Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Using jQuery for AJAX User Profile Queries in SharePoint

Continuing on my vein of experimenting with customisation of SharePoint using jQuery, I wanted to see if I could use the AJAX methods in jQuery to call SharePoint web services. And it just so happens a suitable requirement arose - the need to use details from the profile for the current logged-in user of a web part page.

A data view web part was required to display staff located in the same office as the current logged-in user of the web part page. The office name for each staff member was being stored in the user profiles.

Of course this functionality could have been developed in a custom web part, but I am growing to like the rapidity of creating business functionality with data view web parts. Combined with jQuery, they offer a suprising amount of flexibility.

In SharePoint designer I created a data source pointing at the user profiles. Then I created a data form web part using this data source to display a table of information on each user profile. Also included in the web part was a hidden text field that contained the login name of the current user. The purpose of this hidden value was to provide the search text for the AJAX call to the profile web service, so that I could retrieve the details for the current user.

I needed the help of Fiddler and the SharePoint Search Service Tool to help craft the necessary QueryPacket XML. Once I had the working XML, I placed it in a JavaScript file referenced within the data form web part.

The jQuery went something like this:

$(document).ready(function() {

function startAjaxOfficeSearch() {
    var userlogin = $("#CurrentUserLogin").text();
    if (userlogin != '') {
      var queryXml = 'urn:Microsoft.Search.Response.Document:Documentselect accountname, preferredname, firstname, lastname, workemail, workphone, Title, Path, pictureurl, description, write, rank, size, OfficeNumber from scope() where "scope"= \'People\' and accountname = \'' + userlogin + '\' order by preferredname asc';
      var queryXmlOptions = '110truetruetruetruetruetruetrue';
      var completeQueryXml = queryXml + queryXmlOptions;

      var regex = new RegExp(String.fromCharCode(60), 'g');
      queryXml = completeQueryXml.replace(/</G, '&lt;').replace(/>/g, '&gt;');

      var soapMessage = String.fromCharCode(60) + '?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>' + queryXml + '';
      $.ajax({ type: "POST",
            url: "/_vti_bin/search.asmx",
            contentType: "text/xml",
            dataType: "xml",
            data: soapMessage,
            processData: false,
            beforeSend: function(req) {
              req.setRequestHeader("X-Vermeer-Content-Type", "text/xml; charset=utf-8");
            error: function(XMLHttpRequest, textStatus, errorThrown) { ajaxError(XMLHttpRequest,textStatus, errorThrown); },
            success: function(xml) { ajaxFinish(xml); }

function ajaxFinish(xml) {
  $("RelevantResults", xml).each(function() {
    var selectedOfficeValue = $("OFFICENUMBER", this).text();
    //Do other stuff with this office value

function ajaxError(xmlObj,textStatus,errorThrown)   {
    alert("(Ajax error: "+textStatus+")");

The login of the current user is contained in the hidden text box with ID of 'CurrentUserLogin', as created by the data form web part. The derived query seeks exact matches for that user login against the accountname property in the user profile records - you may find this needs to query against the preferredname property instead of accountname.

The ajaxfinish method gets all the XML returned from the web service call, and uses jQuery parsing to extract the office name from the returned profile.

Note that the url parameter in the ajax call really needs to be replaced by a variable that adjusts to the actual site collection root, and that the ajaxerror function is not production ready!

I've missed out a lot of detail in this post (for instance, how to create a data source in SharePoint designer that points at the user profile store), but hopefully have given a taster of another use for jQuery, and another way of approaching SharePoint customisations.

One other tip - to find out the property names to use in the query, go to the Shared Services Administration page for your farm, open the search settings page, and then open the Metadata property mappings page. That is where you will discover those strange names (such as OFFICENUMBER)!


Oskar said...

Thanks for the post, I expect it will come in handy.

One note: Your example code appears to be missing the necessary html encoding to escape your xml tags, making the example quite difficult to read...

Oskar said...

for instance:
var queryXml = <querypacket xmlns="urn:Microsoft.Search.Query"><query domain="QDomain"><supportedformats><format>urn:Microsoft.Search.Response.Document:Document</format></supportedformats><context><querytext language="en-us" type="MSSQLFT">select accountname, preferredname, firstname, lastname, workemail, workphone, Title, Path, pictureurl, description, write, rank, size, OfficeNumber from scope() where "scope"= \'People\' and accountname = \'' + userlogin + '\' order by preferredname asc</querytext></context>'