Friday, 18 May 2007

SharePoint 2007: Useful Customization Links

Enabling Drop-Down Menus in Team Sites

Link to access the master pages library (to upload your customized master page)


Calling SharePoint Web Services from JavaScript

Thursday, 17 May 2007

SharePoint 2007: Solving the List GUID Export Problem

In a previous post I blogged about the fact that when creating a custom DataSource using SharePoint Designer, the SelectParameters by default reference the ListId and then specifically the GUID. This creates a problem when exporting your customised page, since the ListId you reference will be lost and thus your DataSource will be practically useless.

Its seems that other people have been experiencing the same problem including Ishai who developed custom code to workaround the problem. In the same post, Donal mentioned that you can use the List Name rather than the Guid. This was obviously too much to resist, and I spent some time trying looking around to try and solve this problem. I came across this post SPDataSource and Rollups with the Data View. One of the comments said that besides the List Id you can also use the listname as a parameter to the Data Source. Therefore I modified my datasources such that they were similar to the below.

<SharePoint:SPDataSource runat="server" DataSourceMode="List" UseInternalName="true" selectcommand="<View></View>" id="Announcements1">
<WebPartPages:DataFormParameter Name="ListName" ParameterKey="ListName" PropertyName="ParameterValues" DefaultValue="Announcements"/>

<ParameterBinding Name="ListName" Location="None" DefaultValue="Announcements"/>

I saved the page, transferred it to another server which had the same lists, executed the page and voila! the problem was solved!

SharePoint 2007: Advanced Search Customisations (Link Dump)

These articles all say more or less the same thing, however some may be missing some steps, or may offer more details than others.
Note that although most of articles mention MOSS, I've found that this works with Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 too.

Ishai from SPSTips: How to Add Properties to advanced search in MOSS 2007

Adding Property Restrictions

MOSS Search Article
Interesting piece of information in this article:

For new column, you should select the column name without "ows_" prefix.
But for existing/built-in SharePoint column, you can select the column name with "ows_" prefix. Every built-in SharePoint colum has a crawled property and has the "ows_" prefix.

Advanced Search on your own metadata

Fixed Keyword Queries in your Search

and then customize the way the search results are displayed

If you have captured certain meta data which you would like to show in your search results this is the way to do it:
How to: Change the Properties Returned in the Core Search Results

SharePoint 2007: Calendar Web Part Limitations (and their workarounds)

Although the Calendar Web Part has improved since the previous version, there are still quite a few limitations in its implementation. After a few days of playing around mostly with Calendar webparts I have found the following problems. Thanks to comments in this post, we now also have workarounds for these problems.

Limitation 1

  • If you create a List View of the information in the calendar (e.g. you want to filter / group by a particular category column), you cannot use the Start Time / End Time columns as filters. This means that in this view you cannot have current information, unless you base your filter on the Created column.

  • The same goes for the Calendar View, which does not allow you to create a view which is filtered on the Start Time / End Time, though things here are better because you can scroll through the dates using the date scroller available by default.

Workaround 1:

Jared has indicated the following date filtering workaround using this tip:

Create a custom column was a Yes/No type which e.g. IsExpired. Then create a calculated field with the following formula

=IF([Today]>[End Time])After deleting the Today column.

Then create a filter in the custom view to show only rows with a value of No in IsExpired.

Limitation 2:

In the Calendar View Title, you can only publish the information from one column at a time, and there seems to be no way of providing further item details in the Calendar view (at least with the OOB Calendar).

    As can be seen, we can choose just one column, and thus we can have either Title
    or Location.

  • Web Part Connections are disabled for Calendar Views. You cannot create filters using connections to the Calendar view.
  • Although the Calendar can be connected to Outlook 2003, Outlook 2003 is only able to read information from a SharePoint Calendar. For two-way communication you need Outlook 2007.

Workaround 2:

Create a calculated column using whatever combination of the other fields and punctuation you like. e.g. [Title] & " at " & [Location] Then make that calculated column the Month View Title or Week View Title or whatever.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

SharePoint 2007: Understanding Master Pages and PlaceHolders (Link dump)

Office Online - Basic Site Customizations (a quick introduction to customizing pages)

SharePoint Pages - Page Anatomy
1. Master Page
2. Page Layout
3. Page
4. Web Part Zones
5. General Purpose Web Parts

Master Pages (Look and Feel)

Creating a Minimal Master Page Working with (and

Working with Master Pages

Base Master Page File

SharePoint Customization Ramp-Up
Part1 - Getting Started
Part2 - Initial Concepts
Part 3 - Basic Customization

Monday, 14 May 2007

SharePoint 2007: Using a Favicon.ico for your sites

A great post on creating favourite links for your SharePoint sites.

SharePoint 2007: Customizing and Branding SharePoint Portal Server and Windows SharePoint Services (Link Dump)

A few links of branding and customizing your SharePoint

MS WebCast:

Custom Chrome / Branding
Core Components vs Templates

How to rebrand the WSS 3.0 / MOSS Navigation with only CSS

6 post series for Branding by Tyler Butler :) The great thing about this post is that it states that:

"MOSS features should be leveraged as much as possible without writing custom code
It was important that I get as far as I could without writing code. I still did in a couple of cases (I can’t help it – I like writing code!), but I estimate 90% of my work was code-free (unless you count XSLT as code; I don’t)"

Planning and Basic Branding:

Building Content Types and Page Layouts

Customizing Content Query Styles

The Main Home Page and Migrating Content

Final Touches

What was Tough and What's To Come

MSDN Branding Articles
Customizing and Branding Web Content Management-Enabled SharePoint Sites (Part 1 of 3): Understanding Web Content Management and the Default Features

Customizing and Branding Web Content Management-Enabled SharePoint Sites (Part 2 of 3): Extending WCM

Customizing and Branding Web Content Management-Enabled SharePoint Sites (Part 3 of 3): Creating and Configuring WCM-Enabled Sites

Building using MOSS 2007

Thursday, 10 May 2007

SharePoint 2007: Creating a link to the Portal Home

When you have different site collections, you normally need to create a link to the Portal. To do this you just need to click on the Site Settings of the Current Site Collection and find Portal Site Connection under the Site Collection Administration. Here you enter the name to give to the link and the url of the portal.

For My Sites, you should go to your _layouts/settings.aspx page located at http://Portal/MySite/_layouts/settings.aspx (or replace /MySite with the URL of your My Sites Site Collection), and create a Portal Site Connection from that page. My Sites will then have a link to Portal too.

Google Analytics Becomes Even Better!

Google Analytics Blog: New Version of Google Analytics!

I've already blogged about the Google Tools I love. This has now become even better than it was. With all the information you need available at immediately on a number of dashboards.

Once drawback with the old interface is that you had to dig a bit deeply to arrive to the required information. Now all the information is available at a glance.

If you still haven't used it, you should definetely give it a try. You'll defintely have a good run for your money :P (since it absolutely free :)

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

SharePoint 2007: Keep all your templates in a common Document Library

Document based Content Types are a nice way of creating document templates in Document Libraries.

Creating Templates

  • Site Actions > Site Settings > Site Content Types
  • Create a new Document based Content Type
  • Go to the Advanced Settings

Here there are two ways in which you can upload a document template:

  1. Upload a new document template - this has a disadvantage that when if you would want to change the template you would have to find the Site Content Type and upload a new document. This is not a very user-friendly approach.
  2. Enter the URL of an existing document template - what you should be doing is create an "Administration" with access to a few select users / groups. In this site create a Document Templates document library. Any document templates you need should go in here (Example MeetingAgendaTemplate.doc). Once you have uploaded your document template, copy its URL and put this in the Advanced Settings of the Site Content Type for your template.

With this approach, if a template changes you just guide your users to change the template in the Document Templates library. Since your content type is reading from this library, the new template will now be used automatically.

You should then take the necessary precautions to not allow users to change this document library unintentionally, such as hiding it from search results and assigning the appropriate permissions.

Monday, 7 May 2007

SharePoint 2007: DataViews - the best most flexible SharePoint toy (and how to solve rich text field HTML problems)

I have recently discovered the wonder that is a Data View web part. This web part is an invaluable tool in creating different views of data in your sites (or from external sources).

One of the things I have used it for is to display data from two list linked via a lookup. There are tons of pages on Data Views.

One of the weird things I found with the Data View was that when I tried to display data from a Rich Text field (containing rich formatting) I got a number or <div> and other HTML characters, which obviously were very unsightly.

To remove these, in SharePoint Designer I found the <xsl:value-of select="@your rich text field"> for the column and added the disable-output-escaping="yes" tag to it i.e.


<xsl:value-of select="@your rich text field">


<xsl:value-of select="@your rich text field" escaping="yes">

Friday, 4 May 2007

SharePoint 2007: Becoming Administrator of Entire Web Application

Becoming Administrator of Entire Web Application

  • You can choose to set a number of policies for each web application including setting the administrators (group) as having Full Access, thus becoming administrator of the entire web applications.
  • Go to SharePoint Central Administration > Application Management
    Under Application Security click on Policy for Web Application > Add Users
  • Confirm your settings on the screen (defaults should be what you want) and click Next
  • Now enter your user or group of users
  • Click the box beside Full Control – Has full control (or the policy which you want to apply to that group) and Click Finish.

Cheers to Shane :)

SharePoint 2007: Link dump

Unhiding and hiding content types

SharePoint Lists from Reporting Services

Customizing the Content Query Web Part

Data View Tips from Mark Kruger

Create a view that shows all announcements in the site collection
CrossList Mode - query for items across multiple lists in multiple Web sites in the same site collection e.g. “show all tasks that are due today”, “show all documents created by me in the site collection”, or “show all announcements in the site collection”.

SharePoint Security

Debugging SharePoint

Customise SharePoint Style Sheets

Hiding the Quick Launch

Custom 404 Error Pages

Editing Pages with SharePoint Designer

Technet Virtual Labs - get your hands dirty for free

SharePoint Logical Architecture Design

Installing MOSS Successfuly

SharePoint 2007: Changing the required Title field in SharePoint Lists

Have you ever been flustered and frustrated about the fact that you have to always use the Title in a SharePoint List item?!

Looks like this can be changed from the Item Site Content Type (Site Actions > Site Settings > Site Content > Site Content Types > (List Content Types) > Item > Title and then change to Optional / Hidden or what you require. I honestly don't know the consequnces of changing this to optional / hidden so handle with care and I haven't tried but will probably check it out in the future (probably set it to not required before I start creating new lists. This would give me the flexibility to choose whether or not to require the Title field in a List.