Category Archives: Microsoft SharePoint

How To : SharePoint Cross-site Publishing and Free code for Web Part

Cross-site publishing is one of the powerful new capabilities in SharePoint 2013.  It enables the separation of data entry from display and breaks down the container barriers that have traditionally existed in SharePoint (ex: rolling up information across site collections). 

 cross-site-publishing

Cross-site publishing is delivered through search and a number of new features, including list/library catalogs, catalog connections, and the content search web part.  Unfortunately, SharePoint Online/Office 365 doesn’t currently support these features.  Until they are added to the service (possibly in a quarterly update), customers will be looking for alternatives to close the gap.  In this post, I will outline several alternatives for delivering cross-site and search-driven content in SharePoint Online and how to template these views for reuse

I’m a huge proponent of SharePoint Online.  After visiting several Microsoft data centers, I feel confident that Microsoft is better positioned to run SharePoint infrastructure than almost any organization in the world.  SharePoint Online has very close feature parity to SharePoint on-premise, with the primary gaps existing in cross-site publishing and advanced business intelligence.  Although these capabilities have acceptable alternatives in the cloud (as will be outlined in this post), organizations looking to maximize the cloud might consider SharePoint running in IaaS for immediate access to these features.

 

Apps for SharePoint

The new SharePoint app model is fully supported in SharePoint Online and can be used to deliver customizations to SharePoint using any web technology.  New SharePoint APIs can be used with the app model to deliver an experience similar to cross-site publishing.  In fact, the content search web part could be re-written for delivery through the app model as an “App Part” for SharePoint Online. 
Although the app model provides great flexibility and reuse, it does come with some drawbacks.  Because an app part is delivered through a glorified IFRAME, it would be challenging to navigate to a new page from within the app part.  A link within the app would only navigate within the IFRAME (not the parent of the IFRAME).  Secondly, there isn’t a great mechanism for templating a site to automatically leverage an app part on its page(s).  Apps do not work with site templates, so a site that contains an app cannot be saved as a template.  Apps can be “stapled” to sites, but the app installed event (which would be needed to add the app part to a page) only fires when the app is installed into the app catalog.

REST APIs and Script Editor

The script editor web part is a powerful new tool that can help deliver flexible customization into SharePoint Online.  The script editor web part allows a block of client-side script to be added to any wiki or web part page in a site.  Combined with the new SharePoint REST APIs, the script editor web part can deliver mash-ups very similar to cross-site publishing and the content search web part.  Unlike apps for SharePoint, the script editor isn’t constrained by IFRAME containers, app permissions, or templating limitations.  In fact, a well-configured script editor web part could be exported and re-imported into the web part gallery for reuse.

Cross-site publishing leverages “catalogs” for precise querying of specific content.  Any List/Library can be designated as a catalog.  By making this designation, SharePoint will automatically create managed properties for columns of the List/Library and ultimately generate a search result source in sites that consume the catalog.  Although SharePoint Online doesn’t support catalogs, it support the building blocks such as managed properties and result sources.  These can be manually configured to provide the same precise querying in SharePoint Online and exploited in the script editor web part for display.

Calling Search REST APIs
<div id=”divContentContainer”></div>
<script type=”text/javascript”>
    $(document).ready(function ($) {
        var basePath = “https://tenant.sharepoint.com/sites/somesite/_api/&#8221;;
        $.ajax({
            url: basePath + “search/query?Querytext=’ContentType:News'”,
            type: “GET”,
            headers: { “Accept”: “application/json;odata=verbose” },
            success: function (data) {
                //script to build UI HERE
            },
            error: function (data) {
                //output error HERE
            }
        });
    });
</script>

 

An easier approach might be to directly reference a list/library in the REST call of our client-side script.  This wouldn’t require manual search configuration and would provide real-time publishing (no waiting for new items to get indexed).  You could think of this approach similar to a content by query web part across site collections (possibly even farms) and the REST API makes it all possible!

List REST APIs
<div id=”divContentContainer”></div>
<script type=”text/javascript”>
    $(document).ready(function ($) {
        var basePath = “https://tenant.sharepoint.com/sites/somesite/_api/&#8221;;
        $.ajax({
            url: basePath + “web/lists/GetByTitle(‘News’)/items/?$select=Title&$filter=Feature eq 0”,
            type: “GET”,
            headers: { “Accept”: “application/json;odata=verbose” },
            success: function (data) {
                //script to build UI HERE
            },
            error: function (data) {
                //output error HERE
            }
        });
    });
</script>

 

The content search web part uses display templates to render search results in different arrangements (ex: list with images, image carousel, etc).  There are two types of display templates the content search web part leverages…the control template, which renders the container around the items, and the item template, which renders each individual item in the search results.  This is very similar to the way a Repeater control works in ASP.NET.  Display templates are authored using HTML, but are converted to client-side script automatically by SharePoint for rendering.  I mention this because our approach is very similar…we will leverage a container and then loop through and render items in script.  In fact, all the examples in this post were converted from display templates in a public site I’m working on. 

Item display template for content search web part
<!–#_
var encodedId = $htmlEncode(ctx.ClientControl.get_nextUniqueId() + “_ImageTitle_”);
var rem = index % 3;
var even = true;
if (rem == 1)
    even = false;

var pictureURL = $getItemValue(ctx, “Picture URL”);
var pictureId = encodedId + “picture”;
var pictureMarkup = Srch.ContentBySearch.getPictureMarkup(pictureURL, 140, 90, ctx.CurrentItem, “mtcImg140”, line1, pictureId);
var pictureLinkId = encodedId + “pictureLink”;
var pictureContainerId = encodedId + “pictureContainer”;
var dataContainerId = encodedId + “dataContainer”;
var dataContainerOverlayId = encodedId + “dataContainerOverlay”;
var line1LinkId = encodedId + “line1Link”;
var line1Id = encodedId + “line1”;
 _#–>
<div style=”width: 320px; float: left; display: table; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-top: 5px;”>
   <a href=”_#= linkURL =#_”>
      <div style=”float: left; width: 140px; padding-right: 10px;”>
         <img src=”_#= pictureURL =#_” class=”mtcImg140″ style=”width: 140px;” />
      </div>
      <div style=”float: left; width: 170px”>
         <div class=”mtcProfileHeader mtcProfileHeaderP”>_#= line1 =#_</div>
      </div>
   </a>
</div>

 

Script equivalent
<div id=”divUnfeaturedNews”></div>
<script type=”text/javascript”>
    $(document).ready(function ($) {
        var basePath = “https://richdizzcom.sharepoint.com/sites/dallasmtcauth/_api/&#8221;;
        $.ajax({
            url: basePath + “web/lists/GetByTitle(‘News’)/items/?$select=Title&$filter=Feature eq 0”,
            type: “GET”,
            headers: { “Accept”: “application/json;odata=verbose” },
            success: function (data) {
                //get the details for each item
                var listData = data.d.results;
                var itemCount = listData.length;
                var processedCount = 0;
                var ul = $(“<ul style=’list-style-type: none; padding-left: 0px;’ class=’cbs-List’>”);
                for (i = 0; i < listData.length; i++) {
                    $.ajax({
                        url: listData[i].__metadata[“uri”] + “/FieldValuesAsHtml”,
                        type: “GET”,
                        headers: { “Accept”: “application/json;odata=verbose” },
                        success: function (data) {
                            processedCount++;
                            var htmlStr = “<li style=’display: inline;’><div style=’width: 320px; float: left; display: table; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-top: 5px;’>”;
                            htmlStr += “<a href=’#’>”;
                            htmlStr += “<div style=’float: left; width: 140px; padding-right: 10px;’>”;
                            htmlStr += setImageWidth(data.d.PublishingRollupImage, ‘140’);
                            htmlStr += “</div>”;
                            htmlStr += “<div style=’float: left; width: 170px’>”;
                            htmlStr += “<div class=’mtcProfileHeader mtcProfileHeaderP’>” + data.d.Title + “</div>”;
                            htmlStr += “</div></a></div></li>”;
                            ul.append($(htmlStr))
                            if (processedCount == itemCount) {
                                $(“#divUnfeaturedNews”).append(ul);
                            }
                        },
                        error: function (data) {
                            alert(data.statusText);
                        }
                    });
                }
            },
            error: function (data) {
                alert(data.statusText);
            }
        });
    });

    function setImageWidth(imgString, width) {
        var img = $(imgString);
        img.css(‘width’, width);
        return img[0].outerHTML;
    }
</script>

 

Even one of the more complex carousel views from my site took less than 30min to convert to the script editor approach.

Advanced carousel script
<div id=”divFeaturedNews”>
    <div class=”mtc-Slideshow” id=”divSlideShow” style=”width: 610px;”>
        <div style=”width: 100%; float: left;”>
            <div id=”divSlideShowSection”>
                <div style=”width: 100%;”>
                    <div class=”mtc-SlideshowItems” id=”divSlideShowSectionContainer” style=”width: 610px; height: 275px; float: left; border-style: none; overflow: hidden; position: relative;”>
                        <div id=”divFeaturedNewsItemContainer”>
                        </div>
                    </div>
                </div>
            </div>
        </div>
    </div>
</div>
<script type=”text/javascript”>
    $(document).ready(function ($) {
        var basePath = “https://richdizzcom.sharepoint.com/sites/dallasmtcauth/_api/&#8221;;
        $.ajax({
            url: basePath + “web/lists/GetByTitle(‘News’)/items/?$select=Title&$filter=Feature eq 1&$top=4”,
            type: “GET”,
            headers: { “Accept”: “application/json;odata=verbose” },
            success: function (data) {
                var listData = data.d.results;
                for (i = 0; i < listData.length; i++) {
                    getItemDetails(listData, i, listData.length);
                }
            },
            error: function (data) {
                alert(data.statusText);
            }
        });
    });
    var processCount = 0;
    function getItemDetails(listData, i, count) {
        $.ajax({
            url: listData[i].__metadata[“uri”] + “/FieldValuesAsHtml”,
            type: “GET”,
            headers: { “Accept”: “application/json;odata=verbose” },
            success: function (data) {
                processCount++;
                var itemHtml = “<div class=’mtcItems’ id=’divPic_” + i + “‘ style=’width: 610px; height: 275px; float: left; position: absolute; border-bottom: 1px dotted #ababab; z-index: 1; left: 0px;’>”
                itemHtml += “<div id=’container_” + i + “‘ style=’width: 610px; height: 275px; float: left;’>”;
                itemHtml += “<a href=’#’ title='” + data.d.Caption_x005f_x0020_x005f_Title + “‘ style=’width: 610px; height: 275px;’>”;
                itemHtml += data.d.Feature_x005f_x0020_x005f_Image;
                itemHtml += “</a></div></div>”;
                itemHtml += “<div class=’titleContainerClass’ id=’divTitle_” + i + “‘ data-originalidx='” + i + “‘ data-currentidx='” + i + “‘ style=’height: 25px; z-index: 2; position: absolute; background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.8); cursor: pointer; padding-right: 10px; margin: 0px; padding-left: 10px; margin-top: 4px; color: #000; font-size: 18px;’ onclick=’changeSlide(this);’>”;
                itemHtml += data.d.Caption_x005f_x0020_x005f_Title;
                itemHtml += “<span id=’currentSpan_” + i + “‘ style=’display: none; font-size: 16px;’>” + data.d.Caption_x005f_x0020_x005f_Body + “</span></div>”;
                $(‘#divFeaturedNewsItemContainer’).append(itemHtml);

                if (processCount == count) {
                    allItemsLoaded();
                }
            },
            error: function (data) {
                alert(data.statusText);
            }
        });
    }
    window.mtc_init = function (controlDiv) {
        var slideItems = controlDiv.children;
        for (var i = 0; i < slideItems.length; i++) {
            if (i > 0) {
                slideItems[i].style.left = ‘610px’;
            }
        };
    };

    function allItemsLoaded() {
        var slideshows = document.querySelectorAll(“.mtc-SlideshowItems”);
        for (var i = 0; i < slideshows.length; i++) {
            mtc_init(slideshows[i].children[0]);
        }

        var div = $(‘#divTitle_0’);
        cssTitle(div, true);
        var top = 160;
        for (i = 1; i < 4; i++) {
            var divx = $(‘#divTitle_’ + i);
            cssTitle(divx, false);
            divx.css(‘top’, top);
            top += 35;
        }
    }

 

bottlenecks[1]

 

    function cssTitle(div, selected) {
        if (selected) {
            div.css(‘height’, ‘auto’);
            div.css(‘width’, ‘300px’);
            div.css(‘top’, ’10px’);
            div.css(‘left’, ‘0px’);
            div.css(‘font-size’, ’26px’);
            div.css(‘padding-top’, ‘5px’);
            div.css(‘padding-bottom’, ‘5px’);
            div.find(‘span’).css(‘display’, ‘block’);
        }
        else {
            div.css(‘height’, ’25px’);
            div.css(‘width’, ‘auto’);
            div.css(‘left’, ‘0px’);
            div.css(‘font-size’, ’18px’);
            div.css(‘padding-top’, ‘0px’);
            div.css(‘padding-bottom’, ‘0px’);
            div.find(‘span’).css(‘display’, ‘none’);
        }
    }

    window.changeSlide = function (item) {
        //get all title containers
        var listItems = document.querySelectorAll(‘.titleContainerClass’);
        var currentIndexVals = { 0: null, 1: null, 2: null, 3: null };
        var newIndexVals = { 0: null, 1: null, 2: null, 3: null };

        for (var i = 0; i < listItems.length; i++) {
            //current Index
            currentIndexVals[i] = parseInt(listItems[i].getAttribute(‘data-currentidx’));
        }

        var selectedIndex = 0; //selected Index will always be 0
        var leftOffset = ”;
        var originalSelectedIndex = ”;

        var nextSelected = ”;
        var originalNextIndex = ”;

        if (item == null) {
            var item0 = document.querySelector(‘[data-currentidx=”‘ + currentIndexVals[0] + ‘”]’);
            originalSelectedIndex = parseInt(item0.getAttribute(‘data-originalidx’));
            originalNextIndex = originalSelectedIndex + 1;
            nextSelected = currentIndexVals[0] + 1;
        }
        else {
            nextSelected = item.getAttribute(‘data-currentidx’);
            originalNextIndex = item.getAttribute(‘data-originalidx’);
        }

        if (nextSelected == 0) { return; }

        for (i = 0; i < listItems.length; i++) {
            if (currentIndexVals[i] == selectedIndex) {
                //this is the selected item, so move to bottom and animate
                var div = $(‘[data-currentidx=”0″]’);
                cssTitle(div, false);
                div.css(‘left’, ‘-400px’);
                div.css(‘top’, ‘230px’);

                newIndexVals[i] = 3;
                var item0 = document.querySelector(‘[data-currentidx=”0″]’);
                originalSelectedIndex = item0.getAttribute(‘data-originalidx’);

                //annimate
                div.delay(500).animate(
                    { left: ‘0px’ }, 500, function () {
                    });
            }
            else if (currentIndexVals[i] == nextSelected) {
                //this is the NEW selected item, so resize and slide in as selected
                var div = $(‘[data-currentidx=”‘ + nextSelected + ‘”]’);
                cssTitle(div, true);
                div.css(‘left’, ‘-610px’);

                newIndexVals[i] = 0;

                //annimate
                div.delay(500).animate(
                    { left: ‘0px’ }, 500, function () {
                    });
            }
            else {
                //move up in queue
                var curIdx = currentIndexVals[i];
                var div = $(‘[data-currentidx=”‘ + curIdx + ‘”]’);

                var topStr = div.css(‘top’);
                var topInt = parseInt(topStr.substring(0, topStr.length – 1));

                if (curIdx != 1 && nextSelected == 1 || curIdx > nextSelected) {
                    topInt = topInt – 35;
                    if (curIdx – 1 == 2) { newIndexVals[i] = 2 };
                    if (curIdx – 1 == 1) { newIndexVals[i] = 1 };
                }

                //move up
                div.animate(
                    { top: topInt }, 500, function () {
                    });
            }
        };

        if (originalNextIndex < 0)
            originalNextIndex = itemCount – 1;

        //adjust pictures
        $(‘#divPic_’ + originalNextIndex).css(‘left’, ‘610px’);
        leftOffset = ‘-610px’;

        $(‘#divPic_’ + originalSelectedIndex).animate(
            { left: leftOffset }, 500, function () {
            });

        $(‘#divPic_’ + originalNextIndex).animate(
            { left: ‘0px’ }, 500, function () {
            });

        var item0 = document.querySelector(‘[data-currentidx=”‘ + currentIndexVals[0] + ‘”]’);
        var item1 = document.querySelector(‘[data-currentidx=”‘ + currentIndexVals[1] + ‘”]’);
        var item2 = document.querySelector(‘[data-currentidx=”‘ + currentIndexVals[2] + ‘”]’);
        var item3 = document.querySelector(‘[data-currentidx=”‘ + currentIndexVals[3] + ‘”]’);
        if (newIndexVals[0] != null) { item0.setAttribute(‘data-currentidx’, newIndexVals[0]) };
        if (newIndexVals[1] != null) { item1.setAttribute(‘data-currentidx’, newIndexVals[1]) };
        if (newIndexVals[2] != null) { item2.setAttribute(‘data-currentidx’, newIndexVals[2]) };
        if (newIndexVals[3] != null) { item3.setAttribute(‘data-currentidx’, newIndexVals[3]) };
    };
</script>

 

End-result of script editors in SharePoint Online

Separate authoring site collection

Final Thoughts

Free Code to Create Cross-site Publishing Apps for SharePoint Online

Cross-site publishing is one of the powerful new capabilities in SharePoint 2013.  It enables the separation of data entry from display and breaks down the container barriers that have traditionally existed in SharePoint (ex: rolling up information across site collections). 

 IC648720[1]

Cross-site publishing is delivered through search and a number of new features, including list/library catalogs, catalog connections, and the content search web part.  Unfortunately, SharePoint Online/Office 365 doesn’t currently support these features.  Until they are added to the service (possibly in a quarterly update), customers will be looking for alternatives to close the gap.  In this post, I will outline several alternatives for delivering cross-site and search-driven content in SharePoint Online and how to template these views for reuse

I’m a huge proponent of SharePoint Online.  After visiting several Microsoft data centers, I feel confident that Microsoft is better positioned to run SharePoint infrastructure than almost any organization in the world.  SharePoint Online has very close feature parity to SharePoint on-premise, with the primary gaps existing in cross-site publishing and advanced business intelligence.  Although these capabilities have acceptable alternatives in the cloud (as will be outlined in this post), organizations looking to maximize the cloud might consider SharePoint running in IaaS for immediate access to these features.

 

Apps for SharePoint

The new SharePoint app model is fully supported in SharePoint Online and can be used to deliver customizations to SharePoint using any web technology.  New SharePoint APIs can be used with the app model to deliver an experience similar to cross-site publishing.  In fact, the content search web part could be re-written for delivery through the app model as an “App Part” for SharePoint Online. 
Although the app model provides great flexibility and reuse, it does come with some drawbacks.  Because an app part is delivered through a glorified IFRAME, it would be challenging to navigate to a new page from within the app part.  A link within the app would only navigate within the IFRAME (not the parent of the IFRAME).  Secondly, there isn’t a great mechanism for templating a site to automatically leverage an app part on its page(s).  Apps do not work with site templates, so a site that contains an app cannot be saved as a template.  Apps can be “stapled” to sites, but the app installed event (which would be needed to add the app part to a page) only fires when the app is installed into the app catalog.

REST APIs and Script Editor

The script editor web part is a powerful new tool that can help deliver flexible customization into SharePoint Online.  The script editor web part allows a block of client-side script to be added to any wiki or web part page in a site.  Combined with the new SharePoint REST APIs, the script editor web part can deliver mash-ups very similar to cross-site publishing and the content search web part.  Unlike apps for SharePoint, the script editor isn’t constrained by IFRAME containers, app permissions, or templating limitations.  In fact, a well-configured script editor web part could be exported and re-imported into the web part gallery for reuse.

Cross-site publishing leverages “catalogs” for precise querying of specific content.  Any List/Library can be designated as a catalog.  By making this designation, SharePoint will automatically create managed properties for columns of the List/Library and ultimately generate a search result source in sites that consume the catalog.  Although SharePoint Online doesn’t support catalogs, it support the building blocks such as managed properties and result sources.  These can be manually configured to provide the same precise querying in SharePoint Online and exploited in the script editor web part for display.

Calling Search REST APIs
<div id=”divContentContainer”></div>
<script type=”text/javascript”>
    $(document).ready(function ($) {
        var basePath = “https://tenant.sharepoint.com/sites/somesite/_api/&#8221;;
        $.ajax({
            url: basePath + “search/query?Querytext=’ContentType:News'”,
            type: “GET”,
            headers: { “Accept”: “application/json;odata=verbose” },
            success: function (data) {
                //script to build UI HERE
            },
            error: function (data) {
                //output error HERE
            }
        });
    });
</script>

 

An easier approach might be to directly reference a list/library in the REST call of our client-side script.  This wouldn’t require manual search configuration and would provide real-time publishing (no waiting for new items to get indexed).  You could think of this approach similar to a content by query web part across site collections (possibly even farms) and the REST API makes it all possible!

List REST APIs
<div id=”divContentContainer”></div>
<script type=”text/javascript”>
    $(document).ready(function ($) {
        var basePath = “https://tenant.sharepoint.com/sites/somesite/_api/&#8221;;
        $.ajax({
            url: basePath + “web/lists/GetByTitle(‘News’)/items/?$select=Title&$filter=Feature eq 0”,
            type: “GET”,
            headers: { “Accept”: “application/json;odata=verbose” },
            success: function (data) {
                //script to build UI HERE
            },
            error: function (data) {
                //output error HERE
            }
        });
    });
</script>

 

The content search web part uses display templates to render search results in different arrangements (ex: list with images, image carousel, etc).  There are two types of display templates the content search web part leverages…the control template, which renders the container around the items, and the item template, which renders each individual item in the search results.  This is very similar to the way a Repeater control works in ASP.NET.  Display templates are authored using HTML, but are converted to client-side script automatically by SharePoint for rendering.  I mention this because our approach is very similar…we will leverage a container and then loop through and render items in script.  In fact, all the examples in this post were converted from display templates in a public site I’m working on. 

Item display template for content search web part
<!–#_
var encodedId = $htmlEncode(ctx.ClientControl.get_nextUniqueId() + “_ImageTitle_”);
var rem = index % 3;
var even = true;
if (rem == 1)
    even = false;

var pictureURL = $getItemValue(ctx, “Picture URL”);
var pictureId = encodedId + “picture”;
var pictureMarkup = Srch.ContentBySearch.getPictureMarkup(pictureURL, 140, 90, ctx.CurrentItem, “mtcImg140”, line1, pictureId);
var pictureLinkId = encodedId + “pictureLink”;
var pictureContainerId = encodedId + “pictureContainer”;
var dataContainerId = encodedId + “dataContainer”;
var dataContainerOverlayId = encodedId + “dataContainerOverlay”;
var line1LinkId = encodedId + “line1Link”;
var line1Id = encodedId + “line1”;
 _#–>
<div style=”width: 320px; float: left; display: table; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-top: 5px;”>
   <a href=”_#= linkURL =#_”>
      <div style=”float: left; width: 140px; padding-right: 10px;”>
         <img src=”_#= pictureURL =#_” class=”mtcImg140″ style=”width: 140px;” />
      </div>
      <div style=”float: left; width: 170px”>
         <div class=”mtcProfileHeader mtcProfileHeaderP”>_#= line1 =#_</div>
      </div>
   </a>
</div>

 

Script equivalent
<div id=”divUnfeaturedNews”></div>
<script type=”text/javascript”>
    $(document).ready(function ($) {
        var basePath = “https://richdizzcom.sharepoint.com/sites/dallasmtcauth/_api/&#8221;;
        $.ajax({
            url: basePath + “web/lists/GetByTitle(‘News’)/items/?$select=Title&$filter=Feature eq 0”,
            type: “GET”,
            headers: { “Accept”: “application/json;odata=verbose” },
            success: function (data) {
                //get the details for each item
                var listData = data.d.results;
                var itemCount = listData.length;
                var processedCount = 0;
                var ul = $(“<ul style=’list-style-type: none; padding-left: 0px;’ class=’cbs-List’>”);
                for (i = 0; i < listData.length; i++) {
                    $.ajax({
                        url: listData[i].__metadata[“uri”] + “/FieldValuesAsHtml”,
                        type: “GET”,
                        headers: { “Accept”: “application/json;odata=verbose” },
                        success: function (data) {
                            processedCount++;
                            var htmlStr = “<li style=’display: inline;’><div style=’width: 320px; float: left; display: table; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-top: 5px;’>”;
                            htmlStr += “<a href=’#’>”;
                            htmlStr += “<div style=’float: left; width: 140px; padding-right: 10px;’>”;
                            htmlStr += setImageWidth(data.d.PublishingRollupImage, ‘140’);
                            htmlStr += “</div>”;
                            htmlStr += “<div style=’float: left; width: 170px’>”;
                            htmlStr += “<div class=’mtcProfileHeader mtcProfileHeaderP’>” + data.d.Title + “</div>”;
                            htmlStr += “</div></a></div></li>”;
                            ul.append($(htmlStr))
                            if (processedCount == itemCount) {
                                $(“#divUnfeaturedNews”).append(ul);
                            }
                        },
                        error: function (data) {
                            alert(data.statusText);
                        }
                    });
                }
            },
            error: function (data) {
                alert(data.statusText);
            }
        });
    });

    function setImageWidth(imgString, width) {
        var img = $(imgString);
        img.css(‘width’, width);
        return img[0].outerHTML;
    }
</script>

 

Even one of the more complex carousel views from my site took less than 30min to convert to the script editor approach.

Advanced carousel script
<div id=”divFeaturedNews”>
    <div class=”mtc-Slideshow” id=”divSlideShow” style=”width: 610px;”>
        <div style=”width: 100%; float: left;”>
            <div id=”divSlideShowSection”>
                <div style=”width: 100%;”>
                    <div class=”mtc-SlideshowItems” id=”divSlideShowSectionContainer” style=”width: 610px; height: 275px; float: left; border-style: none; overflow: hidden; position: relative;”>
                        <div id=”divFeaturedNewsItemContainer”>
                        </div>
                    </div>
                </div>
            </div>
        </div>
    </div>
</div>
<script type=”text/javascript”>
    $(document).ready(function ($) {
        var basePath = “https://richdizzcom.sharepoint.com/sites/dallasmtcauth/_api/&#8221;;
        $.ajax({
            url: basePath + “web/lists/GetByTitle(‘News’)/items/?$select=Title&$filter=Feature eq 1&$top=4”,
            type: “GET”,
            headers: { “Accept”: “application/json;odata=verbose” },
            success: function (data) {
                var listData = data.d.results;
                for (i = 0; i < listData.length; i++) {
                    getItemDetails(listData, i, listData.length);
                }
            },
            error: function (data) {
                alert(data.statusText);
            }
        });
    });
    var processCount = 0;
    function getItemDetails(listData, i, count) {
        $.ajax({
            url: listData[i].__metadata[“uri”] + “/FieldValuesAsHtml”,
            type: “GET”,
            headers: { “Accept”: “application/json;odata=verbose” },
            success: function (data) {
                processCount++;
                var itemHtml = “<div class=’mtcItems’ id=’divPic_” + i + “‘ style=’width: 610px; height: 275px; float: left; position: absolute; border-bottom: 1px dotted #ababab; z-index: 1; left: 0px;’>”
                itemHtml += “<div id=’container_” + i + “‘ style=’width: 610px; height: 275px; float: left;’>”;
                itemHtml += “<a href=’#’ title='” + data.d.Caption_x005f_x0020_x005f_Title + “‘ style=’width: 610px; height: 275px;’>”;
                itemHtml += data.d.Feature_x005f_x0020_x005f_Image;
                itemHtml += “</a></div></div>”;
                itemHtml += “<div class=’titleContainerClass’ id=’divTitle_” + i + “‘ data-originalidx='” + i + “‘ data-currentidx='” + i + “‘ style=’height: 25px; z-index: 2; position: absolute; background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.8); cursor: pointer; padding-right: 10px; margin: 0px; padding-left: 10px; margin-top: 4px; color: #000; font-size: 18px;’ onclick=’changeSlide(this);’>”;
                itemHtml += data.d.Caption_x005f_x0020_x005f_Title;
                itemHtml += “<span id=’currentSpan_” + i + “‘ style=’display: none; font-size: 16px;’>” + data.d.Caption_x005f_x0020_x005f_Body + “</span></div>”;
                $(‘#divFeaturedNewsItemContainer’).append(itemHtml);

                if (processCount == count) {
                    allItemsLoaded();
                }
            },
            error: function (data) {
                alert(data.statusText);
            }
        });
    }
    window.mtc_init = function (controlDiv) {
        var slideItems = controlDiv.children;
        for (var i = 0; i < slideItems.length; i++) {
            if (i > 0) {
                slideItems[i].style.left = ‘610px’;
            }
        };
    };

    function allItemsLoaded() {
        var slideshows = document.querySelectorAll(“.mtc-SlideshowItems”);
        for (var i = 0; i < slideshows.length; i++) {
            mtc_init(slideshows[i].children[0]);
        }

        var div = $(‘#divTitle_0’);
        cssTitle(div, true);
        var top = 160;
        for (i = 1; i < 4; i++) {
            var divx = $(‘#divTitle_’ + i);
            cssTitle(divx, false);
            divx.css(‘top’, top);
            top += 35;
        }
    }

    function cssTitle(div, selected) {
        if (selected) {
            div.css(‘height’, ‘auto’);
            div.css(‘width’, ‘300px’);
            div.css(‘top’, ’10px’);
            div.css(‘left’, ‘0px’);
            div.css(‘font-size’, ’26px’);
            div.css(‘padding-top’, ‘5px’);
            div.css(‘padding-bottom’, ‘5px’);
            div.find(‘span’).css(‘display’, ‘block’);
        }
        else {
            div.css(‘height’, ’25px’);
            div.css(‘width’, ‘auto’);
            div.css(‘left’, ‘0px’);
            div.css(‘font-size’, ’18px’);
            div.css(‘padding-top’, ‘0px’);
            div.css(‘padding-bottom’, ‘0px’);
            div.find(‘span’).css(‘display’, ‘none’);
        }
    }

    window.changeSlide = function (item) {
        //get all title containers
        var listItems = document.querySelectorAll(‘.titleContainerClass’);
        var currentIndexVals = { 0: null, 1: null, 2: null, 3: null };
        var newIndexVals = { 0: null, 1: null, 2: null, 3: null };

        for (var i = 0; i < listItems.length; i++) {
            //current Index
            currentIndexVals[i] = parseInt(listItems[i].getAttribute(‘data-currentidx’));
        }

        var selectedIndex = 0; //selected Index will always be 0
        var leftOffset = ”;
        var originalSelectedIndex = ”;

        var nextSelected = ”;
        var originalNextIndex = ”;

        if (item == null) {
            var item0 = document.querySelector(‘[data-currentidx=”‘ + currentIndexVals[0] + ‘”]’);
            originalSelectedIndex = parseInt(item0.getAttribute(‘data-originalidx’));
            originalNextIndex = originalSelectedIndex + 1;
            nextSelected = currentIndexVals[0] + 1;
        }
        else {
            nextSelected = item.getAttribute(‘data-currentidx’);
            originalNextIndex = item.getAttribute(‘data-originalidx’);
        }

        if (nextSelected == 0) { return; }

        for (i = 0; i < listItems.length; i++) {
            if (currentIndexVals[i] == selectedIndex) {
                //this is the selected item, so move to bottom and animate
                var div = $(‘[data-currentidx=”0″]’);
                cssTitle(div, false);
                div.css(‘left’, ‘-400px’);
                div.css(‘top’, ‘230px’);

                newIndexVals[i] = 3;
                var item0 = document.querySelector(‘[data-currentidx=”0″]’);
                originalSelectedIndex = item0.getAttribute(‘data-originalidx’);

                //annimate
                div.delay(500).animate(
                    { left: ‘0px’ }, 500, function () {
                    });
            }
            else if (currentIndexVals[i] == nextSelected) {
                //this is the NEW selected item, so resize and slide in as selected
                var div = $(‘[data-currentidx=”‘ + nextSelected + ‘”]’);
                cssTitle(div, true);
                div.css(‘left’, ‘-610px’);

                newIndexVals[i] = 0;

                //annimate
                div.delay(500).animate(
                    { left: ‘0px’ }, 500, function () {
                    });
            }
            else {
                //move up in queue
                var curIdx = currentIndexVals[i];
                var div = $(‘[data-currentidx=”‘ + curIdx + ‘”]’);

                var topStr = div.css(‘top’);
                var topInt = parseInt(topStr.substring(0, topStr.length – 1));

                if (curIdx != 1 && nextSelected == 1 || curIdx > nextSelected) {
                    topInt = topInt – 35;
                    if (curIdx – 1 == 2) { newIndexVals[i] = 2 };
                    if (curIdx – 1 == 1) { newIndexVals[i] = 1 };
                }

                //move up
                div.animate(
                    { top: topInt }, 500, function () {
                    });
            }
        };

        if (originalNextIndex < 0)
            originalNextIndex = itemCount – 1;

        //adjust pictures
        $(‘#divPic_’ + originalNextIndex).css(‘left’, ‘610px’);
        leftOffset = ‘-610px’;

        $(‘#divPic_’ + originalSelectedIndex).animate(
            { left: leftOffset }, 500, function () {
            });

        $(‘#divPic_’ + originalNextIndex).animate(
            { left: ‘0px’ }, 500, function () {
            });

        var item0 = document.querySelector(‘[data-currentidx=”‘ + currentIndexVals[0] + ‘”]’);
        var item1 = document.querySelector(‘[data-currentidx=”‘ + currentIndexVals[1] + ‘”]’);
        var item2 = document.querySelector(‘[data-currentidx=”‘ + currentIndexVals[2] + ‘”]’);
        var item3 = document.querySelector(‘[data-currentidx=”‘ + currentIndexVals[3] + ‘”]’);
        if (newIndexVals[0] != null) { item0.setAttribute(‘data-currentidx’, newIndexVals[0]) };
        if (newIndexVals[1] != null) { item1.setAttribute(‘data-currentidx’, newIndexVals[1]) };
        if (newIndexVals[2] != null) { item2.setAttribute(‘data-currentidx’, newIndexVals[2]) };
        if (newIndexVals[3] != null) { item3.setAttribute(‘data-currentidx’, newIndexVals[3]) };
    };
</script>

 

End-result of script editors in SharePoint Online

Separate authoring site collection

Final Thoughts

A Look At : The New Search Functionality in SharePoint Online and how Developers can make use of it

SharePointOnline2L-1[2]hero-for-hire_basic-layout_600http://en.gravatar.com/sharepointsamurai/
 

Search functionality in SharePoint 2013 includes several enhancements, custom content processing and a new framework for presenting search result types. SharePoint Server 2013 presents a new search architecture that includes substantial changes and additions to the search components and databases.

Also, there have been significant enhancements made to the Keyword Query Language (KQL).

Some of the features and functionalities have been depreciated from the previous version of SharePoint 2013. There has been a more search user interface improvement which brings the user more interactive with search results. For example, users can rest the pointer over a search result to see the content preview in the hover panel to the right of the result.

Now you can see Office 365 SharePoint 2013 and its admin features of Search Service Application. It’s a breakthrough advancing; nearly all the new features listed here are missed in Office 365 – SharePoint 2010. The following screen capture shows the SharePoint central administrator view for the Search section.

Manage all aspects of the Search experience for your end users improving the relevancy of your results per your content and metadata.

Search helps users quickly return to important sites and documents by remembering what they have previously searched and clicked. The results of previously searched and clicked items are displayed as query suggestions at the top of the results page.

In addition to the default manner in which search results are differentiated, site collection administrators and site owners can create and use result types to customize how results are displayed for important documents. A result type is a rule that identifies a type of result and a way to display it.

 

Manage Search Schema

Managed properties are used to restrict search results, and present the content of the properties in search results. Crawled properties are automatically extracted from crawled content. All the changes to properties will take effect only after the next full crawl.

Under the search schema section, administrator can:

  • View, create, or modify Managed Properties and map crawled properties to managed properties
  • View or modify Crawled Properties, or to view crawled properties in a particular category
  • View or modify Categories, or view crawled properties in a particular category.

While creating a new managed property, the ‘Mappings to crawled properties’ is one of the key attributes for the configuration set in our new property.

 

 

Manage Search Dictionaries

  Taxonomy Term Store  
People Search Dictionaries System
Department Company Exclusions Hashtags
Job Title Company Inclusions Keywords
Location Query Spelling Exclusions Orphaned terms
  Query Spelling Includings  

 

Manage Authoritative Pages

Search in SharePoint 2013 will analyze the collection of authoritative and non-authoritative pages to determine the ranking of search results. The authoritative sites are of two kinds:

  • Authoritative Site Pages
  • Non-authoritative Site Pages

Authoritative site pages are the links, which administrator authorized to be the most relevant information. There can be multiple authoritative pages in each environment. There is an option for specifying second and third-level authorities for search ranking. Non-authoritative site pages are the content from certain sites can be ranked lower than the rest of the content in the site.

 

Query Suggestion Settings

SharePoint Search comprises various features that you can leverage for building productivity solutions. One of the interesting and useful competencies are Query Suggestions. The query suggestions are administrated by two options as follows:

  • Always Suggest Phrases
  • Never Suggest Phrases

Manage Result Sources

Result Sources are used to frame the search results and confederate queries to external sources, such as internet search engines, etc. Once the result source are defined, we can configure search web parts and query rule actions to use the result source.

How the Result Source is managed? A SharePoint Online administrator of SharePoint Online Tenant can manage result sources for all site collections and sites reside under the same tenant. A site collection administrator or a site owner can manage result sources for a site collection or a site, respectively.

SharePoint 2013 provides 16 pre-defined result sources. The pre-configured default result source is Local SharePoint Results. We can state a different result source as the default as per our requirement

.

While creating a new Result Source, there is Protocol and Query transform are the two important parameters which tells the Result Source what to do in the SharePoint.

Protocol – Local SharePoint for results from the index of this Search Service. OpenSearch 1.0/1.1 for results from a search engine that uses that protocol. Exchange for results from an exchange source. Remote SharePoint for results from the index of a search service hosted in another farm.

Query Transform – Change incoming queries to use this new query text instead. Include the incoming query in the new text by using the query variable “{searchTerms}“.

Use this to scope results. For example, to only return OneNote items, set the new text to “{searchTerms} fileextension=one“. Then, an incoming query “sharepoint” becomes “sharepoint fileextension=one“. Launch the Query Builder for additional options.

 

Manage Query Rules

Query rules are to conditionally stimulate the search results and show hunks of supplementary results based on the rules created in the SharePoint. In a query rule, you can specify conditions and correlated actions without any help of code. The user with Site Collection, Site owner permission level can create and manage the query rules.

 

Manage Query Client Types

Query Client Types are one of the new search features in SharePoint 2013. Client Type identifies an application where a search query is sent from. Applications are prioritized by tiers. Top tier has the highest priority. When resource limit is reached, query throttling becomes ON, and search system will process the queries from top tier to bottom tier.

System Client Types are available out-of-the box, and cannot be deleted. We can add a new custom Client Type by clicking on New Client Type.

 

Remove Search Results

To remove data from the search results, type the URLs which needed to remove from it. All the URLs listed in the textbox will be removed from search results immediately, once after the Remove Now button is clicked.

View Usage Reports

Here the administrator will be able to see the usage reports and search related report, example Query Rules usage by day, Top Queries by Day, etc.

Search Center Settings

In this setting, the default search system will be mapped. Usually the Enterprise Search Center site that has been created for search entire SharePoint sites in the organization.

Export Search Configuration

Create a file that includes all customized query rules, result sources, result types, ranking models and site search settings but not any that shipped with SharePoint, in the current tenant that can be imported to other tenants.

Import Search Configuration

If you have a search configuration you’d like to import, browse for it below. Settings imported from the file will be created and activated as part of the site. You can modify any of the settings after import.

Crawl Log Permissions

Grant users read access to crawl log information for this tenant.

Search Client Object Model

SharePoint 2013 Search includes a client object model (CSOM) that enables access to most of the Query object model functionality for online, on-premises, and mobile development. You can use the Search CSOM to create client applications that run on a machine that does not have SharePoint 2013 installed to return SharePoint 2013 Preview search results.

The Search CSOM includes a Microsoft .NET Framework managed client object model and JavaScript object model, and it is built on SharePoint 2013. First, client code accesses the SharePoint CSOM. Then, client code accesses the Search CSOM.

NOTE: Custom search solutions in SharePoint Server 2013 do not support SQL syntax. Search in SharePoint 2013 supports FQL syntax and KQL syntax for custom search solutions.

We can configure crawled and managed properties. Configure Result Sources which were Federated Result / Scopes in SharePoint Search 2010.

 

Introduction to Business Connectivity Services (BCS)

BCS has the ability to connect and query the data sources and returns the results to the user through an external list, or app for SharePoint, or Office 2013. The Microsoft Office 2013 and SharePoint 2013 include Microsoft Business Connectivity Services (BCS).

The SharePoint 2013 and the Office 2013 suites include Microsoft Business Connectivity Services. With Business Connectivity Services, you can use SharePoint 2013 and Office 2013 clients as an interface into data that doesn’t live in SharePoint 2013 itself. It does this by making a connection to the data source, running a query, and returning the results.

Business Connectivity Services returns the results to the user through an external list, or app for SharePoint, or Office 2013 where you can perform different operations against them, such as Create, Read, Update, Delete, and Query (CRUDQ). Business Connectivity Services can access external data sources through Open Data (OData), Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) endpoints, web services, cloud-based services, and .NET assemblies, or through custom connectors.

Business Connectivity Services can access external data sources through Open Data (OData), Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) endpoints, web services, cloud-based services, and .NET assemblies, or through custom connectors. The Open Data Protocol is known as OData. It is an open web protocol for querying and updating data.

Business Connectivity Services uses SharePoint 2013 and Office 2013 as a client interface for data which doesn’t reside SharePoint 2013 environment.

The following screen capture is the BCS features and configuration options available under the SharePoint Administration Center in the Office 365.

A Look At : Application Management and Governance in SharePoint 2013

Summary:Learn how to govern applications for SharePoint 2013 by creating a customization policy and understanding the app model, branding, and life-cycle management.

8322.sharepoint_2D00_2010_5F00_4855E582[1]

How will you manage the applications that are developed for your environment? What customizations do you allow in your applications, and what are your processes for managing those applications?

 

For effective and manageable applications, your organization should consider the following:

  • Customization policy   SharePoint 2013 includes customizable features and capabilities that span multiple product areas, such as business intelligence, forms, workflow, and content management. Customization can introduce risks to the stability, maintenance, and security of the environment. To support customization while controlling its scope, you should develop a customization policy.
  • Life-cycle management   Follow best practices to manage applications and keep your environments in sync.
  • Branding   If you are designing an information architecture and a set of sites to use across an organization, consider including branding in your governance plan. A formal set of branding policies helps ensure that sites consistently use enterprise imagery, fonts, themes, and other design elements.
  • Solutions or apps for SharePoint?   Decide whether a solution or an app for SharePoint would be the best choice for specific customizations.

Get developer guidance about customizing and branding SharePoint 2013 on MSDN: Build sites for SharePoint 2013.

Foundation icon This article is part of a set of articles about governance. The following articles describe other aspects of governance:

The What is governance? poster gives a summary of this content. Download the PDF version or Visio version, or Zoom into the model in full detail with Zoom.it from Microsoft.

Determine the types of customizations you want to allow and how to manage them. Your customization policy should include:

  • Service-level descriptions   What are the parameters for supporting and managing customizations in your environments? See Service-level agreements.
  • Guidelines for updating customizations   How do you manage changes to customizations, and how do you roll out those changes to your environments? Consider ways to manage source code, such as a source control system and standards for documenting the code.
  • Processes for analyzing   How do you understand whether a particular customization is working well in your environment, or how do you decide which ones to create, change, or retire?
  • Approved tools for customization   Consider development standards, such as coding best practices and the tools that you will to use across your organization. For example, you should decide whether to allow the use of SharePoint Designer 2013 and Design Manager, and specify which site elements can be customized and by whom.
  • Process for piloting and testing customizations   How do you test and deploy customizations? How many people should be in a pilot testing group? What are your standards for testing and validating customizations?
  • Who is responsible for ongoing support   Who will be responsible for supporting customizations in your environments—individual teams or a central group?
  • Guidelines for packaging and deploying customizations   Do you have individual packages for each, or do you include several in a feature or solution? Which customizations should be apps for SharePoint instead of solutions? How do you ensure that customizations in one environment do not affect the rest of your SharePoint implementation?
  • Specific policies regarding each potential type of customization   What types of customizations do you allow?

    For more information about kinds of customizations and their potential risks, see the Customizations table later in this article. For more information about processes for managing customizations, see the white paper SharePoint Products and Technologies customization policy. Most of this content still applies to SharePoint 2013.

  • Policies around using the App Catalog and SharePoint Store Which apps for SharePoint do you want to make available to your organization? Can users purchase apps directly? See Solutions or apps for SharePoint? later in this article for more information.

The highly customizable design of SharePoint products enables you to provide the look, behavior, or functionality that meets your business needs. Customizations can introduce risk to your environment, whether that risk is to the environment’s performance, availability, or supportability. Conversely, a “no customizations” policy severely restricts your organization’s ability to take advantage of the SharePoint platform.

All customizations are not the same. You must decide carefully which kinds of customizations to allow in your environment. You must ensure the customizations support the performance, availability, and supportability you want for your environment. Your governance policy should balance a level of acceptable risk against the business needs for your organization.

What is considered a customization? All of the following are considered kinds of customizations in SharePoint products:

  • Configuration   Using the SharePoint user interface to configure SharePoint products.
  • Branding   Changing logos, styles, colors, master pages and page layouts, and so on to create a custom look for your SharePoint sites. See more about branding.
  • Custom code   Using developer tools to add or change functionality in SharePoint products or to interact with other applications. Risk can vary depending on kind of functionality and level of trust (full trust solutions should be rarely used; consider apps for SharePoint first).
    TipTip:
    Sandboxed solutions are deprecated in this release, so they are not the best option for custom code in the long term

Some customizations have very little risk or impact on your environment. Others have the potential for much higher risk and impact. The following table provides examples of different kinds of customizations, the risk level associated with that kind of customization, and potential issues that you might face if you allow that kind of customization.

Customizations

Risk level Types of customizations and examples Considerations or impact
Unsupported/High Unsupported customizations such as direct changes to the database schema or modifying files on the file system.
  • Will not be supported through Microsoft Customer Support.
  • Will be unable to upgrade.

Do not use.

Moderate to high Creating applications that interact with or redirect actions in key pipelines, such as events, claims, and so on.
  • Potential for service outage or performance issues.
  • Might require rework at upgrade.
Moderate to low Using a custom Web Part outside a sandbox environment, creating custom actions such as adding a menu item, or creating a custom site provisioning process.
  • Short or long-term performance issues or page errors.
  • Might require rework at upgrade.
Low Using solutions in a sandbox environment. Short-term performance issues; you can avoid some performance issues by using resource throttling and quotas.
Very low to no risk Using apps for SharePoint or using functionality within the product or configurations, such as associating a workflow with a list or using an instance of a built in Web Part. Minor configuration or page errors that would have to be addressed. Apps can be uninstalled or updated.
NoteNote:
For more information about customizations and upgrade, see Considerations for specific customizations.

 

 

Also, when you think through the customizations to allow in your environment, consider carefully whether a particular customization is necessary. If it recreates functionality that is already available in the product (such as creating a Web Part that does the same thing as the Content Editor Web Part or the Content by Query Web Part), then that might be unnecessary work.

Consider first whether the standard functionality can do what you want, or check the SharePoint Store to see if there is an app for SharePoint available that does what you need.

Follow these best practices to manage applications based on SharePoint 2013 throughout their life cycle:

  • Use separate development, preproduction, and production environments, and keep these environments as synchronized as possible so that you can accurately test your customizations.
  • Test all customizations before releasing the first time and after any updates have been made before you release them to your production environment.
  • Use source code control and solution and feature versioning to track changes to code.

Development, test, and production environments

Consistent branding with a corporate style guide makes for more cohesive-looking sites and easier development. Store approved themes in the theme gallery for consistency so that users will know when they visit the site that they are in the right place.

SharePoint 2013 includes a new feature to use for branding, Design Manager. By using Design Manager, you can create a visual design for your website with whatever web design tool or HTML editor you prefer and then upload that design into SharePoint. Design Manager is the central hub and interface where you manage all aspects of a custom design.

Creating the visual design of a site often fits into a larger process, in which multiple people or organizations are involved. For a roadmap of the tasks from a larger perspective, see Design and branding in SharePoint 2013.

SharePoint 2013 has a new development model based on apps for SharePoint. Apps for SharePoint are self-contained pieces of functionality that extend the capabilities of a SharePoint website. An app may include SharePoint features such as lists, workflows, and site pages, but it can also use a remote web application and remote data in SharePoint. An app has few or no dependencies on any other software on the device or platform where it is installed, other than what is built into the platform. Apps have no custom code that runs on the SharePoint servers.

The guidance for whether to use apps for SharePoint or SharePoint solutions is to:

  • Design apps for end users

    Apps for SharePoint:

    • Are easy for users (tenant administrators and site owners) to discover and install.
    • Use safe SharePoint extensions.
    • Provide the flexibility to develop future upgrades.
    • Can integrate with cloud-based resources.
    • Are available for both SharePoint Online and on-premises SharePoint sites.
  • Use farm solutions for administrators

    SharePoint solutions:

    • Can access the server-side object-model APIs that are needed to extend SharePoint management, configuration, and security
    • Can extend Central Administration, Windows PowerShell cmdlets, timer jobs, custom backups, and so on.
    • Are installed by administrators.
    • Can have farm, web application, or site-collection scope.

Go to MSDN to get more information about the new development model, Apps for SharePoint compared with SharePoint solutions, and Deciding between apps for SharePoint and SharePoint solutions.

Set a policy for using apps for SharePoint in your organization. Can users purchase and download apps? How do you make your organization’s apps available? How do you tell if they’re being used?

  • SharePoint Store   Determine whether users can purchase or download apps from the SharePoint Store.
  • App Catalog   Make specific apps for SharePoint available to your users by adding them to the App Catalog.
  • App requests   Configure app requests to control which apps are purchased and how many licenses are available.
  • Monitor apps   Monitor specific apps in SharePoint Server 2013 to check for errors and to track usage.

In the market

How To : Use the CSOM to Update SharePoint Web Part Properties

List in SharePoint9

I wanted to share two methods I developed for retrieving and updating web part properties from JavaScript using CSOM in SharePoint 2013 (I haven’t seen a reference for getting a page’s web part manager through REST).

The web part ID should be available through the “webpartid” attribute included in the page markup.

The methods use the jQuery deferred object, but that could easily be replaced with anything else to handle the asynchronous events. Using this I’m hoping to create configurable client side web parts which is a problem I’ve recently had to tackle.

View on GitHub

app.js

  1. //pass in the web part ID as a string (guid)
  2. function getWebPartProperties(wpId) {
  3. var dfd = $.Deferred();
  4.  
  5. //get the client context
  6. var clientContext =
  7. new SP.ClientContext(_spPageContextInfo.webServerRelativeUrl);
  8. //get the current page as a file
  9. var oFile = clientContext.get_web()
  10. .getFileByServerRelativeUrl(_spPageContextInfo.serverRequestPath);
  11. //get the limited web part manager for the page
  12. var limitedWebPartManager =
  13. oFile.getLimitedWebPartManager(SP.WebParts.PersonalizationScope.shared);
  14. //get the web parts on the current page
  15. var collWebPart = limitedWebPartManager.get_webParts();
  16.  
  17. //request the web part collection and load it from the server
  18. clientContext.load(collWebPart);
  19. clientContext.executeQueryAsync(Function.createDelegate(this, function () {
  20. var webPartDef = null;
  21. //find the web part on the page by comparing ID’s
  22. for (var x = 0; x < collWebPart.get_count() && !webPartDef; x++) {
  23. var temp = collWebPart.get_item(x);
  24. if (temp.get_id().toString() === wpId) {
  25. webPartDef = temp;
  26. }
  27. }
  28. //if the web part was not found
  29. if (!webPartDef) {
  30. dfd.reject(“Web Part: “ + wpId + ” not found on page: “
  31. + _spPageContextInfo.webServerRelativeUrl);
  32. return;
  33. }
  34.  
  35. //get the web part properties and load them from the server
  36. var webPartProperties = webPartDef.get_webPart().get_properties();
  37. clientContext.load(webPartProperties);
  38. clientContext.executeQueryAsync(Function.createDelegate(this, function () {
  39. dfd.resolve(webPartProperties, webPartDef, clientContext);
  40. }), Function.createDelegate(this, function () {
  41. dfd.reject(“Failed to load web part properties”);
  42. }));
  43. }), Function.createDelegate(this, function () {
  44. dfd.reject(“Failed to load web part collection”);
  45. }));
  46.  
  47. return dfd.promise();
  48. }
  49.  
  50. //pass in the web part ID and a JSON object with the properties to update
  51. function saveWebPartProperties(wpId, obj) {
  52. var dfd = $.Deferred();
  53.  
  54. getWebPartProperties(wpId).done(
  55. function (webPartProperties, webPartDef, clientContext) {
  56. //set web part properties
  57. for (var key in obj) {
  58. webPartProperties.set_item(key, obj[key]);
  59. }
  60. //save web part changes
  61. webPartDef.saveWebPartChanges();
  62. //execute update on the server
  63. clientContext.executeQueryAsync(Function.createDelegate(this, function () {
  64. dfd.resolve();
  65. }), Function.createDelegate(this, function () {
  66. dfd.reject(“Failed to save web part properties”);
  67. }));
  68. }).fail(function (err) { dfd.reject(err); });
  69.  
  70. return dfd.promise();
  71. }

Microsoft Site Templates Upgraded and are now available

 

One of the main goals of the application templates is to provide a demonstration of the application building power in SharePoint and as a potential starting point for larger, more robust applications. While these templates are fully functional and usable out-of-the-box, I’ll be happy to reply on your comments and supporting you as needed.

 

note: those templates were collected from several resources and no source code for them.

All templates are compatible with SharePoint Server 2010 and Foundation Server 2010.

Case Management

The Case Management application template helps case managers track the status and tasks required to complete their work. When a case is created, standard tasks and documents are created which are modified based on the work each case manager has completed.

Clinical Trial Initiation and Management

For those who work in Academic Medical Centers, the Clinical Trial Initiation and Management application template helps teams manage the process of tracking clinical trial protocols, objective setting, subject selection and budget activities.

Employee Activities Site
employee activities
The Employee Activities Site application template helps departments, such as HR and Marketing, manage the creation and attendance of events for employees.

Employee Training Scheduling and Materials

The Employee Training Scheduling and Materials application template helps Instructors add new courses and organize course materials. Employees use the site to schedule attendance at a course, track courses they’ve attended and to provide feedback.

Employee Training 01

Employee Training

Employee Training 03

Absence Request and Vacation Schedule Management

The Absence Request and Vacation Schedule Management application template helps provider departments manage requests for out of office days and provides dashboards showing which users are signed up for a set of responsibilities

Event Planning

The Event Planning application template helps teams organize events efficiently through the use online registration, schedules, communication and feedback.

Discussion Database

The Discussion Database application template provides a location where team members can create and reply to discussion topics.

Team Work Site

The Team Work Site application template provides a place where clinical and business teams, can upload background documents, track scheduled calendar events and submit action items that result from team meetings.

Document Library and Review

The Document Library and Review application template helps people to manage the review cycle common to processes like publication, knowledge management and project plan development.

Knowledgebase

The Knowledgebase application template helps teams manage the information that is resident within their organization. The template enables team members to upload/create documents using Web-based tools and tag them with relevant identifying information.

Policies and Procedures Solution Accelerator

The Policies and Procedures Solution Accelerator assists healthcare organizations create, maintain, publish and easily access policy and procedure information. It also provides the ability to upload documents, maintain a version history and manage tasks.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors application template provides a single location for an external group of members to store and locate common documents such as quarterly reviews, shareholder meeting notes and annual strategy documents.

Business Performance Reporting

The Business Performance Reporting application template helps health organization managers track the satisfaction of internal customers/patients through a combination of surveys and discussions.

Request for Proposal

The Request for Proposal application template helps manage the process of creating and releasing an initial RFP, collecting submissions of proposals and formally accepting the selected proposal from amongst those submitted.

Compliance Process Support Site

The Compliance Process Support Site application template helps both teams and executive sponsors to manage compliance implementation endeavors, such as HIPAA.

Expense Reimbursement and Approval

The Expense Reimbursement and Approval application template helps manage elements of the expense approval process, including creation and approval. Users can monitor the status of their reimbursement request through a filtered view listing.

Scorecards Solution Accelerator

The Scorecards solution accelerator acts as a template for configuring a management dashboard to track organizational metrics. It contains four example dashboards ranging from a primary care practice to a healthcare organization’s CEO dashboard.

Call Center
call center
The Call Center application template helps departments manage the process of handling customer service requests. The application template helps teams manage service requests from issue identification to cause analysis and resolution.

Help Desk
help desk
The Help Desk application template helps departments manage the process of handling service requests. Team members use the application template to identify a service request, manage identification of the root cause and track solution status.

Physical Asset Tracking and Management

The Physical Asset Tracking and Management application template helps departments, such as Facilities, BioMedical, Surgery, etc. manage requests and the tracking of physical assets.

Inventory Tracking
inventory
The Inventory Tracking application template helps organizations track elements associated with inventory, including creation of inventory. Users are notified when each part reaches the reorder quantity and helps manage customer and supplier information.

Cafeteria Menu Management

The Cafeteria Menu Management application template helps hospital Food & Nutrition staff easily communicate daily menu choices to hospital staff and visitors. It allows staff to develop/schedule menus and provide related nutritional information.

Budgeting and Tracking Multiple Projects

The Budgeting and Tracking Multiple Projects application template helps project teams track and budget multiple, interrelated sets of activities. Management tools such as assignment of new tasks, Gantt Charts and common status designators.

Change Request Management
change request management
The Change Request Management application template helps users track risks associated with a design change. Team members can submit a change request, notifying stakeholders of the risks involved with the change.

IT Team Workspace

The IT Team Workspace application template helps teams manage the development, deployment and support of software projects. It also includes help desk functionality, allowing team members to guide service requests from initiation to resolution.

Project Tracking Workspace

The Project Tracking Workspace application template helps small team projects manage project information in a single location. The application template provides a place where a team can list and view project issues and tasks.

 

 

 

How To : Use the Microsoft Monitoring Agent to Monitor apps in deployment

You can locally monitor IIS-hosted ASP.NET web apps and SharePoint 2010 or 2013 applications for errors, performance issues, or other problems by using Microsoft Monitoring Agent. You can save diagnostic events from the agent to an IntelliTrace log (.iTrace) file. You can then open the log in Visual Studio Ultimate 2013 to debug problems with all the Visual Studio diagnostic tools.

If you use System Center 2012, use Microsoft Monitoring Agent with Operations Manager to get alerts about problems and create Team Foundation Server work items with links to the saved IntelliTrace logs. You can then assign these work items to others for further debugging.

See Integrating Operations Manager with Development Processes and Monitoring with Microsoft Monitoring Agent.

Before you start, check that you have the matching source and symbols for the built and deployed code. This helps you go directly to the application code when you start debugging and browsing diagnostic events in the IntelliTrace log. Set up your builds so that Visual Studio can automatically find and open the matching source for your deployed code.

  1. Set up Microsoft Monitoring Agent.
  2. Start monitoring your app.
  3. Save the recorded events.
Set up the standalone agent on your web server to perform local monitoring without changing your application. If you use System Center 2012, see Installing Microsoft Monitoring Agent.

Set up the standalone agent

  1. Make sure that:
  2. Download the free Microsoft Monitoring Agent, either the 32-bit version MMASetup-i386.exe or 64-bit version MMASetup-AMD64.exe, from the Microsoft Download Center to your web server.
  3. Run the downloaded executable to start the installation wizard.
  4. Create a secure directory on your web server to store the IntelliTrace logs, for example, C:\IntelliTraceLogs.

    Make sure that you create this directory before you start monitoring. To avoid slowing down your app, choose a location on a local high-speed disk that’s not very active.

     

    Security note Security Note
    IntelliTrace logs might contain personal and sensitive data. Restrict this directory to only those identities that must work with the files. Check your company’s privacy policies.
  5. To run detailed, function-level monitoring or to monitor SharePoint applications, give the application pool that hosts your web app or SharePoint application read and write permissions to the IntelliTrace log directory. How do I set up permissions for the application pool?
  1. On your web server, open a Windows PowerShell or Windows PowerShell ISE command prompt window as an administrator.

     

    Open Windows PowerShell as administrator 

  2. Run the Start-WebApplicationMonitoring command to start monitoring your app. This will restart all the web apps on your web server.

     

    Here’s the short syntax:

     

    Start-WebApplicationMonitoring “<appName>” <monitoringMode> “<outputPath>” <UInt32> “<collectionPlanPathAndFileName>”

     

    Here’s an example that uses just the web app name and lightweight Monitor mode:

     

    PS C:\>Start-WebApplicationMonitoring “Fabrikam\FabrikamFiber.Web” Monitor “C:\IntelliTraceLogs”

     

    Here’s an example that uses the IIS path and lightweight Monitor mode:

     

    PS C:\>Start-WebApplicationMonitoring “IIS:\sites\Fabrikam\FabrikamFiber.Web” Monitor “C:\IntelliTraceLogs”

     

    After you start monitoring, you might see the Microsoft Monitoring Agent pause while your apps restart.

     

    Start monitoring with MMA confirmation 

    “<appName>” Specify the path to the web site and web app name in IIS. You can also include the IIS path, if you prefer.

     

    “<IISWebsiteName>\<IISWebAppName>”

    -or-

    “IIS:\sites \<IISWebsiteName>\<IISWebAppName>”

     

    You can find this path in IIS Manager. For example:

     

    Path to IIS web site and web app 

    You can also use the Get-WebSite and Get WebApplication commands.

    <monitoringMode> Specify the monitoring mode:

     

    • Monitor: Record minimal details about exception events and performance events. This mode uses the default collection plan.
    • Trace: Record function-level details or monitor SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 applications by using the specified collection plan. This mode might make your app run more slowly.

       

       

      This example records events for a SharePoint app hosted on a SharePoint site:

       

      Start-WebApplicationMonitoring “FabrikamSharePointSite\FabrikamSharePointApp” Trace “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Monitoring Agent\Agent\IntelliTraceCollector\collection_plan.ASP.NET.default.xml” “C:\IntelliTraceLogs”

       

    • Custom: Record custom details by using specified custom collection plan. You’ll have to restart monitoring if you edit the collection plan after monitoring has already started.
    “<outputPath>” Specify the full directory path to store the IntelliTrace logs. Make sure that you create this directory before you start monitoring.
    <UInt32> Specify the maximum size for the IntelliTrace log. The default maximum size of the IntelliTrace log is 250 MB.

    When the log reaches this limit, the agent overwrites the earliest entries to make space for more entries. To change this limit, use the -MaximumFileSizeInMegabytes option or edit the MaximumLogFileSize attribute in the collection plan.

    “<collectionPlanPathAndFileName>” Specify the full path or relative path and the file name of the collection plan. This plan is an .xml file that configures settings for the agent.

    These plans are included with the agent and work with web apps and SharePoint applications:

    • collection_plan.ASP.NET.default.xml

      Collects only events, such as exceptions, performance events, database calls, and Web server requests.

    • collection_plan.ASP.NET.trace.xml

      Collects function-level calls plus all the data in default collection plan. This plan is good for detailed analysis but might slow down your app.

     

    You can find localized versions of these plans in the agent’s subfolders. You can also customize these plans or create your own plans to avoid slowing down your app. Put any custom plans in the same secure location as the agent.

     

    How else can I get the most data without slowing down my app?

     

    For the more information about the full syntax and other examples, run the get-help Start-WebApplicationMonitoring –detailed command or the get-help Start-WebApplicationMonitoring –examples command.

  3. To check the status of all monitored web apps, run the Get-WebApplicationMonitoringStatus command.

How To : Use Javascript to enable Listview Folder Navigation

list view webpart is added to page and user navigate to different folders in the list view, there’s no way for users to know current folder hierarchy. So basically breadcrumb for the list view webpart missing. If there would be a way of showing users the exact location in the folder hierarchy the user is current in (as shown in the image below), wouldn’t be that great?


Image 1: Folder Navigation in action

Deploy the FolderNavigation.js File

Download the FolderNavigation.js and then you can deploy the script either in Layouts folder (in case of full trust solutions) or in Master Page gallery (in case of SharePoint Online or full trust). I would recommend to deploy in Master Page Gallery so that even if you move to cloud, it works without modification. If you deploy in Master page gallery, you don’t need to make any changes, but if you deploy in layouts folder, you need to make small changes in the script which is described in section ‘Deploy JS Link file in Layouts folder’.

 

Option 1: Deploy in Master Page Gallery (Suggested)

If you are dealing with SharePoint Online, you don’t have the option to deploy in Layouts folder. In that case you need to deploy it in Master page gallery. Note, deploying the script in other libraries (like site assets, site library) will not work, you need to deploy in master page gallery. Otherwise you can deploy in Layouts folder as described in next section. To deploy in master page gallery manually, please follow the steps:

  1. Download the JavaScript file attached.
  2. Navigate to Root web => site settings => Master Pages (under group ‘Web Designer Galleries’).
  3. From the ‘New Document’ ribbon try adding ’JavaScript Display Template’ and then upload the FolderNavigation.js file and set properties as shown below:

    Image 2: Upload the JavaScript file in master page gallery

    In the above image, we’ve specified the content type to ‘JavaScript Display Template’, ‘target control type’ to view to use the js file in list view. Also I’ve set target scope to ‘/’ which means all sites and subsites will be applied. If you have a site collection ‘/sites/HR’, then you need to use ‘/Sites/HR’ instead. You can also use List Template ID, if you need.

 

Option 2: Deploy in Layouts Folder

If you are deploying the FolderNavigation.js file in Layouts folder, you need to make small changes in the downloaded script’s RegisterModuleInti method as shown below:

RegisterModuleInit(FolderNavigation.js, folderNavigation);

 

In this case the ‘RegisterModuleInit’ first parameter will be the path relative to Layouts folder. If you deploy your file in path ‘/_Layouts/folder1’, the then you need to modify code as shown below:

RegisterModuleInit(Folder1/FolderNavigation.js, folderNavigation);

 

If you are deploying in other subfolders in Layouts folder, you need to update the path accordingly. What I’ve found till now, you can only deploy in Layouts and Master page gallery. But if you find deploying in other folders works, please share. Basically first paramter in RegisterModuleInti is the file either:

  • Relative to ‘_Layouts’ folder
  • Or Master page gallery in which case the path is started with ‘/_catalogs/masterpage’

 

Use the FolderNavigation.js in List View WebPart

Once you deploy the JavaScript file in Master page gallery or Layouts folder, you need to use it in List View WebPart. Once you deploy the FolderNavigation.js file, you can start using it in list view webpart. Edit the list view web part properties and then under ‘Miscellaneous’ section put the file url for JS Link as shown below:

Image 3: List View WebPart’s JS Like Propery

 

Few points to note for this JS Link:

  • if you have deployed the js file in Master Page Gallery, You can use ~site or ~SiteCollection token, which means current site or current site collection respectively. The URL for JS Link then might be ‘~siteCollection/_catalogs/masterpage/FolderNavigatin.js’ or  ‘~site/_catalogs/masterpage/FolderNavigatin.js’. If you deploy the file in Site Collection Master Page gallery only, you need to use ~siteCollection token in subsites so that it uses the JavaScript file from Site Collection.
  • If you have deployed in Layouts folder, you need to use corresponding path in the JS Link properties. For example if you are deploying the file in Layouts folder, then use ‘/_layouts/15/FolderNavigation.js’, if you are deploying in ‘Layouts/Folder1’ then, use ‘/_layouts/15/Folder1/FolderNavigation.js’. Just to inform again, if you deploy in Layouts folder, you need to make small changes in the JavaScript file as described under ‘Option 2: Deploy in Layouts Folder’ section.

 

JavaScript file Description

In case you are interested to know how the code works, the code snippet is given below:

JavaScript

function replaceQueryStringAndGet(url, key, value) { 
    var re = new RegExp("([?|&])" + key + "=.*?(&|$)""i"); 
    separator = url.indexOf('?') !== -1 ? "&" : "?"; 
    if (url.match(re)) { 
        return url.replace(re, '$1' + key + "=" + value + '$2'); 
    } 
    else { 
        return url + separator + key + "=" + value; 
    } 
} 
 
 
function folderNavigation() { 
    function onPostRender(renderCtx) { 
        if (renderCtx.rootFolder) { 
            var listUrl = decodeURIComponent(renderCtx.listUrlDir); 
            var rootFolder = decodeURIComponent(renderCtx.rootFolder); 
            if (renderCtx.rootFolder == '' || rootFolder.toLowerCase() == listUrl.toLowerCase()) 
                return; 
 
            //get the folder path excluding list url. removing list url will give us path relative to current list url 
            var folderPath = rootFolder.toLowerCase().indexOf(listUrl.toLowerCase()) == 0 ? rootFolder.substr(listUrl.length) : rootFolder; 
            var pathArray = folderPath.split('/'); 
            var navigationItems = new Array(); 
            var currentFolderUrl = listUrl; 
 
            var rootNavItem = 
                { 
                    title: 'Root', 
                    url: replaceQueryStringAndGet(document.location.href, 'RootFolder', listUrl) 
                }; 
            navigationItems.push(rootNavItem); 
 
            for (var index = 0; index < pathArray.length; index++) { 
                if (pathArray[index] == '') 
                    continue; 
                var lastItem = index == pathArray.length - 1; 
                currentFolderUrl += '/' + pathArray[index]; 
                var item = 
                    { 
                        title: pathArray[index], 
                        url: lastItem ? '' : replaceQueryStringAndGet(document.location.href, 'RootFolder'encodeURIComponent(currentFolderUrl)) 
                    }; 
                navigationItems.push(item); 
            } 
            RenderItems(renderCtx, navigationItems); 
        } 
    } 
 
 
    //Add a div and then render navigation items inside span 
    function RenderItems(renderCtx, navigationItems) { 
        if (navigationItems.length == 0return; 
        var folderNavDivId = 'foldernav_' + renderCtx.wpq; 
        var webpartDivId = 'WebPart' + renderCtx.wpq; 
 
 
        //a div is added beneth the header to show folder navigation 
        var folderNavDiv = document.getElementById(folderNavDivId); 
        var webpartDiv = document.getElementById(webpartDivId); 
        if(folderNavDiv!=null){ 
            folderNavDiv.parentNode.removeChild(folderNavDiv); 
            folderNavDiv =null; 
        } 
        if (folderNavDiv == null) { 
            var folderNavDiv = document.createElement('div'); 
            folderNavDiv.setAttribute('id', folderNavDivId) 
            webpartDiv.parentNode.insertBefore(folderNavDiv, webpartDiv); 
            folderNavDiv = document.getElementById(folderNavDivId); 
        } 
 
 
        for (var index = 0; index < navigationItems.length; index++) { 
            if (navigationItems[index].url == ''{ 
                var span = document.createElement('span'); 
                span.innerHTML = navigationItems[index].title; 
                folderNavDiv.appendChild(span); 
            } 
            else { 
                var span = document.createElement('span'); 
                var anchor = document.createElement('a'); 
                anchor.setAttribute('href', navigationItems[index].url); 
                anchor.innerHTML = navigationItems[index].title; 
                span.appendChild(anchor); 
                folderNavDiv.appendChild(span); 
            } 
 
            //add arrow (>) to separate navigation items, except the last one 
            if (index != navigationItems.length - 1{ 
                var span = document.createElement('span'); 
                span.innerHTML = '&nbsp;> '; 
                folderNavDiv.appendChild(span); 
            } 
        } 
    } 
 
 
    function _registerTemplate() { 
        var viewContext = {}; 
 
        viewContext.Templates = {}; 
        viewContext.OnPostRender = onPostRender; 
        SPClientTemplates.TemplateManager.RegisterTemplateOverrides(viewContext); 
    } 
    //delay the execution of the script until clienttempltes.js gets loaded 
    ExecuteOrDelayUntilScriptLoaded(_registerTemplate, 'clienttemplates.js'); 
}; 
 
//RegisterModuleInit ensure folderNavigation() function get executed when Minimum Download Strategy is enabled. 
//if you deploy the FolderNavigation.js file in '_layouts' folder use 'FolderNavigation.js' as first paramter. 
//if you deploy the FolderNavigation.js file in '_layouts/folder/subfolder' folder, use 'folder/subfolder/FolderNavigation.js as first parameter' 
//if you are deploying in master page gallery, use '/_catalogs/masterpage/FolderNavigation.js' as first parameter 
RegisterModuleInit('/_catalogs/masterpage/FolderNavigation.js', folderNavigation); 
 
//this function get executed in case when Minimum Download Strategy not enabled. 
folderNavigation(); 

Let me explain the code briefly:

  • The method ‘replaceQueryStringAndGet’ is used to replace query string parameter with new value. For example if you have url http://abc.com?key=value&name=sohel’  and you would like to replace the query string ‘key’ with value ‘New Value’, you can use the method like

    replaceQueryStringAndGet(http://abc.com?key=value&name=sohel&#8221;,“key”,“New Value”)

  • The function folderNavigation has three methods. Function ‘onPostRender’ is bound to rendering context’s OnPostRender event. The method first checks if the list view’s root folder is not null  and root folder url is not list url (which means user is browsing list’s/library’s root). Then the method split the render context’s folder path and creates navigation items as shown below:

    var item = { title: title, url: lastItem ? : replaceQueryStringAndGet(document.location.href, ‘RootFolder’, encodeURIComponent(rootFolderUrl)) };

    As shown above, in case of last item (which means current folder user browsing), the url is empty as we’ll show a text instead of link for current folder.

  • Function ‘RenderItems’ renders the items in the page. I think this is the place of customisation you might be interested. Having all navigation items passed to this function, you can render your navigation items in your own way. renderContext.wpq is unique webpart id in the page. As shown below with the wpq value of ‘WPQ2’ the webpart is rendered in a div with id ‘WebPartWPQ2’.

    Image 4: List View WebPart in Firebug

    In ‘RenderItems’ function I’ve added a div just before the webpart div ‘WebPartWPQ2’ to put the folder navigation as shown in the image 1.

  • In the method ‘_registerTemplate’, I’ve registered the template and bound the OnPostRender event.
  • The final piece is RegisterModuleInit. In some example you will find the function folderNavigation is executed immediately along with the declaration. However, there’s a problem with Client Side Rendering and Minimal Download Strategy (MDS) working together.
  • To avoid this problem, we need to Register foldernavigation function with RegisterModuleInit to ensure the script get executed in case of MDS-enabled site. The last line ‘folderNavigation()’ will execute normally in case of MDS-disabled site.

SharePoint 2013 and CRM 2011 integration. A customer portal approach

New Office 365 API VS.Net Add-In exposes Javascript Client model

You can now access the Office 365 APIs using libraries available for .NET and JavaScript. These libraries make it easier to interact with the REST APIs from the device or platform of your choice.

 

Office365

The libraries are included in the latest update for Office 365 API Tools for Visual Studio Preview. Along with the libraries, this release also brings you some key updates to the tooling experience, making it easier to interact with Office 365 services.

Client libraries

Office 365 provides REST-based APIs that enable developers to access Office resources such as calendar, contacts, mail, files, and more.

The client libraries will let you:

  • Perform authentication and discovery
  • Use the Mail, Calendar and Contacts API
  • Use the My Files and Sites API (currently .NET only, with JavaScript coming soon)
  • Use the Users and Groups API

 

You can program directly against the REST APIs to interact with Office 365, but it requires you to write and maintain code around managing authentication tokens, constructing the right urls and queries for the API you wanted to access, and perform other tasks.

By using client libraries to access the Office 365 APIs, you can reduce the complexity of the code you need to write to access the APIs. We’re providing these libraries for .NET as well as JavaScript developers for use with the just-announced multi-device hybrid applications.

Here are some examples of how easy it is access the Office 365 APIs using these libraries.

.NET C# code to authenticate and get upcoming events from your Office 365 calendar:

// Shows UI to authenticate
Authenticator = newAuthenticator();
AuthenticationInfo result = await authenticator.AuthenticateAsync("https://outlook.office365.com");

The AuthenticateAsync method will prompt for a username and password and authenticate against the specified resource url, like outlook.office365.com in this case. Once you have the authentication information, you can create a client object that serves as the base for accessing all the APIs for Exchange:


// Create a client object
ExchangeClient client =
newExchangeClient(newUri("https://outlook.office365.com/ews/odata"),
result.GetAccessToken);

Because we’re using .NET here, we get to take advantage of the native language capabilities, like LINQ, so querying the Office 365 calendar is as simple as writing a LINQ query and executing it:

// Obtain calendar event data
var eventsResults = await (from i in client.Me.Events
where i.End >= DateTimeOffset.UtcNow
select i).Take(10).ExecuteAsync();

With just those four lines of code you can start making calls to the Office 365 APIs!

We wanted to make sure that you can reach multiple device and service platforms with a consistent API, so the client libraries are portable .NET libraries, which means they also work with Android and iOS devices through Xamarin. Because authentication needs to display a UI that is different on the various platforms, we also provide platform-specific authentication libraries, which can then be used with the portable ones to provide an end-to-end experience.

For developers creating multi-device hybrid applications that target multiple device platforms through JavaScript, we also have JavaScript versions of these libraries that provide a similar experience while adopting JavaScript’s patterns and practices, such as using the promises pattern instead of await.

 

Here is the same example to authenticate and get calendar events in JavaScript:

var authContext = new O365Auth.Context();
authContext.getIdToken('https://outlook.office365.com/')
.then((function (token) {
// authentication succeeded
var client = new Exchange.Client('https://outlook.office365.com/ews/odata',
token.getAccessTokenFn('https://outlook.office365.com'));
client.me.calendar.events.getEvents().fetch()
.then(function (events) {
// get currentPage of calendar events
var myevents = events.currentPage;
}, function (reason) {
// handle error
});
}).bind(this), function (reason) {
// authentication failed
});

The flow to authenticate and create a client object is similar across .NET and JavaScript, but you’re doing it in a way that should be natural to the language.

Along with the JavaScript files for these libraries, we are also including the TypeScript type definition (.d.ts)—in case you choose to develop your apps in TypeScript.

As you get started using these libraries, there are a few things to keep in mind. This is a very early preview release of the libraries that is meant to prove out the concept and get feedback on it. The libraries do not currently cover all the APIs provided by the services and some of the APIs in the library may not work. The APIs in the libraries themselves will definitely change in future updates.

Note that while we tend to call these “client” libraries, these also work with .NET server technologies like Asp.Net Web Forms and MVC, so you really get to target the breadth of the .NET platform.

 

Tooling updates

With today’s update of our Office 365 API Tools for Visual Studio 2013, the tool displays the available Office 365 services that you can add to your project. Once you’ve signed in with your Office 365 credentials, adding a service to your project is as easy as selecting the appropriate service and applying the required permissions.

dotnetvisualstudioupdate_01

Once you submit the changes, Visual Studio performs the following:

  1. Registers an application (if there isn’t an application registered yet) in Microsoft Azure Active Directory to consume Office 365 services.
  2. Adds the following to the project:
    1. Client libraries from Nuget for the configured services.
    2. Sample code files that use the Client Libraries.

Project types supported

With the broad reach of the client libraries, the Office 365 API tool is now available for a variety of project types (client, desktop, and web) in Visual Studio. Here’s are all the project types supported with the May update:

  • .NET Windows Store Apps
  • Windows Forms Application
  • WPF Application
  • ASP.NET MVC Web Application
  • ASP.NET Web Forms Application
  • Xamarin Android and iOS Applications
  • Multi-device hybrid apps

Installing the latest update

To install the latest update, you can either:

  • Check for updates within Visual Studio. To do so, follow these steps:
    1. In Visual Studio menu, click Tools->Extensions and Updates->Updates.
    2. You should see the update available for Office 365 API Tools.
    3. Click Update to update to the latest version.

–OR–

  • Download the extension and install it manually.

Once you’ve updated, you can invoke the Office 365 API tool as usual, that is, by going to your project node in the Solution Explorer and selecting Add->Connected Service from the context menu.

Looking forward to seeing your Apps out there when I visit the stores!!


MSDN references

Check also new SharePoint Online Solution Pack for branding and provisioning. This package contains also some examples, which originates from the AMS reference implementations. Here’s the direct links for the Solution Pack

You can find introduction to this SharePoint Online Solution Pack for branding and provisioning from following blog post – Introduction to SharePoint Online Solution Pack for branding and provisioning released.

PressurePoint – great tool to Stress, Load and Performance test your SharPoint Site

SharePoint2013

 

Awesome tool developed by

 MargrietBruggeman

This version of PressurePoint only works with SharePoint 2013.

There’s a generic version of PressurePoint that works for all versions of SharePoint and even normal web sites at: http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/PressurePoint-Dragon-for-58648ae4

Requires: The presence of the .NET 4.5 framework, because it makes extensive use of Parallel Programming techniques. Supports anonymous and Windows (NTLM) authentication.

About PressurePoint

When you apply enough pressure, every application you or somebody else builds has a point where it breaks. I call this point the pressure point.

I’d say it’s a strong advisory positive to undertake some activities to find out where the pressure point of the application that you’re responsible for lies. Several kinds of tests are commonly used to find out about these:

  • Performance testing, the umbrella term for testing applications responsiveness and stability. Following, I’ll list some more specific relevant types of performance testing.
  • Load testing, makes requests of an application to simulate normal or anticipated load conditions. This kind of test helps greatly when you want to determine what your end users should expect.
  • Endurance testing, tests if an application is able to hold up under continuous prolonged, but normal or expected, load. Typically looks for memory consumption and gradually decreasing performance.
  • Stress testing, here, you try to find the breaking point by applying maximum application capacity and observe in what ways the application breaks. It finds bottlenecks and root causes for performance degradation.
  • Spike testing, applies a sudden and dramatic increase in load and sees how the application responds to that.
  • Isolation testing, tests a specific part of the application. Usually, this involves an area that has proved to be troublesome.

It helps a lot if such tests are repeated throughout development/test/staging/production environments. This allows you to get a feel for your application.

During these tests, you’ll typically look at server response time (instead of rendering time), the time it takes the client to make the request and get the final response back. Because of this, I can advise to execute performance tests as close to the server or server farm as possible to eliminate network latency issues.

Most of the times, as an application developer or admin you don’t have much or any control over the network and you’ll be more interested how the specific application holds up.

Also, but this is quite obvious, if you can avoid it don’t place test clients on the server or server farm itself, or on the host hosting the virtual machines containing server or server farms. This can have quite the effect on the test outcome, although I have to say that in my experience the effect is limited enough to be able to undertake meaningful performance tests launched from the server or server farm. Other quick tips: it typically works better if you execute performance tests using multiple client computers and you should preferably execute performance tests using multiple user accounts.

Whatever types of tests you’re planning to do, please remember that forgetting to do any type of performance testing will result in an interesting product release experience. Lately, I can’t keep track anymore of the number of times companies contact me wishing they would have spent some time doing performance testing.

Lots of Tools

There are lots of tools out there that can help you do performance testing, but in my experience (and I have looked at 100+ of these tools) there are two types of tools: tools that are just a preview of a commercial version and too limited to do anything useful without buying the license and then there are tools that are insanely complex to use. See my blog post at http://sharepointdragons.com/2012/12/26/the-great-free-performance-load-and-stress-testing-tools-that-can-be-used-with-sharepoint-verdict/ for more information. The following overview at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Test_tool is also nice and more objective (well, it would be more accurate to say that it refrains from giving any opinion).

So, it depends on your situation how to proceed. If you have budget, you can buy a great performance test tool and use that. I found myself in situations where I had to do performance testing in companies that didn’t have a budget to invest in performance tooling. There was also another issue…

About SharePoint

As I mainly work in SharePoint environments, I prefer to use a tool that is able to do performance testing specifically targeted towards SharePoint. I found none. During my SharePoint testing, uhm, dare I say, adventures, I found that SharePoint page requests are typically handled just fine and it’s hard to get a SharePoint environment to its knees just doing that. Request times tend to increase linearly, which is a good sign for an application. On top, SharePoint handles excessive page requests gracefully, without falling back in throwing all kinds of errors. Things get a lot more interesting and dangerous when you do one of the following things:

  • Execute custom code
  • Upload and retrieve documents of various sizes and batch sizes
  • Work with custom SharePoint Services, such as Search, Forms Services or SQL Server Reporting Services (let’s just say I picked out these as examples for no particular reason)

When using a testing tool that doesn’t have knowledge about SharePoint, it will be quite hard to test these aspects.

My conclusion

It may come as no surprise that eventually I decided that it was easier to build my own tool that has specific knowledge about SharePoint, can be extended by me at will, and is easy to use. Making extensive use of the .NET parallel programming capabilities, I found it was quite easy to do. When I was done, I decided that I wanted to share the basic version of it (basic, since I build custom extensions in it dedicated to the projects I’m doing) with the community. Later, I’m planning to add a specific version dedicated to SharePoint 2013, but I’m not quite there yet.

What to look for?

Doing performance testing in SharePoint environments without knowing what to look for is not the most useful thing one can do with one’s time. There are specific performance counters you should look out for on SharePoint WFE’s and different ones to check out on the back-end databases server. Depending on your needs, you might also need to spend some time coming up with the right set of performance counters you need for monitoring dedicated application servers. If you want to learn more about this topic, I can definitely recommend my gallery contribution at: http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/PowerShell-script-for-59cf3f70 I’d also recommend the use of my SharePoint Flavored Weblog Reader (SFWR) tool at http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/The-SharePoint-Flavored-5b03f323 which helps to analyze IIS log files.

Whether you use these tools or not: bear in mind that running a performance test tool without analyzing what happens on the server is absolutely useless!

How to use the PressurePoint Dragon for SharePoint

PressurePoint is a command line tool that reads an XML file that describes the test you want to execute. Currently, it only supports Windows (NTLM) or anonymous authentication. When you download the PressurePoint ZIP file it contains three things:

  • PressurePoint.exe, the actual performance test tool that can be executed by calling it from the command line. It requires the presence of the .NET 4 framework since it makes extensive use of parallel programming techniques.
  • PressurePoint.exe.config, the configuration file that is mandatory for the PressurePoint tool. Check out the TestLocation app setting and point it to the location of the XML file describing your test:

    Copy Code

    XML
    Edit|Remove
      <appSettings> 
        <add key="TestLocation" value="C:\Clients\XYZ\PressurePoint\test.xml"/> 
    </appSettings> 
    
  • Test.xml, an example XML Test Description file describing an example test.

Explanation of the structure of a Test Description file

The test description file can do a couple of simple things. It contains a test body that is repeated x times, determined by the repeat attribute of the <Test> element.

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XML
Edit|Remove
<!--?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?> 
<Test repeat="10"> 
[body omitted for clarity] 
</Test>

The <Test> element is the root element and only occurs once. It contains 1 or more <Session> elements. In a Session, you can specify important configuration info, such as the user name (user attribute), password (password attribute), domain name (domain attribute), the number of concurrent users that start a session (e.g. 20 instances of user A start executing the actions as described in a session) via the concurrentUsers attribute, a friendly name that is outputted to the console window to make it easier to identify which session is executed at a given time (friendlySessionName attribute).

Please note: If you’re using anonymous authentication, the values for user, password, and domain can just be left blank.

The following example shows the Session section:

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XML
Edit|Remove
<Session user="administrator" password="verySecret" domain="lc" concurrentUsers="1" friendlySessionName="SessionA"> 
[body omitted for clarity] 
</Session>

Then there are various actions that can be used within a Session. These are:

  • Comment, outputs a text to the console window. Example:

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    XML
    Edit|Remove
    <Comment>Start Moon session A for administrator</Comment> 
    
  • Request, makes a request to a page. Please note: specify a page here, instead of a generic site url such as http://moon. Because right now, PressurePoint doesn’t support redirects. Example:

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    XML
    Edit|Remove
    <Request>http://moon/pages/default.aspx</Request>
  • DelaySeconds, waits for a given amount of time to simulate think time. Example:

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    XML
    Edit|Remove
    <DelaySeconds value="3" />
  • RandomDelaySeconds, waits for a random amount of time within a given range to provide a more realistic simulation of think time (which might not be what you want, since the action keeps the test more predictable. Example:

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    XML
    Edit|Remove
    <RandomDelaySeconds min="1" max="3" />
  • RandomRequest, makes a random request to a page from a given list. Example:

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    XML
    Edit|Remove
    <RandomRequest> 
      <URL>http://moon/pages/default.aspx</URL> 
      <URL>http://moon:28827/sitepages/home.aspx</URL> 
    <!--RandomRequest>  
    

    The next example is a full blown example of a single session by a single user repeated 10 times:

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XML
Edit|Remove
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?> 
<Test repeat="10"> 
  <Session user="administrator" password="superSecret" domain="lc" concurrentUsers="1" friendlySessionName="SessionA"> 
    <Comment>Start Moon session A for administrator</Comment>    <Request>http://moon/pages/default.aspx</Request> 
    <RandomRequest> 
      <URL>http://moon/pages/default.aspx</URL> 
      <RandomDelaySeconds min="1" max="3" />  <URL>http://moon:28827/sitepages/home.aspx</URL> 
    </RandomRequest> 
  </Session> 
</Test>

The next example shows how to simulate 1000 concurrent users, using 2 different user accounts in a test that is repated 100 times:

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XML
Edit|Remove
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?> 
<Test repeat="100"> 
  <Session user="administrator" password="secretPwd" domain="test" concurrentUsers="500" friendlySessionName="SessionA"> 
    <Comment>Start session "Home page" for administrator</Comment>    <Request>http://mysrv/sitepages/home.aspx</Request> 
  </Session>  
 
  <Session user="jBlack" password="superSecret" domain="test" concurrentUsers="500" friendlySessionName="SessionA"> 
    <Comment>Start session A for Jack Black</Comment>    <Request>http://mysrv/sitepages/home.aspx</Request> 
  </Session> 
</Test>

The following section contains SharePoint 2013 specific actions.

  • ClientSite, fetches the URL of a SharePoint site collection. Looks like this:

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    XML
    Edit|Remove
    <ClientSite  <Url>http://moon</Url> 
    </ClientSite> 
    

 

Quick tips for constructing performance test cases

The following link contains interesting information about the typical type of use of a SharePoint environment: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-sharepoint-services-it/capacity-planning-for-windows-sharepoint-services-HA001160774.aspx . The quick take away is this:

  • Light usage: the end user makes 20 requests per hour.
  • Typical usage: the end user makes 36 requests per hour.
  • Heavy usage: the end user makes 60 requests per hour.
  • Extreme usage: the end user makes 120 requests per hour.

This will help you build test cases that are more realistic; especially in situations where the customer isn’t really sure how much the application will be used. Concerning this topic, I’ve also found the following topic to be quite interesting: http://blogs.technet.com/b/wbaer/archive/2007/07/06/requests-per-second-required-for-sharepoint-products-and-technologies.aspx

As a final guideline, I’ve also worked with the following rule of thumb that may help you: in a typical enterprise application, 1% of the users makes a request per second during peak time, in an enterprise application that is used extremely, 3% of the users makes a request per second during peak time.

Support Tools

It can be frustrating to try a new community tool that doesn’t seem to work. It makes you wonder whether you made a mistake in constructing the XML for the test case, or whether the tool simply doesn’t work. I’ve built two tools that support PressurePoint: Ping Dragon for SharePoint 2010 (http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Ping-Dragon-for-SharePoint-70fb299e ) and WinPing Dragon for SharePoint 2010 (http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/WinPing-Dragon-for-eefb6dd3 ). The tools fulfill a single purpose: ping SharePoint using the same method leveraged by PressurePoint. In other words, if these tools work, PressurePoint will work too. The difference between both support tools is that the WinPing Dragon tool hides the password from view, while the Ping Dragon doesn’t.

What’s going on under the covers?

Usethe Resource Monitor tool (resmon.exe) to “check the heartbeat” of PressurePoint, since the tool is a bit of a black box to you and watching it doing its work can be a boring experience. Resource Monitor clearly shows how PressurePoint is building up to the point where it can simulate the load you require to simulate the number of different users and sessions you need. PressurePoint executes each session in a separate thread and Resource Monitor will show an increase of the PressurePoint thread counter until it approximates the intended load.

The System image normally, as you’d expect, has the highest number of active threads (a couple of 100s), but once you’re simulating loads of 100s or even 1000s of end users,

PressurePoint surpasses this. One of the things that I found interesting was that it can take quite a long time until you get to the point where you can actually run 100s or even 1000s of separate threads in a single application (on the environments I’ve tested it on, it can take 1 hour or more to reach those kinds of numbers). It makes sense, since those are a lot of threads, other threads finish their work, and your system has other tasks to take care of. But still, before building the tool, I didn’t anticipate this.

SAP Weekend : Part 1 – ERPConnect Services for SharePoint 2010 (ECS)

This weekend was spent completing my new “List Search Web Part” and also 2 Free Web Parts that is included in the “List Web Part Pack” – More about this in my future blog.

erp256-bc0e84ce

In between the “SAP Bug” bit me again and I decided to write a  blog post series on the various adapters I have used in SharePoint and SAP Integration Projects and to give you a basic “run down” of how and with which technologies each adapter connects the 2 systems with.

ERPConnect was 1st on the list. ….

 

Yes, I can hear the grumblings of those of us who have worked with SAP and SharePoint  Integration and the ERPConnect adapter before 🙂

For starters, you need to have a SAP Developer Key to be allowed to use the SAP web service wizard, and also have the required SAP authorizations. In other cases it may not be allowed by IT operations to make any modification to the SAP environment, even if it’s limited to the full-automatic generation and activation of the BAPI webservice(s).

Another reason from a system architecture viewpoint, is that the single BAPI and/or RFC calls may be of too low granularity. You actually want to perform a ‘business transaction’, consisting of multiple method invocations which must be treated as a Logical Unit of Work (LUW). SAP has introduced the concept of SAP Enterprise Services for this, and has delivered a first set of them. This is by far not complete yet, and SAP will augment it the coming years.

SharePoint 2010 provides developer with the capability to integrate external data sources like SAP business data via the Business Connectivity Services (BCS) into the SharePoint system. The concept of BCS is based on entities and associated stereotyped operations. This perfectly suits for flat and simple structured data sets like SAP tables.

Another and way more flexible option to use SAP data in SharePoint are the ERPConnect Services for SharePoint 2010 (ECS). The product suite consists of three product components: ERPConnect Services runtime, the BCS Connector application and the Xtract PPS for PerformancePoint Services.

The runtime is providing a Service Application that integrates itself with the new service architecture of SharePoint 2010. The runtime offers a secure middle-tier layer to integrate different kind of SAP objects in your SharePoint applications, like tables and function modules.

The BCS Connector application allows developers to create BDC models for the BCS Services, without programming knowledge. You may export the BDC models created by the BCS Connector to Visual Studio 2010 for further customizing.

 

The Xtract PPS component offers a SAP data source provider for the PerformancePoint Services of SharePoint 2010. T

his article gives you an overview of the ERPConnect Services runtime and shows how you can create and incorporate business data from SAP in different SharePoint application types, like Web Parts, Application Pages or Silverlight modules.

This article does not introduce the other components.

Background

This section will give you a short explanation and background of SAP objects that can be used in ERPConnect Services. The most important objects are SAP tables and function modules. A function module is basically similar to a normal procedure in conventional programming languages. Function modules are written in ABAP, the SAP programming language, and are accessible from any other programs within a SAP system. They accept import and export parameters as well as other kind of special parameters.

 

In addition, BAPIs (Business-API) are special function modules that are organized within the SAP Business Object Repository. In order to use function modules with the runtime they must be marked as Remote (RFC). SAP table data can also be retrieved. Tables in SAP are basically relational database tables. Others SAP objects like BW Cubes or SAP Queries can be accessed via the XtractQL query language (see below).

 

Installation & Configuration

Installing ERPConnect Services on a SharePoint 2010 server is done by an installer and is straight forward. The SharePoint Administration Service must run on the local server (see Windows Services).

For more information see product documentation. After the installation has been successfully processed navigate to the Service Applications screen within the central administration (CA) of SharePoint:

 

Before creating your first Service Application a Secure Store must be created, where ERPConnect Services will save SAP user credentials. In the settings page for the “Secure Store Service” create a new Target Application and name the application “ERPConnect Services”. Click on the button “Next” to define the store fields as follows:

 

Finish the creation process by clicking on “Next” and define application administrators. Then, mark the application, click “Set Credentials” and enter the SAP user credentials:

 

Let’s go on and create a new ERPConnect Service Application!

Click the “ERPConnect Service Application” link in the “New” menu of the Service Applications page (see also first screenshot above). This opens a dialog to define the name of the service application, the SAP connection data and the IIS application pool:

 

Click “Create” after entering all data and you will see the following entries in the Service Applications screen:

 

That’s it! You are now done setting up your first ERPConnect Service Application.

Development

The runtime functionality covers different programming demands such as generically retrievable interface functions. The service applications are managed by the Central Administration of SharePoint. The following service and function areas are provided:

  1. Executing and retrieving data directly from SAP tables
  2. Executing SAP function modules / BAPIs
  3. Executing XtractQL query statements

The next sections shows how to use these service and function areas and access different SAP objects from within your custom SharePoint applications using the ERPConnect Services. The runtime can be used in applications within the SharePoint context like Web Parts or Application Pages.

In order to do so, you need to reference the assembly i in the project. Before you can access data from the SAP system you must create an instance of the ERPConnectServiceClient class. This is the gate to all SAP objects and the generic API of the runtime in overall. In the SharePoint context there are two options to create a client object instance:

// Option #1
ERPConnectServiceClient client = new ERPConnectServiceClient();

// Option #2
ERPConnectServiceApplicationProxy proxy = SPServiceContext.Current.GetDefaultProxy(
   typeof(ERPConnectServiceApplicationProxy)) as ERPConnectServiceApplicationProxy;
ERPConnectServiceClient client = proxy.GetClient();

For more details on using ECS in Silverlight or desktop applications see the specific sections below.

Querying Tables

Querying and retrieving table data is a common task for developers. The runtime allows retrieving data directly from SAP tables. The ERPConnectServiceClient class provides a method called ExecuteTableQuery with two overrides which query SAP tables in a simple way.

The method also supports a way to pass miscellaneous parameters like row count and skip, custom function, where clause definition and a returning field list. These parameters can be defined by using the ExecuteTableQuerySettings class instance.

DataTable dt = client.ExecuteTableQuery("T001");

…
    
ExecuteTableQuerySettings settings = new ExecuteTableQuerySettings {
  RowCount = 100,
  WhereClause = "ORT01 = 'Paris' AND LAND1 = 'FR'",
  Fields = new ERPCollection<string> { "BUKRS", "BUTXT", "ORT01", "LAND1" }
};

DataTable dt = client.ExecuteTableQuery("T001", settings);

…

// Sample 2
DataTable dt = client.ExecuteTableQuery("MAKT",
            new ExecuteTableQuerySettings {
                RowCount = 10,
                WhereClause = "MATNR = '60-100C'",
                OrderClause = "SPRAS DESC"
            });

The first query reads all records from the SAP table T001 where the fields ORT01 equals Paris and LAND1 equals FR (France). The query returns the top 100 records and the result set contains only the fields BUKRS, BUTXT, ORT01 and LAND1.

The second query returns the top ten records of the SAP table MAKT, where the field MATNR equals the material number 60-100C. The result set is ordered by the field SPRAS.

Executing Function Modules

In addition to query SAP tables the runtime API executes SAP function modules (BAPIs). Function modules must be marked as remote-enabled modules (RFC) within SAP.

The ERPConnectServiceClient class provides a method called CreateFunction to create a structure of metadata for the function module. The method returns an instance of the data structure ERPFunction. This object instance contains all parameters types (import, export, changing and tables) that can be used with function modules.

In the sample below we call the function SD_RFC_CUSTOMER_GET and pass a name pattern (T*) for the export parameter with name NAME1. Then we call the Execute method on the ERPFunction instance. Once the method has been executed the data structure is updated. The function returns all customers in the table CUSTOMER_T.

ERPFunction function = client.CreateFunction("SD_RFC_CUSTOMER_GET");
function.Exports["NAME1"].ParamValue = "T*";
function.Execute();

foreach(ERPStructure row in function.Tables["CUSTOMER_T"])
  Console.WriteLine(row["NAME1"] + ", " + row["ORT01"]);

The following code shows an additional sample. Before we can execute this function module we need to define a table with HR data as input parameter.

The parameters you need and what values the function module is returning dependents on the implementation of the function module

ERPFunction function = client.CreateFunction("BAPI_CATIMESHEETMGR_INSERT");
function.Exports["PROFILE"].ParamValue = "TEST";
function.Exports["TESTRUN"].ParamValue = "X";

ERPTable records = function.Tables["CATSRECORDS_IN"];
ERPStructure r1 = records.AddRow();
r1["EMPLOYEENUMBER"] = "100096";
r1["WORKDATE"] = "20110704";
r1["ABS_ATT_TYPE"] = "0001";
r1["CATSHOURS"] = (decimal)8.0;
r1["UNIT"] = "H";

function.Execute();

ERPTable ret = function.Tables["RETURN"]; 

foreach(var i in ret)
  Console.WriteLine("{0} - {1}", i["TYPE"], i["MESSAGE"]);

Executing XtractQL Query Statements

The ECS runtime is offering a SAP query language called XtractQL. The XtractQL query language, also known as XQL, consists of ABAP and SQL syntax elements. XtractQL allows querying SAP tables, BW-Cubes, SAP Queries and executing function modules.

It’s possible to return metadata for the objects and MDX statements can also be executed with XQL. All XQL queries are returning a data table object as result set. In case of the execution of function modules the caller must define the returning table (see sample below – INTO @RETVAL). XQL is very useful in situations where you need to handle dynamic statements. The following list shows a

SELECT TOP 5 * FROM T001W WHERE FABKL = 'US'

This query selects the top 5 records of the SAP table T001W where the field FABKL equals the value US.

SELECT * FROM MARA WITH-OPTIONS(CUSTOMFUNCTIONNAME = 'Z_XTRACT_IS_TABLE')

 

SELECT MAKTX AS [ShortDesc], MANDT, SPRAS AS Language FROM MAKT

This query selects all records of the SAP table MAKT. The result set will contains three fields named ShortDesc, MANDT and Language.

 

EXECUTE FUNCTION 'SD_RFC_CUSTOMER_GET'
   EXPORTS KUNNR='0000003340'
   TABLES CUSTOMER_T INTO @RETVAL;

This query executes the SAP function module SD_RFC_CUSTOMER_GET and returns as result the table CUSTOMER_T (defined as @RETVAL).

DESCRIBE FUNCTION 'SD_RFC_CUSTOMER_GET' GET EXPORTS

This query returns metadata about the export parameters of the

SELECT TOP 30 LIPS-LFIMG, LIPS-MATNR, TEXT_LIKP_KUNNR AS CustomerID
   FROM QUERY 'S|ZTHEO02|ZLIKP'
   WHERE SP$00002 BT '0080011000'AND '0080011999'

This statement executes the SAP Query “S|ZTHEO02|ZLIKP” (name includes the workspace, user group and the query name). As you can see XtractQL extends the SQL syntax with ABAP or SAP specific syntax elements. This way you can define fields using the LIPS-MATNR format and SAP-like where clauses like “SP$00002 BT ‘0080011000’AND ‘0080011999’”.

ERPConnect Services provides a little helper tool, the XtractQL Explorer (see screenshot below), to learn more about the query language and to test XQL queries. You can use this tool independent of SharePoint, but you need access to a SAP system.

To find out more about all XtractQL language syntax see the product manual.

Silverlight And Desktop Applications

So far all samples are using the assembly ERPConnectServices.Server.Common.dll as project reference and all code snippets shown run within the SharePoint context, e.g. Web Part.

ERPConnect Services also provides client libraries for Silverlight and desktop applications:

ERPConnectServices.Client.dll for Desktop applications
ERPConnectServices.Client.Silverlight.dll for Silverlight applications

You need to add the references depending what project you are implementing.

In Silverlight the implementation and design pattern is a little bit more complicated, since all web services will be called in asynchronously. It’s also not possible to use the DataTable class. It’s just not implemented for Silverlight.

The runtime provides a similar class called ERPDataTable, which is used in this cases by the API. The ERPConnectServiceClient class for Silverlight provides the method ExecuteTableQueryAsync and an event called ExecuteTableQueryCompleted as callback delegate.

public event EventHandler<ExecuteTableQueryCompletedEventArgs> ExecuteTableQueryCompleted;

public void ExecuteTableQueryAsync(string tableName)
public void ExecuteTableQueryAsync(string tableName, ExecuteTableQuerySettings settings)

The following code sample shows a simple query of the SAP table T001 within a Silverlight client.

First of all, an instance of the ERPConnectServiceClient is created using the URI of the ERPConnectService.svc, then a delegate is defined to handle the complete callback. Next, the query is executed, defined with a RowCount equal 10 to only return the top 10 records in the result set.

Once the result is returned the data set will be attached to a DataGrid control (see screenshot below) within the callback method.

 

void OnGetTableDataButtonClick(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
{
  ERPConnectServiceClient client = new ERPConnectServiceClient(
    new Uri("http://<SERVERNAME>/_vti_bin/ERPConnectService.svc"));

  client.ExecuteTableQueryCompleted += OnExecuteTableQueryCompleted;
  client.ExecuteTableQueryAsync("T001", 
    new ExecuteTableQuerySettings { RowCount = 150 });
}

void OnExecuteTableQueryCompleted(object sender, ExecuteTableQueryCompletedEventArgs e)
{
  if(e.Error != null)
    MessageBox.Show(e.Error.Message);
  else
  {
    e.Table.View.GroupDescriptions.Add(new PropertyGroupDescription("ORT01"));
    TableGrid.ItemsSource = e.Table.View;
  }
}

The screenshot below shows the XAML of the Silverlight page:

The final result can be seen below:

ECS Designer

ERPConnect Services includes a Visual Studio 2010 plugin, the ECS Designer, that allows developer to visually design SAP interfaces. It’s working similar to the LINQ to SAP Designer I have written about a while ago, see article at CodeProject: LINQ to SAP.

The ECS Designer is not automatically installed once you install the product. You need to call the installation program manually. The setup adds a new project item type to Visual Studio 2010 with the file extension .ecs and is linking it with the designer. The needed references are added automatically after adding an ECS project item.

The designer generates source code to integrate with the ERPConnect Services runtime after the project item is saved. The generated context class contains methods and sub-classes that represent the defined SAP objects (see screenshots below).

 

Before you access the SAP system for the first time you will be asked to enter the connection data. You may also load the connection data from SharePoint system. The designer GUI is shown in the screenshots below:

 

The screenshot above for instance shows the tables dialog. After clicking the Add (+) button in the main designer screen and searching a SAP table in the search dialog, the designer opens the tables dialog.

 

In this dialog you can change the name of the generated class, the class modifier and all needed properties (fields) the final class should contain.

 

To preview your selection press the Preview button. The next screenshot shows the automatically generated classes in the file named EC1.Designer.cs:

 

Using the generated code is simple. The project type we are using for this sample is a standard console application, therefore the designer is referencing the ERPConnectServices.Client.dll for desktop applications.

Since we are not within the SharePoint context, we have to define the URI of the SharePoint system by passing this value into the constructor of the ERPConnectServicesContext class.

The designer has generated class MAKT and an access property MAKTList for the context class of the table MAKT. The type of this property MAKTList is ERPTableQuery<MAKT>, which is a LINQ queryable data type.

 

This means you can use LINQ statements to define the underlying query. Internally, the ERPTableQuery<T> type will translate your LINQ query into call of ExecuteTableQuery.

 

That’s it!

 

Advanced Techniques

There are situations when you have to use the exact same SAP connection while calling a series of function modules in order to receive the correct result. Let’s take the following code:

ERPConnectServiceClient client = new ERPConnectServiceClient();

using(client.BeginConnectionScope())
{
  ERPFunction f = client.CreateFunction("BAPI_GOODSMVT_CREATE");

  ERPStructure s = f.Exports["GOODSMVT_HEADER"].ToStructure();
  s["PSTNG_DATE"] = "20110609"; // Posting Date in the Document
  s["PR_UNAME"] = "BAEURLE";    // UserName
  s["HEADER_TXT"] = "XXX";      // HeaderText
  s["DOC_DATE"] = "20110609";   // Document Date in Document

  f.Exports["GOODSMVT_CODE"].ToStructure()["GM_CODE"] = "01";

  ERPStructure r = f.Tables["GOODSMVT_ITEM"].AddRow();
  r["PLANT"] = "1000";          // Plant
  r["PO_NUMBER"] = "4500017210"; // Purchase Order Number
  r["PO_ITEM"] = "010";      // Item Number of Purchasing Document 
  r["ENTRY_QNT"] = 1;          // Quantity in Unit of Entry
  r["MOVE_TYPE"] = "101";        // Movement Type
  r["MVT_IND"] = "B";            // Movement Indicator
  r["STGE_LOC"] = "0001";        // Storage Location

  f.Execute();

  string matDocument = f.Imports["MATERIALDOCUMENT"].ParamValue as string;
  string matDocumentYear = f.Imports["MATDOCUMENTYEAR"].ParamValue as string;

  ERPTable ret = f.Tables["RETURN"]; //.ToADOTable();

  foreach(var i in ret)
    Console.WriteLine("{0} - {1}", i["TYPE"], i["MESSAGE"]);

  ERPFunction fCommit = client.CreateFunction("BAPI_TRANSACTION_COMMIT");
  fCommit.Exports["WAIT"].ParamValue = "X";
  fCommit.Execute();
}

In this sample we create a goods receipt for a goods movement with BAPI_GOODSMVT_CREATE. The final call to BAPI_TRANSACTION_COMMIT will only work, if the system under the hood is using the same connection object.

 

The runtime is not providing direct access to the underlying SAP connection, but the library offers a mechanism called connection scoping. You may create a new connection scope with the client library and telling ECS to use the same SAP connection until you close the connection scope. Within the connection scope every library call will use the same SAP connection.

In order to create a new connection scope you need to call the BeginConnectionScope method of the class ERPConnectServiceClient.

The method returns an IDisposable object, which can be used in conjunction with the using statement of C# to end the connection scope.

Alternatively, you may call the EndConnectionScope method. It’s also possible to use function modules with nested structures as parameters.

This is a special construct of SAP. The goods receipt sample above is using a nested structure for the export parameter GOODSMVT_CODE. For more detailed information about nested structures and tables see the product documentation.

Microsft Patterns and Practices : A look at the Security Development Life Cycle (SDL)

Microsoft Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) is an industry-leading software security assurance process. A Microsoft-wide initiative and a mandatory policy since 2004, the SDL has played a critical role in embedding security and privacy in Microsoft software and culture.

Combining a holistic and practical approach, the SDL introduces security and privacy early and throughout all phases of the development process. It has led Microsoft to measurable and widely-recognized security improvements in flagship products such as Windows Vista and SQL Server. Microsoft is publishing its detailed SDL process guidance to provide transparency on the secure software development process used to develop its products.

As part of the design phase of the SDL, threat modeling allows software architects to identify and mitigate potential security issues early, when they are relatively easy and cost-effective to resolve. Therefore, it helps reduce the total cost of development.

  •     The SDL Threat Modeling Tool Is Not Just a Tool for Security Experts
  • The SDL Threat ModelingTool is the first threat modeling tool which isn’t designed for security experts. It makes threat modeling easier for all developers by providing guidance on creating and analyzing threat models.
The SDL Threat Modeling Tool enables any developer or software architect to:

  • Communicate about the security design of their systems
  • Analyze those designs for potential security issues using a proven methodology
  •           Suggest and manage mitigations for security issues
  • SDL Threat Modeling Process
    SDL Threat Modeling Process
  •     Capabilities and Innovations of the SDL Threat Modeling Tool
  • The SDL Threat Modeling Tool plugs into any issue-tracking system, making the threat modeling process a part of the standard development process.
Innovative features include:

  • Integration: Issue-tracking systems
  • Automation: Guidance and feedback in drawing a model
  •  STRIDE per element framework: Guided analysis of threats and mitigations
  •   Reporting capabilities: Security activities and testing in the verification phase
  •   The Unique Methodology of the SDL Threat Modeling Tool
  • The SDL Threat Modeling Tool differs from other tools and approaches in two key areas:
  • It is designed for developers and centered on software Many threat modeling approaches center on assets or attackers. In contrast, the SDL approach to threat modeling is centered on the software. This new tool builds on activities that all software developers and architects are familiar with–such as drawing pictures for their software architecture.

 

  • It is focused on design analysis The term “threat modeling” can refer to either a requirements or a design analysis technique. Sometimes, it refers to a complex blend of the two. The Microsoft SDL approach to threat modeling is a focused design analysis technique.

 

How To : Use the Content Query Web Part for SharePoint 2013 Search

Meeting client requirements with SharePoint often involves aggregating items somehow – often we want to display things like “all the overdue tasks across all finance sites”, or “navigation links to all of the subsites of this area” or “related items (e.g. tagged with the same term)” and so on. In SharePoint 2010 there have been two main ways of accomplishing this:

SharePoint-2013-Service-Pack-1-225x93

  • Content Query web part
  • Custom solution built on SPSiteDataQuery (site collection-scoped), SPQuery (list-scoped) or search API

To a lesser extent, using the search web parts as part of a custom solution may also have been an option. Regardless, it was common to need custom code to meet such requirements. Maybe we needed to add paging to the results, or we needed to use some value obtained dynamically through code (e.g. from the current site/current page/current user/something else) – several Codeplex solutions arose from this gap, and lots of lines of code were written.

SharePoint 2013 presents the Content Search web part as a new option – it’s capabilities mean that simply using the web part (with some front-end work to meet look and feel requirements) will meet many needs, without use of custom code. If you’re a developer, the following screenshot should give you a clue as to why code won’t be required too often (with one of my favorite options highlighted):

CSWP_BasicsTab_AdvancedMode_PropertyFilterValues

It’s incredibly powerful, and it’s a good idea to understand what it can do.

Understanding the deal with search-based solutions

As the name suggests, the Content Search web part is powered by SharePoint’s search function. As such, there are the following considerations:

  • The CSWP can be configured to “see” items anywhere in SharePoint (potential advantage)
    • In contrast, the CQWP and related SPSiteDataQuery can only search within the current site collection – the site collection “boundary” is a factor
  • Results shown are not guaranteed to be 100% up-to-date (potential disadvantage) 
    • Since a search crawl has to run before any content changes will be shown in search results (remember this can include titles, summaries, images and so on for pages/documents), if a user creates/edits an item it will not be shown immediately. This can be a critical point.
    • Furthermore, my understanding from a FAST engineer is that in SharePoint 2013 there is no longer any means of pushing a document directly into the search index – in previous FAST incarnations including FAST for SharePoint 2010, there were options such as docpush.exe for “proactively” add an item to the index, rather than waiting for the next search crawl.
    • That said, it should be possible to obtain much lower indexing latencies in SharePoint 2013 via the “Continuous Crawl’” capability. In most deployments, my guess would be that changes would be reflected within a few minutes at most if this is enabled (where previously you may have had an incremental crawl scheduled every 15, 30 or 60 minutes for a SharePoint sites content source.

Summary – if the functionality you are creating needs fully up-to-date results (e.g. a user has created/edited something and it needs to be immediately reflected in the site) then you will probably need to stick with the original approaches (i.e. a query-based rather than search-based solution).

Terminology – new concepts in SharePoint 2013 search

So if we’re going to build solutions built on SP2013 search, we need to have a basic understanding of some concepts – we’ll run into these time and time again:

Concept

My quick definition

Result Source Like a search ‘scope’ in SP2007/SP2010, but on steroids. Rules are specified to say what the scope consists of – e.g. DOCUMENTS in my TEAM SITES area (constraining on content type and path in this example).

Created centrally, or at the web level. Result Sources can be used in just about any search-related functionality, including the Content Search web part.

Query Rule Like a ‘best bet’ on steroids. Ability to do specially formatted results at top of results list (e.g.Promoted Result) for highly-recommended content. In addition to Promoted Result, we can also do a Result Block (example could be a block of 5 image results within main list of text links).

Another option is to Change the Ranked Results – i.e. put something at the top, promoteor demote something by 1-10 (previously known as a ‘boost’ in FAST)

LOTS of flexibility in matching the user’s query, including regular expressions and matching terms in the Managed Metadata store.

Display Templates A Display Template is a JavaScript template (similar to jQuery templates) which controls formatting – in the case of the CSWP, this effectively replaces the use of XSL for look and feel. There is a separate template to pick for the overall control and formatting of an individualitem. The .js files for the templates are stored in the ‘Content Web Parts’ subfolder of the Master Page Gallery.

Side note – in the context of a search results page (rather than CSWP), a Display Template is associated with a Result Type (e.g. Word doc, wiki page, PowerPoint file etc.) and so we have granular control over how each is displayed (and when). Extremely cool.

So, lots of flexibility in the search infrastructure. Let’s see some of this in the context of the Content Search web part.

Configuring the Content Search web part

There are two main aspects to this:

  • Displaying the right items (Search Criteria)
  • Look and feel (Display Templates)

In terms of the search criteria, there is enormous flexibility in what the CSWP – and the underlying search capability – can do. For one thing, it’s possible to either directly configure the query entirely in the properties of this web part instance (e.g. show me all documents which meet criteria X), and/or start from a pre-existing Result Source to do some of the filtering. Combining the approaches will be fairly common – an example could be “search only on wiki pages” (an OOTB Result Source) but only show items tagged with X (this defined directly in the CSWP properties).

Interestingly, configuring a centralized Result Source and a Content Search web part on a page are very similar, even though it would seem some sort of “reusable scope” and a web part are very different things in SharePoint. The overlap comes because underneath both there is a search query which does the work of isolating the desired results – indeed, as we’ll see later the same “Query Builder” UI is used in both places (with a couple of minor differences). So, if you’ve learnt how to configure a CSWP you’ve essentially also learned how to create  a custom Result Source.

 

Configuring the web part

The first thing to understand is that the Content Search web part appears in different guises in the web part gallery. The ‘main’ web part is in the ‘Content Rollup’ category:

CBS_MainWebPartInAdder

But there are also many pre-configured versions available, each of which finds a specific type of content. This is great for end-users who don’t necessarily think in terms of needing a ‘Content Search’ web part:

CBS_WebPartsInAdder
And just to prove the point, the web parts above correspond to the following .webpart definition files in the Web Part Gallery:

CBS_WebParts

Once the web part has been added to the page, it can be configured by it’s tool pane. The main configuration item is the query to use, and this can be started by clicking the ‘Change query’ button:

CSWP_properties
This opens the “’Build Your Query” dialog – this has tabs labeled BASICS, REFINERS, SORTING, SETTINGS and TEST. This thing is known (unsurprisingly) as the Query Builder – what you might not realize, is that it’s used in several places in SharePoint 2013:

  • Configuring a Content Search web part (obviously)
  • Creating a Result Source (specifically in the Query Transform section)
  • Configuring a Search Results web part

There are some differences – for example, when configuring a Search Results web part there is no SORTING tab because this will be handled in the Result Source or the query. I’m going to talk about things from the perspective of the Content Search web part, but will call out any differences for the other usages – so hopefully by learning the CSWP, you also get to learn 75% of the search infrastructure.

BASICS tab – Quick Mode

Although the first tab is labeled ‘BASICS’, I’d say it’s actually the most involved – this is where the query itself is configured, and there is a ‘Quick Mode’ and ‘Advanced Mode’. You’ll also notice that – and let me just say I’d personally be willing to give the Product Manager for this feature A BIG HUG for this – that there’s a “live” results preview pane, permanently visible on the right-hand side of the Query Builder. This shows the first 10 results which would display from running the currently configured search against the current index, without the need to save the web part after each change:

CSWP_BasicsTab_QuickMode

Note that if you create your own query, then this preview pane is only able to show results when you are on the TEST tab. And we’ll talk about that towards the end.

Let’s now walk through the various configuration steps in here.

Select a query

In Quick Mode, the dropdown contains the Result Sources (see my definition above if you’ve forgotten already :)) which come out-of-the-box with SharePoint 2013 – one of these may provide a good foundation for what you need:

CSWP_BasicsTab_QuickMode_SelectQuery
As you select a Result Source from the dropdown, other options may become available lower down. So if I want to find items matching a specific content type, I get this:

RestrictByContentType
In fact, this option to restrict by content type appears for many of the pre-defined Result Sources, not just “Items matching a content type” – which makes sense, because it’s a common thing to include as a filter. Similarly, “Items matching a tag” and several other queries give this interface for selecting a tag to filter on:

RestrictByTag
And, happy days, if I specify the tag by typing one I get auto-complete to help me pick the term – this is a fully-fledged Managed Metadata input field. Consequently there’s also full validation of the terms you type-in (though this takes a few seconds to show), so if an author accidentally enters something which isn’t a known term, he/she should spot the mistake immediately:

TermValidation

Consider also that those middle options of using the navigation term associated with the current page is exactly what’s needed to build many types of ‘related items’ functionality – again, no code needed now.

Restrict results by app

In the next section, I can restrict the scope of the results to a particular location (e.g. the current site). This enables me to get something like the Content Query web part behavior of only searching within the current site collection if needed – because although we now have the power, it won’t always make sense to go across the entire farm 🙂

RestrictByApp

Add additional filters

In the next section I can supplement the query with any valid query text, e.g. a property filter. In this example, I’m adding a filter to only present items which werecreated by the current user:

AdditionalFilter

Sort results

When we scope our query to a pre-defined Result Source (as we are here in the CSWP ‘Quick Mode’), then sorting is usually pre-defined at that level. The CSWP does give us the opportunity to override sorting based on based on some popularity ranking models (around most viewed/most clicked) instead though – expect proper wording to appear in this dropdown in the RTM version, but you get the idea: 

SortResults
So what happens if none of the options presented so far do what you want? An example could be wanting to use an existing Result Source (e.g. ‘wiki pages’) but sort on Last Modified in descending order. Obviously the dropdown above does not allow that. We could create a custom Result Source and implement the query/sorting there, but that only really makes sense if we expect it to be re-used in multiple places.

In these cases, we can click into Advanced Mode (still on the BASICS tab).

BASICS tab – Advanced Mode

In Advanced Mode you basically get to specify the full query text yourself. In my mind, this is like building a solution with the search API in SP2007/SP2010 – I saw many custom solutions (and built several myself) which used the FullTextSqlQuery or KeywordQuery classes to find the right items. SharePoint 2013 makes it much easier to have this full control whilst still piggybacking onto the out-of-the-box web parts – meaning less work and more productivity.

When switching to the Advanced Mode, a couple of things become available:

  • A SORTING tab (details later)
  • Controls to help you build the query (which you’d previously do essentially by hand in earlier versions), with ‘Keyword filter’ and ‘Property filter’ options. These can be combined as you like, and the resulting query text appears in the textbox at the bottom:

CSWP_BasicsTab_AdvancedMode

Avoid custom code by using tokens

There are many tokens which can be used when building a query in this way – often you might want to pass something into the query, such as a URL (querystring) parameter, the value in a particular field on the page, and so on. Being able to do this unlocks a huge range of possibilities for building solutions. This is where the first image in this article comes from – here’s a reminder:

CSWP_BasicsTab_AdvancedMode_PropertyFilterValues

In summary, when using the Advanced Mode of the query builder you should be able to target just about any content in your SharePoint environment.

SORTING tab (Advanced Mode only)

In SharePoint 2010 Enterprise Search, you could only sort by relevance/rank (the normal search engine approach) or date. FAST for SharePoint 2010 had more options (you could sort by a Managed Property). In SharePoint 2013, frankly the sort options alone are enough to blow your mind 🙂  If you don’t need anything specific around sorting then you can skip this bit, but if you do then here are your options:

First you can sort by way more things than just rank and date:

CSWP_SortTab
One thing to note there – I’m unclear as to what makes it into that ‘Sort by’ list and what does not. It’s not Managed Properties as far as I can tell, so although the list is long many options may not be hugely useful. Still, better than before.

Usefully, you can now do multi-level sorting (sort by this, then by that). The ‘Add sort level’ link in the image above adds another row, allowing me to do things like sorting by URL depth (so items higher up in the site hierarchy show at the top), and then by rank (that makes sense, because there’ll be lots of items at the same URL depth so I do need two levels of sorting):

CSWP_SortTab_Custom

Note that effectively what I’m doing here is building some sort of custom ranking model. This works great if I need something very specific on sorting, but also note SharePoint 2013 comes with several ranking models – the next section allows me to pick from these if I’ve left the ‘Sort by’ dropdown on ‘Rank’, unlike in the image above. This is because all these options are effectively different forms of rank – most are around People Search or popularity:

CSWP_SortTab_RankingModel

And for those occasions when the client is telling you that his/her strategic document really has to be on page 1 of the results (but not a Promoted Result/best bet), you have ‘Dynamic ordering’ – you can boost/demote results, including the option to promote to the top:

CSWP_SortTab_DynamicOrdering

REFINERS tab

In the context of search, refiners are usually the links on the search engine’s results page (typically in the left nav) which allow the user to further filter the results. So if I do a search for “meeting minutes” and get lots of results, it would be nice to be able to filter by, say:

  • Date range
  • SharePoint site (since minutes might be stored in individual project sites)
  • Author
  • ..and so on

However, in the context of the Content Search web part, refiners actually allow you to do this filtering as part of the initial query. The REFINERS tab is effectively a convenience to you, the person configuring the web part – what happens is that a search is performed whilst in edit mode, and all relevant refiners (e.g. managed properties) are presented as available refiners. These can be selected and moved over to the right-hand list:

CSWP_RefinersTab
The effect of this is that a further filter is added to my query. In the example above, this may be easier than using a Property Filter on the BASICS tab – since there I have little support, I just select the property and type the value:

CSWP_BasicsTab_PropertyFilter
In the REFINERS tab, SharePoint is doing the search for me (as it’s configured so far), and only coming back with values which have been found in the returned results.

SETTINGS tab

The SETTINGS tab controls some high-level options for running the search:

CSWP_SettingsTab

Query rules

Since these can be defined at the parent site or search service, it could be the case that your CSWP gets affected by one of these. As the radio button shows, this can be overridden, but consider that some types of Query Rules may not have an effect anyway – as a reminder (from the table at the beginning), a Query Rule can either:

  • Add a promoted result
  • Add a result block
  • Change the ranked results somehow (by modifying the query)

Out of these 3 actions, 1.5 of them could affect the results of a ‘default’ CSWP. This can be summarized:

Query Rule Action

Will affect CSWP results?

Add a promoted result Not by default. When a search runs in SharePoint, multiple result sets are returned (e.g. ‘main results’, ‘best bet results’ and so on – in SP2013, the real names for these are ‘RelevantResults’, ‘SpecialTermResults’, ‘PersonalFavoriteResults’ and ‘RefinementResults’.). Although a CSWP can be configured to show any table, the default is ‘RelevantResults’ – and a promoted result gets added to ‘SpecialTermResults’.
Add a result block Yes if result block is configured to show ‘ranked within core results’ (the default), rather than ‘shown above core results’.
Change ranked results Yes.

For completeness, here’s the place in the CSWP where you select which search result set to use (e.g. if you want to switch from the default of ‘RelevantResults’:

CSWP_ResultTableSelection

Options in the Results Table dropdown (shown to the left):

CSWP_ResultTableSelectionOptions

URL rewriting

This one is fairly simple – if results are being returned from a catalog which is using “friendly” URLs, then the CSWP can override this to use the original URLs. It may not always make sense to use rewritten URLs in aggregations outside of the catalog pages, especially if you’ve implemented anything funky there.

Loading behavior

This is useful – specify whether the CSWP web part instance should load in the main page load (default) or in an AJAX manner after the main page has finished. Considering that a CSWP could either be the centerpiece of your landing page or merely some page footer navigation, it’s nice to be able to prioritize in this way.

Priority

Similarly, we can actually specify High, Medium or Low priority for each CSWP instance we use – great for the different usages we will have, although as per the description, note this only has any effect if the search service is overloaded.

TEST tab

The TEST tab is hugely useful – it provides you the ability:

  • To see the underlying query text (in Keyword Query Language [KQL]) which has been generated (though it must be edited in other tabs)
  • To see the preview when you are defining a query yourself (the preview pane will be empty on other tabs in this scenario)

CSWP_TestTab_Less
Which is all great, but at first glance it’s easy to miss some extra functionality – if the ‘Show more’ link is clicked, other information becomes visible including details on any refiners and Query Rules which have been applied. So below I can see that a custom Query Rule I created has indeed been used, so there’s no guesswork on (for example) whether a certain item is actually being promoted or not:

CSWP_TestTab_More

Sidenote – listing items from ONE site/list/library with the Content Search web part

Worthy of a quick note – if all you need to do is roll-up content from one list/library, then you can do this with the CSWP – in the query, simply restrict the search using PATH:[URL to document library]. The Query Builder UI helps you do this by providing the ‘Restrict by app’ area:

CSWPrestricttositeorlibrary_thumb2

N.B. note that one potential gotcha here can be that you need ‘HTTP’ if your sites are browsed on HTTPS but crawled on HTTP (as in my case).

If you do want to filter by site/list/library, consider of course that the good ol’ Content Query web part will work just fine here, and you’ll get instant changes as content is changed. What you won’t have, is the Content Search Web Part’s ability to automatically use tokens in the query (e.g. value of current navigation category, value from current user’s profile etc.)

Summary

The Content Search web part is a great tool in the SharePoint consultant’s box of tricks. Configuration may prove quite simple for some scenarios, but there is also huge amount of flexibility and so a certain degree of complexity comes with that. Many advanced scenarios which make use SP2013 search capabilities (such as Result Sources, Query Rules, promoted results and so on) will be possible – knowing the details will help you identify whether the CSWP can be the answer to a particular problem or not.

Using SharePoint FAST to unlock SAP data and make it accesible to your entire business

An important new mantra is search-driven applications. In fact, “search” is the new way of navigating through your information. In many organizations an important part of the business data is stored in SAP business suites.
4336.SP2013SearchArchitecture[1]
A frequently asked need is to navigate through the business data stored in SAP, via a user-friendly and intuitive application context.
For many organizations (78% according to Microsoft numbers), SharePoint is the basis for the integrated employee environment. Starting with SharePoint 2010, FAST Enterprise Search Platform (FAST ESP) is part of the SharePoint platform.
All analyst firms assess FAST ESP as a leader in their scorecards for Enterprise Search technology. For organizations that have SAP and Microsoft SharePoint administrations in their infrastructure, the FAST search engine provides opportunities that one should not miss.

SharePoint Search

Search is one of the supporting pillars in SharePoint. And an extremely important one, for realizing the SharePoint proposition of an information hub plus collaboration workplace. It is essential that information you put into SharePoint, is easy to be found again.

By yourself of course, but especially by your colleagues. However, from the context of ‘central information hub’, more is needed. You must also find and review via the SharePoint workplace the data that is administrated outside SharePoint. Examples are the business data stored in Lines-of-Business systems [SAP, Oracle, Microsoft Dynamics], but also data stored on network shares.
With the purchase of FAST ESP, Microsoft’s search power of the SharePoint platform sharply increased. All analyst firms consider FAST, along with competitors Autonomy and Google Search Appliance as ‘best in class’ for enterprise search technology.
For example, Gartner positioned FAST as leader in the Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Search, just above Autonomy. In SharePoint 2010 context FAST is introduced as a standalone extension to the Enterprise Edition, parallel to SharePoint Enterprise Search.
In SharePoint 2013, Microsoft has simplified the architecture. FAST and Enterprise Search are merged, and FAST is integrated into the standard Enterprise edition and license.

SharePoint FAST Search architecture

The logical SharePoint FAST search architecture provides two main responsibilities:

  1. Build the search index administration: in bulk, automated index all data and information which you want to search later. Depending on environmental context, the data sources include SharePoint itself, administrative systems (SAP, Oracle, custom), file shares, …
  2. Execute Search Queries against the accumulated index-administration, and expose the search result to the user.

In the indexation step, SharePoint FAST must thus retrieve the data from each of the linked systems. FAST Search supports this via the connector framework. There are standard connectors for (web)service invocation and for database queries. And it is supported to custom-build a .NET connector for other ways of unlocking external system, and then ‘plug-in’ this connector in the search indexation pipeline. Examples of such are connecting to SAP via RFC, or ‘quick-and-dirty’ integration access into an own internal build system.
In this context of search (or better: find) in SAP data, SharePoint FAST supports the indexation process via Business Connectivity Services for connecting to the SAP business system from SharePoint environment and retrieve the business data. What still needs to be arranged is the runtime interoperability with the SAP landscape, authentication, authorization and monitoring.
An option is to build these typical plumping aspects in a custom .NET connector. But this not an easy matter. And more significant, it is something that nowadays end-user organizations do no longer aim to do themselves, due the involved development and maintenance costs.
An alternative is to apply Duet Enterprise for the plumbing aspects listed. Combined with SharePoint FAST, Duet Enterprise plays a role in 2 manners: (1) First upon content indexing, for the connectivity to the SAP system to retrieve the data.
The SAP data is then available within the SharePoint environment (stored in the FAST index files). Search query execution next happens outside of (a link into) SAP. (2) Optional you’ll go from the SharePoint application back to SAP if the use case requires that more detail will be exposed per SAP entity selected from the search result.  An example is a situation where it is absolutely necessary to show the actual status. As with a product in warehouse, how many orders have been placed?

Security trimmed: Applying the SAP permissions on the data

Duet Enterprise retrieves data under the SAP account of the individual SharePoint user. This ensures that also from the SharePoint application you can only view those SAP data entities whereto you have the rights according the SAP authorization model. The retrieval of detail data is thus only allowed if you are in the SAP system itself allowed to see that data.

Due the FAST architecture, matters are different with search query execution. I mentioned that the SAP data is then already brought into the SharePoint context, there is no runtime link necessary into SAP system to execute the query. Consequence is that the Duet Enterprise is in this context not by default applied.
In many cases this is fine (for instance in the customer example described below), in other cases it is absolutely mandatory to respect also on moment of query execution the specific SAP permissions.
The FAST search architecture provides support for this by enabling you to augment the indexed SAP data with the SAP autorisations as metadata.
To do this, you extend the scope of the FAST indexing process with retrieval of SAP permissions per data entity. This meta information is used for compiling ACL lists per data entity. FAST query execution processes this ACL meta-information, and checks each item in the search result whether it allowed to expose to this SharePoint [SAP] user.
This approach of assembling the ACL information is a static timestamp of the SAP authorizations at the time of executing the FAST indexing process. In case the SAP authorizations are dynamic, this is not sufficient.
For such situation it is required that at the time of FAST query execution, it can dynamically retrieve the SAP authorizations that then apply. The FAST framework offers an option to achieve this. It does require custom code, but this is next plugged in the standard FAST processing pipeline.
SharePoint FAST combined with Duet Enterprise so provides standard support and multiple options for implementing SAP security trimming. And in the typical cases the standard support is sufficient.

lip_image002_2.png

Applied in customer situation

The above is not only theory, we actually applied it in real practice. The context was that of opening up of SAP Enterprise Learning functionality to operation by the employees from their familiar SharePoint-based intranet. One of the use cases is that the employee searches in the course catalog for a suitable training.

This is a striking example of search-driven application. You want a classified list of available courses, through refinement zoom to relevant training, and per applied classification and refinement see how much trainings are available. And of course you also always want the ability to freely search in the complete texts of the courses.
In the solution direction we make the SAP data via Duet Enterprise available for FAST indexation. Duet Enterprise here takes care of the connectivity, Single Sign-On, and the feed into SharePoint BCS. From there FAST takes over. Indexation of the exposed SAP data is done via the standard FAST index pipeline, searching and displaying the search results found via standard FAST query execution and display functionalities.
In this application context, specific user authorization per SAP course elements does not apply. Every employee is allowed to find and review all training data. As result we could suffice with the standard application of FAST and Duet Enterprise, without the need for additional customization.

Conclusion

Microsoft SharePoint Enterprise Search and FAST both are a very powerful tool to make the SAP business data (and other Line of Business administrations) accessible. The rich feature set of FAST ESP thereby makes it possible to offer your employees an intuitive search-driven user experience to the SAP data.

Free e-book can help you develop a location-based Windows Store app

If you need help getting started on developing a location-based Windows Store app, there’s a new, free e-book you can , “Location Intelligence for Windows Store Apps.”

Written by Ricky Brundritt, the e-book dives into location intelligence and the different for creating location-aware apps for Windows 8.1.

The first half of the book focuses on the inner workings of Window Store apps and available location-related tools available (e.g., sensors and the Bing Maps SDK).

The second half goes through the process of creating location-intelligent apps, with code samples provided in JavaScript, C# and Visual Basic.

Head over to the Bing Dev Center Team Blog to read more about this e-book.

 

 

Office 365 : Power Query – Working with Data Sources

Search for public data

You can search for data from a large collection of public data sources. For example, you can search from a collection of “S&P 500” data sources from Wikipedia.

  1. In the POWER QUERY ribbon tab, click Online Search.
  2. In the Online Search pane, enter a search term such as “S&P 500”.
  3. Press Enter or click the search icon (Search icon ).
  4. To navigate to a data source page, click a page number or Next.

For a list of public data sources accessible from Power Query, see Public data sources accessible from Power Query.

 

Use the Search ribbon tab

With the SEARCH ribbon tab, you can fine-tune your search criteria. You can set a Scope to filter your search by range of data sources or refine a search filter. Refine inserts a search filter into the Online Search box.

Scope – Filters your search by range of data sources.

  • Public – Public data sources including Wikipedia tables, a subset of Microsoft Azure Marketplace, and a subset of Data.gov. For a list of public data sources accessible from Power Query, see Public data sources accessible from Power Query.
  • For Power Query 2.10:
    • My Shared – Range of data sources include my shared queries.
    • Organization – Range of data sources include queries shared within the enterprise.
    • All – Apply a search term for all scoped data sources.

Refine – Filters your search based on a query or table attribute. For example, to filter where the term “Index” is in the query name, the search filter is name:(Index).

Query or table attribute Description Syntax and Example
Name Filter your search based on query and table names. name:(name)

Example: name:(Index)

Description Filter your search based on query and table description. description:(description)

Example: description:(GDP)

From Filter your search to only show results from specific people or web pages. from:(email)
Data Source Filter your search based on the underlying data source name datasource:(source)

Example: datasource:(AdventureWorks2012)

Date Range Filter your search based on when the query was last modified. The date range options:

Today, Yesterday, This Week, Last Week, This Month, Last Month, This Year, Last Year

lastmodifieddate:{date range}

Example: lastmodifieddate:this week

Column Name Filter your search based on the column names in the data source. columnname:(name)

Example: columnname:(Company Name)

 

Import a public data source

  1. In the Online Search pane, hover over data source summary items to render a data source preview.
  2. Point your mouse or click on any of the data sources in the search result to see a preview of the data source.

Preview of the shared query

The preview fly out displays a snapshot of the selected public data source, the columns in the dataset, last modified timestamp, and the source/owner of the public data source, You can click on the column name in the preview dialog box to jump to the respective data column in the preview. Additionally, the specified keyword values are highlighted in the preview fly out screen.

In the preview fly out screen:

  • To insert the data source into the workbook, click ADD TO WORKSHEET.
  • To refine the data source query, click FILTER & SHAPE.
  • To navigate to the source page of the data source, click the Data Source link.

 

Public data sources accessible from Power Query

 Note    Public data is provided by a third party and you should refer to the third party license regarding use of data. Public data sources are managed by a third party and are subject to change.

You can search from the following data sources:

Public sources

Data source Number of sources
Wikipedia (all)
Microsoft Azure Marketplace
(Includes some data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis)
11
Data.gov 2197
The World Bank 68
HealthData.gov 500
S&P 500 499
United States Census 2010 321

New “Spotlight On” Web Part Released and Available!!

The “Spotlight On..” Web Part selects a random entry from the specified Sharepoint Library and displays a picture, a title and an abstract of the selected person or item.
The Web Part can be used with Windows Sharepoint Services V3, MOSS 2007, Sharepoint 2010 and Sharepoint 2013.You can configure the following web part properties:

  • the Sharepoint Library
  • the List fields corresponding to the picture, title, abstract and detail link
  • enable or suppress the “Details..” URL.
  • show a new entry every day or on every page refresh

This allows you to display random data contained in any Sharepoint List by specifying the desired Sharepoint List name and the desired list column names.

Image

Image

 Instructions:

  1. download the Spotlight On Web Part Installation Instructions (PDF file, see above)
  2. either install the web part manually or deploy the feature to your server/farm as described in the instructions.
  3. Create a new Sharepoint Picture Library if you do not intend to use an existing Picture Library.
    If you decide to create a new Sharepoint list to store the Spotlight entries, create a new Sharepoint Picture Library anywhere in the Sharepoint site collection (the web part is able to access any picture library within the site collection).
    The list needs the following columns to hold the entries:
    – Title
    – Abstract
    – optional Detail Link URL
  1. You also can use a Sharepoint List (as opposed to a picture library). In this case please add the pictures as list attachments.
  2. Configure the following relevant Web Part properties in the Web Part Editor “Miscellaneous” pane section as needed:
    • Site Name: Enter the name of the site that contains the Spotlight Picture Library:
      – leave this field empty if the Library is in the current site (eg. the Web Part is placed in the same site)
      – Enter a “/” character if the Library is contained in the top site
      – Enter a path if the Library is in a subsite of the current site (eg. in the form of “current site/subsite”)
    • List Name: Enter the desired Sharepoint Picture Library
    • View Name: Optionally enter the desired List View of the list specified above. A List View allows you to specify specific data filtering and sorting.
      Leave this field empty if you want to use the List default view.
    • Title Field Name: Enter the desired Library Column name that contains the titles (Default=”Title”)
    • Abstract Field Name: Enter the desired Library Column name that contains the abstracts (Default=”Abstract”)

    Image

You can alternatively specify a “Field Template” by entering the desired Library fields (surrounded by curly braces). You can specify HTML tags and CSS styles to freely format the text.
Example:

<strong>{JobTitle}</strong>
<br>{Description}

5px; margin-top:5px; background-color:orange”>

<strong>Schools:</strong><br>
{Bio}
</div>

Image
  • The above example assumes that the Sharepoint Library includes a “JobTitle”, a “Description” and a “Bio” column.
  • Details URL Field Name: (optional) Enter the desired Library Column name that contains the Detail page links (Default=”DetailURL”). Leave this field empty if you don’t want to provide a detail link.
    If you want to automatically link to the corresponding Sharepoint List Detail View page, enter the keyword “DetailView” into this field.
    If you want to automatically link to the corresponding user’s “MySite” page, enter the keyword “MySite” into this field.
  • Open Details Link in new window: opens the link in a new browser window.
  • Details Caption: allows to localize the “Details..” link displayed in the lower right part of the web part (if a “Details” link is specified).
  • Text Layout: specify the placing of the Text with respect to the Image:
    – Right
    – Wrap
    – Bottom
    – Left
    – WrapLeft
  • Image Height: specify the image height in pixels. Enter “0” if you want to use the default picture size.
  • Default User Image: (optional) specify a default user picture (if there is no user picture available) by entering a relative URL to the image
  • Example:
    /yoursite/yourPictureLibrary/yourDefaultUser.jpg
  • Title CSS Style: enter optional CSS styles to format the Title (default: bold)
  • Text CSS Style:  enter optional CSS styles to format the Body Text (default: none)
  • Background Color (optional):  To set the desired Web Part Background color, enter either a HTML color name (as eg. “yellow”) or a hexadecimal RGB color value (as eg. “#ffcc33”). Leave this field empty if you don’t want to use a specific background color.
  • Show new Entry: shows a new entry depending on the below setting:
    – always (a new entry is displayed on every page refresh)
    – every Day
    – every Week
    – every Month
    – top Entry (the most recently added entry unless a View is used with a specific custom sorting order)
  • Show specific Entry: optionally enter the List ID of the List Item to be displayed.
  • Nbr. of Items to show: optionally enter two ore more items to be displayed side by side:
  • Center Web Part: horizontally centers the Web Part within the available space.
  • License Key: enter your Product License Key (as supplied after purchase of the “Spotlight On Web Part” license key).
    Leave this field empty if you are using the free 30 day evaluation version. You can check the evaluation period via the web part configuration pane.

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Contact me now on tomas.floyd@outlook.com to get o trial/copy of this Web Part (Also available as an Apo)

http://gravatar.com/sharepointsamurai

https://sharepointsamurai.wordpress.com/my-resume/

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Duet Enterprise – Creating and Deploying a Mobile Adapter Class for Business Data Action Web Parts

Learn how to create a mobile adapter class to display mobile views for Business Data Action Web Parts.

In Microsoft SharePoint 2010, mobile views are available for both the Business Data Builder Web Part and the Business Data Item Web Part. In the Starter Services site of Duet Enterprise for Microsoft SharePoint and SAP, a mobile view is available for only the Business Data Item Web Part. You must define a mobile adapter class to make mobile views available for other Business Data Web Parts. This topic describes how to write a mobile adapter class for Business Data Action Web Parts.

The procedures in this section describe how to create and deploy a mobile adapter class for displaying Business Data Action Web Parts.

The following are the basic steps to create and deploy a mobile adapter class:

  1. Create a mobile adapter class for Business Data Action Web Parts.
  2. Edit the compat.browser file.
  3. Register your adapter as a safe control.

To create a mobile adapter class for Business Data Action Web Parts

  1. In Microsoft Visual Studio 2010, create a new class library project named DuetMobileCustomization. Add references to the System.Web assembly and Microsoft.SharePoint.dll assembly.
  2. Add a using statement for the Microsoft.SharePoint.WebPartPages namespace. Depending on the details of your adapter implementation, add using statements for other namespaces. Commonly, mobile adapters make calls to types in the System.Web.UI.MobileControls namespace, Microsoft.SharePoint namespace, and Microsoft.SharePoint.MobileControls namespace.
  3. Add a class named WebPartClassMobileAdapter, where WebPartClass is a placeholder for the name of the Web Part that you are adapting. For example, if you are adapting the BusinessDataActionsWebPart, name the adapter class BusinessDataActionsWebPartMobileAdapter. This class should inherit from the WebPartMobileAdapter class.
  4. Add a namespace named MyCompany.SharePoint.WebPartPages.MobileAdapters. (Replace MyCompany with your company’s name.)
  5. Copy the following code into the new BusinessDataActionsWebPartMobileAdapter class.
    Copy
    using System;
    using System.Collections;
    using System.Collections.Generic;
    using System.Globalization;
    using System.Security.Permissions;
    using System.Web;
    using System.Web.Security;
    using System.Web.UI.MobileControls;
    
    using Microsoft.BusinessData.MetadataModel;
    using Microsoft.BusinessData.MetadataModel.Collections;
    using Microsoft.BusinessData.Runtime;
    
    using Microsoft.SharePoint.Portal.MobileControls;
    using Microsoft.SharePoint.MobileControls;
    using Microsoft.SharePoint.Utilities;
    using Microsoft.SharePoint.WebControls;
    using Microsoft.SharePoint.WebPartPages;
    using Microsoft.SharePoint.Portal.WebControls;
    using Microsoft.Office.Server.Diagnostics;
    
    namespace Microsoft.SharePoint.WebPartPages
    {
        public class BusinessDataActionsWebPartMobileAdapter : WebPartMobileAdapter
        {
  6. Because the WebPartMobileAdapter.Control property cannot be overridden, you might have to create a custom version of it by hiding and replacing it. You can do this by declaring a new Control property in your derived class by using the new keyword, as shown in the following example.
    Copy
    protected new BusinessDataActionsWebPart Control
            {
    [Microsoft.SharePoint.Security.SharePointPermission(System.Security.Permissions.SecurityAction.Demand, 
    ObjectModel = true)]
                get { return base.Control as BusinessDataActionsWebPart; }
            }

    For more information about how to create a custom version of WebPartMobileAdapter.Control and hiding and replacing it, and why you might have to do this, see the Control property.

  7. If the default implementation of the CreateControlsForSummaryView method of the WebPartMobileAdapter class is not appropriate for mobile access to the Web Part in your specific implementation, override it. An override should create any necessary child controls and add them to the Controls collection in the order in which they should appear on a mobile device. The display should contain at least a small icon and a title for the summary view on a mobile device. If those are the only display elements that that you must have, you do not have to override the CreateControlsForSummaryView method. The WebPartMobileAdapter class contains two helper methods you can use to create your display: CreateWebPartIcon() and CreateWebPartLabel().When you must display more information than what appears in the default summary view (for example, when your adapted Web Part has multiple child items that are the same type), you can add a count of the total number of children to the summary view by placing a Label control after the icon and title. The following code shows how to do this.
    Note Note
    This example assumes that the custom Web Part that you are adapting has a Count property of type String that returns the total number of child items.
    Copy
    protected override void CreateControlsForSummaryView()
            {
                this.CreateControlsForWebPartHeader();
                this.CreateControlsForBusinessDataActions();
            }
    
            private void CreateControlsForWebPartHeader()
            {
                Image iconImage = this.CreateWebPartIcon(WebPartIconLink.NoLink);
                iconImage.BreakAfter = false;
                this.Controls.Add(iconImage);
                this.Controls.Add(this.CreateWebPartLabel());
            }
    
            private void CreateControlsForBusinessDataActions()
            {
                try
                {
                    IList<string> result = this.Control.SelectedActions;
                    try
                    {
                        if (this.Control.BdcEntity != null)
                        {
                            IList<IAction> displayActions = GetActionsToDisplay(this.Control.BdcEntity);
                            result = new List<string>();
    
                            foreach (IAction action in displayActions)
                            {
                                Link l = new Link();
                                l.Text = action.Name;
    // This example does not create the Parameter value. 
    // Add logic to set the action of the parameter before storing this value in the Link Navigation URL.
                                l.NavigateUrl = action.Url;
                                this.Controls.Add(l);
                            }
                        }
                    }
                    catch (MetadataException)
                    {
                        // Metadata error. Just default to returning the Web Part's selected Actions.
                        result = this.Control.SelectedActions;
                    }
                }
                catch (Exception e)
                {
                    throw e;
                }
            }
    private IList<IAction> GetActionsToDisplay(IEntity entity)
            {
                IList<IAction> result = new List<IAction>();
                INamedActionDictionary namedActionDictionary = entity.GetActions();
                if (namedActionDictionary.Count != 0)
                {
                    // First add all the currently selected actions.
                    foreach (string selectedActionName in this.Control.SelectedActions)
                    {
                        if (namedActionDictionary.ContainsKey(selectedActionName))
                        {
                            result.Add(namedActionDictionary[selectedActionName]);
                        }
                        // else
    
                    }
    
                    // Action may not be in the SelectedActions list,
                    // but the Web Part is configured to display new actions and
                    // this action is not one of the explicitly de-selected ones. Add it to UI.
                    if (this.Control.DisplayNewActions)
                    {
                        foreach (IAction action in namedActionDictionary.Values)
                        {
                            if (!result.Contains(action)
                                && !this.Control.DeselectedActions.Contains(action.Name))
                            {
    
                                result.Add(action);
                            }
                        }
                    }
                }
    
                return result;
            }
    
            public void cmd_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
            {
                string CommandText = ((Command)sender).Text;
    
            }
  8. If the default implementation of CreateControlsForDetailView is not appropriate for mobile access to the Web Part in your specific implementation, override it. The default implementation renders an icon and title followed by a message that states that there is no detailed view for the Web Part. If you have overridden the CreateControlsForSummaryView method and do not want to provide a detailed view, override CreateControlsForDetailView and have it do nothing, as shown in the following example.
    Copy
    protected override void CreateControlsForDetailView()
            {
                // No Detail View
            }
  9. To change the icon that appears next to the Web Part title, override one or more of the following properties:
    • SummaryViewTitleIconUrl  The icon that appears next to the title when the Web Part is collapsed.
    • DetailViewTitleIconUrl  The icon that appears next to the title when the Web Part is expanded.
    • TitleIconUrl  The icon that appears next to the title when the mobile device does not support expand or collapse scripting.

    The code in the following example shows how to override the TitleIconUrl property. In this override, if the Web Part displays a list and the list has an icon of its own in its ImageUrl property, that icon is displayed.

    Copy
    protected override string TitleIconUrl
    {
        get
        { 
            SPContext context = SPContext.GetContext(HttpContext.Current);
    
            if (String.IsNullOrEmpty(context.List.ImageUrl))
            {
                return base.TitleIconUrl;
            }
            return context.List.ImageUrl;
        }
    }
  10. Compile the assembly, give it a strong name, and then deploy it either to the global assembly cache or to the \BIN folder of the Web application on every front-end web server in the farm. To deploy it to the global assembly cache, ensure that GlobalAssemblyCache is selected in the Assembly Deployment Target of the Properties pane of your class library project in Visual Studio 2010. This topic assumes that you are deploying to the global assembly cache.

To edit the compat.browser file

  1. In a text editor, open the compat.browser file that is located at \\Inetpub\wwwroot\wss\VirtualDirectories\port_number\App_Browsers\compat.browser, where port_number is the port of the web application. Scroll to the <browser> element that has the refID attribute value of default. This element will have a child element named <controlAdapters> that looks much like the code in the following example.
    Copy
    <controlAdapters>
      <adapter controlType="Microsoft.SharePoint.WebPartPages.XsltListViewWebPart, Microsoft.SharePoint, 
    Version=14.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c"
        adapterType="Microsoft.SharePoint.WebPartPages.XsltListViewWebPartMobileAdapter, Microsoft.SharePoint, 
    Version=14.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c" />
      <adapter controlType="Microsoft.SharePoint.WebPartPages.ListViewWebPart, Microsoft.SharePoint, 
    Version=14.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c"
        adapterType="Microsoft.SharePoint.WebPartPages.ListViewWebPartMobileAdapter, Microsoft.SharePoint, 
    Version=14.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c" />
      <adapter controlType="Microsoft.SharePoint.Applications.GroupBoard.WebPartPages.WhereaboutsWebPart, Microsoft.SharePoint, 
    Version=14.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c"
        <adapter controlType="Microsoft.SharePoint.Applications.GroupBoard.WebPartPages.WhereaboutsWebPart, Microsoft.SharePoint, 
    Version=14.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c"
                         adapterType="Microsoft.SharePoint.Applications.GroupBoard.WebPartPages.WhereaboutsWebPartMobileAdapter, Microsoft.SharePoint, 
    Version=14.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c" />
                <adapter controlType="Microsoft.SharePoint.WebPartPages.ImageWebPart, Microsoft.SharePoint, 
    Version=14.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c"
                         adapterType="Microsoft.SharePoint.WebPartPages.ImageWebPartMobileAdapter, Microsoft.SharePoint, 
    Version=14.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c" />
    </controlAdapters>
  2. Add an <adapter> element as a child of the <controlAdapters> element. This child element maps your adapter class to the custom Web Part that it adapts. Notice that both the controlType attribute and adapterType attribute are required. The value for both should be the fully qualified name of the class and the four-part name of the assembly. To obtain your adapter assembly’s public key token, in Visual Studio 2010 on the Tools menu, click Get Assembly Public Key. For another way to obtain the public key token, see How to: Create a Tool to Get the Public Key of an Assembly (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee539398.aspx). For more information about this XML markup, see Browser Definition File Schema (browsers Element) (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/ms228122.aspx). The following code shows one example of an <adapter> element.
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    <adapter controlType="Microsoft.SharePoint.Portal.WebControls.BusinessDataActionsWebPart, 
    Microsoft.SharePoint.Portal, 
    Version=14.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c" 
    adapterType="Microsoft.SharePoint.WebPartPages.BusinessDataActionsWebPartMobileAdapter, MobileCustomization, 
    Version=1.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=<assemblyPublic Key>" />
    NoteNote
    To deploy your adapter class to a server farm, you must change the compat.browser file as described earlier on every front-end web server. Do not overwrite the existing compat.browser file with a compat.browser file of your own because this might cancel adapter mappings that are made by other Microsoft SharePoint 2010 solution providers. Consider deploying the adapter as part of a SharePoint 2010 Feature. In the FeatureActivated event handler, create a timer job that adds the required <adapter> element to the compat.browser file on every front-end web server. For detailed information about programmatically editing the compat.browser file on all servers by using a timer job, see How to: Run Code on All Web Servers (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff464297.aspx).

To register your adapter as a safe control

  1. In your Visual Studio 2010 project, add an XML file named webconfig.CompanyName.xml, where CompanyName is the name of your company or another name that is not likely to be used by any other SharePoint Foundation 2010 solution providers.
    Tip Tip
    We recommend that you register your adapter by deploying it inside a SharePoint 2010 solution. The steps in this section are required only if your development computer is a single front-end web server. A SharePoint 2010 solution enables you to register controls as safe on all front-end web servers when your solution is deployed. For more information about using solution deployment to register controls as safe, see Solutions Overview (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa543214.aspx), Manually Creating Solutions in SharePoint Foundation (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa543741.aspx), and Solution Schema (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms442108.aspx).
  2. Add an <action> element that follows the model in the example below to the file. The TypeName attribute of the <SafeControl> element can be the name of your adapter class, such as UserTasksWebPartMobileAdapter. If you have multiple adapter classes in the same namespace, you can use an asterisk (*) as the value of TypeName.
    Copy
    <action>
       <add path="configuration/SharePoint/SafeControls">
        <SafeControl
          Assembly=" MobileCustomization, Version=1.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=<myPublicKeyToken>"
          Namespace="Microsoft.SharePoint.WebPartPages"
          TypeName="*"
          Safe="True"
          AllowRemoteDesigner="True"
        />
      </add>
    </action>
    Caution noteCaution
    Using an asterisk (*) as the value of TypeName makes every class in the namespace a safe control. If you have some classes in the assembly that should not be designated as safe, move them to a different assembly or avoid using the asterisk (*) value.

    For more information about the <SafeControl> element and web.config files, see How to: Create a Supplemental .config File (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms439965.aspx) and Working with Web.config Files (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms460914.aspx).

  3. Save the file. You must now copy it to the %ProgramFiles%\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\14\CONFIG folder on your development computer. The simplest way to do this on your development computer is to add the following lines to a post-build event command line or to a batch file script.
    Copy
    xcopy /y webconfig.MyCompany.xml "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\CONFIG"
    stsadm –o copyappbincontent
    NoteNote
    This code assumes that you have followed the recommendations in How to: Add Tool Locations to the PATH Environment Variable (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee537574.aspx).

    The copyappbincontent Stsadm.exe command performs the action defined by the <action> element in your Web configuration .xml file. In this case, it inserts the new <SafeControl> element of your adapter into the web.config file at the root of the web application. It first removes any existing <SafeControl> elements for the adapter. This lets you rerun the Stsadm command with every build without creating duplicate <SafeControl> elements.) For more information about Stsadm, see Stsadm command-line tool (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc288981(office.12).aspx).

 

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Publishing apps for Office and SharePoint to Windows Azure Websites

This post will focus on provider-hosted apps for SharePoint and apps for Office. Provider-hosted (as opposed to SharePoint-hosted or Autohosted) means that the developer is responsible for hosting the web content – which is precisely where Azure Websites can help. At the end of the post, I will also look at advanced topics, including options for publishing to a non-Azure environment (like an on-premise server).

Direct web publishing to Azure

Creating a profile

Suppose you have an app for SharePoint or an app for Office that you’re ready to publish for the first time. To begin publishing your app, choose the app for SharePoint or app for Office project, and choose “Publish”.

Figure 1. Publish menu in Solution Explorer
Figure 1. Publish menu in Solution Explorer

A guided publishing experience will appear, as shown below.

Figure 2. Guided publishing experience
Figure 2. Guided publishing experience

For a new project, there is no current publishing profile. You can create one by selecting <New…> from the profile dropdown, which will open the following dialog box.

Figure 3. Creating a new publishing profile
Figure 3. Creating a new publishing profile

If you’re publishing to Azure, choose the “download your publishing profile” link, and you’ll be redirected to the Azure portal. There, if you have not already, you can create a new website by choosing the +NEW at bottom-left corner of the portal. The bottom portion of the screen will expand, allowing you to create a new website via the Quick Create or Custom Create menu items.

Figure 4. Creating new website on Azure portal
Figure 4. Creating new website on Azure portal

Once the website entity is created, choose it from the list of websites to reveal the website details. Then choose Download the publish profile and save the profile to your computer. The profile contains all the information necessary to deploy your web content, including any auxiliary information like linked database connections.

Figure 5. Downloading the publish profile from the Azure portal
Figure 5. Downloading the publish profile from the Azure portal

Back in the Visual Studio dialog box, and with the import publishing profile option still selected, choose the “browse” button and browse to the newly-downloaded file. Depending on the type of app:

  • For apps for Office, the profile is now complete.
  • For apps for SharePoint, you can now configure the Client ID and Client Secret on the second page of the wizard. These values uniquely identify your app to SharePoint, and allows the app to access SharePoint data. Client IDs and Secrets are generated and registered automatically when you debug your app, but they must be registered in a more permanent fashion when publishing the app. To do so:

At the completion of either registration process, you will be granted a Client ID and Client Secret. Transfer those values into the Profile-creation dialog, and then choose Finish.

Deploying and packaging

Once the profile is set, the publishing buttons will activate. You now have a choice of deploying the web project and/or packaging the app. When publishing for the first time, you will need to do both – but it generally makes sense to start with deploying the web project first.

Deploy your web project

Deploying your web project is exactly what it sounds like: it will publish the entire contents of your web project (but not the SharePoint app or Office manifest) to the web. To do this, choose deploy your web project and you will see the familiar web publishing experience – complete with Preview, deployment settings, and more. The Connection tab has been pre-filled with information from your publish profile, and you can go to Settings to customize the publish configuration and options like Remove additional files at destination. Note that if your project requires a database, you can set it on the Settings page of the Wizard – and that, if your publish profile came from Azure, you can simply choose the database from the dropdown list.

Figure 6. Deploying a web project to Azure
Figure 6. Deploying a web project to Azure

The Preview functionality is helpful to ensure you’re publishing the right set of files. By choosing a file in the Preview list, you can see the impending changes that you’re about to commit to your live site.

Figure 7. Preview functionality in Visual Studio
Figure 7. Preview functionality in Visual Studio

Packaging your app

Once the web project is deployed, packaging the app is designed to be simple, and most fields should be pre-populated. If you used a publishing profile, the URL will already be pre-populated, though you’ll need to change the URL from “http” to “https”. Note that with Azure Websites, https hosting is automatically included for any website hosted on *.azurewebsites.net (for custom domains or other hosting providers, you may need to follow additional steps).

For apps for Office, that’s all you need: Just choose Finish, and a manifest file that points to your live web content will get generated for you. For apps that you wish to sell on the Office Store, see the next section. Otherwise, if it’s just an in-house app, you can upload the app to a file share or to a corporate catalog.

For apps for SharePoint, you will need to provide or confirm the Client ID, which you may have already entered during the profile-creation step. After that, click “finish” – and an app package will get created for you. Again, see the next section for apps headed for the Office Store. Otherwise, if you only intend to distribute the app to users of your SharePoint site, follow the documentation for uploading the app to a SharePoint corporate catalog.

Publishing to the Office Store

After your app package (apps for SharePoint) or manifest file (apps for Office) is created, you can use the Visit the Seller Dashboard button to get started with publishing to the Office Store.

For apps for Office, you can also run your app through a validation utility, which will catch common mistakes (like not specifying required information in the manifest). This will save you time and hassle when submitting the app to the Store.

Figure 8. Validation utility for apps for Office
Figure 8. Validation utility for apps for Office

Upgrading an app

When it comes time to upgrade an existing app that you have already published, what steps do you need to take?

For both apps for Office and apps for SharePoint, if all that you’ve updated is just in the web project, you can just re-publish the web content via the Deploy your web project button. These changes will go live immediately, and you’re fully in control of deploying these whenever you’d like.

If you made changes to the app manifest (apps for Office and apps for SharePoint) or if you have modified any SharePoint artifacts (lists, event receivers, or anything outside the web project), you need to re-publish those artifacts instead via the Package the app button. If your app is listed on the Office Store, you will then need to re-submit to the produced app package or app manifest to the Store, so it may take a few days before those changes go live – and remember that applying an update is at the discretion of the user.

In general, remember to be considerate of the upgrade impact when modifying anything outside of the web project. Especially for apps for SharePoint, which have a more involved upgrade process, see the Apps for SharePoint update process article for an in-depth upgrade discussion and for guidance on how to avoid breaking older app packages when deploying new web artifacts.

Advanced topics

Specifying multiple publish environments

One common request we heard is to publish an app to different environments. For example, one might want to publish to a “staging” environment first, ensure that the app works properly, and only then publish to “production”.

With the new Publish experience, switching between multiple environments is only a dropdown away. Each publish profile remembers its own URL, Client ID, and Secret, so publishing to a different profile is as easy as changing the profile dropdown and choosing the appropriate “Deploy your web project” and “Package the app” buttons.

Figure 9. Publishing to multiple environments
Figure 9. Publishing to multiple environments

Configuring Client Secret (or other environmental variables) in the Azure Portal

Sometimes, the “Client Secret” for the production app might be a closely-guarded secret. As a developer, you might have the ability to publish to the website, but you might not have access to the Client Secret itself. The same thing might be true for any other such variables.

One way to solve this scenario is to have your Azure account Admin manage these environmental variables through the Azure Portal. For each Azure Website, it is possible to have the Client Secret – or any other variables – be set via “app settings” section of the Configure tab. The “app settings” values take precedence over values in Web.config, so you get the best of both worlds – your local F5 scenario continues to work as before, yet your published app can make of a Client Secret that you might not even have access to.

Figure 10. Configuring a Client Secret in the Azure portal
Figure 10. Configuring a Client Secret in the Azure portal

Deploying outside of Azure (or to a local IIS server)

If you need to deploy to a non-Azure hosting provider – particularly if you are publishing to an on-premises machine – you can still use the many improvements to the app-publishing experience.

During profile-creation, choose the Create new profile radio button.

Then, once you are ready to deploy your web content, enter the Connection credentials in the “Publish Web” wizard.

The rest of the flow should be the same. Remember to ensure that your hosting server supports the HTTPS protocol.

Creating a Web Deploy Package

An alternate, but similar, case for publishing to a local IIS server is when only an IT admin has the ability to publish a website. To simplify deployment, you can provide the IT admin with a Web Deploy Package – a .zip file that contains all web artifacts.

To do this, create a new profile rather than importing one from Azure. In the case of an app for SharePoint, you will also need to fill in some dummy Client ID and Secret values.

Now go to Deploy your web project – but be sure to choose Web Deploy Package as the publish method in the “Connection” tab.

Figure 11. Creating a web deploy package
Figure 11. Creating a web deploy package

Choose a package location (any new folder will do) and proceed with the wizard. At the end, a set of deploy scripts and a .zip file with your web content will be generated.

Figure 12. Web deploy package files
Figure 12. Web deploy package files

Your IT Admin should be able to take things from here (registering the app with SharePoint and providing the Client ID and Secret into the deployment scripts). Once the web content is deployed, ask your admin to provide you with the Client ID (the secret is not needed) and proceed with the “Package the app” step. You can then send the app package – now containing the SharePoint artifacts, and pointing at the live web content – back to the IT admin to deploy to SharePoint.

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