Thursday, August 14, 2008

It’s All About You

by Randy Moody
Living in Nashville, Tennessee, is cool in a lot of ways. It’s hard to walk five steps in this city wi9hout bumping into somebody who is in the music business.
One night I unwittingly attended the CD Pre-Release Party of a country “used-to-be-a-star” who has a “comeback CD” ready for release in a couple of months. It was advertised by the venue on its website as a “free show” and I thought, “Sure. Why not?” I like some of the guy’s music and thought it was pretty cool that he was singing for free.
Well, he wasn’t singing for free. He was talking about how great the CD was and how cool it was that he was going to be releasing all these great tunes, most of which he wrote, which were being played at about 90 decibels through the PA system. And how his new contemporary sound was going to take the Country Music world by storm. It was a “let’s celebrate how cool I am” show.
So what I got for “free” was (from the user side) the equivalent of buying a twelve dollar dinner and listening to his songs on my iPod turned up REALLY LOUD, and hearing him elaborate on what a great singer and writer he is. I could have had THAT free show at home, and not paid for a $12 meal!
Pretentiousness is always repellant. And it is an absolutely universal fact that pretentious people don’t know they are pretentious. They see themselves as “relevant,” “important,” and “impactful.” And they strive diligently to make you see them that way.
I’ve been to training classes with instructors like that. Have you?

You won’t get that with our instructors at SharePoint Solutions. They’re not out to impress you. They’re out to help you become a skilled SharePoint user. It’s not about them, it’s about you.
Here’s what the students themselves are saying:
  • Ricky was very knowledgeable and personable as well. I felt comfortable in class almost immediately. Ricky is the real deal.
  • Although I am sure you have many qualified and talented instructors, I would request Tracey and Robert again. They were both very knowledgeable in what they were teaching, very approachable, and both had a great sense of humor.”
  • Jeff was phenomenal. Everyone loved him and he greatly helped us. It was great and very much worth the money invested.”

Students consistently find each of our instructors friendly, down-to-earth, approachable, and genuinely helpful. The kind of person who is easy to learn from.
When you learn from SharePoint Solutions instructors, you’re learning from the best.
(But THEY won’t tell you that.)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

New Course on Business Data Catalog and Enterprise Application Integration

We have a new course in development that is scheduled to launch to the public on September 30.

The course, Objective: Integration - Using MOSS and the Business Data Catalog (BDC) for Enterprise Application Integration, is targeted at MOSS Solution Designers and Administrators who have caught the vision that MOSS 2007 can be an excellent "hub of integration" for pulling together disparate enterprise data into a common user experience - namely MOSS.

This course sprang out of A) our experience with teaching our MOSS BI course: BI Revolutions: The MOSS Business Intelligence Toolset, and B) consulting projects we have done over the past couple of years to help our clients use MOSS as a hub for enterprise application integration - particularly, in relation to implementing the Business Data Catalog (BDC).

We believe this will be the first classroom-style, expert-led public training class in the market for advanced MOSS training that focuses 100% on using MOSS to enable enterprise application integration.

If you have taken one of our courses before, you know that we invest heavily in the design and engineering of the curriculum because we strongly believe that high quality curriculum can help a high quality instructor do the best job possible. The training industry in general has forgotten this and tends to crank out mediocre curriculum because it is the easy and cheap way to go. However, our students can be assured that they will receive the highest quality course materials in the industry when they take our classes.

You also may know that we truly put experts in the role of instructors. We have always viewed ourselves as expert consultants who also happen to be gifted teachers. All of our instructors are 100% devoted to teaching and consulting on MOSS. We don't do Exchange, we don't do Project Server, and we don't do Oracle or Java or any other kind of training or consulting. When you attend our classes, you can be assured that your instructor has deep expertise in both applying and teaching SharePoint.

If this subject is up your alley, I hope you will consider taking "Objective: Integration" sometime in the near future. After the September 30 launch in our Nashville location, we will be rotating the course around each month through our locations in Chicago, Dallas, Charlotte, Seattle and Boston.

EXACTLY where SharePoint documents are stored

Ever wonder EXACTLY where SharePoint stores documents? This isn't going to be news to developers or others that have followed SharePoint for a good while, but if you are relatively new to SharePoint it might be somewhat eye-opening.

Every time you hit "Save" on a Microsoft Office document and the path for the save is a SharePoint document library on a SharePoint site, the entire contents of the document is saved in binary format in a single image-type field in the SharePoint database. That's right, the entire document, up to 2 GB in size, is stuffed completely into a single field in the SQL Server database that SharePoint uses.

Want to know by the letter of the law that this is true? If you keep following the trail in the official documentation here is where you find it (click on the image to see it more clearly):

Here is the exact link to this page of the documentation on the Microsoft Developer Network:

(Note: the description of the Docs table on this page says that its function is to store metadata for the document. That's true, but it also stores the full contents of the document as well.)

The documentation is definitely not an exciting read, but it does tell the truth (in this case at least :) )

So, are you thinking "how can this possibly work in environments that have any kind of volume at all?". Well, as they say, that's a deep subject - especially depending on how far you want to delve down into it. In this short post, all I can say is that it indeed DOES work, if the environment is properly architected, and performs very well at incredibly high volumes.

Maybe one of my colleagues at SharePoint Solutions will jump in and write an easy-to-understand post on some of the technical reasons why this approach is able to work even at very high volumes?