SharePoint webinar recordings available on

Did you know that in the past three years, we have conducted dozens of no-cost webinars? Focus of each one has been purely on educating SharePoint users from a variety of SharePoint experiences. In the beginning, we weren’t recording these, but then we got smarter and started recording them finally a couple of years back. All of the past webinar recordings are listed on the site. We haven’t done a webinar in the past few months unfortunately and itching to get another one on schedule. If you have a good idea for a seminar, let me know. I’ll see what we can do.

The reason for this post is to make you aware of the webinar recordings that are out there on the site. No need to register or anything, just click on the link and watch the webinar. Hopefully, it is helpful to you. If not, pass on this info to someone else who you think can benefit from it. Here are some of the webinars:

Getting Started with SharePoint 2010 Team Sites – Best Practices

Presenter: Asif Rehmani

So you got your SharePoint 2010 Team Site… now what? How should you proceed to set it up? What should be the things to look out for and to not do? This session explores best practices on how to start up with your team site. Setting up your quick launch, top link bar, company/department logo, creating and setting up lists and libraries and more are discussed here. In addition, the last 20 minutes cover Q&A from attendees.

Office 365: What you need to know!

Presenter: Mark Kashman

Office 365 is the way to provide messaging, collaboration, web conferencing, document sharing and more to your organization – large and small. Simply put, it’s SharePoint 2010 in the cloud. Office 365 went Live on June 28th, 2011. This webinar focused on providing information you need to be successful making decisions regarding Office 365 . The functionality and administrative capabilities of Office 365 were demonstrated.

SharePoint Branding and User Interface Design

Presenter: Yaroslav Pentsarskyy

Compelling and user friendly interface of your SharePoint solution is one of
the key factors in successful adoption of your intranet or internet site. This
webinar gives you a solid understanding of how you can improve user interface and brand your site with visual elements you have seen online or have been provided by a professional design team.

Using SharePoint Designer 2010 in the Real World

Presenter: Asif Rehmani

This session provides real world use cases and guidance that covers when it is safe to let your site administrators use SharePoint Designer 2010 (and also when it’s not safe). In addition, we will discuss the different level of
privileges that should be granted to different groups of people in your

Creating Workflows with SharePoint Designer 2010, Visio 2010 and InfoPath 2010

Presenter: Asif Rehmani

SharePoint Designer 2010, which is a free application, is “The Preferred”
tool to design powerful no-code solutions and applications in SharePoint 2010. In this video, you will get a broad overview of the capabilities of the tool, from site customizations such as modifying Site Metadata, managing Site Security, or creating Site Content, to building List or Site based Workflows and connecting to a variety of Data Sources. You will also learn about the new user experience components such as the Ribbon and Summary Pages in SharePoint
Designer 2010.

Augmenting SharePoint Designer Workflows with Visual Studio 2010

Presenter: Andrew Connell

Generally the best story for creating custom workflows in SharePoint 2010 is to stick with the declarative and most productive option: use SharePoint
Designer 2010. However there are situations when SharePoint Designer cannot achieve some business requirements. One common example is when you need to implement some sort of a loop. In this session, you’ll see what’s involved in creating a custom activity (action) in Visual Studio 2010 and deploy it to SharePoint so it can be used in SharePoint Designer based workflows.

Leveraging Business Connectivity Services

Presenter: Raymond Mitchell

Business Connectivity Services allows you to both read from and write data
back to your external systems! BCS allows you to surface your external data in SharePoint AND inside of Office applications, meaning your data is that much more accessible! One of the big stumbling blocks in getting started with the BDC was the lack of tooling support from Microsoft. With BCS, both SharePoint Designer 2010 and Visual Studio 2010 have first-class support for building solutions with the BCS. What’s even better, many common scenarios can be handled with just SharePoint Designer 2010, without needing a developer or Visual Studio.

Effectively Leveraging Project 2010 with SharePoint 2010 for Project Management Success

Presenter: Dux Raymond Sy

Microsoft Project is a project management tool widely used by project
managers today. Its’ ability to support project managers to define a schedule, assign resources to tasks and track project status has been instrumental in contributing to project success. However, it can be a challenge for a project manager to share project information and collaborate with the project team with Microsoft Project alone. Microsoft SharePoint 2010 can complement Microsoft Project 2010 and address this gap.

Project Management using SharePoint 2010

Presenter: Eric Eaton

Nearly every organization already uses SharePoint at some level for simple things like document management, but many times all of the other things SharePoint does really well go unused. This webinar shows how to leverage features like discussion boards, task lists, shared calendars, roll-up web parts and more to manage most or all of your projects in one place! We discuss ways for providing self-serve status updates that automatically roll-up to the summary pages per each project (and even across all of your projects).

Q&A Panel with SharePoint Experts

Presenters: Richard Wixom, Russell Wright, Eric Eaton, Asif Rehmani

In this webinar, demonstrations and discussions were conducted by the panelists. Some of the topics talked about in the panel: SharePoint Calendar sharing SharePoint Designer in Production Data View web part Using PowerShell to list all SharePoint sites and subsites Printing of SharePoint list data Downloading more than one file at a time without a 3rd party add-on Checking permissions for a user InfoPath 2010 resources and more.

In addition to the webinars mentioned above, there are even more webinar recordings available on the site.

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Coupon code for SPTechCon July 2012

SPTechCon is a conference that I have recommended to many people in the past. This is one of those conferences that caters to the whole spectrum of SharePoint users – End Users, Power Users, Administrators and Developers. There is certainly something for everyone here! I personally have presented several times at this conference and am planning to do my sessions at the July 2012 conference as well:


If you are deciding on a SharePoint conference this summer, my vote is to look into attending this one!

If and once you do decide, you can use the following coupon code to get a discounted registration price ($200 off): REHMANI

During the registration process, enter this coupon code and click Apply button at the payment screen as shown below:


The total will change to reflect the discounted price depending on when you are registering as follows:

For a Three Day Passport Registration (Three Day Passport) –

Before June, 15 2012, regular price: $1,195, discounted price: $995

Between June 15 to July 13, 2012, regular price: $1,295, discounted price: $1,095

After July 13, 2012, regular price: $1,595, discounted price: $1,395


Ultimately, only You can decide what education method works best for you and how you want to spend your training dollars. I believe in conferences being a great way to become aware of many different facets and possibilities when deciding on future business initiatives. Best wishes!

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SharePoint Beginner’s Guide

SharePoint explained very nicely and simply in this video tutorial:

SharePoint in plain English


Microsoft’s main SharePoint related beginner sites

Check out the main SharePoint 2010 Website from Microsoft.

Then check out some success stories shared by Microsoft at iUseSharePoint.


Ramp up on SharePoint

To get started on SharePoint, you might want to take some formal SharePoint training. There is really no substitute for hands on training if you can afford the time and expense. I would recommend looking at the available classes here:

Can’t travel or need on-demand training? I would recommended to start with this jump start page and watch some beginner video tutorials:

Check out the EndUserSharePoint site for Lots of great articles produced by the SharePoint community:


SharePoint environment for practice

To try out scenarios, create prototypes and demos, use the completely pre-built SharePoint environment created using CloudShare: Here are some visuals on exactly what’s in this cloud-based virtual machine:


Deploy the whole virtual machine in your own environment (if you have the hardware available):


SharePoint on-demand support

When working with SharePoint, you will have questions that you just want to go and ask someone. The best place to ask those questions is the SharePoint Forums: Microsoft employees and MVPs are often in the forums answering questions.

You can also find on-demand video tutorials on for quick show-and-tell. Also, additional tutorials available on Microsoft’s Channel 9 site:

If you need immediate help with a project, look into hourly SharePoint remote consulting/mentoring:

Become part of the Bamboo Solutions community:

Consider picking up some SharePoint books as well:


SharePoint Certifications

There are a few certifications that exist for SharePoint as well. These will give you the credibility you need in your role. You can find them here:


Customer Reviews for SharePoint Vendors

It’s hard to decide which SharePoint vendor to go with when it comes to SharePoint consulting, training, products and other services. Check out the SharePoint Reviews site:


SharePoint Conferences

Attending a SharePoint conference is a great way to really dive into it all. Check out this blog entry for info on regularly held SharePoint related conferences: (more conferences have popped up in the market since this blog entry)

(comments welcomed)

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SharePoint in Energy Sector

Last month, I started to focus on specific industries and how SharePoint provides value to each of them. The focus of the first blog in this series was how SharePoint is used in Education sector. This week’s blog is going to focus on the Energy sector and how a properly leveraged SharePoint instance can greatly improve the business processes/workflows and employee effectiveness for companies in the Energy sector. I will outline some common issues that companies in this industry encounter and some thoughts on how to resolve these issues. While doing so (and when applicable), I’ll point to the SharePoint video tutorials that complement the points.

Challenges in Energy Sector

The energy and utilities sector is one of the most heavily regulated industries in the market. Numerous regulations govern how business is conducted, and how information maintained by companies is handled and audited. From regulations to emergencies, energy companies are constantly looking for new ways to improve on practices for the benefit of their customers and employees. According to U.S. Department of energy there will be a 54% increase in energy consumption by 2025. There is a huge challenge for the energy companies to efficiently match production to match demand.

With growth, come new challenges. The focus of most enterprises is to improve plant efficiency, improve compliance and reduce downtime, allowing an overall improvement in competitive positioning. Planning, control and education are essential to managing efficiency. Having effective and auditable change management processes is critical to business. Utility organizations that generate and deliver power have to maintain personnel and medical files for thousands of employees at multiple locations. Compliance to regulations requires a central storage to maintain all employee details with work locations and proper audit trail. All policies, procedures, process workflows have to be maintained for instant review when required.

How SharePoint can help
Energy companies attempt to reduce their capital exposure by partnering with others on capital-intensive projects. Effective collaboration among owners, operators and vendors in these partnerships is essential. It is critical to ensure that everyone is maintaining the same data sets and complying with regulations. When utilizing Microsoft SharePoint as a mission-critical collaboration platform and digital asset repository, organizations must have the tools they need to satisfy these constantly evolving regulations comprehensively and with procedural rigor.

Following are some of the proven ways of maintaining consistent processes and sets of records:

  • Consolidate disparate web presence sites into a single solution saving potentially millions of dollars annually (the value of SharePoint explained in plain English)
  • Simplify investigation, analysis and reporting by storing data got from devices designed to detect impending failures (use SQL Reporting Services to report data).
  • Geographically dispersed geophysicists, reservoir engineers, drilling engineers are empowered to collaborate on similar projects (simplify Project Management with SharePoint team sites)
  • Cost reduction of vital engineering documentation by enabling search and versioning features. (control and manage Document Versioning)
  • Collaboratively manage content and enable authoring permissions and review (Secure and enable content for the target audience)
  • Metadata allows users to search and navigate to the right information (Manage Metadata and Taxonomy for all applications)
  • Publish schedules for shutdown & maintenance of refining facilities to ensure co-ordination between staff (Use publishing site to broadcast information)

Note: In addition to the links above, you can browse through the index of our complete video library of 409 videos.

How we at can help
We offer remote consulting and on-demand training solutions for SharePoint. When you are ready to learn more about how we can help your organization, contact us online or give us a call at +1 630-786-7026. We can walk you through the possible solutions to see if it’s a good fit for your needs.

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Provide Read and Write access to your Line of Business Applications through SharePoint with BCS (Business Connectivity Services)

What do you think of when you hear the word SharePoint? Usually the answer to this question is: Collaboration. Which is correct! However, SharePoint is so much more than a group/team of people collaborating on their intranet. Today, I want to take a few minutes to describe how an organization can expose their line of business application data in SharePoint.

Here’s a common scenario:
A business currently has a home-grown system that they use. The interface has gotten outdated, but the information interfaced is still valuable to the organization and its employees. All the data is stored in databases (either SQL, Oracle, DB2 etc.). The question now is whether to build another home grown system from scratch?

A possible solution:
Use SharePoint as it was meant to be used – serving as the main presentation layer that interfaces data from various sources in the organization. All you need is SharePoint Server 2010 and SharePoint Designer 2010 and you’re ready to define your data sources using a functionality called Business Connectivity Services (BCS) – no programming required!

I have to tell you that one of the most frustrating things to office workers is having to remember which application to use for which purpose. It doesn’t have to be that way. If you have invested in SharePoint already (or planning to), make that a one stop shop for your end users by presenting and interfacing all line of business application data (such as SAP, Siebel, custom databases). It’s all possible with the power of BCS.

Here are a couple of video tutorials to get you started:

These videos and plenty more are in the BCS video package DVD developed by Raymond Mitchell (co-author of book SharePoint 2010 Six In One). These video tutorials demonstrate the step by step processes you would need to make proper use of Business Connectivity Services in your organization.

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SharePoint in Education

Today, I want to focus on SharePoint in academic organizations.

  1. How does SharePoint help educational institutions?
  2. How do on demand educational tools align to empower them?

The usual educational staff and teacher complaints stem from frustration with the time it takes to get access to needed data. More often than not, too many systems need to be utilized to get access to required data. This also subsequently requires remembering access information and passwords to all those systems.

SharePoint has been deployed at many K-12 and higher level educational institutions. Many of them have been our customers over the years. There are many different ways in which educational institutions can use SharePoint to provide a one-stop shop for all their constituents. Some of them are:

  • Staff Collaboration – Staff members and teachers can share resources and ideas using SharePoint lists and libraries. Documents can be shared across various grade levels.
  • Notice and Announcement board – Staff announcements and special notices can be surfaced up on SharePoint team sites.
  • Access to class specific data – Student attendance and evaluation reports on teacher portals.
  • Classroom and resource booking – An easy way to view and book availability of classrooms and resources directly through the teacher portal.
  • Students accessing their class materials – A student portal where students are able to see their own class schedules, assignments and other related material.
  • Email alerts for teachers – when a lesson plan is due, a teacher is alerted through email automatically with a link back to where the lesson plan needs to be submitted.
  • Substitute teacher management – Display to teachers which substitutes are available. If a substitute is assigned to a class already, display the scheduling details.
  • Analysis of data – Class reports, student reports, and class subject reports can be generated to understand the return on investment.

The one important thing that Universities and K-12 schools need is a firm set of best practices for SharePoint that is easy for administrators, teachers and students to follow. This is where on-demand education can help. With access to a SharePoint video library depicting the ‘How-to’ of SharePoint with keeping best practices in mind, users can:

Also feel free to check out the entire video library.

When it comes to maximizing the value of a SharePoint deployment, awareness and education are two of your greatest assets. When you are ready to learn more about how we can help, contact us online or give us a call at +1 630-786-7026. We can walk you through the possible solutions to see if it’s a good fit for your needs.

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Recording of webinar on Project Management using SharePoint 2010

The recording of the webinar on Project Management using SharePoint 2010 Foundation is now available on the site.

Many other previous webinar recordings are also available on the site.

Here is the information about this webinar recording –

Eric Eaton – SharePoint Architect.

Audience: Project managers, site collection administrators, team leads

Session Abstract:

Nearly every organization already uses SharePoint at some level for simple things like document management, but many times all of the other things SharePoint does really well go unused. This webinar shows how to leverage features like discussion boards, task lists, shared calendars, roll-up web parts and more to manage most or all of your projects in one place! We discuss ways for providing self-serve status updates that automatically roll-up to the summary pages per each project (and even across all of your projects).

This webinar focuses on building project management processes directly on any flavor of SharePoint 2010 (Foundation, Server or even SharePoint Online within Office 365).

This webinar was sponsored by

Fundamental knowledge and experience of SharePoint 2010.

Date presented:  February 23, 2012

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Coupon Code for SharePoint Connections March 26-29 2012

If you or anyone you know is going to SharePoint Connections conference on March 26 to 29 2012 in Vegas, use the coupon code Asif to get $100 off the price of the conference. If you have already paid for the conference, sorry, I can’t help get a refund Sad smile.

Here’s the URL for the conference:

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Webinar on 2/23/2012 at 12pm Eastern – Manage Projects using SharePoint 2010 Foundation

We’re back with another webinar (and of course as always, there is no cost to attend the webinar. All we ask is that you provide feedback at the end that can help us improve).

Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

Eric Eaton –
SharePoint Architect

Eric is the author of multiple SharePoint training courses, and has worked for, consulted, programmed, and taught technical and end users in businesses ranging from 50 to 130,000 employees.

Audience: Project Managers, SharePoint Administrators and Developers

Session Abstract:

Microsoft Project and Project Server not required! This webinar will focus on building project management processes directly on any flavor of SharePoint 2010 (Foundation, Server or even SharePoint Online within Office 365).

Nearly every organization already uses SharePoint at some level for simple things like document management, but many times all of the other things SharePoint does really well go unused. This webinar will show how to leverage features like discussion boards, task lists, shared calendars, roll-up web parts and more to manage most or all of your projects in one place! We will discuss ways for providing self-serve status updates that automatically roll-up to the summary pages per each project (and even across all of your projects).

This webinar is sponsored by During and after the webinar, we’ll take your questions and try to answer them to the best of our ability.

Attendees should have basic understanding of SharePoint 2010

Date: Thursday, February 23, 2012
Time: 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM EST

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

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