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
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.