Showing posts from 2015

MS Ignite - Power BI: The Developer Edition (DAT341)

some brief notes on what was learnt in this MS Ignite session

Link to session video:

Covered in the session:
A feature to publish Power BI Desktop reports to SQL Reporting Services is coming soon!The Power BI Team is working on tiles able to be embedded on a web page and viewed by anonymous viewers.  Will be able to embed entire dashboard at some point.Link for developer information is at the bottom of power BI home page ( How to extend Power BI using custom visualisationsCan embed Power BI Tiles into PowerPoint presentationsREST Api's are available to do things like  list all tiles & dashboard & datasets and tables and groupsCan find approved custom visuals here:'t pin custom visuals to dashboards yet.  team estimates late DecemberYou can download Custom Visuals inside the Desktop Application by cli…

Power BI Suites - Which One Do I Use?

I'm presuming you've seen the god-like feature set of Power BI.  I reckon you've probably even opened up browser edition and had a quick play.  Then you've come to the realisation that yeah it is just as awesome as that presenter advised!  But how does it fit together with the rest of the Office 365 suite, and why are there so many different ways to use it!?

Here's a quick historical view of the product and a brief introduction into the pros/cons of each option to help you choose a path based on what your business requirements are.  Truth is, you'll probably want all options available to you, however each new solution might require a certain platform.

If you take ANYTHING away from this post, remember there are three ways you can use the Power BI suite:  Excel Add-Ins, Power BI Online App, Power BI Desktop App...

Excel Power BI Suite (PowerPivot, PowerQuery, PowerMap, PowerView) Before Power BI became an entity of its own, it was initially birthed as separate …

HP Laserjet 1022 Printer - Can't Print on Windows 10

If you are having trouble getting your laserjet working on Windows 10, here's how I resolved the problem:

Go to Devices & PrintersFind your printer & go to Printer Properties > Advanced TabSet Driver to: HP LaserJet 1022 Class Driver & ApplyIf HP LaserJet 1022 Class Driver is not available.  download from this site: a test page.

MS Ignite - Real World Power BI Techniques (DAT343)

Link to Session:

About the Session:
First off, I'd just like to say that Grant stole my idea of starting off the session with a chant of 'Power BI'!  Reckon he must have heard me chanting it on the way into the previous session.  I'm sure he didn't steal it, but was a surreal coincidence haha.

This was the final Power BI Session of the week, which is strange because it was the first session to run through step-by-step how to pull back real world data and report on it.  I would have thought the order would have started with the simple sally session then built up to the developer sessions through the week.  No bother for me, but something to consider for the next MS Ignite.

Session tips for speeding up your power reports:
Clean up your data using Power Query firstCreate measures to display totals at the bottom of your raw data list.Use brushing / ratios to gain better insight t…

MS Ignite - Office 365 Groups Overview, Administration and Roadmap (PRD313)

Session Takeaways:
By default any user can create a Office 365 groupWhen a group is created, a container is provisioned to allow staff to collaborate using the office apps of their choice.  This saves waiting for multiple IT teams to provision team sites and distribution groups.Provides business users with an instant way to set up a new project and share information.Enables the end-user a choice of platform without being pigeonholed onto a prescribed application.Groups allow staff who get late access, the ability to see all of the past conversation that has happened.  unlike email distribution groups where the conversation is lost in individual mailboxes.  This will save time having to catch up and save having to ask the same questions if you're new to a project.Can Insta-videocall all members of an O365 Group using Skype for business.  Can also start writing up meeting notes straight away within a callGroups integrate with power BI and Dynamics CRM.Groups REST API's now availa…

MS Ignite - Introduction to Hololens (MOB221)

Many people had mixed feelings about this session, which is ironic given Microsoft are calling the Hololens a Mixed Reality device.

No Hololens at the eventEvery video shown had already been released on the internetWe had to get up at 7.30am to not see a Hololens
A few takeaways from the session:
You can use Maya to auto-update holograms as your working with it on your computerMicrosoft has developed a camera to see what the hololens sees without having to have a hololens on yourself.  Apparently only 2 of these cameras in existenceCan collaborate with other people around the world on the same holographic sceneThere are some battery life concerns.  We were advised to keep this in mind during app development and try and limit the polygon count on any holograms developedRecommended Skillset: Game Studio, Art, Audio, Design, Engineering, Production, QAThe development edition of the hololens is being released in Q1 2016.  US only....Field of view: can still see the edges of normal vi…

MS Ignite - Office 365: The Next Wave of Innovation (PRD211)

Link to Session:

About The Session:  Exactly what the session description detailed.  Briefly touched on most of the Office 365 / Office 2016 products and what's new.  Here's some dot points if your interested in downloading this session.
Delve:  Now has ability to extend it's reach beyond Office 365 productsDelve Analytics: Can provide individual users with graphs showing thier time usage, who they connect with most at work as well as who they have fallen out of touch with.  Office 2016: Added search features inside word/excel to find & use features that you can't remember where to find.  Potential to save many calls to service desk and time googling for where to find feature.Excel: Ability to auto-forecast profits & loss based on previous years data inside excel.  Has also been loaded with additional ways to visualize and represent data. (read: more fancy graphs…

MS Ignite - Certification 101 - Find the Path (EXAM111)

About The Session: Covered the Microsoft certification roadmap.  Discussed Microsoft Academy for kids, educators and trainers.  Spent most of an hour going through how to pass Microsoft exams and what type of questions you can expect.  A discussion around what course material you need to study to pass each exam.

All certification are now solutions focused due to the knowledge required to implement systems successfully.

Went about 25 minutes overtime.

My Musings: The best thing about this session was seeing the official Microsoft certification roadmap, provided below:

The rest of the session was not for me.  I thought that 'Find the Path' was going to be all about explaining in detail what path of certification you might like to take and what you can expect.  However it was mainly about how to pass an exam if you're looking to certify and where you can find resources online to help with your study.

Funny things to mention:
MCSE Exams - You have to re-certify every 2-3 years.  …

Microsoft Ignite Australia - 17th-20th November

Next week I'm heading to the MS Ignite conference in the Gold Coast and thought I'd sign up to some sessions & get my schedule ready today.

Looking through the sessions, there were two things that stood out to me:

A lack of SharePoint sessionsA very developer-heavy list of sessions The first is surprising because SharePoint 2016 preview just came out and I'm not sure anyone is really doing a deep-dive session on it.  Here's what happened when I tried to filter for SharePoint sessions :S:

The second surprise around the mass amounts of developer sessions is because I'm used to Tech Ed events in previous years where they catered for all levels & occupations. Anyone from C-Class (CIO/CEO) down to developer scrubs that want super detail could enjoy the event.  Now I'm not so sure that's the case.

The truth is, it's not that surprising.  For a long time now we've watched Microsoft ramp up it's O365/Azure capabilities to match exactly what On-P…

Windows 10 - Trying to Install Legitimately

Got home from 3 months holiday & my Windows 10 Preview had expired on my only computer at home.

First off, couldn't even boot the computer because certain core windows files had 'expired'.  After changing the date & time in the BIOS to a year in the past, I was at least able to log in.
All good, I knew about the free upgrade from Windows 8.1 which I had a product key for, so I downloaded a copy of Windows 10 pro x64.  
Next problem, USB wouldn't appear.  tried to troubleshoot via Disk Management.  Due to changing date & time in BIOS the computer didn't trust me to open anything that required administration rights....  awesome.
so now cant find any way to get installation media off the computer.  Luckily my partner had a laptop with windows that I could use.  Jumped on it, downloaded windows 10 AGAIN, straight onto a USB stick.
stuck in USB to main computer, tried to install windows 10, formatted main drive, got an error message about installation medi…

Connect to Exchange Online via Powershell & Allow File Types

##Use this when you need to make configuration changes to your Exchange environment that can't be done via the GUI

##Connect to Exchange Online via Powershell

Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned
$UserCredential = Get-Credential
$Session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri -Credential $UserCredential -Authentication Basic -AllowRedirection
Import-PSSession $Session

##How to Allow File Types to be opened in Exchange Online

Get-OwaMailboxPolicy OwaMailboxPolicy-Default | Select -ExpandProperty BlockedFileTypes | Sort
Get-OwaMailboxPolicy OwaMailboxPolicy-Default | Set-OwaMailboxPolicy -BlockedFileTypes @{Remove = ".xml"}
Get-OwaMailboxPolicy OwaMailboxPolicy-Default | Set-OwaMailboxPolicy -AllowedFileTypes @{Add = ".xml"}
Get-OwaMailboxPolicy OwaMailboxPolicy-Default | Set-OwaMailboxPolicy -BlockedMimeTypes @{Remove = "text/xml", "applic…

Report on Multiple-Choice Fields in SharePoint Using The Excel add-on Power Query

Today we will be learning how to create a excel report connected to a SharePoint library using Power Query.  I will also address all issues found along the way.

The reason we are connecting to our library via Power Query instead of via the 'Export to Excel' option is because our library contains InfoPath forms that have repeating table data in the columns that we need to report on.

Power Query  
Is a free excel add-in available from Microsoft for both Excel 2010 Professional Plus & Excel 2013.  It is used when you need a way to transform data that isn't quite in the format you need.

Step 1: Connecting to your SharePoint Library via Power Query.
Open up Excel.  Click Power Query Tab > From Other Sources > From SharePoint List > Insert SharePoint Site URL

Here's our first issue.  Only Lists are appearing in the Navigator.  Not to worry, Right-Click any of the Lists showing and click Edit to open up the Query Editor.  You should now see a screen showing the d…

How to comment out code in Power Query Advanced Editor

Power Query uses Microsofts M Language.  I couldn't find out how to comment out code so I could write notes inside the Advanced Editor.  It's the same as C# and many other languages, use two right slashes:


SharePoint 2010 - Global Reusable Workflow missing from Workflow List

First off, if you can get the cash, pay for Nintex Workflows.  It is worth it's weight in gold.  I cannot stress enough how easy it is to build, copy, manage, update workflows with Nintex.

Simply, you're wasting your time/life if you are still building workflows in SharePoint Designer.

However, if you're just working out how to keep using an old reusable workflow and it's not showing up as an option to use in your list, here's how I got it to show back up.

Add another Content Type to the list (even if just temporarily), this seems to force the list to check which Workflows are available for the Content Types in the List, and the workflow should show up again.

SharePoint 2010 - Powershell Script to Disable Versioning on a specific List & Delete Old Versions

This will remove versioning from the list you specify & update every item so that the old versions are deleted.

Great for really large lists/libraries that don't require versioning when you want to free up some space.

$web = get-spweb "http://root/site"
$list = $web.Lists["List Name"]
$list.EnableVersioning = $false

foreach($item in $list.Items) {

Issue with Embedding Yammer Feed in SharePoint 2010

On the 14th of May 2015, Yammer deployed an update to their Embed Yammer Feed script that stopped any Yammer Feeds on SharePoint 2010 from working.  In our case, the Yammer Feed got stuck on 'Loading...'

This error that is causing the Yammer Feed to fail to load is:
Object doesn't support property or method 'forEach' . yam-platform-feed-57f4f449766511e4f91eb519a39b2781.js, line 480 character 19099

The reason this is happening is because SharePoint Master pages have a line of code which forces all Internet Explorer Browsers to run in IE8 Compatibility Mode.  This is done to ensure all the ribbon & SharePoint functionality continues to work on new browsers.

The line of code in question:  <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=8"/>

Hint: don't just remove this line of code!  you'll cause yourself a headache.

The line that Yammer & Microsoft are taking is that if you plan to stick to SharePoint 2010, the only way to use…

SharePoint Farm Freezing, Becomes Unusable Without An IISReset - A Lesson In Item-Level Permissions

Recently I was working with a client who's SharePoint 2010 environment had been poorly managed for years.  They had a single site collection on a single, large content database (650GB).  Not uncommon, however this environment also occasionally froze up, never loading any of the pages on any sites until an IISRESET was performed on the Web Front End (WFE).

It started off only happening once a month, then moved to once a week, a few times a week, to 5-10 times a day...

Begin Troubleshooting:

The issue was around too many lists, and items within those lists having their own permissions.

Each permission for an item counts as one row in the RoleAssignment table in the database.

apparently they say a healthy DB will only have 200,000 rows in that table.

Ours had 10,000,000 rows (You can check this by right-clicking the Database in SQL Management Studio and clicking Reports > Disk Usage by Top Tables.  Then look for the RoleAssignment Table).  and every time someone went to check perm…

Online Shopping is King

This is how bad it is to actually have to walk into shops and try and order something nowadays.

The bonnie lass & I recently scored a $100 Adairs* gift card and thought it was about time to go purchase something fancy with the "cash".  Normally we'd just look online, which we did, but we couldn't use the gift card online.  So we headed off to the Analog store.  After perusing the store for quite some time and being unimpressed with the range & the prices, we decided upon a quilt cover that we thought suited our needs.

After the store clerk tried calling multiple Adairs' stores in the region, it turned out they didn't have the quilt cover in our size (the ever illusive Queen size quilt).  No bother, we went back to the wall and chose another quilt cover that we were reasonably happy with.

Oh what's that you say?  You checked out the back, tried calling a few stores and you don't have a Queen in this print either? hmmm.  OK.  Well fuck it, we&…

Can't Connect to SharePoint Designer OR can't query GetUserProfileByName Web Service

We were getting an issue on one of our Test Server WFE's where we were having two issues:

- If you were trying to load an InfoPath form that contained a connection to the GetUserProfileByName Web Service, it would fail.
- If you tried to connect to the site via SharePoint Designer, it would error out.

SO!  If you get any of the following issues:

In SP Designer:
"The server could not complete your request.  For more specific information, click the Details button."

"An error occurred while trying to fetch data from your SharePoint site.  Unexpected response from the server.  The content type of the response is "", The status code is "OK"."

On an InfoPath Form:
"There has been an error while processing the form.  An error occurred while trying to connect to a Web service"

In SharePoint Logs:
"The following query failed: GetUserProfileByName (User: xx\username, Form Name: Template, IP: , Connection Target: , Request: http://root/sit…

InfoPath, Content Types, Site Columns & The Future

Just a quick one after some deep thought.

Thoughts on the Future: If you have to create an InfoPath Form, you should be creating it as a List Form (if possible), not a Form Library.  The reason for this is ease of upgrade now that InfoPath will not be upgraded/supported by Microsoft.

If you have to create a Form Library (because you form requires repeating tables/sections):

I’ve decided that InfoPath forms should NOT be published as Content Types.  The only time it would be considered OK is if the form is very generic and is being used on multiple sites.  E.g. a Help Form which could be used by multiple departments without any modification.

The main issue when publishing as a Content Type is that every field you promote to be visible in SharePoint has to be created as a Site Column. This means that even for a small form, for instance, a Personnel Access Form, you’d have to create Site Columns for fields like: Room Number or Access Hours, which would only ever be used for this form an…

AvePoint DocAve 6 Manager - Admin Account Disabled

Today I tried to log into our DocAve 6 Suite on our SharePoint 2010 environment and came across this error message:
Sorry, the account has been disabled. Please contact the administrator My guess was that due to inactivity (hadn't logged in for a few months) the accounts had been disabled.  The problem was that every Administrator account had been disabled so I couldn't get in!

After a quick call to AvePoint, the techies solved the issue quick smart.  Here's how you can save yourself a call and Enable a user accounts status again:
Log onto the SQL Server that stores the AvePoint Databases.Navigate to AvePoint's ControlDBRight-Click > Select TOP 1000 rows for the table dbo.AccountMappingIn the results, you should see all your accounts, and a Status column which states whether the account is disabled or not (1 = disabled, 0 = enabled)Right click the dbo.AccountMapping table and Edit TOP 200 Rows, and modify the Status from 1 to 0 for the account in question.You should …