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

December 1, 2010 10 comments

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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I’ve been published (unofficially)

October 10, 2010 Leave a comment

A while ago I was googling around to see where people were finding my CodePlex solutions and I came across a link on a book publishing site.  It turns out that one of my open source solutions (SharePoint Home Drive – formally WSS and MOSS Home Drive) has been mentioned in a book.

It’s nice to see that my solutions are getting used.

Here is a snippet of the book: MOSS 2007 for Office 2007 Users

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