Dubai – remarks

And that is the tallest building in the world. Live in Dubai – captured on my iPhone as we drove through the city. My remarks:

  • The architecture is more amazing than anything I have ever seen. Anywhere. Period.
  • The country is run like a company – that is the philosophy. Everything is about renewal and efficiency – with an incredible air of competitiveness. Nothing lest than the best will suffice.
  • It’s very liberal for an Islamic nation (e.g. – women can be uncovered, there are bars & nightclubs) – but values are strictly upheld and observed (e.g. – Ramadan, Internet censorship of inappropriate content).
  • Almost everyone is an immigrant. And it’s all about business. It is one of the most pro-business places I have been.
I hope I have the opportunity to go back! (And, at some point I’ll do a Flickr gallery of the iPhone posts.)

Secret Agent Man

For most of 2010 – and so far all of 2011 – I have been working on special projects as my primary focus day-to-day. A lot of the details of which will never be known – except to a select few involved. It has provided for a vexing and at times lonely corporate existence. And not a lot of interesting things to blog or tweet about.

Hence, my focus on photography and travel – and a break from technology. This in and of itself has proven to be a fun interlude. As I have accomplished a lot of my personal goals with respect to improving my photography from the last five years. Low-light and well-composed landscapes no longer represent the challenge that they once did. Hopefully you agree! 🙂

Now, I have to set even higher bar for my photography. And in a few months hopefully I will be out of special project mode and back into the kind of customer or engineering focused action that I truly enjoy. Be seeing you.

Demo Hell – thank you SharePoint 2010

I just built a demo system for presenting Commerce Server 2009 R2 CTP on top of SharePoint 2010 at the Microsoft MVP Summit. The experience was NOT fun, hampered by two major gotchas:

  • SP2010 will not configure unless you are connected to the network. And the domain controller of the domain to which the machine belongs is accessible. The error will complain about configuring the database, but this is the real root cause.
  • CS2009 R2 CTP – leaving authorization disabled caused – of all things – an authorization error. Configuring the XML files for Authorization Manager rectified the problem.

Many, many hours killed – if you run into these – hopefully they help!

Commerce Server 2009 w/ SharePoint 2010 Template Pack Hyper-V VHD Now Available

I am pleased to announce that we now have available a Hyper-V VHD release of the SharePoint 2010 Template Pack for Commerce Server 2009. This is a 64-bit Hyper-V image – as SharePoint 2010 requires a 64-bit operating system. Hence, Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V is required to run the VM along with at least 4 GB of RAM for the virtual machine.

To obtain this, please:

  • Navigate to
  • Sign in or create a profile using your Windows LiveID
  • Join the Commerce Server Feedback program (if you are not already a member)
  • Fill out the survey to request the VHD – and you will be granted access once your request has been submitted and approved (generally takes 1 business day)

Hope this helps – and enjoy!

Commerce Server on SharePoint 2010

Today is the next step in evolving Commerce Server. As of this morning, the Commerce Server 2009 Template Pack for SharePoint 2010 has released and can be downloaded at

What this release provides is an updated version of the existing Contemporary Site for both Web and Mobile devices that runs on SharePoint 2010, along with the requisite source code for customization. It also updates the Profile system to support the new claims-based authentication mechanism in SharePoint 2010.

I would highly encourage anyone starting a new deployment to start here. For those with existing sites, the Profile update (and associated site code, to be used as a reference) are absolute must-haves to get an existing Commerce Server 2009/SharePoint 2007 site to run on SharePoint 2010 (there is no way to actually get it to work without these fixes).

Hope this helps!