Add dynamic content to your Smart Tiles

Keeping content constantly updated can, sometimes, become a tedious chore. This same procedure can lead to the lack of 'fresh-content' which, in turn, decreases user adoption and interaction. 

If you're wanting to minimize this same cycle, constantly adding dynamic content to your SharePoint portal, this is the article for you. 

Before we begin

This article utilizes several distinctive technologies:

  • BindTuning's Smart functionality, allowing you to map pre-existing content living on your SharePoint lists, in order to be displayed automatically (i.e: Tiles, Slider, etc). If you currently do not have access to a BindTuning subscription, be sure to request a free trial by signing up at BindTuning
  • We leverage Microsoft's Power Automate, due to being a low-code platform, as well as due to the available range of provided connectors.  

Introductory notes

This same article describes how to automatically extract information from an RSS-Feed, in order to automatically generate self-perpetuating and up-to-date content, that can be further leveraged to populate BindTuning's web parts, creating a more functional and visually-appealing experience for your users.  

Note: All steps described in the article may need to be tailored, in accordance with your chosen RSS-Feed provider, as well as underlying structure and necessities. Moreover, any utilized resource can be found on its correlative section, so as to provide a replicable experience. 

The article will be subdivided into several distinct steps: 

  1. Creation of a SharePoint list, in order to house our dynamic content; 
  2. Creation of Power Automate Flows, so as to populate our previously created list, as well as recurrently delete items older than a specified date; 
  3. Connection of your SharePoint list to BindTuning's Smart Tiles functionality. 

Create and set up your SharePoint List

For this demonstration, we're utilizing a default SharePoint list, created so as to accommodate the following columns: 

  • Title: A Single line of text-type column, where we will be depositing the article name; 
  • Link: A Single line of text-type column, where, when clicked, will redirect us to the full-fledged article;
  • Picture: A Single line of text-type column, whose function is to display the RSS-feed provided image; 
  • Summary: A Multiple lines of text-type column, containing any extra information relevant for the users.

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After creating a list with the necessary fields, we can proceed to the creation and/or adjustment of our Power Automate Flows.

Create and set up your content source with Power Automate

Power Automate will manage our content, adding and removing deprecated content from the SharePoint list created on the step above. 

In order to automatically push content to our list, we will be using the default RSS to SharePoint connector.

Moreover, and considering content is constantly being pushed to said list, we will, inherently, need to delete older items, so as not to clutter our environment and, for that, we will utilize the default Recurrence connector.

Both of the provided Flows will run without manual intervention: 

  • RSS to SharePoint will run, as soon as a new entry is published;
  • The recurrent event will run based on the pre-defined interval and frequency.

As part of the demonstration, we have chosen an RSS-Feed provided by mindbodygreen.

Note: Being that every RSS-Feed structure is different and, in order to make sure you're receiving the expected outputs, please utilize the pre-packaged Power Automate Flow found here.

After downloading the file, please be sure to import it to your own environment. To do so, follow the steps below: 

  1. On your Power Automate environment, select My Flows;
  2. Select the option Import;
  3. Upload the .zip folder provided above;
  4. Re-map the necessary connections (i.e: Modify the tenant URL as well as correlative SharePoint list). Detailed steps on how to proceed, can be found here

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After proceeding with the arrangements, simply click on your Flow Checker, so as to verify if the necessary conditions have been met.

 

flow-checker.png

As of this moment, new content should be added to our SharePoint list. As with any new feed publication, a new list entry should be added to your environment.

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As soon as we have confirmed the list to be correctly populated, we can proceed to add our Recurrent Flow. Please find the pre-packaged Flow here.

Be sure to proceed with its correlative upload and adjustments, as per the instructions above.

Note: The recurrent event is set to run once every day, deleting items that are older than one day. However, this same interval can be modified as per your necessities.

After performing the steps above, the imported flows will live under your My Flows section.

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Connect and set up your source to the BindTuning Tiles Web Part

Having set up our content source, we are ready to move on to actually displaying that same content in BindTuning's Tiles web part. To do so, follow the steps below:

  1. Add a BindTuning Tiles Web Part to your SharePoint page; 
  2. Select Configure and, from the menu select Create new BT Tiles List
  3. Name your list and click Create List;
  4. Close the panel and, at the top-right side of the web part, click on the plus (+) button, so as to add a new entry; 
  5. Select the Tile Shape and, under Tile Type, select Smart Tile
  6. Under Connect to a Data Source, pass the list created under the first step, hitting the floppy disk icon to save the configuration;

After proceeding with this configuration, you'll notice that no content is being shown on the web part. In order for our dynamic content to populate the web part, we will need to map our SharePoint list columns, to the required web part fields. 

Let's say we need to map our Picture column to our Tiles web part. To do so, we'll need to find a correspondent zone inside the web part (i.e: Tile Background), and map our column name using this syntax: 

{{Picture}}

As this is easier done than said, let's have a look at how to perform this mapping: 

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After this is done, you'll notice that any entry will automatically show up on your new web part, removing the need for further configurations and/or constant updates!

Note: As mentioned throughout the article, the provided Power Automate Flows were built having in consideration the structure of the RSS Feed we were connecting to. However, being that we are able to modify the flows at our convenience, please feel free to connect to distinct sources, having in mind that further adjustments on the flows may be necessary.

 

 

 

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