Asset 1mazeThis post is a continuation of 10 reasons putting team/department documents in SharePoint is better than shared drives.

See part one for information about:

  1. Version history
  2. Approvals/Administration
  3. Check-in/Check-out
  4. Co-editing
  5. Archiving & retention

And below for information about:

  1. Sharing and security
  2. Remote access
  3. Metadata and views
  4. Workflows & alerts
  5. Sync & export
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Asset 1mazeYou know that one file, right? The one named “Agenda.docx” in the folder called “November” in the “2008” folder in another folder called “DO NOT Delete” in the “Archive” folder of the “Retired Committees” folder?

Me either. And chances are you don’t need it anymore. But managing team/department documents on traditional shared drives has challenges like this all the time, with management, retention, content ownership, etc. SharePoint, however, can greatly assist in keeping your content current, relevant and organized.

Of course making the switch from shared, common network drives to SharePoint can be intimidating. But the benefits of doing so are well worth the effort to make your team work more efficiently. This post will highlight 10 features in SharePoint you can’t necessarily get from shared network drives:

Part One:

  1. Version history
  2. Approvals/Administration
  3. Check-in/Check-out
  4. Co-editing
  5. Archiving & retention

Part Two:

  1. Sharing and security
  2. Remote access
  3. Metadata and views
  4. Workflows & alerts
  5. Sync & export
screenshot1
Screenshot from appsource.microsoft.com’s app detail page.

In Power BI there are several custom visuals available, such as Elastacloud’s Calendar Visual, that show the density of events over time. However, if your data includes date ranges (start date with a different end date, such as task/project lists), visuals like these will only understand one of the two dates (whichever you’ve chosen for the data value) and none of the dates in between will be accounted for, making your data visualization incorrect.

You can, however, “expand” these date ranges or durations to create rows for all the dates including start, end and those in between. This way each date that’s part of the range is then graphed appropriately.

You can attach documents to SharePoint list items. However if you add the “Attachments” column to your list views, you get a column that only shows a paperclip icon (see below) if there are any attachments. Clicking that paperclip also won’t open any attachment or the list item to view them. It’s strictly an image.

attachment paperclip

Here’s how you can replace that paperclip on each row with the actual name(s) of your attachment(s) linked to the actual attachment(s).

When using SharePoint Designer workflows to automatically create documents from a template you might run into an error message:

“We’re sorry. We can’t open {file} because we found a problem with its contents.”

document contents error

Or if you’re just opening it within the browser web app instead of the Word client, you might have seen:

“Sorry, Word Online ran into a problem opening this document. To view this document, please open it in Microsoft Word.”

But if you do open it in Word you then get the first error message. Luckily it’s a simple fix.

one-click approval

On one of my recent projects, a client asked if it would be possible for the link to a task within a workflow notification email to open the task in “edit” mode instead of “display”. If you’re unfamiliar with SharePoint 2013 task processes built in SharePoint Designer, here’s what their process looked like prior to our change:

  1. Someone submits form
  2. Approval request sent to manager
  3. Manager clicks link in email to open task
  4. Manager clicks “Edit”
  5. Manager clicks “Approve”

They wanted to eliminate step 4 to make the process as easy as possible (one-click after opening link in email). Here’s what we ended up doing:

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SPTechCon is one of the largest SharePoint and O365 conferences available. You can win a free full-conference (4-day) pass simply by tuning in to next week’s Lawrence SharePoint User Group (LSPUG) meeting.

Microsoft MVP Melissa Hubbard and April Dunnam will be presenting “Microsoft Flow and SharePoint: Integration and Automation”. Learn more about the session here.

Asset 2edit

Yesterday in a SharePoint 200 session I gave at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, I shared one of my favorite SharePoint “nuggets” which is the “Edit” icon available out-of-the-box, and easily added by any level of user in just 4-5 steps.

This edit icon column can be added to any list or library view in SharePoint and allows you one-click access to edit the properties of a document or edit a list item or form. In addition to that it’s security-trimmed, meaning only people who have edit/contribute permissions will actually see the icon at all. Everyone else will only see an empty column.

To add the column, you must have the ability to create or modify views and list settings.

Note this is only available in classic view lists and libraries. In the O365/Modern experience you can simply select an item, click “Edit” and the right edit pane appears to allow a similar experience.