månadsarkiv: maj 2014

Updating hover style in IE8 Developer Tools

In our project we still have to support Internet Explorer 8. The CSS issues in IE8 are most difficult to debug and solve. You can not add a new rule in Developer Tools or toggle the state of an element to hover as in moder web browser dev tools.

One solution that I’ve come up to today, is to add a style with javascript or jQuery, open the script pane in IE8 Dev Tools and add this line:

This will fill update the hover effect of the .ms-srch-item directly.



That’s it, just a little tip.

Debugging “What’s happening” in Communities

Recently an issue was reported about count mismatches in SharePoint 2013 Communities. The number of replies in category tiles sometimes is different compared to the community stats in the web part called “What’s happening”. The actual number of replies is 1 in the figure below. The user who has reported has tried to add, update and delete discussions and replies.


category-replies-count.png   comm-002

I have invested some time debugging this issue. It would be pity to not share my findings. Well the first thing to do was to determine the type name for the “What’s happening” web part. To do so just edit the  page and export the web part. In the exported .webpart file I saw that the type was Microsoft.SharePoint.Portal.WebControls.DashboardWebPart.

With that knowledge it is time to open ILSpy, an awesome and free(!) assembly browser and decompiler. Load the “Microsoft.SharePoint.Portal” assembly from GAC into ILSpy. Then use F3 to search for DashboardWebPart:


The number of replies is retrieved from SPWeb.AllProperties:


If the Property Bag does not contain it, it gets the number of replies from the list. The formula is as follows:

It means that it gets the number of both discussions and replies: ItemCount of Discusssions List. The number of Discussions is determined by the ItemCount in the RootFolder of the Discussions List. Discussions are List Items in the RootFolder (num2 in the figure below). Replies are saved in the subfolders, every discussion gets an own folder. The number of all replies are num3 in the figure below.


After checking the web properties I could see that the number of replies there were wrong: 2.

The next step was to determine where and when the Web Properties are updated. The first guess every SharePoint Developer has in such cases is an EventReceiver. Here are all EventReceivers connected to the Discussions List:


Allright, CommunityEventReceiver then:


Found where the actual update happens: CommunityUtils.UpdateWebIndexedPropertyBag


The method is used in DiscussionListCommunityEventHandler.HandleEvent


There is a flag, flag5 that is used to determine if the Web Properties should be updated:


But the flag5 is not true on Delete operations in some code flows:



That’s it. So deleting a reply will not have any effect on “What’s happening”. But adding a new discussion will also update the stats:


To summarize the debug session, there is an issue in the OOB code that misses to update community stats when deleting a discussion or a reply. Adding a new discussion, or a reply will synchronize the stats.

Programmatically create, setup and use a custom Site Policy

On a current project I got the task to implement a solution for pushing out Site Policies to team sites. The common way of doing this is by using a Content Type Hub, which there are several blogs and guides available explaining how to do. But in this case this was not an option, and I had to be able to do it programmatically.

Finding examples of how to create a custom Site Policy wasn’t very hard, but what I soon discovered was that hardly any of these actually explained how to setup the schema of the policy the way you wanted. They just explained how to create one and maybe even set it to be used on a given site. And the object model itself isn’t complete enough to let you set everything using code. Eventually I found one single blog post by Dragan Panjkov which showed how to set it up, and managed to get it to work.

Site Policies are actually hidden content types, which you can tell by some parts of the creation process.The creation of the policies are actually pretty simple, and can be done with a few lines of code. First of all, you need reference the InformationPolicy namespace, like so:

The second thing we do is getting the ProjectPolicy content type, which is (according to it’s own description) the “Container content type for Project Policy definitions”.
Note: The code assumes you already have an SPSite object called site.

The content type id in the code above is always the same, and is the id of the content type “Project Policy”.

Then you can create your own content type using Project Policy as the parent.

The next step is to setup the content type with the schema you want to use. For this there is no object model support. You have to write your own xml, which is a real pain. But the great post by Dragan gave a great solution on how to do this.

Setup a Site Policy the way you want it on a site in the browser. Open the site in SharePoint Manager and go to the Content Types collection. There will be a content type with the same name as the policy you just created. Click the content type and scroll down to the XmlDocuments property. Open that collection and copy the value of the <pp:ProjectPolicy> property.


You will get an xml string, which you can copy and reuse to create your new policy schema. Doing so is simple. With the same content type object you have created previously, delete the existing project policy XmlDocument using the name from the xml.

Then load your copied xml string into a new XmlDocument object, and add that to the XmlDocuments collection of your content type, and updated it.

When this is done, all that’s left is to create a Policy, using your content type.

And that’s it. You’ve created your own Site Policy, with a custom schema, and all through code.

To apply the custom policy, simply get the policy object using the ProjectPolicy class, and run the ApplyProjectPolicy method.

I’ve added a simple PolicyService class on GitHub Gist. Feel free to copy and use it if you want. Some tweaks may be necessary. =)



How to reference nested class or struct etc, in PowerShell

I had a problem trying to reference a struct inside a public class from PowerShell. I tried to do it just like in C#, only with PowerShell syntax, simply adding the nested class or struct in the namespace, separated by a dot.

Doesn’t work:

But this didn’t work. Instead I got the following error:
Unable to find type [MyProject.MyClass.MyClassStruct]: make sure that the assembly containing this type is loaded.”

It seems, after fiddling around a bit and doing a quick search, that PowerShell has it’s very own way of calling a nested class or struct. Instead of adding the nested class with a dot, you actually have to use a +, like this:


I don’t know why, but that’s the way you do it. =)