Office 365 – New look for SharePoint sites

Microsoft has started rolling out Changes for Office 365 SharePoint sites with the new updated UI. These changes reflect what was announced in the Future of SharePoint conference on 4th May 2016. Some of the known changes are – The ‘Sites‘ page is now the ‘SharePoint home’ and the “Sites” tile in Office 365 App launcher is “SharePoint” tile.

If you have signed-up for the First release in your tenant, you should see the message in your Office 365 Admin center now.

Below, let’s look at what has changed in terms of UI, and how it looks now.

Tile or App in App Launcher

The “Sites” tile becomes the “SharePoint” tile. Clicking into the SharePoint Home displays the recent sites and portals you are most active in and following, recommended sites per the Office Graph, plus company-wide sites promoted by your company.

SharePoint App

Site Home

The ‘Sites’ page is now the new “SharePoint home”.

Old Sites Home
Sites Home Office 365 - old

New Sites Home

office 365 sites home page

LINKS on New Sites Home Page
If you had custom promoted sites in classic view of the SharePoint Sites page, the Links section of the SharePoint home page is pre-populated with those sites.

office 365 new site links


NOTE : The pre-population of promoted sites in the Links list happens only once when the first user visits the new SharePoint home page. If you go back to classic view and change the promoted sites, the changes will not be reflected in the Links list on the SharePoint home page.

Creating New Site

From the SharePoint home, you, too, can create new sites – simple and fast. There has been huge improvements in the time it takes to create a site (targeting seconds to create), the flow & integrated value so that it naturally leads to the creation of an Office 365 Group in Azure Activity Directory (AAD), as well as establishing compliance controls for site classification.

Old Create Site
Create a new Site Office 365 - old

New Create Site

Create new Site - SharePoint UI Office 365

See more Sites by selecting See all

See all Sites Page - Sites and Workspaces

All Sites Page.

All sites - New Office 365 UI

Site Contents Page (View all Site Content)

New Site Contents Page

The new look for SharePoint Team sites is still pending.


What is the difference between Windows CTP, Beta, RC, RTM, RTW, SPs and Preview?

Below are difference between Windows CTP, Beta, RC, RTM, RTW, SPs and Preview
CTP (Community Technology Preview):
CTP means Community Technology Preview. It means you can use it but it’s not the final version of a software and things may change when product is finally released. It’s generally an incomplete preview of a new technology in progress. These usually come out before beta and are a way to gather feedback from the community during the development of a product. This is similar to an Alpha release per Jeff’s hierarchy, except that at Microsoft, Features are present to varying degrees and customer can get an idea of where the release is going.
The software is complete enough for external testing. Beta software is usually feature complete, but may have known limitations or bugs. Betas are either closed (private) and limited to a specific set of users, or they can be open to the general public. Features are mostly implemented but still have rough edges. Quality is fair at this point. The higher number beta, the higher the quality
RC (Release Candidate)
Product believes it’s ready to ship. One last chance for customers to provide feedback and find major blocking issues.
RTM (Release to Manufacturing)
Product is complete and ready to be shipped to customers. RTM stands for “Released to Manufacturing” and is a throwback to the days when software was mostly released as CDs. When a project went “Gold”, it was released to manufacturing who then burned a bunch of CDs and packaged them up to be put on store shelves. True, this still goes on today believe it or not, but this mode of delivery is on the decline for certain types of software.
RTW Release
RTW is a related term that stands for “Released to Web” which is more descriptive of how software is actually shipped these days. For example, while we like to use the term RTM internally out of habit, ASP.NET MVC will actually be RTW.
SPs (Service Pack)
SPs are service packs. It means product updates and bug fixes for that release. While R2 refers to Release 2, and it generally includes enhancements that cannot be included as part of service packs. A Service Pack (or SP) is simply an RTM (or RTW) release of fixes and/or improvements to some software. It used to be that SPs rarely included new features, but it seems to be the norm now that they do. Service Packs tend to include all the hotfixes and patches released since the product originally was released, which is convenient for the end user in not having to install every fix individually.
Technical Preview
The Windows Technical Preview (TP) is an evaluation copy for enterprise users. Basically, it’s an early test version. Businesses are given the chance to try it out, see how it fits into their routines and provide Microsoft with feedback. Ideally, Microsoft will integrate the collected data into a final product that meets the needs.

How to use the Content Query Web Part

When to use the Content Query Web Part or the Content Search Web Part in SharePoint

There are two Web Parts that can be used to search data on a SharePoint site. They are very similar: the Content Query Web Part (CQWP) and the Content Search Web Part (CSWP). Just by looking at their names, it’s not clear to distinguish the difference between the two.Content Query and Content Search Web Part

In this article, we’ll help you understand how these Web Parts work, and when you should use one Web Part over the other.

Compare the strengths and limitations of the Web Parts

It’s important that you understand the strengths and limitations of the two Web Parts because if you choose the wrong one, your site could run into performance problems. You can use both Web Parts to show content that is based on a query. In a simplified world, here’s how you can decide between the two:

  • Use the CQWP when you have a limited amount of content, your query is simple, and you don’t expect your content to grow much in the future.
  • Use the CSWP in all other scenarios when you want to show content that is based on a query.

The table below gives a comparison of the two Web Parts:

Web Part behavior Content Query Web Part Content Search Web Part
Query configuration Easy You’ll need to know about certain search features such as managed properties.
Query across large amounts of content Limited Yes
Handle complex queries Limited Yes
Scale to handle future content growth Limited Yes
Display content from other site collections No Yes (see Use the Content Search Web Part to display content from other site collection below)
Design of query results can be customized Yes, by using XSLT. Yes, by using HTML.
Maintenance cost in a complex site architecture High Small (see Use the Content Search Web Part to keep maintenance cost down below)
Narrow down the query results that are displayed in the Web Part No Yes, in combination with the Refinement Web Part.
How the Web Parts display content

You can use both Web Parts to display information that is stored in a subsite. The user experience for content authors and home site visitors is identical, regardless of which Web Part you use. The difference between the two Web Parts is the technology that the Web Parts use. The CQWP queries a database, whereas the CSWP queries the search index.

Here’s an example of how these Web Parts behave. Example A shows a company that’s using a CQWP to show content from its sales subsite, and example B shows a company that’s using a CSWP to show content from its sales subsite.

How CQWP and CSWP display content

Image callout Example A:
Content Query Web Part
Example B:
Content Search Web Part
1 You author content in a list. You author content in a list.
2 The list items are immediately stored in a database. At a set time interval, the list items are automatically crawled and added to the search index.
3 A visitor views the home site. The CQWP automatically issued a query to the database. A visitor views the home site. The CSWP automatically issues a query to the search index.
4 The database returns a query result and displays it in the CQWP. The search index returns a query result and displays it in the CSWP.
Factors to help you decide which to use

Because the Web Parts use different technologies, the use cases for when you should choose one Web Part over the other differ. A use case is often more complex than the simple example shown in the previous section. Before you decide which Web Part to use, it’s important that you consider the following:

  • How much content do I have?
  • How complex will by query be?
  • Where’s my content going to be stored?
  • How much will my content grow over time?
  • How much will my maintenance costs grow over time?

We recommend that you address all of these areas as a whole rather than separately.

Note:  If you’re considering moving from a SharePoint on-premises site to a SharePoint Online site, and you are using CQWPs on your SharePoint on-premises site, you could run into a couple of performance issues. In SharePoint Online you won’t be able to scale your tenant to improve performance. Also, the caching functionality behaves differently in SharePoint Online than in SharePoint on-premises.

What affects the performance of the Content Query Web Part

In the previous example, if the News list contains less than 5000 items, the performance of the CQWP is likely to be very good. However, if the News list exceeds 5000 items, and the query in the CQWP is complex, the Web Part can run into performance problems. It’s difficult to define exactly what a complex query is, but a Source that goes across all sites in your site collection is more complex than a Source that queries a specific list. Also, if you query uses Additional Filters, the query complexity increases. The query complexity increases depending on the site column types and conditions that you use. Here are some examples:

  • A query that filters on a site column of type Multiple lines of text is more complex than a query that filters on a site column of type Yes/No.
  • A filter that uses a contains condition is more complex than a query that uses an is equal to condition.
  • Multiple Or conditions increases the complexity of the query.

Query configuration in CQWP

The performance of the CQWP is also affected by where your content is stored. If your content is stored across several sites, the total amount of list items the Web Part has to process will affect its performance. For example, on your company’s home site, you want to display the latest news items from lists that are maintained in multiple subsites. Each list contains 1000 items. That means that the CQWP will have to query across 3000 items.

Query across multiple subsites

In this example, if the query is simple, the performance of the CQWP is likely to be good as long as the total amount of items is less than 5000. However, if the query is complex, the CQWP could run into performance problems even when the total amount of items is a few thousand.

Another important factor that can affect the performance of the CQWP is if your content grows. A solution that works well today might not apply to your future content. If you expect a large increase in the number of sites or amount of content, you should not use the CQWP.

Keep maintenance cost down with the Content Search Web Part

You can use both Web Parts to display content based on information from your site navigation. For example, when a visitor goes to a page, the Web Part on that page automatically issues a query that contains information from your site navigation. The search results are displayed in the Web Part. If you don’t have much content and the query is simple, you can use several CQWPs to display your content. However, because you have to maintain each CQWP individually, your maintenance costs can quickly escalate.

By using the CSWP with managed navigation and a category page, your maintenance costs will stay the same as your content grows. For example, if you add a new navigation category to your content, you can use the same category page to display the content that belongs to the new navigation category. So even though your content is growing, you’ll only need to maintain the same amount of pages.

See these additional articles for more info:

In the example below, you can see how four CQWPs can be replaced by one CSWP on a category page.

Complex site architecture

Use the Content Search Web Part to display content from other site collections

You can use the CSWP to display content from other site collections. For example, if you want to author content in one site collection and display this content in another site collection, you have to use the CSWP. The CQWP can only display content from one site collection.

Query for content in another site collection

When in doubt, choose the Content Search Web Part

If you’re unsure about which Web Part to use, then the CSWP is probably the best choice in most cases. This Web Part is more flexible than the CQWP and will give you better performance results if you’re planning on expanding your content over time.

If you decide to use the CQWP, we recommend that you do testing to find out if the Web Part meets your current and future performance and maintenance requirements.

More information on Content Search and Content Query Web Parts

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SharePoint 2016 app error

SharePoint 2016 app error Everything is fine but we had a small problem getting your licese. Please go back to the SharePoint store to get this app again and you wont be charged for it

In this post we will discuss how we can resolve an issue which comes while adding an app from SharePoint app store to your SharePoint 2013 on premise environment. The error comes as: Everything is fine, but we had a small problem getting your licese. Please go back to the SharePoint store to get this app again and you won’t be charged for it. If you have not yet started with SharePoint 2016, you can go through the Step by Step installation of SharePoint 2016 as well as you can check new list view auto indexing features of SharePoint 2016,
Recently while adding an app from SharePoint app store to my SharePoint 2016 on premise site I faced this error which looks like below:
Analysis and Solution:
I was trying to add the app from app store to my SharePoint 2016 on premise site and I was using System Account. The system account is the problem. SharePoint does not allow system account or farm account to add apps from SharePoint App Store.
Then I added another account and gave full permission to it like below:
Then I try adding the app using the other account like below:
This time it added successfully. Hope this will be helpful.

Reposted from: