Adventure in SPWonderland

Take apart and put back together


Fix: Getting the Silverlight Blueprints for SharePoint to work

I'm doing a presentation tonight for SUGUK on Silverlight in sharePoint and wanted to demo some of the Silverlight Blueprints for SharePoint.

Naturally I hit a few issues along the way so I thought I'd pass a few tips on.

A major requirement is to have .Net 3.5 and AJAX running on your SharePoint site. If you configure AJAX by hand as I did check this MSDN article for configuring AJAX but use as the version number.

I configured AJAX by hand but there is also a CodePlex feature that can install AJAX on all your WFE.

It will also help to have Visual Studio 2008 and the Silverlight SDk installed on your dev box.

The first issue is that none of the XAP's as shipped will work on my machine. You'll get an error like this



checking the XAP files shows the shipped one has this as the first line of the manifest.

<Deployment xmlns="" xmlns:x="" EntryPointAssembly="SL.XAML.Navigation" EntryPointType="SL.XAML.Navigation.App">

but if I recompile the source I get

<Deployment xmlns="" xmlns:x="" EntryPointAssembly="SL.XAML.Navigation" EntryPointType="SL.XAML.Navigation.App" RuntimeVersion="2.0.30226.2">

The missing RuntimeVersion seems the key here, looks like the U2U folks were running a slightly different build of chiron the XAP compiler and certainly the Silverlight 2 runtime on my machine wont run a XAP without it.

So the fix is to recompile the Silverlight Applications and redeploy the XAP to the ClientBin directory in your IIS website directory.

Second and more bizarre is the Navigation Sample. If you try to run it you get an error about being unable to load the Assembly.

The problem here is that the PublicKey for the SL.Controls.Navigation.Dll is wrong in the MasterPage.



The MasterPage has 4aec304184eb9a69 when the DLL has bb99f30c0098259c.

The Fix is to change the MasterPage Register TagPrefix line to bb99f30c0098259c. You can use SharePoint Designer or uninstall the feature change it and then reinstall, reactivate.

This will happen when you dev with an internal snk file which has your company private keys in it and then decide you've got to change it before you ship. I've done exactly the same thing myself, it really helps to test it on a single machine outside your company first.



PowerShell: Generating a proxy for all the SharePoint WebServices

Zach Rosenfield has a nice post on calling WebServices from PowerShell. The steps are pretty simple: generate a proxy cs file, compile it into a DLL and then load that DLL up into Powershell AppDomain.

Well I've been doing some work with quite a few of the WebServices and I wanted to compile all the proxys into a single DLL.

Use Zach's post to setup the PowerShell environment variables needed to call the Visual Studio SDK utilities wsdl.exe and csc.exe

Heres the script to compile all the available SharePoint Webservice's into one DLL.

It simply enumerates all the ASMX files in the ISAPI directory and passes each item in that list to WSDL.exe which generates the proxy cs files.

You need to change the URL in this script to point to a valid SharePoint site and make sure there are no other .cs files in the directory before running this script.

$asmxlist= dir "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\ISAPI" *.asmx | select name

$asmxlist | foreach-object {
write-host "Generating SharePoint Proxy Library for $($" -foregroundcolor green 


wsdl "$($" /o:$outputfilename /namespace:$namespace


write-host "Compiling SharePoint Proxy Library" -foregroundcolor green 
csc /t:library /out:FlexnetConsult.SharePoint.WebServices.dll *.cs 


So the output should be something like this




Now three of the WebServices generate an error SlideShow.asmx. FormserverProxy.asmx and contentareatoolboxservice.asmx but as I'm unlikely to use them I'm not going to worry about those.

So now we have a DLL called FlexnetConsult.SharePoint.WebServices.dll in our directory that we can use to call the (almost) any SharePoint Web Service.

I've attached the compiled dll and script.

In my next post I'll use the DLL to do something I've wanted to do for ages and that's list, add and delete Web Parts on a page using PowerShell.

Now your probably shouting, hey why not just call the object model and GetLimitedWebPartManager, yep but that doesn't work as without a web.config and possibly a HttpContext all you get back are Error WebParts as the WebPart safecontrollist cannot be accessed.



Presenting SharePoint + Silverlight at the SharePoint UK UserGroup Basingstoke March 27th

I'm really stoked to be presenting at the UK SharePoint user group meeting in Basingstoke on the 27 March about Silverlight and SharePoint.

This presentation will explain what Silverlight is, what the benefits are over standard web development and how Silverlight can be hosted in and integrate with SharePoint.
With few slides and plenty of demos I'll walkthrough the creation of a Silverlight 2.0 video browser application that uses data from SharePoint and then deploy it to SharePoint. I'll also show how a commercial Silverlight 2.0 product for SharePoint is put together.

The other presentations are

Architecting a Highly Available MOSS Farm - by Lewis Baldwin, ICS,  Head of Infrastructure and Support

Governance: Protecting your SharePoint Investment by Symon Garfield, ICS,  SharePoint Practice Lead

The good folks at ICS solutions are hosting us at their offices in Basingstoke (

Just post a reply with your full name on this thread (registration required)

SharePoint/PowerShell 8: The one with the Contact Web Part


Following on from the work in my previous post where I set the users Picture property in their profile the next step is to add a Contact Web Part to our imported publishing pages. I’m using the default layout page to add the contact Web Part to, this page has the Web Part Zones underneath the content fields but you could use another layout that has a Web Part zones to the right of the content fields and of course you can use SharePoint Designer to create your own layout formats and embed the Contact control without using code.

This is how our publishing pages will look once we have added the Web Part to each page

An interesting feature of a Publishing page is that it has a contact property where you can assign user details to each page, you can either lookup the user from the picker in which case the page will pull the users details from the profile database or you can type in the details yourself.


The nice thing about the Contact Web Part is that once you have added it to a publishing page it will automatically pull the picture and the users description (if set in the Web Part) that has been assigned to the page from the profile database.

One bad thing about the part is you only get the choice to put the users name left or right not top or bottom.

So on to the code, I need a function that will take a site URL and then set the default Publishing Page’s contact property and then add the Web Part to the page.



# Function: Add-ContactWebPart # Description: Adds the Contact User Web Part to a publishing page # Parameters: SiteURL - Server relative URL of the Area # UserName - UserName to show as the contact in domain\user format # # Requirements: Needs to have the System.Web assembly loaded # function Add-ContactWebPart($SiteURL, $UserName) { $comment = "Contact WebPart Added" $site = new-object Microsoft.sharePoint.SPSite($SiteURL) $web=$site.OpenWeb() $user= $web.Users.get_item($UserName) $pubweb = [Microsoft.SharePoint.Publishing.PublishingWeb]::GetPublishingWeb($web) $defaultpage=$pubweb.GetPublishingPages()[$pubweb.DefaultPage] $defaultpage.CheckOut() # Set Contact "Setting Contact on " + $pubweb.url + " to " + $user.Name $defaultpage.set_Contact($user) $defaultpage.Update() $webpartmanager=$web.GetLimitedWebPartManager($defaultpage.Url, [System.Web.UI.WebControls.WebParts.PersonalizationScope]::Shared) $webpart=new-object Microsoft.SharePoint.Portal.WebControls.ContactFieldControl $webpart.ChromeType=[System.Web.UI.WebControls.WebParts.PartChromeType]::TitleOnly; $webpart.Title="Page Contact" $webpart.PicturePosition=[Microsoft.SharePoint.Portal.WebControls.PictureDirection]::Left $webpart.IsDisplayJobTitle=$true $webpart.IsDisplayPicture=$true $webpartmanager.AddWebPart($webpart, "LeftColumnZone", 0); " Checking in page" $defaultpage.CheckIn($comment) # Publish if($defaultpage.listItem.ParentList.EnableMinorVersions -eq $true -and $publishingPage.ListItem.File.MinorVersion -ne 0) { " Publishing" $defaultpage.listItem.File.Publish($comment) } # If moderation is being used handle the approval if ($defaultpage.listItem.ParentList.EnableModeration) { $modInformation = $defaultpage.listItem.ModerationInformation " Moderation on, Current Status: " + $modInformation.Status # Check for pending approval if($modInformation.Status -ne [Microsoft.SharePoint.SPModerationStatusType]::Approved) { " Approving" $defaultpage.ListItem.File.Approve($comment) } } # Clean up $pubweb.Close() $web.Close() $site.Close() }


In this code we find the SPUser object for the given username and set the Contact property of the PublishingPage to it. We then add the web Part using the new SPLimitedWebPartManager class. Most of the code is concerned with checking the page out and back in and assumes the page is not already checked out.

An interesting line is


I'm indexing into the collection return by GetPublishingPages because Powershell doesn't support generics in the current version.

SharePoint/PowerShell 7: Put the User in the Picture

Now we have the portal setup I want to add a Contact WebPart to each page but before I can do that I have to add a picture for each user I have imported, in order to keep this post a little shorter I’m only going to concentrate on using the UserProfile API’s to set our picture for each user.
(The Contact WebPart is MOSS WebPart that shows a users name and description and optionally their picture)
The field that we are going to set programmatically is accessed on the Users edit profile page as Picture:

Once set this will display the picture on the user profile like this

To do this I need to revisit our User.csv import file and add an extra field that gives the name of the JPG file that holds the users picture.
I’m going to assume that the previous blog post Upload a directory of files in 4 lines has already uploaded the users picture to the SiteCollectionImages picture library, in real life you’d probably use a separate picture library.

Ideally a profile import has occurred after we have added the users to Active Directory and populated the SharePoint profile database.

Now to set the Users Picture property we know to know the Property Name of the Picture Field.
To make this easy to find out here’s the first function for our toolbox Get-SPUserProfileConfigManager.
This function returns a UserProfileConfigManager (, note this is the new class that resides in the Microsoft.Office.Server namespace not the v2 obsolete one that lives in Microsoft.sharePoint.Portal.UserProfiles.
Also ignore the sample currently given in the MSDN documentation above, it won’t work as it uses the old classes where you pass a PortalContext to the constructor whereas the new version of the classes take a ServerContext object.


# Function: Get-UserProfileConfigManager # Description: return a UserProfileConfigManager object which is used for management of MOSS User Profiles # Parameters: PortalURL URL for the Portal Site Collection # # function Get-UserProfileConfigManager([string]$PortalURL) { # Need to get a PortalContext object # as we do not have a HttpContext we need to source one the hard way $site=new-object Microsoft.SharePoint.SPSite($PortalURL) $servercontext=[Microsoft.Office.Server.ServerContext]::GetContext($site) $site.Dispose() # clean up # Return the UserProfileConfigManager new-object Microsoft.Office.Server.UserProfiles.UserProfileConfigmanager($servercontext) }


Once we get the UserProfileConfigManager we can call GetProperties and list the internal and display names for each profile property

$cm=get-userprofileconfigmanager "http://sps:2828" $cm.getproperties() | select name, displayname Name DisplayName ---- ----------- UserProfile_GUID Id SID SID ADGuid Active Directory Id AccountName Account name FirstName First name LastName Last name PreferredName Name WorkPhone Work phone Office Office Department Department Title Title Manager Manager AboutMe About me PersonalSpace Personal site PictureURL Picture UserName User name QuickLinks Quick links WebSite Web site PublicSiteRedirect Public site redirect SPS-Dotted-line Dotted-line Manager SPS-Peers Peers SPS-Responsibility Responsibilities SPS-Skills Skills SPS-PastProjects Past projects SPS-Interests Interests SPS-School Schools SPS-SipAddress SIP Address SPS-Birthday Birthday SPS-MySiteUpgrade My Site Upgrade SPS-DontSuggestList Don't Suggest List SPS-ProxyAddresses Proxy addresses SPS-HireDate Hire date SPS-LastColleagueAdded Last Colleague Added SPS-OWAUrl Outlook Web Access URL SPS-ResourceSID Resource Forest SID SPS-ResourceAccountName Resource Forest Account Name SPS-MasterAccountName Master Account Name Assistant Assistant WorkEmail Work e-mail CellPhone Mobile phone Fax Fax HomePhone Home phone

So from this list I see that I need to set the PictureURL property, to get a UserProfile we first need a UserProfileManager object:

# Function: Get-SPProfileManager # Description: Return a UserProfileManager object which is used for accessing MOSS User Profiles # Parameters: PortalURL URL for the Portal Site Collection # function Get-SPProfileManager([string]$PortalURL) { # Need to get a PortalContext object # as we do not have a HttpContext we need to source one the hard way $site=new-object Microsoft.SharePoint.SPSite($PortalURL) $servercontext=[Microsoft.Office.Server.ServerContext]::GetContext($site) $site.Dispose() # clean up # Return the UserProfileManager new-object Microsoft.Office.Server.UserProfiles.UserProfileManager($servercontext) }

And then a helper function Get-SPUserProfile to obtain the UserProfile object itself:

# Function: Get-SPUserProfile # Description: Return a UserProfile object, this will be created if it does not exist # Parameters: PortalURL URL for the Portal Site Collection # DomainUser UserName in Domain\user format function Get-SPUserProfile([string]$PortalURL, [string] $DomainUser) { $upm= Get-SPProfileManager([string]$PortalURL) if ($upm.UserExists($DomainUser) -eq $false) { $upm.CreateUserProfile($DomainUser) } $upm.GetUserProfile($DomainUser) }

Note that this function will create the UserProfile if it does not already exist.

Now we just need a function that makes it easy to set a single UserProfile property, if you have multiple properties to set it would be best to do them all at once and then call commit.

# Function: Set-UserProfileProperty # Description: Sets a property on a User Profile # Parameters: UserName [optional] UserName in Domain\user format # PropertyName Property to set # PropertyValue Property Value to set # $UserProfile UserProfile object, if using this in a loop this should be set # function Set-UserProfileProperty([string]$UserName, [string] $PropertyName, [string] $PropertyValue, [Microsoft.Office.Server.UserProfiles.UserProfile] $UserProfile) { # If we are not passed a UserProfile object then create it # if ($UserProfile -eq $null) { $UserProfile = Get-SPUserProfile($UserName) } $UserProfile[$PropertyName].Value= $PropertyValue $UserProfile.Commit() }

Note this function can either be called with a pre-created userProfile object or a UserName.

Heres the updated Users.CSV with the Picture Field added at the end  

LoginName, DisplayName, FirstName, LastName, Email, Picture brianb, Brian Ballack, Brian, Ballack,, cowner10.jpg walterf, Walter French, Walter, French,, cowner12.jpg

Now a function to tie this all together, it imports the CSV files, locates the user profile by login name and updates the user’s Picture URL:

function Set-UserPictures([string] $PortalURL, [string] $UserFile, [string] $Domain ) { Import-Csv $UserFile | foreach-object { $name=$Domain + "\" + $_.LoginName; $fullURL=$PortalURL + "/" + $_.Picture; Set-UserProfileProperty $PortalURL $name "PictureURL" $fullURL } }

 And you can make use of all of the above code by running this command:

Set-UserPictures "http://sps:2828" "users.csv" "contoso"

Ok now we're all set to add the Contact WebPart to each publishing page in the next post.

New Free Web Part: Flash Dynamic PhotoGrid

Flexnet Consultants have just released a brand new free Web Part.

The PhotoGrid WebPart will show a nXn grid of Picture Library images with a each image randomly chosen to be enlarged. This is similar to the Flikr Photobadge.

You can set the number of pictures on each row and the number of rows along with the time the enlarged picture is displayed (Display time).

Our Web Parts page uses a Flash embedded demo to show you how it would look.

Flash Slideshow Web Part Version 1.2 released

Version 1.2 of our free Flash Slideshow Web Part is released.

The Slideshow Web Part will show a rotating display of all the pictures in the Picture Library with an adjustable fade transition between each picture.

This version has better support for SharePoint sites running on non standard http ports.

It now also supports all the image formats that the Picture Library does.