A couple of weeks ago we put up a WordPress blogging server for SEIU. It will be used to host individual campaign sites as well as syndicated blogs and their feeds. So … it seemed smart to move this site in-house. Content will remain here for a few months, then we will remove it entirely. The new address is simple: http://blogs.seiu.org/sharepoint/

See you there!

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Apologies for the flurry of posts here in the last 24 hours, I’m trying to get things up that I’ve left in open browser tabs knowing I wanted to capture them someplace useful beyond my del.icio.us bookmarks.

This topic is pretty neat though, because it’s really so simple and yet has high wow-to-effort ratio. Live Earth from Microsoft works slightly differently, but Google Maps API is really quite easy to plug into, even from a SharePoint page. They call this a “mashup” because you’re mixing media here in some delightful new way. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Read through the Static Maps API Developer’s Guide from Google. Google has two map APIs, one for dynamic maps (the kind you can drag within the window) and static maps (which appear frozen but are also generated on-the-fly). I’ll go with static for the time being.
  2. You have to register for a Google Map API key (it’s free).
  3. Then all you need to do is pass some parameters to the API via your page! Here’s a full URL: http://maps.google.com/staticmap?center=40.714728,-73.998672&zoom=14
    &size=512x512&maptype=mobile&markers=40.702147,-74.015794,blues|
    40.711614,-74.012318,greeng|40.718217,-73.998284,redc&key=XXXXX

So here’s what you’re passing above:

  • Longitude for the center of the map
  • Latitude for the center of the map
  • the level of the zoom (in/out) you want for the map
  • the size of the image you want (512 x 512)
  • the maptype (for mobile, normal, etc.)
  • then you describe what points you would like laid out on the map, what Google calls “markers.” Each of these has:
  • a color for the marker, as well as a size (normal, tiny, mid-sized)
  • a letter or character to appear in the marker pin
  • longitude and latitude for the marker itself
  • the parameters for each marker are comma-separated, and each set of marker parameters are separated by a “|” character
  • finally, your API key (the XXXXX at the end is where this would go)

So the image above would end up looking like this:

U2U CAML Query Builder

April 29, 2008

What is CAML? This definition from Microsoft:

Collaborative Application Markup Language (CAML) is the XML-based language that is used to build and customize Web sites based on SharePoint™ Team Services from Microsoft®.

CAML can be used to do the following:

  • Provide schema definition to the Web site provisioning system about how the site looks and acts.
  • Define views and forms for data and page rendering or execution.
  • Act as a rendering language that performs functions in the DLL like pulling a value from a particular field.
  • Provide batch functionality for posting multiple commands to the server using protocol.

Anyhow, it’s not something I am yet familiar with, and writing good CAML is obviously important. So there’s this code from U2U that plugs right into your MOSS lists or libraries. From Karine Bosch – ready to install as a solution, then grab the code it generates.

http://www.u2u.info/Blogs/karine/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=3

MOSS KPIs

February 19, 2008

KPIs are pretty cool things — Key Performance Indicators — because they dynamically assess the value of an object or array and then assess them on certain criteria. So you could list all your stores, and the ones with sales of over $N will be shown in green, all with sales below $D in red, and everything in between will be yellow. You could use KPIs on a map (we’re trying to do this right now with the new Locator 2.0 — using the BDC Mapper Web Part from the BDC Metaman team. It would look like this:

BDC Mapper Web Part in action

Here’s a shot from MS for a KPI “dahsboard”:

KPI dashboard

Finally, there’s a great post from Rehm Angul on this — just a good overview: http://rehmangul.wordpress.com/2007/05/04/key-performance-indicators-kpis-in-moss-2007/