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Sharepoint Development Tools

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Sharepoint Development Tools

I was sent a link to this list of Sharepoint development tools.  Some of them look useful although some of the commercial ones seem very pricy for what they do.  I don’t mind paying for tools but when i do I do expect them to be worth what I paid.  I suspect that for many of them it’s a case of the potential market is so small that they have the charge a lot to finance the development effort, others I feel have set the price too high so are dissuading many customers from buying.  As this is software that is downloaded the margin cost of selling one more item is so close to zero as to make no odds.  It comes down to would you rather get $100 from 1 customer or $1.50 each from 100 customers?  This is particularly acute where there are free tools available that are just as good, nearly as good or even better than the commercial tools.  When you’re competing with free you’d better be really good.


Written by stephenboothuk

April 24, 2013 at 6:07 pm

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List of top Sharepoint blogs

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List of top Sharepoint blogs

Collaboris have posted a crowdsourced list of top Sharepoint blogs.  I recognised a few from my own researches, although, I must admit there not really any blogs I visit when I’m looking for help.  I just Google whatever it is I need to find out and follow the links I get from there. Often the results are blogs but it’s the searchign that is useful, not a particular blog.

Written by stephenboothuk

April 24, 2013 at 5:55 pm

2012 in review

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The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,700 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 6 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Written by stephenboothuk

December 31, 2012 at 3:26 am

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WSS 3.0 – Site too large to export to template

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We need to export one of our WSS 3.0 sites to a template, just the site structure, not the content.  When we tried to do this Sharepoint said that as the site template would be over 10MB (the site has a lot of customer ASPX pages, graphical buttons and graphical alerters in it) we couldn’t do this.  Not good!  I spoke to our .NET developer who pointed me to a description of how to extend the limit using STSADM.  We don’t host the server ourselves (for historical reasons, we inherited it from a customer, so we do site development, add and remove users and are the first point of contact whilst the hosting company do the backend stuff) so I’ve flagged it up to the hosting company to ask them to extend the limit so we can export the site template.

Written by stephenboothuk

November 23, 2012 at 6:20 pm

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WSS 3.0 (aka Sharepoint 2007), modified date of folder content changes when folder renamed for second time

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One of our users reported an issue to us yesterday which seems quite strange.  If you rename a folder once the modified dates of the contents of that folder do not change, as you would expect.  If, however, you then rename the folder a second time in the same day the modified dates of all the contents of that folder (including subfolders and their contents) changes to the date and time of the modification.  I’ve done some looking around and haven’t yet been able to find anyone else reporting this issue (renaming a folder twice in one day is probably not something that happens all that often).

The really strange thing is that if you rename the folder a third time the modified date of the contents does not change, but on the fourth it will.

Written by stephenboothuk

September 20, 2012 at 10:21 am

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Book on migration from 2007 to 2010

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Got “Pro SharePoint Migration: Moving from MOSS 2007 to Sharepoint Server 2010” yesterday.  So far I’m up to page 12.

Written by stephenboothuk

July 16, 2012 at 2:32 pm

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Migrate Sharepoint (WSS 3.0 to Sharepoint 2010) version and move location at the same time

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I’m currently trying to work out the best way to deal with an upcoming project, community input would be most welcomed.  We have a WSS 3.0 (aka Sharepoint 2007) site collection currently being hosted by a remote company.  Our only access to this server is via the internet.  Authentication is via an AD domain on the hosting company site run by them.  We have a custom page to add users to the domain and another to reset passwords but no direct access to the domain.  We have to move off WSS 3.0 to Sharepoint 2010 by next May and it has been suggested that we host it on one of our Sharepoint 2010 servers.  We do not have any WSS 3.0 servers on site, the hosting company do have Sharepoint 2010 servers on their site.  Total size of the collection is approximately 250GB and 700 users.  Whilst we run and support  Sharepoint 2010 all the sites we have on it are created from scratch so we’ve never done an upgrade

I see three possible ways forward here:

  1. Get the hosting company to upgrade the site collection on their site and leave it there.
  2. Get the hosting company to upgrade the site collection on their site and then export the collection.  We then import the collection onto our Sharepoint 2010 server
  3. Get the hosting company to export the site collection.  We set up a WSS 3.0 server and import the site collection.  We perform the upgrade on site.

Option 1 would, I think, be easiest as the new server can be pointed the same domain so we won’t have to recreate users or migrate them across domains.  As far as the user is concerned there might be some changes to the appearence of some pages (we’d continue to use the default.master master page, which we do on an number of our existing Sharepoint 2010 sites, but have found that there are some minor differences) and recreate their alerts, we can even point the same URL to the new server when we cut over.  I think whether we can take this option will depend on how much our hosting providor charges us (both for the upgrade and the ongoing hosting costs).

Option 2 would avoid the issue of us having to do the upgrade but mean that we would have to host our own AD server and migrate the users onto that or link the server to our existing domain and match the users on Sharepoint up to that.  We’d have to consider the additional cost of setting up the new AD vs the ongoing hosting costs at the providor.

Option 3 is the worst of the lot.  This is the only WSS3.0 site we have to migrate so any skills gained are not likely to be used again and we’d have to create a new AD domain.

The sites do have a limited life, they are used by some large transformation programmes which will be winding down in the next couple of years.  At that point the sites’ contents will be copied to shared network drives for archiving.

I’ve also posted this question at EggHead Cafe.

Written by stephenboothuk

July 10, 2012 at 2:40 pm

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Checking Workflow status from within another workflow

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Found this useful looking blog post on what the different return values mean when you check ont he status of another workflow from within a workflow.  Handy if you have coupled workflows or you want a workflow to only run if a prior workflow has completed.

Written by stephenboothuk

July 9, 2012 at 12:35 pm

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Date comparison sometimes uses previous day!

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We have a list which contains a number of date fields, in a dataview connection tot hat list we are using conditional formatting to show/hide alerters depending on if the date has past.  This is on WSS 3.0 and the alerters with their conditional formatting were added using sharepoint designer 2007.  The users reported that sometimes the alterter for overdue (i.e. the date had passed) was appearing a day early.

The XSL inserted by SPD to impklement the conditional formatting is:

<xsl:if test="normalize-space(@STATUS_x0020_FOR_x0020_DASHBOARD) = 'Start Date' and number(translate(substring-before(@Planned_x0020_Start_x0020_Date,'T'),'-','')) > number(translate(substring-before($Today,'T'),'-',''))"><img alt="" src="taxi graphics/Greentick[1].gif" width="16" height="16" /></xsl:if>
<xsl:if test="number(translate(substring-before(@Planned_x0020_Start_x0020_Date,'T'),'-','')) <= number(translate(substring-before($Today,'T'),'-','')) and normalize-space(@STATUS_x0020_FOR_x0020_DASHBOARD) = 'Start Date'"><img alt="" src="taxi graphics/redcross[1].gif" width="16" height="16" /></xsl:if>
<xsl:if test="normalize-space(@STATUS_x0020_FOR_x0020_DASHBOARD) != 'Start Date'"><img alt="" src="taxi graphics/gray tri.jpg" width="10" height="9" /></xsl:if>

We’ve found that in some cases the truncate on the Planned_x0020_Start_x0020_Date field returns the date of the day before the actual date recorded (so for 15-Jun-12 it returns 20120611 rarther than 20120615).

I’ve posted a question about this on EggheadCafe.

Written by stephenboothuk

June 20, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Drill up but not down

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In Sharepoint 2010 Designer (SPD) once you’ve inserted a dataview you can also insert a Related Item View (another data view which is linked to the first by lookup fields).  Unfortunately it seems you can only drill up,  not down.

Suppose you have three lists: ListA, ListB and ListC.  ListB has a field which is a lookup on ListC and ListA has a field which is a lookup on ListB.  If  you put a dataview based on ListB on a page you can insert a Related Item view to link to related items on ListA (i.e. drill up) but not on ListC (i.e. drill down).  If you have ListA as the source of your dataview then you cannot insert a Related Item view, if you use ListC then you can drill up to ListB.

We discovered this on a site where we have Business Areas that use Applications which are based on Technologies.  These map to ListA through C in the above, there is a many-many link between these lists (some Technologies are used by multiple Applications and some Applications are used in multiple Business Areas).  From the Technologies list we can drill up to the Applications list (which applications use this Technology) and from the Applications list we can drill up to the Business Areas (which Business Areas use this Application), but not the other way.  The problem we have is that management want to have alerters for Applications which use Technologies that are approaching their end of support date.  this would be possible if there was a one to many join (one technology is used by multiple applications but each Application uses only one Technology) but not with a many to many or with Related Item view.

Written by stephenboothuk

February 21, 2012 at 4:38 pm

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