December 2016
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New - call SharePoint Online REST API from actions

By: Vladi Gubler | Comments [2] | Category: Products | 12/21/2016


New and exciting feature added! You can now call SharePoint Online (Office 365) REST API directly from Actions in the app version of Ultimate Forms.

We've had the "Call web service" action for a while now, and although extremely powerful, it lacked the ability to communicate with Office 365 REST APIs, due to the complex authentication system required. But now we've added this capability, allowing you to run any custom API calls from actions to perform operations we don't provide direct support for. And because it's REST, you can even perform those operations on a completely different tenant, as long as you have the necessary credentials.

In my example, I'm simply updating the Title column of the item, adding "1" to the end of the existing title. I'm going to explain no to configure the REST call correctly.

  • In the URL enter the endpoint for the call. We allow the use of our Value Builder here, so you can inject column values. For instance, here I'm entering the ID of the current item.
  • Under Credentials enter your Office 365 credentials, the user entered must have the necessary permissions to execute the call
  • Under Parameter values we enter expected JSON string. The key on the left has to be JSON, on the right you enter the JSON expression itself. Again, use any column values you need
  • Under Headers we need to enter the two headers required by the Update List Item API call. X-HTTP-Method to inform SharePoint that we are performing an update of an existing item (MERGE) and IF-MATCH rule to handle concurrent updates (using * allows us to update any version of the item)

That's it. Now whenever we execute the action, the item's title get updated.

Another example:

We are adding a copy of an item to Tenant B when an item is added in Tenant A:

 With the full SharePoint REST API at your disposal, there is no limit to what you can do!

For more info regarding the SharePoint REST API, read here.


Building a Dynamic Approval System in SharePoint with No Custom Code

By: Will Cooper | Comments [0] | Category: Sample Applications | 12/15/2016

We just completed our final webinar of the year which was our most popular topic yet. It seems like everyone needs to build a custom approval system in SharePoint! Using out-of-the-box SharePoint this can be a difficult process which requires special tools and difficult customization steps.

In our example, we show that the customization doesn't have to be difficult when using the right set of tools - Infowise Ultimate Forms!

The demo shows a system that hits on all of the popular features of this type of system:

  • Electronic Signatures
  • Attach document to approval emails
  • Progress bar to show status of approval process
  • Detect and escalate stalled approvals
  • History tracking to show what has already taken place in the approval process
  • Dynamically set the number of approvers and their names which can be different with each approval
  • Security control the approvals so that only the designated approvers can complete the approval

There are many ways to set up an approval system. It is likely that every organization needs to do something a little bit different.

This example can be modified according to your own custom requirements by changing settings in Infowise Actions, Custom Field Validation, Tabs & Tab Permissions and Email Alert Settings. All of the customization can be done in configuration screens in SharePoint and with no custom code.




New - import CSV files into SharePoint

By: Vladi Gubler | Comments [0] | Category: Products | 12/13/2016


Integrating line of business applications with SharePoint is often a challenge. Despite the tremendous progress in technologies and protocols, such as REST, that make it a lot easier than in the past, older applications might not have those capabilities. In some cases, the only data export you can accomplish is comma-delimited or tab-delimited text files (CSV or TSV, for comma-separated or tab-separated values). This is the most basic textual representation of table-like data that most applications can either write or read.

Once you have the file produced and exported to an accessible location, you need to automate the import process to get the data into SharePoint lists. That's where Smart Import Pro (a component of Ultimate Forms) can help you. Smart Import Pro can automate import of data from emails, databases and web services, so you can set up a polling profile and have the data processed in the background, unsupervised. The latest version of Smart Import Pro also supports CSV/TSV text files!

The file needs to be placed in a location accessible through a URL. It can be a web server or SharePoint, whatever works best for you. You can even use basic authentication to access it on a non-SharePoint web service (on SharePoint, we will access it with the application credentials).

When you set up your import profile, we will read your file and extract "columns" from it. We will then try to figure out what type of data you have in each column: text, number or date. We will assign a name to each such column (col1, col2, etc.) and allow you to map them using Actions. Through actions you specify what should be done with the data. You can create new list items, update existing ones or even sync (combining Create and Update).

Normally, we require you to specify a Last Updated date column so we know which items are new and need to be imported and which have already been processed. For text files, the Last Updated column is optional, as it's common to have the file replaced periodically, so the entire file need to be imported each time. You can also use functions to manipulate data while importing (combine multiple columns into one, perform calculations and so on).

Using Smart Import Pro you can now integrate your legacy application with SharePoint (including Office 365) easier than ever before!