Tag Archives: Office Web Apps

Integrating Google Calendar Data with SharePoint using Microsoft Flow

It can be time consuming to update multiple calendars. You can now setup custom flows using Microsoft Flow to copy and edit data between the two calendars.

Google Calendar to SharePoint

In the example below, I create a Microsoft Flow to detect when a new Google Calendar item is added and then create a new item in a SharePoint calendar.

First of all, open Microsoft Flow.

Microsoft Flow

Select “Create from blank” to open the flow editor

Search for the correct trigger by typing “Google” into the search box. You should see “Google Calendar – When an event is added to a calendar”. We will use this trigger to detect when a new item is added to the Google calendar.

Google Calendar trigger

When prompted, sign into your Google account and allow access to the calendar.

We are now going to add another step to the flow to add the items into our SharePoint calendar. Click “New Step” and then Add an action.

New flow step

Search for “SharePoint – Create item”, add the URL and list name. This should load up all the calendar new item fields.

Click in each field and select the output from the previous step (the google calendar data). You may wish to populate the Title, Start Time, End Time, Location and Description.

New SharePoint calendar item

Select “Create flow” when you are ready to publish the new task. It can take a few seconds for the task to run once the Google calendar item has been added. You can check the progress and status of the task from the Flow site.

There are other things to consider when setting this up such as all day events, recurrence, editing items and deleting items. However, you should be able to extend the logic in the flow to handle these data types. Below is a video guide going through the process.



How to show SharePoint list data in a pivot table

List data inside SharePoint can be pulled into Excel as a data source which can in turn be embedded on a SharePoint page as a graphical representation of the SharePoint list data. Great way to spice up your SharePoint page with graphical content and the functionality is built into SharePoint online. It’s also available in SharePoint on-premises 2010, 2013 and 2016 if you have Office Web Apps configured or excel services enabled.

Excel graph on SharePoint page

First open excel and go to “Data” in the ribbon and “From other sources”, select “From OData Data Feed”.

import sharepoint list data to excel

Copy and paste the URL of the site adding “_vti_bin/listdata.svc” at the end.

connecting to sharepoint

Select your list when prompted and a pivot table will appear. Select a few columns to populate it with data.

Pivot chart in excel

Save the excel file and upload it into a SharePoint document library on your site.

Edit the page and add the “Excel Web Access” web part under the business data category.

adding excel web access web part to sharepoint page

In the web part properties select the excel document and optionally enter a named item such as a pivot chart or table. Your chart is now on the SharePoint page and can be configured to refresh at intervals. It’s a great way to visualise SharePoint list data easily without any third party products.

web part on page

Watch the video guide below for a more detailed explanation and guide.



Editing Office Documents Collaboratively in Office 365

If you are new to office 365 or are not aware of this, editing documents simultaneously is a great feature and surprisingly easy to use. You may be used to collaborating on documents using Office on your desktop with the files stored on shares but one of the problems in the older versions of Office was documents being locked for editing by other users. Of course if you require documents to be locked for editing, you can enable checking in and checking out of documents to get the same effect in office 365, however working collaboratively on documents now doesn’t mean you accidently save over the other persons work. Parts of the document lock to allow you to see what the other collaborators are doing in the document. This feature is available in Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote files.

It’s a really exciting way to collaborate and makes working in groups much quicker than having to edit the document one by one. As a teacher you could be working on a documents together as a department rather than passing around marksheets or assessment data for each teacher to enter one at a time. It’s also great for businesses having to work on long documents which require collaboration such as proposals.

My video below demonstrates the functionality.



Adding SharePoint Online navigation from XML using PowerShell CSOM

The following PowerShell scripts were created to enable me to deploy a custom navigation across multiple site collections. You can use managed metadata navigation as mentioned in my previous post. Unfortunately this method doesn’t allow the user to reuse managed metadata navigation across multiple site collections (no idea why, I thought that was one of the advantages of managed metadata navigation!).

So a new and clean way of doing this is to use the CSOM for PowerShell. The code below deletes every navigation node using the first function and then adds each item added to an XML file. A strength of using this method is it can be manipulated to add additional logic for adding links to particular site collections depending on the variables in the XML file. Hope you find this useful.

For SharePoint design, workflows, automation, training and support please visit my SharePoint consultancy site www.clouddesignbox.co.uk. We offer education and business SharePoint solutions and services.

Class site templates in SharePoint

As part of my work for Cloud Design Box, I have been working on class templates for student and teacher collaboration in SharePoint. My templates are using lots of display templates and are provisioned automatically from MIS data using the Salamander provisioning tools. Each template combines, out-of-the-box lists and libraries with custom content types, search web parts and JavaScript display templates. It’s available in both SharePoint on-premises and SharePoint Online. The video below goes through some of the features available for the class sites. Each class template is customised on a per school basis with a responsive design so that it will work on all devices.

For more information or an online demo, contact me by clicking here.



Using document templates in SharePoint (365 and on premise)

Document Library Templates

Each content type in a document library can be assigned an individual document templates. In the document library below, two different content types have been added, each with a different template.

Tony is here

To edit the word templates, open the site in SharePoint designer 2013.

SharePoint Designer

Open the document library.

SharePoint Designer

In the content types section, open the content type (in this case it is called Policy).

Content Types

In the ribbon select “Edit Document Template”.

Edit Template

This will allow you to create a dotx document which will be the template for this particular content type in this library. Once the template has been saved, it will be available as the main template for the content type.

Select Document

When users create a document using the Policy content type from the new menu, it will prompt them to enter a name for the new document.

Name Document

Please note that currently, the new templates will only open in Office Web Apps (online) if using Internet Explorer. Other browsers will prompt to open in the client application.

Office web Apps online

Troubleshooting Office Web App Farm Installations

New functionality in Microsoft Office Web Apps is the preview feature in search (see below). Setting up a separate farm for Office Web Apps is a great way to improve performance and make a scalable solution but it can bring up some new technical challenges. A couple of the most common issues are listed below.

Web Apps Search Preview

Do the internal and external URLs of the Web Apps Server resolve from the SharePoint server?

Test: https://webapps.contoso.com/hosting/discovery
Should return XML without certificate error

Test: https://WebAppServer01.contoso.com/hosting/discovery
Should return XML without certificate error

Certificate Error?

When setting up the web apps farm, a SAN certificate needs to be specified with both the internal URL and the external URL (see below). Wildcard or single host certificates will not work.

SAN Certificate
404 not found?

Both the SharePoint and Web App server need to see each other. Make sure that internal DNS is setup for the external web app address. Run ipconfig /flushdns on the SharePoint server. The SharePoint server needs to resolve both addresses internally.

The Web Apps server also needs to have an entry for the SharePoint site URL. Ensure that the SharePoint site has an internal DNS entry and flush the DNS on the web apps server. Browse to the SharePoint site on the web apps server to ensure that it can see the site without any certificate errors.

SharePoint 2013 Preview

SharePoint 2013 Preview

SharePoint 2013 Preview version was released this week. I took the chance to install it and get a first look at the new version of Microsoft’s powerful integration content management software.

Resources:
Install files can be found here
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30345
SharePoint 15 Training files
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-US/sharepoint/fp123606

SharePoint 2013 Preview Home
Install notes:

The install is very similar to SharePoint 2010. Hardware requirements seem to be exactly the same as the previous version. The only additional work I had to do was upgrade SQL Server 2008 R2 to service pack 1.

Office Web Apps:

Office web apps are no longer a service application within SharePoint. In fact they are now set up as a completely separate farm from SharePoint. This is because other products/services can integrate with this farm such as exchange. This also allows web app system usage and load to be completely independent from the SharePoint farm.

Mobile View:

The new version of SharePoint will have device detection to redirect to a mobile site. Also capable of mobile push notifications.

Sharing:

When a site is created, the site owner is encouraged to share the site using the share button at the top of the page. This seems to be more of a rewording/rearrangement of the site permissions page.

Apps:

Lists and Libraries have been renamed Apps. You can download additional Apps from the SharePoint Store (very original).

Apps
Ribbon:

The ribbon has been restyled slightly but the biggest improvement is in the performance of the ribbon appearing when editing the page. Waiting for the ribbon to load a tab in SharePoint 2010 no longer happens in SharePoint 2013, the ribbon slides out instantly and smoothly.

Ribbon

Of course there is far more to SharePoint 2013 than just this. I will post back when I have dug a little deeper.

Theming