Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Developing Custom SharePoint fields - coming soon to Tech.Ed EMEA!

Are you from Europe? coming to Tech.ed in Barcelona? Well, make sure to catch my presentation about developing Custom SharePoint fields! Update:The session will be on November 13 09:00 - 10:15 (Why is it that my presentations are always either the first thing in the morning, or the last before the party?).
If you are a long time reader of this blog, and coming to Tech.ed, comment on this post, and leave your (real!) name - I will draw a prize for one person who commented on this post. I havent decided on the prize yet - but it will be coming all the way from Australia - for you to take home if you are there at the end of my presentation, and can prove your identity using the Tech.ed name tag. (note - if there are two or more people with the same name, I will ask questions about custom field development and the best answer wins!)
See you there!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Offtopic - Zune new updates do not work on win2008 (Update: solution!)

Update with a solution to this below!

What's this? I was so happy that the zune software runs on my win2008 laptop, and now the new version refuses to install? bah!

Notice something strange - the "supported" only quotes 32bit operating systems, even though I downloaded and (tried to) installed the 64bit version.
It seems that Microsoft has the same problem that the software vendors have with supporting commercial software on servers.

It looks like I am doing a lot of hacking lately...like my hack to install the solution generator on 64bit machines, resolve this issue is done in a similar manner.
One caveat though -you have to uninstall the old Zune software before starting. In my case the settings were saved, but I do not gaurantee that will be the case for you.

  1. Download the zune v3 software from Microsoft, either 32bit or 64bit version - depends on what you are running.
  2. Using a decompressor like 7-zip, extract the file (right click the file, and choose extract to...)
  3. Go into the folder. It should have a sub folder called "Packages" and in there a file called "Zune-x64.msi" (I don't know what the 32bit one is called)
  4. Double click on that file. The installer may take a while, and at the end you have zune v3 installed on win 2008! (I didnt try to synch yet though - but it is playing music)

Another update - I tried upgrading the device and it failed. It only worked when I did it from my vista machine. So I guess this workaround isnt all that great - and comments below say that connecting to the market place also doesnt work (I cant comment on that because I do not live in the USA and dont have access to the market place)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Samsung rant

I like Samsung. I have a samsung TV - and the only upgrade I am considering is to another samsung TV. I'd love to have a samsung SSD for my laptop. I used to have a samsung phone back in 2000 that was the sturdiest and most useful phone I ever had.
So what is this rant about? in teched last week I had a chance to play with the samsung omnia (no, I refuse to put a link. read on to know why). It was great! a windows mobile device that looks and feels like an iphone, but with the extras that the iphone failed to deliver - like a SD card extensions, and a lot of other things that I am sure you can find in your favorite hardware review site.
So, again - why am I ranting? Because I will never buy that piece of c#@$p. Why not? Because of two things. small but hugely important.
Standard USB port? hah! Samsung may have joined the mini-usb alliance, but that didnt stop them from releasing the omnia with a non standard interface. why??? I have so many spare mini usb cables, but if I buy the omnia and my cable breaks, or gets lost or I forget it at home - what then? I cant borrow one from a friend, because they all have deveices that use proper, standard, mini usb ports. I will be shunned!
Standard ear buds 3.5 port? hah! Samsung may try to compete with the iphone, but not giving me the ability to just take my expensive ear phones and plug them into the phone before I go on a run\cycle, just plain sucks. This shows that they don't want the phone to be a multimedia device, and they want us to continue buying their mp3 players (good luck with that - I am a sandisk fan for those. And those that please me, get a link!)

I hope someone in Samsung is reading this. You made a nice phone - but you missed out on two very important features. Come on - a revision shouldnt be that hard, and then you will have at least one customer here in Australia. (oh, and can you put a few more MHz in there while your at it?)

Strange win2008 accessibility issue

In win2008 (64 bit - I havent tested on 32) the speech recognition doesnt seem to work.
I do [Control panel]-[ease of access]-[Use the computer without a mouse or keyboard]-[use speech recognition] and it just opens "my documents".
I asked a few other people, and they all confirmed this is happening on their machines as well. I wonder if I should report this to Microsoft?

How to use the Microsoft Solution Generator on a 64bit machine?

Got asked this question today on OzMoss and I thought I'd share the answer with you.

The problem - the microsoft visual studio extensions for WSS do not support 64bit and refuse to install. One useful application in that package has nothing to do with the extensions - it is the solution generator that connects to a list or a site and creates a visual studio 2005 project out of them - as list or site definitions.

So - how to use it if it wont install if my dev box is running 64bit?

Note: My solution has been tested on a win2003 64bit machine, but failed on win2008 - which I assume has to do with the permissions on the IIS. If anyone can solve this problem on windows 2008, I will be grateful (leave a comment).

The solution:

  1. download the VseWSS1.1 but do not install. save the file ("VSeWSSv11.exe") in a temp folder in your hard drive:
  2. Next, using your zip application of choice (I use the free and useful 7-zip), extrace the file. Yes, I know it looks like an exe file, but using 7-zip (or winrar if you prefer), you can get into the files that are compressed in the exe.
  3. In the files you extracted, there will be a file called "VSeWSSv11.msi". Extract that file as well!
  4. Now there will be a lot more files. We are looking for "VSeWSSv11.cab". Guess what...extract this one as well!
  5. Now we are getting somewhere. The extracted files will now contain the actuall application files for the solution generator, including the "SPSOLGEN.EXE" file. However, we are not quite there yet.
  6. The final step is renaming 3 files:
    "SPDTFRES.DLL" to "Microsoft.SharePoint.Tools.FileResources.DLL"
    "SPDTRES.DLL_1033" to "Microsoft.SharePoint.Tools.Resources.DLL"

There you go! now you are ready to double click on "SPSOLGEN.EXE" and roll with it. You may want to copy the files to a reasonable named folder first though...

Oh, as I mentioned, this will not work on windows 2008 64bit, not because of the 64bit (I suspect) but because of permissions issues. If anyone has win2008 32bit, can you check and let me know if it works there? and if anyone knows a workaround - let me know!
Just for the record, the error I get on 2008 is "No SharePoint Site exists at the specified URL." when I start the generation.

One last note - the project file generated is for visual studio 2005. If you are like me, and are using vs2008, then instead of using the project file it generates, create a new project, and import the files that were generated. Preferably, a WSPBuilder project...

Monday, September 08, 2008

Common question - how to change the alert email

I get asked this too often in the forums, so hopefully people will search my blog before asking: Customizing Alert Notifications and Alert Templates in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0
and if you want to go a step further and use code
How To: Customizing alert emails using IAlertNotifyHandler

Saturday, September 06, 2008

BDC Column Demo

The following is the first video in a series that shows what I presented on in TechEd Australia 2008. It is not the actuall presentation, but the demos that I used to practice for the presentation.
This one is about using the BDC column in lists. Stay tuned for more!