Buckeye SharePoint User Group met today

If you are interested in SharePoint and live near Columbus you should take some time to meet with the Buckeye SharePoint Users Group. They are a great bunch of people. The steering committee meets the first Thursday of every month to develop meeting content. Find out more at http://www.buckeyespug.com

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Managing Site to Zone Assignment With Group Policy

You can centrally manage what sites are assigned to what security zones in internet explorer with a group policy object (GPO.) This is especially useful for organizations implementing SharePoint and want to make sure users don’t have to log in twice to any SharePoint sites. In order to do this correctly there are a couple things you should know:

  1. IE by default only passes credentials to sites in the intranet zone. NOT trusted sites. This behavior can be changed to pass credentials in all zones but in some opinions (including mine) would pose a security risk. The best thing to do is to leave this as-is.
  2. The in a GPO the setting to manage this is <Windows Components/Internet Explorer/Internet Control Panel/Security Page/site to zone assignment list>

According to the GPO help:

“Internet Explorer has 4 security zones, numbered 1-4, and these are used by this policy setting to associate sites to zones. They are: (1) Intranet zone, (2) Trusted Sites zone, (3) Internet zone, and (4) Restricted Sites zone. Security settings can be set for each of these zones through other policy settings, and their default settings are: Trusted Sites zone (Low template), Intranet zone (Medium-Low template), Internet zone (Medium template), and Restricted Sites zone (High template). (The Local Machine zone and its locked down equivalent have special security settings that protect your local computer.

Specifically for SharePoint applications, ensure that you place your SharePoint domain in the list with a value of 1 which is the intranet zone.

Creating a Who’s Out Now SharePoint Calendar

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Scenario

Frequently organizations without SharePoint send out blast emails to the entire organization. One of the most popular that I have seen is “Bob Smith” will be on vacation from x date to y date. Now granted to his department this may be a very important communication, but the rest of the organization doesn’t care. And if they do care, it isn’t likely they will remember his email anyway. One way I have solved this problem is with a shared SharePoint calendar for people to post their vacations on.

While this works, and its fairly easy to connect a SharePoint calendar to outlook, people still have to go the calendar and look at today’s date to see who is out. Depending on the view (calendar or list) this could be difficult if more than a few people are out.

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“Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a web part that would show me only the people that are out right now?”

How it’s Done

So you are probably thinking like I did, ok sweet I’ll just create a filtered view that only displays calendar appointments where the start date is less than or equal to today and the end date is greater than or equal to today.

Well this won’t work. SharePoint doesn’t allow you to compare date fields on a calendar…..or Does it

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Its actually pretty easy. I’m not sure how stable this is or if the upgrade to 2010 will break it, but it works for us.

  1. Create a calculated column that is equal to the start date. In this example, we are going to call it CompStart (becuase we are comparing the start time)
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  2. We then do the same thing for the end time
  3. Now we can create a view called “Whos Out Now” with the following filter
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Now all you have to do is add the calendar web part to the page of your choosing, and select the Who’s out now view for the calendar. I like to add a little polish to it by uploading a calendar icon to a picture library, and using the title icon image url in the web part properties.

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End Result

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Please feel free to leave your comments!

COSPUG Meeting This Thursday 7/16

COSPUG_Logo_NOTEXTThis Thursday evening at the Microsoft Offices at Polaris in Columbus Ohio, we will be holding our monthly COSPUG meeting. AvePoint will be supplying the food and Mario Fulan, recently certified SharePoint master will be speaking on how he achieved this high level certificaiton. Hope to see you there!

FRD files do not open in Drill Down Viewer on WinXP IE6/7

>This problem took me 6 hours to figure out so I thought it was worth a post….

My organization needed a way to distribute FRX reports via a website. Since we are a SharePoint 2007 shop, we decided to place all of the reports in a document library. Our thought was that anyone with the FRX drill down viewer could navigate to the doc lib and click on the report file and it would open in its native application. It turns out this was not the case.
We originally tested on Win Vista SP1 and IE7. Uploading the .frd file to the doc lib and opening it from IE worked great. After the first demonstration meeting we discovered that machines running Windows XP had to first save the file to their computer rather than opening directly from the website. For some reason on XP IE would show the .frd file as a zip folder rather than a frx file.
To further troubleshoot we discovered that browsing with Firefox allowed the file to open directly without saving first.
After requesting help from a trusted college we determined that it had to be an IE / XP issue and had nothing to do with SharePoint. We were wrong.
After several hours of research, I came across a few articles in which this happens to office 2007 documents on a SharePoint 2003 Implementation. The resolution to that problem has to do with registering all of the office 2007 MIME types. This led met to ms KB article 326965 “IIS 6 does not serve unknown MIME types” Following the instructions I tried deifining a MIME type for specific application and using /application/octet-stream. This didn’t work either. Then I stumbeled across a google post that suggested defining a MIME type and using /application/???.
THIS WORKED!!!!
I am not an IIS expert and I do not know what the ??? actually does except that it resolved my issue. If someone can explain this, I would love to know.
The only reason I can come up with for it not affecting vista has to do with the way IE7 on vista handles file associations. If you select tools, internet options, programs, you get a set programs button in Vista.
if you do the same on IE7 on XP you get a significantly different choice with no way to manage “internet programs”
Again, if anyone has an explanation on the differences in IE handling of file extensions on XP vs vista I would love to hear what you have to say.

COSPUG Logo Contest Announced!

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At the November meeting we officially announced the kick off of COSPUG’s Logo Contest. Here are the guidelines:

  1. E-mail your entries to cospuglogo@live.com
  2. All entries should be received by 1/1/2009
  3. Steering Committee will filter to 3-5 finalists (in necessary)
  4. Winner will be decided at the 1/15/2009 meeting by vote of those present
  5. Winner will receive a Microsoft messenger bag (and some minor fame!)

See the attached document for specific details or visit http://www.cospug.org/Shared%20Documents/COSPUG_LogoContest_rules.pdf.