Sometimes you only want a Flow to run when a document is published, particularly when it comes to document approvals. Currently, Microsoft Flow doesn't yet have an 'on publish' trigger so we need the Flow to run whenever the document is modified, and only continue if the document has just been published. Here's how:
I recently designed a complicated Approval workflow for a client and decided to stress-test Microsoft Flow to see how well it worked for this scenario. The outcome; approval workflows can get messy fast! Oh, and Microsoft Flow is a pretty neat tool :D
Even though Flow functionality is improving regularly, some functions required HTTP requests to SharePoint APIs, including how to get members of a Security Group. Here's how its done:
It's truly a privilege to witness hard work pay off.
RiskPoynt (http://www.riskpoynt.com/) is being adopted by some pretty large corporations and it's humbling to know the team at Resonate have been part of the fulcrum on which much of this success was made possible.
Check out the video the guys put together to help introduce what is a huge and growing product:
Resonate IT were proud to be one of the many great sponsors of the NASA car for another year of bashing around the outback. We were in the car in 2015 and probably drove Nathan mad with constant phone calls, fretting about work commitments and total failure to use CB etiquette. That year was Cairns to Kingfisher Bay, it was hot, dusty and more hot. This time looked wed, cold and wet but it looks like all had a great time anyway. Keep bashing Nathan - well done!
Over $20,000 raised this year, that's a great contribution to an excellent cause. Below are some detail on where and when you can watch the fun from this year.
Variety Bash Documentary airs this Sunday!
Be sure to tune into Channel 7mate this Sunday 13th November at 2:00pm Queensland time to catch all the action and adventure from the 2016 'Dusty Swags to Chequered Flags' Variety Bash!
Laugh at all the crazy antics of the colourful characters of the Variety Bash and watch as they weave their way through the NSW flood waters, travelling over ten days from the southern downs of Queensland to the motor racing heaven of Mount Panorama for the Bathurst 1000!
Along the way you will be able to witness the magic the Variety Bash leaves in the towns it passes by and experience the heart warming moments with the communities as the 2016 Bashers raise a whopping $1.45million for the sick, disadvantaged and special needs children.
Date: Sunday 13th November, 2016
Time: 2:00pm Queensland time.
Cheat: "Kicking but not for long..."
As Microsoft partners, Resonate IT have been aware for quite some time that the lifespan of InfoPath was finite. Microsoft made clear their intent to discontinue the InfoPath toolsets and initiated attempt to develop alternatives, these have stumbled but a recent release suggests that a staggered path will emerge. Two complimentary product streams, namely Flow and PowerApps will take the mantle. Neither are yet functional enough to provide a direct replacement with PowerApps specifically needing significant enhancements. However, with InfoPath supported for the next 6 years the current feeling is that this will evolve significantly during that time.
The following research gives some interesting insight into the current capabilities of the two products. Thanks to Cameron for his diligent research!
Microsoft Flow is an expansion upon the existing workflow systems that can be found in SharePoint. It allows the user to set up workflows across a number of platforms and systems including (but not limited to) SharePoint, Email, Facebook, Dropbox, and Calendars. Examples of how flows could be used include:
Flow integration allows for the addition of branching behaviours and actions based on inputs. These include things like adding to a SharePoint list on button presses or notifications and emails when specified actions take place. The short time I spent investigating Flow showed that while there are certainly limitations regarding the connected services, by default it covers a large range of actions including monitoring and managing a number of social media platforms, as well as the tracking and sending of emails. With the inclusion of custom API support a large number of currently missing platform and action support should be able to be filled in without too much difficulty.
In conjunction with Microsoft Flow, PowerApps is Microsoft’s answer to the need for simplistic and immediate development of data driven applications. The primary use of PowerApps is taking a list (SharePoint List, Excel File, etc.) and then building an application which will allow users to navigate, view, modify, and add to its records. Through the use of Flow and custom APIs, this base functionality can be greatly expanded upon, allowing for much more complex interactions with the data including passing it through to other platforms, and updating it based on otherwise unrelated tables changing.
Tutorials and Documentation
PowerApps provides a number of tutorials and references going over the creation, customisation, and management of applications. Without delving too far into it there seems to be a pretty comprehensive list of resources available including a number of videos accompanying tutorials as well as full lists of supported formulas and element property controls.
Custom API Support
While Flow doesn’t have any direct method of adding custom APIs, PowerApps does. When creating a Flow that uses a PowerApp linked up to a custom API, the Flow will have access to the same methods the API provides. The main requirements for using a custom API is to have a Swagger file, created from the API endpoint, and an icon which can be any image. At the moment each PowerApps account can have a maximum of five custom APIs to use between applications. These can however, be shared which doesn’t count towards the maximum number for the recipient.
Sharing a PowerApp
The only requirement when sharing a PowerApp is that all the recipients have the PowerApps app installed on their device. Once a PowerApp is ready to be sent out it’s as simple as adding all of the users to the share list and they will all be able to download it from the PowerApps app.
There are a number of things that are holding PowerApps back and while in most cases they are being actively addressed and updated upon regularly, until completely resolved they should be considered before beginning any project in PowerApps. These include:
Though the simplicity and rapidity of application development though PowerApps is their primary selling point, I honestly see much more value in Flow on its own. PowerApps is really good at showing off a single data source, but at this stage it seems like that's about as far as it gets. An awkward balancing act arises as with each increase to the complexity on the user side, a correlating exponential increase for the developer takes pace. As PowerApps is developed further the majority of these issues should be fixed but until that time, with the exception of incredibly simple applications I personally wouldn't go there...yet.
...taking work calls half way up a mountain just after the most challenging climb. Here's Ricky talking BMS on the final ascent to the Mount Beerwah summit:
Out of interest, anyone know what makes these rock formations erode like this. Can you see the mask out of the film Scream? And the wierd space ship?
Making SharePoint a truly adaptive, responsive interface is no simple task.
Firstly, we need to decide if getting a full mobile experience out of SharePoint is a worthwhile endeavor. Should we invest our time (and client money) to develop a mobility framework within SharePoint that will actually work. In some cases the answer is yeah OK that makes sense but when the style of the application is important and specifically the mobile / device rendering of that style is highly important the challenges definitely outweigh the wins.
Secondly, how tied to SharePoint is the application? Do we rely heavily on the SharePoint platform to deliver large parts of the application? If so then we might reconsider the above. If not, then what are our best options.
The one resounding success we've had here at Resonate IT is our mix of SharePoint and AngujarJS - we've named this approach our Shangular not only because it sounds like like an earthly paradise (see Shangri-La) and we love spending time there!
This has become somewhat of a framework for us lately. In very basic terms we utilise the underlying platform SharePoint provides to take advantage of simple data structures, authentication, workflow and similar whilst we build the application itself using the ultra-modern AngularJS framework. We generally host these pages in the SharePoint 'hive' (_layouts/app).
So far this technique has helped us deliver a number of very successful enterprise applications in a way that clearly differentiates us from the competition. The projects include:
Here's a little taster of one of our recent Shangular's:
Recently, a number of clients, technical and business alike have asked about the future of SharePoint development. where is it going, is it falling behind...
We've answered these questions more by introspection than direction from anywhere else. As a business we changed the way we develop about 12-18 months ago, we did this as a reaction to other, non-SharePoint, projects we were working on in an appreciation of the maturity of frameworks such as AngularJS and toolsets like Telerik - the integration between which is seamless and simple.
It's good to see that the decision we made wasn't a diversion from the norm and that even the developing standards are following a similar route. Here are a couple of links that will help describe where this is going and help understand the technical aspects of developing in this vein.
Framework Client Webpart
One thing we also find exiting here is that as developers, we will be able to develop SharePoint applications (complex ones) without the need of a full on SharePoint implementation on the development machine.
So today is our 5th day here in Ghana with the TPSCO guys.. We've been working non stop to get RiskPoynt ready for production and the hard-work is finally paying off as we transition the tool into Tullow's QA environment.
Currently I'm running through the KPI module testing and updating all translation items while Twisty concentrates on Risk Assessment creation and Steve does Oracle stuff!!!
...but he did. Here he is on his way to Ghana with TPSCO.
Coding the Risk Management software whilst checking flight progress - model employee, well done Andres.