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December 25 2010


SharePoint 2010 List View AJAX Options and Filter Web Parts

A FilterZen user reported the following issue:

I have tried to set up the Filter Web Part with an Issue List on SharePoint Server 2010 and everything seemed to work flawlessly except the List 'unfilters' every time it is auto-refreshed.

I have tried putting the filters in a Web Part on the List and applying it to a List in a Web Part where AJAX Options Asyncronous Refresh is enabled with the same result: the List unfilters every time it is auto-refreshed.

The strange thing is that it seems to work OK when AJAX Options Manual Refresh is applied to a List in a webpart?!

We could reproduce the issue, but now the much bigger question was how to fix this. First off, to summarize the issue:

  • In SharePoint 2010, List Views give you a tool-pane section with so-called AJAX Options:
    • the Show Manual Refresh Button option lets end users refresh the List data shown in the List View Web Part without reloading the entire page.
      • This AJAX refresh mode works just fine even with filters applied from connected Filter Web Parts such as FilterZen or the out-of-box Filter Web Parts.
    • the Enable Asynchronous Automatic Refresh option seemingly performs the above background data refresh periodically and automatically, without the end user having to click a button.
      • This AJAX refresh mode simply does not respect filters applied from connected Filter Web Parts, neither FilterZen nor the out-of-box Filter Web Parts!
  • Since the out-of-box Web Parts exhibit the same problem as FilterZen, this did not seem to be a bug in our product, but nevertheless wouldn't it be neat if this could be made to work, at least for FilterZen users?

We looked "long and hard" in SharePoint's unintelligible heap of client JavaScripts to figure out why the first AJAX background data refresh mode seemed to work but the second wouldn't, with respect to filters applied from connected Web Parts.

There may be an easy fix waiting to be discovered, but we couldn't figure it out. Rather than give up completely on the issue, we added the same "hack" to FilterZen that we figured we would also apply as SharePoint devs / consultants, would we face the issue in a real-world project:

  • the AJAX refresh called from the button works while the periodical background refresh doesn't (with respect to connection-provided filters)
  • hence:
    • deactivate the Enable Asynchronous Automatic Refresh option,
    • activate the Show Manual Refresh Button option and
    • add JavaScript to the page that periodically invokes the Manual Refresh button to "emulate" the automatic refresh, but in the way that has been shown to work (via the refresh button).
  • optionally also include script to hide the Manual Refresh button if this should not be made available to end users.

The above logic is now included directly in FilterZen so you won't need to script the above yourself, starting from build and we tested this, it works! This affects all List Views on the page that have both Enable Asynchronous Automatic Refresh disabled and Show Manual Refresh Button enabled:

August 23 2010


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.

July 31 2010


May 24 2010


Missing the List View selector tool-bar drop-down menu in SharePoint 2010? Introducing the new List View Picker.

In SharePoint 2007 and WSS 3.0, whenever you were on a List View page (or added a List View Web Part or List-bound Data View Web Part), you always got (or could easily enable) a nice out-of-box View selector drop-down in the List tool bar. Switching Views was simply a one-click affair. In 2010, this is often no longer the case: you don't get an easy one-click View selector as soon as you add a second Web Part to an out-of-box View page, and you also don't get one when re-using the List as a Web Part on other pages.

March 31 2010


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


"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.

March 08 2010


Filtering SQL Data View Web Parts in SharePoint

SharePoint's XSLT Data View Web Parts do support incoming Web Part Connections, but they are a fragile bunch. Connecting a Filter provider Web Part to List View Web Parts is straightforward. Connecting to a List-bound XSLT Data View can be a tad more tricky depending on circumstances, but still fairly easy. Connecting to an SQL-bound Data View requires a few Serious Setup Steps. This walkthrough helps you through it.

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