sharepoinTony

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Archive for the ‘SharePoint 2007’ Category

“New Item Added” Alert not working

Posted by sharepoinTony on July 23, 2010

I hope there is a happy ending to this story, I will update it when I find out. [Updated 7/26/2010]

Here is the situation

MOSS 2007, Alerts set on a Survey list.  Users complain that although they have set up Alert Me to tell them when a New Item is Added they are not getting the email alert.

I setup my own Alerts to test behavior, here is the run down:

  • Creating an Alert produces the “successfully create an alert” email message
  • Changing an item produces the item “has been changed” alert email message
  • Deleting an item produces the item “has been deleted” alert email message
  • Creating a new item DOES NOT produce the “New item added” alert email
  • Alerts on other lists in same site behave normally (all Alerts work as expected)

Some of the things I have done to troubleshoot/resolve this behavior:

  • Restarted the Timer service
  • Verified the Timer service was running
  • Checked the Timer Status in Central Administration – everything Successful and 100%
  • Checked the properties:

STSADM -o getproperty -url http://YourSiteURL -pn alerts-enabled
STSADM -o getproperty -url http://YourSiteURL–pn job-immediate-alerts

  • Re-registered the Alert Templates

stsadm -o updatealerttemplates -url http://YourSiteURL -f “c:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\TEMPLATE\XML\alerttemplates.xml” -LCID 1033

Behavior after Re-registering the Alert Templates – same as before re-registering, ugh.

Decided to test more alerts on other sites, ah-ha!

  • Other sites in the collection with lists using Alerts behave as expected – “New Item Added” Alert works!

So what do we have?  Behavior is localized to this survey and only impacts New Item Alerts.  Wait, that sentence made me verify…other survey’s behave the same way!  So the problem is not with that “list” it is a problem for all survey’s.

Workaround’s

One workaround that was plausible was to create a workflow to send notifications when new items are created.  This seemed plausible only because in this situation, the users had already requested assistance creating an approval workflow for this survey.   I decided to do a quick test by setting up an approval workflow.  The workflow fails to start.

Following this trail actually helped me get to the bottom of all of this.  I finally came across this Microsoft support article explains how “starting a workflow from a survey response is not supported in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0” – and the article  “Applies To” MOSS 2007 as well.

That lead me to some blogs saying that Microsoft does not support “New item added” Alerts on SharePoint Survey’s in WSS 3.0 or MOSS 2007.   These blog postings were older, so I wanted to find either ‘new’ postings or something that I could consider more reliable.  After searching further I found a hotfix mentioning this behavior – KB983307 Description of the SharePoint Server 2007 hotfix package (sts-x-none.msp): June 29, 2010.

Resolution

What have we learned?

  1. The Alert behavior is a known problem in WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007; there is a fix, but you will want to review that material and make a decision regarding installing it in your environment or not.
  2. Workflows are not supported for SharePoint Survey’s for WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007, so keep that in mind to avoid the obvious issues and let your users know that they shouldn’t create Survey’s if they want to eventually attach a workflow.

Epilog (of sorts)

Using Alerts to notify people of Changes to items in Survey’s does work, however you should evaluate what you are trying to accomplish and choose the best tool.  Survey’s are quick and easy to build, so make use of this nice tool built-in to SharePoint when you need it…just be aware of the potential pros and cons associated with using them.

Posted in Alerts, Lists, SharePoint 2007, Survey, Workflow | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Resetting Colleagues in MySites

Posted by sharepoinTony on July 9, 2010

I have 4 posts in draft and continue to run out of time to complete them, so to combat that situation I am going to do a very quick post today.

We have My Sites enabled in our SharePoint 2007 intranet.  We also have a number of remote employees who rarely login to the network and have never gone to their My Site.  Internally, the My Sites are often used to find reporting relationships, colleagues and contact information.  In our environment “colleagues” are primarily co-workers in the same department…with exceptions for cross-department teams.  Employees can easily  add or remove colleagues in their My Site Profile page.

HR came to me today because one  person changed roles and the profile page shows colleagues for this person that are no longer considered colleagues.  The person is remote, has not gone to My Sites and will likely not do so, possibly ever.  HR wants to know if I can update the colleagues displayed for this person.

As a SharePoint Administrator, I cannot manage a My Site that the user has not ‘created’ .  That is, when anyone clicks on the name of a valid user they are taken to a My Site page…however if the user hasn’t created their My Site yet, this page is a profile page that SharePoint generates and it is NOT a site.  So I can’t edit the site.

After some digging around I found the answer.  There is no UI or SSP menu that will allow you to do this in 2007…it requires coding a tiny application that uses the UserProfileService web service.  The forum article that really answered this question can be found on TechNet, and sample code doing this is available on MSDN.  I hope this helps shorten someone’s research effort that may have a similar situation arise.

Posted in SharePoint 2007, User Profiles | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Editing a User’s Profile

Posted by sharepoinTony on June 10, 2010

OK so you have MySites enabled and all has been going along well enough.  Then you have a user who decides it would be funny to put a, shall we say “funny”, picture  up as their profile picture right before they skip out of town on vacation.

HR wants that photo changed now, no waiting for the rascal to return from vacation.   Here are the down and dirty steps to rectify the situation:

  1. Identify a photo you want to use to replace the rogue image
  2. I chose to upload it to the Site Collection Images library, you just need to place it somewhere that can be accessed via a URL
  3. Capture the URL, Right-click, Copy Shortcut works well
  4. Skedaddle over to your SSP and login as an admin
  5. Go to User Profile and Properties
  6. Scroll around and find the funny user
  7. Right-click and select Edit
  8. Scroll down to the Picture property & overwrite with the saved URL from step 3
  9. Click Save and Close
  10. Act like this was very hard work that took lots of technical experience to successfully accomplish

Wasn’t that fun?  Obviously you can edit any of the profile properties this way if needed. Now get back to work.

Posted in Profile Properties, SharePoint 2007 | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

SharePoint Conference “season” never ends

Posted by sharepoinTony on June 9, 2010

If your new to SharePoint, or have been working with it for awhile, you should notice that there are lots of conferences and events.  This is a good thing, actually it is a great thing for the community.  Variety and options are always good and in this case essential to bring information to the large and growing crowd of organizations using SharePoint.  If you are trying to choose a conference, often the options are overwhelming.  I know, I have been there.  I wanted to go to all of them and not miss a thing when I got started with SharePoint.

OK, to be honest, I still do…but that isn’t the point of this rambling article. I’ll get to the point soon, I promise.

Unless you are a SharePoint consultant or vendor you can’t attend all of these events due to budget and time constraints.  So don’t let it get you down, look at the volume of conferences and events as a great opportunity for YOU to work some of them into your schedule.  Think of it this way, what if there were only one SharePoint conference a year and you couldn’t attend because of some conflict?  Ouch!

As others have pointed out, choosing a conference depends on your needs and environment.  You have to decide what conference is best for you & your situation.  You have to look closely at the conference and the sessions offered to see what fits your needs.  My best tip is to review the session abstracts, do the work, and choose what works for your schedule and budget.

The bottom line is, I love SharePoint Conferences! I loved attending the Best Practices Conference last year & SPTechCon in San Fransisco earlier this year – and I got a lot out of useful information from both of them.  The SharePoint community is awesome and you get to experience that first-hand when you attend any one of the conferences or any of the other SharePoint events such as SharePoint Saturday (another awesome set of events!).  That is why I have a bone to pick with all of the conference organizers out there. [Ahh, now we are finally getting to the point.]

Here is the conflict as I see it…
  • SharePoint 2007 is huge, there is a very large user base, and many companies have invested in this platform.
  • Microsoft always pushes business to stay current and upgrade software.  With the huge 2007 base, they are eager to get everyone to move to SharePoint 2010.
  • Businesses always need to strech their investment, and they focus funds on strategic needs rather than constantly upgrading tools used to run their business.  Therefore, many, and I emphasize many, are not rushing to upgrade to SharePoint 2010.
  • Budget dollars are shrinking.  Training and conference spending is scrutinized more than ever before.  People have to justify going to conferences. If your company isn’t moving to SharePoint 2010 in the near-term you have a very hard time justifying your attendance at nearly any of the SharePoint conferences this year.

Conference organizers (and Microsoft) fail to recognize these points (IMO) and are making it hard for many (like me) to attend.  I know, I know, many of the conferences have some 2007 content.  But we are talking scrutinized justification here.   Would you pay for someone to go to a conference where only 25% of the conference was applicable to your company?  10%?  5%?  Business managers are looking for higher percentages than that.

Thousands are attending SharePoint Conferences and events, but that doesn’t mean businesses only want 2010 content. It means there are thousands who are new to SharePoint and want to start with the latest version.  It means that some businesses are ready to upgrade and are looking for the 2010 focus.  It means that the huge SharePoint 2007 community is left without a conference.

Will there be a conference with lots of topics around migrating to 2010 next year when many businesses are finally considering the upgrade?  What about 2007 topics for the next 2 years?

Companies feel like they are behind the curve often enough because software and hardware vendors continue to innovate and push those upgrades (a good thing).  That is why we need conference organizers to bridge the gap and provide content that leads them to the latest version.  We just need them to do it closer to the pace of most businesses internal software lifecycle.

The truth is that most companies don’t want to upgrade until after new release settles in – often after sp1.  Businesses approve attendance for conferences that help them deal with today’s challenges more often than they do for ‘preparing for next year’.  They want to know that something will be addressed in this quarter or next quarter because of what is gained at a conference.

So Conference Organizers, you are missing a whole segment of the market and leaving lots of potential customers behind.

That is my opinion.
UPDATE –
Since the original posting of this rant, the organizers of SPTechCon and The Best Practices Conference have communicated and corrected some of my beliefs.  These specific conferences do in-fact have a significant amount of content either applicable to or directly focused on SharePoint 2007. Clarity in my message was needed and I am thankful for the input.
I still feel that the marketing and focus of some conferences are overly “2010”  and that feeds the hype created by Microsoft for the purpose of pushing upgrades on customers.   That said, I have to agree to the valid points made in the comments section of EndUserSharePoint by these organizers.  Their response is further evidence that this community is awesome and demonstrates another reason why I loved attending the above-mentioned conferences.  My Thanks to David Rubinstein and Bill English for your insights and efforts, we all appreciate how much you care about your attendees!

Posted in Commentary, SharePoint 2007 | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Moving MOSS 2007 SQL Databases part 2

Posted by sharepoinTony on May 11, 2010

Today I am looking at the AvePoint DocAve option that I dreamed up when faced with the need to move my SharePoint sql databases to a different sql server.

DocAve is a great backup tool, and the features it provides for disaster recovery are nice.  The product, once installed and configured(1), allows your system admin or SharePoint admin manage backup and restore activities easily.  The system can even be configured to allow others (Site Collection Administrators for example) to restore their own sites, lists and libraries.  Access is controlled, making this feature a bonus to SharePoint Administrators in larger environments.

In my scenario, where I want to MOVE all of my SharePoint databases to another SQL server, there is a little weakness displayed in the DocAve armor. The ConfigDB, SPWebService, CentralAdmin WebApp, and Admin ContentDB’s can only be restored “in place”(2). That means the destination sql server must have the same name and configuration as the sql server where the backup originated.  I can’t restore those db’s to a different sql server, thus I cannot complete my task using DocAve.  To be fair, I could use DocAve backups to accomplish part of my task, just not the whole task.

This situation is not common, so AvePoint shouldn’t be dinged points for the DocAve product – my guess is that it handles at least 95% of the requirements for pretty much any SharePoint shop.  I like the product, use the product and might even recommend the product…I am just bummed that it isn’t magically making this specific task drastically easier.  I guess that is why there are migration tools out there. 😉

Continue to Part 3

Footnotes:
1. Another post may cover the install configuration process for DocAve based on my experience.  This is an area where I think AvePoint could improve.
2. Information obtained from the “Platform Backup and Restore” whitepaper from AvePoint.

Posted in Commentary, SharePoint 2007 | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Moving MOSS 2007 SQL Databases

Posted by sharepoinTony on May 10, 2010

I have a MOSS 2007 implementation that consists of a SharePoint “farm” on one server and the SharePoint databases on a shared SQL Server. The SharePoint server is running Windows Server 2008 and is 64-bit, but the SQL Server is on Windows 2003 with SQL 2005.

One of the other applications using this shared SQL server is fairly critical and the performance is starting to take a hit. This has opened an opportunity to get our SharePoint databases moved to a dedicated SQL server.

I don’t know if anyone else out there has a similar hardware situation or not, but I thought I would try to post a few thoughts as I go through this process over the next few weeks. Let me know if you have already done this or think I am taking a wrong turn as I go.

One idea I have is to take full advantage of the need to move and upgrade to a SP2010 compliant SQL system – and go to SQL 2008 while I am at it. Good idea or bad idea?

Another thought is to investigate whether or not I can make use of our recently implemented DocAve Data Protection software from AvePoint. Maybe I could ‘act’ like a disaster happened and I need to restore my SQL Server on a new box. I wonder if that would work, and if it would be any faster/easier?

Let the investigation begin.

My first stop is with this TechNet article, Move all databases (Office SharePoint Server 2007): http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc512725.aspx – my light reading for tonight.

Continue to Part 2

Posted in Commentary, SharePoint 2007 | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Using thumbnails in SharePoint 2007

Posted by sharepoinTony on April 28, 2010

Have you ever needed to display the thumbnail of an image in one of your picture libraries?

Don’t want to resize the image and store the smaller image in the library?

SharePoint creates thumbnails of every image you upload into a picture library – you can see this by looking at your library.  Notice that when you look at the default “All Documents” view there is a Thumbnail column displaying your image!

This post shows you how you can make use of these SharePoint generated thumbnails, should you need thumbnail versions somewhere in your site.  First we need to get on the same page regarding the location of those thumbnails.   They are stored in a subdirectory named “_t” which resides beneath your library.

Consider that the path to one of your images in your library is: http://www.yoursite.com/site/PictureLibrary/cool_image.gif

The thumbnail for that specific image will be found here: http://www.yoursite.com/site/PictureLibrary/_t/

The image name is changed too, so don’t go jumping away from this blog post to try this just yet!

The pattern used for renaming your images is as follows:

  1. Replace the last period in the filename with underscores
  2. Append a “.jpg” to the end of the filename

In our example above the thumbnail would be: http://www.yoursite.com/site/PictureLibrary/_t/cool_image_gif.jpg

Yes, all thumbnail images – regardless of they file type the original was, are jpg files.

Ok, now you can run off and try this.

Posted in SharePoint 2007 | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Snazzy Summary Links

Posted by sharepoinTony on February 19, 2010

Here is one way to let your users add style to their Summary Links web part.

Step 1 – go to SharePoint Layout Images

and check out the SMALL images/icons list.  Choose some that you want to make available to your users.

Step 2 – Make a list (or an faq, a KB article, or whatever method you use to communicate and help your users) of those icons including the path needed to use them.

I chose to create a table with a very short description in one column and the url path in another column.  For example I have:

Icon Description Icon URL Path
yellow star /_layouts/images/star.gif
push pin /_layouts/images/lg_icpinned.gif

Step 3 – Let your users know that they can use the URL Path from that list in their Summary List Web Part – in the Image URL field for a link.  If the Style chosen for the link is any of the “image” options then the icon will appear with their link.

This allows your users to make their links more snazzy without increasing the size of your picture libraries.

I suggest using the little web/globe icon as a standard for external links  to provide both a uniform feel and informative option to link icons (/layouts/images/csweb.gif).

Posted in SharePoint 2007 | Tagged: , | Comments Off on Snazzy Summary Links

Adjusting the display of the !New icon

Posted by sharepoinTony on December 31, 2009

You upload a document in SharePoint 2007 and the nifty little !NEW icon appears, but for how long?  I couldn’t find a difinitive answer, some places said the default is 1 day, others listed 2 days.  Well, it doesn’t matter now because I just set it to the number of days I wanted it to display.  Here is how:

stsadm -o setproperty -pn days-to-show-new-icon -pv X

-pn = Property Name, In this case it is “days-to-show-new-icon”

-pv = Property Value

X = Number of Days

For example, If you would like “New Item” icon to be displayed for 2 days then you want to execute following command:

stsadm -o setproperty -pn days-to-show-new-icon -pv 2

Nothing shattering here, just a handy reference.

Posted in Install and Configure, SharePoint 2007 | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

SP 2007 Audience Limitations

Posted by sharepoinTony on December 28, 2009

Using Audiences in SharePoint 2007 helps you to provide content in a more customized manner.  Your defined audience will see the content while others that are outside of that audience may not see the content.   As the SharePoint 2007 “Help and How-to” puts it:

By using target audiences, you can display content such as list or library items, navigation links, and entire Web Parts to specific groups of people. This is useful when you want to present information that is relevant only to a particular group of people.  For example, you can add a Web Part to the legal department’s portal site that contains a list of legal contracts that is visible only to that department.

 

Targeting specific list or library items to audiences works in a slightly different manner than when targeting entire lists or libraries.   To target a web part to an audience you simply Edit the page, Modify the Shared Web Part and specify the Target Audience under the Advanced section.  Only members of the specified audience will see the web part on the page.

 

To target a list item for example, you must enable audience targeting on the list, specify the audience on the item and then present the item in a web part, usually a Content Query Web Part.  Displaying the content in this way will allow filtering to occur.  If you complete all of these steps except the last, presenting the item in a web part, then the specified audience will not filter the view of the item in the list.  SharePoint list and library views do not allow filtering by Audience, and the list or library will display all items in the view regardless of the specified audience

 

So be cautious, if your users have access to a list or library you will have to control visibility through permissions and obscurity rather than the use of audience targeting.  That is, hide the list from common users and always display the content via web parts.  Presenting content in this way is not always feasible, especially when you may have people from different audiences updating the list or library.  The best option is to simply segregate the items into different lists or libraries by audience.

 

Posted in Document Library, Lists, SharePoint 2007 | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »