What a busy, and exciting time it has been over the past few weeks full of new releases into Office 365. Today, I’m focusing on something that may not be new and something that isn’t really an ‘official’ Microsoft product either. Introducing: The Office 365 Matter Center.
The Office 365 Matter Center was developed by Microsoft’s Corporate, External, Legal Affairs (CELA), it’s a SharePoint based document management tool making it easier for both Legal and Business Professionals to organize files by matter.
This blog article will focus on some of the key learning’s and top tips for deploying the Office 365 Matter Center.
Tip #1 –
Use Visual Studio 2015, by using 2017 the solution isn’t totally compatible and requires the solution to be upgraded. The results by upgrading aren’t very consistent and will most likely lead to a failed deployment. So for now, keep using Visual Studio 2015!
Tip #2 –
While the documentation lists the following as pre-requisites, it doesn’t really explain how to do so.
Make sure Visual Studio has the following features installed:
- Microsoft Office Developer Tools
- Microsoft Web Developer Tools
- PowerShell Tools for Visual Studio
Download and Run Microsoft Web Installer
Once the Web Installer loads, ensure the following are also downloaded and installed;
- Microsoft Azure SDK for .NET (VS 2016) – 3.0
- SharePoint Online Management Shell
Tip #3 –
Filling out the excel spreadsheet for the first time.
One of the pre-requisites to deploying Office 365 Matter Center, is to fill out a spreadsheet that adds pages to the root tenant url, content types to the content type hub, and configuration lists to the app catalog.
|CatalogSiteURL||https://contoso.sharepoint.com/sites/apps (this is the app catalog site, make sure an app catalog has been provisioned)|
With the owners group and Visitors group column, add a user full name to each (example, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Alternatively, write NA as you cannot leave this column empty.
Tip #4 –
When you run the Deploy-AzureResourceGrop.ps1 you will be requested to provide a few pieces of information, these are pretty straight forward but there are some gotcha’s with names, spaces and capitalization. Below I’ve explained a few of the important bits of mandatory information.
ResourceGroupLocation – this is the location that you would like to deploy the Azure Resource Group to, for those in Australia I’ve been using “Southeast Asia”
ResourceGroupName – Obviously a simple one, but is important to get right. Choose a name with no spaces, ensure that the name you chose here is the same you choose for the next step WebAppName, completing this provides consistency.
WebAppName – The webapp name is to be the name of the web application, this will be used in the url of the Azure App, again keep this consistent with the Resource Group Name if you can.
CentralRepositoryUrl – This is the url of your app catalog, it’s not documented anywhere so this can may be confusing.
Don’t get bogged down populating the Sample data, you can create this through the system later.
Tip #5 –
Not ideal, but depending on the version and when you download the package there may be a hard-coded reference to ‘Microsoft’, this does cause issues with creating matters and having matters roll up to display on the Home page. This may not be valid at the time of reading but be sure to check the createMatter.controller.js located at –
“\tree\master\cloud\src\solution\Microsoft.Legal.MatterCenter.Web\wwwroot\app\matter\createMatter.controller.js” for a hard coded Microsoft reference.
Check line 2232 if you see a reference to Microsoft, change this to cm.selectedClientName
Tip #6 –
I’ve only seen this happen once, but on occasion you may have an issue with provisioning matter’s and an error referring to content types. I’ve found that it’s because the content types are either not published or because the because the managed metadata fields are not mapped to a term.
If the error you are receiving is referring to managed metadata. Browse to your content type hub, go into the site columns and make sure that each managed metadata field under the “_Matter Center” group has a term selected.
There is so much business benefit to deploying the Office 365 Matter Center, it’s definitely worthwhile the invested time to deploy.
Thanks for reading.
James Di Blasi