Home again.

Well the journey home wasn’t too bad, although I had to dive off the M1 at junction 10 due to the traffic backing up from the M25. Apparently 44 miles of queuing traffic trying to get round from Leatherhead to the M1 was to blame! I cut along the A1081 and through St Albans which wasn’t too bad. (Apart from the dodgy diversion around St Albans town centre whilst they pedestrianise it.)

Anyhow, I promised a review of the course, so here goes:-

SharePoint 2007 Administration Track – Combined Knowledge Training
5 Days – Best Western Hotel – Ullesthorpe

Instructor Craig Carpenter


The course covers 5 days and runs from 9:30 each morning to approc 5pm each night. It starts with an initial introduction to MOSS 2007 and how the course will cover it as well as the obligatory, who are you and what is your background. The course notes are well written however there are some inaccuracies that still need to be ironed out. This is due to the course notes being originally written at Beta TR2 stage. The course covers all of the ‘Core’ functionality and as such does not go into any great detail regarding the Enterprise options. Therefore don’t expect to cover Excel Services, Business Data Catalogue or KPI’s other than to mention where the options exist.

The instructor Craig had a very good presenting style and chose not to plough page by page through the book as some courses do. As he said ‘If we do that, you may as well read the book yourself’. Instead he let himself be guided by flow of the books modules, covering each topic in turn through demonstration and discussion. (Personally I found this the most engaging method and even with the odd 2am finish the night before, I was at full attention for 98% of the day)

Overall, I found the course to be extremely useful and very well presented. There was the odd moment where I found the discussions a little below my skill level, however Craig had to cater for all levels of experience in the course. It was however a good oppourtunity to play with the test system in front of me.

The price for the course was £2000 including the accomodation. When you take into account that this includes all food and refreshments during the day and evening (Drinks have to be paid for yourself in the evenings!), as well as the course itself, then I think this more than matches up to a standard MicroSoft course which normally run at around £200 per day. The hotel itself was extremley pleasant and the rooms were of a very good standard. The food is plentiful and the staff very nice and always happy to help you with any needs. In addition, I was lucky enough to be with a very nice group of people that were happy to socialise in the evenings. This is one aspect of training courses that I normally find lacking, however this one was a nice exception. (I won one of the games of bowling too!! 157 points!)

Course Breakdown:-

Module 0 – Discussed the problems facing Corporations today and discussed the need for SharePoint and what its driving requirements were.

Module 1 – Reviewed the MOSS 2007 architecture, discussing the base requirements for an installation as well as the supporting services (e.g. .Net, IIS). Demonstrated Collaboration, Portal Services, Content Management and other features.

Module 2 – Covered installation and configuration of Single Server farms in MOSS 2007. Craig talked at length about the requirement for multiple user accounts and the need to ensure that the install account is only used for that purpose.

Module 3 – Configuring and Administering Central Administration Operations in MOSS 2007 – Introduced Central Administration, a new concept for MOSS 2007 that brought all the familiar options from 2003 into a central area as well as a whole host of unfamiliar options for the control of the Farm and related services

Module 4 – Configuring and Administering Application Management in MOSS 2007 – As with Opertions, this section looks at the Application Management abilities that are now pulled into a central location for control of the Application Pools and Shared Service Providers within one place.

Module 5 – Configuring and Administering Shared Service Providers – Details the configuration and administering of SSP’s for the provision of services such as Search, Profiles and My Sites, Excel Services, Usage reporting and the Business Data Catalogue.

Module 6 – Overview of MOSS 2007 site templates – A nice straight forward look at the template options available with MOSS 2007 as well as what abilities you have to create and modify you’re own templates. (Also a handy hint on how to get around the 10Mb limit on templates)

Module 7 – Working with SharePoint Web Parts – Covered the use of the out of the box templates, installing third party web parts, exporting and inter connection of web parts in the site.

Module 8 – Design Considerations and Scaling out a Farm. This topic covered some of the planning decisions you should consider when installing your MOSS 2007 infrastructure, as well as the Pros and Cons of the various initial configurations. Covered a brief introductions to NLB and other load balancing options for Multiple Web Front Ends, as well as the idea of distributed service models.

Module 9 – Portal Overview and Administration – This topic looked at what the role of a portal was and how best to administer this in a corporate environment. Looked at the use of My Sites and audiences to deliver the correct content to the correct recipient.

Module 10 – Covered in some detail the configuration of search and indexing within the MOSS 2007 environment. Some very good exercises on the configuration of the crawl rules and scope.

Module 11 – Configure and Administer Document Management in MOSS 2007 – Covered the use of content types within libraries and the use of workflows to control them. (Note, only out of the box workflows are covered and not those created within SharePoint designer)

Module 12 – Configure and Administer Records Management in MOSS 2007 – This covered the configuration of Microsofts first entry into the records management arena. Coveres retension periods, auditing and disposition at expiry,

Module 13 – Overview of Web Content Management in MOSS 2007 – Covers the use of the publishing feature throughout MOSS 2007 and the methods available to affect the branding of the SharePoint site through master pages. Includes the use of re-usable content and the publish to another location options. This section also includes the idea of Variation pages that are tied to such things as Language or browser type and can be used to deliver targetted content.

Module 14 – Disaster Recovery in MOSS 2007 – This about says it all, however it does cover some of the very different backup options available to you in MOSS 2007 as well as some of the more familiar terms that you will have seen in SP 2003.

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