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Tag Archives: Sharepoint online

Milestone of 50.000+ views reached !!! Thanks everybody.

My blog reached 50.000+ views. Thanks everybody, this really exceeded my expectation and motivates me even more to keep going. Special thanks go out to my fellow bloggers in my blogroll and to those who shared my posts on Twitter, Facebook and other social networks.

Even though my blog exists since January 2012, I really started to blog actively around August and ever since I’ve tried to keep posting on a regular basis. At the start of 2013 I even intended to blog every day. I was able to keep it up for a short while, but it was just too time consuming. Now I try to blog something at least once every 5 days. The blog post count is now at 170.

Personally I think Microsoft is on the right track. I’m really looking forward to all new Microsoft product (preview) releases including Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2 and you can expect some blog posts about this in the near future.

Popular posts

From the stats, it turned out these are the blog posts that are being viewed most, if you’ve missed any of them you might want to take a look at them:

Stats

For those interested in the view stats, here they are:

Views

Comments and suggestions

If you have suggestions about what I can do to improve, please let me know. Also if you’d like to see some things covered more or in more detail, just leave a comment.

 

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Office 365 – My wave 15 / 2013 service upgrade experience

About 3 weeks before the upgrade took place, I received e-mails informing me about the upcoming update. It included the plan date and also mentioned I could postpone the update. As the date of the upgrade approached I also received mails with information of new features and what had to be done.

The upgrade itself took place on the date that was communicated to me and when it was done I got a mail informing me that the upgrade had been completed. When I logged on to the Office 365 admin center (https://portal.microsoftonline.com/) I immediately found this to be a big improvement. It also showed me some alerts containing links to information about changes and tasks that still needed to be performed like upgrading SharePoint sites.

I didn’t expect any big issues, but I was a bit worried if my SharePoint customizations would keep working correctly:

It is possible to leave the SharePoint site the way it is (at least with this upgrade), but you can also upgrade it and take advantage of the new options. If you are considering upgrading the SharePoint site, you can perform a health check and you can also request an upgrade evaluation copy of the site collection before you actually upgrade.

Probably because of my customizations, the Site Collection Health Check found some problems related to Customized Files that could result in unexpected visuals or behavior.

For now, everything seems to be working fine though on my upgrade evaluation copy of the site collection, so I’ll probably upgrade my site collection soon. If you want to, you can take a look at both the pre-upgrade SharePoint site and the post-upgrade SharePoint site. The evaluation post-upgrade version will only be available until the 23rd of June.

What I did notice, is that the interface of the services have improved and have also been changed to better suit for touch devices. By example the white space between navigation items seems to have increased and everything is a bit bigger.

After the upgrade, I also had to restart some Office 2013 apps once.

Of course the upgrade to Wave 15 provides many more advantages, but in this post I only wanted to share my service upgrade experience without really changing anything. All in all, I think the upgrade experience went very well.

 

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Microsoft – Resources to get more familiar with Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS)

Nowadays more and more work, communication and collaboration involves multiple external parties. This can involve by example employees, customers, partners, suppliers, cloud providers/platforms/applications.

This means it is becoming increasingly important to have proper authentication and authorization methods in place for single sign on (SSO) so users can be more productive. Besides the ease-of-use It can also lead to better security.

Microsoft’s Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) will make this possible. For more information on ADFS, here are some resources. Keep in mind though that while some information may be outdated, it will give you a broad idea of the concept and the inner workings. The current version of ADFS in Windows Server 2012 is 2.1 , while Windows Server 2008 uses 2.0

PS: Microsoft is moving more and more towards claims based authentication. Examples include Windows Server 2012 Dynamic Access Control and also SharePoint 2013 that has switched to claims based authentication by default now.

If you have some other resources that might be useful, please let me know so I can add them as well.

 

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Office 365 / Sharepoint online – Add search to your public site

In the past I’ve created a post to get my public site to become a SharePoint 2010 style team site. The only thing I’d been missing since was a way to allow public/anonymous users to use the search (when trying to perform a search you would have to logon).This also meant that filters in the lists I created weren’t working :(

Because of the unsupported customizing I did on the SharePoint site, I thought this just wasn’t possible.

Thankfully however, a visitor of my blog (Denis) came across my post “Provide anonymous access to sharepoint lists on Office 365 (Sharepoint online)” and shared this blog post to enable search for an Office 365 / SharePoint Online public site.

So now my website http://www.bjornhouben.com and all the content inside it, including the lists is completely searchable.

Thanks again Denis.

 

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Office 2013 including Exchange, Lync and Sharepoint has been released to manufacturing (RTM)

As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, Microsoft is working hard to get new and better versions of their software released as soon as possible.

Last week Microsoft announced that the Office 2013 suite reached released to manufacturing (RTM) including:

  • Office 2013 for workstations (Outlook, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Access, OneNote, Project, Visio)
  • Server software (Exchange 2013, Sharepoint 2013, Project 2013, Lync 2013, Visio 2013)
  • Cloud versions of the above mentioned software (Office 365).

The availability is dependent on the platform and your licensing type. More information about this can be found here:
http://blogs.office.com/b/office-news/archive/2012/10/11/office-reaches-rtm.aspx

I have to admit I didn’t expect them to reach RTM status already. I also hope that beta exams won’t be released anytime soon, because then I won’t have enough time to properly prepare :(

 

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Office 365 / Sharepoint online – Workaround to add RSS feed web part to public website

When I tried to include a RSS feeds web part to my public sharepoint site just the way I had done many times on intenal sharepoint sites, I found out that the RSS viewer web part was not available.

After searching the internet I found out why this was the case and I also found a workaround using a custom solution/webpart.

Even though it is possible to use RSS feeds this way on my public sharepoint site, it is not what I expected. In my opinion an RSS feed web part is such a fundamental part of websites nowadays that it should be available by default in Office 365 / Sharepoint online.

I hope that this will be corrected in the upcoming release of sharepoint (2013) for Office 365, but the preview still doesn’t provide this capability unfortunately:

 

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Office 365 / Sharepoint online – Change public site to look like a sharepoint 2010 site

When you first create a public site collection in Office 365 / Sharepoint online you get a default website that looks like this:

I personally prefer the Sharepoint 2010 site look:

To change the layout, follow the instructions in this blog post:
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/sharepoint__cloud/archive/2011/12/22/change-sharepoint-online-public-site-to-look-like-a-sharepoint-2010-site.aspx

Please check my website http://www.bjornhouben.com to see what it can look like after some minor customizations.

 

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Jump start videos for the new exam 74-324 Administering Office 365 for Small Businesses.

Office 365 has been available for quite some time and there have also been two exams available:
70-321 Deploying Office 365
70-323 Administering Office 365

These exams focussed on larger enterprises and features corresponding with this use. More information about these exams can be found in my previous blog post. Keep in mind however that Office 365 is an ever evolving service and that things might have been changed since I wrote this blog post. Even Microsoft has retired and replaced some of their learning content.

Recently a third exam became available that focusses on smaller businesses 74-324 Administering Office 365 for Small Businesses. At the end of August a Jump Start event was held and now the recordings of this event have been made available on Technet Video.

I hope this is useful to you and that it will help you leverage Office 365 better.

 

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Provide anonymous access to sharepoint lists on Office 365 (Sharepoint online)

Office 365 introduction

Office 365 basically provides you with collaboration services consisting of the following components:

  • E-mail (Exchange online)
  • Instant messaging (Lync online)
  • Internal and external websites (Sharepoint online)
  • Office (either locally installed or through web apps).

I really like this service offering because of the following reasons:

  • All services (and servers) are hosted by Microsoft. This means you don’t have to invest in servers, software. You also don’t have to do the initial setup nor do you have to maintain the servers, operating system and software. This all helps you to be able to focus on your core business.
  • You pay monthly fees, which are predictable.
  • Since you are using a cloud based service, the functionality is continuously being improved and newer versions are being provided at no additional cost. Currently Office 2013 Preview is available for testing only on Office 365, but when it is released it will probably also find its way to the current Office 365 users.

But don’t take my word for it, just try it for yourself and see if and how you can benefit from it.

Configuring anonymous access to sharepoint lists on Office 365 (Sharepoint online) 

Even though I like Office 365, it is far from perfect. For example, one of the reasons for me to get and Office 365 subscription was because (I thought) it would let me easily share website links, applications, scripts using sharepoints lists to the internet.

In reality however, the public facing sharepoint site was very limited and did not provide an easy way to do this. Another option was to create these lists on my “internal” sharepoint site and then provide access to people by inviting them by e-mail. This would however limit my audience / knowledge sharing potential.

After searching for people with similar issues, I came across a workaround that would help me accomplish my goals: http://anonymous365.codeplex.com

Steps to configure a sharepoint list on my public facing sharepoint site that is accessible for anonymous users:

  1. Download the anonymous365 sharepoint solution from http://anonymous365.codeplex.com
  2. Go to the “Site Settings” of your public facing site using by example :
    http://bjornhouben-web.sharepoint.com/_layouts/settings.aspx
  3. Go to the “Galleries” section and go to “Solutions“.
  4. Click under the “Name” colume and in the ribbon interface under the “Solutions” tab choose “Upload Solution“.
  5. Browse to the previously downloaded anonymous365 sharepoint solution : “Wsp365.Anonymous.wsp” and press “OK“.
  6. Check the checkbox of the uploaded “Wsp365.Anonymous.wsp” and in the ribbon interface under the “Solutions” tab choose “Activate“.
  7. The go to the “All Site Content” of your public facing site using by example:
    http://bjornhouben-web.sharepoint.com/_layouts/viewlsts.aspx
  8. Press “Create
  9. Choose the list type you want, enter a name and press “Create“.
  10. Then in the ribbon interface under “List Tools” and “List” press the button “Anonymous Access
  11. Choose what access you want to give anonymous users for this specific list and press “OK”.

PS: You can also use a list to share files using the attachments.

Closing thoughts

I hope this explanation was helpful and I love to get feedback. Because the groundwork is done now, I can focus on the actual knowledge sharing by populating the lists with content. So you can expect some major updates soon on both my blog posts and the lists below:

 

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