Thursday, September 15, 2016

Exploring the PowerApps Advantage at SharePoint Sri Lanka Monthly Meeting

SharePoint Sri Lanka Monthly Meeting for September 2016 was held at Microsoft Sri Lanka on 14th September 2016. 

The session was at Level 100 and targeted for the basics on how to build and use PowerApps. The introduction was followed by a couple of demonstrations where the attendees were provided with hands on experience to browse the apps built during the demonstrations.

PowerApps looks promising and it may help many organisations largely in future by providing an easy platform for building apps without much code. 

The ability to connect to multiple services as well as make your own storage through the Microsoft Common Data Model will keep attracting many solutions to be built with PowerApps.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Getting Started with PowerApps

The ever increasing demand for the business solutions are not met with the poor supply from the development sometimes. Therefore many companies tend to go with the no-code or less-code solutions and SharePoint has been a leader with many Out-of-the-box components. With the solid APIs build in around the services, Microsoft has enabled much better no-code implementations. Initially it came in with Windows App Studio where it allows you to create Windows Apps without any coding. Now its up for many services within the cloud and relevant API integrations with the name of PowerApps. 

PowerApps allows you to create business apps without any code. The controls are just drag and drops and there are many types of services to choose from.

  • SharePoint Online
  • SalesForce
  • Google Drive
  • Dropbox
  • Slack
  • Office 365
  • Azure and many more...
You just need to have an organizational Microsoft account in order to Sign Up and can start by downloading the Windows Store App on your Windows machine.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Associating SharePoint 2013 Workflow to a list

SharePoint 2013 supports Workflow Manager workflows. Which means they totally different with 2010 workflows. In reality what happens is that we publish a subscription for the particular list. Though its been a while SharePoint 2013 has come, I have seen many people struggling without getting this done. So I thought its worth sharing a sample code snippet with an explanation.

To get a detailed explanation, we need to have a little understanding on the following classes. 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Copying a SharePoint list from one site to another

Copying a SharePoint list from one site to another as there are many approaches. There are many options available such as,


  • Saving as a list template
  • Using PowerShell
  • Inline Copy and paste and etc...

Depending on the level of information you have, you might need to consider using a third-party tool as well when you have a complex structure that may include different site columns and so on. Migrating SharePoint data from one to another is a different BUSINESS.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

SharePoint WebHooks Advantage

It is just announced that SharePoint will start supporting WebHooks and I got to know the news through the PnP WebCast. I through of just summing up a few advantages for the implementations that align with the WebHooks over the other mechanisms available. At first glimpse it looked like a replacement to the remote event receivers, but both have their own advantages. As the full details of the implementation is yet to come, my assumptions are based on what is announced so far.

First of all, WebHooks is a callback mechanism that supports notifying the changes rather than waiting clients to query it every time. Once subscribe with an expiration time defined or not, it will keep sending the update notifications until it is acknowledged through the endpoint. It is said SharePoint will support subscriptions with expiration date up to 6 months since its initial subscription. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Consuming SharePoint Data on Cross Platform Apps

So Xamarin is freely available with Visual Studio 2015 Update 2. I wanted to tryout building a cross-platform application that consumes SharePoint Online data. Earlier I provided the CSOM code sample which allows you to interact with SharePoint On-Premise and Online within a universal application. But this time I am going to try out and Android. 

As the tryout is still in progress, I will update sooner the implementation is done. 

Before that, you need to have Visual Studio 2015 with Update 2 that has inbuilt support for Cross-Platform development upon selection during the installation. (This is the easiest way, of course you can install Xamarin separate and use Xamarin studio as well.)

The setup will take around 33GB across all the drivers during the installation.

Stay tuned... This is going to be awesome.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

SharePoint Framework for developers

Let me start with simply stating this is the best news I heard about SharePoint as a developer. As it is announced at the Future of SharePoint, SharePoint Framework is a Page and Part model that enables fully supported client-side development. This means the client-side development models on SharePoint just got even better. 

Microsoft has been very busy providing new APIs frequently for supporting multiple technology stacks throughout the past few years and they kept trying making these APIs platform independent with the JavaScript and REST API support. This is made even simpler and understandable with the support of the Microsoft Graph API though it is still at a level of gaining the best maturity when accessing Office 365 components.