Archives / 2006 / May
  • SharePoint Lifesaver

    I love reading SmartPart success stories! Matt Ranlett has a nice one: "So I've just wrapped up a quick little demo of how easy it is to code for SharePoint. Since the focus is on easy, and they're not yet 100% sure if we'd be using SharePoint vs a make-your-own ASP.Net 2.0 site, I decided the best way to go is to use the SmartPart and show off how you can write normal old ASP.Net code and still get it to show up in SharePoint. Since we're thinking about an ASP.NET 2.0 site and everyone wants to write ASP.NET 2.0 code, I really had to use the Son of SmartPart, which includes the ability to display 2.0 User Controls and 2.0 Web Parts in SharePoint.  Since this is only a demo, I knocked up a quick little user control that replicates a report we have here.  To get SoSmartPart to "see" a user control, all you have to do is drop the .ascx into a UserControl directory on your SharePoint server.  I did that and PRESTO!  My control shows up in the list of available user controls in the SmartPart toolbox area.  I select the desired control and hit Apply.  BAM - error.

  • 2007 Microsoft Office System Beta 2 available "in the next week or two"

    Thanks to Maurice we know that WSSv3 has been signed off Beta 2 last Monday. Also the last few days quite some Microsoft guys and girls have been raving about the fact that Word 2007 Beta 2 can be used to create blog posts. So the whole SharePoint and Office community is holding their breath for the moment Beta 2 will be available to download. Officially there is no fixed date but Don (another MS employee) gives us another hint (and I quote): "This is in Beta 2 which will be available externally in the next week or two". Let's hope this information is accurate! :-)

  • YASR: Navigation in SharePoint 2007, Part One

    [Yet Another SharePoint Relief Series] One of the pain points of SharePoint 2003 (especially Windows SharePoint Services), is the lack of navigation possibilities. It’s quite hard to find out which sub sites are created under a WSS site. Also when you’re on a WSS site, you don’t have any clue or way to navigate to the parent site hierarchy. With a small amount of customization however, it’s possible to solve these issues. In my SharePoint classes I always show how to create a breadcrumbs web part and drop-down navigation web part. For a pre-fabricated solution, check out Tom’s tree navigation web part. In SharePoint 2007 these web parts become obsolete, navigation is available everywhere. First of all, breadcrumbs are everywhere! Take a look at the screenshot below; it’s displaying a Contact list on a site. Notice the breadcrumbs to navigate back to the site.

  • YASR: Forcing Check Out in SharePoint Document Libraries

    [Yet Another SharePoint Relief Series] Document Libraries in SharePoint are great for doing document management. Once of they key concepts in document management is the ability to check out documents while editing the document. This will prevent other users from making changes at the same time. Check out functionality is available out-of-the-box in SharePoint 2003 Document Libraries. The only problem is that users are not forced to check out a document when making changes. There is however a workaround, but it involves editing the ows.js JavaScript file. (for more information see the MSD2D tip).

  • Free Records Management for SharePoint 2003: 80-20 Retention Server

    Last month I spent some time with a customer discussing their SharePoint implementation, during these sessions they brought the following product to my attention: 80-20 Retention Server. It has been available for a couple of months (I know I’m a little bit behind compared to my fellow bloggers Mark and the other Mark, but it’s interesting enough to mention once again. Basically 80-20 Retention Server is a product that handles the life cycle of documents stored in SharePoint 2003. 2007 Microsoft Office System is still quite far on the horizon, so this product nicely fills up the gap. I haven't got any hands-on experience, but it looks very promising!

  • YASR: SharePoint 2007 Versioning

    [Yet Another SharePoint Relief Series] In SharePoint 2003 you can enable versioning for a Document Library, so SharePoint will store for each document in that library previous versions when the document gets edited. That’s nice, but that’s about it what you get out-of-the-box. Since each version of the document is in fact a complete document (it’s not the delta that’s stored for a version) big documents can take up more space than desired. Just imagine that you have a 1MB Word document for which you have 15 versions, the total size that the document item will use, is 15 MB (15 times 1 MB). So a very common request is to limit the number of versions that is stored in a document library. In SharePoint 2003 there is no out-of-the-box functionality to do that, although it’s quite easy to write a Document Library Event Handler to accomplish this, but you do need to write some code and deploy the solution.

  • YASR: SharePoint 2007 Site Columns

    [Yet Another SharePoint Relief Series] If you know a little bit about SharePoint 2003 you probably are aware of the fact that you can add custom columns to a SharePoint List or a Document Library. For example you can add an Importance column to a Document Library so each document in that library can have an Importance value. Probably if you want to do this nicely, you create Choice column so users can select the value for the Importance field from a couple of predefined values (e.g. Important, Very Important …). So far so good, this works fine in SharePoint 2003. But suppose you would like to have this Importance column also in another Document Library or in another List. The only option that you have in SharePoint 2003 is to repeat the creation of the field for the other Lists or Libraries (including defining all the different Importance values). In SharePoint 2007 you can avoid this repetitive work by using a new feature called Site columns. When you navigate to the Site Settings of a site, you’ll see a link called Site columns.

  • SharePoint 2007 Goodies: the YASR Series

    If you have been working with SharePoint 2003 you probably know the abbreviation YASQ which stands for yet another SharePoint quirk. Those quirks seem to be insignificant at first sight, but they are so important to be aware of if you don’t want to run into serious problems. Just imagine that you (or your sales person) have sold document level security in a content management system built on top of SharePoint 2003. :-)

  • SharePoint 2007 Upgrade Scenarios

    When talking to customers about the new version of SharePoint, a lot of questions I get are related to moving the existing infrastructure and data to the new version of SharePoint once it gets released. For now there wasn't a lot of (public) information available, but now Joel Oleson has written a nice post about the topic. There are actually three scenarios:

  • Where Did My HAT Functionality Go in BizTalk 2006?

    Since the last couple of weeks I’m spending again some time with BizTalk. Although there is no official training material for BizTalk Server 2006 available yet, U2U is already offering BizTalk 2006 training. So it was about time to upgrade my BizTalk Server 2004 skills!