Cuba, Socialism vs Capitalism from a good ole boy – Recap of my trip to Cuba!

It's interesting to me that my last two trips that have been out of the country have been to China and Cuba, two communistsocialist countries.  Being I'm a USA born, good ole boy from Oklahoma, we can just say that it was as eye opening as moving from Oklahoma to Seattle and getting "hit on" the first time by a gay guy, which isn't bad, just different!

My Background: 

A bit of my background…I grew up with almost nothing, worked hard and the wonderful U. S. of A provided and rewarded me based on that hard work.  My mom worked hard and paid for everything from her job and the little child support dad gave us.  From what I remember, food stamps kicked in at one time, so to say I never drank from the US Democratic faucet would be false.  So, what does that have to do with anything?  Cuba.  What an eye opening experience, even more so than China as they seem to be some kind of mix of socialism and capitalism (unlike the pure socialism of Cuba).  As you will see, its not practical for someone to be able to out grow your neighbors salary wise as the average salary in Cuba is right around $40, with developers making somewhere around $500/month.  But the reality is they don't have to pay for their education, or their health care.  Imagine that…you can take as many courses as you want, get as smart as you want…or be as lazy as you want.  If only we could do that in the USA…

Getting there:

Getting to Cuba is very easy.  You can buy a Visa online before you go, or at the point of departure (the actual flight to Cuba) you can buy it.  You also need health insurance, although, being that health care is free, it was a bit odd at this was required. The price of your ticket currently includes $25 health insurance policy and your boarding pass serves as your insurance card.  Be sure that you don't lose the second part of the Visa on your way back!

Cuban Government: 

Most things in China are owned by the government, the hotel we stayed in for instance, the Hotel National, is owned by the government:


Although a nice hotel, it is old and run down.  There are other hotels that offer much nicer rooms and amenities, but to have stayed in a hotel that some of the greats have stayed in…we will just say it was an experience you can't compare to anything else!


We walked down to the US Embassy which is only about half a mile from the hotel.  Its on the water on the Malcon and its a very nice looking building:


Prices and Money: 

There are two currencies in Cuba.  The CUC and the CUP.  The CUC is for tourists, the CUP is for the locals.  You can pay with either if you have it, you just are likely to have CUCs.  I never had an issue with someone paying change in CUP back, but you should be aware of it and this blog is very helpful.  Net net is CUC are pictures of monuments, CUP are pics of individuals.  The price to change out the US dollar was ok at the airport.  The hotel was actually better by about .01.  On the way out, I got back 99% of my USD from my CUC at the airport.

The prices in Cuba are soooo cheap!  Most drinks (Mojito anyone?) are $5CUC at major hotels, if you venture out, you will find them for $2-3CUC and yes, they are super strong wherever you go!



The food in Cuba was amazing!  There was not a single meal that I didn't like!  The prices were soo cheap that I actually would buy 2 meals each time (yeah, I may look skinny, but I eat a lot!). By the way, a massive super yummy dinner for 9 of us at a sit down nice restaurant, was $130CUC.   The one thing you need to realize about sites like TripAdvisor is that the reviews are made by tourists that come off of cruise ships and its a part of their excursion package.  So if you try to go to one of these top 10 places, you will very likely be turned away as they book the entire venue for the excursion folks.  Face control seems to work well, so we were lucky and actually got into some of the places by smiling and laughing a bit…once we the staff realized we weren't with the cruise ships, we got much better attention!



The people in Cuba were sooo nice!  You can tell that not having to worry about getting an education, getting treated for a disease or sickness made them very carefree and easy going.  As an aside, they created a vaccine for lung cancer, it makes sense as one of their major exports is tobacco!  I was able to bring back some Cohiba Behikes (52/54/56).  If you don't know what those are, you gotta look em up!



Just know that your hotel wifi will likely not be the same wifi as the public uses and the username/password you get for the RADIUS server won't work out on the open.  I had 45 minutes left on the hotel wifi and could not log into the ETECSA wifi at the airport! 


So…get this…my presentation was focused on "how to make money" in Cuba. You can find it here.  Needless to say, making money in Cuba as a corporation is not something you will be able to do for quite some time.  Locals are not allowed to start corporations, so as a programmer, you can't start a consulting company and hire people.  The concept of a corporation doesn't really exist in Cuba.  You have to get government approval for everything and as we painfully learned, you also need permits for tech gathering! 


The people in Cuba do have a computer science based curriculum that teaches C#.  They use Microsoft products.  They don't have the best computers to run things on.  Most computers are imported via family and friends.  So most places aren't going to have some fancy server room where you can run the latest and greatest server OS and server based products.  You also can't count on the network to support cloud services so don't even think about selling cloud services there.  You have to have a local presence.  Someone will need to build a co-lo facility to host all the major players.  I'm sure it will be owned by the Cuban government.  You'll just have to put your servers in it to get any decent bandwidth.  Google is trying harder than all the others, but the progress is slow.  There is a trial to doing broadband.  I did see co-axel cables run all over, and there were lots of CAT5 cables run between houses…a lot of the cables were used for door bells though…LOL.


Kids are playing soccer everywhere!  It was very hard for me to not actually get out and play (I have a torn ACL right now), but I did manage to get the courage to brave a fully tore ACL in front of a cool church (yeah those are my old Gucci soccer shoes):


Random Photos:

McFly!  McFly!  Yeah, there are old cars everywhere and at times the smog was a bit unbearable, this guy seemed to make the best of it:


Cubans love their country!  Some cools pics:


Get your drugs at a Harry Potter drug store!  This place was deep inside Old Havana in what we would easily call a "run down" part:


Our trip home:

Getting home is easy, the airport is pretty fast, although I can see if there were a lot of people it might be a bit crowded at times.  But we had no issues.  The only issue we had was the flight path back home, evidentially we flew over a tornado:



Although the major business opportunities in Cuba are in the low teens, and "USCapitalism" like careers non-existent, the environment is fun and the people are amazingly smart and carefree.  They live with what they have and make the best of it.  Something that a majority of Americans need to learn to appreciate.  As I came home and walked through my front door, I felt that appreciation for what I have (and what I don't have and have had), and all the opprotunities I have been given by being "born in the USA".

But at the same time, I felt really sorry for myself in having the wool pulled over my eyes with the stigma and residual of capitalism and how things really shouldn't be based solely on money and success, but on what you can contribute to your community, country and family.  It's what you don't know you don't know…

Go to Cuba before it changes too much!

Using Nintex Workflow Cloud and Azure Functions to call on-premises workflows

This is from a lab from the soon to be released Nintex End User Training courses.  Its the first of its kind and I'll simply say, you will learn some fun stuff!  

  1. Login to
    Azure, or create a trial for Azure Functions
    • Trial
    • Portal
      1. Select
        your subscription
      2. For
        the function name, type “NintexExternalStart”
      3. Select
        a region
      4. Click
        “Create + get started”, this can take a few seconds
  2. Click the
    “New Function” button
  3. Select the
    “HttpTrigger-CSharp” template:
  4. Click
 Copy the following to your azure function:
#r "Newtonsoft.Json"
using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Net;
using System.Net.Http;
using System.Security.Cryptography;
using System.Text;
using Newtonsoft.Json;
using Newtonsoft.Json.Linq;
public static async Task<HttpResponseMessage> Run(HttpRequestMessage req, TraceWriter log)
    log.Info("C# HTTP trigger function processed a request.");    
    string url = "";
    string securityKey = "YourSecurityKey";
    var variableValues = new Dictionary<string, object>();
    var service = new ExternalStartApiClient();
        log.Info("C# HTTP trigger function processed a request.");
        var correlationId = service.StartWorkflow(url, securityKey, variableValues, log);
    string name = "Chris";
    return name == null
        ? req.CreateResponse(HttpStatusCode.BadRequest, "Please pass a name on the query string or in the request body")
        : req.CreateResponse(HttpStatusCode.OK, "Hello " + name);
    public class ExternalStartApiClient
        public RestClient Client { get; internal set; }
        #region Constructors
        public ExternalStartApiClient()
            this.Client = new RestClient();
        public ExternalStartApiClient(RestClient client)
            this.Client = client;
        /// <summary>
        /// Retrieves information about the workflow variables available for the Nintex workflow associated with the
        /// specified endpoint URL.
        /// </summary>
        /// <param name="endpointUrl">The External Start endpoint URL associated with a Nintex workflow.</param>
        /// <returns>A List object that contains a WorkflowVariable object for each available workflow variable.</returns>
        public List<WorkflowVariable> GetWorkflowVariables(string endpointUrl)
            // Send a GET request to the specified endpoint URL. No authorization or authentication is
            // required for this request.
            HttpResponseMessage response = this.Client.Invoke(HttpMethod.Get, endpointUrl, null, null);
            // If a response is returned, check the HTTP status code.
            if (response != null)
                switch (response.StatusCode)
                    case HttpStatusCode.OK:
                        // Success – deserialize and return the list of workflow variables.
                        return this.Client.DeserializeJson<List<WorkflowVariable>>(response);
                    case HttpStatusCode.BadRequest:
                        // Failure – the endpoint URL could not access a workflow.
                        throw new ArgumentException("The request could not be processed.");
                        throw new Exception("An unexpected error has occurred.");
                return null;
        /// <summary>
        /// Sends a message to start the Nintex workflow associated with the specified endpoint URL, optionally specifying 
        /// values for workflow variables defined by that workflow
        /// </summary>
        /// <param name="endpointUrl">
        /// The External Start endpoint URL associated with a Nintex workflow.
        /// </param>
        /// <param name="securityKey">
        /// The security key associated with the endpoint URL.
        /// </param>
        /// <param name="workflowVariables">
        /// The workflow variable values to use when starting the workflow.
        /// </param>
        /// <returns>
        /// The <see cref="string"/>.
        /// The X-CorrelationId: {GUID} of the request
        /// </returns>
        public string StartWorkflow(string endpointUrl, string securityKey, Dictionary<string, object> workflowVariables, TraceWriter log)
            // If no workflow variable values are provided, send an empty request body; otherwise, send
            // a serialized JSON object, in which each workflow variable value is represented as a property value.
            string requestBody = "";
            if (workflowVariables != null)
                JObject associationData = new JObject();
                foreach (string key in workflowVariables.Keys)
                    JProperty value = new JProperty(key, workflowVariables[key]);
                requestBody = associationData.ToString();
            // Retrieve and configure the values used to calculate the digest value for the request.
            var path = new Uri(endpointUrl).AbsolutePath.ToLower();
            var httpMethod = HttpMethod.Post.ToString().ToLower();
            var nonce = Guid.NewGuid().ToString();
            var timestamp = DateTime.UtcNow.ToString("O");
            // Calculate and return the digest value for the request.
            var digest = CalculateDigest(securityKey, httpMethod, path, nonce, timestamp, requestBody);
            // Specify the header values for the request.
            var headerValues = new Dictionary<string, string>();
            headerValues.Add("X-Api-Digest", digest);
            headerValues.Add("X-Api-Timestamp", timestamp);
            headerValues.Add("X-Api-Nonce", nonce);
            headerValues.Add("X-Api-Source", "ExternalStart");
            // Send the request to the endpoint URL. 
            HttpResponseMessage response = this.Client.Invoke(HttpMethod.Post, endpointUrl, headerValues,
                new StringContent(requestBody, Encoding.UTF8, "application/json"));
            if (response != null)
                switch (response.StatusCode)
                    case HttpStatusCode.OK:
                        // Success – the message was successfully sent.
                        IEnumerable<string> correlationIds;
                        response.Headers.TryGetValues("X-CorrelationId", out correlationIds);
                        return correlationIds.FirstOrDefault();
                    case HttpStatusCode.BadRequest:
                        // Failure – the endpoint URL could not access a workflow.
                        throw new ArgumentException("The request could not be processed.");
                        throw new Exception("An unexpected error has occurred.");
                throw new Exception("An unexpected error has occurred.");
        /// <summary>
        /// Calculate the digest value used to authenticate requests for the External Start feature.
        /// </summary>
        /// <param name="securityKey">The security key associated with an External Start endpoint URL.</param>
        /// <param name="httpMethod">The HTTP method name, in lower case.</param>
        /// <param name="path">The absolute URI of the External Start endpoint URL, in lower case.</param>
        /// <param name="nonce">The nonce value.</param>
        /// <param name="timestamp">The date and time of the request, in ISO 8601 format.</param>
        /// <param name="requestBody">The serialized body of the request.</param>
        /// <returns>A keyed hash value, using the SHA-256 function, to be used as the Hash-based Authentication Code (HMAC) value for a request.</returns>
        public string CalculateDigest(string securityKey, string httpMethod, string path, string nonce,
            string timestamp, string requestBody)
            // The data values are concatenated into a single string, in which each data value is delimited by 
            // a colon (:) character, which is then encoded as a UTF-8 byte array.
            var dataBytes = Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(String.Join(":", httpMethod, path, nonce, timestamp, requestBody));
            // The security key is encoded as a UTF-8 byte array.
            var keyBytes = Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(securityKey);
            // Using the HMACSHA256 object provided by .NET Framework, the
            // data values are hashed, using the security key, and any dashes are removed.
            using (var hasher = new HMACSHA256(keyBytes))
                var hashBytes = hasher.ComputeHash(dataBytes);
                return BitConverter.ToString(hashBytes).Replace("-", "");
    public class RestClient
        public NetworkCredential Credential { get; set; }
        #region Constructors
        public RestClient()
        public RestClient(NetworkCredential credential)
            this.Credential = credential;
        #region Deserialization
        /// <summary>
        /// Deserialize the body of a specified HTTP response as an instance of a specified type.
        /// </summary>
        /// <typeparam name="T">The type into which to deserialize.</typeparam>
        /// <param name="restResponse">The HTTP response from which to deserialize.</param>
        /// <param name="jsonConverters">If needed, any custom JSON converters with which to deserialize.</param>
        /// <returns>An instance of the specified type, deserialized from the body of the specified HTTP response.</returns>
        internal T DeserializeJson<T>(HttpResponseMessage restResponse, JsonConverter[] jsonConverters = null)
            return this.DeserializeJson<T>(restResponse.Content.ReadAsStringAsync().Result, jsonConverters);
        /// <summary>
        /// Deserialize a specified JSON-encoded string as an instance of a specified type.
        /// </summary>
        /// <typeparam name="T">The type into which to deserialize.</typeparam>
        /// <param name="jsonString">The string from which to deserialize.</param>
        /// <param name="jsonConverters">If needed, any custom JSON converters with which to deserialize.</param>
        /// <returns>An instance of the specified type, deserialized from the body of the specified string.</returns>
        internal T DeserializeJson<T>(string jsonString, JsonConverter[] jsonConverters = null)
            if (jsonConverters != null)
                return JsonConvert.DeserializeObject<T>(jsonString, jsonConverters);
                return JsonConvert.DeserializeObject<T>(jsonString);
        #region Serialization
        /// <summary>
        /// Serialize the specified object as a JSON-encoded string.
        /// </summary>
        /// <param name="value">The object from which to serialize.</param>
        /// <param name="jsonConverters">If needed, any custom JSON converters with which to serialize.</param>
        /// <returns>A JSON-encoded string that contains the serialization of the specified object.</returns>
        internal string SerializeJson(object value, JsonConverter[] jsonConverters = null)
            if (jsonConverters != null)
                return JsonConvert.SerializeObject(value, Formatting.Indented, jsonConverters);
            return JsonConvert.SerializeObject(value, Formatting.Indented);
        #region REST invocation
        /// <summary>
        /// Invokes the specified REST resource, using the specified HTTP method, optionally providing any specified header values and request content.
        /// </summary>
        /// <param name="operationMethod">The HTTP method with which to invoke the REST resource.</param>
        /// <param name="operationUrl">The operation URL with which to invoke the REST resource.</param>
        /// <param name="operationHeaders">A collection of header names and values to include when invoking the REST resource.</param>
        /// <param name="operationContent">The HTTP content to include when invoking the REST resource.</param>
        /// <returns></returns>
        internal HttpResponseMessage Invoke(HttpMethod operationMethod, 
            string operationUrl, 
            Dictionary<string, string> operationHeaders, 
            HttpContent operationContent)
            HttpResponseMessage response = null;
                // Instantiate a new HttpClientHandler object and, if credentials are provided,
                // configure and include them.
                var clientHandler = new HttpClientHandler { PreAuthenticate = true };
                if (this.Credential == null)
                    clientHandler.UseDefaultCredentials = true;
                    clientHandler.Credentials = this.Credential;
                // Instantiate a new HttpRequestMessage, using the specified HTTP method and operation URL,
                // for the request.
                var request = new HttpRequestMessage(operationMethod, operationUrl);
                // If header values are provided, add them to the request.
                // NOTE: The implementation is not optimal, but suffices for the sample.
                if (operationHeaders != null)
                    foreach (var key in operationHeaders.Keys)
                        request.Headers.Add(key, operationHeaders[key]);
                if (operationContent != null)
                    request.Content = operationContent;
                // Instantiate a new HttpClient, asynchronously invoke the REST resource,
                // and await the result. 
                using (var client = new HttpClient(clientHandler))
                    response = client.SendAsync(request).GetAwaiter().GetResult();
            catch (Exception)
                response = null;
            // Return the resulting HttpResponseMessage.
            return response;
    public enum VariableTypes
    /// <summary>
    /// Models the information returned for workflow variables by the External Start feature.
    /// This class is used to deserialize that information for the purposes of the sample.
    /// </summary>
    public class WorkflowVariable
        [JsonProperty("Name"), JsonRequired]
        public string Name { get; internal set; }
        [JsonProperty("Type"), JsonRequired]
        public VariableTypes Type { get; internal set; }
        [JsonProperty("Required"), JsonRequired]
        public bool Required { get; internal set; }
 And then you'll need a project.json file:
  "frameworks": {
      "dependencies": {
        "Newtonsoft.Json": "8.0.3"

Nintex Training (Advanced) – Its almost here!

New Nintex Courses are coming! 

Yup, Nintex is such a great product and it has been making so many strides in so many ways, I decided to go ahead and build a set of in-depth courses that cover just about everything you could possibly imagine about Nintex on-premises.  Currently the Nintex customer base is focused on 2013, but many people are moving to 2016 and Office 365 so another set of courses is coming in mid-2017 to cover those technologies.  The courses will become officially available in mid-February 2017, but I would love to have some testers that would like to get up to speed on Nintex quickly and get some free training if you give me feedback to cycle back in!

Cloud Services 

As some of you may be aware, Nintex has started to move its technology investments to cloud based applications.  The new Nintex Hawkeye, Nintex Workflow Cloud (competitor to PowerApps) and other items in the pipeline are designed to leverage the benefites of the cloud.  The new courses cover those technologies too (a first for Nintex courses)!

Nintex Subscription Pricing 

In addition, ACS has become a Nintex Partner so we can sell you Nintex subscriptions.  I'm not greedy so you can imagine the pricing will be pretty amazing, just drop me a line and I'll get you a quote!  Not only that, but I'll even throw in free training courses with the purchase in most cases!

You can find out more about the courses here:


PowerStreamECM and Extreme Mode!

Fun, cool announcement to make.  

PowerStreamECM, a tool I have built for large scale ECM legacy migrations now supports EXTREME Mode for Office 365!

Extreme mode takes advantage of the Azure to O365 path using the content deployment API methodologies of SharePoint.  The fun interesting thing about Extreme mode is its designed to work with hard drive based deployments to Azure.  Sending 1GB, 10GB, 100GB to Azure is ok…try sending 30TB, or even 100TB to Azure over standard network lines….it just doesn't work.  Extreme mode allows you to partition your data across multiple drives and then send those drives to Azure for upload.  The entire process takes about 2-4 weeks.  

Once the data is loaded, you can then fire a secondary process to upload and modify any custom properties based on custom business rules to update the pre-loaded binaries.

Once uploaded, custom and 3rd party tools can apply the retention rules you are looking for to destroy old records or do eDiscovery.  Unfortunately, the only thing about uploading 30-100TB of data is that O365 can't handle it well for certain features.  That's where the experience of Hyper-scale design comes into play.  We have built a set of rules and software that allows you to do hyper-scale O365 deployments easily (although, time always plays a factor in hyperscale, just look at big data)!

If you have an old ECM system that has over 30TB of data that you want to move to O365, give me a shout.  I have seen it all at this point and can tell you what works and what doesn't!


Nintex XChange Asset Review

Nintex earlier this year unveiled a community portal for community members to provide helpful contributions to the Nintex user base called Nintex XChange.  It follows along with the "App marketplace" style of the Office 365 app store. 

To date there are 80 contributions, here are my ratings (5 highest) on all of them with some extra data points at the end:

AssetId Name Comment Rating DeploymentType AssetType Platform
3686 Uber Price Estimate UDA Uber price estimate UDA…sweet! 5 Workflow Template;UDA UDA Nintex Workflow
3947 Multi-Step form for Office 365 An example of how to make a Nintex Form that is multi stepped. This is pretty freakin awesome! 5 JavaScript JavaScript Nintex Forms
3968 Data One 4 PowerShell Woah…running Server Side OM in a Nintex Action…Cool! Comes with intellsense and everything…dang! 5 SharePoint Solution Custom Action Nintex Workflow
3949 Parsing data – UDA Currency convertor UDA, nice! 4 UDA UDA Nintex Workflows
4210 How to Create Cascading Choice Controls – Nintex Forms A mix of CSS and JavaScript to implement cascading drop downs. Good Stuff! 4 CSS; JavaScript CSS; JavaScript Nintex Forms
4237 Extract Lookup ID A regular expression to get the item ID from a lookup control. 4 JavaScript JavaScript Nintex Forms
5896 Wunderlist UDAs for Nintex Workflow On-Prem A UDA that wraps Wunderlist API REST Calls. Actually made me go sign up so I could check it out…interesting! 4 UDA User Defined Action Nintex Workflow
3894 Nintex Add-in for Outlook Nintex Add in for outlook. A simple app that looks for links in an email to notify a person that it is a Lazy Approval task. 4 Add-In Add-In Nintex Workflow
3943 Visual Studio Post Deployment Script – ALCM A VisualStudio Post Deployment script for deploying your Nintex Artifacts to SharePoint from Visual Studio. Very handy! 4 PowerShell PowerShell Windows
3896 Show Repeating Section as table in List View A script to show a repeating section as table in SharePoint View 4 JavaScript JavaScript Nintex Forms
3897 Custom Validation for Nintex Forms An exmaple of how to write your own JavaScript custom validator. Very helpful! 4 JavaScript JavaScript Nintex Forms
3903 Generate an HTML document with dynamic data Interseting take on generating a document from metadata in HTML format 4 Workflow Template Workflow Nintex Workflow
3923 Iterate through documents in a Document Set Workflow that iterates through all the files in a document set. Coolness… 4 Workflow Template Workflow Nintex Workflow
3925 Archiving a List Item with Workflow History A UDA that backs up workflow history from one instance to another. Interesting pattern. 4
3936 Terminate Old Instances of a Workflow A UDA to terminate old workflow instances. Interesting… 4 UDA UDA Nintex Workflow
3937 Business Days Validation for Forms Business day calculation JavaScript. 4 JavaScript JavaScript Nintex Forms
3939 Convert Forms to PDF w/ Workflow Convert a form to a PDF using workflow. Pretty sweet use of out of box technology. 4 Workflow Template Workflow Nintex Workflow; Nintex Forms
3706 Sending a TXT w/ Nintex Workflow How to send a SMS with Twilio via a web request – nice! 4 Guide Guide Nintex Workflow
3723 Latitude and Longitude UDA How to get Latitude and Longitude via web request – nice solution 4 UDA UDA Nintex Workflow
3607 Start Workflow with PowerShell Useful powershell script to start a nintex workflow 4 PowerShell PowerShell Nintex Workflow
3729 Resetting Repeating Sections A custom action to reset the items in a repeating section. This is actually pretty darn handy! 4 SharePoint Solution Custom Action Nintex Workflow
3841 Using the SharePoint REST service inside Nintex Forms An example of how to query SP REST endpoints using JavaScript 4 JavaScript JavaScript All
3876 Tab-based Layout Solution How to make your forms tab based. Very helpful! 4 CSS CSS Nintex Forms
3891 Embedding Signature Pad using JSignature.min.js An example of how to use JavaScript to embed a signature pad into your Nintex Forms. 4 JavaScript JavaScript Nintex Forms
3892 Splitting Text – RegEx Example of a regex usage in Nintex Workflow 3 Guide Guide Nintex Workflow
3858 Parsing Nintex Forms Repeating Section Solution – O365 A second type of master-child form using workflow to break out the items. This one is for Office 365. Similar to 3385. 3 Workflow Template Workflow Nintex O365
3859 Get Recurring Events – UDA UDA to get recurring events…not bad… 3 Workflow Template Workflow Nintex Workflow
3846 Dynamically Generated Hyperlinks JavaScript to generate hyperlinks to document in a Form and in O365 3 JavaScript JavaScript Nintex O365
3847 Create Salesforce Lead via Nintex Workflow Creates a SalesForce lead via Nintex Workflow 3 Guide Guide Nintex Workflow
3848 Dynamic approvers for douments Workflow for doing dynamic approvals on a document. Another basic pattern, but helpful if you haven't seen the pattern before. 3 Workflow Template Workflow Nintex Workflow
3758 Nintex Form File Attachment Validation Settings Nintex form that only allows an upload of PDF files 3 Nintex Form Nintex Form Nintex Forms
3385 Parent/Child Forms/Workflow Solution An example of how to use the repeating section of a nintex form to drive list item creation via workflow. Pretty basic pattern, but useful if you haven't done it before. 3 Nintex Forms
3725 Set image based on location in Forms Set an image based on GeoLocation 3 JavaScript JavaScript Nintex Forms
3726 Start a workflow & wait w/ Form JavaScript to start a workflow from Nintex Forms. Interesting implementation… 3 JavaScript JavaScript Nintex Forms
3728 SAP Made Easy w/ Zimt SAP Actions from Zimt 3 SharePoint Solution Custom Actions Nintex Workflows
3608 PowerShell Find All Workflows – Part 1 Shows how to get all the Nintex workflows via the NWAdmin tool. More for reporting than anything else. 3 PowerShell PowerShell Windows
3613 Safely purge items from history list – PowerShell PowerShell script to purge the workflow history list. 3 PowerShell PowerShell Nintex Workflow
3940 Add a Site Workflow Link in O365 A way to add a link to Nintex Site Workflows to quick nav 3 Other Other SharePoint
3895 Replace Text – RegEx An example of using regex to do a replacement 3 RegEx RegEx Nintex Workflow
4073 Layer2 Cloud Connector A data connector for Nintex Workflow. Doesn't really give any helpful patterns of why you should buy/use it. 3 SharePoint Solution Custom Action Nintex Workflow
4137 Theobald Software – ERPConnect Services  Theobald Software – ERPConnect Services 3 SharePoint Solution Custom Actions Nintex Workflow
4017 Delete Attachments – UDA UDA to delete attachments 3 UDA UDA Nintex Workflow
4018 What Changed – UDA UDA for tracking what changed in an item 3 UDA UDA Nintex Workflow
4019 Random Number – UDA A UDA that will generate a random number 3 UDA User Defined Action Nintex Workflow
4060 Panels UI Magic with Nintex Forms for Office 365 Another example of how to do a "Stepped" or "Paneled" nintex Form 3 CSS CSS Nintex Forms
4153 Action Task Reminder – Site Workflow Another pattern around task reminders. 3 Workflow Template Workflow Nintex Workflow
4155 Dynamic button label Dynamic button label via calculated value and events 3 JavaScript JavaScript Nintex Forms
4157 Remove Permissions UDA UDA to remove permission down to read only 3 UDA UDA Nintex Workflow
4174 Set Manager in a Nintex Forms People Picker Control A javascript code snippet (must be paid for), to populate the manager of a people form control. I'm betting no one has really paid for this… 2 JavaScript JavaScript Nintex Forms
4063 Simple email validation for forms Basic email reg ex. 2 Regular Expression Text Nintex Forms
4147 Document Review and Approval (State Machine) Workflow An example of a workflow to do review and approvals. 2 Workflow Template Workflow Nintex Workflow
3950 Document Review Reminder Process Basic reminder pattern. 2 Workflow Template Workflow Nintex Workflow
5974 WYSIWYG Business Cards in Office 365  SharePoint  Online using @Nintex Forms and Workflow apps for @Office365 A video of how to build a business card application with preview capabilites 2 Video Video Nintex Forms
6071 Trigger a Nintex Workflow from DropBox w/ Zapier Just a walkthrough of connecting your external start to Nintex Workflow for DropBox/Zapier. 2 Guide Guide Nintex Workflow
6072 Trigger a Nintex Workflow from OneDrive w/ Zapier Just a walkthrough of connecting your external start to Nintex Workflow for OneDrive/Zapier 2 Guide Guide Nintex Workflow
6073 Trigger a Nintex Workflow from Salesforce w/ Zapier Just a walkthrough of connecting your external start to Nintex Workflow for SalesForce/Zapier 2 Guide Guide Nintex Workflow
6082 Trigger a Nintex Workflow from Zendesk w/ Zapier Just a walkthrough of connecting your external start to Nintex Workflow for Zendesk/Zapier. 2 Guide Guide Nintex Workflow
3941 Upload ULS Logs to Doc Library – PowerShell A powershell script to upload ULS logs. Kinda odd, but I guess? 2 PowerShell PowerShell Windows
3724 Hide Form Footer How to hide the Nintex Form footer 2 CSS CSS Nintex Forms
3772 Birthday UDA A UDA that figures out the day of the week you were born on. Fun, but not very useful. 2 UDA UDA Nintex Workflow
3797 Replace Empty String Variable A UDA that will replace an empty string with something else. Hmmm… 2 UDA UDA Nintex Workflow
3798 Site Creation Workflow Workflow to create a site. 2 Workflow Template Workflow Nintex Workflow
3820 Set Placeholder Text Hints for Text Box Controls Just some javascript to show sample text in a text box on your Nintex Form. Pretty basic. 2 JavaScript JavaScript Nintex Forms
3853 Create user group in your SharePoint Site – UDA A user defined function (UDF) for Nintex 2010 that allows you to create a SharePoint groups 2 UDA User Defined Action Nintex Workflow
3854 Remove user group from SharePoint Site – UDA A user defined function (UDF) for Nintex 2010 that allows you to removew users from SharePoint groups 2 UDA User Defined Action Nintex Workflow
3855 Add user to a SharePoint group – UDA A user defined function (UDF) for Nintex 2010 that allows you to add users to SharePoint groups 2 UDA User Defined Action Nintex Workflow
3856 Remove user from SharePoint group – UDA Remove a user from SP Group 2 UDA UDA Nintex Workflow
3857 Math Power – UDA Math Power UDA…funny comments… 2 UDA UDA Nintex Workflow
3893 Extract Text – RegEx An example of how to run a regular expressions against some text. Not very helpful. 2 Other Text Nintex Workflow
3887 Sample Case Summary Template – Salesforce SalesForce case study doc…for DrawLoop stuff… 2 Guide Guide Drawloop
3888 Sample Cover Letter Template – Drawloop SalesForce case study doc…for DrawLoop stuff… 2 Guide Guide Drawloop
3889 Sample Quote Template – Drawloop SalesForce case study doc…for DrawLoop stuff… 2 Guide Guide Drawloop
3590 Theobald SAP – Connector Theobald SAP – Connector – looks like it has absoltely nothing valuable to do… 1 ? ? ?
3614 <Xchange Template – Delete this field and replace with your title> Hmm…nada here… 1 ? ? ?
3948 Expense Report Solution – PointBeyond supposed to be an expense form, but nothing here 🙁 1 Other Other Nintex Forms
3944 Build a Nintex form – pt 1 of 3 Simple tutorial – should probably not be in the XChange 1 Guide Guide Nintex Forms
3945 Build a Nintex form – pt 2 of 3 Simple tutorial – should probably not be in the XChange 1 Guide Guide Nintex Forms
3946 Build a Nintex form – pt 3 of 3 Simple tutorial – should probably not be in the XChange 1 Guide Guide Nintex Forms
6111 SharePlus & Nintex Integrated Solution : Introduction Nothing but a 3rd party adverisement/marketing slick 1 Guide Guide Nintex Workflow;Nintex Forms
4209 Nintextionary – Nintex Actions Dictionary Have no idea what this does or why it is posted. Doesn't seem to have any assets at all! 1 Other Other Nintex Workflow


  • 44 Nintex Workflow
  • 25 Nintex Forms
  • 3 Drawloop
  • 3 Windows
  • 2 ?
  • 2 Nintex O365
  • 1 All
  • 1 SharePoint

Deployment Types:

  • 15    UDA
  • 14    Guide
  • 13    JavaScript
  • 10    Workflow Template
  • 5    SharePoint Solution
  • 5    PowerShell
  • 4    Other
  • 3    CSS
  • 2    NULL
  • 2    ?
  • 1    Add-In
  • 1    CSS; JavaScript
  • 1    RegEx
  • 1    Regular Expression
  • 1    Nintex Form
  • 1    Video
  • 1    Workflow Template;UDA

Top Views:

  • 3771 – Convert Forms to PDF w/ Workflow
  • 2330 – Terminate Old Instances of a Workflow
  • 2135 – Nintex Add-in for Outlook
  • 2055 – Parsing Nintex Forms Repeating Section Solution – O365
  • 2018 – Set Placeholder Text Hints for Text Box Controls
  • 2009 – PowerShell Find All Workflows – Part 1
  • 1915 – Document Review Reminder Process
  • 1906 – Build a Nintex form – pt 1 of 3
  • 1868 – Custom Validation for Nintex Forms
  • 1855 – Tab-based Layout Solution
  • 1810 – Iterate through documents in a Document Set
  • 1808 – Using the SharePoint REST service inside Nintex Forms
  • 1800 – Splitting Text – RegEx
  • 1800 – Parent/Child Forms/Workflow Solution
  • 1734 – Start Workflow with PowerShell 

Top Likes:

  • 17 – Nintex Add-in for Outlook
  • 11 – Show Repeating Section as table in List View
  • 11 – Convert Forms to PDF w/ Workflow
  • 11 – Document Review Reminder Process
  • 11 – Simple email validation for forms
  • 11 – Tab-based Layout Solution
  • 10 – Set Placeholder Text Hints for Text Box Controls
  • 10 – Generate an HTML document with dynamic data
  • 10 – Iterate through documents in a Document Set
  • 9 – Business Days Validation for Forms
  • 9 – Using the SharePoint REST service inside Nintex Forms
  • 8 – Embedding Signature Pad using JSignature.min.js
  • 8 – Parent/Child Forms/Workflow Solution
  • 8 – Build a Nintex form – pt 1 of 3
  • 8 – Multi-Step form for Office 365 

Top Contributors:

  • 54 Eric Harris
  • 5 Patrick Abel
  • 2 rbachmann
  • 2 Jesse McHargue
  • 2 Swetha Sankaran
  • 2 Brad Orluk
  • 2 Cassy Freeman
  • 1 Chris Sullivan
  • 1 Christian Tauchmann
  • 1 Dean Virag
  • 1 Frank Daske
  • 1 frankgr
  • 1 jackgelo
  • 1 Jan Eyres
  • 1 Jay Cheong
  • 1 Vadim Tabakman
  • 1 Andrew Glasser
  • 1 Samantha Pugh


Data Loss Prevention (DLP) Architecture – Deep Dive

One of the hot features of Office 365 and "by inheritance" in SharePoint 2016 is Data Loss Prevention (DLP).  DLP allows you to execute search queries on your content to find possible "Sensitive Data Types".  You can find many blog post on how to setup DLP queries and how to find data, but that is at the high level.  In this blog post, I get into the nitty gritty of how it actually works under the covers.

High Level Steps:

  • UserApp uploads a document
  • Search gather runs (likely every 15 minutes)
  • Search content indexes the content
    • Ceres engine executes flows, one such Flow is called "Data Loss Prevention"
      • DLP Flow runs
      • DLP Flow looks for keywords
      • DLP Flow looks for regular expression matches
      • DLP excludes invalid "test" values
      • DLP Flow adds "SensitiveType" crawl property data
  • Ceres adds data to the index
  • User queries for DLP data using the "SensitiveType" managed proprerty

Deep Level Steps:

Most of the major work happens in the Ceres Flow.  It uses a "configuration" file of sorts from the "Microsoft.Ceres.DataLossPrevention" .NET Assembly in the GAC.  You will find a "defaultCLassificationRules" resource file in this assembly.  This file is called a "RulePackage" and contains Rule Packs. Currently for SharePoint 2016, there is only one rule pack, Office 365 may have more. Opening this file you will find the following:

  • Entities
    • High level container of a particular "end user" data type
      • US Driver's License Number – there are different in almost every state
      • Canada Driver's License Number – different in each of the provinces
    • Made up of patterns
  • Patterns
    • Made up of IDMatch'es, and Keyword Matches
    • Patterns have confidence levels.  Most expect a confidence level of 75% or higher.
    • Pattern can enforce minMatches (must have at least one keyword, etc)
  • RegEx Expressions
  • Keywords
    • Keywords may be case sensitive – most are not
  • Localization strings – these are used for the rendering and matching of keywords


  • Credit Card Number
  • EU Debit Card Number
  • US Social Security Number
  • US Individual Taxpayer Id Number (ITIN)
  • Canada Social Insurance Number
  • UK Driver's License
  • German Driver's License Number
  • German Passport Number
  • UK NHS Number
  • France INSEE
  • France Driver's License
  • Canada Driver's License
  • US Driver's License
  • Japan Driver's License
  • Japan Resident Registration
  • Japan Social Insurance Number
  • Japan Passport Number
  • Japan Bank Account Number
  • France Passport Number
  • US/ UK Passport Number
  • SWIFT Code
  • US Bank Account Number
  • ABA Routing Number
  • DEA Number
  • Australia Medical Account Number
  • Australia Tax File Number
  • Israel National ID Number
  • New Zealand Health Number
  • Spain SSN
  • Sweden National ID
  • Australia Bank Account Number
  • Australia Passport Number
  • Canada Bank Account Number
  • Canada Passport Number
  • Canada PHIN
  • Canada Health Service Number
  • France CNI
  • IP Address
  • IBAN
  • Israel Bank Account Number
  • Italy Driver's license Number
  • Saudi Arabia National ID
  • Sweden Passport Number
  • U.K. Electoral Number
  • Finnish National ID
  • Taiwanese National ID
  • Poland National ID (PESEL)
  • Poland Identity Card
  • Poland Passport Number

Regular Expressions:

Here are some of the regular expressions that DLP flow is looking for:

  • <Regex id="Regex_france_cni">(^|s)(d{12})($|s|.s)</Regex>
  • <Regex id="Regex_uk_electoral">(^|s)([a-zA-Z]{2}d{1,4})($|s|.s)</Regex>
  • <Regex id="Regex_canada_health_service_number">(^|s)(d{10})($|s|.s)</Regex>
  • <Regex id="Regex_canada_phin">(^|s)(d{9})($|s|.s)</Regex>
  • <Regex id="Regex_canada_passport_number">(^|s)(D{2})(d{6})($|s|.s)</Regex>
  • <Regex id="Regex_canada_bank_account_number">(^|s)(d{7})($|s|.s)</Regex>
  • <Regex id="Regex_australia_passport_number">(^|s)([A-Za-z]d{7})($|s|.s)</Regex>
  • <Regex id="Regex_australia_drivers_license_number">(?ix)(?:^|s)(?=(?:[A-Zd]{2}d{2}[A-Zd]{5})(?:$|s|.s))(?=(?:[A-Z]{0,2}d){4,9})(?!(?:d{0,9}[A-Z]){3,9})[A-Zd]{9}</Regex>
  • <Regex id="Regex_australia_bank_account_number">(^|s)([0-9]{6,10})($|s|.s)</Regex>
  • <Regex id="Regex_sweden_passport_number">(^|s)(d{8})($|s|.s)</Regex>
  • <Regex id="Regex_italy_drivers_license_number">(^|s)(D{1}[^b-uw-zB-UW-Z])((w{7})(D))($|s|.s)</Regex>
  • <Regex id="Regex_ipv4_address">(^|s)((?:[0-9].)|(?:[0-9]))(?:(?:25[0-5]|2[0-4][0-9]|[01]?[0-9][0-9]?).){3}(?:25[0-5]|2[0-4][0-9]|[01]?[0-9][0-9]?)(?!(?:.[0-9])|(?:[0-9]))($|s|.s)</Regex>
  • <Regex id="Regex_ipv6_address">(^|s)((?:[A-F0-9]{1,4}:){7}[A-F0-9]{1,4})($|s|.s)</Regex>
  • <Regex id="Regex_israel_bank_account_number">(^|s)(d{2}-d{3}-d{8}|d{13})($|s|.s)</Regex>
  • <Regex id="Regex_saudi_arabia_national_id">(^|s)(d{10})($|s|.s)</Regex>
  • <Regex id="Regex_usa_bank_account_number">(^|s)(d{4,17})($|s|.s)</Regex>


Keywords are important for deciding the confidence level of a particular pattern.  If a keyword is found, then the confidence goes up.  Here are some examples:

  •  UK Nino contains:
    • national insurance number,national insurance contributions,protection act,insurance,social security number,insurance application,medical application,social insurance,medical attention,social security,great britain,insurance
  • UK Driver's License:
    • DVLA,light vans,quadbikes,motor cars,125cc,sidecar,tricycles,motorcycles,photocard licence,learner drivers,licence holder,licence holders,driving licences,driving licence,dual control car

Keep in mind that your SharePoint on-premises environment will always have a static rule pack unless you download and apply updates.  Office 365 will continually get updated rule packs to enhance the DLP engine features so you will be more protected against sensitive data "leaks".


Introducing the Microsoft MVP Bot!

At the #MVPSummit I sat in a couple of Microsoft Bot Framework sessions.  Cool stuff for sure!  So I decided to write a helpful program for the MVP Program that lets you look up MVP data from your favorite messaging platforms!  

Check it out via Consumer Skype here:

Microsoft Teams:


Phrases you can use:

  • "Hi", "Hello"
  • What MVP Categories are there? 
  • Is Chris Givens an MVP?
  • Contact Chris Givens
  • MVPs in Norway
  • What does vlad catrinescu look like?
  • Chris Givens Picture
  • Chris Givens Profile
  • Search michele
  • Oldest
  • Who are 5 year mvps?
  • Who are Microsoft Azure mvps?




Follow every Microsoft MVP on Twitter!

Updated as of 11/20/2016 – Several MVPS updated their profiles to add their twitter handle or make it public. 

Updated as of 11/5/2016 – Re-posted the list creation to keep list name under limit.  Added the ability for you to clear out old twitter accounts! 

***HEADSUP*** – this script may cause you to be throttled by Twitter.  I have added some checking in the Http layer that will let you know if you hit their circuit breaker.   If you hit the circuit breaker, just re-try in 24 hours.

Here is a list of every twitter account for every current Microsoft MVP.  They fit into the following new MVP categories:

  • Business Solutions
  • Cloud and Datacenter Management
  • Data Platform
  • Enterprise Mobility
  • Excel
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Office Development
  • Office Servers and Services
  • OneNote
  • Outlook
  • PowerPoint
  • Project
  • Visual Studio and Development Technologies
  • Windows and Devices for IT
  • Windows Development

The "" file contains a TwitterFollow.ps1 PowerShell script.  Simply run it, enter your "username" and "password" and then tell it what MVP category you want to follow (or type "all") and whalla, you will follow all the Microsoft MVPs with twitter handles in their profiles!  

If you were curious all the cool benefits of being an MVP : 

*update* – the script now supports creating twitter lists (private and public).  It will name the list as "mvp-*" and add the target MVP twitter user into that list.   Also added in some more elegant error handling and follow checking.  


Updates from Ignite 2016!

Here's my list of all the announcements, updates and news worthy things from Ignite 2016!


I made it to many more sessions at this Ignite.  With my busy schedule this past year it has been a bit tough to keep up with the ever changing Office 365 landscape.  My focus has changed to watching for the things they do in the cloud as many of these changes will trickle down to SharePoint on-premises at some point.  Of the sessions I went too, only two ended up being a waste of time (simply because I had already been aware of the things going on, but thought maybe something new might be revealed).

Overall the venue was great, the buses were on time and timely.  The city was great, Uber was available and not expensive.  Lots of things to do in terms of entertainment and restaurants and the hotels were all fairly close together.  The venue was just as large as last year's in Chicago.  I'm thinking next time they should figure out a way to give an award to the person that walks the most, but since the Microsoft Band is now no more, might be difficult to track it!  I know my feet hurt at the end of every day!

Food was bad as expected.  If you have ever done a large event (such as an SharePoint Saturday) and rented a large venue such as a convention center, you will know the painfulness that is contracting with the venue's food vendors. Like the Amtrak days with its kick your butt if you say anything unions, Its unfortunate that we still are forced to endure not so great food (and evidently not much of it).  I think it would be great is Microsoft offered a non-meal pass in the future so we can spare ourselves the disappointment and at least get a good meal on our own terms. Or even send us the link to the vendor's site so we can drop them lots of nasty notes rather than blame Microsoft!

Expo Hall:

I was able to find time to wonder the entire Expo hall.  I always try to do this just to see what people are marketing and "trying" to sell.  There was a very heavy theme on "Monitoring" and "Security". As in…at least half of the companies were promoting between those two themes.  In whole, the exhibitors seemed to fall into these major categories:

  • Monitoring
    • Aggregated views across all your cloud services (Azure, Amazon, Google, on-premises)
    • Specific Application monitoring (Office 365, Box, etc)
  • Security
    • Auditing
    • Governance
  • HardwareDevice companies
    • Lots of video hardware (phones, conf call cameras)
  • Skype for Business
    • Seemed to be less than last year, but still noticeable.  Lots of re-sellers of software and hardware add-ons.  Seems there is still a lot of help one must need to use Skype in an enterprise.
  • Training
  • Software

CoolInteresting booths from my standpoint:

  • Puppet – The original Desired State Configuration software!  DSC came from a lot of the work that Puppet
    started and the Puppet products span much more than just windows (per Jeffery
    Snover – MS Tech Fellow aka JSnover aka creator of PowerShell- was based on
    UNIX make).
  • Lansa – TypeScript for everything (not just javascript).  Code generation on steroids.  Generate codeapps across many different
    platforms (ultimate code reuse).
  • ConversationalGeek new
    spin on books and marketing promotions. 
    Each book is sponsored by a company and then distributed for free!


Lots of great sessions this time around.  I couldn't really say that about last year, but as you might be able to figure out, many of the top SharePoint community members (Dan Holme, Chris McNulty, etc) have recently joined the Microsoft team and have been able to share their views from the outside with the product marketing and engineering teams.  Although not everyone has stayed in the Office group, it has been fun to watch them learn about the massive engine that is Microsoft and how difficult it is to move the mother ship!  I'm sure they have also gleaned the interesting side of taking "suggestions" from the community and who has a valuable opinion and who doesn't!  I'll still at some point find time to do my "famous" or "infamous" I suppose rating of all the sessions in the next few weeks.  I can say right now, the top session I attended was by Neil Hodgkinson (@nellymo).  His sessions are always filled with great data points, goodgreat demos and seem to leave you full-filled with something afterwards!  I highly suggest you watch any session he was in!

It seemed that a lot of the sessions were not very in depth and super technical (which is the stuff I love). I would have preferred a lot more 400 level sessions and not so much of the 200 level sessions.

You can download sessions from Channel9 or YouTube! You can also use this powershell script to download them!


  • AvePoint – Tongue and Groove – how can you say anything bad about how @JulieRLui finds and sets up these awesome parties?!?  She's the best!
  • Metalogix – Downtown – This was a joint venture and being that most people left around the 20 minute mark, I'm guessing that speaks for itself.  I actually had dinner at the "Commerce Club" and then took a small walk (<2 minutes to the Ritz for the BA Insight party).
  • Microsoft #SharePint – Westin Downtown – What a fun venue!  A rotating bar at the top of the Westin downtown.  Incredible views, nice classy atmosphere!  We even got the group to do a shout out and group picture to #LindaStrong!
  • BA Insight – Ritz Carlton – A very small get together at the Ritz Carlton.  Jeff Fried (@JeffFried) is a good guy and he always does his best to make everyone feel welcome!  Most of the who's who bailed on the Metalogix party and stopped by the BA Insight party.  Good times!
  • PixelMill – AirBnb House – Another small get together at a AirBnB a couple blocks away from the convention center.  Yours truly was the bartender and again, the who's who of our SharePoint land stopped in and said hi. 
  • Attendee Party – Centennial Park – Although we didn't go, we did have a nice vantage point from the sky bar at the Glenn Hotel.  After about an hour, most people started to head over our way as we were tweeting killer pics from high above the park!
  • @SPCPartyPatrol – oh man, where didn't we go!  Next year, if you really want to have a good time, be sure to follow @SPCPartyPatrol.  You won't be led to anything bad (well, I guess that's a matter of perspective).


Here is a list of the various announcementsupdatesdetails that I was able to gather from Ignite 2016.

  • SharePoint – On-premises SharePoint 2016 is getting several of the new features released to Office 365.  The first of these changes will show up in Feature Pack 1 in Nov.  This is the update I have been waiting for and will be the catalyst for customers to get serious about the upgrade or install of SharePoint 2016!
    • Feature Pack 1
      • Min Roles changes – you can now implement smaller POCDev farms
      • Taxonomy Cloud Service Application – sync of your term groupssets from on-premises to Cloud
      • Custom App Launcher – ability to customize the App Launcher
      • OneDrive UX and API – The /me endpoint that I loved so much on the OneDrive consumer side was moved to OneDrive for business and is now being delivered to on-premises!
    • Release Cadence – you can expect more changes to come after feature pack 1
      • Public Update monthly
      • Feature Pack 1 (Nov 2016)
      • Feature Pack 2 (second half of 2017)
  • Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS)
    • Check out @helloitsliam tweets from the @MrADFS session, you can also check out the session here
    • No longer need for On-premises Multi-factor server with ADFS – you can use Azure MFA
    • Conditional Access through ADFS
    • Policy templates
    • Better Certificate support via Claims
    • Per App login customization
    • Set-ADFSProperties changes
    • ADFS Rapid restore tool for Dev, Test and Prod scenarios
    • Domain Admin rights need to install ADFS
  • Azure AD (Std/Premium)
    • Bad Password Attempts reporting
    • Stat – 47.8% of Azure AD auths are via ADFS
    • Stat – every day they
      • Process 14B signins
      • Analyze 10TB of data
      • Deflect 1.5 million attacks
    • Replication error report with quick fixes
    • Group based license assignment
    • Azure AD Connect enables AD Group Synchronization with Office 365 Groups
    • Lift and Shift is new term (#BRK3252) – Azure AS Domain Services
    • Azure AD Pass-Through Auth (PTA) offers similar features as ADFS (#BRK3107)
    • Attribute quarantine vs object
    • Identity Protection – see hack and enforce user MFA
  • Azure
    • Azure Monitor – Monitor cloud and on-premises HyperV and Vmware workloads
  • Microsoft Intune
    • Lots of improvements around Android management
    • More iOS and Mac support
  • YammerNot dead, Dead, not dead, dead, not dead again…we all are wondering what is going on here!
    • New – Yammer group creation causes AzureAD to create O365 group (#BRK2019)
    • Yammer notes moving to OneNote
    • Yammer Groups ~= Office 365 groups
      • Where created determines where feed data will go (Yammer vs Outlook)
    • Edit Yammer Posts
    • Seamless file sharing to Yammer from OneDrive (with permissions at group level)
    • Yammer translate built in (but no Klingon support) #BRK2018
  • SPFramework – You can get started by following the steps here
    • Tools you need:
      • npm (microsoft scope)
      • Typescript
      • gulp
      • react
      • yeoman
  • Skype for Business wow, who would have thought "Skype" would have gone so far?  I was there the day the MS execs signed the deal with eBay to buy Skype.  Man it has come a long way!
    • iOS 10 update has more integration with Phone features
      • CallKit Support
    • Skype Broadcasting
    • MacOS client release (Oct)
    • Real-time transcription and translation by EOY
    • PSTN calling in Franch and Spain (Oct 2016)
    • Move users to regional data centers via PowerShell
    • Video Meeting with no plug in Office Web Apps (OWA)
    • No conversion from UCMA to Trusted Application API
    • Skype Teams – *shhhh* – the "slack" killer?!? You'll have to wait and see!
  • MS Flow
    • Create flow from mobile device
    • Flow connector (???)
  • Networking – this wasn't a part of Ignite, but it happened during it!
  • OneDrive
    • Offline and Online selective sync is back!
    • SharePoint Online and OneDrive folders sync'd
    • Activity Center (view status)
    • 20 new Browser based thumbnail previews
    • iOS and Android notification of files shared with you
    • View stats on file views
    • Multiple files downloaded as a ZIP
    • Stats
      • 10B new files each month
      • 150M mobile app downloads
      • 25 Petabytes of data each month
    • OneDrive API coming to SharePoint 2016 on-premises
    • API changes coming #BRK3082
      • Custom File Handlers
      • File Tags
      • Custom Metadata extensions
      • File versions
      • ":" notiation and "UploadSession" support
  • Delve
    • Office Graph is now Microsoft Graph
    • Delve Analytics is now MyAnalytics
    • People Profile page is updated
    • People Hover is updated
  • Partnerships
  • Products
    • Windows Server 2016
      • Nano Server – headless HyperV feature
        • 400-500MB fast boot OS
      • Storage Spaces Direct (S2D)
        • 2 and 3-node support
      • Containers
        • Windows
        • Hyper-V
      • Key Storage Drive
        • Shielded VMs and Bitlocker protected VMs for older OSs
    • System Center 2016
      • Insights and Analytics (Azure SQL, MySQL, VMware)
      • Automation and Control (keep systems up to date)
      • Security and Compliance (threat detection)
      • Protection and Recovery (backup and restore with Linux and VMWare)
    • Microsoft StaffHub
  • Security
    • Windows 10 Security Features
    • Edge Browser Features
  • Office 365
    • New App Launcher
    • New Admin UI
    • Conditional Access – Access Policies (network, device)
    • Customer controlled keys
    • Team site classification
    • hybrid auditing

Other Ignite Reviews:

Enjoy, see you in Orlando in 2017! You can pre-register here!


Unify and Modernize your ECM and Records Management System

This is our recent email marketing release.  A lot of this is possible due to the PowerStreamECM tool I have built over the past year using my experience in all my previous SharePoint projects and migrations.  If you have questions about doing a complex ECM migration, let me know!


Reduce Complexity and Cost

To reduce system support cost, risk, and complexity, many organizations are seeking to consolidate and modernize Enterprise Content and Records Management Systems. Consolidation reduces the costs associated with licensing, support, training, and infrastructure.

Migrating from legacy ECM systems to SharePoint enables organizations to manage collaboration-oriented content and records in a single, modern, repository. This improves the user experience and facilitates the use of a standardized taxonomy, which enhances findability, content lifecycle management, and the ability to respond to eDiscovery and public records requests.

Our extensive experience in legacy ECM migrations includes migrations from FileNet, Oracle, OpenText, Documentum, Questys, and others, to SharePoint, which can typically be achieved for less than the annual maintenance cost for these systems.

Services include:

Taxonomy Development
Metadata Clean-up
TIF to Searchable PDF Conversion
Enhanced search and Content Reorganization
Implementation of Advanced Records Management Capabilities and Products

  Benefits of migrating to a unified, modern system:
Reduce complexity and costs associated with licensing, support, training, and infrastructure
Improved user experience, adoption, and compliance
Mitigate risk and manage the lifecycle of content using uniform retention and disposition policies
Better support for eDiscovery, transparency and regulatory requirements
Enhanced findability and automation of business processes