Collaboration, Technology, and New York

The blog for SharePoint, InfoPath, and Designer, along with business and technology insight….. plus a little NYC

Microsoft SharePoint 2013 Disaster Recovery Guide- Special Offer

Written by Peter Ward on February 14, 2016 – 9:00 pm -

With this code:  MSPDRG50      before March 5th


Click here



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Will SaaS Kill the SharePoint Server Team?

Written by Peter Ward on February 4, 2016 – 4:40 am -

This is an article I wrote for Redmond Magazine.  Why SharePoint professionals need to embrace SharePoint’s new API model of development and deployment.

SharePoint is often touted as the Swiss Army knife of enterprise collaboration and productivity. But like most blades on a Swiss Army knife, each separate tool isn’t always that sharp or practical as the user would like them to be. For that reason, I predict that SharePoint developers, like other developers, will become mostly APIs or API plumbers.

See full article- Part I


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Sharepoint branding.. No quick fix

Written by Peter Ward on January 24, 2016 – 11:39 am -

I’ve looking at the product bindtuning for a straight forward approach to SharePoint branding.

One of the biggest complaints with customers on branding is that it’s always a science project to get anything done that makes the site pop out.  The Bindtuning approach gives the user a WordPress feel of point, click and color, ‘Without the let me get back to you in 2 days’ SharePoint consultant’s response.

Solutions like this do heavy customization and uses master to customize the look and feel of the site…. All good….  Well not quite.

The guidelines of SharePoint online branding suggested in below reference links recommends you should not customize the master page otherwise it would require more maintenance to apply upgrades

Use the SharePoint page model and composed looks, the SharePoint 2013 theming engine, and CSS to brand your SharePoint site and pages.

So it’s back to the manual approach.

  1. Use SharePoint Themes to change color throughout the sites
  2. Use JavaScript to inject UI components
  3. Use alternate CSS file to give responsive look and feel to the site

In the end there is no substitute for UI design capabilities on a team, the only question is how do you attract, and retain the talent.

One observation of Bindtuning, is that they aren’t exclusively SharePoint, which is unusual as a SharePoint vendor, so this would suggest they that SharePoint can only provide them breakfast, rather than lunch and dinner.

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Happy halloween

Written by Peter Ward on November 2, 2015 – 10:41 am -

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SharePoint designer workflow in Office 365.

Written by Peter Ward on October 4, 2015 – 1:05 am -

One thing I’ve discovered with O365, is that you can’t send an email to a non-SharePoint user.   This is different than an on premise SharePoint designer workflow engine where you can send emails to anyone, inside or outside the company..

So how do you send emails to non SP users?

One way to do this is to create a contact in AD and have this forwarding to users the non-SharePoint users.




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7 Ways to make a SharePoint demo rock

Written by Peter Ward on June 24, 2015 – 11:37 am -


SharePoint is not only a beast of a product, it’s a confusing one to non-techy mortals to understand, so before you even show the Site Actions menu tab, think about What, Who and How to demo the product.

1.    Define a clear goal of the demo:

-What you are going to show and what you are not

-Why you are showing them-“Based on previous conversations with XYZ”

-Business value

You really how 30 mins to show them, then the attention span starts to wonder.


2.    During the demo, make it bite size

Remember most folks have got the attention span of a tangerine, so state what you are going to show them and then show them the functionality. Do this each time.

3.    Understand the customer

Yeap a standard consulting speak from the big 4. But really understand the customer. So if the client uses Macs, you really need to demo SharePoint on an Mac, rather than the high end torbo charged PC laptop that allows you to do 18 different things at once. People see through the demo software.

This also include Ipads and iphones.

Nothing gets the engagement levels off the charts they see the demo running on all 3 Apple products.

Even the browser. If you demo on Chrome, you’ll get the attention of the Generation Z and millenialls.

You’ll also answear their unasked question… “So SharePoint works on a non Microsoft technology?”


4.    Make it prosumer (proactive consumers).

People want a system that is easy to use, doesn’t require training, offers immediate beneift and self service. Often SharePoint is not this tool, particurally if it’s been deployed by the Exchange administror.






5.    Make the interface consitent to what folks use every day and like. That’s not the Ribbon.

On the discover call I always ask what web sites do people use the most? And of cause the answear is Google. So we made the homepage like……. Google. This immediaely terminates the preassumptions that SharePoint is complicated.


6.    Show the sizzle, not the stake

Mention the cool out osss box features- the document preview, search results.


Notice in the image below, the document preview has a good eye candy image.


Remember: Millennials are extremely team-oriented and enjoy collaborating and building friendships with colleagues. So the document on line editing is a win, and Lync or whatever MS is calling it these days.

During the demo, mention the technology provides plenty of opportunities for collaboration and team projects.


7.    Small details make a BIG difference.


Not just talking about the making the site logo the company logo.

When we demo on a Mac, we have a demo user called Steve Jobs with his photo.


Nice simple touch.





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The last of the snow in NYC

Written by Peter Ward on March 23, 2015 – 1:22 am -


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How to rearrange web parts around a page

Written by Peter Ward on March 22, 2015 – 1:08 pm -

“Why cannot I Drag and Drop WebParts on Home Page in SharePoint 2013, while this functionality worked in SharePoint 2007’s environment?”

The simple answer to this is – you can’t re-order or drag & drop webparts on the default Home Page of your SharePoint 2013 Team Site.

By default, in SharePoint 2013, the Home Page of a Team Site is created using a Wiki Page Layout, rather than refined web parts zones.

In 2007, the web zones looked like this:


In 2013



The only difference here is, there are no WebParts Zones on the Page, which essentially means no drag and drop on the page and no selection of Zones from any WebPart’s Properties.

One way to arrange the WebParts on the Page is by using moving HTML tags in the Edit Source of the Page.

This can be done in the following steps:


  1. Put the page in Edit mode- Top left hand corner on the ribbon:


  1. Select the content that you want to move.

In the figure above the Known Service Issues web part has been selected.

  1. Select Edit Source on the Ribbon

You will now be displayed the HTML of this web part.

This may look daunting, but it is not

  1. Press Control – x to cut the highlighted text.

This will remove the content from this web part

  1. Press Ok


  1. Move you mouse over the target web part and click it so it changes color.


  2. Click the Edit Source button again. Same as Step 3.


    An HTML dialog page will display.


  3. Press Control –V to paste the text.


  4. Press Ok


The web part has moved.



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Mystery InfoPath Error – XML has been modified

Written by Peter Ward on February 22, 2015 – 2:24 pm -

I had a wacky error the other day on saved InfoPath forms. This prevented edits and approvals.

-Is invalid.  It may refer to a nonexistent file or folder

The cause of this error is because the SharePoint Designer workflow modified the item, with a published workflow saved with a Forms authentication ID, rather than an AD ID.

After a lot of searching, this error can be easier prevented with publishing workflows with the AD ID.

So what do you do with existing form submissions? Download the InfoPath XML file, delete the file in the library and re upload it.

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Copying files to another library in another site or site collection

Written by Peter Ward on December 27, 2014 – 3:05 am -

One limitation of SharePoint designer, is that it can only copy files from a library to another library in the same site. This does have a purpose, but this is isn’t really an archiving solution.

The following code copying files (and metadata) from view in a library to another library in another site or site collection.

$web = Get-SPWeb “http://sp10/





$ver = $host | select version

if ($ver.Version.Major -gt 1) {$host.Runspace.ThreadOptions = “ReuseThread”}


if ((Get-PSSnapin “Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell” -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue) -eq $null)


Add-PSSnapin “Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell”



$web = Get-SPWeb “http://sp10/”




$list = $web.Lists[$listnamefrom]

$view = $list.Views[$viewName]

$columns=New-Object System.Collections.ArrayList

$dlist = $web.Lists[$listnameTo]

foreach ($col in $view.ViewFields)


if($col -ne “DocIcon” -and $col -ne “LinkFilename” -and $col -ne “Modified” -and

$col -ne “Editor”)






$items = $list.GetItems($view)

#$AllFolders = $sList.Folders

$RootFolder = $list.RootFolder

$RootItems = $RootFolder.files

foreach($RootItem in $RootItems)


write-host $RootItem.Name

$sBytes = $RootItem.OpenBinary()

$dFile = $dList.RootFolder.Files.Add($RootItem.Name, $sBytes, $true)

#$AllFields = $RootItem.Item.Fields | ? {!($_.sealed)}


foreach($Field in $columns)


$dFile.AddProperty($Field, $RootItem.Properties[$Field])



write-host “Updated”



write-host “Done”




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