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Doug Allen's Articles

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

Track Goals in Power BI with Constant Lines

Track Your Goals in Line and Bar Charts in Power BI

Many of our clients want to track a metric over time against a goal using Power BI.  Let's take a look at how to add a Goal Line to your bar charts in Power BI for this purpose.

Where’s My Office 365 Group Calendar in SharePoint Online?

Where’s My Office 365 Group Calendar in SharePoint Online?

You're using Office 365 Groups to collaborate, and to share a calendar.  And you're using SharePoint to share files associated with that group.  But when you add a SharePoint calendar to the site, it doesn't display the Office 365 Group calendar.  What gives?!?

In this article we'll look at where Office 365 Group calendars are stored, and how to get them to show up in your SharePoint site.

What Is SharePoint for Non-SharePoint Users (Part 2)

Welcome to part 2 in our journey of knowledge to seek the true meaning of SharePoint.  in Part 1 I got things started by explaining the WHY you should care what SharePoint is. In this part we will look at the different versions of SharePoint (Online and On-Premise) and the ways to access SharePoint.

What Is SharePoint for Non-SharePoint Users (Part 2)

5 Powerful Tools to Measure SharePoint Adoption Success

In this article, I will introduce you to 5 different tools and methods you can use to gather SharePoint user adoption information so you can continuously monitor and improve your SharePoint intranet. 

5 Powerful Tools to Measure Success with SharePoint Adoption

Custom SharePoint User Profile Property Not Showing in Search

This is another issue from the trenches as I was working with a client of mine recently with a disconnect between the SharePoint User Profile Service and Search.

Custom User Profile Property Not Showing as Crawled Property in Search

The fix is surprisingly simple, and you will face palm once you realize what the cause is but I thought it was important to document for others.

5 Key Questions for Better SharePoint Adoption Metrics

Without SharePoint adoption metrics, you may as well be driving blind-folded, with no steering wheel, and on a winding foggy dirt road!  Under those conditions, it would be a miracle if you didn't drive off of a cliff!  In this article we take a look at how to quantify SharePoint adoption, satisfaction, and success.

5 Key Questions to Ask When Measuring SharePoint Adoption

5 Great Ways to Stay Informed About Office 365 Updates

millennial-young-work-remote-mobileMany people have trouble keeping up with the latest trends and changes in technology, whether its computers, smartphones or TVs.  This is also true if we look at most of the big software companies like Apple, Google and of course Microsoft.  It’s even faster with certain Microsoft services like Power BI, Azure and of course their flagship collaboration service Office 365. 

Office 365 is constantly changing, and it can be difficult to know what’s going on.  I’ll show you 5 quick and easy ways to know what is happening in the Office 365 ecosystem. 

Quick Fix When You Can’t Edit SharePoint User Profile Properties

Has this ever happened to you?  You are minding your own business when you need to remote to your SharePoint server desktop to fix the User Profile Service (who hasn’t?).  You open Central Administration and go to the UPA and to your horror you can’t edit the profiles! 

Quick Fix When You Can’t Edit SharePoint User Profile Properties

Read on for the simple and easy fix!

What Is SharePoint for Non-SharePoint Users (Part 1)

As of today I’ve been consulting on SharePoint for almost 8 years, and I get asked a lot of questions.  A lot of our clients already have SharePoint and we’re either engaging on rescue projects, migrations or break/fix type support.  But then there are some clients we speak with who don’t use SharePoint at all, and are potentially looking to evaluate SharePoint or other collaboration platforms.  It’s in those times I get reminded that not all folks already know what SharePoint is! 

What Is SharePoint for Non-SharePoint Users (Part 1)

My aim with this 3-part series is to help answer this question and give some context of how SharePoint can benefit organizations.  In this initial post I will set the stage and give you some context for our discussions.

The Incredibly Easy No-Code Solution to Simple Anchor Tags in SharePoint Navigation

SharePoint Bookmark Anchor tag

Have you ever thought to yourself “I need an anchor tag in my SharePoint navigation and that must be easy”.  But instead you're met with frustration!  I’m going to show you a little trick I stumbled across that is SUPER simple and it works with no code!  Did I mention this works in Office 365?

Use PowerShell to Set Permissions on All SharePoint Libraries, Folders and Files

Use PowerShell to Set Permissions on All SharePoint Libraries, Folders and Files

When you work with SharePoint permissions, you quickly figure out that you want to touch them as little as possible.  With a lot of things in SharePoint, permissions inherit top down.  So this means that it’s a best practice to always use that inheritance as much as possible.  But in today's post, I'll show you how to use PowerShell to change those permissions for all libraries, folders and files in the site!

Where To Download the Latest SharePoint Designer for 2013/2016

I’ve had this come up multiple times lately, and I thought I’d put up a post to help get the information all in one place.  Now that we’re moving away from SharePoint 2010 and dealing with SharePoint 2013/2016/Online more often, folks still want SharePoint Designer but are confused which version they need.  You want to be sure to get the latest and most patched version, which requires more than one download.

3 Tips for Balanced Intranet Governance

3 Tips for Balanced Intranet GovernanceOne of the things that I think most companies struggle with is governance, specifically in context of an intranet.  If you read my blog you know I talk about mostly SharePoint, but good governance can and should apply to really to any platform. 

We actually devote a whole section of our Building a Better Intranet workshop to governance because it’s that important, and yet so many companies don’t even think about it.  In today’s post I wanted to pull out 3 tips that are important aspects of balanced governance. 

Hide Root Node of the SharePoint Breadcrumb like a Pro with CSS!

Hide Root Node of the SharePoint Breadcrumb like a Pro with CSS!Instead of another blog about PowerShell, I wanted to share a quick trick with CSS.  It’s quite common in a SharePoint branding design to include a breadcrumb navigation.  In SharePoint 2007 there was a simple horizontal breadcrumb separated by arrows, and SharePoint 2010 incorporated a tree-style drop down breadcrumb.  The site to site breadcrumbs were removed starting in SharePoint 2013. 

There are many blogs on how to bring either the “up-folder” or simple horizontal breadcrumb back.  But sometimes, you want to hide the root node and the separator.  In today’s post I’ll show you how to do that with just CSS.

Easily Add a Dark Sky Weather Widget on Your SharePoint Page

imageSooner or later it would likely be nice to have some weather in SharePoint.  There are many ways to do this, and the ideal solution would be something that is global above the page that detects where you are and changes the weather for you. 

That’s great, but it’s custom and certainly not free.  But sometimes you want something easy and free to embed something on your SharePoint page.  And if you’re favorite weather app is Dark Sky, you’re in luck!  I’ll show you the tiny amount of code you need.  It’s not a no-code solution, but low-code.

Replace the Default SharePoint Media Player with a Friendly Minimized HTML5 Audio Player

Mminial html5 audio player in SharePointI was working with a client recently and they use a lot of audio files, like when they record customer service calls for quality assurance.  When things go great, they wanted to highlight these cases of awesome customer support in audio clips in blog posts. 

They found the default SharePoint audio player less than appealing and wanted something better.  In today’s post I’ll show you something maybe you didn’t know about your web browser, and how to use it to make this experience better. 

Use SharePoint Workflow to Determine if a Field Changed Without Code

Use SharePoint Workflow to Determine if a Field Changed Without CodeOn a recent client project, we’re working to implement a task-based tracking solution in SharePoint 2010.  There is a parent Project, and that Project has a template set of tasks the workflow creates with due dates.  Then the requirement came up where if the Project due date changed, all of the task due dates needed to be updated to.  Read on to see how I show you an easy and simple no-code way using workflow to tell if a field changed. 

4 Key Questions to Ensure You Create the Proper SharePoint Structure

ChecklistI've been working with SharePoint for over 8 years now, and worked with a lot of different clients and types of users. I've seen that there's one area that a lot of people either struggle with, or get flat out wrong. That is what they create in SharePoint to store content. 

In today's post I'm going to give four questions to answer that should help drive what kind of content needs to be created. Why is this so important?  Keep reading to find out ...

How to Set External Columns in a SharePoint List with PowerShell

I’ve been working with a client recently on a project where we are using a BDC connection.  Things have been going fine when we were using the external item picker in an InfoPath form but we ran into a problem.  We are using an external column in the same library.  Due to issues I will explain, I need to set this external column with PowerShell.

How to Set External Columns in a SharePoint List with PowerShell

I’ve seen a lot of online folks have trouble with this, so I thought that I would share how to properly set this column with PowerShell as there is a little trick to it. 

Two Easy Ways to Get All Checked Out Files from TFS 2010

Two Easy Ways to Get All Checked Out Files from TFS 2010Whether you have full-time or contractors, it’s important to ensure that developers are properly checking in their code.  So how can you get a report of all of the files that are checked out in your solutions?

There are two quick and easy ways to get a report of all the files checked out from your TFS server.  Now the title says TFS 2010, but this applies to newer versions as well.

Use PowerShell to Set Permissions on All SharePoint Libraries, Folders and Files

Use PowerShell to Set Permissions on All SharePoint Libraries, Folders and Files

In today's post featuring PowerShell, I'm going to show you how to use a script with a few functions and some handy tricks to quickly reset permissions with multiple libraries, folders and files.  This can be very difficult to handle manually, especially when there are many many libraries with many folders and files with broken permissions. 

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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.