SharePoint Virtual Summit Recap

SharePoint Virtual Summit Recap

Duane OdumWith a 90% increase in users and a 300% increase in the amount of data stored, SharePoint is skyrocketing, and Microsoft is implementing plenty of updates to further expand their services.

Yesterday’s SharePoint Virtual Summit focused on the four core goals of Microsoft’s collaboration technologies: share with confidence, transform business processes, inform/engage employees, and harness collective knowledge. There are all kinds of updates coming in 2017 that incorporate these goals, but perhaps the biggest announcement of the summit was the reveal of the brand-new communication sites.

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Webinar Recap: “The Future of SharePoint and Office 365”

JohnA couple weeks ago, I attended a webinar called “The Future of SharePoint and Office 365,” sponsored by Emgage. The panelists included Collab365.community’s manager Nick Brattoli, developer and educator Andrew Connell, and Content Panda co-founder Heather Newman. In the hour-long discussion, the panelists shared their thoughts about the current state of SharePoint, made predictions about its future, and answered audience questions.

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Data Storage: SharePoint v. SQL

Mike BerrymanMany years ago we worked on a project that would allow the client to perform inspections digitally on the various restaurants in their franchise. One of the goals of these inspections was to make sure the restaurants were following the client’s procedures and policies. These procedures and policies are constantly being reviewed and updated, so one of the main requirements of this inspection project was to allow the client to update the inspection on the fly without requiring development updates each time. In other words, it needed to be reasonably configurable by the client. We ultimately created a dynamic form that would be constructed in real-time based on data provided by the client. The idea was that as the client updated their procedures and policies, they would add/remove items from the form to keep it up-to-date.

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SharePoint Framework General Availability

Duane OdumOn 2/23/2017 Microsoft announced the General Availability release of the SharePoint Framework to Office 365 tenancies.  This is a very exciting time for SharePoint developers as the SharePoint Framework allows us to take advantage of development tools and processes that truly enhance the developer experience.  Having worked with multiple client side development toolkits in the past I can honestly say “It’s about time!”.

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MinRole Enhancements Announced at Microsoft Ignite

Duane OdumSome great news for the guys and gals managing small scale SharePoint 2016 Farms – MinRole installation just got a lot more feasible.

When MinRole was originally announced, I looked at it as a great justification to make the move to SharePoint 2016. Imagine, no longer needing to take down production SharePoint environments in order to apply patches… Sign me up!

Unfortunately, when the requirements came out for the MinRole setup, many organizations could not justify setting up 8 servers to create a High Availability SharePoint Farm.  

Microsoft responded to customer feedback today at Ignite in a big way with the announcement that Feature Pack 1 for SharePoint 2016 (available in November) will include an option for creating a High Availability SharePoint 2016 Farm with just 4 servers.  By combining the Web Front End and Distributed Cache roles as well as the Application and Search roles Microsoft is really opening the door for small/mid organizations to treat their SharePoint 2016 environments as “first class citizens”. 

I am truly excited by this announcement.  As a consultant I often times find myself struggling to keep the customer happy with the overall cost of a system while still following best practices. This enhancement not only makes small to mid-size SharePoint 2016 Farm Administrators lives easier, it makes mine a bit easier too. 

For a full listing of details on Feature Pack 1 please reference the Office blog Announcing Feature Pack 1 for SharePoint Server 2016—cloud-born and future-proof

Form Validation and Custom Save Functionality in the Standard SharePoint List Form

Mike BerrymanI have a client that needs to log any interactions with their customers in SharePoint.  This client is proficient enough with SharePoint that they feel perfectly comfortable modifying lists in order to add or remove fields to accommodate their needs without having to go through us.  They are regularly adding new fields to this log list in order to capture some new piece of relevant information that it was decided they needed.  This is important background because when they approached me to create a way for them to generate multiple log entries from one “New Item” SharePoint List Form, I knew I couldn’t just create a custom “New Item” form to accomplish this or they would lose the ability to add new fields without having to either modify this custom “New Item” form, or involve us to make those modifications.

So I had to come up with a solution that would retain the standard “New Item” form (so any fields added/removed from the list would be reflected in the form) but would allow for the user to create an entry in their logs for every customer selected in the form.

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Should I use the SharePoint Search API?

Duane OdumI was recently tasked with creating an effective means of tracking/reporting on project tasks in SharePoint Online.  Based on the requirements I setup everything “out of the box” to show what could be accomplished by using simply using Content Types, Site Columns, Managed Properties and Search.  The client liked the outcome but didn’t necessarily love it.  Search API to the rescue.

If you are not familiar with the SharePoint Search REST API click the link here to find out more but as the name implies it essentially allows developers to interact with SharePoint’s Search via REST.  There are definitely times where we will want to stick to making direct REST calls to perform GET operations but using the Search API we can eliminate a lot of REST calls and resource usage as we can get all data pertaining to our query from a single call against the Search API vs. looping through sites/lists to find the information we need.

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