SharePoint Integration

Your Userlane solution can be integrated with SharePoint providing a simple way for your users to search SharePoint content without context switching. You can set up the integration in a few short steps. See Setup below to learn how.
How it works

All search requests made from the search menu in the Assistant will take both Userlane content (i.e. guides, announcements) as well as SharePoint content into consideration. 

If a search request has results from SharePoint, they can be identified by the following document icon: 

By clicking on a SharePoint search result, the assistant will open a slightly enhanced document view that shows the content from the corresponding SharePoint page. If that page is very long and requires a lot of scrolling inside the document view, you can open the original page in SharePoint by clicking on the link below the document title.

💡 Please note that this requires logging in to SharePoint, which means that users without such a login won’t be able to open pages directly in SharePoint, and can only view the content from the Userlane assistant.

What can be searched

Due to the Microsoft Graph API limitations, we cannot search and retrieve all SharePoint content types. 

We do search:

  • SharePoint pages, but only the web text parts in page names, titles, and page content

  • lists and list items

We cannot search:

  • embedded web content, such as images and documents

  • wiki pages

ℹ️ We are NOT indexing SharePoint content in our own database. Instead, we rely on the Microsoft Graph API to get the results in real time. Therefore, it is not possible to compare search results from SharePoint’s native search with the results that Userlane shows in the assistant.

Set-Up
Prerequisites
  • Use the Microsoft Graph API and not SharePoint's own native API which is the way that is recommended by Microsoft as its no longer developed further because Microsoft strategically decided to replace it with Microsoft Graph API
  • Be an Azure AD admin
  • Userlane Admin or Moderator role permissions

💡 Limitation of the Graph API: Our integration only works for SharePoint online, not on-premise!

Enable Integration

1 - Register Userlane as an application in the Microsoft Azure Active Directory (This can only be done by an Azure AD admin)

As a prerequisite for us to connect to SharePoint, Userlane has to be registered as an application in your organization's Azure AD tenant that is linked to SharePoint. 

💡 For the integration to work as intended, the Userlane application needs at least the Sites.Read.All permission for Microsoft.Graph, which has to be assigned under API permissions in the application registration portal. In addition, this will require consent from an Azure AD administrator in the Azure portal, which has to be repeated any time the permissions for the app are changed.

Once Userlane is registered in Azure AD, you need the following information for setting up the integration:

  1. the Azure Active Directory Tenant ID (which is the tenant Userlane has been registered in as an application),

  2. the Application / Client ID (which is the ID Userlane got as a registered app, and which we use to authenticate against the Microsoft Graph API),

  3. the Application / Client secret (which is connected with the ID above and allows Userlane to authenticate against the Microsoft Graph API). The secret is generated in the Certificates and secrets menu in the sidebar of the application registration portal, and it’s only shown the first time it is generated, so the admin needs to copy it from there.

For step-by-step instructions on how to register an app in Azure AD, please use this Microsoft support article

2. Enter the required fields in the Userlane Portal

This step will establish the connection between Userlane and SharePoint. In order to do so, log in to the Portal, go to Account > Global settings > Integrations, and select the SharePoint integration from the “Available integrations” section. A form will appear, where you need to enter

  • the name under which the integration will appear in the search settings of the properties (this will be particularly relevant if you want to enable the search integration for different subsites in SharePoint to use for different properties, which can be done by setting up separate SharePoint integrations per subsite),

  • the SharePoint Subsite URL (should look similar to https://tenant.sharepoint.com/site/sitename), which is the URL to the specific subsite in SharePoint the integration will later search in)

  • the Azure Active Directory Tenant ID (from step 1),

  • the Application / Client ID (from step 1),

  • the Application / Client secret (from step 1).

Once you have entered the required information in all fields, click on Save and connect.

ℹ️ The connection to SharePoint will then be tested, and if there was a problem with any of the information provided, you will see an error notification right below the fields. If there is no issue the integration will appear in the “Connected integrations” section of the Integrations page. 

3 - Activate the integration for your property’s search

In the Portal, go to Customize > Search and make sure that the search is actually activated for the property. Then scroll down to “Connect search with (SharePoint integration name)” and enable the toggle. This will activate the integration for the end user, and include the relevant SharePoint subsites in all searches done in the assistant.

4. Test the integration

Go to the application the property is set up for, and test the search in the assistant to check that the integration has been set up correctly and that you can see SharePoint search results.







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