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!

Learn best practices for managing and administering #SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business #BRK3028

28 Sep 2016
September 28, 2016

In this session, learn how to manage your Microsoft SharePoint Online (SPO) and Microsoft OneDrive for Business environments in the browser (the SharePoint Online Admin Center) and by using the SharePoint Online Management Shell (a.k.a., Microsoft PowerShell for SPO). We cover numerous scenarios and demos for both seasoned SharePoint admins and new SPO admins.

By Chris Bortlik (@cbortlik)

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Here are my session notes:

SharePoint Online Admin 101

Site Collection Provisioning, Service Level Settings, hybrid, PowerShell will be discussed in this session.

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Control external sharing

Restrictive on service level, override on site level

So in other words, global SharePoint settings are do not allow sharing with externals, but allow it on specific sites only if you need it. For anonymous sharing, Chris suggests to let the links expire, otherwise its hard to track whats still shared.

You can even create alerts if someone shared content via anonymous links with email notification – or bcc an email account if someone shares something (Powershell):

Restrict access

There are new capabilities to restrict access to data sitting on the Microsoft platform, limit by network, domain join and more – some of them require Azure AD Premium. Need to fiddle with this, a client wanted to block specific clients from sync and access.

Prevent data loss

Multitude of different options here, from stop sync to Azure RMS / IRM – different requirements require different solutions.

Employee termination and retention

As we heard yesterday, files in OneDrive can now be retained for up to 10 years, that does not require a license.

Assign new permissions in the admin portal or forced sign-out (e.g. lost notebook or cell).

Reporting

Audit events got a major update for SharePoint online and they can be queried with powershell. There are some usescases when this could be come handy for my clients (legal stuff & eDiscovery or people leaving the company).

References

There is a pretty cool workbook that guides you through core questions: https://blogs.office.com/2015/11/23/announcing-office-365-customer-security-considerations-preview/

Chris has a lot of stuff on his blog: https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/cbortlik/

Summary

Lots of demos (could not catch everything here, go watch the recording!), lots of insights and tips & tricks – I need to dive deeper afterwards.

The shown powershell scripts are super handy, I totally liked the style of the session!

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