SharePoint and FAST ESP

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Microsoft have unveiled their new Search Enterprise roadmap, read more here:

They acquired Fast in April 2008, and web parts have been available on codeplex since June last year. I saw a demo from Microsoft of the ESP technology in Gitex, Dubai last October, and it was pretty impressive stuff.. Fast ESP powers Search on sites like The Fast Portal demonstrated was SharePoint based, and provided powerful search results, with document preview panes, faceted and federated search, plus clever 'suggestions' as part of the results.

There will now be four options available for Microsoft Enterprise Search:
  • Search Server Express 2008

  • Search Server 2008

  • Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007

  • Fast ESP

You can get more info regarding specific features here

Aj.. ;o)

SharePoint and Twitter..

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Just Read an interesting blog post about combining Twitter and SharePoint.

Twitter ( is a free micro blogging service, where members can update their status or whatever they like via the web or their mobile phone. I've had a twitter account for a while now, but yet to begin using it in anger. Combining Twitter and web apps like tinyURL can be pretty useful for both social and business use. You can provide quick links to your own blog posting, or other types of content 'on the fly', and have followers watch your timeline and status.

Another similar tool called Yammer (, provides the corporate equivalent of twitter. It is free to use, although you can pay $1 per user/month to get more administrative functionality.

Anyway, check out the following post, theres a video link too...


Blogging from Word 2007

I promised I'd do this over a year and a half ago, sorry forgot! Anyway to publish to your blog site from office, do the following:

Office Key --> Publish --> Blog

As it's the first time you'll be prompted for your Blog Account details, you can either register a new account or add your existing account details.

If you have more than one blog, you'll be prompted to choose the blog you want to publish to.

Your word doc now shows some new controls, hit publish or publish as draft, a warning or two later your blog will be uploaded.
The only drawback is you can't upload the pictures. You can either choose to 'Not upload' or upload pictures through an image provider. This could be your own public webspace or via Picasa Web Albums or flickr.


Service Unavailable...

Just had a call from one of my customers, he's getting 'Service Unavailable' when he hits Central Administration and the SSP Site, but the portal site running on port 80 is fine.

I've seen this a number of times, and almost everytime its the AppPool Identity account. Either the AD password for AppPool identity account wasn't set to Do Not Expire or for some reason the password needs to be re-entered again in IIS.

Firstly, check AD, make sure the account password hasn't expired, if so, then reset the password and ensure that the password is set not to expire.

Next Steps, check IIS:

Expand the Application Pool sub tree, and check if the Application Pool your failed web application is running in, is actually running! If not, right Click and Start.

If it is running ok, right click the Application Pool for the Web Application which is showing the Service Unavailable error, click Properties Identity

In the identity tab, re-apply the correct password for the service account, reconfirm, press Apply OK

Recycle the App Pool, or run iisreset /noforce and you should be good to go!

Note: If for some reason, you are running the Application Pool as Network Service and not a configurable username and password, then see this post :

Cheers ;o)