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Blog Posts

  • Microsoft is beginning to roll out improvements to its SharePoint online sites as part of its new vision for SharePoint. The new capabilities include deeper integration with Office 365 Groups, and they will begin to roll out to Office 365 First Release next month.

  • Android users can now access Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps from their Android phone. The announcement joins the Office apps for Android tablets, and it marks Microsoft’s commitment to bringing the Office experience to Android users worldwide.

  • Microsoft announced in mid-February that SharePoint CU patches, including non-security product updates, would be made available through Windows Update going forward. Now it seems the company has changed its mind.

  • Microsoft is making it easier to sync, share and collaborate in Office 365 with new updates to its OneDrive for Business solution. OneDrive for Business gives users a place to store, share and sync work. New features include syncing files anywhere at any time, easily sharing files in and outside the organization, and improving the IT admin management experience.

  • Last week I blogged about Power BI and gave a balanced perspective regarding a project I am working on. Jen Underwood from Microsoft had some great feedback. In looking at her blog, I found a vendor call Datazen that offered a product that might fill a couple of my project needs where Power BI could not.

  • It's a new year for Office 365. Microsoft has announced updates and new features for its OneDrive, Office apps and StaffHub solutions.

  • Microsoft has given us an update on SharePoint Server 2016, announcing its Q2 general availability in 2016. Key takeaways include the statement that SharePoint on-premises will be around for years to come, and that hybrid is now a long-term solution, not just a stepping stone to an all-cloud implementation. 
  • 0107.sp-delveMicrosoft today unveiled a new Office Delve feature, which organizes content and documents on easily accessible and shareable “Boards.”

  • Microsoft has announced a new Cloud Storage Partner Program, along with new integrations allowing third-party cloud storage providers to natively integrate into the “Locations” picker in iOS Office apps on iPhone and iPad.

    According to an Office blog post, third-party storage integrations for Android and Windows 10 universal apps are on the way. The integration also allows cloud providers to integrate Office Online into their individual applications as part of the new Cloud Storage Partner Program. The program, of which Box, Citrix and Salesforce are already a part, will enable users to open, view and edit documents in the browser using any of the given third-party Web applications.

  • Many organizations using SharePoint today face the issue of running some or all of their data in the cloud. Microsoft’s story, of course, is how to adopt a hybrid approach: Certain non-sensitive data or workflows can run in the cloud while maintaining “the crown jewels” in on-premises servers.

  • Crow Canyon Systems has changed its name to Crow Canyon Software, to put the focus on quality business applications for SharePoint and Office 365.

  • Cryptzone acquires HiSoftware

    SPTechCon Newswire

    Cryptzone, a global provider of data security and identity and access management (IAM) solutions, has acquired HiSoftware Inc., a leading provider of governance, compliance and security solutions.  HiSoftware’s product portfolio provides a highly complementary set of solutions that will enhance Cryptzone’s already robust capabilities in securing critical data in the cloud, on mobile devices, and in customer data centers. The combined company will offer a complete suite of context-aware access control, data security and compliance solutions designed for today’s dynamic, mobile, cloud-centric enterprise IT. Cryptzone will be headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts and have a European center of excellence in engineering located in Gothenburg, Sweden, its birthplace. Combined, the companies will have more than 700 customers including large global enterprises like JPMorgan Chase, Northrup Grumman, AIG, Proctor & Gamble, State Street Trust, New York Presbyterian, ANZ Bank, and California State University, as well as some large U.S. government agencies such as the Departments of Commerce, Department of Homeland Security, Office of Secretary of Defense, and Department of Treasury/IRS.

    Cryptzone will look to integrate HiSoftware’s advanced suite of solutions, including its Compliance Sheriff Web, Security Sheriff and Site Sheriff products, into the company’s existing product set.  This will provide expanded and unique capabilities that will allow the company to deliver powerful security that protects enterprise information assets, corporate applications, and other network resources for customers around the globe. HiSoftware’s compliance product allows enterprises and government agencies to validate compliance of internal and external website content against predefined and user-defined policies, including HIPAA, FISMA, WCAG, US Section 508, and GLBA. The company also specializes in delivering content security and site management solutions within Microsoft SharePoint, a business collaboration platform utilized by more than 80 percent of the Fortune 500, and other unstructured collaborative environments.

  • Cryptzone, a provider of dynamic, context-aware network, application and content security solutions, today announced its enhanced offerings for Microsoft Azure at this week’s Ignite conference. Cryptzone is rolling out support for Azure across its cybersecurity solutions, including AppGate Secure Access and HiSoftware Security Sheriff for Office 365, ensuring the same multi-layered and tailored security for sensitive information whether in the cloud or on-premises.
  • Cryptzone, a provider of dynamic, context-aware network, application and content security solutions, today announced the release of the new Security Sheriff Site Module. This release adds new capabilities for encrypting, controlling and emailing sensitive SharePoint data using Microsoft RMS.

  • Cryptzone, a provider of dynamic, context-aware security software, today announced a native integration between the company's Security Sheriff product and Microsoft's new Azure Information Protection (AIP) offering. The integrated solution allows for dynamic protection of documents across their lifecycle. Cryptzone will be demonstrating the integrated solution this week at the Microsoft Igniteconference (Booth 2030) in Atlanta, GA.

  • Last November, I got the opportunity to work with Microsoft to gain insight and understanding into what the ideal cloud solution would look like from the eyes of the CXO. During last year's European SharePoint Conference's CIO Summit, a select number of CIOs participated in a full-day event focused on discussing the future of cloud and hybrid. At the end of an action-packed day, we asked the CXOs to divide up into working groups of four and design for us their ideal cloud solution.

  • The add-in model for SharePoint (formerly known as the app model) was a major shift in development practices for Office 365 and SharePoint 2013. The add-in model abstracts any third-party, server-side code from the SharePoint server and allows developers to run their custom code in separate contexts. This allows SharePoint administrators to gain stability in their SharePoint implementations and guards them from any poor practices a developer may have used.

  • Every few years, folks who work with SharePoint wrangle with the issue of community. The most recent go-round was likely sparked by a Facebook post from Microsoft's Dan Holme, who also happened to start a SharePoint community website called IT Unity prior to joining Microsoft. Je said that a higher-up at Microsoft thought it would be a good idea to build a community around SharePoint. Meanwhile, Mark Miller, who created and curated endusersharepoint.com and nothingbutsharepoint.com, chimed in with a great comment, to the effect of "What a great idea! I'll get right on that 10 years ago!?

  • Dell Boomi today announced connectivity support for MicrosoftCortana Intelligence Suite, Microsoft's cloud-based big data, advanced analytics and machine learning platform for organizations to transform data into intelligent action. Utilizing Boomi connectors, customers can quickly and flexibly integrate data and applications between Cortana Intelligence Suite, part of the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, and virtually any combination of cloud or on-premises data sources. Dell Boomi's extension of its market-leading AtomSphere integration platform as a service (iPaaS) for Cortana Intelligence Suite better equips organizations to make informed, data-driven decisions, while seamlessly transitioning to hybrid IT environments of cloud-based and on-premises applications.

  • Defining a governance strategy for your SharePoint environment doesn’t have to be an exhaustive exercise. However, it should be one where everyone agrees on the purpose of SharePoint, the role it has within enterprise IT, and what SharePoint shouldn’t be. These boundaries are a great place to start.

  • Recently, I had to come up with a new way to deploy our email site columns for our OnePlaceMail product as the old way (sandboxed solutions) were no longer supported.

  • Developer Days

    David Rubinstein

    I’m putting the finishing touches on the program for SPTechCon Developer Days, a three-day conference on June 24-26 designed to give SharePoint and Office 365 developers the tools and skills they need to enhance the value of their organizations’ SharePoint implementations.

  • For those of you unable to attend SPTechCon Austin this week, one thing you missed was the panel discussion on "Analyzing the Size, Scope, and Opportunities within the Hybrid SharePoint Ecosystem.? The evening event was sponsored by AvePoint, and joining me (@buckleyplanet) on stage were Mark Kashman, Microsoft (@mkashman), D'Arce Hess, AvePoint (@darcehess), Eric Overfield, PixelMill (@ericoverfield), and John White, UnlimitedViz (@diverdown1964) where we shared some of the findings of the Hybrid SharePoint research being conducted by my company CollabTalk, in conjunction with the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University. The entire panel was streamed live on Facebook, which you can watch here.

  • Electronic signature technology and transaction-management service provider DocuSign has announced a new integration of its Digital Transaction Management (DTM) solution, along with new features and functionality for SharePoint 2013 users.

  • No matter how much Microsoft and other platform providers talk about the speed of delivery in the cloud, there still needs to be some kind of "shock and awe" announcements left off of the weekly build schedule and shared through a carefully orchestrated mega-conference.

  • SP Marketplace (www.spmarketplace.com), the leader in Office 365 business portals and applications, released SP DataManager, a robust Microsoft Excel add-in that can retrieve, clean, and migrate SharePoint data and documents.  

  • Don't quit your Yammer-ing

    David Rubinstein

    A little more than a year and a half ago, I was invited by Joel Oleson to join #spyam, a network of SharePoint people who communicate via Yammer. Let me tell you: If you’re not there, you need to be.

    It’s not a place where people wax rhapsodic about the future of SharePoint, or disparage Microsoft for not doing a better job with the software. It’s where folks go to ask intelligent questions and (hopefully) receive intelligent answers. And I’ve found that more often than not, that is exactly what happens...READ MORE

  • If you are as excited as I am about the soon-to-be-released SharePoint Framework (#SPFx), then there is much planning to do before the public release.

  • Our local newspaper is updating its content-management system, and as a part of that, the staff is going through 12 hours of training. Key changes include an unfamiliar user interface, new functionality designed to eliminate many steps needed to do the same tasks today, and capabilities that didn’t exist in the prior version. The software will be implemented in stages, with certain departments getting it before others, but all the training is being done prior to the launch.

  • Microsoft this week let its partners in on a premium Office 365 suite designed to enhance productivity through collaboration and innovation—and to give third-party providers new opportunities to integrate with Microsoft’s tooling.

  • For many of us, the rise of the remote workforce comes as no surprise. For years now, office workers have been abandoning their desks in favor of settings that are farther afield and allow them to work in a more comfortable—and often more productive—environment. And it’s a trend that only promises to keep growing.

  • The new SharePoint Framework (sometimes referred to as SPFx now) is really only for developers, in most cases. End users really shouldn't care whether their developers are building things in an "old? way or a "new? way as long as what they get meets their requirements. Most-if not all-of the information we've seen about the SharePoint Framework (including the video below by Dan Kogan) is focused squarely on developers. Unless you're into syntax and semicolons as my pal Jennifer Mason Roth likes to say, the available information may seem like Greek to you.

  • There is a lot being written today that ETL is dead, dying, an old horse that can no longer keep up with the automobiles of today – namely, Big Data.  To some extent this is true, but not in the Microsoft ecosystem of Cloud First, Mobile First, self-service BI. In four steps I will show you how you can extract, transform and load data today.  

  • You read the title correctly: You have the ability to help shape the BI capabilities that Microsoft is delivering via Power BI. If you are not familiar with Power BI today, you will be in the near future. It’s a business intelligence tool in Office 365 that allows end users to mine their data in dynamic and insightful ways.

  • In the enterprise, less is often more. When it comes to search, it's not helpful for users to find thousands of irrelevant results when they're looking for one specific item.

  • According to Merriam-Webster, a trend is defined as following a general course or to veer in a new direction. Based on the way Microsoft is deploying rapid updates to us in Office 365, I would say a new direction is the only direction you can take when it comes to engaging your users during an Office 365 rollout. Upgrading, migrating or just deploying SharePoint is a whole new ballgame now, not to mention all of the other Office 365 applications you need to keep in mind.

  • Branding (changing the look and feel) of SharePoint seems to be at the top of every user's list. While Microsoft's out-of-the-box look and feel has improved over SharePoint's iterations, companies want their intranets to look like it's all part of one shiny, happy corporate infrastructure.

  • With SharePoint 2016 and Office 365, Microsoft has introduced PowerApps and Flow. PowerApps is a low-code solution for creating quick business solutions that information workers and power users can use. Flow is a way to create simple workflows, such as "When a document is loaded into SharePoint, send me an e-mail.?

  • Formotus, a mobile enterprise form provider, announced an expansion to its mobile form offerings at Microsoft Ignite including the Formotus SharePoint List Connector. The new custom control enables uses of a repeating table in any form to update data in a SharePoint list. The expansion also adds a feature allowing column additions to SharePoint form libraries for one-click item opening in the Formotus mobile app from the browser. The company also announced on-demand mobile data forms through its new Formotus Now mobile app for iOS and Windows 8. The app is in limited beta preview. More details are available in the Formotus blog post.

  • You knew it had to happen. With Satya Nadella pushing Microsoft technologies onto more platforms, it was only a matter of time before Office 365 would become available on a smartwatch.

  • Boole Server, leading company in the protection of digital data and data-centric IT security, will be part of the SPTechCon: The SharePoint Technology Conference, the largest independent SharePoint training conference in the world, to be held in Boston (MA) from the 16th to the 19th September.

  • Unily, an out-of-the-box intranet solution that sits atop Office 365 for collaboration as well as engaging, organizing and structuring content, was launched last week by BrightStarr, a provider of SharePoint solutions.

  • Build a Form, win a prize

    David Rubinstein

    The fine folks at Kintivo have launched their “Build a Form” contest to encourage SharePoint users to create a fully functioning form its business can actually benefit from.

  • If you work in technology long enough, you begin to see it has trends just like any industry. Suddenly, no conversation can be had without certain buzzwords coming up. Old problems are said to disappear without any clear explanation of how they were dealt with. Enthusiastic people assure us that everything will be OK if we just follow the trend.

  • Microsoft’s Build conference kicks off today. Developers will hear about Windows 10, HoloLens, Azure enhancements, Cortana, Windows Phone 8.1, Docker containers... oh, and new tools for creating Office 365 applications. In his keynote, CEO Satya Nadella spoke of Office as a complete platform, more than simply a collection of applications and APIs. Integrations with DocuSign, LinkedIn and Salesforce were demonstrated. Imagine, Microsoft partnering with Salesforce! Also, an Uber add-in for Outlook will allow users to get reminders about rides based on events in their calendars.

  • BZ Media, the parent company of SPTechReport, produces SPTechCon, the long-running conference for SharePoint and Office 365 users. Now in its eighth year, SPTechCon will next be presented June 27-30 in Boston, and we’d love to see all of you there. You can see for yourselves the great program we’ve put together. Registration for this event is still open, and discounts are still available if you sign up before the end of the week.

  • Calling all developers

    David Rubinstein

    For those of you struggling with making your documents and data in Office 365 available to external users, SharePoint MVP Mark Rackley has written an excellent guide to creating managed extranets in Office 365. This step-by-step instruction set covers inviting users and controlling access, as well as recommending separate Site Collections for external users only and building sub sites off the root site. It’s an excellent resource!

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  • Intlock, developer of CardioLog Analytics, recently announced their seamless integration with Microsoft’s Power BI. The integration allows for the visualization of CardioLog Analytics through new live and interactive dashboards, to enhance SharePoint as well as overall business performance and monitoring.

  • When it comes time to upgrade to a newer version of SharePoint, many organizations are unaware of what’s really going on in their portal. They don’t have a concrete understanding of what’s going on, thus passing up prime opportunities to patch up weak spots that may have existed in the old portal, or have carried on to the new portal. A high-quality analytics solution can assist in easing the migration process by tracking each step.

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