How to enable custom scripts for a SharePoint site collection?

This article explains how to enable custom scripts for any SharePoint site. Different instructions apply to SharePoint Online, and on-premises scenarios (SharePoint 2013, 2016 and probably 2019).

Different solutions resolve the issue for different target sites:

  • Modern SharePoint Team Sites (attached to Office Groups)
  • SharePoint MySites
  • Personal OneDrive sites
  • Any SharePoint site collection created based on self-service site creation
  • SharePoint Online tenant root site collection
  • Any Classic SharePoint site collection

Errors and causes

Most typically I run into this when trying to insert a script web part with custom JavaScript into a site, that has NoScript enabled. That’s annoying – since script webparts are incredibly useful! Continue reading

How to fix Twitter embed in SharePoint

MFW another API just stops working without returning any errors

Twitter has always been good for developers, except for those who’d like to embed anything – hence making it possible to interact with their contents on other sites than Twitter. I guess it’s understandable, but they seem to hate anyone trying to embed feeds, searches or anything on their sites. And they express their hate by making the developers’ lives more difficult… This time by silently breaking the embed script in a way, that’s tricky to work around.

The Problem

In February 2018, Twitter announced that their widgets will start rendering fallback markup on IE9 and IE10 “in the near future”. Since SharePoint 2013 and 2016 are locked in document mode of IE 10 (i.e. using IE on SharePoint sites causes the user agent to be roughly that of IE10), that means trouble for SharePoint admins. Basically everyone, who’s using Twitter embeds on SharePoint, will be seeing empty feeds henceforth.

Well, save for SharePoint Online users, since SharePoint Online renders in whatever mode Microsoft chooses that week! For them, Twitter feeds will act like erratically, and I feel bad for whomever has to debug the behavior!

Anyway – that change’s immediate effects were surprisingly small. Widgets still rendered, until roughly 2 weeks ago (early May 2018). We started getting reports of Twitter being utterly broken – the embed being completely empty without any fallback rendering whatsoever. What’s worse, the embed fails silently, without any errors anywhere. Looking at the code, it looks like it just checks the user agent and ends the execution – thanks a lot, Twitter, much appreciated!

What’s even worse, is that it applies to IE11 users, too – if they’re in SharePoint, or on a site that’s running in compatibility mode (such as all sites on “intranet” zone). And since IE seems to be most actively used in large organizations, especially on internal communication channels, Twitter just decided to block the majority of IE users in the world from accessing their service via embeds. 

Great.

Luckily, there’s a dirty hack for this situation!

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How to show any page in a pop-up in SharePoint

This ages old trick deserves to be published – since it makes it easy to quickly show info from pretty much any another page on pretty much any classic SharePoint page (in a SharePoint-compatible pop-up). So, here goes:

Using SharePoint’s JavaScript library to open an arbitrary pop-up

Yes – SharePoint contains all the functionality out-of-the-box, and you almost don’t have to do anything yourself! Let’s see how this works.

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Opening a web part page in maintenance mode

SharePoint doesn't work as intended

Can’t access a web part page because of a broken web part? Yeah, that’s a classic issue – and it’s nicely ported into Modern world, too! In these cases, web part page maintenance mode comes in handy!

There’s a query parameter available for accessing it. For whatever reasons, it’s different for Classic and Modern mode, though. Why make things easy if you can make them dificult, right? 🙂  Continue reading

Troubleshooting: Anonymous access on a public SharePoint site collection failing

SharePoint vs. Anonymous

Ah, everyone’s favorite, classic topic! Debugging SharePoint On-Premises configuration issues is the best thing since sliced bread, right? This post is about allowing/enabling Anonymous Access to a site collection – a simple configuration, that “simply works” like once every ten times you try it.

Symptoms

A lot of different ways to hit your head on this one. In any case, your on-premises SharePoint doesn’t allow anonymous access to a site where you are trying to allow it. Most typically, they’ll just encounter 401 error when accessing the site, or they might be missing some of the content or styles, resulting in partially broken site.

Causes

Usually incorrect configuration or non-published resources. Multiple reasons can cause this, though, I’ll describe some of them below with the solutions.

Solutions

A lot of things to check – let’s go through all of the most typical issues here! Continue reading

Don’t remove the root web of your classic SharePoint Site Collection!

Let me explain SharePoint

A quick heads-up – if you remove the root site (or RootWeb, like it’s called in the code) of your classic SharePoint Site Collection, that’s going to cause you some grey hairs. Whereas you can always restore a normal site from the site collection recycle bin, the root site you can’t. You actually can’t access the recycle bin after removing the root site, nor can you make magic happen with PowerShell commandlets anymore.

Site Collection Recycle Bin

Site Collection Recycle Bin – where you could access your removed sites, if you still had the root site!

The Recycle Bin would be located at a URL like this: https://<yoursite>/_layouts/15/AdminRecycleBin.aspx, but after the site is removed, it won’t be there. 

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Using SharePoint Search Query Tool

SharePoint Search Query Tool

If you’re working on SharePoint deployments, and aren’t familiar with SharePoint Search Query Tool, you’re probably doing something wrong. Or you’ve gotten a really troublefree tenant and simple requirements.. 🙂 At least for technical issues, it’s the #1 tool for debugging what’s in the index and what isn’t. This blog post describes how to use it to investigate SharePoint Online Search index issues.

This blog post is about using SharePoint Search Query Tool to investigate search index issues in SharePoint Online. First of all, you can get the tool from here: https://sp2013searchtool.codeplex.com/.

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Updating files in an App Part (SharePoint Add-in)

SharePoint_aint_broken

Luckily, SharePoint Add-ins (or App Parts, like they were called earlier) are slowly getting killed and rooted out of all the sites they once were deployed to – and I don’t think anyone’s going to miss them. However, as so often happens with legacy implementations, there will still be thousands of sites, where SharePoint administrators and developers will be responsible for maintaining and developing the solutions further. This will occasionally require updating app parts, which is a process that kind of sucks. Here I’ll try to simplify the process.

Problem(s)

Not all the files in an app part are updated during the deployment and upgrade of the app. This is difficult to debug and leads to new functionality or enhancements not being applied to the target system.

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