Copy of this page option missing in SharePoint

This post describes an observation of how the copy of this page option will be missing for certain pages in SharePoint Online and how to get around it.

Modern pages are great in SharePoint Online…they look good, are easy to author and can be shared really easily once published. However, there are some quirks to the user experience when creating and copying pages, in particular the copy of this page option.

The issue

In the old days of SharePoint 2010, you could only copy or move pages through site content and structure – unless you used PowerShell. Well nowadays it’s as simple as a couple of clicks from the ribbon: 

  • Press + New
  • Select copy of this page
Copy of this page option available in SharePoint Online.

Or at least that’s what I thought! The problem occurs with the default homepages within modern SharePoint sites. When you go to try to make a copy of the homepage you will find the option is not available.

Copy of this page option missing from menu.

Workaround

The way I’ve managed to get around this issue is to make a copy of the homepage in the Site Pages library, then rename it to something more meaningful. To do this:

  • Open the Site Pages library
  • Select the Home.aspx page
  • Press Copy to
  • Leave the copy to location as the Site Pages library > press copy here
  • Press the three dots next to the copied page > rename
  • Give your page a new name > press rename
Copy the homepage, then rename it to something more meaningful.

That’s it, you can now work on a copy of the page in the same way you would using the copy of this page option.


How to build a knowledge base in SharePoint

This post will detail step-by-step how to build a knowledge base using the modern authoring experience in SharePoint Online.

Contents

Intro

SharePoint and knowledge bases have gone hand in hand for many years. If you have been involved with SharePoint for any length of time it is not an uncommon request to be asked to build a knowledge base at some point. With the advent of AI and machine learning within Microsoft 365, plus the introduction of Knowledge & Content Services (formerly Project Cortex), SharePoint Syntex and Microsoft Viva Topics, you may think the need to build a traditional knowledge base has gone the way of the dodo.

Well the pricing of the above services means that my organisation won’t readily adopt these new things, so for now at least continuing to leverage metadata rich lists & libraries will have to suffice! Here’s how I built a knowledge base in SharePoint Online…

IT Knowledge base image

Site features

  • Custom site theme/design
  • Mega-menu navigation
  • PnP modern search V3
  • Custom page templates
  • Site Pages library with additional metadata
  • Lookup value lists
  • Change log list

Web parts used

  • Image with colour block
  • Search box
  • Highlighted content
  • Image/ text
  • Page properties (KB articles)
  • Search results web part
  • Searh filters web part

Approach

I wanted to leverage the modern page authoring experience for creating pages, as there are several people adding content to the knowledge base (KB). So with that in mind the knowledge base is built around the Site Pages library, using the metadata applied to each knowledge base article to drive dynamic web parts throughout the site such as search, page properties and the highlighted content web part.

Within the KB, all KB articles get categorised by the type of technology, application and product they fall under. These work for my KB as I can fit KB articles within these headings. For example:

KB article: How to fix the sync connection in SharePoint 2010

TechnologyApplicationProduct
MicrosoftSharePoint ServerSharePoint 2010

Site Pages library

As mentioned above, the Site Pages library is the lynchpin to the entire knowledge base. Starting with the Pages library, I created columns to capture additional metadata about each KB article. Here are the columns I created:

Technology: lookup column, values held in custom list
Application: lookup column, values held in custom list
Product: lookup column, values held in custom list
Knowledge Type: choice column
Topic: Managed Metadata column
Contact: Person or Group

Technology, Application & Product are what drive each view within the Site Pages library. I have created a view for each Technology and Application, which are used for web parts embedded within the relevant pages (for example: Microsoft).

Product is used as a way to formalise the type of KB articles that are created (for example: Procedure), with Topic effectively being a way to tag KB articles with a wider variety of terms to aid searching and filtering.

Custom site theme/ design

I originally provisioned the site based on the news, resources, actions template in the SharePoint look book. From here I created a simple custom site theme following the excellent blog post how to configure and apply a custom theme in SharePoint Online by Greg Zelfond.

The only thing I did different is I used a different website to generate my theme which you can use here. This theme generator site allows you to access more of the colours that are used when creating a theme to potentially create a multi-coloured theme. For more information of this check out another great post by Laura Kokkarinen here.

Use a theme generator to create a custom theme for your SharePoint Online site.

Homepage

The homepage of the knowledge base is broken down into three key areas: search, recently added and the browse area.

Search: Search web part as part of the PnP modern search solution V3. Connected to a custom search results page (more information below).

Recently added: Highlighted content web part that only shows pages from this site, filtered by recently added earlier this year.

Browse: Three column section consisting of images, text and button web parts. I used the images from the look book template to get the correct sizing for the images above. When updating the images I noticed they didn’t update immediately which I wrote about how to fix here.


The navigation for the KB has been created using the mega menu option within the Change the look > Navigation options. The links have all been created manually for each section, with each link going to either a dedicated page or a view created from the Site Pages library.

Mega menu navigation in the IT KB.

Search web part

The search for the knowledge base is all based on web parts from the PnP modern search solution V3. From the homepage there is a search web part. Before configuring the search web part on the homepage you will need to create and configure the search results page and web part as it is required as a data source. I followed the guidance from the PnP modern search solution documentation to configure the search web part with the following properties:

The search web part configuration on the knowledge base homepage.

Search results

The search results is a dedicated page created within the knowledge base that includes the search box, search results and search filters web parts. The search box web part is configured in exactly the same way as on the homepage and just serves as a consistent way to see your search results and search again if required.

The search results web part has been added to a separate, one-third left section underneath the search box web part shared with the search filters web part. The search results web part has the following settings:

Connect to source: Page environment
Page environment’s properties: Search
Search: Search query
Use a default search query: No
Query template: {searchTerms} Path:{Site.URL} FileType=aspx
Result source identifier: No
Sort order: Created, size
Sortable properties: None
Connect to a search refiners web part: On
Use refiners from this component: Filter
Connect to search verticals: Off
Enable query rules: On
Include personal OneDrive results: Off
Selected properties: {searchTerms} Path:{Site.URL} FileType=aspx
Refinement filters: None
Show paging: On
Number of items per page: 30
Number of pages: 4
Hide navigation: No
Hide navigation if disabled: Yes
Results layout: Simple list

Search filter web part

The search filter web part has been added to the search results page with no additional configuration changes made. Don’t forget (like I did), to get the search filter web part to start to work with your search results, you need to turn it on within the search results web part – under connect to a search refiners web part!


Page templates

I’ve used page templates within the knowledge base to standardise the layout of each KB article. At the time of writing there are only two templates to choose from: an application template or new KB article.

Example KB article page template

The KB article page template includes a page properties web part that shows the Knowledge Type, Contact and Topic.

The layout of each KB article page template is as follows:
One-third right section: Text web part (left), Page properties web part (right)
One column section: Two text web parts
One column section: Two text web parts

How to create a page template

  • Create or open the page you want to use as your template
  • Press the down arrow next to the save button > Save as template

Page templates will now appear under saved on this site when creating a new page. Templates are also saved in a “Templates” folder within the Site Pages library.

Create page templates to standardise how knowledge is created.

More information on how to manage and delete templates can be found here.

Issues & next steps

Dependant drop-down lists, Power Apps and the Site Pages library

One area I would like to improve on is including the ability to have dependant drop-downs for Technology, Application and Product when applying metadata to KB articles. When creating the KB, I did work on two ways to achieve this- but they both fell short in the end.

My first attempt was to customise the Site Pages library new and edit forms using Power Apps. I used this article by Microsoft on how to create dependent drop-down lists in a canvas apps as a starting point, but had to make some changes to account for the additional third level of drop-down. Although I got this working within the context of PowerApps, I had to abandon this method as creating new pages in the Site Pages library via Power Apps is not supported. My experience was that once I customised the form in Power Apps, it pretty much broke the Site Pages library. I was unable to create new pages and it would default to an old style wiki page and not let me create modern site pages.

Custom forms for document libraries only supports editing custom metadata. Editing or managing file(s) is not supported.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/connectors/sharepointonline/

After this failed, I also tried an older way of doing this by using JQuery and SPServices as described here.

Initially I got this to work too, but it was also a pretty poor solution when working with modern pages as the only way to actually get to the dependent drop-downs was by pressing “Edit all” which took you to the classic version of the edit properties page.

Aside from this, you also have to jump through several hoops to add in the old content editor web part, which are too numerous to describe in this post but have linked to one of them.

There was also a recent change to how classic forms work with modern lists that stopped this method working all together. Although this seems to be resolved, my understanding is you have to set your list to run in the classic experience in order to get this method to work – so I’ve scrapped this too!

I currently have no solution for dependant drop-downs, but am open for suggestions that are low code or relatively easy to implement. Feedback so far from users is that they aren’t all that bothered about it as the process to apply metadata is easy.

Images not updating when refreshing

As I was in the process of updating the KB homepage I noticed that when replacing some of the images or other assets that make up the page, they weren’t visibly updating after a forced browser refresh. I wrote a separate post called how to force images to update in SharePoint Online which details how to resolve this.

Updating the modern search solution

When I began building the KB I deployed what is now version 3 of the modern search solution. Since then the PnP team have created PnP Modern Search V4, I’ve personally decided not to update my search solution as at the time of writing V4 doesn’t support suggested keywords which is a part of my solution.


Limitations of copy/ move options in SharePoint and Teams

In this post, we will explore what copy and move options are available for end-users in SharePoint, Microsoft Teams and OneDrive, their limitations and what resolution options are available.

Overview

The move and copy features in Microsoft 365 are a welcome addition for anyone used to the pains of moving or copying files in classic versions of SharePoint. Gregory Zelfond has a fantastic write up of how to move and copy documents in SharePoint and OneDrive which gives a great explanation of the move/ copy actions which I would recommend everyone check out.

In the good old days, finding where the copy/move features were in SharePoint of old was a small triumph in of itself. Buried within the bowels of manage content and structure, the move feature looked pretty scary – from the confusing navigation tree to the spinning green wheel of worry as to whether your file was actually being moved or not.

The copy/ move features are much, much better now – mainly the unified user experience across M365 makes it much easier to get to grips with and understand. It is now literally as simple as selecting the files or folders you want to copy/ move > pressing copy/ move and do it…well almost!

An example of how easy it is to move files to a new location in SharePoint Online.

Current limitations

As good as the copy/ move features are now, they do however come with their own limitations. When I initially outlined this post in December 2020, much of the limitations were the same as today, however there was a 2GB limit for each individual file that was being copied/ moved in a single operation.

Later in December 2020, Microsoft announced an increased upload file size limit from 100 GB to 250 GB for SharePoint, Teams and OneDrive. Shortly thereafter the SharePoint limits service description was also updated, seemingly to reflect this change. As of February 2021 the requirements are:

No more than 100 GB total file size
No more than 30,000 files
Each file must be less than 15 GB

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-gb/office365/servicedescriptions/sharepoint-online-service-description/sharepoint-online-limits

There are other limitations around the copy/move features, such as:

  • Using the Move to feature will also move the complete history of the document to the new destination. Copy to will only copy the latest version – to copy earlier versions, you need to restore and copy each one.
  • The Move to operation will fail if you attempt to move the document across libraries and the destination has enforced unique values.
  • When using Move to, files will continue to appear in the source location until it has fully moved. It will then be deleted and moved to the recycle bin, where it is subject to the normal recycle schedule unless a user recovers it.
  • Move to option is not currently available on the Site Pages Library. 

When I first realised the above limitations, I thought a way around it might be to just copy the data from source to a new location using the Migration Manager. This will not work as you are only able to specify one level of folder within a given document library in SharePoint, Teams or OneDrive. If you are required to migrate the data to sub-folders two, three or more levels deep within a document library, the Migration Manager will not be able to complete this.

You can only select a top-level folder from a given document library via the Migration Manager.

Practical example

The requirements above becomes an issue when migrating data at scale in my opinion. For example, with a file server migration – organisations that migrate all their file server data into Microsoft 365 with a view to restructure after the fact, the limitations of these requirements become much more apparent.

The 100 GB total file size limit, as with the no more than 30,000 files could cause issues where file server data is concerned as it will stop data owners being able to move large parts of their data structure to new locations if it exceeds this limit – although you could also argue this is also a good thing!

The increase of the individual file size does make a big difference to the overall picture, but now with a 250GB upload limit it could be even more difficult to move data around in future.

Resolution options

I’ve only been able to come up with one actual way to get around this problem – and once again ShareGate is our friend! Running migrations using the ShareGate desktop app allows you to copy from the relevant sub-folder, or to the relevant sub-folder in the destination – no matter how many levels down it is.

You can copy from and to sub-folders using the ShareGate Desktop App.

I’ve been able to copy either all folders/ sub-folders in a location or select specific using the copy content only option. In the example below I’ve navigated several folders deep within a SharePoint library and selected the specific folders I wish to copy.

To do this you just select the folders you wish to copy, or if it’s just one or two you want to leave behind press select all > then CTRL + click the folder you want to omit from the migration.

Aside from this, the only options would be to either:

  • Only have a top-level folder structure in the destination, to allow you to use the Migration Manager
  • Reduce the total size/ number of items being moved to allow you to use the native copy/ move features in M365

Useful SharePoint URLs

This post is to serve as a reference point for all the useful shortcut URLs in SharePoint that help admins and super users get their jobs done much easier.

There are several blog posts by others with these URLs in them, but I wanted to preserve them in my own blog for future generations! Most of these links have come from SharePoint 2010, so if you want them to work in differing versions just add a 14, 15 or 16 after the layouts folder to work in 2010, 2013, 2016 or SharePoint Online.

My favourites

TitleURL
Site contents/_layouts/15/viewlsts.aspx
/_layouts/15/viewlsts.aspx?view=14 (old style view)
Manage content & structure/_layouts/sitemanager.aspx
Audit log reports /_layouts/Reporting.aspx?Category=Auditing

Users and permissions

TitleURL
People/_layouts/people.aspx
Groups/_layouts/groups.aspx
Site Collection Admins /_layouts/mngsiteadmin.aspx
Advanced Permissions /_layouts/user.aspx

Galleries

TitleURL
Site Columns/_layouts/mngfield.aspx
Site content types/_layouts/mngctype.aspx
Web parts/_catalogs/wp/Forms/AllItems.aspx
List templates/_catalogs/lt/Forms/AllItems.aspx
Master Pages/_layouts/ChangeSiteMasterPage.aspx
Themes/_catalogs/theme/Forms/AllItems.aspx
Solutions/_catalogs/solutions/Forms/AllItems.aspx

Site administration

TitleURL
Regional settings/_layouts/regionalsetng.aspx
Content and structure/_Layouts/sitemanager.aspx?Source={WebUrl}_layouts/settings.aspx
Content and structure logs/_Layouts/SiteManager.aspx?lro=all
Site libraries and lists/_layouts/mcontent.aspx
User alerts/_layouts/sitesubs.aspx
RSS/_layouts/siterss.aspx
Search and offline availability/_layouts/srchvis.aspx
Sites and workspaces/_layouts/mngsubwebs.aspx
Workflows/_layouts/wrkmng.aspx
Workflow settings/_layouts/wrksetng.aspx
Related Links scope settings/_layouts/RelLinksScopeSettings.aspx
Content Organizer Settings/_layouts/DocumentRouterSettings.aspx?Source=settings.aspx
Content Organizer Rules/RoutingRules/Group%20by%20Content%20Type.aspx
Site output cache/_Layouts/areacachesettings.aspx
Term store management/_Layouts/termstoremanager.aspx
Searchable columns/_Layouts/NoCrawlSettings.aspx

Look and feel

TitleURL
Welcome page/_Layouts/AreaWelcomePage.aspx
Title, description and icon/_layouts/prjsetng.aspx
Master page/_Layouts/ChangeSiteMasterPage.aspx
Page layouts and site templates/_Layouts/ChangeSiteMasterPage.aspx
Tree view/_layouts/navoptions.aspx
Site theme/_layouts/themeweb.aspx
Navigation/_layouts/AreaNavigationSettings.aspx

Site actions

TitleURL
Manage site features/_layouts/ManageFeatures.aspx
Reset to site definition/_layouts/reghost.aspx
Delete this site/_layouts/deleteweb.aspx
Site web analytics reports/_layouts/WebAnalytics/Report.aspx?t=SummaryReport&l=s
Site collection web analytics reports/_layouts/WebAnalytics/Report.aspx?t=SummaryReport&l=sc

Site collection administration

TitleURL
Search settings/_layouts/enhancedSearch.aspx
Search scopes/_layouts/viewscopes.aspx
Search keywords/_layouts/listkeywords.aspx
Site level recycle bin/_layouts/RecycleBin.aspx
Site collection recycle bin/_layouts/AdminRecycleBin.aspx
Site collection features/_layouts/ManageFeatures.aspx?Scope=Site
Site directory settings/_layouts/SiteDirectorySettings.aspx
Site hierarchy/_layouts/vsubwebs.aspx
Site collection navigation/_layouts/SiteNavigationSettings.aspx
Site collection audit settings/_layouts/AuditSettings.aspx
Audit log reports/_layouts/Reporting.aspx?Category=Auditing
Portal site connection/_layouts/portal.aspx
Site collection policies/_layouts/Policylist.aspx
Storage Metrics/_layouts/storman.aspx
Record declaration settings/_layouts/InPlaceRecordsSettings.aspx?Source=settings.aspx
Content type publishing/_Layouts/contenttypesyndicationhubs.aspx
Site collection cache profiles/_Layouts/RedirectPage.aspx?Target={SiteCollectionUrl}cache profiles
Site collection object cache/_Layouts/objectcachesettings.aspx
Content type service application error log/Lists/ContentTypeAppLog
Site collection output cache/_Layouts/sitecachesettings.aspx
Variations/_Layouts/VariationSettings.aspx
Variation labels/_Layouts/VariationLabels.aspx
Translatable columns/_Layouts/TranslatableSettings.aspx
Variation logs/_Layouts/VariationLogs.aspx
Suggested Content Browser Locations/PublishedLinks/
Document ID settings/_Layouts/DocIdSettings.aspx
SharePoint Designer Settings/_layouts/SharePointDesignerSettings.aspx
Visual Upgrade/_layouts/suppux.aspx
Help settings/_layouts/HelpSettings.aspx

Central administration

TitleURL
Manage web applications/_admin/WebApplicationList.aspx
Create site collections/_admin/createsite.aspx
Manage service applications/_admin/ServiceApplications.aspx
Manage content databases/_admin/CNTDBADM.aspx
Check job status/_admin/Timer.aspx
Manage farm administrators group/_layouts/people.aspx?MembershipGroupId=3
Configure service accounts/_admin/FarmCredentialManagement.aspx
Configure send to connections/_admin/OfficialFileAdmin.aspx
Configure content deployment paths and jobs/_admin/Deployment.aspx
Manage form templates_admin/ManageFormTemplates.aspx
Manage servers in farm/_admin/FarmServers.aspx
Manage services on server/_admin/Server.aspx
Manage farm features/_admin/ManageFarmFeatures.aspx
Configure alternate access mappings/_admin/AlternateUrlCollections.aspx
Perform a backup/_admin/Backup.aspx
Restore from backup/_admin/BackupHistory.aspx?restore=1&filter=1
Perform site collection backup/_admin/SiteCollectionBackup.aspx
Convert farm license type/_admin/Conversion.aspx
Check product and patch installation status/_admin/PatchStatus.aspx
Check upgrade status/_admin/UpgradeStatus.aspx

Common actions

TitleURL
Create new_layouts/spscreate.aspx
_layouts/create.aspx
View lists_layouts/viewlsts.aspx
Create site groups _layouts/permsetup.aspx
Quick launch_layouts/quiklnch.aspx
Workflow history list/lists/Workflow History
SharePoint server version + patch level/_vti_pvt/Service.cnf (run at site collection level)
Web part maintenance mode?Contents=1 (classic)
?maintenancemode=true (modern)
Save as site template_layouts/savetmpl.aspx
Manage user alerts_layouts/AlertsAdmin.aspx

How to add best bets or promoted search results in SharePoint

In this post we will look at how you can add, edit or remove best bet keywords in classic SharePoint and how to do the same with promoted results in modern SharePoint.

Classic SharePoint

In classic SharePoint you are able to highlight search results you wish to make more prominent by using keywords and best bets. Best bets appear at the top of the search results page with a yellow star ⭐ next to them.

Best bets will appear at the top of the search results page in classic SharePoint.

Keywords and best bets are all managed centrally via the Search keywords under Site Collection Administration section within your top-level site.

How to add keywords in classic SharePoint

A keyword is a definition for common terms or phrases that are used within an organisation. Keywords are what search queries will match to return a keyword result. Before you get started, you must have Site Collection Administrator permissions to manage keywords.

  • Click the Site Actions menu, choose Site Settings
  • On the Site Settings page, in the Site Collection Administration section, click Search keywords
  • On the Manage Keywords page, click Add Keyword
Add Keyword from the Manage Keywords page in classic SharePoint.

Enter the following information for each keyword you create:

  • Keyword phrase: what the search queries will match to return a keyword result
  • Synonyms: additional words that users might type when searching for the keyword, separated by semicolons. Synonyms must be shorter or equal to 100 characters
  • Best bets: the recommended results for the keyword. Best bets will appear in the order listed
  • Keyword definition: optional text that will appear with the keyword (optional)
  • Contact: the person to inform when the keyword is past its review date (optional)
  • Start date: the date you want this keyword to appear in search results
  • End date: the date you want this keyword to no longer appear in search results (optional, leave blank for no expiry)
  • Review date: the date you want this keyword to be reviewed by the contact (optional)
How to add a keyword best bet in classic SharePoint.

How to edit/ delete keywords in classic SharePoint

  • Click the Site Actions menu, choose Site Settings
  • On the Site Settings page, in the Site Collection Administration section, click Search keywords
  • Click on the keyword you wish to edit and press Edit. When editing a keyword you are able to update all of the information listed above, plus:
    • Add additional best bets
    • Change the properties of a best bet
    • Change the order of best bets by updating the number of the Title next to the best bet
How to edit keywords in classic SharePoint.

How to delete keywords in classic SharePoint

  • Click the Site Actions menu, choose Site Settings
  • On the Site Settings page, in the Site Collection Administration section, click Search keywords
  • Click on the keyword you wish to delete and press Delete
How to delete keywords in classic SharePoint.

Modern SharePoint

Promoted results

Although a lot has changed with the advent of the modern search experience in SharePoint, you can still create and configure keywords and best bets – now called Promoted Results! Microsoft have published comprehensive guidance on how to manage query rules and add promoted results here, but summarise the steps myself below.

First you will need to consider whether you want your promoted results to appear across the tenant, a site collection or site within SharePoint before beginning. In this example I am creating a tenant-wide promoted result.

  • Navigate to the SharePoint admin center > More features > Search. Press Open
  • Within the search administration page, select Manage Query Rules
Open Manage Query Rules from within the SharePoint admin center.
  • On the Manage Query Rules page, select a result source for the new query rule (you can change this later)
  • Select New Query Rule. The new query rule has the following configuration options:
    • Rule name: enter the name for the new query rule
    • Context: restrict the rule to queries performed on a particular result source, from a particular category of topic page, or by a user matching a particular user segment
    • Query Conditions: define when a user’s search box query makes this rule fire. You can specify multiple conditions of different types, or remove all conditions to fire for any query text. Every query condition becomes false if the query is not a simple keyword query, such as if it has quotes, property filters, parentheses, or special operators
    • Actions: actions can add promoted results above the ranked results, add blocks of additional results promoted to always appear above ranked results or ranked so they only appear if highly relevant, or change ranked results, such as tuning their ordering
    • Publishing: make the query rule active during a particular time period
  • Add all the relevant information, then under Actions press Add Promoted Result
  • Add a Title, URL and Description for your promoted results
  • Make sure Render the URL as a banner instead of as a hyperlink is checked
  • Press Save
Create a new Query Rule and Promoted Result in modern SharePoint.

Now, when you search across Microsoft 365, you will be able to see your promoted result!

The newly created promoted result shows across Microsoft 365 search.

How to edit or delete promoted results in modern SharePoint

You can manage your query rules and promoted results through the Manage Query Rules page much like creating a new rule. To edit or delete a query rule/ promoted result:

  • Navigate to the SharePoint admin center > More features > Search. Press Open
  • Within the search administration page, select Manage Query Rules
  • Select the result source for the query rule you wish to edit
  • Click on the drop-down arrow next to the name of the query rule you want to change. From here you can:
    • View, edit, copy, delete or make the query rule inactive
  • If you are deleting a rule, once you press Delete you will be prompted with a message to confirm you want to delete the query rule. Press OK

Additional resources

Bonus! Use promoted results in PnP modern search solution

A nice little addition to this post is that if you have deployed the PnP Modern Search solution in your tenant then you can use best bets, or promoted results in the search results web part for this in the same way too!

NOTE: Best bets or promoted links are only supported in v3 of the PnP modern search solution.

Best Bets

How to open SharePoint pages in maintenance mode

This post demonstrates how to access the web part maintenance page for a classic and modern SharePoint site to delete any problem web parts.

Classic SharePoint

Recently I came across an issue with a SharePoint 2010 publishing site. The site had a page on it that was being edited and after a series of web parts were added, crashed and would no longer load. An additional issue here was that there wasn’t another, recent version of the page to restore to.

So, in the steps below detail how I was able to access the page using web part maintenance mode and delete the problem web part:

  • Navigate to the problem page’s URL
  • At the end of the URL add ?contents=1
  • This will then open the problem page up in web part maintenance mode. From here you are able to close, restore defaults or delete web parts from your page

NOTE: make sure you page is checked out before trying this else you won’t be able to make any changes.

  • Select the web part(s) which you think are causing the issue
  • Now select to either close, reset or delete the web part. I chose delete
  • A warning message will appear > press OK

Modern SharePoint

When writing this post I wondered if this method of accessing web part maintenance mode still worked for modern SharePoint – the answer was no! When you try to open a modern page using ?contents=1 you get this:

Opening modern SharePoint pages in classic maintenance mode won’t work.

However, after reading this handy article from Microsoft about maintenance for client-side web parts in SharePoint Online I just switched my query to ?maintenancemode=true and it worked!

Modern web parts have there own query to append to the page URL to access maintenance mode.

Different to the classic example, modern web parts when in maintenance mode show summary, manifest and data tabs with information about each web part.

If you wish to delete a web part from this view you will need to edit the page and delete it from there, then republish like in the example below:

Deleting web parts in maintenance mode within a modern SharePoint page.

SharePoint URL’s

There are loads of URL’s that either I can never remember or haven’t come across that are listed here. However I wanted to keep a list of them on my site just for reference:

DestinationURL
Site Settings/_layouts/settings.aspx
Site Contents/_layouts/viewlsts.apx
Save Site as a Template/_layouts/savetmpl.aspx
View All People/_layouts/people.aspx?MembershipGroupId=0
View People and Groups/_layouts/groups.aspx
Workflows/_layouts/wrkmng.aspx
Workflow Health/_layouts/15/workflowservicehealth.aspx
Workflow History (Hidden)/lists/Workflow%20History
Create New Site items/_layouts/create.aspx
Manage Site Collection Admin Permissions/_layouts/mngsiteadmin.aspx
View Sites and Workspaces/_layouts/mngsubwebs.aspx
Manage User Permissions/_layouts/user.aspx
Recycle Bin/_layouts/RecycleBin.aspx
Second-Stage Recycle Bin (w/ Admin Permissions)/_layouts/AdminRecycleBin.aspx
Manage Site Content and Structure/_layouts/sitemanager.aspx
Manage Site Content Types/_layouts/mngctype.aspx
Manage Site Columns/_layouts/mngfield.aspx
Quick Launch Settings/_layouts/quiklnch.aspx
Navigation Settings/_layouts/AreaNavigationSettings.aspx
Web Analytics Reports (Site Usage Summary)/_layouts/usage.aspx
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List Template Gallery/_catalogs/lt
Master Page Gallery/_catalogs/masterpage
Solution Gallery/_catalogs/solutions/
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Filter Toolbar (For Lists and Libraries)?Filter=1
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Open Page in Edit Mode?ToolPaneView=2

How to create a custom ID for lists and libraries

In this example I demonstrate how to create a simple solution that allows users to submit a request to a list, then a workflow fires that updates the request ID field with our custom ID number.

ID numbers, reference numbers, ticket numbers…this is something that regularly gets asked to be a part of any SharePoint solution or request based system. My first thought when this is required is “easy, we can just use the SharePoint item ID column and use that”. However, creating a simple calculated column that leverages the in-built ID column is not as easy as it seems.

My first attempt at creating a custom ID column involved creating a new calculated column, and appending some text before the ID and then inserting the ID column into the formula, like this:

="REQ-00"&[ID]

The problem with this approach is that when new items are added, the ID appears to “slip” resulting in the custom ID column having no ID number being pulled from the SharePoint ID.

Custom ID column – modern SharePoint

1. Pre-requisites

Before you begin you will naturally need to create either a list or library in SharePoint, and the relevant apps checked as part of your O365 license.

2. The setup

  • Create a new column, with the type Number – I called this ‘solIncrementNum
  • Create a new column, with the type Calculated – I called this ‘solReqNum‘, later renamed ‘Request Number’
    • In the formula field, add the following: ="SOL-00"&[SolIncrementNum]
    • For the Data Type, select Single line of text
Setting the formula for the solReqNum column in list settings

NOTE: for the Request Number formula if you want to prefix your custom ID with something else just replace what’s between the ” “ in the formula field above.

3. Build the Flow

Flow action: when a new item is created

  • Create a new flow from the template “when a new item is created, complete a custom action”
  • Give your Flow a name, I called mine “Populate Solution Request Number”
  • In the “when a new item is added” step, make sure the site address and list name are the same as the list you built the custom ID column for earlier
Step 1 of the Populate Solution Request Flow

Flow: update item

  • Press + New step, start typing “update item”, select the update item action from the selection
  • Select the site in question, then copy and paste the List Name from the previous action
  • Make sure this action has the following fields set:
    • Id: ID
    • Title: Title
    • solIncrementNum: ID

NOTE: make sure that when you set these fields, that the values you use are coming from the “when a new item is created” action.

Step 2 of the Populate Solution Request Flow

Now when new items are created within the list or library, the flow will fire and create a new request number.

Modern SharePoint list with Flow that populates Request Number

Microsoft 365 update for August 2019

In this month’s update:

SharePointSite swap, site owners can join to hub sites, activity highlights in file hover card
OneDrivePopular around me, comments on non-office files, Samsung + OneDrive
TeamsFocus time, content cameras, meetings first, share audio, partner provided calling plans for Japan, audio conferenceing via direct routing GCC High & GCC DoD, Personal apps (developer preview), enhanced assignments Teams for Education
PoweAppsOctober PowerApps release wave videos, publishing changes to Portals, PowerApps CLI, new functions, provisioning/ admin updates, inline navigate, SharePoint declaration improvents, data source experience & CDS views, share canvas apps with guests
RelatedWork-in-progress slides in PowerPoint, direct links to PowerPoint slides, enhanced Yammer mobile experience

SharePoint

Site swap

Finally, you can make your root site a modern communication site or a modern team site! Using the new PowerShell cmdlet: Invoke-SPOSiteSwap, switches the location of a source site with another target site.

Note: the source or target sites cannot be “associated” with an Office 365 group or connected to a hub site.

Invoke-SPOSiteSwap
         -SourceUrl <string>
         -TargetUrl <string>
         -ArchiveUrl <string>   
      [<CommonParameters>]
Find out more:

Site owners can assoicate sites to a hub

Site owners can now associate their sites to a hub they have permissions to join. Previously this ability required site collection level admin privileges.

Find out more:

Activity highlights in the File Hover Card

The activity highlights shows you if someone you work with edits, comments, or @mentions you on files you’re working on. This is displayed in the File Hover Card, with a link to the relevant activity.

Recent activity in the File Hover Card
Find out more:

OneDrive

Now you can find relevant content at the top of the Shared with me view in OneDrive. Files which are recommended based on your working relationships will surface to help you find trending information faster and discover new content.

The new popular around me view in OneDrive
Find out more:

Comments on non-Office files

You can already comment on Office docs in Office on the web, but now you can comment on other file types in OneDrive on the web such as PNGs, JPGs, or PDFs. You can also comment while using the viewer in OneDrive.

Comments on non-Office files in OneDrive
Find out more:

Samsung + OneDrive

OneDrive will be natively integrated into the Samsung Gallery app, providing automatic syncing of your photos and videos and enabling new protection and cross-device experiences. The Galaxy Note10 will be the first to get the OneDrive integration, with more Samsung devices to follow.

Find out more:

Teams

Focus time

When you schedule “focus time” through MyAnalytics, Teams will automatically help you stay focused by changing your presence to “focusing” and silencing all notifications during the focus period (based on your priority access settings).

Find out more:

Content cameras & intelligent capture

The Microsoft Teams Room app has been updated to include a “content camera” feature. This detects the whiteboard in the room, crops and frames it, and shares the content with remote participants.

Microsoft Teams Rooms
Find out more:

Meetings first

Meetings First is a configuration mode that allows organizations to continue to use Skype for Business Server for their chat and enterprise voice needs, but move their meetings workload to the cloud.

Any version of Skype for Business Server is supported, though more recent clients will have a better coexistence experience. In addition, organizations need to be licensed for Teams, including Audio Conferencing if PSTN dial-in/dial-out functionality is required.

Teams Meetings First
Find out more:

Share audio in Teams

Now, you can share your audio during a Teams meeting, so all participants can hear whatever media you’re presenting.

Find out more:

Partner provided call plans for Japan

SoftBank has released their UniTalk calling plans to Office 365 customers in Japan. The Softbank Calling Plans enables SoftBank to sell and support PSTN calling services specifically for the Japanese market.

Find out more:

Audio Conferencing via Direct Routing for GCC High and GCC DoD

  • o Conferencing via Direct Routing for GCC High and GCC DoD

This feature enables participants to join your organization’s meetings using a standard phone number. Configuring this feature requires your GCC High or GCC DoD organization to use its own numbers for dial-in access and all meeting dial-outs to phones are via Direct Routing.

Find out more:

Personal apps on mobile (developer preview)

Currently in developer preview, Personal apps can extend and customize Microsoft Teams for your organization. It provides a capability for people in your organization to use 3rd party apps within Teams.

Personal apps in developer preview has been rolled out, with a a broader target rollout in the last quarter of 2019.

Find out more:

Enhanced assignment tab in Teams for Education

The enhanced Assignments tab now shows a clear view of what’s coming up next, when creating a class assignment, educators can add resources from your Staff or PLC team. Simply select Add resources on your assignment and choose it from the file picker. You no longer need to move your content between teams.

Add resources in Teams for Education
Find out more:

PowerApps

PowerApps October release wave updates!

In August the PowerApps team added videos to the release notes show casing upcoming innovations as part of the wave 2 releases. You can see the video below:

PowerApps 2019 release wave 2 overview
Find out more:

Publishing changes to PowerApps Portals

PowerApps Portals now uses the selective entity caching approach to improve reliability and performance of your portal. With this update, you can now see changes reflected on the portal immediately.

Find out more:

New features for the PowerApps CLI

PowerApps component framework can now see changes in the test harness as they are made and push components directly into an org using the CLI.

The push capability will make you more efficient because it bypasses the custom component versioning requirements and does not require you to build your solution in order to import into your development environment.

The watch capability removes the need to reload your test harness after every change is made.

Find out more:

SetFocus function

The SetFocus function gets data entered faster by having the app position the cursor in the input field where we should begin. When you go to validate, the app will take you directly to the offending entry, even if it scrolled off screen.

SetFocus function in PowerApps
Find out more:

With function

You can now simplify large formulas by dividing them into named sub-formulas, eliminate redundant sub-formulas, and easily work with functions that return records.

Find out more:

Provisioning & administration updates for Power Platform admin center

Several changes were rolled out in August to the Power Platform admin center, including:

  • Provisioning environments
  • Provisioning based on available capacity
  • Administrators can view all environments in the admin center
  • Simplified license requirements to administrator environments
  • Top table trend is now available in the capacity report.
Power Platform admin center
Find out more:

Inline navigate to all of our modern model-driven designers

To reduce the amount of clutter within your browser while building apps, Microsoft have introduced an option to open the modern view and form designers inline. To get back, you can simply press the back button in the designer.

Inline navigate for modern model-driven designers
Find out more:

Improvements to SharePoint delegation

Delegation of SharePoint complex objects and Query and filter operations on objects such as Person and Choice is now supported in PowerApps.

In addition, the DateTime and Date values are still not yet delegable, but a null value can be delegated for a DateTime and Date field.

Find out more:

Data source experience & Common Data Service views

New data source experience and Common Data Service views that allow adding data sources into the app, or creating new connections without inserting a control have been updated.

Also updated is enabling a Common Data Service entity view that can be selected in the property pane and the Items property.  The property pane will update the Items property to add the Filter function taking the the view name as the filter.

Find out more:

Share canvas apps with guests

Now in public preview, this feature enables canvas apps to be shared with guests of your organization! This enables teams of individuals made up of different organizations participating in a common business process to access the same app.

Sharing canvas apps with guests of your organization
Find out more:

Please note: there are also several updates for the PowerApps Unified Interface that I haven’t been able to list here, but you can find all the details from the link below:

https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/august-2019-updates-for-microsoft-powerapps/

Related

You can now transform standard shapes in PowerPoint, Word, and Excel into rough outlines that look handdrawn and convey a sense of in-progress work. Sketched Shapes is perfect for building wireframes, drafting designs, or adding an artistic touch.

Work-in-progress diagrams and slides in PowerPoint
Find out more:

You can now get a link to an individual slide from PowerPoint and share it with recipients. This will help others land on the most relevant information without having to find what you were trying to show them through a stack of presentation slides

Find out more:

Recently announced, a new Yammer mobile experience to iOS and Android devices. Some highlights include a modernized feed experience that reduces visual clutter and delivers improved readability, live events, and townhalls that you can view on the go; Seen Counts to let you know how many people have viewed your messages; and group search to cut down on search time and find the information you need.

Find out more:

Links and resources