Oct 26
Insights from Oracle OpenWorld

The first day I attended the Cloud Excellence Board. I was expecting to have the same experience as our regular board meetings, which is a really great day of debating, sharing and updating. However, this one was different. 


First off, we were a wider audience covering all of ECEMEA which allowed us to mingle with partners from new places. There were 25 partners in total, a small group.

Secondly, this was a tight agenda led by Oracle only speakers. This is usually not a great sign however the speakers ranged from alliance and channel to product development. They definitely did not disappoint!

Javier Torres, VP for Alliance and Channel EMEA Oracle Corporation, reflected on FY18 and the introduction of CEI specialisation (which Britehouse has in 3 areas) and the fact that there were on average 3 client go-lives per day in the region of SAAS services. Per day! 

Looking forward to FY19, Torres mentioned his organisation’s focus is on sell, implement and innovate. In order to do this, Oracle is going to redouble the efforts of partner enablement. 70% of the work in the region is being done by a partner with a specific specialised focus. This allows Oracle to focus on empowering them as it allows for 30-50 partner per pillar, which is a manageable number for a channel to look after. Focus is key!

Camillo Speroni, VP for world wide Alliances at Oracle, followed on and emphasised the move to the outcomes based economy which is well underway. “Clients are looking for value for money, not technical tools.”  The Oracle focus is driving all activities to ensure client advocacy (or resigning the SAAS licenses) and looking for partners to develop IP on products to ensure ‘stickiness’ with clients.

Run/manage/operate model in SAAS changes the game with Oracle doing the RUN portion and partners getting to do the manage and operate. This is a bit of a change in mindset for all of us partners.

If we as partners want attention from Oracle, we need to ensure focus on automating, accelerating and de-risk deployments. Getting clients to a production state as soon as possible without complexity is key because when they sign a SAAS contract there is a ticking time for subscriptions. They should be getting value from the product, not being stuck in a perpetual project mode.

My request to Mr Speroni was that clients SAAS subscription started ticking when the project was in a live state. Wait and see if we can get this.

Francios-Xavier Le Clerqu spoke about the Oracle SOAR program. With 5-7% of the install base on cloud, the obvious focus is to migrate them. This talk was split into 2 parts, the SOAR offering from Oracle Consulting and the Program.

The Oracle Consulting approach has an evaluation, configuration analysis, auto-setup and data migration set of tools to be used. This is to migrate the core financials to cloud allowing partners to do the interfaces and other modules. 

The Program is to target 3,400 EMEA clients and convert 10% this FY19. Oracle sales has to present SOAR to existing clients. Why Cloud, why now, why Oracle? This is generating over $300m in pipeline and has been achieved through round tables, marketing events  and 1-on-1 meetings. Interesting side note is that the SOAR API’s for migration are open to select partners to enable their own SOAR program. Interesting!

Then came Steve Miranda. Steve’s title is Senior VP, Applications Product Development. This does no justice for the mans ability to speak about SAAS. Wow. I was 2m away from him. He was amazing! He gave us a taste for his key note, which was delivered at OpenWorld this past week to thousands of people. Yes, I was blown away!

Applications Updates, 3 themes:
1. Customer readiness for the cloud and the success thereof
2. Update on the product 
3. Customers moving now

In each session there will be at least 2 client testimonies of how they moved to cloud and showing end to end capability of the product set. This is to give more clients comfort in the product and show the ability of everyone to deliver. 

There will be updates on the products, new modules, features and functions, such as billing and subscription collection, HCM user interface changes, enhancements to core HR, time and labour updates and loads more on CRM.
Massive enhancements on machine learning and BOTS to carry out new activities such as ‘next best offer’ and ‘next best action’ is another theme being worked on with the Oracle system learning what should be done in most cases. This is in areas such as cash management, ERP audit, and expense management. All with the aim of freeing time and removing complexity, wow! The algorithms tune per customer, wow again! 

On the new user interface almost every UI process will be exposed to a BOT. SMS, Slacker,Siri can all interact with the UI for requests. There are over 16,000 BOTS active on the Oracle system now. Updates on the product, the normal stuff. Oracle is working towards getting better at predicting time to live, securing cost of implementations and reducing complexity of the system usage. In order to do this, Oracle has embraced certainty through stability. This means that some changes are required in the release strategy. Going forward there will be 4 releases per year. The naming convention is changed to year and letter, so it will be as follows:
19 A - January
19 B - April
19 C – July 
19 D - October

The releases will be on the 1st Sunday of the month and the client will have 2 months grace to embrace the upgrade. Plan the projects around this. By default all new features are turned off and have to be enabled. This is a massive opportunitiy for partners.

Steve Miranda’s advice, “develop a set methodology or strategy to adopt new features for clients. This is a huge opportunity to ensure continuous relevance to a client. Late next year there will be a dashboard of system usage to show how users are interreacting with the system, the aim is to get to suggested usage.” Last words, “be very comfortable to approach any competitors as Oracle has the solution for the future.”

Lastly there was Shishier Agawal, who is in product development for PAAS 4 SAAS. Poor chap had a tough audience after Steve’s talk. Oracle product management is working to get the PAAS platform adopted by SAAS base. Connect, extend, secure and analyse.

PAAS is now on the Apps price list consisiting of a bundle of services per user per month. Standard edition is $35 per hosted user per month. Enterprise Edition $100 per hosted user per month.

After this talk I was pretty much fatigued out and work finished with a small lunch! It was a brilliant start to playing with the big guys! What a week ahead!

Written by Daniel Robus
Channel Director, Services and Solutions for Oracle Software
Britehouse, a division of Dimension Data

Oct 18
SAP S/4 HANA. Why you need it and how deploying it is not as hard as you think!

You’ve been hearing the hype for some time now and are finally considering moving to S/4 HANA.  There are a myriad of great new features and capabilities. But there are also practical reasons.  For starters, SAP announced they will not support SAP ECC post 2025. In addition, ECC is old software.  And don’t take offense to that.  It’s great stuff and was used extensively in the Digital Transformation era. An era in which we enabled our products and services to be accessible to our end customers anywhere, any time, on any device.   But we’ve moved to the next era, an era where organisations will derive sustainable advantage from knowledge and service based activities that leverage intellectual assets, a term coined by a book ahead of its time by Brian Quinn: The Intelligent Enterprise era (Quinn, 1992).

The Intelligent Enterprise era is where data generated at the front line is presented as information into the digital boardroom. The equipment used to create, move, distribute and sell products and services are harvested of vital structured data which is transformed into information.  This is in turn added to from a plethora of inter-dependent structured and unstructured data sources and ultimately, made available as information to make the next crucial business decision. Presented right there in your digital boardroom on your tablet.

Your business needs to operate in the Intelligent Enterprise era and for good reason. Here are just a few examples of how Intelligent Enterprise data is changing how businesses work: consumer attitudes might change and affect the way you market or sell because of one tweet; a competitor might launch a product or service and it sets the world alight cutting into your market share; a political decision in a foreign market affects your scare resource supplier; waste caused by wait times within a process costs money, raises your carbon footprint and causes people to question your environmental protection promises; or reacting to a weather forecast proactively could limit losses and damages. There are many more examples of where a change in the business environment demands a reaction. Change is happening at a breakneck speed, getting faster every day.  Possibly this is because we have more ‘things’ which can change.  More importantly though, there is data instantly available about the change.  If you miss the opportunity to react to the change, it is likely your business will suffer.

If you are still pondering Digital Transformation or you missed out entirely all is not lost.  You can move directly into the Intelligent Enterprise era. S/4 HANA as an ERP is the first step. The in-memory technology allows instant, real-time insight for informed decision making.  It brings reinvented, simplified processes which allow for increased throughput and speed of transactional processing.  SAP also introduce with it the Fiori user-interface which provides a highly intuitive and satisfactory user experience on a large array of devices. 

Together with SAP Data Hub to integrate, orchestrate processing, and manage metadata across a diverse landscape, S/4 HANA forms the Digital Platform. Once a digital platform is established for your business, you can build on this with SAP Cloud Platform to create differentiating extensions, integrate machine learning, artificial intelligence and other intelligent technologies. You can also adopt SAP integrated applications to further improve customer experience, people engagement and many other business areas. The picture below gives a graphical representation of the digital core surrounded by industry specific solutions, integrated SAP applications, SAP Cloud Platform to build customer specific extensions and SAP Leonardo to build customer specific intelligence solutions in machine learning, artificial intelligence and others.

But how do you make the transition to the Intelligent Enterprise.  That’s where Britehouse can help.  We’ve developed a tested and client proven recipe to move ECC to S/4 HANA. In the recipe, we take cognisance of customer specific enhancements which you have made as well as data which you might want to keep. The recipe is designed to minimise the risk to business operations and to optimise time to value for moving from ECC to S/4 HANA.

Deployable in the cloud or on-premise, SAP S/4 HANA is built to drive instant value for your business with a singular objective: simplicity (SAP AG, 2018). S/4HANA moves away from the transactional system that merely recorded data toward giving end users active decision support in real time on data from internal and external sources.

Deployable in the cloud or on-premise. Simple choice, right? 

The decision for on-premise is relatively easy: you have a complex business with a significant investment in infrastructure that can be leveraged for new S/4HANA deployments.  How can you determine this?  An advisor like Britehouse can help you determine if your infrastructure can support the new environment.  Another option is to check the SAP website for TDI compliant hardware.  If your servers, storage and networking devices are on the TDI list, then you can deploy production HANA on it. In addition to determining if your infrastructure is capable, you may also want to maintain an autonomous environment which allows you to customise, modify, extend and upgrade SAP when and how you want.  And of course, you have the financial resources to justify such a strategy. 

If you are not in that position to maintain your own setup, you should look at a cloud deployment.  There are 3 general choices when looking at deploy S/4 HANA in the cloud:
  • S/4 HANA public cloud
  • S/4 HANA single tenant edition (STE)
  • S/4 HANA private cloud

What’s the difference and which one should you choose? The three dimensions of scope, governance and flexibility will guide the decision as you consider the customisation requirements of your environment.   As a spectrum of choices, S/4 HANA Private Cloud provides the most pronounced leniency for each and S/4 HANA Public Cloud the least.

If you do not have a current SAP ECC installation our recommendation is very straight forward.  In this case we recommend you move directly to S/4 HANA Public Cloud and take advantage of the Intelligent Enterprise capability and extensibility offered by SAP. With S/4 HANA public cloud the software you rely on to manage your business-critical operations is 100% managed by SAP.  As a Software as a Service (SaaS) cloud provider, SAP provides the software and the hardware.  They define, purchase, setup and manage the versions and systems that make up the environment.   All you need to do is populate the data. Software updates and patches are automatically pushed to all public cloud installations hosting any number of SAP customers at a release cycle defined and controlled by SAP. Configuration and extension frameworks are tightly controlled to remain specific to a customer. With the SAP Public Cloud, you have the option of consuming not only the ERP suite but also customer experience, people engagement, network and spend management, manufacturing and supply chain solutions. Below is a picture of operating an entire SAP landscape in the public cloud. 

An S/4 HANA STE (single tenant edition) cloud deployment means the software you rely on to manage your business-critical operations is 100% managed by SAP as the cloud provider.  Just as in the public cloud option, SAP provides the software and the hardware. The difference with STE is the software updates are not automatically pushed to all STE cloud installations. The release cycle is defined by SAP but controlled by the customer, within limits. As a customer, you must accept the update within a period of 12 months. Thus, you must organise your resources to go through a regression testing cycle and accept the upgrade within this timeframe.

If you opt for a S/4 HANA private cloud deployment, you can migrate from on-premise hardware to an SAP private cloud.  Again, as the cloud provider SAP provides the hardware. With a private cloud, the software is either sold to you outright or rolled into your private cloud subscription. As with STE, the software updates are not automatically pushed to all private cloud installations. The release cycle is defined by SAP but controlled by the customer. Once you accept the upgrade, you must organise your resources to go through a regression testing cycle and accept the upgrade on completion. 

Both S/4 HANA STE and S/4 HANA private cloud is delivered by SAP through the HANA Enterprise Cloud product, HEC in short. Dimension Data with Britehouse is one of a handful of global HEC Premium Partners of SAP to deliver these deployment options. Both S/4 HANA STE and S/4 HANA private cloud puts your SAP solution in a Hybrid state between private and public cloud solutions and Dimension Data with Britehouse has the capability to deliver in such a Hybrid IT state.

If you are new to SAP or have an installation which is not highly customised, consider going directly to S/4 HANA public cloud. This deployment option offers the lowest total cost of ownership and a predictable expenditure with its subscription model. S/4 HANA STE is the deployment option to consider if you want more flexibility on when to deploy upgrades. One downside for both options is there is no migration path if you have an existing SAP installation. But you can still migrate master data and configure processes to suit your needs. Most significantly, time to value is reduced to weeks since it’s a relatively standard deployment. Both these options work well together placing your critical business applications in a Hybrid state and you would need a partner such as Dimension Data and Britehouse to help manage and maintain it.

Alternatively, if you are a business which has a highly customised SAP installation and want to reuse the IP invested over time, choose S/4 HANA private cloud. With this solution, you can migrate your existing installation as-is.  Keep in mind that some limitations still do exist with a private cloud.  Most notably that limited combinations of OS and DB are supported and within a period of 12 months of deployment at least one application must move to Suite on HANA. Once you have migrated and operations of your private cloud are stable, you can then embark on the migration path from ECC to S/4 HANA.

Whatever your situation and whichever choice is best for you, don’t wait till 2024! Move into the Intelligent Enterprise era now. Contact me and we can help you build a plan to navigate the journey.

Chris Dippenaar
Director, Cloud Services
Chris.dippenaar@britehouse.co.za

References:
Quinn, J. B. (1992). Intelligent Enterprise. Free Press.
SAP AG. (2018, September). SAP Cloud ERP. Retrieved from SAP: www.sap.com
Aug 22
Azure, It's Cool and Easy!

We have all heard the hype and noise around Azure landing in South Africa, we asked Britehouse’s MD of Services and Solutions for Microsoft, Jimi Lutz, to share his knowledge and insights into his love for coding and Azure.

I have been managing software developers for over 20 years and as such, never get much time to actually write code. I love it, the unbridled finality of logic appeals to the idealist in me. I left writing code and moved into managing software as I was frustrated by the things that inhibited me:

People's opinions of what was possible
Business priorities constantly shifting and tossing away all my good work
The speed of IT governance and controls
Access to the infrastructure required to unleash my creative spirit

I still get to dabble a little on the weekends and in the evenings but it is more a hobby nowadays. Sometimes, one of my teams will have a particularly thorny problem, I then suspend meetings and dive into writing some code. Alas, only about three of my endeavors are still to be seen in the wild.

When I get the chance to write code, it is only for a very short time and whatever I have created needs to get deployed or be relegated.

That's why I love Azure. I can create software and deploy it almost instantaneously to the world. I get the skeleton of what I want to create, flesh it out on my PC and then commit it to cloud source control (this bit is important as I pick up a few minutes here or there to add or change it from a variety of devices - like any self-respecting geek would do). Once I am happy with the logic, I just run it through a few scripts to test it, and deploy the infrastructure and services I need. I haven't got time to get servers provisioned and skilled people to do things like check security and networks.

Back in the 90's, I used open source libraries to extend the software I was writing but it always involved lots of recompilation and careful attention to versioning. I spent most of my time with the plumbing-in of software that had previously been created by other very smart people. 

With Azure I don't need to worry about infrastructure, I can distil it into code and deploy it as I like. Security and networking is taken care of by best practices, wizards and AI advisors. If I want services, I either access public APIs or just provision them from the marketplace. 

I can now spend my time dreaming, creating the possible and seeing software work.

Jimi Lutz
Britehouse Managing Director of Services and Solutions for Microsoft




Aug 27
Introduction to the Module and Revealing Module Patterns in JavaScript

Introduction to the Module and Revealing Module Patterns in JavaScript

Although I've been a developer for almost 10 years, I've always felt that my JavaScript skills were falling behind. I could do the basics but I never realized how awesome JavaScript actually is. As a SharePoint Intranet developer, I mostly dealt with C# web parts, event receivers, workflow, etc. The back-end stuff. However, with the direction SharePoint is moving, development on it is dramatically changing. For On-Premise environments things are still pretty much the same as before, however with everything moving into the cloud, clients want to be ready for the transition. This means that we need to write code that will easily transfer/upgrade into the cloud even when we are developing for On-Premise environments. That means JavaScript. And lots of it. Therefore I really need and want to improve my JavaScript skills and so should every SharePoint developer.

That brings me to the topic of this blog. JavaScript. Now I am definitely not even going to attempt covering all the awesomeness that is JavaScript, I am still a cub learning my ways myself. I just want to introduce you to the basic principle of two common patterns namely The Module Pattern and The Revealing Module Pattern. I feel that these, or at least one of them, are crucial to any JavaScript development. Big project or small project, they help you structure and separate code to be cleaner and easier to get into. Using this, you can implement multi-tier architecture within pure JavaScript applications such as SharePoint Add-Ins (formerly known as Apps. see https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office/fp179930.aspx)

 

The Module Pattern is basically how you define classes in JavaScript with private and public variables and functions. With this pattern, you have to new up an instance of your 'class' and access the methods and variables that are public via this instance. Sounds a bit like a Non-Static class to me.

The Revealing Module Pattern is very similar, however you don't need to instantiate it and you explicitly expose public things by means of a return. Sounds a bit like a static class.

Examples can be found here or read more on design patterns on Carl Danley's series on JavaScript Design Patterns: https://carldanley.com/javascript-design-patterns/

 

Jul 22
New Visual Studio is Out

Everyone loves getting an IDE upgrade and, well, finally the newest version of Visual Studio, 2015, is out. If you have an MSDN membership, you should find the IDE's in your ​​MSDN downloads page.


What's impressed me is that it now has the ability to debug lambdas. With how useful lambda's are are, you really should be improving your Linq-fu and now you can get better insight to what they're doing.

A really handy feature is the test features. VS now runs your tests from the editor and report on them in the editor, too. Clicking on the result shows the test output, like this:
Visual Studio 2015 Tests.png

​It has the standard fare of what you'd expect from a new version of VS:

  • More supported languages and language versions (In particular, MS seems quite chuffed with the iOS and Android support).
  • Support for newer version of C#
  • Better built in refactor tools, which are very R#​esque: there's a lightbulb that suggests changes that VS can do for you. I doubt this suite really holds a candle to R#, but it's a nice direction to see Visual Studio heading in.
  • More project options
  • General tweaks to existing functionality

I'm enjoying this new version. How are you finding it so far?
Jul 21
So, You Want to Build an App for SharePoint 2013 Online?

To put this in context, this is specifically how to create a remote event receiver that is hosted on an Azure website. That said, I'll attempt to isolate the parts unique to my situation. This post is basically an amalgamation of good resources that took me too long to find online.

 

Step 1: Set up Hosting Environment​

If you're specifically not using an Azure site, at this point set up the environment where you will host your web service.

Go to your Azure Management Portal.

This is to create the above mentioned website. If you don't have one, an MSDN subscription gives you access to Azure. Azure can be activated from your MSDN account at: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/subscriptions/manage/default.aspx 

Note about Azure: As with anything Azure related, turning up the cost dial turns up the features allowed. I found that a free website is more than good enough for development.

Once you're in your portal, simply quick create a website. While you're there, in the website's dashboard, you'll find a "quick glance" section. Click on "Download the publish profile." You'll need it later.

You should now have a <yoursitename>.azurewebsites.net website (or your own domain name if you felt like paying) and a publishing profile to use later.​​

 

Step 2: Generate App Registration Details

Go to your SharePoint Online Site.

Look at your address bar. You should see something along the lines of

Replace everything from "start" onwards with "appregnew.aspx" and you should have something like https://<tenantsitename>.sharepoint.com/sites/<yoursitename>/_layouts/15/appregnew.aspx

The form you now see is how to register an app for a site. I only much later realised that these details are tenant specific, so you will have to repeat this part if you ever want someone to install your app on their tenancy (for ease of understanding, old SP used "farms," SP Online has "tenants").

The form has some generate buttons.

Note about Redirect URI: This is the default web page for your app that Visual Studio will create for you later in the process. If you'd like a different page, change it now and don't forget to change the page yourself later)

Click "Create." KEEP THE RESULTING PAGE or copy the details, you will need them later.


Step 3: Configure Azure

Go back to your Azure website.

The really awesome thing about Azure websites is their immunity to external influence. You have no way of updating the config of your website from Visual Studio. Instead, you need to:
  • ​Click on config
  • Scroll down to "app settings"
  • Enter a new Key: "ClientID" and Value from Step 2
  •  Enter a new Key: "ClientSecret" and Value from Step 2
  • Save

 

Step 4: Create Project

Open Visual Studio 2013 (or VS2012 with Office Dev Tools, but seriously go get VS2013).

This is largely adapted from http://www.codeproject.com/Articles/636058/Adventures-with-SharePoint-2013-Remote-Event-Recei (You get my click-by-click version for simplicity)

  • File->New->Project…
  • App for SharePoint 2013->(name it what you will)->OK
  • (Enter your SharePoint site from Step 2)->Provider-hosted->Next->Next->Finish

 

You can stop there if you just want a Provider-hosted app. If you want a remote event receiver:

  • Right click your SP app project->Add->New Item…
  • Remote Event Receiver->(name it)->Add
  • (pick the settings you'd like for the RER)->Finish

 

If you would like your code to do something on install (such as attach your remote event receiver to a list on the host web):

  • Click on your SP app project->Set Handle App Installed to True

To attach the receivers programmatically (in this case to a document library):

  • Change the code in AppEventReceiver.svc.cs (the code in if (clientContext != null) )to:


var documentsList = clientContext.Web.Lists.GetByTitle("Documents");

clientContext.Load(documentsList);

clientContext.ExecuteQuery();

 

string remoteUrl = "https://<yoursitename>.azurewebsites.net/Services/<yourRERname>.svc"; 

 

EventReceiverDefinitionCreationInformation newEventReceiver = new EventReceiverDefinitionCreationInformation()

{

    EventType = EventReceiverType.ItemAdded,

    ReceiverName = "<yourRERname>",

    ReceiverUrl = remoteUrl,

    SequenceNumber = 1000

};

 

documentsList.EventReceivers.Add(newEventReceiver);

clientContext.ExecuteQuery();

 

At this point I should mention that there are –ed (async) events and there are –ing (sync) events. For your own sanity, default to async events unless you specifically require synchronous events.

Step 5: Configure App

Remote Event Receiver Url

 

AppManifest

  • In the SharePoint App project, open AppManifest.xml.
  • Set your permissions (at least web and list at manage from my Step 3).
  • Hit F7 to get to the juicy code underneath.
  • Replace both instances of ~remoteAppUrl with https://<yoursitename>.azurewebsites.net
  • Change the ClientId of RemoteWebApplication to the generated one from Step 2.

 

Step 6: Publish

  • Right click the SharePoint app project->Publish…
  • Current profile dropdown-><New…>
  • Browse->File from Step 1->Open->Next
  • Enter Client ID and Client Secret from Step 2->Finish
  • "Deploy your web project"->Publish->Wait for "Publish succeeded"
  • "Package the app"->Add and "s" to make "https"->Finish​

 

Step 7: Add App to App Catalog

In SharePoint Online, go to your app catalog.

  • If you're not sure where that is, you probably don't have one, so create one:
    • Go to admin->​SharePoint->Click on apps-> App Catalog->OK->(Enter details)->OK
  • In the catalog site, go to Apps for SharePoint.
  • Drag and drop your .app file from Step 5 here.

 

Step 8: Enjoy

At the site you'd like the app, go to Site Contents and add an app.

Click on your app. This will install it.

You should now have a working app. Enjoy :)​​​

(If it fails during installation, it indicates that some part of the config is wrong. If you do run into that, let me know so I can make sure my post hasn't led you wrong. )​​

Jul 13
ReSharper vs StyleCop

If you use Stylecop and hate having to make tiny formatting changes all over your code, you probably use Visual Studio's built in command to format your document (default: ctrl+K, ctrl+D).

 

If, however, you use ReSharper, you'll find that it has a more powerful formatting tool (default: ctrl+E, ctrl+C). "What could go wrong?" you ask? Well, ReSharper and StyleCop don't play nice by default. Luckily for you, I've forced ReSharper'ssettings​ to conform to StyleCop.

 

You can download the settings file here. You'll need to replace the file in C:\Users\{Username}\AppData\Roaming\JetBrains\Shared\vAny and you're good to go.

You'll want to close Visual Studio before doing the file swap. It doesn't seem to break anything, but if you don't, it displays the message "Catastrophic failure," use that as you will.

 

One caveat: I'm fairly new to ReSharper, so there are likely a few cases I've missed. In that case, just comment or mail me and I'll alter the settings file accordingly.

 

Now go out there and write good, pretty code.​

Jul 09
Language Variations and SharePoint - Hidden Gems

​So, you're implementing SharePoint language variations and you have a feature or a workflow or something that needs to run on the pages library.  Funny story about SharePoint and variations and the pages library, it translates the word pages for the Roman Alpabet languages, but not for the other languages.

Now, you need to get hold of the pages library.  You might think, "well, that's simple, I'll just get the word pages out of the resource files".  Suuuuure.  That will work if all that you have is Roman Alphabet languages.  But lets say you have Arabic.  The Arabic word for pages does not translate into anything a browser can understand.  

Save yourself some time, there is a function in the PublishingWeb class that will give you the answer:

PublishingWeb.GetPagesListName(web);  //Where web is the SPWeb object you are working with.  

PowerShell example:

Spanish:
$w = Get-SPWeb http://sasolintranet:2000/es-es
[Microsoft.SharePoint.Publishing.PublishingWeb]::GetPagesListName($w)
Paginas

Arabic:
$w = Get-SPWeb http://sasolintranet:2000/ar-sa
[Microsoft.SharePoint.Publishing.PublishingWeb]::GetPagesListName($w)
Pages

German:
$w = Get-SPWeb http://sasolintranet:2000/de-de
[Microsoft.SharePoint.Publishing.PublishingWeb]::GetPagesListName($w)
Seiten​

Hope this helps someone out there!

Jun 18
A Tribute to our Youth

Britehouse Youth Day 2015 

I started as a Learner at Britehouse. Learning within Britehouse has taught me to build on​ strengths, take on new challenges and tak​e my career in new direction. Being a Britehouse youth employee is AWESOME.​​

Margaret Madihlaba, Finance Administrator​​​

This is how Margaret Madihlaba, Finance Administrator describes her employ here at Britehouse. And, she’s not the only one.

Th​​e working environment here at Britehouse is a warm and welcoming one.

Lethabo Ntshudisane

The people around Britehouse have been kind and willing to help.

Avile George

I’ve been learning non-stop, and every day is fun to be here. Britehouse took care of me as one of its employees.

Alexander Venter

I have blended with the Britehouse family because of the remarkable welcome I have received and I feel like a permanent employee already.

Sipho Khumalo

I really enjoy the work vibe, experience, and the working environment.

Cardwell Mohlala

I come very far every day but it doesn’t matter. I don’t regret my time here.

Siphokazi Tshiza

I have been with the organisation for 10 Months. My Britehouse Journey has been unique, promoting self-awareness, accountability and leadership skills, with clear pathways for career development and personal growth.

Ernestina Masola, Junior Accountant for Shared Services

As we have recently​ celebrated South Africa’s 21st Youth Day (16th June 2015), it’s worth looking at the kinds of learning that our young interns have highlighted as being important to them.

Although they’re not saying it in so many words, our employed youth are helping us understand that, in spite of 21 years of democracy, the vast majority of people still have no real experience of professional workplaces and that, therefore, their children need proactive help in figuring out how to make a positive contribution to their places of employment. Having an education gets you out of the starting blocks, of course. But, once you leave academia, there is just so much other learning needed to help you run the race of life successfully, confidently, and with the zest that makes going to work a pleasure.

I have gained lots of experience in terms of effective communication among colleagues.

Cardwell Mohlala

One must be open to change. With technological advances being made on a daily basis, it is crucial to be open to change in this line of work.

Prudence Masilela

I have learned to work with people as team. I have also learned about behavior in the workplace.

Desmond Maluleke

Since coming to Britehouse, I have learned a lot of things, such as communication skills, team work, and professionalism.

Sympathy Mmola

I experienced how to work with colleagues and as a group in order to produce effective work. Also how programming works in real life. How departments communicate with one another and how to behave in the workplace.

Portia Mphela

I have experienced many new things, like good communication in the work environment and working together as a team.

Thami Mpungose

It is a good thing for me to learn every day and deliver what is expected of me.

Tshepo Koee

I have learned how to update a database, telephone skills, communicating with other people - and even how to do packs for the clients.

Lebogang Raluthaha

My learning journey at Britehouse has given me an opportunity to develop my personal skills. I have developed my confidence and self-belief to succeed. It has been a transformational challenge that has helped me to grow and I am looking forward to many more years.

Tsepiso Mofokeng

So many of us ‘old hands’ take these kinds of things for granted. We’ve forgotten how scary it was to walk into our first ever place of employment, collaborate, meet deadlines, and take responsibility for outcomes. Most of us had the privilege of parents who had been down the workplace road before us. Even though we were newbies, the world of work was not strange to us.

I want, therefore, to thank everyone who gives a helping thought or word to our learners. The legacy of empowerment you are creating will be passed on from each set of learners to all the generations that follow them.

And, to our learners and employed youth, all of whom have not been quoted, thank you for giving all of us at Britehouse the personal opportunity to do something of tangible value for our fellow South Africans.​

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Mar 28
Brand Launch

​The Britehouse Group is lighting the way to the future for all large and mid-sized businesses across Africa. For many years, Britehouse has focused on offering its clients application and data solutions through a range of business models and technologies.

 


Now, though, Britehouse has proven it doesn't just keep up with what's on trend. It is effectively already in the future, with a strategic refresh of its organisational structure, improved offering, and updated brand presence. Where the structure previously included companies known as Automate, Firestring, Eliance, Compubrand and 3Fifteen, it has been streamlined and elegantly branded as one, unified Britehouse Group.

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