Digital Transformation – the change, cloud and Microservices

When most businesses have claimed to turned into complete digital or going through digital transformation, It is important that we understand what it means actually. The change need to be in every aspect of business from HR to Sales, from marketing to IT, from finance to external communication. True Digital transformation strategy should aim to empower not only customers but also end-users, stakeholders, employees and everyone involved in supporting business process and organisation.

Digital transformation is continuous and ongoing process. Growth, getting more users and more usability of the service with maintaining quality is the heart of every business. Your business plan , product roadmap should lead towards (high -growth if you are a startup)  scalable services (scalable resources ), available from anywhere (cloud resources).

Change is constant

Executives need to build strategy around constant change. continuous improvement in the services and operation to reflect recent requirements. Companies need to build culture of embracing constant change by changing gradually by small improvements that lead to bigger outcome at the end. All small change that lead to be empowering your team, investing in your employees and customers, acquiring startups for innovations or investing in innovation and research. Taking little calculative risks to try new things is very essential for innovation and improvement in services and products.

Moving to Cloud

Most of the IT cost of business is in maintenance of software services and resources and towards man hours invested in this task. By storing software resources in the cloud you will only pay for the services or resources you use per hours. Cloud resources are scalable and reliable, hence you can scale up or down as per your business needs. Almost all businesses consider the upfront price of the software and fail to project real maintenance and support cost of the software services which lead to keep total ownership of everything in-house and it is really costly compare to cloud resources.

Iaas (Infrastructure as a service) – This provides basic compute processing, storage , networking services which can be accessed from anywhere. Owners get maximum control on resources and can choose their operating system, security rules. With control, owners also need to manage the resources like installing updates and patches. Example: Azure VMs, AWS compute instance etc.

Paas (Platform as a service) – This provides the platform to develop software and services using programming languages, apis and tools supported by providers. Owners have less control on infrastructure but they do not  manage them. Example : Azure app, website on AWS etc.

Saas (Software as a service) – Businesses buy the software as services and do not need to worry about managing infrastructure or developing software. They are already built application running in the cloud. Owners don’t have much option to customise it. Example: outlook, office 365, etc.


To support digital transformation road-map our software infrastructure, services and product should lead to the next evolution in software architecture, which allow services to be faster, scalable and more manageable.

Traditional monolithic applications are built with tightly coupled components which are deployed as single entity. This makes development, testing and deployment difficult and therefore providing releases, new features and updates are very tedious and long process. Micro-services architecture breakdown this tightly coupled components and model them into individually deployable.

Because of being independent these components can be developed, tested and deployed separately and also can be scaled separately as well. You see your whole service or application does not need to be highly scaled most of the time only particular components and this can be achieved through Microservices. Isn’t that beautiful!!

Keeping components separate gives freedom to choose different technologies, languages and platforms. This makes it possible them to be build and managed by separate teams.

Containers provide better way to manage your IT infrastructure and better way to deploy and maintain your application, which will significantly speed up the digital transformation process. Containers provide isolated environment to run your services. It holds all necessary components like dlls, config files, environment files and variables to run that (micro) service or software. You can put constrains on how much physical resources – memory and CPU can be used by a container, so a single container can not consume beyond that limit. Beautiful again !! Control on machines is beautiful !!

In the era where DevOps is rising, It is important that we don’t forget continuous deployment and test driven development. DevOps is an approach that fills the gap between software development and delivery process. It encourages automating and monitoring build, deployment, testing , integration and releasing product/service or change. Let’s machines and bots take the repetitive task and let humans focus on solving real problems.

As a final note, Digital Transformation is just a new term of empowering and supporting our employees, customers, services, everyone and everything that supports Growth and helps to fulfil the organisation’s purpose. Growth without purpose is like a road to no where so make sure you don’t loose the purpose on your journey!! Embrace the change. Nothing is more beautiful than a change!!


Article 30 from 30 : Licensing your app

This post is article 30 from the 30 Articles App series for SharePoint

In this article, I will discuss about Licensing your SharePoint app on office store.

When you upload your app on the Office Store for publication, you can choose the terms of the license you want to offer, like offering your app for free, trial, or for purchase. Or your app can be acquired on a per-user or site basis.

SharePoint provides a licensing framework that lets you include code logic in your app to enforce whatever licensing restrictions you choose. For example, you can include code logic in your app that enables users to access certain app features if they have a paid license, but not if they have a trial license.

A user with a license for an app can use that app on any site for that particular SharePoint deployment. In general, for the purpose of app licenses, deployment is defined as the SharePoint farm for on-premises SharePoint installations, and the tenancy for SharePoint Online in Office 365. The app’s purchaser can manage the app license, assign those app licenses to other users within their deployment, and enable other users to manage the licenses. A user who is assigned an app license can access and use the app.

For apps for SharePoint that have a per-user license, each app license can be assigned to the specified number of SharePoint users. The app license applies only to the specified SharePoint deployment and the specified users.
For apps with a site license, that license is assigned to all users on that deployment automatically. You cannot programmatically assign app licenses.

App license query and validation process :
1. The user launches the app from within SharePoint.
2. This launches the app code in the cloud.
3. When the app needs to verify a user’s app license, it uses server-side code to query SharePoint, via the client object model, for the app license token.
4. It then passes that token to the Office Store verification service.
5. The verification service returns whether the license token is valid, and if it is, also returns the license properties.
6. The app can then take action, based on the validity of the license and its properties



Finally, after you finish testing your app and are ready to move it to production, you need to add code to the license checks in your app so that the app no longer accepts test licenses.

Let’s validate app’s Validate the app license token in code:

Retrieving app license tokens using GetAppLicenseInformation :

productId = new Guid();
using(ClientContext ctx = new ClientContext(webUrl))
    ClientResult licensecollection = Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Utilities.Utility.GetAppLicenseInformation(ctx, productId);

Validating the app license token
After you retrieve the appropriate app license token, pass that token to the Office Store verification web service for validation. The verification service is located at the following URL:

The Office Store license verification web service also supports verifying app license tokens using REST calls. To verify an app license by using REST, use the following syntax:

Where {token} is the app license token

For test app licenses, the IsTest property returns true and the IsValid property returns false.
This sample requires a reference to Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Utilities, and a web service reference to the Office Store verification service.

retrieving app license tokens : GetAppLicenseInformation

//Get the license token XML from SharePoint.
this.rawToken = GetLicenseTokenFromSP(this.productId, this.clientcontext);

//Call the Office Store verification service.

private string GetLicenseTokenFromSP(Guid productId, ClientContext clientContext)
    //Get the license from SharePoint.
    ClientResult licenseCollection = Utility.GetAppLicenseInformation(clientContext, productId);

    foreach (AppLicense license in licenseCollection.Value)
        //Just get the first license token for now.
        rawLicenseToken = license.RawXMLLicenseToken;
    return (rawLicenseToken);

private void VerifyLicenseToken(string rawLicenseToken)
    if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(rawLicenseToken))
        licVerifyEndPoint.Text = "There is no valid license for this user in SharePoint (OR) license cannot be obtained due to some error - check ULS.";

    VerificationServiceClient service = null;
    VerifyEntitlementTokenResponse result = null;
    VerifyEntitlementTokenRequest request = new VerifyEntitlementTokenRequest();
    request.RawToken = rawLicenseToken;
    lblSPLicenseText.Text = System.Web.HttpUtility.HtmlEncode(request.RawToken);   

        service = new VerificationServiceClient();
        result = service.VerifyEntitlementToken(request);
    catch (EndpointNotFoundException)
        licVerifyEndPoint.Text = "Cannot access verification service endpoint";
    catch (FaultException)
        licVerifyEndPoint.Text = "Error: entitlement verification service is unavailable.";
    catch (FaultException internalFault)
        licVerifyEndPoint.Text = "Error: entitlement verification service failed. Details: " + internalFault.Detail.Message;
    catch (Exception exception)
        licVerifyEndPoint.Text = "Error: entitlement verification service failed. Details: " + exception;

    if (result != null && result.AssetId !=null)
        string licenseDetails = string.Format("Asset Id: {0}; Product Id: {1}; License Type: {2}; Is Valid: {3}; License Acquisition Date: {4}; License Expiry Date: {5}; IsExpired: {6}; IsTest: {7}; IsSiteLicense: {8}; Seats: {9}; TokenExpiryDate: {10}",
                result.AssetId, result.ProductId, result.EntitlementType, result.IsValid, result.EntitlementAcquisitionDate, result.EntitlementExpiryDate, result.IsExpired, result.IsTest, result.IsSiteLicense, result.Seats, result.TokenExpiryDate);

        if (result.EntitlementType.ToUpper() == "FREE")
          //Allow basic functionality
        else if (result.EntitlementType.ToUpper() == "PAID")
          //Allow all functionality
        else //trial
          //Allow limited functionality
        licVerifyEndPoint.Text = "Verification service didn't return any results";

Hope you have enjoyed this series !!

Article 29 from 30 : SPC14 summary on App Development

This post is article 29 from the 30 Articles App series for SharePoint

Future of Auto-hosted apps :

A few blogs from SPC14  say about AutoHosted Apps are being deprecated, This could be a rumor as Microsoft has not yet confirmed anything officially on this. If they are not being deprecated in near future, for how long they will be supported or when they may go from preview to fully supported is still not clear. As they are still in Preview, they should be avoided for Production design and recommended for only prototyping .

Some new Infographics for Apps:

These infographics can be downloaded from here . They give good and quick understanding on Why to build SharePoint apps?, App Concepts, App – hosting options, Data storage/access options etc.

New Office Web Widgets:

These experimental UI widgets were announced at SPC14 and are intended to help building apps for Office and SharePoint. The first release includes People Picker and the List View widgets. As per the Office dev team, these widgets are “experimental” and its primary goal is to collect feedback. They plan to release these controls for production use soon. Download it from NuGet Manager (search for Office Widgets) . Try it and send your feedback on UserVoice using the Office Web Widgets category.


New Office 365 SDK for Android Preview:

Finally Microsoft is thinking openly ;). this sdk is built by  MS Open Tech and provides access to:

• Microsoft SharePoint Lists

• Microsoft SharePoint Files

• Microsoft Exchange Calendar

• Microsoft Exchange Contacts

• Microsoft Exchange Mail

The SDK is composed of three independent packages, so that you can import only the SDK that you need in your project.

  • office365-files-sdk [depends on office365-base-sdk]
  • office365-lists-sdk [depends on office365-base-sdk]
  • office365-mail-calendar-contact-sdk

For more info on this refer to


External links to SPC14 Summary articles from SharePoint Community folks:


ProConnect app wins first place for Most Business Value at spc14 app awards sharepoint

Link to official Press Release at PRweb

ProSigma took home two prizes at app awards SharePoint Conference 2014 at Las Vegas with our app ProConnect  winning 1st place in Most Business Value SharePoint category and awarded 2nd place in Most Interesting SharePoint Scenario category. The awards honour innovative and high-quality productivity apps dedicated to enhancing Microsoft Office 365 or SharePoint.

“We are thrilled to receive these awards and delighted to be recognized as a leader in this space. We are boosting innovation and adoption of cloud-based solutions. We are committed to bring out increasing business value and the best experience through ProConnect . ” said Analben Mehta, Founder and CEO  at ProSigma.

ProConnect  won first place for “Most Business Value”

The Most Business Value SharePoint category was selected by a panel of Microsoft judges, who based their decision on two criteria: 75 percent on Productivity and 25 percent on Relevance to Platform.



Proconnect also won 2nd place for “Most Interesting Scenario”

The Most Interesting SharePoint Scenario category was selected by a panel of Microsoft judges, who based their decision on two criteria: 75 percent on the app’s relevance to the platform and 25 percent on app performance.



ProConnect is a secured location based business networking application that helps you keep in touch with your colleagues anywhere! It is an interactive Microsoft SharePoint 2013 app that allows users to create and share location based contents within organizations. It also offers creating and maintaining places of user’s choice. This app also brings near-by location information and updates.

ProConnect also comes with supporting free smartphone mobile application for users to stay connected while on the move.

See the links below for more details:

Office store link for ProConnect

Windows phone store link for Mobile Client

Please visit to know more about ProConnect.

Follow @Proconn3ct to get latest updates about ProConnect


ProConnect Team

Article 28 from 30 : handling App Upgraded event

This post is article 28 from the 30 Articles App series for SharePoint

Web components can also be deployed programmatically using a remote event receiver InstalledEventEndpoint or an UpgradedEventEndpoint. If you are adding components in other than the app web you should also implement an UninstallingEventEndpoint that uninstalls those same components.

Handling the app updated event :

Your sharepoint app should have valid UpgradedEventEndpoint refering to your remote service.

In web project ,  open AppEventReceiver.svc.cs file and add a conditional structure to the ProcessEvent to handle appUpdated event like following.

if (properties.EventType == SPRemoteEventType.AppUpgraded)
using (ClientContext cc = TokenHelper.CreateAppEventClientContext(properties, true))
        // CSOM code that accesses the app web
    using (ClientContext cc = TokenHelper.CreateAppEventClientContext(properties, false))
        // CSOM code that accesses the host web
    // Other update code as per your need 

Provide conditional structure to handle the app updated event on subsequent updates

Version ver2OOO = new Version("");
if (properties.AppEventProperties.PreviousVersion < ver2OOO)
    // Code to update from to is here.

Version ver3OOO = new Version("");
if (properties.AppEventProperties.PreviousVersion < ver3OOO)
    // Code to update from to (previous update code) is here.
// Code to update from to is here.
catch (Exception e)
    // Make sure you catch all exceptions while updating and rollback to undo if that is necessary.
    result.ErrorMessage = "error message : " + e.Message;
    result.Status = SPRemoteEventServiceStatus.CancelWithError;

In some cases, you might need to migrate data or upgrade schema. If your old data is somewhere that can be accessed by a remote event handler, you can implement migration logic in an InstalledEventEndpoint web service of the new app. Alternatively, if the new app has access to the old data, you can put the migration logic in code that runs the first time that a user starts the new app. If the old data cannot be accessed by either the remote handlers or the new app, you can create an update of the old app that adds a data export capability and a UI for the capability. Users would first update the old app, and then use it to export the data to a location where the new app can access it. You include the capability and UI to import data in the new app.

Article 27 from 30 : updating an app

This post is article 27 from the 30 Articles App series for SharePoint

When an app is installed, the SharePoint host environment records the version number for the installed app instance. App catalog sites always track their version number with the Office Store and detect if there is any update is available or not. The upgrade process by the SharePoint app model provides user-friendly experience which looks like below steps.

The app tile you will show “An update for this app is available” approx. 24hrs after an app update is published to the app store.


By default, SharePoint checks every 24 hours for updates to installed apps. A farm administrator can change this value to whichever is suitable.  SharePoint Management Shell command, where h is the number of hours between checks.

Set-SPInternalAppStateUpdateInterval -AppStateSyncHours h

If you need to run this update immediately then you can click on “About” from the app tile – > get it and trust it to update the app.


Make sure you do not change the ProductID number.

Major steps that may be needed when you create an update for an app for SharePoint :

  • Raise the Version number in the App element of the appmanifest.xml file. (MUST BE DONE)
  • Change the AppPermissionRequests and AppPrerequisites section of the appmanifest.xml file.
  • If your updating app-web components then Add any new components to the Feature exactly as you would if you were creating a new app for SharePoint project. Change existing files as needed. Open the Feature XML for editing, Increment the Version attribute of the Feature element.
  • Updating host-web components – custom actions and app parts is easier than in the app web. You don’t need any update semantics. Just add/change the custom actions and app parts. When the app for SharePoint is updated, SharePoint always applies any new element manifest files and reapplies any changed element manifest files with the most recent version. When you update an app part, SharePoint replaces the old version with the new version in the Web Part gallery. Be sure to change the Name property of the ClientWebPart object when you update an app part. Doing this ensures that, when the app is updated, SharePoint will remove the old version of the app part (which is no longer part of the app) from all pages to which it was added. Users will need to re-add the new version to pages.

You can also deploy web components programmatically using a remote event receiver, which I will cover in next article.

Article 26 from 30 : App authorization

This post is article 26 from the 30 Articles App series for SharePoint

In this article I will be discussing about app authorization policies.

Like users and groups, an app has its own identity in SharePoint. The authorization process verifies that an authenticated user and/or app has permission to perform certain operations or to access specific resources. The authenticated identities can be user identity only, user + app identities, or app identity only. Correspondingly three authorization policy are as following :

  • User-only policy— In this policy, the authorization checks take into account only the user identity. When a user is accessing SharePoint resources directly without using any app this policy is enforced.
  • User + app policy—In this policy, the authorization checks take into account both the user identity and the app identity.  An authorization checks succeed only if both the current user and the app have sufficient permissions to perform the action in question. This policy is used when a Office Store app, which does not run in SharePoint Server , wants to act on behalf of the user to get access to the user’s resources.
  • App only policy—In this policy, the authorization checks take into account only the app identity.  An authorization checks succeed only if the current app has sufficient permissions to perform the action , regardless of the permissions of the current user.  This policy is enforced is when the app is not acting on behalf of the user. In this policy, the person who installs the app has the rights that the app needs, even though users who actually use the app might not have those rights.

To request an app to use App-only policy your app needs to add attribute called “AllowAppOnlyPolicy” in tag node of AppPermissionRequests with value = ‘true”. User must be Site Collection Administrator to allow use of the app-only policy.

<AppPermissionRequests AllowAppOnlyPolicy="true">

App- Only Policy can only be used for Auto Hosted Apps or Provider Hosted Apps.

Hope that helps..!!

Article 25 from 30 : App permissions – II

This post is article 25 from the 30 Articles App series for SharePoint

In this article, I will discuss more on scope and a few examples for app permissions.

an app can have these rights : Read , Write, Manage, FullControl. These rights correspond to the default permission levels: Reader, Contributor, Designer, and Full Control. For more information about user permission levels, see User permissions and permission levels.

Permission request scopes for other (other than sitecollection, website, list ) SharePoint features

Scope URI Available Rights More Info
http://sharepoint/bcs/connection Read Business Connectivity Services in SharePoint 2013
http://sharepoint/search QueryAsUserIgnoreAppPrincipal Search in SharePoint 2013
http://sharepoint/taxonomy Read, Write taxonomy
http://sharepoint/social/tenant Read, Write, Manage, FullControl  social
http://sharepoint/social/core Read, Write, Manage, FullControl  social
http://sharepoint/social/microfeed Read, Write, Manage, FullControl  social
http://sharepoint/projectserver Manage  projectserver
http://sharepoint/projectserver/projects Read, Write  projectserver
http://sharepoint/projectserver/projects/project Read, Write  projectserver
http://sharepoint/projectserver/enterpriseresources Read, Write  projectserver
http://sharepoint/projectserver/statusing SubmitStatus  projectserver
http://sharepoint/projectserver/reporting Read  projectserver
http://sharepoint/projectserver/workflow Elevate  projectserver

Only Read, Write, and Manage rights are allowed for Office Store apps. If you try to submit an app to the Office Store that requires FullControl rights, your app is blocked from submission. However apps that request more than Manage permissions can still be deployed through the app catalog.

Below are some example code for AppManifest file with different scope and rights of App permission

Request Read access to the web scope and the list scope.

  <AppPermissionRequest Scope="http://sharepoint/content/sitecollection/web" Right="Read"/>
  <AppPermissionRequest Scope="http://sharepoint/content/sitecollection/web/list" Right="Read"/>

Request Write access to the list scope.

  <AppPermissionRequest Scope="http://sharepoint/content/sitecollection/web/list" Right="Write"/>

The list permission request scope has an additional optional property. BaseTemplateId, and an integer value corresponding with a list base template, which filters the available lists down to the set of lists that match what is specified by the BaseTemplateId property.

<AppPermissionRequest Scope="http://sharepoint/content/sitecollection/web/list" Right="Write">
    <Property Name="BaseTemplateId" Value="101"/>

Request access to all user profiles. ( This app must be installed by a tenant administrator. )

<AppPermissionRequest Scope="http://sharepoint/social/tenant" Right="Read">

Request user’s feed or the team feed. This scope applies to personal sites that support microblogging or to team sites where the Site Feed feature is activated. If the app installs on any other type of site, use the Tenant scope.

<AppPermissionRequest Scope="http://sharepoint/social/microfeed" Right="Read">


Hope that helps..!!

Article 24 from 30 : App permissions – I

This post is article 24 from the 30 Articles App series for SharePoint

In this article I will be discussing about app permissions. What are they and how does it work.

Like users and groups, an app has its own identity in SharePoint. each app in SharePoint is associated with a security principal, called an app principal. An app principal has certain permissions and rights.

An app may perform the operation on SharePoint site/web/list and other SharePoint artifacts, It needs certain permission just like an user or a group.

During installation, an app for SharePoint requests the permissions that it needs from the user who is installing it.

The developer of an app must request, the permissions that the particular app needs to be able to run, through the app manifest file.

The user who installs the app must grant all the permissions that an app requests or not grant any permission—the permission granted by the user to an app is all or nothing. An app must be granted permissions by the user who is executing the app. Users can grant only the permissions that they have.

The permission requests specify both the rights that an app needs and the scope at which it needs the rights.

SharePoint 2013 supports three different permission scopes within the content database and tenancy as below.

Scope URI Description
site collection :  http://sharepoint/content/sitecollection The permission request scope URI to the site collection where the app is installed. Includes all children of this scope.
website : http://sharepoint/content/sitecollection/web The permission request scope URI to the website where the app is installed. Includes all children of this scope.
list : http://sharepoint/content/sitecollection/web/list The permission request scope URI to the list where the app is installed. Includes all children of this scope.
tenancy : http://sharepoint/content/tenant The permission request scope URI to the tenancy where the app is installed.

If an app is granted permission to one of the scopes, the permission applies to all children of the scope. For example, if an app is granted permission to a website, the app is also granted permission to each list that is contained in the website, and all list items that are in each list.

SharePoint 2013 supports four rights levels in the content database. For each scope, an app can have these rights : Read , Write, Manage, FullControl

Permission request


Permissions included

Read-Only Enables apps to view pages, list items, and download documents.
  • View Items
  • Open Items
  • View Versions
  • Create Alerts
  • Use Self-Service Site Creation
  • View Pages
Write Enables apps to view, add, update, and delete items in existing lists and document libraries.
  • Read-Only permissions, plus:
  • Add Items
  • Edit Items
  • Delete Items
  • Delete Versions
  • Browse Directories
  • Edit Personal User Information
  • Manage Personal Views
  • Add/Remove Personal Web Parts
  • Update Personal Web Parts
Manage Enables apps to view, add, update, delete, approve, and customize items or pages within a web site.
  • Write permissions, plus:
  • Manage Lists
  • Add and Customize Pages
  • Apply Themes and Borders
  • Apply Style Sheets
Full Control Enables apps to have full control within the specified scope.
  • All permissions

Check next article for more details on App permissions.

Hope that helps..!!