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Line of Business Applications with Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010

Microsoft OBA’s (Office Business Applications) , since there conception are amazingly  interesting area , for one thing  the idea that you can use existing Office Client applications to access/update data from broad range of systems is just awesome. From pure end users point of view , they are so much involved with applications like Word , Excel , Outlook , its just so natural for them to perform tasks right from these familiar environment , rather than launching something separately .

On Jan 27th 2010 , Microsoft hold an “ISV Innovation Day: Insights to Success in the Singapore Market” event , particularly focusing ISV’s. I had conducted a session titled “Line of Business Applications with Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 , which is mainly focused on how ISV’s can leverage the new and improved features and functionalities of Office 2010 along with SharePoint 2010 and Silverlight to bring new degree of productivity. The new BCS (Business Connectivity Services) feature in SharePoint 2010 ,  which is a evolution of BDC (Business Data Catalog) available in SharePoint 2007 , covers large landscape of scenarios. One of the key take away is that  BCS is extremely powerful in these scenarios, which in turn open doors to new opportunities for ISV’s. This was actually shown in the demo which uses BCS and  common office applications like Outlook and Excel , which are extended using OBA tool and technologies to provide solution for an enterprise. The silverlight is used with Sharepoint to give users good lavish UI and at the same time completely integrated experience.It also demonstrates that how out of the box capabilities in SharePoint 2010 Workspace can be used to take data offline as required.

I think , with Office 2010 & SharePoint 2010  there are huge opportunities for  ISV’s , including those involve in product development and also for those who are system integrators or have focus on trainings.

The session slide deck is available for download (in various file formats) from following links. 

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Session Details : Working with SharePoint 2010 Client Object Model

Today , I will be conducting a session  on Client Side Object Model in SharePoint 2010 ,  for SharePoint Pro User Group in Singapore , session details can be found here. Client Side Object Model , is one of the coolest new feature in SharePoint 2010, and there is so much to talk about. I am basically focusing my talk on three key areas , ECMA Script , .NET Managed Code and REST data service interface. 

The source code for the demo’s can be downloaded from here.

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SharePoint 2010 : Command Line Utility to Enable/Disable Document Set

SharePoint 2010 provides a functionality called “Document Set” , very simply put its a way to treat group of documents as a single unit ,from technicall point “Document Set”  are implemented as a  content type , and this is where they receive great deal of power from, plus they get there own welcome page such that users know what the particular document set is all about. See the following screen shots below.

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After working with them for a while , I realize that before you can put them to use you need to go through number of configuration steps which may be bit of annoyance if you have more than few libraries.You need to do these for  each document library you want to use document set with. In fact the administrators , who are in general not a big fan of doing things UI  , lament about. After checking both stsadm and powershell commands none of them carter this scenario. 

I develop a simple command line utility “ManageDocumentSet” using SharePoint 2010  Server Side object Model ,  that will enable/disable document set  content type to any document library of choice. Following is the simple walk through with screen shots on how to use this utility. Please take note that I only moderately test the utility. Perhaps I will do some good deal of tests when I have some free time . I am also looking forward to made this utility available as  stsadm command extension and as a Powershell command let.

Before executing the utility , lets take a look at document library (see image below) , to which  “Document Set” content type is not associated.

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Also by default the site collection level feature  called “Document Site”  is also not activated , as shown below.

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The command will activate the feature (if not already activated) . To get more information on allowed parameters  type “managedocumentset -help” or simply “managedocumentset” on the command line as shown below.

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Enabling Document Set for a document library

For enable a document set on a document library , you can use the following parameters.

“managedocumentset” is the name of the command line utility.

the four required parameters are

  • enable : Enable the the document set for a particular document library . Alternative is “-disable” (discussed in next section.)
  • site : Its the  absolute URL of the sitecollection  e.g “http://win28k”  , “http://win28k/sites” , etc.
  • web : Its a name of the web (SPWeb) , inside the site collection provided in parameter “site” . e,g “/” for root web , “PressReleases” , etc.
  • libname : Name of a document library with which the Document Set content type will be associated. e.g “Documents” , “HRDocuments”, etc.

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After the command is completed successfully , you can use the “Document Set” for the document library mentioned in the command as shown below.

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Disabling Document Set for a document library

To disable a document set on a document library , use the following command parameters.

“managedocumentset” is the name of the command line utility.

The four required parameters are

  • disable : Disable the the document set for a particular document library . Alternative is “-enable” (discussed in previous section.)
  • site : Its the  absolute URL of the sitecollection  e.g “http://win28k”  , “http://win28k/sites” , etc.
  • web : Its a name of the web (SPWeb) , inside the site collection provided in parameter “site” . e,g “/” for root web , “PressReleases” , etc.
  • libname : Name of a document library with which the Document Set content type will be disassociated. e.g “Documents” , “HRDocuments”, etc.

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There is another optional parameter “-deactivatedocsetfeature” (as shown below)

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Normally “-deactivatedocsetfeature” parameter will deactivate the “Document Set”  feature , however  do take note that in case the “Document Set” content type is in use , the feature will not be deactivated , and you will receive a standard message from SharePoint mentioning that content type is in use.

[NOTE: The utility is written against SharePoint 2010 Beta 2  version, and may not work in RTM version]