Searching PDF Content on MOSS 2007

Crawler process, crawling the content on SharePoint site, needs a decryptor to read different files contents, and crawl and index it, the crawlere uses the appropriate IFitler to read and extract data from target content source, actually IFilter is the file's reader that enables the crawler to understand the content of the file, and the IFilter loaded depends on the content source type ( .doc, .xls, .PDF ).

SharePoint comes with built-in IFilters such as Microsoft Office files IFilters and HTML Ifilters, for the full list of IFilters please refer to this link.
I have been asked so many times how to search PDF content on MOSS 2007, and the good news is that, to let MOSS 2007, PDF IFilter has to be installed on the server.

Adobe has an IFilter that was released for SPS 2003, but yet it can be installed on MOSS 2007, download Adobe PDF IFitler v6.0, to install it on SPS 2003, please refer to Microsof Support Article, to install it on MOSS 2007, please refer to Jerry's Blog, it explains how to install and configure it.

If you want to search any kind of content you have to install and configure the appropriate IFitler, please visit IFilter Shop to see some commercial IFitlers to search differnet content such as MindManager and CHM.

Update: 8th, May, 2008, 4:30 PM
I have found another way to filter and index PDF content on MSDN blogs, using Adobe Reader 8, please refer to this article to know more about it.
Indexing pdf documents with Adobe Reader v.8 and MOSS 2007


Office Labs Search Commands

Tired of Searching for commands in the menus of Office 2003, then you should upgrade to Office 2007, once you start using Office 2007, I am sure you will love it, and will get new experience of using Offie Ribbon that makes navigation a real fun!, I have seen so many people using Office 2007 but not even know the name of this square that shows the group of commands on the top banner area of Office application this is simply a Ribbon!, the below image is for a ribbon.

It lets you carry out any operation you want to, with a mouse click, and also it offers dynamic preview, you can try this yourself for fonts, and changing smart art type.

That was an intro!, Office Labs has taken the ribbon to a further stage by offering Search Commands, it is a ribbon that lets users search all the available commands in Office 2007, rather than switching from one ribbon to another trying to spot the command or operation you are trying to carry out, it is really interesting and real time saver!, in fact ribbons are based on XML ( again!! ), developers can design and build new ribbon controls. That's why I am not amazed, with the new search commands ribbon, I think it is searching in XML files that commands are based upon, I beleive it is offering great business value, let me show you how to use the features of Search Commands:

  • First go to Office Labs and download the application ( 2.9 MB approx ), then install it.

  • Launch MS Word 2007.

  • Click Windows+Y, this would take you right to the search textbox under the search commands.

  • Type anything such as "Table", Search Commands will build a list of ribbon items dynamically as you type in the search box, and you would be getting some commands as shown below, the commands are numbered, if you hit any number it will move the focuse to the target command.

  • You can see commands such as add new table, and update table of contents are built and shown.

  • Clear the search text box, and you would get the guided tour button shown, click it, and it will walk you through how to use the search commands.


Managing Alerts for Site Users

In MOSS site collection, you can manage alerts for site collection users, by adding them to the new alert created, as soon as you add the users, every user will get an email indicating that a new alert has been created for him.

To delete or unsubscribe users' alerts on behalf of them, you can browse to, Site Actions -> Site Settings -> User Alerts
Select the user from Display Alerts For dropdown list, and then click Update, check the alert you want to delete and then click Delete Selected Alerts.

For multi-lingual site collections, if you try to manage users' alerts from the site settings of the site collection ( language label site collection ), you will not get users listed in the dropdown list, this is a special case for multi-lingual site collections, the alerts are not shown for language label site collections, if you want to manage the alerts you will have to jump one more level up, to the Variation Home site settings, and then you will get all the language dependent users' alerts listed.


MOSS 2007 Alerts Demystified

One of the weird issues I have faced with MOSS 2007 Alerts is simply it is not sending out alerts for users, in the following lines I will give the symptoms of the issue and how I could resolve it.


As administrator, I click Alert Me and add myself and other concerned users to be notified with changes of a certain list, I get an email indicating that I have a new alert registered to the list and all other users get a similar email, the issue arises when changes are done and no emails are sent to the users.
If I would rephrase the symptoms I would write ( this is for folks searching the problem ), Alerts are created successfully, but the emails are not sent.


After some searching I found that so many other people encountered the same and walked through some workarounds such as breaking the permissions of the list and re-inheriting it, but this did not work.

I found one solution among the lines of ObjectMix forums, that I have found after searching for too long, I tried the solution and it simply worked, herein the steps for solution that worked for me:

  • Browse to Central Administration -> Operations -> Timer Job Definitions

  • Try to spot a job titled " Immediate Alerts " for your web application, noting that you may find the job for some other applications hosted on the same server.

  • Most likely, you will not find this job, and this is the reason SharePoint is not sending out alerts when the list items are changed.

  • To add this job definition you will need to run the following two commands in STSADM.

  • Run STSADM and enter the following commands ( you can change the parameters and frequency of alerts sending accordingly, in the below command it is sending every two minutes ) :

stsadm.exe -o setproperty -url http://mywss30server/mysite -pn alerts-enabled -pv true
stsadm.exe -o setproperty -url http://mywss30server/mysite -pn job-immediate-alerts -pv "every 2 minutes"

Voila!, now you should be ready to receive all the alerts emails that have been queued before because the job was not running, for me I have receieved about 50 emails.

If you check the job definitions now, you will find the new job added under immediate alerts


Microsoft SharedView

Microsoft SharedView is one of the coolest applications I ever run through, It is a screen sharing application from Microsoft, if you have ever used Live Meeting before you would realize the importance and effectiveness of such a tool, especially it is for free, SharedView lets you do the following:

  • Start a new session or join a running one.

  • Share Application: including Microsoft Office Office.

  • Share Desktop: Lets participants view whatever you are doing on your computer.

  • Share Handouts: by uploading documents/files to be shared with the participants.

  • Chat with all participants through a dockable chat window, which is really cool!

SharedView user interface is so similar to Live Meeting, the only thing it misses is voice and video sharing.

Features I Like about SharedView

  • The user who is initiaing the session is the only one who is required to have a Windows Live passport, so if you are inviting business users, they can join the meeting with no need to register their own business emails with Windows Live Passport.

  • Participants can move thier mouse devices, and whoever is moving his mouse, the view will be shared with all participants, showin his own name along with the mouse cursor, so if you are conducting a presentation and you have a congested window with links and sections simply the participant can point his mouse device to the section he may need to enquire about.

  • Chat is really cool!

  • Preview window is awesome, it lets the session owner preview what other participants view at the present moment.

  • Control of session: at any point of time, the session owner can dedicate control of the session to any of the participants who can write into a Microsoft word document, launch applications right from the session owner's computer. This really helps in situation where you are conducting a demo and you are using an application which is only accessible through your own local netowrk, so you can let particpants check and validate whatever you are demonstraing to them via the SharedView, this is much more powerful rather than creating a VPN connection and install it on participants machines. Any time you want to retain the control of the sesion, simply click your mouse, and the participant who's currently contorling the session will lose control.

  • Track Changes: you can switch this feature on, in case you are working with participants on a word document.

  • Handouts: You can attach files to your session and whenever any particpant joins the session he will be able to download the handout, this is more powerful than sending them via emails.

Real Life Usage Scenairos

  • Maintenance requests: simply if one of your clients/friends has a problem you can take control of his machine and fix any problems.

  • Review any kind of documents with other people, including source code files, Word documents, presentation files.

  • Conduct product demonstration to clients.

  • Collaborate on any kind of files such as Visio designs, or Microsoft Project Plans.

  • Let other users use any software on your computer, and send them the end files, with no need to ask them to install the required application.

  • You can use it along with conference call and get great results.

  • Draw a picture with your best friend :)

Next Features I want to be added

  • Voice Integration.

  • Video Integration

Other Information

  • SharedView supports up to 15 participants.

  • Download it here