Friday, August 31, 2012

What's new in Microsoft Outlook 2010?

There has been a lot of positive buzz online about Microsoft Outlook 2010, and with good reason. The interface is familiar, yet cleaner. The expected functionality remains, but it has been improved. Several new features have been added that should be quite popular -- some because they're leading-edge technology and others because they address longstanding user requests.
More Office Ribbon integration
Microsoft Office 2007 introduced a new method to display user-initiated tasks in Office applications. Instead of using a flat, drop-down menu, Office 2007 uses a ribbon that displays options based on context. Outlook 2007 had 19 ribbons across its various forms; the main interface retained the legacy menu interface. Office 2010 completes the integration of the Office Ribbon into Outlook.

With the sheer number of menu options increasing drastically with each version of Office, the more dynamic, context-based Ribbon system reduces time spent searching for specific commands. The Ribbon options change according to which forms the user is viewing.
Multiple Exchange accounts in one Outlook profile
One constant frustration with Outlook MAPI profiles has been the inability for a designated mailbox owner to fully and concurrently connect with multiple mailboxes. This has made it difficult to effectively manipulate content and send messages from different mailboxes without logging out of Outlook and logging in using a different profile. This option may be beneficial in administrative scenarios or in merger situations, where content resides across multiple systems or in different Exchange organizations.

To configure multiple Exchange accounts in a single profile Outlook must be completely closed (with outlook.exe no longer active in the Task Manager). You also must use the Mail applet in the Windows Control Panel.

Outlook Social Connector
Office applications like Outlook are extensible. Microsoft partners and third-party developers have developed some impressive applications to enhance the application. Recently, those enhancements include social media streams like Twitter. Personally, I've enjoyed using TwInbox (formerly OutTwit) in Outlook 2007 to manage my Twitter account through Outlook. All the benefits that you can experience with Outlook messages can also be applied to incoming tweets, including categories, rules and search folders.
MailTips assists users when certain actions result in unintended consequences. A common example is a text alert that appears on top of a newly composed message that is addressed to an SMTP domain outside of the organization. Another productive MailTip provides an out-of-office (OOF) preview for a message addressee before sending an email.
Now, you no longer have to wait for an OOF response from coworkers or miss an OOF response. If your email message is addressed to too many recipients, the distribution group expansion feature will let you know. MailTips will advise you to trim the number of addressees to 300 in a single message before sending it. This proactive direction helps reduce productivity draining actions while simultaneously providing user training.

Conversation View
In previous versions of Outlook, you could group your inbox according to conversation, but that didn't show a formal threaded conversation with each message as a child of the original message. This new view displays which messages you have replied to. This view also makes it easier to understand a couple of other new features that focus on the Conversation View.

Ignore conversations
If you find the Conversation View insufficient when streamlining your inbox, you can ignore conversations to remove them from the current view. For ongoing threads that either do not apply to you or that you're done reading, right-click on a message and select Ignore. This transfers all the messages in that conversation, along with new messages related to that conversation, to your Deleted Items folder to keep your inbox more relevant.

Conversation Clean Up
When you reply to a message and include the text of the message, there is duplicate text in the conversation. When the next person replies, more than likely, they'll retain your reply, as well as the previous reply in the message body. There are now multiple copies of the text within the conversation.
Conversation Clean Up parses the conversation and removes messages in which the text is already included in another message in the conversation. This operation is launched when a message in a conversation is selected and Conversation is chosen from the Clean Up button drop-down list in the Delete section of the Home ribbon tab.

Schedule View Improvements
The Schedule View function has also been improved. E.g A basic day for a user, with a secondary calendar selected. The second calendar is a subscription to another user's Internet-published calendar. You can control the Time Scale to show more or less detail in this view -- in five or six-minute increments.

Organizing Collaborating with SharePoint Site Collections and Sites

Building upon the power of the repositories previously discussed (lists and libraries), SharePoint 2010 provides a powerful framework of sites and site collections to manage these repositories and provides additional management tools. The sites and site collections enable IT to build a framework that provides working spaces for departments, groups, teams, programs, divisions, offices, and any other type of business grouping. These sites can be branded with appropriate logos and color schemes and have web parts added to .aspx pages that perform many tasks, from simply displaying rich text, graphics, and charts to stock tickers, information about the weather, or data pulled directly from corporate databases.
Site collections are collections of sites that can be managed as a unit.
A wide range of templates are available that make it quick and easy to create functionally specific site collections, such as the following:
·         Team Site
·         Document Workspace
·         Blog
·         Meeting Workspace
·         Document Center
·         Records Center
·         Business Intelligence Center
·         Publishing Portal
·         Enterprise Wiki
For the sites created within the site collection, many other templates are available, including the following:
·         Assets Web Database
·         Basic Meeting Workspace
·         Blog
·         Contacts Web Database
·         Document Center
·         Enterprise Search Center
·         Enterprise Wiki
·         FAST Search Center
·         Group Work Site
·         Issues Web Database
·         Projects Web Database
·         Publishing Site with Workflow
·         Records Center
·         Team Site
·         Visio Process Repository

Outlining Improvements in SharePoint 2010

Microsoft has spent considerable time gathering input from customers on previous versions of SharePoint. This input was directly used by the development team to create new functionality and features in this version of SharePoint. The product team delivered a huge range of services and functionality. For SharePoint administrators familiar with SharePoint 2007, it is important to gain a better understanding of what those changes are and how they can be used to build a better collaboration environment for your organization.
Understanding the Scalable Service Application Model in SharePoint 2010
One of the most significant architectural changes in SharePoint 2010 is the change to service application architecture from the shared services provider architecture of SharePoint 2007. Service applications in SharePoint 2010 are independent services that can be shared across web applications or across farms.  Service applications in SharePoint 2010 include the Business Data Connectivity Service, which allows for connection to an external data source, the Managed Metadata Service, which enforces common metadata across a farm, and the Search Service, which is critical for Enterprise Search functionality. In total, there are more than a dozen service applications available out-of-the-box in SharePoint 2010 and Microsoft enables third-party service applications to be created as well. Service applications enable a SharePoint 2010 environment to be more scalable because they can be easily shared across multiple servers. SharePoint architects can define which servers run which service applications, and which service applications apply to what farms. By separating the functionality in SharePoint onto this highly flexible service application tier, it becomes easier to scale up the environment with the needs of the individual environment.
Outlining Search Improvements in SharePoint 2010

Another area of significant improvement in SharePoint 2010 is SharePoint’s built-in Enterprise Search functionality. Rebuilt as a service application, SharePoint’s native search tool has been rearchitected to enable the following:
·         Redundant index functionality, now providing for index redundancy and high availability, something not possible in SharePoint 2007.
·         Content sources can now be divided among multiple index partitions, such as what In addition to improvements in SharePoint 2010’s native search, Microsoft also offers a different tool for SharePoint search: FAST Search Server 2010. FAST Search has all of the improvements available with the native SharePoint 2010 search but adds additional features, such as thumbnail previews, click-through relevance, and automatic metadata tagging.

Accessing the Improved Administration, Monitoring, and Backup Tools
There are two major improvements in the area of administration for SharePoint. The first comes in a revamped SharePoint Central Administration tool and the second comes with the addition of Microsoft PowerShell as a scripting administration interface. Administrators familiar with SharePoint 2007 will recall the SharePoint Central Admin tool, a web-based interface used to administer SharePoint functionality.
The addition of Microsoft Power Shell as a SharePoint administration tool enables administrators to have a robust and comprehensive scripting interface that allows for automation of manual tasks, scripted installations, and remote administration support. Microsoft created more than 500 commandlets for Power Shell specific to SharePoint.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lync Server 2013

Lync Server 2013 Preview: New High Availability and Disaster Recovery Features

Lync Server 2013 Preview features and how to configure them

Download Microsoft Lync Server 2013 Preview

Lync Server 2013 for IT pros

Microsoft's Lync Server 2013: Skype federation, hybrid voice and more

New Features in Lync Server 2013 Get Detailed

Lync Server 2013 Preview – 5 Feature Changes Coming

Lync Server 2010/2013 and Cisco/Nortel/Avaya integration

Microsoft Lync Server 2013 Adds Touch Support - Killer Enterprise Tablet UC!

Lync Server 2013 Preview features and how to configure them «

Step by Step Enabling Lync Server 2013 Enterprise Voice Features, Response Groups and Managers – Part 5

Install Lync Server 2013 prerequisites on Windows Server 2008R2

Downloads for Lync 2010

Find links below to the most current downloads for Lync 2010 products.

Downloadable documentation

Primary collections

  • Lync Server 2010 Documentation Help File - A Microsoft Help (CHM) file that contains all Lync Server 2010 topics that appear in the TechNet online library.
  • Lync Server 2010 welcome page - A library topic that contains lists of individually downloadable server documentation topics (organized by deployment lifecycle stage).

Additional documents

Full Text Search in SQL: Error Full-text catalog ('Catalog Name') in database ('DBNAME') is low on disk space. Pausing all populations in progress until more space becomes available. Reason code: 1. Error: 0x80041828(The disk has reached its configured space limit.). To resume populations, free up disk space.

We all know our server systems are highly alerted with all different kind of alerts. Today we got an LMS alert (configured with the low disk space counter).  Whistle looking at the disk space it was the SQL Log file which used almost 98 % if the disk space. 
On further investigating we got to know it was SQL FULL Text search log file 'SQLFTXXXXXX.LOG'.

Now the next question click to the mind is what Full Text Search is:
Full-Text Search in SQL Server lets users and applications run full-text queries against character-based data in SQL Server tables. Before you can run full-text queries on a table, the database administrator must create a full-text index on the table. The full-text index includes one or more character-based columns in the table. These columns can have any of the following data types: char, varchar, nchar, nvarchar, text, ntext, image, xml, or varbinary(max) and FILESTREAM.

We were unable to check what is logged in the file due to heavy size. While troubleshooting further on this we decided to check which data base is configured to use the Full Text Search.

How to check which DB is using the Full Text Search:

Log on to SQL Management console -> Expand Databases -> Go into the Database properties of the  database -> Select File -> and check if ‘Use full-text indexing  box is checked which is related to full text indexing.
We decided to turn off- the full text indexing, however needed it to validate if this is the same setting used in other SharePoint Environment.   After validation, we decided that we need to have this enabled to have the events logged. 

If you decide to turn off the full text indexing you can enable and disable the Full Text Search on the a database. 

We decided to delete the file by creating a new reference with the same name and have the logs generated from the starting.
One issue was resolved to clear up the space on the SQL Server drive. It leads to another issue of indexing not happening.

We noticed that File Size (SQLFTXXXXXX.LOG) again started to grow with the Error message.
Full-text catalog ('Catalog Name') in database ('DBNAME') is low on disk space. Pausing all populations in progress until more space becomes available. Reason code: 1. Error: 0x80041828(The disk has reached its configured space limit.). To resume populations, free up disk space.

Tried to run the different catalogs views to check the missing file reference from the Full-text index file.
On checking the event viewer logs, the below event was recorded in the logs after every 10 min. This seems to be a serious problem.

Event Type: Error
Event Category: (2)
Event ID: 9901
Date:  8/29/2012
Time:  3:28:53 PM
User:  N/A
Computer: WHGVSQL1
Full-text catalog ('Catalog Name') in database ('DBNAME') is low on disk space. Pausing all populations in progress until more space becomes available. Reason code: 1. Error: 0x80041828(The disk has reached its configured space limit.). To resume populations, free up disk space.
Checking further on the error message, we found that this error message is related to Log file not available.

Whereas on finding reference to the error message. Error: 0x80041828(The disk has reached its configured space limit.) This was pointing to the low space on the disk.

All disks were having enough disk space and we did check the DB automatic growth from DB properties. It was set to unrestricted. 

The first reference article was pointing to the situation similar of us as log file is not available. So concentrated the search with one point in mind. As you all know Microsoft is only own of their kind, we found explanation on the occurrence of the error message, which explains:

An I/O error related to data integrity has occurred for the specified database. Either the log or data portion of the database could be damaged. SQL Server has made the log for that database unavailable to prevent further data integrity problems. The I/O error that led to the 9001 message should be reported in the SQL Server error log and/or the Windows event logs.

This error could occur because of a failed ROLLBACK operation. In rare circumstances, the ROLLBACK could fail because of the server is completely out of memory, out of buffer pages, or out of log space.

Hope this piece of information help you all in troubleshooting issue with Full- Text Search. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

.NET Interview Questions

What is .NET?
.NET is essentially a framework for software development. It is similar in nature to any other software development framework (J2EE etc) in that it provides a set of runtime containers/capabilities, and a rich set of pre-built functionality in the form of class libraries and APIs
The .NET Framework is an environment for building, deploying, and running Web Services and other applications. It consists of three main parts: the Common Language Runtime, the Framework classes, and ASP.NET.

How many languages .NET is supporting now?
When .NET was introduced it came with several languages. VB.NET, C#, COBOL and Perl, etc. The site DotNetLanguages.Net says 44 languages are supported.

How is .NET able to support multiple languages?
A language should comply with the Common Language Runtime standard to become a .NET language. In .NET, code is compiled to Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL for short). This is called as Managed Code. This Managed code is run in .NET environment. So after compilation to this IL the language is not a barrier. A code can call or use a function written in another language.

How ASP .NET different from ASP?
Scripting is separated from the HTML, Code is compiled as a DLL, these DLLs can be executed on the server.

What is smart navigation?
The cursor position is maintained when the page gets refreshed due to the server side validation and the page gets refreshed.

What is view state?
The web is stateless. But in ASP.NET, the state of a page is maintained in the in the page itself automatically. How? The values are encrypted and saved in hidden controls. this is done automatically by the ASP.NET. This can be switched off / on for a single control

How do you validate the controls in an ASP .NET page?
Using special validation controls that are meant for this. We have Range Validator, Email Validator.

Can the validation be done in the server side? Or this can be done only in the Client side?

Client side is done by default. Server side validation is also possible. We can switch off the client side and server side can be done.

How to manage pagination in a page?
Using pagination option in DataGrid control. We have to set the number of records for a page, then it takes care of pagination by itself.

What is ADO .NET and what is difference between ADO and ADO.NET?
ADO.NET is stateless mechanism. I can treat the ADO.Net as a separate in-memory database where in I can use relationships between the tables and select insert and updates to the database. I can update the actual database as a batch.

What is an application server?
As defined in Wikipedia, an application server is a software engine that delivers applications to client computers or devices. The application server runs your server code. Some well known application servers are IIS (Microsoft), WebLogic Server (BEA), JBoss (Red Hat), WebSphere (IBM).
Compare C# and VB.NET

What is a base class and derived class?
A class is a template for creating an object. The class from which other classes derive fundamental functionality is called a base class. For e.g. If Class Y derives from Class X, then Class X is a base class.

The class which derives functionality from a base class is called a derived class. If Class Y derives from Class X, then Class Y is a derived class.
What is an extender class?
An extender class allows you to extend the functionality of an existing control. It is used in Windows forms applications to add properties to controls.
A demonstration of extender classes can be found over here.

What is inheritance?
Inheritance represents the relationship between two classes where one type derives functionality from a second type and then extends it by adding new methods, properties, events, fields and constants.

C# support two types of inheritance:
§  Implementation inheritance
§  Interface inheritance

What is implementation and interface inheritance?
When a class (type) is derived from another class(type) such that it inherits all the members of the base type it is Implementation Inheritance.
When a type (class or a struct) inherits only the signatures of the functions from another type it is Interface Inheritance.
In general Classes can be derived from another class, hence support Implementation inheritance. At the same time Classes can also be derived from one or more interfaces. Hence they support Interface inheritance.

Can you use multiple inheritance in .NET?
.NET supports only single inheritance. However the purpose is accomplished using multiple interfaces.

Why don’t we have multiple inheritance in .NET?
There are several reasons for this. In simple words, the efforts are more, benefits are less. Different languages have different implementation requirements of multiple inheritance. So in order to implement multiple inheritance, we need to study the implementation aspects of all the languages that are CLR compliant and then implement a common methodology of implementing it. This is too much of efforts. Moreover multiple interface inheritance very much covers the benefits that multiple inheritance has.

What is an Interface?
An interface is a standard or contract that contains only the signatures of methods or events. The implementation is done in the class that inherits from this interface. Interfaces are primarily used to set a common standard or contract.

When should you use abstract class vs interface or What is the difference between an abstract class and interface?
I would suggest you to read this. There is a good comparison given over here.

What are events and delegates?
An event is a message sent by a control to notify the occurrence of an action. However it is not known which object receives the event. For this reason, .NET provides a special type called Delegate which acts as an intermediary between the sender object and receiver object.

What is business logic?
It is the functionality which handles the exchange of information between database and a user interface.

How to troubleshoot a damaged presentation in PowerPoint 2007 and PowerPoint 2010

You may experience unexpected behavior when you work with a Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 or PowerPoint 2010 presentation. This behavior may occur because the presentation is damaged. This article contains step-by-step methods to try that may help you partially restore or fully restore your presentation. 
This article is intended for a beginning to intermediate computer user.
You may find it easier to follow the steps if you print this article first.
Problem Description:
When you try to open or change a presentation that is damaged, you may experience the following symptoms:

When you try to open a presentation, you receive one of the following error messages:
§  This is not a PowerPoint Presentation
§  PowerPoint cannot open the type of file represented by file_name .ppt
§  Part of the file is missing. 
You receive the following types of error messages:
§  General Protection Fault
§  Illegal Instruction
§  Invalid Page Fault
§  Low system resources
§  Out of memory
Methods to determine whether you have a damaged presentation
There are several ways to help determine whether you have a damaged presentation. You can try to open the file on another computer that has PowerPoint 2007 installed to see whether the unexpected behavior occurs on the other computer. You can try to create a new file in PowerPoint and see whether the unexpected behavior occurs with the new file. This section describes how to use existing presentations and how to create a new file in PowerPoint to determine whether the presentations have the same behavior.
Method 1: Open an existing presentation
·         In PowerPoint 2007 click the Microsoft Office Button. In PowerPoint 2010 click the File menu and then click Open. 
·         Click a different presentation, and then click Open. 
Method 2: Create a new presentation
Step 1: Create the presentation
§  In PowerPoint 2007 click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click New. In PowerPoint 2010 click the File menu. 
§  In PowerPoint 2007, click Installed Templates, and then click Introducing PowerPoint 2007. In PowerPoint 2010 click the File menu, click New, click Sample templates, and click Introducing PowerPoint 2010. 
§  Click Create. This process creates a presentation based on the template. 
§  In PowerPoint 2007 click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Save. In PowerPoint 2010 click the File menu and then click Save. 
§  Type a name for the presentation, and then click Save. 
§  Exit PowerPoint. 
Step 2: Open the new presentation
§  In PowerPoint 2007 click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Open. In PowerPoint 2010 click the File menu, and then click Open. 
§  Click the new presentation, and then click Open.
Methods to try if you cannot open a presentation
Method 1: Drag the presentation to the PowerPoint program file icon
Windows Vista
·         Click Start, and then click Documents . 
·         In the Start Search  box, type  %programfiles%\Microsoft Office\Office12 (PowerPoint 2007), and then press ENTER. If you have PowerPoint 2010 installed type  %programfiles%\microsoft office\office14 (PowerPoint 2010), and then press ENTER. 
·         Locate the Powerpnt.exe icon in Windows Explorer. 
·         Drag the damaged presentation icon from one window to the Powerpnt.exe icon in the other window.

Windows XP
§  Click Start, and then click Run.
§  In the Open box, type %userprofile%\My Documents.
§  Click OK
§  Click Start, and then click Run. 
§  In the Open box, type %programfiles%\Microsoft Office\Office12 (PowerPoint 2007). If you have PowerPoint 2010 installed type %programfiles%\Microsoft Office\Office14 . 
§  Click OK. 
§  Locate the Powerpnt.exe icon in Windows Explorer. 
§  Drag the damaged presentation icon from one window to the Powerpnt.exe icon in the other window.   
Method 3: Try to open the presentation in PowerPoint Viewer.
Windows Vista
Step 1: Visit the PowerPoint Viewer download Web page
1.   Click Start
2.   In the Start Search box type iexplore.exe, and then press ENTER.
3.   Visit the following Microsoft Web site for PowerPoint 2007 Viewer
5.   Visit the following Microsoft Web site for PowerPoint 2010 Viewer
Step 2: Install PowerPoint Viewer
1.   Click Download
2.   Click Run
3.   Click to select the Click here to accept the Microsoft Software License Terms check box, and then click Continue
4.   Click OK
If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, type the password, or click Continue
Step 3: Open the damaged presentation in PowerPoint Viewer
1.   Click Start , and then click All Programs
2.   Click Microsoft Office PowerPoint Viewer [2007/2010]
3.   Click Accept
4.   Click the damaged presentation, and then click Open
If you can open the presentation in PowerPoint Viewer 2007, the copy of PowerPoint 2007 installed on the computer may be damaged.


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