Managing Roles and Permissions in Custom Applications

I am building a SaaS application and I want to serve real customers. In this article I am going to explain different ways to define user roles for a SaaS application and for each approach we will look at the merits and demerits.

Option 1: Adding IsAdmin property at user level

The simplest approach is to add a property IsAdmin at users node level as shown below:

This approach is easy to control but does not scale well when we want to provision things based on different roles. For example, in the future if we are going to have another role like HR Admin, we will have to add another property here like this:

This is not a bad approach but when we add new roles in our application managing this becomes a complex task.

Option 2: Top-level Roles node

Another approach is to have a top-level node Roles and under this node we can add different roles as shown below:

For example, we can have a role name and under this node we can add all the users responsible for this role. In the future if we want to add an additional role we can simply add a new role.

If we are going to have multiple roles in our application, we can see this approach scales better. It is cleaner and more maintainable, but this approach does not scale well when we end up with complex conditional statements in our code.

Option 3: Operation based roles

In this appraoch we are going to manage the permissions based on user operations not with roles as shown below:

This approach gives us the flexibility to control who can do what and enable or disable product features based on the pricing model. Also this can be used to control trail software features.

Best approach

There is no such a thing as best in SaaS product development but personally I like option 3 as I need to define roles in the core and customer database based on user operations. These custom roles come with some maintenance overhead. When we add new permissions, we need to think through whether they should be enabled for each custom role. A careful backfill is required to ensure that these roles get the appropriate permissions.

A special thanks to Mosh who expalined these scenarios in firebase that helped me a lot. Hopefully, this helps the viewers. In future posts we will go a bit deeper about SaaS Application Architrue.

Deploy SharePoint Framework Web Part using Bitbucket Pipelines & Deployments

Continuous Integration and Delivery are the foundations of Modern Software Development. Continuous Integration and Delivery process is going to help your team in the following aspects:

  • Revision Control
  • Build Automation
  • Automated Deployment
  • Reduced Overhead
  • Consistent Build Process
  • Confidence and Team Communication
  • Risk Mitigation

In this article, I am going to show you how to set up Continuous Integration and Delivery for SharePoint Framework Web Part using Bitbucket.

Prerequisites 

  1. Bitbucket Repository
  2. SharePoint Framework WebPart Solution associated with the Bitbucket Repository – (Refer – SharePoint Framework HelloWorld example)
  3. SharePoint App Catalog Site to deploy the SharePoint Framework WebPart
  4. Add the following environment variables on the Bitbucket repository level

At this point we are ready to integrate our SharePoint Framework WebPart solution with the Bitbucket Pipelines.

  • Open the SharePoint Framework WebPart solution and upload the following custom gulp tasks provided by Elio Struyf. (Note: Install the necessary npm packages given in the instruction)
    • upload-app-pkg
    • deploy-sppk
  • Create a new file for Bitbucket build configuration with name bitbucket-pipelines.yml
  • Update the bitbucket-pipelines.yml as shown below

  • Commit and the push the changes to Bitbucket repository
  • Go to the pipelines option and enable the pipeline

 

  • A build should start as soon as we enable the pipeline as shown below

 

  • As you can see in the screenshot, the SharePoint Framework WebPart is packaged and deployed in the app catalog site as per the logic written in the build configuration file

 

  • It is possible to isolate the deployment process in a seperate step as explained here.
  • Also schedule your pipelines to run a pipeline at hourly, daily or weekly intervals.

Hope you found this interesting.

Sharing is Caring!

How to pass parameters to Custom Connector Actions from PowerApps App

Requirement

I have a CustomConnector that connects to Microsoft Graph REST API to get the groups in an organization. This endpoint URL and query parameters such as orderby, filter, skiptoken, top are currently hardcoded but I would like to make it generic so that I can reuse by passing arguments to the connector from the PowerApps.

Solution

To create a custom connector, you must describe the API you want to connect to so that the connector understands the API’s operations and data structures. The custom connector wizard gives you a lot of options for defining how your connector functions, and how it is exposed in apps.

On the Definition page, The Request area displays information based on the HTTP request for the action. Choose Import from sample and configure sample as shown below:

At the top right of the wizard, choose Update connector. Now that we have configured the connector, test it to make sure it’s working properly.

On the Test page, create connection and return to the Test page:

Now, enter the values for the text fields, then choose Test operation.

The connector calls the API, and you can review the response.

Return to your PowerApps app and configure your expression as show below:

That is all. The Group Collection should have the REST API response data.

Important Note: Some requests return multiple pages of data so do not pass the $skiptoken for the first call. The $skiptoken parameter contains an opaque token that references the next page of results and is returned in the URL provided in the @odata.nextLink property in the response.

SharePoint Online – Analyze User Feedback using Sentiment Analysis API and Microsoft Flow

The Sentiment Analysis API provided by Microsoft evaluates text input and returns a sentiment score for each document, ranging from 0 (negative) to 1 (positive). This capability is useful for detecting positive and negative sentiment in social media, customer reviews, and discussion forums. In this article I am going to show you how to send the feedback entered in a SharePoint online modern list item to Sentiment Analysis API and updated the response back in SharePoint. Also I am going to show how to beautify the Sentiment score with emojis using column formatting feature.

Create a SharePoint list with the following columns

columns.PNG

At the top of the list, click Flow, and then click Create a flow.

newflow

Select the below flow template from the right-hand panel.

select flow type.PNG

Follow the instructions on the Microsoft Flow site to connect to the list we have created. Credentials will be verified for each service used in the flow. For Office 365 services such as SharePoint and Outlook, connections will be created automatically. The next steps will be performed in the Microsoft Flow designer. The first action displayed, also known as a trigger, will determine how the flow will be started. Additional actions may be added after the first. Each new action will be dependent on the previous action.

add new step.PNG

Next step is to add an initialize variable action to set the value of the current Item Id.

setitemid.PNG

Create a POST request using a HTTP action. Set the HTTP Method, URI, Headers and Body as shown below:

Note: Login to Azure and get the Ocp-Apim-Subscription-Key. Refer this article for steps.

CallSentimentAPI.PNG

Now let us parse the sentiment score from the response we received from the HTTP action and save the value in a variable using initialize variable action as shown below

SetSentimentScore.PNG

Expression : body(‘CallSentimentAPI’)[‘documents’][0][‘score’]

Here CallSentimentAPI is HTTP action name.

Let us update the sentiment score in the list item using a Send an HTTP request to SharePoint action as shown below

update list item.PNG

Save the flow and go back to the list.

Let us create a new item in the SharePoint list to check the sentiment score for our feedback

new item.PNG

If all goes well, we should see the sentiment score in the list column as shown below

data.PNG

We can check the status of every execution in the flow history as shown below

status.PNG

success run.PNG

To beautify the sentiment score with emojis, we can use SharePoint column formatting feature as shown below

column formatting

I have used the following column formatting formula to convert the sentiment score into emojis

formual.PNG

Hope you liked this post. If you have any questions on sharepoint or office 365, please let me know.

Add Modern SharePoint Site Page in Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a chat-based workspace that brings together people, conversations, content, and tools for easier collaboration. SharePoint sites include the modern page feature, which allow you to engage the team members with important or interesting stories. Here I am going to show you how to display a SharePoint modern page with in teams as a tab.

I have created a SharePoint modern page as show below:

samplemodernpage.png

Set up SharePoint Modern Page in Teams

  • In Teams, navigate to the team where you want your SharePoint page to appear.

teams1.PNG

  • Click the plus sign to add a new tab.

teams2

  • Click on Website

teams3.png

  • Provide a Tab name and SharePoint Modern page url and click Save. Optionally we can select Post to the channel about this tab check box to communicate this change with the users.

teams4

  • That’s it! Now, every time you visit your team, the newly added tab will appear as part of the teams as shown below

teams5.png

  • You can use the expand / collapse button to view the content the way you like

teams6

Notes :

  • I don’t know if you noticed, but the out of the box sharepoint controls such as Suite Bar, Left Navigation, Search Box, Page Title Area and Command Bar are gone within teams.
  • If you have custom webparts within the page, you can not edit properties of those within teams.
  • You can not change the web part arrangement sequence within teams.
  • You can not display classic page.

Displaying SSRS Reports in External Applications using an iframe – SQL Server 2016

Problem Statement

After upgrading the SQL Server Reporting Service to 2016, the SSRS reports embedded in different applications including SharePoint pages using an iframe tag or page viewer web parts were stopped rendering.

iframe1.PNG

Error

erroriframe

Workaround Tried

I tried to fix this issue by adding the following entries in the rsreportserver.config but no luck.

report config file.png

The rsreportserver.config file is installed in the following location by default:

SharePoint Mode Native Mode
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\15\WebServices\Reporting C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSRS13.MSSQLSERVER\Reporting Services\ReportServer

Solution

Added rs:Embed=true as a query parameter at the end of the report URL and this fixed the issue and reports started working properly.

iframe2.PNG

SPFx Extension – Email Item/File URL

In SharePoint there used to be a ‘copy shortcut’ option in the right-click menu on a document. This feature is not available currently. Now we need to go to the share sub-menu to get a link to the document, but what is offered there is the docidredir link, not the full path.

This SPFx extension opens a dialog where the user can see the document full path. The Email Link button helps the user to share the link via default email client.

react-command-email-urlreact-command-email-url

Used SharePoint Framework Version

SPFx v1.6

Applies to

Solution Author(s)
react-command-email-url Joseph Velliah (SPRIDER, @sprider)

Version history

Version Date Comments
1.0 October 20, 2018 Initial release

Disclaimer

THIS CODE IS PROVIDED AS IS WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, MERCHANTABILITY, OR NON-INFRINGEMENT.

Minimal Path to Awesome

  • Clone this repository
    • Open serve.json file under config folder. Update PageUrl to the URL of the list you wish to test. react-command-email-url
  • Move to folder where this readme exists
  • In the command window run:
    • npm install
    • gulp serve

Features

This project contains SharePoint Framework extensions that illustrates the following features:

  • Command extension
  • Office UI Fabric React

Notice. This sample is designed to be used in debug mode and does not contain automatic packaging setup for the “production” deployment.