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Doug Allen's Articles

2 Ways to Prevent Users From Clicking on Spam

Spam is always invading our inboxes and sometimes the validity of emails is harder to decipher than not. Blackhats are constantly working to dupe everyone with extremely real looking emails. To avoid potentially harmful situations, adding warnings to an email's subject line or body content helps prevent unintentional malware infection. Let’s create some warnings before someone really screws up!

spam hackers locking phone emails cybersecurity

PowerShell: Your Solution to SharePoint 2013 Suspended Workflows

One of my clients running SharePoint 2013 on-premises contacted me with a strange issue. They had some SharePoint 2013 platform workflows that were getting suspended and wasn’t sure why.  We got past that initial issue, but what I wanted to talk about today is what we did with all the active workflows that were suspended. Learn how I use PowerShell to make all those workflows resume instead of resorting to canceling them...

Resume SharePoint 2013 Suspended Workflows Instead of Cancelling with PowerShell

 

 

 

2 Simple Crawl Rules for Relevant SharePoint Search Results

With any LUCK, I’m sure your users are actively using SharePoint search to discover and find content.  Sooner or later they will struggle to find whatever it is they are looking for. Search is after all only as good as what you put into it. Utilizing crawl rules can quickly create relevant results, thus, increasing the likeliness that users keep using search.

Get More Relevant SharePoint Search Results with Only 2 Crawl Rules!

5 Reasons Why You Should Move From Classic to Modern Office 365 [Now]

You’re using Office 365, you get the deal.  You’re on a road-trip and Microsoft is telling you what kind of car you can have while letting pick if you want GPS or not.  The Office 365 suite certainly does provide tangible and measurable benefits that alleviate a lot of headaches for many organizations.  Having said that, all is not so simple or easy in Wonderland, is it?

Modern Office 365 SharePoint Team Site

Quick Tip To Resolve “Turn on TLS” Error with SharePoint On-Premises

I had this come up with a client recently and wanted to be sure to share the easy resolution given the vague information out there on this topic.  This just reminds me how important it is to not just blindly troubleshoot the symptom, but investigate fully before continuing in your attempts at resolution.

criss_cross_railroad_tracks

Two Quick Tips to Avoid Clicking Empty Folders in SharePoint Without Metadata

We work with a lot of clients and from time to time, many aren’t ready for metadata.  They agree that files are difficult to find and there are a ton of nested subfolders, the users just aren’t ready to use metadata instead of those folders.  Are we resigned to living in the time-wasting droll of having no idea if the subfolder they are clicking into will even have files in it?  No! 

Afraid of Metadata? Two Quick Tips to Avoid Clicking Empty Folders in SharePoint

I’ll show you two quick ways to alleviate the pain of the hunting and pecking users are forced to do when they don’t use search and trying to find a certain file. 

How to Filter Out Deleted Calendar Events in SharePoint

Have you ever been using a SharePoint calendar with recurring events then noticed some events started showing with a title of “Deleted:”?  I’m going to show you a quick way to hide these events from a view.

How to Update SharePoint XSLTListView Web Parts Using PowerShell

How to Update SharePoint XSLTListView Web Parts Using PowerShell

I know that Office 365 and SharePoint are all that we seem to talk about today on Twitter and everywhere else.  But I do still work with some clients using SharePoint on-premises and they needed some help recently.  I was finally able to overcome and I want to share my struggle for others to benefit.  I’ve seen examples of doing things like this in server-side code but not PowerShell.

Troubleshooting Office Web Apps SSL Issues

Troubleshooting Office Web Apps SSL Issues

If you are like my unfortunate client, your installation of Office Web Apps (or WAC) was humming along just fine until that one day comes that you wish you never got out of bed.  This turned out to be a simple fix but took some hair-pulling to get there so let me share my journey.

Quick Fix When SharePoint Timer Service Keeps Stopping with Logon Failure

There you are, minding your own happy SharePoint administrator business when you start getting calls from users stating that they are no longer getting alerts.  Others report issues with workflows not working.  What’s going on?  Turns out to be a simple issue, let me show you how I got there.

Quick Fix When SharePoint Timer Service Keeps Stopping with Logon Failure

Avoid Getting Blank Results When Searching Office 365 Activity Reports

Avoid Getting Blank Results When Searching Office 365 Activity Reports

As you are likely aware Office 365 provides a wealth of abilities to review reports of all the activities that users (and admins) are doing in Office 365.  Recently we were using this to get download activities from SharePoint but hit a snag when trying to restrict the results to a specific site.  The answer was actually backwards to the interface. 

Easily Check Available Property Values in Microsoft Flow

Easily Check Available Property Values in Microsoft Flow

When creating any Microsoft Flows, sooner or later you are going to need to use values from user profile properties like Email Address, Name, Department, etc.  You are wondering two things:

  1. What properties can I access easily without additional steps?
  2. What is the value of those properties?

Once you know those two things you can know if you need to do additional steps to accomplish your requirements for your Flow. 

Using PowerShell to Change SharePoint 2010 Workflow AssociationData

Using PowerShell to Change SharePoint 2010 Workflow AssociationData

If you are still using SharePoint on-premises, then you will almost certainly be using workflows based on the 2010 workflow platform.  These would include all of the out-of-the-box workflow reusable templates like Approval and Collect Signatures. 

Recently I needed to change the start parameters of a workflow template that was deployed in a site template so there was a copy of the workflow in over 1,000 subsites.  Of course I turned to my trusty friend PowerShell.  

Project Managers Rejoice! You Can Create Multiple Plans for a Single Office 365 Group!

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If you are using Office 365, you are likely very aware that with Microsoft at the controls, they are frequently making a lot of changes.  Sometimes that’s a great thing and sometimes that’s not but on the whole it's a relief to not have to deal with an on-premise environment.  Every month or so, Microsoft releases news about the recent changes that are being released.  After going through February 2019’s update, I noticed a little but awesome change I wanted to call out regarding Microsoft Planner. 

What is SharePoint Metadata? A Simple Explanation

What is SharePoint Metadata?

I’ve been involved with SharePoint for probably 12 years, and as a consultant daily for 9 years.  In all of that time, I would say the most common thing I see my clients and others struggle to understand is the concept of metadata.  What is it?  What does it mean?  I’ve often times explained it only to have someone say “Can I come by your office later and you explain it to me?” 

Today I will do my best to put it in simplistic terms for relevance to SharePoint.

5 Reasons To Focus on Bad Data in SharePoint

Bad Intranet Data ShasrePoint

According to AIIM and Gartner, companies report that 53% to 80% of their content is ROTII (Redundant, Outdated, Trivial, Inaccurate or Incomplete).  ROTII results in poor search results, duplicated work, decisions made on bad information, and frustrated users - in other words it destroys productivity, profits and satisfaction.  Let's look at how to identify and clean up your ROTII.

Troubleshooting InfoPath Submit or Item Saving Issues in SharePoint

I recently had an interesting issue with a client’s SharePoint environment that I wanted to hopefully help someone else out as it wasn’t the most intuitive cause.  What do you do when you try to save list items or InfoPath-customized list items and it fails?  It turned out to be really simple if you know what to look for.

Troubleshooting InfoPath Submit or Item Saving Issues in SharePoint

Know Your Audience: The Simple Key to SharePoint Support Success

SharePoint Support Success

 

Sometimes in our role as Consultant, Administrator, or User Support, we go so deep in developing technical skills, that we lose perspective on softer skills that could be holding us back. Today I was reminded of one of those simple skills that it is easy to lose sight of.

Mapping SharePoint Task Lists to Microsoft Planner

When it comes to task management in Office 365 and SharePoint Online, you have three choices:

  1. Microsoft To-Do
  2. SharePoint Task lists
  3. Microsoft Planner

Which you use really depends on your requirements and how many people you are collaborating with.

Expand SharePoint Multi-Line Text Fields in SharePoint On-Premise

Ever wish you could resize columns in a SharePoint view?  In Office 365, your wish has been granted.  But in SharePoint 2010-2016, it’s not. 

There are various ways to fix this, but most require JavaScript.  I prefer the CSS way as I always like to have a no-code solution, so let's take a look at how to use CSS to show multi-line text columns in your view.

Quick Tip - Automatically Add Wildcard To Conditional SharePoint Search Queries

Quick Tip - Automatically Add Wildcard To Conditional SharePoint Search Queries

One of the hardest things to do is to train users on how to query SharePoint search effectively.  Here's a quick way to give users a helping hand when using search to automatically include a wildcard * in the query.  Small steps add up to great adoption!

What the Heck is a Scope in Microsoft Flow?

What the Heck is a Scope in Microsoft Flow

If you’re reading this, I am assuming you already know that Microsoft Flow is the future and replacement of workflows in SharePoint.  It is an extremely powerful process automation and integration platform helping to bridge the gap between many Microsoft services and many others.  After using Flow for a while, you soon notice this other option called “Add a Scope”.  What does that do?

R.I.P. SharePoint Site Content and Structure (In Office 365)

SharePoint Site Content Deprecated

Microsoft has deprecated the not-so-beloved Site Content and Structure in SharePoint (for Office 365 users).  What does this mean to your organization?

How to Fix PDFs Not Opening in SharePoint Online

Do your users ever see the message "Hmm...looks like this file doesn't have a preview we can show you."?  In this blog I'll offer a quick fix that might work for you.

Hmm... looks like this file doesn't have a preview we can show you error SharePoint Online

Why Active Directory AD Explorer is a Critical Tool for any SharePoint Administrator

Troubleshooting active directory user profiles for SharePoint?  I've found that AD Explorer (Active Directory Explorer) is an time-saving and often-overlooked item that should in every SharePoint administrators bag of tricks.  In this article we'll look at what it is, how it works, and why it is important.

AD Explorer screenshot

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Blog Topics

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CPR for CRM Study

The complementary paper includes over 12 years of research, recent survey results, and CRM turnaround success stories.

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SharePoint Readiness Assessment

This 60-second assessment is designed to evaluate your organization's collaboration readiness.

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CRM Self Assessment

Learn how you rank compared to organizations typically in years 1 to 5 of implementation - and which areas to focus on to improve.

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SharePoint Feedback Solution

This is a sandbox solution which can be activated per site collection to allow you to easily collect feedback from users into a custom Feedback list.

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SharePoint Upgrade Checklist

Whether you are upgrading to SharePoint Online, 2010, 2013 or the latest 2016, this checklist contains everything you need to know for a successful transition.