MOSS Tells Me My Column Name is Reserved or In Use … But It’s Not

UPDATE 12/04/07: See this Microsoft KB ( for related information.

Actually, it turns out it is, but tricksy MOSS had to make it difficult.

My customer does some development work on his MOSS site over the weekend.  It’s a bit of a jumble as to what he actually did, but the end result is this:

He tries to add […]

Present OM Data Via a Custom List (or, Yet Another OM Data Displayor [like YACC, but different])

Today, I spent a handful of hours tracking down the root cause behind the message "The column name that you entered is already in use or reserved.  Choose another name."

The column in question could be created, deleted and re-created in another environment, so I knew it wasn’t a reserved name.  However, I simply couldn’t find […]

SharePoint Designer Workflow Custom Action — Observation About <FieldBind Designer Type=”StringBuilder” … />

Just a quick observation that there’s a very important difference between these two definitions:

<FieldBind Field="InParam1" DesignerType="StringBuilder" Id="2" Text="Input parameter #1"/>


<FieldBind Field="InParam1" Id="2" Text="Input parameter #1"/>

The first shows like this in SPD:

while the latter shows like this:

I’m not sure how helpful these screen shots are but I put in the effort to make […]

Premature Workflow Activation — A Non-medical Solution

UPDATE: See this MSDN discussion, especially the last entry:  It describes a condition that may short circuit this whole thing.  In short, it may be as simple as making at least one of the fields mandatory.

I have a document library that supports eight content types.

I have a SharePoint Designer workflow that wants to calculate […]

SharePoint Security Fundamentals Primer / Avoid Common Pitfalls

UPDATE 12/18/07: See Paul Liebrand’s article for some technical consequences of removing or modifying the default group names (see his comment below as well). 


SharePoint security is easy to configure and manage.  However, it has proven to be difficult for some first-time administrators to really wrap their hands around it.  Not only that, I have seen […]

Quick and Easy: Create a Data View Web Part (DVWP)

There is a wealth of great information on the WSS 3.0 Data View Web Part (DVWP) on the web from several sources.  However, I found it to be surprisingly difficult to find information on this first very basic step.  Here is another article in the "quick and easy" series to address it.

Follow these steps to create […]

“Cannot get the list schema column property from the SharePoint list” — description/work-arounds

This week, we finally reproduced a problem that had been reported by a remote user: When she tried to export the contents of a list to excel, things would seem to start working, but then Excel would pop up an error: "Cannot get the list schema column property from the SharePoint list".  She was running […]

Quick and Simple: Send an email with embedded hyperlink from SharePoint Designer workflow

Once or twice month, someone posts a forum question: "How do I include hyperlinks to URL’s that are clickable from a SharePoint Designer email?"

Presented without further comment:  (well, actually there is further comment after the image):

Becky Isserman follows up with a helpful explanation on how to embed a link to an item in the email: […]

New release: SharePoint Designer Workflow Extensions (string manipulation functions)

UPDATE: See here for my thoughts on commercializing this project:!1CC1EDB3DAA9B8AA!569.entry

I’ve been busy working on my Codeplex project which is presently focused on providing string manipulation extensions to workflows created via SharePoint Designer.

See here for details:

Project home:


Version 1.0 includes the following new features:


Description (if not same as .Net function)


Returns the number "entries" in […]

A BDC runtime error explained

I caused a BDC error this week that manifested itself on the user interface and in the 12 hive log at runtime.

First, this appeared in the user interface:

Could not find fields to insert all the Identifier Values to correctly execute a SpecificFinder MethodInstance with Name … Ensure input Parameters have TypeDescriptors associated with every […]