SharePoint 2010 Features: A Quick Preview

What is SharePoint? This the question people ask when I talk about SharePoint…be it the customer prospects, colleagues, friends etc This is how I define it “SharePoint is a product which facilitates data discovery within the organization and providing a single point to share”. However this is not the complete definition, as SharePoint is too large a product to be summed up in few lines. This is how Microsoft defines it “SharePoint is an integrated suite of server capabilities that can help improve organizational effectiveness by providing comprehensive content management and enterprise search, accelerating shared business processes, and facilitating information-sharing across boundaries for better business insight. It provides a single, integrated location where employees can efficiently collaborate with team members, find organizational resources, search for experts and corporate information, manage content and workflow, and leverage business insight to make better-informed decisions.” Well, let me tell you that this monster is paving its way thick and fast across enterprises as a platform for document management, enterprise content management, collaboration and what not. So let’s catch the bull by its horns and get a glimpse of what the future version of this has in store for us. Let’s quickly sneak through the features of upcoming version of SharePoint i.e. SharePoint 2010   The following are the Key Features to look in SharePoint 2010 · Sites · Communities · Content · Search · Insights · Composites · Administration · Development

Searching Scanned pdf files in SharePoint

If you need to search a scanned pdf file in SharePoint. Adobe ifilter (free) does not have a capability to search through a scanned pdf file. Let’s dig out what does scanned pdf means for those who are scratching their heads so as to what’s this exactly is. Here you go…a scanned pdf is one that is created by scanning physical paper like pages of a book, legal documents, etc. see below search scanned pdf While doing a proof-of concept exercise for a prospect we encountered this behavior (inability to search through scanned pdf files) and if you are interested how we overcame the issue…please read on After analyzing various aspects as to what best can be done so as to facilitate "scanned pdf" searching in SharePoint, we zeroed in on the following three options. The crux is to make the scanned pdf a searchable dual layer pdf which has not only the scanned image but also a layer of the text from the image. The technology to read text from "Image" is known as OCR (Optical Character Recognition)

  1. Use an OCR tool which converts the "scanned pdf" directly to "dual layer pdf" i.e. (image + OCR text) and upload the resulting pdf to SharePoint and the adobe ifilter will take care of indexing the document. Following are the few such products: Nuance PDF Converter Enterprise Solid PDF Tools X-Key These products come with an API as well, that means you can automate the complete process.
  2. Use an open source OCR tool to retrieve the text from the pdf file and store it as a metadata for the pdf document inside a SharePoint document library. Do a full crawl of the site and you are up and running with the solution to scan OCRopus Tesseract
  3. Use an Ifilter specifically targeted towards such pdf documents. Captaris

List of OCR Software’s Free:

  1. CuneiForm
  2. GOCR
  3. Ocrad
  4. OCRopus
  5. Tesseract


  1. Expervision
  2. FineReader
  3. Microsoft Office Document Imaging
  4. OmniPage
  5. Readiris

Till next time…

Document Converters in SharePoint

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 includes a new feature that allows converting documents from one format (content type) to another. Built-in Document Converters in SharePoint includes several document converters that you can use out of the box:

  1. · .DOCX (Office Open XML) to HTML web page (also .DOCM to web page)
  2. · InfoPath to HTML web page
  3. · XML to HTML web page

Creating a Document Converter for MOSS A document converter for SharePoint (MOSS) is a custom exe that SharePoint can call with command line arguments. The arguments specify the input, output, configuration and log files.  Deploy a Document Converter to MOSS The document converter for SharePoint must be packaged as a SharePoint Feature and deployed at the Web-application level. A Feature in SharePoint is a unit of functionality that can be added/removed to a SharePoint server. A feature is defined in an XML file that describes the feature, its name, scope and required files. The feature definition XML and accompanying files must be placed in a folder in the C:Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft Sharedweb server extensions12TEMPLATEFEATURES folder. Each feature needs to have a Feature.xml file that specifies the feature name, unique id, scope and the elements that comprise the feature. Create a Folder for the Feature Create the C:Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft Sharedweb server extensions12TEMPLATEFEATURESExample folder on the SharePoint server. Create a Feature Definition XML File In the feature folder, create the Feature.xml as shown below. <Feature xmlns=""     Id="{guid}"     Title="DOC to PDF Converter"     Description="Convert documents from DOC to PDF."     Scope="Web Application">  </Feature> If you create more converters later on, pick a different GUID for the feature. The easiest way to generate a unique GUID is to use the Tools / Generate GUID menu in Visual Studio. The ElementManifest element in the Feature.xml file refers to the Elements.xml file. This file contains the actual definition of the document converter. The definition of the document converter includes unique id, display name, the name of the executable to launch and the extensions of the source and destination content types. In the feature folder, create the Elements.xml as shown below. Content of the Elements.xml file. <Elements xmlns="">     <DocumentConverter Id="{guid}"         Name="DOC to PDF "         App="exe file name"         From="doc"         To="pdf" /> </Elements> If you create more converters later on, pick a different GUID for the converter. The easiest way to generate a unique GUID is to use the Tools / Generate GUID menu in Visual Studio. Enable Document Converters You need to enable document conversions in SharePoint, as they seem to come disabled by default. Go to the Central Administration –>Application Management –>Configure Document Conversion screen and enable document conversions. It is a good idea to check that the document conversion services are installed and running. In my case they were installed and running. Go to the Central Administration –>Operations –>Services on Server and make sure that the Document Conversions Launcher Service and Document Conversions Load Balancer Services are installed and running. Install the Document Converter Feature Now we need to install the feature so the document converter becomes available in SharePoint. Execute the following command on the server: "C:Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft Sharedweb server extensions12BINSTSADM.EXE" -o installfeature -filename ExampleFeature.xml –force Activate the Document Converter Feature Now we need to activate the document converter, execute the following command on the server: "C:Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft Sharedweb server extensions12BINSTSADM.EXE" -o activatefeature -name Example -url http://siteurl Verify that the feature indeed was installed and activated Copy the Document Converter Files! Copy the executable files to C:Program FilesMicrosoft Office Servers12.0TransformApps Make Sure the Converter is Enabled for the Site Go to your SharePoint home page, click Site ActionsàSite Settingsà Modify All Site Settingsà Site Content Typesà DocumentàManage Document Conversion for This Content Type and make sure your document converter is enabled.

Customizing Web part shortcut menu (chrome)

Web part shortcut menu allows you to minimize, Close, Modify web part and export. To add new item, edit or modify existing item in menu you need to override CreateWebpartmenu method of WebPart base class and access the MenuItems collection of the Web Part’s WebPartMenu property.
List of Item IDs
• MSOMenu_Minimize
• MSOMenu_Restore
• MSOMenu_Close
• MSOMenu_Delete
• MSOMenu_Edit
• MSOMenu_Connections
• MSOMenu_Export
• MSOMenu_Help

Sample example

public override void CreateWebPartMenu()
MenuItem ParentItem, Item1, Item2;

//first we create three menu items 
//one as a parent item, and two submenu items 
//create the parent item 

ParentItem = new MenuItem("ParentItem", "", "ParentItemID");

//create a submenu item with a server event on click 
Item1 = new MenuItem("Item1", "Item1ID", new EventHandler(EventHandlerForItem1));

//create a submenu item with a client event on click 
Item2 = new MenuItem("Item2", "javascript:alert('Item2 was clicked');", "Item2ID");
// We then add the submenu items to the parent item. 


// We then decide that we'd like to add the parent item after the 
// "Edit Web Part Properties" item in the menu. 
// First we find the index of the "Edit" item 
int EditIndex =

// Then we insert the parent item after the "Edit" item 
this.WebPartMenu.MenuItems.Insert(EditIndex + 1, ParentItem);

// Make sure the parent item has a separator above it 
ParentItem.BeginSection = true;

// Check a custom property to decide whether to display the parent menu 
if (this.CustomProperty1 == true)
ParentItem.Visible = true;
ParentItem.Visible = false;
// Check another custom property to decide which menu item to enable 
// within the parent item 
if (this.CustomProperty2 == true)
Item1.Enabled = true;
Item2.Enabled = false;
Item1.Enabled = false;
Item2.Enabled = true;