Some of you may have heard by now that service pack 1 for Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 products has been released.  There have been some blog posts out there that talk about the improvements in SP1 and major reasons why SP1 is actually a good thing!  What I wanted to do here is look at some improvements that perhaps have been overlooked.  First let’s get the basics out of the way so you can see the big picture like everyone else.  Here’s a list of recent blogs on the subject: 

As with all previous update guidance, they are recommending to apply the foundation update, then the server update, then run the configuration wizard (psconfig).    There is a slight deviation however.  In this case, as Stefan Gobner’s post points out, the product group is recommending to also apply June 2011 cumulative update.  See here for more details.

I didn’t set out to do this, but as I was looking over the fixes included in SP1, I realized there are some quite nice improvements that aren’t as flashy as SQL Denali support or having the Site recycle bin.  First we need the list of changes that weren’t coming from previous cumulative updates, which you get here.  Let’s take a look by category.  As the file states, these descriptions vary in detail, and often don’t specify how it was fixed, just what the issue was.

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There are lots of fixes here, and there isn’t one that just jumps out at me.  There are performance improvements, API enhancements, crawl topology fixes, and they even fixed some text in the PowerShell example help. 

SharePoint

Obviously there are a ton of fixes here, and you can see where they mention the popular ones like I mentioned above.  There are security improves like where the copy/move UI is visible to users who aren’t site collection admins (BAD)! 

  • Prior to SP1, SharePoint administrators could not set a limit on the number of Broadcast Slideshow attendees through a PowerShell cmdlet. Beginning with SP1, this functionality is included.

I’m not how many folks out there are avid PowerPoint Slideshow Broadcast users, but it’s nice to have the ability to configure the feature more.

  • Generation of news feeds on My Sites is governed by the Activity Feed Timer Job. Before SP1, this timer job was turned off by default over privacy concerns regarding news feeds. Therefore, no activities were generated on the My Site news feed by default. Starting with SP1, a setting on the My Site Settings page for User Profile Service Administrators provides control over news feed behavior. The Activity Feed Timer Job is now always enabled, but administrators can use this new setting to opt in or opt out of news feeds.

Spence Harbar mentions this is in a blog post just recently published, but I will repeat here as well.  There are two things here.  One is that the Activity Feed Timer job is enabled now by default because too many people complained feeds weren’t working out of the box.  There is also now a setting to enable or disable the newsfeed on My Sites as shown here:

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  • You cannot customize the runtime behavior of the Social Security Trimmer, which is used when you retrieve social data, such as tags, notes, ratings, or Newsfeed data.

Again, Spence outlines this issue and I will defer to his post on this topic.

  • Before SP1, there was no convenient way for users to select a video frame to set as the Thumbnail. Starting with SP1, this functionality is provided through the "Video Thumbnail Picker" feature.

I have personally struggled with this, so this is a nice new addition.

  • The Media section of the ribbon contains two buttons that are nonfunctional for editing or creating blog posts, "Audio and Video" and "From SharePoint" under Images.
  • Alerts do not function correctly in several scenarios.
  • You move a site collection, but the config database updates fails. Therefore, the site collection is not available in the new location. It is also not available in the original location because was deleted.
  • Before SP1, you could not have some pages rendered in Internet Explorer 9 document mode (instead of Internet Explorer 8). Starting with SP1, a control is available that lets you set individual pages to be rendered in Internet Explorer 9.
  • Before SP1, the Title field on attachments was a required field. Therefore, users had to supply a title to save a document. Starting with SP1, the Title field is no longer a required field.
  • Calendar view is not rendered correctly when the browser window is resized.

Some issues or bugs are under some obscure combination of circumstances that you will never see, but this one I have seen.  Let’s have a look.  You’re looking at your normal SharePoint calendar:

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Now in IE, “restore down” or resize your window and watch that SharePoint calendar mysteriously shrink:

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Have no fear, just hit F5 to refresh and all is well.  Or you could install service pack 1.

  • URLs to documents in document libraries are very long and include the Source parameter when the URL is copied (e.g., by right-clicking and selecting Copy Shortcut). In SP1, the Source parameter is not included in a copied URL, so the URL is much shorter.

This is a very welcome fix.  Todd Klindt has a blog post on an add-on that will create and manage short SharePoint URLs for you.  Check it out!

Conclusion

I just finished installing SP1 on a development environment that had Project Server, Office Web Apps and SharePoint of course.  I have to say, things went fairly smoothly overall.  I did have to work through a couple issues with IIS app pools not started and the User Profile Service, but when don’t you have to fix the User Profile Service?  As with all fixes, test test test!