Spotlight on SharePoint Video Tutorial DVDs

Do you learn best by watching examples/demonstrations? Do you want the ability to be able to watch the videos anywhere you are regardless of presence of an internet connection? If the answers to these are yes and yes then you might find that our DVD-ROM based video tutorials are just what you need! We are dedicating this newsletter to highlight our top DVDs and provide you with some more information on what you should expect to find inside of each video tutorial package.
 
SharePoint 2010 Business Connectivity Services
Business Connectivity Services (BCS) is one of the Most powerful features in SharePoint 2010. You can use BCS to easily integrate data from your external systems into your SharePoint environment. The videos in this tutorial show you how to take advantage of this functionality in your SharePoint environment. Create lists in SharePoint which show your line of business application data (such as from custom databases, SAP, PeopleSoft and more) or show that information using pre-built BCS web parts. You will also learn about how to make BCS associations to relate two different connections. All of this and a whole lot more is all taught in this video tutorial package.
 
Reporting Services using SharePoint 2010
The introduction of Reporting Services 2008 R2, using the SharePoint 2010 add-in with the free Report Builder 3.0 authoring tool, provides an excellent way to create powerful reports for your business needs. These video tutorials show you how to take advantage of Report Builder’s design concepts to create reusable datasets and report parts from multiple sources. Also, easily create visualizations of your data such as sparklines, databars, charts, indicators and more. The end result is transformation of live data from multiple sources into powerful and meaningful reports inserted right within your SharePoint sites.
 
SharePoint 2010 Fundamentals
If you need to start out with the basics of SharePoint, this is the video tutorial to pick up. However, even if you are an intermediate SharePoint user already, you are guaranteed to pick up other tricks and tips along the way. It covers topics such as customizing sites, navigation, document management, list management and more.
 
SharePoint Designer 2010 Fundamentals
Once you have mastered the fundamentals of SharePoint 2010, it’s time to dive into this video tutorial which will present you with all of the opportunities you have to create no-code customizations and solutions on top of SharePoint using SharePoint Designer 2010 (a free product). SharePoint Designer lets you create views of your data (fetched from lists, libraries, databases, web services and more) directly on any page within your site. In addition, you can automate processes using workflows, customize site metadata, security, list/library schema and a whole lot more.
 
SharePoint Designer 2010 Workflows
Ready to dive deeper into all that SharePoint Designer 2010 Workflow capability has to offer? Pick up this DVD for demonstrations of various opportunities you have to produce workflows in SharePoint Designer. Learn how to create list based, reusable or site workflows and what the difference is between the three. Also, you will see how to package these workflows and transport them from one site collection to another when needed.
 
InfoPath 2010 Fundamentals
InfoPath is ‘the recommended tool’ to create and modify forms in SharePoint. Learn how to create form library, list and workflow forms using InfoPath designer. Already have forms created using Microsoft Word or Excel? The videos in this DVD will guide you on how to migrate those forms into InfoPath. You will also see how easy it is to fetch information from your data repositories like lists, libraries and even databases into your InfoPath forms to present to your users.
 
Check out our complete collection of video tutorials on DVDs. Have an idea on a subject area we should consider for our next batch of DVDs? Just comments on this post or fill out our contact form to let us know and we’ll definitely consider it!

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Coupon Code for SharePoint Connections – Coast-to-Coast

Coupon Code: Rehmani

SharePoint Connections Coast-to-Coast (applies to San Francisco and Chicago conferences)

SharePoint Connections is now being held locally as well. The coupon code will get you $50 off either the San Francisco (May 9-11) or the Chicago (August 8-10) conference. They always provide a variety of tracks for all types of audiences – IT Pro, Developer, Business User. The presenters at this conference are also Microsoft folks and SharePoint experts in the field. Content is focused on SharePoint 2007 and 2010

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Coupon code for SPTechCon

Update: This coupon code works for the upcoming SPTechCon conference as well.

Coupon code: REHMANI

SPTechCon
The SPTechCon is held twice a year in the United States. This coupon applies to the upcoming one in Boston (June 1-3) and will give you $200 off. Audiences catered to are IT Pro, Developers and Business Users. The presenters at this conference are primarily experts in the SharePoint field. The focus of the content is specifically on SharePoint 2007 and 2010.

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Train your users on SharePoint 2007 functionality

Now that SharePoint 2010 is out in the market, most of the companies (including ours) are very much focused on providing training on that product. However, what about the companies that are using SharePoint 2007 and are not planning on migrating to the next version anytime soon? Look around and what you are sure to find is that there is not much ‘quality’ training available on that product anymore. Being in the training industry for a long time now, I know this for a fact that expert trainers usually move on quickly to the latest and greatest because that’s where most of the training opportunities and interests are.
 
So what do we do if our company plans to remain on SharePoint 2007 for the foreseeable future?
We might be able to help with your training needs! We have a robust library of 100 SharePoint 2007 related videos. They are fully narrated and are anywhere from 6 minutes to 45 minutes in length each. These videos are for all levels of SharePoint users (end users, power users, site administrators, site collection administrators, IT professionals and developers). Many companies have used our videos to provide their employees with on-demand training as they need it.
 
What about when we upgrade to SharePoint 2010?
No worries. When you are ready to upgrade to SharePoint 2010, there is a significant discount offered on the pricing of our SharePoint 2010 video packages to our existing customers.
 
How do I get more information about your offerings?
Fill out the form on our site to get started. Provide us with some information about your need in the ‘Description’ field of the form. We can then discuss via phone or email the various options we have to offer and will tailor them to your needs.

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Access Data from a variety of sources using SharePoint Designer 2010

One of the main things that many of us ‘SharePoint people’ are responsible for is to display and manipulate data on SharePoint pages, right? All sorts of data – not just data from within SharePoint such as List and Library data, but data from databases, through web services, xml files and all other sorts of places.

So how are you currently providing access to data to your end users? or I guess the better question to ask is ‘Are you the one doing this?’. Usually the answer is: ‘Our developers are taking care of it. It is not something that I do’. This answer will not work for very long. These types of tasks are soon to become a responsibility for many of us.

The Age of the Citizen Developer

I have been developing applications for many years now. However, I have not touched Visual Studio for quite a few years. How is that possible you ask… well, the term developer is not the same as it used to be when I used to actively program using Visual Studio back in 2005. This term is evolving to mean you build applications for consumption by other users either with programming or with other composition tools. There is a term that Gartner has come up with to describe the no-code developers like myself called ‘Citizen Developer’. Gartner claims that at least 25 percent of new business applications will be built by citizen developers by 2014. I believe it!

As far as developing on SharePoint is concerned, my tools of choice usually are SharePoint Designer and InfoPath. Both of these extremely powerful tools let you make robust solutions on top of SharePoint without writing a line of code! The focus of this short article is on working with SharePoint data and external data in SharePoint using SharePoint Designer 2010 (SPD) so let me get right to it. In a separate article, I’ll talk about InfoPath’s inherent functionality to let you create and modify powerful electronic forms in SharePoint.

XSLT Web Parts in SharePoint 2010

There are two main web parts that let you display and manipulate data in SharePoint:

  • XSLT List View Web Part (XLV)
  • XSLT Data Form Web Part (DVWP)

 

The XLV lets you display data from lists and libraries while DVWP lets you show data from literally anywhere. The shortcoming (in my opinion) of DVWP is that there is no easy way to customize this web part in the browser and it can only be manipulated effectively using SPD 2010. While the XLV can be customized using the browser, the real power for this web part is also realized when manipulated using SPD.

These web parts work by consuming data in XML format and then letting us manipulate it by using XSLT. Sounds complicated? I assure you that it’s not. Everything is very visual in nature. All you are doing is customizing and configuring the web parts to make them behave the way you need them. It’s truly as simple as that once you get used to doing it. The results are extremely robust data driven solutions that you can present on any SharePoint page. The average developer accustomed to programming in a traditional development environment and unaware of these methods will think that you spent hours or days creating these solutions when in reality, it will only take you a few minutes once you are proficient at it.

Alright, enough talking. Let’s get to showing you some of these things to make you a believer too. There are two videos that I would recommend you check out right now to prove to yourself the power of XSLT web parts:

Create Custom List Form pages using SharePoint Designer 2010

Report on data from your Database using XSLT Data View web part

If these videos have intrigued your curiosity, I would suggest continuing your XSLT web part exploration using the following resources.

Additional SharePoint Designer XSLT Web Part Resources

There are a variety of scenarios that can be accomplished with XSLT web parts using SharePoint Designer 2010. The following links will provide you with the resources you need to continue your journey.

· Articles and Videos about Data Views at Office.com – http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint-designer-help/CH010373543.aspx

· Book – Beginning SharePoint Designer 2010 (Chapter 8)

· Video Tutorials – SharePoint Designer – XSLT web part videos

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