Sunday 21 August 2016

Migrate SharePoint 2010 Term Store to SharePoint Online with PowerShell

Last week I worked with a customer on migrating one SharePoint 2010 site to a new SharePoint Online.
I can qualify the site as Knowledge Base designed for optimal discoverability of the documents that are uploaded. To achieve a good discoverability you will need some good metadata describing the resources. Many times the metadata that is used is actually managed metadata that needs to be migrated/recreated in SharePoint Online.
If you have 10 or 20 terms it will not be an issue to recreate them, but if you have 400 for example it will not be very practical to manually recreate all terms.
There are many powershell scripts out there to export/import terms, but the success rate and the complexity might vary. This is why I would like to share how I did it and it worked out pretty well for me.
For the purpose we are going use the custom cmdlets provided for free by Gary Lapointe.
For demonstration purposes I will export one term set group with one term set that has limited number of terms. You can check it out below, it also has some parent/child terms.

SharePoint 2010 Term Store

In order to export the term set group you will need to deploy the WSP that will add the custom SharePoint Server 2010 commands. By doing so you will add the additional 2010 commands directly to the Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell snap-in.
To export taxonomy object as xml we are going to use Export-SPTerms. You will need to supply some taxonomy object as input parameter, this will be a taxonomy session if you want to export everything, for more examples see the cmdlet help. You can see how the Legal term set group looks as  xml below.

Input XML

As you can see all essential information that is needed is exported, even some that will be an issue if you are importing the terms to a different environment or SharePoint Online. This is the Owner or every attribute that represents on-prem identity that you might have. The import command will also try to set this properties with the same values and it will fail because the identity as it was exported cannot be found. The way to workaround this is just to set different value for Owner that will be a valid Online identity. Now it is up to you to decide if you want to do this tradeoff and migrate the objects with different Owner than the source. Below are two lines (3 to make it fit better) that will take the content of the exported XML and will set new Owner for each XML node where the Owner attribute is not empty and later the same XML object can be used for input of the import command.

[xml]$termXML = Get-Content "C:\Legal.xml"
($termXML.SelectNodes("//*")) | Where {$_.Owner -ne $null} | `
ForEach-Object {$_.SetAttribute("Owner", "i:0#.f|membership|admin@MOD******")}

To import the taxonomy objects in SPO you will need to download and install the SharePoint Online Custom Cmdlets
This will actually install a new module called  Lapointe.SharePointOnline.PowerShell.
The command that we are going to use for the import is Import-SPOTaxonomy. For InputFile parameter we are going to use the variable from the above lines after we have set all identity attributes. If you are importing an object that is not a top level term store you should specify ParentTermStore(can get it with Get-SPOTermStore), if not you should switch on the parameter "Tenant". Before all that, you should connect to a site in your target tenant using Connect-SPOSite. Below are the lines to import the Legal term set group.

Connect-SPOSite -Url "https://mod******"
Import-SPOTaxonomy -InputFile $termXML -ParentTermStore (Get-SPOTermStore)

And this is it. Our Legal term set group is recreated and available in the entire tenant. One nice thing is that the GUIDs will be copied as well.

SharePoint Online Term Store

I hope that this was helpful and big thanks to Gary Lapointe for writing this great tools! The same approach should work for SharePoint 2013, but I have not tested this.

Monday 1 August 2016

Display related item repeating section in Nintex Workflow task form Nintex

Last week I worked with a customer that had repeating sections in Nintex Forms 2013 item form and Nintex Workflow 2013 workflow associated with the list. The customer had the requirement to be able to properly display the repeating section data in the workflow task forms. This requirement does not seems to be a straightforward to accomplish, but in this post I am going to demonstration that this is actually very simple and since I haven't found this in other sources I am sharing my solution and other useful links in this post.
The issue with the repeating section is that it is living as "section"only in the form. You can connect the entire repeating section to a field with type "Multiple lines of text" and you will see that our repeating section value is actually saved as XML.

Nintex Repeating Section

The item actually looks like this:

Nintex Repeating Section  Form

The first nice thing that is not directly related to the title of this post is to make the XML data looks better in List View. To accomplish this I am going to use the CSR (Client-side rendering) approach demonstrated in this post "Displaying Repeating Section as table in List View - the CSR approach". Adapting and applying the script to my list view gives me below result that is way better than the XML.

Repeating Section CSR

The way to make sense out of the repeating section in workflow is by querying the XML from the field. I will not go in dept since there are many resource on the subject. One thing that can help you in this task is this article "Nintex Forms/Workflow - Parsing Repeating Section Data" by Vadim Tabakman.
Now to the reason to write this post. If you have tasks in your workflow it will not be unusual you or your customer/users to want to see the related item properties right in the task form instead clicking on links. If you leave the form as it is, the best you can get is to view the repeating section as XML. You can edit the task forms with Nintex Forms for most of the task templates you will get a good starting point and all item properties controls will be created. However check out how this controls look like in three common tasks. From left to right Flexi Task, Request review and Request data.

Nintex Task Forms

As you can see the data from the repeating section is displayed as XML. Even in the "Request data" template where I have used "List item" control to display the related item. 
This was also the case with the customer, they had many "Request data" tasks and all of them were using "List item" control to display the related item.
The solution to this is very simple, just create a new repeating section in the task form, recreate all child controls by replicating the data type and the Name of the controls. Then connect the repeating section control to the related item field that contains the XML from the related item. Checkout how a Flexi task looks like if you recreate the repeating section as described.

Flexi Task Form

The data from the repeating section in the related item is represented as repeating section in the task form as well. Just make sure that the names of the controls are as in the original item, make the repeating section read only in the task form and you will be completely fine.
I tested the same approach in SharePoint 2016 and Office 365. However something interesting is happening with the XML as you can see in the screenshot below (the field is called Rep)

Task Form Office 365

The important thing is that the repeating section is visualized as expected. If I found what is happening with the XML might blog about it.
I hope that this was helpful!