New Features in Office 365 SharePoint Online Public Website

The public website available in the new version of Office 365 SharePoint Online is based on SharePoint 2013 platform includes a new design and new features for customizing the website and individual pages. Because the website is built on the SharePoint platform, you now get publishing capabilities, more Web parts, and advanced design options.

More page editing options

The public website in Office 365 now includes more page editing options. You can edit pages and save them as a draft or publish them. You can add and format text and images, embed videos, add Web Parts, and more. It’s easier to change the website title, logo, footer, and other site elements. You can also copy and paste your own cascading style sheet and apply it to the site.

Easily change the look and feel

You can quickly and easily change the look and feel of the entire website by choosing Change the Look. Using this feature, you can browse a catalog of designs, choose the one you like, change the background image and font, and you’re done. The new designs have an entirely new look compared to the previous Office 365 public website.

Customize Website navigation

You can now customize your website navigation directly from the navigation links themselves. A new Edit Links option appears in the navigation. When you click this, you can add a new link, rename a link, drag and drop links to new locations, and so on.

Design Manager for advanced site design

If you want to completely redesign the website from scratch or use a design you already have, you can use the Design Manager. This set of features lets you turn a conventional HTML web page into a SharePoint master page with page layouts, mobile views, cascading style sheets, and more. You can use your own website editor such as Dream Weaver to do the design work before uploading the files to the Design Manager.

Optimize your site for SEO

SharePoint Online now makes it easy to optimize your site for search engines so customers can find you on the web. You can specify the title, keyword, description and other metadata while authoring the page, and adjust these properties later as you analyze search results. You can also specify values to be included in your sitemap, which search engines use to discover new pages in your website. SharePoint Online also now support friendly Page URLs to make them SEO friendly.


An active blog on the Website will improve your SEO rankings. SharePoint Online Public Websites are automatically provisioned with a blog feature complete with a blog post summary page and blogging tools.


With SharePoint online public website it has become easy to add social plug-ins—the Like button, newsfeed, and comments—anywhere on your site. You simply add a social integration application from the SharePoint App Store and then add the social plugin to the desired page.

Website usage reports

To see how well your website is performing for your site visitors, you can open site usage reports, or popularity trends, in Microsoft Excel. Use these reports to view the daily or monthly hits and unique users to your website.

Contact us to know how the new features of Office 365 SharePoint online public website can help you improve your digital marketing.

How to Create Custom Content Types in SharePoint Hosted Apps

This blog explains the process of how to create custom content type, but to make this first you should have to create site columns.

Please refer below link for how to create Site Columns:

Now, check for a complete explanation of how to create custom content type.

Right click project name -> Add -> New Item.

Select ‘Content Type’ template which belongs in ‘Office/SharePoint’ category, set name for the column and click ‘Add’ button.

=> In next wizard page it will ask for Base content type, select Item.

=> It will be added Content type in a project, open content type by double click and create a column.
By typing some initial characters, site column name should appear in a dropdown.

=> Once you select the column, Type and Required field value will automatically set from the Site Column definition.

How to Create Site Columns in SharePoint Hosted Apps

To create a custom list by content types or even to create custom content type first you have to add site columns for those columns which you want to add in list or content type.
It is very easy and short process to create site columns, let’s have a look

a) Right click project name -> Add -> New Item.

b) Select ‘Site Column’ template which belongs in ‘Office/SharePoint’ category, set name for the column and click the ‘Add’ button.


2) It will add Site Column in project, open Elements.xml file of the recently added column.


3) You can set Data Type of column and other attributes in Elements.xml file.

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”utf-8″?>

<Elements xmlns=””>



Name=”Holidays”  => this Name is used by environment so can’t put any space between the name otherwise apps will not publish

DisplayName=”Holidays” =>This field value will display on UI so here you can keep space between name

Type=”Text”  => set datatype of column

Required=”TRUE” => set either column value should be mandatory or not

Group=”Custom Site Columns”>

<Default></Default>  => here you can set default value for column

<Formula>[mention formula here]</Formula>



Refer below link for attributes & Data type of columns.


Preparing for the Office 365 SharePoint Online Service Update

Microsoft is rolling out an initial phase of service update for Office 365 SharePoint online. As part of this service update existing SharePoint online sites doesn’t get upgraded to SharePoint 2013 and users will not get the new SharePoint 2013 interface or features. The only major enhancement that will be visible is the new office web apps improvements. However, because of the underlying design changes, there are some actions that SharePoint online users need to perform to continue working with SharePoint online sites

  • If you are using SharePoint designer 2010 to customize the site or create workflows then you should download and install SharePoint Designer 2013 as SharePoint designer 2010 will not work with the updated SharePoint online.
  • If you are using InfoPath then apply the hotfix for SharePoint designer 2013
  • If you are using SharePoint workspace 2010 for offline access then apply the hotfix for SharePoint Workspace 2010
  • If you have integrated MS CRM online with SharePoint online then perform the list component fix mentioned in this blog post
  • If you use Internet Explorer 7 or Safari 4.x, you should upgrade to a modern browser

Apart from the above list of items the SharePoint Online Service Update has several other known issues with manual resolution steps which are listed here.

During the update, users will also see minor outages like

  • Some administrative functions such as granting permissions or creating new document libraries will be disabled for a brief period
  • Newly added documents will not be indexed by SharePoint search for a brief period
  • Content will be read-only for a brief period

Contact IOTAP if you want to know about the new features available in SharePoint online 2013 and SharePoint Designer 2013 and how it can help improve your business productivity.

Things to Do After Service Upgrade to Next Version of Office 365

Microsoft has now released next version of Office 365 to business and soon will be rolling out the service upgrade to next version for existing Office 365 customers. While the service upgrade is automated and customers don’t have to do anything before or during the upgrade there are some tasks to be done after the service upgrade. This blog explains those tasks

Upgrade SharePoint online sites: If your organization is using SharePoint Online then your sites will look the same after the upgrade. You need to upgrade each of your sites to take advantage of the new features of SharePoint online 2013. This is a mandatory step that has to be performed within 3 months of the service upgrade.

Upgrade Lync desktop client: If your organization is using Lync Online then you need to update the Lync 2010 desktop client on all users’ machines to Lync 2013 client.

Upgrade Office desktop client: If your organization has a subscription to Office 365 Pro Plus then you will have to update Office 2010 client including outlook to Office 2013 client applications.

Contact IOTAP if you want to know about the new features available in SharePoint online 2013  and how it can help in improving your productivity.

Working on How to Show Different Views of SharePoint Lists into Page by ID in SharePoint Hosted Apps

1) Create a view of the list.


2) Open Schema.xml file, the code should look like

<View BaseViewID=”2″ Name=”715f4146-f6ae-4cfb-bca8-9d09d6ad4ba1″ DisplayName=”CustomView”   DefaultView=”TRUE” MobileView=”TRUE” MobileDefaultView=”FALSE” Type=”HTML” WebPartZoneID=”Main” SetupPath=”pages\viewpage.aspx” Url=”CustomView.aspx”>

   <Toolbar Type=”Standard” />

   <XslLink Default=”TRUE”>main.xsl</XslLink>




          <FieldRef Name=”EmployeeName” />

          <FieldRef Name=”FromDate” />

          <FieldRef Name=”ToDate” />

          <FieldRef Name=”No_x002e_OfLeave_x0028_s_x0029_” />


   <Query />

   <Toolbar Type=”Standard” />

   <XslLink Default=”TRUE”>main.xsl</XslLink>


3) Add new Client Web Part by right click on project -> Add new item, then select “Client Web Part (Host Web)” template under Office/SharePoint category.

4) In the next wizard, make your choice by either selecting “Create a new client web part page” or even can usedefault.aspx page, based on your requirements.

5) If you have selected the new web part page in the previous section then it will create a new page in the Pages folder.

6) If you want to use a master page in that page then make change accordingly like replace HTML section with content placeholders, add master page URL in page directive etc.

If not using master then you have to add below control in page.

<WebPartPages:SPWebPartManager ID=”SPWebPartManager2″ runat=”Server” />

7) Now add below code for WebPartZone in the same page, irrespective of using master page or not.

<WebPartPages:AllowFraming ID=”AllowFraming” runat=”server” />

       <WebPartPages:WebPartZone runat=”server” FrameType=”TitleBarOnly” ID=”Right”Title=”loc:full”>



8) Open Elements.xml file under Pages module/folder and add new module.


    <File Path=”Pages\Leave_Request.aspx” Url=”Pages/Leave_Request.aspx”Type=”GhostableInLibrary”>

      <View List=”Lists/LeaveRequest” BaseViewID=”2″ WebPartZoneID=”Right” WebPartOrder=”1″>





In above code:

Path attribute in File tag: it should be your aspx file path.

Url attribute in File tag: it should be aspx file URL, the difference is of ‘\’ & ‘/’.

List attribute in View tag: the list name with URL ‘Lists/[List name]’

BaseViewID: this is the ID which you have specified for View in Schema.xml of the list. This id should match with BaseViewID in schema.xml file.

I have followed this instruction to show view based on BaseViewID, but it not showing my view as per id, it only shows a view which has been set as the default view, so currently trying to find out the solution.

Building a SharePoint App Story

We have started the development of SharePoint Apps, currently working on SharePoint hosted App with the custom master page, but having one technical issue in development as explained below.

The scenario from start is:

1)  I have created an App which contains 4 lists, an app has been tested with lists and all work fine.

But the list item open in the main page of an App load on full page, I mean to say is there are no any master page contents like header & Quick launch details, which does not match with my requirements, because I have any number of lists and I would require navigation to move from one list to another.

2) So now to make it available in app page, I have added a custom master page and quick launch in-app default page.

I have followed the article mentioned in below link for this task:

After the implementation of a master page, the page looks like:

But after implementation of this, the new issue has been raised and the issue is when trying to access/trying to open list from the page it throws an error without a proper error message, please check below screenshot for error.

Currently trying to resolve this issue.

Issue Resolution:

I have resolved above issue by one simple process, please check below steps for resolution of an issue in detail:

I have followed below article for master page implementation, but the article contains two sections:

a) Custom Master Page implementation &

b) Custom app web template implementation.

As of now, my requirements are only to implement master page so I have followed below article and create a simple test application with a single list item:

So the changes which I did to works application fine is only, I have commented ‘WebTemplate’ section inAppMenifest.xml file of App, which was added for custom web app template.

<!–<WebTemplate Id=”{24d2d79d-4ecd-4f11-8bcf-24671411fcc4}#CustomAppWebTemplate”/>–>

What will Happen to Public Websites in Office 365 SharePoint Online after The Upgrade?

With the next version of Office 365 is slated to be released for business on February 27, 2013, an upgrade to existing Office 365 customers are expected to follow soon. This upgrade raises concerns to organizations that have a public website developed in SharePoint online in Office 365. In this blog, we try to address the concerns

Will my public website be gone after the Office 365 upgrade?

No the public website that you had created with older version of Office 365 will still be available after the upgrade. Additionally, you will also get a new public website for the new Office 365 platform.

What is the difference between the public website from an earlier version of Office 365 and the upgraded one?

The public website available in the current version of office 365 is limited in functionality. The public website in a new version of Office 365 will provide more flexibility through SharePoint publishing feature. The new website has more features and includes updated design tools and new templates. It’s faster and easier to create the look and feels that you want for your Office 365 public website compared to the earlier website.

Can custom domains be used with the old public website and new public website?

No one public website can be associated with a custom domain.

Should I use the old public website or the new one with the custom domain?

Use the old website if

  • You have already completed the website’s design, and you don’t want to spend time designing another website.
  • You’re almost finished designing your original website and you don’t want to start a new one.

Use the new website if

You haven’t yet started designing a website.

You started designing the earlier website, but you haven’t made significant progress.

IOTAP a Microsoft gold certified partner for Digital Marketing and a cloud accelerate partner can help you build professional looking websites using the Office 365 SharePoint online Public website platform. Contact us if you want to develop a new website for your organization in Office 365 or revamp your existing website.

Microsoft SharePoint 2013 The Enterprise Social Network

Many of the Social features have been introduced in SharePoint 2013 which makes Microsoft SharePoint a robust Enterprise Social platform. Those features are listed as under.

  • Social computing (including personal sites, feeds, and communities), is just one of many components of SharePoint 2013 which has upgrades across its many modules such as search, document management and sharing, and business intelligence.
    After the merger of Yammer (an enterprise social network) with Microsoft, it is being believed that the combination of Yammer, SharePoint and Office 365 will provide the most comprehensive and flexible solutions for enterprise social networking.
  • In the SharePoint 2010 Server and Foundation, a good way to enable user conversations was through discussion list to sites. SharePoint 2013 becomes more social by adding new Community Sites and Community Portal templates.
    o   Community Sites provides a forum for structuring and encouraging discussions among people across your organization.
    o   The Community Portal is an enterprise site template that enables users to search for SharePoint sites (or groups of sites) that use the Community Site template.
  • The Newsfeed section (one of several feeds available via My Site) displays information from your colleagues or things that you follow, such as people, documents, sites, and tags. The “Everyone feed”, for instance, shows the last 20 posts or replies across all users, not just the people you follow. And as the Activities feed shows all activity associated with a particular user, the other users can also see your Activities feed while browsing either your profile or About Me page.
  • The search features are improved, many with a social component in SharePoint 2013. In addition to displaying contact and organizational information, search results now show authored documents and information on past projects. Upgraded navigational tools include query suggestions based on previous results, and click-saving “hover panel” shows additional information when you hold the cursor over an item (similar to Google).
  • Microsoft’s Lync enterprise communications platform has improved integration into the 2013 versions of SharePoint, OneNote, Outlook, and other Microsoft Office apps. During an online meeting, for instance, Lync highlights a participant’s Active Directory identity rather than his or her phone number. Microsoft Lync captures participant lists via Microsoft OneNote and allows meeting attendees to share and collectively edit notes directly from within Lync.
    The program provides a powerful way to communicate with clients, colleagues, and prospective customers across the globe by extending into Skype.
  • The Site Mailbox feature is a place to store Exchange emails and SharePoint documents, both of which only site members can access and edit. Office 2013 makes it easier to file an email, document, or attachment in a shared project space, simply dragging the item into the Site Mailbox. From the user’s viewpoint, the project documents and emails are stored together; on the back end, however, the content remains in SharePoint for documents, and Exchange for email.
  • Discussions play a key role in SharePoint’s new Community Sites. Users can address topics both professional and personal. SharePoint provides incentives to promote participation, such as reputation building, likes, gifted badges, and best replies. To give you an example: You’re browsing a community and answer a question posed by your colleague, who are notified by email of your response. Your colleague marks your answer as the best reply, which earns you reputation points and improves your status within the community. The point system is set/controlled by each community owner/moderator. The reputation score is displayed on your Members page.
  • SkyDrive Pro is the premium version of Sky drive that’s optimized for enterprises. As a central hub for work documents, SkyDrive Pro makes it easier to track (via the Followed Documents page) files that is material to you. Also, SkyDrive Pro allows you to work on important documents even when you’re offline on your local computer.
  • It is easier to control multiple project tasks with SharePoint 2013. Rather than going to each project site to review and edit assigned tasks, you manage them in one single location. My Site page has a link in the left-side navigation menu to “Tasks”. To load the My Tasks screen, you will need to click on the link, which aggregates tasks assigned to you across all of your groups. Presented in a timeline, the tasks are searchable and grouped by project locations. You can sync tasks to Outlook, too.
  • The public section of About Me features a new personal profile with information about your interests and social connections. The People Card includes the usual contact details, as well as your personal photo, activity feeds from SharePoint, status updates, and Facebook and LinkedIn account information.

SharePoint 2013 Upgrade Improvements

SharePoint 2013 has got a great set of features that would certainly entice existing SharePoint users to upgrade to SharePoint 2013. Along with the feature set improvements, SharePoint 2013 also brings in a lot of improvements to the upgrade process that makes the upgrade easier, manageable and flexible.

The improvements that are available in SharePoint 2013 upgrade process include

  • Upgrading Service Applications
  • Site Collection health checker
  • Deferred site collection upgrade
  • True SharePoint 2010 mode
  • Upgrade cycle event notifications
  • Upgrade Performance throttles

Upgrading Service Applications

As the database attach is the only upgrade method allowed in SharePoint 2013 an upgrade will only upgrade the content and not the settings. However, SharePoint 2013 allows the below services databases to be upgraded separately after configuring them in SharePoint 2013

  • Business connectivity services
  • Managed Metadata services
  • Performance point services
  • Search services
  • User Profile Service
  • Secure store services

Site Collection health checker

Site collection health checker rules allow site collection administrators or owners to run a set of rules against a site collection to detect issues and address them before upgrading. The rules that are included in site health checker are

  • Customized Files
  • Missing Galleries
  • Missing Site Templates
  • Unsupported Language Pack References
  • Unsupported MUI(Multi User Interface) References

The health checks have to be performed manually and after the execution is complete a report with the list of potential issues and way to address them will be generated.

Deferred site collection upgrade

SharePoint 2013 allows Site collection owners to upgrade their sites to the new SharePoint 2013 user interface on their own timeline. Deferred site collection upgrade replaces the visual upgrade feature in SharePoint 2010 and allows using the UI from SharePoint Server 2010 more seamlessly. With the differed update the master page, CSS, Scripts, and features will remain in SharePoint Server 2010 mode.

True SharePoint 2010 mode

Visual upgrade in SharePoint 2010 is not a true preview because the site itself has already been upgraded to the new functionality and some web parts may not display correctly. In SharePoint 2013 upgrade, site collections are not upgraded when content databases are upgraded to new version and administrators can view the site in true  SharePoint 2010 mode

Upgrade cycle event notifications

Sharepoint 2013 upgrade process allows administrators to determine whether to allow site collection administrators to upgrade their sites to 2013.  Administrators will be able to control the following upgrade options and upgrade notifications

  • Whether the site collection administrators can upgrade their site collections.
  • Which Sharepoint version mode (2010 or 2013, or both) is available when site collections are created.
  • Whether to add a link to more information from the Upgrading now the status bar.
  • The number of days to wait before sending an upgrade reminder  to site collection administrator

Upgrade Performance throttles

Throttles are set up by default to prevent performance degrades even if many site collection administrators decide to upgrade their site collections to SharePoint 2013 at the same time. The throttles are built in at the web application, database, and content level. Administrators can also override the default throttle settings when they do an Upgrade.