Ask Sympraxis Anything

This week we opened things up to you and had a lively conversation running the gambit.

Q: Have you encountered any privacy-related issues with public or private content delivery networks (CDNs) in SharePoint? I’m concerned about content being accidentally shared outside of our tenant.

A public CDN is exactly what it sounds like, a public endpoint to content. When you enable this you define origins for content to be hosted in the CDN. Those origins are the things that SharePoint then syncs to that CDN endpoint. If you turn the public CDN on, all of the origins that are shared and synced with the CDN are available anonymously. From a security perspective, you don’t want to put things in origins that you consider private.

This is a good solution if you are doing SPFx solutions and you want to have external guests users be in sites. Often a big problem is that those users do not have access to the tenant app catalog and are unable to read the SPFx solutions. To solve this problem, make sure you have public CDNs turned on and that you have the origin for your tenant app catalog set up as a public origin.

A private CDN is secure. When a user requests a piece of content that’s on a private CDN, a unique token is issued them and provides security trimming to the content that they’re requesting.

Q: How are people dealing with the seeming redundancy of the presence of the Microsoft search box (in addition to the PnP query box)? Seems like a clunky experience to me but I can’t figure out a way around it.

You can wire up the top of the page search box so that the PnP modern search web parts respond to that. There’s a PowerShell command that can tell that box at the top of the screen how to behave but also in the PnP modern search parts there are settings where you can accept whatever the users types in the web parts that are on the page.

Q: About Learning Pathways. We loaded our custom content and are almost ready to make it available. We want to make it look good. Should we jump to Viva Learning or there is a way to make LP sites more attractive? Any examples other than the LookBook one?

Learning Pathways and Viva Learning are independent of each other. Viva Learning has Microsoft content available to be exposed in it. Learning Pathways will still be the recommended solution for building your own custom content that is then surfaced through Viva Learning. There will be some amount of integration availability so that you can expose your Learning Pathways content through Viva Learning.

Q: Do you know if accordions are coming to SharePoint Online?

Definitive yes!

An accordion is where you have content that expands and collapses. For example, 5 or 6 panels and as you click on them, they open up to expose more content.

Late Breaking News: Collapsable Sections were just released to First Release tenants so keep an eye out for them.

Q: On the recent announcement about changing where permissions are managed for Teams connected team sites (think that’s the new mouthful), any idea if that means we won’t be able to do unique list/library permissions in those sites?

They are working on a simpler description – You will absolutely be able to have unique library permissions in the sites that are behind those teams. The difference is mainly with private channels and the upcoming shared channels.

Q from Twitter: How can you set up a way to test out new features in M365?

This is a question we get asked a lot. Back in the on-prem days we would set up a dev or integration server to test things out. In this evergreen, constantly changing environment you need to be checking these things. Microsoft offers a free Developer Tenant to anyone as long as you use it. They are good for 3 months and auto-renew if you are using it. Julie has put together a great post on this. We strongly recommend that your production tenant be set up for Standard Release and that you set up a Developer Tenant and put that to Targeted Release. This will let you see what is coming down the road before it drops in your tenant. You can use a migration tool like ShareGate to keep the content in sync. This also gives you a playground to try out new stuff as it comes out without worrying about modifying something in production.

Q from Twitter: What options exist for automating SharePoint content workflows using Power Automate in Teams?

It’s important to remember that any documents or files you store in Teams is actually stored in SharePoint in the back end. Because of this you can create any type of workflow you wish using Power Automate. Once the Team is created you can go to the SharePoint site and turn on content approval and create a content approval or feedback request Flow. This needs to be set up manually every time a team is created unfortunately. If you want to automate something like that you would need a more complex solution that automates the addition of Flows to a site after it is created either through a Site Design, Azure Function, or Logic App. Derek wrote a post on how to automate Flow deployment that might help with this.

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