Roland Oldengarm - Independent IT Contractor

Living in the coolest little capital Wellington, New Zealand!

Category: Office 365 (page 1 of 2)

How SPMeta2 became even more awesome

If you are an experienced SharePoint developer, you’ve probably created a lot of code to deploy and upgrade SharePoint solutions. Back in SharePoint 2007, there was zero guidance how to do this, so everyone created their own scripts to deploy WSP’s, create sites, etc.  This has caused a lot of headaches and frustration, probably one of the reasons why SharePoint is the most dreaded development platform according to Stackoverflow.

Farm solutions are still out there, but since I’ve learnt about SPMeta2 I’ve moved away from farm solutions where possible. And, SPMeta2 is now even more awesome, with incremental support!

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Microsoft Teams: My experience so far

When I heard about Microsoft Teams, I was very excited from the start. I’m using Slack a lot for GitHub projects and for some internal projects, as there is no alternative in Microsoft. Teams is positioned as a Slack competitor, and when it was available as public beta, I immediately contacted our Office 365 admin to enable it. I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks now, and I want to share my experience with you!

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A new era in SharePoint development: The SharePoint Framework (spfx)

Announced at the “Future of SharePoint” event, was the SharePoint Framework. And it is in public beta since this week! I was one of the lucky persons who had access to the internal repository, so I already had a play with it before. Unfortunately I could not blog about it, as it was under NDA. I will talk about how it will fit into the existing SharePoint development infrastructure, and start with some history 🙂

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How to deploy your SharePoint artifacts like content types, site columns, lists, and much more

This blog post is aiming at developers that are looking for a solution to deploy SharePoint artifacts from code. Sure, you can do all of this by hand via the SharePoint user interface, but that is not repeatable.

In SharePoint 2007 the recommended solution was to use the feature framework. However, that had (and still has) one big disadvantage: It is hard to upgrade existing sites. FeatureUpgradeActions were introduced in SharePoint 2010, but it is still a manual job.

In 2016, the feature framework has been deprecated in favor of using CSOM / SSOM. I’m going to look at the framework we are using for most of our SharePoint projects to make this a breeze: SPMeta2.

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How to: Send an email if a Salesforce opportunity is won using Microsoft Flow

After my blog post yesterday about Flow, I got a request from a user to build a Flow for Salesforce that does something when an Opportunity is closed, and checks if it was won or lost.

I love feedback, so I decided to build that flow. The result? Check out below email:

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A first look at Microsoft Flow: IFTTT on steroids

If you’ve followed my blog, you know I’ve been looking at PowerApps. PowerApps consists of two parts: Flows (formerly Logic Flow App) and just Apps. Flows allowed you to do things like “If someone tweets about my company, send me an email”, or “When a record is added to SalesForce, add an item to a SharePoint List”. Microsoft has now taken out Flows / Logic Flow Apps, and released it as a separate product: Flow. I think this is a good step, PowerApps can then focus on enabling power users to create mobile apps. I will briefly discuss what Flow is, and show an example of an automated tweet translator emailer. Continue reading

Part 2: Embed a Power BI Report in a SharePoint Site

This is part 2 of the blog post series: How to embed a Power BI Report in SharePoint. Please check Part 1, where I’ve shown how to embed a Power BI report in a provider hosted add-in. In this part I will show you how this report can be added to SharePoint as a custom web part. I’ve also improved the solution I built in Part 1, for example it’s also possible to embed an entire report, and not only one tile. All source code is on GitHub.

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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

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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