Wednesday, August 31, 2005

One month down the road

Time flies! Was it just one month ago that I joined Avanade?

So far, it's been great! I've been assigned to a project with a government organization. It's huge in terms of both team and code. What's interesting is the mix of people from various companies. There are at least people from 4 different organizations working here and they are all really good at what they do.

A new environment brings along with it new challenges. The project is now in the test phase, which means a lot of work is involved in preparing data to be loaded into components to see if they do what they are expected to do. The kinds of computations that some of these components perform are really complex, each contains a gizillion business rules. Dollar values are involved so the result must always be correct. The tricky part is devising a scheme to help the end-user test all possible scenarios (all 35 factorial of them). It's up to us to build a creative solution to achieve this and to troubleshoot problems when we find them. Hunt down those bugs!

All very exciting work :-)

MCMS Presentations around the globe!

This couple of weeks have been a busy one for fellow CMS MVPs - Andrew, Angus and me.

Andrew delivered a MCMS session to the JacksonVille Usergroup. And he's got some great book recommendations. Check them out!

Travel round the globe to Australia, and you'll find Angus this Thursday at TechEd Gold Coast giving a presentation on Accelerating Development with MCMS & Best Practices. I've had a glimpse of his slides and his presentation is going to rock! If you're at TechEd Gold Coast, look out for Angus at the InfoWorker booth.

Just last week, I did a co-presentation with Sarbjit Singh Gill from Avantus Training at TechEd Singapore. We covered two sessions - Accelerating Development with MCMS and Best Practices for Designing and Building CMS Solutions. Both presentations went well. Considering that Steve Riley was giving a session next door, we had a nice turn out :-) For the acceleration session, we had lots of CMS demos - oodles of goodies that are ready-to-use from GotDotNet and a variety of other sources. It was pretty neat, kind of like a showcase of power tools for CMS! If you were at either session, drop me a note. I'd like to hear from you.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Invalid object name 'RepositorySynchronization'

I was trying to save a posting that contained a SharePoint Document Placeholder Control. Each time I tried to do so, I kept getting the following error:

Save Placeholder Failed
Error Details:Invalid object name 'RepositorySynchronization'.

Angus found an interesting post in the SharePoint newsgroup. Turns out that the error is caused by a missing table named "RepositorySynchronization" from the CMS database.

Somehow, the table wasn't getting generated when the DCA was used to switch from one database to another.

The post suggested importing the table from an existing database. But what if you didn't want to do that (in case there is more than the table that needs to be imported) or what if you didn't have a connector-enabled database to copy from in the first place?

Good news is: You don't have to manually import the table! The connector comes with a tool named, PostMSIConfig.exe that fixes the problem (located in the \MCMS Connector for SharePoint Technologies\CMS\bin\ directory). Just run it and the RepositorySynchronization table appears within the database like a charm. Problem solved!

To reproduce the problem:
1. Install the SharePoint Connector for MCMS.
2. Create a new SQL Server database.
2. Use the DCA to point to the newly created database.
3. Look at the database using Enterprise Manager. Notice that the table, RepositorySynchronization, is missing.
4. Try to save a posting based on a template that contains the SharePoint Document Placeholder Control. You will get the error mentioned above.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Skelta CMS Accelerator - Express Edition

via Andew and Mark Harrison

Skelta CMS Accelerator promises to be a real help for any MCMS developer looking into extending the workflow. If you've attempted to do parallel or multi-tiered serial MCMS workflows before, you will probably be interested in this product.

Btw, has anyone managed to get the preview version working?

Skelta CMS Accelerator - Express Edition Skelta CMS Workflow Lite (i.e. the free workflow solution for Microsoft CMS customers) is now being rebranded as the Express version.Its going through the final testing and its launch is iminent. In the meantime you can request a preview here .More info on Skelta CMS Accelerator - Express Edition .

Friday, August 05, 2005

Switching Jobs

I've switched jobs and am now with Avanade Asia.

While it was great working at my old place, I suppose it was just time to move on. 6 years is definitely not insignificant. I'll definitely look back at those years with fond memories.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

MCMS AppPool Recycling, SPARK and operations

via Spencer:


Following a couple of queries on the cmserver newsgroup, it became apparent that for production MCMS deployments the default Application Pool Recycling configuration for the App Pool running the MCMS application should be disabled.

Whilst this configuration change seems more than reasonable and obvious, it has never been officially documented either in the production documentation, the performance planning guide or the MSIB 2.5 refresh. The closest we get to an official word (and it's good enough for me!) is as part of Stefan's FAQ.

However, the configuration change also poses some interesting challenges to those responsible for operating production MCMS applications, especially when combined with SharePoint Technologies. This article briefly discusses these challenges and offers solutions for optimally operating your MCMS applications.

Read full article.