Short solution for short problems

Reference calculated fields

 When we use advanced functions, sometimes we need to reference one calculated field to an other. In Sharepoint this is possible.
And when we accidently make circular references we get this wonderful error:

The formula contains a circular reference (the calculated column refers to itself).  You must remove or change the circular reference.


Here is an example of a formula based on an other calculated field:



This fomula checks if the field contains a "\", and if it does, it takes the substring on the right of the "\",
else it displays and empty string: "".

You can find everything on functions that you can use in calculated fields on: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepointtechnology/HA011609471033.aspx

Using advanced functions in calculated fields

Recently I had a nice challange in Sharepiont 2007.
I had to group a view by a field, but not just group it on the text but on part of the value.
Eg. The field contained a value like this: A chapter\a subchapter.
The view had to be grouped by chapter and secondly by subchapter.This is the simple solution to the problem: 

I created 2 new calculated fields in the sharepoint list.
The first field called chapter, the second subchapter.
The chapter field had to contain the part of the title field before the "\". And if there was no "\" in the text,
then it had to be the complete string. This is the code I used to create this field: 



First we check if the "\" is present in the string, if not we just use title as it is. If "\" is present, then we take the left of the "\".

Here are some examples:

A testing code\b subtest 2     --> becomes: A testing code

A testing code                      --> becomes: A testing code


The second field had to contain the part of the string after the "\" and in case there was no "\" it had to be empty. Here the code I used:



First we check if the "\" is present in the string, if not we return "". If "\" is present, then we take the right of the "\".

Here are some examples:

A testing code\b subtest 2     --> becomes: b subtest 2

A testing code                      --> becomes:


Then I grouped the view on these 2 fields. 

Since I'm a programmer myself, I know that examples are the best way to learn a code. So here's one more.

This time I had to get some values out of a text field called Soort with this format: text1\text2\text3 .
I had to show text2 and text3 in different columns. The first calculated field called Project contains the string text2.
The code to get text2 out of the string text1\text2\text3 is the following:



So this code return: text2. The next calculated field called Subproject had to contain the string that is in place of text3.
Since Sharepoint code does not have the possibility to split or use loops we had to come up with the following code:

=RIGHT(RIGHT(Soort,LEN(Soort) - FIND("\",Soort)),LEN(RIGHT(Soort,LEN(Soort)-FIND("\",Soort))) - 
FIND("\",(RIGHT(Soort,LEN(Soort) - FIND("\",Soort))))) 


I have not reviewed these functions, I just know that they work.
Maybe it is possible to get the results in an easier way. Feel free to share it with us.


Using substring in a column in Sharepoint

A client asked me if we could group items in a list on a part of a textcolumn.

The text in the column looked like this:

categories per pc/ 106.032
categories per pc/ 106.033

I was supposed to make a view that showed that was grouped by pc name, only the pc name was not to be found seperate in any column. Instead it was a piece of the text in an existing field.It was the last 7 characters of the column.

So I googled and quickly and ended up on this website: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepointtechnology/HA011609471033.aspx

There are all functions and operators on fomulas documented. I created a calculated field called PC and inserted this funcion:


In named this new field PC and grouped my view on this field. The possibilities in calculated fields have more possibilities then I thaught.  

Redirecting pages with html

If you are looking for code to redirect your site to another site or subfolder, here it is: 

This script leads the old index page to the new web site.

	<script language="JavaScript">window.location="http://www.newwebsite.be/"; </script>


It is also possible to reload the page after some time as e new page.

Use this script:

	<meta http-equiv="REFRESH" content="10;URL=newpage.html"> 

Workflow in Moss 2007

Workflow possibilities with Microsoft



Microsoft offers default 3 possibilities:

VS 2005, Sharepoint designer and out of the box solutions. 

v     Out of the box solutions: By default there are 5 workflows present after installation of MOSS: Approval, Collect Feedback, Collect Signatures, Disposition Approval, Translation Management.

v     Sharepoint Designer: This graphical design allows you to create different actions. This can be used by web designers, there's no need to posses any .Net knowledge.

v     VS 2005: The possibilities in VS 2005 are huge. You can accomplish almost everything, but it has to be developed. These workflows are usable throughout the entire portal. When it is not possible with Sharepoint designer, we have to use VS .net 2005. You'll need in dept .Net and VS2005 knowledge to create workflows.

Comparing Workflow Development Processes

The figure below illustrates the various steps that need to be performed to create, deploy, associate, and run a workflow using each of the authoring tools. In general, the largest difference between the two tools is this:

v   Workflow authoring in the Visual Studio 2005 Designer for Windows Workflow Foundation is performed by a professional developer, who is creating a workflow template that can be deployed across multiple sites, and contains custom code and activities. The developer then turns the workflow template over to a server administrator for actual deployment and association.  

v   Workflow authoring in Office SharePoint Designer 2007 is done by someone other than a professional developer, such as a web designer or knowledge worker, who wants to create a workflow for a specific list or document library. In this case, the designer is limited to the workflow activities on their ‘safe list’, and the workflow cannot include custom code. The workflow author deploys the workflow template directly to the list or document library as part of the workflow authoring process.


For a more detailed comparison of the capabilities and advantages of each tool, see Workflow Development Tools Comparison.

Extra info:


Retrieving DataItems on IndexChanged event

Recently I was looking for a way to retrieve a particular column based on it's column name (instead of fixed cellnumber) when a row in a GridView has been selected. I came up with the following which does the trick:

protected void gvGeneratedReports_SelectedIndexChanged(object sender, EventArgs e)
    GridView gv = (GridView)sender;
    DataRowView rowView = (DataRowView)gv.SelectedRow.DataItem;
    string outputType = rowView["OutputType"].ToString();

Copying rows from DataTable A to DataTable B

It's amazing how often we need to copy data from one DataTable to another. This is how you can the job done:

// PRESUPPOSITION: Already instantiated dataTableA
DataTable dataTableB = dataTableA.Clone();
dataTableB.TableName = "CloneOfA";
// Copy records from dataTableA to dataTableB
foreach (DataRow dr in dataTableA.Rows){    dataTableB.ImportRow(dr);}

MOSS: Group list by month using calculated fields

How to group a list or library by month if you have a field containing Dates?


Simple, create a calculated field in your list or library that returns a string.

Use this code: =TEXT(Date,"yyyy - ")&TEXT(Date,"mm")&TEXT(Date," (mmmm")&TEXT(Date," yyyy)")

Now group by this field and that's it!

You can find everything on functions that you can use in calculated fields on: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepointtechnology/HA011609471033.aspx

Country or postal code list box

In some enterprise applications you need to show geographical data such as countries and postcodes. Most of the time you need it for a registration page, where the user need to fill in the country and postcode/area.

Geonames is a free geographical database that contains over 8 million geographical names and it can be accessed through a number of webservices. For example the url http://ws.geonames.org/countryInfo? gives an xml with all countries, whereas the following request http://ws.geonames.org/postalCodeSearch?placename=be gives us all postcodes for a particular country (e.g. Belgium).

Most likely you need two dropdown lists, one for countries and one for postcodes, where the postcode dropdown is dependent from the country dropdown list. This is a very good example to introduce AJAX by using the CascadingDropdown that is included in ASP.NET AJAX.

To implement this functionality we need to implement two methods on a webservice, namely GetCountries and GetPostalCodesByCountry.

Source url = http://www.delarou.net/weblog/PermaLink,guid,34dab161-3d1d-4e1a-b786-d79a9cc04447.aspx

Auditing in MOSS 2007

MOSS 2007 auditing. In many cases it is useful to know how many times a document is opened.Sometimes even when and who? Moss 2007 offers auditing as a standard solution for this need. This is what Microsoft has to say about Auditing: Office SharePoint Server 2007 goes even further and enables auditing at the list or document library level, and control over what types of events should be recorded in the audit log. Office SharePoint Server 2007 also provides a reporting function that uses Microsoft Office Excel workbooks to display and keep records of audit logs. Therefore, Office SharePoint Server 2007 enables you to take advantage of the Windows SharePoint Services auditing support without having to write any custom code. In MOSS 2007 it is possible to track several events on list items.This is done with information management policies. Here’s a good definition about the extra’s Sharepoint server 2007 provides: Office SharePoint Server 2007 provides an administrative user interface that allows you to enable and configure auditing without having to write any code. And office SharePoint Server 2007 provides a reporting aspect. More specifically, Office SharePoint Server 2007 makes it possible to generate Excel workbooks that contain the information about audit events within the Windows SharePoint Services audit log.  So MOSS makes it easy for us to track and report usage of documents and lists. Here how Microsoft describes the configuration of auditing: 

We start by examining the built-in Office SharePoint Server 2007 support for configuring auditing within a site collection. Go to the site setting page of any site within a server farm that has Office SharePoint Server 2007 installed. You find that many links are added here by Office SharePoint Server 2007-specific features. Inside the Site Collection Administration section, locate a link with the caption Site Collection audit settings as shown in Figure 7.


Figure 7. Site Collection Administration



Clicking the Site collection audit settings link opens an Office SharePoint Server 2007-specific application page named AuditSettings.aspx. This page provides a user interface (Figure 8) for enabling and configuring auditing settings for the current site collection. As shown in the Figure 8, the AuditSettings.aspx application page makes it possible to configure site collection auditing at various levels of granularity.


Figure 8. AuditSettings.aspx page



In addition to configuring auditing at the site collection level, Office SharePoint Server 2007 also enables you to configure auditing at a much more detailed level. This support is made possible through the information management policies feature that is included in Office SharePoint Server 2007.

An information management policy consists of a set of rules that a site administrator can define and then apply to a certain type of content. The rules for an information management policy are created and configured in terms of policy features. Features that are provided by default with Office SharePoint Server 2007 include support for auditing, expiration, document labels, and bar codes. The programming model for policy features is also extensible, which allows developers to create their own custom policy features. For developer resources, see the appendix at the end of this article.

Office SharePoint Server 2007 enables you to create and configure an information management policy for a specific instance of a list or document library. You can also create an information management policy for a content type, which then applies to list items and documents in any list or document library that is defined in terms of that content type. The ability to apply information management policies to content types is valuable because it provides more granular control than site collection level auditing. It also mitigates the need to configure audit settings at the level of list instances or document library instances.

Office SharePoint Server 2007 also enables you to define information management policies at the site collection level. This provides extra manageability, because you can define an information management policy once within a site collection, and then apply it to your choice of lists, document libraries, and content types within that site collection.

The Site Settings page has a link with the caption Site collection policies. If you click this link, it opens an application page named Policylist.aspx. This allows you to configure a custom policy, which is scoped to the current site collection. Figure 9 shows an example of a custom policy that was created to configure a standard set of audit events that can be applied to any list, document library, or content type.


Figure 9. Custom policy page



After you define a custom policy at the site collection level, you can then go to the List Settings page for a list or document library. You find a link with the caption of Information management policy settings, as shown in Figure 10. If you click this link, it redirects you to an application page named Policy.aspx, which enables you to create a new information policy. Alternatively, you can apply a policy that is already defined at the level of the site collection. On a server farm with Office SharePoint Server 2007 installed, the Windows SharePoint Services page that enables you to create and configure content types also provides a link that takes you to Policy.aspx. Here you can also create or apply policies.


Figure 10. List Settings page



Figure 11 shows the options that are available through the application page policy.aspx. This is a simple way to apply a custom policy created at the site collection level. It also enables you to define and configure a unique policy that applies only to the current list, document library, or content type. In many cases it promotes a higher level of manageability. For example, you can create all of your policies at the site collection level, and then simply apply your policies to the appropriate lists, document libraries, and content types.


Figure 11. Applying custom policies



This  can also be found at:http://msdn2.microsoft.com/ look for: OfficeSharePointServer2007 ValueAddedSupportforAuditing  When you start using this nice feature, you may find strange results when generating a report. This is because most events only work with office documents. If you try to check how many times a specific pdf document in a library has been viewed, it's impossible. So if you need to now how many times a certain non-Office document has been viewed, then you find yourself writing custom code. Maybe I'll try to figure this out later on.