New Licensing Options for PowerApps and Flow

Yep, you read that correctly. Microsoft is at it again – changing the licensing for PowerApps and Flow. Even though they just changed the licensing in February of 2019, they are making significant changes that will be launching in October. These changes come on the heels of the launch of PowerApps Portals, which are low-code websites for external users. Although I understand the need to add new/different levels of licensing for this new feature, it seems like overkill to change all the licensing just 5 months after a major overhaul. Furthermore, the changes could have significant financial implications for some, and the announcement has left the community up in arms.

Continue reading “New Licensing Options for PowerApps and Flow”

What’s New In Office 365 (August 2019)

After receiving numerous requests, we are bringing back the what’s new in Office 365 series.  If you were not aware Microsoft has been running a bi-weekly podcast called The Intrazone that sort of “stole our thunder” a bit when they added the “Roadmap Pitstop” segment.  The pitstop usually covers much of the same content we provided in this series. However, we have had quite a few requests to bring the series back as many folks that were exclusively using SharePoint are starting to use more Office 365 applications. As Microsoft continues to expand its offerings and functionality more organizations are adopting these technologies which is a good thing, we hope😉. Continue reading “What’s New In Office 365 (August 2019)”

Azure Virtual Day Camp Review

I attended the Azure Virtual Day Camp put on by the Power Platform Users Group earlier this week. I registered for sessions from two different tracks (Developer and Architect); but in the end, they only registered me for 3 sessions in the Architect track (some of which were sessions for which I had not even registered). I was a bit disappointed, because I really wanted to attend the Developer sessions. The saving grace is that they sent me the recordings from the Developer sessions. Hopefully, I can find some time to watch them.

Session Reviews

Developing with PowerApps, Flow and Azure Cognitive Services

My first session by Mariano Gomez was the most interesting. Mariano walked us through developing a Conference Badge Scanner App. The app scans a badge, converts the data to text, and sends an email to the badge owner. This same technology could easily be used to scan business cards and send them to a contacts list/data base. The App uses PowerApps, Flow and the Computer Vision API. Mariano demontrated building the app during the 45-minute session. That is how easy it is to leverage the power of the power platform. Continue reading “Azure Virtual Day Camp Review”

An Overview of Microsoft Teams

An Overview of Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a unified communications platform that combines workplace chat, video conferencing, file storage and a host of application integration abilities. Teams launched in the fall of 2017 and a free version of the platform was made available the following year, helping Microsoft surpass their competitor Slack in total number of active users. Here we will take a look at some of Team’s most prominent features to understand why it’s become the preferred choice in workplace collaboration.

Intelligent Communications Continue reading “An Overview of Microsoft Teams”

Using SendGrid with Azure Functions to Send Email

I’ve been working on a solution for a customer that utilizes SharePoint Online lists and libraries, PowerApps, Logic Apps, and Azure Functions. The solution works something like this: Project documents are stored and updated in a SharePoint Library by office staff. The shop floor needs to access the documents and know at a glance when documents have been updated. The PowerApp displays a count of the most recently updated documents by project and document type, and also displays the documents. A SharePoint List is used to store the counts of the most recently updated documents. The Logic App and Azure Function work together to update the SharePoint List with the counts from the SharePoint Library.

As part of the solution, we wanted a way to be notified if the Azure Function threw an error. This is where SendGrid comes in. SendGrid is a third-party email delivery service. Azure Functions support an output binding for SendGrid, which makes it very easy to integrate into your solution.Here is a grand overview of how my solution (just the Azure Function and SendGrid piece) will work – If my Azure Function throws an error, it will send the error message to Azure Queue Storage. The error message will be stored in Azure Queue Storage until another Azure Function (2) comes and picks it up. Azure Function (2) will use SendGrid to send an email containing the error message. Easy-peasy. You can use SendGrid to send emails for all kinds of reasons – when a customer places an order, you can send a confirmation email with the details of the order; when someone clicks a button on your site to request information, you can send an email with the requested information; the options are endless.

Continue reading “Using SendGrid with Azure Functions to Send Email”

Office 365 January 2019 Good Reads

There are thousands of articles, blog posts, videos and other information being generated every month for Office 365. It’s impossible to review them all but we are going to be posting our top “good reads” for Office 365 content monthly.  There may be one or two items from the Office 365 Message Center in this list occasionally but for the most part we are going to stick with community contributions that we feel may provide value for our customers and our employees.    Without further ado, please find our “good reads” for January 2019 below😉. Continue reading “Office 365 January 2019 Good Reads”

Open Documents Read-Only in Modern SharePoint

We recently were engaged on a project where we were utilizing PowerApps to present documents to employees via a kiosk application.  The employees needed the ability to edit the documents and be able to open them in Office Online by default, but during testing we noticed that employees were unintentionally modifying files in Office Online. The PowerApp was for a heavy industrial fabrication shop and the target users were often wearing welding equipment and various other safety gear so asking them to be more delicate with the tooling wasn’t really a reasonable request. Continue reading “Open Documents Read-Only in Modern SharePoint”