Monday, October 3, 2016

Collab365 – Azure Notification Hub

I’ll be speaking at the largest online conference for SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure which is Collab365 Global Conference 2016. It’ll take place on 19th to 20th October with 121 online sessions.


Session title: Azure Notification Hub

Session overview:
Do you have a need to send notifications to thousands or millions of users at once who use different devices on different platforms? Azure notification hub is the best answer. Azure Notification Hubs provide an easy-to-use, multiplatform, scaled-out push infrastructure that enables you to send mobile push notifications to any mobile platform. With Notification Hubs you can easily send cross-platform, personalized push notifications, abstracting the details of the different platform notification systems (PNS). With a single API call, you can target individual users or entire audience segments containing millions of users, across all their devices. In this session I will cover the basics of Azure Notification Hub, configuration, building an application to send and receive notification and customizing your notifications with different templates.

What you will learn:

  • Basics of Azure Notification Hub
  • Need of Windows App Developer account
  • Configuring Notification Hub
  • Send and receive notifications
  • Customize notifications with Payload templates

For registration link.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Feature pack 1 for SharePoint Server 2016

What is a feature pack?
As Microsoft says “Unlike previous versions of SharePoint, release-to-manufacture (RTM) did not define the end of innovation, but the beginning. As we continue to develop SharePoint Server 2016, we’ve paid close attention to customer feedback, trends in content management, team collaboration, user experiences across devices, and how the cloud can be blended into existing on-premises scenarios in new and compelling ways. Feature Packs allow us to accelerate delivery of cloud-first features to our Software Assurance customers (where noted) of SharePoint Server 2016 outside of the traditional 2- to 3-year release cadence.”

Microsoft has SharePoint Online the cloud version and SharePoint Server the on-premises version. Keeping on-premises version up to date with the online version is a real challenge. Bringing the demanding features of online version to the on-premises version on time is a tough job. But today Microsoft announced the Feature Pack 1 for SharePoint Server 2016. It brings the enhancements including,

  • Logging of administrative actions performed in Central Administration and with Windows PowerShell.
  • Enhancements to MinRole to support small environments.
  • A new OneDrive for Business user experience.
  • Custom tiles in the SharePoint app launcher.
  • Unified auditing across site collections on-premises and in Office 365.
  • Unified taxonomy across on-premises and Office 365.
  • OneDrive API 2.0.

This will be available in November 2016. For more information please read link.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Error: EACCES: permission denied, access '/usr/local/lib/node_modules'

If you are wondering what I'm up to these days by setting up Node, npm in a Mac. Well I'm preparing my Mac for SharePoint development. Specifically Apps using client side libraries and scripts.

I'm trying to install Yeoman through the terminal application in Mac and ended up getting the below error.

Error: EACCES: permission denied, access '/usr/local/lib/node_modules'

Though I use Mac, I'm a hardcore Windows user and do my development in Windows and mainly Microsoft technologies. So this error is new to me. Read quite a few blogs to find the correct method to resolve the issue and below is my finding.

Its a permissions issue in the home directory. I need to reclaim the ownership of the npm directory.

sudo chown -R ReplaceWithUserName ~/.npm

Also I need the write permission in to node_modules directory:
sudo chown -R ReplaceWithUserName /usr/local/lib/node_modules

This sorted my issue installing Yeoman.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Installing Node.js on OS X El Capitan

I'm new to Node.js. Currently all I know about Node is that it is an asynchronous event driven JavaScript runtime which is designed to build scalable network applications as the official Node site says. All I'm trying to do right now is to setup Node in my Mac and thought of sharing my experience with the community.

To install Node.js, you need to go to the where you can download a pre-compiled binary package which is easy to install. I'm going for version 6 with latest features.

You can install the package from the downloaded dmg file. The installation wizard will install Node.js and the npm (Node Package Manager) which is the default package manager for Node.js. Well, this 14MB downloaded file will take nearly 47MB of installation space from your machine. Completion of the installation, check whether the /usr/local/bin is added to your path. Type echo $PATH is the terminal.
As mentioned above, check the path.
Next step is to test the installation as shown below.
You can even check the version of node with the command node -v

This is my first step with Node, along way to go.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Azure Roadshow 2016

Another busy day for the MVPs and the techies. It’s the Azure Roadshow time for the year 2016. A day full of technical sessions. This is in parallel to to the Global Azure Boot Camp.







It’s always a pleasure to engage in community activities and share the knowledge with the techies. Smile

Saturday, April 23, 2016

SharePoint Development and DevOps Practices with VSTS

This is an interview I came across in Channel 9. Just thought of sharing it with the community as it shows the real world usage of DevOps in SharePoint Development. Thanks to Vincent Biret and Julien Stroheker for the great insight.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Reporting portal in Office 365 Admin Center

Office 365 provides a very rich product suite. Especially for organizations which will help & ease their day-to-day tasks. But what’s missing? The reporting, insights on how the services are used, specially the detailed reports on individual user activities. Few days back, Office 365 team released the new reporting portal for Office 365. This is a part of the new admin center.


New portal and the reports allow the drill down facility; Service level, file level, user level etc. Within the new admin center > Reports > Usage is where you get access to all the currently  released reports. Rollout will start from US, Australia and Canada.

Check below for a few sample reports.




Tuesday, March 15, 2016

SharePoint 2016 RTM

Another great day for SharePoint lovers, a day to celebrate. SharePoint Server 2016 is Released to manufacturing (RTM). As a SharePoint user since year 2006, I’m very clear where Microsoft is heading with their billion dollar product. SharePoint 2016 is built for Cloud and full of rich Hybrid features. There were few releases prior to the RTM. There are a lot of new features for the IT Pros, Admins and the new set of API brings a tremendous opportunities for the developers as well.

Use the reviewer's guide to learn more about SharePoint Server 2016. Also you can download the RTM. With SharePoint 2016 comes Project Server 2016. From now on, Project Server is a part of SharePoint Server.

The Future of SharePoint
You can join the live online event on 4th of May to learn the vision of the product and the roadmap. “See Jeff Teper, CVP for OneDrive and SharePoint, outline our vision and future plans for SharePoint and OneDrive for Business—both on-premises and in the cloud with Office 365. Following the keynote will be a number of sessions detailing the new innovations along with sneak peek demos of what’s coming. Whether you are an executive, IT pro, developer or SharePoint user, we have a lot to share and hope you’ll be part of this historic moment and register today.”

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Embed Office 365 Video

I still remember in year 2012, building our own Video portal in on-premises when Microsoft Media services was on beta, when Microsoft allowed it to be used to build your own video steaming service. Later Microsoft released Office 365 Video, but it had its own limitation at the release. User voice was helpful enough to make it a better product for an enterprise (still not a fully fledged product though).

Embedding video published to Office 365 video portal on other sites and pages was a limitation till today. With the release of new features, you can embed videos in your SharePoint Online and also in your SharePoint On-Premises environment.

Edit an existing (or new) page, go to the insert tab and click on Office 365 Video.1

Select the video from the Office 365 Video portal.

Once added, you can still change the look & feel by amending the html. Select the Edit snippet and do the necessary changes.

Apart from the above method, if you want to add a video from Office 365 portal in to a page in your on-premises environment, you add the code to embed. Go to your video portal and below the video you can find the embed button to get the html.

Selecting the embed code will allow you to add the code.

Simple as that. Smile

Friday, January 15, 2016

Deploy on-premises database to Azure SQL database

This is simple step by step guide to deploy your on-premises (or even cloud) Microsoft SQL database to Azure SQL database service with data.  Simply, this is a data migration to Azure SQL.

You have to make sure you have an Azure tenant with an active subscription to proceed with the next few steps. I have downloaded and installed AdventureWorks2014 database in my own machine for the demonstration.

One more prerequisite, you need to have a SQL database server in Azure. Your server name should look be similar to

Open Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio, right click on the database, select “Tasks” and select “Deploy Database to Microsoft Azure SQL Database…”

After the introduction screen, you will be asked to set the deployment settings. There you must set the server connection, the new database name and a temporary location for the bacpac file.

Once you click on the Connect, to connect to the Azure database server, you will be asked to enter the credentials.

You will then be asked to add a firewall rule where you have to sign in and provide access permissions to your ip address (or subnet) to access the azure database server.

Once the above steps are done, you will be allowed to set the pricing tier for the server. This is bit of a tricky thing as there are DTUs for each tier. The resources and power of each service tier and performance level for Microsoft's Azure SQL cloud databases are expressed in terms of Database Throughput Units (DTUs). The available resources will vary based on the DTUs. So till we complete the data migration, it’s better to stay within the standard tier.

Providing the necessary information, you can proceed with the data migration.

Once completed, we can see the DTU consumption and you can use your preferred tool to connect to Azure SQL Database.