Readings to prepare for the SharePoint 2010 IT Pro exams

A couple of weeks ago, I passed the beta version of the two SharePoint 2010 IT Pro exams:

  • Exam 70-668: PRO: Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Administrator
  • Exam 70-667: MCTS: Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Configuring

Of course, I can’t tell you much about the actual content of the exam (NDA, you know…) but as long as there are no official “exam preparation guides”, I would recommend you to prepare for the exam by reading the Planning, Upgrade and Deployment guides for SharePoint 2010. The Technet site has a good overview of the downloadable content for SharePoint 2010.


Microsoft LCDS version 2.5

Microsoft released a new version of its Learning Content Development System, the free content authoring tool. The release notes show the following changes:
  • E-learning created is compatible with Firefox 3.5.9 and Firefox 3.6.3.
  • Microsoft Silverlight 4 Media Player for animations that include closed captioning.
  • Enhanced keyboard accessibility for the sort and tile games, adventure interactivity, and Voice of the Expert element.
  • LCDS authoring and e-learning created are completely compatible with Microsoft Silverlight 4.0.
An interesting new feature is the possibility to create content on the “lesson” level. Previous versions did not allow this, which sometimes resulted in blank pages in the course structure when you imported the SCORM package in an LMS. When you open a course in the new version, you will notice an option to enable the content at the lesson level:
Tip: if you don’t know which version of LCDS you are running, open LCDS and press Shift+F1.

Co-authoring with Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010

I have been playing with the co-authoring function in Office 2010, SharePoint 2010 and the Office Web Apps. Co-authoring allows simultaneous editing of the same document by multiple users. It took me some time to figure out which apps actually support this functionality, because not all of them do.

The following site gives a good overview:

The table below (taken from the article) is a good summary:

Application Server Requirements Common Scenarios
Word 2010 SharePoint Foundation 2010 Any document including proposals, plans, vision statements, minutes, newsletters, and reports
PowerPoint 2010 SharePoint Foundation 2010 Any presentation including training, conferences, post-mortems, product overviews, handbooks, and project status reports
Excel Web App SharePoint Foundation 2010
and Office Web Apps
Any spreadsheet, including team financial modeling, business-to business product line update on a web page, and real-time trading spreadsheet trackers
OneNote 2010 SharePoint Foundation 2010 Any notebook, including recurring meeting minutes, project brainstorming (“group-think”), shared research and reference material, and shared training courses
OneNote Web App SharePoint Foundation 2010 and Office Web Apps  

Office 2010 – where did the “Share” menu go?

In Office 2010 Beta, the File menu contained a Share option, that allowed you to save a file directly to a SharePoint site, or even to SkyDrive.

I was looking for that option in the final release, but could not find it. Well, the Share option is no longer there, but all the functionality is under Save & Send.

It took me a while to figure that out, so I thought I might share it with you.



Converting Captivate screencasts to Silverlight

Recently, I had to produce screencasts that needed to be published/played in a Microsoft Silverlight player. I know, most people are still using the very popular Flash format, but sometimes there are reasons why you need to use Silverlight. For instance because it needs to be published on a Microsoft platform. ;–)

The trouble is that this requires your movies to be in .wmv format. Captivate currently ony produces Flash output (of course).

If you are starting from scratch, you can use a screencasting tool that produces .wmv files directly. You can use Camtasia Studio, or Microsofts Expression Encoder. This will give you a nice .wmv file that you can then embed in your authoring tool, or play directly with a Silverlight player (e.g. the free one on Codeplex.).

But what if you have tons of Captivate movies ready to be published? Or if you like Captivate better than Camtasia? Well, no worries, you can follow these steps:

  1. Remove the “interactive” elements from your Captivate movies. This includes buttons, playback controls, question slides, anything a user can click on. This is important, otherwise your conversion will fail.
  2. Publish your project  and get the .swf file.
  3. Convert the .swf file to .wmv. I used Camtasia to do that (via Import media you can import an .swf file, and publish your project as .wmv), but I heard of other people using tools like Prism to do this.
  4. Integrate the .wmv in your Silverlight authoring tool or in your player.
  5. Done!

You can view an example of the final result. Requires the Silverlight Player (duh!).

Any tips or tricks? Share them in the comments!