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Archive for March, 2014

Slide Show using Content Search Web Part

Posted by Paul on March 5, 2014

In this article we can explore how to use a Content Search Web Part to create a Slide Show of images.

Step 1: Create Picture Library

Create a document library of type picture library, change the name to Slides and add some pictures into it.

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Step 2: Create Page

Add a new page and choose  the Edit Page option.

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Enter the page name as SlidePage.

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Step 3: Insert Content Search Web Part

Choose the Insert tab & Web Part ribbon item; Choose the Content Rollup category and then the Content Search web part.

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Add the web part to the page.

Step 4: Configure Web Part

Choose the Edit Web Part option & click the Change query button.

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In the appearing dialog box choose the following options.

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You are specifying:

  1. Pictures to be displayed
  2. Scoping to a URL
  3. Specifying our picture library URL

From the right pane you can verify the results.

(It takes 15 minutes for the search crawl to refresh new contents)

Save the dialog.

From the web part properties make the following changes in Display Templates section.

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Click OK to save the web part. Save changes to the page.

Step 5: Test the web part

Refresh the slide page & you should be seeing the following display.

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The slides will start changing after few seconds.

Note

There can be a 15 minute delay for the Search Crawl to update the new picture documents.  Please ensure you refresh the page after 15 minutes of upload.

Summary

In this article we have explored how to use Content Search Web Part for doing a Slide Show.

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Posted in SharePoint, SharePoint 2013 | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Content Search Web Part

Posted by Paul on March 5, 2014

Content Search Web Part is a new web part introduced in SharePoint 2013.

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You can see the web part here.

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Please note that Content Query Web Part is different & was pre-existing in SharePoint 2010 too.

What are the advantages?

Following are the advantages:

  1. Search Query Association
  2. Display Templates (HTML, JavaScript)
  3. Scope can be Site Collection, Site or Library level
  4. Styling Options

Please note that Search Crawl has to be happened to display fresh results using this web part.

References

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj163789.aspx

Summary

In this post we explored an overview of Content Search Web Part.  In upcoming posts we can see how to use it.

Posted in SharePoint, SharePoint 2013 | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Load Testing SharePoint 2013 Site

Posted by Paul on March 4, 2014

In this article we can explore the offering of Visual Studio 2012 Ultimate for Load Testing a SharePoint 2013 site.

What is Load Testing?

Load testing is the process of putting demand on a system or device and measuring its response. 

For example, we can test a SharePoint Site by simulating a load of 100 users at the same time. We can measure the response, possible-errors to validate the load-capacity of the servers(s) and measure Performance, Scalability, Endurance and Volume.

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Who Performs Load Testing?

Often load testing is performed by Automation Testers on a pre-configured test environment with same-topology of the production system.

What is the Configuration needed?

Often load testing is performed by Automation Testers on a pre-configured test environment with same-topology of the production system.

What we can infer from the results?

We can use the results for Capacity Validation for coming up with better Capacity Planning.

For example, if the expected response time is 3 seconds for 500 users / minute scenario, and the test result is showing 5 seconds, surely we need to optimize server (s) or change topology based on the bottle necks.

Load Testing helps us validating & improving performance yielding maximum-productivity from the system.

What is the version of Visual Studio 2012 required for Load Testing?

Visual Studio 2012 Ultimate is required for doing Load Testing.

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You can get a trial download from here.

Simple Load Testing

To perform a simple load testing, please follow the steps below:

Step 1: Create new project

Create a new project of type Web Performance and Load Test Project

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You will get the following screen.

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Step 2: Start Recording

Recording is the process of teaching Visual Studio about our activity. The browser will be launched & the URL entry, mouse clicks, keyboard entries will be recorded. The recording will be used for play back later.

Click on the Start Recording button as highlighted above. You will get the following browser window.

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Type the URL and enter credential information.

Step 3: Stop Recording

You can see the left pane logs all the requests for pages & scripts. Click the Stop button to stop recording. We are just testing a simple home page load scenario.

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Visual Studio will try to find the dynamic parameters like text box entries. The dynamic parameters should be replaced with on-the-fly unique values to avoid duplication.

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Time being we do not have any dynamic parameters. You should be getting similar results below in Visual Studio.

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Step 4: Stop Recording

You can delete all the URLs except one.

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Step 5: Add Loop

We are now adding a loop of 10 counts to the above test. Right click on the url node and choose the Add Loop option.

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In the appearing dialog box choose Counting Loop and enter property as 10.

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Click the OK button to save changes & you will see the new loop item as shown below.

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We are going to try a loop of 10 times to ensure proper page response within 3 seconds.

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Please note that 3 seconds is one standard-measure of page response time.

Step 6: Play Recording

Choose the Run Test option from the menu.

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You can see the test will get executed 10 times & the result will be similar to below.

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You can see that the average response time is less than 3 seconds. This concludes our simple test scenario.

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The above is a simple test scenario. Once you gain confidence, you can go for higher levels like:

1. Opening list pages, clicking new item, entering data, clicking save, changing dynamic parameters

2. Testing against production-topology simulated environments

3. Testing with simulated user-volume

4. Passing Credentials

5. Using various load-testing options available in Visual Studio

References

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj710162.aspx

Summary

In this article we have explored an overview of Simple Load Testing of SharePoint sites. I hope this will help you gain the grounds for advanced real world scenarios.

Posted in SharePoint, SharePoint 2010, SharePoint 2013 | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

What is AlwaysOn in SQL Server?

Posted by Paul on March 3, 2014

SQL Server 2012 introduced the new feature called AlwaysOn.

AlwaysOn provides High Availability & Disaster Recovery alternative to Database Mirroring.

What is Database Mirroring?

Database Mirroring is a technique to increase High Availability of database.  The topology consists of three server roles.

  1. Witness Server
  2. Principal Server
  3. Mirror Server 

Transaction Logs will be synchronized from Principal Server to Mirror Server.

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The Witness Server determines whether to contact Principal or Mirror based on activity, thus increasing the availability.

Advantages of AlwaysOn over Database Mirroring

AlwaysOn provides the following advantages over Database Mirroring:

  1. More effective server utilization
  2. Less configuration hassles
  3. Better manageability
  4. Better failover situation
  5. Works best with multiple-database scenarios of SharePoint

More and More people are switching to AlwaysOn Availability Group technique.

References

AlwaysOn Experiment

Summary

Clustering, Mirroring, Log Shipping, AlwaysOn are different technologies to attain High Availability in database servers.

Posted in SharePoint, SharePoint 2010, SharePoint 2013, SQL Server | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »