A much anticipated and awaited information portal SharepointPedia goes live. So what is Sharepointpedia. It’s basically a source of information for Sharepointers and is based on MOSS. It is meant to be a catalog of information and content on the web that is related to Sharepoint. You can direct other people to sharepoint related websites and blogs. You need to have a windows live ID to contribute content to this portal.
A lot of my friends and MOSS consultants ask for the steps needed to create an enterprise level document management site. Most of them do not agree when I ask them to start thinking about content types first. This sounds weird for them as the normal roadmap of creating a doc management site would be to create document libraries and then to add documents to those libraries but for me that’s just ordinary.
Even before the introduction of content types by MOSS, it was obvious that you must first analyze the type, content and behavior of your documents and data before even starting to get your feet wet with a DMS. After the implementation of content-types and the incorporation of workflows and metadata with those content types, life is a bit easier for system analysts and consultants who are in the process of DMS analysis. I would recommend the following sequence of steps for you and please comment if there is a disagreement 🙂
- Think of the content types
- Think of the broad document document categories
- Think of the metadata and behavior of each document category
- Think of possible content in each category
- Think of permissions and policies in each category.
It is obvious that once you are done with this planning and the document management plan is ready, you can easily map these to MOSS content types, document libraries, versioning strategies, information rights management policies and workflow.
A lot of sharepointers are mesmerized while making the choice between site collections, top level sites and subsites. While I have discussed in my previous blogs about the guidelines of when to use site collections and when to use subsites, I will advise my friends to view the planning roadmap for sites and subsites on the Microsoft official website.
Business Data Catalog is a feature of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 that allows integration of LOB applications with MOSS. For those who have worked or tried to work with BDC know that the most time consuming part is writing the application definition file. Application definition is done through an XML file that describes the metadata of entities to be retrieved from the LOB system.
Microsoft recently released a tool called Microsoft BDC Definition editor which facilitates creation of this file through a wizard. This tool has been released as part of the MOSS SDK 1.2 release (Aug 2007). To download the tool and learn more about it, please read the following MSDN article:
Recently, I saw many how-to posts on forums where people asked for custom formatting of alert emails in MOSS 2007. I thought sharing it here will be a good idea.
SharePoint maintains the alert configuration in AlertTemplate.xml which can be found in the <12 hive>\XML folder.
In this file, there are <AlertTemplate> elements for each specific list type i.e. Document Library, News, Announcements etc. There is also an <AlertTemplate> section with type <SPAlertTemplate.GenericList>. This can be used to apply settings to all the lists.
To change the format of emails, one should update the <Format> Element of the specific list type.
To publish the changed file to Sharepoint, use the ever useful command STSADM
stsadm -o updatealerttemplates -url
Microsoft recently released the SDK for WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007. Here is the brief overview of both and also the relevant links.
WSS 3.0 SDK
The Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 SDK contains conceptual overviews, programming tasks, and references to guide you in developing solutions based on Windows SharePoint Services as a platform. The SDK includes information about the following technologies:
- Web Part Framework Create, package, and deploy Web Parts on SharePoint sites.
- Server-side object model Work with individual lists and sites or manage an entire Windows SharePoint Services deployment.
- Web services Use default Web services, or create custom Web services, to interact with Windows SharePoint Services from external applications.
- Collaborative Application Markup Language (CAML) Customize the schemas that define lists and sites, define queries for use with members of the object model or Web services, and specify parameters for use with methods in Remote Procedure Call (RPC) protocol.
- Master Pages Specify all of the shared elements of your site in the master page or pages, and add content page-specific elements to content pages.
- Workflows Create workflows that encapsulate business processes to be performed on items in Windows SharePoint Services, and attach those workflows to items in Windows SharePoint Services.
- Custom Field Types Create custom field types that conform to your business data. These custom field types can be based on the base field types already included in Windows SharePoint Services, and can include custom data validation, field rendering, and field property rendering and processing.
- Information Rights Management (IRM) Specify IRM for files located in document libraries and stored as attachments to list items. Create IRM protectors for your own custom file types.
- Document Property Promotion and Demotion Use the built-in XML parser to synchronize the document properties and list column data for XML documents. Create document parsers to do the same for your custom file types.
- Search Use the new Query object model and Query Web service to retrieve search results. Search in Windows SharePoint Services now shares the same SharePoint search technology used by Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007.
Also included is the Workflow Developer Starter Kit for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, which helps solution providers, independent software vendors, value-added resellers, and other developers write custom workflows for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0. It contains the following:
- Visual Studio Project Templates
- Sequential Workflow Library
- State Machine Workflow Library
- Sample Custom Workflow
- Simple Collect Feedback using ASPX forms
The Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 SDK is designed for solution providers, independent software vendors, value-added resellers, and other developers to learn about the new Office SharePoint Server 2007 enterprise application and platform. It features conceptual and “How to” articles, sample code, and programming references.
The download file OfficeServerSDK.exe provided for the SharePoint Server 2007 SDK contains the following:
- Compiled HTML Help files (updated with new content since RTM), OSSSDK2007.chm and WSS3sdk.chm, which contain conceptual topics, Class Library and Web Service References for SharePoint Server 2007 and Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 3.0.
- Code samples that relate to topics in the SDK: Business Data Catalog metadata samples, Custom Single Sign-On Provider, SampleWebService, and Custom Filter Web Parts. The sample projects use Microsoft Visual C# and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005.
- Enterprise Content Management Starter Kit.
Also included in the SharePoint Server 2007 SDK, the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Starter Kit is designed for solution providers, independent software vendors, value-added resellers, and other developers to learn about how to extend the new ECM features and platform in Office SharePoint Server 2007. It contains the following:
- 2007 Office System Digital Signatures Developers Guide
- 2007 Office System Encryption Developers Guide
- Information Rights Management – Pluggable Rights Management, Technical Overview
- Importing Custom Actions into SharePoint Designer
- Workflow Security Topics
- Content Processing
- Term Replacement Document Inspector Module
- Document Converters (server-side custom property remover, docm-to-docx converter)
- Records Management and Policy
- De-Duplication Router
- Document Integrity Verifier
- Records Repository Web Service Console Application
- Search, Collect, and Hold Tool
- Default Site Policy
Note: The following workflow samples are meant to demonstrate concepts and provide a starting point for extension. They are not the same workflows that are included with Office SharePoint Server 2007.
- Custom Reports
- ECM Activities
- List Item Activities
- Hello World Sequential Workflow
- State Based Approval Workflow
- Modification Workflow
- Replication and Contact Selector Workflow
- Intersystem Purchase Order
- Confidential Approval
- Group Approval
- Review Workflows
- Collect Feedback Workflow
- Multi-Stage Workflow
- Server-side Collect Signatures Workflow
Visual Studio Project Templates for SharePoint Server 2007 workflow
- SharePoint Server Sequential Workflow Library
- SharePoint Server State Machine Workflow Library
Finally the 5th Pakistan Developer Conference ended with a great closing ceremony and a lavish dinner to PDC speakers at Lal Qila. It was good and everybody learned and gained a lot including the speakers, the attendees, the students, MS guys, MVPs and all. Specially the ones who won laptops, digital cameras and XBOX enjoyed the closing ceremony:). Bravo to the volunteers who made this once again a great success. It was pleasure and a very good experience meeting all the geeks, the Microsoft guys, all my colleagues and long lost friends.
I delivered two sessions, one on workflow foundation and the other on Business Data Catalog features in MOSS. Most of the attendees requested to share the presentation which I could not at that time, so here it goes.
Hope to see you all again in the next PDC. Cheers