Microsoft 365 monthly update – May 2020

Here’s an in-depth look at what’s been released and upcoming through the month of May 2020:

SharePoint home sites available, save for later web part, Yammer web part updates, schedule pages, pre-publish, extended footer

TeamsTeams templates, Microsoft Lists, increased capacity in chats + teams, pop-out chats, improved join experience, easy access meeting options, Teams Rooms app update, Skype – Teams upgrade, VS Code extensions,

Teams (cont.)participant report, “who can present” in meetings, background effect policy, screen sharing controls, reverse number lookup,

OneDrive file detail pane, improved activity feed, multi-page scanning for everyone

Power Appsnew calendar control for model-driven apps, Tabular Data Stream, launch to self formulas, notify timeout & exit sign out formulas, Manage the Power Apps Portal, one click add to Teams, recognize undetected fields AI Builder, predict multiple outcomes AI Builder, invoice processing automation starter kit

Power AutomateUI flows May 2020 update, Microsoft acquires Softomotive, Power Automate + Teams

Power BIdirect query support (preview), report server feature summary, page view for paginated reports, shared and certified datasets, Azure Synapse, on-premises data gateway, refresh summary, desktop feature summary, deployment pipelines, automate data gateway installation, overload alerts,

Power Virtual Agentslow-code bots in Teams

Project CortexProject Cortex at Build, Office Hours, records management GA

RelatedMicrosoft Lists, record screen on Stream, Fluid framework, save keystrokes in Outlook web, sidebar search/ auto profile switch in Edge


Home sites generally available

Home sites are now generally available! Home sites are communication sites that you can set as the top landing page for all users in your intranet. It brings together news, events, embedded video and conversations across your intranet.

Home sites are also automatically setup to be an organizational news site and have org-wide search pre-configured.

SharePoint home sites & start page from the My SharePoint link.

Run this PowerShell command in the latest version of the SharePoint Online Management Shell to enable a home site: Set-SPOHomeSite -HomeSiteUrl

Find out more:

Save for later web part

This new web part should be familiar to most, as be found elsewhere in Microsoft 365, but can now the save for later web part is available to be added to specific modern pages in SharePoint.

The save for later web part for modern SharePoint pages.

Find out more:

Yammer conversations web part updates

The new Yammer experience is now embedded into SharePoint pages as part of this web parts update. You can now create any type of Yammer post, start a conversation, upload images and files into Yammer conversations all directly in SharePoint.

The Yammer Conversations web part, shown above on a SharePoint home site.

Find out more:

Scheduling pages and news posts

You can now schedule pages and news posts to go-live at a future date and time. This feature is enabled by SharePoint site owners and is disabled by default.

Schedule pages and news posts for publication at a future date and time.

Find out more:

Pre-publish panel for pages and news

The pre-publish panel for SharePoint pages and news, is a new experience that will give an overview of the key details of your page when publishing, re-publishing or posting news.

Get actionable insights before you publish your page or news article in SharePoint.

Find out more:

A new layout option has been added to the site footer in modern communication sites to allow for up to eight links or labels to be shown at the bottom of your site pages. You can also set the background color of the site footer.

You can now choose an Extended layout for the communication site page footer.

Find out more:


Templates in Teams

Templates will begin rolling out in the next few months and come with pre-defined channels, apps, and guidance on how to utilize and customize them. Team’s templates will be available automatically.

Teams templates will being rolling out in the next few months.

Find out more:

Microsoft Lists in Teams

Microsoft Lists are the latest innovation and new kid on the block as announced by Microsoft at Build. Those familiar with lists in SharePoint should have no issue with Lists – they can help you track issues, assets, routines, contacts and much more, but also can work directly inside Teams.

Create a new list directly inside Teams or bring in one that already exists in Microsoft 365.

Find out more:

Increased capacity in group chats and teams

Microsoft Teams now allows you to bring more people together. Group chats will now be able to accommodate up to 250 users and teams can now have up to 10,000 members.

Find out more:

Pop-out chats in separate windows

Now generally available, Users can now streamline their workflow and pop out chats into separate windows. This allows people to move more easily between ongoing conversations.

Find out more:

Improved Teams meeting join launcher experience

Gradually being rolled out over the coming weeks, this feature will provide you with clearer options for how to join the meeting from a link. You will be prompted with an option to join on the web, download the Teams client, or join with the native Teams client.

Improved Teams meeting join experience.

Find out more:

Easily access meeting options during a Teams meeting

Microsoft are making it easier for meeting organizers to quickly and easily change their presenter and lobby settings once a meeting has started by providing a link directly in the participants pane.

Easily access meeting options during a Teams meeting.

Find out more:

Download a participant report in a Teams meeting

Meeting organizers will soon be able to download a participant report, found in the roster view that includes join and leave times for participants.

Download a participant report in a Teams meeting.

Find out more:

Set tenant-wide default selection for “Who Can Present” in Teams meetings

Tenant admins can now update their Teams meeting policies to allow for a new default selection when choosing who can present in new Teams meetings (everyone, people in my organization, specific people, or only me).

Currently the default selection is “everyone” unless the meeting organizer selects otherwise. This can currently be changed via a PowerShell cmdlet, with a view to be configurable in the Admin portal shortly.

Find out more:

Background effects policy for tenant administrators

Tenant admins can soon assign a user-level policy to control how users engage with background effects in Teams meetings. Options include: offer no filters; background blur only; use background blur and default provided images; and all, which includes the ability for users to upload their own custom images.

Find out more:

Screen share from chat policy governance

Screen share from chat allows you to immediately start sharing your screen in a 1-1 chat or group chat. This entry point was previously governed by the AllowPrivateCalling policy. If this policy is disabled, users are not able to screen share from chat.

Find out more:

Teams and Skype for Consumer Interoperability

Teams and Skype interoperability will enable collaboration with more partners, customers, and suppliers who rely upon Skype for Consumer (SFC) as their communication app. On either platform, customers will be able to discover users via email search, then chat or call using audio/video.

Find out more:

Reverse number lookup enhancements

With these latest enhancements, the Telco display name will now also show up in your Activity Feed, Call History, and Voicemail.

Find out more:

Microsoft Teams Rooms, app version now available

The latest update, app version, is now available on the Windows store and is coming to every Teams room over the next few weeks. New features include: Modern authentication support, New application splash screen, Ability to project content to a single display when using a HDMI cable in a dual display configuration, Support for dynamic emergency calling, and more.

Find out more:

New Skype for Business to Teams Upgrade Advisor

The newest Advisor for Teams, the Skype for Business Upgrade plan, has launched within the Microsoft Teams Admin Center. Whether you’re just getting started with Microsoft Teams, already using Teams alongside Skype for Business, or ready to upgrade, this provides everything you need for a successful transition.

The Skype for Business Upgrade plan.

Find out more:

Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code Extension for Teams (public preview)

Developers can use the new Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code Teams extension to quickly build project scaffolding, configure features, create app package manifest and setup hosting, validate app package manifest, and start the app publishing process (for yourself, to your organization’s catalog, or to the Teams app store).

Find out more:


OneDrive file detail pane

The OneDrive team have announced a new file detail pane that shows file/ photo previews, who has access, activity, comments and much more!

Image 2.png
Introducing the OneDrive file detail pane.

Find out more:

Improved activity feed

The OneDrive activity feed has been improved to now include a snapshot view of recent activity and comments from the past 30 days on all your OneDrive files. In this feed you’ll see a log of recent activity such as file renaming, deleting, moving, restoring, and sharing, along with comments and edits.

Activity feed root view.png
Improved activity feed in OneDrive.

Find out more:

Multi-page scanning for OneDrive personal accounts

Scanning via the OneDrive mobile app has long been available to premium subscribers to Microsoft 365 services. However, this is no longer a barrier for entry as multi-page scanning is now available for everyone using a OneDrive personal account.

Multi-page scanning for OneDrive personal accounts.

Find out more:

Power Apps

Manage the Power Apps Portal from the Power Platform admin center

With this change the Power Apps portal management options are now available in the Power Platform admin center from either the Environment or Tenant view. You can also see information such as how many days a trial portal has, before it expires.

Manage the Power Apps portal using environment view.

Find out more:

Notify timeout and Exit sign out formulas

You can now set the timeout for the Notify function, controlling how long the banner appears, from 1 millisecond to infinity. You can also now sign out the current user with the Exit function.

The notify timeout formula in Power Apps.

Find out more:

Launch to self and Self operator formulas

The Power Apps team have added two new features to canvas formulas – launch to self and the self operator. The launch to self formula can replace a canvas app with another app or web page in the same browser tab. The self operator can refer to itself in formulas.

The new launch to self formula in Power Apps.

Find out more:

Enhanced integrated calendar experience (Calendar Control V2) for model-driven apps

Microsoft are introducing a new Calendar Control V2 for model-driven-apps. The new calendar control provides productive and intuitive ways to manage tasks across the team, provides sellers a peace of mind knowing that team tasks are organized, prioritized and delivered.

The new calendar control (V2) for model-driven apps.

Find out more:

Tabular Data Stream (TDS) Protocol endpoint for Common Data Service (CDS) (preview)

Currently in preview, the Tabular Data Stream (TDS) endpoint for the Common Data Service (CDS) provides an additional way to access read-only data in the CDS. The TDS enpoint – managed by admins, provides read-only access to the system for reporting and analytical purposes.

Find out more:

Simplified Power Apps and Power Virtual Agents “Add to Teams”

Coming soon, Power Apps makers will be able to click a single “Add to Teams” button in Power Apps, which will push the app to the Teams app store.

The one click “Add to Teams” button in Power Apps.

Find out more:

Recognize undetected fields in form processing with AI Builder (Preview)

Now available in preview, the Power Apps team have announced that you can now draw rectangles over name and confirm fields if they were not automatically detected by AI Builder.

Detect Fields that are not detected automatically in AI Builder (preview).

Find out more:

AI Builder now supports predicting multiple outcomes (Preview)

The AI Builder prediction models now support the ability to predict multiple outcomes. Now in preview, you can use AI builder intelligence to predict things like is shipping going to be early, on time or late.

Create a prediction model that supports multiple outcomes with AI Builder in Power Apps.

Find out more:

AI Builder Invoice Processing Automation Starter Kit available on App Source

The Invoice Processing Automation Starter Kit is a solution package to help automate invoice processing, and deployment bootstrapping and is now available to download on App Source.

The Invoice Processing Automation Starter Kit is now available on App Source.

Find out more:

Power Automate

UI Flows – May 2020 update

In this month’s update to the UI flows installer see’s the a new preview feature to record and play back automation’s on Remote Desktop sessions, without the need to install additional software on the remote computer.

Screenshot of a UI flow with a sensitive text input for a Remote Desktop password that has been added on the “Set up inputs” page of the UI flow editor.
Adding a sensitive text input to a UI flow.

Also included as part of this update is a new type of input called sensitive text inputs. These inputs are similar to other text inputs, but their values will not be stored in the UI flow or logged as part of the UI flow run history.

Find out more:

Microsoft acquires Softomotive

Microsoft announced the acquisition of Softomotive, a world-leading provider of robotic process automation (RPA) with over 15 years of experience and the creator of WinAutomation. 

With WinAutomation and Power Automate together, the combined offering will also enable RPA connectivity to many new apps and services including SAP and traditional green-screen terminal applications.

WinAutomation console.
The WinAutomation Desktop UI.

Find out more:

Enhanced workflow automation with Teams

With several new triggers and action built specifically for Teams adding to Power Automate, new business process scenario templates have also been added to the new flow start screen.

New business process scenario templates built for Teams.

These templates relate to unlocking custom message extensions, allowing for automated @mentioning, and provide a customized bot experience actions and triggers for teams.

Find out more:

Power BI

Power BI Dataflows Direct Query Support (Preview)

The Power BI team have announced that – now in preview, you now connect directly to a dataflow without first requiring to import the data into a dataset with Direct Query Support.

Turn on the enhanced compute engine
Power BI Dataflows Direct Query Support (Preview).

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Report server May 2020 feature summary

This months report server feature summary includes updates for all aspects of Power BI including the hierarchical slicer and decomposition tree visuals, query diagnostics, and much more. 

Slicer hierarchy in Power BI.

Find out more:

Page view for paginated reports

A new page view option for Paginated Reports is now available in the Power BI service. With the new page view option, users can also change parameters, click on links in the reports and more.

full view of report using new page view option
Page view for paginated reports.

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Shared and certified datasets in Power BI enters GA

In preview since June 2019, shared and certified datasets are now generally available in Power BI. With shared and certified datasets, Power BI users can easily discover and reuse enterprise-wide semantic models. They can be shared across workspaces, fostering reuse and maintaining the single source of truth.

Find out more:

Azure Synapse Analytics (Public preview)

Microsoft have announced that Azure Synapse Analytics is now available for public preview. Azure Synapse, the next generation of Azure SQL Data warehouse provides incredible performance over large data volumes and has built-in capabilities for data ingestion, preparation, machine learning, and visualization.

Power BI integration within Azure Synapse.

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On-premises data gateway May 2020 update now available

The May update for the On-premises data gateway (version 3000.40.15) is now available. The update also includes an updated version of the Mashup Engine, which will match the Power BI Desktop May update.

Find out more:

Refresh summary for premium capacity admins

the Refresh Summary page in the Admin Portal is where capacity admins get an overview of all scheduled refreshes activity on their premium capacity. The page is powered by a New REST API for refresh monitoring that can be extended using existing automation tools .

The Refresh Summary page in the Admin Portal.

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Desktop feature summary – May 2020

Lots of great features this month for Power BI desktop including: curate featured tables for Excel, new Apply button for the filter pane to apply all changes at once, enhancements to change detection and page navigation action, support for images in buttons, and more!

Power BI desktop update – May 2020

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Power BI deployment pipelines (Preview)

The Power BI team have announced the public preview release of Power BI Deployment pipelines, a new and improved way for BI teams to manage content lifecycle within Power BI Premium. Some of the benefits of deployment pipelines include:

  • Improved productivity
  • Faster delivery of content updates
  • Reduced manual work & errors
Introducing Power BI deployment pipelines (Preview).

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Automation of Data Gateway Installation (Public Preview)

Recent enhancements made to the data gateway PowerShell cmdlets have included the ability to enable automation of gateway installation.

Automation of Data Gateway Installation (Public Preview).

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Timely Premium Capacity Overload Alerts

Premium Capacity Overload Alerts are timely automated emails that are sent whenever Power BI senses a Premium capacity is overloaded, that are sent to users subscribed to Service Interruption Notifications.

Power BI Premium Capacity Overload Alerts.

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Power Virtual Agents

Bring low-code bots to Teams, with Power Virtual Agents

New features will make it easier to create and manage low-code chatbots from within Teams and more streamlined for end users to use Power Virtual Agents bots in Teams. These new features are:

  • Bot Template: FAQ bot template available in GitHub
  • Single sign-on: Power Virtual Agents bots will be available, removing the need for users to sign in again when using a Power Virtual Agents bot in Teams
An example chat bot within Microsoft Teams.

Find out more:

Project Cortex

A new feature to the M365 update, we will keep you up-to-date on all the latest news related to Project Cortex.

New developer experiences for Project Cortex at Build

Project Cortex was in the spotlight at this year’s Microsoft Build event, here are some of the highlights from the event.

Find out more:

Office Hours

The last Office Hours meeting took place on June 3, looking at the administration and configuration controls available in Project Cortex. The next meeting is scheduled for July 22.

Find out more:

General availability of Microsoft 365 Records Management

Records Management provides you with greater depth in protecting and governing critical data. With Records Management, you can:

  • Classify, retain, review, dispose, and manage content without compromising productivity or data security
  • Leverage machine learning capabilities to identify and classify regulatory, legal, and business critical records at scale
  • Demonstrate compliance with regulations through defensible audit trails and proof of destruction
Records management in Microsoft 365.

Find out more:


Microsoft Lists

Microsoft Lists is an evolution of SharePoint lists, expanding on the ability to support work management scenarios so you can stay on top of what matters most to your team – like tracking issues, asset management, managing events, inventory tracking and more using customizable views and smart rules to keep everyone in sync.

Find out more:

Record your screen on Microsoft Stream

Video creators can record any window or screen, add mic or system audio, and include webcam video. There is no need to download any additional software; the tool is web based and works with latest version of Edge or Chrome.

Record your screen in Microsoft Stream

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Fluid Framework components and workspaces in Outlook and

Fluid, Microsofts open-source framework designed to make collaboration adaptable, flexible, and focused by breaking down the barriers between apps is coming to Outlook and

Dynamic content such as tables, charts, and task lists can be easily inserted in Outlook for the web and Fluid workspaces can be created and managed, including within your document activity feed, Recommended list, and @mentions—or search for them across

Fluid components and workspaces in Outlook and

These experiences will be available to those with a Microsoft 365 enterprise license in the next few months.

Find out more:

Save keystrokes in Outlook

Outlook on the web can help compose email messages with text predictions. Using intelligent technology to infer meaning and intention, Outlook can help you compose faster, avoid typos, and craft polished email messages.

Save keystrokes in Outlook.

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Sidebar search & automatic profile switching in Microsoft Edge

Microsoft are introducing sidebar search so you can search for things without opening a new window or tab.

Sidebar search in Microsoft Edge.

Microsoft are also introducing Automatic Profile Switching, which will detect that the link you’re trying to open needs work credentials, and then switch you to your authenticated work profile.

Automatic profile switching in Microsoft Edge.

Find out more:


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