Creating hyperlinks to missing pages in modern SharePoint

If you ever used the classic Wiki pages in SharePoint, there was a really cool feature that allowed users to link to pages that did not exist yet. In SharePoint Wikis, you could link to another page on your site using the double bracket syntax. Example:

Please go to the [[Announcements]] page.

SharePoint would handle this by connecting the the Announcements page to the text within the brackets. The really cool thing about this is if a user clicked on a link to a page that didn’t exist it yet, SharePoint would ask them to create a new page! This is similar to how Wikipedia creates empty hyperlinks to pages that still need to be created.

A question came up in a SharePoint sub-reddit asking whether this works in Modern SharePoint. The answer is YES!

Back to basics

To see this feature in action, create a new page in your SharePoint site and add a text webpart to the page.

Let’s say at the end of this text, we would like to add a link to an existing page within this site. All we have to do is start typing “[[” and SharePoint will return all the pages we can link to.

 

If we wanted to link to the Singapore trip report page, we could then just click that page from the dropdown, and it will become a direct link to that page. Pretty cool right!?

Creating a new page from a link

Now that we have seen how using the “[[” allows users to link to existing pages, lets see how Microsoft brought forward the classic Wiki linking functionality to allow users to create hyperlinks to pages that do not exist yet.

To do so, start by typing “[[“, but ignore the dropdown values for existing pages. Continue typing in the title for a new page and close it with two double brackets “]]”. Make sure you press space key or click away from the “]]” or else the resulting link will be a 404.

Once this happens, SharePoint will automatically create a hyperlink for us.

If you look closely at the link, you’ll notice that the URL points to a new page (doesn’t exist), and it passes along the ?wikiTitle=Communication query string.

The wikiTitle query string parameter notifies SharePoint to not throw a 404 error, but instead initiate the new modern page creation flow. When a user clicks on this link, SharePoint will popup the page template selection screen!

Once a user selects a template, they will be brought to the new Communication page to continue editing and finish creating the page.

This page has also now been linked correctly to our previous page!

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

 

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.

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!

Overcome the 30 action site script limitation in SharePoint Online

This blog post pertains to invoking site designs using PowerShell and not through the SharePoint UI. Increasing the 30 action limit through the UI/UX will be supported soon!

During Ignite in Orlando this year, I had the pleasure to see Sean Squires present on the the latest and greatest features for site provisioning in SharePoint Online. He spoke about some of the future updates coming that will help get over some of the limitations of site designs and site scripts.

What 30 action limit?

When site designs and site scripts were first released, there was a limit of 30 actions that could be used in a site script. These actions include:

  • Creating a content type
  • Creating a list
  • Adding a content type to a list
  • creating list columns
  • setting regional settings
  • deploying SPFx solutions
  • and more…

That means if you started using site scripts when they were first released and you needed to deploy a large amount of customization, you’d have to do this with PowerShell and Azure Functions using the “triggerFlow” action.

Introducing Add-SPOSiteDesignTask

During Ignite, Sean announced that new PowerShell commandlets would be available to increase this limitation from 30 to an extremely high number (100k characters apparently). The release of this has seemingly gone under the radar, but is now available for use!

Add-SPOSiteDesignTask is meant to replace the existing Invoke-SPOSiteDesign. The command is used to apply an already publishing site design to any target site collection. This means there is still a limit of 30 actions when creating sites from the SharePoint UI.

However, unlike Invoke-SPOSiteDesign, the command doesn’t run the site design immediately, instead the site design invocation is put into a schedule to run.

Testing it out

I’ve created a basic site design and site script that run 30+ actions onto a SharePoint site collection. The site script will create 33 site columns, a custom list and apply the columns to the list.

$script = @'
  {
                  "$schema": "schema.json",
                   "actions": [
                            {
                                "verb": "createSiteColumn",
                                "fieldType": "Text",
                                "internalName": "testColumn1",
                                "displayName": "Test Column1",
                                "isRequired": false
                               },
                                {
                                "verb": "createSiteColumn",
                                "fieldType": "Text",
                                "internalName": "testColumn2",
                                "displayName": "Test Column2",
                                "isRequired": false
                               },
                                {
                                "verb": "createSiteColumn",
                                "fieldType": "Text",
                                "internalName": "testColumn3",
                                "displayName": "Test Column3",
                                "isRequired": false
                               },
                                {
                                "verb": "createSiteColumn",
                                "fieldType": "Text",
                                "internalName": "testColumn4",
                                "displayName": "Test Column4",
                                "isRequired": false
                               },
                                {
                                "verb": "createSiteColumn",
                                "fieldType": "Text",
                                "internalName": "testColumn5",
                                "displayName": "Test Column5",
                                "isRequired": false
                               },
                                {
                                "verb": "createSiteColumn",
                                "fieldType": "Text",
                                "internalName": "testColumn6",
                                "displayName": "Test Column6",
                                "isRequired": false
                               },
                                {
                                "verb": "createSiteColumn",
                                "fieldType": "Text",
                                "internalName": "testColumn7",
                                "displayName": "Test Column7",
                                "isRequired": false
                               },
                                {
                                "verb": "createSiteColumn",
                                "fieldType": "Text",
                                "internalName": "testColumn8",
                                "displayName": "Test Column8",
                                "isRequired": false
                               },
                                {
                                "verb": "createSiteColumn",
                                "fieldType": "Text",
                                "internalName": "testColumn9",
                                "displayName": "Test Column9",
                                "isRequired": false
                               },
                                {
                                "verb": "createSiteColumn",
                                "fieldType": "Text",
                                "internalName": "testColumn10",
                                "displayName": "Test Column10",
                                "isRequired": false
                               },
                                {
                                "verb": "createSiteColumn",
                                "fieldType": "Text",
                                "internalName": "testColumn11",
                                "displayName": "Test Column11",
                                "isRequired": false
                               },
                                {
                                "verb": "createSiteColumn",
                                "fieldType": "Text",
                                "internalName": "testColumn12",
                                "displayName": "Test Column12",
                                "isRequired": false
                               },
                                {
                                "verb": "createSiteColumn",
                                "fieldType": "Text",
                                "internalName": "testColumn13",
                                "displayName": "Test Column13",
                                "isRequired": false
                               },
                                {
                                "verb": "createSiteColumn",
                                "fieldType": "Text",
                                "internalName": "testColumn14",
                                "displayName": "Test Column14",
                                "isRequired": false
                               },
                                {
                                "verb": "createSiteColumn",
                                "fieldType": "Text",
                                "internalName": "testColumn15",
                                "displayName": "Test Column15",
                                "isRequired": false
                               },
                                {
                                "verb": "createSiteColumn",
                                "fieldType": "Text",
                                "internalName": "testColumn16",
                                "displayName": "Test Column16",
                                "isRequired": false
                               },
                                {
                                "verb": "createSiteColumn",
                                "fieldType": "Text",
                                "internalName": "testColumn17",
                                "displayName": "Test Column17",
                                "isRequired": false
                               },
                                {
                                "verb": "createSiteColumn",
                                "fieldType": "Text",
                                "internalName": "testColumn18",
                                "displayName": "Test Column18",
                                "isRequired": false
                               },
                                {
                                "verb": "createSiteColumn",
                                "fieldType": "Text",
                                "internalName": "testColumn19",
                                "displayName": "Test Column19",
                                "isRequired": false
                               },
                                {
                                "verb": "createSiteColumn",
                                "fieldType": "Text",
                                "internalName": "testColumn20",
                                "displayName": "Test Column20",
                                "isRequired": false
                               },
                                {
                                "verb": "createSiteColumn",
                                "fieldType": "Text",
                                "internalName": "testColumn21",
                                "displayName": "Test Column21",
                                "isRequired": false
                               },
                                {
                                "verb": "createSiteColumn",
                                "fieldType": "Text",
                                "internalName": "testColumn22",
                                "displayName": "Test Column22",
                                "isRequired": false
                               },
                                {
                                "verb": "createSiteColumn",
                                "fieldType": "Text",
                                "internalName": "testColumn23",
                                "displayName": "Test Column23",
                                "isRequired": false
                               },
                                {
                                "verb": "createSiteColumn",
                                "fieldType": "Text",
                                "internalName": "testColumn24",
                                "displayName": "Test Column24",
                                "isRequired": false
                               }, {
                                "verb": "createSiteColumn",
                                "fieldType": "Text",
                                "internalName": "testColumn25",
                                "displayName": "Test Column25",
                                "isRequired": false
                               },
                                {
                                "verb": "createSiteColumn",
                                "fieldType": "Text",
                                "internalName": "testColumn26",
                                "displayName": "Test Column26",
                                "isRequired": false
                               },
                                {
                                "verb": "createSiteColumn",
                                "fieldType": "Text",
                                "internalName": "testColumn27",
                                "displayName": "Test Column27",
                                "isRequired": false
                               },
                                {
                                "verb": "createSiteColumn",
                                "fieldType": "Text",
                                "internalName": "testColumn28",
                                "displayName": "Test Column28",
                                "isRequired": false
                               }, {
                                "verb": "createSiteColumn",
                                "fieldType": "Text",
                                "internalName": "testColumn29",
                                "displayName": "Test Column29",
                                "isRequired": false
                               },
                                {
                                "verb": "createSiteColumn",
                                "fieldType": "Text",
                                "internalName": "testColumn30",
                                "displayName": "Test Column30",
                                "isRequired": false
                               },
                                {
                                "verb": "createSiteColumn",
                                "fieldType": "Text",
                                "internalName": "testColumn31",
                                "displayName": "Test Column31",
                                "isRequired": false
                               },
                                {
                                "verb": "createSiteColumn",
                                "fieldType": "Text",
                                "internalName": "testColumn32",
                                "displayName": "Test Column32",
                                "isRequired": false
                               },
                                {
                                "verb": "createSiteColumn",
                                "fieldType": "Text",
                                "internalName": "testColumn33",
                                "displayName": "Test Column33",
                                "isRequired": false
                               },
                        {
                           "verb": "createContentType",
                           "name": "Test CT",
                           "description": "custom content type",
                           "parentName": "Item",
                           "hidden": false,
                           "subactions": [                         
                               {
                               "verb": "addSiteColumn",
                               "internalName":"testColumn1"
                               },
                               {
                               "verb": "addSiteColumn",
                               "internalName":"testColumn2"
                               },
                               {
                               "verb": "addSiteColumn",
                               "internalName":"testColumn3"
                               },
                               {
                               "verb": "addSiteColumn",
                               "internalName":"testColumn4"
                               },
                               {
                               "verb": "addSiteColumn",
                               "internalName":"testColumn5"
                               },
                               {
                               "verb": "addSiteColumn",
                               "internalName":"testColumn6"
                               },
                               {
                               "verb": "addSiteColumn",
                               "internalName":"testColumn7"
                               },{
                               "verb": "addSiteColumn",
                               "internalName":"testColumn8"
                               },
                               {
                               "verb": "addSiteColumn",
                               "internalName":"testColumn9"
                               },{
                               "verb": "addSiteColumn",
                               "internalName":"testColumn10"
                               },
                               {
                               "verb": "addSiteColumn",
                               "internalName":"testColumn11"
                               },{
                               "verb": "addSiteColumn",
                               "internalName":"testColumn12"
                               },
                               {
                               "verb": "addSiteColumn",
                               "internalName":"testColumn13"
                               },{
                               "verb": "addSiteColumn",
                               "internalName":"testColumn14"
                               },{
                               "verb": "addSiteColumn",
                               "internalName":"testColumn15"
                               },
                               {
                               "verb": "addSiteColumn",
                               "internalName":"testColumn16"
                               },{
                               "verb": "addSiteColumn",
                               "internalName":"testColumn17"
                               },
                               {
                               "verb": "addSiteColumn",
                               "internalName":"testColumn18"
                               },
                               {
                               "verb": "addSiteColumn",
                               "internalName":"testColumn19"
                               },
                               {
                               "verb": "addSiteColumn",
                               "internalName":"testColumn20"
                               },
                               {
                               "verb": "addSiteColumn",
                               "internalName":"testColumn21"
                               },
                               {
                               "verb": "addSiteColumn",
                               "internalName":"testColumn22"
                               },
                               {
                               "verb": "addSiteColumn",
                               "internalName":"testColumn23"
                               },
                               {
                               "verb": "addSiteColumn",
                               "internalName":"testColumn24"
                               },
                               {
                               "verb": "addSiteColumn",
                               "internalName":"testColum25"
                               },
                               {
                               "verb": "addSiteColumn",
                               "internalName":"testColumn26"
                               },{
                               "verb": "addSiteColumn",
                               "internalName":"testColumn27"
                               },
                              {
                               "verb": "addSiteColumn",
                               "internalName":"testColumn28"
                               },
                               {
                               "verb": "addSiteColumn",
                               "internalName":"testColumn29"
                               },
                               {
                               "verb": "addSiteColumn",
                               "internalName":"testColumn30"
                               },
                               {
                               "verb": "addSiteColumn",
                               "internalName":"testColumn31"
                               },
                               {
                               "verb": "addSiteColumn",
                               "internalName":"testColumn32"
                               },
                               {
                               "verb": "addSiteColumn",
                               "internalName":"testColumn33"
                               },
                               
                            ]
                       },
                       {
                        "verb": "createSPList",
                        "listName": "Custom List",
                        "templateType": 100,
                        "subactions": [
                           {
                            "verb": "addContentType",
                            "name": "Test CT"
                           }                      
                         ]
                        }
            
              
                   ],
                   "bindata": { },
               "version": 1
              }
              
              }

}
'@

I have added this site script to SharePoint using the Add-SPOSiteScript command and subsequently added the site script to a new site design using Add-SPOSiteDesign.

Add-SPOSiteScript -Title "LongSiteScript" -Description "Long Site Script" -Content $script
-returned id = 0aa8ce3a-0a7f-4963-bd0f-07ce28a6a5dd

Add-SPOSiteDesign -Title "Long Action Site Design" -WebTemplate "0" -SiteScripts "0aa8ce3a-0a7f-4963-bd0f-07ce28a6a5dd" -Description "Long Action Test"
-return id = d082fc0e-9a49-4675-88ac-d49e0931670e

Using Add-SPOSiteDesignTask

Now that I have created a long site script and the associated site design, it’s time to run the site design on an existing site. I will invoke the site design using Add-SPOSiteDesignTask and passing in the WebUrl and the SiteDesignId from my new site design.

Add-SPOSiteDesignTask -SiteDesignId d082fc0e-9a49-4675-88ac-d49e0931670e -WebUrl https://yourtenantsite.sharepoint.com/sites/testlongscript

After invoking the command, PowerShell is going to output some information for you. It will provide the ID of the new task as well as the associated site design that was provisioned.

Add-SPOSiteDesignTask -SiteDesignId d082fc0e-9a49-4675-88ac-d49e0931670e -WebUrl https://yourtenantsite.sharepoint.com/sites/testlongscript

Id : e4ff3264-c7b1-4121-b179-445382216703
SiteDesignId : d082fc0e-9a49-4675-88ac-d49e0931670e
WebId : 42a2b14c-ce2a-485e-8854-92d3b334704f
SiteId : f848c5a3-9c6b-40f6-becd-8c5661f0e558
LogonName : i:0#.f|membership|beau@cameronsoft.onmicrosoft.com

Checking the results

After waiting a minute or so, I was able to see the reflected changes in my environment.

ContentType

To learn more about Add-SPOSiteDesignTask, the documentation can be found here.

Deploy Managed Metadata fields using site designs and site scripts

(Notice: This post may show unsupported methods for provisioning fields)

You may be in a scenario where you want to create Managed Metadata columns using modern provisioning. This post is going to outline a method that can be used to provision Managed Metadata columns using site designs. Site designs are a new model for provisioning assets (fields,content types, lists, etc…) in modern SharePoint. Information on site designs and site scripts can be found here.

Multiple ways to create columns

Using a site script,  you can create both list and site columns using two different actions — “addSPField” and “addSiteColumn”. The first will deploy a list column and the second action will deploy a site column. However, these two actions only support basic field types in SharePoint. These field types include:

  • Text
  • Note
  • Number
  • Boolean
  • User
  • DateTime

Complex columns such as people fields and managed metadata fields need to be created using the Field Element definition. Using site designs and site scripts, we can provision complex fields using the Field definition with the addSPFieldXml and createSiteColumnXML actions.

There are many ways you can get the Field definition after they have been created in the SharePoint UI. Here are a couple options you could use to export out the schema XML for a list and get the field definitions.

https://yoursite/_vti_bin/owssvr.dll?Cmd=ExportList&List={YOUR_LIST_GUID}

You could also use PnP PowerShell to export out the schema

 $list = Get-PnPList -Identity "your list" -Includes SchemaXml
 $schema = $list.SchemaXml

Which complex fields are supported?

If look through the site script documentation you may notice, it doesn’t actually define which field types are supposed through XML. In regards to a complex field such as a Managed Metadata field, we took to twitter to see if Microsoft had any input. Sean Squires mentioned that currently they do not support Managed Metadata Fields, at least in an elegant way (which to me means, if it works great! if it doesn’t…it’s not officially supported).

How it can be achieved

Managed Metadata Fields are complex fields that actually require two fields to be deployed in order to function properly. One field is a TaxonomyFieldType and another is a Note field. This means we actually have to deploy two fields during the provisioning process.

When you export out a list schema and find your Managed Metadata field, you’ll notice it references the Note field using the ID of the Note field in the TextField node. You may also notice there are tokens for properties such as WebId, SiteId, ListId in your Field definition. In order for the deployment of the field to work we need to remove these token properties.

Secondly, we’ll need to update the <Property> nodes inside the <Customziation> node for the following properties.

  • SspId
  • TermSetId
  • AnchorId

By default, these properties may be using braces to identify the GUID for the Term store, Term set and Anchor. We need to remove the braces and leave the rest of the GUID string.

Here is an example of a cleaned up XML for a Managed Metadata field. Notice how I have removed the {braces} from around the GUIDs for SspdId, TermSetId and AnchorId (in bold).

<Field Type="TaxonomyFieldType" Name="MyTestMMD" SourceID="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/v3" StaticName="MyTestMMD" DisplayName="My Test Tax" Group="Test group" ShowField="Term1033" Required="FALSE" EnforceUniqueValues="FALSE" Mult="FALSE"> <Default /> <Customization> <ArrayOfProperty> <Property> <Name>SspId</Name> <Value xmlns:p4="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xmlns:q1="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" p4:type="q1:string">1ba8a7c0-a373-4bb7-8ee0-2d130933743a</Value> </Property> <Property> <Name>GroupId</Name> <Value xmlns:p4="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xmlns:q2="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" p4:type="q2:string">0e8f395e-ff58-4d45-9ff7-e331ab728beb</Value> </Property> <Property> <Name>TermSetId</Name> <Value xmlns:p4="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xmlns:q2="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" p4:type="q2:string">487ba508-4fba-49f1-be4f-ceee2624da0a</Value> </Property> <Property> <Name>TextField</Name> <Value xmlns:p4="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xmlns:q6="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" p4:type="q6:string">{44a5d269-ce40-4a8f-b0d6-6b7bcb95ff71}</Value> </Property> <Property> <Name>AnchorId</Name> <Value xmlns:p4="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xmlns:q3="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" p4:type="q3:string">00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000</Value> </Property> <Property> <Name>IsPathRendered</Name> <Value xmlns:p4="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xmlns:q7="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" p4:type="q7:boolean">false</Value> </Property> <Property> <Name>IsKeyword</Name> <Value xmlns:p4="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xmlns:q8="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" p4:type="q8:boolean">false</Value> </Property> <Property> <Name>Open</Name> <Value xmlns:p4="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xmlns:q5="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" p4:type="q5:boolean">false</Value> </Property> </ArrayOfProperty> </Customization> </Field>

A couple notes

If you fail to do this successfully, it may look like your column is working. However, SharePoint will not create managed or crawled properties correctly, thus making your column not searchable.

Final site script actions

The next thing we want to do is escape the XML so can we can use it inside a JSON site script. Then finally, we can add the Field definitions to our site script using the “createSiteColumnXml” action.

Here is an example of the two site script actions required to deploy a Managed Metadata field using site designs.

 {
   "verb": "createSiteColumnXml",  
    "schemaXml": "<Field ID=\"{44a5d269-ce40-4a8f-b0d6-6b7bcb95ff71}\" SourceID=\"http:\/\/schemas.microsoft.com\/sharepoint\/v3\" Type=\"Note\" Name=\"MyTestMMDTaxHTField\" StaticName=\"MyTestMMDTaxHTField\" DisplayName=\"MyTestMMDTaxHTField\" Group=\"Test group\" ShowInViewForms=\"FALSE\" Required=\"FALSE\" Hidden=\"TRUE\" CanToggleHidden=\"TRUE\" />"  
 },   
 {  
  "verb": "createSiteColumnXml",  
  "schemaXml": "<Field Type=\"TaxonomyFieldType\" Name=\"MyTestMMD\" SourceID=\"http:\/\/schemas.microsoft.com\/sharepoint\/v3\" StaticName=\"MyTestMMD\" DisplayName=\"My Test Tax\" Group=\"Test group\" ShowField=\"Term1033\" Required=\"FALSE\" EnforceUniqueValues=\"FALSE\" Mult=\"FALSE\"> <Default></Default> <Customization> <ArrayOfProperty> <Property> <Name>SspId</Name> <Value xmlns:q1=\"http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema\" p4:type=\"q1:string\" xmlns:p4=\"http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance\">1ba8a7c0-a373-4bb7-8ee0-2d130933743a</Value> </Property> <Property> <Name>GroupId</Name> <Value xmlns:q2=\"http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema\" p4:type=\"q2:string\" xmlns:p4=\"http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance\">0e8f395e-ff58-4d45-9ff7-e331ab728beb</Value> </Property> <Property> <Name>TermSetId</Name> <Value xmlns:q2=\"http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema\" p4:type=\"q2:string\" xmlns:p4=\"http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance\">487ba508-4fba-49f1-be4f-ceee2624da0a</Value> </Property> <Property> <Name>TextField</Name> <Value xmlns:q6=\"http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema\" p4:type=\"q6:string\" xmlns:p4=\"http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance\">{44a5d269-ce40-4a8f-b0d6-6b7bcb95ff71}</Value> </Property> <Property> <Name>AnchorId</Name> <Value xmlns:q3=\"http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema\" p4:type=\"q3:string\" xmlns:p4=\"http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance\">00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000</Value> </Property> <Property> <Name>IsPathRendered</Name> <Value xmlns:q7=\"http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema\" p4:type=\"q7:boolean\" xmlns:p4=\"http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance\">false</Value> </Property> <Property> <Name>IsKeyword</Name> <Value xmlns:q8=\"http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema\" p4:type=\"q8:boolean\" xmlns:p4=\"http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance\">false</Value> </Property> <Property> <Name>Open</Name> <Value xmlns:q5=\"http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema\" p4:type=\"q5:boolean\" xmlns:p4=\"http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance\">false</Value> </Property> </ArrayOfProperty> </Customization> </Field>"  
  },

You can see a full site script in this Gist.

Caveats & “uh ohs”

Using the site script actions above, you should be able to successfully create Managed Metadata fields using site designs. Just be aware that if you see some negative impacts when provisioning these…they are not fully supported by Microsoft.

Augment SharePoint site provisioning with messaging in real-time with Socket.io

Modern provisioning in SharePoint has taken on a new framework called Site designs. Site designs are like templates in that they can be used each time a new site is created in your Office 365 tenancy. A site design is essentially a list of actions (site scripts) that you want SharePoint to execute when creating new sites. These actions may include:

  • Creating a new list or library (or modifying the default one created with the site)
  • Creating site columns, content types, and configuring other list settings
  • Applying a theme
  • Setting a site logo
  • Adding navigation
  • Triggering a Microsoft Flow
  • Installing a deployed solution from the app catalog
  • Setting regional settings for the site
  • Setting external sharing capability for the site

Extending site designs

While site designs are continually being improved and expanded on by Microsoft, there are some gaps. From the beginning, Microsoft was aware they wouldn’t be able to fill all  gaps from the start so they allowed us to extend the out of the box provisioning using Microsoft Flow and Azure Functions using the “triggerFlow” action. To learn more about this functionality follow this PnP documentation.

Picture1.png

This model is extremely extensible and allows you to move some of the workload over to an Azure Function or Azure Automation Services to run PowerShell & C# to apply more custom provisioning artifacts such as pre-configured pages and web parts.

No Messaging?

Currently there is a limitation using this model. Given that the provisioning process has moved off into Azure, we are unable to notify the user what the current stage the Azure Function is currently running at.

Here is what the current messaging system looks like

Picture2.png

I’ve been told that that ability to provide our own messaging into this dialog is “coming”, but currently I wanted to overcome this limitation.

Clippy is back!

Months ago when SPFx application customizers were released I jokingly built a Clippy extension to run on modern SharePoint pages. The goal was to show how to call Microsoft Graph from an application customizer.

Clippy.png

I thought I would supercharge the functionality of Clippy by connecting him to the site design provisioning process.

Socket.io + Express

In order to do this, I had to come up with a mechanism for providing Clippy real-time updates during the provisioning process. I had recently started playing around with Socket.io and I believed this would be the best route forward.

I implemented Socket.io inside an Express api which is currently living up in the Azure. The plan is use this Socket.io as a messaging relay between the Azure Functions and my Clippy extension.

This is what the new flow looks like

NewFlow

We start with a site design that sends the new site URL to Microsoft Flow. Microsoft Flow will pick up that trigger and send an HTTP request to a Durable Azure Function orchestrator in Azure.

The Durable Azure Function orchestrator allows me to split out provisioning tasks (create lists, create pages, provision navigation, apply branding) while at the same time, maintaining state across my Azure Function tasks. As the provisioning is happening, I will send updates to Socket.io.

The Socket.io will receive the message from the Azure Function and update Clippy in real-time in SharePoint.

Socket.IO Configuration

Connection

In order to configure Socket.io to be the messaging system, I had to make sure I was working with individual clients and not broadcasting messages across all Clippy extensions in my tenancy. To do this, I am emitting from Clippy a “room” name. This room is the siteURL of the current site Clippy is running.

ioconnect

By doing this, whenever  I send a message from Socket.io to Clippy, I know exactly where to send it to.

Messaging

Messaging to Clippy is done through a POST request to Socket.Io The POST request contains a message, the provisioning status (complete/running) and the URL (unique identifier for the room). I take these parameters and emit the message to the Clippy extensions where room name is equal to the Site URL.

POstMessage

Clippy Configuration

Configuring Clippy is quite simple, it’s as easy as connecting to Socket.io in Azure and subscribing to the “emit” events.

Inside the _renderPlaceHolders() function of my application customizer, I am going to create a new Clippy and register to Socket.io

ClippyRegister

Inside the _registerSocketIO, I instantiate a new socket request to Socket.io. Once connected, I am going to send a message with my “room” name. This room name is going to be uniquely identified by the siteUrl of the current site being provisioned.

regiserIO

I have two basic actions I am subscribing to — “provisioningUpdate” and “provisioningComplete”. When Socket.io receives a message and broadcasts that, Clippy will pick it up and “speak” to the user the current update from provisioning.

The Azure Function

As previously mentioned, I am using a Durable Function to do the provisioning process. To learn about Durable Functions follow this link.  Here is what the Orchestrator tasks looks like.

Asure Function Design.png

Notice that I am passing in the siteUrl coming from my Microsoft Flow HTTP trigger. Inside, I have a couple tasks that are running.

  • Establish site as a hub site
  • Provisioning Lists
  • Provision Pages
  • Provision Terms

Also notice that I have an _emitUpdate() function which is running before and after my asynchronous tasks. During the provisioning process, this _emitUpdate is going to POST a message to Socket.io.

What a task looks like

Let’s take a look at what an individual task looks like.

ProvisionLists

My Azure Function task is going to create a new AppOnly context to SharePoint, load a provisioning template that contains a set of lists to be created and uses ApplyProvisioningTemplate(template) to apply the template to my site.

Inside _emitUpdate

My _emitUpdate is fairly simple. It’s going to take a message from the Orchestrator, create a new HttpClient and execute a POST message to my Socket.io with the current status of the provisioning process.

emitUpdate

Putting it together

Without going to deep into this (because it really is more high level education than anything)… let’s see what these messages look like in real time.

If Gif is missing… wait for it to load. Full size view can be found here.

ClippyProvision-min (1)

Want to learn more?

If you are looking to learn more about how I put this together, join me at SharePoint Saturday Denver on October 6th and I’ll be also be demoing this solution at SharePoint Saturday New England! Sign up!

Customizing the SharePoint Starter-Kit for Office 365 Part 3 – Collab Footer

The SharePoint Starter Kit is an open source initiative that provides an end to end solution for provisioning pre-built sites, web parts, extensions, site designs and more in an Office 365 environment. If you’ve explored it’s functionality and are looking to see how you can configure and customize it yourself, today we’ll be talking about the Collab footer.

The Collab footer is the menu bar (highlighted in red) at the bottom this image.

CollabFooter

The Collab footer is a SharePoint Framework customizer that allows for showing a set of standardized links and supports personalized links for the current logged in user.  You may be thinking this is very similar to the Portal footer. In fact, it is very similar in that it shares the same personal links. That means when a user configures a personal link on the Collab footer, it will automatically show up on the Portal footer in the hub site as well!

The personal links are stored in a property on the User Profile that needs to be created by an admin. Instructions to do so can be found on the GitHub repository at this page.

Here is what the Collab footer looks like when hovering over nested links.

CollabFooterExpanded

Where are the links stored?

Unlike the Portal footer, where the links are stored in a SharePoint list… the links in the Collab Footer are stored in the Term store which gets automatically provisioned during the deployment of the Starter Kit.

CollabFooterTerms

How to modify the links in the Collab Footer

In order to modify the links in the footer, you’ll need to edit the properties on each term within the PnP-CollabFooter-SharedLinks term set. Let’s make a modification to the Legal Policies link. By default, it links to https://intranet.contoso.com/LegalPolicies and looks like this.

CollabFooter-LegalPolicies

If you’d like to change the label for the link, just rename the term in the term set. Select the term and change the default label.

CollabFooterDefaultLabel.png

The link value is stored on the navigation property of the term in the term set. Click on the term and select Navigation from the tabbed menu.

CollabFooterNavigation.png

Let’s modify the default value to now link to a new library in our HR site that holds policy documents and click save.

CollabFooterChangeLink

 

Modify the link icon

If you are adding your own links or wish to change the icon of an existing link, it’s very simple. The icon’s used for the links are stored on custom properties on the term and references UI Fabric Icons.

Navigate to the UI Fabric Icons site and select an icon that suits your needs. Let’s modify the lock icon to be the “Documentation” icon instead of a padlock. Hover over the icon with your mouse, and copy the value underneath it.

CollabFooterDocumentation

To change the icon, navigate to the Term Store and select the term you wish to change. Select Custom Properties from the tabbed menu and you’ll find a custom property called PnP-CollabFooter-Icon. The default value for Legal Policies is “Lock”. This value is the icon class from UI Fabric.

Replace this value in the custom property of the term with the Fabric Icon we copied.

CollabFooterDocumentationSaved

If we reload the Collab footer we will see the new icon!

CollabFooterNewIcon

My new icon isn’t working!

You may find when you update the Icon with a different one, that it doesn’t render and instead you see a square box instead.

NoIcon

The reason for this is the SharePoint Framework isn’t using the latest version of Office UI Fabric. Because of this, you’ll have to choose a new icon.

Customize a menu for each Team site

After deploying the Starter Kit, you will notice the Collab footer is identical on both the HR and the Marketing site (this is by design). In the real world, it might make sense for department sites to have their own footer. In my environment, I had deployed an IT site along side the HR and Marketing team sites.

Let’s create a new footer for the Information Technology team site. In order to do so, here are the list of things we’ll need to do.

  1. Create a new term set for the IT site
  2. Remove the current Collab footer
  3. Add Collab footer back with new clientsidecomponentproperties

Create new Term Set

ItLinks

Start by creating a new Term Set under the PnPTermSets group. We’ll call it “PnP-CollabFooter-ITLinks”Create a couple terms, update their links in the Navigation menu and add the custom property for the icon from the Custom Properties menu.

Remove the current Collab footer.

In order to remove the existing Collab footer that was deployed from the Starter Kit, we’ll need to use PowerShell.

Connect-PnPOnline https://yoursite.sharepoint.com/sites/itsite
Remove-PnPCustomAction -Identity "CollabFooter"

Add updated Collab Footer

Now that we have removed the existing footer, we need up add the footer back and update the clientsidecomponentproperties before we do.

Clientsidecomponentproperties is a JSON object that defines a set of properties to be used by a SharePoint Framework component. Notice the property “sourceTermSet”.

Connect-PnPOnline https://yoursite.sharepoint.com/sites/itsite
Add-PnPCustomAction -Name "CollabFooter" -Title "CollabFooter" -ClientSideComponentId c0ab3b94-8609-40cf-861e-2a1759170b43 -Location "ClientSideExtension.ApplicationCustomizer" -ClientSideComponentProperties "{""sourceTermSet"":""PnP-CollabFooter-ITLinks"",""personalItemsStorageProperty"":""PnP-CollabFooter-MyLinks""}"

In the sourceTermSet value, I have set the value to the name of the new PnP-CollabFooter-ITLinks term set set we created earlier. Run this command and then navigate to your Information Technology site and see the new footer!

ITNewFooter.png

Final Thoughts

I hope you find this post helpful. The SharePoint Starter Kit is a great example of how to provision solutions into Office 365. It includes 17 different web parts and 7 application customizers which are free for you use to use and modify! If you have any questions or would like more information on this post, please comment and let me know!

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