All posts in SharePoint 2013

I was working on a project to automate Office 365 Group creation using Microsoft Flow and a custom system. When trying to convert the title from another system , which could include !@#$%^? and a bunch of other characters, I had to find a way to convert that string, into an URL friendly string with Microsoft Flow,  At the time of writing this blog, there was no regex support in Microsoft Flow, so we need to get a bit more creative!

How to convert string to URL friendly string with Microsoft Flow

One function that we have access to in Microsoft Flow, is the replace function. The Replace function allows you to replace a character by another one, in our case, we need to replace for example a hashtag (#) by nothing! While this is done one character at a time, you can also nest them, so while not pretty, you would have all the info in a single function. In the example below, I strip the Title dynamic property of the Trigger of the following characters: : % # * < > ? / ” @ & = / ; |) \ [ ] ~ { } ^ ! , .   

PS: The widget below has a “copy” button in the toolbar to make sure you copy it all!

I have created a quick Flow over here in a completely different system, just to show you the results! First, let’s create the simple Flow, three easy steps – Trigger – Create a Variable with the Friendly URL (Optional) – Update the Item

How to convert string to URL friendly string with Microsoft Flow

The value of the Variable is the formula we have above and remember to update it with the actual string that you want fixed! If you copy paste it from the blog, it will fix the Title property of the Trigger.

How to convert string to URL friendly string with Microsoft Flow

And here is the result:

How to convert string to URL friendly string with Microsoft Flow

As you see, my previous example did not take out the spaces, if you want a formula that takes out the spaces, you can use the following one!

Here is the result on the second item:

How to convert string to URL friendly string with Microsoft Flow

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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I have been blogging about learning resources for a while and one of the best ways to learn from the experts is to attend in person conferences! Since Valo Intranet is sponsoring , we have a few passes to give away! There are two contests going on,  the first one is to simply retweet this tweet by Valo Intranet!  The Second one is trough this blog post and gives you the chance to win three Full Access Conference Passes to SPTechCon Boston 2018! To enter you simply have to put your name and email (They will not be shared with any 3rd parties unless you’re the winner of the pass), and you can get bonus entries if you follow @vladcatrinescu on Twitter and like the Absolute SharePoint page on Facebook! Furthermore you can tweet about the giveaway every day and get 9 bonus entries for every time you tweet!

The prize only includes the conference pass and not any travel costs or anything else. Just the conference pass! Here is a small paragraph about the conference

SPTechCon: The SharePoint & Office 365 Conference is returning to Boston, MA, August 26 – 29, 2018! SPTechCon is a training, problem solving, and networking event for those who are working with SharePoint, OneDrive, and Office 365.  This includes the varied uses and approaches to managing SharePoint; On-Premises (2013 thru 2019), Hybrid Variations, and SharePoint Online.  Sessions at SPTechCon are presented by today’s most approachable and knowledgeable instructors.   Find solutions to your current environment and seek ways to continue to Work Smarter, Collaborate, and Increase Productivity!

Good Luck, and if you are at SPTechCon, make sure to visit me at the Valo Booth to say hello :)!

Click here to view this promotion.
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Product overview by Vlad Catrinescu – requested by harmon.ie, but thoughts are my own.
All proceeds from this review will be used to fund my 100-mile Pelotonia bike ride to end cancer.

Information Overload is an increasing problem both in the workplace, and in life in general. Information Overload is when you are trying to deal with more information than you can process to make sensible decisions. The result is that you either delay making decisions, or that you make the wrong decisions. And let’s be honest, we all feel a kind of information overload because of all the sources of information we have today. Even if we talk only Office 365, we need to look for information in SharePoint, Outlook, Groups, Planner, Teams, etc! With it’s latest release called harmon.ie attempts to solve this problem and allow users to focus on work rather than tools. harmon.ie 10 delivers your SharePoint, OneDrive, and Teams documents, Outlook emails and calendar invites, plus Office 365 app notifications directly to your Outlook window… organized by topics, the way you think. The harmon.ie team gave me an early version of their newest release to test, so let’s see what the features are!

harmon.ie 10

Having reviewed harmon.ie in the past, I will focus only on the newest features in harmon.ie 10! If you want a tour of the functionality that was already there in the past, check out this review: Review of harmon.ie One: Improve SharePoint Collaboration.

Harmon.ie 10 Overview

Similar to previous harmon.ie Outlook clients, harmon.ie 10 is a sidebar on the right side of your Outlook window. What is new in this version, is that the harmon.ie team now uses the power of the Microsoft Graph to analyze all of the data in Office 365 that you have access to, and group those by different topics. Right now, in this preview version of harmon.ie 10 , the sidebar is not yet responsive, so as you can see , some of the topics are cut off, but the team told me it will be fixed before this becomes final.

harmon.ie 10

Once you clock on a certain topic, you get an overview of the number of items of each type, that are related to that certain topic. In the US Staffing example below, harmon.ie found one e-mail, one document and one calendar event!


Clicking on it again, you can see the different documents, events and e-mails relating to this topic, and clicking on them will automatically open them using the native Microsoft application assigned to it, or for documents, using Office Online and opening them directly from SharePoint, or OneDrive for Business.


Harmon.ie 10 also allows you to search for different topics to quickly access the different items associated with the topics that you’re interested in!


As mentioned previously, those features are added on top of the other great features included in the harmon.ie Outlook sidebar such as SharePoint integration ,easy drag and drop of documents and e-mails, and quick collaboration directly from Outlook.

Conclusion

You depend on Office 365 apps to get work done, but with the number of different apps, and different way of collaborating today, it’s tough to keep up with everything that is happening in your organization. The latest release of the harmon.ie sidebar for Outlook called harmon.ie 10 uses the Microsoft Graph, and machine learning to group information the way you think, by using topics, customers, project names, so you can work the way you think, and not by focusing on the different apps in Office 365.

I loved the idea of grouping information by topics, instead of apps and it made it a lot easier to find information proactively, rather than search for it in the different applications part of my tenant. The harmon.ie version I had is an early release beta, and while the “logic” functionality worked well, and it was able to find/group different items, the fact that the pane was not fully responsive made it hard sometimes so have full control over the topics window. This should not be too much of a big issue for customers as this should be fixed before it gets full released.

If you want to try this in your own tenant to see how it can help your users increase productivity and adoption of office 365, register for an early preview over here: https://pages.harmon.ie/harmonie10-early-access-registration.html or click the banner below!

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I am excited to announce that my second book is now available for pre-order on Amazon and this one is called “Essential PowerShell for Office 365”. Here are some details about the book:

Take your Office 365 skills to the next level. Master PowerShell for Office 365 to stay competitive in today’s world of highly sought after cloud management skills. With expert guidance, IT pros will learn how to leverage the muscle of PowerShell to automate many advanced administrative tasks not otherwise accessible in the Office 365 Admin Center. You will discover how to unlock configuration options and automate tasks in order to free up valuable time and resources.

This book is your companion to administering Office 365 with PowerShell. You will learn time-saving techniques such as how to streamline administrative tasks, and how to manage users, licenses, and Office 365 services. Expert and MVP Vlad Catrinescu introduces each chapter with an overview and basic fundamentals, such as how to connect to your required service in Office 365, so that you have a solid foundation for success. Benefit from learning the theory behind PowerShell for Office 365 and put your knowledge to practice with numerous hands-on code examples.

Essential PowerShell for Office 365

What You’ll Learn

  • Manage users in bulk
  • Export data such as user lists and groups
  • Create and manage Office 365 groups
  • Manage Exchange online distribution lists, mailboxes, and contacts
  • Configure Skype for Business settings
  • Perform compliance searches directly from PowerShell

Who This Book Is For

Any IT pro who needs to manage Office 365 or one of its services such as Exchange, SharePoint, or Skype for Business. Readers should have a basic knowledge of PowerShell and the Office 365 service they want to manage.

How can I get it?
Get it on Amazon at the following links:

Or you can also find it at Apress over here: https://www.apress.com/us/book/9781484231289#aboutBook

I really hope that this book will come in useful for you, especially as more organizations are moving to the cloud, being able to manage your Office 365 tenant using both using the UI for basic stuff, and PowerShell for advanced stuff will be a key skill! Let me know if you bought the book, and please share this with your networks!

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Later this month I will be heading over to San Francisco to speak at IT/Dev Connections 2017! It’s the first time I will be speaking at this event, and I am really excited to speak there with other very talented speakers such as Liam Cleary, Andrew Connell, Max Fritz, Daniel Glenn, Gokan Ozcifci and more!

IT/Dev Connections in San Francisco

Here is what I will be speaking on:

Full Day Workshop: SharePoint 2016: Design, Deploy, Configure and Manage a Stable and Performant SharePoint On-Premises or Hybrid Farm (With Gokan Ozcifci)

In this full day workshop, IT Professionals will learn how to install and configure SharePoint Server 2016 per Microsoft’s best practices, and how to adapt them to their client’s budget. Microsoft SharePoint Server 2016 provides a broad array of hybrid capabilities enabling you to cloud-accelerate your on-premises deployment. Learn more about the capabilities in SharePoint Server 2016 and how to best implement hybrid scenarios. In this workshop you’ll learn about: – A comprehensive introduction into SharePoint 2016 architecture. – The whole new Concept in Server Roles (with the MinRole Concept) and with Architectural possibilities in Hybrid deployments. – Guidance, Best Practices and lessons learned from the field covering MinRole, high availability and common topologies scenarios. – A clear focus on patterns, features, stacks and deployment techniques, providing useful information to understand how and when to implement hybrid scenarios with Microsoft Office 365

General Session: Integrating Office Online Server with SharePoint and Exchange

Office Online Server (formerly known as Office Web Apps) lets users view and edit Office Documents directly in the browser, without having to download them locally. It also lets them use the Durable Links function in SharePoint Server 2016. And since Excel Services isn’t part of SharePoint 2016 anymore, Office Online Server is required to use Business Intelligence features in SharePoint Server 2016. On the Exchange side, Office Online Server lets users view Office Documents in the Outlook on the web with high fidelity. When you integrate the three, SharePoint, OOS and Exchange 2016, you can use Modern Attachments On-Premises. This session will cover Office Online Server, best practices on how to install it and how to design an Office Online Server Farm. You’ll also learn how to properly integrate it with SharePoint Server 2016 and Exchange Server 2016.

General Session: Manage Office 365 with PowerShell

Take your Office 365 Administrator skills further by learning to automate repetitive tasks using the magic of PowerShell. In this session, you will learn how to use PowerShell for Office 365, and we will focus on SharePoint online. A basic understanding of PowerShell is recommended to get the most out of this session!

Panel: ATE: Ask the Experts – Enterprise Collaboration Track

This is your chance to get all your questions answered before heading back to work from IT/Dev Connections 2017! Join this session to hammer our expert panel with your burning questions and solve your biggest issues.

I hope to see as many of you as possible there, and if you didn’t register yet, they are running a Flash Sale with 250$ off until October 8th with code EX250OFF! Check out the full conference details at: http://itdevconnections.com/dc17/Public/Enter.aspx

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Vlad at Microsoft Ignite!

Categories: SharePoint 2013
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Are you going to be at Microsoft Ignite in only two weeks in Orlando? If you are, I am really looking forward to seeing you during the conference, or at one of the numerous after-hours event that are planned. This year will be my first time speaking at Microsoft’s big conference so this will for sure be a very special Ignite for me!

Microsoft Ignite

I will be giving two Expo Hall sessions on the Thursday, and for those of you who don’t know what the Expo Hall sessions are, it’s basically 20-minute sessions so all the awesome content I want to share with you will have to fit in only 20 minutes. The first session that I have is THR2058: Five cool things you can do with Windows PowerShell on Office 365. Here is the Description:

As an IT professional, you have probably heard 1,000 times that you need to master PowerShell to do your job efficiently. This is even more accurate when we talk about Office 365! While the Office 365 Admin Center exists, more advanced administration tasks can only be done by PowerShell. PowerShell will also allow you to automate boring repetitive tasks so you can focus on things that will really help your users become more productive. In this short 20-minute session, we show you five awesome things you can do with PowerShell and Office 365.

If you didn’t find this on your agenda yet, you can find it over here: https://myignite.microsoft.com/sessions/55247?source=sessions or by searching for THR2058 in the agenda builder!

My second session which is more SharePoint focused is THR1019: What do YOU get from SharePoint Hybrid? Which you can find on the agenda over here: https://myignite.microsoft.com/sessions/55213?source=sessions

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 short 20-minute session, we look at SharePoint Hybrid from a business user point of view to understand what features we get out of it. We look at Hybrid Team Sites, Hybrid Search, Hybrid Extranet sites and more!

If I don’t see you at one of my sessions, I will probably be hanging out in the expo hall most of the time, and for the after hour events, make sure you check out The Ultimate Ignite 2017 Party List by Nick Brattoli on Collab365 Community for a bunch of great parties with the invite links!

Looking forward to see all of you at Ignite!

Microsoft Ignite

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Making ESPC as Easy as 1.2.3

Categories: SharePoint 2013
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This November I will be speaking at the European SharePoint Conference (Also known as ESPC)  in Dublin! I have a session on How to design a SharePoint 2016 Infrastructure, as well as a Full Day Workshop with my good friend Gokan Ozcifci. Here are a few tips from the conference organizers at how to get the best out of the conference!


Europe’s Largest SharePoint, Office 365 & Azure Conference is approaching fast. Here’s a few handy tips on how to make the most of your time at the conference.

  1. Find out who’s going  

    Check out Twitter #ESPC17 to find out who’s going or visit the ESPC17 delegates page. If you would like to be added to this page, email your image and details to sarah@sharepointeurope.com There’s no better time to network with your peers, connect with new prospects, or touch base with customers than ESPC17. Don’t bank on running into them at the conference, reach out to them before and arrange a meeting.

  2. Plan Ahead
    Take a look at the conference schedule and decide the sessions and tutorials you would like to attend. Take note of their time so you can plan your meetings accordingly. If you are travelling with co-workers, split up and attend different sessions. You can swap notes after, allowing your company to get the most out of the conference.
  3. Learn
    Before the session, think of some questions you would like the answers to. Don’t be afraid to ask them during the Q&A, or alternatively go up and have a chat with the speaker afterwards. It is also important to take notes. A good practice is to write down the 3 most important takeaways from each session.
  4. Socialise
    With 2,000 people from the SharePoint, Office 365 & Azure community estimated to attend ESPC17, it is worth going to the after parties (The Black & White Party at the Guinness Storehouse on Wednesday 15th) and the many other great side-line and networking sessions, you never know who you’ll meet. Swap ideas, get advice and make those all-important contacts. Don’t be afraid to go up to a speaker or blogger and introduce yourself – they expect this at a conference.
  5. Share what you learn
    To capture maximum value for you and your company, schedule time to share what you’ve learned and even better, to go ahead and implement, as soon as you get back to the office. Organise an informal meeting with your colleagues and managers and share important takeaways from the conference.

Still haven’t made up your mind? Then visit 10 reasons to attend ESPC17 to see why you should be there. Then book your ticket today. Use coupon code ESPC17Speak on checkout to avail of a further 10% discount.

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Microsoft just published a new support article stating that you cannot use calculated fields to display HTML anymore. I know a lot of people were using this to for example show KPIs, or do some conditional formatting. This change was announced on June 13th 2017 and taking effect as of June 13th 2017 , so not giving companies a lot of time before things start breaking … however an Administrator can open a support ticket and extend this functionality until September 10th , when this will completely stop working.

For SharePoint On-Premises, Microsoft will include a new Web-Application level setting in SharePoint 2013/2016 starting in the July 2017 PU which will allow you to either enable or block this feature at the Web Application level. Here is the full announcement:

Calculated Fields

In Microsoft SharePoint lists and libraries, calculated fields that are running in the classic UI mode can be used to display results based on Excel-like formulas. This is a long standing capability, and is documented in Calculate data in lists or libraries.

Some users have added HTML markup or script elements to calculated fields. This is an undocumented use of the feature, and we will begin blocking execution of custom markup in calculated fields in SharePoint Online from June 13, 2017 onwards. We are also providing this as a configurable option for on-premises in SharePoint Server 2016 and SharePoint Server 2013 via the June 2017 and subsequent Public Updates.

More Information

SharePoint Online

We are changing calculated fields to escape special characters. In some circumstances, this mean that calculated fields that contain any unsupported markup will not display any value. Instead, they’ll be blank in the list view.

This change will take effect on June 13, 2017. Administrators can request an extension through September 10, 2017 at the latest. During this time, special characters will not be escaped in calculated fields. This request can be submitted through Microsoft Support. However, beginning September 10, 2017, all unsupported markup will be ignored.

SharePoint Server 2013 and SharePoint Server 2016

The June 2017 Public Update (PU), and subsequent PUs will include a new web application setting that’s called CustomMarkupInCalculatedFieldDisabled. This setting will enable an on-premises administrator to configure whether or not calculated fields in a given web application will escape special characters.

Here’s the default behavior for existing and new web applications at the time of the update installation.

Web app type Default setting
Newly created web app after the update is installed Escape special characters in calculated fields
Existing web app after the update is installed Don’t escape special characters in calculated fields

You can also view it on Microsoft Support Here: Handling HTML markup in SharePoint calculated fields. Does this change affect you or your users? How do you plan to go around it for those different needs? Will you be requesting an extension until September 10th?

Share the info the comments so we can all help each other and make sure to share this on Social Media so your colleagues will also be aware of the change!

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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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In October, last year, I was really lucky to be part of the first aOS tour ever in South Africa, when we travelled between Cape Town and Durban in the AvePoint Red Bus. It was an awesome experience, and we had the chance to visit some smaller communities in George and Port Elizabeth and share our SharePoint Knowledge. Here is a picture of the awesome crew from the South Africa road trip!

The South African aOS road trip 2016

In February 2017, I will participate in another aOS tour, this time a bit closer to home. The aOSCanadian Tour is a free conference taking place in four different Canadian cities, over the span of five days. Starting February 6th 2017 we will tour from Quebec City, to Montreal, Ottawa all the way down to Toronto with some of the most influential speakers from Europe and Canada.

aOS Canadian Tour

I will be presenting in all 4 cities my session called What do YOU get from SharePoint Hybrid?. This session is aimed at everyone who wants to know, what do we actually get from a hybrid SharePoint deployment. 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!

aOS Canadian Tour

You can register here for every event:

Hope to see you there!

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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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We’re now in the middle of the Black Friday & Cyber Monday weekend in North America, and every company is putting out some crazy deals out there for this special occasion! Luckily, Pluralsight which is one of the best online on-demand training providers is also having a super deal, allowing new and existing customers to get a 1 Year Subscription at only 199$ USD , so 100$ or 33% off!

Pluralsight Black Friday

This is a great investment to keep your skills up to date and to learn new ones! Check out the promo on the Pluralsight Website. If you’re interested in learning cool stuff about Office 365 and SharePoint 2016, click on the below banners to see my latest courses on those subject! Click on the banners to go to the course page!

Planning for SharePoint Server 2016: Physical Topology and Services

SharePoint Server 2016 brings a lot of changes to the Infrastructure Architecture, with new features such as MinRole and Microsoft Identity Manager. You’ll learn how to plan your SharePoint 2016 Infrastructure to answer your business needs.

Planning for SharePoint Server 2016: Logical Architecture and Integrations

This course will teach you how to plan your SharePoint 2016 logical architecture, SharePoint farm security, and how to plan for integration with Exchange Server 2016 and Project Server 2016.

Implementing a Hybrid SharePoint 2013/2016 Infrastructure

SharePoint hybrid infrastructures are gaining popularity, so SharePoint IT professionals need to prepare. You’ll learn how to configure a hybrid infrastructure in either SharePoint 2013 or SharePoint 2016 to allow your users to be more productive.

PowerShell for Office 365

Take your Office 365 Administrator skills further by learning to automate repetitive tasks as well as access advanced settings using the magic of PowerShell.

Follow me on Social Media and Share this super promotion 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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