Monthly Archives: July 2014

Creating Custom SharePoint Forms Without a Master Page

My colleague, Lauren Jones, wrote up a nice walk-through on how to create a custom data entry form using SharePoint Designer.  That’s not exactly “new under the sun” but there’s a bit of twist.  In her words:

Creating custom forms is straight forward to do in SharePoint Designer, navigate to your list and on the ribbon menu select ‘List Form’ and create your new form template.

This works well if you want your form to be attached to you master page, but what if you have the use case of creating a form that is in a popup window or is standalone without the SharePoint chrome. I had exactly this use case, I wanted to custom style a form then use that form in a popup div inline within a page.

Don’t despair, there is a way to do this which is not that intuitive but fairly easy to accomplish.

You can read all the details here: and you can see it in action by clicking the “contact us for more information” link on any of the services on the services page of our Big Apple SharePoint site (

Lauren writes lots of good stuff on UX and branding.  You can see more of here writing here:


Distracting Design and Drunk on the Feature Coolaid

My colleague, Lauren Jones ( wrote up an short article talking about how overly complex SP rollouts are very hard on end users.  It’s sort of obvious, in a way, but it’s easy for me to say that after I’ve orchestrated a LOT of complex rollouts of things to unprepared end users over the years.

Here’s the key ‘graph:

Five years ago, when I rolled out SharePoint to an organization for the first time with a primary goal of becoming the collaboration platform and replacing share drives, we also introduced social and news feeds through RSS, My Sites and Profiles, and folksonomy tagging. Needless to say, this was a lot for end users to adopt in one swoop. While there was success with adoption around document management and profiles, RSS and tagging was less successful and this was really due to the change management communication and training. We couldn’t do it all at once. Taking the less is more approach and releasing functionality in phases is easier for end users to accept and adopt to.

This article reminds of another bit I read by Kris Gale related to Yammer’s feature set, “The One Cost Engineers and Product Managers Don’t Consider.”

If you have a horror story or success story to share, I hope you’ll do that in comments over on the Big Apple site.


Weekly Roundup – July 13, 2014

I for to xpost this here over the past weekend. 

Here’s the 3rd article in a series where I write about blog posts and online articles that were especially interesting to me in the last week or so.  This week’s entry in the series highlights two CodePlex projects for a potential InfoPath replacement and for managing permissions with SharePoint, news about satellites, yet another JavaScript framework and a nod to Ada Babbage and her role in computing history.

You can read it here:


View CAML Queries in Real Time With ULS Viewer

My colleague, Ashsih Patel, wrote up a nice walk-through describing how to see the CAML behind various SP queries that happen in the course of business in real-time using the ULS viewer.

Here’s the intro:

Did you ever want to know what CAML queries are executed by SharePoint Server?

Well, for troubleshooting and learning purpose, it is not a bad idea. After all, SQL Profiler has been helping us troubleshoot a lot of issues.

There may be products out there but I figured out a way to do it without spending extra bucks! And here it is…

You can read the whole thing here: