Category: SharePoint

Accessing SharePoint Lists with JavaScript using DP Tools Part One: The Basics

SharePoint LogoSharePoint lists are amazingly versatile for storing data in an “almost database” kind of way. For those with access to enterprise features and SharePoint Designer, accessing that data to create custom displays and reports is point-and-click easy. Those if us without such access have to get a little more… creative.

Thankfully, SharePoint provides a full roster of Web Services, accessible from client-side code, to leverage its features and data. Accessing these from JavaScript can be confounding or, at the very least, cumbersome. To address this in my work, I’ve created a set of abstractions to make the process as painless as possible. There are obviously other ways – many other ways – to achieve the same thing, this is simply my way of doing it.

  • This technique allows us to pull information from any site accessible to the client, local or not.
  • You and all intended end users must have Read Access to the site and list you’re working with. This is client-side code, after all.
  • You can pull data into other SharePoint pages, of course, but also into non-sharepoint web sites.
  • See my article , “Accessing SharePoint List with Visual Basic for Applications“, for examples of using the services with client-side applications such as Word and Excel.

These examples were developed against SharePoint 2010, but should also work in the 2007 and 2013 versions.

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DP_SharePoint Update

SharePoint LogoI’ve (finally) incorporated a substantial number of improvements and new features into my JavaScript library, DP_SharePoint, designed to make working with client-side SharePoint development easier. It provides:

  • Methods to acquire JavaScript handlers to SharePoint form controls and fields. This makes it much simpler to interrogate or add event handlers to SharePoint forms.
  • Simple methods to add or remove events from SharePoint form elements.
  • Simple methods to hide and show elements of SharePoint forms.
  • Methods to simplify the calling and use of SharePoint web services and ready the data returned from them for use.

It still beta – and likely will be for… ever – but I’m using it in heavily trafficked production development without problems. Except some in-depth posts about specific features over the next few months.

Comments, criticisms or suggestions are always welcome!

SharePoint Scripting: Maximizing Dialog and Field Widths

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SharePoint allows you to edit list items either in a dialog box or in a dedicated window.  Each has its benefits, but if you choose the dialog option with certain content, you may be irked by the default, narrow, size. What follows are couple of tricks that I’ve found to mitigate the issue. For more information on loading and using custom scripts see my article, “SharePoint Scripting Basics: Master Pages, Caching and Loading Scripts“.

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Adding Lync or Sametime Presence Awareness to SharePoint

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When Sharepoint and Lync instant messaging are installed in the same environment, SharePoint will automatically add Lync presence awareness icons (indicating availability) to “people” links. However sometimes you may want to add presence awareness to arbitrary names or email groups, or provide similar functionality for those forced to use Lotus Sametime. This article will cover several ways to accomplish this.

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SharePoint Scripting Basics: Master Pages, Caching and Loading Scripts

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SharePoint is a functional, feature-rich platform, but there is definitely room for improvement. In this article, I’ll cover some of the basic issues and solutions that you may run into when attempting to extend SharePoint with client-side scripting. It will primarily serve as a reference point for future articles where I would otherwise risk repeating myself.

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Accessing SharePoint Lists with Visual Basic for Applications

SharePoint LogoSharePoint has many useful integration points with Microsoft Office out-of-the-box, but for truly deep integration you have to roll-up your sleeves and dig into some code. While there are multiple methods to do this, one of the most versatile is leveraging SharePoint’s many web services directly via Visual Basic for Applications. For those, like me, that lack SharePoint Designer access, this is often the only method available.

This method can be used in any application that supports VBA. This includes all the standard MS Office applications – Word, Excel and PowerPoint – but also other applications such as my favorite drawing suite, CorelDraw, or Autodesk AutoCAD. These examples were developed against SharePoint 2010 and MS Office 2010, but should also work in the 2007 and 2013 versions.

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Announcing DP_SharePoint

SharePoint LogoI’ve published the initial version of my JavaScript library, DP_SharePoint, designed to make working with client-side SharePoint development easier.  Still in development, the library provides:

  • Methods to acquire JavaScript handlers to SharePoint form controls and fields. This make it much simpler to interrogate or add event handlers to SharePoint forms.
  • Simple methods to add or remove events from SharePoint form elements.
  • Simple methods to hide and show elements of SharePoint forms.
  • Methods to simplify the calling and use of SharePoint web services and ready the data returned from them for use.

The library should be considered (very) beta but I am using it in a heavily trafficked production development.  I’ve got lots of plans for this, as I’m in a position to do a lot of SharePoint development over the next few months or years (all without access to SharePoint Designer or any back-end support).

Comments, criticisms or suggestions are always welcome!

Get List and View Indentifiers in SharePoint

SharePoint LogoThose, like me, that put in the position of managing a SharePoint Team Site without SharePoint Designer access (or indeed without the ability to install development software of any kind) are forced to get creative sometimes.  Leveraging the many rich (but annoying inscrutable) web services available offers a lot of interesting possibilities but adds significant challenges.  Most people will start with getting data from lists.

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Adding Events to SharePoint Fields

SharePoint Logo[This article should be considered deprecated.  The code represented has been improved, extended and made available as the DP_SharePoint Function Library.  All future effort will be applied there.]

The first article in this series dealt with obtaining a reference to a SharePoint field in Add and Edit forms.  One of the most common reasons to head down this path is to add custom validation to fields.  Often this requires adding events to (in the case of most fields) the onchange or (in the case of buttons) the onclick events of the fields.  Simply setting the event handler directly would work, but will eliminate any currently enabled handlers (such as those defined internally to SharePoint).

Instead I created two functions to abstract the standardized addEventListener() and (for older IE browsers) the attachEvent() methods.  They accept a reference to an HTML element (in this case a SharePoint form field), an event type and a function name to call when the event is fired.  The first adds an event to the passed element and the second (which is included for balance but which I’ve honestly never actually used) removes it.

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