Adventures in Consulting

This is a place for me to share those little gems one finds when doing consulting work. Since I focus mainly on SharePoint Server, most of the posts will cover topics relating to SharePoint.

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  • Blog Post: FF at the End of a Content Type ID Kills Update Propagation

    I just spent a couple of hours tracking down an issue where our content type update code wasn���t working for some content types.  The problem ended up being that one content type in the hierarchy had a content type ID that ended with “FF” (such as “0x0100EBE43BB291D8438f94E2C48C129366FF”). ...
  • Blog Post: Creating Several List Instances in a Single Feature

    I’m not sure why I didn’t find this earlier, but I have always put a single list instance definition into a single feature. However, I recently had to put together several inter-related lists into a feature (no single list was useful by itself). The first approach was to create each list instance as...
  • Blog Post: Using Calculated Fields to Pad Numbers with Leading Zeros

    Just a quick note on one way to put leading zeros in a SharePoint list field using a Calculated Field. A client wanted a column to show the list item's name, followed by a number that was left-padded with zeros to two digits, like: Addendum-01 Addendum-02 ... Turns out there's no function...
  • Blog Post: How to work around bugs in the SPGridView control

    SharePoint has a little known web control called SPGridView. This control can give you a SharePoint list-like view of data from any data source you can bind to (from a database or other sources). It also has features to sort, filter and group the data in much the same way users can with SharePoint lists...
  • Blog Post: Using Both Field and FieldRef in InfoPath List Loses Data

    It appears that if you have both a Field and a FieldRef definition in your SharePoint list definition file that includes XML (InfoPath) field promotion, you can no longer update the field through the list; you must do it through the XML only. I ran into this interesting bug that took quite some time...
  • Blog Post: Empty Active Directory Groups do not Show up for SharePoint 2007 Audiences

    I ran into an interesting issue at a customer site. They had dozens of newly created Active Directory groups, but only two of them were showing up when they wanted to create a new audience or specify one of the groups as a target for a list item. It turns out that SharePoint only shows Active Directory...
  • Blog Post: Lookup Helper Methods

    Sometimes when writing custom code for SharePoint, you want to open the list to which another list field is referring (when it uses a lookup field). I had to do this to put the lookup field values in a custom menu item. Other times, you just want the SP List Item that another list item is referring to...
  • Blog Post: Wrapping Text in a SharePoint WebPart Title

    An interesting bit of CSS formatting behavior that I ran across recently at a customer site. They wanted to be able to have long titles in some of their web parts, but it would always make the web part zone expand to fit the text rather than wrapping the text. It turns out that the web part zone puts...
  • Blog Post: Accessing images and other binary files in blob fields through SharePoint BDC

    There are many applications that store binary data in blob or varbinary fields of a database, including pictures, Office documents, PDFs and other types of documents. Recently, a customer had the need to display, in SharePoint, an image stored in an Oracle database. They were already indexing and displaying...
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