Office 365 New Group features

Microsoft is working hard to update Office 365 by adding new features and improving the overall user experience. One of my favorite changes is that (in most cases) it is no longer required to save changes and updates. A great number of actions no longer require the user to press a save or conformation button. This will prevents a lot of information being lost and speeds up work noticeable. It may seem a small change, but it has a great impact.

Copy document between libraries
With the modern library located on the One Drive it is possible to copy documents to libraries located on Groups. I expect this will be added to all the modern libraries, for now it only works on One Drive and only the copy action. The move action can only be used within modern libraries, not across groups.

select-copy-location

Changing views
Changing existing views can be done fast and with great ease. Change the width of columns, sort order, filters, move columns and save the changes. Both the owner and member of the group are able to change the public views.

change-views

Full options in Groups
Group have been enhanced with the possibility to create new list, libraries and pages. This will create the possibility to create advanced team sites (groups) with full collaboration options.
create-lists

Pages within Groups
With a simple click a new site page can be created and with a user friendly interface the user can change the page. Image, documents, embedded content and even video’s are added through a easy to use menu. It is still possible to create wiki and web part pages through the new item action on the Site Pages library, the layout of these pages are not changed.

page-add-content

Guest users
It is now possible to add external users to the group. For some features the users experience will be different for guest users, but they are able to be a full member of the group.

externalusers

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Office 365 Planner

Microsoft introduced a new feature in Office 365 to preview, it is called Planner. The planner is closely connected to Office 365 Groups. The planner is used to create new plans, organize and assign tasks, share files, chat about what you’re working on, and get updates on progress. Planner can be used to manage a marketing event, brainstorm new product ideas, track a school project, prepare for a customer visit, or just organize your team more effectively.

Intro Planner

For every new plan a corresponding group will be created. The group is used to store documents, information and grand access. The start page shows all the progress off all your tasks from all plans and groups. This makes it easy to see what you need to do.

all-tasks

The start page provided the navigation links to all your plans and groups. New plans can be created from this location.

navigation

The interface is very modern and simply. Drag and drop task to change the task status or assign users. All changed are saved automatically with pressing a save or confirmation button.

assign-tasks

Every plan contains two pages, a board page and a charts page. The board page is the workings-man’s page. Here you created new tasks, complete tasks and create new buckets.
board-page

The charts page is to follow the overall progress of the plan.

chart-page

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SharePoint Timer Job: Workflow Auto Cleanup Job

One of our customers uses workflows to review and approve important project documents. The project board members receive workflow tasks to approval for example the mandate and the project initiation documentation (PID). The customer uses a view to see if the approval workflow is running, complete or not used. After weeks of using the workflow the customer stated that all the workflow information of completed workflows is missing. This is a problem because the customer needs to be able to provide an audit trail of the approval process for important project document.

Cause
The cause of the seaming missing workflow information is the SharePoint timer job Workflow Auto Cleanup Job. The job is responsible for deleting related workflow tasks and the workflows status used in views. The job removes tasks that still exist 60 days after the workflow is completed or cancelled. This is done to prevent the task list to become too large and impact performance. The actual workflow information will not be removed and can still be accessed through the workflow history.

Solution
Because the required audit trail information is not lost we did not change anything to the timer job, to make sure no potential performance issues where introduced.
We introduced the following solution to overcome the default cleanup behavior.

  1. We added a step in the workflow that filled in an extra column, the column contains the information if the workflow has run or not.
  2. The column was removed from the edit page to make sure only the workflow changed the value of the column.
  3. We taught the customer how to use the workflow history, to gain easy access to the audit trail.

Disable the timer job (not recommended)
It is possible to disable the timer job. However, this is not recommended. Disabling the timer job creates a potential impact to performance.

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SharePoint 2016: A few new features

SharePoint 2016 contains a few new features. Here is a list of a few of these features which I am excited about.

File Size for uploads
The file size for uploads can be as large as 10 GB, with the previous file size being max. 2 GB.

List view threshold
The list view threshold is stated as greater than 5.000 and is different for specific actions. This will increase the performance of lists.

  • Specifies the maximum number of list or library items that a database operation, such as a query, can process at the same time outside the daily time window set by the administrator during which queries are unrestricted.
  • When adding or removing a column index, the threshold is 20,000 by default.
  • When deleting a list or folder, the threshold is 100,000 by default.
  • When renaming a folder within the same library, the threshold is 100,000 by default

Document library features
Change from details view to the new tiles view with a click.

Tile view

New ribbon with quick to access features

Ribbon

New details view per document, including editing properties and sharing information

Details per Document

New and improved get (share) a link features, too easily send view and edit links.

Get a link

When uploading a document into a document set through the drag and drop feature, the document will be uploaded directly into the document set without the user opening the document set.

Move into DocumentSet

Existing documents can be move into a document set through the drag and drop feature, the document will be moved directly into the document set without the user opening the document set.

Move SP to Document Set

It is possible to pin documents to the top of the document library through the feature ‘Pin to top’. This will allow users to pin the most important documents on a very quick to access location.

Pin to top

Every user is able to quickly see what the recent activities where within the document library.

Recent Activity

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Turn scripting capabilities on

By default scripting capabilities are turned off in Office 365. This will prevent the use of a set of settings and a larger number of web parts.
The administrator of the environment can enable scripting in SharePoint admin center. When scripting is turned on it takes about 24 hours for the change to take effect.

Solution
1. Sign in to Office 365.
2. Open the admin center.
Open Admin Center
3. Open the SharePoint admin center.
Open SharePoint admin
4. Click on settings.
5. Set custom scripting to allow.
Allow scripting
6. Save the changes and wait 24 hours.

The following web part, features are settings are effected by the turning scripting on/off. When scripting is disabled (off) these functions will be unavailable to administrators.

Effect Web parts and features
Web Part Category Web Part
Blog Blog Archives
Blog Notifications
Blog Tools
Business Data Business Data Actions
Business Data Item
Business Data Item Builder
Business Data List
Business Data Related List
Excel Web Access
Indicator Details
Status List
Visio Web Access
Community About This Community
Join
My Membership
Tools
What’s Happening
Content Rollup Categories
Project Summary
Relevant Documents
RSS Viewer
Site Aggregator
Sites in Category
Term Property
Timeline
WSRP Viewer
XML Viewer
Document Sets Document Set Contents
Document Set Properties
Forms HTML Form Web Part
Media and Content Content Editor
Script Editor
Silverlight Web Part
Search Refinement
Search Box
Search Navigation
Search Results
Search-Driven Content Catalog-Item Reuse
Social Collaboration Contact Details
Note Board
Organization Browser
Site Feed
Tag Cloud
User Tasks
Master Page Gallery Can’t create or edit master pages
Publishing Sites Can’t create or edit master pages and page layouts

 

Effected sites settings
Site Feature Behavior Notes
Save Site as Template No longer available in Site Settings. You can still build sites from templates created before scripting was disabled.
Save document library as template No longer available in Library Settings. You can still build document libraries from templates created before scripting was disabled.
Solution Gallery No longer available in Site Settings. You can still use solutions created before scripting was disabled.
Theme Gallery No longer available in Site Settings. You can still use themes created before scripting was disabled.
Help Settings No longer available in Site Settings. You can still access help file collections available before scripting was disabled.
HTML Field Security No longer available in Library Settings. You can still use HTML field security that you set up before scripting was disabled.
Sandbox solutions Solution Gallery will not appear in the Site Settings so you can’t add, manage, or upgrade sandbox solutions. You can still run sandbox solutions that were deployed before scripting was disabled.
SharePoint Designer Site Pages: No longer able to update web pages that are not HTML.
Handling List: Create Form and Custom Action will no longer work.
Subsites: New Subsite and Delete Site redirect to the Site Settings page in the browser.
Data Sources: Properties button is no longer available.
You can still open data sources.
Uploading files that potentially include scripts The following file types can no longer be uploaded to a library
.asmx
.ascx
.aspx
.htc
.jar
.master
.swf
.xap
.xsf
Existing files in the library are not impacted.

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Add new page button

SharePoint has multiple ways to add pages. It can be done in the document library (pages) or through the settings drop-down menu. For most users these are not the most practical and easy. An easier and faster way is to simply add a hyperlink or button on a page for user to click on. My favorite method is to add a button on the page in SharePoint style. The hyperlink I am using is exactly the same as the hyperlink in the settings drop-down menu.

ButtonAddPage

Solution with hyperlink only
1. Edit the page where the button needs to be placed.
2. Add a Script Editor web part to the page.
3. Add the following code in the script editor.

 <a onclick="if (LaunchCreateHandler(&#39;PublishingPage&#39;)) { SP.SOD.executeFunc(&#39;sp.ui.dialog.js&#39;, &#39;SP.UI.ModalDialog.showModalDialog&#39;, function() { var dlgOptions = { url:&#39;\u002fsites\u002fknowledge\u002fBestPractice\u002f_layouts\u002f15\u002fCreatePublishingPageDialog.aspx&#39;, autoSize: true, autoSizeStartWidth: 550 }; SP.UI.ModalDialog.showModalDialog(dlgOptions); }); };" href="#">  
      new page  
 </a>  

4. Publish the page.

Solution with button SharePoint style
1. Edit the page where the button needs to be placed.
2. Add a Script Editor web part to the page.
3. Add the following code in the script editor.

 <div class="ms-comm-heroLinkContainer">  
   <a onclick="if (LaunchCreateHandler(&#39;PublishingPage&#39;)) { SP.SOD.executeFunc(&#39;sp.ui.dialog.js&#39;, &#39;SP.UI.ModalDialog.showModalDialog&#39;, function() { var dlgOptions = { url:&#39;\u002fsites\u002fknowledge\u002fBestPractice\u002f_layouts\u002f15\u002fCreatePublishingPageDialog.aspx&#39;, autoSize: true, autoSizeStartWidth: 550 }; SP.UI.ModalDialog.showModalDialog(dlgOptions); }); };" href="#" class="ms-textXLarge ms-heroCommandLink">  
    <span class="ms-list-addnew-imgSpan20">  
      <img class="ms-list-addnew-img20" src="/_layouts/15/images/spcommon.png?rev=23">  
 </span>new page  
 </a>  
 </div>  

4. Publish the page.

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