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.

 

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

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

 

 

Backup and restore strategy for SharePoint Online#SharePoint #Office365

SharePoint on-premise Backup and Restore is a big topic of its own but in SharePoint online you don’t have such options. On-prem version you could use PowerShell to do perform nightly jobs to take Backup or you can take SQL backups which can be used to restore later.

Nothing like this is possible in SharePoint Online, because you don’t have servers and there are no PowerShell commands to take back up or export a site , list or library.

So question is how we safeguard ourselves with scenarios which can happen and might have happened in on-prem.

  • User claims a file has been deleted as he / she can’t find it
  • User deletes a file and realizes after long time that he / she needs it back
  • Lot of permission settings have been changed and mistakes have been done, so how to see what it was like 1 day before so that same can be replicated again

Well what are the options with us

  1. Enable version history: Although it does not solve your backup and restore concerns but it can be helpful is certain scenarios such as user updated the document wrongly if version history is not enabled you end up losing earlier version. Of course you can ask Microsoft for a restore which they keep for 14 days but note that it is not a granular restore which means whole site collection is restored and you might have duplicates
  2. Use Recycle Bin: To lot of extent this solves a lot of worries of Backup and Restore. Each file, item , list or library, site deleted will be stored in Recycle Bin for 90 days. You can always restore your own files for 90 days and if deleted from own recycle bin it will be stored in site collection recycle bin. Also we have second stage recycle bin which can be accessed by site administrators. If a site collection is deleted then it can be restored within 30 days as it depends your Office 365 storage.
  3. Request Microsoft for a restore: Microsoft keeps 14 days backup and it can be restored by making a request to Microsoft. So if you do the math if a file was deleted 105 days back it can still be restored as you can go 14 days back with backup and considering that deleted file might be in Recycle bin so you can restore it from there. But this is not very ideal as you will have duplication of data and it can be only done on site collection level and both old and new files will be presented to user.

So what are other alternatives, you can go for some third-party tools which are available in market, they allow you to take backups, do granular restores much like you were doing in on-premise SharePoint but of course it drives cost due to licenses and storage costs in Azure or some other services or cheap in house storages.

Another thing I can think of is taking backup on your own and storing it in some cheap storage locally / in-house. I have not built any solution like this but it can be done as below

  • You already have Recycle bin and Microsoft 14 days backup which can save you in most of the scenarios
  • But what if there are some business critical data which you want to safeguard beyond what you are getting and you don’t want to spend more money on third party tools etc.
  • You can write a script using REST API which download data for business critical sites and stores locally. Download list data to excel. REST API supports downloading of data which can easily structured as backup if the script is written that ways. Frequency can be once a week so we have some extra cushion or daily depending on how long it takes to run, you can run parallel or multi threaded scripts to execute parallel.

If you like the idea of REST API let me know I can help you provide a solution based on that. Leave a comment and we can take it from there.

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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Hybrid Architecture Office 365 (SharePoint Online) and SharePoint 2016 On premise #SharePoint2016 #SharePoint #Office365

Best thing which has happened during the introduction of SharePoint 2016 is that Microsoft is convinced that Hybrid Architecture is the way forward for bigger organizations and all the data cannot be moved to cloud. At least this is the current reality with lot of companies but such fast changing technologies you never know what’s the future

In this post we will review architecture of SharePoint 2016 on-premise and Office 365 (SharePoint Online). Here we are assuming that you already have a SharePoint On-premise set up and you will add SharePoint Online.

Basic architecture looks like below

hybridarchitecture

Image source Download

To start with you need an Office 365 license and Azure subscription as well. To start with we need to set up server to server trust and certificates like STS.

We need Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) which is used to share information securely and seamlessly. SSO (Single Sign on) is also facilitated via this and also makes sure that there no duplication of accounts.

Azure active directory tenant is used to authenticate to Office 365. It’s quiet powerful with variety of features like identity management, multifactor authentication etc. Since authentication occurs via Azure active directory we will have copy of all user account of organization in this as well but we will use Azure Active Directory connect  for directory synchronization so that for end-user it looks like only one account.

More about Azure Active Directory Connect can be read here Azure Active Directory Connect

Azure Access control services is used to provide users authentication and authorization to web application and services. You can read more here Azure Access Control Service

There are multiple steps to do the complete set up, if you need very detailed steps I will recommend below online books from Microsoft press store

Planning and Preparing for SharePoint Hybrid

Configuring SharePoint Hybrid capabilities

Once the set up is done your users will experience various benefits, but you need to be sure what you are getting into and be clear about it

  • Integrated search: You get integrated search so you can search in both SharePoint Online and SharePoint 2016 on-premise. Everything will be indexed in SharePoint online. Note that since index is stored in SharePoint some customers need to be wary of it they might not want part of secret data also in cloud. How to do set up can read here Configure Cloud Hybrid Search
  • Unified user profile where users can see both on-premise and SharePoint online followed sites together
  • Other services like Delve, Video and App launched will now be available on SharePoint on-premise as well
  • You can redirect users to SharePoint Online OneDrive for Business from SharePoint 2016 on-premise OneDrive. Before you do this make sure that all documents are migrated as it’s only a redirect. Steps to redirect are very simple and can be used read here How to redirect users to Office 365 for OneDrive for Business . Best way to migrate data is to write a tool for migration, there are various way to implement this but best is that you can access OneDrive for Business using SharePoint APIs which you might be familiar with else you have to register an App for OneDrive for Business to access data / folders programatically. I am assuming you already know how to access OneDrive in SharePoint on-premise programatically.

To access OneDrive for business SharePoint online via REST API you can below url

https://O365DomainHere-my.sharepoint.com/personal/     UserName_O365DomainHere_onmicrosoft_com/_api/web/GetFolderByServerRelativeUrl(‘/personal/UserName_O365DomainHere_onmicrosoft_com/Documents’)/folders/

You can read about data operations here REST API Data Operations SharePoint

So this is a basic overview of Hybrid architecture and also my take on the things you need to consider, if you have further questions just leave  a comment

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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