Modernizing Applications with Azure Microservices

Posted in Architecture, Azure on August 7th, 2015 by Scott Jamison – Be the first to comment

Designing solutions for scale and simplicity is an important factor when choosing an architecture for modern applications. The days of building and maintaining monolithic applications is over. Microservices are a way to design software applications as suites of independently deployable services. By using the Azure Service Fabric, you can create highly scalable, resilient, and composable units of deployment for modern applications. As the parts are self-contained, they lend themselves to continuous delivery and DevOps.

With Azure Service Fabric, you get proper tooling that enables you to manage the collection of services that are developed for your application — things like rolling updates of microservices, health monitoring of microservices, auto-scaling, load-balancing, and automatic rollback if updates fail. These are key features that enable you to manage microservices at enterprise scale.

Want to learn more?  BlueMetal’s own Bob Familiar led this session, available on Microsoft Virtual Academy. Check it out!

Office 365: Deploying Your Next Workload

Posted in SharePoint on August 7th, 2015 by Scott Jamison – Be the first to comment

For most organizations who’ve chosen to move to Office 365, the email workload (Exchange Online) is typically deployed first. Microsoft provides guidance and support in the form of TechNet and the Onboarding Center. Email is typically the easiest workload to deploy and the most straight-forward in terms of adoption, mainly since the typical user doesn’t notice anything different — they’re likely still using Outlook client and viewing/composing their email as normal.

Once Exchange Online is enabled, organizations will make a choice as to the next workload they’d like to deploy. Typical options include SharePoint Online, Yammer, OneDrive for Business, and Skype for Business Online, with the most common being SharePoint.

It’s very important to ensure that you have a proper plan in place for a SharePoint Online deployment, as you’ll typically have to reconcile several key issues, for example:

  • Hybrid considerations. If you have an existing on-premises deployment of SharePoint, you’ll have to determine whether you’ll be able to move all of the sites, content, and custom solutions to the cloud. If not, you might need to consider a hybrid scenario, which will take careful planning. I’ll be creating a post in the near future on hybrid considerations.
  • Customization. The traditional way SharePoint has been customized in the past via full-trust solutions, site templates, and master pages has changed. You’ll want to stop all old-school SharePoint customization immediately, and start adopting new techniques such as employing Office 365 SharePoint Add-Ins. I’ll post on this soon as well.
  • Governance Policies.  Although Microsoft takes care of backups and keeping the lights on in general, you’ll still want a comprehensive governance policy for your SharePoint operational procedures, your SharePoint customization policy, and most importantly, how content is managed and controlled.
  • Adoption. Unlike email, which is a very specific solution, SharePoint provides the ability to solve a wide variety of business solutions. You’ll want to consider which features you enable (or don’t enable) carefully. Planning is key here.

You can see whether your organization is eligible for the Office 365 FastTrack Onboarding and Migration benefit by clicking here. And if you need help with anything I mentioned above, feel free to reach out to me at

Increasing Findability in SharePoint

Posted in SharePoint on July 23rd, 2012 by Scott Jamison – Be the first to comment

With SharePoint 2013 touting better-than-ever search capabilities, it’s important to remember what makes content easy to find: content organization and knowing how the search engine functions. In today’s SPTechCon Boston session at 11:00AM, I’ll provide my secret playbook for a top-notch collaboration experience and maximum findability.

We’ll cover my five-step playbook, including:

  • Step 1: Fix Contribution
    • Folders and default properties – the rules you MUST follow
    • Different views (UX) for contributors and consumers
  • Step 2: Fix Consumption #1 (Browsing and Navigation)
    • Different views (UX) for contributors and consumers (again!)
    • Configure navigation
  • Step 3: Fix Consumption #2 (Search)
    • Encourage better Titles
    • Definitions, best bets
  • Step 4: Align Taxonomy
    • The seven places to configure things in SharePoint 2010 (you don’t have to do them all)
  • Step 5: Integrate Social
    • Enable social tagging promotion and tag feeds

You can get the slides here.

SharePoint Executive Briefing: Follow-Up and Resources

Posted in SharePoint on May 4th, 2012 by Scott Jamison – Be the first to comment

Thank you to everyone who joined me yesterday at the Jornata SharePoint executive briefing. We had a lively discussion about key SharePoint deployment topics, including:

  • Getting executive buy in (if you don’t, kill the project)
  • The thing that kills search results (the Title property)
  • Governance (keep it simple and to-the-point)
  • SharePoint as a central service (take careful note of your customization policy)
  • Keep your content fresh; SharePoint is nothing without content
  • First rule of SharePoint: don’t talk about SharePoint (a.k.a. name your portal something else!)
  • Give SharePoint ongoing love (giving birth to a SharePoint solution is just the beginning)

Here are the resources I referenced:

You can also get the slides from the session on Jornata’s website.

Remember to follow me on Twitter, too!

Scott Jamison



SPTechCon Boston Presentations and Slides

Posted in SharePoint on June 2nd, 2011 by Scott Jamison – 1 Comment

Hey SharePoint fans! I’m presenting at SPTechCon Boston this week on three topics:

304 Governance Best Practices in SharePoint 2010
Without proper governance, even the best-intentioned SharePoint deployment can go wrong. Do you want to learn how to create an effective governance plan? Would you like to understand the impact of key changes such as social features and solution development changes on your planning process? If so, join us for a timely discussion around planning your SharePoint 2010 deployment through the use of governance best practices.

403 Search Tricks & Tips That Work!
Not satisfied with SharePoint search? Come learn how some easy tricks can help you with your search results, such as tagging (including the one tag you have to get right), search keywords, best bets, synonyms, scopes, authoritative sources and people search.

908 Build It and They Will Come: SharePoint 2010 User Adoption
Do you believe in SharePoint, but feel your hard work is not understood or appreciated? Do you see the value SharePoint can deliver, but feel your investment is wasted? If so, join this session to learn real-world strategies and best practices for driving end-user understanding, appreciation and adoption. This session will walk IT pros, devs and decision-makers through common end-user adoption situations and teach them how to turn naysayers and silent voices into believers!

Download the presentations at

SharePoint 2010 Request and Lifecycle Management

Posted in SharePoint on May 25th, 2011 by Scott Jamison – Be the first to comment

If you’re one of those organizations that have put SharePoint in place as a central service to handle the wide array of business requests that come in, it’s likely that you’ll need a good way to track, manage, and prioritize those business requests. I’m calling this concept SharePoint Lifecycle Management.  At TechEd 2011, we announced a free solution and guidance that provides a simplified request and workflow process by using Microsoft Project Server 2010. The solution serves as a function to manage SharePoint projects and related requests in order to view, analyze, and resource them. Business users are able to make SharePoint project requests through a form in Project Web App, while project managers monitor and assign resources, evaluate priorities, and manage their overall project portfolio more efficiently.  The solution is designed to capture the most relevant and important data pertaining to SharePoint requests for an efficient workflow while enabling the business to make the right strategic decisions about the use of SharePoint.  Check it out!

Read the official Project Server blog post at:

Watch a replay of the TechEd 2011 session (and download the slides) at

TechEd 2011 Resources

Posted in SharePoint on May 23rd, 2011 by Scott Jamison – Be the first to comment

Thanks to those of you who attended my sessions at TechEd in Atlanta last week!  Here are a few key resources that you’ll want to grab:

  1. The SharePoint 2010 Lifecycle Management white papers and resources.
  2. My Drive-Thru Best Practices session on SharePoint 2010 End-User Adoption.
  3. SharePoint 2010, which will be released toward the end of June. You can read up on SP1 here.

SPTechCon San Francisco Presentation Materials

Posted in SharePoint on February 8th, 2011 by Scott Jamison – Be the first to comment

Hey gang!  Thanks for attending my sessions at SPTechCon in San Francisco. We discussed three important topics in the SharePoint 2010 space: governance, adoption, and social computing. The slides for each session can be found at

Thanks for attending!


SharePoint Saturday Hartford: Social Computing Best Practices in SharePoint 2010

Posted in SharePoint on January 29th, 2011 by Scott Jamison – Be the first to comment

Social Computing is a hot topic in the business world. Companies large and small are looking at ways to keep people engaged and productive. SharePoint 2010 provides ways to do this via collaborative and social technologies.

My session at SharePoint Saturday Hartford entitled “Social Computing Best Practices in SharePoint 2010″ covers the follwing topics:

•Why Social Computing? •Why Social Computing for Business? •What does Social Computing mean in the context of SharePoint? •Best Practices for Social Computing in SharePoint 2010: Top Ten •Governance & Adoption Considerations

Download the presentation in PDF format from the Jornata website.

SharePoint Saturday Webinar: Governance in SharePoint 2010

Posted in SharePoint on December 3rd, 2010 by Scott Jamison – Be the first to comment

Thanks to everyone who attended the SharePoint 2010 Governance Best Practices Webinar today! If you missed it, the recording will be posted on the SharePoint Saturday Boston website shortly.

If you’re looking for the slides, you can get them on the Jornata website.

And if you’re looking for the whitepapers I mentioned, you can find them here:

Thanks again for attending. Be sure to follow me on twitter @sjam.