Friday, July 28, 2006

Web Part Compatibility

When web parts first came out with SharePoint 2001, there wasn't much of an issue with compatibility. However, now with SharePoint 2003 out for several years, ASP.Net 2.0 supporting web parts, and soon SharePoint 2007 will be released, one has to consider version compatibility among these versions. Listed below are some facts to help decipher any compatibility issues.


  • Using Son of SmartPart will allow you to run ASP.NET 2.0 UserControls and WebParts in SharePoint 2003.
  • SharePoint 2003 web parts will not work in ASP.NET 2.0 pages with Web Part Zones.
  • SharePoint 2003 web parts will work in SharePoint 2007.

In addition, take time to review Dino Esposito's article "WebParts: From Sharepoint to ASP.NET 2.0". It discusses the similarities and differences between the two models.

Monday, July 24, 2006

What Software is Installed on a PC?

Q: Does anyone know of any FREE software that I can use that will tell me in a report format what software is installed on a pc? I have to rebuild a few computers and it would be nice to be able to just run a peice of software from a thumb drive and get a quick report.

A: Listed below are two vendors that sell products specifically for this purpose.

Your worst security risk may work for you!

Most developers consider security as an outside risk. However, contrary to popular belief, most security breeches occur from within an organization. This article from Microsoft.com discusses this issue in more detail and offers some solutions to combat this problem.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Checklist for Testing Web Parts

For those developing web parts for SharePoint, here's an article on testing web parts. The article has a checklist and detailed How-To instructions on changing the various settings to test the web part for different scenarios.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

SharePoint 2003 Limitations using WMSDE

Q: I want to use WMSDE for a very limited POC (proof of Concept) of SPS 2003. Other than Search and performance, are there any other things to be concerned about?

A: If SPS 2003 is not installed WSS uses a special version of MSDE, known as SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine (Windows), or WMSDE. This is an unthrottled version of MSDE designed only to be used by Windows components, and as such is not limited in the same way as MSDE. The maximum size limit and current connections limit have both been removed. However it is still much more limited than SQL Server 2000 in the following ways:

  • WMSDE does not include enterprise management tools such as those provided with SQL Server 2000 (e.g. SQL Enterprise Manager MMC tool) for backing up and restoring the database. However command line tools can still be used (e.g. stsadm tool).
  • WMSDE can only be managed locally – you cannot remotely connect.
  • WMSDE does not support full-text search – so search from within team sites is not possible.
  • You cannot deploy WMSDE in web farm/clustered configurations, so the solution cannot scale beyond certain limits, and remains a single point of failure.
  • You cannot use WMSDE for anything other than WSS due to the custom schema it uses (MSDE or SQL Server 2000 can also be used for other custom applications). There is no user interface to edit the database file.
  • WMSDE will support a maximum of 1000 web sites.


For more information, goto http://blogs.msdn.com/grahamtyler/archive/2004/10/19/244496.aspx

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Windows Fundamentals

Microsoft Corp. released a new version of its operating system for businesses this week that extends the life of older PCs by effectively turning them into thin-client computers. Called "Windows Fundamentals" for Legacy PCs, the software is offered only to customers on Microsoft's Software Assurance licensing and maintenance program.

It is not a full-featured operating system, but it improves the security and manageability of PCs for customers with systems that are too old for Windows XP and who aren't ready to upgrade their hardware, Microsoft said.

For the full article, visit http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9001761&source=NLT_PM&nlid=8

Can 32-Bit Applications run on Windows 2003 64-Bit?

Q: Can I run SQL Server 2000 32 bit on Windows 2003 64 bit?

A: The short answer is yes. WOW64 (Windows on Windows 64) is a compatibility environment provided by the operating system that allows a 32-bit application to run on a Windows 64-bit operating system. For more information, see 64–Bit Windows Part 11: Windows on Windows 64.

For web applications, Windows Server 2003 SP1 enables WOW64 compatibility for 32–bit Web applications in IIS 6.0. Based on the value of a metabase property, IIS will either start a 32–bit or a 64–bit worker process. In other words, IIS 6.0 can run applications in WOW64 or native 64–bit, but not both. For more information, see Windows Server 2003 SP1 enables WOW64 compatibility for 32-bit Web applications in IIS 6.0.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Next Versions of VS and SQL Server

Orcas: code name for the next version of Visual Studio, due in 2007 or 2008. One of the big
features of the new VS is Language-Integrated Query (LINQ). LINQ is a breakthrough technology that eliminates the impedance mismatch among different data domains. With LINQ, developers do not need to learn separate query syntaxes when querying over diverse data domains such as XML, Relational and Objects. LINQ has been very well received both last year at its announcement at the PDC, and more recently at Tech-Ed in Boston. Orcas, the next version of Visual Studio, includes LINQ infrastructure that enables this powerful combination of languages and API’s, as well as concrete support in multiple programming languages and data domains.

Orcas is based on the .Net Framework 3.0, which is comprised of the existing .NET Framework 2.0 components, including ASP.NET, WinForms, ADO.NET, CLR, and additional base class libraries. It will also include Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) and the newly christened Windows CardSpace (WCS) formerly known under the codename “InfoCard.”
The .NET Framework has always been at the core of WinFX, but the WinFX brand didn’t convey this.

The WinFX brand helped us introduce the incredible innovations in terms of The brand also
created an unnatural discontinuity between previous versions of our framework and the current version. With this in mind, WinFX will be renamed the .NET Framework 3.0.
To read more about it and download the CTP, go to http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=1A994549-94CB-4F61-903D-A8C8E453EEF4&displaylang=en


Katmai: code name for the next version of SQL Server, due out in 2007 or 2008. It will provide support for unstructured data and auto-admin work.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Passing values to JavaScript

Q: I have an ASP.Net application where I would like to pass the value of a variable to JavaScript code on the same page. How can I do that?

A: An article found at http://aspalliance.com/ArticleViewer.aspx?aid=851&pid=-1 explains exactly how to do that. First, place the script in a separate .js file. Then pass the required value to the script using Page.ClientScript.RegisterClientScriptBlock().

In ASP.Net 2.0 Page.ClientScript.RegisterClientScriptBlock() is used to download and store a script in a browser's cache for quicker reponse in the browser.

Another similar method is Page.ClientScript.RegisterStartupScript(). This method is best used when you have a JavaScript function that you want to initiate when the page is loaded. The code, including this method call, would be placed in the Page_Load() event handler.

For more information, go to http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dnaspp/html/JAVAwASP2.asp.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Best Practices for Developing Web Parts

For those developing web parts, Microsoft has released "Best Practices for Developing Web Parts for SharePoint Products and Technologies" . This can be accessed at http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/odc_sp2003_ta/html/ODC_WSSWebPartTips.asp

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Importing Mutliple Web Parts Simultaneously

During the last SIG meeting, one of the members asked if multiple web parts could be deployed simultaneously. There was no obvious way to use the SharePoint UI to import multiple web parts at once. However, other solutions are available by use of STSADM.EXE and InstallAssemblies.EXE.

STSADM.EXE
To use the Stsadm.exe command to deploy a Web Part package on a server computer running Windows SharePoint Services, open a command prompt, and then type the following command:

stsadm.exe -o addwppack -filename Web_Part_Pack_name [-url URL] [-globalinstall] [-force]

A series of these commands can be entered into a batch file and used to import multiple web parts simultaneously.

STSADM.EXE is a standard SharePoint utility, and is installed by default on the SharePoint server.


InstallAssemblies
InstallAssemblies is an assembly installation tool for Windows SharePoint Services. The tool is designed for use within development and testing environments. By default, InstallAssemblies will start in interactive mode, but it can run in command line mode. Once InstallAssemblies.exe boots, you will need to select which assemblies to install. This can be done by either clicking on the “Select assemblies” button, or dragging and dropping assemblies onto the tree view control initially labeled “No assemblies have been selected”. Afterwards, ensure all other options are properly set before clicking on the “Install” button. The results of all actions are displayed in the Results sections.

InstallAssemblies is a free download available with the SharePoint 2003 Resource Kit.