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04 August 2007

SharePoint RSS Viewer web part

SharePoint Server 2007 includes an RSS Viewer web part for viewing RSS feeds. Every list or library within SharePoint has an associated RSS feed that you can subscribe to. The RSS feed is located under the Action button in the list toolbar - see screenshot below:

The RSS feed will be displayed in the browser, like the screenshot below:

The RSS feed is not designed to be read direct inside the browser like this. Instead, you should add the RSS Viewer web part (it is one of the default web parts available 'out of the box' with SharePoint) to a page and then modify the web part to include the URL to the RSS feed. The easiest way to do this is to copy the URL from the browser window (you can see it in the screenshot above) and then paste it into the URL box for the web part (as shown in the screenshot below):

In this example, the RSS Viewer web part has been configured with the RSS feed for the Calendar list within the team site. As soon as somebody creates or updates an entry in the calendar, the RSS Viewer web part will be updated and display the title of the new entry.

RSS feed is a geeky phrase for what is simply a news feed. If you want to keep track of what's going on in a given list or library, then subscribing to a news feed means you will automatically receive the updates when they are published, rather than having to go and keep checking on the list to see if there are any changes. (I always rename the RSS Viewer web part with a friendlier update - in this example, I would use 'Calendar updates') You can see the RSS Viewer on display in the screenshot below. A list item - Management meeting - has been expanded to show more details:

If you are having problems with getting the RSS Viewer web part to display on your page, specifically you are receiving the message 'The RSS webpart does not support authenticated feeds', you need to change your authentication provider settings from NTLM to Kerberos. To do this, go to SharePoint Central Administration and click on the Application Management tab. Within the list of options, click on Authentication Providers. Click on Default (should be the only one listed if you are an 'out of the box' set-up). Under IIS Authentication Settings, the checkbox for Integrated Windows authentication should be selected. Change the radio button selection from NTLM to Negotiate (Kerberos). Click Save. If you go and refresh the page containing the RSS Viewer web part, the feed should now be displayed, i.e. it worked on my machine :-) If it doesn't work, chances are you need to change the account being used for your application pool settings.

RSS feeds share similarities with another SharePoint feature - Aerts. For an explanation of the similarities and differences, please check out a previous blog post: SharePoint and RSS versus Alerts

Technorati tags: SharePoint, SharePoint 2007, MOSS 2007