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Convert Content via SharePoint – Word Automation Services

I already made a post about the word automation services in SharePoint 2010. I then used Powershell to convert a word document to a pdf, which both were stored in a document library in SharePoint.

That was typically for 2010:

  • Solutions have to wait for a timer job to complete the converting process
  • Files can only be in SharePoint
  • No UI
  • No message if it’s done

The reason to create a new post is, that SharePoint 2013 offers a lot more things now which make the word automation services powerful and interesting in every direction. It now can offer

  • Conversion process is synchronized, immediate response is possible
  • Convert one file at a time per request
  • Setting options in Central Administration for simoultaneous requests
  • Notify / Updating files in SharePoint items if conversion is ready
  • Support of streams
    • Convert streams as inputs and outputs for file operations
    • Storing streams in the application server and worker manager not in the database

Let’s see how we can use it. I created a small console project to check the functionality. I found some cool functions which I used from this post and expand it to my needs. A second post was about using it as web service which might be really cool if you need a converter service for other applications or applications within sharepoint. (more…)

SharePoint 2010 Custom Workflow Actions for SP Designer

I already build up an easy workflow for SharePoint with Visual Studio, but i never did develope a custom SharePoint Designer workflow action. But now i got a requirement in a project in which we need to provide the possibility to convert an office document to pdf and store it in a completely different Site Collection.

Cause this part of action will be needed some more often, we decided to build up a custom SharePoint Designer Worklfow action. We had a SharePoint 2013 platform but no workflow manager in this farm. So the custom action is based on SharePoint 2010 workflow platform. The other great thing of custom SPD Workflow actions is that you can update them more easily than workflows itself. You do not need to update the whole workflow. You only need to update them if you change the .action file (you see later what it’s all about) and you can use them in every SharePoint Site you have.

So what is this? A SharePoint Designer Workflow Action is a piece of code, which will be executed inside the workflow. It can use parameters and variables. You know it from SharePoint Designer if you build workflows. You’ll find those actions in the ribbon and use it to define the steps a workflow should do.


Let me show you how we succeded using this cool feature.


Sprecher auf den SharePoint Days in Berlin 2014

So ich bin dieses Jahr auf den SharePoint Days 2014 in Berlin als Sprecher vor Ort. Ich freue mich sehr, dass ich dort auftreten darf und mein Thema Wunsch & Wirklichkeit bei SharePoint Forms? Usability und Anpassungsmöglichkeiten vortragen darf.

Agenda zu SharePoint Days 2014

Infos zum Vortrag

Mein Vortrag startet diesmal am 2. Tag um 11:25 Uhr – Freu mich über jeden Besucher :)

Wer will schon seine Daten abgeben? Diese Unternehmen sind in der Office 365 Cloud

Die Diskussionen laufen munter weiter: Die Unternehmensdaten in die Cloud packen? Woher weiss ich, ob meine Daten sicher sind und diese nicht durch Fremde Personen eingesehen werden? Was ist mit den rechtlichen Rahmenbedingungen gerade auch in Bezug auf Geheimdienste? Wie sicher sind diese Daten in dem “fremden” Rechenzentrum? Während diese Fragen immer wieder auftreten und auch abgewägt werden müssen, ist zu beobachten, was parallel dazu geschieht. Es ist die Tatsache,  dass mittlerweile immer größere Unternehmen in die Office 365 Cloud einsteigen. Jetzt ohne eine Wertung vornehmen zu wollen: Wow!

Was ein Grund sein kann: Office 365 hat bereits Sicherheitsstandards wie ISO 27001, SAS70 Type II, EU Safe Harbor und dem US Federal Information Security Management Act zertifiziert und wurde zudem auch in Puncto Sicherheit durch die Verleihung des Federal Information Security Management Act bestätigt.

Hier sind mal ein paar Namen gelistet, die man über Google finden kann, welche Office 365 einsetzen oder einsetzen werden in absehbarer Zeit:

und es gibt noch deutlich mehr unter der Office 365 Referenzliste von Microsoft. Ich finde das ist schon sehr beeindruckend. Gibt es noch weitere Unternehmen, die in diese Liste gehören?


Database Maintenance Do’s & Dont’s for SharePoint 2010

If you are responsible for a SharePoint Farm or developing things for a SharePoint farm, I bet you’ve heard things like “it’s not supported by Microsoft to do…” and those things mostly dealing with database operations like updating values or settings. But what is about doing administration stuff like defragmentation of indices or shrinking a database?

In this post I try to make some things more clear. My information is based on this technet article, so I was not creative at all. The things I will point out are valid for SharePoint 2010.

Routine database maintenance is essential for the smooth operation of Microsoft SharePoint 2010 databases

That means that we have to do some work on the SQL Server. Microsoft recommends to check database integrity, defragment indexes by reorganizing or rebuilding them as well as set the fill factor for your server.

In SharePoint 2010 the health analyzer evaluate the health of database indexes and statistics daily and reports them at the central administration. But this happens only for some SharePoint databases like

  • Configuration DB
  • Content DBs
  • User Profile Service Application Profile DB
  • User Profile Service Application Social DB
  • Web analytics service application reporting DB
  • Web analytics service application staging DB
  • Word automation services DB

Let’s see what are the details and what you should not do. (more…)