Author Archive

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:7 ;

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.

#

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:14 ;

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 :-

Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.

Add Highlighting & Conditional Formatting to PivotPoint tables

Date:March 12th, 2014 Author: Tags: , , , , ,
Category: PivotPoint Web Part, SharePoint Ideas Comments:1 ;

Our PivotPoint web part for SharePoint allows you to summarise data from your SharePoint lists in a similar way to Excel’s Pivot Tables and Charts.

A few users have asked how you can add highlighting or conditional formatting to the Pivot Tables – to do things like highlighting the High Risk column, or any cell above a certain value.

We have a Highlighter app that allows you to do this on normal Lists but it doesn’t work with PivotPoint so I thought I would put together some examples of how you can do this using every SharePoint hackers favourite tools – JavaScript and jQuery.

You will need some experience with programming and/or JavaScript to be able to modify these examples to do what you want but there are lots of comments in the code to help.

If you’re looking for an easy way to add conditional formatting/ highlighting for SharePoint Lists then check out Highlighter.

So lets get started. The files you need for the article can be found in a zip file here. Inside you will see a test .html page that can be used just to experiment with the javascript and a .js.txt file that contains the javascript to use on your site.

Adding JavaScript to a page

The first thing we need to know is how to add JavaScript to a page. Read up about that and come back!

In SharePoint 2013 you can add a Script Editor web part (under Media and Content). This blog post walks you through.

For SharePoint 2010 and 2007 you have to use the Content Editor web part (CEWP)

You could use the Source View of the CEWP and put the JavaScript directly into it, but you could also staple your tongue to a door and it will probably be less painful!

A much better way is to save the script as a .txt file in a document library and then include the file on the page with the Content Editors “Content Link” feature. Christophe walks you through this method here.

jQuery or not?

The examples given here use jQuery – a great addition to JavaScript that simplifies many common tasks.

You could adapt these ideas to run without jQuery if you like – but you’re on your own with that!

You can see the reference to jQuery on the first line of the example scripts.

One thing you should determine is

a)      Has jQuery already been added to all your SharePoint pages (by an administrator adding them into a custom master page)? If so then you should remove the jQuery reference from these examples as there is no point in including it twice.

b)      These jQuery files are loaded from Googles CDN servers. If you don’t have external internet access you will have to copy jQuery to some other location (such as a document library).

Show me the examples already!

Download and unpack these zip files – inside you will see

.htm files that you can experiment with.

Open them in a browser to see what they look like. Open them in a text editor like Notepad to change how they look and then re-load in the browser (F5).

.js.txt files that you can use in SharePoint.

Use a text editor to copy the changes you’ve made in the example .htm file in and then add them to the page that you have PivotPoint on using any of the methods in “Adding JavaScript to a page”.

The two examples are :-

Highlighting PivotPoint cells based on the value

The first example we’re going to look at is to highlight different cells depending on the value that’s in them.

For our example –

  • If it’s less than or equal to 160 then we want the text in red
  • If it’s more than or equal to 180 then it should have a background in yellow.

The result should be a web part like this.

highlight-by-cell-value

There are plenty of comments in the JavaScript source code but basically what it’s doing Is looping through each cell in the PivotTable, checking what value It is and applying a CSS style.

See the source of highlight-by-cell-value.html and highlight-by-cell-value.js.txt in the ZIP file

 

Highlighting PivotPoint based on the row and column

In this example we’re looking to highlight a cell based on what Row and Column it appears in.

E.g. in this risk matrix we want to highlight the “High Risk” and “Frequent Probability” in red.

risk-matrix

There are two ways to do this in the javascript example given.

The first is to highlight based on the position, e.g.

highlightCellByIndex(0,0,'background','red');

Will highlight the cell in column 0, row 0 by setting the background red. (Yes sorry, the rows and columns start from number 0!).

But – if the layout of your table changes in future (e.g. someone adds a “Super Extra High Risk”) column) then everything will move and this will be in the wrong place.

In that case the better way is to highlight by the value of the Column and Row headers – e.g.

highlightCell("Rare","Low", 'background','red');

See the source of highlight-by-column-and-row.html and highlight-by-column-and-row.js in the ZIP file

Tips –

  • When making changes to the javascript do a small amount at a time, then you will know where to start if this doesn’t work!
  • You’re not just limited to setting colours, you can also add in any other effect possible in CSS.
  • Use the developer toolbar (F12 in IE and Chrome) if you have an error – this tool will enable you to track it down, but how to use it is beyond the scope of what we can show here!
.css('font-weight','bold');
.css('font-size','200%');
.css('border','1px solid red');
  • You can also add images (e.g. flags)
.append("<img src='some-url-to-an–icon.gif'>");

 

Disclaimer – these technique is provided as is and free of charge to get you started. You will need some experience of JavaScript or programming and the browser developer tools to modify these to do exactly what you want. Whilst we can’t provide technical support for this we will endeavour to help customers with active Premium Support and Maintenance contracts in place for PivotPoint.

 

Free online SharePoint conference – SP24

Date:January 24th, 2014 Author: Tags:
Category: Community, SharePoint Ideas, Training Comments:0 ;

The team over at SharePoint-Community.net are organising their first on-line conference – SP24.

It runs on Wednesday 16th April, 2014 from 10pm GMT for 24 hours.

There are two tracks – Business and Technical focused and each track has one session per hour. There are some great speakers lined up already and more being voted in by the community.

Its totally free to attend – just hop on over and register.

Key Facts

  • Free for all attendees.
  • It’s entirely on-line – so you won’t need to leave the office or home!
  • Takes place on 16th April 10pm GMT.
  • Lasts for 24 hours.
  • Famous speakers from all over the world.
  • Keynote from Bill Baer (Senior Product Manager, Microsoft).
  • Comprises of 2 tracks, (business and technical).
  • 48 Live sessions + on-demand sessions.

Find out more and register at https://www.sp24conf.com/

New version of FilterPoint web part for SharePoint – configurable date ranges

Date:July 20th, 2013 Author: Tags: , ,
Category: FilterPoint Web Part Comments:0 ;

A new version of our FilterPoint web part for SharePoint is available – v1.3.3

This new version adds a configurable Date Range control.

More details are in the online manual.

You can download and upgrade to the latest version without losing any settings.

New version of PivotPoint – chart axis controls

Date:June 13th, 2013 Author: Tags: , ,
Category: PivotPoint Web Part Comments:0 ;

A new version of our PivotPoint web part for SharePoint is available – v 2.4.4

This new version adds options for manually controlling the scale and layout of the axis in charts.

Auto Scale

If you show values on the graph the Auto Scale option will scale large numbers to improve the display. For example 10,500 will be shown as 10.5K and 50,000,000 will be shown as 50M

pivotpoint-auto-scale

Axis Maximum & Number of Division Lines

Normally the maximum value on the axis and how many division lines are used is set automatically based on the data you’re charting. However with some settings – particularly small numbers it doesn’t always get it right. For example :-

pivotpoint-auto-axis

You can now manually specify these settings, in this example the axis is set from 0 to 10 with 10 division lines giving divisions at every exactly 1 intervals for a much better looking chart.

pivotpoint-manual-axis

More details are in the online manual.

You can download and upgrade to the latest version without losing any settings.

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How to configure email alerts to review Documents in SharePoint

Date:March 13th, 2013 Author: Tags:
Category: General, SharePoint Reminder Comments:2 ;

I am going to walk through an example showing how you can use our SharePoint Reminder software to send out date based email alerts reminding authors to review and update old documents.

Perhaps you’ve got contracts that will expire at a certain time and need to be renewed. Perhaps you’ve got policies that need to be checked for accuracy at least once per year.

Reminder can help with this and many other scenarios requiring you to setup email alerts to be sent on certain dates – and it’s much easier than working with workflow.

Scenario 1 – Email to author asking for a document to be reviewed once per year.

In this simple example we’re just going to send out an email to an author if a document hasn’t been updated in a year.

Start with a standard SharePoint Document Library (or even a normal list with document attachments).

basic-document-library
(These screenshots are from SharePoint 2013 but Reminder can work with any on-premises version of SharePoint and if you’re using SharePoint Online / Office 365 then you can use our Reminder 365 product).

Create a new wiki page (or web part page if you’re using SharePoint 2007) somewhere in the same site. The location is not important as long as it’s in the same site.

Add a new web part to the page (Insert > Web Part > Miscellaneous > Reminder)

Edit the web part and in the toolpane (the settings on the right) configure it like this :-

Set the watch list to Documents (or whatever your document library or list is called)

Set the Email To : Created By

Tip – you don’t have to use the Created By column (who is the first person to upload the document) you could use

  • Use the Modified By column (the last person to edit the document)
  • Add a “Owner” field as a Person or Group field into the document library and set Reminder to send to that
  • Hard code a person or distribution address into Reminder such as “doc-reviewers@yourcorp.com”

reminder-config-watch-list

Setup a subject and message – remember you can include details from the document library such as [Name] and [Modified By] and any other metadata fields from the list. The email will also contain a link to the document record.

reminder-message-subject

Under Send When set the Reminder email to be sent when the Modified field is Overdue by 12 months – this will trigger an email when a document’s last modified date is a year old.
(If someone edits a document half way through a year the alert email will be ‘moved back’ to be a full 12 months since the last modification)
 send-when-modified
 In the Send Email section set this list to be checked at 7am every weekday (or whatever makes sense to your organisation).  send-when

And that’s it! In a years’ time the person who created the document will get emails like this – notice the ‘mail merge’ of information from the document library / list being put into the subject and message

document-review-email

Scenario 2 – Email to an Account Manager to ensure a contract is renewed.

Building up on the previous example we’re going to

  • Add an Owner field into the document library as who initially uploads a document may not be the person who is later responsible for it.
  • Add a Review Date field – just sending an email in a year’s time isn’t precise enough for our well organised office!

So add these fields using Library > Create Column

  • Owner is a Person or Group Field
  • Expiration Date is a Date and Time field and defaults to a Calculated Value of [Today]+365 so by default documents are due for review 1 year after they were created, but this can be changed

(Note – you can use [Today] in default values and filters, just not calculated columns!)

It will look something like this :-

modified-document-library
The setup for Reminder is almost identical to the previous example but

Email To : Owner

Subject : The document [Name] is due for review on [Review Date]

Send When : Review Date is Due Soon within 5 days.

 

review-date-due-soon

And you’re done! 5 days before the Review Date comes around an email will be sent to the Document Owner.

Further ideas

  • You can have multiple Reminders for different time periods, e.g.
    • The first email 6 months after it was created, the second 24 months after or
    • One email 2 weeks before a review date saying “Due Soon” and another email once the Review Date has passed by a month saying “Overdue – get on with it!” – let the  computer be the team nag!
  • Email CC – perhaps the ‘due soon’ email can go to just the document owner but the “overdue” email can be cc’d to the team leader
  • Dynamic Review Dates – perhaps HR documents need to be reviewed every year, but health and safety documents very 2 years. You can set different rules and emails by setting up Views to filter different types of documents and setup different Reminder web parts for different views.

Download the free 30 day trial and get started today!

Reminder web part is now compatible with SharePoint 2013

Date:March 7th, 2013 Author: Tags: , ,
Category: General, SharePoint Alert, SharePoint Reminder Comments:0 ;

Our Reminder web part (which gives date based “Due Soon” and “Overdue” email alerts) is now compatible with SharePoint 2013 as of version 1.8.0

If upgrading from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013 simply perform the upgrade then install the latest version – your old settings and license key will be picked up. Full instructions for upgrading Reminder to SharePoint 2013 are in the online manual.

SharePoint Reminder - date based email alerts

Reminder is the last of our commercial web parts to be made SharePoint 2013 compatible.

The Ultimate Flexible CRM solution for SharePoint

Date:March 5th, 2013 Author: Tags:
Category: FilterPoint Web Part, General, Highlighter, Partners, PivotPoint Web Part, SharePoint Reminder Comments:0 ;

The Ultimate Flexible CRM Solution for SharePoint

SharePoint is the platform millions of organizations use to manage various facets of their businesses.  However, in many cases, SharePoint’s built-in functions do not provide the ease of use and advanced functions that users need to work efficiently and effectively.

Some SharePoint consulting firms will recommend custom-built web parts to provide the necessary functionality required.  Before going this route, companies would be wise to evaluate pre-built applications and web parts to save significant time and money!  Evaluating and sourcing the right products however can be an overwhelming task – and falling prey to vendor hype a common outcome.  This is particularly true with CRM technology (Business/Customer Relationship Management).

Benefits of a 100% SharePoint- based CRM application:

A system that is designed to be highly configurable and evolve with the business’s ability to embrace change is the key to a successful implementation and a higher than average level of user acceptance.

  • Single point of user login where all business related information is stored
  • Maintenance of  sensitive customer data inside a controlled environment
  • Leverages existing technology investment

sharepoint-crm-dashboards

manage-leads-in-sharepoint

sharepoint-crm-outlook-plugin

Designed exclusively for SharePoint, SharePoint CRM by LookOut Software revs SharePoint up with dynamic, flexible and powerful features out of the box – yet is easy to personalize, scale, and upgrade as needed.

Rather than reinvent the wheel, LookOut Software partnered with one of the top Web Part developers in the industry to provide powerful, yet optional, enhanced functionality for its CRM application.

Pentalogic’s Filter Point, Pivot Point, Highlighter and Reminder  web parts enhance and further empower SharePoint CRM with easy to use, flexible and comprehensive interactive Charts, Graphs, Filters, Alerts and more.

Some examples:

filterpoint-sharepoint-filtering pivotpoint-sharepoint-crm-charting
highlighter-sharepoint-color-coding reminder-mini-workflow-sharepoint-crm

SharePoint CRM and Pentalogic’s simple- to-use and effective add-on web parts combine to create the ultimate Flexible CRM Solution for SharePoint.