Retiring SharePoint Online/Office 365 Features

A few features of SharePoint Online in Office 365 have recently been retired (rather abruptly) or are slated to go in the next year.

First up, Tags & Notes. In a support article titled SharePoint Online Tags & Notes feature retired on the Office support site you can learn all about what this means and potential downstream impacts. Microsoft’s advice? Use Yammer.

Here’s what we recommend as an alternative to Tags & Notes:

Next up, we have SharePoint Online and Task synchronisation going the way of the dodo. Over on the MS support site, KB 2998485 - The “Tasks” link and “Sync to Outlook” button are missing from a personal site in SharePoint Online informs us that the Tasks option will be disappearing from SharePoint Online in the very near future. Microsoft’s advice? Stop syncing Tasks to Outlook.

If you’re currently syncing a SharePoint tasks list to Microsoft Outlook, tasks will continue to sync for approximately one year following this announcement. The personal Tasks page will also continue to be available for one year. After that time, this functionality will be removed and will no longer be available or supported.

User groups, kangaroos, and SharePoint Migrations

I had the pleasure of presenting at not one, but two (!!) user groups in Australia this past week to discuss the pitfalls of migrating to SharePoint 2013 and all the things that go wrong along the way.

First up, the Sydney SharePoint User Group located in the heart of the CBD. Sydney is my home away from home for the next few years, and I’m very grateful to the organisers for giving me the opportunity to come out.

The following day, after a quick train ride and some kangaroo sightings, it was off to Canberra for the Canberra SharePoint User Group. There were some projector issues, but I do hope that everyone that attended got something out of the session.

MSDN Magazine: 10 Best Practices For Building SharePoint Solutions

MSDN Magazine has a SharePoint focused article this month titled 10 Best Practices For Building SharePoint Solutions. If you’re trying to wrap your head around the scope and depth of developing solutions on top of SharePoint, the article makes for a good primer.

InfoPath Custom Initiation Form “stuck” on “Installing”

When developing custom InfoPath initiation forms for my workflows, I sometimes forget a crucial step when publishing the forms. If you enter an alternate location when publishing your form, the form state will become stuck on “Installing”.

The moral of the story? When publishing a custom initiation form, be sure to leave the “Alternate” publishing location empty.

Tools for your SharePoint Toolbox: SPTraceView

SPTraceView (by Hristo Pavlov) is a tool which allows a user (with console and/or RDP access to a SharePoint server) to view the trace logs for SharePoint in real time. Parsing through ULS logs can be a tedious process, but being able to see the events as they occur certainly makes it much more palatable.

SPTraceView can be used in either a single server or a farm scenario, although a farm does require some configuration.

Fixing Absolute URLs in a Content Editor Web Part

Maxime Bombardier has a post on the subject of fixing one of the bigger issues with the Content Editor web part. For the uninitiated, a Content Editor web part always renders absolute URLs when the rich-text editing capabilities are used. I must admit that I would have never have thought to use a control adapter to manipulate the output of the web part on the fly. Now that I have learned something new, you should too.

Go check it out.