My SharePoint Log

SharePoint 101 Limited-Access User Permission Feature – PAIN!

Everybody ever working with SharePoint Permission know for a fact that is a real PAIN!!

I recently experienced how pain-full it can be sometimes.

Background:

We have a solution with some nice SharePoint sites | some of the sites have broken inheritance down in the hierarki, and everything has been working great.

Last week i received a request saying that users that’s supposed to have access can no longer access the content. My first thought was that someone has been “handy” with the permissions, turns out everything was fine except that uses don’t have access any more.

Turned to our “best friend G” for help and found this article hidden deep down on page 5

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3039997

It turns out our problems was because of this:

When you share a folder with a user who can’t access the parent folder or site, SharePoint assigns the user limited access to the parent items. Specifically, SharePoint lets the user access the folder without obtaining permission to access the parent folder and other items (other than limited access). However, after Limited-access user permission lockdown mode is enabled, the user doesn’t have access to the folder because the necessary limited access permission on other items no longer works correctly.

This feature was turned on during last weeks deployment schedule, but no one knows this will break the custom inheritance before it happened.

We turned it OFF as we don’t need it, and peace is returned to my SharePoint Universe.

SharePoint 101 Auto Create Documents based on SharePoint Designer Workflow

It’s been a while since I’ve built something with SharePoint Designer Workflow, I kinda missed it. 🙂

An opportunity showed up, when i received a business request to automatically create documents based on a SharePoint list item. This post will describe the steps needed to make this work without custom development.

Business requirements:

  • A list item describing a meeting agenda
  • Automatically creates a new meeting documents based on the list item
  • The Document should have text prefilled out
  • If the meeting agenda is updated so should the document
  • If the meeting is confidential, the documents should be accessed only by site owners

Main Goal:

  • An overview of all upcommming meetings and their agendas
  • Automate the creation of meeting documents

End solution:

The solution for this is built with standard SharePoint List and 3 SharePoint Designer Workflows

  • One Custom List | containing meetings agenda and relevant data fields.
  • One custom document content type “Meeting Agenda” with the document template
  • One Document library | containing “Document Set” and custom word Content Type
  • The meeting content type will contain “Smart parts”
  • One Workflow for creating the document set and the meeting document
  • One Workflow for updating the document set
  • One Worfklow with impersonation for setting permissions

Preparations:

Before creating the workflows we need to create the custom lists we’ll need, enable the content types we need, then make changes to our word template file:

In SharePoint create a custom list named “Meeting Agenda”, with relevant fields, this is my sample:

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In SharePoint create a new content type “Meeting Agenda” | upload your document template

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In SharePoint create a new document library “Meeting Documents” | enable “Management of Content Types” then add “Document Set” and “Meeting Agenda” to the library.

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Add the custom colums you will use in the “Meeting Agenda” to the library, beware that this can also be created as site columns ect.

These columns will be added to the “Document Set” | and configured to inheritance | remember the “MeetingID” column we will use it to update list items.

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In the advanced settings for the “Meeting Agenda” content type edit the word template

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Using “Quick Parts | Document Property” connect the columns you need to the tempalate then save the template:

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Creating workflows

Using SharePoint Designer 2013 login to your site | click workflow | list workflow |

Our first workflow is called “Create meeting doccument” attached to “Meeting Agenda” List

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SharePoint and SharePoint Designer sometimes encodes text, people pickers and date field differently, I then use Workflow variables to convert the data.

Example, i want the comments in “Plain Text”.

Then use the “Create list item” to create a new document set and Document based on the content types

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This actions creates the meeting documents | we don’t need to add all the colums as it will be added by the document sets.

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Create a new list workflow | this workflow will use the action “Update list item” | remember to filter the item using the “MeetingID” from earlier

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Our last workflow is attached to the “Meeting Document”

We will run a SharePoint 2010 Workflow “Impersonation Step” | Replacing the Document Set item permission with a new one.

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We will now have 3 Workflows

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“ChangeItemPermissions” | This workflow should run by creation and every time the document set changes

“Create meeting document” | This workflow should run only once when a new meeting agenda is created

“Update meeting document” | This workflow should run only when the meeting agenda list item is edited

Publish your work and test your solutionworkflow014

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This is how the “Meeting document” will look like when everything is done

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Happy “SharePoint’ing” | We’re not done with SharePoint Designer yet!!!

 

PS! in case someone wonder why I’m using “Document set”, it’s because some of the meetings sometimes have additional documents that should be included. Using the “Document Set” will allow uses to upload additional files that should be attached to the same meeting.

 

Goodby to Class Notebook and hello to Microsoft Classroom

In the last 6 months I’ve had the pleasure to work with many organizations on their migration to O365 and their use of OneNote Classroom for Faculty and Students.

I’ll share some of my experiences and a sneak peek about what’s ahead.

One of the biggest challenges I’ve seen is the storage of the “Class Notebook” as of now, when a teacher creates a Class Notebook, this OneNote is stored in the teachers private OneDrive for Business document library in O365.

Example: https://kfskole-my.sharepoint.com/personal/jimmy_kfskole_onmicrosoft_com

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With this behavior we’re getting two major challenges:

  1. What happens if the teachers resigns, and starts in a new place?
  • As default, when a user resigns, their user account is disabled and licenses reasigned, what happens is that their OneDrive for Business and all contents gets deleted after 30 days grace. No saying the Class Notebook is also deleted.

 

  1. What happens if the teacher change class or change position?
  • The teaches is still in the organisasjon, but their position has changed, there is actually no easy way to transfer the Class Notebook to the new teacher, keeping the history and URL changes. Although moving Notebooks around in OneDrive is improved with the “Durable Links” feature updates.
  • Besides to move the Class notebook to a new teacher you will need write permissions to that teachers OneDrive.

 

A solution to this is on the way, say hello to “Classroom

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The new Classroom experience is actually a O365 Group containing:

  • Exchange Online Mailbox
  • Exchange Online Calendar
  • Class Notebook
  • Files | a SharePoint team site collection to store files

Teachers can now create Class Notebook here and share other files, content will be stored in the Classroom document library. Making teacher changes way easier and we don’t need to worry about content getting deleted because of staff changes.
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Since this is a Group, what we get is a hidden SharePoint Site Collection in the backend, with a document library for files.
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The classrom Notebook is stored in the “Assets Library” of the Groups SharePoint site.
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The big difference is where the Class Notebooks are stored.

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With this and other features like Forms, Yammer, Classroom Mobile App planned for O365, collaboration between Administration, Faculty and Students is getting easier than ever.