Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Create custom Search Result Page using a basic page (No search center required)

I know this is a very basic thing which all SharePoint experts know very well when they started their JOURNEY with SharePoint but there is something very interesting & simple we missed to check or use
Here are few steps with which we can create a custom search result page in very simple way. I use word because SIMPLE because it’s not required to create any search center sites or any search pages. This can be achieved with a simple Blank web part page and with ALL OOTB features.
  • First of all create a page, (i.e. Blank web part page). I call it “Simple Search”
  • Then click on Add a web part and add following web parts in sequence.
1.      Search box
2.      Search Paging
3.      Search Core Results
  • Now click on edit page and select Search Box web part > click “Modify Shared Web part”
  • Under Miscellaneous section change – Target search results page URL to the newly created page – i.e. http://sitename/doclib/simplesearch.aspx (i.e. http://sitename/pages/simplesearch.aspx for site with publishing enabled)
  • That’s all, now when user lands on Simple Search Page and query for search he / she will get all search results on the same page and it gives the same look and feel which is there on OSSearchResult page as we have added search paging.
  • Search paging gives number of pages containing search results.
There are few more customizations which we can do on the same page like creating a custom scope for a search box or by customizing search core results.
Here are some references
Search Core Results XSLT Transformation:
Creating a Custom Search Page and Tabs in the Search Center of SharePoint Server:
Search Core Results Web Part XSLT:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Performance issue with Project Task List in SharePoint 2007

A Project Task List takes more than 5 minutes to load

Cause & Resolution:
·         User had a project task list
·         Total number of items = 2000+
·         She had created a custom view in which she selected an option Grouped by “Column Name”
·         Created my personal view (of course a standard view, no grouped by, no sort by or no filter)
·         Browsed the list using my personal view and it had hardly taken a minute to open
·         Also found this article - http://kb4sp.wordpress.com/2007/06/25/sharepoint-2007-hard-limitations/ which says – There is not a hard limit, but you might experience list view performance degradation as the number of field types in a list increases to 256 per list.
·         And I also checked when we select Grouped By option in the view Field types in the list increased to more than 300, so removed grouped by option from user’s custom view which loaded the list faster.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Question sequence gets disordered when export a survey with Rating Scale questions to Excel sheet.

Question sequence is disordered when we export a survey list to excel
Resolution – Only to get questions in proper sequence in Excel sheet!!
  • Checked Survey settings
  • Found there were total 50 questions and found almost 30 questions were created using "Rating Scale" category
  • Changed question ordering from Survey settings > Change order of questions
  • Previously it was from Q-1 > Q-1-a….Q-5 > Q-5-e
  • Changed it to reverse order and arranged Q-5-e > Q-5…..Q-1-a > Q-1
  • Exported to spreadsheet, and got all the questions in right order.
  • Now another issue occurred, Q-6 (Multiple Line of Text) came first in datasheet, so from view removed it to be displayed or to be exported to spreadsheet.
  • The other issue noticed was when user clicks on "Respond to this survey", user will get the same reverse orders of questions (i.e. Q-5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 6)
  • Though this helps us to get questions in proper sequence only in Spreadsheet but this cannot be implemented as this occurs disordering of questions in survey.
Found 2 alternate workarounds
Workaround 1
  • Changed all "Rating Scale" questions to "Choice" category with "Radio button" & fill in "mandatory" option
  • Order remained same (i.e. Q- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  • Now it worked proper for both scenarios, user got the right order when open "Respond to this survey" and also got the right order when exported to excel.
Workaround 2
  • Created a page and added a Data View Web part using SPD on the page
  • Used SharePoint survey as a Data source and added all questions / columns in to the web part
  • Then from Data view web part exported data to excel
Feel free to reach me in case of any queries on above steps. Thanks