Jaane bhi do yaaro..

Congress has always been my favorite party. It gives me so much to gossip about. It is not that BJP or other party is any better. But in Indian politics, we choose not the better candidate but “less bad” guy to represent us in Parliament. So when India thought that they have done a good job in giving a clear mandate to Congress to “lead” us, they actually did a great job in choosing the right party to lead the corrupt useless scoundrels flourishing for last 60 years.

Earlier I hate congress because I never understood why even after 60 years of independence we are still under-developed and poverty, illiteracy, corruption etc are so rampant. Congress pats its back for opening up the economy but one should ask who closed the economy at first place. We share a special relationship with all our neighbors – Pakistan, china, Nepal , Bangladesh and now Sri lanka too. In brief, we are surrounded by countries with whom we have conflicts in one way or other. The list is endless but must have to congratulate the gandhi (are they really “Gandhi” 🙂 )family for being successful in fooling the Indians for more than half a century.

Now I have found a better way to channelize my anger by amusing myself at the cost of the “con”gress.

Anyways, coming back to my favorite past time. Following is the list of my top 5 role models in the area of politics and best part is all are from Congress (oops one from National Congress Party) party. Sorry my Bengali, UP, and Marathi bros, even Mamata di, Mayawati behen and bhala manus – Raj Thakre couldn’t make the list. So here it goes..

We’ll start with No. 5

5. Manmohan Singh – The King (or the Jack)

Manmohan

Manmohan

looks like too many hats..except the crown..

Almost everybody must have a dream that they will change the shape of this country if they are made the PM of ths country. Of course no nobody wants to become a President as it is wasted office. But this chap who is the PM for more than 7 years is as helpless as President. What a pity, the two top positions of India – President and PM don’t hold power to change the country. What will you expect of others? I bet if you ask any youth in India to bet on current PM in a leadership poll, the answer will be “No. Pleaaase”.

4. A. Raja  – Raja” of all Tughlaqs

Raja scam

Raja scam

Remember the figure Rs 70000 crore. We’ll use it later also. Yes that’s the amount our exchequer has lost because of this “Raja” of all Tughlaqs.

But I get he “reserves” that place, as he is a SC. SC issues notice to another SC..huhh..Even the judiciary is politically motivated..

Well but now who can blow the whistle …CVC’s Thomas is even planning to stop the “whistle podu” ad for Chennai Super kings.

3. M.S. Gill – coined the term “spoilsportsmanship”

MS gill

MS Gill

Big Ol’ daddy and role model for all babudom of the country. No wonder sports is flourishing in the country. You win a local gulli danda tournament and he’ll be there to take credit but please don’t ask about CWG.

And special advice to the coaches…Make sure you get yourself introduced before he ignores you and if he does, do learn to ignore as you ignore the world class sports facilities in the country.

2. Sharad Pawar – Guardian of twin ministries – “rotting” grains and “bouncy” gains

pawar

Pawar

He is one of my favorites. I guess all politicians should learn from him. The country knows that Narayana Murthy has done country proud by creating and sharing wealth. But come to Maharashtra and you’ll come to know what “wealth creation” means. He takes it to a level never known before.

But forget sharing wealth, he don’t even believe in sharing “rotting food” to the poor. But can share some tips on Cricket …

  1. Suresh Kalmadi – All games and no sports..
kalmadi

kalmadi

And dhan te nan…well there is no better way than “kaminey” song to welcome the topper of my countdown…. Let’s play a quick game.. Type kalmadi on google and wait for a few seconds..  Google expects you to type “cwg”, “scam”, “issue”, “news”, “corruption”, “treadmill”, “jokes” etc. Going by the current rate of his popularity, he’ll even replace “santa” as joke king. Even Ranbir Kapoor is jealous of Mr. Kalmadi as he is the new poster boy of all news

CWG

CWG

channels. Pawar may be the biggest wealth creator, Kalmadi is surely the largest wealth sharer (wealth of commons – again the magical figure of 70000 cr).

Famous song “Munni badnam hui” has been christened as “Dilli badnaam hui Kalmadi tere liye…sadken bhi jaam hui CWG tere liye..” for CWG anthem.

Jaane bhi do yaaro.

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Sharepoint 2010: Standard vs Enterprise Licensing cost

Let me start with what you’ll miss if you don’t have “Enterprise” edition

The following features will not be available with Standard edition

  1. Business Intelligence
    • Performance point
    • Dashboards
    • Calculated KPIs
    • Advanced Charting
  2. Advanced Search Features
    • Contextual Search
    • Deep refinement
    • Thumbnails and Previews
    • Extended scale
  3. Forms and Business Data
    • Infopath Forms
    • Business Data Webparts
    • Data Connection Library
  4. Excel Services
  5. Visio Services
  6. Access Services

Most of all, you may want Enterprise CAL for your users if you want to integrate FAST Search.

Costs:

1. Sharepoint includes a free Foundation Server edition which can be used for pilot studies and to support small in-house applications 

2. A single license for an internal SharePoint Server is likely to cost around £3000 (ex. VAT), in addition to which each user would require a client access licence (CAL), starting at around £60 each for the Standard CAL and almost double that to access Enterprise features.

3. CALs can’t be enforced on a public-facing Internet server so the sever licenses cost more. Expect to pay around £7500 (ex. VAT) for the Standard edition and £27,000 (ex. VAT) for an Enterprise license.

4. The FAST Search server, new in SharePoint 2010 and based on technology acquired by Microsoft in 2009, is a chargeable add-on, a server licence for this option adding a whopping £14,000 (ex. VAT) to the overall bill.

Not to mention that these costs don’t include Windows server and SQL server licensing.

You may have to remember that both standard and enterprise CALs cover only employees and not people outside organization. So if you want your portal/ site to be accessed by vendors, partners, suppliers or customers, you can either

  1. Buy appropriate CALs for them (if the number is less or you are “filthy rich”)
  2. Go for Internet edition standard or enterprise.

Hope this information helps you in choosing the right license. You can also use the online Microsoft License Advisor, which can help you choose a Volume Licensing program best suited for your organization

Sharepoint 2010! What’s new In a nutshell

Sharepoint Licensing cost – demystified !!

SharePoint has unquestionably garnered a lot of attention from CIOs worldwide and has been called “nothing short of a phenomenon” by Toby Bell, Gartner Inc.’s research vice president. Now with advent of its new version Sharepoint 2010, the business collaboration platform, interest in Sharepoint has increased manifold.

However, most of the organizations are still struggling to calculate the TCO and ROI for the sharepoint.

Total cost of ownership can be calculated by including various costs like Software licenses, Server and SQL Server Licenses, Hardware and Infrastructure, IT staff for Planning, designing, Development, testing and Support, user training ,  Antivirus, 3rd party products and last but not the least indirect costs like having other MS products like Office, AD, Exchange, Live meeting, OCS, Groove, Performance point as part of your IT stack.

Calculating Software Licensing costs for Sharepoint itself is quite a tricky business. Only if your Solution Architect and stakeholders can answer the following questions with confidence, you can be comfortable calculating the license model:

  1. Do you understand the difference between the feature set of WSS, MOSS 2007 Standard and Enterprise Version and Internet version?
  2. How many users are going to use MOSS 2007 Standard/ Enterprise version? How many users will be using after 2-5 years?
  3. Do you want Sharepoint to act as ECM/ Collaboration tool for your public facing/ internet site?
  4. What is the existing content size in your organization? What is the content size expected in 2-5 years?
  5. Do you want to automate your business process? If yes, answer following sub questions: What is the complexity level of your business processes? Do you want to use Inforpath forms? Do you want to use 3rd party Workflow tool?
  6. What are the search requirements? Do you want to index more than 5,00,000 items?
  7. Which shared services do you want to use? Have you identified them?
  8. What are your integration points?
  9. Do you want to use Loadbalancing for your WFEs? Do you want clustering for the DBs?
  10. Do you want to manage Indexing in a separate server apart from Application server?

If you cant answer to one or more questions, I would suggest that you do your homework first and come up with the Logical and Physical Architecture. Calculating a ballpark figure for licenses would then be a cakewalk.

Next step would be to go the Bamboo solutions site and use the calculator. For your quick reference I am posting the following table for 3 scenarios

Option 1:100 users, 2 WFE, 2 SQL, 1 App Server

Option 2:500 users, 2 WFE, 2 SQL, 1 App Server

Option 3: 1000 users, 2 WFE, 2 SQL, 1 App Server, 1 Index Server

Sharepoint Licensing Ballpark estimate

Sharepoint Licensing Ballpark estimate

 The scenarios assumes that you would need to search more than 5,00,000 documents, all users would need Enterprise CALs, you need  minimum of 2 WFEs and 2 DBs and you don’t want to have a public facing site.

Not to mention, if you are good at negotiating and if you are already into Microsoft infrastructure, you can get yourself a good bargain.

I will be talking about calculating ROI for Sharepoint in next post.

Till then have fun exploring the new features of Sharepoint 2010 and my new post on Sharepoint 2010 licensing

Sharepoint 2010 sneakpeek from Arpan Shah

Building Solutions on SharePoint

Google bings and Microsoft rides on high waves

This can’t be a mere coincidence. The two stalwarts of IT industry Google (GOOG) and Microsoft (MSFT) adamant at making a dent in each other’s bastion have catapulted themselves to a better position and the news of their new products have come at the same time.

Microsoft is targeting the “search overload” experienced by cyber denizens and calling its product a “decision engine” which would act as a savior from bizarre, free-associating responses that mimic the random results, search engines generate.

I took a shot at “Bing” with least expectations (quite disappointed by the predecessor –Live”) and found it quite promising. Three features that ‘binged’ me 

 

Microsoft Bing Search

Microsoft Bing Search

  •  Explorer pane – Bing’s new look focuses on a left hand navigation menu called the Explorer Pane. This extra column of content includes Quick Tabs that break searches down into Web Groups relevant to your search.
  • Sneak Preview – You can get a glimpse of the page before you click on it. It is not obtrusive and still does its job. On top of it, you can see the links on that page and that really saves you one more click. For ex: If I want to go to “Admissions” link on a University I can do so now with just one click.
  • Fine tuned and logically grouped search results for most of my queries. For example when I searched for U2 – its shows me results grouped by Images followed by links grouped by general, U2 songs, U2 tickets, U2 merchandise, U2 downloads, U2 interviews, Videos of U2 and finally usage statistics. Well that really makes my life easier as I can easily skip most of the links if I wish to buy tickets for a U2 concert.

In spite of these improvements, I still feel there is not much that would entice a normal user to overcome the inertia. “Adoption” is going to be the biggest hurdle for “Bing”.

Biggest problem I found with Bing was that in endeavor of giving more meaningful results, its forgetting the core functionality that is to search. Bing fails to crawl to all the pages that are present on the web. Another disappointing feature was unrelated sponsored links.

Google Wave

Google Wave

Google showcased its Web-based collaboration/ communication tool – Wave at the Google I/O developer’s conference recently. The Google team, led by Rasmussen brothers, developed the application to allow people to communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps and other tools in a real time.

The product lets you create a wave, which often starts with instant messaging, and then you can add people to it. Popularly touted as next gen of email, it also brings live server forms, open protocol, drag n drop file upload, integration with blog, orkut, twitter, language conversion and most importantly live collaborative editing.

The major leap is contributing this innovation to the open source community. This will surely foster innovation and adoption in developer community.

On the other side, what makes me worried is the confusion that would be easily created while collaborating with a team of 10+. Imagine a conversation being modified by more than 5 people at the same time. Moreover I am terrified at the thought of somebody reading my typing or grammatical mistake. People even do copy paste while using IM that would be just so difficult with Google wave.

But one thing that may work against “Wave” is its complexity that is in complete contrast to the simplicity that is the trademark of Google products.

Though these products have an uphill task ahead, let me clarify once for all that Wave and Bing have definitely upped the ante by their own standards. The problem is that they don’t offer something that is compelling enough to force the traditional users to move from what they are using. I use “Google” for search and “Microsoft’s Sharepoint” for collaboration needs and looking at whatever I am able to digest so far I would continue with them at least for next few years.

What to expect in Sharepoint 2010?

 

What to expect from Sharepoint 2010– when the expactations are sky high? This can be fairly attributed to the immense success of its predecessor sharepoint 2007 . Well there hasn’t been any official communication yet from Redmond but following list has been compiled partially based on my wishes and whims and rest to rumors floating around which are keeping the sharepoint buzz alive.

Enterprise Content Management features

  • Document imaging and reports management
  • Records Management and better Archiving Policies – Sharepoint desperately needs them to maintain leadership in the ECM marketplace.
  • Better taxonomy management – We desperately need this !!!
  • Email management – User/ Project can create a repository for managing important emails.
  • Better offline support – I guess MS Groove or Workspace will be more effectively used for all its worth.
  • Better support for Internet facing sites – WCM capabilities has a good scope of improvement
  • Should support more content storage options – storage architecture can be composed of SAN, NAS, RAID, tape, etc. Currently it supports only SQL server.

Web 2.0 Features

  • Enhanced collaboration tools – Wikis, Blogs, Discussion forums, Surveys etc. Community Toolkit on Codeplex can be handy here. 

Security features

  • More OOTB permissions type and better flexibility to create custom roles and permissions to implement Role based access control
  • Support for other LDAP and Identity management solutions
  • Wizards for configuring SSO and Kerberos
  • Claims based Authentication to use any other Authentication mechanism

Integration features

  •  Integration with other CMS product – Documentum, Imaging solution
  • Webparts to integrate CRM products other than MS Dynamics
  • Seamless integration with Silverlight. I am expecting a collection of silverlight web parts.

Business Intelligence and Reporting features

 There are reports and some official communication that few features (read analystics and scorecarding) of Performance Point server will be part of next version of Sharepoint.

You should also expect a Dashboard designer and more webparts dedicated for reporting and analytics. There should also be easy interfaces to effectively utilize SSAS and SSRS.

Development ease

  • Easy support of Silverlight and other RIA technologies
  • More ready to use templates and OOTB web parts
  • Easier Content deployment

Search

  • FAST Search Integration – This is more or less confirmed news.
  • Faceted Search
  • iFilters for ODF and PDF files and native support for other non MS doc formats.

Business Process Management

  • Powerful Infopath form capabilities
  • More OOTB workflow types
  • A workflow modeller for State machine workflows

Admin Capabilities

  • Snapshot backup and recovery
  • Recovery at finer item level
  • Painless Migration from SPS 2003, Sharepoint 2007, Lotus Notes

 Usability Features

  • Native support of browsers other than IE
  • Better Rich text control
  • Better support for Mobile devices – That holds an important key for future mobile apps that will run across major smartphone browsers. Check the link out Mobile Entrée
  • Auto save features
  • XHTML compliant
  • Compliance to Accessibilty standards 
  • Ribbon Interface

Few items that have been confirmed or heard on grapevine

  • The SharePoint 2010 will be shipped only as x64 installation
  • Sharepoint lists will be more powerful and will allow operations like SQL tables.
  • Fast Search Integration
  • CMIS support to facilitate integration with EMC documentum

Performance

  • Master Data Management for maintaining master data at one place to reduce redundancy of data. This data store will also support views, business rules, hierarchichal relationships

What not to expect?

  • Sharepoint to be OS agnostic. Forget it :(. Atleast its not going to happen in next release
  • Much action happening on Digital Asset Management and Rights Management.
  • MOSS  – Sharepoint is no more associated to Office Family. “Office” moniker is out.
  • Support for IE 6.0, SQL Server 2000, 32 bit SQL Server 2005