MCTS Certified!

Yeah! After reading two quite lengthy books (and for me that’s a lot of reading compared to the things I usually read…) in not so much time, and taking two not too easy exams, I made it! I’m now officially a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist. Guess I’m going to need new business cards to fit that title 😉 So now that I’m supposed to know a lot of ASP.NET web development, more blogposts will arrive shortly!

And not to worry… I won’t waste my newly gained free time, I’m thinking about taking bass lessons and maybe update the title to MCPD, but on a slower paste this time. But first: celebration time! 😀

Crystal Reports Web Part for MOSS 2007

To enable our users to view Crystal Reports in a SharePoint environment, we looked for a solution of Business Objects. Unfortunately, that only seems to be available for SharePoint 2003, and not 2007. Also obtaining it seems not that easy, at least it’s not included in the default developer edition of Crystal Reports XI.

So we decided to create one ourselves by using the standard ASP.NET reportviewer control. The web part consists of the CR reportviewer and CR reportsource which, when combined, display the report in the javascript viewer for ASP.NET. One of the problems to overcome is the lack of ability to use online files via http in the reportsource; by default only local files on the hard drive are supported.

A second problem is caused by the http handler Crystal uses to process images. That won’t work in a MOSS environment because the MOSS handlers kick in before the Crystal handler can even process the request. I tried changing the sequence in web.config so the Crystal handler would process first, but couldn’t get that to work properly. I ended up creating an empty web application on a different (non-MOSS) port and redirecting the CrystalImageHandler.aspx requests to that application by simply replacing those URLs in the outputted sourcecode of the web part with a regular expression. Maybe not the best solution, but it works quite well.

Unfortunately I cannot post the web part here since it’s made for the company I work at. Though you may contact me at jsiegmund [at] datamex [dot] nl to work something out (we don’t have an online shop).

Update! Also check out this new post!

Update 2! The fully functional, ready-to-go web part with installation guide and support is now on sale!

InfoPath, SSO and SQL Server credentials

Here’s a quick walkthrough to enable a InfoPath form to get information from a SQL Server database with credentials found in a SSO database (which you typically use with SharePoint).

Read More

MSDN Showtime! REMIX 07

Last june, I was fortunate enough to be able to visit the Microsoft DevDays in Amsterdam. Lots of interesting stuff there, including some VS “Orcas” 2008 previews (more web related stuff!), the very nice looking Silverlight technology and more. But the most interesting presentation I whitnessed there was by Molly Holzschlag. She talked about CSS and browser standards. She somehow managed to explain how the HTML flow in IE works, with positioning and stuff. I’ve been stuggling with that on almost every site I made (and I’ve made a few), so maybe you’ll be as pleased with this explanation as I was.

Check out the entire presentation at MSDN Showtime: http://www.microsoft.com/emea/msdnshowtime/sessionh.aspx?videoid=590

Molly has her own spot on the web @ http://www.molly.com, where more information about web designing can be found.

Mixing Forms Based and Windows Authentication In ASP.NET

To start off this blog with some usefull information, I´m going to explain how to develop an ASP.NET 2.0 web application which has both forms authentication and Windows authentication enabled.

Let’s say we’re developing a web application which will be running on our local intranet. There’s a pretty good chance that same intranet will have a domain and thus a domain server, which in this case will be a Microsoft Active Directory. Now, after our user has logged in to his (or her) computer, we don’t want to bother him with credentials any more. He provided the correct password to get into the machine, so he’s trusted from that point on.
Read More