Woah, I’m a Microsoft MVP

I got an email this morning that I never really thought I would see.  I was honored with being awarded the Microsoft MVP award under the Office Servers and Services community.  

I have been working with Microsoft technologies since I started my career in the IT industry as an intern at a manufacturing company.  I was doing PC tech support at that point and since then have worked across the Microsoft stack.  I moved through development and infrastructure jobs and slowly settled into the world of SharePoint.  I quickly found the SharePoint community to be a vital, interesting, fun, close-knit group of people all centered around SharePoint.  I began going to my local user group and SharePoint Saturdays to learn as much as I could.  I finally took the plunge and submitted to speak and was accepted.  That started a train that hasn’t stopped since!  

I have met and am thankful for so many folks in this community.  Without the mentorship and assistance from the SharePoint community there’s no way I would be where I am now.  The world of SharePoint and Office 365 is growing at a lightning pace and I can’t wait to see what’s next!


What is the Microsoft MVP award?

The MVP award is unique in that there is not a test or certification path.  It is based on contributions to the community.  These range but can be such things as forums, blogs, speaking, books, and everything in between. 

Here is a link the overview straight from Microsoft.

 

SPTechCon San Francisco 2016 Slides and Content

Thanks to SPTechCon and all the folks that attended my sessions last week in San Francisco.  This was my first time in San Francisco and it was a great time to see some familiar faces, meet some new friends, and explore a very cool city.  I did 2 sessions and I thought both turned out great.  

Here are the session abstracts and link to the slides and any other supporting content.


Essentials for the SharePoint Power User

LINK TO SLIDES

Are you a newly minted site owner and you want to know how to get started?  Or did your company just roll out SharePoint and you want to learn more about what it can do?

In this session, I will walk through what Power Users need to know when they become site administrators, champions, ninjas, or owners. I will be going through things at an overview level.  I will go into detail on some areas in which I have seen the biggest gaps while working with different companies.  This session will go through such things as:

·       Managing security
·       Managing libraries and lists
·       Managing search
·       What are the features available and what do they do?
·       Building a useful site with pages, views and web parts


Office 365 Groups from the Ground Up

LINK TO SLIDES

LINK TO SCRIPTS

Office 365 Groups enable teams to work together by establishing a single identity in Office 365. Office 365 Groups are a new and modern solution for collaboration in Office 365. There is a lot of confusion on what Groups can do and should be used for. This session will be a deep dive into all things Office 365 Groups focusing on the technical aspects..
We will spend a large amount of this session demoing Office 365 Groups. This session will include demos of:

  • How to create, access, and navigate
  • What are the core things to do
  • How are they technically structured
  • What administration is available and how to do it
  • What extensibility options are there

I will also walk through the pros and cons of using Groups vs other collaboration options in Office 365. Groups are also one of the fastest changing solutions in Office 365, so this session will bring everyone up to speed on the most recent updates that Microsoft has rolled out and what innovations are next. By the end of the session you should have a better understanding of what Groups can do and if they are right for your enterprise right now or in the future!


And here’s a fun picture of some crabs that I took. 

Configuring Office 365 Group Classification

group1

Recently Microsoft released the ability to create classifications for Office 365 groups that allow end users set.  For example, you can now set classifications such as: internal, confidential, external, secret, top secret, low, medium, high, etc..  Group classifications are new and I am not sure the full story of how these will be utilized moving forward.  There are enhancements coming around classification within the security and compliance center that I hope this will be able to tie into at at some point.

Here is some info on the current setup of group classification (as of 10/31/2016):

  • They don’t actually technically do anything yet…
  • They are not on by default
  • The choices can only be set via PowerShell
  • They currently don’t show anywhere else other than “edit group” via Outlook
  • You can only have 1 set of classifications for a tenant
  • If you change a classification value, it does NOT go back and update existing groups that were classified but the existing groups that were classified do not lose the classification
  • It takes some time for classification changes to be visible in the GUI
  • Don’t put spaces between the comma delimited values (i.e. “internal,external” NOT “internal, external”)
  • You can use spaces within comma eliminated values (i.e. “secret,top secret”)
  • I tested some special characters such as ? and ! and they worked
  • I am not aware of a classification limit, i did a test with 15 without an issue

Here is the description of the new property:

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Prerequisites:

NOTE: Version 1.1.143.0 of the Azure AD PowerShell module includes many changes to renew the existing MSOL PowerShell cmdets. Over time the existing MSOL cmdlets will be replaced. The new module is called “AzureAD.” So where e.g. an existing cmdlet was named “New-MSOLUser”, which adds a new user to the directory, the new cmdlet’s name is “New-AzureADUser.

My scripts below are using Version 1.1.143.0.  Azure AD PowerShell Module Version Release History


Steps to set values for Group Classification

1 – Connect to Azure AD via PowerShell

2 – Review if you have any MsolSettings currently configured in your tenant

3a – If you have settings returned it will look like this (properties subject to change over time)

group2

Run this command to set ClassificationList to a comma separated list of values that you want.  (In my example I included “Internal,External,Confidential”)

3b – If you have NO settings returned it will look like this a new template will need to be created

group3

Run this command to set ClassificationList to a comma separated list of values that you want.  (In my example I included “Internal,External,Confidential”)

4 – Review your updated settings; now Classification’s are available for Groups

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You will now see it through the GUI when editing a group and will have the ability to set it.

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And once you set a classification it will be viewable.

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You can also set a classification using the Set-UnifiedGroup and New-UnifiedGroup cmdlets.

 

Ignite 2016 Info and Thoughts on Announcements for SharePoint – OneDrive – Office 365

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I put together a Microsoft Sway through my Concurrency tenant that wraps up all of the announcements and my thoughts from the collaboration space at Ignite 2016.  This includes info on everything I was able to attend and intake while here in Atlanta.  I used Microsoft Sway so I could continuously update the Sway throughout the conference and after the conference for future review.  My changes are made in real-time and it’s super easy to update.

Link to Sway

SharePoint Designer – Error: Could not save the list changes to the server

I was working with a client recently and tried to create a new form for a list within SharePoint Designer and received the unfriendly error:

Could not save the list changes to the server.

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I had created list forms on this list before, so I began back tracking what has changed since I had created one on this list before.  One thing I did was change a set of Lookup columns within the list to point to new lists and removed the old lists where lookup columns used to point to.

When looking at the list columns I found the lookup column that didn’t have a list that it pointed to:

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When you go into the column you will see again there is no corresponding list for the lookup:

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I deleted the old column and REFRESHED SharePoint Designer.  If you just try to create the form without refreshing you will receive the same error.

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Once I refreshed…Voila!

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Hopefully if anyone else gets this error this post will be helpful!