SharePoint Resources on the web

Over time, I have been gathering links to various SharePoint resources on the web. I usually share it my students. I’m listing them below. Hope it helps some people out there.

SharePoint explained very nicely and simply in this video

SharePoint in plain English

 

Microsoft’s main SharePoint related beginner sites

Check out the main SharePoint Website from Microsoft.

Then check out some success stories shared by Microsoft at Discover SharePoint.

 

Ramp up on SharePoint

To get started on SharePoint, you might want to take some formal SharePoint training. There is really no substitute for hands on training if you can afford the time and expense. I would recommend looking at the available classes here: http://www.criticalpathtraining.com

Can’t travel or need on-demand training? I would recommended to start with this jump start page and watch some beginner video tutorials:

https://www.visualsp.com/sharepoint-easy-start/

Check out the EndUserSharePoint site for Lots of great articles produced by the SharePoint community:

https://www.nothingbutsharepoint.com/Pages/default.aspx

 

SharePoint environment for practice

To try out scenarios, create prototypes and demos, use the completely pre-built SharePoint environment created using CloudShare:

http://tinyurl.com/asifcloudshare. Here are some visuals on exactly what’s in this cloud-based virtual machine: https://www.visualsp.com/pre-built-sharepoint-2010-demos-in-cloudshare/

OR

Deploy the whole virtual machine in your own environment (if you have the hardware available). These are independently created by individuals in the SharePoint community and not officially supported by Microsoft:

http://gauravmahajan.net/2014/08/17/sharepoint-server-2013-sp1-virtual-machine-download/

http://www.sayed-ali.com/Blog/Post/7/Download-SharePoint-2013-RTM-Trial-Virtual-Machine-
 

SharePoint on-demand support

When working with SharePoint, you will have questions that you just want to go and ask someone. The best place to ask those questions is the SharePoint Forums: http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en/category/sharepoint/. Microsoft employees and MVPs are often in the forums answering questions.

You can also find on-demand video tutorials on SharePoint-Videos.com for quick show-and-tell. Also, additional tutorials available on Microsoft’s Channel 9 site: http://channel9.msdn.com/search?term=sharepoint

If you need immediate help with a project, look into hourly SharePoint remote consulting/mentoring: https://www.visualsp.com/remote-consulting/

Become part of the Bamboo Solutions community: http://community.bamboosolutions.com/

Consider picking up some SharePoint books as well:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=sharepoint+2010&x=0&y=0

 

SharePoint Certifications

There are a few certifications that exist for SharePoint as well. These will give you the credibility you need in your role. You can find them here: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/cert-sharepoint-server.aspx

 

Customer Reviews for SharePoint Vendors

It’s hard to decide which SharePoint vendor to go with when it comes to SharePoint consulting, training, products and other services. Check out the SharePoint Reviews site: http://www.sharepointreviews.com/

 

SharePoint Conferences

Attending a SharePoint conference is a great way to really dive into it all. Check out this blog entry for info on regularly held SharePoint related conferences:

http://blog.visualsp.com/the-sharepoint-conferences-you-should-attend/ (more have popped up since this blog entry)

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My SharePoint Conference 2012 session on Composite Solutions

Title: Build SharePoint 2013 Composite Solutions – all you need is a Browser!

Abstract: The possibilities are limitless when building SharePoint solutions using just the internet browser. The simple and intuitive interface makes it very easy to create robust applications. In this session, you will learn how to use the SharePoint 2013 framework of lists, libraries, pages, web parts and even apps to build powerful SharePoint solutions.

Time Slot: Thursday, November 15, 2012 -  12:00 PM – 1:15 PM

Room: Jasmine ABEF

Session Code: SPC027

 

As always, my hope is going to be to show you as much as possible using demonstration. I have never been a big fan of PowerPoint Smile

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Book Released – SharePoint 2013 First Look for Power Users

My book titled SharePoint 2013 – First Look for Power Users was released this Monday (10/15/2012). Great to see it finally in production. Currently, it’s available at the publisher’s site:

https://store.vook.com/storefronts/book/sharepoint-2013-first-look-for-power-users.html#.UH7Sa8XA83S

Hopefully, soon it will start showing up on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Apple bookstores as well.

This book is designed to be a practical guide to jump start the reader’s learning about the specifics of SharePoint 2013. The focus is on Team Sites and MySite – not Publishing Sites – and specifically the visual elements of the sites. The book is filled with images and embedded videos to give the reader a complete visual understanding of what to look for in the new release and how each area operates.

Topics covered:

  • Overview of SharePoint 2013 Team Site
  • Security access management
  • Branding sites using Themes
  • Understanding SharePoint Apps
  • Managing documents in Team Sites and MySite
  • List management
  • Searching within site collection
  • Social features of SharePoint 2013

This is an enhanced eBook and will work best on eReaders with image viewing and video watching capabilities.

This book’s target audience is the Power User of SharePoint. In my opinion, a Power User is more advanced and empowered than an end user, but is not a hardcore developer or an IT administrator. Having said that, end users, developers and IT professionals can also greatly benefit from the knowledge in this book to prepare themselves for what’s coming in the next version of SharePoint. Here’s the link again for the book:

https://store.vook.com/storefronts/book/sharepoint-2013-first-look-for-power-users.html#.UH7Sa8XA83S

Bonus material

Purchase of this book entitles the purchaser to 1 free month of access to all of the video tutorials (covering SharePoint 2013, 2010, 2007) at the SharePoint-Videos.com site. Please email books@sharepointElearning.com with the proof of purchase and you will be setup with your free 1 month access to the site.

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Interview with SharePoint Pro blog

I recently got a chance to touch base with Caroline Marwitz of SharePoint Pro magazine. Caroline provided a few very though provoking questions in an interview format that was then posted to SharePoint Pro Mag here:

http://www.sharepointpromag.com/blog/sharepoint-pro-by-admins-devs-industry-observers-23/sharepoint-2013/sharepoint-designer—144254

It covers some of my thoughts on the current and future versions of SharePoint Designer. Check it out and provide some comments and your own thoughts if you have a few minutes.

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SharePoint 2013 Themes engine

In SharePoint 2010, we are able to use any of the pre-built Themes or customize any of them using just the browser. If that was not enough , we are able to use either Microsoft Word, PowerPoint or Theme Builder to create new .thmx files that could then be uploaded to the Theme gallery by the site collection administrator and made available for site owners and designers to use on their sites.

The whole theming engine has changed and been reworked in SharePoint 2013. Everything is based on HTML instead of any proprietary format. The image below shows the actual Theme Gallery which is filled with font and color palette files.

Theme gallery

As a result of this change in direction for theme building, you are no longer able to use Word, PowerPoint or Theme Builder to create new Themes.

Themes are only modifiable using the internet browser (aside from programmatic methods of course, which we will not be discussing here). Fourteen HTML 5 based Themes are available out-of-the-box to be used as needed. When designing a theme in the browser, you can pick any of the provided Themes as a starter template then design a much richer customized theme by choosing the fonts, color palette and your own background image.

Available Themes

The video tutorial below shows the whole process at work:

* More SharePoint 2013 videos available here.

SharePoint 2013 Themes
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Publishing InfoPath 2010 form to a Form Library – video tutorial

An InfoPath form template can be submitted and hosted at a form library in SharePoint 2010. The net effect then is that users can fill out the form by directly going to that library and clicking on New Document. If you don’t have SharePoint Server Enterprise running, the users will be prompted to open the form in the InfoPath client application. With SharePoint Server Enterprise running (and Forms Services properly configured in Central Administration), the form will open up directly in the browser. You can read more on the licensing requirements here:

http://blog.visualsp.com/licensing-requirements-for-infopath-forms-on-sharepoint/

The complete InfoPath course is available here

The following video tutorial demonstrates the process of submitting InfoPath form templates to a form library:

Publish an InfoPath form to a form library in SharePoint 2010
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Project Management in SharePoint without Project Server – video tutorial

SharePoint Foundation 2010 by itself is a great platform upon which a project manager can manage the projects. SharePoint offers several list types that, on their own are simple, powerful ways to track information and when you connect these lists together, you can product a project management hub. All you need to do this are the two free products: SharePoint Foundation 2010 and SharePoint Designer 2010.

Complete Project Management course available here

Check it out here:

Project Management in SharePoint
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Change where Edit Control Button (ECB) appears in a list or library

The Edit Control Button (ECB) aka the context drop-down menu that appears for lists and libraries, as shown in the image below, is the way you can execute built in and custom actions on list and library items.

image

A question that many people wonder about is: how can I move this menu so it appears on a different field instead of the default one?

Well, wonder no more! Watch the video below to see how it’s done. One catch though: you will need SharePoint Designer 2010 (available for free) to make the change.

Enabling and Disabling ECB menu on list/library items
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SharePoint Designer 2013 Design View is Gone! – effects Data View web part and List View web part

The Design View no longer exists in SharePoint Designer 2013. This changes the way we work with (or used to work with) all sorts of visual elements in SharePoint.

I have been meaning to write this post for a very long time, but there is so much I want to say, I couldn’t find the time until now to hunker down and say it all (or at least most of it). So here we go.

Note:  I have always been a visual kind of guy and I like to show things instead of just describing them. This post will be no different. Below, I have provided visuals that will be helpful for the reader to understand the impact of Design View removal from SharePoint Designer.

What exactly has changed?

image

SharePoint Designer 2010 with Design View

 

image

SharePoint Designer 2013 without Design View

 

What the above images mean is that you can only see Code View for any and all pages now in SharePoint Designer 2013. No more Design View (or Split View for that matter) and no more WYSIWYG functionality on any of the following types of pages:

  • Site Pages (Wiki Pages)
  • List View pages / Library View pages
  • Web Part Pages

The Impact

Now that you know what has changed, let’s look at the type of functionality that is going to be missing in SharePoint Designer 2013.

List View / List Form web parts and Data View / Data Form web parts are inserted and modified in SharePoint Designer 2010 to show data from all sorts of sources including the following:

  • Lists
  • Libraries
  • Databases
  • Web Services (both SOAP and REST)

If you have time, check out the video below to see a sample of the type of coolness you can produce using these web parts with SharePoint Designer 2010. This video shows creating and modifying a SharePoint List Form in Design View:

Here is a link to this same video on SharePoint-Videos.com:
https://www.visualsp.com/sp10create-custom-list-form-pages-using-sharepoint-designer/

SharePoint Designer 2013 still has the implementations of these web parts, however, there is no way to visually modify them the way it is shown in the video. You would have to jump into Code View to manipulate the XSLT and XML manually to produce the same results.

Conditional Formatting is one of the most Awesome features in SharePoint Designer 2010. You can use it to conditionally format and/or display data and images on any SharePoint page as shown in image below.

image

With the absence of Design View, there is no visual way to configure the web parts (List View and Data View) to conditionally format text and other objects in SharePoint Designer 2013.

There is a very easy way in SharePoint Designer 2010 to connect web parts together using web part connections on the same page or even across pages. These connections can pass field values which can then be used to filter data and more.

image

No way to make the web part connections in SharePoint Designer 2013. You can still, however, make web part connections on the same page using the web browser.

The Formula window (also referred to as the XPath Expression builder) lets us present incoming data using all types of different formulae such as concat, average, count, substring, formatDate and dozens more like them.

image

In SharePoint Designer 2013, you can still insert the formulae, but it would have to be done directly in Code View since the Design View is required for the Insert Formula window to be presented.

In SharePoint Designer 2010, there are small tweaks that we can perform for web parts that we take for granted currently such as adjusting width of columns, modifying column headings, adding/removing columns etc. This is all accomplished in the Design View of course.

image

Can’t do any of that stuff in SharePoint Designer 2013 due to the lack of Design View (sorry to sound like a broken record now).

All of the modifications listed above are supposed to migrate seamlessly to SharePoint 2013. However, after the migration, the maintenance of these solutions would have to be a manual code based process.

I’m sure there is stuff that I forgot to mention. I’ll update the post as I think of more things to draw a more complete picture for the readers of this post.

Justification for removing Design View

In Microsoft’s own words:

http://designshare.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/spd_designview.png

No comment from me.

Related Post

My MVP buddies have already started a good discussion thread out on the forums regarding this subject:

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/sharepointitpropreview/thread/8f8e2cb3-a90f-4653-9d22-050f9f0d8612/

The thread contains comments, thoughts and opinions from many highly regarded folks in the industry such as Marc Anderson, Laura Rogers, Jennifer Mason, John White, Tom Resing, Paul Stork, Christina Wheeler, Stephen Cawood, Mike Walsh and more (sorry if I missed you). I would recommend joining the discussion and voicing your opinion on how this change can affect your environment and company.

What should You do?

If you are a Power User who loves working with and creating no-code solutions on SharePoint, you are the one most affected by this change. There is no replacement for the functionality lost in any other product that I know of so far. SharePoint Designer was it and now there is none! In SharePoint 2013, there will be no other built in functionality that will let you manage these no-code solutions visually. If you know of something I don’t, I would love for you to comment about it below.

This decision has created a huge ‘Vendor Opportunity’. I do foresee  a vendor creating a solution for this in the future so when someone asks me what they should do now, I can at least say ‘There is an App for that’!

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