Wednesday, June 25, 2014

TomTom Issue: Connecting to your computer

A bit of a different post, not about SharePoint this time !

I finally resolved an issue with my TomTom today and thought to share this solution with the world :)

My problem was that after a few seconds of starting my navigation in the car, it would display this message:
"Connecting to your computer".

And this message would stay there forever, until you click OK. Because this message would pop up after 15 / 40 seconds, you almost always are driving. So it was very annoying to pay attention to it and press the OK button while driving.

I logged a ticket with TomTom support, they suggested to reload the software on it, this didn't help. I decided to do some serious debugging and after a few moments I found the answer... The error / message was caused by plugging the TomTom into the Peugeot's own USB connection and not using the TomTom provided 12v ->USB connector:

Because I was using the Peugeot powered USB, TomTom thought it was connected to a computer; showing me the annoying message ! Using the normal 12v connection and TomTom USB converter that comes with the navigation device, no message; problemo solved :)


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

No Managed Metadata columns in Power Query

When using Power Query to retrieve data from an O365 SharePoint list, you run into trouble when that list data contains columns connected to the Term Store (managed metadata).

These columns are not retrieved by Power Query, not using the "SharePoint List" connection and also not using the "oData" connection.

So, the managed metadata column "organisatie eenheid" is in this list:

But not in the Power Query result sets (oData):
Or in the "From SharePoint List" resultset:

I've notified Microsoft of this issue here, let's wait and see if there are any workarounds or fixes !
Will keep you posted...

Update 24 June 2014:

Ben Martens from Microsoft searched around and asked the product team about this issue and unfortunately the conclusion is that right now, it's not possible to get MMD data extracted from SharePoint.
Both the ListData.mvc as OData connections won't bring back these columns from your SharePoint lists.
Sorry for you ...
Let's hope these services get modified by the SharePoint team and start exposing this data, there are many scenarios where people really want to work with the Managed Metadata ! (why use it if it's not supported !?!). Thanks Ben for this update !

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Use English as your #0365 (sub) site's default language or else...(use oData)

Hi there,
a quick post on something I discovered yesterday during the creation of a proof of concept a #0365 site that provides it's list data to an Excel Power Query & Power Pivot report. (Which will be published on a Power BI site, that will be described on it's own blog post :) )

I was having trouble getting the data from the O365 SharePoint list into Excel. After making the connection with Power Query:

The "navigator" which should show me all available lists on a given SharePoint URL was empty:
I tried different security settings, checking the data connections, removing all data connections and adding them again, blaming the latest Power BI update, googling, nothing worked. And the strange thing was that I'd seen it work in an earlier POC I did...
Eventually I tried another site URL (on the same O365 web application), that one worked !
Now I had to find out what the difference was between the working and none working sites. Soon I realized it was the regional and language settings. I made the regions the same, no difference. But when I created a new site and gave English as the default language upon creation, Power BI could instantly connect to it. 

I created a new site to test because changing the default language in O365 SharePoint is not as easy, I think I'll need Power Shell to do this but of course I need to focus on my original POC first :) 

I also found a post from Kasper de Jonge, a senior program manager at the Microsoft SQL Server BI division and a good friend; He said he'll take this issue up with the PQ team and just posted an update on this:
"Update: Yes it is a known issue which they are working on with SP, the workaround is to connect to the sharepoint API using OData, rather than using the From SharePoint option in PQ" 

Thanks Kasper !