Blog Posts

Building a Modern SharePoint Solution: Part 1 – Preparing SharePoint

Today I want to start a new series around PowerApps and Flow and building out an entire solution that utilizes both of these tools.  Until recently, a PowerApp was a separate application from SharePoint.  It could be attached to a list, but you were still limited to it being outside of the platform.  That all changed in the last quarter of 2017 (at least for those on first release).  If you are first release and using the new SharePoint list UI, then you can now build your forms in PowerApps like we used to with InfoPath (and some still do 🙁 ) and use the in place of the default SharePoint list forms.  This means you can now make your user interface nicer to use and add logic without having to utilize code, an outdated tool or pay for a more expensive tool to do that for you.  If you have licensing in O365, you have PowerApps and Flow available to you.  In this first post I am going to discuss the requirements and prepare SharePoint.  In the next post in the series show you how to integrate and build out your form for the solution.  Then we’ll add some logic and customizations to the form.  Once that’s done, we’ll bring out Flow and automate the processes behind the scenes.  Just a quick note, this series is designed to do as much OOTB as possible so some other logical enhancements like using other control types instead of the default data cards will be demonstrated in future posts.

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SharePoint Business Connectivity Services in SharePoint Online

I have always been a strong supporter of the SharePoint Business Connectivity feature.  I find that in many cases it allows for easy access to data you would normally have to develop custom solutions for or even pay large amounts of money in licencing for (SAP, PeopleSoft, etc).  BCS brings the ability to present data located in other systems into SharePoint.  A tool that many understand and use daily.  In this presentation I discuss using Business Connectivity Services within SharePoint Online as opposed to on premises.  You can find the slide deck here.  Thanks for attending my session on this topic.


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SharePoint Site Architecture – Flat, Deep or Something In The Middle

Hi recently had the privilege to do another presentation with Joanne Klein.  This time we built a presentation off of a post that she had written around whether we should use flat or deep structures with our site collections and sub sites or if we should have something in between when designing a SharePoint site architecture.  It was a lot of fun and we probably could have done entire presentation on just a portion of it.  Either way, I promised our attendees that I would post our slide deck.  You can find the slide deck here.  Thank you very much to everyone who attended.


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Microsoft Flow – Updating a OneNote Book from Outlook

I continually get frustrated because there are so many great blogs and tidbits of information out there that I want to keep up on, but there isn’t enough hours in the day. On social media I often see great blogs posted by colleagues and friends, or in my day to day while looking for solutions, I will come across other blogs on my own. The problem is that during the day I simply don’t have enough time to read all of them. So I simply leave my tabs open to come back later during lunch or a break. Except that never seems to happen as something always comes up. I usually have plenty of time to read them in the evening once everyone is settled down at home, but I always forget what I was looking at. I have tried emailing them home, but they get lost within all the other emails I received. I set rules, but even if I come back to them, I like to take notes and emails aren’t the best place to do that. So after reading Tracy Van Der Schyff’s blog on moving notes to Planner and Teams I had a thought. What about going the other way?

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Microsoft PowerApps – Updating a Data Card from a Button

So the other day I was playing around with some field manipulation in PowerApps and thought about a use case I saw often with respect to updating fields when code from a button or some other action occurs.  Say for instance you wanted to update a hidden field with some information when a user clicked a button or completed some task on the form.  Maybe it isn’t a hidden field, but whatever the case may be, you need to be able to update that field.  I was surprised to note that it isn’t very intuitive in PowerApps, nor could I find much out there in the forums.  I did find some information around doing it with a Text Input field, but nothing specific to a data card.

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