Ty Anderson

Office 365 Newswire: SharePoint Online set to release new features – 2.24.2012

Have I mentioned that I’m a native Texan? I try not to make a big deal of it but the fact is that all good Texans have a superiority complex regarding the other states in the USA. We know we are better. This is because we were once our very own republic. There are other reasons to be sure but this one typically wins the argument with our friends from other states. Also, we are the largest state in the contiguous US. We have desert, mountains, beaches, forests, mesas, and hill country.

One of my favorite artists/blogger/writer is this crazy Texan that draws doodles on the backs of business cards. He has carved out quite a living and now has a gallery. This item pretty sums out our (Texans) tongue-in-cheek sentiments:Texas

Mind you, we don’t mean any offense. It’s locker-room talk really. We are just a proud lot with pride in our state. In fact, I think Texans are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet. After all, our state motto is “The Friendship State”. If you walk down a busy street, you will be forced to respond to total strangers saying, “Howdy”, as you pass them by. If you tried that in New York, someone would hit you! You don’t talk to strangers in New York.

Why do I raise the topic of Texas to start the Office 365 Newswire? Because yesterday was the 176th anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of the Alamo. It isn’t Texas Independence Day (that’d be March 2nd) but it evokes more emotion.

During and after the Battle of the Alamo, Texans weren’t feeling particularly friendly. In fact they took it to General Santa Anna and won Independence less than 2-months later.

This history & cultural lesson doesn’t directly relate to today’s newswire except that I am a Texan and I wrote today’s newswire.

Thank you for your patience, now let’s get down to today’s Office 365 content.

Office 365 news & editorials

Office 365 tips, tricks & tools

  • Download a Metro UI theme for SharePoint Online :: You guys ever wonder who those people are in the default SharePoint Site image? I asked my kids what they thought these people were doing. They didn’t know and quickly jumped to topic of their names. My kids decided to name them Bob, Joe, and Bob. I think the first Bob is short for Bobbie. Despite the silliness found in my house, this is a nice looking theme. I think I will use it with my Office 365 account.

Metro UI theme for SharePoint Online

  • The SharePoint Decision: Do we choose cloud or on-premises? :: Moving to Exchange online is easy. Just migrate user mailboxes to the cloud, change DNS, federate Active Directory, & configure desktops and… BAM! You have email in the sky! SharePoint is a different animal however. This article will help you think through the plethora of issues. It’s enough to make you want to invoke the Ramya rule: delete everything and start over. There is a story behind the Ramya rule. Maybe I’ll tell you some day.
  • Improve collaboration with SharePoint Online :: I don’t know. This article might help you if this is a problem. I skimmed it and it barely made the cut for the newswire. I still have second thoughts about including it. I think my issue here is not the content. I think it might be good. But lordy, lordy the formatting kills my eyes! Small text and long paragraphs hurt. I’m too old for bad formatting.
  • Office 365 is super-duper-awesome for managing projects :: I’ve used SharePoint to manage projects for years. Sometimes I give into my team’s desire to use FogBugz, GitHub, BaseCamp, and whatever other app is the project management flavor of the month. I always return to SharePoint. It works for me because I make it work for me. I like that. I think Office 365 is good now and stands to be great as it progresses. I know I’ve included similar items recently. What can I say? I liked this one.
  • 30 (compelling) features in 30 days :: I like lists. They make information easy to consume (unlike the item two bullets above). This is a good series if you are looking to learn about Office 365 in byte-size chunks. Yes, that was a nerdy pun I just unleashed on you. I’m not sure how I feel about myself for typing it but there it is nonetheless. Don’t tell my wife… she’ll make serious fun of me for it. Deservedly so too.
  • Get the most out of SharePoint Online in Office 365 :: If you like videos, this is the link for you. There are videos covering document management, managing projects, office integration, access services, and much more. I watch several of them and was impressed not with the content, but the quality of the videos. They don’t stink!

Office 365 developer & IT admin items of note

  • Pro Office 365 development :: I included this book awhile back but it is closer now to publication. I’m currently reading it b/c I was able to get my hands on an early copy from Apress. I’ll report back after I’ve completed it. It’s nice to see developer books being released for Office 365.
  • CRM 2011 online and SharePoint 2010 integration with BCS :: I found this item while cursing my existence working with SharePoint Online, SQL Azure, and the BCS. When you see the final product of my effort, there will be no cursing but know it was painful. I’m ready for MSFT to make this easier already. While we wait for that to happen, read this item from the Lightning Tools guys. These guys are hard-core BCS dudes and this is a great article.
  • Office 365 Identity Management & Federation session :: Active Directory federation is a big deal. This recorded webcast will consume your lunch time while you consume your lunch. So grab your po’boy and learn a thing or two about identity management with Office 365.
  • Visual Studio 11 Beta coming soon! :: I’m looking forward to seeing what’s new. But given where we are with the Office 15/SharePoint 15/Office 365 wave, I doubt there will be anything to tip us off about what’s next.

Cutting room floor

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