Sharepoint Insight by Namwar Rizvi

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

Archive for the ‘Tools’ Category

Reverse Engineer the Schema of any List in SharePoint

Posted by namwar on December 26, 2009


If you have ever designed a custom list then you may already felt the pain of creating the schema of it and writing the whole CAML. Sometimes, we just need to enhance an already existing list by creating our own custom list for which we want to copy the existing schema and do the necessary changes.

You can retrieve the schema of any list by using the owssvr.dll call from your browser. Following is the syntax

http://<YourServer>/_vti_bin/owssvr.dll?Cmd=ExportList&amp;List=<YourListGuid>&#8221;

By replacing the Server and List GUID in above url will return you the XML Schema of the list.

To make thing easier, I have created a Feature to add a custom action in Settings menu called “Display Schema“, Click it and you will get the schema of the list.

Steps to create the feature:

1. Create a new folder called “DisplaySchema” in Features folder.

2. Create Feature.xml file and paste the following code

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<Feature Id="{A66E6CBA-8EA1-4c28-B233-52B3D7FF352B}"
    Title="Display List Schema"
    Description="This feature adds a custom menu item in Settings menu to display List Schema"
    Version="1.0.0.0"
    Scope="Site"
    xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/">
  <ElementManifests>
    <ElementManifest Location="Elements.xml" />
  </ElementManifests>
</Feature>

3. Create Elements.xml file and paste the following code

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<Elements xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/">
<!-- List Toolbar Settings Menu Dropdown -->
  <CustomAction Id="DisplayListSchema"
    RegistrationType="List"
    GroupId="SettingsMenu"
    Location="Microsoft.SharePoint.StandardMenu"
    Sequence="1000"
    Title="Display Schema"
	Description="Displays schema of the list">
    <UrlAction Url="~site/_vti_bin/owssvr.dll?Cmd=ExportList&amp;List={ListId}"/>
  </CustomAction>
</Elements>

4. Install the feature by using stsadm command line tool.
5. Activate it.
6. Navigate to any list, Document Library, Tasks list etc. and click Settings, and then click Display Schema.
You will get the schema of that list. Copy it and enjoy!

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Posted in Customization, Feature, Solutions, Tips, Tools | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Microsoft SharePoint Designer is now Free !

Posted by namwar on April 7, 2009


SharePoint Designer Team at Microsoft has announced at its blog here that Anyone can use SharePoint Designer as a free tool. This is really a step in right direction and will help SharePoint community to build better user experiences. 

You can download the SharePoint Designer from here

Posted in Customization, Tools | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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 »

Verify your code with SharePoint Dispose Checker Tool

Posted by namwar on February 2, 2009


Today, a new tool  SharePoint Dispose Checker Tool  has been released at MSDN for checking your code against incorrect processing of IDisposable objects like. SPSite and SPWeb. This tool checks your assembly and identify potential problems of not disposing these objects. 

You can download SharePoint Dispose Checker Tool from here

and here is the great article from Paul Andrew (Microsoft Technical Product Manager for the SharePoint Developer Platform) about best practices and how to use this tool.

Posted in Bugs, Debugging, Object Model, Tools | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »