Solution: Power BI report pages not showing up as options for SharePoint web part

If you’ve just copied your multi-page Power BI report’s URL and pasted into the properties of a Power BI web part on a SharePoint page, you may have noticed your pages aren’t appearing as options in the Page name dropdown.

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This is because the URL you copied from Power BI likely contained a specific page in the URL itself, ending in something like …/ReportSection1 (which is referring to a specific page already).

To fix this and have your pages show up as options in the dropdown, simply remove the ReportSection1 (or 2, 3, etc.) from the end of the URL in the Power BI report link box and try again.

To speed things along, I usually cut (Ctrl+X) the corrected URL, click outside the box to “reset” the web part, then paste (Ctrl+V) the corrected URL and wait for my page names to appear. This is demonstrated below.

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Here’s a related video demonstrating how to embed a Power BI report on a SharePoint page including fixing the multi-page issue mentioned above.

Solution: Power Automate “No database found” error for business process flows, process advisor, and AI Builder

If you’re trying to build business process flows, use Process Advisor, or use AI Builder in Power Automate, you’re going to need a database established in the intended environment first. If you don’t have a database in the environment yet, you’ll get an error as seen below:

  • Business process flow requires a Microsoft Dataverse database. Try a different environment or create a new one to start using business process flow.
  • You need a database to use process advisor. Create a database, or switch to an environment that has one.
  • AI Builder requires a Dataverse database. Create your database to start using AI models.

In the following sections, I’ll detail how to:

  • Switch to a different environment
  • Add a database to your current (or any) environment
  • Create a new environment with a database

Switch to a different environment

Your organization could already have multiple environments. Always check with your admins before making any uncertain decisions because environments could be used for specific data types, processes, geography compliance restrictions, etc. You may or may not have access to all of your organization’s environments depending on your specific organization’s governance and configuration.

Let’s assume you do have multiple environments and you’ve discussed with your admin or governance team which environments are appropriate for your specific need or project. To switch to a different environment that might have a usable database, click on the name of your current environment in Power Automate in the upper right, then choose the other environment from the side panel.

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Add a database to your environment

You may choose to just stay in your current environment and add a database to it. If that’s the case, go ahead and click on Create a database and follow the right side panel’s wizard to complete the process.

You can also add databases via the Power Platform admin center if you can access it.

Create a new environment with a database

Let’s assume your organization hasn’t yet created any additional environments you could use other than the default one that came with your tenant (which obviously doesn’t have a database or you wouldn’t be here 😄). If you don’t want to create the database in the default environment, you may wish to create a new environment with a new database.

Check out this other post for help in creating a new environment that includes a Dataverse database.

How to export OneNote to PDF while preserving clickable hyperlinks

person holding apple magic mouse

It’s not often I need to “print” OneNote. However, today I had a section I wanted to convert to a PDF document and printing is the way to go in OneNote for Windows 10 (the version that comes pre-installed on Windows 10 machines). I found, however, that the file created through this method didn’t maintain its links (links weren’t clickable in PDF).

After trying Adobe, SnagIt, and Microsoft PDF print abilities to no avail (using both OneNote versions – Windows 10 and desktop/2016), I found success using OneNote (desktop) > File > Export > PDF. Detailed instructions are at the bottom of this post.

Learn more about the difference between the two OneNote versions here.

Thankfully, OneNote (desktop aka 2016) allows us to “Export” notebooks, sections, or pages to PDF. We can print to PDF as well, but using “Export” specifically is the key here to maintain the clickable links. OneNote for Windows 10 doesn’t currently have a similar export ability.

If you don’t have OneNote (aka 2016) already installed, you can still download it here. Once you have it, proceed with the following steps to export your OneNote notebook, section, or page to PDF with clickable hyperlinks:

1. To open a new notebook, select File > Open. You may need to switch account if not seeing your cloud notebooks right away.

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2. Once your notebook is opened and you’ve opened the specific content you wish to print, click File (upper left).

3. Choose Export > Content Scope (page/section/notebook) > PDF > Export as shown in the following screenshot.

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4. Choose a location and filename, then click Save.

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Now check the resulting PDF and you’ll find your OneNote notebook content with clickable hyperlinks in tact.

Bonus tip: One small thing to note is that OneNote for Windows 10 has a nice feature where you can print a section group. OneNote (desktop) does not – it’s only exportable by page, section, or the entire Notebook. So if you don’t need clickable links in the resulting PDF, you may wish to choose OneNote for Windows 10 for your “Print to PDF” needs to simplify printing several sections at once from the same section group.

Solution: SharePoint Asset Library app type missing when adding new app to site

If you’re wanting to add an Asset Library to your SharePoint site but not finding it available as an option, chances are the Video and Rich Media feature for that site collection isn’t activated. This feature enables the asset library which is basically a modified document library but with metadata specific to rich media that can be auto-extracted such as width and height of images, duration of video clips, etc. Asset libraries are good for storing your audio, video, and image content types.

To enable it (as a site collection admin) go to Settings > Site Settings and choose Site collection features from under the Site Collection Administration heading.

Then scroll down and look for the Video and Rich Media feature. Click Activate.

As the description says, this will “[provide] libraries, content types, and web parts for storing, managing, and viewing rich media assets, like images, sound clips, and videos.” Once activated, you’ll now be able to add the asset library to your site(s) in that collection.

Solution: SharePoint Designer email action’s To: line has a valid email address, but is removed and doesn’t send when triggered

Photo by Snapwire from Pexels

If you’ve created a workflow in SharePoint Designer and an email action appears to be configured correctly, but emails aren’t being sent to some individuals in the To: line, you may need to turn the email being used into a workflow variable and use that instead of direct addition to the To: line of the email step.

This often happens for group email inboxes or external recipients that aren’t just a “normal user.” If there is a mix of recipients, some may receive the message but the troublesome addresses don’t even appear in the To: line, as if they’re removed before sending.

Note: If you’re sending to external recipients specifically and this post doesn’t solve your problem, check out my other post for additional help: Sending emails via SharePoint Designer workflow to external recipients using Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc. addresses

To “variablize” an email (this is using a SP 2010 platform workflow type):

1. Set a new workflow variable of type string to the email address(es) that aren’t receiving emails as expected.

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2. Now in your email settings, use the “Workflow Lookup for a User” option and select your new variable from “Workflow Variables and Parameters” data source.

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3. Publish the changes to your workflow and test.

Solution: SharePoint site owner with full control unable to approve access requests; site is missing a default members group

In this post I’ll cover two symptoms commonly seen when subsites evolve from inheriting permissions (using existing groups) to being given unique permissions (having their own groups at the site’s level).

Symptoms

  • A site owner with full control gets “Sorry, this site hasn’t been shared with you” when trying to approve access requests.
  • When reviewing Access Request Settings, a user or owner sees the message “Members cannot share this site because this site is missing a default members group.”

Cause

Chances are the site was never set up with default, unique permissions groups. Perhaps the creator of the site chose to inherit permissions from the parent (using existing groups from a hierarchical level higher than the new site), then later decided to manually build out groups that resemble the traditional visitors, members, and owners groups at the new site’s level. Or perhaps the default groups were deleted. Either way, the following solution should set it straight:

Solution

We need to either officially designate or build new default groups for the site, using the same dialog you see when creating a new site. Since we can’t “reconfigure” the site with a wizard, we need to manipulate the site’s URL a bit to get to the configuration screen we’re looking for.

Add “_layouts/15/permsetup.aspx” to the end of the site URL. For example, it may resemble sharepoint.contoso.com/sites/ABC/EA/_layouts/15/permsetup.aspx. This takes you to the permissions setup page.

IF YOU HAVE GROUPS YOU WANT TO SET AS THE DEFAULTS

Perhaps after site creation, you created groups intended to be used like the visitors, members, and owners groups. Go to your site’s _layouts/15/permsetup.aspx page and simply:

Leave “Use an existing group” selected, and change the dropdown for each to the groups that were created and intended to be the new defaults. Click OK when finished. This will make them “official.”

IF YOU DON’T HAVE GROUPS YOU WANT TO SET AS DEFAULT

Change “Use an existing group” to “Create a new group” for at least the Members and Owners options. Here you can add the appropriate persons to each group, or add them at a later time via Site Settings > Site Permissions. Be sure to add your owners (approvers/permissions managers) to the new owner group.

The “Save site as template” action is not supported on this site solution for SharePoint 2013/2016/2019

My preferred way of creating a new site template from an existing site or subsite is just appending _layouts/15/savetmpl.aspx to the end of the site’s URL. However if saving sites as templates isn’t enabled for the site from which you’re creating a template, you’ll get the following error:

The “Save site as template” action is not supported on this site.

This error is just referring to a site property known as SaveSiteAsTemplateEnabled currently set to false.

This can be remedied (property changed to true) with a little bit of PowerShell ran on a SharePoint server. Run PowerShell as an administrator then run the following script, replacing the site URL with your own site or subsite’s URL.

Add-PSSnapin "Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell"
$web = Get-SPWeb https://WebApp/sites/SubsiteIfApplicable
$web.AllProperties["SaveSiteAsTemplateEnabled"] = "true"
$web.Update()

Once it completes, attempt to save the site as template again. You should now be able to proceed with saving the SharePoint site as template, and see the fields shown below:

Screenshot of a SharePoint site’s “Save as template” form fields.

Note that if a user activates the site collection feature SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure or the site feature SharePoint Server Publishing, you’ll need to run the PowerShell command again because activating those features includes disabling the SaveSiteAsTemplateEnabled property.

Solution: “The server was unable to save the form at this time. Please try again.” error for individual SharePoint users

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

As with most errors, there’s no single cause when it comes to “The server was unable to save the form at this time. Please try again.”

However, if the error is occurring for random/specific users and not everyone in your organization it’s most often just a permissions mismatch. If my solution below doesn’t solve your issue, scroll down further for other potential causes.

Solution

Make sure users granted library/list-specific permissions also have read access to the hosting site.

I see this error most often when a user is granted permissions to contribute to a SharePoint list or library, but doesn’t have any permissions at the site level. In other words, someone isn’t a member (edit) or visitor (read) of the site hosting a list or library to which they’ve been granted permissions.

The simplest fix is to create a new permissions group at the site level and give it read access to the site but edit or contribute permissions to the list/library. Or if you’re already putting users in a SharePoint permissions group to edit the specific list/library, just grant that same group read permissions at the site level.

For example, if you need to create a new group:

  1. Go to site settings > site permissions.
  2. Click Create Group.
  3. Name it, then be sure to select “Read” from the checkbox selection at the bottom.
  4. Add members (the individuals to whom you’d been granting access to the list/library who are getting the error).
  5. Go to the list or library settings > permissions for the list/library.
  6. Grant permissions > Add the new group and select contribute (or whichever level you’d been granting the individual users).

Or if you’re already putting users in a group for the list permissions, just go to site settings > site permissions and add that same group with read permissions.

Other causes/ideas

Some users also report adding “use remote interfaces” to a read permission level when working with broken permissions to fix this issue. I haven’t had to do this, but my issues so far have only been general lists and don’t involve folders.

Check out these other resources if the above solution doesn’t solve your problem:

Image thumbnails not showing in SharePoint Server 2019 modern/new library experience

One of the best perks of upgrading to SharePoint Server 2019 from previous versions is the introduction of the modern/new list, library, and page experience. Modern web parts and layouts become available, lists look sleek and closer to what users are seeing in O365 in hybrid environments, etc.

It recently came to my attention, however, that the new list experience in picture and document libraries doesn’t render image thumbnails. According to Mike Lee in this thread, thumbnails in the modern/new experience rely on a cloud-based microservice that is incompatible with SharePoint 2019. Users, instead, just see image icons where thumbnails should be:

The only workaround in SharePoint 2019 to see image thumbnails in picture and document libraries is to revert to the classic experience. Each user can do this for themselves if we leave the default experience setting, but we want to force all users to use classic and not have the choice of using modern if we want them to see thumbnails.

Go to User Voice and vote for this issue to be resolved, adding support for image thumbnails in SharePoint 2019 modern experience views. In the meantime, here’s how you can change a library’s default experience back to classic:

Set library view to classic experience

1. Go to Library settings (settings wheel in upper right > Library settings).

OR if you’re already viewing classic experience, Library settings is found in the Library ribbon menu.

2. Click Advanced settings.

3. Scroll to the very bottom and for List experience select Classic experience.

4. Click OK.

Now all users will see the classic experience and not have the choice of toggling back to modern where thumbnails cannot be shown.

Solution: Searching by ID column in SharePoint list not working

I had an issue come up today where a user wanted to search a SharePoint list by the default ID column.

Problem:
The ID column cannot be indexed and is not searchable using just the ID number itself.

Solution:
You can still search ID numbers in lists if you include the proper Keyword Query Language (KQL) syntax. Format your search as ListItemID:3 (replacing 3 with your own ID number, of course) and it will work.

And yes, this works in both modern and classic list search experiences and in SharePoint Server and SharePoint Online/O365.