I'm happy to report that I took a few more (halting) steps on the path towards SharePoint enlightenment yesterday. Granted, they were end user baby steps, to be sure, but we're still in early days here, and progress is progress, right?
(Baby) step one involved calendaring. Which is to say that I added an entry to the SharePoint calendar on our Bamboo portal, noting that I'll be out of the office on the afternoon of the previously mentioned Workshop. This was easy because it turns out that a calendar in SharePoint behaves much like any other online calendar, and we've all used them before. I'm assuming that, this being the Bamboo portal and all, it's our own Calendar Plus Web Part that I've now used, but having never seen an out-of-the-box SharePoint calendar before, let's just call it a safe assumption and move on.
(Baby) step two involved editing a task list in our Online Operations team portal, changing the status of my assigned task to "Kickoff SharePoint Newbie Blog" from "Not Started" to "Completed." Eagle-eyed readers will realize that I changed that status a day later than when I'd actually completed the task. Oops. Again, this was a painless, easy-to-use SharePoint app. (And, again, I suspect it may be a Bamboo Web Part, specifically the List Search Simples one). Hey, this SharePoint stuff is easy!
Not so fast, buckaroo. (Baby) step three involved my attempt to set up an RSS feed of recent posts from this blog on my "My Site" SharePoint page. There was already a (blank) placeholder "RSS Viewer" Web Part on the page, as well as a placeholder "(Hidden) Recent Blog Posts" Web Part, so, emboldened by how easily I'd navigated the abovementioned SharePoint experiences, I approached this one thinking something akin to, "this'll be a hoot!" Well, it didn't take long before my newbie chutzpah reared up and gave me a good kicking. After an embarrassingly lengthy amount of trial-and-error, however, I had succeeded in achieving my goal.
I was able to get my recent blog posts (all two of them!) to populate, but my intent had been for them to render in the "(Hidden) Recent Blog Posts" section. Where did they render? In the "RSS Viewer" section. I'd read that data could be shared between different Web Parts simply via editing the (baked-in) connections options, which is a pretty nifty feature of SharePoint. And while I don't doubt that it's true that this is easily accomplished, I'm afraid it was beyond my newbie capabilities. We shall revisit this issue, my friends. Oh yes, we will.
(Baby) step four doesn't technically qualify in and of itself as having increased my SharePoint knowledge, but I can't imagine that it won't lead to just that, so it bears a mention here. I joined the community over at SharePointU, which is a forum for SharePoint users, and which also aggregates SharePoint-related blogs. Heads up, denizens of SharePointU - there's a newbie (lurking) in your midst!
Four steps in one day? I'll take it!
May 15 2008, 05:32 PM
John Anderson joined Bamboo Solutions as Manager of Content & Syndication in May of 2008 after a 12-year career at AOL. New to SharePoint at the time of his hiring, John was tasked with creating a new blog for the just-launched Bamboo Nation community in which he would document his daily SharePoint learning process. Thus was born the end user-centric SharePoint Blank, for which John authored 200 posts within a year, and which he continues to write today (albeit much more sporadically). Currently serving as Managing Editor, John sets the tone for Bamboo Nation as its lead blogger, and oversees content across Bamboo properties.