Thursday, April 27, 2017

SP Editor Chrome extension: free open source alternative to Sharepoint Designer

Did you ever face with situation when you need to debug some javascript code on customer’s Sharepoint environment or change something in css stylesheets, but there is no Sharepoint Designer installed on server. Or when you need to make fixes on Sharepoint Online site, but don’t have Sharepoint Designer on your PC right now? What do we do in such situations: download files, make modifications, upload them, check in, test changes, again download and make modifications, etc. Boring process. Fortunately nowadays there is convenient tool created of one of my work buddies Tomi Tavela: SP Editor. In this post I will show it’s features and what you can do with it.

Once you’ve installed it to the Chrome by clicking F12 there will be new Sharepoint tab in browser Developer tools which looks like this:

There are 2 checkboxes on the start page which are unchecked by default:

  • Update changes to Sharpepoint
  • Publish a Major

If you want to save major changes to Sharepoint by clicking Ctrl-S then check both checkboxes. Otherwise tool won’t make changes on living Sharepoint site.

In order to start working open Sharepoint site in the browser and open Sharepoint tab in developer tools. I personally often use Edit file feature, let’s check how it works. First of all we open File editor tab and select file which we want to edit:

Then we edit selected file in the right frame area and click Ctrl-S when changes are ready in order to save them. File is saved to Sharepoint and checked in with major version so you may test it on the page immediately (refresh the page with Ctrl-F5 in order to get new changes). Moreover as you can see on the screenshot above editor has intellisense.

Let’s briefly check other features.

Scriptlinks – allows to add and remove script links of web and site level:

Files – upload new file to Style library and optionally inject it to the site via script links:

Web properties – add, change or remove web property bag values:

List properties – add, change or remove list property bag values:

Webhooks – simplifies adding of web hooks to the lists or doclibs (see web hooks):

PnP JS Console v2.0.4 – console for simplifying making REST calls to Sharepoint via pnp-js-core library. Also with intellisense:

Page editor – extension for editing web parts on the publishing pages developed by another great guy Andrey Markeev:

As you can see SP Editor is created by developers and for developers for simplifying our everyday tasks. It is open source, source code is available here. So big thanks to Tomi and all other developers who made contributions for such useful tool)

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Overview of item-level permissions in Sharepoint lists

In Sharepoint lists you may configure so called item-level permissions: List settings > Advanced settings > Item-level permissions:

In this article I will show how this setting affects behavior of the lists. In our examples I will use calendar list and 2 different users with Contribute permissions: user1 and user2. user1 created event “test from user1”, and user2 – “test from user2”.

So first of all we need to distinguish 2 concepts:

  1. Item-level security
  2. Item-level permissions

Item-level security means “physical” permissions which you may assign on particular list item (e.g. from context menu shown for this list item Shared With > Advanced) when list items don’t inherit permissions from parent list (and as you probably know list item is minimal securable object in Sharepoint: Site > Web > List > Folder > Item). E.g. you may grant particular permission level to user, AD or Sharepoint group on the list item and list item will become secured by standard Sharepoint security mechanism.

Item-level permissions shown in List settings > Advanced settings don’t use standard Sharepoint security mechanism. It is more like adding filters to the list views to shown only items created by current user ([Me]) and adding additional checks on Save button in Add and Edit list forms (see below).

So let’s start with configuration shown above:

  • Read all items
  • Create and edit all items

In this case both user1 and user2 will see the same list view:

I.e. all users see events created by all users. Also both users are able to modify all events regardless of who created this event.

Now let’s check the following configuration:

  • Read items that were created by the user
  • Create and edit all items

In this case user1 will see only own event:

the same as user2:

In this case even if user1 knows direct url of edit form for event created by user1 (EditForm.aspx?ID=…), it won’t be possible to edit it: Sharepoint will show error “Item not found”. I.e. “Read items that were created by the user” setting is has priority over “Create and edit all items” in this case.

Next combination is this one:

  • Read items that were created by the user
  • Create items and edit items that were created by the user

In this case it will work in the same way as previous combination, i.e. users may see and edit only own events.

Next combination:

  • Read all items
  • Create items and edit items that were created by the user

In this case both users again will see all events:

Also there still will be Edit button available in the ribbon so e.g. user1 may select “test from user2” and click Edit – edit form will be successfully shown. But when user1 will click Save on this form Sharepoint will show error “You do not have access to this page”.

And the last combination when user can’t create or edit items:

  • Read all items/Read items that were created by the user
  • None

In this case Sharepoint will show “You do not have access to this page” error when user will try to create new event or edit any event, including own (which was probably created before this setting was turned on). Although new and edit forms still will be opened, error will be shown on clicking Save button.

And last thing which I would like to mention is that under Item-level permissions section in advanced list setting there is the following note:

Users with the Cancel Checkout permission can read and edit all items.

If you will go to Site settings > Site permissions > Permissions levels and will try to edit existing permission level or create new one, you won’t find exactly “Cancel Checkout” permission there. Instead there will be “Override List Bahaviors”:

Discard or check in a document which is checked out to another user, and change or override settings which allow users to read/edit only their own items

And actually this permission is meant under Item-level permissions instead of “Cancel Checkout”. This is all what I wanted to share about this topic. Hope that this information will help someone.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Problem with SPWeb.EnsureUser method and FBA users with claims based authentication in Sharepoint

If you need to perform some action on FBA user in your Sharepoint site where claims authentication is used from outside of Sharepoint context (e.g. from console application) you may face with the following issue: when you will call web.EnsureUser(userName) method it will throw exception:

Specified user ‘username’ not found

There are several things which have to be done in order to make it possible to work with FBA users without Sharepoint context with claims based authentication:

1. Fake HTTP context after you get instance of SPWeb:

   1: HttpRequest request = new HttpRequest("", web.Url, "");
   2: HttpContext.Current = new HttpContext(request,
   3:     new HttpResponse(new StringWriter()));
   4: HttpContext.Current.Items["HttpHandlerSPWeb"] = web;

2. Use user name in full claims format, i.e.:

   1: var user = web.EnsureUser("i:0#.f|mymembershipprovider|username");

where instead of mymembershipprovider and username you should use your own membership provider name and user name.

3. The most tricky thing: from web.config of your FBA site zone you need to copy the following sections to the app.config of your console application:

  • connectionStrings
  • system.web/membership
  • system.web/roleManager


   1: <connectionStrings>
   2:   <add name="MyConnStr" connectionString="..." />
   3: </connectionStrings>
   4: <system.web>
   5:   <membership defaultProvider="i">
   6:     <providers>
   7:       <add name="i" type="Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.Claims.SPClaimsAuthMembershipProvider,
   8: Microsoft.SharePoint, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c" />
   9:       <add connectionStringName="MyConnStr" name="MyMembershipProvider" ... />
  10:     </providers>
  11:   </membership>
  12:   <roleManager defaultProvider="c" enabled="true" cacheRolesInCookie="false">
  13:     <providers>
  14:       <add name="c" type="Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.Claims.SPClaimsAuthRoleProvider,
  15: Microsoft.SharePoint, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c" />
  16:       <add connectionStringName="MyConnStr" applicationName="/" name="MyRoleProvider" ... />
  17:     </providers>
  18:   </roleManager>
  19: </system.web>

Here is the full working C# code which allows to get FBA user from console application:

   1: using (var site = new SPSite(""))
   2: {
   3:     using (var web = site.OpenWeb())
   4:     {
   5:         web.AllowUnsafeUpdates = true;
   6:         HttpRequest request = new HttpRequest("", web.Url, "");
   7:         HttpContext.Current = new HttpContext(request,
   8:             new HttpResponse(new StringWriter()));
   9:         HttpContext.Current.Items["HttpHandlerSPWeb"] = web;
  11:         var user = web.EnsureUser("i:0#.f|mymembershipprovider|username");
  12:         ...
  13:     }
  14: }