Brush up on your SharePoint 2010 Skills…

So you find yourself in the conundrum of needing to brush up on your hands on skills with either SharePoint 2010? You’ve got a laptop that doesn’t have 8 GB of memory to host that all inclusive VM you downloaded from Microsoft?  You’re not running Vista SP2 x64 / 7 x64 / 2008 x64 as your host operating system?  You bought a laptop that has 8 GB and running 7 x64 but doesn’t have VT extensions?

Sounds like it’s not quite as easy to get an environment up to learn on as one might hope.

Fear not though, there’s still hope.  You can still use Microsoft’s Virtual Labs to spin up through Hands on Labs for both SharePoint 2007 and 2010.

For more, be sure to check out http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/virtuallabs/bb512933.aspx

They’re free, low cal and tasty Smile

Loading the SharePoint 2010 Management PowerShell

So someone asked me today, “What if I don’t want to use the SharePoint 2010 Management PowerShell”?

I looked blankly at them and thought to myself, “Well that’s just silly…” and then decided to look into the matter 🙂

So it’s pretty easy to add the SharePoint snapin for PowerShell. You can do this manually, or you can simply run the SharePoint powershell script that adds the snapin and sets your location.

Okay, but where is this cute little script located?

%InstallRoot%Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft SharedWeb Server Extensions14CONFIGPOWERSHELLRegistrationSharePoint.ps1

Of course if you’ve set up links properly you can quickly get to this through some other means of a symlink to 14-root.

Nonetheless, in case you don’t feel like going into the Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Products from the menuing interface of Windows and prefer PowerShell, then there you have it.

Happy PowerShelling!

Database Spotlight: Application Registry Service DB

Unlike other databases that SharePoint 2010 creates, the Application Registry Service Database is actually included in the mix for backward compatibility of SharePoint Server 2007 Business Data Catalog connection information and other information pertinent to the BDC API.

By default, the database name is “Application_Registry_Service_DB_<GUID>”.  I’m not quite certain why, but I’m not so much a fan of the out of the box naming of databases with a GUID appended to the end – though I guess it does ensure that you’re never going to inadvertently create one on the fly that has the same name as others.

Similar to the BDC, the Application Registry Service database is read-heavy since there isn’t any writing done with the BDC Smile. And though the services architecture is a bit more broken out, you can only have a single Application Registry Service per farm, which means that you can only have a single database associated with your farm, which in turn means get ready to watch it grow should you be migrating several BDCs into your farm while you prep them for conversion to Business Connectivity Services candidates.

Fortunately for scalability purposes, it is possible to mirror this database within a farm to ensure availability of data for the BDCs to operate, however it’s not possible to mirror the database or use log shipping to mirror the database onto another SQL instance. Perhaps keeping a backup handy would be helpful should the data become corrupted or your server’s SAN melt.

A visualization of the tables and associated columns is depicted here:

Application_Registry_Service_DB_GUID

If you’re wondering what the tables and their associated columns look like for the Application Registry, then look no further as they are as follows:

Application_Registry_Service_DB_GUID
  AR_Action
    EntityId
    Icon
    Id
    IsDisplayed
    IsOpenedInNewWindow
    Position
    Url
 
AR_ActionParameter
    ActionId
    Id
    Index
 
AR_AdminLocks
    Id
    LockId
  AR_ApplicationRegistry
    Id
  AR_Association
    Id
  AR_AssociationMember
    AssociationId
    EntityId
    EntityRole
    Id
  AR_CacheCounters
    MetadataObjectType
    ObjectCacheCounter
    RelationshipCacheCounter
  AR_Class
    Id
    SystemId
  AR_DefaultValue
    Id
    MethodInstanceId
    TypeDescriptorId
    Value
  AR_Entity
    EstimatedInstanceCount
    Id
  AR_ExternalAssociation
    Id
    MappingTableName
    SourceEntityId
    TargetEntityId
  AR_FilterDescriptor
    Id
    MethodId
    TypeName
  AR_Identifier
    EntityId
    Id
    OrdinalNumber
    TypeName
  AR_LocalizedName
    Id
    LCID
    LocalizedName
    MetadataObjectId
  AR_MetadataObject
    Id
    IsCached
    Name
    Version
  AR_MetadataObjectSecurity
    DisplayName
    Id
    IdentityName
    MetadataObjectId
    RawSid
    Rights
  AR_Method
    ClassId
    Id
    IsStatic
  AR_MethodInstance
    Id
    MethodId
    ReturnTypeDescriptorId
    Type
  AR_Parameter
    Direction
    Id
    MethodId
    OrdinalNumber
    TypeReflectorTypeName
 
AR_Property
    Id
    MetadataObjectId
    Name
    Value
 
AR_System
    ConnectionFactoryTypeName
    Id
    SystemEntityTypeName
    SystemUtilityTypeName
 
AR_SystemData
    Data
    Id
    Length
    Name
    SystemId
 
AR_SystemInstance
    Id
    SystemId
 
AR_TypeDescriptor
    ContainsFilterDescriptor
    ContainsIdentifier
    FilterDescriptorId
    Id
    IdentifierId
    InterpretedTypeName
    IsCollection
&#160
;   ParameterId
    ParentTypeDescriptorId
    TypeName

A downloadable copy of the Map in PDF format is available here.

SharePoint 2010 Database Names

While SharePoint Server 2010 has several enhancements for Administrators including such capabilities of an offline database restoring a list item or document, there are still some curiosities that I’ve got as to the planning of the underlying system.

For instance, it would seem that for such a refined product with so many enhancements that items such as the underlying databases might follow a naming convention of some sort. For a standard SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise edition installation, out of the box you’ll have the following databases:

Application_Registry_Service_DB_GUID
Bdc_Service_DB_GUID
Managed Metadata Service_GUID
PerformancePoint Service Application_GUID
Search_Service_Application_CrawlStoreDB_GUID
Search_Service_Application_DB
Search_Service_Application_PropertyStoreDB_GUID
Secure_Store_Service_DB_GUID
SharePoint_AdminContent_GUID
SharePoint_Config
StateService_GUID
User Profile Service Application_ProfileDB_GUID
User Profile Service Application_SocialDB_GUID
User Profile Service Application_SyncDB_GUID
WebAnalyticsServiceApplication_ReportingDB_GUID
WebAnalyticsServiceApplication_StagingDB_GUID
WordAutomationServices_GUID
WSS_Content
WSS_Logging

As you can see, the naming convention seems to vary dependent on the team within the product group that was developing the capability, feature set or workload.  For instance, some of the databases include an “_DB"_” and other times the database name has a concatenation of the “DB”.  Further, it’s interesting in seeing how they delineate words, in some instances using spaces, others underscores and others just capitalization of letters to delineate the database.

Interesting that it wasn’t polished to be uniform eh?

Lenovo W510

So my Lenovo W510 showed up before the July 4 holiday weekend and I have to say that I’m definitely pleased to have waited on the FHD screen – it’s phenomenal.

Why did I buy a W510 after buying a Lenovo T410? Easy, the W510 is a workhorse with it’s quad core i7 820QM processor and 16GB of DDR3 RAM. Swapping out the stock 500 GB 7200 RPM hard drive with a Seagate Momentus XT 500 GB hard drive was a no brainer after seeing the solid performance the drive provided as an external eSATA drive for virtual machine work. Toss in the Silverstone DS221 dual drive eSATA/USB 2.5” RAID enclosure and find pure bliss when working with VMs (note, don’t hit the reset button unless you really wanna blow your data away).

Overall, definitely a decent procurement to continue furthering on local SharePoint 2010 development rather than using RackSpace Cloud or Amazon Web Services Elastic Cloud Computing. While both services are great and easy to use, neither really give me the ability to “toy” with technology as I need – but definitely still use them for demonstrations for organizations as needed.

So bottom line, the only thing that could be a bit sweeter – a smaller brick power supply, alas, I’ll live with the 135W power supply for now (good luck ordering a second one, they’re not available through Lenovo right now). Something that would be a nice to have that hasn’t come out yet – Privacy Filter.