Happy Birthday SharePoint (Officially an Adult !)

SharePoint, one of the most loved and widely adopted product of Microsoft turns 18 years today (March 18th 2019).

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Since this historical product was officially started as SharePoint Portal Server in 2001, its now 18 years old full grown mature product which still dominates the global enterprise market as Microsoft keeps shipping undeniably innovative features very frequently.

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SharePoint Portal Server 2001

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SharePoint Online In 2019

This article with the entire history briefed nicely by Microsoft’s Bill Baer is so fascinating to read – https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/wbaer/2015/02/12/the-sharepoint-journey/ 

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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)

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

Fix: SharePoint hybrid picker wizard fails to run the validation

Hybrid capability is a great addition from Microsoft since SharePoint 2013. In 2019 version, Microsoft has made sure that Hybrid area is much more robust so I was very keen to find out the latest by deploying it and wrote a book too on that (Install and Configure SharePoint 2019). However, while I was configuring the farm, suddenly got this Hybrid setup wizard error. This article talks on the resolution to this issue in case if you are facing the same.

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First thing’s first, I gave it a try again by running the application as the administrator.  Guess what !, it didn’t even start so felt like its a dead end there.

Ultimately, PowerShell saved me on this one. If you have the same issue, run Windows PowerShell from your SharePoint box and execute the following line. You have to replace the folder location with yours.

& 'C:\Users\sp_farm\Desktop\Microsoft SharePoint Hybrid Configuration Wizard.appref-ms'

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It should now run the prerequisites smoothly.


Download your free copy of “Installing and Configuring SharePoint Server 2019” Guide (Based on Public Preview)

Microsoft recently released the public preview of SharePoint Server 2019. SharePoint has become crucial in corporate environments, especially after the release of the latest cutting-edge functionalities in the SharePoint online. I have composed a book to cover the installation and configuration of SharePoint 2019 and it is freely available in TechNet gallery for you to download. 

Using this simple and easy to follow guidance, you will be able to get SharePoint 2019 server installed and configured in a physical or virtual environment. I have used Microsoft Azure VMs for my farm in this setup as it’s easy to provision and scale out. Azure is the most flexible way for dev/test environments and even for production for those who can’t invest massively on hardware. 

Click here to download your copy or go here – https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Installing-and-Configuring-bc8a1314?redir=0

Keep it simple: Adding bulk set of users to a SharePoint Group using REST API

Large enterprises always require bulk operations to make things faster and easier. Recently I faced a situation where hundreds of users needed to be added to SharePoint Groups. This is a time consuming task in large SharePoint setups when you have to manually add users one by one. No ! Manual approach isn’t going to work for such things.

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REST API in SharePoint can be used in this scenario to cut down the efforts and time from hours or even days to few seconds. with this post I will discuss the way I achieved this goal so that you can follow me if you are in such a situation.

Background: I have an excel sheet filled with all required users with the UserName column. This excel spreadsheet is uplaoded to the SiteAssets library. This code will be looking at this library and read the excel sheet to pick the users from it.  Simple as that !

Change the site URL attribute’s value to reflect yours and you are good to go



var i;
var l;
var a1;
var user;
var spGroup;
function AddUserFromExcel()
{
l=1;
var Excel;
Excel = new ActiveXObject(“Excel.Application”);
Excel.Visible = false;
for(l=1;l<3;l++)
{
a1=Excel.Workbooks.Open(“http://mantososp/SiteAssets/Users.xlsx?Web=1”).ActiveSheet.Cells(l,1).Value;
var a4=”Domain\\”+a1;
var clientContext = new SP.ClientContext.get_current();
var web=clientContext.get_web();
var siteGroups = clientContext.get_web().get_siteGroups();
spGroup=siteGroups.getById(4990);
user=web.ensureUser(a4);
var userCollection=spGroup.get_users();
userCollection.addUser(user);
clientContext.load(user);
clientContext.load(spGroup);
clientContext.executeQueryAsync(onQuerySucceeded, onQueryFailed);


function onQuerySucceeded()
{
alert(‘success’);
}
function onQueryFailed()
{
alert(‘Request failed.’);
}
}
}



var i;
var l;
var a1;
var user;
var spGroup;
function AddUserFromExcel()
{
l=1;
var Excel;
Excel = new ActiveXObject(“Excel.Application”);
Excel.Visible = false;
for(l=1;l<3;l++)
{
a1=Excel.Workbooks.Open(“http://mantososp/SiteAssets/Users.xlsx?Web=1”).ActiveSheet.Cells(l,1).Value;
var a4=”Domain\\”+a1;
var clientContext = new SP.ClientContext.get_current();
var web=clientContext.get_web();
var siteGroups = clientContext.get_web().get_siteGroups();
spGroup=siteGroups.getById(4990);
user=web.ensureUser(a4);
var userCollection=spGroup.get_users();
userCollection.addUser(user);
clientContext.load(user);
clientContext.load(spGroup);
clientContext.executeQueryAsync(onQuerySucceeded, onQueryFailed);


function onQuerySucceeded()
{
alert(‘success’);
}
function onQueryFailed()
{
alert(‘Request failed.’);
}
}
}

Microsoft Just Released SharePoint Server 2019 Public Preview

Few hours ago, Microsoft announced the general availability of SharePoint Server 2019 public preview. SharePoint is doubtlessly tops the list when it comes to collaboration and productivity platforms with record breaking popularity across the globe and diverse technical community engaged around this technology. Though the SharePoint online seems to be fascinating with its’ vast improvements, there is still a massive demand for On-Premise server edition which Microsoft can’t simply eliminate, and as a result, here comes the latest release of SharePoint Server edition, SP 2019!.

This release is the public preview which means it should not be used in production environments. Public preview can have limited set of features as the final release is yet being developed by Microsoft.

Key Features:

These are the major highlights of the SharePoint 2019 features list.

  • Modern Sites, Pages, Lists, and Libraries
  • Team News
  • SharePoint Home
  • Communication Sites
  • OneDrive Sync Client
  • Improved hybrid support and scenarios
  • New developer options
  • Improved support for business process with PowerApps and Flow

Compatibility:

  • Operating System: SharePoint Server 2019 requires Windows Server 2016 or 2019
  • SQL Server: SQL Server 2016 or 2017 required

SharePoint Server 2019 is optimized to fit modern usability demands and been influenced by Office365.

Important:

  • Do not use the public preview edition for production
  • There is no clear path on shifting from public preview to the final product so beware on the content you put on public preview setup.
  • Project Server is already bundled to SharePoint 2019 as it was in 2016. No additional binaries required to be installed
  • No SharePoint Foundation edition in 2019 either
  • SharePoint 2019 will be released in the 2nd half of 2018
  • Make use of SharePoint 2019 forum for any technical queries – https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/office/en-US/home?forum=SP2019

Most importantly, let’s have a look at new, deprecated and removed features of SharePoint server 2019.

Removed features (Not available in 2019):

  • Code-Based Sandbox Solutions

Code-based sandbox solutions were deprecated in SharePoint Server 2013 and have now been removed in SharePoint Online. Customers are recommended to explore SharePoint add-ins as an alternative, which are fully supported for both SharePoint on-premises and SharePoint Online.

  • Digest Authentication

Microsoft is deprecating the Digest authentication feature in Internet Information Services (IIS). This authentication mechanism isn’t very popular and there are many alternative authentication mechanisms available with better interoperability.

  • Incoming email automatic mode

Microsoft is deprecating the IIS 6 Management compatibility features in Internet Information Services (IIS). Customers using incoming email are recommended to use advanced mode instead, which allows you to manually manage the IIS SMTP service and drop folder.

  • Multi-Tenancy

The cost and complexity of providing an on-premises alternative has become prohibitive, so we will no longer support multi-tenancy in the SharePoint Server 2019 Public Preview release

  • PowerPivot Gallery and Refresh

Microsoft BI strategy has shifted away from heavy integration to a standalone BI solution, Power BI, to give customers a flexible, optional integration with SharePoint along with standalone capabilities. Both PowerBI.com and Power BI Report Server offer the option to host and view Excel Workbooks with PowerPivot models

  • Visio Services – Silverlight Based Rendering

Visio Services has 2 options for rendering Visio diagrams: Microsoft Silverlight-based and PNG-based. Microsoft Silverlight is a technology that will no longer be supported as of October 12, 2021. Visio Services will only render Visio diagrams using the PNG-based technology.

Deprecated Features (Discontinued investing but remains in SharePoint 2019):

  • Access Services 2010

Will remain supported, but deprecated, for the SharePoint Server 2019 Public Preview release. Customers are recommended to explore Microsoft PowerApps and Flows as potential alternatives to Access Services 2010

  • Access Services 2013

Will remain supported, but deprecated, for the SharePoint Server 2019 Public Preview release. Customers are recommended to explore Microsoft PowerApps and Flows as potential alternatives to Access Services 2013.

  • Aggregated Newsfeed

Feature will be set to read-only in SharePoint Server 2019 Public Preview. For customers who are currently using this feature, we recommend considering options such as Team News, Communication Sites, Yammer and/or Teams.

  • Custom Help

The new SharePoint help system is now rendered in the cloud and will have updated, synchronized content with Office 365.

  • Groove Sync Client

SharePoint Server 2019 Public Preview introduces support for the new OneDrive Sync Client (a.k.a. the Next Generation Sync Client), which provides a more reliable and feature-rich syncing experience

  • InfoPath Services

As announced in the Microsoft 365 blog, InfoPath Services is a deprecated feature and customers are advised to explore alternatives. InfoPath Services will remain supported, but deprecated, for this release.

  • Lists Web Service

The following SOAP endpoints in the Lists web service depend on the Microsoft Sync Framework, which was necessary to support the Groove sync Client: Lists.GetListItemChangesWithKnowledge, Lists.UpdateListItemsWithKnowledge

  • Machine Translations (and Variations)

The Machine Translation Service will remain supported, but deprecated, for the SharePoint Server 2019 Public Preview release.

  • PerformancePoint Services

PerformancePoint Services has a significant dependency on Microsoft Silverlight, which is a technology that will no longer be supported as of October 12, 2021. Customers are recommended to explore Microsoft PowerBI as an alternative

  • SharePoint Designer

There will not be a new SharePoint Designer client shipped with this release. Microsoft will ensure that SharePoint Designer 2013 will work with SharePoint Server 2019 Public Preview for the remainder of the client support lifecycle (2026).

  • Site Mailbox

As announced in the SPO Community Blog, site mailboxes are being deprecated in SPO. Site mailboxes will remain supported, but deprecated. Customers are recommend to explore shared mailboxes as an alternative to site mailboxes.

  • Site Manager

The main functionality of Site Manager is now available in modern file move. Only site collection administrators will have permission to access the Site Manager page and the UI entry points to this page will be removed.

Download Media:

You can download you copy of SharePoint Server 2019 here – https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=2006095