The Microsoft 365 monthly update includes updates and recently recent features across all of Microsoft 365. Press a button to read about an individual technology or continue reading for more. You can take a look back at previous monthly updates here, plus take a look at our weekly roadmap roundup.
In SharePoint: Private drafts, SharePoint spaces embed web part, SharePoint Framework v1.13, admin center teams channel management, Lists sync improvements/ offline, site creation experience updates, feedback portal
Private drafts for pages & news
This new feature allows you to create private drafts for pages and news articles. Authors of SharePoint pages and news will be able to create private drafts. When a private draft is created, only the creator and site admins can see the page (including from within the Pages library). The creator can then share the private draft with other people to allow them to access and edit the page.
Find out more: Create a private SharePoint page or news post
SharePoint spaces Embed web part
You’ll be able to insert HTML pages as web parts in a SharePoint space. Space viewers will see a thumbnail image in the 3D space that can be viewed as a fully functional HTML overlay when selected. This web part allows you to add content from Microsoft Forms, the PowerPoint embed viewer, SharePoint pages and Power Apps.
Find out more: SharePoint spaces
SharePoint Framework v1.13
This gives developers the ability to build engaging experiences for Connections + improvements and fixes for Microsoft Teams and SharePoint development. In v1.13, you’ll find, the general availability of Adaptive Card Extensions – applicable to Connections desktop and mobile, support for version 1.10 of Teams JS client SDK, support for version 3.9 of TypeScript, support for version 2.9 of the Adaptive Card SDK, the release of image rendering APIs, and more.
SharePoint admin center: Teams channel site management
Now when you go to a teams-connected site in SharePoint admin center, you can see all corresponding channel sites and ensure that right optional security policies are inherited from the parent site.
Find out more: Manage sites in the new SharePoint admin center
Microsoft Lists: Sync your lists and offline access
Lists sync lets you work on your lists offline, improves performance on all kinds of networks, and helps alleviate list throttling. Common operations on lists, such as changing list views, sorting, filtering, and grouping will happen locally and finish quickly even on very large lists. All these operations will continue to work when you are offline or lose your Internet connection. Once reconnected to the Internet, your edits upload from your device to the cloud and you can resolve merge conflicts, if there are any.
Find out more: Edit lists offline
Site creation experience updates
The site creation experience has been updated to include refreshed graphics, expanded site descriptions, and additional context for different permission levels in the Site permissions panel. It also helps understand the differences between a communication site and a team site.
Find out more: Create a communication site in SharePoint Online
New Microsoft Feedback portal
Introducing Microsoft Feedback (Preview) – a portal ready for your feature ideas and feedback for OneDrive and SharePoint – this replaces the UserVoice portal that was used previously for SharePoint, Teams, OneDrive and many other products.
Find out more: https://aka.ms/feedback/sharepoint
In Teams: Loop components in chat, top hits, updated search results, new tag management for Frontline, task publishing editing, CART captioning in meetings, content from camera, word cloud for polls, custom hold music, route calls, custom call park, remote sign-out, branch office survivability, Surface Hub device type support, anonymous user join policy,
Microsoft Loop components in Teams chat
Loop components allows you to create live, collaborative components that can be edited in the flow of your work, whether in chat, meetings, email or documents. The first part of this vision is rolling out now to Teams chat, enabling you to edit messages inline and avoid a long back-and-forth chat thread. Users also can send a message with a Loop component, like a table, action items, or a list and have it co-authored and edited by everyone inline.
Top hits in search
Top hits in Teams search makes it easier to search and find information. This new section appears at the top of your auto-suggest results. Top hits gathers the most relevant results for you across the different search domains—people, group chats, teams, channels, and files—and reduces the need to scroll through all the search results, helping you quickly find what you need.
Updated search page in Teams
A new search experience in Teams will make finding messages, people, answers, and files faster and more intuitive. A redesigned search results page provides better context and faster results, with AI-powered relevance based on the people and content you engage with most in Teams and other Microsoft 365 applications.
New tag management settings for Frontline workers
This feature will update the default tag management settings in the Teams Admin Center to include ”Team owners and members” and not just “Team owners.” You can still update this to only “Team owners” at the tenant level and override the default.
Find out more: Manage tags in Microsoft Teams
Task publishing editing
Task publishing enables corporate teams to create and publish tasks to, for example, all frontline locations and other configurable attributes of a distributed workforce. Corporate teams can now edit published tasks without having to recall the entire task list.
Integrated Communication Access Realtime Translation CART captioning in meetings
You can now view captions coming from a CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) provider within the Microsoft Teams meeting window instead of a secondary window. Meeting organizers and participants can enable CART captions from their meeting options.
Find out more: Use live captions in a Teams meeting
Content from camera
Content from camera in Teams enables intelligent capture which allows you to share content from physical whiteboards and documents in a high-quality way during meetings. You can use the camera in your laptop, a secondary USB webcam, or a document camera. Just like the experience available in Microsoft Teams Rooms, the intelligent content capture technology will detect, crop, and frame the asset while enhancing the content in the video stream.
Word cloud for polls in Teams
When users collect responses for an open text poll in a Teams meeting, word cloud data insights will be available to give them a quick view on the top text phrases people answered.
Find out more: Poll attendees during a Teams meeting
Custom Music on Hold
Tenant administrators can configure the audio being played to PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) callers when they are placed on hold. This allows departments or a group of users to customize announcements being played to PSTN callers on hold.
Find out more: Configure custom music
Route calls to unassigned numbers
You can now ensure that incoming PSTN calls to phone numbers that are not assigned to a user or resource account can be redirected to another user, a call queue, auto attendant, or an announcement. Tenant admins will configure the phone number or range and where the call should be routed.
Find out more: Routing calls to unassigned numbers
Custom call park
You will now be able to have a larger number of parked calls and will have a broader range for the maximum time someone will be on hold before ringing back if a parked call isn’t picked up, also referred to as timeout value. Teams admins can configure call park and retrieve settings, and the range of call pickup numbers can now be set from 10 to 9999.
Admins are also now able to configure a different call park timeout value than the default 300 seconds, with the range available to be set between 120 and 1,800 seconds.
Find out more: Call park and retrieve in Microsoft Teams
Remote sign-out from Teams admin center
Microsoft are launching the ability for tenant admins to sign out of Teams Android devices from the Teams administration center. Generally available for phones and Teams displays, admins can easily provision devices from the Teams administration center and remotely sign out from devices.
Find out more: Sign out or remove an account from Teams
Branch office survivability on Teams phones
Given the importance of uninterrupted voice services, we are pleased to announce that branch office survivability for phones is generally available, enabling PSTN calls even when a network connection is unavailable.
Find out more: Survivable Branch Appliance (SBA) for Direct Routing
Apps in assignments
Educators and students rely on a variety of tools to support learning. With this new feature, educators can include links to content from other learning and resource tools directly into a Teams assignment.
Whiteboard integration with assignments
Digital whiteboards give educators and students a canvas to spark creativity and collaboration. Now, educators can include a whiteboard as reference material or the content type of a Teams assignment.
Cortana now available for EDU customers in international markets
Cortana voice assistance in the Teams mobile app and Microsoft Teams display is now available for EDU customers in international markets to help you streamline communication, collaboration, and class-related tasks in school using spoken natural language. With Cortana voice assistance, you can call someone or perform class-related tasks, message someone, or send messages to your class. Also, you can find and share files, and search or navigate within the Teams mobile app or on the Microsoft Teams display. The initial release will be to UK, India, Canada, and Australia. This is in addition to the prior release to EDU customers in the US.
These features currently available to Microsoft’s commercial customers in multi-tenant cloud environments are now rolling out to our customers in US Government Community Cloud (GCC), US Government Community Cloud High (GCC-High), and/or United States Department of Defense (DoD):
Integrated CART Captioning in Meetings
You can now view captions coming from a CART provider (real-time captioning) within the Microsoft Teams meeting window instead of a secondary window. Follow along with what is being said without having to choose between the captions and presentation. Meeting organizers and participants can enable CART captions from their meeting options. Available in GCC. Learn more.
Presenter mode in desktop or window sharing
Standout, Reporter and Side-by-side Presenter modes are now available when sharing your desktop or window in the Teams desktop app. Standout mode overlays your video on top of the content for a more immersive presenting experience. Reporter mode places content as a visual aid above your shoulder like a news story. Side-by-side mode displays your video feed next to your content. You can now select a mode that fits your needs and promotes a more engaging presentation and experience. Available in GCC-high and DOD. Learn more.
Anonymous user join policy
You can now configure to enable specific users or groups of users to admit anonymous users into meetings. This provides IT Admins more granular control on a policy that was previously at the tenant level. You can configure this policy using the AllowAnonymousUsersToJoinMeeting parameter in Set-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy with PowerShell version 2.6.0 or later. Available in GCC. Learn more.
New assignment experience in separate window for breakout rooms
Participant assignment is now moved from the breakout rooms’ right panel to a separate window that pops up when selecting “Assign Participants.” The enhanced interface allows you to sort by participants or rooms. You also can select multiple participants and assign them to rooms by using the check boxes next to the participants’ names. This helps you quickly find your participant or room and speeds up the assignment process. Available in GCC-High and DOD. Learn more.
Download attendance report
Meeting organizers can now download attendance reports during and after the meeting. To enable this feature, set the AllowEngagementReport parameter to “Enabled.” When enabled, the option to download the report is displayed in the Participants pane during the meeting. After the meeting, you can find the report in the meeting chat. This helps you keep track of who attended the meeting. Available in GCC. Learn more.
Isolated audio feed capabilities
Broadcasters will now be able to create a high-quality, clean audio mix with our new isolated audio feed capabilities in Microsoft Teams. As broadcasters use NDI or hardware-out, they will be able to get the isolated audio feed along with the isolated video feed from any Teams meeting, enabling full control of both the feeds going into their studio. This capability is enabled within the meeting settings and is available in GCC as a preview.
Up to 25K members per team in GCCH
You can now create a team with up to 25,000 participants, reaching broadly across your organization and beyond. Members of a team can cross-post a message in multiple channels at once, making it easy to share information across teams and work groups.
In Power Apps: Pay-as-you-go, create mobile apps, modernize business units, Power Fx open source, settings solution component, portals mobile apps, Data Export Service to Azure Synapse Link for Dataverse, OData v2.0 Service removal date, custom pages runtime GA, AI Builder enhancements, multiplayer apps, code components on pages, query data using portals web API, portals support for Microsoft Power Platform CLI GA, Access connector, CLI support for GitHub CodeSpaces and Windows Services for Linux
Pay-as-you-go for Power Apps (Public Preview)
Now in preview, customers can use an Azure subscription to cover their Power Apps and Dataverse costs based on actual usage. With the new pay-as-you-go plan, customers only pay for what they use, giving them more flexibility to get started with low code with low risk and then scale their investments over time based on the usage patterns of their solutions.
Create mobile apps with Power Apps (preview)
Power Apps mobile apps (preview), enables makers to package Canvas apps as Android and iOS mobile apps for corporate end users. With Power Apps mobile apps, there is no need to install Xcode or Android Studio, Microsoft build the mobile app packages for you!
Find out more: Create mobile apps with Power Apps (preview)
Modernize business units (preview)
Business units’ data access can now support matrix data access structure . The matrix structure is typical for sales organizations where a regional sales manager can access data in multiple regions, or retail organizations where a store clerk works at multiple stores.
Users are no longer restricted to accessing/managing data in their own business unit. They can now access and own records across business units. Security roles from different business units can be assigned to the users regardless of the business unit the users belong to. This feature enables the Owning Business Unit column of the record so that it can be set/updated by the users. The Owning Business Unit column determines the business unit that owns the record.
Find out more: Business units in Dataverse
Power Fx: Open source (preview)
Microsoft have announced the preview release of Microsoft Power Fx as open source. Under the MIT license, you can now freely integrate this Excel-like, low code programming language in your own projects. The GitHub repo at https://github.com/microsoft/power-fx.
Power Fx is the low code language for everyone. It leverages the existing knowledge of hundreds of millions of users who already know how to express logic in Excel. Natural language support with GPT-3 and no code builders that create Power Fx formulas can lower the bar even further.
Find out more: Power Fx: Open source now available
New Settings solution component for model-driven apps (Public preview)
Now in public preview is a new solution component named Settings. Using settings, application authors can, with just a few clicks, activate or configure features for a model-driven app. This allows them to easily and quickly provide a customized experience for end-users. These settings can be created by application authors, administrators, or partners.
Find out more: Use settings to provide customized app experiences (preview)
Power Apps portals as mobile apps (preview)
Microsoft have announced the upcoming capability of portals as a progressive web app, enabling makers to enable portals into apps with native app like look & feel right from portal studio in just few steps!
The Progressive web app technology (PWA) to enable portal to multi-platform supported app which works on all platforms (android/iOS/windows) as well as all form factors (mobile/desktop/tablet). With PWA, end user can pin Power Apps portals as an app to the home screen on a mobile device or install it from the app store.
Find out more: Power Apps portals as mobile apps (preview)
Depreciation of the Data Export Service to Azure Synapse Link for Dataverse
Microsoft have announced the deprecation of Data Export Service (DES); an add-on feature available via Microsoft AppSource which provides the ability to replicate data from Microsoft Dataverse to an Azure SQL store in a customer-owned Azure subscription. Data Export Service will continue to work and will be fully supported until it reaches end-of-support and end-of-life a year from this announcement date, in November 2022. Azure Synapse Link for Dataverse is the successor to Data Export Service.
OData v2.0 Service removal date
The Organization Data Service is an OData v2.0 endpoint introduced with Dynamics CRM 2011. The Organization Data Service was deprecated with Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement v8.0 in favour of the Web API, an OData v4.0 service. The service was planned to be removed on November 11, 2022. Any code that uses the Organization Data Service will need to be migrated to use the Web API.
Find out more: OData v2.0 Service removal date announcement
Custom Page runtime general availability
Custom Page Runtime has reached General Availability in all regions for most of the functionality in the July public preview. With this milestone you are able to create better user experiences using integrated low-code pages within model-driven apps. Some specific or new capabilities will remain in public preview longer to allow them to evolve.
Capabilities reaching General Availability include runtime for custom pages, solutioning/ALM, all connectors, code components, controls listed here, and monitor.
Find out more: Overview of custom pages for model-driven apps
Add intelligence to your Power Apps with AI Builder
At Ignite, Microsoft announced new features for AI Builder, which dramatically increase the ways you can use AI in Power Apps, making it easier than ever to add more kinds of intelligence to your business solutions:
- Use AI in your apps with Power Fx (Preview). Using Power Fx, makers can now use any AI model on any control in canvas apps.
- Bring Your own AI model (GA). Companies can leverage existing investments in data science. Any AI model, built with any language, framework, or tooling, can now be used in Power Platform via AI Builder.
- Image classification with Lobe (Preview). Domain experts can train image classification models on their computers with Lobe and upload those models to AI Builder to be used in Power Platform.
- AI Builder starter capacity is now included in select Power Apps and Power Automate license plans.
Find out more: New ways to add intelligence to your Power Apps
Co-presence shows you who is looking at the current record by showing their avatar in the top right corner of the command bar, just like Office apps do. App users, such as the record owner, are displayed with their picture and on-line status. During the preview period this feature will be extended to user lookups and grid user columns.
Links to records can be shared easily via the “Share” button in the top right corner of the command bar. This feature will be expanded during the preview period to allow copy-pasted shared links to give read-only access to the record to people who click on the link, allowing more streamlined collaboration with people outside of your team.
Find out more: Easy Power Apps collaboration with multiplayer apps
Use code components on pages in portals (Preview)
Microsoft have announced the capability of adding code components using Liquid template tag within Power Apps portals is now available with portals version 9.3.10.x. Code components can be added to a web page using the codecomponent Liquid template tag. The key for denoting the code component that needs to be loaded is passed using the name attribute. The key can be the GUID (which is the code component ID), or the name of the code component imported in Microsoft Dataverse.
Find out more: Power Apps portals: Use code components on pages (Preview)
Query data using portals Web API (preview)
Web API operations in portals so far were limited to creating, updating, deleting, associating and disassociating tables. With this public preview, we’re adding the capability to retrieve data using GET requests through portals Web API.
Find out more: Query data using portals Web API (preview)
General Availability of Power Apps portals support for Power Platform CLI
Microsoft have announced the General Availability (GA) of Power Apps portals support for Microsoft Power Platform CLI with version 1.9.8 that was introduced in May 2021 release as a preview feature. Feature capabilities include:
- Power Platform CLI commands for portal
- Lists all portal websites from the current Dataverse environment.
- Download portal website content from the current Dataverse environment.
- Upload portal website content to the current Dataverse environment.
- Upload portal data using deployment profile
- GitHub Actions support for Power Apps portal task
Find out more: Portals support for Microsoft Power Platform CLI
Microsoft Access connector for the Power Platform (preview)
Microsoft have announced capabilities for Access in the cloud. Power Platform is an industry leading low-code no-code cloud-based development platform and serves as an ideal companion for Access customers. By integrating with the Power Platform, Access data can be strengthened with Azure and Azure Active Directory (AAD) security, Dataverse role-based security, as well as be stored in a single cloud location for use with the Power Platform and the Microsoft Access desktop client.
Power Platform support for GitHub Codespaces and Windows services for Linux
Now in public preview, Power Platform VS code integration in GitHub CodeSpace and Windows Services for Linux. Github Codespaces can be accessed via the Browser or accessed via Visual Studio Code installed on your laptop. So instead of cloning a repository, and setting up your development environment, all you now have to do is to create GitHub Codespace and start working.
As an extension to our Visual Studio integration, If your Visual Studio Code install is WSL enabled, you can now use Power Platform integration and it is shell aware, as in, if you access your local file system via Windows, the shell will default to PowerShell and if you use your WSL instance, it will use the Bash shell or whichever Linux shell you have installed.
In Power Automate: Request limits update, 14 new connectors, API Owner connectors, DLP for RPA, process mining
Updates to the Power Platform request limits
Microsoft have announced they are dramatically raising the Power platform daily request volume throttles that have existed for Power Apps, Power Automate, Power Virtual Agents, and Dynamics 365 users. For example, the Power Automate per user plan is jumping from 5,000 requests per user per day to 40,000 requests per user per day.
|Products||Requests per paid license per 24 hours|
|Paid user licenses for Power Platform (excludes Power Apps per App, Power Automate per flow, and Power Virtual Agents) and Dynamics 365 excluding D365 Team Member||40,000|
|Power Apps pay-as-you-go plan, and paid licensed users for Power Apps per app, Microsoft 365 plans with Power Platform access, and Dynamics 365 Team Member||6,000|
|Power Automate per flow plan, Power Virtual Agents base offer, and Power Virtual Agents add-on pack||250,000|
Find out more: Updates to the Power Platform request limits
14 new independent publisher connectors
Independent Publisher connectors are connectors developed, tested, published, and supported by connector developers that are independent from the backend service or API. 14 new Independent Publisher connectors that were published in September and October, including:
7 new API owner connectors and 10 updates
7 new API owner connectors and 10 updates to existing connectors were released last month, including:
- Sigma Conso Consolidation – Sigma Conso Consolidation & Reporting Connector provides a set of APIs to interact with your Consolidation & Reporting application.
- Nextcom – With the Nextcom Power Automate connection, Nextcom offers a simplified integration process into their cloud-based CRM solution for new and existing customers.
- Polaris PSA – Polaris is the world’s first self-driving PSA solution that analyzes real-time data to recommend the best possible choices for proactive decision-making.
- Staffbase – With the Staffbase connector for Power Automate you bridge the gap between different tools and systems and include the Staffbase platform in your automated workflows.
- Docjuris – This upgrade includes a new trigger for internal comments, a new action to download a screening report automatically, and better control over contract creation.
- Data8 Data Enrichment – Data8 are experts in validating global address and geolocation data, as well as verifying bank details, phone numbers, email addresses and other pieces of data in real-time.
- TimeGhost – The latest update for the timeghost Power Automate connector includes the option for users to set up an external ID with the connector as well.
Data loss prevention for desktop flows (preview)
To support the ability for enterprise admins to apply managements and controls over automations, Microsoft are happy to announce that data loss prevention (DLP) for desktop flows is now in preview. Administrators can now define policies for automations and warn makers when they are creating RPA desktop flows that may go against their organizational governance rules.
NOTE: This capability is currently in preview for free. When this feature becomes generally available in 2022, it will be available for environments with premium accounts only.
Find out more: Data loss prevention for desktop flows (preview)
Process mining in process advisor
Process mining provides direct data insights across an organization’s daily business processes, helping identify inefficiencies to improve how they work. Now in preview, process mining in process advisor allows you to leverage your business data to produce analytics and detailed process maps, gleaning new insights into ways to optimize your business processes.
Find out more: Discover new insights with process mining in process advisor
Create Connected PivotTables in Excel for the web
Connecting to Power BI datasets in Excel for the web is now available to all eligible Office users. With this new capability, you can now create PivotTables and charts in a web browser and take advantage of Excel features such as co-authoring, enabling you to collaborate with others on data projects while ensuring your reports stays connected to Power BI with up-to-date data. Also, your Excel reports inherit Microsoft Information Protection (MIP) labels in Power BI so that your data remains secure.
Find out more: How to connect to Power BI datasets in Excel for the web
Capacity settings for datasets are now in Power BI Premium Gen2
The ability to change your capacity settings for datasets is now generally available in Power BI Premium Gen2. As a capacity administrator you can review and change default values for your capacity. These are the same dataset settings that were available in Power BI Premium Gen1.
Find out more: Configure workloads in a Premium capacity
Power BI integration with Databricks Partner Connect
Power BI Desktop customers can now visualize data in Delta Lake using Databricks with just a couple of clicks. Power BI Desktop integration with Databricks Partner Connect makes it simple to connect to Delta Lake so you can start doing analytics and sharing insights with your business.
Databricks Partner Connect is a one-stop portal for customers to quickly and easily discover a broad set of certified data, analytics, and AI tools and easily integrate them with Databricks.
Find out more: Databricks Partner Connect guide
Azure AS compatibility with EffectiveUserName support
Microsoft have announced support for user impersonation using the EffectiveUserName connection-string property. Impersonating another user can be as easy as specifying that user’s UPN on the connection string. No Azure Active Directory (AAD) authentication or delegation token exchange necessary.
Export to Excel Improvements for Table and Matrix Visuals (Preview)
The Power BI team have announced that improvements to the Export to Excel experience for Power BI table and matrix visuals is now available in public preview. With this improvement, you get a new dialog option Data with current layout, that allows the export of data from a table or matrix visual to Excel while preserving the formatting of the visual, including number formatting and grouped (merged or unmerged) dimensions.
Power BI November 2021 Feature Summary
November’s Power BI feature summary includes a new format pane preview feature, page and bookmark navigators, new text box formatting options, pie, and donut chart rotation, plus many more.
Find out more: Power BI November Feature Summary
Snowflake and Azure Databricks Connectivity via VNet data gateways
The Power BI team have announced availability of Snowflake and Azure Databricks connectors on VNet Data gateways. Additionally, you can also use Single Sign-On(SSO) with Azure Active Directory (AAD) to connect to these data sources.
To be able to connect to either Snowflake or Azure Databricks secured by an Azure VNet, as a gateway admin, create a new data source on the VNet data gateway and select the specific data source type.
Power BI app for Microsoft Teams (GA)
The Power BI team have announced that the Power BI App for Microsoft Teams is Generally Available. With this availability, users can easily find data in Power BI, use our fully featured experiences without leaving Microsoft Teams, and bring data and insights into their chats, meetings, calendar invites, and of course teams.
Power BI goals improvements
Goals in Power BI has a new set of features including: goal level permissions, Power Automate integration with goals, and a new scorecard visual that can be added to Power BI reports. Several top requested user experience enhancements for moving goals within a scorecard and showing/hiding scorecard fields have also been included.
Find out more: More easily integrate goals into all your business processes
BONUS! Even more updates!
Congratulations if you have made it this far through the monthly update! For getting to the end you will be rewarded with other related titbits from around Microsoft 365…
Clipchamp —Microsoft’s New Video Editing App
Microsoft recently acquired Clipchamp; a video editor that empowers you to turn your visions for video into reality. Clipchamp is focused on making video creation simple and fun without taking away the flexibility that lets you fine tune the details.
Try it for free now at clipchamp.com. Or, download it from the Windows Store.
Updates for the Office mobile app
Recently, Microsoft have produced a video highlighted all the features within the Office mobile app which includes a single app for Word, Excel and PowerPoint, support for PDFs, videos, images, scanning notes, handwriting recognition and much more. Check it out here.