To WordPress or Not to WordPress…

I’ve been thinking about moving this blog over to the WordPress platform.

Alas, I am torn. On one hand, I am a SharePoint developer and I think there is a lot of value to be learned simply by existing in that ecosystem. Plus the WP platform is new to me so the conversion may be a bit more effort than I’m ready to bite off.

On the other hand, the SP blog engine just isn’t that mature. There are a ton of ready-made tools and plug ins available for wordpress blogs. Plus, I’d be spinning it up inside Microsoft Web Matrix ( and learning that new bit of tech is appealing.

Thoughts? I guess you can email them to me since this is a SharePoint blog and support for public comments is not there (rmiller (at) mylocalbroadband (dot) com


CodePlex Updates

Woo Hooo! CodePlex servers are being upgraded to TFS 2010. Should be very exciting. Here’s the email I just got from them:

CodePlex Project Contributors,


**The information in this e-mail applies to project coordinators and developers that are using TFS with the Team Explorer client. If you are using Mercurial or a Subversion client, then nothing will change for you**


During the upcoming weeks we will be migrating all of the CodePlex TFS projects onto our new TFS 2010 servers. This upgrade will allow us to support new TFS features and provide increased server performance and reliability. The move will happen on a server by server basis, so expect each TFS server (TFS01 to TFS10) to be down for a few hours as data is migrated. Updates on when each server will be offline and an estimate on when they will be back online will be posted on our system outage page:


As part of this migration, the URL of your TFS server will change and this will require you to update your projects source control bindings. After your project has moved, instructions on how to connect with Team Explorer to the new TFS server can be found on the source control tab of your project under “Source Control Setup”. For detailed instructions on updating your source control bindings see: Additionally, if you connect to your project using Visual Studio Team Explorer 2005, you will need to install the 2005 forward compatibility pack: If you connect using Team Explorer 2008, you will need to install the 2008 forward compatibility pack:


Finally, the TFS 2010 upgrade process checks two build templates files into your project under BuildProcessTemplates. These templates can be removed safely as we currently do not support TF build.



The CodePlex Team

Fixing a renamed Title Field

We’ve all seen it. It happens in every implementation once: Somebody with site collection owner rights drills too far down when editing a list and unknowingly renames the Title site column. There are a number of ways of fixing the issue.

  1. Use SP Manager. with this tool, you can open up your SharePoint farm, drill down to your site collection fields and reset the field back to Title. You need to run this application directly on one of your SharePoint servers, but if you have that kind of access, this is probably the easiest fix.
  2. Use the object model (SP Manager uses the object model as well). You can probably write a powershell script or a console application that will fix up your title field without too much trouble. A little bing searching will probably get you one ready made. Again, you need to do this from one of your SharePoint servers, and if you can get SP Manager on your server, it’s probably the easier route.
  3. Use the webs.asmx web service. Using this option will allow you to fix the field from off the box. You’ll need to write a console application with a web reference to do this.
  4. Use the SharePoint Schema Migrator ( After futtsing around with option 3 for a day, I came across this tool and used it to successfully correct the title field. Here’s the steps I took: (screen shots below)
    1. Get the SP Schema Migrator. I downloaded and recompiled the code, but you can probably just use the precompiled executable.
    2. Make the altered title column visible.
    3. Use SP Schema Migrator to pull the fields from your site to be corrected.
    4. Locate the altered title field in the SP Schema Migrator’s rows and change it back to Title
    5. Mark only the Title field to be updated. (make sure you click off that row so the dataset is updated)
    6. Using the same site as your destination site, click the copy/update button to repair your title field.
    7. Now go back in the browser and change your title field’s group back to _Hidden.
    8. The most painful step – Any lists that had a renamed title field will need to be changed again. For example, the contacts list has the title field renamed to “Last Name”. These will now all say “Title” in place of last name. You’ll need to go through each of these individually and manually change the column back to “Last Name”.

Making the title field visible:


You need to make your title field visible. So go to your content type library and edit your item content type.

Click your altered title field and then click the edit site column in new window link.


Change your field’s group from _Hidden to some other group. I used Base Columns here. Then click OK to save your changes.


You should now see your altered column in the site column gallery.


Running SharePoint Schema Migrator

Enter your broken site in the source URL and click get fields.

You should see your problem column come back.


Correct the DisplayName for the Title field and check the Update box.

Make sure you click off the row after you’ve made your changes, this will update the dataset so the tool knows you’ve made changes manually.


Using the source URL for the copy to URL, click the copy/update button.


A message box will open with the results from the web service.

Hit OK and close the fields migrator.


Wrapping Up

Back in the site column gallery, you should see your title field has been corrected.


Click your Title Field and go to its edit page.

Change its group to _Hidden and hit OK.



Now you’ll need to go clean up any lists where you actually do want the title field named something else. For example, you probably want to go change ‘Title’ to ‘Last Name’ in any contact lists.

WSS Activities Released on Codeplex

In the spirit of Christmas, I’ve just released a new project on Codeplex. WSS Activities ( contains 17 new activities for your SharePoint Designer workflows.

The code itself has been ready for a while, but I’ve been holding off on the release until I got some documentation done. However, I just got the Codeplex warning (You have 10 days left to publish this project), and I’ve decided that if I wait for the documentation, the project may never get released. There is some documentation on the site and more to follow.

The activities fall into two major groups. :

Site Management Activities

These allow you to manipulate various aspects of a site as well as create new sites. I created a site provisioning workflow for a client and this was every activity I needed that wasn’t provided out of the box. Documentation for each of these, though the activities’ names are probably enough to get you started.

  • Create Site Collection
  • Create SubSite
  • Lookup Site Template ID
  • Set Site Title
  • Set Site Theme
  • Create Site Group
  • Setup Site Group
  • Set Available Templates
  • Activate a Feature
  • Set Site Masterpage
  • Set Portal Link
  • Set Site Property
  • Get Site Property

Item Management Activities

These activities allow you to manipulate specific items or documents within a site collection or across the site collection boundary. Of these, Copy, Delete, and Update are fairly straight forward. It’s “Publish Item and Link to Another Location” that requires some further explanation. This activity creates a remote copy of a source item and puts in place an event handler that keeps the remote copy up to date with the source version. Additional columns are added to the source list and destination list to track the linkage between the two.

  • Publish Item and Link to Another Location
  • Copy Item To Another Location
  • Delete Remote Item
  • Update Remote Copy

More Codeplex Updates

Web Config Manager

This has been moved to its own project at

WSS Picture Uploader

This windows forms application will allow you to upload batches of pictures to a SharePoint picture library. This is written to work against sites using forms based authentication.

This has been moved to its own project at

WSS File Uploader

A console application that allows you to upload files to a SharePoint document library. This is callable from the command line or via a batch or powershell scripts. It is written to be used with sites using forms based authentication.

This has been moved to its own project at