SharePoint and Office 365: The New Beautiful Cookbook Series

Most of us are “meat and potatoes” people when it comes to the technology we use. We like what we know and we know what we like. (Yes, there are vegan “seitan and potatoes” people, vegetarian “sprouts and potatoes” people, pescatarian “cod and potatoes” people, etc. I’m not trying to leave anyone out.)

Every once in a while, though, someone hands us a new ingredient – something we’ve never seen before, something we’ve never cooked with.

Image from the Netflix show Chef’s Table S3E6 – Virgilio Martinez

That new ingredient becomes a part of our pantry, and we want to try to cook with it. We’ve probably heard how delicious it is or how it can make an ordinary dish taste amazing.

Sometimes, we get a whole new palette of ingredients. (Many of us love to watch cooking shows for just this reason: we see novel dishes and decide if we’d like to try them at home.)

Image from the Netflix show Chef’s Table S3E6 – Virgilio Martinez

We need to take a ton of time to figure out what the new ingredients are, how we can work with them, and what we can cook. If we don’t cook with the ingredients pretty often, then we lose the knowledge of how to use them, what ripeness is best.

Writing off something because it tastes bad in one context means we may miss a great use of the ingredient later – a ripe plum tastes so much better than an unripe one. Once someone has eaten an unripe plum, they may decide they hate plums.

But if we can overcome these hurdles and learn about the new ingredients, we can make some incredible dishes.

Image from the Netflix show Chef’s Table S3E6 – Virgilio Martinez

This is what I think we are going through with SharePoint and Office 365 right now. Microsoft is offering us an entirely new set of ingredients with which to make our stew.

Let me give you an example…

In my “meat and potatoes” way of looking at the world, which has been pretty consistent for the last ten years or so, even though SharePoint and my approaches have evolved, I might use this set of ingredients:

  • A Single Page Application (SPA) written with AngularJS or KnockoutJS – or even just plain old JavaScript
  • A dollop of values passed on the query string to a…
  • Standard list form, with a little JavaScript mixed in to pre-populate some columns in the form
  • A SharePoint Designer workflow to add notifications on top (Substitute Alerts if your local market doesn’t carry SharePoint Designer)

But there are new ingredients now. Instead we could whip something up with these:

  • A SharePoint Framework Web Part (still maybe written with AngularJS or KnockoutJS)
  • Creating list items using REST based on the values in our SPFx Web Part
  • Microsoft Flow to add in the notifications and any process
  • Stir in a pinch of PowerApps – until they are ready

That’s quite a shift. We’re being asked to think about cooking in a very different way. We’ve been through stages of evolution before – new cooking techniques like sous vide (Sandbox Solutions), gelification (Add-In Model, nee App Model), etc. – but this time it’s really different. We’re not even sure if we’re supposed to like everything we taste. Is it just the next wave of kale frenzy or is it an ingredient that will last?

At this point, Microsoft is asking us to dream big, and reach for the previously unimaginable. I think we need to try to do it.

Image from the Netflix show Chef’s Table S3E6 – Virgilio Martinez

Some of us will be able to cook up truly amazing solutions on the “modern” platform. Don’t be afraid to give it a taste.

Image from the Netflix show Chef’s Table S3E6 – Virgilio Martinez

In case you didn’t figure it out, this post was inspired by the Netflix show Chef’s Table S3E6, which profiles the Peruvian chef Virgilio Martinez. It’s an outstanding series, and this particular episode was stellar.

Also see any volume in the Beautiful Cookbook series.

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Dave Coleman, Men’s Health, Movember, and a Request

Last week the SharePoint community lost a valuable member and I lost a friend. Dave Coleman, who had been in and out of hospital since last year about this time, finally succumbed to cancer. Dave was a SharePoint Server MVP, active community member, and educator. He was also a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a friend to many. Many people will miss him, and I am one.

Dave Coleman

Dave Coleman 1959-2014

One of Dave’s many legacies will be his work to raise awareness of the types of cancer which first struck him, namely prostate cancer. In the video blow, Dave elucidates on his goals very clearly. Even while staring directly at his own mortality, Dave wanted to spend some of his time to make all of the men in his life and beyond more aware of how to prevent – as much as possible – them arriving in a similar plight.

Dave Coleman, Claire Smyth – 05 February 2014 15.36.21 (Original link)

In honor of Dave, I’m participating in the annual Movember movement. The goal of the Movember movement is not just to have millions of men grow cheesy 1970s era moustaches – aka ‘Mo’s – but to raise awareness and fund research about men’s health issues. It’s about the diseases like prostate cancer that can only strike men. The women’s health movement has been incredibly strong in recent years, with pink pervasive during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Movember is not meant to detract or compete with NBCAW, but to build a similar platform for men’s health. I’ve committed my upper lip to help change the face of men’s health by growing a moustache, now I need your support.

Many cancers and other male-specific diseases are highly treatable in this day and age, but we men are too often reticent about seeking out regular health care. I know that there have been wide swaths of my life when it seemed to me that regular checkups were just too much trouble. I felt fine and didn’t see the point. Once I got married and had a son, I started to think differently about these things – there are people who love me and need me around, and I want to be here for them. I am not as invincible as I thought I was in my 20s. Annual checkups with appropriate testing based on family history, physical condition, and lifestyle can help prevent others from being taken from us too soon, as was Dave.

If you are at risk for any reason whatsoever – and even if you’re not sure that you are – take the time to make those annual checkup appointments and go to them.

Dave was a mere 54 years old at his death – just one year older than I am now. Age isn’t the only factor in the likelihood of contracting cancer or any other disease, though. As Dave said so well in the video, we should take control of our own destinies and be sure that we understand our health and the risks each of us might have.

If any of this strikes a chord with you at all, please donate to my Movember campaign or that of anyone else on the In Memory of Dave Coleman (This is a network dedicated to Dave Coleman – a bloody nice chap.) network. We’re growing bad facial hair for you, for all men, for the women and children who love us, but most importantly, for Dave.

If you’d rather donate in Dave’s memory via the site his family has set up, by all means do that instead.

However you choose to memorialize Dave, or even if you never knew Dave, please donate to the men’s health movement this month, and if you’re a man, make that MEDICAL APPOINTMENT. We need you around here.

Removing Trovi Search Malware

I had another Minecraft-related malware infection today (not my first). One of my hopes with Microsoft buying Minecraft is that they will clean up the installation and run process overall, including creating a good, clean catalog of mods.

This time we ended up with the Trovi “search experience”. I figured out that it was there plugging things up the first time I searched after installing the latest Dalek mod (yeah, that mess of a page is actually the “official” download page). It became clear that it was more insidious, though, when I realized that many AJAX-driven capabilities on pages in Yammer and Hootsuite weren’t working.

When I searched for the tricks to remove Trovi, I got many, many pages that suggested using all sorts of other malware-like tools to remove Trovi.

While I’m enough of a dummy to get infected with Trovi in the first place, I’m not dumb enough to install other junk which would make it worse.

On a whim, I decided to look at the add-on info in Internet Explorer. Lo and behold, there was a link to the “company’s” Web site. Even more amazing, there was a link right at the bottom of the page to a page with Uninstall instructions. It was downright easy to do once I realized that the program was listed as “Search Protect” in the Windows Control Panel Uninstall Programs list.

This is a case where the suggested treatments were actually worse than the disease. Don’t ever download more junk to fix something unless you really know what that junk really does.

 

 

SharePoint’s “Working on it…” In Any Language

It’s the message SharePoint gives us that we’ve learned to love or hate or be indifferent to. But it’s a message that we cannot escape if we use SharePoint even a little bit. Yes, I’m talking about “Working on it…”

Working on it EN-US

When I was in Stockholm this week speaking at the SharePoint and Exchange Forum (SEF), I noticed that the Swedish version of “Working on it…” was “Snart klart…”. According to my pal Christian Ståhl (@CStahl) at Humandata in Stockholm (the fine folks who put on SEF),

About ’Snart klart…’ this is strange translation, it’s more like ‘something will be finished soon‘ (maybe not always clear what) more than SharePoint actually doing something. Snart klart.. is more ok as an short answer to the kids that asks if the dinner will be served soon. Working on it.. is much better in a Swedish ear :)

That gave me a grin – I’m going to say “snart klart” when The Dude gets impatient with me about dinner from now on – and got me to thinking about what the message was in other languages. As with many idioms, the wording may be different and it may translate oddly as well. If you are using SharePoint with a language that I haven’t listed here yet, send me a screenshot of the message and a translation. I’ll post it here for everyone’s enjoyment and education.

Dutch

Working on it DUGoogle translate: “Processing…”

Submitted by Elio Struyf (@eliostruyf)

French

Working on it FR-frGoogle translate: “We soon finished…”

Submitted by Patrick Guimonet (@patricg)

German

Working on it DEGoogle translate: “Is in working… This should not take long.”

Submitted by Stefan Bauer (@StfBauer)

Swedish

Snart klart…

Google translate: “Almost there…”

Turkish

Working on it TUGoogle translate: “They are working on…”

Submitted by Gokan Ozcifci (@GokanOzcifci).

Talko – Talk. Share. Do. – Predicting a Winner

Image from http://www.talko.com/

Image from http://www.talko.com/

Yesterday, a lot of us read about Ray Ozzie’s latest venture, Talko,  in the media. The guy does know how to get the word out. That and the fact that he basically invented Lotus Notes, built and sold Groove to Microsoft, became Microsoft’s chief technical officer or chief software architect (or whatever, depending on where you read it), and left Microsoft to, well, “Beyond that, Ray has no plans at this time“. Oh, and Groove is under the hood in OneDrive for Business. Comments on that last one withheld.

All kidding aside, in my playing around with Talko yesterday with Kris Wagner (@SharePointKris) and a few of my other nerd friends, I think Ray and the boys may have Another Big Thing here.

The big benefit of Talko in my mind is to bring all of the disjointed “conversations” we have across different tools on our phones together in one interface. How often do you start a “conversation” in texts (maybe surreptitiously from an another meeting), then move to email (at your desk after the meeting), then maybe call (once you realize that it’s easier than typing)?

With Talko, that can all happen in one annotated stream. You can flip from mode to mode in the stream painlessly. That gives you a mixed media record of the *real* conversation. No more hunting for “Where did Kris say that thing about…”. I can picture people basically living in the Talko app rather than flipping from one app to another. Once they have our captive attention, they can do with us what they choose.

This is what Skype or Lync should or could be, IMO. Ray’s going to give them a run for their money. I can hear the network admin conversations starting already about how to block Talko in the “enterprise”. Like Dropbox, it’s going to fill a need that people didn’t know they had and organizational secrets will be flying through the airwaves. I predict it’s a winner.