An Alternative Photo Rotator Solution

Written by MMMan. Posted in JavaScript, SharePoint

A customer of ours had an issue with the out of the box photo rotator in SharePoint – every few minutes it kept prompting them for credentials.  After some inspection, I noticed that pretty much every rotator solution would always change the image by swapping between two <img> elements, and changing the URL of the one not currently in focus.  As this was ultimately causing the browser to fetch new content every few seconds, I decided to write my own rotator which instead does a one time pull of all the images, and iterates between the collection.

Many thanks to Bill Simser for much of the code for querying the lists in this article here.

First off, get a copy of a jQuery library and store it somewhere on your site.  Next, create a picture library, and name it “Rotator Images”. 

After you’ve got those in place, put this code into a content editor (using edit HTML source), and your rotator should come alive.

Here’s the code, enjoy!

<div id="RotatorCont"></div>
<style type="text/css">
.pictureWrapperDiv
{
	margin: 0px;
	padding: 0px;
	border: 0px;
}
.pictureGallery
{
	margin: 0px;
	padding: 0px;
	border: 0px;
}
</style>

<script type="text/javascript" src="/Style%20Library/Branding/Scripts/jQuery-1.7.1.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript">

//Globals for # of secs between images, max width and height, and the name of the picture library (must be local to this web site)
//You can modify these as necessary
var itgLoadTimeSecs = 8;
var itgImgHeight = 296;
var itgImgWidth = 390;
var itgRotatorLibraryTitle = "Rotator Images";

//Globals for internal use only (don't change these)
var itgImgRotCount = 0;
var itgImgRotIter = 0;
var picid = "itgDynaImg";
var itgLoadTime = itgLoadTimeSecs * 1000;

$(document).ready(function(){
    //start your engines
	pageonload();
	
	//Set a slight delay before kicking off the query (just for good measure)
	setTimeout(loadSharePointPictures, 250);
});

function pageonload()
{
	var rota = $("#RotatorCont");
	rota.css("display", "inline-block");
}

function loadSharePointPictures()
{
	//fetch the list of items using the client object model
	var context = new SP.ClientContext.get_current();

	//get the current website
	var web = context.get_web();

	//get the pictures list
	var list = web.get_lists().getByTitle(itgRotatorLibraryTitle);

	//create the query to get all items
	var query = SP.CamlQuery.createAllItemsQuery();

	//get all items from the query
	pictures = list.getItems(query);

	//load the context
	context.load(pictures, 'Include(FileLeafRef,FileDirRef)');

	//execute the query in async mode
	context.executeQueryAsync(
		Function.createDelegate(this, this.success), 
		Function.createDelegate(this, this.failed)
	);
}

function success(sender, args)
{
    pictureArray = new Array();
    var pictureCount = 0;
	
	//pull the details about each image (directory and filename) out of the result
    var enumerator = this.pictures.getEnumerator();
    while(enumerator.moveNext())
	{
        var currentItem = enumerator.get_current();
        var filename = currentItem.get_item('FileLeafRef');
        var dir = currentItem.get_item('FileDirRef');
        filename = dir + '/' + filename;
        pictureArray[pictureCount++] = filename;
    }
    var newHtml = '';
	
	//set the first image to display
	var itgdispval = "block";
	
	//iterate through the result and create HTML code (img with div wrapper) for each picture
    for(var i = 0; i < this.pictureArray.length; i++)
	{
		if (i > 0)
		{
			//set all the additional images to hidden
			itgdispval = "none";
		}
        newHtml += '<div id="' + picid + i.toString() + '" class="pictureWrapperDiv" style="height: ' + itgImgHeight + 'px; max-height: ' + itgImgHeight + 'px; width: ' + itgImgWidth + 'px; max-width: ' + itgImgWidth + 'px; display: ' + itgdispval + ';"><img class="pictureGallery" src="';
        newHtml += this.pictureArray[i];
        newHtml += '" style="max-height: ' + itgImgHeight + 'px; max-width: ' + itgImgWidth + 'px;"/></div>';
    }
	//store the number of images
	itgImgRotCount = i;
	
	//start the iterator
	itgImgRotIter++;

	//assign the HTML to the rotator container
    $('#RotatorCont').html(newHtml);
	
	//start the rotator
	setTimeout(itgRotateImg, itgLoadTime);
}

function failed(sender, args)
{
	//alert("Failure: [" + sender + "] / [" + args + "]");
}

function itgRotateImg()
{
	var dynapicid = picid + itgImgRotIter.toString();
	var dynalast = 0;
	if ((itgImgRotCount > 0) && (itgImgRotIter == 0))
	{
		dynalast = itgImgRotCount - 1;
	}
	else
	{
		dynalast = itgImgRotIter - 1;
	}
	var dynapicidlast = picid + dynalast.toString();

	//hide the last image to be displayed
	$('#' + dynapicidlast).css("display", "none");
	
	//show (fade in) the next image
	$('#' + dynapicid).fadeIn(400);
	if ((itgImgRotIter + 1) < itgImgRotCount)
	{
		itgImgRotIter++;
	}
	else
	{
		itgImgRotIter = 0;
	}
	setTimeout(itgRotateImg, itgLoadTime);
}
</script> 

10 amazingly stupid things the ‘experts’ will try to tell you about Microsoft

Written by MMMan. Posted in Microsoft

Some experts are so bad at being experts, that calling some people an “expert” is like calling my dog a genius because he can find food on the floor.  Good dog.  So, needless to say, these statements below are often made by people with something to gain by spreading these “expert opinions” (slimy sales people for the competition perhaps???). 

http://www.zdnet.com/10-amazingly-stupid-things-the-experts-will-try-to-tell-you-about-microsoft-7000026827/

SP1 Finally Released for SharePoint 2013 and Office 2013

Written by MMMan. Posted in Microsoft, Office 2013, Office 365, SharePoint

The long awaited arrival of Service Pack 1 for SharePoint 2013 and Office 2013 is finally here.  What I’m really excited about is PowerMap is finally out of Beta as well, and now part of the Excel / PowerBI suite.  Also, not to be left out, Exchange also had it’s SP1 arrive today.

http://blogs.technet.com/b/office_sustained_engineering/archive/2014/02/25/announcing-the-release-of-service-pack-1-for-office-2013-and-sharepoint-2013.aspx

How to Create a Running Comment in InfoPath

Written by MMMan. Posted in InfoPath, Office 2013, Office 365

If you want to be able to create a “running comment” in InfoPath (having on field concatenated to another, again and again), it’s actually pretty easy if you know a few tricks (which I’ll describe below).  To do this, you’ll need a few ingredients at your disposal.  For some reason tonight I feel like baking something, so let’s bake up some InfoPath, shall we…

Official Recipe

Ingredients (within your InfoPath form)

Fields:

  • new comment field
  • comment display field
  • submit button

Data Connection:

  • XML file inclusion

InfoPath Function:

  • Concat (used to concatenate multiple pieces of data together into a single value)

Ingredients (self baked)

  • XML file for line-breaks

 

Directions

  1. Create your InfoPath form (likely from a SharePoint list, or InfoPath form library within SharePoint)
      image thumb3 How to Create a Running Comment in InfoPath
  2. Add 2 fields to your form “New Comment” (Single Line of Text) and “Comment Display” (Multi Lines of Text – plain text)
  3. Drag these columns into your form
      image thumb4 How to Create a Running Comment in InfoPath
  4. Add a button to your form
      image thumb5 How to Create a Running Comment in InfoPath
  5. Create a new XML file (on your machine – call it whatever you like, call it bob.xml for all it matters), and include the following in the XML file.  (I called mine “newline.xml”) 
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <linebreaks>
       <newLine>&#xA;</newLine>
    </linebreaks> 
    

  6. Add this file as a resource to your InfoPath form.
      image thumb6 How to Create a Running Comment in InfoPath

      image thumb7 How to Create a Running Comment in InfoPath

      image thumb8 How to Create a Running Comment in InfoPath

      image thumb9 How to Create a Running Comment in InfoPath

  7. Add a rule to the button to update the “Display” value with the contents of the “New Comment” value.
      SNAGHTML2978cf5 thumb How to Create a Running Comment in InfoPath

      image thumb10 How to Create a Running Comment in InfoPath

      image thumb11 How to Create a Running Comment in InfoPath

  8. In the “Formula” text area, enter the following formula:

    concat(New Comment, newLine, Comment Display)

    To do this correctly, follow the images below.

    Start by typing out “concat(“ and then click on “Insert Field or Group”.

    image thumb12 How to Create a Running Comment in InfoPath

    Choose the field “New Comment” and click OK.  This will take the current text from the single line of text field.

    image thumb13 How to Create a Running Comment in InfoPath

    Add a comma and a space to the formula and insert another field.

    image thumb14 How to Create a Running Comment in InfoPath

    Click on “Show Advanced View”.

    image thumb15 How to Create a Running Comment in InfoPath

    Change the fields dropdown to your secondary data source (your XML file) included in step 5.  This may be called “bob” (I called my file “newline.xml”, so it shows up as “newline (Secondary)”).

    image thumb16 How to Create a Running Comment in InfoPath

    Then choose your “newLine” item (under “linebreaks”) and click OK.

    image thumb17 How to Create a Running Comment in InfoPath

    Now add another comma and a space, and we’ll be ready for the last field.

    image thumb18 How to Create a Running Comment in InfoPath

    To get everything to concatenate into the multiline of text box, select “Comment Display”.

    image thumb19 How to Create a Running Comment in InfoPath

    Now simply add a closing parenthesis, and click OK.

    image thumb20 How to Create a Running Comment in InfoPath

    Your final product should look like this.  Click OK.

    image thumb21 How to Create a Running Comment in InfoPath

  9. At this point, your running comment field should now be working.  You can go to the Home tab in InfoPath and Preview it.  Try adding 2 separate entries into “New Comment” and after each entry, press the button.

    First comment being added:
    image thumb22 How to Create a Running Comment in InfoPath

    Second comment being added:
    image thumb23 How to Create a Running Comment in InfoPath

    Both comments added:
    image thumb24 How to Create a Running Comment in InfoPath

Possible Toppings

As you can see, one of the annoyances is that your comment is leftover in the “New Comment” field.  Feel free to add an additional rule to the button to clear the “New Comment” field when the button is pressed.

Additionally, you should set the “Comment Display” field to read only, as the data should only be entered in the New comment field, and then displayed in the Comment Display field. 

Finally, feel free to be creative and try adding multiple “newlines” in your function, and / or adding date/time stamps, and / or user id stamps.  Using a combination of these suggestions could allow you to turn the “Comment Display” field into a running dialog between “reviewers” as one possible example.

 

Serving Suggestions

This recipe is meant to serve a business of 1 or more quite hardily, and can be easily added again and again into new and more interesting dishes (for leftovers).

Enjoy!

Force Enabling Publishing Features in SharePoint 2013

Written by MMMan. Posted in SharePoint

In SharePoint 2013 sometimes you just have to rely on old techniques to get things done.  Take activating the publishing features for example.  Often times I’ve had trouble activating these features using the GUI in 2013, and no mystical combination of turning on the site feature followed by the web feature seemed to make a difference.  What about PowerShell you ask – the answer to everything 2013 – well, that doesn’t help much either, basically failing in the same bitter way as the GUI. 

Introducing STSADM, a wonderful new tool from 13 years ago.  Detect the sarcasm?  Anyways, sometimes dirty old tricks are still the best tricks.

The simple way to force activation using STSADM is described below, and I’ve included a graphic below showing the results.

        stsadm –o activatefeature –name publishingsite –url http://yourdomain.com/sites/yourweb -force
    
        stsadm –o activatefeature –name publishingweb –url http://yourdomain.com/sites/yourweb -force
    

In the graphic below, you can see initially activating the site feature without using the force parameter (that failed), followed by activating the site feature using force, as well as the web feature using force.

image thumb2 Force Enabling Publishing Features in SharePoint 2013

Hopefully this helps anyone seeking a way to get publishing actually activated in 2013.

How to Check Your Skydrive Pro Usage

Written by MMMan. Posted in Office 365

Checking your Skydrive Pro Quota (usage) can be a pain, as there’s no real easy way to know how much of your quota you’re using.  As it turns out, you can follow the steps below.

  1. Go to your SkyDrive Pro
    image thumb How to Check Your Skydrive Pro Usage
  2. Copy the URL, for example: https://awesomeness-my.sharepoint.com/personal/colin_phillips_awesomeness_onmicrosoft_com/Documents/Forms/All.aspx
  3. Remove ‘Documents/Forms/All.aspx‘ from the end of the URL, and in its place add ‘_layouts/15/usage.aspx‘ for example:
    https://awesomeness-my.sharepoint.com/personal/colin_phillips_awesomeness_onmicrosoft_com/_layouts/15/usage.aspx
  4. You should now be able to see the summary of your SkyDrive Pro usage.image thumb1 How to Check Your Skydrive Pro Usage

Many thanks to Andy Sek and this post on the Office 365 forums.

Power BI now in General Availability

Written by MMMan. Posted in Business Intelligence, Microsoft, Office 365

Power BI has reached a new milestone going full plaid… err, more like General Availability.  Of course, it’s not generally useful to anyone who’s not at least partially using Office 365.  The link to the GA announcement is below.  The pricing is a bit wowsers until you start to realize what you’re getting for that price – some people won’t appreciate it no matter how you spin it.

http://blogs.office.com/2014/02/10/power-bi-for-office-365-now-available-to-do-more-with-business-insights-in-excel/

Still to come out of Beta is Power Map, but it can’t be far behind… can it?

Free eBooks from Microsoft Virtual Academy

Written by MMMan. Posted in Development, Happy Happy Joy Joy, PowerShell, Utilities / Tools, Windows 8, Windows Apps, Windows Server

New FREE eBooks from Microsoft. Full Details available here or see below.

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Get a high-level overview of System Center 2012 R2—and get a running start transforming your datacenter and cloud-optimizing your business. This guide introduces core features and functionality, with technical advice and under-the-hood insights from a Microsoft MVP and members of the System Center team at Microsoft.

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App Development ebooks

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Programming Windows Store Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, Second Edition (Second Preview)
Kraig Brockschmidt
October 2013
750 pages

Microsoft Press is pleased to offer the second preview of Kraig Brockschmidt’s in-depth ebook on writing Windows Store apps using HTML, CSS3, and JavaScript on the Windows 8.1 platform.
We’ll be publishing the final ebook (with 20 chapters and 4 appendices) in March/April in PDF, EPUB, and Mobi for Kindle formats. In the meantime, enjoy this preview!

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This guide will help you select the right Microsoft development technologies and approaches for your custom .NET application development, depending on the priorities you have for your application and business domain. It is targeted to decision makers, software architects, development leads, and developers who are involved in selecting which technologies to use for their applications and projects, and specifically covers custom enterprise application development, although independent software vendors (ISVs) might also find the information and recommendations useful.

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180 pages

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Yung Chou, Keith Mayer, and series editor Mitch Tulloch
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Thomas Ellermann, Kathleen Wilson, Karsten Nielsen, John Clark, and series editor Mitch Tulloch
December 2013
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Part of a series of specialized guides on System Center—this book provides a framework for planning and delivering a successful Service Manager project. Written by experts on the Microsoft System Center team and with Microsoft MVP Mitch Tulloch as series editor, this title delivers concise guidance, from-the-field insights, and best practices for optimizing and maintaining your Service Manager environment.

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William R. Stanek
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Windows Runtime via C#
Jeffrey Richter and Maarten van de Bospoort
November 2013
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Delve inside the Windows Runtime environment—and learn best ways to design and build Windows Store apps. Guided by Jeff Richter, a well-known expert in Windows programming, along with principal Windows consultant Maarten van de Bospoort, you’ll master essential Windows Runtime API concepts. And you’ll gain practical insights and tips for how to architect, design, optimize, and debug your apps.

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Windows PowerShell Best Practices
Ed Wilson
January 2014
760 pages

Automate system administration using Windows PowerShell best practices—and optimize your operational efficiency. With this practical guide, Windows PowerShell expert and instructor Ed Wilson delivers field-tested tips, real-world examples, and candid advice culled from administrators across a range of business and technical scenarios. If you’re an IT professional with Windows PowerShell experience, this book is ideal.

Simple Server Uptime / Downtime Chart

Written by MMMan. Posted in Utilities / Tools

Many thanks to this URL for the details: http://royal.pingdom.com/royalfiles/pingdom_uptime_cheat_sheet.pdf

Uptime (percent) Downtime per month Downtime per year
100% 0m 0m
99.999% 0.4m 5m
99.99% 4m 52m
99.9% 43m 8h 46m
99.8% 1h 26m 17h 31m
99.7% 2h 10m 1d 2h 17m
99.6% 2h 53m 1d 11h 2m
99.5% 3h 36m 1d 19h 48m
99.4% 4h 19m 2d 4h 34m
99.3% 5h 2m 2d 13h 19m
99.2% 5h 46m 2d 22h 5m
99.1% 6h 29m 3d 6h 50m
99.0% 7h 12m 3d 15h 36m
98.9% 7h 55m 4d 0h 22m
98.8% 8h 38m 4d 9h 7m
98.7% 9h 22m 4d 17h 53m
98.6% 10h 5m 5d 2h 38m
98.5% 10h 48m 5d 11h 24m
98.4% 11h 31m 5d 20h 10m
98.3% 12h 14m 6d 4h 55m
98.2% 12h 58m 6d 13h 41m
98.1% 13h 41m 6d 22h 26m
98.0% 14h 24m 7d 7h 12m
97.9% 15h 7m 7d 15h 58m
97.8% 15h 50m 8d 0h 43m
97.7% 16h 34m 8d 9h 29m
97.6% 17h 17m 8d 18h 14m
97.5% 18h 0m 9d 3h 0m
97.4% 18h 43m 9d 11h 46m
97.3% 19h 26m 9d 20h 31m
97.2% 20h 10m 10d 5h 17m
97.1% 20h 53m 10d 14h 2m
97.0% 21h 36m 10d 22h 48m
96.9% 22h 19m 11d 7h 34m
96.8% 23h 2m 11d 16h 19m
96.7% 23h 46m 12d 1h 5m
96.6% 1d 0h 29m 12d 9h 50m
96.5% 1d 1h 12m 12d 18h 36m
96.4% 1d 1h 55m 13d 3h 22m
96.3% 1d 2h 38m 13d 12h 7m
96.2% 1d 3h 22m 13d 20h 53m
96.1% 1d 4h 5m 14d 5h 38m
96.0% 1d 4h 48m 14d 14h 24m
95.9% 1d 5h 31m 14d 23h 10m
95.8% 1d 6h 14m 15d 7h 55m
95.7% 1d 6h 58m 15d 16h 41m
95.6% 1d 7h 41m 16d 1h 26m
95.5% 1d 8h 24m 16d 10h 12m
95.4% 1d 9h 7m 16d 18h 58m
95.3% 1d 9h 50m 17d 3h 43m
95.2% 1d 10h 34m 17d 12h 29m
95.1% 1d 11h 17m 17d 21h 14m
95.0% 1d 12h 0m 18d 6h 0m

In the table above, a month is 30 days and a year is 365 days.