Office 365 and SharePoint Community Go-To Resources

I am cross-posting this so that I have the resource at hand for reference. Big thank you goes to Eric Overfield who I follow as one of my goto resource person.

The great thing about technology is that feeling connected is literally a click away and the Office 365 / SharePoint community is no different. Now, don’t get me wrong, conferences, user groups, and social meetups are a great way to stay connected, but on those days when you’re stuck at your desk I’ve got just the solution.

The following are the top 10 resources that I follow to stay in the loop on what is going on in the Office 365 / SharePoint community. I will readily share that not only did I have a tough time narrowing down my list to just 10, but also that this list constantly changes as community involvement waxes and wanes, new members / resources spring up, while others slow down. I hope you will find this line up to be either a good start, or a great way to help fill out your current references.

  1. The SharePoint Dev Ecosystem YouTube channel:
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_mKdhw-V6CeCM7gTo_Iy7w
  2. Office Development blogs:
    https://dev.office.com/blogs/
  3. Waldek Mastykarz’s blog. If you want to know what is going on with SPFx development, this is your spot:
    https://blog.mastykarz.nl/
  4. Mikael Svenson’s blog. Mikael posts like a fiend and all his findings are fascinating:
    http://www.techmikael.com/
  5. Smashing Magazine. Some of the best bleeding edge web development insights:
    https://www.smashingmagazine.com/
  6. Andrew Connell’s blog. Andrew is a leader of the pack of SPFx trainers and his material around SPFx is outstanding:
    http://www.andrewconnell.com/blog
  7. SharePoint Team’s blog. Straight from MS:
    https://blogs.office.com/en-us/sharepoint/
  8. Marc Anderson’s blog. Marc tells you how it is.
    http://sympmarc.com/
  9. Chris O’Brien’s blog. An outstanding developer who provides in-depth posts, meaning long, in the right way:
    http://www.sharepointnutsandbolts.com/
  10. Stefan Bauer’s blog. Stefan’s design skillset when combined with his mastery of Sass is amazing and he shares his insights!
    https://n8d.at/blog/
  11. Eric Overfield: http://ericoverfield.com and http://blog.pixelmill.com/

 

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Add Reusable Workflow in SharePoint Designer 2013

The way we  create reusable workflow in SharePoint Designer (SPD) 2013 is a bit different from 2010 and as a result most people thought that Microsoft disabled this feature. The fact is this feature is still available but the way you navigate to creating  a reusable workflow in SPD 2013 is a bit different from SPD 2010. This is how you create a reusable workflow in SPD 2013 :

  1. Open the site in SPD 2013.
  2. Now instead of using the ribbon, which is what we used to do in SPD 2010, click File menu as seen in screenshot below
  3. This will take you to this page where you can create a reusable workflow by clicking the “Reusable Workflow” icon as seen below:

 

How to change SharePoint List or Document Library URL using SharePoint Designer

There are two ways of changing your SharePoint list or library URL. The first one is, of course, using PowerShell which I am not going to discuss now. The second one is using SharePoint Designer. You need to have site collection admin access to do this.

Suppose you want to change the URL, http://sitename/sites/testsite/Lists/Bad List Name/  to http://sitename/sites/testsite/Lists/GoodListName/  using SharePoint Designer then follow these steps:

1.  Open your site using SharePoint Designer

2. Click All Files from left navigation menu

3. Click Lists from the list of All Files

4. Right click into Lists ->Rename and change it from Bad List Name to GoodListName.

5. This will change the URL of your list

 

That is it…

How to move SharePoint list items/documents with metadata properties intact

If you want to move contents of SharePoint Document Library or List with intact metadata then use Content and Structure that you can find under Site Administration page of your site. URL is http://YOURDOMAIN/sites/_layouts/settings.aspx.

Before using either copy or move actions make sure you create a destination library/list/folder names in your the destination site:

structure

actions

 

Office 365 outlook groups features comparison

Office 365 is a way that helps us use Exchange and SharePoint online together to give your teams or group of people a way to work together using the best parts of what’s available in Office 365. Office 365 groups don’t exist in the on-premises space but in hybrid deployments, Office 365 Groups can be synchronized back to on-premises Active Directory via the AAD Connect tool, where they function as distribution groups. Microsoft has made it very clear that Office 365 Groups are a cloud entity that will not appear on-premises.

Below is a comparison of outlook group features for different platforms i.e. showing the availability of the different outlook group functionalities in each client platforms:

Outlook-Groups-on-all-platforms-Sep-2015

Bulk exporting of External contacts to Office 365 Exchange online

The non-profit organization that I support uses a Google group account to host its members email address. The organization has hundreds of email addresses in this group account. As soon as the organization started using Office 365 it soon become apparent that it needed to import those email addresses into Exchange Online in bulk so that we can add these emails into a distribution group (DG) account.

How do you go about importing these external emails into Office 365 Exchange online?

  1. Go to Google Gmail account, export the email addresses and save as csv inside the c:\temp folder or wherever you like.
  2. Make sure the following fields have values inside the above-mentioned csv file:
    • ExternalEmailAddress
    • Name
    • FirstName
    • LastName
    • OtherTelephone
    • Manage
  3. Start windows PowerShell as admin and connect to your office 365 Exchange online tenant. You can connect to Office Exchange online using the below scripts. You will be asked to login and make sure you use your Office 365 admin account and password:

$UserCredential = Get-Credential

$Session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri https://outlook.office365.com/powershell-liveid/ -Credential $UserCredential -Authentication Basic –AllowRedirection

Import-PSSession $Session

PS-email-export-01

4. Next run the following command:

Import-Csv c:\temp\ExternalContacts.csv|%{New-MailContact -Name $_.Name -DisplayName $_.Name -ExternalEmailAddress $_.ExternalEmailAddress -FirstName $_.FirstName -LastName $_.LastName}

The assumption is you saved your csv file under the folder c:\temp

As you ca see below now you should see each external users being exported to Office 365 Exchange online.

PS-email-export-02

5. Go to your Office 365 Exchange online admin center to check exported contacts

6. Click recipients from left navigation and then contacts from top tab. Now you see all your external contacts populated inside Office 365.

PS-email-export-03