Wednesday, 25 January 2017

An Introduction to Microsoft Graph API

In the simplest terms Microsoft Graph is the easiest way to call the Microsoft APIs be it Users, Groups, Mail, Calendars, Contacts, Files etc. all from a single endpoint. This was previously known as the Office 365 Unified API. It exposes multiple APIs from Microsoft Cloud Services like Outlook, OneDrive, OneNote etc through a single REST API endpoint ( Prior to this, in order to fetch data from each of these services you have to make different endpoint calls to the respective services making it a complex procedure. Using Microsoft Graph, you just have to make a single endpoint call to the cloud services and require a single authentication token.
As per Microsoft, “the Microsoft Graph gives you:
  • A unified API endpoint for accessing aggregated data from multiple Microsoft cloud services in a single response
  • Seamless navigation between entities and the relationships among them
  • Access to intelligence and insights coming from the Microsoft cloud”

The Microsoft Graph API uses Azure AD for authentication. The basic flow to get your app authenticated is listed below:
  1. Request an authorization code
  2. Request an access token based upon the authorization code. Besides the access token, you also receive a refresh token.
  3. Make call to the Microsoft Graph endpoint.
  4. When the access token expires, use the refresh token to get a new access token instead of going through the entire authentication flow again.
To read the complete post click on the link here

Fetching User Profile Information using the SharePoint Framework Client Side Webpart

Microsoft made some major announcements on May 2016 regarding the “Future of SharePoint”. This announcement brings a whole lot of new things into the picture around the modern team sites, new publishing pages, new UI for list and libraries, new home page for the sites etc. As a developer, one of the biggest change amongst these new changes is a new development model called the SharePoint Framework. Our focus on this article will be to do some deep dive into this new development model and use it to build a sample client side webpart.

As per Microsoft, “The SharePoint Framework is a page and web model that provides full support for client-side SharePoint development, easy integration with SharePoint data, and support for open source tooling. With SharePoint Framework, you can use modern web technologies and tools in your preferred development environment to build productive experiences and apps that are responsive and mobile-ready from day one. The SharePoint Framework works for SharePoint on-premises and SharePoint Online.”

SharePoint Framework is a new modern and improved development model announced by Microsoft. It is a model that is solely focused on client side development. This new model is pure JavaScript based.  This allows developers to use modern JavaScript and web template frameworks to build applications. We don’t even require a SharePoint server to preview our customization. We have the SharePoint Workbench that provides us a test environment on our desktop itself. 

With the release of the first developer preview for the SharePoint Framework on August 18, 2016, we can actually do some research and get our hands dirty as to see what this new framework brings for us.

To read the complete post click on the link here


Tuesday, 28 April 2015

SharePoint 2013 : Creating a Composed Look

With SharePoint 2013, many new features has been introduced by Microsoft like Device Channels, Cross Site Publishing, App Model, JS Link and many more. Among those many new cool features, one is Composed Look which has brought a revolution around the previous concept of themes. 

Before we actually dive into the Theming engine, let us understand what themes actually are and after which we will talk about Composed Looks. 

As quoted from MSDN “Themes give you a quick and easy way to change the look and feel of any site in SharePoint 2013. They are predesigned collections of web page elements, such as fonts, color schemes, layout, and background pictures that come with SharePoint 2013.

From an end user perspective, this is a very powerful feature as the users can select an OOTB available design and change the color, font, background image and layout etc. as well as create a new design altogether. We will get on to how to achieve this in a little while.

With the advent of SharePoint 2013, there has been great improvement around the Theming Engine. Now we are not required to make themes in the Office client anymore. A new feature has been introduced by Microsoft namedComposed Looks.  If you browse to the Site Settings > Look and Feel there you can see a link to Change the Look. Clicking on this link will land you on a page where you can see all the available composed looks that you can select from. 

In SharePoint 2013 the theming engine has been revamped keeping into consideration the power users so as to facilitate them with a simple solution in the form of an interface where they can change the theme of their SharePoint 2013 site so that it gets aligned with their corporate branding standards in terms of color, fonts etc. without investing much time into it. It is indeed a very powerful feature when it comes to the enterprise. 

With composed looks, you can offer your Power Users with a list of branded looks and also give them the flexibility to do some modifications around the layout, color, fonts and images.

To read the complete post click click on the link here


Sunday, 15 February 2015

SharePoint 2013 : An Introduction to JSLink

Client Side Rendering (CSR) is one of the new concepts introduced by Microsoft in SharePoint 2013. With the help of this new feature you don’t have to write XSLT to style SharePoint elements like list views, fields etc. Using this technique you simply have to make use of HTML and JavaScript to change the user interface.

As cited in MSDN “Client-side rendering provides a mechanism that you can use to produce your own output for a set of controls that are hosted in a SharePoint page. This mechanism enables you to use well-known technologies, such as HTML and JavaScript, to define the rendering logic of custom field types. In client-side rendering you can specify your own JavaScript resources and host them in the data storage options available to your farm solution, such as the _layouts folder.

Client side rendering is like a templating mechanism that you use to customize the UI. 

When we talk about client side rendering, then there are two things that requires a mention here are:
  1. Display Templates
  2. JSLink

Display templates are used in webparts that are based upon search technology. They are used for handling the rendering of the search results on the page. We can customize how the search results will appear to the end user.

The second one i.e. the JSLink, is of our interest in the scope of this article. JSLink is one amongst the many cool features introduced by Microsoft in SharePoint 2013.
It is a property that is available on many SharePoint objects like content types, lists, views, fields and web part properties. We simply point this property to a JavaScript file that will do a magic on our page.  In other words, will simply transform our page into whatever way we want to render all at the client side.

You might have encountered scenarios where your customers have approached you to display lists with a custom look and feel without writing any piece of code. Consider for example you have a list holding contact details of the users that needs to be displayed in a card like manner as opposed to the traditional screen. And all this has to be done without writing any server side code. Though this might seem to be tricky but it can be achieved very easily using a simple mechanism and i.e. JSLink.

JSLink has tremendous power. It can transform your entire site into an attractive piece without writing any server side code.  It is like an on-off switch. If you don’t like it, you can simply remove the value of the jslink property and you will get back the original default behaviour.

To see the actual strength of this property, let us actually dig some code and cover some scenarios.

To read the complete post click click on the link here

Friday, 31 October 2014

SharePoint Online : An Introduction to Office Delve

Microsoft has been talking about “codename Oslo” and Office Graph since the SharePoint conference in March 2014. Office Delve (previously codenamed “Oslo”) was launched recently by Microsoft on September 8.  For all those who are not aware as to what Office Delve is, let us briefly discuss about what the Office Delve is and after that we will dive into fetching data from Office Graph Using Graph Query Language.

To read the complete post click on the link here

Step by Step Guide to Configure Environment for Creating your first SharePoint Hosted App

One of the new features of SharePoint 2013 is the SharePoint App Model. Similar to the windows phone marketplace, we now have a SharePoint Store available where we can simply search for apps and download them on our SharePoint site.  In SharePoint 2013, everything is an app, be it lists or libraries.

In this article we will talk about how to configure development environment for an on-premise implementation of a SharePoint Hosted App. We will also create our first basic SharePoint Hosted Apps and talk about few possible errors usually encountered by developers while implementing their very first app. There are huge amount of reference available over MSDN to create and configure the apps but the purpose of this article is to help developers not only configure the environment but also pose before them the common challenges that they might face during their very first implementation and help them resolve those errors.

To have a complete look at this post, refer to link over here

Thursday, 26 June 2014

SharePoint Online : Working with People Search and User Profiles

People Search and User Profiles are amongst the popular topics that everyone use in their projects every now and then. With SharePoint 2013, a lot of functionality has been included in the Client API's by Microsoft. If you consider user profiles itself, in SharePoint 2010 you cannot fetch user profiles using client side object model. However, with SharePoint 2013, you have a wide variety of methods that you can use to fetch the user profile information using client object model. The search API is also expanded greatly.

Content Search WebPart is one of the important additions in SharePoint 2013. Using this webpart you can display content that was crawled and added to search index.

To have a complete look at this post refer to the link over here