Tuesday, August 26, 2014

SharePoint 2010 Enterprise Search Grouping

In the previous post, we discussed sorting the search results of the core search results web part by our custom search properties. This can be achieved by extending the core search results web part and overwriting the ConfigureDataSourceProperties() method.
It is also possible to group the results by a property or even a combination of properties.

For example, if I have 2 managed properties called 'MyDepartment' and 'MyReportType' and I would like to see the results grouped by all possible combinations of these two properties, such as:

Asset Management - Account Activity  -

  • Account Activity for Account A and Quarter 1
  • Account Activity for Account B Q4

Asset Management - Asset Acquisitions -

  • Asset Acquisitions 2014
  • Asset Acquisitions Feb 2014

Asset Management - Quarterly Income Reports +
Compliance - Quarterly Compliance Report  +
Investment Management - Risk Analysis +
Investment Management - Risk Decomposition +

, each one with a suite of reports within each group, where inside each grouping the reports would be sorted by other managed properties, such as a specific date property for example.
The group by criteria is bolded out and on expand (+) it would show all results for the group.

As a first step, the group-by properties need to be added to the sort-by collection, in their order of relevance. Note the MyDepartment is the first sort criteria, alphabetically ascending, followed by 'MyReportType':

                   // get the datasource and change the sort order
                    CoreResultsDatasource dataSource = this.DataSource as CoreResultsDatasource;
                    if (sortBy != string.Empty)
                        dataSource.SortOrder.Add("mydepartment", sd);
                        dataSource.SortOrder.Add("myreporttype", sd);


In the XSLT we will generate the presentation of the group, by applying the Muenchian method, found on Jeni Tennison's site:

  1. First we declare a key in the declaration area of the XSLT:
    <xsl:key name="gg" match="/All_Results/Result" use="concat(mydepartment, myreporttype)"/>
  2. We modify the regular body template to perform two for-eaches, one for the group-by criteria and another one for the results within each group-by value:

<xsl:template name="dvt_1.body">
    <xsl:for-each select="/All_Results/Result[count(. | key('gg', concat(mydepartment,myreporttype))[1]) = 1]">
        <td colspan="8">
           <xsl:value-of select="
          <xsl:text> - </xsl:text>
          <xsl:value-of select="
          <xsl:text> + </xsl:text> <!-- additional html and javascript to achieve expand-collapse-->
      <xsl:for-each select="key('gg', concat(
        <xsl:sort select="myeffectivedate" order="descending"/>
        <xsl:call-template name="dvt_1.rowview"/>

3. Inside the inner for-each, specify the sort criteria to be the date column. The results are rendered by calling the dvt_1.rowview template.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

SharePoint 2010 Enterprise Search Custom Sort

When you want to sort your search by something more than just Modified date or Relevance, such as your own custom managed properties, a way to achieve this in SharePoint 2010 would be by extending the Core Search Results Web Part like below.
The Core Search Results Web Part can give a page size for up to 50 items, but you may also be able to overwrite that via the extension.

The webpart now reads the sort criteria and direction from the query-string, as well as an extra parameter that allows the user to specify whether the results should be paged at all or displayed in a single page. If they are paged, rather than using the limit of 50, a custom web part property is being used, which is in this example set to a default of 100.

    public class ExtendedSearchResultsWebPart : CoreResultsWebPart
        int customResultsPerPage = 100;
        [WebDescription("Results per page")]
        [WebDisplayName("Results per page")]
        public int CustomResultsPerPage { get{ return customResultsPerPage;} set { value = customResultsPerPage;} }

        protected override void ConfigureDataSourceProperties()
            if (this.ShowSearchResults)
                    bool viewAll = false;
                    string sortBy = string.Empty;
                    Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.Query.SortDirection sd = Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.Query.SortDirection.Descending;
                    if (this.Page.Request.QueryString["pall"] != null)
                        if (this.Page.Request.QueryString["pall"] == "1")
                            viewAll = true;
                    if (this.Page.Request.QueryString["sort"] != null)
                        sortBy = this.Page.Request.QueryString["sort"];
                        if(this.Page.Request.QueryString["sd"] != null)
                            sd = this.Page.Request.QueryString["sd"] == "ascending" ? Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.Query.SortDirection.Ascending : Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.Query.SortDirection.Descending;
                    else sortBy = "MYCUSTOMDEFAULTPROPERY";

                        // get the datasource and change the sortorder
                        CoreResultsDatasource dataSource = this.DataSource as CoreResultsDatasource;
                        dataSource.ResultsPerPage = (viewAll == false ? CustomResultsPerPage : 5000);
                        if (sortBy != string.Empty)
                            dataSource.SortOrder.Add(sortBy, sd);

                catch (Exception ex)
                     ULSLogging.LogError("MYLOGGING", "Search: " + ex.Message, ex.StackTrace); }


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Custom Actions for list items assigned programmatically

Custom actions are usually deployed in a declarative manner, such as an Elements.xml file. They can be deployed to a specific content type in case your document library inherits from the specific content type, such as below:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<Elements xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/">
  Title="Approve/Reject Monthly Report">
    <UrlAction Url="javascript:MyNamespace.retrieveListItems({ItemId});"/>
However, when your document library gets deployed via code, such as  feature receiver, and especially if the document library is not associated with a content type, there is the option to attach a custom action programmatically such as  in the example below.           

                    Guid formlibID = web.Lists.Add("My Library", string.Empty, SPListTemplateType.XMLForm);
                    SPList formLib = web.Lists[formlibID];

                    SPUserCustomAction printForm = formLib.UserCustomActions.Add();
                    printForm.Title = "Print Form";
                    printForm.Url = "javascript:MyNamespace.printForm({ItemId},'{ItemUrl}')";
                    printForm.Location = "EditControlBlock";

In both examples, the custom action performs some javascript logic (in this case the two functions both open up a modal popup), that takes in the current items' out-of-the-box ID and URL. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Double AD profiles in User Profile Service?

This is directly related to working with Claims.

The user profile service imports AD accounts and sets the 'identifier' of the object to be the sAMAAccountName (This is the AD property which looks like sampledomain\johndoe).

When a claims web app accesses the User Profile service, such as for example MySites, if configured to use Claims, it looks for the User Profile service by it's own identifier, which is the token in a format like this:  i:0#.f|ldapmember|johndoe

The object will not be found, and MySites will generate the user profile and set the url to the personal site (yet another property in User Profiles), and this is how you end up with two records that refer to the same person, such as below:

The first one is the one generated by the User Profile Service, with properties such as First name, Last Name and other properties you have mapped to be imported from AD, while the other profile is the one generated by MySites, and only has the token and the URL set to the personal site.

The solution is to map the two identifiers to each-other so that when a claims-based app queries the User Profile service, it finds the profile by token.

The first property, Claim User Identifier, refers to the token and the mapped AD property called sAMAAccountName refers to the format domain\user.

Once mapped, any user profile action will follow this rule. For already existing duplicate accounts, the duplicate token one needs to be deleted for clean-up.

The new MySite generations should look like this:

This solution assumes that when you set up the UPS AD connection, you configure it as well as Claims:

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Migrating CSV data into SharePoint lists

A common migration scenario of data into SharePoint involves CSV files to be imported via Datasheet view into SharePoint lists.

However there are some limitations such as multi-lookup values, where data should be provided in the following format: "5;#technology;#3science;#". The same format has to be provided for columns of type 'People or Groups', such as "67;#John Doe;#123;#Anne Jackson;#". As a result, you cannot use DataSheet view and you have to upload the CSV programmatically.

This post focuses on reading the CSV file programmatically. You have two options:
  • if you use Powershell, you can use the PS command import-csv and then access the data like this:

    import-csv c:\folder\file.csv
    foreach($line in $excelFile){$title = $line.name 

  • if you use C# you can read the CSV file via a OLEDB driver you need to install locally, to permit your 64-bit code (you have to run on 64 bit to be able to execute SharePoint API calls for the actual lookup of values and list item creation).

    You can find the driver here Microsoft Access Database Engine 2010 Redistributable.
    This driver is simply a replacement for JET OLEDB to be run on server applications. JET is only running on 32 bits.

    string connectionString = @"Provider=Microsoft.ACE.OLEDB.12.0;Data Source=c:\folder_name\;Extended Properties='text;HDR=Yes;FMT=Delimited'";

    string excelSheetName = "file.csv";

    OleDbConnection myConnection = new OleDbConnection(connectionString);
    OleDbCommand myCommand = new OleDbCommand("Select * from " + excelSheetName + ";", myConnection);
    OleDbDataAdapter adapter = new OleDbDataAdapter(myCommand);


Sunday, January 13, 2013

How to use SharePoint's OOB error page to show a friendly error message

In many cases, such as a feature activation, it is best to not overwrite the out-of-the-box error page with a custom one, but have the page show a custom message such that users know where the custom code you wrote, failed.

Envision the following scenario: you have an OOB site collection and on custom feature activation, you try to:

  • bind custom fields deployed by the feature to a metadata term store
  • add these custom fields to content types
  • create subsites programmatically
  • set permissions programmatically, etc.
Wrap each action in it's own try-catch statement and inside the catch call your custom Error Handler  method that writes to the ULS logs.

In addition to writing to the ULS logs, have your method also do a forced Response.Redirect to the OOB error page, with "ErrorText" in the QueryString object:

  //write to log first, then:

   string idcurr = CorrelationId.GetCurrentCorrelationToken().ToString();
   errorMessage = HttpUtility.UrlEncode(errorMessage);
   HttpContext.Current.Response.Redirect("/_layouts/error.aspx?ErrorText="+ errorMessage + "&ErrorCorrelationId=" + idcurr);

The ErrorCorrelationId QueryString parameter will ensure that the ID you see on the error page matches what you see in the ULS logs.
But the actual Error Handling, if custom, will generate it's own ID when writing to the logs.
It is necessary for these two to match, basically for the code to associate the custom Error message generated with the ID shown on the page.
The only way to grab the latest CorrelationID generated is to grab it via this class, and I am referencing this blog where I found the solution to the issue:

public class CorrelationId
        public static extern uint EventActivityIdControl(uint controlCode, ref  Guid activityId);
        public const uint EVENT_ACTIVITY_CTRL_GET_ID = 1;
        public static Guid GetCurrentCorrelationToken()
            Guid g = Guid.Empty;
            EventActivityIdControl(EVENT_ACTIVITY_CTRL_GET_ID, ref  g);
            return g;

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Authenticating on a web application with ACS

  1. Connect to ACS. You need to be made a co-Administrator to be able to create a new Access Service instance. Create a new one. Call it something relevant (namespace).  Once it is created, if you try to access it from the “Access Control Service” button in the ribbon, you might get a 403 error. The original Administrator of the Azure account needs to go in and under the new ACS instance, User Management, add you as an admin. Only then will you see the options.
  2. Create a new Relying party. Add the realm and return address to be the new Azure web app url (with https), leave the certify as default, let it create a new rule group. Leave all as defaults.
  3. The identity provider is Windows Live Identity Provider- this is already there out-of-the-box. You are good to go with that. This means you will log in with your Microsoft Live Id.
  4. Edit the rule group, make sure you add a new group for “nameidentifier”.
  5. Set up the web application for ACS:
  • You need Identity Foundation SDK 4 installed. Once installed, the FedUtil (old utility) will be part of Visual Studio. When clicking a web project, you will have a new option in the Tools menu called “Add STS reference”. Add the STS reference. Set the path to its own web.config(it will try to update as a result), set the URL to be the https url of the Azure web app url, add an existing STS by referencing its metadata file. You can get the metadata file from the ACS menu:
  • This adds a new section to the web.config file of the web application, called “Microsoft.IdentityModel”. This new section contains the url of the ACS (Access Control Service Instance you have to set up), the URL of the web application (https://servername), and other data.