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Preview: Patrick Tisseghem's Weblog

Patrick Tisseghem's Weblog

Sharing ideas on .NET, SharePoint and Office 2003

Last Build Date: Sat, 02 Oct 2004 06:19:29 GMT

Copyright: Copyright 2004 Patrick Tisseghem

Stopping Userland

Sat, 02 Oct 2004 06:19:29 GMT

Since most of you have moved to my new blog ( and also because I recently discovered that all my archives are gone on the Userland server, I will discontinue my blog here.

Those of you looking for the code snippets and archived posts can have a look at my new blog. I will create a page there with all my 'interesting' userland postings.

French Book on SharePoint

Thu, 30 Sep 2004 05:59:36 GMT

(image) Erol Giraudy, one of the SharePoint experts in France, has written a book on SharePoint Portal Server 2003 in French. The title is 'Microsoft Sharepoint Portal Server 2003 et WSS au quotidien' and it can be ordered via this link.

List of SharePoint Resources (Tx Eric)

Thu, 30 Sep 2004 05:58:28 GMT

Eric Legault has compiled probably the largest list of SharePoint resources. If you are into SharePoint, bookmark this posting!

Request for SharePoint Roadmap

Sun, 26 Sep 2004 07:07:31 GMT

There is an interesting post from Kris Syverstad who is going to give a presentation to the SPS and CMS team. The outline of the presentation certainly looks very interesting and I hope he will give us some feedback later on. I would like to add also the problem of multilingual portals which is maybe not of a lot of concern over there in Redmond, but here in Europe people are really struggling to get their portals up and running in multiple languages.

I also hope that Microsoft finally decides to publish a clear roadmap for the next two years regarding SharePoint and CMS. I see a lot of companies diving into SharePoint customization and extending these days and yes, there is a lot of money involved here. Many of these companies have no idea what MS has as plans for SharePoint in the coming years and have a lot of questions regarding their current investments. Without a clear vision from MS, we risk of disappointing these companies and moving them away from these awesome products.

IBF 1.5

Sat, 25 Sep 2004 07:10:41 GMT

This week we were in Amsterdam for an EMEA technical and business training regarding the Office smart client technologies and the Information Bridge Framework. The product team delivered the technical training and also explained and shortly demonstrated the new enhancements that will be delivered in the next version (1.5) of IBF. This version is planned for release January 2005 and introduces a lot of functionalities that will make it easier to create IBF-based solutions. Additionally, Gary Gross demonstrated the activation of the Information Window from within InfoPath.

Here are a number of new features you can expect:

  • Server-less Deployment
    Deployed entirely on a desktop, without the need for a server component.
  • Enhanced Metadata Designer
    The IBF 1.1 Metadata Designer tool has been significantly improved to make it easier to design, develop and debug IBF-based solutions.
  • New wizards to guide the user through the development process.
  • The BizTalk Mapper has been integrated with the tool so that developers no longer have to write XSL code.
  • Automatically generating winforms for the IBF “views”, significantly reducing the UI development effort.
  • An integrated debugger makes debugging the metadata at design time easier

Furthermore, it will be interesting to see how ISVs are adopting this new version of IBF since they have the possibility to start 'branding' their solution. ISVs can brand their solution through a “non-collapsible”, “always-visible”, region in the task pane. ISVs can place their logo, URL or any other information in this region.

New Blog URL

Sat, 18 Sep 2004 15:20:10 GMT

The coming weeks I will blog in parallel on this userland account and on the newly installed .Text Blog engine installed at U2U. The goal is to completely move to the U2U blog server in a couple of weeks. So, if you have me on your blog roll, it is a good idea to point to the new blog URL:

Sat, 18 Sep 2004 09:40:32 GMT

A number of new tools, utilities, articles and applications were made available this week. Time to have a look at them.

Welcome Jan!

Thu, 09 Sep 2004 17:53:40 GMT

So busy these days... Therefore, I am happy to welcome Jan Tielens as my new co-worker at U2U. He will start on Monday and help me in IW training, coaching and consulting.

PS: I have a lot of emails still to respond. My excuses to all of you who have sent me your questions the last couple of weeks. I will do my best to answer then when I come back from the MIPT bootcamp next week in Portugal.

SP1 for WSS and SPS

Thu, 02 Sep 2004 14:02:21 GMT

SP1 for SharePoint Portal Server and WSS is out and downloadable from the Microsoft site. Look at Jan's blog for the links.

He made it!

Tue, 31 Aug 2004 17:28:38 GMT

More than a year ago, David Boschmans pushed me into blogging. And I am thankful he did this. Now he finally has his own blog! So, for those of you who work with the Compuware DevPartner tools, visit his blog (and annoy him with your emails :-))

Your own site definition?

Wed, 27 Aug 2003 05:01:35 GMT

More and more companies I work with start thinking about creating their own custom site definition, providing all their company specific customizations to SharePoint as templates for the users. I notice that a lot of them are looking at Microsoft regarding the future of SharePoint. They have a dilemma. A company can spend time and effort in creating such a custom site definition but risking that Microsoft will bring out in the near future an update to SharePoint which will include most of their customizations. Or they can try to convince their users to stick with the out-of-the-box functionality of SharePoint (which is most often not adequate in an enterprise environment) and wait for the Microsoft updates.

It is a difficult dilemma for which I do not have the right answer. It really depends on the needs, the culture and the importance of SharePoint for the company. How are you guys handling this? Wait or Shoot?

IBF in Denmark

Mon, 23 Aug 2004 19:05:16 GMT

Last week I was at the MS offices in Hellerup (Denmark) for a two-day workshop on smart client technologies for the information worker and the new Information Bridge Framework.


I love the Danish, good food, and of course the best beer in the world (although a good pint of Guiness is still my favorite). For me it was a good experience. I delivered the workshop for the first time, but everything went smoothly. Next month the official start of the tour will be given in Amsterdam for ISV partners. This was a good dry-run for it. Next stop for me in three weeks is the MS sub in Portugal for a portals bootcamp. I do love my work :-)

While you are looking at the Denmark site, have also a look at IT Forum in November. I will be there, U2?

FrontPage, More than HTML

Tue, 17 Aug 2004 05:19:03 GMT

I am doing a lot of stuff these days with Microsoft FrontPage 2003. It is a great tool to customize and enhance SharePoint portal and team sites. If you want to learn more about the other things you can do and learn to use FrontPage as an editor that is capable of more than just HTML authoring, here is a good blog:

New SharePoint Goodies from Microsoft on GotDotNet

Wed, 11 Aug 2004 09:59:29 GMT

Microsoft’s Office System group on Monday is making available free of charge two “Web Part” toolkits and a Web services toolkit to boost integration of the company’s SharePoint Portal Server 2003 package and SharePoint Services sites with applications from vendors such as SAP.

Find them on

Read more:

IBF Technical Overview Presentation

Sat, 07 Aug 2004 07:24:37 GMT

Very valuable and rich technical overview of the Information Bridge Framework 1.0.;displaylang=en

Sat, 07 Aug 2004 07:19:21 GMT

This IBF case study has just been published on the Microsoft Downloads site.

Read the case study highlighting tangible benefits realized by Cascade Designs by implementing an Information Bridge Framework based solution


Outdoor equipment manufacturer Cascade Designs was struggling with a manual engineering change management system that was time-consuming and inefficient. To review and approve changes, employees needed to access product data within the organization’s complex enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and juggle multiple paper forms. Cascade wanted to streamline information access, eliminate the need for casual users to access the ERP system, and create a systemic change management process. Cascade teamed up with Quilogy to create a solution built with the Microsoft® Office Information Bridge Framework—delivering information from its ERP to the familiar Microsoft Office System. Easy to develop and maintain, the solution delivers contextual information through a familiar interface, helping Cascade Designs increase efficiency, improve decision-making, and reduce information discovery costs.

Updated InfoPath SDK

Sat, 07 Aug 2004 03:59:51 GMT

Munich halts biggest-ever Linux migration

Thu, 05 Aug 2004 14:38:56 GMT

It seems they have a problem here...


Wed, 04 Aug 2004 04:25:41 GMT

Yesterday I received a draft of the Microsoft Official Course Material (MOC) on the Information Bridge Framework from Michael Kiselman. MS is releasing it in the coming month so we can put it on our course calendar starting from September and I can use it for my MS-Denmark workshop in two weeks. It is a 3-day course and the first impression is that the content is an excellent mix between the theory (and believe me, there is a lot of new terminology for the Office developer to learn) and exercises or labs. Nice job guys!

By the way, if you go to Michael's blog over on, you can request the DVD with the IBF VPC to be sent to you.

InfoPath Resource

Sat, 31 Jul 2004 07:00:08 GMT

I recently discovered this excellent resource for anyone interested in InfoPath from a developer's perspective: You not only have the traditional links to all the Microsoft InfoPath resources, but they also have published a good amount of samples and examples. Excellent work Patrick Halstead and Greg Collins!

U2U Bloggers

Thu, 29 Jul 2004 05:57:17 GMT

Blogging at U2U is growing

  • my blog is dedicated to SharePoint and everything concerning the Information Worker
  • Roy Dictus is our .NET architect and his blog is a must for all of you who want to keep up-to-date on his daily work around enterprise level .NET topics such as unit testing, application blocks, ...
  • Peter Himschoot is our BizTalk expert and now has started his blog on BizTalk topics.
  • And there is another famous blogger that will join our team in September, but I will leave it up to him to tell the good news :-)

.NET Rocks Developer Survey (Win a Tablet PC)

Wed, 28 Jul 2004 09:52:03 GMT

I am a big fan of Carl and his guys over on .NET Rocks. When driving long distances I let them entertain me with their shows. They want to know more on how you developers work. And the good news is that when completing the small survey, you can win a Tablet PC. So, open that browser and navigate to

VSEP and IBF in Denmark & Debugging IBF

Tue, 27 Jul 2004 12:23:00 GMT

  • Microsoft Denmark is my next location where I will give a two-day EMEA-organized workshop on the Vertical Solution Enabler Program (smart tags, smart documents, VSTO, ...) and the Information Bridge Framework. The goal is to learn MS employees how to move ISV's (integrated solution vendors) to these new technologies and how to build proof of concepts and solutions together with them.
  • Debugging of an IBF solutions is not easy. You can debug your Web Services and your user interface components without too much problems. Smart tags are also easy to debug. It is harder to debug what is going wrong internally in the IBF background. Chris Kunicki has a post demonstrating the use of the Build Solution and Execute Action feature within the metadata designer of VS.NET.

    In some scenarios you might also want to see what is going out and coming in into IBF regarding SOAP messages. IBF consumes XML Web Services and the response is processed and visualized in the IBF regions. I often use the SOAP Tracer Tool that comes with the SOAP Toolkit to record the SOAP request and response messages. You can download the toolkit here. You can set the tracer to listen to port 8080 and then make the modification in the Port within the IBF metadata to send the SOAP request to that port instead of port 80. When you now test your IBF solution, you can check the messages in the SOAP Tracer tool and hopefully figure out what is going wrong (if something is going wrong of course!)

Clemens getting hard-time & IBF Resources

Thu, 22 Jul 2004 19:18:18 GMT

Meanwhile, I still enjoy my holidays repainting my living room (on my wife's orders :-) )

Email Alerts every 10 days

Tue, 20 Jul 2004 09:58:41 GMT

I am back from a refreshing (it rained a lot!) 10-day holiday in the Netherlands and while scanning my emails I found this one from Ryan McKenzie regarding my article on custom notification channels on the MSDN site. He hase a question I had to answer.

 First of I would like to tell you how wonderful the article “Building Custom Alert Result Channels in SharePoint Portal Server 2003” was to read. It helped me develop a clear overview on how alerts work in SharePoint Portals. Currently I am trying to find a way to extend the email alert channel by also being able to send out alerts every 10 days (instead of just the immediate, daily, weekly).  I was wondering if there was a way to extend the Microsoft.SharePoint.Portal.Alerts.EmailChannel.Frequency enumeration.  I was hoping that you may have an idea on a simple solution. Thanks for your time.

I don't think there is an easy solution to the problem here. I would approach it like this:

  • Create a new DeliveryChannel class as explained in the article inheriting not from the base DeliveryChannel class but from the EmailChannel class.
  • If you use Roeder's Reflector, you will notice that when decompiling the Send() method, they use the Frequency enumeration and do a switch on the three possible values available. In your custom EmailChannel class you will have to override this method and take care of the custom frequency value yourself. Most of the code is wrapped up in obfuscated members, so it is not really an easy job to my opinion. You will have to come up with a mechanism to store the notification results for the 10 days, and then handle the sending of the email yourself aggregating all of the results in the body of the email.
  • Register your new channel using the technique explained in the article.

So, no real easy answer but feasable I guess. I welcome all other possible alternatives.

MACAW SharePoint Competence Center

Thu, 08 Jul 2004 07:23:49 GMT

This week I am teaching a customized SharePoint Dev course in Amsterdam in the offices of a company called MACAW. If you are into the SharePoint blogs, you might have encountered Serge van den Oever who is the driving force behind a new SharePoint Competence Center they are now setting up. The goal is to gather and share a lot of SharePoint-related stuff so that they can respond very quickly to customer demands. Any other competence centers around?

Site Definitions

Thu, 08 Jul 2004 07:19:13 GMT

Last month I did an MSDN presentation on building your own site definitions in SharePoint. Thom Robbins has a fine little walk-through and explanation on the matter.

Free Web Parts

Tue, 06 Jul 2004 06:56:44 GMT

Marcel Spring from Switzerland sent me an email pointing me to his companies site with a lot of free Web Parts to download. Check it out I would say:

IBF and InfoPath

Thu, 01 Jul 2004 13:30:27 GMT

Just received news that in the fall IBF is going to be integrated in InfoPath. And of course in the long term it will also be integrated in SharePoint and other MS products. Looking forward to this :-)

TechEd - Day 2

Thu, 01 Jul 2004 11:51:59 GMT

On day II of TechEd I delivered a small presentation on the Information Bridge Framework at the Office Theator. And yes, IBF is out officially. Jan already found the link to the download site. I attended one session on blogging with SharePoint. The title of the presentation looked promising 'WebLog Server 2003'. It gave the impression that we were going to see a new product which is not the case. Think of it as a set of extensions to SharePoint you can use to let multiple people set up blogs on a team site. And it is not only custom lists, they have everything, UDDI, COM+, MSMQ integration. I have not found the link yet for the download of it (if anybody found it, please share) but the presenter promised to make a zip file available. I will keep you up to date on this one.

In the evening we had our annual MS/U2U party. Great evening with a lot of drinks, football, good dj's and a lot of dancing.