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Office 2010 Migration Guides

Microsoft has made available 6 migration guides to make it easier for users transitioning to Office 2010. Whether you are new to Microsoft Office or upgrading from a previous version, each guide provides useful information such as; the most frequently used commands, how to use the Ribbon, the Quick Access Toolbar, the File menu and the Office Backstage, and using Key Tips.

There is a migration guide for each of the core Office products; Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Access. Each put together based on feedback from users.

Check them out at: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel-help/office-2010-migration-guides-HA101982272.aspx

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SharePoint TechDives – Working with Master Pages, December 9th 2009

Join me at the next SharePoint TechDive Wednesday December 9th, 2009 for a deep dive into Master Pages.  During this session we will discuss best practices and suggested methods for creating a deploying Master Pages in SharePoint. Space is limited, so be sure to reserve your seat.  We look forward to seeing you there.

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SharePoint Developer Training – Weekend Crash Course, Houston Texas

I am now offering this same course with Field Advantage Training, check them out at http://www.fieldadvantagetraining.com/ for the latest on upcoming sessions, pricing, and new courses. The name of the course has been changed to SPDC101 – Core SharePoint 2007 Development.

The last SharePoint Developer – Weekend Crash Course was a complete success. I’d like to extend a big thanks to all of you who participated in helping me put it together, and to all of the attendees for your positive feedback and references; you all rock!

Based on the number of inquiries I’ve had from readers and references who’ve shown interest in taking the course, I’ve decided to repeat the course here in Houston on September 12th and 13th of 2009.

Course Description
This course is designed to cover the most common and critical SharePoint development topics I’ve come to expect from SharePoint implementations, based on several years of experience across multiple industry sectors. The course is meant for experienced .NET developers with entry to mid level SharePoint development experience.

The class will consists of a series of discussions and instructor led hands-on labs. The full agenda has been listed below. Attendees will need to bring their own laptops, for which I have posted minimum requirements (see hardware and software requirements below.)

Attendees will receive:

  • An external USB 2.0 Hard Drive with 80 GB or more of storage
  • A Virtual PC image running trial versions of Windows 2003, SharePoint 2007, and Visual Studio (included in the hard drive.)

Course Agenda


Day 1

Core Concepts (8:30 am – 9:45 am)
• Customization vs. Development
• SharePoint Designer
• Visual Studio
• Content Types and Site Columns
• Site Templates and Site Definitions
• Master Pages and Page Layouts
• Features
• Solution Packages

15 minute break

Extending the Out of the Box Experience (10:00 am – 12:00 pm)
Instructor led Hands On Lab
• Creating Custom Content Types
• Customizing the Content Query Web Part
• Connecting to Web Services with the Data Form Web Part
• Customizing Search and People Search Results

1 hour lunch break

Custom Web Part Development (1:30 pm – 2:45 pm)
Instructor led Hands On Lab
• Creating a List Aggregator Web Part

15 minute break

Custom Site Definitions (3:00 pm – 5:00)
Instructor led Hands On Lab
• Creating a Custom Site Definition
• Lists and Libraries
• Provisioning Files into Libraries
• Adding Web Parts and Web Part Pages
• Provisioning Multiple Sites from a Single Template (The Portal Concept)


Day 2

Feature Development and Feature Stapling (8:30 am – 9:45 am)
Presentation and Instructor led Hands on Lab
• Feature Scopes
• Site Features
• Site Collection Features
• Web Application Features
• Farm Features
• Feature Elements
• Feature Receivers
• Creating a Custom Master Page Feature
• Creating a Feature Stapler

15 minute break

Content Types and Event Handlers (10:00 am – 12:00 pm)
Instructor led Hands On Lab
• Developing and Deploying Content Types with Features
• Developing and Registering Event Handlers

1 hour lunch break

Custom Application Pages and Extending the Menu System with Action Items (1:30 pm – 2:45 pm) Instructor led Hands On Lab
• Creating a Custom Application Page
• Adding Menu Items to the Site Actions and Site Settings Menus
• Creating a Custom Administration Page
• Adding Menu Items to Central Administration

15 minute break

SharePoint Solution Packaging and Deployment (3:00 pm – 5:00pm)
Instructor led Hands On Lab
• Packaging Features and Site Definitions
• Packaging Application and Administration Pages
• Assemblies and Safe Control Entries

Hardware and Software Requirements:

  • Laptop computer with a processor speed of at least 2.5 GHz with Hyper Threading or Dual Core Technology
  • RAM capacity of 2 GB minimum (3-4 GB recommended)
    Must be able to allocate a minimum 1 GB of RAM to the Virtual OS
  • Operating System: Windows XP Professional or Windows Vista
  • Additional Software: Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft XPS Viewer

Additional Information:

  • This course is not meant to provide an introduction to SharePoint or the .NET framework. Attendees are expected to have experience with the SharePoint platform as well as .NET development with Visual Studio.
  • Registration is limited.

Cost:
550 US dollars per person
(group discount rates available)

Location:
Catapult Systems, Houston
10370 Richmond Ave. Suite 1250, Houston, TX 77042

Registration:

1. Click here to download the registration form
2. Complete the registration form and fax toll free to (877) 819-0945

Call 832-472-3648 or e-mail training@rafelo.com for more information

Please refer to http://www.rafelo.com/sharepointtraining for the latest information.

Here’s what some of the attendees had to say about the last session:

“Rafael’s Developer Crash Course was excellent! It really was a crash course covering a lot of concepts in a short period of time. But every item covered was a practical, real-world solution that I can use as a .Net Developer to help our Administrators more easily manage our SharePoint farm. And he made it easy….” – Barry Thomas, Panhandle Energy

“I was excited about the class before it started and was not disappointed when it was over. You delivered everything I expected and more.” – Don McKenzie

“Rafael provided clear, step-by-step instruction as to the ins and outs of content management in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. I would recommend this class as an effective, inexpensive way to hone your SharePoint development skills.” – Troy Lanphier, Catapult Systems

“Rafael’s training series gets two thumbs up. The precision of this course was a balance of a technical and functional workshop to illustrate real life scenarios of business solutions utilized in our day to day corporate operations.” ”I recommend this course to developers and functional people who wish to add value to their organization and grow within the SharePoint community. Rafael, best wishes and continued success on all of your SharePoint endeavors.” – Reece Collins, Inseptions

“Prior to attending the class, I was convinced that I would need a great deal of C# training before I could begin to develop in SharePoint. Rafael’s class provided insight that allowed me to build and deploy solutions for my clients’ SharePoint environments.” – Marlene Lanphier, GUIO

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SharePoint Developer Training – Weekend Crash Course in Houston Texas

I am now offering this same course with Field Advantage Training, the name of the course has been changed to SPDC101 – Core SharePoint 2007 Development. Check us out at http://www.fieldadvantagetraining.com/ for the latest information on upcoming sessions, pricing, and new courses.

This course is designed to cover the most common and critical SharePoint development topics I’ve come to expect from SharePoint implementations, based on several years of experience across multiple industry sectors. The course is meant for experienced .NET developers with entry to mid level SharePoint development experience.

The class will consists of a series of floor discussions and instructor led hands-on labs. The full agenda has been listed below. Attendees will need to bring their own laptops, for which I have posted minimum requirements (see hardware and software requirements below.)

Attendees will receive:

  • An external USB 2.0 Hard Drive with 80 GB or more of storage
  • A Virtual PC image running trial versions of Windows 2003, SharePoint 2007, and Visual Studio (included in the hard drive.)

Course Agenda


Day 1

Core Concepts (8:30 am – 9:45 am)
• Customization vs. Development
• SharePoint Designer
• Visual Studio
• Content Types and Site Columns
• Site Templates and Site Definitions
• Master Pages and Page Layouts
• Features
• Solution Packages

15 minute break

Extending the Out of the Box Experience (10:00 am – 12:00 pm)
Instructor led Hands On Lab
• Creating Custom Content Types
• Customizing the Content Query Web Part
• Connecting to Web Services with the Data Form Web Part
• Customizing Search and People Search Results

1 hour lunch break

Custom Web Part Development (1:30 pm – 2:45 pm)
Instructor led Hands On Lab
• Creating a List Aggregator Web Part

15 minute break

Custom Site Definitions (3:00 pm – 5:00)
Instructor led Hands On Lab
• Creating a Custom Site Definition
• Lists and Libraries
• Provisioning Files into Libraries
• Adding Web Parts and Web Part Pages
• Provisioning Multiple Sites from a Single Template (The Portal Concept)


Day 2

Feature Development and Feature Stapling (8:30 am – 9:45 am)
Presentation and Instructor led Hands on Lab
• Feature Scopes
• Site Features
• Site Collection Features
• Web Application Features
• Farm Features
• Feature Elements
• Feature Receivers
• Creating a Custom Master Page Feature
• Creating a Feature Stapler

15 minute break

Content Types and Event Handlers (10:00 am – 12:00 pm)
Instructor led Hands On Lab
• Developing and Deploying Content Types with Features
• Developing and Registering Event Handlers

1 hour lunch break

Custom Application Pages and Extending the Menu System with Action Items (1:30 pm – 2:45 pm) Instructor led Hands On Lab
• Creating a Custom Application Page
• Adding Menu Items to the Site Actions and Site Settings Menus
• Creating a Custom Administration Page
• Adding Menu Items to Central Administration

15 minute break

SharePoint Solution Packaging and Deployment (3:00 pm – 5:00pm)
Instructor led Hands On Lab
• Packaging Features and Site Definitions
• Packaging Application and Administration Pages
• Assemblies and Safe Control Entries

Hardware and Software Requirements:

  • Laptop computer with a processor speed of at least 2.5 GHz with Hyper Threading or Dual Core Technology
  • RAM capacity of 2 GB minimum (3-4 GB recommended)
    Must be able to allocate a minimum 1 GB of RAM to the Virtual OS
  • Operating System: Windows XP Professional or Windows Vista
  • Additional Software: Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft XPS Viewer

Additional Information:

  • This course is not meant to provide an introduction to SharePoint or the .NET framework. Attendees are expected to have experience with the SharePoint platform as well as .NET development with Visual Studio.
  • Registration will be limited to 20 individuals.
Cost: 550 US dollars per person
(group discount rates available)
Location: Catapult Systems, Houston
10370 Richmond Ave. Suite 1250, Houston, TX 77042
Registration:

1. Click here to download the registration form
2. Complete registration form and fax toll free to (877) 819-0945
Call 832-472-3648 or e-mail training@rafelo.com for more information

Please refer to http://www.rafelo.com/sharepointtraining for the latest information.

SharePoint Back To Basics: Common SharePoint Terms

This is the first in a series of posts meant to cover some of the SharePoint basics (as the title implies.) Specifically, this post will list out some of the more common SharePoint terms, which are naturally more than I am able/willing to write about in one sitting. I will start out with a few and continue adding to the list of as time allows. Feel free to make any suggestions.

  1. SharePoint Farm (SPFarm) – In its simplest form, a SharePoint farm refers to series of servers running SharePoint Services which share a common configuration database, combined with any other servers which play a critical role in the configuration; such as the configuration and content database server(s) and mail server(s).

  2. Web Application (SPWebApplication) – An IIS web site configured in SharePoint to provide content or services such as InfoPath Forms Services, Excel Calculation Services, and Workflows.

  3. Site Collection (SPSite) – Most people refer to a site collection as a top level site. From a programmers point of view, a site collection is not really a site at all, in that it doesn’t contain most of the methods or properties that you would typically find in the object that represents a site (SPWeb). The “top level site” also referred to as the “root site” is simply another site in the site collection. That being said a site collection is more than just a collection of sites, it contains a number of configuration settings that apply to all the sites in it; such as recycle bin settings, site collection features, quotas, locks, self service site creation settings, search settings, and many more.

    Note: There is an object in the SharePoint API, called SPSiteCollection. This object does not represent a site collection per se. It is actually a collection of “site collections” or SPSite objects, and generally used to retrieve the site collection that are available for any given web application.

  4. Site or Web (SPWeb) – In its simplest form a site is a collection of pages, lists, libraries and related settings. It is where the bulk of the action takes place. If you are a programmer, this is the object that you will interact with the most. If you are a user, basically everything you work with in SharePoint is contained in a site. Per the MSDN: A Web site hosted in a virtual URL. A SharePoint site is a place for collaboration, communication, or content storage. Depending on your business needs, you can create sites such as team sites, blog sites, wiki sites, and others. You can customize a site’s appearance, users, user permissions, galleries, and site administration by using the Site Settings administration pages.

  5. List (SPList) – In SharePoint a list is a container of information or data structure organized in 2 dimensions; rows and columns. In which each row represents an individual record (SPItem) and each column (SPField) represents a specific attribute value of that record.

  6. Features (SPFeatureDefinition)- SharePoint Features are a mechanism for defining and delivering functional elements within SharePoint. Features can be developed to enhance or extend functionality in sites, site collections, web applications, or even the farm as a whole. For more detailed information see (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/cc163428.aspx)

  7. Site Definitions – A Site Definition consists of a series of files that define the components, including; lists, libraries, features, master pages, and page layouts that make up a site. Site Definitions may contain (and usually do contain) multiple configurations, these configurations are surfaced through the interface as site templates. For instance the Team Site, Blank Site, and Document Workspace templates are all configurations of the STS site definition. All site templates are based on a site definition.

  8. Site Templates – The term “Site Template” is used in many ways. Sometimes its erroneously used to refer to a site definition. While a site template is not a site definition, it can be used to refer to one of the configurations in a site definition. More commonly, in SharePoint development, it is used to refer to an actual site configuration (a site in SharePoint configured in a specific way) that has been saved as a template for reuse.

From MSDN:

  • Windows SharePoint Services 3.0. A set of services for collaboration and a foundation for building Web-based applications on Windows Server. Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 is included in Windows Server 2003 and in Windows Server 2008, and is also available separately as a download.

  • Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. A single, integrated application that provides sites (locations) where employees can efficiently collaborate with team members, find organizational resources, search for experts and corporate information, manage content and workflow, and make use of business insight to reach better-informed decisions. Office SharePoint Server 2007 is part of the 2007 Microsoft Office system. For more information, see the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 frequently asked questions.

  • Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007. A designer and developer tool that enables you to quickly build solutions that include both design and workflow.

  • Web Parts. Web Parts in Windows SharePoint Services provide developers with a way to create UI elements that support both customization and personalization. A site owner or a site member with the appropriate permissions can customize Web Part Pages by using a browser or Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007 to add, reconfigure, or remove Web Parts. For more information, see the Windows SharePoint Services Web Parts Resource Center.

  • Workflow. Workflows implement custom business processes that you can attach to SharePoint documents and list items. You can use workflows to control almost any aspect of an item in Windows SharePoint Services, including the life cycle of that item. For more information, see the Workflow Resource Center.

  • Collaboration and social computing. Office SharePoint Server 2007 provides Web Parts that enable functionality for social computing, wikis, blogs, RSS feeds, e-mail integration, and task coordination. All of these components use information about your organization, communities, and electronic communications in Public My Site pages to help establish connections between colleagues with common interests. For more information, see Collaboration Help and How-to.

  • Portals. Office SharePoint Server 2007 is a world class enterprise portal platform that makes it easy to build and maintain portal sites for every aspect of your business. It provides built-in My Site personal sites, content syndication, user profiles and a profile store, audience targeting, mobile device support, portal site templates, document aggregation Web Parts, and more. For more information, see Developer-Oriented Videos on Building Portals.

  • Enterprise Search. Enterprise Search in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 provides extensive and extensible content gathering, indexing, and querying ability. This service supports full-text searching by using a Structured Query Language (SQL-based) query syntax, and provides a new keyword syntax to support keyword searches. For more information, see the Enterprise Search Information Center.

  • Enterprise content management. Enterprise content management (ECM) features provide ways to manage the content and metadata of business documents stored in Office SharePoint Server 2007 document libraries. ECM is a key infrastructure component that can help companies manage and organize high volumes of unstructured content such as forms, documents, records, e-mail messages, videos, instant messages (IMs), and Web pages. For more information, see the Enterprise Content Management Information Center.

  • Business process and forms. Office SharePoint Server 2007 provides built-in electronic forms and workflow templates. InfoPath Forms Services, included in Office SharePoint Server 2007, enables you to publish InfoPath form templates, designed in Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007, to Office SharePoint Server 2007 as ASP.NET Web applications. You can open these in your browser to provide a similar experience to filling out and editing a form in InfoPath. For more information, see the InfoPath Forms Services Resource Center. In addition, Office SharePoint Server 2007 provides built-in workflows for document approval, feedback collection, signature collection, and disposition approval, and three-state workflows and a translation management workflow. You can also write custom code to create, maintain, and analyze custom workflows, enabling you to streamline your business processes. For more information, see the Workflow Resource Center.

  • Business intelligence. Office SharePoint Server 2007 provides infrastructure to create dashboards that allows decision-makers to access information. Excel Services server technology, included in Office SharePoint Server 2007, is a shared service that enables you to load, calculate, and display Excel workbooks on Office SharePoint Server 2007. You can use the Excel Services programmability framework to extend Microsoft Office Excel 2007 and Excel Services functionalities to work with Office SharePoint Server 2007 lists, query tables on Excel Services, external workbook references, SQL write-back, and user-defined functions (UDFs). For more information, see the Excel Services Resource Center. Additionally, the Business Data Catalog functionality in Office SharePoint Server 2007 enables you to present LOB data within Office SharePoint Server. By using the Business Data Catalog, you can bring key data from different business applications to SharePoint lists, Web Parts, search, user profiles, and custom applications. The Business Data Catalog allows you to pull data from Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, Microsoft Office Access, or other databases by using a connection string. It also allows you to pull business data from back-end server applications such as SAP, Siebel, or other LOB systems by using Web services. You can use the Business Data Catalog: Metadata Model to define an LOB entity and the How to: Get Started with Using the Administration Object Model to manage metadata programmatically. For more information, see the Business Data Catalog Information Center.

  • Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer. Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007 is a developer tool specifically designed to enable you to build and customize SharePoint sites, workflow-enabled applications, and reporting tools. It provides a WYSIWYG design interface, developer environment, and easy-to-use development tools that help simplify the task of building sites and applications. ASP.NET developers can take advantage of their existing knowledge and use this tool to create, view, and modify ASP.NET pages. The WYSIWYG design interface provides precise rendering of Extensible Hypertext Markup Language (XHTML) code, cascading style sheets (CSSs), and ASP.NET technologies. This tool also provides Microsoft IntelliSense support, Web Parts, and ASP.NET controls.

  • Application page. Allows the use of inline custom code. Application pages or “_layout” pages are stored on the SharePoint Web server and made available via a Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) virtual directory. Though application pages behave much like other ASPX pages and allow the use of inline custom code, they differ from content pages in that they cannot be used to host SharePoint features such as dynamic Web Parts and Web Part zones. For more information, see Creating an Application Page in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0.

  • Content type. A reusable collection of settings to apply to a certain category of content such as documents and folders. Content types are designed to help users organize their SharePoint content in a more meaningful way. For more information, see Introduction to Content Types.

  • Custom action. Represents a link, toolbar button, menu item, or any control that can be added to a toolbar or menu that appears in the UI. You define custom actions by using a custom action element within a feature definition file. You can bind custom actions to a list type, content type, file type, or programmatic identifier (ProgID). For more information, see Custom Action Definitions.

  • Event receiver. Evaluator of an event and definer of the behavior of an application. Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 allows you to define event handlers within libraries, lists, and sites. Event receivers can be defined by using a receiver element within a feature definition file. For more information, see Event Registrations.

  • Feature. A package of Windows SharePoint Services elements that can be activated for a specific scope and that helps users accomplish a particular goal or task. Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 introduces this inherently portable and modular functionality, which simplifies modification of sites through site definitions. For more information, see Working with Features.

  • Master page. Pages that provide a consistent layout and appearance (look and feel) for SharePoint sites. They allow you to factor out layout, structure, and interface elements such as headers, footers, navigation bars, and content placeholders. Master pages in ASP.NET 2.0 and master pages in Windows SharePoint Services work in the same way. For more information, see Building Simple Master Pages for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0.

  • Module. A file or collection of file instances that define the location where the files are installed during site creation. Modules are frequently used to implement a Web Part Page in the site. You can define modules by using a module element within a feature definition file. For more information, see Modules.

  • SharePoint site collection: A collection of SharePoint sites that share common administration pages and site settings. Site collections allow you to share content types, site columns, templates, and Web Parts within a group of SharePoint sites.

  • SharePoint Web farm: A group of Office SharePoint 2007 servers that share the same configuration database. All site content and all configuration data is shared for all front-end Web servers in a server farm.

  • Site definition. A set of files that includes a master XML configuration file that is stored on all front-end Web servers. A site definition provides the basic blueprint for how sites look, what lists they include, their default navigational structures, and so on. For more information, see Working with Site Templates and Definitions.

  • Site template. A package containing a set of differences and changes from a base site definition that is created through the UI or through implementation of the object model. The site template package is stored as a .cab-based file that can be downloaded or uploaded to site collections by users with the appropriate rights. Site templates offer a measure of portability to SharePoint applications. For more information, see Working with Site Templates and Definitions.

  • Solution. A file that is a bundling of all the components for extending Windows SharePoint Services in a particular way. A solution file has a .cab-based format with a .wsp extension. A solution is a deployable, reusable package that can contain a set of Features, site definitions, and assemblies that apply to sites, and that you can enable or disable individually. You can use the solution file to deploy the contents of a Web Part package, including assemblies, class resources, and other package components. For more information see, Solution Overview.

  • Theme. A group of files (CSS, images) that allow you to define the appearance (look and feel) of Web pages. Themes in ASP.NET 2.0 and themes in SharePoint Products and Technologies work in the same way. Themes are used to help organizations to brand their portals and team sites. Office SharePoint Server 2007 includes a set of predefined themes. However, as a developer, you can create custom themes for your company. For more information, see How to: Customize Themes.

The following post from the MSDN Blogs also covers some of the common terms:
http://blogs.msdn.com/skelley/archive/2007/06/24/sharepoint-terminology-defined.aspx

The following post does a good job defining and covering some of the key differences between Columns, Fields, and Properties:
http://blogs.msdn.com/andrew_may/archive/2006/06/14/SharePointTermsColumnsFieldsProperties.aspx

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SharePoint Back to Basics

I’ve decided to write a series of posts covering some of the basics of SharePoint. You’ll likely find a lot of posts on the subject out there already, and I’ll try including links to some of my favorites with each one of my postings. I do often get asked about the subjects I’ll be covering, and find it difficult to remember where to refer those asking the questions. My intent is to cover these subjects in the most basic manner, an introduction to the world of customizing and developing for SharePoint. I’ll be tagging the series “Back2Basics” which should make the posts easy to find. I welcome any requests or recommendations, in the mean time the following are some of the topics I plan on covering:

 

  1. SharePoint Back to Basics: Common Terms
  2. SharePoint Back to Basics: Logical Architecture (Web Applications, Site Collections, Sites)
  3. SharePoint Back to Basics: Features
  4. SharePoint Back to Basics: Master Pages
  5. SharePoint Back to Basics: Working with the DataForm (aka. DataView) Web Part
  6. SharePoint Back to Basics: Working with the Content Query Web Part

 

I’ll be updating the list above with links to each posting as I make them available, as well as additional topics. I cant guarantee that I’ll be covering them in that order. Again, requests and/or recommendations are always welcome.

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