Thursday, January 28, 2016

What’s new in SharePoint 2016 Remote API Part 4 (Web)

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This is my fourth post about the new SharePoint 2016 remote API. This new post will cover the 18 new methods and 8 new properties in the Microsoft.SharePoint.SPWeb class. I am now working with the SharePoint 2016 RC released on January 20th. It is evident that there will be exposed methods on the Remote API which will be callable but throw a not implemented error in SharePoint On-Prem.

New SPWeb Methods


This method is callable from REST or JavaScript. It takes a URL to a document and a boolean to give access to edit the document. It will return a string representing a anonymous URL that will not expire. It is not implemented in On-Prem. It is implemented in SharePoint Online but from my testing it will only work from a personal site. You cannot use it from an Add-In hosted outside of a personal site. You will receive a “MountPoint” security error. “MountPoint” is another word for OneDrive.


This method is callable from REST or JavaScript. It takes a URL to a document and a boolean to give access to edit the document, and a string representing an expiration date. It will return a string representing a anonymous URL that will expire on the date given. The valid formats for the date string are "yyyy-MM-ddTHH:mm:ssK", "yyyyMMddTHHmmssK". This method is not implemented in On-Prem. It is implemented in SharePoint Online but from my testing it will only work from a personal site. You cannot use it from an Add-In hosted outside of a personal site. You will receive a “MountPoint” security error.


This method is callable from REST or JavaScript. It takes a URL to a document and a boolean to give access to edit the document. It will return a string representing a URL that everyone in the organization can access that will not expire. It is not implemented in On-Prem. It is implemented in SharePoint Online but from my testing it will only work from a personal site. You cannot use it from an Add-In hosted outside of a personal site. You will receive a “MountPoint” security error.


This method is usable from JavaScript and REST and will return the “MySite” document library if the SPWeb is a personal site, otherwise it returns the document library identified in a SharePoint resource file with the key of  “documents_folder”, which is typically “Shared Documents”.


This method does what it exactly says. Given a URL it will remove all sharing permissions for anonymous links created by the previous listed methods. This is callable from both REST and JavaScript. Caller must have manage permissions privileges.


This method does exactly what DeleteAllAonymousLinksForObject does. Very difficult to tell the difference between the two. This is callable from both REST and JavaScript. Caller must have manage permissions privileges. This is not implemented in SharePoint On-Prem.


This destroys a previously issued organization wide shared link using the CreateOrganizationSharingLink method using the URL passed in. Once again this method is not available on SharePoint On-Prem.


This method which is usable from JavaScript and REST will create and forward a view only email link to multiple users. The parameters are the URL of the document you want to share, the string representation of output from the people picker, an email subject and body. This is not available on SharePoint On-Prem. This method will throw an error if any of the people selected are external or do not have view rights to the document.


This is a static method which is only available through REST. This will return a JSON representation of the new beefed up SPTheme class. The method will call and get the current web’s theme information and render all the theme information you would ever need to help you match the current theme. Below is screen shot of the result after calling JSON.parse on the return string. As you can see it returns colors, background image, fonts and much more. You will need to look more closely at Microsoft.SharePoint.Utilities.SPTheme to understand what is returned.


This is very nice method to return a collection of SPDocumentLibraryInformation objects for the given URL passed as an argument. This is effecient since it is a static method, making it easy to build lists of document libraries in a given web. Below is screen shot of the return data. It has a property telling you the last date the title of the document libary was changed.

GetFileByGuestUrl and GetFileByLinkingUrl

Both these methods are a great way to access a file given links generated by the CreateLinkxxx methods on the SPWeb class. The GetFileByGuestUrl will validate the URL checking for the guest access token and whether it is expired. The GetFileByLinkingUrl checks for a unique id in the querystring and returns the file using that. Both are available for JavaScript and REST.

GetFileById and GetFolderById

Both these methods use the unique id (GUID) of the file or folder to return the file. Developers have been asking for this for a while. But also probably put in for OneDrive.


This static method will return a Microsoft.SharePoint.ObjectSharingSettings object. This object contains many properties that tells you what sharing capabilities the current user has for the document URL passed as an argument. For example, can the user share the document with an external user or can the current user edit the document.It also takes a group id and a boolean to use simplified roles. Not sure what these may be used for. This method is not implemented in SharePoint On-Prem and can only be used on a personal MySite in SharePoint Online. The method seems to be a great way to determine all the different permissions a user has for a document. Unfortunately, it is limited in its implementation.


This method availalble for REST and JavaScript will increment a tag value that is possibly used to flush the cached web controls for pages in a given site.


Static method to share an object such as a document and very similar to the ForwardObjectLink method. This method has more parameters such as the ability to propagate which settting this to true appears to solve some past problems with pushing permissions down to nested AD groups and universal security groups. This method also gives you an option to send an email or just give permissions to the object.


Static method doing the opposite of the ShareObject method, both ShareObject and UnShareObject return a Microsoft.SharePoint.SharingResult.

New SPWeb Properties


This property returns true or false if the site contains any confidential information determined by the in place data loss protection policy. Typically this property is used when a DLP policy is implemented through the Compliance center.


Used by web part pages hosted in the site to determine if the site has changed.


This property returns a Microsoft.SharePoint.SPDataLeakagePreventionStatusInfo class for the site and tells you whether the site contains confidential information and if external sharing DLP tips are enabled. This class also gives two help information URL’s for both. You can read more about DLP and SharePoint 2016 here.


True or false if sharing has been enabled on the site.


If the site has the email service configured and is not hosted on a virtual server, then this property will return the email address to request access to the site.


Property which exposes the same JSON as the GetContextWebThemeData method.


This property will return true if the site is using a third party mobile device management solution.


Returns a Microsoft.SharePoint.SPUserResource containing the title of the site. Apparently useful for publishing.

SharePoint 2016 is all About Sharing, Security and OneDrive

As you can see that many of the methods and properties are devoted to sharing and data loss prevention. This seems to be the theme in the new features for SharePoint 2016. As a developer you must be aware the remote API code bases for SharePoint On-Prem and SharePoint Online have been merged. Many of the methods are not implemented at this time in On-Prem. It is very difficult to determine this unless you experiment. It appears that some of these methods can be enabled at a later time using flighting (enabling features using code). More to come.

Friday, January 1, 2016

What’s new in SharePoint 2016 Remote API Part 3 (Files)

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This is part three of a blog series about the new features available in SharePoint 2016 Beta 2 Remote API. This blog post will talk about the new features for files. Unfortunately, some of the new methods available for files do not necessarily work in Beta 2 for reasons I don’t understand as of yet.

File Versions

Getting previous version binaries in SharePoint has always been a pain. CSOM methods really did not work. Many developers used File.OpenBinaryDirect method along with the URL to the previous version which looked something like this: http://yoursite/yoursubsite/_vti_history/512/Documents/Book1.xls

Of course you knew that 512 means version 1.0 or the magic number 1025 means version 2.1. There was a fomula that you were required to use to generate these numbers and construct the URL. However, even if you knew how to constuct the URL the CSOM OpenBinaryDirect method would return a 404. Most developers just used the .Net web client and the URL to get the binary. Now SharePoint 2016 has added OpenBinaryStream method on the SPFileVersion class.

The OpenBinaryStream method is available for both CSOM, REST and JSOM. The following is a code example using JSOM. Unfortunately, this still has the problem of decoding the binary stream similar to the issue of getting the binary for a SPFile object pointed out in Mikael Svenson blog post How to copy files between sites. If the file is not a text file then you get a file that has all the pages but the pages are blank. This problem still exists in SharePoint 2016. So I recommend using this method only with managed CSOM. Also, you still need to know the magic number for the version to retrieve it. The SPFileVersions collection has many methods that use the label, except the method to retrieive it. I can delete by the label but not retrieve by the label. Why?

function getVersionBinarySP() {
    var dfd = $.Deferred();
    var binaryData;
    hostweburl = decodeURIComponent(getQueryStringParameter('SPHostUrl'));
    appweburl = decodeURIComponent(getQueryStringParameter('SPAppWebUrl'));
    fileContentUrl = appweburl + "/_api/SP.AppContextSite(@target)/web/GetFileByServerRelativeUrl('/sites/seconddev/testdups/testdoc0.pdf')/Versions/GetById(512)/OpenBinaryStream?@target='" + hostweburl + "'";

    var executor = new SP.RequestExecutor(appweburl);
    var info = {
        url: fileContentUrl,
        method: "GET",
        binaryStringResponseBody: true,
        success: function (data) {
            binaryData = data.body;
        error: function (err) {
    return dfd;

What’s new for Files?

There a many new methods and properties available for remotely accessing SharePoint files. Some of these have already been implemented in SharePoint Online. Below is a list of the new methods.

StartUpload, ContinueUpload, ContinueUpload, FinishUpload Methods

These methods are for uploading files in fragments (chunking) which is useful for large files when connections can be dropped or throttled. SharePoint Online has had these methods for a while to help developers with throttling. The methods are enabled for CSOM, REST and JSOM. Once again I would not try using these from JavaScript given the issues with stream encoding. I did test these with managed CSOM, below is some code:

public void UploadFile()
    ClientContext clientContext = new ClientContext("http://win2012r2dev/sites/seconddev");

    var documentsFolder = clientContext.Web.GetFolderByServerRelativeUrl("/sites/seconddev/testdups");
    Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.File uploadFile = documentsFolder.Files.GetByUrl("testdoc12.pdf");

    using (var fs = System.IO.File.OpenRead(@"c:\wp8_enterprise_device_management_protocol.pdf"))
        byte[] bytes = new byte[fs.Length];
        fs.Read(bytes, 0, (int)fs.Length);
        using (var inputStream = new MemoryStream())
            inputStream.Write(bytes, 0, bytes.Length);
            inputStream.Position = 0;

            //Set up size of fragments to upload.
            int chunkSize = 1000000;
            int index = 0;

            Int64 offset = 0;
            var myGuid = Guid.NewGuid();

            while (inputStream.Position < inputStream.Length)
                byte[] buffer = new byte[chunkSize];
                int chunkBytesRead = 0;
                while (chunkBytesRead < chunkSize)
                    int bytesRead = inputStream.Read(buffer, chunkBytesRead, chunkSize - chunkBytesRead);
                    MemoryStream stream = new MemoryStream();
                    stream.Write(buffer, 0, buffer.Length);
                    if (bytesRead == 0)
                    chunkBytesRead += bytesRead;
                    if (index == 0)
                        offset = uploadFile.StartUpload(myGuid, stream).Value;
                    else if (inputStream.Position == inputStream.Length)
                        uploadFile.FinishUpload(myGuid, offset, stream);
                        offset = uploadFile.ContinueUpload(myGuid, offset, stream).Value;




These methods all work together to help upload files in fragments. You just need to make sure to use the same GUID when sending the request. Unfortunately, I could not get this to work. I keep getting a Cobalt (File Syncronization) error of “Invalid Argument”. However, please try the code I could be missing something.
ExecuteCobaltRequest Method

Once again this is a method for editing files that are supported by the Office Online Server (WOPI Protocol) that has been available in Office 365. This method is now supported for SharePoint 2016 and Office Online Server Preview. There is little documentation on this method, The method is supported in managed CSOM and JSOM. The method takes a stream as an argument so probably not a good candidate for JavaScript.


This method returns a URL to the new image preview handler that has been used by Delve in Office 365. I blogged about using this in your own hosted Add-In or search templates Get Faster Search Previews in SharePoint Online. Well now a handy method will build if for you in SharePoint 2016. This will work with office, pdf, tiff, bmp and png files. You can pass in the width and height and it will calculate a resolution and send back a URL similar to this:


Unfortunately, the getpreview.ashx handler code will not work unless it is running on SharePoint Online. Huh?


This method returns a URL to download the document. The method takes an integer as an argument representing the number of hours the link is good for. It has a guest token attached in the querystring. Below is an example of what is returned. You will have to log in with the userid listed in the querystring.



This is another convenience method. This is a URL to navigate to an office file (including PDF) in Office Online Server Preview. The method takes one argument an integer representing the SPWOPIFrameAction enumeration. This method supports, View, Edit, InteractivePreview, and MobileView. Below is an example of what is returned.



The SPFile and SPFolder now support property bags via the remote API. So you can now save metadata to your file and folders using the new Properties property along with this Update method.

function updateFilePropertyBag() {
    appweburl = decodeURIComponent(getQueryStringParameter('SPAppWebUrl'));
    hostweburl = decodeURIComponent(getQueryStringParameter('SPHostUrl'));
    context = new SP.ClientContext(appweburl);
    appContextSite = new SP.AppContextSite(context, hostweburl);

    targetWeb = appContextSite.get_web();
    var file = targetWeb.getFileByServerRelativeUrl("/sites/seconddev/testdups/testdoc0.pdf")
    var properties = file.get_properties();

    context.executeQueryAsync(function () {
        var p = properties;
        p.set_item("whatever", false);

        context.executeQueryAsync(function () { },
            function (sender, args) {
                alert(args.get_message() + '\n' + args.get_stackTrace());

    }, function (sender, args) {
        alert(args.get_message() + '\n' + args.get_stackTrace());


Information Rights Management is a high priority in SharePoint 2016

Below is a list of new properties exposed on the SPFile in th remote API. As you can see Information Rights Management is a high priority with the surfacing of two new properties InformationRightsManagementSettings and EffectiveInformationRightsManagement. The former is the default settings and the later is what actually is set for the document if IRM is enabled. These settings are stored in the SPFile property bag but these new properties make it easy to read the right property. This comes in handy if your developing an application and you want to make sure you can print or view a document.

SharePoint 2016 Remote API Progress but not Perfection

Well this post shows you that the remote API for files is getting better in SharePoint 2016, but problems remain. The current Beta 2 remote API seems to be ahead of the what has been implemented on the server side. Some features appear in the API but are not fully implemented or may never be implemented. If some of the methods are for O365 only then they should be removed. The merging of the API between O365 and SharePoint 2016 may cause problems for developers since it will be impossible to tell which method works in what platform. There is more information to come. I urge you to start using the remote API more so you can take advantage of new features when your customers need them and to avoid the ones that do not work.