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12 May 2014

Create Professional Looking favicon.ico and .ico for .exe Programs

Let's start with this:

1. If you already have a corportate big  logo - open it in GIMP and go to : Layer-->Transparancy-->Color to Alpha and press OK:
2.Export the result as a PNG

3. Then go to the web site and import your image:
4.Select all 4 sizes, press OK and then click on Export.
5. Done! We've just created an awesome professional lookin favicon.ico file

This is how it will look in real life:

This file can also be used for .exe files. 

The resulting .ICO file will contain 4 different sizes in it. Each size will be used by a browser or Windows 7/8 OS to depending on the context.

30 Mar 2014

Two-way Synchronization between SharePoint List and Excel Table

Hey there folks! There is a feature that existed since SharePoint 2003 and not many people know about. This feature allows you to publish a table to a SharePoint list right from Excel. After that you can two-way sync any changes.

  • First of all download an add-in for Excel. Yes, it says "Excel 2007", but it will work for all versions of Excel including 2013.

  • After installing this add-in, In excel, you will find a new button:

Publish Sync button will appear only after installing Add-in for Excel 2007

  • In order to enable two-way sync, select a table, on the INSERT tab select TABLE and press OK:

  • The, in DESIGN tab, press Publish and allow Sync.

  • In a dialog box, enter a url of the SharePoin(2003/2007/2010/2013)  web site, specify a list name that will be created and press Publish.

  • The list will be created:

    This list was created right from Excel
    You can edit a newly created SharePoint list and then, in Excel, after selecting your table, in the context menu: Table--> Synchronize with SharePoint. And viola! The changes from SharePoint will appear in the Excel table:
    Select your Excel table and Synchronize with SharePoint in order to see the changes made in SharePoint or to send changes made from Excel to SharePoint list

    Watch a video demo from SharePoint Conference 2014 starting from 32:00 to 39:00. (credits to Dux Raymond Sy)
    Beyond Deployment: How IT Can Inspire, Motivate And Drive Sustainable Adoption?

    See also:

    18 Jan 2014

    Check if a Field was Changed Inside ItemUpdated Handler of a List EventReceiver

    I think, I found the easiest way to check if a particular field was changed inside ItemUpdated handler. Here is what you should do:
    1. Add a new hidden field to the list.
    2. Register a new EventReceiver for ItemUpdating. It will save previous field values.
    3. In ItemUpdating save a field value from before properties of the field to afterProperties of the hidden field.
    4. In ItemUpdated compare afterProperties of the wanted field with the after properties of the hiddenField
    2. Registering event receivers inside a feature receiver with the web scope:

     private static void AddEventReceivers(SPFeatureReceiverProperties properties)
                SPWeb web = (SPWeb) properties.Feature.Parent;
                string assembly = Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly().FullName;
                web.AllowUnsafeUpdates = true;
                SPList list = GetTheListSomehow();
                SPEventReceiverDefinition ERDefinitionUpdated = list.EventReceivers.Add();
                ERDefinitionUpdated.Assembly = assembly;
                ERDefinitionUpdated.Class = typeof(Event_Receiver_Class).FullName;
                ERDefinitionUpdated.Type = SPEventReceiverType.ItemUpdated;
                ERDefinitionUpdated.Name = "ClipsEventReceiverItemUpdated";
                SPEventReceiverDefinition ERDefinitionUpdating = list.EventReceivers.Add();
                ERDefinitionUpdating.Assembly = assembly;
                ERDefinitionUpdating.Class = typeof(Event_Receiver_Class).FullName;
                ERDefinitionUpdating.Type = SPEventReceiverType.ItemUpdating;
                ERDefinitionUpdating.Name = "ClipsEventReceiverItemUpdating";

    3. ItemUpdating EventReceiver:

    public override void ItemUpdating(SPItemEventProperties properties)
        //warning: you should check if the field is not null
        properties.AfterProperties["hiddenFieldName"] = properties.ListItem["fieldName"];
    warning: do not try to save values straight the hidden field. You should use afterProperties instead like is shown above.

    4. ItemUpdated EventReceiver:

    public override void ItemUpdated(SPItemEventProperties properties)
       string oldfieldValue = properties.ListItem["hiddenField"];
        //simplified example. you should check for nulls and maybe use a better way of comparing field values
       if (String.Equals(oldfieldValue, properties.AfterProperties["fieldName"]))
       //some code...

    15 Jan 2014

    Send Email with HTML Link to the Current User with SPUtility.SendEmail

            private void SendEmailWithReportLink(SPWeb web)
                string bodyText = "To see the report <a href='" + "/_layouts/report.aspx" + "'>click here</a>. <br>";
                Boolean emailSent = true;
                SPSecurity.RunWithElevatedPrivileges(delegate() { 
                    emailSent = SPUtility.SendEmail(web, true,false, SPContext.Current.Web.CurrentUser.Email,
                        "Report «Quality Control Summary» is ready", bodyText, true);
                if (emailSent)
                   //TODO: log message
                    //TODO: log error

    10 Jan 2014

    SharePoint 2013 Feature Comparison All in One (credits to Peter Ekerot)

    Here is a link to the Excel file with the comprehensive comparison across different versions of SharePoint 2013

    Increase the Width of the Lookup Control

    If you need to increase the width of the lookup field on the edit form - add this piece of CSS to your master page:

    .ms-formtable {
        width:650px !important;

    .ms-formtable .ms-input>select {
        width:300px !important;

    The result should look like so:

    4 Jan 2014

    Using AppFabric Programmatically on SharePoint 2013 Farm

    First of all, if you are going to use standard App Fabric cluster that goes with the prerequisites for SharePoint 2013 you'll end up being unsupported by Microsoft:

    If you are using custom applications in SharePoint Server 2013 which use the AppFabric client APIs, or are creating custom caches, you should create a separate AppFabric cache cluster to support your custom applications. Do not use the AppFabric cache cluster supporting your SharePoint Server 2013 farm. Run your separate AppFabric cache cluster for your custom applications on separate servers from the servers dedicated to your SharePoint Server 2013 farm.

    If you still want to use the OOB AF cluster, here is a sample code for it:

     static void Main(string[] args)
            List<DataCacheServerEndpoint> servers = new List<DataCacheServerEndpoint>();
            servers.Add(new DataCacheServerEndpoint("server.domain", 22233));
            DataCacheFactoryConfiguration configuration = new DataCacheFactoryConfiguration();
            configuration.ChannelOpenTimeout = TimeSpan.FromSeconds(120);
            configuration.IsCompressionEnabled = false;
            configuration.MaxConnectionsToServer = 10;
            configuration.RequestTimeout = TimeSpan.FromSeconds(120);
            configuration.Servers = servers;
            configuration.TransportProperties.MaxBufferSize = 1000000;
            DataCacheFactory dataCacheFactory = new DataCacheFactory(configuration);
            DataCache cache = dataCacheFactory.GetCache("DistributedDefaultCache_" + SPFarm.Local.Id);
            if (cache.Get("MyKEY") == null)
                cache.Add("MyKEY", DateTime.Now);
            DateTime dt = (DateTime)cache.Get("MyKEY");

    Note that you need to get the list of all servers in your cluster. In order to do it dynamically, you can use this piece of code:
    string cacheClusterName = "SPDistributedCacheCluster_" + SPFarm.Local.Id;
    var cacheClusterManager = SPDistributedCacheClusterInfoManager.Local;
    var cacheClusterInfo =     cacheClusterManager.GetSPDistributedCacheClusterInfo(cacheClusterName);
    foreach (var cacheHost in cacheClusterInfo.CacheHostsInfoCollection)
      servers.Add(new DataCacheServerEndpoint(cacheHost.HostName, cacheHost.CachePort));
    I've also found a very decent helper class for working with OOB App Fabric cache (credits to Bernado Nguyen-Hoan).

    2 Jan 2014

    Generating Lots of List Items and Docuiments for Testing Purposes

    I've uploaded a first version of List Manager for SharePoint utility on CodePlex.

    It saves me a lot of time on generating list items for testing puroposes. It can also fill most of the field types including Multichoice, Lookups and Taxonomy metadata fields. It can generate text and word documents in case you need it.

    This utility does not use bulk operations yet, so it might be a bit slow when generating thouthands of items, but it does its job in the end.

    Here is a short demo:

    SPRemoteAPIExplorer by Steve Curran MVP

    A Visual Studio server explorer extension to provide the ability to explore and discover SharePoint 2013 remote API capabilities in REST and CSOM(Javascript, .Net and Silverlight). This extension is very useful when working with the SharePoint 2013 REST api. It lists all the types, methods, parameters and properties available to be called remotely. Metadata for types, methods and properties lists whether it can be used by CSOM, REST, JSOM and .Net remote api. Other information available in the property grid includes, OData type, whether to call the method using a querystring, path or body.  Requires Microsoft SharePoint 2013 installed locally and the Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2012.