As announced on the 15th of July, on the Microsoft SharePoint Team Blog, a major infrastructure update was made available for download. The update has been broken up into three separate patches and the following sections will note what products they relate to along with the “best” fixes / enhancements. The sections are:
- Infrastructure Update for Microsoft Office Servers (KB951297)
- Infrastructure Update for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (KB951695)
- Infrastructure Update for Microsoft Office Project 2007 (KB951547)
Infrastructure Update for Microsoft Office Servers (KB951297)
This update relates to the following products:
- Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007
- Microsoft Office Project Server 2007
- Microsoft Search Server 2008
- Microsoft Search Server 2008 Express
This update is the biggest, in my opinion, and not only resolves issues, but also includes 2 new Enterprise Search components, namely Federated Search and a unified administration dashboard. These components shipped with Search Server 2008 and Search Server 2008 Express and will now be available in SharePoint 2007! Over and above the additional components a large amount of issues have also been resolved. This update is so significant that I’m still left wondering why this isn’t a service pack.
In any event, here is a quick summary of the added components followed by my list of fixes I’m happy to see:
I must admit, although I’m excited about Federated Search, I’m not entirely sure what all the fuss is about. Federated Search gives SharePoint administrators the ability to create connections from their intranet to external sites for indexing purposes. This is not a new concept as this ability was, and still is, available natively from within SharePoint 2007. Administrator can very easily add multiple content sources to their search, including file shares, exchange folder, third party data (via BDC) and internet sites to “federate” their results.
Having said that, I’m happy that Microsoft have gone this route as it gives the less tech savvy administrator the ability to add value in their organisation easier (hopefully) as the setup and configuration should be less cumbersome.
Here is a screenshot of the updated results:
Federated Search Results
Unified Administration Dashboard:
The updated dashboard consolidates all the search related functions into one page. This is going to make the life of the SharePoint Administrator a lot easier. Although Microsoft have tried their best to layout the navigation and menu structure of the Central and Shared Service Provider Administration to be as self explanatory as possible, I still find myself getting a little lost in it from time to time.
Here is a screenshot of the updated dashboard:
Unified Administration Dashboard
Here is a list of the fixes I’m very happy have been included:
- Several database indexing adjustments are made to improve performance of core client-and-server scenarios, such as “Save and Publish” scenarios
- Resolves the most common usability issues that prohibit deployment for some customers
- Adds some end-user functionality that existed in Project 2003. For example, the update adds the following functionality: • You can sort on any column.
• The My Tasks page can be grouped.
• You can determine the hierarchy of a task. This functionality can be useful if you have multiple tasks that have the same name.
- In Microsoft Office Servers Service Pack 1, a Web Part property named Hours per day was added to the My Tasks view. This property lets you enter daily actual work in a grid in the My Tasks view. This Web Part property is now exposed in the View Options area. It appears as Timephased View
Infrastructure Update for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (KB951695)
This update relates to:
- Windows SharePoint Services 3.0
This update centres mainly around Workflow and Content Deployment, but here are the updates that I’m happy to see:
- Miscellaneous deadlocks occur in Microsoft SQL Server
- Custom master page settings on the source site are not propagated to the destination site during deployment. (I was hoping that they would solve the masterpage propogation to child sites, guess we will need to wait)
For a full description of what is resolved with this update, please read this article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/953749/
Infrastructure Update for Microsoft Office Project 2007 (KB951547)
This update relates to:
- Microsoft Office Project Professional 2007
A lot of work has been done on the “Cost resources” side of things, which is great news as apart from tracking progress, tracking cost is exceptionally important. Here are the updates that I’m happy to see:
- When you enter actual cost for a task, the task’s finish date changes. Additionally, the new date differs from the assignment’s finish date
- Random costs are added to the planned cost contour when you enter actual costs at the end of the established contour
- Addressed top issues that relate to active cache data resiliency (Looking forward to seeing how this update works in practise)
- Added a dialog box that notifies users to make sure that you save all pending project data to the Project Server Queue before they exit Project Professional
- When you receive an error message in Project 2007, you may receive a check-in request message
For a full description of what is resolved with this update, please read this article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/953751/