Roland Oldengarm - Independent IT Contractor

Living in the coolest little capital Wellington, New Zealand!

Month: February 2016

How to configure SharePoint 2016 or 2013 Hybrid Search

Hybrid is currently a big hype. Where a year ago the cloud was the way to go and on-premises advised against, companies have now realized the cloud is not suitable for every situation. Especially government organizations or big companies are not able to migrate everything to the cloud. So, Microsoft has invested a lot in hybrid to bring the best of two worlds together: the flexibility and data sovereignty of on-premises and all the cool new features of the cloud.

Part of this is Cloud Search: Make your on-premises documents available in cloud searches, i.e. your SharePoint On-Prem documents should be visible in a search in Office 365. Until September 2015 the hybrid search was meh, it meant two different result sources / verticals. Introduced in August 2015 is the real hybrid search: search results from both on prem as well as Office 365 are combined.

I have set this up and was surprised how easy it was. As a SharePoint guru I’m used to errors, but I haven’t encountered ONE (due to software faults, errors encountered were solely my fault). And that’s pretty amazing as I’ve used SharePoint 2016 which is currently in public preview.

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How to automatically test your non-Angular Cordova or Ionic App

Part of building any application is testing. I am focusing only on tests executed by the developer, so the first stage in any development cycle. The first option is to do this manually. While this works for most usecases, it has some major disadvantages:

  • It is time consuming.
  • You can’t run all the manual tests after each change.

When a developer does a manual test, he only confirms that the change did what it had to do. To assure it did not break anything else, in most cases he will do a quick regression test, but that won’t cover all possible regression issues.

We are building a Cordova / Ionicapp, with some complicated, time consuming use cases like logging in, logging out, adding items to a list, etc. Any change we make may cause a regression. We do have some unit tests to cover certain services and controllers, but that does not cover everything.
So, we have decided to use end-to-end automated tests to be sure that before each release, the major part of the app is still working as expected. Any bugs detected with these tests can be fixed by a developer straightaway. If it would be detected by our testers, or even worse by the client in UAT, this would make it much more expensive to fix.

I have spent some time to figure out what the best way of doing this is. I couldn’t find a lot of working documentation and examples to set up automated user testing with a Cordova / Ionic mobile application.

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How to install SharePoint 2016 in 30 minutes

Update 4 May 2016:  SharePoint 2016 is now generally available (GA), below instructions will work perfectly for the GA / RTM version!

SharePoint 2016 Release Candidate has been released at January 20th. It requires you to install Beta 2 and afterwards install the Release Candidate patch. I will show you how to install on a new Azure VM with Windows Server 2012 R2 pre-installed. It took me approx. 1 – 2 hours with a lot of waiting time, so essentially it takes you approx. 30 minutes of your time.

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How to use the Office UI Fabric directives ngOfficeUIFabric in a Windows 10 Universal App

In 2015 Microsoft released the Office UI Fabric, which allows developers to create web applications and SharePoint / Office add-ins that look and feel like Office. Microsoft was / is using this internally as well, they open-sourced it so the community could benefit from it. Essentially, the Office UI Fabric is a set of CSS style sheets.

They also released a set of components like a textbox, dropdown, date picker, table, etc. but they’re not part of the Office UI Fabric. They are a set of HTML files you’d have to copy / paste to your application, include the example JavaScripts, and you would have your textbox or date picker. This is not very straightforward. Luckily there is a solution. The popular JavaScript framework Angular allows you to create custom directives, which makes it possible to create new HTML tags with code that attaches behaviors. The open source ngOfficeUIFabric, started by Andrew Connell, has the goal to transform all Office UI Fabric Components to Angular Directives. I am part of this team as well, and I’ve built the Choicefield, Dropdown, Textfield, and Toggle.

In this blog post I am going to show you how you can leverage ngOfficeUIFabric in a Windows 10 Universal App! Windows 10 apps are available in 2 options: XAML based and HTML based. The latter allows us to build our app like a website, and deploy as a native app!

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