Microsoft 365

SharePoint: Overriding a Site’s Home Page

This post continues a series on SharePoint site provisioning, unpacking some of the problems I’ve faced and overcome in building solutions.

At this point in the series, we’ve now created new SharePoint sites and applied temporary site scripts and site designs. There is one big feature missing from site scripts and site designs, though: templating the home page. You can’t simply say that a project site design should always contain a home page with these specific web parts. This may not be true forever – Microsoft is steadily improving site templating – but as of working on this project a few months ago, it required a bit of a workaround.

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Microsoft Cloud App Security

If you’re an IT admin, do you know what apps users are putting on devices alongside company data? Do you know all the apps that they are directly putting company data into, thinking it helps solve a problem for them? This is the problem of “Shadow IT.” If it’s a personal device, it’s even worse, as they might be installing all kinds of insecure apps without IT approval and it wouldn’t take much to make a mistake like copying and pasting company data or uploading a file into the wrong app.

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The Time I Recommended Yammer

Yammer is often the forgotten piece of Microsoft 365. Some people would even argue that Microsoft has largely forgotten about it. It’s an enterprise social network. It feels a lot like using Facebook, but it’s restricted to your organization.

Several years ago I was tasked with planning an intranet based on SharePoint. A significant portion of the goal was to further enhance communication across the organization, including more casual conversations and not just strictly work conversations. The assumption going in was that SharePoint was the solution for that as well as sharing resource files.

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Power Automate: The First Function

A scenario I’ve encountered several times in Power Automate is needing to get just one item from a data source, such as a SharePoint list, based on a specific column such as Title matching what I am looking for. Power Automate only has a function to get all the SharePoint items that match the criteria, unless you already know the specific ID you are looking for. So you end up with an array returned, even if there’s only one item in it. That then creates a bit of nuisance when you want to access that one item, since Power Automate will go ahead and put that within a for each loop structure. Knowing there’s only one item, it is a negligible difference in Flow speed, but it is suboptimal code looking at a for each loop that isn’t really looping.

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Microsoft Endpoint Manager: Device Compliance Policies

Once you’ve got devices enrolled in Microsoft Endpoint Manager, one of the very useful things you can apply are compliance policies. These provide you a way to monitor and enforce restrictions on devices which are not following the proper practices that you want in your organization.

These compliance policies can be set up for devices of multiple operating systems:

  • Android
  • iOS
  • macOS
  • Windows 10 and later
  • Windows 8.1 and later

As is the case elsewhere in Endpoint Manager, Chromebook is the noticeable omission.

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Power Automate: Temporary Site Scripts and Designs

This post continues a series on SharePoint site provisioning, unpacking some of the problems I’ve faced and overcome in building solutions.

In the last post in this series, I created a SharePoint site programmatically. Suppose you want to update site scripts or site designs onto that new site. The advantage of doing this is that it can be fully automated based on another causal event setting it off, like filling out a Power App or creating an item in a SharePoint list, and incorporate variables. My simple example will use a variable of a link that will be added to the navigation of this new site.

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Microsoft Endpoint Manager: Device Configuration Policies

You’ve got your devices enrolled in Endpoint Manager. Now what? This opens up lots of tools including configuration policies.

Configuration policies allow for quickly rolling out the desired configuration to the device, without the user having to manually set it up. This can include a lot of different settings and vary by the operating system of the device. Some of the more interesting tools for Windows 10 includes:

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SharePoint: Content Types

Content types are one of those features of SharePoint where you can be using SharePoint for years and never notice is there. They often aren’t an absolute necessity. But they do make some things much easier. The average user may not need to be familiar with them, but administrators should be.

There are two major advantages to using content types: a standardized set of columns (metadata) and file templates.

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Power Automate: Create Site with SharePoint REST API

This post continues a series on SharePoint site provisioning, unpacking some of the problems I’ve faced and overcome in building solutions.

This post will look at dynamically creating SharePoint sites using Power Automate. An advantage of doing it this way is to automate different settings that can incorporate variables, as opposed to the standard interface tools for users to create new sites.

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