Back to SharePoint basics: create a list for leavers

Standard

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)

Advertisements

Prevent users from using the default Content Type in a list

Standard

New_Item_ribbonWhen 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

      DEfault_CT

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.

 

I like the new Office 365 MyApps resizable icons

Standard

 

So I can resize some icon and minimise the ones I don’t use much, instead of hiding them fully.

Resize_MyAppsO365_My_Apps

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.

 

 

Typical example on using the same Columns in more than one Content Type

Standard

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:

MutiCT_for_1_column

Office 365 is trying humour … will you recognise the quote from ?

Standard

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

Office 365 has humour

Bad Onedrive Business Sync bug (SP31654) if you use it with Office 2013 – install update required

Standard

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

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

August Nintex Workflow updates are very exciting.

Standard

So nice to be on Office 365 and not having a weekend downtime to upgrade a third party tool.

(read my comments on each item below)

We’ve made some changes since last time…

  • WorkflowGalleryWorkflow Gallery

    • Complete the work faster and with fewer clicks. When opening Nintex for Office 365, you’ll now see an entry page instead of the design canvas. From this entry page, you can create new workflows, modify existing workflows and delete unwanted workflows. Depending where you are in a workflow design when you open Nintex, it will display the relevant actions for that context first and then a secondary set for other workflows. Read more…

[FS] Opening an existing workflow was a bit puzzling vs. on premises Nintex because it would always open blank until we open it manually as if opening a previous version. Now it doesn’t feel like we have lost them, they are visible.

  • TaskEscalationTask Escalation

    • We’ve now introduced the option of escalating a task to someone else or completing a task after a set period of time. Find this capability within the Assign a Task and Start a Task Process actions. Read more…

[FS] This is excellent. We already had it on premises for a long time, now on Office 365.

This means that we can build something like: if a task is still awaiting a Manager who has not completed it within 5 days then Nintex Workflow will escalate automatically to another person to approve such as the manager of that last task assignee. Real business value !