It is great to see the SharePoint community organizing again in Louisville Kentucky and I will be speaking at their third meeting! On March 10th, I will make the short drive up to the ‘ville to discuss business intelligence options in SharePoint and Office 365.
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 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!
This coming December 8th I will be presenting to the Nashville SharePoint Users Group (nashvillesug.com) with the topic “Building SharePoint Solutions with Out of the Box Features and No Code”.
I will highlight the features within SharePoint that I use often to create beneficial solutions for companies around the country. With heavy emphasis on not using any code, I will demo solutions built using a SharePoint Online site.
Last night’s meeting was a lot of fun – we have a great turnout and I know I had a good time hanging out with my Nashville SharePoint friends.
We started off by talking about the Microsoft office move – the offices are moving to closer to downtown Nashville and will disrupt our meetings some next year. However, we already have plans for at least half of the time we will be without a meeting home, so stay tuned!