Mark Jones of Collab365 shared the following LinkedIn post recently with free training links for beginning SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, Power Apps, Power Automate, OneNote, and Microsoft Project topics. No signup, no emails, just free training with no strings attached. Be sure to take advantage of this amazing opportunity.
This summer, Microsoft announced changes to the MS-500 exam objectives. Below you’ll find the updated listing for June 2020 and beyond with links to relevant documentation. The best way to use this study guide is to find the topics you’re least familiar with and focus on those. In any remaining time, you can always review those you’re familiar with to make sure nothing has changed significantly.
As stated on the MS-500 exam page, potential candidates for the MS-500 exam implement, manage and monitor security and compliance solutions for Microsoft 365 and hybrid environments. Professionals familiar with the content of the exam are well-positioned to secure their Microsoft 365 environments by responding to threats, performing investigations, enforcing data governance, and collaborating with other enterprise professionals on security and compliance topics.
I recently had the privilege to write an Office 365 administration cookbook for Packt intended for O365 administrators. “Cookbooks” take a large topic, like O365 administration, and divide it into major subject areas each with their own set of “recipes” or step-by-step guides to complete popular tasks.
My friends Gaurav Mahajan and Sudeep Ghatak also wrote an O365 cookbook for Packt that is written for the end-user audience. I was honored to be able to write a foreword for their book, and am impressed with the amount of knowledge they’ve captured and shared in their nearly 800-page cookbook.
Embrace modern solutions to enhance collaboration, teamwork, robotic process automation, and business intelligence in your organization using powerful Microsoft 365 services (formerly Office 365)
Gain a complete overview of popular Microsoft 365 services using practical recipes and expert insights
Collaborate with your team and external users effectively using SharePoint and Teams
Create no-code and low-code solutions, such as bots, forms, dashboards, and workflows, using the Power platform
Microsoft 365 in an integrated suite that provides intelligent tools for managing everyday organizational tasks like content management, communication, creating reports, and automating business processes. With this book, you’ll get to grips with popular apps from Microsoft, with a focus on enabling workspace collaboration and productivity using Microsoft SharePoint Online, Teams, and the Power Platform to name a few.
In addition to guiding you through the implementation of Microsoft 365 apps, this practical guide helps you to learn from a Microsoft consultant’s extensive experience of working with the Microsoft business suite. Starting with a quick overview of the M365 ecosystem, the book covers recipes for implementing SharePoint Online for various content management tasks. You’ll learn how to create sites for your organization and enhance collaboration across the business and then see how you can boost productivity with apps such as Microsoft Teams, Power Platform, Planner, Delve, and M365 Groups. Using a step-by-step approach, you’ll also find out how to use the Power Platform efficiently, making the most of Microsoft PowerApps, Power Automate, PowerBI, and Power Virtual Agents. Finally, the book focuses on the SharePoint framework, which helps you to build custom Teams and SharePoint solutions.
By the end of the book, you’ll be equipped with the skills required to set up Microsoft 365 and SharePoint Online and be ready to enhance business productivity using a variety of tools.
What you will learn
Get to grips with a wide range of apps and cloud services in Microsoft 365
Discover ways to use SharePoint Online to create and manage content
Store and share documents using SharePoint Online
Improve your search experience with Microsoft Search
Leverage the Power Platform to build business solutions with Power Automate, Power Apps, Power BI, and Power Virtual Agents
Enhance native capabilities in SharePoint and Teams using the SPFx framework
Use Microsoft Teams to meet, chat, and collaborate with colleagues or external users
Who this book is for
This book is for business professionals, IT administrators, enterprise developers and architects, and anyone who wants to get to grips with using M365 for effective implementation of Microsoft apps. Prior experience with Office 365 and SharePoint will assist with understanding the recipes effortlessly.
Table of Contents
Overview of Microsoft 365
Introduction to SharePoint Online
Working with Modern Sites in SharePoint Online
Working with Lists and Libraries in SharePoint Online
Document Management in SharePoint
Term Store and Content Types in SharePoint Online
OneDrive for Business
Search in Microsoft 365
Microsoft 365 Groups
Yammer – The Enterprise Social Network
Power Automate (Microsoft Flow)
Power Virtual Agents
Custom Development – SharePoint Framework
Microsoft 365 on Mobile
Microsoft Office 365 Administration Cookbook
Make the most out of your investment in Office 365 apps and services with this Microsoft Office cookbook
Learn how to manage and secure the entire Office 365 stack in addition to specific services
Delve into newer and frequently shifting areas such as Power Platform, Microsoft Teams, and Microsoft Search administration
Discover carefully selected techniques that cover a range of administrative tasks of varying difficulty levels
Organizations across the world have switched to Office 365 to boost workplace productivity. However, to maximize investment in Office 365, you need to know how to efficiently administer Office 365 solutions.
Microsoft Office 365 Administration Cookbook is packed with recipes to guide you through common and not so common administrative tasks throughout Office 365. Whether you’re administering a single app such as SharePoint or organization-wide Security & Compliance across Office 365, this cookbook offers a variety of recipes that you’ll want to have to hand. The book begins by covering essential setup and administration tasks. You’ll learn how to manage permissions for users and user groups along with automating routine admin tasks using PowerShell. You’ll then progress through to managing core Office 365 services such as Exchange Online, OneDrive, SharePoint Online, and Azure Active Directory (AD). This book also features recipes that’ll help you to manage newer services such as Microsoft Search, Power Platform, and Microsoft Teams. In the final chapters, you’ll delve into monitoring, reporting, and securing your Office 365 services.
By the end of this book, you’ll have learned to manage individual Office 365 services along with monitoring, securing, and optimizing your entire Office 365 deployment efficiently.
What you will learn
Get to grips with basic Office 365 setup and routine administration tasks
Manage Office 365 identities and groups efficiently and securely
Harness the capabilities of PowerShell to automate common administrative tasks
Configure and manage core Office 365 services such as Exchange Online, SharePoint, and OneDrive
Configure and administer fast-evolving services such as Microsoft Search, Power Platform, Microsoft Teams, and Azure AD
Get up and running with advanced threat protection features provided by the Microsoft 365 Security & Compliance Center
Protect your organization’s sensitive data with Office 365 Data Loss Prevention (DLP)
Monitor activities and behaviors across all Office 365 services
Who This Book Is For
This book is for newer Office 365 administrators and IT pros alike, and comes with recipes of varying difficulty levels along with step-by-step guidance. Whether you are new to Office 365 administration or just seeking new ideas, this cookbook contains recipes to enhance your organization’s app and service management and productivity.
When working with calendars, a big request I hear is to make it more like Outlook or to make it easy to add an event to your calendar, at least. In SharePoint online, this is easy! The Events web part on modern pages includes an Add to my calendar button on events by default.
However, when working with classic pages or SharePoint Server/on-prem, it’s not so easy. There are two ways we might utilize Power Automate or SharePoint Designer to help us out:
We could create a hyperlink column if we want something on-page/in-item, then populate it using a workflow.
Usage idea: A landing page for upcoming training opportunities displayed in list (not calendar) format with a column designated for “Add to my calendar” links
If it doesn’t need to be clickable on the item or page within SharePoint, we could just build the URL within the workflow and include it in an email message.
Usage idea: A Flow that runs weekly to “Get items” coming up that week and sends a list out with clickable links for adding items of interest to recipients’ calendars
No matter the tool, Power Automate or SharePoint Designer, the most important part to know is how to build the URL. That won’t change from one tool to the other.
1. Go the the list settings for the calendar hosting the events
2. Copy the list GUID from the URL in the browser. This includes everything in the address bar after “List=”. This should begin with %7B and end with %7D. This is your calendar’s GUID in hyperlink-friendly formatting.
3. Update the following URL template with your site’s path, and paste in the list/calendar GUID you copied from step 2 where GUID is. Leave the [ID] as it is for now.
https://Site or Subsite path/_vti_bin/owssvr.dll?CS=109&Cmd=Display&List=GUID&CacheControl=1&ID=[ID]&Using=event.ics
If not updating a field or creating a variable that pieces the URL together, you can create expressions (via Dynamic content panel) to concatenate the different parts of the URL. For example, if I’m creating an HTML table, for Value I’d use the dynamic content panel > Expression and enter a formula like:
concat('<a href="https://natechamberlain.sharepoint.com/_vti_bin/owssvr.dll?CS=109&Cmd=Display&List=%7B1EA8795A%2D3B0D%2D43D7%2DA48E%2DB3CCD4BFE950%7D&CacheControl=1&ID=',item()?['ID'],'&Using=event.ics">Add to my calendar</a>')
In this specific example, I’m creating the table after a “Get items” step. The formula above is what I’m using for the value of the “Save” (Add to Calendar) column.
Create iCal (.ics) links using SharePoint Designer
In SharePoint Designer, we can set a hyperlink field to our iCal link to make it easy to add an event to your calendar. This could be placed as a main column in a list view, or just on item display forms like this:
Let’s set the hyperlink field via workflow:
1. Create a variable (set workflow variable) and use the string builder
2. Paste your almost-finished URL from earlier in this post. Replace [ID] with a lookup to the current item’s ID
3. If setting a field (skip if just using the link elsewhere) add , Add to Calendar (or whatever link text you want) to the end of the string. It just has to be a comma, a space, and the text.
4. Set the hyperlink field (iCal in my example above) to your new variable.
If you’re not setting a field in your list, maybe you’re emailing new events to people and want an easy link in the email body itself. In that case, just skip step three above and your variable will just be the URL, ready to be used in email actions.
Why can’t we just use calculated columns?
Once upon a time, I blogged about creating Automatic iCal hyperlinks using a calculated column. This almost works. It creates the hyperlinks for all existing items at the time of the calculated column’s creation. But then if you add a new item or modify an existing item, the [ID] field drops out the hyperlink which, of course, breaks the link.
The appeal of calculated columns is that it won’t create another version of an item when the link is generated and it doesn’t require Power Automate or SharePoint Designer to work. Unfortunately, if the link doesn’t work after item edit or creation, then the point is lost anyway. So let’s pretend that method doesn’t exist except for one-time uses or lists that will never change again.
As a rule of thumb (not to mention for improving your Secure Score), you should limit the number of people who have the “global admin” role in your organization. Microsoft recommends fewer than 5 global admins. That makes it important to get to know the other roles available and assign the least permissive role (a phrase you’ll see frequently if seeking certifications) rather than blanket roles that often include more permissions than what are necessary (or secure).
Global admins can assign other admin roles, purchase additional products and subscriptions, reset all (including each others’) passwords, and manage absolutely everything in your tenant. So of course you can see why we’d want to restrict how many are working with these capabilities simultaneously.
You may end up assigning five different, non-global admin roles to a user instead of the single global admin role, but your security will be improved significantly.
There are a couple places to assign admin roles: the Azure AD portal, and the M365 admin center. My goal with this post is to consolidate and simplify information on the roles, including which are only available in Azure. I’ve combined information from:
Those marked with * are only available to assign from Azure AD. All others are in both the M365 admin center AND the Azure portal.
Note: Most role descriptions are copied directly from the resources listed above as of date of publish and are subject to change. Always check Microsoft documentation prior to making significant decisions.
On-premises data gateways allow users to connect online services like Power BI service, Power Automate (formerly Microsoft Flow), and Power Apps to their on-premises data sources such as SharePoint Server, SQL databases, and network file shares.
The gateway has allowed me to use modern services like Power Automate to bring advanced functionality to my SharePoint 2013 and 2016 lists and libraries, such as copying items across site collections (not possible in SharePoint Designer). I’ve also been able to share Power BI data visualizations and reports of limited on-prem data sources such as SQL databases with off-prem consumers who wouldn’t otherwise have access to that data.
One data gateway will cover all three apps – you don’t need separate gateways for each app/service. You can, however, have two gateways per machine but a max of one per mode:
Regular mode (share access to data)
All services (BI, Automate, Apps)
Supports Power BI scheduled refresh and live query
Personal mode (others don’t need access to data)
Only works with Power BI
Only supports Power BI scheduled refresh
Install a gateway
The following steps are adapted from documentation available on Microsoft Docs. Please read all available information (see “More info” section at bottom of post) prior to installing a gateway to make sure you’re configuring it correctly for your organization’s needs.
Install on a personal/work computer if it will only be used by one person or machine manually (perhaps for those building Power BI reports without automatic refreshes). This is not ideal for scheduled flows or data refreshes as the machine may be powered down.
To manage gateways from your apps, follow these paths;
Power Automate –> Settings wheel –> Gateways
Power Apps –> Data –> Gateways
Power BI –> Settings wheel –> Manage gateways
In Power Automate and Power Apps, your options are identical from here. You can view additional information on existing gateways, download another gateway, and share or delete existing gateways.
If you share gateways with others, you get a dialog with the option to include everyone in the organization. This way anyone could have access to the gateway to use in their own Flows, apps, and reports. And unless a user is an admin, they can’t reconfigure the gateway :
When you share a gateway with others, you can provide these levels of access within Power Automate and Power Apps (not Power BI):
Can use (for those just using apps)
Can use + share (for those sharing apps, which will automatically share the gateway)
When assigning permissions, you can specifically allow these permissions:
In all three apps, you can make someone else (or a security group) an admin. If you make another user an admin of a gateway, they have the same rights as you to manage the gateway and its configuration in its entirety.
My number one compliment at trainings comes from my live, interactive elements like my Mentimeter quizzes. But I’m branching into a new type of interactivity that might begin in the training classroom but carries on with attendees after they leave.
I’m talking about handouts. Attendees are more likely to remember sessions, topics, and facts if they had a little fun along the way. Not every handout has to be a glossary. Bingo, for example, challenges end users to explore various capabilities in SharePoint they otherwise may not have considered.
SharePoint Bingo and O365 Crossword: These two downloadables encourage attendees to listen up and have certain prompts in mind throughout your talk such as “how could I add a new list?” or “we can live stream events?? with what?” They can work on these throughout the session as they learn, or take it back to their desks. A great way to encourage participation is to offer an incentive such as “add your name and turn it in when you’re done for a chance to win a Surface Go.”
SharePoint Sudoku: This one is just for fun and is a great “added bonus” handout for your session. It’s also great for those attendees that show up 15 minutes early and might appreciate something to do in the meantime.
I’m happy to create a custom crossword or bingo downloadable for your needs at the same cost of these examples (no setup fee). DM me on Twitter or send me a message via he form below with your scenario and let’s work together to make training fun!
Alas, I reached a day where I thought I was done with my Surface. It powered on when plugged in just fine but was at 0% battery and would, of course, instantly shut off when disconnected from AC power. When I hovered over the battery indicator in the task bar, it told me it was “plugged in, not charging.” The nerve!
After some troubleshooting and trying:
Making sure devices, particularly under “Batteries”, were all updated
Uninstalling and reinstalling power related devices via Device manager
Running anti-virus checks
Installing latest Windows updates
I found out that if I plugged my surface dock into the surface “upside down” it worked fine and charged as usual. So, long story short, if your Surface isn’t charging just try connecting the power source in the opposite direction.
Also, once it “remembers how to charge itself,” you can reverse this and put the charger in the normal direction (just double-check that it still says charging). Think of it as a quick “refresh” of the surface power connector.
In the modern SharePoint experience, you can clean up ordinary link lists with very little effort, thanks to SharePoint’s icon library.
Whether you need a Teams icon (teams), dog (fangbody), tooth (teeth) or football (football), you can search for icons and use those for adding visual cues and iconography to your sites. Here’s how you can implement this on your page(s):