Ozbizweb Group win the MAPA award for Excellence in Small and Mid-Market Cloud Solutions!

We did it!

Ozbizweb Group with Partner Sales Executive Carmel Mosser (far left) and GM of Microsoft Australia, Pip Marlow (front)

Ozbizweb Group with Partner Sales Executive Carmel Mosser (far left) and Managing Director of Microsoft Australia, Pip Marlow (front)

At last week’s 2015 Microsoft Australia Partner Conference, Ozbizweb Group took out the MAPA award for Excellence in Small and Mid-Market Cloud Solutions. See the video below for the announcement.

This year we based our submission on a SharePoint Online/Office 365 solution for AUS Recruit, a Gold Coast based athlete recruitment company. AUS Recruit secure scholarships for Australian athletes in the American College system, and use SharePoint Online and custom workflows to automate their business processes.

The solution also highlighted our use of Azure Logic apps to automate our own business processes, and the Office 365 APIs to provide an integrated support experience via the Office 365 App Launcher.

We followed up the conference with our first Breakfast event featuring Microsoft Australia’s Brett Fraser. This was the first event we’ve hosted and we received some fantastic feedback from our 50+ guests.

Breakfast Event

We’ve left the Australia Partner Conference with some great ideas for the year ahead. If you’d like to know more about how you can put the Microsoft Cloud to work for your business, get in touch!

Ozbizweb Group are finalists again!

The finalists for the 2015 MAPA awards were announced this week, and we’ve received a nomination for Excellence in Small and Mid-market Cloud Solutions!

The project we based this years’ entry on was an Office 365 and SharePoint Online customisation for AUS Recruit. AUS Recruit are an athlete promotion agency that secures scholarships in the American college system for Australian athletes.

The project was featured on Kochie’s Business Builders last year on Channel 7. See the segment here:

This is the second time we’ve made it to the MAPAs, last year in the Small Business category. We missed out that time to our friends at XCentral (who were also nominated this year for Excellence in Managed Services).

This years winners will be announced at the Australian Partner Conference on the Gold Coast at the end of the month. In the meantime, we get to use this cool email signature:

Ozbizweb Group - Excellence in Small and Mid-Market Cloud Solutions



Connecting SharePoint to Xero with Azure Logic Apps

Like many businesses with Office 365, we use SharePoint Online quite a bit for business intelligence, process automation and document/data storage.

We also use other cloud applications like Xero for cloud accounting. Though we were looking for a way to connect our separate cloud tools together to cut down on double handling of data and automate our invoicing.

We first tried to get the solution working entirely via a SharePoint workflow in SharePoint Designer. It wasn’t long before we gave up on this approach because we didn’t know how to do the initial authentication of the web service calls to Xero from SharePoint Designer.

The Xero Developer Center provides some good documentation and guides on configuring apps to connect to Xero organisations, so we decided to build a web API on Microsoft Azure in conjunction with a SharePoint workflow to pull this off.

Here’s what the solution looked like:SharePoint Workflow Idea



  • All the OAuth authentication work is done by the API, and we can send all our calls with a client ID and Secret from SharePoint Designer with a web service call.
  • The API is designed to service multiple customers, so we can provide this as a service to our customers who want to connect SharePoint to Xero.


  • We weren’t too fussed on the idea of storing the Xero Client ID and secret in SharePoint Designer, where it can be viewed by any user who can open workflows.
  • Configuring the solution for multiple customers would mean setting up and supporting these SharePoint Designer workflows across multiple organisations.

Ideally we would have a way to coordinate the flow of data between SharePoint and our API from a secure, centralised location – and, although we’re messing about with the Office 365 APIs, we’re not the most experienced developers.

Enter Azure Logic Apps

The solution to our problem came with the announcement of Azure Logic Apps back in March. This gave us the perfect way to orchestrate the authentication and flow of information between the services.


Our Azure Logic app monitors a designated SharePoint list for a new item (invoice), and once triggered, will initiate a HTTP call against our API with the relevant invoice information. We also added in a notification email step using the built-in Office 365 API app.



Here’s how our invoicing process works now:

  1. Remote support technicians complete a job.
  2. If the customer is not on a support contract, a SharePoint workflow creates a new item in a separate SharePoint list for processing with all the information required for invoicing.
  3. The Azure Logic App checks the list every minute, and when it finds a new item, pulls the information and populates a HTTP POST call in the format required by Xero. This creates a draft invoice in Xero, where it can be approved later.
  4. After an invoice is created successfully, a notification email is sent to let us know there’s an invoice awaiting approval.




  • Since it’s running in Azure, we can set this solution up for other customers, and manage everything from the Azure Portal.
  • The Xero Client ID and Secret is stored in a central, secure location.
  • Azure Logic Apps provide detailed reporting on the success/failure of previous runs. This was extremely helpful during the initial setup.
  • No double handling of data between clouds and no missed invoices!

Azure Logic App History

Invoices processed by the Azure Logic App:

Invoices Processed by the Azure Logic App

Here’s a draft invoice created in Xero by the Logic App and our custom API. We’ve also set it up to work with our custom tracking fields, so that the technician who completed the job in SharePoint is recognised in Xero.

Invoice Created in Xero using SharePoint List Data

Invoice created in Xero using SharePoint list data


More reasons to connect SharePoint to Xero with Azure Logic Apps

The invoice creation workflow is the first that we’ve setup using our custom API, though there are other possible use cases for this service. For example:

  • Pull overdue invoices from Xero, assign task to SharePoint users to follow up
  • Get list of contacts from Xero in a SharePoint List
  • Add New contacts to Xero from SharePoint List
  • Use Excel services to create business intelligence dashboards, extending the functionality of Xero reporting

Have some other ideas? Get in touch!



Change Column Order in SharePoint Online

UPDATE: I’ve since learned that this option was missing because I had changed the List Settings to “Allow Management of Content Types”. If you’re having the same issue, just go to List settings -> Advanced Settings -> “Allow Management of Content Types?” and choose ‘No’.

I recently had trouble locating the settings to change the order of SharePoint Online Columns in a Custom List.

In my case, I added a post code field at the very end and needed a way to send it up the list with the rest of the address related fields.

The default behaviour in SharePoint Online is to arrange columns in the order that they are added. When new users are adding new items to a list, they’ll typically have to add them in that order as well.

I’m relatively new to SharePoint Designer, and while I was able to create a new Form and manually arrange the columns, it wasn’t an ideal solution. The List Settings on SharePoint Online also don’t seem to give the option to edit the order, and modifying the order of columns in a particular view doesn’t affect the order of the New/Edit forms.

I found a solution by looking at a URL from an older version of SharePoint.

Change the default order of columns in New/Edit forms on SharePoint Online

First open your SharePoint Online list and go to List > List Settings at the top of the page.



Take note of the URL, it should look like this: https://yoursite.sharepoint.com/_layouts/15/start.aspx#/_layouts/15/listedit.aspx?List=%7B4859E939%2D301C%2D4197%2DA6D4%2D7CE2E1B19674%7D

Replace ‘listedit’ with ‘FormEdt’.

So: https://yoursite.sharepoint.com/_layouts/15/start.aspx#/_layouts/15/listedit.aspx?List=%7B4859E939%2D301C%2D4197%2DA6D4%2D7CE2E1B19674%7D

Becomes: https://yoursite.sharepoint.com/_layouts/15/start.aspx#/_layouts/15/formEdt.aspx?List=%7B4859E939%2D301C%2D4197%2DA6D4%2D7CE2E1B19674%7D

Press Enter and you should now see a page like this that lets you change the order of Columns in the New and Edit forms.




Make your changes, press OK and try adding a new item. If you’re using the default new item form, the fields should now be in the order you specified.

There may be an ‘official’ way to get this to appear, and if you know what it is please leave a comment.

UPDATE again: There is an ‘official’ way, see the top of this post.