Brijesh's Blog

June 18, 2008

How to add SharePoint search to Internet Explorer 7.0?

Filed under: Uncategorized — brij28 @ 7:39 pm
  • Click drop down menu on the right hand side of “Glass” icon and select “Find More Providers…” in IE 7.0

  • Under “Create Your Own” enter URL and Name. Please make sure you search for TEST (k=TEST) in URL. For example,

URL:
http://sharepoint.domain.com/sites/TestSC/SearchCenter/Results.aspx?k=TEST&s=All%20Sites

Note: Above URL is for searching in "All Sites" (in entire SharePoint Server Farm).

Also note that I have specified "SharePoint Search" as the name of the search provider.

  • Click “View” link, if you want to look at the XML file, click “Install” button otherwise, which will add this custom search provider to IE 7.0

  • Once the Search Provider will be added, you will see it listed in Search Engine List.

  • Search for something, let’s say “sharepoint” and select “SharePoint Search” – the custom search provider, which we have added in previous steps. It will ask you for credentials to connect to the SharePoint site. Enter your credentials and it will return search results.

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June 12, 2008

How to configure Records Center in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — brij28 @ 6:48 pm
In this post, I will walk you through the steps for configuring Records Center site in MOSS 2007. Luckily, Records Center Site template is available with both Standard and Enterprise Edition of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007.

Let’s start with understanding the purpose of setting up Records Center site. Why do we need central repository for our contents? Well, you can store almost all kind of contents in SharePoint but if you will not manage it properly, SharePoint contents will grow tremendously and eventually it will go out of control. The only way to prevent SharePoint servers from deteriorating in the future with an overload of content is to start archiving unwanted information. This is done by linking live or active SharePoint sites to a Record Center.

I am going to create a new site collection for Records Center in my existing SharePoint server farm however it is possible to create a Records Center in a separate farm and link it to SharePoint sites in this farm. In fact, that would be a better approach as you will be moving unwanted SharePoint contents to the content databases of another farm which will help you in keeping your live or active SharePoint farm content databases as small as possible.

Here are the steps:

1. Create Records Center site.

2. Create library for storing archive contents from SharePoint live sites.

3. Create and apply Information Management Policy for the retention period.

4. Define Record Routing rule for the content type.

5. Configure Record Center from SharePoint Central Administration site.

6. Start archiving unwanted SharePoint contents.

· Create a new site collection for Records Center.

· I have named it “Records Center Site”.

· Here is the Records Center site out of the box. In this example, we will configure Record Center site to archive project documents from live or active SharePoint site – “Test Site Collection”. Create a new document library for unwanted project records (documents).

· I have named it “Project Documents Repository”. Please note that I have selected “None” in Document Template as my project document could be a word, excel or any other document.

· Define policy for the retention period. Click “Site collection policies” link under Site Collection Administration.

· Create a new policy. Click “Create” link on the top right corner.

· I have named it “Project Document Policy”. I have selected all auditing options to keep the track of any changes in these documents. I have selected 5 years retention period for these documents after they are last modified. They will be deleted after 5 years.

Note: Records (documents) older than 5 years will be deleted and sent to “Recycle Bin”. Records Center administrator will then decide to delete them permanently. If there is a need, administrator can restore documents from recycle bin.

· Site collection policy is successfully created.

· Apply policy “Project Documents Repository” document library. Click “Information management policy settings” link under Permissions and Management.

· Select “Use a site collection policy” option and apply “Project Document Policy” , which we created in previous steps.

· Set same Meta data for this document library – “Project Documents Repository”. This is because when you archive contents from live SharePoint site, it will be stored here and that’s why it is good to have same Meta data as document library of live SharePoint site. Click “Add from existing site columns” link under Columns.

· Add all those columns (properties), which you have for your live document library contents.

· I have also modified “All Documents” under Views to show these Meta data in default view.

· Here is how “Project Documents Repository” looks like after following above steps.

· Create “Record Routing” to archive project documents in “Project Documents Repository”. Click New => New Item under Record Routing.

· I have used “Project Content Type” for creating project documents in my live site – Test Site Collection. Record Routing title will be the content type which you want to archive from live SharePoint site. So in title I have “Project Content Type”. Location will be the name of the document library where you want to route these records. In our case it is “Project Documents Repository”.

· Everything is set in our Records Center and here is how it looks like after following above steps.

Note: If you have not specified Records Routing properly, it will route all the documents to “Unclassified Records” document library using default “Unclassified Records” routing when you archive them from SharePoint live sites.

· Now, configure Record Center from SharePoint Central Administration site. Go to Application Management and click “Records center” link under External Service Connections.

· Provide the URL of the Records Center site appended with /_vti_bin/officialfile.asmx as shown in example. I have used display name as “Records Center”. So when somebody will right click on document to be archived, he/she will see “Send To => Records Center” in the menu.

URL: http://sharepoint.domain.com/sites/RC/_vti_bin/officialfile.asmx

Display Name: Records Center

· That’s it. You have successfully configured Records Center. Now, let’s test it. As shown below, I am going to archive one of the documents from “Project Document Library” of my live site – “Test Site Collection”. Right click on the document to be archived, select “Send To => Records Center”.

· If you have followed all above steps properly, you will see “Operation Completed Successfully” message.

· Document will still remain in the document library of your live site. You may delete it as it has been stored in Records Center already and it is not needed any more.

· Let’s go back to Records Center site to check, if the document is successfully archived and yes, it is. It will create folder with the time stamp to store those archive documents.

· In side the folder, you can see the document and the Meta data (properties) of that document. Properties are stored in the form of an XML file.

There is lot more you can do with Records Center other than just moving archive contents however idea behind this post is just to give an overall idea of how Records Center site works.

· Following screen captures explain how to copy accidentally archived document (if you have deleted it from everywhere – document library, recycle bin etc. in your live site) back to its original location. This has nothing to do with Records Center but I have added this just to give you an idea of copying document from one location to the other. Right click on document to be copied and click “Send To => Other Location”

· Provide the destination URL.

Destination document library or folder:

http://sharepoint.domain.com/sites/TestSC/ProDL

Also you can change the document name if you wish.

· Click “OK” button at the bottom.

· Document successfully copied to “Project Document Library” for Test Site Collection.


Link to a Document content type, Add link to a document to announcement items and Meta data for folder contents

Filed under: Uncategorized — brij28 @ 1:15 am
In this post, I am going to talk about few interesting things. Let’s start with “Link to a Document” content type. I will also talk about best practices in SharePoint 2007 while I will go through these topics.

  1. Create a new document library. I am going to create document library for project documents.

  1. As shown below, I have named this document library as “ProDL” and entered “Project Document Library” as description.

Note: It is a good idea to abbreviate your list or library name when you create them. This will help in keeping SharePoint URLs as short as possible. You can change the name of the document library to whatever you want later on by going to document library settings. Please keep going to learn how?

  1. Go to the document library settings of document library – “ProDL”, which you created in previous step. Click on “Title, description and navigation” link under General Settings

  1. You can change name here to whatever you want. I have changed it to full name – “Project Document Library” and that is what it will display as name for this document library in SharePoint but the URL for this document library will still use the abbreviated name – “ProDL”, which we entered at the time of creating it.

  1. As shown below, name appears as “Project Document Library” in SharePoint site.

  1. Click “Advanced settings” link under General Settings

  1. Select “Yes” for “Allow management of content types?” as shown below.

  1. After you finish step 7, you will be able to see “Add from existing site content types” link under Content Types. Click this link – “Add from existing site content types”

  1. Select “Link to a Document” content type and add it.

  1. After step 9, you should be able to see “Link to a Document” in “New” menu of your document library.

  1. Click “Link to a Document” under “New” menu.

  1. Enter “Document Name” and “Document URL” for the existing document at other location (in another document library).

  1. Here is how “Project Document Library” looks like after adding one document and one “Link to a Document” content.

Note: Always use “Link to a Document” content type instead of adding the same document to another document library or the document library of another site.

How to add link to the document to Announcements list?

  1. Go to Announcement Settings => List Settings as shown below.

  1. Click “Add from existing site columns” link under Columns.

  1. Select “Web Page” column and add it. Please make sure you have selected “Add to all content types” and “Add to default view” as shown below.

  1. That’s it. You are done. Now you can add link to a document when you add announcement items to Announcement list.

  1. Here is how Announcement list looks like after adding announcement items with link to a document.

Finally let’s talk about Meta data for folder content type. Never use folders, always use views. It is NOT recommended to use folders in document library or any other list but there are certain situations where you may want to add folders and then Meta data for those folders.

How can you add Meta data to folders?

  1. Go to Site Actions => Site Settings => Modify All Site Settings

  1. Click “Site content types” link under Galleries.

  1. Click “Create” link on top left corner.

  1. We are going to create folder content type for defining Meta data for folder contents. Please select the settings as shown below. You can add this new content type to “Custom Content Types” by choosing it under “Existing group” or you can create a new group.


  1. Go to the document library where you want to define Meta data for folder contents. Click Settings => Document Library Settings.

  1. Click “Advanced settings” under General Settings

  1. Select “Yes” for “Allow management of content types?” as shown below.

  1. After step 7, you will be able to see Content Types in document library settings. Click “Add from existing site content types” link under Content Types.

  1. Select “Folder Content” content type, which we have created in previous steps and add it.

  1. As shown below, “Folder Content” is now added to your document library. Click “Folder Content” link under Content Types.

  1. Add appropriate columns for your folder contents. I will add couple of columns by clicking “Add from existing site or list columns” link under Columns.

  1. I have added “Category” and “Release Date” columns as shown below.

  1. Now, it will allow me add Meta data whenever I create a new folder in this document library. Following screen shots show how to add Meta data to existing folders in your document library.

  1. Right click on folder and select “Edit Properties”.

  1. Select “Folder Content” (which is what we have created in previous steps), if you have more than one content type listed in drop down menu.

  1. Enter Meta data as shown below.

  1. Here is how document library looks like after adding Meta data for folders.

June 7, 2008

When to use a Site Collection over a Sub-Site

Filed under: SharePoint 2007 — brij28 @ 1:31 am
When should you use site collections over sub-sites in your design?

Site collections really bring a considerable amount of flexibility and scalability to your design and I would recommend that you start from the perspective of multiple site collections and then see if you can find logical and compelling reasons to move away from them.

Here are some general guidelines that you should consider before you create a site collection or a sub site.
Consider the core purpose of the site structure you are contemplating. Consider it in relation to the other site structures your portal may house. It is generally not advisable to intermingle disparate sites in the same site collection. For instance you probably would not want your Internet presence site and your collaboration portal to all be part on the same site collection. There are simply too many moving parts that are completely unrelated to one another to make this feasible. While this is a simple example you could consider something such as separating out department sites or even project sites. I do this a lot simply because HR may need a different approach to security than Finance.

If distributed control is something that you want then multiple site collections would be the best way to go. Site collections really are the first layer where we can truly separate out security and administration. Although we can break security inheritance at the site level these still fall under a single umbrella or controlling entity, the site collection and its administrator. I see this a lot when it comes to those core department sites that any organization has. Many times Human Resources, Finance, IT, and Operations will be separated out into their own site collections to provide an additional layer of content control.

Boundaries are a consideration as well. Some of the key components that make up a SharePoint site are scoped to the site collection level. While there are ways around these boundaries they should be accounted for in your design. The following is a list details some of these components.

 
  • Site Columns and Content Types
  • Site Quotas
  • SharePoint Security Groups
  • Recycle Bin
  • Site and List Templates and Master Pages
  • Search Scope and Keywords
  • Out-of-box Back up and Restore capabilities
  • Separate Content Databases
If you have groups that cannot share resources they really need to be broken out into separate site collections. Governance can come into play here from the stand point that if the two groups should not have the ability to view or control one another’s content then they should be separate or a single, and separate, entity should administer the site collection.
Finally one of the biggest drivers for a separate site collection is security. The ability to place an entirely separate security structure around each site collection can be critical. Site collections can also be broken out into separate content databases which can offer an additional layer of security at the database.
My general feel on this is to begin my design with multiple site collections in mind and then see if I can find a valid reason to deviate from that design. Sometimes the reason is there but more often than not I find that site collections simply bring too much to the table.

Site Settings at Top Level Site or Site Collection:

http://sharepoint.domain.com/sites/IT

Site Settings at Sub Site:

http://sharepoint.domain.com/sites/IT/WindowsTeamSite
Or
http://sharepoint.domain.com/sites/IT/UnixTeamSite

Note: I have copied this post from Joe Shepherd’s blog. Thank you very much Joe for such a great post!

Other caveats of using MS Office 2003 with Microsoft SharePoint 2007 products

Filed under: SharePoint 2007 — brij28 @ 12:11 am
I have already discussed caveats of using MS Office 2003 with Microsoft Office SharePoint 2007 products in my last post. Before I talk about the other caveats, I would strongly recommend you to go through following white paper,
 
 
Issues:
 
1. Unable to check out document from SharePoint document library for editing it in MS Office 2003.
Error – "Edit Document’ requires a Windows SharePoint Services-compatible application and Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or greater."
 
2. Internet Explorer crashes (stops responding) when you try to open an Office document in a SharePoint document library.
 
Here is how you fix these issues,
 
There is no need to remove any Office 2007 applications from your computer.
 
Step 1: Repair Office 2003:
1. Go to Start => Control Panel
2. Double Click on "Add/Remove Programs"
3. After this list populates, locate and click "Microsoft Office 2003 Professional Edition"  or any other version of Microsoft Office 2003.
4. Click on the "Change" button
5. On the window that appears, click on the button "Reinstall or Repair" and select "Next"
6. Click on the radio button "Detect and Repair errors in my Office installation" then click "Install"
7. A message will appear once the repair is complete.
 
Step 2: Click this link to a hotfix file from Microsoft and select "Run" to install this hotfix:
http://download.microsoft.com/download/f/5/1/f511cec6-d8c5-444e-bd76-5161b2a16c9f/office-kb938888-fullfile-x86-glb.exe
 
Information about this hotfix can be found here:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/938888
 
Additionally, you may refer to following KB article if above steps do not resolve your issue,
 
Note: Above issues may occur with MS Office 2007 applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc.) too. You need not to uninstall any MS Office 2007 applications in order to resolve them.
 
We do not have MS Office 2007 available yet so all above issues were reported while using MS Office 2003 with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007.

June 6, 2008

Content types in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and MS Office 2003

Filed under: SharePoint 2007 — brij28 @ 10:43 pm
Let’s talk about custom content type in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and how it works with MS office 2003. To help visualizing this, I have taken screen captures for every little step.

1. Create a custom content type for your test site. I am going to use “SCTest” top level site (site collection) for the demo. Go to Site Actions => Site Settings and click on “Site Content Types” link under Galleries category.

2. Click “Create” link on the top left corner of Site Content Type Gallery.

3. Create a new site content type as shown below. I have chosen Document content type for simplicity. You can add this content type to “Custom Content Types” by selecting it for Group category but I have created a new group called “Test Group” to add this new content type. Please note that I have named new custom content type as “Project Release Documents”

4. You will see following screen on adding a new custom content type. Click “Add from existing site columns” link under “Columns” category.

5. Add appropriate columns for this new content type. I have chosen few as shown below.

6. This is how a new custom content type looks like after adding few existing site columns.

7. I am creating a new document library for “Test Site Collection” (SCTest) to use this custom content type.

8. As usual, I have used shortest possible name for my document library to keep URL for this document library as short as possible. You can always change the “Name” field later on by going to Title, description and navigation under General Settings of document library settings.

9. Go to Settings => Document Library Settings.

10. This is an additional step. I have modified the document library name from TCTL (to keep URL short) to Test Content Type Library as by going to Title, description and navigation under General Settings

11. Click “Advanced Settings” link under General Settings category.

12. Select “Yes” for “Allow management of content types?” and click “OK”.

13. Select “Add from existing site content types” link under Content Types.

14. Select a new custom content type – “Project Release Documents” which you have created in previous steps as shown below.

15. This is an additional step – I am changing order for content types and making “Project Release Documents” as default content type. Select “Change new button order and default content type” link under Content Types.

16. Change the order and select number “1” for “Project Release Document” content type to make it default content type for this document library.

17. So finally content types and columns for your document library will look something like this. Please adjust your column order by clicking on default view – “All Documents”.

18. Now, something very interesting…how content types work with MS Office 2003. Well, keep reading…

As you can see from the screen capture, “Project Release Documents” is the default content type for your document library. Click New menu and select “Project Release Documents” to add a new document (content) to your document library.

19. You will see following message on your screen, if you have MS Office 2003 installed on your machine. Click “OK”

20. It will allow you to use MS Office 2003 (Word 2003) to create a new document. As you have already noticed MS Office 2003 will not allow you add/edit metadata in Word application itself. Add some text to this document and click “Save” icon.

21. Now, you can add those metadata properties for your document however I have noticed that couple of document properties is still missing…I don’t know why. I need to check it out later but anyways it will allow you to add metadata properties for your document using MS Office 2003 and that is what is more important.

22. To add those missing metadata properties, I am going to right click on document in my document library and select “Edit Properties” link.

23. Adding those missing metadata properties, which I could not see in MS Office 2003 for some reasons.

24. Finally here is the document in document library which was created using custom content type and MS Office 2003.


Now, here is the scenario for those unlucky people who can not work with content types using MS Office 2003.

Note: This site belongs to different SharePoint test environment than the previous one.

1. I have created ProjDocs document library and it has “Test Content Type” as default content type.

2. Attempt to create a new document in ProjDocs document library. Same message will pop up, which is shown is previous screen capture before opening MS Office 2003 (Word 2003) for creating a new document.

3. Unfortunately when you try to save this document, it will give you following error message. When you (keep) clicking on either “Yes” or “No” button, it will finally add this new document to ProjDocs but all metadata properties will be missing and you can not add metadata properties even by editing properties in SharePoint.

4. Document “Test2” was added.

5. Trying to edit metadata properties by right clicking “Test2” document in ProjDocs document library and selecting “Edit Properties” link.

6. Unfortunately it does NOT allow adding those missing metadata properties.

7. Here is the work around. If you want to create a new document, simply upload a new document and it will allow you to add those metadata properties but if you want to edit metadata properties of existing document unfortunately you have to download that document to your local computer first and then upload it back to edit/update its metadata properties. Here is the screen capture for uploading a new document to ProjDocs document library.

8. Enter metadata properties for this document and you are done!

9. Here is how ProjDocs document library looks like after uploading those two documents.

Note: Error: ‘length’ is null or not an object is environment specific. It happened in our environment after we installed one of the hot fixes (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/935958) for resolving the other issue.

Here is the hot fix for those who are unable to work with content types using MS Office 2003.

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;950292

This hot fix also resolves issues to work with multiple content types using MS Office 2003.

Note: I have taken screen captures from two separate SharePoint environments.

Step 1-24 are from the enviornment, that does NOT have http://support.microsoft.com/kb/935958 hot fix applied and we can work with content types using MS Office 2003 without any issues.

Step 1-9 are from the environment, that has http://support.microsoft.com/kb/935958 hot fix applied and for some reasons we are unable to work with content types using MS Office 2003 after applying that hot fix. We have to apply http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;950292 hot fix to resolve errors explained in these steps but we will have MS Office 2007 available very soon so we have NOT applied it yet.

June 5, 2008

How to make “All Sites” scope available to a top level site created using “Team Site” template?

Filed under: SharePoint 2007 — brij28 @ 7:48 pm
One of my friends had an issue in making “All Sites” scope available to a top level site (site collection) created using “Team Site” template. So I thought of writing this blog. This post assumes that you have Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 implemented in your environment.

First of all, why “All Sites” scope is not available, when you create a top level site or site collection using “Team Site” template? Because team site template is designed for WSS site and WSS does not have enterprise search feature available by default. In other words you can search only within that site itself and cross site search will not be available. Cross site search or Enterprise search feature is available only for Portal Site templates. If you will create top level site using templates under “Publishing” category, you will have “All Sites” scope available.

So here is how you can make “All Sites” scope available to a top level site, which is created using “Team Site” template. For simplicity, I have taken screen capture for everything right from creating a new site collection (top level site) using “Team Site” template to making “All Sites” scope available to it.

1. Create a new site collection using “Team Site” template. We have created a new site collection called “SCTest”.

2. Only “This Site: Test Site Collection” (Name of the site collection) scope is available by default and we would like to have “All Sites” scope available at this top level site.

3. After you create top level site, create a new “Search Center” site for this top level site.

Note: If you have 50 site collections and all those site collections are created using “Team Site” template then I would suggest you to create 50 “Search Center” sites – one for each and with the same name (for naming conventions), if you want “All Sites” scope available to all those top level sites.

4. Here is “Search Center” site created for SCTest site collection.

5. Now, you need to change search settings for SCTest site collection. So go to Site Actions=> Site Settings and click “Search Settings” link under Site Collection Administration.

 6. Choose “Use custom scopes. Display richer results using the following Search Center:” and provide URL to “Search Center” site. In our case it is “/sites/SCTest/SearchCenter/”

7. Now, you can see “All Sites” scope is available to SCTest top level site.

 8. Additionally you may need to activate “Office SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure” by going to “Site Actions=>Site Settings” and clicking “Site Collection Features” link under Site Collection Administration category.

9. You may also need to activate “Office SharePoint Server Publishing” feature by going to “Site Actions=>Site Settings” and clicking “Site Features” link under Site Administration category.

 
That’s it! You are all set. You can start using “All Sites” scope for cross site search capabilities.

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