Finding the task properties pane in SharePoint 2013 workflows

(this post was written using a SharePoint online environment and SharePoint Designer 2013)

So here’s the scenario, there is a central list where users add items and once submitted a workflow runs that assigns tasks to separate task lists. No big deal right?

The scenario

Task actions in SharePoint 2013 workflows are a pretty standard thing, the example above just assigns tasks to different lists (think HR, IT, Pensions) for work to be completed. The additional requirement I had was for these tasks to not send any system generated assignment emails when the tasks are assigned.

Example of creating & assigning a task in a SharePoint 2013 workflow.

The problem

This one really had me pulling my hair, but in a nutshell there is no obvious way to turn on/ off the emails that are system generated at the point which a task is assigned.

When you double-click on a task, an “Assign a Task” window opens. Within this window there is an “Email options” drop down, but this only has the email editor for the task creation email and the ability to turn on/ off the task overdue email(s). It doesn’t have any settings for switching on/ off the initial emails themselves.

The Assign a Task window doesn’t contain the properties to switch off system generated emails.

The hidden task properties pane

So at this point I began thinking there is no way to do this and the design for this process is now fundamentally flawed…until I right-clicked!

If you right-click on the list within the assign task action (the ICT Task List Members bit underlined in the example below) a menu will appear. Normally this menu contains some simple options like moving an action up or down. However, with task actions there is an additional option called “properties”.

Hidden properties button within the “assign a task” action.

After clicking on the “Properties” button, you’ll find an additional “Assign a Task Properties” window which contains the following, hidden properties:

Hidden assign a task properties window.
  • PreserveIncompleteTasks: set to true if you want non-completed tasks to be deleted when the task process is complete.
  • WaiveAssignmentEmail: set to false if you want to have an email sent out to the assignee when a task is created
  • WaiveCancelationEmail: set to false if you want to have an email sent out to the assignee when a task is canceled.

By default, all of these properties that are set to “no” or “false”, so will send emails based on the above parameters. To change, just click on the drop down next to each option and update to “yes” or “true” and the emails will stop sending!

Microsoft 365 update for January 2020

In this month’s update:

SharePoint page version history, custom search pages, resize images, team site next steps panel,

Teamsread receipts, colleague joined team notifications, voice admin, Lenovo ThinkSmart, Poly CCX, Teams installed in semi-annual channel, safe links, cloud communications API, class insights, website tab for GCC & DOD, 3rd party apps in GCC

Power Appscenter of excellence starter kit, deprecation of regional discovery service, SAP ERP connector, test studio, Stream inside canvas apps

Power Automatesimplified AI Builder, UI Flows Jan 2020 update, adaptive cards actions, simplified number formatting, Flow cookbook

Power BIexport data from visual, table column/ matrix value custom URL, KPI visual formatting, conditional formatting for buttons, load more for analytics insights, DAX quarter function, data profiling, .pbids, modeling operations improvements

Relatedend of O365 video, O365 & Office.com updates, Win7 end of support

SharePoint

SharePoint page version history

This feature will allow page editors to access the version history by clicking into page details. There, they have the option to:

  • Highlight changes between the current and previous version
  • Delete older versions
  • Restore from older versions
View SharePoint page version history in modern SharePoint

Find out more:

This feature gives admins or site owners the ability to build a custom search results page. Custom search results pages can be built using  open-source search web parts from the SharePoint Patterns and Practices community or any custom web parts developed using the SharePoint Framework (SPFx).

Custom search results pages in SharePoint Online.

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Resize images within the image web part

This is one I am particularly excited about. It really bugs me that you need some sort of Ouija board to work out what size images need to be when you are designing modern SharePoint sites.

However, you will soon be able to resize an image in the modern SharePoint experience. Images can be uploaded from SharePoint sites, their computer or an external web location.

You will soon be able to resize images from the image web part in SharePoint.

Find out more:

Next steps panel improvements for SharePoint team sites

SharePoint’s in-product help is being improved to make peoples first-run experience with SharePoint easier and actionable.

that appears at the top-right of your SharePoint team sites – to make people’s first-run experiences with SharePoint sites that much easier and actionable.

Find out more:

Teams

Read receipts in private chats

Read receipts in private chats allow senders to know when their message was read by the recipient. Read receipts are powerful, because they also allow the recipient to communicate implicitly that they are not ignoring the sender, they may just be busy and haven’t gotten a chance to read their message.

Read receipts in Microsoft Teams chats.

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Colleague joined Team notification

You can now connect with new team members faster as you will receive a notification in the activity feed when a new colleague joins teams for the first time.

Find out more:

Voice administration in Teams admin center

Voice Administration has been added to the Teams Admin Center. If you have a Microsoft Calling Plan you will be able to search, acquire, and assign phone numbers to users. Admins will also be able to set the emergency addresses for those end-users.

Find out more:

Lenovo ThinkSmart View Joins Teams phones

Lenovo ThinkSmart View is a dedicated personal business communications device that allows users to manage their audio and video calls through a dedicated desktop device. It will now allow for conducting Microsoft Teams audio and video calls.

Find out more:

Poly CCX for Teams phones

The Poly CCS Series is a new range of native Teams phones to help users transform the way they communicate.

Find out more:

Teams installed as part of Office 365 ProPlus for customers on the semi-annual channel

The desktop Teams client will be downloaded by default for existing users with Office 365 ProPlus, Microsoft 365 Business, and Microsoft 365 Business Premium apps for customers on the semi-annual channel. With this change your users will no longer need to do a separate installation of Microsoft Teams.

Find out more:

Office 365 ATP Safe Links is now available in Teams to help protect you from accidental or malicious unsafe links by providing time-of-click verification of web addresses (URLs) in email messages and Office documents.

Office 365 ATP Safe Links is now available in Teams.

Find out more:

Cloud Communications APIs now available

Last month Microsoft announced that the MS Graph Cloud Communications APIs are now available, enabling calling and online meeting capabilities.

Find out more:

Class Insights in Teams for Education

Class insights is a new experience that allows educators to gain insight into student performance. By adding the new Class Insights tab

They can see average grades, on-time assignments, average return time, and conversation activity for their class over time.

Class Insights in Teams for Education.

Website Tab available in GCC High & DOD

Users in the GCC High and DOD tenants can now add a website tab in Teams. Leveraging this tab, users will have the ability to pin URLs as well as SharePoint links etc. for easy access to their content.

Find out more:

3rd Party Apps now in GCC

GCC customers can now use 3rd party apps in Microsoft Teams – check out the library to see if apps you already use are available to integrate. By default access to 3rd party apps is turned off.

Find out more:

Power Apps

Power Platform Center of Excellence starter kit update

Updates have been announced for the Center of Excellence (CoE) Starter Kit – a set of templates that are designed to help get started with developing a strategy for adopting and supporting the Power Platform, with a focus on Power Apps and Power Automate.

The starter kit is now split into three components: Core Components, Compliance (Audit and Report) Components and Nurture Components.

Microsoft PowerApps: Tried and tested techniques for establishing a Center of Excellence.

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Deprecation of the regional Discovery Service

Microsoft have announced that all regional endpoints for the Discovery Service and the Discovery APIs in the Organization Service (SOAP endpoint) will be deprecated and shut down. They are replaced by a single global discovery service accessed through the existing ‘discovery’ OData V4 RESTful endpoint. 

Find out more:

SAP ERP connector (public preview)

A new SAP ERP connector for Power Apps and Power Automate is now in public preview. It allows you to connect your flows and apps to an SAP ERP system – either SAP ECC or SAP S/4HANA.

NOTE: The SAP ERP connector for Microsoft Flow and PowerApps requires the on-premise data gateway as well as the SAP .NET Connector 3.0 SDK from SAP.

Overview of the SAP ERP Connector.

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Test Studio

Test Studio provides a way to add and manage test cases, organize them into test suites, and run them to validate that changes in the apps did not break the expected functionality described in the tests. Tests can also be run outside of the test studio in a web browser which allows you to build the automated tests into your app deployment processes.

Find out more:

Microsoft Stream videos/ channels in canvas apps

You can now showcase Microsoft Stream videos and channels, all inside canvas apps. Note, the Stream content is authenticated, so the users will need to have had the videos shared before being able to view them inside the canvas app.

Microsoft Stream videos inside canvas apps.

Find out more:

Power Automate

Simplified AI Builder in Power Automate

Released in January, AI Builder introduced a new and simplified way to use AI Models in Power Automate. It is now easier to provide your data to the AI Model, and to use the output without the need to manually transform data.

Form processing example with AI Builder.

Find out more:

UI Flows January 2020 update now available

The January 2020 update for Power Automate UI flows (preview) is now available. This is the 2nd monthly update focusing on reliability improvements that addresses feedback from the preview.

Find out more:

Adaptive cards actions update

The second iteration of Adaptive Cards actions was introduced last month, which enables you to post adaptive cards as forms, and also to wait for a response which you can use dynamically in subsequent actions. 

Next generation Adaptive Cards for Power Automate.

Find out more:

Simplified number formatting

The format number action enables you to perform a variety of number formatting options painlessly, and by leveraging number formatting patterns which exist across Power Platform services.

Simplified number formatting in Power Automate.

Find out more:

New Power Automate Cookbook!

There is a new gallery available in the Power Automate Community where you can download flows that other people have built. Similar to the Power Apps App Gallery, the Power Automate Cookbook allows you to upload a .zip file of your flow, with screenshots and extra information.

Find out more:

Power BI

Export data from a visual

The Power BI team announced last month that you will be able to export data from a visual the same way you can do it today in the Power BI service. To export the data, just like in Power BI, select More options (…) from the upper right corner of the visualization and then choose Export data.

Exporting data from a visual in Power BI.

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Setting a table column or matrix value as a custom URL

A new conditional formatting option that allows you set a table’s column or matrix’s value as a custom URL. You’ll find this new option under the conditional formatting card in the formatting pane.

Setting a table column or matrix value as a custom URL.

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KPI visual formatting settings

Several new formatting options have been released for the KPI visual including

  • Indicator text formatting (font family, color, and alignment)
  • Trend axis transparency
  • Goal and distance text formatting (label text, font family, color, and size)
  • Distance text formatting (label text, positive direction, font family, color, and size)
  • Adding a date label with formatting (font family, color, and size)

Find out more:

Conditional formatting for buttons

You can now dynamically set formatting for the following button properties:

  • Button text font color
  • Button text
  • Icon line color
  • Outline color
  • Fill Color
  • Button tooltip (under the action card)

Find out more:

Load more for analytics insights

When running the Analyze feature to find insights in your data, such as Explain the increase, we only run the ML models for a period of time to show you insights in a timely manner.

Load more for analytics insights.

Find out more:

New DAX function: Quarter

There is a new DAX function: Quarter. The Quarter function returns the quarter corresponding to a specified date.

Find out more:

Data profiling enhancements

Some significant enhancements to the data profiling capabilities in the power query editor, such as:

  • Multiple grouping options for the column profile pane value distriction visual
  • Filtering options within callouts for each distribution chart value

Find out more:

.pbids file format

Microsoft are releasing a new file format: PBIDS, to streamline the “Get Data” experience for report creators in your organization.

Find out more:

Performance improvements for modeling operations

Performance improvements have been made to the Analysis Services engine to speed up modeling operations such as adding measures or calculated columns and creating relationships.

Find out more:

Related

Office 365 Video retirement

O365 video is being retired with the iOS video app retiring on April 1 2020 for customers in all regions, then the web portal for all regions (except Government Community Cloud, & national cloud regions Germany & China) will be retired on March 1, 2021.

Microsoft confirm that most regions can migrate O365 video to Stream using the administration tool, find out which regions can migrate below.

Find out more:

Office 365 app launcher and Office.com updates

Currently, when people go into the Office 365 app launcher, pinned apps can be managed on an individual basis. However, these apps will not necessarily be the same from Office.com. This change unifies this, meaning users will see the same set of apps through both the app launcher and Office.com.

Find out more:

Windows 7 End of Support and Office 365 ProPlus

Windows 7 is now out of support as of January 14, 2020. Because Office 365 is governed by the Modern Lifecycle Policy, customers are required to stay current as per the servicing and system requirements for the product or service. This includes using Office 365 ProPlus on a Windows operating system that is currently in support.

Using Office 365 ProPlus on older, unsupported operating systems may cause performance and reliability issues over time. If your organization is using Office 365 ProPlus on devices running Windows 7, it’s recommend your organization move those devices to Windows 10.

Find out more:

Resources