Category Archives: SharePoint Online

Wicked Exciting Announcement

Making announcements isn’t really my thing, but this time, I’m really and truly excited about the just-launched Slalom Big Apple SharePoint site. 

I work at Slalom consulting and manage the Portals & Collaboration practice.  The Big Apple site is “my” site for my practice here in New York.  I’ve long wanted one of these. I’m sure that many SP pro’s have wished for something similar.  How many times have we looked at our own company’s public site, or one of customers and seen them building it out and just knowing and wishing that they’d build it on SP?  We all know that SP is pretty good at this kind of thing, but it’s not very common. 

Well, the worlds finally aligned just right for me – SP Online is really inexpensive, I had the right team and enough time to actually do it.

It was an amazing journey to get to launch and and some of that is shared up there on the site.

Read all about it here and if you’re interested in the details behind it, I’m more than happy to talk about it.

Here is the official announcement link: #O365


How to: Configure Unit Test and Test Coverage with QUnit.js and Blanket.js For an Office 365 SharePoint App


I’ve been exploring unit testing and test coverage for JavaScript as I work on a new SharePoint app for SharePoint online in the Office 365 suite.  The obvious research paths led me to Qunit.js and right after that, to Blanket.js.

QUnit let me set up unit tests and group them into modules.  A module is just a simple way to organize related tests. (I’m not sure I’m using it as intended, but it’s working for me so far with the small set of tests I have thus far defined).

Blanket.js integrates with Qunit and it will show me the actual lines of JavaScript that were – and more importantly – were not actually executed in the course of running the tests.  This is “coverage” – lines that executed are covered by the test while others are not.

Between setting up good test cases and viewing coverage, we can reduce the risk that our code has hidden defects.  Good times.


Assuming you have your Visual Studio project set up, start by downloading the JavaScript package from  Add the JavaScript and corresponding CSS to your solution.  Mine looks like this:


Figure 1

As you can see, I was using 1.13.0 at the time I wrote this blog post. Don’t forget to download and add the CSS file.

That out of the way, next step is to create some kind of test harness and reference the Qunit bits.  I’m testing a bunch of functions in a script file called “QuizUtil.js” so I created an HTML page called “QuizUtil_test.html” as shown:

image Figure 2

Here’s the code:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html xmlns="">
    <title>QuizUtil test with Qunit</title>
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="../CSS/qunit-1.13.0.css" />
    <script type="text/javascript" src="QuizUtil.js" data-cover></script>
    <script type="text/javascript" src="qunit-1.13.0.js"></script>
    <script type="text/javascript" src="blanket.min.js"></script>

        test("QuizUtil getIDFromLookupField", function () {
            var goodValue = "1;#Paul Galvin";

            equal(getIDFromLookupField(goodValue) + 1, 2), "ID of [" + goodValue + "] + 1 should be 2";
            equal(getIDFromLookupField(undefined), undefined, "Undefined input argument should return undefined result.");
            equal(getIDFromLookupField(""), undefined, "Empty input argument should return an undefined value.");
            equal(getIDFromLookupField("gobbledigood3-thq;dkvn ada;skfja sdjfbvubvqrubqer0873407t534piutheqw;vn"), undefined,"Should always return a result convertible to an Integer");
            equal(getIDFromLookupField("2;#some other person"), "2", "Checking [2;#some other person].");
            equal(getIDFromLookupField("9834524;#long value"), "9834524", "Large value test.");
            notEqual(getIDFromLookupField("5;#anyone", 6), 6, "Testing a notEqual (5 is not equal to 6 for this sample: [5;#anyone]");


        test("QuizUtil htmlEscape()", function () {
            equal(htmlEscape("<"), "&lt;", "Escaping a less than operator ('<')");
            equal(htmlEscape("<div class=\"someclass\">Some text</div>"), "&lt;div class=&quot;someclass&quot;&gt;Some text&lt;/div&gt;", "More complex test string.");

        test("QuizUtil getDateAsCaml()", function () {
            equal(getDateAsCaml(new Date("12/31/2013")), "2013-12-31T:00:00:00", "Testing hard coded date: [12/31/2013]");
            equal(getDateAsCaml(new Date("01/05/2014")), "2014-01-05T:00:00:00", "Testing hard coded date: [01/05/2014]");
            equal(getDateAsCaml(new Date("01/31/2014")), "2014-01-31T:00:00:00", "Testing hard coded date: [01/31/2014]");
            equal(getTodayAsCaml(), getDateAsCaml(new Date()), "getTodayAsCaml() should equal getDateAsCaml(new Date())");
            equal(getDateAsCaml("nonsense value"), undefined, "Try to get the date of a nonsense value.");
            equal(getDateAsCaml(undefined), undefined, "Try to get the date of the [undefined] date.");

        test("QuizUtil getParameterByName (from the query string)", function () {
            equal(getParameterByName(undefined), undefined, "Try to get undefined parameter should return undefined.");
            equal(getParameterByName("does not exist"), undefined, "Try to get parameter value when we know the parameter does not exist.");


        test("QuizUtil various cookie functions.", function () {
            equal(setCookie("test", "1", -1), getCookieValue("test"), "Get a cookie I set should work.");
            equal(setCookie("anycookie", "1", -1), true, "Setting a valid cooking should return 'true'.");
            equal(setCookie("crazy cookie name !@#$%\"%\\^&*(()?/><.,", "1", -1), true, "Setting a bad cookie name should return 'false'.");
            equal(setCookie(undefined, "1", -1), undefined, "Passing undefined as the cookie name.");
            equal(getCookieValue("does not exist"), "", "Cookie does not exist test.");

    <div id="qunit"></div>
    <div id="qunit-fixture"></div>


There are several things happening here:

  1. Referencing my code (QuizUtil.js)
  2. Referencing Qunity.js
  3. Defining some modules (getIDFromLookup, Cookies, and others)
  4. Placing a <div> whose ID is “qunit”.

Then, I just pull up this page and you get something like this:


Figure 3

If you look across the top, you have a few options, two of which are interesting:

  • Hide passed tests: Pretty obvious.  Can help your eye just see the problem areas and not a lot of clutter.
  • Module: (drop down): This will filter the tests down to just those groups of tests you want.

As for the tests themselves – a few comments:

  • It goes without saying that you need to write your code such that it’s testable in the first place.  Using the tool can help enforce that discipline. For instance, I had a function called “getTodayAsCaml()”.  This isn’t very testable since it takes no input argument and to test it for equality, we’d need to constantly update the test code to reflect the current date.  I refactored it by adding a data input parameter then passing the current date when I want today’s date in CAML format.
  • The Qunit framework documents its own tests and it seems pretty robust.  It can do simple things like testing for equality and also has support for ajax style calls (both “real” or mocked using your favorite mocker).
  • Going through the process also forces you to think through edge cases – what happens with “undefined” or null is passed into a function.  It makes it dead simple to test these scenarios out.  Good stuff.

Coverage with Blanket.js

Blanket.js complements Qunit by tracking the actual lines of code that execute during the course of running your tests.  It integrates right into Qunit so even though it’s a whole separate app, it plays nicely – it really looks like it’s one seamless app.

This is blanket.js in action:

image Figure 4


Figure 5

(You actually have to click on the “Enable coverage” checkbox at the top [see Figure 3] to enable this.)

The highlighted lines in Figure 5 have not been executed by any of my tests, so I need to devise a test that does cause them to execute if I want full coverage.

Get blanket.js working by following these steps:

  1. Download it from
  2. Add it to your project
  3. Update your test harness page (QuizUtil_test.html in my case) as follows:
    1. Reference the code
    2. Decorate your <script> reference like this:
    <script type="text/javascript" src="QuizUtil.js" data-cover></script>

Blanket.js picks up the “data-cover” attribute and does its magic.  It hooks into Qunit, updates the UI to add the “Enable coverage” option and voila!

Summary (TL; DR)

Use Qunit to write your test cases.

  • Download it
  • Add it to your project
  • Write a test harness page
  • Create your tests
    • Refactor some of your code to be testable
    • Be creative!  Think of crazy, impossible scenarios and test them anyway.

Use blanket.js to ensure coverage

  • Make sure Qunit is working
  • Download blanket.js and add it to your project
  • Add it to your test harness page:
    • Add a reference to blanket.js
    • Add a “data-cover” attribute to your <script> tag
  • Run your Qunit tests.

I never did any of this before and had some rudimentary stuff working in a handful of hours. 

Happy testing!


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BPOS 2010 and “Superset”

I was reading one of these pretty generic blah-like articles on BPOS (Microsoft’s exchange and SharePoint in the cloud) and thankfully waded through to the end:

In terms of other near-term deliverables, Microsoft is commiting to provide in BPOS v.Next native PowerShell scripting via a PowerShell endpoint build on PowerShell Version 2. Authentication will be done through Online IDs, with a single credential being able to be used for both PowerShell and the portal.Keane echoed the message other Microsoft execs have been voicing at TechEd this week: Cloud capabilities, over time, will  become a superset of what is available on-premises. Currently, the reverse is true, and Microsoft’s Online services offer a subset of the functions available in the software equivalents of each product.

The notion that the cloud will provide more capability than on-premise is new to me. I wonder how true that is going to be in the end.  It feels counterintuitive to me.  I totally get the idea that a lot of companies will move stuff to the cloud (or start off in the cloud) but I normally think they do it because the pro’s (easier admin, SLAs, etc) far outweigh the cons (reduced functionality). 

I’m having a little bit of a hard time believing that cloud offerings will exceed on-prem capabilities.  Multi-tenant is hard and seems like it must force compromises in order to provide good SLA and ease of use…

I’ll probably be eating my words on this.  I remember thinking that no one could possibly need more than 650 mb of data and therefore, the CD was never going to be improved upon.


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SharePoint Online and InfoPath

I may be the last person to realize this, but SharePoint Online (which I often hear people say is a glorified WSS) supports InfoPath Forms Services.  That’s pretty powerful stuff, especially considering that IP FS is a MOSS Enterprise feature and BPOS is something like $1.99/month for 10,000 users.  Maybe it’s a little more than that.

So, SharePoint Online defies easy definition.  It has this enterprise feature, but no anonymous access (which even WSS supports).  You can do some interesting stuff with search (MOSS-ish, since you can define site level scopes), but if you need access to the SSP, you can’t do it.  You can play the “on the one hand and on the other” game all night long with this product 🙂

Microsoft is due to release a new version of SP Online in the next few months.  I wonder what weird hybrid it’s going be?


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