Free SharePoint 2013 training for End Users

Date:January 7th, 2016 Author: Tags: ,
Category: Community, Training Comments:0 ;

It’s a common problem when IT systems are implemented that we give little thought to End Users and they are expected to just ‘figure it out as you go along’.

I think it’s particularly acute for software like SharePoint as it’s a huge, complex product and can be used in so many different ways.

There is a huge amount of information available for Developers, Administrators and Power Users – but surprisingly little aimed at End Users.

So to help we’ve partnered with ClipTraining.com – one of the leading providers of online training videos for software products – to bring you a totally free training course for SharePoint 2013.

clip-training-logo-small

We were particularly impressed with ClipTraining’s approach of breaking down each course into short to-the-point task based videos – this allows you to work through the whole syllabus or jump into specific areas when you ‘just need to get something done’.

Free? What’s the catch?

None!

You have to register by the end of March – you can then use the online training as much as you want until the end of 2016.

Pentalogic and ClipTraining will receive your registration details but we are committed to treating you fairly. We won’t rent, sell or disclose this to anyone else and we will not bombard you with emails!

Register Now!

Help us spread the word!

If you think this is useful then please help us spread the word.

  • How about that colleague who is new to SharePoint?
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  • Someone asking a question in a forum who needs a helping hand?

About ClipTraining

ClipTraining’s eLearning library includes training videos for the full Office suite (Excel, Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, Access, OneNote, Publisher, Visio) as well as Windows 10, Skype for Business, Yammer and OneDrive.

Everyone is sure to learn something new about the tool they use every day – increasing productivity and saving hours of work.

Included are ClipTraining’s convenient administrative tools to track user activity, and easily organize and manage your entire team’s learning.

Purchase for individuals for just pennies a day – or get access for your whole organisation to slash your training and helpdesk budgets.

How to Identify New or Modified List Items (records) in SharePoint

Date:October 22nd, 2015 Author: Tags: , ,
Category: Calculated Columns, Filter, SharePoint Reminder Comments:0 ;

We helped a custom recently with an interesting SharePoint question – how to identify if a List item is new or has been modified? In addition they also needed to be able to setup a View to show only New items and another to show Modified items.

Read the rest of this entry »

Exporting TeamTime data to Excel

Date:October 6th, 2015 Author: Tags:
Category: SharePoint TeamTime, SharePoint Timesheets Comments:0 ;

Our TeamTime application includes some built in Analysis and Report pages and also allows you to create your own custom reports.

For more advanced custom reports then you can always run reports on the raw data to the tool of your choice using the Extensibility lists.

An example of where you may want to do this is if you want assign a different hourly rate per Project or Task (TeamTime only has the option of 1 rate per user).

One option is to use Microsoft Excel and this walkthrough will show you how to do that.

Read the rest of this entry »

Using Calculated Columns with Yes/No (Boolean) fields in SharePoint

Date:June 15th, 2015 Author: Tags:
Category: Calculated Columns Comments:0 ;

A fairly common SharePoint question is how to deal with the Yes/No field type (technically known as Boolean fields) when using Calculated Columns.

Typically you may want to do something like change Yes/No to something else for display purposes – for example if the fields is for Important you could put “VIP” or blank in a View instead.

What does NOT work?

If we assume the Yes/No field is called “Important” then here are some of the formula that WILL NOT work

=IF([Important]="True","VIP","")

The reason is that you’re working with a Boolean field under the hood so TRUE is a special key word and TRUE is not the same as “TRUE” which is a string with the letters T, R, U and E in.

(I show my wife examples like this when she wants to know why computer programmers are so pedantic!)

These also fail :-

=IF([Important]="Yes","VIP","")

=IF([Important]=1,"VIP","")

So what does work?

So what you can use instead is (note NO quotes!)

=IF([Important]=TRUE,"VIP","")

The opposite is of course

=IF([Important]=FALSE,"Not a VIP","A VIP")

You can also use this as a shorthand for =TRUE

=IF([Important],"VIP","")

For more tips on calculated columns be sure to check out our handy Calculated Column Cheat Sheet and other blog posts about SharePoint calculated columns and formulas.

Tip – for View Fitlers still use Yes or No (no quotes) – this is just for calculated column formula.

SPBiz – SharePoint conference for Business and Power Users!

Date:June 9th, 2015 Author: Tags: , , , ,
Category: SharePoint Ideas, SharePoint Online / 365 / Cloud, Training Comments:3 ;

As with any technology a successfully SharePoint implementation relies just as much on the business and ‘softer’ user adoption skills as the technical aspects. Which is why I’ve always found it strange that there are huge amounts of great technical resources (books, examples, best-practices, blogs, conferences etc) but far less aimed at business and power users.

The free on-line SPBiz conference is going to balance this a little with its focus on the needs of SharePoint Business and Power Users. There is still some great technical content in there but the focus is on empowering the less technical audience with resources to get things done and make SharePoint a success.

Just some of the sessions at SPBiz!

  • Create a GTD Dashboard in Office 365 to “Get Things Done”
  • Want to use SharePoint for internal communications?
  • Secrets of Successful SharePoint Intranets
  • How to build a knowledge sharing culture
  • Strategies to Deliver Successful Employee Portals
  • Leverage SharePoint 2013 for Better Collaborative Project Management
  • How to be productive with Office 365
  • Change business processes into easy SharePoint workflows
  • Find out about the best “no-code” solutions for SharePoint
  • SharePoint Governance 101

June 17th and 18th – Free and Online.

Register Today for free or browse the Agenda for Wednesday 17th and Thursday 18th.

SPBiz-MastHead

Google Chrome v43+ incompatibility – new version of Planner, PivotPoint and TeamTime available

Date:June 1st, 2015 Author: Tags: , , , , ,
Category: PivotPoint Web Part, SharePoint Planner, SharePoint TeamTime Comments:0 ;

New versions of Planner, PivotPoint and TeamTime are available that correct an incompatibility with Google Chrome v43+.

This incompatibility can cause the web part to be hidden when using the web part configuration toolpane (edit web part).

As Google Chrome is automatically updated it’s important that any customers who use Chrome update to the latest version.

You can download the latest trial version and upgrade by installing over the top – your existing settings will be saved and the License Key picked up to activate the full version.

Google Chrome v37+ causes problem changing user in TeamTime on SharePoint 2010

Date:November 24th, 2014 Author: Tags: ,
Category: SharePoint TeamTime Comments:1 ;

Google have controversially removed a feature (showModalDialog) from Chrome v37+ that has been included in most browsers since 1994 and is still part of the HTML5 specification.

This has caused problems with lots of web applications including companies internally developed apps, ’3rd party apps’ and Microsoft products like Outlook Web Access, Dynamics and of course SharePoint.

TeamTime (our timesheet app for SharePoint) has been effected by this too as we use SharePoints built in People Picker control in the Timesheet to allow you to view other users timesheets (if you’ve got the right permissions).


teamtime-people-picker

With Google Chrome v37 and above it will open up the people picker and let you select an individual, but when you click OK it won’t update the main page.

This is actually due to a bug in SharePoint 2010 and you can see the same problem if you edit a normal “Person or Group” field like the Assigned To field in any task list.

Interestingly (to us nerds anyway!) it works fine if the Edit Form opens as a dialog, but won’t work if it opens up full screen (which will happen if you right click Open In New Window, click on an edit link in an email or turn of Launch forms in a dialog in List Settings > Advanced Settings).

edit-form-in-popupEdit Form opens in dialog – people picker will work OK. edit-form-no-dialogEdit Form opened full screen, SharePoint 2010 people picker will not work in Google Chrome v37 or above

This isn’t something we can fix – the problem is a bug in Microsoft’s SharePoint 2010 javascript code which has been triggered by Google’s change to Chrome.

Nerd Alert – The bug is in init.js, function commonShowModalDialog. At the end of the function (in the branch that runs if showModalDialog is not available) you have the line

               if (window.frameElement != null)
                              window.fndlgClose = d

Where d is the ‘callback’ function to run when the user selects a person. The test if (window.frameElement != null) means this is only ran if its running in an iFrame – hence it working if the edit form opens up in a ‘popup’ itself.

What are my options?

  • Stop using Chrome in favour of another browser.
  • Temporarily use a registry hack to turn showModalDialog back on (but this will only work until the end of April 2015)
  • Upgrade to SharePoint 2013 (this only happens on SharePoint 2010, not 2007 or 2013)
  • Wait until either Microsoft fix this or Google come to their senses.

New version of SharePoint Reminder – corrects a problem caused by Chrome v37

Date:October 27th, 2014 Author: Tags: , , , ,
Category: SharePoint Reminder Comments:0 ;

A new version (1.9.6) of Reminder for SharePoint which enables date based email Alerts  is available.

The main change in this version is to make it compatible with Google Chrome v37. Controversially Google removed a feature (showModalDialog) that has been included in most browsers since 1994 and is still part of the latest HTML5 specification.

We’ve also added

  • Improved compatibility with custom master pages or other controls that use jQuery and the ability stop reminder including jQuery on a page that already has it. (options under the Support tab).
  • Reduced storage requirements for state data to support large lists
  • Configurable Web Part processing timeouts (for large lists)
  • A correction to an error that occurred if you use List and View name with angle brackets in the title.

To upgrade simply download and install the latest trial version – your license key will be picked up during the upgrade and all your settings will be saved.

Warning - Once you’ve upgraded to v1.9.6 or above you can’t rollback to a version older than 1.9.6.

SharePoint – wildcard / free text searching the List View web part

Date:May 30th, 2014 Author: Tags: , ,
Category: Filter, FilterPoint Web Part, SharePoint Development Comments:5 ;

It’s a common requirement to be able to do wildcard free text searches on SharePoint lists.

Whilst you can’t do wildcard or complex Boolean search (that’s what the search system is for) you can get close with a contains search. Thus searching for “Acme” will return “ACME Construction” and “Big ACME Rentals” but not “Rent-A-Crane”

It’s not easy though, and does require SharePoint Designer and a Filter Provider such as our FilterPoint product.

Filter Providers and Filter Consumers.

In SharePoint you have

  • Filter Providers (like FilterPoint or SharePoint Enterprises own filter web parts)
  • Filter Consumers (like the List View web part or other web parts such as our PivotPoint).

The Filter Provider sends the filter you’ve entered (e.g. “Customer” and “Acme”) but it’s entirely up to the Filter Consumer what it does with that filter.

This means that if you want to do things like Date Ranges, wildcard filtering using “Contains” operations you have to set those options on the Filter Consumer.

Our products (PivotPoint, Planner etc) have options to allow you to easily set what to do with the incoming filters, but SharePoints built in List View web part does not.

Using “Contains” filters to do free text search in FilterPoint.

We’re going to use SharePoint Designer to setup Parameters and Filters in the List View Web Part (LVWP) so we can do wildcard type filtering.

(It’s a limitation of SharePoint that you can’t do this without SharePoint Designer – sorry!)

First go to the web part page that has your list (or create a new, empty web part page and add your list to it).

In our example we’ve got a list of Customers with the customer name in the Title field.

Customers List

  • Open this page in SharePoint Designers edit view.

(Depending on what type of page this is will invoice different steps – see these tips for more help on using SharePoint Designer or the online manual for SharePoint Designer)

SharePoint Designer List Parameters

  • In the Data View Parameters window :-
    • Click New Parameter,
    • In the Name box put Customer_Search.
    • (You can use whatever name you want here but it needs to be consistent across the next few steps, also note an underscore, no spaces!)
    • Change Parameter Source to Form
    • Change Form Field to Customer_Search
    • Click OK

SharePoint Desinger - add parameter

  • Now select Filter from the Ribbon (top left of the edit page view) to open the Filter Criteria window

SharePoint Designer - filter criteria

  • Choose
    • The field name you want to filter on – in our case the customers’ names are in the Title field.
    • Set the Comparison operator to Contains (this means that searching for ACME will return “ACME Corporation “or “Big ACME rentals” etc.)
    • Set Value to be the parameter we created above – Customer_Search.
    • Click OK

We’re done with SharePoint Designer (SPD) now so you can hit save and close SPD.

Open the page you’ve been working with in the browser – notice that the list won’t be displaying any results as we’re not passing in anything to our Contains Parameter.

Edit the page and add the Filter Point web part (or another FilterProvider web part of your choosing)

FilterPoint web part added

  • Select the Web Part menu (button on top right highlighted) and then Connections > Provide Filter To > Customers (or whatever your list is called.

Connect FilterPoint to customers list

  • On the next dialog box select Get Parameters From and then Finish

Web Part Connection get parameters from

  • Right – we’ve added a Parameter and a Contains Filter to the List view and connected the FitlerPoint web part to the List View, nearly there!
  • Next open FilterPoint’s configuration toolpane

FilterPoint - edit web part

    • Select New and enter a label such as Customer
    • Set the Filter Style to “Free Text”
    • Set the Field Name to From the connected web part and choose the parameter that you set above – in our case Customer_Search.
  • Click OK and you’re finally done.

(For more info on configuring FilterPoint see the manual)

Searching for “acme” or “rent” will now return any customer that has that string in their name :-

search rent search acme

A couple of points to note :-

  • You can’t do complex searches like “acme AND rent” or “Rent*Crane” – just Contains or Begins With searches.
  • If you want to setup additional filters then once you’ve connected the web parts in “Get Parameters” mode (rather than the normal “Get Filter Values” mode) you will have to repeat the above steps to create Parameters and Filters in the List for each filter. It’s a pain but a limitation of SharePoint.
  • If you do add additional Parameters and Filters be sure to set the And/Or operator correctly – for most use cases you will want And.

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SharePoint Designer 2013 – How to modify List View web part filters and parameters

Date:May 30th, 2014 Author: Tags: , , ,
Category: Filter, FilterPoint Web Part, General, SharePoint Development, SharePoint Ideas Comments:9 ;

SharePoint Designer is especially useful for things like setting up complex filters and parameters for List View web parts like ‘wildcard’ searches and ‘before or after a date’ filters.

In SharePoint Designer 2013 (SPD 2013) the “Design View” was (controversially) removed so now it’s a little harder to use as you have to wade through some X/HTML soup. There is also a bit of a wicked bug that’s going to trip you up as well so in this post I am going to give a few tips on how get to the Parameters and Filters options in the ribbon menu.

SharePoint Desinger 2013 - Filter and Parameters

Note –this post is NOT a tutorial on how to use SharePoint Designer (its complex and worth a whole book in itself) but just a few tips for those already familiar with using SPD on how to do use the 2013 version. It won’t put back all you’ve lost, just allow you to access the Parameter & Filter options.

Missing Designer View and finding the List View Web Part

When you edit a page the most obvious difference in SPD 2013 is that you don’t get a Design View (the WYSIWYG view that allows you to see how the page will look whilst editing it). Instead you’ve only got the code view and you’re going to have to work through some angle bracket gibberish!

You’re looking for the code that defines the list view – it starts with <WebPartPages:XsltListViewWebPart and ends with </WebPartPages:XsltListViewWebPart> (pink in the pic here).

SharePoint Designer 2013 - how to find List View Web Part LVWP in code view

But save your eyes! Just search (CTRL+F) for XsltListViewWebPart! If the cursor is between the two XsltListViewWebPart tags then this is the same as clicking on the List in the old Design / Split view.

(If there are more than one List View on the page you will have to figure out which is which by the position of the web part in the page or look for the URL listed in TitleUrl, DetailLink or Url)

Getting the List View Tools options to show in the Ribbon

After putting the text cursor (or clicking) in the code that makes up the List View web part the ribbon should show the List View Tools option.

Except… there is a wicked bug in SPD 2013 at the time of writing that means the Ribbon doesn’t update to show the Options menu (unless you’ve turned off Server Rendering).

The trick (given to me by MdMazzotti) is to right click on XsltListViewWebPart then select Tag Properties and then click OK without clicking anythingSPD - Tag PropertiesYou will now have access to the List View Tools > Options ribbon and the Filter and Parameters button (see picture at the top of this page) SPD - Web Part Properties

You can view these steps in a video :-

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