Custom Item Actions in MOSS

January 16, 2008

So the next trick is to learn how to customize the menu that pops up next to an item in a list or library. I am used to writing these within BDC Meta Man — to send a parameter to Google Maps or to compose an email message — but I want to be able to hide certain default actions, create new ones, or change the way they appear.

So I found this post on MSDNER which links back to MSDN “Custom Action Definitions” and the “Custom Action Element“. I knew this would all be in XML, so let’s see how helpful SPD2007 can be.

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We had finally installed (and enforced the use of) our SSL certificate on our main production MOSS box, but I couldn’t figure out why the search was then completely down. It wouldn’t return *any* results, which was more than a bit frustrating. I had even made sure that in the Content Source I explicitly pointed it to https://servername/

So what can you do?

Thanks to this post I happened to find, I neeed to tell the search crawler to ignore certificate warnings — this is because as it searched on itself, it wasn’t using the FQDN that was written on the certificate, only the servername itself … which would understandably cause a certificate warning message. Mark Andrew’s post reads:

Try Application management/manage search service and under farm level search settings there is a checkbox to ignore SSL certificate name warnings

Once again … a key feature, sort of buried away down in the bowels of MOSS. But at least the option is there:

mossignorewarningsnag.jpg

I had been looking for a way to strip down the regular “Advanced Search” web part, but also to restrict its scope without the user having to do anything. Found this post from Dattard who — of all things — uses the Content Editor web part to drop in some custom code. I’ll have to remember that web part for future tricks.

Anyway, all that’s really involved is setting up your own custom scope, grabbing the right ID that references that scope, and putting the right inputs in your content editor web part. Works really well, and doesn’t have too many options.

I wanted a stripped-down search utility since I think one of the main complaints about MOSS/WSS is the “overwhelming” user experience: getting lost, confused, unsure what to click on, etc.

After a few weeks of trying every fix known to humankind, I could not repair the once-working search engine on one of our MOSS production servers. Re-installed the Adobe iFilter a few times, tried registry fixes and recrawling the content over and over again. Turns out that the Adobe iFilter .dll for 64-bit doesn’t work too happily, despite Adobe’s best efforts.

And I then discover the wonderful Foxit iFilter for PDF documents: http://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/ifilter/

Cheap and solved the problem perfectly. Thanks to this post from Filter Central most of all.

The Perfect PDF Icon

October 17, 2007

Call me silly for complaining, but after installing Adobe Reader 8.1 on a MOSS server to crawl indexed PDFs, you also have to load and map a small PDF icon too. (Not really Adobe’s fault but Microsoft’s for not wanting to publicy recognize the ubiquity of the PDF and for not including one tiny icon amongst its many dozen default filetype icons.) For instructions on all this, see here or here.

The best image is one I had to tweak a bit, 16×20 pixels: PDFICON