Data View Web Part, The Basics – Keep it Clean

This was an article that I wrote on

Data View Web Part, The Basics – Keep it Clean

Original Publication Date: Monday, May 18, 2009
SharePoint User Level: Power User
This is pretty easy, and is applicable in most scenarios when using the data view web part. Basically, you create a blank web part page on your site, open that web part page in SharePoint Designer, and create your data view web part. Then, you save your (temporary) web part page, and click YES to the site definition page warning….
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Data view web part basics – Folders!

I wrote an article, and did a screencast on

Original Publication Date: Wednesday, May 13, 2009
SharePoint User Level: Power User
When creating data view web parts in SharePoint Designer, and dealing with libraries or lists that contain folders, the Item and Folder Scope setting becomes pretty important. In SharePoint views, it’s always possible to create a new view of the list with no folders, by configuring the “Folders” section in your view settings. Unfortunately, the same functionality is not as obvious in SharePoint Designer. When you create a view with no folders, and then convert it to XSLT in SPD, the folders always reappear.
Original Publication Date: Wednesday, May 13, 2009
SharePoint User Level: Power User
This short screencast is a visual walk-through of Laura’s previous article, Data View Web Part, The Basics – Folders. In this session, she show how to display all files within a library, even when those files are stored in multiple folders.
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List View Styles

When creating a new view on a SharePoint list or library, there’s this little section towards the bottom of the view settings, called Style, that looks like this:

To see what each style looks like, you could easily modify your view, changing it to each style, one at a time.  I’ve discovered something in SharePoint Designer allows for a PREVIEW of these built-in styles!

NOTE that you’re not going to be modifying a page in SharePoint Designer at this point, only looking at it.

  1. Open your site in SharePoint Designer, and double-click to open the default.aspx page (or any aspx page on your site that contains a list view web part).
  2. Click to select the list view.
  3. As you hover over this list view, look for a little icon that’s a picture of a table, like so:
    (see it on top of the word Departments, at the top left of the web part)
  4. Click the drop-down box on it, and choose “Change Layout”
  5. Go to the Layout tab
  6. Scroll down through this list, and you’ll notice that when you hover over each example, the name of it is displayed, and when you click on each example, there is a description of that view at the bottom!  There’s even a radio button on here that lets you change the view type to datasheet view.

That’s your tidbit for the day.  Just close the page you opened, and don’t save any changes you made.

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Data View Web Part (DVWP) Series

Good afternoon!

There is a new series of articles that I started writing, regarding the data view web part in SharePoint Designer.  These articles have been published on the site, so I’ll just link to them from here.

New Article Series: Laura Rogers on Data View Web Part Basics – This article is simply an introductory article regarding this new series of articles

Data View Web Part, The Basics – Insert a DVWP on Your Page – This is a very simple set of instructions on how to insert a data view web part onto a web part page.  Future articles will go into more detail. 

6 Minute Screencast: Insert a Data View Web Part onto a SharePoint Page – Mark Miller steps through the instructions to insert a data view web part.

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned as we get into the nitty gritty with these super awesome fun web parts.  😉

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On-The-Go Series Completed

Lori Gowin and I drove to Atlanta for SharePoint Saturday on April 18th.  We simply turned the camera on, and started talking.  For the past few weeks, I’ve been uploading one new file each night.  Now, the whole series has been uploaded for your viewing pleasure.

Click here to see the list of all ELEVEN webcasts.  It will blow your mind (no, not really).

Before I had sliced our 2 big videos up into a bunch of little ~8 minute ones, I simply guessed that there would be about 10 of them.  There ended up being eleven.  Sorry, sue me.

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SP Tech Con – Get $100 off!

When you register for the SharePoint Technical Conference (SPtechcon) in Boston, get $100 off because you know me. Use the promotional code: WONDERLAURA

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My Weather RSS Feed

Do you want logged in users to see a RSS feed of their own weather?  If you have MOSS Enterprise, this can be done using the Current User Filter web part and the RSS Viewer web part! 

One thing that needs to be done ahead of time: Your zip code field needs to be set in the SSP as visible by everyone and replicable.  (I’ll go over this at the end)

This is the URL that I obtained from the site, that will display a RSS feed of just weather from my zip code.  See that my zip (35242) is in the middle.

  1. Add the Current User Filter web part and the RSS Viewer web part to the page.
  2. In the Current User Filter properties: Set the SharePoint Profile Value field to “Zip Code”
  3. Expand the “Advanced Filter Options” section:
  4. Dissect the weather URL, and put only the part before the zip code in the box “Text to insert before values”.
  5. Put the part of the URL after the zip code in the box “Text to insert after values”, and click <OK>.
  6. Now, it’s just as simple as creating the connection between the two web parts.  On the Current User Filter, click to create a new connection to send filter values to the RSS Viewer web part.
  7. Select to “Get Feed URL From”
  8. Done.  Now, your RSS Viewer should display the current logged in user’s zip code weather.

So, for those of you who need help with the SSP part, here’s how to add the zip code field:

In your SSP, go to “user profiles and properties”, and then “View Profile properties”.  If you don’t see zip code in there, click “New Property”.  Change the default privacy setting to Everyone.  Now, you may want to run this by a few people, because once we set this property to Replicable, it will always show on the user info list on each site, and can’t be undone.  The Data Soucrce field to map from Active Directory is called postalCode.

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I Love the SiteData.asmx Web Service

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There are a whole slew of SharePoint web services, but today I decided to try out the SiteData.asmx one, in a data view web part (the GetListCollection operation in particular).  As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a developer, so in a lot of cases, the data view web part (DVWP) has become my best friend.

In various SharePoint discussion threads, message boards, and Q &A panels, there have been many people who have asked the following question:  How can I just display a list of my site’s document libraries in a web part?  There are varying reasons for this, such as just wanting to automatically have them all listed together somewhere other than the quick launch.  Good news!  It looks like there’s a way to do this, using the SiteData web service and the GetListCollection operation. 

  1. Create a blank web part page, and open it up in SharePoint Designer.  Click on “Click here to insert a Web Part”.  This is really just to make sure that you insert this web part into a web part zone, and not some random spot on the page.   
  2. On the <Data View> menu at the top, click <Insert Data View>
  3. In the Data Source Library pane on the right side, expand “XML Web Services” and click on Connect to a Web Service.
    Data Source Library
  4. Now, on the Data Source Properties screen, I always do this first, just so I don’t forget.  Go to the <Login> tab, and select Use Windows Authentication.  Of course, if you have Kerberos or some other security scenario, you’re welcome to pick something else. 
  5. Now, go back over to the <Source> tab.  Copy the URL of your site to the clipboard, and paste it into the Service Description Location box.  Then, after it, type:
  6. Click <Connect Now>
  7. Leave the default Data command as Select, and for the Operation, choose GetListCollection
    As far as the Port goes, if someone knows the difference between Soap and Soap12, please let me know. 

    Data Source Properties

    Data Source Properties


  8. Click OK
  9. Click the drop-down box on the name of the new web service (SiteData on…) and click Show Data.
  10. Now the Data Source Details task pane appears on the right, which lists all of the fields in the data source.  Select the following fields: Title, Description
  11. Click Insert Selected Fields as, and choose Multiple Item View.  Now, you see a list of all lists and libraries on your site, along with their descriptions, similar to what you see on your View All Site Content page.
  12. Now, before we filter it to just show document libraries, I want to show you a couple of other things.  Click inside your list, and click the little chevron at the top right of the list, which will show you a new menu. 
  13. Click Edit Columns, and add the following columns: Inherited Security, Internal Name
    See how cool!  Those of you that use the URL of the list settings page to obtain the list GUID may be relieved to see this method of getting it.  Also, wow, now we can see what lists and libraries are inheriting permission from the parent or not! 
  14. Just as a side note for fun, you can always click on the data in the first row of the InheritedSecurity column, and choose <Data View>, <Conditional Formatting> and create a new condition so that if the list doesn’t inherit permission, the text is red and in all caps:
  15. Now, getting back to the main objective here… to display a list of document libraries.
  16. Click inside your list, and click the little chevron at the top right of the list.  Click the word Filter:
  17. The filter needs to be BaseTemplate equals DocumentLibrary.  Click OK.
  18. Let’s change the way that this list is displayed.  On that same list fly-out menu (or whatever the official name is), click Data View Properties…, and go to the <Layout> tab.  Choose the bulleted list of titles, and click OK.
  19. Now, the title of the library needs to be a link to the library itself.  Click to select the title of the first document library.  Click the little chevron next to it.
  20. In the Format As field, select Hyperlink.  Click Yes at the prompt.
  21. Clear the Address field, and click the Function box next to it.  Chose the DefaultViewURL field.  Clear the Text To Display box, and choose the Title field for that one.   Click OK.

There’s your pretty little list of all of the document libraries in the site!  Save the web part page, and this is what it will look like in the browser.  Export the web part, save it, and then you can delete the web part page that you created it in.  Now, import this nugget into whatever page it needs to be displayed on.

As I showed him all of the coolness that I discovered in web services, my (developer) co-worker said “I hate to burst your bubble, but developers already know about what’s available in the API.  This is all pretty basic stuff”. 

I know, I know.  None of this is new to developers, but I’m not a developer, so I think it’s great.  It’s all new to me.  😉

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Setup a Data Connection Library, no code required

Mark Miller of and I did an Excel/SharePoint online webcast, and one of the things that we covered was how to set up a data connection library for people who only have WSS, and don’t have MOSS or Excel Services.  Here’s a link to a quick recap that Mark did, after our session:

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SharePoint Technical Conference (SP Tech Con)

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SP Tech Con ( is coming up!

Looking forward to seeing you all at this conference!  Presentations that I’ll be doing:

  •  Making the Most Of Out-of-the-Box Web Parts
    Out-of-the-Box Web parts are extremely flexible. This session will provide business users and project managers with a detailed look at the Filter, KPI, Excel Web Access, Outlook Web Access and Business Data Catalog Web parts. Some Web part connection tricks will be shared, and customizations using SharePoint Designer will be demonstrated. Developers starting to work with SharePoint also could benefit from knowing its out-of-the-box functionality before they delve into custom coding.
  • So THAT’S How! SharePoint and Office 2007 Integration
    Tiffany Songvilay and Laura Rogers
    Discover the best ways to tackle your daily work with the 2007 Microsoft Office system. Tips include how to use Instant Search in Outlook to keep all your SharePoint lists and libraries within easy reach, and how to use Excel Services Web parts so people can interact with a worksheet on a Web page. From offline document editing and two-way list synch, to workflows you can only find in Office, this session is packed with tricks you can use to increase your SharePoint productivity. Demo will include Access custom lists, blog publishing and dashboards.
  • HELP! Creating a Community Of Support for SharePoint
    How do end users obtain SharePoint-related help? In this session, we will go over challenges in helping and supporting SharePoint end users, and how to address those challenges. There are many different available avenues when it comes to SharePoint help, and we will cover how to consolidate that information to a single point of reference for your end users or customers to turn to. A SharePoint Help site and community for your company will not only make the users happy and confident, it will also reduce calls to the help desk.
    Attendees will learn:
    • Some user perspectives when it comes to obtaining SharePoint related help, and how to bring together available sources of help
    • Why it’s important to do research to find out what the users need and what they’re looking for in SharePoint help
    • Why it’s important to create a single point of reference for your company’s SharePoint users to get help with SharePoint, and how to tailor this site/community to your own company
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