Installing Tomcat on Mac OSX (Snow Leopard)

November 12, 2009

Complete fresher here, and I guess there might be guys out there in the same boat. Here are the steps I needed to go through to make it work. Following some pointers on the way there:

Start by downloading what we need from http://tomcat.apache.org/.

For the latest version see the Which version , but I used 6.x and got the core zip.

After you have downloaded it , most likely to the downloads folder unpack it and rename the folder to Tomcat for simplicity

Copy the complete folder to $$your_profile$$/Library

After you have done this , and got stuck here for a bit, run the following command to enable you to execute the commands from terminal.

chmod a+x /users/$your_profile$/library/tomcat/bin/*.sh

If you don’t expect to see the following:

Peter-Versters-MacBook-Pro:~ Peter$ /users/peter/Library/Tomcat/bin/startup.sh

-bash: /users/peter/Library/Tomcat/bin/startup.sh: Permission denied

This will make the files writeable and allow you to start the service.

Then execute the following:

/users/peter/$your_profile$/Tomcat/bin/startup.sh

Provided you are still with me navigate to http://localhost:8080 to test if the services is running.

Final step to give you admin access to the site:

is to set up the users as per the following:

conf/tomcat-users.xml in your installation. That file will contain the credentials to let you use this webapp.

You will need to add manager role to the config file listed above. For example:

<role rolename="manager"/>
<user username="tomcat" password="s3cret" roles="manager"/>
Happy Tomcatting...

SOA and Why it Matters

November 4, 2009

Services, clouds, and mashups: Why buy enterprise software?

In previous ZapFlashes, we talked about how the emergence of services at a range of disparate levels combined with evolutions in location- and platform-independent, on-demand, and variable provisioning enabled by clouds, and rich technologies to facilitate simple and rapid service composition will change the way companies conceive of, build, and manage applications.

Instead of an application as something that’s bought, customized, and integrated, the application itself is the instantaneous snapshot of how the various services are composed together to meet user needs. From this perspective, enterprise software is not what you buy, but what you do with what you have.

One outcome of this perspective on enterprise software is that companies can shift their spending from enterprise software licenses and maintenance (which eats up a significant chunk of IT budgets) to service development, consumption, and composition.

This is not just a philosophical difference. This is a real difference. While it is certainly true that services expose existing capabilities, and therefore you still need those existing capabilities when you build services, moving to SOA means that you are rewarded for exposing functionality you already have.

Whereas traditional enterprise software applications penalize legacy because of the inherent cost of integrating with it, moving to SOA inherently rewards legacy because you don’t need to build twice what you already have. In this vein, if you already have what you need because you bought it from a vendor, keep it – but don’t spend more money on that same functionality. Rather, spend money exposing and consuming it to meet new needs. This is the purview of good enterprise architecture, not good enterprise software.

When you ask these people to show you their enterprise software, they’ll simply point at their collection of Services, Cloud-based applications, and composition infrastructure.
The resultant combination of legacy service exposure, third-party service consumption, and the cloud (x-as-a-service) has motivated the thinking that if you don’t already have a single-vendor enterprise software suite, you probably don’t need one.

We’ve had first-hand experience with new companies that have started and grown operations to multiple millions of dollars without buying a penny of enterprise software. Likewise, we’ve seen billion-dollar companies dump existing enterprise software investments or start divisions and operations in new countries without extending their existing enterprise software licenses. When you ask these people to show you their enterprise software, they’ll simply point at their collection of services, cloud-based applications, and composition infrastructure.

Some might insist that cloud-based applications and so-called software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications are simply monolithic enterprise software applications deployed using someone else’s infrastructure. While that might have been the case for the application service provider (ASP) and SaaS applications of the past, that is not the case anymore. Whole ecosystems of loosely-coupled service offerings have evolved in the past decade to value-add these environments, which look more like catalogs of service capabilities and less like monolithic applications.

Want to build a website and capture lead data? No problem — just get the right service from Salesforce.com or your provider of choice and compose it using web services or REST or your standards-based approach of choice. And you didn’t incur thousands or millions of dollars to do that. [From You'll be far better off in a future without enterprise software | Dana Gardner’s BriefingsDirect | ZDNet.com]

SharePoint Online Price Drop

November 4, 2009

Microsoft is cutting its Exchange Online pricing from $10 per user per month to $5 per user per month. It also is cutting the price of the BPOS bundle — which includes SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, Communications Online and Live Meeting — from $15 per user per month, to $10 per user per month. [From Microsoft chops prices of its hosted enterprise cloud offerings | All about Microsoft | ZDNet.com]

SharePoint Server 2010 – Getting Started link guide for developers

November 4, 2009

SharePoint Developer – General info

SharePoint Developer – Specific topics

Background info

[From SharePoint Server 2010 – Getting Started link guide for developers]

The Scoop: SharePoint 2010 Records Management

November 4, 2009

What is Records Management The session began with a brief description of what records management is and what constitutes a record. Wikipedia defines records management as “the practice of maintaining the records of an organization from the time they are created up to their eventual disposal.

This may include classifying, storing, securing, and destruction (or in some cases, archival preservation) or records.” The time that an organization considers information to be relevant or valuable is on a per case basis.

Although not always the case, a primary driving factor in records management is compliance with legal standards. A document or email becomes an item of record when it contains information about the running of the business, contains information that must be retained with statutory requirements or contains information about an employee or a potential employee.

Because judicial bodies can classify records as potential evidence in lawsuits, it is very important to include RM with your SharePoint deployments.

How SharePoint 2010 Improves on ERM
In Place Records Management
One of the new industry trends is the idea of in-place records management rather than a central repository of documents that requires a routing service. In this method, the documents stay in the current location, and they are classified as business records.

This will allow the document to gain the appropriate security, retention and disposition without ever having to be routed to a centrally managed location.

This saves IT resources and will more than likely decrease time spent during eDiscovery. New in SharePoint 2010 is the adoption of this technique, which will surely be a good choice for many organizations looking into RM.

Updates to Records Center
The live demo showed off the new slick, AJAX-friendly UI on top of the new Records Center site. For some organizations, the dedicated records center repository is more ideal, so Microsoft has given the site a major face-lift.

Not only is it a lot easier to submit a record (as seen below by the large “Submit a Record” button), but the overall layout of the site is cleaner. You can also search for document IDs right on the main page.

During the demo Darrin Bishop showed us how he created new content types with information rights management (IRM) configured. He was able to very quickly set up retention stages for multiple scenarios relating to documents.

One stage created was one that would delete all previous drafts of a document 3 years after the document was created. Another was a stage that would move the document to the recycle bin after a lifecycle of 7 years.

Auditing, barcodes and labels have been retained from the features seen in SharePoint 2007.

SharePoint 2010 – Records Management

The big push in this release is for greater adoption from end users themselves. The Records Center site has been redesigned so that it is easier for a records manager to maintain the order of the site. The RM configuration page displays step-by-step instructions to guide the user in how to properly setup the hierarchy.

Content Organizer
The routing rules from 2007 have been replaced by the content organizer, which is actually a new SharePoint feature available in all document libraries. The content organizer is used to route documents to the right folder based on content types and any other metadata that you require. The takeaway here is that folders have been given a whole “new” spin in SharePoint 2010.

Changes to Folders
Folders have no functionality in 2007, and the standard best practice is to avoid them in most situations and use metadata columns instead. For 2010, folders will now be able to act as true parents to any child objects below it.

The idea now is to set metadata at the folder level, so that the child objects can inherit that information. So as this may not be new to anyone familiar with other popular DMS/CMS solutions, this is a completely different approach from Microsoft that is already being applauded.

Compliance Details
Another new feature is that every document in SharePoint 2010 now has a “compliance details” option on the context menu. This allows you to check out all the relevant settings that have been applied to a specific business record.

This looks like a great feature that will easily allow administrators to make sure that specific documents are inheriting the right policies and retention settings.

As with most context menus in SharePoint 2010, you won’t have to leave the page to see this information, and you’ll even be able to change the exemption and/or hold status based on what you see here.

SharePoint 2010 Compliance Details

eDiscovery
These new and improved features all come together to help attain a higher efficiency when relating to eDiscovery, which is the process of discovering electronically stored data. Because there is a set of Federal rules (Federal Rules of Civil Procedure) that govern the request of information in litigation, it is very important to be able to produce electronic data when requested in a court of law.

It is also important that the data is accompanied along with the metadata that was associated with it in the system.

In SharePoint 2010, content types are now service-based rather than being tied to a site or site collection. Content types will automatically be available in all sites throughout the farm, so there is no need to deploy content types to separate site collections.

Since records are tied to content types, the time required to get a records management solution up and running in SharePoint has been greatly reduced across the board.

New in SharePoint 2010
In-place Records Management
Document Sets
Persistent Document IDs
Content Organizer
Compliance Details Menu Option
Improved in SharePoint 2010
Record Center Site Definition
Record Center Management Interface
Document Routing
Information Policies
Recap
We are only scratching the surface here for what will eventually be in the RTM version of 2010, but this was a good overview of what’s to come.

Support for in-place RM within all libraries is a major plus if you are looking for SharePoint 2010 to be your solution. Not only does this reduce IT overhead, but it allows your end users to live in the appropriate libraries for all relevant information. They won’t have to leave the confines of their collaborative environment to find a business record that relates to their project.

But for organizations that rely on dedicated librarians, the existing records center site from 2007 has been greatly enhanced visually and structurally.

We are still in early beta stages with 2010, so some of this information is subject to change. But enough has been shown here to prove that Microsoft is not putting RM on the back burner with the new release.

About the Author Mike Ferrara is an independent consultant and editor with SharePointReviews.com. He specializes in document and content management systems including SharePoint and the Autonomy/Interwoven family of products. [From The Scoop: SharePoint 2010 Records Management]