Summary Links Web Part Malfunction

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Have you ever tried to add new columns to a Summary Links Web part and got an unexpected result?  Well, this happened to one of the clients I was working with.

It’s a simple task. Right?

When the user changed the layout of the Summary Links Web part to five columns per group, instead of getting five columns across the Web part, the columns were stacked on top of each other.

SummaryLinksLayout

It made no difference when it was changed to any value greater than one, the columns continued to stack on top of each other.

SummaryLinksGroups

After some research, it turned out that it was related to the theme applied to the site.  In my opinion, this is very strange.  The site’s theme was changed back to an OOTB theme, and the columns behaved the way they are expected.

SummaryLinksGroups2

Happy SharePoint-ing!

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SharePoint ReferenceError: ‘Strings’ is Undefined

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Earlier this week I ran across the most unusual error in SharePoint.  The strangest thing was that it impacted IE only while Chrome continued to work.

Here’s the site in IE:

ieerror

And the same site in Chrome:

chromescreen

In the midst of troubleshooting, I did not get a chance to capture many screenshots. But the one thing I captured was the virus scan window; it popped up every time I refreshed IE browser window.

trendmicrovirus

It was pretty obvious to me that it was not SharePoint as I was able to work in Chrome.  But I continued to comb through logs just to be sure.

After a couple of hours, the security team reported that they rolled back the Trend Micro pattern file due to the widespread errors reported globally.  SharePoint in IE was working once again.

Trend Micro released a new pattern to correct this issue.  It can be downloaded here.

 

Transitioning Users to Office 365

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Microsoft Office 365 users in the commercial space have grown to over 85 million, up more than 40% in a year. It’s likely your organization has made the move or will soon be moving to Office 365. If your company has invested in Office 365, the first decision you’ll need to make is where to begin. With the current applications already offered (pictured below), users can be overwhelmed. It’s up to your Office 365 leaders and experts to help users decide what technology or feature to use and when to use them.

o365tiles

The chat-based digital workspace – Microsoft Teams, launched earlier this month, is the latest service offering that will entice more users to use Office 365. This is the new work area within Office 365 that provides a modern conversation experience. It integrates with Skype for Business, so teams can participate in voice and video conferences. Along with Office 365 Groups, it brings together the full breadth of Office 365 into one central hub for teams to collaborate. Applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, OneNote, Planner, and Delve are all integrated into Microsoft Teams. The main goal for this latest service offering is to provide users with all the information and tools they need securely on any device at any time.

While Office 365 provides an ever growing set of features, the challenges for IT professionals typically focus on whether the features are mature enough to deploy in their organization. The decision to deploy what functionality the organization needs include business need, compliance, user experience, and support. The decision in deploying new technologies should also be focused on how to prevent users from stumbling over all of the available applications and features in Office 365. To help your organization realize business value faster with Microsoft Cloud, a service called ‘FastTrack’ is provided by Microsoft. The image below from Microsoft Ignite shows the most recent capabilities of Microsoft FastTrack. To further assist your organization, a step-by-step guide with the FastTrack site is available here.

fasttrackcapabilities

A whitepaper from 2toLead on “When To Use What In Office 365” has been published to help guide organizations and users accelerate their usage and adoption of Office 365. This is a great start for organizations that are planning to move to Office 365 or ones that have already deployed it.

Some important factors to help users adopt Office 365 include:

  • Cultural Change – Users will need help moving from their client based to cloud based applications. Establish daily tips to improve understanding and awareness of the new technology.
  • Embraced by Leadership – Business stakeholders and influencers must be identified and engaged early in the new technology
  • Establish Governance – Set clear policies for usage, security, and management of content
  • Pilot – Before rolling out a new application or feature to the enterprise, test usability with a small group of users from different areas of the organization
  • Campaign – Create an effective internal adoption roadmap and channels to capture user feedback

Understanding and providing ways to help business challenges are keys in gravitating users towards Office 365. Adoption is a continuous cycle that doesn’t end after launch date. As your business needs change, and new service offerings are released in Office 365, the adoption cycle will continue to be a key component for your organization. Office 365 is in a state of constant change, the public roadmap can help you keep aware of new features or updates that may be beneficial to your organization.

To learn more on how Centric Consulting can help you with Office 365 adoption, visit us at CentricConsulting.com

Modern Team Sites – SharePoint 2016

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Most team sites I’ve worked with are just sites that most of us use to store documents, lists, and some images or announcements on the page. After watching “The Future of SharePoint” event on May 4, 2016 also known as “Star Wars Day”, Microsoft changed my perspective on how team sites can look and function.

As Jeff Teper said during the event, “everybody knows team sites are the core of SharePoint”, the new team sites allow users to create more engaging, more intelligent SharePoint sites by leveraging the Office Graph to surface activities that are most relevant in the site. Team sites, by default, will include News and Activity. Here’s a couple of screenshots on News and Activity.

TeamSiteNews

TeamSiteActivity

The process of creating a new page has taken Team Sites out of the dark ages and into a modern way of working. In previous versions of SharePoint, to add a simple banner to a page, takes some coding. In the new version you can simply click an image and add.

Here’s a new page before:

TeamSiteNewPage

After selecting a background image:

TeamSiteNewPageBanner

The background images will automatically reformat depending of the device that you’re using. This includes your mobile devices, tablets, and desktops.

You can also add other components to the page from a gallery of Web Parts.

Desktop view:

TeamSiteDesktop

Mobile view:

TeamSiteMobile

In summary, you can easily create your new intranet by a few clicks.  What I’ve seen in the webcast is just the beginning of what SharePoint has yet to come. I’m looking forward of what else it can do in the next few months.