(This post was written using a SharePoint 2010 environment)
In this post we look at how differing versions of Microsoft Office ProPlus affects SharePoint 2010 and the ability to open and edit Office files, plus how to fix them.
I began to get reports from users that were trying to open Office files from SharePoint that the files would only open read-only. These users have historically always had permissions to edit the files and have previously been able to open the files in edit mode from libraries within the SharePoint environment.
In this scenario we were running Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus version 16 and updates were on the monthly channel.
Clearing the Windows credentials of the MicrosoftOffice16 credentials
Turning off the “require documents to be checked out before they are edited” option in the a libraries settings
However, neither of these things worked completely. I didn’t notice any difference clearing credentials, and with the checking out files feature – this wasn’t turned on for the majority of the libraries I tested. Plus I didn’t really like the idea of having to turn off the checking out functionality in every library within our SharePoint environment!
So I continued to investigate and found the following:
The read-only issue appeared differently depending on the Office file
For Word and PowerPoint files, I saw that files would show this window when opening:
Then the files would be read-only, if you tried to save the file it would ask you to save a copy. If you tried to overwrite the file saved in SharePoint it would tell you it is read-only and cannot be saved.
For Excel files, again you get the above prompt before the file opened, however when you opened the file a yellow banner would appear, allowing you to edit the workbook:
If you press “Edit Workbook” you could edit the file and save back to SharePoint no problem.
Some users could edit files from Open with explorer, but not all
So in this example some users could work around the issue by opening the file in explorer, which would allow them to edit the file and save back to SharePoint.
This wasn’t consistent for everyone, in some cases when users opened a file from explorer view, they would be prompted to check out the file from a yellow message in the ribbon, which would then error to tell them they can’t as the file is read-only.
Older versions of Office updates did not experience this issue
Not all of the users in this scenario had the same Office updates. One user who was running version 1611 on their machine was able to open and edit the same files from SharePoint that users running 2002 and above Office updates could not.
Im calling this a solution, but really it feels more like a sticking plaster as I’ve personally noticed this issue has been presenting itself in varying ways since at least the 1908 Office update, but this latest issue presented itself with the 2002 and 2003 Office updates. Anyway, here’s what we did to get files opening again:
Uninstall any Access Database Engine downloads you may have installed (2007, 2010 is what I noted)
Run an Office repair on the machine(s) with the issue
Install, or re-install Infopath 2013
Once Infopath was installed, when opening the same Office files (Word, PowerPoint or Excel) the above prompt changed to look like this:
I continued to test, going so far as to switch on the “require documents to be checked out before they are edited” setting just to see if that had any bearing on things, which it didn’t as the prompt just changed slightly:
Like I mentioned earlier, this is by no means a solution to this problem, but it’s got us out of a jam for the past few Office updates, so hopefully it will help someone else too!
I’ve decided to compliment my Microsoft 365 monthly updates with a closer look at the Microsoft 365 roadmap. I will focus mainly on the core technology I personally keep an eye on (SharePoint, Teams, OneDrive, Power Platform), but will add other roadmap updates where they fit in.
I’m going to try to do this weekly roundup to track the new additions and changes to the 365 roadmap as items enter development, roll out and launch.
This first roadmap roundup will cover from 4 May through to 17 May 2020, but i’ll leave out anything that was covered in last month’s update:
Auto-save column operations in lists – Show, hide or reorder columns in a SharePoint list without explicitly saving the current view or creating a new one. Roadmap ID: 59732
Format list and library JSON using Monaco code editor – Use Visual Studio code editor as the preferred coding tool when formatting JSON. “Monaco Editor” is what powers Visual Studio code. Roadmap ID: 59733
Per site sharing links can now default to People with Existing Access Links – Microsoft are introducing support to set the default sharing link to “People with Existing Access”. Roadmap ID: 60335
Image resize – Page editors are able to resize images in the image web part. Roadmap ID: 57812
Page Difference Visualization – As well as the existing version history you can already see, you can now compare changes visually on a page. Roadmap ID: 57813
Root site swap – Swap the location of a source site with another target site using the new Swap site button in the SharePoint admin center. Roadmap ID: 57309
Mover migration worldwide availability – Microsoft have announced that new service Mover is available to customers worldwide. Roadmap ID: 61190
Next steps panel – Expanding on the in-service help that appears at the top of a team site – where the actions that are suggested are driven more and more by the use of the site itself. Roadmap ID: 46832
Integrations for GCC Tenants – SharePoint Integrations with Power Automate and Power Apps to GCC Tenants: Roadmap ID: 33770
Auto classification with sensitivity labels – Now in public preview, auto classification with sensitivity labels is now available in OneDrive, SharePoint and Exchange Online. Roadmap ID: 57312
“Flow” renamed “Automate” in lists – The flow button in SharePoint lists now reads “Automate”. Roadmap ID: 62855
Automate flows can run on individual items – Automate flows that can run on individual items contained within a document library or list. Roadmap ID: 62856
URL rename – You can now rename the SharePoint site URL from within the admin center. Roadmap ID: 56205
Support for sensitivity labels with protection – SharePoint & OneDrive now support sensitivity labels with Microsoft Information Protection-based encryption. Roadmap ID: 57311
Lists/ library web parts consume dynamic data – You will be able to configure list web parts to send its property values to the List Properties web part. Roadmap ID: 57307
🚂 ROLLING OUT
Updated Yammer Conversations web part for SharePoint – The Yammer conversations web part is being updated to contain the new Yammer experience. Roadmap ID: 63385
Multilingual page publishing – Create, publish and consume modern SharePoint pages/news in multiple languages. Roadmap ID: 50217
Home sites – This feature lets you designate a communication site as the “home site” for your intranet. Roadmap ID: 26842
Increased site collection limit – You can now have up to 2,000,000 site collections per tenant, up form 500,000. Roadmap ID: 57316
Global reader role in SharePoint admin – SharePoint admin center now supports the Azure Active Directory built-in “Global Reader” role. Roadmap ID: 59984
People cards for SharePoint list and library web parts – Now, when you see a person’s name or face within a SharePoint List or Library web part, you can hover over it and reveal their people card. Roadmap ID: 57814
Information barriers (private preview) – Now in private preview, Information barriers are policies that can be configured to prevent individuals or groups from communicating with each other. Roadmap ID: 57313
Conditional formatting rule builder with new rich-text capabilities in lists – You will have the ability to use If/Then logic to format rows and columns based on attributes like numerical, date, etc. Roadmap ID: 57305
Updating modern home pages for classic team sites – Classic homepages will be automatically updated to a modern home pages if they have not been customized. Roadmap ID: 60405
Edit metadata from within the Document Library/ List View web parts – Now you will be able to edit the metadata properties on items displayed in a library or a list from within their corresponding web parts. Roadmap ID: 61030
Updates to sharing page in Admin center – Admin sharing settings from the classic sharing page are being added to the modern sharing page. Roadmap ID: 61116
Easy page and news publishing experience from sitepages library – Adding the ability to easily publish and republish a page or news post from the sitepages library in a site via the command bar or the file card experience. Roadmap ID: 61191
SharePoint Migration Tool supports SharePoint Server 2016 migrations (Public Preview) – Migration support from the SPMT now covers SharePoint server 2010, 2013 and 2016. Roadmap ID: 63258
Query alterations using SPFx for custom results page – Allows for query alterations in Microsoft Search for custom results pages with the SharePoint Framework. Roadmap ID: 57135
⌛ IN DEVELOPMENT
Enable modern communication site experience on classic sites – Using PowerShell, admins can now enable the modern communication site experience on any classic team site, including the root site. Roadmap ID: 46338
Configure header, footer and body of a form for lists/ libraries – This feature allows users in SharePoint lists and libraries to add a custom header and a footer to the associated form. Roadmap ID: 63519
Create all column types directly within Quick Edit – Replacing the legacy column creation in Quick Edit, this feature will allow you to create all column types directly from Quick Edit. Roadmap ID: 64171
Site header updates – You will be able to choose to show/ hide the site title and a choice between a square site logo thumbnail or a non-square site logo. Roadmap ID: 63776
Fluent design coherence updates for SharePoint – Fluent will be applied to modern SharePoint which will result in some visual changes i.e. larger/ bolder typefaces, opacity etc. Roadmap ID: 63777
Conditional show or hide columns in a form – This feature allows users in lists and libraries to show or hide columns in a list form based on another column’s value by specifying a formula. Roadmap ID: 63518
Improved page/ news publishing experience – A new pre-publish panel that gives authors an overview of key information about their pages or news posts. Roadmap ID: 63257
Schedule page/ news posts – You will be able to schedule a page or news post to be published at a specific date and time in the future. Roadmap ID: 62892
Extended layout for site footer – Modern communication sites will now include a new layout option, extended, to show more content in the footer section. Roadmap ID: 61063
Default site theme color is changing from blue to teal – SharePoint’s new teal theme will automatically update new and existing communication sites and team sites. Roadmap ID: 60592
Saved for later web part – New web part to display a user’s saved for later items. Roadmap ID: 57810
Modernized filtering & tagging in the Managed Metadata Service
The updated term store experience allows you to create/ manage terms and term sets in SharePoint and makes it easier to manage your company’s taxonomy, plus with the addition of a new content type gallery manage custom content types from the SharePoint admin center.
NOTE: These changes do not affect existing term customizations or the classic term store management experience, nor does it affect the classic experience for managing content types. Content types are also still stored in the content type hub.
Site navigation & footer now has audience targeting
SharePoint site owners can now filter navigational links to specific audiences by using audience targeting – in the same way you can for news and pages. Once switched on by site owners, any site editor can target menu links to specific audiences using Microsoft 365 Groups or security groups.
SharePoint spaces, Microsoft’s web-based, immersive, mixed reality experience is in preview. Space’s allow you to build sites and add web parts for your 3D objects, 360° images and videos, 2D images and text, and more.
Microsoft have announced they are increasing the number videos displayed within the Teams meeting stage from 4 to 9. This new experience optimizes for attendees who have enabled video and places the remaining audio-only participants below the meeting stage.
Now generally available, background effects allow meetings attendees to change their video background from a list of images. Coming mid-May, users will be able to upload their own custom background images.
Yammer now has its very own app for Teams. The Yammer app is fully interactive within Teams, allowing you to watch live events, share announcements, pin conversations, and mark best answers just as you would in Yammer directly.
Limit which team members can see the conversation and content within a particular channel. You can right-size channel participation and exposure without having to create discrete teams to limit visibility. Private channels in GCCH and DoD are coming soon.
Advisor for Teams GCC (preview)
Advisor for Teams assists IT admins in planning a successful Teams deployment for their organization, offering recommended plans and a collaboration space for the deployment team to streamline the roll out of all the Teams workloads. This feature is currently in public preview.
Meetings dashboard for Teams admins
The new meetings dashboard gives admins insight into usage, user feedback, network health, meeting details, devices, and more from a single place.
Local Media Optimization for Direct Routing improves voice quality by keeping media streams local within the boundaries of corporate networks. It also supports streams between Teams and SBCs even if they are behind corporate firewalls not visible to Microsoft directly.
Teams admins will soon be able to see each app in their tenant, their type, and how many users and teams are actively using the app. Additionally, app policies and settings allows admins to manage permissions, define how apps are displayed in the Teams experience, and control availability of custom apps.
Teams admins can use batch policy assignment to streamline the process of assigning policies or policy packages to a large group of users. A batch can contain up to 20,000 users and admins can specify users by their object Id, user principal name (UPN), Session Initiation Protocol address, or email address.
Microsoft have introduced the following new controls to help manage Teams meetings:
Default lobby setting – the default Teams policy has changed to make external users wait in the lobby before joining a Teams meeting
Lobby settings for PSTN participants – Any user who schedules a Microsoft Teams meeting will now see a separate setting to control the lobby for Audio Conferencing (PSTN) participants in the Meeting Options page of a given meeting
Sensitivity labels in OneDrive
Sensitivity labels with protection for Office files is now generally available in OneDrive and SharePoint.
With this preview feature the Power Apps team are introducing a simplified experience to create and manage authentication settings and identity provider configuration. The experience aims to provide better discovery of supported providers, in-app guidance for makers / administrators and reduce common configuration errors.
For Power Apps portals, included as part of the April 2020 release wave 1, global search will support additional entities, including custom.
The portal global search is accessible using the search icon in your portal and allows you to search across different entities, but was limited to cases, articles, forum posts, blogs and web pages only.
New data loss prevention policy capabilities (public preview)
Microsoft have announced new data loss prevention policies for the Power Platform. These new capabilities include a new enhanced user interface in the admin center for defining DLP policies, which additionally enables the ability to block connectors as well as user interface support for including HTTP Connectors in DLP policies.
Support for File and Image data types for use in UCI Model driven Apps
We are pleased to announce the preview release of controls that support the new File and Image data type for use in UCI Model driven Apps for the web. This capability is released with version 9.1.0000.15943. This new control also supports annotations for images. Images are not supported on mobile.
Now in preview, prediction models in AI Builder now support a capability to predict a number. AI builder number prediction can be used to predict things like product ratings, price estimates and time to completion.
Several new geospatial features are coming soon to Power Apps. Powered by Azure Maps services, you can add these components with the ease of drag-and-drop and low-code development. these new features include interactive maps and address suggestion.
Microsoft have announced that the Connector Certification experience is now available in ISV Studio! As part of the certification experience, you can use the Connector Certification to submit your connector, manage and track the connector through certification, and communicate with Microsoft from within the ISV Studio experience.
New prediction model performance page in AI Builder
The Power Apps team have announced an updated prediction model performance page in AI Builder. There is now a performance grade to help give you a better idea of how the model is performing. We’ve also added a new performance tab on the training details pane to provide more detailed information to help you evaluate performance.
As part of the April 2020 release wave 1, Microsoft are releasing Teams context variables within Power Apps, which will give you access to information like which channel, team, or group your app has been embedded in.
The most exciting context variable, however, is the sub entity ID, which allows a maker to deep link to a particular page of an app embedded inside of Teams.
Mixed reality capabilities are coming to Power Apps, bringing in new features tailored for mixed reality such as validating fit before work begins, taking measurements and communicating better for 2D and 3D models.
The Power Apps team have announced a new, responsive UX deigned for mobiles. Model-driven apps’ UX supports the need for taking quick actions on your information, in a familiar and recognizable way on mobile. Areas addressed as part of the enhancements include:
Approval workflows for adding a site to a SharePoint hub site
Microsoft have announced that you can now easily setup approval workflows directly from the SharePoint hub site settings, or create your own hub join process using the new Approve a hub site join request and Cancel a hub site join request actions for the SharePoint connector.
Robotic process automation, UI flows generally available
Microsoft have announced this month that it’s robotic process automation (RPA) capability, UI flows is now generally available. UI flows brings together the rich feature set of API-based digital process automation (DPA) that is available today, with RPA UI-based automation to create a truly end-to-end automation platform.
Six AI builder model types now generally available
Six AI Builder preview model types are now generally available as part of the AI Builder 2020 Wave 1 updates, including:
Form Processing – analyzes the structure of your documents to locate and extract key-value pairs and table data from form documents.
Object detection lets you count, locate, and identify objects within an image.
Sentiment analysis helps you identify positive or negative sentiment in emails, social media, customer reviews, or any text data you want to analyze.
Language detection identifies the predominant language of a given text. The model analyses the text and returns the detected language with a confidence score.
Key phrase extraction identifies the main points in text. For example, given the sentence “The food was delicious and there was wonderful staff”, the model would identify “food” and “wonderful staff” as key phrases.
Text recognition extracts words from documents and images. It uses advanced optical character recognition (OCR) to detect embedded print and handwritten text.
In line with Google’s data security and privacy policies, customers using a Gmail consumer account (email addresses ending with @gmail.com or @googlemail.com) will have certain limitations on the set of connectors that can be used along with the Gmail connector in a flow. This change began rolling out on May 1 2020.
Android shortcuts are now supported in this Power BI Android app release. Create shortcuts to any report and dashboard on your device home screen, and get straight to the content without having to navigate through the app.
The new navigation builder for Power BI apps is now generally available (GA). This feature gives reporting teams the power to customize navigation for end users, so they can find content quickly and understand the relationships between different reports and dashboards.
The conversations feature will show relevant emails, meetings and Teams conversations to the person reviewing the file hover card information.
When someone sends an email, a Teams chat, or a meeting invitation that references a file from SharePoint or OneDrive, that conversation is displayed in the file hover card with a link to the conversation(s).
New & updated usage reports in Microsoft 365 admin center
Microsoft have improved their usage reporting offering based on the increased remote workers within organizations. Areas usage reports have been improved are within remote working trends, which Microsoft 365 apps people are using, calendar activity and usage trends across all Microsoft 365 services.
In line with the recent changes to the names of the Microsoft 365 Personal and Family Subscriptions, Microsoft have announced they will also be renaming Office 365 Groups to…you guessed it Microsoft 365 Groups!
Before diving into this post, it’s worth calling out that channel permissions and moderation are not limited to just org-wide teams, they are available to any team you create. My brief was to limit the ability to post in an org-wide team to just owners, so I figured I would write this in the context of org-wide teams as it would be a common use case for many organisations!
What’s an org-wide team?
For those new to Teams, an org-wide team is something you can create that will automatically all users in your organisation. Microsoft defines it as:
Org-wide teams provide an automatic way for everyone in a small to medium-sized organization to be a part of a single team for collaboration.
Create an org-wide team in Microsoft Teams – Microsoft Teams Documentation
You can have up to five org-wide teams as part of your tenancy, but will need to be a global admin to create them. As part of a recent roll out of Teams, we created a private team which was later converted to an org-wide team. Here’s a post I wrote about creating new teams where I added some thoughts on org-wide teams.
The General channel, permissions & moderation
If you already have an org-wide team created, the next step may be to restrict or moderate who and what can be posted within the channels in the org-wide team. Sounds simple enough right?
#1 you can’t moderate the general channel
So if your first thought is to have an open-ish org-wide team where anyone can add posts or replies in a moderated fashion, think again! Unless you have already created bespoke teams templates to avoid this issue, your org-wide team will be using the default general channel which cannot use channel moderation.
So that leaves two options, either create a new channel that can be moderated, leaving the general tab unused or manage the permissions of the general channel.
#2 you can’t delete or hide the general channel
If you do decide that a new, moderated channel is the best way to go you will be left with a potentially unwanted general channel. This can be problematic for a few reasons, namely:
You can’t delete the general channel
You can’t rename the general channel
You can’t hide the general channel or change the order of the channels to move it down
There is a UserVoice request to remove or rename the general channel here that Microsoft will respond to if a request gains enough traction.
How to add a new channel and set up moderation
If you do decide to go ahead and create a new channel for your team to apply moderation, here’s how to do it.
Add a new channel
Press the ellipsis … next to the channel name > Add new channel
Give the channel a name and description
Set the privacy of the channel
Standard – accessible to everyone in the team
Private – accessible to a specific group of people in the team
Tick to automatically show the channel in everyone’s lists (optional)
Turn on channel moderation
Select your newly created channel, press the ellipsis … next to the channel name > manage channel
In channel settings, under permissions > set channel moderation to on
The default channel moderators are the team owners, press manage to change this and select the individual(s) required
Turn the following check-boxes on or off as desired (on by default):
Allow members to reply to channels
Allow bots to submit channel messages
Allow connectors to submit channel messages
What does an end-user see?
So with all the out-of-the-box options switched on as above, only moderators can start new posts, but members can reply to channel messages.
When a user navigates to the moderated channel, they see the following message:
However, when a moderator adds a post, this is what an end-user sees:
How to restrict permissions in the general channel
Microsoft recommend you only allow team owners to post in the general channel, and switch off @team and @[team name] mentions in an org-wide team. Here’s how to do it:
Restrict permissions to post in the general channel
Press the ellipsis … next to the general channel name > manage channel
Under channel settings, permissions you have the following options:
Anyone can post
Anyone can post; show alert that posting will notify everyone (recommended for large teams)
Only owners can post messages
Select only owners can post messages
Switch off @team and @[team name] mentions
Press the ellipsis … next to the team name > manage team
Press the settings tab > expand @mentions
There are two options checked:
Show members the option to @team or @[team name] (this will send a notification to everyone on the team)
Give members the option to @channel or @[channel name]. This will notify everyone who’s shown the mentioned channel in their channel lists.
Untick both options
What does an end-user see?
So much like with channel moderation, users are notified when post restrictions are in place in the general channel:
Although unable to post replies with this restriction in place, users are still able to add reaction emoji’s to posts, which are visible too all in the org-wide team.
You can edit the policies and settings within the Teams admin center to manage GIFs, stickers and memes, but you cannot turn off reaction emojis. There is a UserVoice request here to add the functionality.
Wow I can’t believe SharePoint Stuff is three years old! I figured it was about time I upgraded the site from the trusty free version that’s served me so well – time to go legit!
So with that said, I’ve also purchased the dot com equivalent of the SharePoint Stuff URL to consolidate things which hopefully won’t cause any disruption going forwards.
Whilst I was at it I also decided to re-vamp the site a little bit, so you’ll notice a new look-and-feel, a new archive by year widget, cleaner footer design plus some other small improvements here and there.
Finally, I’ve been kicking around some ideas to expand the site this year – I’m not sure if I’ll be able to achieve them or not, but I’m going to try to post several times per month as a bare minimum so keep an eye out for more.
As always, if you have any suggestions or any other thoughts please leave a comment, or leave me some feedback.