Configure Single Sign On to use with Data View web part

If you have worked with the XSLT Data View web part before, you know how much power it has. You can point to virtually any repository of data (web services, databases, xml files, SharePoint lists and libraries etc) and bring it into SharePoint. The data gets retrieved as standard XML and you can modify it to look however you like using SharePoint Designer 2007 without having to do any coding whatsoever! Here is a snapshot of a Data View web part showing information from a database table.

When connecting to the database, there are a couple of options for authentication. The first one (and the one that’s shown in most of the demonstrations :-)) is by supplying it database credentials. Making the connection this way assures that only these credentials would be used by this web part… always! Meaning, no matter who is viewing this web part (reader, administrator or someone in the middle), they will all get the same experience. More often than not, this is not the user experience that organizations want. They want the user experience to be dependent on the user’s access level. For example, a sales person in the organization should be able to view the sales revenue data while an IT analyst should not. To make that happen, you need to configure the Single Sign On functionality which comes built into SharePoint Server. Single Sign On in SharePoint simply means that once the user logs on to their machine, SharePoint will take care of supplying their credentials to the backend applications or databases that the user needs access to. The image below shows how the Data View web part can utilize single sign on to access a database.

Want to see how the process works from end to end – configuring SSO and utilizing it in the Data View web part? Check out our free video of the week on Configuring Single Sign On. Enjoy!


Huge Sale on Annual Site Memberships

For the first time ever, we are offering a Huge discount on our Annual Site Membership. With an annual membership, you can watch all of our current videos on the site in addition to all of the ones we will be creating throughout the course of the year (New video updates are posted to the site every week). 

From now until Friday, Feb 26th, you can use the coupon code ANSPFEB (please remember to click on Apply button after putting in the code to activate it) to take $40 off the yearly subscription price – originally $199.50. You will get 12 months of access for only $159.50. Here is the link to the subscription page: Click on the button for Yearly Option to get started.


Why would you want to use Publishing Sites?

The most popular type of site template used in most SharePoint 2007 deployments is the Team Site template. The Team Site template provides a great platform to facilitate collaboration among peers in a team or department. However, there is another type of site template which is best utilized in large Intranet and Internet sites. In both of these scenarios, you will want only a few people to control the content that’s being published. On the other hand, there is usually hundreds if not thousands of people who will be reading this content. For this scenario, a Publishing Site template is best utilized.  

A publishing site is a feature of SharePoint Server Standard or above. This concept was integrated into SharePoint Server when Content Management Server (no longer a product by itself) was rolled into SharePoint in the 2007 release. A publishing site has publishing pages which contain field controls in addition to web part zones and web parts. These pages reside in a very special library called Pages. The pages in the Pages library all derive from pre-defined page layouts which tell the page how to position its content on the page. For example, a page layout can have a placeholder on the top right of the page to hold a picture while another page layout can have a picture placeholder at the top left of the page, but the same content regions as the other page layouts. 

Watch this video to see the differences being pointed out in a Team Site and a Publishing Site: Publishing Sites vs Team Sites.

Lots more of the videos have been made available for you to preview for free on the site for this week. If you are interested in any of the topics below, check the videos out at:

  • Publishing Pages with Workflow in Publishing Sites 
  • Control Content Approval and Publishing on a Library with Approval Workflow 
  • Attach a SharePoint Designer Workflow to a Data View web part 
  • Create a Powerful SharePoint Designer Workflow – Part 2 
  • Initial Configuration of a new SharePoint Installation
  • Use Content Query and Site Aggregator web parts to roll up your data
  • Create a Master Detail relationship using web part connections
  • Configure Single Sign On
  • Create a Custom Search site
  • Customize List View Web Parts using SharePoint Designer

SharePoint Designer 2010 Video Tutorial DVD

The SharePoint Designer 2010 Training DVD-ROM containing 4+ hours of video tutorials was released for sale yesterday. This DVD contains demonstrations showing you exactly how you can build solutions on top of SharePoint 2010 using SharePoint Designer 2010… without using any code! Here are some of the topics you will learn by watching the videos on this DVD:

  • Create Powerful List, Reusable and Site Workflows
  • Create Sites and Site Components
  • Use the XSLT Web Parts and Conditional Formatting to present your data
  • Access Data from Databases and Web Services
  • Create External Content Types to expose your Line of Business Data
  • Create Page Layouts in Publishing Sites
  • Working with Master Pages
  • Create processes using InfoPath 2010 Forms, Visio 2010 Workflow Models and SPD 2010 Workflows
  • Create Custom Actions on Lists
  • and more…

To celebrate the release of this DVD, we are offering a $25 discount to the first 50 people who purchase the Single User license DVD. Once at the checkout page, enter the coupon code SPD2010DVD (please remember to click the Apply button to apply the discount to the price).

The complete list of all videos and purchase information are available on the site:


Sale on SharePoint and SharePoint Designer Training DVDs

Would you like to own a copy of our SharePoint 2007 or SharePoint Designer 2007 videos to watch offline? Well, this is the best week to make that happen. We are offering a 20% discount on the single user licenses of both of our DVDs. When going through checkout, simply apply the coupon code SPDVD to take 20% off the price. This coupon code is only valid till end of day on Feb 12th. Here are direct links to both of the DVDs:

SharePoint 2007 Site Admin and End User Training

SharePoint Designer 2007 Training