I’ve just completed our first true “Sandboxed” solution for SharePoint 2010**, its an updated, and improved version of the Link Conductor.
What does it do? Well, in a nutshell, it provides you with a simple way to create a permanent URL which can then redirect to anywhere you like. It’s a little bit like a URL shortening service. We use it across our blogs, so that when we include a link to a product, or information page, we can ensure it always points to the latest information, without the need to go back and update all those references.
The Microsoft web site has a similar service, you might have noticed them linking to various pages using a URL that looks something like this:
How do I get it and how does it work?
Both excellent questions. You get it by downloading it from here (via our excellent Link Conductor Tool):
For more information about Link Conductor you can visit:
Note: The community version supports a maximum of 15 redirect pathways.
Once you have downloaded it, you install it like any other Sandboxed solution.
1. Go to “Site Settings” in the root web of your Site Collection, and select “Solutions”.
2. Under the “Library” tab in the Ribbon, select “Upload Solution”.
3. Select the WSP from your filesystem, and upload it.
4. Once uploaded, you need to “Activate” it.
5. The final step is to then Activate the “Link Conductor” feature in the Site where you would like to host the solution. This is a “Web” scoped feature, so it can be done in the Root web, or any sub web. When inside the host, click on Site Settings –> Manage site Features.
6. Activate the “Link Conductor” feature.
7. You are now finished, to confirm it has Activated correctly, return to “Site Settings” and look for the following administration links:
There are two lists associated with the “Link Conductor” solution. One is responsible for defining the “Pathways”, that is the URL redirects and their destination. The other is responsible for storing any statistic gathered during the redirection process.
Defining a new pathway
To define a new pathway, follow the below steps:
1. Under “Site Settings” click on the “Link Conductor Pathways” link, this will take you to the list where the pathways can be defined. Click on the “Add new item” link.
2. Complete the fields as required, for example, the below picture illustrates a pathway which would redirect people to the SharePoint homepage.
3. Save the pathway, and you are now done. There is a “Test” link which you can click on to test your pathway, and it also provides you an easy place to copy the link from. Clicking on the link should take you to the Microsoft SharePoint homepage, after a brief pause on a “Redirect” page.
Reviewing the statistics
Whenever a redirect occurs, a statistic is written away to the “Link Conductor Statistics” list. You can review this by doing the following:
1. Under “Site Settings” click on the “Link Conductor Statistics” link. This will take you to a list that displays all of the redirects that have taken place, and any errors. You can create views to filter and sort based on your requirements. In the below screenshot, you can see the redirect we just performed.
2. Viewing the item also reveals the “Referrer”. Useful for providing specific URLs during specific campaigns.
The solution has been designed to work with “Anonymous” authentication, however to get the statistics working correctly, you will need to make a small adjustment to the Statistics list permissions. Follow the below instructions:
1. Open the “Link Conductor Statistics” list, and then under the “List” tab in the ribbon, select “Settings” and then “List Permissions”.
2. Click on “Stop Inheriting Permissions”
3. Click on “Anonymous Access”
4. Check the “Add Items” option:
You will now be able to track statistic for redirect requests occurring anonymously.
So, take a look, and let us know what you think about it, as always, I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org