Say Hello to O365 Planner, Manage Your Team and Tasks Effectively

Last year most of us missed the TimeLine feature in Office 365 with its sudden disappearance. we Office 365 user and even SharePoint On-Premise users supposed to love this for managing our tasks in an effective and meaningful way. Especially the way it presents tasks and information is wonderful and just makes user adoption easy.

Good Bye Old Friend !

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Many of us disappointed with the discontinuation of this but it surely showed a sign of a smile too. In the 1st quarter of 2016, Planner was introduced to Office 365 and that made a huge leap. Business users are significantly attached to individual and group tasks management and now with the planner it seems to become more easy.

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Unlike the previous timeline feature supposed to stick under your Personal Site, Planner is an independent App just like Email, Sites or Delve yet interacts with your entire O365 platform. 

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The all new user interface is just looks amazing with simple accessibility and amount of important data shown in a handy way. This makes anyone love their dashboard and keep it up to date which is ultimately a huge part of the success of an Intranet.

Planner Hub

This is where you get the full overview of your Plans. A plan can be a “Project” or any higher level entity which will have multiple tasks within. In this scenario below, a plan is a project which I am currently working on or even upcoming. Four colors are defined to indicate the statuses such as Not Started, Late, In progress and Completed.

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By going inside each plan, tasks are selectable and can be marked as Incomplete so it will appear back in the plan.

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Navigating Inside each Plan allows you to manage the plan with many useful features specifically attached to each plan.

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Conversations: Directs you to the all related email conversations on this plan. The navigator on the top makes it even easier to go back to other tabs such as Files and Notebook. This is incredibly effective.

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Files: Every plan will have its own library to store documents and collaborate. Uploading, Syncing and Sharing can be done in the same interface.

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Calendar opens up the calendar attached to this project/plan.

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Notes Directs you to the OneNote Notebook dedicated for this plan.

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Creating a New Plan. A simple and yet nice interface given to create a new plan and you can define Plan Name.

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Adding New task in an existing Plan. Simple as defining Due date, People who responsible for the task and task Name.

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Classify Tasks with Buckets

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We can have multiple Buckets to classify tasks for easy identification and manageability. This makes Planner much more broader than previous Timeline feature.

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All in all, Planner has finally brought the simplicity and yet solid set of capabilities to manage your projects and activities. Not just limiting to tasks but also broader set of functionalities allows you and your team to manage day to day projects and activities effectively.

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p align=”justify”>Finally a Centralized Team and Activity management Space for Office 365 provides you better experience.

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Sorry Something went wrong, An Unexpected Error Occurred After Migrating SharePoint 2010 Site to 2013

The error itself describes nothing related as it is a common error. there will be scenarios where the SharePoint farms that you are planning to migrate having bunch of custmizations and third-party integrations. this is one example i’ve been facing recently.

The Site was migrated using DB attached method and whatever the Custom Solutions were sitting on the source farm wrere migrated to destination (2013) Farm too. there were many Web applications and many of them worked perfectly but not this one.

Prompts “Sorry Something went wrong, An Unexpected Error Occurred” when accessing the destination site URL.

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ULS Log is the god at this point.

Searching ULS through this correlation ID won’t give you the exact point here. Instead search through URL. At this point the error was occurred due to the Nintex Workflow Solution which is a third party WSP deployed and not configured. Retracting the two WSPs related to Nintex from this particular web Application resolved the error.

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This is the ultimate reason behind this error. This Home page has been using a Task list associated to a third-Party Solution. Web Part remains fulty unless the connection and licensing configured properly.

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Wrap-up: Any Cutom Solution used (only the ones used within your target Web application) in the Source Farm has to be deployed to the Destination farm. not only deployed and enabled but conigured for Connections and Licensing. in above scenario, the third-party solution was not licensed and neither configured as required which cuased the error in destination.

Anonymous Users getting authentication prompt for SharePoint List and Library access

Public facing sites hosted in SharePoint commonly needs anonymous access and that’s been there for quite long now.

Generic configurations are done from Central Administration and Site Permission Level but these steps will not allow anonymous users to have read access to all the content unless you specify.

  • Enable anonymous access in “Authentication Providers” (Central Administration –> Application Management –> Select the target Web Application) – All Scenarios
  • Grant rights to anonymous users in “Site permissions” -All Scenarios
  • Grant rights to specific library (in some scenarios)

but you will get authentication prompted when anonymously accessing lists, libraries or items stored in.

To have read access to all lists and libraries across the site, you also need to Disable the “Limited-access user permission lockdown mode” Site Collection Features. Deactivating this feature will grant anonymous users to access all resources across the site (which are granted for anonymous access)

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Word, PDF, PPT Cannot be Opened but Excel, OneNote | Resolving an Extremely Strange Behavior of Office Web Apps 2013

This Scenario is a brand new Office Web Apps 2013 (With SP1) Farm Configured with Two Nodes. Load Balanced with Windows NLB and Secured via SSL as HTTPS.

After all the Configuration on OWA Farm and WOPI binding on SharePoint, Excel Files Opens perfectly on browser but Word,Excel,PPT,PDF file types are fails with below Errors which is a strange behaviour.

1. OWA Servers are communicating Very Well across each other and Port 809, 810 can reachthrough Telnet.

2. No Issues on the SSL or Load Balancer because Excel is Perfectly Working (Excel Calculation Service not running in the farm at all).

3. SharePoint WOPI Binding doesnt seems to cause any issues because, again Excel is functioning Perfeclty.

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Hanging up for more than 4 miniutes and Error Prompts

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PowerPoint and PDF also the same. of cource the PDF Uses Word Viewer to Display Files on Broswer in 2013.

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As same as the error on screen, Event Log had few errors too whenever the files were being tried to access but most of them did not give a spot on hint relates to this behaviour.

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So Yes, Very Strange but Hold on, We are going to solve this !

After lot of Struggle, The reason was discovered and below are the steps taken.

Demoted Entire OWA Farm and Uninstalled the Product. then Reinstalled OWA in Each Server newly in C: Drive. The Issue was with the Additional Drive (D:) Which I used to locate Program files in OWA Servers which caused the issue.

All file types started working robustly right after the provisioning.

It is a Well-known practice that we normally follow on production environment to Isolate Program files, Logs etc… in to a Dedicated Drive as a best practive but with OWA it doesnt seems to be a good move yet !. Lets wait for a response from Microsoft and till then you better have your whole OWA Located to C Drive which is simple and hassle free.

The Bottom-line Is: WAC must be installed to the same drive letter as the render cache location.

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p align=”justify”>You can Download my TechNet Whitepaper to Setup Office Web Apps 2013 in a Multi-server Environment with NLB and SSL here – https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Setting-up-Multi-Server-23e1f2ca

Workflow History : The email message cannot be sent. Make sure the outgoing email settings for the server are configured properly. Error Ocurred for SharePoint Workflow based Email Notifications but General Librray and List Subcribers Receives Email Alerts

Its pretty common error in the SharePoint Environments and there are many blog articles covers the same but this scenario is quite different.

This error is a common output for many reasons so it needs some effort to drill down in to the exact cause of this. Its states clearly that your SharePoint Farm is not properly configured for Outgoing Email but you are sure that you did and basically the List and Library Based Subcribe Alerts and Functioning.

The most common way of testing Outgoing emails in a Newly Configured SharePoint Farm is, by subscribing to a SharePoint list or a Library.

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Many of you may use this method to verify the OutGoing Email functionality after configuring and yet end users may still complain that Workflow Alerts are not firing at all.

Below are the Key Points that you need to verify on SharePoint Farm side.

1. Outgoing Email Settings of your Target Web Application is inherited from the Farm configuration.

Outgoing Email Settings of Central Administration (Farm Level)

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Outgoing Email Settings of Target Web Application (Web App Level)

Central Administration –> Application management –> Select Target Web Application –> Under General Settings Tab –> Outgoing Email Settings

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2. You can reach the SMTP Server and send a Test Email via Telnet to Verify the Communication Between SMTP Srever and SharePoint Farm

Check the Port Status  (If this Fails, You might need to check your Widows Firewalls or Organization’s Firewall for related port opening)

Telnet <Mail Server IP/HostName> 25

Send a Test Email  (If this Fails, You might need to check your Widows Firewalls or Organization’s Firewall for related port opening)

Open up Powershell and Run the following lines. Press enter on each Step to go ahead

ehlo mail.domain.com

mail from: intranet-spfarm@domain.com

rcpt to: spadmin@domain.com

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Subject: this is a test mail

Enter

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Enter

3. Checking the TimerJob Settings for OutGoing Email Service.

Generally you define the Preferred Server for Timer Jobs under the Web Application Database in Central Administration and it is well known. but there is no way to define a dedicated Server for specific Timer Job.

If you have multiple Server Farm, There is a Chance that you have configured fireall Exceptions for SMTP to a one server and Timer Job is running in another. In this situation, SharePoint Timer Job trying to send email from APP2 (Which has not allowed from Firewall).

Check on Central Administration which Server You have defined to run Time Jobs, If nothing defined here, It will randomly run on all available servers.

Open Central Administration –> Application management –> Manage Content Databases –> Select Target Web Application.

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Drag Down to the Bottom of the Page and Check the below

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Next is to Check the TimerJob History to figure out which server its been using to Send Emails so far.

Open Central Administration –> Monitoring –> Timer Job Status

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if it uses the Same Server that you have configured Firewall and SMTP, Must be all good. if not you might need to define the correct server under the Database Settings as above Step and set the Job Execution Schedule to Every 1 Minute to see immediate results.

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4. If all above steps are succeeded means that you have properly configured everytihng from SharePoint Side but one Last but not least thing to check is ANTIVIRUS

It is Normal any Organization genrally having Antivius Deployed for all Servers in order to implement protection.

Go ahead and Check if there is an Antivirus Application or Agent has been deployed in your SharePoint Srever (Which Runs SMTP Relay Service). Most of the time this could be Symantec ,McAfee or Kasperky.

Disable the Antivus Agent temporary and try to Run a test Workflow with a Single Email Step.

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Simply Create a New Library/List in SharePoint Site and Create a Basic one Step Workflow to Test Email Firing.

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If the above Three Steps are successful, Notification Must Generate Immediately and you are a Happy SharePointer !