sharepoinTony

@info – The practical side of SharePoint

Posts Tagged ‘Tips and Tricks’

Epilogue to Calendar Reminder

Posted by sharepoinTony on September 8, 2010

The Calendar Reminder (Part 2) post has been the most viewed post on my blog over the past year.  There have been a few weeks where other posts surfaced as number 1, but when I review the stats for the past 12 months, the calendar post is certainly the most popular.    There is obvious interest in this topic.

Since the time of the original post, I have had several other calendar related requests and from them I have pulled one feature that might be of particular interest to those of you who found the Calendar Reminder post useful.  This is a twist on the reminder, but certainly related.

How would you like your SharePoint Calendar event email reminder to include a link to create an Outlook event for the user?

Here is how to accomplish this using SharePoint 2007

Requirements

  1. A SharePoint calendar
  2. A workflow associated with that calendar

Steps to add a link to add the event to the users Outlook calendar in the email they receive from SharePoint.

  1. Create (or go to) the event in the SharePoint calendar
  2. Open the event (view) and Right-Click on the Export Event link, Copy the link
  3. Jump over to SharePoint Designer, open the workflow for the SharePoint Calendar where the event resides
  4. In your email (or the variable used to create the message text) add in an html anchor tag and paste in the link you copied in step 2
  5. Find the “ID=” portion of the link, remove the id number and insert a lookup – use the <Add Lookup> button
  6. Select the ID of the current item for your lookup (this way the link works for any item created in this calendar)
  7. Don’t forget to add the quotes and end tag syntax to your anchor – see example below:

If you would like to add this event to your Outlook calendar, <a href=”http://webappname/sites/sitename/_vti_bin/owssvr.dll?CS=109&Cmd=Display&List={ec72e475-45aa-4f06-83e0-855ec9ca94d4}&CacheControl=1&ID=[%Calendar:ID%]&Using=event.ics“>CLICK HERE</a>, then click to Open, then click Save & Close in the Outlook calendar item.

This example provides both the Outlook calendar item and instructions on how to use it.  Notice that the portion highlighted above should contain the link you copied with the ID removed.  The link must come from your server and the specific SharePoint Calendar that you are providing to the Outlook item.

Perhaps you would rather not create such a complex workflow as the Calendar Reminder posts provide.  If want to just send an email at the time of the event creation that included the ability to add the event to the Outlook calendar – you can simplify the workflow to notify the recipients and include the above link.   This allows the user to create their own reminder using Outlook!

I want to point out that this idea originated (for me) with Laura Rogers 2009 post entitled “Appointment email Link, via SPD workflow“.  Thanks and kudos to Laura for sharing the idea and steps with the SharePoint community.

Advertisements

Posted in Calendar, SharePoint 2007, Tips and Tricks | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Restricting Site Templates

Posted by sharepoinTony on September 3, 2010

I had a group come to me recently that wanted to set up a subsite to their site and allow a group of users create sites under that subsite.  Standard issue for SharePoint.  In this case they wanted those sites to all start out the same.  They had specific things such as two document libraries and a few other specific lists as the default when those sites get created.   Also standard issue for SharePoint…by simply creating a site template the users to select they would get what they wanted.

This request didn’t specifically ask for the restriction of site templates, however since we have had numerous other similar requests we now have a lot of site templates available.  So…

To make everyone’s life a little easier I decided to restrict the subsites so the users could only use the template created for them.  The group manager was very happy-this made it very simple for them to find and thus the creation of their sites was a snap.

The trick to it all is getting to the Page Layout and Site Template Settings page.  This isn’t available to you at the Site level, it is only on the Site Settings menu at the Site Collection level (top-level site).  That doesn’t mean you can’t use it to accomplish this task.

After creating the desired site template, go to the site above (parent to) the site where you want the users restricted to specific templates.  Replace the aspx page portion of the url with

_layouts/areatemplatesettings.aspx

Make your adjustments to the site templates available to subsites in the Page Layout and Site Template Settings screen, then click OK.

Posted in Administration, SharePoint 2007, Tips and Tricks | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

SSO Tips

Posted by sharepoinTony on August 24, 2010

There are lots of blogs out there talking about the problems people have setting up SSO (Single Sign On) in SharePoint 2007 implementations.  There are also quite a few that run down the steps to do it and state that it is easy.  What is the disconnect between these two “camps” talking about SSO setup?

Well, one thing (IMHO) is that the ease of the process depends on YOUR environment and YOUR knowledge of what SSO is, how it works, and what you plan to do with it.  So my first (and most important) tip is take the time to learn about SSO and what you want to accomplish by using it before you attempt to configure it.

My other tips are:

Enterprise Application Definitions –

  • If you are planning to use Groups, create an Enterprise Application Definition for each group
  • Configuration steps often talk about creating a group for SSO Administrators and SSO Managers, these groups are NOT the groups you want to use here
  • The Account Type selection of Group is used when you want to connect to the data source using the same account for all users in the designated AD group.
    • For example, if you are going against an HR database and you have an AD group for HR managers who are allowed to see data from that source – SSO Enterprise Application Definitions let you map the group to an account with permissions to access that data, and that account will be used for everyone in the HR AD group
  • Things you cannot change it for the Enterprise Application Definition after initial definition:
    • Account Type
    • Authentication
  • Authentication is not clearly described in many places, here are the basics:
    • Select the Windows authentication check box if your clients use Windows authentication when connecting to the external data source (if it is required)
    • Leave the Windows authentication check box unchecked if your data source allows mixed authentication, such as SQL Server does by allowing either SQL or Windows authentication
  • Make sure you login to Central Admin with the “Enterprise Application Definition  Administrator” account when you create your definitions, otherwise you will have problems
  • After you create a definition using the Account Type of Group, don’t forget to update the ‘account information for enterprise application definitions’ – this is where you enter the AD group that you want to map to a specific account for accessing the data source

Configuration –

  • Make your life easier and just create an SSO Administrator account, don’t try to use an existing account.  It can be done, but it also can get confusing
  • If you are in a small environment you should still create the SSO Administrators and Managers AD groups as suggested by Robert Bogue (http://thorprojects.com/blog/archive/2008/08/02/moss-single-sign-on-setup-step-by-step.aspx) – It allows flexibility for you in the future without reconfiguring SSO
  • Follow Roberts steps (link above) for the basic setup
  • Reference links:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/sharepointdesigner/arcve/2007/08/27/an-introduction-to-single-sign-on-sso-with-data-views.aspx

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc262932(office.12).aspx

Posted in Administration, Install and Configure, SSO, Tips and Tricks | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Reminder about List Views

Posted by sharepoinTony on August 2, 2010

Maybe it is my perspective and not really true, but it seems like a lot of people seem to forget that they can change the default view that appears when navigating to a SharePoint list.  Additionally, I seem to have to point out the simple steps to create an alternate view Style.

So for anyone out there that hasn’t realized it, take this post as your reminder…look at your list views and think of what the default “should” be; then consider using an alternate style when it improves usability.

Quick refresher points on List Views:

  • When creating a view you can select to “Make this the default view” right under the View Name.  Change the default view when it is more convenient for the majority of people viewing the data to see it this way.
  • Scrolling down and expanding the Style section of the Edit View page will allow you to change the appearance of the view and the data in your list.
  • Group By will allow you to create groupings of the data in your list based upon one of the columns in your list.
  • Totals will allow you to present column totals to your users.
  • Filters let you manage the data presented in the view.

Tips

Browse out to one of your lists and explore the resulting view after changing the style.

  • One thing I like to do is use the Preview Pane style for some lists where the default view needs to display many columns.  This may require the user to scroll down to see all of the data, but it usually is better than scrolling over to the right to see all of the columns.
  • Choosing the Shaded style might make a vast collection of data easier to read.
  • The Boxed style might be handy when you are displaying a small set of data in a web part, rather than displaying all of the data in the list.  Refine your display with filters and sorting.
  • Filter tip: you can use “[Today]” in your filter when filtering against a date column.  I often use it to get “recent” items by filtering with a target date column.
  • Don’t display a column that you are using in Group By.  The grouped column will display in the grouping, save screen space and remove the column from your view, un-check “Display” in the Columns section.  This isn’t a rule, it is only a tip to save space and avoid duplication of data in the display of your data.
  • If you have a list that is capturing numbers of something, people generally want to see the total of one of those columns. Give them a view that includes totals right from the start, expand the Totals section and select the appropriate column.  Don’t remove the column from your display like I suggested for Grouping – people usually want to see the details that make up a total.
  • Another ‘forgotten’ view is the Calendar View.  You can create a calendar view of any list that has a date …and they all have the Created and Modified dates.  Those dates aren’t always relevant however there are many task and other lists that have content and dates which are often compatible with a calendar view.  You can provide list users with both standard and calendar views to improve usability.


Posted in Lists, Views | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Modify the default scope for your search box

Posted by sharepoinTony on July 28, 2010

MOSS/SharePoint 2007

To modify the default scope

Go to your home page and navigate to “Site Actions” –> “Site Settings” –> “Modify All Site Settings“.
On this page, pick “Search scopes” under the Site Collection Administration.
Here you’ll see some different “Display groups“, one of them is the “Search Dropdown” (which is the search box you see on your SharePoint site).
If you click on the “Search Dropdown” link, you’ll be taken to a page with some settings for this group and the bottom one is where you set your default scope.
Modify this to whatever you want, click OK and you’re done!

Posted in Search, SharePoint 2007 | Tagged: , | 1 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 »

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 »