Forcing Internet Explorer Compatability Mode within HTML for SharePoint 2013

internet_explorer_9_icon_svgIf you work in an environment that has multiple versions of Internet Explorer and trying to support SharePoint 2013, you will need to add a simple HTML tag to your master page/custom master page in order to be truly backwards compatible especially if you have IE 8 or IE 9 in your environment.

Place this tag in your <head></head> section in your start page.

<meta http-equiv=”x-ua-compatible” content=”ie=edge”>

This will help with forward and backwards compatibility.

Please TEST in your test/development environment(s) first before applying to your production site.




CINPA – My presentation slide deck.




A link to my presentation slide deck and supplemental training materials.

September 7, 2016 – A great site to get unlimited use of various business images

openclipartAre you even in need of getting an image, clip art, etc. for a presentation, documentation, etc.?

When you do a search on Google/Bing you will find commercial based images that you need to pay. And some images are not cheap. may fit your business need.

Why?  Their images, clip art are open to unlimited commercial/general use.

Click here for my information.

Enjoy! ~Tony Maddin


PowerShell Commandlet – Compress-Archive to create zip files


As I am constantly dealing with log file management on my servers, I have always relied on batch files to use PowerShell commandlets to move log files. And then I had to run other processes to manage the log files in a destination area.



I found this handy PowerShell commandlet called Compress-Archive.  You will need PowerShell version 5.0.

The link to the official documentation.

Anyway, this little routine has saved me some steps and with my log file management issues.

I simply zip files with and have the destination path in the same line.

I used example #3.  (This is not my exact script that I wrote, just showing the example.)

Compress-Archive -Path C:\Reference\* -Update -DestinationPath C:\Archives\Draft.Zip


I hope this tid-bit helps all of my fellow techies out there.

~Tony Maddin~



The 2016 Microsoft Product Road Map

Redmond Channel Partner Website

The Redmond Channel Partner website is my “go-to” source for insight to the Microsoft software roadmaps and software release dates.

Example:  The link to the upcoming Microsoft 2016 product suites that are set to be released in the upcoming months.

This week, it was announced that SharePoint 2016 RTM will be released on March/2016.



Global Azure Bootcamp 2016 – April 16, 2016

Global Azure Bootcamp 2016 is scheduled for Saturday April 16, 2016.

I am sure it’s early but a regional office here in the Ohio/Indiana area will be hosting an venue for this event.

Great time to geek out and network with other great IT professionals in the area.


Here is the official website for more information:


Tony Maddin

A.K.A. ~Crouching Tony, Hidden Maddin~

Windows Azure is currently performing an operation on this deployment that requires exclusive access.

Microsoft_Azurepowershell-logoWindows Azure Error, “Windows Azure is currently performing an operation on this deployment that requires exclusive access.

I got this error when trying to provision multiple virtual servers with PowerShell at the same time.  Unfortunately, Azure will not allow you to create/provision Virtual Servers at the same time.

Answer = To create and/or provision your virtual servers in sequence.

~ Tony Maddin ~

Global Azure Bootcamp 2015

I will be in attendance for this Microsoft event.

Here is the website for information for this free event.

Twitter handle:  @GlobalAzure

Office365 Roadmap Website


Microsoft continues trying to be proactive on where their business and technical features sets are heading in the future.

Here is the link to keep up-to-date with future changes.

~Tony Maddin~

The website to monitor Microsoft Azure status

Microsoft_AzureHere is a link from the Microsoft Azure team to monitor Azure and all the IaaS, Paas, and SaaS layers.

SharePoint Conference 2014 Videos from Channel 9

Click here to watch all the presentations from the national SPC 2014 conference.

~ Tony Maddin ~

Azure Explorer – Great tool to map to Azure Storage

cerebrata_logoAs an systems administrator; PowerShell is my tool of choice to perform job functions.  However, reviewing all the steps necessary to connect to Azure storage and all the steps to remove/delete a single file seemed to take more time than it’s worth.

I wanted to just find a way to explore and zap the file I wanted to save storage space (and cost.)

Here is the answer, Azure Explorer by Cerebrata.

Cerebrata has a great other great Azure tools for purchase.


Image from Cerebrata’s website.

This free, tool set was exactly what I needed.  I simply configured Azure explorer with my storage key, and poof!  I was connected to my Azure Storage with a view like Windows Explorer.

I was able to right click and remove the file.  Bonus: Within my backup folder, I was able to download and archive backups to save storage and $$.

I recommend this tool if you are using Azure and leveraging Azure storage as an efficient way to map and work with blob storage.

Here is the link to Cerebrata’s site for the tool.

~ Tony Maddin ~

Needing a way to manage and track your time? Try Toggl

Toggl LogoI am trying to bring balance to the force.  Well technically to bring balance to my own work life.  Like everybody else in the working world, I am trying to juggle tasks and priorities in an every changing business world.

However, I wanted to go beyond a basic Outlook calendar.  Yes, I can block out time.  But within that block of time; what did I really accomplish?

Also, I continuously to find productive time to keep on top of my professional career development.

I am a huge fan of Trello ( to manage tasks and status of tasks.  But I want to way to manage where my time goes during the day.

My good friend, Michael Czarnecki, mentioned awhile back that he uses (Yes, the “E” is dropped at the end.)

Here is Toggl’s website.

Michael Czarnecki’s twitter address:  @jerzakie

I have been experimenting with it this month.  (May/2014)

I have to say, this tool was exactly what I needed.


  • You create tasks and associate it with a project.
  • A stop and start clock.  Love it!  Especially when I get interrupted during the course of a day. I don’t mind to help.  But I do want to see concise time my given tasks.
  • Reports – Yes, yes, yes!  To see how I managed my time to tasks.  A great, simple built-in light weight business intelligence tool set where you can drill down in the data.
  • Integrates with your Google account.  (You have to love OAuth!)


  • Currently, no integration with Trello.  I have to rebuild projects and tasks.  But it quick to create.
  • The free version is good, but the paid version is tempting with the advance features and mobile apps.

Overall, Toggl is meeting my expectation as a precise time tracking to task tool set that I need to go beyond just scheduling blocks/chunks of time slots to work on tasks.

Here is Toggl’s website.

I recommend it and wanted to share my thoughts.  As always, I welcome any feedback.

~ Tony Maddin ~


Microsoft Rereleases Service Pack 1 for SharePoint 2013

According to this post, Microsoft rereleases service pack 1 for SharePoint 2013.  SharePoint MVP, Todd Klindt, wrote a nice little post about it.

However, I would caution to try it out for at least a minimum of 2 months.  And monitor the forums and social media to gain insight how the service pack is reacting to production systems.

Here is the link to the main article.

~ Tony Maddin ~





Surface Pro 2 is now my primary machine

MS-Surface-Pro-2 I love this little beast.  It’s versatile, light, and has the hardware to do my everyday work.

I have various means to provision servers in the cloud.  So I do not need a high-end Intel I7 chip set with 32 GB of RAM so I can have development environments on my laptop.  Besides, Windows Server 2012 R2 Hypervisor is free and I can spin up virtual servers on my home server if need be as well.

What I like:

– Portability.  It’s light and it has a small footprint in a board room meeting.

– Office 2013 Writing Features – There are times where I use pen and paper to write down notes in a meeting if I didn’t get a chance to grab my laptop.  So I always state; I will write it down and type it into OneNote later.  This percentage of completion is not the greatest.  Also, it’s twice the work and its inefficient by writing down the same information twice.  Now I can write (with the pen) or type at the very moment it happens. Saves time!

– User Groups/Events.  It’s nice to have a portable device at events so I am loaded down with a bulky laptop to take notes nor have a bulky device just to have a PowerPoint presentation.

– OneDrive.  200 GB of space in included This is on top of my 107 GB space I got from February 2014.  And I got another 20 GB with my Office365 subscription.  A total of 327 GB of OneDrive space.

– Skype Premium.  I am a big Skype user.  The app for your mobile phone is vital to save minutes on your phone plans.  I got my Skype Premium account extended for 12 months that is included on my purchase.  Yes please!

– USB 3.0.  I purchased a 3 port USB hub with an RJ-45 jack so I can hard wire into a network.  So I can run fast backups to my portable hard drives/USB thumb drives.

– PowerShell 3.0 and ISE.  PowerShell is my primary command line tool of choice.  The PowerShell 3.0 ISE is a must have for all the various work tasks I perform on a daily basis.

– Visual Studio 2013. The little beast can handle Visual Studio 2013. This is the most impressive thing I have thrown at the Surface.  I can compile and deploy very quickly to localhost or a remote environment.

– SQL Server Management Studio 2014.  Another area I am impressed.  I have the ability

What I do not like at the moment:

– Fiber Keyboard.  My hands are too big for this keyboard.  I will probably get a wireless keyboard so my gorilla knuckles can type away.

– Windows 8 App screen.  The April 2014 Windows 8.1 update will allow me to go back to the Windows 7 screen.  Yes, Yes, and Yes!

In conclusion:  I never thought a tablet could ever meet my expectation.  I know the Samsung tablets are getting powerful and helping to gain market share against the Apple IPad.  But being a long time Microsoft supporter, this device integrates everything into one solution.



CamStudio OpenSource – Free Streaming Video Software

CamStudioLogoI am a visual learner.  I love CBT’s.  I am more engaged when I see a topic come alive.  This year, I plan on expanding my blog site to have more video-based blogging so I can remember some of my own tips and tricks.  😉

I recently tried out CamStudio as an video recorder alternative to Camtasia by TechSmith.  Do not get me wrong; Camtasia is a great tool set.  I highly recommend it to anybody that has a budget.

However, CamStudio is a great alternative if you want to produce a basic video recording that can be exported to .AVI, .MP4, and/or .SWF file types.

Here is the website if you want to download and try it out.  Also, there is a version of it.

~Tony Maddin~


Bill Baer Blog Post – SQL Server 2014 and SharePoint 2013

sqlserver2014This is a must read blog article for all SharePoint admins.

Key point:  SharePoint 2013 April Cumulative Update will have the support for SQL Server 2014.

Link to the article:

What’s new in SQL Server 2014.


To leverage Windows Server 2012 R2 Deduplication feature prior to uploading documents into SharePoint

Win2k12LogoTo have SharePoint take place of a file share is a logical choice.  One of the many pillars of SharePoint is enterprise content management.


SharePoint robust features can be offset of bring the mess from a file share/shared drive and just simply bringing a new environment without cleansing the documents first.

Windows Server 2012 R2 has a great feature to help tackle the information explosion prior to migrating all your documents into SharePoint called Data Deduplication.

Data deduplication will allow your organization to help cut down on the number of “like” versions that can be scattered across numerous folders.

As a result, you get down the “single versions” of the truth with your primary documents.  Then you can take full advantage of search, records management, etc. within SharePoint to help your organization save money with regard to storage and time to search for vital information.

Here is the article on how you can use data deduplication in Windows 2012 R2.


Global Windows Azure Boot Camp – Saturday March 29, 2014

windows_azure_smallMicrosoft has put together a free, global Windows Azure boot camp on Saturday, March 29, 2014.

It’s free to register and attend.  Space is limited so register fast.



Update:  There is also a free, Microsoft Azure event on March 19th, in Columbus, Ohio.

Here is the link to this event.

Thanks – Jesse Grigsby!

The main website is:

The Columbus, Ohio website and registration.

~Tony Maddin~


Dayton, Ohio Business Intelligence User Group – Business Driven Metrics within Yammer, SharePoint, and Office365

DaytonBIUGI will be presenting at the Dayton Business Intelligence User Group on Tuesday, April 1, 2014.

Meeting time is from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.

My Topic: Business driven metrics from within Yammer/SharePoint/Office365 presentation.

Attendance is free.  Below is the link to register.

For more information; please visit Technology First’s website.



Pencil Project open source alternative to Balsamiq

pencil-projectI am a fan of Balsamiq.  Balsamiq gives you a lot of design opportunities for application mockups of various kind.  And I like the rough draft appearance to show it’s a draft of an idea.  Not the final UX/UI solution.  It shows the business actions within each item of the application.  And  the toolset is easy enough to use in a rapid mockup scenario with customers during discovery sessions.

Recently, I needed something fast and free.

I found Pencil. The Pencil Project is an open source toolset that creates wireframe mockups of applications such as desktop, tablet, mobile, and browser.  There are some free Google based templates you can bolt onto your toolset.  Also, it has additional features as mind mapping, application flow, and note sections in the diagram.

I highly recommend it as a supplement to Balsamiq especially if you do not have software budget.

Here is the official website:

~ Tony Maddin ~

Setting up a SMTP service in Microsoft Azure



I am part of a project team that is building a custom Windows 8 application that is leveraging Microsoft Azure.



My project role is multi-tenant infrastructure architect.  This role curtails:

  • Infrastructure as a service design.  To maximize performance while balancing cost in Microsoft Azure.
  • To perform a detail security analysis on all points of data in motion and data at rest.

One of my task items on the project is to come up with a SMTP solution.  My first thought as a system administrator is to leverage a virtual server and enable SMTP as a service.

However, my thinking is changing with the times.  J  Now there are apps for system administrators.

So I looked in the Azure store and found SendGrid.  After doing some internet searches; there have been positive comments about this SMTP application.
















I have activated this application in my Azure subscription. Below are my steps.

Open up the Azure Dashboard, click New, select Store and then choose SendGrid from the App Services Add-ons list.
















We will not be sending over 25,000 emails a month so the free subscription will fit our current business needs.








The subscription will be tied in with your monthly billing.

I welcome any feedback.

~ Tony Maddin ~


DaNPA – Yammer and SharePoint integration and business use

DaNPA_Logo_thumb.jpgThursday, March 6th I will be presenting at the Dayton Area Networking Professional Association.

My topic:  Yammer and SharePoint integration.  And to demonstrate it in action to show how Yammer can be used in a business context.

Currently, the organization website is offline.  You can follow the group on


DAYSPUG – Yammer and SharePoint integration and business use

Dayspug-Logo-2Tuesday, February 11th I will be co-presenting at the Dayton, SharePoint User Group monthly meeting.

My topic:  Yammer and SharePoint integration.  And to demonstrate it in action to show how Yammer can be used in a business context. for more information.


Coogle a free web based mind mapping tool

coggleI am a visual learner and visual presenter.  I enjoy taking complex problems, putting context around it, map it out and then come up with solutions.

I am a huge fan of XMind.  I have my own personal license.  However, I needed an alternative toolset for my new work laptop.

As I trolled, I ran across an article about Coggle.  Coggle is free, web-based and easy to use.

After about 5 minutes of getting familiar with the tool set; I was on my way of diagramming out my new solutions.

I recommended it as an alternative if you cannot get XMind or Mindjet.

Here is the link to the Coggle website.


A quick guide to create Active Directory in Azure

windows_azure_smallI first read the documentation on Microsoft’s website on how to create a domain controller and Active Directory.

This guide looked intense so I continued my internet searching until I found this blog post.

I am happy to report these steps worked like a champ!  I have now built my SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 training farms.

A special thank you to Keith Mayer at Microsoft for his awesome article.


GPG4Win A great toolset for personal digital security


GPG4win_logo GPG4win is a great toolset for generating your own digital certificates.  In today’s times of eavesdropping by various entities; taking steps to safe guard your information in motion and information at rest is more vital than ever.  This toolset is great because you can:

  • Create your own digital signatures
  • Encrypt your email
  • Encrypt/Decrypt/Sign files or folders on your personal computer.
  • Create CheckSums
  • And to verify CheckSums with programs you download from the internet to verify it came from the proper source.

If time permits; I will create some tutorials from my blog on how to perform these actions.


Great SharePoint Online Features Comparison Matrix

Office365I found the holy grail of comparing SharePoint features against the latest plans for #Office365.

I am speaking at the Tri-State SharePoint User Group – January 9th, 2014

I will be speaking at the Tri-State SharePoint Professionals group.Tri-State SP Professionals


Date: Thursday, January 9, 2014

Location: Radisson Inn in Covington, Kentucky

RegistrationClick here to register.

Topic: The evolution of the SharePoint Administrator – the future is bright!

Summary: ​So the rumor mill with cloud and Office365 states that SharePoint administration is a dying skill set, huh? Tony Maddin begs to differ. Tony will highlight areas to enhance your professional development so new skill sets can be required to future proof your role as it transforms from an “Administrator” into the future of an “Integrator.”

The Evolution of the SharePoint Administrator Presentation

Tony MaddinBelow is a link to my presentation that I shared at the Dayton SharePoint User Group and the Buckeye SharePoint User Group during October 2013.

Click here to view the presentation.