Branding SharePoint 2013 with CSOM Code

Ever since SharePoint 2013 hit the market there has been all sorts of speculation whether sandbox solutions were deprecated (hint: as of this post, declarative ones are not officially deprecated) and the argument was always that you could use the Client Side Object Model (CSOM) to apply your branding. Well, not many folks back in 2013 had solid examples of how this would work. Microsoft must have noticed the need for some official examples because the Patterns & Practices (PnP) team released a ton of open source examples for using CSOM to do all sorts of fun things in SharePoint including uploading and applying branding to multiple sites. In this post I’ll walk you through the steps of giving this code a try. Before I get into the demo, do I think you should just stop making sandbox solutions for branding outright? I’m not ready to say that yet. There are certainly some pros and cons ...

Check out my SharePoint 2013 public site branding session from SPC14

In March of this year I had the great fortune to be selected to present at the Microsoft SharePoint Conference in Vegas (SPC14). It was a blast, even though we didn’t leave the Venetian hotels for the entirety of the trip. If you didn’t get to make it out to the conference you can still see my session. Microsoft records all our sessions and posts them on Channel 9. Here are the links to the video of our session as well as a link to all our previous Microsoft sessions: Branding Internet facing web sites with SharePoint in the cloud All my previous Microsoft conference sessions The session focused on how you can easily create public facing websites with SharePoint both on premises and in the cloud. We have a couple demos, including SharePoint 2013 Composed Looks and the Design Manager. Our big demo shows off the following responsive web design (RWD) which would work in Office ...

Creating Mobile User Interfaces for SharePoint 2013 1

The following is a re-post of an article I wrote for the Amazon.com tech.book(store): Because of SharePoint’s prominent role for both corporate intranets and public facing internet sites, there is often a strong push to have SharePoint serve information in a mobile friendly layout. There are several ways to approach this topic in SharePoint 2013. First, because SharePoint 2013 supports modern browsers, you could look at the modern techniques of responsive web design (RWD). Another option, is to use some of the new features that Microsoft has provided with SharePoint Server 2013, specifically device channels. In this post, we will look at some of the pros and cons to these options. Responsive Web Design RWD is the idea that one design can be applied to a web site and this design will respond to the device that is loading the page and adjust the layout to match various features of the browser like height, width, resolution, and ...

SPTechWeb Article: Shaping up images in SharePoint 2013

My latest article about image renditions in SharePoint 2013 is up at SPTechWeb. I cover the basics of turning on blob caching, adding a new image rendition size, cropping an image rendition, and changing the size of an image when it’s been added to a page. Shaping up images in SharePoint 2013

SharePoint 2013 Basic Search Center Branding Problem 2

So, I had thought we were in the clear from the old 2010 Search Center branding disaster. For the most part custom branding applies pretty easily to search sites in SharePoint 2013 thanks to the fact that it just uses the default Seattle.master for search branding. However there is a gotcha, specifically related to the Basic Search Center template. I think the problem is only this one template, but maybe there are other areas affected. I tested the Enterprise Search Center and the default search and neither had issues. Basically what happens is when you are creating your custom branding, chances are you will be applying a customized master page (one that is edited with a mapped drive or SharePoint Designer), and the Basic Search Center uses a snippet of code block to try to hide the ribbon when the Web Part management panel is up (I have no idea why this was so important ...

Starter Master Pages Update v1.3 7

Over the weekend I pushed out a small but important update to my starter master pages. When I originally created the starter master pages I used both the Design Manager feature as well as Seattle and Oslo to decide the best place to put things in the master page. There was a discrepancy between where the Design Manager and the default master pages placed the SPWebPartManager control. Turns out the Design Manager puts this control in the <head> section which is incorrect, it should be in the <body>. Having the control load before the <body> caused a host of mysterious problems so I have moved it to the body and I urge everyone to follow suit. Starter Master Pages for SharePoint 2013 v1.3 UPDATE: 2010 Starter Master Pages can be found here: http://startermasterpages.codeplex.com/releases/view/41533

Moved from Blogger to WordPress 4

After trying WordPress for our user group website I decided that it is a far superior blogging platform than Google’s Blogger. I’ve been meaning to move off of Blogger for a while now but was afraid of the potential hit to my Google results due to a change in URL formatting. Since coming over to Rackspace, I realized that I have access to create WordPress sites with through our cloud hosting so I decided to give it a try. I was pleased to find that there are tools for importing all my old posts and comments from Blogger to WordPress as well as settings to reformat the WordPress URL’s to match Bloggers URL format. I was then hopeful that I could make the move fairly seamlessly so I flipped the lever on Saturday evening (weekends are pretty slow for SharePoint web traffic). The first thing I noticed was that clicking on my Google results from my phone was taking me to the correct ...

Sticky Footers in SharePoint 7

I get this question a lot these days: “How can I add a sticky footer to the bottom of SharePoint”. So much so that I decided I need to have a blog post that points to my solution to the problem. First, what it a sticky footer? I consider this to be a footer at the bottom of a page that stays “stuck” to the bottom of the browser window ONLY if the page content does not fill up the full page. If you want a footer that sticks to the bottom without considering the page content, you can easily float one above the content always stuck to the bottom with just absolute CSS positioning. How do I solve it. There are many ways this problem could be solved ranging from intelligent HTML and CSS creation to jQuery based solutions. I am leaning towards a jQuery based solution because often with SharePoint you don’t have ...

Design Manager Bug – SharePoint 2013 RTM 11

Ran into an interesting little bug this past week with SharePoint 2013 Design Manager master pages. After having a friend recreate the issue on her VM, I contacted the Microsoft product team and confirmed this is an issue they hope to solve with a future update. Essentially, if you create a master page with the Design Manager, whether a minimal master or one that has been converted from HTML and CSS, the Site Contents > Add an app page will not allow you to add apps or lists to your site. This issue also impact the out of the box Oslo master page. Here is what you should see when you go to the Add an App page: With this bug you end up never seeing the Apps you can add section. Sometimes you will see the “Working on it…” message and other times you will just see the Noteworthy apps. The key to fixing ...

SharePoint 2013 Starter Master Pages – Beta Release 12

So, I’ve been quiet lately, but it hasn’t been for lack of work on SharePoint 2013… I have a Halloween treat for everyone! A new release of my Starter Master Pages for SharePoint 2013. These will work with the RTM release of SharePoint Foundation and Server 2013, but please consider them beta at this point at least until I get some initial feedback from the community. http://startermasterpages.codeplex.com/ Here is a quick FAQ about this release: Why do we need starter master pages now that SharePoint Server 2013 includes the design manager with the ability to create minimal master pages and convert HTML designs into functioning master pages?  Great question, here are a few things that come to mind:  The Design Manager is a feature that is only available with the for pay SharePoint Server license through the publishing feature (also available in SharePoint Online in various capacities). If you have a Foundation server or do ...