Introducing the Microsoft MVP Bot!

At the #MVPSummit I sat in a couple of Microsoft Bot Framework sessions.  Cool stuff for sure!  So I decided to write a helpful program for the MVP Program that lets you look up MVP data from your favorite messaging platforms!  

Check it out via Consumer Skype here:

Microsoft Teams:


Phrases you can use:

  • "Hi", "Hello"
  • What MVP Categories are there? 
  • Is Chris Givens an MVP?
  • Contact Chris Givens
  • MVPs in Norway
  • What does vlad catrinescu look like?
  • Chris Givens Picture
  • Chris Givens Profile
  • Search michele
  • Oldest
  • Who are 5 year mvps?
  • Who are Microsoft Azure mvps?




Follow every Microsoft MVP on Twitter!

Updated as of 11/20/2016 – Several MVPS updated their profiles to add their twitter handle or make it public. 

Updated as of 11/5/2016 – Re-posted the list creation to keep list name under limit.  Added the ability for you to clear out old twitter accounts! 

***HEADSUP*** – this script may cause you to be throttled by Twitter.  I have added some checking in the Http layer that will let you know if you hit their circuit breaker.   If you hit the circuit breaker, just re-try in 24 hours.

Here is a list of every twitter account for every current Microsoft MVP.  They fit into the following new MVP categories:

  • Business Solutions
  • Cloud and Datacenter Management
  • Data Platform
  • Enterprise Mobility
  • Excel
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Office Development
  • Office Servers and Services
  • OneNote
  • Outlook
  • PowerPoint
  • Project
  • Visual Studio and Development Technologies
  • Windows and Devices for IT
  • Windows Development

The "" file contains a TwitterFollow.ps1 PowerShell script.  Simply run it, enter your "username" and "password" and then tell it what MVP category you want to follow (or type "all") and whalla, you will follow all the Microsoft MVPs with twitter handles in their profiles!  

If you were curious all the cool benefits of being an MVP : 

*update* – the script now supports creating twitter lists (private and public).  It will name the list as "mvp-*" and add the target MVP twitter user into that list.   Also added in some more elegant error handling and follow checking.  


Updates from Ignite 2016!

Here's my list of all the announcements, updates and news worthy things from Ignite 2016!


I made it to many more sessions at this Ignite.  With my busy schedule this past year it has been a bit tough to keep up with the ever changing Office 365 landscape.  My focus has changed to watching for the things they do in the cloud as many of these changes will trickle down to SharePoint on-premises at some point.  Of the sessions I went too, only two ended up being a waste of time (simply because I had already been aware of the things going on, but thought maybe something new might be revealed).

Overall the venue was great, the buses were on time and timely.  The city was great, Uber was available and not expensive.  Lots of things to do in terms of entertainment and restaurants and the hotels were all fairly close together.  The venue was just as large as last year's in Chicago.  I'm thinking next time they should figure out a way to give an award to the person that walks the most, but since the Microsoft Band is now no more, might be difficult to track it!  I know my feet hurt at the end of every day!

Food was bad as expected.  If you have ever done a large event (such as an SharePoint Saturday) and rented a large venue such as a convention center, you will know the painfulness that is contracting with the venue's food vendors. Like the Amtrak days with its kick your butt if you say anything unions, Its unfortunate that we still are forced to endure not so great food (and evidently not much of it).  I think it would be great is Microsoft offered a non-meal pass in the future so we can spare ourselves the disappointment and at least get a good meal on our own terms. Or even send us the link to the vendor's site so we can drop them lots of nasty notes rather than blame Microsoft!

Expo Hall:

I was able to find time to wonder the entire Expo hall.  I always try to do this just to see what people are marketing and "trying" to sell.  There was a very heavy theme on "Monitoring" and "Security". As in…at least half of the companies were promoting between those two themes.  In whole, the exhibitors seemed to fall into these major categories:

  • Monitoring
    • Aggregated views across all your cloud services (Azure, Amazon, Google, on-premises)
    • Specific Application monitoring (Office 365, Box, etc)
  • Security
    • Auditing
    • Governance
  • HardwareDevice companies
    • Lots of video hardware (phones, conf call cameras)
  • Skype for Business
    • Seemed to be less than last year, but still noticeable.  Lots of re-sellers of software and hardware add-ons.  Seems there is still a lot of help one must need to use Skype in an enterprise.
  • Training
  • Software

CoolInteresting booths from my standpoint:

  • Puppet – The original Desired State Configuration software!  DSC came from a lot of the work that Puppet
    started and the Puppet products span much more than just windows (per Jeffery
    Snover – MS Tech Fellow aka JSnover aka creator of PowerShell- was based on
    UNIX make).
  • Lansa – TypeScript for everything (not just javascript).  Code generation on steroids.  Generate codeapps across many different
    platforms (ultimate code reuse).
  • ConversationalGeek new
    spin on books and marketing promotions. 
    Each book is sponsored by a company and then distributed for free!


Lots of great sessions this time around.  I couldn't really say that about last year, but as you might be able to figure out, many of the top SharePoint community members (Dan Holme, Chris McNulty, etc) have recently joined the Microsoft team and have been able to share their views from the outside with the product marketing and engineering teams.  Although not everyone has stayed in the Office group, it has been fun to watch them learn about the massive engine that is Microsoft and how difficult it is to move the mother ship!  I'm sure they have also gleaned the interesting side of taking "suggestions" from the community and who has a valuable opinion and who doesn't!  I'll still at some point find time to do my "famous" or "infamous" I suppose rating of all the sessions in the next few weeks.  I can say right now, the top session I attended was by Neil Hodgkinson (@nellymo).  His sessions are always filled with great data points, goodgreat demos and seem to leave you full-filled with something afterwards!  I highly suggest you watch any session he was in!

It seemed that a lot of the sessions were not very in depth and super technical (which is the stuff I love). I would have preferred a lot more 400 level sessions and not so much of the 200 level sessions.

You can download sessions from Channel9 or YouTube! You can also use this powershell script to download them!


  • AvePoint – Tongue and Groove – how can you say anything bad about how @JulieRLui finds and sets up these awesome parties?!?  She's the best!
  • Metalogix – Downtown – This was a joint venture and being that most people left around the 20 minute mark, I'm guessing that speaks for itself.  I actually had dinner at the "Commerce Club" and then took a small walk (<2 minutes to the Ritz for the BA Insight party).
  • Microsoft #SharePint – Westin Downtown – What a fun venue!  A rotating bar at the top of the Westin downtown.  Incredible views, nice classy atmosphere!  We even got the group to do a shout out and group picture to #LindaStrong!
  • BA Insight – Ritz Carlton – A very small get together at the Ritz Carlton.  Jeff Fried (@JeffFried) is a good guy and he always does his best to make everyone feel welcome!  Most of the who's who bailed on the Metalogix party and stopped by the BA Insight party.  Good times!
  • PixelMill – AirBnb House – Another small get together at a AirBnB a couple blocks away from the convention center.  Yours truly was the bartender and again, the who's who of our SharePoint land stopped in and said hi. 
  • Attendee Party – Centennial Park – Although we didn't go, we did have a nice vantage point from the sky bar at the Glenn Hotel.  After about an hour, most people started to head over our way as we were tweeting killer pics from high above the park!
  • @SPCPartyPatrol – oh man, where didn't we go!  Next year, if you really want to have a good time, be sure to follow @SPCPartyPatrol.  You won't be led to anything bad (well, I guess that's a matter of perspective).


Here is a list of the various announcementsupdatesdetails that I was able to gather from Ignite 2016.

  • SharePoint – On-premises SharePoint 2016 is getting several of the new features released to Office 365.  The first of these changes will show up in Feature Pack 1 in Nov.  This is the update I have been waiting for and will be the catalyst for customers to get serious about the upgrade or install of SharePoint 2016!
    • Feature Pack 1
      • Min Roles changes – you can now implement smaller POCDev farms
      • Taxonomy Cloud Service Application – sync of your term groupssets from on-premises to Cloud
      • Custom App Launcher – ability to customize the App Launcher
      • OneDrive UX and API – The /me endpoint that I loved so much on the OneDrive consumer side was moved to OneDrive for business and is now being delivered to on-premises!
    • Release Cadence – you can expect more changes to come after feature pack 1
      • Public Update monthly
      • Feature Pack 1 (Nov 2016)
      • Feature Pack 2 (second half of 2017)
  • Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS)
    • Check out @helloitsliam tweets from the @MrADFS session, you can also check out the session here
    • No longer need for On-premises Multi-factor server with ADFS – you can use Azure MFA
    • Conditional Access through ADFS
    • Policy templates
    • Better Certificate support via Claims
    • Per App login customization
    • Set-ADFSProperties changes
    • ADFS Rapid restore tool for Dev, Test and Prod scenarios
    • Domain Admin rights need to install ADFS
  • Azure AD (Std/Premium)
    • Bad Password Attempts reporting
    • Stat – 47.8% of Azure AD auths are via ADFS
    • Stat – every day they
      • Process 14B signins
      • Analyze 10TB of data
      • Deflect 1.5 million attacks
    • Replication error report with quick fixes
    • Group based license assignment
    • Azure AD Connect enables AD Group Synchronization with Office 365 Groups
    • Lift and Shift is new term (#BRK3252) – Azure AS Domain Services
    • Azure AD Pass-Through Auth (PTA) offers similar features as ADFS (#BRK3107)
    • Attribute quarantine vs object
    • Identity Protection – see hack and enforce user MFA
  • Azure
    • Azure Monitor – Monitor cloud and on-premises HyperV and Vmware workloads
  • Microsoft Intune
    • Lots of improvements around Android management
    • More iOS and Mac support
  • YammerNot dead, Dead, not dead, dead, not dead again…we all are wondering what is going on here!
    • New – Yammer group creation causes AzureAD to create O365 group (#BRK2019)
    • Yammer notes moving to OneNote
    • Yammer Groups ~= Office 365 groups
      • Where created determines where feed data will go (Yammer vs Outlook)
    • Edit Yammer Posts
    • Seamless file sharing to Yammer from OneDrive (with permissions at group level)
    • Yammer translate built in (but no Klingon support) #BRK2018
  • SPFramework – You can get started by following the steps here
    • Tools you need:
      • npm (microsoft scope)
      • Typescript
      • gulp
      • react
      • yeoman
  • Skype for Business wow, who would have thought "Skype" would have gone so far?  I was there the day the MS execs signed the deal with eBay to buy Skype.  Man it has come a long way!
    • iOS 10 update has more integration with Phone features
      • CallKit Support
    • Skype Broadcasting
    • MacOS client release (Oct)
    • Real-time transcription and translation by EOY
    • PSTN calling in Franch and Spain (Oct 2016)
    • Move users to regional data centers via PowerShell
    • Video Meeting with no plug in Office Web Apps (OWA)
    • No conversion from UCMA to Trusted Application API
    • Skype Teams – *shhhh* – the "slack" killer?!? You'll have to wait and see!
  • MS Flow
    • Create flow from mobile device
    • Flow connector (???)
  • Networking – this wasn't a part of Ignite, but it happened during it!
  • OneDrive
    • Offline and Online selective sync is back!
    • SharePoint Online and OneDrive folders sync'd
    • Activity Center (view status)
    • 20 new Browser based thumbnail previews
    • iOS and Android notification of files shared with you
    • View stats on file views
    • Multiple files downloaded as a ZIP
    • Stats
      • 10B new files each month
      • 150M mobile app downloads
      • 25 Petabytes of data each month
    • OneDrive API coming to SharePoint 2016 on-premises
    • API changes coming #BRK3082
      • Custom File Handlers
      • File Tags
      • Custom Metadata extensions
      • File versions
      • ":" notiation and "UploadSession" support
  • Delve
    • Office Graph is now Microsoft Graph
    • Delve Analytics is now MyAnalytics
    • People Profile page is updated
    • People Hover is updated
  • Partnerships
  • Products
    • Windows Server 2016
      • Nano Server – headless HyperV feature
        • 400-500MB fast boot OS
      • Storage Spaces Direct (S2D)
        • 2 and 3-node support
      • Containers
        • Windows
        • Hyper-V
      • Key Storage Drive
        • Shielded VMs and Bitlocker protected VMs for older OSs
    • System Center 2016
      • Insights and Analytics (Azure SQL, MySQL, VMware)
      • Automation and Control (keep systems up to date)
      • Security and Compliance (threat detection)
      • Protection and Recovery (backup and restore with Linux and VMWare)
    • Microsoft StaffHub
  • Security
    • Windows 10 Security Features
    • Edge Browser Features
  • Office 365
    • New App Launcher
    • New Admin UI
    • Conditional Access – Access Policies (network, device)
    • Customer controlled keys
    • Team site classification
    • hybrid auditing

Other Ignite Reviews:

Enjoy, see you in Orlando in 2017! You can pre-register here!


Unify and Modernize your ECM and Records Management System

This is our recent email marketing release.  A lot of this is possible due to the PowerStreamECM tool I have built over the past year using my experience in all my previous SharePoint projects and migrations.  If you have questions about doing a complex ECM migration, let me know!


Reduce Complexity and Cost

To reduce system support cost, risk, and complexity, many organizations are seeking to consolidate and modernize Enterprise Content and Records Management Systems. Consolidation reduces the costs associated with licensing, support, training, and infrastructure.

Migrating from legacy ECM systems to SharePoint enables organizations to manage collaboration-oriented content and records in a single, modern, repository. This improves the user experience and facilitates the use of a standardized taxonomy, which enhances findability, content lifecycle management, and the ability to respond to eDiscovery and public records requests.

Our extensive experience in legacy ECM migrations includes migrations from FileNet, Oracle, OpenText, Documentum, Questys, and others, to SharePoint, which can typically be achieved for less than the annual maintenance cost for these systems.

Services include:

Taxonomy Development
Metadata Clean-up
TIF to Searchable PDF Conversion
Enhanced search and Content Reorganization
Implementation of Advanced Records Management Capabilities and Products

  Benefits of migrating to a unified, modern system:
Reduce complexity and costs associated with licensing, support, training, and infrastructure
Improved user experience, adoption, and compliance
Mitigate risk and manage the lifecycle of content using uniform retention and disposition policies
Better support for eDiscovery, transparency and regulatory requirements
Enhanced findability and automation of business processes

FileNet to SharePoint – PowerStreamECM

It has been a very busy last few months!  I have built two major products both of which I now get to blog about before Ignite!  I have always been interested in building cool stuff and over the years I have done some pretty awesome things.  One of which was to migrate Oracle Portal to SharePoint for General Atomics here in San Diego.  Since then I have done other migrations, but have not had the exposure to some of the more popular ECM products out in the wild.  That has all changed since the beginning of the year.  Since being at ShareSquared I have got to see two more major ECM products in action:

FileNet was one of the more simple ones to figure out.  I can now use our PowerStreamECM product to migrate your old or new FileNet systems to SharePoint 2013/2016/O365 without any type of translation in-between. Just straight from the source to the target!

If you have a FileNet system that you want migrated, let me know!  We have done this so many times now we have the design, management and implementation of all the pieces down to an art form!

If you are interested in moving your old content to SharePoint, contact me at:



Installing Service Bus 1.0 and Service Bus 1.1 in Azure VM – Exit code: 15010 – Error 1722 – Installation success or error status: 1603

Have been doing a lot of Azure provisioning lately and ran across an interesting issue with the latest VMs in Azure.  Seems some registry keys are missing which will cause you to run across these errors:

MSI (s) (44:CC) [21:33:14:551]: Note: 1: 1722 2: DoFabricSetup 3: C:Program FilesWindows FabricinFabricFabric.Code.1.0MSIHiddenAppLauncher.exe 4: FabricSetup /operation:install /gac /trace:"C:ProgramDataWindows FabricFabriclog" /fabricDataRoot:"C:ProgramDataWindows Fabric\" /traceBufferSizeInKB:128 /traceFileSizeInMB:128 /fabricPrincipal:"contosos2admin" CustomAction DoFabricSetup returned actual error code 1 (note this may not be 100% accurate if translation happened inside sandbox)

FabricSetup.EventLog,wevtutil failed to install manifest C:Program FilesWindows Exit code: 15010 

A partial solution was provided across a couple posts out there, but nothing that comprehensiving fixes it right away:

  • – Talks about various reasons why you might get these errors, none resolved my issue
  • – Talks about a service not being enabled, but in my case it was
  • that Channel "0" is missing in another instance
  •– Shows that the Azure VM Agent causes an issue with installing and uninstalling things.  This partially fixes the problem, but was missing the "0" channel.  Adding it with the right values fixes the Service Bus install issue:

Here is the full registry file to get Service Bus 1.0 and Service Bus 1.1 to install in Azure VMs:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00








Videos – K2 vs Nintex – Want to know the real difference between the two? Here ya go!

Now that I have access to just about every 3rd party ISV software for SharePoint (K2, Nintex, VisualSP, ConceptSearch, Ephesoft, KnowledgeLake, etc, etc, etc), I have been able to install and configure all of them. And in most cases, I have automated the install of all of them (more on that in a later blog post after our new site goes live).  Due to this ISV software exposure, I was asked by some individuals to do a K2 vs Nintex comparison video.  Well, it takes more than just one video to really show the differences between the two.  So, here are a set of videos that you can review to see what the real differences are.  This is the list of videos that I will be posting in the next few days:

FYI: If you need Nintex Training or Nintex Subscription pricing, let me know! 

  • Headsup Install ( Videos : K2 vs Nintex)
    • Winner – Nintex
    • Why?
      • Nintex install takes around 10 minutes total for all components
      • Nintex install is simple .NET installer that adds solutions to your farm (and with Nintex Live, two windows services)
      • Nintex doesn't need a license key to install and configure
      • K2 install takes over an hour, and in many cases, up to 3 to get install properly
      • K2 requires a license to install it
      • K2 install has multiple components, each requiring much more time to install than the respective Nintex parts
  • Headsup ConfigurationAdmin UI (Videos – K2 vs Nintex)
    • Winner – Nintex
    • Why?
      • Nintex is SharePoint feature based – simply activate the features – all changes are inherited – no real updating of anything
      • Nintex is integrated into SharePoint Central Administration
      • Nintex has its own category of links, all of which are simple and easy to maneuver around
      • K2 requires you to leave SharePoint to configure anything admin
        related.  You can always put a link to the K2 admin UI in Central Admin,
        but you still have to leave SharePoint to get to it
      • The K2 admin UI is a bit slow and its not very intuitive.
      • K2 utilizes the App Model, this means extra work to deploy the app across web application boundaries (multiple app catalogs), and you have to "add" the app to each web you want to use it on
      • You must also ensure that you can connect to the K2 server for the app to function properly (mean properly setting up the SSL bindings on the K2 server).
      • K2 app updates mean you have to redeploy the app to each web (no easy automation available for this unless you are an old school SharePoint person)
  • Headsup Designer(s) (Videos – K2 vs Nintex)
    • Winner – Tie
      • Nintex has a very simple web based Designer for both workflows and forms.  It is integrated into the browser, no separate applications, all via a rich web client.
      • K2 has many ways to design "processes" aka workflows.  You can do it via the browser, or you can do it via Designer tools like K2 Studio, Visual Studio or a web based designer.
      • K2 is a bit more complex to work with and understand the various UIs versus the simple-ness of Nintex
  • Headsup Site and List Workflow (Videos – K2 vs Nintex)
    • Winner – Tie
    • Why
      • TODO
  • Headsup Actions (Videos – K2 vs Nintex)
    • Winner Nintex
    • Why
      • TODO
  • Headsup Forms (Videos – K2 vs Nintex)
    • Winner Nintex
    • Why?
      • TODO
  • Headsup Extensability (Videos – K2 vs Nintex)
    • Winner – Nintex
    • Why
      • TODO
  • Headsup O365 versions (Videos – K2 vs Nintex)
    • Winner – Nintex
    • Why?
      • Nintex just works.  Period.  Install the O365 Workflow and Forms apps, your up and running with a 30 day trial.  Easy.  After the trial, call your Nintex Partner (ACS of course) and we can get you activated same day.  Easy.
      • K2 takes a very complicated process of working with them to setup a backend tenant tied to your O365 tenant.  You must also be given the AppIt app to install into your app catalog in order to use it (it is not in the SharePoint store).
      • K2 also requires that you continue to use it or the OAuth token will expire and the system won't be able to talk back to your O365 instance.  You'll get a ton of emails notifying you of this until you click the link to refresh it.

Overall, I prefer Nintex over K2.  I'll get flak for that statement (but most of my friends have left K2 for various reasons I'm not at liberty to share at this point so maybe not).  Some will say, but have you seen the extensibliliy and architecture of K2 behind the scenes?  I'll simply say yes, but customers don't care about that.  They want something that is easy to install, easy to get started with and productive out of the box.  Nintex does that perfectly.


SP2013 vs SP2016 RTM – Diff at assembly level

Here is the latest diff on the SP2016 vs SP2013 code base.  From here you can explore what were some of the more deeper changes in the code.  Biggest changes:

  • All legacy Office Web Apps dlls are now removed
  • Previously I mentioned that silverlight dlls looked to be removed, they are in fact still around
  • Similarly, all the Ceres Search Flow resource dlls are still around
  • Same as last post – All Education dlls are finally removed
  • Still have dependencies on some 3rd party installed dlls:
    • Reporting Services 10.0+
    • Windows Azure Storage
    • Microsoft.Azure.GraphClient.FirstClient – still have no idea where to get this one
    • NewtonSoft.Json 6.0 – used in Search
    • System.Web.Http – used in Search
    • Microsoft.Data (5.3 and 5.6) – seems some dlls have old 5.3 references that have not been updated
  • ChicagoIntegration is gone from RTM – *LOL* [:D]
  • All new Ceres Push API code now exists:
    • Microsoft.Ceres.ContentEngine.ContentPush
    • Microsoft.Ceres.ContentEngine.Operators.ContentPush
    • Microsoft.Ceres.ContentEngine.Processing.ContentPush
    • Microsoft.ContentPushFlow
    • Microsoft.ContentPushHybridFlow
  • New Ceres Flows (for more information on what flows are – see my other post):
    • Microsoft.ContentPushFlow
    • Microsoft.ContentPushHybridFlow
    • Microsoft.ConversationalLatencyFlow
    • Microsoft.CrawlerPropertyReportingSubFlow
    • Microsoft.CrawlerSecurityInsertHybridSubFlow
    • Microsoft.DataLossPreventionSubFlow
    • Microsoft.DeleteTenantFromIndexSystemFlow
    • Microsoft.DocumentPreviewMetadataFeederFlow
    • Microsoft.ExplorerFlow
    • Microsoft.GraphSearchProviderFlow
    • Microsoft.IndexingSubFlow
    • Microsoft.PeopleSuggestionDictionaryDeploymentFlow
    • Microsoft.SignalStoreInputFlow
    • Microsoft.UsageAnalyticsImportFlow
  • OfficeGraph API exists:
    • Microsoft.Ceres.External.ContentApi.GraphExtensions
    • Microsoft.Ceres.SearchCore.GraphModel
    • Microsoft.Ceres.SearchCore.GraphQueryModel
    • Microsoft.Ceres.SearchCore.GraphSeedingModel
    • Microsoft.Ceres.SearchCore.GraphServer.Managed
    • Microsoft.Ceres.SearchCore.GraphStatusModel
    • Microsoft.Ceres.SearchCore.Indexes.GraphServerIndex
  • Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Directory
    • CSOM for the new UserProfile sync stuff
  • Interesting new dll – Microsoft.Office.BigData.DataLoader.*
    • Have no idea what this is, but it looks interesting…
  • New compliance assemblies:
    • Microsoft.Office.CompliancePolicy.Platform

This supplements the following blog posts: