Microsoft 365 Lists – first look and overview

What is Microsoft Lists? Refer to my old blog https://synkventures.com/2020/05/24/microsoft-365-lists-a-powerful-app-sharepoint-lists-not-needed-any-more/

Finally on 28th July 2020 Microsoft Lists have arrived in our tenants (10% targeted release), here is the icon and just click on it to access the Lists page.

Microsoft Lists icon
Microsoft Lists home page

What are the ways to create lists?

  1. You can create a blank list as we use to do like custom list in SharePoint.
  2. You can start with an existing excel which means that if you have excel you can use that create a list with same set of columns etc
  3. You can pick any one of the templates to create a list.
  4. You can also use an existing list of create a list which means you don’t have to start from scratch and any existing list can be used as template.

We will have a look at all these one by one but first let’s discuss templates.

What are the templates available and their usages?

  1. Issue Tracker: This to track issues, similar template is available in SharePoint as well, look at the video below how to create and what are the columns etc. You will notice that the interface is same as SharePoint Lists and also settings page is same so the learning curve is pretty small.
Microsoft Lists Issue Tracker Demo

2. Employee OnBoarding Template: Look at the video to understand what columns it has, this can be used for onboarding new employees or onboarding emoloyee transfers from one location to another or department

Microsoft Lists Onboarding template demo

3. Event Itinerary template demo: A lists to track series of events such as who is the speaker, location, number of people allowed etc, look at the video for more details

Microsoft Lists itinerary template demo

4. Asset Manager Template: This template can be used to manage assets if new assets needs to be assigned, transferred or an inventory of existing assets. All required columns like Serial number, manufacturer etc are already available, look at the video for more details

Microsoft Lists Asset Manager template demo

5. Recruitment Tracker: This template can be used to track recruitment candidates, has all options to store candidate information, who is the requester, for what role etc., look at the video to understand more.

Microsoft Lists Recruitment Tracker template demo

6. Travel Request Tracker: This can be used to track travel requests, it has all the columns you need, workflow of course can be created using Power Automate, good use of the “Location” column as users can enter location where they are travelling so you don’t need to maintain a list, flight cost, hotel cost etc, look at the video for details

Microsoft Lists Travel Tracker template demo

7. Work Progress Tracker: This template can be handy if you are managing a team or you are tracking different tasks, this template has all the columns you need such categorization, priority, start date , end date etc, look at the video for more details

Microsoft Lists Work Progress Tracker demo

8. Content Scheduler: This template can be used to track launch of content in your organization, it has all the columns you need such as Content type, author, publish date, content link etc, view the video to get more details

Microsoft Lists Content Scheduler template demo

Create a blank list: Use the same steps as before just use the option, blank list, it is more like a custom list we have in SharePoint and we can create columns as we wish. View the video for more details.

As you can see the experience is very similar as before and we have both modern way of creating ways also classic experience available with us, if you want to use metadata type it is also available.

Microsoft Lists Blank List demo

Create a List using an existing list: Use the same options as before just use the option existing list and you will be able to create a list out of an existing list. Benefit of this is that whatever customization with respect to columns, formatting and views you have done will be copied over. View the video for more details.

Create Microsoft Lists using an existing List

Create a List using an excel: If you have data in existing excel and you would like to turn it into Microsoft Lists then it can be easily done, view the video below.

Some points before you do this:

  1. There is a limit of number of rows for which data can be uploaded
  2. Your excel sheet needs to have data in “Table” format else it will not work and will give a message for the same.
  3. You can select multiple type of column type while uploading such as Single text, Multi text, Choice , Date time, Number , Currency depending on what data resides in the column or you can select not to upload data
  4. When you upload the excel it will be first uploaded to OneDrive and then list will be created, later it can be found in OneDrive.
  5. You have the ability to upload an excel from OneDrive as well.
  6. I also encountered an issue while uploading, I was not abe to save List under “My Lists” as it gave me this error “The Site does now allow Site Designs” so I had to share it in one of the SharePoint sites and then it worked.
  7. Your data along with columns will also be uploaded.

What happens when you create a list and how to create under SharePoint Site ?

If you will notice the List URL you will understand that the List App is actually running from your SharePoint My Site as we have our “OneDrive” running, a sample URL below so I believe all Lists are being created under your My Site. Check below URLs and you will understand. Anyhow our my sites are nothing but a SharePoint site so it makes sense to utilize them.

Main URL:

https://yourtenant-my.sharepoint.com/personal/tenant_com/_layouts/15/lists.aspx

A specific URL:

https://youtenant-my.sharepoint.com/personal/yourtenant_onmicrosoft_com/Lists/Listname/AllItems.aspx?env=WebViewList

You have the ability to save list under a SharePoint site when you create a list, instead of My Lists select SharePoint Site this will create the List under SharePoint site, a link will be added in menu automatically and also you can find under the Site Contents.

Create Microsoft Lists Under SharePoint Site

Create a List from existing SharePoint List: Yes this is true you can create Microsoft Lists using existing SharePoint List, check the below video for details. Basically you will have to use “From existing list” option and you can select SharePoint sites and it will show compatible Lists whuch can be used.

Create Microsoft Lists using SharePoint existing Lists

List formatting: List formatting is already available in same way as it is in SharePoint lists, you will also notice that for templates some columns already have formatting such as Progress column, for more information on Lists formatting visit here https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/dev/declarative-customization/column-formatting and https://pnp.github.io/sp-dev-list-formatting/

Microsoft Lists formatting sample

How to create a Rule in Microsoft Lists: Rule is a great idea introduced by Microsoft which works similar to List formatting but has much more, check the video below in which I highlight a column and also add an exclaimation icon based on specific condition and that too only via few clicks.

Create Rule for Microsoft Lists demo

How to access Microsoft Lists via PowerShell?

You can access Microsoft Lists just like any other list and I hope all kind of commands work, check below the screenshot to believe it

Microsoft Lists access via PowerShell

Sharing options in Microsoft Lists: When you create Microsoft Lists under My Lists it is accessible only by you so if you want to share with others you need to share with other persons. When you create under a SharePoint site then it will be accessible by SharePoint site users as well.

Share options in Microsoft Lists

You can also share individual items as well.

Integration options: This is a big topic so I just want to say few lines as it has all the abilities for extending the functionality using Microsoft Graph, Power Automate, PowerApps

How to access normal SharePoint List in Microsoft Lists way:

If you want to see the new Microsoft Lists experience in any modern SharePoint list, go to the URL and append this query string after AllItems.aspx like this. AllItems.aspx?env=WebViewList

Credit goes to this tweet:

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Summary: This is a great decision from Microsoft to introduce Lists as a standalone App, it will provide a great value. It has huge capabilities which I have not been able to cover all things but I will do this in subsequent blogs.

Connect with me on Twitter or Linked In if you need more information.

References: https://aka.ms/mslists

SharePoint Starter Kit v2 – an overview

What is SharePoint starter kit V2?

A comprehensive solution showcasing packaging, solution deployment, provisioning and SPFx web parts to inspire and guide developers, business users and SharePoint Admins to create solutions on similar lines.

Why you should have a look at this?

This has been created by best people in this field (SharePoint, Microsoft 365) which means that code, design and relevance of the web parts are extremely good, all the web parts can be used in your tenant as is. You can learn and create your own ways to

  1. Package solutions
  2. Provisioning mechanism
  3. Coding guidelines, standards
  4. Build modern portals

How to get started?

If you want to install everything at one shot the steps are simple. I suggest to have a look first install it on development tenant and not the Production tenant, as it will upload lot of SPFx solutions and make changes so best is that you review it in a developer tenant. Based on your understanding you can plan to deploy it in Production.

  1. Prerequisites: There are some preparation steps which you need to before you install it as follows
  2. How to install?
Github SharePoint Starter Kit V2

Open PowerShell and excute this command

Connect-PnPOnline https://yourtenant.sharepoint.com

This will ask your User Id and Password, please use tenant administrator for this as it will be used to install the Starter Kit.

Then go to Provisioning folder in the source code you have downloaded from GitHub.

cd <<location>>

Then execute following command in PowerShell

Apply-PnPTenantTemplate -Path .\starterkit.pnp

The command might take 10-15 mins to execute and if all goes well three sites will be created.

You can watch a video to view complete process

Issues you might face

  • Exception while invoking endpoint: I encounter this issue while installing almost half way through the installation. Error message you might get is this Apply-PnPTenantTemplate : Exception while invoking endpoint https://login.microsoftonline.com/fffff-4121-ae51-71e06b5edc04/oauth2/token.
    • If you get this it follow below steps rather than the normal steps
    • Remove earlier version of SharePointPnpPowerShellOnline
    • Install-Module -Name “SharePointPnPPowerShellOnline” -RequiredVersion 3.20.2004.0
    • Connect-PnPOnline -Url https://tenant-admin.sharepoint.com/ -PnPO365ManagementShell , this will open a window in browser for device login in which you should enter a code specified, make it is succcessful.
    • Connect-PnPOnline -Url https://tenant.sharepoint.com, renter tenant admin credentials
    • Then go to provisioning folder and execute Apply-PnPTenantTemplate -Path .\starterkit.pnp
SharePoint Starter Kit

Use provisioning parameters:

You can also provide parameters to achieve some customizations such as below

Apply-PnPTenantTemplate -Path .\starterkit.pnp -Parameters @{"Company"="Your Company Name";"SiteUrlPrefix"="YourCompany";"WeatherCity"="Stockholm"}

More information here https://github.com/pnp/sp-starter-kit/blob/master/provisioning/readme.md#provisioning-parameters

How it looks like after installation?

Three site collections are created

Site collections after Starter Kit

A communication site

SharePoint Starter Kit V2 demo Communication site

A Private Group Team site

SharePoint Starter Kit V2 HR Team Site demo

An another teams site as department site

SharePoint Starter Kit V2 Marketing Site Demo

Below web parts and SPFX web parts are installed, for detail explaination please check on this link https://github.com/pnp/sp-starter-kit#custom-web-parts

SharePoint Starter Kit V2 Apps

How to make it work in SharePoint 2019?

As of 23rd July 2020 the ApplyPnPTemplate command for SharePoint 2019 is not available, you can keep an eye on this URL https://github.com/pnp/sp-starter-kit/blob/master/provisioning/readme-sp2019.md to check if it is available as community members have promised to update it soon.

Till then you can deploy individual apps in SharePoint 2019 farm and use the apps. Following apps will work in SharePoint 2019 as well

  • Banner
  • Followed sites
  • Links
  • People directory
  • Site information
  • Tiles
  • Weather
  • World clock

To deploy the apps you can copy the package from source code you downloaded before from this location “sp-starter-kit-master\source\<<solution-name>>\sharepoint\solution” and upload it to App Catalog of your farm.

There is no need to build the solution and can be directly deployed but in case you face issues you can build it using

gulp bundle --ship
gulp package-solution --ship
SP Starter Kit v2 SP 2019

Once deployed you can add it on a page, in this case I am showing Tiles app.

Tiles App SharePoint 2019
Tiles App in SharePoint 2019

More information can be found here: https://github.com/pnp/sp-starter-kit/blob/master/documentation/components/wp-tiles.md

So that is all I have for SharePoint Starter Kit V2 , I will write more about this topic as there is lot to explore.

Connect with me on Twitter or Linked In if you need more information.

Special thanks to all community members who work on these and provide great solutions https://github.com/pnp/sp-starter-kit/graphs/contributors

References:

https://github.com/pnp/sp-starter-kit

https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/office/blogs/announcing-sharepoint-starter-kit-v2/

Add SharePoint on premise site as a tab in Microsoft Teams

Currently there is no integration available to add a SharePoint on premise library or site as storage like we have a connected SharePoint online with Microsoft Teams.

I don’t think a feature like this will be released soon as well but there is an easy way to add a library or site as Website tab in any Teams.

This of course does not provide you seamless integration but atleast provides you access to on premise SharePoint site or library inside Teams.

You can view this small video to understand how to do it, you can add any website SharePoint site, library or any other site

Add website as tab in Microsoft Teams

Connect with me on Twitter or Linked In if you need more information.

SharePoint Online Megamenu for modern Hub sites – how it works #megamenu , security trimming in MegaMenu

Let’s start with a question, can megamenu be enabled on all site templates?

Well answer is No, it is available only on SharePoint Hub sites which are associated with Microsoft teams or on Communication sites.

What is a megamenu in SharePoint Online?

In the traditional navigration structure you could only have two levels of navigation but now in MegaMenu you can have multiple levels spanning horizontally and vertically.

How it works?

You can create MegaMenu from Site Settings –> Change the look –> Navigation. Note that MegaMenu is default type in Communication sites but if you need to change it follow below steps

MegaMenu can be used to create multi-level horizontal and vertical menus as shown below.

Megamenu example

To start with you need to click Edit on right side and Under any heading, when you hover you will see a line with plus symbol to add a menu. Use that to add headers or links depending on what you need.

SharePoint MegaMenu

Once done you can “Make sub link” to make it appear under it

Sample final outcome

MegaMenu example

How about Security trimming and Audience targeting in MegaMenu in Hub Site Navigation?

There is no security trimming in MegaMenu in Hub Site Navigation, I will say that purpose of Hub site really does not make sense to have MegaMenu security trimmed but at same time it can be debatable.

Audience targeting can be a good thing and it is under work as of May 2019, you can refer here

Audience targeting MegaMenu

So that’s about MegaMenu in Hub site, if you have any questions or remarks please contact us via our Contact Us page or via our Facebook page or via Twitter

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SharePoint Hub Sites and difference from sub sites

Hello world! A blog post was long due now!

I think I must have missed the Hub Sites in SharePoint buzz but a blog from my side anyhow.

What is a Hub Site?

Firstly, it is not a template like Communication or Team site, you can register an existing team site or communication site as a Hub Site so if you want to create a Hub site from scratch please create a site preferably a modern one and then register it as Hub Site which can only be done SharePoint Admin in Central Admin link.

Hub site is used to facilitate Intranet in organizations which can have other sites as “Association” or “Navigation” links. You can roll up information from associated and linked sites to the main Hub site by using Apps available.

You can think this of a container site but physically it does not contain any sites but can only be associated.

What makes it unique?

Something like this was not available before but I believe everyone wanted something like this as working with Site Collections and the Sub sites structure is rigid and difficult to change later on.

Hub sites introduce us a flat structure which can be moved easily as sites are just associated and not created under them.

So, uniqueness is in the flat structure which can be implemented easily.

Difference between the Hub site-based structure and the traditional structure is as below

Hub sites vs Sub sites

Hub site based Traditional – Site collections – sub sites
Flat structure Hierarchy based structure
Sites are associated and not created under it Sites are created under a main site
Access permissions do not have any impact in Access permissions are inherited by default or needs to be managed separately
Easy to move around sites and change structure or associations No easy ways to change the structure

 

How to utilize or use Hub Sites?

Hub site should be used to bunch sites together, create an intranet or roll up information together. Bunching or associating sites together should be done based on departments, organizations, key features, team or based on keywords or location etc. or if you want to roll up specific information from different sources.

Hub site can only be really useful if you will be rolling up information and two most easy ways to use OOB of Apps called “Highlighted Content” and “Sites” which can fetch different information from associated sites and show them beautifully.

On modern pages just add a section layout and then select add App using “+” symbol and select Highlighted Content or Sites depending on your needs, I would recommend Highlighted Content as it is really powerful and can roll up almost all data. Refer to screenshots below

As you can view you have following options

  • Select a source: can select all hub sites or some or specific one
  • Type of source: can be document, news, lists etc.
  • Filter and sort to organize your content
  • Different options for a Layout to support your needs

 

Other things you should consider while creating and managing Hub sites:

  • Naming convention of Hub sites so that it can be easily recognized
  • Name information which needs to roll up also properly so that easy to roll up later
  • Consider the audience before you start creating hub sites
  • Consider search scopes while deciding on the association of Hub sites
  • Also note that you can put a link to non-associated site

 

How to create Hub sites?

As pointed out earlier there is no template like Hub Site, you have to create a site collection using template either team site or communication. Communication template is recommended one from Microsoft.

Create a site a then select option mark it is a Hub site, you need to SharePoint admin to do all this

CommSiteHRCommSite

After the site is created you can register this as Hub site

Once this is done you can view extra navigation at the top

HubSiteCreated.png

 

So that’s about Hub site, if you have any questions or remarks 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.

 

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