This year, the Lightning Tools development team are working hard on the creation of our existing products under the SharePoint Framework SPFx. The SharePoint Framework provides Lightning Tools with the ability to introduce new features within the products that will be supported in SharePoint Online and SharePoint 2019, and also allow the products to work seamlessly within the Modern UX. You can expect new SPFx versions of; Lightning Conductor, Social Squared, Data Viewer, & DeliverPoint very soon. In this post, you can see some of the improvements so far to the Lightning Conductor.
Our flagship product, the Lightning Conductor has been available as a cross site collection rollup tool for SharePoint On-Premises since 2007, and for SharePoint Online under the App Model since March 2014 and has helped thousands of customers to rollup SharePoint content. The product allows SharePoint power users to configure the web part to aggregate SharePoint list content, and build views that contain column and row formatting. Re-creating the Lightning Conductor under the SharePoint Framework has enabled us to introduce the following new features:
- Support for Modern Pages
- Real Time Cross Site Collection/Tenant Scoped Aggregation
- Aggregate from Hub Sites and Associated Sites
- Configure the view contextually
- Support for Column and Row formatting without the need for JSON
- Other Top Secret features that are in development…
Support for Modern Pages
The Lightning Conductor Add-In has been available for over 4 years for Office 365 SharePoint Online. Whilst other vendors are only just releasing their cloud components, Lightning Tools has stayed ahead of the game and adopted the newest development tools and Framework from Microsoft. One challenge with the Lightning Conductor Add-In, was the ability to work with modern pages seamlessly. Whilst you could use the Lightning Conductor Add-In on a modern page, their was a few cosmetic issues such as unwanted scrollbars, and of course, the Lightning Conductor didn’t really look “Modern” on a modern page.
Figure 1 – The Lightning Conductor SPFx web part on a modern page
Real Time Cross Site Collection/Tenant Scoped Aggregation
The Lightning Conductor Add-In for SharePoint Online, wasn’t able to offer a real time content aggregation when aggregating content from across site collections. The App Model didn’t support this ability, and therefore we had to rely on search for content rollup to aggregate across site collections. This meant that whilst performance was excellent, there was a lot of messing around to do working with managed properties. The Lightning Conductor as a SPFX Client Side Web Part, offers the ability to aggregate from the tenant scope down. So, its now a lot easier to configure the aggregation, the user can see real time updates, and the performance is still excellent.
Figure 2 – The Lightning Conductor Rollup Source Scopes.
Aggregate from Hub Sites and Associated Sites
The Lightning Conductor SPFx Client Side Web Part now offers the ability to aggregate content from a Hub site and an Associated Site. This is an easy way to configure the rollup of Tasks, Documents, Announcements etc, that are naturally associated through the Hub Site model now offered by SharePoint Online. You can see this option in Figure 2.
Configure the View Contextually
No longer, will you have to re-enter the view configuration dialog box of the Lightning Conductor to work with you view. Users will be able to move columns around, apply grouping, data formatting, filters, alignment and other properties, from within the view itself.
Figure 3 – Working on your view contextually
Column and Row Formatting without JSON
You may have used the new Column Formatting options within your Modern SharePoint lists to apply Data Bars, Icons, Conditional Formatting, and Charts etc. Using the Lightning Tools Client Side Web Part, you’ll be able to do the same, only without having the hard task of building the JSON. The Lightning Conductor can be configured easily given you access to data bars, icons and conditional formatting all throughout the configuration dialog.
Figure 4 – Configuring Column/Row Formatting
The Lightning Conductor CSWP will be available and launched in September 2018. If you sign up to our newsletter, you’ll be notified as soon as it is released.
If you are interested in seeing the Social Squared Client Side Web Part in action, sign up for our Social Squared webinar next week.