Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Download tracking with WSS 3.0

WSS 3.0 does not have a mechanism for tracking who downloads which files with authenticated users. When I got confronted with this task, I decided to create a web user control that reads all the files in a document library and subsequently displays the file names using a series of "LinkButton" controls. I then attached this web user control to a SharePoint WSS 3.0 web page. I decided against using a Hyperlink object in favor of a LinkButton ASP.NET control for the following two reasons:

1) With a HyperLink ASP.NET control, users can right-click on the anchor and choose "Save target as" to save the file. This is not desirable because no event is triggered when that happens. On the other hand, a LinkButton control does not produce a right-click popup in a browser leaving the user with no choice but to click on the link.

2) I needed to put some business logic behind the click event of the LinkButton. The business logic essentially saves statistics along the lines of: timestamp, host address, user ID, and filename.

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