Helping people to automate their workplace is my passion and lucky for me I also get paid to do so !
This week I was finishing working with a partner to improve the (poor) automation steps required by Matter Center, which no-one can really complain because Microsoft made it open-source.
Matter Center documentation requires to create each client as a new site collection in PowerShell, but this is not quite possible if the users registering these new clients on a daily basis are regular Office 365 users and not SharePoint Administrators.Thanks to a few Nintex Workflows we managed to do all the configuration in the background.
Thanks to a few Nintex Workflows we managed to do all the configuration in the background.
Now this quick blog post is regarding the challenge that we had to add the user as a Site Collection Administrator of that newly created site collection.
Since there is no mention of the sort in https://community.nintex.com it may useful for someone, so here it is:
- Create a new Nintex workflow in an Office 365 site list.
- Download and Import the .NWP workflow file available here to replace the blank workflow
- Edit a few of the actions at the beginning of the workflow to set the variables (I never hard-code UserName and Password for instance, so you will see a few Lookup to a different list to get the value, which you can replace since they will be showing an error once imported into your list)
Note: In this workflow, the “user” I am adding to the Site Collection Administrators group is actually the “CreatedBy” of the list item, which may sound strange since the user running that workflow may be the CreatedBy. However this is NOT the case (refer to above point: we do not want all users to be SharePoint admins!), here is how you should sequence the workflow to start:
1) After the List Item is created, a first workflow (run by CreatedBy) i.e. called “Start and Call workflow 2” and in the workflow we just add a “Start Workflow”
2) then within that first workflow we just add a “Start Workflow” making sure that this action is bein executed in an “App Step” in order to use “elevated privilege”.
3) finally all the actions are happening in Workflow2 (which you imported in step 2)
Hope this helps someone.
I receive too often this request (from my sister this week;-):
Can I create something in SharePoint to let my colleagues log their own holiday so that I can later export that list to Excel ?
So here is a quick video with step I made, following this should give you just that.
Add to this the out-of-the-box SharePoint Alerts and you will receive a notification each time a new leave is registered.
Nothing much to it, no workflow approval plugged-in, but nice and simple SharePoint OOB No-Code solution that is quite often overlooked.
(sorry for the Audio which is not great, as I said, it’s a quick and dirty tip)
When users are viewing a list it is quite common that they do not see the multiple choice of content types that is offered to them and they just click “New Item” which limits somehow their work.
Although users access the new items from direct links from other pages, I always think that one may end up looking at the “All Site Content” and see the list itself, so I often use a trick to force my users to make use of the drop down:
- In the List/Library Settings:
- add an “item” Content Type in addition to the CT offered to the user, rename it to “-“
- then click “Change new button order and default content type” and make that new item the first and default CT
- then I edit the Content Type in Nintex Forms with a message such as below
I was going to attach the Nintex Forms for Office 365 to this post but actually, it’s such a simple one that it is faster to reproduce it rather than detaching the picture and importing the form.
Is this useful ? Click below.
So I can resize some icon and minimise the ones I don’t use much, instead of hiding them fully.
Shame that we still cannot deploy custom icons to all users in one go, there is quite a lot of request about this in UserVoice so hopefully it will be developed: Allow the admin to pin custom tiles to the app launcher for all users in the tenant
Other suggestion to improve the App Launcher, some not always clever but other would be great to have: Apps and App Launcher UserVoice.
An interesting concept that is often never used:
- Already Site Collection Content Types is not always used well or used enough in SharePoint: a lot of people make use of only site level or far worse: list level Content Types, may I remind that list content type only resides in the actual list and therefore not to be re-used elsewhere (!).
Today the scenario I had was just about making good use of Site collection content types, which I mostly do but also, and this is rare : shared columns between 2 content types. (note: Title column is already shared between all Content types)
I was developing the basis of an online form (with Nintex form) and here is the case study:
a form using the Content Type called “Pre-Meeting” will be used to enter some meeting agenda items that can be saved a few days before a meeting and sent to attendees for information.
Then during the meeting or straight after a new online form will be submitted using the Content Type “Meeting Minutes”.
What would be nice is to use the agenda items from the Pre-Meeting form to pre-populate the one of the Meeting form. The final solution will be a bit tricky (CSOM in UI or Workflow in background), but the point of this blog post is not that functionality but is about making good use of Site Collection Columns creation and especially duplication can be avoided: the columns created in the 1st content type can be added to the second content type and NOT re-created as new columns.
Since an image speaks better, here is the screenshot below:
After the first funny quotes started some years back with the 404 not found pages showing “oops… something happened”, making them more friendly and less scary, it seems that the whole IT industry is trying to have humour, even on “serious” screens like Office 365 Admin center…
I think I like it! better have fun at work, right? (and with all the TV geeks in SharePoint, it makes sense…)
Office 365 has humour
Over the past days several Office 365 client users reported a OneDrive For Business synchronisation issue, and I have to say that I usually just direct them to the IT Helpdesk but yesterday I decided that there was one too many so I went to troubleshoot it at a user’s desktop myself.
Nothing could be done to fix the random “red” icon when adding a SharePoint library to sync with user’s windows, remove the folder from OneDrive, uninstall and re-install OneDrive, none. And literally random, some files were also synchronising but still marked as red, and the Errors logs showing “please enter your credentials” but no option to enter them…
I was in a dead-end, until I found out that it is a current issue reported on the 15th October 2015 (5 days ago) and is actually clearly showing in the SHD (Office 365 Service Health Dashboard in the Admin center, see below post on Office 365 community). The resolution is to update Office 2013.
But my main take away from this is that as much as I thought that no-one would seriously read the SHD every morning (and you can’t receive them by email!), I now realised that I should have started searching through the various incidents list, so I will pay more attention in the future when an user issue comes up.
I believe we have had so much frustration over the years of not finding the answer in Microsoft provided sources that we (I) have the reflex of Googling (binging..) an issue straight away and not actually checking the official source.
Now go on your mobile device and make sure you have the mobile app to see SHD installed !
Office 365 Service Health Dashboard
This issue is now reported at Service Health Dashboard (SHD) as incident SP31654 starting at Thursday, October 15, 2015, at 3:00 PM UTC. The user experience of this incident is: Affected users are unable to sync files with OneDrive for Business. Users may see repeated prompts to enter their credentials, but entering them will not result in a successful sync. Tenant administrators can view current information and updates on SHD at the link here .
Source: Onedrive Business Sync – Credentials Required | Manage Office 365 | Microsoft Office 365 Community