May 2004 - Posts
Quick tip, if you get the message below when trying to map to a SP2001 document library after installing Office 2003, go to the url below to get the Microsoft Office Portal Server 2003 Client Components for the fix. One of my network guys rooted out this solution as part of the Office 2003 installation CD, but its now posted separately since it no doubt has become such a hard-to-resolve pain-in-the-buttooski for everyone involved.
...besides, all our friends are here.
Welcome back to the real world, all you lucky blokes who were at TechEd this week!
From Sunset Grill, Don Henley, Building the Perfect Beast. 1984
Phil Winstanley posted an article highly recommending ORCS Web Hosting Services. As I commented to Phil's article, there's no way I would need a $65 a month ORCS site when I have all I need with a WebHost4Life $9.95 package. I recently moved to WebHost4Life.com from a provider I thought was excellent, but I didn't want to continue to pay $29.95 a month and I didn't want the charity to have to pay $29.95 a month when $9.95 would get the job done and then some.
I've blogged before about the site I'm building for a local charity during my latenight hours (close to releasing it!), and I am thinking that I made a mistake setting the charity up with WebHost4Life.com. Doing sites for free as personal research projects are a very good learning experience for the developer if taken on for purely selfish reasons from the gitgo--its been great for me!--and the charity happens to benefit as a bi-product. But hell, they're getting a site for free. The developer putting a site online for free should not have to spend more time with technical support than absolutely necessary.
Technical support at WebHost4Life is decent, especially when you consider the price. There's a certain dweeb on their staff who unfortunately was the first responder to the last couple of incidents I've encountered, but my experience with their support staff has been overall quite positive, particularly when you consider the charity is paying $9.95 for a very robust site package.
All I'm saying that if you're considering doing a site for some charity for free and are recommending the host provider, don't try to save them money and then personally pay the consequences by spending more time with host provider support than you planned, time for which you're not getting paid. After the site's online, you've gained from the experience what you wanted to get, and you're ready to cut and run, you can say, “Hey, did you ever think about changing host providers? WebHost4Life offers a full package at $9.95 a month. It would save you...let's see...$141.05 a month in hosting fees!“
I ordered Chicken Wings (Hot) at Buono's Pizzaria on my way back from walking the dogs by Shelburne Bay last night (pics below.) Its a great restaurant with great food, and I had eaten Buono's Hot Chicken Wings before. But last night they damned-near killed me and were way hotter than before. Thus the arrival to the topic of subjective measurements and coding.
I got my Bachelor's in Music Composition. Another lifetime ago. I immediately began studying Computer Science upon graduation and remember distinctly sitting in a Calculus class shortly thereafter thinking, “Wow! This is great! Either a formula works or it doesn't!” I contrasted that with the subjective, interpretative world of Music Composition, where a listener to something I composed would assess its value with, “Umm, well...it was okay. I liked it!” I never did care for Calculus much, but that day in class I concluded I really liked the right-or-wrong world of programming.
Having coded a good many years and getting deep into .NET, I again appreciate the subjective, aethestic aspects of good code. But bottom line, either something works or it doesn't. A lot of people go to work not having any idea what to expect. As a coder, I know exactly what works and what to expect in my day. And as a nerd Chicken Wing eater, I want the hot sauce to be the same every time, too, dang it.
<asp:Button ID="btnSelect" Runat="server" OnCommand="btnSelect_OnCommand" />
protected void btnSelect_OnCommand(object sender, CommandEventArgs e)
string action = e.CommandArgument.ToString();
if (action == "selectall")
btnSelect.CommandArgument = "clear";
btnSelect.Text = "Clear All";
blnSelected = true;
btnSelect.CommandArgument = "selectall";
btnSelect.Text = "Select All";
blnSelected = false;
foreach(ListItem cb in chklstMembers.Items)
cb.Selected = blnSelected;
I needed a multi-column CheckBoxList the other day and encountered the old CheckBox-Butt-up-Against-The-Text syndrome. I added some string manipulation hack the last time I dealt with this, but determined to do it differently this time.
Simply put, I let CSS do the work. Probably an obvious approach to most ASP.NET developers, but it case it ain't.....
<asp:CheckBoxList id="chklstMembers" Runat="server" RepeatDirection="Vertical" RepeatColumns="4" RepeatLayout="Table"
Width="800" CssClass="chkbox" />
My new good friend SB Chatterjee hooked me up with the TechEd Presentation on Sharepoint Migration strategies by Michael Herman of Parallel Space. We're not 100% sure this is the actual presentation, but confidence is high.
Good presentation for people who haven't been digging into the situation for the last 3 days like I have, otherwise it is completely consistent with my research and offers little new. (Funny, the literature and Sharepoint migration machine is sure to support and address how to migrate a Sharepoint Server 2001 document library in Hebrew to a Sharepoint Server 2003 in Turkish, but can't support migrating a document library from SP2001 English to Windows 2003 Sharepoint Services in the same baseline language...)
The PPT includes an excellent table on upgrading and migrating Sharepoint products and technologies. I was going to cut-n-paste it here, but since I hadn't seen it elsewhere, I didn't feel good about using Michael's slide without permission. Needless to say, of the 6 tools on the chart, you're SOL if you're looking for a “SPS 2001” in the Source column and “WinSS” in the Target column.
Enough writing about the situation, I better get my butt back to coding the migration app. Now working on the ADO.NET-to-WinSS SQL component.
I didn't mention SB Chatterjee's helpful link to Parallel Space Sharepoint Migration Resources which he provided me with yesterday. Thanks, again, SBC. Nothing I found there, however, supported SPS2001 document library migration to WSPS2003.
On the Parallel Space page (excellent list of Sharepoint resources, btw) are two TechEd 2004 sessions listed as presented by Michael Herman, one specifically on “importing stuff” to Sharepoint Portal Server 2003 -- BPR371. Anyone catch this session? Anybody ask about migrating a document libary from SPS2001 to WPSP2003? Thx!
I'm a “glass is half empty” kind of guy, and this task of moving a document libary from Sharepoint Server 2001 to Windows 2003 Sharepoint Services is more difficult than I anticipated.
Great resources like Lamont Harrington's Sharepoint 2003 Overview, as well as some good info on Microsoft's Sharepoint 2003 site provide migration tools from Sharepoint Team Services (STS - based on SQL and Windows File System) to either Windows 2003 Sharepoint Services (WSPS2003) or to Office Sharepoint Portal Server 2003 (OSPS2003). Tools also exist for migrating from Sharepoint Portal Server 2001 (SPS2001 - based on the Web Storage System) to Sharepoint Portal Server 2003, but heaven help the fool who wants to move from SPS2001 to WSPS2003.
We need to move a Sharepoint Server 2001 Document Library to a Windows Server 2003 Sharepoint Services Document Library.
I've always trusted what Mike Walsh, an STS MVP out of Finland says on Sharepoint topics as he confirms that migration from SPS2001 to WSPS2003 is not supported, as he does in a recent news thread.
Could it be possible someone at Microsoft thought,
“Hmmm, so they paid for Sharepoint 2001, right? And now they want to move to Windows 2003 Sharepoint Services, which is bundled with Windows 2003 Server? And the document library backend for both WSPS2003 and OSPS2003 is essentially the same? And we lose how many thousands of dollars in licensing and software fees if we provide migration support from SPS2001 to WSPS2003? Screw that!”
I thought I found the migration tool from Redmond Heaven this morning: The Microsoft Office Sharepoint Portal Server 2003 Document Library Migration Tools, found thanks to Lamont's SPS2003 Overview. SPOUT and SPIN. Let me in!! So the SPOUT worked great. Files sitting there ready for import according to a nice juicy manifest.xml file listing all the metadata you could want. But my attempt at SPIN was greeted with THIS PROGRAM MUST BE RUN FROM A FRONT-END WEB SERVER WITH SHAREPOINT PORTAL SERVER INSTALLED. (Caps added for effect...)
I need to import documents and their metadata to a SPS2003 document library. Real basic. No enhanced WSS folder stuff like approval settings, no multiple profiles, most recent document, no routing info, nothing. But I can't do that without my company paying thousands of dollars for SPS2003 which we do not want nor need? Our intranet document management system has been built around the WSS features of the SPS2001 document library. We use check-in, check-out, and document metadata for various functions. Not a single dashboard page on the system. We used it for a year and everyone pretty much hated it. But that's another topic.
THE PLAN: Not that we want to do an in-house migration app, but at this moment in time we have no alternative. The steps will consist of:
- Copying SPS2001 folders from explorer window to normal file explorer window.
- Copying from the file explorer window to a WSPS2003 explorer window. (direct copying from SPS2001-to-WSPS2003 for multi-tiered objects doesn't seem to work. Thus the additional step.)
- A middle data layer XML file--I built with MSDAIPP to access Document Library materials without requiring Digital Dashboard--will serve as the source of document metadata.
- The WSPS2003 SQL database will at this point contain all documents, with their folder locations and document names. I will use ADO.NET and SQL procs to update WSPS2003 SQL UserData and Docs table fields like tp_author, tp_editor, tp_created, various nvarchar and other fields using the folder locations and document names as the unique relationships between the XML metadata file and SQL tables.
Initial R&D has proven that this approach will work. Updates will be posted here. Check the Sharepoint category. If not there, subscribe to the glass half-empty feed.
My wonderful wifey and little girl are out of town through the middle of next week. I'm into day #2 and finding myself driven to nerd, like I don't have a will of my own. In my office, working, coding, blogging, reading, not going to the bathroom regularly, skipping lunch, not drinking beer during designated alcohol consumption hours.
Weird as hell.
The dogs save me though. And living in Vermont. Here are pics from today's mid-day walk by the Ben and Jerry's corporate offices in South Burlington as well as another location in the country we stopped at along the way. Tonight we're going to Shelburne Bay. Again. Last night we came across a panfluteist in the forest playing spanish medieval marches. Talk about weird.
Click to enlarge, and yes, those are whales tales...
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