I’m Just a Feature

A very good read is available over on the Windows Mobile blog on how feature requests can or sometime cannot evolve into builds of the product.  It’s fascinating to read about the impacts of creating software for such a large user base.  I know we struggle with feature management with the development of our Team Tools line.  However that is a drop in the bucket compared to the millions of users that Microsoft products are created for. 

Makes me really appreciate just how many of the awesome features that I wanted for SharePoint 2007 actually made the cut!  I had a list that was several pages long of things I wanted to see in the next version.  And to my surprise, many of the items have been addressed.  Of course now I have a new list building because of the new potential that has been introduced by the product through all the great new features (no pun) that have been introduced such as content types, site columns, business data catalog, form services etc…

Just goes to show how good software will always have a path to evolve.

SharePoint 2007: Installation and Configuration

For those of us that grew up with SharePoint over the past 5 or so years, we know all too well the pains associated with the lack of resources early in the game.  That being said, I am continuously amazed at the excellent content being posted this early in the game on SharePoint 2007 and its associated features.

One perfect example comes from Harsh’s blog where he has written an excellent article on the details related to an SharePoint installation…Step by Step

Great use of screencaps and resource links. FANTASTIC Stuff!!  This is exactly the type of content the community needs to get more and more people running the latest bits, finding bugs and building enthusiasm over the new features.


SharePoint 2007 Screencasts

Ted Pattison has posted a dozen or so screencasts on some common items related to Office and SharePoint 2007 such as:

  • Building ASP.NET Web Parts for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0
  • Creating and Using Site Columns in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0
  • Creating and Using Content Types in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0
  • Getting Up and Running with Excel Services
  • Creating and Testing Features with Windows SharePoint Services 3.0
  • Creating and Customizing Site Pages with SharePoint Designer 2007
  • Creating Custom Workflows with SharePoint Designer 2007
  • Creating and Customizing Document Information Panels with InfoPath 2007
  • Extending The Office 2007 User Interface with a Custom Ribbon
  • Extending The Office 2007 User Interface with a Custom Task Pane
  • Creating and Using Event Handlers in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0
  • Generating Documents using the Office Open XML File Formats 
  • Check the SharePoint 2007 Screencasts out here!

    The Beauty of SharePoint 2007 – Scan for Broken Links

    The sites directory in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 has greatly improved and provides enhancements in both functionality and navigation. One of my favorite features is the ability to scan the sites directory for broken links.

    As a SharePoint adminstrator or manager, you will likely reach a point where many sites have been created however since their creation, some have been deleted or moved. SharePoint Portal Server 2003 made it very easy to organize your sites and create links to content. But like most traditional web sites, if you make a link and someone moves or deletes the content…your link is broken and you likely have no idea unless you go back and regularly check your links.

    In SharePoint 2007, there is a built in tool that will scan for broken links on demand directly from the actions tab.


    As well, if you are an administrator, you can schedule scans of the Site Directory views using the timer service.

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    The Beauty of SharePoint 2007 – Target Audiences with List Content

    One of my favorite features of SharePoint Portal Server 2003 was the abily to target certain content types via audiences within the various areas. This allowed for me to include a large amount of content within a single page but have the experience very relevant and personalized for each user.

    In SharePoint 2007, we will see the role of audiences expanded down into a special column type on lists that will allow you to filter content based on a person’s audience membership. This will open up many doors with respect to how one can organize and include content within a specific site.


    The Beauty of SharePoint 2007 – Sign In As Different User

    If you are like me and work for a company where you spend a lot of your time testing features or web parts for users of different security levels – then you have likely found it to be a bit of a pain to switch user logins when logged into SharePoint Portal Server 2003.

    However Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 has a beautiful feature that allows you to log in as another user by just a couple of quick clicks on the actions menu.


    Note: This series of posts is designed to show some of the great new features of SharePoint 2007 that are currently in BETA. Therefore some of these items may change over time so in essence all of these post may have an expiry date.

    InfoPath 2007 Webcasts

    This day just keeps getting better…

    As I am waiting for Windows Server 2003 SP1 to finish downloading I decided to catch up a little on my reading and found 3 great new webcasts coming up this month on InfoPath 2007 from the InfoPath Product Team blog.

    New Features in Office InfoPath 2007
    Time: Tuesday, April 11, 2006 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM (PST)

    Presenter: Gray Knowlton, SR. Product Manager – Office
    Description: This webcast presents an overview of the new features in Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007 and InfoPath Forms Services. Join us to learn how you can use InfoPath 2007 to automate and extend business processes by utilizing XML and integration standards to connect electronic forms to virtually any application or system.

    Developing, Deploying, and Hosting Rich Client and Browser Forms for Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007
    Time: Tuesday, April 18, 2006 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM (PST)

    Presenter: Kalpita Deobhakta, Program Manager – InfoPath
    Description: Were you aware that you can design Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007 forms for both the rich client and the browser in a single step? This webcast presents the design-once process for InfoPath 2007, and covers debugging, deployment, and improving the performance and scalability of forms. Find out how to host the InfoPath rich client in other applications, and how to tightly integrate InfoPath 2007 forms into Web pages. We also discuss best practices for using the hosted form control to build powerful but easy-to-use solutions.

    Developing InfoPath Forms for Office InfoPath 2007
    Time: Monday, April 24, 2006 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM (PST)

    Presenter: Nima Mirzad, Program Manager – InfoPath
    Description: This webcast presents an overview of Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007 programmability features including the managed object model, template parts, and provisions for third-party hosting. We also discuss techniques for using Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Applications (VSTA) and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Tools for the Microsoft Office System (VSTO) to develop Office InfoPath 2007 forms.

    From a client application perspective, InfoPath was my superhero in the Office 2003 System. It allowed me to create many awesome business applications that improved the management of my team, our sales process, and most importantly our relationships with our customers. Most importantly however it was also an application that allowed me to be a superhero to some of our clients because I was also able to solve many of their information management problems with InfoPath forms coupled with SharePoint.

    2007 is my new favorite number!