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  • Now that SharePoint Designer will no longer updated and there is a push to move to the cloud, what are we supposed to do now to automate tasks and business workflow?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.

SharePoint Dashboards using Power BI – Nashville Excel & Power BI User Group

I am presenting at the Nashville Modern Excel user group on April 13, 2017 – come join us! My talk will focus on using SharePoint to build business intelligence dashboards with Power BI and Excel.

Register on the user group site: Nashville Excel & Power BI User Group

[UPDATE]
Thank you to everyone who attended my presentation – what a great group!

It May Be Time to Stop Building Access Web Apps

For years now, power users have created solutions using Access Services within SharePoint. These solutions have often been the backbone of many business processes for small to medium-sized organizations. Now that Office 365 is widely available and is fairly cost-effective for those organizations, we have new options to solve those business needs.

Microsoft PowerApps is a new member of the Office 365 family and now that PowerApps is generally available within Office 365, Microsoft is recommending to organizations that solutions built with Access Services be migrated to the PowerApps service.

Access Services & Access Web Apps shipped with SharePoint 2016 and will continue being supported as part of the SharePoint product life-cycle.

Moving forward, information workers should build their apps using PowerApps on top of SharePoint lists to give the feature-rich solutions their users need with the full on-going support of Microsoft and the tech community.

Update – Postpone the SharePoint Online Public Site Deadline

Last December I posted the news that Microsoft will allow Office 365 admins to postpone the removal of their Office 365 public sites – which are special SharePoint Online site collections that can be used as an internet site for companies.

There wasn’t a big announcement on how to actually do the postponing, which is understandable as Microsoft would rather you not keep your public site so they don’t have to support it.

To postpone the deletion of your SharePoint Online public site, go to the SharePoint admin center – the URL location is in the format: https://[ReplaceWithYourTenantName]-admin.sharepoint.com/_layouts/15/online/SiteCollections.aspx – and go to the settings page. For the setting “Postpone deletion of SharePoint Online public websites”, select I’d like to keep my public website until March 31, 2018.

Postpone Public Site Delete Option
Postpone Public Site Delete Option

As the setting notes, you will have until March 31, 2018 to find a replacement for your public internet site. Don’t wait! Start a project now to make the change so next March doesn’t sneak up on you. Contact me if I can help with your transition.

Securely Embed Power BI Reports in SharePoint

The business intelligence landscape in SharePoint has a new and improved story to tell with Power BI! Join me on April 13th at the Nashville Excel & Power BI User Group – I present a session on Power BI Dashboards in SharePoint Online.

The presentation will be heavy on demos as I walk through the BI options in SharePoint – using list views, Excel, and Power BI – to tell great data stories. I will also show the awesomeness of the Power BI mobile app on iOS!

The meeting is free and lunch is provided! Register: Nashville Excel & Power BI Meetup

Postpone the SharePoint Online Public Site Deadline

In October 2012, Microsoft released a feature called SharePoint Online Public Sites, which allowed the creation of a public-facing, anonymous ‘SharePoint-ish’ site. It wasn’t a full-featured SharePoint site – public sites had limited features, including static pages and generic theme capabilities – enough to make it useful for small companies with no web development resources. Microsoft targeted small and medium-sized business with this feature and it promised an easy to use method for generating content and modifying the web pages.

Sample SharePoint Online Public Site

However, the feature wasn’t used by a majority of Office 365 customers and caused an abnormal amount of customer tickets. So in early 2015, Microsoft announced that the SharePoint Online public website feature would be discontinued as of March 9th, 2015. Office 365 customers that already used the feature at that time would be able to continue using the public website feature for 2 years after the March 9th date. The change is outlined in the KB Article 3027254.

The message has been consistent from Microsoft since the first announcement – move away from the public website feature because it will be turned off. Period. Almost two years have passed – the deadline is fast approaching and we are now hearing more customers looking for alternative web platforms. On December 9th 2016, Microsoft put out a message via the Office 365 portal to remind customers of the upcoming deadline.

Reminder: SharePoint Online Public Websites are going away

However, this time the message had a new detail that other communications did not, an olive branch of sorts.

In January 2017, we will have a process in place allowing you to postpone the removal of your SharePoint Online public website.

That is good news for anyone who has yet to move their site to a different host. While we don’t know what the process will be or how long customers will be able to postpone the removal of their public sites (more information will be announced in January 2017), it is good that Microsoft listened to their customers and is giving them some extra time to make plans – if two years wasn’t enough 🙂

Nashville SharePoint Users Group – October 11, 2016

I am excited to be presenting at our local SharePoint users group next week! I am presenting “Microsoft Flow: The Successor to SharePoint Designer Workflows”.

I will introduce the service and give examples of how it is used to build workflows. I am also trying something new – I will pick out at least one suggestion from the audience to use as the example demo after my presentation!

More information, including the registration link, is on the Nashville SharePoint Users Group website.

[UPDATE]
The presentation slides are here: Microsoft Flow The Successor to SharePoint Designer Workflows Nashville SUG

Thank you to everyone who attended tonight & for the great interactive session!

I had a great time and we had a lot of giveaways!