My Podcast interview on TechNet Home Page

Microsoft’s Senior Program Manager Keith Combs has produced a podcast on SharePoint Workflows and posted on TechNet’s home page. It’s about a 15 minute podcast in which I discuss workflows from scratch and talk about the integration possibilities with Visio and InfoPath as well. Hope it’s beneficial. Here it is: http://technet.microsoft.com

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Our SharePoint Videos on TechNet

A couple of months ago, some of our videos were contributed to the TechNet site. One of them is currently highlighted on TechNet’s home page:

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The remaining can be found when you go to the SharePoint Server 2010 section of the TechNet library:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc262880.aspx

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These are all free of course so check them out!

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List Workflows on SharePoint Designer 2010

In a previous article regarding Workflow Designer in SharePoint Designer 2010, I had tried to point out as many new things as I could think of at the time regarding the workflow designer environment. However, the fact remains that a video will always be a better way to communicate ideas than an article ever can (at least about a technical subject). So we have made the video on List Workflows using SharePoint Designer 2010 free on the site for a limited amount of time. This video highlights the following areas and more:

  • Designing workflows using the workflow designer environment
  • Moving actions/conditions up and down within and across workflow steps
  • Parallel branching in workflows
  • Workflow settings
  • Focus on a few activities: Send an email, Set workflow status etc.

Check it out and let me know your thoughts/comments. Thanks.

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Conditional Formatting of XSLT List View and Data View web parts

In SharePoint Designer 2010, conditional formatting is one of those ‘got to know’ features that you should get familiar with. Back in SPD 2007, you could apply conditional formatting only to XSLT Data View web parts. However, now that all of the List View web parts are XSLT enabled, you can apply the same type of conditional criteria to format your data to any list or library view data. Not just formatting, but you can also conditionally show or hide your data. Want to see it in action? Watch the following video (available for free for a limited time):

Create List View pages with conditionally formatted data

update: this video is no longer available as a free video

This video shows how to conditionally format information in a List View page using the XSLT List View web part. The scenario starts off by importing information from a spreadsheet to make a list. Then a new List View page is created on the list which automatically comes with the XSLT List View web part showing the information in the list. Conditional Formatting is then used to highlight some content and also hide other content based on certain conditions.

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My MSDN article on using SharePoint Designer and InfoPath to Automate Business Processes

A few months back, I had written an article on using SharePoint Designer 2007 and InfoPath 2007 to automate business processes. The solution uses InfoPath to create a powerful electronic form, publishes it to a SharePoint form library, then routes that form through a workflow process using a workflow created in SharePoint Designer. Creating your business scenarios in this fashion will let you design true end to end solutions, without using any code, that will save you Tons of time!

This article has finally made it onto MSDN. Check it out here in its entirety: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff355359.aspx. You can also check out the video/screencast for this whole process here: https://www.visualsp.com/automate-business-processes-using-infopath-forms-and-sharepoint-designer-workflows/

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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!

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