How To... SharePoint Solutions

Visio Stencils Update for SharePoint / Search / Office

Just in case you didn’t hear, Microsoft has published a new set of Visio templates for SharePoint Server 2010, Project Server 2010, Search Server 2010 and other Office Products.

They’re available now on the Microsoft Download Center at:

Just drop them in your My Documents > My Shapes folder and they’ll show up in Visio in My Shapes within the Visio Application.

For the IT Pro Stencils, check out this article for more information:


Visio Stencil for Office IT Pros…

So this definitely isn’t something new, however I feel that it comes up from time to time when folks notice that I’m working with a stencil set that they don’t have since it’s not out of the box available for Visio.

If you’re looking for the Visio stencil used with all of the SharePoint 2007 / 2010 technical diagrams then look no further, you can grab it from Microsoft’s downloads at:


What makes my work flow…

There are a couple of different techniques that I use to try to keep on task and pressing ahead while working in the world of SharePoint Engineering.  A few of these include…

  • Headphones – If you’re working on a client site and you’ve got to focus, definitely consider getting a pair of in-ear headphones or a pair of over the ear cup noise canceling headphones.  I myself carry both with me (Shure SE530s and Bose QC15s). The in-ear headphones work great for isolating noise and they’re lightweight. The over the ear headphones, well okay, so the noise canceling is awesome. On top of that however, they make it pretty evident that you’re listening to music or something else and that you’ll actually have to try to get my attention – in-ear headphones unfortunately aren’t noticed and folks spend about two minutes yapping at me before realizing that I haven’t heard a word.  Overall benefit – Pretty high considering that it allows me to get rid of all the background noise.
  • Ergonomic Keyboard – What they say is true, if you’re more relaxed, you’re more likely to be productive. I use the Microsoft Natural Ergo Keyboard 4000 and cannot agree more that my hands aren’t more relaxed and able to press through a paper quicker and without as much wear on the joints than when I’m working with a regular keyboard.  Overall benefit – Less wear and tear on the wrists and fingers and increased typing speed when returning to a flat keyboard.
  • iPhone – Okay, so is there really anything to say about this? Whether you’ve got a Zune HD or an iPhone or iPod Touch, having music to listen to that isn’t too distracting but that is uplifting and get yous in the zone.  Overall benefit – Provides the rhythm for what I’m working on. For those moments that require significant detail and thought, it’s time for some Carl Orff and Carmina Burana. For those moments that just need focus and momentum, it’s all about Tiesto.
  • Screen Real Estate – Dell Ultrasharp 2408WFP LCD Display. So not only is it gorgeous, it’s big and offers tons of real estate to have documents at 100% in Word or multiple Visual Studio windows and code samples open without having to move a window so that you can see what’s in your plan.  Overall benefit – How often do you find yourself having to drag a window down, or left, or minimizing everything or changing the size of your windows? With more real estate, rarely do you have to worry about how to arrange things…

So what about you, what are your top four items that help you to get in the zone and press ahead toward excellence in your tasks and activities?

SharePoint Solutions

Charting it up… The story of my life…

If you’re a vigilant reader of, then you more than likely already saw this, but it cracks me up to no end…

'There's also a spike on the Fourier transform at the one-month mark where --' 'You want to stop talking right now.'

For those of you that like to graph everything, if you’re in the SharePoint or world, I’d recommend Dundas Chart.  If you’re into utilizing web based APIs, Google Charts is pretty cool.

Please note that the "Point" that our friendly XKCD author is speaking of is not the use of SharePoint, though I’m sure that SharePoint has also had it’s mix of throwing monkey wrenches in relationships 🙂

No honey, we’re not going to use the BCD to solve this problem, I’ll write the data connection manually using custom code that doesn’t match any other schema we have…

SharePoint Solutions WSS

WSSv2: Photo Library Pet Peeve

I give Microsoft credit for having developed a highly usable framework for the Windows SharePoint Services v2 platform, however I do have to say that they left a lot of room for improvement between v2 and the newly released v3 (which is highly improved in many aspects).

For those who have not yet upgraded, I do have to say that one pet peeve of the v2 platform for me at least, is the Photo Library and its inability to mass edit metadata stored in the Photo Library. For instance, if you were to create a photo library and dump a few hundred images in via “Upload Multiple Files”, for any custom metadata column you have added to the photo library, it selects the default and appends that to the newly uploaded images. This is the common and expected behaviour, however, one would think that similarly to a document library you would have the capability to edit in a datasheet view quickly the information pertaining to the photos, but unfortunately no such capability exists.

Anyone have a workaround solution of any sort for this sort of mass editing?