Sharepoint App Review: Stock Ticker Apps For Office 365 Sharepoint Online 2013 Public Sites

Though they aren’t listed as being compatible with public facing sites in the Sharepoint store, these 3 apps do appear to work fine on them. So if you want todisplay stock prices on your site, here’s a quick way to find out which might work best for you. Links to live demos are included so you can see them in action.
Stock Chart App Part From The Sharepoint Store: 5 Out Of 10

f0101471Installation: easy – add it from the SP store
Display: shows one stock in a chart covering current month
Features: none – changing the date range doesn’t seem to do anything
Usage: awkward – no option to change stock shown without editing web part properties
Get it: Sharepoint Store-search for “Stock” -it’s NOT listed under public facing web site category
Cost: $0
Live Demo »

Stock Ticker App Part From The Sharepoint Store: 8 Out Of 10

f0101471Installation: easy – add it from the SP store
Display: clean presentation of one stock in a chart covering current day
Features: users can change stock shown easily
Usage: good – option to change stock shown is a big plus
Get it: Sharepoint Store-search for “Stock” -it’s NOT listed under public facing web site category
Cost: $0
Live Demo »

Our Stock Price App Part From The Sharepoint Store: 3 Out Of 10

f0101471Installation: easy – add it from the SP store
Display: very basic – shows one stock but only symbol, name (optional) and price.
Features: none
Usage: awkward – no option to change stock shown without editing web part properties
Get it: Sharepoint Store-search for “Stock” -it’s NOT listed under public facing web site category
Cost: $0
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!

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!

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 optimization (this is the SEO company we recommend to get the consultation from).
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!

How To Access List Settings For The Contact Us Form App In Office 365 Sharepoint Online 2013 Public Sites

012614_2140_howtoaccess1The Contact Us Form App from the Sharepoint store can’t be opened in Sharepoint Designer and its submissions list comes with a limited set of ribbon tools which restricts what you can do with the list. Here’s how to regain access to the all important “list settings”, so you can access many of the configuration options of a normal SP list, including:Exporting the list to a spreadsheetList permissions
Validation settings (which you can set up to deter spam)
Advanced settings (item level permissions, content type management etc)
RSS settings
The Steps:
From “site contents”, open the contact us form app
Click the tile to open the “submissions” list
Append ?ToolPaneView=2 to the url so it looks like: https://appdomain.sharepoint.com/Forms/Lists/Submissions/AllItems.aspx?ToolPaneView=2
That opens the page for editing
Click the little down arrow on the top right of the web part and “edit web part” to open the web part properties
Under “tool bar type” select “show toolbar” and click “ok”
You’ll now see 3 new links: “New”, “Actions” and “Settings”.

012614_2137_howtoaccess2

Now you can control all the options of a Sharepoint list!

Add Multiple Contact Us Forms To The Office 365 2013 Public Site

111213_0010_addmultiple1By default, only one contact us form is allowed on the public site. If you find this too limiting, here’s a way you can add as many as you like. The trick is to add them to sub sites under the public site. And yes, you CAN add public sub sites – just follow the below instructions:
1/ Create a public sub site

Open your public site in Sharepoint Designer
Click “sub sites” in the left nav and “new sub site” at the right of the ribbon.
Name the site and allow it to set up.
Go back to the browser, and open the site with the urldomain.com/yoursubsitenamehere.
By default, you should have a site pages library where you can create pages. Add content types (“web page” etc) as needed.

2/ Add the contact us app

Since the app is already loaded in the parent public site, all you have to do now is:
In the new sub site, click the cog at top right and “Add an app”
Under “Apps you can add”, select the contact us app.
“Trust” the app and give it a few moments to set up
Open your new sub site page and add the app from the ribbon

3/ Add the new contact form to your public site

Now you have a new form and submissions list, completely separate from the one on your “parent” public site. You can either place a link to the page with your new contact form in your parent site’s navigation, or add the form to a public site page. Since the contact forms are “sub sites” themselves, you can easily iframe JUST THE NEW FORM itself on a page using the page viewer web part, without also displaying other page elements :

First, copy the url of the new form. In Firefox, simply add it to a page on the sub site, right click it and open “view iframe info” and you’ll see the url (it’s absurdly long!).

get-iframedform-url

Getting the contact form url using Firefox
Open a public page on the parent site for editing.
Insert a page viewer web part.
Open the web part properties dialog and paste the form’s url in the url box.
Save the web part and publish the page.
Here are examples of 2 different forms on the same site:
Parent site form: http://365new.webbrewers.com/contact-us
Sub site form: http://365new.webbrewers.com/Pages/Contact-subsite.aspx

If using a sub site page and it doesn’t have the same look as the parent pages, take a look at this:

“Apply Sharepoint 2013 public site design to team site / web part pages”

4/ Accessing the submissions lists
The lists associated with the different forms are of course located in their respective sites. So if you want to add an alert to generate an email notification of new submissions or export the list, you have to open the parent or sub site, click “site contents” and then the contact us form tile.

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!