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.

http://devdashvis.codeplex.com/

Keyboard Short Cuts for Windows Users

Keyboard ShortcutsI know the basics when it comes to shortcuts and quick keys on Windows:
   Ctrl + C = Copy
   Ctrl + V = Paste
   Alt + F4 = Close Application Window
   Alt + Tab = Switch to another open application

Yeah, yeah, yeah… boring old school, right?

Well how about Windows+D, did you know that one (Show/Hide the desktop). Or how about [Ctrl] + [alt] + [up/down/left/right arrow] to rotate screen? Or how about Ctrl + W to close a browser tab?

That’s the kind of thing that really surprises me. How can I have worked in Windows for this long and not know this stuff? Evidently, it’s not just me. Aibek at http://www.endusersharepoint.com/2009/11/30/keyboard-short-cuts-for-windows-users/MakeUseOf.com has documented a couple of cool tricks that you might find useful in his article Some Cool Keyboard Tricks That Few People Know About.

Have fun with these. Don’t forget to check the comments section on his post. A few people put some sneaky ones in there.

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Show Current Calendar Month Items in a Graphed Timeline

Ryan at Pentalogic has tackled a common request among SharePoint Information Workers: how do I show items in a list that are in the current month. His step-by-step walk through, How To Use Filters in SharePoint to show items in the current Calendar Month, with additional ideas for implementation is nice, but it’s the diagram that really stopped me to think a little bit.

Timeline Chart

With the techniques Christophe is developing for presenting HTML data in a calculated column, this looks do-able. I like the idea of exposing the information along a timeline to get a quick, visual reference as to the timed location of an event.

I’m going to look into this a little more to see if I can recreate the image, using a SharePoint list. This should be a fun little exercise.

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A New Kind of SharePoint Chart and Graph Solution

SparklinesChristophe Humbert from Path to SharePoint continues to astound me with the work he is doing with inline charts and graphs in SharePoint.

The examples shown below demonstrate some of the techniques he will be delivering in Wednesday’s live online workshop, SharePoint Charts and Graphs: Part 02 (Sparklines). One of the requirements we have for the live online workshops is that all solutions must be capable of being implemented by site managers without recourse to the server. Christophe has come up with solutions that dynamically generate ‘mini’ graphs and charts based upon data stored in a SharePoint list.

What you see in the images are actual size charts dynamically generated from a SharePoint list. Christophe has informed me that not only will he give working examples and web parts for Sparklines, he will be including other solutions for larger charts as well.

If you can make immediate use of charts and graphs in your SharePoint site, would it be worth two hours of your time to find out how to do it, no code required? I thought so. We look forward to seeing you Wednesday at 1:00pm EST for SharePoint Charts and Graphs: Part 02 (Sparklines).


Measuring Support Calls

 

Google Pie Charts

 

Sparklines and Google combination

 

Homegrown, inline charts

 

Google Charts

 

Sparklines in a Calendar

 

 

 

 

 




@keutmann announced the release of WSPBuilder 2010 BETA 1.1 which now supports Visual Studio 2010 and SharePoint 2010 solution package creation. The tool already has a huge following for Visual Studio 2005/8 users in SharePoint 2007 environments. It fills a huge gap in functionality that is not supplied by the Microsoft toolset called VSeWSS 1.2 (1.3 is still in CTP after many months).

This is great news for the SharePoint 2007 development community…it’s going to be around for a LOOONG time, I’m still working on SharePoint 2003 environments! So the fact that @keutmann has built this tool to leverage Visual Studio 2010 is excellent on its own without even mentioning all the cool extra features it gives over VSeWSS 1.2!
Below is an overview of the current functionality of the BETA 1.1.

SharePoint 2010 support too!
More info on SharePoint 2010 support here

Project Type


WSPBuilder is a seaprate Project Type much like the Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Tools.

Project Structure


The Project structure is reflects the SharePointRoot (or "Hive" or "12 hive") in SharePoint environments (latest build acutally now says SharePointRoot). This means that WSPBuilder supports both building solutions as SharePoint 2007 OR SharePoint 2010. Although there will obviously be some markup that will not be supported and assembly references will have to be swapped out.

The above diagram shows that in a SharePoint 2007 development environment it automatically picks the correct assemblies to add from the GAC.

NOTE: this appears to be a subset of Project Items as even in Visual Studio 2008 these options appear. So best to stick with the 1.0.6 build for production development at the moment.

UPDATE 1-DEC-2009: Visual Web Parts are now supported also!

ERRORS


When I tried to build, it was trying to look for assemblies and failing in my development environment. So I couldn’t test this fully at this stage.

Build Menu


Appears to be a little bug on this one (note only in my environment, but its gone now)

Build Output


Note that the solution is compatible with both SharePoint 2007 AND SharePoint 2010 in output.

Solution Structure

Note, in newer build the feature code sits with the features now.










This will set up the roles on the server for you ;-)




When trying to connect to a data source in SharePoint Designer for BCS you may get this error:

"Cannot connect to the SQL Server database defined in data source connection AdventureWorks"

"A network-related or instance-specific error ocurred while establishing a connection to a SQL Server. The server was not found or was not accessible. Verify that the instance name is correct and that SQL Server is configured to allow remote connections. (provider: Name Pipes Provider, error: 40 – Could not open a connection to SQL Server)"

Check 1: Named Pipes

Ensure "Named Pipes" are "Enable" in SQL Server Configuration Manager in SQL Server Network Configuration | Protocols for MSSQLSERVER.


If it is disabled (as above), right click and click Enable. Then click on "SQL Server Services" in tree and start and stop the "SQL Server (MSSQLSERVER)" Service.




Error/Resolution: SharePoint 2010 Office 2010 when using Connect to Outlook from External List in BCS

Synopsis

After creating an external list of contacts in SharePoint from a LOB System and clicking the Link to "Connect to Outlook" you get a dialog box indicating:
"The Microsoft Office 2010 feature Business Connectivity Services are not installed on this computer…" this is in-fact incorrect as it is installed and functioning. I have my Outlook fully configured and it has my Mysite already in SharePoint lists
 
Screen shot Below

Proof Positive that the Feature is Installed…


 

Troubleshooting Steps

I sent an email to Rolando Jimenez from the Microsoft Product Team for BCS and for the first problem we found out that i experienced that error because my browser was in the "Internet Zone" once i moved it into the "Intranet Zone" my ‘initial’ problem subsided
Now I am getting a "Microsoft Office 2010 component has stopped Working" Error tied to the Common Language Runtime on the bcssync.exe… more help needed here

 

Resolution

So, thank you Microsoft Product Team for BCS for helping me with this. I wanted to close out our email thread by summarizing how we got here

  • All x64 [obvious but just
  • Installed WIN 2008 Server
  • Installed and Configured Active Directory and DNS, IIS, Server Roles
  • Installed SQL Server 2008 SP1 CU2
  • Installed SP 2010 Beta 2
  • Installed Office 2010,  SPD 2010 and Visio 2010 Beta
  • Installed Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2
  • Installed AdventureWorks Database for testing LOB systems
    So after using SPD 2010 Beta to create an External List I was able to consume it in the browser but when I did connect to outlook I got the error outlined here in my blog
    http://fabiangwilliams.wordpress.com/2009/11/21/error-sharepoint-2010-office-2010-when-using-connect-to-outlook-from-external-list-in-bcs/
    So the steps taken with Rolando’s and Alex’s help ( I will show what worked with excepts of what didn’t inline)
    1. After Repair Outlook Failed to fix the issue and After Uninstall yielded the same results
    2. I followed Alex’s recommendations below
    a. Actually I think I know what’s going on. I suspect the issue is because you have dev10 installed on your machine which comes with a newer version of SQLCE. Unfortunatelly the version in dev10 comes with is x86 only. You need to install SQLCE SP2 x64 from downloads. Here is the link:
    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=411ba1c5-ba57-45b6-9148-91bed6e7a9f1#tm
    b. When I did I still had the same issue but I went one step further
    3. I Uninstalled the following Programs and Rebooted
    a. SQL Compact x86
    b. SQL Compact x64
    c. SQL Compact SP1 View and Tools (something like that)
    4. I installed the x64 from Alex’s link HOWEVER it told me to installed the x86 first, so I did, and I am up and running with BCS "Connect to Outlook"
    Thanks again Rolando, thanks Alex

SharePoint Authenticated Access Work-Around

A note from Mark Miller: This is a response to an article that Ming Fung Yong wrote on creating graphs from a SharePoint RSS feed. One of the problems with the RSS reader web part is that it can’t consume authenticated feeds. Ron Koval left an extended comment to Ming’s article, which I think deserves wider distribution.

Ron KovalGuest Author: Ron Koval

I could not get the admin to enable Anonymous Read Access, as believed to be the problem with not being able to access authenticated feeds. I discovered a work around, using SharePoint Designer.

The key is that SharePoint Designer has in the Data Source Library, under Server-side Scripts a “Connect to a script or RSS Feed” that has four different options to configure authentication. I was able to get the “Save this username and password in the data connection” option to work. Here are the steps:

  • Open the SP site you want to place the chart in SharePoint Designer
  • In the “Data Source Library”, under “Server-side Scripts” (you may need to expand this item) click on “Connect to a script or RSS Feed…”, this opens up a “Data Source Properties” window
  • In the General tab, create a “Name” for your RSS feed
  • In the Source tab, HTTP method should already be “HTTP Get” with data command “Select”; then paste the URL (from the RSS view of your source data list) in “Select Connection Info, Enter the URL to a server-side script:”
  • In the Login tab select “Save this username and password in the data connection” and enter a valid User name and Password in the entry boxes (note: I tried the option “Use Windows authentication” which would be better, but it didn’t work for me; also I was working on the network the same as the server so my User name did not need the trailer @zzz.com)
  • Click “OK”
  • The name for your data source should show up under the Server-side Scripts, from its pull down menu select “Show Data” (if don’t get the rss folder, there is still a problem getting the RSS feed)
  • Scroll down to “Item” and select “title” and while holding “Ctrl” select “description so that only those two items are selected (“link” should not be selected)
  • In the pull down menu for “Insert Selected Fields as …” click on “Multiple Item View” which will create and place the RSS data in the preview window
  • Place you cursor over the “WebPartPages:DataFormWebPart” to click hold and drag it to one of the conventional columns of the other web parts of your site
  • At the top most tool bar under “File” click “Save” and then “Exit” SharePoint Designer
  • Refresh your original site (you should see the RSS feed data)
  • Under “Site Actions” click “Edit Page”
  • In your RSS feed data web part, under edit, select “Modify Shared Web Part”
  • Click on the “XSL Editor” and replace the script with the bar.xsl (or the other one for the pie chart) provided by Ming and click “Save”
  • Click “OK” (the chart should appear) then “Exit Edit Mode”

Note the web part does not have a title or a pull down menu but that can be fixed back in the “Web Part Editor” under “Appearance”, “Chrome Type” change from “None”.

One thing to keep in mind, when others go to this site, they will be viewing this web part with the RSS feed via your login and password. Should you change your password, the RSS feed will not be available until you go back into SharePoint Designer and change the Properties of your named scripted RSS feed.

If anybody has any insight as to why the “Use Windows Authentication” option doesn’t work for this SharePoint Designer scripted RSS feed, I’d sure like to hear from you or see an additional reply posted.

Ron K

Guest Author: Ron Koval
EE, Digital Signal Processing, Robotics Applications, Telecommunications Systems, Manufacturing Automation and Project & Executive Management

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How we did it: Twynham 6th form Internet facing website using SharePoint 2007 – Part 5

Mike HerrityGuest Authors
Mike Herrity, Educational SharePoint Architect
Chris Mckinley, Senior SharePoint/SQL Developer
www.sharepointineducation.com
Twynham School, SharePoint Internet

Under the hood

How We Did It Part 5

A screen shot showing ‘under the hood’ Note subsides for each area in the links list, this enables dynamic navigation creation. Also note the custom lists open mornings (and the date lookup list) and the Announcement list (renamed to latest news)