Sharepoint Insight by Namwar Rizvi

Sharepoint Tips, Tricks and inside knowledge from real world experience by Namwar Rizvi

Archive for the ‘Guidance’ Category

SharePoint Designer or Visual Studio?

Posted by namwar on August 1, 2009


If you are confused about when to use SharePoint Designer and Visual Studio then here are some guidelines which may help you choosing the right technology at the right time. The short answer is

Web Designer=SharePoint Designer whereas Web Developer=Visual Studio

  1. First of all please note that these are two completely different tools to solve two completely different types of problems.
  2. SharePoint Designer is focused on Presentation and Branding.  Although, you can some what program a logic to solve some issues (like designing sequential workflows) but it is not good for programming and it is designed to do code free work.
  3. SharePoint Designer is an excellent tool for rebranding the site, customizing the layout, updating CSS and designing Master Pages.
  4. SharePoint Designer can talk to SharePoint natively and can display the pages with full rendering (at least 90%) of web parts.
  5. SharePoint Designer is best suitable for web designers.
  6. Visual Studio 2005/2008 is the tool of choice when you want to extend SharePoint functionality by writing your own custom code.
  7. If you want to design portable workflows, then user Visual Studio.
  8. If you want to create event handlers, custom features, site definitions, custom lists or web parts then use Visual Studio.

Posted in Guidance | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

List of all SharePoint Back-End databases

Posted by namwar on July 16, 2009


SharePoint stores end-user content and application configurations across multiple relational databases in the back-end database servers. At a high level, the following are the relational databases:
 Configuration database: Stores topology and configuration information for the complete deployment. Every farm has exactly one configuration database. For information about the configuration database protocols, see Configuration Database.
 Central Administration content database: Stores content associated with the Central Administration site.
 Shared Services Providers (SSP) database: Stores content and configuration for Shared Service Providers (SSPs), such as the user profile services. The capabilities of SSPs are described in [MS-SPFEPO], Section 2.2.2 (Shared Service Provider).
 Shared services administration content database: Stores content for the shared services administration site.
 Content database: Stores all end-user and site content. For information about content databases and protocols, see List and Library Storage.
 Search property store: The search metadata index that stores properties related to pieces of content that are indexed for full-text querying. For information, see section 7.4.1.1.2.
11 of 43
[MS-SPBEPO] SharePoint Back-End Protocols Overview – v1.0
[MS-SPBEPO]: SharePoint Back-End Protocols Overview
Copyright © 2008 Microsoft Corporation.
Release: Friday, June 27, 2008
 Single sign-on database: Stores credentials for end-users to access information from external applications through SharePoint. For information about the protocols used to access the single sign-on (SSO) database, see Business Data Catalog Protocols.

As described by Microsoft in SharePoint Back-End Protocols Overview

SharePoint stores end-user content and application configurations across multiple relational databases in the back-end database servers. At a high level, the following are the relational databases:

  1. Configuration database: Stores topology and configuration information for the complete deployment. Every farm has exactly one configuration database.
  2. Central Administration content database: Stores content associated with the Central Administration site.
  3. Shared Services Providers (SSP) database: Stores content and configuration for Shared Service Providers (SSPs), such as the user profile services.
  4. Shared services administration content database: Stores content for the shared services administration site.
  5. Content database: Stores all end-user and site content.
  6. Search property store: The search metadata index that stores properties related to pieces of content that are indexed for full-text querying.
  7. Single sign-on database: Stores credentials for end-users to access information from external applications through SharePoint.

Posted in Architecture, Debugging, Guidance, Management, Tips | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Access Denied while changing name of a Document of Document Library

Posted by namwar on June 21, 2009


It is natural to assume that if you have Modify permission on any SharePoint item/document then it means you can update any property of that document, right? Wrong! You can update any property of a document/item except Name property. This is because in SharePoint terms, changing the name of the document means two things:

  1. Creating a copy of the current document with the new name and
  2. Deleteing the current document.

If you don’t have Delete permission and just have Modify permission then you can modify every property except the Name property.

So, if you are getting Access Denied error while changing the Name of a document of a SharePoint Documnt Library and you know that you have the Update/Modify permission on that doucment then make sure you also have Delete permission on that document.

Posted in Configuration, Guidance | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Ten Themes for SharePoint in VSeWSS Projects

Posted by namwar on March 25, 2009


Ten new SharePoint themes have been released by Microsoft to help SharePoint designers to make new sites more efficientlty. You will find them as individual  Visual Studio 2008 projects which when deployed to SharePoint offer fresh new designed themes you can use in your projects. 

Themes can be downloaded from here

Following is a preview image of these themes (from Sharepoint.microsoft.com)

Posted in Guidance, Templates | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Visual Studio 2008 extensions for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, v1.3 – Mar 2009 CTP

Posted by namwar on March 24, 2009


A goow news for SharePoint community 🙂 Microsoft has releasesd the Mar 2009 CTP of Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 v1.3. This CTP contains excellent set of functionalities and saves your precious time. You can download the extensions from here

Following is the overview as released by Microsoft

This is the SharePoint developer tools for Visual Studio 2008. These tools are suitable for use with Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 or Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. It includes project and item templates for common SharePoint artifacts, it includes build, packaging and deployment for SharePoint solutions and it includes the SharePoint Solution Generator which creates a new Visual Studio 2008 project from a SharePoint site.

The tools provide item templates for List Definition, List Definition from Content Type, Content Type, Field Control, Web Part, Module, Root File, Template, Event Receiver, and List Instance. It provides project templates for Team Site Definition, Blank Site Definition, List Definition, Web Part and Empty. It works with Visual Basic .NET and C# languages and a comprehensive user guide is included. It does not include the SharePoint Workflow templates as they are built in with Visual Studio 2008.

New features in version 1.3 include:

  • Can be installed on x64 Server OS machines running SharePoint x64. Previously only x86 Server OS could be used
  • Separate build commands for package, deploy and retract are added as Visual Studio menu items
  • WSP View improvements for consistency of deleting feature elements, merging features and adding event receivers to features
  • Command line build, package and retract commands are included enabling continuous integration and build servers. Previously command line build of SharePoint projects was very difficult
  • Refactoring support for renaming of Web Parts. Previously renaming a web part required changes in several files in the project
  • Solution Generator can now generate solutions from publishing sites. Previously only regular sites could be generated
  • Allowing partial trust BIN deployments of web parts
  • New project item template for SharePoint RootFiles items
  • Deployment will now optionally remove conflicting existing features on the development server prior to redeployment. Previously any feature name conflicts would result in an error
  • Ancillary assemblies such as for business logic can now be added to the SharePoint Solution WSP
  • Hidden features related to Site Definition projects are now shown in WSP View. They are no longer hidden
  • For advanced users a fast deploy is included to update only the compiled assembly on the SharePoint development installation
  • Deployment step logging is included
  • The List Definition from Content Type template now allows for the creation of a List Definition Event Receiver
  • The User Guide is now installed with the extensions instead of being a separate download

Posted in Debugging, Guidance, Templates, Tools | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sharepoint Patterns and Practices

Posted by namwar on November 10, 2008


If you are looking for standard patterns and practices used for Sharepoint Platform then look no further.

Microsoft has released an excellent guidance package for Sharepoint Developers and Architects. You can download it from the following URL

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=c3722dba-6ee7-4e0e-82b5-fdaf3c5ec927&displaylang=en&tm

I will recommend every reader to download it and check it as it has lot of information. Some of the highlights are (as per Microsoft description)

This guidance helps architects and developers build SharePoint intranet applications. A reference implementation (RI) demonstrates solutions to common architectural, development and lifecycle management challenges.
This guidance discusses the following:

  • Architectural decisions about patterns, feature factoring and packaging.
  • Design tradeoffs for common decisions many developers encounter.
  • Implementation examples demonstrated in the RI and in the QuickStarts.
  • How to design for testability, create unit tests, and run continuous integration.
  • Set up of development, build, test, staging, and production environments.
  • Managing the application life cycle including upgrade.
  • Team-based intranet application development.

The following areas are not discussed in this version of the guidance:

  • Content-oriented sites that use Web content management
  • Internet and enterprise-scale SharePoint applications
  • Multilingual SharePoint applications
  • Scale or security testing of SharePoint applications

Posted in Guidance | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »