Archive for September, 2014

In the past few weeks, Microsoft has slowly started to kill some features from SharePoint Online. Before we go on, here are some of the features that you will slowly see disappear from your SharePoint Online tenant:

Microsoft killing some features in Office 365 SharePoint Online

  • The “Tasks” link in your MySite
  • The “Sync to Outlook Button”
  • SharePoint Tags
  • SharePoint Notes

 

Here are the two announcements taken from the Microsoft Website.

The Tasks menu option will be removed from SharePoint Online during the next few weeks. Additionally, the Sync to Outlook button will be removed at a later date.
If you’re currently syncing a SharePoint tasks list to Microsoft Outlook, tasks will continue to sync for approximately one year following this announcement. The personal Tasks page will also continue to be available for one year. After that time, this functionality will be removed and will no longer be available or supported.

The Tags & Notes feature of SharePoint Online has been retired. Users can no longer create new tags and notes or access existing ones. For a limited time, all existing tags and notes will be archived into .csv files, which can be exported from the SharePoint admin center. Only SharePoint Online admins can export these files.

This change will affect users in the following ways:

ITEM

DESCRIPTION OF CHANGE

Tags & Notes button on ribbon

Still visible but disabled.

Note Board and Tag Cloud web parts in the web part gallery

Still visible and enabled. The web parts will show up as blank when added to a page.

Note Board and Tag Cloud web parts embedded in a page

Page will display a blank space in the area previously occupied by the web parts. Edit the page to remove the web parts.

Social tags

Social tags will no longer appear in the tags refiner. The refiner will still display hashtags.

Tags and notes listed on personal sites

The area that previously listed tags and notes will be blank.

Microsoft didn’t specify why they are killing those features, however not all companies were ready for the change. For example a user on SharePoint Community started a discussion asking members for help following the discontinuing of the SharePoint Noteboard. Since his company was using the Webpart in certain page layouts, he now wonders if he should start using Yammer, as Microsoft recommends in the discontinuation note or put newsfeeds in place. However the problem is that, we all know, Newsfeed would be a temporary solution since Microsoft is heading towards Yammer all the way. However, diving into Yammer right away would take a while for user adoption and might cost more expensive for the business (depending on the O365 plan already in place).

Also, I personally don’t understand why Microsoft is killing the “Tasks” in the MySites. I showed off the new Task Aggregation in MySites at a few SharePoint Saturdays, and everybody loved it! We finally had the ability to see all our tasks from Exchange, SharePoint & Project Server in one place!

You can read the discontinuation notices yourself over here:

I was wondering what do you think of this move by Microsoft. Do you think that disabling features with a short notice is ok? I do understand that this is how the cloud works, and companies that sign up for it already knew that features will be added and retired every day. But what happens when a feature you loved in the cloud goes away. Or you create custom development based on existing webparts which now disappear and you have to rethink it all over.

Do you think moves like this will make companies delay their move to the cloud? Let me know in the comments!

 

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Back in September last year I have created a Windows Forms based tool that allowed you to create Host Named Site Collections (HNSC) without necessarily having to go through PowerShell. The tool worked perfectly and it had a lot of options, however, it wasn’t the prettiest and necessary best option.

Host Named Site Collection Creator

In the past month, I teamed up with an expert SharePoint Developer called Joseph Henry Passineau which is also a member of SharePoint-Community.net and we took my idea to the next level. In the latest update for the SharePoint HNSC Creator we have now made available a SharePoint 2013 farm solution that allows you to create HNSC directly from the Central Administration with a native SharePoint 2013 experience!

To give you a brief overview:

  • You can find it at the same place as the normal Site Collection create links!

Host Named Site Collection Creator

  • The Create a new HNSC page is exactly the same as your normal Site Collection creation page, however you have a new field to enter the URL of the HNSC!

 

 

 

And you also have an OOTB looking confirmation page!

You can read this Blog Post by Joseph himself on how he used Reflection to make this project possible: Creating host named site collection by code

If you want to know more about the project and start using it, you can access the codeplex project over here: https://hnsc.codeplex.com/

Leave  a comment and don’t forget to like the Absolute SharePoint Blog Page on Facebook and to follow me on Twitter here  for the latest news and technical articles on SharePoint.  Also, don’t forget to check out SharePoint Community.Net for more great SharePoint Content.

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I was at a client today and I got a very interesting question about how should users name their files. There were many rumors that underscores were the best, since SharePoint knows to split the words up after an underscore. I didn’t have an immediate answer about it, but let’s test it out!

I have uploaded three files to SharePoint with content that makes no sense, so the search only searches on the title of the file. Here are the names of the three files:

  • Vlad is the best SharePoint Administrator ever
  • Vlad_is_the_best_SharePoint_Administrator_Ever
  • vlad-is-the-best-sharepoint-administrator-ever

 

So, after 30 minutes, I decided to search “SharePoint Administrator” without the quotes! Here is the result:

best SharePoint Search

As you can see, all 3 results have been returned, however the only difference is that SharePoint was able to find the two words in the URL as well for the “Space” and “underscore” options!

Now let’s try with quotes around “SharePoint Administrator”. We can see that the results are similar to the one before, however only the result with a space was bolded by SharePoint. SharePoint found the word with a space in the URL, even if there was a space or underscore.

best for SharePoint Search

However, if we search for “SharePoint_Administrator” without the quotes, we only get the one that actually has the underscores in the title name!

However, I have never seen anyone actually use underscores when doing a search. But if your users do it, it’s a good to know!

Conclusion

After testing, I believe that spaces are the best option for your filenames, but if you really don’t want to use spaces in your filenames, use underscores! Never use hyphens!

 

Leave  a comment and don’t forget to like the Absolute SharePoint Blog Page on Facebook and to follow me on Twitter here  for the latest news and technical articles on SharePoint.  Also, don’t forget to check out SharePoint Community.Net for more great SharePoint Content.

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