February 2006 - Posts
[If you landed here from a search, the short answer is "you need to turn on developer tools." Do this through File, Word Options, Views, and check the box next to Developer Tools. Now you'll have a Developer ribbon with an option to insert Word, ActiveX, or Web controls (aka "Content Controls"). The original post follows...]
A friend of mine is frustrated that form fields aren't spell-checked in Word 2003, so I opened up the laptop to see if this is solved in Office 12. And guess what? Forms are just plain gone. Insert... Document Parts... Field either isn't it or it just isn't ready in this version. I can create a Fill-In field, and though it exists (I can right-click in that position and see Update Field as an option), there's nothing visible to fill in.
In looking for alternatives it also seems there's no easy way to embed a fillable InfoPath form (or field) in a Word document. I tried Insert Object, but InfoPath remains a third-class citizen in this regard and doesn't appear in the list of options alongside Excel Chart, Project Document and Visio Drawing.
So what's the solution? Is it just buried where I can't find it? Is there another way to create a simple fill-in-the-blanks, check-the-boxes kinda form in Word?
[Read Brian Jones's post to learn about content controls.]
Since this presentation, there's been an update to Web Deployment Projects, read about it on ScottGu's blog.
Target ASP.NET Dev, Staging and Production Environments with Web Deployment Projects in ASP .NET 2.0
Eli Robillard, Eidenai Innovations
With ASP.NET v2 comes a fully automated build solution (MSBuild) and an add-in to create Web Deployment Projects which allow you to automatically target builds to different environments. Come down and find out what every developer and architect needs to know about the new build features, and take advantage of Web Deployment Projects to make web.config headaches a thing of the past.
[Download presentation and source code]
[Download the Web Deployment Project add-in for Visual Studio]
[CodeCamp downloads page]
A wonderful summary of SharePoint Search and Index
, how it works, how it is configured, and how WSS and SPS search differ. Reference
Developing solutions with SharePoint Search and Index Events and WebcastsDevConnections 2006: PAD303: Search and Indexing Configuration and Administration for SharePoint Portal ServerOptimising SharePoint SearchMondosoft BehaviorTracking
. A fantastic analysis tool to discover how your users search, enabling you to optimise Best Bets, Synonyms, and even your Site Taxonomy. It's not SharePoint specific, so you can also use it with your public website to figure out what customers are looking for, and how. Think on that, the marketing opportunities are endless. It's doesn't seem to be a bargain, but really is compared to what it would cost to develop, and I can think of scads cases where it would pay for itself within months. Enhance with Web PartscsegSearch
by Carlos Segua Sanz
. A Web Part that highlights search terms in the results and parses boolean (and/or) searches.Cross-Site Search for WSS
by CorasWorks. Requires free registration. Read Todd Bleeker's description
.People Finder Web Part
by Mark Bower
. Mark engineers the Content Editor Web Part to filter search results down to people, pretty cool. Rip and Replace
If you really don't like the way SharePoint does Search, or want a search engine for WSS without the overhead of SPS, the market leaders are Mondosoft and Coveo. Both are excellent products with strong supporters.MondoSearch
. Coveo Search
. The Future: Search in SharePoint 12 Office Server PDC 2005 Video (OFF320)
. PDC 2005 Slide deck (OFF320)
MS Press has another SharePoint book, and like the Resource Kit they've posted a few chapters online for your convenience.
Chapter 18: Advanced Design Techniques
Chapter 19: Beginning Web Part Development
Chapter 21: Creating Custom Administration Tools
About the author: Jim Buyens has written more than 10 books on Web-based development, including Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003 Inside Out from Microsoft Press. Jim has 20 years of experience with computer networking technologies and is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional who contributes extensively to the Microsoft Office FrontPage online communities.
Optimise SharePoint Search with Mondosoft Analysis Tools
SharePoint search is pretty good, but it's a science all its own and one of the roughest pieces to configure well. When search is left untended, users won't find what they need and when that happens, they tune out and start complaining about your taxonony. Give that a year or so and you've created a brand new file dump. What to do? For starters, take advantage of Mondosoft's knowledge, they've been experts on search since 1998 and they're coming to teach us how to get search right.
Learn how Peoples Bank reduced the average number of searches to locate content from 2.5 to 1.2, that's a number most people don't get with Google: http://www.marketingsherpa.com/sample.cfm?contentid=3167
Steve Bang of Mondosoft will be flying in for this presentation, let's give him a warm welcome!
Come register and see what else is in store for 2006!
A number of companies with products for SharePoint were recently cited in a release from Kurt Delbene, the VP of Microsoft's Office Server group, including K2.net workflow (a product of SourceCode) and CorasWorks. Kurt's release highlights the great work done by third parties to make SharePoint a great solution in a variety of settings.
I've heard criticism that SharePoint should meet these needs out of the box (why do I need a separate products for document management, records management and workflow?). I disagree. For comparison, I like Microsoft Word, but I'm glad that that Microsoft didn't try to implement all the features of v2003 back in the late 80's. Can you imagine how well that would have worked? I'm glad I learned what I need to do back in Word 5, because the steps haven't fundamentally changed. I'm looking forward to Office 12 because it's a refactoring of the Office Suite which is long overdue.
Give me a core set of features that work, that I can wrap my head around, and leave the niche work to third parties so I can be selective about how I build out. Modular is good. You want it all in one big box? Knock yourself out and pay extra for features you'll never use. If you'd rather first figure out how the business should work and then select the tools to execute well, then I know you have your priorities in order.
So doesn't Office 12 Server (aka SharePoint v3) try to do it all? It has document management, records management, contet managment, workflow, and more out-of-box. Well of course, that's evolution, and SharePoint is becoming a mature product. If they tried to do these things sooner (and MS Content Management Server is a good example), the migration path forward to what O12 will deliver would have been terrible. MCMS will migrate data smoothly, but the presentation layer will need to be rewritten to take advantage of the new architecture. At least the benefits will be tangible, and in the meantime existing installations can run merrily on the existing version of MCMS just as classic ASP sites still abound.
If the MCMS scenario was also occuring for document management, records management, workflow, credential stores, and the rest, we'd have blood in the streets. As it is, we've had an evolution, not a revolution. The future is rosy. The future is modular.
CorasWorks holds free workshops in many cities (see the complete schedule), and Toronto is again on the list for February 28th.
In Toronto, workshops are hosted at CTC from 8:30am to 5:00pm on February 28th. To register, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. CorasWorks builds a terrific suite of SharePoint extensions and web parts, and this is an excellent opportunity to learn how they don't just build on but actually transform SharePoint's capabilities and ease-of-use.