Left navigation intranet is so last year!

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I have always been a defender of using the “OOB” Out Of the Box tool of a product before it comes to adding some custom code to it. However, let’s be honest, for years SharePoint was not great at it when only using out-of-the-box features. I even gave a talk in the past where we discussed how to gain the love back from users.

Image result for sharepoint team siteIn the SharePoint world, “Team site” was the default layout for any SharePoint Intranet for years, and still are. Left navigation being super boring, especially when more than 15 links and scrolling 2 meters down the page! So most companies ended to customise their site so much that the next version of SharePoint meant to do it all again.

But with the latest SharePoint modern sites and pages, it’s sleek, minimalist,  MODERNSITE.pngclean and .. well, not clunky anymore! SharePoint owners are now super excited to use them as their intranet pages.

There is just one problem:

we haven’t been told how to use these as the “top level page” of an intranet. The first page that user will see when they click on the SharePoint homepage: https://mydomain.sharepoint.com.

Thanks to this blog article by Jimmy Hang and reading the comments, I have summarised how to do so. And I can confirm to have repeated the steps in 3 different tenants, therefore, no, Microsoft did not remove the ability to use these “workarounds.”

  1. Delete Top Site

    the top site collection of SharePoint already exists (as a boring team site), go to SharePoint admin and delete it (if empty ;-).

  2. Recreate top site collection without selecting a template

    Do not select any template, use the option “Custom / select template later”

    selecttemplate.png

  3. Create a modern communication site anywhere

    Create a new site from the new SharePoint Admin Center or from the “SharePoint” site list, if this option is not disabled for your tenant.

    SaveTemplate.png

  4. Enable to run custom scripts on self-service sites on your tenant

    Preferably from PowerShell for quasi-immediate effect.

    Connect-SPOService -Url https://mydomain-admin.sharepoint.com -credential me@mydomain.onmicrosoft.com
    Set-SPOSite -Identity https://mydomain.sharepoint.com/sites/CommunicationTemplateOnly -DenyAddAndCustomizePages 0
  5. Save this communication site as a template

    Adding /_layouts/15/savetmpl.aspx after the site URL

  6. Open top site collection

    When prompted for a template, upload the template file to solutions, activated it.

  7. Create the site using that template

  8. job done!

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Using Nintex Connection Manager with SharePoint Administrator privileges

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A couple of months ago Nintex released the Connection Manager for SharePoint Online which -finally- gives a much awaiting supported feature for using elevated permissions in a Nintex Workflow, previously we always used some workaround but the super user’s credentials had to be passed to the workflow unencrypted (example here).

It all looked fine in principle but my action kept returning an “unauthorised” error after I converted it to that new connection manager.

createsitecol.pngThe action that was failing on was “Create Site Collection”, and it was simply because the new connection I created had rights at List/Library level, Site Level and Site Collection Level, but in my case I needed that permission to apply at Tenant level (higher than all site collection: just like a SharePoint Administrator).

The Nintex connection manager documentation definitely mentioned using it for action Create Site Connection but clearly, it was a fail.

Since I knew that Microsoft would not let a third party tool like Nintex have its settings page on their Central Admin, I sensed that it would be tricky to create the new connection manager at tenant level, so where would that be done?

After a couple of interaction with Nintex support and escalation to product developers, we found out that to tell the connection that to apply the permission to the tenant you had to specify the URL of the SharePoint site to be the Central Admin site, hence just adding -admin to the URL is enough. Since Nintex connection can exist in any site or site collection, setting a tenant-wide connection can be done anywhere too.

NintexConnectionDialog.png

eg.: https://targetdomain-admin.sharepoint.com

The documentation is now reflecting this https://help.nintex.com/en-US/O365/o365/O365WorkFlow/WorkflowActions-INT/Office365CreateSiteCollection.htm

Nintexdoc.png

 

Thanks, Nintex for this precision.

 

Microsoft and LinkedIn published free Office 365 training

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Microsoft and LinkedIn have created new training courses about various Office apps and services. The courses are available for free in the Office Training Center, and cover topics like how to use Outlook 2016 and Excel 2016.

 

Source: New Office training courses from LinkedIn Learning – Office Blogs