Internet Explorer 7: Public Preview

Great News! – Internet Explorer 7 is now available for everyone to download. Microsoft wants you to start testing your sites in Internet Explorer 7.

Via The IE Blog:
I’m very excited we’ve released a public preview of beta2 that everyone can download. I’m also very happy that we’ve opened up a couple of different avenues to take your feedback. As Dean mentioned, there is a great checklist for site developers on the IE7 preview site; I wanted to call out a specific item on that list.


Download Internet Explorer 7 Public Preview

SharePoint Customization: Search SharePoint with MSN Desktop Search

Common Question:
Is it possible to search our intranet (SPS) using MSN Desktop Search?

Answer:

This tidbit from Mark Harrison:
Ive just come across a Registry hack to add a button to the UI (need to logoff/on).

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftDesktopSearch]
“PrimaryIntranetSearchScopeUrl”=”Intranet,http://msweb/search.aspx?k=$w”

Save the text in a file with a .REG suffix and then invoke it. Note replace the name in green with your SharePoint machine name.

See also:

Searching SPS using MSN Desktop Search by Mark Bower

MSN Desktop Search supports some basic extensibility using an aliasing syntax to create web shortcuts. You can use these shortcuts to enable you to search your intranet from the MSN DeskBand.

Let’s say your SPS site exists at http://my-portal/. SharePoint Portal Server allows you to initiate a search via an HTTP GET request. The syntax for this is defined in the SharePoint Products and Technologies SDK. If I wanted to search for the term Office on the portal the search URL would be: http://my-portal/search.aspx?k=Office. To perform this search from the DeskBand you need to create a shortcut to the portal search. Type the following command into the deskband and press Enter:

@sps,http://my-portal/search.aspx?k=$w

Hey Presto, you have some basic integration with SharePoint search! Now you can just type:
sps Office in the Deskbar to kick off SPS search for the word Office.

The SPS search syntax also enables you to further narrow down the search scope, specifying just people, just documents etc., so you could create other more specialist shortcuts. For instance for a people search you can use this shortcut:
@person,http://my-portal/search.aspx?k=$w&w=”DAV:contentclass”=’urn:content-class:SPSPeople’

And do a search from the DeskBand like this:
person Mark Bower

The full SPS HTTP-GET syntax is defined here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/spptsdk/html/SearchGET.asp

SharePoint Customization: Lookup Columns and Calculated Values

Great tip from Dustin Miller

I mention in just about every Bootcamp that the biggest problem with calculated fields is that you can’t use them in lookups. Well, the solution, as I mention in class, is to perform your calculations on the client-side. What I don’t mention in class (it’s a “SuperGeek Moment”, so it’s meant to get the gears turning) is the actual code. Thus I have decided that I’m going to try and write a weekly “SuperGeek Tip”. This week’s tip: Calculating “Full Name” using client-side script, so SharePoint is blissfully unaware that Full Name is anything but a plain text field.

At the bottom of the NewForm.aspx and EditForm.aspx for any default Contacts list, just above the closing element, add this code (inside a script block of course)

var lastName = document.getElementById(“urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office#Title”)
var firstName = document.getElementById(“urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office#FirstName”);
var fullName = document.getElementById(“urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office#FullName”);
lastName.onchange = fixFullName;
firstName.onchange = fixFullName;

function fixFullName() {
fullName.value = firstName.value + ” ” + lastName.value;
}

You can do this in FrontPage 2003, or you could modify the list definition files yourself (the so-called “Ghosted” template — be aware, Microsoft doesn’t support you touching those files if you’ve already deployed sites based on that site definition).

Once you’ve done this, adding contacts / editing contacts will both cause Full Name to calculate whenever the values of First Name or Last Name change.

– Nice Tip Dustin!

Intranets: Ten Best Intranets of 2006 (via Jakob Nielsen)

Amanda just emailed me this article on the 10 best intranets of 2006

Ten Best Intranets of 2006 (by Jakob Nielsen)

Summary:

This year, we saw increased use of multimedia, e-learning, internal blogs, and mobile access. Winning companies also encouraged consistent design by emphasizing training for content contributors.

The ten best-designed intranets for 2006 are:

Allianz Australia Insurance, Australia
ALTANA Pharma AG, Germany
Bank of Ireland Group, Ireland
Capital One, USA
IBM, USA
Merrill Lynch, USA
METRO Group, Germany
O2, UK
Staples, USA
Vodafone, UK

Read the entire 10 Best Intranets of 2006 article.

SharePoint Customization: Customizing Admin Pages

Eric Shupps has a nifty post on customizing the admin pages. While I have not yet had a chance to go through the whole thing I am a big fan of Erics in depth posting style so I’m certain it’s worth a read!

I cannot tell you how many times I have been asked by clients – “So how do you customize the admin pages”?

Read more about Customizing SharePoint Admin Pages here.
Nice post Eric.

SharePoint v3: A couple of V3/12 questions answered

This piece of a recent blog post from the SharePoint development team stood out. I have added a SharePoint v3 category to the blog and will post anything v3 related from here on under there.

It’s nice to see they have added Firefox and Safari into the test matrix.


Some Questions on SharePoint v3

Q: How will upgrade work (for SPS and WSS deployments.)?
A: [short form] You get to choose one of three ways:

“In-place” for small deployments where you take the server down, press “upgrade” and voila in a few hours (or a weekend) all the content is upgraded in place to V3/”12”.

“Gradually side-by-side” for larger deployments. We run the old stuff and the new stuff on the same web front ends, and you move batches of sites at a time, with some clever URL-magic to make it look as seamless as possible. It conserves hardware almost as well as in-place, but it’s more complicated.

“Gradually across farms” for larger or rebuilt deployments. Make a separate farm, and we’ll pump upgrade content (again, in batches) into it. You need more hardware, but it’s obviously the least disruptive to existing deployments.

Q: How will the SharePoint web parts experience relate to the ASP.NET 2.0 web part framework?
A: The new SharePoint releases (both Windows and Office) will just use the ASP.NET framework. Old web parts will still run.

Q: Will you do better with Firefox and Safari?
A: Yes, they’re in our test matrix and we’re doing a bunch of work to make the experience more consistent across these and IE. It won’t be perfect but should be significantly improved from 2003 in the public beta.