Connect to Outlook and Sync to Outlook in SharePoint Task list #SharePoint #SharePoint2013 (We weren’t able to start syncing your tasks because one or more prerequisites for connection to Exchange server could not be found. Please contact your Administrator to resolve the issue)

When you create a Task list in SharePoint you can see two options in List Settings tab depending how the Farm has been configured.

Two options are

  1. Connect to Outlook
  2. Sync to Outlook

Users will see Sync to Outlook option if a Farm level feature called “Farm Level Exchange Tasks Sync” is enabled else they will see Connect to Outlook.

Note this feature is accessible only from Central Admin under Manage Farm Features.

farmlevelsynctasks

Issue with Sync To Outllok option is that just enabling this will not make Sync To Outlook work properly, most probably you will get error like below

synctooutlooj

We weren’t able to start syncing your tasks because one or more prerequisites for connection to Exchange server could not be found. Please contact your Administrator to resolve the issue.

To make this lot of prerequisites are required, details can be found here

Sync To Outlook Configuration – TechNet

If this works it means that Tasks will be synced at real time on all devices on which you have Outlook and you can Sync only the tasks Assigned to you. Unfortunately if the prerequisites are not met users can get frustrated by above error message.

In case your organization cannot fulfill prerequisites for Sync to Outlook then best is to go for Connect to Outlook which can at least make a Copy of Task list but not on all devices, only on current device.

In case you need more help on this or other SharePoint issues please contact us via our Contact Us page or via our Facebook page or via Twitter

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2nd Microsoft Flow Template – Send Push Notification & Slack Message for a WordPress post #MicrsoftFlow #SharePoint #Office365

I was able to get my second Microsoft Template published in Microsoft Flow

Template can be used from here

Send Push Notification & Slack Message for a WordPress post

Functionality in this template is quite simple, when a WordPress post is made a push notification is made and also a Slack Message is posted in a particular group

To learn how to publish a template you can read my below blog about it

How to submit a Flow in template Gallery ?

To learn more about Microsoft Flow you can read below blogs

My tryst with Microsoft Flow!

Microsoft Flow – Create from blank

Microsoft Flow – Advanced mode options #SharePoint #MicrosoftFlow

What is SharePoint WebHooks ? #WebHooks #SharePoint #SharePointWebHooks

Before we describe SharePoint WebHook, first let’s understand what is a WebHook.

I believe you are familiar with concepts of API which has been popular for few years now, in API model / setup you request data from an application and in return you get data from the application.

So let’s consider a scenario that you want to know every time something changes in the application, to deal with that in API is cumbersome you will have to keep on asking for data and find out if there was any change from last time.

What if you can get a notification that something has been changed, means you get a response without asking that something has been changed. Now that is what WebHook is, you get a notification that something has changed.

Before I describe SharePoint WebHook you must know that WebHook is not something which has been created by Office 365 or Microsoft but it’s a concept already used in WordPress etc.

SharePoint WebHook can be created for Lists as of now, so basically any changes in a library or list will send a notification if you have subscribed to WebHook. Based on this notification you should a response and also process it further for implementing changes or activities.

Now if you know about Remote Event Receivers you might find it similar but it is different as you can prevent the action or change happening in SharePoint but only be notified about it. Also like traditional WCF based notifications you don’t have information of what has been changed, you just a get a response that something has been changed in library or list.

So as an Application you need to do certain things to make WebHook work

  • First of all subscribe to a WebHook
  • Once subscribed you will receive POST messages from SharePoint
  • Once you receive POST message you should response in 5 seconds with HTTTP/1.1 200 OK
  • After that your application should store the notification to process it further.

This is basic overview of SharePoint WebHook, in next post we will do more hands on and learn to set up WebHook and how to process it.

 

SharePoint 2013 Search Error : object reference not set to an instance of an object – Fix #SharePoint #SharePointSearch

This a common error message which you can see if you have search issues “Object reference not to set an instance of an object”. This error message does not tell much and you will have to look SharePoint log and find the correlation ID.

If you search on the internet for this error you will hit numerous reasons and fix for it. Problem is that error message is very generic and can be seen for various kind of issues. I have encountered this in two scenarios which I am gonna list down.

First thing you need to check SharePoint health, if there is an error in that best resolution is to recreate the index

You must have some error message in SharePoint search status like below

search-topology-monitoring

Reset search index

If that is the not the case the other reason can be you have orphaned items in your farm / content database. Generally you will get error message in SharePoint Health Analyzer for this but in our case we did not get it strangely. So basically you cannot trust it so best is to look for correlation ID in SharePoint Log.

What I observed is that when you search in SharePoint it will enumerate all site collections and it might fail doing so if you have orphaned items. You should look carefully and find out which content database it was enumerating.

If you have find out you should use below command to Refresh Sites for the content database. This method synchronizes information between content and config databases.

$db = Get-SPDatabase | where {$_.Name -eq “DatabaseName”}

$db.RefreshSitesInConfigurationDatabase()

If this also does not work you can use below as well but this needs to be done out of office hours.

Dismount-SPContentDatabase “<ContentdBName>”

Mount-SPContentDatabase “” -DatabaseServer “” -WebApplication http://SiteName

Hopefully this well help someone and I just added one more solution in list of solution available.

In case you need more help on this or other SharePoint issues please contact us via our Contact Us page or via our Facebook page or via Twitter

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Microsoft Flow template published #MicrosoftFlow #SharePoint #Office365

So finally my first Microsoft Flow template has been published, I am quite excited about it! It took sometime for Microsoft to add in the list of templates but better late than never.

Template can be used from here

Send email and add item in SharePoint List when WordPress Post is created

Functionality in this template is quite simple, when a WordPress post is made, you can get an email and same information can be added in SharePoint List.

To learn how to publish a template you can read my below blog about it

How to submit a Flow in template Gallery ?

To learn more about Microsoft Flow you can read below blogs

My tryst with Microsoft Flow!

Microsoft Flow – Create from blank

Microsoft Flow – Advanced mode options #SharePoint #MicrosoftFlow

Basics of Data Science #DataScience #MachineLearning – Machine Learning Day 1

Data Science is all about understanding data, finding patterns and at the same time predict something out of it.

First step in data science is about getting hold of data, data can be available in different formats such as csv, excel, SQL tables, txt files etc.

Once we get data we can start exploring it and refining it as well. Excel is a very good tool to explore data which comes with lot of inbuilt functionalities.

Step two figure out any anomalies of data you have got and remove them such as

  • Duplicate data
  • Incorrect data such as most of the data ranges in 2 digits but suddenly you have a 3 digit or 4 digit data so you need to understand whether this is correct or should be removed
  • Blank data, any blank data can be filled with relevant data like  by taking an average or removing it.

Above list is not exhaustive but relevant, there can be other scenarios as well.

Once you have cleaned your data, third step is to use some methods to understand your data better

Using these methods you might be able to identify some trends or understand it better than before.

Once you have understood it better and you are smart enough you can ask following types of questions which forms basics of data science

  • Descriptive: Questions like how many?, how much ?
  • Associative: Relational data questions, like if temperature is high you sell more ice creams or you sell more ice creams between 2 PM to 4 PM
  • Comparative: Compare of flavor of ice creams being sold and compare them in a day or a month
  • Predictive: You can predict data such as chocolate flavor ice cream is most liked by children

If you can ask above questions it means you understand data quite well. Next step is to plot data in different ways such as Graphs, Charts, Histograms and also visualize data in 2D and 3D (Pivot table and charts)

Some common techniques are listed below

So these are some basics of data science, more in next blog

Data Science is huge subject which cannot be dealt in one blog, I have started a journey of acquiring a new skill “Machine Learning”, I am writing blog as I learn to keep notes for myself and for future learners. First day we learnt about basics of data science.

PowerShell to update an item in SharePoint List #SharePoint #PowerShell

If you are working in support you might get tickets to update a particular item as users are not able to update some columns as it’s locked due to some workflow or checks in forms´customization. The user in workflow is on leave or currently not available so as support you can do it from back via PowerShell.

It can be done via some simple PowerShell commands as below

$web = Get-SPWeb “Put site URL here”

$list = $web.Lists[“ListName”]

$item = $list.GetItemByID(46)

$item[“Status”] = “Approved”

$item.update()

So in above example first we create reference to the web we are going to work upon, then refer to list on which you are going to work upon.

Next step is to get a specific item by using ID and we are using GetItemByID function. As an example we have used item id 46, you need to replace this with your ID.

Next is to update a particular column value, here “Status” is a column name, which is being updated with new value “Approved”.

Last step “update” function is important else value will not be updated.

 

What is Azure Machine Learning ? #Azure #MachineLearning

Azure Machine Learning is a cloud based predictive analytics service which is easy to use and give fast and reliable results using its predefined algorithms and models.

Using Machine learning in broad / high level manner needs 4 steps described as below

  1. Data collection or generation
    • Collect data from source
    • Store in Azure Storage, SQL etc
    • Refine data if needed
  2. Create Machine Learning models
    • Use Machine Learning Azure Studio
    • Easy to use drag drop interface
  3. Output data as Web Service
    • Run the model to output data as web service
  4. Use output for intelligence or insights
    • Based on output make sites or Apps intelligent
    • Create insights and make predictions

Diagram for Azure Machine Learning

azuremachinelearning
Azure Machine Learning

Checklist for configuring eDiscovery in SharePoint Online #SharePoint #Office365 #eDiscovery

There are multiple steps which needs to be done to configure eDiscovery successfully in SharePoint Online or Office 365. To perform this you need to be Office 365 Tenant Admin.

Here is a checklist to confirm the set up for eDiscovery

  1. Have you created a Site Collection with template as eDiscovery Center?
  2. Have you configured Exchange Online as one of the Result Sources in eDiscovery Center?
  3. Have you created a Security group called eDiscovery Managers in Exchange Admin?
  4. Have you given access to security group eDiscovery Managers to Site Collection as Admin?
  5. Have you given Admin access to all Site Collections to security group eDiscovery Managers?
  6. Have you given read permissions to eDiscovery Managers to Crawl Log permissions in Search settings in SharePoint admin?
  7. Have you given access to Role Discovery Management in Exchange Admin to eDiscovery Managers?

If your answer to all above questions yes then you are ready and your eDiscovery Managers can create cases now.

 

Sideloading of Apps in #SharePoint online #Office365

If you are getting this error ” Error occurred in deployment step ‘Install SharePoint Add-in’: Sideloading of apps is not enabled on this site ” when debugging a SharePoint Add-in it means site you are using is a Production site. Sideloading of Apps is not enabled on any site by default as specially Production sites since it allow developers to load Apps which are still under development and not published.

If you are going to do some tests then enable it using PowerShell for SharePoint Online.

PowerShell code can be downloaded from MSDN code repository from Here

To disable Sideloading you can download code from here