Fun with PowerApps part 1: setting up the default gateway

I’ve recently been playing with PowerApps for the first time, I set myself a challenge of creating an IT service desk in PowerApps using a SharePoint 2016 on premise environment as the main data source.

So before I start going through all the steps I found were needed for me to setup the default gateway, this article from Microsoft is a great place to start and contains most of the steps I’ll go through below:

Setting up the default gateway

  1. Download the gateway installer here
  2. Run and begin the install of the default gateway, this can be installed anywhere that is able to connect to the server name provided. Press Next
  3. Specify the install location for the gateway and accept the terms of use. Press Install

  4. Enter the email address you wish to use with this gateway. On the next screen of the wizard, press Sign in

  5. Select Register a new gateway on this computer, press Next

  6. Give your new on-premises data gateway a name, enter a recovery key and confirm it. Press Configure

  7. In the PowerApps Studio, under Gateways you should now see your Gateway listed

I found that the internal firewall where I had setup the gateway was blocking connections, in my case the system admin allowed these connections and it worked a treat!

I also found that the 365 account used to register the default gateway needed a Power BI license assigned to it to be able to connect to a SharePoint on premise data connection.

I’m planning on doing a series of posts over the next few weeks on my fun with PowerApps so part 2 will be coming soon!

Configuring outgoing email SharePoint 2016

One of the first things a user may ask their shiny, new SharePoint 2016 site collection to do is to have the ability to send email. Luckily, this is pretty easy to do and will just rely on you getting to grips with a few things about SMTP server:

  • SMTP server address
  • SMTP server port number

If you don’t know either of these, then it might be worth getting friendly with your system admins as they should be able to help! To start configuring outgoing email in SharePoint 2016, we need to set it up at the central admin level:

  • Navigate to central admin – system settings
  • Under Email and Text Messages – Configure outgoing email settings
  • In Outgoing email settings – enter your SMTP server information, from, reply-to address and press OK

Now your SharePoint environment should be configured to send outgoing email, next we will check that outgoing email is set up correctly at the web application level:

  • Navigate back to Central Admin – under Application Management – Manage web applications
  • Select the web application you wish to manage
  • Press the General Settings drop down – Outgoing email

Check that SMTP server details are correct (based on the farm level configuration we did earlier), you can also personalise the from and reply-to addresses for the web application if you want them to be different to the top-level.


One issue I’ve encountered when configuring outgoing email in SharePoint 2016 is where lists or libraries aren’t sending email alerts. The initial email is sent when alerts are setup, but the subsequent email alerts don’t fire.

The issue quite a specific one but worth mentioning, as at first I applied this security update which included an update for outgoing email, but didn’t solve the problem. It turned out that in Exchange Server, if anonymous Relay settings isn’t enabled, then your SharePoint servers need to be added to the allowed hosts relay list. So back to my earlier point, if this issue affects you – make sure you take your system admin to lunch to pick his brain about exchange relays!

Updating manage access requests

As a SharePoint administrator, you should be fairly familiar with this error message:

If you’re not, it could mean that your SharePoint’s site access requests aren’t going to the correct email address…or you might just be ignoring them! In any case if you find that you need to manage where these site access requests go you can do.

When a SharePoint site collection is provisioned, site access requests are configured to be sent to the email address(s) specified at the point which the site was created, but a site administrator can change this for each site within the site collection they administer. By default, when a sub-site is created the same email address(s) that are configured on the parent site are used for access requests to the sub site.

Follow the steps below to change these settings:

In Site Actions – Site Permissions

Select Manage Access Requests from the ribbon

Specify the email address to send requests to and click OK. Note: you can add multiple email addresses here, just separate each address with a semicolon.

Note: With manage access requests configured users can click a link on the access denied page when they are unable to access content. If no email address has been configured for this site, the link will not appear on the access denied page.

SharePoint Virtual Summit 2017 – Roundup

Yesterday’s SharePoint Virtual Summit highlighted some of the latest innovations for SharePoint and OneDrive. It was an interesting event that continued to further Microsoft’s cloud and mobile first vision.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the summit:

  • Over 250k organizations and 85% of the Fortune 500 have SharePoint
  • OneDrive lets you work with all your files in Office 365 with Files On-Demand
  • Connect existing SharePoint Online sites to Office 365 groups
  • Submit documents for approval with new approval flow.
  • Trigger and share flows in lists & document libraries!
  • Personalised search lets you find more of what you need. Faster!
  • New web parts help you do more in SharePoint and Office365
  • Yammer adds conversation and drives engagement within communication sites
  • Modern SharePoint Online admin experience!
  • Microsoft Graph & Webhooks across sites & lists make SharePoint even more powerful.
  • SharePoint Framework for SharePoint Server 2016 in FP2!

Here’s a great roundup by collab365 of the summit!

Here’s Bill Baer’s blog on the summit

Watch the SharePoint Virtual Summit 2017 in full