PKS Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: Do all videos or podcasts need to be uploaded to SharePoint or can they be hosted on other servers and video/content delivery systems?
  • A: We'll offer both options: the videos can be uploaded on the server, or just referenced in the system. The upload mechanism code will be available if you'd like to adapt it to your content delivery system and deliver an integrated experience.
  • Q: Are we planning on developing this into a hosted service like iTunes University?
  • A: There are no immediate plans for a hosted version of PKS at this stage. The solution will need to be deployed internally. Other teams and ISVs are looking into hosted solutions leveraging the Live ecosystem, such as OfficeLive or silverlight.net
  • Q: Are there any restriction in terms of location?
  • A: There is no restriction in terms of location, the visual interface will be English.
  • Q: Can I upload podcasts in languages different than English? Will it be supported?
  • A: Yes, feel free to publish podcasts in any language that targets your local audience. Your podcasts don’t necessarily have to be in English and you can filter content in different languages, but UI will just be in English.
  • Q: Will the solution will work with tools such as iPodder and others as aggregators?
  • A: RSS aggregators that are able to support authenticated feeds will likely work. Zune has committed to adapt their Marketplace software in the coming few months. Odeo, a third party reader, has already released a beta. The solution will also implement the podcasting RSS tags (iTunes).
  • Q: Can PKS run on WSS3.0, SharePoint 2008 or only MOSS 2007?
  • A: It will only work on MOSS 2007; sits on top of 2007 platform.
  • Q: What was the product mentioned that would support transcoding of the video?
  • A: The transcoding product is Microsoft Expression. Server-side re-encoding won’t be implemented in the June 2008 release. ISVs and Partners have expressed interest in developing this capability on top of the solution. We hope to add this feature as an onboarded Child Project very soon.
  • Q: What will be available out of the box when this is released? Are the options of one big community with a taxonomy node for each separate area of interest and everyone sees everything versus separate instantiations of PKS for each community?
  • A: Out of the box we’ll deliver many of the capabilities you’re listing below, and some of them may require additional code. The implementation is very close to what you’re describing, with a few nuances around Taxonomy.
    • The “pre-defined” taxonomy will be defined across all communities. The recommendation is to implement a common, company-wide taxonomy.
    • The “free-form” taxonomy (keyword based) in conjunction with the Tag Cloud will enable more dynamic and domain specific taxonomies
    • The solution will support the creation of “sub-sites” within Sharepoint. 1) Access, 2) content visibility, 3) Editorial and 4) Page branding will be customizable in those sub-sites.
    • The granularity of visibility hasn’t been defined yet, and could be an area requiring improvement: should it be applied to all content published within a community, or for each individual content uploaded (a “show it to the homepage” type of checkbox).
    • Based on which community/group the user belongs to some content will be displayed and some won’t. It won’t be taxonomy driven, and instead sub-site/community membership driven (which I believe equals being part of Active Directory groups).
  • Q: How would you define what a quality podcast is?
  • A: Our definition of quality podcast is an audio / video recording that contains good content, has been recorded well, is short and to the point (we found that 10 mins or less is optimal), and is business relevant. Everything else is up to your creativity. Once you publish your podcast on a PKS platform, please make sure to fill out all the necessary tags to make your recording easily searchable.
  • Q: Will PKS be a solution to purchase license for? Or does it require only underlying components (MOSS2007, Server) to be licensed?
  • A: It will be free of charge, requiring only the underlying components- which is mainly Windows Server, SQL Server and Sharepoint Server.
  • Q: Does PKS include streaming support for downloading video and audio files or is it only document library download?
  • A: The media files will be stored on the file system, enabling streaming/progressive download. It will also come with the Silverlight player.
  • Q: Are there any best practices we provide to apply PKS on slow WAN links (could be down to 56k for video traffic)?
  • A: Silverlight / progressive download playback is a must here. The upload mechanism will also be robust enough to enable large file uploads over a low-bandwidth network. We may also have server-side re-encoding in future releases to make sure the bit rate of the media files are appropriate to low-bandwidth networks. Peer-to-peer playback is also a feature we're interested in, it is listed as part of the potential Child Projects.
  • Q: Is PKS just a hosting service?
  • A: PKS is not a hosting service, it is a podcasting accelerator/experience running on top of SharePoint Server 2007.
  • Q: What file format can the podcasts be?
  • A: Every media type are supported (audio, video…). Some media types will require a specific codec installed on the server to enable the solution to extract the thumbnail, duration etc… The solution will also support any type of office document, enabling you and your organization to expand the scope of the solution beyond podcasting. There really isn't a limit to what you want to post onto a PKS platform. You may also post hyperlinks to other news articles, blogs, etc for the purpose of creating a discussion on the PKS platform around the subject of your entry.
  • Q: Is there any support for Cisco content delivery system?
  • A: There is no support out of the box. This can be added by anyone with additional development.
  • Q: Any plans to be able to do 'synchronized multimedia' such as could be produced by MS Producer or other video and slides presentation tool?
  • A: No firm plans yet, but this is a feature in high demand and the team is looking into it.
  • Q: Any specific ports that need to be opened up on corporate network?
  • A: No specific port.
  • Q: Can PKS be installed in a WSS environment? If not, which MOSS features does it depend upon?
  • A: There are three major components/features that are built around MOSS 2007. It revolves around the use of the CBQ component shipped in MOSS.
    • CBQ powers the flexible and performing grid views: we’ve added filtering, sorting, pagination…
    • The use of CBQ enables community sub-site creation (with different access rights)
    • The use of CBQ enables our native Zune Podcasting support, via modification to the RSS structure.
  • Q: Please address what mobile devices the GUI is supported out of the box with no modifications.
  • A: The mobile GUI will be simple HTML, and most phones, OS/navigators should be compatible with it. We're testing with Windows Mobile at this stage. There is a rich RSS reader named EDEN being developed for Windows Mobile devices as a Child Project.
  • Q: What features of PKS will be part of the next release of SharePoint?
  • A: The next SharePoint release feature set has not been publicly disclosed yet. We know the video storage story will be improved.
  • Q: Tagging is a future SharePoint feature - how would that future feature be compatible with the custom one developed here?
  • A: The answer is unknown at this point and will be better understood when the first public release of the next release of SharePoint is made available.
  • Q: Will there/can there be the ability to list the usernames of people included in videos? We need this type of thing for data privacy.
  • A: The "podcast detail page" is listing the podcasters who are participating in the video. This information needs to be entered manually during the upload process.
  • Q: Why has a new mechanism for storing the media files been developed, rather than using the FILESTREAM data type in SQL Server 2008?
  • A: There are a few reasons for this. The primary reason being based around support from a platform design perspective. In general we want to make sure that the components aren't directly tied to specific versions of large architectural components. On top of that with the external network location you can take advantage of cheaper network file storage as well as allowing for future extension to use media streaming server, etc.
  • Q: Will the "configurable upload" allow us to configure uploads to go through transcoding and support multiple file types etc? Is there a timeframe for this?
  • A: The configurable upload option is designed to be extensible. We are currently looking to provide two different upload methods. Both of these methods are being provided more as a reliability component to upload as opposed to any transcoding. The two methods we are looking at are a Silverlight upload process as well as one that would use the out of the box http file post mechanism. But the interface will be on Codeplex so there is nothing to stop a custom upload option being developed to allow for this capability.
  • Q: Can this be deployed on Windows Server 2008?
  • A: We haven't tested it on Windows Server 2008 yet. We can't vouch for it, but hoping it will work.
  • Q: Is this product geared toward providing a digital asset management?
  • A: Microsoft has another solution that can do this called Interactive Media Management. The PKS is more tailored to knowledge management/knowledge sharing.
  • Q: Is there an SQL version requirement, ie 2005?
  • A: All we really require for the SQL Server version is something that will work on MOSS. We are only doing testing right now on SQL Server 2005.
  • Q: Does it support both 32bit and 64bit versions of Windows?
  • A: Yes, we've been testing on both. It's easier with 32bit, but both work.
  • Q: How did you scale out the document library/list to store the metadata for videos? Did you create a custom document library?
  • A: We're not storing the file content itself in SharePoint. We created a custom content site that can be added to a list.
  • Q: Are there plans to enable the store and player to handle streaming video rather than progressive download?
  • A: There are no specific plans today, however windows media streaming services can be easily configured to enable this capability.
  • Q: Will the implementation include the capability for deployment of media onto distributed servers to better manage network load?
  • A: The storage design allows you to virtualize the file location and use your existing distribution mechanism. The required interface is the UNC path to be mapped to an IIS web application.
  • Q: Is this completely serviced by an existing MOSS/SQL environment or are there additional servers required?
  • A: Everything can be installed into an existing MOSS server farm. As far as external file storage, you do need to provision a new IIS web application. That still can be housed and implemented on the MOSS server farm. There are no dependencies beyond SharePoint and SQL for the solution.
  • Q: On the network file store question, would you support a SAN file system technology such as HP's PolyServe?
  • A: As long as you can connect through a Network UI, it should work.
  • Q: Can you throw some light on how you manage discussion forums around the video?
  • A: It's more of a thread that is captured for each video like on YouTube. It allows us to stack pieces of content relative to that video. It has been custom-developed by Microsoft IT as part of what we call the "Rating and Commenting" component that ships with PKS.
  • Q: Do you have some type of versioning in taxonomy?
  • A: No. The taxonomy is quite simple at this point. You may have a more complex taxonomy you want to implement.
  • Q: When you track viewing, are you also able to track the % of a presentation viewed?
  • A: No. Because we're not streaming, we can't. We're essentially tracking downloads.
  • Q: Do you use the thumbnail?
  • A: It is part of the metadata and shared in SharePoint as it's relatively small.

Last edited Jun 11, 2008 at 4:42 AM by ludovicf, version 12

Comments

buddhaweb Jan 27, 2009 at 4:11 AM 
so far i am not having any luck with other formats. WMV works fine but other formats are not being converted to WMV and thumbnails are also not generated for other formats.

venky0425 Oct 31, 2008 at 9:13 PM 
I heard from one of my customers who is trying this out that it is not possible to record and have anything play other than WMV files on this podcasting server. Is this tru? Any idea what formats are supported?

slh23023 Jun 19, 2008 at 7:10 AM 
The following error surfacings when installing on Windows 2008 Server is there a solution?

SPInstallCab:Exception while creating/deleting expand directory C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Local\Temp\1\CBQQueryOverride Access to the path 'BuildNumber.txt' is denied.