Microsoft 365 roadmap roundup – w/c 1 June 2020

Microsoft 365 roadmap roundup

Here’s all the new and changed roadmap items from the past week:

SharePoint

🍾 LAUNCHED

  • Migration manager Admins can now add and manage multiple migration machines, and use task view to track progress of migrations. Roadmap ID: 57308
Migration manager is now generally available.
  • Move SharePoint sites to a new location – This feature will allow administrations to move a site to the location of an existing site. Roadmap ID: 51259
  • Connect sites to a Team in one click – A new Connect to Teams button in bottom-left corner of your sites. Roadmap ID: 30685
Connect SharePoint sites to Teams in just one click.
  • SharePoint news notification configuration – Configure personal email notification settings for SharePoint news updates. Roadmap ID: 49604

🚂 ROLLING OUT

  • Auto classification with sensitivity labels – Now in public preview, auto classification with sensitivity labels is now available in OneDrive, SharePoint and Exchange Online. Roadmap ID: 57312
  • Modern term store – Use the updated term store to create and manage terms and term sets in SharePoint. Roadmap ID: 57315
  • SharePoint Integrations with Power Automate and Power Apps to GCC-High Tenants – Enables you to create/manage custom flows and forms/apps with Power Automate and Power Apps. Roadmap ID: 62437

⌛ IN DEVELOPMENT

Release – June CY2020

  • Default site theme color is changing from blue to teal – SharePoint’s new teal theme will automatically update new and existing communication sites and team sites. Roadmap ID: 60592
  • Set Default Page Templates – This feature will allow site owners to set a page template as the default when a user creates a new page or news post on the site. Roadmap ID: 64529
  • Schedule SharePoint pages & news posts – You will be able to schedule a page or news post to be published at a specific date and time in the future. Roadmap ID: 62892

Release – Q4 CY2020

  • Site header updates – You will be able to choose to show/ hide the site title and a choice between a square site logo thumbnail or a non-square site logo. Roadmap ID: 63776

5 tips for getting started with Microsoft Teams

In this post we will look at five useful tips – in no particular order, to help owners or members to get started using Microsoft Teams.

Contents

  1. Pin your favourite teams channels
  2. Use post formatting, there’s cool stuff in there
  3. Get to know the General channel
  4. Standard vs. Private channels
  5. Consider how you create new teams

#1 Pin your favourite teams channels

This is a simple one, but a really effective way of managing teams you are a part of. Once you start using teams in anger, it can become easy to lose track of what teams you frequent if you don’t manage teams gallery or your notification/ activity feed.

On notifications and the activity feed, notifications are actually turned off for teams by default, so it’s up to the members to manage their own notifications. Naturally, you still see updates by the channel being in bold and any @mentions will notify you.

It’s worth pointing out the distinction that you actually cannot pin an entire team, but only channels within it. Here’s how you pin a channel

  • Click on the ellipsis button … next to the channel you want to pin
  • Press Pin
Pin a channel for easy access from the teams gallery.

NOTE: To unpin a channel, follow the same steps as above button the option will be Unpin.

#2 Use post formatting, there’s cool stuff in there

One thing I’ve definitely starting using more and more is post formatting. There are several extra features post formatting gives you that you don’t get with the standard reply, such as

  • Add a subject – give you new post a prominent subject that stands out
  • Extra formatting options – heading options, text highlight colours, font colours
  • Announcement option – similar to a news post in SharePoint, but adds background colour or image to headline
  • Reply options – allow everyone to reply or just the you and/or moderators
  • Post in multiple channels – allows you to post a message in any of the channels you have access to
  • Format links – display text instead of a full URL, particularly useful if sharing links from Teams, as they are long and pretty ugly
There are several post formatting features that you don’t see in a regular reply.

#3 Get to know the general channel

The general channel is provisioned as standard when you create a new team. It’s generally the place where all communication within a team takes place.

The general channel comes with Posts, Files and Wiki tabs “out the box” to allow you to start collaborating straight away. That said, the general channel does have it’s limitations, such as:

  • You cannot use moderation in the general channel
  • You can’t delete the general channel
  • You can’t rename the general channel
  • You can’t hide the general channel or change the order of the channels to move it down
The general channel comes with Posts, Files & Wiki tabs as standard.

This post I wrote goes into more detail on using the general channel within the context of an org-wide team.

#4 Standard vs. private channels

There are two types of channels you can create in teams:

  • Standard – accessible to everyone on the team
  • Private – accessible only to a specific group of people within a team
When creating new channels you can choose between standard and private.

However, both options are not created equally. Here’s a look at the differences between the two:

StandardPrivate
Number of channels in a team20030
Number of members in a channel*10,000250
Can team owners manage the channel?**YesNo
Can guest create channels?YesNo
Support for connectors & tabs?YesYes
Support for Stream, Planner & Forms?YesNo
Create’s additional SharePoint site collections?NoYes
Creates additional Microsoft 365 Group?NoNo

* The number of members within a standard channel derives from the team membership.

** Team owners can’t see the files, conversations or members list in a private channel unless they are members themselves. Owners can see the names of the private channels in teams they own and also delete them.

Here are some more resources teams limits and standard/ private channels:

Private channel SharePoint site collections

Just to add to the point in the table about of additional SharePoint site collection, each private channel has it’s own, slimmed down version of a SharePoint site optimised for file sharing and fast provisioning.

The key differences between these site collections and standard ones is that private channel site collections are created in the same geographic region as the site collection of the parent team, have a a custom template ID, "TEAMCHANNEL#0" and cannot be accessed via the SharePoint admin center – only through PowerShell and the Graph API.

An example site collection for a private channel.

The URL for a private channel URL concatenates the team name with the private channel name, meaning it will look like this:

https://tenant.sharepoint.com/sites/TeamName-PrivateChannelName

https://www.petri.com/managing-teams-private-channels

#5 Consider how you create new teams

So this point is really to understand what gets provisioned when you create a new team, the different ways you can create them and any limitations with creating in those different ways.

What else do you get when you create a new team?

There is an absolutely brilliant everyday guide to Microsoft 365 Groups by Matt Wade at jumpto365 that does a better job explaining what you get when you create, well anything in Microsoft 365 than I can, but here’s the overview from his site:

Credit – Matt Wade jumpto365: https://www.jumpto365.com/blog/everyday-guide-to-office-365-groups

Outlook groups and the global address list

What I wanted to highlight was depending on how you create a team, the Microsoft 365 group behaves differently – particularly in Outlook.

What I have noticed is that teams created via the client app or web browser are will not appear in Outlook groups or the global address list.

Teams created any other way, be it from the Teams admin center, Outlook, Exchange, Azure or Groups will appear in Outlook groups and in the global address list.


Microsoft 365 roadmap roundup – w/c 25 May 2020

Microsoft 365 roadmap roundup

There are 4 launched, 6 rolling out and 13 new developments in this week’s update! Take a look…

SharePoint

🍾 LAUNCHED

  • Multilingual page publishing – Create, publish and consume modern SharePoint pages/news in multiple languages. Roadmap ID: 50217
Multilingual page publishing in SharePoint.
  • Home sites – This feature lets you designate a communication site as the “home site” for your intranet. Roadmap ID: 26842
SharePoint home sites.

🚂 ROLLING OUT

  • SharePoint admin center: migration manager – Admins can now add and manage multiple migration machines, and use task view to track progress of migrations. Roadmap ID: 57308
  • Extended layout for site footer – Modern communication sites will now include a new layout option, extended, to show more content in the footer section. Roadmap ID: 61063

⌛ IN DEVELOPMENT

  • Microsoft Lists: home page – The Microsoft Lists home page is your home for all your lists across Microsoft 365. Roadmap ID: 64160
  • Microsoft Lists: rules – Create simple if/then rules based on changes to list information to set reminders and send notifications. Roadmap ID: 64163
  • Microsoft Lists: sharing – Share entire lists, or list items with individuals or groups with view or edit permissions and the ability to manage access. Roadmap ID: 64164
  • Microsoft Lists: ready- made templates – Create a new list from ready-made templates that accelerate list creation, structure, forms and flows. There will be 8 templates at initial launch. Roadmap ID: 64166
  • Bulk edit list items and file properties in the form – Soon you will be able to select multiple items and edit their list items or documents properties all at once in the default form. Roadmap ID:64228
  • Save a view in Quick Edit – Soon you will be able to save a view in Quick Edit for any list or document library. When saved, the list or library will always render in quick edit for easy inline editing. Roadmap ID: 64229
  • Open a list or library item within the view form from Quick Edit – Users will see their list and document library view forms inside of the Quick Edit experience. Roadmap ID: 64230
  • Quick Edit page size expanding from 30 items to 101 – People will now see up to 100 items per page on their document library or list when using Quick Edit. Roadmap ID: 64231
  • Create a new list item via a form in Quick Edit – Users will see the “New” button on their command bar in lists when they are in Quick Edit to create new items via the default form. Roadmap ID: 64232

How to stop all Office files in SharePoint 2010 opening read-only

(This post was written using a SharePoint 2010 environment)

In this post we look at how differing versions of Microsoft Office ProPlus affects SharePoint 2010 and the ability to open and edit Office files, plus how to fix them.

The situation

I began to get reports from users that were trying to open Office files from SharePoint that the files would only open read-only. These users have historically always had permissions to edit the files and have previously been able to open the files in edit mode from libraries within the SharePoint environment.

In this scenario we were running Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus version 16 and updates were on the monthly channel.

Investigation

There were several suggestions already within the Microsoft community on how to fix this issue, which I initially tested myself to see if they would work. I tried:

  • Clearing the Windows credentials of the MicrosoftOffice16 credentials
  • Turning off the “require documents to be checked out before they are edited” option in the a libraries settings

However, neither of these things worked completely. I didn’t notice any difference clearing credentials, and with the checking out files feature – this wasn’t turned on for the majority of the libraries I tested. Plus I didn’t really like the idea of having to turn off the checking out functionality in every library within our SharePoint environment!

So I continued to investigate and found the following:

The read-only issue appeared differently depending on the Office file

For Word and PowerPoint files, I saw that files would show this window when opening:

Word & PowerPoint files would open read-only after clicking open from this prompt.

Then the files would be read-only, if you tried to save the file it would ask you to save a copy. If you tried to overwrite the file saved in SharePoint it would tell you it is read-only and cannot be saved.

For Excel files, again you get the above prompt before the file opened, however when you opened the file a yellow banner would appear, allowing you to edit the workbook:

Excel files performed differently to other Office files when opening form SharePoint.

If you press “Edit Workbook” you could edit the file and save back to SharePoint no problem.

Some users could edit files from Open with explorer, but not all

So in this example some users could work around the issue by opening the file in explorer, which would allow them to edit the file and save back to SharePoint.

This wasn’t consistent for everyone, in some cases when users opened a file from explorer view, they would be prompted to check out the file from a yellow message in the ribbon, which would then error to tell them they can’t as the file is read-only.

Older versions of Office updates did not experience this issue

Not all of the users in this scenario had the same Office updates. One user who was running version 1611 on their machine was able to open and edit the same files from SharePoint that users running 2002 and above Office updates could not.

Solution

Im calling this a solution, but really it feels more like a sticking plaster as I’ve personally noticed this issue has been presenting itself in varying ways since at least the 1908 Office update, but this latest issue presented itself with the 2002 and 2003 Office updates. Anyway, here’s what we did to get files opening again:

  • Uninstall any Access Database Engine downloads you may have installed (2007, 2010 is what I noted)
  • Run an Office repair on the machine(s) with the issue
  • Install, or re-install Infopath 2013

Once Infopath was installed, when opening the same Office files (Word, PowerPoint or Excel) the above prompt changed to look like this:

Once Infopath 2013 was installed, the above prompt would appear when opening files from SharePoint.

I continued to test, going so far as to switch on the “require documents to be checked out before they are edited” setting just to see if that had any bearing on things, which it didn’t as the prompt just changed slightly:

With the check out option configured, the prompt to open and edit files in SharePoint slightly changes.

Like I mentioned earlier, this is by no means a solution to this problem, but it’s got us out of a jam for the past few Office updates, so hopefully it will help someone else too!

Resources

Microsoft 365 roadmap roundup – w/c 18 May 2020

Microsoft 365 roadmap roundup

I’ve decided to compliment my Microsoft 365 monthly updates with a closer look at the Microsoft 365 roadmap. I will focus mainly on the core technology I personally keep an eye on (SharePoint, Teams, OneDrive, Power Platform), but will add other roadmap updates where they fit in.

I’m going to try to do this weekly roundup to track the new additions and changes to the 365 roadmap as items enter development, roll out and launch.

This first roadmap roundup will cover from 4 May through to 17 May 2020, but i’ll leave out anything that was covered in last month’s update:

SharePoint

🍾 LAUNCHED

  • Auto-save column operations in lists – Show, hide or reorder columns in a SharePoint list without explicitly saving the current view or creating a new one. Roadmap ID: 59732
Make changes to the current view without explicitly saving in SharePoint.
  • Format list and library JSON using Monaco code editor – Use Visual Studio code editor as the preferred coding tool when formatting JSON. “Monaco Editor” is what powers Visual Studio code. Roadmap ID: 59733
  • Per site sharing links can now default to People with Existing Access Links – Microsoft are introducing support to set the default sharing link to “People with Existing Access”. Roadmap ID: 60335
  • Image resize – Page editors are able to resize images in the image web part. Roadmap ID: 57812
Resize an image from within a modern page.
  • Page Difference Visualization – As well as the existing version history you can already see, you can now compare changes visually on a page. Roadmap ID: 57813
You can now compare changes visually when editing SharePoint pages.
  • Root site swap – Swap the location of a source site with another target site using the new Swap site button in the SharePoint admin center. Roadmap ID: 57309
Click on the current root site to replace it with another.
  • Mover migration worldwide availability – Microsoft have announced that new service Mover is available to customers worldwide. Roadmap ID: 61190
  • Next steps panel – Expanding on the in-service help that appears at the top of a team site – where the actions that are suggested are driven more and more by the use of the site itself. Roadmap ID: 46832
  • Integrations for GCC Tenants – SharePoint Integrations with Power Automate and Power Apps to GCC Tenants: Roadmap ID: 33770
  • Auto classification with sensitivity labels – Now in public preview, auto classification with sensitivity labels is now available in OneDrive, SharePoint and Exchange Online. Roadmap ID: 57312
  • “Flow” renamed “Automate” in lists – The flow button in SharePoint lists now reads “Automate”. Roadmap ID: 62855
  • Automate flows can run on individual items – Automate flows that can run on individual items contained within a document library or list. Roadmap ID: 62856
  • URL rename – You can now rename the SharePoint site URL from within the admin center. Roadmap ID: 56205
Rename a SharePoint site URL from the admin center.
  • Support for sensitivity labels with protection – SharePoint & OneDrive now support sensitivity labels with Microsoft Information Protection-based encryption. Roadmap ID: 57311
  • Lists/ library web parts consume dynamic data – You will be able to configure list web parts to send its property values to the List Properties web part. Roadmap ID: 57307

🚂 ROLLING OUT

  • Updated Yammer Conversations web part for SharePoint – The Yammer conversations web part is being updated to contain the new Yammer experience. Roadmap ID: 63385
  • Multilingual page publishing – Create, publish and consume modern SharePoint pages/news in multiple languages. Roadmap ID: 50217
  • Home sites – This feature lets you designate a communication site as the “home site” for your intranet. Roadmap ID: 26842
  • Increased site collection limit – You can now have up to 2,000,000 site collections per tenant, up form 500,000. Roadmap ID: 57316
  • Global reader role in SharePoint admin – SharePoint admin center now supports the Azure Active Directory built-in “Global Reader” role. Roadmap ID: 59984
  • People cards for SharePoint list and library web parts – Now, when you see a person’s name or face within a SharePoint List or Library web part, you can hover over it and reveal their people card. Roadmap ID: 57814
  • Information barriers (private preview) – Now in private preview, Information barriers are policies that can be configured to prevent individuals or groups from communicating with each other. Roadmap ID: 57313
  • Conditional formatting rule builder with new rich-text capabilities in lists – You will have the ability to use If/Then logic to format rows and columns based on attributes like numerical, date, etc. Roadmap ID: 57305 
  • Updating modern home pages for classic team sites – Classic homepages will be automatically updated to a modern home pages if they have not been customized. Roadmap ID: 60405
  • Edit metadata from within the Document Library/ List View web parts – Now you will be able to edit the metadata properties on items displayed in a library or a list from within their corresponding web parts. Roadmap ID: 61030
  • Updates to sharing page in Admin center – Admin sharing settings from the classic sharing page are being added to the modern sharing page. Roadmap ID: 61116
  • Easy page and news publishing experience from sitepages library – Adding the ability to easily publish and republish a page or news post from the sitepages library in a site via the command bar or the file card experience. Roadmap ID: 61191
  • SharePoint Migration Tool supports SharePoint Server 2016 migrations (Public Preview) – Migration support from the SPMT now covers SharePoint server 2010, 2013 and 2016. Roadmap ID: 63258
  • Query alterations using SPFx for custom results page – Allows for query alterations in Microsoft Search for custom results pages with the SharePoint Framework. Roadmap ID: 57135

⌛ IN DEVELOPMENT

  • Enable modern communication site experience on classic sites – Using PowerShell, admins can now enable the modern communication site experience on any classic team site, including the root site. Roadmap ID: 46338
  • Configure header, footer and body of a form for lists/ libraries – This feature allows users in SharePoint lists and libraries to add a custom header and a footer to the associated form. Roadmap ID: 63519
  • Create all column types directly within Quick Edit – Replacing the legacy column creation in Quick Edit, this feature will allow you to create all column types directly from Quick Edit. Roadmap ID: 64171
  • Site header updates – You will be able to choose to show/ hide the site title and a choice between a square site logo thumbnail or a non-square site logo. Roadmap ID: 63776
  • Fluent design coherence updates for SharePoint – Fluent will be applied to modern SharePoint which will result in some visual changes i.e. larger/ bolder typefaces, opacity etc. Roadmap ID: 63777
  • Conditional show or hide columns in a form – This feature allows users in lists and libraries to show or hide columns in a list form based on another column’s value by specifying a formula. Roadmap ID: 63518
  • Improved page/ news publishing experience – A new pre-publish panel that gives authors an overview of key information about their pages or news posts. Roadmap ID: 63257
  • Schedule page/ news posts – You will be able to schedule a page or news post to be published at a specific date and time in the future. Roadmap ID: 62892
  • Extended layout for site footer – Modern communication sites will now include a new layout option, extended, to show more content in the footer section. Roadmap ID: 61063
  • Default site theme color is changing from blue to teal – SharePoint’s new teal theme will automatically update new and existing communication sites and team sites. Roadmap ID: 60592
  • Saved for later web part – New web part to display a user’s saved for later items. Roadmap ID: 57810

Microsoft 365 update for April 2020

Here’s a look at what’s been released and is upcoming through the month of April 2020:

SharePoint stock images, managed metadata service, audience targeting, shy header, SharePoint spaces (preview),

Teamsmore videos in meetings, raise hands, background effects, iOS background blur, live captions iOS & Android, limit increases for Live Events, share system audio, end meeting for all, call recording for 1-1, Yammer app, praise, edit cross-channel posts

Teams (Education & GCC)remote learning (Education), live events for A1 (Education), private channels (GCC), advisor (GCC)

Teams (admin)meetings dashboard, local media optimization, profile pictures, new app analytics, batch policies

OneDrive sensitivity labels, version history, delete locked files, sync app updates

Power Appssimplified identity provider config, global search additional entities, simplified portal themes, data loss prevention, support for file & image data types, AI Builder number prediction, new geospatial features, connector certification, AI Builder prediction model updates, teams context variables, mixed reality, UX enhancements on mobile

Power Automateapproval workflows for hub sites, robotic process automation GA, 6 AI builder model types, 15 new connectors, gmail connector

Power BIdesktop feature summary Feb/March, shortcuts in Android, navigation builder GA, paginated reports,

Power Virtual Agentsfeature wave 1 summary

Project Cortexoffice hours, demo – content capture, modernized MMS

RelatedOpen in review mode only, conversations in the file card, O365 Groups name change, usage reports

SharePoint

Stock images

You can now access thousands of free-to-use stock images from the SharePoint image file picker experience, alongside recent, web search, your organization, OneDrive, site, upload and from a link.

Stock images in SharePoint.

Find out more:

Modernized filtering & tagging in the Managed Metadata Service

The updated term store experience allows you to create/ manage terms and term sets in SharePoint and makes it easier to manage your company’s taxonomy, plus with the addition of a new content type gallery manage custom content types from the SharePoint admin center.

NOTE: These changes do not affect existing term customizations or the classic term store management experience, nor does it affect the classic experience for managing content types. Content types are also still stored in the content type hub.

The new term store experience (left) and content type gallery (right) in the SharePoint admin center.

Find out more:

Site navigation & footer now has audience targeting

SharePoint site owners can now filter navigational links to specific audiences by using audience targeting – in the same way you can for news and pages. Once switched on by site owners, any site editor can target menu links to specific audiences using Microsoft 365 Groups or security groups.

Find out more:

Shy header for modern & hub sites

Now you will notice that as you scroll down a modern or hub site, the header will shrink to maximize the reading space on a page. This shy header feature works on both desktop and mobile versions.

The shy header (right) shrinks dynamically as you scroll down the page.

Find out more:

SharePoint spaces enters preview

SharePoint spaces, Microsoft’s web-based, immersive, mixed reality experience is in preview. Space’s allow you to build sites and add web parts for your 3D objects, 360° images and videos, 2D images and text, and more.

SharePoint spaces is now in preview.

Find out more:


Teams

Up to nine simultaneous videos in Teams meetings

Microsoft have announced they are increasing the number videos displayed within the Teams meeting stage from 4 to 9. This new experience optimizes for attendees who have enabled video and places the remaining audio-only participants below the meeting stage.

This feature is currently rolling out world-wide.

Find out more:

Raise hands feature

The raise hands feature allows meeting attendees to identify they wish to speak. When raised, both attendee and presenter can lower their hand.

This feature is expected to start rolling out w/c June 4 2020.

Find out more:

Background effects

Now generally available, background effects allow meetings attendees to change their video background from a list of images. Coming mid-May, users will be able to upload their own custom background images.

Background effects in Microsoft Teams.

Find out more:

Background blur for iOS

Background blur, already a feature in the desktop app, is coming to iOS. This feature is rolling out now.

Live captions for iOS and Android

Live captions allow participants to follow along with what is said during Teams meetings. This feature is now available for iOS and Android in English.

Find out more:

Limit increases for Live Events

Microsoft have announced a temporary increase for Live Events held in Teams, Stream or Yammer. Rolling out w/c May 4, they include:

  • Attendee limit: events can support up to 20,000 attendees
  • Concurrent events:  50 events can be hosted simultaneously across a tenant
  • Event duration:  event length has been increased to 16 hours per broadcast

This temporary increase will be in place until July 1.

Find out more:

Share system audio in Live Events

In live events, attendees will be able to hear all the audio playing on the presenters machine using the desktop client.

Share system audio in live events.

Find out more:

End meeting for all participants

Meeting organizers will now see a button called “end meeting” which will end the meeting for all participants.

End meeting for all participants in Teams meetings.

Find out more:

Recording for 1-1 calls

Just like for meetings, you can now record your 1-1 calls in Teams. Functionality is the same as for meetings, in which the call participants will be notified the call is being recorded.

Find out more:

New Yammer app for Teams

Yammer now has its very own app for Teams. The Yammer app is fully interactive within Teams, allowing you to watch live events, share announcements, pin conversations, and mark best answers just as you would in Yammer directly.

The new Yammer app for Teams.

Find out more:

New praise badges

Microsoft have released three new badges as part of Praise – courage, optimism and inclusive to celebrate people making a difference during challenging times.

Three new praise badges are now available in Teams.

Find out more:

Edit cross-channel posts

Cross-channel posting now supports editing a message after it has been posted. Additionally, you can add or remove channels to reach a wider audience or have a focused conversation.

Find out more:

Teams meetings for remote learning (Education)

Microsoft are offering guidance on how teachers can continue to connect and support students by using Teams.

  • Get the latest on which Teams meetings features to use now and what is coming soon from this webinar here.
  • Set up a Microsoft Teams meeting for your online classroom directly from within Canvas, Blackboard, Schoology, and other LMSs. Learn how with this guidance.
  • Keep students safe in Teams meetings with these helpful guidelines.

Find out more:

Live events for A1 faculty licenses

Starting in early May, Microsoft Teams live events host capabilities will be available to education users with a Microsoft Office 365 A1 faculty license, at no extra cost.

That means users with A1 faculty licenses, which is free to accredited educational institutions, can host and broadcast live events.This will be automatically disabled on July 1, 2020.

Find out more:

Private Channels for GCC

Limit which team members can see the conversation and content within a particular channel. You can right-size channel participation and exposure without having to create discrete teams to limit visibility. Private channels in GCCH and DoD are coming soon.

Advisor for Teams GCC (preview)

Advisor for Teams assists IT admins in planning a successful Teams deployment for their organization, offering recommended plans and a collaboration space for the deployment team to streamline the roll out of all the Teams workloads. This feature is currently in public preview.

Meetings dashboard for Teams admins

The new meetings dashboard gives admins insight into usage, user feedback, network health, meeting details, devices, and more from a single place.

Teams meetings dashboard for admins.

Find out more:

Local media optimization

Local Media Optimization for Direct Routing improves voice quality by keeping media streams local within the boundaries of corporate networks. It also supports streams between Teams and SBCs even if they are behind corporate firewalls not visible to Microsoft directly.

Find out more:

Policy to prevent upload of profile picture

Teams desktop and web will honor the Outlook Web mailbox policy setting that can control whether users are able change their profile pictures.

Find out more:

New app analytics and reports experience

Teams admins will soon be able to see each app in their tenant, their type, and how many users and teams are actively using the app. Additionally, app policies and settings allows admins to manage permissions, define how apps are displayed in the Teams experience, and control availability of custom apps.

Analytics and reports in Teams.

Find out more:

Batch policy assignment

Teams admins can use batch policy assignment to streamline the process of assigning policies or policy packages to a large group of users. A batch can contain up to 20,000 users and admins can specify users by their object Id, user principal name (UPN), Session Initiation Protocol address, or email address.

Find out more:

New meeting controls for Teams admins

Microsoft have introduced the following new controls to help manage Teams meetings:

  • Default lobby setting – the default Teams policy has changed to make external users wait in the lobby before joining a Teams meeting
  • Lobby settings for PSTN participants – Any user who schedules a Microsoft Teams meeting will now see a separate setting to control the lobby for Audio Conferencing (PSTN) participants in the Meeting Options page of a given meeting

OneDrive

Sensitivity labels in OneDrive

Sensitivity labels with protection for Office files is now generally available in OneDrive and SharePoint.

Sensitivity labels for Office files in OneDrive and SharePoint.

Find out more:

Version history via file browser on desktop

Users will now be able to view, restore and delete previous versions of their files directly in their desktop via File Browser or Mac Finder.

Version history for the OneDrive desktop client.

Find out more:

Delete a locked file

This new feature allows you as the file owner to override that lock and delete an Office file in your OneDrive while someone (or yourself) has it open, intentionally or not.

Ability to delete a locked file in OneDrive.

Find out more:

Sync app updates

Microsoft have released updates to the sync app for Windows and Mac, through the Insiders, Production and Deferred rings of validation. Deferred Ring was previously referred to as the Enterprise ring.

Find out more:


Power Apps

Simplified identity provider configuration (public preview)

With this preview feature the Power Apps team are introducing a simplified experience to create and manage authentication settings and identity provider configuration. The experience aims to provide better discovery of supported providers, in-app guidance for makers / administrators and reduce common configuration errors.

Simplified identity provider configuration in Power Apps portals.

Find out more:

For Power Apps portals, included as part of the April 2020 release wave 1, global search will support additional entities, including custom.

The portal global search is accessible using the search icon in your portal and allows you to search across different entities, but was limited to cases, articles, forum posts, blogs and web pages only.

Power Apps portals now has additional global entity support.

Find out more:

Simplified themes in portals studio (public preview)

This feature update provides a simplier, easy to use config experience for makers. Currently in public preview:

  • Enable basic theme
  • Change to preset theme
  • Create new theme
  • Copy preset theme

Find out more:

New data loss prevention policy capabilities (public preview)

Microsoft have announced new data loss prevention policies for the Power Platform. These new capabilities include a new enhanced user interface in the admin center for defining DLP policies, which additionally enables the ability to block connectors as well as user interface support for including HTTP Connectors in DLP policies.

Take a look at the new DLP policy capabilities in Power Platform.

Find out more:

Support for File and Image data types for use in UCI Model driven Apps

We are pleased to announce the preview release of controls that support the new File and Image data type for use in UCI Model driven Apps for the web.  This capability is released with version 9.1.0000.15943.  This new control also supports annotations for images.  Images are not supported on mobile.

Find out more:

AI Builder numerical prediction (preview)

Now in preview, prediction models in AI Builder now support a capability to predict a number. AI builder number prediction can be used to predict things like product ratings, price estimates and time to completion.

Find out more:

New geospatial features coming to Power Apps

Several new geospatial features are coming soon to Power Apps. Powered by Azure Maps services, you can add these components with the ease of drag-and-drop and low-code development. these new features include interactive maps and address suggestion.

Interactive maps in the Power Apps studio.

Find out more:

Connector certification in ISV studio

Microsoft have announced that the Connector Certification experience is now available in ISV Studio! As part of the certification experience, you can use the Connector Certification to submit your connector, manage and track the connector through certification, and communicate with Microsoft from within the ISV Studio experience.

Find out more:

New prediction model performance page in AI Builder

The Power Apps team have announced an updated prediction model performance page in AI Builder. There is now a performance grade to help give you a better idea of how the model is performing. We’ve also added a new performance tab on the training details pane to provide more detailed information to help you evaluate performance.

Find out more:

Teams context variables for Power Apps

As part of the April 2020 release wave 1, Microsoft are releasing Teams context variables within Power Apps, which will give you access to information like which channel, team, or group your app has been embedded in. 

The most exciting context variable, however, is the sub entity ID, which allows a maker to deep link to a particular page of an app embedded inside of Teams.

Context variables for Teams in Power Apps.

Find out more:

Mixed Reality in Power Apps (preview)

Mixed reality capabilities are coming to Power Apps, bringing in new features tailored for mixed reality such as validating fit before work begins, taking measurements and communicating better for 2D and 3D models.

Introducing mixed reality in Power Apps.

Find out more:

UX enhancements to model-driven apps on mobile

The Power Apps team have announced a new, responsive UX deigned for mobiles. Model-driven apps’ UX supports the need for taking quick actions on your information, in a familiar and recognizable way on mobile. Areas addressed as part of the enhancements include:

  • A prominent header
  • Navigation
  • Commanding

Find out more:


Power Automate

Approval workflows for adding a site to a SharePoint hub site

Microsoft have announced that you can now easily setup approval workflows directly from the SharePoint hub site settings, or create your own hub join process using the new Approve a hub site join request and Cancel a hub site join request actions for the SharePoint connector.

Require approval workflows for associated sites to join a SharePoint hub.

Find out more:

Robotic process automation, UI flows generally available

Microsoft have announced this month that it’s robotic process automation (RPA) capability, UI flows is now generally available. UI flows brings together the rich feature set of API-based digital process automation (DPA) that is available today, with RPA UI-based automation to create a truly end-to-end automation platform.

Robotic process automation in Power Automate with UI flows.

Find out more:

Six AI builder model types now generally available

Six AI Builder preview model types are now generally available as part of the AI Builder 2020 Wave 1 updates, including:

  • Form Processing – analyzes the structure of your documents to locate and extract key-value pairs and table data from form documents.
  • Object detection lets you count, locate, and identify objects within an image.
  • Sentiment analysis helps you identify positive or negative sentiment in emails, social media, customer reviews, or any text data you want to analyze.
  • Language detection identifies the predominant language of a given text. The model analyses the text and returns the detected language with a confidence score. 
  • Key phrase extraction identifies the main points in text. For example, given the sentence “The food was delicious and there was wonderful staff”, the model would identify “food” and “wonderful staff” as key phrases.
  • Text recognition  extracts words from documents and images. It uses advanced optical character recognition (OCR) to detect embedded print and handwritten text. 

Find out more:

15 additional Power Automate connectors

Microsoft have announced the introduction of 15 new connectors from several partners, plus an update of the Azure AD Integrated authentication the SQL server connector.

The updated SQL connector in Power Automate is now generally available.

Find out more:

Changes to the Gmail connector

In line with Google’s data security and privacy policies, customers using a Gmail consumer account (email addresses ending with @gmail.com or @googlemail.com) will have certain limitations on the set of connectors that can be used along with the Gmail connector in a flow. This change began rolling out on May 1 2020.

Find out more:


Power BI

Service and Mobile February/ March 2020 feature summary

The Power BI team have announced the release of several new features including BYOK for Power BI Premium GA, incremental refresh GA, the Power BI tab in Teams plus much more!

Find out more:

Shortcuts available in the Power BI Android app

Android shortcuts are now supported in this Power BI Android app release. Create shortcuts to any report and dashboard on your device home screen, and get straight to the content without having to navigate through the app.

Find out more:

Custom navigation builder enters GA

The new navigation builder for Power BI apps is now generally available (GA). This feature gives reporting teams the power to customize navigation for end users, so they can find content quickly and understand the relationships between different reports and dashboards. 

Custom navigation in Power BI is now generally available.

Find out more:

New features in paginated reports

Four new features are coming to Power BI this month related to Paginated Reports, including:

  • General Availability of external e-mail address support for subscriptions for both Power BI reports/dashboards and Paginated Reports (Premium only)
  • Paginated Report support is now available in the Export API (currently in preview)
  • Subreports feature (coming soon)
  • Paginated View feature (coming soon)

Find out more:


Power Virtual Agents

Power Virtual Agents feature summary wave 1

Several new features were included as part of the April/ May 2020 release wave 1. These features include:

  • Languages
  • Geos
  • Multi author support
  • Export and import chatbots
  • Pass context to a chatbot
  • Share information across topics with global variables
  • Improved Power Automate Integration
  • Better integration with Microsoft Power Platform

Find out more:


Project Cortex

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

Example of a knowledge center in Project Cortex.

Project Cortex Office Hours

Microsoft have been running the Office Hours meetings since late March to let you engage with the Microsoft project team about Project Cortex. The next meeting is scheduled for May 20.

Find out more:

Demo – content capture in Project Cortex

The latest spotlight demo shows how easy it is to use content understanding to recognize document categories like contracts and capture key metadata with Project Cortex.

Find out more:

Modernizing SharePoint Managed Metadata Services (MMS)

As mentioned earlier in this update, the managed metadata service is being updated in preparation for the general release of Project Cortex.

Find out more:


Related

Open in review mode only – Word for the web

When people share documents with Open in review mode only selected, recipients who open the document in Word for the web will be limited to adding comments or leaving tracked changes.

Open in review mode only in Word for the web.

Find out more:

Conversations in the file card experience

The conversations feature will show relevant emails, meetings and Teams conversations to the person reviewing the file hover card information.

When someone sends an email, a Teams chat, or a meeting invitation that references a file from SharePoint or OneDrive, that conversation is displayed in the file hover card with a link to the conversation(s).

Find out more:

New & updated usage reports in Microsoft 365 admin center

Microsoft have improved their usage reporting offering based on the increased remote workers within organizations. Areas usage reports have been improved are within remote working trends, which Microsoft 365 apps people are using, calendar activity and usage trends across all Microsoft 365 services.

Activity graph in Office 365 active users report.

Find out more:

O365 Groups to become Microsoft 365 Groups

In line with the recent changes to the names of the Microsoft 365 Personal and Family Subscriptions, Microsoft have announced they will also be renaming Office 365 Groups to…you guessed it Microsoft 365 Groups!

Find out more:

How to restrict posts in an org-wide Team

In this post we will look at the permission settings within a general channel in Teams, how this relates to an org-wide team, plus channel moderation!

Contents

Introduction

Before diving into this post, it’s worth calling out that channel permissions and moderation are not limited to just org-wide teams, they are available to any team you create. My brief was to limit the ability to post in an org-wide team to just owners, so I figured I would write this in the context of org-wide teams as it would be a common use case for many organisations!

What’s an org-wide team?

For those new to Teams, an org-wide team is something you can create that will automatically all users in your organisation. Microsoft defines it as:

Org-wide teams provide an automatic way for everyone in a small to medium-sized organization to be a part of a single team for collaboration.

Create an org-wide team in Microsoft Teams – Microsoft Teams Documentation

You can have up to five org-wide teams as part of your tenancy, but will need to be a global admin to create them. As part of a recent roll out of Teams, we created a private team which was later converted to an org-wide team. Here’s a post I wrote about creating new teams where I added some thoughts on org-wide teams.

The General channel, permissions & moderation

If you already have an org-wide team created, the next step may be to restrict or moderate who and what can be posted within the channels in the org-wide team. Sounds simple enough right?

#1 you can’t moderate the general channel

So if your first thought is to have an open-ish org-wide team where anyone can add posts or replies in a moderated fashion, think again! Unless you have already created bespoke teams templates to avoid this issue, your org-wide team will be using the default general channel which cannot use channel moderation.

So that leaves two options, either create a new channel that can be moderated, leaving the general tab unused or manage the permissions of the general channel.

You currently cannot moderate the general channel in Teams.

#2 you can’t delete or hide the general channel

If you do decide that a new, moderated channel is the best way to go you will be left with a potentially unwanted general channel. This can be problematic for a few reasons, namely:

  • You can’t delete the general channel
  • You can’t rename the general channel
  • You can’t hide the general channel or change the order of the channels to move it down

There is a UserVoice request to remove or rename the general channel here that Microsoft will respond to if a request gains enough traction.

How to add a new channel and set up moderation

If you do decide to go ahead and create a new channel for your team to apply moderation, here’s how to do it.

Add a new channel

  • Press the ellipsis … next to the channel name > Add new channel
  • Give the channel a name and description
  • Set the privacy of the channel
    • Standard – accessible to everyone in the team
    • Private – accessible to a specific group of people in the team
  • Tick to automatically show the channel in everyone’s lists (optional)
  • Press Add

Turn on channel moderation

  • Select your newly created channel, press the ellipsis … next to the channel name > manage channel
  • In channel settings, under permissions > set channel moderation to on
  • The default channel moderators are the team owners, press manage to change this and select the individual(s) required
  • Turn the following check-boxes on or off as desired (on by default):
    • Allow members to reply to channels
    • Allow bots to submit channel messages
    • Allow connectors to submit channel messages
Create a new channel and turn on post moderation in Teams.

What does an end-user see?

So with all the out-of-the-box options switched on as above, only moderators can start new posts, but members can reply to channel messages.

When a user navigates to the moderated channel, they see the following message:

Channels with moderation turned on will display a message to end-users in the channel.

However, when a moderator adds a post, this is what an end-user sees:

With channel moderation turned on, end-users cannot add new posts, but are able to reply.

How to restrict permissions in the general channel

Microsoft recommend you only allow team owners to post in the general channel, and switch off @team and @[team name] mentions in an org-wide team. Here’s how to do it:

Restrict permissions to post in the general channel

  • Press the ellipsis … next to the general channel name > manage channel
  • Under channel settings, permissions you have the following options:
    • Anyone can post
    • Anyone can post; show alert that posting will notify everyone (recommended for large teams)
    • Only owners can post messages
  • Select only owners can post messages

Switch off @team and @[team name] mentions

  • Press the ellipsis … next to the team name > manage team
  • Press the settings tab > expand @mentions
  • There are two options checked:
    • Show members the option to @team or @[team name] (this will send a notification to everyone on the team)
    • Give members the option to @channel or @[channel name]. This will notify everyone who’s shown the mentioned channel in their channel lists.
  • Untick both options
How to restrict who can post to team owners in the general channel and turn of @mentions.

What does an end-user see?

So much like with channel moderation, users are notified when post restrictions are in place in the general channel:

End users can see when posts are restricted in the general channel.

Although unable to post replies with this restriction in place, users are still able to add reaction emoji’s to posts, which are visible too all in the org-wide team.

Even with post restrictions in place, end-users can still use emoji’s to react to posts that will be visible to org-wide team members.

You can edit the policies and settings within the Teams admin center to manage GIFs, stickers and memes, but you cannot turn off reaction emojis. There is a UserVoice request here to add the functionality.

SharePoint Stuff turns three! new domain, plus site updates

Wow I can’t believe SharePoint Stuff is three years old! I figured it was about time I upgraded the site from the trusty free version that’s served me so well – time to go legit!

So with that said, I’ve also purchased the dot com equivalent of the SharePoint Stuff URL to consolidate things which hopefully won’t cause any disruption going forwards.

Whilst I was at it I also decided to re-vamp the site a little bit, so you’ll notice a new look-and-feel, a new archive by year widget, cleaner footer design plus some other small improvements here and there.

Finally, I’ve been kicking around some ideas to expand the site this year – I’m not sure if I’ll be able to achieve them or not, but I’m going to try to post several times per month as a bare minimum so keep an eye out for more.

As always, if you have any suggestions or any other thoughts please leave a comment, or leave me some feedback.

Cheers,

Anthony (SharePoint Stuff)

Four ways to create Microsoft Teams

In this post we will look at how to create new Teams in four different ways, using methods that are available from within Office 365, plus some thoughts and observations of each method.

Contents

#1 create within Teams

Sometimes the easiest way can also to be the best! Now this option can be done within the Teams desktop app, or from the web browser. Provided your organisation hasn’t disabled teams or group creation, you can use this method without admin privileges.

It’s as simple as pressing Join or create a team > Create team. Well, not quite that simple, there are a few extra settings to consider. Lets take a look:

Build from scratch, or create from existing Office 365 group or team

This option lets you either define your own O365 group as you create the team, or leverage an existing O365 group or team if available.

Private, public or org-wide

Choose whether people need permission to join (private) the team, it’s open to everyone in your org to join (public), or everyone is automatically added to the team by default (org-wide).

NOTE: the org-wide option is only available to global or Teams admins.

Name your team

Give your team a name and description. Microsoft recommend avoiding characters such as @, #, [, ], <, and > for the creation of O365 groups, so it makes sense to feed that through to Teams also.

Also worth bearing in mind that you can leave spaces in your team name as the creation process will remove them. This is useful for the back end SharePoint site to have a cleaner URL (no %20 in the url thanks very much Teams!).

Add members and create!

Next you can add any members to the team, this is an optional step as members can be added after the team is created.

That’s it! your team has now been created. The team will appear in your teams gallery and your good to go.

Creating a new team from the Teams web browser.

#2 Create from Groups in the admin center

This method will require some level of admin privileges as you will need access to the O365 admin center, specifically Groups.

To begin, on the left-hand menu press the Groups drop-down, then Groups > Add a group.

Choose a group type

As this section isn’t just about teams creation, you also have the ability to create distribution and mail-enabled security groups too. We’re only interested in creating Office 365 groups here, so make sure that’s selected and press next.

Set up the basics

As in method #1, here enter the name and description for your Group, which also is the same for your team. The same guidelines apply here as above with regards to characters and spaces.

Assign owners

You are able to specify who the owner(s) of the O365 group/ team should be here, as it may not be the person creating the Group. As with members, this can also be changed once created.

Edit settings

This part of the creation process allows you to define a name for the group email address, set the privacy of your group and crucially add teams to it. Make sure Create teams for the group is checked and press next.

NOTE: for the group email address, as well as the characters to avoid mentioned earlier, you also cannot use spaces as part of the email address.

The final screen is a review screen, if you are happy with the configuration just press Create group and you are done! If you switch over to Teams after creation you will see your newly created team (please see thoughts and observations for more on this).

Create a team from Groups within the O365 admin center.

#3 Create from Azure Active Directory

This method also requires admin privileges, most likely the global admin role unless you have custom roles created.

To begin, open Azure Active Directory from the O365 admin center, once in press Azure Active Directory from the left-hand menu, then under manage, select Groups > New Group.

New group settings

Within the new group settings, add the following information:

  • Group type: Office 365
  • Group name: this should be the name of your team
  • Group email address: avoid invalid characters like spaces, hyphens and underscores are ok
  • Group description: description of the team
  • Owners: assign any relevant owners
  • Members: assign any relevant members
  • Press create!

This will then create the O365 group based on the above configuration. Next we can jump into Teams to create our team from the O365 group!

  • Open the Teams app, desktop or web
  • Press join or create a team > create team
  • Press create from an existing Office 365 group or team
  • Under create a new team from something you already own, press Office 365 group
  • Select the O365 group from earlier and press create
Create a team from Azure Active Directory.

#4 Create from teams admin center

This method will also require either the global admin or Teams admin role. To begin, open up O365 admin, and select the Teams admin center.

  • From the navigation icons on the left-hand menu, select Teams > manage teams
  • Press Add
  • Under add a new team, give your team a name, description, set the owner and set the privacy (private or public)
  • Press create a team

That’s it! Your team has now been created and is visible from the Teams admin center. In the example below, we also check the status of the O365 group by going back into Groups within the O365 admin center, selecting the newly created group and checking the members tab.

Create a new team from the Teams admin center.

Thoughts and observations

During the process of creating teams in all of the above methods, I noticed several things that may be a consideration when creating teams yourself:

  1. The only way to create an org-wide team at the point of creation from any of the above methods is via the Teams app or browser, this is not an option via Groups, Azure Active Directory or the Teams admin center.
  2. With the above, you are able to convert an existing team to an org-wide team, here’s the Microsoft guidance on how to do it.
  3. When converting an existing team to org-wide, its worth considering the approach for when to convert. For example, in my organisation we wanted to some starter posts to the team for people to see once the team became org-wide. However, once you convert the team the posts become buried beneath the “XXXX added Joe Bloggs and 199 others to the team” messages.
  4. I’ve focused on ways to create Teams through native options within Office 365. There are, of course programmatic ways to do this – for example via PowerShell.
  5. Managing Teams and their SharePoint sites is not as straight-forward as with SharePoint. Even as a global admin or teams admin, if you are not an owner of a Team then you cannot manage the Team or the corresponding SharePoint site. Granted, expected behavior in Teams, but if you just need to manage the SharePoint site, you need make yourself an owner or site admin.
  6. There is a noticeable delay when creating new Teams in any other way than via the Teams app or browser. This thread makes mention to the fact that it can take up to 24 hours to create teams via PowerShell or using the Graph API, this also seems to be true for via Groups and Azure Active Directory in some instances.

    NOTE: a factor in this could likely also be the throttling and shifting of resources based on the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

Provisioning the M365 learning pathways solution

This post details my experience of trying to provision the 365 learning pathways solution from the SharePoint look book and what I found that differs from the documentation.

Contents

Overview

The first thing to say about this is it’s quite literally a click of a button to actually provision the M365 learning pathways solution from the SharePoint look book, but please make sure you do read the prerequisites as that may well catch you out.

My one big takeaway from writing this post is that the initializing of the CustomConfig list is a crucial step.

Official Microsoft resources

Tenant admin or global admin?

The prereq’s makes mention of being a tenant administrator, the account I used was an O365 global administrator. A quick google search here shows that a tenant administrator is now the global admin role.

Google search of an O365 tenant administrator.

You can also use these steps in the troubleshooting guide to check if you have the relevant permissions.

Create an app catalog site

The solution requires an app catalog site to be created in order to work, to do this you’ll need to navigate back to the old SharePoint admin center, or the classic site collection page to be more in-line with the official verbiage!

To get there, press More features > under Apps, Open.

How to access the classic site collection pages from the modern SharePoint admin center.

From here it’s easy to create a new app catalog site, I’ve documented this before as part of the SharePoint start kit deployment, but to summarize:

  • Select app catalog
  • Press OK to create a new app catalog site
Select app catalog from the apps menu option
  • Enter the following details
    • Title: app catalog
    • Web Site Address suffix: enter your preferred suffix for the app catalog; for example: apps
    • Administrator: enter your username, and then select the resolve button to resolve the username
  • Press OK

Check global admin is app catalog site collection admin

You also need to make sure the provisioning account is also a site collection administrator for the app catalog site. To do this just select your app catalog site, press Owners > Manage Administrators and make sure its the either listed in the primary or one of the other site collection administrators.

Manage the administrators of the app catalog site in classic SharePoint admin.

Initialize the CustomConfig List & assign owners

Once the learning pathways site has been provisioned, the account used will receive an email to confirm. In the email there will be a link to the custom config list that needs to be run to set up the site for first use.

Once you load the CustomLearningAdmin.aspx page this page will be displayed.

If you don’t receive an email from the PnP provisioning service, then just navigate to your learning pathways site, then just add /SitePages/CustomLearningAdmin.aspx to the end of the url:

<YOUR-SITE-COLLECTION-URL>sites/<YOUR-SITE-NAME>/SitePages/CustomLearningAdmin.aspx

Next, you will need to add owners to the learning pathways site. Owners will have admin privileges on the site, but also be able to hide and show content delivered through the learning pathways web part. In addition, they’ll have the ability to build custom playlist and assign them to custom subcategories.

  • From the SharePoint Settings menu, click Site Permissions.
  • Click Advanced Permission Settings.
  • Click Microsoft 365 learning pathways Owners.
  • Click New > Add Users to this group, and then add the people you want to be Owners.
  • Add a link to Explore the Site in the Share message, and then click Share.

Issues & troubleshooting the learning pathways solution

1. Configuration issues within learning pathways site

Once the learning pathways solution had provisioned and I received a success message, I went in and started poking around in the site to see if content loaded etc.

Once I then started shared the site with a few colleagues I got feedback that they were seeing this message within each page:

“Microsoft 365 learning pathways has a configuration issue. Please see the browser console for detailed logs. For assistance check out the issues list at https://github.com/pnp/custom-learning-office-365/issues.”

What I found was if you don’t click the link to initialize the CustomConfig List, all of the learning pathways content that’s delivered from the web part won’t work. I also then tried to go back and open the link to see if the problem would correct itself. It didn’t and the CustomLearningAdmin.aspx page just hung and wouldn’t respond.

What worked for me in the end was to permanently delete the learning pathways site, delete the learning pathways solution from the app catalog site, wait 24 hours then provision again (this was I could use the same URL).

Naturally this time around I initialized the CustomConfig List from the URL before sharing it!

2. Delete sites from recycle bin in order to provision again

So stemming from issue number 1 above, I also noticed that unless you permanently delete your learning pathways site, you cannot create one with the same name. You will get a message similar to the below:

“Unfortunately your site provisioning at least partially failed!”

To permanently delete a site, all you need to do is delete it from Active sites (if not connected to an O365 group), then under Delete sites select the site and press Permanently delete.

How to permanently delete sites in modern SharePoint.

3. Multi factor authentication enabled for the provisioning account

I had an issue where I kept receiving a generic message from the provisioning service page saying:

“Unfortunately your site provisioning at least partially failed!”

The global admin account I used to run the provisioning service had multi factor authentication enabled, more specifically using the authentication app. What I found was when I changed by 2-step verification from using the authentication app to text, the provisioning service completed successfully.

4. app catalog site takes longer than 30 minutes to allow provisioning to complete

If you don’t already have an app catalog created, you will receive an error from the provisioning service similar to this:

“In order to provision the template you need to have an App Catalog in your tenant. Please, create one (for instructions you can read this document: https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=2087251), wait up to 30 minutes, and try again.

When you then create an app catalog site, I found it took well over 2 hours before the provisioning service recognized as such.