SharePoint + Office Online

Collaborate on documents: SharePoint 2016. Part 2. Configure external access

This post continues the series of articles about SharePoint Server. In the first part, we looked at features for collaborating using Office Online and the desktop version of MS Office programs. This article will show you how to start and publish using SharePoint + Office Online.

We consider the case when it is important for the company to keep all the infrastructure and data stored in it under their control. In other words, with an extensive on-premise SharePoint 2016 farm.

Let’s get started.

DNS

In our case, we use Split DNS where the names for internal and external areas are the same.

For example: External domain servilon.com, external names: sp2016.servilon.com and oos2016.servilon.com.

Solution: On the internal DNS, add two new Forward Lookup Zones with the corresponding names: sp2016.servilon.com and oos2016.servilon.com.

add two new Forward Lookup Zones internal DNS

Add an A amount of records indicating the local address of the server in each zone:

internal DNS new host

internal DNS new host

Certificate

Issue a certificate for both services right away. We added both names to the subject alternative name (SAN): sp2016.servilon.com and oos2016.servilon.com. To avoid problems on devices outside of the domain, you need to issue your certificate by a trusted certification authority.

Certificate

We will mention this certification three more times. It will be used on the SharePoint Server (in IIS), on the Office Online Server, and for Application Request Routing (ARR) for publishing sites.

 SP Settings

Here we will skip the SharePoint Server installation process, because this topic has been covered in numerous articles, walkthroughs, and TechNet. Note that Microsoft is pushing us to cooperate and communicate in its Windows 2016 Server – versioning settings are already configured to work together by default for a document’s library (Library> Library Settings> Versioning Settings)
Document Version History is set to “Create major versions”;

Require Check Out is set to “NO”.

SharePoint Server settings

It’s time to remember security and our certificate, so we specify it in the Bindings for our SP site.

Bindings for SP site

OOS Settings

MS says the minimum hardware requirements are identical to the requirements for SharePoint Server 2016:

  • RAM: 12GB
  • Processor: 64-bit, quad
  • HDD: 80GB

In reality, the test environment RAM can be significantly cut back.

  1. Install the .NET Framework 4.5.2 on the server;
  1. Install the necessary components by OS command below:

Install-WindowsFeature Web-Server, Web-Mgmt-Tools, Web-Mgmt-Console, Web-WebServer, Web-Common-Http, Web-Default-Doc, Web-Static-Content, Web-Performance, Web-Stat-Compression, Web-Dyn-Compression, Web-Security, Web-Filtering, Web-Windows-Auth, Web-App-Dev, Web-Net-Ext45, Web-Asp-Net45, Web-ISAPI-Ext, Web-ISAPI-Filter, Web-Includes, InkandHandwritingServices, Windows-Identity-Foundation

  1. After installation is finished, reboot the system;
  2. Run the OOS installation, the installation wizard only asks to specify the installation path;
  3. Configure the OOS farm (using a secure connection – https):
    • Import the previously issued certificate.
    • Create the OOS farm using a PS command:

New-OfficeWebAppsFarm -InternalURL “https://oos.contoso.com” -ExternalURL “https://oos.contoso.com” -CertificateName “Certificate Friendly Name”

create the OOS farm

To enable editing mode on OOS, use the following PS command:

Set-OfficeWebAppsFarm -EditingEnabled

InternalURL and ExternalURL are identical as configured by Split DNS.

Back on the SharePoint server, there are just two commands:

1. In SharePoint 2016 Management Shell run the following command as an administrator:

New-SPWOPIBinding -ServerName “OOS server name”

SharePoint 2016 Management Shell administrator

2. Since our SharePoint is used both internally and externally, you should change the infrastructure zone to external-https:

Set-SPWOPIZone -zone “external-https”

SharePoint 2016 Management Shell administrator

Configure publishing on ARR

  1. Import our certificate in IIS.
  1. Specify its other Bindings.

Configure publishing on ARR

Configure publishing on ARR

Create 2 farms for sp2016.servilon.com and oos2016.servilon.com.

Edit URL Rewrite at the server level

Configure publishing on ARR

Configure publishing on ARR

For SP:

  1. Add a Condition

add a condition SP

  1. Paste https:// in Action Properties

Repeat the same actions for OOS.

As a result, we get the following settings:

After editing IIS, restart the service using the following command – iisreset.

You’re done! Now you have oos2016.servilon.com server as a server used for running in a browser and on mobile devices, and sp2016.servilon.com as a connection point to the SharePoint site.

In the next part, I will try to answer questions asked about OneDrive for Business.

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SharePoint 2016

Collaborate on documents with Microsoft: SharePoint 2016, Office Online and everything else. Part 1: What is it?

But Microsoft has been unfailingly persistent – they continue to improve their products all the time, on multiple levels as a result, now we can talk about the established infrastructure of document collaboration offered by Microsoft. It has two classes of software:

  1. Means of public access to documents, including cataloging, version control, distribution of rights and other similar server features. These tools are divided into cloud solutions (OneDriveSharePoint Online) and on-premise – the SharePoint 2016 Server – deployed in the infrastructure of the customer.
  2. Document editing tools. These include the desktop suite of Microsoft Office application (which was also updated recently), newly-minted mobile versions of Office, initially focused on co-authoring documents, and, the cherry on the cake – its own implementation of server online editing Office Online apps documents (previously known under the name of Office Web Apps).

All this splendor probably does not make Microsoft quite the “Google Docs killer” of so much repute among tech-journalists, but provides a good alternative to the consumer. This is especially true of corporate customers who, already have the MS infrastructure (AD, Exchange, Skype for Business), and those who need, for security-purposes, to store all or part of their information locally. For such customers, new opportunities to work with documents from Microsoft look particularly attractive.

As a result, we thought that we should inform our prospective clients and the general public about these developments, and how to install and configure all this stuff. We’ll also try to get to a comparison with alternative services. Not everybody has time for such a long read, so we’ve decided to split this post into several articles. This is the first one. Here, we’ll go through the MS features in each of the Microsoft products that enable document co-editing: Office Online, MS Office for desktop and also for mobile devices. It is at this point that we warn you – there will be a lot of attention to the finer points of this, so an impatient reader can go directly to “conclusions” at the end of the post. For everybody else, fasten your seat-belts!

Office Online

Office Online Server is quite an interesting application, not yet well known to everyone. Firstly, it allows users to reduce the number of licenses and MS Office installations. Secondly, it enables more ways to access and edit documents – in a nutshell, you only need a browser. Thirdly, it features the best suite of Microsoft collaboration tools to date. Let’s take a closer look.

Word Online

Word Online

Editing of the document in Office Online can be done by multiple users at the same time, with the changes and the username corresponding to each edit appearing instantly to the other co-authors. Users can simultaneously edit the same section of text, even in one paragraph.

see when someone changing data the same time

Excel Online

Edit in Exel Online icon

In Excel Online, changes in the cell will be displayed to the other co-authors only after an author moves to the next cell. In the meantime, this cell remains active and can be changed by multiple users.

Co-authoring in Exel Online

PowerPoint Online

Edit in PowerPoint Online icon

PowerPoint Online allows you to work simultaneously on one slide, but it is better to work on different elements, otherwise users will not see each other’s real time changes.

PowerPoint Online allows you to work simultaneously on one slide

Office Desktop Version

Working with documents through Office Online is a pleasant experience, except when it comes to significant changes to the formatting. If you want to insert a chart, smart art, table of contents, macros, format tables, use a formula, etc. then you have to use the desktop version of the software. We could write a separate article about the difference between desktop and online functionality. Here, we will review the differences related to the co-authored work.

MS Word

In this application, it is not possible for two different people to edit the same paragraph of text simultaneously.

co-autoring word 2016

The changes will be visible to the other co-authors only after the author saves them and other users update the document.

Save and update is integrated into the Save icon  (Ctrl + S)f315bee01822438387a5e08b0ba77f6f. Available updates are displayed in an icon next to the author’s name.

co-autoring word online 2016

MS Excel

In Excel, simultaneous editing of the same document is not possible. Two options are possible – use the online version,

Someone else has this workbook locked error

or get in line.

File in use by someone else

MS PowerPoint

On the contrary, in PowerPoint, simultaneous co-editing is possible. Co-editors can see that someone else is working on a presentation through the “Share” panel.

PowerPoint co-editing is possible

Available updates are signaled by the inconspicuous ‘Updates Available” status. The status appears only after the author saves changes, while the changes themselves appear after a document has been updated using the Save icon (Ctrl + S).

Status of co-editing of file

Mobile devices

Microsoft Word App and Microsoft PowerPoint App

When working on Android, a paragraph or element on which you are working is not blocked, and two co-editors can simultaneously work with it – edits are publicly displayed a very short time later. The fact that someone else is working on the same element, can be seen in the “Share” menu.

The fact that someone else is working on the same element on Android

In the case of the IPhone with changes in the message about the updates to the proposal Apply / Cancel. It would be interesting to test more on Windows Phone with Windows 10.

Microsoft Excel App

Real time collaboration in Excel App is not supported.

File has locked by someone

Conclusions

In general, co-editing tools from Microsoft can be considered functional, although different components implement it differently. The process of co-editing is best implemented in Office Online as it represents real co-working. You can add a feature which displays the names of simultaneous co-editors of documents (moving across your screen). But, unfortunately, for full editing functionality you’d still have to resort to the desktop version of the program, which still needs a “save” button. In addition, the process of working together is not made so user-friendly (Excel suffers most, where things remain all at check-in and check-out level).

In the next post, we’ll show you how to deploy on-premise components for co-authoring and sharing within an enterprise infrastructure. SharePoint 2016 Farm, Office Online Server, the publication – that will all be discussed. Stay tuned.

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