Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tips from MindSharp SharePoint Developer Training

My Coworkers and I recently attended a private MindSharp SharePoint Developer training with Todd Bleaker in Salt Lake City, UT.
Todd has provided us with an unbelievable amount of information to help us work better with WSS. I have tried to capture some bits of the training that I think all developers might benefit from.

First and foremost, purchase Todd's book Developer's Guide to Windows SharePoint Sevices 3.0. The book really helps to understand the various intricacies in WSS 3.0 and helps developers become more efficient through the Object Model.

I will being posting a series of articles over the next few days/weeks contained "best of" hints and tips from the following areas:
  • Authentication
  • Authorization
  • Features
  • Site Definitions
  • Object Model
  • WSS v3 Web Services
  • Web Parts Fundamentals
Stay tuned...

Friday, December 07, 2007

Monday, December 03, 2007

Gmail and Better Gmail 2

If you are like me and are constantly using Gmail, has released a new version of Better Gmail that customizes Gmail in FireFox.
Check it out...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Restricting Available Templates in MOSS07

This is a great instructional post on hiding site templates so users cannot create sites with unapproved templates. This will aid a lot of IT shops in maintaining a consistent look and feel in the corporate portals.

Nice job Eli.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

HOW TO: Create a secondary workflow

How to article on Office Online about how to create a secondary workflow based on the primary workflow.

HOW TO:Assign a form to a group in a workflow

Assign a form to a group in a workflow

Another good article for the beginning SharePoint developer. The article describes how to have a workflow collect data from certain users during the workflow process.

HOW TO: Collect data from a user in a workflow

Decent article from Office Online on collecting data from a user during a work flow.

Debugging from the GAC

Good article on debugging an assembly in the GAC.

SharePoint Performance in Remote Offices

Mauro posted a good article with a link to a CodePlex tool called CopyTimer that can help admins collect metrics on connections, speed and latency to remote offices for SharePoint.


Use Conditional Formatting in Data Views based on User Security Permissions

Ben has posted a great article on how to conditionally format rows in data views based on user permissions. This is a great way to implement security trimming within your DataViews.


Create Custom E-mail Alert Templates for SharePoint Workflows

Ben McCormack has posted a great article and tool on his blog that lets SharePoint admins and developers create a custom email alert template. As we have all seen, the stock alert template in SharePoint is plain vanilla. With Ben's tool, it is simple to brand your SharePoint emails in the same look and feel as your server. Branding is the name of the game...

Article: Create Custom E-mail Alert Templates for SharePoint Workflows

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Free Disaster Recovery options for SharePoint

Todd Klindt has written an excellent disaster recovery article for SharePoint. Free is a great thing too. Management is always adverse to spending money and using some of the tips from Todd's article will definitely assist admins who need to recover the documents a CEO accidentally deleted while using their BlackBerry.

Nice job Todd.

Free Disaster Recovery options for SharePoint Article

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Recommendations for SharePoint Application Pool Settings

Joel Oleson explores the ins and outs of app pools. This is a great post for programmers who want quick, concise tips and tricks for managing app pools.

Check out his post here .

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Question: Calculated Column using Lookup Column, Text Column and Me

So I posted this question in the SharePoint Developers newsgroup this morning and there has not been any activity on it. I thought I might post the question in my blog since, 1) it's my blog and 2) if an answer can be found, I will make sure to post an update here for others to have access to it. I may use one of my MSDN Incident cases that comes with MSDN Universal subs to see if MSFT can help.

We want to create a calculated column for a calendar that would look like this:

=CurrentUser (single line text colum with default value of [Me] + "-" +
Selected Value from Absence Type Dropdown - lookup from another list +
Selected Value from Location Dropdown - lookup from another list

We have been search high and low for a way to do this with no avail. Is
there a way you can retrieve the selected value of a dropdown for use in a
calculated field??


UPDATE: (08 OCT 2007, 0835) The consensus answer to my question was create an ItemAdded/Updated event handler. Check out my next post on the ins and outs of building and deploying event handlers that I have discovered.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Clicky - Web 2.0 Analytics Made Easy

I am really impressed with the functionality on this site. Clicky really accels in creating a usable UI for metrics. One of its very cool features is a Spy can view in almost realtime what people are clicking on in your site. Clicky's dashboard (your default view of the information) is customizable so you get just the information you need right away.

Clicky has both a javascript and non-javascript implementation making it extremely easy to install.

If you are in the market for a metrics tool for your blog or website, take a look at Clicky by clicking on the graphic below.

Link: Cool CAML Tool

Here is a link to CAML.Net on CodePlex. This is a great tool that really makes working with CAML much easier. Check it out.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Sync 2 Outlooks, WM5 Phone, and Google Calendars

I have been searching for a while for an application that would let me sync my Outlook calendar at home, my Exchange calendar at work, my google calendar and my phone. Today I found and I have to say that their service, which is FREE, is my silver bullet.

Using SyncML, has let me keep all of my calendars synced up.

Go check them out.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I'm going to MindSharp SharePoint Administrator Training

Well I just got confirmation I will be attending a week of private SharePoint Administrator training with the folks from MindSharp. This should be a very interesting week and I hope to learn a ton about the nuances of being an admin for SharePoint. Next up....Developer training. If you have been fortunate enough to attend one of their training sessions, please leave me a comment on your overall thoughts about it.

Check out their public course syllabus.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

My Pirate Name

Take the quiz...
What was your pirate name? Leave me a comment and let me know.

List Calculated Columns and Reserved Columns

I am in a bit of a MOSS 2007 research mode again. I have bee tasked with creating a report system that will keep track of when a senior official is on vacation or a business trip. Great - we found the Microsoft Attendance and Absence template and it basically has everything I need in it. But wait...The calendar view leaves something to be desired. We want to show the user - Leave type - and where to on the calendar.

My first thought was calculated field based on other columns in the list. We there is a restriction to the field value I am not able to use the Created By field as one of its data elements. I have been looking around google to the past two days with no luck.

If you have any ideas/advice, please send them my way.

UPDATE: Another blogger, Paul Galvin, helped me figure out a solution to this. Check out his blog for the solution.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

New Zealand's All Blacks Rugby Team Ritual

Arguably one of the best rugby teams in the world, the All Blacks show a bit of intimidation with an All Blacks HAKA ritual lead by team captain Tana Umaga.

View Video - SFW

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Developer's Utility Belt

This has to be one of the most complete lists of utilities for a developer I have ever seen. Nice Job Scott.


Technology Choice: Bleeding Edge, Cutting Edge or Proven

I engage in this sort of discussion so often with my clients. Clients hear buzz words and naturally gravitate towards the technology associated.

I have found that being honest with a client will develop more of a relationship than delivering a product based on their lack of understanding towards a technology and having said product fall short of expectations.

This article by Eli Robillard does a nice job summing up the use of Wiki, Database and SharePoint in the information storage category.

Internal Column Names in MOSS 2007

This is a good article outlining the need to know the internal name of a column in a SharePoint list. This info is invaluable when dealing with CAML.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

MOSS 2007 End User Material from MSFT

This article was posted to the SharePoint Team blog a couple of days ago...

"These simple, easy-to-use customizable job aids were created by Microsoft's internal IT group to help employees get started with learning more about using a technology or product effectively, selecting the right product or service, or reviewing best practices."


Application Development on MOSS 2007 and WSS v3

Great article from Chris Johnson on Application development on MOSS 2007 and WSS V3 environment, the topics covered include:

  • Custom built Web Parts
  • A “_layouts” application (see below for what this is)
  • App built using User Controls & Son of SmartPart
  • ASPX single-page creation for inclusion in MOSS 2007

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Emoze Free Email Push Software for GMAIL!

Emoze has introduced what Windows Mobile 5.0 severly lacks...push email service for one of the internet's biggest email systems - GMAIL. This service, which is FREE by the way, should give BlackBerry heartburn if they can get some traction.
Emoze turns mobile phones and mobile devices in to fully functional personal communication devices with a single, simple and free download for the individual user. It delivers real-time, secure synchronization of emails, calendars, contacts and tasks - pushing data and updates to you anytime, anywhere. Emoze supports all popular email data sources (e.g. Lotus Notes and Domino Servers, Microsoft Outlook and Exchange, , PoP3 and Web-Access) and mobile device operating systems, and provides a simple user interface and high level security for emails and data.
Download Emoze Today Free!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Using SSRS/SSIS to Report on SharePoint Data

Good information...we are often asked for reports o our portal.

"To effectively report on SharePoint data using SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) you must copy the data into SQL Server using SSIS. Unfortunately, SharePoint out of the box does not have a solution for reporting on its own data other than configuring list views or building data views. Building a reporting database gives developers a powerful toolkit for building high-performance reports while off-loading the burden of report processing from SharePoint. "

Monday, August 20, 2007

Searching SharePoint Sites from the IE7 Search Bar

Another great article by Tony Zink...this is a great idea for corporate intranets using IE7 and SPSS 2007.
Article excerpt:
Searching SharePoint Sites from the IE7 Search Bar

For those of you who have made the upgrade to Internet Explorer 7 (IE7), you probably have some likes and dislikes regarding the tabbed browsing feature, new security features, and the menus / toolbars / buttons layout. One of the interesting new features, however, is the search bar, which allows you to use a number of search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, and Windows Live Search… without the need to navigate directly to their sites.

But what about your corporate intranet… more specifically, what about your SharePoint environment? IE7 not only allows you to select from a list of major search engines, but it also allows you to add your own search provider. Since SharePoint has an internal search engine, why not add that to our list of IE7 search providers, making it easier for us to search for organizational artifacts… right from our IE7 search bar?

Here's how…Searching SharePoint Sites from the IE7 Search Bar

How to Create a MOSS 2007 VPC Image: The Whole 9 Yards

This is a well-written, very detailed article by Tony Zink on building a VPC MOSS 2007 image. Tony does what Microsoft has not in outlining the steps to build a great development MOSS 2007 image. He even includes screenshots on every step...nice job Tony.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Development Tools and Techniques for Working with Code in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 - 2 Part Series

MSDN Article by Patrick Tisseghem

Summary: Learn the skills you need to develop for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, about the differences from traditional ASP.NET development, about the required development environment, and the steps to build a Windows SharePoint Services solution with Visual Studio 2005 Extensions for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0. This article is part 1 of 2. (33 printed pages)

Here's the link for Part 1:

Here's the link for Part 2:

How to filter a SharePoint list or library by workflow (approval) status

Interesting article on workflow approval status filtering.

Recently I had a client who wanted to show only "Approved" documents (i.e. documents that had been through the built-in Approval workflow) on a site's home page. When I tried to set up the filter, setting the [Workflow Status] field to Approved, the filter returned no results. As it turns out, workflow status is stored as a numeric value.

The values are as follows:
In Progress - 2

Complete - 5

Canceled - 15

Approved - 16

Rejected - 17

The view filter needs to look like this:

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Blogger, Robots.txt and Google SiteMaps

Finally ran across a snippet of info that helped me put a sitemap in Google Webmaster Tools for my blog...go check it out.

SQL Server 2005: Importing from Excel error

I found this blog post the other day during another search...interesting thing is I ran into this exact issue 6 months ago and was not able to figure out the problem - too bad i did not see this sooner.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Help: Backfilling data into a Sharepoint List

One of my current requirements is to load data from a legacy system into a SharePoint list. There is not too much on the web for doing this...any link/resources would be much appreciated.

Sync Your Database to SharePoint Using SSIS

Great article...we ahve been struggling with this for some time.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Making Oil From Shale

It seems that Shell Oil has been testing a new method of producing oil that might threaten the choke hold the Middle East oil cartels have. With gas prices at unprecedented highs, it would be great to sever some of the dependencies we have on the Middle East oil and bring it back home.

Go Shell!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Query and Reset Terminal Services Sessions Remotely

My users routinely abandon RDP sessions and i am locked out from getting into the server...I could use another server to check the status of the first one. As long as the logged in user has administrative rights on the non-accessible machine we can do this:

qwinsta /server:servername


> qwinsta /server:Blackjack
console 0 Conn wdcon
rdp-tcp 65536 Listen rdpwd
rdp-tcp#70 Tim 1 Active rdpwd
rdp-tcp#75 Ron 2 Discon rdpwd

Ron's session is disconnection as the status tells us. To terminate Ron's session I would type this:

rwinsta /server:Blackjack 2

The commands stand for:

qwinsta = Query WINdows STAtion
rwinsta = Reset WINdows STAtion

Monday, March 19, 2007

Kelly at A Yoga Coffee Outlook is giving away a Zune MP3 Player

This one is for bloggers only, you have to post on your blog that she is giving it away according to her specifications. If you don’t have a blog, go to and set one up in about five minutes or less.The Zune is the new media player from Microsoft, it is a 30GB model, and it is worth like $230 right now. She is holding this giveaway until July 1, so you have plenty of time to sign up.

The link to her blog is below…

Good luck.

Friday, March 16, 2007

D SLR Camera Choice

Ok - I am interested to hear from everyone as to your thoughts on a DSLR camera. I am considering the Nikon D80 or the Canon EOS Rebel XTi. I want a camera that will grow as my girls get older and can accomidate the sports and other activities we have. One of the features I want is a camera that can take multiple pictures quickly holding down the shutter button. Does anyone have any suggestions? TIA!