Cloud and Microsoft technologies enthusiast architect in Switzerland RSS 2.0
# Saturday, June 09, 2012

This post is also published on The SharePoint Bar

Recently, I was called to troubleshoot and fix an issue on a SharePoint 2010 farm with a simple statement that not all the users were displayed in the people picker list. Indeed, some users were listed, some not, without having a clear common pattern that could lead to something like “they are not in a group with enough privileges” or anything similar.

The symptoms

A simple way to reproduce the issue was to open a “Library Permissions” or a “List Permissions” in the ribbon of any library or list and then to select “Check Permissions” in the ribbon. This will open a dialog from which a people picker can easily be opened.

imageimage

Now, when clicking on the address book button and looking for a specific user, it was not displayed and therefore not selectable. This user was existing in the Active Directory, and, after a bit of time of investigation, I also found that, on the Central Administration or in a completely fresh web application and site collection, the problem was not present. Thus, it was clear it was only one site collection that had the issue.

Resolution

The issue was caused by a restriction applied to the people picker. Indeed, it is possible to restrict the scope of the people picker to a specific OU (Organizational Unit) or to use a specific LDAP filter. Let’s illustrate this. In my Active Directory, I created 3 OU, in each of them I created a user :

imageimageimage

In the people picker, I have all the users :

image

Now, execute the following command, which applies the limitation to the site collection specified by the –url parameter :

stsadm -o setsiteuseraccountdirectorypath -url http://centaurus -path "OU=OU2,OU=OU1,DC=plab,DC=local"

The result is that you will limit the scope of the people picker to the OU2 within OU1 :

image

To check the state of the limitations, execute the command below :

stsadm -o getsiteuseraccountdirectorypath -url http://centaurus

The result will be :

<SiteUserAccountDirectoryPath>OU=OU2,OU=OU1,DC=plab,DC=local</SiteUserAccountDirectoryPath>

To simply remove any restriction, execute the following command :

stsadm -o setsiteuseraccountdirectorypath -url http://centaurus/ -path ""

This command has no PowerShell equivalent and is part of a set of others along with properties, dedicated to configure the people picker and that are listed below (from the TechNet article : http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg602068.aspx) :

Property name Description
Peoplepicker-activedirectorysearchtimeout

Configures the timeout when a query is issued to Active Directory. The default timeout value is 30 seconds. For more information, see Peoplepicker-activedirectorysearchtimeout.

Peoplepicker-distributionlistsearchdomains

Restricts the search of a distribution list to a specific subset of domains. For more information, see Peoplepicker-distributionlistsearchdomains.

Peoplepicker-nowindowsaccountsfornonwindowsauthenticationmode

Specifies not to search Active Directory when the current port is using forms-based authentication. For more information, see Peoplepicker-nowindowsaccountsfornonwindowsauthenticationmode.

Peoplepicker-onlysearchwithinsitecollection

Displays only users who are members of the site collection when the Select People and Groups dialog box is used. For more information, see Peoplepicker-onlysearchwithinsitecollection.

Peoplepicker-peopleeditoronlyresolvewithinsitecollection

Displays only users who are members of the current site collection when the Check Names button is clicked. For more information, see Peoplepicker-peopleeditoronlyresolvewithinsitecollection: Stsadm property (SharePoint Server 2010).

Peoplepicker-searchadcustomfilter

Enables a farm administrator to specify a unique search query. For more information, see Peoplepicker-searchadcustomfilter.

Peoplepicker-searchadcustomquery

Permits the administrator to set the custom query that is sent to Active Directory. For more information, see Peoplepicker-searchadcustomquery.

Peoplepicker-searchadforests

Permits a user to search from a second one-way trusted forest or domain. For more information, see Peoplepicker-searchadforests.

Peoplepicker-serviceaccountdirectorypaths

Enables a farm administrator to manage the site collection that has a specific organizational unit (OU) setting as defined in the Setsiteuseraccountdirectorypath setting. For more information, see Peoplepicker-serviceaccountdirectorypaths.

 

This other TechNet article explains what are the other people picker configurations that can be done : http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg602075.aspx

These different commands can be really useful to restrict the users that can be added in a site collection, based on OUs in the Active Directory. To enable this, the Active Directory should follow the security model of your SharePoint organization, as it is only possible to restrict to a single OU as it is not possible to specify several OUs.

And, finally, it has to be documented, as these different properties and commands are not available in the SharePoint user interface and this feature may not come to the mind of the administrators that would have to find out why they don’t find users in the SharePoint infrastructure.

Saturday, June 09, 2012 8:40:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] -
SharePoint
# Friday, March 23, 2012
VS11Beta

This post is also published on The SharePoint Bar

The 16th of February, Microsoft released the Beta version of the next Visual Studio development environment, called Visual Studio 11. I made a quick tour of it, and I wanted to see what will be new in this new version of Visual Studio. But, before going in the observations I made, I want to emphasize that it is still a Beta version of the tool. Things can change and what I am writing here will probably be wrong in the couple of next months, when the final release of Visual Studio will come out.

First, as for the previous version of VS, it exists in several editions : Ultimate, Premium, Professional and also the Express one for Windows 8.

The first thing that we can see is the user interface that completely changed, starting with the splash screen of the installation and also the different screens during the setup wizard.

VS11SplashScreen

This is confirmed when we open the tool, all is in gray and black. People will love it or will hate it, but personally, in a development tool, I am not fan of having a Christmas tree with a lot of different colors.

In this post, I will focus on the SharePoint development aspects of Visual Studio and I will not go in too much details, keeping this tour at a high level.

So, when we want to create a new SharePoint project, we can see that it is no longer possible to develop for SharePoint 2007. Indeed, the SharePoint 2007 project template is not available. Maybe it will come in the final release, but with SharePoint vNext coming (we still not know whether it will be SharePoint 15, SharePoint 2013 or even something else), I doubt that it will be added. As it is shown in the picture below, the number of templates is limited to the strict necessary : an empty SharePoint project, importing a solution package, importing a reusable workflow, or starting a Silverlight or a visual web part projects. The Silverlight web part project is new, but I will come back to it further in this post.

NewSPProject

The new project creation wizard has not changed and it is still asking whether you want to create a sandbox or a farm solution, and also where is your SharePoint installation. What has not changed, or at least what I saw on my setup, is that you still cannot develop for SharePoint if you don’t have it installed on your development machine.

NewSolutionWizard

Once your project is created and you want to create a new item, you have the similar choices as with the previous version of Visual Studio, only 3 types have been added : Silverlight web part, site column and site definition. Let’s focus on these three items a bit more and also on the List and the Content Type items, starting with the last one.

NewProjectItem

Content Types

When you want to add a Content Type, it starts with the wizard, asking you from which existing content type you want yours to inherit. Once you have selected the parent content type, you will have a pretty nice surprise. There is now a visual editor for the content type, split in two tabs : Columns and Content Type. The first tab, Columns enables you to select the site columns to use, giving you the type of the column at the same time, and the possibility to specify if a value is required. The second tab, Content Type, is used to define the name of the content type, in which group to send it and few other settings. Of course, if you want to go in the CAML definition, you can still open the .xml file.

NewCTCTColumnsTabCTInfo

List

Even if the List project item was already existing in VS2010, Microsoft added a visual designer to it. It is now possible to select the site columns, the content types and also to define the views for the list. A great improvements for the developers, in my opinion.

ListColumnsTabListViewsTabListCTSelection

Site Definition

Site definition is a new project item coming with VS11 and what it mainly does is to create the item with the two necessary files : onet.xml and the webtemp file. That said, you still have to manually edit the files.

Silverlight web part

The interesting thing with this new project item is that it creates in reality two items : a Silverlight project containing then elements like the xaml files, and and Silverlight web part project item, which contains nothing more than the Elements.xml and the .webpart files.

NewSLWP

At the end, VS11 is promising for the SharePoint developments, but we should not expect too much from the next version. Some really nice improvements are already there, maybe some new ones will join in the final release, but again, this was just a first lap around the functionalities offered by the beta version of Visual Studio 11. I will come back on specific topics in several other posts in a near future.

Stay tuned !

Friday, March 23, 2012 8:12:00 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Programming | SharePoint
# Wednesday, March 14, 2012

On the initiative of my colleague and friend Julien, a new SharePoint community blog has been opened : The SharePoint Bar. Indeed, working (and sometimes struggling) daily with SharePoint, we often said “let’s open a bar”. So, we did it, the bar is open.

The goal is to have a shared platform on which several consultants will publish posts with their experiences, hints or solutions they had with the SharePoint box. From my side, the SharePoint-related posts from my personal blog will also be published on The SharePoint Bar.

As a first step, a calendar of events and conferences was opened and if you want to share one of them that is not yet published, feel free to drop an e-mail to yvespeneveyre.sp@gmail.com . The rules that apply are also written in that blog post.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012 10:39:16 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Blog Life | SharePoint
# Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Developing ClickOnce WPF application, it was needed to implement a spell checker for the different text boxes of the application. Our development environment was Windows 7, and using the .NET Framework 4 both the framework and the OS in english. The problem appeared when we tested the application, where the spell check in french or other non-english languages was not working at all. After several readings on the web and other experimentations using a quick-and-dirty application, I would like to give my findings here.

Basically, the XAML of my testing application is the one below :

<Window x:Class="TestApplication.MainWindow"
        xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation"
        xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml"
        Title="MainWindow" Height="350" Width="525">
    <Grid>
        <RichTextBox Margin="0,52,0,65" Name="rtbText" SpellCheck.IsEnabled="True" Language="fr">
            <FlowDocument>
                <Paragraph>
                    The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog
                    Le renard brun rapide saute sur le chien paresseux
                    Die schnelle braune Fuchs springt über den faulen Hund
                </Paragraph>
            </FlowDocument>
        </RichTextBox>
        <Button Content="FR" Height="23" HorizontalAlignment="Left" Name="btnFR" VerticalAlignment="Top" Width="30" Click="btnFR_Click" />
        <Button Content="EN" Height="23" HorizontalAlignment="Left" Margin="36,0,0,0" Name="btnEN" VerticalAlignment="Top" Width="30" Click="btnEN_Click" />
        <Button Content="Save" Height="23" HorizontalAlignment="Left" Margin="428,0,0,0" Name="btnSave" VerticalAlignment="Top" Width="75" Click="btnSave_Click" />
        <RichTextBox Language="fr" Margin="0,264,97,0" Name="rtbSwitch" SpellCheck.IsEnabled="True">
        </RichTextBox>
        <Button Content="DE" Height="23" HorizontalAlignment="Left" Margin="72,0,0,0" Name="btnDE" VerticalAlignment="Top" Width="30" Click="btnDE_Click" />
    </Grid>
</Window>

Which gives the window below :

image

When one of the upper-left button is clicked, a code similar to the one below is executed :

private void btnEN_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
{
  TextRange tr = new TextRange(rtbText.Document.ContentStart, rtbText.Document.ContentEnd);
  tr.ApplyPropertyValue(FlowDocument.LanguageProperty, "en");
}

 

Basically, it takes the whole content of the Rich Text Box and change the “Language” property to the language in which the spell check has to be done.

Now, the problem is that if you compile the application on the .NET Framework 4, it will not work........unless the corresponding language packs of the Framework. They are all available on the Microsoft Download Center. Indeed, according to the table below, as soon as you use the .NET Framework 4, the language packs have to be installed, whereas if you use the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1, it depends on the platform on which the application is running. On Windows Vista and Windows 7, no need to install the language packs, for Windows XP, they are needed :

  Windows XP Windows Vista Windows 7
.NET 3.5 SP1 Language Packs Needed No need for the Language Packs No need for the Language Packs
.NET 4 Language Packs Needed Language Packs Needed Language Packs Needed

 

So, reverting back to the .NET Framework 3.5 made the spell checking to work.

That would be it, but, when typing new text, the spell check was not working and the reason can be found in the XAML extract of the Rich Text Box (“Save” button). When switching to english, I supposed that the new text would be checked against the english language, which is completely wrong. The XAML below shows the text right after the switch to the english language :

<Section xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation" xml:space="preserve" TextAlignment="Left" LineHeight="Auto" IsHyphenationEnabled="False" xml:lang="fr" FlowDirection="LeftToRight" NumberSubstitution.CultureSource="Text" NumberSubstitution.Substitution="AsCulture" FontFamily="Segoe UI" FontStyle="Normal" FontWeight="Normal" FontStretch="Normal" FontSize="12" Foreground="#FF000000" Typography.StandardLigatures="True" Typography.ContextualLigatures="True" Typography.DiscretionaryLigatures="False" Typography.HistoricalLigatures="False" Typography.AnnotationAlternates="0" Typography.ContextualAlternates="True" Typography.HistoricalForms="False" Typography.Kerning="True" Typography.CapitalSpacing="False" Typography.CaseSensitiveForms="False" Typography.StylisticSet1="False" Typography.StylisticSet2="False" Typography.StylisticSet3="False" Typography.StylisticSet4="False" Typography.StylisticSet5="False" Typography.StylisticSet6="False" Typography.StylisticSet7="False" Typography.StylisticSet8="False" Typography.StylisticSet9="False" Typography.StylisticSet10="False" Typography.StylisticSet11="False" Typography.StylisticSet12="False" Typography.StylisticSet13="False" Typography.StylisticSet14="False" Typography.StylisticSet15="False" Typography.StylisticSet16="False" Typography.StylisticSet17="False" Typography.StylisticSet18="False" Typography.StylisticSet19="False" Typography.StylisticSet20="False" Typography.Fraction="Normal" Typography.SlashedZero="False" Typography.MathematicalGreek="False" Typography.EastAsianExpertForms="False" Typography.Variants="Normal" Typography.Capitals="Normal" Typography.NumeralStyle="Normal" Typography.NumeralAlignment="Normal" Typography.EastAsianWidths="Normal" Typography.EastAsianLanguage="Normal" Typography.StandardSwashes="0" Typography.ContextualSwashes="0" Typography.StylisticAlternates="0"><Paragraph><Run xml:lang="en">The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog Le renard brun rapide saute sur le chien paresseux Die schnelle braune Fuchs springt über den faulen Hund</Run></Paragraph></Section>

The interesting part is the last <Run> element, that contains an xml:lang=”en” attribute, specifying that the enclosed text is in english. When some text is entered, the corresponding XAML becomes the following :

<Section xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation" xml:space="preserve" TextAlignment="Left" LineHeight="Auto" IsHyphenationEnabled="False" xml:lang="fr" FlowDirection="LeftToRight" NumberSubstitution.CultureSource="Text" NumberSubstitution.Substitution="AsCulture" FontFamily="Segoe UI" FontStyle="Normal" FontWeight="Normal" FontStretch="Normal" FontSize="12" Foreground="#FF000000" Typography.StandardLigatures="True" Typography.ContextualLigatures="True" Typography.DiscretionaryLigatures="False" Typography.HistoricalLigatures="False" Typography.AnnotationAlternates="0" Typography.ContextualAlternates="True" Typography.HistoricalForms="False" Typography.Kerning="True" Typography.CapitalSpacing="False" Typography.CaseSensitiveForms="False" Typography.StylisticSet1="False" Typography.StylisticSet2="False" Typography.StylisticSet3="False" Typography.StylisticSet4="False" Typography.StylisticSet5="False" Typography.StylisticSet6="False" Typography.StylisticSet7="False" Typography.StylisticSet8="False" Typography.StylisticSet9="False" Typography.StylisticSet10="False" Typography.StylisticSet11="False" Typography.StylisticSet12="False" Typography.StylisticSet13="False" Typography.StylisticSet14="False" Typography.StylisticSet15="False" Typography.StylisticSet16="False" Typography.StylisticSet17="False" Typography.StylisticSet18="False" Typography.StylisticSet19="False" Typography.StylisticSet20="False" Typography.Fraction="Normal" Typography.SlashedZero="False" Typography.MathematicalGreek="False" Typography.EastAsianExpertForms="False" Typography.Variants="Normal" Typography.Capitals="Normal" Typography.NumeralStyle="Normal" Typography.NumeralAlignment="Normal" Typography.EastAsianWidths="Normal" Typography.EastAsianLanguage="Normal" Typography.StandardSwashes="0" Typography.ContextualSwashes="0" Typography.StylisticAlternates="0"><Paragraph><Run xml:lang="en">The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog Le renard brun rapide saute sur le chien paresseux Die schnelle braune Fuchs springt über den faulen Hund</Run><Run xml:lang="fr-ch"> another text </Run></Paragraph></Section>

Surprisingly, the last <Run> element is now using the xml:lang=”fr-ch” language. What happens ? It simply takes the input language of the keyboard. It also means that if you want to change the on-the-fly spell check, the input language has to be changed. As an example, the click event handler written above becomes :

private void btnEN_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
{
  TextRange tr = new TextRange(rtbText.Document.ContentStart, rtbText.Document.ContentEnd);
  tr.ApplyPropertyValue(FlowDocument.LanguageProperty, "en");
  InputLanguageManager.Current.CurrentInputLanguage = new CultureInfo("en-us");
}

At the last line of the event handler, the keyboard input language is changed and you will notice it in the tray bar, if displaying the current input language, that the locale has changed. Very important, the culture has to absolutely match an input language installed in the regional settings.

Changing the input language is not the best way as it changes the layout of the keyboard (for example, switching to en-us a fr-ch keyboard layout will lose the accented characters) and so far I have not yet found a way to workaround this.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 11:12:20 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] -
.NET | Programming
# Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Title : Professional SharePoint 2010 Branding and User Interface Design

Author : Randy Drisgill, John Ross, Jacob J. Stanford, Paul Stubbs, Larry Riemann

Summary :
Almost end of last year, I started a SharePoint 2010 web site project and I was wondering if there was interesting resources about SharePoint 2010 branding. I had already some experience on both SharePoint 2007 and 2010 branding, but it is always good to see if one follows the correct way when implementing a public-faced site. At that time, my main source of information was the blog and the site of Andrew Connell, then I found this book, “Professional SharePoint 2010 Branding and User Interface Design”. Excellent coincidence as my primary focus at the SharePoint Conference 2011 (#SPC11) was branding and the authors (Randy Drisgill and John Ross) of this book had several sessions on the topic; sessions that were of a great quality.

This book starts with the basics, explaining the different types of branding, before giving an overview of the Cascading Style Sheets. Even if they use the word “overview”, the level of details is already good enough to start a good work. Then, Master Pages, Page Layouts and web parts are each of them explained in detail. Here, I would never enough recommend to use the Starter Master Pages for SharePoint 2010 as they are a great accelerators when starting a layout. The fourth part ends with the branding deployment. The last part focuses on the ribbon, the Client Object Model, jQuery and Silverlight.

Book Review :
Let’s be short, this book is a must-have for all the people that want to start branding SharePoint 2010. The way the authors explain how the different part of SharePoint take place in the graphical design is very well explained. There are a lot of examples and code samples. The code presented is not too long to be followed when reading the book, meaning that you don’t absolutely have to download the samples to understand, which I appreciate a lot. Moreover, the examples the reader goes through in the book make sense and we could imagine that the Randy’s Waffles site is a real project (by the way, have a look at the SYRP/BACN site, used during the SPC11 conference’s sessions).

Finally, even if the book’s primary focus is the publishing functionality of SharePoint, most of what it contains can also be applied to non-publishing sites.

And, yes, again, in my opinion, this book was missing in the SharePoint 2010 book offering.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 2:21:00 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Book Review | SharePoint
# Thursday, October 06, 2011

<Disclaimer>This is personal notes of what I retained during the session. This can be incomplete, partially right or wrong. It is just part of the notes I took and what retained my attention. Nothing prevents the user to get more information on their favorite web site.</Disclaimer>

One of the biggest complaint is that SharePoint OOB looks too much like SharePoint and that is a reason why companies started branding. But understanding SharePoint is needed and it is not like branding standard HTML sites. Do not modify OOB files, you loose the Microsoft support. Using solutions to deploy branding is a lot easier when time is to retract the branding. Create custom master pages, pages layouts and style sheets.

Do not use SPD for the deployment of branding, but can be used for the development. Moreover, when using SPD, it customizes the pages and affect the performances.

All the OOB files are not customized and resides on the file system. When becomes customized, it takes the file and puts it in the content database.

Saving a site as a solution is the recommended way by Microsoft. Recommended also to create a sub-folder for your branding.

Using a sandbox the solution has the benefit of not screwing your farm in case of issues.

Create brand keeping SharePoint in mind and implement the design using SPD and then transfer from the designer to the developer (backup of a site).

In VS2010, create an empty project targeting .NET 3.5 (uncheck the Create a directory for this solution). Add a module project item (delete the sample.txt file) and add the branded assets. It is recommended to create several modules to group the similar types of assets together. Change the scope to site collection and add a feature receiver to apply the branding attributes. Also add a feature receiver to retract the files as well. For branding child sites, add an event receiver as well. And test !

It is not recommender to use the publishing site template, but rather use another one and activating the publishing features afterwards.

The IgnoreIfALreadyExists property of the Module does not work. Even if the file exists, it copies the files.

Thursday, October 06, 2011 9:08:32 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] -
SPC11

<Disclaimer>This is personal notes of what I retained during the session. This can be incomplete, partially right or wrong. It is just part of the notes I took and what retained my attention. Nothing prevents the user to get more information on their favorite web site.</Disclaimer>

MUI offers the possibility to add languages to a site. It is based on the language packs and users are directed to the correct language based on the browser language. Variations is more used for internet facing SharePoint sites.

If a user’s preferred language is not support on the SharePoint site, it will fall back to the site primary language one. The site’s default language can’t be changed afterwards, once it is created. Then, for that site, additional languages can be supported and selected in the Site Settings page.

As rule, everything should be localizable

As long as the language pack is installed, it will be supported by the ASP.NET controls. Wiki page does not support MUI.

Search box, control menu, ribbon supports MUI. List titles, field titles navigation are MUI by default but customizable. Site Actions is designed customizable. All the end user content is not MUI. When renaming a list in a language, for example, it will not be changed in the other languages. It is possible to import/export the site’s text into a resx file.

4 types of resources : Pages, Server-side assemblies, Script & Files, XML Files.

Resx files are deployed as module into App_GlobalResources or into 14\CONFIG\Resources. The last folder is the source for all the new web applications that will be created afterwards.

Server-Side assemblies are deployed in the App_GlobalResources folder for resx files

For scripts and resources, use the language directories (1033). All strings should be in a single file.

XML files are deployed to 14\Resources and use the resourcefilename.culture.resx naming convention for global resources.

To deploy the resources, one solution is to use a global .wsp.  But there is also the notion of language packs. A language pack shares the same wsp IDs.

In sandbox solutions, pages’ resx files and global XML resources cannot be used or even deployed. Therefore, the strategy would be to have a per-language copies of the pages and move the logic to the client side. The XML local resources must have _res for the filename. But, no MUI, list title are not localized.

Thursday, October 06, 2011 7:33:38 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] -
SPC11

<Disclaimer>This is personal notes of what I retained during the session. This can be incomplete, partially right or wrong. It is just part of the notes I took and what retained my attention. Nothing prevents the user to get more information on their favorite web site.</Disclaimer>

The logical elements of a page that may be impacted by multi-lingual are logo, navigation control, custom controls, site assets and authored and translated content. Some elements of the master page can also be impacted, like the page footer.

By installing the language packs you get the MUI (Multi-lingual UI). It gives the ability to users to switch to another language. But some site templates don’t support the MUI, the property SupportsMultilingualUI can be checked to whether or not it is supported.

Regarding the managed metadata, you have to select a source or a working language, thus, terms can have multiple languages. Nevertheless, it is not possible to import terms and specifying the language in any way and imports the terms in the base language. This needs a custom solution.

Variation features is a answer to support multi-lingual solutions of SharePoint. It requires the publishing feature. Variations are using different sites, one of them is the source. The Master Pages, Page Layouts, Reusable Content is common. A Relationships hidden list keeps the relations between the variations. There is a one-to-many relationship between the source and targets variations.

Configuration steps are : specify the variation settings, create the labels and hierarchies and finally set the page propagation model that can be either automatic or on-demand.

When landing on a site, we arrive on the VariationRoot.aspx page, this is changed when we activate the variations. This page will look at the preferred language code from the browser, check if a matching variation exists, and direct the user to the corresponding site.

Publishing pages, referenced resources (images, etc) are propagated to target variations. List content can be propagated. But list, master pages, reusable content are not propagated.

By default, references to resources are not changed. It means that on the target variations will use the source variations’ resources.

Creating new sites, pages, updating pages are automatically propagated by default. It is useful when localized content has to appear on all the target labels.

In the site manager, it is possible to manually create a new label site. For a specific page, it is possible to copy to one specific label. All updates on source pages that have target labels will have a new version on the target created.

On-demand propagation creates the target sites, but not the pages. This has to be done manually.

Search ML support (does not need to install the ML packs to be supported) : Work breaking, stemming, noise words. But, automatic language detection, spell checking, property extraction, offensive content filtering is only supported in FAST.

Some considerations such as in what language the query has to be performed (configured in the query results web part properties), which language the results will be displayed, are all results displayed the same.

In some circumstances, sites may be navigated in different way between languages. If dealing with content approval, this has to be know earlier as it will change the configuration of the workflow on the source language and the propagation model. Should all the languages be live at the same time and do all the content has to be translated ?

What has to be taken in account is also the resource files for custom code and expression builders, custom language selection, error pages, search experience, site map.

It is necessary to create a script to enable the MUI on all sub-sites, but blogs and meeting workspaces do not support the MUI. 50 languages variations are supported in a site collection. Variations cannot be changed afterwards.

Thursday, October 06, 2011 6:06:38 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] -
SPC11

<Disclaimer>This is personal notes of what I retained during the session. This can be incomplete, partially right or wrong. It is just part of the notes I took and what retained my attention. Nothing prevents the user to get more information on their favorite web site.</Disclaimer>

CQWP is part of the Publishing infrastructure and therefore of the SharePoint Server edition. It is used to rollup content, from a single list to a complete site collection. It allows to filter by content type.

About 60 properties and methods are available. CQWP can be exported, modified and imported again in a web part zone of a page.

When naming a column, avoid spaces and special characters. CommonViewFields specify the fields to request and that is where you specify the additional fields. QueryOverride bypasses limtes to query behavior imposed by the UI. WebsOverride makes the CQWP not recurse.

When selecting a site as a source, it will recurse, from that site, through all its subsites. In List Type, you select the list template you want to get the content from. It is also possible to filter based on the content type. It is also possible to filter on field values. AdditionalFilterFields can be used to go beyond the limit of 3 fields imposed by the UI.

It is possible to specify the CommonViewFields in two format : internal field name or added with the type separated by a comma. To represent a space use _x0020_ . To combine fields, separate them with a semicolumn.

DataColumnRename rename columns programatically and helps minimizing the XSLT.

Three XSL files : ContentQueryMain.xsl, ItemStyle.xsl and Header.xsl. All located in the Style Library\XSL Style Sheets. This last folder only exists if the Publishing feature is activated.

ContentQueryMain.xsl calls the Header and Item templates for each item. It receives all the content.

ItemStyle.xsl is applied to row items (Item Style in the UI)

Header.xsl contains the group styling (Group Style in the UI)

On pages, you can put some content that will actually not be displayed on the page when browsing, but will be when the CQWP rolls up the page.

It is recommended to not customize the out-of-the-box files, but rather make a copy and use it. When the CQWP takes the content that is HTML, the CQWP does not interpret the HTML.

Thursday, October 06, 2011 2:11:53 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] -
SPC11
# Wednesday, October 05, 2011

<Disclaimer>This is personal notes of what I retained during the session. This can be incomplete, partially right or wrong. It is just part of the notes I took and what retained my attention. Nothing prevents the user to get more information on their favorite web site.</Disclaimer>

Description of a proposal generation system on SharePoint 2010 for a legal department.

Scenarios cover generating documents from database, compose a new document from multiple ones and to split a document into several ones.

From a BCS entity, the goal is to create a job that generates a single document for every people entity stored in a database, containing the data about the person. The generated document is stored in a document library, all of that without any human interaction.

To create a proposal, the client is selected, title is specified, proposal template and layout is selected. Then, sections are built by picking content. Each section can be send for approval. Finally, the document is generated and stored in a document library.

The system allows users to write new Word template and use the new templates, by using controls. The engine takes the template and fill-in the content controls, using the data located in a database.

From the content control, the <Config> tag is used to read the BCS configuration. DatabaseBackedMetadataCatalog object contains the complete list of BCS entities that would also available in the Central Administration. Type of content supported : Text, Rich Text and Images.

In BCS, one ECT per snippets.

Templates are stored in a dedicated document library. To create or modify a template, switch the document into design mode. Thus, you can add the content controls you need. The first one to add is the Config one that tells what ECT is associated with this Word document. The content control’s Title specify the type of data (Text, Image, etc) and Tag specifies the name of the entity’s property to insert. No need to code to create the template.

A Word document is just a zipped file containing other XML documents. The Word content is defined in the document.xml file. The goal of OpenXML is to manipulate Office documents without the client applications. But, the format is quite complicated. One of the reason why we haven’t seen many document generation based solution is the complexity of OpenXML. A really useful tool is Document Builder.

A document is a collection of Paragraphs that can contain Image or Comment. And a Comment can also have an Image inside. A Paragraph containing a Header can also SmartArt and Image => Interrelated Markup.

PowerTools on CodePlex combines PowerShell and OpenXML and can be used to merge comments, accept tracked changes, convert to HTML and helps composing or splitting documents.

The steps do build a composed document is first to create a set of sources and send them to Document Builder. For splitting, the division is done using queries and for each item, use Document Builder to create a new document.

Document Builder comes as a class that has to be added to the Visual Studio project.

Word Automation Services adds the Save As functionality to SharePoint, converting to HTML, XML, PDF or XPS. It runs periodically and can be configured to only convert to some type of documents.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011 10:59:51 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] -
SPC11

<Disclaimer>This is personal notes of what I retained during the session. This can be incomplete, partially right or wrong. It is just part of the notes I took and what retained my attention. Nothing prevents the user to get more information on their favorite web site.</Disclaimer>

DSC04660MY site is the backbone of the social capabilities of SharePoint. Social is becoming more interesting to companies. Employees connected to a wide range of colleagues generate $83000 more in revenue per year. Social in SharePoint can be achieved starting with the team sites or tagging. It also helps people working together. There are numerous components in SharePoint to support social networking, but, out-of-the-box, it does not look good.

Branding for My Sites is similar to the traditional SharePoint Branding and reuses most of the branding of the general sites. The rule is for you to decide how far you want to brand your My Sites. Again, start with one of the out-of-the-box master pages or from of the Starter Master Pages. The default master page for My Sites is mysite.master. The global navigation should match the branding. Because the mysite.master is based on v4.master, a lot of the branding can be reused.

For the global navigation, leave the inner content arranged normally.

Tip : edit the CSS files on a local VM or on a local server, because it will affect all users.

Changing the global navigation or the sub-navigation bar can be done from the SharePoint UI. To override the global navigation, you need to override the GlobalNavigation delegate control. But it means the creation of a feature for the deployment.

Once the branding is done, it has to be deployed on all the mysites and applied automatically. The steps are : Create a feature for move the files where they need to go, Create a feature receiver to switch the master page, Uuse a feature stapler to ensure that when the personal site is created, the branding is applied.

Branding feature is scoped at the web level and deploy files to folders and the receiver switches the master page. The deployment feature can be developed outside the My Sites. The switch of the master page has to be done using a feature (code in the FeatureActivated receiver) as well, as the publishing feature is not activated and it is not possible to change the master page from the SharePoint UI. Do not forget to also write the FeatureDeactivated to come back to the original master page.

Controlling the web part deployment can be tricky. An example of the code that does that must run after the default.aspx is created. The solution is creating a server control into the customer master page. At page load, there is a check if it is the 1st time and get a reference to the default.aspx page and get the WebPartManager. Then, it gets the instructions from an XML file and build a hashtable of the web parts and apply the instructions. Finally, it sets a flag to not run again.

If you want to deploy different web parts for different types of users, after getting the WebPartManager, a check of the user profile can be done. Instructions are thus in the XML file.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011 7:30:52 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] -
SPC11

<Disclaimer>This is personal notes of what I retained during the session. This can be incomplete, partially right or wrong. It is just part of the notes I took and what retained my attention. Nothing prevents the user to get more information on their favorite web site.</Disclaimer>

3 server roles : Web Role, Application role, database role.

Scaling web role servers is based on user traffic and concurrent load. The main way to scale is to add servers.

Application server role : scaling based mainly on the content

Database server role : Adding storage does not mean it is performant. Ideally, content and configuration database should be hosted separately from service application database. The sizing of the database depends on how backup and restore capabilities are.

What can influence your design is of course the business and users, but also the IT best practices.

As soon as you add custom code, it impacts the performance.

Is your company really a 24/7 one ? what kind of peak event you have ? 98% of the operations are reading content.

Design first for redundancy and availability before performance. You can always improve the servers afterwards. HD failure is the most common HW failure.

Process cycle is usually Analyze, Deploy, Observe. Regarding the monitoring phase (Observe), capture real-time data and also on the host machines if virtualizing.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011 6:15:57 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] -
SPC11

<Disclaimer>This is personal notes of what I retained during the session. This can be incomplete, partially right or wrong. It is just part of the notes I took and what retained my attention. Nothing prevents the user to get more information on their favorite web site.</Disclaimer>

Technology is only 20% part of the success and it is really easy to make mistakes. Because of no policies, no training (not only class training, but just-in-time training). Don’t let your users managing the security, security is difficult to understand for end-users. SharePoint IS an enterprise application and information is the enterprise’s asset. So, it is very important to plan your SharePoint implementation.

If no governance, no rules, someone can get hurt. Guidelines are the road-signs for directions.

Ten steps in a governance planning (not all are absolutely necessary) : Identify an inclusive team, Frame decisions, determine your deployment model, define a clear vision, roles and responsibilities identification (including writing the job descriptions), develop guiding principles, decide your organization comfort level with social computing, policies and guidelines (or best practices) definition, documentation of the plan (but be careful to keep it small, no one ready a 100 pages document), and finally socialize and promote your implementation if we want to have an acceptance of the governance.

First the team should have to power to take decisions and should not be bigger than 4-5 people. Let the people discussing each topic of the governance, one topic per meeting. Then, in a second step, engage more people from IT, HR, Communications, etc. This has to be done before the roll-out.

Framing decisions : who creates sites, manage navigation, how much users can design (for example, don’t let them use SharePoint Designed until they are trained). Who controls the branding ? Who managed metadata, security ? What is the default access ? What happens when people does not comply to the governance ? Who maintain the governance plan ? Because it will change afterwards.

Determine your model : basically, how the solution is organized. Normally, the more public the information is, the tighter the control should be. When dealing with department specific (private) information, there can be less control. Do not take the default MS team site and give it to the users ! Looser control can be applied to team site and no governance on My Sites.

Establish a clear vision : It is the “why” of the governance plan. Why to have and apply a governance plan. It is composed of business goals (can be simple and a single phrase).

Roles and Responsibilities : Tasks must be in the job description of the people involved in the team. Don’t assume you have the resource internally. Typical roles are Executive Sponsor (normally the CEO), the Steering Committee, the Business Owner, the IT Solution Administrator (they must not own the solution, so they cannot be the BO), technology support, power users to train or help the users, metadata manager (should be coming from an information science background).

As a best practice, the roles that we can have are Communications, Training (training people should be very involved in the governance planning definition), because the training will already tailored by the governance. Change Management / Adoption, Center of Excellence (coaches to help users to get started).

Site Roles : site sponsor / owner (who has to be clearly visible on the pages in case of need for contact), site designer, site steward for day-to-day management and security monitoring, member and visitors. The Owner is accountable, but we’re all responsible !

Develop Guiding Principles example : No more email attachments, rather, send links to document.

Think about Social Computing : Only one good reason : if you have a business problem to solve. So, the business problem has to be identified first with use cases, define your governance plan and prepare your communications plan. No anonymous content. My Sites, what is comfortable, legal.

Define Policies and Guidelines : policies are rules, guidelines are more best-practices. They have to be published somewhere where it is easily findable.

Document the Plan : it has to be “consumable”, up to date and in context. Target the sections (short) to specific audiences. It can be supported by supplements, like quick cards.

Socialize and Promote : always communicate, be responsive to feedbacks.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011 2:10:49 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] -
SPC11
# Tuesday, October 04, 2011

<Disclaimer>This is personal notes of what I retained during the session. This can be incomplete, partially right or wrong. It is just part of the notes I took and what retained my attention. Nothing prevents the user to get more information on their favorite web site.</Disclaimer>

DSC04573Nowadays, providing reporting capabilities to SharePoint is quite challenging and require different skillset.

With Denali, available in CTP3, it will come as a shared service, will support WCF and Claims Based communications, Powershell, administration will be done in the Central Administration and logging will be done in the ULS. In terms of performance, report viewer will use AJAX and a performance improvement of 30-60% is expected.

There is a separate pack for the Add-In to be installed on the WFEs and scripting will be done using PowerShell instead of WMI. For the configuration, just go in the Service Application of the Central Administration.

Today, people are overloaded by the amount of data, the number of reports generated can be too much for the users. With the alerting system of Denali, it is possible to set an alert for a report in order to be notified when data used in that report have changed. But, be careful, because it can be a good spam generator. It is possible to assign rules, schedule, parameters to an alert.

Denali supports the new 2007/2010 format, for Word and Excel and compressed files can be generated. Rdl files will also have a new format, rdlx.

The Crescent Project is “an interactive data exploration and visual presentation experience”…A demo is shown where an interactive report is built in a web browser, with table, and chart.

BIDS, RDLC Designer and Report Viewer controls will be available into VS2010. Microsoft is also working in moving to Dev 11. The goal is to separate the RS VS Addin. SQL Azure Reporting is the Reporting on the Cloud solution. It means that report can be built in BIDS and then deployed on Azure, from BIDS as well, in order to benefit of the same features of Azure. Currently, it is limited to SQL Azure data. The reports can also be embedded in your Azure application.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011 7:36:05 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] -
SPC11

<Disclaimer>This is personal notes of what I retained during the session. This can be incomplete, partially right or wrong. It is just part of the notes I took and what retained my attention. Nothing prevents the user to get more information on their favorite web site.</Disclaimer>

DSC04572New guidance issued by Microsoft in June with a possibility to scale up to 4TB (or beyond) for the content database. It requires 2 IOPs per GB, split in several content database to reduce the I/O contention. It is also recommended to upgrade to SP1.

The unlimited size support is for record center and document center only. On the other side, avoid using alerts, workflows and item-level security.

To achieve the needed performance, it is better to have more and faster disks, rather than larger and slower disks. Isolate the TEMPDB on its own RAID volume, the same apply for the log files. RAID  5 is acceptable, but RAID 1+0 is recommended. For a large number of items, row density is important in the content database. For the search crawl, the recommended limit is at 25 million.

To estimate the storage requirements, you need to know the number and types of documents, because it impacts the crawler performances. The average file size is also important. Documents large than 16 MB are not crawled by SharePoint, by default. Can be increased to a max of 64MB. The number of versions per document has to be taken in account.

<snip>A lot of formulas are presented, check the video and the powerpoint deck to get the details</snip>

To test the storage performance, there are two free tools, SQLIO (from Microsoft) and IOMeter. The testing files should be larger than the SAN cache and testing should be done for an hour or more. Storage should be dedicated.

Recovery Point Objective (RPO) is how much I can loose and the Recovery Time Objective (RTO) is how much time I can wait for the recovery. We need to be monitor in order to be sure we can achieve the RPO and RTO. If RPO states 2 hours but backup take 4 hours => FAIL.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011 6:07:22 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] -
SPC11
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