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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Implement RSS Feeds in SharePoint

Implement RSS Feeds in SharePoint

• RSS is a way to publish information through feeds and readers.

• Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds, leveraging SQL data, and XML-based web services. RSS (also known as Rich Site Summary) feeds use XML to publish content that is frequently updated. Users can subscribe to an RSS feed using an RSS reader and receive regular updates of certain information at an interval each user defines. Microsoft SQL Server 2005, as well as SQL Server 2000, has the capability to output results in an XML format. This is accomplished by simply adding the two words FOR XML to the end of an SQL query.

• RSS is an information formatting scheme used primarily for syndicating (sharing) news, electronic magazines (e-zines), and personal weblogs (blogs). However, any information that can be structured into an XML-style format can be syndicated using an RSS feed and read using a news aggregator. A news aggregator is any program that is RSS-compatible, including most web browsers.

RSS Viewer Web Part on a SharePoint Page

A SharePoint page can include an RSS viewer, which enables it to display RSS feeds. Before you begin the process of adding an RSS viewer to a SharePoint page, access the site settings and those of the library in which you wish to add an RSS viewer to ensure RSS has been enabled on the site and in the library.

To add an RSS viewer to a SharePoint page, do the following:

1. Navigate to the SharePoint page on which you wish to display an RSS feed and click the Site Actions button to open its drop-down menu.

2. On the Site Actions menu, click the Edit Page option.

3. On the Edit Mode page (see Figure 22-1), click the Add A Web Part button in the Web Part Zone in which you wish to place the RSS viewer.

4. On the Add Web Parts To Body dialog box (see Figure 22-2), click the Advanced Web Part Gallery And Options link at the bottom of the page.

5. The Advanced Web Part gallery opens in a window pane on the right side of the display (see Figure 22-3). Search through the list using the Next link until the RSS Viewer Web Part is displayed.

6. Drag the RSS Viewer Web Part into the Web Part zone where you wish to place it (as shown in Figure 22-4).

7. Now that an RSS Viewer Web Part has been added to the page, the next task is to assign an RSS Feed to the RSS Viewer Web Part. The next section continues this process.

Assign an RSS Feed to the RSS Viewer Web Part

1. Once an RSS Viewer Web Part is added to a SharePoint Web page, the RSS Viewer must be configured with the Internet address (URL) of an RSS feed and its options set. The options you can configure for the RSS Viewer include how many feed items to display, feed

2. Expand the RSS Properties node in the Web Part Properties pane, if it is not already expanded, and then enter the URL for the RSS Feed to which this Web Part is to be linked.

3. By default, MOSS limits RSS feeds to five items. So, if you’d like to increase this number for most news-related feeds, such as to 20 items, enter this value in the Feed Limit box.

4. Scroll down in the Web Part Properties pane and expand the Miscellaneous node

5. If you wish to have the RSS Feed updated more frequently (or less) than every 10 minutes (600 seconds), change the value in the Data View Caching Time-Out box.

6. To give your RSS Viewer Web Part a title for display on the web page, open the Appearance node and enter a descriptive title,

7. Click the OK button to save your configuration settings and after the display is returned to Edit mode for the web page, click the Exit edit mode link to display the page as it is now configured.

8. Before a list can be exposed as an RSS feed, RSS must be enabled on both the site and site collection. Feeds are enabled by default when a site collection and sites are created.

To enable RSS feeds at a site collection level

To enable RSS feeds at a site collection level, perform the following steps:

1. On the site’s home page, click the Site Settings link in the Site Actions menu.

2. If the site you are on is a subsite rather than a top-level site, click the Go to Top Level Site Settings link under the Site Collection Administration section; otherwise, skip to step 3.

3. On the Site Settings screen, click the RSS link in the Site Administration section.

4. On the RSS screen, check the “Allow RSS feeds in this site collection” box in the Site Collection RSS section.

5. Check the “Allow RSS feeds in this site” box in the Enable RSS section.

6. Enter any additional settings for the RSS feed in the Advanced Settings section. These settings apply to all RSS feeds created in the site collection.

7. Click the OK button.

Once RSS is enabled at the site collection level, it must be enabled on the site that contains your list. To enable RSS on a site, perform the previous steps skipping steps 2 and 4.

RSS Settings for SharePoint Lists

1. Allow RSS : Enables or disables RSS for the list.

2. Truncate Multi-line Text : Determines if the RSS feed only contains the first 256 characters for all Multiple lines of text fields in the list. For lists with large amounts of text stored in “Multiple lines of text” columns, selecting Yes to truncate these fields to 256 characters will improve performance of SharePoint and the RSS reader.

3. Title : May be used by RSS readers when displaying the feed to users to show the purpose of the feed.

4. Description : May be used by RSS readers when displaying the feed to users to convey a longer explanation of the feed’s contents.

5. Image : URL May be used by RSS readers when displaying the feed.

6. Columns: Determines which list columns have their data included in the feed and in what order.

7. Maximum Items :The maximum number of items to include in the feed’s contents of recently changed list items.

8. Maximum Days :The furthest amount of time back that RSS will go when looking for recently changed list items to include in the feed.

To enable RSS feeds for a list, perform the following steps:

1. On the list’s page, click the List Settings link in the Settings menu on the toolbar.

2. On the Customize List screen, click the RSS Settings link in the Communications section.

3. On the Modify List RSS Settings screen, select the Yes option for the “Allow RSS for this List” setting.

4. In the RSS Channel Information section, modify the Title, Description, and Image URL for this list’s feed.

5. In the Columns section, check the box next to each column that you want included in the RSS feed, and determine their positions by modifying their associated Display Order numbers, the same way you select columns to include in a view.

6. In the Item Limit section, enter the maximum number of items to include in the feed and how old those items can be.

7. Click the OK button.

• RSS Viewer : Allows you to configure RSS feeds for viewing in My Site.

• Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is a mechanism for aggregating web content from multiple sources and displaying it in a reader. SharePoint 2007 now supports RSS feeds, which have long been available on the Internet and can make any SharePoint list a source for RSS. Additionally, Outlook 2007 contains an RSS reader that can collect the information from SharePoint lists and display it. You can establish an RSS feed for any SharePoint list by selecting Actions ä View RSS Feed from the drop-down menu on the list toolbar. Once established, the RSS feed appears in the folder list of Outlook 2007 and allows you to view list items. Figure 3-6 shows an RSS feed in Outlook 2007 based on the announcements list in the softball site you created earlier.

• Different Way: If you click on View RSS Feed, SharePoint displays the current content of the feed with a link to “Subscribe to the feed.” Click that link, and SharePoint adds the feed to your browser’s list of feeds. Within Internet Explorer, you can view RSS feeds just as you would view your Favorites. In this case, the list is the feed and Internet Explorer is the reader. MOSS also includes an RSS Viewer web part to help build pages that combine one or more feeds

• RSS is the way SharePoint shares information across sites, a process called aggregating content. SharePoint RSS feeds are authenticated, meaning the RSS viewer must pass your credentials to the site before it will return any data. In other words, you need the same permissions to access an RSS feed as you do to access the list providing the feed. The MOSS RSS Viewer web part supports authenticated RSS, so it only returns content you are authorized to see. If you don’t have permission to view the list, the RSS Viewer is hidden on the page.

To use the RSS Viewer web part to aggregate content from a SharePoint list:

Navigate to the list that you want to get information from and click Actions ➝ View RSS Feed. SharePoint displays the feed page for the list.

1. Copy the address of the RSS feed page.

2. Navigate to the page where you want to display the feed and add an RSS Viewer web part.

3. Click “Open the tool pane” on the web part, paste the address of the feed into the RSS Feed URL property as shown in Figure 9-4, and click OK. SharePoint displays the feed in the web part.

4. To turn off feeds from a list, select No in Figure 9-5. Turning off a feed does not stop existing viewers from getting the feed, it only prevents new ones from being added. You can also turn off feeds at the site or application levels.

To turn off feeds for a site:

1. Click Site Actions ➝ Site Settings, and then click RSS under the Site Administration heading. SharePoint displays the RSS page.

2. Deselect “Allow RSS feeds in this site” and click OK.

To turn off feeds for an entire SharePoint application:

1. Navigate to the SharePoint Central Administration site and click Application Management ➝ Web Application General Settings.

2. Scroll down, select No in the RSS Settings section, and click OK.

3. Again, turning off feeds doesn’t stop existing viewers from displaying the feed, it only prevents new viewers from being added for the feed. To stop a feed altogether, change the list’s security settings, or delete and re-create the list with RSS feeds turned off.


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