Keith’s write up literally goes through setting up a virtual network for your SharePoint install, creating affinity groups and provisioning servers. It was the guide I used to create my environment. Check out his blog, create your free account and start playing around. Not a sales pitch but just something great that makes spinning up dev/demo environments very quick. Also make sure you tell him thanks, when Evangelists like Keith do this sort of thing it only benefits the community as a whole. It took a lot of time to write his blog I’m sure and having an impact is always good to hear. As I think of more things or find something new I’ll try to remember to update this post. Enjoy everyone. Submit Article 350570 Views -
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By Eric Harlan
Published: October 27, 2012
Last year at SharePoint Conference 2011, we got together for a very successful meet and greet that resulted in 3 new hires for Microsoft. This year with even a higher demand for good engineers we're hosting another event. This time a cocktail hour (2 hours) on Monday November 12th at the Ri RA Irish Pub at 7pm. Click the register button below and save a slot.
Your farm goes down at what seems like the most crucial time. When it comes to support at microsoft there is only one team to call. Thats the SharePoint Premier Field Engineer. We've often been likened to a sort of "Support Swat Team", we're there when you need us regardless of the time or day.
On Monday November 12th at 7pm (vegas time) we will be holding a small and intiment gathering for those folks both interested in a career in PFE (As we are hiring like mad) as well as potential or current customers to come and pick our brains.
This will be a great time to get us to yourselves and ask all the questions you can ponder up. There will be a dozen SharePoint PFE's from all over the globe at the meet and greet.
The space will be very limited so please RSVP to attend, otherwise there will be no available room.
Some quick notes:
Location: RI RA Irish Pub - The Shoppes at Mandalay Place The Shoppes at Mandalay Place, located on the sky bridge between Mandalay Bay and Luxor Alone time with the smartest folks in Microsoft Support 2 hours from 4 - 6pm (the hope is to continue the evening at one of the many gatherings planned Must RSVP Sorry, food and beverages are not covered (come early enough and there may be some appitizers left) Talk Shop or talk Job openings Microsoft Services Premier Support Follow #mspfe via twitter to get up to the minute updates
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By Eric Harlan
Published: September 25, 2012
Updated: September 25, 2012
Sharing the Point Africa 2012
In early September 2012 an expedition was launched that would truly embody the goal of Sharing the Point. Reaching under-served markets that usually wouldn’t have SharePoint events and would not experience what the SharePoint Community has to offer. Helping build local communities that will carry on long after an event is held there.
The trip consisted of six stops around EMEA: Dubai (UAE), Johannesburg, Cape Town (South Africa), Nairobi (Kenya), Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania), Axum (Ethiopia). The group landed in Dubai for a 12 hour layover. A lot can be done in twelve hours and that rang true for this stop where we brought together the local SharePoint community in Dubai for a dinner and mini sessions at the foot of the Burj Khalifa. With no sleep, the group then boarded a plane direct for Johannesburg SA where an all-day event was event was held at Microsoft Johannesburg covering topics from Disaster Recovery to 2013 Upgrade. After a short SharePint the group boarded yet another of many flights on to Cape Town and their first chance to get some sleep. The following morning was SharePoint Saturday Cape Town which was a great success with over 300 people and was the largest free SharePoint event to happen on the Continent ever. ( Video of SPS Cape Town )
The group then took a detour to climb Mount Kilimanjaro (Tanzania) bring awareness to their sponsor ( Colligo) as well as Sharing the Point and the message it tries to embody. The entire group made the climb and everyone summited the 19,340 foot mountain (4 th largest solo peak in the world). The trip down, was followed by congratulations and yet another ride to another airport to be whisked away to the speaker dinner of SharePoint Saturday Nairobi where 18 people were expected for the first ever SharePoint event in Kenya. Unbelievably 100+ people attended the event not including speakers. To anchor the tour the group then made their last swing through to Tanzania and the capital of Dar Es Salaam where a lunch time session was held over local food and drinks. SharePoint community was discussed as well as technical talk around code deployment in the cloud to demos of SharePoint 2013 preview. Part of the group split off to travel on to Axum Ethiopia where visits to some local orphanages were made, chickens and shoes were given and smiles were exchanged.
26,240+ air miles, 62 ground miles (walked), 25,421 feet of elevation gained or lost, hundreds of lives impacted in some way and another STP tour down in the history books.
Tangible and Trackable progress
The Sharing the Point goal manifested itself ideally in Kenya on this trip. During the lunch time talk, an open session was given on user groups and building the technology community in the area. When given the call during the session on who wanted to champion the Nairobi SharePoint Users Group, 27 people volunteered. The leadership, location of the events, time of the event and even the first few event speakers were lined up right then, right there. This for an event that was only slated to have 18 people show up total.
Building community has many benefits both to those involved and those who invoke. To those involved it helps create jobs in the area, it helps keep jobs through new technology education and it helps further careers of those who seek out that knowledge and furthering their reach. It also allows people to connection from all over the world virtually and in person (in this case) under conditions that may not have existed in any other way. Submit Article 410701 Views -
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By Eric Harlan
Published: August 29, 2012
Updated: August 29, 2012
Sharing the Point Africa
Each year an enterprising group of community members gets together and starts to organize a community outreach trip that will set the tone for the year to come. Two trips ago it was Asia, I didn’t go. The trip after that South America and Antarctica, I didn’t go on that on either. Circumstances each time came up that I had to back out of these trips weather a scheduling issue or something minor like the birth of my first child. Side note, my little girl should really focus on her grades because she owes me a trip to Antarctica. This year we are going BACK to Africa. I say “back” because I’ve been to Africa before way back in 2009. You can see those exploits here Trek Across Africa . It was one of those events in life that literally changed the course of pretty much my entire outlook on life. I know that sounds a bit dramatic but it really is the truth if you want to get the whole story drop me a line or stop me at the next conference and I’ll give you the greatest sales pitch ever in favor of you getting on a plane and checking out this wonderful continent. This year on the trip we have Paul Swider, Michael Noel, Joel Oleson, Mark Miller, Jim Bob Howard, John Anderson and in country Alistair Pugin. The team will be making a few stops for this trip that cover most of the south east regions of Africa. We make a stop in Dubai, UAE initially on our journey over to Africa. There we will do just a bit of experiencing the culture and seeing the sights. Well at least I will as I arrive a little early. We then head to Johannesburg, South Africa where the first Sharing the Point event happens ( register here). After Joburg we jet down to Cape Town for the event there ( register here). We then have a bit of a gap between our events which I’ll talk about here in a second. After that gap we cruise on up Nairobi Kenya for the first SharePoint Saturday Nairobi register here which will be very exciting. Pretty much directly after that event we head over to Dar Es Salaam Tanzania for the last Sharing the Point event ( register here). A destination list that I believe embodies the true purpose of Sharing the Point. The entire point of Sharing the Point is that all the markets that are either underserved or never have been served in terms SharePoint events, they get exposure as well as some decent speakers in their back yard. The secondary point is a little deeper, it’s that of philanthropy. It’s getting out and making a real difference in people’s lives even if it doesn’t involve SharePoint at all. This year a portion of the STPAfrica team will also be continuing on to bring water filter devices as well as shoes to villages and orphanages in Ethiopia. A leg of the trip I deeply regret not being able to be a part of but as always, duty (and husband/fatherhood duties call). How is all of this made possibly you might wonder. Well like most events in the SharePoint community this one is funded entirely by sponsors, sponsors that understand that both exposure and a deeper calling benefits everyone involved. This year the trip is sponsored by Colligo and IBM. These companies embody what it means to be in the SharePoint community and at risk of sounding like a shill (which if anyone knows me they know that is certainly not the case), a big thank you should go out to these folks. Keep them in mind next time you ponder a service they provide, the next event they sponsor could bring an event to your back door. So about that little stretch of time I spoke of earlier. So each year we tack on a bit of excitement to the trip to make it interesting and draw exposure. Last year as I said it was Antarctica /bitter, this year I think almost tops that, this year we are climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. I’ll let that sink in for a second… Still not sunk in, well maybe I can help with that. Mt K rises above the African continent as the largest single standing mountain in the world and the largest on the continent of Africa for that matter. Reaching up at a staggering 19,341 feet above sea level and is the fourth highest peak in the world as well as part of the 7 summits list. Some statistics of the climb; we will be walking for a total of just over 51 miles total. We will be covering a staggering 13,295 feet of vertical ascent. On summit day we set out at 11pm the night before and will be covering the last 13 miles mostly at night to reach the summit by sunrise. Now granted Mt K is no Everest for sure and I don’t think anyone would claim that, it is probably one of the easiest mountains on the 7 summits list to tackle. It’s not the physical climb or the grind that will wear you down, the lack of oxygen will be our biggest concern. At sea level there is about 20% oxygen saturation in the air so when you’re on the beach there’s plenty of air to go around for everyone. When you reach a mile or so up let’s say Denver Colorado you drop to about 17% o2. At 14,000 feet you drop down to about 12.2% o2 saturation in the air and when you summit out at Mount Kilimanjaro you will be at about 10.1% oxygen. The lack of oxygen can play havoc on the body and brain you can read all about it here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effects_of_high_altitude_on_humans . There are a lot of things possible, everything from loss of energy and appetite to acute cerebral edema certainly not fun. So with all the possible ways to have a bad day one has to take the training they plan to use to get them to the top pretty seriously. Below are a few maps and stats from some of the training I’ve been doing to prep for the hike.. Enjoy and expect an update on the climb here as well as ongoing updates at http://www.sharingthepoint.org
Green Mountain (various days) total milage 7.13 miles, 2854 totaly vertical ascent, 8,144 ASL
Hermans Gulch, 11,200 is all we got up before nightfall, 1,682 vertical feet, 2 miles
Quandary Peak, 14,265 feet (i was getting 14,290 on the gps) 4,145 vertical feet, 7.25 miles round trip
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