CS-Script: An alternative approach to automating and scripting in SharePoint

Overview

PowerShell is the de facto standard  for SharePoint automation and scripting nowadays. But there are several competitors for the .NET platform, one of them is CS-Script.

According to the official site information:

CS-Script is a CLR (Common Language Runtime) based scripting system which uses ECMA-compliant C# as a programming language. CS-Script currently targets Microsoft implementation of CLR (.NET 2.0/3.0/3.5/4.0/4.5) with full support on Mono.

CS-Script is an open-source initiative that is distributed under the license agreement, which can be found here. However commercial support is also available.

CS-Script combines the power and richness of C# and FCL with the flexibility of a scripting system. CS-Script can be useful for system and network administrators, developers and testers. For any one who needs an automation for solving variety of programming tasks.

CS-Script could be used for solving variety of programming tasks such as:

  • analysing and adjusting system configuration
  • extending functionality of a software system with flexible scripting
  • configuring development or testing environment
  • automating software batch build
  • automating testing, and collecting test results

CS-Script In Action

So, lets take a look at different examples of using Script C# with SharePoint  and get started with the classic example of printing the greeting.

Example 1. Hello World

Running it via command-line  using CS-Script engine executable (eg. csc.exe) gives us the the following results

HelloSP

Points to note:

Since it is running under SharePoint 2010, the following directives should be specified:

  • //css_host  [/version:<CLR_Version>] [/platform:<CPU>]
    – used to force the script to be compiled and executed against legacy CLR and alternative CPU architecture on Windows x64
  • //css_dir <path> – include assemblies from SharePoint directory into script and assembly probing

Example 2. Reference another C# script

In  this example is demonstrated how to reference another C# script

Points to note:

Example 3. Reference library

In  this example is demonstrated how to expose classes in an assembly CustomSharePointLibrary.dll

Points to note:

//css_reference <file> –  load the assembly at execution time

References

CS-Script Project Home

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How to retrieve and display social comments in Content Query web part

Introduction

Using social comments in Publishing pages is pretty common scenario for SharePoint Publishing Sites. In comparison to page fields (Page Content, Title, Page Image and etc.)  that are inserted into the “slots” of the page layout and associated with the content type of the publishing page, social comments are stored separately.  Social comments are stored in separate DB and the comment entry is associated by the page Url on which comment has been given.

Let’s take a look at several approaches how to display social comments for Publishing pages in Content Query web part as shown on picture below.

Prerequisites: to enable social comments in Publishing pages the custom page layout with Note Board web part is used  for demonstration here.

CBQ_Comments

Extending Content By Query web part

In this approach the social comments are retrieved and saved in results before it is sent to the XSL transform using  ProcessDataDelegate delegate of Content Query web part. For retrieving social comments, SocialCommentManager class is utilized, which represents the entry point in  SharePoint object model (OM) that exposes methods to do work with social comments or notes.

So, in order to attach method for processing of social comments to a delegate   ProcessDataDelegate we need to subclass Content Query web part as demonstrated below:

And the final step is to customize template for rendering item (ItemStyle.xsl) in order to render social columns  (comment count per page in our case) in Content Query web part:

Utilizing SharePoint Web Services  for retrieving social comment in CQWP

In this approach we are not going to subclass Content Query web part, but implement social comments retrieving and binding on the client side.

SharePoint Web Services exposes Social Data Service that provides methods for remote clients to Create, Read, Update, and Delete (CRUD) social data.

The following JavaScript code demonstrates how to utilize SharePoint Web Services for retrieving comment count per page and to bind it to  comments item template (ItemStyle.xsl)

Code excerpt for comment item from ItemStyle.xsl:

References

Beyond the Slideshow web part capabilities in SharePoint 2010

Overview

In one of the previous post we have started the discussion of customizing   Slideshow web part, in particular it was demonstrated  how to provide additional filtering for picture items. This time we’re going to go further and consider different scenarios of using SharePoint SlideShow capabilities. We deliberately do not consider the use of  third party libraries for Slideshow or creating custom web parts, but try to build new experience using existing tools only.

1. Customize the display for Slideshow control: display additional picture properties

Suppose in addition to standard properties, custom properties should be displayed  from Picture Library in Slideshow web part.

PictureLibCustomFields

The following  fields are retrieved  from Picture Library for Slideshow:

So, our goal is to display slideshow using custom layout as shown below

CarsSlideshow

Solution:

Solution consist of the following parts:

  • load custom picture properties, see loadCarPicturesAdditionalInfo method for details
  • Slideshow library (imglib.js) methods overriding for slideshow object initialization, picture  changing and displaying

Usage

Save JavaScript code to the file and embed it into the page with Slideshow web part  as demonstrated below

2. Customize the display for Slideshow control: display original pictures

In Slideshow web part, picture is initialized with field value that contains the Url of  Web image (EncodedAbsWebImgUrl  field). Unfortunately it is not supported to configure in web part what image type (original, web or thumbnail) should be displayed in Slideshow The solution that demonstrated below allows to display original images instead of web images in Slideshow web part.

Solution:

In order to specify original images, method overriding for picture initialization is used:

Usage

One of the most simple way to apply these changes is to embed specified JavaScript code via Content Editor web part (CEWP), for more details please follow this article.

  • Save JavaScript code to the file, for example in SlideshowObjectInitializer.txt and upload it to SiteAssets Library
  • Add CEWP on page where Slideshow web part is located and in the Content Editor tool pane, under Content Link property, type /SiteAssets/SlideshowObjectInitializer.txt

3. Slideshow List View

Slideshow List View is only available for Pictures Library. It is pretty common scenario when another types of repositories are used for storing images, for example Assets Library. Let’s look at how to create a Slideshow  List View for images stored in Assets Library.

Solution:

Slideshow List View

Slideshow control initialization and retrieving picture entries from Assets Library

4. Aggregate picture items and render as Slideshow

The last example demonstrates how to display slideshow for pictures aggregated  from site collection.  For aggregating pictures from site collection, Content Query web part is utilized.

Solution

OuterTemplate.SlideShowBody template is intended for rendering Slideshow control in CQWP

Usage

  • Configure source properties (List Type: Picture Library, Content Type:  Picture)PicturesCQWP
  • Specify additional fields for retrieving via  CommonViewFields property. For more details how to display custom fields in a CQWP, follow this article
  • Replace OuterTemplate.Body template with OuterTemplate.SlideShowBody in ContentQueryMain.xsl. For more details how to customize XSL for the Content Query Web Part follow this article

Conclusion

The main idea of this post  was to demonstrate how to combine different components available in SharePoint 2010 in order to build new functionality without creating new one from scratch (i.e.: new web parts) or using third party components.

Different ways of extending People Editor in the client side (SharePoint 2010)

Overview

Previously we have already discussed the possible ways for customization of  People Editor,in particular it was demonstrated  how to add  initialization and validation capabilities on the client side. This time we are going to concentrate on some aspects  of extensibility for  People Editor control that are available on the client side.

The entry point for extending of the People Editor control on the client side  is AfterCallbackClientScript property. It allows to specify the callback JavaScript function to be executed after People Entity value is resolved and  control is initialized.

The different approach is to override Entity Editor callback function itself, for example the code below demonstrates how to execute method before control is initialized

The following example demonstrates the usage of the second approach.

Customize People Editor in Alerts subscription page to enable sending of  alerts assigned to SharePoint Group

Sending alerts assigned to SharePoint Group is not supported by default in SharePoint 2010. The main idea of this solution is to enable the selection of SharePoint Groups in people editor on subscription pages and the sending alerts to individual users from these groups

How it works

In Alert subscription page (New or Edit forms) type or select in People picker dialog box the SharePoint Group name

AlertsStep1

After clicking “Check names” button or OK button in People picker the SharePoint group will be  expanded  to individual users in the text box as shown below

AlertsStep2

Implementation

So, the solution consist of the following tasks:

  • activate SharePoint Groups  for selection in people editor control
  • expand a group entity to individual user entities in the text box

Enable SharePoint Group for People Editor via Delegate Control

As was noted earlier SharePoint Groups are not allowed for selection set  on people editor control in Alerts subscription pages

In order to activate  the selection of SharePoint Group in Alerts subscription pages the following control is intended (code behind):

Control with  reference to  JavaScript  library –  expand a group entity to individual user entities for picker editor control

Manifest file for registration of SendAlertsManager control via Delegate Control

Expand SharePoint Group entity to individual Users entities (entityeditorutils.js)

Expand SharePoint Groups to individual User entities for People Editor

Extending Picture Library Slideshow web part in SharePoint 2010

Overview

According to MSDN Picture Library Slideshow web part is used to display the pictures in a picture library slideshow.

Below are provided some details about  how Picture Library Slideshow web part works:

Step 1. Query Picture Library

Picture items are retrieved via SPQuery from Picture Library and results are saved in internal array of ImageInfo entries

Step 2. Initialize and render Slideshow control

JavaScript  Slideshow Library ( imglib.js)  is included and slideshow control is rendered.

Information about Picture entries is passed to the client side and Slideshow control is initialized

Extending Picture Library Slideshow web part

Picture Library Slideshow web part class is marked as sealed, so it could not be extended by inheriting from it . But there is another way how it could be extended.

As was noted earlier SlideshowObject  is instantiated using object constructor. Using the technique with overriding   SlideshowObject constructor it is possible to provide additional logic as shown below:

For example, the following example demonstrates how to exclude pictures with no titles from displaying them in Slideshow :

Customizing Search Results (SharePoint 2010): People Search Results Custom Sorting using XSLT

Overview

By default People Search Results web part sorting capabilities are limited by the following options:

  • Relevance (default)
  • Social Distance
  • Name

Below is presented XSLT based approach how to provide additional sorting options for People Search Results web part.

But before we proceed let me clarify the main limitation of this solution:

  • the specified method allows to sort  search results returned for page only (to control results returned for page ResultsPerPage property is used)
  • applying sorting take place during XSLT transformation (in our case it  is applied to relevant results)

Solution description

Provide custom sorting options values

ParameterBindings property is used for storing custom sort options values and passing them to XSLT:

,where

CustomNameSortLabels and CustomNameSortValues   are used for storing  custom sort option labels and values respectively.

Customize Sort Options  in People Search Results

In order to display custom sort options the following XSLT template is used:

Complete XSLT file for People Search Results  could be found here

Below is shown sorting options control after applying specified XSLT and providing Parameter Binding property value from above example

SortOptions

Sorting for search results is defined using XSLT sorting element:

Complete XSLT file for People Search Results with custom Sort Options could be found here

Results

People Search Result page with results sorted by Last Name is shown below

PeopleSearchResultsCustomSort

References

Bringing Map functionality into SharePoint 2010: Rendering Map List View

Overview

SharePoint 2013 introduces functionality to integrate location information and maps in SharePoint lists and location-based web and mobile apps for SharePoint with the following capabilities:

  • new field type named Geolocation that enables you to annotate SharePoint lists with location information. The built-in Geolocation field can render only with Bing Maps. However, you can create a custom field by using the Geolocation field as a parent field type, for example see my blog post about using Google Maps as map service.
  • Map View that displays a map (with data obtained from the Bing Maps service), using longitude and latitude entries from the Geolocation field type

Client-side rendering for Map List View in SharePoint 2013

Regarding Map View, SharePoint 2013 utilizes client side rendering framework for List View that allows to define the rendering logic of SharePoint list views using HTML/JavaScript. There is already predefined rendering template in SharePoint 2013  for Binq Maps service that is used when Map View is created, for more details see Create a map view for the Geolocation field in SharePoint 2013.

Map List View in SharePoint 2010

But what about SharePoint 2010? Let’s discuss one approach related with customizing List View for  XSLTListViewWebPart (XLV) . So, in proposed solution  geographical locations are stored in Custom List and custom View is used to render data on Map using Google Maps service For example, list items GeoMapDefaultView

will be represented in Map View as shown below

GeoMapView

Implementation of Map List View in SharePoint 2010

As was noted earlier for storing geographical location on a map and visualizing it in Map View we will define Custom List named GeoMap List.

GeoMap Content Type

For storing geographical locations we define the following Content Type

GeoMap List

GeoMap List is based on Generic List with GeoMap Content Type and with custom View

XSLT stylesheet for Map List View

GeoMap rendering control

References

  • Google Maps JavaScript API v3
  • How to: Customize the Rendering of a Field on a List View in SharePoint 2010 on MSDN
  • How to: Customize a list view in apps for SharePoint using client-side rendering on MSDN

Customize the rendering of a List View in Sharepoint 2010: Displaying List Items in Accordion

Overview

The creation of non standard presentations for Lists/Libraries  is a fairly common  scenario and using the XSLT List View Web Part (XLV) possibilities that can be achieved pretty easily.
Let’s take a look how to render list of question and answers using Accordion Menu in SharePoint. Actually the idea for this post appeared after posting  of corresponding question on StackOverflow.
So, let’s discuss how it could be accomplished using XLV. For Accordion we will utilize jQuery UI library.

Accordion

Implementation

FAQ Custom List

First of all, let us define where  the questions and answers (FAQ) we’ll be stored. For this we will use Custom List with Content Type.

Custom View for arranging items using jQuery UI Accordion

After creating Custom List we add new View for displaying Accordion for FAQ items

XSLT style sheet for rendering Accordion View

XSLT style sheet for FAQ List is intended for the following purposes:

  • loading jQuery Core and UI Libraries
  • rendering list items using layout as specified for Accordion menu
  • initializing and rendering Accordion for List items

Using jQuery UI Accordion

jQuery Core and UI libraries are injected during XSLT style sheet processing. After JavaScript files which hosted on Microsoft CDN are loaded, jQuery UI Accordion is initialized for items.

Results

FAQ List Accordion View rendered in XLV is shown below on picture

FAQ Accordion View

References