Speaking at the London SharePoint User Group


The London SharePoint user group kicks off 2012 with Steve Smith and I presenting.

Session 1


SharePoint Administration – I always wondered what that was for.

By Steve Smith – Combined Knowledge

In this session Steve is going to help everyone understand some of the quirks and options that we see in SharePoint and what they do/break and how we then go about building the Infrastructure for it. An ideal session for SharePoint Admins and Developers alike. Plus he will throw in some Power user stuff to give everyone something to take away.

Session 2


Extending the SharePoint 2010 activity system

By Wes Hackett – Content and Code

Amongst the most anticipated new features of SharePoint 2010 were the social activity feed features which bring colleague activity as a feed to an individual. Natively the activity feed displays user profile changes, tagging and notes activity. Microsoft provides an API to extend the activity feed system with your own content. With this extensibility API it is possible to extend this to include custom activities. In this session we’ll explore the native system and the elements needed to extend it.

When and where?

March 1st

Start Time: 6PM
Finish: 9PM

After the event in a local watering hole.

Unfortunately there may not be food or beverage available for the meeting so please bring any drinks with you just in case.

Cavendish Conference Centre
22 Duchess Mews
London W1G 9DT


Sign up… http://suguk.org/forums/thread/28133.aspx

See you there….Open-mouthed smile

You are a SharePoint Unsung Hero!


A few weeks ago now Chris Johnson announced an initiative to recognise SharePointers out there doing their bit for the greater good.

Full article here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/cjohnson/archive/2011/07/02/send-an-unsung-hero-to-spc.aspx

Well this morning I received



You were nominated as someone who makes a substantial contribution to the SharePoint community and deserves to be recognized for your efforts. Our expert panel of judges reviewed the nomination and all agreed! To thank you for your efforts, we’d like to provide you with a complimentary full conference registration pass.

In return for one SharePoint Conference 2011 general registration conference pass (Approximate Retail Value: $1,199.00) we ask that you commit to volunteering two (2) hours per day, Monday – Thursday, to help attendees with hands on labs.

So I’m pretty pleased 🙂 and have been on a high all day.

For a full list of winners see Chris’ article here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/cjohnson/archive/2011/08/11/unsung-hero-winners-announced.aspx

Speaking at the SharePoint Best Practices 2011


I’m lucky enough to be speaking at this years SharePoint Best Practices 2011 conference in London between 11th and 13th of April. Catch my session on Monday 11th April between 10 and 11 in the ‘Wesley’ room.


My session is part of the popular community track, see the full agenda for all the other top sessions planned.

My session is called ‘Putting you at the centre of Tesco’ and will be covering the SP2010 implementation for Tesco. This system is a new collaboration platform covering 16 countries, up to 50,000 end users by 2011. The design of this intranet is quite different from traditional business unit focussed implementations that represent the business hierarchy. For Tesco we have used the MySite as the default landing page for every user so that they get a fully personalised view of their Tesco role. Centred around the SP2010 activity feed system the home page displays activity from not only the OOB social and profile information but also extensions for ECM data. The activity feed has been extended to display activity within the team collaboration spaces giving the user a real flow of activity from their teams into one place.

If you haven’t yet signed up to attend the Best Practices Conference I’d go and read more on the conference site – European SharePoint Best Practices Conference 2011

CKSDev Adding keyboard shortcuts


One of the community submitted feature requests was for keyboard shortcuts for the CKSDev menu items. Tobias Zimmergren raised a good suggestion that rather than use the established WSPBuilder versions it would be preferable to use a new set. This makes perfect sense as we always aim for CKSDev to play nice with other extensions.

The job was made easier as Carsten is part of the CKSDev team as well as the author of WSPBuilder so he was able to point me in the direction of the existing WSPBuilder shortcuts.

The WSPBuilder shortcuts are:

Ctrl+Shift+Alt+B, B >> Build WSP
Ctrl+Shift+Alt+B, D >> Deploy WSP
Ctrl+Shift+Alt+B, P >> Upgrade WSP
Ctrl+Shift+Alt+B, U >> Uninstall WSP
Ctrl+Shift+Alt+B, C >> Copy to Root
Ctrl+Shift+Alt+B, G >> Copy to GAC
Ctrl+Shift+Alt+B, R >> Recycle AppPools
Ctrl+Shift+Alt+B, T >> Restart Timer Service
Ctrl+Shift+Alt+B, F >> Create Deployment Folder
Ctrl+Shift+Alt+B, A >> Attach to IIS Worker Processes

Wictor Wilén suggested some alternative shortcuts which are:

Copy to SharePoint Root: +C
Copy to GAC\Bin: +G
Copy Both: +B
And Ctrl+Shift+Alt+R
Recycle Project AppPool; +R
Recycle all AppPools: +A
Restart IIS: + I
Restart User Code process: +U
Restart Timer process: +T
And for these use Ctrl+Shift+Alt+A
Attach to All SharePoint processes: +S
Attach to IIS Worker processes: +I
Attach to User Code process: +U
Attach to Timer process +T
Attach to VSSHost4 process: +V

Armed with the proposed shortcuts I set out to implement them into the codebase. The VSPackage infrastructure provides a declarative method to define shortcuts. The ‘vsct’ file is where the magic happens. What you have to add are the KeyBinding elements with the relevant information. The KeyBinding element defines the command to associate the keys too, the editor type (The value for the default Visual Studio editor is “guidVSStd97”) and the keys combined to form the shortcut. The image below gives a couple of examples for the ‘Attach to processes’ commands.


The commands are already implemented and registered in the ‘EventHandlerManager’ class. The key bindings will invoke the same logic as the menu item clicks. There is also a really good blog post by DotNeteers which provides lots of walkthrough information about the VSPackage vsct file and the capabilities within it.

Due to the fact there are several commands which appear on different menu structures I had to introduce some kind of consistent second key stroke mapping:

So the way it’ll map is

  • Solution > Shift
  • Selection > Ctrl
  • Context > Just the letter
  • File > Shift Ctrl
  • Folder > Shift Ctrl Alt

These new shortcuts will be available with the release of version 1.2 which is available soon.