How To: Add Banner Type Links to CKS:EBE Blog

Although I’m much more involved with CKS:IEE and CKS:CIE editions of Community Kit for SharePoint (CKS), I’ve been playing lately with CKS:EBE (Enhanced Blog Edition). It wraps around the standard SharePoint blog site and rewrites the standard HTML with its own Modular Theme Framework (handled by a custom HttpHandler) and adds a lot of other goodies.

In a web site we were building internally in the company I work for, we use CKS:EBE for a community site. We wanted to replace the standard links list with clickable image banners. This is a view of a standard Links list in CKS:EBE (captured from blog):


What we did was to add a custom Hyperlink column to the Links list (Vínculos in Spanish), called PhotoURL. We uploaded the banners to the Media document library provided by the CKS:EBE. Then, we added the correct URLs to each of the links entries.


Then, we replaced the following line in Links.xsl for the current theme:

<xsl:template match="row"> 
        <a href="{substring-before(URL, ‘,’)}">
           <xsl:value-of select="substring-after(URL,’,’)" />

with this one

<xsl:template match="row"> 
        <a href="{substring-before(URL, ‘,’)}">
            <img src=”{substring-after(PhotoURL,’,’)}" height=”55px” width=”170px” />

The result is shown below:


Community Kit for SharePoint Needs You!

As you might know, I contribute to Community Kit for SharePoint (CKS). It’s a CodePlex-hosted community project aimed to provide the community with SharePoint extensions and starters that are not present in the out-of-the-box edition.

This project has also put me in contact with some excellent SharePoint professionals who are dedicated to the community, such as Paul Ballard, Zac Smith, Brendon Schwartz, Russ Basiura, Stacy Draper and Dee Anne Kotzur, among others.

Right now, there are several “almost finished” editions, such as:

The CKS:Corporate Intranet Edition

There are several editions that haven’t progressed beyond some initial research. One of them is the Corporate Intranet Edition. The features envisioned for this edition are, mainly:

  • A set of professionally designed master pages and CSS themes
  • A set of templates such as “corporate crisis management”, “risk management” or SOX-compliance template
  • Wildcard search
  • Taxonomy and Tagging content
  • Site creation wizard, to help a user to choose between 40+ templates (most of which will come from Application Templates for SharePoint)

The current state of affairs is that since the beginning we haven’t had the momentum that other CKS editions had, and we couldn’t push the edition to something releasable. The main effort was made by Russ Basiura, Dee Anne Kotzur and myself, but the real-life issues and lack of commitment/feedback from the community took its toll.

However, we’re determined to get the project back to the track and push it forward. But, we can’t do it alone. We need your help!

i want you us army

How Can You Help?

First, check the overall CKS project information and ask yourself if you are really into it. Committing to a community project isn’t something to be judged lightly. You will have to spare some time regularly to make the project progress, or to inform the rest of the team how are you doing, due to sporadic nature of the work in a community of developers.

Do you still want to contribute?

Please keep in mind that your contribution doesn’t necessary have to be code development. This project will eventually need testers and documentation writers as much as developers. If you have trusted colleagues or friends who would be good at either of those roles, please recruit them to be part of the project team.

Ok, so you still want to help us or you know somebody that could help us in CKS:CIE project?

Send an e-mail to either Russ Basiura (russ AT or me (ekapic AT, explaining your contribution idea and your short background. We will contact you shortly after that.

I don’t want/have time to commit but I have an idea that should be incorporated into CKS:CIE

Please feel free to comment that at the official CKS:CIE page at CodePlex.

The Final Words

Thank you for your interest in reading this post. The SharePoint community is a powerful thing that we all comprise, and we hope that together we can follow our more successful siblings such as CKS:EBE or CKS:EWE.

Community Kit for SharePoint 2.0 Pre-Release

Exciting news! The CKS 2.0 has been pre-released. It’s just been a few months since the project started and we already have something tangible.

The features included in this pre-release are:

Enhanced Blog Edition Beta 1
Enhanced Wiki Edition Alpha
ChatterBox AJAX Beta
Tag Cloud

Download any of the components above and play with them (not in production environment, though)…and, above all, provide feedback to the team.

Full announcement can be found here.