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  def Softwaremaker() :
         return "William Tay", "<Challenging Conventions />"

  knownType_Serialize, about = Softwaremaker()
 

 Monday, May 31, 2010

Google has released an analysis on the 1000 most visited sites on the web. Considering that we own/operate 3 of the top 10 sites and has a significant interest in Facebook, plus this recent report that states that Microsoft employees are the most social-media-savvy will go to great lengths to show how well we can operate in our cloud and social media integration and collaboration strategies.

Monday, May 31, 2010 5:11:40 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Monday, June 25, 2007

    Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) has the term "Portal" dropped for a reason. Unfortunately, just like everything else, we have to carry our legacy along and that means that customers today still view MOSS as a portal product play.

    While I would not disagree with that, portal functionality is but one of the collaborative features that comes along with MOSS. I usually encourage people to view SharePoint as a platform. An application development platform to enable and extend collaborative, unified communicative, interative and intuitive solutions. Because SharePoint comes with rather rich features and functionalities out-of-the-box (ootb) and because the underlying platform is on Microsoft .NET 2.0, customizing and extending SharePoint is easy.

    One of the things that people tend to look past in SharePoint, besides its inherent features and functionalities such as Search, Document Management, Personalization, etc are some of the elements of Social Computing that comes with it or that can be extended with it. 

    Of course, there are the blogs, wikis features that are out-of-the-box. I see many compare with the blogs or wikis-specific application engines out there and argue that MOSS is rather short at times. Again, I point to the fact that MOSS is an application platform. It is made to reach its potential throught customization. While this can be done manually, there are many many many 3rd party best-of-breed solutions out there on top of SharePoint today that can really transform SharePoint. I mean, who really would know SharePoint is powering sites like this and this? These solutions can be found commercially via the many Microsoft partners out there as well as via the communities such as Codeplex, SourceForge.NET, and other online communities such as here, here and here, just to name a few.

    To further enhance its social computing features, you can just simply just use a few lines of very simple AJAX scripts on ASP.NET 2.0 to transform SharePoint to enable cross-community collaboration such as with del.icio.us, flickr, digg, snap, soapbox, etc.

    Of course, Microsoft is quick to extend its ootb features with the release of its online business toolkit which further enhances the Web 2.0 capabilities of SharePoint. Read more about it here.

    I recently came across a request to be able to extend the ootb RSS Viewer Web Part to refresh itself (without any entire page reloading) after a configured period of time. This is so that the users would be able to see an updated view of the latest breaking news by subscribing to the RSS feeds of their favourite news service providers without pressing the Refresh F5 button many times.

    It took me exactly 15 minutes to code up a new web part to do just that using ASP.NET 2.0 and Visual Studio 2005. Actually, it just took 5-6 lines of Javascript code and I am able to have my own auto-refresh RSS web part, bearing in mind that web parts in MOSS are rendered as nothing but the <DIV> HTML tag.

      var _q = rndString(3);
      xmlhttp = new XMLHttpRequest();
      xmlhttp.open("GET", "http://www.softwaremaker.net/blog/SyndicationService.asmx/GetRss" + "?" + _q, true); // so that the browser wont read from its cache

      xmlhttp.onreadystatechange=function() {
        if(xmlhttp.readyState == 4) {
           var outputXHTML = xmlhttp.responseXML.transformNode(_yourXSLTransformHere_);
           document.getElementById('myAutoWebPartDIV').innerHTML= outputXHTML

    ...

    var t;
    t=setTimeout("_Call_This_Javascript_To_Run_Itself_After_10_Seconds()",10000)

    I will leave out the inheritance of WebParts plumblings for the reader to try out on their own on how to build and customize your own web part. Scott Guthrie provides some very good starting resource on how to do so va his blog post here.

    As you can gather from here, with the right mix of .NET 2.0 code and Javascript, the possibilities of having Web 2.0 capabilities in SharePoint is really only limited by your imagination. All you really need to do is just to get your hands dirty and try.

    Monday, June 25, 2007 12:05:54 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Sunday, May 20, 2007

    I had talked about Yahoo! Pipes here. It didnt take long (well, maybe longer than some of us would like ..) before MSFT Corp came up with something even better ... AND I mean real better with Silverlight and the works.

    I have played around with it and I am IMPRESSED and HOOKED. Upsize my mashups, please.

    While Microsoft Popfly is still in alpha, you can still check it out here. To find out what it actually is, there is a good demo-ONLY video here.

    Welcome to the Social.

    Sunday, May 20, 2007 3:23:23 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Friday, May 18, 2007

    I have spent the last couple of months getting up-to-speed on Microsoft Sharepoint Portal Server (MOSS) 2007 and I must say - I AM IMPRESSED.

    A recent article in Wall Street Journal by By ROBERT A. GUTH on the April 24, 2007; Page B1 sums it up really nicely and I quote a couple of sentences from there:


    Microsoft Embeds Sleeper in Business Software (I, personally, think the 'Business Software' bit is a bit of a misnomer)

    openquotes.png SharePoint is now Microsoft's contender in an emerging battle over collaboration software with companies from a cross section of the technology industry ...

    To date, largely unheralded, Microsoft has sold 85 million licenses to the enhanced version of SharePoint across 17,000 companies. No marketing campaigns are in the works closequotes.png

    Read the full article here.

    I say it takes a lot, besides features and functionality, to be able to sell without any marketing blitz. Really, what today comes free (pre-installed) that offers Web 2.0 features and functionality (RSS, Blogs, Wikis, Suverys, Sites, Discussion Forums, Document Library), right-out-of-the-box ?

    And - We are not done. MOSS 2007 SP1 will come with additional features and functionality that will anchor it as probably one of the best-kept secrets and sleeper Microsoft products of all time that will really make it hard for anyone (customers, partners, communities, alike) to ignore.

    Watch out in the blogsphere or here for those announcements.

    Friday, May 18, 2007 12:48:43 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Wednesday, March 14, 2007

    I still get questions from many people on the field on why the fuss about mashups and why the need for it. Sometimes, it is really hard to explain when you know that the customer doesnt have a need yet. You can easily generate a "want" but a "need" is slightly more difficult...

    I was recently pointed to this really nice mashup story site here. Talk about solving your own needs by rolling up your sleeves. What is really nice about this is that this is home-grown, generated from a need to automate certain processes while searching for a book in our own local national library: National Library Board.

    Awesome solution to a "why-didnt-I-think-of-this" need.

    Wednesday, March 14, 2007 9:50:11 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Monday, February 12, 2007

    While there has been much talk everywhere in conferences, events, blogsphere about Web 2.0 and such, this video touched me more than anything else. It was created by Michael Wesch, the Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University. Amazing amazing summary of Web 2.0 in just under 5 minutes.

    After you sit through this video, chances are that you will catch your breath and go "WOW" ... and play it again. To the layman, you cannot get a better implementation that forms part of the bigger picture of Web 2.0 than this recently-released piece of work by Yahoo! called Yahoo! Pipes. This concept is well-explained via O'Reilly Radar here. Of course, my famous colleague is quick to explain he came up with this concept first.

    And doesnt the background music of that video just rock ? It is by Deus and is offered under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 license, which is yet another example of the interlinking of people sharing and collaborating media ...

     

    My good friend and extreme brain in Singapore, Wee Hyong, pointed out to me he has been working on that recently and giving a talk soon on a much related subject hereDanaїdes: Continuous and Progressive Complex Queries on RSS Feeds

    Welcome to the social.

    Monday, February 12, 2007 2:54:14 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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