Memphis PASS User Group – September 14, 2017

On September 14th 2017, I will be speaking to the Memphis PASS User Group! I will present SharePoint Business Intelligence options, including out of the box features, Excel, and Power BI.

Find details on the topic, as well as register on the Meetup page.

[UPDATE]
Thank you to the great group tonight – I enjoyed presenting and I hope you will have me back to dive deeper into some of the technologies we discussed.

Here are my slides: Business Intelligence Using SharePoint and Power BI – Memphis PASS

There were a few questions during meeting that I answered but wanted to make sure I followed-up on them – the list of questions & my answers are below:

  1. There was a question about Microsoft Flow and if it was ‘on par’ with the features in SharePoint Designer for workflow. Here is the Known issues and resolutions page Microsoft is maintaining for Flow: https://ms.flow.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/release-notes/#known-issues-and-resolutions
  2. When Adding a Power BI report to a modern SharePoint page, are filters and options taken into account when show on the page? Yes they are!
  3. Is the Power BI report show on a modern SharePoint page a snapshot of the visuals or live data? If live, how is the data refreshed? The visuals shown are ‘live’ and will be refreshed when the report is changed or data is refreshed (scheduled within the Power BI service).

Office 365 Msg Center: The week that was

Keeping up with all the features and updates to Office 365 can be overwhelming. Microsoft is doing a better job of giving you insight into what is coming to your environment by posting to the Message Center within the Office 365 Admin Center. But if you don’t check in with the message center often, you might miss something very important that has huge impact to you and your users. What about the announcements that aren’t even in the Message Center – how do you stay informed?

To help you be in the know, Darrell Webster and I will be going through the Message Center every week and giving you the information you need to know – Live! at 12pm Pacific/3pm Eastern Time. If you can’t join us live every week, you can always go back to see the recordings on our Youtube Channel. Please take a moment and subscribe to the RE:Office 365 channel so you know when we go live and when recordings are available.

SQL Saturday Louisville 2017

Join me on August 5th in Louisville Kentucky for SQL Saturday!

There are some really great sessions lined-up for the event and I will be discussing how to use your on-premises data in the cloud with Microsoft Power BI, PowerApps, and Flow.

Register via the #SQLSatLouisville site.

Cincinnati SharePoint User Group – June 22nd

On June 22nd 2017, I will again be speaking to the Cincinnati SharePoint User Group and this time around we will be discussing workflow. I will present the options for creating workflows in SharePoint and Office 365, as well as look at the process (and potential pitfalls) for upgrading your SharePoint Designer workflows to Microsoft Flow.

Find details on the topic, as well as register on the Meetup page.

[UPDATE]
Thank you so much to everyone who came out tonight to the meeting – I had a great time and the group participation was wonderful.

I mentioned tonight the Known issues and resolutions page Microsoft is maintaining for Flow – here is the link: https://ms.flow.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/release-notes/#known-issues-and-resolutions

There were a few questions about Flow during the meeting that I wanted to make sure I followed-up with – the list of questions & my answers are below:

  1. Can Microsoft Flow monitor list item changes while the Flow is running – meaning can another Flow instance start if a user updates a list item while the Flow is already running.
    • It is my understanding that if the Flow is currently running on a list item, another instance of the Flow will not start when a trigger occurs.
  2. Is there a trigger in Microsoft Flow for item deletes?
    • No, just like SharePoint Designer workflows, there currently isn’t a way to detect item deletes.
  3. Is there a particular patch level for SharePoint 2013 that is required for Microsoft Flow to connect?
    • I haven’t seen documentation noting a specific service pack or patch-level that is needed, but I will ask Microsoft for clarification and post the answer here.

Atlanta SQL Saturday 2017

I am happy to announce that I’ll be speaking and attending SQL Saturday Atlanta on July 15th. As one of the largest SQL Saturday events in the USA, we always have a great time of learning and meeting new people.

Please join me – Register via the #SQLSatAtlanta site.

[UPDATED]
Thank you everyone that attended my session – a big group with lots of great questions!

 

 

Chattanooga SQL Saturday 2017

Please join me on June 24th in Chattanooga, Tennessee for the third annual SQL Saturday Chattanooga! We will be discussing SharePoint BI and how Power BI brings a new level of data storytelling to collaboration.

Register via the #SQLSatChattanooga site.

[This post will be updated after the event]

New Simple Approval Flows In SharePoint Libraries

Microsoft announced today the newest improvement in workflow for the SharePoint platform – easy-to-use approval workflows built-in that will enable you to route a document for approval and give you the ability to give a custom message.

In my workflow presentations, I talk about having a simple approval workflow being a great first step but we need a better user experience than what we have been given out-of-the-box with SharePoint in the past. We need the user to be able to approve/deny directly within their email client, without having to go to a SharePoint page, edit the task, complete the task, and then save it. Too many steps!!

New: Simple Approval Flows

With this new functionality using Microsoft Flow, we will now be able to ad-hoc route documents for approval and approval participant will have a one-step action link in their email.

New built-in approval flows

Make sure you check out the new Microsoft Mechanics video “Zero code business process apps in SharePoint with PowerApps and Microsoft Flow” showing this and other improvements to the SharePoint experience.

Using PowerApps to Build SharePoint List Forms

Today Microsoft announced the next step for PowerApps integration with SharePoint – using PowerApps forms within the context of a SharePoint list or library.

This is another way PowerApps is becoming a strong successor to InfoPath forms and will give your users a rich viewing, creating, and editing experience right within their SharePoint library or list.

Using a PowerApps Form to View, Create, and Edit SharePoint List Items

This feature will be coming to SharePoint Online & Office 365 this Summer and I expect we will immediately start using the functionality within my client organizations to improve the user experience.

I highly recommend watching the new Microsoft Mechanics video “Zero code business process apps in SharePoint with PowerApps and Microsoft Flow” to get an idea on how the forms will be created and used.

Microsoft Stream General Availability

Yesterday Microsoft announced via a message (MC101855) in the Office 365 message center that Microsoft Stream will be generally available soon.

A few months ago, a preview of Stream was announced and you can view more information about the service on the Microsoft’s site. The service will be on by default now and will be visible in the Office 365 app launcher.

If you are using Office 365 Video to serve content within your organization, there is nothing you need to do at this time. The move to Microsoft Video will be a phased approach and Microsoft has promised that the move will include all your content and metadata.

After the transition, existing Office 365 Video embed codes and links to videos will still work, redirecting to the same content in Stream.

The full message can be viewed within your Office 365 tenant’s message center.

[UPDATE]
Originally, this post made reference to Microsoft Stream being available now. Stream will be generally available soon and another announcement will be made when it is out of preview. Sorry for any confusion the original post may have caused.

Creating & Upgrading SharePoint Workflows – April 9th 2017

I am excited to be speaking once again at the Nashville SharePoint Users Group. The meeting on May 9th 2017 is in-person and via online meeting and the topic is “Creating & Upgrading SharePoint Workflows”. The details of my presentation are below.

For a long time, we have used workflow for automating business processes in every version of SharePoint, while using various tools to create them: out of the box workflows, SharePoint Designer, Visual Studio, & third-party applications like Nintex and K2.

  • Now that SharePoint Designer will no longer updated and there is a push to move to the cloud, what are we supposed to do now to automate tasks and business workflow?
  • What if you aren’t moving to Office 365 and just want to know what tool you should use to create workflows moving forward?
  • Should you migrate your existing SharePoint Designer workflows to Microsoft Flow or a third-party tool? What would that process look like?
  • Should you continue to build workflows using SharePoint Designer in SharePoint 2010, 2013, 2016?In our time together, we will review those questions and more so you can be confident in your path forward with process automation, no matter what version of SharePoint you are using or where it is hosted!

[UPDATE]
I had a great time with the group tonight. There were some great conversation concerning the gaps between SharePoint Designer workflows and Microsoft Flow. Everyone stay tuned to this space and make sure you register for the May 16th Microsoft Virtual Summit.