Collaboration, Technology, and New York

The blog for SharePoint, InfoPath, and Designer, along with business and technology insight….. plus a little NYC

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Getting Excel data into SharePoint.. The simple way


You are working on a project that requires that migration of Excel data to be pushed into a SharePoint list, where the business process can leverage off all the benefits of SharePoint, such as workflows, views, alerts, etc.

Now the natural way to do this migration is to create a new list with the Import Spreadsheet option.  This approach is problematic for a number of reasons.

–          If there’s a lot of data with complex data types, not all the data maybe exported out of Excel

–          There is no error checking in the import process.

–          You can’t do any data manipulation in the process, ie.  Merging fields, or perhaps items from other lists

–          And the biggest drawback is that just when you’ve got the data perfect in the SharePoint list, the person who gave you the data in Excel, then emails you an updated data file.. Typical.

I recommend using MS Access for the following reasons:

-There is error handling

-Data can be manipulated, yes even different lists

-With 2010, this can even be used with InfoPath forms in lists

-You probably have Access already installed on your PC

Folks are often put off with using the MS Access program and view it as an alien body software.  It’s not and it’s easy to use, yes even for non technical users.

If you are doing a fair bit of importing of data from Excel, this approach this will save you a boat load of time, trying to get data correctly imported into SharePoint.

This video shows you how to do it.

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Meta data

Meta data

Meta data is an all so common subject in the SharePoint world.

But what is it? Where is the value? Why bother? And how does it relate to SharePoint?

In short, metadata is data about information and the value it provides is better search or information discovery as Microsoft like to call it. Not that information that has no metadata is not searchable, but the quickest way to find information in SharePoint is Search. Yes it’s just as powerful as Google.

By tagging content with metadata companywide terms can be used, such as price lists, the target readership of the information. This is one of the biggest advantages of uploading files into SharePoint from the network drive to a library.

So how to get started with meta data?


At the site collection level, go to the Term Store management. And define your tags.



In the figure above the tags are:

  • Author : The department who created the document
  • Doc Type: This includes: Policy, Manual, Tip, Productivity
  • IT: Which IT group
  • Legal And Compliance: US or international
  • Misc. : This includes: End user, New Employee
  • Readership: The department who should read the info
  • Technology: Includes: SharePoint, Outlook, SQL, Blackberry, IPad


This is a good start. Don’t think about it too much.

By adding the tags in the Term Store, the tag is workable across an entire site collection.

Now add the meta data to a field in the list. Or even better a content type (Cool SharePoint feature)


Tagging your content.


Now you’ve created fields/colunms/ content types that correspond to the meta data in the Term store and these are in your library/list.

So when you open a list item for example:


You can select the tag.



If a tag isn’t there you can make a request (See top right hand corner of the figure above).


The end result of creating an item in a list is:

And that’s it….Yeah!!!!.


But wait there’s more


5 cool things about SharePoint meta data:


  1. Information is searchable across an entire site collection.


  2. Search information is completely standardized…so it’s findable.


  1. When you search, you can even filter on the tag in the results search page.


  2. You can set up an alert on the tagged information……What????


Yes this is really neat.

Perform the following steps.

  1. Search on the meta keyword word Employee All(This must exist as meta data).
  2. On the search results page, select the tag Employee All.


    Now you are presented with a search results page that only is displaying content that has been tagged with content that relates to all employees..


  3. Click on the Alert button on the top of the page


  1. Set up the alert. You could subscribe the alert just for yourself, but also, the Entire Company (An Active Directory group it maybe: AllEmployeeUsers).

Now when and content is uploaded/ entered into SharePoint and tagged with Employee All (ie. Information that relates to all employees).

This is a sure way for users to use SharePoint to store info, but also push info out to targeted employees.


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Applying an IT strategy to SharePoint presentation

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SharePoint ECM- Going green event- ppt deck

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The New World of Work..

I like the slide: Co—coordinate, Collaborate, Connect, Co create, Control

Nice tag line.

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How to show the latest file uploaded on a site.

Sometimes an end user asks if it is possible to display the latest file uploaded, yet they don’t want to subscribe to it.

This is easy:

1. Create an announcements list which is email enabled.
2. Subscribe to a document list to with the email address to the announcements
3. Put the list on the homepage.

no custom code!!!!

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SharePoint K2

So, what is it?

This video explains the product

Interview K2 on SharePoint Workflow
Interview K2 on SharePoint Workflow

For more info

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Neat tool for Ebay

A friend of mine told me about this tool called Auction Sniper that watches your bid on an item and places a winning bid at the last possible moment, often seconds before the end of the auction, thus giving the other bidders no time to outbid you. This is useful if the auction ends at 2 in the morning.

This is particularly timely, as I’m trying to buy a Microsoft Zune on eBay and keep on getting out bid last minute.

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