Sunday, 10 September 2006
Microsoft has been working on a free add-on for Office SharePoint Server 2007 called Knowledge Network (KM). It looks very cool.
Knowledge Network is a new add-on for Office SharePoint Server 2007 that many people don’t know about yet. It automates the discovery and sharing of undocumented knowledge and relationships, enabling you to quickly locate who knows whom and who knows what within your constantly changing organization.
A video describing and showing some of the KN features and how it works is available on Channel 9. The team blog is here. It's in beta right now (not publicly available just yet), and will be released as a free download when Office SharePoint Server 2007 is released (later this year).
You create a profile, which is uploaded to a SharePoint server. This solution takes advantage of SharePoint as a platform to be extended (My Sites, search, etc.). When your coworkers so the same, you all gain the ability to search and organize based on relationships and expertise. Think of it as a formal social network at work - find experts and people to help you collaboratively solve problems, etc.
There's such a huge number of massive changes and improvements in SharePoint 2007, it's to the point where it's almost impossible to get your brain around them all. I'm off to find a place that's keeping track of all the details in a way one can readily digest - anyone know of such a place? So far I see Office Online, TechNet and the SharePoint team blog are pretty good resources, but seems like someone should, oh I dunno, set up a SharePoint 2007 portal with all the information presented in true dogfood style? That would enable, say, one RSS feed? ;)
At any rate, if you are a SharePoint person (and there are millions of you out there), the 2007 version is huge and it's certainly time to get on board if you're not already. KN is one example of using SharePoint as a powerful platform to build business processes and capabilities. There are many, many others as well.
Tuesday, 18 July 2006
A colleague from Australia IMed me tonight asking for help with a pesky error he was running into when trying to use SMIGRATE for Windows SharePoint Services 2003 to back up a SharePoint site.
The error was "ERROR: 6553609 You are not authorized to perform the current operation."
There's a KB article that addressed that error, but even after following the instructions in the KB article, the problem persisted. So we kept trying to figure it out. Permissions on the machine were fine, IE settings were fine, everything else checked out...
send me exactly what you typed on the command line pls
Greg Hughes says:
Greg Hughes says:for your smigrate command?
< Jason /> says:
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\60\BIN>smigrate -u domain\Administrator -pw **** -w http://siteserver/
clients/ -f c:\backup.fwp
< Jason /> says:
yea even with that tool still says im not authorised to do it
Greg Hughes says:just for grins try this...
Greg Hughes says:smigrate -w http://siteserver/clients -f c:\backup.fwp -u domain\Administrator -pw ****
< Jason /> says:
o ur good ur really good
< Jason /> says:
lol its working
Greg Hughes says:yup
Greg Hughes says:heh
Greg Hughes says:two differences - not sure which mattered but I have a guess
Greg Hughes says:
so try it this way next:
Greg Hughes says:smigrate -w http://point/clients/ -f c:\backup.fwp -u sydney\Administrator -pw *
< Jason /> says:
rofl yea that breaks it
Greg Hughes says:you see the difference?
< Jason /> says:
< Jason /> says:
the slash interesting
Greg Hughes says:non fault-tolerant tool
< Jason /> says:
Greg Hughes says:yep it doesnt like that
So apparently it's important to remove the trailing slash from the site URL you specify with SMIGRATE on the command line if you want it to behave correctly. Also note that the error you get when running the tools is the same one covered under the KB article I mentioned above (http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=828210) for a different problem that's also related to backing up or restoring a SharePoint web:
"ERROR: 6553609 You are not authorized to perform the current operation."
The same error occurs when the trailing slash is applied in the site URL, at least in our case. So if you do everything in the KB article and still get the same persistent error, look for evil slashes...
The syntax for the SMIGRATE is:
smigrate -r -w <website URL> -f <backup file> [-e] [-y][-x]
-r is the restore (optional)
-w signifies the start of the Web site URL for a site (no trailing slashes!)
-f is the backup filename with an FWP extension
-e is an option to exclude subsites during backup
-y confirms that any existing backup files will be overwritten
-x is an option to exclude security during restore
-u specifies an administrator username
-pw specifies an administrator password
Also, when it's time to restore, it's important to know that you have to restore to an empty subsite that you create in the SharePoint admin web tool - no template, no nothing - just an empty SharePoint enabled subweb site.
You can do this with the STSADM.exe tool, leaving out the extra syntax for specifying templates, titles, etc - all the stuff that makes it not blank...
stsadm.exe -o createweb -url http://server_name/sites/site1/subsite1
or, if you're creating a top-level site on the server that you want to restore to, you create it like this:
stsadm.exe -o createsite -url http://server_name/sites/site1 -ownerlogin <DOMAIN\user> -owneremail firstname.lastname@example.org -ownername <display name>
Also - remember that especially when it comes time to back up and restore sites, the patch levels and versions of the WSS servers you're dealing with might make or break your ability to get done what you want - so make sure the versions of your servers match if you keep running up against errors when you go to do your restore. Not a silver bullet, but it can be an elusive problem to troubleshoot.
Monday, 17 July 2006
Amanda Murphy's got a whole slew of great blog posts and screen shots from Office 2007 and SharePoint 2007, which is looking more and more to be a great collaboration platform. Lots and lots of new features and significant improvements over the 2003 versions.
Check out the list of posts here. Keep on posting more, Amada!
Sunday, 12 March 2006
Microsoft has released the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 List Web Part. If you've started using CRM v3 and you have a SharePoint Portal of Windows SharePoint Services setup, you can use this web part to bring data from CRM v3 into your SharePoint pages to build dashboards and information pages for quick, at-a-glance data.
You can downloaded it here. From the site and the documentation, here is a brief overview:
The List Web Part for Microsoft® Dynamics™ CRM allows users to view their Microsoft CRM data from a Microsoft Windows® SharePoint® Services 2.0 page. The records are displayed in a grid that behaves similarly to the grid within the Microsoft CRM application. Users who have the proper privileges will be able to perform actions such as create and edit. It allows users to view Microsoft CRM records as a list from a SharePoint dashboard, open records in Microsoft CRM 3.0 from the list, and connect Microsoft CRM Web Parts to filter different lists.
Microsoft CRM security is maintained at the grid and record level. If the user does not have access to a particular record, it will not be visible in the grid. Likewise, if the user does not have privileges to view the entity configured, an error will be displayed to the user. The Web Part uses adaptive UI. For example, if the user does not have permissions to edit accounts, the Edit button will not be visible to the user.
Monday, 20 February 2006
Microsoft has posted information regarding which apps will be included in each of the Office 2007 product suites, as well as pricing for the packages and individual apps/servers.
In Word .doc format:
Thursday, 26 January 2006
From Mark Harrison's weblog:
All Windows SharePoint Services customers are entitled to an extended free trial of Antigen for SharePoint. This trial version will be active through June 30, 2006.
To download, simply go to www.sybari.com/wss and fill out the form.
Antigen for SharePoint allows Windows SharePoint Services users to collaborate without the risk of uploading or downloading infected documents or inappropriate content.
The simple and honest fact is that many people who have deployed WSS or SPS don't run any anti-virus software on their SharePoint implementations - and that's a huge mistake. Running plain-ol' AV on the server's file system is exactly the wrong thing to do, because all the SharePoint files are stored in the database where regular AV software can't touch them. And besides that, running real-time AV scans of a SQL database file (which is constantly changing) is a supreme resource and performance killer if there ever was one.
I've worked with Sybari's Antigen products on both SharePoint and Exchange for several years. In my book, it's the best thing in AV-Land since sliced bread. So check it out.
Tuesday, 18 October 2005
SharePoint Portal Server (SPS) 2003 Service Pack 2
is now available to be downloaded. It contains a significant number of important security fixes and enhancements as well as changes to improve performance and stability. Several previously released fixes and those from the previous service pack for SPS are included in this release.
Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) Service Pack 2 was also recently released. It is also a roll-up of the previous service pack and previously released (post-SP1) fixes, plus it includes some new fixes.
Finally, Version 1.7 of the WSS Administrator Guide has been updated to reflect changes in WSS SP2
Saturday, 17 September 2005
Got SharePoint? Over at The Dean's Office, Dustin Miller lists a long - and exciting in a geeky way - list of what's coming up in the next version of SharePoint - which is due for release in late 2006 as part of the next version of the Office system.
HUGE improvements coming, and v2 to v3 will be an upgrade, not a migration. Phew! Check out the list.
A good Channel 9 video showing/discussing SharePoint v.next is here.
- RSS on all SharePoint lists - and access to the feeds respect the SharePoint security model
- RSS feeds are per-list and per-site (aggregated)
- Support is for RSS 2.0
- Out of the box blogs AND wikis! (and you get RSS feeds for those, too)
- Lots of search improvements and enhancements
- Outlook 12 will have an aggregator, IE7 also has one
- WSS v.next runs on ASP.NET 2.0, so ASP.NET v2 web parts are SharePoint web parts
- Version history in all SharePoint lists - with line-by-line diffs! Nice!
- Take documents off-line and bring them back
- Workflow built in - see a Channel 9 video about that here
- Document management significantly built out
- Email enabled discussion boards - send email to a SharePoint alias and it shows up in the discussion list! Nice - great internal option to things like Yahoo groups. You can also sync emails, tasks and other stuff to a SharePoint site from the Outlook UI.
It's going to be a big year for Microsoft's Office and Office Servers. Huge, really.
Friday, 09 September 2005
Ruth at RCM Technologies sent along an opening they have for a guru-level SharePoint business consultant in the Beverly Hills, California area. If you or someone you know if interested, give Ruth a call or send her an email (her contact info is at the bottom of this post):
RCM Technologies is a leading provider of comprehensive of Information Technology solutions for customers in the Financials Services, Healthcare, Insurance, Communications, Entertainment, and Pharmaceutical markets is looking for a Business Systems Consultant for a project in the Beverly Hills area.
This is initially an 8 week project. There is a high likelihood of extension after the initial phase is completed.
This project is slated to start ASAP.
Responsible for providing business solutions to enterprise-wide technology initiatives. Candidate must be a self starter with excellent communication skills. Background in web testing and training on web based systems. Formal classroom experience is not mandatory.
- Acts as a liaison between business/user and the technical developer
- Plan and analyze business initiatives to be solved with business systems.
- Provides technical expertise in identifying, evaluating, and developing effective procedures and systems requirements that meet business requirements.
- Works with business user to provide assessment of developed system in respect to the user’s needs. Also provide training and resolve issues and questions. \
- Participates in validating existing design features with specific system requirements and specifications.
Initiates systems testing.
- Acts as internal consultant within technology and business groups by re-engineering technical processes for greater efficiencies with significant impact to the business.
Required Experience or Knowledge of the following technologies/functions
- Microsoft SharePoint 2003 - Candidates must be expert level in SharePoint
- .NET development
- SharePoint implementation/migration experience
- Please send your resume as a Word document. You may also reach me at the number below.
Saturday, 13 August 2005
Bil Simser has taken the lead in creating a place for the community to create and share SharePoint templates. This is terrific - one of the more difficult things about getting people using SharePoint has always been the lack of templates and general resources available to get people started building the custom apps people dream of (but can't necessarily create themselves).
Link: The SharePoint Template Project on SourceForge
Now that we have the place to do this, all we need are participants. Microsoft recently released a set of 30 great site templates, and there are a few others out there as well, but this has the potential to be much bigger.
Bil's own words describe the SharePoint Template Project perfectly:
Not having custom solutions has been one of the larger gaps in SharePoint but demonstrates that you can accomplish a lot with just a little configuration and some creative thought. On numerous occasions I find myself in the newsgroups seeing people asking if they can build a Help Desk with SharePoint, or an Expense Tracking System, or a Call Board. The answer is of course yes. Always has been and always will. The problem however is that you don't get a lot of business solutions delivered without some work. Enter the SharePoint Template Project.
I created a new project site on SourceForge (yes, I'm not a big fan of GotDotNet and we haven't created my utopia of SharePointForge just yet) to accomodate this. The project provides an outlet for the SharePoint community to contribute and share list and site templates for the products under the Microsoft SharePoint technology banner (SharePoint Portal Server and Windows SharePoint Services).
These templates come in the form of binary .stp files or plain text xml schema files (along with any additional files like images, etc.). Users create the templates either using SharePoint itself (saving them in .stp format) or with whatever xml/text editor they prefer. The templates are uploaded to a SharePoint server and used as a boilerplate by SharePoint during site creation.
Templates in this project will be created by the community and packaged in a common installer format (MSI) so that end-users need only download the MSI and run it on their SharePoint server. A template MSI will be provided for contributors to the project which includes the template installer, full or custom selections for installation (users will be able to choose what templates they want to install), graphical preview for each template (if the developer includes them) and option to create sample sites based on the templates chosen.
Sunday, 07 August 2005
Fact is, unless you're developing from scratch, there hasn't been a whole lot of help out there in terms of building apps on top of Windows SharePoint Services in order to enhance business.
Until now, that is.
Last week, Microsoft released 30 new application templates that enhance WSS and let you use the platform to solve more problems and meet more needs common to business. And these are out-of-the-box applications, not just starting points, although knowledgeable people could certainly use them as a beginning for something bigger if they like.
This is exactly what we need more of - help extending the platform without having to do it all ourselves. This is the kind of thing that makes SharePoint viable for smaller businesses that can't or don't want to take the time to customize from the ground up.
You can see them all in action, live and for real, at Bil Simser's public SharePoint site (found via Mark Harrison).
Also - for help installing them all, check out Raphael Londner's weblog post.
Here are the new apps, and they are no slouching solutions - these looks to be some solid business templates:
|Scenarios Available for Download|
Wednesday, 25 May 2005
Last-minute on my part, but I have been so busy I did not realize that tonight (Wednesday) is the monthly meeting of the Portland Area Dot-Net User Group (PADNUG).
And speaking tonight is Jason Mauer, Developer Evangelist with Microsoft, on the topic of "The Ins and Outs of SharePoint Development."
Check out Rich's weblog entry with complete info if you're interested - SharePoint use is growing quickly - good stuff to know! And hey, you can't really beat the price.
Monday, 23 May 2005
Shane has started a weblog covering how to customize a SharePoint web site to create a site that provides some form of content management, etc. The first few posts are up, and it looks like it will be a detailed, step-by-step tutorial for people who want to learn something about SharePoint customization.
From his weblog:
"This entry will likely span into a 4-5 part tutorial on creating a SharePoint site that looks like a 'real' website.
"I'll try and take things step-by-step in creating a "real website" and then converting it into a SharePoint site. I will keep it as simple as possible so that it's relatively easy to follow.
"For anyone that just wants to follow along and get their feet wet I will include everything I've used for the site creation, HTML/Graphics/CSS etc.
"This will be a fairly long post(s) but hopefully if there are a few people out there experiencing the SharePoint (Learning Pains) this should help you.
"I'm going to be fairly in-depth about the entire process of the site creation, covering everything from; brainstorming, what make's sense/what doesn't, sketching, creating the graphics, creating the site, styling the site and finally converting everything to a fully content-managed and dynamically driven SharePoint Site."
Sounds great to me - I've implemented a large number of SharePoint sites, and have done some amount of customization, but I am interested in reading Shane's guide and learning some more. He's also posted a list of what to expect from the tutorial:
Step-by-Step guide on creating a SharePoint website that looks like a "real website".
Things to Cover:
- Why SharePoint? - Benefits of creating a site based on SharePoint
- Brainstorming - What's the purpose of the site
- Planning - Creating a site that works for both the end-user, and the owner
- Sketches - Laying the groundwork
- Graphical UI - Bring your sketches to life
- Initial Site Creation - Setting the stage w/ SharePoint in mind
- Creating a WSS "SharePoint Site" - The "basic" SharePoint site
- Setting up the dynamic elements - Lists, Libraries and all that fun stuff!
- SharePoint Conversion - Turning your site into a SharePoint Site
- Programming (without a) a Programmer! - Let's bring in those dynamic elements and create some nifty data-views
- Styling the site (CSS) - Styling the data-views and other elements to be visually appealing
- Styling the admin pages using "themes" - Step-by-Step on theme setup and customization
- Backing up your work - Using FrontPage 2003 to backup your work
- The Final Result! - See, that wasn't so hard now was it!
Monday, 02 May 2005
Lots and lots of SharePoint Portal Server related live webcasts coming up - here's a list of all the sessions (many are repeated):
|Fri, 06 May 2005
|Thu, 12 May 2005
|Mon, 16 May 2005
|Mon, 16 May 2005
|Tue, 17 May 2005
|Tue, 17 May 2005
|Tue, 17 May 2005
|Wed, 18 May 2005
|Wed, 18 May 2005
|Wed, 18 May 2005
|Thu, 19 May 2005
|Thu, 19 May 2005
|Thu, 19 May 2005
|Thu, 19 May 2005
|Fri, 20 May 2005
|Mon, 23 May 2005
|Mon, 23 May 2005
|Tue, 24 May 2005
|Tue, 24 May 2005
|Tue, 24 May 2005
|Tue, 24 May 2005
|Tue, 24 May 2005
|Wed, 25 May 2005
|Wed, 25 May 2005
|Wed, 25 May 2005
|Thu, 26 May 2005
|Thu, 26 May 2005
|Thu, 26 May 2005
|Thu, 26 May 2005
|Thu, 26 May 2005
|Fri, 27 May 2005
|Tue, 31 May 2005
|Wed, 01 Jun 2005
|Tue, 21 Jun 2005
Sunday, 17 April 2005
If you're a SharePoint 2003 developer or system administrator, you know how lost one can get in the guts of the systems. For the longest time, SharePoint documentation was almost non-existent, but now you can get decent information from Microsoft, as well as from other parties. The SDK, however, can be a bit difficult to wade through. A visual representation of some of the underlying SharePoint core functionality would be a great thing to have.
Enter Mindsharp - they offer documentation, courseware and training for SharePoint professionals, and one of their offerings is three free posters, which they will ship to you. You'll have to sign up on the web site, and they'll ship to the address and info you provide. One set of posters is available at no cost to residents of the US, UK, and Canada. Additional sets can be purchased for $20 (Mindsharp's cost to produce, package, process, and post). Electronic versions of the posters are also available for $45/each (the entire set must be purchased).
The three posters include:
- Windows SharePoint Services Object Model
- Windows SharePoint Services Administration Roadmap
- SharePoint Portal Server Administration Roadmap
Mindsharp also sponsors a mailing list for SharePoint admins and developers. Send email to email@example.com to join.
Other SharePoint information from MindSharp that you can get from their web site:
- Best Practices for Designing and Deploying a SharePoint Portal
- How to Move Your Portal Farm from One Server to Another
- Reader Course
- My Site Course
Tuesday, 05 April 2005
Thank goodness for blogging and for people like Mike Fitzmaurice of Microsoft (Developer Evangelist for SharePoint technologies), who posts some official information regarding the pending release of .NET v2 and Whidbey, which is expected this year.
It's a bit confusing right now for SharePoint developers, as they look at the coolness of the next version of the .NET framework and Visual Studio and try to decipher what they can/should develop, on which platforms, and when.
SharePoint v3 won't ship until well after Whidbey (Visual Studio 2005) and .NET v2.0 hit the street. So, Mike's blog entry is a welcome and useful explanation of what platforms and versions of software will interoperate and produce workable results in SharePoint land.
If you're a SharePoint developer, this is for you:
and this article is also a great resource for understanding what's coming and how things relate:
If you're looking to learn about SharePoint Portal Server 2003 for the first time, or if you'd like to get some hands-on experience with a system that you can break and not have to worry about as you ramp up on the technology, check out the TechNet Virtual Labs offer for SPS 2003.
It's a good resource for people who want to learn in detail from the comfort of their own desk chair.
TechNet Virtual Lab: Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003
Get first-hand deployment experience through the Virtual Lab series. The Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 hands-on labs will teach you how to set up the portal, organize content on the portal, manage user permissions, create Web Parts for custom tasks, and much more.
It's simple — no complex setup or installation is required to try SharePoint Portal Server running in the full-featured TechNet Virtual Lab. You get a downloadable manual and a 90-minute block of time for each module. You can sign up for additional 90-minute blocks anytime.
As part of the TechNet Virtual Lab, you will have full access to SharePoint Portal Server's features and tools through ten modules:
||An Introduction to Microsoft Office SharePoint Products and Technologies|
||Creating a Custom Site Definition for Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services|
||Creating a Web Part for Microsoft Office SharePoint Products and Technologies|
||Creating Connectible Web Parts for SharePoint Products and Technologies|
||Managing SharePoint Portal Server Content and Navigation|
||SharePoint Portal Server People and Personalization|
||SharePoint Products and Technologies Permissions Management|
||Using Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003 to Customize Windows SharePoint Services|
||Using Windows SharePoint Services with Microsoft Office Professional 2003 Applications|
||Using the Windows SharePoint Services Object Model|
Monday, 04 April 2005
Oh, how I wish this SharePoint podcast series was available in English! But, it's only in German. I know some German (took three years classes in school), and I have been listening to it and trying really hard to pick up the content of the podcast, with little success. I'm just too out-of-date to be able to catch it all.
http://www.sharepointpodcast.de/ - with Michael Greth
The only thing I can tell for sure is that there's plenty of info in there that I'd like to be able to understand better, so I am relying on the links on the weblog to help me understand more. I'm also looking at this as a way to help refresh my German (maybe, it's tech lingo so that can be difficult) before my trip to Germany this fall.
Anyone know of any SharePoint podcasts in English? Hmmmm, maybe I should think about podcasting after all... Anyone out there want to co-host a SharePoint podcast?
Sunday, 03 April 2005
Microsoft's Office Online has a useful one-page conglomeration of deployment resources for SharePoint Portal Server. It's a great resource for those who need the info and appreciate the one-stop-authoritative-shop approach to organizing information. Of course, you'd think if people were looking to deploy SPS, they'd be exactly the types to appreciate that approach.
The only thing it seems they could so better would be to run it on, oh say... SharePoint Portal Server? ;)
Other good SharePoint Portal Server resources at Office Online:
Lots more links branch off of that last item, too. It's nice to see the Microsoft-provided content continuing to grow, as documentation in this area has historically been scattered and incomplete.
Sunday, 06 March 2005
Ok, let's face it - the native discussion list capabilities in SharePoint 2003 are - well - they're just "okay." They do work, but are just a little too frustrating in their implementation to use in the real world.
But Serge van den Oever has posted an announcement and a link to the SourceForge site where they have put together a release of the "Macaw Discussion Board," a list template that builds on top of the SharePoint native discussion lists and improves on the native functionality big-time.
It is great that SharePoint supports discussion lists, its a pity that their implementation is "suboptimal".
The two biggest problems that I have with the discussion lists are:
- When you reply on a discussion item, you don’t see the text you are replying on
- Discussion items are displayed in the wrong order: oldest items first!
Changing this behavior is not as easy as providing a new view. Some more work is required.
We worked around these limitations more than a year ago, but I never found the time to make these modifications available to the community. Until now…
They have also provided a discussion thread view in their list template.
So, before you run off to find a third party forum/discussion program to adapt to SharePoint because the default capabilities are too frustrating, you might want to see what you can do with Macaw's Discussion Board. You can check our Serge's announcement and documentation post and download the list template.
Friday, 04 March 2005
From Microsoft, news announcing SQL Reporting Services SP2, which will include two web parts for SharePoint 2003 that can be used for displaying reports in the SharePoint portal or site:
Along with security and product enhancements, SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services SP2 will include two SharePoint® Web Parts, which enable users to explore and view reports located on a report server through Windows® SharePoint Services or SharePoint Portal Server. The Web Parts will make it easy for customers to build business intelligence (BI) portals with SharePoint that include Reporting Services reports. This, in turn, will give their end users access to their enterprise information from one seamless interface. SP2 also will support a rich client-side report printing experience directly from Microsoft Internet Explorer, so customers can quickly print their reports by clicking on a single button.
Good move. One of SharePoint's strongest points is that it can act as a "one-stop-shop" for finding, aggregating, viewing and using information across a company or organization, usable by both individuals and groups. The more web parts are made available to do this kind of thing out of the box, the better. It should be a requirement for any Microsoft business product, I think, and other companies should follow suit.a
Sunday, 20 February 2005
Jan Tielens posted the other day about their newly released "U2U RSS Feeds for SharePoint 2003," which is another tool for creating RSS feeds from SharePoint lists, but with some improvements:
- Aggregation of items stored in multiple lists on multiple sites
You can create an RSS feed that contains information coming from more than one lists (or document libraries), that are potentially on different sites.
- Customizable layout of RSS items
For each list that you aggregate in an RSS Feed you can specify how the items in the RSS feed should look like. You can do that by using some sort of formulas, referring to fields coming from the SharePoint lists.
- Non-intrusive installation
The installation of the RSS Feeds tool doesn’t change a thing about your SharePoint installation, the IT-Pro guys will be happy! The tool is completely separated from the SharePoint sites and doesn’t require you to add metadata or web parts to SharePoint.
- SharePoint Authorization
Are you afraid of exposing sensitive data? Well you don’t have to, our tool uses the SharePoint security model, so if a user doesn’t have access to the SharePoint list he or she can’t retrieve information from the RSS feed. Anonymous access to RSS feeds is also supported (if your SharePoint site is available for anonymous users of course).
- GUI Administration
The administration of the tool (creating feeds, item layouts, …) is completely done by using a nice graphical user interface.
Quick video tutorial: http://www.u2u.be/downloads/tools/U2URSSFeeds.wmv
Wednesday, 19 January 2005
Finally!!! I have been struggling with the fact that there has never been an IFilter available for CHM (Microsoft compiled help) files. But now there is!
UPDATED INFO: Apparently there is another relatively new freeware CHM IFilter avalable in addition to the commercial one mentioned below. I have not had a chance to check it out, and documentation is pretty much non-existant on the web site, but check out Citeknet. They have a CHM IFilter, a tool called IFilter Explorer that you can use to examine your system's IFilters, and a bunch of other IFilters (CAB, CHM, HLP, MHT, ZIP) on their web site. Thanks to Sean for the comment and the pointer - I stand corrected. I think IFilters in general deserve another post here (click to read the followup), especially with the genesis of these new desktop search applications and new activity/interest in IFilters in general.
If you use a system that can leverage IFilters to index or discover the content inside of proprietary files (systems like SharePoint or Windows built-in search, for example), this is for you. There are IFilters for all kinds of binary formats, such as PDF, TIFF files with optical character recognition (OCR), etc... And now, CHM!
In fact, IFilterShop has a whole slew of filters for sale:
- CHM IFilter
- MindManager IFilter
- Inventor IFilter
- WMV/WMA IFilter
- SHTML IFilter
- WF IFilter
- Msg IFilter
- PDF+ IFilter
- Zip IFilter
- XMP IFilter
- StarOffice IFilter
- OpenOffice IFilter
- vCard IFilter
There are also a whole bunch of free IFilters available on the Internet.
Here is the official announcement:
IFilterShop releases CHM IFilter 1.0
IFilterShop is pleased to announce the release of new product CHM IFilter.
CHM IFilter extends Microsoft Indexing Service to extract content from Compiled HTML Help (CHM) documents. Microsoft HTML Help is Microsoft's online Help authoring system. It is designed for use by authors or developers who create Help for software programs, multimedia titles, intranets, extranets, or the Internet. CHM IFilter makes Microsoft HTML Help files instantly searchable in all products built on Microsoft Search technology.
For more information, please visit our website at:
(ED: removed direct reference to .exe file)
Saturday, 18 December 2004
For someone like me, who uses SharePoint Portal Server and is starting to appreciate the usefulness of the MSN Desktop Search, this was an awesome find:
Mark Bower: Searching SPS using MSN Desktop Search
Mark explains how to add a shortcut to the MSN Desktop Search “deskband.” In less than a minute, you’ll have quick search shortcuts set up that allow you to enter a shortcut keyword and your search term (for example, type “sps documentation” into desktop search and a window will be opened with the search results on the portal server).
UPDATE: A site all about shortcuts for the deskbar (http://www.deskbarshortcuts.com/) has popped up – very cool! (via Scobleizer)
Wednesday, 15 December 2004
Over on it’s GotDotNet workspace, you can download the Collutions cBlog package, a custom site definition for SharePoint released under a Shared Source license. The cBlog package creates a blogging environment on the Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) platform. WSS ships as a free web server add-on/enhancement to Windows Server 2003.
This is interesting stuff. Jim Duncan’s sample blog is viewable online, and is a real, working blog that appears to be dedicated to the development and discussion of the cBlog custom site definition itself, at least so far.
Looks like Jim has already created an RSS 2.0 Feed for the WSS cBlog, too. Subscribed!
Going to have to look into this one further
Sunday, 12 December 2004
Nice to see the docs rolling out the door on the black-box stuff in SharePoint Portal Server. Here’s another, covering the syntax used in SharePoint Portal Server’s full-text search – Apparently it’s a preview of the what is to come in the next SDK release
This download includes a preview of the reference documentation for Microsoft SharePointPSSearch, the SQL Syntax used for Microsoft SharePointPSSearch Full Text Search with Microsoft Office SharePoint® Portal Server 2003. Look for updates to this documentation in the Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies 2003 Software Development Kit (SDK).
If you’ve worked on rebranding (to any significant extent) SharePoint Portal Server 2003, you know how difficult it can be to feel confident in what you’re actually doing, due mostly to the lack of documentation on the subject.
Well, Microsoft has released two papers on the Office Developer Center to help:
- Branding a SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Site:
- Part 1, Understanding the Use of a Corporate Brand
Learn what it means to "brand" a SharePoint Portal Server site, and about the different types of branding you can apply to a portal site to reflect an organization's identity.
- Part 2, How to Apply Your Own Corporate Brand
Through step-by-step examples of the typical tasks involved in branding a Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server site, learn to change the standard banner, introduce a custom style sheet, and enhance the user experience of your portal site through interface, navigation, and page layout changes.
Saturday, 04 December 2004
I have neglected posting SharePoint links and info recently. Bad me. Good thing there’s other people out there keeping us up to date. For example, Amanda Murphy recently linked to a few interesting nuggets of SharePoint gold, and I thought I would consolidate a couple of the ones that I find most interesting here, as well. Thanks, Amanda!
Nigel Bridport’s SharePoint User Manager v1.0
“Not sure about other people, but I find it quite time consuming when trying to manage users inside of Windows SharePoint Services sites, especially when the sites in the hierarchy have their security inheritance broken. A number of customers end up breaking security inheritance at every opportunity and then hit this problem.
“So, I am in the process of writing a SharePoint User Manager Windows Application in order to help out in this area!”
Stramit’s Granular Backup Manager for WSS v1.0
“Granular Backup Manageris a tool which allows you to create back up file and/or .bat file to make this file for a global hierarchy of WSS site. Its internal is based on the sMigrate.exe of the SharePoint system. the back up file are just Web Package. Each sub site of a WSS collection can have its own web package directly with this tool
I made this tool to make easy the back up operation in the case in large WSS collection with document library. Using granular back up file allow you to restore just little site for recover a document instead of the all collection (less time, less space, just the site).”
Jan Tielens’ Smart Part for SharePoint v188.8.131.52
Finally I’ve managed to finish a new release for the SmartPart for SharePoint; version 184.108.40.206. This release has some really cool new features, but I'm really excited about the first one: connectable web parts with ASP.NET user controls!
- Create connectable web parts
In SharePoint you can connect web parts, so they can exchange data. For example you could create a web part that displays a list of invoices, and another web part that displays the details of the selected invoice (master/detail view). Normally you’d have to create your Invoice and InvoiceDetails web parts by hand, implementing the ICellProvider and ICellConsumer interfaces (see Patrick’s excellent article about this topic). With the new version of the SmartPart you can do the same, but instead of coding everything by hand, you can create ASP.NET user controls! Just implement the ICellProviderUserControl or ICellConsumerUserControl on your user control, and you’re done.
- CAS Optimization
Maxim Karpov did a great job on fine-tuning the Code Access Security for the SmartPart. For running the previous versions of the SmartPart, you’d had to increase the trust level in the web.config to WSS_Medium. In this version this is not required anymore. Of course if your user controls require a higher trust level, you can raise the trust level as usual.
- Hiding the user control selection
Once you’re finished building your user controls, maybe you’d want to ship the finished web parts/user controls to a customer for example. In that case you don’t want the user to select the user controls from the dropdown listbox of the SmartPart, or filling out the user control name by hand. With the new version of the SmartPart you can create a DWP file which contains all the settings for an instance of the SmartPart showing a specific user control. The nice part is that you can hide the dropdown listbox or textbox for selecting the user control by adding the following node in the DWP after you’ve exported an instance of the SmarPart:
Sunday, 21 November 2004
Friday, 08 October 2004
If you have users who need to learn how to do things in SharePoint Portal Server 2003, you'll want to check out the new SPS 2003 Training Kit. The users can either see how to perform tasks, or they can do the steps themselves, while being guided through the processes.
"This training kit has been specifically designed to ensure that SharePoint Portal Server users can effectively use the capabilities of the product to better share information, collaborate with others and find relevant information and resources within their organization. The training has been developed keeping in mind the unique need of the beginners and advanced users with easy to understand content that can be accessed either as a self paced study guide or as a quick reference guide. Learn how to perform everyday tasks like collaborating on documents, setting up efficient meetings and searching for relevant information and resources."
Wednesday, 06 October 2004
As a proponent and business owner of SharePoint 2003 technologies, this article on Security Pipeline caught my eye:
When President George W. Bush and Sen. John Kerry square off Friday at Washington University in round two of their presidential debates, the event will spur an intense IT integration effort pulling together national, state, and local emergency responders. These responders will rely on the real-time flow of data to ensure that the only bombs going off in St. Louis are rhetorical.
To do this, the event's incident-command team, comprised of police from St. Louis County and Washington University, firefighters from the city of Clayton, Mo., and agents from the U.S. Secret Service, will rely heavily on a Microsoft SharePoint-based portal modified by service provider Convergence Communications LLC. In its university lecture hall headquarters, the command team will have 25 PCs that can send and receive data over a LAN to as many as 450 police officers positioned across the campus, regardless of whether the officer hails from county, city, or university forces. Five officers normally patrol this same area.
The portal will let command-center workers exchange instant messages, share data, and have joint access to a checklist of tasks that need to be completed on schedule. For example, if a road is scheduled to be closed at a given time, the officer closing that road must communicate via the portal that he accomplished this task. "If the task is overdue, the list will flash so that the commanders know there's a problem..."
Very cool. Granted, it's a million-dollar system built on SharePoint as a platform - what do you figure the price would have been in the private sector though?
Tuesday, 28 September 2004
A good introduction to using RSS on the Internet is available in both quick-video-tutorial format as well as a more detailed, yet easy-to-absorb text format at c|net.
If you are not familiar with RSS, and you work in the high-tech industry, I do hereby declare you to be old skool, out of touch, and truly negligent in your professional career path - and it won't be long before you're declared incompetent, so watch out. I mean, can you imagine what you would think of someone who did not know what email is? Trust me, it's a lot like that. I know there's a lot to learn, but don't get caught behind the eight-ball, people...
When you need a RSS feed to subscribe to, so you can learn without hurting yourself, just start with this one:
There - now if that doesn't motivate you, nothing will. Now go learn something fast!
By the way, a couple of interesting (to me, at least) things:
- NewsGator (if you're an everything-in-Outlook fan) and FeedDemon (my own personal choice in RSS readers) are both featured in the video (and the product reviews). Either one sells for about $29, and is money well-spent.
- Misplaced noun of the year: I wish the freakin' emphasis on "news" when talking about RSS would just go away - It's not a news reader people, it's a feed reader. News is just one type of content you can get in an RSS feed format.
(shamelessly plucked from Scoble and others)
Monday, 27 September 2004
Addy Santo has updated BlogWave and released the first beta version. He released a pre-beta version back in July, and has since updated the software.
Say hello to BlogWave Beta 1 - Download and what's new info is available here.
What is it? what does it do? Answers to your questions ripped straight from Addy's web site:
Q. What is BlogWave?
A. BlogWave is an "RSS Generator": a tool which can pull information from a variety of sources and publish it as RSS. This process is very easy to configure and can be scheduled to run automatically. For example, using BlogWave you can create an RSS feed from Sharepoint announcements on your company's internal site. Or you can publish event logs as RSS. Or even merge multiple sources into one feed (aggregation) and/or publish a feed to multiple destinations (cross posting).
Q. What content sources does BlogWave support?
A. BlogWave currently supports the following sources
• RSS Feeds
• Google Searches (new)
• Event Logs
• WSS Lists and Document Libraries
• SPS Searches
• NNTP newsgroups
• Custom sources can be added through a pluggable architecture and a simple .Net programming interface.
Q. Which destinations can BlogWave post to?
A. BlogWave supports the following destinations:
• .Text based blogs
• FTP sites
• Local or Network URNs
• Any WebDAV compliant website (such as Sharepoint or WSS)
• Custom destinations can be added through a pluggable architecture and a simple .Net programming interface.
Thursday, 23 September 2004
I know he didn't mean to (so I won't act all flattered or smug or anything), but Robert Scoble just sort of summed up the better part of my topic/category list for this-here-blog of mine, over on his blog...
I thought it would be interesting to compare his list of cool upcoming topics for the future to what's categorized or searchable right now on my site. So, I did just that and have added the links, below. Not a bad start, and it points out to me where I am falling shorter than I had realized in my content. Hey Robert, thanks for the copy.
“For the next 18 months, where are the business opportunities going to lie? Tablet PC. Bigtime. Windows Media Center. Gonna be a big deal. SmartPhones. Wanna watch how fast the Motorola MPX220 sells when it's released in the next few months? Xbox Live. You only need to say one number and everyone knows exactly the Xbox thing I'm talking about: "2." Visual Studio 2005. Tons of stuff coming there. MSN has a whole raft of things up their sleeves. And we haven't even started talking about BizTalk, SharePoint, Exchange, SQL Server, 64-bit Windows, SBS, CRM, LiveMeeting, and OneNote, among other things.”
It also gives me a gut-check on my existing blog categories. Here they are, with the ones that apply to this posting checked:
Monday, 13 September 2004
Just released on GotDotNet: MacawSharePointSkinner, a server HttpModule that allows you to modify the look and feel of SharePoint sites without having to change the core site layout. (found via Mark Harrison) You should also be able to use it to modify non-SharePoint ASP.NET web sites. It looks very promising for certain situations (probably not all - as my friend commented, why would you want to do customization work and then change your changes? Plus ASP.NET 2.0 will include skinning right in the package). Where SharePoint is involved, however, this could be useful since certain customizations can be quite a bit of redundant work.
From the MacawSharePointSkinner documentation:
MacawSharePointSkinner is a tool designed to enable non-intrusive modifications to the visual and functional design of SharePoint. The tool can be used for both Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 and for Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003. Actually, it can be used for any web site utilizing the ASP.NET technology.
One of the major issues that we encounter in the implementation of SharePoint within organizations is that organizations want modifications to the visual and functional design that are almost impossible to implement without a major overhaul of the standard files and templates provided with SharePoint. SharePoint is constructed as a kind of standard product that is best used out of the box. Some design can be applied by specifying themes (for team sites) or by modifying CSS stylesheets (for the portal). The possibilities here are limited however, and changes to the actual HTML that is rendered results in changes to hundreds of the standard files.
When implementing customer requested visual modifications, one of the big problems that we encountered in making extensive modifications to the files and templates delivered with SharePoint was that the rendering of the same HTML is implemented differently by different pages. Some pages contain the actual HTML that is outputted and can be easily modified. Other pages contain server controls that do the rendering of the same HTML. These pages are almost impossible to modify. Another problem is that modifications must often be made to hundreds of pages.
The approach that MacawSharePointSkinner takes is that it lets SharePoint render the final HTML, and just before this HTML is sent to the browser MacawSharePointSkinner makes the needed modifications to this HTML. This is done in such a way that no modifications are needed to the internal files of SharePoint, so it is non-intrusive. Another advantage is that it will survive service packs (although the output HTML may change in a service pack!) and template modifications.
Interesting. Get it here. If anyone makes any screenshots of interesting implemetations of this, I would be interested in seeing them.
Wednesday, 08 September 2004
The awesome and bloggerific KC Lemson points to a Knowledge Base article that describes how to tell Internet Explorer to leave your Office documents and files alone when you're opening them from a web server via hyperlink. We use SharePoint where I work, and it can be downright annoying at times when a document opens in-line in Internet Explorer when what I really want is for it to open in the application that was used to create it.
This is easy but good stuff - excerpt from the KB article:
To configure Internet Explorer to open Office files in the appropriate Office program by using the Folder Options tool:
- Open My Computer.
- On the Tools menu (or the View menu), click Folder Options (or click Options).
- Click the File Types tab.
- In the Registered file types list, click the specific Office document type (for example, Microsoft Excel Worksheet), and then click Advanced (or click Edit).
- In the Edit File Type dialog box, click to clear the Browse in same window check box (or click to clear the Open Web documents in place check box).
- Click OK.
I received an email this evening announcing that SharePoint Experts has just released PowerUndelete for WSS:
"Whenever someone deletes a list item, or a document from a document library, PowerUndelete captures it and stores it in an "Undelete bin". End users are empowered to "undelete" their own documents, saving the support desk from the trials of recovering files and list items from database backups."
Very cool - this is promising stuff. I have not been able to try it yet (but may do so once I can see it in action). A video demo showing the product will be made available within the next day or two. You can get more information on the SharePoint Experts web site. They have a few different add-on enhancements available for SharePoint.
Thursday, 02 September 2004
Sooner than expected, SharePoint 2003 technologies get their first service pack, with fixes and improvements in a few key areas. Note that some of the fixes in the service packs (there are two) were previously available as hot-fixes. Other changes are new in this release, and address important issues.
From Mark Harrison's weblog:
Today, customers using Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies began applying two new Service Pack 1 releases, which provide performance improvements for Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 and Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services.
Enhancements in the Windows SharePoint Services SP1:
- Support for larger files. With Windows SharePoint Services SP1, customers and partners can save and share documents as large as 2 GB.
- Easy updates. Windows SharePoint Services SP1 greatly eases the patching process by enabling customers and partners to apply patches and hot fixes.
SharePoint Portal Server 2003 customers and partners will need to apply the Windows SharePoint Services SP1 to download and apply the SharePoint Portal Server 2003 SP1, which features improvements in the following specific areas:
- Improved search results. SharePoint Portal Server 2003 SP1 improves search functionality in a number of areas, including propagation, crawling reliability, keyword or best-bet search results, alert conditions, more robust XML filtering, and linguistic accuracy.
- Content Watson functionality. This enables improved product quality for customers through streamlined issue reporting between a customer's networked computer and the Microsoft development team.
Now with Windows SharePoint Services SP1, customers and partners will be able to access language templates for 11 additional languages, including Croatian, Latvian and Slovenian. Windows SharePoint Services, currently offered in 25 languages, is a feature of the Windows Server 2003 platform.
Customers and partners can access the free SP1 downloads by visiting the following Microsoft Web sites:
Download Windows SharePoint Services SP1: click here
Updated WSS Admin Guide: click here
Download SharePoint Portal Server SP1: click here
Here are some KB Articles related to the service packs (via spsfaq.com):
Friday, 27 August 2004
The other day I wrote an article about how RSS saves me so much time when it comes to work. Interestingly, it's been so heavily traffic'ed I'll have to look at upgrading my account to accommodate the extra bandwidth. But that's just fine, and I have had a few interesting conversations with people the past couple of days as a result. The beauty of the blogging community is that everyone has thoughts, ideas and opinions, and we can share them so effectively.
Matthew Lanham commented on what I wrote, and made an interesting point:
“Sounds great - but here's a question: How many corporate information infrastructures out there already have RSS/Atom aggregation as part of the big picture? My bet is that most of them still don't and the RSS driven employee is still using her own aggregator or a centralized system like Bloglines to read those feeds. So what happens to that information once you've read it? Is it piped into the corporate information system to be spread amongst the rest of the company or does it just "disappear"? From a corporate side there is still a lot to be done to bring both worlds together. And the software vendors like Microsoft and IBM need to integrate that functionality (both aggregating and reading) into their line of products before RSS and Atom become corporate mainstream. But it'll happen.”
He's right - for now there is no real, commercial, out of the box capability for aggregating information found via RSS at the corporate level. That's why we built our own, of sorts.
We run SharePoint Portal Server and Windows SharePoint Services on our Intranet, and one of our talented developers created in-house web parts that both consume and expose information in RSS. Since then, several others have created similar things.
The RSS display web parts allow me to create areas on the Intranet where users can see the latest information about any given topic, and the web part is available for any site creator to use, so they can aggregate internal and/or external information/feeds on their Intranet sites, too. The other components allow us to expose any list of information on a SharePoint site as an RSS feed.
It's only a first step, and Matthew's point is well-taken. We can create it now, each of us putting the work in individually to create something custom, or the big boys can do it for us. The beauty of a company like Microsoft or IBM building it and packaging it (there is a standard to follow, after all) is that they can make a single investment that the rest of us can leverage. That is a value-add proposition, and what I expect from the companies whose software I buy.
Thursday, 22 July 2004
From Addy Santo:
Everyone, say hello to BlogWave !
This is an alpha (read: mostly functional and sort of stable) version of a tool which enables scheduled generation and publishing of RSS feeds. This allows, for example, publishing Sharepoint lists and libraries as RSS feeds with no modifications needed to the Sharepoint server.
BlogWave Feature List:
- Generate RSS feeds based on a variety of inputs:
- WSS lists/libraries
- Existing RSS files or feeds
- Additional input sources are planned, such as Sharepoint searches and aggregated feeds.
- Publish the generated feeds to different destinations:
- Local/network locations
- .Text based blogs
- WSS libraries
- FTP sites.
- Schedule the generation and publication with a flexible scheduling system
- Set which days of the week, what hours, and how often should the generation take place
- Set user credentials and advanced options such as running even with no logged-in user or running only when idle.
Saturday, 17 July 2004
Now, how did I miss this???
Tons of well-organized information for users/administrators/implementors of SharePoint 2003 technologies. Now all we need to do is convince the owners to provide their content (especially news and categories/topics) via RSS!
Sunday, 11 July 2004
Just a few links from recent blog-findings related to SharePoint and Infopath that caught my eye:
Saturday, 10 July 2004
From KC Lemson's weblog, a solution to a frequently asked SharePoint question:
Publish a web part on your sharepoint site that can be dynamically consumed inline by other sites
The Exchange team uses sharepoint portal server for a lot of things, such as storing & tracking documents & lists & whatnot. As the release manager, I own the site that has the master schedule on it. There are other teams that used to have a schedule listed separately on their own sites. I wanted them to consume my web part rather than repeating the content, so that if/when the schedule changes, they don't need to update theirs (or worse yet, leave it stale and confuse someone).
Linking to my web part is one option, but that's not inline in their sites, so it's not as nice of an interface. Exporting my web part as a template for them to import will only give them a copy of it at that point in time.
Thankfully, MVP & sharepoint guru Sig clued me in on how to do this. My site is http://mysharepointserver/sites/site1. I have a web part that I want to expose inline in http://mysharepointserver/sites/site2's content. Here's how the manager of site2 can do this:
1. Open up site2 in frontpage 2003. Make sure you have the default.aspx open in the page view.
2. On the task pane, choose “Find Datasource“ (click the down arrow near the top of the task pane to see it)
3. Enter the URL http://mysharepointserver/sites/site1 and the name of the web part you want to reference
4. Drag/drop the result to the desired location on your site and save changes
It works wonderfully. Thanks so much, Sig!
Tuesday, 06 July 2004
A few people have built different little apps to allow you to syndicate SharePoint content via RSS. Bluedog Limited's SyndicationGenerator is a web-part-based RSS generator that makes it really easy to create RSS feeds from specific SharePoint lists. It allows you to place the web part on your server and then allow site admins to use it to set up their own feeds - great if you run a portal and WSS setup with many site admins that don't have access to add or modify web parts on the server. They can just drag-and-drop the web part, specify the list they want to create a feed for, and there you have it: Instant RSS feeds.
After some quick testing done here by a trusted partner, it appears that the web part has a hard time displaying its “Modify Web Part” pane correctly unless you place it on its own web part page. Then it's easy to work with. Cool stuff!
(by way of Travis and others)
Friday, 02 July 2004
Serge van den Oever suggests using an inexpensive commercial product called WebDrive to connect to SharePoint document libraries and sites via WebDav (note that you can also use WebDrive to connect to other types of servers with a drive letter, as well - WebDrive can connect to WebDAV, FTP, SFTP, and HTTP Servers supporting Microsoft FrontPage Server Extensions). See Serge's site for more details about using it with SharePoint:
WebDrive: Accessing SharePoint document libraries through drive letters
I downloaded the trial version and was immediately able to map W: to a document library on MySite on the portal server at work, over a VPN connection, using WebDav. I then transferred files, made sure they work on both ends, ran through the site to make sure everything's operating properly -- It works great!
This will be useful for people who need to map SharePoint "drives" from Windows 2000 or other OS versions, and provides a solid way to repeatedly reconnect drives at login, manage drive-letter connections, etc. On top of using WebDav, you can also connect via FP extensions, FTP, SFTP (SSH), and GroupDrive protocols.
Add WebDrive to the list of useful tools for the SharePoint power user - especially if you're running a version of Windows prior to WinXP and need drive/folder-level access to SharePoint 2003 sites.
Thursday, 17 June 2004
Eli Robillard has a list of SharePoint resources that he has posted on his weblog site.
He's divided it in to topical areas and has posted a fairly long list of resources. It's a good list - check it out if you're a SharePointy type.
Tuesday, 15 June 2004
Have been trolling the web for nifty SharePoint stuff and have come up with some interesting items worth looking into. I don't post nearly enough about SharePoint here (and I even have a category for it), so here goes a few nuggets of what I think is pretty cool stuff:
SPS 2003 Document library TreeView
A simple treeview renderer for document library in SharePoint 2003. Make navigation/visualization of your more complex document libraries a little more familar.
Building Custom Alert Result Channels in SharePoint Portal Server 2003
This definitely fits in the "cool" department. Toast alerts from SharePoint Portal - would be even niftier in the Messenger (MS/MSN) interface.
SQL Server Reporting Services Webparts for SharePoint
Display business data mined and munged with SQL Reporting Services on a SharePoint site/portal. Hello, biz intelligence - is that you?
Workflow Lite for SharePoint RC1
Display business data mined and munged with SQL Reporting Services on a SharePoint site/portal. Hello, biz intelligence - is that you?
Sharing Bookmarks, Wikis, and the Zen of SharePoint
Says Jonathan Hardwick: "But first you've got understand the Zen of SharePoint, which is this: it's SQL, but without the agonizing relational pain. Yup, under the hood beats good ol' SQL Server. That means SharePoint is all about lists." He also found a past article I wrote dreaming about wikis and SharePoint truly coming together. Anyone game???
Thursday, 10 June 2004
Microsoft has published online chapters from the SharePoint Products and Technologies Resource Kit, which was just released in book form. Good chapters here it appears, and the printed book of course comes with a companion CD-ROM, which includes a fully searchable eBook along with tools, scripts, and other useful items for SharePoint developers and implementers.
One example of useful tools (I was told the other day by a Microsoft employee who works on SharePoint in the field) is a tool to deal with ghost files. Avner Kashtan just posted about that exact problem. Hopefully the resource kit will provide him and everyone else dealing with WSS and Portal Server beyond an out-of-the-box implementation with the documentation and tools that SharePoint technologies have been sorely in need of since they hit the market a few years ago.
Also, Bill Simser, a SharePoint MVP in Alberta, Canada, is looking for ideas to create some SharePoint apps that he will release to the community. Nice to get ideas from the people who might use the code.
Wednesday, 12 May 2004
Office 2003, SharePoint, etc. Things you never knew or might not otherwise find:
MSFT tool to remove hidden history and collab data from Office documents - A couple of months ago Microsoft released a nifty tool that will permanently remove hidden and collaboration data, such as change tracking and comments, from Word 2003/XP, Excel 2003/XP, and PowerPoint 2003/XP files. When you distribute an Office document electronically, the document might contain information that you do not want to share publicly, such as information you’ve designated as “hidden” or information that allows you to collaborate on writing and editing the document with others. Before you email that doc to your customer or partner, or post it to a web site, run this tool and clean things up.
A couple of quick ways to stay up-to-date on SharePoint resources and information - Check out these resources if you're interested in SharePoint Portal or WSS 2003 - good stuff to be found:
I'll post a more complete OPML file sometime soon.
Saturday, 24 April 2004
First Glance at the OneNote SP1 Preview
Saturday, April 24, 2004
So, I figured I'd just jump in and take a first look at the new OneNote SP1 Preview and see what stands out. So far, a lot. Too much to play with this morning, and some of it I'll need to try at work with the team.
The above image was clipped directly into OneNote using the new "Capture Screen Clipping" tool, which lets you activate the function, and then use the pen or mouse to drag a rectangle around what you want captured. The clip is saved to the memory clipboard and/or to a SideNote (your choice).
Sharing with Others:
This is a big improvement area, and I think it will be a popular item in the future where I work. The previous OneNote email capabilities appear to be improved, as are the SharePoint capabilities, and newly added in this preview release are Shared Sessions - live note-taking sessions on the network between multiple participants. Password protect the sessions if necessary, and share the OneNote sections relevant to your need. Chris Pratley described it well in a web log entry he made describing the new preview release: See http://weblogs.asp.net/chris_pratley/archive/2004/04/20/117053.aspx
Audio and Video recording:
Support for webcams is added (uses WinMedia 8 and 9 codecs configured for typical PocketPC optimization, but you can tweak that, too). Found some weird behavior in the video player interface, but hey, it's complicated and this is a preview release. But at least people who care can see my cat (see below for the video file).
Video recording started: 11:49 AM Saturday, April 24, 2004
Integration with Other Devices/Apps:
Ability to create appointments, contacts and tasks are in the Tool menu, and PocketPC integration is there, as well - You can copy your notes manually or automatically from your PocketPC device.
Odd behavior and bugs don't get listed here (since I am reporting those anyhow elsewhere), but rather the few things I can think of that I don't see in the program just yet. In fact, for now I can only think of one glaring thing. Hyperlinks.
It appears there is still not an option to insert a hyperlink on one or more words of text (which you can do in other office apps, so was hoping to see that here in the service pack). This image is from Microsoft Word:
Screen clipping taken [from Microsoft Word]: 4/24/2004, 10:38 AM
You know - highlight a block of text, right click, choose "Hyperlink" from the menu and from their either add or edit the hyperlink associated with the text block. Link to a web page, or whatever. Maybe there is something about OneNote that makes this difficult to do, or maybe it's there and I just can't find it. But I have definitely tried!
Very cool. OneNote is already a great example of smart product building by a clearly talented team. It's a power-productivity tool, is able to be used by a wide variety of end users for an equally wide variety of purposes. The SP1 preview has addressed not only the top problems in the initial 1.0 release, it's added the low-hanging-fruit functionality that a) people are asking for and b) the product team could realistically deliver in the context of the service pack.
It's pretty nice. Will be interesting to see what the blog entry looks like.
Created with Microsoft Office OneNote 2003 (SP1 Preview)
One place for all your notes
Download: First Glance at the OneNote SP1 12.one
Download: Side Notes - First Glance at the OneNote SP1 Preview.WMV
Saturday, 17 April 2004
I was catching up on blog reading and noticed Jim Blizzard points to Infopath training now available on MSDN. Very cool. I need this. For those who don't know, Infopath is basically an Office 2003 app that allows you to create and use XML forms - it's a pretty powerful front end. Sharepoint 2003 supports it, too, as do a few workflow tools that are offered by third-party channel partners.
He also points to a day-log session on April 21 in Portland being put on by Microsoft called “BizTalk Server 2004: Developing the Integrated Enterprise.” Registered.
I've never attended a Portland Nerd Dinner before, but as much blog reading as I am doing by the participants, and since I am sure Scott will be going (he's tried to get me to go before), I might just stop in and see what its about.
Tuesday, 30 March 2004
Microsoft has released their Solution Accelerator for Sarbanes-Oxley. While I know that's probably not the most important or exciting thing you've heard all month, it mets a need I have, and I was pleasantly surprised at what it has to offer for those who have a similar need.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 has to do with reporting of finance process and controls information by publicly-traded companies. They call it “corporate governance” and in a nutshell, we have Enron and Tyco to blame for this, although I must say it seems to me to be no-brainer stuff for any corporation that takes ethics seriously. So, you won't hear me complaining.
The solution accelerator that Microsoft released late Friday allows people with a Windows SharePoint Services (aka WSS, aka SharePoint 2003) server to quickly and very easily add on new functionality, and to almost instantly get up and running with a nifty new system that significantly helps organize a compliance project or effort.
I won't go into the specific (because for most people it just gets more and more boring the more you learn), but anyone who is responsible for a compliance project or for preparing an infrastructure or framework on which to run such an effort owes it to themselves to download and try the accelerator. SQL 2000 with SP3 and WSS on Windows 2003 Server are required.
The installation is so simple it's almost scary (compared to other solution accelerators it was a complete breeze). Configuration is simple and the flexibility built into your design phase is great - if you want to design your compliance project based on balance sheet structure, you can do that. By account? Fine. By process type? Your choice.
Microsoft has promised a number of solution accelerators over the course of the year. The ones they have provided so far are pretty good - it will be interesting to see what else they come up with.
Friday, 26 March 2004
I have a real dilemma - the need for something now that doesn't quite exist. Nothing is more frustrating than being almost able to do what you need.
My company did an early adoption of OneNote and that vast majority of the Office System 2003 to include SharePoint, about which I have written here before. OneNote is a terrific, free-form note-taking program. Groundbreaking in terms of its combined application simplicity and ability to map to the complexity of an individual mind and organizational style. On top of that, it's designed in a way that lets people share their own individual notes and thoughts with others, and while everyone takes notes differently, it allows you to use the information others provide to you pretty easily and quickly.
Sidebar: I now take most all my notes electronically. I used to take 90% of my notes on paper, now its the other way around.
The headline mentions OneNote, SharePoint and Wikis. People who know all three pieces of software might be confused as to why I am thinking about them together. There's a reason for that. I have a request on my list (and have been looking into it for a few weeks now) to try to find a way to support what Wikis do so well on the SharePoint platform. I think we can get 90% of the way there, but that last 10% of missing functionality is a killer.
We run a software development company, and wikis are a great way to do free-form note-taking and documentation of necessary information: Where is the server farm on the network? Where is the build server? Who do I contact about the virtual machines? What are the latest notes from each of the ten developers on any given aspect of the current version? Wiki software solves this need, simply and gracefully. It allows you to collect information in a free-form mode like you might in OneNote, and to do so in a truly collaborative and shared way like you might do certain things on SharePoint. The only real “issue” (I hate that word) that I have with the Wiki is that its a separate tool, a completely separate system, and not integrated into the other technologies we're using at work today. That's not a completely bad thing, by the way, and use of our Wiki system is not something that we can or would even think about stopping, but when we have competing or overlapping technologies, I need to figure a way to try to make things work together, or to change what we have in order to provide and maintain all the necessary functionality.
I can't quite do what we need today, but here are the basic options:
- Use OneNote as the information collection and storage mechanism and require everyone to run OneNote in order to have access to the information. Share OneNote notebook (.one) files on a SharePoint server and turn the file-locking time down to one minute and hope that works for people who need to enter information at the same time. Not a viable option right now. I need something browser-based that can be accessed from any computer on the network, and which is truly multi-concurrent-user.
- Use SharePoint lists to try to replicate what the Wiki software does. I could probably make this happen, but the usability aspect of things would become a problem. I can't ask people to take a leap back in terms of the ease of sharing information in free-form, cross-linked, and all the other stuff the Wiki provides. Tried it, and in some cases it's acceptable, but in most cases it's (again) about 90% there.
- Change nothing, and have disparate information system with redundant information, which makes it hard for people to use them effectively. Most people will choose to use one or the other, but not both, for any given purpose. All users will not choose the same way, and sharing of information breaks down again becasue Group-A users Tool-Number-One and Group-B uses Tool-Number-Two to perform the same tasks and record the same types of information. Information becomes less cohesive, more fragmented, less usable.
Not really the options I am looking for there, but that's about what the situation looks like today. Now, nothing is really broken right now - we have systems and software that does what we want it to do. But integrating some of the functionality and making things a little more tightly built would not hurt anyone's feelings.
So, what do I want? Well, in a dream world:
- Change OneNote to output/read/use/consume/generate a standards-based file format so that it that can be used as a front end to any one of a number of systems. Let me do my thinking, writing and organizing in OneNote (which it's great at), and then let me publish it to anywhere I like, as a standards-based file set (it's not so good at this yet). In other words, don't break what you have now, but give me the additional abilities to “talk” in a standard XML format to web services, in clean HTML markup to some other system. Expose the API, and let me publish from OneNote directly to my Blog, to a SharePoint site/list/library, to the Wiki, etc.
- Build true Wiki functionality on top of/into SharePoint 2003 (Note: this version, not the next one). Yes, I know we could probably do this on our own if we put enough time and effort into it, and if it comes down to it, I may take a look at that possibility, but given my staffing situation I'd rather see someone else do it and then have them provide me the ability to adapt it the way I see fit. I certainly didn't write OneNote, SharePoint or our Wiki software (although our developer would have loved to change things at times), and I am not looking to build something from the ground up - I just want to be able to customize whatever solution comes up in order to meet our needs.
Anyhow, that's my wish list for at least a couple pieces of software that we already use today - Software that already meets needs, but which could be even better if the integration points were tighter. Office System 2003 did a great job of pulling a whole slew of different applications and servers together into one cohesive working unit, and I think my ideas are just an extension of that same model of design. I also believe they are in no way original ideas - Only our application of them would/might be original.
Monday, 15 March 2004
Jim Edelen points to Maxim Karopov's site where Maxim provides a very good description of what SharePoint is and how it's all broken down. At the end of the article there's also a good list of Sharepoint bloggers that have sites with interesting and decent content.
I have not blogged much about this technology in the past few months (in fact the last time I wrote about it was on my old blog), but we are in the end game of a SharePoint deployment and ramp-up at my company. I was involved in speaking at a few of the launch events last year, and we were an early adopter of much of the Office System in this latest version. It's been quite a ride. I'll try to remember to post some experiences here as we continue, but for the developer side of things, I will have to leave that up to Travis and others.
That reminds me - I am looking to hire a developer that knows ASP.net and specifically has some Sharepoint 2003 abilities. If anyone knows someone who happens to be in the Portland, Oregon area (or plans to be) who fits the bill, drop me a line at ghughes-AT-corillian.com (just reformat the email address of course ).
© Copyright 2006 Greg Hughes
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On this page
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