12/17/2017

Topic Mapping for Course 20347 to Microsoft Certification Exams 70-346 and 70-347


Microsoft’s “20347A: Enabling and Managing Office 365” course is a little different in that it dpes not have a one-to-one mapping to a single Microsoft exam. For example, while course 20483 maps to exam 70-483, 20347 maps to two exams: 70-346 and 70-347.

Here’s a guide for my students who are working on the 70-346 and 70-347 exams…


The course:

The exams:

  • 70-346 - Managing Office 365 Identities and Requirements
  • 70-347 - Enabling Office 365 Services


In the content below note that:

  • Some 20347 modules are not on the exam:
    • Module 1 (overview and create a Office 365 tenant)
    • Module 3 (Microsoft Office)
  • Two exam 70-347 topics () are not in 20347!
    • Implement Microsoft Flow and PowerApps
    • Configure and manage Microsoft StaffHub




For details of each topic see:

  • 70-346 - Managing Office 365 Identities and Requirements
  • 70-347 - Enabling Office 365 Services


    Exam 70-346


    Manage cloud identities (15–20%)

    · 20347 Module 2 – Configure password management

    · 20347 Module 2 – Manage user and security groups

    · 20347 Module 2 – Manage cloud identities with Windows PowerShell


    Implement and manage identities by using Azure AD Connect (15–20%)

    · 20347 Module 4 – Prepare on-premises Active Directory for Azure AD Connect

    · 20347 Module 4 – Set up Azure AD Connect tool

    · 20347 Module 4 – Manage Active Directory users and groups with Azure AD Connect in place


    Implement and manage federated identities for single sign-on (SSO) (15–20%)

    · 20347 Module 13 – Plan requirements for Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS)

    · 20347 Module 13 – Install and manage AD FS servers

    · 20347 Module 13 – Install and manage WAP servers (Web Application Proxy)


    Monitor and troubleshoot Office 365 availability and usage (15–20%)

    · 20347 Module 12 – Analyze reports

    · 20347 Module 12 – Monitor service health

    · 20347 Module 12 – Isolate service interruption



    Exam 70-347

    Manage clients and end-user devices (20–25%)

    · 20347 Module 5 – Manage user-driven client deployments

    · 20347 Module 5 – Manage IT deployments of Office 365 ProPlus

    · 20347 Module 5 – Set up telemetry and reporting

    · 20347 Module 5 – Plan for Office clients


    Provision SharePoint Online site collections (20–25%)

    · 20347 Module 9 – Configure external user sharing

    · 20347 Module 9 – Create SharePoint site collection

    · 20347 Module 9 – Plan a collaboration solution


    Configure Exchange Online and Skype for Business Online for end users (20–25%)

    · 20347 Module 6 – Configure additional email addresses for users

    · 20347 Module 6 – Create and manage external contacts, resources, and groups

    · 20347 Module 11 – Configure personal archive policies

    · 20347 Module 8 – Configure Skype for Business Online end-user communication settings


    Plan for Exchange Online and Skype for Business Online (20–25%)

    · 20347 Module 7 – Manage antimalware and anti-spam policies

    · 20347 Module 7 – Recommend a mailbox migration strategy

    · 20347 Module 11 – Plan for Exchange Online

    · 20347 Module 7 – Manage Skype for Business


    Configure and Secure Office 365 services (20–25%)

    · 20347 Module 10 – Implement Microsoft Teams

    · 20347 Module 10 – Configure and manage OneDrive for Business

    · (not covered in 20347!) – Implement Microsoft Flow and PowerApps

    · (not covered in 20347!) – Configure and manage Microsoft StaffHub

    · 20347 Module 11 – Configure security and governance for Office 365 services


    .

    11/26/2017

    Working with PowerShell’s -ExpandProperty (or… messing with the pipeline)


    One of the great things about PowerShell is how easy and clear much of it is. But then there’s the other things that seem like magic. One of those is when you are dealing with objects that have properties that are collections of other objects.

    Here will look at three solutions for dealing with properties that are collections of other objects:

    • Using -ExpandProperty (and a custom column or two)
    • Using ForEach (and a couple variables)
    • Using ForEach (and a customized object)


    Get-DependentServices

    Sorry, there’s not such a cmdlet. Get-Service does return service objects that have a dependent services property. The only problem is that it returns a summary of the dependent services, and only a partial list. While you could pipe this to Format-List -Wrap, that will not give you any details about the dependent services.

    image


    Using -ExpandProperty

    You can use -ExpandProperty to expand any single property.

    image

    While the above works nicely for a single service, it creates a mess for a collection of services. Which DependentService belongs to which service?

    image

    Your first attempt to solve this will probably fail. In this case, it fails as both the Service object has a Name property and the DependentServices objects have a Name property.

    image

    Your second attempt may run without error, but we still can’t see which Service belongs with which DependentService. Adding a custom column seems to be ignored here:

    image

    This didn’t work as expected because a Service object has a default list of Select properties defined in an XML file somewhere. ( :-) )  Your custom column was passed through the pipeline, but as a NoteProperty (a PowerShell added custom property).

    image

    You will need to pipe the last attempt to another Select to see your NoteProperty.

    image

    So the steps are:

    • Create a custom column with the data to pass on down the pipeline.
         @{n="ParentServiceName";e={$_.Name}}
    • Expand the property with the collection of child objects.
         -ExpandProperty DependentServices
    • Pipe the child object and its new NoteProperty to a final Select.
         select ParentServiceName, Status, Name


    Using ForEach with Variables

    ExpandProperty works great when you need to expand a single property. When you need to futher manipulate the data before sending it on down the pipeline you may want to use ForEach, formally ForEach-Object.

        Get-Service | ForEach { some code } | Select ….

    As a simple ForEach, let’s list Services in color based on Status.

       Get-Service | foreach { 
          if ($_.Status -eq "Running") 
             { Write-Host $_.Name -ForegroundColor Green } else
             { Write-Host $_.Name -ForegroundColor Red }
       }

    image

    Write-Host does not add its content to the pipeline, so that’s the end of the line for this one.

    Using ForEach to solve our Service and DependentServices problem, we will create and then reuse a variable that contains the name of the service. (I call this “Store and Forward”.) The ForEach code block can contain one or many statements seperated by semicolons. The last object returned in the code block is forwarded into the pipeline.

       Get-Service | ForEach { $parent = $_.Name; $_.DependentServices } |
                             Select {$parent}, Status, Name

    This collects one or more pieces of data from the parent object (the Service) as variables, and then passes the DependentServices object on through the pipeline. On the other side of the pipeline you can continute expanding objects and using the variables as needed. Here’s the Service and DependentServices solution using “Store and Forward”.

    image


    Using ForEach with Custom Objects

    You can customize objects by adding “NoteProperties” to the object. You saw one form of this when we used the -ExpandProperty while listing other properties.

       image


    As a fun example, lets create a custom object that looks like a Service object, but has two properties named RunningDependentProperties and NonRunningDependentProperties.

    We will need:

    • A variable for the parent Service
    • Two variables to store the child services (Empty arrays created as $r=@().)
    • The Add-Member cmdlet to add a new NoteProperty to the Service object

    Get-Service |
         foreach {
           # initialize the arrays
           $r = @();
           $nr = @();
           # process all of the DependentServices
           ($_.DependentServices |
              foreach { if ($_.status -eq "Running") { $r += $_ } else {$nr += $_ } }
           );  `
           # attach the results to the original service
           Add-Member -InputObject $_ -name RunningDependentServices -Value $r -MemberType NoteProperty;
           Add-Member -InputObject $_ -name NonRunningDependentServices -Value $nr -MemberType NoteProperty;
           $_
         } |
    Select name, RunningDependentServices, NonRunningDependentServices


    So what’s it good for?

    How about a list of only services with running dependent services? Just add a WHERE before the SELECT:

        where { $_.RunningDependentServices.Count -gt 0 }

       image

    Or, how about a list of all of the services where the DependentService “applockerfltr” is not running? Just add a WHERE before the SELECT:

       where { "applockerfltr" -in $_.NonRunningDependentServices.Name }


    (If you are not reading this at http://TechTrainingNotes.blogspot.com… you are reading stolen content!)


    Tip:

    In addition to the expansion of properties that are collections, -ExpandProperty can also be used to return a simple datatype like a string or a number. By default, a Select returns a collection. In the example below note that a basic Select Status returns a property named “Status” that contains the value “Running”. If you pipe that to Get-Member you will see that it is still a ServiceController object. If you expand the property Status you will then get the simple string value of the property.

    image


    .

    11/24/2017

    SharePoint: Running JavaScript Code Only When in Page Edit Mode


    One of my old Content Editor Web Part “tricks” would not work when run in a Publishing page. I was hiding a web part when not in Page Edit mode. You can detect this mode by checking for ‘PageState.ViewModeIsEdit != "1"’. The PageState object is automatically created in normal site pages (“Wiki Pages”). It is also created in Publishing Pages, but only when the page has not been published. I.e. when the page is checked out, or in edit mode.

    My code originally looked like this:

      if ( PageState.ViewModeIsEdit != "1" )
      {  …code to run when not in edit mode… }


    As the PageState object does not exist in a Published page, I had to change it to this:

      if ( typeof PageState == 'undefined' || (PageState.ViewModeIsEdit != "1") )
      {  …code to run when not in edit mode… }


    Of course… none of the above works in SharePoint Online “Modern UI” pages!


    .

    10/26/2017

    SharePoint Audiences are not Security!


    In a nutshell… The SharePoint Audience feature is not security… ever. Audiences are used to filter (hide), not secure.

    Some may consider the use of Audiences as “security by obscurity”, but it is not security.



    From my SharePoint Security book…  (on Amazon – 2013/2016 version coming soon.)

    Audiences

    SharePoint audiences are used to target content to specific groups of people by hiding it from those who don’t need to see it. These groups can be SharePoint groups, Active Directory security groups, Active Directory distribution lists and SharePoint global audiences that are based on user profile data.

    Audience targeting can be used with:

    • List and library items, but only when displayed using a Content Query Web Part (part of the Publishing feature).
    • Entire web parts.
    • Top Link and Quick Launch navigation links. (when Publishing features are enabled)

    Note: The Audiences feature is only available with SharePoint Server Standard and Enterprise editions. SharePoint Foundation has no support for Audiences. (Audiences is part of User Profile Services.)

    Audiences are not security!

    Audiences are usually described as being used to "target" content to a selected group. Audiences could also be described as being used to hide content from all users except for the target audiences. This second form sounds like security, but absolutely is not. While a list item or document web part might have a target audience, and non-audience members won't see the web part, if it is not otherwise secured they can still get to the item by using a direct URL or find it from search.

    The Audience feature should be thought of as a filtering option, not security.


    To filter list items using an Audience

    List and library items can be filtered using the Audience feature using the Publishing feature’s Content Query Web Part. While the regular list web parts have an Audience feature, that feature hides the entire web part, not selected items. The Content Query Web Part is added to a site collection when you enable the Publishing features.

    Four steps are required to filter list content using an Audience:

    · Create a publishing site or enable the Publishing Infrastructure feature on a site collection.

    · Enable the Audience feature on the list.

    · “Tag” list items by Audience.

    · Display the list using the Content Query Web Part.

    Step 1: Enable the SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure Site Collection feature

    First make sure there are no other reasons to not enable the Publishing features. (Policy, support, governance, etc.)

    1. Go Settings (gear), Site Settings of the top level site of the site collection.

    2. In the Site Collection Administration section click Site collection features.

    3. If not already activated, activate the SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure feature.

    Step 2: Enable the Audience feature on the list or library

    1. Go the list or library, click the LIST or LIBRARY tab in the ribbon.

    2. Click List Settings or Library Settings.

    3. Click Audience targeting settings.

    4. Checkmark Enable audience targeting.
    A new field named Target Audiences will now be displayed in the New and Edit pages for the list.

    5. Click OK.

    Step 3: “Tag” list items by Audience

    1. Edit the properties of a list or library item.

    2. In the Audience area click the Browse button ( ) and select an Audience.

    3. Save the changes to the item.

    Step 4: Display the list using the Content Query Web Part

    1. Move to your page where you want to display the web part.

    2. Edit the page.

    3. Click the Insert ribbon tab and the Web Part button.

    4. Click on the Content Rollup category and then click the Content Query web part. (If the web part is not listed then you do not have the SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure site collection Feature enabled.)

    5. Click Add to add the web part to the page.

    6. Click the web part’s dropdown menu and click Edit Web Part.

    7. Expand the Query section.

    8. Select the Source (the scope) for the rollup from one of the following: Show items from all sites in this site collection, Show items from the following site and all subsites, or Show items from the following list.

    9. Select the List Type and the Content Type to select the content to display from the Source selected above.

    10. In the Audience Targeting section checkmark Apply audience filtering.

    11. Optionally add filters or Presentation options.

    12. Click OK to save your web part changes.

    13. Save the page and test the results.

    Note: the Target Audience option in the Advanced section of the web part’s property panel is used to control if the entire web part will be displayed for an audience.

    Search Web Parts vs the CQWP

    Microsoft currently recommends using the Search Web Parts in many of the places that we might have used the CQWP. While search uses cached content, and can be quite a bit faster, the data is only as current as the last search crawl. (I.e. Completed tasks may still display as incomplete.) The CQWP is always using live data and can be Audience filtered.

    Resources for the CQWP:

    Display data from multiple lists with the Content Query Web Part:
    https://support.office.com/en-US/article/Display-a-dynamic-view-of-content-on-a-page-by-adding-the-Content-Query-Web-Part-3e35bd58-d159-43d6-bfc7-77878b4a856d (or just do a web search for “Display a dynamic view of content on a page by adding the Content Query Web Part”)


    To show web parts for an Audience

    You can use Audiences to hide an entire web part from all users except for the selected audiences. Simply edit the web part, expand the Advanced section and select an audience.

    Note: The SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure Site Collection feature is not needed for web part Audience filtering.


    To display a Quick Launch or Top Link Bar link for an Audience

    Links in the Quick Launch and the Top Link Bar can be filtered by Audience when the Publishing Infrastructure feature has been activated. Once this feature has been activated the Quick Launch and Top Link Bar options are replaced with a single Site Settings option named Navigation. In the Navigation page Quick Launch is called Current Navigation and the Top Link Bar is called Global Navigation.

    Enable the SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure Site Collection feature:

    1. Go Settings (gear), Site Settings of the top level site of the site collection.

    2. In the Site Collection Administration section click Site collection features.

    3. If not already activated, activate the SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure feature.

    To filter navigation links:

    1. Go Settings (gear), Site Settings.

    2. In the Look and Feel section click Navigation.

    3. Scroll down to the Navigation Editing and Sorting section of the page.

    4. Add or edit a Heading or a Link.

    5. In the Audience area click the Browse button ( ) and select an Audience.

    6. Set the Title, URL and other options as desired and click OK.

    7. Test! The new navigation item should only be displayed for the selected Audiences.

    10/23/2017

    Office 365 / SharePoint Online – Where’s Site Settings This Week?


    SharePoint Online is kind of like the weather in Cincinnati… if you don’t like it, hang around, it will change.

    Where’s Site Settings?

    It depends… today, 10/23/2017 it’s here:

    • Classic UI pages: It’s where it has always been… in the Settings (gear) menu.
    • Modern UI pages: It’s…  Settings (gear), Site Info, Site Information, and then at the bottom of the popup panel, click “View all site settings”.
    • Modern UI Site Contents page: Top right corner, click Settings


    I wonder will it will be next week?


    Purpose of the change?

    No real clue… If it was to surface the most often used Site Settings, they are not the ones I use most often. Are the most often used options on your list Delete Site, rename the site or change the description or icon.

    image

    4/13/2017

    A SharePoint REST API Tester with an AJAX and Workflow Writer

     

    A JavaScript project to use with a Content Editor Web Part to test SharePoint REST API calls, and create AJAX sample code and SharePoint Designer 2013 Workflow steps. It includes over 40 ready to test samples to query SharePoint and to create and delete items, folders, lists and sites.

    While learning the SharePoint REST API, I created a little REST tester Content Editor Web Part. Later when I explored SharePoint 2013 Workflow REST calls I expanded the tool to include step by step instructions to add the calls to a workflow. After presenting this at the Cincinnati SharePoint User Group and at the Nashville SharePoint Saturday I decided to take the time to clean it up a bit and share it here.

    What you will need:

    You can also download the file from the GitHub project.



    This is the main screen.

    image

    This is partial list of the sample REST calls. A more complete list is at the end of this article, and I’ll be adding more over time.

    imageimageimage

     

    The in the page test of a REST call.

    image

     

    The generated AJAX Code Sample

    image

     

    The SharePoint 2013 Workflow Steps for the Web Service Call

    image

     

    Steps to install to your SharePoint Site
    1. If your master page is not already loading jQuery, download jQuery (just about any version) and upload to the Site Pages library. 
    2. Download the SharePointRESTtester.html file to your PC. 
    3. Edit the file and update the line that loads jQuery to point your jQuery file or CDN.
    4. If your master page already loads jQuery, then delete the <script> block that loads the jQuery file.(the first line of the file)
    5. Upload the SharePointRESTtester.html file to your Site Pages library. (Copy the URL to the file.)
    6. Add a Web Part Page to your project:
      1. In the Site Pages library, click the FILES ribbon, click New Document and click Web Part Page.
      2. Enter a page name like "SharePointRESTtester". 
      3. From the library dropdown select Site Pages
      4. Click Create.
    7. Click Add a Web Part
    8. Add a Content Editor Web Part.
    9. Click the web part's dropdown and click Edit Web Part.
    10. Enter or paste the path to the SharePointRESTtester.html file.
    11. Click OK and then in the ribbon click Stop Editing.
    12. You should now see the tester. Click the dropdown and you should see data in the boxes. If not, then the jQuery library did not get loaded.
    13. Add to your Quick Launch or your Follow list!

     

    To use the tester…
    1. Select a sample from the dropdown, or enter your own URL, Method, Header JSON and if needed, the Body JSON.
    2. Find the Do It! button. The first check box will actually run the code. *** Warning Will Robinson, stuff could get added, changed or deleted! ***
    3. The second and third checkboxes simple hide or show the JavaScript Ajax code and the SharePoint 2013 workflow steps.

     

    SharePoint REST Examples for Queries

    • Get information about the current site collection.
    • Get information about the current web.
    • Get the Regional Settings for the current web.
    • Get the Time Zone for the current web.
    • Get SharePoint's list of Time Zones.
    • Get a list of all webs below the current web.
    • Get the primary site collection administrator (Owner).
    • Get the primary site collection Secondary Contact.
    • Get a web's LastItemModifiedDate
    • Get a list of lists from the current web. (all data)
    • Get a list of lists from the current web. (Just the title)
    • Get a count of items in a library.
    • Get a count of items in a library. (Option #2)
    • Get all items in a list/library.
    • Get all items in a library with filename and path.
    • Get a list folder's properties.
    • Get a count of items in a list folder.
    • Get all items in a list/library filtered by date.
    • Get all items in web level recycle bin.
    • Get selected properties of all items in web level recycle bin.
    • Get all items in a list/library filtered by a range of dates.
    • Search
    • People Search

    SharePoint REST Examples for Lists

    • Create a new list
    • Add a new item to a list
    • Add a new folder to a list
    • Delete an item from a list using ID
    • Delete an item, to the Recycle Bin, from a list using ID
    • Update an item using ID
    • Delete a list
    • Delete a list to the Recycle Bin

    SharePoint REST Examples for Sites

    • Create a new subsite.
    • Delete a site (Warning Will Robinson! Does not go to the Recycle Bin!)

    SharePoint REST Examples for User Profiles

    • Get User Profile info about the current user.
    • Get all User Profile properties for a user.
    • Get User Profile info about a user's manager.

    SharePoint REST Examples for Permissions

    • Get a list of Role Definitions for a site.
    • Get a list of Site Users. The ID is useful when setting permissions.
    • Get a list of Site Groups. The ID is useful when setting permissions.
    • Get a list of Site Groups by name.
    • Get a list of Site Groups where name contains 'string'.
    • Break inheritance on a subsite.
    • Break inheritance on a list.
    • Break inheritance on a list item.
    • Grant permissions (Role Assignment) on a list.
    • Remove permissions (Role Assignment) on a list.

    SharePoint REST Examples for Filter Select and OrderBy

    • Get a list of Site Users who are not Site Collection admins. Get selected fields and sort.

    SharePoint REST Examples for SharePoint 2010 style REST - _vti_bin/ListData.svc

    • Get a list of lists and libraries (EntitySets).
    • Find list items greater than a date.
    • Find list items between two dates.

     

    .

    3/31/2017

    SharePoint Date Search Tips

     

    Applies to SharePoint 2013 and later.

     

    A few SharePoint Search Tips!

     

    Time Zone

    Search internally stores dates in Universal Time. Because of this, a file uploaded at “2/7/2017 10:50 PM EST” will not be found with a search for “Write=2/7/2017” (or “LastUpdateDate=2/7/2017”). That file will be found with a search using “Write=2/8/2017”.

     

    Date Ranges

    You can create searches on date ranges using “..”.

          Example: write=2/1/2017..2/8/2017

     

    Named Date Ranges

    You can also use the names of some date ranges. Quotes are required around any range name that includes a space.

         Example: write="this week"

        image

    The supported ranges are:

    • today
    • yesterday
    • this week
    • this month
    • last month
    • this year
    • last year

    But sadly… no “"last week”!

     

    Comparison Operators

    Note: All of the following operators work with the DateTime, Integer, Decimal and Double data types.

    Operator

     
     

    Equals

    <

    Less than

    >

    Greater than

    <=

    Less than or equal to

    >=

    Greater than or equal to

    <>

    Not equal to

    ..

    Range

     

    .

    11/17/2016

    Creating Random Numbers in SharePoint Calculated Columns

     

    One of my examples for tonight’s Cincinnati SharePoint User Group meeting! See you there!

     

    I wanted to add a "motivational" message to a list of new sales. To be "fair" (i.e. I did not want to think and create a good algorithm!) I wanted the messages to be random. Something like this:

       image

    But… Calculated Columns do not support the Excel RAND() or RANDBETWEEN() functions.

     

    So, how to get a random number???

    Calculated columns do support the =Now() function. This returns a numeric value that represents the current date and time. If formatted as a Date, or Date and Time, then you will see the current date. But, if you format it as Single Line of Text you will see something like: 42,691.3977137731, or a few seconds later: 42,691.3983521875. The last number starts to look like a random number! And if accurate, it changes every .0000000001 of a day, or about every 0.00000864 seconds. Close enough for me.

     

    Get a random number between 0 and 9.

    This one looks easy, just pull off the last digit from NOW()!

        =RIGHT( NOW() ,1)

    But.. there’s one flaw with this… The last digit of a fractional value is never zero!  (I.e. you will never see .111111110 unless custom formatted.)

    So we need to pull off the next to last digit!

      =LEFT( RIGHT( NOW() ,2) ,1 )

    image

    image

     

    Get a random number between 1 and 5

    With just a little math we can limit the range a bit. As we don’t want the zero value we can skip the LEFT function for this one.

       =ROUND( RIGHT( NOW()) / 2+0.5 ,0)

       image

    Here’s a sample:

       image

     

    Get a random number between 0 and 999.

    If you need bigger numbers, just return more digits:

        =RIGHT(NOW(),3)

    As RIGHT creates a string (text), you will get leading zeros (“012”). To remove the leading zeros just do some math!

        = 0 + RIGHT(NOW(),3)

       image

    But… (there’s always a “but”), this will never return a value that ends with a zero. So… back to the LEFT function:

        =LEFT( RIGHT(NOW(),4), 3)

    I.e. get the left three of the right four digits…

    image

     

    Random Messages?

    This little exercise started out to create random messages. All we need to do is combine a random number with the CHOOSE function. As CHOOSE starts with item 1 and not item 0, we will need to add one to the random number.

       =CHOOSE( LEFT( RIGHT( NOW() ,2), 1) + 1, "Good Job", "Wow!", "Good Work", "Thanks!", "Could be better",
                          "Gold star for you!", "a free coffee for you!",":-)", "You are the MAX!","Do it again!" )

    image

     

    Notes

    • These are not guaranteed to be mathematically pure random numbers!
    • The values depend on the exact instant that an item is added to a list and will change with each edit. (But will not change with each view.)

    .

    11/16/2016

    Using PATCH with PowerShell’s Invoke-RestMethod

     

    A story about a bug, an inconsistency and a solution…

     

    I recently did a demo of using PowerShell's Invoke-RestMethod to create, read, update and delete (CRUD) data to a REST service written using ASP.NET's WEBAPI project template and ODATA controllers. Everything worked pretty much as expected except for using the PATCH method to change an existing item.

    My GET worked as expected:

      Invoke-RestMethod 'http://localhost:41613/odata/Courses' | select -ExpandProperty value

    image_thumb[21]

     

    My DELETE worked as expected:

      Invoke-RestMethod 'http://localhost:41613/odata/Courses(33)' -Method DELETE

     

    My POST (create) worked as expected:

      $bodynew = @{ CourseCode='aa111'; Description='test'; Category='test'; Title='Test Course'}
      invoke-restmethod 'http://localhost:41613/odata/Courses' -Method POST -Body $bodynew

    image_thumb[22]

     

    My PATCH (and MERGE) failed!

      $bodyupdate = @{ Title='Updated Title!'}
      invoke-restmethod 'http://localhost:41613/odata/Courses(34)' -Method POST -Body $bodyupdate

    image_thumb[23]

    At least that gave me two hints… "no body" and "The inferred media type 'application/octet-stream' is not supported for this resource." The second one was probably the easiest to fix… tell it that I'm sending JSON.

       $headerJSON = @{ "content-type" = "application/json;odata=verbose"}

    image_thumb[24]

    This got past the Invoke-RestMethod error when using PowerShell 4, but got a new error when using PowerShell 3! "Invoke-RestMethod : The 'content-type' header must be modified using the appropriate property or method." (it's a bug!) But now my ASP.NET WebApi application threw an error, "NullReferenceException". No data was received! (Remember the "no data" error?) So, maybe it was not in the expected format. When using the jQuery AJAX method you serialize your object into JSON before sending. Maybe that would work here:

      $bodyupdateAsJSON = @{ Title='Updated Title!'} | ConvertTo-Json
      Invoke-RestMethod 'http://localhost:41613/odata/Courses(34)' -Method PATCH -Body $bodyupdateAsJSON
          -Headers $headerJSON

    image_thumb[25]

      Bingo!

     

    The Question then is…

    Why can I pass a -Body for a create (POST) without any additional work, but when I pass a -Body with an update (PATCH or MERGE), I have to pass the data as JSON and add a header to state that I'm sending JSON?

     

    Will POST work with those two changes?

    Actually it will! Invoke-RestMethod will do a POST using default PowerShell objects for -Body as long has you don't add a -Header that specifies JSON as the format. Invoke-RestMethod will also do a POST using JSON data as long as you do supply the right -Header. It's probably a best practice to be consistent and explicitly use JSON for both.

    image_thumb[26]

     

    Live and learn…

     

     

    Details:

    Tested with PowerShell 3.0 and 4.0. PowerShell 3.0 fails when trying to set a header for JSON with "Invoke-RestMethod : The 'content-type' header must be modified using the appropriate property or method." (It's a bug!)

    The .NET application:

    • Visual Studio 2015 ASP.NET Web API project with ODATA controllers
    • .NET Framework 4.5.2
    • Entity Framework 6.0
    • SQL Server in Azure
    • Test project hosted in Azure.

    .

    10/22/2016

    Forest and Trees Problem: "A network-related or instance-specific error occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server"

     

    A "Can't see the tree for the forest" problem.


    image_thumb[11]
    There's an old phrase, "Can't see the forest for the trees", that in reverse, "Can't see the tree for the forest", applies to a recent "demo fail" of mine.

    During a break in a C# class I was delivering last week I typed up a little demo for accessing SQL Server, and got an error. A quick read of the error said that it couldn't find the server, and it hinted at a protocol error.  

    Additional information: A network-related or instance-specific error occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server. The server was not found or was not accessible. Verify that the instance name is correct and that SQL Server is configured to allow remote connections. (provider: Named Pipes Provider, error: 40 - Could not open a connection to SQL Server)

        image_thumb[12]

     

    Seeing the big "Named Pipes" tree standing there… I Binged and Googled and found all kinds of stuff… that did not help.

    While the answer to the problem was clearly stated in the message above, "Verify the instance name is correct", I didn't see it as I was looking at all of the other "trees" in that little code forest. The "tree" that I needed to deal with in this case was a C# beginner error of putting a backslash in a string. (I copy and pasted it without looking at it!) The back slash is an escape character to flag the next character as a special code. In this case "\v" is the code for a Vertical Tab. So, I had created a connection string looking for a server named "(localdb)VerticalTab11.0".

    image

    What made this little error a bit painful was that in this class I had mentioned escape characters in C#, and how to deal with them, at least four times! Oh well…

    To solve the problem, escape the escape character ("(localdb)\\v11.0") or mark the entire string as a literal string with the At sign ("con.ConnectionString = @"Data Source=(localdb)\v11.0 …").

       image

    For a list of the C# escape characters see this MSDN article:
       https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/h21280bw.aspx

    .

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