SharePoint JSON Formatting – “Name cannot begin with the ‘=’ character”

Have you ever tried to apply column formatting to your SharePoint list views using code? If so, it’s likely you have come across this error and unfortunately there isn’t much information in the documentation on how the JSON Formatter string should be formatted.  Take for example this scenario:

Updating a view format using PnP PowerShell

PnP PowerShell has functionality for setting properties of a view using the command Set-PnPView

Updating the formatting on your list is done by passing in a JSON string to your Set-PnPView command using the CustomFormatter value property.

Set-PnPView -List "MyList" -Identity "MyViewName" -Values @{CustomFormatter = @'my-json-formatted-string'@}

Example JSON

Below is a basic example of applying a background color to a row on a view when the DueDate is less than now (date time).

{"schema":"https://developer.microsoft.com/json-schemas/sp/view-formatting.schema.json","additionalRowClass": "=if([$DueDate] <= @now, 'sp-field-severity--severeWarning', '')"}

Applying this format using PnP PowerShell

To apply this JSON script, you would use the following command

Set-PnPView -List "MyList" -Identity "MyViewName" -Values @{CustomFormatter = @'
{"schema":"https://developer.microsoft.com/json-schemas/sp/view-formatting.schema.json","additionalRowClass": "=if([$DueDate] <= @now, 'sp-field-severity--severeWarning', '')"}
'@
}

Running this command, you will likely receive the following error: Set-PnPView : Name cannot begin with the ‘=’ character, hexadecimal value 0x3D.

The Fix:

The reason you are seeing this error is because in the JSON itself you need to encode some of the values if you are using operators. What I mean by that is, if you are using &&, or operators in formulas such as “>=” or “<=“, you need to use their encoded values instead. In our example, we were using [$DueDate] <= @now. In order to apply this to our view, we need to encode “<=” into  “&lt;=” and the formula will work.

Below is the following command with a working JSON formatter value.

Set-PnPView -List "MyList" -Identity "MyViewName" -Values @{CustomFormatter = @'
{"schema":"https://developer.microsoft.com/json-schemas/sp/view-formatting.schema.json","additionalRowClass": "=if([$DueDate] &lt;= @now, 'sp-field-severity--severeWarning', '')"}
'@
}

 

Hope this helps you!

Diagnosing changes with the Modern SharePoint page version history.

If you love SharePoint, then you already know about it’s rich document and information management capabilities. Version history is a feature of SharePoint that is extremely powerful if you need to look back in history at the changes of an item. This works great if you are working with list items only, as you can see how the fields have changed on a specific item overtime. For documents and pages, SharePoint version history is unable to show us exactly what has changed within those pages.

Turns out, in modern SharePoint we do have better version history which shows us what changes have been done to modern site pages! This is an extremely powerful tool to keep track of changes of your modern SharePoint site pages over time. 

Viewing Version History

In order to view the version history of your modern SharePoint site pages, navigate to the page in question. In my scenario, we’ll be looking at a Communication site home page which has a series of hero, news and events web parts on it.Homepage

Accessing the version history is easy. On the page in question, select the “Published” button next to the “Edit” button in the top right of the page. The page will re-render and load a slide out panel from the right hand side, showing the version history of the page.

HomeVersion

Notice how you can see a history of changes that were completed on the page. In my example, edits were made to News, Spacer, Text, Quicklinks, and Events between version v3.0 and v2.0. If I would like to dive into this a bit more, I can select “Highlight changes on the page” toggle from the top of the panel. When turning this one, new boxes will highlight around the web parts that were changed with a specific color.

HomeVersion2

Green means added, Yellow means edited and Red means deleted.
How awesome is that!? Do you think this is valuable? Any new features you’d love to see come to version history?

Rendering multi-value Choice fields vertically using JSON Column Formatting

Recently I was perusing a SharePoint forum post and a member asked if there was a way to change the visual representation of a multiple value choice field in SharePoint. My first thought was to use JSON Column Formatting.

The problem

By default, SharePoint renders a multiple value choice field as a single string in a row, and renders the HTML as a single value in a div.

HTMLChoiceField

One question, if you aren’t familiar with JSON Column Formatting is how would we render these items as new lines if they represented as a single value in the HTML. You’d probably first go and see if you could split on the commas “,”… but unfortunately column formatting does not support a split function.

Introducing ‘forEach’

One feature that column formatting does have is the forEach function. This is an optional property that allows an element to duplicate itself for each member of a multi-valued field. To loop through multi-value fields we’d use the following format

"iteratorName in @currentField" or "iteratorName in [$FieldName]"

Once you’ve implemented the forEach, you have access to each member you are looping through by using the iterator name. For example, if we loop through @currentField using the following formula: "iteratorName in @currentField" we can gain access to each record using [$iteratorName].

Putting it into action

Now that we know we can loop through multi-choice fields, all we need to do is come up with a JSON column formatter which creates each record on it’s own row. See the below JSON object.

We are using the forEach property to loop through each choice value in the currentField. For each record, we set the textContext equal to the choice record, and then we just style the div to be displayed block and 100%

{
  "$schema": "https://developer.microsoft.com/json-schemas/sp/v2/column-formatting.schema.json",
  "debugMode": true,
  "elmType": "div",
  "children": [
    {
      "elmType": "div",
      "style": {
        "display": "block",
        "width": "100%"
      },
      "forEach": "choice in @currentField",
      "txtContent": "[$choice]"
    }
  ]
}

The end result turns the original choice field, to be rendered like so:

ChoicesHTML

MultipleLineChoice

 

Finding all Delve Blogs in your tenant using Search

Recently, Microsoft has announced they are retiring Delve blogs. In doing so, Microsoft has also given us a schedule of important dates relating to the retirement.

  • Beginning December 18th, 2019, tenants will not have the ability to create new Delve Blogs
  • Beginning January 18th, 2020 the ability to create new posts in existing Delve blogs will be discontinued
  • Beginning April 17th, 2020, existing Delve blogs will be deleted and removed from Delve profiles

If your organization has been using Delve blogs, you are probably thinking “wow, I don’t have much time to migrate Delve blogs into communication sites“. That’s correct, it does feel pretty rushed. If you are looking into finding all of the blog sites in your tenant, here is a search query to help you out.

Search Query

* path:yourtenant/portals/personal* ContentType:"Story Page"'&selectproperties='Author,SPWebUrl'

Search via REST

https://yourtenant/_api/search/query?queryText=’* path:yourtenant/portals/personal* ContentType:”Story Page”‘&selectproperties=’Author,SPWebUrl’

Search Explained

The above search query is fairly simple. It will search everything (*) where the path starts with the Delve Blog locations (path:yourtenant/portals/personal*) where the Content Type is the content type used for Delve Blogs (Story Page).


Another method for finding all blogs being used in your tenant is by using the Modernization Scanner. This is a tool that was designed to help companies modernize their classic sites by scanning tenants looking for things like InfoPath usage, Classic Workflows and more.

Well, starting in version 2.7, it will include the ability to scan your tenant for Delve blogs, using the same search methods above.

 

 

Exploring Modern page templates in SharePoint Online with REST

A long awaited feature in modern SharePoint has finally hit targeted release! We saw the ability to create page templates during Ignite last year and I’m happy to say they have been released to SharePoint Online. This post is going to give an overview of page templates. Be aware that functionality may change as this feature is currently in targeted release.

Who can create page templates?

Page templates can be created by a site owner or a SharePoint administrator.

How to create a page template

Creating a page template is quite easy.  First, create a new site page in your modern site and configure the web parts and sections for your page. Before saving your page, you’ll see a new option  in the “Save as draft” menu called “Save as template”

Template.png

Where are templates stored?

When you create a new template,  the template is stored inside the Site Pages library in a folder called “Templates”

Tempalte2

What properties determine if it’s a template?

If you look  closely at the properties of any Site Page using an API, you’ll see an internal column that denotes specific flags on the current item called OData__SPSitePageFlags. This is a (Collection.EdmString) property and a template will include the value “Template”.

OData__SPSitePageFlags = “Template”

Promote a Site Page as a template via REST

As a developer,  I’m always interested in seeing how we can achieve native UX functionality using code.  There is a REST endpoint available to take an existing page and save it as a template.

The REST endpoint

https://yourtenant.sharepoint.com/_api/sitepages/pages(<id>)/SavePageAsTemplate

Parameters

Body: “{\”__metadata\”:{\”type\”:\”SP.Publishing.SitePage\”}}”

The REST endpoint allows a developer to pass in the ID of the Site Page list item and POST to /SavePageAsTemplate to promote the page as a template. This will create a copy of the Site page and place it inside the /Templates folder.

REST Call Example

fetch("https://yourtenant.sharepoint.com/_api/sitepages/pages(6)/SavePageAsTemplate", {
    "credentials": "include",
    "headers": {
        "accept": "application/json",
        "accept-language": "en-US,en;q=0.9",
        "cache-control": "max-age=0",
        "content-type": "application/json;odata=verbose;charset=utf-8",
        "if-match": "*",
        "odata-version": "3.0",
        "x-http-method": "POST",
        "x-requestdigest": "0x0BA2BEBD58CB0E0673101B350B558A96D98A236A3170597FA62AA5B4D47A52E210E801048FA58AAA6218204AB7E861D770A0924753A1E071DC6812240C359615,13 May 2019 15:00:48 -0000"
    },
    "body": "{\"__metadata\":{\"type\":\"SP.Publishing.SitePage\"}}",
    "method": "POST",
    "mode": "cors"
});

View all templates via REST

Now that we know how to create a page template from an existing page, let’s show how to find all available templates via REST.

The REST endpoint

https://yourtenant.sharepoint.com/_api/sitepages/pages/templates?asjson=1

Parameters

asjson: 1

The REST endpoint accepts a GET request to return all templates in your site from the Site Pages library

REST Call Example

fetch("https://yourtenant.sharepoint.com/_api/sitepages/pages/templates?asjson=1", {
    "credentials": "include",
    "headers": {
        "accept": "application/json;odata.metadata=minimal",
        "accept-language": "en-US,en;q=0.9",
        "if-modified-since": "Mon, 13 May 2019 15:06:59 GMT",
        "odata-version": "4.0"
    },
    "body": null,
    "method": "GET",
    "mode": "cors"
});

 

REST Call Response

The REST call returns an array of SP.Publishing.SitePageMetadata objects

{
  "@odata.context":"https://yourtenant.sharepoint.com/_api/$metadata#SitePageMetadatas",
  "value":[{
    "@odata.type":"#SP.Publishing.SitePageMetadata",
    "@odata.id": "https://yourtenant.sharepoint.com/_api/SP.Publishing.SitePageMetadatac155ab55-017f-4594-9880-e73ff6b0f06e",   
    "@odata.editLink": "SP.Publishing.SitePageMetadatac155ab55-017f-4594-9880-e73ff6b0f06e",
    "AbsoluteUrl": "https://yourtenant.sharepoint.com/SitePages/Templates/Test(1).aspx",
    "AuthorByline": ["i:0#.f|membership|beau@yourtenant.onmicrosoft.com"],
    "BannerImageUrl": "https://yourtenant.sharepoint.com/_layouts/15/images/sitepagethumbnail.png",
     "BannerThumbnailUrl": "",
        "ContentTypeId": null,
        "Description": "How do you get started? Tests Select 'Edit' to start working with this basic two-column template with an emphasis on text and examples of text formatting. With your page in edit mode, select this paragraph and replace it with your own text. Then, se\u2026",
        "DoesUserHaveEditPermission": true,
        "FileName": "Test(1).aspx",
        "FirstPublished": "0001-01-01T00:00:00-08:00",
        "Id": 8,
        "IsPageCheckedOutToCurrentUser": true,
        "IsWebWelcomePage": false,
        "Modified": "2019-05-13T15:11:52Z",
        "PageLayoutType": "Article",
        "Path": {
            "DecodedUrl": "SitePages/Templates/Test(1).aspx"
        },
        "PromotedState": 0,
        "Title": "Test",
        "TopicHeader": "TEXT ABOVE TITLE",
        "UniqueId": "0ef8700a-07de-4a44-8793-3a38a8e3189d",
        "Url": "SitePages/Templates/Test(1).aspx",
        "Version": "1.0",
        "VersionInfo": {
            "LastVersionCreated": "0001-01-01T00:00:00-08:00",
            "LastVersionCreatedBy": ""
        }
}]
}

 

Let me know if you have any interesting ideas for how to incorporate these page templates into your custom solutions!

Experiment – Find out where SPFx Web Parts are being used in Modern SharePoint sites

Recently, I saw a post on Tech Community that asked if there were APIs available to find out where a specific web part may be used in an environment. The reason was to provide a list of sites so an email could be sent to those specific site owners to let them know that a deployment was going to happen for some SPFx web parts.

My first thought was to loop through all of the sites and find out if the the SharePoint Framework app had been installed. This would work except in the case of a tenant wide deployment of the SharePoint Framework web parts. So instead of finding out where a web part has been installed, we need to find out where a web part was actually being used.

The Experiment

To me, this sounded like a great idea, unfortunately, I wasn’t aware of any APIs that were able to do this. Then I got to thinking, maybe we could use the search API to do this. In those post, I am going to try and see if we can use the Search API to find web part usage in SharePoint. Be aware this solution would only work for modern pages using your SPFx web part.

CanvasContent1

When adding web parts to a modern site page in Office 365, the HTML content is saved into a column called “CanvasContent1”. I quickly looked at the search schema to see if I would be able to search on this column.

canvascontent

Unfortunately, by default, the CanvasContent1 managed property called CanvasContent1OWSHTML didn’t have a crawled property mapped to it.  So I decided to map ows_CanvasContent1 to a new RefinableString.

untitled

Now, in order for the column to be searchable we have to wait for the column to re-crawl in our environment… this could take some time in SharePoint Online.

What to search for

The CanvasContent1 field contains a bunch of html data about the contents of the page. This includes web parts and their configuration including properties. Stored inside the CanvasContent1 field will also include the ID of the web parts configured on the page.With this in mind, I figured it would be fairly easy to find where a web part is being used in an environment by searching against this field.

Let’s say that I have a web part with the component id of 62799350-83b2-40a1-b35d-5417cc54daea as shown in this SPFx manifest file.

untitled

If I execute a search query against the RefinableString field where it contains this GUID, I should be fairly certain the page contains my web part.

Using the SharePoint Search  REST API, I can execute the following call to return the Title, Path and Site of the page that is rendering my web part.

Request

https://testsite.sharepoint.com/sites/test/_api/search/query?QueryText='RefinableString134:62799350-83b2-40a1-b35d-5417cc54daea*'&selectProperties='Title,Path,SPWebUrl'

Response

In the response, I have found 2 pages where my web part is being loaded.

<d:query xmlns:d="http://schemas.microsoft.com/ado/2007/08/dataservices" xmlns:m="http://schemas.microsoft.com/ado/2007/08/dataservices/metadata" xmlns:georss="http://www.georss.org/georss" xmlns:gml="http://www.opengis.net/gml"m:type="Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.REST.SearchResult">
<d:ElapsedTime m:type="Edm.Int32">104</d:ElapsedTime>
<d:PrimaryQueryResult m:type="Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.REST.QueryResult">
<d:CustomResults m:type="Collection(Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.REST.CustomResult)"/>
<d:QueryId>37de1142-2baf-4ea6-ab0b-b646a0a57d31</d:QueryId>
<d:QueryRuleId m:type="Edm.Guid">00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000</d:QueryRuleId>
<d:RefinementResults m:null="true"/>
<d:RelevantResults m:type="Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.REST.RelevantResults">
<d:GroupTemplateId m:null="true"/>
<d:ItemTemplateId m:null="true"/>
<d:Properties m:type="Collection(SP.KeyValue)">
<d:element>
<d:Key>GenerationId</d:Key>
<d:Value>9223372036854775806</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.Int64</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element>
<d:Key>indexSystem</d:Key>
<d:Value/>
<d:ValueType>Edm.String</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element>
<d:Key>ExecutionTimeMs</d:Key>
<d:Value>47</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.Int32</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element>
<d:Key>QueryModification</d:Key>
<d:Value>
RefinableString134:62799350-83b2-40a1-b35d-5417cc54daea* -ContentClass=urn:content-class:SPSPeople
</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.String</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element>
<d:Key>RenderTemplateId</d:Key>
<d:Value>
~sitecollection/_catalogs/masterpage/Display Templates/Search/Group_Default.js
</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.String</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element>
<d:Key>StartRecord</d:Key>
<d:Value>0</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.Int32</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element>
<d:Key>IsLastBlockInSubstrate</d:Key>
<d:Value>true</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.Boolean</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element>
<d:Key>IsFirstBlockInSubstrate</d:Key>
<d:Value>false</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.Boolean</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element>
<d:Key>IsFirstPinnedResultBlock</d:Key>
<d:Value>false</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.Boolean</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element>
<d:Key>IsLastPinnedResultBlock</d:Key>
<d:Value>false</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.Boolean</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element>
<d:Key>IsFirstRankedResultBlock</d:Key>
<d:Value>true</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.Boolean</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element>
<d:Key>IsLastRankedResultBlock</d:Key>
<d:Value>true</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.Boolean</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element>
<d:Key>MixedTableOrder</d:Key>
<d:Value>0</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.Int32</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
</d:Properties>
<d:ResultTitle m:null="true"/>
<d:ResultTitleUrl m:null="true"/>
<d:RowCount m:type="Edm.Int32">2</d:RowCount>
<d:Table m:type="SP.SimpleDataTable">
<d:Rows>
<d:element m:type="SP.SimpleDataRow">
<d:Cells>
<d:element m:type="SP.KeyValue">
<d:Key>Rank</d:Key>
<d:Value>16.8176937103271</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.Double</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element m:type="SP.KeyValue">
<d:Key>DocId</d:Key>
<d:Value>17601926184608</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.Int64</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element m:type="SP.KeyValue">
<d:Key>Title</d:Key>
<d:Value>Home</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.String</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element m:type="SP.KeyValue">
<d:Key>Path</d:Key>
<d:Value>
https://testsite.sharepoint.com/sites/test/SitePages/AlertnativeHome.aspx
</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.String</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element m:type="SP.KeyValue">
<d:Key>SPWebUrl</d:Key>
<d:Value>
https://testsite.sharepoint.com/sites/test
</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.String</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element m:type="SP.KeyValue">
<d:Key>OriginalPath</d:Key>
<d:Value>
https://testsite.sharepoint.com/sites/test/SitePages/AlertnativeHome.aspx
</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.String</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element m:type="SP.KeyValue">
<d:Key>PartitionId</d:Key>
<d:Value>ca45b536-df01-44b6-afa0-d3f8e7ebb312</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.Guid</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element m:type="SP.KeyValue">
<d:Key>UrlZone</d:Key>
<d:Value>0</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.Int32</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element m:type="SP.KeyValue">
<d:Key>Culture</d:Key>
<d:Value>en-US</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.String</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element m:type="SP.KeyValue">
<d:Key>ResultTypeId</d:Key>
<d:Value>0</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.Int32</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element m:type="SP.KeyValue">
<d:Key>RenderTemplateId</d:Key>
<d:Value>
~sitecollection/_catalogs/masterpage/Display Templates/Search/Item_Default.js
</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.String</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
</d:Cells>
</d:element>
<d:element m:type="SP.SimpleDataRow">
<d:Cells>
<d:element m:type="SP.KeyValue">
<d:Key>Rank</d:Key>
<d:Value>16.8176937103271</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.Double</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element m:type="SP.KeyValue">
<d:Key>DocId</d:Key>
<d:Value>17601957874490</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.Int64</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element m:type="SP.KeyValue">
<d:Key>Title</d:Key>
<d:Value>Home</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.String</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element m:type="SP.KeyValue">
<d:Key>Path</d:Key>
<d:Value>
https://testsite.sharepoint.com/sites/test/SitePages/AlternativeHome2.aspx
</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.String</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element m:type="SP.KeyValue">
<d:Key>SPWebUrl</d:Key>
<d:Value>
https://testsite.sharepoint.com/sites/test
</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.String</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element m:type="SP.KeyValue">
<d:Key>OriginalPath</d:Key>
<d:Value>
https://testsite.sharepoint.com/sites/test/SitePages/AlternativeHome2.aspx
</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.String</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element m:type="SP.KeyValue">
<d:Key>PartitionId</d:Key>
<d:Value>ca45b536-df01-44b6-afa0-d3f8e7ebb312</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.Guid</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element m:type="SP.KeyValue">
<d:Key>UrlZone</d:Key>
<d:Value>0</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.Int32</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element m:type="SP.KeyValue">
<d:Key>Culture</d:Key>
<d:Value>en-US</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.String</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element m:type="SP.KeyValue">
<d:Key>ResultTypeId</d:Key>
<d:Value>0</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.Int32</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element m:type="SP.KeyValue">
<d:Key>RenderTemplateId</d:Key>
<d:Value>
~sitecollection/_catalogs/masterpage/Display Templates/Search/Item_Default.js
</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.String</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
</d:Cells>
</d:element>
</d:Rows>
</d:Table>
<d:TotalRows m:type="Edm.Int32">2</d:TotalRows>
<d:TotalRowsIncludingDuplicates m:type="Edm.Int32">2</d:TotalRowsIncludingDuplicates>
</d:RelevantResults>
<d:SpecialTermResults m:null="true"/>
</d:PrimaryQueryResult>
<d:Properties m:type="Collection(SP.KeyValue)">
<d:element>
<d:Key>RowLimit</d:Key>
<d:Value>500</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.Int32</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element>
<d:Key>SourceId</d:Key>
<d:Value>8413cd39-2156-4e00-b54d-11efd9abdb89</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.Guid</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element>
<d:Key>CorrelationId</d:Key>
<d:Value>02b6b69e-10c1-7000-727b-bc8a6f5546b9</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.Guid</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element>
<d:Key>WasGroupRestricted</d:Key>
<d:Value>false</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.Boolean</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element>
<d:Key>IsPartial</d:Key>
<d:Value>false</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.Boolean</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element>
<d:Key>HasParseException</d:Key>
<d:Value>false</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.Boolean</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element>
<d:Key>WordBreakerLanguage</d:Key>
<d:Value>en</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.String</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element>
<d:Key>IsPartialUpnDocIdMapping</d:Key>
<d:Value>false</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.Boolean</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element>
<d:Key>EnableInterleaving</d:Key>
<d:Value>true</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.Boolean</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element>
<d:Key>IsMissingUnifiedGroups</d:Key>
<d:Value>false</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.Boolean</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element>
<d:Key>Constellation</d:Key>
<d:Value>iC6B8D</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.String</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
<d:element>
<d:Key>SerializedQuery</d:Key>
<d:Value>
<Query Culture="en-US" EnableStemming="True" EnablePhonetic="False" EnableNicknames="False" IgnoreAllNoiseQuery="True" SummaryLength="180" MaxSnippetLength="180" DesiredSnippetLength="90" KeywordInclusion="0" QueryText="RefinableString134:62799350-83b2-40a1-b35d-5417cc54daea*" QueryTemplate="" TrimDuplicates="True" Site="532bd9a4-869f-45e2-b5f0-323f6604a429" Web="c67564a0-242f-40bf-b4ac-a0ea8dbc935e" KeywordType="True" HiddenConstraints="" />
</d:Value>
<d:ValueType>Edm.String</d:ValueType>
</d:element>
</d:Properties>
<d:SecondaryQueryResults m:type="Collection(Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.REST.QueryResult)"/>
<d:SpellingSuggestion/>
<d:TriggeredRules m:type="Collection(Edm.Guid)"/>
</d:query>

In my result set, I have found two pages in the same site that was using this specific web part. With a larger result set that comes back, I could loop through the records and figure out which sites are running my web part, and send an email accordingly to each site owner about the upcoming web part deployment!

Final Thoughts

This was a fun experiment to test out and I am going to continue to do some more exploration to see if there are other methods possible for finding out this information. I haven’t been able to do thorough testing, but I would love to hear if this works for you and/or if you have another approach!

Caveats/Feedback

  1. This would only work for web parts placed on modern pages
  2. If site owners have disabled content from being searchable, it will not show up. (Thanks Paul Bullock!)
  3. There are much better approaches to monitoring this type of information. As Sam Crewdson noted on twitter  the use of Application Insights is a robust way to track and monitor solutions in your environment. Here is a blog post by Chris O’Brien showing how to use application insights with SPFx.

Get site script from list using REST

New updates from Microsoft for site scripts and site designs really improved the creation of the JSON required in a site script. One of the newest features is the ability to generate a site script from an existing list. If you have seen my previous post on creating managed metadata fields using site scripts, you’d quickly learn how tedious and complex JSON can be.

Thankfully, there is a new process that allows you to generate the site script syntax from an existing list in your SharePoint environment, making it much easier to construct these site scripts. The current documented method for doing this is by using a PowerShell command called Get-SPOSiteScriptFromList.

There is another method for achieving this and it’s by using the REST api. Currently, this endpoint is not documented,  but I have submitted a PR in the documentation to correct this.

GetSiteScriptFromList

GetSiteScriptFromList is a new endpoint that allows you to generate the syntax required for a site script from an already created list.

Request

ParametersPass in a listUrl parameter with the url to the list you want to create the site script syntax for.

fetch("https://testsite.sharepoint.com/sites/test/_api/Microsoft.Sharepoint.Utilities.WebTemplateExtensions.SiteScriptUtility.GetSiteScriptFromList", {
    "credentials": "include",
    "headers": {
        "accept": "application/json;odata=verbose",
        "accept-language": "en-US,en;q=0.9",
        "content-type": "application/json;odata=verbose",
        "x-requestdigest": "YourRequestDigest"
    },
    "referrer": "https://testsite.sharepoint.com/sites/test",
    "referrerPolicy": "no-referrer-when-downgrade",
    "body": "{\"listUrl\":\"https://testsite.sharepoint.com/sites/test/Lists/Contoso%20customer%20list\"}",
    "method": "POST",
    "mode": "cors"
});

Response

The response contains an array of actions for creating this list.  The command supports most field types, including complex field types such as managed metadata columns.

{"d":{"GetSiteScriptFromList":"{
  "actions": [
    {
      "verb": "createSPList",
      "listName": "Contoso customer list",
      "templateType": 100,
      "subactions": [
        {
          "verb": "addSPView",
          "name": "All Items",
          "viewFields": [
            "LinkTitle"
          ],
          "query": "",
          "rowLimit": 30,
          "isPaged": true,
          "makeDefault": true
        }
      ]
    },
    {
      "verb": "addNavLink",
      "url": "Lists/Contoso customer list/AllItems.aspx",
      "displayName": "Contoso customer list",
      "isWebRelative": true
    }
  ]
}"}}

Now what?

Now that we have the syntax to create the list, we can just add the values from the actions array to a new or existing site script. For information on how to create a site script, follow the documentation here.

 

 

Invoking a Site Design Task using REST

Site designs provide the ability for the provisioning of assets during the site creation process in Modern SharePoint. The site design documentation is fairly robust and includes commands to interact with site designs using PowerShell and REST. Recently, there have been updates to Site Designs and the documentation is still playing catch up.

One of the latest releases includes the ability to invoke more than 30 actions in a site script. I’ve talked about this extensively in my previous post. This post includes the methods for executing a site design using PowerShell. Today, we’ll talk about the options of using REST.

ApplySiteDesign (old way!)

ApplySiteDesign was the original REST endpoint for applying a site design to an existing site collection. This would allow you create a POST request to the ApplySiteDesign endpoint and pass in the SiteDesignId and the WebUrl to the body.

This invocation is limited to the 30 actions in a site script.

Request

fetch("https://testsite.sharepoint.com/sites/test/_api/Microsoft.Sharepoint.Utilities.WebTemplateExtensions.SiteScriptUtility.ApplySiteDesign", {
    "credentials": "include",
    "headers": {
        "accept": "application/json;odata=verbose",
        "accept-language": "en-US,en;q=0.9",
        "content-type": "application/json;odata=verbose",
        "x-requestdigest": "YourXRequestDigest"
    },
    "referrer": "https://testsite.sharepoint.com/sites/test",
    "referrerPolicy": "no-referrer-when-downgrade",
    "body": "{\"siteDesignId\":\"38ef12db-e8b8-4716-96d9-7556c61bf98b\",\"webUrl\":\"https://testsite.sharepoint.com/sites/test\"}",
    "method": "POST",
    "mode": "cors"
});

AddSiteDesignTaskToCurrentWeb  (new way!)

AddSiteDesignTaskToCurrentWeb is the new REST endpoint for site designs, which provides the ability to overcome the 30 action limit. This new endpoint now allows for 300 actions or 100k characters in a site script. The only parameters required to execute a site design task is to pass in the site design using the siteDesignId property.

Request

fetch("https://testsite.sharepoint.com/sites/test/_api/Microsoft.Sharepoint.Utilities.WebTemplateExtensions.SiteScriptUtility.AddSiteDesignTaskToCurrentWeb", {
    "credentials": "include",
    "headers": {
        "accept": "application/json;odata=verbose",
        "accept-language": "en-US,en;q=0.9",
        "content-type": "application/json;odata=verbose",
        "x-requestdigest": "YourXRequestDigest"
    },
    "referrer": "https://testsite.sharepoint.com/sites/test",
    "referrerPolicy": "no-referrer-when-downgrade",
    "body": "{\"siteDesignId\":\"38ef12db-e8b8-4716-96d9-7556c61bf98b\"}",
    "method": "POST",
    "mode": "cors"
});

Response

{
    "d": {
        "AddSiteDesignTaskToCurrentWeb": {
            "__metadata": {
                "type": "Microsoft.SharePoint.Utilities.WebTemplateExtensions.SiteDesignTask"
            },
            "ID": "b86f5a1c-c153-4ff9-b17f-c9c123ee9249",
            "LogonName": "i:0#.f|membership|beau@cameronsoft.onmicrosoft.com",
            "SiteDesignID": "38ef12db-e8b8-4716-96d9-7556c61bf98b",
            "SiteID": "2636e586-47e2-4644-9b01-88f73b397e9e",
            "WebID": "7ccf233e-97e6-46bc-9101-3607e1b221ba"
        }
    }
}

If you’d like to see which site designs have been applied to this site or want to see the success of each action within this invocation, you can follow this post which shows examples using REST and PowerShell.

Have really long site scripts?

What happens if you have site scripts that are over 300 actions, and the current framework will not support it? A tip  is to break the site scripts out into multiple site designs and call them via flow. Check out Reza Dorrani’s blog showing how to do this.

Setting the new page header in a modern SharePoint page using C# or PowerShell

This week a question came up about how to set the Header in a modern page using code. Normally in these cases you could go to the PnP Provisioning library. Using the PnP Schema you can provision a page and specify some properties of the header that shows up when deployed. You can specify:

  • Title
  • ServerRelativeImageUrl
  • Translate X
  • Translate Y

Unfortunately, there has been some updates to the modern pages which allows for a new layout for headers and the current PnP library doesn’t have support for them yet. Notice the image below, we have a few new layouts and a new field called “Topic Header”.

So what I am going to do, is explain how we can achieve the new layout with the Topic Header field. I looked into the existing PnP codebase to see how the current header implementation was done, and it gave me a lot of insight into how to solve this problem.

How to achieve this

In order to create a new page and specify a new page header we actually have to create a new page in the Site Pages list and then update some of the hidden properties of the site page. Specifically we need to update the following fields:

  • LayoutWebpartsContent
  • PageLayoutType
  • CanvasContent1
  • _TopicHeader
  • ClientSideApplicationId

Where do the properties for a header live?

The thing about modern web parts is that a lot of them store the properties that are being rendered within the web part itself. Because of this, I actually have to set the HTML and JSON object of the web part on the site page’s LayoutsWebpartsContent field. It’s quite complex, so in order to be as safe as possible and get the correct HTML, I decided the best approach  would be to create a template page (pictured above) and use that as a way to get the proper data for my newly provisioned pages.

C# Implementation

This C# example is actually going to use the PnP Core library (not required). We’ll get a reference to my template page and grab the LayoutWebpartsContent property. This will return all of the HTML required for the header. Then, we’ll create a new article page, update a few required properties and then update the LayoutWebpartsContent property from the template values.

Link to gist

  using (var ctx = new OfficeDevPnP.Core.AuthenticationManager().GetAppOnlyAuthenticatedContext(newSiteUrl, clientId, clientSecret))
            {
                var pages = ctx.Web.Lists.GetByTitle("Site Pages");
                ctx.Load(pages);
                
                //get template page
                var templatePage = pages.RootFolder.GetFile("Project-Home.aspx").ListItemAllFields;
                ctx.Load(templatePage);
                ctx.ExecuteQuery();
                
                //this is our template page content
                var _customPageHeader = templatePage[ClientSidePage.PageLayoutContentField]; //LayoutWebpartsContent
                var _canvasContent = templatePage["CanvasContent1"];

                //create new page in site page library
                var item = pages.RootFolder.Files.AddTemplateFile("/sites/test/sitepages/BeauTest.aspx", TemplateFileType.ClientSidePage).ListItemAllFields;
              
               //update page header from template information
                item[ClientSidePage.PageLayoutContentField] = _customPageHeader;        
                item[ClientSidePage.ClientSideApplicationId] = ClientSidePage.SitePagesFeatureId; //ClientSideApplicationId - b6917cb1-93a0-4b97-a84d-7cf49975d4ec
                item["CanvasContent1"] = _canvasContent; //"

“; item[“_TopicHeader”] = “Service Line”; item.Update(); ctx.Load(item); ctx.ExecuteQuery(); }

 

PowerShell Implementation

The following example is the equivalent of the C# code using CSOM, and instead of using a template file, I’ve hard coded the HTML into the code itself. This way, if you wanted to add some tokens in your HTML to dynamically replace the “Topic Header”, or change the layout you could do so directly in that HTML string.

Link to Gist

[System.Reflection.Assembly]::LoadWithPartialName("Microsoft.SharePoint.Client")
[System.Reflection.Assembly]::LoadWithPartialName("Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Runtime")
 

$admin = 'youraccount@tenant.OnMicrosoft.Com'
$password = Read-Host 'Enter Password' -AsSecureString

$context = New-Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.ClientContext("https://tenant.sharepoint.com/sites/testpnp");
$credentials = New-Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.SharePointOnlineCredentials($admin , $password)
$context.Credentials = $credentials


$pagesLibrary = $context.Web.Lists.GetByTitle('Site Pages');
$context.Load($pagesLibrary);

$newPageitem = $pagesLibrary.RootFolder.Files.AddTemplateFile("/sites/testpnp/sitepages/TestPage.aspx", "ClientSidePage").ListItemAllFields;

$newPageitem["Title"] = "Project Home";
$newPageitem["ClientSideApplicationId"] = "b6917cb1-93a0-4b97-a84d-7cf49975d4ec";
$newPageitem["PageLayoutType"] = "Article";
$newPageitem["LayoutWebpartsContent"] = '
'; $newPageitem["CanvasContent1"] = "
"; $newPageitem["_TopicHeader"] = "Service Line"; $newPageitem.Update(); $context.Load($newPageitem); $context.ExecuteQuery();

 

A special thanks

I’d like to thank Garry Trinder for mentioning the current limitation and providing me with the idea on figuring out how to solve this issue and subsequently creating this post!

Thanks to the PnP Team for setting up a lot of the framework and for making this post possible. Sharing is caring.

How to find which site designs have been applied on a SharePoint site.

In SharePoint Online, a new provisioning process is being used which allows an administrator to define a set of designs that can be applied to a newly created site. These site designs consist of the ability add column, lists, specify themes, apply SPFx solutions and more.

It’s important to note that multiple site designs can be applied to a site in SharePoint online.

How site designs can be applied to a site collection

  • During creation of a new site using the SharePoint UI
  • During the association to a hub site
  • Invoking on an existing site using Invoke-SPOSiteDesign and Add-SPOSiteDesignTask

Because site designs can be applied in multiple ways and more than one site design can be applied to a site, an admin may want to have a way to see which site designs have been invoked onto a site.

Introducing Get-SPOSiteDesignRun (PowerShell)

Get-SPoSiteDesignRun is a new command available to the SharePoint Online Management Shell that will show which site designs have been applied to a specific site collection.

$siteDesignsRan = Get-SPOSiteDesignRun -WebUrl "https://yoursite.sharepoint.com/sites/testsite"

Id                : e4ff3264-c7b1-4121-b179-445382216703
SiteDesignId      : d082fc0e-9a49-4675-88ac-d49e0931670e
WebId             : 42a2b14c-ce2a-485e-8854-92d3b334704f
SiteId            : f848c5a3-9c6b-40f6-becd-8c5661f0e558
SiteDesignVersion : 1
SiteDesignTitle   : Long Site Design

Id                : 8efb3528-3ff1-4dcf-98a3-7f020492a79f
SiteDesignId      : d082fc0e-9a49-4675-88ac-d49e0931670e
WebId             : 42a2b14c-ce2a-485e-8854-92d3b334704f
SiteId            : f848c5a3-9c6b-40f6-becd-8c5661f0e558
SiteDesignVersion : 1
SiteDesignTitle   : Long Site Design

Id                : 00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000
SiteDesignId      : 7da58b45-b11d-4e3c-940b-a96c925d02be
WebId             : 42a2b14c-ce2a-485e-8854-92d3b334704f
SiteId            : f848c5a3-9c6b-40f6-becd-8c5661f0e558
SiteDesignVersion : 1
SiteDesignTitle   : MMD Test

Notice the first two site designs that were run, are actually the same. This is because not only does this command show all site designs applied, it also shows the history of invocations against this site collection. Using Invoke-SPOSiteDesign or Add-SPOSiteDesignTask. More information on Add-SPOSiteDesignTask can be found in my previous post.

Needing more information

Get-SPOSiteDesignRun is a valuable command, but as an administrator you may not know what each site design has implemented and the history of actions taken in the site collection. To do this, you can use the new Get-SPOSiteDesignRunStatus command and it will return the result of each action from every site script in your site design.

In the command above, I got a list of site designs that have been invoked onto a site collection and stored them in an object called $siteDesignsRan. I can use the Get-SPOSiteDesignRunStatus command to find more information about each site design invocation.

Get-SPOSiteDesignRunStatus -Run $siteDesignsRan[1]

OrdinalIndex    : 0
SiteScriptID    : 0aa8ce3a-0a7f-4963-bd0f-07ce28a6a5dd
SiteScriptTitle : LongSiteScript
SiteScriptIndex : 0
ActionIndex     : 0
ActionTitle     : Create site column MyTestMMD2TaxHTField through XML
ActionKey       : 00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000
OutcomeCode     : Success
OutcomeText     : 

OrdinalIndex    : 1
SiteScriptID    : 0aa8ce3a-0a7f-4963-bd0f-07ce28a6a5dd
SiteScriptTitle : LongSiteScript
SiteScriptIndex : 0
ActionIndex     : 1
ActionTitle     : Create site column MyTestMMD2 through XML
ActionKey       : 00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000
OutcomeCode     : Success
OutcomeText     : 

OrdinalIndex    : 2
SiteScriptID    : 0aa8ce3a-0a7f-4963-bd0f-07ce28a6a5dd
SiteScriptTitle : LongSiteScript
SiteScriptIndex : 0
ActionIndex     : 2
ActionTitle     : Create content type Test CT
ActionKey       : 00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000
OutcomeCode     : NoOp
OutcomeText     : 

OrdinalIndex    : 3
SiteScriptID    : 0aa8ce3a-0a7f-4963-bd0f-07ce28a6a5dd
SiteScriptTitle : LongSiteScript
SiteScriptIndex : 0
ActionIndex     : 2
ActionTitle     : Add site column MyTestMMD2 to content type
ActionKey       : 00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000
OutcomeCode     : NoOp
OutcomeText     : 

OrdinalIndex    : 4
SiteScriptID    : 0aa8ce3a-0a7f-4963-bd0f-07ce28a6a5dd
SiteScriptTitle : LongSiteScript
SiteScriptIndex : 0
ActionIndex     : 2
ActionTitle     : Add site column MyTestMMD2TaxHTField to content type
ActionKey       : 00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000
OutcomeCode     : NoOp
OutcomeText     : 

OrdinalIndex    : 5
SiteScriptID    : 0aa8ce3a-0a7f-4963-bd0f-07ce28a6a5dd
SiteScriptTitle : LongSiteScript
SiteScriptIndex : 0
ActionIndex     : 3
ActionTitle     : Create or update list Custom List
ActionKey       : 00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000
OutcomeCode     : NoOp
OutcomeText     : List with name Custom List already exists.

OrdinalIndex    : 6
SiteScriptID    : 0aa8ce3a-0a7f-4963-bd0f-07ce28a6a5dd
SiteScriptTitle : LongSiteScript
SiteScriptIndex : 0
ActionIndex     : 3
ActionTitle     : Add content type Test CT
ActionKey       : 00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000
OutcomeCode     : NoOp
OutcomeText     :

This is a great command that should be in every admin’s toolbox to help manage and govern SharePoint sites. It gives us a very clear history of what actions have been taken on a given site collection and the results of those actions.

If you ever have a question as to which site designs have been applied to your site, look no further than Get-SPOSiteDesignRun and Get-SPOSiteDesignRunStatus.

Using REST

The previous example was showing how to get the Site Designs applied using PowerShell.  Below is how you can get the results using REST.

Get a list of Site Designs ran on a site using REST

(POST) _api/Microsoft.Sharepoint.Utilities.WebTemplateExtensions.SiteScriptUtility.GetSiteDesignRun

Result

 
   "d": 
      "results": 
          
            "__metadata": 
               "id":"https://testsite.sharepoint.com/sites/test/_api/Microsoft.SharePoint.Utilities.WebTemplateExtensions.SiteDesignRun4eb4e8b2-ead5-4f11-a4f9-0d127b898740",
               "uri":"https://testsite.sharepoint.com/sites/test/_api/Microsoft.SharePoint.Utilities.WebTemplateExtensions.SiteDesignRun4eb4e8b2-ead5-4f11-a4f9-0d127b898740",
               "type":"Microsoft.SharePoint.Utilities.WebTemplateExtensions.SiteDesignRun"
            },
            "ID":"38ef12db-e8b8-4716-96d9-7556c61bf98b",
            "SiteDesignID":"6ebda32f-c2dc-4353-b09c-36df6652dfaa",
            "SiteDesignTitle":"Team Site Design",
            "SiteDesignVersion":1,
            "SiteID":"b6e1bf12-151e-43c7-a889-df7d1759db0f",
            "StartTime":"1535557919000",
            "WebID":"e0a62834-f04f-4f31-b2e1-6c8badf56167"
         }
      ]
   }
}

Get Information about a specific site design using REST

Using the response from the above request, you can grab the ID and pass it as the “runId” parameter to the following endpoint.

(POST) _api/Microsoft.Sharepoint.Utilities.WebTemplateExtensions.SiteScriptUtility.GetSiteDesignRunStatusAndSchema
fetch("https://testsite.sharepoint.com/sites/test/_api/Microsoft.Sharepoint.Utilities.WebTemplateExtensions.SiteScriptUtility.GetSiteDesignRunStatusAndSchema", {
    "credentials": "include",
    "headers": {
        "accept": "application/json;odata=verbose",
        "accept-language": "en-US,en;q=0.9",
        "content-type": "application/json;odata=verbose",
        "x-requestdigest": "YourXRequestDigest"
    },
    "referrer": "https://testsite.sharepoint.com/sites/test",
    "referrerPolicy": "no-referrer-when-downgrade",
    "body": "{\"runId\":\"38ef12db-e8b8-4716-96d9-7556c61bf98b\"}",
    "method": "POST",
    "mode": "cors"
});

Result

 
   "d": 
      "GetSiteDesignRunStatusAndSchema": 
         "__metadata": 
            "type":"Microsoft.SharePoint.Utilities.WebTemplateExtensions.SPSiteScriptStatusAndSchema"
         },
         "ActionStatus": 
            "__metadata": 
               "type":"Collection(Microsoft.SharePoint.Utilities.WebTemplateExtensions.SiteScriptActionStatus)"
            },
            "results": 
                
                  "ActionIndex":0,
                  "ActionKey":"00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000",
                  "ActionTitle":"Apply theme Black and Yellow",
                  "LastModified":"1535557920000",
                  "OrdinalIndex":0,
                  "OutcomeCode":0,
                  "OutcomeText":null,
                  "SiteScriptID":"72673672-3708-415d-b7f9-5322288dfa6c",
                  "SiteScriptIndex":0,
                  "SiteScriptTitle":"Apply Theme"
               }
            ]
         },
         "Schema":"{\"recipes\":[{\"actions\":[{\"stages\":[\"Apply theme Black and Yellow\"]}],\"recipeGuid\":\"72673672-3708-415d-b7f9-5322288dfa6c\",\"recipeName\":\"Apply Theme\"}],\"siteDesignTitle\":\"Team Site Design\",\"siteDesignVersion\":1}"
      }
   }
}

 

Hope this helps!