Thursday, November 10, 2016

Two SharePoint Online search nuggets from Ignite

Ignite is long over, but there were two very useful nuggets in the session BRK2045 – Explore new personalized, intelligence powered search experiences in SharePoint, Delve and O365.

Disclaimer: We don’t know the exact timeline for these features, but they are on the roadmap.

Image result for nugget

  • Content enrichment web service will work for hybrid crawls – This allows you to keep any existing investment in CEWS to work if you switch to indexing content into the SPO index instead of your on-premises index (slide 25)
  • Custom synonyms feature in SPO admin UI – Perhaps a bit cryptic, but this means we will get a thesaurus in SPO search. Huge! (slide 26)

You can find the presentation and video of the session at the Microsoft Tech Community site.

Don’t be afraid of spaces in your query templates


I was talking to Andrew Clark and he was pretty frustrated after debugging a search issue. Turned out the query template was written like this:


Notice the lack of a space between {searchTerms} and path. So when adding query variables, throw in some spaces and you can cut a lot of frustration when debugging. If not the the last query term will have path appended to it as part of the term like: foopath: instead of foo path: 

The right syntax is:

{searchTerms} path:

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Whac-an-MVP - creating a PowerApp Game

PowerApps shows a lot of potential to enable power users to create line of business application for their organizations and teams. It’s cross platform, and I see a lot of good mobile use cases for form entry in the field, where data is then sent back to a central repository. The integration with Flow makes it quite powerful in terms of achieving business processes as well. I’ve dabbled a bit with iAuditor before, and I think PowerApps could solve many of the same cases.

Learning PowerApps


When teaching myself new technology I either need a concrete business case or something fun as the basis. Some people got a taste of that at Ignite ;-)

For PowerApps I started out with a proof-of-concept data entry app for a customer, but I cannot disclose details of it yet. In general it shows product information and allows you to visually configure product options and then send an order to a back-end system. In this instance a SharePoint list, but it could very well be some other ERP system.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Creating a resize animation in PowerApps

PowerApps made general availability November 1st 2016, and provides a great way for line of business specialists to create no-code applications to solve business challenges they see in their department or team. Once you tapped into data sources and created your logic, you might want to spruce up the application with some animations to make it look a little bit slicker. And that’s the basis of this post.

Read more about PowerApps at

I’ve recently been developing a couple of PowerApps, and in one of them I wanted to resize an image in a fluid manner before displaying an entry form. There are no built-in transition effects on objects, but by using the timer control you can actually achieve quite a lot.

Your other option is to create the animation somewhere else as either a movie file or gif animation, but where’s the fun in that.

Add an image control and timer control

Image controls can show images from either embedded resources, or from a web address. I’ll go with the latter. Add an image control to your screen and set the Image property to some URL.


Resize the image to the start position and add a timer control to the screen and set the Duration property of the control to 2 seconds (2000 milliseconds).

As I want the image to be half the original size, I’m using this formula:

768 - ((384*(Timer1.Value/Timer1.Duration)))

768 is the full height, and 384 is the half of that, so I replace 768 with the formula above, which will over the span of the timer reduce the height of the image down to 384.


Start a preview of the screen, click the timer control and watch the animation unfold.


You can of course hide the timer and start that by some other action, but it shows the concept and should get you started. If you want a slower or faster animation, just change the timer duration.