All Things MS Learned & Utilized

Microsoft is Getting Closer to a Single All Encompassing Business Solution

In case you didn’t notice, Microsoft has opened the public preview for Microsoft 365. This solution encompasses 90% of the features your business needs to operate. Take a look and signup today.

Coming soon will be how you migrate your operations from O365 to M365.

Hopefully soon they will include Windows 10 as a part of the package. After all – that is the final 10% you need for your business.

Oh and maybe a surface too. 🙂

August 2, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

AHHHHHH! – Not Another App!

So I’m stting here reading some blogs and learning about the new applications coming to help you manage your time and team. Then I think about the apps I already use which can do the same thing, I’ll be it across the apps. It’s getting rediculous, something has to give.

Why can’t we…

Take all the best features of all the apps and combine them into one Uber app, that’s what the world needs.

So what is the answer?

I don’t know but darn, it I’m going to figure this one out because I just, can’t, keep, up, with one more, best thing since sliced bread feature/application.

Stay tuned…

May 8, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Just Another “The file you imported is not valid” Day.


Ever try to add a web part to a SharePoint page and get that horrible “The file you imported is not valid” error? Well my friend did. Somehow the Content Query Web Part got edited and ended up no longer being able to be added to page. To get around it I followed these simple – ha – ha – steps.

I accessed the Web Part Gallery which is located within Site Settings of your Top Site collection.


I located the web part giving us the error and clicked the edit icon.


I exported the Web Part


I opened the Web Part in Notepad++


I then used the XML PlugIn to Validate the XML


I ignored the error that popped up because it doesn’t help me solve the problem. What is most important is that an error did occur which means that something is wrong with the XML.


I then cut 10 lines at a time and reran the XML validation until the error stopped

The line that was failing looked like this


Can you find it? Yeah neither could I.

Look at the 7th element down from the top, see the quotes? The quotes are incorrect. Compare them to the others – see the difference?


Most likely when the line was edited it came from Word and that is why the quotes were pasted incorrectly.

I corrected the name=”string” and name=”commonviewfields” quotes and that took care of the issue.


I uploaded the web part back into the gallery and now I could add it to the page.


April 4, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Email to Office 365 SharePoint List

Howdy, back from the wild to get the knowledge out. Let’s start with something that I recently needed to implement.

Requirement: Allow employees to email After emailing the company the message is saved to SharePoint and then the request is managed through a simple Help Desk Dashboard.

You could say – why not just implement a custom site mailbox, but nay-nay it is no longer supported so this lead to an alternative, and in walks Micorsoft Flow.

This bearded fellow is much like IFTTT accept it is Microsoft born and easily integrates with “ALL” Microsoft services. This includes Office 365, Dynamics, SQL, Azure, and more depending on the authentication it uses.

In my case, we’ll create a quick flow to watch emails sent to “” with Office 365 Outlook and then save the email to SharePoint Online.

Start first by going to the SharePoint site where you want to store Support Requests. Create a “Custom” app/list with a name of your choosing.

Next chooose “List Settings”


Why? We are going to create some custom columns. Why not just use the general UI to do so? We need to create an enhanced RTF field and by default when you chooose “Multi-Line” it doesn’t enable that. Now that I have explained my insanity, create and/or alter the following fields;

  1. Body – Multi Line Text Field – Enhanced RTF
  2. From – Single Line of Text
  3. Alter the title of the “Title” field to “Subject”

Next, if you don’t have one already, create yourself a Microsoft Flow account. After you created the account then you need to make sure you have the appropriate credentials for Outlook and SharePoint. They do not have to be same which means you could use two different accounts if you wanted.

My recommendation is create one account for accessing emails sent to that support email address and the same account for saving that email to the Help Desk Request list only. This way you can easily manage the account while making it secure enough not to cause you issues.

After you have created your Microsoft Flow account, click “Create Flow” or click on “My flows” and click “Create from Blank”

Choose “Outlook” as your from source. If you don’t see it, click on see more to get that on your list.


Select the Trigger, “When a new email arrives”


Authenticate using the account for which emails will be recieved and accept the permission request.


Make sure your “Inbox” folder is selected.


Now select the “New Step” button and choose “Add an Action”


Choose “SharePoint” as your Service


Choose “Create Item” as your Action


Enter your SharePoint Online URL where the list you created earlier lives and authenticate.

Select the list you created earlier in the first step of this blog article.


For the fields in the list it shows you, select the appropriate companion field from Email.


NOTE: You may notice other fields missing from your list. It only supports Number, Text, Choice, Boolean, and MultiLine Text Fields. If you want to use a different field type, use workflow to update the item after it has been saved.

Give your flow a name


Click “Save Flow” and your done.

In about 3 minutes if you send an email to your support email address, the email will be stored to SharePoint.


Ain’t life grand. Hope you enjoyed the help and I’ll catch you later.

March 9, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

SharePoint: Set it and Forget It, Right?

Since SharePoint v2 there has been serious uptake on implementing SharePoint within company environments. But what was once awesome is now becoming just another server of many. I put to you, this is a problem. The trend I see today is 2 fold;



Let’s discuss what you are managing right now;

· Active Directory & ADFS

· Firewalls

· Load Balancers

· Switches

· VPNs

· Ext. Cloud Environments

· SQL Server


· Office 365

· Exchange

· Live Meeting or Lync

· SharePoint

· External Chat

· Web Sites


· Desktops

· VOIP & Cell Phones

· Anti-Virus

· Printers

· Office Networks

Did you notice SharePoint in there? In terms of importance what is getting your time. Probably the top three are SQL/Oracle, Exchange, Firewalls/AD. What is nice is that the latter pretty much doesn’t change except for those pesky updates you keep doing. So what happens, servers that are running SharePoint don’t get their service packs, servers aren’t cleaned, etc… I think you get the picture.

Some contend that they keep all their servers and services up to date, but we have found through our many consulting engagements that SharePoint environments are left to fend for themselves and are afterthoughts in the sea of other servers and services that are being managed.

Even more important there are special activities that relate just to SharePoint which you wouldn’t know if you haven’t read through all the Microsoft Best Practice guides, taking all the tests, or read all the books.

So what do you manage in SharePoint and how often do you? Below are just SOME of the items that need to be managed;

Indexes optimized, SQL DBs optimized, Content DBs under control, Latest Software updates applied, Server Updates applied, Logs reviewed and cleaned, Review your quotas, Defrag your DB and Index, Review your backup strategies, are they still working, Web Applications optimized, architecture optimized? What does your governance process look like, your environment setup, good architecture, how’s your latency?

We see so many customers where we make simple recommendations to, like moving site collections to proper content databases, dedicating a server for search, setting quotas, all of which would be found if maintenance was performed on a continuous basis but from the list above.

Worse yet, take the chart below which shows us that over time, server performance goes down and latency goes up leading to a reactive approach to fixing problems.


But hey this isn’t you – couldn’t be, until that faithful day, search is running slow or you just aren’t getting the same performance from the environment you used to. People’s MySites are taking longer to come up.

But what could it be, I haven’t changed anything. That is the point!

You must manage your SharePoint environment diligently if you want to get the best performance out if it. But best performance isn’t just server side, it is client side to, how is it being used can mean the same as what is being used. But that is for a different conversation.

You took the time to get the environment up, your users trained, using it, and you built your slice of heaven, but that slice has some mold on it and needs to be cleaned.

SharePoint must be managed both inside and out. Some of you have dedicated teams to this objective and are doing a great job. You probably don’t need any help from anyone. However, we have seen these performance-related issues enough to realize that lack of SharePoint Maintenance is prevalent.

So for those of you who don’t have that dedicated team, how important do you place SharePoint in your hierarchy of management?

To be clear – on average, your SharePoint environment should be reviewed for 1 day per week. That is 4 days per month of effort. Every three months, you will need an extra 3-5 days to handle service packs, hotfixes, data moves, etc… That means that you should be spending a total of 1 week per month maintaining your SharePoint environment no matter how small it is. That’s you right?

To really hammer this point home are you ready for Office 15? Maintenance and Governance really matter now more than ever and is your investment in the right place to move forward.

So my final question – why not hire CorasWorks to help maintain your investment? You get your oil changed by a specialist, why not do the same for your SharePoint investment. It costs your more when problems come up, so intercept those problems before they really cost you and make your investment count.

Contact to learn more and we’ll be glad to review with you how we can help your investment stay solid.

July 6, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment