Jan Tielens' Bloggings

Joy, frustration, excitement, madness, aha's, headaches, ... codito ergo sum!

  • Dipping Your Toes in the SharePoint 2013 and Office 2013 Preview Goodness

    If you haven’t been living beneath a rock in the last two days, you probably heard the news we released the SharePoint 2013 Preview and Office 2013 Preview. Since there is already a massive amount of content available on blogs, TechNet  etc. I’m not going to add even more with this blog post. My goal is simply to give you a limited amount of resources to quickly get you up to speed with all the news.

  • SharePoint Saturday Belgium was a Big Success!

    Yesterday I had the pleasure to attend and present at the SharePoint Saturday Belgium edition. The Belgium Information Worker Usergroup (BIWUG), who organized the event, deserves a big round of applause; they hosted around 200 enthusiastic SharePoint people on a free and fun event. Of course a big thanks also goes to the numerous sponsors: Xylos (for making their great infrastructure available), AvePoint, Beyond-it, Metalogix, K2, Microsoft, Spikes, Ventigrate, Aurelium, Axceler, CTG, Idera, RealDolmen, Webtrends, and Wrox.

  • URL Shortening For SharePoint 2010

    I’m pretty sure everybody who is using SharePoint has sent a link to a document in a Document Library to somebody else (in an email message for example). So you probably know that links to documents (or list items) can become pretty long if the document is located in a Document Library on a site deeply buried in a hierarchy. SharePoint is of course not the only platform having this “issue” and the internet already solved it quite some time ago with URL shortening. From Wikipedia:

  • Saying Goodbye to U2U, and Hello to Microsoft

    Last week was a very special week for me: I delivered my last course as a U2U trainer. I’ve been a full-time U2U employee for almost 7 years. During that time I had the opportunity to travel the world, meet lots of interesting people and make many new friends, while talking about Microsoft technologies. In the last couple of years my focus was mainly on SharePoint, but in my “early” years I was quite active with BizTalk, ASP.NET … as well. My career at U2U had many, many heights: having a drink while watching the sunset over the Kilimanjaro, strolling over Sunset Boulevard with my colleagues, speaking on large conferences in Belgium, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Milan, seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland …, and many, many more. But probably what I’ll remember most will be my dear coworkers: I count each one of them as a personal friend and every single one of them is an expert is his or her domain. I was incredibly lucky to have the privilege to be one of the U2U gang. Of course my time at U2U also had some lows, especially the time after we had to say goodbye to our colleague and co-founder Patrick Tisseghem who suddenly passed away. But, while never forgetting Patrick, we continued with our work and I think I may say we did quite well (especially Wim, our Director who managed to lead us through some rough times)! So I’d like to conclude with a big thanks to all the people who attended one of my courses (I never counted them, but you are probably more than 1000!) and who I worked with in the past years. And of course a big thanks as well to the U2U gang: I wish you all the best and keep up the good work.

  • Getting Started with jQuery Templates and SharePoint 2010

    Yesterday evening Scott Guthrie announced that Microsoft’s contributions to the jQuery Javascript library were accepted as Official jQuery plugins. One of those contributions is the jQuery Template plugin that allows you to do (up to a certain level) something like data binding similar to the approach we know from Silverlight. The idea is to create a template (think HTML snippet with elements bound to data properties) and data bind that template with an array of objects. You can find the API documentation over here, or you can check out Boris Moore’s excellent Getting Started guide.

  • Deploying and Using jQuery with a SharePoint 2010 Sandboxed Solution

    If you’re an avid reader of this blog, you probably now that I’m quite a big fan of the jQuery Javascript library, especially in combination with SharePoint sites. For a while I’ve been trying to find a mechanism to deploy jQuery and add a reference to it on all SharePoint pages of a site, by just using a Sandboxed Solution. The first part, deploying the jQuery file, is really easy; this can be done in a Module in a SharePoint project. The second part was more of a challenge; making sure the jQuery file got referenced in all pages of a SharePoint site. My initial thought was to do this by using the AdditionalPageHead Delegate control, but it’s not possible in a Sandboxed Solution (you need to deploy the .ASCX to the SharePoint root). My second thought was to use the new ScriptSrc attribute you can use in a CustomAction (I wrote about this attribute some time ago). But initially I was under the impression that the ScriptSrc attribute could only target Javascript files loaded from the SharePoint Root (the \LAYOUTS) folder, resulting in a no-go for a Sandboxed Solution as well. Daniel McPherson stumbled upon this issue as well, but neatly solved it using Javascript to add the reference dynamically.

  • "Object reference not set to an instance of an object" when using SharePoint's ClientContext.Current in Silverlight

    SharePoint 2010 and Silverlight is a fantastic combination, especially when you use the Client Object Model for Silverlight to access SharePoint data. But maybe you’ve encountered the following situation: your Silverlight application works great when it’s hosted in the out-of-the-box Silverlight Web Part, but when you build your own custom Web Part to show the Silverlight Application it just doesn’t work anymore: the browser tells you there is an Error on page. The details of the error are: Unhandled Error in Silverlight Application Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

  • Upgrading Features in SharePoint 2010

    If you have developed Features for SharePoint 2007, you’re probably aware of a very serious limitation of Feature Development: upgradability. Deploying version 1 of your customization is no problem, but If you want to deploy a bug fix or additional functionality in version 2, you’re basically on your own. The good news is that in SharePoint 2010, this problem is solved: as a developer you can now build features that are upgradable. The basic concept goes as follows, you built your feature as usual, and optionally you’ve got the opportunity to specify what should happen when the feature gets upgraded from a previous version.

  • Easily Adding SafeControls in SharePoint 2010 with Visual Studio 2010

    Many SharePoint developers know that deploying your SharePoint customization to a SharePoint server often requires you to tinker the web.config of the sites where you’d like to see the customization in action. You can do these web.config modifications manually (not advisable), or automate them with the help of the SPWebConfigModification class from the Object Model. But quite often it’s not even necessary to use that class; when you deploy your customizations with the help of a Solution (.WSP file), like you should, the Solution deployment mechanism can modify the Web.Config to apply the most commonly used changes. This is defined in the Solution Manifest of the Solution file. The following Solution Manifest will add for example a SafeControl element for the current Assembly, which is required to display controls like Web Parts, User Controls etc. in the SharePoint sites.