Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Supported and unsupported scenarios for working with custom site definitions and custom area definitions in SharePoint

I don't really like this Microsoft KB - it is amazing how limiting it is - Supported and unsupported scenarios for working with custom site definitions and custom area definitions in SharePoint. It seems that Modifying site definitions - changes in Onet.xml , adding AllUsersWebPart element is an unsupported scenario as well... too bad. PS It seems that some people share my opinion - see SharePoint custom site definitions... I'm lost...

WSRP .Net Framework and SharePoint

Netunity is a solution vendor which has build WSRP .NET Framework The WSRP .NET Framework is a comprehensive portlet development framework supporting the WSRP 1.0 specification for building compliant applications and content solutions based on XML standards and a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). Verified against the major portal vendors, the framework includes an extensive class library and Visual Studio Wizards to help you easily create WSRP producers and portlets. The framework does not require the installation of a portal or employ the use of proprietary services and content management systems.

I wonder if this also works with SharePoint - I haven't seen a lot of talk about WSRP and SharePoint except for some projects on GotDotNet - WSRP webpart toolkit for SharePoint and the WSRP web service toolkit. And what about webparts in the next version of SharePoint or webparts developed in ASP.Net 2.0

InfoPath - third party tools

One of the major shortcomings of InfoPath is the fact that you need a full blown InfoPath on every client which needs to fill in a form. I guess that this is one of the major reasons why InfoPath hasn't really taken of as a new electronic forms solution. There are however some vendors which sell solutions to solve the full client problem:
  • AchieveForms

  • InfoView

  • NetXPert InfoScope

  • There is also a nice article from Microsoft called Sharing InfoPath forms with users who do not have InfoPath...

    Microsoft Application Analyzer 2003 for Lotus Notes

    Microsoft Application Analyzer 2003 for Lotus Notes has been made available - this tool helps in determining the size and scope of Lotus Notes application migration projects. The Analyzer consists of two parts: the Data Collector and the Data Processor. The Data Processor interprets the data from the Data Collector and creates detailed reports that indicate the complexity and scale of the application and recommendations on how to most efficiently migrate applications to Microsoft platform application environment. The tool is used in the pre-sales and sales phases and is the foundation for an implementation plan.

    Quite a nice tool, when you are considering a migration from Lotus to SharePoint.

    Monday, May 16, 2005

    MSN Search toolbar released

    MSN Search Toolbar has finally been released,... I have been using the beta for a couple of months and I have to say I'm quite impressed especially with Windows Desktop Search ....
    Go download it

    Wednesday, May 11, 2005

    SOA - more then just hype

    It is amazing how much talk there is from different vendors about Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). Unfortunately I have to agree with Richard Turner - most of the it is just marketing talk. SOA is an abstract notion - it is not linked to products or vendors, it should be generally applicable to any given distributed systems platform.

    Richard puts it even a little bit harsher "The whole SOA/ESB thing is all hype, people! Once you come to realize and accept that, the world becomes clearer. You don’t believe me? Define what SOA is. Then try and find one other person that agrees with you wholeheartedly. If you’re lucky enough to manage this, try and apply your definition of SOA across more than one platform / technology. Repeat for ESB. Good luck!" (See
  • Does SOA Exist?
  • ) but he also sees the advantages of Service Orientation.

    I think the general concept is quite interesting but I'm not really sure when I will ever see an actual implementation of SO design. I recently took a look at FABRIQ recently - which combines service principles, one-way multi-transport messaging, queuing networks and ideas from autonomous agents into a single framework. Fabriq is no services framework but does show the complexities involved when creating a complete SO design. The Microsoft Patterns & Practices group has also published an “Enterprise Development Reference Architecture” which also provides some interesting guidance but which I think is quite complex as well.

    If you want to know more, check out these interesting postings about SOA lately:
  • On SOA, Indigo and Services

  • Just what is an ESB, anyway? Part II

  • Web services standards can sometimes inhibit SOA development, some say

  • Radovan responds re SOA

  • SOA revisited (again)

  • Call increases for SOA clarity

  • Does ESB Exist?

  • Does SOA Exist?

  • The SOA reference model

  • What does SOA really mean? One big hype machine
  • "SOA" doesn't really exist, does it?
  • Maestro - Microsoft Realtime Reporting Server

    Found this on Mauro's blog - "Planned Microsoft Realtime Reporting Server Could Rock Analytics World", ... It seems that Microsoft is going to launch a private beta of Microsoft Realtime reporting server codename "Maestro" this summer. Most of the BI tools which exists at the moment are mainly working on snapshots of data - realtime or near realtime reporting would be a very important move. A full article about it can be found at http://ie.bizintelligencepipeline.com/159907104 . Maestro will be based on a combination of technologies - SQL Reporting Services, SQL Notification Services and the Business Scorecard accelerator... I'm however wondering if it will use SQL 2005 as well as SQL 2000. And what about SharePoint since it builds on the Scorecard accelerator.

    Monday, May 09, 2005

    Sunday, May 01, 2005

    Internet explorer and PDFs

    Did you ever notice that PDFs seem to open slow in Internet Explorer? I just found out why... it seems that there are in fact multiple requests to your webserver when trying to open a PDF. In IE 4.x and 5 it uses three requests. For IE 5.5+ it uses two. For a complete reference goto http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;q293792

    SharePoint issue list reports and Office 2003 web parts

    Windows SharePoint Services contains out of the box an issue list which you can use to track change request or problem reports about your product. If you go to the issue list you will also notice that there are some reports available for these issue lists. The great thing about these reports is that if Microsoft Office 2003 English Web Parts and Components (Freely downloadable) is installed on the server, the report generator for an issues list creates rich charts for report types. When a user clicks one of the report types on the Report page (reporthome.aspx), the user is directed to reportrich.aspx, which displays the chart. If the package is not installed, the user is instead directed to report.aspx and a rich chart is not displayed.

    The page which actually generates these reports is quite interesting as well, it is located in the Local_Drive:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\60\TEMPLATE\LAYOUTS\1033 folder and gives an interesting example about how you can use a sharepoint list as a basis for a graph generated with Office 2003 web components. One of the greatest flaws about the Office 2003 webparts is that you can only use ODBC datasources, it would have been a lot better if they used the data source catalog like the dataview webpart. I guess that if you take a look at the code in reportrich.aspx, you will get some nice guidelines about how to accomplish this.