Customizing SharePoint Portal Server 2003

While browing posts yesterday I noticed an article on customizing SPS 2003

In the article Luis talks about customizing the SPS.CSS style sheet located on the file system.  I just wanted to note that editing default files is unsupported due to the possibility of service pack overwrites etc.  As such, the team was kind enough to leave us with OOTB functionality allowing us to point to another style sheet.  This eliminates the need to edit default files but also allows us to do some of these customizations that Luis has pointed out.  All you have to do is add one easy extra step.  First “Copy/Paste” the SPS.CSS file and rename it.
To point to a new style sheet in SharePoint Portal Server 2003:

  1. Copy/Paste and Rename the SPS.CSS style sheet
  2. Click on site settings
  3. Select Change portal site properties and SharePoint site creation settings (under the “general heading”)
  4. At the bottom you can point to your new style sheet.

It’s great to see people starting to post about SharePoint Portal Server 2003 customization as I’ve had a lot of requests for information on SPS 2003.

I hope this tip helps,

How to live happily with a great designer (By Seth Godin)

For those of you that strive to create a pixel based purple cow each day, you should appeciate this article by Seth Godin dubbed How to live happily with a great designer“.

The only thing I would do differently is bold #8. After almost 15 years of designing professionally for the web I have come to the conclusion that contrary to popular, everyone is not an artist.

Getting started with developing, customizing and administering MOSS 2007/WSS v3?

If you are just getting started with the 2007 wave, MOSS 2007, WSS v3 and your head is spinning, take a step back, then search good for on-demand webcasts, lectures and or blog-posts from Ted Pattison and Bill English. Thse guys have really been tapping into some great material for Developers and IT Pro’s.
Ted Pattison has been tearing it up with the 2007 wave for development and customization topics.  On the administration front, Bill English has been chimining in with some fantastic posts.

Not to take away from the bazillion other bloggers, but these two have really, really been standing out in my opinion.  Hats off!

On top of that we have a lot of great new projects coming down the line, The SharePoint Community Kit, The SharePoint Learning Kit, The SharePoint Forums and SharePoint KICKS! just to name a few.

SharePoint Community Kit

Lawrence, and Bil have pointed out that CodePlex is officailly launched. One project that I am pleased to say Amanda and I will both be involved with is the SharePoint Community Kit.

You will be able to track the progress from the Project Site on CodePlex.

If you have ideas we are all ears, shoot me an email, leave a comment, use a pigeon … It’s all the same to me.

SharePoint Products and Technologies article on ActiveWin.com

ActiveWin.com sponsored me to go to Tech ED Boston as a technical writer this year. I had a chance to report back with several articles based on the events and things that really sparked my interest.
My latest article has been posted, this one very focused on SharePoint Technologies, and the community surrounding it.

Lawerence Liu from the SharePoint Team @ Microsoft was even kind enough to share his vision for the community and explains how the community helps to shape the SharePoint Product Group.

Read the “Microsoft Getting Serious About Collaboration” article here 

Designing in MOSS 2007/WSS 3.0 – “The Pitch” …

Coming from a web “designer” / graphic designer background, I have my fair share of beefs with SharePoint technologies as a web based platform.  I’ll have a fairly detailed post outlining some of that in the next day or so, in the interim I wanted to share a positive experience I had today while a colleague and I were mulling about under the hood, and something just clicked.

I have spent the last several weeks/months and continue to spend my days immersed in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0. Of course a major part of my focus is dealing with “customizing” the interface.

I am asked fairly often – What makes the next version better in terms of customization – today it finally sunk in and I have my pitch for designing in 2007.

“In past versions of SharePoint technologies I could strip a page down and customize it to the point it was unrecognizable as a “SharePoint” site.  With 2007 technologies, I can not only strip a page down and customize it, but I can also empower users to “Create” pages based on the customized versions without ever writing a single line of code.  That is a huge selling point 2007/v3 has over 2003/v2.

Don’t worry if you have no clue what I am talking about – I will be writing many step-by-step guides and articles on master pages, page layouts, content types, and how they can be leveraged using SharePoint Designer 2007 in the coming weeks.

Stay tuned – I have several other nice treats in the pipe which I’ll be able to share more on soon.