New Release – Lightning Conductor (March 2023)

New Release – Lightning Conductor

The Lightning Conductor is a powerful SharePoint and Microsoft Teams content aggregation web part. Using the Lightning Conductor, site owners can configure rollups from SharePoint lists & libraries, SharePoint Search, Microsoft 365 Apps such as Teams & Planner through Microsoft Graph, and content from Microsoft 365 Groups. The content can be styled as a powerful view with conditional formatting, grouping, and calculated columns, or displayed in views such as modern calendar views, tiles, or agenda views through JSON, or easy-to-read Adaptive Cards.

Business users (Site Members or Teams Members) benefit by being able to find content more easily. They don’t need to search or navigate to documents, tasks, and other content that could reside in different Hubs, Sites, Site Collections, or even other Microsoft 365 Apps.

In this release, we have three main new features including:

  • External Graph Connectors
  • Preview Results from Search Configuration
  • Convert configuration from Client Side Object Model to Search Results

External Graph Connectors

An external graph connector is a software component or service that enables Microsoft Graph to connect with external data sources and retrieve data from them. Microsoft Graph is a powerful and comprehensive API that provides access to data and functionality from various Microsoft services and products, such as Office 365, OneDrive, SharePoint, and more.

External graph connectors allow Microsoft Graph to access data from third-party services or custom data sources that are not natively supported by Microsoft Graph. This means that developers can use Microsoft Graph to build applications and services that can integrate with a wider range of data sources, without having to build custom APIs or data connectors from scratch.

External graph connectors work by implementing the Microsoft Graph REST API endpoints for their respective data sources. This enables developers to use the same set of APIs and SDKs provided by Microsoft Graph to access external data sources as they would for Microsoft services.

For example, an external graph connector for Salesforce would enable developers to access Salesforce data through Microsoft Graph. This would allow them to build applications that integrate with both Office 365 and Salesforce, without having to switch between different APIs or platforms.

In summary, external graph connectors provide a way to extend the capabilities of Microsoft Graph to work with external data sources, enabling developers to build more powerful and integrated applications.

The Lightning Conductor can now consume External Graph Connector EndPoints that your organization has provided. This allows Site Owners to configure the Lightning Conductor to display external data in modern SharePoint sites and Teams. Below you will see how to select the Graph Connectors Rollup Engine Provider.

Select Graph Connectors in the Advanced Configuration to connect to an External Data Source.

The External Graph Connector can then be set using the Data Source tab in the Lightning Conductor as shown below:

Selecting the External Graph Connector data source.

Columns from the External Graph Connector can then be selected using the Columns tab:

Selecting columns from an External Graph Connector
Setting display preferences

Preview Results

Another new improvement in this release is the ability to preview your results before completing the configuration wizard. Previewing the results will ensure that you have selected the correct columns, and that you’ve configured queries and filters correctly prior to saving your configuration. The Preview Results feature saves a great deal of time and frustration when configuring advanced data sources such as Search Results, and Graph Connectors.

Convert configuration from Client Side Object Model to Search Results

We recognize that configuring the Search Results when aggregating from SharePoint lists and libraries can be challenging, especially if you do not have a thorough understanding of Managed Properties. The Client Side Object Model is far easier to configure, but doesn’t offer the same performance when working with large lists or libraries. If you have configured the Client Side Object Model as a data source, but you’d like to improve performance, you will now be able to click a convert button that converts your configuration from Object Model to Search.

On Thursday 16th March, we will be demonstrating these new features in our webinar. Register today to attend live:

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