Tuesday, February 3, 2015

SharePoint 2013 CQWP won't group by more than 1 column.

When using the basic CQWP, it allows many options for customization.  One of the more popular features is grouping the results in multiple columns.  When I first started heavily using SP2013 I noticed that there was an issue with this feature.  No matter how many columns you select (2/3/4/5) it only shows the one column.

Doing some online searching I found all sorts of options for getting custom columns to show, but none for this particular issue.

I eventually found a related MSFT SharePoint Online/Office 365 post and tried this fix and it worked.

The fix is to edit the Controls15.css file:

1.  Edit /Style%20Library/en-us/Themable/Core%20Styles/controls15.css with notepad or SharePoint designer.
2. Locate the .dfwp-columns style
3. Set margin-left to 0.0em from 0.5em
4. Locate the .dfwp-list style
5. Remove "clear:both;"
6. Save the CSS file and publish a Major version.

Here is the original post.

Monday, April 14, 2014

SharePoint 2013 SP1 issue.

In the great tradition of SharePoint SP's causing issues (2007 SP2 expiration bug), it looks like SP 2013 was feeling left out.  Based on this link, the recently released 2013 SP1 may cause your farm to prevent future CU or product specific updates from being deployed.

So if you have already deployed this solution, I am sure MSFT is working on a fix that will be available shortly, but that does not create any warm fuzzies about the nature of what we as admins are doing to the farm every time we deploy a hotfix/CU/SP.  For the time being the SP download page is offline, I will try to monitor it and post an update when its back.

Thanks to my former co-worker, Stephanie Pollack for passing this along.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

SharePoint Administrator

A reader, Larry, posted this comment below on one of my blog entries regarding a SharePoint Admin Checklist and made me think about the various roles of the SharePoint product.  So instead of burying my response in the comments I decided to make a new entry about it.

 Larry said...
This looks like an interesting topic - anyone aware of a book or site that goes into detail explaining specifics on how to do these things? New admins won't know how to determine whether iis is running well, or what to do if the top level is not reachable, etc.
January 15, 2014 at 1:10 PM

Larry, you have brought up a great point with your comment.  The SharePoint platform, while easy to set up for any IT or tech savvy individual, is fairly complex behind the scenes.  For myself I started off as a Systems/Server Admin and just fell into supporting the product, and have stayed more on the SharePoint Administrator side of things where my IIS, SQL, and Server OS knowledge helps out in keeping SharePoint up and running smoothly.

There really isn't a standard definition for what a SharePoint Administrator is, or a SharePoint Developer, Architect etc etc.  Most companies try to fit these roles with anyone who has "SharePoint" on their resume, without understanding the various needs.  Can one person fill all roles?  Absolutely.  But good luck finding that person in your area for your budgeted salary.

Microsoft does try to help, using the following guide for the myriad of roles within SharePoint:

But anyways, back to your point about "new admins".  I say the best way to learn these things is by doing, whether by playing around on a Sandbox/Test environment or by taking a Windows Server Admin course, or application specific IIS or SQL courses as part of the learning process.  The Microsoft site again has information around the architecture of the product, this should give some help in understanding the various components of SharePoint.

Hope this helps, and as always, everyone feel free to comment below.



Friday, June 14, 2013

Sending Attachments via SharePoint 2010 Workflow

Sending Attachments via SharePoint 2010 Workflow

We had a use case of certain users not having a laptop or home devices to access certain documentation that occasionally is sent out later in the evening or over the weekend.  It was decided that we would send attachments as part of the SharePoint workflow process, and of course SharePoint designer does not have that functionality. 
A quick search turned up the following codeplex project, by user Aozen.

This is an amazingly simple download and install, and the product works without any issues at all.  I initially used it on a Document Library to send an individual attachment, but it also works with lists and multiple attachments (not sure if there is a limit to this, I have sent up to 5 smaller attachments, but of course your email system/SMTP on SharePoint may need to be tweaked if you want to move large files).


Installation Instructions (from Aozen's Codeplex link above)This solution must be deployed as a farm solution. It will not work as a sandboxed solution.

  1. Download the .wsp file from the download section
  2. Use the normal methods for adding the solution to the solution store (Stsadm or powershell)
  3. Log into central admin and deploy the solution. This adds a feature that you can activate at the web application level
  4. Go to Web application management in Central Administration. Select the web application that will use this activity. Click manage features in the ribbon. Activate the Send Email with attachment feature.
  5. Activating the feature adds a safe assembly line to the web config file.

How to use
  1. Open SharePoint Designer
  2. Navigate to the list / library you want to add a workflow to
  3. In the Actions drop down you should see a new section called SharePointStuff Custom Actions
  4. Select the Send Email With Attachment activity

To send the emails the activity uses the SMTP server setup for the current web application in SharePoint. If outgoing email is not enabled on your farm you will need to enable it or you will get an exception.