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    The MVP Award: Push Start

    There have been lots of stories about when and how the MVP
    Award began. Here’s what we know: The inspiration for the MVP Award was born in
    a tropical paradise.

    Twenty years ago—before Facebook or Twitter, widespread LAN
    lines or cable—there were the CompuServe forums, where technology experts could
    dial in, get answers to pressing questions and exchange ideas.

    To more easily view the most active participants, Calvin
    Hsia, a developer in Hawaii, created an application which tabulated the number
    of forum participant responses to customer issues into a database. Microsoft
    recognized the value of these contributions—to the customer experience and the
    advancement of technology--and identified 34 community leaders from “Calvin’s
    List.” They formed the original roster of Microsoft Most Valuable
    Professionals.  “We were often referred to as ‘Microsoft’s Most Verbose
    Professionals’,” Calvin joked.

    Among that inaugural group was Access MVP John Viescas, who
    now is celebrating his 20-year anniversary. Congratulations, John! You can see
    more about his story on the MVP Award web site.

    In those early years, MVPs were invited to attend Microsoft
    Tech-Ed as part of their award. “There were about a dozen of us there in March
    of 1993,” recalled Calvin. “Most of us meeting in person for the first time
    after all those interactions on CompuServe. We loved it.”

    From those original 34 MVPs, the ranks of awardees have
    grown to around 3,800 a year: experts in 90 Microsoft technologies, serving as
    community leaders in around 90 countries and helping people in more than 40
    languages. Altogether, MVPs now reach around one million Microsoft customers
    every day.

    And now, instead of being invited to meet at Tech-Ed, MVPs
    are invited to the MVP Global Summit, the largest customer event on Microsoft’s
    campus and the biggest community event in the world. These days at Tech-Ed
    events around the globe, MVPs are recognized as experts in the community and
    often serve as popular speakers.

    MVPs not only enhance people’s experience with Microsoft
    products, they help improve the products themselves. At the MVP Global Summit
    and in ongoing conversations throughout their award year, they deliver
    valuable, real-world feedback to a wide range of Microsoft product teams.

    A year after being named an MVP, Calvin joined Microsoft,
    moved to Redmond, and now is a developer on the Visual Studio team. He still
    has his welcome letter from Patti Stonesifer, who later went on to 
    launch and then serve as CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. And he still has his
    see-through mouse.

    What are your earliest memories of the MVP Award?

     


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    Editor’s Note: In partnership with Microsoft Press, MVPs have been contributing to an ongoing guest series on their official team blog. Today’s article is from SharePoint MVP Alan Richards which is the 23rd in the series.

    Installing Office Web Apps

    New for SharePoint 2013 is the introduction of Office Web Apps as a separate server system that can’t coexist with a SharePoint 2013 installation. This post isn’t going to go into the installation of SharePoint 2013 farm but to lay the background the development farm that all this is based on consists of 3 SharePoint 2013 servers, one central admin and two web front ends and then one SQL 2012 server for all the databases. All the development farm servers are running Windows Server 2012 as their operating systems.

    We now need to setup a separate server that we will use to install Office Web Apps to, this installation of Office Web Apps is then connected to SharePoint so that it can be used for opening and editing documents and also used by SharePoint 2013 to show previews of documents to users from within document libraries and also in search results

    Read Full Article Here

     

    About the author

    Alan-Headshot

    Alan Richards has been working in Schools for 18 years and during that time has been at the forefront of using IT. He has led teams that have been among the first to roll out Windows 7, Exchange 2010 and SharePoint 2010, many of these successes have been showcased in Microsoft case studies. As well as managing his own school’s SharePoint implementation he also manages the SharePoint farm for the local consortium of schools. Alan is also a regular blogger and speaker at various events.  Follow him on Twitter

    About MVP Mondays

    The MVP Monday Series is created by Melissa Travers. In this series we work to provide readers with a guest post from an MVP every Monday. Melissa is a Community Program Manager, formerly known as MVP Lead, for Messaging and Collaboration (Exchange, Lync, Office 365 and SharePoint) and Microsoft Dynamics in the US. She began her career at Microsoft as an Exchange Support Engineer and has been working with the technical community in some capacity for almost a decade. In her spare time she enjoys going to the gym, shopping for handbags, watching period and fantasy dramas, and spending time with her children and miniature Dachshund. Melissa lives in North Carolina and works out of the Microsoft Charlotte office.


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    Editor's note:  The following post was written by MVP Award Program Manager Kerry Herger

     

    The 2013 MVP Global Summit is almost upon us and in a very short time nearly 1,400 worldwide MVPs will converge on the Microsoft Redmond campus to participate in more than 550 technical sessions with hundreds of members of Microsoft product teams.

     

    The sheer number of participants—and the amount of content shared—makes this the largest community event in the world. But that’s only part of what sets this annual gathering apart. For 20 years, Microsoft teams have sat down with these community leaders and many have provided visibility into their products in the early stages of development, giving MVPs the information they need to look forward in their work with community and to gain valuable community feedback to help make our products better.

     

    Most MVPs have numerous communications with Microsoft product teams throughout their award year, but the hands-on experience and deep exchange of ideas at the Summit is something most members of the community—including Microsoft’s product teams—look forward to all year. As Amy Van Hollebeke, Microsoft CRM Senior Program Manager, explained at last year’s MVP Global Summit:  “It’s one thing to hear opinions and ideas through email—but sometimes you just get it completely differently when you’re sitting in a room together at the Summit and MVPs are able to really explain how a feature can be improved.”

     

    To lay the groundwork for this relationship, all MVPs sign a non-disclosure agreement assuring they will not share any confidential information they may gain from Microsoft. Throughout the MVP Global Summit, MVPs hear the refrain, “Don’t forget your NDA!” since it’s essential to the dynamic exchange of ideas between the MVP community and Microsoft. In
    other words, what’s shared at Summit, stays at Summit.


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    Editor’s note: The following post was written by SharePoint MVP Asif Rehmani

    A new built in functionality in SharePoint 2013 is the
    ability to show maps (spatial data) directly within a list or library using the
    Geolocation site column. Imagine having a list of your sales representatives in
    a list and being able to show their location directly on a map within
    SharePoint. Pretty powerful stuff!

    The embedded video below demonstrates how to configure and
    use the Geolocation site column directly within your SharePoint list or
    library.

      

    About the author

    SharePoint MVP Asif Rehmani is a trainer and consultant primarily focused on SharePoint technologies. He is a SharePoint MVP and MCT. Asif is the principal contributor for the SharePoint Videos website (http://www.sharepoint-videos.com) which provides SharePoint education for all levels of SharePoint users, developers and administrators. Asif has been a SharePoint speaker at numerous conferences around the world since 2006. He is the author of the books "SharePoint 2013 - First Look for Power Users", "Professional SharePoint Designer 2007", "Beginning SharePoint Designer 2010" and "Real World SharePoint 2010. Follow him on Twitter.

    About MVP Mondays

    The MVP Monday Series is created by Melissa Travers. In this series we work to provide readers with a guest post from an MVP every Monday. Melissa is a Community Program Manager, formerly known as MVP Lead, for Messaging and Collaboration (Exchange, Lync, Office 365 and SharePoint) and Microsoft Dynamics in the US. She began her career at Microsoft as an Exchange Support Engineer and has been working with the technical community in some capacity for almost a decade. In her spare time she enjoys going to the gym, shopping for handbags, watching period and fantasy dramas, and spending time with her children and miniature Dachshund. Melissa lives in North Carolina and works out of the Microsoft Charlotte office.


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    Editor’s note:  The following post was written by MVP Events Manager Paulette Suddarth

    This is always an exciting time for everyone at Microsoft who is lucky enough to engage with technical communities—the run-up to the MVP Global Summit. And this year’s Summit coincides with the kick-off to the 20-year anniversary celebration of the MVP Award!

    It will feature 1,400 MVPs from around the globe and hundreds of Microsoft team members coming together to share their ideas and news about Microsoft technologies in more than 550 technical sessions.

    Nowhere is the spirit of community more alive than at the MVP Global Summit because it takes everyone to pull off this world-class event.

    The product teams have been working for months to create technical sessions that will support the contributions MVPs make in their communities, and which set the stage for gaining valuable feedback from MVPs about current and upcoming product features.

    The MVP Award team has been looking over every detail of the event—now the largest community event in the world—to make sure it is a productive and enjoyable experience for everyone who is able to join us here at Microsoft’s world headquarters in Redmond.

    And MVPs have played an enormous role in the success and continued evolution of this event. Most who participated in last year’s Summit took the time to offer us detailed feedback about what worked and what could have been better to help us continually refine the Summit.

    Some sat on a feedback committee to help us determine event components like this year’s menu, which may seem like a small thing unless you’ve ever endured a multi-day conference with less than stellar food.

    Many helped us decide the design for this Summit’s commemorative shirt by voting on it in social media.

    And two MVPs, Lino Tadros and John Waters, created this year’s MVP Global Summit Schedule Builder phone app in all three major phone platforms to help MVPs around the world make the most of their Summit experience.

    In addition, 20 MVPs were selected as top innovative contributors in their regions and have volunteered to participate in a pre-Summit session this Sunday at the Hyatt to showcase the global reach and contributions of this community.

    As a truly community event, it takes a village to create the MVP Global Summit each year. And each year, we begin gathering community feedback and planning next year’s Summit immediately on the heels of the one that has just ended. 

    Remember to join in on the 20th anniversary celebration. If you are able to join us, please take a moment to sign the 20-Year Anniversary banner and mark your place in time with this remarkable community.


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    Outlook MVP Diane Poremsky and Visio MVP John Marshall are no strangers to the MVP Summit.  Between the two, they’ve attended 23 total MVP Summits.  We asked them to share a few tips for all those first-time summit attendees.

    Diane Poremsky

    So you’re a first time attendee to the MVP Summit – what can you expect? Late nights getting to know your fellow MVPs, early morning sessions learning about Microsoft products. Putting faces and voices to people you see online and making new friends.

    I know everyone has heard this a million times, but here it is again: Don’t break the NDA. Microsoft trusts us with their “secrets” and breaking that trust hurts all of us. Twitter will survive if you don’t tweet everything that happens at the summit. The blogging world won’t end if you don’t tell everything you know.

    There will be “events” every night – in addition to the attendee party, MVP’s organize their own parties and dinners and it’s a great way to network with your fellow MVPs.  Have fun, but not so much fun that you sleep through the first morning session.

    Getting to know the members of the product teams face to face is well worth getting up early, even if you were out late the night before. As an added bonus, early risers have no lines, no waiting at breakfast. While you can have a table all to yourself at 6:30 AM, it’s a great time to meet new people and learn what the MVPs in other technologies are doing.

    While Bellevue has nice shopping and restaurants near the hotels (including a Microsoft store), if you have a chance to go into downtown Seattle, take it! It is a beautiful, walkable city. Pike Place is a great place to spend a couple of hours or an afternoon.

    John Marshall

    At the airport, look for people with MVP logos on their coats, bags, scarfs, hats, canes. They probably have attended a summit before. Say hi and make a friend. You may be able to share a cab to Bellevue.

    There are two Microsoft stores you can go to during the summit. The first one you will come across is the one in Bellevue Square and the second will be on campus next to where the buses will drop you off. The campus store has employee prices, but limited selection. You will be given a certificate to spend up to $150 of your money on items in the campus store. Items with logos are not counted against your limit. The Bellevue square store has a bigger selection (not all Xbox games are made by Microsoft). Go to both stores and if you have a chance, join other MVPs at the Bellevue Square store for Consumer Camp on Saturday February 16th.

    Go down for breakfast early and take your time talking to the people at your table. Some of the activities will occur on campus, so there will be a shuttle bus from the hotels to campus. In the past, the hotels were in Seattle and traffic meant a long bus ride. Though the trips are now quicker, take advantage of that time and talk to your fellow passengers or those waiting to board the bus. One of the best reasons for going to summit is meeting people. There will be a few thousand MVPs at the summit, try to meet as many as you can. Even after the evening events, groups of MVPs will still be gathering to talk.

    Find out when your region is hosting their night and meet fellow MVPs from your country. When you go to the product group dinner, mingle with some of the other product groups.

    There is a sky bridge from the Grand Hyatt to the Westin hotel. Though anyone can go from the Westin to the Grand Hyatt, you will need a Westin room card to get from the sky bridge corridor back into the Westin.

    If you get a chance, go into Seattle and wander around Pike’s Market.

    Basically, meet people and have fun.


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    What do you get when you combine 20 select MVPs, 10 Microsoft Teams and

    800 of your MVP peers?  The 2013 MVP Showcase!  Congrats to all those who presented.

     

    (Please visit the site to view this video)


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    Editor’s note: The following post was written by SharePoint MVP Paul Olenick

    Overview of the new eDiscovery features available in SharePoint 2013

    As you have no doubt heard, or seen for yourself by now, SharePoint 2013 represents massive leaps forward in many areas of the platform. One such area that doesn’t get a whole lot of attention is eDiscovery. This article is meant to serve as an introduction and overview of SharePoint 2013's new eDiscovery capabilities.

    If you work in the legal or eDiscovery space I don't have to tell you how critical it is to have powerful, accurate and efficient eDiscovery tools but for those of you who don't know what eDiscovery is I'll provide a brief overview.

    What is eDiscovery?

    eDiscovery, or electronic discovery, is the process of discovering (finding) electronically stored information that is relevant to legal matters such as litigation, audits and investigations. Though it is called eDiscovery, the process typically entails more than just the discovery. The main stages of the process are roughly:

    1. Discovery – Find the relevant content

    2. Preservation – Place content on legal hold to prevent data destruction

    3. Collection – Collect and send relevant content to be processed

    4. Processing – Prepare files to be loaded into a document review platform

    5. Review – Attorneys determine which content will be provided to opposition

    6. Production – Provide relevant content to opposition

    The SharePoint 2013 eDiscovery functionality focusses on the first three stages.

    image

    It should also be pointed out that eDiscovey is an extraordinarily expensive process. The most expensive aspect being the fees associated with attorneys reviewing the electronic content. The better tools we have for identifying relevant content (and weeding out anything non-essential), the less content will be presented to the lawyers resulting in cost savings. So those fist three steps that SharePoint will be involved in are crucial to get right and can represent massive savings.

    Now those of you who have worked with SharePoint for a long time may know that SharePoint already included eDiscovery functionality.

    A Brief History of eDiscovery in SharePoint

    While there were some basic eDiscovery-related features in SharePoint 2007 (such as the ability to place records on hold) a more cohesive eDiscovery story didn’t begin to emerge until the release of SharePoint 2010. With SharePoint 2010, we now had a top-tier search engine (especially for those organizations that implemented FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint) to help discover content. Additionally, SharePoint 2010 introduced the concept of placing and managing site-level holds, a mechanism for automatically copying eDiscovery search results to a separate repository for review and an API to develop custom solutions against these features. For more information on how SharePoint 2010 supports eDiscovery, see the following article on TechNet. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff453933(office.14).aspx#How

    There were, however, some major limitations in SharePoint 2010’s eDiscovery solution. For example, the features mostly only applied to SharePoint content. And if a hold was placed on a site, it prevented users from continuing to work with the content. This was especially problematic when conducting internal investigations as it would alert those being investigated to the fact that they were under scrutiny. As such, those utilizing these tools in SharePoint have been eager to see what improvements were made in SharePoint 2013 eDiscovery.

    Overview of eDiscovery in SharePoint 2013

    The SharePoint Server 2013 eDiscovery feature set can be broken into the following components and functional areas.

    · eDiscovery site template

    · In-place holds (or In-place Preservation)

    · eDiscovery Export

    · eDiscovery APIs

    eDiscovery Site Template

    The eDiscovery site template provides a central location to create and manage eDiscovery cases. A case is a SharePoint site template, created as a sub web within the eDiscovery site collection, which supports the process of discovering content across the enterprise, placing legal holds on content, filtering content and exporting it for delivery. The case site template also includes lists and libraries for collaborating on cases and keeping supporting content organized and centrally located.

    In-Place Holds

    An in-place hold is a mechanism for placing content (SharePoint 2013 documents, list items, pages, and Exchange Server 2013 mailboxes) on legal hold while allowing users to continue working with the content and without them being made aware of the hold. If a user edits or deletes content that has been placed on in-place hold, the content is automatically moved to a special location thus preserving the state of the content as it was at the time the hold was placed. This design decision, to only replicate data when a change has been made, limits the amount of storage needed to preserve content in its original state.

    In-place holds can be placed either at the site or mailbox level, or alternatively, you can use query-based preservation. With query-based preservation, you can define eDiscovery search queries and only content that matches your query will be preserved.

    eDiscovery Export

    SharePoint 2013 enables eDiscovery users to export the results of eDiscovery search queries so that they can then be sent for review. The export feature is capable of exporting documents (including versions for SharePoint content), list items and pages as well as exchange objects. The export tool also generates reports about the content, logs describing the export and an XML manifest which describes the exported content (including its metadata) in a format that complies with the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (ERDM).

    eDiscovery APIs

    There are a number of APIs available in SharePoint 2013 that enable customers to develop custom solutions that leverage eDiscovery functionality. I won’t go into any level of detail around programmability in this article, but suffice to say there is a model in place to create custom eDiscovery solutions. For more about SharePoint 2013 eDiscovery programming models visit the following link. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj163267.aspx#SP15_eDiscoveryInSP_eDiscoveryProgrammingModel

    To better illustrate how these tools and features can be used, I’m going to walk you through a typical case lifecycle from the standpoint of an eDiscovery user.

    SharePoint 2013 eDiscovery Example / Walk-thru

    The high-level steps involved are to create a case, place legal holds, refine and filter content, export content and eventually release any holds and close the case.

    image

    Walkthrough Scenario

    For this walkthrough, I’m a member of the Litigation Support team at a company called (you guessed it) Contoso. The attorneys let me know that one of our former clients called Jamison is suing us and Contoso must present all relevant data we have to the opposition.

    My first task is to create a new site for the Jamison case so I log into our SharePoint 2013 eDiscovery site. I log in using a special user ID that I only use for eDiscovery purposes. This is because in order to discover content across the enterprise, the user doing the searching must have access to everything. For obvious reasons, it is not a good idea to give a normal user account access to everything, so instead I have a separate account that I use just for eDiscovery.

    When I first log into the site I see the eDiscovery Center template. This is where I go to manage existing and create new cases. On the default home page, Microsoft includes instructions on how to take advantage of the template.

    image

    After clicking “Create New Case”, I’m presented with a “New SharePoint Site” page where I can enter the name, description, URL and permissions for my new case site.

    When the site has been created I’m presented with the new case site home page. The site is comprised of three sections.

    1. The top section is used for finding and placing legal holds on content.

    2. The bottom portion is used to refine and filter on the content until it is ready to be exported.

    3. The left side of the page provides access to supporting lists and libraries for the case.

    image

    I’ll start by clicking “new item” in the eDiscovery Sets section to create an eDiscovery set. An eDiscovery set is comprised of a data source (a site, mailbox or other location), optionally a filter/query and the option of a legal hold. I add the URL of the Jamison project site in the sources area, provide a date range for the filter select “Enable In-Place Hold” and click “save.”

    image

    On the case home page, the In-Place Hold Status will indicate “Processing” for a time and eventually indicate “On Hold”.

    When an in-place hold is set on a site, a special document library called the Preservation Hold Library is added to the site being preserved. After the hold is placed, if a user edits or deletes content in the site, a copy will be placed in the Preservation Hold Library. The hold also prevents anyone from deleting the site itself.

    image

    Now that the content is safely on legal hold I can begin the process of filtering it down to just the content that we are legally required to provide. Remember, the more content that is sent to be processed and reviewed, the more expensive our eDiscovery is going to cost so it’s important that we’re able to filter the content effectively. With that in mind, I navigate back to my case home page and click “new item” under Search and Export.

    In the New Query Item page, I provide a name for my query and I have the opportunity to add search terms and filters. The Contoso lawyers and those of the opposition have agreed that only items regarding a particular deal number (809E5C95) are relevant and have agreed that the deal number will be the only query term. So I add my query term, click search and preview the items that are returned. I can mouse over the preview items to get more details and can also use the refiners on the left hand side to filter the content down more, but in this case we have exactly what we need already.

    image

    Next I click “Export” and am presented with a number of options related to the export. Most notable is that I am able to include all versions of SharePoint content in my export.

    image

    Finally, I am given the opportunity to download the actual content from my query or just reports on the contents. In this case I click “Download Results”. The download manager loads and allows me to choose a location for the export.

    image

    The download folder includes a number of files including an export summary, a manifest (which includes all items including their metadata in a standard format), reports and logs as well as the actual content.

    image

    Where there were multiple versions of a single item, the filenames of the older versions are appended to indicate the version.

    Once the case is over, I go back to the case site, click the cog and select “Case Closure”. Closing the case will remove any remaining legal holds associated with the case and prevent anyone from adding additional holds to the case.

    That’s a very basic walkthrough of how an organization may utilize SharePoint 2013 eDiscovery and you can see it accomplishes what it is designed to do. But it’s not all good news. As with any commercial software releases, there are going to be some gaps.

    Gaps in the SharePoint 2013 eDiscovery Solution

    While in general I’m impressed with the eDiscovey story in SharePoint 2013, there are a few gaps to be aware of before investing in the technology.

    First, in-place holds are only for SharePoint 2013 and Exchange 2013 content. But most customers are not on these new platforms yet so how you use SharePoint 2013 eDiscovery with content that resides in SharePoint 2010? The answer is that out of the box, you can do everything related to eDiscovery except place holds on that content. So we can search 2010 content from 2013, we can filter it down, export it with all of its versions and generate reports. We just can’t place holds.

    Second, when a hold is placed on a site and a user edits a document that is being preserved the original version of the document (in its state at the time the hold was placed) gets copied into the Preservation Hold Library. However, if subsequent edits are made to the same document, those additional states of the document are not captured. These types of “continuous” or “rolling” holds are necessary for some customers so it’s important for them to understand this limitation.

    Lastly, there is no way out of the box to search past versions of SharePoint content. This makes sense as it would be wildly confusing to see past versions of documents showing up in your normal search results, but would be incredibly useful (even necessary for some customers) for eDiscovery purposes.

    Again, there is an API exposed for developing custom SharePoint 2013 eDiscovery solutions, so the platform can certainly be extended to fill these gaps. I have it on good authority that there are partners already looking to provide solutions to these limitations.

    As for the version search, this would likely be solved with a custom search connector and here too SharePoint provides a rich framework for building custom connectors

    Also, not really a gap or limitation, but something to be aware of is that the eDiscovery Download Manager requires .NET 4.5 on you client system.

    Recap

    So, to recap, SharePoint 2013 provides vast improvements in the eDiscovery story which includes a new eDiscovery site template, the ability to place in-place holds on SharePoint 2013 and Exchange 2013 content, an export feature to download reports and content (including versions for SharePoint content) and an API to develop custom eDiscovery solutions. And it all leverages SharePoint 2013 search which is truly a great enterprise search engine combining the best of SharePoint Search and FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint.

    This really does represent a lot of investment and effort on Microsoft’s part and it shows. I would encourage anyone interested or involved with eDiscovery to evaluate the features. Just keep in mind the gaps mentioned above so that you’re going into it with eyes open and know, depending on your scenario, the overall solution may require some customization.

    About the author

    Paul Olenick (SharePoint MVP, MSFT V-TSP, MCT) is a Principal Consultant for Arcovis where he leads SharePoint and Enterprise Search engagements for large organizations across multiple verticals including legal, life sciences, financial, utilities, retail, non-profit, and more.  Paul has been dedicated exclusively to SharePoint since 2006 and FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint since its beta release in 2009.  He has helped dozens of clients solve business problems by leveraging SharePoint and Enterprise Search and shares his experiences with the greater community by speaking at events, contributing to books and blogging at http://olenicksharepoint.com.   Follow him on Twitter

    PWCrop

    About MVP Mondays

    The MVP Monday Series is created by Melissa Travers. In this series we work to provide readers with a guest post from an MVP every Monday. Melissa is a Community Program Manager, formerly known as MVP Lead, for Messaging and Collaboration (Exchange, Lync, Office 365 and SharePoint) and Microsoft Dynamics in the US. She began her career at Microsoft as an Exchange Support Engineer and has been working with the technical community in some capacity for almost a decade. In her spare time she enjoys going to the gym, shopping for handbags, watching period and fantasy dramas, and spending time with her children and miniature Dachshund. Melissa lives in North Carolina and works out of the Microsoft Charlotte office.


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    1. Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Summit 2013 Wrap Up

    By Windows Expert – Consumer MVP Richard Hay – @WinObs

    2. MVP Summit 2013 Report

    By Visual C# MVP Spaso Lazarevic – @spasobn

    3. 2013 MVP Global Summit – The Experience

    By ASP.NET/IIS MVP Vincent Maverick Durano

    4. 2013 MVP Global Summit

    By Excel MVP Tom Urtis - @TomUrtis

    5. MVP Summit Recap

    By Visual C# MVP Bill Wagner


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    Editor’s note: The following post was written by SharePoint MVP Tom Resing

    The team site template may be the most used template in SharePoint, so even subtle changes might have a big effect. In SharePoint 2013's Team Site template, you'll notice some obvious which have received a lot of attention. However some changes take a little more digging to uncover. This article will explore a couple of the second kind.

    Removal of Calendar, Task, Discussion, Announcement and Link Lists

    image

    The new look of the team site is obvious from the start. Gone is the stock photograph of happy business people. The new visual flair is clean and touch friendly, square and interactive. However, beyond the glossy new finish and features, you may notice the removal of a few of the items on the left hand menu that are a little more functional in nature.

    image

    The old Team Site Template’s left hand navigation, also known as the Quick Launch, had 10 links in it compared to the new template’s 3. One link was added in 2013 – Home. 3 of the 8 removed links were headers. Site Pages and the Recycle Bin moved to Site Contents. But these changes were mostly cosmetic. They go with the theme of simplification that is a part of the new design aesthetic. The other items removed were not just link changes.

    The 2013 Team Site Template no longer includes a Calendar, Task List or Discussion Board by default. Not shown in the Quick Launch, the Announcement and Links lists created with 2010 and previous Team Site Templates are also missing from the 2013 version These Apps, formerly known as Lists, were part of the clutter removed in the Team Site overhaul.

    As a consultant, the removal of these Apps is significant. I cannot count the number of SharePoint sites I’ve seen over the past 8 years of working with the product that had these default lists created but entirely empty. This visual clutter goes against the grain of the simplicity I’ve tried to give to clients of mine and I’m very happy to see them removed in this version. However, I’m sure some users have gotten used to having these elements in every site after working with the Team Site Template for so long, so it’s an important, though subtle change to look out for.

    New Aps, Removed Lists

    Working on a chapter for the upcoming Microsoft Press Title, SharePoint 2013 Inside Out, I noticed something about the Apps available in SharePoint 2013 compared to the Lists and Libraries in SharePoint 2010. The left side of the image below shows the combined set of Apps available to add on a SharePoint 2013 Team Site. The right side shows the Library types first and then List Types that are available to add from a SharePoint 2010 Team Site.

    image

    As you might expect, most of the choices available in 2010 are again available in 2013. However, there are some notable departures and additions. Again, these are subtle changes that may through off the experienced SharePoint User expecting things to be in the same place when they may not be.

    The Slide Library, Project Tasks and Status List have been removed in 2013. The Slide Library was popular with some, but maybe not enough. I don’t know that it’s completely removed from the new product, but I couldn’t find it as a choice in the new Team Site. My co-worker Jennifer Mason, MVP, talks about the new Project Site Template in her free (with registration) webinar, SharePoint 2013: An Information Workers Introduction. I’m guessing the Project Tasks and Status List were moved there or replaced by new features in that really cool new template.

    The Access App and the new Promoted Links App are new. If you haven’t heard about the new Access App, you should check out Create an Access App on office.microsoft.com. Access Apps are a powerful new way to collection and store information architected for larger scale than SharePoint lists ever have been. The Promoted Links App is a way that you can create a visual element on your sites like the Team Site template has by default at it’s top. If I was creating this blog post on a SharePoint Team Site, the start of my Reference Links List would look like this!

    image

     

    Reference

    Thanks for reading. For more information on the New Team Site and new features of SharePoint 2013, check out the 6 links below.

    If you want to go even further, the Week of Free Webinars includes a 45 minute presentation recording where I dig even deeper into the Team Site Changes, including a peek at the HTML Markup for the Promoted Links Web Part! The webinar is titled SharePoint 2013 Architectural Changes for Web Developers.

    About the author

    ResingSPC

    Tom Resing is well-versed in helping customers take advantage of the features of SharePoint. As a SharePoint consultant at Rackspace, he strives to find the right level of SharePoint customization for every business. His skills have earned him the Microsoft Certified Master certification in SharePoint 2007, and the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in 2012.

    Tom shares his knowledge through a variety of mediums. He has coauthored books on SharePoint 2010 and 2013, and has spoken at many SharePoint conferences on business connectivity services.

    Aside from his technology interests, Tom is an avid community supporter and entrepreneur. Along with his wife, he owns two learning and development centers for children in San Antonio. You can read Tom’s latest thoughts on SharePoint on his blog at tomresing.com and short messages on twitter @resing

    About MVP Mondays

    The MVP Monday Series is created by Melissa Travers. In this series we work to provide readers with a guest post from an MVP every Monday. Melissa is a Community Program Manager, formerly known as MVP Lead, for Messaging and Collaboration (Exchange, Lync, Office 365 and SharePoint) and Microsoft Dynamics in the US. She began her career at Microsoft as an Exchange Support Engineer and has been working with the technical community in some capacity for almost a decade. In her spare time she enjoys going to the gym, shopping for handbags, watching period and fantasy dramas, and spending time with her children and miniature Dachshund. Melissa lives in North Carolina and works out of the Microsoft Charlotte office.


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  • 03/05/13--09:53: TechDays France 2013
  • clip_image002clip_image006

                 Editor’s note:  The following post was written by MVP Lead Martine Thiphaine
    Under the motto “Digital is Business!“ the 2013 TechDays France event was held February 12-14.  Attendees gathered at the prestigious Palais des Congrès in Paris, where the event boasted presentations by 59 MVPs from around Europe and an attendance of over 17,500 with roughly 30,000 viewers on the internet.   


    The sessions focused on the newest Microsoft products and technologies such as Office 2013, Windows Phone 8, Windows Server 2012, System Center 2012, SQL Server 2012 and of course Windows 8. A variety of sessions showcased how Microsoft products help to solve current IT problems such as enterprise security in the era of BYOD, interoperability, cloud and datacenter optimization, cost reduction, enterprise application development and internal social networks.  MVPs played an important role in the event, as 59 of MVPs spoke in 85 different sessions!

    C# MVP Matthieu Mezil, delivered a popular level-400 session entitled, “Meta-programming” while Windows Embedded MVP Salah Amer surprised attendees with his augmented-reality helmet, dubbed almost instantly “the Iron Man helmet” by the French IT press.

    MVPs could be found at booths and tables sharing their expertise with attendees. At the Office booth, several MVPs explained the new version of Office while at the Server & Cloud booth, SQL Server 2012, Windows Azure, Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 were the center of attention.  The Development and Digital Experiences booth showcased Kinect for Windows SDK along with information about developing for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.

     
    The event was covered by French IT press in several articles: “
    Programmez!” showcased amongst others the futuristic application of augmented reality realized by Salah Amer, while ITPro Magazine interviewed several MVPs for a video series which is being published on their website.  Salah´s special helmet has also been featured in an article on 01net.com and another on pcimpact.com.

    TechDays France 2013 has come to an end but we´re already anxious to see what MVPs will present next year - amazing things happen when combining great technologies with exceptional experts. Congratulations !


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  • 03/08/13--16:31: Friday Five–March 8, 2013
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    Editor’s note:  The following post was written by Dynamic CRM MVP Gus Gonzalez

    Scheduling Recurring Workflows in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Online and On-Premise

    If you have read some of my previous posts you will notice that I am a big fan of utilizing out of the box functionality within Microsoft Dynamics CRM before looking at custom or third party solutions. For example, I previously blogged about utilizing the Unique ID generation capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics CRM with any entity instead of just the few out of the box entities for which this functionality was intended.

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM MVP Matt Wittemann (@MattNC) came up with a solution to schedule recurring workflows within Microsoft Dynamics CRM without implementing any custom or third party solution. I knew I needed to share this with the entire community.

    First, let’s ask: Why would you need recurring workflows?

    There are many cases when you find yourself thinking: “I need ‘this’ to happen every X days” and you don’t know how to solve the problem. For example: You need to email a summary of resolved cases every month to a group of people within the organization. Or maybe send some of your contacts a monthly or quarterly email containing the link to your latest product catalog. How about a countdown of ‘days until launch’ on a custom Project entity? There is always something.

    This solution requires you to create a custom entity, a couple of workflows and a recurring bulk deletion job. Five steps, that’s it.

    1. Customize the ‘target entity’ if necessary, for example: if you want to countdown the days until a project must be completed, you could add a field to a “project entity” named “Days until completion” to be set when the project is created and that will be edited daily by the recurrent workflow. In this case, the custom “Project” entity is the ‘target entity’.

    2. Create a custom entity; in this case I named my entity: “Workflow Assistant”. This entity will contain the name field, owner, an optionset (a.k.a. drop-down menu) field and a lookup to the “target entity”. The Target Entity is any entity that drives the process.

    3. Create a workflow triggered by the Target Entity (I.E. A new project has been created). This workflow will create a ‘Workflow Assistant’ record to be deleted by the recurring bulk deletion job you will create on step number 5.

    4. Create a workflow triggered by the deletion of the Workflow Assistant record, this workflow will perform the recurring task and create a new Workflow Assistant record to be deleted on the next cycle thus making it recurrent.

    5. Create a Bulk Deletion job set to delete the Workflow Assistant records created by the two workflows from step 3 and 4 and configure the frequency (I.E. Every 1 day).

    Here is a diagram describing the process detailed above:

    image

     

     

     

    Unfortunately, there were a lot of details involved on the configuration of this functionality so I have decided not to include all the screenshots and make this post too long and cumbersome, if you need more details please watch the video below; I have also included two additional examples to illustrate the capabilities of this simple solution; on the first example I will show you how to configure a recurring workflow to count the days a Lead has been neglected (I.E. Not contacted), on the second example I will show you how to configure a recurring workflow to send a weekly sales pipeline report to selected users:

    http://youtu.be/EMDOb2Bl8JU

     

    About the author

    Business Portrait Twitter

    Gus Gonzalez is a Microsoft Dynamics CRM MVP, Solution Architect and SMB Team Lead at Zero2Ten, Inc. He has over 10 years of consulting experience in the IT Industry, designing and implementing Microsoft Solutions ranging from enterprise to small environments. Worked as a full time Microsoft Certified Trainer from 2005 to 2009 teaching Microsoft Official Curriculum classes regarding Microsoft Windows, Exchange, ISA and SMS Servers along with Citrix, Cisco, EC-Council and CompTIA official curriculum. A Microsoft Dynamics CRM Community Guest Columnist passionate about User Adoption, he often talks about how Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can be used to Increase User Adoption, a sport he has practiced since January 2010. Follow Gus on twitter @GusGonzalez2

    About MVP Monday

    The MVP Monday Series is created by Melissa Travers. In this series we work to provide readers with a guest post from an MVP every Monday. Melissa is a Community Program Manager, formerly known as MVP Lead, for Messaging and Collaboration (Exchange, Lync, Office 365 and SharePoint) and Microsoft Dynamics in the US. She began her career at Microsoft as an Exchange Support Engineer and has been working with the technical community in some capacity for almost a decade. In her spare time she enjoys going to the gym, shopping for handbags, watching period and fantasy dramas, and spending time with her children and miniature Dachshund. Melissa lives in North Carolina and works out of the Microsoft Charlotte office.


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  • 03/15/13--15:49: Friday Five - March 15, 2013
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    Editor’s note: The following post was written by Exchange Server MVP Manu Philip

    Virtual Directories: Exchange 2013

    A virtual directory is used by Internet Information Services (IIS) to allow access to a web applications in Exchange 2013

    Autodiscover Service, ECP, EWS, ActiveSync, OWA, OAB, Powershellare the available virtual directories through EAC.

    You can manage a variety of virtual directory settings on Exchange 2013 including authentication, security, and reporting settings. I am explaining here, how you can manage the Virtual Directories through Exchange Admin Center. I have also included some example PowerShell cmdltes to show how to manage those resources:

    How to invoke Virtual Directories in Exchange 2013:

    Go to Exchange Admin Center->servers->virtual directoriesto open virtual directories structure as shown in the following screen shot:

    image

    In the following sections, I will show you how you can see/edit each al directory settings:

    1. Autodiscover (Default Website)

    Select Autodiscover (Default Website) and click Edit to go through the following windows:

    General Settings:

    image

    There is no editable fields here. If you need to set the internal/external url value of Autodiscover service you have to set it through Exchange Management Shell. An example shown below can be used to set the external url of Autodiscover service:

    Set-AutodiscoverVirtualDirectory -Identity 'autodiscover (default Web Site)' -ExternalUrl 'http://www.exchangeonline.in'

    Note: Please remember to set the corresponding changes in IIS virtual Directory for autodiscover also

    Authentication:

    The authentication settings can be viewed by clicking authentication as shown below:

    image

    Here you can change the various authentication methods of Autodiscover service of Exchange 2013: Integrated, Digest, Basic (requires SSL certificate to encrypt the password)

    The following cmdlet can be used to set 'Integrated Windows Authentication' for Autodiscover Service of Exchange 2013

    Set-AutodiscoverVirtualDirectory -Identity 'autodiscover (default Web Site)' -WindowsAuthentication $true

    2. ecp (Default Website)

    Select ecp (Default Website) and click Edit to go through the following windows:

    General Settings:

    image

    You may set 'Internal URL' or 'External URL' corresponding to ecp from this window.

    The following PowerShell cmdlet can also be used to set the ecp External URL:

    Set-ecpVirtualDirectory -Identity 'ecp (default Web Site)' -ExternalUrl 'http://www.exchangeonline.in'

    Note: Please remember to set the corresponding changes in IIS virtual Directory for ecp also

    Authentication:

    image

    You can select Standard Authentications (Basic, Integrated, Digest) and also Forms-Based Authentication

    Note: Please remember to set the corresponding authentication changes in IIS virtual Directory for ecp also if you plan to change the authentication settings for ecp.

    3. EWS (Default Website)

    Select ews (Default Website) and click Edit to go through the following windows:

    General Settings

    image

    You may have a chance here to edit the External/Internal url associated with EWS.

    Authentication

    image

    Integrated, Digest, Basic authentications are available to set with EWS.

    Use the Set-WebServicesVirtualDirectorycmdlet to modify an existing Exchange Web Services virtual directory on a server running Microsoft Exchange Server 2013. For example, the following cmdlet can set the EWS authentication method as DigestAuthenticationand also it sets the external and internal EWS virtual directories of EWS

    Set-WebServicesVirtualDirectory -Identity exchangeonline.in\EWS(Default Web Site)-ExternalUrl https://www.exchangeonline.in/EWS/exchange.asmx -BasicAuthentication $true -InternalUrl https://exchangeonline.internal.in/EWS/exchange.asmx

    Note: Please remember to set the corresponding changes in IIS virtual Directory for ews also.

    4. EAS (Default WebSite)

    Select eas (Default Website) and click Edit to go through the following windows:

    General Settings

    image

    ActiveSync associated External and Internal URL values can be set through this window.

    Authentication

    image

    The authentication available is 'Basic Authentication' and which uses an SSL certificate for password authentication. The client certificate can be have any one of the value from: Ignore/Accept/Require

    Use the Set-ActiveSyncVirtualDirectory cmdlet to configure the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync settings on a specified virtual directory. The following cmdlet set the ActiveSync external URL value.

    Set-ActiveSyncVirtualDirectory -Identity "ExchangeOnline.in\Microsoft-Server-ActiveSync" -ExternalUrl http://exchangeonline.in/mail

    5. oab (Default WebSite)

    Select oab (Default Website) and click Edit to go through the following windows:

    General Settings

    image

    You may set a new value for 'Poliing interval' of Offline Address Book fetch in this window. Thus the new oab will be checked in this interval set here. You may also set the Internal, External URL values here.

    6. powershell (Default WebSite)

    Powershell virtual directory is the connecting point when we connect the Exchange system through remote PowerShell.

    Select powershell (Default Website) and click Edit to go through the following windows:

    General Settings

    image

    Here, you shall be able to set the internal, external URL values associated with the PowerShell.

    Use the Set-PowerShellVirtualDirectory cmdlet to change an existing Windows PowerShell virtual directory in Internet Information Services (IIS).

    Authentication

    image

    Integrated and/or Basic Authentication can be set using this window.

    7. owa (Default WebSite)

    Various owa settings can be managed through this window.

    Select owa (Default Website) and click Edit to go through the following windows:

    General Settings

    image

    The window allows to change/add the internal, External URL values associated with owa.

    Authentication

    image

    The available authentication methods are Standard authentication methods (such as Integrated, Digest, Basic) and Forms Based Authentication (Domain/User, UPN, UserName only are the supported values here). We can also set the Login Domain Name as a permenant value here in this window.

    Features

    We  are able to set various features for users through this window as shows following. For example, we may allow or disallow instant messaging (Lync) via owa or disable the theme selection on owa etc.

    image

    When you click 'More Options' you will be able to see more features on each items as displayed below:

    image

    File Access

    Various file access methods through owa can be controlled through this window as shown below:

    We may set various file access restrictions selectively when accessing owa from Public/Private computers.

    By running the Set-OwaVirtualDirectory cmdlet, you can enable or disable features and manage security of various owa items.

    About the author

    DSC_0219

    Manu is a "Microsoft MVP: Exchange server" for the last 3 years. He has been associated with companies Ernst & Young Global Ltd., UST-Global International, JDA Inc., RM PLC and Visionics Corporation to handle their IT infrastructure in key roles with Exchange Server Messaging domain as the specialization for the last 10+ years in his career.
    Manu is the "Moderator" of most of the Microsoft TechNet Community Exchange Server Forums and also actively participates in giving quick solutions to the Exchange Server and Outlook issues of world-wide Microsoft customers through these Forums (Visit his Profile here: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/profile/manu%20philip/). He is also a MCC (Microsoft Community Contributor) of Microsoft TechNet Community Exchange Server Forums . Other than these notable contributions, he owns the Exchange Server Blog: www.exchangeonline.in and Microsoft Infrastructure forums: www.windowsadmin.in and delivering excellent articles and solutions through these portals.
    Manu also holds valuable certifications like Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate, Microsoft Certified IT Professional- MCITP (Enterprise Messaging Administrator on Exchange 2010, Server Administrator on Windows Server 2008), Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator: Messaging (Exchange Server 2000), Blackberry Certified System Administrator, ITIL apart from being a Bachelor Degree holder in Electronics & Communication Technology"

    About MVP Monday

    The MVP Monday Series is created by Melissa Travers. In this series we work to provide readers with a guest post from an MVP every Monday. Melissa is a Community Program Manager, formerly known as MVP Lead, for Messaging and Collaboration (Exchange, Lync, Office 365 and SharePoint) and Microsoft Dynamics in the US. She began her career at Microsoft as an Exchange Support Engineer and has been working with the technical community in some capacity for almost a decade. In her spare time she enjoys going to the gym, shopping for handbags, watching period and fantasy dramas, and spending time with her children and miniature Dachshund. Melissa lives in North Carolina and works out of the Microsoft Charlotte office.


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  • 03/23/13--12:29: Friday Five - March 22, 2013
  • 1. What you need to know about IMAP accounts in Outlook 2013

    By Outlook MVP Diane Poremsky

    2. How to Set a Default Template in PowerPoint 2013

    By PowerPoint MVP Echo Swinford

    3. How to Share a Media File from WP8 using the ShareMediaTask

    By Silverlight MVP Kunal Chowdhury

    4. Cool Feature in Windows Phone 8–Lock Your Phone From Anywhere

    By Silverlight MVP Michael Crump

    5. Retrieve Views from Different Folders in MVC

    By Visual C# MVP Abhimanyu Kumar Vatsa


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    Editor’s Note: In partnership with Microsoft Press, MVPs have been contributing to an ongoing guest series on their official team blog. Today’s article is from Lync MVP Ståle Hansen which is the 25rd in the series.

    Using Lync Server 2013 calling number translation rules to change display number

    A new feature for Enterprise Voice in Lync Server 2013 is to change the display number for users when they dial out. This could be useful in several scenarios:

    ·         When you do not have enough numbers on the trunk for all your users

    ·         When users do not want to show their Direct Inward Dialing (DID) number

    ·         When a group of people want to show their call center or switchboard number

    About the feature

    This feature is configured on the trunk that can be found in the Lync control panel under Voice Routing -> Trunk Configuration -><Site Trunk or Pool Trunk>. At the bottom of your trunk configuration page you have two options

    ·         Calling number translation rules

    o  It is here you can change the number displayed for a specific DID number or number series

    ·         Called number translation rules

    o  This will manipulate the number you have called so it will be received correct on the other side by the trunk

    o  You can change the format of the number like removing + or add a zero

     

    Read Full Article here

     

    About the author

    image

    Ståle Hansen is a Lync Technical Evangelist at Atea, Norway. He spends most of his time with Proof of Concept deployments, talking with customers and helping them adopt and implement the latest technology.

     

    He is an avid speaker at both internal and public seminars, maintains the blog http://msunified.net, contributes to The UC Architects Podcast and co-authors a Lync Master Class

     

    Follow him on Twitter


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  • 03/29/13--12:15: Friday Five - March 29, 2013
  • 1. ASP.NET 4.5 Web Forms Features - Strongly-Typed Data Controls

    By Silverlight MVP Dan Wahlin – @DanWahlin

    2. [Win8] The cached file updater contract or how to make more useful the File Save Picker contract

    By Client App Dev Jonathan Antoine – @jmix90

    3. Connect a Test Controller to Team Foundation Service

    By Visual Studio ALM MVP Martin Hinshelwood – @MrHinsh

    4. Learning ASP.NET SignalR – Part 1

    By ASP.NET MVP Brij Mishra -

    5. CSS Disambiguation with WinJS and SPA

    By Visual Basic MVP Jim Wooley – @jimwooley


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    Today, 885 exemplary community leaders around the world were notified that they have received the MVP Award! These individuals were chosen because they have demonstrated their deep commitment to helping others make the most of their technology, voluntarily sharing their passion and real-world knowledge of Microsoft products with the community.

    While there are more than 100 million social and technical community members, only a small portion are selected to be recognized as MVPs. Each year, around 4,000 MVPs are honored. They are nominated by Microsoft, other community individuals, or in some cases themselves. Candidates are rigorously evaluated for their technical expertise, community leadership, and voluntary community contributions for the previous year. They come from more than 90 countries, speak over 40 different languages, and are awarded in more than 90 Microsoft technologies. Together, they answer more than 10 million questions a year!

    MVPs are recognized each quarter for this annual award, which continues to grow and evolve to reflect the development of Microsoft technologies.

    Congratulations to the new MVPs, and welcome back to renewed MVPs. We are very excited to recognize your amazing accomplishments!


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