David RubinsteinA little more than a year and a half ago, I was invited by Joel Oleson to join #spyam, a network of SharePoint people who communicate via Yammer. Let me tell you: If you’re not there, you need to be.

It’s not a place where people wax rhapsodic about the future of SharePoint, or disparage Microsoft for not doing a better job with the software. It’s where folks go to ask intelligent questions and (hopefully) receive intelligent answers. And I’ve found that more often than not, that is exactly what happens.

Here’s a 2013 example of the kind of exchange you’ll find here, from the broad “Where can I download a full version of SharePoint 2013?” to the more specific, such as:

“Hello. I have a question regarding search queries in SharePoint 2010. I have a library defined with a date field named ‘Target Date.’ I would like to use the out-of-the-box enterprise search field to search for documents falling within a range of dates. Based on online reference documents, I formatted my search line as ‘Target Date’:3/14/2013..6/14/2013. It doesn’t work. At this point we can search for ‘Target Date’:3/1/2013, just not the range. Using a different relational operator (< or >) just gives the same results as : or =. Should this be working or am I misunderstanding how to do it? Is there something that needs to be configured on my farm to enable this basic searching capability?”

The answer began with informing the writer that managed properties cannot have spaces in them. Then, it became a question of mapping the crawled property “targetdate” to a managed property of type datetime and then do a full crawl, ending with targetdate>2013-03-01 targetdate<2013-03-10.

And here’s a question from last month that I have not yet seen an answer for, so if anyone has one, please leave it in the comment section below:

“Can anybody provide some guidance for changing my OWA farm to HTTPS? Our SP 2013 farm only runs an intranet, so it was set up with HTTP and OWA was set up with HTTP as well. We want to be able to utilize Lync with OWA, so we need HTTPS. Should I just rebuild the OWA farm with HTTPS and associate it to the HTTP SP 2013 farm?”

What makes the group remarkable is the number of people who have joined and are willing to share what they know to make the SharePoint lives of others easier. That is the strength of this group. To those who would say the community isn’t as vibrant as it once was, or isn’t as knowledgeable as it once was, the #spyam group proves otherwise. I urge you all to join. You can get an invitation here.