ASPMenu Source Code Released

December 5th, 2006

Direct Link from the ECM and SharePoint Team Blogs:

The AspMenu class that ships with WSS 3.0 (and by extension MOSS 2007) is nearly identical in behavior to ASP.NET 2.0’s Menu class (as the name implies). AspMenu derives from Menu and adds tweaks to work around a few reasonably well known annoyances and provides improved highlighting support.

 

Unfortunately, this class was marked sealed and is therefore not eligible to be used as the base class for derived types. Effectively, this means that customers cannot inherit the additional functionality of the AspMenu class when trying to provide further customization of the menu.

 

We realized this problem too late in the release process and were unable to remove the sealed marker from the AspMenu class that ships with WSS. However, we are instead providing the source code for that class here (as an attachment to this blog entry) under the name MossMenu.

 

Note: MossMenu is provided as is and will only work on sites built with WSS 3.0 or MOSS 2007. MossMenu relies on some JavaScript which has been included along with the C# source. This is really just for completeness’ sake [aside: some trival about the use of the apostrophe for the possessive forms of nouns] as this script is automatically included on most pages through the core.js script include reference.

 

Issues with the ASP.NET 2.0 menu, which have been worked around:

1)     If the mouse pointer happens to be hovering over a menu item that exposes a fly-out as the page is loading, it is possible that an error dialog will appear stating: “Internet Explorer cannot open the Internet site, Operation aborted” and a blank page will be shown upon clicking OK. It seems that the problem arises from attempting to append to the DOM before it is properly initialized.

2)     If SSL termination is employed on a site with a menu, users will be greeted with “This page contains both secure and nonsecure items. Do you want to display the nonsecure items?” when hovering over a menu item which exposes fly-outs. (http://support.microsoft.com/?id=910444)

3)     In right-to-left locales, the fly-out indicator arrow still points from left-to-right.

 

Improvements to default highlighting behavior of ASP.NET 2.0 menu:

·         When hooking the menu up to a SiteMapProvider through a SiteMapDataSource, the menu automatically highlights the node that matches that returned by the provider’s CurrentNode property. However, if the particular node returned by CurrentNode is not shown by the menu nothing will be highlighted at all. The improved behavior determines if there is an ancestor of the current node which is displayed in the menu and highlights this node instead.Download the ASPMenu Source

Kickstart to editing styles in MOSS 2007

December 1st, 2006

Before you begin:

Download and install the Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar. This is a must have tool for SharePoint Customization. The Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar (get it here FREE)

You will also need your preferred text editor, if you don’t have one, Notepad will do just fine.

Overview:

Note: I wrote this using B2TR bits so there may be moderate name changes, or menu positioning changes but nothing that should totally throw you off.

There are many ways you can add and edit CSS in MOSS 2007, the method I will discuss here is lightweight and great to get a general understanding of how style sheets work, and get aquainted with some of the class naming conventions SharePoint uses.

Set up an Alternate CSS URL:

  • Create a Publishing Site. Select Site Actions, Create Site. Then select the Publishing Tab and finally choose Publishing Site. It will take a few moments for your site to provision.
  • Open your editor of choice and create a new file and add /* Custom Styles */ to it.
  • Save it as “Custom.CSS”. If you are using notepad don’t forget to select “All Files” from the “Save as Type” drop down menu before saving, otherwise you will have a .txt extension.

Go to your website in the browser and select Site Actions, View all Site Content

  • Select the Documents Library (create one if you don’t see it).
  • Select the Upload Drop Down, Then Upload Document. Select Browse and then browse to and select the Custom.CSS file you created to upload it.
  • Go back to the Site Actions menu, then Site Settings, Modify all Site Settings.
  • From the Look and Feel Section, Select Master Page.
  • Scroll Down to the bottom of the page until you find the “Alternate CSS URL” section. Select Specify a CSS file to be used by this publishing site and all sites that inherit from it.

22.jpg

  • Then Click Browse. Select Current Site Documents on the left and finally select your Custom.CSS file. Click Ok a couple of times to return to the site settings page.

  • What you just did was set up an alternate style sheet for your site. Any style you add to this style sheet will take precendence. What that means is if you know there is a certain class applied to an element in your site and you want to change it, just add the class to your Custom.CSS style sheet and it will override the previous.

Identify and Overwrite Classes:

  • Now that you are set up, you’ll need to figure out what elements of your pages you wish to change, and what classes are applied to them. That’s where the Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar comes in. If you have not downloaded and installed the IE Developer Toolbar, you’ll need to do it now.
  • Go back to the browser, and back to the default page of your website.
  • From Internet Explorer Select View, Toolbars, Developer Toolbar. This will turn the bar on. Note: If you are using IE 7 you may need to hit the ALT key to expose your file menu.

  • From the Developer Toolbar now exposed at the top of your screen, select View Dom. This will open a menu at the bottom of your screen.

  • From the bottom menu, select Find, Select Element by Click. When this is enabled, you can click any element on the page to inspect that part of the DOM (Document Object Model) and subsequently see what class is applied to what element.

6.jpg

  • As you hover over elements of your page, you will notice they highlight with a dark blue border. When you find the element you wish change highlighted, you can click it to show the information about it, such as the class which is applied to it.
  • For this example we will assume we need to change the very top horizontal bar so that is has a yellow background, rather than the default blue.
  • Hover over this element and then click it when it has a blue border. Notice that the class in the bottom tells you it’s using .ms-gloablbreadcrumb. That means that if we add that class to our Custom.CSS file, then edit it to have a yellow background, our site will update to reflect the change.

7.jpg

  • To test this, Select Site Settings, View All Site Settings. Select the Documents Library and then Check Out the Custom.CSS file so that you can edit it. You will notice your ICON change slightly once the file is checked out. When it does click it to to open it in your editor.

8.jpg

  • Add the following code to the style sheet:

.ms-globalbreadcrumb {

background-color:#FFFFB0;
}

  • Save your style sheet.
  • Back in the browser, check the style sheet back in, publish/approve it if necessary.
  • You will notice now when you refresh the page that your top bar has changed to yellow.


This is the basis behind overwriting the custom CSS classes in a supported, non-destructive way.

Other Important Notes:

  • These classes are originally defined in the CORE.CSS located in the 12 HIVE on the file system of the SharePoint Server. 
  • If there is a theme applied to the site the CORE.CSS classes are overwritten by duplicate entries in the THEME.CSS. (It’s also important to note that Themes can be somewhat confusing as when you apply your theme, the THEME.CSS (and other styles) are actually added to a file called 1011-65001.css and then applied to the site).  If you were trying to personalize a theme by connecting to the site using SharePoint Designer 2007, you need to edit the 1011-65001.css file.
  • I would consider it best practice to use the Alternatte CSS URL where possible and copy the classes “from the CORE.CSS (or theme.css)”, paste it to the CUSTOM.CSS and then modify the approrpriate properties, or add new ones.

The more comfortable you get with this the more creative you will find yours sites.

Good Luck and Happy Customizing.

WSS v3 Master Page Selector Feature

November 30th, 2006

Those involved with SharePoint 2007 have no doubt by now noticed that MOSS 2007 allows you to select a master page via the browser while standard WSS v3 installations do not.

Not to worry though, Renaud (AKA: Stramit) has written an awesome feature which gives you the ability to change the master page in WSS v3.  Good Job Renaud!

Get the WSS v3 Master Page Switcher Feature Here.

Don’t wait until Web 3.0 to become unique

November 28th, 2006

While browsing some of the self proclaimed “progressive” websites, I can’t help but notice it’s almost like walking through a house of mirrors - very few, if any unqiue qualities that make a company, product or service “really stand out”. This is partly due to a shift in how we consume information (via RSS). It’s easy to grab a ready made blog and start in (heck I’ve done it myself), but at what cost?

Have we forgotten about the Purple Cow already? If so I recommend a trip down memory lane to the website of Seth Godin.

We’re so blinded by the Hype of Web 2.0 that we seem willing to trade in our identity for a better user interface. I mean Web 2.0 is all about creating a better user experience right?

If we continue down this current path, we’re creating an even worse experience because while things “look” exactly the same - they are completely different. Imagine a can of Coke, but with Black Orange Crush inside.

Don’t be fooled, creating a better online experience isn’t really as hard as it seems, just follow some simple rules:

  • Usable and Relevant Content - The more specific and refined your content is, the better chances it will easily fit on to your page, and the higher the odds are your viewers will both be able to find it, and actually read and understand it.
  • Usable and Accessible User Interface - The easier your website is to use, the more people it is available to and the faster your users can find what they want so they can get the heck out of there, the better. Remember, time is very valuable.
  • Plan for (and show) change - Let’s face it, it’s not Web 2.0 that will answer your problems, it’s planning for Web 3.0, 4.0 and beyond. Keep your site and products constantly updated. The moment you go stale is the moment people stop paying attention.
  • Be Unique - Don’t be afraid to stand out, especially if you’ve done all the above properly.

Don’t forget to pay attention to the leading experts of visual presentation, usability, web standards, marketing, design and development, people like Jeffrey Zeldman, Guy Kawasaki, Seth Godin and Jakob Nielsen. Take what they say seriously and as experience but not gospel. Apply a little common sense with a little experience and you should be just fine.

If you are nodding your head in agreement but simply do not have the time, resources or energy to see this through don’t worry. You can always hire me to do it for you. shane@graphicalwonder.com

The reason for less posts lately.

November 25th, 2006

There are several reasons I have been unable to post as much lately, but slowly I’m digging through a pile which I hope will lead me to being able do get back on a regular schedule.

First and foremost the main reason I have been unable to post as much as I would like lately is because I’ve been involved with two book projects which have really taken up a lot of time. 

My current project (Book), Beginning SharePoint 2007 is a joint venture between Amanda Murphy and I. 

We’ve been busy churning out what we hope you will find very useful as an introduction to SharePoint 2007 (700 pages of it in fact).  Not to worry I have not been sitting by idle, I have been pouring much of what i would normally write here into our book. 

Don’t worry though I will resume posting here much more frequently the moment my obligations there are complete.

On top of that I’ve been actively involved with the Microsoft RDP program where I helped to build a couple of pretty cool applications on top of the SharePoint 2007 beta and (TR) bits.  More on those soon also.

I hope everyone is enjoying opening new doors and creating even wilder opportunities on top of the RTM, and congrats to SharePoint Team, (and all other team(s)) involved on the release.

 

Capacity and Performance Planning (SharePoint 2007)

November 22nd, 2006

Joel and team(s) have released some much anticipated information on capacity and performance planning:

Planning for Capacity Boundaries, Estimating Performance & Capacity Requirements, Additional Factors, and Tools Within these docs you’ll find data on servers, server topologies, system sizing, figuring out requests per second, understanding performance characteristics and guidance around features, such as folders vs. no folders.

WSS: http://technet2.microsoft.com/WindowsServer/en/library/0e13e879-0156-4e9f-b6d5-abddcf326d211033.mspx?mfr=true

MOSS:
http://technet2.microsoft.com/Office/en-us/library/eb2493e8-e498-462a-ab5d-1b779529dc471033.mspx?mfr=true
Head over to Joel’s SharePoint Land for More.

If you get a chance to take in the INXS (Switch) Tour, Do It!

November 10th, 2006

Last night I had a chance to take in INXS with the new lead singer JD Fortune as part of their Switch Tour.  All I can say about it is, AWESOME.  This show is intense, the energy is unbelievable.

The show ran about an hour behind schedule which left 1000’s of people flooding the streets outside Mile One in St. John’s.

The opening act, Brian Byrne (formerly the lead singer of I Mother Earth) a local boy from Newfoundland was great also which was a huge bonus.  Amanda and I had a chance to tell Brian face to face that it was a great show as we ran into him this afternoon at a local pub called The Ship Inn which is notorious for great food by day and local talent by night.

As for INXS, they exploded on to the stage and delivered pure energy for two solid hours.  JD was constantly interacting with the crowed, often leaving the stage and going to the far ends of the stadium.  The band was AMAZING.

The show was top-knotch and I couldnt possibly recommend it highly enough. A+++.  Sometimes the only thing you can say is WOW, this is one of those times.

Lets just say I NEVER expected to watch INXS sing “Burning Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash LIVE.

The only downside was the security trying to ream me on taking videos first w/ my camera, and later w/ my pocket PC.

If you get a chance to take in this show, do it.  Photo courtesy of the Telegram, it’s from the show last nite.

SharePoint 2007 in the Enterprise

November 6th, 2006

There has been much debate lately over how much value SharePoint 2007 offers to the enterprise out of the box.  Many are quick to point out shortcomings, some warrented while others are open to debate.

Sure, SharePoint 2007 cannot do everything you would like out of the box and there are very valid arguments for what consititutes a minimum initial out of the box offering but lets not lose sight of a few things:

  • Regardless of many similarities, almost every organization (enterprise or not) is unique and as such they will have different needs.  At what point do you cut off out of the box functionality?
  • There are many developers out there (including development organizations and partners) depending on the fact that SharePoint 2007 will need some extended development to better fit the corporate culture on an enterprise by enterprise basis.
  • Microsoft has a pretty straight forward business model. They focus on offering platforms to build on, and the tools required to build on them.  I would think going “too far” in either direction would be bad for their personal interests from a business perspective.

I guess in the end it comes down to your own personal mantra, and business model.  Sure it’s not perfect and there is much to be desired especially from an architecture perspective, but that being said the (OOTB) value of this platform has always been to the average Information Worker while the other groups (IT Pro’s, Developers, Designers and Trainers) come in later, helping to extend the OOTB offering and educate people about it.

As the RTM launch nears there will no doubt be questions we cannot explain.  Remember, it’s easy to lose sight of the positive if we dwell on the negative.  I’m as guilty of it as anyone.

If you are feeling frustrated I have a challenge for you to re-introduce the value of the 2007 suite,  take a few days off 2007 and go back to using SharePoint Portal Server 2003 and Windows SharePoint Services 2.0.

Vista and Office Release, November 30

November 2nd, 2006

I am not sure how solid this information is but here’s what they’re saying:

A Microsoft spokesperson has confirmed that the planned release dates for Vista and Office are indeed November 30 after all, fulfilling Microsoft’s promise of delivering Vista in 2006.

In the US, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will be at the launch event, to be held at the Nasdaq Stock Market in midtown Manhattan and the Marriott Marquis in Times Square.

Did you know a Blank Site created using STSADM is different than via the browser?

October 31st, 2006

Ted Pattison pointed this out a few days ago and I’ve been meaning to mention it ever since as I was fairly suprised by the news.

Try these two things…

1) Go to the WSS Central Admin application and create a new Blank Site

2) Run STSADM -o CreateSite -url http://MyServer/sites/Site2

ownerlogin: your choice
owneremail: your choice
sitetemplate: STS#1

The one created through the WSS Central Admin application has the 3 standard groups for Owners, Members and Visitors. However the site created with STSADM has no groups at all.

The thought runs that since it’s possible to create groups via stsadm, e.g.,

stsadm.exe –o creategroup –url -name -description -ownerlogin -type

It’s preferable to give more flexibility and let the admin create their own custom groups.

I can’t help but hear, “The more you know …”

Interested in the CENTRO Beta

October 24th, 2006

Direct Copy,
So, what is “Centro” you ask………..?
I am glad you asked…. :)  
We are looking for a few good testers to help influence the direction of this new Microsoft® Windows Server Solutions Product. Do you have three 64 bit machines that you can spare to test some of the most exciting technology Microsoft is working on? I know the system requirements are a daunting one, but this is the only way we can test “Centro”. So, if you are already on the Longhorn Beta or the Exchange Beta, then you are already two thirds of the way there.

The “Centro” Product team is looking to you to help test the Beta of “Centro”. “Centro” is the code name for a new Microsoft® infrastructure solution that will help midsize businesses with less than 250 PCs in their environment.  Centro will bring together key server products for midsize businesses, including Windows Server “Longhorn,” Exchange Server 2007 and security technologies, plus a new, integrated management experience.  Centro is designed for IT professionals in midsize companies, helping them with server technologies that are easier to purchase, install and manage.

Details:

If you are interested in joining the “Centro” Beta please go to http://connect.microsoft.com click on Invitations sign in with your Windows Live ID (Passport ID) and enter the following invite ID; Extr-GHBC-JCJM. You will be asked to take a short Survey. Once you complete the survey look for an email from MsftConn@microsoft.com. If you don’t already trust this address, please add it to your trusted email addresses.
Microsoft MVPs:

Please contact me directly about this techbeta. I have a different invite ID to the Beta for you.
If you are really serious and would like to do the TAP, here is a message from Mike van de Merwe who is running the TAP for Centro:

You know you want to be more involved in Centro.  You even want to start using it to run your business!  Techbeta doesn’t let you do that but TAP does!  We are looking for more people to nominate themselves for the Centro Technology Adoption Program to do exactly what you want to do: run Centro in your production environments.  Why would you do something like this?  You get access to product support once you deploy Centro in production; you will have an assigned program manager from Microsoft who will work with you to mitigate risks in deploying and maintaining Centro; and you will be invited to participate in 1-2 onsite training sessions in Redmond.  Let me (mikevdm@microsoft.com) know that you are interested and we’ll get the ball rolling.

If you have any questions what so ever, please post a comment here or send me an email direct, kbeares@microsoft.com.
Centro press release: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2005/sep05/09-06Infrastructure.mspx 
Thanks,

Kevin Beares

WSSG
Centro and SBS Community Lead

SharePoint Designer 2007 problem connecting to a site which uses a managed path?

October 17th, 2006

If you are using managed paths and having trouble connecting to a site using a managed path in SharePoint Designer 2007 try the following steps:

  • Check to see if the server you are connecting to is referenced in the Open Site Dialogue Box (ie: http://myserver)
  • If so, delete this reference from the Open Site Dialogue Box and try again.

Note I have only received an error while running Windows Vista RC1.  The managed paths glitch is known as of B2TR and has already been fixed for the final. 

Good Luck!

Been bitten by the repeating icon bug in a custom SharePoint 2007 B2TR theme?

October 15th, 2006

If you have been creating custom themes in B2TR, you have likely come across the reapeating icon bug which shows up behind the lists/libaries in the quick launch menu.

This is a known (and very minor) issue in B2TR - The class which is causing this is table.ms-navitem.  It’s a simple case of a repeating background.

If you have access to SharePoint Designer 2007 and would like a quick, temporary fix complete the following steps:

  • Connect to your site in SharePoint Designer 2007 (File, Open Site)
  • Open the themename1011-6001.css file located the _themes directory.
  • Locate the table.ms-navitem class and add the following property: background-repeat:no-repeat;

Alternatively just scroll to the bottom of the stylesheet and copy/paste this.

/* Quick Launch Repeating Background Fix */

table.ms-navitem {
 background-repeat:no-repeat;
}

CSS Tip: Please use ALL Link States

October 11th, 2006

There are four link states which can be specified and each one is equally important - especially when you have multiple link styles in your CSS.  If you miss a state, it can (and does) get picked up by a previous link style either in the same style-sheet, or another style-sheet which can cause issues. I run into a lot of these issues daily while editing SharePoint style-sheets. 

It may seem like you save time and or bandwidth by using shortcuts such as:

.blah a:link, .blah a:visited { color white; } and leaving out the hover/active states, but the fact remains if you use all states, all the time and in the correct order you have complete control at the exact point you need it and there will be no overlap either from styles within the same style-sheet, or other style-sheets.

So please, for the love of all that is holy start using all link states and in the correct order as listed below.  If you have trouble remembering them, think “LoVe HAte”. 

a: link
a: visited
a: hover
a: active

 

When you lose something you can’t replace

October 7th, 2006

Today I said good-bye to someone very special to me, a great friend of 10 years - my dog Zhiva.  She was much more than a pet, she was quite simply a family member. 

While it’s hard to accept, and easy right now  to dwell on the pain, I want to instead acknowledge 10 years of sheer joy and the fact that if I had to do it all over again - I wouldn’t change a thing.

I’m thankful I was there at her strongest and most fragile points, including the very end.  I am glad I was there to comfort her and I will miss her more than anyone could possibly imagine.

Zhiva (Oct 27 1996 - Oct 7 2006)

zhiva.jpg

 

Web 2.0 in the Enterprise

October 4th, 2006

Arpan Shah from the Microsoft SharePoint team has a very interesting take on web 2.0 in the enterprise.  I have to agree with most of what he says and I have for quite awhile said that I believe SharePoint is the absolute closest thing we have to a web 2.0 “platform”.

In my opinion Web 2.0 is about simplicity and empowering users to be more self sufficient by making technology borderline transparent.

What are you waiting for? - Go read Arpans Web 2.0 in the Enterprise Article!

I’ve been awarded MVP for Windows SharePoint Services

October 3rd, 2006

I’m quite excited to announce that both Amanda and I are now MVP’s for SharePoint Products and Technologies.  She was awarded the SharePoint Portal Server MVP while I was awarded the Windows SharePoint Services MVP.

A big thanks to everyone that in any way influenced this decision and espeically to April, Sasha, Lawrence and the gang from Microsoft that put such a huge effort into ensuring this award maintains a very high-level of respect and also connecting the community with eachother, and with leads within Microsoft to make so many of these community projects a huge success.

Thanks, and congratulations to all the other new and renewed MVP’s.

Amanda published on the Intranet Journal

October 3rd, 2006

If you have run into any confusion surrounding “site collections” in SharePoint 2007 (I know I have), then you’ll want to check out Amanda’s recent Intranet Journal publication where she explains site collections in the upcoming version of SharePoint Products and Technologies.
http://www.intranetjournal.com/

First mobile blog post

September 29th, 2006

Sitting in the airport with a little time to spare. Figure this is as good a time as any to try a blogpost from my new pocketPc.

Subscribe to the “Comments” RSS Feed

September 28th, 2006

I realised a few days ago that one of the most under-utilized features of my blog is the ability to subscribe to the comments feed.

This would be of particular interest to anyone that’s interested in having a high-level overview of everything that’s going on.  Noone can follow every single post, so subscribing to the comments gives you a view of “all comments from all posts” so you get to see all the questions/answers behind the scenes.

You can subscribe to the comments feed here:
http://www.graphicalwonder.com/?feed=comments-rss2

Could Microsoft be catching the presentation bug?

September 26th, 2006

People are becoming more and more aware that presentation style is important.  Sites like presentationzen.com have done a fantastic job of thrownig tips out there and doing style-comparisons.

Last night we hosted another user group meeting - The topic was AJAX/Atlas and Christian Beauclair from Microsoft came to town to deliver the talk.

As he delivered the presentation I noticed a huge change in the normal Microsoft slide-style.  It was practically void of bullets and instead filled with 1 liners which kept the focus on him, a great speaker I might add.
I was thrilled to see this so after the talk as we strolled across the campus I mentioned the style-change.  He informed me that they (His team) were trying out a new style - a bullet-free-style!

I’ll be honest I’m not a big fan of their bullet infested huge complex-chart/diagram style presentations so this is a huge step in the right direction.

In other news, something I was unaware of until last night is that Microsoft recently (Sept11-06) renamed Atlas and it is now known in 3 ways:

  • The Atlas client-side library has become the Microsoft AJAX Library (MAJAX)
  • The Atlas server-side library has become the ASP.NET 2.0 AJAX Extensions
  • The Atlas Control Toolkit has become the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit

Stop bloating my code!

September 22nd, 2006

While testing out some of the cool new featuers in SharePoint 2007 Beta 2 Technical Refresh, I noticed there is a lot of code-rewriting going on when you use the HTML editing features built into the new WCM content-editing control.

For example:

I wrote a simple inline style to add some padding to a DIV - I took full advantage of CSS shorthand while specifying my properties but unfortunately the editor decided “it knows best” - and took:

<div style=”padding:10px;”>My div</div>

and turned it into

<div style=”
PADDING-LEFT:10px;
PADDING-RIGHT:10px;
PADDING-TOP:10px;
PADDING-BOTTOM:10px;> My Div</div>

While I assume the reasoning for this is the average user may not be HTML literate, I would assume most people opting to use this feature are more like myself and relatively well versed in writing leaner, more semantic HTML. If you are like me you probably utter profanities at any editor that feels the need to change your code.

If you feel you absolutely must have the code-changing option available at least give me the option to say “no thanks” - and if you can’t do that, then at least do it right.

Maybe I am missing something here? Is there an issue with using CSS shorthand inline? I rarely ever use inline code - this was a throw-away example.
/end-rant

A weekend of techo-spending

September 18th, 2006

This weekend while quite busy with various projects was also filled with various suprise shopping sprees.  Amanda started it off by buying us each a Pocket PC (The UTStarcom) which I’m very impressed with thus far.

We pondered the Motorolla Q but quite frankly I am just more fond of the PocketPC.  Sure the Q has great form factor but I just don’t see me utilizing it as much as I will the PCversion.  I mean C’mon Mobile OneNote and PowerPoint? Woo-hoo.

Of course what good is a mobile device without memory?  Off to the local Future Shop we went to find some MINI-SD cards where we managed to find a couple of 2GB cards which were actually very reasonably priced.

We also somewhere over the course of the weekend managed to obtain several other suprise gifts which included an outdoor fire pit (great addition to the yard) and a copy of EA Sports NHL 2007 (freakin dynamite!).

It was a great weekend of techie gifts! :)

The importance of listening to your customers

September 16th, 2006

I think it’s crucial to point out that it’s very evident that Microsoft is listening to the partners, customers and the community.

From the new communication strategies (Blogs), to the User Experience Programs, Microsoft is obviously paying close attention, taking notes and making modifications where possble.

Here’s a little proof:

Sure Microsoft has many paid evangelists but In my opinion the key to successful communication is creating a userbase that will evangelize your product, simply because they believe in it.
I also think they’re also on track to obtain this status with both Vista and the Office 2007 Stack (Which also just so happen to be the companies two flagship products)

Bravo,

Upgrading to WSS v3 or MOSS 2007 (beta2 technical refresh) Step-by-Step

September 14th, 2006

Now that the SharePoint 2007 Beta 2 Technical Refresh has been released to the masses, the first thing you need to do is read the install notes.

Then you need to go check out Amanda’s posts which detail (with screenshots) the upgrade process, step by step for both WSS v3 and MOSS 2007 B2TR.  Note: YOu can download the document from Amanda’s site and take it with you as well.

Happy Installing.

SharePoint 2007 Features, FREE Appliation: Feature Explorer

September 14th, 2006

If you are working with “Features” in SharePoint 2007, this free application will make your days much easier. Lloyd, one of the guys on our team wrote this for his own personal use but we decided to release it to the community as a free download.

Please let us know if you find it useful via the comments,
Without further ado I present, Feature Explorer 1.0 (beta) - Click the image to go to the download location.

featuers.jpg

The new face of SharePoint 2007, a first look at the new themes …

September 14th, 2006

The following themese come standard out-of-the-box. I figured I would save you the hassle of applying every single one while looking for your favorite.

These should keep you occupied for awhile - I’ll have a v3 theme pack to release soon enough.
Belltown

belltown.jpg
Breeze

breeze.jpg
Cardinal

cardinal.jpg

Citrus

citrus.jpg
Classic

classic.jpg
Default Theme

Default_Theme.jpg

Granite

granite.jpg
Jet

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Lacquer

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Lichen

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Obsidian

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Petal

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Plastic

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Reflector

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Simple

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Verdant

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Vintage

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Wheat

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Before installing the SharePoint 2007 Beta 2 Technical Refresh

September 12th, 2006

First let’s cut to the chase. There are a few bumps in the road for B2TR in terms of a flawless double-click-and-go experience. The SharePoint Team needs to field test the Office Patching and B2TR is where it will be done.

Sure it won’t be perfect but not to worry there will be plenty of great information and walk-throughs. The SharePoint Team has just released this very important article detailing What you need to know before you double click update.exe

Be sure to check it out.

CSS Control Adapters, Update! (Beta 2)

September 10th, 2006

Scott Guthrie reports there has been an update to the CSS control adpaters.

Today we released a refresh of the CSS Control Adapters for ASP.NET 2.0 (incorporating bug fixes, feature suggestions, and adding support for new controls). You can download it for free and immediately begin using it to enable pure CSS optimized markup for the following ASP.NET controls:

  • Menu
  • TreeView
  • GridView (new)
  • DetailsView
  • FormsView
  • DataList
  • Login (new)
  • ChangePassword (new)
  • CreateUser (new)
  • PasswordRecovery (new)
  • LoginStatus (new)

A consistent SharePoint 2007 experience even while browsing _layouts pages

September 7th, 2006

Ok - so a perfect UX is simply not possible across the board when it comes to the _layouts pages in SharePoint 2007. 

 That being said now we should start looking at ways to maintain a consistent experience while moving in and out of the _layouts directory and one of my favorites which should come as no suprise will be to leverage CSS (Themes).

I decided to dog-food my theories a little and try my luck with minimizing the change on the recent release of the Community Kit for SharePoint.

Screenshot 1 (The customized site)

Screenshot 2 (_layouts page with a theme applied) - As you can see there is minimal change between the two.  Of course in an extreme customization situation it will be harder but you can always at the very least maintain the coroporate colors and even get a logo in there if you need to.

cks2.jpg