I’ll be presenting two sessions at SharePoint Conference 2011. Looking forward to seeing lots of old friends and acquaintances and making some new ones there . Here are my sessions:
InfoPath + SharePoint Designer + Office 365 = Forms in the Cloud!
Forms are used everywhere in SharePoint Online (Office 365) – Form Libraries, Document Libraries, Lists, Workflows and more. You can use these forms to create great looking layouts, implement conditional formatting and retrieve data from a variety of sources. Come see this session to learn the best ways to use InfoPath generated forms in the cloud. This session will demonstrate the similarities and differences between InfoPath forms within SharePoint Online as compared to SharePoint on-premises. We offer a comprehensive InfoPath training 2010 instructional video curriculum on this topic.
SharePoint Designer 2010- A Tool for End Users?
“My IT department says we are not allowed to use SharePoint Designer.” This phrase is fairly common when the topic of SharePoint Designer comes up in a training, conference setting or a consulting engagement. IT departments have concerns around deploying SharePoint Designer to end users. This session provides real world use cases and guidance that covers when it is safe to let your site administrators use SharePoint Designer 2010 (and also when it’s not safe). In addition, we will discuss the different level of privileges that should be granted to different groups of people in your organization.
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
AC and I will be teaching our classes adjacent to each other in Redmond, WA on Jan 31 to Feb 4. AC is a master in SharePoint development and recognized worldwide for his expertise and willingness to share his knowledge in all sorts of ways. My focus has been on SharePoint Designer for many years and I’ll be teaching the class that I wrote and have been teaching with Critical Path Training for almost a year now. You are free to mix and match and attend the portions of the classes that are most beneficial to you. Check out more information about this combined package.
Top 6 reasons for taking advantage of this training package:
- If you want to learn SharePoint development, AC is The Man to teach you!
- The SharePoint Designer 2010 class that I wrote and teach was the first ever SPD 2010 class in the world and is full of lots of examples of what you can do with that product.
- Students will receive a copy of Real World SharePoint 2010 book which AC and I both have contributed to.
- Students will receive a copy of SharePoint Designer 2010 book that I co-authored.
- You will receive the materials for both classes when you take advantage of this offer.
- You will have the opportunity to sit into both classes for the topics important to You!
Hope to see you there!
Well… hopefully all the answers :-). Our SharePoint Designer 2010 book went on sale a couple of days ago. It’s been awesome to work with Woody, Bryan and Marcy to write this book.
Only time will tell how good it does in the market. However, in my humble opinion, I think everyone who is using or planning to use SharePoint Designer 2010 should pick up a copy (and I’m honestly not saying this because 0.0001% of the book proceeds will come my way 🙂 ).
Anyway, the chapters that I contributed to the book dealt with the following subjects:
- Workflows (fundamentals and advanced functionality – 2 chapters)
- XSLT List and Data Views
Even though the book is called ‘Beginning’ SharePoint Designer 2010, it honestly is not only for beginners. If you are looking to start from scratch or you already have been using SPD 2007 or SPD 2010 for a while, either way it will help for sure! There is a lot of good content that we have all tried to put in this book. Some of it is not available anywhere else on the web (that I was able to find at least).
If you do happen to pick up a copy, I would like to request that if you get a chance, please write a review of it on Amazon. Appreciate it! Happy reading!
SharePoint-Videos.com has contributed 5 videos to the SharePoint Designer 2010 section at Office.com. You can watch them for free by clicking on the ‘Videos’ link at the SharePoint Designer help page here: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint-designer-help/
There are 10 free videos on this page. The first 5 have been created by the SharePoint Designer team at Microsoft. The last 5 are contributed by SharePoint-Videos.com. Here are the topics for the last 5:
- Create Web Part connections using SharePoint Designer 2010
- Get to data using Web Services in SharePoint Designer 2010
- Configure site security using SharePoint Designer 2010
- Customize workflow forms using InfoPath 2010
- Publish globally reusable workflows in SharePoint Designer 2010