Month: July 2011

Two great sites on Office 365

Logging in to the Office 365 Community this week, I was greeted with the following:


Yes, that’s me! As I’m quite busy with our internal upgrade to SharePoint 2010 and an Intranet redesign, I didn’t log on to the community regularly in the past 4 weeks, and also missed private messages that were sent to me regarding this. Still a nice surprise.

Looking at The Grid and the community site, I had to think of two previous Grid Users of the Week, whose sites I visit very regularly (yes, even though I have a tight schedule at the moment). If you’re interested in Office 365, I strongly recommend you to visit these two sites!

Without further ado, here they are:

Brett Hill, one of the current few Office 365 MVPs, runs on which he writes about all things Office 365. I found a lot of good content over there so far,  and the only small complaint I have is that I can’t grab an RSS feed for the articles for my Google Reader account.



Marlon Marescia runs, on which he has regular interviews with other people on Office 365, as well as Master Classes which are a deep dive into a specific topic (right now, there’s only one as it just started, but there are certainly more to come soon!)


(And I only saw just now that Marlon is living in Sydney! Should have tried to meet him while I was there recently)

SharePoint Links of the Week (29 July 2011)

Here are my favourite links for this week:

As I’ve been working extensively with Waldek’s Imtech Content Query Web Part for the past week (paging in the CQWP was a requirement for several pages on our redesigned intranet), it should be the first link mentioned:

Equally important is the following blog post by Geoff Varosky, who describes in much detail some customisations for and how to implement said CQWP, which helped me to save a lot of work:

Going through some older unread Google Reader items, I found the following post by Henry Ong, who provides a PowerShell script for some basic (but good!) reporting functionality. If you want to easily and quickly get an overview of your farm, visit the following link:

And lastly, I saw a mention on twitter for this nearly 6 year old blog post by Scott Guthrie who describes how to shut-down an ASP.NET web application (thus, it also works for SharePoint!) by simply placing a file into the web apps main folder:

"Unable to / Cannot remove domain" error in Office 365

I decided to let my P1 account from the beta expire, and wanted to remove my vanity domain from the account.

I opened the admin interface, went into the domains section, selected my domain, and tried to remove it

However, I got the following error:

Fair enough, my public website was still using it. So I reset it to use the domain, and tried again. The "Cannot remove domain" error disappeared, but the new one "Unable to remove domain" showed up now:

Again, understandable at first, as the login names and email addresses for my two accounts still used my vanity domain:

So, I updated both of them, tried again, but the error remained. I couldn’t find any reference to my vanity domain anywhere at all, but I read in the Office 365 community forums that it might still be associated with my Lync account. I found the final solution to fix it in the following thread: (post by Mike_MSFT on 2011-May-12 4:42 PM).

Going to the Users overview in the Admin portal, you need to create a new view:

Enter a name, select the vanity domain that you want to remove, and click save:

Selecting the view you just created, you can then see all the users that are still associated with it:

As a last step, I deactivated the Lync license for each user, and reactivated it again afterwards.

Once I was done with all users, I was able to remove the domain successfully.

Modifying the Design of your Office 365 Public Homepage – Part 3

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

This is the third and last instalment of this series. We will have a look at the Navigation, Zone, and Advanced groups.

Navigation allows you to define how users can navigate on your site. This is a site setting, not just per page.
The first item under Navigation, called Location, allows you to select whether you want to display your navigation bar to the left of your site, on top of it, or both.

The second item, Hierarchy, allows you to define the hierarchy of your pages. For example, you can define which order your pages should be shown in, as well as whether a page should be placed under another page as a second layer (note: only two layers are possibly, you cannot place a page underneath a page that already has its own parent page).

How do these two now work together? Let’s say I’m putting the Member Login item below About Us:

If I set up my Location as left, it will be displayed as follows:

If I define Location as both (top and left), the top navigation bar will contain all items that are directly below the Top Level, whereas the left navigation bar will show any items that are below the current page (empty if there are none):

And lastly, if I set Location to top only, a second row will be added to the top level navigation

A zone is a predefined area on the current page to which you can add content. For example, you can have organise the layout of the page to use a top zone and two zones below it (one to the left, one to the right).
Each zone can be formatted by selecting the zone and clicking on Format. You can then choose what kind of fill should be used for it with 4 options available (No fill, Solid fill with a selected color, Gradient fill, and Image fill):

By clicking on Layout you can select from various templates how many zones you want and how they should be organised

Finally, the last item, Style Sheet in the Advanced group, allows you to enter your own CSS code. You can also see the currently defined styles by clicking on View default CSS, allowing you to better figure out which classes you could use to change the design of your site.

There are many uses for this. For example, by default you only have 3 width options, as discussed in Part 1. If you wanted to define your own site width, e.g. 1050px wide, you could actually enter the following code:
.MS_MasterFrame{        width:1050px;}

We’ve now come to the end of this series on the out of the box design possibilities of the Office 365 public website. New articles covering how to add content, as well as some tips and tricks on how to get more out of the public website will come soon!

Using Internet Explorer Developer Tools during CSS/JavaScript development for SharePoint

A small screencast I recorded today, showing how you can get started to use the IE Developer Tools to identify CSS classes or item IDs in SharePoint.

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Passed Microsoft Office Specialist: SharePoint 2010 exam (77-886)

As I wrote in May (follow the link for learning plan!), I took the beta exam for Microsoft Office Specialist: SharePoint 2010 (77-886). Dan Usher tweeted today that the results can be seen on the Certiport website:

Logging in, I could see the overview of my results:

Logging in to the Microsoft Learning website it also shows up under My Certifications:

I’m a bit surprised by the low score for Integrating SharePoint 2010 Services and Microsoft Office 2010 applications, either I did not too little wrong in the exam, or the questions that covered Central Administration (I wrote about it in the posting in May) count into it here.


Anyway, I passed, and I’m already preparing for the next exam.

Displaying a PowerPoint Slide Show in a Office 365 page

Let’s assume the following: you’ve got a great PowerPoint presentation that you want to include within your Office 365 Team Site (or basically, anywhere else in a Office 365 SharePoint site) as a slide show. So instead of people downloading the file you want to show the presentation’s contents in the browser. In this article, we will go through the necessary steps to do so.
Please note that this only works for the P1, E2, E3, and E4 plans, but not the E1 plan, as Office Web Apps is required.

What you need are two things: a PowerPoint presentation stored somewhere in your Office 365 site as well as a page on which you want to show this presentation.

First, we need to get a link that will show the PowerPoint presentation as a slide show. Navigate to your presentation, and click on it, which should open it in the browser in Office Web Apps in most cases. If it doesn’t, you can alternatively open the presentation’s item menu and select View in Browser:

Once the presentation is shown in the browser, click on Start Slide Show:

A new window opens up and shows the slide show of your presentation, exactly what we want to include in a page! Copy the full URL from the top of your browser bar:

The URL looks something like this:
9147475d24ed684e8675780ee05e4mee276220818a4b288f1e63652eab84dcm (or starting with, depending on if you set up your domain)


The second step now is to include this slide show in your page. SharePoint provides us with a so-called Page Viewer Web Part that simply displays the contents of a specified URL within your page.

Open the page on which you want to display the slide show and edit it :image

Click where you want to add the web part on your page, and from the Ribbon select Insert and More Web Parts:

Filter by Media and Content, select Page Viewer, and click Add:

The Page Viewer Web Part is added to your page. Click on open the tool pane

The tool pane opens to the right. Paste the URL that you copied before into the Link field.

Expand Appearance, and enter a desired height and/or width (you should preferably enter a height as to display your slide show in a specific size). Please note that you can also change that title under Title, which is set to Page Viewer by default

Once you click Ok, you can see the final result in your browser:

Click Save & Close to save your changes. That’s it!

Accessing the settings of your custom document library in your Office 365 public website

Let’s say you want to create a document on your Office 365 public website. You go to Site Actions, click on View All Site Content, click on Create, and create a new document library.

At the end of that, you get an error:

Checking your website, however, you see that the document library was created nevertheless.

But once you open it, you realise that you can’t access its settings, the Library tab is missing from the Ribbon!

What to do now? I show you how you can still go to the library’s settings page, and as a last step delete the library.

First, notice that small little dropdown next to All Documents in the previous screenshot? Click on it, and select Modify this View

You’re now on the edit page for the view. But behold, what’s that in the navigation now? The Document Library Settings! Click on it!

No surprise, you can now see your library’s settings. Click on Delete this document library to, well, delete it.

Available Web Parts in Office 365

This will be a very short post (at least in words, still a lot to scroll). I was looking at the Web Parts that are available with the Office 365 P1 subscription and was surprised about the extremely short list (didn’t filter out the Lists and Libraries Web Parts):

You can activate the Search Server Web Parts if you go to the Site Collection settings, giving a slightly bigger range:


Where’s my beloved Content Query Web Part?? Why no Filter Web Parts?

I then proceeded to check my E3 account to see if there are more available there. And here’s the list of available Web Parts in the Enterprise plans (E1, E2, E3, E4) (Warning: prepare to scroll; also, again I didn’t filter out the Lists and Libraries Web Parts):

Already much better, but still no Content Query Web Part.

Update: The CQWP is part of the Publishing Infrastructure in SharePoint, thus this feature needs to be activated. As Publishing is only available for the Enterprise plans and not the Small Business plan (P1), you can have the CQWP only in the E plans with activated Publishing