Almost since SharePoint Communication Sites were first announced, the clamour has been there to be able to have the root site be a Communications Site. An image driven, good looking site at the natural place for an Office 365 tenancy. Then, at this year’s SharePoint Conference, Microsoft announced that the PowerShell commandlet Invoke-SPOSiteSwap was coming and would allow admins to swap out the current root site with another one (with a few provisos that I’ll let you read in detail).
Stepping away from the Daily Bing Challenge Bot overview and setup, this post covers the processes to go through when designing a Bot. This won’t be too much of a technical post as it is targetted at the analysis side of the solution but will point towards where you can find out more about the Bot Framework elements themselves.
The previous post in this Bot Series covered what the Daily Bing Challenge Bot is and where it came from so now I will cover how you can use it. This is a technical post and there are quite a few steps at the moment. I may look to create an ARM template and remove the need for Google API at a later date but for now, here is how you can have your very own Daily Bing Challenge Bot.
Have you ever looked at the daily background on Bing or the version on your desktop? Did you stop and wonder where that beautiful landscape or haunting castle is? Perhaps you turned to a colleague and said “I wonder where that is? Where do you think”. Then you did the same the next day and perhaps another colleauge joined in. This then turned in to a game amongst the team. Then it got bigger and bigger and bigger and soon the whole company was playing. Suddenly, a little bit of fun was taking up loads of time for the poor person who first came up with the idea.
One of the areas that classic SharePoint sites still have over Modern SharePoint is the ability to target audiences. I had heard that this had changed so I decided to do a little investigating. The video below runs through that little trip, with the bumps along the way.
It has now been 15 years since I first started working with SharePoint. My journey started with a project to roll out Project Server 2007 at a large financial services company. Naturally, we couldn’t just go with a little configuration and so a consultancy with expertise in Project Server and SharePoint was brought in.
Have you ever wondered why some people do better at work, especially in large organisations, when they don’t appear to be any better than others? They have a glow about them that makes them appear to stand out more and attract more attention. When it comes to promotions, they are ahead of others and mentioned by all levels - sometimes positively, sometimes negatively.
The other day, I was doing a deployment to Azure Functions and I sat there and knowingly clicked right click and publish. I had a CI/CD Pipeline on Azure Dev Ops but I still did a right click publish. Now this isn’t the right thing to do. This doesn’t check that it works on other machines, this doesn’t log it with release comments and it doesn’t run automated tests. But I knew this was all ok. I knew it wasn’t the completely right thing to do but I was ok with that. Does that make me a bad person?
Much of the focus on modern SharePoint has been on the pages and lists but for me, the true magic has been the introduction of modern development tooling with the SharePoint Framework (SPFX) that has introduced tools like Node, Gulp and Webpack to deliver powerful front-end solutions. When coupled with the great community of developers like the PnP community that deliver samples and other tools (like PnP JS), it is much easier to develop modern looking solutions that match the new look. To demonstrate this, I have extended the Policies pages from my lastposts to have a webpart that allows you to search by the tagged metadata for each of the documents. You can see the full solution at https://github.com/kevmcdonk/Mcd79PoliciesViewer.
Modern SharePoint Page Approvals have really added to the possibilities of modern pages for real life situations, especially where teams want to control the content that is displayed to all. With classic pages, you could use the default publishing or use the clunky SharePoint Designer Workflows but now the Flow backed approvals are far easier.
After recently writing about ways to learn, today I went along to one of those ways with the UK Tech Communities Hackathon on Bots and AI. This was a chance to hear from some experts on AI and the Bot Framework in the morning and then work in groups of people who haven’t met before to try and meet a challenge.
I have talked about using the Bot Framework to create Bots on my blog previously and think it’s a great solution for creating code that works across multiple channels with minimal extra effort. Microsoft has continued to build on its platform by looking at the earlier complexities while retaining the ability to work across the channels.
As someone who has been working in technology and development since the early 2000s, there is always a risk of becoming jaded and just seeing new technologies as the same old thing. But there are still things I get excited about. One of those was the advent of the Modern SharePoint push that started with the Future of SharePoint event in May 2016, showing that Microsoft could work in a responsive way and make good looking sites with little effort.