The Lightning Conductor is a rollup tool that has been available to rollup SharePoint list or library content for the past ten years now and now offers integration with Office Graph. A few years ago, we developed the Lightning Conductor as an Add-In which could be used in both SharePoint Online and SharePoint On-Premises. In order that the Lightning Conductor Add-In could still aggregate SharePoint list content from across multiple site collections, we needed to allow for items to be returned from search since the SharePoint Add-In model didn’t allow for the queries to span multiple site collections using the object model as it does in our on-premises version.
Over the past few months, we have been working on a third rollup provider that would allow for content to be queries but with a bit of a difference…
Instead of displaying content that matches a specific list type or content type, and then filtering by a column value. We decided that we liked the way that Microsoft Delve is able to search and discover information that is of relevant to “you”. The content could be anything from documents to emails. The Office Graph is able to represent the relationships between people and objects from across Microsoft Office 365.
The Lightning Conductor Add-In now offers three types of aggregating content:
- Object Model
- Office Graph
The Object Model Rollup option uses the Client Side Object Model to aggregate content from SharePoint Lists and Libraries. Whilst it is the simplest option to configure, it doesn’t perform as well as Search and Office Graph and is restricted to the current site collection. The Object Model Rollup Provider can be used to simply query content by Site Collection, Site, List Scope. The List type and/or Content Type can then be selected to specify the type of content to return. Then finally you can style your view by selecting the columns that you want to see, and apply sorting/grouping/conditional formatting etc.
The Search Rollup option uses search content sources to define the items that you want to return. The scope and Content Type options allow you to specify the content that you wish to see. Working with Managed Properties is often a requirement depending on the type of view that you wish to build. The same options then apply to the search rollup. You can simply select the columns that you wish to see and configure your styling.
The new Office Graph rollup works differently. Using the Office Graph rollup, you get the performance and scope of the entire tenant. The items returned are still security trimmed, but you would be less concerned with a specific type of content. For example; Instead of displaying “All Documents from Site Collection A and Site Collection B that were modified in the past 30 days”, you could specify a query such as “All documents created or modified by people that I work with”. This is a far more intelligent type of query.
The Office Graph queries are made up of Actors (People), Edges (How the Actors interact with objects), and EdgeWeight (How close is the object to the user).
To use Office Graph in the Lightning Conductor Add-In, you would first specify the Office Graph Rollup Provider from the list of Rollup options as shown below:
The second tab of the configuration wizard allow you to define your query. You can specify the Actor which includes the option to specify the currently logged on user as the actor. A filter can then be applied whereby you can specify the Edge (Relationship type) and the Edgeweight. Below, you can see how to specify an Actor.
The Edge is set using a filter control. You can specify the type of edge from options such as:
- Working With
- Trending Around
You then have a choice as to how you are going to display the items that are returned. The Lightning Conductor Add-In offers three types of display provider:
- SPGridView – The Grid View allows you to specify the columns that you wish to display, and then set styling options.
- XSLT View – Not relevant to Office Graph, but can be used with the Object Model and Search options. Built in XSLT styles include views such as calendar views.
- JSON – There is a built in JSON view to show the relationship between the Actor and other Actors or Documents. You can also build your own JSON view.
Below is an example of the OfficeGraph JSON view:
If you opt to display your content using the SPGridView, you can define your column selection from the display options shown below. Note that columns exist such as Edge and Weight allowing you to set filters on these columns.
The below results are displayed using the SPGridView.