November 16, 2017

Migrating InfoPath forms from SharePoint 2010 to Online

InfoPath was never built for SharePoint to begin with - that's the fact that many people miss. It was retrofitted to support SharePoint so that forms solutions could be used on SharePoint
There are limitations inside InfoPath that could not have grown with the SharePoint trajectory. Because of that, Microsoft turned to researching a Web-based solution for the design and creation of forms in SharePoint or somewhere online instead of doing it on a desktop, which InfoPath does
How InfoPath forms are used in SharePoint 2010?
When you customize the SharePoint List/Library with InfoPath form then one of the following solutions is implemented:

1. Customizing the default SharePoint List template(customizing the new, edit & display forms/views) - forms connected with "Item Content Type". This can be connected with SharePoint Designer to automate business process with workflows - example: Send emails
2. Customizing the SharePoint Form Library where "Form Content Type" is used to store the forms. User will fill the form and submits the form back to the form library
3. Advanced solutions involves two types of implementations
i) Using data connections - data from Database, Web Service (.asmx / WCF services), XML, etc.
ii) Using custom code/sandbox solutions - writing custom codes for custom events using C#/VB scripts
Problems/Issues/Known facts
1. There will be no InfoPath 2016, but InfoPath 2013 is filling that role.
SharePoint 2016 works with InfoPath 2013, which will be supported until 2026 as if it were part of Office 2016.
2. InfoPath 2013 is now available in the Microsoft Download Center.
3. Microsoft has provided guidance that the successor to InfoPath will be PowerApps, but with caveats: feature parity with InfoPath is not a goal, and InfoPath will still be preferred for some scenarios involving offline work and rich XML documents, for example.
4. Office 365 will support InfoPath browser forms in SharePoint Online ‘until further notice‘. There were indications that support might end one year after the release of Office 2016, but that date has now passed.
5. InfoPath browser forms with code do not work with the Managed Solutions Gallery (2013, 2016)6. InfoPath browser forms with code do not work on SharePoint Online. Reference: Removing Code-Based Sandbox Solutions in SharePoint Online
7. InfoPath browser forms do not work on mobile devices when SharePoint Online mobile view is enabled.
8. There are reports of problems using InfoPath 2013 with Outlook 2016 email.
9. Microsoft's Forms Preview is determined not to be InfoPath replacement
10. InfoPath form in SharePoint Online doesn’t support some web service data connection which are supported in SP 2010
This issue occurs because loopback protection is enabled in the SharePoint Online environment. Loopback protection must be disabled for InfoPath forms to be able to connect to a SharePoint Online web service. This works only when loopback protection is disabled. For security reasons, loopback protection is always enabled in SharePoint Online. This is a known limitation of InfoPath forms in the Office 365 SharePoint Online. But as confirmed by Microsoft. it is not possible to disable it due to security issue.
Error message when you connect an InfoPath form to a SharePoint Online web service: "An error occurred while connecting to a Web Service"
Only the following web services are supported:
 usergroup.asmx   GetUserCollectionFromGroup
 UserProfileService.asmx  GetUserProfileByName  (If you are using User Profile Service connections and classic authentication?  You might have to update rules/formatting to handle the claims usernames now that are standard in 2013/Online)
References: Microsoft on the Future of InfoPath
InfoPath 2010 features unavailable in Web browser forms
Microsoft's next steps/strategy
1. InfoPath 2013 will remain the latest version and no more new versions will be released
2. The guidance (from Microsoft) is that InfoPath will still be supported through 2026, which is a long time in terms of software technology.

3. Microsoft is going to deprecate SharePoint Designer, too, which I understand is used to build sites, workflows, create themes, page layouts and many other uses.
4. Microsoft's answer is that SharePoint Designer 2013 will work with SharePoint Server 2016, just like InfoPath 2013 will work with SharePoint Server 2016. This is good for SharePoint On-Premise users

5. For SharePoint Online (Office 365), Microsoft's answers are:
Microsoft Power Apps in place of InfoPath forms (Power Apps not a complete replacement/alternative to InfoPath forms but still this is an option available now)
Microsoft Flow in place of SharePoint Designer for workflows
The above features/additions are made keeping Cloud first and Mobile first strategy in the mind

Other Considerations
There are a couple things to think about when you’re complete. 
1. You’ve changed the version of SharePoint. If you’re upgrading say from Office 2010 to Office 2013 and InfoPath 2013 has some changes from 2010 to think about
2. Check all your data connections and ensure they work
Hopefully this allowed you to migrate a complex InfoPath list form from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013/Online with relative ease.
Happy Share(ing)Point! 

November 2, 2017

We can't do that for you because the file is no longer checked out or has been deleted

This error is an interesting scenario but so weird one which I faced recently while migrating SharePoint 2010 designer workflows to SharePoint Online.
Post migration, when I try to edit the workflow in designer I got the below error:

It clearly shows some configuration files are missing.
Hence I have navigated to All Files (from SharePoint Designer 2013) -> Workflows folder -> Workflow -> noticed only one file is migrated but other configuration XOML, XSD or XML files are missing.Now, logged in to the designer with the account which I migrated and found all these required files are Checked Out. When I try to check in the file then I get this error:
It is so confusing that you are not able to Check In the file even when you are SCA or have full control over the site or even if you have created the workflow.
After hours of confusion, finally found the file has having wrong file name or characters which SharePoint Online(Office 365) does not support. But this name format is supported in SharePoint 2010 version. Screenshot for reference.
Issue Fix:

Navigate to Workflows folder -> select the workflow name -> Right Click on the file -> Properties -> Remove the forward slash '/' -> Save -> Check in the file :)
Now, you should be able to edit the workflow in designer, save / publish it with no issues.
Thought this is worth sharing so that it saves someone's time!

October 8, 2017

Check if current user is member of a SharePoint group using JQuery

This code will help you to check if the current user is a member of a group.
Suppose you want to check if the current user is member of a Owners group or not. Just update the "grpName" variable value and run the code 😎
Steps to use the code
1. Use the Script Editor web part and add this code to check if a user is in a SP group 
2. Or use this code as a reference in a Content Editor web part
3. Use this script as a reference in a SharePoint custom list forms or in any SP pages
$(document).ready(function (e) {

    ExecuteOrDelayUntilScriptLoaded(IsCurrentUserMemberOfGroup, "sp.js");

function IsCurrentUserMemberOfGroup() {
    var grpName = "Site Owners";
    var userInGroup;
    var currentContext = new SP.ClientContext.get_current();
    var currentWeb = currentContext.get_web();

    var currentUser = currentContext.get_web().get_currentUser();

    var allGroups = currentWeb.get_siteGroups();

    var group = allGroups.getByName(grpName);

    var groupUsers = group.get_users();

    currentContext.executeQueryAsync(OnSuccess, OnFailure);

    function OnSuccess(sender, args) {

        var groupUserEnumerator = groupUsers.getEnumerator();
        while (groupUserEnumerator.moveNext()) {
            var groupUser = groupUserEnumerator.get_current();
            if (groupUser.get_id() == currentUser.get_id()) {
                userInGroup = true;
        if (userInGroup) {
            //alert("user exists in the group");
            //do some operation.

        else {
            //alert("user doestn't exist in the group");


    function OnFailure(sender, args) {
        //error message.
Happy coding!!!

October 3, 2017

Differences between Communication Sites and Modern Team Sites

Communication Sites
Modern Team Sites
Communication Sites are a convenient way for broadcasting or communicating information to wider audience  
Team Sites are sites created for users to work collaborate as a team
In Communication site, typically there are a small number of users and many readers
In a team site, most users contribute content and collaborate each other
There are 3 designs (Topic, Showcase and Blank) available for Communication Sites to choose from while site creation
There are no different designs available for Team sites to choose from while site creation
Communication Site are ready made from the get go for sharing information 
 Team sites are focused on Collaboration and backed by Office 365 Groups
No shared apps are created automatically when communication site is created
 A shared Documents, Calendar, One Note, Planner tasks board, mailbox is created automatically when a new modern team site is created
Office 365 groups are not automatically when communication site is created
Creating a Team Site automatically creates Office 365 groups
Communication Sites are private by default 
Modern Team Sites are public by default
While site creation, it does not prompt to add users/members to the site
While site creation, it automatically prompts to add additional owners, members
Default top navigation (Home, Documents, Pages and Site Contents) is added when new site is created 
There is no default top navigation
There is no left navigation in home page 
Traditional left navigation is created by default
Clicking on “Home” in the top menu just navigates to the home page instead of displaying more options
 Clicking on “Site Name” link opens a small context menu showing options to navigate to Home, Conversations, Calendar, Files, Notebook, Planner and Members. Also, it shows the numbers of members, option to leave group
There are no such options in Communication Sites
Team Sites show a summary of team members and a link to team conversations in the upper right-hand corner of the site navigation
The security groups are the more traditional SharePoint groups
It is Office 365 groups for permissions in modern team sites

See Also
Communication Sites in SharePoint Online
Modern Team Sites in SharePoint Online Explained

Please free to comment. Always. your comments help me to write more.πŸ˜ƒ Share this post to others if this helps you!πŸ˜‡
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October 1, 2017

Modern Team Sites in SharePoint Online Explained

Modern Team sites are Team Sites integrated with Office 365 groups and it provides options to collaborate better than before
When you create a modern team site in SharePoint Online, it automatically creates the O365 group, group email address, and ability to identify whether this site will contain sensitive data (privacy) and more new features.
The home page of a SharePoint Online modern team site gives you immediate visibility into site activity and important documents, with quick access to Office 365 Groups, its members and associated Office 365 apps.

Also, Modern Team Sites works seamless in Mobile apps as well. This way it increases the usability of SharePoint, collaborate on the go!!
DOWNLOAD this eBOOK from this link
See Also

This eBook has detailed information of each features of Modern Team Sites in SharePoint Online.
Your feedback, ratings are welcome!!  

September 29, 2017

Microsoft TechNet Guru Awards August 2017

Proud to share that awarded as TechNet Guru for August 2017 month. Article posted in SharePoint category.
TechNet link - Winners August 2017 
Articles link - SharePoint Online Communication Sites
Create Power BI report and publish in SharePoint

Are you interested in participating as well? Post your article in the below link to get a chance to win:
TechNet Guru Competitions - October 2017
Give a try and become Microsoft Tech Guru!! 😎

August 24, 2017

Microsoft TechNet Wiki Technical Guru Award July 2017

Proud to share that awarded as TechNet Guru for July 2017 month. Article posted in SharePoint category.
TechNet link - Winners July 2017 
Articles link - SharePoint: Lookup Columns
Are you interested in participating as well? Post your article in the below link to get a chance to win:
TechNet Guru Competitions - August 2017
Give a try and become Microsoft Tech Guru!! 😎

August 10, 2017

Create Power BI report and publish in SharePoint

In this article, we will learn how to create a report in Power BI using SharePoint List as a data source, using DAX (Data Analysis Expressions) in Power BI, publish the Power BI report to SharePoint Online, and Schedule Data Refresh. We will also learn how to use Power BI desktop tool which is used for designing reports in Power BI.
Articles in SharePoint Business Intelligence (BI) series: πŸ”—
Power BI in SharePoint Online
Creating reports using OData Feed in Power BI
Power View report in SharePoint
Display Power BI reports in SharePoint Online
1. SharePoint Online - Office 365 (applicable to SP 2016/2013)
2. Power BI - needs Power BI Pro License
3. Power BI for desktop - for designing the report
Create report using Power BI Desktop from SharePoint List as Data Source:
1. Let's use the same data Finance Sample Workbook from Power BI site for this example as well
2. Load the data in SharePoint List
3. Open the Power BI for desktop tool and sign in using your O365 ID & password
4. Click File -> New -> It should open the blank report
5. Click Get Data option from Home menu -> More -> Online Services -> SharePoint Online List as shown below:
6. Enter the SharePoint URL - just the site collection but not till List
7. Once you enter, select Microsoft account option from Anonymous, Windows, Microsoft account options displayed for authentication as shown below:
8. Once authenticated & connected, it will display all lists and library in the site collection. Select the List (which we loaded the Finance Sample excel work book) and either click edit to edit the columns or click Load to load the data to the Power BI
9. Important point to note is that we have loaded the Finance Sample Excel Workbook in to SharePoint List and now the data is connected to Power BI. If you notice the loaded data (columns Gross Sales, Sales Price, COGS, Profit related to cost) in Power BI are loaded as text instead of $$$ value in this example
10. Using Power BI, we can change the data type (NOTE: πŸ’‘changing the data type will affect the data refresh so it is a good practice to change the data type in the source or load the data at source with appropriate data type). For this example, I have changed the data type in Power BI for desktop. 
Option is Data section -> Modeling tab in Ribbon -> Data Type & Format as shown below:
 11. Loaded data and updated with data type is shown below:
12. In the above data loaded, we see the month, year are in a separate column, let's use DAX expression to combine them and display as Year - Month in a separate column. 
I have added a new column "Date" as shown below:
13. Once the data is loaded, fields section shows the column that can be added to report, also the fields which can be displayed as aggregate/sum and also the measure which we created (Date field in above step):
14. Now, it's time to add the charts in the report section. I have used Card, KPI, Line & Clustered Column Chart, Pie Chart, Line Chart as shown below:
Publish the report to SharePoint Online (Power BI Pro)
15. Now, it's time to publish the report to SharePoint Online πŸ˜ƒ 
First step is to publish the report to work space in Power BI site then to SP Online.
Log in to the Power BI site. In the above step, I have published the report to "My Workspace" section. Hence navigate to the My Workspace section in Power BI site -> Reports section (since this is published as report but not dashboard) -> click on the report ("Sales Report")
Now, click on the File -> click on select Embed in SharePoint Online preview as shown below. This will give the link to publish the Power BI report to SharePoint Online.
16. Now, time to integrate the report in SharePoint Online. In previous article, I have explained  about creating Communication Sites in SharePoint Online. In this site, create a page and add Power BI (preview) web part 
17. Now, name the page and publish the page. Below is the preview of the page and how the filter works in the chart according to the selection:
πŸ’‘ Embed in SharePoint Online is only available with Power BI Pro. Each user that views the report mush have a Power BI Pro license. If they do not have a Pro license, they will be prompted to sign-up to view the report.
18. Next one final step is "Data Refresh". Navigate to the Power BI site again -> Workspaces -> My Workspace -> Datasets -> select your report (Sales Report) -> Schedule Refresh button in Actions section to schedule the data refresh as shown below:
Apple Power BI App preview of the report
Granting Access to reports:
Embedding a report in SharePoint Online does not automatically give users permission to view the report in SharePoint site. The permissions to view the report are set within Power BI service itself. 
There are two ways to provide access to the report within the Power BI service. 
1. If you are using Office 365 Group to build your SharePoint Online team site, you list the user as a member of the app work space within the Power BI service. This will make sure that users can view the contents of that group. For more information, see Create and distribute an app in Power BI. πŸ”—
2. Alternatively, you can grant users access to your report by doing the following.
Add a tile from the report to a dashboard.
Share the dashboard with the users that need access to the report. For more information, see Share a dashboard with colleagues and others. πŸ”—

Publish the report to SharePoint (without Power BI Pro option)
Suppose you don't have Power BI pro license but want to integrate the Power BI report in SharePoint 2013 or 2016 or in SharePoint Online, then Page Viewer is the option we have πŸ˜‰
Navigate to the page where you want to display the Power BI report -> add a Page Viewer Web Part -> add the link copied from Power BI site (Report -> File -> Embed in SharePoint Online(Preview)-> copy the link)
Differences between publishing using Power BI pro & in Page Viewer web part
1. Show/Hide Navigation Page, Filter Pane options are available only in Power BI
2. Options to change the display size of the report is available only in Power BI pro  
3. Sorting the each section of report by it's main report parameter is available only in Power BI pro

4. Option to See Data of a particular report is available only in Power BI pro

5. All the above options are not available in normal publishing way
6. Share the report via Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Email, & information about report, flagging report option is available in normal publihing method (Page Viewe web part)
Export to PowerPoint (Preview)
There is another option available in reports in Power BI site which is Export to PowerPoint(Preview). Navigate to Power BI Site -> Select the report -> File -> Export to PowerPoint (Preview) as shown below:
The exported file is attached here to know how a exported Power BI report looks like. See Downloads section for the file.
Downloads: πŸ”—
Power BI Desktop
Power BI for Mobile - Windows, App Store, Google Play
Power BI report file
Sales report exported to PowerPoint
So, we have learnt how to create a Power BI report from SharePoint List as data source, created DAX expressions, added different chart types, published the report to Power BI and then to SharePoint Online, SharePoint Online with out Power BI Pro and also applicable to SharePoint 2013 & 2016.
Please free to comment. Always. your comments help me to write more.πŸ˜ƒ Share this post to others if this helps you!πŸ˜‡
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August 2, 2017

Communication Sites in SharePoint Online

In this year SharePoint Virtual Summit, Microsoft announced several improvements to SharePoint Online and One Drive. One of the important and interesting additions is new “Communication Sites”
Microsoft says: “Reach your audience via SharePoint Communications Site” 😎
In this article, we will learn about what is new about it? How to create it and how does it work? Did we get something newly added to SharePoint Online? Are we really looking at something innovative?
What is a Communication Site?
Communication site is like Team Site in SharePoint site that anyone can create in the organization from SharePoint Home (it is available only in Office 365 and not in on premise environment). So, this is for internal users of organization.
Communication sites are beautiful, dynamic sites that let you reach a broad internal audience, and that appear great on the web, in the SharePoint mobile app, on PC and of course on Mac.
How to Create Communication Site?
From home page of SharePoint site collection -> click on the app launcher -> click SharePoint -> just click Create Site (if you don’t see this option then your self-service site creation is not enabled for your ID) as shown below:


If you didn’t get this option, you may have to change the settings in Admin Center -> Settings -> Organization Profile as shown below πŸ˜‰
For more information of standard and first release options in Office 365, check out this information from Microsoft πŸ”—
Note: It took just 10 minutes for me to get the updates to my ID after enabling this option. Way to go Microsoft!! πŸ’ͺSometimes it may take few hours or overnight to update/assign new features to your ID
I have also noted how fast it creates these sites. It just took 15 seconds in our tenant which is pretty fast!
Communication Site Designs:
There are three types of design available in Communication Site:
1. Topic
2. Showcase 
3. Blank
First two types are pre-configured with some web parts by default and the blank one is to start from the scratch. 
Topic design explained
Use the Topic design option when you have a lot of information to share, such as news, events and further updates with good images which describe the information.
I have created a site collection using "Topic" design which is shown below:
Following are the list of web parts(some NEW) or the changes made to this site collection or you will observe in this page:
I have explained each web part/changes in detail below:
NEW Hero web part
This is a new web part which has tiles with various layouts available to show the highlights of the site. You can embed a image, link to the external content. I would say there is no need to create a custom news slider/carousel πŸ˜‰ Just configure this web part!!
News web part 
This is existing web part where you can add images, link to the SharePoint pages with content and in side by side layout. I have added few images, content from Microsoft which is shown below:
NEW Events web part
This web part shows the upcoming events. It's not new, but it just the good old Calendar list but displays in a different view in the home page as shown below:
Quick links
This web part aggregates quick links to documents, pages or to external URLs. This web part is actually empty which is not visible upon site creation but will show up once customized as shown below:
Documents web part
An existing web part pre-configured to show 10 items of the current site’s document library, in a card-style layout.

NEW People web part 
This web part is empty when the page is added. You can add the people to contact or someone who is related to that page or team members, etc. This is linked to Delve profile.
Comments on Page
Each news article and page can have its own set of comments. So, commenting on page is possible now.
Disabling comments to the page option is also available. Comments can be switched OFF/ON with the below option shown below:
Easy Page Layouts (finally!!)
Now with communication sites, you can use a variety of multi-column section layouts on your pages, to arrange information side-by-side. Click on edit page to view the page authoring toolbox. It has new Section layout choices. 
I personally think this is one of the best features newly added. This will help to have multiple layouts on the same page and it is easy to create as well - Just in clicks. This will help the content editors/authors to create pages in SharePoint easily than before.
Top Navigation changes
New way to edit the site links, name and title from the page without navigating to other pages as shown below:

NEW “See all” pages
When there is more content than can be shown within the first view the Highlighted content and Site activity web parts, you can click See all to go to a full-page experience to see all the content and activity.
NEW Quick Chart
As the name suggests, this web part allows to add a chart quickly and represent your data in either bar or pie chart. Up to 12 data can be added which is allowable limit now. I am sure MS will add other chart types soon.
Also, this is not a web part where you connect the data, show real time results but this is a web part which allows the content authors or power users to visualize the data quickly.

NEW Bing Maps
With the Bing Maps web part, you can display a place / address and pin the location as shown below. This has Road, Street and Aerial views like normal Bing Maps.
NEW GIF support
When you add an Image web part into a news article or page, you can now include animated GIFs in your layout.
Power BI Integration
Bring in interactive reports using the Power BI web part, display reports and dashboards in a single click. 
Microsoft Stream
With the Stream web part, you can display a video from Microsoft Stream directly on your site. Screenshot at the end of Topic Design explanation 
NEW Document Library/ List Preview
 As the name suggests, both will display the preview of Document Library and List respectively. It is like List view web part but we have quick options to limit the items displayed. It has Auto Size, Small (5 items), Medium (15 items) and Large (30 items) display options. It also has "see all" option to view all items.

Yammer integration
It is now possible to use the Yammer web part for broad discussion scenarios as well as targeted responses to engage your viewers on the message and content on the page.
Share news via email
When you share news via email from a communication site, it’s not just a blue link but a visual, informative preview that adds context to both the email and the news article itself.
Within the email, the recipients will see a thumbnail, title, description and an optional message from the sender.

Set Focal Point
In the modern UI, a site page has a top image which was blank previously. Now, Microsoft has added a really nice touch to this page header; a way to add a image and also re position the focus on the image. In edit mode, you'll find a "Set focal point" button on the top right.
Consume, create and connect from your mobile device via the SharePoint apps
It’s easy to access, engage with and create content for communication sites from any device. The full site, pages, news, navigation, search and more are native view able, functional and engaging. Almost you can do everything using mobile app πŸ˜‰
You can download the SharePoint mobiles apps for iOS and Android. Learn more about the SharePoint mobile app for iOS, SharePoint mobile app for Android and SharePoint app for Windows 10 Mobile. πŸ”—
I have also tried to create a page and add some of this web parts / features which looks as shown below(Some images, Videos embedded belongs to Microsoft):

Modern Page Editing
New page layouts available when you create a page:
Showcase Design 
Use the Showcase design option to feature a product, team or event using photos or images. This site is more simplistic. The home page contains only the new Hero web part and a classic Image gallery web part in the home page.
Its purpose is to hold information that is more "static". Like the description suggests, it's a perfect layout to present a product, a team or an event.
Blank Design Explained
Use a blank site and to piece together your own vision for a communication site to share information of your choosing. 
Tons of cool features!!! We will explore more in the forthcoming articles as well.
See Also

Please free to comment. Always. your comments help me to write more.πŸ˜ƒ Share this post to others if this helps you!πŸ˜‡
Don't forget to subscribe to the posts to get notified about new tutorials by clicking the Subscribe button on the top right corner and follow us in social buttons as well.