Archive for month: September, 2016

Learn how we move fast without breaking things by managing change in SharePoint Online #BRK2297

30 Sep 2016
September 30, 2016

Session with Zohar Raz (SharePoint Group Manager) and Lincoln DeMaris (Principal Program Manager) how to manage change in SharePoint Online.

Learn how SharePoint is introducing change faster than ever before, while still being extra sensitive to customer readiness and customer feedback. We are heavily investing in our technology to enable organizations to control and prepare for the changes in the experience. Come learn your role in this cloud evolution and what resources we provide to make you successful.

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Here are my notes:

Changes to SharePoint Online

Massive updates and new feature have been rolled out to SharePoint Online this year, most changes to the product ever. The list since last ignite is really huge and they come in ripples instead of waves (as for onPrem).

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And once they make it out of the lab, it will be tested in multiple stages before it arrives at the first customer (first release ring):

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Interesting to see how they roll out updates and implemented “kill switches” – and all that with PowerShell.

Another thing is this slide  -its from a PowerBI dashboard were Microsoft monitors service requests and can react to early feedback:

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It looks like more than 40% of all service requests in the first releease ring are because of OneDrive for Business…!!!

Modern UI Philosophy

Change fast and early. Lincoln explained that the goal of the modern UI is to optimize the experience for all customers with the new UI while still having the classic experience available.

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The modern document library was rolled out and Microsoft learned a lot.

We got mixed feedback on this (Lincoln)

Oh yes, I can imagine…

Since initial roll out (6th April) there have been rolled out there was a massive wave of feedback.

Things that they wont do anymore:

  1. Massive change without upfront notification
  2. Roll out to all of the first release customers in one batch
  3. Putting a big banner to show everybody that there is a change

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Update awareness

The following describes what we should do be up to date and be ahead of the frequent changes :

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Provide feedback

Uservoice and the feedback options in the message center are the places to provide feedback.

Questions from the audience

Q: How can we get notified once a feature arrives on my tenant? A: Currently not possible, investigation how to implement a kind of “tenant changelog” are running.

Q: How will breaking changes be announced ahead and how much time will we have to adjust? A: The intention is to give you months if not years to adjust.

Summary

Interesting facts and insights in this very last Ignite 2016 session – keep the updates coming, embrace the change!

Go watch the recording once its available!

Build business apps for Office 365 – InfoPath, PowerApps, Flow and more #BRK2051

29 Sep 2016
September 29, 2016

Whats the story post Infopath and how to build business apps with PowerApps? – in this session Chris McNulty (@cmcnulty2000) and  Kerem Yuceturk will tell us!

No-code and low-code applications have been essential tools in Microsoft SharePoint for a long time, but we’ve added many other new tools to your palette. We review the roadmap and best practices for InfoPath, SharePoint Designer, Access Web Apps, Flow, PowerApps and more.

Start with a demo!

Always good to start with a demo – in this case Kerem started with a “vacation request” application that I have seen a couple of time in my career, too – but this time with PowerApps on a cell phone.

So we saw Corporate Design with a Logo and style, date pickers, text fields, a calculated field that shows the amount of days between the selected days – once submitted the status field (no visible from the edit form) was set and submitted to a SharePoint list. So that one triggered a Microsoft Flow to send out a simple approval mail to approve/reject the request.

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Basic stuff – but a very promising start of this session!

Microsoft Forms

EDU only, no integration to SharePoint, no designer.

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PowerApps

Connect to onPrem data via a bridge that relays your requests. In that way you can access and store data to SharePoint 2013/2016 onPrem.

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Flow

Interact with tons of services from Twitter, SalesForce, SharePoint or simple stuff like sending emails. Dozens of templates are already available:

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PowerApps Designer

The designer is a browser based (Chrome shown) to create forms.

When the PowerApp designer is started, 3 views aka screens (Browse, Edit, Details) will be created with all the fields that are existing. As of now you cannot create new fields because the SharePoint list is the master. Drag and Drop of controls, realignment – everything is there.

Search Control: You can bind a complex expression to it similar to what is possible in Excel. Here a filter condition was shown to only return items of the current user. There is an autocomplete feature for the expressions.

Controls: We saw textboxes, calendars with binding to different datasources.

Expressions & Binding: That looks powerful. You can even combine expressions like “open new form, then go to a view”.

Conditional formatting: Done with expressions

External validation & logic: Currently Azure Functions or webservices are possible. NO CODE-BEHIND and thats AWESOME.

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Flow Designer

After setting up the form, Kerem added a simple workflow.

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There are auto completes available if the action needs inputs e.g. from the submitted list item.

Connections: Interesting concept to link to onPrem environments through gateways. Need to fiddle with that.

Pricing & Licensing

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Roadmap

More controls for images and attachments – multi-value fields

Flow integration for OneDrive and Document libraries

adhoc start for selected items

Embedding of PowerApps in new SharePoint pages

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GA date is not yet available:

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Further notes

Because I attended a theater session about that and crawled through the expo, I asked the experts addtional questions:

Multi Language support: is on the roadmap, implementation details were not exposed but it sounded almost like resource files.

Repeating fields: is on the roadmap. Apparently my question how the repeating data is stored in the list was not answered.

Summary

The expectations for the business applications on top of SharePoint are highest! The business productivity part of SharePoint is what made the platform so great and we need to see a modern solution for forms, requests and all the business needs.

This session was a great start that gave me confidence that PowerApps could be a great successor for Infopath – and luckily they do not try to seek feature parity with Infopath!

Cool stuff, watch the session once its online!

Deploy and provision best practices with Microsoft SharePoint Server 2016 #BRK3035

29 Sep 2016
September 29, 2016

Microsoft SharePoint Server 2016 provides a new suite of IT capabilities to drive improvements in both scale and resiliency. Learn the best practices to deploying and provisioning SharePoint Server 2016 with these capabilities in mind.

A session with Todd Klindt (@toddklindt) and Jason Himmelstein (@sharepointlhorn) – this will be super good!

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Here are my notes:

MinRole

MinRole rocks and its actually self-healing, can be installed on 1 server (plus sql). Minimum MinRole multi-server farm requires 4, with high availability its 8. Thats a lot of (virtual) metal…

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HA and Distributed Cache: do a graceful shutdown, thats per-se no HA.

There is a big change in Feature Pack 1 to support smaller environments because that has been requested so many times – good stuff!

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So once the feature pack is out you can combine services and do front-end and distributed cache on one server, and application and search.

Cloud SSA / hybrid search

Indexing is the stuff when the monkey bangs the coconut on the ground to check whats inside (Todd Klindt)

Man, I will steal that quote.

Once you use it, you dont have to have a bigger topology – index is in the cloud – and enables you to externalize onPrem data repositories.

Test it on a test environment, setting up cloud search could have impact on provider hosted apps.

SQL Server Performance

Pre-Grow, Auto-Grow, Instant File Instantiation – all the stuff that speeds up your databases/sql – speeds up your SharePoint.

Load testing

Measure before you scale!

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Jason told a customer case, were they improved the wrong metrics (custom code, sql performance) to then later on identify that the bottleneck was the CPU. Now they rerun the performance test and compare them with the previous baseline. There is a recording how to setup loadtesting from SPC 2014.

Summary

High expectations, high quality session – Todd and Jason are always a great combo and do great infotainment!

Go watch the session once its available!