Kivati Studio Released

Check out this new product from Kivati, seems like they took all of the SharePoint web service API’s and abstracted them out into a GUI layer that allows developers to rapidly build SharePoint applications. I’m sure the devil is in the details, but the demo looks pretty slick. They show how a skilled user could wire together a workflow application and build a deployment package just by clicking away.

Microsoft Office Labs

Check out a new pilot project from the MS Office team. Sort of like Google Labs, Office labs is a place to check out and give feedback on the latest and greatest ideas from the office team. So far, theres not a ton of projects there, but I’m sure if people use the site a lot, they will put more out there. Microsoft Office Labs

IE8 Beta 1 with SharePoint (Revisit)

Ok, if you’ve read my previous post where I talk about IE8 rendering out of the box MOSS Master Pages poorly, you may have been confused by some of my results. Turns out I was using the Developer Tools to switch the Render Mode manually to IE8 which is not accurate. Turns out if a webpage does NOT include a doctype (like default.master and application.master do not) IE8 will default its rendering behavior to the old way of browsing (quirks mode in this case). Thus default.master and application.master, while still not great, do render exactly the same in IE8 as they would in IE7. Now BlueBand on the other hand (and the other “bands”) DOES have a doctype so it renders in IE8 mode by default and thusly has problems. So, it would seem that the best case scenario for now with custom Master Pages, is to declare a doctype of your choice, but to ...

IE8 Beta 1 SharePoint Screenshots 1

I went and grabbed the IE8 early beta and tried it out in a Vista VM. So far, the out of the box MOSS experience isn’t looking so hot. Of course you could always switch it to IE7 browsing mode and everything looks great. My own MOSS designs look pretty funky as well. Here are some screenshots of IE8 and the out of the box SharePoint UI’s: UPDATE #4 – Ok, after asking some questions on the IEBlog, I now understand what I was seeing in MOSS. Default.master does indeed render in IE7 mode by default, while Blueband renders in IE8 mode. You can check the render mode easily with this bookmarklet: UPDATE #3 – This is what I get for posting so early in the beta. Just read the latest post on the IE8 Blog. Based on their description, I think the MOSS ootb default.master would render in IE7 mode by default as it does not have ...

IE8 Will Render in Standards Mode by Default

As the title implies, the IE8 team has reversed their decision to have IE8 render in IE7 mode by default and instead have it render in full Acid2 confirmed standards goodness by default. Read the post here My question is, will the SharePoint team release a standards based default.master (hint: a doctype would help) or will they just tag it to render in IE7 Mode?

Google Sites != MOSS Killer (yet)

Just previewed the new Google Sites functionality that was released ( recently. It is supposedly their attempt to capture some of the collaboration market that MOSS plays in. To be fair, it’s early in the lifecycle of Google Sites, but at this point I think it would only be a viable alternative for shops that need a minimal collaborative environment. The UI is very slick however, Microsoft could take a few cues from them in that department (especially the nice cross browser Ajax interfaces, and deadly simple usage patterns). To try it out, at least for now, you need to have your own domain name to push up some files to verify that you are your own “company”. Once you do that, you will be able to create sites, invite contributors, pick from some style templates, share files and documents, create web pages, create announcements, create very rudimentary lists, and create dashboards (which consist of small widgets for ...

Favicon’s in a SharePoint Master Page

My buddy John Ross had asked me if I knew anything about adding Favicons to SharePoint branding, so this post is for him. He pointed me to this post on MindSharp Blogs. This method didn’t work for him when he tried it so was wondering how I did one for a project we worked on. I think the method in that post technically should work as IIS will pickup favicons that are in your IIS root, but I think SharePoint may be blocking access in some instances. For me, in traditional html, I have always preferred to call out favicons specifically with a tag in the html this way I ensure that my code, not the server, is handling the file. So now, how do you do this in SharePoint? Here are my steps Drag a favicon.ico file to the Images directory of your MOSS site with SharePoint designer. I have created a simple favicon.ico ...

Mossman’s Weather Web Part

I recently created a simple weather web part to enter into Iain Munro’s content editor web part contest. Actually, I created two, one using the US National Weather service feeds which don’t seem to have restrictions on usage, and one that worked with Yahoo weather which has some restrictions on for-profit usage. Iain wanted the Yahoo one because it supports other countries other than the US, but there seems to be some stability issues with the Yahoo Weather RSS feed, where sometimes it doesn’t send the full data (has anyone else experienced this?). So for now, I will just post the National Weather service one. To use it, add the web part to your page and to change the city listed, just modify the shared web part and edit the XML Link to reflect one of the XML URLs listed at this url: Download the Web Part here:  

Update to my SharePoint Name.dll ActiveX Fix

Dave Ginn recently tried out my name.dll fix (read more about it in my previous post) and ran into a problem with some users not being able to access the Site Actions menu. Personally, I have deployed the code to several external MOSS sites and not run into the problem. Let me know in the comments if you have used my fix code successfully or not, as I’m trying to determine what sort of setup causes it to occur. Note: Dave fixed his problem with some code modifications and posted it to his site. I may end up rolling this code back into my source here at this blog.

Microsoft Revamping Virtualization Strategy

According to the news wire, Microsoft is embracing virtualization full force in the coming months. This is great news for us SharePoint developers as we live in VM’s. Heres some quotes from the blurb: Microsoft also said it will expand an alliance with another virtual desktop computing company, Citrix Systems Inc., that will help their respective products work well together. Redmond-based Microsoft also announced it will cut the cost of licensing Windows for use on virtual machines to $23 from $78 per year for its big business customers. Microsoft Takes Virtual Step Forward