How to upgrade a Visual Studio SharePoint 2010 Branding project

The assumption is that you deployed your branding solution as .wsp file and you now wanted to make further changes such as the master page, page layout, CSS, images etc..
How do you go about the upgrade and deployment process:

  1. Open your existing branding solution using Visual Studio 2010 or latest version
  2.  Make the appropriate code changes
  3. Save your project and later, right click your solution and  “Rebuild”
  4. Right click your solution and click “Package”
  5. Right click your solution and click “Open Folder in Windows Explorer”
  6. Click the bin folder
  7. Click Debug folder
  8. Make sure your .dll, .pdb and .wsp files’ modified date is todays date to reflect that you indeed have rebuilt the project
  9. Make a copy of the wsp file, rename it such as by giving a version number
  10. Since this is a Sandboxed solution, to deploy click Site Actions -> Site Settings -> Solutions (i.e. under Galleries)
  11. From Solutions page, click the Solutioms ribon and later Upload Soltuion icon.
  12. Upload the renamed .wsp file and in the Solution Gallery – Upgrade Soltuion dial box click the Upgrade icon
  13. As you can see your new .wsp file is activated while the previous .wsp file is deactivated

That is it.


How to shrink SQL server 2008 R2 database in a dev environment

I am writing this tips as a note to myself.

As a SharePoint developer I run my SharePoint 2010 development inside a VM. As times goes by I found myself short of hard disk spaces. Following these steps helped to alleviate the problem:

  1. Open up your SQL database where SharePoint is installed
  2. Find the database where its log file is taking up lots of space, in most situations it would be Sharepoint_Config.
  3. Right click the database -> Properties -> options and now change recovery mode from full to simple
  4. Right click database again -> Tasks -> shrink -> database then click Ok. This will shrink the SharePoint_Config_log.ldf file
  5. Finally change the recovery mode to full by following a similar step as #3

Please do not use this technique in prod environment as you normally would require to have a normal database backup process.

Code Samples for SharePoint Client Side Opertaions

This is a note for myself so that I can easily find it.

SharePoint 2010 CSOM and JavaScript

SharePoint 2013 CSOM, JavaScript, and REST

Why I do not see the Application Pool in my Windows 2003 IIS MMC?

If you are using Windows 2003, then you should be running IIS 6.0. If you do not  see Application Pools in the IIS MMC, it looks like you are running in IIS 5 isolation mode. You can verify this, by right clicking on “Web Sites” in the IIS MMC,  choose Properties, click on the Service tab, if “Run WWW service in IIS 5.0 isolation mode” is checked, then that is why you do not see Application Pools.  You will need to uncheck this setting and restart IIS.

Building Dynamic BI Using Excel/SharePoint List Data – part 2

Since in Microsoft Office Excel 2007, the ability to synchronize data between Excel table and a SharePoint list is deprecated we need to download and install an add-in. The add-in then will enable us to update the information in a SharePoint list from Excel 2007.

The first thing we need to do is download and install the Excel 2007 Add-in: Synchronizing Tables with SharePoint Lists into our Microsoft Office 2007 client application.

Please consult this MSDN paper as to how you can install the add-in into Office 2007 and publish the data to a SharePoint list.

Please note that you cannot save your Excel workbook in the new Office Open XML Formats (.docx). Instead, to retain the functionality, you need to save the workbook in the Excel 97-2003 file format (.doc).

If you follow these steps you have now an Excel workbook that has a data and synced to a SharePoint list.

In my next and final blog I will explain as to how we can create the Visifire chart, to display the synced SharePoint list data, using SharePoint designer 2007.


My list of SharePoint tools

I thought this post might serve me as a central location where I could add all the nice SharePoint/web development tools developed by those smart SharePoint gurus. BTW I like to take this opportunity to say big thank you to all of them:
U2U CAML Query Builder for SharePoint 2003 and SharePoint 2007 (Windows Version)
SharePoint development: handy little utility to get GUID’s and Attribute names
U2U CAML Query Builder Feature
2009 SharePoint Toolbox Review
Hammerhead – web page load tester tool
Intranet Factory
SharePoint Tools (commercial & free)
WSS Demo SharePoint Tools and Utilities
WSS 3.0 Site Top Navigation
CKS – Development Tools Edition (Foundation)
CKS – Development Tools Edition (Server)
CAML.NET Intellisense for Visual Studio 2010
Visual Studio 2010 SharePoint Power Tools
LINQ to SharePoint DSL Extension for VS2010
SpugDisposeCheck – VS Addin for validating Sharepoint 2007,2010 dispose objects

Building Dynamic BI Using Excel/SharePoint List Data – part 1

Recently I got a request from a client, which reads as “…currently, we track our budgets and spending for the work units using a series of linked Excel spreadsheets. Admin support enters invoice information into these spreadsheets and the information gets categorized according to pre-defined budget and program codes. We need a Dashboard for our SharePoint that would allow us to present summary information for our spending (budget against spending to date) by extracting information from the spreadsheets..”

A common business issue is the inability to display meaningful Business Intelligence (BI) information in a cost-effective, efficient manner. In Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, we can generate powerful graphs through Performance Point, Excel Services, and SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) but these technologies can come at a high cost. The costs make sense for many large companies that are setting up their own SharePoint farm and running extensive analytics. However, this may be overkill for smaller businesses who only want to generate a few basic charts.

In the coming few days I will be blogging as to how I tackled this issue by using Excel 2007 as data source then sync the Excel data to a SharePoint list. Later create a visually appealing chart using SharePoint designer 2007 and Visifire charting control. For today I will show you the end result of my solution which potentially met this client’s requirement.


I installed SP 2010 as well as SPD 2010 and Office 2010 betas

The waiting game is over as I have now installed SharePoint server 2010, SharePoint Designer 2010 and Office 2010 betas. Now is the time to start playing/learning SharePoint server 2010 applications devlelopment. 

Microsoft SharePoint Server Enterprise 2010 Public Beta is now out

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