20 June 2018

SharePoint Online Exercises With A Modern Approch

SharePoint Online Exercises Cover My book SharePoint Online Exercises has been updated with a new chapter on modern sites, where I include many tips for use of these limited but easily created communication and team sites. The new chapter has a link to a Tips article with the demo below, which I hope will be a useful complement to the more detailed information in the book.

Visio Web Access deprecated
SharePoint Online Exercises was first published in January 2017, but frequent updates are necessary as Microsoft develops SharePoint Online rapidly.

Microsoft also removes things from SharePoint Online, and that is what will happen to the Visio Web Access web part on 30 September 2018. I had an exercise with this web part in the earlier versions of the book, but now it has been replaced with a modern sites exercise.

Modern sites
Apart from the classic team site, which all SharePoint users have come to know, Microsoft has recently introduced a modern team site that is very easy to create. The modern team site is created from the SharePoint home page, so it doesn't require access to the SharePoint admin center. A modern communications site can also be created from SharePoint home.
SharePoint modern site options
The modern sites have limitations, compared to classic sites and subsites, but there are also advantages apart from the easy creation. They adapt well to mobile devices, and an Office 3565 group is created automatically when you create a modern team site.

Modern SharePoint sites are mostly used for short-term cooperation and announcements, for example around a specific project. It is however also possible to create a simple intranet with modern sites, and in the new exercise I show how you can get the navigation to work when there is no hierarchy and how you make it easily available to all users.

Confusion and assistance
Modern sites have no support for SharePoint add-ins and sandboxed solutions, so the SharePoint products can only be used on classic sites. The support team has however noticed a certain confusion among evaluators who are not clear about the difference between classic and modern team sites.

For new users SharePoint can be overwhelming, but the support team is always there to explain and assist. Apart from the product development, we also help organizations to build and manage their SharePoint systems.

Use with SharePoint Online from Scratch
SharePoint Online Exercises can very well can be used stand-alone by readers who already have some knowledge about SharePoint, but for a more comprehensive learning I recommend to combine it with my book SharePoint Online from Scratch.

While SharePoint Online Exercises contains a number of hands-on step-by-step instructions on how to create specific business solutions, SharePoint Online from Scratch explains in detail how SharePoint is built and how it can be used, from the very basic to advanced features.

Peter Kalmström on Both books are sold through Amazon, and they are available in paperback as well as Kindle e-book format.

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

05 June 2018

SharePoint Kanban Board - Sandboxed or Add-in?

Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint logotype Kanban Task Manager is a solution that helps a workgroup manage their projects and tasks on a virtual kanban board. Apart from the Outlook Workgroup and Single editions, Kanban Task Manager comes in two SharePoint editions: sandboxed solution and add-in/app. Here I will discuss benefits and drawbacks of the add-in as compared to the sandboxed solution.

Sandboxed solution and Add-in/App
We have chosen to develop and market two SharePoint editions of Kanban Task Manager, a sandboxed solution and an add-in. Even if nearly all the features are the same, there are some differences that made us decide on two editions. I will mention a few of the differences here, and you can find a full list on the comparison page.

If you are using SharePoint 2010, the Kanban Task Manager sandboxed solution is the only option, because add-ins were not introduced until SharePoint 2013. However, if you are using a later SharePoint on-premises, or SharePoint Online, you may use either edition.

Different installation
Some organizations prefer the add-in edition of Kanban Task Manager, because it is easier to install. The sandboxed solution must be uploaded to each site collection's solutions gallery and then activated there and on each site where it should be used. Kanban Task Manager SharePoint Add-in, on the other hand, can be added to a SharePoint site directly from SharePoint Store, and it can also be published to the farm's or tenant's App Catalog and then added to a site with the "add an app" command.

Add-in limitations
Even if there are a few less clicks to install Kanban Task Manager SharePoint Add-in, it has some limitations, like all SharePoint add-ins. These depend on the fact that the add-in architecture creates another SharePoint site to contain the app, what is called the "app web". The communication between the "host web" and the "app web" is constrained both by the way the SharePoint API works and by browser security limitations.

Therefore, it is not possible to move tasks between different kanban boards or to show tasks from multiple boards in "My Tasks", when you use the add-in. With the sandboxed solution of Kanban Task Manager, users can do this if enabled in the settings.

Another add-in limitation is that the task form does not support attachments, videos and inline images in the description field, something that works well in the sandboxed solution. To solve that problem, we have given the add-in a Kanban Task Manager App Part with another task form. This form works in the same way as in the sandboxed solution.

When you are using the sandboxed solution, you can save a site with a Kanban Task Manager installation as a template, and that is not possible with the add-in.
SharePoint groups
The sandboxed solution also supports all kinds of SharePoint groups, while the add-in only allows you to select a person or a permission group as responsible for a task. However, we have an idea on how to make the add-in also support all groups, and we hope to include this enhancement in the next version of Kanban Task Manager SharePoint Add-in.

Add-in support for modern team sites
SharePoint Online has two kinds of team sites: the classic team site that is created in the SharePoint Admin center and the modern team site that all users by default can create from the SharePoint home page. I have discussed the differences in a Tips article about modern and classic site collections.

The modern team site is more limited than the classic one, so the sandboxed solution of Kanban Task Manager cannot be used with these sites. The add-in, on the other hand, works well with both modern and classic team sites.

Trial and Subscription Trial icon If you have not yet tried Kanban Task Manager, you may download the full version of the sandboxed solution or the add-in and evaluate it for next 30 days. We provide full support during the evaluation period. The Support team is always here to help you if you should need any assistance.

You can subscribe to Kanban Task Manager on monthly as well as yearly basis. In case you have any queries regarding product subscriptions, please do not hesitate to contact our Sales department.

Peter Kalmstrom
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions