Month: April 2011

Attending The Experts Conference 2011 in Las Vegas

I just arrived today here in Las Vegas. After checking in at the hotel at around 4:40pm, I realised that I was too tired to go out and attend the welcome reception of The Experts Conference, and decided to sleep instead after some 25 hours of travel. I’ve meanwhile woken up again (though it’s now only 10:40pm), but will of course try to sleep some more to feel fresh tomorrow morning.

Attending this conference was quite last minute. Last week, Dux contacted me, asking if I was still interested in coming. He had a small competition on his blog, giving away one free pass for the conference. And while initially someone else got the pass, he couldn’t make it here and I was given the opportunity instead. Many thanks to Dux here!

My boss supported this as soon as I told her, and getting approval for the trip was quite smooth. Many thanks to my company here. And of course, many thanks also go to my wife who was supporting me and being very understanding, as we are currently quite busy with preparing to move into our own flat within the next few weeks.

Having said all that, I’m looking forward to some three exciting conference days, in which I’ll hopefully get to meet a lot new people, and learn a lot of new things about SharePoint.

Accepted to Office 365 Beta (P1)

On Tuesday morning,  I was greeted with the following email in my inbox:


I had actually already forgotten about my registration for the Office 365 beta program (too many other things on my mind), so it was quite a pleasant surprise to get access to it. As mentioned in that email, I’m on the P1 plan, which is “Office 365 for small businesses“. This plan has got a limit of only one site collection (you can’t create any more SCs, but of course you can create additional subsites), which in my opinion would be enough for most cases for SMEs. I know of other people who are on the Enterprise plan, I suppose it depends on what you “requested” when you signed up for the beta.

I haven’t had too much time so far to really start testing it, all I did so far was to set it up with my own (already existing) domain name (unless I’m under a NDA, which I’m currently checking, I’ll write about the ease of that process very soon!) and briefly looking around at all the available settings in SharePoint Online. I also briefly (well, send out 1 short test email) had a look at Exchange Online, but totally ignored Lync so far (will have a closer look at it maybe during the next week).

As I said, if I am not restricted by a NDA, I will write more about my experiences and opinions here soon, all from a more “power user” perspective (so not a standard SharePoint/Exchange administrator or SharePoint developer).

SharePoint Site Owner Tip: Restrict the number of versions for documents

This post is part of an on-going series of small tips for SharePoint site owners (basically anyone who is managing a SharePoint site in some way)

One of the great features of SharePoint is the possibility to keep previous versions of documents and list items. This makes it easy to see who modified what when, and to also have a look back to see what was changed. Furthermore, you can also easily restore previous versions if required.

The problem with versions, however, is that if you allow an unlimited amount of versions you risk that you require a lot more storage space for all these versions. To give an example: Let’s say you store one document with a size of 100KB and you allow unlimited versions (Major versions only). People start to make changes, and after a while you have reached version 50. Assuming that the document still has the same size (to simplify calculations here), that would mean that this single document now uses 50 x 100KB = 5,000KB = 5MB. While 5MB doesn’t sound like much, think about how many documents there are on your site, or even on your whole intranet, and what the possible impact is if unlimited versions are allowed for all of them!

After you have identified a library for which versions are required, the next step is to find out how many versions are required actually. There may be cases where it is important to keep all previous versions, but usually you will rather only need to keep a few of them. For example, it may sometimes be required to be able to revert back to only the last version that existed before changes were made to a document. You could then set the restriction to 2 versions only, however this might mean that if someone saves a document twice within a short time frame you won’t be able to restore the “original” document from before these changes. A number of 5 versions may be a better and slightly safer choice here.

To activate versioning, first go to the corresponding library’s settings, and then follow the Versioning [[check]] link. In the section Document Version History, select either Create major versions or Create major and minor versions. Afterwards, tick Keep the following number of major versions and Keep drafts for the following number of major versions respectively and enter the appropriate numbers.