VisiFire Open Source Silverlight Charting in SharePoint 10

I was doing some research on Silverlight charting solutions for SharePoint when I stumbled across VisiFire an open source self contained charting solution built with Silverlight. If you haven’t seen VisiFire before, it’s worth checking out, their gallery page shows a number of really slick animated charts that are dead simple to use with XML data (without writing any Silverlight code). Also, I’m not sure what rock I was under when the SharePoint Designer team posted this blog entry on integrating the Data View Web Part with VisiFire using XSLT. Their example uses the 1.0 version of VisiFire, so I decided to do a little poking around to see if I could get the 2.0.9 Beta version (hopefully my XSLT will also work when the official 2.0 version is released). Here are instructions for getting it to work in SharePoint (influenced HEAVILY by the original post by the SharePoint Designer Team: Download the 2.0.9 Beta ...

Adding robots.txt to SharePoint 2

Friend of mine asked me about this today and I had to look it up because its been a while since I have done anything with robots.txt. Turns out its not as easy as just adding the robots.txt file to the web server root. SharePoint likes to block access to the file, so you will need to add a managed path from Central Admin. Here are the steps: Open Central Admin and navigate to Application Management > Define Managed Paths Select your specific web application from the drop down Add a new path for /robots.txt Switch the type to Explicit inclusion Click OK Run IISREST This is all you need to do, but if you still get a permissions problem, right-click on robots.txt and give “Everyone” Read permissions to the file.

Two SharePoint design books from Wrox 2

Just wanted to make a quick post to take care of two birds with one stone: First, congrats to Woody Windischman and his co-authors for finishing their Wrox book Professional Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007. I haven’t read it yet, but I’m sure its an excellent addition to any SharePointer’s bookshelf. Second, I wanted to point out that my book has a very similar name and is also published by Wrox, its title is Professional SharePoint 2007 Design. As you can see, Woody’s book title is quite similar to mine. So whats different between the two and why did Wrox need both? I’m glad you asked. My book focuses on the actual design process for branding websites with SharePoint (which includes a chapter that discusses the product SharePoint Designer). Woody’s book on the other hand focuses entirely on the ins and outs of the SharePoint Designer product. So, which should you get if you are ...

Happy New Year – I’m now an MVP! 3

Yesterday, after partying like a rock star for New Years (actually just played Rock Band with friends), I woke up late to get the email from Microsoft that I have been awarded MVP status for SharePoint Server for 2009! I’m sure everyone is sick of reading blog posts from people that are being renewed and folks like me getting it for the first time… but none the less I felt the need to give thanks to everyone that helped me get to this point. Firstly, thanks to Shane Young and everyone at SharePoint911 for encouraging and supporting community involvement. Also, thanks to Andrew, Heather, and Ted (and probably a few others I have forgotten) for working with me on so many things throughout 2008. Lastly, thanks to my author team that helped out with the book Professional SharePoint 2007 Design. I’m thinking 2009 will be a great year… hopefully yours is great as well!

Oxite open source CMS from Microsoft

Interesting release from Microsoft’s Channel 9 Team, Oxite is an open source, standards compliant blogging and CMS engine that leverages Microsoft technologies. I wonder if this is just an experiment, or some kind of view into a potential future for WSS? CMSWire Article abotu Oxite Oxite in action at Mix

I’m an Android

While resisting the ever growing temptation to get an IPhone, I finally went and got a G1 Phone (Otherwise known as Google Android). Mainly I got it because I’m already on T-Mobile and didn’t need to extend my contract to use it (bought off of eBay). Here are my initial impressions Pro’s Hardware based keyboard is nicer than software keyboard Open source means folks can code apps that can add all sorts of features (including interfacing with the telephone itself) Android Market (their version of the App Store) is free right now and has a lot of nice apps on it UI feels very nice, much like an IPhone, better thought out than Windows Mobile (which really could use a UI refresh after all these years) Plugging it into my PC and adding and removing files (like MP3’s) is a piece of cake Was able to create a hello world app and add it to ...

New Article: SharePoint Quick Branding

I’m happy to report that an article I wrote for the SDTimes web edition was published recently. The topic of the article is a quick branding technique that uses the “Alternate CSS” capabilities of MOSS. This one isn’t for you pro SharePoint designers out there… this is for the folks that want to add some nice branding to their MOSS site as quickly and simply as possible. By using the Alternate CSS and a wide image that includes your company logo, you can accomplish a lot of design with little effort. SDTimes: Share Pointers: Quick Branding

Started using Twitter

Twitter is an interesting beast, I initially rejected it… but as of a few months ago I started to give it an honest look. While I don’t twitter my whole day away like some folks, I do seem to post at least once a day to it. I think its very good for posting topics that are too small or too personal for a typical blog. So, if you want to see my minor rants and personal stories, follow me at and if you want to stay focused on UI and SharePoint topics of worth (or so I hope) keep reading here at

New SharePoint tome – just in time for your holiday shopping 1

I just saw on Amazon that Wrox is putting together a “Microsoft SharePoint 2007 Wrox Box” which contains four of their best selling SharePoint 2007 books. While I doubt many folks will be plunking down the $100 for the book, I am pleased that the contents of my book, “Professional SharePoint 2007 Design” will be included with the likes of some of the best in the biz like Andrew Connell, Heather Solomon, and Shane Young (among many others).

New CodePlex Project: LyteBox for SharePoint 22

I decided to spend the weekend making an easy to use web part for SharePoint that allows anyone to add the LyteBox Javascript photo gallery to either MOSS 2007 or WSS V3. If you haven’t seen LyteBox before you should check it out, it’s used on many websites these days to create a nice Web 2.0 style photo gallery. In a basic Lytebox implementation you have to manually call out each image in HTML, but with LyteBox for SharePoint the images are pulled in automatically from a SharePoint picture library. I have packaged the whole thing up in such a way that you can use the web part even in many hosted environments because it involves no custom code (no DLL’s or web.config changes need). In my implementation there are two list templates, one that creates a document library with all of the LyteBox Javascript code and another that creates a picture gallery with some ...