Thursday, June 28, 2007

Select Multiple Categories for SharePoint Blog Posts

As we teach users about SharePoint Blog sites in our Applying SharePoint 2007 - MOSS Core Features class and our SharePoint 2007 Jump-Start class, one question comes up quite often--"Can I select multiple categories?"

This is very easily accomplished. Remember that just about everything in SharePoint is just lists, and the blog posts and blog categories are no different.

By default, Blog posts only allow one category, which is displayed in a drop-down menu.

This should give you some clue about how to go about changing it. When you enter a new blog post, you are just adding a new item to a SharePoint list named "Posts", and "Category" is just one of the columns in that list--it is a Lookup column that looks up information from the Categories list.

To make the change, click on View All Site Content, and then click on Posts in the Lists section. When the default view for the Posts list loads, click on Settings, List Settings. This takes you to the page where you can edit all the properties for that particular list.

In the Columns section, click on Category.

In the Additional Column Settings section, check the box beside Allow Multiple Values, and click the OK button.

When you create a new Blog Post, you will see that the control changes to allow you to select multiple categories.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

SharePoint Information Workers Conference 2008

This past January we hosted the first-ever SharePoint Information Workers Conference in Orlando, Florida. Our team attends and speaks at numerous conferences each year, but, in general, they are all pretty technical in nature. So, after three years of teaching various training classes targeted at non-technical Information Workers, we decided it was high time that someone showed this group of SharePoint devotees a little love!

The conference in January was a great success. We had a sellout crowd, great speakers and top-notch exhibitors. We had many attendees from Europe and beyond.

We are definitely going to host this conference again in early 2008 (January or February). We've been working for several weeks to nail down a venue and final dates and hope to be able to announce the details by July 1.

If you would like to be notified via email when we have the location and dates for the 2008 conference finalized, go here and fill out the notification request form.

Monday, June 25, 2007

SharePoint Server 2007 VHD image

Microsoft has made available a SharePoint server 2007 vhd image at the following site:

Why does it matter to you? Well, you can use this virtual machine image to create a SharePoint Proof of Concept for your use case scenarios (among other uses).


Friday, June 22, 2007

The Three-State Workflow - The Forgotten Out-Of-The-Box Workflow for Both WSS and MOSS

Many people believe that MOSS comes with only four out-of-the-box workflows (Approval, Collect Feedback, Collect Signatures, and Disposition Approval), and that WSS v3 doesn't come with any out-of-the-box workflows. In actuality, there is another work flow that is available out-of-the-box to both WSS v3 and MOSS—it's called the Three-state workflow.The reason that even many seasoned SharePoint professionals don't know much about the Three-state workflow is because the feature isn't activated by default—you will have to go into the Site collection features, and activate it.

Once you have activated the Three-state workflow feature, it will be available as a workflow template to all your lists, libraries, and content types.

The Three-state workflow allows you to track the status of an item between three states. This is very useful when tracking issues, project tasks, leads, or other similar items.
I won't bore you with details on how to use it; Microsoft has already done an excellent job of explaining how to use the Three-state Workflow. My mission here is just to let you know that it exists. I will leave you with one small screenshot though, just to whet your appetite. Look at all the options you have for the task and email details for each transition step.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

TechEd Buzz, SharePoint Governance and Site Provisioning Assistant

One of the most prevalent buzzwords floating around TechEd last week was “SharePoint Governance”. By Microsoft TechNet’s definition, the term SharePoint Governance is:

“… the set of roles, responsibilities, and processes that you put in place in an enterprise to guide the development and use of a solution based on SharePoint Products and Technologies.”

Is SharePoint Governance on your mind? If so, we believe that our new Site Provisioning Assistant product for SharePoint 2007 may help you to get a bit more sleep at night. Just as SharePoint MVP Shane Young and Microsoft’s Joel Oleson were quick to point out upon viewing a demonstration of SPA from our TechEd booth, Site Provisioning Assistant provides key features to assist in your SharePoint Governance strategy.

In a recent blog Post, Joel Oleson identifies a key component to SharePoint Governance as:

“… Self Service approach to deployment (bottoms up) - how can I keep Help desk from being a bottleneck to information worker productivity.”

We couldn’t agree more, and that is exactly why we developed the SPA add-on for WSS v3 and MOSS 2007. With Site Provisioning Assistant, you can automate the process of handling requests for new WSS v3.0 and MOSS 2007 sites. As a SharePoint administrator, SPA provides you with a solution to these key questions:
  • How can I enable our users to have the SharePoint sites they need in a timely manner, but maintain the integrity of our organization's taxonomy?
  • How can I give my users an easy to use, consistent interface for requesting new SharePoint sites?
  • How can I automate my organization's approval process for requesting new SharePoint sites?

For more information or to download an evaluation copy of SPA, visit the Site Provisioning Assistant Product home page.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Great new SharePoint book by Ted and Dan, see you at TechEd

Inside Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 3.0

The SharePoint book that I have been waiting for the most has finally arrived. It seems like Clinton was still president when I ordered it :), but this book was well worth the wait. Back when I first heard that Ted Pattision and Daniel Larson were teaming up to write a SharePoint book, I got pretty excited. I knew these guys would have a knock-out book for SharePoint developers, and I'm happy to say I was right.

With this book, you will learn how to:
  • Build application pages and site pages
  • Develop and deploy reusable Web parts to enable customization and personalization
  • Exploit Windows SharePoint APIs to deploy Microsoft ASP.NET AJAX components
  • Use XML and Collaborative Application Markup Language (CAML) to create provisioning components
  • Design and implement custom document libraries
  • Use Windows Workflow Foundation to create applications that automate business process
  • Create Site Definitions to aggregate components and package them for deployment
  • Implement Code Access Security, Trust Levels, authentication, and authorization
Do yourself a huge favor, and go spend five minutes on Amazon ordering yourself a copy.

I hope that I get a chance to run into Ted and Daniel next week at TechEd in Orlando, to compliment them on the outstanding book. Are you going to TechEd? If so, please stop by our SharePoint Solutions booth and say hi. We'll be happy to demo our software add-ons for SharePoint, show you our training materials, talk about consulting, or just shoot the breeze. Our booth number in #254.