What SharePoint Posts do “YOU” want to see?

Well, after a fairly lengthy stint of intermittent blogging due to the book and an otherwise hectic schedule, I figured that as I start to brainstorm ideas for new things to post, I would start out by making up for my blogging absence and ask you guys, the readers what type of articles you would like to see?

Is there something sorely lacking in the design and customization space that you really wish someone would start posting about, or something that simply needs more detail than a 30,000 foot overview?

If so, now is your chance to let me know.  I will cherry pick 2 or 3 of the best topics which I can best talk about for my next few posts.  I will try to drill in as much as possible with the how-to steps.

75 comments on “What SharePoint Posts do “YOU” want to see?

  1. Jan says:

    How to customize a SharePoint site, changing CSS and masterpages.
    Or is easier to make a Theme?

  2. Shane,
    Since we started a open source project for nested tasks, I have been batteling with the list definitions schema, trying to get lookup fields to work properly. If you have the know-how on that, I would love to see some posts around that.

  3. Luke Evans says:

    Hi,

    Been looking for information on settting up Customized SharePoint Sites using CSS and jumping the “cannot edit the Application.Master page in _layouts” hurdle to ‘completely customize’ a MOSS Site.

    + Creating Custom (completely diff look to default MOSS Site) CSS compliant master pages.
    + How to customize those pages that reference the master page in _layouts folder.

    Cheers.

  4. Mike says:

    I’m with Luke!

    + What is the best practice for storing custom images, in the layouts folder or in the MOSS db?
    + What placeholders are really needed in a masterpage?
    + Best practice for deploying master pages + css to other environments (e.g. development, staging, test)
    + Best practices for navigation layout and markup
    + a cleaned up core.css :)

  5. fallenrogue says:

    I would add to those, provisioning these customizations through features/solutions. Where should the files go, how should you reference them in your master pages and css files. There’s a lot of information out there that talks about customizations but never puts them in a real world context. I’ve been guessing on many of these tiny details and though they are working it’d be great to see how others are making WSS work for them. Thanks!

  6. Matt J says:

    We have a development team of four SharePoint developers. We really struggle with setting up a development environment that allows us to develop independently, merge our individual changes into a common testing environment, and then rolling our changes into production. We develop user controls, web parts, web services, SharePoint sites and pages as well as customization to the look and feel. We develop under WSS 3.0. Some of the issues that we struggle with are:
    1. Pointing to the proper web services based upon which machine we’re running on.
    2. Automating the process of rolling changes from one machine to the next.
    3. Managing what changes have been made so they can be captured and managed via Visual SourceSafe (primarily site and page changes).
    4. Creating Setup projects to aid with change management.
    5. Does one use virtual servers to develop under Windows 2003 Server or are we better off having multiple development machines?

    Any insight into a decent configuration for lifecycle development would be greatly appreciated.

  7. Donald says:

    Hi Shane,
    I ordered your book (perhaps you cover the customizing in a deep dive training there) but otherwise I am also with Luke. But additionally I would love to get this topic as video file. There are so many blog articles, hints, tips – it’s time to get it a full visible training. (see pilothouseconsulting) even if I have to pay for it.

    2nd need
    The security issues for WSS and MOSS for Extranet and Internet (firewall, gateway, appliance, security in relation to the pricing)

    3rd need
    a Web part to add ad the bottom of each page which automatically takes over the URL of the rendered page, the Id of the sender (userid), offers a text box where the reader can send remarks to the page responsible person or to the admin.
    Thank you for reading – Donald

  8. Marshall Sutton says:

    I would love to see something about customizing My Sites that doesn’t involve violating best practices or getting elbow deep in code.

  9. Gabi Davis says:

    Greetings,

    I am currently looking for MOSS Expert for an opportunity with an extremely high profile company.

    US Citizens ONLY

    Locations : Piscataway,NJ
    Duration : 2 Months Contract / Permanent
    Rate : Open + Expenses

    Please send me a WORD Copy of your resume if you are Interested.

    Job Requirement:
    · Experience with Moss (Microsoft Office Sharepoint Services) 2007

    Gabi Davis
    IT Recruiter
    Global Technical Talent
    Tel: 603-319-4881
    Email: gdavis@gttit.com
    http://www.gttit.com

  10. Erik Swenson says:

    I would like to know a little bit more about the differences between WSS V3 and MOSS 2007
    + Limitation to only have 1 true master page per site in WSS Master Page Gallery: default.master (Needs to have that specific name)
    + Cannot choose a global master page and have it cascade down to other sites like in MOSS 2007
    + Rich Text Editor in WSS is very limited. Image selection and hyper linking very dumbed down in WSS
    + Embedding flash into master pages (Supported, Not Supported)
    + I know we can’t get everything for free…

    I would also like to get another point of view around content creation and configurations.
    + Best Practices on using the Table of Contents, and Content Query web part and
    + Best Practices on publishing content to other areas of the site (Previously known as Portal Listing in 2003)

  11. Herve says:

    There is one topic I haven’t seen anyone blogging about, although it would be tremendously helpful: when I create a new web site, I’d like to offer a “web site alert” (and of course a web site RSS). Today, only web parts offer these 2 options, but most of web site visitors don’t care about particular web parts, they’d like to know whatever is new on my web site.

    Good luck!

    And thanks for asking!

  12. Robin says:

    Well,

    in addition to the article preview of the book you and Amanada are about to publish I was hoping to learn more about best practices with customizing workflows using SPD/InfoPath. Furthermore I agree with posts above me ;)

  13. Andy Burns says:

    @Luke Evans:

    I was looking into this, and found some useful info (and solved some problems) about using an HTTPModule to redirect calls to the application.master. This worked nicely. See http://www.novolocus.com/display.php?id=391 and the link from it.

    Oh, and there is a list of the placeholders that seem to be required.

    – I’d like to find out how to cascade a theme. I actually quite like some of the OOB themes.
    – A cleaned up ‘core CSS’, or an explanation of how the combination of Core.css, a theme, and a master page all interact.

    @ Robin – Re: workflows and SPD – the best practice is don’t. SharePoint Designer workflows are limited in that they only apply to one site (or is it one list? Can’t remember), and can’t be copied or redeployed. I’ve yet to think of a case where this doesn’t preclude them in a corporate environment. Workflows created by Visual Studio, on the other hand, are features that can be installed in many systems, and applied to many sites.

  14. Davide says:

    Hi, I’d like to know more about DataView Customization and “packaging” (pass the term) of site and features.

    p.s. do u know where i can find a nice guide for xml application definition for BDC creation?
    p.p.s. you have a nice blog!

  15. ErnieB says:

    Hey man, I’m fairly new to the whole sharepoint game, but i come from a graphic arts background. I would really like to an example of the use of a dynamic Flash menu system integrated into sharepoint. I’ve been able to integrate some flash headers and such into the sites easy enough, but when it comes to a menu system, i’m a bit lost.

  16. lanie says:

    Hi!

    Does “frm.FieldPost(frm.FindField(‘fieldname’))” object using javascript still works in sharepoint 2007 in modifying NewForm and EditForm pages?

    Thanks very much!

    Lanie

  17. Kovis says:

    Some issues:
    – Sharepoint navigation providers, there’s no documentation what so ever about how they work
    – Navigation in general, there’s only one good blog article about navigation in MOSS but it doesn’t cover the whole topic
    – best practices for creating masterpage
    – required content placeholders and their purpose

    I think MOSS has a massive amount of features, but the biggest weakness is the user interface customization. Sure there are lot of possibilities, but there are no documentation about how you should do it. It’s easy to kill the interface when you don’t know the rules how it should be constructed.

  18. totmakov says:

    Hi!

    +1 to Ishai Sagi !!!

    Lookup field type is one big bungle in SharePoint! We call it “vaflya”! :)

    It seems that lookup fields can’t be used normally in schemas and they make null and void those work to organize team work on project with source control and automated builds etc. Lookups force developers to make addition work to deploy solutions or make difficult to update this fields’ schemas during development and maintaining stages.

    We used build scripts for MSBuild to build, deploy solutions and turning on/off features but this “magikal” fields didn’t allow us to bring builded package to target machine and deploy it.

    In the same time lookup fileds are deeply stitched into core of SharePoint. There are even some exceptions in CAML specially for Lookups – ugly hacks.

    It seems that spteam haven’t enough time to completely refactor lookup field or to make some features to let developers make alternative lookup-like field type.

    Shane, have you experience with using lookup fields in list schemas? If yes, how had you solved problem with binding lookup to lookup list?

  19. Robin says:

    @Andy:

    Check out my posts to see that you can leverage SPD using Visual Studio to create workflows accross sites and lists ;)
    SPD Workflow activity : Copying a listItem accros a site
    SPD Workflow activity : Creating a document library

    As referenced by Creating and Installing Workflow Activities for SPD :)

  20. chito says:

    Simple and realistic examples! Like how to create a simple navigation of the pages on the current site.

    I saw some posts on the ECM blog and they are totally bull. They don’t explain the navigation model well enought and I hate the out-of-the box navigation in SharePoint.

  21. Martin says:

    It’s already been mentioned, but a look at the placeholders and other components in the default masterpages (both WSS and MOSS) would be really handy. Especially for those wanting to build completely new XHTML master pages; where the main problem is knowing what can be trimmed/discarded and what not.

  22. Hi Shane,
    I would love to see content around SharePoint – Silverlight integration. I think Silverlight offers a new opprtunity in SharePoint land to deliver rich interactive applications the deliver great business value while also delivering the Wow! factor. If you do any and build it out let me know vis a vis my contest n this I am running http://sharepoint.microsoft.com/blogs/mikeg/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=222

  23. Mike says:

    Another thing that would be interesting is the philosophy that Microsoft has on search. I’m having a hard time explaining customers why wild card search is not working out of the box, I understand that it’s the result of the choosen technical solution but that’s not the answer I’m looking for, I’m looking for the vision Microsoft has on it so I can explain customers why it is working the way it works.

  24. Geoff says:

    It seems like there isn’t much out there for doing custom web parts in WSS 3.0…I’d love to see something along those lines.

  25. SharePoint customisation using a minimal master page approach and also theme customisation/creation. A slow taken by the hand approach and one that explains the pros and cons with good screenshots and instructions. Ordered your book, looking forward to receiving it soon.

  26. DS says:

    Hi,

    in Data Source Library I created database connection to SQL Server and new data set related to this connection.
    Now I want to show data from my dataset in form of chart.

    How can I do that?

  27. Mike says:

    Shane, looking at all the comments I would say you have enough content for another two books :)

  28. Altori says:

    Many things mentioned above interest me, but the two biggest things I’d like to see more information about are customising master pages and creating your own site navigation as I agree the built in SP ones are not ideal.

    Attempting to create a XHTML and accessible site in MOSS seems very daunting. You could change the master page and spend time and effort there, but you also need to ensure page layouts and (more worringly) web parts do not break your pages validation. There also appears to be some limitations to overcome around site templates and administration. I think this would be a nice big topic to cover.

  29. Keith Anderson says:

    I keep receiving an error when I try to publish an infopath form. I cannot seem to get any information anywhere online which is strange given the number of sharepoint resources…

    Anyways, below is my error, any help would be appreciated:
    “The following computer running Windows SharePoint Services does not contain the required InfoPath form template: http://*.net A generic form template will be used instead.”

  30. Adrian Harris says:

    I see lots of tips on linking data views. However, what I would like to be able to do is create a Parent/Child type of relationship between two dataviews so that if I insert a new child record, it inherits the “primary key” value of the Parent dataview.

  31. Eddie V says:

    Hello
    Just wondering if you have come across this situation. I am running MOSS 2007 and have addes some flash to the home page.
    Everything works fine, but when i view it via Firefox the drop down nav is hidden behind the flash. Do you know how to correct this?
    Thanks, any help is greatly appreciated!

  32. Gene Sharp says:

    Good Evening,

    I wanted to reach out and ask if anyone may have interest in a contract to hire SharePoint Developer position with my client CSC. This position is located in Chambersburg, PA at the Letterkenny Army Depot. Candidates must be US Citizens and possess or able to obtain SECRET Clearance. If interested, please contact me ASAP. If not, possibly you know a friend or former co-worker that may have interest. We are offering referral bonus for candidate that obtains position. I appreciate your time and consideration of this request.

    Regards,
    Gene Sharp
    Account Executive
    TEKsystems, Inc.
    717-526-1942
    esharp@teksystems.com

  33. Hi, IT-Dev created a filtered cross site lookup field type for Sharepoint Services and MOSS 2007. This filtered lookup field is CAS compliant and works in minimal trust. It will be available soon at IT-Dev website.

  34. Tremor97 says:

    I would love to see a post on the following:

    There is a major problem with the Employee Training Scheduling and Materials template. The template is designed to use several workflows, all very needed and impressive. The biggest problem I see with it that has not been answered by anyone, including Microsoft is the fact that user need Edit permissions on the “Courses” in order to successfully run the workflow for incremental Seating Policy adjustments. This is a great feature that automatically adjusts available seating when a user registers or un-registers for a course. Without this feature, I think the template is nowhere near as useful as it should be. The problems come in to play with the fact that once you give the users the “Edit” permission, they can also go in and edit every single course scheduled, including those very same Available Seats, along with Course Title, Comments, Location, etc. Hopefully most users are adult enough not to make these changes but some are invariably not that mature and / or some will mistakenly edit a course, believing they are registering or simply editing their own version of it. This is a huge bug in my opinion, particularly when Microsoft preaches so much about security and the importance of it. There should be a way to either run a workflow as another user and / or simply hide the Edit button on the form for users that should not have this permission. I have literally seen hundreds and hundreds of posts on this and nobody has the answer, including Microsoft posts, which is surprising to me. Any help would be extremely important and could allow most companies to us this potentially valuable tool fully.

  35. Cjanus says:

    Hi,
    We have build a custom filter webpart that loops thorugh each item in MOSS Document Library. We have over 50000 documents in this library. A dropdown list is created for each column in doc library and unique values of each column is binded to this dropdownlist. We are acheiving this by

    //Code added to get the values from the document library for each of the columns
    SPWeb oWeb = SPContext.Current.Web;
    SPList oList = oWeb.Lists[“CustomDocuments”];
    SPView oView = oList.Views[“All Documents”];
    SPQuery oQuery = new SPQuery(oView);
    oQuery.RowLimit = (uint)100000000;
    oQuery.ViewAttributes = “Scope=”Recursive””;
    oQuery.Query = “”;
    //Get the items from the List into a DataTable using a SPQuery
    DataTable dtDocLibItems = oList.GetItems(oQuery).GetDataTable();

    There is a performance issue when binding the values from SPQuery to Datatable using GetDataTable method. This webpart is connected to Document Lirbrary using IFilterProvider and Webpart Connection UI. When this filter wepart is placed in page it takes 30-40sec to load and if this is not placed it takes only 3-4sec to load. Kindly adivice whether any feasible way to acheive binding unique values of each column dropdownlist without performance issue.
    Awaiting for your reply…

    Janus

  36. hafriz says:

    right now I’m heavily developing service request system for my company. As for now, the old lotus system is using automated inremental integer as the primary key. But, in sharepoint, I still can’t figure out to automate the incremental primary key for each form. I had found a way to automate the service request number by using the infopath itself, yet I’m facing the concurrent submission.

    for example, the Service Request ID is automated increment by depending on the previous submitted form. But, if two person wanted to create a new Service Request at the same time, then both of them will have the same Service Request ID. I try to manipulate the auto increment ID by using the workflow, yet still don’t figure it out.

    help me, it suppose to be much easy in SQL for auto increment, but I have to do it in a hard way in sharepoint

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