SharePoint 2007: What’s new

Some further reading and testing with SharePoint 2007 has only increased my enthusiasm. Without having it all tested extensively, the new things I like are:

  • The Recycle Bin: finally a way to ‘undelete’
  • Bread crumbs: It’s a lot easier to understand where you are in a site
  • Workflows: both to collect feedback and as a approval mechanism
  • RSS support: see an example in my post of yesterday
  • Project Tasks Lists with Gantt Charts
  • Blog and Wiki support

SharePoint 2007: My first impressions

I just started using SharePoint 2007 and my first impressions are good! I have dealt with SharePoint 2003 for a few years now, and while it has some nice collaboration features, it is not very intuitive nor attractive. SharePoint 2007 seems to be improved in both areas. It looks a lot nicer, and more importantly, the user interface has been significantly upgraded, so that most actions are a lot easier.As a test, I tried to get the RSS feed of this blog into my SharePoint 2007 site. This was easier than I expected. Using the Site Actions button at the upper right corner, you need to select Edit Page. This will enable you to modify the home page.

Clicking the button Add a Web Part in the right column will give you a dialog box where you can select the various Web Parts that are available. One of the options is RSS Viewer:

This will add an RSS Viewer to the right column. To link it to a real RSS feed, you need to click the link Open the tool pane. This will open a pane at the right hand site, where you can fill in the feed URL and the number of items you want to show.

You can also select whether you want to display only the title, or the title and the full description:If you’re really brave, you can even change the XSLT that is used to display the RSS feed, but the default settings seems to work just fine:
The final modification I made was to change the layout.
I clicked the arrow at the right hand side of the title, and selected Modify Shared Web Part. That will open the tool pane again, where you can make modifications for Appearance, Layout and some Advanced Settings.
I changed the title and selected another “chrome” (Title and Border instead of the default chrome). And this is the end result:

In a matter of minutes, I added my blog feed to the SharePoint 2007 site. Cool!


Word Quickie: Insert Quick Part

If you repeatedly need to add some text in Word, the new Quick Parts button on the Insert tab will save you time.

Initially, the Quick Parts menu allows you to insert the main Document Properties, or a Field:

You can easily add items to the Quick Parts menu, by selecting some text and clicking Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery.

This will give you a dialog box, where you can add some details of the Quick Part you’re adding. Categories can be defined, and in Options you can select whether you want to Insert the content only, Insert it in its own paragraph, or on its own page:
Once defined, you can insert it with just 2 clicks:
Obviously, any other item can be saved as well, like the SmartArt about Training in the screenshot above.

To change or delete Quick Parts, open the Building Blocks Organizer. It contains your Quick Parts, and you can change the properties of other building blocks as well:

There’s a training on the Microsoft Office site that explains this in more detail.