Newsletter – 09/21/2016

Sympraxis Consulting
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Happy autumn from Sympraxis Consulting!

The weather is getting a little chillier here in the Northeast USA, but things are still steaming along for us.

We’re continuing to hone our development process and have done several blog posts on the details. Look for more coming up – our client work always takes precendence, so we’re a little behind. If you read through our posts, you’ll see some highlights of what we will cover in a few of our upcoming conference sessions below.

The fall conference season is revving up and we’ll be hitting the road and the airports. Hopefully we’ll see you sometime soon in person!

Sym-ple News

Sometimes we hear about things going on in the ecosystem that you might have missed. We’ll try to keep these updated as we hear more, so watch for updates in future newsletters.

Is your intranet ‘business critical’?

Wedge Black (@wedge) posted a great piece earlier this month talking about whether Intranets actually matter. So many times he (and we) have heard that Intranet either are or aren’t “business critical”. If you’re going to all the trouble to build an Intranet, at least some of it ought to be business critical.

“Business critical” can, of course, mean different things to different people. For the Communications team or the HR team, the Intranet might be the most business critical tool they have to communication to the employees in the organization. If those same employees don’t see the Intranet the same way, though, is it actually all that important?

The key here is that the business critical parts of the Intranet to be critical both from a content production and management perspective as well as a content consumption perspective. If you’re worried you might be missing the mark, Wedge (yes, that’s his real name) has some great observations in his post on how to ensure your Intranet fits the bill.

Done right, your Intranet is the glue that makes your organization whole. It may not run the machines on your factory floor, but your employees should see at least parts of it as something just as important.

SharePoint Online Search Toolbox by Puzzlepart

Marc’s fellow MVP Mikael Svenson (@mikaelsvenson), doing business as mAdcOW deZign has released a really valuable tool for Office 365 called the SharePoint Online Search Toolbox. If you’ve done any work with search on Office 365, your Internet peregrinations have undoubtedly taken you to Mikael’s blog at some point.

Search on Office 365 has been an anathema for a long time now. We never really know when search crawls happen (though they definitely happen more often than they used to) and the general care and feeding of the search beast can be a science unto itself.

With the SharePoint Online Search Toolbox, you’ll be better-informed and more capable as well:

“When was my content last indexed?”

“Why isn’t my content showing in search?”

Both common questions and easily solved with access to the crawl log. The crawl log allows you to see when content last was indexed or if there are any warnings or errors related to crawling.

The application will quickly save your tenant administrators and developers hours of work when developing and troubleshooting search based solutions in your tenant.

By installing a second add-in available from the add-in itself, you can also trigger re-indexing of all content and user profiles. A very useful feature when you modify the search schema for search based solutions as you cannot start a full crawl in SharePoint Online.

At US$19.99/month, the toolbox is a bargain. We’ll be using it with our clients, and we really think you should check it out.

Microsoft Wants Autistic Coders. Can It Find Them And Keep Them?

We both read this article about a new program at Microsoft and felt strongly positive about it. In the article, we hear of the new program designed to hire people with autism or other spectrum disorders as developers at Microsoft.

The article is a good read, and at the very least ought to lead you to different thinking than you may have had in the past about this large slice of our population.

We’ve never felt that the standard interview process really works for everyone, and as the article points out even less so for those on the spectrum. That Microsoft is willing to invest the time and resources to rethink this and provide opportunity is inspiring and we hope we’ll be hearing about other organizations following suit.

New at Sympraxis


Sympraxis is extremely excited to join into our second software vendor partnership with Hyperfish, as of August 2016.

Hyperfish will help you identify and collect missing information in Active Directory, quickly and easily. Please let us know if you’re aware of a company that doesn’t need that!! Using Hyperbot™ technology and machine learning, Hyperfish will help you:

  • Analyze and identify the holes in your Active Directory data
  • Crowdsource the missing data from the people who know it best: the employees who are missing it and their colleagues
  • Maintain a consistent high quality of data by watching for organizational patterns and shifts which will require data cleanup or improvement

We think of it as a “self-healing” Active Directory, and it’s high time someone developed a product like this to help address these continual challenges in organization both large and small.

They’re launching their product at Microsoft Ignite, so if you’re going to be there, make sure and check them out. We’re sure you’ll be as impressed as we are.

Community Highlights


Marc and Julie will both be speaking at SEF Unity Connect this year in Stockholm. This will be Julie’s first trip to Sweden, but Marc has been speaking at this one for many years now. The Humandata team has put on a most excellent conference for over ten years now, and this year are backed by the Unity Connect team.

The two of us will be giving a workshop or a full day at the conference: SharePoint Client-Side Development: 0 to 100kph in One Day. We each will be presenting another two sessions as well. Lots of work for us, and hopefully lots of things to learn for you.

Click HERE to register. Get 10% off if you use one of our discount codes (‘SEFMARA10’ or ‘SEFJULT10’).

UnityConnect Logo

Marc will be jetting back across the Atlantic for Unity Connect in Haarlem, Netherlands in November. If you’d like to check out this conference please click HERE to register. Use code SPKMARA10 to save 10% off the total registration cost.

SPTechCon SF 2016

Both Julie and Marc will be presenting at SPTechCon San Francisco 2016. Registration is now open, click here if you’d like to join us! Our discount codes are ANDERSON and TURNER. Use one of them (pick Marc’s!)(Um..ladies first Marc! Pick Julie’s!) to get an additional $200 off a full conference pass.

Recent Blog Posts

We were both fairly prolific this round. Check out all our recent blog posts.

Please make note that Julie’s blog has moved and undergone a bit of a makeover. You can now find her at

Granite State SharePoint Users Group

October 6, 2016 – TBD

Click HERE to register!

Boston Area SharePoint User Group

October 12, 2016 – Suresh Ural will be presenting “Hybrid Possibilities with Office 365 and SharePoint 2016”

Click HERE for more information!

Coming Up…

Next week we’re heading to Microsoft Ignite in Atlanta. Ignite is the big kahuna of conferences for us each year. There’ no bigger Microsoft conference, and the content spans the gamut, from Office 365 to SharePoint to Exchange to Skype and a lot more.

Microsoft Ignite

We’ll have lots to share in October’s newsletter about what we heard and saw… stay tuned.


Do you have any ideas for things you’d like to see us cover? Please reach out to and let us know! We’re always interested in hearing your stories; help us to shape ours.


M. & J.

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Sympraxis Consulting, LLC | 831 Beacon Street, Suite 118 | Newton Center, MA 02459 | Phone: 617.633.2051