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How to balance a SharePoint intranet to make it Powerful and Engaging?

How to balance a SharePoint intranet to make it powerful and engaging?

In one of our recent blog posts, we explored why it is critical to prioritize SharePoint intranet features. Now, we will discuss another important principle to follow while implementing a SharePoint intranet. This is feature balance.

Topics: SharePoint, project management, SharePoint Document Management, workflows, Project and team collaboration sites

PowerApps, Flow and Managed Metadata fields–part 2

Hi and welcome to part 2 of my series on showcasing the utility of Flow. Specifically, we are updating managed metadata fields – which is something that neither PowerApps or Flow can do natively as I type this. Having said that, if you are reading this in 2018 and beyond, it is likely this post is out of date the the gap has been addressed. Nevertheless, there are lots of good nuggets of info in this series that actually go beyond this particular use-case and will arm you with the knowledge to use Flow in all sorts of interesting ways.

Topics: SharePoint, Office 365, Azure, PowerApps, Flow, metadata

10 Steps to Start Archiving Your Office 365 Mailboxes with Online Backup

The pressure is high on all businesses to archive data for audit and regulation purposes. Data includes email, wherever it’s hosted. So, if you’re among the hundreds of thousands of companies around the world that have chosen to use Office 365 for their email, you must make sure you have a reliable archive of all mailboxes.

Topics: Office 365

5 Ways to go Paperless with Office 365 & SharePoint

More and more offices are going green. The eco-friendly benefits that a paperless office provides is great, but that is a discussion for another post. In this article, let us discuss how effective and productive your office can get by going paperless. Also, we will discuss how SharePoint helps offices to go truly digital – completely paperless – by automating all your content management jobs in no time.

Topics: SharePoint, Office 365, sharepoint online, human resources, SharePoint Document Management, SharePoint Document Library, Office 365 Document Collaboration, SharePoint Onboarding

Implementing a SharePoint intranet in large, medium-sized and small organizations: What makes the difference?

The impact of SharePoint - 2016 by AIIM shows that 85% of respondents use SharePoint as their intranet platform and 92% made it their major collaboration tool hosting employees’ workplaces and corporate team sites. All in all, collaboration is the most popular SharePoint duty comparing to document management (80%), records management (47%) or web content management (30%). At the same time, since organizations vary by business domains and sizes, their requirements to SharePoint collaboration and a SharePoint intranet can be absolutely different.

Topics: SharePoint, Office 365, intranets

Microsoft unveils Azure Government Secret to help U.S. agencies handle classified data

More and more government agencies are realizing the benefits of cloud computing, and Microsoft is poised to unveil several new updates to its cloud services for government customers Tuesday at its Government Cloud Forum.

Topics: Office 365, Azure, Microsoft, Government, Cloud Initiative

Why Amazing SharePoint Form Design Could Change Your Business

We use forms all the time: when we sign up to a newsletter, when we book tickets online, when we fill out personal details on an application form. Forms are used by businesses to collect information and enable the smooth running of important business processes.

Topics: SharePoint, Nintex, Forms, Form Design

Using Angular in SharePoint — always use relative paths

This applies to SharePoint or actually more than SharePoint where perhaps you are building a big site with Angular, where multiple teams are dropping functionality are URLs, except, they don’t know WHAT URL ahead of time

Topics: SharePoint, JavaScript, SharePoint Farms, Angular

KWizCom Unveils List Aggregator App for SharePoint Online

KWizCom, a leading developer of SharePoint Forms & Workflows, as well as numerous other powerful SharePoint web parts, add-ons and apps for Office 365 (SharePoint Online), unveiled a new add-in for Office 365 customers – List Aggregator App (SPFx).

Topics: SharePoint, Apps, sharepoint online, KWizCom

InfoPath Replacements & Migrations on SharePoint

From the very beginning, one of the primary uses of SharePoint Server was the development of custom solutions based on the SharePoint platform. Whether it was simple data entry forms, workflow interactions and endpoints, or even complex business solutions, there was always a need for designing forms for data entry, editing, and viewing.

Simply put, standard SharePoint list forms were adequate for basic needs and scenarios. But in many ways, they lacked the critical features that users needed, including the ability to efficiently change layouts and apply dynamic behaviors to control fields.

To address these shortcomings, Microsoft offered InfoPath, a proprietary forms services solution, as a part of SharePoint Enterprise Edition. However, InfoPath forms were deprecated a few years ago, reopening many of the gaps that it initially set out to fill.

In this blog, we’ll explore how to migrate InfoPath forms from SharePoint, call out some of the best InfoPath replacements, and help you get back on track to effective collaboration.

What is InfoPath?

To sum it up, InfoPath offered a decent forms designer, control behaviors and validation, and a rudimentary code backend for implementing actions on data change. InfoPath was great for simple solutions which required forms, but it lacked the advanced data control and processing features to accommodate complex solutions. In fact, its limitations often prompted developers to abandon InfoPath projects in favor of custom web parts and applications.

However, InfoPath was still the preferred solution of choice for designing forms on SharePoint lists and form libraries. Its users varied between citizen developers who wanted to improve the forms design in SharePoint lists to professional developers who used InfoPath with multiple connections and custom code to create semi-complex business applications.

Becoming Legacy Technology

When Microsoft retired InfoPath in 2014, it didn’t come as much of a surprise. InfoPath was considered one of the legacy technologies within SharePoint, as it was fully server side, difficult to maintain, and even more challenging to migrate. It was a hopelessly outdated technology whose features were getting regularly switched off.

The planned Forms on SharePoint Lists (FOSL) release with SharePoint 2016 was officially cancelled, with no active development or foreseeable plan moving forward. After Microsoft deprecated sandbox solutions with custom code in SharePoint Online, Office 365 became a graveyard of useless InfoPath forms, meaning organizations that previously utilized InfoPath hit a dead-end.

Essentially, this was Microsoft’s way of telling InfoPath users to move on.

Getting Out of the InfoPath Trap

Getting out of the InfoPath trap and moving onto bigger and better technologies requires a comprehensive migration strategy. The key questions that need to be addressed are:

  • Does every InfoPath list form or form library have to be migrated?

  • Which data has to be migrated together with forms?

  • What are the best InfoPath replacements?

Let’s take a look at some of these questions in detail.

Conducting a Pre-Migration Analysis

A comprehensive analysis of your collaboration environment is a prerequisite for all form migrations. Since many forms will be unnecessary in the new environment, the first step is to create a forms or business solutions catalog and determine what to do with each list form or form library.

Specifically, you should establish if the forms still hold some sort of value for your users. If not, should it be archived with its associated data? Or is it part of an active solution that should be brought to the new technology stack and further developed?

Metalogix Expert

Metalogix Expert  is a free tool that helps you conduct a pre-migration analysis and assess your SharePoint environment. Its Readiness Report also helps you to locate InfoPath forms.

Rencore SPTransformator

Rencore SPTransformator is a third-party tool that can help you answer some of the aforementioned questions. It effectively analyzes your farm, identifies InfoPath forms, and even suggests possible transformations.

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