A great bunch of new features coming soon for SharePoint Modern Experience !

SharePoint product team just revealed news about a fantastic set of modernization features which are planned to release in the 1st quarter 2019. Microsoft been aggressively improving the user experience of SharePoint, OneDrive, in fact the whole Office 365 umbrella for the past few years.

Some of these features are brand new while some are updates for legacy SharePoint capabilities. Nevertheless, each of them looks cool and would definitely great to have. The best thing everyone love about Office 365 is, there is no additional cost for any of these updates. Let’s find out what we are going to get soon.

Bulk Check In/Check Out


Microsoft previously released bulk edit for list and libraries and now with this update you will have the ability to check in/out multiple records/documents at once. Have a look at the following screenshot comes from Chris MacNulty.

Document Sets


Document sets group related documents together with shared metadata, routing and visual experiences. They’ve been available in classic mode previously, and now you can work with them in the modern experience starting March 2019 onwards.

Signal Icons


Isn’t that cool when you have a nice visual cue right next to each file as the status? Here are the new list of status signals that you will soon be able to see in your tenant. There will be more signals and the best news is its not going to just limit to SharePoint but also will be available on OneDrive, Teams, and Office Clients too. Wait no longer than February !

Column Totals


Custom views allow you to add calculated fields, such as totals or averages, to the footer of a group or the entire list. Now, totals will display in the modern view without forcing users back to the classic interface. Totals will also show in the modern web parts for lists and libraries.

Sticky Headers

SharePoint is known to have large repositories. Large lists and libraries always takes a scroll vertically and horizontally. With Sticky headers, you will have the column headers pinned at the top of the scrolling window so it helps you identify list values as you move vertically and horizontally through the view. And ! column headers will also remain in place inside the list/library web parts across any page you have added them.

Add Columns In-between Column


Soon you will be able to add a column in between another columns which cuts off the time it takes to reach the end of the column headers. Again, this will help a lot in wider lists/library views where you have lots of columns added in to. Just hover you mouse on the edge between two columns and you will immediately notice the (+) icon.

Column Drag and Drop


Guess what! You don’t have to dig in and modify the views anymore. Moving a column within a list or a library, simply drag it and drop to where you want it to be. Easier right ?

In a quick note: Microsoft always commits to deliver efficiency, reliability and usability across all products. Feel free to raise you voice if you have any idea you think worth actioning here – https://sharepoint.uservoice.com/forums/329214-sites-and-collaboration

Images: Microsoft (original post is here)


Microsoft Flow in a real world scenario: using Office Quick Parts to fill out documents (part 02)

Part 02 (This article)

Email notification on smartphone in hand. New mail message in inbox, mailing letters or reading sms on mobile phone vector illustration

After the last step in the part 01 of this article series, we  are resuming with this flow. We now can save this, and quickly give it a test run if it delivers what we need.

Hit “Save”  button and check the flow for any errors from “Flow Checker” option on the top right corner. Also,  you can test any flow straightaway from here.


Let’s do a dry run here. You have two options to test it out. Use data from the last run or trigger as a new instance. Hit “Save and Test” to begin.


And hit “Continue” to start it.


Inputs to be done here for the metadata fields we mapped and then simply hit “Run


Flow also has an wonderful activity tracker. A cool new interface allows you to monitor your Flow activities from a one place.


Click on “See flow run activity” to find out the status of this instance. This run has been succeeded.


We can go back to the library and open up the document to see if our Quick Parts have been updated as per this run. Bare in mind that Word Online might have an issue when you open this kind of a document. Quick parts are working well with Office Desktop Application and Word online Preview Mode but, unfortunately having some issues in Word Online in edit mode. Therefore, make sure you test it with Word Application before you wonder where it went wrong as quick parts may still show empty in online mode even after running the Flow successfully.

Here’s how it should look like after the execution.


Sending Email Alerts up on completion

After composing of the document, we can configure the flow to send out email alerts. In this scenario, I’m going to send alerts to the person who triggered this flow, alerting him with the composed document as an attachment.

Let’s go ahead and add a new step as usual.


Search for “Get file content” SharePoint action


We have to rename it as “Get file content new” so it makes better sense as we already have a step with the default name.


Next up, parameters. Choose the appropriate site URL from the drop down and file identified has to be the ID. Leave the “Infer Content Type” with its default and that’s it.


Now, add another new step which we will be using to configure the email alert. search for “Send an email” and select the “Send an email (V2) (Preview)”


Parameters to be configured as shown below. search for “User email” attribute for Receiver field and choose it.


My subject line will be “Text: customer name field” concatenated. Feel free to have your own here. Type the text and look for “Customer Name” attribute and place it next to the text in the subject line as shown below.

The Body will be just a plain text which indicates the purpose of this mail. Again, it’s all up to you to insert anything here.


For the attachment name, use File name with extension, from the Update file properties section.  For the File Content, get that from the Get file content new file section.


You can extend the content section by adding more attachment/content but that’s optional. just leave the “Importance” as normal here which depends on your situation though. Feel free to adjust these parameters as required.


Now the exciting part !. We can run our full flow to see if everything works as expected. So I will go ahead and kick it.


Click on “see flow run activity” to see the status of this instance.


And click again on the latest instance from the history of this flow.


You will see the entire history of the instance selected. And best of all, in just a simple click you can see the action result in a handy dandy UI ! Isn’t this amazing ?


Now let’s switch to our outlook account. In my case it’s my account which was used to kick the Flow. And, I can see the latest item with all our parameters including the attachment which means the hard works have paid off !!


In addition to that, Flow Dashboard is a great place to keep up with all your things around Flows across the entire tenant. You can turn on/off a flow with just a button swipe!. Statuses and other handy dandy stuff all brought in to a one place to make your life more easier.


Until next flow post, Happy Flowing !

Start over with part 01 

DISCLAIMER NOTE: This is an enthusiast post and is not sponsored by Microsoft or any other vendor.

Microsoft Flow in a real world scenario: using Office Quick Parts to fill out documents (Part 01)

Part 01 (This Article)

Yes ! a simple and yet solid Microsoft Flow can be configured to fill-out a Word Document stored in your SharePoint library in conjunction with Quick Parts.


Image Courtesy: brookfieldinstitute

With this blog series, I’m going to demonstrate, how you can utilize legacy and yet famous Office Quick Parts with Microsoft Flow to optimize your content creation!. Well, Quick Parts aren’t new, they have been in Office suite since 2010 but still being famous among content creators due to its usability. 

To get started, you need the following fundamentals:

  • Office 365 subscription with SharePoint, MS Flow Capabilities
  • A document library to store documents
  • Microsoft Office Application Installed in your PC or Mac

Once you have them, simply log in to SharePoint online and open up the desired site. You need a document library to store documents and also relevant fields (metadata) to be created to match our quick parts (Date, Company Name, Project Name etc..).

In my case, I have a simple library with few metadata fields created as below.


Following fields in blue, are our quick parts that we will be linking with the SharePoint library fields. They can be belong to a content type (centralized) or a specific to an library, nevertheless we can use quick parts in a document so that anyone can easily fill them out as part of a process.


Once you have added columns in to the library (much more easier in Modern SharePoint experience!), create a new Word document in that library or if you already have a document, just upload it to the library (just drag and drop). my library is the default “Shared Document” and the columns are “Customer, Project name, Date, Project value”, just four, simple !

Once you have uploaded, open it from Word application as shown below.


From Word, direct to Insert –> Quick Parts –> Document Property –> Choose the desired field/s


Here I’m adding Customer field which looks like below once added.


You have to click on each spot where you want Quick part to be placed and it will insert accordingly. I have added some fields multiple times here which is perfectly fine. Normally, a single field value can be used in various location across a document.


Changes are usually saved automatically. If you notice the save icon on the top bar of Word Application. So just go ahead and close this now.


Let’s head back to our library and get started with building the Flow for this scenario. Its easier to work with any office 365 tool nowadays due to the ultimate UI enhancements Microsoft have recently done.

Click on Flow –> Create a flow, from the Library


You will now be redirected to Flow web site and you must sign in using your O365 account to be able to go ahead from here onwards.

Once you signed in, choose New –> Create from blank from the Microsoft Flow home page. Pretty simple right ?


Type in “Manual” and hit “Enter” to search. Select the “Manually triggered button” as shown below.


Next up, we have to choose our SharePoint action. Type in “Get File Content” and select the highlighted action to proceed.


On the trigger options, Choose appropriate input types to match your fields. Keep in mind that your trigger can be whatever you want it to be, in my scenario, I’m using a manual trigger which is easy for me to demonstrate the use case.


Now to format our input parameters in the trigger. In my case, I’m adding 4 input types (Date, text and number) according to the Quick Parts I have. You can have more or less, inputs based on your story.

Customer: Text Field | Amount: Number | Doc Date: Date | Project: Text


Next up, is to configure our 1st SharePoint action to act as we want. we have to bind our SharePoint library to the flow. Choose the site where you have the library from the dropdown. I am using SharePoint because, in this case that’s is where my data resides, but, you can use various other services such as Salesforce, or PowerApps to bring inputs in to the file. The idea of this post is to demonstrate that how data coming from (anywhere) can be automatically entered in to a Word document.


And select the document library from the listed ones. Leave “Infer Content Type” as Yes as well.


Now let’s add a new action here. Click on “New” and add the Create File SharePoint action as below.


This action will update the file properties when the flow is triggered. Select the Site address and folder path (Library). Define the File name by choosing the appropriate fields as you wish. File content should come from the File Content Action itself.


Once this is done, the Flow so far would look like this. make sure you map the fields properly so you wont have any errors during the first run. A positive first impression is something awesome you know that !!


Then, click on “New” and search for “Update file properties” SharePoint action from the list to add our next action.


In here too, we have to configure some parameters to reflect fields and quick parts appropriately. Choose the same site and libraries and Item ID should be “Item ID” from create file. I am using Customer Name field as the title here but its up to you to have your own choice.


Continue to read part 02

DISCLAIMER NOTE: This is an enthusiast post and is not sponsored by Microsoft or any other vendor.

No-Code column formatting in SharePoint Online

SharePoint Online now offers a simple way of formatting columns even if you don’t have any programming experience. Knowing a bit of JSON would be great indeed because, for now this out of the box capability is limited to few types of columns. Yet, you can use JSON for other types that are not supported out of the box.

There are two ways to apply column formatting:

  1. You can apply column formatting to an existing column by selecting the column drop down and choosing column settings –> format this column.
  2. Or you can apply column formatting during the creation of the column, or by editing the properties of the column.

Right now formatting works for 3 columns types:

  • Yes/No (Boolean)
  • Choice
  • Date

In this example scenario, I have a simple list with 3 columns and we will use the 2nd approach to apply colors. This list contains few records of events which I would like to apply color formatting based on the status of each record.

There has to be a logic behind the field in order to apply a formatting, hence, it’s obvious that you do not need formatting for every column. e.g. Choice filed always contains multiple values which makes scenes (if value equals true =color the record with Green) whereas in a text field there is no such a logic.


Format section is opened nicely on the right pane. Now it just a matter of choosing the appropriate color for the particular column. Each value of the field can be colored so that the end users can easily recognize the status of the record.

To change the color, simply click on the color pallet icon and choose the color.



In this sample, I have defined Green as completed, Blue for Planning and Pink for Scheduled activities accordingly. This change is applicable for all records of this including the existing and new. Any new records shall impact the color formatting.


Advanced Mode is here. If you have your own JSON, go ahead and paste it here and hit “Save” to publish it.


After formatting the columns, it’s still possible to see the code and tweak it if you’d like. Even for unsupported columns, you can paste your JSON code to apply the formatting even though there is no out of the box formatting available as of now.  Go to list/library settings, and click the name of a column.  Scroll down to see the Column Formatting box.


Create a Team from an existing Office365 Group

When you have an existing O365 Group or a SharePoint site which associated with an O365 group, you have the ability to provision an associated Team too, for the same Group.

In this article we are going to explore the steps to get this done.

First thing is first, this is my modern SharePoint site which was recently provisioned and there is a Group too associated with it.


Now, let’s switch to Teams from the O365 App Launcher.


From the bottom of the page or app (you can use either Teams Web Portal or App to do this) hit “Join or create a team” link.


From the join or create page, choose the 1st option to create new team.


Go for the 2nd option on this screen and hit “Next”.


Choose the existing group which you can easily recognize by the name. for my case it’s “User Group” which is my existing Group associated with the SharePoint site. Once selected hit “choose team” to proceed.


Just a matter of few seconds, you will be immediately redirected to the newly created team interface for you to start using it.


So now you have a brand new Team space for your Group, why not explore it’s capabilities right ? Check out members space if you want to add more people there.


Settings will allow you to control major areas of the app.


And, last but not least, there are various other productivity apps associated to your brand new team space, so go ahead and enjoy.


DISCLAIMER NOTE: This is an enthusiast post and is not sponsored by Microsoft or any other vendor.

How to Make Microsoft Teams Content Available Offline

Microsoft Teams is rapidly becoming the most popular app for corporate collaboration due to the simplicity and the bunch of capabilities it offers for Office365 users. As you work with Teams, it brings an document library for content sharing which looks like it self-contained within but it’s actually relies on Office 365 Groups and Back-ended by a SharePoint Library.

When you submit a file in to a Teams channel window, that file is uploaded to a document library within the main Group.


It’s great that I can share files like everyone else in the conversation but what if I need it later ? Especially when I don’t have Internet connection on my device? Well, that happens ! To me very often.


However, not to worry anymore because synchronizing the files from Teams is similar to synchronizing your OneDrive for business or SharePoint Library content which simply means you can synchronize Teams files with OneDrive. But how ?

Let’s find out. Open up your target Team channel and hit “Files” tab. You will see the files that you have there.


Now, you will be redirected to the following screen on the browser. This is the ultimate SharePoint library (Backend) which holds all your Teams channel files. Now, hit the “Sync” button here.


You will be prompted with app switching screen. Say “Yes‘ here.


That’s it and you will receive a notification immediately saying that your library is now synching. Great !


If you open it from the Windows explorer, you will see the new folder created under your organization icon and all files are synchronized to your local device perfectly.


DISCLAIMER NOTE: This is an enthusiast post and is not sponsored by Microsoft or any other vendor.

Hide (Exclude) Content from Office Delve

Microsoft Office365 is doubtlessly a sophisticated collection of Microsoft tools which has an immense value for business. As you will store data across many of these applications such as Outlook, SharePoint, OneDrive etc.. It’s nice to have a single interface to see the spotlight of your collaboration activities and items you have been dealing with. Delve in Office365 helps us with this vital role, however, there are some scenarios people prefer to hide some content from Delve no matter how clear the approach is to them, and I believe that’s a fair requirement.


With this post we are going to learn how to hide a specific SharePoint content from Delve. There are several options as documented below.


  1. You can restrict a specific record
  2. Or restrict a library
  3. Or the entire SharePoint site from Delve

Before you start with this, it’s important to ensure whether you really need to do this. Ensure you have defined permissions in your environment appropriately so that it only allows authorized users to engage with content. Even after doing so, if you still want to restrict content appearing on Delve, there are few ways to get it done. Some of these approaches impacts on search results so do this with caution.

Option1: Restrict one or more records in a library

Note: This options wont hide content from search results, just in Delve. A hidden property in SharePoint called “HideFromDelve” can be used in this case.

Add a column to your library with the exact name (no spaces or special characters) – Add a Boolean field (“Yes/No“) and name it “HideFromDelve

For the items you wish to hide from delve, set the property value as “Yes” and “No” to those you want to be appeared.

If you wish to hide all content of a document library, set the automatically default value as “Yes


Select the particular item and go to details. Tap the button to “Yes” it.


Option2: Restrict a library

This option hides the target document library from both Delve and SharePoint search. TO do this simply head on to Document library’s advanced settings and set the “Search” to “No


Option3: Hide a site

Note: This option will hide the entire SharePoint site’s content from both Search results and Delve at one go so beware of doing this.

Head on to target SharePoint site and look for “Search and offline availability“, under “Indexing Site Content” set “Allow this site to appear in search results” to “No“. Simple as that and the whole site will be hidden from Delve thereon.


Notes: Apart from this, If you wish you hide people from showing Delve and SharePoint online people search, it can be done as well. However, there are some limitations so you better go through this post – https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/SharePoint-Support-Blog/Exclude-Users-From-Delve-and-SharePoint-Online-People-Search/ba-p/170731

Again, I would like to emphasize that you should be aware of some downfalls this approach. If you have chosen to exclude some content form Delve appearance, there are other interconnected tools that may impact from this (Search is one as documented, and DLP [Data Loss Prevention] too). DLP heavily depends on the search index to apply its conditions and rules so if you are adding exclusions to a library or site from search, DLP will not be able to detect and eventually protect these content. Hence be very cautious.

Thank you for viewing this post. Subscribe https://manojviduranga.wordpress.com for more useful content on Microsoft technologies.

January 2019 Cumulative Update is now available for SharePoint Server 2019

Microsoft has released a new Cumulative Update Pack (CU) for SharePoint Server 2019. This is the 3rd CU released since the product was made generally available last year. Cumulative update provides fixes and enhancements for the product which is a great benefit for any organization. However, it’s always recommended to try the update in a dedicated environment before installing them in production farms.

Important: Its mandatory to install both (Language Independent and language Dependent) packages to to fully patch a SharePoint Server environment. This is because, each SharePoint installation includes Language Dependent and Independent components.

The KB article for January 2019 CU will be available at the following Location in a couple of hours:

  • KB 4461634 – January 2019 Update for SharePoint Server 2019 (language independent) – This is also a security update!
  • KB 4461514 – January 2019 Update for SharePoint Server 2019 (language dependent)
  • KB 4461633 – January 2019 Update for Office Online Server 2019 – This is also a security update!

The download for January 2019 CU is available through the following link:

After installing the CUs you must run the SharePoint 2019 Products Configuration Wizard on each machine in the farm and restart them to effect the changes. If you prefer to run the command line version psconfig.exe you better have a look here for the appropriate options.

SharePoint 2019 January 2019 CU Build Numbers are: Your farm should show these numbers after successful application of the update, so ensure the numbers are reflected.

Language independent fix: 16.0.10340.12101
Language dependent fix: 16.0.10340.12100

Limiting SharePoint People Picker field to an specific group of people

People picker is a vital field in SharePoint which allows you to pick a person or a group from your organization’s active directory. With this post I’m going to emphasize one of the out of the box ability of the people picker. We can restrict/limit this field for a specific group or people so that the person who inters data would only able to retrieve set of targeted people within a group (e.g. A sales person can only fetch another coworker in his team).

Firstly you have to have a target group. If you don’t have one, go ahead and get it created and then return to your target List/library and add a new “Person or Group” field by clicking “Add New Column


Choose the type of it as “Person or Group


Better to have a meaningful description too, for this field and the selection has to be “People Only“. In the “Choose From” option, select your target group which you have created.

This simply means the person who entering data can only retrieve people within this group. That’s it and you can go ahead and save this change.


Now let’s try to insert a record here. As you can see, even though I have hundreds of users in my AD, I am not able to retrieve any entry here because my target group is empty. Once I add people there only I can retrieve them.


So let’s try to add a user in to the group. I have added myself in to “Internal IT” group.



It comes up as you can see here. Just a matter of saving the record now


That’s it !


Zipped Files Experience in SharePoint

SharePoint online and OneDrive for business now lets you upload and use zipped files. Zipped files such as .zip or .rar works seamlessly in OneDrive and SharePoint even better than in your device. Not necessary to hesitate about having a plugin or client, now do you have to manually extract to explore the content. It’s just simple as clicking on the file and you will have it explored right there.

To try this out simply login to your SharePoint online portal or OneDrive library and upload a zipped file.


Also, if you have a folder structure within a zipped file with multiple folders inside it, you are able to navigate across them back and forth which makes it easier to use.