Wednesday 30 September 2009

Personal announcements from me

I know not all of my blog readers follow me on Twitter (though if you are a SharePoint Twitteree, I’m @ChrisO_Brien), so I just wanted to post something here to say that last week I became a proud Dad, to twin boys! They came early by emergency caesarean – personally I knew Suzanne shouldn’t have had that last piece of chocolate cake. They initially had low blood sugar levels (not related to the cake, I should add!) so we had to stay in hospital a day or so longer than normal whilst things stabilized, but in general everyone is healthy and happy. It’s funny to wonder if SharePoint will exist and how it will be when they’re older – I’m just not sure I want to bring them into a world with CAML quite frankly.

Can’t remember what was to the left of this photo, but it was clearly very interesting ;-)


They’re pretty tiny. Going out is very amusing so far, on our local high street (Main St for U.S. folks!) we seem to get stopped every few hundred meters. Whilst sat in a cafe yesterday, I overheard someone say “Oh my God look at the size of that baby, he’s holding it in one hand!”.


So, we’re very proud of our tiny Yodas – thanks for all the messages on Twitter, it was great to read through them.

SharePoint Conference 2009

Away from personal stuff, we’re closing in on SPC 09 in Las Vegas. Here you can listen to Microsoft’s own and the best in the field, and gain an unparalleled insight ahead of your first SharePoint 2010 implementation. The odds (!) are currently good that I’ll be there – this  actually involves an elaborate plan to fly Suzanne’s Mum over from the U.S. to London to “cover me” for the week, so if everything falls into place I’ll see you there! I’m really excited to be able to start talking more publicly about all the new platform features – hope you are too.

Ill be at SPC

Remember – you can follow me at @ChrisO_Brien for SharePoint-dev goodness if you’re on Twitter..

Friday 4 September 2009

Minor updates to Content Deployment Wizard and Config Store

I’m a firm believer that if you build community tools which become important to folks, you’ve got to do your best to maintain them – providing source code is great, but it’s far better if you take on the maintenance/enhancements workload! So this is a brief post for users of my SharePoint Content Deployment Wizard and Config Store utilities. Both of these have recently been updated on Codeplex, and depending on circumstances you may want to ensure the latest versions are what you have in your toolbox. I’ll explain the changes I noted in the readme.txt of the respective updates here:

Content Deployment Wizard (2.6 beta)

Release notes:

This release is primarily to fix a regression bug in the 2.5 release (the first item in the list below) and provides:

  • Fix to issue where lists cannot be exported with 'All descendents' option because menu item is missing
  • Separate installers for x86 and x64 to ensure the STSADMCOMMANDS.COB.SPDEPLOYMENTWIZARD.XML file gets properly installed to 12\config directory
Also note the main new features of the 2.5 beta (included in this release):
  • Support for incremental deployments, so only content which has changed since the last export gets deployed (select 'ExportChanges' from the dropdown to use this feature)
  • Support for "no compression" deployments via the 'Disable compression' checkbox - this is useful for large sites where memory use is an issue during Content Deployment
  • Support for allowing the root web of a site collection to be deployed on it's own - extra options in context menus now allow selection of 'site' or 'root web'. Previously it was not possible to deploy only a root web.

Should you update?

A definite yes if you downloaded the 2.5 beta release, due to the bug in that version.  If you have an earlier version e.g. 1.1 or 2.0, then most likely it’s still a good idea to upgrade to the 2.6 beta as it’s fairly well tested and has some functionality you might need some day. The beta label will likely come off in a few weeks, as I know this matters to some folks.

Download the Content Deployment Wizard 2.6 beta

Config Store (

Release notes:

Changes in this release:

  • Changed internal field names back to not contain spaces - caused problem under some circumstances (an issue reported by Waldek when using one of his tools with the Config Store)
  • Changed ApplyWebConfigModifications Feature property back to True, since seems most installations use single site collection mode
  • Tidied schema.xml based on recommendations made in

Should you update?

In this case, if you’re already using the Config Store in your site(s) it’s recommended to only consider upgrading to this version if you know you have the same problem reported by Waldek - because the field names changed, an upgrade will require some work on your part (e.g. a utility to migrate from the old schema). However, for greenfield installations, this version should definitely be used.

Download the Config Store

N.B. These Config Store changes will be ported to the Language Store framework (sister project) over the next few days.

A note on SharePoint 2010

At this stage I’m expecting my SharePoint utilities to continue to be useful in the 2010 world – I’ll be updating them for 2010 soon, and they should be around for some time to come!