owssupp.dll issue with various versions of Microsoft Office

I have read numerous posts on this issue. There are quite a few on users running into this issue when opening a document (Microsoft has a hotfix on this). It seems related to owssup.dll. My users are not opening documents, they are just clicking the list links in the Quick Launch. My feeling is there is an add-on which is messing up IE. I told them to disable them and figure out which one is causing it.

Update #1 (11/7/2007): I have done a little more research on the issue. I believe the issue is related to either an add-on or a conflict with having Office 2003/Office 2007 applications installed on the system. We ran into another user who has the same issue. What do all of the users have in common? They are all running Office 2003 and Project 2007. Although I told them to go through the list of add-ons and disable one at a time and retry, I believe it’s the conflict issue. I wrote up instructions for the users to hopefully resolve the issue. We’ll see when they run through the tests:

Open C:\program files\microsoft office\office 12\

Rename the OWSSUPP.DLL file to something like OWSSUPP.backup.
Go to Start –> All Programs –> Microsoft Office –> Microsoft Office Tools –> Microsoft Office Diagnostics.
Run the tool after it runs you will have a new OWSSUPP.DLL file. If you look at the time stamp it should be an hour newer than the other dlls.

Socitm: Public sector ICT needs to rethink efficiency strategy


Declining levels in efficiency savings, increased pressure to help reduce cost without compromising service levels, and falling budgets, highlighted in Socitm’s IT trends in local public services report.

Socitm, the Society of IT Managers which represents ICT executives in the local government sector, has published its annual report into IT trends amongst public sector services. The 2009/10 report highlights the daunting challenges facing ICT managers as they come under increased pressure to deliver cost efficiencies. The report, Stretched to breaking point, predicts a greater dependency on ICT within the sector in the coming years, (a symptom of reduced “belt-tightening” budgets) and calls for a “radical rethink about how technology can be exploited for the public’s benefit.”

Whilst ICT within the public sector is increasingly coming under pressure, Socitm’s report suggests the amount of resource spent has significantly decreased in the past twelve months. Negativity permeates through many areas of the report: cuts to staffing levels are already impacting on service levels; planned shared service projects are now stalling; efficiency savings are on the decline; and the biggest challenge facing ICT managers on a local government level is the need to “do more with less.”

What’s more, a table breaking down ICT resources available to authorities across the country shows a stark difference at local government level. For instance, ICT budgets at Scottish unitary authorities stand at £13m, have over 10,500 computers in use, and 121 ICT employees – that’s 87 computers for every ICT employee. On the other hand, the ICT budget at Northern Irish districts stand at £6m, have 802 computers, and 38 ICT employees – that’s just 21 computers for every ICT employee.

Furthermore, the report forecasts the number of ICT staff employed within the public sector will fall by around 3,000. This fall comes during a period of more innovative use of technology by the sector, with the report pointing towards a trend of increased use of mobile technology and home working. Such innovations are at the crux of internal efficiency measures for many organisations, with ICT managers turning to virtualisation, the Cloud, and improved service management, to streamline operations and facilitate the change being demanded of them. According to the Socitm survey, local government authorities are expected purchase less than in 2008, with employees increasingly using aging technology.

The report also challenges the government’s G-Cloud initiative. Besides its misgivings about the creation of the ‘government cloud’, a key concern of the report is the pace of the change; is it happening fast enough? “In reality,” the report states, “our respondents are suffering from the perennial pressures of funding cuts alongside increased demand and are under greater pressure than ever.”

“I think Socitm’s report is a timely warning shot about the negative impact continued lack of investment in IT will have on the ability to make further cost reductions in local authority spending,” responds Sift Media’s market analyst arm, K2 Advisory. “For example, look at the G-cloud initiative: it is critical that local authorities invest now in assessing the types of information they have to manage so that some can safely be delivered at greatly reduced cost from the public cloud. But investment needs to be made in that review process in 2010 to save money going forward.”

Problems publishing a browser enabled form using InfoPath 2007

This is a checklist to follow if you are having problems with publishing InfoPath 2007 browser-enabled forms to Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. A typical error message you receive in this case is

“This form template is browser-compatible, but it cannot be browser-enabled on the selected site”

… with an ugly yellow color. Here’s what to check before you’re going crazy:

Install Microsoft Office Forms Server 2007 (independent product) on the SharePoint box if the Office server suite you use is lower than Enterprise (or if you are using Windows SharePoint Services 3.0). The Forms Services support is included in the Enterprise Office Server suite.

After installed Forms Server, you’ll have a InfoPath Forms Services section at the Application Management page. To go here, click on Start -> Administrative Tools -> SharePoint 3.0 Central Administration and choose the Application Management tab on the top of the page. Click on Configure InfoPath Forms Services in the InfoPath Forms Services section and check both “Allow users to browser-enable form templates” and “Render form templates that are browser-enabled by users” checkboxes, then OK this page

Open your SharePoint site, click on Site Actions -> Site Settings, select Site collection features under Site Collection Administration and activate InfoPath Forms Services support

Start designing your form with the InfoPath 2007 client. In InfoPath, click on Tools/Form Options, select the Compatibility category and check the “Design a form template that can be opened in a browser or InfoPath”, then click OK. In the case if you miss this one and your form is browser-compatible, you get a warning message while publishing your form saying that “The server is running InfoPath Forms Services, but the compatibility settings for this form template is InfoPath only”.

Make sure that your form is browser-compatible. You can use the design checker task pane in the InfoPath 2007 client to perform this task.

Publish your form onto a SharePoint 2007 library. In the wizard, at step 3, check the “Enable this form to be filled out by using a browser” checkbox and finish publishing.

At the end of the publishing wizard, select “Open this document library” and click on Close. This will open the document library in the browser. Click on Settings/Form Library Settings, then click on Advanced Settings and select the “Display as a Web page” option in the Browser-enabled Documents category. If you don’t choose this option, the form will be opened in InfoPath if it’s installed on the client. Otherwise, it’s going to be opened in the browser.

Paint.Net – my thoughts

I recently downloaded a copy of Paint.NET. This is a free open-source photo editing application originally created as a student project in 2004. It was designed to replace Microsoft Paint, which was included in Windows, but has evolved into a viable alternative to Photoshop. It has a lot to offer graphic designers, web and digital artists as well as digital photographers who desire to enhance the quality of their work.

I find this to be a really useful tool. Download a copy today from http://www.paint.net.

A brief overview of the new features available in SharePoint 2010

A brief overview of the new features available in SharePoint 2010…

• Better support for internet facing site
• More security features and flexibility in managing permissions
• Email management for users
• Faster search
• More storage options such as SAN, NAS, RAID etc. (Currently only SQL)
• Improved Taxonomy management
• Better Dashboards and Reports
• Records and Archiving Policies
• Easy to use templates
• More Commands
• Microsoft Groove is renamed as ‘SharePoint Workspace Manager’
• Integration with other CMS products
• Inproved InfoPath form capabilities
• More workflow types
• Native support for Mozilla Firefox 3.0 and Opera
• Better support for Mobile devices
• Easy migration from SPS2003 and MOSS 2007
• Visio services lets you share data linked diagrams in real time
• SPD comes with a new UI, improved workflow and improved collaboration between designers
• Rich media support

Front End Users perspective

• Office Client Ribbon interface for in-place editing of SharePoint content on web
• Multiple Browser support – Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari
• Business Connectivity Services (BCS) as the evolution of BDC. These services can now be consumed from Office client apps also.
• SharePoint Workspace Manager (formerly called Groove): a smart client for SharePoint. Supports online, offline and Synchronization of data.

From ICT professional perspective

• Streamlined Central Administration with Ribbon interface
• SharePoint best practices analyzer: Rule based engine for monitoring and self-healing
• Consolidated logging and usage reporting capabilities
• Unattached content database recovery allows temporary use of content databases, useful for recovery and restore purposes
• Snapshot backup and recovery
• Granular recovery at item level
From a Developers perspective
• Resource Throttling controls: For large lists, a finer control on how many records can be displayed. This can be controlled per type of users and during particular time span of a day.
• Visual Studio 2010 SharePoint Tools – Designed for creating Web Parts visually and Business Connectivity Services Entities
• Client Object Model (OM) – Client side libraries which can be used by custom clients to interact with SharePoint data. These can be called from JavaScript, .Net or Silverlight apps. Silverlight web parts and finer control on site Themes.