Tip of the week: Keep up to date with Cross-Plat KB Articles using Bing search RSS output

Yesterday I posted an article on the Opalis blog about this topic, so I thought it only fitting that I repeat it here, customized for Cross Platform of course…

Microsoft is a big company, and there are lots of moving parts. A lot of times, things happen and you don't know about it, like new KB articles being released. I thought of this yesterday when JC Hornbeck posted a new article on the Opalis blog and referenced the KB at the end. Now, I get a monthly email with a spreadsheet of new or updated KB articles, but from that I have to search and see if any are relevant to me. Not only is that an extra step, I only get it once a month, so sometimes I could wait a whole month to find out something was published. Sure, I could ask the support guys to send me an email when they published relevant KB articles, but that's really not a scalable model – the CSS guys would have to create tons of different distribution lists and would be emailing lots of various people each time they published something.

Instead, I found a really simple way to keep myself notified using Bing search, domain restrictions, and output as RSS. Now I have new KB articles pop up in Outlook when they're published. And, since my RSS feed updates once an hour, I'm at most an hour behind instead of a month. Since this was valuable to me, I thought I'd share it with you too.Note that these instructions are for Outlook 2010. Previous versions may be slightly (or radically) different.

  1. In Outlook 2010, Click on File > Account Settings > Account Settings. The Account Settings dialog opens.
  2. Click on the RSS Feeds tab
  3. Click New. The New RSS Feed dialog opens.
  4. Copy and paste the following into the text box: http://www.bing.com/search?q=%22cross+platform%22+AND+%22system+center%22+site%3asupport.microsoft.com%2fkb&format=rss
    • (this searches for "Cross Platform" and "System Center" from the KB site)
  5. Click Add. The RSS Feed Options dialog opens.
  6. Modify the feed name to something friendly, like "SCX KB Articles"
  7. Click Change Folder. The New RSS Feed Delivery Location dialog opens.
  8. Expand RSS Feeds and click New Folder.
  9. Enter a new folder name like "SCX KB Articles" and click OK.
  10. Click OK to return to RSS Feed Options.
  11. Check the boxes under the Downloads section if you want to automatically download the whole article
  12. Click OK to return to Account Settings .
  13. Click Close.

Your new RSS feed is now added to Outlook RSS feeds, and next time you do a Send/Receive, the RSS feed will pull in the items!

You can do this with just about anything that's searchable via Bing, so you could do this with stuff like:

  • TechNet Library pages that mention "Cross Platform" and "System Center":
  • Webcasts and Virtual Labs that mention "Cross Platform" and "System Center"

One caveat about this is that Bing limits you to 10 items in the RSS feed at a time, so you'll only get the most recent 10 items. But, over time you'll see new things pop up, and that's the goal.