Creating an Executive Town Hall Using Microsoft Stream and Yammer

The more I work with Microsoft Stream, the more I love this tool. With working with this so much, I get asked this particular question a lot, “How do I create an executive town hall using stream?” I figured it would be good to write this post about how to accomplish this since this isn’t easily discoverable online.

Microsoft Stream

Microsoft Stream is the ideal tool to use when creating a town hall experience because we get interaction and a lot of AI features that make this pretty sweet. We have three options for hosting our live events in the Office 365 platform: Microsoft Teams, Yammer, and directly in Microsoft Stream. Live Events in Microsoft Teams provides some pretty cool features. These events can be consumed by people external to your organization, if you’d like. They can have moderated questions and comments. There is a simple interface for producing the event where you can choose to have a full screen layout for video or screen content or a large pane for content and a small pane for presenter video for example. These events also provide some of the power of Microsoft Teams because you have the option to download attendee analytics after the event to see how many people watched the event, and when they connected and disconnected. The one drawback of using Microsoft Teams, at this point, is that the video doesn’t make it into Microsoft Stream. To get the power of Microsoft Stream you need to download the video and upload it into Stream manually. For all live events in Office 365 you have two options for producing the content that your audience will view. The first is to use the Microsoft Teams live event tool to control the content. This option is available for live events hosted in Microsoft Teams and Yammer. The second option is to use an external encoder. This option is available for all three hosting options. The videos produced with this method will be available in Microsoft Stream after the live is complete. This option provides the most flexibility in controlling the video that is generated. The tools to do this are plentiful and varied. You can use an app on your phone as the encoder or an application on a computer. Today we are going to be talking about using Yammer with the external encoder method, and we’ll be using Open Broadcaster Software, OBS, available from OBS is an open source video recording and live streaming tool that provides a lot of power. It can be a bit daunting at first but once you figure out the basics you can look like a professional in no time. Continue reading “Creating an Executive Town Hall Using Microsoft Stream and Yammer”

The SharePoint Conference 2019

Regsiter Here to $50 on your registration.

This is the time of year where people look on the previous year and decide how to proceed the with the upcoming year. This is also time for new fiscal years for many organizations and this brings fresh training budgets with it. The combination of these two situations make it an ideal time to set some training goals for the next year. There are many different options to choose from when it comes to ways to use training budgets. From individual training sessions to larger conferences. If you are looking for a conference where Microsoft is present and where the content is presented by Microsoft employees and MVPs the options are little more limited. Microsoft is heavily involved with only two conferences, Microsoft Ignite and the SharePoint Conference. Microsoft has setup a rather nice cadence with these two conferences. At one conference, Microsoft will announce what they have been working on and at the next conference we will most likely have most of the features that were announced or at least get a status update on them. Before the SharePoint Conference came back Microsoft put on an event to do the announcements. This is still part of the SharePoint Conference and is usually live streamed. In addition to this there are three days of general conference sessions and two days of workshops. These sessions and workshops will be provided by Microsoft employees with intimate knowledge about the products and by MVPs and RDs with real world knowledge and experience. This provides plenty of opportunities for specialized learning that meets your needs.

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Post to Microsoft Team from Flow

I was preparing a demo for the Arizona SharePoint Pros group on Microsoft Teams, PowerApps, and Flow, and I thought it would be cool if I could have my PowerApp post a message to a channel conversation for teams. After a bit of digging I got it to work. It is fairly simple to setup so I figured I would write this post to make it easier for others to setup. Continue reading “Post to Microsoft Team from Flow”

Manually Registering a SharePoint Add-In

After writing the Modern Development Lifecycle article I came to the realization that the article I mentioned for creating the client id and secret missed an important step. It missed how to create the application itself. So in this article we are going to create and permission an add-in so it is ready for our use. Continue reading “Manually Registering a SharePoint Add-In”

SharePoint Framework Release Candidate 0

In big news on the SharePoint development front, the SharePoint Framework reached release candidate 0 yesterday. What does this mean? Release candidate means that what we are seeing now in the SharePoint Framework is pretty close to what it’s going to look when it reaches general availability(GA). In looking through the release notes associated with this release,, there are quite a few changes. Some of the changes are pretty major and will break any existing web parts that you may have created. So why would Microsoft do this? The reason is to perform some final cleanup of things that did not exist as they should in a polished project. They had to rename and move quite a few things. If Microsoft did not do this now it would probably not happen and there would be areas of conflict and confusion. You can tell the scope of how many different areas have changed by the update steps that are included in the release. Previous releases had a couple things that needed to be updated, while this release has 12 different steps of things that need to be updated. If you are doing SharePoint Framework development I highly suggest that you look through the release notes. The release notes will guide you through all the changes and Microsoft’s direction and thinking about the changes. Some of the most notable changes are:

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Modern Software Development Life Cycle Part 1

I have been doing JavaScript development for many years now but it was always included as part of some other server side code that was easy to manage. When I started working on Office365 and doing 100% client side code I have struggled with the best way to manage the artifacts that are being created. With server-side code we just used Visual Studio and that would handle our connection to version control and a plethora of other tools to help us write better code. When things changed to working in Office365 I started out by adding the artifacts to a library in SharePoint and then editing them with SharePoint Designer. I know, I know, SharePoint Designer is not a good code editor but in regards to save performance, SharePoint Designer behaves better than anything else out there. The problem with this is that the code that I am creating is not stored in a centralized source repository. Also, if I wanted to get the code into the repository it was a manual effort to copy the files back to my machine and then check everything in. Dealing with multiple developers working on a project could be rather tricky since we were working on the exact same files. There have been times were changes have been temporarily lost due to a save that did not include the changes from other developers. Because of this I always make sure the library I am using has versioning turned on and sometimes I’ll require checkout depending on the likelihood of multiple devs working on the same files. Another problem with this approach is that there is no way to run any code improvement processes. If I want to use TypeScript for example, your code has to be on a local drive for the TypeScript compiler to do its thing. If you try to run it on a mapped drive through WebDav, TypeScript complains. There are also code tests, bundling, and minification that are tricky to run directly from a SharePoint library. With the introduction of the SharePoint Framework I have realized that I needed to figure out how to best handle the client-side pieces in regards to the Software Development Life cycle. This series of blog posts will cover those topics.

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Announcing Release of AngularSP to Beta

I am announcing the initial release of my first open source project, AngularSP. I have been working more and more with AngularJS and I love it. AngularJS has saved me so much development time. The problem I saw was that every project I worked on, I had to embed/re-create the connections with the SharePoint REST services. I kept thinking, I really should just do a service similar to $http to encapsulate the functionality. So here is the initial release of the factory. Currently the library handles all of the CRUD operations on SharePoint lists hosted within the same domain as the calling page(no cross site calls as of right now, that will come later). The library will work with On-Premise SharePoint as well as SharePoint Online in Office 365. The plan is to add more functionality as time goes on.

The current priorities are listed on the CodeProject site but I am including them here as well for now.

  1. Automatic handling of Request Digest Token for REST Implemented
  2. Search Calls
  3. All implemented methods for the request executor.

Let me know if there are any features that you would like to see added.

AngularSP on CodePlex

So Long Public Sites

  Office 365 Public Sites are one of those features that I have mixed feelings about. It was an awesome selling point with client to be able to say, “Buy Office 365 and you get your public site for free.” At ITG we have several clients where we have setup their public site and for the most part it works, as long as you are not expecting full SharePoint functionality. At ITG we have had several discussions about what the best approach would be for our customers that a full ECM solution for their public site since the Office 365 public site didn’t give them that. Well we don’t have to make that discussion anymore, thank you Microsoft.

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