Online Training On SharePoint

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Few Tips to improve Business Productivity with SharePoint 2010 and Office 2010

As we all know that SharePoint and Office Product very well together and you can improve the efficiency with the following tips. If you co-relate these tips where SharePoint is used as Project Management Tool, we can better visualize the scenario and these tips. For these tips I am using SharePoint 2010 with Office 2010.

Tip#1 Business Users create lot of document in Office Products and then upload them in the Document Library  and then fill the metadata associated with the document. This is a multi step process. This can be simplified in 1 step with the following:

So relating to our Project Management Sample, users create status report every week based on a defined template and then upload them in SharePoint and apply the metadata. This can be simplified by creating a Content Type with the proper Template and metadata (represented through Site Columns) and then associating it to the document library for Status Reports. Now once this is done Business Users simply needs to go to the Document Library and click on the Connect to Office Button and select the Add to SharePoint Sites Option.

This will add that document library in the Word 2010 and when users needs to create a Status Report they will click on the icon shown like below:

This will show all the Content Types which are associated with that Document Library and for our specific need will select the Status Report Template.
This will open the associated template and also the metadata which can be filled.

Now once the user saves these reports, they will be directly saved in the document library.

Tip#2 For managing the projects we use Calendars, Contacts and Tasks which are OOB features of a SharePoint Site. Now if a user is working in multiple projects it would be difficult for him to go into these various sites and track these. SharePoint 2010 provides excellent integration with Outlook 2010 and these things can be surfaced directly in the user Outlook.

So now I will demonstrate that the tasks created in SharePoint and then surface them in the Outlook. To do so simply the user needs to click on the Connect to Outlook button as shown:

This will give 3 alerts which the user needs say Yes and with that all the tasks will be surfaced in the Outlook:

This will show all the tasks irrespective to whether they are assigned to current user. Now a view also can be created where user can see the tasks which are assigned to him.

If we need to create presentation frequently from a set of defined set of slides Slides Library can be a good option which allows the business users to create Slides in a simple manner. SharePoint 2010 has introduced Slide Library as a new type of document library. When we upload any presentation with multiple slides it stores all of them as separate slide, later a user can select a specific set of slides and create presentations quickly. Also if later these slides are changed in the slides library and a presentation is created using these slides users will be notified for the changes in the original presentation. 

Friday, 20 January 2012

Refreshing the WebParts Automatically on a Regular Interval

I was working on requirements to create a Dashboard kind of functionality for the Application Admins where data from several Lists and Document Libraries needs to come. Since this application involves high transactions so all these lists keep updated frequently. On this dashboard we are showing the data from these various lists using the list view web parts. The requirement was that we need to refresh these Web Part on a continuous basis automatically so that the users do not need to refresh the pages manually.

This is possible to do OOB with the List/Document Library Web Part in SharePoint 2010 - a really amazing feature. Now these Web Parts supports Ajax Feature with that we can refresh only these Web Parts without refreshing the whole Page. We can also configure these Web Parts to refresh automatically on a set interval without refreshing the whole page on which they are placed.

Below is all the new options which we have with these Web Parts:

To enable these web parts to automatically load the data we need to work with the two properties highlighted in the above picture.

The Enable Asynchronous Automatic Refresh option allows the web  parts to refresh at the interval which you can configure from the Automatic Refreshing Interval field. By default this value is set to to 60 Seconds but you can change this value as per your needs.

The other interesting thing is Show Manual Refresh Button. This allows you to have a additional refresh button on the web part allowing you to refresh only the Web Part manually rather than the whole page.

We can also improve the initial page load time with the option Enable Asynchronous Load. If we have multiple web parts on the page this is good option to be enabled. Once we enable it the Web Part will initially be displayed without any data in it. But once the page is loaded, the Web Part will asynchronously get the data and display. So all this data will be loaded once the page is loaded decreasing the initial page load time.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Step by Step Learning for Workflow using SharePoint Designer 2010

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