Home > Personal > I just won a free MSDN subscription… SharePoint Home Drive Web Part #in #SP2010 #SharePoint

I just won a free MSDN subscription… SharePoint Home Drive Web Part #in #SP2010 #SharePoint

A while ago I entered a competition that Liam Cleary (MVP) was running about Web Part contributions in the community. (Link)

Turns out I won. (Link) Smile

Thanks Liam, I shall be using the subscription for some new web part ideas I have.

The web part in question was my SharePoint Home Drive web part.  This was developed for IT Administrators in schools to give access to Teacher’s & Student’s home drives within their intranet to aid SharePoint adoption.

It was released a couple of years ago and has been used in various educational institutions.  It has also recently been tested in SharePoint 2010.

Competition Entry:

1. What the original problem was

Ensuring that users can access their home drives within SharePoint to aid adoption of the SharePoint Portal within the education establishment.

2. Why SharePoint was chosen

SharePoint was chosen due to its flexibility and support from third party vendors for the various applications currently in use.

SharePoint’s educational licensing costs allows schools to user enterprise scale solutions for a fraction of the cost.

3. What the solution was (end-to-end)

To aid education establishments in providing a single collaboration portal connecting all appropriate solutions into one place including:

  • File Shares
  • Email
  • Cashless Catering
  • MIS integration
  • E-Learning
  • + others

4. How it helped

Although all the 3rd party vendors provided web parts etc. for the various applications, users were still having to go away from the solution to access their personal files.

Document libraries will be used for future years of children as the architecture catches up with the change in solution, however for current student data, financials did not allow for the required increase in storage in the SQL database.

Training of document libraries for non-IT staff in terms of uploading files and the understanding of metadata was troublesome and take up of the collaboration solution was slow among some staff and students.

Shared folders on the network were easily integrated using the Page Viewer Web Part in File / Folder mode and a Search Server Content Source of the Network Share.

However, this method could not easily be implemented for a user’s home drive, due to the dynamic nature of the UNC path.

Typically, this is set up in Active Directory using the user’s ADUserName (SAMAccountName) as the folder name for the share.

To solve this, I created a Web Part that allows administrators to specify the UNC path of the file share; it will then inject the AD username after the UNC path.

This provides a File Explorer view of the user’s home drive within the SharePoint Portal.

This was developed to be an interim solution until Document Libraries were fully adopted by end users and the SQL storage could be bought with future budget.

The SharePoint Home Drive web part was released to the community via CodePlex in June 2009 and has recently been tested in SharePoint 2010 environments also.

Compatibility of the Web Part also includes WSS 3.0 and SharePoint Foundation 2010.

Web Part URL: http://gileshhomedrive.codeplex.com/

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  1. December 8, 2010 at 20:10

    Congratulations! I really like the extra information you provided about the requirements and the benefits obtained. Gives you more appreciation about why you may want to use the tool.

  2. Aaron Houghton
    December 17, 2010 at 10:28

    Hey mate,

    This is a great script and I have a question (which I hope is simple). This web part maps the users home directory – is it possible to customise the web part so I can get it to go to other UNC paths (ie. a staff fileshare)?

    Cheers!

    Aaron

    • December 17, 2010 at 10:33

      You can use the standard out of the box Page Viewer Web Part in file / folder mode for that. This should be available in WSS 3.0, MOSS 2007, SPF 2010 and SharePoint Server 2010.

      Place the Page Viewer Web Part on to the page, edit the web part properties and all should become clear.

      Kind Regards

      Giles

  3. December 22, 2010 at 20:47

    Hi Giles
    Fab Web Part and congratulations on the award.
    I work in schools and we want to allow students access to My Documents when at home. I used to do this using WebDAV but as it’s not supported in IE anymore we need to find a new solution.
    I had your Home Drive WP working in seconds in side the network but really struggling to make it when logging into the SharePoint Site from home.

    I have tried using IIS on the fileserver and setting it up as a web folder but thats not working, what am I doing wrong?

    Merry Christmas

    Cheers

    Dave

  4. January 5, 2011 at 10:17

    Dave :Hi GilesFab Web
    Part and congratulations on the award.I work in schools and we want
    to allow students access to My Documents when at home. I used to do
    this using WebDAV but as it’s not supported in IE anymore we need
    to find a new solution.I had your Home Drive WP working in seconds
    in side the network but really struggling to make it when logging
    into the SharePoint Site from home. I have tried using IIS on the
    fileserver and setting it up as a web folder but thats not working,
    what am I doing wrong? Merry Christmas Cheers
    Dave

    Any help on the above would be much
    appreciated I have now typed in to the UNC path: https://..com/My
    Documnets/ which I setup on the ISA server. I now get to my files
    externally but in text view? Any Ideas? Thanks Dave

  5. January 10, 2011 at 22:17

    Hi Dave,

    Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I have been away during the Christmas break.

    Essentially all the web part is doing is generating an iFrame for the address you type into the box (+ the username) and wasn’t originally intended for external use.

    That being said…

    Setting up ISA to route through to a web application (IIS) pointing to a file share will only ever provide a text based listing unfortunately and as you rightly state, WebDAV will not aid you with this in IE in this scenario either.

    Can I suggest you take a look at the following web part:

    http://www.salamandersoft.co.uk/myDocuments.html

    Although not free and also not something I have personally implemented. The description suggests it may be fit for your purposes.

    I hope that helps.

    Kind regards

    Giles

    • January 11, 2011 at 08:15

      Thanks Giles, at least thats saved me time messing about on the ISA server!! I had found the Salamander webpart but it’s always nicer to find a free one!

      Many Thanks for you help
      Keep up the good work

      Dave

  6. AJ
    September 2, 2011 at 02:49

    Great work Giles!!

    Is there any possiblity to add sub folders in path as web part properties like \\fileserver\Username\folder1 where username comes from ADUserName.

    Thanks
    AJ

    • September 6, 2011 at 17:12

      Hi AJ,

      This functionality is already available.

      In the confirguration properties of the web part (Home Drive Configuration) use the field UNC Path for before the username and After UNC Path for after the username:

      I hope it works for you and let me know how you get on.

      Kind Regards

      Giles

      PS. Apologies for the delay in my reply.

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