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My 12th Pluralsight course, and 4th PowerShell focused one in a row is now out, and this time is on a really interesting topic: How to create HTML reports with PowerShell. PowerShell is an amazing tool to gather information from all of your Microsoft systems, including Office 365, but let’s be honest, a CSV or XML report is not really pretty. This is where HTML comes in! By using PowerShell to gather the information, and rendering it with HTML and enhanced by CSS you can really create beautiful and useful reports.

PowerShell HTML

Let’s take a look at some examples! In the example below, you can see an HTML Table that is Paginated, has Search enabled, and the Service Status color depends on the value of the content inside, so you can quickly see the services that are stopped!

PowerShell HTML

Another example here is a computer report, that first shows the BIOS information as a list, the Disk information with a Free Percentage % that is color coded, and all the Services to Investigate in a nice table!

PowerShell HTML

Here is another example of Office 365 Report of licenses and users!

PowerShell HTML

You can check out the course today on Pluralsight at the following link: http://spvlad.com/PSHTML or if you do not have an account yet, you can get a free 10-day Trial over here: http://spvlad.com/PS10DayTrial !

 

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Product analysis by Vlad Catrinescu – requested by Lanteria, but thoughts are my own.

Something that all the enterprises and small businesses in this world have in common is they need to manage their employees, or as we call it, human resources. There are tons of HR Management systems out there, however one of the most popular goals of IT departments across the globe in the past few years was to integrate systems together, and get the most out of the systems they are already paying for. With over 300,000 organizations across the globe using SharePoint daily, it’s no wonder that Lanteria has created an HR Management Solution running on Microsoft’s popular platform. While Lanteria offers a full HR Management suite containing multiple modules, in this blog post we will focus on the time and attendance module. Here are a few words directly from Lanseria’s website:

Time and Attendance is a solution that enables managing the global absence policies, employee time sheets, and absence records such as vacations, sicknesses, and business trips. Employees can request time off and the managers approve them. HR can track all the absence statistics, record and modify the absences, and approve or reject them.

Lanteria HR Time and Attendance

  • Define the company-wide leave policies and rules
  • Set up comprehensive approval workflows
  • Have a global absences calendar
  • Increase productivity with project-based time tracking

Overview of Lanteria HR Time and Attendance module

After logging in the Lanteria Demo Site I was provided as an HR person, and clicking on the Time & Attendance module, I am presented with a nice menu allowing me to access all the parts of this module. On the left, I have a very useful list of actions that I can do as a user such as registering a vacation request, sickness and so on, while on the right I can view the OOF calendar, Timesheet report and so on.

Lanteria HR Time and Attendance

The menu changes depending on what your role is, and what permissions you have in the platform.

Lanteria HR Time and Attendance

As an HR person, the first thing I would probably do is create an Absence Plan for my employees, or multiple absence plans depending if my company as offices in multiple states/countries or provinces. As you can see in the next screenshot, Lanteria allows you to create multiple Absence Plans for your employees, so you can assign each one to the right plan afterwards.

Lanteria HR Time and Attendance

Those plans define not only the amounts of vacations per employee, but also certain settings like: Can Vacation days be carried over to the next year? Can employees take more vacation days then they have currently accumulated?

Lanteria HR Time and Attendance

You can also specify multiple rules of the number of vacation days this policy give access to depending on the age or seniority of the employee in your organizations. In the example below, employees that have been with the company for less than 5 years get 20 days of vacation, while employees that have worked for 6 or more years get 25 days per year. You can also add multiple other rules to calculate the total time of employee vacation every year.

Lanteria HR Time and Attendance

You can then also create rules for sickness leave. In the screenshot below, everyone between the ages of 18 and 100 gets 10 days of sick leave per year, and employees can overbook them.

Lanteria HR Time and Attendance

Finally, you can also add other Annual Absences such as Jury Duty, voting leave and so on, and decide to what countries it applies to.

Lanteria HR Time and Attendance

As an employee, you can easily go to your “My Absences” dashboard, and view the number of total Paid leave days you can take, how many you have already booked, as well as the absence requests that you have requested, and their status.

Lanteria HR Time and Attendance

I can also click on the Register Absence button to request a new vacation, and enter all the details that are related to the current vacation request.

Lanteria HR Time and Attendance

As an employee, I can also track my time in different Projects and Activities in the Timesheet functionality. There is also a clock in – clock out future that I can use that will automatically track the time spent between when you clock in and clock out on that certain project.

Lanteria HR Time and Attendance

As a Manager who needs to manage a team of employees, I can view an Absence schedule of all my employees at a glance, so I know who will be gone when. I can also see all the Pending Absence Requests, so all the requests for absence that my employees have done, and I can easily approve, or reject them!

Lanteria HR Time and Attendance

I can approve, reject or even request a small change in the absence request, and provide comments on my decision!

Lanteria HR Time and Attendance

As a Manager, I can also register an absence on behalf of another user. If an employee is sick and cannot come to work today, chances are they will call their manager to tell them, and their manager can directly register the day inside the system for them!

Lanteria HR Time and Attendance

As an HR professional, there are also multiple reports included with the Time and Attendance module allowing you to have the full view on your company, and view the summary, schedule as well as statistics on how many vacation days each employee has.

Lanteria HR Time and Attendance

I also have a very useful Out of Office calendar, allowing me to view everyone in my company that is out of office.

Lanteria HR Time and Attendance

Conclusion

Throughout my testing, I found the Lanteria Time and Attendance module to pack a lot of functionality, in a very simple to use interface. This module allows you to create absence policies for your employees, automatically calculating the time of vacation and sick days they can get, as well as statutory holidays, and special absences such as Jury Duty. The module also includes functionality such as Timesheets, for which companies would have to purchase Project Server in order to have similar functionality, and even then Lanteria has more features around this. One of the things I really like about this module, and the Lanteria HRMS suite in general, is that it’s really made for HR professionals, by HR professionals, and as a business owner myself, everything that I wish for is really in the product.

Having reviewed multiple of the other Lanteria modules in the past years, the integration with the other modules is really good, and allows you to fully manage your Human Resources from SharePoint. If you want to learn more about the Lanteria Time and Attendance module, check out t heir site at: or click the banner below.

Lanteria HR Time and Attendance

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This year again, Pluralsight is offering an amazing discount for Black Friday on the annual subscription for both new, and existing members! Simply go to the following link or click on the picture below to get the deal: http://spvlad.com/PS2017BlackFriday

Pluralsight Black Friday

What do you get for 199$? You have unlimited access to over 5000 courses on the latest technologies, Assessments, Skill Paths and the option to download content offline to watch it wherever in the world you might be… FOR A FULL YEAR!

Pluralsight Black Friday

This Offer is only for a limited time, so make sure you get it while it lasts! Click on the banner below to go to the Offer Page!

Pluralsight Black Friday

Follow me on Social Media and Share this awesome deal with your friends!


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.  I am also a Pluralsight author, and you can view all the courses I created on my author page.
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This year I have the great pleasure again of travelling to Chicago to speak at SharePoint Fest! This year’s SharePoint Fest is packed with 45 speakers, 100 sessions, 25 full and half day workshops and over 500 attendees, so if you still have budget for a conference this year, don’t miss it! You can even save 100$ with my speaker code below!

SharePoint Fest Chicago 2017

Here is what I will be speaking on!

Morning Workshop 9:00 am – 12:30 pm, Wednesday – WS 502 – Automate your business processes with tools from today and tomorrow

One of the big advantages of implementing SharePoint in the enterprise is process automation. By using Out of the box workflows as well as easy to create custom SharePoint Designer Workflows, Power Users are able to automate processes, avoid repetitive tasks, and boost team productivity. Furthermore, new tools such as Flow which are exclusive to Office 365 at the moment allow you to easily create workflows, and integrate SharePoint Online with other systems.

In this half-day workshop, you will learn how to use SharePoint Designer and Flow to create workflows that solve real problems and to automate your business processes in SharePoint On-Premises and SharePoint Online.

OFF 105 – Getting Started with PowerShell for Office 365

Take your Office 365 Administrator skills to the next level by learning to manage Office 365 and automate repetitive tasks using the magic of PowerShell.

In this session, you will learn how to use PowerShell for Office 365!

ADM 205 – Integrating SharePoint and Office Online Server

Office Online Server (formerly known as Office Web Apps) allows your users to view and edit Office Documents directly in the browser, without having to download them locally as well as enables the Durable Links functionality with SharePoint Server 2016. Lastly, since Excel Services is not part of SharePoint 2016 anymore, Office Online Server is mandatory in order to enable Business Intelligence features in SharePoint Server 2016.

In this session, we will look more in detail at what Office Online Server is, best practices on how to install it and how to design an Office Online Server Farm. We will also learn how to properly integrate it with SharePoint Server 2016, and lastly, what features it can bring to other Office Servers products such as Exchange and Skype for Business.

You can check out all the sessions at http://sharepointfest.com/Chicago/

Hope to see you there!

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Have you heard about the virtual Collab365 Global Conference 2017 that’s streaming online November 1st – 2nd?

Join me and 120 other speakers from around the world who will be bringing you the very latest content around SharePoint, Office 365, Flow, PowerApps, Azure, OneDrive for Business and of course the increasingly popular Microsoft Teams. The event is produced by the Collab365 Community and is entirely free to attend.

Places are limited to 5000 so be quick and register now.

During the conference I’d love you to watch my session which is called: ‘What do YOU get from SharePoint Hybrid?’

Every time you see a blog post about SharePoint 2016, you see the word hybrid. But what exactly is a hybrid infrastructure and what features does the business user get? In this session, we will look at SharePoint Hybrid from a business user point of view to understand what features we get out of it. We will look at Hybrid Team Sites, Hybrid Search, Hybrid Extranet sites and more!​

If you join me, you will learn:

  • Understand what a Hybrid SharePoint deployment actually means
  • See example use cases where Hybrid is better than going all cloud, or all On-Premises

Topic(s):

  • Hybrid SharePoint
  • SharePoint

Audience:

  • Business Analyst
  • End User
  • Power User

Time (in UTC) :

  • Thursday, November 2 2017 2:00 PM

How to attend:

  1. Register here.
  2. At the time listed above go here to watch my session. (you can also add me to your own personal planner from the agenda.
  3. Be ready to take notes!
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At the end of the month, I will be heading out to Las Vegas, Nevada to speak at the popular Dev Intersections conference along some of the biggest name in the Industry such as Steve Guggenheimer, Scott Guthrie, Scott Hanselman and more!

Dev Intersections

Here is what I will be speaking on:

SESSION: DEEP DIVE INTO DESIGNING A SHAREPOINT 2016 PHYSICAL ARCHITECTURE

SharePoint Server 2016 is the latest release of SharePoint Server and includes awesome features for business users, but quite a few changes for SharePoint IT Professionals. New features such as MinRole, combined with new requirements such as mandatory Office Online Server configuration for Business Intelligence, will change the way that SharePoint Administrators will design their SharePoint farm. In this course, you will learn how to design your SharePoint Server 2016 Farm according to your business needs and Microsoft Best Practices.

SESSION: WHAT DO YOU GET FROM SHAREPOINT HYBRID?

Every time you see a blog post about SharePoint 2016, you see the word hybrid. But what exactly is a hybrid infrastructure and what features does the business user get? In this session, we will look at SharePoint Hybrid from a business user point of view to understand what features we get out of it. We will look at Hybrid Team Sites, Hybrid Search, Hybrid Extranet sites and more!

FULL DAY WORKSHOP: AUTOMATE YOUR BUSINESS PROCESSES WITH TOOLS FROM TODAY AND TOMORROW

One of the big advantages of implementing SharePoint in the enterprise is process automation. By using Out of the box workflows as well as easy to create custom SharePoint Designer Workflows, Power Users are able to automate processes, avoid repetitive tasks, and boost team productivity. Furthermore, new tools such as Flow and PowerApps which are exclusive to Office 365 at the moment allow you to easily create workflow and forms, and integrate SharePoint with other systems. In this full day workshop, you will learn how to use SharePoint Designer, Flow and PowerApps to automate your business processes in SharePoint On-Premises and SharePoint Online.

When registering, make sure to use code CATRINESCU to save 50$ off! You can view all the registration options here: https://devintersection.com/#!/register . Hope to see you there!

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Product analysis by Vlad Catrinescu – requested by SharePoint Vitals, but thoughts are my own.

SharePoint is an amazing tool that offers the tools necessary to increase collaboration in your enterprise. You’re paying for it, but are people really using it? That has been the question multiple companies have been asking themselves for a while since neither SharePoint On-Premises or SharePoint Online provides the full analytics solution that enterprises are looking for. This is why, multiple third-party vendors in the SharePoint spaces have created solutions on top of SharePoint On-Premises / SharePoint Online to fill this gap.

In this blog post we will talk about a product called SharePoint Vitals by Seven Twenty Software. Here are a few words about the product directly from their website as well as a small video.

SharePoint Vitals brings all the user site activity data you could ever want to your fingertips. SharePoint Analytics that can take days of manual data manipulation are now available when you need it. Vitals tracks your SharePoint users activity in real-time and pushes results to a clean and easily navigated cloud based interface.

With the available summary reporting, you can quickly identify your top users, sites and content along with problem areas such as slowest loading pages and users who frequently experience slow page load times. Vitals gives you SharePoint web analytics that can definitely help in cases of governance, user adoption, security and compliance.

Next time management asks the who, what, when, where – you will have the answers!

Now that we have introduced the product, let’s start the review!

SharePoint Vitals Review

SharePoint Vitals is a Software as a Service (SaaS) application running in Azure, so you can access it from anywhere in the world, and since it’s running on Azure, chances are it will almost never go down. As soon as you log on the platform you can see the statistics from this week, as well as the percentage of change since last week, allowing you to see right away if new users have joined the platform, if new sites have been created as well as how popular your SharePoint platform was this week.

SharePoint Vitals Review

Scrolling down a bit on the initial page, we can see various Top 10s such as the Top 10 Visited Sites, Active Users, Fastest & Slowest Users with a filter on the top allowing you to quickly changing from Today, to last week and a few other options as seen below. This is really great because as soon as you log in, you have all the important information to see how your sites are doing, who is accessing them, and users that might have problems reaching them. On any one of those metrics, you can click on them to dig deeper into the content, and get more information. SharePoint Vitals contains over 15
out of the box reports, and we will review some, but not all in this review! One of the cool things about SharePoint Vitals is that they also have a PowerBI API that allows customers to create their own reports in PowerBI by using data gathered in SharePoint Vitals.

SharePoint Vitals Review

Let’s take a look at the other reports. We first have a Page Hits report allowing us to see the most viewed pages, and we can select the dates for which we want to look at in the top.

SharePoint Vitals Review

You can also look at the history for a selected user, and see all the pages that they have accessed, this history is kept as long as you have the product, and you can download it in full at any time.

SharePoint Vitals Review

You can also view the active documents per user as well if you want to see what documents they are accessing.

SharePoint Vitals Review

Before we go over some of the other features, I Want to take this time to get over a question I get asked often: Vlad, why should I invest in a third-party analytics product, when I could just Google Analytics for my site? The two reports above answer that question pretty clearly, while Google Analytics will allow you to see stats on pages, you will not have reports that are as integrated with SharePoint as SharePoint Vitals, which allow you to filter stuff even by users. There’s a bunch of other reasons, for example, SharePoint Vitals allows you to quickly view the Site Map of your tenant, or SharePoint farm so you can quickly look at your Information Architecture.

SharePoint Vitals Review

SharePoint Vitals also allows you to view the most popular Search Terms. Having access to what people search for will allow you to better optimize your Information architecture, and help people find their content a lot faster!

SharePoint Vitals Review

Another cool feature is also the Heat Map where you can see the locations from where your users access SharePoint. You can also filter by user, or simply go to a location to see who is accessing from that location. If you see people are accessing it from the US but you do not have an office there, this can be a huge red flag, so it’s worth investigating!

SharePoint Vitals Review

The results in SP Vitals are in real time, so this is also different from a few other analytics tools that are waiting for a timer job or similar to actually refresh them. You can also schedule reports on a weekly or monthly basis and get them directly in your Inbox!

SharePoint Vitals Review

The sample report I had access to contained 3 pages and really showed the top information a manager might need to see if people are using SharePoint more and more every week! Some of the things not shown on the screenshot are the Top 10 Sites, Fastest & Slowest Users as well as the heatmap.

SharePoint Vitals Review

Lastly, something that a lot of you might also wonder is the pricing. I Had a chat with the product team and asked them about this, and they have a really interesting pricing strategy. The cost for SP Vitals is 1$/user/month, and never more than 10,000$ a year (USD). So even if you are a 5,000 company, you will only pay 10,000$ a year, so this can be really really interesting!

Conclusion

In this blog post we have looked at SharePoint Vitals, a tool that allows you to see detailed analytics on your SharePoint On-Premises or online environments. SharePoint Vitals has a lot of information about every aspect of your SharePoint usage, and also has some reports that could not be seen by a tool that is not integrated with SharePoint such as the User History, accessed documents by user, where a user is logged in from and so on. Furthermore, one of the cool things of SharePoint Vitals is that all the results are real time, so you do not need to wait 12 or 24 hours to get the latest analytics.

If you’re looking for an analytics solution for SharePoint 2013/2016 or SharePoint Online, make sure you check out SharePoint vitals! Click the banner below to learn more!

SharePoint Vitals Review

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Community Blast Provided and Sponsored by Lanteria. This information was provided by vendor for community education on the Lanteria HR referral program

We’ve already told you about Lanteria HR – the SharePoint based software that is helping companies automate their HR management. In short, instead of reinventing the wheel, a company can implement this ready-to-use software tailored to the needs of HR. You can view some of the reviews done by Vlad on his blog:

Right now, Lanteria HR offers a referral partner program. We’ve noticed that most of our new clients want to thank the people who recommended our product, and thus we’ve decided to encourage and motivate our brand advocates to spread the word.

Lanteria HR

How much can you earn?

Let’s take a story about a totally fictional SharePoint consultant named Jeremy. Jeremy is a dedicated reader of this blog and a SharePoint specialist. He is an independent consultant who works with a horticulture goods company from Cleveland. There are five hundred employees in the company providing Ohio with potting soil and various fertilizers. They use SharePoint for almost everything as their seasonal business requires the fastest and the most efficient solution.

So, Jeremy suggests they improve their HR processes by using Lanteria HR. The total cost of the license fee, implementation and first-year maintenance and support for a company of their size is $65,542. The referral commission is 10% of total project cost, which means that Jeremy will get roughly $6,500. Jeremy spends it on a trip to Europe.

So how do I join?

For many companies, choosing a new software solution may take weeks and even months in some cases. But the reason they choose our software was your recommendation, and we respect that. So every time you say “Hey, why don’t you save some time and use Lanteria HR for that?”, don’t forget to submit a lead at the Lanteria partner portal to obtain a referral number for this potential client. Then you can earn big! Click the logo below to go to the new Partner Portal and learn more!

Lanteria HR referral program

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Community Blast Provided and Sponsored by Datapolis. This information was provided by vendor for community education on Datapolis Workflow 365

Datapolis (www.datapolis.com), a leading provider of business software announced today the launch of a new tool for creating and managing business processes in Office 365.

Datapolis Workflow 365

Datapolis Workflow 365 is a tool which enables the user to easily create advanced workflows in Office 365. The heart of the solution is a graphical workflow designer based on State workflow architecture, which provides a great environment for creating even the most complex workflows.

Datapolis Workflow 365

No programming knowledge is required to create Datapolis Workflow 365 workflows. Thanks to a clear graphical interface for building processes, the solution is understandable both for business users and IT Pro.

By separating the business logic from the rest of the process, the workflow diagram is very legible, making it easy to implement changes and optimize existing processes.

Datapolis Workflow 365

The unique feature of Datapolis Workflow 365 is the very intuitive user interface that is fully integrated with Office 365 interface so that participation in the process does not require any prior training.

Datapolis Workflow 365 significantly enhances Office 365 business value as a collaborative environment. With the DW365, you can quickly and easily organize your document flow and tasks in an organization that uses Office 365 on everyday basis” – Pawel Bujak, CEO Datapolis

Trial of Datapolis Workflow 365 is available in the Microsoft Office Store: https://store.office.com/en-us/app.aspx?assetid=WA104380999

About Datapolis

Datapolis is the SharePoint workflow company with hundreds of customers across all continents serviced by a network of partners. Datapolis delivers innovative software which empowers organizations to automate business processes.

Please visit www.datapolis.com for more information.

Datapolis Workflow 365

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This August, I will be traveling to Australia to speak at the Digital Workplace Conference in Sydney!

Digital Workplace Conference

While this is the 8th Digital Workplace Conference (previously known as the SharePoint Conference), it’s my first time attending it and I am really excited to talk about a few awesome topics!

My first session will be on SharePoint Hybrid, for the business user and it’s called What do YOU get from SharePoint Hybrid? There has been a lot of buzz about SharePoint hybrid recently, and a recent study has shown that half of the companies using SharePoint On-Premises currently plan to go in a hybrid model in the next three years. Here is the description:

Every time you see a blog post about SharePoint 2016, you see the word hybrid. But what exactly is a hybrid infrastructure and what features does the business user get?

In this session, we will look at SharePoint Hybrid from a business user point of view to understand what features we get out of it. We will look at Hybrid Team Sites, Hybrid Search, Hybrid Extranet sites and more!

My next session is on something that I love a lot which is PowerShell for Office 365! In this session, you will learn how to connect to Office 365 by using PowerShell, and how to manage your users and licenses, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online as well as Office 365 Groups! This session doesn’t have a lot of slides, but it has a lot of fun demos so for sure you won’t be bored!

Lastly, I have a Pre-Conference workshop on how to automate your business processes by using SharePoint! The Official Title is Automate your Business Processes with Tools from Today and Tomorrow.
Here is the description:

One of the big advantages of implementing SharePoint in the enterprise is process automation. By using Out-of-the-box workflows as well as easy to create custom SharePoint Designer Workflows, Power Users are able to automate processes, avoid repetitive tasks, and boost team productivity.

Furthermore, new tools such as Flow and PowerApps (which are exclusive to Office 365 at the moment) allow you to easily create workflows and forms, and integrate SharePoint with other systems.

In this full-day workshop, you will learn how to use SharePoint Designer, Flow and PowerApps to automate your business processes in SharePoint On-Premises and SharePoint Online.

Hope to see you there! Check out the conference detail and all the other amazing speakers at: http://www.dwcau.com.au/

Digital Workplace Conference

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