Wednesday, April 16, 2014

SharePoint Site Explorer (SPSE)

Check out my new SharePoint App at

SharePoint Site Explorer

SharePoint Site Explorer (SPSE) is our flag-ship app that provides you with an in-depth understanding of site configuration, structure and settings. It lets you quickly perform breadth-first or depth-first site analysis. It offers a faster way of exploring the site objects  than using out-of-the box user interface. Additionally you will get a  load more information, presented in a structured way. If you are technical savvy then it can reveal the JSON requests/response data. You can use this information for troubleshooting and further enhancing your solutions. Furthermore,  SPSE installation is breeze with no server side code is deployed. Whether you have your site in the cloud (SharePoint online/Office 365) or on premise in SharePoint 2013 SharePoint Site Explorer can be added to your site in no time.

More details at

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Wrong Content Type value displayed for a new document

I troubleshot a problem when a wrong content type value was displayed for a new document in document library with multiple content types. Content type “Electronic Letter” was created a while after content type “Letter” and used the same template MS Word 2007 document. The root of the problem was in the document template itself. It was taken from content type “Letter” and contained this content type metadata and when I tried to use it in other content types it still had the original binding to “Letter”. Microsoft says that this problem happens with Office 2007 document only and recommendation is to keep the master copy of the document template on disk and never take it from SharePoint. In my case the problem was that I did not have the master copy on my disk and could only use the document already loaded to SharePoint and bound to the other content type. And finally I found the way how to detach the document.

Open the document from disk and go to Prepare->Inspect Document menu item.

Check “Document Properties and Personal Information” item and press “Inspect” button.

Press “Remove All” button against “Document Properties and Personal Information” item. This will remove all the content type binding of this document.

Press “Close” button and save the document.

After that you can use this document as a master copy for all the other content types where it is used as a template.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Be careful using non-alphanumeric field names in SharePoint

I found that there are some inconsistency in internal name generating in WSS 3.0. I encountered with it when receiving en error on checking in a file. SharePoint log file did not reveal the problem as usual :) and I used my custom code to troubleshoot. This is the exception description and a stack trace I received:

at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPFieldCollection.GetFieldByInternalName(String strName, Boolean bThrowException)
at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPFieldCollection.GetFieldByInternalName(String strName)
at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPListItem.get_MissingRequiredFields()
at Microsoft.SharePoint.ApplicationPages.Checkin.OnLoad(EventArgs e)

I started to review code in Reflector and discovered that SPListItem.MissingRequiredFields property is checked on page check in. For this purpose it uses SPFieldLink.Name from SPListItem.ContentType.FieldLinks collection to retrieve SPField object from SPListItem.ParentList.Fields collection for every field which is SPFieldLink.Required=true. In order to get SPField object SPFieldCollection.GetFieldByInternalName() method is used and if SPFieldLink.Name field value is not found as internal name of any SPField then we receive "Value does not fall within the expected range" exception.

In my case I have a field named "Description of Change/New document" which is translated to internal name as "Description_x0020_of_x0020_Change_x002F_New_x0020_Document" but for some reason SPFieldLink.Name field value for this field is "Description_x0020_of_x0020_Change_x002f_New_x0020_Document". Feel the difference in unicode of symbol "/": x002f (small 'f') and x002F (capital 'F'). That gives me two different internal names and I have these troubles. I guess there is inconsistency and there are several functions which generate internal name and these functions produce different result in some cases.

When I recreated my field the problem was fixed for which I do not have any explanation.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Convert Java to .NET

Some project required me to port Java source code into .NET environment. I had to import this code into J# project and then compile it. It worked ok if you had entire source code but usually I did not have it or Java project used some third party JARs. Searching for some solution I found IKVM.NET This is a striking solution and it solves 99% of problems of usage Java in .NET. It converts Java byte code into .NET CLR and you do not need to any source code any more. It is amazing and many thanks to its author Jeroen Frijters.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Yet another scripting host - MyScriptHost

Developing for SharePoint I found myself in situation when I had an access the the server (direct or remote desktop) and need to run some ad-hoc code on it but the server did not have Visual Studio or any other development environment installed. I think this is familiar to some of us. These are some possible options:

  • install Visual Studio or any other development environment (very unlikely that administrator will allow you to do it for test or production environment)
  • develop the code on the other machine and run on the server (good approach but you loose code flexibility especially if you want to write and test your code interactively)
  • use SnippetCompiler. This is a very good tool and I would choose it if it supported command line execution of C# files.
  • use Windows Scripting Host (WSH) to create and run scripts (good approach but you need to use JScript of VBScript)
  • use  Dot Net Script (good tool, but it uses its own file format and does not have IDE)

I wanted to have some kind of a combination of SnippetCompiler and Dot Net Script where I could create some scripts and maybe execute them automatically in future. 

So meet MyScriptHost.

This is a console application with a windowed code editor. It works with one file at a time which can be executed with or without code editor. It can associate .mysh files to itself (I have taken this idea from Dot Net Script project).

Command line usage:

MyScriptHost.exe <filename> <command>

where <filename> is a name of a file and <command> is one of the following:

/open open the file for editing. This is a default behavior if no other command is specified.
/compile compile the file without execution
/run compile and execute the file
/runandwait compile and execute the file and keep the console window open after execution

Code file should be a C# class containing public static void Main() as entry point. The only addition to pure C# code is a metatag <@ Reference Name="assembly name or path" %> in order to define external references. Code file can have any number of these tags at the beginning of the file.

MyScriptHost contains internal static class MyshDebug which has some methods useful for debugging:

static void Watch(params object[] values) Opens a watch window for specified values
static void Print(object obj)

static void Print(object obj, int levels)

Prints object properties to console. It also allows to specify a number of levels to print out.

Watch window is a modal window and allows you to see and change properties in PropertyGrid. Invoke tab allows you to print property value with a specified level of details.


This is an example of a script I used with MOSS to import news items from xml file to SharePoint document library.

<%@ Reference Name="C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\ISAPI\Microsoft.SharePoint.dll" %>
using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Diagnostics;
using Microsoft.SharePoint;
using Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration;
using System.IO;
using System.Xml;

public class Class1
    private const string m_destNewsItemsFolder = @"C:\My Projects\Sharepoint Scripts\ImportNews\Items\";
    private const string m_destNewsAttachmentsFolder = @"C:\My Projects\Sharepoint Scripts\ImportNews\Attachments\";
    private const string m_siteUrl = @"http://localhost:1003/";
    private const string m_prefix = "newPage_";
    private const string m_pageTemplateName = "page1.aspx";
    public static void Main()
        SPSite site = new SPSite(m_siteUrl);
        SPWeb web = site.OpenWeb("News");
        SPFolder pages = web.Folders["Pages"];
        SPFile pageTemplate = pages.Files[m_pageTemplateName];
        // delete old files
        Console.WriteLine("Deleting previous files...");
        List<SPFile> filesToDelete = new List<SPFile>();
        foreach(SPFile file in pages.Files)
            Console.WriteLine(String.Format("{0}", file.Name));
        foreach(SPFile file in filesToDelete)
            Console.WriteLine("Deleting " + file.Name);

        string[] fileNames = Directory.GetFiles(m_destNewsItemsFolder);

        // Create new files first
        for (int i = 0; i < fileNames.Length; i++)
            string fileName = Path.GetFileNameWithoutExtension(fileNames[i]);
            fileName = m_prefix + fileName;
            Console.WriteLine("Creating " + fileName);
            pageTemplate.CopyTo(pages.Url + "/" + fileName + ".aspx"true);

        // This is to refresh file list
        pages = web.Folders["Pages"];

        // Upload news content to already created files
        for (int i = 0; i < fileNames.Length; i++)
            string fileName = Path.GetFileNameWithoutExtension(fileNames[i]);
            fileName = m_prefix + fileName;
            Console.WriteLine("Uploading " + fileName);

            XmlDocument doc = new XmlDocument();

            string body = GetNodeText(doc, "//body");
            string date = GetNodeText(doc, "//date");
            string sourceName = GetNodeText(doc, "//sourceName");
            string newsType = GetNodeText(doc, "//newsType");
            string title = GetNodeText(doc, "//title");
            string[] attachments = GetNodeTextArray(doc, "//attachment");

            string creator = GetNodeText(doc, "//creator");
            string creatorName = GetNodeText(doc, "//creatorName");
            string author = GetNodeText(doc, "//author");
            string entity = GetNodeText(doc, "//Entity"); //????
            SPFile newPage = pages.Files[fileName + ".aspx"];
            // adjust body
            body = "<p>" + body.Replace("\r\n""</p><p>") + "</p>";
            SPListItem item = newPage.Item;
            item["Page Content"] = body;
            item["Article Date"] = date;
            //item["NewsType"] = newsType;
            item["Title"] = title;
            item["Contact Name"] = author;
    private static string GetNodeText(XmlNode root, string xpath)
        XmlNode node = root.SelectSingleNode(xpath);
        if (node == null)
            return "";
        return node.InnerText;

    private static string[] GetNodeTextArray(XmlNode root, string xpath)
        XmlNodeList nodes = root.SelectNodes(xpath);
        List<string> values = new List<string>();
        foreach (XmlNode node in nodes)
        return values.ToArray();
I am not going to explain how this script works. It just demonstrates the power and flexibility I gained in development for SharePoint in restricted environment. I started this project for fun and now it becomes a very useful tool for me.