CollabDays NE Round Up

We took a fun trip up to CollabDays New England in Burlington, MA last month and met up with a bunch of interesting folks. Had great conversations with Microsoft’s Principal Program Manager for Dynamics 365 & Power Platform Hugo Bernier, as well as Microsoft MVPs Andrew Connell, Emily Mancini, and Beau Cameron, to name a few. We caught up on all the latest Microsoft news and picked up some tips and tricks that we’ve shared with you in the blog below.

Deliver a feature-rich SharePoint solution with PnP community assets

Attended a great session on how to harness the various open-source PnP gadgets that are available. Hugo Bernier and Beau Cameron talked through how these tools and gadgets, which include custom SPFx web parts and extension accelerators, list formatting definitions with interactive, animated interfaces and the Microsoft 365 Command Line Interface, can be used. Find out more about the gadgets by visiting the Microsoft 365 PnP community hub.

Redirect your users from SharePoint on-premises to SharePoint Online with Smart 404 web part

If you’re currently migrating your content from SharePoint on-premises (2013, 2016, and 2019) to SharePoint online, you’ll be pleased to know the SharePoint framework PnP community lead Hugo Bernier aka Tahoe Ninja has brought the old Smart 404 back from the dead.

The good news is you don’t need to install any Dlls, Sandbox solutions, or Add-ons to your servers, the Smart 404 is a simple solution you can deploy on your on-premises SharePoint server that will replace the standard “Page Not Found” behavior of your SharePoint on-premises server to redirect users to the SharePoint Online equivalent of the content they were looking for.

The tool, which Microsoft currently uses and will be something we’ll introduce in all our SharePoint migrations going forward, not only redirects users it ultimately helps you fix the problem too. Now that’s smart!

Custom search experiences in SharePoint Online

Microsoft MVP Emily Mancini discussed the hub and spoke model and how it affects search scopes in SharePoint Online.

In her session Emily also discussed ‘search bookmarks‘. Bookmarks are essential to helping people quickly find important sites and tools with just a search. Each bookmark includes a title, URL, a set of user-friendly keywords to trigger the bookmark, and a category. While you may have an idea of some great bookmarks to configure, the built-in Search Usage Reports for Queries is a great tool to best understand what your users are searching for. Configure bookmarks based on data-driven analytics and this will further drive adoption.

Take-aways from the #AskMeAnything session

Microsoft Teams new ‘Search’ experience coming soon

People had a lot of questions around the road map for the search experience in Teams as there’s been a lot of complaints about it. From October 2023 Microsoft is rolling out a new search experience that will allow users to search in a specific chat or channel and reach relevant results faster. The results will appear in the right handrail so users can stay in the flow of work. Enhancements like highlighted key words will make it easier for them to scan their results. You can find out more about the Microsoft Teams search experience roadmap here.

Is anyone using the Figma SharePoint Web UI kit?

New web parts available in the SharePoint Web UI kit! – Microsoft Community Hub

Should you use the new Figma SharePoint Web UI tool kit to design your SharePoint site? This was the question on everyone’s lips at the event. Microsoft recently launched the SharePoint web UI kit through the design tool Figma, but the questions asked by many were does anybody use it? And what’s the use case? 

We came to the conclusion that as there’s such a steep learning curve with Figma, unless you’re a pure Figma designer and have zero SharePoint experience, it was agreed that building sample designs in SharePoint is so much quicker and easier to do! 

What do you think? We’re curious to hear your thoughts.

And finally...

It was fun to see an attendee wearing a ‘Contoso’ branded t-shirt. Looks like you can get your very own ‘building yesterday’s tomorrow today’ swag from here.

Contoso tshirt swag


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