exploring SharePoint Online

Our office is soon moving to SharePoint online. Currently we are using SP2007 and Microsoft does not support content migration from 2007 to 2013 or SP online. This is good and bad. Good because we can build sites from scratch, bad because there is no easy way to move our contents from SP2007 to SP online. We should be able to copy files and folders from 2007 to online but all the metadata will be lost. lists will be even tougher. we have the third party solution called ShareGate but IT guys are telling us it is faily slow we can not possibly migrate the whole sites (that is in the size of the order of Terabytes.) and would like to selectively use the tool. Document Management is tricky under the SharePoint at best.

UI has been greatly improved. It is now much easier to interact with contents with JavaScript. I am having tremendous fun with technique like CSR (client side rendering) and REST API that can be used with CSR or as a conetnt of CEWP as usual.  Furthermore , attaching JavaScript code to web part is made less painful by the introduction of JsLink option and inclusion of script web part.

It is also good to have started late in the game. Internet is filled with power user tips. (I can use most of the technique meant for SharePoint 2013 with SharePoint online.)

One of my favorite technique called “calculated column” is still possible with much less hassle.  Again CSR can be used for this with literally one line of code.  Even better, I can forego with calculated columns at all and directly manipulate the target columns and show bar graph or traffic signal instead, using CSR’s context override.

Filter/connection of WebParts on the page is now performed on the list and not view. In another word, the filtering column do not need to be a part of the view.  This is tremendous for me. I no longer need to hide a column that is used for my filter because I don’t need to include the column in the view to start with.

EasyTabs that we used and found so useful for SharePoint 2007 does not work as is.  Again somebody has modified it for SharePoint 2013 and it is  working. Christophe seems to have developed another tool package that includes EasyTabs functionality but my inquiry to him went unanswered so I am using this version.

There is another code called Hillibily Tabs which essentially do the same thing as EasyTabs.  This one uses jQuery and jQuery UI (and CSS) to manipulate the tab, so how do I say this..  It’s flashy and probably more maintainable.

Excellent write up on CSR by Andrei Markeev is here be sure to check other articles by him.

This one by Kaptyn is also good

Many CSR examples are on Office Dev Center, uploaded by Muawiyah Shannak.

The above examples contains calculated column like effect witihout using the calculated column.    However, if you insist Calculated columns to be used, here is Christoph’s explanation of how it can be done.

List Roll up

I was first thinking maybe we need to purchase third party package to do this.  It turned out this is doable with home made JavaScript code with REST API. I am able to Roll up the list (read only at this time, because I only feel comfortable with “GET” potion of the API) in my sandbox, using a couple of sub-sites.  I will try and see how scalable this technique is.

Minimum Download Strategy

Sooner or later, people will hit this “MDS” *issues*  where the view changes back to its default look when switching the view,  or code breaks because it can not find jQuery that was supposed to have been loaded.  I am still learning this but found some blog entries very helpful.

  1. Article by Kalmstrom.com talks about what happens with MDS in very short text and also give pointers to how to deal with it
  2. SharePoint 2013 – A Better Pattern for Client Side Rendering Scripts shows a script pattern that can be used for site with or without MDS feature enabled.

However, my observation is that once you introduce your own code to the mix, then SharePoint engine with MDS seems to try render first with MDS way, then try to render again for “foreign” code.  Because of this, some of the pages does load faster with MDS off.  So turning this feature is not as bad as it may sound.

 

Most of the link here are from various blog entries.  Again, it must be much easier now than two years ago to find the information I need.  MSDN also have many documents I can refer to but there coverage is broader (C#, XML ,.aspx and JavaScript code).  As a business side power user, I (can) only use JavaScript and find those individuals’ entries priceless. My appreciation goes to those who spent many nights to figure out and then took a time to write about it!

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