When I arrived at a client today I was told that the POC site was down. Pages would not load, the only pages that would load were the settings pages. On some sites the Quick launch bar displayed error links when I moused over the link the error was roughly
An error occured while rendering navigation. Context has expired and can no longer be used.
The short of it was I navigated via the site settings page to the document library that had the policy and I simply removed it. I did an IISreset to be sure then hay presto the site was back good as new. I dont know what caused it as I didnt look at the policy that was created, but if somebody could explain it then that would be great.
So if you get the above message another thing to try if nothing else works is to remove any information policies on document libraires (or content types)that were created before the error occurred.
I have noticed a few people having the same problem but no solution so I will add the solution that I found.
The problem is when I add content types to the document library and they appear in the new document dropdown it will still load the default document template despite the user selecting a custom document type. The only way to change it is after you save the document then you can edit the properites of the document.
Anyway the solution is when the document library is created do NOT select Microsoft Word (IE Office 2007 .dotx template as the default) instead select the default which is Microsoft Office Word 97-2003 template. Then add your custom content types.
Now when the user selects a new custom content type from the document library the template will be for that content type not the default document content type.
I recently did a talk at the SharePoint usergroup (I apologise about the screen resolution to all who were there) about the importance of focusing on the integrating of Office 2007 and SharePoint.
Typically a SharePoint implementation can make additional demands on users time in regards to saving and opening files from SharePoint. The process of locating the correct Doucment Library and using the correct content type means creating new documents are not as simple as the File New in Word.
Additionally to save a document they need to find the correct Document Library (if they did not create it from there) and then add any meta-data to the file. Again all of which adds additional time (Small yes but add that up for people whose job it is to create and edit documents and it will add up) to the traditional way of creating and saving documents.
However many clients I have spoken to have said that they are happy to spend that additional time if that means that they get a benefit to them, not to management but to them. This includes faster access to the correct file (Searching), one copy of the file (make sure your versioning is turned on) and an interface that is simple and easy (Good architecture and design) and meeting the projects goals of course.
Many users I have found work within the Office products almost exclusively, by leveraging the integration functions within MS Office 2007 and SharePoint users can continue to work within them. This clearly can mean a lot to users as they do not need to change their work habits too much. Training is the key.
I will not go into the features of the integrations but I have added some links below to help you to understand its capabilities.
To sum up, dont overlook the integration with office as it allows users to continue to work with tools they are familiar with, yet still enable them to interact with SharePoint.
Spend time talking to the users to understand how they work, do they use Word/Excel or Outlook, even products like PowerPoint and One Note can be effictivley integrated with SharePoint. Make sure your architecture makes sense to them and uses terms they are familiar with. Spend time training the users about how to use the integration features. I like to provide cheat sheets to help they are one A4 sheet with pictures broken up by tasks like How to Save or How to open another document.
Some things can also be done at via the administrator this includes the creating of folders as discussed above and email enabling your libraries.
A sucessfull SharePoint Integration really does depend on the users, if they do not work with it because it does not assist them it will not be as sucessfull as it could.
Note: If people want me to outline the integration features of Office let me know and I will do a post.
When you create a new site using MOSS, down the bottom the site creation page are some Site category selections. Currently these exist as Divison and Region.
I have noticed that most people seem to ignore these settings, but they can be very useful. Hopefully this post will show you how they can be used. Its not hard core or technical at all just something I believe people are not exploring enough.
These categories are used in the Site Directory collection in your MOSS site. These categories can help users to quickly locate the particular site that they are after, this is especially important on larger sites.
It looks a little like this, and it accessed from the navigationbar in your site, its just called Sites.
Clearly just using Division and Region may not be useful to you but they can be changed easily. Although it is not very obvious, when you first start to look. The steps to chnage them are;
First navigate to the Sites site collection. Here you will see the various departments and divisions as hyperlinks on the web page (see image above). When you click on a link it will show you what sites have been grouped under that category.
To change the categories, simply click View All Site Content in the quick launch, then select the Sites List. When you edit the list settings you will notice the Region and Division Fields. You can now remove and add your own columns as per usual.
You can see that I added some more columns (Brand, Department) and choice values as well as a text box where user could write some keywords about the site which will help users locating it by a basic search (As Metadat gets added in the search index) I also removed the Division column. You have a lot of flexibility here so go and explore.
When you add theses columns they will appear in the create new site page, where you can now select the values you wish.
When the site is saved and you return to the Sites hompage you can see the new columns and vlaues appear as selecteable hyperlinks. Notice as well that the keywords do not appear, I suspect only the the choice values or Yes/No will appear which makes sense.
You can see, I hope, that you can really customise and utilise these fields to assit in providing a useable site directory as well as adding searchable terms to the sites to help users locate them via the search. This is all about providing an easy way for users to quickly locate a site no matter where it is located in your structure.
I am sure there are lots of things you can do with the new columns and values. Ideally the vlaues should be form a look up list as well.
Also you could add some really nice webparts on the directory page. For example with the Keyword field you may well be able to do some sort of tag cloud. You can also custiomise the page by using the tabs list which you can access from the Site Content List but I wont go into that…yet.
Again if you have any issues or questions let me know.
I have noticed that when a gantt chart view web part is dropped on a page the gantt chart scrolls of the edge. I never really got around to looking at it but Heather Solomon has done a fix for it. The link is below
I have more information regarding locked files in SharePoint, these have been commonly read posts.
This is from Ian Morrish’s blog, you should all have it in your feed anyway..
He discusses the traps and tricks for Check in and Check out, but it also has this detail on locking time outs for files
This is interesting and something to beware of when rolling out to different Operating Systems. I wonder how these timeout can be changed esp the Vista one as it seem a little long. Let me know if you find out where…..
Off the cuff I dont like using folders in SharePoint lists at all, I activley encourage my clients not to use them and to leverage metadata instead as this allows views to be flexible, but we can debate this another day.
I have one client that has an image library with many folders in it grouping the data sort of…. The task of moving all the images into a structure without folders was going to be a long process as there were lots of images. We made an image tag list to allow them to tag an image with mulitple tags so they can be searched and filtered. But it was the folders were making the use of these tags almost impossible.
But there is a trick that allows the folders to be ignored and to present all the images in a single flat structure. Its in the view configuration. When creating a view there is a folder section and a check box that allows all items to be displayed without the folders.
So now all the views for the display all the images in all the folders without displaying the folders.
Very handy. Many people may already be using this, but if your not and you dont want to worry about folders then you should.
On a side note about the Image library and the latest Infrastructre update there is a bug. Brian Farnhill has more here
The situation was when I tried to edit a specific document I got the message box that another user had it opened for editing, no matter what I did even deleteing it and re-uploading it I still got the message.
What ended up working was simply to Check it out change something then check it back in and close and from then on it was fine!
Go figure maybe the check in/out removed some locking file?