I came across a wonderful slide show a couple of days ago while I was sharpening up on my personalization knowledge for SharePoint. In this presentation the author detailed nearly every conceivable feature within SharePoint related to personalization which obviously stems from the usage of MySites. Something that caught my eye, although not fully documented in the presentation, was the setting of your Outlook Landing Page to your MySite home page. After scratching around a bit I figured it out (pretty easy actually). Just complete the following steps:
- Open Outlook
- Right click on “Mailbox – John Doe”
- Click on the “Home Page” tab
- Edit the URL to point to your MySite for e.g. http://mysite.domain.com
- Click on “OK”
Off course you will be prompted for a username + password if you are accessing it via the net (assuming it is exposed), but in the office this works just great. Think about it, what is the first thing you do EVERY MORNING, yes, open Outlook. The “Outlook Today” feature is probably not really utilised as people generally go straight into their “inboxes” et al (I know I used to).
This update will drive users to their various MySites and up usage of the Intranet. Once the users are their you can start pushing interesting content to them based on what division they are in etc. The possibilities are really endless.
Don’t you just love it when a native feature just stops working. It is especially fun when trying to enable it simply gives you one of those “very descriptive” 403 Forbidden / Unknown Errors. (Yes, trace gives you some more goodies, but it doesn’t always help).
So here I was trying to “simply enable” advance usage reporting at a client (or was it at our company) in any event, it doesn’t matter. When clicking “Ok” I simply received a 403 Forbidden error. I stepped through my logical thoughts and couldn’t understand why this would be happening.
The solution, described here, http://www.sharepointblogs.com/usecases/archive/2007/07/02/sharepoint-usage-and-search-usage-reports-issues.aspx, ended up being pretty straight forward. Log in to Central Admin with the application pool id and then enable the reporting.
Styling SharePoint 2007 is a challenge onto itself. I know I haven’t been for any formal training (which I am now considering), but I recon my HTML, CSS et al is not too shabby so I decided to take a design, created by my colleague Lawrence and modify it for one of our clients. Boy was I in for a surprise.
Firstly, I have to say – IE8 “F12″ DOM Inspector is the absolute business. You can make changes on the fly and without this I sincerely doubt I would have been able to get anywhere with the design.
Secondly, Heather Solomon is “SCHWEETNEZZ”. Her blog is absolutely littered with resources that are essential to any “style newbie” trying to brand SharePoint (Intranet / Internet).
So now that I’ve got the mad props out the way, I get to my error. I was happily editing the master page to change the look and feel and the minute I saved, my entire site went down – “Page Cannot Be Found”. I was completely thrown and although my troubleshooting of SharePoint has become somewhat legendary of the years, this one had me. The page was there, I didn’t delete it, what gives?
I did the Bing / Google thing and finally found a post from Heather (mad love given before) that saved my day. In the post she mentions how the “~” dissapears when saving the master page from time to time. I double checked the source and what do you know, some of the user controls where no longer relatively references. Updating the references (in notepad this time) sorted the problem and I happily delved deeper in the CSS madness of branding SharePoint.
Here is the original post – http://www.heathersolomon.com/blog/articles/BaseMasterPages.aspx