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Thursday, October 05, 2006  |  From SharePoint Learning Kit Team Blog

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Posted By: Jay Beavers


We've recently posted Sharepoint Learning Kit release 3a to the community site.  This release contains the exact same functionality as CTP 3 but has been tweaked to make it easier to build.  With CTP 3, we released instructions on how to build it on the community wiki site but you had to jump through some hoops to copy files and change references to get everything working.  In release 3a, we've jumped those hoops for you.  The shortened build steps are:



  1. Download and unzip the CTP 3a Source Code from the Codeplex site.  If you don't have Visual Studio 2005 installed on your machine, download and install Visual C# 2005 Express Edition from MSDN.
    Note: Visual C# 2005 Express Edition does not include aspx designers for easy editing.  If you want to edit the aspx pages too, it's better to have one of the other editions of Visual Studio such as Visual Studio Standard Edition or better.
     
  2. Copy Microsoft.Sharepoint.dll from your Sharepoint 2007 Beta 2 server's hard drive into the References directory. This DLL is found at C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\ISAPI\Microsoft.Sharepoint.dll.
    Note: If you have unziped the source code onto a computer that has Sharepoint installed, the build process will copy this file for you.
     
  3. Disable Strong-Name validation on your .NET runtime since these assemblies are unsigned. Open a Command Prompt, type 'Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\SDK\v2.0\Bin\sn.exe -Vr *,abc4ed181d6d6a94'.
     
  4. Open SLK-SourceCode-1.1.0.633-ENU\Slk\Dll\SlkDll.sln and build. This will install the assemblies in the Global Assembly Cache automatically which makes for easy debugging.  More detail to come in a future blog post on debugging.
    Note: If you are running Vista, make sure that you are running in a full permissions window. Otherwise, installing the assemblies in the GAC will fail.
     
  5. (Optional) Create the new WSP file.  You only need to do this if you are intending to perform a "fresh install" with your updated code.
    Open a Visual Studio 2005 Command Prompt. Change directory into SLK-SourceCode-1[1].0.633-ENU\Slk\Solution. Type 'msbuild wsp.proj' to build SharepointLearningKit.wsp.
    Note: Visual C# Express does not include support for the command prompt or MSBuild, so you will need Visual Studio 2005 Standard Edition or better to perform this step.

This release concentrates on simplifying the process of compiling the core SLK code.  Future releases will work on improving the development process for aspx pages and sample code.


Coming soon: deploying a custom build

Wednesday, October 04, 2006  |  From SharePoint Learning Kit Team Blog

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Posted By: Jay Beavers

We've recently posted Sharepoint Learning Kit release 3a to the community site.  This release contains the exact same functionality as CTP 3 but has been tweaked to make it easier to build.  With CTP 3, we released instructions on how to build it on the community wiki site but you had to jump through some hoops to copy files and change references to get everything working.  In release 3a, we've jumped those hoops for you.  The shortened build steps are:

  1. Download and unzip the CTP 3a Source Code from the Codeplex site.  If you don't have Visual Studio 2005 installed on your machine, download and install Visual C# 2005 Express Edition from MSDN.
    Note: Visual C# 2005 Express Edition does not include aspx designers for easy editing.  If you want to edit the aspx pages too, it's better to have one of the other editions of Visual Studio such as Visual Studio Standard Edition or better.
     
  2. Copy Microsoft.Sharepoint.dll from your Sharepoint 2007 Beta 2 server's hard drive into the References directory. This DLL is found at C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\ISAPI\Microsoft.Sharepoint.dll.
    Note: If you have unziped the source code onto a computer that has Sharepoint installed, the build process will copy this file for you.
     
  3. Disable Strong-Name validation on your .NET runtime since these assemblies are unsigned. Open a Command Prompt, type 'Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\SDK\v2.0\Bin\sn.exe -Vr *,abc4ed181d6d6a94'.
     
  4. Open SLK-SourceCode-1.1.0.633-ENU\Slk\Dll\SlkDll.sln and build. This will install the assemblies in the Global Assembly Cache automatically which makes for easy debugging.  More detail to come in a future blog post on debugging.
    Note: If you are running Vista, make sure that you are running in a full permissions window. Otherwise, installing the assemblies in the GAC will fail.
     
  5. (Optional) Create the new WSP file.  You only need to do this if you are intending to perform a "fresh install" with your updated code.
    Open a Visual Studio 2005 Command Prompt. Change directory into SLK-SourceCode-1[1].0.633-ENU\Slk\Solution. Type 'msbuild wsp.proj' to build SharepointLearningKit.wsp.
    Note: Visual C# Express does not include support for the command prompt or MSBuild, so you will need Visual Studio 2005 Standard Edition or better to perform this step.

This release concentrates on simplifying the process of compiling the core SLK code.  Future releases will work on improving the development process for aspx pages and sample code.

Coming soon: deploying a custom build

Thursday, August 17, 2006  |  From SharePoint Learning Kit Team Blog

Posted By: Eric Ledoux, SLK Development Manager

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SharePoint Learning Kit provides a user interface, integrated into SharePoint Central Administration, for configuring a SharePoint site collection for use with SLK.  The association between a site collection and SLK data is called a "SLK mapping".  (In the SLK software development kit (SDK), it's called a "SlkSPSiteMapping".  "SPSite" is SharePoint's internal term for "site collection", which is a set of SharePoint Web sites.)

 

A SLK mapping consists of the following information:

  • The GUID (globally unique identifier) of the SharePoint site collection.
     
  • The name of the SLK database, and the name of the server containing the database, that will be used to hold all assignments created in Web sites in that site collection.  Multiple site collections can share the same SLK database, but a site collection can map to only one database.
     
  • The names of the instructor and learner permissions (e.g. "SLK Instructor" and "SLK Learner") used by that mapping.  For example, when you create an assignment using the SLK UI, you'll see one checkbox for each learner with the "SLK Learner" permission.

SLK mappings are stored in the SharePoint configuration database when you use the "Configure SharePoint Learning Kit" page in SharePoint Central Administration.

 

Question:  How do you remove a mapping?  How do you "unconfigure" SLK?

 

You may think that uninstalling SLK (i.e. "retracting" and "deleting" the SharePointLearningKit.wsp solution) will remove mappings, but that's not the case.  (That's a good thing—it means you can upgrade to a new version of SLK software without losing your assignments, assuming the new version is compatible.)

 

You may think that deleting the SLK database will remove mappings.  That won't work either, since the mappings are stored in SharePoint's configuration database, not the SLK database.

 

The easiest way to remove a mapping is to use the "slkadm.exe" console (command-line) application provided with SLK.  This tool is modeled after "stsadm.exe", a console application included with SharePoint as a way to configure SharePoint from the command line or from batch files.  slkadm.exe is included in the SLK-Install-1.0.nnn-ENU.zip file (where nnn is the build number).

 

Here's an example of a simple use of slkadm.exe within a Command Prompt window on a SharePoint front-end server.  Yellow text is what I typed.  (This example assumes you've copied the contents of SLK-Install-1.0.nnn-ENU.zip to C:\Install, and you've installed SLK.)

 

C:\Install>slkadm -o enummappings
http://ericle1/districts/bellevue (696119ae-dd2f-42fb-b1c2-f57cef818553) --> Server=ERICLE1;Database=SharePointLearningKit
http://ericle1 (936ca441-9a5a-4cbb-b772-185d011fba5c) --> Server=ERICLE1;Database=SharePointLearningKit

C:\Install>

Above, "-o enummappings" means "perform the operation: enumerate mappings".  The output from slkadm.exe is the list of mappings that are currently on my machine.  In the example above, there are two mappings:

  1. The SharePoint site collection "http://ericle1/districts/bellevue", which has a GUID of 696119ae-dd2f-42fb-b1c2-f57cef818553, is mapped to the SLK database named "SharePointLearningKit" on the server named "ERICLE1".  (In this case, the front-end server, "ericle1", is the same as the database server.)
     
  2. The SharePoint site collection "http://ericle1", which has a GUID of 936ca441-9a5a-4cbb-b772-185d011fba5c, is mapped to the same SLK database as the first mapping.

These two mappings were created by me using the Configure SharePoint Learning Kit page (in SharePoint Central Administration) twice: once to configure "http://ericle1/districts/bellevue" and once to configure "http://ericle1".

Suppose I want to delete the second mapping.  Here's what I'd do:

C:\Install>slkadm -o deletemapping -guid 936ca441-9a5a-4cbb-b772-185d011fba5c   
SLK mapping deleted for SPSite GUID 936ca441-9a5a-4cbb-b772-185d011fba5c

C:\Install>

I can verify it's deleted as follows:

C:\Install>slkadm -o enummappings
http://ericle1/districts/bellevue (696119ae-dd2f-42fb-b1c2-f57cef818553) --> Server=ERICLE1;Database=SharePointLearningKit

C:\Install>

As you can see, the only mapping left is the first one.

Keep in mind that removing a mapping does not delete the SLK database or any information in that database associated with that site collection.  Currently there's no one-step way to delete all information in a SLK database associated with a given site collection.  It wouldn't be that hard, though—e.g. a batch file with a bunch of calls to sqlcmd that delete rows from various tables given a SPSite GUID.  Perhaps that can be a subject of a future blog posting...

By the way, slkadm.exe does more than just manage SLK mappings.  It can also be used to configure SLK and upload a SLK Settings file from the command line or a batch file.  But that, too, is another story...

Friday, August 11, 2006  |  From SharePoint Learning Kit Team Blog

Posted By: Mark Knight, SLK PM

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We have decided to launch an “official” team blog for the SharePoint Learning Kit project. This will be a space where team members can post various facts about the project, tips and tricks, information about design decisions, or whatever other tidbits of knowledge might be interesting. I have high hopes for this blog and I think it will be a great forum to talk about SLK.

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We will try to keep a steady flow of interesting information coming your way. As always, we would like to hear your feedback. If there is a particular topic you would like to see, drop us an email with your suggestions.<o:p></o:p>

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Let the blogging begin!

 SharePoint Learning Kit Team Blog News Feed 

Last edited Dec 7, 2006 at 11:16 PM by codeplexadmin, version 1

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