Thursday, May 29, 2008

Versions.aspx Unknown Error

Latest findings :-)

Did you ever receive "Unknown Error" (love these descriptive messages)when trying to view version history on the item? I did. As it turned out it was directly related to the issue I had with viewing properties of an item. Anytime I've opened "View Properties" it would redirect me to the portal home page. Once the Dispform.aspx page was fixed, I had no issues browsing to the version history.

Because my priority was to resolve version issue before display properties redirection, all research was fruitless, If you are doing the same, take a look at your view properties page first.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Native support for PDF and ODF by Microsoft

Finally, great announcement from Microsoft

When using SP2, customers will be able to open, edit and save documents using ODF and save documents into the XPS and PDF fixed formats from directly within the application without having to install any other code. It will also allow customers to set ODF as the default file format for Office 2007. To also provide ODF support for users of earlier versions of Microsoft Office (Office XP and Office 2003), Microsoft will continue to collaborate with the open source community in the ongoing development of the Open XML-ODF translator project on

In addition, Microsoft has defined a road map for its implementation of the newly ratified International Standard ISO/IEC 29500 (Office Open XML). IS29500, which was approved by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in March, is already substantially supported in Office 2007, and the company plans to update that support in the next major version release of the Microsoft Office system, code-named “Office 14.”

Read it all here:

Can't wait :-)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Free SharePoint online training resources

Recently I felt compelled to set up a list of free online training resources, here it is (in no particular order):

1. Advanced lectures and white papers (Microsoft TechNet)

2. The Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Training, built on the Microsoft SharePoint Learning Kit, is designed for server administrators to install on an Office SharePoint Server site to help end-users learn about Office SharePoint Server.

3. Enterprise Search Training over 18 hours of free, deep technical training about Enterprise Search with SharePoint technologies

4. SharePoint 2007 Essential Training with: David Rivers (free demos)

5. SharePoint Server 2007 Courses (17 courses)

Share Excel data with others by exporting it to a SharePoint site Length: 30 min
SharePoint document libraries I: Introduction to sharing files Length: 30 min
SharePoint document libraries II: All about checkout Length: 30 min
SharePoint document libraries III: Work with version history Length: 30 min
SharePoint document libraries IV: Tips and tricks Length: 30 min
SharePoint document libraries V: How to download a library Length: 30 min
SharePoint slide libraries I: Set up a library for your team Length: 40 min
SharePoint slide libraries II: Use slides in the library Length: 40 min
SharePoint calendars I: Make the most of your team calendar Length: 20 min<
SharePoint calendars II: Connect a SharePoint calendar to Outlook Length: 20 min
SharePoint calendars III: Create your own calendar Length: 20 min
SharePoint calendars IV: Tips and tricks Length: 20 min
Workflows I: Basics you should know Length: 30 min
Workflows II: Collect feedback for a file Length: 30 min
Workflows III: Collect digital signatures for a file Length: 30 min
Workflows IV: Include someone outside your company Length: 40 min
Workflows V: Handy tips for tasks Length: 30 min


6. SharePoint Training Tutorials Step by Step How To Instructions. In these SharePoint screencast tutorials, get step by step instructions on all the features included in SharePoint hosting and how to optimize your site. The tutorials cover topics from Alerts and Creating Web Parts to Creating Meetings Sites and Wikis.

7. 2 Free Training Courses for SharePoint Here are 2 free training courses for SharePoint: Getting started with Services and Doing more with SharePoint Services. These are offered by the Instruction Technology Group at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln as part of their Microsoft eLearning Library. These interactive Office application training modules and tutorials were created by Microsoft. Note that to view the main training tutorials, you must be using Windows and Internet Explorer, however, you can use any platform/browser to view the Tutorial How-to Steps for each Lesson.

8. Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Training Standalone Edition The Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Training Standalone Edition is designed to help you learn how to use the features of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server.

9. Free AppDev training CD-Rom and download

10. WSSWiki - free community driven resource devoted to the Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services platform. (not quite training site, but you might find some of the articles helpful)

11. Free Demos from Hyperteach Windows SharePoint Tutorial - Training Videos

12. SharePoint 2007 Training Videos A series of 60 training videos (many of which are free) for SharePoint 2007. Categories include getting started, lists, documents, images, ideas, customization, sites and pages, security and integration. Topics include an introduction to SharePoint services, exploring the SharePoint site (free), user login options, adding announcements and calendar events, adding links (free), starting a custom list, importing lists from Excel 2007, a library overview, uploading documents (free), using version control, working with offline documents, initiating workflows, completing workflows, image web part (free), creating a picture library, using the discussion board, working with wikis (free), posting to blogs, staying informed with RSS, tree view navigation, changing a site theme, modifying web parts (free), advanced web part options, creating a basic page, adding a child site, creating a document workspace, make a meet workspace (free), site templates, security review, creating a custom group, groups permissions, Outlook 2007 calendars (free), Excel 2007 web query, Word 2007 document workspace, and more.

13. Bob Fox Videos more relevant to administrators

Alternate Access MappingsUse SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).
B2TR2-RTMUse SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).
Backup and RestoreUse SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).
SlipStreamUse SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).
Personalization_SiteLinksUse SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).
Setting up a Lab Part 1Use SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).
SP_Desktop_ShortcutsUse SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).
VirtualLabSetupPart2Use SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).

These links come courtesy from my good friends and fellow SharePointers, and Google err I mean Live Search  :-D

If you have some other cool online free training resources feel free posting links in the comments section.


PS: some people are not aware of the fact that I have another blog at Conchango, the following came to Conchango blog as comments from Jomit:

1. SharePoint Developer MSDN Web Cast Series starting from 20th May 08

2. Office/SharePoint Developer Screencasts from Ted Pattison :

14 'How to Videos' on WSS, MOSS and Office Development

3. Free WSS and MOSS Online Clinics

WSS Development

WSS Infrastructure

MOSS Development

MOSS Infrastructure

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Open-Edit-Save PDF document into SharePoint library

Recently one of our clients had decided not to just preview PDF documents from the SharePoint library, but to edit it and save to the same location.

Because Adobe is not integrated with SharePoint, when you open a PDF file for editing and save it, it will not save to the source location (Document library), but instead it will save it to one of the folders on your hard drive depending on the preferences. In my case, client wanted to open these PDF's from tasks that were created through "Collect" action in SPD (they served to provide additional information on the approver's disposition) as you might know this action creates a content type and associates ASPX page used to collect information. Users expected to open up the task associated with approval of this PDF document, open up the document they were about to review from this Task, provide some comments within the document, save this PDF to the source location and state their disposition in the task Item as well. Through the addition of  XSL within the ASPX page associated with this Task content type I've achieved the desired functionality:

Before, the link to the document that triggered associated workflow to create a task looked something like this:

        Document: <a href="{substring-before(@WorkflowLink, ', ')}">
                        <xsl:value-of select="substring-after(@WorkflowLink, ', ')"></xsl:value-of>

This piece of code would output name of the document with link to the document.

I've modified it to open the location (folder) of this document through the Windows Explorer (WebDav interface), luckily I have only one document per folder:

Document: <a href="#" onclick="NavigateHttpFolder('{substring-before(substring-before(@WorkflowLink, ', '),substring-after(@WorkflowLink, ', '))}', '_blank');">                         <xsl:value-of select="substring-after(@WorkflowLink, ', ')"></xsl:value-of>
                       </a >

As soon as you open PDF Document through the WebDav Interface, by default Adobe will save this document after editing it in the same location.

...BUT... yeah, there is always a catch.

When you try to open Office document, such as word document, you will get an error "Your Client does not support opening this list in Windows Explorer".

Here is your answer: even though it describes this error from the "Actions" menu, but when you dig dipper it all boils down to the problem described here, as limitation of characters in your URL to only 100 characters.

Yes, it is your answer, if you are running IE or earlier, but what do you do if it is not the case and you are getting this error anyway. I have IE 7 and office 2007.

I personally tried almost every patch, and download, and IE settings out there. We opened a support ticket with Microsoft, no solution. NOTHING WORKED, I've stumbled upon some forum threads that were ended on a hopeless note.

In my case the answer was within the actual XSL, apparently the problem can be resolved by the reformatting the URL used within the onClick command.

if before the HTML output from this line :

Document: <a href="#" onclick="NavigateHttpFolder('{substring-before(substring-before(@WorkflowLink, ', '),substring-after(@WorkflowLink, ', '))}', '_blank');">                         <xsl:value-of select="substring-after(@WorkflowLink, ', ')"></xsl:value-of>
                       </a >


<a href="#" onclick="NavigateHttpFolder('', '_blank');"> as you can see no URL id being supplied here, what is even stranger is that the URL was always there for PDF documents, but not for the office documents.

If you replace each "/" with "\u002f" within your link variable (in my case it's @WorkflowLink) it will work just fine :-)Once I replaced the previous code it with:

Document: <a href="#" onclick="NavigateHttpFolder('{translate(substring-before(substring-before(@WorkflowLink, ', '),substring-after(@WorkflowLink, ', ')),'\','\u002f')}', '_blank');">                <xsl:value-of select="substring-after(@WorkflowLink, ', ')"></xsl:value-of>

The HTML output was the correct one, for all types of documents!

Document: <a href="#" onclick="NavigateHttpFolder('http://portal/Documentlibrary/FolderName/', '_blank');">

This work around allowed me to open WebDav for particular folders

lesson learned, before you start looking for patches even though your system should be fine, go into the source code and look at what actually happens there, are you providing all the right values?

This post should have been re-titled though, but....


Note: do not get hang up on this part "substring-before(substring-before(@WorkflowLink, ', '),substring-after(@WorkflowLink, ', '))" It's just a way (in my case) to extract the URL to location of the document. By the way in some instances you might not even need to replace "/" with "\u002f".