Friday, May 29, 2009

The My Links Web Part – It’s Not Just for My Sites #sharepoint

I’ve talked to a number of folks in recent months that have wanted to add the links stored in a user’s My Links list in their My Site to other SharePoint pages that weren’t in the My Site site collection. Up until yesterday, I had always thought this would require some custom programming.
If you aren’t familiar with My Links, it’s a great place to store those things you might normally store in your Internet Explorer Favorites or Firefox Bookmarks. The advantage to using My Links is that they are always available to you anywhere you are logged into SharePoint. So, if you log in on a different computer, your links are there. And the links can go anywhere; they don’t have to be links to SharePoint locations. Here is a screenshot of how My Links is usually accessed in SharePoint.
Yesterday, just for fun, I decided to try an experiment; and my experiment worked! I added a My LInks web part to my My Site. Then I exported it and saved it to my desktop.
Next I went to the home page of my portal, made the page editable, and clicked on Add a Web Part for one of the web part zones. I closed the Add Web Parts dialog by clicking on the link at the bottom for the Advanced Web Part gallery and options. This opened the Add Web Parts Tool Pane in the right-hand side of my browser. At the top I clicked on the down arrow beside Browse and selected Import.
I browsed to and selected the My_Links.dwp web part I had saved to my desktop and clicked the Upload button.
To finish, I just drug the My Links web part where I wanted it on the page and published the page. All my links were then showing up on the page and as I logged in as different test users, their links showed up as well, as expected.
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