Archives / 2004 / March
  • New SharePoint Webpart "UserAlerts": Create Alerts for Other Users

    I get quite a lot of questions about creating alerts in SharePoint: many site administrators want to be able to create alerts on behalf of other users. At this point, this not possible in SharePoint, but the SharePoint object model allows you to create alerts for any user. As an example I've create the UserAlerts webpart:

  • List of BizTalk Resources

    Darell Norton has a nice BizTalk Overview. It seems that the BizTalk community is gaining some momentum; articles start to appear and people are blogging about this product. Although the limited documentation still leaves a big gap, let's hope the updated docs are released as planned on the 2nd of April!

  • Dealing with Exceptions In BizTalk Orchestrations

    BizTalk Server 2004 has some basic built-in functionalities for dealing with stuff that can go wrong, for example retries on an adapter for which you can specify the retry delay and retry count. But in many cases when you’re working with custom components, mappers, etc. on an Orchestration, you want to be able to catch exceptions. BizTalk has a shape which you can use for this, but before we’re going to take a look at it, let’s think about what we want to do if something goes wrong. Suppose you want to create a message containing information about the exception and send that message to a send port, additionally we want to include the message that caused the exception. And of course it would be nice if all of this stuff would be reusable in other BizTalk projects.

  • InfoPath: How To Populate a List Control With SharePoint Users

    Since the Service Pack 1 Preview of InfoPath it is really simple to fill for example a drop-down list box on a InfoPath form with data that is stored in a SharePoint list. But it’s not quite straight forward to fill that drop-down list box with all the users of a SharePoint site. Although this is quite easy to accomplish in a custom SharePoint list by creating a Lookup column and indicating that you want to get User Information. But (almost) nothing is impossible with InfoPath, so let’s give it a try!

  • Utilize the Secondary DataSource Data in InfoPath (SharePoint List Example)

    The InfoPath Service Pack1 adds some nice features to InfoPath, there a few that I really like. One of them is the ability to use a SharePoint list as a data source. For example if you have a contact list in SharePoint containing information about your customers, you can easily create a drop-down list box on an InfoPath form, that automatically gets filled with a list of your customers. That’s already nice, but in some cases you may want to fill other fields on your form, based on the selected item of your drop-down list box. For example: you want to display the address of the selected customer on your InfoPath form. This involves a little bit of plumbing code which can be done either in .NET code (by using the InfoPath 2003 Toolkit for Visual Studio.NET) or in Java/VB-script. So because not everyone lives in a managed world today, let’s do it in good old VB-script! (sometime I’m a little bit old fashioned…)

    First of all create a new InfoPath Form. Then put a drop-down list box on your form, double-click on it so we can set the properties. In the “List box entries” section of the properties window, select “Look up values in a data connection to a database, Web Service, file or SharePoint library or list”. When you click the Add-button a wizard shows up which allows you to easily choose a data source. First select of course “SharePoint library or list”, then enter the URL of the SharePoint site that contains the list you want to use. The wizard will retrieve all the lists and libraries on your site, in our example we’ll choose the Contacts list. In the next window you can choose which fields of that list you want to use, make sure you’ve selected the Address and City fields and finish the wizard. Further on the properties window you can choose the XPath expression for the Entries property. By clicking the button right of the Entries textbox, you can easily navigate to the Contacts node. For the Value and Display name properties you can choose something meaningful, for example the Company field. Now if you preview this form, the drop-down list box already contains a list of your customers!

  • BizTalk Trick: Display Debug Messages in an Orchestration (MessageBox)

    I agree: the Health and Activity Tracker tool of BizTalk 2004 is the source of information if something goes wrong in BizTalk. But sometimes (for example during development) it's quite a hassle to fire up the Health and Activity Tracker, find your message and navigate to the Orchestration Debugger, especially since this tool is not (yet?) integrated in Visual Studio.NET.

  • How to split an XML message in BizTalk 2004 using Document & Envelope Schemas

    It’s a little disappointment but the documentation in the RTM version of BizTalk 2004 is quite limited. There will be an updated set of docs available in late March/early April but that’s not a solution for now. Therefore I’m posting my early experiences with this product: no rocket science but basic things I struggled with a little bit. The first example is how to split a large XML message into parts, so each part can be processed separately.

  • TechNet Evenings: SharePoint Customization & Development

    Yesterday I presented a TechNet Evening Session together with Patrick Tisseghem and Yves Kerwyn about SharePoint Customization & Development. Yves told the public that he fell in love with FrontPage 2003, and I must admit that after seeing his demo's I am at least “very attracted” too this product too! (Note to my wife: FrontPage is a Microsoft product, not a girl's name! ;-). It's amazing how easy it is to customize SharePoint with FrontPage: very cool stuff! Patrick showed the InfoPath 2003 Toolkit for Visual Studio.NET, finally it's possible to write managed code for InfoPath forms! But that's not the only new thing; the InfoPath integration with SharePoint is improved. There are quite a lot of new features, for example you can populate a combobox in InfoPath with the contents of a SharePoint list.