FAQs About FAQShop


This page contains a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about FAQShop. If you still don’t find the answer to your question then please contact us.

Overview

The principle goal of FAQShop is provide the answers to all questions relating to Microsoft SCCM/ConfigMgr and it’s related technologies.

There are currently several information repositories for SCCM but each has its own limitations:

  • Microsoft Docs Library – Seen as the prime source of information as it’s written by Microsoft, but lacks screenshots in the majority of cases, “real world” experience of using the product, and troubleshooting information.
  • Technical Books – Typically either written on pre-release code or after a product ships resulting in a delay of several months before being available. As they’re static, books quickly become out of date and very few are updated as Microsoft releases updates to SCCM.  This is even more relevant given Microsoft’s new release cadence with Current Branch of a new release every 3-4 months.
  • Blogs/ Websites – Everyone is potentially writing about the same thing which leaves whole areas of the product neglected. Plus there is the issue over the trustworthiness of the information unless the author has a proven reputation.
  • Internet Search Engines – Again the issue of quality and users having to wade through the results trying to find a solution that works and is officially supported by Microsoft.

We are passionate about making our content easily accessible unlike some other websites that just create a SCCM “bucket” and then leave it up to the user to try and find it.  One of the key principles of FAQShop has always been to break things down into simple Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), given you just the information you need to answer the question (referring you elsewhere if needed), rather than bombard you with a whole bunch of information that either isn’t relevant, doesn’t answer of question, or is ambiguous.

By grouping related FAQs together we make it easy for you to see all content related to a particular topic and our entire Knowledge Base is easily searchable.

As for our Vision, that’s simple – to create a single, centralised repository of ALL SCCM and relevant related information that allows you to Design, Install, Configure, Administer and Troubleshoot the product.

This is a MAMMOTH task but we’re up for the challenge but in order for us to do it FAQShope HAS to become our fulltime day job.  However, like you we too have bills to pay so for this to happen we need our content to pay and that’s why we need this to be a partnership between you and us.

We’re more than happy to help you out by writing the content you need to make your life easier, but the bottom line is this:

We need as many of YOU as possible to subscribe to allow us to dedicate our time to creating the content you want rather than having to do a job that pays our bills and prevents us from focusing on FAQShop.

Our content comes from a variety of sources:

  • Personal experience/ use of the product – As a SCCM consultant/ Microsoft MVP working with the product since 1998 I have gained significant knowledge on the product which I love to share.
  • Projects/ Engagements for some of the largest implementations of the product – During my time working with the product I’ve been lucky enough to work for companies such as Microsoft, HP, EDS and others on some of the largest SCCM implementations in the world which have given me unique insight/knowledge of the product.
  • Microsoft SCCM Product Group – As a MVP for the past 14 years I have direct access to the Microsoft SCCM Product Group which allows me to not only be given access to privileged information but also the ability to ask questions from the very people designing and developing the product.
  • From reviewing the product documents – Reading through the Microsoft documentation I’m also looking for gaps, ambiguity, contradictions, things that aren’t clear and then generating content that addresses these issues accordingly (of course giving feedback to Microsoft as well so they can improve their documentation).
  • Trying out “what if” scenarios – For example if the documentations mentions a prerequisite we like to see what happens if that prerequisite is not met, documenting the result so that should you forget to do something or not realise a prerequisite exists we’ve already got the error documented and more importantly what you need to do to fix it.

No.

As mentioned in the Where does the content come from that is on FAQShop? FAQ, our content from a variety of sources.

All of our content is uniquely generated, we do not just simply copy, paste and publish content from other sources.  All of our content is also reviewed to ensure it is accurate/ fit-for-purpose which cannot be said about some of the content available from other sources.

Potentially yes.

However, by subscribing to FAQShop you gain access to our Knowledge Base containing SCCM and related technology FAQs that is unmatched elsewhere.  Plus all of our content is written and reviewed by Cliff who has almost 20 years experience of working with the product, on some of the largest implementations in the world, on behalf of companies such as Microsoft, HP, EDS, and others. Cliff has also been a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional in Enterprise Mobility (which includes SCCM), for the past 14 years.

FAQShop is unique in that is breaks the information down into a series FAQs with related FAQs being grouped on the same page and then classified under one of the following headings:

  • What’s New – What is new in an area/ release of SCCM.
  • Design and Planning – For example “What are the prerequisites for installing SCCM?”, “Which versions of SQL can I use?”
  • Installation and Configuration – For example “How do I install SCCM?”, “How do I configure Inventory?
  • Administration – For example “How do I run a Report?”, “How do I check backups have been successful?”
  • Troubleshooting – For example “I’ve got Error xyz – how do I fix it?

We also don’t assume anything.  If you need to perform a task outside of SCCM, for example in Windows, SQL, IIS, etc. we also walk you through exactly what you need to do.

Screenshots are included where relevant to remove any ambiguity and using the FAQ format allows us to get right to the point without overloading the user with irrelevant background information.

Our content also:

  • Includes “real world” experience of using the product including hints, tips, gotchas, solutions to problems, etc. as well as Microsoft published Best Practice.
  • Covers not just ConfigMgr but ALL supporting technologies. As ConfigMgr relies on several other Microsoft products and technologies on a variety of Microsoft and non-Microsoft operating systems that users may not be familiar with, it is imperative these are also covered.
  • Assumes nothing and walks people through EXACTLY what to do. The problem with some content is it makes assumptions that the reader is familiar enough with the topic to be able to complete it without detailing the exact steps to be taken.  Some may argue why detail everything when some readers may already be familiar with the process, but in the author’s experience based on feedback and personal experience it is far better to cover everything than make assumptions which could lead to problems.  For those that are familiar with the topic they can just skip over content they already know or even just quickly read it to verify their understanding is correct/ they are doing things in the right way.
  • Is written in Frequently Asked Question (FAQ), format for quick answers to common questions but also includes background information. The problem with the majority of other sources is that by writing about a topic “end to end” it’s sometimes very difficult to pick out the key points/ required information.  By adopting the FAQ format of questions and answers, direct questions with a “Yes/ No” answer can be posed.  If the answer is “No” further background information/ references can be provided.
  • Includes content based on purposefully breaking the product. For example if the product has a prerequisite what happens if the prerequisite isn’t met?  Is there an error displayed on screen or written to a log?  Does the product not function as expected?  From experience people only tend to read documentation when something breaks.  By purposefully “breaking” the product and documenting the result, when users do encounter the same situation they can find out not only the cause of the issue but also be referred to how to fix it.
  • Details how to install all updates to the product.
  • Details what happens “behind the scenes”. A lot of what happens in the product happens inside “black boxes”.  Working with Microsoft, trying to understand what happens inside these black boxes will be included wherever possible.
  • Increases subscribers productivity as all of the information they need is in a single, trusted location.

There are several reasons why you should buy an Access Pass:

  • Depth of content – We currently have over 2,100 FAQs all in one place that is fully searchable.
  • Quality of content – Written by a 14 time Microsoft MVP with over 19 years experience of working with the product.
  • Up-to-date – As FAQShop is an online resource we can easily add to/ update our content as the product evolves. Why spend money on a book that’s most probably out-of-date shortly after you receive it and probably costs more than an Annual Pass?
  • Cost – Our FAQs workout at less than £0.01 each – where else can you get access to this amount of quality content for that price?
  • Time – One often overlooked by people.  Just make a note of the number of hours you spend every day/ week searching for answers to your questions and then think how time and stress you would save by taking out a subscription.

Subscriptions and Payments

Since founding FAQShop in 2003, the author has tried to provide high quality FAQs related to the technologies covered by the site for free to you our consumers which we hope you have enjoyed and found useful over the years.

However, our best attempts to source sufficient funding to allow our content to remain free over the years have proved unsuccessful.  So in 2016 we were faced with two very clear choices:

  • Continue to be frustrated by publishing content “ad-hoc” as time allows
  • Charge for our content using the monies raised to pay for our time to generate even more content

Given the ever increasing complexity of the products, Microsoft’s quarterly updates to the product, and our passion for writing about the product, we took the only viable decision – to charge for access to our content.

We are up to the task of creating a single, centralised repository of ALL SCCM and relevant related information that allows you to Design, Install, Configure, Administer and Troubleshoot the product, but we cannot achieve this without your £££s to give us the time to create and maintain high quality content.

No.

Anyone can browse the site for free and see article extracts without committing to a subscription to ensure the article will resolve the issue you are seeing.  Plus certain pages of information such as lists of Microsoft Knowledgebase articles and others which have been created with the help and support of the community will remain free.

Both 24 hour and Annual subscriptions are available to give you flexibility:

  • 24 hour Access Pass – Maybe you only want to access the answer to a specific FAQ or want to browse freely to see if FAQShop has what you need in which case a 24 hour subscription is for you.
  • Annual Access Pass – If you want to subscribe for a year giving you access to all of the content currently on the site plus all new content created over the coming year then an Annual Subscription is the better choice.

With there currently being over 2,100 live FAQs on FAQShop this equates to less than £0.01 per FAQ or to put it another way, an Annual Pass works out at just £0.08 a day – what can you get for this these days and think of all the time you’ll save in having the answers at your fingertips.

And that’s not all. The price per FAQ goes down during your subscription year as we add more FAQs without you having to pay anymore until renewal.

Full details can be found on the Pricing Plans page.

No.

Just because we use PayPal to handle our payments doesn’t mean that you need a PayPal Account to pay us. We simply use PayPal to handle all our card payments for your and our security.

Yes.  Provided you contact us within 7 days of taking out your 24 Hour Pass you’ll be able to pay the difference and upgrade to an Annual Pass.

If you contact us after 7 days then you’ll need to pay the full price for the Annual Pass.

Yes.

As the number of FAQs increases so will the price.  However, if you sign up for an Annual Pass, you are paying for a year’s access in advance so you won’t be impacted by any price increases during your subscription until renewal.  So the sooner you subscribe the better and don’t forget you are not only getting access to all of our current content, but also all of the content we write over your subscription year until it expires.

Yes.

When your Access Pass is about to expire you will receive an email inviting you to renew.

Any other questions please contact us.

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