What’s new in Microsoft Visio 2010

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The advanced diagramming tools of Microsoft® Visio® 2010 help you simplify complexity with dynamic, data-driven visuals and new ways to share on the Web in real-time. Whether you’re creating an organizational chart, a network diagram, or a business process, the new tools and more intuitive interface in Visio 2010 make it easier to bring your diagrams to life. Start by building your diagram with a diverse set of professional-looking templates and modern, pre-drawn shapes. Then, easily link your diagram to popular data sources (such as Microsoft® Office Excel®). You’ll see data automatically refresh right within your diagram, reflected in vibrant visuals such as icons, symbols, colors, and bar graphs. Finally, with just a few clicks, publish your data-linked diagram to Microsoft® SharePoint® Server 2010, and provide access to others on the Web, even if they don’t have Visio. Together, simplicity, data-driven shapes, and Web sharing make Visio one of the most powerful ways to see and understand important information.

Humans have always communicated visually. Visio 2010 provides more than 60 different diagram types to represent ideas. You can choose from a variety of diagrams- flowcharts, office layouts, org charts, network diagrams and more. For example, brainstorming diagrams is a great way to graphically represent thought processes for problem solving, planning, and decision making. Visio 2010 diagrams can be connected to data from multiple sources. Putting data on diagrams makes the information meaningful and helps in identifying trends and exceptions at a glance. Visio 2010 diagrams can be shared easily, regardless of whether users have access to Visio. A few of the many available options include- viewing as a static web page, viewing in Outlook email, publishing to PDF/XPS or SharePoint Server 2010.

MS Project 2010 choosing right edition(SKU)

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Project 2010 builds on the Project 2007 foundation and represents the next generation of the Microsoft Project family of products. It consists of Microsoft Project Standard 2010, Microsoft Project Professional 2010, and Microsoft Project Server 2010. Microsoft Project 2010 combines powerful business collaboration with advanced planning and execution capabilities to deliver flexible and easy to use work management solutions spanning simple tasks to complex projects and programs.

Microsoft Project Standard 2010 provides an intuitive and easier way to complete everyday projects and is targeted towards individual and freelance project managers.

Microsoft Project Professional 2010 provides an intuitive and easier way to complete everyday projects with sophisticated resource management, collaboration and planning capabilities and is targeted towards small to mid size teams and provides the SharePoint integrated mode for online PM activities.

Microsoft Project Server 2010 provides unified project and portfolio management capabilities to help ensure organizations select and deliver the right projects; gain greater visibility and control of resources, leading to improved productivity and business performance. This product is only available in 64 bit and requires SharePoint 2010 and thus makes a complete solution known as EPM (Enterprise Project Management) and as per its name it is targeted towards Enterprises engaged in Project & Portfolio Management.

Evolution of Project Management Tools & Methods

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Its been a century that various Project Management tools and methods have been emerged and brought in to the industry, here Geek Deck has listed down a few for your information:-

1910s The Gantt Chart developed by Henry Laurence Gantt (1861–1919)

1950s The Critical path method (CPM) invented

1958 The Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) method invented

1969 Project Management Institute (PMI) launched to promote project management profession

1975 PROMPTII methodology created by Simpact Systems Ltd (source: PRINCE2 manual)

1987 First Project Management Body of Knowledge Guide published as a white paper by PMI

1989 PRINCE method derived from PROMPTII is published by the UK Government agency CCTA and becomes the UK standard for all government information projects

1986 Six Sigma Methodology

1991 Emergence of Scrum

1995 Agile Project Management was introduced as a new concept

2003 Introduction of Portfolio Management Techniques

SQL Server 2008 R2, Master Data Services (MDS)

 

imageThe recent emphasis on regulatory compliance, SOA and mergers and acquisitions has made the creating and maintaining of accurate and complete master data a business imperative.  IT is challenged with delivering high quality master data, creating, maintaining and delivering trusted versions of master data across their applications.

It’s no longer just about having a single version of the truth.  Master data services enables IT to deliver a single authoritative version of master data, while also making it easy for IT and end users to manage the data – and the data about the data; With capabilities like versioning, role security and hierarchy management, we make it easy to determine who made a change and when it was made while providing the ability to capture and modify hierarchies, independently of your underlying systems. 

With Master Data Services, Microsoft enable companies to deliver trusted data assets by aligning their systems to deliver consistent data throughout the organization.Poor data quality can be costly to organizations.  According to TDWI, Data Quality problems cost US businesses more than $600 billion a year.For the U.S. grocery industry alone, up to 1 percent of net revenue lost, and one in 2,000 of sales lost because the item was out of stock, were attributable to bad master data.

A common example of poor MDM is the scenario of a bank at which a customer has taken out a mortgage and the bank begins to send mortgage solicitations to that customer, ignoring the fact that the person already has a mortgage account relationship with the bank. This happens because the customer information used by the marketing section within the bank lacks integration with the customer information used by the customer services section of the bank. Thus the two groups remain unaware that an existing customer is also considered a sales lead.

Team Foundation Server 2010 Security Permissions

Team Foundation Server (TFS) 2010 is a system not a product and is a combination of WSS, SQL Server and TFS it’s self and most of the Errors and Issues We face during during its Installation and Deployment are releated to SECURITY this might not be possible in every case but if you go online and check this will be the case and that’s what i have learnt during my professional career and deploying TFS multiple times.

We need to understand the following components and the User(s) access rights on them are very important and are the root cause!.

1) SQL Server

a) Reporting Services User rights

b) Analysis Services User rights

c) Database Engine User rights

2) WSS

a) Default Site User rights

b) Central Administration Site User rights

c) Team Site Collection (falling under the Default Site and the Team Sites fall under Team Site Collection) User rights

3) Team Foundation Server

a) Server level User rights

b) Project level User rights

So all these are inter-linked your USER under which your TFS will run has to have rights on all these above mentioned components so let’s say for installation of TFS 2010 you created a user named tfs-user now this User has to have rights on Analysis Services, Reporting Services, SQL DB Engine, WSS sites (Default, Central Admin) and TFS Projects. This is the only way out in which you would be able to deploy, install and configure services rightly and successfully and you would be able to create Team Project successfully and would be able to access Team Site, Reports etc and etc.

So for creating additional users you need to check rights on these specific locations and assign rights as per requirements and privleges.

Whats New in Team Foundation Server (TFS) 2010

This week around I spent some time in exploring Team Foundation Server (TFS) 2010. If you are familiar with 2008 and earlier releases of the Product you would find it a bit different and following are the changes which I have identified.

1) The Product is first installed and the files are copied on C:\Program Files\Your Path and then there comes a Configuration Wizard where the main game starts and you are required to configure TFS.

2) The Configuration Wizard is a cool add-up has a rich UI and allows you to configure the product in multiple ways such as you want to go for Basic Server Configuration or Advance Configuration.

3) There is no binding to must bind WSS 3.0 SP1 or Plus with your TFS and your TFS will continue to work without creating SharePoint sites as well.

4) In TFS 2010 you are required to configure SQL Server Reporting Services first rather then leaving on the TFS Configuration Wizard to configure them for you.

5) The Administration wizard is also a new addition and is such rich in nature that it allows you to actually re-configure or post configure WSS 3.0, Reporting Services, Analysis Services etc at the later stage.

6) If you plan to integrate TFS 2010 with SharePoint after the installation and configuration then you are required to have SharePoint extensions installed and use the TFS Administration Console to actually bind your SharePoint services to TFS 2010.

7) You must have heard of lot of tools coming along with TFS 2008 for Web Access now the Web Access Tool is built in TFS 2010 and it is also configured like other components this creates a separate TFS  website in the IIS and one can easily browse through the Team Project in the browser.

8 ) Hence the Configuration and Administration Consoles in TFS 2010 are really helpful. The Configuration Wizard allows you to Add/Remove components as per requirements and Administration Console helps you to Configure the Installed components and help in their Integration.

9) Overall the Product has improved its performance, health check activity and repair methodology but one should be very careful while choosing which version of the SQL and WSS 3.0 will go well with TFS 2010 and under which mode. For more information on installation please refer to by other post http://geekdeck.com/installing-configuring-team-foundation-server-2010-step-by-step/

10) Last but not least the Visual Studio 2010 Shell Console which you see after installing Team Explorer 2010 and man this has an awesome interface with much more options with compared to the previous version of Team Explorer and now this really looks like a console to manage TEAM PROJECTS!

Installing and Configuring Team Foundation Server 2010 (Step by Step)

Team Foundation Server (TFS) 2010 is already available and you can deploy and start using it. One ideal scenario for it’s installation is as follows:

1) Take a machine and Install Windows Server 2008 (Enterprise)

2) Create a User Named TFS with Admin rights

3) Then You need to install its Service Pack 2 (NOT R2), Just Service Pack 2

4) Install SQL Server 2008 (Enterprise Edition with all components. Mind you Install Reporting Services in Native mode (not the SharePoint Integrated mode) and DON’T Configure the Reporting Services NOW!

5) Download and Install WSS 3.0 + SP2 and You should be able to successfully complete its Configuration Wizard.

6) Once you do that you should be able to see the SharePoint site http://localhost

7) Now Go To the SQL Server Reporting Services Configuration Manager Tool and NOW CONFIGURE your Reporting Services, Use the tool in a step by step approach specifying User, Creating DBs etc. Every where specify the User TFS which you have created in step 2.

8) Once you do that you should be able to see the Reporting Service Portal and Web Service site on http://localhost/Reports ; http://localhost/ReportServer (or on which every URL you specified during Reporting Services Configuration)

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9 ) When you Run the TFS set-up it will copy all the files to Program files which is equal to Installation and then it will start to configure after deployment / installation. In earlier version Install and Deploy was done at the same time.

10) Now Open up the TFS Setup choose which roles you want to deploy like probably you would only want to have TFS and Build Services and then specify the execution account (tfs user which you created).

11) Set-up will run Health Check (don’t worry if there are errors or warning, face them resolve them, they will be resolved, most errors are related to Account Security, System Reqs, Running Services)

12) Once Health Check is passed setup will start deploying Services, Databases and here if you again face errors it means that TFS is unable to make connection to SQL Server, SharePoint or the User has not sufficient Privileges etc.

13) Step 10 and 11 will take most of your time, but once TFS is deployed and Configure, you can further install Team Explorer to Start Creating and Managing Team Projects.

How to Create Windows Server 2008 VM, VHD

This step by step tutorial will guide you on How to Create Windows Server 2008 Virtual PC Hard disk VHD file from scratch.

1) Download and Install Microsoft Virtual PC 2007

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2) Once Installed, Open the Virtual PC Console and Click on New to Create a New Virtual Machine

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3) Then Click to “Create a Virtual machine”

4) In the Next Step specify the Name then Select OS (Select Other) then Set the RAM as per Requirement

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5) From the Virtual Hard Disk Options select “A new virtual hard disk”

6) Specify Size, Name and Location in the Next Step

7) Click Finish when you are done

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8) Now You can See your Newly Created Virtual Machine in the Microsoft Virtual PC console, click on the start button to boot.

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9) Since it’s a new machine without any OS so you will see the above screen and now you need to install Windows Server 2008 on it.

10) Just Click on the CD Menu here you are required to specify the ISO format Windows Server 2008 Media this media can be present in a DVD which is inserted in the DVD Drive of your Physical Machine or probably located some where on Your Hard Disk / USB Storage. Either You will provide access via choosing Use Physical Drive option (which will use the iso burned to a DVD) or Capture ISO Image option which will allow you to choose your ISO file located in Hard Disk / USB Drive etc.

11) After choosing the ISO Reboot your VM   from Action Menu or by Pressing RightAlt+Del key together and your VM will restart and will load the installation files from the specified location and will begin the Windows Server 2008 Setup.

So Install Windows Server 2008 on a VM / VHD and begin your work so you’re not any more dependent upon ready made OS VHD/VM/VPC and can create your own and can use it the way you want.

How to Create Windows 7 Virtual PC Hard disk (VHD)

This step by step tutorial will guide you on How to Create Windows 7 Virtual PC Hard disk VHD file from scratch.

1) Download and Install Microsoft Virtual PC 2007

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2) Once Installed, Open the Virtual PC Console and Click on New to Create a New Virtual Machine

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3) Then Click to “Create a Virtual machine”

4) In the Next Step specify the Name then Select OS (Select Other) then Set the RAM as per Requirement

image 5) From the Virtual Hard Disk Options select “A new virtual hard disk”

6) Specify Size, Name and Location in the Next Step

7) Click Finish when you are done

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8) Now You can See your Newly Created Virtual Machine in the Microsoft Virtual PC console, click on the start button to boot.

image 9) Since it’s a new machine without any OS so you will see the above screen and now you need to install Windows 7 on it.

10) Just Click on the CD Menu here you are required to specify the ISO format Windows 7 Media this media can be present in a DVD which is inserted in the DVD Drive of your Physical Machine or probably located some where on Your Hard Disk / USB Storage. Either You will provide access via choosing Use Physical Drive option (which will use the iso burned to a DVD) or Capture ISO Image option which will allow you to choose your ISO file located in Hard Disk / USB Drive etc.

11) After choosing the ISO Reboot your VM   from Action Menu or by Pressing RightAlt+Del key together and your VM will restart and will load the installation files from the specified location and will begin the Windows 7 Setup.

So Install Windows 7 on a VM / VHD and begin your work so you’re not any more dependent upon ready made OS VHD/VM/VPC and can create your own and can use it the way you want.