Category Archives: Uncategorized

Allow Export of List Views (XsltListViewWebPart) in SharePoint Online / SP2016

Disclaimer – This does require a single manual step where you need to add a GUID to the exported file.

Wow .. its been a while since I blogged last but finally have something SharePoint(y) to post about 🙂

This time I was asked by a client if it was possible add a “List View” (XsltListViewWebPart) to a different site than the one where the list exists.

Now, I know that this is possible because I’ve done it on older projects, simply by exporting the List View, adding the “Web ID” and re-importing it to another page. This works as long as the page you are importing it into are in the same site collection.

The problem of course is that the List View web parts in SharePoint Online (and SP2016) currently have the “Allow Export” property set to false .. AND you can’t change this through the UI.

Luckily, this property is access via a DOM attribute which is extremely easy to modify. The following JavaScript identifies all “Web Parts” (in edit mode) which have an “allow export” attribute set, and then sets it to “true”.

var webParts = document.querySelectorAll(“div[webpartid][allowexport]”);


for(i=0; i<webParts.length; i++) {


webParts[i].setAttribute(“allowexport”, “true”);



You can of course add this to the page any way you see fit (either a Script Editor Web Part, Master Page, Custom Action, SPFx Application Customiser .. depending on the type of set and purpose for this script).

So .. this enables the “Export” menu on the Web Part Properties. Once you have exported the Web Part definition if you open it you will find that the WebId property will be blank.

<property name=”WebId” type=”System.Guid, mscorlib, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089″>00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000</property>

This will need updating with the “Web Id” property of the web where the list resides. You can easily retrieve this using the REST API:$select=id

Just copy-paste that into the Web Part definition (NotePad will do the trick) and you can now upload that Web Part definition into ANY page anywhere in the Site Collection.

Switching from Windows Mobile to Android … it was the best of times, it was the worst of times

So as a massive surprise to anyone living in a nuclear bunker the past few years, the announcements are out that Windows Mobile is (kind-of) officially dead.

The writing was clearly on the wall with near-to-zero global sales and declining market ownership (if you could call it that) .. Windows Mobile has been “doing a Blackberry” recently.

I’ve been a (very) long die-hard fan of Windows Mobile, as an early adopter getting one of the first Windows Phone 7 devices, I even got WP7 running on my old HTC HD2 (a behemoth of a device at the time which seemed capable of running pretty much anything).

I’ve had numerous “flagship” phones from the Nokia Lumia 1020 (with its amazeballs-never-seen-better 41MP PureView camera) to the Nokia Lumia 930 (with the eyeball hurting bright orange back and aluminium sides) and my last Microsoft Lumia 950XL which I still have as an emergency-back-up-phone to this day (in fact, my wife is currently using it after losing her Lumia 620 and is steadfastly refusing to switch to another platform until the last possible minute!)

But .. I took the plunge and 4 months ago I made the jump over to Android. I knew things were heading south and had heard various rumours coming from internal Microsoft channels (working at a Microsoft Gold Partner has some perks) not to mention finding out that various heads of division at Microsoft were using iOS and Android devices. So I went out and bought myself a Samsung Galaxy S8+.

So this post aims to cover off some of the things I love about it, some of the things I hate .. and some of the things I really just miss from Windows Mobile (we’ll miss you, dear friend!)

Note – My Android phone is a Samsung Galaxy S8+

The things I love about my Galaxy S8+ 🙂

The first thing I think that leapt out was the design. Windows phones have always been fairly “out there” in terms of bright colours and pushing the OS design interface, but the S8+ certainly looks a bit different (at least when you are holding it in your hand). The screen is gorgeous (probably the best I’ve ever seen on any device short of a £5000+ OLED TV) and the curved glass body (with both a curved screen, and wrap-around glass shell front and back) make it look like a polished stone.

Of course .. that screen has it’s own drawbacks so hold fire for the “things I hate” bits too!

The Camera was another thing which impressed me. Of course being an avid Windows Phone user I have always had the benefit of excellent “PureView” cameras. The Lumia 1020 was standout and I still don’t think I’ve seen anywhere NEAR the quality in a phone camera since (see Some real photos from 6 Months of using a 41MP Nokia Lumia 1020).

The interface is neat and the photos always seem to be sharp, quick to focus, quick to take and the image quality is excellent (even in low light levels). It is quite rare that I get a photo that I feel is sub-part in quality, so that is something which really stood out for me.

The other thing that of course jumped out was the Apps. And I’m not talking about “number of apps” (in fact that’s in my “hate” section later). I’m talking about apps that feel like they’ve had the level of investment they deserve (regular updates and feature improvements).

I was pleasantly surprised to find that almost all of the core “Windows” apps I relied upon (Cortana, OneDrive, Outlook, OneNote, Microsoft Office (Word / Excel / PowerPoint), Skype, Yammer) were not only available on the Google Play store but were in some cases even more feature rich than they were on Windows.

Of particular delight was the “Nokia Here Now” app (basically the “Nokia Maps / Nokia Drive / Nokia Transit / Microsoft Maps” app from the Windows Mobile store) which still included the fully-offline downloadable maps and turn-by-turn satnav modes completely free of charge!

I also found that LastPass is much improved, with the ability to auto-complete passwords in other apps / throughout the interface rather than just in the web browser!

One example of the versatility of a feature rich “App” market was the Photo Gallery, you could go and find an alternative to use, download and install (of which there are many) and the same can be said about pretty much everything on the phone. You don’t like the default contacts App? go get another. Don’t like the Dialler? Messaging Interface? even the Keyboard? Same applies .. dozens of alternatives were waiting at every turn.

The security / login features were another plus. I have the options of fingerprint, iris scanning, “pattern” unlock, pin-codes and the like. And certainly on the S8+ the “iris scanner” seems to be both extremely quick and accurate (working in complete darkness, through my glasses and in all but the most harsh direct sunlight).

The integration for payment-options (which gets baked into the NFC payment system) was fairly intuitive and quick to use. Both convenient and simple to setup I can easily switch from stored credit cards to my mobile provider and back .. all very seamless (and to be honest, what you should expect from a platform this mature!)

Overall a pretty positive experience…. but its not all wine and roses!

The things I hate about my Galaxy S8+! 🙁 

Ok there are a few things off the bat which really get on my tits!

First off the “curved infinity display” screen which Samsung gave such a song and dance about. It looks gorgeous and most of the time is amazing, but on some apps (where they place the interface right along the edge) it just means you are constantly trying to hit “that sweet spot” by the edge of the screen which is just “on the curve”

On that subject, the glass body on the phone can be extremely slippery! It is also a fingerprint and scratch magnet. Do NOT put your phone in your pocket with keys / coins or any other sharp-edged metal. I’ve already put a fairly decent gouge in the glass on the back of the phone .. something which I’m sure is only going to get worse over time! Of course I could go and get myself a nice leather “wallet” or one of those shock-proof rubber condoms people put on their phones, but I’ve always been a bit of a fatalist that I like to see the phone as it was meant to be, and if that means I accidentally drop it a few times then so be it!

The keyboard was another sore spot. I have possibly been spoilt by being on Windows Phone and its best-in-class Swipe keyboard (“Microsoft Word Flow”?? or did they rename it?). I frequently find that my new phone either; completely misses the letters I was trying to type, and/or, completely mis-guesses the word I was trying to spell.  The result is an awful lot of predictive-text mis-hits and I find myself correcting it a LOT more often than I did on Windows. Some of this may be down to having a new phone and muscle-memory issues from having a slightly different layout, but I’m 4 months in now using the phone heavily every day so I’m starting to lose hope on that.

The number of third party apps is another sore point. I know .. “choice is a good thing” but in my opinion “too much choice is just annoying”. Its like going into a restaurant and being told they sell 300 different types of Burger. Which is fine, until you also get a separate 200 page menu of salads, and a 20 page book for soft drinks. After a while .. this just gets annoying.

So when I started looking for a replacement Calendar App, I found I was utterly _swamped_ with choice. Many of these apps seem to come from small software houses, which I suppose is again both great for choice (and exposure for small dev houses) but it means that the average app I come across severely lacks that professional “polish” that you might expect from a solid first-party application, and are either missing key features or have a quirky interface that just puts me off.

Another thing that I really can’t stand is the notifications and status bar. Apart from the icons at the top being seemingly font-size 4 (if I’m not wearing my glasses .. forget it!). You still have the “swipe down from the top” to get the expanded “quick actions” panel but there is critical information missing.

On Windows Mobile it would tell me not just if WiFi was turned on, but which SSID I was connected to. Equally for Bluetooth, am I connected to my headphones, my laptop or my car stereo? For Mobile data, do I have 4G, 3G or just GSMA connection? On Windows Mobile these were all “at a glance” features, but now it seems I have to click in-and-out of various menus to try and find this information out.

Probably the biggest bug-bear though is the reliance on having a Google Account for everything, or even having multiple accounts for the same thing! The Photos Gallery app wants you to “backup to Google”. Apparently this is free and unlimited, but if you don’t you will get reminded about it every week or so. The payment options require a Google Account for you to save them. Phone backup needs to use a Google Account (or in the case of the Galaxy S8+ a Samsung Account!). I have ended up using my (previously barely-ever-used) Google account to do some of these things, but it is annoying and slightly fragmented having to now juggle 2-3 different accounts for different parts of my phone, when previously I had a “one account does everything” method for Windows Phone.

Another good example is the Calendar / Contacts integration. So I use “Outlook” for my emails, but that won’t sync the Calendar items. I didn’t like the Google “Calendar” app, so I had to download a third party Calendar. But all that does is sync from the built-in “Calendar” functions, so I had to add all my accounts to the Google Calendar first so that my third-party calendar app could pick them up.

So I basically have my Calendar accounts added in 3 places: Outlook (notifications disabled), Google Calendar (notifications disabled) and my third-party Calendar. This all feels like way too much effort just to get reminders about upcoming appointments!

There are then the really WEIRD oddities about certainly functions. For example, you can’t change the colour of Calendar Icons without a third-party app. So I’ve had to go and find, install and configure a third-party app just so I can change the colour of calendar items (I have like 4 different accounts which I sync to my calendar). This just feels like I have to do a fair number of “hacks” to provide something I would have expected to be there from day 1 (and this is a mature platform by now too!)

Bixby – Well .. need I say more? Pointless and annoying .. but not stock Android so I’ll try and steer away from Samsung-specific arguments if I can.

But certainly the things I hate the most are simple usability features that were standard on Windows Mobile, but are missing from Android…

The things I miss from Windows Phone … 

The first thing I think I’m really missing is having OneDrive and Outlook as first-class-citizens. Yes … you have the “OneDrive” app which will auto-backup your photos and videos. But it won’t bring your OneDrive photos into the stock “Photo Gallery” app on the phone (I had to copy the last few months over manually).

OneDrive does have it’s own “photos” gallery feature but it is both buried away in the OneDrive app interface and not as feature rich. Plus you can’t “deep link” a shortcut for that Photos interface to the home page anyway.. even if you wanted to.

The Outlook app seems to be fairly good on Android, but it is lacking in a number of features. The whole sync-mechanism with the rest of the phone seems “tacked on” and there are numerous “settings” interfaces which are nested in each other which make it a little complicated to configure things like sync schedules and notifications. The “Calendar” view itself limits you to “3-Day”, “Day” or “Agenda” and completely drops the “Week / Agenda-Week” views which were by far my most popular on Windows Mobile. Equally, there is no ability on Android to link a “mailbox”, “folder” or “calendar” to the home page (you can’t even have a shortcut to just take you straight to the Outlook Calendar, that is buried away inside the app itself) which brings me onto …

Deep Linking Shortcuts.

This was (for me) the single KILLER feature of Windows Mobile. Forget “live tiles” (quite frankly I could take or leave them) but the ability to pin a shortcut on the home page which deep-links into the bowels of another app was awesome.

  • A specific Mailbox from Outlook
  • A specific FOLDER in a mailbox in Outlook
  • A Notebook / Page in OneNote
  • Internet Shortcuts
  • Phone Settings (WiFi / Bluetooth / Storage / etc)

You name it, you could pin it! On Android you can basically pin “the app” .. and that’s it. Yes you have “widgets” but they are really not the same thing (and other than “the weather” and “the time” I’ve yet to find one even vaguely useful).

The thing about this which is most painful is being able to see “at a glance” which of my 4 Mailboxes in Outlook have unread mail. Its great knowing I have 18 unread emails, but are they from my work or personal accounts? Are they in “Inbox” or are they one of the automated emails from TFS or Yammer? This is a major productivity kick-in-the-teeth and something I have to admit I’m struggling with a little bit.

Note – installing a different Mail App for each mailbox is NOT something I am going to even consider!

Facebook / LinkedIn Integration is another thing I miss… and by this I mean:

  • Showing my Facebook / LinkedIn friends in Contacts
  • Showing Facebook / LinkedIn photos for my existing Contacts (who are friends)

There are (apparently, technically) third-party apps on Android which can do this. I have spent several hours with the top-three rated of these, and none of them seem to work very well at all, enough so that I have effectively given up.

The Status Panel is another one which I had a little rant over up above, and to be honest this can go hand in hand with a Crisp and Clean Interface and general Notification Panel full stop. The overall UI and experience with Windows Phone has been hands-down superior, and most people I spoke to who had Windows Phone and have moved to iOS or Android have said the same.

I also miss the dedicated camera button which I’m sure exists on some Android phones, and I know doesn’t exist on some Windows phones too .. but I’ve had it on my last three Windows phones and it is something I’m really missing from my Galaxy S8+!

My final point on this is the Microsoft Account glue .. one account to rule them all. It did my favourite / internet history / browser passwords / wifi codes / phone backups / app settings. I had a single account, and it “just worked”. I haven’t tried a full backup/restore on my Galaxy S8+ yet (and TBH I’m a little scared to do so) but I can’t believe it will be anywhere near as simple and easy, and I expect to run into several hiccups along the way, especially if I change to another phone supplier!

The things that I thought would only be in Windows… but are in Android too!

My parting comments on this are some of the features that, back when Windows Mobile launched (be it WP7, WP8.1 or WP10) were standout features that I thought were unique to the platform, but I was surprised were ready and waiting when I switched.

OneDrive Camera backup was a biggy! Not only that but the same options for Photos / Videos, Resolution and “backup over WiFi vs Mobile Data”. If only it synced in both directions I’d be really happy

Cortana also integrates with the Windows 10 PC/Laptop with the same notification alerts and ability to reply to SMS messages without taking your phone out of your pocket.

And the Nokia HereNow / Maps / Transit / Whatever app, with downloadable country-sized maps, an “offline zero-data” mode and turn-by-turn satnav it was one of those features which surprised all my friends back in the day, and I’m really pleased to find it made it’s way over to Android and kept its ultra-low price tag (i.e. completely free!)



So, I am now embedded on Android. The switch was slightly less painful that I thought it would be, but I found some features missing which I didn’t quite expect. I am generally happy with the phone / ecosystem .. but I am (and probably always will be) missing Windows Mobile.. we’ll miss ya fella!


For those interested, here are the apps which I felt the need to download and install before I settled into my rhythm. The core apps I feel I would need for any Android phone, and the keys reasons why I use them:

  • OneDrive – Camera Backup / Cloud access
  • Cortana – PC alerts and SMS replies
  • Office / OneNote – Obviously
  • LastPass – Password Management and integrated auto-complete
  • Facebook / Messenger / Yammer / Twitter / Skype  – for obvious reasons
  • DailyPic – Auto-set the “Bing background of the day” to the Phone home and lock screen
  • DigiCal – Calendar with “Agenda Week” view which doesn’t look like it was built by college grads – the killer view for me!
  • Calendar Colors – Change the colours for synced calendars – no really!!
  • Nokia Here WeGo – Offline maps, satnav
  • Stock Google Apps {Dialler / Contacts / Messages} – Because I can’t stand the Samsung ones! 

JSLink and Display Templates Part 7 – Code Samples

When I was speaking at the SharePoint Evolutions conference earlier this year I ran into Jeremy Thake (@JThake) and Vesa Juvonen (@vesajuvonen) and they saw the JSLink samples I was running through for the session I had.

Well .. one thing led to another as they say .. and by the time the conference finished I had refactored all of my code and uploaded it to the OfficeDev PnP (Patterns and Practices) GitHub repository.

So you can find all of my sample code in the “Branding.JSLink” section (OfficeDev PnP > Samples > Branding.JSLink).

This includes full documentation, full source code, a compiled deployable WSP package, as well as loads and loads of awesome stuff from the rest of the OfficeDev PnP contributors.

The sample code includes:

  • Re-Render Lookups as bulleted lists and checkboxes
  • Cascading Drop-Downs for Lookup Fields
  • Cascading Drop-Downs for Managed Metadata Fields
  • Google Maps integration (allowing both pin-point and shape selection)
  • Sample colour picker

And here are some tasty screenshots to get you in the mood!

Cascading Lookup Fields, with Checkboxes (multi-select lookups)

Cascading Drop Downs dynamically loaded from a Taxonomy (Managed Metadata Term Set)

Google Maps Thumbnails in List Views

Extensive editing interface for Google Maps fields

Simple Colour formatting

Announcement View as an Accordian


Hope you enjoyed the series (sorry it took so long!)

JSLink and Display Templates Part 6 – Creating View Templates and Deployment Options

Well first of all .. OH MY GOD I AM SORRY .. this has taken an absolute age to get out of the door. There really isn’t any excuse (although I’m going to try and use the excuse of the birth of my second child along with crazy busy real-world-life getting in the way).

But .. I am back and should be blogging a little bit more frequently from now on! So .. the JSLink stuff .. where was I? (believe it or not this series has been going on for almost 2 YEARS!).. View Templates! Right!

In Part 5 we covered the ability to override the rendering of List Views, and from a developer perspective this was awesome, but it isn’t that useful from content editor’s perspective. The field-level overrides are easy enough to push through (because they can be applied to every single instance of a field at either the Site Column or Content Type scope) but the views tend to get in the way a little bit.

What we really need is the ability for someone who creates a new view to be able to pick one of our custom view templates, and that is exactly what we are going to do here. This is perhaps one of the least known features of the JSLink / Client-Side-Rendering approach for SharePoint 2013 and even people I have spoken to who have been doing JSLink development for a while now didn’t know about this.

In order to get this to work you will need to make sure each of your “views” are encapsulated into separate JavaScript files (one view per file) and you will be uploading them into the Master Page Gallery (if any of you have read my Content Search Web Part series, or done any development with Search Results display templates, then all of this should be intimately familiar!).

Now you can put these files anywhere in the Master Page Gallery, my personal preference is to create yourself a new folder called “List Views” in the “Master Page Gallery > Display Templates” folder. The secret sauce however is the choice of Content Type:

  • Content Type: JavaScript Display Template
  • Name: <name of file>
  • Title: <how it will appear when selecting the template>
  • Target Control Type: View
  • Standalone: Standalone
  • Target Scope: <Relative URL where you want it to be used>
  • Target List Template ID: <ID of list where view is available> (Optional)

To keep in line with my example in Part 5 I have added “MJH Announcement View” with a Target Scope of “*” (i.e. all sites) and a List Template ID of 104 (Announcement Lists)


Once this has been saved then if you browse to any announcement list and create a view then my new View type is available from the template selection screen!


Now finally a word on Deployment Options and this is relatively straightforward.

Where should I put my files … ?

The first thing is that your files need to reside in SharePoint. I had a conversation with @MarkStokes about this just the other week and he was trying to load his JS files from Azure Storage (so that you could upgrade multiple O365 tenancies from a single file). This didn’t work, as the absolute URLs in the JSLink properties weren’t being picked up and the files weren’t loaded.

The solution was adding a lightweight JavaScript “script loader” .. basically just a short JS file which then dynamically loaded in the reference JS from Azure.

In terms of where THAT file lives, the Master Page Gallery or Style Library are obvious choices as they include automatic permissions for all users to have limited read access. The JSLink properties then allow you to reference dynamic ~sitecollection URLs so you can get a reference URL to them relatively easily.

How do I get them there … ?

Again, this is really standard SharePoint stuff. If you are already using a No-Code-Sandbox-Solution then simply using a Module to push the files in makes sense. If you are instead using a Remote-Code provisioning approach (either using a Provisioning App or PowerShell approach) then you will be using CSOM to push the files in.

The only thing to bear in mind is what other assets rely on those JS files. If your JS file provides rendering overrides for a Site Column then deploy the file in the same feature / provisioning logic that you are using to provision your Site Column. If you want the end users to be able to turn it on and off for a given site then a separate Web Scoped feature makes plenty of sense.

If you want to apply it carte blanche to all sites then a Custom Action to inject the JavaScript file using the ScriptLink element will allow you to push this onto every page without touching the master page, but be aware that this will also include plenty of back-end system pages (file dialogs, site settings, and so forth) so make sure you thoroughly test your code, and make it defensive enough that it doesn’t throw unexpected errors when the SharePoint libraries you expect to be there aren’t present.

If you are just mocking this up as an example then you can of course just upload the file manually, and for REALLY quick demos just copy-paste the JavaScript into a Script Editor Web Part!

Some real photos from 6 Months of using a 41MP Nokia Lumia 1020

I have long been an advocate of both the Windows Phone operating system and Nokia Lumia phones, and one thing that I always look for in a new smartphone is a decent camera! “The best camera is the one you have with you” is one that rings strongly with me and I am frequently finding myself out at kids parties, in the park or just on family days out without my bulky DSLR (which is awesome, but due to the size of it I just can’t slip it in my pocket).

The Lumia 1020 therefore grabbed my attention (and media headlines) when it was announced with a 41MP camera! Now, this isn’t some marketing gimic or crazy “lets cram more MP in” kind of publicity stunt. This was coupled with some fancy Nokia tech (from their “PureView” camera team) which uses a combination of pixel oversampling and post-processing to produce fantastic images (the final images typically being around 34MP plus a 5MP version for sharing on social networking sites).

I won’t go into too much detail about the technical details here but you can certainly read more about it here, here and here.

So .. the purpose of this article is to share some of the photos I have taken myself in the 6 months or so of owning and using a Lumia 1020 in everyday life. I’ve specifically picked ones which don’t contain people (other than myself) and are pretty harmless (no photos of my kids of family just yet ;)).

Read more »

SharePoint 2013 Reference Sheet – Services on Server

This post will provide a description of each of the SharePoint Services in the “Services on Server” section of Central Administration, describing what it is for and anything you need to look out for.

This was borne out of a frustration of checking client environments and consistently finding environments which had services running which they weren’t using (and were never going to use!).

Note that some of these also have a corresponding Service Application that you will need to create in order to use them.

Service Purpose Comments
Access Database Service 2010 Enables SharePoint 2010 Access Services functionality
Access Services Enables SharePoint 2013 Access Services functionality Required for “Access Apps”
App Management Service Manages SharePoint App licenses and permissions Required for Apps to work
Application Discovery and Load Balancer Service Determines which server to send Service Application requests to .. this is how SharePoint automatically balances load. Fundamental SharePoint Service, defaults to “Round Robin”Can be extended with custom load balancing code if you are brave enough!
Business Data Connectivity Service Enables BCS which provides External Content Types and External Lists. Required if you want to sync external LOB systems with User Profiles.
Central Administration Hosts the Central Admin Web Application The default URL is set to the server-name of the first server SharePoint is installed on.If you want to run this on multiple servers you should consider Alternate Access Mappings with a DNS entry
Claims to Windows Token Service (C2WTS) Used to convert SharePoint Claims back into Windows Tokens for Kerberos delegation. Required for Kerberos when used with BI Tools.Requires some manual steps:
Distributed Cache Heavily used in SharePoint.Requires ICMP ports open between SharePoint Servers.

Numerous Gotchas:


Document Conversions Launcher Service Enables an extension point to configure conversion from one document format to another.
Document Conversions Load Balancer Service Enables an extension point to configure conversion from one document format to another.
Excel Calculation Services Enables the Excel Services BI functionality Significant RAM overhead (recommended 32GB)If you want to use “PowerView” in Excel then you also need to configure the SQL PowerPivot add-on.

Kerberos will require C2WTS.

Lotus Notes Connector Allows you to connect Search to a Lotus Notes database to enable indexing and crawling of Lotus content.
Machine Translation Service Allows an API for developers to submit content to be translated into another language.
Managed Metadata Web Service Enables “Managed Metadata” taxonomies and term sets Required for default navigation settings in SP2013 (navigation stored in Term Store)Required for User Profiles
Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Incoming E-Mail Enables inbound emails to be stored in Document Libraries. Requires significant configuration including AD and DNS settings:
Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Outgoing E-Mail Enables outbound emails from the server Needs to be configured in Central Admin
Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Sandboxed Code Service Allows Sandbox Solutions to be used and executed. Required for SharePoint Hosted Apps, Design Manager and “Save as Template” functions.(SharePoint Hosted Apps use the Sandbox Code Service to provision features and content in the “App Web”)
Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Subscription Settings Service Manages subscriptions between Sites and Apps. Required for Apps to work
Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Web Application  Hosts the Content Web Applications If this is enabled, all of the Web Applications (except for Central Admin) will be deployed.Also determines which servers are deployed to when deploying a WSP which is Web Application Targeted.
Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Workflow Timer Service Runs any SharePoint 2010 style Workflows
PerformancePoint Service Runs the PerformancePoint BI component. Significant RAM overhead (recommended 32GB)Kerberos will require C2WTS.
PowerPoint Conversion Service Enables an API for developers to convert PowerPoint Presentations to various different formats (e.g. PPTX / PDF / JPG / PNG)
Request Management Allows custom routing rules for requests made to Service Applications. e.g. to route Excel traffic from one Site to a specific server If you turn this on without defining any routing configurations then everything breaks!
Search Administration Web Service Servers that run search components This service is automatically started on all servers that run search topology components.
Search Host Controller Service Servers that run search components This service is automatically started on all servers that run search topology components.
Search Query and Site Settings Service Servers that run the query processing component This service is automatically started on all servers that run search topology components.
Secure Store Service Allows storage of credentials and other secure information. Database is encrypted using a “Master Key” configured when the service is setup.Required for the BI Unattended Service Account configuration
SharePoint Server Search Crawls content for the search index This service is automatically started on all servers that run search topology components.Note – Cannot be stopped or started from the Services on Server page
User Profile Service Manages the user profiles, creation of My Sites and SharePoint Social Features (and associated permissions and properties). Required for “High Trust” Provider Hosted Apps to work
User Profile Synchronization Service Used to synchronise data from AD (and other data sources) into the Profile Database. Not necessarily required for User Profiles!If you are just doing the “Directory Import” option then this service is not required.

The definitive “how-to” guide:

Visio Graphics Service Allows Visio diagrams to be deployed to SharePoint so they can be displayed in the browser.
Word Automation Services Enables an API for developers to convert Word Documents to various different formats (e.g. DOCX / PDF)
Work Management Service Allows task aggregation, particular bringing together Tasks from Exchange, Project Server and SharePoint. Requires Search and My SitesTasks are stored in a hidden list in the user’s My Site.

So that gives you a run through of the SharePoint 2013 Services, and hopefully an indication of whether you should have them running or not!

Any additional suggestions, comments or errors you’ve spotted please let me know and I’ll try and keep this updated!

Note – this list only includes the Vanilla SharePoint 2013 services and does not include services added through other installs like SQL Server: {PowerView, Reporting Services, PowerPivot}

For more detail, including some great technical detail you can also check this TechNet article out:

Plan service deployment in SharePoint 2013 (

I’m Speaking at SharePoint Saturday UK 2013

I am honoured to have been invited back as one of the speakers of SharePoint Saturday UK.

This is a FREE annual event (so far held in the UK midlands) towards the end of the year and always includes a tonne of awesome content for developers, IT Pros and power users, and this year is no exception.

This year it will be held at the Hinckley Island Hotel, Hinckley, Leicestershire on the 9th November. As usual there are loads of great sessions and some really excellent seasoned speakers of international fame.

I’m will be speaking in the DEV track about Developing custom templates for the Content Search Web Part in SharePoint 2013, but definitely check out the full schedule and speaker list.

The event is always concluded with a SharePint and a good night out so if you are UK based (or fancy travelling over for the day) make sure you register for the event and hopefully I’ll see you there!

If you are avid on twitter then be sure to keep an eye on the #SPSUK hashtag for all the latest event updates.

MSDN Azure credits… its not for “you”, its for “us” …

So I recently found out about a great new set of offers that Microsoft are offering for all MSDN subscription owners called “Windows Azure Benefit for MSDN Subscribers“. You basically get free Azure credits every month and discounted pricing.

  • MSDN Ultimate – $150 per month
  • MSDN Premium – $100 per month
  • MSDN Professional – $50 per month

This is also combined with a 25% discount in the charge rate for each machine that you are running, and this is fantastic value.

For most SharePoint development and testing teams you will be looking at the top two, although much more expensive the Premium ($2.5k per year) and Ultimate ($4.2k per year) these are the MSDN subscriptions which include Office and SharePoint software for development and testing purposes (check out the MSDN Edition comparison for more details). There are other options out there but a lot of development teams will be using MSDN.

Equally if you are doing SharePoint development which in the Azure world will typically mean an “Extra Large” VM (8 Cores and 14GB RAM). This rolls in at $0.48 per hour of operation, and probably raises another major point … only 14GB RAM?

With Windows 8 Hyper-V (free) and VMWare workstation (around $100) and most contractors running insane dual-SSD 32GB laptops you gotta wonder, why would I want a 14GB VM in the cloud when I can run a 24GB VM locally? Also .. what happens if I am on a train / airport lounge / plane and can’t access the internet?

Well .. good point ..

$100 a month is great, but Azure VMs are very expensive!
Now, I know a few contractor friends of mine in the industry who have looked at this and decided that its not for them .. I am one of them (yes that is right .. I’m advocating a new service which I myself am not going to use).

But this is not really for the sole contractor, and certainly not someone who works all of gods hours (either doing research, writing books or blog posts and preparing for conferences and user groups).

Now this is where the average contractor gets off the Azure train. If you are very busy and put in a lot of extra hours it is not uncommon to run your VM for 12 hours a day plus some conference / user group work at weekends … this can quickly add up*

* note – I realise not everyone works these kinds of hours .. I personally don’t, I have a wife and baby daughter at home and generally work a 9-5 work day .. but I know some people work longer hours, and I sure put in extra time when prepping for conferences

5 days a week @ 12 hours per day, plus another 12 hours over the weekend = 72 hours per week
72 * $0.48 = $34.56 per week
$34.56 * 52 = $1,797 per year
$1,797 / 12 = $149.76 per month

So if you are rolling with MSDN Premium you are going to be out of pocket, and even if you are lucky enough to be an MVP (and have MSDN Ultimate) or just have deep pockets .. you are still scraping the barrel and probably watching the clock every week to make sure you don’t go over the limit.

“You” are not their target audience … “We” are ..
I suppose this really rounds to my core point .. this subscription model is not aimed at the individual developer or contractor. It is aimed at development teams. The place I’m currently at has 5 developers working in three different countries all running MSDN Premium. This gives them a combined allowance of $500 per month of Azure credits.

Being an office-based development team it pretty much runs off standard office hours. The development machines only need to be on for office hours (typically 8am – 6pm unless there is a major version launch coming up) and almost certainly don’t need to run at weekends. With a group of users you can also look at consolidating your infrastructure (why not run a shared SQL instance so you can drop your VM hardware?). Equally you probably don’t need to run all of the services all of the time on every development machine (if you aren’t building a search solution then turn it off!).

With $500 per month to spend they can run 5 XL VMs 9am-5pm every week for free (some weeks you won’t need to have all 5 machines running .. so turning them off when you aren’t using them can help to pay for those other times when you need to run them for longer!).

Even if you do use more horsepower than that .. try putting the figures in front of your IT Manager / Head of Infrastructure … You might be surprised how happy they are to pay for the “extra” over and above those free Azure credits (some months it might cost you an extra $100 or so .. some months you won’t have to pay anything … compare that to other hosting providers and see how much it would cost you!)

How about using it for testing?
One of the other big boons (and possibly the reason I might use a farm like this) is for testing.

It doesn’t really matter how powerful your laptop is, you are never going to be able to build a truly enterprise farm on it (with redundancy in all places and all of the lights and switches turned on). The same credit you get in Azure could be used to model and build massive farms you could use for testing new topologies, or testing load balancing scenarios, or performance and load testing?)

Don’t forget, you only pay for the machines while they are turned on so instead of running 1 XL VM for 20 days a month .. why not create 30 Large VMs and run them for 5 days a month of testing?

Well, this is a very interesting move from Microsoft .. and stacked up alongside their hosted Team Foundation Server offering this does create a very attractive and extremely low-cost cloud-based development scenario.

It encourages people to stick with MSDN and give Azure a go for development and testing, and I’m sure this will end up leading to many companies taking a much closer look at how Azure works for their production environments as well.

For me ? Well .. I might well use it for the next time I do a Kerberos / Load Testing presentation (the idea of setting up a massive 20 server farm to run for a few days for free sounds pretty cool and a great learning experience to boot).

If nothing else, I’m tempted to setup a VM which I leave turned off and only use it in emergencies (my laptop is broken / stolen  or my VMs are dead for some reason).

Either way .. if you have an MSDN subscription, head over and take a look. You might be surprised how useful it is!

I’m speaking at SharePoint Connections Amsterdam 2013

SharePoint Connections Amsterdam is now in its third year and has established itself as one of the key annual SharePoint conferences in Europe. Running across two days in November It has an awesome line-up of speakers covering a huge range of topics from IT Pro, Dev (and one track which aims to cover both), Business, End User and even an Office 365 track.

This year SharePoint Connections Amsterdam 2013 will take place at the Meervaart Theatre in Amsterdam on the 19th & 20th November 2013 and I have been honoured to be invited to be one of the speakers in the IT Pro / Dev track.

My session will be all about the new Search capabilities in SharePoint 2013, so if you want to know more about Result Sources, Result Types, Query Rules and Display Templates then this is the session for you!

I’m speaking on the Tuesday at 1:25pm in Room B (either side of sessions by Joel Oleson and Spencer Harbar so no pressure eh?) Edit  – Agenda Change .. I’m speaking on Tuesday at 4:30pm in Room B

For more information about the venue, hotels, the speakers, and (most importantly) the sessions and agenda head on over and grab yourself a ticket (before they all go!)

Sign up for the event here and use discount code SP333 for 10% off when you book!

Changing Site Contents from a Grid to a List

This is something that has been bugging me for a while, and something that has clearly been bugging my users (as they keep saying they can never find anything).

The problem with the tile view is that you have to scan both left-right as well as up-down to find the item you are looking for. With a large number of lists this quickly becomes extremely painful to find what you are looking for.

The standard “Site Contents” view .. in all its nasty tile-layout glory

So I thought, how could you turn it back?

Well, the good news is that the Site Contents view is actually all formatted using CSS with unique IDs and classes, which makes it a snip. the sample I’ve done below is in jQuery (because it is easy to pin a JavaScript file to every page and it works with Office 365 just as well).

So first off we need ourselves a function to reset all of the

function HideTiles() {
  $(“#applist .ms-vl-apptile”).css({ “display”: “block” });
  $(“#applist .ms-vl-apptile”).css({ “min-height”: “50px” });
   $(“#applist .ms-vl-appinfo”).css({ “min-height”: “50px” });
  $(“#applist .ms-vl-appinfo”).css({ “width”: “500px” });
  $(“#applist .ms-vl-appimage”).css({ “height”: “50px” });
  $(“#applist .ms-vl-appimage”).css({ “width”: “50px” });

  $(“#applist #apptile-appadd .ms-vl-appimage”).css({ “width”: “96px” });

  $(“#applist .ms-vl-appimage”).css({ “height”: “50px” });
  $(“#applist .ms-vl-appimage”).css({ “width”: “50px” });
  $(“#applist .ms-vl-appimage”).css({ “line-height”: “50px” });

  $(“#applist”).css({ “height”: “50px” });
  $(“#applist”).css({ “line-height”: “50px” });

Then we need to actually make sure this gets executed. The problem here is that the Site Contents is rendered on-the-fly using JavaScript so we have to resort to a little Script on Demand to get this working.  

$(function () {
  ExecuteOrDelayUntilScriptLoaded(HideTiles, “sp.ui.allapps.js”);

Then the only thing needed is to make sure this script gets dropped onto the page and I’ve done this using a Custom Action (I could have used a delegate control with CSS style tags but that doesn’t work in the Sandbox, i.e. Office 365)


So if you set this up it looks something like this.

New formatting (in a single alphabetical list)

Now I admit, the formatting is pretty crude and it could do with a certain amount of smartening up, but the principle is sound and at least the owners of sites with large numbers of lists get an easier to navigate list which is alphabetical, instead of having to scan a page of dozens of tiles.

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