May 23, 2011

Opening Insight WebParts in a New Browser Window

Currently when viewing Solid Edge Insight data in the Internet Explorer dashboard, clicking the Edit dropdown menu and selecting "View Properties/Graphics/BOM", by default the WebParts page is opened in the same browser window.

By modifying the SharePoint Feature for the Edit dropdown menu it is possible to configure the Insight WebParts to open and display in a new Internet browser window.  Note that depending on the browser configuration a new tab may be opened in the browser instead of a new window.

1. On the SharePoint server, locate the SEInsightContextMenu SharePoint Feature.

For WSS 3.0 the default path to the feature is:
"C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\12\TEMPLATE\FEATURES\SEInsightContextMenu"

For SPF 2010 the default path to the feature is:
"C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\TEMPLATE\FEATURES\SEInsightContextMenu"

 2. Back up your existing "Elements.xml" file.

3. Using your text editor of choice, open the Elements.xml file for editing. Locate the first section containing "Url="javascript:function ViewBOM()":

4. Within this section locate the line containing "window.location.href=". 

5. Change this string from:

Note obviously that your http address will be different from the above example.  Also pay attention to the formatting of the "" string and note that there is a closing parenthesis at the end of the line before the semi-colon.

6. There are a total of eight "Url="javascript:function ViewBOM()" sections that you will need to make the above "" change to.

7. Save the Elements.xml file.

8. Restart IIS by performing an "iisreset" in a DOS Command Prompt window.

Now when clicking the Edit dropdown menu and selecting "View Properties/Graphics/BOM" the WebParts page will be opened in a new browser window or tab.

Open Microsoft Office Documents in Tabbed Windows

Modern Web browsers are ubiquitous with the use of tabs.  More software is offering tabbed controls as tabs become more commonplace.  Solid Edge offers tabs within draft sheets.  Unfortunately Microsoft Office currently does not offer the functionality of tabbed file windows.  And if you've ever had to work on multiple Office documents at a time you can certain appreciate the need for file tabs within Office.  Well Office Tab is a free add-in that allows for file tabs in Word, Excel and PowerPoint.  There is also a paid version which includes Project and Visio.  Now if only Solid Edge had file tabbed browsing ;-)

Office Tab

May 21, 2011

Quickly Lock and Unlock Your PC with Your USB Flash Drive

Leaving your laptop unlocked when you’re working in your local coffee shop to order another grande cafĂ© latte with soy milk may be okay with you but if not check out Predator. Predator uses your USB flash drive to quickly lock and unlock your PC by turning your flash drive into a "key". Unplug the key and your computer automatically locks and will play an alarm if someone attempts to unlock the computer. Plug the key back in and your computer automatically unlocks without having to type your password.

Sure you could use the Win + L key combo just as easily but Predator is way "cooler" than boring old key strokes. Having to type your complex password (don't we all have one of these wink, wink) every time you come back with a refill gets cumbersome enough to where you may be inclined to skip locking your screen. Nothing is simpler than Predator's "plug 'n play" approach.  Plus good luck getting Windows screen lock to sound an alarm if someone attempts access while you’re waiting on barista boy to hook you up with your caffeine addiction.

Go check Predator out for yourself. They offer a free and a paid version. Provide your feedback and other solutions in the comments below.