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Doug Allen's Articles

How to Selectively Sync Folders to OneDrive for Business

OneDrive selective folder syncWhile recently working with some users who are migrating to OneDrive for Business for SharePoint 2013, I was in a discussion about how to use the OneDrive for Business client.  After walking through the capabilities and how to use the sync client, the question was asked about how to selectively sync only certain folders from OneDrive for Business and not the entire library.  Users started uploading a lot of documents, and didn’t want to sync ALL of the files in their OneDrive for Business library.  They only wanted to sync some of the folders offline.  This is possible right?  Okay I must admit I misled you a little bit by the title.  You can’t use the OneDrive for Business sync client and only choose certain folders.  It will only sync the entire library or nothing.  But fear not, the point of this blog is to offer a few viable solutions as stop gaps until Microsoft adds this functionality. 

How Do You Sway?

imageIn my recent blog post “Microsoft Can Do Cool”, I mentioned a new app Microsoft has in beta / preview called Microsoft Sway.  Read on for more about Sway and to be inspired!

Back to SharePoint Basics: Part 3–Working With Views

It’s been awhile but I am back to continue on my SharePoint Basics series for SharePoint.  Let’s see where we are:

Back in Part 2, I touched on SharePoint Views briefly in the context of creating content.  In today’s post I want to go a lot deeper with views and show you how to work with them while will help any SharePoint user work more effectively and efficiently.

How to Add Existing Office 365 Users to an Azure Subscription

Microsoft AzureMaybe you’ve heard of Microsoft Azure, maybe you haven’t.   In today’s article, I’m going to walk you through the process of wiring up your Azure subscription to work with your Office 365 Organization accounts as well as Live ID. 

Microsoft Can Do Cool!

Mobile SurfaceLove them or hate em, like them or not, it can’t be ignored that Microsoft has been making some big splashes lately. We've started to reflect on how the software giant has been putting out some pretty cool stuff that truly improves someone’s daily life or job. Let us share some Microsoft tech that impresses us.  Read this blog to get the list.

8 Features in Outlook 2013 You Probably Aren’t Using

Outlook-2013If you’ve worked anywhere and had a cubicle in the last 15 years, you likely use Outlook to get and send email.  Even though we all use Outlook, there are features (some new, some not) that if you take the time, can help your day to day be a LITTLE easier.  I’m not saying this features will make you coffee or solve world peace, but every bit helps right?  Let’s look at 8 great features in the latest iteration of Outlook (2013).   

Making Your Visio Drawing More Valuable with Live Data and Data Graphics

imageWhen it comes to Visio's high quality, yet static content, can we make that flat data more interactive and fresh?  Sure, with Data Graphics!  Some people refer to drawings like this as having data-behind.  You might have seen the Supply Chain example from Microsoft in a number of demos, and think that it must be some overly complicated configuration.  It’s not!

How to Add the ID Column to SharePoint Email Alerts

imageGenerally the out of the box provided ID column is used as the “Issue ID” since it auto-increments by default.  Invariably, users need to be notified whenever issues are created or updated, so they subscribe to alerts on the list.  When they get their notification email, they notice that the Issue ID is missing, so they aren’t sure exactly which issue got updated. 

We can fix this by adding the ID field to the email alert file.  Let's take a look how.

What Am I Missing from SharePoint 2013?

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The purpose of this article is to try and compile a list of features removed or discounted features, not list all of the changes or improvements in SharePoint 2013.  This list will vary somewhat depending if we’re talking SharePoint on-premise or SharePoint online, but I’ll try to call out the differences where applicable. 

Export and Synchronize Contacts from Outlook to SharePoint


Export Outlook Contacts to SharePointLet's say you’re a member of a sales team and you need the ability for your sales peers and managers on your team to be able to see your contacts. Did you know you can use SharePoint to store and share Outlook contacts?  This blog will show you just how easy this is to do!

Fix the Attempted Operation Failed in Outlook with RSS Feeds

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This blog covers the simple fix for the common issue of no new items in the RSS feeds feature in Outlook.  Have you tried to just right click on RSS Feeds and add a new feed, only to get lovely error “The attempted operation failed.  An object could not be found”?

 

Let Your SharePoint Users Be Heard With the C5 Insight Feedback Solution!

SharePoint Site Feedback How do users communicate their SharePoint frustrations, feedback, and questions?  If the answer is “they send an email” or “they open a helpdesk ticket” then this is for you!  We have created a solution for SharePoint 2010 on-premise and SharePoint 2013 on-premise and Office 365 that provides a powerful yet simple mechanism for users to provide feedback.  Best of all, it's free!

Steps to Resolve the SharePoint Error “Sandboxed code execution request failed” When Configuring CRM Integration

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After getting a client's SharePoint available on the public interweb and thus available to CRM, we installed and activated the list component. But when we went to an Opportunity or other entity that was configured for document management, it would throw an error...

Use PowerShell to Enable Versions in All Document Libraries in All Subsites

powershell_iconIn this post with PowerShell, I wanted to show you how you can write a script that will enable versions but starting from a subsite instead of the entire site collection. 

Create a Simple Time-Based Email Reminder for SharePoint Calendar Events

imageSee if this sounds familiar:
Someone asks you “Can I get an email reminder for these events on the team calendar?”.  You think well, we can set alerts, so you go look into the alert settings, so you go look into the alert settings, and quickly realize that alerts don’t work like that.  The alert mechanism in SharePoint will send the alert subscriber an email based on an action happening on the item (it is being created, edited, etc).  We need the trigger to be based on a date.  So what to do? 

How to Easily Lower Opacity In Visio Shapes

imageAs a SharePoint solution architect, when I’m not creating site columns and configuring SharePoint server databases, I'm meeting and talking to clients about their business requirements for collaboration technology like SharePoint.  On a project basis like assessing a clients desire to upgrade their SharePoint environment, this involves documenting a SharePoint environment or a lot of times just business processes.  There are many tools available for these types of drawings, and one I typically use for drawing SharePoint farms and topologies is Visio. 

Back to SharePoint Basics: Part 2–Creating Content

Welcome back to to my series on the basics of SharePoint.  If you've already read the first post, we covered what SharePoint is. Now we're ready to dive into how to create content in SharePoint.  (Notice I said create content, not any form of structure.)  We have to crawl before we can walk, right?  Then we can move on for the super users on how to create structure, the things that hold the content. 

Back to SharePoint Basics: Part 1–What is SharePoint?

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To start with and ensure we’re all talking the same thing, we need to level the foundation.  It’s easy to assume otherwise, but I continually find people at any given company across a variety of industries who don’t even know what SharePoint is.  They have heard the term perhaps, but don’t know what it is, much all it can do (beyond the dumping ground for your documents).  So let’s get started with Part 1.

How to Make SharePoint List Form Fields Read Only Without InfoPath

I was working with a client recently in a simplified signup site.  In effect what was needed was to make the fields read only based on the role of the user.  Follow me as I walk you through the steps using only SharePoint Designer, no code or InfoPath required!

Create Dynamic Images Using InfoPath and a SharePoint Picture Library

Create Dynamic Images Using InfoPath and a SharePoint Picture LibraryAs part of an auction site I was working on for a client, one part of the solution was to use an InfoPath form for users to submit their bids.  This post  focused on how to get the dynamic images from a SharePoint Picture library.

Use Power Pivot to Merge Related SharePoint List Data

Excel-2013 When working with SharePoint, you occasionally need to work with related data.  Since SharePoint isn’t setup for true relational data, that means we’re typically working with lookup columns from a child to a parent list.  This is all fine well and good, but I had a client ask me for some special filtering and output with this related data.  After reviewing my options, I found that the quickest way to do this (in under 15 minutes) is to use Microsoft’s Power Pivot add-in for Excel.  No SharePoint Designer required!  If you have Excel 2010, you will need to download and install the add-in.  If you use Excel 2013, the add-in is already installed, you just have to enable it.

Creating Managed Metadata Terms in SharePoint with PowerShell

sharepoint Create metadata term with powershell with guidWhether you are using SharePoint 2010 or SharePoint 2013, it is very likely you are taking advantage of the Managed Metadata service for taxonomy and other purposes.  Hopefully you have a development / test environment in addition to production, and if so you know it’s a struggle to keep them in sync.  If your groups, term sets and terms are not identical down to GUIDs between the two environments, if you move a database from one to the other then all your terms will be broken… not good. 

The point of this blog is not help you sync your environments with metadata.  Let's dive in.

What’s Up With This People SharePoint Taxonomy Group Anyway?

Classify SharePoint TaxonomyAfter having some pleasant discussions in the SharePoint Yammer SPYam community on this subject and finding almost no information online about this topic, I thought I’d put some fingers to  keys and do my part to share some information.  This post assumes you have basic concepts and knowledge of SharePoint taxonomies, but review TechNet if you need more info or to get up to speed on the basic concepts.

How to Get Date Only in SharePoint 2010 Workflow

While working on a client request recently, I came across a way to easily work with date and time values in a SharePoint Designer 2010 workflow.  I was able to solve this using only SharePoint Designer.  I reviewed other solutions, and I will give links to a couple others in case they are needed.  This worked for me, and I didn’t see anyone else with this exact solution so I thought I would share for the greater good. 

 

How to Easily Get the Root OU of an Active Directory User with PowerShell

How to Easily Get the Root OU of an Active Directory User with PowerShellWhile working on a PowerShell script to do some updating list items in SharePoint, I first had to get some properties from the user account in Active Directory. The end goal was to update a managed metadata field, choosing terms based on the root OU that the user resided in Active Directory.  I found an easier way to do this with PowerShell and wanted to share.

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.