Registration open for the March 8, 2017 Boston Area SharePoint Users Group Meeting

BASPUG_195square_initialsRegistration is now open for the Boston Area SharePoint User Group (BASPUG) taking place on March 8th, 2017, at the BlueMetal office at 9 Galen St, Suite 300, Watertown, MA from 6:30-8:30 PM. Click here to register!

Bob German will be presenting "Is it Safe to Customize SharePoint?"
Session Abstract

​Since 2007, SharePoint has been billed as a platform for developing custom solutions. And who wants to be limited to just what’s in the box? The thing is, sometimes the customizations break when you upgrade SharePoint, which might be at any moment if you’re in SharePoint Online. Just ask anyone who used the "Fab 40" web templates and then couldn’t upgrade from SharePoint 2007! It’s gotten so crazy that some people just won’t customize SharePoint at all, even as new development technologies are introduced.

In this talk, we’ll review all the major options for customizing SharePoint since 2003, and the strengths and pitfalls of each. You’ll learn which options are "safe" and which are headed for a long trip down a short pier. This talk is for everyone who makes decisions about SharePoint – admins, business decision-makers, architects, and developers alike. You’ll learn what’s possible from each type of customization, and what the future has in store. The goal is to make it easy for you to navigate through all the options without stepping on any land mines!​

About the Speaker

Bob German is Principal Architect at BlueMetal Architects, where he leads SharePoint architecture and development engagements for enterprise customers. Bob has been developing on the SharePoint platform since it was called “Site Server”, and is a Microsoft MVP for Office Development and Office Services and Servers. Over the last few years, Bob has demonstrated "future-proof" client side solutions that allow code reuse from legacy SharePoint to the Add-in model and the forthcoming SharePoint Framework.

Prior to joining BlueMetal, Bob was an architect at the Microsoft Technology Center in Boston, MA; he also worked for Microsoft Consulting Services building and performance tuning web sites and other networking solutions.


Wednesday Mar 08, 2017.


6:30 PM – 8:30 PM.


The meeting will be held at the BlueMetal Boston Office at 9 Galen St, Suite 300, Watertown, MA.​ Parking is FREE, and available in the main lot, and behind the building along the river.

Walk in the main building entrance, go to the back, take the elevator up to the 3rd floor, and the BlueMetal office is right in front of the elevator.​​


Modern technology, craftsman quality. We’re an interactive design and technology architecture firm matching the most experienced consultants in the industry to the most challenging business and technical problems facing our clients. We seek to understand your business strategy and technical foundation to craft modern applications that holistically blend strategic vision, creative design, architecture, and innovation, to exactly meet your needs and ensure your success.​​


Food and beverages will be provided at the meeting free of charge from our meeting sponsor. Food arrives at about 6:00. We generally have pizza (with and without meat), as well a salad, water, and sodas.​​


We will be handing out raffle tickets at the BASPUG meetings.​​


Encoding Encoded Characters in XSLT for Deployment

Let’s say you are deploying out some pages, which may include some custom forms out to a list. In that case, it is pretty straight forward (example:, just do a find and replace in your XLST for < and >, and replace with &lt; and &gt; respectively, paste it within the XSL property (<property name="Xsl" type="string">).

One thing that may trip you up, is if you actually need to keep a < or > sign in your XSLT – but, you cannot deploy the code with that, or else you’ll run into issues…

The fix? Quite simple, just encode the encoded characters, changing the ampersand (&) to &amp;lt; and &amp;gt;, also respectively.

Presentation from 12/13/11 CTSPUG

A big thank you to the Connecticut SharePoint User Group (CTSPUG) for having me down last night to deliver my presentation (slides below) on Best Practices in SharePoint Development. While the group itself has been around for 10 years (CT.Net), this was the second official SharePoint UG meeting, and I was happy to be a part of it! A big crowd too! The room was packed, and thankfully, I heard no snoring 🙂

As I mentioned at the beginning of the presentation, there are a lot of slides so you can have them for review afterwards, as we covered at lot of information. Below is a copy of the presentation on slideshare.

If you were at the session, or even wanted to attend but could not make it, please feel free to contact me in the comments below with any questions on the material.

Recap and Resources from SharePoint Saturday–The Conference


Organizing and maintaining a SharePoint Saturday can be hard work. LOTS of hard work. Luckily, the way we run SharePoint Saturday Boston, we have less hard work than other SPS events. We put the responsibility of ordering shirts, pads, pens, food, etc. on the sponsor, so we do not only have to deal with the event, speakers, sponsors, etc., so we do not also have to order shirts, food, etc. It makes life a lot easier.

Then there are other SharePoint Saturday events, such as SharePoint Saturday New York, they take it to the next level, and deal with all of that. Now, these are just single day events.

Now, with SharePoint Saturday – The Conference, this was a 3-day event, they had roughly 1800 people registered, well over a thousand attend. IMAGINE STUFFING 1800 ATTENDEE AND SPEAKER BAGS?! GAH! They had LOTS of volunteers however. It was not the best well-oiled machine, but, there was no chance of the motor seizing up on this one. They did one heck of a job. This is not to slight the conference in any way, the organizers of this event actually have day jobs, that are not all about planning and putting together conferences, so this was done in their spare time, if they had any.

I was amazed at the level of sophistication that a basically free ($39-$59 for a 3 day event is the best price out there for a SharePoint conference of this size). They had the ability to change name tags on the fly, lots of volunteers had radios, there were session and schedule updates on monitors around the campus, people all over the place directing traffic and offering help getting from building to building, and if for some reason your session time and date had changed, people to find you and drag you to them! (more on that in a moment).

Great job by everyone involved! I was happy to be a speaker and attendee at the conference, and look forward to another one down the road!

With that, I delivered 3 sessions. Below is information on each, as well as slide decks. Thank you to all who attended my sessions!

9 Ways to Become a (SharePoint) Rock Star

This was supposed to take place on Saturday, not Friday. So, when I arrived at the conference on Friday at 5 after 11 in the morning, I saw the lunch table, and headed over… got a plate of food, and then all of a sudden, I was approached by one of the volunteers, and a friend of mine, Jennifer, and the interaction went something like this…

Jennifer: “C’mon! You’re 15 minutes late for your session!”

Me: “What? I don’t have a session until the end of the day”

Jennifer: “No, you have one now”

Me: “Ok then, what session is it?”

Jennifer: “9 Ways to Become a (SharePoint) Rock Star”

[EDITORS NOTE: She did not exactly use parenthesis when she said it.]

Me: “That’s not until tomorrow”

Jennifer: “There are 40 people waiting in there for you now”

Me: “Uh oh, [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted], Let me grab my bag!”

Jennifer: ”Let’s go!”

[winded dash to another building … then walking, well, being dragged into the classroom]

Me: “Sorry I am late everyone! I slept late and am hung over, you know, living the rock star lifestyle”

…and then we began the session, after my laptop booted up. So we only got through about 6 of the 9 steps. Luckily, Christian Buckley (the band broke up before the session, so he wasn’t there), is starting a blog series at here 9 Ways to Become a SharePoint Rock Star, which will cover each of our “9 Ways”.

For some background on “the best fake SharePoint band EVER, EVER”…

Our lightning talk from SPTechCon in Boston in June, 2011


Horse’s End–Behind the Music


Legal Notice from Christian for SPSTCDC

and without further ado… the slide deck.

Just Freakin’ Work! Overcoming Hurdles in SharePoint Development

This basically boils down to a best practices around SharePoint development. As well as a fun edu-tainment session with my co-presenter, Mark Rackley. We had a blast, had some good questions, and got through the entire session. Here’s the deck!

Planning and Configuring Extranets in SharePoint 2010

And my last session, which after this was delivered, I had to run to the airport to head home. Again, a great session, great questions, and again, finished up on time. I hope to have that Cloudshare virtual image up and running soon.

Schedule Posted for SharePoint Saturday–The Conference


If you’ve read my last post on the matter, or, if you are reading this for the first time, or, just do not remember anything I write… the schedule (or “shedjule” if you’re British, or, just are into non-American English dialect), has been posted for SharePoint Saturday – The Conference in (well, near) Washington, D.C.

Find it here:

I’ve also copied and pasted it below, saving you a step!


Speaking at SharePoint Saturday–The Conference


The first event of it’s kind, SharePoint Saturday – The Conference (it’s not just for Saturdays anymore! However, this will end on one…), and I am pleased to be a part of it. I’m also very excited to see that SharePoint Saturday has grown so much over the past couple of years, and now there is a full 3-day conference. SharePoint Saturdays are great ways to share your knowledge with others, learn from peers, experts, MVPs and Microsoft Certified Masters. SharePoint Saturday holds a special place for me, as that is where I got my start speaking on SharePoint, back in the beginning of 2009 at SharePoint Saturday Boston. Since then I have spoken at 11 others to date from New York to New Orleans, and have helped organize SharePoint Saturday Boston since the beginning of 2010.

Unlike usual SharePoint Saturdays however, this one is not free, but pretty close to it as far as conference fees go. The current rate is $39, which will go up to $59 soon, so if you want to save twenty bucks… register today!

I could write-up all of the information about the conference, but it has already been done on the site, so why reinvent the wheel ( – the text below is a copy of that.


A community-focused, educational event filled with sessions from respected SharePoint professionals and executives covering a wide range of technical and business topics.


Anyone who interacts with SharePoint and its related technologies: Tracks for IT Pro, Developers, End Users, Business Process Owners, the Cloud and more!


Northern Virginia Community College

Annandale Campus, Annandale, VA

(Visit the website here.)


Thursday, August 11 – Saturday, August 13, 2011: 8 am – 6 pm

Friday Night Attendee Event: 6 pm – 11 pm


SharePoint Saturdays are a community sponsored event with a huge following. As we take the SharePoint Saturday event to the next level, the goal remains the same: to encourage community participation and lower the barriers to learning SharePoint.

For attendees in any role (End User, IT Professional, Business Manager or Developer), this conference provides an unparalleled level of training, sharing, networking and one-to-one interaction with the SharePoint community. It’s not to be missed!


Registration Fee:

$39 Early Bird (until August 7, 2011)

$59 for Regular & Walk-Ins

(discounts available for groups of 10 or more)

And there are some FAQ’s on the conference about page as well…

I will be presenting 3 sessions there, so please drop in to one and say hello if you go!


9 Ways to Become a (SharePoint) Rock Star

Co-Presented with Christian Buckley

Session Level: 100

Session Type: End User

So you want to become a rock star? We’re talking actual rock star – not a metaphor for “finding stardom” at your company, but that little “band thing” you do on the side after putting in your 9-to-5 each day.
In this session, we will lead you on a fun and adventurous journey where you can not only learn SharePoint, but springboard into that life of fame and rock stardom that you’ve been dreaming of, using the tools at your disposal during the daily grind. If, by chance, your wildest dreams of becoming a rock star do not come to fruition, you can be rest assured that you can apply what you learn in this session to become a SharePoint rock star. Because its always good to have a backup plan.


Just Freakin’ Work! Overcoming Hurdles and Avoiding Pain in SharePoint Custom Development

Co-Presented with Mark Rackley

Session Level: 200

Session Type: IT Pro / Developer

“Why am I getting a security error??” “Why does my code work sometimes, but not others?” “I wonder if McDonalds is hiring.” Writing custom code in SharePoint opens up unlimited possibilities but also throws many hurdles in your way that will slow you down if you don’t take them into account. So, before giving up and searching for careers in the fast food industry, equip yourself with the knowledge you need to succeed in writing custom code for SharePoint.
Attendees will learn:
1. Commonly used methods to improve functionality and performance
2. Best practices for disposing of SP Objects
3. How to avoid common issues when writing custom code for SharePoint
PREREQUISITES: Developers need to have a basic knowledge of SharePoint, know C# and be comfortable in Visual Studio.


Planning and Configuring Extranets in SharePoint 2010

Session Level: 300

Session Type: IT Pro / Admin

Most companies, large or small, require contact and collaboration with external entities, whether they are vendors, clients, or contractors. SharePoint gives us the ability to open up portals for collaboration with these external entities – this session will show you how to accomplish this using SharePoint 2010.
We will review what is required to make SharePoint “open” to the external world, discuss scenarios regarding security and privacy, as well as walk through configuring Forms Based Authentication, Claims Based Authentication, as well as using Business Connectivity Services in SharePoint 2010, to authenticate, and manage our external users.
Once completing this session, you should have a firm grasp on how to configure an extranet environment using SharePoint 2010, as well as what should be considered during the planning of your extranet scenarios.

SPTechCon 2011 San Francisco Recap and Slides

Need I say more? I had never been out to San Francisco before, so, I had a couple of chances to get out and explore the city. Knocking off the following on my trip:
  • M5 Industries (Mythbusters!)
  • The Winchester Mystery House
  • Fisherman’s Wharf
  • The Golden Gate Bridge
  • Marin Headlands
    • WWII-era forts
  • Lombard Street
  • Alcatraz
Oh right, and also, there was this SharePoint Technology Conference going on. SPTechCon San Francisco was a great conference. Kudos to the BZ Media Team again for putting on one heck of a show!
I had a great time meeting new speakers, vendors, and attendees, as well as catching up with old friends, as well as go to a few great sessions.
A big thank you needs to go out to SPTechCon for having me there, as well as to all of the attendees of my sessions. Thank you for coming and hearing what I had to say, as well as hopefully learning a thing or two.
Below are my decks (WordPress does not incorporate these too good from slideshare, so please follow the links) from both of my sessions.


Just Freakin’ Work! Overcoming Hurdles and Avoiding Pain – Co-Presented with Mark Rackley


Creating Custom Actions in SharePoint 2010

Any questions or comments on the material from the conference – as well as any feedback from the session (please!), please leave it in the comments!

New Version of SPDisposeCheck Released Today (12/13/10)!

Saw a tweet from J.D. Wade (@JDWade) today, that Roger Lamb released a new version today of SPDisposeCheck. If you’ve been in my Best Practices for SharePoint Development session I do with Mark Rackley, or, if you are a SharePoint developer, you should know what this is.

But, in case you do not know what it is, here is a comment straight from the linked post below:

SPDisposeCheck is a tool to helps developers and administrators check custom SharePoint solutions that use the SharePoint Object Model in identifying correctly disposing of SharePoint objects to help you follow published best practice. This tool may not show all memory leaks in your code and may produce false positives which need further review by subject matter experts.

The biggest update here is that it now comes complete with an add-in to the Visual Studio 2008/2010 IDE. Sure, you can do this yourself, but, I like it when it is done for me. Call me lazy, I call myself “efficient” 🙂

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