Monday, January 10, 2011

Clearing your Sharepoint Designer Cache - A file appear to be checked out, but it doesn't

So you are just trying to edit a page that should be checked out for editing, and the file appears to be already checked out, but it’s not checked out indeed. This is caused by the caching of SharePoint Designer.

To clear the SharePoint Designer cache, go to this location : "C:\Users\\AppData\Local\Microsoft\WebsiteCache", and delete all files right there.

That’s it :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Problems Installing KB968850 & KB968851

Recently I have updated MOSS 2007 server farm to SP2, then I want to install April 2009 cumulative updates which is "KB968850" & "KB968851", but whenever I try to run either of them I got this error:
"The expected version of the product was not found on the system"
It's very strange; as the current farm version is "", which is the version it should be after installing SP2, and once installed those cumulative updates the version should be "".

I checked all updates I have installed on the farm, and finally found that I did not install SP2 for the language packs, after installing SP2 for language packs, I ran the cumulative updates and everything works fine.

So you should ensure to install service packs for language packs as its not going to be updated when installing service packs for MOSS itself.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Guidelines to create successful information architecture for SharePoint Portals

In previous post, I have been talking about a general overview of the information architecture and its role in SharePoint Internet Portal projects. Also we went in brief to talk about its definition and factors that contribute to successful information architecture.

In this post, I’m going to talk about some more details about the information architecture, and highlight some guidelines to come up with successful information architecture.


The concept beyond information architecture is to define how your site's content, such as Web pages, documents, and lists, is organized and presented to users. This goes beyond appearance issues, such as color, font, or navigation.

Create Information Architecture

To categorize and analyze your content, you need to consider the following steps through the process of creating your information architecture:

- Gathering relevant information.

- Plan Information architecture.

- Document your information architecture.

Gathering relevant information

At this step you have some essential questions that you must answer, after gathering relevant information from your client. The following table shows some of these questions and categorizes them by high-level requirement.




·        Who are your users?

·        Where are your users located?

·        What languages do your users understand
and want to use?

·        How do they want to use your information?

·        How are your users grouped?

·        External customers

·        External partners

·        Internal divisions

·        Internal departments

·        Internal various locations (national and international)

·        Will you need to target information at specific users
or audiences?


·        Do you require multiple farms?

·        How many top-level site collections do you require?

·        What subsites do you require?

·        Will you require a multitier publishing infrastructure?

·        Will you have a common security infrastructure for all users?

·        What are the site-specific security requirements?

·        Are there any unique subsite security requirements?


·        Do you want to use a common brand across your sites?

·        Do you want to design your own:

·        Master pages?

·        Site or List Templates?

·        Page layouts?

·        Style sheets?

·        Custom controls?

·        Web Parts?


·        Will you use the default navigation tools?

·        Will you require custom development for personalized


·        What information types will your users want to work with?

·        What metadata will you require?

·        What additional content types will you require?

·        Will you implement search?

·        How will you configure search?

·        How will you optimize search?

·        Will you need to integrate LOB or other external data?


·        What are your auditing requirements?

·        Do you have defined information management policies?

You could go in more details for the Topology section, but actually you could deal with this section as non-functional outcomes from the Information Architecture design.

This is not a comprehensive list of items that you should cover; the development of information architecture is a sizeable undertaking.

Following are some good recommendations on how to start the process.

Plan Information architecture

You can divide the planning into three main processes:

• Survey of existing systems

If you have an existing WCM environment, you can gain a lot of information by analyzing the sites and defining the current information architecture and usage. This does not mean that you simply copy the structure that currently exists, but rather that you can use elements such as logs to identify what is used, what is popular, and what is not required by the business and users.

However, it is important to note that logs are not always an accurate reflection of business value and usefulness, because they do not necessarily reflect usability.

• Survey user requirements

It is essential to analyze user requirements. In addition to your focus on information that users require and how they use it, you need to define how they want to see and find that information. To this end, you must resolve navigation and location issues. These decisions might affect the topology, as remote users or low-grade communications infrastructure can adversely affect your design. The people-related information recorded with your information architecture will also help you to determine how to group site users based on the business processes they participate in, the distribution lists and social networks they belong to, the content they are likely to create or view, or the organizational structure in which they work.

• Survey business requirements

Ultimately, Office SharePoint Server 2007 is a business server. You must ensure that you understand the business drivers that are influencing your information architecture. The business rules will have a major affect on your security and consequently on whole structure. For example, you may have Internet and internal customers. This may enforce physical structures, such as multiple farms, but you may also need to manage the information architecture, such as branding or content types, for various internal and external business units.

Documenting Your Information Architecture

You must document your information architecture carefully. The architecture will certainly change over the lifetime of your sites, with new information, user, and content types arriving as your business develops. As with any documentation you write, it is important to be to the point and to develop information architecture documentation during the lifetime of your design, development, and implementation phases. Reverse engineering of documentation almost always leads to poorer quality, which does not help with future development.

Because you must gather information architecture content before you start your design, this should be the first system documentation that you produce. Microsoft provides a fast-start worksheet to help you define and develop your information architecture, which you can download from the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Information Architecture Worksheet.


Web Content Management Training Modules

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: