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Corey Roth [MVP]

A SharePoint MVP bringing you the latest time saving tips for SharePoint 2013, Office 365 / SharePoint Online and Visual Studio 2013.

July 2012 - Posts

  • SharePoint Napa: couldn’t be downloaded error when opening in Visual Studio

    Napa is a great way to get started building SharePoint 2013 apps with Office 365.  It provides you an easy-to-use editor that allows you make changes to your app right in your browser.  One nice feature it has is to allow you to take what you built and import it as a Visual Studio project.  This is done using the Open in Visual Studio link at the bottom of the page.

    NapaOpenInVisualStudioButton

    If you are editing this in Internet Explorer on a server operating system such as Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2012, you might encounter the following error.

    xxxxx couldn’t be downloaded.

    NapaCantDownloadProject

    As you might guess this is caused by a browser setting.  You can use another browser of course, but if that’s not an option, you can fix this by unchecking the Do not save unencrypted pages to disk checkbox.

    NapaEncryptedPages

    Once you uncheck the box, try the download again and it should work for you.

    NapaDownloadSuccessful

    This is simple to fix so if you run into this issue I hope this helps.

  • Slides and Video from my Lync and Learn Session on SharePoint Online Development

    Thanks to everyone who attended my Office 365 Lync and Learn session last week.  I enjoyed the opportunity to show everyone how they can use Visual Studio 2012 RC to get started with SharePoint Online development.  I’ve attached a link to my slides as well as the video on YouTube.  Also special thanks to Josh Topal for setting it all up and getting people to attend.

    I’ve already had a few people reach out for questions.  If you have any others, feel free to contact me.

    Follow me on twitter: @coreyroth

  • Where’s all my memory in SharePoint 2013 Preview?

    If you have installed SharePoint 2013 Preview, you might have noticed that pretty much every bit of available memory is being consumed.  Where is it all going?  Search of course.  In my post from last week, I mentioned noderunner.exe.  These are the processes that hosts the individual search components and they consume a lot of memory.  You’ll have five of them running at any given time.  If one is consuming a lot of memory or CPU time, you can kill it but SharePoint will restart the process automatically.

    TaskManagerNodeRunner

    If you happen to be curious as to which noderunner.exe is running which component, the information below will help you.  Noderunner.exe is responsible for running the following components:

    • Administration
    • Index
    • Query
    • Analytics
    • Content Processing

    Unfortunately Task Manager, doesn’t tell us which noderunner.exe belongs to which component.  To find that out, you need to download Process Monitor from sysinternals.  After you download the program start it up, and then open the Process Tree by clicking on Tools –> Process Tree.  Then look for hostcontrollerservice.exe under wininit.exe –> services.exe.  Under this node you will find all five noderunner.exe proceses.  When you click on one, you can actually get more details on the process including the command line that was used to launch the process.  This command line actually gives us insight into the search component the noderunner is hosting.

    ProcessMonitorNodeRunner

    In the –noderoot parameter, you will see a path and at the end of the path you will see one of the following (or similar): AdminComponent1, IndexComponent1, QueryProcessingComponent1, AnalyticsProcessingComponent1, or ContentProcessingComponent1.  You can probably see how they match up to the components mentioned earlier.  The path listed here is also the location of the individual component logs of search which may be useful when troubleshooting things in the future. 

    This may be more information that you have ever cared to know about search.  I like to know how things work under the hood though so I thought I would share the info. 

  • SharePoint 2013 Preview Configuration Wizard Error: An update conflict has occurred

    On my latest install of SharePoint 2013 Preview, I encountered an error when running the Configuration Wizard.  After the wizard had been running for a while, I got the following error:

    Exception: Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPUpdatedConcurrencyException: An update conflict has occurred, and you must re-try this action. The object SPAdministrationWebApplication was updated by SHAREPOINT\sp_setup, in the psconfigui (2960) process, on machine SP2010.  View the tracing log for more information about the conflict.
       at Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPConfigurationDatabase.StoreObject(SPPersistedObject obj, Boolean storeClassIfNecessary, Boolean ensure)
       at Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPPersistedObject.BaseUpdate()
       at Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPWebApplication.Update()
       at Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPWebApplication.UpdateAuthenticationSettings(SPUrlZone zone, SPIisSettings newSettings, Boolean createJob)
       at Microsoft.SharePoint.PostSetupConfiguration.CentralAdministrationSiteTask.ProvisionAdminVs()
       at Microsoft.SharePoint.PostSetupConfiguration.CentralAdministrationSiteTask.Run()
       at Microsoft.SharePoint.PostSetupConfiguration.TaskThread.ExecuteTask()

    If I remember right, it mentioned this was a issue in provisioning Central Administration.  I had an idea as to what the cause is, but I figured why not just try the wizard again and hope it goes through.  You know what they say, “if first you don’t succeed…”.  I ran the Configuration Wizard again and sure enough it completed (rather quickly I might add).  When you run the wizard again, just choose Do not disconnect from farm.  Then type in your port to run Central Administration and you should be good to go.

  • What you need to know about copying workflows with Metalogix Migration Manager for SharePoint

    I was recently doing a SharePoint migration project and one of the tasks I was trying to do was copy SharePoint designer workflows (plus history) to a new SharePoint server.  We weren’t doing a database attach in this case because we were significantly restructuring the site.  When version 5 of Metalogix Migration Manager for SharePoint announced this functionality, I was excited to try it out.  The tool can in fact copy these workflows but there are a lot of asterisks.  These are the things you don’t know until after you try it and have opened up a support case. :)  If you are thinking about migrating workflows in this manner, this post may be of some help to you.

    There are a few things you need to know about migrating workflows:

    • You can only copy workflows if you are doing a Full Site migration (no incremental or anything like that).
    • You need to activate the SharePoint 2007 Workflows feature on the target site collection.
    • Migrated workflow instances cannot be completed.
    • You must set the EnableDBWriting element to true in EnvironmentSettings.xml located at %APPDATA%\Metalogix Software Corp\Migration Manager for SharePoint.

    You probably just read that last bullet point thinking “Is that doing what I think it is?”  The answer is “Yes”.  You can only check the copy workflow instances settings in the Migration Manager if you have this value enabled.  What does it do?  It writes directly to the content database.  Should red flags be going up?  Probably, but when your client is screaming at you to get those workflows migrated at all cost, the option looks better and better.  However, if you have an issue down the road and Microsoft support find out about it, they may be less inclined to help you.  Does it work?  Maybe.  In my tests, I have found that it in fact does successfully attach the workflow to the list or content type you migrated.  However, the running instances count shows as zero.  I am not sure if this is part of the issue with the workflow instances not being able to be completed or it is a bug.

    To actually copy workflows, close migration manager and go edit the EnvironmentSettings.xml file.  Once you set the EnableDBWriting flag, re-open Migration Manager.  Pick the site you want to copy and use the Copy Site command.  Then use the Paste Site command at the destination.  On the workflow tab, you will see a new section that is no longer disabled. 

    MetalogixCopyWorkflow

    You’ll want to check the Preserve checkboxes for List scope or Content type scope depending on where your workflow is.  Then you will want to check the Preserve workflow instance data checkbox along with Preserve running workflow instance statuses.  Run the job and when the site is create with luck your workflows will be there.

    I’ll continue testing this as I have time.  If you try it out, let me know how it works for you.

    Follow me on twitter: @coreyroth.

  • How to: Take your SharePoint Online Preview Public Web Site Online

    Maybe, this was more obvious to other people but it took me a while to figure out.  When you first provision your Office 365 Preview Enterprise account, a public site collection is created.  It took me a while to find it at first because I was used to finding my public site collection at -web.sharepoint.com">http://<name>-web.sharepoint.com.  However, that didn’t work.  I went back to the site collections page and noticed that the public site collection is now at -public.sharepoint.com">http://<name>-public.sharepoint.com

    SPOPreviewSiteCollectionAdmin

    I tried that URL by clicking on it through the Site Collections page using http as opposed to https and what did I get?

    SPOPPublicSiteCollection403Error

    Now, I thought that was odd because I don’t remember things working that way.  I finally posted something and got a response from Microsoft.  The public web site collection run in offline mode by default and you must take it online for it to work.  To do that you must visit your URL using https as in -public.sharepoint.com">https://<name>-public.sharepoint.com.  Once, you do that, you will be prompted for authentication and you still see the starter site that looks like this.

    SPOPPublicWebSiteNotPublished

    You’ll notice in the top there is a link that says WEBSITE OFFLINE.  Click on that and it will tell you about taking your site online.

    SPOPPublicWebSiteTakeOnline

    When you click MAKE WEBSITE ONLINE, your site will get a confirmation screen.

    SPOPPublicWebSiteTakeOnlineConfirmation

    Click Make online and your site will be exposed via http and anonymous users will be able to access the site.

    SPOPPublicWebSitePublished

    Note, the new Blog link.  People have been wanting that feature for a while with SPO sites.  I think we’ll see a lot of blog sites moving to SPO now.  You’ll also notice a search box right in the master page.  No longer do you need to use hacks to get it to work.  If you can’t figure out how to get your public web site going with SharePoint Online Preview, hopefully these steps have helped.

  • Search is Everywhere! What you need to know about Search in SharePoint 2013 Preview

    As I start writing this post, I know this is going to be one of those posts that covers so much that it is going to hard to cover it all.  The point of this post is to give you a high level idea of everything new and changed in Search with SharePoint 2013 Preview.  Search is everywhere in SharePoint now so it is important to understand how it has changed.  For example, take a look at this document library utilizing the power of Search. 

    SPOPDocumentLibrarySearch

    Aside from cool stuff like drag and drop, document libraries directly leverage the search engine to allow users to filter documents easily.  Gone are the days of relying on CAML for simple document library searches.  You’ll find out why later in this post on why you can rely on search for those uses as well.

    In SharePoint 2013 Preview, Search was essentially rewritten from the ground up.  You’ll see familiar concepts like managed properties as well as how FAST Search for SharePoint morphed into this new product.  The concept of FAST Search for SharePoint servers is gone.  The components from FS4SP have made their way directly into SharePoint and we don’t need separate dedicated servers for it (necessarily).  If you’re familiar with FAST ESP, you will see some familiar components from there too.  Don’t worry, we aren’t starting over from scratch, but you will see some exciting new things that make search such a powerful feature of SharePoint.

    Today’s post will provide a high level of many of the new concepts in search. It will serve as a springboard for a series of detailed articles about the individual components of Search that I will post in the coming weeks.  We’ll cover Search in the following areas: topology, crawling, querying, user interface, API, and SharePoint Online. 

    Topology

    The underlying search topology has changed quite a bit.  However, most of it is based upon concepts you may have seen before from FAST Search for SharePoint.  Components can be scaled out to multiple servers as needed.  These changes can be done through the Search Service Application or through PowerShell.  When making changes to the topology, you don’t change the active topology, you clone the original, make changes, and then change the active topology.  This section is pretty technical so feel free to skip it if you are only interested in the cool stuff like querying and the user interface. :)

    Components

    The first thing to cover is how the topology changed.  Many components got new (but similar) names and they correspond to FAST Search for SharePoint components.  The Search components are hosted on your SharePoint application servers using a Search Service Application.  Components can be scaled to multiple servers for performance and redundancy.  The components that make up search are:

    Crawl Component

    The crawl component crawls the actual data from a variety of sources such as SharePoint, File Shares, User Profiles, and Databases using BCS.

    Content Processing Component

    This component processes crawled items and feeds them to the index component.  This is where document parsing occurs as well as IFilters exist.  A generic IFIilter will cover most of your needs.  It also is responsible for language detection and entity extraction (both of which are features from FS4SP).  It also produces the phonetic name variations for people search. 

    Index Component

    If you are familiar with FAST Search for SharePoint, the index component will look pretty similar.  The Index Component is used in both feeding and query processes.  It takes items from the content processing component and writes them to the index.  It also receives queries from the query processing component and returns result sets.  The Index architecture is based off the rows and columns concepts in FS4SP.  Index Replicas (rows) provide a level of redundancy with groups of servers.  Index Partitions (columns) allow you to split the index between servers.

    Analytics Component

    The Analytics Component analyzes crawled items and how users interact with Search Results.  It truly is a part of what makes search “learn” and provide better search results to the user.

    Query Processing Component

    This component performs linguistic processing at query time such as work breaking, stemming, spell checking, and the thesaurus.  When the query comes in, it completes it’s processing and passes it to the query component.

    Search Administration Component

    The administration component stores the various information about search that you configure through the user interface in the Search Service Application.  It also manages topology changes.

    Search Processes

    The search processes look a bit different than what you may be used to.  The Host Controller is a Windows service that manages various processes called NodeRunners.  When you first install SharePoint 2013 Preview and you wonder where all your memory is, you’ll see multiple NodeRunner.exe processes at the top of the list.  Each NodeRunner.exe hosts one of the various components above.  Looking at the task manager, it is not obvious which process is running which component.  There is a PowerShell script that will tell you, that I will post in the future.  Lastly, MSSearch.exe is the Windows Service that hosts the crawl component.

    Crawling

    The configuration of crawling looks similar but there are lots of changes.  Many of the configuration changes you make aren’t limited to the Search Service Application any more.  Changes can be made at the site collection and some can even be made at the site.

    Content Sources

    Content Sources are configured in much the same way, but there are some changes.  The newest feature here is the concept of Continuous Crawling.  This crawls your content source continuously (every 15 minutes by default).  However, there is some magic that occurs now and new items can appear in the index within seconds.  This is something users have always wanted and I am really excited about it.  It also means that when the full crawl is executing, you can see changes to the index while it is still running.

    Result Sources

    Results Sources effectively combine Scopes and Federated Locations into one interface.  However, they added a ton of new features in how you can build the queries that make up the result source.  In a new instance, quite a few result sources are available out-of-the-box such as Local SharePoint Results, Popular, and Items Matching a Content Type.  Here is what it looks like.

    SPOPResultSourceDefault

    Whereas SharePoint 2010, only had protocols for Local Search and OpenSearch 1.1, SharePoint 2013 Preview (as well as SharePoint Online Preview), support for Remote SharePoint servers and Exchange has been added.  Since SharePoint and People Search results are served by the same search index now, you can choose which type of results you want here too.

    SPOPResultSource

    Scrolling down the page, you have the ability to use the new Query Builder to construct a query.  This new interface provides a lot of ways to create custom queries very easily.

    SPOPResultSource2

    The query builder lets you quickly construct a query even with dynamic values.

    SPOPQueryBuilder1

    After you construct your query, you can click the TEST tab to see if the query works.  There is so much to cover with the Query Builder, it will gets it own post in the near future.

    SPOPQueryBuilderTest

    Document Parsing

    A number of improvements have been made to document parsing as well.  New high performance IFilters exist for common Office document formats as well as images and PDF.  This means you won’t have to manually configure that IFilter any more.  However, the existing IFilter interface is available still in case there is anything you want to add.

    Entity Extraction

    In FS4SP, entity extraction was managed using a set of XML files.  In SharePoint 2013 Preview, this has been moved to the term store.  The out-of-the-box entity extraction will automatically extract company names out of documents.  You can use the term store to manage exclusions and inclusions.  Unlike FS4SP, it doesn’t look like you are able to add your own term sets for entity extraction, so this is unfortunate.

    SPOPTermStoreSearchDictionaries

    Schema Management

    Managed Properties and Crawled Properties are now referred to as the Search Schema.  Managed Properties have a number of new parameters such as allowing for sorting and refining that we gained from FS4SP.  

    SPOPSearchSchemaManagedProperties

    Site Collection administrators now also have the ability to make changes to the search schema at their level.  This allows you to delegate some of the search configuration to admins and let them override settings without affecting things globally.

    SPOPSiteCollectionSearchSettings

    Export and Import

    Another one of my favorite features in Search is that we finally have the ability to export and import search configurations.  I’ve only been asking for this since 2007. :)  You can export your search configuration as XML and then import it later.  This can even be done at the site collection level.

    SPOPSearchExportImport

    Crawl Log Permissions

    There are times where you may want to grant access to the crawl logs to non-administrator users.  The new setting allows you to grant other users access.

    SPOPSearchCrawlLogPermissions

    Querying

    We’ll now look at some of the improvements when querying search. 

    Query Spelling Correction

    Customizations to the Spelling Correction is now managed through the term store as well.  This allows you to customize the “Did you mean?” functionality.

    Query Rules

    The new query rules engine lets you tailor your query results in ways never before possible.  Each rule is composed of conditions and actions.  When the conditions are met, one or more actions are implemented.  Actions include things like promoting a result (similar to a best bet) and injecting a result block into the search results (basically changing the way search results look).  I think a screenshot of the out-of-the-box query rules actually explains it better than I do.

    SPOPSearchQueryRules

    In this example, if it finds a person name in the Local SharePoint Results, it will promote a result block showing people that matched the result.  You can create your own query rules to really customize how search results look.  You can even put start and end dates on a query rule.

    User Interface

    The User Interface has pretty much been rewritten in its entirety.  It starts with the addition of the ResultScriptWebPart which retrieves and displays search results.  This replaces the CoreResultsWebPart from SharePoint 2010 and has a ton of new functionality.  Take a look at the search center in this example:

    SPOPSearchCenterResults

    There is a lot to take in here.  In my example here, I had a number of PowerPoint presentations returned.  When I hover over one of them, it gives me a large visual preview of the slide deck that I can flip through.  On top of that, it picked up the key sections of the document and listed them under “Take a look inside”.  At the bottom of the preview there are useful links such as Follow (Social feature), Edit, View Library, and Send.  What’s cool about the document preview is that it lets you scroll through the entire document.  It even shows the animations in PowerPoint decks.  If you used this functionality at all before with FS4SP, you might have been hit with the fact that document previews didn’t work against documents sitting on a claims-enabled web application.  Note, that previews only work with claims authentication now (along with many other things).

    There are a few remaining features to point out.  On the left, you see some of the new visual refiners that allow you to search by different modified dates.  The search box at the top also provides options to easily jump between documents, people, conversations, videos, and reports.

    Result Types

    In the above screenshot, you might have noticed that the PowerPoint results are formatted a certain way.  This is through the new Result Type feature that allows you to customize how a particular result looks based upon a condition.  As someone that customizes search, if there is anything to get excited about, this is it.  Result Types are comprised of Rules, Properties, and Display Templates.  The Rules define when the result type should be used (i.e.: Excel Documents, People, or Picture Library).  When one of these rules matches, that Result Type will be used to display the individual result in a unique way.  Properties refer to managed properties and these are what you will use in your display template to show the data from the result.  Here is what the Result Types page looks like in the Site Collection.

    SPOPResultTypes

    You can edit the built-in result types, but you can create new ones.  Before you define your result type, it is a good idea to create a new display template as you will have to select it from a list when creating the result type.  The Display Templates are .js files and are kept in the ~sitecollection/_catalogs/masterpage/Display Templates/Search folder.

    I’ll post soon about how to configure result types, but take a look at another example.  This time I have a mixture of different document types.  Most result types look the same out of the box, but you can customize them heavily to meet your needs.

    SPOPSearchResults2

    Search Refinement

    The refiner web part has some added functionality.  It has the most of refinement included in SharePoint 2010.  However, for those of you who used to use FAST ESP, we now have faceted navigation.  This allows you to use refinement before you ever issue a search and is based upon data in the term store.  Think of how BestBuy.com uses FAST ESP to allow you to select TVs –> >50” –> Plasma, etc.  We can also leverage display templates to change how the refinement is rendered.  This makes use of the new Refinable attribute that we see on managed properties.  For example, that is how you see the data slider.

    SPOPReinferModifiedDate

    Query Suggestions

    Query Suggestions have been improved largely through the use of the analytics component to analyze your personal search history.  It actually weights results based on links you have previously visited.  It also looks at the most frequent queries of all users to deliver better suggestion.  There are two types of query suggestions: what you see before issuing the query and what you see along with the results.  For the pre-query suggestions, you will get suggestions from your personal query log along with what other people have been searching for.  For the suggestions after you get results back, it returns matches that you have clicked on at least twice.  I’ll post more on this later after I have an environment that has been up long enough to capture some of this data.

    API

    The Search API has underwent a series of changes.  Two new interfaces are available, while one was removed and another deprecated.  If you write custom search code, you will want to pay attention to this section.

    New Interfaces

    The SharePoint REST API got some love in this release.  In terms of search, we have a whole new interface for querying using REST.  This is possible by calling the endpoint located at /_api/search.  You can specify any site collection or site in the URL, but typically you’ll just go with the web application root URL.  Specify any other URL prefix will get you the same results as well.  In one of my upcoming posts, we’ll go into some real examples of how to use this new endpoint.

    Search also got some love in the Client OM.  That means you can now execute search queries using CSOM via JavaScript or .NET.  According to the MSDN post, you can do mobile development as well, but I’m unsure if that includes Windows Phone.  I am thinking it doesn’t but you can still use the REST API there.  I’ll confirm that as I begin writing my posts on the API.

    Removed and Deprecated

    The Search API has been expanded greatly and you have some great new options to use.  However, there are a few other changes you need to know about.  First, and foremost, the SQL Syntax has been removed.  I’ve been telling you for years to stop using it.  At SPC09, they said it was unofficially deprecated and now I can say straight up that it is gone now.  You also need to know that the Search web service (search.asmx) is now deprecated (but not gone) as well.  That means you need to stop using the web service as it won’t work some day.  If you need to remotely access Search, then use the Query CSOM or the Query REST Service which are much better and featured.

    New Operators

    If you have been using FAST Search for SharePoint, these three new operators will be nothing new to you.  However, if you were strictly running SharePoint 2010, they may be of interest.  Previously the XRANK operator was only available in FQL.  Now we can use it in regular keyword queries and it gives us the ability to dynamically adjust the rank of items.  The NEAR operator has been improved to include a configurable token distance (besides the default of 8) and a new ONEAR operator allows for ordered near functionality.  Most of these operators are pretty hardcore so most people probably will never use them but they are there if you need them.  You can also continue to use FQL if you prefer.

    SharePoint Online

    As Microsoft works to bring feature parity to SharePoint Online, the preview brings us a heap of new features in Search.  Whereas you could configure next to nothing in the previous iteration of SharePoint Online, you can do just about anything with Search now.  This comes from the new Search link inside tenant administration.  From the list you see below, you can do just about anything except configure Content Sources.  These are still handles automatically by SharePoint Online so we can’t change the frequency of crawls nor can we crawl other sources such as HTTP or BCS.  Take a look at the Search settings in Tenant administration to get a feel for what you can do.

    SPOPreviewTenantAdminSearch

    Scrolling down, we can adjust a few more settings.

    SPOPreviewTenantAdminSearch2

    I’ve already talked about Export and Import.  The new Search Center Settings link allows you to set a global search center that will be used on each site.  The feature parity in Search with SharePoint Online Preview is impressive.  In fact, all of my screenshots for this article came from the cloud.

    Summary

    As I expected, this post has proved to be quite long.  I tried to be brief in each section so as I could cover as much as possible.  Anything in bold in this article will likely be a follow-up blog post, so stay tuned.  I expect to find information that needs to be updated or points that I left out. I’ll be posting updates to this post as necessary. Anyhow, I hope this post has proved useful in explaining what you need to know about Search in SharePoint 2013 Preview.

    Follow me on twitter at @coreyroth.

  • How to: Drag and Drop files into SharePoint 2013 Document Libraries

    One of the simplest but most exciting features in SharePoint 2013 is the ability to drag and drop files into document libraries directly in the web browser.  That means the user can drag a file off of his or her desktop and literally drag and drop it onto the browser and the file will upload.  Here is what it looks like when you have the capability of drag and drop.

    SP2013PDragDropEnabled

    Note that it says you can “drag files here”.  Here is what it looks like when you drag multiple files.

    SP2013DocumentLibraryDragDropIE9

    While the files are copying, you’ll see a screen like this.

    SP2013DocumentLibraryDragDropInProgress

    This new feature is going to be one of the single most drivers of end user adoption hands-down.  Now, you may be thinking…”That’s great, but I am sure it only works in IE.”  If you thought that, you would be thinking wrong.  I have tested it in a variety of browsers and have found that it has worked in every test I did with the exception of Internet Explorer 8 running on Windows Server 2008 R2. 

    Here’s what it looks like in Google Chrome.

    SP2013PDragDropChrome

    I’ve even tried it in Safari on Mac OS X and it works there too.  I would have included a screenshot of this but it was way too much effort to take it and get it back to my laptop. :)

    I mentioned, it didn’t work for me in Internet Explorer 8 on Windows Server 2008 R2.  This could be because of the server OS, because of IE8, or because I don’t have Office installed.  That will require a bit more research.  Here is what it looks like when drag an drop is not available.

    SP2013PDocumentLibraryNoDragDrop

    Note, that “or drag files here” is not listed. 

    Now you might be wondering about how this works when content types with required fields are in place.  Well, honestly, it could be handled better.  The file is left checked out and it doesn’t really instruct the user to edit the properties and check the document in.

    SP2013PDocumentLibraryContentType

    So for such a simple new feature, it is really quite exciting.  I really think it will enhance productivity greatly.  All screenshots were taken from SharePoint Online Preview.

  • What’s new in SharePoint Online Preview tenant administration (Office 365)?

    As you might have heard by now, Office Preview was released today and I wanted to share some of the great new features available in SharePoint Online.  I wanted to start a series of posts telling you about great things you can try.  To limit the scope of this first post, I decided to focus on tenant administration.  This isn’t meant to be an exhaustive list, but it gives you a nice list of things to go try.

    To get to tenant administration, simply go to the <yourdomain>–admin.sharepoint.com address just like you do in the release version of Office 365.  You can also get there from the new Admin –> SharePoint link from your portal administration page.

    Office365PreviewPortalAdminSharePointLink

    Aside from the updated look, the first thing you might notice is that you are taken directly to the Site Collections page.

    SPOPreviewSiteCollectionAdmin

    On an Enterprise site now, it automatically creates a public site collection for you (along with one for Search).  You might notice that you see a version number (2013) along with an Upgrade button in the ribbon.  This is to allow you to upgrade sites from the 2010 experience to the 2013 experience on a per-site collection basis.  These options don’t really do anything in this case since the entire web application is provisioned as a new 2013 application.

    Along the left navigation, you will see both old and new menu options.  The most noticeable being records management, search, and apps.  The BCS page also changed slightly with some new settings for configuring connections for use with Apps.  More on that in the future.

    SPOPreviewTenantAdminBCS

    SharePoint Online brings us the ability to do some records management now.  That means we can use that page to configure Send To Connections for a Records Center.

    SPOPreviewTenantAdminRM

    The new Search settings are of course my favorite new option in SharePoint Online.  We have the ability to alter the search schema, configure result sources, view usage reports and more.  I’ll be posting several articles on search in the near future because there is a ton of cool things coming there.

    SPOPreviewTenantAdminSearch

    You have probably heard about SharePoint apps by now.  This page lets you manage them at a tenant level.  There is a ton more to talk about here in the future.

    SPOPreviewTenantAdminApps

    Lastly, the new Settings page gives us the ability to disable external user sharing (now on by default), tweak experience settings, turn on IRM, and use the new Start a Site feature (which I need to figure out). 

    SPOPreviewTenantAdminSettings

    That’s just a quick run-down of some of the new things in tenant administration.  Of course, SharePoint Online itself has a bunch of new things too which I’ll cover soon.

    Your call to action is to sign up for a new Office 365 Preview account today.  Personally, I recommend using the Enterprise version to get all of the bells and whistles.  This is a great way to get started with the new features in SharePoint Online.  You might be surprised at the level of feature parity now between the cloud and on-premises.  Try it out today!

  • 18 Useful SharePoint 2013 Preview Links

  • Wrapping up a great 2012 conference season

    This summer has been absolutely crazy.  In the last month, I’ve been out of the country more than I have been in.  The season started with TechEd North America 2012 in Orlando, FL.  From there, I proceeded to fly directly to Toronto for a company retreat.  I came back for two days and jumped on a flight to Amsterdam for TechEd Europe.  I spent about six days back in Houston long enough to shoot off some fireworks for Independence day and then I was back on a flight to Toronto for SharePoint Saturday and the Worldwide Partner Conference (#WPC12).

    It has been a blast.  I’ve gotten to reconnect with old friends and make a bunch of new ones.  I’m thoroughly exhausted. :)  I’ve given four presentations in the past month (all about SharePoint Online) and I wanted to provide links to the slide decks.

    If you happened to attend one of my talks, thanks for attending. :)  If you have any additional questions, feel free to leave a comment or reach out to me on twitter.  Next up for me is most likely some user group sessions in Dallas and Houston.  I’m sure I’ll see a lot of you at SPC12 as well too.

    Follow me on twitter: @coreyroth

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