Monday, January 18, 2010

Records Center and InfoPath 2007 Columns (Fields)

My story started by a simple portal with 10 different workflows and form libraries. The idea was to submit each form to its library, initiate an (out-of-the-box) approval workflow  by code, and after the form is approved or rejected move it to the Records Center.

Everything went well, till i reached the Records Center, Basically the problem was the InfoPath promoted columns (fields) are not mapped  to SharePoint form library (showing as blank columns) inside the Record center, no matter what i did.


I tried to publish the form template as a content type, or as a form library directly from InfoPath with no success. Even though the form is 100% working on other sites templates, so i think there is something related to the Records Center site template which causing things to break.

Till now i have no solution for that issue, no talks on threads, forums. so i posted a question on MSDN to get more details about it.

Hope they will reply soon –to tell you the truth i doubt to get a useful answer :)-

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Information Architecture for SharePoint Internet Portal – Overview

I will be talking about the Information Architecture, a huge concept and almost a standalone field in Information Technology world. I want to highlight this important topic, and its role in SharePoint Internet Portal projects.

This article just includes a general overview about information architecture, and does not include how to plan and build your information architecture for SharePoint portals; hopefully I will be writing about this subject in more details in next posts.

Information Architecture

If we need to come up with a general definition for it, we could say it’s the organization of information in an enterprise to maximize the information’s usability and manageability, and to analyze content and information included in your internet portal, and this is a very important early step in your project.

Implementation for Successful Information Architecture

Factors that contribute to a successful implementation of information architecture includes the following:

• How easy it is to find information?

• How information is stored and retrieved?

• How users navigate to information?

• How redundant or overlapping information is?

• What metadata is available for each type of information?

Poorly Designed Information Architecture

Poorly designed information architecture could lead to the following main problems and even more:

• Inconsistent use of metadata can make it difficult to search for and compare related items of information.

• Poorly designed and managed storage of content can cause a proliferation of duplicate versions of documents. As a result, users cannot identify the authoritative version.

• Poorly presented information can reduce the ability of some users to access the information.

Information Architecture – Example

When you design the information architecture of an Internet presence Web site, you might focus on how the site is organized into a hierarchy of sub-sites and Web pages, how that hierarchy is exposed in the site’s navigation features, and how easy it is to search for content on the site.

Information taxonomy

To make information in the web site easier to locate, you need to analyze content and create new information architecture, so we come up with the following:

• How the content is categorized

• How the content is stored

• How the content is laid

General Recommendations

Searching for a way to build proper information architecture, found many ways and approaches have been followed, one of these approaches is to engage your stakeholders using surveys and polls:

• Survey existing content and Web site structure

   - Analyze and record how information and content are distributed across current sites and sub sites.

• Survey user requirements

   - Needed information

   - Are they able to find that information easily?

   - Is there missing information?

• Survey business requirements

   - What information should they first encounter?

   - How will they explore information?


- SharePoint Internet presence governance plan (white paper) - by Joel Oleson.

- Microsoft SharePoint Team Blog: How We Did It:

Create a Sharepoint 2010 Virtual Machine in 32 bits host machine

Everybody knows that SharePoint server 2010 should be installed on 64bit OS, so I’m pointing to this issue, for whom interested in building a 64bit virtual machine to operate on a 32bit OS host.

I just found this article which points to this issue: “HOW TO: Create a SharePoint 2010 VM in 32 bits host machine”.

The solution is to build your virtual machine using VirtualBox; a virtualization software package developed by Sun Microsystems, and you will find all details to install VirtualBox, and how to build your first virtual machine in above article.

One plus Important thing you need to do is to Enable virtualization (VT) in BIOS for 64bit support, this option is disabled by default in BIOS specially for hardware shipped by DELL.

The location of this option in BIOS differs from hardware vendor to another, so you need to search your BIOS for the location of this option; for HP you need to navigate in BIOS through: Security > OS Security > Intel Virtualization Technology.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

SharePoint Programming in 64bit environment

This is my first time to develop on a 64bit machine, so i started visual studio, wrote my framework, and created a unit test.

The test failed because of the following exception, while creating a new SPSite

The Web application at http://HostName:Port/ could not be found. Verify that you have typed the URL correctly. If the URL should be serving existing content, the system administrator may need to add a new request URL mapping to the intended application.

first thing came to my mind is that i am using a wrong URL, but it was the same URL i am using in the browser, so i created a new console application with the failed line of code

var site = new SPSite(“http://HostName:Port/”);

and guess what? it worked.

After some investigation i knew that MS UnitTest is not compatible with 64bit Process, so the test context runs as 32bit process which conflict with the SPSite object as it a COM unmanaged object.

Till now i have no solution for that but as i read NUnit is a great tool for testing with 64bit platform, so i will try it and get back with the results and solutions.

Related links:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

SharePoint Intranet Portal Samples

Last week i was googling for intranet portal samples because we was working with a client who is creating his portal for the first time, so as you know an image could save a hundred words. So after a couple of attempts i found the following links and they are very helpful when you want to describe an enterprise portal either to a client, technical guy or even a graphic designer, leaving you with the links

[update: 30-01-2012] Thanks to ahattab for the new links.

The Office SharePoint Server Standard Web application features feature must be activated" on Windows Server 2008 R2

After creating my development machine and added different sites using WSS templates (such as Team Site), i had the above error when i tried to add a Collaboration Portal site. The solution is:

1- Deactivate the feature

2- Create a publishing site collection (The error still there)

3- Activate the feature

4-Create a publishing site collection again (Voila , its working).

Original post

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Word is unable to save documents to SharePoint

Lets say you opened a document library from you browser, clicking new word document, and trying to save it to the library.

but MS Word is not showing the document library


and even if you entered the URL in the address bar its not working


This is because the WebClient service is turned off, so your PC cannot communicate to SharePoint using DAVWWW -also it breaks the explorer view-.


Turn the service on (if its disabled, change the start type to automatic) , close MS Word and try again, everything will work properly.

Monday, January 4, 2010

MySite, and MyLinks are not showing


If you are accessing you SharePoint site using a different name than the host name (such as FQN or IP address), it will hide Mysite, and MyLinks from the page.


To solve it either access your site with the assigned host name or change the host name to the desired name (if its left blank, its by default the machine name).

Error While Search (Unknown Error / Object reference not set to an instance of an object)

Yesterday i started a new SharePoint project; so after setting up my MOSS farm with proper configuration for SSP and search settings i tried to search a word (opening IE from the server itself) and it worked perfectly :).

Today i opened my machine, navigated to the portal using the FQN (Fully qualified name, tried to search and the following error popped up : Unknown error. also i modified the web.config to call the Stacktrace and turn off customError, then error changed to:

Object reference not set to an instance of an object.   at Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.WebControls.CoreResultsWebPart.OnLoad(EventArgs e)
   at System.Web.UI.Control.LoadRecursive()
   at System.Web.UI.Control.LoadRecursive()
   at System.Web.UI.Control.LoadRecursive()
   at System.Web.UI.Control.LoadRecursive()
   at System.Web.UI.Control.LoadRecursive()
   at System.Web.UI.Control.LoadRecursive()
   at System.Web.UI.Control.LoadRecursive()
   at System.Web.UI.Page.ProcessRequestMain(Boolean includeStagesBeforeAsyncPoint, Boolean includeStagesAfterAsyncPoint)

So the reason for the error was simply because i am using the FQN (which is not the hostname as understandable by MOSS), so i added the machine name to the hosts file (because the DNS only resolves FQN) and it worked.