Sharepoint By Dummies

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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.

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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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Displaying ‘Unknown’ in a date field when date isn’t known

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We have a site on Sharepoint 2010 where some of the lists have a date field but the correct value for that field isn’t known for some records.  Because of the nature of the users we do need to display something in that field even if it’s known.  This field has to be a date as it’s used in date comparisons and arithmatic (e.g. filter for when a date is past or within 12 months and apply alerters depending on if it’s passed, in the near future or further in the future) so we can’t insert the string ‘Unknown’.  We do also need, again due to the nature of someof the users, to display a meaningful string in the views, i.e. the string ‘Unknown’.

The workarouind we’ve come up with is to specify that unknown dates will be recorded as 01/01/1900 (this date will never legitmately be recorded in this sytem as an actual date) and set that as the default.  The users who will be entering data are more techie and will be instructed to use that date to mark unknown dates.  In the views that will be accessed by the non-techie users we inserted the string ‘Unknown’ into the table cell just after the data field.  Then we selected the data field and set coinditional formatting to hide it when the value is 01/01/1900, finally we selected the string ‘Unknown’ and set conditional formatting to show it when the value is 01/01/1900.  If the date is a known date it will then display the date, if it’s unknown (so set to 01/01/1900) it displays ‘Unknown’.

Not perfect but it does the job.

Written by stephenboothuk

February 14, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Fields show in Datasource for columns but not in filter dialogue

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Got handed a wierd issue this morning.  One of my colleagues had created a pair of .aspx pages each containingthe same set set of dataviews.  Each page displayed the same set of views but filtered by a different field (one by project the other by service area, the filter value being passed via a paramter in the URL, the service area page was a straight copy of the project page with just the field that was being filteredon being changed).

The project page worked fine, as did most of the dataviews on the Service Area page.  There were a couple of dataviews on the Service Area page where it was possible to insert the Service Area column into the dataview fore display but it (along with a number of other columns) did not appear in the filter dialogue.  This got passed to me to resolve.

I tried refereshign the datasources, to no avail.  I checked the XSL, seemed fine.  Similarly the lists seemed fine and the other dataviews on the page seemed fine.

To resolve the issue I located the filter line in the code and manaually changed the field name from the project column to the service area column.  This resolved the issue and then not only did the service area field appear in the filter dialogue but so did all the others that had previously been missing!

Searching the web for this problem returned no useful hits.

This was WSS 3.0 (aka Sharepoint 2007) and Sharepoint Designer 2007.

Written by stephenboothuk

January 13, 2012 at 1:55 pm

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Authorisations on Sharepoint 2010

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On one of our SP2010 sites we have a requirement for users to be able to add items to a list, view items they and others have created and to edit items they and others have created, but not delete any items whether they created them or not.  For this purpose we have created a custom permissions level (“Edit (No Delete)”) with the following:

  • Add Items
  • Edit Items
  • View Items
  • Open Items
  • View Versions
  • Create Alerts
  • View Application Pages

Basically  the Contribute permissions level with Delete Items and Delete Versions removed.

This was assigned to a group (along with the Read and Limited Access permission levels,  LA is aded by default when we create a group).  We then added the users to the group.  We’re finding that some users can work on the list fine whilst others can only view and add items.  Our attempts to resolve this are hampered by the fact that we haven’t really had any training in SP2010 authorisations and the dearth of meaningful documentation on the web about it.

Written by stephenboothuk

November 10, 2011 at 12:28 pm

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Changing SP2010 site to WSS3.0 template

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Sometimes when you’re running a Sharepoint 2010 site you want it to look like a WSS3.0 (aka Sharepoint 2007) site.  For example, one of my colleagues wanted to do this because the customer was still on Internet Explorer 6 and if they tried to use a site with the Sharepoint 2010 appearence it didn’t work, by switching it to the WSS3.0 look made it work.

It’s actually quite simple to make this change.  Open the site in Sharepoint Designer and go to the Master Pages folder.  There should be 3 files: default.master,  minimal.master and v4.master.  Sharepoint 2010 is infact basically WSS 4.0 so the default master page is v4.master.  To use the WSS3.0 template just right click on default.master and select set as default.  You will get a message box warning you that you are changing to a version 3 site and asking if you want to go ahead.  If you select to go ahead and then open up your site in the browser you will see that it now looks like WSS3.0.

You do obviously lose some functionality by doing this,  anything to do with the ribbon being the most obvious, and some SP2010 functionality does leak through (the  ‘Site Actions’  menu is slightly different to WSS3.0) but it’s pretty close.  If you do need to use functionality accessible only from the ribbon then you can easily switch back to the SP2010 template by right clicking on the v4.master file and settign as default then when you’re done change back to default.master.

Written by stephenboothuk

October 11, 2011 at 10:05 am

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