Sunday, March 16, 2008

Community kit for Sharepoint

Thought I'd do quick posting on what I've found so far about install the Community Kit for Sharepoint. To get it running all you need to do is download the source and then run the batch file that is included. When you run the batch file you will be asked for your Sharepoint server and then the blog site on the Sharepoint server. Once the batch file is complete your blog site will be automatically upgraded.


What I like


- The new look and feel is great. It really make the normal Sharepoint blog site look flash. Very much like Wordpress now.

- The fact that blog postings URL's have been changed to ...\blog\archive\2008\... rather than the normal Sharepoint links. even better there is translation so that anything that has already been indexed by something like Google will remain valid and accessible to visitors

- The fact that I can still get to my Sharepoint blog admin commands which remain in Sharepoint style screens.

- It didn't break my blog. I can still post via Windows Live Writer or manually via the blog. Also, all my existing entries remained.

- The automated trackbacks and links to del.icio.us, facebook and what not. You see it everywhere and it is now nice to have in Sharepoint blogs.


What I haven't figured out yet


- Why my postings from Windows Live Writer and manual interaction with the blog seem to remove my paragraph breaks. This make things more difficult to read. I'm sure that it is some simple HTML or CSS thing but as yet I haven't worked out how to get my paragraph breaks back.

- How to edit the theme and perhaps ad my own graphics and text. Now, I'm sure there is a reall simply way but you need time to sit down and fiddle with all this. Was really impressed with what has been done over at http://www.wssdemo.com/blog with moving icons and what not. Somewhere, I'm sure there is way to do that but as yet I haven't found it.


Gotcha's


- The only one so far is the fact that with the kit installed you can't easily roll back to the way the blog used to be just in Sharepoint. Now, I'm sure you could remove the kit files from Sharepoint and that would fix the issue but it would still be nice to be able to revert back to the original Sharepoint blog look and feel quickly.


Summary


So all in all I am pretty happy with the ease with which the kit can be installed and the "make over" it gives standard Sharepoint blogs. Sure there is still stuff I'd like to do to make the kit more personalized to my blog as well as few minor issues to resolve (which take time), but generally I think that the creators deserve a hearty pat on the back for an excellent effort and making it available for free. Well Done.