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From the category archives: Customer and Employee Engagement Blog

Blog entries related to Microsoft SharePoint and Office 365 solutions such as Power BI, Microsoft Flow, Power Apps and Microsoft Teams

Simplifying BI: Sharing Our Experiences & 3 Steps to Build Something Meaningful TODAY


The primary reason for this blog post is to share what our experience (aka the real world) has taught us on how to practically implement Business Intelligence (BI) for our clients. I’ll do my best to keep this short-and-sweet, because in all honesty there’s plenty to say on this topic, and enough BI buzzwords and statistics to confuse the entire island of Manhattan!

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Correcting SharePoint 2010 Error: Application Server Job Failed for Service Instance

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I was recently doing some routine maintenance on a SharePoint server and I happened to check the event viewer logs. Wow was I surprised! It seemed that every minute, we were getting this error message, event ID 6481: Application Server job failed for service instance Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.Administration.SearchServiceInstance (GUID).


 

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Make Multiple SharePoint Fields Required with Windows PowerShell

powershell_iconThis entry includes script that was created for a recent client who asked me to make several columns required in their SharePoint 2010 site collection of approximately 25-30 subsites. This would've taken two minutes if all columns were site columns, however, that wasn't the case. As a result, the columns were not inheriting and I was forced to turn to PowerShell for a solution.

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Quick Tip: Changing the Timeout Value for a SharePoint Redirect Page

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I recently had to help a client solve a URL redirection issue. We tossed around using SharePoint AAMs, IIS URL Rewrite, and other possibilities. The best solution ended up was to use a SharePoint Redirect page. It’s not something that is used very often but it certainly fit the bill for our issue. My focus on this quick tip is to show you how to change the timeout value on the redirect as I couldn’t find this documented.

 

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What to do When SharePoint 2010 Timer Service Keeps Stopping


I recently completed a SharePoint migration for a client from 2007 to 2010. Overall the migration went well, however, we did have one small issue with the SharePoint 2010 Timer Service that I thought I should share with all of you. Read on for a brief explanation of the issue and my quick fix.

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Working Around Inability to Insert an Image in SharePoint 2010 Page

 

On a recent client project, we implemented a solution that heavily used article pages / page layouts from the SharePoint 2010 Pages library. Most of them had images. While working through use cases with these articles, I came across some strange behavior that someone else had found but not documented (to my knowledge). As a result, I wanted to blog about the topic to make it easier for others to find.  

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Create a List-Driven SharePoint Site Notification System

Creating SharePoint Alerts
Using JavaScript, you can fire your own alerts without having to do any customizations to the SharePoint user interface (UI). This post will look at creating a list-driven notification system using the SharePoint notification bar.

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Troubleshooting SharePoint HTTP 500 Errors and IIS Failed Request Tracing

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I had a client call me the other day as he was having an issue with a couple of his SharePoint 2010 sites that seemed strange, the sites just stopped working. When anyone tried to access the sites, they would get HTTP 500 errors. I was able to resolve this issue for the client so I thought I should share some of my troubleshooting tips.

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Quick Tip: Avoid Database Attach Error When Upgrading to SharePoint 2013

SharePoint 2013 logo

A database attach upgrade is the only supported method for upgrading SharePoint 2010 Products to SharePoint 2013 (unless you use a third-party migration tool). Database attach is used to upgrade SharePoint content and service applications. I was doing some testing with doing database attach upgrades from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013 and found an issue.

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Create an Accordion Navigation for SharePoint 2010 using jQuery

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This post will walk you through all the steps you need to configure an animated sliding accordion using the standard out-of-the-box SharePoint 2010 navigation functionality. It is pretty simple to do, you just need one line of CSS, a reference to jQuery and a few lines of JavaScript. Each section of the accordion will expand and collapse when clicked on, and only one section can be open at a time. It will automatically open if you are on a page that is linked to from your left navigation, to help your users navigate your site.

 

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SharePoint Login Issues: How to Fix Users who can’t Log in via their User Principle Name (UPN)

Microsoft Active Directory

I got a call from a client recently where one particular user was unable to login to SharePoint via their User Principle Name (UPN). For those non-AD SharePoint folks out there, UPN refers to an attribute on the user account object in Active Directory. Anytime a user is created, at a minimum they will have a user logon name and a UPN suffix (domain name). The UPN is composed of the user logon name and the UPN suffix joined by the @ sign. Read on to see how I quickly resolved this issue.

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Dealing with Mixed Content Prompts in SharePoint After SSL Change

Security Warning: Do you want to view only the webpage content that was delivered securely?For the IE users out there, I’m sure you’ve come across this dialog once or twice in your life. On several of our recent client projects we’ve been doing a lot of changing over from unsecure to secure URLs via SSL certificates in SharePoint. Invariably, as soon as you enable SSL and log in to SharePoint, you get this wonderful prompt: Do you want to view only the webpage content that was delivered securely? Find out how to get rid of this for good...

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Quick Tips for the SharePoint Chart Web Part

SharePoint 2010 Chart Web Part

On a recent project I got to work with the out-of-the-box (OOTB) Chart Web Part in SharePoint 2010. My team just needed to chart some simple data, nothing fancy, but we had some fairly specific styling requirements. We tried Web parts from other vendors they already had and got close, but we just couldn’t get there. Luckily we were upgrading to Enterprise anyway, so that allowed us to use the Chart Web Part that comes with SharePoint OOTB.

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Use PowerShell to Create a Full SharePoint Training or Testing Site Environment


In this post I explain how to use PowerShell to create a full SharePoint (2010 or 2013) training site or testing site environment. This is the process I used to prepare for a recent SharePoint training course where I needed each of my users to have their own site collection in my environment.

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Extend Your Dynamics CRM Dashboards Using SharePoint

We use dashboards very heavily internally and have recently expanded our set of core metrics and KPIs to be about 12-15 charts and graphs (depending on special events we may have, etc.). In this post I will tell you about a fairly quick way to create rotating dashboards with SharePoint. SharePoint is the perfect solution for our needs because it allows us to stay within our core systems and leverage the platform.

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You Might Need a New Consulting Partner If…

While many people have enjoyed the “You Might be a Redneck If” jokes by Jeff Foxworthy, few people are aware of the applicability to the IT community. As a professional IT consultant for C5 Insight, I have saved a number of clients from unfortunate situations caused by their previous, not-so-qualified consulting partners.

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Keys to Successful User Adoption in Your Organization

Successful user adoption, or the mental acceptance and use of something new, can be achieved in any organization. There are a number of methods that can be used to implement new systems, including "big bang" (single rollout) or "phased adoption" (gradual rollout). Regardless of the method you use to rollout user adoption in your organization, there are a few important items that must be factored into your plan.

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4 Quick Tips: Branding SharePoint2010

Over the time I’ve been using SharePoint, I’ve been taking notes on the tools and that make my job a little bit easier. Lately I’ve focused on collecting a ton of tips for working with branding in SharePoint2010. To help other people working with branding in SharePoint, I thought I should share some of my information.

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Leveraging the SharePoint UI Status Framework for a Custom Dialog Confirmation

 

On a recent client engagement, we had a somewhat common requirement that we had solved several times before. It was part of a multi-month complete extranet solution with extensive branding and user interface design/layout. The site's overall feel from a UI and design perspective was intuitive, sleek and quite honestly, beautiful. Although the particular requirement wasn't overly complex or new to our team, we decided to solve this using an approach we had never tried before to maintain the sleek look and feel of the site.

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Blogging Naturally (make it a part of your day)

There isn’t a day that goes by, where I come across some type of challenge, situation, issue, or piece of new learning that isn’t worth sharing with others. This article encourages you to blog, explains why it's important, and provides ideas on how to make it a natural part of your day.

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Better SharePoint Adoption - Listening to Your Users

In our day-to-day client work, one topic we are very passionate about is user adoption. We talk about this topic both internally and externally on a daily basis. After all, we should never forget for whom we are solving problems and building solutions. Put another way - if a car manufacturer builds 1,000 cars and no one buys them, then what was the point?

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SharePoint 2010 Taxonomy Term Changes Don’t Update Content

SharePoint 2010 Managed Metadata

If you’re like a lot of other folks, you’ve taken advantage of the Managed Metadata functionality in SharePoint. You’ve created your taxonomy group, specified your term sets, and created some terms. Then you’ve created your managed metadata column in your site collection, and pointed it to your specified term set. You’ve then uploaded a lot of documents and specified terms for the metadata column, everyone is “happy happy happy”.

But then you need to rename one of your terms currently called “Information Technology Department” to just “Information Technology”. No sweat, you go into the Term Store tool, rename the term. Done right? To your surprise, when you look at properties of various documents tagged with your term, they haven’t been renamed. Hmm … what gives?

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Does your business hinge on the government?

Does your business hinge on the government?

If you’re in healthcare, manufacturing, energy and education, the answer is definitely and in any other industry, the answer is probably so! Regardless, the government and its respective actions are initiating new laws and regulations that could not only impact but dramatically adjust a business operation. While the news may carry a story for the world to see, chances are that your business may just take some notes in an old notebook and hope to keep up with the story.

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Tracking and Approving Sales Commissions in SharePoint

As a company that provides customer relationship management (CRM) services, we’re big advocates of using your CRM system to track and approve sales commissions.  But sometimes it can be impractical to do this.  This is particularly true in complex organizations, small organizations or fast-growing organizations where you need the flexibility to quickly adapt your commission model to a changing situation in the marketplace.  Long-term, everyone should aim to handle commissions in their CRM system, but what do these organizations do in the short-term?

The good news is that SharePoint is an excellent tool for giving you all of the flexibility you need, while still having an efficient process for setting, tracking and distributing commissions.  Here’s how it can work for you.

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Update a Managed Metadata List Field the Easy Way with PowerShell

I was working with PowerShell to update a managed metadata field that accepted multiple values in a publishing page library today and it was more difficult than it seemed like it should have been, so I’m posting here what actually worked for me. It turned out to be much simpler than I was trying to make it.

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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.