Great Resource: Responsive SharePoint from Eric Overfield

2015-03-20_10-55-33This week I was working on moving a design into SharePoint 2010. The design was made up of the standard sorts of things: HTML mockups with graphics, CSS, etc. The mockups are using Twitter Bootstrap as the styling framework.

I’ve done this sort of branding implementation many times, and it’s always interesting because what I get to start from is different every single time, even if it comes from the same designer. Over time we all change our approaches and styles because we learn better ways of doing things. That’s a good thing, but it means that every design implementation is like a new experience, albeit with many common components.

When I’m implementing a design in SharePoint, I find that there are use one of three basic approaches, regardless which version of SharePoint it is:

  • From the top down – In this case, I’m changing SharePoint’s master pages very little. We might want to change some colors, fonts, and basic functionality, but it still will look like SharePoint from a structural standpoint: banner across the top, Quick Launch down the left, etc. Here I just make a copy of default.master, v4.master, or seattle.master – depending on the version – and add some CSS and script references.
  • From the bottom up – This is the most extreme branding, where I start with a minimal master page and build things from the ground up. This is most common with Internet-facing sites, but can also be the case for an Intranet. Everything is customized in the master page: the HTML markup, the content placeholders and their placement, etc.
  • Something in between – This was the case with the current project. Even though the end goal is a site that look little like SharePoint, it doesn’t require a total disemboweling of the master page.

For the latter two bullets, we have some excellent choices available to us which have been created by the SharePoint community. To me, the shining lights here are Randy Drisgill (@drisgill), Eric Overfield (@EricOverfield), and Kyle Schaffer (@kyleschaeffer). (That’s an alphabetical list by last name; they are all equally awesome.)

All three of these brilliant guys have free starter solutions on Codeplex:

In this particular project, Eric’s master pages seemed to be the best match. As I was struggling to get the ribbon to behave with Bootstrap, I realized that I didn’t need to fight the battle again myself and that Eric’s master page would probably be just the tickets. Indeed it was! After grabbing his project, I was able to get the design up and running in just a matter of hours.

If you’re even considering coming up with a responsive and/or Bootstrap-driven design, save yourself a lot of trouble and look at Kyle or Eric’s work It probably won’t be exactly what you want out of the box, but they have solved a huge majority of the problems you’ll run into already. This is what makes the SharePoint community so awesome. This is really deep capability and work that is out there for you to use – for free.



Simple OneDrive Better Practice

This morning I saw a post on Facebook (the other Yammer) from my friend Jasper Oosterveld (@jasoosterveld):

Great start of the morning! OneDrive for Business Sync lost my Visio file with my sitemaps and page lay-outs. Un&*@(believable….

It truly pains me to see posts like this for several reasons.

First of all, I hate to hear that someone has lost some work. Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, but sometimes I miss index cards.

OneDrive-forBizMicrosoft-OneDrive-logo-largeMore importantly, OneDrive ought to be awesome no matter which flavor you are using: OneDrive for Business, OneDrive [for Consumer], or whatever other adjunct flavor you may run into. (It’s OneDrive, but there’s more than one!)

The OneDrive team is making huge strides on the reliability of the product  – six months ago this would have just been a flat out rant – but there still a way to go. For example, here’s a recent post about how Managing your work files in the browser keeps getting easier on the OneDrive blog.

As I replied to Jasper, I’ve found that the most reliable approach using OneDrive for Business is to edit in one place only. By this, I mean to always edit locally or always edit in the host Document Library. What I’ve found works best for me is to use the Document Library only for central storage and always edit locally. It’s faster (the file is here already) and I know I’m backing it up with CrashPlan regularly.

OneDrive (none of the flavors) is *not* a backup mechanism – it’s a syncing mechanism. It’s main purpose – at least for me – is to make sure that I can access my files from any device. If I edit a file on my Surface Pro 3, then I know that I’ll see those edits on my ASUS laptop and vice versa.

OneDrive is getting better and better, but for now it requires a bit of caution. At some point in the not too distant future, I plan to throw that caution to the wind when OneDrive lives up to its promise.


Arctic SharePoint Challenge 2015 Notes – Part 2

A few weeks ago I posted from the Arctic SharePoint Challenge in Oslo, Norway. Now that I’ve been home for a while, I *still* think it was a really cool thing to have the chance to attend. I was flattered to be asked to give a keynote on the first day and to act as a jurist (or judge – depending on who was talking) for the event.

Here I am with the other judges (from Left) :Christian Nesmark, Harald Fianbakken, and Chris Givens. We only had one robe.


I wanted to post the links to each team’s repository, if only to save them for my own use down the road. The stuff these folks came up with was truly impressive!

You can read the narratives behind the code on the blog where each team posted their progress and requests for the valuable badges.


Arctic SharePoint Challenge 2015 Notes – Part 1

I’m in Oslo at the 5th annual Arctic SharePoint Challenge. This is quite an event. As far as I know, it’s the only hackathon focused purely on SharePoint in the world.

A few stats:

There are also Internet-connected red buttons, a star system map with live Tie Fighter positioning updates, more Web services than you can shake an alien from Alderaan’s finger at, one lynx named Dexter, and so much more I couldn’t possibly list it all. As you can tell from the logo, the theme this year is Star Wars, and everyone is taking it to an extreme in the best possible ways.


Check out the live blogging that’s going on, the leaderboard so far (new badges soon!), and all of the badges teams can get.

I was honored to be invited to be a judge on the jury as well as to give the opening keynote presentation. I decided to talk about Building JavaScript to Stand the Test of Time. Here’s the presentation on SlideShare.

Thanks to our sponsors!

SPTechCon Austin 2015 Wrap-Up

A splendid time was had by all at the inaugural Austin, TX version of the venerable SharePoint Technology Conference, usually known as SPTechCon. There was a tangibly different energy in the air at this SPTechCon. I’m sure some of that had to do with the new venue, but there seemed to be a bit more to it than that.

My friends at BZ Media did a wonderful job – as always – with the conference. David Rubinstein, Stacy Burris, Katie Serignese (soon to be Katie Flash!), and the whole team really know what they are doing and it shows.

In addition to the two session I presented, I was honored to be a part of an “expert panel”, discussing ‘SharePoint at the Crossroads’. I think SharePoint always seems to be at some sort of crossroads, so there’s always a lot to talk about.


Photo courtesy Heather Newman (@heddanewman)

After hours, we had a meeting of the SharePoint beards and thought deep thoughts.20150210_223631000_iOS

Here are many of the speakers at the speaker party.


Photo courtesy Christina Wheeler (@cwheeler76)

And what would a trip to Austin be without a stop at Salt Lick? BTW, that dude sitting behind Joel is Chris Tomich. He was there all the way from Perth, Australia (via San Francisco, where he’s spending a few months). Chris is one of my SharePoint heroes (not to slight anyone else), and it was awesome to have the chance to spend a bunch of time with him in Austin.


Photo courtesy Joel Oleson (@joeloleson)

The ‘Q:


Oh, and I presented two sessions. Thanks to everyone who joined me for them. The slides are up on Slideshare if you’d like to take a look.

The session I did on Content Types was a new one for me, and I had an unbelievably large and engaged crowd. Clearly this is a topic area where there need to be more resources available.