Category: Office 365 - page 4

Kinds and features of groups in Office 365

Office 365 Groups

The post continues the previous one, where I was trying to compare Groups with Teams. Despite the comparison was possible, Office 365 Group is not, what I underlined then, a standalone application, but a security object. Remember also, that Office 365 Groups were first introduced somewhere in 2014. Over the years it was being extended to work with other Office 365 based applications as well to be used in hybrid scenarios with on-premise Exchange.

Since it’s very beginning the narration that Microsoft was building around the concept was, that it is a tool dedicated for groups of employees, that delivers tools assisting and helping in their ongoing work, collaboration and communication.

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Office 365 Groups vs Microsoft Teams, comparision and misconceptions

Office 365 Groups vs Microsoft Teams

Office 365 Groups are a quite old concept. They were first introduced somewhere in 2014, but since then the concept developed, from a simple Shared Mailbox, into a tool dedicated for collaboration between employees. Then, in November 2016 Microsoft Teams went public what… brought a lot of confusion on users’ faces. I guess this confusion is still present.

I this post I am not trying to explain when to use what, but to compare those two products to show you their capabilities and… to help you answer on your own, which tool to use when.

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Communication Sites – where are they?

Yesterday I was crawling Twitter being a bit upset, that I cannot find any mark of the new Communication Sites. It was said, that my tenant must be set to be in “First release” to get that new feature before anyone else in the world. So I did it. But still, no sign.

Then I read somewhere, that it cannot be the “First release for everyone”, but “First release for selected users”! Go to https://portal.office.com/adminportal/home#/companyprofile and change “Release preferences” indicating your account as one from the selected users.

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Microsoft Stream – what kind of app is that?

Microsoft Stream

Earlier this month (20th of June) Microsoft Stream, the new application in the Office 365 family, became Generally Available. Many users are still in doubt because that is not very clear how this app is positioned to the Office 365 Video actually. The answer however is quite simple – many organizations demand having a secure and trusty storage to keep and stream multimedia files – which are in fact the largest files organizations are working with.

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Microsoft Forms now available for Commercial Office 365 Tenants as well!

Microsoft Forms

Microsoft Forms is a simple tool, that allows to create pools and quizzes and of course – collect responses. First it was created for educational purposes. Microsoft claims it was a result of the request from the tutors and students, as they needed a tool to easy create questionnaires and track responses.

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User Adoption issues in SharePoint and Office 365

I hate SharePoint IT frustration

The topic is repeatedly discussed over the years. It doesn’t really rely on any specific IT system. Even more – the user adoption is a common word describing how fast and how likely users are getting familiar with and accept a new product, innovation, etc… Not in IT exclusively. It really applies to every segment of the market, where a product or service is being sold to the end-user. The faster user “buys” it, the faster ROI rises.

During the Collaboration Summit that has recently took place in Zagreb, I’ve attended Jussi Mori’s seminar where he was talking about that topic, trying to evaluate reasons for which users do not want to easily adopt new things and ways to help them working it out. This presentation inspired me to make a little more research on the topic, what resulted in writing this post.

Nevertheless, the post is going to be about the user adoption in IT especially, moreover – it will apply to the Microsoft products. To be even more precise – to SharePoint and the whole Office 365.

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Office 365 – Roadmap for 2017

Recently ended video-conference “SharePoint Virtual Summit” (https://resources.office.com/ww-landing-sharepoint-virtual-summit-2017) confirmed rumors regarding upcoming changes and direction of the development Microsoft is planning for Office 365, in terms of “Digital Workplace” – a space dedicated for the employees, providing them with all necessary tools to make their work more efficient and comfy.

Microsoft is focusing mostly on the following products in these terms:

In my opinion this is where the most interesting changes are foreseen.

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How to: Import data from XLSX file into SharePoint Online using Nintex

In Nintex 2010, 2013 and 2016 for SharePoint (Standard version even) on-premise of course, there was a possibility to use Excel Services to query and work with the xlsx and xls files’ data. However, in Sharepoint Online there is no such powerful mechanism (well, there are Excel Services available via REST API, but it doesn’t provide that much functionality). Moreover Nintex products for SharePoint Online (neither Nintex Workflow Cloud nor Nintex for Office 365) don’t have any “OOTB” actions that would fill that gap. So in the end, there is no straightforward way to achieve it. So how can I import (and preferably automate it) data from XLSX file into SharePoint?

The most common workaround is to convert the xlsx file into a plain, csv file and then to work with the data from the file using collections (I will write about it in second post).

Recently I have realized, that there is a set of Excel actions in Microsoft Flow! All of us, who has SharePoint Online, has also a free version of Flow available. 

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Nintex Workflow Migration from on premise to Office 365

Sharegate migration Nintex

Recently I’ve been involved in that project, where data and information that was being created for years in on premise SharePoints had to be migrated to the Sharepoint Online environment in Office 365. All migration was said to be a simple, straightforward and easy due to the usage of Sharegate, but… the real truth turned out to be way more dark.

Before the real migration started I sat down and started reading about the process and possible obstacles. I can now divide them into 3 groups:

  1. Limitations of Sharegate
  2. Limitations of SharePoint Online
  3. Limitations of Nintex for Office 365.

First things first. I will guide you through all and each from them.

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Working with security credentials inside Nintex for Office 365 (RequestDigest, FedAuth, rtFa)

Recently I started playing around with the Nintex O365 Workflow REST API (http://help.nintex.com/en-us/sdks/sdko365/). Although not everything is possible (as saving new workflows), because web request action does not support passing of binary strings and cuts off null bytes (0x00), so the passed file is found by the API as incorrect BUT first thing I faced during my exercise was: HOW TO OBTAIN FedAuth security cookie?

I read articles, reviewed Stackverflow forums and similar looking for an answer how to achieve it using JavaScript. I was a bit upset with the results but then I found this precious article: Remote authentication in SharePoint Online | … And All That JS and everything went clear on how to obtain the cookie inside Nintex Workflow.

The following post is showing how to obtain 3 important security variables, that SharePoint requires from requester to “trust”:

  1. fedAuth cookie
  2. rtFa cookie
  3. RequestDigest token

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