Thursday, April 19, 2007

SharePoint article series - Business Data Catalog

One of our new SharePoint interns - Sven -  called this "the most powerfull feature in SharePoint" and I have to agree. When I saw the first demos from Business Data Catalog back at PDC in september 2005  (check out my post - IBF has a new brother - here comes BDC, Business Data Catalog), I was thrilled to finally see an easy way to integrate backend data into SharePoint Server 2007. For those who haven't done any BDC development - take a look at this article series from Sahil:

By the way, there finally is some clarity about the future of IBF (Information Bridge Framework) - Microsoft is suggesting customers not to invest in IBF anymore since LOBi is the way forward and it will replace IBF in the Office14 timeframe - for more info, take a look at Update on LOBi Services and IBF


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Quick Reminder - Visual Studio Extensions for WSS 3.0

The RTM version has just been released and you can get it here.

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BIWUG on Records Management with MOSS 2007

Next week, april 26th - another session from the Belgian Information Worker User Group (BIWUG) on information management policies and records management with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. I'll be talking about how you can extend the policies framework using .Net.


18u30 – 18u35: Welcome and Introduction
18u35 – 19u20: Records Management with MOSS 2007
19u20 – 20u05: Extending the Policies and Records Management framework in MOSS 2007
20u05 – 20u20: Break
20u20 – 21u: Business Intelligence with MOSS 2007


Getronics: Genevestraat 10, 1140 Evere

If you want to attend this meeting, please register on


Changes to SharePoint, Groove and CMS databases not supported

Apparently Microsoft finally created a knowledge base article about the Stay out of the database blogpost from Fitz ... KB841057 - Support for changes to the databases that are used by Office Server products and by Windows SharePoint Services.



Wednesday, April 04, 2007

SharePoint Server Language Packs downloads

Apparently, the SharePoint Server 2007 language packs are also publicly downloadable (previously you  could only download them from the Microsoft Volume Licensing Site) - here are the most commonly used in Belgium (yes we do speak 3 different languages):

For more information about language packs - take a look at the 2007 Office System - server products language offerings blog posting (it was released at beta2 timeframe but still contains some relevant info).



Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Consuming data from a SharePoint list in InfoPath and using data connection files

In the previous post, I showed how you can create and publish a browser-enabled InfoPath form. In this post, I will show how you can consume data from a SharePoint list.

First create a new custom list in the SharePoint site where you published the InfoPath template and give it the name Functions. Add a number of items to this list for defining the different job functions - e.g. architect, analyst, system engineer and developer. Open your InfoPath form in design mode and add a new data connection. Select "Create new connection to receive data" and type "XML document". Specify the address for the XML file - http://moss/sitedirectory/dummy2/_vti_bin/owssvr.dll?Cmd=Display&List=GUID&XMLDATA=TRUE - in this URL you will need to replace GUID with the Id of your list. You can actually find this Id by going to the list settings and using a part of the URL. Another thing you can use is the SPCAMLViewer tool.


Owssvr.dll is actually one of the SharePoint RPC methods - (for more info check out FrontPage RPCs are here to stay, too..., SharePoint and RPCs ... and they are also used for some other things such as Creating webpartpages. For a detailed discussion about how you can consume data from a SharePoint list (even using SharePoint views) in InfoPath - check out Populating form data from SharePoint list views


Make sure that you choose the option "Do not include the file in the form template" when using the data connection wizard. Now, you can convert this data connection to a data connection file and store the settings in a Data Connection library which is a new type of SharePoint document library for storing connection files. Use the Convert option in the Data Connection dialog.  A contributor can upload connection definitions but these need to be approved before other users can use them. There also is a Centrally Managed Connection Library which has some advantages:

  • Use data connections across site collections
  •  Anyone can read the CMCL (no extra security settings needed 
  • But … they need to be deployed by an administrator (this is also more secure)

Now, you can finally publish the form again. You will need to use these Data Connection libraries to work around the multihop delegation issues which you have when deploying InfoPath browser-enabled forms - check out Using webservices in browser-enabled forms with InfoPath 2007 Forms Services