SharePoint 2013 Migration Assessment Tool Released To Web

   Microsoft quietly released the Release to Web (RTW) version of the SharePoint Migration Assessment Tool (SMAT) for SharePoint 2013 on Jan 20, 2017.  This is an update from the Release Candidate (RC) version that was released in Fall 2016.  I haven’t seen any announcements regarding this upgrade so I wanted to share here.

 

Background

  For those who are not familiar with SMAT it is a command line tool that will check a SharePoint farm for risks migrating to SharePoint Online.  Aside from that primary purpose it is also useful for an overview audit of the farm (name and size of content databases, name and size of site collections, site collection admins and owners, and more.   There is a backing configuration file (scandef.json) which can enable or disable various checks to be scanned against a SharePoint farm.  At the time of writing there is only a version compatible with SharePoint 2013 but there is potential for a SharePoint 2010 and / or 2016 compatible version in the future.

   In terms of the checks scanned for they include:

  • Large lists
  • Checked out files
  • Full trust solutions
  • Non-default master pages
  • Unsupported web templates
  • … and more

 

   SMAT will need to run on a server within the SharePoint farm and be run as the farm administrator.  Run time will vary depending on the size and configuration of the farm.  In a tiny lab farm I had created it took minutes to run but in sizable lab farm (multiple TBs of data and tens of thousands of site collections) it took over 24 hrs.  The output from the tool will be 1 summary CSV along with 1 detail CSV per check scanned (~30).

 

What’s New

  Comparing the documentation from the RC version to the RTW version I am seeing a few new risks that are scanned but I didn’t see them output in the CSV files.  I may need to be make changes to the config file in order to include the new checks.  Other than that the execution of the tool and general process is the same as the RC version.

 

Next Steps

   So what can you do with these CSV files?  By themselves the output CSV files can be difficult to read to get a good picture of the overall migration risks of a farm.  One option is to use these output files in conjunction with the Microsoft FastTrack Center and their SharePoint 2013 to SharePoint Online Migration Offer.  See this link for details on that offer and more.

   Another option is to analyze the CSV files on your own with tools such as Excel, SQL Server, or Power BI.  Personally I am very new to Power BI but with a little research and consulting with fellow PFEs I was able to generate a useful report that aggregated the risk data and filtered it into very usable visualizations.  I will write a follow up post about the process I followed to model and visualize these output files.

 

Conclusion

   If you are are hosting a SharePoint 2013 farm and looking to migrate to SharePoint Online or simply want to audit your farm for risks and general data I encourage you to take a look at the SharePoint Migration Assessment Tool.  Look for my next blog post where I’ll dig into interpreting the data with Power BI to find useful insights and more.

 

      -Frog Out

Retrospective for 2016

2016 was a busy year for me, especially from a personal perspective.  Looking back here are some of the things that went on during 2016 as well as things I’m looking forward to in 2017.

 

Retrospective

2016 was filled with many events both personal and work related.  The biggest event of all was the birth of our son Samuel.  I am very grateful that my employer Microsoft changed their already generous infant care leave policy from 1 month of paid time off to now 3 months.  That is almost unheard of in any industry or organization.  During that time off (two separate chunks) I got to spend lots of quality time with my family taking outings to the zoo, making meals together (my most cherished memory), reading books, and many other bonding activities.  After seeing how quickly Clara is growing up I know this time for both our kids is going to go fast so I’m extremely thankful to have had this extra time with them.

Aside from my paternity leave I also got back to speaking at conferences including SharePoint Saturday Twin Cities, Dog Food Conference, SharePoint Saturday Detroit, and SPTechCon Austin as well as a new local user group Central Ohio Azure User Group.  Many of the topics I covered in these presentations go outside SharePoint into Azure, PowerApps, and Microsoft Flow.  I’m a fan of the numerous possibilities for integrating all of these products / services together to provide solutions for my customers (and myself on some side projects.)  Now that PowerApps and Microsoft Flow are generally available (GA) I’m looking forward to diving into those two in more depth in 2017.

One other major project throughout 2016 was moving my blog to a new hosting provider.  As it turns out I ended up moving twice, first from GeeksWithBlogs.net to self-hosted WordPress on Azure and then again from self-hosted WordPress to the official hosted WordPress.  It was quite a learning experience exporting data, cleaning up the exports, configuring themes, and all of the other work to get WordPress to a point I was satisfied with.  As I am not familiar enough with the hosting of WordPress and was getting many 500 errors after I “tweaked” the databases I thought it best to migrate to the official hosted platform.  So far it has been working well but I am still in the process of cleaning up a few items (mostly CSS or styling) that didn’t migrate 100%.  If you find any issues please contact me or leave a comment.

One a separate note, last year I started using Trello for tracking weekly progress on personal productivity items.  After a few months trying that out I read a few articles that turned me off of that practice.  Eventually it ended up that I was searching for things to put on my weekly lists and the process became just that: a process.  I still keep track of yearly accomplishments for annual review at work.

Sharing Interests

Similar to years past I read a number of books and listened to a number of podcasts.  You can read about 2015 book and podcast recommendations here.  Here are some additional ones from 2016.

Books

I read quite a few Star Wars books at the end of 2016.  I’ve always been a fan of Star Wars but I saw our local library had a number of books in the Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens series.  I decided to read one and got hooked.  I find it very interesting to explore the “new” expanded universe for Star Wars especially backstory on characters, motivations for various factions, and more.

Games

I haven’t had a real gaming PC in quite a few years but this past year I have gotten into PC gaming a little bit again.  One of the highlights was an indie game called Stardew Valley.  For anyone familiar with farming RPGs (yes it is a niche but one that I was heavily into years ago) like Harvest Moon or Rune Factory this is a love letter to that style of game.  I’ve already invested a few dozens hours into this game and have not even finished year 2.  I like the way farming, mining, fishing, foraging, social interactions, and more are all interconnected yet you are free to go at your own leisurely pace.

 

Conclusion

2016 was a great year, especially welcoming our son Samuel into our family.  I’m thankful for the extra time off work to spend with my family and looking forward to 2017.  As always if you have any recommendations on books, podcasts, tech, or other interesting things feel free to share.

 

-Frog Out

Slides and Demo Scripts from SharePoint Saturday Twin Cities 2016

A big thank you out to the organizers, attendees, and sponsors from SharePoint Saturday Twin Cities.  It has been a number of years since I was last at this event and great to see it alive and well.  I had a great time getting to talk with attendees and fellow speakers as well as presenting two sessions.  Slides, code, and scripts from my sessions are below.  If you have any feedback or follow up questions please leave a comment below.

 

On a personal note I was completely flattered when Jeff Teper (“father of SharePoint” himself) and James Phillips (CVP for Business Apps at Microsoft) tweeted back to me during my prep time this morning.  Great to see the Corporate Vice President or SharePoint and OneDrive engaged and supporting community events.  A sign of good things to come from the SharePoint and PowerApps leadership.

 

image

 

PowerApps and Microsoft Flow Intro for Developers

GitHub link to demo project files

https://github.com/BrianTJackett/BTJ.PowerApps.AzureDBSample

Slides

 

Running Your Azure Dev / Test VMs for Cheap

PowerShell script for creating new Azure RM VM

Slides

 

-Frog Out

Slides and Demo Scripts from Dog Food Conference 2016

   A big thank you out to the organizers, attendees, and sponsors from Dog Food Conference.  I had a great time getting to talk with attendees and fellow speakers as well as presenting two sessions.  Slides, code, and scripts from my sessions are below.  If you have any feedback or follow up questions please leave a comment below.

 

PowerApps and Microsoft Flow Intro for Developers

GitHub link to demo project files

https://github.com/BrianTJackett/BTJ.PowerApps.AzureDBSample

Slides

 

Running Your Azure Dev / Test VMs for Cheap

PowerShell script for creating new Azure RM VM

Slides

 

      -Frog Out

Slides and Demos from SharePoint Saturday Detroit 2016

   After a few years away I was able to present at SharePoint Saturday Detroit 2016.  A big thank you to all of the attendees, sponsors, organizers, and other speakers.  Below are my slides and a link to a GitHub repo with the demo projects that I used for the final demo.  This includes the Azure SQL DB project, API app, and Web App.  If you have any feedback or questions feel free to leave a comment below.

GitHub link to demo project files

https://github.com/BrianTJackett/BTJ.PowerApps.AzureDBSample

 

      -Frog Out

Upcoming Speaking Events September 2016

   After many months away from blogging and speaking (baby #2 was born recently) I’m speaking at a few conferences in the coming months.  If you are attending any of these conferences please stop by and say hi.  Looking forward to returning to each of these events.  Here are the sessions and abstracts.

 

Sessions

SharePoint Saturday Detroit (Sept 17th, 2016)

Title: PowerApps and Microsoft Flow for the SharePoint Developer

Abstract: PowerApps and Microsoft Flow are enterprise services (currently in preview) that allows power users and developers to build scalable applications that connect with numerous consumer and enterprise sources using PowerPoint and Excel-like tools. In this session we will overview the integration points for PowerApps and Microsoft Flow with various sources such as OneDrive, Twitter, Azure, and more. We will also talk about the developer story for integrating with custom APIs and on-prem data sources such as SQL Server and SharePoint. Lastly we will demo a number of scenarios to show how easily you can create and consume apps across Windows, iOS, Android, and web.

 

DogFood Con (Oct 5-6, 2016)

Title: PowerApps and Microsoft Flow Intro for Developers

Abstract: PowerApps and Microsoft Flow are enterprise services (currently in preview) that allows power users and developers to build scalable applications that connect with numerous consumer and enterprise sources using PowerPoint and Excel-like tools.  In this session we will overview the integration points for PowerApps and Microsoft Flow with various sources such as OneDrive, Twitter, Azure, and more.  We will also talk about the developer story for integrating with custom APIs and on-prem data sources such as SQL Server and SharePoint.  Lastly we will demo a number of scenarios to show how easily you can create and consume apps across Windows, iOS, Android, and web.

 

Title: Running Your Dev / Test VMs in Azure for Cheap

Abstract: With an MSDN subscription you can run your dev / test environment in Azure IaaS for less than the cost of a cup of coffee each day. In this session we will overview the basics of Azure IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), the pieces you will use to be successful deploying SharePoint in Azure (including the new Azure Resource Manager templates), and how to use resources as efficiently as possible to reduce your costs and boost your farm performance. This session is targeted to SharePoint developers and administrators. Prior knowledge of Azure is helpful but not a requirement.

 

SharePoint Saturday Twin Cities (Oct 29, 2016)

Title: PowerApps and Microsoft Flow for Developers

Abstract: PowerApps and Microsoft Flow are enterprise services (currently in preview) that allows power users and developers to build scalable applications that connect with numerous consumer and enterprise sources using PowerPoint and Excel-like tools.  In this session we will overview the integration points for PowerApps and Microsoft Flow with various sources such as OneDrive, Twitter, Azure, and more.  We will also talk about the developer story for integrating with custom APIs and on-prem data sources such as SQL Server and SharePoint.  Lastly we will demo a number of scenarios to show how easily you can create and consume apps across Windows, iOS, Android, and web.​

 

      -Frog Out

My Blog Has Moved

Four months ago I wrote a post about Changes Planned for My Blog.  My initial research into migrating my blog ended up needing much more manual effort migrating content and extra time fine tuning the destination platform.  Additionally the birth of our second child has changed my priorities on time and side projects recently.  Without further delay I’m happy to announce that I am migrated off of my prior GeeksWithBlogs (SubText) platform and now on to WordPress.

Some of you may be asking “but Brian you said you were looking at migrating to Orchard, what happened to that?”.  As part of my migration attempt I had to convert from SubText to WordPress and then WordPress export out to a format that Orchard could understand.  Getting all content exported (including pictures, comments, blog post metadata, etc.) was very tricky and I had to manually update some of the export / import files for it to work properly.  In the end it was taking too much time to convert everything twice.  Everything looked good enough on WordPress and the developer / plug-in support on WordPress is strong.  I do plan to blog out the tools and processes I used in the migration in case anyone else is interested in seeing how that worked.

That being said, yes I’m aware that some content is not displaying 100% the same way that it did on my prior hosting blog.  You may notice that code snippets from years ago aren’t spaced properly or embedded images aren’t showing.  The latter is actually an issue with OneDrive that I had submitted a ticket on and am getting answers on.  If you notice something is not displaying properly or other issues please leave a comment or contact me.  I’ll be fine tuning my blog over time and any and all suggestions are welcome.  Thanks and I look forward to getting back into a more regular blogging schedule the remainder of this year.

   Side note: I am doing some URL rewrite / redirection on my new blog to clean up the URLs from my old blog.  This includes striping out the “bjackett/archive” portion of the URL as it is a remnant from my old host.  If you are accessing any content on the original URL “https://briantjackett.com/…” you will be redirected to the intended URL of “https://briantjackett.com/…” instead.

-Frog Out