Archive for month: March, 2014

Download all SPC14 session slides (simple solution)

12 Mar 2014
March 12, 2014

Attended SPC14 in Las Vegas and want to download all slides? Here we go with a really simple solution – it only takes some times and roughly 100 clicks. Kudos to Sahil Malik for the script.

6 easy steps to download all SPC14 session slides

1. Open SPC14 Yammer: https://www.yammer.com/sharepointconference/groups/company/uploaded_files

2. Filter on Documents:

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Filter on Documents to remove unwanted files

3. Scroll down and click on “More” until all elements are visible:

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Scroll down and click on more – repeat until all files are visible.

4. Open Developer Tools (F12)

5. Paste in this script and execute:

Execute script to download all session slides

Execute script to download all session slides

If there is a popup warning allow them always and rerun the script.
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6. Click on save until all files are downloaded.

Slides Slides Slides!

Slides Slides Slides!

Other options

I tried to create a console application to authenticate and download files – but that was so much pain that I went for the not so comfortable JavaScript variant. If you have improvements to this – leave a comment!

SPC14: My Summary

09 Mar 2014
March 9, 2014

Here is my summary of the SharePoint Conference 2014 in Las Vegas (3/3/2014 to 3/6/2014) – if you don’t want to ready everything: It was really good!

Highlights

The Main Keynote was perfectly delivered – I did not notice a single glitch. Even the talk of President Bill Clinton was quite good, even though that he did not mention SharePoint with a single word.

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The introduction of Project OSLO – for me as a Search guy was a really pleasant surprise – in my opinion the end users will like it because of its simplicity and you will get the relevant documents, not just everything.

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My “wow” moment was when the presenter showed the OSLO app and then switched back to the SharePoint document library containing a couple hundred of documents and folders – you don’t want everything, right?

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Sessions

I always try to take notes and summarize every session for me on my blog – sometimes it’s a “fast publish” and contains not that much information, but I hope the gist is understandable. If not, feel free to comment or wait 30 days until the recordings are published on Channel 9.

I did not miss one single session – but the schedule was so full, sometime I had 5 sessions in parallel and had to choose just one of them. That’s the problem when you are interested in very broad area (ITPRO; DEV; Search). Additionally there was not that much room for me to explore the exhibit hall – but that’s not something I really miss.

In the case you want to read it – I created 19 posts for the conference:

  1. Migrating traditional SharePoint Solutions to App Model (PreConference Part 1)
  2. Refactoring Business Solutions into Apps for Office (PreConference Part 2)
  3. Keynote (Main Keynote with President Bill Clinton)
  4. What’s new for Office and SharePoint Developers (Developer Keynote)
  5. Introducing Codename Oslo and the Office Graph (read this – good stuff!)
  6. SharePoint 2013 hybrid end-to-end (Hybrid architecture is the new thing!)
  7. Real-world SharePoint architecture decisions (Wictor Wilén – that’s a must)
  8. Complex Problem Solving with the new HTML5 APIs (once my clients have new browsers I will profit from this session)
  9. Search-driven publishing for Intranet Portals in SharePoint Online (new Search Features in O365)
  10. Developing future-focused, on-premises solutions (Develop outside SharePoint than you are set for SP2013 / SP vNext / O365)
  11. Best practices for Hybrid Search deployments (Hybrid for Search in all details)
  12. Designing and applying information architecture for SharePoint and Office 365 (one of my not so technical sessions – liked it!)
  13. Build your own REST service with WebAPI 2 (nice and simple – will use it in my next App)
  14. Best practices for Information Architecture and Enterprise Search (Agnes again – good advice in this session)
  15. Futuristic Search applications using Kinect and Yammer! (that was a fun one – you have to watch the recoding once its live)
  16. Search architecture and sizing in SharePoint 2013 (that session was too short – I wanted this one to be for like 4 hours – high value for me)
  17. Effective Search deployment and operations in SharePoint 2013 (neat little tricks and some insights in this session)
  18. Managing Search Relevance in SharePoint 2013 and O365 (new Search Query Tool was announced in there – go get it!)

Additionally to the sessions, the concluding Q&A part was really worth to follow – the questions that were raised there were sometimes really challenging – and the responses of the speaker were good to know.

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Ask the Experts was a great opportunity to meet the experts and members of the SharePoint product team – I asked some special questions and received some free advice – good stuff! I have never seen so many SharePoint Experts in one place – impressive!

Community

That was the part that was amazing for me – I met so many people I know only via Twitter, from SharePoint StackOverflow or from contributing to Open Source projects like SharePoint 2013 Search Query Tool. Connecting with others, facing the same problems challenges was really worth to attend – lets keep in touch!

But – there were too many of them – even on the last day I met “new” attendees, I could have promised that they were not at the conference at all.

The Venetian

Is the Venetian a hotel? That place was huge! The session rooms were great, friendly staff to help you where to find the rooms – and coffee, drinks, snacks the whole time – really a perfect managed event.

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Pre-Conference room

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Floor in the Venetian

Las Vegas

Pictures are worth a hundred words – Las Vegas was really special:

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Water show in front of the Bellagio

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Metalogix “Best of Breed” Party – that was a good one.

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Fake daylight – this really affects your mood.

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Las Vegas View

Wish List for SPC2015

There is not much to change for SPC2015 – basically it boils down to three things:

  1. More options to charge my batteries – I really had problems creating my session notes after 4 hours because the session were so dense that there was not enough time to recharge my notebook.
  2. The Level 300/400 sessions most of the time started with basic stuff – I wanted it to go deeper, but for this you need time. Spending 15-30 min on basics is not the way to go. Maybe an increased “deep dive” sessions with 2 hours would be something.
  3. I want attend again – maybe as speaker, lets see how the next year goes.

Closing notes

I really liked the event – from crazy Las Vegas to sessions – it was the best SharePoint event I ever attended. That’s something!

SPC14: Managing Search Relevance in SharePoint 2013 and O365

06 Mar 2014
March 6, 2014

Improve the value of search results by managing Relevance. SharePoint 2013 and O365 provide a comprehensive set of tools to manage Search Relevance. SharePoint 2013 and O365 combine and improve upon the best tools available for Fast Search and SharePoint 2010, and introduce the notion of Query Rules that allow administrators to influence relevance for a single query or sets of queries using a straightforward user interface. In this talk, we will explain how ranking works under the hood, and give hands on demonstrations of how to use query rules, result sources, XRANK, federation to external search providers, and use the rank tuning tool to improve relevance and the value of your search solutions. We will explain the Relevance Lifecycle, the iterative process of finding problem queries and fixing them that is essential to optimizing relevance, and discuss which tools are most appropriate for various situations.

My notes for “Managing Search Relevance in SharePoint 2013 and O365” by David Louis Hollembaek and Mikael Svenson.at SharePoint Conference 2014 in Las Vegas.

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15 years of search experience on stage

The Problem

Standard search results lack personal relevancy and the result presentation is not that good – this can be done better.

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The Plan

What can you adjust? Query? Content? Ranking? User Interface? You can adjust everything.

Goals? What do you want to achieve? Set targets.
Golden set: Create a reference set that is optimized and show that to end users. This motivates users to increase the quality – this was also part of the IA Best Practices session.

Relevancy cycle

Establish a relevancy cycle to adjust the ranking and gather feedback how that worked. Then plan what to adjust, gather feedback and improve.

New Tools

Query Rules: reformate/transform query
Dynamic Ranking Rules: reorder the result ranking
Rank Model Tuning App: a new tool by Mikael
Custom Rank Model: not covered in this session – there is some Technet articles out there.

Capturing Intent: done with Query Rules.

Demo 1: add a result block
Demo 2: add user context / segments to query rule

Search Query Tool v2

New functionalities where added in v2: XRANK freshness generator (new documents are ranked higher than older documents):

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Explain Rank feature (why is this result ranked like this)

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and much more. I contributed to the project – there was much more added, go try it and provide feedback!

It is a very essential tool when you do something search related – for ITPRO and DEVS.

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Download is free – go grab it here.

Ranking App for O365

Mikael showed us the ranking app for O365 that was released in January – wow, good stuff. To modify the ranking in O365 you add the app to your tenant, then you need to add 11 search query and manually rank the results – than the magic happens. It autotunes the ranking set based on your feedback and this could result in a better relevancy for your users. It is O365 only so far – but there will be an on-prem version “later”. Really an interesting approach –  I would love to see that in the general search results – you don’t like your results, please down/up-vote them – that would cool.

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Summary

Search was my expectation – Search was delivered. Solid presentation, good slides – I am happy with that. Roughly 400 people attended in the very last session, there is a demand for that. Very good message they transported – very good one!

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