Passed 70-630 today

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Just sat the 70-630 exam – “Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, Configuring” with absolutely no study. Yesterday morning (Thursday 28/2) one of my integration partners asked me to sit the exam for their certified partner requirements. I looked online and the only exam in Perth was today (29/2).

Was it hard? No, not really, but I’ll have worked non stop on MOSS07 since May 06 and fortunately, writing these long-winded blog articles has come in handy as I scored 911 which I was well pleased with. So, I’m thinking I should go and sit the WSS version (70-631) this coming Tuesday 🙂

Anyhow, what a crappy certification name. “Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist: SharePoint Server 2007, Configuring”, how’s that supposed to squeeze onto the business card?  MCTS-SS07C? Sheesh!

Am I any more cooler now?  I seriously doubt it 🙂

Paul

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More SharePoint Branding – Customisation using JavaScript Part 3

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Hey there. Welcome to part 3 of my series on SharePoint customisation using JavaScript and web parts.

So here is the lowdown so far. We are trying to find an effective, repeatable way to easily customise SharePoint form pages, so that we can hide fields or form elements when we need to. The goals were to:

  • Allow hidden fields based on identity
  • Avoid use of SharePoint Designer
  • Avoid customisations to the form pages that unghosted the pages from the site definition

So how have we progressed thus far?.

  • Part 1 of this series looked at how we can use JavaScript to deal with the common request of hiding form elements from the user in lists and document libraries.
  • Part 2 wrapped this JavaScript code into a web part which has been loaded into the SharePoint web part gallery.

So let’s knock the rest of this over and pick up right from we left off…

CleverWorkArounds Coffee requirement of this post depends on how much you hate JavaScript.

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[Quick Navigation: Part 1, Part 2, Part 4, Part 5 and Part 6]

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More SharePoint Branding – Customisation using JavaScript Part 2

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Hi again.

JavaScript sucks! There I said it. Despite me hating it as a programming language, I can’t deny that in SharePoint, it does have its uses.

CleverWorkArounds Coffee requirement of this post depends on how much you hate JavaScript.

Metrosexual web developer    image
Socially inept technical guy    imageimageimage
Luddite IT manager                   imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimage 
(sorry … why are you here anyway?)

[Quick Navigation: Part 1, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 and Part 6]

To quickly recap the first post of this series, we looked at how we can use JavaScript to deal with the common request of hiding form elements from the user in lists and document libraries. The technique demonstrated can be used for columns, buttons and whatever else you want. The method once debugged, is fairly easy to implement with SharePoint designer with and some cut and paste.

But there are several problems with the method that prevent it from getting a better CleverWorkaround rating than “Meh”. They include:

  • One size fits all, fields are hidden for all visitors irrespective of need.
  • You need to modify the page in SharePoint designer via cut and paste of JavaScript code
  • You need to modify auto-generated pages
  • You need to modify a page from its site definition
  • Insecure, relying on client side to hide content/controls is not a secure solution

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SharePoint – helping me become a ‘kept man’

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I don’t know about you, but I’ve always had a running joke with my darling wife that one day she will be so successful that she will be able to ‘keep’ me. I’d not have to work and instead, spend my days doing whatever kept men do to stay kept. I’m not actually sure what they do, but I’m sure it involves a jet ski! At the very least, being a kept man *surely* means you get to have breakfast in bed every morning and a foot rub? I could get used to that!

*ducks for cover*

Anyway, my darling wife said to me one day “So what is this SharePoint thing you have been going on about lately?”. She’s been in her chosen profession (light years away from IT) for all of her working life and looking for a change of scene. Although computer literate, the closest thing we have ever come to ‘talking shop’, is when she used to test me when I was studying for a certification by reading sample exam questions.

So I showed her the collaborative side of SharePoint. We created a few lists with custom columns, version control, infopath and SPD workflows. She liked what she saw and said something along the lines of “oh we could sure use this at work”.

I’d just upgraded my notebook to a new model, but somehow she got the upgraded one and I was stuck with the old crappy one. Not quite sure how that happened, but hey, I’m on a quest to become kept here, if it costs me the fancier notebook, then so be it!

So I put a SharePoint VM on her notebook, and we played out some scenarios.

Fast forward a few days. She has:

  • created a variety of related lists to hold various nuggets of information
  • created document libraries, that looks up the aforementioned lists
  • created and published various forms via infopath with lookups to the above lists 
  • created all of the views required for the above
  • created web part pages containing dashboards of connected lists/libraries
  • coded several SPD workflows to reduce the amount of data entry required and automatically fill information to lists

and as an added bonus:

  • Demonstrated her work to all her colleagues and friends (and her way of explaining the product is much better than mine)
  • Doesn’t mind me “talking shop” once in a while and participates in people/process conversations
  • I take her notebook to demonstrations and use her work for the demo as it is better than mine! (particularly her infopath skills)

Sensing the opportunity for moving a step forward in my quest to become kept, I said to her, “you know, you are now very, very employable”, but alas, she dismissed the suggestion, believing that everyone out there in corporate land knows this stuff. Therefore (for now), she is still in her part-time job.

Damn!  Round 1 lost, but I’m not done yet! The quest to become kept will go on!

At least there is one consolation to this little story. When I am doing pre-sales work I can say “it’s so easy my wife does it, and she’s not in IT at all”, and I’m telling the god honest truth! I’ve had a couple of clients say to me, “does she want a job”?, but she doesn’t believe it! 🙂

So If you, like me, share the dream to become a kept man, go and show your wife SharePoint! You never know your luck…

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Selling MOSS (The moral of the story)

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I hope that you had a bit of fun with my first “choose your own adventure” story. (Do yourself a favour and read that first!)

Writing that one was most fun. Did you suddenly think of the names of current and former colleagues as you read it? 🙂

Anyway, now it is time for you to sit on my virtual knee and listen to the moral of that story because believe it or not, I actually had a really important point to get across.

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SharePoint for Cisco FanBoys (final housekeeping) – Part 6

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Hey there!

Sorry it has taken me a while to get back to the Cisco articles. The “choose your own adventure” post took longer than I thought it would and I also was side tracked blogging about annoying programming issues with XML and Javascript.

This is the last of the Cisco fanboy series of articles and really its more a tidying up of loose ends. To call this last article a Cisco fanboy article is a bit of a stretch actually, since we are now moving to a broader level of governance and accountability, and is therefore not really about Cisco, so I’ll start a new series more appropriately titled and continue from where this article leaves off. 

I started the series with the intent of starting with a seemingly innocuous scenario (Cisco TFTP backups), demonstrating how SharePoint can be leveraged as an okay point solution. I then tried to slowly expand the scope to the broader issues of complex infrastructure management management, while sticking to a Cisco/IP network oriented theme in an attempt to get technical thinkers (like Cisco guys) to think beyond nuts and bolts. This also demonstrated how thinking past ‘the point solution’ can being more substantive benefits. 

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New Technet Planning and Architecture webcasts

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Back when I was a lad (okay, back on mid 06) I had to plan, design and implement a fully redundant MOSS farm for a largish company that was an early MOSS adopter. I previously blogged some notes about how I went about doing Disk I/O planning, and one of these days I will get around to detailing my use of SQLIOSIM as well.

Back then there was absolutely no useful information to help me with this whole process apart from some stuff that Joel had written.

That has now changed. Microsoft have released a series of whitepaper/webcasts covering a variety of critically important infrastructure oriented topics. I’ve just watched the capacity planning one and it really is excellent (although my experience suggests their document storage ratio in SQL vs FileSystem is closer to 2x than 1.2 – 1.5x. )

CISSP readers, some of these would certainly qualify for type A CPE’s as well

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Selling MOSS – A Choose Your Own Adventure Story

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(start the working week with a laugh)

I was writing a post and adding my usual dose of sarcasm and piss taking of IT department stereotypes. As I wrote it, the piss taking became larger than the topic itself (which was about the risks of IT departments trying to sell SharePoint to the rest of the business). So I’ve now largely abandoned my original topic and am just writing this post for the fun of it.

Any child of the 70’s and 80’s will have read the “Choose Your Own Adventure” stories, where you are presented with a choice and according to the decision made you then turn to the directed page.

Here I present the world’s first SharePoint Choose Your Own Adventure story. The premise of this story is that our trusty IT department has been bitten by the SharePoint bug and thinks it would be great for the organisation. The book is entitled:

“I.T Knows Best (Resistance is Futile)”

image

(ya like my 3L1T3 PH070SH0P SK1LLZ ? 🙂


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More SharePoint Branding – Customisation using JavaScript – Part 1

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Hi all

I thought with my last post that involved XSL/XSLT, I’d escape from horrid programming languages and write about more interesting topics but it wasn’t meant to be. This time round I had to delve back into the world of JavaScript – something I swore that I would never do again after a painful encounter back in 2000. (Yep, it’s taken me 8 years to face it again!)

But like everything else with SharePoint, by being a ‘specialist‘, you seem to have to use more technologies and IT disciplines than you would think possible.

As I progressed writing this article, I realised that I was delving back into branding again and toyed with the idea of making this part 8 of the branding series. But the governance topic in part 7 for me rounded off that series of posts nicely, so I will deal with this separately for now and perhaps refresh that series in the future.

Like a vast majority of my posts, this will also be a mini series.

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[Quick Navigation: Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 and Part 6]

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Form Services and SPD Workflows…

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For those of you who are developers and have to program XSL and XSLT, you have my deepest sympathies. I thought that regular expressions were bad, but this takes the cake! Despite my best efforts as a SharePoint architect/consultant, I seem to invariably have to deal with programming issues more often than I’d like.

In saying that though, XSL/XSLT is very powerful of course and I fully appreciate why the Data View web part is popular among developers. Anyway, I digress. This post is about forms services and SharePoint Designer workflow, but I had to dabble into this world to solve my problem. A word of warning though, this is a workaround but it’s not that clever.

The Symptom

You create a SharePoint designer workflow and attach it to a forms library, configured to run in forms server mode (in the browser). You create a “Collect Data From a User” workflow action, and when the workflow recipient clicks on the task, the “Related list item” field in the task is not rendered in the browser.

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