Wednesday, December 20, 2006

InfoPath 2007 resources

General resources

InfoPath General Overview

InfoPath team Blog

Designing Form Templates With The New Features Of InfoPath

Using InfoPath E-mail Forms

InfoPath 2007 Focuses on Developers

InfoPath Developer Portal

Creating complex infopath controls in C#

How to do cascading dropdrowns in InfoPath Forms

Template parts in InfoPath 2007

How to make picture buttons in InfoPath 2003/2007


Forms Server 2007

Hosting the InfoPath 2007 Form Editing Environment in a Custom Web Form

Hosting InfoPath 2007 Forms in WSS v3 / MOSS 2007 Pages

Creating Browser-Enabled Forms with InfoPath 2007

How to Deploy an InfoPath 2007 Form Containing Managed Code to a Browser-Enabled WSS v3 Library

Rendering an InfoPath 2007 Form in a Web Part

InfoPath 2007, Forms Server, MOSS 2007

InfoPath Forms in Office SharePoint Server 2007

Plan Forms Services

InfoPath Forms for Workflows

Enterprise Solutions: A Developers Cookbook with Practical Solutions

Information Rights Management - Protecting Forms

MOSS and InfoPath 2007 - IT Showcase - Facilitating effective employee reviews at Microsoft

The anatomy of a UDC file

Where do UDC files come from?

Data connections in Browser Forms

InfoPath attachment control and the InfoPathViewer webpart

Using CAML to filter a infopath published boolean field (from a sharepoint list)

SPListItem looses Property data type when publishing Infopath form to a sharepoint list (MOSS 2007 beta2TR)



XPATH query tool (Free - pretty handy when doing InfoPath development)

XML Notepad 2007



IFP010 - Forms solutions with InfoPath 2007(English description) 


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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Automatic My Site creation with SharePoint 2007

Last week I got the question if it would be possible to automatically create the My Site for a specific user in SharePoint Server  2007. Normally the My Site gets created when the user accesses it for the first time. I got a some advice from a fellow MVP - Pierre  but when I looked at it a little more closely I noticed that some of the classes used in SharePoint Portal Server 2003 are now obsolete.

public static void CreatePersonalSite(string sAccount)

      //get portal site context from topology
      string strUrl = "http://moss";

      //TopologyManager Obsolete
TopologyManager tm = TopologyManager();
      PortalSite ps = tm.PortalSites[new Uri(strUrl)];
PortalContext pc = PortalApplication.GetContext(ps);

//initialize user profile config manager object

UserProfileManager upm = UserProfileManager(pc);
UserProfile u = upm.GetUserProfile(sAccount);



So how does the code look like using the new SharePoint Server 2007 object model.

public static void CreatePersonalSite(string sAccount)
    using (SPSite site = new SPSite("http://moss"))
       ServerContext context = ServerContext.GetContext(site);
       UserProfileManager profileManager = new UserProfileManager(context);
       UserProfile u = profileManager.GetUserProfile(sAccount);


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Monday, December 18, 2006

WSP - SharePoint Solution Files

In a previous post I talked about Features in MOSS 2007 and WSS 3.0 - these are a very powerful framework to extend your SharePoint platform. But at a certain point you will still need to deploy these features to your SharePoint servers (be it a single server or a complete web farm).

The best way to do this, is to create a SharePoint solution file - this is basically a cabinet file with the wsp extension.  This WSP file can be used to deploy web parts, template files, assemblies, code access security policies, site definitions or features.

To create a solution file you will need to create:

  • A manifest.xml file to specify what needs to happen
  • A DDF ( data directive) file which tells makecab.exe how to structure your cabinet file. You will need to use makecab since you will need a folder structure within your cabinet file (similar to the structure you will need underneath the "12" hive.

In the previous post about features - I pointed to a nice example of how you can change the Site Actions menu with a feature - here you can download a solution which includes a wsp file. If you rename the wsp file to cab and extract the manifest.xml file you get the contents listed below.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<Solution SolutionId="{5DA74A52-818A-4bba-B268-AD5E29361489}"
    <FeatureManifest Location="SiteActionsSubMenuDemo\Feature.xml"/>
    <Assembly DeploymentTarget="GlobalAssemblyCache"
        <SafeControl  Assembly="SiteActionsSubMenuDemo, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=e9db3057acd9c0f6"
                      Safe="True" />

After you have created the solution, you will need to deploy it  to the solution store which is a central location for all solution files. After you have deployed the solution to a single server, the SPTimer service will  synchronise/deploy  the solution automatically to the other servers in the farm.

Required steps:

  • Add solution: stsadm.exe -o addsolution -filename "solutionname.wsp"
  • Deploy solution - either from SharePoint Central Administration > Go to the Operations Tab - underneath the Global Configuration category you will see Solutions Management.


After you have deployed a solution you can still remove it - this action is called retracting. You can start retraction from the command line through stsadm.exe, from within SharePoint Central Admin or with the object model (Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPSolution.Retract)

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Bringing Web 2.0 to the Enterprise with the 2007 Office System

Just stumbled upon this new white paper - Bringing Web 2.0 to the Enterprise with the 2007 Office System . Summary: This white paper explores how the 2007 Office system allows enterprises to adopt Web 2.0 ideas and technologies to create high-value, user-driven applications for the Internet and intranet.

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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Excel 2007 generator with PHP

A colleague of mine - Maarten - has been working on  Office 2007 SpreadsheetML classes in PHP  - definitely check it out :


In my evening hours, I've been working on a set of PHP classes to create Offixe 2007 SpreasheetML documents (.xlsx files). I finished my first goals (some basic XLSX writing), and I want to share this set of classes to the community.


Currently, the following features are supported:

  • Create a Spreadsheet object
  • Add one or more Worksheet objects
  • Add cells to Worksheet objects
  • Export Spreadsheet object to Excel 2007 OpenXML format

Each cell supports the following data formats: string, number, formula, boolean.

Visual formatting is not implemented, but I'll get to that later.

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Visual Studio 2005 SP1 released

Visual Studio 2005 SP1 has been released - check out MSDN for more info - there's also a great blogpost from Heath Stewart about slipstreaming Visual Studio Service Pack 1 . For  developers using Windows Vista - they also released a beta of the Visual Studio 2005 SP1 update for Windows Vista

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Features in MOSS 2007 and WSS 3.0

The Features framework is something completely new in both MOSS 2007 and WSS 3.0. This framework enables you to package SharePoint functionality (be it a SharePoint list definition, a site definition, some web parts, UI components, or a combination of the previously mentionned ...) and to deploy it in a flexible way on a SharePoint server. It provides a more granular approach for adding functionality since you don't need to wrap your new functionality anymore in a site definition. For a detailed description take a look at Working with Features

What is interesting to now is that the SharePoint team has actually used this feature framework itself to built WSS 3.0 and MOSS. E.g. all the standard built-in list types are created as separate features. You will find them underneath c:\program files\common files\microsoft shared\web server extensions\12\templates\features\  - for an overview of which of these features are linked to MOSS and which to WSS - take a look at What's a MOSS vs WSS feature.

So if you navigate to  C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\TEMPLATE\FEATURES\AnnouncementsList you will see the feature.xml for the announcements list.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<Feature Id="00BFEA71-D1CE-42de-9C63-A44004CE0104"
<ElementManifest Location="ListTemplates\Announcements.xml"/>

If you look at it from a developers stand point a feature is actually nothing more then a couple of XML files and their associated resources. Which are the most interesting "features of features":

  • Possible to extend existing sites "Light up"
  • Activation and deactivation of features

Every features is scoped at a certain level:

  • Farm
  • Web application
  • Site Collection
  • Web

So if you need to deploy a certain component for a specific type of site (so actually a specific site defintion) you can actually use a feature for it - for a complete discussion of how to do this take a look at the post about Feature stapling


So what do you need when you create a new Feature - a very simple feature will just require to simple files:

  • MyFeatureName.xml : defines the feature itself and the different components linked to this feature
  • Elements.xml :  definition of the separate components - the feature.xml actually references Elements.xml

 It is also possible to hook up your own event handlers with activation and deactivation event of features. Take a look at  Feature Events - these feature provisioning callouts allow you to write code that handle specific events that occur in the lifecycle of a Feature.

The easiest way to learn more about features is to take a look at the OOTB features available as well as to the resources listed below.

Some interesting uses of features:

Creating ContentTypes in SharePoint 2007 by using a feature
Activating Features in a site definition in SharePoint 2007

Making development easier with the SharePoint Feature Manager
Feature Explorer

Adding site colums to Office SharePoint Server by using Features

Adding sub menus to site actions in SharePoint

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

SharePoint 2007 upgrade - Technical and Business?

Mauro recently wrote down some random thoughts on WSS 3.0/MOSS 2007 - I'm going to quote a piece which I think was very important :

Speaking of upgrade, I think there are two types: Technical and Business.  I've seen a lot written already about the various options for upgrading (in-place, side-by-side, etc.).  These are all METHODS of the Technical Upgrade.  The goal is to simply stand a V3 instance of a V2 portal.  This is very different than a Business Upgrade.  Here we focus on leveraging new features, redesigning outdated taxonomies, etc.  When I present, I explain these (I'm a visual person) as two steps: (1) Lateral (my hands move left to right) to explain a technical upgrade and (2) Upward (my hands my up) to explain a business upgrade.  Both are different; each requires its own planning.

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New blog on SharePoint 2007 Search

Lawrence pointed today to a new blog on SharePoint 2007 search from Mike - some interesting posts:

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Links roundup for course SharePoint 2007 for Admins

Last week, I was teaching another course of SharePoint Server 2007 for Administrators - one of the custom courses I wrote in the last year when doing all the SharePoint 2007 beta testing. I promised to my students a couple of links - so here they are:


Installation instructions

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Saturday, December 09, 2006

OBA Reference Application for Supply Chain Management

Microsoft recently released the Reference application pack for an OBA (More about OBA here - Office Business Applications - crossing the chasm ) for supply chain management (SCM). Download RAP for SCM -  it will get you up to speed with what Microsoft actually means with Office Business Applications. I don't know if we can expect some other reference application (Update: it seems that there is already another one available - Reference Application Pack for Retail using WCF, Biztalk and Business ScoreCard Manager) since Microsoft actually expect us to build OBAs targetted at specific industries or specific functional domains - all the different components are available in 2007 Office System now we only need to knit them together to create our own solutions.

PS I also found this interesting video - Channel 9 - Lewis Levin on Office Business Applications


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Monday, December 04, 2006

SharePoint 2007 workflow development

The number of online resources about workflow development on the SharePoint platform is finally increasing. If you want to start doing workflow development on MOSS 2007 yourself, you will first need to download the next two resources:


First start of by reading about the basics of workflow in WSS and MOSS:

Understanding Workflow in Windows SharePoint Services V3 and the 2007 Microsoft Office system

Developer Introduction to Workflows for Windows SharePoint Services V3 and SharePoint Server 2007

Introduction to SharePoint Workflow


Also take a look at the series of workflow articles by Eilene Hao on the SharePoint Blog - these are a must read:

Developing workflows in VS: Part 1 - Workflow objects and a crash course on mechanics

Developing workflows in VS: Part 2 - Planning your workflow : two things to keep in mind

Developing workflows in VS: Part 3 - Five steps for developing your workflow

Developing workflows in VS : Part 4 - Design and bind your forms

Developing Workflows in VS: Part 5 - Code Your Workflow

Developing Workflows in VS: Part 6 - Deploy and Debug your workflow

Developing Workflows in VS: Part 7 - Summary and Final Thoughts


Some other resources:

Workflow Activities for Windows SharePoint Services Overview

How Windows SharePoint Services Processes Workflow Activities 

Workflow Initialization in Windows SharePoint Services 

InfoPath Forms for Workflows 

Windows Workflow Foundation

Walkthrough: Using the SharePoint Server 2007 Approval Workflow

Workflow Tips (Part II - Collect Feedback)

Workflow Tips (Part I - Configurable Approvers)

A WorkFlow that Uploads a Document via a Task using an InfoPath Form

Creating Workflows for Windows SharePoint Services  (Virtual Lab)

Creating Custom Workflows with SharePoint Designer 2007  (Webcast) 


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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Funcast about blogs and wikis

Bart his funcast about blogs and wikis in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 is now available for viewing - for those of you who have missed it - take a look at it here


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Saturday, December 02, 2006

Office Business Applications - crossing the chasm

It has been a couple of months since I first blogged about Office Business Applications and LOBi for Office SharePoint Server and More about LOBi, SharePoint 2007 and Office Business Application (OBA) services .

At TechEd Europe - I attended an interesting whiteboard session together with some members of the Office Business Applications (OBA)  team (Joanna Bichsel , Rob Barker, Chris Bryant and Matt Hallett ).

So what is OBA all about -  I think a great intro is the blogpost from  Erik Ehrli - Office Business Applications - what is it, and how can I get started? 

Also take a look at the video on Channel 9 - Office 2007 - Office Business Applications. Basically you should think of OBA as an excellent example of composite applications - these applications will either use the SharePoint UI or Office clients as your primary UI and will use all of the different capabilities of the new 2007 Office System platform  such as the Business Data Catalog, search, workflow, Excel Services, the new Open XML formats, the UI extensibility and the different WSS core features such as the web part framework. This cleary positions Office 2007 as a suitable platform for building applications - see Office 2007 the next platform for Business Applications

So why am I talking about crossing the chasm (and no, I'm not talking about the book by Geoffry Moore - allthough I think it is an interesting book)? What I am referring to is the gap between the way that systems work and the way that people work. There have been huge investments in system software such as CRM and ERP systems but these systems are not widely accepted in most organisations because they simply do not fit the expectations of the typical end users - people who spend most of their time in applications such as Outlook, Excel and Word.  So what we are waiting for are applications which will enable us to cross this result gap.

There is another post which talks about this issue with another metaphor - talking about the last mile of productivity problem. This post also talks about the different characteristics of this next generation of applications:

· Easy to use –  allow users to use familiar and powerful Office clients for information consumption

· Role-Based –  are not one-size-fits-all, but have role specific interfaces for greater productivity and decision making

· Collaborative – are collaborative, allowing people-to-people interactions, and address the ad-hoc business activity surrounding a business process

· Configurable –  are highly customizable, by end users and IT alike. As the business landscape changes decision makers can customize these apps to adapt and enable the change

· Contextual –  allow users to make decisions in the context of business problem(s) they are working on

There are already a couple of examples available one of the better know is the Dynamics Snaps project. I will probably be posting some more stuff about OBA in the future.

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Bringing XBOX back

Another funny video -  Bringing XBOX back ...

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Mac Attack on soapbox - way funny

Take a look at this Mac attack ...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

XML Notepad 2007

Just downloaded it - XML Notepad 2007 - handy little utility



Office 2007 - VSTO SE addins show errors

If you are doing VSTO development with Office 2007 - there is a very easy way to get some insight into your Ribbon XML syntax errors. Open you Word 2007, go to Word Options >Advanced  - scroll all the way down untill you reach the General section and check the  Show Add-in user interface errors checkbox.

Eric published another nice tip on his blog - Getting Ribbon XML intellisense in VSTO 2005 SE

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Configuring incoming email settings in WSS and MOSS

The ability to couple an e-mail adress to a SharePoint list in both Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and WSS 3.0 is a very interesting feature and it seems there are a number of posts out there which describe how to do this. Recently a  Screen cast about how to configure a SharePoint Server 2007 site to receive e-mail  appeared but the best explanation still remains the white paper which Steve wrote - you can find it , he recently updated it to reflect the changes for RTM.

It is however also possible to use e-mail enabled lists with a simple SMTP server setup on a standalone server - listed below are the different steps required:

1. Install SMTP Server and configure it to relay mail

a. Open the IIS MMC snapin

b. Right click on Properties of Default SMTP Virtual Server

c. Click the Access Tab, Relay. Add the IP address of the SharePoint server to the computers that can relay through this virtual server. 

d. Click the Delivery tab, Advanced. For Masquerade Domain enter the netbios name of your web server, for Smart Host enter the netbios name of your server that you are using.

2. Configure the incoming e-mail settings in WSS/MOSS

a. Open the SharePoint Central Administration and navigate to the Operations tab

b. Underneath the Topologies and  Services categories - you will find a link to Incoming e-mail settings

c. Enable incoming e-mail and use the advanced settings mode.

d. Leave the Directory Management Services defaults as they are (No)

e. Fill in the e-mail server display address

f. For the drop folder put c:\inetpub\mailroot\drop - if you are not using the default settings you will need to change this


3. Configure the e-mail settings for a specific list/library.

a. Click on list settings for a specif list/library

b. Under Communication settings, click Email settings

c. Check the Enable this list to receive e-mails.

d. Fill in an e-mail address for the list/library


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Monday, November 27, 2006

Rosebud and Office 2007

When doing an  Office 2007 installation - I noticed an installation folder with the mysterious name - Rosebud (I was pretty sure, it had nothing to do with Citizen Kane ...). After looking around a little bit I found some interesting comments on a posting by Scott Hanselman . Here is a quick rundown of the info about Rosebud:

Rosebud isn't new, actually I remember coding Exchange 2000 and SharePoint 2001 customisations using it around 6 years ago. As you correctly pointed out, it is the "codename" for the MSDAIPP component (Microsoft Data Access Internet Publishing Provider) an OLEDB provider for WebDAV, and it is used for client access to SharePoint. If you are really bored, this KB article talks about it all in more detail (2003 flavour of products), things may have changed with the 2007 flavour.

And here is another one:

Rosebud (the ms data access internet publishing provider - msdaipp.dll) is not new - I wrote it in 1998 at MS. It is in fact an OLEDB provider that makes the Internet look like an OLE DB rowset. A row is an URL that represents a web resource (such as an html page), the columns of the row represent various properties of the resource such as size, mod date, etc. This page in turn may itself be viewed as a rowset which will be filled with all of the links on that page. In this way you can navigate the web by tunneling through rowsets. It supports FTP and HTTP protocols. It's smart about DAV if the server talks DAV. It even works with the local offline cache and will return resources from the cache if they exist there. Rosebud is the primary way that Office Web Folders and My Network Places get to the Internet, while being smart about offline files.

To use it just instantiate a provider with provider name = msdaipp.dso, data source=an url. More info at

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WebParts, server controls, InfoPath and SharePoint 2007

It seems that Jeroen started blogging again - check out these postings:

List of SharePoint bloggers

Bob Mixon just published list of SharePoint bloggers .

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Friday, November 24, 2006

Allow Office 2000, Office XP and Office 2003 users to open your Office 2007 documents

By installing the Compatibility Pack in addition to Microsoft Office 2000, Office XP, or Office 2003, you will be able open, edit, and save files using the file formats new to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007. The Compatibility Pack can also be used in conjunction with the Microsoft Office Word Viewer 2003, Excel Viewer 2003, and PowerPoint Viewer 2003 to view files saved in these new formats. For more information about the Compatibility Pack, see Knowledge Base article 923505.

Supported versions:

  • Microsoft Word 2000 with Service Pack 3, Microsoft Excel 2000 with Service Pack 3, and Microsoft PowerPoint 2000 with Service Pack 3
  • Microsoft Word 2002 with Service Pack 3, Microsoft Excel 2002 with Service Pack 3, and Microsoft PowerPoint 2002 with Service Pack 3
  • Microsoft Office Word 2003 with at least Service Pack 1, Microsoft Office Excel 2003 with at least Service Pack 1, and Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003 with at least Service Pack 1
  • Microsoft Office Word Viewer 2003
  • Microsoft Office Excel Viewer 2003
  • Microsoft Office PowerPoint Viewer 2003

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  • Thursday, November 23, 2006

    SharePoint 2007 - Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) supported

    I'm also giving a SharePoint 2007 for Administrators training and one of the things I talk about are the different backup/restore options available in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. One of the new features here is support for Volume Shadow Copy - VSS  allows you to take snapshots of files while they're in use - for more info check out How Volume Shadow Copy Service works. This will allow third party vendors to build backup solutions for SharePoint with less effort.

    For some more new stuff - take a look at What's new for IT Professionals in Office SharePoint Server 2007

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    Master Page Switcher for WSS 3.0

    The ability to change a master page with out-of-the-box features is only available with MOSS as it is part of the WCM layer. WSS alone doesn’t provide any of these capabilitie.

    The “Master Page” link in Site Settings is added when the Publishing Features are activated. It’s not an issue, it’s by design.

    If you want the user to be able to change the master page through the WSS UI you will need to create a custom solution for that using an application page and a feature to add menuing options to that application page.

    Check out Renaud’s master page switcher on codeplex.

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    SharePoint 2007 IT Pro stuff

    Some random IT Pro related SharePoint stuff

    General documentation

    Capacity planning

    Within these docs you'll find data on servers, server topologies, system sizing, figuring out requests per second, understanding performance characteristics and guidance around features, etc ...

    Security Best Practices - great posting

    Upgrade documentation


    Other stuff

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    Wednesday, November 22, 2006

    DOD certification for MOSS

    I saw the first mention about DOD 5015.2 certification for MOSS - in a comment on a posting about Content Types and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised. A little bit later an official post arrived about DOD 5015.2 certification for Office SharePoint Server 2007 . Apparently Microsoft will release a Records Center addon to provide the additional functionality - the  certification test is scheduled for  may 2007.


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    Random thoughts about XAML, WFML and similar concepts

    I have given a course about .Net 3.0 this week and I was quite impressed when going through the labs about what XAML actually can accomplish.

    XAML is basically an XML-based markup “language” that allows you to build up objects using a declarative syntax. When looking for more info I suddenly stumbled upon this article by Joe Stegman which demonstrates something similar called Windows Forms Markup Language (WFML - a 2005 article). Which again led me to this blogpost which talks about Glade and the GTK# UI in Linux - and basically says that the idea of using XML markup for representing UI is not quite new. For more info about Glad - a free interface builder for GTK+ and GNOME - take a look at

    Again from here, you are not very far away from similar things such as MyXAML (Also a project which started in 2004) .


    I guess I completely missed all these geeky little frameworks - probably serves me right for being so SharePoint focussed :) ...

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    Should you blog? Sure ...

    Nice posting from Hans with some tips for people who start blogging ...


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    Sunday, November 19, 2006

    Reminder - take a look at SharePoint Utility Suite

    Mental note - take a look at the SharePoint Utility Suite - this tool kit is currently being migrate from to Codeplex . For more info  about the latest release take a look at the blog from Keith Richie -

  • SPSiteManager 2.2 complete
  • Hey! Where can I get SPSiteManager 2.2???
  • There will also be a version for WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007.

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    SharePoint and Powershell

    Found this one Arno Nels blog  - after seeing Bart in action at TechEd I was wondering where I could use Powershell in combination with SharePoint - well here it is :


    Now this is interesting. On the "Adventures in SPWonderland" Blog, there is a series on how to use Powershell with Sharepoint. Check out these posts:

     For those that dont know what Powershell is, check out these sites:

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    InfoPath/SharePoint blog worthwhile reading

    One of the guys on the InfoPath team pointed to the blog of one of my co-workers - Kristof De Causemaeker.


    Shoutout to Kristof De Causemaeker - his blog has interesting articles on both InfoPath and SharePoint; couple particularly cool posts:

    1) Great walkthrough on template parts, new InfoPath 2007 feature that allows you to modularize components of your form templates.

    2) Cool trick on how to make picture buttons in InfoPath 2003 and 2007. It won't work in browser forms, but it can make your smart client forms prettier.

    Alex Weinstein
    Program Manager


    Kristof is also teaching our InfoPath 2007 course - IFP010 - Forms solutions with InfoPath 2007(English description). If you want subscribe to this course just go to - underneath the Education tab you will find both an online calendar or one in PDF format. (The course is located underneath the Office development category).

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    Info about NTLM, Kerberos and MOSS 2007

    I recently stumbled upon this very interesting blog from Chris Gideon - definitely check out these postings:

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    Thursday, November 16, 2006

    Ms. Dewey - next generation search ;-) ...

    Definitely, check this one out - - it uses Live Search but the interface is so much better ;-) ....


    PS Thanks Patrick for providing the link ...


    Release to Web of MOSS 2007 and WSS 3.0

    Take a look at the post from Joel Oleson - Announcing the RTW of WSS and Office SharePoint Server 2007 One thing you should watch out for, is that you use the eval key for the edition that you will ultimately deploy because downgrading from Enterprise to Standard Edition will not be supported.

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    Wednesday, November 15, 2006

    More Office 2007 Hands on Labs

    2007 Microsoft Office System: Virtual Lab Express

    Virtual Lab Express: Microsoft 2007 Office System Overview


    2007 Microsoft Office System

    Programmatic Manipulation of the Microsoft Office Open XML Formats

    Understanding the 2007 Microsoft Office System User Experience and Interface Design

    Office SharePoint Server 2007 Functional and Architectural Overview

    Benefits of Deploying the 2007 Office System

    Overview of the 2007 Microsoft Office System Components


    Windows SharePoint Services 3.0

    Creating Workflows for Windows SharePoint Services

    Introducing Content Types for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0

    What's New in Windows SharePoint Services Feature Walkthrough

    Introduction to Windows SharePoint Services 3.0

    Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services Installation and Configuration

    Implementing and Administering Windows SharePoint Services 3.0


    Office SharePoint Server 2007

    What's New in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Feature Walkthrough

    Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Installation and Configuration

    Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Records Management Deployment and Configuration

    Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Enterprise Features Administration

    Business Solutions Using Office SharePoint Server 2007

    Enterprise Content Management with Office SharePoint Server 2007

    Organizing and Finding Resources with Office SharePoint Server 2007

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    ISV Virtual Labs

    David recently pointed to a number of MSDN virtual labs which are part of the ISV training series. There are also a number of interesting 2007 Office System trainings in there - check them out - for all the other trainings (Vista, SQL 2005 and VS2005) take a look at the MSDN virtual labs page.


    The 2007 Microsoft Office system

    The 2007 Microsoft Office system delivers a new level of programmability and extensibility to the Microsoft Office client applications, as well as new scenarios via the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. Try out the 2007 Microsoft Office system in a full-featured MSDN Virtual Lab. It's simple-no complex setup or installation is required.
    Creating Workflows for Windows SharePoint Services
    Introducing Content Types for Windows SharePoint Services
    Understanding the 2007 Microsoft Office System User Experience and Interface Design
    Programmatic Manipulation of the Microsoft Office Open XML Formats

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    TechED Barcelona 2006 pictures

    Patrick already pointed to his collection of pictures from TechED Barcelona 2006 - I just uploaded mine as well to Flickr - check out PortalGeek at Flickr - people who will recognize themselves on the photos - Bart De Smet, David Boschmans, Tom Mertens, Gunther Beersaerts, Jan Tielens, Patrick Tisseghem , Hans Verbeeck . If I missed some names (and their blogs), leave a comment

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    Friday, November 10, 2006

    Understanding and troubleshooting the SharePoint Explorer View

    Another must read article- Understanding and troubleshooting the SharePoint explorer view - I talked with Renaud about it yesterday and he told me that nothing much has changed for MOSS/WSS3.0 concerning the Explorer view.


    The Explorer View feature that is included with Windows SharePoint Services and is also available in Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server lets users access files stored in the SharePoint database using the familiar Windows Explorer interface. To the end user, this appears to be a very simple and robust feature. In reality, it is the result of a complex series of interactions between many individual components provided by separate Microsoft products.

    This white paper is an effort to accomplish three things:

    • Provide an overview of the Explorer View architecture.
    • Document the causes and resolutions of problems you are likely to encounter when using the Explorer View in a corporate environment.
    • Describe basic troubleshooting steps to be performed before engaging Microsoft Customer Support Services (CSS).

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    Thursday, November 09, 2006

    Funcast - how to create a blog and wiki with SharePoint 2007

    Mark this in your agenda :

    Bart Bultinck will be presenting a funcast hosted by Microsoft Belux on Sharepoint on November 22nd at 4:00 PM (GMT+1).  The funcast is entitled "How to create a blog site and Wiki with Sharepoint 2007". During this 30min demo session Bart will show and explain you how to create your own blog and wiki site with Sharepoint 2007.
    Full details and free registration can be found

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    Windows Rights Management Services with MOSS 2007 Step-By-Step Guide

    A must read - download it:

    Deploying Windows Rights Management Services with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Step-By-Step Guide provides instructions for deploying Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 in a Microsoft Windows Rights Management Services (RMS) with Service Pack 2 environment. It includes the necessary information for installing and configuring RMS, installing and configuring Office SharePoint Server 2007 in the newly created RMS infrastructure, and verifying that Office SharePoint Server 2007 documents can be rights-protected and consumed.

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    Wednesday, November 08, 2006

    MSDN articles - Web Content Management on MOSS 2007

    Patrick has finally published his articles about Web Content Management on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007:

    I will also publish another blog post to give you more insight into the delegatecontrol and master pages in MOSS/WSS 3.0 in a couple of days.

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    Adding intellisense to your XML files in VS 2005 applied to WSS 3.0

    If you are doing SharePoint development, you will seeing a lot of XML files - ONET.XML, SCHEMA.XML, editing these is not a small task so it would be nice if you could add intellisense when editing these files in VS2005. (The next stuff applies to WSS 3.0 but can be used for all types of XML files)

    For WSS 3.0 there actually is a schema definition which you can use to add intellisense - it is located underneath c:\program files\common files\microsoft shared\web server extensions\12\templates\xml\wss.xsd

    There are 2 ways you can use this file:

    • Right click your open XML file and go to properties Schemas and specify the file over here. This is a lot of work since you will need to do it every time again
    • Add WSS.xsd to the Visual Studio schema cache . The XML editor in VS2005 provides a schema cache underneath %installdir%\xml\schemas. This schema cache is used to include standard XML schemas that are used for Intellisense and XML document validation. To add a new schema, you can easily copy an existing one, rename it and and add in your own association declaration.

    <SchemaCatalog xmlns="">
    <Schema href="file://C:/Program Files/Common Files/Microsoft Shared/web server extensions/12/TEMPLATE/XML/wss.xsd" targetNamespace=""/>

    So next time your editing one of the SharePoint XML files you should change the xmlns attribute to and VS2005 will automatically give you intellisense.

    Thanks for the tip Todd and happy SharePointing everyone ...

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    Office Developer 101 - VSTO 2005 SE and VSEWSS

    I agree with Jan - the OFF205 Office Developer 101 - How to get started building Office 2007 solutions was a great session. We got to see two great tools that help developers building solutions on 2007 Office System :

    These are two tools which will make life a lot easier - but the development scenario shown for VSEWSS was according to me the most compelling one.

    If you want to create a quick solution for WSS 3.0 you would typically start by customizing the site through the user interface in your browser (Add some webparts, add some custom lists, etc ...) afterwards you could open up SharePoint Designer and start customizing the site even further. You can for example start modifying the stylesheet of your WSS 3.0 site to change the look&feel- it is now called core.css, in WSS 2.0 it was ows.css. The problem is that once you start modifying your site with SharePoint Designer (SPD)  - the content is moved into the database (this concept was called ghosting and unghosting in SPS2003) - you notice this when you customise a ASP.NET page in SPD and save it a little blue icon appears next to it. (BTW they are now calling it customized and uncustomized pages)

    But at a certain point you will need to do some development work on top of all the modifications you have now done. Well, previously you were just stuck ... bummer.

    Now with VSEWSS you can simply use the SharePoint Solution Generator and extract all of the modifications you made and add it to a Site Definition project. In this project you will get your modified stylesheet, all the necessary XML files (ONET.XML, SCHEMA.XML, ...) and the ASPX pages (for all of the list forms and the default one). Starting from here you can further work with it and add your own extra list definitions, web parts, etc ...

    One of the things which is extremely cool here is the F5 run/debug option (will work only locally - so you will have to develop on the server). This does not only works with web parts but also when you create a new site defintion. So, create your project, hit F5 and everything will be build and deployed to SharePoint for you (behind the scenes it is using all the magic from the post-build steps in VS2005). It even creates a SharePoint Solution Package (WSP file) for you (A solution is a deployable, reusable package that can contain a set of features and site definitions, templates, Web Parts, and assemblies that you can apply to a site, and individually enable or disable - see Solutions and Web Part Packages )

    PS If you write about Visual Studio 2005 Extensions for WSS add the VSEWSS technorati tag ... it makes it easy to track all posts about this subject. Nick, too bad you aren't here

    PS2 If you have questions or need support, use the microsoft.public.sharepoint.development_and_programming newsgroup.

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    Tuesday, November 07, 2006

    [TechED Session review] WSS 3.0 and MOSS as a development platform

    I just finished David Gristwood's talk about SharePoint as a development platform - very interesting overview but not a lot of in depth topics (I should probably not expect more from a Level 200 session). Here is a quick rundown of my OneNote notes :

    7 reasons why developers will love SharePoint 2007 (WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007):

    1. Built on top of ASP.NET 2.0

    • Web Parts (But also master pages, provider model, ….)
    • Site template with behaviors + different components (web parts, lists, etc …)
    • Use plain ASP.NET 2.0 when you really need full control on all aspect of the platform. When reproducibility/reusability is a key use WSS or MOSS
    • Web part manager, web part zones - ootb present in WSS/MOSS

    2. Data, metadata, features, content types …

    • Rich Object Model
    • Features - possible to hook up your own code and UI - activate and deactivate features - more flexible model

    3. InfoPath Forms Services

    • Forms are everywhere
    • InfoPath Forms Services offer server side generation and handling of forms

    4. Workflow

    • Workflow technology
      • Business run on business processes
      • Succesfull executing business process is a key success factor for companies
      • Easier for developers - provide another layer of abstraction - easier to visualize complex software problems
      • More time on business process development and less on plumbing (state management, etc …)
      • Code creap - with every change - easier to build modular software

    5. Excel services

    • Great charting and calculation engine
    • Now server-side calculation engine available for browser based spreadsheet viewing & interactivity (It's like DDE all over again but this time on a scalable server platform)

    6. Business Data Catalog (BDC)

    • XML metadata driven engine to integrate your backend systems (CRM, ERP systems, …)
    • OOTB web parts present - Business Data Detail WebPart, Business Data List Web Part, ...
    • Will evolve into Line of Business Integration (LOBi) and Office Business Entities (OBE) - unification of the programming model on the client and server side of Office

    7. Lots of other stuff : document and storage enhancements, Business Intelligence solutions possible, multi language support, wikis and blogs, ...

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    More about Visual Studio 2005 Extensions for WSS 3.0

    It seems that it installs correctly on the Beta2 Technical Refresh - so if you really can't wait you can try it out immediately. I just checked the SharePoint Solution Genertor and it worked great. Tony has already posted a walkthrough with some screenshots for VS2005 extensions for WSS 3.0 .

    I'm off to the TechEd Europe Keynote  - if you are not here - definitely check out the Virtual Side

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    Visual Studio 2005 Extensions for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 released (CTP)

    I'm at TechEd Europe and I just saw this new download coming up. This is what we have been waiting for ... direct support for  doing SharePoint development within Visual Studio. You can now download Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 tools: Visual Studio 2005 extensions .

    It requires you to use the RTM version of Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 but I will try this out later to see how it behaves with the currently available build - Beta2 Technical Refresh.

    It contains a number of tools for developing custom SharePoint applications: Visual Studio project templates for Web Parts (logical successor to the web part project templates for WSS 2.0/SPS 2003), site definitions, and list definitions; and a stand-alone utility program, the SharePoint Solution Generator.

    So what's in it:

    Visual Studio 2005 Project Templates

    • Web Part
    • Team Site Definition
    • Blank Site Definition
    • List Definition

    Visual Studio 2005 Item Templates (items that can be added into an existing project)
    • Web Part
    • Custom Field
    • List Definition (with optional Event Receiver)
    • Content Type (with optional Event Receiver)
    • Module

    SharePoint Solution Generator
    • This stand-alone program generates a Site Definition project from an existing SharePoint site. The program enables developers to use the browser and Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer to customize the content of their sites before creating code by using Visual Studio.

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    Windows SDK for Vista and .Net 3.0 Runtime components available for download

    The Microsoft® Windows® Software Development Kit (SDK) for Windows  (tools and samples run on Vista,as well as on Windows 2003 SP1 and Windows XP SP2) provides the documentation, samples, header files, libraries, and tools you need to develop applications that run on Windows.

    The Windows SDK includes content for application development with the APIs in Windows Vista, including the .NET Framework 3.0 technologies: .NET Framework 2.0, Windows® Presentation Foundation, Windows® Communication Foundation, Windows® Workflow Foundation, and Windows CardSpace™.

    This SDK is designed for use with Windows Vista (which includes Framework 3.0). The Windows SDK for Vista also supports creating applications for Windows XP, Windows Server® 2003 SP1, and Windows Server 2003 R2.

    This download contains the SDK only. To build .NET Framework 3.0 applications for Windows XP or Windows Server, the .NET Framework 3.0 Runtime Components must be downloaded separately.


    PS The Windows SDK is about 1.2 GB big and can be downloaded as a DVD ISO image as well.

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    2007 Office System RTM'ed

    Microsoft announced RTM (Release To Manufacturating) for 2007 Office System - take a look at this press release . It will be available for business customers on November 30 but RTW(Release to Web) on MSDN will probably be sooner. Also check out the comments from Jensen Harris (Office Team - must read blog) and Chris Pratley (OneNote team)

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    Sunday, November 05, 2006

    Speculation about launch dates Vista, Office 2007 and Exchange Server 2007 continues

    According to IT Wire  and Redmond Mag Vista, Exchange 2007 and Office 2007 (incl. Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007) will be launched on November 30th. Some other sources already suggest that Vista will become available even sooner - Vista will RTM tomorrow allthough other sources deny this - Paul Thurrott says Vista won't RTM until 8th November

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    Must reads for InfoPath 2007 developers


    For those of you out there who are doing InfoPath 2007  design/development- definitely check out the InfoPath Team blog - they recently published some great articles:

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