Delivering a Consolidated Snapshot from Multiple SharePoint calendars

The Information Reveal Problem

The Information Reveal Problem

We need a simple snap-shot view that is packed with metadata; unfortunately this isn't available natively.

You have to open-up an event to see its metadata.

Web part views take up way too much space, including the compressed view.

Any company over a couple hundred people will have too many of these sorts of events in a week, so the view really has to work hard.

Primary categories need to retain their segregation to support easy info consumption.

Native SharePoint

SharePoint doesn't handle multiple events calendars well.

After exploring, it was clear that a purely native SharePoint solution doesn’t exist today.

If you know me, you know that I’m committed to a native environment, so the next step was to explore other options within the Office 365 ecosystem that wouldn’t require the sort of custom programming that could “break” with a future update.

Office 365 Options outside of SharePoint

Using the SharePoint calendars as a data source, Power BI is able to deliver a reasonable view. It has the added benefit of being accessible most anywhere—including via. Cortana, which is nice value-add. But the design/visuals fell short, and as a citizen developer (not a true developer), I’m concerned about the impacts on page performance, which seemed pretty evident on the surface.

Once I dove into PowerApps, it was clear that I’d be able to consolidate all the information needed into a small amount of space, and have it make immediate sense to any user. It looks lovely and can be pulled into any page through the existing web part. This approach has the added benefit of delivering this key information as a mobile app, making it even more accessible to employees.

Exploration in Power BI
Power BI was a visually unappealing solution

2-minute Video Demo

I’m going to explain this approach in great detail.  I’ve also decided to share this PowerApp with the community, so you can use it to jump-start your own Intranet’s calendars.  A download link is at the bottom of this article.

I would love to hear feedback, but I won’t provide specific technical support for you to set it up in your environment.

Note that the video has not been updated to reflect version 2 of the PowerApp template.  Be sure to review the release notes.

 

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