Category Archives: SharePoint Designer 2010

Speaking at SharePoint Saturday Jordan

A couple of days after I have announced SharePoint Saturday ArabiaMuhanad Omar [SharePoint MVP andone of the very active 141SharePoint experts in the region] announced the first SharePoint Saturday in the middle east. The event will be hosted in Amman, Jordan featuring an international line-up of world-class speakers, including Michael Noel and Joel Oleson.

I am really glad to be one of the event speakers and to meet Joel Oleson and Michael Noel for the second time ( first time was in Egypt SharePoint User Group sessions ).

My Session Details :

Title : “Introducing SharePoint Designer 2010!”
Description : SharePoint Designer 2010 is the core and the only design tool for designing, prototyping, and customizing both SharePoint Server 2010 and SharePoint Foundation 2010 sites, from small sites to enterprise-level internet sites and intranets.
In this session, you will learn how to :

  • Customize a site from the early stages of prototyping and design to the final deployment phase
  • Build powerful workflows and align them to your business processes
  • Integrate and present external data into SharePoint sites
  • Create and manage Data Views and Data Sources
  • Use InfoPath 2010 to customize SharePoint List Forms

SPS Jordan is your premier event for SharePoint 2010 content, so make sure you register for this great event!


Associating Workflows to SharePoint 2010 External Lists

I’m a real fan of SharePoint 2010 composites, so since the beta version came out, I have been playing a lot with most of the features of BCS, SharePoint Designer 2010 Reusable workflows, Access Services and others.

While I was preparing a demo about BCS and External Lists for Egypt SharePoint User group, I noticed that you cannot associate workflows to SharePoint external lists. I double checked that with some Microsoft guys and I reached to a conclusion that SharePoint 2010 External lists doesn’t support the automatic triggering of Workflows however using custom actions ( which could by easily created now using SharePoint Designer 2010) can do the trick, in other words, clicking a button on the ribbon on an external list and triggering a workflow could be a workaround.

What if you in a real need to automatically trigger workflows for external data ? you can create a SharePoint list with external data columns and treat your list as any native SharePoint list. However, be informed that External data is a little bit different from external lists in the way it’s only copy of the external data but you can always refresh it manually.

I would also like to highlight another feature, you can now author SharePoint workflows that access external data through external lists or external data columns. Brilliant!

Forcing the Execution of Timer Jobs in SharePoint 2010

Since you are here, You have probably read my Understanding SharePoint Journal bonus issue about SharePoint troubleshooting or my blog post “Forcing the execution of timer jobs” where I discussed debugging custom timer jobs.

That’s what I have written four or five months ago:

“You will probably need to execute your timer jobs outside of their scheduled times when you are developing, troubleshooting, or testing your custom timer jobs. Unhappily, this is not possible from Central Administration, but you can work around that using the SharePoint object model”

Of course this was all about SharePoint 2007 but NOW in SharePoint 2010, Microsoft has made it easier for us, you can directly force the execution of any timer job by just pressing a button! Awesome!



“People who suffered from this limitation in SharePoint 2007 will really appreciate this…

Egypt SharePoint User Group – December 09 Gathering

6Egypt SharePoint User Group is glad to invite you to its December 2009 Gathering which will be held on Saturday, Dec 19th at Microsoft Egypt – Smart Village. This time, we have a valuable speaker that you shouldn’t miss, Mohamed Mosaad(SharePoint PFE, MEA). This is a great opportunity to benefit from his expertise in MOSS 2007 installations and implementations.

Please find below the event schedule




11:30am – 12:30 pm

MOSS 2007 Administration

Mohamed Mosaad

12:30pm- 12:45 pm


12:45am – 1:45 pm

Data-Centric Composites in SharePoint 2010

Ayman El-Hattab

1:45pm- 2:00 pm


2:00pm -3:00pm

Access Services in SharePoint 2010

Mohamed Yehia

Please Register here …

About the Speakers

Mohamed Mosaad is SharePoint Premier Field Engineer (PFE), Micorsoft MEA, with extensive experience in SharePoint administration and implmentations.

Mohamed Yehia has been diligently working in the development of enterprise solutions using Microsoft SharePoint technologies  including SharePoint Portal 2003, MOSS 2007 and currently 2010.  Mohamed is a Technical Architect and is Microsoft Certified Professional since 2001, MCSD, MCAD and MCTS Charter Member in SharePoint technologies.    He participated in a lot of Events for CuttingEdge Club and Egypt SharePoint User Group.  Twitter : @mohdyehia

Ayman El-Hattab: is a SharePoint Developer, Speaker and author. He is a Microsoft Certified Solution Developer as well as a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist in SharePoint configuration and development. Ayman writes articles about topics in relation to SharePoint and related technologies for online magazines, publicly speaks for numerous user groups and offline communities, organizes events and conferences for EGYSUG, founder of and you will always find him active at MSDN forums and on Twitter @aymanelhattab

SharePoint 2010 TechDay!

Last Saturday, Egypt SharePoint User group and .NetWork user groups organized SharePoint 2010 TechDay, it was a full day of new SharePoint features, we started at 10:30 AM and we finished at 5:00 PM.



Marwan Tarek started with “SharePoint 2010, Getting Ready!” exploring the new and exciting features of SP2010



Mohamed Yehia followed him by “Developer tools for SharePoint 2010” in which he introduced Visual Studio 2010 SharePoint tools, LINQ for SharePoint and Client Object Model.



Finally, I presented “Developing No Code SharePoint 2010 Solutions”, I have created an end-to-end no code Training Request Solution in which I featured the following



1. SharePoint Designer 2010 enhancements.
2. SharePoint Designer Workflows
3. Visio 2010
4. InfoPath 2010 Integration with SharePoint 2010
5. Data View Web Parts & XSLT list View Web Parts
6. Using JQuery with SharePoint

I would like to seize this opportunity to extend a special thank-you to all our attendees, their interaction and questions really made my day!

I would also like to thank my colleagues Marwan Tarek and Mohamed Yehia for their wonderful sessions , Good job guys!

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”.



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.





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.



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!




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.



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
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!

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



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 🙂


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.





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.


Hope this helps 🙂