Using Event Receivers for SharePoint Workflows

One of the more interesting challenges contractors for public sector clients have is working with older versions of software. On a recent project involving an integration of a solution I’d written using Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 and SharePoint 2010, I found myself struggling with an issue around capturing a digital signature.  

leverage SharePoint's out-of-the-box OOTB workflow for collecting signatures in SharePoint WorkFlowEventReceiver blog post by Joe DavisAs a straight SharePoint development project, this can be fairly routine: leverage Microsoft Word and its implementation of signature blocks, similarly leverage SharePoint’s out-of-the-box (OOTB) workflow for collecting signatures, and you’re basically done.

However, the client in question was less than enthusiastic about SharePoint as a platform in general and, because of that, and a few other design criteria, the bulk of the solution wound up being built in Dynamics CRM and SharePoint was largely a simple document repository.  

So, how do you not re-invent the wheel for digital signatures and still keep most of your smarts on the Dynamics CRM side? [Bear in mind the production environment where this was going to be enabled was very locked down. Farm solutions were prohibited, so even if you wanted to write your own custom workflow using .NET workflow, you couldn’t because that requires a farm solution.]

We have the OOTB workflow already and we can associate it with the document library in question, but what we really needed was the ability to notify CRM when that workflow completed. Answer: SPWorkflowEventReceiver.

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File Placement in Custom SharePoint Site

So you want to customize yourMarshall_blog_post_Indiana_Jones.jpg SharePoint site with custom CSS and JavaScript, like Bootstrap or Angular, but you don’t know where to put the files? You’re in the right place for the answers you seek. There are three places you can put your files: the Master Page Gallery, the Site Assets folder, or the Style Library. The place you choose should be dependent on your project. This is the way I organize my files, as there is no set definition of where you place them. Continue reading “File Placement in Custom SharePoint Site”

How To Find the Proper Sprint Duration

As a team transitions to using Scrum and Agile, finding the proper sprint duration is likely something they will not give enough thought to. The team will likely just pick an arbitrary duration and set about to make that work. That is certainly one way to do it, but there is a real danger that this initial sprint duration becomes the norm without a second thought. I would caution against this idea. I find that it is important to understand how the scheduling works for sprints, and what a sprint of a given duration actually contains.

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Installing the Domain Controller (Part 2)

Microsoft improved many features in Windows Server 2012 R2 compared to Windows 2008. Once you install Windows Server 2012, you will notice these new changes just by looking at the new management interface which provides administrators the ability to centralize the system. In this post, I will continue with my 3-part series in this second post: Installing the Domain Controller.  

  1. How to Install Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard (Part 1) (If you haven’t yet, read Part 1 before continuing here)
    2. Installing the Domain Controller (the current post)
    3. Join the Domain

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Syntax Highlighting For Code Snippets in HubSpot

If you spend enough time perusing technical blogs, one of the things that you will notice is that any code snippets that are included in the article seem to have an IDE or a very good editor embedded in their article since their snippets come with accurate syntax highlighting along with line numbers. Unfortunately, technical blog authors aren’t using some gold plated blog engine to accomplish this particular feat, though such blog engines exist. In most cases, they are using a client side plugin that is a combination of CSS and JavaScript called a Syntax Highlighter.

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Section 508 Standards and Testing

Have you been given the task of running a 508 audit against a site? Or perhaps you’re building a site that needs to be 508 compliant and want to know what that even means? Then this guide is for you! It will give you a great starting point that will explain exactly what Section 508 Standards are and walk you through how to check if a site is compliant with these standards using free tools.

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Built-In and Custom AngularJS Filters

Now that you knowBuilt-In_and_Custom_AngularJS_Filters_Kayla_Funke_Easy_Dynamics.png how to write custom AngularJS directives and how AngularJS helps validate forms, let’s move on to the next great feature. AngularJS filters make it easy to display a subset of items from a collection. They are used with directives like ng-options and ng-repeat. Read this guide to learn how to decipher their syntax and even write your own. 

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4 Tips on How to Best Utilize Your Mentor-Mentee Relationship

This blog post is written for peopleAl_Mentor_Post_Graphic.png who hear that having a mentor can be very helpful for their career, but don’t know why or what to expect. I’ve been asked to mentor many people in the past, from people just starting their career to first line managers, and have found that many people approach the process wrong. People seeking a mentor often start their first meetings with a mentor by just talking about how things are going in their lives at home or in the workplace. While this may be a pleasant conversation, it really doesn’t let the mentor and mentee discuss anything in a meaningful way. Here are four tips to anyone who is either being assigned to work with a mentor or is thinking about asking somebody to be their mentor:

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Improving Vendor-Provided Visio Stencils that are Less than Great

As an IT professional, I’ve had occasion to use Microsoft Visio perhaps two or three thousand times. Given that it has been the de facto standard in creating visual representations of complex architectures and other technological concepts for close to two decades, it’s likely you’ve encountered the tool yourself.

Generally speaking, it’s all well and good to open the application, choose applicable stencils for your project (bundled or those you’ve downloaded from a third party), and start dragging shapes onto the page. A few labels and some strategically placed lines, and you’ve got yourself a passable diagram ready to share with your colleagues… yay. There are sometimes, however, when one of these third parties make available a well-intended, but ultimately awful, set of stencils that they invite you to use to document their nifty widgets and doodads… thus was my experience recently when I downloaded Amazon’s AWS Visio stencils, and this blog post details what I did about it.

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AWS Certification – Solutions Architect Training Insights

AWS Certification Solutions Architect - Associate Level by Buddy Brooks at Easy Dynamics

Amazon Web Services offers certification testing for IT professionals interested in advancing their careers in the Amazon realm.

In September 2015, I completed the certification exam for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate. It is by far one of the most difficult certification exams I have ever taken. The exam is designed to measure your “technical expertise in desinging and deploying scalable, highly available, and fault tolerant systems on AWS.”  Continue reading “AWS Certification – Solutions Architect Training Insights”