Poor Man’s RSS Web Part

If you’re using Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) 3.0, you might wish you could add RSS feeds to your sites like you can using the RSS Web Part in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS).  You can!

Simply add an XML Web Part to the site and paste the link to the RSS feed into the XML Link field on the configuration panel.  It won’t be as “smart” as the RSS Web Part with respect to caching, etc., but it will work.

Depending on the RSS feed that you’re displaying, you may want to make some changes to the XSL that displays the content.  You can also do this on the configuration panel, but the text editor there leaves a bit to be desired, so it may be easier for you if you copy out the XSL and edit it in SharePoint Designer.

You can also use the XML Web Part to display the contents of lists elsewhere in your Site Collection by pasting the link to that library or list’s RSS feed into the XML Link field.  (Trim off the server name and make it a relative link.)


    • There are two places where you might be seeing the delay:
      1. On the Yahoo end
      2. On the XML Web Part end
      I’m guessing that it is on the Yahoo end, as the XML Web Part ought to be reading the feed directly on each render. Can you isolate it to one or the other?

    • I just did some fishing around with the XML Web Part in SharePoint Designer, and I don’t see any way to change the caching behavior. This truly is the “poor man’s” RSS feed, so you may be saddled with it as is.
      I just saw what you are trying to do in the context of your blog. How have you set up your Data Source?

      BTW, you might be interested in this XSL template for truncating at a word count rather than a number of characters.

  1. Well, thanks for your time Marc. At least I know that I didn’t miss something obvious…

    Sorry, I am not sure to understand your question about the data source. I am using the XML Web Part and I entered the Yahoo feed as a link in the XML source section. Mybe I should just use a dummy file as XML source, and directly call the feed from the XSLT…


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