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Welcome to the Minnesota SharePoint User Group

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  1. Welcome to the Minnesota SharePoint User Group

  2. Agenda • Quick Intro • Announcements • Designing and Branding SharePoint Technologies • What is branding? • Designing / Branding SharePoint • Basic • 10 minute break • Intermediate • Advanced • Tips / Tricks • What have others learned? • 1 year Anniversary Celebration

  3. Introductions – MNSPUG Sponsors • Inetium (www.inetium.com) • Twin Cites based Microsoft consulting company • Microsoft Gold Certified Partner • Practice Area focused on Information Worker Technologies • New Horizons – Minnesota (www.newhorizonsmn.com) • Microsoft Gold Certified Partner • Training on many technologies • Microsoft (www.microsoft.com) • I’m guessing you’ve heard of them

  4. User Group Goal / Objectives • Build a local community focused on Microsoft SharePoint Technologies • Educate user group members about SharePoint Technologies • Transfer knowledge within the community • Communicate best practices • Introduce new products / solutions

  5. www.sharepointmn.com • Website for user group • SharePoint resource documents • SharePoint resource websites links • RSS Feeds • Meeting Schedule • Past User Group Presentations www.sharepointmn.com

  6. Upcoming Schedule • Next Meeting • June 8th 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM • Microsoft’s Bloomington Office • Topic: Personalization in SharePoint • Ongoing Schedule • 2nd Wednesday of every month • 9:00 to 11:00 am • Microsoft’s Bloomington Office

  7. SharePoint Advisor Magazine (coming soon) • New Magazine focusing on SharePoint • “The Advisor Guide to using Microsoft SharePoint technology, Windows SharePoint Services, SharePoint Portal Server, and more, including Microsoft Office System and SharePoint, enterprise integration and administration, and innovative SharePoint-based solutions, with how-to, tips, code, downloads, training, step-by-step, and more...” • Have contacted editor -- hope to get some free first issues for the Minnesota SharePoint User Group www.sharepointadvisor.com

  8. SharePoint Advisor Live Conference • Technical conference focusing on SharePoint • Tips • Tricks • Code • How To’s • $1295 Main Event Registration by May 2 2005 • $1495 Main Event Registration after May 2 2005 • http://advisorevents.com/cmt0506p.nsf/w/main-cms June 12 - 16, 2005Las Vegas, NevadaJW Marriott Las Vegas Resort

  9. MNSPUG is 1 year old!

  10. Designing & Branding SharePoint TechnologiesExploring SharePoint Curb Appeal

  11. Overview • Branding and the Creative Process • The SharePoint Brand Impact • Branding Portal Server • Branding Windows SharePoint Services • How Did We Do That? • Resources • Best Practices

  12. The Brand • Branding is an emotional connection; it’s the total experience your customers, partners and employees have at every encounter with your organization. • It’s how you differentiate. • It’s critical that the brand be focused and incorporated into everything the organization does.

  13. Why Brand SharePoint • A SharePoint Portal Server site connects users, teams, and knowledge throughout an organization. The SharePoint site should reflect and reinforce: • The corporate identity and ownership • Enterprise standards • The ease-of-use • Create a sense of place

  14. Brand Traits • Brand Traits are the distinct characteristics of your Brand. For example, the Brand Traits for a professional organization might be: • Approachable • Accomplished • Professional • Customer-service Oriented • All internal and external communications (brochures, direct mail, web sites etc…) should reflect these characteristics.

  15. Brand Artifacts • Corporate Logo • Identities or Assets • Content “Unlocking the Power of Information Sharing” • Brand Manual & Visual Guidelines • Web site Brand Artifact Resources

  16. The Creative Process

  17. The Creative Process • Project Sponsor Meeting • Understand business objectives • Gain Knowledge (Schedule interviews) • Product/Service • Point-of-Difference (Unique Selling Point) • Audience/Market (Employees, Customers and Partners) • Identify Creative Goals • Look & Feel • Usability • Message

  18. The Creative Process Deliverables • Create Storyboards (2-3 Concepts and/or Iterations)

  19. The Value of Creative Process • Better, well-thought design concepts • A blueprint, or guide for design • End-user acceptance, early adoption and higher utilization • Better and relevant user experience

  20. Branding and Creative Tools • Design Tools: • Adobe Photoshop • Adobe Illustrator • Macromedia Flash • Development Tools: • Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003 • Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003 • NotePad 

  21. The SharePoint Brand Impact

  22. The Brand Scope • Portal Site: • End-user Pages • Admin Pages • My Site Pages: • Public View • Private View • Team Sites (WSS) • Home page • Admin pages Note:Multiple Portal Implementation may require a larger Brand Scope.

  23. Differences between SPS vs. WSS

  24. Why Did We Just Discuss That? • Your Brandshould beapplied consistently throughout your entire SharePoint solution; however, the enforcement of the branding guidelines within the Portal component is highly critical and should be more rigid. • Windows SharePoint Services or Team sites are more limited in scope and audience; therefore, it’s acceptable to take a little more license.

  25. Portal Branding Limitations • SPS is designed to only allow a subset of its pages to be freely branded. Portal site pages can be described in one of the two following ways: • User-facing (Site or Area templates) • Defines the features & functionality of a team site or portal area • These pages are designed with some limitations • Administrator-facing (Layout pages) • Stored in a single location within the file system of the Web server • They are virtualized. Accessible from any portal area or team site. • These pages provide access to shared functionality (i.e. permissions, document library and list management, area settings etc...)

  26. SharePoint Administrator-facing Limitations Although it is common to customize User-facing pages, you should NOT customize administrator-facing pages for the following reasons: • Tuned & tested to ensure reliability and performance • Microsoft Support Services can debug issues • Service packs & new versions may remove customizations • Impossible to determine the impact of the change • May result in a new, significant testing requirement • Many pages are shared across SPS & WSS • Consider this limitation in the earliest discussions

  27. Approaches to SharePoint Design

  28. Design Tactics in Branding SharePoint • There are several different approaches to branding a SharePoint site. To help you decide which approach is right for you, let’s discuss these tactics in terms of complexity: • Exterior (Easy) • Interior (Moderate) • Decorating (Advanced) • Within each design tactic, we’ll discuss the: • Impact of customization on the standard portal site • Complexity and required skill-level of the developer • Supportabilityin the event of fixes, service packs, and new releases

  29. Branding Tactics: Exterior (Easy) • The Standard SharePoint Portal Server Logo: • Ability to display your company logo on every page • Make sure the logo is sized appropriately for the page • Background Color should be consistent with the standard Blue color • Microsoft recommended approach • Customizations apply to all pages on the site (admin pages too) • The image should be located in the same directory as other SPS images • Configuration Details • Impact of customization: Low • Complexity: Low • Supportability: High

  30. Branding Tactics: Interior (Moderate) • Style Sheet Customizations: • The look and feel is determined by a set of cascading Style • sheets (CSS) and images. You can customize the look by: • Complementing the existing standard style sheets • Modifying the standard style sheets for WSS • Replacing standard images by referencing new images • Instant Source Utility (available for download/purchase) • Configuration Details • Impact of customization: Low-to-medium • Complexity: medium • Supportability: Medium-to-high <style>.ms-bannerframe { background-color: #800000; border:0px; Border-Bottom: 2px solid #FFCC00;} </style> Note:The application of service packs, fixes, and future releases of the product will have an impact on the modification of the standard style sheets and images. However, as long as the changes are backed up and documented it should not be too difficult to reapply them.

  31. Branding Tactics: Interior (Moderate) Style Sheets and what they affect: \Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\60\Template\Layouts\1033\Styles <style>.ms-bannerframe { background-color: #800000; border:0px; Border-Bottom: 2px solid #FFCC00;} </style> TIP:Create your own copy of the SPS.css to complement and override the default. For example: <company>sps.css

  32. Branding Tactics: Interior (Advanced) Style Sheet Directory Information

  33. Branding Tactics: Interior (Moderate) Logo & Style Sheet Customizations • Great combination! • Relatively easy to do • Potential for significant visual impact • Very supportable approach • Important: • The custom portal image should reside on the file system in the images directory. • Create a copy of the SPS.css file and rename it rather than editing the original file.

  34. Branding Tactics: Interior (Moderate) • Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003: • Customize both Windows SharePoint Services and • SharePoint Portal Server areas, but… • Greater impact on portal site supportability • Customizations cannot be replicated across a portal site or enable a single maintenance point • Customizations “UnGhost” Portal Sitepages • Relatively simple. Great tool for Team Sites. • Configuration Details • Impact of customization: Medium-to-high • Complexity: Medium • Supportability: Medium Note:The application of service packs or fixes will not have an impact on modifications made by FrontPage. Future versions of the product may introduce changes or additions that may require some rework.

  35. SharePoint Template DesignExploring SharePoint Curb Appeal

  36. Branding Tactics: Interior (Advanced) SharePoint Templates: Portal sites and Areas are based upon a set of templates. By branding a portal site using the templates, you ensure maximum page performance and simplified page maintenance. Template customization provides you with the greatest flexibility and performs branding using a Microsoft recommended method. Impact of customization: Low-to-high Complexity: Medium-to-high Supportability: Low-to-Medium Note:Difficult to provide a specific assessment of impact or cost. The application of service packs, fixes, and future releases of the product will have an impact on the changes. Arguably most flexible type of modification.

  37. Branding Tactics: Interior (Advanced) SharePoint Portal Server Areas: Each portal area is made up of two elements: Area Pages and Sites. While both can be customized, you typically achieve branding by modifying area pages only.

  38. Branding Tactics: Interior (Advanced) • Sites in SharePoint Portal Server: • Behind every portal area is a backend WSS site. This • backend WSS site provides most of the WSS list and • document library based capabilities to the SPS area. • It defines items such as the following: • Lists available for creation • Lists created by default • Fields that make up a particular list • Available views Note:We will not be exploring modifications to the area definition (he combination of HTML files and XML-based configuration files that make up these pages/content.

  39. Site Definitions • What is a Site Definition • Defines a unique type of SharePoint site • Examples include Team Sites, Meeting Workspaces, Topics, News • It’s a set of files in the file system located on the Web server • XML files • ASPX pages • Document Templates (.dot, .htm) and Content files (.gif, .doc) • Site definitions specify portal area list types, Web pages, navigation and site • Why work with Site Definitions • Customize the look and feel of SharePoint sites • Add new functionality (Create new lists and web page modules)

  40. Site Definition Files. Where Are They? Everything is Under: \Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions/60/template File Scopes: Server Language: \1033 (English Language) Site Definition: \1033\STS (SPS, SPSNEWS etc…) List Definition:\1033\STS\Lists\Announce (display, edit, new) Resource Files: Template\layouts\1033\Styles (Images & Styles directories)

  41. Branding Tactics: Interior (Advanced) SharePoint Template Descriptions: Each area template is contained within its own folder structure.

  42. Site Definition Files • Create New Site Definitions • (Create & Customize a new Template) • Copy an existing Definition • Rename it • Update WEBTEMPSPS.XML Note:. May not be fully supported or updated by services packs and future software revisions.

  43. Site Definition Files • Why did we just discuss this? • It’s important to understand what constitutes the Site Definition • It’s great to know how to create new Templates and make them available to users • But…ONLY modify these files if you absolutely have to

  44. Branding Tactics: Interior (Advanced) Customizing SharePoint Area Pages: Every area in your portal is created with a default.aspx page; this is the page displayed when an end-user accesses an instance of a portal area. Template Location \Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\60\Template\1033 IMPORTANT:Do not edit SharePoint templates or pages by opening them directly from the file system in FrontPage as the HTML can become corrupted.

  45. Branding Tactics: Interior (Advanced) • Working with & Modifying Templates: How should we implement a new Banner? • \Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\webserverextensions\60\Template\<Loc ID>\SPS • Standard HTML Create code and paste it into each default.aspx page replacing the standard one. Simple to implement. Requires changes in additional default.aspx pages. • Web PartUse Standard HTML. Include in a server control or Web Part. Upside: Maintained in a single location.Downside:Development required. • Server ControlDevelop a text-based server control. Combine SPS controls and HTML. Referenced control in each template page. Upside:Maintained in single location. Limited development. Control does not need to be compiled.Downside:None

  46. Branding Tactics: Interior (Advanced) Modifying Templates: Server-Side Controls SharePoint Portal Server includes a number of server-side controls, which provide functionality like top navigation, left navigation, actions, and a logo. A number of these controls have parameters that you can specify to change their behavior. <SPSWC:NameWebPart>

  47. Branding Tactics: Interior (Advanced) Modifying Templates: Navigation (Home Area Only) This control manages the left-hand and top navigation elements. Left-hand navigation, as displayed on the Home area, is shown here. <SPSWC:CategoryNavigationWebPart> • Horizontal Mode:Parameters that can be modified: • Display the children of any other area within your portal hierarchy. • Render in horizontal mode, as it is in the top navigation bar Vertical Mode:By default, it displays one-level beneath Topics

  48. Branding Tactics: Interior (Advanced) Modifying Templates: Navigation (All Other Areas) The left-hand navigation on all other areas is made up of two controls: <SPSWC:BreadCrumbTrail> <SPSWC:CategoryNavigationWebPart> Horizontal Mode: Vertical Mode: • Display the breadcrumb in a horizontal mode • Anchor the breadcrumb to a specific area • Include a specific separator in the breadcrumb trail • Use lead-in text, a type of left-hand label

  49. Branding Tactics: Interior (Advanced) Modifying Templates: Page Header (Standard) Using parameters, you can modify this control in the following ways: <SPSWC:PageHeader> • Render only the links displayed on the right-hand side. • Render only the image displayed on the left-hand side. • Render both the links and the image.

  50. Branding Tactics: Interior (Advanced) Modifying Templates: Actions You can remove any of these actions or add your own with parameters: <SPSWC:ToolBar> <SPSWC:ToolBarButton> <SPSWC:ToolBarSeparator> • The URL where the link will navigate you to. • Text to display. • The ToolTip to display. • Whether it is visible in Edit mode.