Description column in SharePoint libraries – how to use

In this post we take a look at the description column that is available within SharePoint Online document libraries and how to make use of it.


There is a description column available in modern SharePoint document libraries. This description column comes out of the box when you create a new document library, or when you add/remove columns from the existing Shared Documents library that comes with every Team/ SharePoint site.

The problem

The description column exhibits some very strange behaviour. First of all, when you try add it to a library view it does not appear within the properties pane, nor is it a column you can add via edit “columns”.

When adding the properties column to document library views you are not able to edit the column.

If you add the column into a document library view and switch to edit in grid view mode, the column becomes read only meaning you can’t add anything into any of the cells within the library.

If you try to edit the column via edit in grid view the cells within the library are read-only.

The solution

This is more of a workaround than a solution as this appears to be a bug rather than desired behaviour. If you make the column mandatory, then optional it seems to do the trick! To do this:

  • Left-click on the Description column heading > column settings > edit
  • Press more options > set require that this column contains information to yes
  • Press save
Set the Description column to required, then optional to enable editing.
  • With this setting changed, when you edit your document library in grid view now you are able to enter data into the Description field
Once you have made the Description column required, you are able to add data via grid view.
  • Go back to edit the Description column settings and switch off require that this column contains information to make it optional

Add Description column to properties pane

Although the above will allow you to add data to the Description column, it will not add the Description column into the properties pane. You can get the Description column to appear by adding it to the default content type in the document library. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Press the cog > library settings
  • Under general settings > advanced settings
  • Set allow management of content types to yes
  • Press OK
Set allow management of content types to yes in the document library.
  • Scroll down to content types > select the document content type
  • Press add from existing site or list columns
Press add from existing site or list columns to add the Description column to the Document content type.
  • Ensure the Description column is selected > press add
  • Press OK
Add the Description column into the Document content type.

Go back to your document library, select a document and open the properties pane. You will now see the Description column is displayed in the properties pane, as well as being an editable field when you press edit all.

Bonus! History lesson and give your feedback

This description column appears to be a rather recent addition to all tenants, making it’s appearance in summer 2021 with the advent of Microsoft Lists. I went back to SharePoint 2010 just to double-check and sure enough the Description column was not present!

Out of the box SharePoint 2010 document library with no description column.

I’ve added a new item to the Microsoft feedback portal (UserVoice replacement) in the hope this gets addressed by the SharePoint product team so if you could upvote it that would be great!


Microsoft 365 roadmap roundup – 10th January 2022

Use these buttons to switch between each product’s roadmap updates.

OneDrive

  • Launched (1)
  • Rolling out (2)
  • In development (1)

🍾 LAUNCHED

  • OneDrive: Sync admin reports – sorting and filtering – Add support for sorting and filtering the list of devices in the Sync admin reports. Roadmap ID: 85595

🚂 ROLLING OUT

  • OneDrive: Files On-Demand refresh for macOS – We’ve revamped the OneDrive sync experience in macOS based on Apple’s new File Provider platform to improve the Finder experience for OneDrive. Roadmap ID: 82033
  • OneDrive: Limit OneDrive access and sharing to specified users – Ability to allow only specified users access to OneDrive in your tenant. Roadmap ID:88514

⌛ IN DEVELOPMENT

  • 🆕 OneDrive and SharePoint: Edit High Value Control (HVC) – High Efficiency Image Format (HEIC) File Support – Users can edit (Crop or rotate, adjust, filter and markup) the High Efficiency Image Format (HEIC) files through the Edit HVC. After editing the image, if the user wishes to save the changes, the file would be copied as a new jpg file. Roadmap ID: 88841

Microsoft 365 roadmap roundup – 3rd January 2022

Use these buttons to switch between each product’s roadmap updates.

OneDrive

  • Launched (1)
  • Rolling out (0)
  • In development (0)

🍾 LAUNCHED

  • Microsoft Stream: Updated Web player for video & audio files in SharePoint, Teams, Yammer, and OneDrive for Government Clouds – The web player for audio and video files that are stored in OneDrive and SharePoint (including when those files are embedded in Teams, Yammer, and SharePoint), is updated with a new user look and feel, and adheres to greater levels of accessibility for keyboard navigation and screen readers. Roadmap ID: 87204

🚂 ROLLING OUT

N/A

⌛ IN DEVELOPMENT

N/A


Microsoft 365 roadmap roundup – year in review 2021

With 2021 drawing to a close, I thought it would be useful to go back through the Microsoft roadmap and look at the year in review, highlighting some of major releases and others that have caught my attention.


Microsoft roadmap
Year in review
2021

The link above covers all the stats from the Microsoft roadmap in an infographic format. I’ve gone through the site to list out the top 10 roadmap posts of the year plus a selection of my favourite releases along the way.

Top 10 most viewed roadmap posts of 2021

These are the top ten most viewed roadmap roundup posts from the blog for this calendar year:


Top 5 launched features 2021

This list is in no particular order, but just the launched features I found the most noteworthy in 2021:

SharePoint

1. SharePoint: Swap root site from SharePoint admin center for customers with 10k+ seats – Customers with more than 10K seats or more can now swap their SharePoint root site from within the SharePoint admin center user interface. Roadmap ID: 72224

The Replace root site panel in the new SharePoint admin center

2. SharePoint: Scenario-Based Site Templates – Use scenario-based site templates that leverage existing SharePoint capabilities (e.g. pages, lists, libraries, branding) to build your own sites faster and get inspired. Roadmap ID: 70574

3. SharePoint: Company-Branded Auto News Digest – Now you can also roll up your news posts into a great-looking digest that you can send in a company branded Auto-News Digest email. Roadmap ID: 70606

4. SharePoint Syntex: Modern site-level term store – A modern experience to create and manage site-level taxonomies for your sites. It’s now easier to navigate your taxonomies and create and edit terms when classifying & discovering your Syntex and SharePoint content. Roadmap ID: 85638

5. SharePoint: Microsoft Lists Updated sharing experience – Create unique sharing links for lists based on who and how you wish to share them, while adhering to any sharing settings per established IT and governance planning and policies. Roadmap ID: 81965

Microsoft Teams

1. Microsoft Teams: Reply to a specific message – When chatting in Teams, you will be able to reply a specific message. The original message will be quoted in the reply text box -quoted replies will be available in 1:1, Group and Meeting chats. Roadmap ID: 81113

Reply to specific chat message in Microsoft Teams Desktop

2. Microsoft Teams: Breakout Room Timer, Room Retention, and Participant Reassignment – You can now set a timer for Breakout rooms. After timer has expired, rooms will automatically close and participants will come back to the main meeting. Room assignment retention provides the ability to persist room configuration and assignment over multiple sessions. With participant reassignment capability, organizer will now be able to move joined participants across rooms and main meeting also when rooms are opened. Roadmap ID: 81372

Image shows how to set time limit for breakout rooms.

3. Microsoft Teams: Manage team templates with template policies – Manage the team templates that your end users see by creating templates policies in the admin center. Within each template policy, you can designate which templates are shown or hidden. Assign different users to different template policies so that your users view only the subset of team templates specified. Roadmap ID: 70701

The template policies is selected and Add is highlighted.

4. Microsoft Teams: Disable/Enable all Attendee’s Video – Ability to disable and enable video for all attendee’s before, or during, a Microsoft Teams meeting. Roadmap ID: 70621

Don't allow attendees to unmute option

5. Microsoft Teams: Align the experience creating a team from different Teams interfaces – Align the experience for Teams creation in Teams Admin Center to the experience in creating a team in the Teams client. Roadmap ID: 70696

Create a team

OneDrive

1. OneDrive: Dialog on First-Time deletion of File(s) – When a user deletes a file(s) for the first time, they will be shown a dialog to educate them that their file is in the OneDrive recycle bin where it can be restored. This will show up on subsequent deletes until the user checks the box stating they do wish to see it again. Roadmap ID: 70702

First delete dialog alert for OneDrive files - M365 Admin

2. Immersive Reader support in OneDrive and SharePoint – Users can now open Word files directly into Immersive Reader from inside OneDrive and SharePoint. Roadmap ID: 81954

thumbnail image 3 of blog post titled 
	
	
	 
	
	
	
				
		
			
				
						
							Immersive Reader comes to PowerPoint for the web, OneDrive, SharePoint and MakeCode

3. OneDrive: Request Files for GCC High and DoD – The Request Files feature is now available for the GCCH and DoD environments. Roadmap ID: 72228

Request files UI

4. OneDrive for Business: Progressive Web App (PWA) – You can now install the web version of OneDrive for Business as a Progressive Web App (PWA) in Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Firefox, or other browser that supports Progressive Web Apps. Roadmap ID: 82040

5. OneDrive: Android – Night time reading mode for PDF viewing – Users of OneDrive for Android will be able to change the appearance of PDFs in three main color modes which are day mode, night mode and sepia to enhance viewing. Roadmap ID: 72230

Information Protection

1. Microsoft Information Protection: Enhanced simulations and location support for auto-labeling in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business – Auto-labeling in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business has been updated with improved performance and ability to configure more locations. The configuration limit of 10 locations in a policy has been removed. Roadmap ID: 82060

Choose locations page for auto-labeling configuration.

2. Microsoft 365 compliance center: Information governance – Multi-stage disposition review – This update allows organizations to use a multi-stage disposition process, including multiple stakeholders and reviews before deleting the content. Roadmap ID: 70579

Specifying disposition reviewers.

3. Microsoft Information Protection: Configure external sharing for sensitivity labels in Teams and SharePoint sites – With this update, you can set controls on external sharing while configuring a Team or site protection policy. Roadmap ID: 70735

A sensitivity label when creating a team site from SharePoint.

4. Microsoft 365 compliance center: Advanced eDiscovery – Historical versions – This capability will enable organizations to quickly search across not only the current version of documents, but all the versions of the document. Roadmap ID: 81898

Switch on the toggle to enable historical versions

5. Microsoft 365 compliance center: Retention for Teams – Admins will be able to apply retention and deletion policies to Teams chats and conversations. Roadmap ID: 81963

A look at the roadmap in 2022

Here are 5 interesting features on the roadmap due for release in 2022:

  1. SharePoint: Migrate SharePoint 2010 and 2013 workflows to Power Automate – Provide Microsoft 365 customers with a tool to migrate SharePoint-based workflows to Power Automate. You will be able to migrate SharePoint 2010 (out-of-the-box) workflows and SharePoint 2013 (SharePoint Designer) workflows to Power Automate flows. Initially this will be implemented via PowerShell, and in future it will be more integrated into the SharePoint Migration Tool (SPMT). Roadmap ID: 82108
  2. Microsoft Teams: Pairing the channel and the corresponding SharePoint folder name –  When renaming a Teams’ channel, the corresponding SharePoint folder will be renamed and reflect the new name. This new feature will be available for all Standard and Private channels. For Standard channels – The corresponding folder in SharePoint will be renamed. For Private channels – The corresponding site name and the folder in SharePoint will be renamed. For legacy Teams channels that were renamed prior to this rollout, there will be no change in experience. When a legacy channel is renamed after this release, it will simultaneously rename the corresponding SharePoint folder.  Roadmap ID: 72211
  3. OneDrive and SharePoint for Business: Library Dropdown – We’re adding a dropdown that allows you to easily switch between multiple document libraries associated with a Team or Site. Roadmap ID: 81990
  4. Microsoft Viva: Praise History in Microsoft Viva Insights – The Praise app in Microsoft Teams is designed to help recognize the effort that goes into the wide-ranging, collaborative work that Teams users do. Users can send Praise to their colleagues through the messaging extension pinned to the Teams messaging bar for most users or through the Microsoft Viva Insights app in Teams. With Praise history, users will be able to view their sent and received praise over the past six months. Roadmap ID: 85639
  5. Microsoft Information Protection: Auto labeling (for files at rest in SharePoint Online) can now label PDF files – This feature enables you to label PDF files at rest via the auto-labeling engine as you would Word, Excel, or PowerPoint files. Roadmap ID: 85618

Thanks for reading and look forward to a great 2022 for roadmap updates!


Microsoft 365 roadmap roundup – 27th December 2021

Use these buttons to switch between each product’s roadmap updates.

OneDrive

  • Launched (1)
  • Rolling out (0)
  • In development (0)

🍾 LAUNCHED

  • OneDrive: New OneDrive Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) Tool – The new Microsoft OneDrive Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) Tool allows K-12 and higher education institutions to integrate OneDrive and Office 365 with their learning management system (LMS). This tool allows educators and students to add and create OneDrive files, collaborate on Office 365 documents, and create and submit assignments within their learning management system. Roadmap ID: 88830

🚂 ROLLING OUT

N/A

⌛ IN DEVELOPMENT

N/A


Microsoft 365 monthly update – November 2021

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.


SharePoint

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.

thumbnail image 3 captioned As you create a new page or news article, you can create it as a private draft by checking the appropriate box at the bottom to the left of the “Create post” button (as shown above).
Private drafts for SharePoint pages and news.

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.

thumbnail image 4 captioned Use the Embed web part within your SharePoint space to add HTML-based pages – like Microsoft Forms (as shown above).
SharePoint spaces has a new Embed web part.

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.

thumbnail image 5 captioned The Viva Connections desktop experience is implemented through modern SharePoint pages in SharePoint Online. You can extend these pages with HTML widgets named web parts. Editors can place web parts in the content area of pages and configure them to their needs.
SharePoint Framework v1.13.

Find out more: Announcing SharePoint Framework 1.13 – Extending Microsoft Viva Connections

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.

thumbnail image 6 captioned The Active sites page of the SharePoint admin center lets you view SharePoint sites in your organization (including communication sites and team sites connected to Microsoft Teams and related channel sites).
The Active sites page of the SharePoint admin center lets you view SharePoint sites in your organization (including communication sites and team sites connected to Microsoft Teams and related channel sites).

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.

thumbnail image 7 captioned New Lists indicators show when your items are being save to your device (offline; as shown above), when the list is syncing, and when all is up to date (synced).
Microsoft Lists: Sync your lists for improved performance and offline access.

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.

thumbnail image 8 captioned After clicking "+ Create site" from the SharePoint start page in Microsoft 365, you can then create a Team site or a Communication site – now with clarity on what comes with each throughout the creation wizard.
Updated site creation experience in the SharePoint admin center.

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


Teams

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,

Teams (Education)

Teams (Government)

Teams

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.

Loop components in Teams chat.

Find out more: Transforming creation and collaboration with Microsoft Loop components in Teams chat

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.

thumbnail image 4 of blog post titled 
	
	
	 
	
	
	
				
		
			
				
						
							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | November 2021
Top hits in Teams search.

Find out more: Top hits and Hit highlighting in Autosuggest is now available

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.

An updated search results page in Teams.

Find out more: New and improved search results experience on Microsoft Teams

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.

New tag management settings for Frontline workers.

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.

Find out more: Manage the Tasks app for your organization in Microsoft Teams

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. 

CART captioning in Teams meetings.

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.

Content from camera in Teams meetings.

Find out more: Share whiteboards and documents using your camera in Teams meetings

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. 

Screenshot of call park policy settings.
Call parking in Teams.

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

Teams (Education)

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.

Teams (Government)

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.


Power Apps

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.

Video image showing the steps to link an Azure subscription to an environment in Power Apps. Detailed step by step instructions representing what is shown in this video are available in our docs at https://aka.ms/PowerPlatformPAYG
Setting up pay-as-you-go billing for Power Apps.

Find out more: Low-code with low risk: Announcing pay-as-you-go for Power Apps (Public Preview)

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!

Power Apps mobile apps (preview).

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.

The Business Unit concept.

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.

Power Fx.

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.

For example, you can now activate the Async on load handler and Async save handler features for model-driven apps with just a few clicks using settings that were created by the Power Apps team.

Enabling features using settings in app designer
New settings solution component.

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.

Power Apps portals as mobile apps (preview).

Find out more: Power Apps portals as mobile apps (preview)

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.

Find out more: Do more with data – From Data Export Service to Azure Synapse Link for Dataverse

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.

Custom page authoring and runtime
Custom page runtime.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. AI Builder starter capacity is now included in select Power Apps and Power Automate license plans.
A GIF showing how you can add an AI model as a data source to a canvas app in Power Apps
Use AI in your apps with Power Fx.

Find out more: New ways to add intelligence to your Power Apps

Multiplayer 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.

Co presence and user on-line status in apps
Co-presence in model-driven apps.

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.

Liquid template tag for code components.

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:

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.

Find out more: Announcing: Power Apps + Microsoft Access = Security, Mobility, New Experiences.

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.

A screenshot of a computer Description automatically generated
Power Platform support for Codespaces.

Find out more: Microsoft Power Platform support for GitHub Codespaces and Windows services for Linux


Power Automate

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.

ProductsRequests 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 Member40,000
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 Member6,000
Power Automate per flow plan, Power Virtual Agents base offer, and Power Virtual Agents add-on pack250,000
http://aka.ms/platformlimits

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:

Find out more: 14 New Independent Publisher Connectors in September and October

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.

Find out more: 7 New API Owner Connectors and 10 Updates released this October

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.

Admin scenario: admin can create a DLP policy with desktop flows restrictions.

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.

Discover new insights with process mining in process advisor.

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.

Create Connected PivotTables in Excel for the web.

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.

Capacity settings for datasets are now in Power BI Premium Gen2.

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.

Power BI integration with Databricks Partner Connect.

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.

Azure AS compatibility with EffectiveUserName support.

Find out more: Power BI bolsters Azure AS compatibility with EffectiveUserName support

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.

Export to Excel Dialog with Download Options
Export to Excel Improvements for Table and Matrix Visuals (Preview).

Find out more: Export to Excel Improvements for Table and Matrix Visuals (Preview)

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.

Snowflake and Azure Databricks Connectivity via VNet data gateways.

Find out more: Snowflake and Azure Databricks Connectivity via VNet data gateways

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. 

An animated GIF showing the Power BI app for Microsoft Teams. It shows New simplified navigation, datasets hub, create experience, goals hub, and built-in Teams usage analytics report.
The Power BI app in Teams.

Find out more: Create a more Data Driven Collaboration with the Power BI app for Microsoft Teams (GA)

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.

Graphical user interface, application Description automatically generated
New Scorecard Visual (Preview).

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.


Microsoft 365 roadmap roundup – 20th December 2021

Use these buttons to switch between each product’s roadmap updates.

OneDrive

  • Launched (2)
  • Rolling out (4)
  • In development (2)

🍾 LAUNCHED

  • OneDrive: Image Utility Edit Control (Crop, Adjustment, Filters) – OneDrive image utility edit control provides basic photo edit and adjustment functionality. Also, with filters, users can give their photos a “look” without having knowledge of photo processing. Feature ID:85625
  • Microsoft Stream: Variable playback speed (0.5-2x) for Microsoft Teams meeting recordings – For Teams meeting recordings saved to OneDrive & SharePoint you’ll now be able to change the playback speed (0.5x – 2x) while watching the video. Roadmap ID: 82002

🚂 ROLLING OUT

  • OneDrive: Sharing experience  –  Copy link – Instead of a Copy link button, you’ll see a footer where you can set permissions for the link and then copy it to share it with recipients. Feature ID:83728
  • Microsoft Stream: Video viewer retention analytics – See which parts of a video are watched – Additional analytics for video files uploaded to SharePoint and OneDrive, allowing video owners to analyze the viewership retention of a video and determine which parts were watched the most or least. Feature ID:85643
  • OneDrive and SharePoint: Markup Ink for Edit HVC (high-value controls) – With markup(ink), users can draw and add notes on their photos to convey their messages and reveal the pattern and information perhaps unclear in an initial, surface look when self-teaching and even more important when sharing photos. Feature ID:88481
  • OneDrive and Microsoft Stream: Sharing Links that block download for most video and audio files – Users can choose to share most video and audio files with a sharing link that will prevent recipients from being able to download the file. Recipients can still view the file via the web player experiences. Roadmap ID: 82193

⌛ IN DEVELOPMENT

Release – December 2021

  • 🆕 OneDrive: New OneDrive Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) Tool – The new Microsoft OneDrive Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) Tool allows K-12 and higher education institutions to integrate OneDrive and Office 365 with their learning management system (LMS). This tool allows educators and students to add and create OneDrive files, collaborate on Office 365 documents, and create and submit assignments within their learning management system. Roadmap ID: 88830

Release – January 2022

  • OneDrive and SharePoint: Improved Move or Copy user experience – We’re refreshing the Move/Copy user experience in OneDrive and SharePoint to make it easier for you to choose where to move or copy your files and folders. Feature ID:85567

Edit in grid view button missing – how to resolve

In this post we take a look at the common causes for the edit in grid view button to not be visible in SharePoint Online & Microsoft Lists.

The problem

Edit in grid view was made generally available to all Microsoft customers in February 2021 and is available for lists and document libraries in SharePoint Online or Microsoft Lists. I recently had an issue reported to me that the edit in grid view button was missing from the ribbon in a SharePoint Online document library.

After taking a look myself, sure enough this was the case and the option wasn’t present. The first thing to note about this particular document library was that the default view had grouping enabled on a particular column. In trying to replicate the issue, at first when I created a new document library the edit in grid view button was present:

I noticed that when I applied the same grouping to the view the edit in grid view button disappeared!

Applying a grouping to a library view causes the edit in grid view button to disappear.

The solution

The solution for this is more of a workaround as this appears to be a Microsoft bug. I decided the best way to get around this was to create a specific view that defaults into grid view mode when selected. To do this:

  • With your library open > press the cog > library settings
  • Scroll down to views > press create view
  • Select datasheet view
  • Give the view a name > select the columns you wish to display > press OK

Now you have a view that defaults to grid view without users having to select it!

Other ways around this issue would be to:

  • Remove the grouping for the view in question to allow edit in grid view
  • Create a new view with the grouping removed and show users how to find it to edit in grid view

Unfortunately this seems to be an bug that although it has been raised with Microsoft, the SharePoint UserVoice has since been shut down so it’s unclear if it is being worked on or not. You can raise feature requests through the Microsoft feedback portal.

Bonus – free history lesson!

Out of curiosity I wanted to see if this was an issue in SharePoint 2010 as I was sure I would have come across it by now. As expected, it wasn’t and datasheet view works fine when views have groupings within them.


Microsoft 365 roadmap roundup – 6th December 2021

Use these buttons to switch between each product’s roadmap updates.

OneDrive

  • Launched (1)
  • Rolling out (1)
  • In development (12)

🍾 LAUNCHED

  • Microsoft Stream: Viewing Teams meeting recording transcripts for GCC – You can see transcripts in transcript pane next to the video for Teams meeting recordings when Teams Live Transcript is also enabled. Video viewers can use the transcripts pane to find content most relevant to them and subsequently jump to any point in the video. Feature ID: 85646

🚂 ROLLING OUT

  • Microsoft Stream: Updated Web player for video & audio files in SharePoint, Teams, Yammer, and OneDrive for Government Clouds – The web player for audio and video files that are stored in OneDrive and SharePoint (including when those files are embedded in Teams, Yammer, and SharePoint), is updated with a new user look and feel, and adheres to greater levels of accessibility for keyboard navigation and screen readers. Roadmap ID: 87204

⌛ IN DEVELOPMENT

Release – December 2021

  • 🆕 OneDrive and SharePoint: Markup Ink for Edit HVC (high-value controls) – With markup(ink), users can draw and add notes on their photos to convey their messages and reveal the pattern and information perhaps unclear in an initial, surface look when self-teaching and even more important when sharing photos. Feature ID:88481
  • OneDrive: Limit OneDrive access and sharing to specified users – Ability to allow only specified users access to OneDrive in your tenant. Feature ID:88514
  • OneDrive and SharePoint: Improved Move or Copy user experience – We’re refreshing the Move/Copy user experience in OneDrive and SharePoint to make it easier for you to choose where to move or copy your files and folders. Feature ID:85567
  • Microsoft Stream: Video viewer retention analytics – See which parts of a video are watched – Additional analytics for video files uploaded to SharePoint and OneDrive, allowing video owners to analyze the viewership retention of a video and determine which parts were watched the most or least. Feature ID:85643
  • OneDrive: Image Utility Edit Control (Crop, Adjustment, Filters) – OneDrive image utility edit control provides basic photo edit and adjustment functionality. Also, with filters, users can give their photos a “look” without having knowledge of photo processing.  Feature ID:85625
  • OneDrive: New information architecture on iOS – To make it easier to discover options, OneDrive on iOS has a new information architecture (IA) using the bottom sheet to show all commanding options. Feature ID:85571
  • OneDrive: Sharing experience  –  Manage Access settings – We will be updating the “Manage Access” experience which will offer you additional controls for how recipients access files you’ve shared. “Shared with” list would be an entry point to Manage Access settings. Feature ID:83726
  • OneDrive: Sharing experience  – Share menu dropdown – We’re updating the Share menu to provide easy access to additional sharing options like Email, Copy link, Teams chat as well as Manage access settings. Feature ID:83727
  • OneDrive: Sharing experience  –  Copy link – Instead of a Copy link button, you’ll see a footer where you can set permissions for the link and then copy it to share it with recipients. Feature ID:83728
  • OneDrive: Office offline edit support in iOS – If you download an Office file for offline use, you’ll be able to open it in WXP or Office app and edit it, all while offline. Feature ID:66191
  • OneDrive: Shareable address bar links – Tenant admins can specify whether the link that shows up in address bar for files is sharable within organization or not. Feature ID:61529

Release – January 2022

  • SharePoint and OneDrive: New capabilities in Microsoft 365 Information barriers for SharePoint, OneDrive, and M365 Groups – Bringing in new capabilities in Microsoft 365 Information barriers which will further help administrators and end users to ensure they can collaborate and communicate within information barriers policies. Feature ID:85635