SharePoint 2013 integration to Outlook

SharePoint 2013 supports connection to MS Outlook application in order to collaborate and coordinate activities and projects and to improve business efficiency and productivity, especially if you work offline and don’t have instant access to your SharePoint sites all the time.

You can synchronize information in two directions for items in Contacts lists, Calendars, Tasks lists.

But you should keep in mind that, unlike Contacts and Calendars, syncing SharePoint Tasks with Outlook relies on the installation of Exchange Server 2013 within your organization.

SharePoint Server 2013 and Exchange Server 2013 must both be installed in the same environment. Otherwise, you will not be able to accomplish this, in spite of the “Sync to Outlook” button will still be active.

How to: Create and publish InfoPath 2013 template to a SharePoint 2013 Enterprise site

This article will give you a walk-through for the process of creating and publishing an InfoPath 2013 template to a SharePoint 2013 Enterprise site.
  1. Run the Microsoft InfoPath Designer 2013.
  2. Go to the File tab, click SharePoint Form Library located at the New tab and click Design Form at the right side.
    How_to_create_and_publish_InfoPath_2013_template_to_a_SharePoint_2013_1
  3. Create an InfoPath template or you can open an existing InfoPath template that you want to publish to your SharePoint site.
    How_to_create_and_publish_InfoPath_2013_template_to_a_SharePoint_2013_2
  4. Go to the File tab and choose Publish form to a SharePoint Library by clicking at the SharePoint Server icon located at the Publish tab.
    How_to_create_and_publish_InfoPath_2013_template_to_a_SharePoint_2013_3
  5. Type the URL of the SharePoint 2013 site where you want to publish the Info Path template and click Next.
    How_to_create_and_publish_InfoPath_2013_template_to_a_SharePoint_2013_4
  6. Type your credentials and click OK. Please make sure that you have all required permissions to publish template at the SharePoint 2013 site.
  7. Choose the required configuration and click the Next button.
  8. You can choose an existing library to publish your InfoPath template or create a new library for the publishing your InfoPath template.
    How_to_create_and_publish_InfoPath_2013_template_to_a_SharePoint_2013_5
  9. If you have selected “Create a new library” complete the required fields with the name and the description of the new InfoPath library and click the Next button.
    How_to_create_and_publish_InfoPath_2013_template_to_a_SharePoint_2013_6
  10. Add columns if required or just skip this step by clicking the button Next.
  11. Verify the form information and then click Publish.
    How_to_create_and_publish_InfoPath_2013_template_to_a_SharePoint_2013_7
  12. When your InfoPath form template is published click at the Open this form in the browser link and then Close.
    How_to_create_and_publish_InfoPath_2013_template_to_a_SharePoint_2013_8
  13. Click the floppy icon to save your template at the SharePoint library.
    How_to_create_and_publish_InfoPath_2013_template_to_a_SharePoint_2013_9
  14. Type the name of your InfoPath template and click the Save button.
    How_to_create_and_publish_InfoPath_2013_template_to_a_SharePoint_2013_10
  15. You can see your InfoPath template at your SharePoint site.
    How_to_create_and_publish_InfoPath_2013_template_to_a_SharePoint_2013_11

“Site storage exceeded” error (part 2)

Following up the previous post, published in our blog last week, regarding the “Site storage exceeded” error, where two-stage SharePoint 2013 recycle bin origin was indicated as possible reason of running out of storage space on SharePoint 2013 site, we would like to point out another potential cause of such behavior. Version history enabled for the SharePoint list or library may lead to over occupation of storage space.

The version history contains information about when the item or file was changed, who changed it, and information about what was changed. In libraries, the version history might also contain comments written by the people who made changes. Which is very useful functionality for users’ collaboration, but also it can bring inconveniences with site storage management, since every version saved occupies actual file size on the site.

So, to free up some space on your SharePoint site, you should review version history for the “heaviest” files first to remove unnecessary and outdated versions.

Using MySQL database as a Datasource

How to connect to MySQL database from PowerPivot

One of the supported data sources that you can use to connect to your workbooks and create PowerPivot reports is MySQL database. But before creating such connection you need to make sure that the following requirements are fulfilled:

  • Make sure your MySQL server is binded on public IP address and accept traffic from PlexHosted`s SharePoint app server where your site is deployed, on default port 3306 (port 3306 used for demonstration purposes in this case).
  • You have a user that have read only permissions to required databases (root user is used for demonstration purposes in this case) GRANT ALL ON employees.* TO root@11.22.33.44′ IDENTIFIED BY ‘verysecurepassword’; or GRANT ALL ON employees.* TO root@’%’ IDENTIFIED BY ‘verysecurepassword’; (if you have a firewall)
  • Your Desktop machines which are building excel reports must have permissions to connect to your MySQL server using public IP address.
  • The MySQL Connector/ODBC has been installed on the machine from which you are going to connect to MySQL. You can download and install it from [here].
Creating a connection to MySQL database
  1. Open the Excel workbook you would like to connect to the database and go to the PowerPivot tab. In the PowerPivot tab click Manage.
    How_to_connect_to_MySQL_database_from_PowerPivot-1
  2. When the PowerPivot for Excel window opened, click on From Other Sources button in the Get External Data section.
    How_to_connect_to_MySQL_database_from_PowerPivot-2
  3. Choose Others (OLEDB/ODBC) option.
    How_to_connect_to_MySQL_database_from_PowerPivot-3
  4. Type the name for your connection and enter the connection sting using the pattern below:
    Provider=MSDASQL.1;Persist Security Info=True;Extended Properties=”DRIVER={MySQL ODBC 5.3 ANSI Driver};UID=readonlyuser;Server=11.22.33.44;Database=employees;Password=verysecurepassword;Option=3DRIVER={MySQL ODBC 5.3 ANSI Driver}”;Server=11.22.33.44;Database=employees;Option=3;”;
    Where:
    UID=<user with permissions to connect to your database>
    Password=<your user password>
    Server=<your MySQL server public IP address>
    Database=<your database name.
    After entering the connection string click on Test Connection button.
    How_to_connect_to_MySQL_database_from_PowerPivot-4 
  5. Click OK in the connection status window.
    How_to_connect_to_MySQL_database_from_PowerPivot-5
  6. Click Next.
    How_to_connect_to_MySQL_database_from_PowerPivot-6
  7. In the Table Import Wizard choose the option Write a query that will specify the data to import and click Next.
    How_to_connect_to_MySQL_database_from_PowerPivot-7 
  8. Enter the query to import the required data from the database and click Validate. Once you query is validated click Finish.
    How_to_connect_to_MySQL_database_from_PowerPivot-8
  9. The Table Import Wizard will start importing data from your database to the PowerPivot model. Once the status of the wizard changes to Success click Close.
    How_to_connect_to_MySQL_database_from_PowerPivot-9
     
  10. You can see the data imported to the model and can start creating your PowerPivot reports by clicking on the PowerPivot table button.
    How_to_connect_to_MySQL_database_from_PowerPivot-10

“Site storage exceeded” error

You are 100% sure you should have free space on your SharePoint 2013 site, but still getting “Site storage exceeded” error, when trying to upload some new content. Is this situation familiar to you?Let’s analyze what might be the cause of such behavior.

Make sure you have considered two-stage SharePoint 2013 recycle bin origin, as soon as files moved to recycle bin occupy the storage of the site, as if they were present in an ordinary SP library. Since the Recycle Bin in SharePoint 2013 provides two-stage protection against accidental deletions, you should delete files not only from the site’s recycle bin, but site collection’s recycle bin also.
To completely remove a file or an item from SharePoint site, check site collection’s recycle bin under Site Settings -> Site Collection Administration -> Recycle bin and clear up both locations:
– “End user recycle bin items”
– “Deleted from end user Recycle Bin”.
Try to upload new content then.

Configuring a workflow

Using built-in SharePoint workflow templates you can configure a workflow using a browser and customize it in a way limited by workflow template structure to meet the exact needs. Workflow template defines a number of conditions to test and actions to be performed when these conditions are met.
Each workflow has the start and the end. The triggering event for a workflow is usually uploading a document or adding an item, but you can also configure it to be started manually. When a workflow event is triggered a new workflow instance is created. When a workflow completes all the stages, it is set to Completed status.
Additionally, workflows can use Task list and History list. It can add items to a Tasks list to help users to track what actions are required to complete workflow process and send emails to users when a task has been assigned to them. Workflow history provides the information about each workflow instance created, running or completed for an item or document. This list can be accessed only by adding /lists/workflow history/ to the sites URL, it is not available on the Site Contents page.
Let`s trace the process of configuring a workflow using built-in template. In our example we will use Three-State workflow. This workflow is perfect for tracking status of tasks or documents. We are going to create a workflow on project site that tracks documents and passes them through review and accepting process.

Adding a Choice column

If you want to associate List or Library with a Three-state workflow, you must add at least one Choice column that contains the state values that the workflow will track. To add this column:

  1. Chose the list or library you want to associate with a workflow and click on Library. Then click on Create Column.
    Configuring_a_workflow_-1

  2. Enter the name of new column and choose Choice as its type.
    Configuring_a_workflow_-2

  3. Enter the description of this new column, at least 3 choices for it and choose the necessary additional settings. You can enter more than 3 choices but three-state workflow can use only three options.
    Configuring_a_workflow_-3

  4. Click OK.
    Configuring_a_workflow_-4
Adding a Three-state workflow

Now you can add Three-state workflow to this library.

  1. Click on Library –> Workflow Settings and choose Add a Workflow from the drop-down menu.
    Configuring_a_workflow_-5

  2. Choose Three-state workflow template and type the name of a new workflow.
    Configuring_a_workflow_-6

  3. Specify the Task list and History list for this workflow, choose the start options and click Next.
    Configuring_a_workflow_-7

  4. In the workflow states section you can choose the choice column and the values from it for each stage of the workflow.
    Configuring_a_workflow_-8

  5. Specify the necessary settings for the Initiation stage of the workflow. The option to send email is enabled by default, you can disable it if required.
    Configuring_a_workflow_-9

  6. Specify the necessary settings for Middle stage of the workflow.
    Configuring_a_workflow_-10

  7. Click OK.
    Configuring_a_workflow_-11

Now your Three-state workflow has been added to your library and you can check how it works.

SharePoint 2013 services discount offer

Dear readers of PlexHosted blog,

We are pleased to present you our special offer with one month subscription discount for our Dedicated and Multi-tenant SharePoint solutions.

Multi-tenant SharePoint 2013 20% off discount

Dedicated SharePoint 2013 20% off discount

Hope this 20% discount offer will help you to make a favorable decision about subscription to our solutions. Please note, that this offer is valid for 2 month term only.

Search behavior configuration

SharePoint allows you to adapt search experience according to your specific needs. This can be done on the Search Settings page. By default all the settings from this page are configured on the site collection top level site and inherited by the subsites. All the settings configured on this page are used by search boxes and search results page.
Search Settings include the following options:

  • Enter a Search Center URL – you can specify the search center you would like to use to allow users search everything inside your site collection.
  • Which search results page should queries be sent to? – you can specify a custom page for search results.

Search_behavior_configuration-1

Setting up Search Center URL

  1. Login to the SharePoint top level site as an administrator.
  2. Click the gear icon, go to Site Settings page. Search_behavior_configuration-2

  3. On the Site Settings page navigate to the Search Settings under the Site Collection AdministrationSearch_behavior_configuration-3

  4. On the Search Settings page in the “Enter a Search Center URL” section type the URL of the Search center you would like to use.  Search_behavior_configuration-4

  5. Click OK.
    Search_behavior_configuration-6

  6. Enter a search query to the Search box and press Enter. Search_behavior_configuration-7

  7. On the results page click on “expand your search” link.  Search_behavior_configuration-8

  8. Verify that you have been redirected to the specified Search Center.
    Search_behavior_configuration-9

Setting up custom results page

  1. Go to Site Settings page.  Search_behavior_configuration-2

  2. On the Site Settings page navigate to the Search Settings under the Site Collection Administration.  Search_behavior_configuration-3

  3. On the Search Settings page in the Which search results page should queries be sent to?” section remove the check from “Use the same results page settings as my parent” option.  Search_behavior_configuration-10

  4. Enter the URL of your custom results page. Search_behavior_configuration-11

  5. Click OK.
    Search_behavior_configuration-12

  6. Navigate to the sites home page and run a search query.  Search_behavior_configuration-13

  7. Check that you are taken to your custom results page.  Search_behavior_configuration-14

 

Data import from Excel spreadsheet to SharePoint list

We would like to show you how to import your data within Excel spreadsheet into a SharePoint list.

It’s quite simple. Follow the instructions:

1. Login to your SharePoint site. Click Settings, click Site Content

Data_import_from_Excel_spreadsheet_to_SharePoint_list_1

2. Click “Add an app”

Data_import_from_Excel_spreadsheet_to_SharePoint_list_2

3. Type “excel” in the Find an app textbox. Click Import Spreadseet

Data_import_from_Excel_spreadsheet_to_SharePoint_list_3

4. Type the name for the new list, description. Click Browse button and select your Excel spreadsheet file. Click Import button

Data_import_from_Excel_spreadsheet_to_SharePoint_list_4

5. Select the Range type and select the range for the data. Click Import button

Data_import_from_Excel_spreadsheet_to_SharePoint_list_5

6. Now you can see your new list with the data that was imported from Excel spreadsheet

Data_import_from_Excel_spreadsheet_to_SharePoint_list_6

 

How to reset a user password in Sharepoint 2013

We would like to show you how to reset a user password in Sharepoint 2013

You need to perform the following steps:

1. To open Active Directory Users and Computers, click Start, click Control Panel, double-click Administrative Tools , and then double-click Active Directory Users and Computers.

2. In the console tree, click Users or, click the folder that contains the user account.

AD_Pass_Reset_1
3. In the details pane, right-click the user whose password you want to reset, and then click Reset Password.

AD_Reset_Pass_2
4. Type and confirm the password.

AD_Pass_Reset_3

 

AD_Pass_Reset_4

 

To start using it check our Sharepoint Enterprise Plan (Public Sites Included):

https://plexhosted.com/services/hosted-sharepoint-2013/hosted-sharepoint-enterprise-2013.html