Month: June 2011

Error while restoring Site from Recycle Bin–make sure the target location is empty

While testing SharePoint 2010 SP1’s new "site deletion and restoring it from the recycle bin" functionality, I wanted to see what happens when I deleted a site, add a new site at the same location, and try to restore the deleted site.

Naturally, I got an error (as expected). But somehow it is the same error as when you try to restore a subsite to a no longer existing parent site (unexpected). For example, if you first delete the site, then, and lastly try to restore the site, this of course fails as the /finance site doesn’t exist. In my case, there is already a site at the specified location, so I would have expected a different error, something along the lines "Error – A site already exists at target location"

Anyway, here’s the error message:

You must first restore the original parent site in order to restore the site "Delete Me".
Troubleshoot issues with Microsoft SharePoint Foundation.
Correlation ID: b697943f-829b-4f40-9a65-98fec223f697
Date and Time: 6/30/2011 10:25:27 PM
Go back to site


I also decided to get more details about the error with the help of Powershell and the Correlation ID:

get-splogevent | ?{$_.Correlation -eq "b697943f-829b-4f40-9a65-98fec223f697"} | select Area, Category, Level, EventID, Message | Format-List


Didn’t provide me with more details actually.

So the lesson to be learned from all this: In case you get this error and you wonder why, as you are 100% sure that the to be restore site’s parent site exists, just make sure that there isn’t already another site in place in the same location.

Modifying the Design of your Office 365 Public Homepage – Part 2

This article is part of a 3-part series describing the out-of-the-box customisation capabilities for the Office 365 public website.

  1. Part 1 – Site, Page
  2. Part 2 – Header (this article)
  3. Part 3 – Navigation, Zone, Advanced

This second part deals with the Header group containing the three items Style, Text, and Theme.


The Style item allows you to select a style layout for the header of your site. The style defines specific colors for the color scheme, if one or more images should be used, and their position:

As just said, a style defines a few colors, for example Primary color and Secondary color. Different styles define different colors, and possibly also more than these two. As we’ve seen in Part 1, you can define your own custom Color scheme. However, if you define the colors first, and then change the header Style, the style overwrites your custom colors for the header! Therefore, first select a style, then change the colors.

The Text item allows you to change the text that appears in the header, as well as choose an image that can be put above or to the left of the text (this image is optional).
The following screenshot shows the customisation dialog:
As you can see, it’s a fairly straightforward dialog, allowing you to choose a title as well as a site slogan (which will appear underneath the title).

Clicking on Logo, you can choose an existing image or upload a new one, and you can define whether the image should appear on top of your site title or next to it (left), as well as the size of the image (either choose one of two predefined height options, where the width will be resized appropriately, or choose to display the image in its full size):

Here is an example how the site title, the site slogan, and an image may look like on your site:

The third and last item in the Header category allows you to select a theme, consisting of 1 or 2 images (depending on the style that you selected before). There are multiple categories to choose from, you can upload your own image, or also choose to display no image at all.

Let’s look at what kind of effect choosing a theme has on your site. Here, we’re choosing a theme from the Legal Services category:

If I change it to one from Real Estate, the images change (as expected):

And what if we choose to use the Legal Services theme, but with a different style (one that shows only one image)? We would get something like this:

As you can see, there are some customisation possibilities when it comes to the header of the site, however you are still restricted to being able to change a few predefined items only.
Talking about the header, what if we want to display a navigation bar up there? Is this possible? This will be covered in the third article of this series.

Modifying the Design of your Office 365 Public Homepage – Part 1

This article is part of a 3-part series describing the out-of-the-box customisation capabilities for the Office 365 public website.

  1. Part 1 – Site, Page (this article)
  2. Part 2 – Header
  3. Part 3 – Navigation, Zone, Advanced

While the public website provided by Office 365 is based on SharePoint, it differs a lot in terms of design customisation and modification. For example, for a "normal" SharePoint site, you can add web parts to pages, and thus easily reference and show the contents of lists and libraries, or make use of the other functionalities provided by web parts. Furthermore, it is not easily possible to change the master page of the site if you’re using the P1 plan.

The public website however has got its own, unique way of "helping" you to change the layout and design of your site and the pages in it. In this series, we will look at the out-of-the-box design possibilities and see how they can be used.

Getting started
When you open your Office 365 public website for the first time, it will look something like this:

To start modifying it, click on Member Login to start the regular login process. Afterwards, you will see the "SharePoint backbone" of your site:

Looking at the navigation bar to the left, you can see the following four items:

  1. Web Pages contains all pages from your public website. This is where you could create new pages, as well as edit or delete existing pages.
  2. Images is an image library in which you can store image files that you want to display in your pages
  3. Documents is a document library in which you can store documents that you want to provide on your pages through links
  4. Templates contains templates of pages that you have created before. For example, you could create a template for your products, where you first design the page, and then save it as a template and reuse it for all products.

Let’s start by clicking on the link to our Home page which is the starting page when someone opens the public website. The page will be opened in edit mode, allowing us to make changes to it, to both design and content.

At the top of the page you can see the toolbar (similar to the Ribbon interface available in Office 2007 and 2010, and SharePoint 2010) that provides you with all available editing options grouped in three different tabs (Home, Insert, Design) and corresponding options inside.



This article series focuses on the tab group Design, with this article showing the two groups Site and Page. The second article will talk about Header, and the third and last article will discuss the remain three groups Navigation, Zone, and Advanced.

The Site group contains three items, Color, Setup, and Footer. These items apply for the whole site and not just the currently opened page. So, if you make any change on the Home page, that change is also executed on the About Us, Contact Us, and Sitemap pages in the Web Pages library seen above (or any other pages that you have, of course).


Color allows you to edit the color scheme of the current site. A color scheme defines which items on your site are shown in which color (backgrounds, font colors, etc.) It contains various built-in color scheme, but you can also create your own custom color scheme.

Let’s see how changing the color scheme changes the design of our site. With the current color scheme, it looks like this:

Clicking on Color and selecting a new color scheme, the editor loads the new scheme and updates the preview window of our page, so that we can see the new colors after a second:

If you prefer to customise the color scheme to your own demands, click on Edit Custom Color Scheme. A new dialog will pop up, showing you the range of items that you can modify together with the currently set color.

Please not that if you change the colors in the Header section, they will still be overwritten if you change the Style oft the header (discussed in the next article). It is thus recommended to first make changes to the header style, and then update the colors in the color scheme

Setup allows you to set a few site specific options.

Under Page Setup, you can define the width of your pages. Three options are available: 100% (which would mean that the pages use the full width available) and the two fixed-width options 780px and 980px. Under Page alignment, if you have chosen a fixed page width, you can choose whether your pages should be aligned to the left, centrally, or to the right.

You can also define the background of your sites, as soon to the left and right when you have a fixed page width. Available options are Blank, Flat color, and Gradient. Where do Flat color and Gradient get their color from, I hear you ask? If you look at your color scheme again, you can see that it is actually defined there as Site background under Body!

Lastly, you can choose to display a Bing Search box on your site (which will be added to the top left of the page, and basically only allows visitors to search the web, not your site), as well as a link called "Member Login" in the navigation bar that allows you to access your web site as an authorised user.

The last item under Site, Footer, allows you to add links as well as text to the bottom of all pages in your site. Here, you could e.g. provide a disclaimer, or your company address, as well as other links that are relevant to your organisation (product related website, etc.).

The Page group allows you to change two settings for the current page: the background as well as some generic properties.

How is the page background different from the site background? The page background is actually the area on your site below the header and next to (or below, depending on overall design; more in the third article of this series) the navigation, marked here by a red box:

While you cannot change the color for this area on a per-site basis (you can define the general color for all pages in your site under the site’s Color Scheme settings), you can define a background image for your page:

Please note that adding a picture to the background should be planned carefully, you want to avoid serving pages that look like the following:

Page properties gives you a lot more options. Clicking on it opens a dialog with two sections, Page Settings and Search Engine Optimization. You can change the title of the page, and you can decide whether you want to show this page in the navigation bar (and with which title) or not, as well as its position in the navigation.

Furthermore, you could even remove the header, the footer, and the navigation from the page!

As for Search Engine Optimization, it allows you here to add Keyword metatags as well as the description metatag

Registrations Open! Southeast Asia SharePoint Conference 2011



November 8 & 9, 2011
Southeast SharePoint Conference

Two days. Over 40 sessions from excellent speakers including
internationally renowned SharePoint experts

All for the Early bird price of $350.00!

Why Attend?
.     Best Practices from the last 18 months of SharePoint 2010 will be presented
.     Get to see some of the content from the Microsoft World Wide SharePoint Conference being held in October in Anaheim, California. We will be bringing content and speakers from this event to Singapore.
.     Ideal for BOTH business and technical roles: Tracks will cover Business, Development, IT Pro and Case Studies. We are also adding an Office and Productivity Track this year – ideal for business users! There will be Something for everyone!
.     Based on a very successful event in 2010, this year promises to be even better, with more content and new activities. Even if you are just thinking about SharePoint, this is the chance to learn more.
.     Plenty of free gifts from our sponsors
This is the only event of its kind in Southeast Asia. Don’t miss the opportunity, to get such a diverse amount of SharePoint training and learning in one place – network with colleagues, get the latest insights, and come away inspired and energised.

Pre and Post Conference Workshops
Take advantage of the additional training opportunities on Monday 7th November and Thursday 10th November, 2011, with intensive half day SharePoint workshops, including hands on labs!
Registrations Available Now
Group Registrations for 5 or more will receive a 20% discount
Early Bird Registrations of $350.00 to the first 250 delegates who register.
Regular Registration fee is $450.00 (excluding GST)    
Registration rates are in Singapore Dollars and include;
Event  attendance for the two day event November 8th and 9th 2011
Lunch and refreshments throughout both days
Attendance at the Evening Networking Event 5:30-7:30 Tuesday 8 November 2011.
Interested in Speaking?
Click Here to submit your proposed session(s). (One submission per proposed session)
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Southeast Asia SharePoint Conference

Tuesday 8th November – Wednesday 9th November, 2011


SPEvents54x201This event is managed by SPevents, a division of envisionIT (NZ) Ltd, a New Zealand company specialising in SharePoint Conferences worldwide.

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Short presentation done at yesterday’s Singapore SharePoint Community meeting on “SharePoint Roles + Certifications”

I held a brief session on SharePoint Roles + Certifications yesterday. The goal was to provide some basic information about these, as well as to share our experiences within the local community (who’s certified; any benefits from doing the certification; how to prepare; etc). Here are the slides:

Review of “Successful Project Management: Applying Best Practices and Real-World Techniques with Microsoft Project”


When I started reading Successful Project Management: Applying Best Practices and Real-World Techniques with Microsoft Project, I was actually a bit confused for a short while. The reason? I was expecting to read about how to do project management with Microsoft Project, but instead there was nothing about it at all. And why so? Because the author did something very interesting: focusing on the methodology from the PMI (Project Management Institute), and only bringing in Project where required! This means that you will first get to learn about the theory of project management, and only afterwards you get to see how to do it in MS Project. In my opinion, this is a quite useful approach for PM beginners.

Which brings me to the next point: this book is for beginners only, not for experienced PMs. If you’ve been managing projects for a while already, there might not be much useful for you in this book. If you’ve just started with project management, however, this book is definitely an interesting read. It goes through the different phases of a project, following the standardised and proven PMI methodology. The book goes through all the important phases of a project (getting approval, building a WBS, building a schedule, budgeting, executing, managing change, and so on), however without going too deep into it. You’ll get to understand the basics of each topic, however don’t expect to much information that explains it much further.

My opinion of this book: I was struggling a bit whether I find this book only average or better than that. In the end, I thought hard about the target audience for this book and how useful it is for them, and came to the decision that it’s a solid book for junior project managers, or anyone working on a project for the first time, and that I would give it a rating of 4/5.