March 2012 - Posts

I’m excited to be speaking at a number of events over the next few weeks.  The first event is SharePoint Saturday New Orleans this weekend on 3/24.  There, I’ll be speaking about developing solutions for SharePoint Online (Office 365).  This new talk will be packed full of information, tips and more.  We’ll even look at how we can use Visual Studio 11 Beta to make deploying to the cloud easier.

Then on Tuesday of next week (3/27), I’ll be speaking at the San Antonio SharePoint Users Group.  This is my first appearance there and I’ll be showing off the new features in Visual Studio 11 for SharePoint development. 

Then on April 4th, the Houston Cloud Tech Symposium is coming up.  I’ll be speaking about using SharePoint Online as an extranet.  That’s the day after my birthday but I’m sure everything will be fine. :)

Finally, to wrap up April (4/28), we have SharePoint Saturday Houston.  For those of you who have been before, you know that this event, it will be no less than epic.  Last year will be hard to beat.

I’m excited about all of these events coming up.  All of these are brand new talks so I hope they are good. :)

Follow me on twitter: @coreyroth.

When I am booted into Windows 8, I often find myself wanting to run some of my existing virtual machines that I created in Oracle Virtualbox of VMWare Workstation.  These products do run under Windows 8 but there are a few things you need to know.  First, you need to know that VMWare Workstation does not get along with the Hyper-V role.  I am excited to try out Hyper-V and see if it can become my full-time virtualization platform.  However, if you do install that role, when you launch a virtual machine in VMWare, you will be told that it is not compatible with Hyper-V and it will simply not run.

Since it will take me some time to get my virtual machines running on Hyper-V, I am not ready to make that jump yet.  I removed the Hyper-V role and then fired up VMWare Workstation again.  When I launched the virtual machine, I got an error about vmci.sys.  This actually used to work prior to installing the Hyper-V role.  I first tried a repair on the VMWare Workstation installation.  Unfortunately, that did not work.  Next, I uninstalled VMWare, while preserving my license and virtual machine configuration.  Once, I reinstalled, I could launch my virtual machines again.

If you have used Excel Web App (part of Office Web Apps), you are familiar with the fact that there is no “Save” button.  The changes you make are immediately saved back to SharePoint and you even have multiple people editing the spreadsheet at the same time with Co-authoring.  I had always wondered what happened when it comes to versioning so today I decided to dig a little deeper to find out what happens.  We’ll start with editing an Excel document in the browser with versioning enabled.  Whenever you change the value of a cell, the results are immediately saved back to SharePoint.  However, opening a second browser to look at the versioning shows that we are still on the same version.


The changes have been saved to SharePoint, but no version has been created.  Effectively, you can think of this as the same thing as calling .SystemUpdate() for you programmers out there.  However, what I have found is if you wait long enough (a couple of minutes), eventually it will go and commit a new version.  Otherwise, it will commit a new version when you


A new version will also be created if you close the document (either close out of the file menu or using the breadcrumbs).  Where it gets really interesting is when you have multiple editors.  You’ll see the same behavior as before, where a new version will be saved a few minutes after the first change.  However, if multiple changes have occurred, it will write the last author’s name into the version.


However, ultimately whomever closes their browser session last (or times out last apparently) is the final author of the version.  In this case, Anna closes the document first, then I closed it.  It then goes back and updates the author and modified date on version 4.


In summary, Excel Web App will create a new version automatically for you if one hasn’t been created whenever you close the editor or after a period of time has elapsed after the first change.  Whomever makes changes last will end being the ultimate author of that version.  Btw, I have never seen it create a second version of a document when you leave it open for a long period of time.  It appears that it will only create one version for a given Co-authoring editing session.  Hopefully, this help you understand how versioning with Excel Web App works better.  These examples were demonstrated using my Office 365 E3 account.