SharePoint, where for art though?

Captain’s log… the vapor and mist of the cloud have formed and we see that things are starting to take shape in the realm of Office 365. Dan Holme and his cadre of excellence have continued to chart forward with making experiences usable by end users, providing capabilities that to build on-premises, while feasible in large chunks of time, come to life.

In the day of past with SharePoint before “v12” came out, developers seemed to hack away at the core of SharePoint, injecting and reflecting methods to bring to life the Frankenstein solutions that clients were seeking. Not that these solutions weren’t valuable, nor was it that they weren’t well put together, but the typical SharePoint developer had to know how develop using Object Oriented Languages… namely C# or VB.net. Both languages were not for the commoner, or the SharePoint Citizen as some may call it.

Then came SharePoint 2013 and the app model was brought forward. The Internet had solved identity for the Internet (no one really likes leaving port 88 open on the Internet for Kerberos tickets to be passed between realms mind you). Developers were now free to roam about and develop where they wanted, how they wanted. And it was good.

Then Microsoft took a page from it’s competitors and started offering experiences and building out a Framework that would allow developers to interact with the underlying components of SharePoint and Office 365 using REST API calls. Gone were the days of requiring developers to know C#… the day of the JavaScript developer (and really any other developer that knows how to make REST calls) was here.

Experiences like PowerApps and Flow though have also largely taken away the needs and desires to learn a “hard” language (actually, thinking about it, if you don’t know how to construct the logic of a program, JavaScript becomes all out hacking in some cases… not that people didn’t copy others C# code and wonder why it didn’t work).

So where do we find ourselves? Well, as a SharePoint admin, I must say that there’s less and less I find myself worrying about. Sure I still have my concerns about opening up Access Services on my 2013 farms that are still operating and having developers create app after app watching the SQL server backend topple over. And sure, in the 2016 environments I’ve embraced MinRoles with open arms.

But why should I continue to build on-premises when Microsoft has Office 365 / SharePoint Online available with SLAs that I can’t match on-premises? What’s a trusty admin to do? It’s time to take some time and REST… just kidding, it’s time to help organizations migrate to SharePoint Online where it makes sense and make use of Hybrid to help them make use of some of the tools (ala PowerApps and Flow) that make their end users lives a little bit easier.

And maybe also learn some REST… because you never know when some prototyping will come in handy.

The technology of the past…

Recently I decided that it was time to begin cleaning out my basement, also known as my office. I’ve got a few monitors, a couple of desks, a standing desk, an old desktop computer with a Core i7 processor that may as well have its own power line coming in from the Tennesee Valley Authority… I found anything from null modem cables to my original iPod Shuffle (remember that USB stick thingy with a plug for earphones?).  I also realized while rummaging amongst things and looking at my Canon printer / scanner / fax machine that it’s been forever and a day since I’ve sent a fax… wait, what’s a fax? You know, a facsimile… that technology that’s used as an accepted technology for signed contracts. If you’re seeking further education on the Fax machine, check out the Wikipedia article over here – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fax

On some occasions, when necessary, I do find myself using GoDaddy’s eFax service to be able to send a copy of a document. But for the most part, it seems like this is a lost technology. So much that it made Scott Adams write a comic about it this morning… enjoy.

Also, if you happen to have an old iPod Shuffle, go ahead and do the Shuffle… cuz every day I’m shufflin’.

Traveling in Style…

For those that don’t know me, I’m not a huge fan of flying. I’m not certain why to be honest… as a kid I flew across the Atlantic a few times, even across the Pacific to go to Hawaii. Nonetheless, recently on a flight to the midwest I was impressed at how much quieter flights are these days… granted the Bose QC35’s are pretty helpful. If only the flights could be shorter… guess what, companies are working on that.

Looking at some of the technological innovation to press forward toward supersonic flight is pretty darn cool. There’s the Elon Musk route of ferrying people up into sub orbital flight to get anywhere on the planet in 45 minutes. But for those that are looking for a slightly more affordable flight, several companies are working on supersonic or near supersonic flight.

If you’ve never heard a sonic boom – you’re missing out. It’s pretty loud. Check your newspapers for an air show and typically they’ll have a plane zoom by super fast and you’ll go, “Whoa that was amazing!”

Most supersonic flights that were on the Concorde were over the ocean so as to not cause too much noise pollution with the sonic boom. As someone that lives near an airport, I can say I definitely wouldn’t be a fan of hearing the window panes rattle every morning as flights started arriving.  Granted, I suppose it would be akin to the rattle that they make when the Millennium Falcon causes when it drops out of Hyperspace…

Nonetheless, aerospace engineering is working on getting you from point A to point B quicker.  More here if you’re interested… http://www.techradar.com/news/the-jet-age-is-over-here-comes-supersonic-hyper-mach-travel

ShareGate and Snowzilla…

For anyone curious, yes, Northern Virginia got a decent amount of snow (it’s still snowing outside) as a part of what the Capital Weather Gang from the Washington Post refers to as “Snowzilla.”

So on my seventh time going and digging snow out, I noticed my Columbia insulated hat was still sopping wet, so what is there to do but go to my reliable backup and make use of the ShareGate branded winter hat that is just darn simple to use…   

Nevertheless, this snow too shall pass. Fortunately FiOS is still up and kicking, Bunkertuneage is rocking and Azure connectivity is still online. 

Take care, be safe and keep on rocking!

Welcome to Carousel…

Hey thanks DropBox… just what I was… hoping… for.

If you’re a DropBox user and you have your mobile device setup to automatically push photos up to the “Camera Uploads” directory within your DropBox then you might notice the next time that you go there that you’re being flipped over to Carousel.

I didn’t receive any warning, but I did notice in the modal popup that I could change it back to the normal photos view that I’ve become accustomed to over the past few years since it became available – either immediately or through the settings.

And no, there’s nothing over at the Dropbox Blog at the moment about Carousel. We’ll see if a blog post comes out.

Within minutes of going to the website though, I did find it interesting that I received an email to let me know that I’d been upgraded to Carousel. Interesting change management strategy…

And if you happen to wander over to your friendly neighborhood Dropbox, you’ll notice that the Photos item is no longer there but just Carousel.

Nevertheless, we’ll see how this goes and see if it gets changed back to good ole Photos in the near future.

Running the Northern Virginia Mobile C# Developers Group with Ed Snider…

About a year ago, my friend Ed Snider and I started up the Northern Virginia Mobile C# Developer User Group. Mind you that this is not Ed Snider of the hockey world but a much cooler and tech friendly Ed Snider.

Ed takes lead of the group most meetings as he’s the top notch developer and I’m just the snarky architect and IT Pro that learns more from the presenters than probably anyone else in the room 🙂

Ed runs the meetings and has found quite a few awesome speakers over the past year. You’ve done a terrific job with the getting the group up and off the ground!!!

The group’s focus is namely on using C# for cross platform development – namely using Xamarin, but open to native app development across platforms using Mono or other technologies as well.

I’d like to publicly announce and congratulate Ed on becoming a Xamarin MVP as announced today on their blog http://blog.xamarin.com/xamarin-mvps-expand-with-more-awesome/.

Congratulations Ed!

Ed can be follow on Twitter under the name @edsnider

Ed’s blog can be followed over at http://www.edsnider.net

If you’re ever out in the DC area and interested in learning more about Xamarin or learning about C# Mobile Dev, come on out and join us – more information is available at http://www.novamobiledev.org