SharePoint

SharePoint Designer won’t connect to SharePoint Online

Quick post about a problem I had connecting SharePoint Designer 2013 to SharePoint Online with Modern Authentication.

The login screen would keep prompting for a login but not accept the username and password that worked when connecting via a browser.

The fix is to add the following registry key entries to enable modern authentication on Office 2013 applications.

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common\Identity]

“Version”=dword:00000001
“EnableADAL”=dword:00000001

Full details here:

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Enable-Modern-Authentication-for-Office-2013-on-Windows-devices-7dc1c01a-090f-4971-9677-f1b192d6c910

 

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Comparing Word Document Versions

The versioning capabilities in SharePoint document libraries are great for managing document approvals and if disaster strikes, rolling back to a known good version.

Microsoft Word’s Document Comparison feature takes this capability to the next level, allowing a visual comparison between two versions of the same document. This has many use cases. I’ve used this recently to compare versions of a contract document to identify changes may by another editor.

Here’s a short demo of document comparison and SharePoint versioning.

I’ve demonstrated this capability to a variety of people in legal, policies and management roles recently. It’s another good reason to work with documents in SharePoint.

You can also access the feature directly from Microsoft Word via the Compare button in the Review tab of the Ribbon.

How to compare documents

 

Word Templates in SharePoint Document Libraries

One of the features I love in SharePoint is the ability to link a Word document template to a Content Type. This is a real time saver if you’re creating documents from templates frequently. It also encourages people to save their documents in the right place.

Here’s a demo I created showing how to create a template that uses fields from the content type.

Steps:

  • Enable Content Types in the Document Library Settings, Advanced Settings
  • In Microsoft Word, create a Document Template and save it to the Document Library
  • Create a Content Type and add any custom fields
  • Right click the template document and Edit in Word (not Word Online)
  • Add the Metadata Fields by choosing Insert \ Quick Parts \ Document Properties
  • Save the template
  • Right click the template in the Document Library and download a copy
  • Edit the Content Type (in Document Library Settings) and in the Advanced settings, upload the template document downloaded in the previous step

The template should now appear in the ‘New’ options in the Document Library and Files tab of the SharePoint ribbon.

Document templates can also be created using other Microsoft Office applications e.g. Excel and PowerPoint.

There are all sorts of places this feature can be used. In my own work, we use it to ensure the correct document templates are used for things like contracts, proposals and technical documentation.

How to create a Template in Microsoft Word

Introduction to SharePoint Content Types

SharePoint Hub Sites at DWCNZ

The Digital Workplace Conference is New Zealand’s conference for SharePoint and Office 365. It covers a wide range of topics related to Office 365 including plenty of SharePoint, Teams and PowerApps content. Follow the #DWCNZ hashtag on Twitter.

My chosen topic was SharePoint Hub Sites, a few feature for connecting related modern Teams and Communication sites, rolling up content and sharing themes and navigation.

I agenda for my presentation was:

  • Modern SharePoint Sites
  • Hub Sites Overview
  • Things you need to know
  • Demo : Hub site walk through
  • Demo : Creating and Joining Hub sites
  • Creating a Hub Site
  • FAQ’s

Thanks to everyone who attended my session, asked questions and caught up with me throughout the conference.

download my presentation slides

 

 

Creating a SharePoint Hub Site

Hub Site functionality is rolling out to “Targeted Release” Office 365 customers now, so it I thought I’d give it a quick test.

Step 1: Check you are on “Targeted Release” in the Office 365 Admin Console > Settings > Organisation Profile.

Step 2: Go to SharePoint Home from the App Launcher and create a new Communication Site. Microsoft recommends using a Modern Communication site.

Step 3: Register the new Communication site as a Hub Site (via PowerShell)

Step 4: Create a new Modern Team or Communications site to test with

Step 5: In the new site, choose ‘Site Information’ from the settings cog (top right) and select the Hub Site created in step 2 and 3.

To test the functionality I created a news article in the site I created in step 4 and after a few minutes the news article appeared in the Hub Site.

Done!

 

 

 

 

 

 

SharePoint Hub Sites Coming soon

Microsoft has officially announced Hub Sites via the Office 365 Message Centre, the first real news since Ignite in 2017. Hub Sites are designed to dynamically connect closely release sites, bring together similar projects, manage related assets and present activities in a single place.

Hub Sites address one of the big pieces of the puzzle when it comes to building a modern SharePoint environment. Modern Communication and Team sites can be associated with a Hub Site, providing a way to present content from these sites in a single place.

  • Roll up news from Communication sites
  • Consolidated view of site activities from associated sites
  • Search scoped to the sites associated with the Hub Site
  • Display ‘site cards’ similar to the SharePoint home page (click SharePoint from the Office 365 App Launcher)

Sites that are associated with a Hub Site can inherit configuration including:

  • Navigation
  • Theme
  • Logo

Some additional details of Hub Sites is included in the FAQ’s and Hub Sites blog comments:

  • Hub Sites can’t be associated with other Hub Sites
  • Hub Sites are create by a SharePoint Admin
  • Site Owners can join a Modern Team or Communication site to a Hub Site
  • You can unjoin from one Hub Site and join another easily
  • Permissions do not flow down from Hub Sites
  • News cannot be filtered. All News rolls up at this stage
  • The SharePoint Mobile App will be updated to support Hub Sites

There isn’t much documentation on Hub Sites available yet, but Microsoft are set to release new resources over the next few weeks including general documentation for setup and configuration, along with intranet strategy and planning resources. This documentation is general released at the same time the feature starts rolling out.

The new capabilities Hub Sites bring to SharePoint Online will encourage more organisations to consider Modern SharePoint over Classic.

This Webinar by Mark Kashman, is a great overview of Hub Sites

Hub Sites are due to start rolling out at the end of March 2018 with all organisations having this feature by the end of May 2018.

 

Migrating Access Services from SharePoint Online to On-premises

Microsoft are ending support for Access Services in SharePoint Online from April 2018. This means anyone using Access Services has to make a choice and very soon about what they do as support ends. There are several possible choices:

Option 1: Move back to SharePoint 2016 On-Premises. Note that older SharePoint versions are not supported. This provides similar functionality but means you’re moving from the cloud back to either on-premises or a hosted SharePoint environment.

  • Using Microsoft Access (Desktop), connect to the Access Web App
  • Choose Save As, choose Snapshot to export the App and related data to a local file
  • In SharePoint, go to the App management site and import the App
  • Add the exported App into a SharePoint site in your SP 2016 farm

In addition to deploying back to either an on-premises or hosted SharePoint 2016 farm, there are other options to consider.

Option 2: Converting to SharePoint Lists. This option is really only suitable to relatively simple solutions and you lose much of the functionality Access Web Apps have that lead you to use them in the first place.

Option 3: Convert to PowerApps. This is a redevelopment and is worth considering bearing in mind that there are functionality gaps between the old and new solution that may need to be worked through. Read more here.

Option 4: Convert back to a desktop Access database. The benefits of using a web based solution are lost, but it may be the option of last resort for some.

Further information that is useful for anyone using Access Web Apps can be found in the roadmap.