Join the Ministry of Silly Walks Flashmob at #SPC19

And Now for Something Totally Different… Those who know me know I’m a HUGE fan of community and love to put on silly things.  Some remember the Infopath funeral for good or for worse.  Others may remember the year we sang our hearts out “Don’t Stop Believing” when we were concerned SharePoint was taking a back seat to things like Yammer and becoming simply “sites” in Office 365.

This year I want to do something totally different and even more Silly.

Silly Walks Featured Photo

I’m assembling a Ministry of Silly Walks for a Community March Through the Exhibit hall at #SPC19 on the first day May 21 at lunch time.  Eat your lunch quick and meet us at the entrance of the expo hall… don’t miss the music.  We start marching at 1:01pm sharp.

What is a Silly Walk?  Haven’t heard of Monty Python?  It’s an international Phenomena see more on the Monty Python website on International Marches.  I want this to be the biggest one ever.

How do I register or get involved?  You can register on #SPCSillyWalks on Eventbrite or on The Facebook Events for #SPCSillyWalks

I’m looking to recruit the true Monty Python Fans.  For those of the Organizing Committee Ministry I will get us Bowler Hats and Mustaches.  I’m working with Apps 365 as sponsor for T-shirts for attendees.  They are totally on board and love it.  Any other vendors who want to help.  Please reach out.  We can always use more swag.

When: May 21, 2019 at 1PM Pacific Time (Las Vegas)

Where: MGM Grand SPC Expo Hall Entrance (more details provided to those who register, but registration is not required)

What should I bring: Plan to bring a funny hat, suit coat, umbrella, and whatever other silly props along with your best silly walk
Remember to register on #SPCSillyWalks on Eventbrite or on The Facebook Events for #SPCSillyWalks

Not yet involved at SPC?  Get registered and use my invite code for a discount.  It’s going to be a blast.  I’m speaking on SharePoint Search.  More on that in another post.

Register for SharePoint Conference North America May 21-23 Discount Code OLESON

Want to be part of the Flying Circus Band?   I’m looking for Flying Circus style Tuba player, Trombone player, and a whistle chorus etc… (Song is “Always look on the bright side of Life”) various percussion options.

If you’re absolutely confused.  It’s probably a problem with your walk and we at the Ministry can help you with that.

monty python swing dance GIF

Reach out to me joel.oleson@outlook.com or on twitter at @joeloleson

Need some practice or inspiration on Silly Walks?

Here’s some history on Silly Walks

Here’s the original Hillarious and Fantastic Monthy Python Sketch from 1970.

#SPCSillyWalk #MontyPython

 

 

Getting Started Guidelines to Microsoft Forms Limits and Boundaries

Infographic_MicrosoftFormsGuidelinesFinal

 

Microsoft Forms is a basic lightweight app for quickly collecting information via surveys and quizzes, but you should be aware of its limits.  The strength of Microsoft forms is its licensing.  It’s free to use for anonymous or authenticated users, and the data can be stored in a list or connected to flow to push into other systems, but there are some limits to be aware of especially in relation to using it to build an app.  When do you decide to use a PowerApp vs. a form or even just use the list?  Microsoft Forms is a great way to get started with the new generation of tools in Office 365, but when should you look into the Microsoft ecosystem?  It was when I started pushing the limits that I found there are some limitations in Microsoft Forms.  Even walking through User Voice, you can’t get a clear picture.  I couldn’t find a single place with guidelines on what those limits were that I decided to put together an infographic to simplify the process.  I’m working on a broader infographic for what to use when, and I’m hoping this will simplify the process.  As with all things in Office 365, it’s a moving target and these limits are subject to change anytime, but this is current as of my evaluation and testing on 2/11/2019.  I did see acknowledgement on various forums, but never saw a list of Microsoft Forms Limits in one place so this is my effort to try to consolidate.  Feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments or feedback on my experience as well.  Hopefully this posting will encourage users to weigh in on User Voice options to increase these limits.  Let me know if you see any changes as time goes on.  I will plan to support this list over the coming year… and maybe more with encouragement from the community.

1.  Users Can’t Update or Come back to finish their responses.

In this limitation users have to fill out the form and be done.  If users might need to come back to change a response such as in an RSVP or if they want to save and come back later to finish, Microsoft Forms is currently not able to support users coming back.

2. Hard Limit of 100 Questions.

Essentially there is a hard limit of 100 questions in Microsoft Forms.  This boundary does seem like one that should be published and I expect it will be published in the near future.  Of note it really depends on how you ask the questions and what style of questions you’re using as to how this limit is reached.  Some users have experienced the limit at 60 by using different style of questions… see #6 for another example.

3. You are limited to 2 to 10 options on a ranking question.

If you have 10 ranking questions you can only ask 10 questions.  If you have a ranking question with 2 options you’ll only be able to ask 50 questions.  This can make for an odd survey if you keep finding you’re hitting a limit.

4. Choice Questions store only 60 options.

This is a soft limit, so you won’t even notice.  You can provide hundreds of options, but only a max of 60 options are stored to viewed in your results.  So imagine you’re asking the user to choose their country.  As a traveler I know there are 193 UN countries, but At&t seems to think there’s a whole lot more than that so they can say they are in a ton more than they actually are.  That aside, if you ask someone to choose their country, you’ll find Microsoft Forms is only storing 60 options.  So when you’ve got users from 90 countries you’ll find only 60 of them were stored.  In my mind that’s pretty serious.  You could ask that question in a text field, but that’s a little strange.

5. You get a max of 4000 characters in a response.

Imagine your users are giving you feedback and you get a nice essay as a response and find it’s only half there.  Be aware you’ll only get 4000 characters in the long text box response.  I can’t imagine someone pouring their heart out to provide detailed responses and then you get only the first 4000 characters in that response.  Is that enough?  Who knows, but to have it be truncated isn’t cool.

6. Likert scales are limited to 20 questions.

Just as in the limits above, you might find yourself designing a survey and finding you’re running out of questions.  Be aware.

If you like the infographic and want to use it in a blog or in your presentations at SharePoint Saturdays or community events, no problem.  This infographic is shareable with creative commons share with attribution.  As long as you include the whole image you’re good to go.  You can download this infographic on Microsoft Forms Limits from slideshare as a PDF or as a JPG from this blog post, simply right click on the image and choose save.

Join me for a Webinar on this Topic and More

If you liked what you saw here and want more.  You can join me on a webinar where I will dig into the differences between each of the Power Trio and Forms and Forms Pro (what little we know from recent news).

Webinar on March 7, 2019 at 11am Pacific

TOPIC:  “Apps, Forms, Workflows and Tools of Office 365: What to Use When?”

Sponsored by Crow Canyon.

Register free << RSVP – register >>

I’ll be going over each of the Microsoft Apps and Tools and describing their strengths, helping you best understand “when to use what tools” in building out your solutions.

Join Microsoft MVP Joel Oleson with Scott Restivo, CEO of Crow Canyon Software to explore the core of Office 365 tools and dive into the fundamentals of business applications. In this session we’ll: 1). Demystify the tools and reveal limits in application construction and look at when to use what in your biz app lifecycle. 2). Focus on fundamentals and directing when to use what in your tooling and fundamental approaches and provide you with some great take-away’s in the form of Infographics. 3). Finally, we’ll explore the interconnected nature of business solutions from ingestion, business processing, evaluation, reporting, and data analysis in a single platform with integrated tools all in a content services platform. It doesn’t stop there as Hybrid solutions can be constructed with gateways and the power of the cloud allows scale like no other time.

<UPDATE! 2/22/2019>

Kudos to Phil Worrell among others who shared their thoughts on things they thought for which people should be aware.  I’ve gathered theme here from various social platform (in comments) who had some additional “Feature” differences and things to be aware of…

More Forms Limits or Desired Features

  • Limited customization and look & feel, no ability to even change fonts size
  • No attachments or file upload option
  • No country picker (as I mentioned above if you create your own it won’t work well if you use over 60 items and expect to get all items back)
  • No paging or section breaks
  • No way to share a link to collaborate share a secure form with selected individuals only a group option or a link that is open to the entire org
  • No comments on questions to add to an answer for further details.
  • No multiparty questions e.g. fill in you details first name , last name, address etc in one question.
  • No field validation, including email address or other data type validation except numbers
  • No calculated field options

Remember these are subject to change.  In fact, have may have heard about Forms Pro?  We should hear more about this solution, but as you look at what they’ve shared it doesn’t appear to be focused on addressing the things we’ve called out here.  Keep reporting things you care about and voting on User Voice!

Read more about the recent announcement of Microsoft Forms Pro

Microsoft Forms Pro highlights:

  • Easy to set up and configure
  • Trigger surveys around specific events
  • Collect feedback across channels
  • Embed surveys across apps, web, and mobile
  • Identify sentiments automatically
  • Analyze feedback for impactful insights

“This enterprise survey tool makes it easy for organizations to collect feedback across customer touchpoints using surveys, quizzes, and polls, correlate the feedback with business transactions, and derive actionable insights from the combined data,” wrote Alysa Taylor, Corporate Vice President, Business Applications & Industry at Microsoft.

Microsoft Forms Pro will be available in public preview this spring [2019].”

 

 

Tribute to Tom Castiglia, True Community Leader, Gone but Not Forgotten!

Update: See more stories, memories, photos, videos and a memorial for Tom at https://www.forevermissed.com/tomcastiglia/

When I first moved to California, there was one person who made a big impression on my life and it’s never been the same.  Tom Castiglia, President of the SharePoint User Group, and Founder of the .NET User Group in San Diego was all about community.  The first month I was there I had offered to help Tom and the SharePoint Saturday San Diego event committee.  I had some crazy ideas about doing a speaker party on the beach with fusion Hawaiian food and fire and hula dancers.  Tom didn’t shut me down despite the fact I accidentally planned a trip to Colombia and Bolivia over the top of that weekend.  I heard everyone had a great time, but Tom helped me pull it off without hesitation.

Image may contain: 5 people, including Joel Oleson, Tom Castiglia and Chris Givens, people standing and indoor

Image may contain: 10 people, including Tom Resing and Joel Oleson, people smiling, people standing and crowd

Up bright and early for SharePoint Bloggers breakfast before the keynote and on the second row…  Tom had Passion!!

Image may contain: 13 people, including Tom Castiglia, Joel Oleson, Michael Noel, Tony Rockwell and Galen Keene, people smiling, people standing and indoor

The next month I was at the User group with some rough news.  I was in the middle of trying to buy a house with an unknown closing date.  It was during the committee meeting for the user group that I brought up I was out of work and looking.  I didn’t really have any time to make anything happen…  Tom reached out and I believe he stuck his neck out to take a chance on bringing me on at the small San Diego based business.   A day later I was talking to Neal and Arjay and the following Monday I was working with him at Hershey.  I was able to keep our house and with no drama my prayers were answered.

Image may contain: 8 people, including Brent Fox, Tom Castiglia, Joel Oleson, Kenneth Rubiro, Hootan Farokhi and Keven Scharaswak, people smiling, people sitting and indoor

Some of the Hershey SharePoint team at a recent little reunion.

 

We’d share a room at the upcoming Ignite event, and nearly every waking moment of that event we were together.  My SharePoint friends were his friends, and the San Diego User Group and SharePoint crew got really tight.  Haaron Gonzales, Chris Givens, Randy Williams, Galen, Tony, Ron… you couldn’t find a tighter community.  We adopted David Leveille when he moved to San Diego.  He had a client in San Diego and lived with Tom and Martha for over a month.  Who does that?  Tom (and Martha).  1

Image may contain: 5 people, including Joel Oleson and Tom Castiglia

While I was working with Tom at Hershey we had more than a few lunches together.  We shared a lot together.  I saw his work ethic first hand.  A hard worker with a passion for community and friendships.  He told me all about his Old Pros group, and I saw it first hand.  Those guys would do anything for each other.  Very tight knit group.

Image may contain: Joel Oleson, Tom Castiglia and Galen Keene, people smiling, outdoor

The next year in Atlanta for Ignite, Tom, Galen and I got glowing light sabers and we fought with our lazer swords under the laser light show.  Tom believed in my crazy ideas and backed me up when I was feeling spontaneous.  That’s a rare thing.

 

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I went to more baseball games with Tom in the past few years than the rest of my life combined.  He sure loved baseball.

Image may contain: 8 people, including Tom Castiglia, Chris Givens, Sharon Phelan Weaver and Joel Oleson, people smiling, people standing

Tom knew how to make people feel wanted and how best to organize an event.  Last years SharePoint Saturday San Diego Zoiner opened his home for the speaker dinner.  It took things to a much more personal level.  Something I’ve strove for.  This community is more than a bunch of geeks.  It’s family.  We all know that.

 

Image may contain: 3 people, including Joel Oleson and Tom Castiglia, people smiling, outdoor

It didn’t take much to convince Tom to join me on a crazy adventure to SharePoint Saturday in Cuba.

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Politics doesn’t divide the SharePoint Community.  Tom, Rob, Chris and I met with the Cuban SharePoint folks who sacrificed to tell their stories.  I cherish the memories of walking through the dark streets of Havana with Tom.  He put a lot of trust in me.  It was one of the first times they’d left Ben alone and for so long.  Tom tells the story that Ben had a secret, but due to their strong relationship, he couldn’t hold it a secret for long and Tom would handle the situation like a good father would.

Tom was the glue that has kept the community here in southern California together.  Through ups and downs and thick and thin…  Even when Microsoft said we couldn’t keep meeting in San Diego, he pushed to get us what we needed to keep going.  He has put his own money into buying pizzas on more than one occasion, traveling to SharePoint events all over the country and beyond.  His impact cannot be measured.  As a Nintex vTE he helped people for free all over the world, and those developers and engineers are deeply indebted to his graciousness and technical knowledge.

 

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Tom invited me and a few SharePoint friends to his 50th birthday party.  This wasn’t the first birthday he invited me to.  During the first year we moved here, he invited me into his home and my little boy Dean danced and danced at his party.  We all felt comfortable at Tom’s house…  We could be ourselves.  Being at Tom’s house belt like being at home…  being there felt like family.

Image may contain: 14 people, including Sheila Etheridge and Tom Castiglia, people smiling, indoor

Only a week ago, Tom helped me do some shopping and helped me throw the biggest party I’ve ever had.  I had commitments on Thursday and Friday and he took time out of his week to go shopping mid week.  Super nice guy.  Tons of Love.  He opened his heart and we’ll never be the same.   I miss my friend, but know he’ll be waiting for us all for a big party on the other side… with a brass cup and some ginger beer.  I’m sure he’s working with the Angels on their Records Management in the meantime.

Image may contain: 4 people, including Joel Oleson and Tom Castiglia, people smiling, selfie, indoor and closeup

Tom, I’ll miss your non judgmental smile and your never give up and do what it takes to make it work personality.  I promise to do what I can to keep the community together, and I’ll never forget the way you made us all feel… loved.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing and outdoor

If you know or were inspired by Tom, I invite you to attend Tom Castiglia’s Funeral which will be on Tuesday February 5th at 10am. http://tomcastiglia.eventbrite.com

Saint Gregory the Great Church, Scripps Ranch, 11451 Blue Cypress Drive, San Diego, CA 92131

How can you help? In the beginning the recommendation was to donate to the American Heart Association. Even better, now there is a Go Fund Me to help with Funeral and Burial expenses… Thanks for anything you can do.

Seven SharePoint and Office 365 Predictions for 2019 and Reflections

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(I snapped this photo in Indonesia.  I hope you like it!)


1. SharePoint 2019 will become the new base standard, but the community bloggers and speakers will get over it very quickly.  It won’t feel new by June.   Where usually a product is new for a couple of years.  Now the on prem releases will feel dated nearly immediately. We won’t see hardly any posts unfortunately.  

2. Teams will get a TON of press and become a leading workload (fastest growing) for Office 365.  Microsoft Sales will CARE most about Teams and Azure.  The Teams team will really dial in the MVP community and connect in solid ways.

3. Digital Workspaces will move from being buzz words to being company initiatives.  Some companies will refocus intranet teams to focus on The Digital Workspace. Productivity will change based on personalized organizational insights through analytics.  Analytics will be big in gaining new insights and driving the interfaces of our personalized workspaces.

4. Chat Bots will go from being seen as a gimmick to being more common corporate projects.  Today chat bots are seen as squishy dev projects working with APIs, but we’re likely to see chat bots be more productized and with plug and play integration.  I expect to see large enterprises who have sprint initiatives feeding the bots.  HR and Support will find each other to support these initiatives, sparking a marriage.

5. Digital Transformation – What was previously seen as stages for moving to the cloud will now be more about looking at streamlining business processes with taking advantage of investments in AI for automation.  

6.  The Battle of the year will be Microsoft Teams and Slack.  Microsoft’s arsenals are loaded and Skype is dead.  This battle won’t end in a year.  Atlassian alignment with Slack is going to cause some significant changes inside organizations.

7.  Microsoft will double down on Mixed Reality.  The story will really start coming together even if it sounds ahead of it’s time.  Microsoft does have their work cut out.  Remote assist + Teams + Hololens… It’s ahead of it’s time, but solid.  The community really doesn’t seem to understand SharePoint spaces.  I think it will take a year unfortunately for the right stories to come together, but 3D/360 content viewing is a solid investment especially if you look at 3-5 years.  Engineering will start sharing more 3D/360.

8. PowerPack will be a big thing.  Licensing confusion will rise, but PowerBI, PowerApps, and Flow will gain in adoption and usage in a significant way, and Microsoft will find a way to promote these products in a more streamlined way.

Here’s a review of last year’s post including my thoughts.  Love to hear what you think…

8 Predictions for SharePoint & Office 365 in 2018

1. People will look to Skip SharePoint 2016 and go to 2019. It will be much better received than 2016 was, but it will still be somewhat lackluster (never will it be like it was back in the good old days of dedicated SPCs for SharePoint launches). In the first year of SharePoint 2019 release it will surpass 2016 as an install base. (2016 still hasn’t surpassed 2013.)

I haven’t seen any numbers, I think we’ve already heard great things about 2019.  I expect to hear more at SPC. 

2. Hub sites will become the preferred way of doing Information Architecture in SharePoint and deep portal structures will be flattened as a best practice. Note there will be many who cry foul and it will cause heated debates.

Hub Sites are preferred way to do Information Architecture in SharePoint Now.

3. OneDrive on Demand will become a great drive to Windows 10. Sync for SharePoint will be carried along as a benefit and client sync for SharePoint will have its greatest adoption since groove.

OneDrive on Demand has been huge for OneDrive.

4. Modern Team Sites, Modern Lists, and Themes will soon become consistent with the expectation for status quo for SharePoint and a big line will be drawn for OLD SharePoint vs. New SharePoint based on what comes in 2019 and what’s in O365 now.

This prediction stands.  Teams and Modern are the way.

5. WSPs are Dead – The community will abhor them and it will be an insult to think of installing them. As a result even third party solutions will need to rethink how they not only support apps for online but also on prem.

True.  No one is creating anything in WSPs now.

6. Groups will cause further confusion in 2018, but Teams will become the darling of Microsoft sales for collab as it activates multiple workloads.

I think some of the confusion is gone now that Team sites = group template, but Teams is definitely been a big winner.

7. Microsoft AI (Simple automation, auto classification and extraction) will start to make its way into SharePoint Online amongst other workloads.

True. Microsoft has provided extraction through OCR and it shipped for OneDrive & SharePoint Online.  Not just that, but also Flow is now in lists with simple approvals.

8. Simple Communication Site based Intranets (and Intranet in a box solutions) + Hub sites will gain favor for Office 365 adopters. Deep complicated Intranets will fall out of favor in a huge significant industry wide way.

True. I do believe Intranet in a box solutions and even lowered expectations for more out of the box cloud based solutions as either digital workspaces or as a baseline for more has accelerated both deployment and adoption.

In 2015 predictions I called out worth mentioning

Mobile will become more important in SharePoint world – The new mobile app is really good.  The new search feature is the best thing that’s happened to mobile.

SharePoint gets cool again – It’s really happened.  SharePoint has really improved and looking at the Top Intranets… there’s nothing better right now.  Teams is the only challenge based on the interface, and with the new SPFX investments in Teams. 

Three Tiers to Increase to Unlimited Storage in OneDrive for Business

In recent history, Microsoft quietly supported 1TB to 5TB.  Many customers didn’t notice that change.  Many Office 365 Admins don’t realize the limit is NOT 1TB.  This quiet update to the pricing plans with the reference to unlimited storage with the little circled i with more information has not really made it to general mindset of the community and many customers still support competing products not realizing that OneDrive as well supports UNLIMITED STORAGE for users!  A simple search for OneDrive Unlimited results in old information no recent discussions.

Why would you not want 25TB quotas for your users especially those who refuse to move because there isn’t enough cloud storage or they are worried about the cost?  OneDrive just got 25x more cool and beyond!

 

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I put together the very sharable infographic above, so you can help promote the fact that OneDrive for Business is now Unlimited.  Feel free to use the image how every you’d like feel free to download it or use it in your slides.

Download the OneDrive Unlimited Storage Infographic.

It’s not hard to give all your users 5TB of storage by default.  Simply go to https://admin.onedrive.com/?v=StorageSettings and change the default 1TB to 5TB

 

image

Or through the Office 365 Admin Powershell:

To change default quota to 5TB  for OneDrive for Business for entire Tenant

Set-SPOTenant -OneDriveStorageQuota 5120

To change quota for a user:

Set-SPOSite -Identity <user’s OneDrive URL> -StorageQuota <quota>

Note Subscriptions with less than five users receive 1 TB of personal cloud storage per user.  In fact all start that way.

“Customers will initially be provisioned 1 TB of personal cloud storage per user in OneDrive for Business. You may increase the default OneDrive for Business storage space to up to 5 TB per user with the help of your Office 365 administrator once the 1TB quota is 90% full.”

Thats the tricky part.  Microsoft is basically saying wait until a user has reached that capacity, but getting to 5 TB default you don’t need to wait, but going to 25 TB quotas you’ll need MS support help with justification such as a user who is close.

“Whenever you need cloud storage beyond the initial 5 TB, open a case with Microsoft technical support to request it. Additional cloud storage will be granted as follows:

  • When a user has filled their 5 TB of OneDrive for Business storage to at least 90% capacity, Microsoft will increase your default storage space in OneDrive for Business to up to 25 TB per user (admins may set a lower per user limit if they wish to).
  • For any user that reaches at least 90% capacity of their 25 TB of OneDrive for Business storage, additional cloud storage will be provided as 25 TB SharePoint team sites to individual users. This additional storage is provided to the tenant by way of credit.

To see how much personal cloud storage you are using, your Office 365 administrator can go to the OneDrive Admin Center to manage their users’ personal cloud storage.”

See Change your users’ OneDrive storage space using PowerShell for more information on how Office 365 administrators can manage user storage in OneDrive for Business.

 

I had heard rumors that the 15GB per file limit was increased.  I have not seen this play out.  Uploading a file of 15.1 GB failed. I confirmed 15GB max individual file is still the case.  I’m hoping to see this increased for video files.  clip_image002

You can determine your personal quota by navigating to your onedrive for business and appending /_layouts/15/storman.aspx?root=Documents  It’s also in site settings… look for Storage Manager.  The nick name was StorMan

References:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/onedrive/set-default-storage-space

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/onedrive/change-user-storage

https://products.office.com/en-us/onedrive-for-business/compare-onedrive-for-business-plans

https://products.office.com/en-us/business/compare-more-office-365-for-business-plans

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