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Enabling e-mail in a Document Library

Posted by sharepoinTony on September 23, 2009

There are many reasons why you might want to e-mail enable a Document Library in SharePoint.  One of them could be simply because some manager doesn’t want to navigate to the library to upload a file.  Another, better reason is because they are traveling and want to post a document  on your Intranet without having to VPN into your network.  Regardless of the reason, the steps to make this happen are easy so let’s get started.

Step 1 – Know what you want

  • Do you want the documents to all go into the root library or into folders?
  • Do you want anyone in the world to post files to this library?
  • Will your e-mail system allow incoming email to route to SharePoint? (not sure, see references below)

I will assume you get those questions answered and are ready to go now.

Step 2 – Navigate to the Document Library you want to e-mail enable.  I will use “Shared Documents” for this example.

Step 3 – Select Settings > Document Library Settings

Select Document Library Settings from the Settings drop-down

Select Document Library Settings from the Settings drop-down

Step 4 – Select Incoming email settings from the Communications section of the Library Settings page

Select Incoming e-mail settings

Select Incoming e-mail settings

Step 5 – Enable Incoming e-mail

  • Allow the document library to receive e-mail – yep, that is why we are here.
  • Enter an e-mail name for users to send files to this library.  You may want to use some form of the document library name.  Since this is a test run for me, I used ‘testtony’ and plan to change it once I know it is working fine.  Note that the full email address contains “@sharepoint” dot your company domain.  This is something you may have to ensure your e-mail system will allow.  You also may have to setup a specific e-mail box and use that address here to allow it to work.  See the references at the end of this post.
  • Select the appropriate options for E-Mail Message, and Meeting Invitations (if you are not sure just say No, it is likely the best option).
  • Read the Caution under E-Mail Security and set the E-mail security policy.
Incoming E-mail Settings screen

Incoming E-mail Settings screen

Step 6 – Click OK and Test

Send an email to the address defined and see if it post to the Document Library.  In my case I am using the Subject line as the folder, so I am making sure that works by sending several emails with different subject lines/folder names.


Planning for Incoming E-Mail:

Reference this article for details on configuring your SharePoint SMTP services:

Posted in Document Library | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Document Library Read Access

Posted by sharepoinTony on September 12, 2009

A user reports that they cannot see any files in a document library.  They have Read access, what is going on?  Yep, there are files in the library.  Here is the nitty gritty:

No ERROR will display, however a user with Read access to a document library (or folder or specific files depending on how permissions are enabled and if inheritance is broken) may not be able to see files in the library/folder.
If a Library has Versioning turned on, then by default files that are uploaded are marked as Draft’s.  Also by default people with Read access cannot see Draft documents.

Resolution options:

  1. Turn Versioning off if it is not really needed for that library.
  2. Change the versioning settings to allow draft’s to be seen by Readers.
  3. Approve the draft document.

Additional Info about versions in SharePoint Document Libraries:

Versioning On – If approvals are setup, then a draft can be Approved and become visible to people with Read access – even if the versioning setting to view drafts is not set for readers.

When in the Versioning Settings screen for a Document Library, follow the link “Learn about specifying who can view and edit drafts” in the Draft Item Security section to learn more about these settings and how the permissions are impacted.

When content approval is required:

  • You can specify whether files that are pending approval can be viewed by people with permission to read, people with permission to edit, or only the author and people with permission to approve items.
  • If both major and minor versions are being tracked, the author must publish a major version before the file can be submitted for approval.
  • When content approval is required, people who have permission to read content but do not have permission to see draft items will see the last approved or major version of the file.

Posted in Document Library, SharePoint 2007 | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on Document Library Read Access

Workflow tidbits

Posted by sharepoinTony on September 12, 2009

I meant to post these awhile back, and I may add to this post over time as I collect or recall  the handy little learning’s that I have stored up in the nooks and cranny’s of my brain.

Starting a Workflow Manually

In order to manually start a workflow created in SPD (SharePoint Designer) the user must have Manage Lists permissions on that list.   The workflow can start “on new” or “on change” with just standard contribute permissions…but, starting it manually is considered “managing” the list.

EMail link to list item in a Workflow

If you want to go directly to the details of a particular list item (basically reconstructing the URL used by SharePoint) use the SPD workflow properties below to build your link:

“<a href=” & workflowProperties.SiteUrl & workflowProperties.ListUrl & “/DispForm.aspx?ID=” & workflowProperties.ItemId&”>”

Posted in SharePoint 2007, Workflow | Tagged: , | Comments Off on Workflow tidbits

List View Filtering

Posted by sharepoinTony on September 10, 2009

Here is something that I had to figure out that may help others…

Looking for NULL’s:
In your view, for the filter choose:

“Show items only when the following is true:”
then “Show the items when column”
Select from the dropdown [name of your column that can be blank]”
choose “is equal to”
then leave the text box blank.

  See my example using a blank Due Date:

 Filter within a List View

Filter within a List View





Going back to your list, if you now use this view, it’ll only return results where the column is empty.


Filtering a View for a SharePoint List

Posted in Lists, SharePoint 2007, Views | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on List View Filtering

Case Study: MTV using SharePoint

Posted by sharepoinTony on July 7, 2009

Found this, thought it was interesting and wanted to share:

Case Study: MTV Networks International (MTV) (From TechTarget)
MTV’s Information Services and Technology (IS&T) department wanted to reduce the time that was wasted on manual processes. It chose Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. IS&T used the out-of-the-box workflow capabilities of SharePoint Server 2007 to improve departmental efficiencies by automating a paper-based process for new employees.

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

SP Designer Forms – View, Update

Posted by sharepoinTony on July 7, 2009

A new request came in recently. A department wanted a form that anyone could use to submit suggestions.  They want the form to update a list so the suggestions could be tracked. Oh, the suggestions will need to be reviewed by the “boss” so he can approve any work that might be needed to implement the suggestion.  Oh yeah, before the boss looks at these there should be a designated reviewer to filter some of the suggestions so the boss doesn’t have to see duplicates or things that are simply inappropriate for this suggestion pool.

Doesn’t sound tough.

By the way, they also want an email notification when a new suggestion comes in so the “reviewer” knows she has to go check the list.  It would be nice if the reviewer didn’t have to “mess” with the SharePoint list, just see only what needs her review. Also, she needs to indicate (somehow) that the boss has things to review, since he doesn’t want to see every suggestion as they come in. He does want a reminder, via email, every now and then after a few suggestions have collected in the pool (list). Of course he only wants to see the items that the reviewer has already filtered through, none of the rejections.

Once the boss decides that the suggestion is worthy and approves it, he also may have some comments or directives, and he may want to route it to some other department. If the suggestion is ‘approved’ and work needs to be done, then we should have a place to track some notes on this item, and a status to track the item through the whole process.

Still not to difficult for SharePoint.

My thoughts ranged from standard approval workflow to custom InfoPath forms. But I chose to use SharePoint Designer (SPD) to create a series of forms based on a custom list. Why? One reason is because the users don’t really want to interact with a SharePoint List. Another is because there is a good chance that they need a list and not a form library (I can’t go into all of the details here). And the final reason for the purpose of this blog is “just because”. I won’t go into the entire setup, today, but I do want to get one important gem posted that may be helpful to others.

That gem is:

You can create the form based on the custom list, and set some of the fields to display as text, so that your reviewer cannot change those columns in the list. They only update the columns you want them to update, and can’t mess with the other columns (from the form).  This relies on the laziness of your users…if they want to go find the list there is nothing stopping them.   [side-note: I generally hide the list from the Quick Launch and provide easy to find links to the forms.]

How do you do this?

  1. After inserting your chosen columns from the data source, right-click on a column in SPD in Design view.  The Common xsl:value-of Tasks window pops up (it may also display as “Common FormField Tasks”).  It should display the Data Field and Format as options.

    Inserted Column Form Properties

    Inserted Column Form Properties

  2. For the columns you want to display and not allow editing, select Rich Text in the Format as option.  (that is, change it from “List form field” to “Text” or “Rich Text”)
  3. Save your form and test.  It should now display the columns as un-editable text while other columns in that item row remain editable.

Another “nice” thing to do in your form, if you are using Multiple Item views, is to alternate shading the item rows to make them easier on the eyes.  Use Conditional Formatting and apply the style when the Row Number is Odd (or even if you prefer).

Overview of how I accomplished the desired behavior:

  1. Create a custom list with the necessary columns for the primary purpose and the management of this process
  2. Create SPD forms for:
    • Submitting a suggestion
    • Reviewing suggestions
    • Approving suggestions
    • User viewing of “active” suggestions
  3. Create a workflow to notify “reviewers” when new suggestions are submitted
  4. Create a button for “reviewers” to click when they want the boss to be notified that it is time to look at the suggestions (SPD form button sends the email)

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

“Conference” Room Manager for SharePoint

Posted by sharepoinTony on June 26, 2009

Review and Implementation Notes on ACAR Room Manager for SharePoint

We had a need for a SharePoint calendar that would allow us to manage some conference rooms.  After searching around, and evaluating some other options, I decided to do a deeper evaluation of ACAR’s Room Manager for SharePoint.   This is my summary of findings and notes on the specific ways we wanted to implement this tool.

Review Notes

ACAR describes the product this way:

“Room Manager Suite for SharePoint is an easy to use room scheduling software solution for SharePoint. It is simple and powerful. Consists of a set of web parts which makes room reservation simple for end users.” (ACAR Room Manager)

It is a Room Scheduling Software for Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 which provides a nice interface that allows the user to see both a calendar and thumbnail photos of the rooms.  The rooms are color-coded so it is easier to identify what meeting is in which room, this is a nice feature and can be controlled within the “Room Details” screen.

Room Manager default page

Room Manager default page

The installation is simple and automatically creates a sub-site for you within SharePoint for the Room Manager.  Basic setup steps include uploading your photos of your conference rooms and entering the basic information about them.  ACAR provides a list with setup and administration guidance as well as FAQ and Information  lists.

Room Details screen

Room Details screen

Adding the Capacity and Description to your rooms helps users choose the right room for them.  If you add keywords and have Search enabled your users can find specific rooms quickly by searching.

The Sort Order is used to control the display of the rooms on the home page, next to the calendar.

The “Title” fields seem a little  irrelevant to me, they only control the label/link that is displayed next to the thumbnail.  I felt that anyone implementing this would want those to be consistent; and although you may want to modify them for your implementation they should be managed in a more central location.  (Side note: while testing this product, I had one person changing those and it really confused other users when they saw one room with varying text in the display.  Some thought there were problems with the product.)

The Picture Size field also seems unnecessary, and we would replace that colum in the display with  “Room Dimensions” to provide more useful information to the users of this tool.  That column would have to be added to the Room picture library.

This raises a good point, one of the great features of this product is the flexibility that they allow.  They hide a few lists, but otherwise if you are relatively careful you can modify the lists and libraries to fit your needs.  More on how we did some of this later.

ACAR Quick Launch - default for Room Manager home page

ACAR Quick Launch - default for Room Manager home page

The Quick Launch has been modified by ACAR for the Room Manager sub-site.  As you can see it provides for ease of navigation and a custom feel for your users.  Your users only see what they need to effectively schedule a room or manage the Room Manager.  Breadcrumbs are provided for access back to the host site in the normal SharePoint fashion.

You may want to “hide” the links to the settings or Information lists because of the information they contain.  This can be accomplished by setting permissions on those lists or by adding audiences to the Navigation item on the site.

One additional thing to watch out for is the selection of colors in the Room Details.  On our system, some of the colors selected did not display correctly when selected for a room.  As an example, I selected “Bright Green” from the ACAR provided list for one room.  After saving and going back to the Room Manager home page, I see that the room color displayed is a purple.  That rooms events are now the same color as another room with the selection “Violet”.  I had to go through and test everyone of the 27 pre-defined colors and try each one to determine what would work on our system.

Colors I found that displayed oddly:

Light Yellow (displays white, which is used for “waiting list”)
Bright Green (displays purple)
Violet (displays purple same as bright green)
Acqua (displays bright blue same as Turquoise)
Dark Teal (displays purple same as violet)

Colors that worked fine but caused the Events in the Calendar to be difficult to read:

Dark Red
Dark Blue
Dark Green

That left us with 17 colors to use for our rooms.  We could actually also use Violet as long as we didn’t use the conflicting colors, and it was our choice not to use the darker colors.

When contacted, ACAR support was surprised by this but agreed with my assessment to simply remove some of the options from the drop-down list.  If you need that many rooms you may want to consider either multiple implementations of this tool or plan to resolve this issue.  Also please note that this is only what happened on ONE test server implementation, results may vary. Also, the difficulty reading events when using the darker colors could potentially be mitigated through the use of CSS to alter the text color of the events for those specific rooms using those colors.

Overall, I really like this product. It allows you to quickly and easily implement a solution for room management while making use of mostly Out Of the Box SharePoint features.  Room management can be delegated down to appropriate levels and the Administrator shouldn’t have any major tasks after the initial setup.  We ran this test over several weeks, and never ran into anything beyond what was mentioned earlier.  It is very intuitive and simple to use.

ACAR offers a Standard Edition and an Enterprise Edition with single server licenses and discounted licenses for additional servers.  The difference between the Standard and Enterprise Editions is unlimited locations and rooms with Enterprise.  Enterprise also appears to allow for Invoicing or chargebacks of rooms, but this seems to be something you implement using InfoPath not something built-in.  We had no need for that so we did not look into that concept.

Implementation Notes

One of the “customizations” that I tested had to do with a specific need we had for this tool.  Several of the conference rooms are “owned” by a specific department, who has priority over all others when scheduling their specific rooms for meetings.  They had a person who approved all scheduled meetings in their rooms and wanted to keep that “chain of command” in place.  So, for our testing I wanted to intercept the auto-generated email notifying the user the room was scheduled and tell them it was pending approval.  Then I have to send a message to the appropriate approver so they can check conflicts, etc. and approve or reject the requested scheduling.

I was able to add columns to the Events list, turn off auto-emails, modify selections in the provided “choice” columns, and create a workflow in SharePoint Designer to accomplish this conference room scheduling process.  This also displays the flexibility with this product over some that really lock you out of “their application”.

Details on this customization may be in a follow-up article, if any interest is expressed…or I have time and less pressing topics to cover. 😉

Posted in Calendar, Commentary, SharePoint 2007 | Tagged: , , | 12 Comments »

2007 Alert Me management

Posted by sharepoinTony on June 17, 2009

Users can go to _layouts/MySubs.aspx on the site where they have an Alert setup to delete the alert.
Seems lots of people don’t know how to get there and remove an alert.

Posted in Alerts, SharePoint 2007 | Tagged: , | Comments Off on 2007 Alert Me management

MOSS 2007 size limits – and List Item Attachments

Posted by sharepoinTony on June 9, 2009

Basic stuff first (all of this can be found elsewhere, I just wanted it to be more handy).

  • Site Collections in a Web Application = 50,000
  • Sites in a Site Collection = 250,000
  • Sub-sites nested under a Site = 2,000
  • Lists on a Site = 2,000
  • Items in a List = 10,000,000
  • Documents in a Library = 2,000,000
  • Documents in a Folder = 2,000
  • Maximum document file size 2GB
  • Documents in an Index = 50,000,000
  • Search Scopes = 1,000
  • User Profiles = 5,000,000
  • Template size = 10,000,000 (default)

List Attachments over 50MB need more than an increase in Maximum Upload Size…

  1. Connect to Central Administration
  2. Navigate to Application Management, Web Application General Settings
  3. Select your web application
  4. Set the Maximum Upload Size value to the value you desire (we wanted 500)  MB and hit OK
  5. Open the web.config
  6. Replace <httpRuntime maxRequestLength=”51200″ />  with <httpRuntime maxRequestLength=”512000″ />

Something in IIS blocks List Attachments that are over 50mb, so unless you do the above steps they fail with “An unknown error occurred” message.


Saving site or list templates, especially With Content, have a 10 MB limit by default.  To change this you have to use the STSADM utility:

stsadm -o setproperty -propertyname max-template-document-size -propertyvalue 50000000

This sets the limit up to 50 MB, you can set it to the value you need.

Posted in Lists, SharePoint 2007 | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

“User Manager” Custom Permission Level

Posted by sharepoinTony on May 17, 2009

We needed to set up a group that would be allowed to add users to their SharePoint site, but not allowed to make changes to the site.  The default SharePoint “Owners” group provides for Full Control, and the existing Permission Levels provide for Designers etc. to allow you to control who is modifying the look and functionality of the sites.  Nothing exists to let you give people the permissions to add users to their site or to specific SharePoint groups.   Fear Not, SharePoint does provide the means for you to create this functionality…through the creation of a Custom Permission Level.

This is my story of creating such a permission level, shortened  to save your sanity and to save you time.  Follow along if you want to create a new permission level like the one described herein.


Our requirements sound simple:  provides the ability for designated users to manage users (specifically, add and remove users from specific SharePoint groups) for specific sites within a large site collection.

  • The users should not be able to grant permissions beyond their own permission set.
  • The users should not be able to modify or create lists, add web parts, or do any other modifications to the site.
  • The users should not be able to create new SharePoint groups.
  • The users should be limited to adding and removing users from designated groups.

Note that this article is focused on creating this permission level for a MOSS 2007 site collection.

Solution Concepts

The initial concept was to create a custom permission level, assign the user that permission level and taadaa task complete.  Not so fast. When we assign the permission level directly to the user we get some additional administration maintenance.  So, our solution consists of a few components.  We will need a Custom Permission Level, and a new SharePoint Group.

The concept is that our Permission Level will limit the user to the tasks we designate and by assigning the permission level to a new Group we make it easy to manage and maintain these users.  We also gain the ability to segregate this privilege by site because we can create groups for each site and provide grant these permissions to that site only.  Additionally, we want to control which groups the user can add or remove people and that is fairly easily done with a  group as you will see.

In our situation, we realized that the folks who would be getting this new permission level would also have Contribute rights to the site.  That being the case, I wanted my custom permission level to contain the permissions associated with standard Contribute and just add the ability to add/remove users.

Creating the Custom Permission Level

There is plenty of help out there that walks you through creating a custom permission level.  The tough part of this assignment is figuring out what permissions you give to this customized permission level.  The pitfall is that you DO NOT want to give “Manage Permissions” or else you will be enabling those folks to hand out Full Control permissions to themselves and their buddies.  The key to this is providing Enumerate Permissions.

I suggest the following steps to create this new Permission Level:

  1. Go to Site Settings > Advanced Permissions > Settings > Permission Levels
  2. Select Contribute, scroll to the bottom
  3. Click on the “Copy Permission Level” button
  4. Name your Custom Permission Level – I will call it “User Manager” for this article
  5. I suggest filling out the Description with something like “Contribute and Enumerate Permissions” or whatever will make sense for your environment
  6. Scroll down to the Site Permissions section, find and check the check box for Enumerate Permissions
  7. In our environment we removed the check from the Use Self-Service Site Creation check box because we didn’t want that for our users.  Make any other permissions adjustments that make sense for your scenario and environment
  8. Click on the “Create” button
Custom Permission Level

Custom Permission Level

As you can see I added View Usage Data and Manage Alerts because we wanted our User Managers to have those abilities.  Notice that Browse User Information and Browse Directories is also checked.  Your User Managers will need those two items as well.

Now you should see this new Permission Level on the Permission Levels screen.  Hurray, part one done.

Creating a new SharePoint Group

In our scenario we want to assign the new User Manager Permission Level to a SharePoint Group.  Since I want to be able to segregate which users will have these permissions for which sites I actually created a SharePoint Group for each site in our site collection where this would be used.  You will have to map out how you need to use this and go forward based on that.  For the sake of this article, I will only walk through adding one group, this stuff should be pretty familiar to you if you have done any security administration for your SharePoint sites.

  1. Navigate to your Site Settings > Advanced Permissions > Settings
  2. This time select New Group from the New menu in the Site Permissions screen
  3. Name your group – I named mine “site-name User Managers” where site is the name of the site where this group will have authority
  4. For About Me, I suggest a description something like “This group has User Manager permissions to add and remove users on the site-name site”
  5. Scroll down and select your new custom permission level “User Manager” in the Give Group Permissions to this Site section
  6. Click Create

You can choose to add users now to this group or do it later.  By default you will be added as a member of this group.  I like to remove myself from the SharePoint groups that I create simply because I don’t need to be in all of these groups and I feel it is a “clean” way to manage groups.  Part two done.

Adjusting Group Ownership

Now that we have a SharePoint Group with the User Manager Permission Level, we can use it to control what Groups can be “managed” by that group.  Sound confusing?  Hopefully that won’t be the case as we walk through these steps.  First, take a look at the Groups in your site and decide which groups you want your User Managers to be able to add and remove users.  I didn’t want them adding users to the “Owners” Group, but I do want them to add/remove users in the “Visitors” and “Members” Groups for example.  Here are the steps you should take, repeating them for each Group that you want the User Managers to manage.

  1. Click on Groups in the Quick Launch
  2. Click on the Edit icon next to a Group you want the User Managers to manage (“Site Members” for example)
  3. In the Change Group Settings screen, go to the Owner section and delete the owner that is listed
  4. Enter the SharePoint Group you created for this site in the previous steps.  in this example it is site-name User Managers
  5. Scroll down and click on the OK button
  6. Repeat for each site Group you want managed by the site-name User Managers

By making this Group the owner of the Members group SharePoint will allow the members of the site-name User Managers group to add and remove users to that group.  Part three done.

Grand Finale

When you have completed the above steps in all three parts, and have added users to your new SharePoint Group(s) then your work is done.  Almost.  I suggest getting together with one of your users that has been placed into a User Managers group and testing it out.  Have them go to the site they should have permissions to and have them go into Site Actions, Site Settings (or Site Actions, Site Settings, Modify All Site Settings).  They should now see Advanced Permissions under the Users and Permissions section of the page.  When they click Advanced Permissions they will see the Site Permissions page and should have the New menu item above the list.  Have them add a user and remove a user…it is good for you to see them do it and good practice for them to learn how to do that task. Now you are done.

Posted in Permissions, SharePoint 2007 | Tagged: | 7 Comments »