I’ve been mulling over the idea of a fresh coat of paint for this website for a while now. I finally took a quiet Sunday to focus and get it done. I learned a few things in the process. So in the spirit of collaboration I’d like to share those ideas:
Backup everything! Think you’re an expert? Think you’re good at computers? Yeah, I did too until I accidentally deleted the root folder. Yikes.
WordPress continues to amaze me. The import/export to XML feature is fantastic. I simply opened the XML in Notepad2 for a search/replace on the domain name URL and then loaded up without any hiccups. All blog URLs now point to www.spjeff.com
Feedburner. Enough said, I did a poor job before not using this and regret the lack of statistics. Thankfull my new Green Park 2 theme comes with support for Feedburner and Google Analytics for all the numbers I could want.
Find other good blogs. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? To be successful find good role models first. Borrow ideas, build upon them, try new things, and make them yours too.
More picture, less words. Information overload is the order of the day. Be kind to visitors and keep the interface light weight.
Permalinks. (ex: /?p=192) If you switch DNS domains but stay with hosting companies point the old DNS to the new home folder. It prevents 404 errors for prior readers.
To quote Asif Rehmani (@asifrehmani) from www.sharepoint-elearning.com … “SharePoint Designer is like a really sharp knife. It’s very good at what it does. You might cut yourself. But you don’t stop, just act more carefully.”
With that lesson well learned over my years with SharePoint customization I must say my favorite trick of all is the simple quick copy/paste backup. Any time and every time I’m about to jump off a cliff to dive into SPD coding I perform a Quick Backup:
Highlight the file
Breathe a sigh of relief
Storage is cheap. Mistakes are not. Time is one of our most scarce resources. Buy some insurance with a Quick Backup!
I will submit the idea that the hidden system folder /Forms/ is a great place for these for four simple reasons:
Easy to find – Yes, I get lost on my own sites. Don’t you? Having the resources nearby makes management a breeze.
Relative URL hyperlinks – No need for server relative or hardcoded URL reference. From DispForm.aspx (for example) just call “resource_file.ext”
Protected from end users – They can’t delete what they can’t see. Enough said.
Bundled as .STP for list templates – When you save any SPList as STP it will automatically package up the entire contents of the /Forms/ folder. How cool is that!?! So easy to migrate, duplicate, and even control source version history by saving often. This alone is reason to use this technique.
So the next time you’re adding custom files to a particular list please give the /Forms/ folder a second look.
I maintain a local virtual machine on my laptop to evaluate, explore, code, and learn. It’s one of my best tools and I find it incredibly useful each day. It also needs refreshing and upkeep like any other technology. Patches, new features, and experience compel me to make adjustments as time goes forward.
I’ve completed my latest build and wanted to lay out the specifications here in case it’s helpful to other people building a similar virtual machine for their own work. Admins, developers, and even business analysts can benefit from having a local fully autonomous and fully featured SharePoint server.
VHD Format Ready for immediate use on any VM system WinRAR split across 20 files (700 MB) for a total 13.2 GB download with a built in EXE extractor. No need to have WinRAR for extraction. Note – No integration services are pre-loaded. If you’re using Microsoft Virtual PC, VMWare, or Hyper-V these come with an option to load integration for a smoother experience working inside of the running guest VM (moues pointer, disk drives, keyboard shortcuts, etc.)
Applications Installed Adobe Reader 9.1.0 Adobe Flash for IE IE 8.0 IE Developer Toolbar Notepad 2.0 Performance Point Server 2007 – Planning and Monitoring Servers Office 2007 Professional Office Save as PDF Add-In Office Groove 2007 Outlook 2007 with email profile configured (workflow / alert demos) SharePoint Designer 2007 Visio 2007 Project Professional 2007 iFilter pack for Office 2007 formats Visual Studio 2008 Team Suite Edition (incl Architecture, Database, Development, and Test) Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO) Visual Studio Add-In for MS Chart 3.5 Visual Studio Add-In for WSS Extensions v1.3 SDK – WSS CHM Documentation SDK – MOSS CHM Documentation Exam Diff Pro with right click integration and plugins for comparing PDF, XLS, DOC, etc. SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition – with Database, Analysis, Reporting, and Integration SQL Server Reporting Servers – BOTH native and integrated instances SQL Server Management Studio – Full SQL Profiler SQL Sample Databases – Adventure Works, Northwind, Pubs SQLCMD SharePoint Server 2007 Enterprise Edition Windows SharePoint Services patched to August 09 Cumulative Update (12.0.6514) STSADMWin – GUI for STSADM command line to avoid typos and speed up routine tasks Filezilla – Free FTP client MagicDisc – Can host ISO files as drive letters ZoomIt – Great for presentations! Zooms to one part of the screen for easy back-of-the-room reading TreeSize Professional – Show disk consumption by folder branch IIS 6.0 Resource Kit IIS 6.0 Diagnostic Kit SharePoint Manager 2007 Stramit CAML Viewer 2007 Enterprise Library 3.1 SpsDev.com ULS Log Reader SharePoint Skinner
O/S Installed Windows Server 2003 SP2 Enterprise Edition x86 Single C: partition expandable up to 30GB with 10GB free space Defragged already Active Directory POP3 and SMTP email for local "training.corp" domain "firstname.lastname@example.org" is the default email address for TRAININGADMINISTRATOR Netmon 3.3 Visual Round Trip Analyzer Windows 2003 Server Resource Kit CmdHere right click menu integration Windows Automatic Updates are Disabled to avoid surprises and let you manage manually