New Microsoft Office 365 Deal–6 Seats for $100

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I am a fan of Office 365, and I thought this information about Office 365 on HOW TO GEEK, at https://www.howtogeek.com/364457/why-microsofts-office-365-is-a-great-deal/ was very useful.

Here is a summary of the information.

Microsoft’s Office 365 service has been a great deal for a long time, and it’s getting better. Starting October 2, 2018, Office 365 Home will let six users install an unlimited number of Office applications. Each person gets 1 TB of OneDrive storage, too.

Each user will also be able to install Office applications on an unlimited amount of devices. Users can only be signed into five Office applications at the same time, however. This is an improvement from now, where those five users can only install Office on up to 10 devices in total.

These changes take effect starting October 2, 2018. Microsoft isn’t raising the price of any Office 365 plans, either.

Microsoft has made a few account changes that are taking effect immediately. After signing up for Office 365, all user accounts in your Microsoft Family will be automatically given access. You can manage your subscription directly from the Microsoft account website, too.

Office 365 includes Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Outlook. Publisher and Access are also included but are only available on Windows. These are the same full desktop Office applications you’d get if you purchased the standard boxed copies of Office, but they also have the advantage of getting more frequent feature updates. And yes, you can use them offline—your PC or Mac just has to appear online once every 30 days to keep them activated.

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Free Up Space – A Tool in Windows 10

I have used CCleaner for years, but recently, I have found that it is getting very annoying with pop up reminders.  Some of the messages make it seem un-trustworthy.  I was looking for a new cleaning tool.

Then I read an article on “How To Geek” about Free Up Space, a tool in Windows 10.  Here are some highlights.

  • Windows has a built-in Disk Cleanup
  • Microsoft has been improving it
  • Works even better in the latest versions of Windows 10
  • Removes temporary files, previous Windows installations, log files, old Windows updates, thumbnails, and various other cache files

To access the Free Up Space tool on Windows 10, head to Settings > System > Storage and click “Free Up Space Now” under Storage Sense. Windows will automatically scan for files you can delete. Check the files you want to delete and click “Remove files” to get rid of them.  See the partial screen shot below of Free Up Space.

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If you check “Recycle Bin,” Windows will also empty your Recycle Bin. Be sure you don’t want to recover any deleted files from your Recycle Bin before checking this option.

System Requirements for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2018

Microsoft has announced the system requirements for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2018 which is to be released on December 1 2017. 

The details are here: https://mbs.microsoft.com/customersource/northamerica/GP/learning/documentation/system-requirements/MDGP2018_System_Requirements.

The requirements listing is very thorough, and, needs to be read carefully.

Client Requirements

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New Features in Power BI From June 2017 Release

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Figure 1 – Explanation of Power BI from https://powerbi.microsoft.com

On June 12, Amanda Cofsky, Program Manager for Power BI, provided an overview of the new reporting features available as of June.  The link to download Power BI is…. http://powerbi.microsoft.com/desktop?WT.mc_id=Blog_Desktop_Update.

Here’s the complete list of June updates from Cofsky’s blog posting.

Reporting
  • Data bars for new table & matrix (preview)
  • Markers on line, area, & combo charts
  • Accessible reports
    • Consume Power BI reports with keyboard navigation and screen reader support
    • Create accessible reports
  • Visuals font family setting
  • Horizontal Image Slicer
  • Combo chart formatting updates
    • Force zeros to align between the two axes
    • Shade area of the line
  • Bing maps improvements
    • Map themes
    • Improved geo hierarchy experience
  • High density line sampling
Data connectivity
  • Custom Data Connectors support
  • Power BI service Live Connect to On Premises and Push streaming datasets
  • Impala connector is now generally available
  • Amazon Redshift connector is now generally available
  • SAP BW connector – DirectQuery support (beta)
  • IBM Netezza connector (beta)
Query editing
  • “Add Column from Examples” enhancements

You can watch a video of the new features by clicking on https://youtu.be/YlNVE5dgcSI (Power BI Desktop Update – June 2017).  Remember that YouTube links can change from time to time so this link may change over time.


Create a SQL Server Utility Control Point

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Figure 1 – SQL Server Utility Configuration Steps that show up on the Utility Setup

You may have read my previous post – Solving – WMI Provider Error, and how the issue was solved by creating the Utility Control Point (UCP). 

The Utility Tool has some excellent features that track the health of SQL Server.  So, what do you need to know about it?

Benefits of the SQL Server Utility

The SQL Server Utility models an organization’s SQL Server-related entities in a unified view. Utility Explorer and SQL Server Utility viewpoints in SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) provide administrators a holistic view of SQL Server resource health through an instance of SQL Server that serves as a utility control point (UCP). The combination of summary and detailed data presented in the UCP for both underutilization and overutilization policies, and for a variety of key parameters, enables resource consolidation opportunities and resource overutilization to be identified with ease. Health policies are configurable, and can be adjusted to change either upper or lower resource utilization thresholds. You can change global monitoring policies, or configure individual monitoring policies for each entity managed in the SQL Server Utility. – from https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/relational-databases/manage/sql-server-utility-features-and-tasks

The information below describes that an organization can have many SQL Server Utilities. 

An enterprise can have multiple SQL Server Utilities, and each SQL Server Utility can manage many instances of SQL Server and data-tier applications. Every SQL Server Utility has one and only one utility control point (UCP). You must create a new UCP for each SQL Server Utility. Each managed instance of SQL Server and every data-tier application is a member of one and only one SQL Server Utility, and is managed by a single UCP.+

The UCP collects configuration and performance information from managed instances of SQL Server every 15 minutes. This information is stored in the utility management data warehouse (UMDW) on the UCP; the UMDW file name is sysutility_mdw. SQL Server performance data is compared to policies to help identify resource use bottlenecks and consolidation opportunities.  – from https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/relational-databases/manage/create-a-sql-server-utility-control-point-sql-server-utility 

The listing of requirements and recommendations is list at the same hyperlink noted above.

Solving – WMI Provider Error Invalid Namespace in SQL Reporting Services Setup

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Figure 1 – SSRS error during setup of SQL Reporting

You’ve installed SQL.  Everything went well and you have all the different tasks showing as being successful.  Then you go to install SSRS Reporting Services, and you get the message….

I keep getting ‘Cannot connect to SERVERNAME’, ‘Report Server WMI Provider Error: Invalid namespace

The answer to fixing this error, at least the answer that worked for me, is:

To install/reinstall/repair SSRS, run the SQL Server setup utility and choose the advanced or custom option which will allow you to choose only the components you wish to install.

Big question – what does the Utility Control Point do?

The SQL Server Utility is managed through a utility control point using Utility Explorer in SSMS. The UCP is configured on an instance of SQL Server. It provides the central reasoningpoint for the SQL Server Utility using SSMS to organize and monitor SQL Server resource health.

1. To create the SQL Server Utility begin with opening the SQL Server Management Studio.  I am using SQL 2014.

2. Then click on VIEW, and find UTILITY EXPLORER, as below.

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3. Click on UTILITY EXPLORER to open up the next window, and click on CREATE UTILITY CONTROL POINT.

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4. This opens up the window below which gives you very clear steps to follow to create the Utility Control Point.  

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The process of creating and validating the SQL Server instance cleared up the issues that I had with WMI not distinguishing instance names, and solved my problem.  I was able to install Reporting Services, and to configure SSRS reporting to suit my requirements.

How I Use OneNote

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Figure 1 – My Technology notebook showing multiple sections

Thank you to the folks that have emailed me and asked me how I use OneNote in my daily work. 

I am happy to answer that question.  OneNote has a tiered organizational system that begins with notebooks, and divides the notebook into sections, and then lets you record notes in each section by page.

I have several notebooks.  However, the one that I use the most is my TECHNOLOGY notebook.  You can see how I break down the sections in Figure 1 above.

Below, in Figure 2, is a sample of the section – Dynamics GP – and an illustration of the different pages that I have in that section.

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Figure 2 – Sample of pages from my section on Dynamics GP in OneNote

Everyone will arrange their information differently.  This is the arrangement that works for me.  Why I like OneNote so much is that it is online, and I can pull it up from any of my devices, or from a browser at a client site.  While it is easy to say that one should remember all the things that you have done on a software, I have learned that if you only do something once a year, sometimes you need to go back and look at the steps and rules.  I am often changing my pages because process and steps get updated during the passing of the year, either because the software was updated or because of third party add-ons that change the process.

Why I love working with OneNote

1) With OneNote Clipper, I can take articles or information from the internet and store it until I am ready to clean it up and add it to my notebook.

2)  If I am working on a research project, I can create a notebook for the research, copy it in, and then categorize it, and then wipe it out when I am done.

3) I don’t use them often, but the drawing tools are pretty good and let me create quick work flows or mind maps.

4) I love the fast SEARCH function.

5) The VIEW toolbar lets me pin my OneNote info so it is easy to get at.  See Figure 3.

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Figure 3 – The VIEW Toolbar in OneNote, highlighting the DOCK to DESKTOP feature

As with starting anything new, using OneNote does require some practice and you may not get it right the first time.  I didn’t. The trick is to wipe it out and to start over until you get it right for the way that you work.

More on OneNote

Note: use CTRL+Click to go to sites

OneNote for Beginners
Insert online videos into OneNote 2016 for Windows
New Features Added to OneNote
How To Move from Evernote to OneNote
New Features in OneNote At January 2016

Microsoft Press Sale Until July 31 2017

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If you are looking at writing any Microsoft exams over the next several months, then you will want to look at all of the Exam Reference guides that are on sale until July 31, 2017.  Click on this link to see all of the volumes that are available.

https://www.microsoftpressstore.com/promotions/cert-sale-save-up-to-55-on-exam-prep-books-ebooks-141071

There are two good reference on Office 365.

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Update – Office 2007 support ends on October 10, 2017

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Microsoft announced that the company’s support for Microsoft Office 2007 will end on October 10, 2017, a little over three months from now.

When Office 2007 reaches its End of Life on October 10, 2017, Microsoft will no longer provide:

  • Technical support for issues

  • Bug fixes for issues that are discovered

  • Security fixes for vulnerabilities that are discovered

In addition, as of October 31, 2017, Outlook 2007 will be unable to connect to Office 365 mailboxes, which means Outlook 2007 clients using Office 365 will not be able to receive and send mail.