Short of building a dedicated VM box with multiple instances for AD, SQL Server, and one or more SharePoint servers, and then securing a static IP account for real-world work and internet connectivity, CloudShare provides a reasonable alternative.
I’ve recently set up a CloudShare account (they are not compensating me for this plug…) to do some prototyping. They offer several plans, including a ‘pay by the drink’ plan where you are charged for memory usage (GB/hour) only when the virtual servers are running. You can connect to the servers through RDP, PowerShell, and a browser interface. The experience is best when you connect via RDP – much like being connected to a server within a closed environment. If you are comfortable with typical VPN, then you will be comfortable with this mode.
I’ll elaborate more after I’ve used it for a while and get a feel for how much it costs to use.
IE is still very much needed for SharePoint, as some vestiges of Active-X are very much alive. Despite MS promising to make SharePoint 2013 browser-agnostic, here we are in 2021 with dependencies still present. As of this update, Active-X is still required for some popular functions such as folder view for document libraries. A workaround exists but it takes a confident end user to configure this – a good topic for another post. These workarounds are a PITA – we had to convert a boatload of media files depending on Flash SWF to work in a SharePoint media library. Great improvement for the end user, but this was essentially a mini-migration project.
Chrome is the most popular browser, so far in 2021. Chrome dominates even beyond the browser. Microsoft Edge runs on the Chromium engine. Edge, has 5% of the browser ‘market’ (third place). Mozilla Firefox (does not use Chromium) is in second placed. All the other web browsers with any measurable share (Opera, Vivaldi, and Brave), run on top of Chromium.
How often do you need to explain SharePoint to someone who is unfamiliar with it, or who hasn’t looked at SharePoint in several years?
Simon Allardice, Senior Author at lynda.com, prepared a dynamite YouTube presentation that introduces SharePoint quite well. I encourage you to view this presentation to pick up a few pointers or just play the video for your audience. He’s a great presenter and this video is professionally produced.
Since SharePoint has been out for a while many decision makers have been exposed to SharePoint but are unaware of its newest, advanced capabilities.
Simon’s presentation is a solid starting point for a conversation with your organization’s stakeholders or a prospective customer.
Take a look and share your thoughts. Let Simon know if you appreciate the effort and if it helps you better inform your audiences.
You don’t need Alec Baldwin yelling “Always Be Closing” (see the notorious scene from Glengarry Glen Ross) to motivate you to pitch your ideas and solutions.
Whether we are selling creative concepts, technical solutions, or real estate, we must paint a picture for the person approving the purchase.
See this great post by Disney Creative Director Will Gay on how to sell your ideas. What’s in it for the stakeholder? What’s in it for the business? How will adding another server or upgrading improve ROI or make people more productive or cut costs? Know it, feel it, sell it!
Will has a much gentler approach as a motivator than the character Alec Baldwin portrayed.
Do I have your attention?
Do you use Nintex workflows in your SharePoint environment? Have a look-see for this upload in Codeplex: Execute PowerShell Script Nintex Workflow Action
The “Execute PowerShell Script” action allows you to execute PowerShell scripts from within Nintex Workflow 2010 workflows. This is a custom Nintex workflow action based on Christian Glessners’ Execute PowerShell Script Action (part of his Advanced Workflow Actions for SharePoint Designer 2010) which you can find also in CodePlex.
Be sure to investigate two other major workflow players for SharePoint: AgilePoint and K2.