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SharePoint MindsharpBlogs > Penny Coventry
Penny on SharePoint
My main blog site is at I will cross post on this site blog posts I make on that site.

 Last 10 Posts

Mar 06
Published: March 06, 2012 08:03 AM by  Penny Coventry

​SharePoint 2010 is coming up to its 2 year birthday, so it worth talking about Ribbons. Too often solutions concentrate
on pages, Web Parts, lists, libraries and workflows. A SharePoint solution should be more than this - each of these
components should be combined to provide users with a holistic solution, where the components work together and
not as discrete entities.

Using Web Part connections and customizing the Data Form Web Part (DFWP) Form Action button to initiate workflows,
are examples of how you can achieve this. However, SharePoint 2010 provides other components that can be used to
improve the users experience (UX).

Microsoft did much refactoring of the user interface (UI) introducing the Office 2007 client application Ribbon to
SharePoint Foundation, targeting standard tasks that users need to compete and reduced the use of tables. In your
solutions you can extend the out-of-the-box UI, specifically by displaying links, relevant text and commands on the:

  • Server Ribbon

SharePoint 2010 Server Ribbon and Status Bar

  • Status bar
  • Notification area

SharePoint 2010 Notification area

  • List Item Menu (LIM), also known by developers as the Edit Control Block (ECB).

SharePoint 2010 List Item Menu - LIM - also known as the Edit Control Block - ECB

In my sessions at the Australia SharePoint Conference (20-21st March) and the SharePoint Summit in Toronto
(14-16th May 2012), I'll concentrate on how to extend the server Ribbon interface and create LIMs, using
SharePoint Designer 2010, with no-code. I'll also briefly introduce how to use Visual Studio to extend the four UI
components listed above, and then in conclusion I'll highlight the pros and cons of using SharePoint Designer as
compared to Visual Studio. Along the way I'll also mention what is possible if you are using SharePoint Online, which is
part of Office 365.

The session is based on working at client sites and my investigations whilst writing Chapter 3, "Working with Lists
and Libraries", in SharePoint Designer 2010 Step by Step and Chapter 15, "Customizing the User Interface", in
SharePoint Foundation 2010 Inside Out. Developers can find more information on customizing the Ribbon, on my blog
post, SharePoint Conference: Session SPC402 Ribbon Development and Extensibility.

Jan 13
Published: January 13, 2012 13:01 PM by  Penny Coventry
Well, 2012 is looking like a very busy year. I am lucky to have been accepted to speak at four conferences in the next few months:

I'll be speaking on a variety of topics: Fiddler, SharePoint Online (Office365), Ribbon Customization, branding and workflows.

Oh! and did I mention that I'm writing another book (my husband's words were: you are kidding aren't you?). This time it's on Business Connectivity Services and my co-authors are Brett Lonsdale - @brettlonsdale and Phill Duffy - @phillduffy. It should be out in June 2012 - ready for the North America and European TechEd conferences.

Oct 26
Published: October 26, 2011 17:10 PM by  Penny Coventry
On Saturday November 12th at #SPSUK, I'll be presenting a session titled:

Automating Business Processes with SharePoint Online
In this session I'll be using Visio 2010 Premium and SharePoint Designer 2010 to explore the options available when automating business process in the cloud with SharePoint Online which is part of Office 365. Towards the end of the session I'll also show how such processes can be extended using Visual Studio 2010, as well as discussing how the deployment and packaging of workflows differs from using on premise SharePoint 2010. This is a free event, but you must register at the following site:

Two days later - 14th - 15th November, I'll be repeating this session on Day 2, 13:30-14:40, Room C10 at the Swedish SharePoint & Exchange Forum in Stockholm, plus presenting another session on Day 1, 17:10-18:10, Room C58 on How to use fiddler with SharePoint 2010.

Sep 28
Published: September 28, 2011 06:09 AM by  Penny Coventry

​Like many other people who are passionate about SharePoint, I'm attending the SharePoint Conference 2011, twitter hashtag #spc11 being held in Anaheim, CS, US - October 3-6. So in a couple of days I'll be making my way over there.

Whilst at the conference I'll be soaking up the new information and experiences that attendees and speakers have to tell, attending the many social events (see event map:  and ) and I'm also doing three book signings for four of the books I've helped to produce*:

So come and say hi. I'm also part of the army of bloggers that have signed up as part of Dave Coleman's push for live blogging during the event - twitter hashtag #SPC11LB.

There are many other book sigining happening during the conference.

This blog post is a mirror of the post created on my main blog site:

* Books are never the result of one person.

Apr 04
Next week, commencing 11th April, there's the 3-day, SharePoint Best Practices Conference 2011. It's taking place at the same venue as last's years SharePoint Evolution Conference event – Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London, UK - opposite the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey.

So what's the important information you should know:

The speakers list is just awe inspiring – it's a Who's Who of the SharePoint world, and I'm lucky to be presenting:

Day 2: 15:00-16:00, Information Worker track 2, IW510, Henry Moore room on "Controling who can use SharePoint Designer".

Join the conversations on twitter, tweet with #bpcuk, and join the Facebook group.

If you haven't already registered for it, do so – NOW! You will truly regret it if you don't.

Apr 04
Published: April 04, 2011 14:04 PM by  Penny Coventry

I don't write blogs very often, but when I do - it's good news.

Yes it was April Fool's day and to me that means will I receive a wondrous letter from Microsoft? - and yes I received my Congratulations email. Thanks to everyone who helped me or should I say allowed me to continue my passion for SharePoint.

Jan 03
I'm excited to tell you that my book SharePoint Designer 2010 Step By Step, was sent to the printers on the 7th December 2010 and is now available. It consists of 14 chapters, and three appendices as outlined at: This book can be purchased in print or ebook format from the O'Reilly site, or from book stores such as and

Aug 13
Published: August 13, 2010 17:08 PM by  Penny Coventry
Once again, I'm packing my bags for the flight to the US. This time it's the SharePoint Best Practices Conference, 24th – 27th August, at the Hyatt Regency Reston Hotel in Washington, DC - over 120 sessions, 4 tracks, 4 post-conference workshops and 60+ speakers. It's definitely one to attend.

It's the first time I've been to a US Best Practices Conference and the first time in Washington, DC, so I'm really looking forward to it. I can't wait to meet up with so many friends and colleagues. I'll be presenting two sessions:

If you can't make, follow: Twitter hash is #BPC2010 and I've also seen #BPC10 used too. There is also going to be live blogging.

Jun 30
Published: June 30, 2010 18:06 PM by  Penny Coventry
The June 2010 cumulative updates for WSS 3.0 and MOSS07 have been released, see
Also Joerg Sinemus announces that the first CU for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 - MSS2010 and Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 - MSF2010 has been delayed.
I have updated my SharePoint Versions page with the latest numbers.

Jun 27
Published: June 27, 2010 16:06 PM by  Penny Coventry

I'm presenting a session on Thursday 8th July 2010 at Nottingham. I'm giving the first session of a series of three that Mark Macrae is planning on Workflows.  This first session is "back to basics". I'll briefly look at the out-of-the-box workflows that come with SharePoint Server 2007 and then how to use SharePoint Designer 2007 for building workflow solutions - pros/cons. The second session starts at 20:10 when Andrew Woodward will talk about Automated UI Testing. There will be a break following first session when BBQ and drinks will be served.

I have some SWAG that I've brought back from TechEd 2010, North America, to give away, so make sure you attend.

Sign up at

Intelligent Decisioning Ltd Offices
Strelley Hall,

For full directions please see the following link (and click 'Contact Us')

Arrive around 6 pm for a 6:30 pm start.

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