Category Archives: Calendar

jQCalendarPart Mini SharePoint Calendar Web Part


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Editor’s note: Contributor SC Vinod is a SharePoint Developer at Hexaware Technologies. Follow him @scvinod

Introduction:

I always wanted everything to work on a full-fledged client side application in SharePoint. I’d like to thank the Client Object Model in SharePoint 2010, which inspired me a lot; though it was of no use in this application, unfortunately (but more on that later). Also, I wanted to use JavaScript/jQuery over Silverlight to get rid of that ugly “time out” message and the unnecessary task for the end users to download the Silverlight plugin.

This application is to integrate the jQuery Calendar control with the events added in a SharePoint Calendar list. This works in both SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013.

Inspiration:

A similar application has already been developed and described here. It was developed by using SharePoint Server Object Model as a SharePoint web part by extending the ASP.NET calendar control but I wanted to make a completely client side application with slight functionality. I received help from this blog on how to query a SharePoint Calendar list using CAML query but it still really drove me crazy.

Description:

This is a JavaScript application developed using jQuery. The JS code, when added to a Content Editor Web Part in a SharePoint page, would display a jQuery calendar control synchronized with the SharePoint calendar list. Below, the list of features are explained:

  • The calendar control highlights the dates of all the upcoming events of the current month present in the Calendar list of the site.
  • The dates, when hovered over, would display a small pop-up showing the respective date’s events.
  • Below the calendar control would be the list of all the upcoming events of the current week.
  • The links, when clicked, would open the respective event’s page.

Look at the below image for a better understanding:

As you can see in the above image, cells 8, 9, 12, 13, and 14 are highlighted with a blue color border to show that these are the dates in the current month having events registered in the Calendar list. Below the calendar you can see the list of upcoming events of the current week. Also, when you hover over date “8” in the calendar you can see that a pop-up is being shown displaying the events of that particular date.

Hurdles:

Initially, I wanted to use SharePoint 2010 Client Object Model. Since it was not possible to retrieve recurring events using COM I had to use SharePoint list web services instead. This also had limitations, as I was able to retrieve only 30 events from the Calendar list in total which was not enough. So, I went ahead and used SPServices which resolved my problems to a great extent.

Limitations:

The web part will not work if you try to navigate to the next month or to the previous month. Please wait as I’m working on a fix to highlight all the dates which have events registered when a user is navigating to the next month.

Also, the name of the Calendar list should be “Calendar”. The code will not work if the list name is different since it has been hard coded.

Code:

I have used the jQuery DatePicker control and SPServices to get this application working. I have tested this on an Office 365 SharePoint 2013 preview site and it works fine too. But I wanted to develop it as an app and publish it in the app store for SharePoint 2013. So please wait until I get a SharePoint 2013 development environment.

Deployment Steps:

Since it is purely a client side application, we can simply deploy it by just moving the files. I assume that you have worked with CEWP before. I have explained the deployment process through the steps below:

  • Download the jQCalendarPart.zip file from here.
  • Unzip the jQCalendarPart.zip file.
  • Copy the unzipped jQCalendarPart folder into the layouts folder of SharePoint server.
  • Create a Content Editor Web Part in your SharePoint site where you want to display this web part.
  • Open the jQCalendarPart.min.js file from the jQCalendarpart folder and copy the content into the CEWP created above.
  • Save the page to see the web part showing a jQuery calendar control synchronized with the SharePoint calendar events from the Calendar list in your site.

How to Create a Calendar Overlay Using Custom Content Types in SharePoint 2010


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Editor’s note: Contributor Adam Quinn is a Senior Information Architect at the American College of Physician Executives. Follow him @lucidpiper

I recently was tasked with creating a new SharePoint Calendar to capture a variety of different events for my organization. They wanted to visually see differences in a calendar view, so I opted to use the Calendar Overlay option (using SharePoint 2010), and create multiple content types for each of the different types of events since many events had to capture unique information.

As I journeyed down what seemed a fairly straightforward path, I encountered a variety of roadblocks to which I had difficulty finding the answers including having duplicate titles for each event in calendar view. This prompted me to write this post on how to successfully set up a single Calendar that uses different content types and have them display using the calendar overlay function. This is mostly an OOB approach which optionally requires use of SharePoint Designer 2010.

First and foremost, I documented what my content types were going to be. I established what base metadata was required across all events, and made a “Base Event” type based on the OOB Event content type. I also added a couple of custom site columns to use in these content types.

As a side note, I initially went down the path of using an “Item” as my base content type instead of an “Event”, mainly because the Event CT includes the “Workspace” option; I was unable to find a way to hide that field from users (something we did not want to use) – however after further investigation I discovered how to easily hide this field using SharePoint Designer (see Appendix below). If you do want to use this field, use of SPD is not required.

Once I had my base event type defined, I used an Excel spreadsheet to document the fields and map out additional Content Types using my “Base Event” CT as the parent:

2013-02-18-CalendarOverlay-01.png

Working with my stakeholders, I used this core content type to start the conversation and then defined what additional fields were required for the other CTs. At the end of this exercise, I documented 7 custom content types to use in this calendar using the format above. This provided a great reference when I was actually creating the new content types and greatly helped to confirm with my stakeholders that we’re capturing the correct information.

I then used my worksheet as a map to create the Content Types:

Site Actions->Site Settings->Site Content Types->Create

Give each CT a unique name and description. For my Base Event I used the Event as the Parent Content Type. For all other custom content types, I used my Base Event as the Parent Content Type:

2013-02-18-CalendarOverlay-02.png

Once all the content types are configured, create your new Events Calendar:

Site Actions->More Options->Create Calendar

Go into the List Settings to add the new content types and configure views:

Calendar Tools->Calendar->List Settings

Under Content Types, select Add from existing site content types. From here you can add multiple content types to include in your calendar:

2013-02-18-CalendarOverlay-03.png

By default, the calendar uses the Event content type, which I did not need as I had created my own custom Event CT. To remove this after adding your new CTs, you can delete the OOB default from this calendar by clicking on the Event CT in List Settings, and selecting Delete this content type. You can also use the Change new button order and default content type to establish your new default and configure the order your content types will display to your users.

Create Custom Calendar Views

Now that your content types have been added, you’ll need to create a custom calendar view for each content type that you want to have displayed in the calendar overlay.
Scroll to the bottom of the List Settings page and select Create View->Calendar View

Provide a unique name that maps the view to one of your content types (i.e. Webinar Calendar). The Audience should be set to Public View. You will also want to make sure each calendar view for each content type mirrors each other using the same settings (example below):

2013-02-18-CalendarOverlay-04.png

You then need to provide the filter criteria to only show this content type (example):

2013-02-18-CalendarOverlay-05.png

Once finished, click OK to save the view. Go through this same process to create a new Calendar view for each of your content types.

After all of your views have been configured, you can now apply these views to display as a calendar overlay. Exit the List Settings and go into the base Calendar View (the view that was created by default when you created your calendar). In the left column, click on Calendars in View:

2013-02-18-CalendarOverlay-06.png

Select New Calendar to add as an overlay (Note – you will want to enter the overlays in the order you want them to be displayed on the main calendar page – these cannot be re-ordered once created). Name this calendar the same as your view (i.e. Webinars). Select a color to represent this calendar in the main overlay. Then enter the URL of the site where your list lives (not the list itself), and click Resolve. This will populate the drop-down fields with available lists and views based on the site listed in the Web URL field. Select your appropriate List and View:

2013-02-18-CalendarOverlay-07.png

Repeat this process for each calendar view you want to have rolled up in the main calendar overlay, giving each Calendar a unique color. Once completed, you are ready to start entering data in the calendar – however, as you’ll notice with this configuration, this will likely create double-entries in the calendar overlay. This can be easily remedied by placing a filter on your primary Calendar view:

Go to your main Calendar View. You’ll notice now under “Calendars in this view” all the additional calendars that have been added. Note that clicking on these calendars will filter the calendar to just show that particular view for end users:

2013-02-18-CalendarOverlay-08.png

From the main view dropdown (or under Calendar Tools) select Modify this View. Make sure the criteria defined in this view matches what you’ve defined in the custom calendar views. Under Filter, you want to set the following criteria to weed out the duplicate entries:

2013-02-18-CalendarOverlay-09.png

Yes, leave that field blank. As this calendar uses only content types you’ve defined, this will remove the duplicate entry issue. Save the view, and now you should be good to go!

2013-02-18-CalendarOverlay-10.png

Appendix: How to hide the Workspace option from Event content types using SharePoint Designer:

So you’ve got your custom content types defined for various events, but you don’t want your users to be able to create a new workspace site for every event they create. In fact, you just don’t want that option at all! This is easy to remedy, but requires SharePoint Designer to do so.

From any view in your calendar, select List Toole->List in the top toolbar. In the Customize List section, select the Edit List function:

2013-02-18-CalendarOverlay-11.png

This will open up your list in SharePoint designer (may take several seconds). Once it loads, your content types will be listed in the bottom box of the left column:

2013-02-18-CalendarOverlay-12.png

Click on the name of one of the content types you want to remove the Workspace column from (i.e. Webinar). In the Customization box, select Edit content type columns. This will display a list of all the columns included in your content type and note what is required, optional and probably include several Hidden fields. Find Workspace under Column Name and select it to highlight the row (notice that Property value = Optional). Click on Optional once while the row is highlighted to trigger the dropdown selection, and select Hidden. Make any other changes you require, and then X out of the main window, which will prompt you to save your changes.

Use the Navigation (far left column) to drive back to your Calendar (under Lists and Libraries) and repeat for all other content types that you want to hide this field from. When finished, you’ll find when your users select a content type to add to your calendar, this option is no longer visible.

I hope you find this information helpful!

SharePoint: How to Add Events into a Calendar Using Microsoft Excel and Access


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Editor’s note: Contributor Alexandru Dionisie is an Internet Professional and Technical Writer. Follow him @tutorialeoffice

SharePoint doesn’t offer a command or a tool that allows users to bulk add events into a calendar; but by using Office apps (Excel and Access) we can do that very easily.

What are the steps ?

  • Create a real or a dummy event;

2012-09-21-AddEvents-01.png

  • We will export an Excel Web Query, because we don’t know what columns to add to our workbook, or how the values must be entered – click on the Export to Excel command;

  • Now we have to fill the desired fields – Start Time, End Time, Title and Location.

2012-09-21-AddEvents-03.png

  • After we create the events in Excel, we must open the calendar with Access.

Why ?

  • Because Microsoft Excel works in one way: it doesn’t sync the data back to SharePoint. It only retrieves it.

2012-09-21-AddEvents-04.png

  • Choose a location and a name for the database;

2012-09-21-AddEvents-05.png

  • Since we will use Copy-Paste, we must change the fields order in Microsoft Excel so that it matches the field order in Microsoft Access;
  • Just select a column and drag & drop it in the right location – in Excel;

2012-09-21-AddEvents-06.png

  • Select the first 4 columns and copy them;

2012-09-21-AddEvents-07.png

  • In Access select the same 4 columns and then hit Paste;

2012-09-21-AddEvents-08.png

  • Confirm the Paste operation;

2012-09-21-AddEvents-09.png

Now, we have the same data in Access.

2012-09-21-AddEvents-10.png

To sync the database with the calendar, hit the Save button.

In SharePoint, we have to refresh the page.

Now, when the calendar loads, the events are shown.

2012-09-21-AddEvents-12.png

Note:

  • if you don’t add a value to a field, the default one is added.

Example: 0 for no workspace, FALSE for no recurrences, etc.

PrettyCal: A Better View of a SharePoint Calendar


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Editor’s note: Contributor Ben Tedder is a Web User Interface Designer at International School of Beijing. Follow him @bentedder

SharePoint calendars are ugly to look at, and the list views that come OOTB aren’t that great for a quick read. So instead of using a list view, I’ve modified a web part and its XSL links to display all “Upcoming Events” in the following format:

Now let’s learn how! First off, I have to thank the internet as a whole. This is a collection of so many tips and tricks picked up from dozens of discussion boards, blogs, comments, that has helped to come up with the final product. I’ve pasted the final code at the bottom of the post, so feel free to click and skip ahead if you know what you’re doing.

Note: as opposed to splitting the code up among the steps, I’ve put all code at the bottom of the page

Step 1: Create “Nice Date” – a calculated column

First, go to your Calendar Settings and add a column called Nice Date. Set it to Calculated and give it the formula:



Make sure the data type is Date and Time and the Format is Date Only. We need to do this step because we want the header to sort correctly and format nicely in our final product.

Step 2: Create/Export a new Content Query Web Part

You can actually do quite a lot with a CQWP without using Visual Studio or any serious coding. The first thing you’ll need is a standard CQWP web part file. So insert a Content Query Web Part into your page. Once it’s inserted click the little black arrow at the top right and select Export. This will prompt you to download a file named something like Content(1). Remember where this file is, you’ll need it in step 5.

Step 3: Create PrettyCalHeader.xsl

PrettyCalHeader.xsl will be referenced when we modify the Web Part (step 5). The code for this is below, but basically we need to format the header using ddwrt:FormatDateTime. To do this, pay attention to the following line in PrettyCalHeader.xsl. Also, check out the full list of date and time formats on Microsoft’s site.



Step 4: Create PrettyCal.xsl

PrettyCal.xsl is where we get into the display of our data. First we declare the variables, then we wrap in some divs with classes we’ll use later (see the CSS at the end of this page). But there are two pieces that require some thinking. First, we need to display the date differently depending on what the span is. Consider the following options:

  • All Day Event
  • All Day from Jul 1 – Jul 30
  • 3:30PM – 4:30PM
  • Jul 1, 3:00PM – Jul 10, 4:00PM

We need to account for all of those scenarios (no, I’m not counting recurrence, it’s terrible in SharePoint, don’t even consider using it). So to account for those scenarios, check out the flow-chart below.

The bits in single quotes in the flow-chart above signify the ddwrt strings you should use to get the display.

Secondly, we want the “details” link to show a modal dialog box of the display form of the calendar event. So to do that, we’re going to use xsl to set the attributes href and onClick (ok, a little dated I know…but it gets the job done for now). Here’s the tricky part. We need to hard-code (unless you’ve found a better way) the link to the list display form, appended with the item’s ID. It is put inside a SP.UI.ModalDialog.showModalDialog function.

Almost done!

Step 5: Modify the .webpart file

There are 8 lines that you need to replace in the .webpart file you exported from your SharePoint page. See the final code to view details of the changes you’ll need to make.

  • Title
  • AdditionalGroupAndSortFields
  • GroupByFieldType
  • ItemXslLink
  • AdditionalFilterFields
  • GroupStyle
  • HeaderXslLink
  • Xsl

Step 6: Upload, add, and configure the web part in the page

Save, upload and insert your web part into the page and click Edit Web Part.

  • Filter settings: Show items when EndDate is greater than or equal to [Today]
  • Group by: Nice Date (ascending)
  • Sort by: Nice Date (ascending)
  • Limit items (or else you’ll get a lot!)
  • Group Style: DateHeader
  • Item Style: PrettyCal

Don’t forget to fill in your fields to display, and then you’re ready to go!

PrettyCal.webpart (just the edits)



PrettyCalHeader.xsl



PrettyCal.xsl



CSS



SharePoint: Double Booking with the Calendar


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Editor’s note: Contributor Peter Ward is a SharePoint Solution architect. Follow him @peter_1020

This entry explains one way to deal with double booking. The explained SharePoint Designer procedure is not bullet proof, but by extending it, it could easily be made to be.

This procedure will check to see if the conference room is already booked and if it is, an email is sent to the creator of the list item stating that the conference room is booked.

Steps:

  1. Set up a workflow so that each time a calendar item is saved the workflow runs.

  2. Create a condition to check the start date of the current item <Start Time> is greater than a start time of other items in the list.
  3.  

    Note: Start Time contains Date and time

    2012-06-28-DoubleBooking-01.png

    2012-06-28-DoubleBooking-02.png

  4. Create a sub condition to check the start date of the current item <Start Time> is less than a start time of other items in the list.
  5.  

    Now we have identified if the current saved items’ <Start Time>, is in between other items. AKA a double booking.

  6. An email should be sent if there is a double booking. What should be done is a further condition to only send the email if the item is created. This can be done by comparing the created and modified dates.

The whole step should look something like this:

2012-06-28-DoubleBooking-03.png

One point to be made when adding in a double booking check process; be careful of what you ask for. If you add a hard and fast rule, it will have to work every time. Often (particularly when humans are involved) this is not possible. E.g: The owner of the firm books the conference room and out ranks all over booking. Be pragmatic.

Getting the most out of the SharePoint Community Calendar Part 3


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Editor’s note: Contributor Raymond Mitchell is a SharePoint Consultant at Rackspace Hosting. Follow him @iwkid

In my previous post I showed how to get the SharePoint Community Calendar into your Outlook. Now that it is there, what are you going to do with it? Below are a few examples of how I use the Calendar:

Week View

The month view in outlook is nearly impossible to use with this much data so I usually stick to the Week View, switching to the Day View on big days like this Thursday:

Using Overlay Mode

Outlook 2010 supports multiple exchange accounts as well as Calendar Overlays. Combining all of these features can give you a view like this:

In this view:

  • Blue entries are for my personal account (hosted on Office 365).
  • Green entries are for my work exchange account
  • Yellow entries are the SharePoint Community Calendar

Clicking on the left arrow on the NBSP Calendar tab merges all three calendars:

To select which calendars should be displayed, choose from the list on the navigation pane:

Drag and drop to a new calendar

If there is an event you want to add to your personal calendar you can simply click and drag the event to 1 of 2 places:

1) Drag and drop from one calendar to another. In this instance we’re copying the #MNSPUG event from the Community Calendar to my personal account:

NoteIf you have multiple calendars open in Overlay mode you’ll need to click / select the tab representing your desired copy destination BEFORE dragging and dropping the calendar item.

2) Drag and drop from one calendar to the Calendar selection in the navigation pane:

Using this method it is easy to decide which destination calendar you wish to copy to as you are dragging and dropping. You can also see in the screenshot that because #MNSPUG is a recurring event you are given the option to copy the entire series or just the selected occurrences.

View as a list

Calendar views are great but sometimes you just want to see the list, right? Outlook lets you get there by navigating the ribbon. First, make sure that the Community Calendar is selected. Select the View Tab on the Ribbon and click the Change View dropdown button and then select List:

This will give you the full list of items that have been entered in the list:

Search

Another feature I absolutely love in this scenario is Outlook’s search. While on the Community Calendar view you can type a keyword into the search box and find just the events you’re looking for:

another example looking for event items containing SharePoint Designer:

And with that, I’ll end my series on getting the most out of the SharePoint Community Calendar. Hopefully you’ve learned a trick or two and can use the calendar to help get more out of the SharePoint Community! In case you missed it, here are parts 1 and 2.

One more not-so-subtle reminder: viewing the Community Calendar in Outlook is great but nowhere does it remind you to…

SUBMIT YOUR EVENTS!!!

Remember to submit your events to SPCalendar@EndUserSharePoint.com! The calendar is only as good as its content!

SharePoint: How to hide the “Workspace” checkbox on a calendar without code or customization

 

I often get requests to remove the “Workspace” field on a calendar. It’s a great feature if you need it, but if you don’t allow your users to create sub-sites, then it’s a training issue to teach people to ignore it. I prefer to show my users only what they need on a page. I don’t want purposely ignoring fields to become a habit.

2011-10-30-HideWorkspaceCheckbox-01.png

It should be easy…just go to the Site Settings, click on the content type of “Events”, click on the name of the field and change it to hidden. Nope…that doesn’t work. As you can see below “All Day Event”, “Recurrence” and “Workspace” are greyed out and un-clickable.

2011-10-30-HideWorkspaceCheckbox-02.png

So off to “Bing” I go….and I search and I search. I found a way if you change an administrative Hive file or use code. Neither are solutions for me. So I search some more…and still nothing for a no-coder like me.

I figure there MUST be a way to do this in my favorite little SharePoint tool, SharePoint Designer. And I found what I believe must have been some evil genius at Microsoft’s version of a prank or an Easter Egg: the triple click! And to be honest, it is so ridiculously simple I thought I must have missed it….so I searched again. If I missed this solution…please let me know…it means my search skills need some serious beefing up.

So finally, the ridiculously easy solution…Triple click the column property and set to “Hidden”

  1. Open SharePoint Designer 2010
  2. Click Content Types
  3. Open the Event Content Type if you want to the field in
    1. You can change this at the parent level to affect all lists using the content type, at the sub-site level to change only items on that site, or create a new content type if you just want to change it on certain lists.
  4. Click on Edit Columns
  5. 2011-10-30-HideWorkspaceCheckbox-03.png

  6. Select the Column Name you want to change the property for
  7. Then click the “Property” you want to change 3 times…not twice, not 4 times, but 3 times.
  8. (An even number of clicks (2, 4, 6) does nothing…but a triple click, or any odd number of clicks (5, 7, 9) works every time….weird!)

    2011-10-30-HideWorkspaceCheckbox-04.png

  9. After the 3rd click…wait one second. The property will become a dropdown. Select the value you want then save your changes.
  10. 2011-10-30-HideWorkspaceCheckbox-05.png

And Voila! A no-code way to get rid of that pesky workspace field!

2011-10-30-HideWorkspaceCheckbox-06.png

Important note: Once you start creating calendar items with this field hidden on the content type, it will stay hidden even after you try changing it back…and vice versa: if you created items with the field visible on the content type, the field will stay visible on that content type.

The workaround for this is to create a new content type, based on the Event, hide (or unhide) the workspace field, and use the new content type as the default moving forward.

Connecting a SharePoint calendar to Outlook vs. Connecting an Outlook calendar to SharePoint

 

When you have an OOB calendar created with SharePoint 2010, connecting the calendar to display the information in Outlook is an easy task: one click on the “Connect to Outlook” button and follow the wizard.

However, I added the following requirements a couple days ago where a SharePoint user with full control privileges wanted to display the content of her Outlook calendar to a SharePoint calendar. I assumed that this task would be a matter of a one click again. However, it is a little trickier than it seems.

In fact, her team was using that Outlook calendar to update information and events. She was planning to continue updating via that same calendar in order to display the information on the SharePoint site. Unfortunately, the solution that I proposed involved using a new calendar and copying all existing events to the new SharePoint calendar. Moreover, the word “copy:” would appear in front of every single calendar item.

Therefore, the solution that I proposed is a work around to get the task done. This solution can be performed using the SharePoint UI and Outlook.

The tasks that we are going to perform, in order to display all events and be able to update via Outlook, are:

  1. Create a new calendar in SharePoint
  2. Connect the calendar to Outlook
  3. Copy all items from the Outlook calendar to the new SharePoint calendar
  4. Test that all updates from the Outlook calendar propagate diligently to the SharePoint calendar

Task #1

  • Go to your SharePoint site and create a new calendar using “site actions” >> “More options”
  • Filter by “Lists” and select “calendar”
  • Name it accordingly and hit “Create”
  • 2011-10-25-ConnectingSPCalendartoOutlook-01.png

Task #2

  • Once on the newly created calendar, click “Connect to Outlook” from the global navigation menu
  • In the popup windows, click “Allow”, “Allow” and “Yes”. You should be able to see your SharePoint calendar on Outlook
  • Open in parallel the calendar that you want to copy over
  • 2011-10-25-ConnectingSPCalendartoOutlook-02.png

Task #3

  • On the calendar that you are trying to copy, go to “Change View” and “List”
  • Once in the list view, make sure that you are targeting the right calendar
  • Select them all (Ctrl + A) and copy them all (Ctrl + C)
  • Go to the SharePoint calendar in the list view
  • Paste them all (Ctrl + V)
  • Confirm any popup window and let Outlook copy all items over
  • 2011-10-25-ConnectingSPCalendartoOutlook-03.png

    2011-10-25-ConnectingSPCalendartoOutlook-04.png

Task #4

  • Once all items are copied, go back to your SharePoint site calendar view
  • All future additions can be done via the Outlook interface or the SharePoint interface
  • 2011-10-25-ConnectingSPCalendartoOutlook-05.png

SharePoint 2010 site templates

 

A client recently asked me what the difference was between some of the out of the box SharePoint templates. This is basic stuff, but it is often difficult to find a reference guide, so here are some basics.. or at least part 1 of the basics. I’ll follow up this post soon if people think it is useful.

Team site

This is the template that most users build sites from, and you will recognise it from the pictures of random office workers on the right hand side:

2011-10-10-SP2010SiteTemplates-01.png
Above: A team site with no modifications

As with most SharePoint site templates it has two key elements:

  • A number of predefined lists
  • A number of predefined webparts on the page

A team site will give you the following lists to play with - Announcements, Calendar, Links, and Tasks. You also get the a number of libraries - Shared Documents, Site Assets, and Site Pages. Oh and their is a ‘Team Discussion’ board as well.

The main page of the team site is a wiki page, new to SharePoint 2010, which means you can edit directly onto the page. It is split into two columns (roughly 2/3 and 1/3) and contains some text and images and a document library webpart.

Blank site

A blank site is a team site (same two column layout) with all lists and webparts stripped out. Its blank. Hence the name.

Document workspace

This site is designed to make working with documents a little easier and more intuitive for groups of people:

2011-10-10-SP2010SiteTemplates-02.png
Above: A document workspace

The standard lists and libraries here are the same as a team site, minus the site asset and page libraries.

The page layout is a full width column at the top, with the familiar 2/3 1/3 column split below. You get the following webparts - Announcements, Shared Documents, Tasks, and Members.

The Members webpart shows people with permissions on this site, but it can be configured to show people in a particular SharePoint group.

Meeting workspace

The meeting workspace template stands out as it doesn’t use the popular ‘quicklaunch’ bar that most site templates uses. As a result the page content spans the full width of the screen. SharePoint is often trumpeted as a collaboration platform, and it is templates like this one that go some way to fulfilling this role:


Above: A meeting workspace

Included are a single document library and the following lists - Agenda, Attendees, and Objectives. It is easy to see that these lists are designed to help run a meeting. The idea is the site can be used to prepare for, or during the running of, a meeting.

All the lists respective webparts are included on the page, which is split into three vertical columns.

There are a number of alternative versions of this site template:

  • Decision meeting workspace - Adds Decision and Task lists
  • Social meeting workspace - Adds a Picture Library, Directions list, Things to Bring list, and a discussion board. This site template is aimed at face to face meetings.
  • Multipage meeting workspace - Same as the main meeting workspace template but this site supports multiple pages, and brings back the quicklaunch bar to help with navigation.
  • Blank meeting workspace - Same as the main meeting workspace, but no lists or webparts

Blog template

This is an improved version of the SharePoint 2007 blog template:

This template really shows off the power of what a SharePoint site template can do. Whilst there are lists for things like post, comments, and links, this site doesn’t really break down into our usual lists and webparts groups. Instead it feels very much like a custom site unlike any other. In this context it works well as a blog. If you are expecting Blogger or WordPress then you might want to think again. However if you are looking to give teams or indivduals a voice on your SharePoint Intranet then you should find everything you want.

Keep an eye out for part 2, when I’ll look at some of the remaining site templates (contacts, issues, projects and more).

There is more on site templates on the official Microsoft site here.

SharePoint Meeting Workspaces - Part 2

 

In my first article about SharePoint Meeting Worspaces I stated the following:

“The owner has to check which users accepted the invitation to the meeting, which was probably sent with Outlook. There is, unfortunately, no integration with Microsoft Outlook and this list (and the whole workspace).”

One of the visitors (Josh F) corrected me and said there was integration possible! He was right :) I quickly found the following blog post:

http://support.sherweb.com/Faqs/Show/how-to-create-sharepoint-meeting-workspaces-using-outlook-2010-sharepoint-2010

Never too late to learn ;-)

There was another interesting response from Kerri that there could be trouble using the automatic site creation with Outlook. That got me interested and I went up to the test floor immediately! I followed the instructions to configure the workspaces icon and selected a site to create the workspace.

Tip:
The site name cannot end at .aspx. The configuration will not accept it.

After you click Create the following message appears in the e-mail:

Pretty cool :)

I can see the new meeting workspace in SharePoint:

I can also see the attendees:

You can see that under Response it says None. I thought this made sense because I created the workspace before I send the meeting request. So I tried to first send the request and when I got a confirmation I created the workspace but that did not change it. That means every attendee needs to change this manually.

What happens if I delete one of the meetings? I get the following message in the workspace:

I now have a couple of options:

I can move all the content from this day to another day:

This seems cool BUT when I select another date I get the following message:

I tried this and all my content from the day where I want to put my content was replaced! That is very strange. So the only real options you have is keeping the day or if you don’t care just delete it.

What happens when you delete the whole meeting series? After you delete the series, the workspace gives the following error:

The workspace did not get deleted so that is good news. Only now, the issue Kerri talked about:

“You see, when the meeting is deleted, you can never realign another meeting with the site again. Horrible situation to be in!”

Kerri is right, it is not possible to reassign the workspace to a new meeting. That is really a shame. Kerri also talked about the content structure:

“Those folders don’t work like normal folders. Meeting workspaces don’t have the same functionality as normal team sites, you can’t send items out of libraries like other libraries, they are beasts of their own - and I avoid them like the plague!”

The structure is unclear. I added some documents in the document library of one meeting and then uploaded some more in the next meeting. There is no way to see all the documents at the same time. If someone knows how to do this please let us know