Microsoft 365 and SharePoint Online Cookbook

By Gaurav Mahajan , Sudeep Ghatak
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  1. Introduction to SharePoint Online

About this book

Microsoft 365 in an integrated suite that provides intelligent tools for managing everyday organizational tasks like content management, communication, creating reports, and automating business processes. With this book, you'll get to grips with popular apps from Microsoft, with a focus on enabling workspace collaboration and productivity using Microsoft SharePoint Online, Teams, and the Power Platform to name a few.

In addition to guiding you through the implementation of Microsoft 365 apps, this practical guide helps you to learn from a Microsoft consultant's extensive experience of working with the Microsoft business suite. Starting with a quick overview of the M365 ecosystem, the book covers recipes for implementing SharePoint Online for various content management tasks. You'll learn how to create sites for your organization and enhance collaboration across the business and then see how you can boost productivity with apps such as Microsoft Teams, Power Platform, Planner, Delve, and M365 Groups. Using a step-by-step approach, you'll also find out how to use the Power Platform efficiently, making the most of Microsoft PowerApps, Power Automate, PowerBI, and Power Virtual Agents. Finally, the book focuses on the SharePoint framework, which helps you to build custom Teams and SharePoint solutions.

By the end of the book, you'll be equipped with the skills required to set up Microsoft 365 and SharePoint Online and be ready to enhance business productivity using a variety of tools.

Publication date:
June 2020

Introduction to SharePoint Online

SharePoint Online is part of the Microsoft 365 ecosystem that lets you create and share content, knowledge and applications thus empowering collaboration and productivity in organizations. At its core, it is a content management system that gives its users areas (sites, lists, and libraries) where they can organize and collaborate on documents, data, and news. It also lets userssecurelyshare the content,not justwith their peers,but also with collaboratorsoutside the organization. Users are also able to find this content through powerful enterprise search capabilities. Additionally, SharePoint enables an organization to effectively communicate through rich pages and engaging tools and web parts.

SharePoint integrates well with a lot of other tools within and outside of the Microsoft 365 family, such as Microsoft Teams, Groups, One Drive, and Microsoft Office Suite, to name a few. SharePoint...


Getting to the SharePoint start page

The SharePoint start page is the central location that shows you relevant content from all the SharePoint sites that you have access to in your organization. From here, you can easily get to the sites that you are following, frequently visit, or have recently visited. This page also lets you search for content across all the SharePoint sites that you may have access to.

This recipe shows you how to log in to Microsoft 365 and then browse to the SharePoint Online home page from there.

Getting ready

To be able to browse to the SharePoint start page, your organization should have purchased one of the Microsoft 365 products that contain SharePoint. In addition, they should have assigned you a license to use SharePoint Online.

How to do it...

To access the SharePoint Online home page, follow these steps:

  1. Browse to click theSign in button, as shown in the following screenshot...

Creating a modern site

SharePoint provides various templates or site types so that you can create sites. These templates use similar building blocks but target different scenarios. They differ from each other in various ways, such as how they store information, how they present it, and even the nature of the functionality that they have to offer.

This recipe shows you how to create a site using the Team site template, which is the most commonly used site template for team collaboration.

Getting ready

Your organization should do the following before you can create sites from the SharePoint start page:

  • Grant you access to SharePoint as part of the Microsoft 365 suite
  • Enable the creation of sites from the SharePoint start page
  • Enable the creation of modern sites in your Microsoft 365 environment

How to do it...

To create a new site from the SharePoint start page, follow these steps:


Viewing site contents

The Site Contents page in SharePoint provides a one-stop view of all the lists, libraries, and other apps on their site. Any subsites within that site will also appear here. Provided you have appropriate access, you can also add new lists, libraries, pages, apps, and subsites to the site from this page.

Getting ready

You should have at least Read or View access to a site in order to be able to view the contents within that site.

How to do it...

To view the contents of your site, follow these steps:

  1. Browse to your site in SharePoint.
  2. Click on the settings icon in the top-right corner of any page on the site and then click on the Site contents menu option, as shown in the following screenshot:

  1. You will be directed to the Site contents page, as shown in the following screenshot:

That's it!...


Creating a list

SharePoint uses lists as the primary way to store information that end users such as you or I create. Almost all of the information in SharePoint is stored in some type of list.

This recipe shows how to create a new list from scratch. For illustrative purposes, we will use this list to store details of the products from our company's product line. This list will contain the following columns to store the product information:

  • Title
  • Code Name
  • Product Line
  • Date Released
  • Notes

Getting ready

You will need either an Edit, Design, or Full Control permission on the site where you'd like to create the list.

How to do it...

To create a new SharePoint list, follow these steps:

  1. Browse to the Site contents page for the site where you'd like to create the list.
  2. Click the New menu and then click List.
  3. Provide a descriptive...

Adding an item to a list

You can add items to a list in various ways. These methods will be covered in greater detail in Chapter 4, Working with Lists and Libraries in SharePoint Online. This recipe will show the most commonly used method to add items to the representative list we created as part of the previous recipe. Even though this recipe uses theProduct Listas an example, the steps here are true for other scenarios where there's a need to store data in SharePoint.

Getting ready

You will need Contribute permissions or higher for the list you would like to add the new item to.

How to do it...

To add a new item to a list, follow these steps:

  1. Browse to the list where you'd like to add the new item.
  2. Click the New button above the section that shows the title of the list.
Selecting an item from a list replaces the top menu bar with the item-actions menu. So, if you have the required permissions...

Creating a document library

A library is a secure place in SharePoint where you can upload, create, and manage files for online sharing and collaboration with your team. Just like lists, each library comes with key built-in columns that store information about each file, such as who created the file and when, and who last modified it and when. You can always add to the columns in a library, just as you would do for a list. Almost all site types ship with a default library so that you can store the documents within that site. Libraries can be of different types. A Document library is the most commonly used library and, as the name suggests, it is used to store, manage, and share documents.

For this recipe, we will create a document library from scratch. We will use this library to store marketing documents. This library will enable you to classify each document using the Document Typeand Document Classification columns.

Getting ready

You will need either...


Uploading documents to a library

SharePoint lets you create new documents directly within the library through the Newmenu. It also lets you upload documents that have been authored offline.

In this recipe, we are going to learn how to upload an existing document to a document library and then tag it with the appropriate metadata. Even though this recipe uses the Marketing Collateral library as an example, the steps here are true for libraries of all types.

Getting ready

You will need Contributepermissions or higher for the library where you would like to upload the document.

How to do it...

To upload a document to your document library, follow these steps:

  1. Browse to the library where you'd like to upload the document.
  2. Click Upload and then choose the Files option to open the file selection dialog, as shown in the following screenshot:

  1. Browse to the...

Sharing a document

Once you've uploaded a document to SharePoint Online, you can use the Share or Copy Link features in SharePoint to easily share a link to it with your colleagues. This recipe shows you how to share a link to a document using the Share feature.

Getting ready

You should have at least Read access to the document you'd like to share.

How to do it...

To share a document with a member of your team, follow these steps:

  1. Browse to the document you'd like to share.
  2. Click on the Share icon next to the document. Alternatively, select the document and then click the Share option on the top menu bar, as shown in the following screenshot:
  1. On the pop-up box that appears, click on the People you specify can view option (note that the exact verbiage may differ, based on your organization's settings) and choose whether the people or groups you...

Searching content

Search is a core part of the SharePoint user experience. It enables users to find relevant business information and documents more quickly and easily than ever before.

For this recipe, as a marketing manager in my organization, I am going to search for the visual design guide called "Branding Elements" that my team just helped put together.

Getting ready

All you need is Read access to the site where you will be performing your search. The results that SharePoint returns are "security trimmed," which means you will only see content that you have access to through permissions.

How to do it...

To perform a search within a site, follow these steps:

  1. Browse to any page on the site where you'd like to perform the search.
  1. Start typing your search keywords to see the relevant results. In this case, we will start typing Branding Elements. We'll notice...

About the Authors

  • Gaurav Mahajan

    Gaurav Mahajan is a technology evangelist with a focus on Microsoft 365, SharePoint, and AI. He has over 19 years of technical consulting experience and is passionate about helping organizations envision, build, and deploy solutions focused on solving practical problems. Gaurav has a Bachelor in Engineering, is Stanford certified in machine learning, and holds a PG Diploma in management from the Indian Institute of Management. He is also a Microsoft Technology Solutions Professional (P-TSP) and holds various other Microsoft certifications. He occasionally blogs, and speaks at and organizes technical events, code camps, and conferences. He is a co-chair of the M365 & SharePoint Saturday, Pittsburgh (US) annual conference. In his free time, he likes to travel and spend time with his family.

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  • Sudeep Ghatak

    Sudeep Ghatak has over 17 years of experience working with Microsoft technologies. He started as a .NET programmer, later moving to SharePoint back in 2007. Sudeep currently works as a senior solution architect in NZ and designs solutions based on Office 365 and the Azure platform. He is a certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) and holds a postgraduate degree in instrumentation engineering. He is an active member of the Microsoft community in New Zealand and runs an Azure meetup group. He is also an active speaker and advocate of Office 365 and Azure. He is often seen speaking at user groups and conferences in and around Christchurch, New Zealand. Outside of work, Sudeep loves to spend time with his family and has a strong interest in music and astrophysics. He loves playing guitar and is currently taking violin lessons with his 7-year-old daughter.

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Microsoft 365 and SharePoint Online Cookbook
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