News Page Categorisation and using KQL in a Highlighted content web part

We have built a light-weight Intranet using Communication Sites for a client that they needed the ability to categorise and display different types of pages and news. This article describes how to insert in more advanced queries (KQL) into a modern “Highlighted Content” web part (which is a little hacky) to extract specific categories and to setup page categorisation.

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Using PnP PowerShell to apply modern column formatting

Clients have asked me about visually improving documents to highlight content that contain sensitive information (for example) and then applying this change to columns in lists in all their groups (roughly 100 of them).

There is detailed documentation at docs.microsoft.com about how to create and apply the JSON formatting to a single column; but not so much about how to update existing columns with the API, so what and how should we get this done?

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SPFx: Cut the clutter

SharePoint Framework (SPFx) is new, lots to learn, explore and build new innovative modern features into SharePoint Modern Interfaces. With SPFX, you will notice you get a lot of extra files for configuration, libraries, temp code and compiled code; a lot of clutter and noise that’s not needed as part of the majority of development, it just gets in the way when I want to focus on the code! Huff….

SPFX Files
Lots of extra files, do we really need to see them?

The above example isn’t a large project but you can see lot more files that is necessary to SEE they are necessary for compilation, debugging etc. But really do we need to see these files?

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Using PnP Office 365 CLI in Azure Shell

At the European SharePoint Conference 2017 in the Hackathon results session, Waldek Mastykarz from the PnP team announced the Office365 CLI which gives you the ability to manage an Office 365 on any platform.

We had the idea to run this inside the Azure Shell, giving you the ability to manage the Office 365 platform on any device including mobile Azure app. Awesome!

Initially, this proved to be challenging at the start because running the npm install with the global flag generates an permissions denied error and the command requires elevation.

 

Example connection error when running the NPM install command

 

It doesn’t appear to be a feature of the shell to let the user elevate so we were stuck on installing this package; but we managed to find another Microsoft resource to change the NPM config and run the installation and the Office 365 CLI in the Azure Shell.

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