Thursday, June 23, 2016

Introducing Microsoft Forms*



June 20th, 2016 Microsoft announced the preview of Microsoft Forms, a new formative assessment and survey tool in Office 365. The caveat is that it’s targeted to Educational licenses only. This means Enterprise customers can not use this at the moment, but as the announcement says, Microsoft is exploring the possibilities for it but with no time line.

You can find it at https://forms.office.com if you have an EDU license.

Let’s not dwell on license issue and see what Microsoft forms all about? The product today is an answer to educators to have a quizzing function inside of Office 365 – not a replacement for InfoPath if that is what you are looking for.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

How to favorite a Groups calendar for easier access in the Outlook Windows client

Office 365 Groups comes with a real Exchange calendar, but accessing a Group calendar is a bit cumbersome via the Outlook 2016 client. You first have to expand the Groups listings in e-mail view, select your group, and then click the calendar button in the ribbon. A different experience than clicking the calendar view and then the calendar.

image

When clicking the Calendar button, a new window opens. In the new window locate your group in the folder navigation pane, right click the group and pick Add to Favorites…

imageIf you go back to the original Outlook window, click to view calendars in the folder view, you should now see your Group calendar in the My Calendars list, much more accessible.

image

I hope the Groups navigation experience towards the different services proliferate into all contexts and apps over time, but for now this is as good a workaround as any to have Group calendars appear side by side with your other calendars.

Want to remove the calendar? Use the same approach, but Add to Favorites has turned into Remove from Favorites.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Bringing out the client side hammer - The one thing you should learn about SharePoint search in 2016

image

SharePoint 2013 has been out for a good while now with SharePoint 2016 well on it’s way, and over the years there are some major flaws which has crystalized itself to me in SharePoint search - especially if you are working in SharePoint Online. So if you plan on learning just one thing about how SharePoint search work this year, this post is for you!

The top four flaws in my opinion are:

  • Best bets / promoted results via query rules
  • Synonym handling / Thesaurus
  • How query rules trigger
  • Remove custom noise words from the query

This post covers a client side solution to solve the last three points above, and I started this back in January based on a conversation with Thomas Mølbach at Microsoft about solving synonyms in SharePoint Online. I’ve had it linger for a while and finally Elio Struyf finished the code and pushed me to get it out there. The solution can be found at the the Github SPSCR project.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Workaround to filter on taxonomy columns using OData filters instead of CAML using REST in SharePoint

image

Wow, that was a long post title indeed. The thing is, you cannot use OData filters on taxonomy columns in SharePoint, hence you see posts on the interwebs about using CAML instead to filter on taxonomy fields by using this construct:

/_api/web/Lists/GetByTitle('<List>')/GetItems(query=@v1)?@v1=<caml>

And this works just perfect. But if you try to add a field expansion at the same time on a lookup field, then it blows up. So you can either do an $expand=MyLookupFiled on the /Items endpoint or filter using CAML on a taxonomy field using the /GetItems endpoint.

What if I told you that you can accomplish both using a workaround!! You may either contact me and pay up, or continue reading for free :)

Monday, May 23, 2016

Diagram on adding a new content source in SharePoint

Looking for a Visio file I discovered this one which I forgot to publish some time ago. So here’s a small diagram you can use when adding a new content source to cover the most important aspects you need to think about when adding it.

There are more complicated scenarios of course, and feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Appending query terms to a search URL

image

I have written about appending query terms before without having them in the search box, and I’ve missed out at the best approach for this until now. Sometimes it takes years for the obvious solution to step forward.

In SharePoint 2010 you could add a= to a query and the terms on the a parameter would be included in the query as a hidden constraint. So how best to do something similar in SharePoint 2013/2016 or SharePoint Online? You modify the query template!!

A simple query template like {searchboxquery} {?{QueryString.a}} will take the value of the a parameter and append it to the query. Problem solved, and you can keep existing code if you migrated even.

Craft a query like: https://contoso.sharepoint.com/search?k=foo&a=title:bar and the query will filter to items where title includes the term bar, but not show it in the search box.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Introducing SharePoint Framework!

image
Today Microsoft announced SharePoint Framework, the framework which will take SharePoint web development into 2016. At last, client side development has become a first class citizen of SharePoint development, and developers can use the open source framework of their choice like React or AngularJS to develop web parts, pages and views in SharePoint like there was no tomorrow!
Want to read more? Take a peek at my article on Puzzlepart.com and see a demo of what I’ve built using this new framework being part of an early test group. Or head over to the official Microsoft blog post.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Hello, it is you we are looking for!

imageAre you an opinionated gutsy person in the Oslo, Norway area with at least some work experience who want to work with Office 365 and SharePoint? Maybe you should get in touch with Puzzlepart, ‘cause we’re hiring!

We’re a mix of nutty, crazy and passionate people, so if you love having fun at work while also delivering real business value feel free get in touch.

You’ll find my contact information in the right column of this blog :)

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Search your internet site via Bing in SharePoint

I’ll credit this post to Dean Gross who did the legwork, and builds on my previous post about showing external RSS feeds in SharePoint via Search. If you want proper rendering of the results make sure to visit the post.

You might want to list some internet results on your SharePoint pages, and you can do this creating a new OpenSearch result source targeting Bing which supports RSS as a return format of results.

Create a new Result Source at the level of your choosing, set it to use OpenSearch 1.0/1.1 as the protocol and paste this URL in the Source Url field:

http://bing.com/search?q=site:techmikael.com {searchTerms}&count={itemsPerPage}&first={startItem}&mkt={language}&format=rss

The above URL will lists items from this blog.

image

Drop a content search web part on your page using this result source and you are good to go!

If you’re not passing in a search term yourself, remove {searchTerms} from the URL.

Setting up Azure Business to Business (B2B) access for use with SharePoint Online

image
SharePoint Online’s support for sharing sites and documents with external users has been there a while now, but sharing with each individual users is quite cumbersome if you have to share with a volume of users. This is where Azure B2B comes into play, and the Azure team has good information on this over at Github.
Steps covered in this post:
  • Create AAD security group
  • Enable external sharing in a site collection
  • Add AAD security group in the site’s Members group
  • Create and upload CSV file with all external users to AAD
  • Accept invitation and have bliss!