Participating with BrightStarr in Axceler’s ‘Change Hero’ roadshow event in London

On 13th March 2013 I will be presenting at Axceler’s road show event in London.

My presentation title is “The Road to SharePoint Success“. In this presentation I will be highlighting the most attractive features in SharePoint 2013, what you need to do to achieve a successful SharePoint project and intranet design mistakes.

The event will be held at Microsoft London offices.

I will post the slides on slideshare after the event.

Bug in Content Search webpart SharePoint 2013

Search is now used pervasively in SharePoint 2013 across different features. Content search webpart is an amazing feature in SharePoint 2013 that provides the flexibility to surface any content in SharePoint pages.

We are using content search webpart in different project but we came through a strange exception throw by the webpart. This is a screen shot for the webpart when the exception happened


This is exception doesn’t occur in a defined pattern or in a certain scenario. We are still investigating this issue and opened a support case with Microsoft.

If you have any clue on this problem please contact me or leave a comment.

Note: We are using SharePoint 2013 RTM


New Service Applications introduced in SharePoint 2013

SharePoint 2013 continues to adapt service applications model which started with SharePoint 2010.

In a previous article I have illustrated the service applications deprecated in SharePoint 2013, in this article we are going to discuss new service applications introduced in SharePoint 2013.

App Management Service Application

Apps for SharePoint are self-contained pieces of functionality that extend the capabilities of a SharePoint website. The App management service is a new service application that enables you to purchase apps from Microsoft marketplace and to create your internal enterprise apps catalogue for hosting internally developed apps.

App management service allows the SharePoint Administrator to manage the Apps available in their farm, permissions and the licenses for these Apps.

Machine Translation Service Application

The translation service provides an automated translation for SharePoint content through the integration with the available cloud-based translation services or it can create translation package to be delivered to a translation vendor and import back the translated content.

Work Management Service Application

One of the brilliant features in SharePoint 2013 personal site is providing the user with a single view of all the tasks assigned to him in all the SharePoint sites (projects, teams…etc.). The Work Management service application is responsible for collecting this information and not only from SharePoint sites, the Work Management service application can aggregate the tasks from Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Project server and a custom provider model can be integrated.

The following screen shot illustrates My tasks in personal site



Related Resources

How to: Set up an on-premises development environment for apps for SharePoint

Machine Translation Services in SharePoint 2013

Create and configure Machine Translation services in SharePoint Server 2013

Walkthrough SharePoint 2013 features in the work management service application

The Brilliance of SharePoint 2013’s new Work Management service application!!

Keep track of your work

Service applications deprecated in SharePoint 2013

Office Web Apps

Microsoft Office Web Apps is the online companion to Office Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote applications that enables users regardless of their location to access documents and edit documents. Users can view, share, and work on documents with others online across personal computers, mobile phones, and the Web. Office Web Apps is available to users through Windows Live and to business customers with Microsoft Office 2010 volume licensing and document management solutions based on Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Products.
Source: Office Web Apps overview (Installed on SharePoint 2010 Products)

Office web app Preview is no longer a service application and it will be a separate server product that you will install on separate server role.

You can create farm for office web app servers and it will be used to view files not only from SharePoint but from different sources such as Exchange, Lync and file servers, also it will integrate with 3rd party platforms such as EMC, Filenet..etc.

Office web app Preview farm version does not need to be in sync with you SharePoint farm version.

Office Web Apps Preview licensing offers two options:

  • View-only. By default, Office Web Apps Preview is view-only. View-only functionality is provided for free.
  • Edit and view. You must purchase an editing license to use the editing features of Office Web Apps Preview with SharePoint 2013 Preview. You enable editing when you create the Office Web Apps Server farm.



Introducing Office Web Apps Server
Plan Office Web Apps Preview (Used with SharePoint 2013 Preview Products)
Overview of Office Web Apps Server Preview

Web Analytics

Web Analytics in SharePoint Server 2010 has been discontinued and is not available in SharePoint 2013 Preview. Analytics processing for SharePoint 2013 Preview is now a component of the Search service.

The Analytics Processing Component in SharePoint 2013 Preview runs analytics jobs to analyse content in the search index and user actions that are performed on SharePoint sites.

Source: Changes from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013 Preview

Note: this article is based on SharePoint 2013 Preview and there might be some changes on the release version


Workflows in SharePoint 2013

SharePoint 2013 comes with two SharePoint workflow platforms (SharePoint 2010 Workflow platform and SharePoint 2013 workflow platform)

SharePoint 2010 Workflow engine is installed automatically with SharePoint 2013 and this engine allows the workflows were built using SharePoint 2010 to continue working on SharePoint 2013. With SharePoint 2010 workflow platform you will have the same experience with building workflows on SharePoint 2010.

You can have the features of SharePoint 2013 workflow platform when you install and configure Windows Azure Workflow service.

SharePoint 2013 workflow platform includes these new features:

  • A visual workflow development experience in SharePoint designer 15
  • A new action to call web services
  • New actions to start another workflows (the ability to work like an orchestrator)
  • New workflow building blocks such as Stage, Loop and App Step

Workflows built using Windows Azure workflow can take advantage of several new capabilities

  • High density
  • Elastic scale
  • Tracking and monitoring
  • Managed service reliability

Read more

Note: this article is based on SharePoint 2013 Preview and there might be some changes on the release version

SharePoint 2013 Workflows Platform Type


Using SharePoint designer 15 you can develop workflows that’s identical to SharePoint designer 2010 workflows or target the new workflows in SharePoint 2013. This is dependent on the platform type you choose when you create your workflow (see the following screen shot).


Sometimes when you try to choose the platform type you will see only SharePoint 2010 workflow option. to be able to use SharePoint 15 Workflow option you will need to have Windows Azure workflow installed and configured.

Theses are helpful resources

Creating a workflow by using SharePoint Designer 2013 and the SharePoint 2013 Workflow platform
How to: Set up and configure SharePoint 2013 workflows


SharePoint 2013 Search


SharePoint 2013 has a lot of new features in different workloads. Enterprise search is one of the workloads that has a lot of updates and enhancements. Here I am listing the main new features that has been enhanced/added to SharePoint 2013



  • Combination of FAST and SharePoint Search: all FAST search server and SharePoint features are now combined and available in SharePoint 2013
  • Installed by default: no more separate FAST search server installation, search is now a built-in service application
  • Used pervasively throughout the platform: search is used in different features, content roll up, analytics, content query…etc.
  • High Scalability: implicitly SharePoint 2013 search inherits the high scalability model of FAST search server
  • Continuous Crawling: this is new interesting feature, where the farm administrator can enable continuous crawling for content so once you add a new document it can appear in the search results in matter of minutes even it will not wait for indexing to finish to appear in the search results
  • Site administrators can manage result sources: content sources is now called result sources. Result sources can be defined by site administrator not like the old days which was configured only through the service application
  • Entity Extraction: it is one of FAST search core features, you can manage entity extraction through managed metadata settings in the term store. so you add new entities as a new term
  • Schema management: schema is the columns you want to expose managed properties in the search. schema can be managed by the site administrators.
  • Custom Ranking Model: in SharePoint 2013 you can define custom ranking model for your search results through Powershell commands.
  • Query Suggestions: SharePoint 2013 suggests queries for the user based on the links the users clicked before and based on other users search queries
  • Query Rules: you can define rules for each query based on keywords or who is searching and based on this you can start different queries or change the original query.
  • Search Refinements: you can easily define search refinements through managed data through marking the term as available for refinement.

Happy SharePoint 2013