All right stop! Collaborate and listen (Sharing Points)

March 17, 2009

Navigation Error in MOSS

Filed under: MOSS, Sharepoint — Tags: , , — stephenmuller @ 11:33 pm

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.

In the google sphere there is a few entries about this but not many solutions. One post talked about workflow. And surely enough we were testing some workflow demos, but we had not attached any of them. However….my little helper did set up a policy setting on a document library after i left(which would have run overnight).

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.


February 19, 2009

Default Document Content Type always loading as Document

Filed under: MOSS, Office 2007, Sharepoint — Tags: , , — stephenmuller @ 12:20 am

This has been an on and off problem for me.

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.

December 8, 2008

Changing the Divisions and Regions for new sites in your MOSS Portal

Filed under: Sharepoint, Vista/MOSS — Tags: , , — stephenmuller @ 12:48 am

Tip of the day (well month)

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.

July 17, 2008

Using the DIP and Quick Parts with Office Pt 2

Filed under: Infopath, MOSS, Office 2007, Sharepoint, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — stephenmuller @ 3:52 am

Ok so in the last post i blabbed how to start to make some changes to the DIP to make a user friendly mechanism for users to edit and add metadata. Users dont like doing this so making it easy and friendly is advisable :).

That last action on the last post was to make a filtered drop down to make it simple for users to select the correct data from a lookup. As we know it is not possible to add filters to dropdowns in Sharepoint, there are 3rd parties that allow you to connect lookups in a master/child relationship in Sharepoint, I will link to them later. But his can easily be done in InfoPath by expanding on the steps that I have shown.

The next steps will be to make it prettyier (im not a designer as you will see) and to add the Quick Parts feature from Office 2007.

Finishing Touches

The next thing I want to do is add some text and a picture (thanks to Ishai on this as he pointed out a way to add an unbound picture to the DIP).

To add the picture I simply selected the Picture Icon on the toolbar.  I selected the picture and it inserted as per the image.


I guess the standard disclaimers need to be added here, be aware of the size of the image as it will impact the times of download.

This image would perhaps be your corporate logo or something more relevant than a Calvin & Hobbes picture.

Next is the layout and fonts. This is done simply by dragging and dropping and typing in the text and formatting it as per normal InfoPath functions.

I did this by using tables and my poor imagination. Note how I added tips for each field etc. After these changes are made click the Publish button and save and publish the document.

Now to test it, create a document library in a site, allow it to use content types and select the Project Overview document.

When the New Project Overview menu is selected the new document will appear, it looks kind of like this.

There thats all that. If you had problems please contact me, I made a lot of assumptions in the process so if I missed some key steps let me know.

Using the Quick Parts

Quick Parts is a feature in Word 2007. It allows a field to be added to the document that is linked to a document property or blocks of text called building blocks. We are only interested in the Document properties.

The feature is accessed from the Insert menu from Word 2007 as seen below

To demonstrate this keep the word document that you opened above.

Select the Quick Parts menu option then Document Property (note how all the fields are listed here including the SharePoint ones) I then selected Project Name, this drops a control onto the document as per below and then make a label for it.


I then created the Project Type and Project Manager, and formatted it a little nicer.

This image shows all the fields on the form as well as the dropdown for the Project Type.

There are a few thing to note. When the field is a lookup or list the field on the form will operate as a dropdown. You will also notice that it will use the value that has been selected in the DIP in the field, when you change the value in the field on the document the value in the DIP will also change. This shows that the two fields are linked.

This means that we can now add fields to a document template for the user to fill out and that will automatically populate the metadata for the document, so the users only need to fill the data in once. 

This document can now be saved as a template and uploaded back into the template for the content type so it can be used again and again.

Done….Did this make sense.


Ok in these two posts I hope I have shown how to make changes to The DIP to make a user friendly interface for users to add the additional metadata that they may need to add for a document. Smarts can be created with the fields to filter the data choices to the correct values. This is something that can only be done by 3rd party tools within SharePoint (or custom development).

By linking these fields into the actual document template via the Quick Parts we can save the user having to re-type the fields while still keeping a corporate template for the document.

All of this in my eyes is purely to assist the end user by making an easy and intuitive interface where they can quickly add the additional metadata for a document. Something I have said to many clients is that users are generaly happy to spend the time to add in more information than they are used to if it is easy AND there is a clear benefit to them ie, quicker access in locating that document or sharing it with other users. I think these tools can be used to help make that happen.


Over and out.

November 14, 2006

Document certification for MOSS

Filed under: Sharepoint, Vista/MOSS — stephenmuller @ 2:44 am

I meant to post this before but it slipped my mind until I wanted to find it again.

I think it is a bit of an oversight on MS’s behalf not to get certification for its RM abilities before the roll out. Or is it just because I do most of my work in Government agencies where certification is the FIRST hurdle for an EDMS.

Anyway I am happy the DoD approval will happen I just hope that they will make the effort to gain certification in other countries. But this will make it easier.

Courtesy of Liam

October 11, 2006

Default fields in Sharepoint lists

Filed under: Sharepoint — stephenmuller @ 5:16 am

For Sharepoint 2003 only 

 I have been looking for a particular field that I want to reference in a document library event handler I am writing, to get the spelling right I triedto find a list on the net of the default field names used when a sharepoint list is created. Think I could find it easily??? noooooo..  A friend said “just write some code to return the list”. I am not a developer so I refused (but those who are a night or day developers can easily find the code on the net, im not so I only found them by accident).

Eventally I found a page that lists all the default field names for each sharepoint list type.

October 9, 2006

Filter values for a Data View webpart

Filed under: Sharepoint — stephenmuller @ 3:35 am

I have been trying to add a little more flexibility to an existing sharepoint site. Currently some webparts look at the querystring  to determine what documents should be displayed to the user. IE if the querystring has http://blahurl?Doc=Policy then the document relating to policy would be displayed.

Works well, however I wanted to be able to list documents that may have been marked as ‘Policy – Email’ or “Policy – Leave’ etc.

 When using the default way of editing these webparts via frontpage. I selected the Filter link for the webpart I wish to edit, the only options that are available for comparing the field with the query string, were only the numeric comparisons were available in the dropdown (Equals, Is Null, Less than etc). I was after the “Contains” comparison.

I went back to the webpart in frontpage and selected web part properties and edited the Data Query Editor xml fragment. The section to change is

 <dsp:where xmlns:dsp=”Http://micorsoft…….”>


<dsp:FieldRef Name”Yourfield”/>

<dsp:Value Type=”xsd:string”><udc………..>



Change the <dsp:Eq> to <dsp:Contains> and the closing tag as well. There is another string comparison that can be used but the link where I got the info from is

It all worked well and was even reflected in the filter string visible in Frontpage.

Hope this helps someone.

June 28, 2006

Salient points for recruiters

Filed under: Sharepoint, Uncategorized — stephenmuller @ 11:49 pm

This is something I also get a lot of, and it has been so well captured here.


May 9, 2006

Great Sharepoint book

Filed under: Sharepoint — stephenmuller @ 6:34 am

I have just purchased a book which has been mentioned in some blogs. It is Sharepoint 2003 Advanced Concepts Site Definitions, Custom Templates and global Customizations.

This is a great book, get it. I didnt know you could customise the alert emails.

I know the new version of Sharepoint is coming out some year, but there are going to be lots of Sharepoint 2003 builds for us to do. And this book is great to brand that site and customise very easily.

April 30, 2006

FileName is locked for editing by ‘another user’

Filed under: Sharepoint — stephenmuller @ 11:36 pm

When you open a file from sharepoint (I dont know if this only applies to office documents) and the application crashes (not Sharepoint), when you re-open the document from sharepoint you will get an error

FileName is locked for editing by ‘another user’.
Dont waste time looking for any temp files to delete just wait 10 Mins and reopen the document again from sharepoint it should of cleared the lock again.

I know its not a big thing to blog but I thought I would anyway.


I have written some other posts which may also fix the problem or give you some help, they are


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