SharePoint 2010 Developer Dashboard Visualizer

SharePoint 2010 Developer Dashboard Visualizer is a jQuery-based solution that extends the Developer Dashboard by plotting an interactive diagram with data from the Developer Dashboard, giving you an **instant** insight into where the bottlenecks are in your code.

Get SharePoint 2010 Developer Dashboard Visualizer from here and let me know what you think!

Reusable and Globally Reusable Workflows in SharePoint 2010

“SharePoint Designer Workflows” is nothing new, we’ve had that in 2007 as well. In SPD 2007, workflows were not reusable. Once you have defined a workflow, you cannot move that workflow to another list or reuse it somewhere else.

NOW in SharePoint 2010, this is possible! You can create reusable workflows and attach them to more than one list.

“Reusable workflows” is one of the coolest features in SharePoint 2010, however when I opened up SPD for the first time, I was a bit confused because I noticed two different terms “Reusable Workflows” and ‘Globally Reusable Workflows”.

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When you create a Reusable workflow in SharePoint Designer 2010, it’s by default reusable within the site it has been created in, which means that it can be attached to any list within this site. But what if you want your workflow to be reusable in the whole site collection ? Well, this is the definition of “Globally Reusable Workflows”. You can easily convert your workflows to be available anywhere in your site collection by opening your workflow and clicking on “Convert to Globally Reusable” from the ribbon as shown below.

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Also it’s worth mentioning that only the workflows created at the root level of the site collection can be converted to be Globally Reusable but other ones created in sub sites cannot. Try to create a workflow in a sub site , open it and note that the Conversion button is dimmed.

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Another important question is what if I want to take my workflow and give it to somebody else in a different site collection? There’s another button in the ribbon called “Save as Template”, this takes the workflow, put it in a wsp file and save it to the ‘Site Assets” library. You can export this file and deploy it to other site collection and what’s really cool is that you can import this wsp into Visual Studio and extend it over there. Very cool stuff! Thanks Microsoft for this  feature!

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Speaking at SharePoint Techday [December, 5th]

Egypt SharePoint User Group is pleased to announce its co-operation with DotNetWork User Group in putting together a full day about SharePoint 2010.

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TechDays is a new type of .network’s gatherings. It consists of 2+ sessions talking about a specific technology from the basic to advanced levels going in sequence to expose audience to different areas of that technology.

I’m pleased to be presenting there with Marwan Tarek and Mohamed Yehia, please find below the event details :

Date: Saturday, December 5th 2009
Time: 10:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Place: Dar El Deyafa – Ain Shams University – Isis Hall – first floor, El khaleefa el Mamoon – EL Abbasia– Cairo
Agenda:
10:30 AM – 12:00 PM SharePoint 2010, Getting Ready! Marwan Tarek
12:30 PM – 02:00 PM Developers’ tools for SharePoint 2010 Mohamed Yehia
02:30 PM – 04:00 PM Creating No-Code SharePoint Designer Solutions for SharePoint2010 Ayman ElHattab
The ticket to attend the event is 15 L.E.

Hope to see you all there!

Jordan SharePoint User Group – Nov 2009 Meeting

Jordan SharePoint User Group has recently conducted November 2009 meeting on Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at Princess Sumaya University for Technology.

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Mohamed Saleh [C# MVP] and Ali Nimer, Sr. SharePoint Developers delivered exciting sessions covering how to build browser-enabled web forms using Microsoft InfoPath Forms Services

Here are some of the covered topics:

· What is InfoPath and how does it work
· How to get InfoPath to work with SharePoint InfoPath Forms Services
· InfoPath or ASP.NET Web Forms?
· Consuming Web Services from InfoPath Forms
· Business Rules Verification and Validations

About JSUG :

The Jordan SharePoint User Group (JSUG) is the very first SharePoint User Group in the Middle East. It was formed to connect SharePoint professionals within Jordan together, to share knowledge and build a higher level of awareness for SharePoint Products and Technologies within the region.

Looking forward for more collaboration between JSUG and EGYSUG…

In SharePoint Designer 2010 : XSLT List View Web Part = List View Web Part + XSLT Data View Web Part

XSLT Data View Web Parts have been and still remain to be one of the most powerful web parts in SharePoint , some people call it “The Swiss Army Knife of SharePoint Web Parts” , the only problem that I can see with the Data View Web Part that once you add it to a web part page, the end users cannot further manipulate it, they have to come back to SPD Designer to modify it or directly edit the XSLT from the browser which is not an easy task (All data is retrieved as XML and manipulated using XSLT which is a very flexible way of transforming and presenting your data). Otherwise, the XSLT Data View Web Part is a wonderful web part, you can aggregate data from a variety of sources and present them in an awesome way.

In SharePoint 2007, we also had List View Web Part, which could be used to show a list content in a page but you cannot customize it that much in SPD 2007, you have to convert it to XSLT Data View Web part in order to customize or extend it.

In SPD 2010, there is a new web part called XSLT List View Web Part which is a combination of both :

XSLT List View Web Part = List View Web Part + XSLT Data View Web Part

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You can customize it directly through SPD 2010 and once it’s added to a page, end users can still customize it using the browser by adding views and doing anything that was possible using List View Web Part.

Ah, by the way the Swiss Army Knife of SharePoint Web Parts still exists in SharePoint Designer 2010 with a much better designer surface using the new Ribbons interface 🙂

 

Creating mailing lists for SharePoint sites and blogs [No Code Required] – Part 6: Administering the mailing list using Microsoft Word Mail Merge

NOTE : This article was published on EndUserSharePoint.com a couple of weeks ago and because of the wonderful feedback I received, I decided to cross-post it here too.

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This is the sixth article in a multipart series that is intended to help you create mailing lists for your SharePoint sites or blogs without writing a single line of .NET Code. In the introductory article, I listed the project initiatives, requirements, and objectives. In Part 1, I created a secured backend where we will store the subscribers’ contacts. In Part 2, I configured the ‘Contact’ content type, created a subscription form for the mailing list and did some simple customizations to it. In Part 3, I utilized the thrilling DataFormWebPart to further extend and enhance the subscription form to meet the project requirements. In Part 4, I implemented requirement # 3 by creating a list that comprises the names of all the countries of the world and a lookup field that gets its values from this list. In Part 5, I showed you how to create the primary and secondary SharePoint Designer Workflows needed to meet our project requirements.

In the previous article, I showed you how to connect the approved contacts to Outlook by creating a workflow that is triggered when the list administrator approves a subscriber request moving their contact to the “Approved Subscribers” list. I have also provided you with some excellent resources if you need to know more about SharePoint Designer Workflows.

As I mentioned in Part 4, most of the questions that I have received lately focused on the sixth requirement. For easier reference, I have copied it below.

List administrators should be able to send e-mails to all the approved and registered users specifying some filters. For instance, the list administrator should be capable of sending e-mails to all the registered users from Canada”.

In this article, I will show you how to implement this requirement using Microsoft Word Mail Merge.

Unexpectedly, Microsoft Word has no option to pick a SharePoint list directly as the data source for a mail merge. However, we can work around this limitation by connecting our “Approved Subscribers” list to Outlook and selecting the Merge data source to be an Outlook Contacts List as shown in the following figures.

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Summary

There you go! Yes, we are done; you can now create and administer your own mailing list for your SharePoint site or blog.

Since this series is intended to be educational, you should now be capable of:

  1. Creating and configuring SharePoint Lists using SharePoint Designer.
  2. Configuring anonymous contributions for SharePoint Lists.
  3. Creating simple SharePoint Designer workflows for sending confirmation mails to list subscribers.
  4. Configuring content approval for share point lists.
  5. Creating custom SharePoint list forms.
  6. Creating Client-Side validation for SharePoint list forms.
  7. Using the DataFormWebPart.
  8. Connecting SharePoint Lists to outlook.
  9. Using Word 2007 Mail Merge feature with SharePoint Lists.
  10. Using and creating SharePoint List Templates.
  11. Hiding SharePoint lists.
  12. Using lookup columns in SharePoint lists.

Again, I would like to thank everybody who took time to drop me an e-mail, follow me on twitter, or even leave me a comment. Your feedback, guys has always made my day.

So until I talk to you again (most probably about SharePoint 2010 ), check out my blog athttp://www.aymanelhattab.com , where you will find shorter articles, tips and tricks, questions and answers, and downloadable content. You can also follow me on Twitterhttp://www.twitter.com/aymanelhattab  or drop me an e-mail at ayman.elhattab@gmail.com if you have any questions.

About EndUserSharePoint:

EndUserSharePoint.com is a community of SharePoint authors dedicated to providing content to SharePoint End Users on three levels: Information Worker, Power User/Site Administrator and Site Collection Administrator.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introducing SharePoint 2010 – Egypt SharePoint User Group – November 2009

Today Microsoft Egypt hosted the first event introducing SharePoint Server 2010 by EGYSUG andSharePoint4Arabs.com . Despite the fact that it was early on Saturday morning, I was extremely happy to see that the attendance was quite reasonable and the facilities worked out really well.

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We are planning to deliver another session very soon in co-operation with DotNetWork User Group ,Clickhere to join EGYSUG and be the first to know about our plans, sessions and workshops.

Restricting SharePoint Designer 2010

As a farm administrator, you will definitely need to restrict SharePoint Designer usage in many cases.

For example , you might need to totally prevent users from connecting to SharePoint sites using SharePoint Designer 2010, you might also need to disallow pages unghosting and in many cases you will need to prevents end users from managing the web site URL structure.

Fortunately, in SharePoint 2010, farm administrators can manage SharePoint Designer settings at the Web Application level from the central administration as shown beneath. This way, the farm administrator will restrict all site collection administrators and revoke some privileges from them.

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Also, there is a similar screen at the site collection level, from which site collection administrators can restrict other users.

For example as a farm administrator, I have disabled Managing the URL structure at the web application level. Now, when site collection administrators check the SharePoint Designer settings at the site collection level, they will get the screen below.

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Hope this helps 🙂

 

Creating mailing lists for SharePoint sites and blogs [No Code Required] – Part 5: Creating the primary and secondary workflows and connecting to outlook

NOTE : This article was published on EndUserSharePoint.com a couple of weeks ago and because of the wonderful feedback I received, I decided to cross-post it here too.

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This is the fifth article in a multipart series that is intended to help you create mailing lists for your SharePoint sites or blogs without writing a single line of .NET Code. In the introductory article, I listed the project initiatives, requirements, and objectives. In Part 1, I created a secured backend where we will store the subscribers’ contacts. In Part 2, I configured the ‘Contact’ content type, created a subscription form for the mailing list and did some simple customizations to it. In Part 3, I utilized the thrilling DataFormWebPart to further extend and enhance the subscription form to meet the project requirements. In Part 4, I implemented requirement # 3 by creating a list that comprises the names of all the countries of the world and a lookup field that gets its values from this list.

 

In the previous article, I encouraged you to read Paul Galvin’s post titled “Email and SharePoint Designer Workflow” if you are new to SharePoint Designer Workflows. The reason I recommended this is that I will get directly into creating and implementing the workflows needed for our mailing list.

 

It’s a mailing list, why do we need to create workflows?

 

To answer this question, I will share two questions that I recently received.

 

Q1: When I connect the subscribers list to Outlook, I get all the contacts (the approved and non-approved) ones. In my case, I need to allow the newsletter administrator to send emails only to the approved contacts. This column has no corresponding one in Outlook, so what could be the solution?

 

Q2: I have created a view that contains only the approved contacts, is it possible to only synchronize items in a specific view rather than all the list items?

 

Good questions. I am happy that you’ve been paying attention. And that you concluded I would use the “Connect to outlook” feature to allow list administrators to send e-mails to the mailing list subscribers.

 

Unfortunately, when connecting a list to Outlook it occurs at the list level, not at the view level. To work around the limitation, I will create a simple SharePoint Designer workflow that moves the approved contacts from the subscribers list to another new list so that this new list will only contain the “Approved Subscribers”.
So this is the first workflow or to be more accurate let us call it the primary workflow. What about the secondary one?

 

The secondary workflow is very simple; its only purpose is to send e-mails to the subscribers as soon as their request to join the list gets approved (Fifth Requirement).

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  1. When the list administrator approves a subscription request, the primary workflow is triggered.
  2. The primary workflow moves the approved contact to the “Approved Subscribers” list.
  3. The addition of an item in the “Approved Subscribers list” triggers the secondary workflow, which in turn sends an e-mail to the requestor.

Note: You need to create another Contacts list and name it “Approved Subscribers”, refer to the first articleif you don’t know how to. Also, note that this list should only be available to the mailing list administrators and not to anonymous users like the first one.

Enough theory, let’s create the primary workflow:

On the File menu, point to New, and then click Workflow and follow the figures bellow.

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Secondary Workflow to send welcome e-mails to approved subscribers

On the File menu, point to New, and then click Workflow and follow the figures bellow.

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Connecting to Outlook

Now you can connect the “Approved Subscribers” Contacts to outlook and gain all the functionalities provided by it!

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Summary

I agree, it was a long journey but it was an interesting one. Iin this article, I just scratched the surface. If you are interested in “SharePoint Designer Workflows”, Bjorn Furuknap has done a terrific job putting together a comprehensive issue from Understanding SharePoint Journal to discuss Business Process Automation using SharePoint Designer Workflows.

In the next and the last article in this series, I will explain how to administer the mailing list and how to integrate it with Microsoft Word. Stay tuned for this article; it is the most interesting one in the series.

So until I talk to you again, check out my blog at http://www.aymanelhattab.com , where you will find shorter articles, tips and tricks, questions and answers, and downloadable content. You can also follow me on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/aymanelhattab  or drop me an e-mail atayman.elhattab@gmail.com if you have any questions.

About EndUserSharePoint:

EndUserSharePoint.com is a community of SharePoint authors dedicated to providing content to SharePoint End Users on three levels: Information Worker, Power User/Site Administrator and Site Collection Administrator.