How to Manage SharePoint Site Permissions

Sharon Richardson, JoiningDots.netUpdate: 2010-02-04
Sharon has confirmed the time for this event: 1:00pm EST (NYC).

Event time and date: February 8, 2010, 1:00pm EST.

Because of the overwhelming number of people interested in this event, our internal servers can not be used for the session. Dux Raymond Sy from Innovative-e has volunteered to sponsor the session through Live Meeting. That bumps us up to the ability to host 1000 people! Thanks Dux.

Please register immediately to confirm your live online, virtual "seat" for this event.

We’ll be running the same setup that worked so well for SharePoint Saturday EMEA. While Live Meeting is running, we’ll have an open public chat room so that you can give immediate feedback and questions to Sharon in the context of the presentation.

Original Article

I had a long talk on Friday with Sharon Richarson of JoiningDots.net. I was intrigued by her slidedeck, shown below, that takes beginning and intermediate SharePoint site managers through the basic steps of security and permissions in SharePoint.

Sharon and I have been talking about working together for a while now, so this seemed like a perfect opportunity to get started. EndUserSharePoint.com will sponsor a free, half hour live online talk, as Sharon walks through her slidedeck on SharePoint permissions, taking Q&A in the process. I have put up a registration form for this free event. I’d like to give the presentation in two weeks, if there’s enough interest.

A week or two after her presentation, we’re going to run a live online, 2 hour workshop to give site managers hands-on instruction for implementing security, building permission levels, and developing a set of best practices when creating security for a new SharePoint site.

I’ve had many requests for a workshop on security, so I’ve very pleased to be working with Sharon. Register for the free presentation, and then we’ll let you know when we run the hands-on workshop… probably the last week of February / first week of March.

SharePoint 2007 Site Permissions by Sharon Richardson

"Sharon Richardson has over 17 years industry experience. She previously worked at Microsoft and was one of the first people to specialise in SharePoint. Before Microsoft, Sharon spent eight years within multi-national corporations building collaborative systems using available technologies."

SharePoint Connections 2010 Webcasts on Channel9




The SharePoint Connections 2010 conference was held in the Amsterdam and has some amazing speakers! All of the presentations are available to download on the Microsoft Channel 9 web site…which means the choice of whatever video format you want which is perfect! You may have seen the #SPC10 twitter tag used for this conference.

It covers heaps of SP2010 stuff from development to administration.

Great work guys!

SharePoint Connections 2010 Amsterdam – Channel 9

The Anatomy of a SharePoint Event: SPSEMEA Post Mortem

Mark Miller, Founder and Editor, EndUserSharePoint.comThis is the third article in a series of articles on how the EUSP team coordinated and produced SharePoint Saturday EMEA. The first article walked through the runup to the event. The second article talks about what happened during the event. This article will sum up the final evaluation of the event and what we will do better next time.  

By any criteria I set, I consider SharePoint Saturday EMEA a resounding success! And no, that’s not coming from an objective third party, but what Toni, Isaac and I setup to achieve, providing world wide access by the highest level of SharePoint presenters, reached its objective.

We had over 600 registrations prior to the event, not counting the presenters. From the stats that Toni kept, we had around 200 people participating at any one time during the entire, 9 hour presentation period. There were 20 top quality presentations, with 8 of those coming for MVPs. The audio was solid for most of the presentations, I didn’t get any negative feedback on the video quality, and the AJAX-Chat system held up like a champ.

Room for Improvement

I was really, really happy with what happened, but as with everything, there was room for improvement.

Communication

One of the biggest flaws in the event were the lines of communication between me, the event registrants and the presenters. My intention was to get to within a day or two of the event and do an email blast to give out the login instructions. The problem is that a lot of email programs block, or mark as spam, email that comes through in a bulk bcc.

I think the way around that is to have a page on EUSP with the login instructions. We could even do it directly on the SharePoint Saturday site. Waiting until the day of to post the login was a little scary for a lot of people, since they didn’t know if they were going to be able to access the sessions or not.

Another piece of communication that was lacking was notifying the participants of what was happening during breaks. At the beginning of SPSEMEA, I had not prepared any slides that said "On break… Next Presentation Starts at the Top of the Hour", or "On Break from 12:00 to 12:50". Lucky for me, one of the moderators realized that shortcoming and starting inserting break slides into all the channels.

Communication to the participants is critical if we are to encourage them to stay for the duration of such a long event.

For future events, I will provide cut-and-paste session information for each session that we can paste into the chat room channels. This seemed to work well, as I would setup a note with information on which channel (the presenter and the presentation) for the next set of session. Pasting these into each of the chat channels gave participants a chance to start planning what they would like to see in the next hour.

Speaker Prep

Communication with the presenters is even more critical because there is so much room for error: session time based upon GMT -0, what channel, special presenter login location. We were very lucky that there was no major breakdown. I know that we had a few speakers confused about which channel and what time, but out of 20 presentations, we were able to handle mistakes and set it back right.

I waited until the last week to put the presentation schedule together. It would have been easier on the presenters to know further in advance so they could block out their specific time slots.

Even though we offered the presenters an opportunity to test their connection through practices sessions, only 1/2 took advantage of the offer. Next time we do this, I will insist that presenters must run a short, 15 minute practice session with us, since most of the problems of the day had to do with managing the interface of Live Meeting, not with the presentations.

Moderator Prep  

Toni, Isaac and I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief once the event was completed. We were sorely understaffed when trying to run 3 simultaneous channels for 9 hours with only 3 moderators. In order to keep concentration, there needs to be one, central coordinator for the event, but moderators should work in stretches of 4 hours, maximum, before turning the channel over to another moderator.

I also forgot about food! In a live SharePoint Saturday, sponsors provide food and snacks throughout the day. In an online situation, each person has to provide their own. In my case, I only brought a few bananas. Next time, I’m loading up with snacks, energy drinks, bars… anything I can get my hands on before walking out of the house.

Toni and Isaac did an incredible job moderating with only a few minutes of real, hands-on activity with Live Meeting before the event. When I ran the practice sessions with the presenters, Toni jumped in and was playing with all the buttons to see how it worked, so he knew more about it than I did by the end of the sessions.

Setup of the sessions is critical. Live Meeting allows you to upload slidedecks before the event, encoding them so they can appear directly within the Live Meeting platform without need for a local version of PowerPoint. Preloading slides cuts down on the time it takes to get a presentation ready, plus there’s a certain comfort level knowing it’s ready to go before you login.

I present quite a bit so I know how hard it is to get speakers to have their decks ready days before an event. (I’m still working on my SPTechCon decks!) Whatever can be done to encourage presenters to get their decks in before the day of the event will take an emmense strain off the production crew.

Notes from Toni Frankola on Improving the Event

  1. We changed channels in last moment. This was a bit confusing for presenters and me during first hour.
  2. We should have 15 minutes break between sessions as I did not have enough time to change everything (e.g. post something in chat, twitter etc.)
  3. Some sessions were late because of Q&A or late start (due to technical problems)
  4. It would be really use full to have live chat inside platform like WebEx
  5. Moderators need to prepare a slidedeck announcing next sessions (LM really sucks for just writing text)
  6. Moderators should prepare announcements for Twitter and paste them before actual session (including speaker TW user account is available)
  7. It would be useful to have two moderators per channel as I so little time to visit toilets.
  8. It would be nice to have a Twitter person per channel (if there are two moderators that this is covered)
  9. Some presenters haven’t tested the platform so they did not know how to share desktop, how to change slides and continued to make mistakes. I had a presenter that I had to remind every few minutes to change a slide etc.
  10. We need to instruct presenters not to animate slides as these do not look very well.
  11. We need to have evaluations for each sessions afterwards (there is LM feature)
  12. Maybe we could have some prizes at the end if we could track attendance somehow.

Where to Go From Here

SharePoint Saturday EMEA is in the books! It was a successful event, but there are definitely things to be improved upon. People are already asking "When’s the next one?"

I’d like to start planning another one for June called "Follow the Sun: A Day in the Life of SharePoint", where we start at 10:00am in New Zealand and follow the sun around the globe for the next 24 hours, sponsoring presentations by people within their time zone. That’s 24 hours, 3 to 5 presentations per hour, all day.  It will be on a work day, none of this weekend stuff.

An event of this type will need global support. Toni said he’s in… what about you?

Thanks for reading. Thanks for participating.

Regards, Mark Miller
Founder and Editor
EndUserSharePoint.com

Free Training: The New SharePoint 2010 User Interface

Office 2010 Beta LogoThere were tons of complaints about Microsoft’s lack of documentation and training when they rolled out SharePoint 2007. That doesn’t seem to be the case with 2010. Even though the product won’t be used by most people for another year or two, I see new stuff coming out everyday.

The Microsoft Office Online Training crew is already busy getting the pieces together to make it easier for SharePoint End Users to get a handle on what’s coming. They have just released a new training session, Make the Switch to the New SharePoint 2010 User Interface, free online.

Lookin’ good, team. Lookin’ good. Now, if you’ll just let me embed it, it would be even better…

Microsoft Online SharePoint 2010 Training

Style a Page using the Content Editor Web Part and CSS

Author: Devin Walker
DLOCC, Inc.

Do you have pages that look bland that you want to add some color to? Perhaps you would like some a background behind your web part titles. Maybe you want to hide the recycle bin on one page, but not another. Using the Content Editor Web Part you are able to add CSS to a page to customize its look and feel. This is a great alternative to modifying core.css, using SharePoint Designer or other methods (such as specifying a custom CSS file in site settings). Follow along with this quick demonstration on just how!


So you are interested in branding your SharePoint page using the content editor web part, eh? Well, there are both benefits and drawbacks to using this method. Some people may condem this method for all its worth while others embrace it as a quick styling method. Whatever you opinion is, let’s begin:

  1. Navigate your browser to the page you wish to style and click Site Actions > Edit Page to check out the page.

  2. Please note: If you do not see the Site Actions button you most likely do not have the appropriate permissions on this page.

  3. Click “Add a Web Part” on any web part zone zone; it doesn’t really matter since this web part will be hidden

  4. Add a new Content Editor Web Part and click Edit > Modify Shared Web Part



  5. Click on Source Editor and add some custom CSS. If you need a great reference guide please check out Heather Solomon’s guide located HERE

  6. …Now add your CSS and click Save to see your changes


    And don’t forget to hide the web part by expanding “Layout” and clicking the Hidden checkbox…


If you have comments please post them below, if you’d like to contact me then click here!

Author: Devin Walker
DLOCC, Inc.

About: Devin Walker is a professional web designer, SharePoint enthusiast and founder of the consulting company DLOCC, Inc.. Devin has years of experience working with companies of all sizes to successfully implement, test and launch SharePoint enterprise content management systems. He writes about his experiences on his blog: DLOCC | Articles and Tutorials 

SharePoint Folders vs. Metadata

Guest Author: Eugene Rosenfeld
Things that Should be Easy

There are many posts out there extolling the virtues of using metadata over folders for organizing information in SharePoint 2007. I certainly believe that metadata is a great tool for for classifying information, but it is incorrect to ask whether to use folders or metadata to organize information. Rather, it is more appropriate to ask when to use folders and when to use metadata. This post is not intended to be an in-depth discussion of information architecture. Instead, I wanted to provide a few pointers on when to use folders and when to use metadata. The following is a brief comparison between folder and metadata capabilities in the SharePoint platform. The context of the comparison is only out-of-the-box (OOTB) capabilities. With enough custom code, folders and metadata could be made equivalent.


 
Folders
Metadata
Security
Folders can be used to propagate permissions and control the access to the resources the folders contain.
None.
Content Type Order
Folders can control which content types users can create using the New menu on the list toolbar. Folders can also control the order in which the content types appear in the menu.
None.
Navigation
Folders are intrinsically part of the navigational infrastructure in the SharePoint platform.
Metadata can be used to control navigation, but this requires creative approaches. List View web parts showing filtered list views can provide metadata-based navigational capabilities. While this requires no custom code, it can be labor intensive to add the web parts to a large number of pages. Additional metadata-based navigation can be accomplished through custom code.
Url
Folder names form portions of the Urls of the SharePoint resources the folders contain.
None.
Tools Support
Most Microsoft and 3rd party tools inherently know how to work with folders in the SharePoint platform.
Metadata support in 3rd party tools is spotty. While a tool from one vendor will generally understand how to handle its own metadata, the tool will generally not understand how to handle the metadata from another vendor’s tool. This can make it challenging to incorporate metadata from multiple vendors’ tools into a single SharePoint information architecture.
Search
None.
Metadata is indexed by SharePoint search and will return results based on keyword searches. MOSS 2007 also supports promoting selected metadata to searchable properties.
Sort
None.
Metadata can be used to control the order in which items are displayed in list views.
Filter
List views can be configured to show only the list items contained within a folder and its sub folders.
Metadata can be used to control the which items are displayed in list views.
Group
None.
Metadata can be used to group list items together in list views. List views limit grouping to two hierarchical levels.

As you can see, folders and metadata each have their own capabilities and affects on a SharePoint information architecture. A proper SharePoint information architecture will contain the judicious use of both folders and metadata.

You can find Eugene’s orignal post here

Guest Author: Eugene Rosenfeld
Things that Should be Easy

Eugene Rosenfeld is the CTO of Black Blade Associates. He started his IT career as a database programmer and soon moved into enterprise application integration (EAI) and portal systems. Eugene holds a strong belief that all systems should have the innate ability to intelligently communicate with one another. Most recently he has been heavily involved with distributed systems architecture, Services Oriented Architected (SOA), peer-to-peer systems, and cloud computing.

Eugene has been recognized for his community involvement by Microsoft through their prestigious MVP program. His MVP profile is available at https://mvp.support.microsoft.com/profile/Eugene.Rosenfeld.

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The Anatomy of a SharePoint Event: Opening the Doors at SPSEMEA

markmiller-headshot-125x144 This is the second article in a series of articles on how the EUSP team coordinated and produced SharePoint Saturday EMEA. The first article walked through the runup to the event. This article talks about what happened during the event. All time stamps are from January 23, 2010.

12:30am, EST

I figured it wasn’t worth going to bed if I was going to have to start the sessions at 3:00am EST, so I left the house and went down to the office to get setup.  There was still a little tweaking to do.

I published an article on the site, giving all the login instructions and channel locations for each of the sessions. I didn’t bother trying to hide it from anyone, figuring anyone up on a Saturday that was looking at the site deserved to be able to join us, whether they had registered or not.

I used the EventBrite.com platform to send out a bulk email to registrants, pointing them to the update on the EUSP site. I was thankful for that part of the functionality of EventBrite. It makes it extremely easy to keep in contact with people who have registered. My main concern was that some of the emails would end up in the spam bin of the recipients. I just hoped anyone who needed help would check EndUserSharePoint.com for the latest information.

Presentation Platform Setup

When the MS Live Meeting instances were setup, each presenter was assigned to a specific channel.

  1. The Green Room The first channel was for major sessions that all presenters and participants could join. This would be used for the Introduction, Keynote, and Conclusion. Live Meeting was configured to hold up to 1250 participants, so I didn’t forsee any problems there.
  2. Channel 1: Moderated by Toni Frankola Channel 1 was setup as a Dev/Admin channel. Toni took this channel because he was knowledgable in those areas and could help moderate if any questions showed up in the back channel of the live text chat.
  3. Channel 2: Moderated by Mark Miller Channel 2 was setup as a SharePoint Power User channel. I put myself as moderator in that channel since I had a handle on most of those subjects and might possibly learn something new along the way.
  4. Channel 3: Moderated by Isaac Stith Isaac took Channel 3 which was mainly Business User sessions. Why did he take that one? Because that’s what was left :-)

The moderators of the channels were there to help facilitate the sessions. If the presenters were having difficulty, the moderators could help them get slidedecks setup, help them share their desktops and give them real time feedback as to how the presentation was coming across.

This was a critical aspect of this event’s success. Toni and Isaac were on top of each session, making sure it ran, keeping people on time, turning on the recorder, helping with the setup. Without moderators to work within each channel, this type of multiple, simultaneous, global presentation event would be impossible.

2:30am EST

Time to get things started… I logged into the Green Room and was happy to see a group was already forming. I had checked with Joel over the past couple days and had confirmed he’d be logging in at least 15 minutes before the keynote session.

As we came closer and closer to the 3:00am start time, I started to get worried. No Joel. I had the Green Room chat going, plus the Green Room Live Meeting Channel. As we hit the 3:00am start time, I figured we’d just play it out to see what would happen.

3:00am to 3:50am EST: Intro and Keynote

At 3:00am I started the intro session. Joel and I had worked out some slides to lead the discussion, so I started using those to introduce myself and start talking about how the day was going to unfold. Toni, Isaac and Dux were all setup as presenters, so they could help cover as needed during the presentation.

I moved through my introduction, and still no Joel. Nothing else I could do, so I popped open his slidedeck and started an open discussion about building SharePoint Community. Dux jumped in, along with Toni, and then I got word from Dux: Joel had connectivity issues and was phoning Dux to see if we could get some kind of link up. Joel could see the slides and hear the presentation, but couldn’t use VoIP to for audio.

I’m still not sure what Dux’s did, but a couple seconds later, there was Joel’s voice coming through like a transitor radio from 1959. I think Dux put his phone up to the microphone and let Joel present that way. When you hear the recordings, you’ll see exactly what I mean.

That brings us to another major realization: the presenters at SharePoint Saturday are volunteering their time, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t dedicated to what they do. Joel had to jump through some pretty flaming hoops to deliver his part of the keynote and then move on to his hour long session. He could have easily said "Screw, it. I can’t do it."

Every single presenter showed up on time, ready to present. That’s 20 presentations in the course of 9 hours. It was something I didn’t think about until after the event concluded. Everyone showed up. That, in itself, was astounding.

4:00am to 4:40am EST: 1st Session

  • The Power of the Content Editor Web Part Boris Gomiunik
  • SharePoint 2010 Planning and Best Practice Approaches to Upgrade Joel Oleson
  • Data-Centric Composites (Mashups) in SharePoint 2010 (In Arabic!) Ayman El-Hattab

Now was when the real test came. We had to make sure that each presenter not only knew which channel they belonged in, they also had to have presenter status in order to manage the display and be heard. In most live online presentation mediums I’ve used, you can right mouse click an attendee name and promote them to presenter. Not so in this case.

If a presenter showed up as an attendee, we had to get them their "official" login information as a presenter. This is when the AJAX-Chat came in handy. The moderator of the session had all of the information needed to get the presenter logged in. They could easily setup a private chat channel with the presenter and give them the credentials needed.

The second glitch of the day was that Ayman’s virtual machine went down, so he had no way to give his demo. He sent me a message that he wasn’t going to be able to present, but then found there was an 11:00am London time slot available and took that one.

Again it was one of those things where he wanted to present so badly, he was going to find a way to work it out.

From what I heard, the first sessions came through, even with Joel on a transistor radio, and  everyone was excited as the day got off to a good start. The only problem we had to deal with now was the link on EndUserSharePoint.com  for Channel 3 was incorrect. It took a couple minutes to get that straightened out, but from that point on, the site was the central point for people logging into the sessions.

5:00am to 5:50am EST: 2nd Session

  • PowerShell for a SharePoint 2010 Environment Claudio Brotto, SharePoint MVP
  • KPI roll-up in SharePoint 2007 (WSS and MOSS) Christophe Humbert
  • Delivering SharePoint Success – Why Collaboration is More Than Just Technology Dux Raymond Sy

During the second session, more people started logging in. I checked email and there didn’t seem to be any panic messages about "I can’t log in!", other than Joel’s from earlier in the morning.

As the event progressed, Toni, Isaac and I gradually started to realize this thing was actually going to work. As long has we had the information available to help people and the chat room held up, we could communicate to all of the attendees in real time, just by switching back and forth between channels.

6:00am to 6:50am EST: 3rd Session

  • Creating Office Business Application Solutions with Business Zlatan Dzinic, SharePoint MVP
  • Design and Manage Site Collections in SharePoint 2010 Steve Smith, SharePoint MVP
  • Data-Centric Composites (Mashups) in SharePoint 2010 (In Arabic!) Ayman El-Hattab

At this point, we were into the event by over three hours. Live Meeting was holding up well, AJAX-Chat was a real work horse, and the presenters were sending me feedback that they were really enjoying giving their sessions.

Toni and Isaac hardly checked in with me at all. I’d flip over to their channel in the chat room to see what was going on, and everything looked good. During this session I started thinking, "What would happen if I opened two Live Meeting sessions at once? Would I get audio? Video? Would it bring my laptop to its knees?" Only one way to find out…

I opened another browser to a second session and got overwhelmed with the audio coming at me from both channels. So the answer was yes, I could open two channels, three for that matter, but I’d have to mute them if I wanted to listen to any individual session.

That discovery made the rest of the day go a lot smoother. I opened all three sessions, muted all of them, and then kept an eye, and ear, on the channel I was moderating. As I flipped back and forth between the live channels, I came to realize that my worries about presenters presenting well was unfounded. Even if they hadn’t presented online before, if we got them setup and running properly, they were more than capable of delivering a great presentation.

7:00am to 7:50am EST: Lunch Break

Lunch break was a much needed respite for the moderators, and from what I heard afterwards, for the participants too. We had been moderating non-stop for four hours, responsible for making each of our channels work.

Then it hit me, I hadn’t brought any food for the event! I think Toni in Croatian and Isaac in Denmark were working out of their house, so they could slip off to the kitchen, but I was left with four bananas and as much hot tea as I could consume.

Oh, well. Write it off as a lesson for next time.

I checked back into each of the channels and found that Toni and Isaac had enough forethought to post a large slide saying we were on break and be back at ten minutes to the hour. Oh, yes, it’s nice to have a backup team.

8:00am to 8:50am EST: 4th Session

  • Client Side Technologies in SharePoint 2010 Jan Tielens, SharePoint MVP
  • SharePoint 2010, Getting Ready! Marwan Tarek, SharePoint MVP
  • SharePoint 2010 Search for the Business Ágnes Molnár, SharePoint MVP

I think this was the toughest session of the day for people to choose from. Take a look at that line up. How do you choose which MVP so go see? My choice was set because I was moderating Channel 2 for Jan’s session. I was very much looking forward to it since I’ve just started to touch on the capabilities of jQuery in SharePoint.

From what I heard, the other sessions were tremendous. I know that from watching twitter during the sessions, a lot of feedback was getting to the outside world that this was definitely an event not to be missed. That made me feel good.

Doing an event like this is like jumping off a bridge, not knowing if there’s going to be something to land on when you get to the bottom. The feedback was coming in from all sides that things were working, the sessions were well attended and the presenters were at the top of their game.

9:00am to 9:50am EST: 5th Session

  • SharePoint 2010 Development Tips & Tricks Mostafa Elzoghbi, C# MVP
  • Access and SharePoint Mohamed Yehia
  • Questions the Business Super End User Need to Ask of Their Organizations and of SharePoint Michael Hinckley

We were now 7 hours into the event and I was starting to pay for it, physically, I hadn’t had any sleep for 36 hours and we still had a couple major sessions to go.

It would have been funny to have a webcam on me at that time, because you would have seen me pacing the room, chugging hot tea and talking to myself… "You can do. Keep going. It’s almost done!"

10:00am to 10:50am EST: 6th Session

  • Installing and Configuring SharePoint Server 2010 in a Virtual Environment Muhanad Omar, SharePoint MVP
  • SharePoint Social Computing and Social Networking in Everyday Use Nicolas Georgeault, SharePoint MVP
  • Explaining Metadata: Working with stakeholders to build the taxonomy Ruven Gotz

I got back into the saddle to get the next to the last session going… checked in on Ruven, doing good. Checked in on Mo. Yep, everything’s fine. Checked in on Laura. Yep, she’s talking away… WAIT A MINUTE! Laura’s not scheduled for this session! What’s she doing here?

I jumped into Channel 2 and broke up the party that was starting… sorry Laura, but Nicolas is supposed to be here now. It turned out to be a simple time zone issue. Laura jumped out, Nicolas jumped in and we all had a good laugh.

That’s another thing that I had worried about: time zone issues. I posted a starting schedule based upon global time zones but had no way to know whether people would get the times correctly for their session. That’s where the chat room really helped out.

I could go into each session, 15 minutes before the top of the hour and let people know what was going to be happening in all three channels during the next hour. I’m positive that without the ability to do that, we would have had a pretty bad mess on our hands.

11:00am to 11:50am EST: 7th Session

  • Architecting a Fault Tolerant and High Performance SharePoint 2010 Farm Michael Noel
  • Introducing the SharePoint 2010 Out-of-Box Web Parts Laura Rogers
  • Social Computing in the Enterprise, from 2007 to 2010 Daniel McPherson

Heading into the final session I was feeling pretty good. The chat room was holding up better than I could have imagined. The live sessions were coming through with very few glitches in the audio. The immediate response from the participants was that they were extremely happy to have given up a Saturday to participate in the event.

I flipped back and forth between all three session. As we neared the ending time, I informed each channel they could go over by 5 minutes since it was the last session of the day and no one would be needing the channel. I asked everyone to meet me in the Green Room Channel for a wrap up of the day at the top of the hour.

Done. Done. Done… headed into the last curve, down the home stretch.

To be continued…

SharePoint Image library, overlay effect with Lightbox 2

Guest Author: Christian Stahl

Image galleries have become popular within the web over the past years, and there´s a couple of cool technics that can be used for this, like jQuery, JS and Silverlight.

There´s also a lot of different kinds of plugins that can be used for this out there. One of them is Lightbox 2, a simple, unobtrusive script used to overlay images on the current page.  

It’s a snap to setup and works on all modern browsers, and it works just fine with SharePoint 2007. So how do you do that if you want to use Lightbox 2 in SharePoint and use a central Image repository with auto thumbnails, and pull images to different pages at different sites based on some category?


  • First of all download Lightbox 2 v 2.04 [click here] and extract the folder. Create this subfolder hierarchy to Style Library, Scripts -> Lightbox204 -> Images. Open SharePoint Designer 2007 and your root web. Import closelabel.gif and load the .gif into the Images folder. Import all the JS files and the CSS file in the folder Lightbox204.

  • Open lightbox.css and change the URL:
  • #prevLink:hover, #prevLink:visited:hover { background: url(/Style Library/Scripts/Lighbox204/images/prevlabel.gif) left 15% no-repeat; }

    #nextLink:hover, #nextLink:visited:hover { background: url(/Style Library/Scripts/Lighbox204/images/nextlabel.gif) right 15% no-repeat; }

  • Open the lightbox.js and change the URL:
  • fileLoadingImage:        ‘/Style Library/Scripts/Lighbox204/images/loading.gif’,  

    fileBottomNavCloseImage: ‘/Style Library/Scripts/Lighbox204/images/closelabel.gif’,

  • Use your browser and create a couple of site columns at the site collections root level and put all these columns in a new group. Set all these columns to require. You can follow this example:
      • PixFirstName – Single line of text
      • PixLastName – Single line of text
      • PixFunction – Single line of text
      • PixPhotograph – Single line of text
      • PixPlace – Choice – checkboxes with no default value
        •  ImageBank
        •  Management
        •  Board of directors
      • PixSortGroup – Choice – radio buttons with default value B
        •  A
        •  B
        •  C
  • Now let´s create a new Site content type these columns. Give it the name ImageBank and set the parents to Document Content Type and Picture. Put this in a new group you can call ImageBank. After click OK and remove the columns you don’t need; Keywords, Description and Date Picture Taken. You can also set it to hidden if you prefer.
  • Add all the columns you have created, click on Add from existing site columns. Select columns from ImageBank, highlight all available columns and click Add and OK.
  • Click Column order, set the column order like the first step in this blog.


  • Create a Picture Library at the sites root level and name it Pix, and go to the picture library settings. Click on Advanced settings, set Allow management of content types to Yes and set Display New Folder to No.
  • Click Add from existing site Content types. Select the group ImageBank, and then add it and click OK.
  • Click the Change new button order and default content type, and unmark the default Content Type with the name Picture. Click OK.
  • Go to the Pix Library and upload some example images. For example you can have them in size 300 x 300 pixels or similar. Do not upload multiple images. Upload each one and fill in the form with some values. Set the PixPlace to ImageBank for at least one of the images and set all of the Images to the value ImageBank.
  • Create a new site in SharePoint somewhere in the structure, use the template Publishing Site and name this Management. Sure, you can use an existing site if you want.
  • You have done everything that you will need for later on. Now the fun begins, let us open up SharePoint Designer 2007:

  • Open up a site in SharePoint Designer where you want to include your Image bank. Click on File -> New and ASPX.
  • Click Task Panes, Data Source Library. At the bottom of this window, click Connect to another library and Add.
  • Fill in a Display name, Pix and paste the URL to the root site. Click OK twice.
  • Expand Pix and SharePoint Libraries. Find the drop down and choose Show Data,


  • Select the first field and choose Insert Selected Field from the button above and then choose Multiple Item View.
  • Point at the little arrow on the right hand side in the Data form. Choose Change Layout and choose the second layout from the top, the one that repeats the form. Click OK twice.
  • Use Split view, and mark one of the fields in the Design view. Your will now see that values are highlighted in the code view.
  • Replace this:
  • <xsl:value-of select="@FileLeafRef" />

    with this:

    <a href="http://YourServer/pix/{@FileLeafRef}" rel="lightbox"><img src="{concat('/',@FileDirRef,'/_t/',substring(@LinkFilenameNoMenu,1,string-length(@LinkFilenameNoMenu)-4),'_',@FileType,'.jpg')}" alt="{@FileRef}" style="border:0px" width="50" title="{@PixFirstName} {@PixLastName}" /></a>

    Be sure to use the name of your server instead of YourServer

  • Now it´s time to set a sort order and a filter to the Data View. Find the arrow to the right in the Data form and choose filter. Let the field PixPlace compare to Management. Click OK.


  • Then click Sort and Group. Find PixSortGroup and click Add, do the same for PixLastName. Let them both sort by Ascending order. Click OK.
  • Take a look in the design view, you can for example delete the table row above the repeating XSLT code or make your own header to the table.
  • Attach this page to a Masterpage. Click Format -> Master Page -> Attach Master Page. Click OK twice.
  • If you want, add a new web part zone to the page and drag the Data View into the zone.
  • Apply references to the Lightbox JS and Css files on the page. You can put this just below the PlaceHolderMain tag. If you like to put it in the Master Page or into a Content Editor Web Part, that is also a possibility depending on your needs.
<!--LightBox 204-->
<script type="text/javascript" src="/Style Library/Scripts/Lighbox204/prototype.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src="/Style Library/Scripts/Lighbox204/scriptaculous.js?load=effects,builder"></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src="/Style Library/Scripts/Lighbox204/lightbox.js"></script>
<link rel="stylesheet" href="/Style Library/Scripts/Lighbox204/lightbox.css" type="text/css" media="screen" />
  • Save the page into the Page folder. Preview the page, go to File -> Preview in the browser and choose, for example, IE8.

Next step could be to create another page in another site. For example a common image library where all images show up, without any filter in the data view. Like the Image below you can add additional information from the Pix list, like names and their titles. And the sort order? You can use this if your CEO for some reason doesn’t like to be sorted in the same level as the rest of the employees.

If you would like to try some different settings for the overlay effects, take a look at the configuration settings in the Lightbox.js. You can change overlay opacity or the image loading speed.

I can also recommend Paul D. Fox´s article ‘How to create a Thumbnail Picture Library View in SharePoint 2007’, this article describes another way to work with Thumbnail Picture Library with SharePoint Designer 2007.

Guest Author: Christian Stahl

Christian Stahl works for Humandata as a senior SharePoint consultant & MCTS and MCP, based in Stockholm, Sweden. He has worked with SharePoint since 2003, and works mostly with architecting, customizations and branding. Besides consulting, Christian also teaches SharePoint Designer at Informator and Labcenter in Sweden. He has been a speaker at events and conferences including Humandata and Microsoft’s SharePoint Conference in Sweden, SEF. Christian is founder of the community www.sharepointdesigners.net.

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Governance for SharePoint: Site Creation Rights

Author: Michael Sampson

One of the things I rail against in my book SharePoint Roadmap for Collaboration, is the belief that governance is just about optimizing technical settings in SharePoint. It’s not! It’s about so much more than that, and while the optimization of technical settings — the number of site collections, database sizes, page load times, and so on — is important within a particular context, successfully leveraging the technology of SharePoint to enhance business operations requires a more expansive view of governance.

To that end, Chapter 4 of my book talks through a governance structure (three groups), a decision process (aimed in large part at getting multiple people to start talking and thinking about how to effectively use SharePoint for collaboration), and a set of key governance themes when using SharePoint for collaboration. Those themes are:

  • Site Creation Rights
  • Template Standardization
  • Site Collections
  • Site Closure approach
  • Third-Party Product Usage
  • … and more.

While the aim of the book was to "teach people to fish", many of the attendees at my SharePoint Collaboration and Governance masterclasses want more specific details about each of the above themes. As in, "give me some fish" … and then we’ll decide whether we want to fish ourselves or use the fish you’ve given.

Well, it’s fish time! The very first "fish" is ready to eat … it’s a new report that looks in much more detail at the Site Creation Rights governance theme. My initial thought was that the report would be about 10 pages long, but it took 26 pages to get it right! And it includes a heap of survey data about current practice by other organizations, thus giving insight into how other organizations are tackling this theme. Here’s the opening paragraph from the Executive Summary:

"What you decide about who is permitted to create a new site in SharePoint, under what conditions, with what approval process, and through what method, has a huge bearing on the effectiveness of your use of SharePoint for collaboration. Get it right, and people will have a clear picture of what is required when creating a new site, thus setting the framework for effective use. Get it wrong, and your SharePoint implementation will result in site sprawl, unused team sites, and poor findability."

Key findings in the report include:

  • There are three stages in the creation of a new site: the request, the approval, and the actioning of the request.
  • Most organizations take an approach to Site Creation Rights whereby anyone can request a new collaboration site, but it has to be approved or actioned by someone else.
  • Most organizations require an approval for a new SharePoint site, and most organizations look to the person responsible for SharePoint to do so.
  • Most organizations take a manual approach to actually creating the new site, such as by an IT administrator using "Site Actions" to create a new site.
  • Few organizations have a fully automated approach using workflow tools to create new SharePoint sites.

If this report could help your governance team in their work, please check out the free Summary document, or order the Group License of the report.

Learn more:

Author: Michael Sampson

Michael Sampson is a Collaboration Strategist. He helps end-user organizations in New Zealand, Australia, the United States, Europe and other places around the world improve the performance of distributed teams. Michael is the author of Seamless Teamwork: Using Microsoft SharePoint Technologies to Collaborate, Innovate, and Drive Business in New Ways (Microsoft Press, 2009), and SharePoint Roadmap for Collaboration: Using SharePoint to Enhance Business Collaboration (2009). Based in New Zealand, Michael works with clients worldwide.

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The Anatomy of a SharePoint Event: Set Up for SPSEMEA

markmiller-headshot-125x144SharePoint Saturday EMEA was a live online, nine and a half hour event on January 23rd 2010. There were 20 presenters, including 8 MVPs, and three simultaneous sessions running every hour, on the hour.

 In this article I will outline how SPSEMEA came about, what it took to plan the event, what happened during the event, a post mortem to talk about what could have been better and a look down the road to what will be coming.

October 21, 2009: The Beginning of an Idea

SharePoint Saturday EMEA started as an idea over drinks at SharePoint Conference 2009. Toni Frankola, Isaac Stith and I were discussing different ways we could work together, being in such disparate locations: Croatia, Denmark and the United States. The talked turned to what is happening with SharePoint Saturdays in the United States and how it has expanded into a global market in the past year.

Toni wanted to participate in more events, but the market for SharePoint events in Croatia is relatively small.  We agreed that innumerable people want to participate in any type of SharePoint event, but don’t have the proximity to attended, or the financial support to create their own event. When the talked turned to presenting a virtual SharePoint Saturday, all three of us knew right away it was an idea worth pursuing.

October 28, 2009: Planning the Event – SharePoint Saturday EMEA Comes Alive

I returned from SPC09 with a vague mental outline of how I wanted to proceed to keep the idea of SPSEMEA going. I emailed Michael Lotter, who manages and coordinates the setup of SharePoint Saturday. I told him what we were thinking about doing and asked if it could go under the umbrella of SharePoint Saturday. He confirmed that as long as we made it explicitly clear that this was a live online, virtual event, it wouldn’t be a problem.

In order to be under the SPS umbrella, Michael sets up the event on SharePointSaturday.org, giving the event coordinator a private area for managing the event. Once it has been setup, the coordinator can setup the description page for the event, manage the speakers and sessions, and expose the event to the SharePoint Community.

November 2009: Putting Together a Support Team for SharePoint Saturday EMEA

Toni and Isaac have deep connections in Europe when it comes to contacting people and user groups. This would be useful once the PR started going out, but we also needed people on the team to help manage speaker submission and sponsor requests.

I asked Eric Harlan to manage the speaker submissions, since he was the main organizer for SharePoint Saturday Baltimore, one of the best run SPS events I had spoken at in the past. Eric is also the organizer of virtual Global SharePoint User Group. With that experience on the team, it would save a lot of headaches when trying to coordinate 20 speakers and presentations.

Another person we needed on the team was one that would approach sponsors for the event. Becky Isserman had been coordinating the SPS meetings out of Kansas City. I had seen her at most of the SharePoint Saturday events where I spoke in the past year and knew she had direct contact with sponsors from her events. So there was the core team: me as central coordinator, Toni and Isaac and the PR team for Europe, Eric as speaker liaison and Becky to round up sponsors.

November 23, 2009: Announcing the Event – SharePoint Saturday EMEA Goes Live

Once the team was together, we needed to set a date for the event. Talking with Toni and Isaac, there were a couple of roadblocks to making this thing actually work. First was that Europeans treasure their weekends and we had to assume that many people would not attend because it was scheduled to be a Saturday event. As we talked it through, we decide that didn’t matter. We were under the umbrella of SharePoint Saturday, so this was not negotiable.

The other block was choosing a date. There is so much activity going on during the holiday session, most people are burned out and overloaded when they get back to work during the first week of January. We wanted to be one of the first events of the year, but still far enough out to market properly and give people enough time to prepare.

January 23rd turned out to be the date, based upon when we thought people would be ready to participate in and view a full day of SharePoint material. With the date set, I build a global time schedule and posted it as the first announcement on the SharePoint Saturday EMEA site.

 In addition to SPSEMEA site, the coordination team announced the event over twitter to all of their followers.

November 27, 2009: Call for Speakers

On November 27th, we placed a call for speakers, along with the global time schedule, and just hoped that we would get a few speaker submissions.

We had no idea how many speaker submissions to expect. Since the event was scheduled to start at 3:00am EST, I didn’t think many would be coming from the US. Eric was keeping track of the submission and notified us every couple of days on the count. As the submissions kept growing, we had to create a spreadsheet to handle the logistical information for each presentation: name, country, session type, session title, description, etc.

It was difficult to track the speaker submissions in the way we originally set it up. The speaker submission form had Eric’s email address on it so the submissions went directly to him. Because we hadn’t setup a central storage location for those documents, we weren’t able to get to the documents to get updates, abstracts and speaker information unless Eric emailed all of them around. In retrospect, that was the biggest flaw in our plan.

November 29, 2009: Call for Participant Registration

I’ve produced almost a hundred live online events in the past year and use EventBrite.com as my event management system. This is a free service if your event is free, so it seemed like a logical choice.

One of the things I wanted to track was what subjects would be of most interest, so I added short list of questions to the registration form. If there were too many speaker submissions, I could fall back on the registration forms and choose the topics people wanted to hear about.

The EventBrite.com management system also has a built-in email program so I could slice and dice, segment, or email the entire group of registrants whenever I needed to push out some information.

On November 29th, we opened up the registration form and had an immediate response. At that point, we finally had confirmation that people would be interested in participating in this type of event. The shock was that so many of the registrations were coming in from North America. I actually sent out a note say, “Do you realize this will start at 3:00am your time?”

December 1, 2009: Setting up the KeyNote Speaker

I’ve worked with Joel Oleson a lot over the past year: SharePoint Saturdays, weekly recordings talking about SharePoint, discussions about where the SharePoint Community is going and the best way to participate.

Joel is one of the world’s premier SharePoint evangelists and is recognized around the globe because of his constant travel schedule and participation in SharePoint events. He immediately jumped on board. We had a few emails after that, but most of the communication was done through DMs in twitter, which seemed to be the fastest way to exchange information.

Up until a few weeks before the event, we hadn’t decided on a specific topic. During that time I was asked to be a keynote speaker at SharePoint Summit in Montreal. The subject of my discussion there is going to be Building Community in SharePoint, so I thought it would be a nice topic to present in the SPSEMEA keynote, since Joel is one of the principal driving forces behind the SharePoint Community.

December 2009: Getting Sponsorship for SPSEMEA

Becky started her search for sponsors and we hit our first snag. How much should we charge for sponsorship? If we got a ton of money, what would it be used for? I didn’t think getting sponsorship would be a problem. I talked with a couple of the corporate contacts I had made in SPC09 and they were immediately on board.

I started to formulate a plan for building an infrastructure to replicate what we were doing with SPSEMEA. I made it clear to the sponsors that any excess cash that came in would be allocated to that program.

I spoke with Michael and Eric about it. Michael was concerned that we were using the SharePoint Saturday umbrella but were planning on deviating from that platform, by building our own and making it available to all user groups around the world, any day of the week. He requested that I not take in excess funds based upon that premise.

As we started discussing the budget for the event, there was a huge surprise. What are the expenses incurred for producing a SharePoint Saturday event? Rental of venue: nope, not needed here. Food for the attendees: nope, not needed either. Support expenses for other miscellaneous items: nope, nada. There were no expenses for our event!

With that cleared up, we decided that sponsorship would take other forms, such as thank you gifts to the presenters and support during the event.

December 28, 2009: Speaker Confirmation

We ended up with 21 submissions for speakers. The quality of the speakers and the presentations spoke for themselves: we had an event that people wanted to participate in.

What had started as a fun idea over drinks if Las Vegas was now confirmed. There was no way to back out with this much confirmation for the SharePoint Community. This was an event worth coming to.

We announced the speaker list and more registrations started coming in. There were MVPs. There were people from the Middle East. Despite our initial concerns, speakers from Europe signed on. Even speakers from North America wanted to join it, even though it would be 3:00am.

January 07, 2010: Choosing a Presentation Platform

I use WebEx when delivering live online workshops, so this was my first choice as I began to investigate presentation platforms. I put a pretty quick end to that one, as WebEx gets expensive when you start to go over your initial, paid limit.

I took a long look at UStream and LiveStream, testing out their screensharing capabilities, since most presenters would be giving live demos and it was essential to be able to see their desktop. Both of these platforms have great video/webcam capabilities, but really lacked when it came to screensharing.

That left Microsoft Live Meeting. I have always stayed away from Live Meeting for one, simple reason: there is no integrated audience chat feature. This alone has always been a deal breaker for me. The ability for the audience to interact with each other, not just the presenter, is what gives a feeling of social interaction in a virtual event. Immediate, real time response and call is essential to letting people know they are in “real time”. The Q&A panel in Live Meeting always felt lame to me, too much moderation and middle man to make it useable.

Despite that huge limitation in the platform, we decide to go with it. Eric uses Live Meeting for his virtual Global User Group, so he had hands-on experience. Our first approach was to go to Michael Lotter at SharePoint Saturday and tell him we needed some help. Michael came back right away and said he had an instance of Live Meeting available for SPS events.

Over that weekend, I gave it a test run and confirmed that, yes, there was no text chat, but the platform was solid and something we could count on. We could go with a 100% VoIP session, saving expenses on conference calls and telephone lines.

So we had one instance of Live Meeting, but we needed three to run simultaneous sessions. (This assumption turned out to be false, because you can actually run multiple sessions just by making different people moderators. We didn’t find this out until two days before the event.)

Dux Raymond Sy from innovative-e.com and Chris Geier from K2 heard we needed extra Live Meeting instances and jumped in to volunteer theirs.

At this point we were set except for integrated text chat. It wasn’t a deal breaker to stop us from producing the event, but I wasn’t going to give up on it without some more research.

January 14, 2010: Pre-Conference Jitters

In January, we had a steady stream of announcements coming out on EndUserSharePoint.com and on twitter. Registrations were coming in at a nice pace: 300 registrations by the second week of January.

Estimating the number of registrations is pretty useless. There’s no way to know if people are going to respond, especially to such a new concept as presenting 20 hours of live material on a Saturday in European time. It was exciting to watch the numbers grows, and as we topped out at over 400, 500, 600 registrations, we realized we had a good, solid event on our hands.

The scary thing was, would anyone really show up? Would the speakers do the calculations in their respective time zones? Would the speakers receive the login information or would it be shuffled off to the spam bin before they could even view it? Would participates bother to login? After all, it was a free event, they had nothing to lose.

To alleviate as many possible day-of screw ups as possible, Toni and I setup a series of test sessions a week before the event to allow the presenters to login and play with the Live Meeting platform. Over half of the speakers took advantage, and it’s good that some did. We found there is definitely some kind of VoIP problem when dealing with Saudi Arabia connections. The VoIP connection is terminated every two minutes.

We found that many speakers had never performed in a live online environment before. By giving them a chance to participate in a private session, they were free to poke around and make mistakes without the embarrassment of an audience watching and waiting.

January 21, 2010: Implementing a Live Text Chat Room w/ Four Channels

I had not given up on my search for a text chat room for the sessions. I wanted something AJAX enabled so that people would not have to refresh the screen. They could participate in the discussion while watching the presentations.

My search led me to SourceForge.net where I found AJAX_Chat by Sebastian Tschan. This is a PHP application that runs through a MySQL database on the server. The installation was so simple, I had it up and running with the default configuration within five minutes. From there, it was another half hour of tweaking to build out multiple channels, one for each of the session tracks. This built-in functionality alone was worth the setup of Sebastian’s app.

I put out a call on twitter, saying I needed to stress test a chat application. Within 5 minutes, I had 20 people hammering away, trying to bring the chat server down. It felt solid, really solid.

At this point, I felt we were ready to go. We had multiple instances of Live Meeting. We had a text chat room that could handle multiple channels of  lively discussion. We had 20 presenters and slidedecks ready to go. We had 600 participants registered.

Time to rock and roll…

January 22, 2010: Michael Lotter and SharePoint Saturday to the Rescue

The day before the event, we got a shocking piece of news. With over 600 people registered to attend, the Live Meeting instances that Dux was going to supply were going to be down for maintenance and wouldn’t be available until 9:00am London time the day of the event.

I put the word out: we need help. Almost instantly Michael Lotter got back: tell me exactly what you need and for how many people. Within hours, Michael had us setup with four separate instances of Live Meeting, each on their own account so there would be no conflict or bandwidth issues.

That was the final piece we needed to make sure the event would go live as planned. From there, all that we could do was open the rooms and let the event happen. To be continued…