SharePoint Hub Sites – New way to organize your intranet

During Ignite 2017 Microsoft announced Hub Sites. Just to recap Hub sites provides following capabilities.

buy viagra soft tabs online Cross-site navigation
Content rollup
Consistent look-and-feel
Scoped search

Today Microsoft announced that they are starting to roll-out the hub sites. Here is the screen shot from Microsoft Official blog post about this event.

https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/SharePoint-Blog/Organize-your-intranet-with-SharePoint-hub-sites/ba-p/174081

First question that comes to mind is how do I use Hub sites with my existing SharePoint sites.

Currently you can convert existing communication site or modern team time into a hub site. Microsoft’s recommendation is to select (either existing or new) communication site as the hub site. Once a hub site is created, approved site owners can associate existing team sites and communication sites with the hub site.

You will need to use Register-SPOHubSite PowerShell CMDLETS to enable the Hub Site. You must be a SharePoint administrator or above in Office 365 to create SharePoint hub sites. Site owners can associate a SharePoint site with a hub site that already exists.

There is Ask Me Anything Hub Sites happening and I encourage everyone to join and ask any questions that you may have.

https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/SharePoint-AMA/bd-p/SharePointAMA

This is pretty exciting announcement as first release tenants will have Hub Sites available in next month or so.

 

SharePoint Online – Column Formatting – Using different columns

I had earlier blogged about Microsoft Rolling out column formatting to the first release tenants and how it could be useful in many scenarios.

For anyone who wants to get started with column formatting following article is by far the best technical documentation.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/dev/declarative-customization/column-formatting

Today I am going to talk about one specific scenario where you would want to use other fields data on the current item.

Most column formatting examples you would see are based on the current column where you could refer the column using @currentField. In some scenarios you would want to leverage other field values in the same item. e.g. If column X value is Y then change the background color of my current column.

So for this example I am going to have two columns i.e. Picture Column and HyperLink column.

What I want to do is when my items are displayed picture is clickable and it opens a URL in your HyperLink column and opens in a new tab.

Here is code.

{
 "elmType": "a",
 "attributes": {
 "href": "[$HYPERLINK_FIELD_NAME]",
 "target": "_blank"
 },

"children": [ 
 {
 "elmType": "img",
 "txtContent": "",
 "style":{
 "min-height": "initial",
 "margin-top": "0px"
 },
 "attributes": {
 "src": "@currentField", 
 "width": "100%"
 }
 }
 ]
}

Here I have element type <a> and then I am using element type <img> as the children. Most of the image element stuff you see around style is just to align it properly.

The key thing is element type <a> where I am setting href to other HYPERLINK column value and I reference that column by using the [$FieldName]. The column is formatted within the context of the entire row. You can use this context to reference the values of other fields within the same row.

I hope this helps.

OneDrive for Business – File Restore is rolling out

If you are using OneDrive for Business then today is a good day. Today Microsoft announced Files Restore for our OneDrive for Business customers.

Files Restore is a self-service recovery solution that allows administrators and end users to restore files from any point in time during the last 30 days. If a user suspects their files have been compromised, they can investigate file changes and allow content owners to go back in time to any second in the last 30 days.

This is huge since it gives users flexibility to revert their OneDrive to previous known stable state. To user File Restore functionality follow the steps below.

  1. Sign-in to your Office 365 ad go to OneDrive.
  2. Click on Settings and click Restore your OneDrive.
  3. One the restore page you will get a dropdown where you can either select predefined date range or select to enter your own custom date.
  4. When you select the custom date and time you will see the 30 day history and then you can select your custom date and time to restore the data.

Stephen Rose has a great blog post on this. You can read more about this at the URL below.

https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/OneDrive-Blog/Announcing-New-OneDrive-for-Business-feature-Files-Restore/ba-p/147436

 

Cheers

Micorosoft Flow and Hyperlink Column

Microsoft Flow is a service that helps you create automated workflows between your apps and services. This could mean getting the approval process in SharePoint automated or automating certain tasks based on some triggers. Microsoft Flow is awesome and I would say that everyone using Office 365 should consider using Microsoft Flow to automate tasks.

When working with SharePoint Flow offer various actions and triggers. I will cover some of these in future but today I am going to talk about couple of challenges when working with Microsoft Flow and SharePoint.

If you are using SharePoint “Update Item” or “Create Item” action you would notice that currently (as of writing this blog post) they do not support picture column. I hope this gets fixed in near future.

Another interesting challenge I ran into was the Hyperlink column. Now Flow does support Hyperlink column but not 100%.

Let me explain what I mean. When using Hyperlink column in SharePoint, you can enter the URL as well as the Description of that URL e.g. my URL value would be http://www.microsoft.com but my description can be just Microsoft. This helps me not showing long URLs to the users.

When working with Microsoft Flow Hyperlink column only accepts the URL part. Currently there is no support for entering the description for that URL.

This could be bit annoying depending on your situation. Currently if you “Get Item” and update the HyperLink column using the Get Item context fields it would still not keep the description. You would end up losing the description when using Update Item action.

I hope this gets resolved soon as it is very important for services like MS Flow to catch up with SharePoint list columns. Until then you can use some workaround where you can have the URL and Description in different columns and then using the column formatting to rescue you. I know not the best option but until it gets fixed you can use that option.

 

OneDrive for Business – Getting access of user’s OneDrive

If you have been using OneDrive for business then you should know that OneDrive behind the scene is SharePoint site collection which only users have access. For example I will be the Site Collection Admin on my OneDrive and no one can access my OneDrive unless I decide to share document or folder sitting in my OneDrive. This is perfectly fine as long as user is active.

What if user left the organization and you would want to get access. Once the user leaves the organization OneDrive is smart enough to give access of that OneDrive to user’s manager and gives them about two weeks to take any backup etc.

In other scenarios where user is active but running into some issues like lost files etc.

In both of the above cases you have another option to get user’s OneDrive as long as you are SharePoint Administrator on your tenant.

  1. Visit the SharePoint admin center using the URL https://tenant-admin.sharepoint.com/ (Replace tenant with your tenant name).
  2. Click on User Profiles and then click Manage User Profiles.
  3. Find the user and click “Manage Site Collection Owners” for that user using the dropdown menu.
  4. This would open the popup dialog where you would user is set as Primary Site Collection Owner as well as Site Collection Owner.
  5. You can simply add the backup person’s name under Site Collection Owner and click OK.

Now I have validated the above steps works just fine as long as user is active but in some cases when user is disabled the above steps does not work. It will let you add the Site Collection Owner but that change will not take place.

In that case you can user the following PowerShell to work around this issue.

$creds = Get-Credential

Connect-SPOService -Url "https://tenant-admin.sharepoint.com" -credential $creds

Set-SPOUser -Site "https://tenant-my.sharepoint.com/personal/USER/" -LoginName "USER@TENANT.COM" -IsSiteCollectionAdmin $true

I hope this helps.

Microsoft Teams – Managed Path for SharePoint Site

When using SharePoint online you would have noticed that you can create sites under /Sites or /Teams managed path. This is fine when you are creating classic sites where you can pick your managed path.

When creating modern sites you do not have option to select the managed path and it is always defaulted to /Sites managed path. This behavior is exactly the same when you create a new Team using MS Teams. When you create the new Team it creates the Office 365 Group as well as a brand new modern SharePoint site. This site is also created under the /Sites managed path.

What if you wanted to create all your teams connected SharePoint sites under /Teams managed path? Well it is possible as long as you want all your SharePoint sites gets created under /Teams managed path.

There is a setting in SharePoint Admin Center which allows you to select default managed path.

Go to your SharePoint Admin Center and click Settings.

Under Settings, scroll down to site creation section and there you would see that you can set the managed path for the new site that gets created.

Now there is another gotcha here. This would only work if you have your Self Service Site Creation setting is set to “Show the Create Site Command to user who have permission to create sites”. The moment you choose “Hide the Create site command” option, section which allows you to set the managed path is not visible.

I really wish Microsoft would allow two things here.

  1. Allow me to add more managed paths
  2. Allow me to set the managed path for SP Sites that gets created as part of Teams. Probably a setting on the Teams Admin page.

I understand there is not much flexibility here but I hope this help someone.