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May 10 2013

05:40

Using Filter Web Parts to search a SharePoint List / Library View's entire directory hierarchy (incl. sub-folders)

So, this is a fairly common use-case and requirement that FilterZen easily delivers a workable solution for. (I think we have this topic covered in a forum thread or two, but a quick "authorative" blog post on this can't hurt.)

Here's your situation:

  • you have a SharePoint List View (or Library View) with folders shown. Easy, simple, your users know how to work with that.
  • you have it connected to a Filter Web Part so that users can easily "search" locally within that List View, without needing SharePoint's Search UI.
  • your users appreciate the display of folders, but also would like to be able to "search in all folders" when they begin specifying filter criteria.

By default, this won't happen... here's how to make it happen.

September 11 2012

07:04

September 25 2011

15:41

Using User Profile Property Values for List Filtering in SharePoint

Every other month or so, we receive an enquiry like the following:

Is it possible to filter (using FilterZen) a standard Document Library by a specific user profile field such as Department, where Department is also a field in the List / Library? I cannot see a way of doing it like the out-of-the-box Current User Filter Web Part.

Can do! With a few tweaks. Truth be told, we've been meaning to roll out first-class native FilterZen support for the SharePoint Server (MOSS / SPS) User Profiles model for a bit now. We expect to finalize an update for this by early October 2011, ie. in the next 1-2 weeks.

But that's no excuse not to implement such a requirement in FilterZen right now, with the current version you have now available. Of course, if you're on MOSS 2007 / SPS 2010, you could just use the out-of-box Current User Filter Web Part right away and skip FilterZen entirely — but if you have other filters for your List or Library you'd like to apply with FilterZen, integrating a User Profile Property into your main FilterZen Web Part is an understandable need and this is how you do it:

Let's work from the original enquiry above. You have a List View / Library View Web Part on your page (or you work directly on a View Page for that Library) and the Library contains a Department field. We want to filter so that only documents are shown that apply to the current user's Department, as stored in the corresponding User Profile Property.

For now there are no other Web Parts on the page. Add to it an out-of-box Current User Filter Web Part, a FilterZen Transformer Web Part and a FilterZen Filter Web Part, in that order. Do not connect any Web Parts at this point. Since you can freely re-arrange the order of Web Parts on the page interactively, be sure we have the following Web Part order:

  1. Out-of-box Current User Filter Web Part
  2. FilterZen Transformer Web Part
  3. FilterZen Filter Web Part
  4. Your Library View Web Part

1. The Current User Filter Web Part

  • For Filter Name, specify TempDepartment
  • Under Select value to provide, pick Department
  • Under Advanced Filter Options, tick the Send Empty if there are no values check-box option

2. The FilterZen Filter Web Part

Apart from any other filters your FilterZen Filter Web Part may contain, you will add a Text Filter named Department. This filter name refers not to the User Profile Property but to the target Library Field it is filtering! Apart from the name, the only other setting you need to set for this Text Filter is the default value which you will set to {$TempDepartment$} (or whatever name you used in step 1.)

3. Web Part Connections

Only now do you connect all Web Parts on the page, exactly as follows and exactly in this order:

  • From the Connections sub-menu of the FilterZen Transformer Web Part, select ICellConsumer (Get Cell From) and then pick your Current User Filter Web Part.
  • From the Connections sub-menu of the FilterZen Transformer Web Part, select IRowProvider (Send Row To) and then pick your FilterZen Filter Web Part.
  • From the Connections sub-menu of the FilterZen Filter Web Part, select Send Filter Values To and then pick your List View / Library View Web Part.

At first glance, this possibly looks more complicated than it really is — in fact, it's a fairly straightforward sequence of simple steps, really! With the next FilterZen, as usual things will be even easier and even faster to implement. But even now, FilterZen's core flexibility let's you combine the (very few) remaining not-yet-fully-absorbed skills of out-of-box Filter Web Parts with its many rock-solid and tremendously useful capabilities already provided.

This was just one example of how experimentation with core building blocks and re-using basic capabilities can take you far beyond the myriad of built-in, "typical" turn-key use-cases. So keep exploring!

March 19 2011

01:25

Hi, Ryan Wheeler, developer of "Pentalogic FilterPoint"!

First off, congrats to getting a Filter Web Part developed and to market. As we know too well, this takes skills of all kinds, countless man-months once the first version is scrutinized by real world enterprise users with the most complex and fickle requirements, much debugging and hair-pulling...

August 23 2010

01:35

Augment Search Result Pages with Filtered Document Library / List Views

While SharePoint's Search features present a great deal of configurability and customizability, it sometimes cannot be tweaked enough to support every need. We received the following request:

We have a WSS 3.0 store of documents that we would like to share. They are stored as list items and there are a number of different columns which help describe the documents. Some are quite straightforward, such as document name, document description, division and subdivision within the organisation that created the document. The one that is causing problems is a column called keywords. It takes its values from another list (sample values might be: climate change, air quality, litter prevention, noise pollution control). Since a document might be relevant to a number of areas, multiple keywords can be selected. I found that once multiple selections were allowed, a search scope allowing the user to narrow their search by keyword just wouldn't work. I would like to allow a user to narrow their search by organisational division, which I have done, and I'd like to be able to give them good functionality to filter the results that are returned. The filtering wouldn't just be limited to the keywords; it would also allow users to filter by date and author.

August 19 2010

00:53

Lost Web Part Connections on SharePoint 2010 List View Pages (Windows 7)

This is just a short notice on what has to be one of the most curious little bugs we have come across in SharePoint 2010 so far:

whether we use our own premier SharePoint Filter Web Part or the out-of-box ones, or attempt to create any other kind of Web Part connection:

  • on a List View Page (AllItems.aspx etc.)
  • in the browser, via the Connections option in any Web Part's edit menu
  • in the context of SharePoint Server development deployments installed on physical 64-bit Windows 7 Ultimate machines (the client OS doesn't matter in this discussion, Win 7 in this case is the server OS)

then the connection gets LOST — routinely, repeatedly, reproducably — as soon as the page gets freshly reloaded. Now, as long as you stay in the page state and perform other changes via post-backs, but keep the page view state alive (this is ASP.NET lingo but it'll have to do for now), the connection seems to stay alive, but re-initialize the page fully (not via an F5-postback but by fully re-navigating to it) and the connection is simply gone. All other modifications to your Web Parts and the page seems to have been persisted to the Content Database just fine, except for the connection itself!

Now of course the official recommendation is to use a Windows 2008 Server OS rather than Windows 7 for SharePoint Server deployments, and furthermore from the general design of SharePoint 2010 the customizing of List View pages with further Web Parts or even connections seems to be implicitly discouraged in the overall design — for example, you lose the List View selector drop-down menu in the Browse ribbon tab as soon as you add another Web Part to your List View page, and some indeed argue that such view aggregations and advanced behaviors should be realized in separate pages rather than the mere core View pages — but...

...as usual, theres a work-around to keep going:

quite simply, set up your Web Part connection in SharePoint Designer and it will be persisted for good. Of course now you have a customized, a.k.a. un-ghosted copy of the List View page in your content database (for no particular reason other than SPD always un-ghosting a page when you hit Save, even though the same customizations when done in the browser would not have resulting in such an un-ghosting since Web Parts and connections are neatly stored outside your page mark-up in the DB and are just merged with the page HTML by SPD when it opens it), but neither on your Windows 7 development server nor on most productive systems is this typically really an issue.

July 31 2010

15:13

June 30 2010

13:13

Adding an "Advanced Search" interface to any List or Web Part in no time -- with the new on-the-fly Filters

We just introduced an outstanding new feature to FilterZen: the Dynamic Ad-Hoc Filters that give you a full-fledged Advanced Search user interface for any connected Web Part, and fully pre-populated with applicable fields for any SharePoint List:

Previously, content managers, site designers or admins pre-configured individual filters with the proper settings for their end-users, but those had no way of customizing these. While this is still a valid use-case for many projects, with the new Dynamic Ad-Hoc Filters, end users can arrange and combine their own filters on the fly to search the List, Data View or other Web Part in a way that suits them in their individual, current situation.

 

  • End-users can AND/OR combine multiple filters on the fly.
  • The appropriate rich editors (date controls and people pickers) are shown when a field is selected, without a page post-back.
  • End users can also search for "any field", for example "show me records where any field contains iron".
  • Setting this up is a breeze, and admins can pre-define which fields and operators are allowed:

May 29 2010

10:14

List Filtering: Highlighting Partial Matches in Search Results

Just a quick update: users of FilterZen, the ultimate Filter Web Part for SharePoint 2010 and 2007, can now greatly improve the end-user usability with a simple check-box option we just newly introduced: highlighting of filter values (ie. search phrases) in the connected consumer List View "search results":

The highlighting needs to be explicitly enabled in the FilterZen Web Part settings tool-pane (in the Interactive Filters section, see above-right screenshot) and of course you can fully re-style and customize this using CSS: simply use the span.rox-hilitematch selector.

May 27 2010

20:08

Filtering SharePoint Lists using nested AND / OR operator precedence hierarchies

A few days ago we pushed out a silent minor update to FilterZen that finally gives you ultimate control over how to combine multiple SharePoint List filters. As the array of available operator options is now quite broad, this article provides a summary overview on how filters and values can be logically combined when filtering SharePoint Lists.

March 31 2010

12:01

Enabling CAML Filtering Mode for Data View Web Parts

Our CAML Filtering Mode brings many outstanding filtering capabilities to SharePoint Filter Web Parts targeting out-of-box Document Library and List Views, such as operators, wild-cards, value-range, date-spans, cascading drop-down List filters and much more.

The good news is that you can also have all of these benefits for your XSLT Data View Web Parts, if they are bound to a SharePoint List. Unlike out-of-box List Views, this requires just a few setup steps for XSL Data Views.

In this article I'll show you how to make your Filter Web Part Connection to a XSLT Data View.

March 17 2010

12:09

"Exceeded data fetch limit" on DispForm pages with List View connections: the work-around

The following is a desirable scenario in many SharePoint projects:

  • You have two related Lists, such as for example Customers and Orders.
  • The latter contains a Lookup Column pointing to the Customer of each and every Order.
  • On the Display Form (DispForm.aspx) of each and every Customer, you'd like to show all its Orders.

How can you achieve this? Let us find out in this article.

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