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Mark Rackley

Mark Rackley

Group Manager, Modern Workplace Architect at Avanade

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Mark is Group Manager, Modern Workplace Architect at Avanade and a Microsoft MVP with more than 20 years of experience designing and developing software solutions. Mark’s daily responsibilities include forging the direction of solution architecture and development projects for clients while providing the best solutions for clients' unique problems. As a globally recognized SharePoint geek, Mark is an active blogger, presenter, author (and bacon aficionado) who is eager to lend his real-world knowledge of SharePoint to all who need it.

In addition to speaking at various SharePoint & Office 365 conferences around the world, Mark is the organizer of The North American Collaboration Summit (www.collabsummit.org) in Branson, Missouri, the creator of the free InfoPath replacement tool StratusForms (www.stratusforms.com), and a podcaster at www.techsplaining.net

Awards

  • Most Active Speaker 2023
  • Most Active Speaker 2022

Move Beyond the Basics - Real World Power Automate Workshop

Maybe you know to create an Approval workflow or handle some of the common actions and branching in Power Automate, but what's next? How can you take these foundational skills to help create truly transformative solutions that tackle the more complicated business needs? It's time to go beyond the basics in Power Automate!

In this full-day, demo-intensive workshop, developers and IT Pro's will learn to take the Power Automate skills to the next level in order to:
• Parse data structures
• Execute SharePoint REST queries
• Execute JavaScript / TypeScript and Excel Formulas
• Use Cognitive Services to extract metadata
• How to use Power Automate to create powerful no-code bots for Teams
• Learn how, why, and when to use Logic Apps instead of Power Automate
• and so much more!

Introduction to JSON to master customizing SharePoint

JSON is EVERYWHERE in SharePoint Online and your ability to take your SharePoint deployments to the next level depend on your ability to understand and create complicated JSON objects. In this densely demo-packed session, attendees will learn:
- What is JSON and how to understand the structure
- Tips for creating JSON objects and starting with community content as a starting point

Attendees will also learn how to use JSON Objects in SharePoint Online to:
- Customize list columns and list views
- Create Site Designs for creating custom site templates
- Create stunning Quick Views for Viva Connections ACE's
- Post messages in teams as Adaptive Cards
- Process SharePoint REST queries in Power Automate
- and more!!

How to Execute JavaScript, TypeScript, and Excel Formulas In Power Automate

Power Automate has become an essential tool for the Microsoft 365 developer. However, all too often executing simple logic can become tedious and painful using Power Automate standard features. Doing math in Power Automate shouldn't be so painful!

Thankfully, Power Automate developers can now create scripts that use JavaScript, TypeScript, or even Excel formulas to execute complicated business logic and bring more power to your Power Automate solutions. Attend this demo-packed session to learn out to take your Power Automate Flows to the next level as we dive into a real-world scenario and build a practical solution step-by-step. In this session, attendees will learn to use Office Scripts to:

- Execute JavaScript, TypeScript, and Excel Formulas
- Simplify complicated Flows
- How to quickly and easily generate dynamic adaptive cards
- Generate graphs and charts on the fly for real-time updates to SharePoint data

Best Practices from the Real World for Viva Connections

One of the brightest stars (and lowest cost) member of the Microsoft Viva family is Viva Connections, but it also seems to be the most misunderstood. What exactly is Viva Connections, what features does it offer, and how can your organization start using it today? In this lively session, attendees will learn:
- What is Viva Connections and how can it evolve your Intranet
- Best practices for using Viva Connections for your Corporate Communications needs
- Client stories on how organizations are using Viva Connections today
- How to bring personalization to the next level with Viva ACE Cards
- Why Viva Connections should be on your roadmap right now

An Introduction to Power Virtual Agents for Microsoft Teams

Over the past few years, it has become increasingly easier to create powerful bots with little to no code. Now almost anyone can quickly create and deploy a chat bot with ease. Power Virtual Agents is a premium add-on to the Power Platform that allows you to create and deploy such bots.

As part of Dataverse (previously called Project Oakdale) many Microsoft 365 subscribers have access to Power Virtual Agents for Microsoft Teams. These chatbots are covered under their Microsoft 365 licensing and require no premium licensing to develop, deploy, or use.

In this session attendees will learn:

1) How to create / deploy chat bots in Teams
2) How to create Topics, use branching logic, and prompt users for input
3) Add even more power to their chat bots using Power Automate flows.

A Real World Introduction to Viva Connections

One of the brightest stars (and lowest cost) member of the Microsoft Viva family is Viva Connections, but it also seems to be the most misunderstood. What exactly is Viva Connections, what features does it offer, and how can your organization start using it today? In this lively session, attendees will learn:
- What is the difference between Viva Connections Desktop and Viva Connections Mobile?
- How to best use the Viva Connections Newsfeed
- How to use and customize the Viva Connections Dashboard
- How to take advantage of out of the box ACE's (Adaptive Card Extensions) and how to use the SharePoint Framework (SPFx) to create your own to create a more powerful dashboard experience

How we used Microsoft Teams to deliver the first Hybrid Microsoft Conference

Join this session to learn how Microsoft Teams enabled the North American Collaboration Summit to produce the first truly hybrid Microsoft community conference. Spanning 3 days of sessions and workshops. NACS was able to deliver an engaging experience for all attendees, speakers, and sponsors whether they were on-site or remote. learn how we:
- Kept attendees engaged with raffle prizes and engagement in Teams
- Ensured all sponsors received engagement from attendees
- Allowed speakers to effectively present to attendees that were in-person and remote during their sessions.
- Overcame hurdles and what we'll do better next time

Creating Modern Site Templates Using Site Designs

Site Designs are a cool feature that let designers create sites from pre-defined templates. These templates can be simple from just adding lists, fields, and themes to very powerful where Flows are triggered or complicated post file creation logic is performed. Attendees to this session will learn:
- What is a Site Design and what can and can't be created with a Site Design
- How to create a list, content type, and site columns in a Site Design
- How to apply a theme to a Site Design
- How to deploy the Site Design

An Introduction to Dataverse

Historically creating applications for Teams has been a cumbersome process relegated to developers or requiring jumping through hoops to get something deployed to your Teams Environment. Dataverse solves these problems, and more. Dataverse brings the power of the Power Platform along with ease of deployment and premium features at no additional cost to Microsoft Teams. Attend this session to learn:
- What IS Dataverse and what happens when you create a new environment
- How to get started creating and deploying an app in Dataverse
- How to stop using SharePoint Lists as a database and take advantage of the Common Data Service

Working with JSON and Arrays in Power Automate

Creating flows in Power Automate is one of the most powerful features available to the citizen developer. However, in order to truly master creating flows citizen developers need to understand how to parse the often confusing arrays and JSON objects that are returned from various processes. In this session, Mark Rackley will break down how to effectively:
• Access data in an array
• Parse a JSON object
• Generate a sample schema
Don’t miss your chance to unlock a world of powerful features in Power Automate by learning to master data in Power Automate.

better looking list views using the column formatter

Modern list views are great, but visually? They are kind of meh to be honest. No style, no color, low business impact. Users need to be able to quickly find what they are looking for and identify critical tasks, plus everyone likes visual indicators. Well, using the column formatter, users can customize modern list views. They can color code field based on date or status, create clickable actions, add simple icons, or create more complicated visualizations. Attend this fast paced 20 minute session on the column formatter to:
- Understand what’s possible with the column formatter and what the different properties mean
- How to get started implementing simple customizations
- Where to go to get samples of more complex customizations

Attainable AI – Real World Artificial Intelligence for Everyone

Why has your organization not embraced AI yet? Cost? Complexity? No perceived business value? Thanks to Azure and Microsoft 365, AI is not only cost-effective (sometimes free) and easy to use, there are many real-world use-case scenarios that you can take advantage of today without having to be a developer. Attend this demo-packed session to learn how quick and easy it is to get started with AI in your organization to create bots, translate conversations, identify objects in pictures, and more!

An Introduction to Power Virtual Agents for Microsoft Teams

Over the past few years, it has become increasingly easier to create powerful bots with little to no code. Now almost anyone can quickly create a deploy a chat bot with ease. Power Virtual Agents is a premium add-on to the Power Platform that allows you to create and deploy such bots.

As part of Dataverse (previously called Project Oakdale) many Microsoft 365 subscribers have access to Power Virtual Agents for Microsoft Teams. These chat bots are covered under their Microsoft 365 licensing and require no premium licensing to develop, deploy, or use.

In this session attendees will learn:

1) How to create / deploy chat bots in Teams
2) How to create Topics, use branching logic, and prompt users for input
3) Add even more power to their chat bots using Power Automate flows.

All without any additional licensing!

101 Ways to Develop for SharePoint Online and Microsoft Teams

As a developer, it is critical to understand all of the ways to customize SharePoint Online and Microsoft Teams. Often, you can develop some pretty amazing solutions without writing a line of code and sometimes you need to roll up your sleeves and open up Visual Studio Code. In this full-day workshop, developers will be introduced to some of the most common methods for customizing SharePoint Online and Microsoft Teams including:

- Out of the box customizations
- SPFx Web Parts and Teams Apps
- Connecting to SPO using the .NET framework
- PnP libraries, REST, and Microsoft Graph
- Power Apps, Power Automate, and Logic Apps
- Power Virtual Agents and bots
- and so much more!

Creating Your First Viva Connections Adaptive Card Extension That You Actually Use!

The Viva Connections Dashboard is the perfect way to quickly and easily bring personalized features to your employees and has a rich desktop and mobile experience. Plus, using the Adaptive Card Extensions available in the SharePoint Framework, developers can create custom solutions faster than ever before. In this step-by-step session, join Mark Rackley as he shows you how to create one of these custom dashboard cards (that you'll actually want to use). In this session, attendees will learn:
- How to create a Viva Connections Adaptive Card Extension
- How to use state to set the values and customize the card
- How to execute a SharePoint Rest call to retrieve information for your card
- How to conditionally show/hide cards so your employees dashboard does not get cluttered.

An Introduction to the Microsoft Graph in SharePoint and Microsoft Teams for JavaScript Developers

It is shockingly simple to take advantage of the power the Microsoft Graph to create applications for SharePoint and Microsoft Teams.
In this session, we’ll guide you through the simple to follow steps for getting started. In this session we’ll create a real world application for finding meeting times for members of your Group and Team while learning:
- How to use the Graph in the SharePoint Framework
- How to grant permissions to the Graph for your application
- How to deploy your SPFx application to Microsoft Teams
- How to perform both GET and POST operations using the msGraphClientFactory
You wonder why you didn’t get started with the Microsoft Graph sooner!

MIGRATING EXISTING JAVASCRIPT TO THE SHAREPOINT FRAMEWORK

Whether with SharePoint 2016 on-premises or online with Office 365, the landscape has changed. Modern SharePoint Team Sites and Communications Sites have arrived that use SharePoint Framework client web parts, however, many organizations have an extensive library of existing JavaScript customizations that have been developed over the years using Content Editor and Script Editor Web Parts. How do those organizations and developers take advantage of the power and benefits of the SharePoint Framework without spending thousands of hours rewriting everything from scratch? In this session, attendees will discover that not only are their previous efforts not wasted, but they can be enhanced and become more powerful than ever thanks to the SharePoint Framework. Attendees will learn:
- The quickest and easiest way to get going on the SharePoint Framework
- How to convert existing JavaScript customizations to the SharePoint Framework quickly and easily
- How to use properties to allow users to configure client web parts

It’s Time to Modernize Your Company FAQ with a No-Code Bot in Microsoft Teams

The thought of creating a bot may sound like a daunting task to anyone without a technical background. I know as a developer when I was tasked with writing a Question and Answer bot I was apprehensive as to what all it would entail. It turns out the process is extremely simple and requires no technical abilities whatsoever. In fact, after creating the bot it struck me that the Question and Answer bot is the ideal bot to replace your company’s FAQ. We all have them. Frequently Asked Questions. Have you ever found a FAQ usable though? It’s a lot of search and reading and unless you search for the exact right keyword then you may not even find what you are looking for.

Attend this session and learn:

How ANYONE can create a QnA Bot and deploy it to Teams

How to source FAQ information from spreadsheets, web pages, and other sources

How to take advantage of AI Cognitive Services to determine user intent when they ask questions

ALL without writing a line of code!

It’s time that you modernize your company’s FAQ

The Ultimate Introduction to Modern SharePoint and Teams Development for JavaScript Developers

Traditionally in On-Prem and “Classic” SharePoint, developers have been able to create some pretty amazing solutions using a little JavaScript and a Script Editor Web Part. Dynamic dashboards, custom forms, and amazing single page applications that users loved. However, with the introduction of Modern SharePoint development and the SharePoint Framework, it may at first glance appear that all of your previous efforts may have been in vain. And what about development for Microsoft Teams? Do you need to re-tool your entire development team and lose all of the previous productivity gains? Can that code be re-used? How should you proceed? Do you HAVE to learn React and TypeScript? Fear not! Join Mark Rackley in this 1/2 day workshop to learn how to take your current skills and quickly adapt them to this new modern world. In this half day workshop you will learn:
- How to convert your existing JavaScript solutions to the SharePoint Framework
- How to deploy your SharePoint Framework solutions to both SharePoint Online and Teams
- How to get started with the Microsoft Graph to create even more powerful solutions

ALL without having to know TypeScript or React!!!

Going Deeper with Client-Side Development in SharePoint

Now that you understand the basics of client-side development in SharePoint, it’s time to go deeper and see what kind of real-world application can be created. In this demo packed ½ day workshop your brain will be exploding with ideas on how to take your applications to the next level using client-side development! In this workshop users will learn:

• How to use Third Party Libraries to take the SharePoint applications to the next level
• How to use REST and CSOM to interact with SharePoint list data and create business logic
• How to step-by-step create a functional, usable time tracking application

Getting Started with Client-Side Development in SharePoint

Are you new to SharePoint development? Are you a .NET developer struggling to make sense of client-side development in SharePoint? Are you tired of SharePoint only getting you part of the way there? Want to create REAL functionality in SharePoint to make your sites more usable? Dashboards, custom forms with real business logic, and visual enhancements like animations can help you take your SharePoint environments to the next level. Whether you are using On-Premises SharePoint or SharePoint Online in Office 365, come to this workshop to learn essential skills every SharePoint developer should know. Attendees will learn:

• The pros and cons of client side development and how to get started
• How to effectively interact with SharePoint using JavaScript to build powerful applications
• What is jQuery and how to use it effectively
• How to create custom forms quickly and easily without the need for InfoPath or PowerApps
• The easiest way to get ready for Modern SharePoint development

A Real World Introduction to Bots

Bots are a growing rage, but how can you create them? What skills do you need? Is it realistic for you to create a bot for your organization? Is there a real use case that fits your needs? In this feature-packed session, join Mark Rackley as he walks you through multiple options for creating bots that you can deploy anywhere in your environment and get started in the world of bots today! Attendees will learn:

- What makes a bot work behind the scenes, and what options are available to developers
- How to create a bot with QnA Maker and deploy it to Teams without writing a single line of code
- How to create a QnA bot with LUIS, Logic Apps, and Free Azure Websites and how to deploy this bot on any web site or as a Teams application

Master Client Side Development in Your On-Premises and Classic SharePoint Environments

Are you tired of SharePoint only getting you part of the way there? Want to create REAL functionality in SharePoint to make your sites more usable? Dashboards, custom forms with real business logic, and visual enhancements like animations can help you take your SharePoint environments to the next level. Whether you are using On-Premises SharePoint or using Classic SharePoint in SharePoint Online, come to this workshop to learn essential skills every SharePoint customizer should know. Attendees will learn:

• The pros and cons of client-side development and how to get started
• How to effectively interact with SharePoint using JavaScript to build powerful applications
• What is jQuery and how to use it effectively
• How to create custom forms quickly and easily without the need for InfoPath or PowerApps
• How to use Third Party Libraries to take the SharePoint applications to the next level
• How to use REST and CSOM to interact with SharePoint list data and create business logic
• How to step-by-step create a functional, usable time tracking application

Securing Your Tenant: Using Microsoft Graph Data Connect to Assess Oversharing and Prepare for Micro

In this session, we will explore how to use Microsoft Graph Data Connect to assess oversharing in your M365 tenant and prepare for the role of Microsoft Copilot from a security standpoint. We will discuss the importance of having good content management practices in place prior to Microsoft 365 Copilot adoption, and how to evaluate oversharing and implement information protection to ensure that data is protected.

Mark Rackley

Group Manager, Modern Workplace Architect at Avanade

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