Roland Oldengarm - Independent IT Contractor

Living in the coolest little capital Wellington, New Zealand!

Category: SharePoint (page 1 of 4)

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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Part 3: How to embed a Power BI report in SharePoint with the SharePoint Framework

In this final post of the series “How to embed Power BI in SharePoint”, I’m going to show you how to embed a PowerBI report in SharePoint, using Power BI Embedded and the SharePoint Framework! All new technologies, so exciting times 🙂

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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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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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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 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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