Monday, March 28, 2011

Accessing SharePoint 2010 Logging Database

By default, the database is called WSS_Logging should be the starting point for administrators and developers to collect and analyse information. The following demonstrates how to access the database and run a view (that already is installed) against it.

  • Open up SQL Server Management Studio
  • When asked for authentication, log in to the correct instance where SharePoint is running using your windows authentication credentials
  • Navigate to the WSS_Logging database and click on the plus sign to expand it as shown in figure below:


  • Under the toolbar at the top, click on the New Query button
  • In the new query window, type in the following query:

SELECT * FROM RequestUsage

  • Click Execute.
  • Results are populated in the window pane below the query, as seen in the following screenshot:


RequestUsage is an out of the box view that provides site usage information. It provides information such as the referring URL, the browser being used, the site ID, the web ID, the server URL, the request type, and when it was done. There are 24 views installed by default as shown in figure below:


The logging database contains, but is not limited to, the following information:

  • ULS logs
  • NT event logs
  • Performance counters
  • Feature usage
  • Blocking queries
  • Site usage
  • Timer job information

Web Part Public Properties, Attributes and Type of Attributes

You can decorate the public properties of the web part class with the following attributes from System.ComponentModel so that your web part can runs in a stateless environment, like SharePoint:

  • WebDisplayName - This string shows as the label for the control in the Editor pane.
  • WebDescription - This string shows as a tooltip over the display name.
  • WebBrowsable - When this Boolean is set to true, the end user will be able to see the property in the Editor pane. Set it to false to imperatively set the property’s value on behalf of the end user.
  • Personalizable - This enum has two settings:
    • PersonalizationScope.Shared indicates that SharePoint should only store one value for everyone.
    • PersonalizationScope.User indicates that SharePoint should still store one common value for everyone, but allow anyone who has permission to personalize to change that value to whatever he or she would like it to be.


The following code example demonstrates how to use these attributes:

    public class VisualWebPart1 : WebPart
        private string _jobTypeName = string.Empty;

        [WebDisplayName("Job Type"),
        WebDescription("Specify your job."),
        public string JobTypeName
            get { return _jobTypeName; }
            set { _jobTypeName = value; }

Each public property can have a unique set of attributes. SharePoint supports several different types:

  • string - Rendered as a textbox
  • bool - Rendered as a checkbox
  • datetime - Rendered as a textbox
  • int - Rendered as a numeric-only textbox
  • float - Rendered as a numeric-only textbox
  • knowncolor - Rendered as a drop-down list
  • enum - Rendered as a drop-down list

The following figure depicts how SharePoint render different types of public properties:


Code sample as shown below:

public class VisualWebPart1 : WebPart
    private string _stringType = string.Empty;
    [Personalizable(), WebDisplayName("String Type"), WebBrowsable(true)]
    public string StringType
        get { return _stringType; }
        set { _stringType = value; }

    private bool _boolType = false;
    [Personalizable(), WebDisplayName("Bool Type"), WebBrowsable(true)]
    public bool BoolType
        get { return _boolType; }
        set { _boolType = value; }

    private DateTime _datetimeType;
    [Personalizable(), WebDisplayName("Datetime Type"), WebBrowsable(true)]
    public DateTime DatetimeType
        get { return _datetimeType; }
        set { _datetimeType = value; }

    private int _intType = 0;
    [Personalizable(), WebDisplayName("Int Type"), WebBrowsable(true)]
    public int IntType
        get { return _intType; }
        set { _intType = value; }

    private float _floatType = 0;
    [Personalizable(), WebDisplayName("Float Type"), WebBrowsable(true)]
    public float FloatType
        get { return _floatType; }
        set { _floatType = value; }

    private KnownColor _knowncolor;
    [Personalizable(), WebDisplayName("KnownColor Type"), WebBrowsable(true)]
    public KnownColor Knowncolor
        get { return _knowncolor; }
        set { _knowncolor = value; }

    public enum Days { Sat, Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri };
    private Days _enumType;
    [Personalizable(), WebDisplayName("Enum Type"), WebBrowsable(true)]
    public Days EnumType
        get { return _enumType; }
        set { _enumType = value; }

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Iterative Development Creates a Ton of Unwanted web.config Backup Files

Whenever SharePoint modifies the web.config file, it creates a backup copy with a BAK extension as shown in figure below:


These backup files can be helpful on the occasion a previous version of the web.config is needed. However, when you deploy SharePoint assets using MS Visual Studio for iterative development, they can accumulate a ton of unwanted files.

The following steps teach you how to run DOS command after each successful deployment will keep the web application IIS home directory much tidier.

  • Select the SharePoint node, as shown in figure below:


  • Type the following into the “Post-deployment Command Line” textbox:

DEL C:\inetpub\wwwroot\wss\VirtualDirectories\[WebApplicationHomeDirectory]\*.bak

Replace [WebApplicationHomeDirectory] with the actual file system directory that IIS refers to as the web application’s home directory.

  • Just below the Post-deployment Command Line, verify that the Default option is selected in the Active Deployment Configuration drop-down.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Customise SharePoint v4 Master Page to Hide Recycle Bin and All Site Content Links

The following steps walk you through the process of making this common SharePoint customization:

  • Create a custom master page SharePointMalaya.master from v4.master. For details information on how to create this master page, see Customise SharePoint v4 Master Page to Add Footer.
  • Edit the CustomFooter.master file by clicking on the Edit File button.
  • From the ribbon, click the Skewer Click button, as shown in Figure below. This enables you to see the CSS that is being applied to a specific object.


  • With Skewer Click selected, hover over the area near where the Recycle Bin and All Site Content links are located. Move your mouse around the area and you should see the name PlaceHolderQuickLaunchBottom appear faintly.


  • Select it and another window will open displaying a list of styles. Click the style called ul.s4-specialNav…, as shown in
    figure below.


  • Before you can edit the CSS, you must first add a new panel to SPD. From the ribbon, click the Style tab and select the CSS Properties button.
  • When the new panel opens, you’ll see the top section is called Applied Rules. The style you want to modify (.s4specialNavLinkList) should already be selected as shown in figure below.


  • Right click the style and select New Style Copy.


  • At the top of the New Style dialog shown in figure below, set the new style to be defined in the “Current page”. Be sure to check the box “Apply new style to document selection”. Then select the Layout category and set the “visibility” to “hidden”. Click OK.


  • Save the changes made to the master page.
  • Now open your site in the web browser, you’ll see that a footer has been applied to your site, as shown below:


Customise SharePoint v4 Master Page to Add Footer

The following are steps of creating a custom master page to add a footer by using SharePoint Designer 2010.

  • Open your site in SharePoint Designer 2010 and click the Master Pages link in the Navigation pane.
  • Right click v4.master and select Copy.


  • Right click and paste another copy of the file into the Master Pages gallery.
  • From the Master Pages gallery, click next to the filename for the master page that was just
    created. From the ribbon, click the Rename button. Rename the file SharePointMalayaFooter.master.


  • Select the file SharePointMalayaFooter.master and then, from the ribbon, click the Edit File button.
  • Ensure that either the Split or Code view is showing. Near line 624, after <SharePoint:DeveloperDashboard runat=“server”/>, add the following code snippet:

<div class="s4-notdlg" style="clear: both; background-color:#FEAD30; padding: 10px;">&copy; Copyright 2011 SharePoint Malaya</div>


  • After you’ve made the change, save the fi le by clicking the Save icon in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. You will get a dialog that warns you that you are about to customize the file from the site definition. Click Yes to continue.


  • Click the Master Page link again from the Navigation pane on the left to return to the Master Pages gallery.
  • To apply the changes to the site, select SharePointMalayaFooter.master and then, from the ribbon, click the Set as Default button.
  • Now open your site in the web browser, you’ll see that a footer has been applied to your site, as shown below:


Saturday, March 12, 2011

SharePoint Designer 2010 Checking and Changing the Current User

One of the coolest feature of SharePoint Designer 2010 is the ability to check the user currently who logged in and to switch to a different user whenever you need to.

Remember the old SharePoint 2007 where you need to first login to the site, and then only you can open it using SharePoint Designer. Let say, you might be logged in with an administrator account. If you wanted to test something as a different user, how would you do that? Yeah, you’ll need to close the site and browser, login using different username via browser and open the site using SharePoint Designer 2007. Mmmmm… well, with SharePoint 2010 you don’t need to do that anymore!

To check the current user currently logged in, with open SharePoint Designer 2007, if you look in the bottom-left corner, you’ll see a tiny little person icon, as shown below:


Hovering over the icon with your mouse shows the name of the user currently logged in.

Clicking the icon allows you to log in with a different account.


Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1 is Now Available

Yes, Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1 has been released this week. Don’t forget to download and install – get the download from here: Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1 (Installer).

Friday, March 4, 2011

Cumulative Updates for MOSS 2007, WSS 3.0, SharePoint 2010 has been released

Yesterday Microsoft released the Full Server Packages for February 2011 Cumulative Updates for MOSS 2007, WSS 3.0, SharePoint 2010. KB articles can be found here:

  • KB 2475886 - WSS 3.0
  • KB 2475885 - MOSS 2007
  • KB 2475880 - SharePoint Foundation 2010
  • KB 2475878 - SharePoint Server 2010
  • KB 2475879 - SharePoint Server 2010 with Project Server

February 2011 Cumulative Updates can be downloaded here:

SharePoint 2010 Development Platform Stack

Diagram below depicts how SharePoint Foundation is built on Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5, ASP.NET, and Internet Information Services (IIS). SharePoint is also built on SQL Server.