Friday, 13 February 2015

Calendar Pane for Excel 2013

Some good news !

My first Office App - "Calendar Pane", for Excel 2013 will soon be available at the Windows Store.

Keep out an eye for it. In the meanwhile, if you want to preview it for a limited period, free of cost, email me - ravjv2013 at gmail dot com

 Calendar Pane

 Calendar Pane

 Calendar Pane

The cost, $9.99, is per user for 10 users.

If your organization has more than 10 users, say 1000, the cost still remains the same as for 10 users.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Testing my Office App for Excel

If you are interested in testing this simple task pane for Excel 365 (Excel 2013), please drop an email to : ravjv2013 at gmail dot com for instructions on how to use. 

Please do not use anonymous/bogus Ids.

The input cell can be formatted to any format as it is basically pre-formatted as a Date cell.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

A note - Authenticating user credentials to a Sharepoint Online Web resource

When using the ClientContext class, add the Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Runtime dll otherwise many members inherited from the ClientContextRuntime class will throw compile time errors.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Apps for Office 365 - Calendar Pane for Excel

My previous post on Office 365 and Sharepoint Online was meant for any user with a SharePoint Online account.

This post, however, is strictly for the developers. So, let me re-run the Sharing your Developer site for external users well before so that at the time of publishing your App for Office 365, you do not get any error.

After creating your Developer Site in your Sites Collection (Please refer to the previous post for help in creating one), click on the newly created Developer site (after it has been provisioned, of course) and check the Let External people access...check box so that your new site that you will use to develop Apps for Office 365 so that the apps can be shared with a public link.

Alright, now for the basic requisites. You need Napa or Visual Studio with Office 365 API installed in your computer. The former is like a dream come true. All you need to do is browse to your newly created Developer Site and click Build an App 

and you are ready to program for Office 365 from your browser !!

'Napa' on Cloud is the coolest feature of Sharepoint Online!

Once you have decided to build an Office 365 app, that is clicked on Build an app, a new page will urge you to Add new project to the Napa cloud.

The next step is to select the app type and give it a name for your Office 365 app to be created on the cloud !

Let me show you a Task Pane app for Excel that I created.

When I used to work on employee data that had date columns that had to be individually typed, I sometimes used to embed the Calendar object to refer to for the dates. But to be able to input date directly? That required VBA Macros and Macros that made the screen flicker and the Sheet sometimes refresh could be annoying and was obviously not the best solution.

So, as soon as I saw the Task Pane template, I got excited.

Yes, this is what is needed - simpler than an Add-In, more reliable than a Macro and more efficient to distribute across the organization via Sharepoint !!

Below is a Task Pane for Excel that allows you to input date from a calendar !

All you now need is to select the date from the calendar and set the date to the Excel cell!!

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Working with Sharepoint 365 - share a document

Working with Sharepoint online and collaborating with Site Collections can be tricky if you have not administered Sharepoint Server previously.

Let me just give you a quick jump start on how to collaborate your Office Documents with external users

Go to the Admin page of your Office 365 Online ( - it will read Office 365 Admin Center. 

Expand the Admin link, right at the bottom of the left menu bar, and click "Sharepoint". This will land you on the Sharepoint Admin Center.

Click the Apps option on the left menu bar (as shown, circled, in below figure).

Select the Site Collection from the list on the right of the Admin page (list is the square box).

If you have not yet created a site collection, click the New button above the square box and create a new site collection.

Select the appropriate template from the tabs.

Set the time zone, an administrator and the storage size (above 110 MB) and click Ok.

Wait for a few seconds for the new site collection to get created and appear in the list as a hyperlink with a New callout.

Once the new site collection is created, browse to the url (copy/paste the link, if you can think of nothing else, on to a new browser window/tab).

Click the Site Contents link and in the subsequent, landing page, click Add an app...

In Apps to add, select Document Library, give your document library a name and click Create.

Your new document library will appear on the right. Click it to navigate it to the library. 

Click the Distribute apps for Office box and upload any office document from your computer to this new document library.

Obviously, you have uploaded this document to share and collaborate with your team or colleagues or management plus you may also want to access it from home for which you may not have access to the company's Private Site Collection (unless it is a public site), so how to share it?

By default, in Sharepoint Online, the Everybody user group means everybody in the authenticated users of the Sharepoint site except external users.

To overcome this restriction, you can give access to your site itself (Of course, you may need to be careful with the contents that you do not want to share.).

A Sharepoint site is quite simply part of a site collection that has a name. 

Browse to your sharepoint url - with a /sites/ and the site name and click Share your site and enter the email id.

Now, your site has been shared via email to an external user but what about the document?

One last step. Add a hyperlink on the page. That is it. When the Share link is emailed to the recipient, the recipient can be instructed to click the hyperlink to view/edit the Powerpoint/Excel/Access/Word document.

And voila!

There is another disarmingly simple way to share through the Office 365 Admin Center's External Sharing menu option but that is for the techno-savvy Sharepoint administrators. For the normal user, the above steps serve better.