When Software Attacks!

Safely modify SharePoint 2013 Web.Config files using PowerShell

One of the things we learn early in our SharePoint careers was not to manually edit the web.config files of a web application. SharePoint involves multiple servers and has its own mechanisms for managing web.config updates. Previously, I’ve created xml files with web.config modifications and copied those to each WFE. Those changes are merged into the initial web.config by SharePoint. I’ve always been vaguely aware of there being a better way, but never needed to track it down from an IT point of view.

Adding USB 3 to my Lenovo X220 Tablet

My X220 is a stalwart machine. It’s built like a tank and can be upgraded in a numb of ways. Mine now has 16Gb of RAM and two SSDs which allow me to run multi-VM environments for development and demo. Unfortunately, however, there is no USB 3 on the laptop. That’s a pain if I need to copy stuff on and off via USB, or run VMs from a USB 3 pod.

Enabling Data Deduplication on my Windows 8.1 Laptop

Lets get the disclaimer out of the way first: What I’ve done is absolutely unsupported by Microsoft. Just because it works for me does not guarantee it will work for you and I am not in any way recommending that you follow my lead! I use a great many virtual machines for both customer work, internal projects and just tinkering. My ThinkPad X220T is tricked out with extra RAM and two SSDs.

Gary Lapointe to the rescue: Using his Office 365 powershell tools to recover from a corrupted masterpage

I also need to give credit to the Office 365 support team over this. They were very quick in their response to my support incident, but I was quicker! Whilst working on an Office 365 site for a customer today I had a moment of blind panic. The site is using custom branding and I was uploading a new version of the master page to the site when things went badly wrong.

Declaratively create Composed Looks in SharePoint 2013 with elements.xml

This is really a follow-up to my earlier post about tips with SharePoint publishing customisations. Composed looks have been a part of a couple of projects recently. In the first, a solution for on-premise, we used code in a feature receiver to add a number of items to the Composed Looks list. In the second, for Office 365, a bit of research offered an alternative approach with no code. What are Composed Looks A composed look is a collection of master page, colour scheme file, font scheme file and background image.