Caml Designer 2013 – Summer Update

Hey guys

It’s been a loooong while since I’ve written about the tool that I’ve developed with Karine Bosch (@kboske) (and Peter was a great help with the Office 365 part) called Caml Designer.

Well since the vNext version that we have launched with the SharePoint Saturday 2012 the responses have been awesome 🙂 but also some bugs came up.

Thanks to all the people who sent a mail to we were able to track the bugs and fix them accordingly.

Well the summer update contains a lot of error handling. Did we fix all the bugs? I hope so, but there could be some in there.

So what did we fix / add / updated / re-engineered during the summer to make this an even better tool?


Connection Screen

First up, the messagebox is a little bit redesigned and introduced so that we can send warnings and information to the user. We had the alerts (right bottom of the screen) to inform what was going on but it wasn’t sufficient.

If you enter a wrong URL (one that isn’t valid) a small pre-check is being done.


If the Url is correct but your credentials aren’t than a messagebox will come up and your connection screen will re-open.


We logged all the urls and credentials in a kind of history file so that you didn’t had to re-enter the data. But it was possible to enter the same data twice and you would have 2 tiles. That is also fixed that if you enter 2 times the same data, a check is being done if the node already exists or not.

Also the tile system is a bit revised and you no longer need to restart the application to refresh the data.


Main screen

There is a new icon on the middle – right part of the screen.


This is just a backup to check if a click-once update is available or not. Normally the click-once deployments will notify you when an update is available or not, but we also see that people download the offline package as well.

The offline package is also a bit different. Now it contains the .application file and “Application Files” directory as well. So you can install CamlDesigner now instead of just run the exe.




and as last part the selection of fields is a bit revised as well. You can select fields but once selected you couldn’t change the sequence of those fields.

You could change the sequence of the selected fields but the change wasn’t pushed to the caml generator.


So in this example I’ve selected ID / Created By and Modified By.

ViewFieldsCamlSelected This would result in the above caml. But if I change the sequence and put ID to the bottom of the sequence.



The Caml that is being generated also changes. This is for “View-” and “Order By” fields. For the “Where” fields this isn’t easy to get it done. But it’s in the backlog so will surely look at this later.

For the rest some small stuff is fixed as well, the “Execute”, “Refresh” and “Help” button are fixed or adjusted accordingly.


And as very last part of the update, upon request 🙂 (yes you max) we’ve added now a PowerShell generator as well.


In the back-end of the CamlDesigner a lot of extra logging is being done as well. But if you still find a bug, please let us know so that we can fix it ( ). It is always handy that if the application crashes to send us the logfile.txt as well. This is being kept in the same location as where you run CamlDesigner from. So the location of the .Exe is also the location of the log file.



These are the things that are still on the to-do list:

  • Joins
  • Related lists
  • DateRangesOverlap
  • Caml Queries for Document Sets


That’s about it for now, of course we will continue to work on this tool and expand it as much as possible. We see that it’s being downloaded a lot so again send me or the camlfeedback link a mail if you find something or have suggestions on how we can improve it. Together we can make this a great tool 🙂


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