Friday, July 14, 2017

Adding custom managed properties to the default display templates – the quick and dirty way for non-developers with little time on their hands

Yesterday I was helping another consultant with some search rank issues. We had an hour scheduled and managed to resolve the ranking well enough. But then I got the question, do we have time to add some custom data to the results? Ouch! Something which sounds easy, and is not done in 5 minutes. Turns out after I gave it some thought on an upset stomach due to a bad kebab yesterday, it is actually a 5 min task when you know how.

Read on!

The search page was a typical custom search page created in a team site as a web part page, with three search web parts and a scoped query. Very easy to set up in a few minutes. The results were Office documents and PDF’s scoped to a few specific locations.


There are numerous posts out there on how to add custom managed properties, but that involves duplicating all the default display templates, or creating a mother of all template which renders all file types the way you want.  If you try to modify one of the default display templates to add your custom managed property, it just won’t load.

So why this post? Well, I’ll let you know how you indeed can modify the default templates, and still get your custom managed property to render. It might not be the proper or recommended way, but it works and will save non-devs tons of time making minor changes to the search results.

A typical result looks like the image below, and we want to add some piece of metadata at the red arrows.

imageShow me how already, will you!

Start off with downloading a copy of Item_CommonItem_Body.js from /_catalogs/masterpage/display%20templates/search/item_commonitem_body.js in your site collection. This is a shared template used by all the other ones.

Around line 120 (at least on my recent download), add the code to show after the path in green. As my example I’m adding values from a managed property named encoding, which is not one of the default ones available in the results. I do this my adding the highlighted line below:

ms_outHtml.push('       '
,'            <div id="', $htmlEncode(id + Srch.U.Ids.preview) ,'" class="ms-srch-item-previewContainer"> '
,'                ', previewHtml ,''
,'            </div>'
        ms_outHtml.push('Encoding:' + $getItemValue(ctx, "encoding"));
,'    '

Upload the updated Item_CommonItem_Body.js, overwriting your existing one. Make sure it’s published.

Your results will now show the label, but no value for encoding.


So how do you ensure loading of your custom properties? Basically you modify a web part property called SelectedPropertiesJson on the search result web part. You can download the .webpart file and modify it manually, or you can for example use PnP PowerShell.


The below code ensures loading of two managed properties, encoding and refinablestring100.

Connect-PnPOnline -Url

$webPartName = "Search Results"
$pageUrl = "/sites/test2/SitePages/My Search Page.aspx"

$wpId = (Get-PnPWebPart -ServerRelativePageUrl $pageUrl |? {$_.WebPart.Title -eq $webPartName}).Id
$myProps = @("encoding","refinablestring100")
$json = ConvertTo-Json $myProps -Compress
Set-PnPWebPartProperty -ServerRelativePageUrl $pageUrl -Identity wpId -Key "SelectedPropertiesJson" -Value $json

If you refresh the search result page, it’s now also displaying your custom properties!


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Every (blank) pixel counts! - Minor quirk on custom ribbon action icons in modern lists

Typically the icon for a custom ribbon action in classic pages is 32x32 pixels. On modern lists the icon however is 20x20 pixels. If you use a 32x32 pixel image this is what it will looks like in classic and modern view.


Notice in modern view how the icon goes below the base line of the default ribbon icons, and that the icon is a little fuzzy. This is due to scaling 32x32 down to 20x20, which is not a direct pixel multiple. The solution is to pad the 32x32 image to 40x40. Keep the icon the same size, but increase the white space.

Original 32x32 icon


Padded 40x40 icon


In classic mode, the icon will look the same due to the use of CSS to position the image, where any overflow is hidden. In modern view however we now get a crisp image aligned with the existing icons. The crispness is due to the image being 40x40 pixels, and divided exactly in half – which avoids pixel smoothing on resize.


This might not be a big deal, but every pixel counts right? Winking smileGoing forward for modern pages you would use SharePoint Framework extensions for ribbon actions instead which allows the use of Office UI Fabric font icons instead of image files.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Querying managed metadata using REST (unsupported)

I’m working with a set of SharePoint framework web parts and finally got fed up of using JSOM to work with managed metadata. Referencing JSOM feels wrong for so many reasons in this modern day and age, so I’d rather not do it.

I mean, when the out-of-the-box modern controls in SharePoint can work with terms using REST, why shouldn’t I? I like to believe I’m pretty modern.


After Fiddling the modern UI I found out that all taxonomy requests are working against a service at /_vti_bin/TaxonomyInternalService.json. This is a good old service, also listed on MSDN at It is indeed marked for internal use, and until we get a new public REST point, everything points to that it should indeed work. If not, why would Microsoft use it themselves?

I have put together a sample SPFx web part based on the MSDN documentation, trial and error, showcasing different methods I found useful when retrieving terms. It’s by no means complete, but should help you get started.

You can find the sample at (link to all methods)

Samples include:

  • List term stores
  • List term groups in a term store
  • List term sets in a term group
  • Search for term by label
  • Search for term sets by name of term set or term in set
  • Get level one terms of a term set
  • Get child terms for a term

Using these calls you should have enough information to build a metadata driven megamenu, or build a taxonomy picker.

I have included interfaces for all the REST calls with some comments, but not for the returned results. You might have to examine the result JSON and pick out what you need.

And as a nugget I output the JSON with indentation, a tip I picked up from Sahil Malik :)

Sample interface

interface IGetSuggestionsRequest {
  start: string; // query
  lcid: number;
  sspList: string; // guid of term store
  termSetList: string; // guid of term set
  anchorId: string;
  isSpanTermStores: boolean; // search in all termstores
  isSpanTermSets: boolean;
  isIncludeUnavailable: boolean;
  isIncludeDeprecated: boolean;
  isAddTerms: boolean;
  isIncludePathData: boolean;
  excludeKeyword: boolean;
  excludedTermset: string;

Friday, July 7, 2017

A first look at the layout options in Communication Sites

Note: This article is based on the preview of Communication Sites

Microsoft announced the preview of Communication Sites in first release a little over a week ago. At first I was expecting more, but after playing more with it, it’s actually a pretty good preview when it comes to content layout. And with the new Hero web part, which let’s you manually highlight content/links, creating a nice looking landing page is much easier than before.


The main difference between a Communication site and a Modern site as far as I can tell are that a comm sites have no left navigation, and you have the option to enable commenting on the pages you create.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Getting URL query parameters when working in the SharePoint Framework

Image result for upper lower case p

Fetching values from the query string of the URL is something developers are constantly doing, as in this sample URL where I have two parameters, mvp and status.

What you can use is the URL object in JavaScript which is still in a proposed spec.

The URL object is not fully supported by all browsers yet (looking at you Microsoft), but fortunately SPFx provides a polyfill for the URL object so it will work fine in IE10 as well.

There is however a small issue. Currently SPFx uses TypeScript v2.2.2, which access the query parameters with searchparams (lowercase p) instead of searchParams (uppercase p). This means that to avoid an error in VSCode or when building you need to use the lowercase p version – but this breaks in browsers which expect the uppercase p version *sigh*.

TypeScript v2.3.4, for example, support the uppercase p version just fine. So until SPFx bumps the TypeScript version to something supporting the uppercase p version, a workaround is to use the any keyword in TypeScript at the cost of loosing intellisense, but it works.

const url : any = new URL(window.location.href);
const mvp = url.searchParams.get("mvp");
const awesome = url.searchParams.get("awesome");

This way you won’t get errors when building your SPFx solution, nor in any browsers. Happy query parametering – or write your own parser (or as Waldek Mastykarz said when chatting on this, use left-pad :)

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Getting signalR to work with the SharePoint framework


I’m creating a web part which will talk to a signalR back-end service for some document archiving with SharePoint. signalR on the client requires jQuery, which is the tricky part. I tried a few things without getting it to work, but turns out it’s not too hard to get working when you have Waldek Mastykarz on speed dial, so this post is mostly his work :)

First off you need to include signalR, and I picked the un-official npm package ms-signalr-client. Add it with:

npm i ms-signalr-client -save

I had already read Waldek’s post about how to include jQuery as an external reference, but it didn’t “just” work. This was the point where I called up Waldek.

By using Rencore’s script checker, we found out that signalR was a non-module, and that it requires jQuery to be available on the $ sign. To make this work I had to change the globalName reference in config.json of my SPFx project to $ instead of jQuery.

"externals": {
    "jquery": {
      "path": "",
      "globalName": "$"

and in my .tsx file I had to add the following imports:

import * as $ from 'jquery';
import 'ms-signalr-client';

I could now instantiate signalR as easy as pie in my code.

let connection = $.hubConnection(https://myserver/, { useDefaultPath: false });

Friday, June 23, 2017

Rendering Related Items as links in SharePoint (classic lists)

I’m doing minor work on a SharePoint 2013 installation every now and then and got a request to render the Related Items column introduced in SharePoint 2013 as an actual link instead of showing the text 1 related items.

The customer is running a workflow for approval and the task list looks like this by default.


If you go to the view form of the item you get a link to the related items, but having this in the list view would be preferable.The end result after applying custom rendering of the field looks like the image below. Why Microsoft decided not to render out the link by default is a mystery, but could be developer design ;)


An answer at SharePoint Stack Exchange had the answer, but did not complete the puzzle 100%.
Note: DO NOT do as the link in that answer points to, which is basically replacing the oob .js file for related items rendering. If you want to discuss why this is a bad idea, hit me up on twitter or fb.

Use rights for on-premises of SharePoint, Exchange and Skype for business - when you have Office 365 user licenses

This topic has been covered before (here and here), but I was recently in a conversation where this was brought up, so thought I’d do a short refresh.

To sum it up quickly; you need to purchase server licenses for your products, but depending on the Office 365 licenses you have, they cover on-premises usage rights for your employees, so no need to purchase duplicate CAL’s.

It’s all listed in the Product Terms document which you can download from The document covers use rights for other products as well and is the go-to guide on licensing.


In the latest version dated June 1st, 2017 a fair bit down in the SharePoint section you see that SharePoint Online Plan 1 cover standard licenses and Plan 2 cover enterprise features of SharePoint 2016 on-premises. This means, you still need to purchase the appropriate server licenses, but if you have Office 365 E1-E5 licenses, you are covered on the user licenses – as E1-E5 cover SharePoint Online Plans. E1 only covers base or standard SharePoint features (see table at the end).


You can find the same information in the document for licenses regarding Exchange and Skype for business. There’s also a note pointing to Appendix A which puts it all in a nice table, and I’ve highlighted the ones for SharePoint use right as an example. The top row lists all the different licenses you can have for users, and the blue squares show where they apply as valid on-premises licenses.

The Base entry is standard functionality, and the additive is for enterprise functions.


This means that if you have an Office 365 E1 license, you can use SharePoint Standard functionality, while E3, E4 and E5 give you usage rights to Enterprise features as well like enterprise search, e-discoery, InfoPath services etc, all listed in 3.2.1 in the first image.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Re-introducing Microsoft Forms

About a year ago I wrote a post outlining the Microsoft Forms functionality which at the time was available only to educational tenants (EDU license).

This time around Microsoft has decided to launch a preview of the same functionality to enterprise tenants as well – and about time as it’s a nice little application indeed.

So what is Microsoft Forms? It’s an application to create simple forms, surveys and quiz's. It’s not a replacement for InfoPath, it’s not a replacement for PowerApps, but it sits somewhere in-between, and is really easy to use.

Read my original post for an in-depth review

Thursday, June 15, 2017

How to remove the banner on modern pages from the UI

I have previously written about how to change the layout type of a modern page using PnP PowerShell in order to get rid of the huuuuge top banner. Yes,  I know Microsoft is in the works of adding functionality to the UI to allow header changes, but until that happens I figured I’d show a way to accomplish the same for a Power User.

The layout of a modern page is handled by a column named Page Layout Type (PageLayoutType), and it’s part of a sealed content type named Site Page.

You cannot modify a sealed content, and the Page Layout Type column is hidden, so we need a tiny bit of trickery to get this working.

In your site, navigate to site settings, and to site site content types. Or tack /_layouts/15/mngctype.aspx at the end of the URL to go there directly.

Create a new content type named My Site Page which inherits from the Site Page content type.


Copy the content type id from the URL in your browser and create the following URL:

On the column screen, make no changes, just hit OK. This will make the column visible later. Next, navigate to the Site Pages library and go to library settings and add the previously created content type.


You are now ready to create your site or news page. Once the page is created and saved:

  • navigate back to the site pages library
  • select the page you created
  • click the information icon
  • change the content type to My Site Page

You will now see the Page Layout Type column visible. Change the value from Article to Home, and the banner is gone. You can change the content type back to Site Page after you have changed the layout to ensure any search based experience relying on the base type is still working.


Look ma, no banner!



Once set up, you can per page change the content type to your custom one and change the layout to get rid of the banner. It’s somewhat convoluted, but it is doable from the UI :)

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Accessing Microsoft Graph resources from the SharePoint Framework

You can find the complete sample web part at:

With the recent release of the Developer Preview of the SharePoint Framework it’s now possible to start running queries against the Microsoft Graph without the use of ADAL.

The savior in this case is the introduction of the GraphHttpClient class (which at the time of writing this does not have a documentation page).  If you decode the Bearer token used by GraphHttpClient you can see the following permissions being available:

The Groups permission lets you read information about Office 365 Groups, but not everything as stated in the documentation. You can read the basic information about the group as well as Exchange data like calendar events, but I got access denied when trying to list members of a Group.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Azure AD management portal if you don’t have an Azure subscription

I got this tip from Paul Schaeflein via Slack that if you navigate to you can access the AAD of your tenant without signing up an Azure subscription. Awesome for trial tenants and managing app registrations and other AAD tasks in an quick an easy way.

You can also read the May 15th announcement for the portal from the TechNet blogs.


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Timeout when applying a composed look (branding) to a Team Site in an Office 365 Group

As I’ve written about before, when you create a new Office 365 Group, the Team Site will get a random funky color, often pink – a color most organizations would like to change. This can be changed by applying a composed look, specifying your own custom fonts and colors matching your own style guide.

Recently I experienced an issue when applying a composed look to the team site for an Office 365 Group where it timed out, and the colors was not applied. I opened up a support ticket and now know the reason and how to resolve it.

The culprit is that a team site by default have all languages available, and when applying a composed look it will apply this per language. There might be a technical sound explanation for this which I’m not aware of, but here goes.


Before applying the composed look, turn off all languages except the default one (/_layouts/15/muisetng.aspx). Apply the composed look without any timeout issues what so ever, and then re-enable the UI languages you need on the site.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Random gotcha when filtering values greater than 0 in PowerBI

This might be know to all PowerBI guru’s out there, but as I’m a newbie doing this and couldn’t find an article right away I figured I’d jot it down for future reference. And a big thank you to my colleague Marius (the CRM Viking), for letting me in on this secret.

I was trying to add a filter to a visualization, showing only values greater than 0.


for some unknown reason this did not work for some of my datasets. I could see a big fat zero in the data set, but the data still showed after I applied the filter. Changing to “is greater than or equal to 1” did the trick.


Could be something obvious wrong in my data transformation – but might be worth trying if you are trying to filter on values greater than zero/0.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Three reasons why you should take control of Office 365 Groups creation

Office 365 Groups are here to stay and I’ve gotten to love them more and more, and for the past six months this is primarily what we at Puzzlepart are rolling out with our customers. If you’ve followed some of my work recently you know that I do a lot of work on provisioning solutions. Not as is a lot of code, but help organizations figuring out business needs and orchestrating them programmatically.

A provisioning solution is the code and logic which creates the pieces of for example an Office 365 Group. Instead of having Microsoft do everything, we add custom business logic on top of the default parts to solve other business needs.

In this post:

You can very well run with the out of the box ways to create new Office 365 Groups, but our customers often experience this to be lacking in many ways – as they want more metadata and governance around the groups themselves. Especially on the associated team site.


By creating an alternative self-service solution, for example based off a SharePoint list, you get more control. Below I’ll list my top three reasons why you might want to take control over the Office 365 Groups creation, and I’ll follow up with what has to be in place to make this work.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Using Azure Information Protection (AIP) Labels in SharePoint search

Azure information protection let’s you classify and add policies to documents regardless of where they are stored, but is tied to an Office 365 tenant. AIP operate directly on the Office files, and is currently available when using the desktop versions of Office (versions 2010/13/16)  on Windows (versions 7/8/10) – when you have installed the AIP client.

This means that even though you save copies or e-mail the files, AIP is still tied to the document.

Note: See the pricing plans page to see which SKU’s include AIP.

Resources about AIP

The Office Graph is dead, long live the Microsoft Graph!

Yesterday Microsoft announced two new Insights endpoint (in beta) to the Microsoft Graph in addition to the trending one which was already there. The new endpoints are:
  • Used - returns the most relevant documents that a user viewed or accessed
  • Shared - files shared with or by a specific user
All great news, but at the same time Microsoft announced discontinuation of the Office Graph GQL API’s – effectively killing the last remains of what was formerly known as the Office Graph. This means as of August 31st 2017, calls using GQL on the SharePoint search API will no longer work.

By June 1st you need to add the parameter EnableLegacySPOGraph=true to your GQL calls to extend the life until the final cut off date August 31st.

rip graphReaper and halo’s!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Saving a collection of images from PowerApps to SharePoint using Microsoft Flow

Yesterday I wrote about how you can save an image from PowerApps to a SharePoint library using Microsoft Flow – after reading about Paul Culmsee’s approach using Azure Functions. Paul challenged me to save a whole collection of images, and not only one image, so here goes!

This solution loops the images in Flow, but you could easily have looped them in PowerApps as well, saving one image at a time upon submit.

I’ll start with the Flow, and this time we’ll use one input only. And this is where it get’s a bit nasty. A Flow can only accept strings as input from PowerApps, not a collection of items. To overcome this, I’m concatenating the data into one string in the PowerApp, and then splitting the data in the Flow.

The data being passed in looks like this:

Monday, May 15, 2017LT.jpg|data:image/jpeg;base64,<data>#
Monday, May 15, 2017AB.jpg|data:image/jpeg;base64,<data>#

First is the filename with a readable date (borrowed code from Paul), next a pipe | to separate the filename from the base64 encoded image. And at the end a hash # to separate each image from each other.

In Microsoft flow create a new Flow named “Save Images”

Add a “PowerApps” step, followed by a “Compose” step.


In the input field for the “Compose” step pick “Ask in PowerApps”. Next change the formula to:

"@split(triggerBody()['Compose_Inputs'], '#')"

and rename the compose action to “Split images” for readability. This will split the incoming string on the character #, creating an array with one item per image.

Note: Remember to include the double quotes around the formula.


Below the “Split Images” action, add a “Filter array” action. This action is used to remove the empty element we get at the end when creating the data string in PowerApps. Use the Output from the previous action as the “From” field, click “Edit in advanced mode” and use the following formula to remove empty values. item() will yield one item in an array.

@not(equals(item(), ''))

Note: No quotes here :)


Below the Filter array action, add a for each item loop, so that we can process each image sent over.


Pick the Body output from the Filter array step as the input in the for each.


In the for each action, add two compose steps. Rename one to “Filename” and the other to “File content”.

For filename add the expression:

For file content add the expression:

The effect is that for each item, split on the character |, and assign the left side as the filename, and base64 decode the right side of the split.
Note: Remember to include the double quotes around the formulas.

The last part is adding an action step to create a file in SharePoint. Pick a site and library, and assign the values from the previous compose steps.


Setting up the PowerApp


For the purpose of this demo I have four controls on in my app. A camera control, a button to send it all to flow, a clear button and a gallery to see the images taken, and which will be sent over to SharePoint.

To grab an image I have the following formula on the OnSelect property of the camera control:


This stores each image in a collection named PictureColl.

The gallery control’s “Items” property it bound to the PictureColl collection.

The “OnSelect” property of the submit button contains the following formula:

ForAll(PictureColl,Collect(SubmitData, { filename: Concatenate(Text( Now(), DateTimeFormat.LongDate ),Mid("0123456789ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRTSTIUVWXYZ", 1 + RoundDown(Rand() * 36, 0), 1),Mid("0123456789ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRTSTIUVWXYZ", 1 + RoundDown(Rand() * 36, 0), 1),".jpg"), filebody: Url }));

SaveImages.Run(Concat(SubmitData, filename & "|" & filebody & "#"))

The formula creates random filenames with dates and assigns the filename and image date to a collection named SubmitData (borrowed from Paul’s post). Then the file data is concatenated using a pipe | between the filename and the file contents, and concatenated using a hash # between each image. This is then passed into the SaveImages flow I have added to the PowerApp.

If you run the PowerApp (except in the Windows desktop version), tap the camera a couple of times to grab images, and then hit the submit data, you should end up with some images in your library.


See my previous post about on how to add a Flow to the PowerApp using PowerApps studio.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

An even more clever workaround for saving photos to SharePoint from PowerApps – using Microsoft Flow

At the time of writing there is a gap using PowerApps with SharePoint which won’t let you save a captured image from PowerApps directly to SharePoint. There are numerous posts out there about this, and Paul Culmsee wrote a post with a clever work around using Azure functions to get the image over to SharePoint.

Paul posted about this in Facebook, and cheeky me replied:

Note the (not really) at the end there, so I blame Paul entirely for making me write this post, which I think introduce an even more clever way of doing this – doable for any power user out there :D

I’ll skip all the fancy parts which Paul has to get nice random file names etc, so head over to his post for that piece of the pie.

A small note to Paul, and every one else – this will not work for the Windows desktop version of PowerApps – as it stores the captured image different compared to other devices. Instead of using the data uri notation with the full image base64 encoded, it only has a blob reference.

I’ve tested it with great success on:
  • Web
  • Windows Phone – Win10
  • iPad – iOS 10.3.1
So how do you do this? (I strongly urge you to read his post first, as it explains it all in very detail, where as I jump to the gist of things.)

First off, create a new PowerApp and add a camera control to the canvas. For the OnSelect command for the camera add the following command:


When you click the image box it will grab the photo, and store it in a collection named PicureColl. As I’m using ClearCollect, the collection will always be cleared first, having one image only in the collection.


Next, I added a button which will send the image to SharePoint via Microsoft Flow. So let’s head over to Flow and see what the Flow looks like?

First add a collect from PowerApps actions. Then add a Create file in SharePoint action. For the file name and content, click “Ask in PowerApps”. This will generate two input variables, which we will use to pass in information from the PowerApp to the Flow.


Next, add a Compose step between the PowerApps action and the create file in SharePoint action. This is where we will strip away the base64 header, and convert the data to binary. You can type formulas directly into the SharePoint step as well, but I find it easier to manage this way.

The formula in the compose step is:



NOTE: It’s important to add the quotes "" before and after the expression, even though they don’t show on edit.

Next change the File Content box to retrieve the Output from the compose step instead of the collect from PowerApps as seen below.


And that’s it for the Flow, and head back to the PowerApp. Using PowerApps studio add a Flow to your app.


For the OnSelect command for the button add the following:


Saveimage is the name of the Flow, which takes two parameters. The first being the filename, the second being the base64 encoded image from the Url parameter of the image. (All this is in Paul's great post.)

Fire up the app, click once on the image, and once on the button, and you should see a nice picture stored in your SharePoint library.


You can very well combine the OnSelect statements into either the image or button control if you want, but that’s all in how you want to have your UI. Having two controls made the demo simpler :)

Friday, May 12, 2017

How to remove the banner on modern pages using Office PnP PowerShell


While we’re waiting for full support for modern pages and how they work in Office PnP and the SharePoint Framework, here’s how you turn off the banner on article pages – basically setting them to the layout used by the Office 365 Group Team sites.

If you want to turn the banner back on, set the PageLayoutType to “Article”.

# Connect to the site

# List all pages, and find the id of the modern page
Get-PnPListItem -List SitePages

# Change layout from "Article" to "Home" to remove top banner
Set-PnPListItem -List SitePages –Identity <id> -Values @{"PageLayoutType"="Home"}


Monday, May 8, 2017

How to enable results from private groups on an Enterprise Search Center


Ever since private Office 365 Groups were launched we have been troubled with search in these sites. First it didn't work at all, but later Microsoft made it work in the site itself, in Delve and on the SharePoint home page. Seems they forgot about the Enterprise Search Center.

Note: This is not an issue with Public Office 365 Groups- and seems to work in First release tenants as well

I have previously written about how to get results from private Office 365 Groups using REST, but for the vast majority of people out there you probably want to enable this on your Enterprise Search Center as well. If you have an issue with this, here’s how to make this work.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Creating a .pnp provisioning template file

SharePoint Patterns and Practices

After my demo on the PnP screen cast where I showed a provisioning solution based on PowerShell and Azure web jobs, I’ve had some questions about how you go about creating the .pnp files we use for provisioning templates.

There are basically two options, and it’s quite easy. For full samples run Get-Help <command> –Examples on the command lets. If you want to use code instead of PowerShell, look at the PowerShell code in github and see how it’s all implemented.

Generate .pnp file from a site

Connect to the site, and then run:

PS:> Get-PnPProvisioningTemplate -Out template.pnp

By naming the output .pnp, you get a .pnp file instead of and .xml file.

Generate .pnp file from a template xml file

This works for both a single .xml file, or one referencing artifacts.

Make sure the .xml file and all artifacts are stored in a folder. Then run:

PS:> Convert-PnPFolderToProvisioningTemplate -Out template.pnp -Folder c:\temp

It’s important that the .pnp file has the same name as the .xml file inside the folder, due to convention when applying the template, as you can have multiple .xml files in a complete template referenced with <xi:include> statements.

Improved navigation for Office 365 Groups

A colleague showed me yesterday that now you can actually navigate from a Group site to any other resource. Just click the site title, and a menu appears. I have no idea when this was rolled out, and kind of difficult to discover – but hey, it’s Friday, so let’s celebrate that things are improving making life easier.