Tag: Microsoft SharePoint

Nintex Workflow and Nintex Forms now available in the SharePoint Store

From Nintex: We are pleased to announce that we have updated our apps for Nintex Workflow and Forms for Office 365, now available for download from the SharePoint store. We’re focusing heavily on the great feedback being provided by our community, and we’re working on packing in as many features as we possibly can. You will continue to see us adding new, exciting features to deliver a compelling user experience and capabilities that allow our customers to be more productive on a powerful cloud platform.

Nintex Workflow for Office 365

Nintex Workflow for Office 365 is available as a free, fully featured 30-day trial. Continued use requires an active subscription licence from Nintex. For more details, Nintex sales can help you make direct contact with one of our partners. Learn more at http://www.nintex.com/workflowO365


Nintex Workflow for Office 365 provides a powerful and intuitive web based designer to build 2013-style workflows for Office 365.Empower business users and IT professionals alike, to quickly and easily automate business processes; from a simple leave approval request, to complex integration across external applications, cloud services and data sources. You can now integrate people, content, and applications.

With Nintex Workflow for Office 365, users can:

  • Onboard Users into Office 365 and assign licences
  • Automate provisioning of SharePoint sites, collections, and other resources
  • Assign and track IT help desk tickets and customer support cases
  • Gather content from and publish content to third-party repositories
  • Scan social media for actionable discoveries
  • Crowd-source content reviews on Yammer
  • Manage leave requests and expense claims
  • Review and edit press releases
  • Manage budget reviews and approvals.

Nintex Workflow for Office 365 includes support for in app purchases of additional actions via the Nintex Store.

Known for being a leader in SharePoint workflows, Nintex is now enabling Office 365 users to create and run workflows in the cloud, leveraging SharePoint’s native actions. Visit www.nintex.com for more information.

Nintex Workflow for Office 365 does not support Internet Explorer 8.0.

Nintex Forms for Office 365

Supercharged for Office 365 – Create powerful, dynamic web forms to collect data within SharePoint Online.


With Nintex Forms for Office 365 you can quickly and easily create tailored, engaging forms using simple drag and drop capabilities with customization options. From simple approval forms to complex data capture and calculations, you can input data, update data, and trigger workflows. When combined with Nintex Workflow for Office 365, the possibilities are endless. You can create complete business applications that range from a simple leave request system to a complex order processing system connected to third party cloud or on-premises applications.

Nintex Forms for Office 365 gives you the power to design the right interface for your users.

Get started with a fully featured free 30-day trial now! For more details, contact sales@nintex.com.

Nintex is the world’s leading SharePoint workflow company, with over 5000 customers in 90 countries serviced by a global network of high quality partners and service providers. Nintex delivers innovative software and cloud services that empower organizations to automate business processes, quickly and easily.

Nintex Forms for Office 365 does not support Internet Explorer 8.0.

Developing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Core Solutions video online now

11-8-2013 6-39-49 PM Are you a developer for the Microsoft platform, interested in helping your organization collaborate and manage workflow using SharePoint solutions? Take this course to learn the core skills common to most SharePoint development activities. Find out how to work with backend data and front end user interfaces and security. You’ll get some guidelines and best practices that will help you optimize your SharePoint applications. You’ll see some cool demos that will show you how to create an app, deploy it to a catalog, and install it. And you’ll see workflows inside the dramatically enhanced SharePoint Designer. This Jump Start will help you prepare for Exam 70-488.

Instructors | Chris Johnson – General Manager, Provoke Solutions Inc.; Consultant; Christopher Harrison – Microsoft Certified Trainer

Related Exam(s) | 70-488: Developing Microsoft SharePoint® Server 2013 Core Solutions Associated Course(s) | 20488: Developing Microsoft SharePoint® Server 2013 Core Solutions

Go to the page linked below and sign up for a free MVA (Microsoft Virtual Academy) account and get started:

11-8-2013 6-36-27 PM

Local Union works anywhere with Office 365

cupe_401_logoOffice 365

CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees) is the largest labour union in B.C. and in Canada, representing workers in municipalities, education, libraries, universities, colleges, social services, health care, public utilities, transportation, emergency services and airlines and around 680,000 members across Canada.

The Union local in itgroove’s area of Canada (Vancouver Island) is CUPE Local 401. Until recently, they had a single Microsoft SBS (Small Business Server) located in their office. SBS 2011 delivered Exchange, SharePoint (2007), File Sharing, MS SQL, Active Directory and is an all-in-one, more cost-effective package – on average  45% cheaper than licensing those components individually would cost.

The problem was SBS has been effectively morphed into Windows Server Essentials, which removes key components such as Exchange and is also limited to 25 users instead of the 75 permitted by SBS 2011.

CUPE Local 401’s SBS server had many happy years, allowing Exchange-powered email, basic file collaboration, and simple team sites in the Windows SharePoint Services portal. The local came to rely on it as their centralized portal and the bulk of the organizations digital assets orbited the system.

Times change however, and in addition to just general software lifecycle pains, new requirements come up. There became an obvious need for new functionality:

– Workflows to run procedural business processes
– Mobile access so staff members can work on the go
– Simplified enterprise backup of all their data, moving away from on-site managed backup
– Easier collaboration in team sites with more/new functionality
– Instant Messaging so staff members can streamline communications

Additionally, CUPE Local 401 maintained a public website using the Joomla CMS.  However it was generally regarded as not very usable for their staff to edit and update content – in fact, they had all but abandoned trying to update their website content themselves. The learning curve was simply too high for them to absorb how to use yet another software system (Joomla).

So when it came time to look at bringing CUPE Local 401’s systems up to date, there was one clear, cost-effective solution: Office 365.  Working with Bob Palmer, the Secretary Treasurer at CUPE 401, itgroove formulated a migration plan for CUPE Local 401 to move into the Office 365 Cloud, and since then there has been no looking back.

In the first phase, we quickly signed up the required user accounts on their new Office 365 presence. Since Office 365 is licensed on a per-user basis, it was determined they required a mixture of Enterprise E3 and Enterprise K1 (Kiosk) user accounts. The executive and staff members that required full Office 365 functionality including being able to download the Office 2013 desktop software would get the E3 accounts, and those members who only needed email access and lighter functionality went on the K1 plan.

Our in-house Office 365 specialist (and Exchange whiz), Jeremy Dahl, worked to backup each users local Outlook mailbox and then migrate them into their new Office 365 Exchange system. It’s good to have a pro stick-handle this phase as users tend to do all kinds of crazy stuff with their Outlook inboxes over the years, including letting them grow to huge file sizes by using email inappropriately as a file transfer method. 🙂

Next, we used the great ShareGate to migrate their SharePoint 2007 portals from the SBS server into their new cloud-based SharePoint 2013 team site. Once again – for a simple migration you should be able to get the job done with ease. When it comes to moving many years’ worth of organizational data, even when you have access to semi-automated tools like ShareGate, it’s best to have a SharePoint pro involved so that you can ensure maximum fidelity with your SharePoint migration. Sometimes it’s less of a technical issue and more of “do we really need those 2 gigabytes of old files, in our new SharePoint?”.

The next step was to create their new public website. All Office 365 plans include one public SharePoint-powered website.  We quickly sourced a 3rd party theme to apply to the out-of-the-box look and feel of the site and in addition to the content pages, added a couple 3rd party Apps from the new Office SharePoint Apps store. These Apps increased the site’s functionality by providing a blog aggregator on their homepage, and a “Latest Events” calendar rollup web part.

CUPE Local 401 members were pleasantly surprised to find that a full Blog system comes baked into the public website and were in no time posting news from their executive to their members. They are now working with itgroove to flesh out a communications strategy which includes new blog posts getting automatically posted on Facebook & Twitter – eliminating the need for the staff chore of re-posting news releases and content on many different websites.

CUPE-401 Office 365 Public Site Homepage
CUPE-401.com Public Office 365 Website

We’ve experienced that customers that formerly had WordPress or Joomla are updating their content on their own in their new SharePoint portal with much more ease. The secret? It’s the Ribbon. They were already familiar with the Ribbon in Office (and possibly their SharePoint Team Sites) and this was such a simple extension of that knowledge that these formerly “technically intimidated” users are updating their own website content.

CUPE Local 401’s case has been a prime example of this effect: staff members of various technical aptitude levels express that they feel more comfortable using the new Office 2013 UI and can accomplish more before getting “stumped” and having to refer to the help section or seeking professional advice. This is an essential trait of a usable CMS.

CUPE Local 401 now has one centralized dashboard for all their systems, and no longer has to have someone manage backups for them as all their data is secure in Microsoft’s tier-1 datacenters. Health indicators show if there’s any problems with the global networks, with detailed descriptions of what the response is and what to expect, should glitches ever occur. They also now have 24/7 support for free in case there is an after-hours or weekend issue that we at itgroove cannot help them out with, or even if they just have simple questions about how to use Office 365.

CUPE Local 401 Office 365 Aministration Dashboard
CUPE Local 401’s Office 365 Administration Dashboard

We asked some key questions of Bob Palmer from CUPE Local 401, so he could share CUPE Local 401’s experience with their move to Office 365 cloud firsthand:

Q1- How has Office 365 made it easier for you to accomplish CUPE work anywhere?

“All staff & executive members access Outlook Web Access, the SharePoint team sites from both inside the office and out. The mobile experience with SharePoint and the webmail is great and lets us be mobile. We are just getting started with using Lync as our instant messenger service and so far it seems to be a great option for communicating and doing remote meetings.”

Q2- What is your favourite Office 365 feature?

“Integration. The fact that we now have one style of system which manages our intranet, our public site and our email is great. And we now rolling out SharePoint Workflows.”

Q3- Does an Office 365 subscription allow you to get more work done outside the office?

“It’s easier by far to access. We previously were having to make concessions like having people use remote desktop to access certain systems. Now everything is all available and accessible to everyone in the organization. It’s easy to navigate and easy to use.”

Q4- Since you have an Enterprise E3 license that allows up to 5 installs of the desktop Office 2013 per user account (including on home devices) – Does your family use it?

“Yes – in addition to my workstation at the office, I have an additional install of Office 2013 on my personal laptop which orbits work and home.”

In conclusion, the move to Office 365 has been a positive experience for both itgroove (as the IT Service Partner for CUPE Local 401), and the client themselves. While there’s some nostalgia about retiring the traditional on-premise server model, ultimately the Cloud model can maximize the business goals of small business clients by reducing infrastructure, maintenance and support footprints. Having a trusted IT partner to provide guidance will never go out of style but the Office 365 advantage is that we can focus on offering clients like CUPE Local 401 help where it’s really needed such as designing workflows, business intelligence and training.

SharePoint Conference 2012 Videos now available

Microsoft has now released all the video sessions from the SharePoint 2012 Conference!

Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2012 is the most comprehensive event in the world dedicated to SharePoint and related technologies. With over 250 sessions, SPC12 will provide you with the training, news and networking you need to administer, deploy, develop and use SharePoint platform at maximum.

PowerShell Enable Versioning in all Site Collection Lists & Libraries

Often it’s a requirement to have Versioning turned on in a SharePoint List or Library. Versioning is a list/library level attribute and there’s unfortunately no way via the Site Settings GUI to tell SharePoint at the Site Collection or Site level to always have versioning turned on when a new list or library is created..

Traditionally, If you want versioning to be turned on in each new list/library, you’d have to either:

  • Use your own library template (with versioning turned on)
  • Use feature + event handler to programmatically activate versioning on each new list

The easiest way out of those two options is probably to use your own template. To do this, create a new document library, activate versioning, then save this list as template.

When you create a new list, you will then be able to use your template and directly create a list with versioning activated.

What about cases where we don’t want to/can’t use templates and we have admins spinning up new lists/libraries and jonesing for that versioning goodness?
The following PowerShell can be used to report on, and optionally enable Versioning on all Lists and Libraries in the site collection URL it is fed.
Minor Versioning, and Major/Minor Version quantity limit toggling is also in there but commented out. To turn on those options, simply remove the # symbol from the beginning of the lines.

PowerShell Script (save as file e.g. Enable-Versioning.ps1):

Add-PSSnapin Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell -erroraction SilentlyContinue
$siteURL = $args[0]
$execute = $args[1]
$site = Get-SPSite($siteURL)
foreach($web in $site.AllWebs) {
Write-Host "Inspecting " $web.Title
foreach ($list in $web.Lists) {
Write-Host "Versioning enabled: " $list.EnableVersioning
Write-Host "MinorVersioning Enabled: " $list.EnableMinorVersions
Write-Host "EnableModeration: " $list.EnableModeration
Write-Host "Major Versions: " $list.MajorVersionLimit
Write-Host "Minor Versions: " $list.MajorWithMinorVersionsLimit
if($execute -eq "execute") {
$list.EnableVersioning = $true
#if($list.BaseType -eq "DocumentLibrary") {
#$list.EnableMinorVersions = $true
#$list.MajorVersionLimit = 3
#$list.MajorWithMinorVersionsLimit = 3
Write-Host $list.Title " is updated"

Script takes two parameters:
1. Required: Site collection URL e.g. http://mysitecollection Specifies the site collection to operate on.
2. Optional: execute Script runs in report mode only unless you add the word execute
Example 1: Run the script in report mode only (no changes effected):
    c:usersadministratordesktop.Enable-Versioning.ps1 http://mysitecollection
Example 2: Run the script in execute mode:  c:usersadministratordesktop.Enable-Versioning.ps1 http://mysitecollection execute

This script could potentially be run on an automated basis via the Windows Task Scheduler – this would let you run it on a regular basis to ensure all lists/libraries in a site collection have Versioning turned on.


SharePoint MVP

Keith-Tuomi-SharePoint-MVPI am now a Microsoft SharePoint MVP. A big thanks goes out to all my mentors & heroes  in the world of Microsoft technologies- Sean & the itgroove team, Yaroslav Pentsarsky, Bjoern Rapp, Stephen Cawood, John Mitchell, Stefan Kamphuis, Erik van Ballegoij & all the Dotnetnuke folks, Chris Plasun, Tim Austin, the MSFT staff on the MSDN forums, Mark Russinovich, Joel Oleson, Spencer Harbar, Marc Anderson, Tobias Zimmerman, Randy Drisgill, Todd Klindt (& more!).

Special thanks goes to my dad, Brian, for supporting me from first computer in 1990 (and putting up with all the trouble my hacking and phone phreaking got me into), onto BCIT & then into global business.

Thanks of course to Microsoft for running the MVP program – it is an extremely worthwhile system that bridges the gap between community, technology & business.

Top 10 posts from Tuomi.ca

It’s a drizzly grey Friday morning and i’m not feeling super bloggy today – so I’ve looked to the past and dug up the top 10 blog posts that I feel offer the most value:

User Profile Synch SharePoint 2010 – The Essential Mix
My attempt to humbly leverage the gold standard of Spencer Harbar’s explanations of UPS against the latter-improved TechNet guides, sprinkled in with my own experiences.

The Top 10 Problems With SharePoint Performance Top 10 Lists
I’ve come across lot’s of helpful lists around the net and forums on the topic of performance tuning SharePoint however as time and performance projects march forward it’s clear that this subject, more than most in the already dense realm of SharePoint, deserves a more realistic outlook. The standard lists of performance tuning tips look at the forest for the trees. This list looks at the forest as a melee battle between good and evil and er..  anyhow, read on for some twists on the old tuning bag of tricks

SharePoint 2010 File Size Upload Limits – The Essential Mix
​Clearly there are a lot of articles & posts on net regarding increasing File Size Upload limits in SharePoint. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any one that was comprehensive enough to include ALL the tweaks you need to consider to accomplish the goal, on both the SharePoint and IIS level. So here’s mine.

Claims Based Authentication in SharePoint 2010
My run-down of the fundamentals of Claims Based Authentication in SharePoint. Applicable on to, and heavily focused on, in SharePoint 2013 too.

SharePoint 2007 Anonymous MS Office Document Download Login Prompts
Workaround for avoiding authentication prompts on anonymous SharePoint sites, can be applied to newer SP versions too.

Nintex Custom Actions permissions – Understanding RunWithElevatedPrivileges
Getting head around RunWithElevatedPrivileges, useful for all SP Dev, not just when making Nintex Actions.

Cloud-based SharePoint – Risks & Rewards
My early attempts to be a SharePoint weatherman.

All About OneNote Synching & SharePoint
Getting into the nitty gritty of how OneNote (you are using OneNote, aren’t you?) magically keeps all your thoughts saved, synched and backed up in SharePoint.

SharePoint Calculated Column Formulas
Although fundamentally SharePoint calculated columns support all the functions and formulas that Excel can use, there are a few discrepencies. Here I try and present the biggest, most monolithic library of calculated column formulas on the net.

itgroove 2012 SharePoint Predictions.. Dionne Warwick Strikes Back
Not so much a content based post, but just one that needs to be remembered – “Remember that time when Sean predicted the rise of the Apps?”

SkyDrive Pro for Windows Now Available

Previously only bundled, you can now download a standalone version of the SkyDrive Pro client.

From http://blogs.office.com/b/sharepoint/archive/2013/05/21/skydrive-pro-client-for-windows-now-available.aspx

We are pleased to announce that the SkyDrive Pro sync client is now available for Windows and can be downloaded here. This standalone client allows users of SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint Online in Office 365 to sync their personal SkyDrive Pro and any SharePoint 2013 or Office 365 team site document libraries to their local machine for access to important content on and offline. The SkyDrive Pro client can be installed standalone and does not require any version of Office to be installed.  It can also be installed side-by-side with previous versions of Office (Office 2010, Office 2007).

Please note if you have one of the following versions of Office 2013 installed, then you already have the SkyDrive Pro sync client and do not need to install it separately:

  • Office 365 Pro Plus
  • Office 365 Small Business Premium
  • Office Professional Plus 2013

Once installed, simply click SYNC in the top right corner of your SkyDrive Pro library, SharePoint 2013 or Office 365 team site document library and you’ll be on your way to keep your files in sync across your machines. Happy syncing with SkyDrive Pro–cloud storage for employees!


Further analysis:

Disable and Cap SharePoint 2013 Usage and Health Data Collection

Our sysadmin was having his mind blown by large SharePoint Usage Data database sizes (17 GB). Since the on-page guidance even recommends to not keep all that data logging unless you really need it (i.e. are actively monitoring it):

Usage Data Collection

Usage data collection will log events whenever various events occur in your SharePoint deployment. Usage Logging enables analysis and reporting, but also uses system resources and can impact performance and disk usage.

Event Selection

Logging enables analysis and reporting, but also uses system resources and can impact performance and disk usage. Only log those events for which you want regular reports.
For sporadic reports or investigations, consider turning on logging for specific events and then disabling logging for these events after the report or investigation is complete.

You can find out about Usage and Health Data Collection here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee663480.aspx
So, we disable this service until such time as we need to monitor this stuff:

To configure usage and health data collection by using Central Administration:

  1. Verify that you have the following administrative credentials:

    The user account that performs this procedure has to be a member of the Farm Administrators group.

  2. In Central Administration, on the home page, click Monitoring.
  3. On the Monitoring page, in the Reporting section, click Configure usage and health data collection.
  4. On the Configure usage and health data collection page, in the Usage Data Collection section, select the Enable usage data collection check box.
  5. In the Event Selection section, select the check boxes of the events that you want to log.

    Logging uses system resources and can affect  performance and disk usage. Only log those events for which you want  regular reports.

    For impromptu reports or investigations, enable logging for events, and then disable logging for the events after the report or investigation is complete. For more information, see Configure usage data collection for events by using Windows PowerShell.

  6. In the Usage Data Collection Settings section, type the path of the folder to which you want usage and health information to be written in the Log file location box. The path that you specify must exist on each server in the farm.

    These settings are applied to all events.

  7. In the Health Data Collection section, select the Enable health data collection check box. To change the collection schedules, click Health Logging Schedule. You can see a list of timer jobs that collect health data. Click any of the timer jobs to change its schedule, or disable that timer job. If  you disable a timer job, it stops collecting corresponding health data.  For more information, see Timer job reference (SharePoint 2013).
  8. To change log collection schedules, click Log Collection Schedule, and then click any of the timer jobs to change its schedule, or disable that timer job. If you disable a timer job, it stops collecting  corresponding log data.
  9. In the Logging Database Server section, to change the authentication method, select either the Windows authentication or SQL authentication option.

    To change the Database Server and Database Name values, you must use Windows PowerShell. For more information, see Log usage data in a different logging database by using Windows PowerShell.


And, just to ensure that in the future happenstance that we decide to turn this type of logging back on, we are going to use SharePoint Powershell to cap the overall log size limit to a leaner 5 GB max:
Set-SPUsageService -UsageLogMaxSpaceGB 5