Microsoft Flow guides: improve SharePoint modern pages approvals with Azure Content Moderation

SharePoint modern pages support approvals with preconfigured Microsoft Flow. What if we want to partially automate and improve this process with some smart services, which will automatically reject approval if a page contains not appropriate content. Or add a piece of information to an approver to pay special attention to a particular page? This is a nice place for Azure cognitive services to come into the play! 

For your convenience, the whole flow in png format is available by this link

Azure Content Moderator

Azure provides a lot of different cognitive services and one of them is Content Moderator:

The Azure Content Moderator API is a cognitive service that checks text, image, and video content for material that is potentially offensive, risky, or otherwise undesirable.

Sounds interesting! To be more precise, currently Content Moderator has below core features:

  • Detects profanity in over 100 languages. It includes profane words based on a built-in list. You have an option to provide your own inclusion or exclusion lists with your specific terms. 
  • Text classification. It detects a potential presence of language that may be considered sexually explicit or adult or offensive in certain situations. Text receives classification from 0 to 1. The higher the score, the higher the model is predicting that the category may be applicable (text is offensive or adult etc.)
  • Detects Personally Identifiable Information (PII) - any presence of emails, SSN, emails, phones, addresses in text. This is sensitive information and sometimes it's not desirable to have it available publicly.
  • Image and video moderation detects adult or racy content, face detection, and some other features

That's just basics. The content moderator is able to do a lot more cool things. More...

Call Azure AD secured API from your SPFx code. Story #2: Web app (or Azure Function) and SPFx with adal.js

Call Azure AD secured API from your SPFx code series:

  1. Call Azure AD secured API from your SPFx code. Story #1: Azure Functions with cookie authentication (xhr "with credentials")
  2. Call Azure AD secured API from your SPFx code. Story #1.1: Azure Web App with ASP.NET Core 2.x and cookie authentication (xhr "with credentials")
  3. Call Azure AD secured API from your SPFx code. Story #2: Web app (or Azure Function) and SPFx with adal.js  <—you are here
  4. Call Azure AD secured API from your SPFx code. Story #3: Web app (or Azure Function) and SPFx with AadHttpClient

It’s possible to call your remote Azure AD secured API with help of popular adal.js library. This approach has a number of issues (read in the end of the post). Almost all issues come from a fact, that adal.js works well in case of SPA and doesn’t play nicely in SPFx world. To make it work with SPFx, you should “patch” it. Even in this case there are some caveats. That’s why for now recommended approach is using AadHttpClient, however for the sake of completeness I wrote a post on adal.js as well. By the way, AadHttpClient is still in preview (as of now, check the actual state at docs.microsoft.com).

Read more on this topic here – Connect to API secured with Azure Active Directory and here – Call the Microsoft Graph API using OAuth from your web part.

In today’s post we need to perform below steps:

  1. Add new app registration in Azure AD
  2. Create Azure AD secured API (Web App with custom jwt bearer authentication or Azure Function with EasyAuth aka App Service Authentication, I will cover both) and enable CORS
  3. Patch adal.js library to work with SPFx
  4. Create SPFx web part, which uses adal.js and calls remote Azure AD protected API

The source code for this article available on GitHub here.

Let’s get started More...

Call Azure AD secured API from your SPFx code. Story #1.1: Azure Web App with ASP.NET Core 2.x and cookie authentication (xhr "with credentials")

Call Azure AD secured API from your SPFx code series:

  1. Call Azure AD secured API from your SPFx code. Story #1: Azure Functions with cookie authentication (xhr "with credentials")
  2. Call Azure AD secured API from your SPFx code. Story #1.1: Azure Web App with ASP.NET Core 2.x and cookie authentication (xhr "with credentials") <—you are here
  3. Call Azure AD secured API from your SPFx code. Story #2: Web app (or Azure Function) and SPFx with adal.js
  4. Call Azure AD secured API from your SPFx code. Story #3: Web app (or Azure Function) and SPFx with AadHttpClient

In the previous post, I showed an example on how to call Azure Functions API protected with Azure AD (using EasyAuth setup). Described approach has a few limitations, one which is the most important is an inability to send HTTP POST or PUT requests. This issue can be fixed by using regular ASP.NET Web API application with custom authentication layer. More info about this approach you can find here - Access the API by leveraging SharePoint Online authentication cookie. This post describes required steps to make it work:

  1. Add new app registration in Azure AD
  2. Create new ASP.NET Core application and setup authentication with Azure AD.
  3. Enable CORS for your web application with credentials support (so we can send CORS AJAX and attach credentials to our request, auth cookie in our case)
  4. Create simple SPFx webpart, which gets data from our web app via authenticated HTTP request (GET and POST).

The source code for this article available on GitHub here.

Let’s get started. More...

Call Azure AD secured API from your SPFx code. Story #1: Azure Functions with cookie authentication (xhr "with credentials").

Call Azure AD secured API from your SPFx code series:

  1. Call Azure AD secured API from your SPFx code. Story #1: Azure Functions with cookie authentication (xhr "with credentials") <—you are here
  2. Call Azure AD secured API from your SPFx code. Story #1.1: Azure Web App with ASP.NET Core 2.x and cookie authentication (xhr "with credentials")
  3. Call Azure AD secured API from your SPFx code. Story #2: Web app (or Azure Function) and SPFx with adal.js
  4. Call Azure AD secured API from your SPFx code. Story #3: Web app (or Azure Function) and SPFx with AadHttpClient

Imagine a very common scenario, when you need to send HTTP request to your backend API to get or store some data from your SPFx web part. Of course, you can’t leave your API without any authentication layer. Using Azure AD authentication for that matter is a very good choice because you leverage SSO within your organization. The question is, how to properly get an access to those API in a secure and seamless manner. One option might be using cookie authentication. This approach doesn’t use well-known library adal.js, at the same time it’s simple, however, has its own cons (read at the end of the article). More info about this approach you can find here -  Access the API by leveraging SharePoint Online authentication cookie. In another post, I will show how to do the same thing using SPFx’s AadHttpClient.

We are going to perform below steps:

  1. Create a simple Azure Function in Visual Studio.
  2. Create Function App and deploy our code to the Function App in Azure Portal.
  3. Create new App Registration in Azure AD.
  4. Setup Azure AD authentication for Function App.
  5. Create simple SPFx webpart, which gets data from our Azure Function via authenticated HTTP request.

Let’s get started. More...

Using SharePoint Remote Event Receivers with Azure Functions and TypeScript

Why can’t we use regular http web api instead of WCF web service for our SharePoint RERs? Actually we can! SharePoint makes HTTP POST to any http endpoint, the only task for us is to parse body correctly and send a response back.

In this tutorial I’m going to show how to set up Azure Function, which acts as http endpoint for SharePoint Remote Event Receiver, everything running on Node.js and written in TypeScript! We’ll also use pnp-js-core to interact with SharePoint REST API from event receiver. The source code available at github repo.  Let’s get started. More...