Roland Oldengarm - Independent IT Contractor

Living in the coolest little capital Wellington, New Zealand!

Author: rolandoldengarm (page 2 of 6)

Part 1: How to embed PowerBI in a SharePoint site

One of the most requested features for PowerBI was to be able to embed it in any web application. This has now been implemented with Power BI Embedded. An excellent demo created by Microsoft can be found here. While this is a very cool feature, it is aiming at developers. Another feature request that many of our customers have is to embed reports in a SharePoint site, e.g. to display it on an intranet.

Currently there is no out-of-the-box web part to display a PowerBI report in a SharePoint site. What I am going to show you, is how to do this with a provider hosted add-in! Continue reading

What’s changed in the new SharePoint document library UI?

One of the most important features of SharePoint is the document library. SharePoint is a document management system since 2001, so the document library is one of the key features. Initially the only instance of the document library was within team sites. In later versions and in Office 365 there are other locations to store documents, like OneDrive for Business.

The user interface of the document library hasn’t changed much since SharePoint 2007. Yes, in SharePoint 2013 drag-and-drop was introduced, the UI has been polished, but in basis the UI was the same. And the confusing part is (was?) that the document libraries in SharePoint looked different than e.g. Onedrive for Business. That has now changed! Continue reading

How everyone can build a mobile app for a SQL Database in minutes

I’ve already shown you how you can build a mobile app for CRM in 15 minutes. This time I will show you how you can create an app to manage an Azure SQL Database. Please read my other blog post first if you don’t know PowerApps yet. As you can read in that post, I initially tried to build an app connecting to an Azure SQL Database unsuccessfully, but after contacting the excellent PowerApps support I fixed it!

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How everybody can build a mobile app for CRM in 15 minutes

Do you think you need to be a developer to be able to create apps? You are wrong.

Everyone can build a mobile app with PowerApps!

With PowerApps, everyone can build powerful logic apps and/or mobile apps. I’m going to show you how you can create an app that allows you to view Leads in CRM Online, in just 15 minutes.

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5 Tips to make SharePoint Search work for your organisation

SharePoint started in 2001 as a document management system, and that’s still one of its most important features. A key feature of a DMS is to be able to find documents. The SharePoint search engine has improved significantly over the last years. But a common misconception is that SharePoint Search works for every company straight out-of-the-box.

SharePoint Search will not suit all of your needs without configuration

Some of our customers say: We want it to work just like Google, but some of them don’t seem to understand that Google does not “just work”. Every day thousands and thousands of Google employees work on improving the search engine and adapt it to the always changing world-wide web. The same is true for Bing, it does not “just work”. In fact, we do have Bing in SharePoint. The core of the Bing search engine has been implemented in SharePoint 2013. So why does it still not fulfill all needs? Most importantly because of company specific metadata and taxonomies; even company has its own list of content types, metadata, and no site structure is the same. The SharePoint Search engine just needs some help to be able to understand the content better.

Search configuration and tweaking should be part of the project plan, and it must be understood that this takes time up-front, but also ongoing effort. I have compiled a list of 10 tips how you can make SharePoint Search work for you. I’ve added them in random order, there is no best tip as it all depends on your requirements and organisation.

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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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A quick overview of the new Office 365 Planner

When the new Office 365 Planner was announced in September 2015, I was very excited. This was one of the key features I think was missing from Office 365. We are using Microsoft products only, e.g. Office 365, SharePoint, Visual Studio Online, etc., but we were still using Trello in certain projects for task boards.

It was supposed to roll out to first release tenants in Q4 2015, but it took until January 2016 before it was available at my demo tenant. And now I’m going to give you a quick overview of what Office 365 Planner is!

Office 365 Planner offers a highly visually appealing experience to organize teamwork.

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