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6 posts from May 2012

May 26, 2012

SharePoint Saturday comes to Palo Alto

If you've never been to a SharePoint Saturday event, you really need to find one and check it out. If you're in the San Franscisco Bay Area, you've got to register for the event in just 7 days. We have 30 great talks in six different tracks:

  • SharePoint 101: Branding SharePoint sites, creating a social intranet, better search...
  • Power Users: Metadata, permissions, the Swiss Army knife Content Query web part...
  • Developers: JavaScript based UI, BI, Next-Gen browsers...
  • Business Managers: Performance Point, SP IA and Jedi Mind Tricks...
  • Administrators: Going Virtual, SQL optimization for SP, Search refiners...
  • Special Topics: Hybrid SP - O365 and on-premises; workflow; records management...

All this, imncluding snacks and lunch, is free for all attendees thanks for great sponsors like PingarAvePoint, Vizit, New Idea Engineering and more. 

Register for SharePoint Saturday Silicon Valley June 2nd  today!



May 24, 2012

HP shows Autonomy's Lynch the door

In the last hour, many news outlets, including the Wall Street Journal have announced that Mile Lynch is one of the early casualties of HP's new restructuring.

Just yesterday, as I read about the restructuring of my former employer, I wondered if the entire Autonomy deal might not be unwound; but I have to admit I had not thought they'd show Mike the door. To be honest, he has been doing a good deal of PR on his own - I had to wonder if Palo Alto had approved his musings about IDOL-driven printers and the world's largest private cloud.

Stay tuned…


May 10, 2012

Lucene Revolution: MS talks of being more open

Lucene Revolution: MS talks of being more open

At yesterday’s kickoff of Lucene Revolution 2012, Lucid CEO Paul Doscher introduced Gianugo Rabellino, Microsoft's Director of Open Source Communities. Gianugo said little about search per se, but he did confess to having been a fan of Lucene and Solr for a while now. In his talk, he told the audience that Microsoft has changed with respect to open source, and he went on to tell everyone how they have become more involved in open standard like HTML5, CSS3; and in hardware specifications like USB. He went so far as to say 'Microsoft's survival depends on open source software'.

News to me, and perhaps to others in the room, was the extent to which Microsoft is supporting a number of open source products and languages. Gianugo reported that Linux is now a 'first-class guest operating system' on Microsoft HyperV; and provides support for PHP, Ruby on Rails, node.js and other projects on Azure (and presumably for 'on premises' systems).

A number of folks from large commercial organizations seemed to appreciate the news about Microsoft's shift towards supporting open source; but a number of the open-source folks in the room felt this offered little new, and some even felt it was an unrelated 'sales pitch'. Even though we are Microsoft partners, I'm glad to see more support for open source products like PHP and Linux.

The finniest part of the talk came as Gianugo was describing how SharePoint data was easily accessible to other non-Microsoft' search platforms. An attendee asked if he felt there was a role for other platforms to be used as the primary engine for search in SharePoint; as he paused to craft a reply, Paul Doscher (loudly) pronounced his belief that there was, much to the pleasure of the crown.

There was not much else in the way of Microsoft news; but it was interesting to see how many people and how much effort Microsoft is putting into open source projects.



May 04, 2012

Always wanted to build your own search engine?

The great news is that some really top-notch universities are beginning to offer free classes to anyone with an internet connection; if you love learning, this is for you. It's also a great way to brush up on your skills. Harvard and MIT are teaming up to offer classes, as are University of Pennsylvania and University of Michigan through their commercial joint venture, Coursera, which features classes from those two schools plus Princeton, Stanford, and others.

In addition, Sebastian Thrun, the Stanford professor who last year ran an Artificial Intelligence class online that drew over 150,000 students worldwide, has started a new company, Udacity, with six classes - one of which is CS101: Building a Search Engine.

So if you're frustrated with your existing commercial platform, and you just don't get into open source for some reason, you can finally have it all! Write your own search engine. My guess is this will help you appreciate what your current platform does for you; but you never know.

Let me know how you like the class - I just signed up myself!





May 03, 2012

Great NEW SharePoint FAST Search Book

I've just finished scanning (and started reading) the new book on FAST Search for SharePoint from Mikael Swenson, Robert Piddocke, and Marcus Johansson. It's packed with information on the acchitecture & deployment of FS4SP, as well as in deptch chapters on content and query processing. The book provdes lots of code examples in C# for Powershell. Really a great resource to have.

Congrats on the book guys!

May 01, 2012

What sessions to see at ESS New York in May

The annual spring Enterprise Search Summit in New York is almost here, and the final program is now available. 

I went through the program today, and I have to say it may have the best program I've seen in a while. Some of the folks I know who are real leaders in enterprise search will be there, as well as people from companies that - go figure - actually use search in their business and know of what they speak.

I guess it's a given that, in only two days, some of the best speakers and best topics will overlap into the same time slot; it's impossible to hear all the great sessions that are available. If your company can send two or more folks, I encourage a 'divide and conquer' approach.

I've looked through the schedule and have extracted what I believe will be the best sessions and the best speakers, and I'd encourage you to consider them.

One thing I've always been leery of: some of the sessions are there simply because the company is exhibiting. I've always been a bit skeptical of these types of talks; but even some of those this time are on my 'mush see' list based on my direct experience with either the person presenting or the company.

Without further ado, my list of suggestions for ESS 2012:

Tuesday, May 15

9AM Welcome and Opening Session: Trends in Enterprise Search: A Question and Answer session

Sue Feldman of IDC 

Sue is a well-known expert in enterprise search, and for years has been writing about the challenges organizations face with search. Bring your tough questions for this keynote.

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