Project Server IE9 Jump Lists Revisited

A while back I wrote about how you could customise your Project Server instance to incorporate one of the great new features of Internet Explorer 9, Jump Lists. In the post we explored how through a little bit of JavaScript and a content editor web part a Project Server administrator could provide quick access to common links in PWA when a user pins the site.

As I had been spending a lot of time around demand management workflows recently, I started to wonder if it would be possible to incorporate workflow approval tasks onto an IE9 jump list. After a little experimenting, I am pleased to announce IE9 Jump Lists Version 2.0 Smile

What does it do?

Just like the previous release, V2 provides quick access to core Project Server functions for users that choose to pin the site to their Windows 7 taskbar. Unlike the previous version, it will also poll Project Server to see if any workflow approval tasks are outstanding for the current user, specifically any tasks that are not in the status of completed and add them to the pinned menu in a special ‘Workflow tasks’ area.

Workflow tasks in IE9 Jumplist

Clicking on an approval task form the jump list will open up the approval task within Project Server for the user to action the approval.

Clicking on a task will bring up the correct approval page

Finally, V2 will also notify the user via a handy notification icon to show when there are outstanding workflow approvals awaiting action.

Taskbar notification

To give you a more detailed example of what V2 can do, I have created a small screencast showing the major features.

How it works

The new version of the IE9 Jump lists leverages a fantastic jQuery library called Pinify that is designed to reduce the effort and time required to implement IE9 jump lists on a site as well as providing a number of additional capabilities including notifications, discoverability and thumbnails. In our particular case, I have leveraged pinify to provide the static jump list components and to provide the plumbing to display the dynamic workflow tasks and notifications.

The other main components of the solution are:

  • Leveraging the SPServices jQuery plugin to poll SharePoint to get the currently logged on user
  • Using SharePoint’s inbuilt REST interface to lists to poll the currently assigned Workflow tasks from the ProjectServerWorkflowTasks list
  • Parsing the returned results via JSON
  • And finally, displaying a notification to the user on the task bar when Workflow Approval tasks are outstanding.

I am not going to go into the specifics of the implementation in this post due to the solution being slightly more complex than its predecessor. Instead, I have wrapped the whole solution, associated graphics and JavaScript files into a simple to install SharePoint feature, the source of which and Visual Studio project is available to download from my Skydrive account. In order for you to use this yourself, all that is needed is to:

1. Ensure you have a Shared Documents document library in your PWA site

2. Open the ie9jumplist.js file in the solution and update the PWA URL and ProjectServerWorkflowTasks list id to match your environment

3. Compile, test, deploy and enjoy.

N.B. This code is provided as is. No warranty is provided. You are responsible for testing the solution prior to deployment. The author accepts no responsibility for anything that may happen as a result of installing and using this code, etc, etc.

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