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My Favourite Microsoft Teams Hidden Features

Microsoft Teams is a very big program, essentially combining together equivalent functionality to Skype, Slack, Zoom, Google Drive, VOIP phone systems, and a few more all into one… plus the ability to develop your own apps for it. New features keep coming at a rapid pace. That makes it easy to miss some of the helpful little things that Teams offers. I’ll have more posts soon about organization admin settings and policies for Teams, but here are a few of my favourite tricks that most typical users can take advantage of in their own workflows but may not be obvious.

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Web Hosting Distinctions

There’s a confusing thing that has come up with several clients who don’t know all the intricacies of website work (completely understandably; that’s why they pay me). When we talk about hosting services around website work, there are a few different things we could be referring to: the domain, the DNS, the website content, and email. To make it more confusing, sometimes all of them are with the same provider and other times they’ve divided up in different combinations.

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Google vs Microsoft Handling of Personal and Business Accounts

I recently started doing an email migration into Google Workspace. As I was creating the users, I encountered a wrinkle: one of the email addresses already had a personal Google account associated with it. Google gave me two options:

  1. Notify the user of the personal account, prompting them to allow the account to be claimed by the organization.
  2. Create a different user.

There was no option to allow the email to be associated with both a personal and a business account at the same time.

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Movie Directory Part 4: Import

This continues a short series about a movie directory personal project exploring Power Apps and Dataverse. In the first three posts, I’ve laid out the data structure in Dataverse and the app itself. This post will tackle how I was able to quickly fill in the 300+ movies in our collection converting from our previous system, files on a computer arranged for use on a Plex server. This will all be done in Power Automate.

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Microsoft Excel vs SharePoint Lists

I’ve been asked the question before: when should I use Microsoft Excel and when should I use SharePoint lists? At first I didn’t have a great answer, but I thought about it, looked into it a bit more, and this is what I settled on:

Excel is better when you need to do operations on the whole data set. SharePoint lists are better when the list items stand more-or-less as independent objects.

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CiviCRM Personal Campaign Pages

Have you ever taken part in a non-profit fundraising event where you get your own personal webpage that you can direct people to as a way for them to sponsor you directly in the event? Personally I am happy to participate in the Coldest Night of the Year every year, which does have this type of system (not in CiviCRM).

In the language of CiviCRM, these are Personal Campaign Pages. While CiviCRM does offer this functionality, it has some major holes in it. Like a few areas of CiviCRM, it feels like somebody threw it together quickly and then mostly forgot about it. Consequently, I had a hard time ever recommending it as a good solution, even if a client was already heavily using CiviCRM happily. Here’s the official documentation.

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Movie Directory Part 1: The Data

I recently decided to do more experimentation with Dataverse (formerly Common Data Service) in the Power Platform. I did this by making myself an app to solve a need I have myself: a movie directory app. I wanted to be able to:

  • Track in what formats I own a movie (Blu-ray, DVD, digital)
  • Link to JustWatch to find where I could stream a movie
  • Assign a movie to different lists
  • Streamline a process for grabbing the movie cover image
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