USA 5: Working for Valo Intranet – and what’ve I been up to last few months

Valo Intranet team jump

I haven’t actually written that much about my daily work on this blog. I’m currently mostly involved with the Blue Meteorite’s North America team, and specialized in partner acquisition and support. Most of my time is spent either onboarding new partners, or supporting the old ones in their Valo Intranet deployments. And boy, is that not a lot of fun to do! Never before have I been able to work with so many talented people from so many different organizations, and that’s been both challenging and rewarding.

I actually wrote a few words about it on Valo Intranet’s wwebsite.. And thought I’d republish the post on this blog, as it’s related to a lot of posts here, too. Continue reading

Using SharePoint Search Query Tool

SharePoint Search Query Tool

If you’re working on SharePoint deployments, and aren’t familiar with SharePoint Search Query Tool, you’re probably doing something wrong. Or you’ve gotten a really troublefree tenant and simple requirements.. 🙂 At least for technical issues, it’s the #1 tool for debugging what’s in the index and what isn’t. This blog post describes how to use it to investigate SharePoint Online Search index issues.

This blog post is about using SharePoint Search Query Tool to investigate search index issues in SharePoint Online. First of all, you can get the tool from here: https://sp2013searchtool.codeplex.com/.

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One web developer’s story about the downfall of web hosting (EIG / Site5 review) – part 2

EIG sucks, Site5 sucks, Bluehost sucks, Hostgator sucks...

I was able to actually get most of the money EIG got from me back from them by opening a Visa claim. In this short post, I’ll try to explain how you can stop your money from being funneled to EIG’s greedy hands, if your hosting provider was taken over by them.

What happened to Site5 (and others that were savaged by EIG)?

I was a customer of Site5 pretty happily for a long time, until Endurance International Group (EIG) took them over, wrecked their infrastructure, likely moved all of the customer data outside EU (which is against our laws) and let all of the customer support staff go. Site5 was not a cheap service provider, so I hated to see I was paying for premium service, but receiving potatos instead. And of course it was sad to see a once prominent web hosting provider fall to pieces like that.

My earlier post describes my experiences with them a little more accurately.

How to avoid unnecessary trouble with your web hosting? Continue reading

Easiest way to debug Seed-method in EF Code-first migrations in Configuration.cs when running Update-Database

Sequence contains more than one element

This post describes the easiest way to debug the issues that may stop your Seed-method in Configuration.cs from going through. The solution here shows you, how you can get a little bit more information out of the process, without attaching the debugger (there’s another blog post for that!)

Description

Entity Framework’s code-first migration’s are a beautiful and easy way of managing database schema changes and populating some preliminary data there. Personally I also sometimes use the method for adding some enrichment to data or or custom property values mapping that would otherwise require an additional/external console program.

Problem: running the Seed-method is by default undebuggable

Okay – so seeding data is cool. That’s fine and dandy, but debugging the issues in the function while running Update-Database is NOT so cool. You only get the stacktrace and exception message – and that’s pretty ugly.

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Google Analytics with SharePoint

Google Analytics logo

This post describes why it’s beneficial to use a user analytics tool in your intranet. I use Google Analytics as an example of such tool, and different deployment options for SharePoint intranets are covered briefly.

Why would I use Google Analytics with my SharePoint intranet?

In general, it’s absolutely necessary for you to know your users, if you want to deliver an enjoyable user experience. One key aspect of knowing them is knowing what they do, while they use your system or service. SharePoint being a web-based software, it’s quite logical to use one of the many user analytics suites available for web sites to also analyze your intranet users.

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Fixing the “Could not load file or assembly … or one of its dependencies” error

Visual Studio logo

This post describes how to fix the “Could not load file or assembly ‘<assemblyname>’ or one of its dependencies. An attempt was made to load a program with an incorrect format.” error. 

Problem

Especially while installing a new dev machine, and building your project for the first time, you may end up getting the following exception:

No fear, though, as this is usually easily fixed. In quite a few cases, it’s simply a mismatch between architectures and easily changed.

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Site Mailboxes deprecated on SharePoint Online – use Office Groups instead

Office Group

Microsoft is deprecating, or even removing one of the widely used features in SharePoint sites – Site Mailboxes. For the end-user this might no mean much, but still requires some additional work from the administration side. In this post, I’m trying to give a rough outline, on what you (as an administrator/content producer) should do.

So, what exactly is happening?

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USA, 4: You really, REALLY need a car to get around. Hence, Cadillac!

This is the fourth post depicting me and my wife’s excursion to the USA. We are in the country to study, travel, business and leisure. Short version of the post: we went and got a car, because we didn’t have any other options.

So, what’s up?

We’ve been in the country for a couple of weeks. If there’s one thing, that’s become painfully clear, it’s the fact that you really need a car to get anywhere in this country. The only stores in Whitewater are Walgreens and Walmart, the latter being the worst kind of supermarket, where everyone goes by car. Even then, going to a supermarket by car is one thing, but getting to a goodwill or energy company or anything more excotic than a coffee shop gets borderline impossible.

Americans seem super nice, though, and we have received rides from Mari’s student friends, awesome folks at the CRU and of course our American friends Ben and David & Ellen. Having to bother other people to take you to a goodwill is pretty awful, though, so we wanted to get a car to ourselves. We had actually tentatively planned already before our trip, but things just got a more tangible when we actually got here and got to suffer from not having a vehicle on our own.

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USA, 3: Epic and local IT industry excursions

Photo from Epic System's campus

This post is about our first excursion with the international student group to see Epic System’s HQ. During the first days I also walked around the town a bit in search of wall plug adapters, and accidentally made contact with the local IT industry.

Making my EU tech work in the States

I took some tech with me to States – namely a laptop, its dock and a couple of mobile phones. I didn’t want to purchase transformers and charger for all my devices, so I took a couple of converters with me from Finland, and thought I’d buy a few more from the States.

Photo from Epic System's campus

Photo from Epic System’s campus. It’s funny to see guns explicitly forbidden for someone, who’s coming from a country where guns are always pretty much forbidden from being taken anywhere.

In search of converters (from European plug to American) I walked around the town a bit. Surprisingly, even though Whitewater is definitely a town with a lot of international students (because of the university), neither of the larger stores carried any suitable cables or converters that would enable me to use my european laptop charger and dock in here. Walmart had nothing (shame on them – Supercenter, they say?), and local Winchester Hardware had some converters but not for Europeans. Luckily, I found a smaller store when googling for related businesses, and decided to go see what they had to offer.

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Fixing Lenovo T460S Wifi connectivity issues (removing the evil versions of Intel Dual Bank Wireless-AC 8260 driver)

I recently received a new work laptop – Lenovo T460S. A cute little thing with impressive performance and reasonably good battery life. However, what people frequently complaing about online in regards of this laptop, is its absolutely, horribly awful wifi. This, in turn, is probably caused by it’s bad wifi chip, Intel Dual Bank Wireless-AC 8260. And they’re right – it’s a load of crap.

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