Monthly Archives: April 2009

Do Content Types inherit Event Handlers?

Answer … YES

It’s amazing how many people think that this is not the case. What is even more amazing is how many people blindly accept it without actually trying it out themselves.

If you attach an EventReceiver to your Content Type and then create a Child Content Type then the event receiver will still fire on child content types!

The lesson of the day?

A man who asks a question is a fool for 5 minutes ..
A man who asks no questions is a fool for life!

SharePoint Designer 2007 – Released for FREE

Yep .. took a little while for this one to sink in (it was announced on April 1st!) but SharePoint Designer 2007 (SPD) is now FREE.

SPD gets a lot of stick from the dev communities (who generally prefer Visual Studio) and for source control and effective granular control over the HTML markup I would completely agree, but that’s not to say that SPD doesn’t have it’s place.

I personally find it a great prototyping tool, rapidly creating ASPX pages in such hard-to-reach places (like list forms and views) without going to all the effort of building your own list definitions and getting messy with CAML.

It’s also one of the few OOB methods I know of that allows you to easily drag’n’drop field controls on to a page layout, and modify some of the "not-usually-visible" web parts (such as the ListForm and DataForm webparts).

This is all probably academic as Visual Studio 2010 is going to (apparently) include many of the SPD functions. So .. while you wait for the arrival of the (finally) SharePoint friendly Visual Studio 2010 … go and get SPD! It’s FREE! 🙂

Download Link, Microsoft

Thoughts on the European SharePoint Best Practice Conference – London

I recently attended the Microsoft SharePoint European Best Practice Conference (6th – 8th April 2009) and wanted to share some of my thoughts.
On the whole it was a good event, plenty of top speakers (such as Joel Oleson, Andrew Connell, Eric Shupps, Todd Bleeker … and many more [full list here]) and certainly lots of topics and tracks to attend .. the event was well organised and catered to all tastes .. but I was left a little bit underwhelmed by the experience.

The Good Bits
The technical sessions (IT Pro and Dev) were excellent, especially the "ask the expert" sessions at the end of each day. These really were an opportunity to get into the nitty gritty of SharePoint with some great topics and questions coming up (some of which even caused disagreements amongst the "experts"!)

A lot of them also tried to grasp some of the more subjective "best practice" topics like content deployment and testing methods. All in all, thoroughly enjoyable, but I did think that there wasn’t a massive amount that I didn’t already know.

The Bad Bits
The Information Worker and Business Adoption tracks were extremely disappointing. I was expecting a "Best Practice" conference to assume a high level of competence with SharePoint as a starting point, but it seems that the majority of these started off from the "so you’ve just bought SharePoint .." or the equally dull "so you are thinking about implement SharePoint eh?? .."

There were some exceptions (Penny Coventry did quite a good session around locking down SharePoint Designer, which was quite useful and at the very least an engaging presentation).

But a large amount of the conference was so under-whelming that I actually walked out halfway through a couple of sessions because the "governance" session seemed to be saying "make sure you backup your data" and "don’t forget to train your users".. I really couldn’t believe how dumbed down a lot of the sessions were.

The BEST bits …
By far the best parts of the session is to meet and greet people at the conference .. networking was by far the best (and most enjoyable) part of the conference, especially at the "SharePint" sessions in the pub round the corner. Getting to chat to other professionals who are knowledgable and enthusiastic about SharePoint is something that I rarely get treated to outside of my office .. and it is always refreshing to get a new perspective on things.

Andrew Woodward presenting on Test Driven Development
Chris O’Brian presenting on Content Deployment
Andrew Connell on Field Controls & WebParts

and of course .. the "Ask the Experts" sessions