My 2p about ERP Solutions, Information Worker Solutions and other software products (mainly Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft SharePoint).

19 June 2008

Alerts not working for some users on some document libraries

Problem description: Alerts not working for some users on some document libraries

Some users were complaining that their alerts were not arriving for a specific document library. They did receive the intial alert to inform them about having activated the alert on the document library, but no alerts were arriving anymore upon changes in the document library.
For other document libraries, all alerts were working as they should.

Solution: add the Approve permission

The first thing I tried out was to set an alert for my own user on that particular document library. I received immediately the initial alert message in my mailbox. Then I uploaded a document, and I received immediately a new alert to inform me about the changes in the document library. Though the other users didn't receive an alert for this change.
I found an interesting blogpost about Troubleshooting alerts in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 or Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. So I tried all different suggestions, without any luck though.

Then I realised that my account was belonging to the Site Collection Administrators, while the other accounts not receiving alerts not. So I started searching the internet with this extra information and ran into another blogpost which actually solved my issue. I gave those users Approve permission on the document library and alerts were arriving for everybody upon changes in the document library.

Though this isn't really a good solution, as I cannot give everybody Approve permission to this document library, it solved at least the problem for the users collaborating on this document library and which had Contribute permission anyway. Adding the Approve permission for them, was no big deal in terms of security, as Approval was not activated for this document library. So they didn't get much more permissions with it. It still remains a problem for users who want to set an alert and should have only Read permission on the document library: or they will have more permissions, or their alerts won't arrive.

Continue reading......

by Patrik Luca 1 comments

18 June 2008

Extension to the Budgeting and Tracking Multiple Projects application template

Business Scenario

You have set up the Budgeting and Tracking Multiple Projects application template, one of the 40 fantastic Application Templates for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0.
You have created some Projects in the Projects List and some Project Tasks in the Project Tasks list.

You want to view these project tasks as a Microsoft Office Visio 2007 Flow Diagram. Moreover, you want to keep your Visio drawing in synch with the SharePoint list data.


Based on the MSDN article Integrating Visio 2007 and SharePoint Products and Technologies, I worked out following demo script:
  1. Start Microsoft Office Visio 2007.

  2. Create a new Visio file based on the Cross Functional Flowchart template. Choose the horizontal band orientation and 5 bands.

  3. Connect this Visio diagram to an external data source. We are going to connect it to our Project Tasks list in our SharePoint site, based on the Budgeting and Tracking Multiple Projects template.
    1. Choose Data.

    2. Choose Link Data to Shapes
    3. Choose Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services list.

    4. Select the site on which your Project Tasks list is available.

    5. Select the list Project Tasks
    6. Finish the wizard.

  4. Your data from your Project Tasks list are now linked in your Visio drawing.

  5. Put a Process block on your Visio drawing for each project task.

  6. Drag and drop the first Project Task from the External Data section to the first Process block on your Visio drawing. A little chain icon should appear in front of your first Project Task in the External Data section.

  7. Right-click the Process block and choose Data->Edit Data Graphic.

  8. Choose New Item->Text

  9. Choose as Data Field Title and as Callout Heading 1. Click OK.

  10. Add another Text Item, choose as Data Field Assigned To, as Callout Text callout and set the property Label Position to Not Shown. Click OK.

  11. Choose New Item->Color by Value.

  12. Choose as Data field % Complete and as Coloring method Each color represents a range of values. In the lower part of the screen you specify the ranges and their colors.

    Choose OK.

  13. You can add additional fields that you want to display in the Process block in the same manner. After having added all your desired fields, choose OK in the Edit Data Graphic form.

  14. Select this Process block and apply the same formatting to the other Process blocks in your Visio diagram by using the Format Painter (SHIFT+CTRL+P) functionality.

  15. Drag and drop the other Project Tasks in the External Data section to the other Process blocks on the Visio diagram.

  16. Connect your Process blocks using the Visio Connector Tool.

  17. Choose Format->Theme, and apply a Theme to your Visio diagram.

  18. Save your Visio diagram.

Now you have a Visio diagram which is linked to the Project Tasks SharePoint list.
Data changes on items in the SharePoint list will be reflected automatically in the Visio diagram. Moreover, we have added a coloring scheme to our Visio diagram, based on the % Complete column: this will result in a change of color for our Process blocks upon changing the % Complete value in our SharePoint Project Tasks list.

  1. Go to your Project Tasks list in SharePoint.

  2. Change some of the values for columns you have chosen to be displayed in your Visio diagram.
  3. Change the value for the % Complete column.

  4. (Re)open your Visio diagram.

  5. Choose Data->Refresh Data. Choose Refresh All.

In my example, I have changed the Cost and Due Date for Task 3. I have changed also the % Complete for all of my Project Tasks as such that different color schemes should be applied for each of the Project Tasks, based on my settings in the previous steps. My Visio flowchart looks as follows after refreshing the data:

This offers great opportunities to visualize SharePoint list data by simply using Microsoft Office Visio 2007 and without code needs!

Continue reading......

by Patrik Luca 1 comments

05 June 2008

Change language for preformatted document libraries

You can add preformatted document libraries to your SharePoint sites easily. They give you an excellent example of how you can set up Microsoft Office Word 2007 templates with a document information panel containing metadata values based on the columns in your corresponding document library.
It is also an excellent example about how you can add these metadata values in your Word 2007 document through means of inserting Quick Parts. By editing the properties of your document in SharePoint, the update will be reflected immediately in your Word 2007 document and vice versa.

I ran into one problem however: after having installed the List templates in the List templates gallerie, they didn't become available in my site when I tried to create a new document library.

I soon realised it had something to do with the language settings: my site was not an English site, but the List templates are only available for download in English.

To create new document libraries based on these excellent examples of List templates in a non-English site, follow these steps:

  1. Change the .stp extension to .cab.

  2. Open the .cab-file with an archive tool, such as IZArc.

  3. Extract all files to a temporary directory.

  4. Open the manifest.xml file with an editor such as Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007.

  5. Look for the Language node and change the lcid 1033 (for English) to the lcid of your choice.

  6. Drag and drop all extracted files into the .cab-file if you are using IZArc. If you are using another tool, just make a new .cab-file containing all the extracted files.

  7. Change the .cab extension to .stp. You can optionally choose to give the list template another name if you want to have it co-exist in the gallerie next to the English one.

  8. Upload the List template.

  9. You'll notice that the language column of your just uploaded list template reflects the value based on your chosen lcid in step 5.

  10. Go to the site created in the same language as your chosen lcid in step 5: you'll see that the list template becomes available in the new form under the Libraries section.

Continue reading......

by Patrik Luca 0 comments

03 June 2008

MOSS Faceted Search

MOSS Faceted Search: Functionality

On Codeplex, a great project MOSS Faceted Search is available. It is just a great set of webparts which enhances the search experience in value a lot for your end users.
It allows for drill down functionality in the search results based on so called facet values.
A facet is a category your items, documents, ... can belong to. When you install the default project, your items, documents, ... are immediately grouped in different categories / facets:
  • By Author

  • By Content Type

  • By Content Source

Off course, you can add your own facets.
Whenever a user executes a search, the search results are grouped by facet value within each facet.

It creates a great drill down experience for your end-user, who will be able to refine their search results easily this way, without having to know by heart all the facets and facet values. This is especially useful if one of your facets is a site column with as type lookup or choice. Your end-users will often not know exactly the different values available for the lookup or choice columns. But with this great solution, this is not needed anymore: the different values are shown as facet values if you implement the site column as facet. Upon clicking the facet value, it is added together with the facet in the search window.

MOSS Faceted Search: Installation

A detailed step-by-step installation guide can be downloaded here.

MOSS Faceted Search: Extra Configuration for facet icons

Upon the default installation, you'll notice that some facet values are displayed with their appropriate icon. I've extended this a bit with some additional icons. To implement it, follow these steps:
  1. Put your search results page on which you have added the Search Facets webpart in edit mode.

  2. Choose Modify Shared Web Part on the Search Facets webpart.

  3. Expand the Results display group.

  4. Copy-paste the contence of the field Select Columns for Facets to an editor as Notepad, Visual Studio or SharePoint Designer.

  5. Add following lines in the Mappings node within the Content Type Column node:
    <Mapping Match="application/pdf" DisplayName="PDF" Image="pdficon.gif"/>
    <Mapping Match="application/x-zip-compressed" DisplayName="Zip Archive" Image="iczip.gif"/>
    <Mapping Match="application/" DisplayName="PowerPoint" Image="icpptx.gif" />
    <Mapping Match="application/" DisplayName="Word" Image="icdocx.gif" />
    <Mapping Match="image/jpeg" DisplayName="JPEG Image" Image="icjpg.gif" />
    <Mapping Match="application/rtf" DisplayName="Rich Text Format" Image="icrtf.gif" />
    <Mapping Match="image/tiff" DisplayName="TIF Image" Image="ictif.gif" />
    <Mapping Match="application/x-mspublisher" DisplayName="Publisher" Image="icpub.gif" />

  6. Copy-paste the adapted contence back to the contence of the field Select Columns for Facets.

  7. Save your changes.

This will add icons for PDF files, for zip archives, for all PowerPoint and Word documents, for JPEG and TIF images, for RTF files and for Publisher files.

Remark: it assumes you have added a PDF icon to the 12\Template\Images hive on your Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and that the icon is called pdficon.gif.

Continue reading......

by Patrik Luca 0 comments

Patrik Luca, Ieper, BELGIUM
Feel free to use or spread all of the content on my blog. In return, linking back to my blog would be greatly appreciated. All my posts and articles are provided "AS IS" with no warranties.

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