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Don't Underestimate Search

There's a small drop-down menu that shows up on the upper right corner of each web page, preloaded with the words "Search CIM."

I'd like to emphasize that there's a whole lotta help there when you're in a pinch.
 
You'll notice that the search options are contextualized - it will offer to search your current list; the current site (which likely is a subsite to the main CIM site); the entire CIM site; any other site in the UCA family; or even all sites.
 
You'll notice it's fast - and it will also offer Bing results on the right side of the page.
 
You should try out a wildcard search - yes the asterisk (*) works. Although, if you type in only a portion of a word, it can work with that too.
 
Beyond that, there's Advanced Search - which works as you might expect.
 
If you have a peer CIM Users Group member sitting beside you, you might notice you get different results. That's because the search is permission-trimmed. Search results will reveal all to which you are entitled to see by Sharepoint permissions - which can be applied by site owners at a site, library/list, or even an individual file level. So, if you are in a different project or working group than the person next to you doing a search, you may see different results. Or the person next to you may not have CIMug membership rights. Nothing's wrong - the system is working as designed.
 
IEC working group members will find this especially useful on their sites, where there is a lot of document churn. I've come up with some pretty amazing results, since I have had quite a bit of authority due to all of our site work.
 
Try it out! And add a comment if you have an issue or question.
 
The Dust Gets in Your Eyes
We started out this year with plans for a complete site redesign - not only for CIM, but for other user groups that are affiliated with UCA International Users Group (UCAIug). We are smack in the middle of that change-over right now.
 
If I were a newcomer I would find it hard to connect the dots. I might be wondering if there is a master plan somewhere.
 
Maybe one way to illustrate this is by analogy. Recently the Portland airport spent $15M to create a concourse connector, which you can see at the middle of this diagram. The problem was that if travelers went through the security gate to the wrong concourse, they couldn't get to another concourse without going through security again. The connector solved that.
 
What we have done is create a security perimeter and site account management system for all UCA-affiliated organizations. This makes it possible for you to move instantly from a CIM working group to an IEC TC57 working group - with no security interruption, with a very consistent user experience, and in a way where your personal profile can represent you in any of those communities.
 
We acknowledge there is a lot of change going on right now. Many of the new sites going up (see "Other UCA Sites" in the top nav menu) look downright messy. That's right, there's a federation of sites under construction.
 
In one way or another we are all working toward the smart interoperable electric utility grids we need for this century. Our master plan is to build the infrastructure enabling UCA affiliates to collaborate toward that end.
 
We think the method behind our madness will get us there. I hope you feel that way too. And by the way, sorry for the dust.
Site Challenges
I feel like the guy on the evening news who reports the tornado just passed, but left his house untouched.
 
Last Wednesday, our hosting provider experienced a severe hardware failure and many websites went down. They then discovered that their backups - for many prior weeks and months - were actually corrupted, and restorations were impossible. Only 6 days later did we finally receive a notice, reporting that Microsoft and Dell engineers had been working around the clock and could not find a solution. While they are now moving to completely redundant backup systems, the damage is done. Kay and many of us within the UCA groups are rebuilding web sites from various other sources.
 
Our new CIM site is hosted on a different - and dedicated - server, so we escaped this catastrophe. The plan at the moment is to rebuild the affected sites on this same new server. Essentially, we will accelerate what we already had planned...new sites for IECTC57, IEC61850, OpenAMI, and the others. We will also contract for regular restoration testing, to cover this type of contingency.
 
Kudos to Kay who has been working long hours to piece together a recovery plan. Recovery will take several weeks, and likely we'll still be feeling the effects beyond that. Please be patient as we go through this process.
Mostly Proud
Yesterday we made changes out there in cyberspace and this site officially became the new CIM User Group site. This follows three months of sustained effort on the part of many members and our contractor B&R Solutions. I deeply appreciate the long hours everyone has put in.
 
Like a new dad I am modestly proud of what we have achieved. At the same time I have other characteristics of a new father - knowing the real work lies ahead; knowing not all babies are as good-looking as what people say; getting used to cleaning up new messes that weren't there before.
 
There are many areas of the site yet unfinished - or more correctly, as yet undeveloped. To use another analogy, it's a bit like creating a new subdivision. You are the developers and home owners and the door is open to use everything we have put in place for you.
 
All else being equal, celebration is still well deserved. We have worked hard and delivered on our promises.
 
The official site announcement will go out soon.
Hello World
I'm sitting at a hotel in Uppsala (yes, Sweden), learning that not all keyboards are created alike. A Scandinavian keyboard has some useful keys such Ås this Öne Änd that Öne. I started work around 4 a.m. which is 7 p.m. back in my home town...in part because it gets light really early around here.
 
This morning I spent some more time with my old friend, this web site. We started looking for a contractor in December; launched the project with B&R Solutions in March; and it's already time for our Sweden launch.
 
Tomorrow the Vasteras conference starts and we will introduce this site to all attendees. But we're already in a soft launch phase - a dozen or so CIM members have been working with the site over the past 4 weeks.
 
I'm feeling a bit apprehensive. There's a lot of moving parts in this site and I know its weaknesses and blemishes. But we're as ready as we could be. Where's the champagne?