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The Resource Kit and the Digital Dashboard

Some cool resource kit tools and Web parts ship with the SharePoint Portal Server Resource Kit. This kit can be purchased or found online at http://www.microsoft.com/sharepoint/techinfo/reskit/default.asp. One section on Web parts is different from the Web part galleries I've been discussing here. These Web parts are available for use for free from this location.

The resource kit contains several Web parts that I discuss here. I don't discuss them all, but there are a few I'd like to point out.

Add a Link to the Dashboard Site Home Page

This Web part allows users to add announcements, news items, and quick links directly to the portal (Figure 3–22). Even though the Web part can be published on the Home dashboard, you'll still need Author or Coordinator privileges to modify the portal content. There is also an option to remove content in these folders, and that option uses the Web folders client. This is a handy Web part to make available to those who configure portal content. Very nice.

Figure 3-22Figure 3–22 Add a Link to the Dashboard Site Home Page Web part

Announcements Authoring Tool

This Web part updates the standard Announcements Web part that ships with SPS. It lets you create content without the use of FrontPage or Word. A script must be run, and then a Web part must be imported to make this work.

You'll encounter a couple of screwy things. First, if you're importing this into the Home dashboard, you'll find that in the layout view of the dashboard, two Announcements Web parts will appear. There will also be two Announcements Web parts in the Content listing of the Home dashboard. Yet, from the browser, you'll see only one Announcements Web part (Figure 3–23). In this updated Announcements Web part, there is a link called Add New Announcement. This link invokes a screen in which you can create a new announcement title and give it a description and an abstract along with start and end dates. If you want to edit the announcement, you can call up a simple text editor with some

Figure 3-23Figure 3–23 Announcements Authoring Tool Web part

graphics capabilities, allowing you to create visually stimulating and interesting announcements. Use this tool to spruce up your announcements. Note that you'll need Author privileges to create a new announcement using this tool.

Category Management

This Web part allows you to manage Web parts using the portal instead of the Web folders client. Install this Web part on your dashboard if you need to manage categories from various computers, some of which do not have the SPS client installed.

Server Content Source Status Tool

This one is cool. With this tool, you can see the current status of all your content sources from one location (see Figure 3–24). This Web part installs cleanly and gives you a visual representation of the content source's status in a neat table. This part is dynamic, so as you add and delete content sources, information will be updated in the Web part.

Figure 3-24Figure 3–24 Server Content Source Status Tool Web part

Document Status

This Web part shows to each user the documents that she has checked out, which ones are awaiting her approval, and any documents she has authored that are awaiting the approval of others.

To install this Web part, you first run a script and then import the Web part. Once installed, it will appear as a Web part, by default, in the left column of your Home dashboard. The title of the Web part will change to reflect the choice of document status you want displayed. The default is Checked Out to You. Use the drop-down arrow to make a different selection. It's recommended that you install this Web part on the Home dashboard (Figure 3–25).

Figure 3-25Figure 3–25 Document Status Tool Web Part

Property-Based Browsing

This tool extends the Advanced Search Web part by allowing it to search on list values. I recommend that you install this Web part on the Search dashboard. Figure 3–26 illustrates this Web part. Possible choices are listed in the Choose a Value drop-down list. If no matching document exists, this will be displayed.

Figure 3-26Figure 3–26 Property-Based Browsing Web Part

Interestingly, if you choose a property to search on and there are no matching documents, the Web part will automatically give you a second drop-down box, where you can choose a different property to search on. The second property search will be combined with the first in an AND Boolean search string, meaning that the document must meet the search criteria for both the first and the second query strings.

New tools are often released by Microsoft. Be sure to regularly check Microsoft's Web site for new tools at http://www.microsoft.com/sharepoint/techinfo/reskit/default.asp.

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