Wednesday, May 28, 2008

SharePoint V3: Administrator Reports; Utility

I often get asked about how to obtain useful administrator reports for SharePoint. Here is one inexpensive utility to evaluate:

Admin Report Kit for SharePoint 2007

- Low cost
- Hierarchical reports
- Can export reports to several different formats
- Reports can save you a lot of time if you try to write in TSQL

- Doesn't support rdl publishing to Reporting Services
- Doesn't provide join to AD object enumeration (expand AD members per securable)

Friday, May 23, 2008

SharePoint V3: Search Considerations for Choosing Yes No Column Type

I was working on a search customization a while back, displaying search results in a grid view. I encountered a design decision that required that I step back and change the column type I was using for some of the Yes/No columns in the site collection.

One lesson I learned is that when you are deciding on a which column types to use, especially Yes/No columns, keep search close at mind because it will impact search downstream. Ideally, if your columns will be leveraged by managed properties and used in search scopes to help users fine tune their queries, then keep in mind how users think.

For example, I had some Yes/No columns that I originally set up as Yes/No Checkboxes. I created managed properties for these columns but then realized...nobody is going to search on 0 and 1, they are going to search on yes and no. E.g. Give me all my ice cream sundae options where vanilla ice cream = yes...not where vanilla ice cream = 1.

Anyway, there are at least four common ways to achieve Yes/No in a SharePoint column:

Choice Radio
Choice Drop Down
Choice Checkbox
Yes/No Checkbox

The table below compares each of these:

As a result of doing this comparison, I have been using choice drop down more often than not in lists and libraries where Yes/No values are required for metadata. Even though the Yes/No checkbox may more appealing to users filling out the metadata, I think the drop down wins when you weigh in the search considerations.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Windows Live SkyDrive

I was playing around with my Hotmail account and I stumbled on Windows Live Sky Drive. I have been subscribing to a paid, online file share service because these days it is necessary to keep certain files up there in the clouds for easy access at all times or to always have a place to share photos with other people. SkyDrive is one useful, free tool that I will be definitely using. Maybe I can even phase out my paid service.

MSSQL 2005: Example BCP Query to Text File


- MSSQL 2005
- AdventureWorks DW


1. Enable xp_cmdshell on the SQL instance
- Start > Programs > Microsoft SQL Server 2005 > Configuration Tools > SQL Server 2005 Surface Area Configuration
- Surface Area Configuration for Features > MSSQLSERVER > Database Engine > xp_cmdshell
- Enable xp_cmdshell: Check

2. Prepare your query
- Start > Programs > Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Management Studio
- New Query

3. Execute your query using BCP
- Start, Run, CMD
- Change Directory: C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Tools\Binn
- bcp "select firstname, lastname from dbo.dimcustomer" queryout c:\awdwcustomer.txt -T -C RAW -t ","

4. Review your output
- C:\awdwcustomer.txt


Blog Archive