Posted by: John Ferringer | May 16, 2012

Upcoming Webinar: Backup is not Backup

Now, before you get worried about me getting on zen and existential on you in this post, don’t. Nor am I going back on everything I’ve ever talked about or wrote about with SharePoint Backup/Restore and SharePoint Disaster Recovery. Instead, I’m getting a quick post up here to announce an upcoming webinar that the great folks at Idera have asked me to deliver on the subject of SharePoint Disaster Recovery.

It’s a subject Sean McDonough, who co-authored our two books with me, and I have covered quite a bit already, but I wanted to go in a different direction this time around. A lot of my focus on SharePoint DR in the past has looked at all the things you need to do before a disaster takes place, but this webinar is going to help you start thinking about what you need to do after a disaster to successfully recover your SharePoint environment.

The title of the webinar comes from a phrase I heard someone say back at the last Las Vegas Microsoft SharePoint Conference in 2009, “Backup is not backup. Restore is backup!” (I wish I could remember who it was that said it to me but its a bit of a blur for me, between the information overload and the general Vegas experience) If that sounds a little strange, let me explain. The phrase, one that Sean and I have also inscribed on a lot of books that we’ve signed for giveaways over the years, points out that backing up your SharePoint isn’t enough: those backups don’t mean a thing if you can’t restore them successfully. That emphasis on restore, the idea that you need to be able to put those backups to actual use if you want to get value out of them, is what I’ll be talking about in this webinar.

The best part, thanks to Idera, is that this webinar is free to attend and view. All you have to do is head over to and register for it, and you’re all set – assuming you remember to log in and attend the actual event. 🙂 Hopefully I’ll see you on June 20th in the chat room!

Posted by: John Ferringer | April 24, 2012

External Users in Office 365

Posted by: John Ferringer | April 17, 2012

Account Roles in Office 365

Posted by: John Ferringer | April 11, 2012

Presentations: Catching up on Some Recent Talks

I’ve been pretty lucky in the last month to be invited to speak at some pretty cool events that have gone down in the Midwest. Last month I made my way up to Detroit to speak at the Detroit Day of Azure about Office 365, and I did a slight variation of a talk I’ve been doing about some of the pros and cons of Office 365. I’ve posted the slides to SlideShare here: The Day of Azure event was great, my hat’s off to David Giard and his team for putting together a really incredible slate of speakers, and me.

Last week I headed over to Columbus, Ohio for an event that was pretty new to me but was very exciting to be a part of: the 2012 Cloud Intelligence Conference. There’s been several editions of this conference being held throughout the United States so far this year, and not only did I get to be a part of the Columbus stop on the tour, but I got to do two different presentations on Office 365 and its implications for businesses. My first presentation was a slightly tweeked version of the Office 365 intro talk I mentioned above at the Detroit Day of Azure, I’ve gone ahead and posted it to SlideShare as well but if you’ve looked at the Detroit slides you probably don’t need worry about these: My second talk was a new one that I’ve been working on that looks at what I think may be the most compelling use case currently available for the SharePoint Online service in Office 365: extranets. I’ve also posted those slides to SlideShare, you can find them here:

Now, if you’re here looking for actual blog content beyond links to my presentations, have faith! I’ve given myself an ultimatum of getting a new blog post up this week, I’ve got a huge list of topics I want to cover in the coming months and the best way to ensure that I do that is to write them up 🙂 I’m going to first focus on finishing up my series on Identity in Office 365, and then be turning to a bunch of interesting stuff I’ve come across in the last six months or so.

So keep your eyes peeled and if there’s anything you want me to cover, don’t hestitate to let me know!


Posted by: John Ferringer | March 12, 2012

Presentations: SPTechCon San Francisco 2012 and IndyNDA

As crazy as the last couple of weeks have been, I’ve still been lucky enough to have the opportunity to give a couple of presentations that I really enjoyed, and I wanted to make sure that I passed along links to where I’ve posted the slides from those presentations at SlideShare.

First up is the talk I gave onFeburary 27th,  at the 2012 San Francisco stop for SPTechCon on Office 365: How Office 365 Makes IT Easy and Why That’s Difficult. I had an outright blast doing this session, the room was pretty full and the audience was very engaged, which made it a lot of fun and very easy for me. Plus, I got a lot of great questions, which I love because it means that people are interested and engaged. I had a wonderful time at SPTechCon, it really is a top-notch event and definitely something I’d recommend doing if you get the chance.

The other slide deck I want to get shared out is the talk I just gave on March 8th to the IndyNDA .NET Developers User Group: Intro to SharePoint Development for .NET Developers. This topic is definitely a bit of a stretch for me, but I really enjoy trying to stretch myself and tackle new challenges like this. IndyNDA is really a great user group, they pack quite a bit of useful content and assistance into their meetings, so if you’re a developer in the Indianapolis area I’d really recommend attending. I also want to thank my good friend Rob Bogue for really helping me get this presentation into working order, he provided a lot of great insight and feedback to me as I was preparing it.

If you were able to attend either of these presentations, thank you very much for coming and I hope you got something out of them!


Posted by: John Ferringer | February 20, 2012

Presentation: “Same but Different” Developing for SharePoint Online

Last week I was lucky enough to speak at my local SharePoint user group, SPIN – the SharePoint Users of Indiana, on the topic of SharePoint Online. It was a lot of fun, especially because I got some great questions and we had some great general discussions at the end of the night. It was also a great chance for me to do a new presentation I’d been working on about the challenges and opportunities of designing custom solutions to be deployed to SharePoint Online, which is part of Office 365. SharePoint Online presents a lot of compelling incentives for organizations looking to get up to speed with SharePoint quickly, but there’s also a lot of limitations in the platform and traps you can fall into if you aren’t careful (to me, the biggest trap you can make is assuming that a feature you know is in SharePoint Foundation or SharePoint Server is going to be there in SharePoint Online). The talk is designed to help the audience get to know SharePoint Online better, identify the features and use cases best suited for custom solutions with SharePoint Online, and show them some examples of the gotchas and/or challenges you need to plan for or avoid when designing those solutions.

If you’d like to take a look at my slides, I’ve posted them to SlideShare here: If you’re looking for a good book to introduce you to SharePoint Online and developing for it, I’d recommend checking out Phillip Wicklund’s excellent book, “Microsoft SharePoint 2010: Deploying Cloud-Based Solutions.”

I know it’s been a while since I’ve been able to get any updates posted here (thankfully thought it wasn’t as long of a drought as its been in the past…), but this time I’ve had a fairly valid reason: I’ve been working on a whitepaper with my good friend and co-author Sean McDonough for Idera Software on new and improved features for Disaster Recovery in SharePoint 2010. The good news is that we’re all done writing it now, and Idera’s been nice enough to publish it for you to download:

The slightly-wince inducing news though is that Idera had a little fun with the whitepaper’s title: “New Features in SharePoint 2010: A Disaster Recovery Love Story“. Oof. I guess I’m a romance author now, or perhaps a bromance author…

Any ways, please go check it out and let me know what you think. As far as I know it’s free to download from Idera, but you will probably have to log in (and create an account with them if you haven’t already). I know that means that it’s technically not free since you’re giving them your contact info, but if you’re like me you’ve probably already danced that dance in several other places for similar kinds of info, so go for it!

And in case you need some further incentive, here’s a broad outline of some of the content we cover in the whitepaper:

  • RPO/RTO – if you want to know DR, you’ve got to know these!
  • PowerShell and SharePoint 2010 DR – PowerShell FTW
  • Configuration Backups
  • SQL Server Database Snapshots
  • Unattached Content Database Recovery
  • SQL Server Database Mirroring
  • Search DR Improvements
  • Read-only Databases Improvements
  • SharePoint Native Backup/Restore Improvements
  • Site Recycle Bins
  • DR Considerations around Service Applications, Remote BLOB Storage, and Business Connectivity Services

If you’re wanting to know more about what’s new in the DR story for SharePoint 2010, this whitepaper is definitely for you. And it makes a great companion Christmas gift to a fresh new copy of the SharePoint 2010 Disaster Recovery Guide!


Posted by: John Ferringer | September 9, 2011

Office 365: Links Worth a Look for Friday, September 9th, 2011

Well, there was another outage for Office 365 last night, so I think today I’m going to try and be a little more timely with this by providing several links to the coverage:

My final thoughts on the matter: all in all I’m more concerned about the mechanisms (or lack thereof) Microsoft has set up for customers to stay up to speed on the status of their services than the stability of a platform that is still very young, especially one so completely dependent on so many disconnected systems (platforms in multiple data centers across the world, DNS, internet connectivity, power connectivity, etc). I’m not letting them off the hook for the issues, especially if this is a trend rather than growing pains. But in general, I think they need to focus as much as having a single simple, coherent, effective, and LOUD way for customers to know about the status of their service as on its stability. I know there are status pages, as well as things like the Twitter account (which was a good tool, and probably the source I’m going to check first for stuff like this from now on), but the perspective I’ve heard from customers and partners is that the information provided right now is either too hard to find and/or understand, or is not current. This isn’t exactly an easy problem to solve (since email would be the natural mechanism and at the same time one that can easily impacted by an outage), but Microsoft need to tackle it now rather than later.

UPDATE: As I come across additional links on the outage, I’ll try to post them here. Probably won’t provide as much commentary on them, but at the same time I’m looking to provide links that do give something beyond the ones I’ve already listed…


Posted by: John Ferringer | September 2, 2011

Office 365: Links Worth a Look for Friday, September 2nd, 2011

We’ve got a nice long holiday weekend here in the States, and so I’m going to try and quickly do some Office 365 links to wrap up a long week:

Happy Labor Day!


Posted by: John Ferringer | August 26, 2011

Office 365: Links Worth a Look for Friday, August 26th, 2011

Been a bit since I’ve gotten a LWL post up, so let’s close the week out with one:



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