Archive for the ‘SharePoint’ Category

For the longest time, I have been trying to get away from M$ products and my dependence upon them.  My blog, however, continues to generate a majority of its hits from just a few very specific articles on Microsoft SharePoint.  It seems that I will have to do a lot more blogging to steer myself away from this unwanted association!


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I’ve recently had a need to model a looping workflow with a SharePoint Designer workflow.  Designer doesn’t have a ‘Start Workflow’ action available by default, so I installed the Useful SharePoint Designer Workflow Activities on Codeplex.

My workflow would be designed like this

  1. Collect Data From Users with Task Form
  2. Set Workflow Variable to Step 1 Task ID
  3. Check for repeat condition on Above Task
    1. Start a new instance of this workflow
  4. (Workflow Done)

Looks great, but when running this workflow, I kept getting the following error:

Exception from HRESULT: 0x8102009B

at Microsoft.SharePoint.Library.SPRequest.AddWorkflowToListItem(String bstrUrl, String bstrListName, Int32 lItemID, Int32 lItemLevel, Int32 lItemVersion, Guid workflowPackageId, Guid& pWorkflowInstanceId, Guid workflowTaskListId, String bstrStatusFieldInternalName, Int32 lAuthorId)

I searched around and found out that you cannot start an instance of a workflow on an item when the same workflow is already running on that item.  Lucy’s blog had a code sample which checked the target item for the duplicate WF and removed the WF if it was found.  I wanted to keep the data from the first workflow, and this would remove it.  Not exactly what I wanted.

Here’s a simpler approach I took:

Modify the original workflow (Workflow A)…

  1. Collect Data From Users with Task Form
  2. Set Workflow Variable to Step 1 Task ID
    1. Check for repeat condition on Above Task
    2. Start a new instance of the LookBack workflow
    3. Stop this workflow and log the message ‘Completed – Looping’
  3. (Workflow Done)

Create a second workflow called ‘LoopBack’:

  1. Pause for 1 minute
  2. Start a new instance of Workflow A
  3. (Workflow Done)

I can start an instance of LoopBack at the same time as Workflow A.  Then, LoopBack waits while Workflow A completes.  After that, it starts Workflow A over again.  The pause is there since Workflow A takes some time to fully complete.

Note, if you’re not running SP1, the Pause for 1 minute step will take 30 minutes to complete.  Installing SP1 will fix this issue.

This is a really simple way to model a looping workflow without going into Visual Studio.

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Not only did DST rob me of an hour of sleep this weekend, it’s also slowing down my content deployment jobs!  Thanks a lot, Benjamin Franklin!

This KB article seems to explain the problem as beeing that the OWSTIMER has its own clock which is separate from the system clock.  I scheduled a job for 11:17am this morning and it showed a status of ‘preparing’ until 12:17pm, at which time it ran smoothly.

A couple of solutions: set your jobs to run as if you were still in non-DST.  Right now, that would mean that I would schedule a job for one hour from now if I wanted it to run immediately.  Second solution: change your server time zone to a non-DST time zone and disable automatic time updates.

Update 2008-03-11:
Install SP1 to alleviate this problem!  I assumed the server I was working on had SP1, but I was wrong.  Running the update fixed the problem immediately.

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If you use the CssRegistration and CssLink controls on a SharePoint page, core.css is always added to the HTML page last.  This means that any styles in core.css will override the styles you’ve defined in your custom stylesheets.  Does this make sense?! No.  But, like many other things in SharePoint, that’s the way it is.

A quick way to fix this is to just use a plain <link …> tag to include your stylesheets.  Since those aren’t processed server-side like links in the controls mentioned above, they will be loaded in the order you define in the HTML.

Heather Solomon has a blog post about this issue as well.

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SharePoint has a nifty little feature which allows logged-in users to tell which other users are logged in (or away, or idle, etc.)  While this is a handy thing to have in an intranet setting, having your users prompted with the Name.dll download on a public web site isn’t desirable.  Here’s how to get rid of that pesky download prompt:


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Ever have SharePoint Designer tell you that something is checked out, but you know that it really isn’t? Here’s a link forwarded to me by a coworker:


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Here’s a useful article with instructions on how to add new reports to the Site Actions / View Reports menu:


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