In this video and documentation, you’ll learn how to use the Lightning Conductor to access aggregated content from SharePoint lists & libraries, as well as Graph entities such as Planner, To Do, OneDrive, and more.
Welcome to the Lightning Conductor. In this getting started guide, we’ll explore the Lightning Conductor from an end user’s perspective and as a configurator. First, let’s learn what the Lightning Conductor is.
The Lightning Conductor is a content aggregation web part that can be added on a SharePoint page, or within a Microsoft Teams Channel as a Tab. The content that is aggregated will depend on the person who configured the web part on the page. However, content that can be aggregated includes SharePoint lists such as Tasks, Events, and Document Libraries that may reside in different sites or site collections across your SharePoint environment. The Lightning Conductor can also aggregate content from other Apps within Microsoft 365 such as Planner, To Do, OneDrive, and Outlook.
The way that the content is displayed can differ depending on the type of content, but also the kind of view that is configured. The Lightning Conductor includes a Grid View option which is used to display content in the form of columns and rows. Each column can be configured, sorted, and filtered. Other views include Calendar layouts, Tile views, Task views, and more.
Below is an example of Task lists being aggregated into a Grid View:
Below is an example of Microsoft Planner Plans & Tasks being aggregated into a Task view:
In the first section, we’ll explore how to sort and filter the different views as an end user.
Within this section, we’ll explore how to get started with the Lightning Conductor as an end user. You’ll learn how to navigate content, sort and filter the content to see the information that you need to see.
The Command Bar Options
On the command bar, you may find several options available to you. However, the person who Configured the Lightning Conductor can decide which options to show or hide, so your instance of the Lightning Conductor may look a bit different to the example above. However, all of the available options that you may see on the command bar are described below:
- View – If the Lightning Conductor has been configured to display more than one view of content, you will be able to select the view using the ‘View’ drop down.
- Refresh – You can refresh the content within the view be clicking ‘Refresh’
- Export Data – Export the content displayed on the page to Microsoft Excel.
- Documentation – Link to Lightning Tools Documentation
- Help – Get Guidance, submit feedback to Lightning Tools, and access the Lightning Tools Help Centre.
Sorting by column
Using the Lightning Conductor, you can sort by any column in the Grid View by clicking the downward arrow next to the column that you wish to sort. You can then choose ‘Sort Ascending’ or ‘Sort Descending’.
You can clear the sorting, by clicking the dropdown arrow again, and choose ‘Clear Sorting’
The Lightning Conductor offers simple filtering based on each column, or Advanced Filtering which enables you to filter across columns, and with sub filters.
To filter on a column:
- Click the downward arrow on the column that you wish to filter.
- Click Filter.
- Choose a filter operator such as: =, >, <>, Begins With, Contains.
- Type or select the value that you wish to filter upon.
- Click Save.
The filter value field will differ based upon the field type of the column that you are filtering by. For example, if you are filtering a Single Line of Text column, the filter value field will be a text field. If you are filtering by a Date/Time field, the filter value field will display a calendar picker and a ‘Today offset’ field allowing you to configure filters based on Today – 7 days as an example. As you can see above, Choice fields will display the available choices. Person columns also allow a dynamic filter allowing you to check ‘Me’. This is useful when filtering on the Assigned To field in a Task list and wishing to see all tasks assigned to you.
If you need more than one condition, you can click the ‘Add Condition’ button. This then allows you to configure an ‘And’ or an ‘Or’ filter on two different values. The example below is filtering tasks that are High or Normal Priority.
You may notice a ‘connect’ icon next to the filter conditions. This option allows you to filter dynamically from another web part or environment variable. For example, you can filter from Query Strings, Current User Profile, Site Properties, or Search. You could also filter from the Lightning Tools Filter Web Part or another Lightinng Conductor instance. We will provide examples of this configuration later within this section.
Using Advanced Filters, you can filter across multiple columns. In the below example, the Lightning Conductor is configured to display High Priority Tasks, or Tasks Due Today.
The default filters will apply filtering as the content is being queried. However, in order to make sure that you are filtering against all content within the data source, you can opt to filter after data retrieving using the Advanced Filter options.
Using different types of view
The Lightning Conductor offers different types of views depending on the type of content that you are aggregating. You may see that the Lightning Conductor is configured with the below types of view:
The Calendar View can be displayed for Event lists, Task lists, and also custom lists. The calendar contains a day/week/month view options with navigation to the top right of the calendar.
Changing Filters or Sorting can be carried out only by the configurator of the Lightning Conductor, along with colours and conditional formatting.
The Tile view can be used with Document Libraries, and will display a folder icon for folders, along with a thumbnail preview of any documents. Sorting and Filtering is set by the configurator, but you can navigate the folders using the breadcrumb trail, and clicking the documents to open them.
The Cards view is an ‘Adaptive Card’ view of the content. The Lightning Conductor offers an example card view for Task list aggregation. Using the card view, you can View or Edit each task. Configurators can customize the Card view using adaptivecards.io which is covered later in this guide.
The Picture Preview view will display thumbnail images from Image Libraries. Clicking a thumbnail will zoom in on the selected image.
The slideshow view shows each image separately from the data source, with left and right navigation controls to browse through the aggregated images.
The person list view will show the avatar for each user within the tenant. Hovering over each avatar will display a Person Card with communication options for each person.
The Planner View displays each Plan in a drop down at the top of the view. Selecting a plan will display the Planner Tasks within that Plan. You may also add new tasks to the plan, or modify each planner task by clicking into it.
The Agenda View will show events in an agenda format.