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!
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.
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.
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 🙂
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!
Microsoft Flow is a new product from Microsoft and I am finding it to be a very useful tool. Flow can be a very convenient resource for sending email alerts when something I set as a ‘trigger’ happens. It is also a superior product to ‘IF This Then That’ products because of Flow’s ability to have many steps and conditions. Flow can be used to send email in several ways, but today I will cover how to set up a custom SMTP connection. Flow is in Preview, so some screens or options shown on this post may change.
NOTE: I am going to show how to set up an SMTP connection to GoDaddy’s email service, but any SMTP service that allows connections will work.
First, go to the GoDaddy website and log into your account. Then, click on your name (#1 below) and then select the Visit My Account link (#2 below).
Once you are on your account page, click on the Manage link next to the email listing.
Next, find the account you will be using for your email relay. Select the drop-down menu (#1 below) and then click the Email Setup Center link on the menu (#2 below).
When the Email Setup Center page loads, make note of the Outgoing server (SMTP) settings.
Then head over to the Microsoft Flow website and login. Once you have logged in, click on the person image in the top-right corner (#1 below) and then select My connections in the menu (#2 below).
Select the Add a connection link at the top of the Connections page.
When the connection types load, select the SMTP link.
Then fill out the SMTP connection settings with the information you noted earlier from the GoDaddy Email Setup Center. I am using port 80 and not using SSL encryption in the example below, but you should use security best practices when configuring your service. Click the Create connection link when finished.
Once the connection is created, create a new Flow. Create a trigger, in the example below I am checking for a Tweet. Then Add an action, and type email (#1 below). This will filter the list of actions to only show email items. Then select the SMTP – Send Email action (#2 below).
Then enter the required information for the email. In the example below, I am sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, with an email subject of “New Tweet Appears – [The Tweet text]”, and an email body of “There is a new Tweet by [who created the tweet]!”.
Finally save your Flow and give it a test. I have found that it might take a minute for the Flow to start checking Twitter, but you should receive an email any time the condition you set is met!
I will be presenting at #SPSNashville on May 14th on the topic Business Intelligence with SharePoint & Power BI. I will show how to create BI solutions using SharePoint, Excel, Power BI, and a new Microsoft tool Flow.
I had a great time presenting at SharePoint Saturday Nashville. I had a great group of attendees and we discussed SharePoint list interaction with Excel, Power BI, and Microsoft Flow. I am not posting my slides because I didn’t really show content on slides – I used demonstrations the majority of the time to show the power of the tools.
We walked through creating a BI solution that included a SharePoint helpdesk site – one solution used Excel and Power Pivot to build dashboards, the second used Power BI to display and manipulate the helpdesk data, and lastly we used Microsoft Flow to improve the functionality of the solution by pulling in even more content.
There were a lot of great questions and Jeff was genuinely excited to see all the SharePoint professionals giving up their Saturday to learn and build community. A few bits of information I noted that Jeff shared:
There will not be another SharePoint-branded conference put on by Microsoft anytime soon. Microsoft’s Ignite conference will be the focus and they are attempting to put more focus on SharePoint at the conference.
Approximately 300,000 Android users start using OneDrive every day
Jeff acknowledged some missteps and wants to fix them – the first being that navigation will be coming back to the new document library look in SharePoint
Microsoft knows it did not handle correctly the delivery of the message around how the newly announced SharePoint Framework effects existing developed add-ins. This will be fixed in the weeks ahead.
The day ended with a lot of giveaways – we counted over 20! We also announced that attendance was up 79% over last year!
Yesterday, May 4th 2016, Microsoft hosted “The Future of SharePoint” event in San Fransisco, USA. The host was Jeff Teper, corporate vice president for OneDrive and SharePoint, and along with other Microsoft presenters, Teper showcased the road-map for the SharePoint platform – both on-prem and in the cloud.
Along with announcing the general availability for SharePoint 2016, Microsoft highlighted new SharePoint features and functionality. You can read all about the event and the announcements on the Microsoft Office Blogs post. I will in the days and weeks ahead, cover the new functionality with real-world examples.
Before the event, Microsoft used the Twitter hashtag #FutureOfSharePoint to promote the event. Whenever I attend events, I use Twitter as a way to interact with the speakers and other attendees. For this event, I followed the Twitter hashtag and setup a ‘column’ within Tweetdeck to show all tweets for the event. For this event though, I did something new to track the social interaction during the event. Microsoft released Microsoft Flow, an online product that allows anyone to “create automated workflows between your favorite apps and services to get notifications, synchronize files, collect data, and more.”
I setup a flow to capture all tweets containing the hashtag #FutureOfSharePoint and saved them to a list on my SharePoint Online site.
It worked really well and I started looking at the data to see if I could see any trends. The first thing I checked was who sent the most tweets during the event – this included tweets the users had written and RTs they posted. There was a clear winner:
You can get access to the web report by clicking here. Make sure the FutureofSharePoint hashtag is selected at the top right of the report.
I am really excited for what SharePoint 2016 will bring & you can learn more at SharePoint Saturday Nashville on May 14th, 2016! It is the first chance after the Future Of SharePoint event that you will get to meet and speak with a large group of platform MVPs and industry experts at a local SPS event. Register now!
I will show how to use Excel to create dashboards within SharePoint web part pages – first with an export of a SharePoint list and then an import of a SharePoint list into Excel. We will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each method.
I will then show linking to the same SharePoint list data using the Power BI Desktop application and then publishing it to Power BI.
The meeting went really well – Tammy Clark started off showing how easily Power BI could connect to Facebook data.
I went second and used a SharePoint list I created with Helpdesk data to create dashboards using Excel and SharePoint web part pages. I then moved onto Power BI and ended with showing the cool iOS Power BI app (although it took some time to get it to project from my phone onto the screen).
Dan Evans then made a couple of announcements about Cortana and Power BI integration. Kerry Tyler finished off the night rocking our Power BI world with a demo that had us saying “wow!” 🙂
We finished the night at a new restaurant around the corner called Tupelo – fried green tomatoes, pork egg rolls (they were fantastic!!), and chicken and biscuits were enjoyed by all!