Microsoft Intune Core Skills Jump Start Recordings on MVA

In case you are interested to learn more about Microsoft Intune, there is a very recent addition to MVA resources which you may be interested in – recording of live “Microsoft Intune Core Skills Jump Start” which was conducted live on 23rd of April. Instructors are Microsoft Director of Program Management Michael Wallent & Technical Evangelist Simon May, and Microsoft engineers.

Video recordings available for downloading as well as related slide decks. I should also note that Intune is now part of Microsoft management stack and their primary MDM device management offering and you will see it included even in Windows client certification exams, such as 70-689, which I about to re-take tomorrow :)

K2 Connect 4.6.9 – System key not being displayed

I am unable to judge about SAP’s software with my little direct exposure to their technology stack, but it should be cool based on what I heard and looking at their price tags and consultant salaries. Probably because of the same reasons many companies end up not using it, as after some initial considerations and conversations decision makers back out from the idea once they see price tag for support contract, and most importantly initial roll out price – their SAP implementation project either going to be moved to the next FY or buried forever. But those who deployed it with such a high CAPEX and OPEX try to use it fully and will require all the other applications integrate with it. Also where SAP is present it is often plays a role of primary/master LOB data store. Not only K2 software supports integration with SAP by means of K2 Connect for SAP, but it allows you to integrate numerous other systems with your SAP implementation playing a role of enterprise hub through which line of business (LOB) data flowing in, out and around an enterprise’s network.

Anyway, today I spent some time doing test installation of K2 connect 4.6.9, and run into little issue which worth mentioning. Namely I was not able to enter K2 connect license as it didn’t show me system key (see screenshot below).

K2 Connect 4.6.9 - No machine key

That’s a problem – you can’t use it without entering license key, and you can not request license key without machine key :)

So my first idea was that LOCAL SYSTEM account which is suggested by default by K2 connect installation wizard for K2 Connect service is not something appropriate for running this service :) But in fact I was wrong and all following 4 options are entirely appropriate for account running K2 Connect service:

  1. System Account
  2. The installation Account, if granted the correct rights
  3. The K2 Service Account, or
  4. A dedicated account for the K2 connect Service

This is described in K2 Connect for SAP User Guide in Installation Prerequisites section. Any of aforementioned accounts can be used to run K2 Connect Service and permission requirement necessary for in include the following:

Must be part of the Local Administrators group.
Two folders are written to by the server and require write permissions:
C:\Program Files\K2 connect\Configuration
C:\Program Files\K2 connect\Service

And in terms of K2 Connect Database rights K2 connect service account should have db_owner rights on it. And when those rights not in place you see this issue with missing system key. By the way there is even no need to reopen that window above/restart K2 connect administration app to fix this. Just grant your K2 Connect Service account db_owner rights. By the way if you revoke the db_owner rights afterwards system key stays cached and you see it even without any access to DB (though you won’t be able to start K2 Connect service) unless you reinstall K2 Connect app once again – then you will see missing system key if your K2 connect service account does not have db_owner righs on K2 Connect DB.

What strange here is that we are doing installation in line with official documentation requirements (i.e. installation account has DbOwner and Sysadmin rights on SQL)  and I don’t understand why db_owner rights can be granted for designated service account during setup automagically :) I also don’t remember any warnings from K2 Connect Setup about the fact that I have to grant those. Probably there is a potential for feature request :)

CLI tools for managing storage in Windows 8.1

There is a number of command line tools for managing storage in Windows 8.1 which allow you to do the same things as Disk Management MMC (diskmgmt.msc) and even more :). We have the following at our disposal:

fsutil.exe – allows you manage reparse points and sparse files, dismount a volume

fsutildiskpat.exe – this is full CLI substitute to Disk Management, full list of stuff it can do doesn’t fit into a screenshot, as it takes multiple screens :)

diskpart

And last, but not least – PowerShell. With that you can do… Well what you cannot do with PowerShell? :) For managing storage you may use cmdlets from Storage module, to perform different operations on disks, partitions and volumes.

PS-Storage-Disk

PS-Storage-PartitionPS-Storage-Volume

 This is a good idea to be familiar with those, and not only for your Microsoft exams.

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How to call jQuery or JavaScript code in a K2 SmartForm

Originally posted on Velocity IT blogs:

jQuery is a powerful JavaScript library that offers enormous productivity gains for web developers. Further more, it is cross platform.  This means jQuery code generally works across all major browsers.

The purpose of K2 SmartForms is to provide no-code, enterprise level form design and run capabilities.  As a best practice, it is advised not to embed jQuery code in K2 SmartForms, however, certain scenarios exist where small amounts of jQuery compliments K2 SmartForm solutions.

So how do you embed jQuery code in K2 SmartForms and call it?

The example below shows how to display an alert box when clicking on a K2 SmartForm button.  The first thing to do it to drag a button on the K2 SmartForm.

K2 Appit - Button to attach a jQuery event to K2 Appit – Button to attach a jQuery event to

The next step is to set an unique title for the button.  This is used by the jQuery select.

K2 Appit - Button Title for jQuery select code to K2 Appit – Button Title for jQuery…

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K2 Authentication and Authorization whitepaper series

Just a quick note to share info on recently published K2 KB001688 “Authentication and Authorization in K2″. This article is just published yesterday and covers extensively authentication and authorization topics in K2. This KB allows you to download a set of the following documents:

Authentication and Authorization in K2

Claim-Based Authentication in K2

Outbound Authorization and OAuth in K2

About K2Trust

When it comes to “AA” part of “AAA” trinity (Authhorization and Authentication) it is really evergreen topic (trust me :) ), it either works and you don’t care, or it doesn’t work. Once you face the later case it’s high time for deep dive in nuts and bolts of these technologies. Articles I mentioned above would definitely be of some help here :)

Windows 8.1/10: How to change network type from Internet to Private

For one or another reason you may be in need of changing your network type from Internet to Private in Windows 8.1/10. For example you can’t join HomeGroup when you connected to Internet type network (being on Domain or Private network is a requirement for this, as well as IPv6 enabled on your network adapter, plus bunch of services in running state). But in my case I had an issue when I installed Windows 10 TP on my main desktop which I usually access via RDP from my laptop. I lost RDP connectivity just because Windows 10 defined my Ethernet connection is of Internet type instead of Private, and I seen this more than once (when changing Windows 10 builds). I’m really wondering how it detects/decides on network type?. Of course you can go and adjust firewall rules for Internet network profile, but this is wrong approach. Though it was something what I used as a quick fix as a way/place where you change your network type from Internet to Private is a bit counter-intuitive/difficult to find.

So I’m just noting how to do this on Windows 8.1/10. In order to change your network type from Internet to Private you should do the following:

Go to Settings (either by accessing respective charms icon or by pressing Win + I)  > Change PC Settings > Network > Connection. There you have to click on your connection and enable “Find devices and content” option. Once this is enabled your network type is changed to Private.

Find devices and content

Options for adding device drivers in Windows 8.1

This is one of the topics you may be questioned on if you going to take 70-689 exam. Basically, apart from just installing device driver from some media or pulling it from Windows update you may also preload drivers for your devices in advance. There are 3 ways of doing this:

Add/remove drivers to an offline image by using DISM. When using this approach you adding drivers into offline image prior to booting OS. Drivers either reflected (i.e. copied into image according to the information in .ini file) or staged (i.e. added to driver store) into image. Boot-critical drivers are reflected, all others staged. Command to add driver looks as follows:

Dism /Image:C:\test\offline /Add-Driver /Driver:C:\drivers\mydriver.inf

Important switches to be aware of are /recurse (to add all drivers from the folder) and /forceunsigned (to add unsigned driver). Please refer to the Add and Remove Drivers to an Offline Windows Image article on TechNet for details.

Add drivers during an automated deployment by using Windows Setup and an answer file. Here you should use Windows System Image Manager (Windows SIM) to create an answer file that contains the paths to the device drivers that you intend to install. There you are adding the Microsoft-Windows-PnpCustomizationsNonWinPE component to your answer file in the offlineServicing configuration pass. Then in Microsoft-Windows-PnpCustomizationsNonWinPE node in the answer file you right-click DevicePaths, and then select Insert New PathAndCredentials to add new PathAndCredentials list item.

Once you created your answer file you need to apply it to your image with DISM (first mount image, then apply):

DISM /Mount-Image /ImageFile:C:\test\images\install.wim /Index:1 /MountDir:C:\test\offline

DISM /Image:C:\test\offline /Apply-Unattend:C:\test\answerfiles\myunattend.xml

Add drivers after deployment on a running operating system by using PnPUtil or an answer file. So in order to add device drivers into running OS you may employ 2 methods:

Use PnPUtil to add or remove PnP drivers. See Use PnPUtil at a command line to install a Plug and Play device for details. You can use this procedure to install the device driver for a device that is plugged in, but for which no device driver is installed.

Use an answer file to automate the installation of PnP drivers when the computer is booted in audit mode. See Add a Driver Online in Audit Mode for details. You can use an answer file to automate the installation of device drivers when the computer is booted in audit mode. The auditSystem configuration pass processes unattended Setup settings while Windows is running in system context, before a user logs on to the computer in audit mode.