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  • 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.

  • This morning, I started up my laptop and logged in to the different Web applications I work with. I think the only desktop application I still use is my music subscription service. I accessed my Outlook from the browser, and the UI for e-mails had changed. Arguably the most important application in the world had changed, and I did not know about it before it appeared on my desktop.

  • SharePoint 2013 has a myriad of new features, bells and whistles. One of those neat features is the new and improved SharePoint 2013 Workflow. SharePoint 2013 Workflow allows for many new capabilities, but at the same time removes some key items from 2010 workflows. So what’s the right workflow to use? The consultant in me must reply, "That depends on the situation."…READ MORE
  • Long before the cloud became a pervasive part of enterprise computing, SharePoint developers had a fairly straightforward set of options for extending out-of-the box functionality ? full trust or sandbox, web parts or application pages, event receivers or timer jobs, web services or server-side API's. There wasn't much confusion regarding the structure or composition of projects and the deployment path was determined by the solution type. In many ways it was simplified (if not actually simple) and streamlined, with a well-defined path for application architects to follow.

  • One of the greatest strengths of the Microsoft collaboration platform, which now encompasses both SharePoint on-premises and Office 365 in the cloud, has always been its rich extensibility options. Customers who wish to enhance the platform with dynamic line-of-business solutions or organization-specific customizations have a rich set of APIs and remote interfaces to work with that provide a great deal of flexibility in designing engaging, user-centric applications. With the recent addition of Azure Web Applications, Microsoft has created yet another method for extending the cloud experience, presenting developers with a new set of application design choices.

  • Twenty years ago, collaboration was considered to be a discussion with a colleague or a group review of a document. In recent years our collaborative needs have changed, expediency is demanded, and collaboration through technology is expected. Without question, day in and day out, we all demand our technologies provide us the best experience in order to collaborate among friends, family and colleagues.

  • As we are on the cusp of the full launch of a new version of SharePoint, I thought I’d share a few observations. Recently, as I’ve been out and about in the community, there have been a few consistent themes I have been hearing (still). These aren’t new, nor do I expect they will go away. The folks at Microsoft and most serious SharePointilists wish they never heard this stuff, but it’s real.

  • Colligo yesterday announced two new cross-platform applications and an update to its Engage platform to enable better data synchronization and content management for SharePoint and Exchange.

  • Office 365 brings a continually increasing toolset of productivity tools that, although they are supposed to work together, often have to be combined using unique strategies to truly make Office 365 shine within an organization. For Office 365 to be a success, Office 365 must be a productivity tool that can be used to add value to existing business requirements and processes while ideally not changing the way end users work. Some disruption is inevitable, but realistically an organization can only change so much with any given tool. With so many possibilities and limited time, I find it helps to investigate how Microsoft utilizes Office 365 internally to see what I can glean.

  • A new community resource for SharePoint client-side rendering has been announced.

    The SharePoint community project is being called #SPCSR. The idea came out of social media when Paul Hunt (a SharePoint solutions architect for Trinity Expert Systems) tweeted a picture of him working on his suitcase in a train waiting room. Marc D Anderson quickly responded to the tweet stating, “We should start a Codeplex project with awesome Display Template examples (which everyone will use as is). Game?” And the idea of #SPCSR took off from there. READ MORE
  • As part of Microsoft 365, SharePoint and OneDrive connect the workplace with intelligent content management and intranets. Digital transformation is driving growth across Microsoft 365, SharePoint and OneDrive.  Today:

  • Panda Works Inc., a startup formed by a trio of SharePoint veterans to create robust SaaS solutions for the enterprise with a focus on the Microsoft stack announced today the availability of its featured solution, Content Panda, a free in-context help and training platform for Office 365 and SharePoint.

  • From the halls of Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) 2016, Content Panda, the online user experience expert, today announced enhancements to its flagship product, Content Panda for SharePoint, and the immediate availability of its newest product, Content Panda for Custom Apps. Both products deliver meaningful experiences for members of the Microsoft technology and partner communities to drive business value.

  • Ideas are the lifeblood of any organization. Companies that can't imagine new products, or new ways to work, will find it hard to compete in today's rapidly changing marketplaces.

  • Hiring for SharePoint

    Brian Prigge

    Hiring SharePoint resources always seems to pose a bit of a challenge. With the enormous uptake that SharePoint has had in major companies, it seems that there is always a shortage of talent. Like any technology talent shortage, many folks are starting to dabble in SharePoint. This leaves hiring managers with a dilemma: How do you separate the SharePoint veterans from those just starting out? Here are a few indicators.

  • Companies continue to leverage SharePoint for internal and external collaboration. As a result, site administrators face many challenges including how to control content access, foster user adoption, manage large lists and build non-employee portals. To address this challenge, HiSoftware Inc., a leading provider of compliance and security solutions and now a Cryptzone company, today announced the release of HiSoftware Site Sheriff v. 2.0. The latest version provides new features including claims based permissions, identity management based on any user attribute database, geolocation and/or device properties, and integration with HiSoftware Security Sheriff to securely view and edit encrypted documents.
  • Whether you are an internal resource, a consultant, or working for a product company, you are likely shipping a product to your end users on a regular basis. The size and shape of that shipment may change. From large software packages to simple workflow updates, we are all shipping some sort of product, but do we know how that product is performing in the wild? Do we know the pain points that end users are experiencing?

  • People implementing SharePoint concern themselves with business value, and governance, and adoption. But performance seems to be one area that too often is either overlooked, or put off until major problems arise.

  • I’m a SharePoint front-end developer and designer by trade, which means that I don’t get that involved with the back-end side of things very often. Over the past couple of weeks, though, I have had the opportunity to attend SharePoint development training. Over three weeks, I learned about .NET development, coding with C#, and finally bringing the two together to develop for SharePoint. READ MORE
  • Kubisys prides themselves on listening to their clients, and they’re planning to listen even more intently as a first-time sponsor at this year’s SPTechCon. According to the VP of Business Development at Kubisys, Soumen Chowdhury, the team is looking forward to in-person interaction with the growing community of SharePoint users at the conference, since they specialize in helping end users learn more about adopting and adapting SharePoint to their specific needs.

    During a recent interview, Chowdhury cited an interesting statistic: around 70 percent of Kubisys customers desire an enterprise deployment of SharePoint, but Chowdhury doesn’t believe these companies are quite ready for such a broad deployment. For now, SharePoint deployments are very much departmentally based. Because of that, Chowdhury has seen many customers who want to take their departmental SharePoint solutions company-wide.
  • Having worked with different collaboration technologies since the late 1990's, I've been able to work with many of the leading solutions available on the market - from traditional intranets and social collaboration tools, into the more complex (and expensive) product life-cycle management (PLM), product data management (PDM), and supply chain collaboration platforms. What attracted me to the SharePoint space back in 2004 was its potential for extensibility, which led me to working for Microsoft and then some of the leading ISVs within the SharePoint community. Throughout all of this, one of the major issues has remained end user adoption of the technology. Even the most advanced, feature-rich solution that seem to check off all of your corporate requirements can still have adoption issues.

  • Now that we've talked about metadata, we can get into the next step, which is one of the best features SharePoint has to offer: views.

  • When I worked with SharePoint Online and Window PowerShell, I encountered an issue connecting to SharePoint Online. There are few differences between SharePoint Online and SharePoint On-Premise. This blog will show you the steps to access SharePoint Online.

  • 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.

  • Imagine that you’ve been asked to help plan the new children’s science center in your city. You are thrilled to be part of it because of how this new facility will enable your kids to collaborate, interact and learn. However, because of government regulation and concerns for the children’s welfare, when the facility opens there is heavy security around the place; everyone gets searched before they can enter.

  • Last December, it was announced that OneDrive for Business users would indeed be receiving unlimited storage if they had a qualifying subscription. (Details on which subscriptions qualify for unlimited storage can be found in the original announcement here).

  • Join industry thought leader Dux Raymond Sy in this interactive keynote as he shares practical steps that enables IT organizations to deliver maximum business value and to promote lasting business driven IT adoption.

  • Microsoft is moving away from code-based sandbox solutions. The company already depreciated them in SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint Online in January 2014, and now it wants to help customers prepare for their removal in other solutions. According to the company, users could only execute sandbox solutions they know and trust. The company announced the Manage Solutions Gallery for SharePoint Server 2010, 2013 and 2016. The new gallery aims provide a list of known and trusted code-based sandbox solutions.

  • You're probably already familiar with Outlook as the app you use to keep track of all your e-mail and appointments. And if you're a power user, you might even use it to keep track of tasks, RSS feeds, contacts and more. But it turns out Outlook does a lot with SharePoint, too. It's just not blatantly obvious.

  • Many organizations are beginning to realize the value in social collaboration platforms. Yet proving that value and relaying it in the form of numbers and metrics has proved to be challenging for enterprises across the spectrum. Portal stakeholders and administrators need to be equipped with the right tools so that they can deliver intelligent and easily digestible insights to senior management. Understanding why measurement is important (and then how to proceed) is vital for aligning business requirements with portal initiatives.

  • VisualSP recently announced it has passed one million users of its SharePoint end-user help and training system. Over the past two years, the company has seen a rapid rise in the number of commercial, government, and non-profit organizations that are looking at the type of end-user support its VisualSP Help System for SharePoint enables.

  • Since the creation of the App Model for SharePoint, which has been extensively covered in SPTechCon’s news section, there have been a few hiccups, a few changes, and a whole lot of learning curve. Even today, many people do not have apps configured on their farm. The reasons for not configuring vary from person to person, but in the end come down to a few major pieces.

  • Microsoft certainly opened the SharePoint fire hose last week, demoing new features from the SharePoint Framework to Flow and PowerApps, the new SharePoint Home in Office 365 (complete with the SharePoint logo where “sites” used to be), and the new look of the Document Library.

  • Microsoft continues to push Office 365 as its solution for team collaboration, and hybrid seems to be gaining traction as something folks can live with. They can move some lightweight tasks such as communication and their outward-facing websites to the cloud, while still maintaining control over more sensitive documents and data.

  • On Monday, I sat back and watched the keynote at Microsoft’s Convergence 15 conference. Convergence is Microsoft’s only conference dedicated to business, showing off not just technology, but the latest and greatest products within the Microsoft world.

  • It's still early enough in 2017 that we can talk about new year's resolutions. I think most of us already put a lot of pressure on ourselves, so I'm keeping my personal resolutions to a minimum. However, I'd like to suggest a resolution for your intranet pages that should not be too difficult and will dramatically help usability of your content pages: Eliminate all instances of "click here.?

  • What's YOUR strategy?

    Michael Pehel
    In the SharePoint world there are two types of roles: Those that are considered “tech” and those that are considered “business.” Regardless of whether you carry the internal title of IT Pro, Developer, Decision Maker or Administrator, these two categories always prevail, and your association with the category implies a certain level of understanding.…READ MORE
  • The headline of this article is from a statement by European SharePoint expert Bjorn Furuknap, who anecdotally posited on Facebook that he’s seeing a diminution of skills among those who call themselves SharePoint experts...READ MORE
  • Microsoft's push to get its SharePoint customers onto Office 365 (which includes SharePoint) has forced organizations to take a hard look at the cloud and tackle some difficult questions. READ MORE
  • Whither thou SharePoint?

    Marc Anderson

    I’ve been working with SharePoint for more than 15 years now, in one guise or another. (Yeah, I can claim connection to Tahoe, just like thousands of other people.) When it comes right down to it, I’m tired of the word “SharePoint.” And the word “Office 365.” And many other brand names that now sound meaningless in my brain.

    What I haven’t become tired of is what those tools enable, though. Ever since the fire of knowledge management was lit in my belly back in the mid-1990s, I’ve seen tools like this for what they are: a means to an end.

  • 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.

  • Knowledge management within organizations is becoming increasingly important to corporate productivity and being able to meet strategic goals and objectives. Microsoft's Office 365 SaaS product is intended to provide that level of integration between collaborative technologies and the ever-ubiquitous Office suite to connect the dots for knowledge workers, making it easier to share, store, find and retain knowledge. However, the path to solving the knowledge-management challenge isn't quite as clear as we might think.

  • Why is this a 'community'?

    David Rubinstein

    Why do we talk about a SharePoint “community”? Isn’t it really just a collection of unique workers who happen to use the same software? We don’t talk about a “Word” community, or an “iTunes” community. So what does a SharePoint community mean?

  • For every intranet or collaboration space we’re deploying, we want it to be useful to our users, increase productivity, and be a well-governed environment. For anyone who has never managed a SharePoint environment, you might ask yourself: This doesn’t seem that hard, what’s the big deal? It turns out that getting our users to love SharePoint, to use SharePoint, hasn’t been that easy over the years.

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