The Skills and Tools You Need to Make Your SharePoint Project Successful

Introduction SharePoint can be a wonderful tool for an organization to facilitate its business processes, reporting, and collaboration. However, many SharePoint projects do not reach their potential or go underutilized (SharePoint as just another network share). This risk can be contributed to not having the right staff with right skills and right tools to make the project successful. With Definitive Logic’s successful SharePoint integration and implementation projects, DL has identified the right skills and tools to accomplish such projects. The Right Skills While it’s obvious that a SharePoint developer should know SharePoint and Visual Studio, it’s not so obvious what technologies SharePoint is founded on that a developer should understand. The following are some of the core concepts a SharePoint developer should know: HTML/CSS It’s crucial that a SharePoint developer understand HTML/CSS. This is a fundamental requirement for any SharePoint developer and if he/she does not possess these skills the SharePoint project is at risk. JQuery Many of SharePoint’s out-of-the-box features like navigation and web parts will need customization. JQuery is a library that simplifies JavaScript and a SharePoint developer should know how to use JQuery to manipulate SharePoint’s default markup and make SharePoint even more interactive. SOAP Web Services SharePoint 2007 and 2010 list, groups, and sites can be manipulated via this XML-based standard defined by the Web Services Definition Language (WSDL). These web services are vital to automating business processes and enhancing user experiences. REST-ful Web Services Introduced in SharePoint 2010 and the new standard for SharePoint 2013, ...
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Challenges Facing Real Estate Executives

The volatility of the global and domestic financial market has garnered significant media attention over recent years. The challenges of securing financial solidity within such an environment are complex, requiring the management of the very corporate infrastructure that supports the backbone of industry and federal government. As the stewards of their respective real estate assets, corporate and federal executives face multifaceted decisions regarding their property, facility, and equipment. These typically constitute the second most expensive line item on a company’s balance sheet. A remarkable $26 trillion (USD) in value resides in today’s global commercial real estate portfolio. Further, the global population is expected to increase by over 1 billion individuals to an estimated 8 billion in the next ten years. The success of large corporations will thus be predicated on an executive’s ability to appropriately manage the real estate footprints of their workforce, production capabilities, and general operating needs. Similarly, federal, state, and local governments face increasing pressure to optimize the deployment of public-sector resources and, in some cases, to significantly shrink their footprint through the reduction of underused or vacant properties. Corporate leadership must also address the diversity of disciplines that typically comprise the core of real estate practices, such as cost, workflow productivity, environmental responsibility, and efficiency. Although it takes time to implement a sophisticated analytic's program, immediate cost optimization can be achieved by analyzing the utilization of the real estate portfolio. Many reports tout a cost reduction of $3,000 to $12,000 for each work space that is ...
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SharePoint 2010 – Custom New Form and Large Lists Exceeding 5000 Items

Every once in a while I come across a new “curve-ball” on Microsoft SharePoint and last week was definitely one. A few months back on a project the project team built some custom forms for a SharePoint list. Since we knew this list would grow greater than the list view threshold (5,000 items) we had done our due diligence in making sure the list was indexed properly and the CAML queries on this list were leveraging the indexes. Everything seemed to be working fine once the list grew over 5,000 items, but then I went to add a new item to the list via the custom new form and I got the dreaded “This view cannot be displayed because it exceeds the list view threshold (5000 items) enforced by the administrator”. My first thought was “why on a new form would it be querying the list?” To view the CAML query I used the DVWP Documenter and the query looked like this: <View> <Query> <Where> <Eq> <FieldRef Name="ContentType" /> <Value Type="Text">Item</Value> </Eq> </Where> </Query> </View> Consequently when the custom new form is called it's querying every item in the list with the content type of Item. That seems very inefficient, and I verified that this is created by default via SharePoint Designer and not something our project team did. To resolve this issue we changed the CAML query to the following: <View> <Query> <Where> <Eq> <FieldRef Name="ID"/> <Value Type="Counter">0</Value> </Eq> </Where> </Query> </View> Now when the custom new form is ...
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Definitive Logic Releases Open-Source SharePoint Tool on CodePlex

For those that do a lot of SharePoint development through SharePoint Designer, Data View Web Parts (DVWP) are often the best option for customizing the display of SharePoint data. Other SharePoint bloggers have referred to DVWPs as the Swiss Army Knife of SharePoint. While they are a great tool they can be quite cumbersome to document and quality check. There is a plethora of ASPX markup that is used by a DVWP to configure aspects such as CAML queries, query string parameters, server variables, and xsl imports. In addition, it is often difficult to navigate the markup when you need to make sure a query string parameter exists or the syntax of a CAML query is correct. Given that, DL recently released a tool on CodePlex called the Data View Web Part Documenter. This tool takes the hassle out of documenting the technical information contained within a Data View Web Part (DVWP) on a Web Part Page in SharePoint. In just a few seconds you can turn the aspx markup of a Web Part Page into a easy-to-understand document identifying the important details of the .aspx page. This tool is aimed for SharePoint developers to facilitate many tasks including:
  • Documentation of DVWP development
  • Quality Checking your CAML queries and DVWP parameters
  • Validating external references for Javascript, CSS, and XSL imports
DL understands the importance of SharePoint collaboration in the development community and hopes this tool helps our other colleagues. Furthermore, as it is an open-source tool, we welcome ...
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Definitive Logic Announces New Director of Real Estate Practice

Today we announced the hiring of Rana Lahiri as the new director for our Real Estate Solutions practice. As director, Lahiri will be responsible for the strategic direction, leadership and expansion of our real estate client portfolio. He will report to our co-founder, Paul Burke. Lahiri comes to us after spending four years at Deloitte's Real Estate and Location Strategy practice, where he served as the market offering lead centered around enterprise process and IT transformation. He also oversaw a portfolio consisting of public sector real estate analytics, organization design and transformation. Before his role at Deloitte, Lahiri was at KPMG Consulting & BearingPoint for more than six years. One of his main achievements was helping establish their asset management consulting business, where he managed 25+ practitioners deploying IBM's Maximo EAM platform. At Definitive Logic, we provide strategic and technical real estate solutions. Specific market offerings include portfolio optimization, real estate analytics, organization and process design, technology transformation, and advisory services. Over the coming months, Lahiri will work to enhance our real estate service delivery methodology and grow our ecosystem of partners. He will also build on our past performance to further establish us as a differentiated real estate consulting brand ...
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Oracle Content Data Migration

In one of our recent projects we needed a way to efficiently and effectively migrate over 500GB of content data from the legacy Oracle 10g Content Server to the new Oracle 11g Universal Content Manager. As of this writing, there is no official Oracle migration plan to perform this. The following bullets highlight the primary goals for this migration:
  • Goal #1: Migrate all content data, including versioning, from the Oracle 10g Content Server to the Oracle 11g Universal Content Manager.
  • Goal #2: Migrate all metadata associated with each item of content data. This includes custom categories and attributes used for tagging, and user privileges.
  • Goal #3: The migration must be done in a timely fashion, and require little or no effort from the end users
Despite the lack of an official roadmap from Oracle to perform this migration, Definitive Logic has the experience with the Oracle suite of content servers and the technical ability to develop and execute a migration that completely satisfied the above goals. We first needed to identify the capabilities of both content management systems in order to determine the most effective way of migrating the data. From examining the Oracle Content Server 10g (OCS) product, we decided the best interface to extract the content data was the web service that is packaged with the product. On the Universal Content Server 11g (UCM) side, we identified the packaged BatchLoader product as the right tool for the job. Once the tools to ...
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Spring Security and Regular Expression User Details Wrapper

Spring Security provides out of the box support for integrating with Single Sign On systems. For example you can use this to integrate with CA's SiteMinder or Oracle IDM system. In one of my recent projects, we were integrating our custom build Java application with OracleAS 10g SSO. This SSO system as part of OracleAS integrates with Oracle Internet Directory and injects the following header attributes for integrated partner applications.
  1. Osso-User-Dn
  2. Osso-User-Guid
  3. Osso-Subscriber
  4. Osso-Subscriber-Dn
  5. Osso-Subscriber-Guid
http://docs.oracle.com/cd/B28196_01/idmanage.1014/b15997/mod_osso.htm provides more details on OracleAS SSO application development. Each of these attributes have different formats. In our environment, standard was to use Oss-User-Dn which contained values in the following format cn=username, cn=Users,dc=department,dc=company,dc=com. Our integrated application had an internal user database as well. We needed to match the pre-authenticated header value with the username stored in our internal application database. In order to achieve this, we needed to parse the incoming header value and grab the "username". One way to achieve this is to modify your UserDetailsService.loadByUsername custom implementation where you can parse the incoming username parameter and pass that to your access queries. This obviously is not very usable and specific to the format of the incoming parameter value. To generalize the approach and create a re-usable bean configuration in Spring Security, we ended up created a bean called RegexUserDetailsWrapper. This bean wraps our original UserDetailsService implementation calling our data store with the actual username. RegexUserDetailsWrapper is used to configure a regular expression parsing the incoming pre-authentication header value and then internally calling ...
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SysInternals Tool: ADInsight

The SysInternals tool ADInsight is a great way to debug a .NET application which is having problems with Active Directory. If you run your application and ADInsight isn't showing anything though, make sure that you relaunch the tool with the "Run as Administrator" menu option. Once you've done that, the tool is very straightforward. Use the Event Filter to limit the logging to bind/unbind calls and you can find out if your LDAP connection pooling isn't working ...
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Liferay 6.1 Jackrabbit Bug

If you use Jackrabbit for your document library, Liferay documentation suggests that your ext plugin should have a file. Description: This file allows overwriting the configuration of the Jackrabbit repository. Refer to the Jackrabbit configuration documentation for details.However, if you actually deploy, Liferay will copy the standard repository.xml from the core to your datajackrabbit directory. Which means there was no point whatsoever to repository-ext.xml. It worked in 5.2.3 though, so it's just a reversion bug on their part ...
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