Category Archives: SharePoint Designer

Some handy tips to rejuvenate a intranet

Many intranet projects start with the best of intentions. It doesn’t take much to get distracted or sidelined with other priorities. To get back on track with your intranet here are my top 5 points from a list of 27 to consider for user adoption.

1. Acronym Wiki – Ensuring that everyone understands the lingo!
2. FAQs – Providing a facility to showcase a repository of commonly asked questions.
3. New hire announcements – Great for small organisations to know who is coming into the company.
4. SharePoint solution showcase – a great opportunity to show how SharePoint can provide business solutions which can be utilised by the organisation.
5. Top Searches – Providing an insight into what people in the organisation are looking for on their intranet.

Many thanks to Richard Harbridge.

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SharePoint Resources by Rackspace

Here is a link to a SharePoint resource centre created by Rackspace. It has got some great tutorials by MVPs and other useful tid bits, enjoy!

Click here.

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Breaking SharePoint …

A nice little article on the cause and solution to a few common SharePoint errors. Click here for the full article.

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SPCAF public release 1

SPCAF – SharePoint Code Analysis Framework, is in its first public release. It provides a number of options to analyse code against best practices from a number of perspectives and roles (Admins, developers, architects and quality managers) within a SharePoint environment. Here’s some more detail on the release.

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SharePoint: InfoPath vs ASPX

Personally, coming from a developer background I always have leaned towards using ASPX as it has provided me with the flexibility to create custom forms when using SharePoint. I think the main reason is the familiarity and there is no learning curve as it is based on something that becomes second nature. But over recent years I have moved away from coding and focussed more on what SharePoint can provide out of the box. InfoPath provides a good alternative for users of all types to create forms quickly and has some rich features which can be utilised. I have always looked at this subject with my ‘developer hat’ on but now as a Consultant/Architect I think the best solution should always win …

Here is a breakdown of the key features and benefits of using each:!

Happy Reading!


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Using Javascript to export a Dynamically created Data view in SP2010

As part of the current project I’m working on, I needed to create a data view which passed a querystring parameter into a data view web part to display filtered data. The idea was to export this data to Excel using the export feature on the office ribbon available on SharePoint 2010.

To create the the view and apply the filter was very simple. I used SharePoint designer 2010, created a new web part page and inserted a data view. I re-arranged my columns and then applied the Query string parameter filter to the view. When I tested the view, it worked nicely. So the next step was to export the data to excel. This didn’t seem to work… so I was left scratching my head…

It seems when you create this type of view using Querystring parameter, on the export to excel function, it loses the value due to a page post back resulting in a blank view. So to get around this I used some Javascript to export the HTML to Excel which I found here. I have extracted the code require below:

<Script Language="Javascript">
function isIE() // Function to Determine IE or Not
 return /msie/i.test(navigator.userAgent) && !/opera/i.test(navigator.userAgent);

function exportToExcel() // Function to Export the Table Data to Excel.
var isIEBrowser = isIE();
if(isIEBrowser== false)
alert('Please use Internet Explorer for Excel Export Functionality.');
return false;
var strTableID = "detailsTable"; // It's the Table ID of Table in Webpart
var detailsTable = document.getElementById(strTableID);
var objExcel = new ActiveXObject("Excel.Application");
var objWorkBook = objExcel.Workbooks.Add;
var objWorkSheet = objWorkBook.Worksheets(1);

for (var intRowIndex=0;intRowIndex<detailsTable.rows.length;intRowIndex++)
for (var intColumnIndex=0;intColumnIndex<detailsTable.rows(intRowIndex).cells.length;intColumnIndex++)
  if(intColumnIndex != 3)
  objWorkSheet.Cells(intRowIndex+1,intColumnIndex+1) = detailsTable.rows(intRowIndex).cells(intColumnIndex).innerText;
objExcel.Visible = true;
objExcel.UserControl = true;

<button onclick=”exportToExcel();”>Export to Excel File</button>

To find the table Id click here

So this worked, but there is a few gotchas:

  • This will only work in when using IE
  • You will need to set your browser to Allow Active X controls
  • You will need to have Excel on your machine 😉

Thanks to the guys on MS SharePoint forums!!

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SharePoint Designer 2010 – Get the current item url

Question: How do you get the current item URL using SharePoint Designer 2010 Workflows?

Answer: By using ‘Workflow Context:Current Item URL’

But be careful of spaces in the URL as it will split the href link!

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SharePoint 2010 workflow actions & results

A link to a some useful information when working with Date and User Objects within SharePoint Designer workflows:


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“The workflow could not update the item, possibly because one or more columns for the items require a different type of information” – SharePoint 2010 Workflow error

I came across this error when I was testing a workflow built using SharePoint 2010 Designer: 

‘The workflow could not update the item, possibly because one or more columns for the items require a different type of information’

SharePoint Designer workflows (in my experience) don’t really provide any meaningful error messages. So I did a quick google (as you do 🙂 ) and found this article –

It described the problem I was having so I tried the resolution and hey presto, it worked!!

It basically suggests rather than using an Update List Item Action on the current list, use the Set Field in Current Item Action as it prevents Sequential workflow errors.

Thanks to Anthony Clegg and Happy workflowing!

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