Access OneDrive (Consumer) – Or Any Hosted Location With Windows Explorer

Microsoft evidently missed the obvious irony when they decided to reuse the “OneDrive” name for the revamped Office 365 mysite document library – OneDrive For Business – thereby giving the world:
Not ONE but TWO…. ONE Drives!

Despite their confusingly similar names, the original, consumer OneDrive and Office 365’s OneDrive For Business are very different animals. Users familar with the consumer OneDrive are befuddled by the complexity and difficulties they encounter when trying to use ODFB. I guess Microsoft was trying to leverage the popularity of the “OneDrive” brand – but that popularity is based on OneDrive being “born in the cloud”, and simple and intuitive to use. The other, troubled OneDrive (ForBusiness) looks more like a botched attempt to marry the convenience of cloud access to the complexity of a server born service like Sharepoint.
A Different Approach

For those seeking the simplicity of OneDrive and some of the functionality of ODFB, it’s worth considering a different approach:
Rather than trying to get ODFB to behave like OneDrive, get OneDrive to function more like ODFB.
One way to do that is to create an access point for your consumer OneDrive storage space in Windows Explorer. That will allow you to easily drag files directly from a device like a digital camera, transfer things from OneDrive to an Office 365 library or an ftp account etc without the hassle of downloading and uploading. In effect, it makes OneDrive an extension of your local hard drive – without the risk of a hard drive failure. It also makes a OneDrive account available to other users who can access your network.

To Sync Or Swim….

Microsoft does offer a OneDrive sync client you can use, but if you don’t want to take up local real estate with duplicate file copies or deal with syncing issues, you can add OneDrive as a network place/location. It will appear just like any other folder in Windows Explorer and can be used the same way.

How To Get The Right Url.

The trick is figuring out HOW to add a OneDrive url that network places will recognize. The url you see in the browser will look like this: https://onedrive.live.com/?cid=xxxxxxxxx. If you try to add that, the location will be rejected. Microsoft isn’t forthcoming about how to do this either. I don’t know how I figured it out but I was able to add my original SkyDrive account many years ago with a url that looked like this:

https://nsnsj8.docs.live.net/xxxxxx/

Breaking that down:

https://nsnsj8.docs.live.net/ is the server address
/xxxxxxx/ is the account id.

To get the account id, open up your OneDrive account and look at the number that follows ?cid= at the end of the url:

https://onedrive.live.com/?cid=xxxxxxxxxx

So join those 2 bits together and you have the correct url.

Creating A Web Folder

Next, click “add a network place” or “location” or whatever your os supports.
Click “next” and enter the url you created above

add-place

Give it a name, say “One Drive”, which will appear in Explorer
Click finish.

When you open up Explorer, you’ll see a One Drive folder from which you can access all your OD files!

od-folder

If it doesn’t work for you, you can try to use https://d.docs.live.net/ in place ofhttps://nsnsj8.docs.live.net. I’m not sure if newer accounts still use the old server address – both work for me.

Questions?

Visit my forum » if you have any questions. For development work, you can contact me here ». And if you think this would be useful to others, feel free to share it by clicking one of the share buttons up top!

Reactivating A Dormant Office Pro Plus 2010 Subscription

If you’ve downloaded Office Pro Plus to a computer that doesn’t get used for a while, or the id used to validate the subscription is no longer valid, eventually the programs will start showing an “unlicensed” notice and stop working fully. Downloads are associated to a user but just signing in with an id that has a valid subscription may not work. This is a common enough scenario, but Microsoft doesn’t makefinding a solution that easy.The solution (as often happens) was provided by Google – but only aftera user had done several searches and wasted a considerable amount of time asking questions on the 365 community. Buried deep within the support.microsoft.com site is a kb article with a Fixit, that reverifies your subscription and even allows you to switch it to a different id.So if you want to reactivate an Office Pro Plus 2010 subscription, click the Fixit button below, install and run it and after the usual lengthy configuration process typical of Microsoft products – eventually, it will ask you to sign in to verify. I did restart the computer before signing in, but I don’t think that’s necessary.

And here’s the kb article »

Questions?

Visit my forum » if you have any questions. For development work, you can contact me here ». And if you think this would be useful to others, feel free to share it by clicking one of the share buttons up top!

Add A Discussions List With Threaded View In Office 365 2013 Sharepoint Sites

discuss-2010A discussion board without a threaded view is like, well….having a blog on one site and its associated comments on another. You never know who’s replying to what. What makes Microsoft’s decision to remove the threaded view from Sharepoint 2013 even odder is that it worked fine in 2010 and still does in a 2013 site. All you have to do is save a discussion list as a template from a 2010 site and move it over.

If you want to add the list to a public site, you may find the template doesn’t show up when you click”add an app”. To workaround that restriction, try installing it on a sub site of the public site. Sub sites can be created with standard templates, so are not as restrictive as the public site. And it’s easy to make a sub site look like it’s part of the parent site by following this guide:
http://365.webbrewers.com/blog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=29

If you don’t have access to a 2010 site or want to save some time, you can download the 2010 template here » Just follow the installation instructions on that page.
I set up a working demo of the list on a 2013 public sub site here » You can add some styling if needed to dress it up a bit.

Questions?

Visit my forum » if you have any questions. For development work, you can contact me here ». And if you think this would be useful to others, feel free to share it by clicking one of the share buttons up top!

An Easy (And Free) Way To Add Ecommerce To An Office 365 Sharepoint Public Site

demo-storeAdding a professional looking, functional and mobile friendly storefront to an Office 365 public site is something a lot of people want to do but there isn’t much information out there about the best way to do it. I recently reviewed a couple of options for adding ecommerce functionality, and thought it would be helpful to provide a little tutorial on integrating the best of the bunch – the FREE Ecwid ecommerce widget – into a Sharepoint 2013 public site. See it: You can see a live demo store here »Get it: You can sign up for a free Ecwid account here »

Create Ecwid Account

Since my concern is integration with Office 365 (and the Ecwid interface is so intuitive), I won’t go into detail about how to build or manage your Ecwid store. A free Ecwid account has a lot of pro features including order tracking, inventory control, product galleries, product options and tax and shipping options. I also suggest you use the product import feature – it’s very easy and a big time saver. I had 20 or so demo products set up and the store operational in about 10 minutes.

ecwid-dash

Ecwid dashboard

Set Up A Page

If you want the same layout as my demo store », choose the left sidebar page layout. You’ll be adding the categories widget in the sidebar and the product section/cart/checkout in the main content area of the page. You can of course vary this to suit your needs. You only need to create one page – Ecwid uses ajax to display the different parts of your store in the same content area. The widgets are “smart” and interlinked – so once you add them to a page, you can navigate the entire store, view the cart and checkout.

Embed Storefront

Go back to your Ecwid account. At the top of the dashboard page, you’ll see all the code snippets you can use:

Product Browser Widget Code = Main product display – will show categories, individual products, cart and checkout in same block.
Bag Widget Code (recommended) = displays a shopping “bag” and its contents plus you can drag and drop products into it.
Categories Tabs Widget Code (optional) = Adds category tabs above the main product browser.
… or Categories Menu Widget Code (optional) = Vertical list of linked categories.
Search Box Widget Code (optional) = Displays search box for products.
Start by copying theProduct Browser Widget Code. Add a script editor web part to the main content area of your Office 365 page. Edit the snippet and paste the code.

script-editor

Adding a script editor web part….

ecwid-copy

Paste the Ecwid code

Copy the Categories Menu Widget Code and paste that into a script editor web part in the sidebar area of the page.

That’s all you need for the store to look good and function. You can also add theBag Widget Code but it’s a little tricky to get it positioned right in the Office 365 editor unless you know some css. Likewise the search box.
When you’re done, save and publish the page and take a look at your new store! Now it’s set up, any editing you do in the Ecwid interface will immediately update your site.
Not bad for a free application!

Questions?

Visit my forum » if you have any questions. For development work, you can contact me here ». And if you think this would be useful to others, feel free to share it by clicking one of the share buttons up top!

FREE List Template And Web Part Downloads For Office 365 Sharepoint Online Sites!

111213_0003_addmultiple1Download these free list templates and web parts and add functionality and usefulness to your Sharepoint sites!Easy: download, extract and install!
Time saving: fully functional out of the box!
Safe: developed in a Sharepoint site – no additional code added!

Installation Instructions:
1/ Download zip file and extract

2/ Open”list template gallery” on desired site [If not in settings, use this url: yourdomain.com/_catalogs/lt/Forms/AllItems.aspx]

3/ Click”upload document” and navigate to the location the .stp file was saved in.

4/ Click the”cog” icon at top right of page and “Add An App”

5/ Locate the app you uploaded and add to your site

Downloads.

Calendar Creator List Template Tested: SP 2010/2013?

This free list template will let you add a list and simple calendar web part to Sharepoint Online 2013 public web sites.
Read more »

Download Here »
Announcements List Template Tested: SP 2010/2013Add An Announcements List To An Office 365 Public Site With A Date Range Filter
Read more »
Download Here »

2010 Discussions List Template Tested: SP 2010/2013
Includes the all important threaded view missing from 2013!
Read more »
Download Here »
Picture Library Slideshow Webpart Tested: SP 2010/2013?

This free web part will let you add a slideshow that pulls images from a picture library..
Read more »

Download Here »
Content Query Webpart Tested: SP 2010/2013?
This free web part displays content from another SP location..
Read more »
Download Here »

Script Editor Webpart Tested: SP 2010/2013?

This free web part allows you to add scripts to a SP page.
Read more »

Download Here »

RSS Feed Viewer Webpart Tested: SP 2010/2013?

This free web part displays content from any RSS feed, including Sharepoint feeds from other sites..
Read more »

Download Here »

Questions?

Visit my forum » if you have any questions. For development work, you can contact me here ». And if you think this would be useful to others, feel free to share it by clicking one of the share buttons up top!

Add An Announcements List To An Office 365 Sharepoint Public Site With A Date Range Filter

news-page2A Sharepoint Announcements list can be used to show news items, upcoming events, product introductions or any manner of short update-type items. For some reason, Msft decided not to include this type of list in the public site, and made it rather difficult to add it. Only certain types of list can be added as apps. Even if you import an announcement list template from a team site, Msft prevents it from showing up as an app you can add.Not to worry – since it’s actually a pretty simple list to create, I’m going to show you how to do that – and go one better by enhancing the basic list by adding filters so the list ONLY shows items within a specified date range. You can see a live example of the end result here »Download
If you want to skip all the fun of creating your own list (!), you can download a convenient list template here »

Create The List

Click “Add An App” and create a new custom list, naming it “News” or whatever you want.
Open the list and add list fields by clicking “create column”

create-column

Add a multi line rich text field for your announcement’s content, and 2 date fields – one for “Start date” and one for “Expiry date”.
It will look like this when you open the list’s settings:

fields

Create A Date Filtered View
The default announcements list includes an expiry date field – your custom version can go one better by adding a start date. There are many reasons you may want an announcement to become visible on your site at a specific time – if you’re running a promotion for instance. You may also want announcements to automatically drop off the public view, say after an event is over. To do that, you’ll need to create a new view of the list filtered to only display items between the start and expiry dates you set in the list.
Go to the list settings, click “Create view” and select “All items” as the starting point.

Name the view and make sure only “title” and “body” are checked
Scroll down to the filter section, and add filters as shown in the image:

news-filters

The logic of the filters may seem a little odd – I’m still not sure I understand why it works – but it does. What it says in simple terms is show only items between the start date and expiry date. In more detail, it’s saying:
Show items IF:
Expiry date is equal to nothing = when the expiry date is empty (ie there is no expiry date)
OR
Expiry date is greater than or equal to [Today] = when the expiry date is today or after today
PLUS
Start date is less than or equal to [Today = ]the start date is today or after today.
Any item that fails to meet ALL those conditions will not be shown.

View Style
To give the announcements a vertical rather than horizontal presentation, you can change the style of the view.
Scroll down the list view settings page and open the “style” option
For a vertical orientation, select the “newsletter no lines” style.
Don’t forget whenever you change the view you have to go back and reselect it in the web part properties on the page!

Add To A Page

Now the list is built, you can edit a page, look for the web part with the name of your list under “Apps” and insert it where you want it to appear. You’ll just need to switch over to your custom view as follows:
Click the web part and in the ribbon click web part “properties”.
When the properties box opens, under “List views » selected view” pick the new view you created from the drop down.
Click ok to save your changes and remember to publish the page.

views

Add a few items to the list, and play with the date fields to test it out. Anything with a start date of today or after today AND an expiry date of today or before today should show up on the page.

Additional Points
By default, the”title” field is linked to the item but since Msft blocks anonymous access to list items, you may want to change the type of the title field from “title-linked to item” to just “title”. You can pick a different field type in the list view settings. This wi

Fix Text Wrapping In Drop Down Sub Menus On Office 365 Sharepoint Sites

navwrap2One of the most important things about a public site is the navigation – that’s how people find their way around the site after all. Office 365 sites include a drop down menu that allows you to display links to as many locations as you need in a small amount of space. Unfortunately, if you have a multi word page title in a sub menu, the fixed width of the sub menu container may cause an unwanted line break.
Not only is this ugly looking, it can also make it very hard to identify a page and navigate the site. If properly designed, the container would expand to fit its contents without forcing longer titles to wrap to another line. Luckily, it’s very easy to fix.

Sign in to open the site for editing
On any page click the “site” tab
Add this to the site’s custom stylesheet:
ul.dynamic{min-width:100% !important;white-space:nowrap !important;}
If it doesn’t work for you, it may be because the rule isn’t getting applied in the stylesheet. A fix for that is covered here:
Adding Custom Styling To The Office 365 Sharepoint 2013 Public Website
Also, in some cases you may need to “supersize” the ul element so it fits behind the menu links. For that, change the min-width:
ul.dynamic{min-width:150% !important;}

That’s it!

Questions?
Visit my forum » if you have any questions. For development work, you can contact me here ». And if you think this would be useful to others, feel free to share it by clicking one of the share buttons up top!

Sharepoint App Review: Add An Ecommerce Store App To An Office 365 Sharepoint Public Site

Office 365 public sites weren’t designed to house things like ecommerce, and if you want a serious and professional looking store, I’d recommend you consider another platform, with self hosted WordPress being the most flexible. That said, it’s possible to embed ecommerce functionality and I did plan to do a round up of some of the embeddable options, but for now let me just list the best and worst I’ve come across so far. I’ll start with the worst:
Online Merchant From The Sharepoint Store: 1 Out Of 10
You’d think since this app was developed for Sharepoint, it would be at least one of the better options. It’s easy to install and seems to work okay, but aesthetically it’s far from what’s possible on other non Sharepoint platforms.
You might think that an advantage of using a native app is the seo equity it will give you. Unfortunately that doesn’t apply to SP apps – they are hosted on Azure under a different sub-domain, so will do nothing for your seo.
It was initially a free app but last time I checked it was up to $19.99, which seems reasonable until you consider what you can get for free. The demo below is how the free version looks out of the box with no customization. The updated paid version may be different.
Get it: Sharepoint Store under public facing web site category
Cost: $19.99
Live Demo »

Ecwid Embeddable Store: 8 Out Of 10
Ecwid (Ecommerce Widget) is a 3rd party hosted solution that works surprisingly well in a Sharepoint environment, which is not generally very hospitable towards non Sharepoint software. You manage your products in your free Ecwid account, install a script on your SP site and that’s all you have to do.
The script creates a responsive store that adapts to the width of the host site and never looks out of place. Your customers will never know the store is embedded from another site. I particularly like the fact that you can add product categories in a sidebar which gives the store a more professional look.
Ecwid also lets you import a csv file of products – which is a big convenience if you have a lot of them!
Downside: Ecwid has a limit of 10 products for free accounts with an option to upgrade to a paid subscription if you have more… if you had an account before they introduced their new plans that wouldn’t apply, but if you sign up now, that’s a severe restriction, and is why they didn’t get 10 out of 10.

Get it: Ecwid site
Use it: Get tips on setting up an Ecwid store on a 365 site in my article here »

Cost: Free (10 product limit for new accounts with upgrades available)

Live demo »

Questions?

Visit my forum » if you have any questions. For development work, you can contact me here ». And if you think this would be useful to others, feel free to share it by clicking one of the share buttons up top!

Create A Better Slider For Office 365 Sharepoint Online 2013 Sites

unsliderYour choices are limited if you’re looking for an attractive slider or slideshow for your Office 365 public site. There is a slideshow web part you can use, but it’s not very attractive and has limited settings. The Bright Banner app from the Sharepoint store is the only 3rd party app that works with anonymous sites and is the easiest option to deploy.But if you want something that combines a modern look and ease of use – something that promotes your content by for example allowing you to overlay text on a background image while still using images in a Sharepoint list, you may want to consider the jQuery “unslider”. It uses jQuery to run the slider and the clever SPServices to pull content from a list. Here’s a demo that shows how text and images can be combined:

http://365.webbrewers.com/SitePages/home.aspx

Mark Rackley came up with the idea of combining the unslider script with SPServices, so this is just a recap of that idea in the context of a Sharepoint Online 2013 public site – with a few bonus tricks of my own – like adding multiple sliders and a filter to select which slides are displayed. It’s ideal if you want to be able to display different messages and quickly edit them without having to create a whole new slide.

The basic steps to install it are:

Create a list to store the slides
Upload the necessary files
Add a content editor web part to a page

Create A List

Use “add an app” to add a custom list called “Slider”
Create 2 fields in the list:
A rich text field called “HTML” (which lets you format the text that overlays the image – there must be some content in this field!)
A hyperlink/picture field called “Picture” and set to the picture setting.
You can upload some test content at this point if you like

 

Admin view of list using “newsletter” style display

Upload Files

This is easiest done using Sharepoint Designer but you can also use the browser tools
Download the unslider script from here » and upload/import it to your site’s Site Assets library
Download the slider script from here » and either upload it to Site assets, or just copy/paste the code into a new js file in Sharepoint Designer.
This file contains all the needed references to external jQuery and SPServices files.

Note that the slider.js file also contains some basic css styling, so that’s where you’d make changes (if you know what you’re doing).

Deployment

Open a page for editing

At the spot you want the slider to appear, insert a content editor web part
Click “add content” and in the web part properties box, add this link in the “content link” box:
/SiteAssets/slider.js

cewp-unslider

Usage

You’ll get the best results if you use images having the same dimensions. Remember, the image is set as a background with the HTML field text overlaying it so you can play around with the positioning of the image and the formatting of the text. In my example, I used a small image pushed to the right and styled up some large text messages in the HTML field. As you can see, you can also add “read more” buttons to the html field.

If you don’t see the slider when you reopen the page, go back to the list and add a few blank lines or some content to the HTML field. That field sets the slider’s height so it can’t be empty!

Advanced – Multiple Sliders
As is, the installed scripts reference one list, so you can only display one slider. You will need to make a few adjustments if you want multiple sliders.
Create a new list as above only name it say “Slider2”
Copy the contents of the slider.js file over to a new file named “slider2.js” (again much easier to edit it directly in SPD)
Look for this line: var sliderList = “Slider”; // Name of the list that contains slides
Change “Slider” to “Slider2”.
In the content editor web part, link to the new slider2.js file.

That’s it!
Advanced – Configuring Slider Options
If you want to change the slider settings like speed,

datasheet-slider