Workflow at Iowa SharePoint User Group

I will be presenting at the next Iowa SharePoint User Group meeting on Wednesday, June 3:

Business Process / Workflow / Forms

This month is a two-part session, focusing on business processes, workflows, and forms in SharePoint.  The meeting will cover:

  • Workflow basics
  • Out of the box workflow templates
  • Configuring / customizing workflows
  • Options for building workflows
  • Building workflows with SharePoint Designer

Immediately following the User Group, please join us for a Lunch and Learn with Valeri Topel of KnowledgeLake. Continuing on the same theme, Valeri will have a presentation and demos showcasing how you can leverage SharePoint for content management business solutions.  Realize a faster ROI and a lower cost of ownership using the platform-based Enterprise Content Management in SharePoint with the KnowledgeLake Document Imaging and Capture system.  Easily manage millions of paper documents, emails, reports and more. Streamline document processing and increase your workers’ efficiency.

Lunch will be provided.


  • When: Wednesday, June 3, 2009
    Registration: 8:30–9:00 AM
    Event: 9:00–11:00 AM
    Networking/Q&A: 11:00–11:30 AM
    Lunch & Learn: 11:30 AM–1:00 PM
  • Where: DMACC Ankeny Campus, 2006 South Ankeny Blvd, Ankeny, Iowa 50023 (map)
    Building 24, Health Sciences Building (map); Room 216 (map)
  • RSVP:

If you have ideas or requests for future IASPUG topics, or if you have a topic you would like to present, please send them to

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Community Stuff, Apr 2009

First, thanks to the folks at Cedar Valley INETA for coming out to my PowerShell 101 talk earlier this month. The deck, scripts and demo transcript are available for download here. Among other things, we looked at a script to use System.Speech from PowerShell. The results were outstanding:

Recognized [0.2717747] “some of”
Recognized [0.2246611] “us in the all the rest of us are”
Recognized [0.302918] “the Mike Tyson > Microsoft software”
Recognized [0.4645212] “of Mike Tyson is”
Recognized [0.4163939] “this still undecided vote”
Recognized [0.3286791] “-Mike Tyson did not understand its electricity can”

I’m not sure what I was trying to say, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t that. Thanks to Josh and Travis for the great work they’re doing with that up-and-coming group.

Next up is the Iowa SharePoint User Group on Apr. 1st with Corey Erkes:

SharePoint and Social Networking

We will explore how to use SharePoint for social computing that will power the next generation of business productivity. During the session we will highlight the following components and how they can be extended using customization, Codeplex and partner solutions:

  • MySites
  • Blogs
  • Wikis
  • Podcasting
  • Unified Communications


As usual, if you have ideas or requests for future IASPUG topics, please send them to

Then on Saturday, Apr. 4th, I’ll be presenting at Twin Cities Code Camp 6:

Introduction to F#

With Visual Studio 2010, F# will officially become a first-class citizen in the .NET development ecosystem. This session will explore functional programming, why it matters in an object-oriented world, and how F# bridges the gap. I will also discuss some lessons learned from using F# with OpenCV, an unmanaged computer vision library.

And finally on Tuesday, Apr. 7th, I’ll be at the inaugural meeting of the new Dubuque INETA presenting an overview of what’s new in Visual Studio 2008, .NET 3.5 and the language features of C# 3.0 and Visual Basic 9. Thanks to Elizabeth Groom for her hard work getting that group started.

Also, the next Iowa Code Camp is confirmed for May 2 at Kirkwood College in Cedar Rapids. The last two have been fantastic, so definitely looking forward to it.

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On The Road, Jan. 2009

I’m going to be on the road quite a bit (for me) in the next few weeks for various community events. Tonight I’m headed north to the inaugural meeting of the Cedar Valley .NET User Group. I’ll be giving a PowerShell talk for them in March. From there, I’m heading to Des Moines for Todd Klindt’s talk tomorrow at IADNUG.

On Jan. 24th I’ll be speaking at the Twin Cities SharePoint Camp:

SharePoint 3.5: Leveraging .NET 3.5 Language Features in SharePoint Development

The new versions of C# and VB add several tools to a SharePoint developer’s toolkit to enable more reliable, readable and efficient Object Model code. This session will review these features and provide some specific examples of how they can help you write better SharePoint code. I will also discuss SPSite and SPWeb disposal, and one strategy to minimize the risk of memory leaks.

And finally, on Feb. 4th the Iowa SharePoint User Group will again feature Kirk Hofer Corey Erkes:

SharePoint in Action

At this event you will see SharePoint In Action. Create it, Build it, Deploy it and Debug it. We will build a master page, custom style sheet, web part, feature receiver and stapler to demonstrate the basics in development for SharePoint. After we build it, we will deploy it to SharePoint and debug the whole thing.


Again, if you have ideas or requests for future IASPUG topics, please send them to

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IASPUG December Recap

Despite the miserable roads, we had a good crowd show up for Kirk‘s talk. The deck should be available shortly. Also, thanks to ITAGroup for hosting and to Todd for making the trip with some books to give away. Enjoy the holidays and we hope to see you in February!

I was also asked two good questions during the break, which I thought I would share here:

Q: What’s the best way to hide a list field?

A: There are a lot of examples online of using SPD to replace the default new/edit/display list forms, but they are clumsy, break support for attachments (unsupported hack and hotfix notwithstanding), and require customizing (unghosting) the page.

An easier solution is to leverage these properties of SPField:

  • ShowInDisplayForm
  • ShowInEditForm
  • ShowInListSettings
  • ShowInNewForm
  • ShowInVersionHistory
  • ShowInViewForms

These values can be set in a feature receiver or a simple console application, but it’s trivial with PowerShell, as Christian Lessner shows here. Or if you’re writing a feature for a custom content type/list template, the FieldRef element has a similar set of attributes.

Q: Is it possible to e-mail an item in a document library as part of an SPD workflow?

A: While not supported out of the box, I figured it would be possible through custom code. Kirk pointed me to the SPDActivities project on CodePlex, which has an activity to Send Email with List Item attachments. I’m not sure if it works for files in a document library, but it should be an easy fix if it doesn’t.

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Iowa SharePoint User Group Returns

The Iowa SharePoint User Group returns on December 3 at ITAGroup in West Des Moines. My colleague Kirk Hofer will be presenting SharePoint Development Deep Dive: How SharePoint Works:

Go under the covers and get a great understanding of how SharePoint sites are created.  We will walk through how SharePoint works from the internals of Site Definitions and Site Templates.  Look at how Features work and how the different versions of SharePoint “staple” on additional items.  Ever wonder what the best options are for creating your own?  We will those options in great detail.


If you have ideas or requests for future IASPUG topics, please send them to

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SharePoint in Iowa?

The other day Chris Sutton posted about the growing .NET community in Iowa. I was definitely impressed by the turnout at the last Iowa Code Camp, where I saw Chris’s talk on ASP.NET MVC as well as top-notch SharePoint presentations by Todds Klindt and Bleeker, and am looking forward to more at the upcoming camp on Nov. 8.

While there’s general .NET growth in the area, the Iowa SharePoint scene seems rather quiet. The Iowa SharePoint User Group has been on hiatus for a while and other than Todd Klindt, the only other Iowan I can find is Darrin Bishop, who presented at the October IADNUG meeting. The SharePoint sessions at the last code camp were full and there are several scheduled for this next one, so I know we’re not alone…

I guess I have two questions:

  1. Is there anybody out there?
  2. Is there any interest in getting the user group up an running again?