Microsoft 365 update for March 2020

I hope everyone is keeping safe and healthy during these uncertain times. Here’s a look at what’s been released or coming through the month of March 2020.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis management resources

In this month’s update:

SharePointmulti-lingual, branding on mobile app, root site swap, wiki notation, start page rollback, edit metadata in web parts, rich-text capabilities for column formatting

TeamsImproved audio quality, background blur for iOS, Bookings app, raise hands, noise suppression, multi-window, Teams offline, Teams membership increase, group chat increase, Teams & Skype calling/ chat interoperability

Teams (cont.)satin codec, business voice available in US, device management update, Shifts improvements, targeted comms in Shifts, workforce management integrations, RealWear headsets, Teams walkie talkie, collaboration bars, Poly phones

Power Appssharing for model-driven apps, AI Builder models GA, gateway management features, unified interface lookup filtering, command checker

Power AutomateUI flows GA, UI flows Feb 2020 update, Unattended Robotic Process Automation and AAD support, file attachments in approval flows, error handling/control logic UI flows

Power BIread/write XMLA endpoints, query diagnostics GA, Multi Geo Premium Capacities performance improvements, on-premises data gateway March 2020, desktop feature summary March 2020, new search experience, Power BI mobile, report export options

Power Virtual Agentswave 1 feature summary,  solution-aware flows, export bot’s conversation transcripts

Related Microsoft Personal & Family, Yammer in your inbox, view/edit improvements for files in Office mobile

SharePoint

Multi-lingual publishing in communication sites

New language settings have been added for communication sites in SharePoint. Once set you can translate pages, news and assign individuals as translators per language.

Translators get notified via email when there is a new default language page created or when an existing one is updated by the original content author. Translators are responsible for adding their language’s content. People visiting the site will automatically see pages and news in their preferred user language when available.

Multi-lingual publishing capabilities have been added for pages and news in communication sites.

Find out more:

Company branding now supported on SharePoint Mobile App

Company branding set in the O365 admin center will now take effect within the SharePoint mobile app. This change will also apply to both the iOS and Android versions of the SharePoint app.

Customize your theme in the Microsoft 365 admin center and have it reflected in the SharePoint mobile app for iOS and Android.

Find out more:

SharePoint root site swap restrictions lifted

The restrictions on the SharePoint root site swap are now gone! Meaning that the ability to swap the location of a SharePoint root site with another using the PowerShell cmdlet, Invoke-SPOSiteSwap is now available for everyone.

Previously this was only available to customers with 10,000 users or more.

Find out more:

Wiki notation

Wiki notation links are back for pages and news! Those familiar with the old wiki pages in classic SharePoint will be very happy to see the return of these bookmark style links.

Type [[ where you want a link to appear, and you’ll be able to select from a list of pages on your site. Or, you can enter a link by typing [[your link name | URL]].

Start typing [[ to create wiki notation links within pages and news.

Find out more:

Microsoft to pause/ revert the updated SharePoint start page experience

Microsoft have announced they are pausing and rolling back the updated SharePoint start page experience. Announced via the Message Center (post #192001), Microsoft said their internal metrics data indicated that users were not finding all their sites as easily with the updated experience as they were in the previous design of the page.

After April 1, 2020 all users who may have received the updated experience will revert back to the current experience.

Find out more:

Edit metadata from within the SharePoint Document Library and List View web parts

Soon you be able to open and edit file or list item properties directly from the document or list view web parts. Moving away from having to go to the list or library itself, just click on info or more under the item’s properties.

Edit metadata from within the SharePoint Document Library and List View web parts

Find out more:

Rich-text capabilities in the conditional formatting rule builder

Conditional formatting rules for SharePoint lists allows you to use if/ then logic to format rows and columns based on numerical values and dates and so on. You now will have more flexibility on how these attributes appear with the enhanced rich text editor – to bold, color, underline, etc. more closely to how you wish your text to appear.

 Conditional formatting rule builder with new rich-text capabilities.

Find out more:

back to top

Teams

Improved audio quality for networks with high packet loss

Rolled out to Teams worldwide, you now will experience improved audio quality even with congested or lossy networks, poor WiFi or mobile data connection to you and I. Microsoft have introduced smarter jitter buffer logic, burst loss detection, and triggering of redundant transmissions to ensure smooth audio playback, even under high burst loss.

Find out more:

Background blur for iOS

Background blur is coming to iOS! Over the next few weeks this feature will be rolling out to iPhones and iPads.

Bookings app

The Bookings app allows you to schedule and take part in appointment’s with external people using Teams. With a single scheduling experience, you can create virtual appointments with external attendees easily. As an external attendee, you will receive an email invite with details of the appointment and a link to join. You can join via the web browser or the Teams mobile app.

The Bookings App in Teams will be available in the coming weeks.

The Bookings app in Teams allows you to schedule and take part in appointment’s with external people.

Find out more:

Raise hands feature in Teams meetings

Another update that has absolutely nothing to do with the popularity of Zoom, the new “raise hands” feature in Teams allows meeting attendees to identify that they wish to speak, making it easier to actively participate in large meetings.

Everyone will see a visual cue on the attendee’s video feed, as well as in the participant list, and can be sure to give them the room to participate in the conversation at hand.

The raise hand feature is coming to Teams meetings.

Find out more:

Noise suppression in Teams meetings

Real-time noise suppression in Teams automatically removes any unwanted background noise during meetings. This feature is coming soon to meetings and calls, but is generally available for recorded video content in Stream now.

Real-time noise suppression in Microsoft Teams.

Find out more:

Pop out Teams chats into multiple windows

You will now be able to pop out individual Teams chat conversations into a separate window, to help you streamline your workflow and more easily move between ongoing conversations.

Pop out Teams chats into multiple windows in Microsoft Teams.

Find out more:

Teams offline

Now you can open and access Teams even when you without internet access. Teams users will now be able to open Teams even when no network is available. You will be able to create and read messages, browse previously viewed channels, and to view calendar summaries.

Pinned chats, pinned channels, and recently visited chats and channels will always be available offline.

Teams is also optimized for low to poor performing networks, meaning users can still send messages with poor connectivity. If conditions are too poor to send a message, Teams will notify users of this and then save the message until the user has returned to a functioning network. 

Find out more:

Team membership increased to 10,000 users

Microsoft have increased the individual team membership from 5,000 to 10,000 users. This limit will start rolling out in April 2020. 

Find out more:

Group chat increased to 250 users

Coming soon, group chats will be able to accommodate up to 250 users allowing an ad-hoc discussion with colleagues you may not already share a Team with prior to a project starting in anger.

Find out more:

Teams & Skype Consumer chat and calling interoperability

Teams users will soon be able to find and communicate with users on the Skype consumer service, allowing businesses using Teams to engage with customers and colleagues on the iconic communications platform, across all clients including iOS and Android.

This new interoperability will allow Teams and Skype consumer users to chat and make calls using Voice over IP (VoIP) initiated by either client using an email address (phone number or Skype ID searches are not supported at this time.) For safety and security, Teams users can accept or decline first-time conversations with Skype users, and may block and unblock contacts.

This highly anticipated feature begins rolling out in Teams by the end of March. 

Find out more:

New Satin codec in Teams

The new Satin codec as part of Teams will deliver wideband audio with as little as 7 kbps. Although Wi-Fi and mobile data connections can deliver way faster speeds than this, Teams will continue to deliver the best audio experiences during periods of congestion and network handoffs without having to sacrifice video or screen sharing quality.

Find out more:

M365 Business Voice available in the US from April 1st

Business Voice, a cloud-based telephony system was launched in the UK and Canada for small and medium businesses back in November 2019.

Starting April 1st, Business Voice will be available to purchase in the U.S. for $20/user/mo. Business Voice will also be available form April 1 with a third-party calling plan will be available in over 70 countries.

Find out more:

Device management experience update

Administrators now have the ability to manage certified Microsoft Teams phones from the Microsoft Teams admin center. This will soon be extended for Microsoft Teams room devices and collaboration bars. Admins will be able to perform key actions such as update settings, restart devices, gather logs, review device call quality data, and more.

Find out more:

Capability improvements to Shifts

Microsoft have made changes to the Shifts experience for firstline managers and workers to free up time spent on administering the solution. Here’s an overview of what’s changed:

  • Schedule filtering: filter by team members or schedule groups, making it easier to manage large shift schedules
  • Recall shared schedule: recall single or multiple days of a shared schedule, in order to make any necessary changes
  • “Your shifts” view: quickly access shift information without scrolling through the entire team schedule

Targeted communications in the Shifts app

Soon you will be able to target messages to recipients who are on-shift based on their role and the shifts they are working. Users are automatically assigned to tags matching their schedule in the Shifts app in Teams, which allows for integration with major workforce management systems, including AMiON, JDA, and Kronos.

Targeted communications in the Shifts app in Microsoft Teams.

Find out more:

Kronos Workforce Central integration with Shifts

You can now integrate Kronos Workforce Central v.8.1 with Shifts for the viewing schedules, publishing and requesting open shifts, swapping shifts, requesting time off and offering shifts.

Find out more:

RealWear headset for hands-free Teams collaboration

RealWear, industry leader in head-mounted, ruggedized solutions is partnering with Microsoft Teams to support digital transformation in manufacturing and other industrial environments. This partnership brings together RealWear devices and Microsoft Teams to empower Firstline

Workers while keeping their hands free. Teams on RealWear devices will be available later this year.

RealWear headsets for Microsoft Teams.

Find out more:

Teams Walkie Talkie on the Samsung XCover Pro

Walkie Talkie is a new push to talk experience in Teams that enables clear voice communication over the cloud. The Galaxy XCover Pro with Microsoft Teams simplifies and empowers Firstline Workers and their organizations to communicate and collaborate using just one device and one platform.

The capability will be available in the Teams mobile app and integrate with the newly unveiled Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro, a device built for workers on the front lines of any industry. The XCover Pro will be available through Microsoft retail stores starting in mid-April, and Walkie Talkie in Teams will be available starting July 2020.

Teams Walkie Talkie on the Samsung XCover Pro.

Find out more:

Bose headsets for Teams

Bose are the latest company to have their own Teams device. The Bose Noise Cancellation 700 UC (NC700) will be Teams certified and available for purchase later this Spring.

Find out more:

Teams collaboration bars

Collaboration bars allow you to turn your focus rooms or smaller conference areas into collaborative meeting spaces. These video conferencing solutions attach to displays, TVs or touchscreens to deliver high-quality, collaborative video meetings.

Collaboration bars for Microsoft Teams.

Find out more:

Poly Teams phones

The Poly CCX Series are a range of native Teams phones to help users to transform the way they communicate. The series offers a range models to choose from, starting with the CCX400 and up to the CCX600. You can personalize yours with a headset that suits your style or use the traditional handset. 

Find out more:

back to top

Power Apps

Sharing improvements for model-driven apps

Sharing model-driven apps has been streamlined into a single sharing panel so you can share apps without having to jump through several hoops to do so!

Sharing model-driven apps in Power Apps.

Find out more:

AI Builder models general availability

Six AI Builder models will move out of preview and reach general availability in April 2020. From April, the list of GA models will include:

  • Form processing – Read and save information from standard documents.
  • Key phrase extraction – Extract the key talking points from text.
  • Language detection – Identify the language being used in text.
  • Object detection – Recognize and count things in images.
  • Sentiment analysis – Analyze positive/negative sentiment in text.
  • Text recognition – Automatically process text from images.

Find out more:

New Gateway management features on Power Platform Admin Center

The Power Apps team have announced several enhancements to gateway management operations on Power Platform Admin center. An overview of the new features is listed below:

  • Gateway Member Status, State and Remove Operation
  • Gateway Cluster Status
  • Remove Gateway Clusters
  • Gateway Cluster Settings

Find out more:

Filtering improvements for lookups in Unified Interface

Several filtering improvements for lookups in Unified Interface will begin rolling out in March 2020.  These improvements include:

  • Web Client filtering
  • Unified Interface Filtering
  • Only my records filtering
  • Related records filtering
Unified Interface Filtering.

Find out more:

Command checker for model-driven apps

Command Checker is an in-app tool designed to help users understand why buttons are hidden or shown and what command will run upon click.

For each button on a given ribbon, the tool will show its calculated visibility status, the evaluation result of each enable/display rule attached to the button, and the command to be executed when clicked. 

Command checker for model-driven apps in Power Apps.

Find out more:

back to top

Power Automate

UI flows enter GA

Announced previously at Microsoft Ignite 2019, robotic process automation has been in preview with the launch of UI flows. UL flows will be generally available from April 2.

Find out more:

UI flows February 2020 update

The February 2020 update for Power Automate UI flows is now available in preview. Here’s a summary of the new features:

  • Add support for International Input Method Editors (IMEs)
  • Improve reliability for international keyboard layouts and special key support
  • Enable user to opt in or out of coordinate-based playback fallback that expands the coverage of UI automation
  • Improve user experience on the designer for UI flows
    • The domain name and username are automatically populated in the UI flows connection card.
  • Bug fixes including:
    • Some international users were seeing an error (“Newtonsoft.Json.JsonSerializationException”) when running UI flows on machines with international locale setting.
    • Latest Microsoft Edge releases caused errors automating browsers with UI flows.

Find out more:

Unattended Robotic Process Automation and AAD support now available in preview for UI flows

The Power Automate team have announced the preview of unattended UI flows – flows that run without human supervision. This is best for scenarios such as processing invoices and entering them into a legacy application automatically.

When running unattended, Power Automate will securely sign into the device on your behalf, execute the UI flow actions onto the target applications then sign out of the device.

Power Automate already supported on-premises Active Directory (AD)-joined machines to run UI flows. With this release UI flows now support Azure Active Directory (AAD)-joined machines.

Find out more:

File attachments in approval flows

The Power Automate team are releasing the ability to pass files from a connector action to the Approvals action step, so that you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with sharing just enough information that’s needed.

You can now attach files to an approval flow.

Find out more:

Error handling and control logic for UI flows

The Power Automate team have announced the availability of error handling and control logic for UI automation scripts.

Error handling allows you to add resilience and robustness to your UI flows by adding parallel branches of execution. Control logic allows you to use actions like condition, switch case and terminate actions directly within a UI flow.

Find out more:

back to top

Power BI

Read/write XMLA endpoints in Power BI Premium public preview

The Power BI team have announced the public preview of read/write capabilities for the XMLA endpoint in Power BI Premium. The read/write capability now introduces many additional scenarios for dataset management, advanced semantic modeling, debugging, and monitoring.

Find out more:

Query Diagnostics General Availability

Query Diagnostics for Power Query has entered GA. Query Diagnostics is a powerful new feature that will allow you to determine what Power Query is doing during authoring and in some refresh workflows in Power BI Desktop.

Find out more:

Multi Geo Premium Capacities performance improvements

The Power BI team completed a global roll out of an improvement to Premium Capacities configured in remote locations (aka Multi Geo capacities).

Multi Geo capacities allow global organizations to remain compliant with data residency regulations that vary between geographies. Organizations can have their main Power BI region set to where their headquartered, and have reports served from remote geographies while ensuring data at rest remains bounded to the remote geography.

Performance Improvements for Multi Geo Premium Capacities.

Find out more:

On-premises data gateway March 2020 update

The Power BI team have announced the March update for the On-premises data gateway (version 3000.31.3).

Find out more:

Power BI Desktop March 2020 Feature Summary

The Power BI team have announced the release of several new features including new button actions, multi-column sort for tables, dual axis for line chart, a search for the filter pane, updates to decomposition tree, and much more!

Find out more:

A new, revamped search experience is coming to Power BI that allows users to search for reports, dashboards, apps, and workspaces from any page in the product.

New search experience in Power BI.

Find out more:

Power BI mobile updates

Several improvements have been introduced to the Power BI mobile experience including the Interactions Setting, which lets you configure how to interact with reports in Power BI mobile apps.

Find out more:

Export report to PDF, PPTX and PNG files using Power BI REST API (Preview)

An additional layer of capabilities for Power BI have been announced, allowing you to export a Power BI report by using a REST call, to the following file formats: PDF, PPTX (PowerPoint) and PNG.

Find out more:

back to top

Power Virtual Agents

Power Virtual Agents feature summary Wave 1

In Wave 1, the Power Virtual Agent team’s initial focus was on increasing the reach of Power Virtual Agents through language and geo-expansion, enhancing authoring capabilities, and addressing key features for large enterprises like collaboration across multiple bot authors, bot lifecycle management and other admin experiences.

Find out more:

Power Virtual Agents solution-aware flows

All Power Automate flows created from Power Virtual Agents are now solution-aware and available to your bots right away.

With this update, Power Virtual Agents now automatically saves all flows into the Default Solution under Solutions tab instead of the My flows tab.

Power Automate flows created from Power Virtual Agents are now solution-aware.

Find out more:

View, export, and manage retention time of your bot conversation transcripts

Power Virtual Agents now enables you to view and export your bot’s conversation transcripts beyond 30 days by managing transcript retention time.

With this feature, you will be able to do the following from the Power Apps portal:

  • View bot’s conversation transcripts
  • Export bot’s conversation transcripts
  • Manage how long to keep the transcripts

Find out more:

back to top

Related

Microsoft Personal & Family

March 2020 saw the announcement of Microsoft 365 Personal and Family moving away from O365 for individuals and families offering. Several name changes were also made to existing small- medium business and enterprise offerings.

Office 365 Business Essentials is now Microsoft 365 Business Basic; Office 365 Business Premium is now Microsoft 365 Business Standard; and Microsoft 365 Business is now Microsoft 365 Business Premium. Meanwhile, Office 365 Business and Office 365 ProPlus will be called Microsoft 365 Apps.

Find out more:

Yammer conversations in your inbox

Yammer emails in Outlook on the web enable users to interact with Yammer conversations, polls, and questions, and deliver praise. Now you can see the full Yammer thread and reply, like, vote, attach files, share GIFs, and even watch videos right from your inbox.

These features are now available to all Enterprise tenants with releases in Outlook for Windows, Outlook for Mac, and Outlook for iOS and Android coming next quarter.

Engage with Yammer conversations directly within your inbox.

Find out more:

View/edit improvements for files in Office mobile

You can now view and edit data in Excel in a simple, digestible card format, eliminating the need to span across columns that extend beyond the limits of the screen. Also new to Office mobile, PowerPoint Designer helps you create professional presentations with design, formatting, and iconography ideas for your content.

These features will be available in the next few months in the Office app for Android and iOS.

Find out more:

Resources

How to create a custom ID for lists and libraries

In this example I demonstrate how to create a simple solution that allows users to submit a request to a list, then a workflow fires that updates the request ID field with our custom ID number.

ID numbers, reference numbers, ticket numbers…this is something that regularly gets asked to be a part of any SharePoint solution or request based system. My first thought when this is required is “easy, we can just use the SharePoint item ID column and use that”. However, creating a simple calculated column that leverages the in-built ID column is not as easy as it seems.

My first attempt at creating a custom ID column involved creating a new calculated column, and appending some text before the ID and then inserting the ID column into the formula, like this:

="REQ-00"&[ID]

The problem with this approach is that when new items are added, the ID appears to “slip” resulting in the custom ID column having no ID number being pulled from the SharePoint ID.

Custom ID column – modern SharePoint

1. Pre-requisites

Before you begin you will naturally need to create either a list or library in SharePoint, and the relevant apps checked as part of your O365 license.

2. The setup

  • Create a new column, with the type Number – I called this ‘solIncrementNum
  • Create a new column, with the type Calculated – I called this ‘solReqNum‘, later renamed ‘Request Number’
    • In the formula field, add the following: ="SOL-00"&[SolIncrementNum]
    • For the Data Type, select Single line of text
Setting the formula for the solReqNum column in list settings

NOTE: for the Request Number formula if you want to prefix your custom ID with something else just replace what’s between the ” “ in the formula field above.

3. Build the Flow

Flow action: when a new item is created

  • Create a new flow from the template “when a new item is created, complete a custom action”
  • Give your Flow a name, I called mine “Populate Solution Request Number”
  • In the “when a new item is added” step, make sure the site address and list name are the same as the list you built the custom ID column for earlier
Step 1 of the Populate Solution Request Flow

Flow: update item

  • Press + New step, start typing “update item”, select the update item action from the selection
  • Select the site in question, then copy and paste the List Name from the previous action
  • Make sure this action has the following fields set:
    • Id: ID
    • Title: Title
    • solIncrementNum: ID

NOTE: make sure that when you set these fields, that the values you use are coming from the “when a new item is created” action.

Step 2 of the Populate Solution Request Flow

Now when new items are created within the list or library, the flow will fire and create a new request number.

Modern SharePoint list with Flow that populates Request Number

Microsoft 365 update for February 2020

In this month’s update:

SharePoint Mover available worldwide, global reader role, sharing page updates, auto-updating classic – modern team sites, per-site sharing links, integrations with Power Platform for GCC

Teams Outlook & Teams integrated experience, targeted communication, auto-creation of org-wide Team, new files experience, live captions, app catalog, legal hold for private channel messages, communication compliance, phone system additions for GCC, pin apps, Qbot for Education

OneDrive migrate OneNote via Known Folder Move, Conditional access for macOS, SSO with Office for macOS, email notification updates

Power Apps canvas & Power Apps components public preview, AI Builder feature updates, AI Builder Power Apps canvas studio updates, AI Builder flow templates, AI Builder related entities & filtering, multiple image attributes

Power AutomateSAP ERP connector, 18 new connectors, built-in validation for custom connectors

Power Virtual Agentsee billed bot sessions, use Virtual Agents connectors to build flows, access/ edit flows from canvas

Power BIincremental refresh, hierarchical slicer, ribbon updates, new DAX modeling functions, visualization updates, template apps, data preparation, data connectivity

Related Office app, Live Events Assistance Program, actionable messages – comments, coauthor in Visio, improved speech-to-text, choose “what’s new” features

SharePoint

Mover migration now available worldwide

Microsoft announced the acquisition of Mover in late 2019, and have been working to bring the service to more customers. Mover is a free service that supports migrations from over a dozen cloud service providers – including Box, Dropbox, Egnyte, and Google Drive – into OneDrive and SharePoint.

Microsoft has announced Mover is now available worldwide.

Find out more:

Global reader role is now available in new SharePoint admin center

The global reader role will grant users read-only access to all info and settings in the new SharePoint admin center. This feature is related to the global admin role introduced in September 2019 about support throughout all workloads in Microsoft 365.

Find out more:

Sharing page updates in SharePoint admin center

Microsoft have introduced the sharing settings from the classic SharePoint admin center sharing page, surfacing these settings on the modern sharing page. Key settings include the ability to configure who is allowed to share externally as well as default link permissions for your organization.

New features included as part of the modern Sharing page in the SharePoint admin center.

Find out more:

Auto updating classic SharePoint team site home pages to the modern template

Classic SharePoint team site home pages that have not been customized will automatically update to a modern home page template. If your site contains only out-of-the box default web parts such as getting started, document library, and newsfeed – it will get updated.

Classic team sites that have been customized will not be automatically updated. Note: this update does not create an Office 365 Group for the team site, which would happen with the creation of a modern team site in SharePoint.

Uncustomized, classic team sits with be auto-updated to modern SharePoint team sites.

Find out more:

Per-Site Sharing Links can now default to people with existing access

SharePoint admins can now set the per-site sharing links to default to the “people with existing access” setting. Previously, the options were to choose either “Anyone”, “People in my organization”, or “Specific People” when setting the default sharing link on a per-site basis.

Find out more:

SharePoint integrations with Power Automate and Power Apps to GCC Tenants

Government M365 users can now create and manage custom workflows with Power Automate and custom forms with Power Apps combined with both SharePoint lists and libraries.

Find out more:

back to top

Teams

Outlook & Teams integrated experience is now available

Microsoft have built a new integration between Outlook and Teams to make it easy to collaborate no matter where the conversation is taking place. The user can move an email conversation from Outlook, including attachments, into a Teams chat or channel conversation by clicking on the ‘’Share to Teams’’ in Outlook.

New Outlook & Teams integrated experience is now available.

Find out more:

Targeted communication

Targeted communication allows team members to message everyone assigned to a specific tag at the same time; simply @mention the tag name in a post. Using tags, team owners can organize users based on a common attribute, like a role, project, or location.

Admins can control who can add tags and how tags are used across your organization in the Microsoft Teams admin center.

Targeted communication in Teams.

Find out more:

Automatic creation of an org-wide team

All new tenants with 5000 users or fewer will start with an org-wide team. Learn more about org-wide teams and related best practices here.

Find out more:

New Files Experience in Teams powered by SharePoint rolled out worldwide

The Teams file experience is now powered by SharePoint, and has now rolled out to 100% of worldwide tenants! This new experience in the File tab of a channel includes the ability to sync files to your computer (PC or Mac), see rich previews across 320+ file types, create views and work with metadata, see document life-cycle signals, review on-hover file cards, pin files to the top, take actions like check in and check out, and much more.

New Files Experience in Teams powered by SharePoint rolled out worldwide.

Find out more:

Live captions in Microsoft Teams meetings now generally available

Live captions are now generally available and can help improve accessibility and effectiveness of meetings by turning on captions, and reading what people are saying in real time.

Live captions in Microsoft Teams meetings now generally available.

Find out more:

Manage the App Catalog in the Teams Admin Center

You can now manage apps through the Teams Admin Center. The Manage Apps page provides administrators with a view into all available apps in the tenant and includes information to help them decide which apps to enabled for their organization.

Additionally, the app catalog allows administrators to streamline the process of testing and distributing line-of-business applications.

Find out more:

Legal hold now supports the preservation of private channel messages in Teams.

Find out more:

Communication Compliance

Communication Compliance is part of the new insider risk solution set in Microsoft 365 that helps administrators detect, capture, and take remediation actions for inappropriate messages.

Find out more:

Phone System Additions for GCC

Several phone system additions were made for GCC customers in February, including:

  • Teams users can screen share to Skype for Business users
  • Callers can transfer directly to voicemail
  • Caller ID for Teams users (AAD)
  • Chrome browser users can send and receive video calls
  • Use the powerbar slash command to make PSTN calls.

Find out more:

Pin your apps to the left-hand rail for easy access

You are now able to pin personal apps to the left-hand rail (also known as the Teams app bar). Simply find the app, right-click the app icon, and select “pin”. The Teams Admin can also create group policies so certain apps appear on everyone’s Teams app bar.

Pin your apps to the left-hand rail for easy access in Teams.

Find out more:

Introducing Microsoft Teams QBot!

QBot is a solution designed for classroom teaching scenarios which allow teachers, tutors and students to intelligently answer each other’s questions within the Microsoft Teams collaboration platform. It leverages the power of Azure Cognitive Services, in particular QnA Maker to achieve this.

Introducing Microsoft Teams QBot!

Find out more:

Back to top

OneDrive

Support for migrating OneNote via Known Folder Move

Users with local OneNote notebooks will now have their OneNote’s automatically backed up as a part of the PC Folder Backup move. You can continue saving files to the folders they are familiar with as well as have access to their files in these important Windows folders from anywhere.

Migrate local OneNote’s via Known Folder Move.

Find out more:

Conditional access for macOS

Currently in public preview, OneDrive for Mac now respects conditional access for policies such as forced Multi-Factor Authentication, location-based IP range filtering, and device compliance (as managed by Azure Intune). Devices that do not fulfill the conditional access requirements will not be able to sync content.

Find out more:

Single Sign On with Office for macOS

Currently in public preview, the OneDrive sync client now shares credentials between the rest of the Office suite on macOS.

Accounts that have been signed into Office will now be a selectable option in OneDrive when adding a new account, allowing a user to setup without prompting for password and credentials. Similarly, accounts that have been signed into OneDrive will be available in the Office applications to sign in with.

Find out more:

Update to email notifications for shared content

We are always working towards improving OneDrive and Outlook integration for better user experience. We have now standardized the email notification templates to reflect consistency across products along with adding file previewer thumbnails and activity details.

Find out more:

Back to top

Power Apps

Canvas components and Power Apps components framework public preview

Canvas components and Power Apps component framework entered public preview this month. Canvas components enable low code makers to create or procure custom components with more advanced capabilities and better scenario fit than what’s available out of the box.

Power Apps components framework on canvas apps experimental release was announced in September 2019 and introduced a way for developers to add reusable field type code components.

Canvas components and Power Apps components framework in public preview.

Find out more:

AI Builder feature updates

The February update to AI Builder adds even more capabilities for makers, including:

Manually enter objects for Object Detection

You can now enter object names manually to train your object detection models. This mode of entry is shown by default, but you can still use your object names in Common Data Service.

Manually enter objects for Object Detection in AI Builder.

New fields recognized with Business Card Reader

New fields are now available in Business Card Reader. You can extract the Post Office Box and the State fields from addresses detected on business cards in Power Apps and Power Automate.

Find out more:

AI Builder in the Power Apps canvas studio updates

Styling and control reset

You can now style all AI Builder components in your canvas apps using the color and border pickers, as well as configure the text properties easily in the property panel.

Interact with detected text in Text Recognizer

The Text Recognizer component in Power Apps now surfaces a new output property called Selected. You can interact with the component by clicking on detected text to select them.

Confidence scores and bounding boxes in Form Processor

The confidence scores of selected form fields are now available in Form Processor. In the Results output property, each field and table element has a corresponding key, value, confidence score, and bounding box.

Confidence scores and bounding boxes in Object Detector

You can now see detailed information about all objects detected in your images. For each object detected in an image, you can see the object’s label, confidence score, and bounding box information.

Find out more:

AI Builder flow templates

There are now new AI Builder flow templates that you can start using today to create flows using either your own AI model or a pre-built AI model in just one click.

AI Builder flow templates.

Find out more:

AI Builder prediction now supports related entities and filtering

AI Builder prediction has been updated to include support for related entities and filtering. These capabilities give users even more flexibility in model creation.

Find out more:

Public preview of multiple image attributes in Power Apps

The Power Apps team have announced the public preview availability of the new Image data type for use in Canvas Power Apps.  This preview comes after the Microsoft Common Data Service (CDS) team announcing the availability of a general image data type for entities, in addition to the existing entity image functionality (which allows for a single thumbnail image per entity).

Find out more:

Back to top

Power Automate

SAP ERP Connector

The Power Automate team have announced the public preview of a new SAP ERP connector for Power Apps and Power Automate.

The SAP ERP connector has the following functionality:

Introducing the SAP ERP connector.
  • Allows you to create a connection to an SAP ECC or S/4HANA Server using either SAP authentication or Windows authentication
  • Allows you to invoke any BAPI and custom RFCs
  • Provides dynamic schemas for the input and output parameters for an RFC or BAPI

Find out more:

18 new connectors added to Power Automate

Including the SAP ERP connector, Power Automate saw the addition of 18 new connectors, with now an impressive 315 connectors available! Here’s a rundown of February’s additions:

  • Cisco Webex Meetings Cisco Webex Meetings provides cost-effective enterprise solutions for virtual meetings. Host highly secure and scalable web meetings from the Cisco Webex cloud.
  • Cloudmersive Data Validation The validation APIs help you validate data. Check if an E-mail address is real. Check if a domain is real. Check up on an IP address, and even where it is located.
  • Cloudmersive Image Processing Image Recognition and Processing APIs let you use Machine Learning to recognize and process images, and also perform useful image modification operations.
  • D7SMS D7 SMS allows you to reach your customers via SMS over D7’s own connectivity to global mobile networks. D7 provides reliable and cost-effective SMS services to businesses across all industries and aims to connect all countries and territories via direct connections.
  • }exghts gen. Document & more – }exghts helps you automatically generate documents. Just scan an accepted ID Card or other document and the relevant information will be extracted and automatically inserted into your new document based on a previously configured template.
  • Egnyte – Egnyte is a content collaboration platform that keeps your files safe, synced, and easy to share. Connect to Egnyte to manage your files. You can perform various actions such as upload, move, download, and delete files in Egnyte.
  • emfluence Marketing Platform – The emfluence Marketing Platform is a marketing automation platform that allows customers the ability to create, deploy, and track multi-channel campaigns. This connector provides access to the emfluence Marketing Platform API.
  • EXPOCAD – EXPOCAD is a Professional Event Floor Plan Management Software Specifically Created for Show Organizers and Operations Teams to Manage Exhibitors and Exposition Space.
  • KnowledgeLake Integration with the KnowledgeLake Intelligent Content Automation Platform.
  • ObjectiveConnect Objective Connect is the trusted file sharing platform which allows organisation to share sensitive documents with external parties. Users can create private workspaces and invite participants in the Cloud in a matter of seconds.
  • Partner Center Events This connector allows Microsoft partners to register for specific resource change events related to Microsoft partner center referrals.
  • Partner Center Referrals – Partner center referrals connector will help Microsoft partners to get a bidirectional sync between their CRM instances and partner center referrals system.
  • Priority MatrixPriority Matrix creates a central source of truth to coordinate all the work your team needs to do. Prioritize all your work, share with your team and focus on the high-impact tasks first.
  • Rencore Governance Rencore Governance helps you to automate managing your Office 365 tenant.
  • Robolytix Robolytix is the key online analytic and monitoring tool for Robotic Process Automation using Sonar technology to evaluate, audit, monitor and improve performance of robots operating in any application, RPA platform or custom solution.
  • Short URL Create, update or delete Short URL (Short Links, Tiny URLs) using a custom domain with Click Analytics for any link using the Short URL connector.
  • Telephony Xtended Serv Interf Integrate with BluIP’s telephony system to take your call to the next level. Telephony Xtended Service Interface (XSI).
  • Witivio Witivio 365 and Microsoft Flow.

Find out more:

Built-in validation for custom connectors

The Power Automate team have announced they are optimizing custom connectors through enhanced validations. This means that all of the connectors you use will see fewer errors when they run, leading to a more consistent, and maintainable, experience.

Find out more:

Back to top

Power Virtual Agents

See how many billed sessions your bot consumes

The Power Virtual Agent team have launched a new capability inside of Power Virtual Agents analytics so you can see how many billed sessions your bot has consumed. This information will help you decide how many sessions you should purchase when upgrading to a paid license.

See how many billed sessions your bot consumes in the Analytics page.

Find out more:

Use Power Virtual Agents Connector to build Power Automate flows for your bot

A new Power Virtual Agents Connector – a special no-code, UI-based Power Automate Connector, designed to create flows for Power Virtual Agents is now available. The connector provides a UI interface for flow input and output parameters and eliminates the need to hand-craft JSON schema in Power Automate flows.

The new Power Virtual Agents Connector.

Find out more:

Access and edit your Power Automate flows from the Power Virtual Agents authoring canvas

Power Virtual Agents now allows you to access and update your Power Automate flows directly from the authoring canvas in one step, without having to open the Power Automate portal and navigating to the corresponding flow Solution manually.

Find out more:

Back to top

Power BI

Dataset management – incremental refresh is now generally available

Incremental refresh is now generally available and supported for Power BI Pro licensing, meaning it is no longer a Premium only feature!

Find out more:

Reporting – Hierarchical slicer (preview)

Hierarchy slicer is now available in preview. To enable this feature for your report, go to the Preview features section of the Options dialog and make sure Hierarchy slicer is checked.

Hierarchy slicer is now available in preview.

Find out more:

Updates to the new ribbon (preview)

There have been several improvements to the ribbon this month including:

  • Updates to the title bar – inclusion of the back, save, undo & redo buttons plus the sign-in feature.
  • New keytips functionality – You can now use keytips to navigate and select buttons in the ribbon and title bar. To activate keytips, press Alt + Windows Key.
  • Accessibility update – The title bar, ribbon, and file menu are now fully accessible. You can use Ctrl + F6 to navigate to the ribbon section.

Find out more:

Modeling – new DAX functions

The PowerBI team have announced two new DAX functions:

  • FirstNonBlankValue
  • LastNonBlankValue

These functions evaluate an expression filtered by the sorted values of a column and return the first or last value of the expression that is not blank.

Find out more:

Visualization updates

Funnel and pyramid chart by xViz – The xViz funnel and pyramid chart acts as a two-in-one visual. It functions in two different visualization modes: default and 3D mode. It is highly customizable with an extensive deck of properties for configuring every aspect of the visual

OEE Dashboard by 3AG Systems – Specifically designed for the manufacturing and mining industries, OEE Dashboard from 3AG Systems allows operations teams to display Overall Equipment Effectiveness and associated sub-components.

Organization chart by MAQ Software – The organization chart by MAQ Software is a powerful way to display hierarchical information and relationships between different entities. While visuals such as KPI grid by MAQ Software can represent numerical hierarchical information, the organization chart supports displaying images at each node

PI VIZpack by PQ Systems – PI VIZpack by PQ Systems is a collection of eight process improvement charts that provide an easy way to visualize and evaluate process behavior and performance.

Updates to Zebra BI tables and charts – Zebra BI has released a new version (version 4.0.2) of their tables visual. This updated version provides new features that will further enhance the flexibility of table-based and matrix-based reporting.

Find out more:

Template Apps

Microsoft 365 usage analytics – There is now a template application for Microsoft 365 usage analytics. This app helps you better understand how your organization is adopting the many services within Microsoft 365 through cross-product reports, showing usage information over the last 12 months.

NFL analytics by P3 – P3 partnered with professional football statisticians to show the power of Power BI in a fun, entertaining way.  This NFL analytics app is powered by approximately 1,500 hours of detailed film review blended with sophisticated calculations and visuals courtesy of Power BI.

Acterys for Quickbooks, Xero & WorkflowMax – The new Power BI Template App for QuickBooks, Xero and WorkflowMax provides you with a professional data model and fully editable Power BI dashboards and reports that integrate your accounting, SaaS data and other sources.

Find out more:

Data preparation

Non-admin support for query diagnostics

With the initial release of query diagnostics, some users of the Microsoft Store version were unable to run diagnostics if they didn’t have admin rights. With this release, you have the option to support non-admin tracing.

Find out more:

Data connectivity

MicroStrategy connector is now generally available – The Power BI team have announced that the MicroStrategy connector is now generally available. The MicroStrategy Dataset Connector for Power BI allows users to fetch data from reports or cubes that reside in MicroStrategy project and import them into Power BI Desktop.

FHIR connector is now generally available – Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR), now generally available, is the next generation standards framework for healthcare data. Microsoft offers a fully managed Azure API for FHIR service, which is a turn-key solution for storing, searching, and exchanging clinical information.

Factset connector – FactSet provides integrated software and data solutions for investment professionals. The FactSet Analytics connector for Power BI brings FactSet’s portfolio analytics, vault performance, and “Style, Performance, and Risk” reports into Power BI through the FactSet calculation engine APIs.

TIBCO connector – Overcome data bottlenecks to make data available throughout the organization with TIBCO. Our market-leading data virtualization capabilities enable you to combine multiple data sources into a single virtual data layer on-demand without copying or moving data.

Jamf Pro connector – Extend the reporting capabilities of Jamf Pro and capture it within your Power BI architecture to quickly share across your organization. Using the Jamf Pro instances API, we collect computer and mobile devices details, installed applications, extension attributes, and their group relationships.

Asana connector – Asana customers can now bring their Asana work data into Power BI with a simple copy and paste. With the Asana connector for Power BI, customers can build custom, actionable dashboards based on Asana inputs such as custom fields.

Find out more:

Back to top

Related

Microsoft Office app is available for Android and iOS

The new Office app is now generally available, it has all the capabilities of the existing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps and requires significantly less phone storage than installing all three apps.

Microsoft Office app is available for Android and iOS.

Find out more:

Microsoft 365 Live Events Assistance Program Public Preview is now available

Microsoft is launching a new support service for customers to help deliver live events using Teams, Stream or Yammer. In public preview, the new program provides assistance to help customers better understand functionality, and assist with the setup and delivery of live event broadcasts.

Microsoft 365 Live Events Assistance Program Public Preview is now available.

Find out more:

Reply to an Office comment from Outlook using actionable messages

With this update you will be able to save time and collaborate faster with comment and context previews in @mention and comment emails. This implies, when using Outlook, you’ll be able to reply to the comments without even needing to leave Outlook.

Reply to an Office comment from Outlook using actionable messages.

Find out more:

Coauthor Visio drawings

Visio for the web now allows collaborators to create, edit, and comment on drawings simultaneously. With live coauthoring and a simple presence indicator, teams can work seamlessly together to brainstorm and develop their ideas.

Coauthoring in Visio for web.

Find out more:

Improved text-to-speech recognition in Word

Creating content from voice has been improved thanks to a new dictation toolbar, suggestions experience, and auto-punctuation support. You can also now work in six new preview languages: Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, and Japanese.

Find out more:

“What’s New” management

You can now manage which features are shown or hidden from users in the “What’s New” Office desktop app. This content highlights a list of new features, accompanied by descriptions and guidance to help customers use the features.

Find out more:

Back to top

Resources

Finding the task properties pane in SharePoint 2013 workflows

(this post was written using a SharePoint online environment and SharePoint Designer 2013)

So here’s the scenario, there is a central list where users add items and once submitted a workflow runs that assigns tasks to separate task lists. No big deal right?

The scenario

Task actions in SharePoint 2013 workflows are a pretty standard thing, the example above just assigns tasks to different lists (think HR, IT, Pensions) for work to be completed. The additional requirement I had was for these tasks to not send any system generated assignment emails when the tasks are assigned.

Example of creating & assigning a task in a SharePoint 2013 workflow.

The problem

This one really had me pulling my hair, but in a nutshell there is no obvious way to turn on/ off the emails that are system generated at the point which a task is assigned.

When you double-click on a task, an “Assign a Task” window opens. Within this window there is an “Email options” drop down, but this only has the email editor for the task creation email and the ability to turn on/ off the task overdue email(s). It doesn’t have any settings for switching on/ off the initial emails themselves.

The Assign a Task window doesn’t contain the properties to switch off system generated emails.

The hidden task properties pane

So at this point I began thinking there is no way to do this and the design for this process is now fundamentally flawed…until I right-clicked!

If you right-click on the list within the assign task action (the ICT Task List Members bit underlined in the example below) a menu will appear. Normally this menu contains some simple options like moving an action up or down. However, with task actions there is an additional option called “properties”.

Hidden properties button within the “assign a task” action.

After clicking on the “Properties” button, you’ll find an additional “Assign a Task Properties” window which contains the following, hidden properties:

Hidden assign a task properties window.
  • PreserveIncompleteTasks: set to true if you want non-completed tasks to be deleted when the task process is complete.
  • WaiveAssignmentEmail: set to false if you want to have an email sent out to the assignee when a task is created
  • WaiveCancelationEmail: set to false if you want to have an email sent out to the assignee when a task is canceled.

By default, all of these properties that are set to “no” or “false”, so will send emails based on the above parameters. To change, just click on the drop down next to each option and update to “yes” or “true” and the emails will stop sending!

Microsoft 365 update for January 2020

In this month’s update:

SharePoint page version history, custom search pages, resize images, team site next steps panel,

Teamsread receipts, colleague joined team notifications, voice admin, Lenovo ThinkSmart, Poly CCX, Teams installed in semi-annual channel, safe links, cloud communications API, class insights, website tab for GCC & DOD, 3rd party apps in GCC

Power Appscenter of excellence starter kit, deprecation of regional discovery service, SAP ERP connector, test studio, Stream inside canvas apps

Power Automatesimplified AI Builder, UI Flows Jan 2020 update, adaptive cards actions, simplified number formatting, Flow cookbook

Power BIexport data from visual, table column/ matrix value custom URL, KPI visual formatting, conditional formatting for buttons, load more for analytics insights, DAX quarter function, data profiling, .pbids, modeling operations improvements

Relatedend of O365 video, O365 & Office.com updates, Win7 end of support

SharePoint

SharePoint page version history

This feature will allow page editors to access the version history by clicking into page details. There, they have the option to:

  • Highlight changes between the current and previous version
  • Delete older versions
  • Restore from older versions
View SharePoint page version history in modern SharePoint

Find out more:

back to top

This feature gives admins or site owners the ability to build a custom search results page. Custom search results pages can be built using  open-source search web parts from the SharePoint Patterns and Practices community or any custom web parts developed using the SharePoint Framework (SPFx).

Custom search results pages in SharePoint Online.

Find out more:

back to top

Resize images within the image web part

This is one I am particularly excited about. It really bugs me that you need some sort of Ouija board to work out what size images need to be when you are designing modern SharePoint sites.

However, you will soon be able to resize an image in the modern SharePoint experience. Images can be uploaded from SharePoint sites, their computer or an external web location.

You will soon be able to resize images from the image web part in SharePoint.

Find out more:

back to top

Next steps panel improvements for SharePoint team sites

SharePoint’s in-product help is being improved to make peoples first-run experience with SharePoint easier and actionable.

that appears at the top-right of your SharePoint team sites – to make people’s first-run experiences with SharePoint sites that much easier and actionable.

Find out more:

back to top

Teams

Read receipts in private chats

Read receipts in private chats allow senders to know when their message was read by the recipient. Read receipts are powerful, because they also allow the recipient to communicate implicitly that they are not ignoring the sender, they may just be busy and haven’t gotten a chance to read their message.

Read receipts in Microsoft Teams chats.

Find out more:

back to top

Colleague joined Team notification

You can now connect with new team members faster as you will receive a notification in the activity feed when a new colleague joins teams for the first time.

Find out more:

back to top

Voice administration in Teams admin center

Voice Administration has been added to the Teams Admin Center. If you have a Microsoft Calling Plan you will be able to search, acquire, and assign phone numbers to users. Admins will also be able to set the emergency addresses for those end-users.

Find out more:

back to top

Lenovo ThinkSmart View Joins Teams phones

Lenovo ThinkSmart View is a dedicated personal business communications device that allows users to manage their audio and video calls through a dedicated desktop device. It will now allow for conducting Microsoft Teams audio and video calls.

Find out more:

back to top

Poly CCX for Teams phones

The Poly CCS Series is a new range of native Teams phones to help users transform the way they communicate.

Find out more:

back to top

Teams installed as part of Office 365 ProPlus for customers on the semi-annual channel

The desktop Teams client will be downloaded by default for existing users with Office 365 ProPlus, Microsoft 365 Business, and Microsoft 365 Business Premium apps for customers on the semi-annual channel. With this change your users will no longer need to do a separate installation of Microsoft Teams.

Find out more:

back to top

Office 365 ATP Safe Links is now available in Teams to help protect you from accidental or malicious unsafe links by providing time-of-click verification of web addresses (URLs) in email messages and Office documents.

Office 365 ATP Safe Links is now available in Teams.

Find out more:

back to top

Cloud Communications APIs now available

Last month Microsoft announced that the MS Graph Cloud Communications APIs are now available, enabling calling and online meeting capabilities.

Find out more:

back to top

Class Insights in Teams for Education

Class insights is a new experience that allows educators to gain insight into student performance. By adding the new Class Insights tab

They can see average grades, on-time assignments, average return time, and conversation activity for their class over time.

Class Insights in Teams for Education.

back to top

Website Tab available in GCC High & DOD

Users in the GCC High and DOD tenants can now add a website tab in Teams. Leveraging this tab, users will have the ability to pin URLs as well as SharePoint links etc. for easy access to their content.

Find out more:

back to top

3rd Party Apps now in GCC

GCC customers can now use 3rd party apps in Microsoft Teams – check out the library to see if apps you already use are available to integrate. By default access to 3rd party apps is turned off.

Find out more:

back to top

Power Apps

Power Platform Center of Excellence starter kit update

Updates have been announced for the Center of Excellence (CoE) Starter Kit – a set of templates that are designed to help get started with developing a strategy for adopting and supporting the Power Platform, with a focus on Power Apps and Power Automate.

The starter kit is now split into three components: Core Components, Compliance (Audit and Report) Components and Nurture Components.

Microsoft PowerApps: Tried and tested techniques for establishing a Center of Excellence.

Find out more:

back to top

Deprecation of the regional Discovery Service

Microsoft have announced that all regional endpoints for the Discovery Service and the Discovery APIs in the Organization Service (SOAP endpoint) will be deprecated and shut down. They are replaced by a single global discovery service accessed through the existing ‘discovery’ OData V4 RESTful endpoint. 

Find out more:

back to top

SAP ERP connector (public preview)

A new SAP ERP connector for Power Apps and Power Automate is now in public preview. It allows you to connect your flows and apps to an SAP ERP system – either SAP ECC or SAP S/4HANA.

NOTE: The SAP ERP connector for Microsoft Flow and PowerApps requires the on-premise data gateway as well as the SAP .NET Connector 3.0 SDK from SAP.

Overview of the SAP ERP Connector.

Find out more:

back to top

Test Studio

Test Studio provides a way to add and manage test cases, organize them into test suites, and run them to validate that changes in the apps did not break the expected functionality described in the tests. Tests can also be run outside of the test studio in a web browser which allows you to build the automated tests into your app deployment processes.

Find out more:

back to top

Microsoft Stream videos/ channels in canvas apps

You can now showcase Microsoft Stream videos and channels, all inside canvas apps. Note, the Stream content is authenticated, so the users will need to have had the videos shared before being able to view them inside the canvas app.

Microsoft Stream videos inside canvas apps.

Find out more:

back to top

Power Automate

Simplified AI Builder in Power Automate

Released in January, AI Builder introduced a new and simplified way to use AI Models in Power Automate. It is now easier to provide your data to the AI Model, and to use the output without the need to manually transform data.

Form processing example with AI Builder.

Find out more:

back to top

UI Flows January 2020 update now available

The January 2020 update for Power Automate UI flows (preview) is now available. This is the 2nd monthly update focusing on reliability improvements that addresses feedback from the preview.

Find out more:

Adaptive cards actions update

The second iteration of Adaptive Cards actions was introduced last month, which enables you to post adaptive cards as forms, and also to wait for a response which you can use dynamically in subsequent actions. 

Next generation Adaptive Cards for Power Automate.

Find out more:

back to top

Simplified number formatting

The format number action enables you to perform a variety of number formatting options painlessly, and by leveraging number formatting patterns which exist across Power Platform services.

Simplified number formatting in Power Automate.

Find out more:

back to top

New Power Automate Cookbook!

There is a new gallery available in the Power Automate Community where you can download flows that other people have built. Similar to the Power Apps App Gallery, the Power Automate Cookbook allows you to upload a .zip file of your flow, with screenshots and extra information.

Find out more:

back to top

Power BI

Export data from a visual

The Power BI team announced last month that you will be able to export data from a visual the same way you can do it today in the Power BI service. To export the data, just like in Power BI, select More options (…) from the upper right corner of the visualization and then choose Export data.

Exporting data from a visual in Power BI.

Find out more:

back to top

Setting a table column or matrix value as a custom URL

A new conditional formatting option that allows you set a table’s column or matrix’s value as a custom URL. You’ll find this new option under the conditional formatting card in the formatting pane.

Setting a table column or matrix value as a custom URL.

Find out more:

back to top

KPI visual formatting settings

Several new formatting options have been released for the KPI visual including

  • Indicator text formatting (font family, color, and alignment)
  • Trend axis transparency
  • Goal and distance text formatting (label text, font family, color, and size)
  • Distance text formatting (label text, positive direction, font family, color, and size)
  • Adding a date label with formatting (font family, color, and size)

Find out more:

back to top

Conditional formatting for buttons

You can now dynamically set formatting for the following button properties:

  • Button text font color
  • Button text
  • Icon line color
  • Outline color
  • Fill Color
  • Button tooltip (under the action card)

Find out more:

back to top

Load more for analytics insights

When running the Analyze feature to find insights in your data, such as Explain the increase, we only run the ML models for a period of time to show you insights in a timely manner.

Load more for analytics insights.

Find out more:

back to top

New DAX function: Quarter

There is a new DAX function: Quarter. The Quarter function returns the quarter corresponding to a specified date.

Find out more:

back to top

Data profiling enhancements

Some significant enhancements to the data profiling capabilities in the power query editor, such as:

  • Multiple grouping options for the column profile pane value distriction visual
  • Filtering options within callouts for each distribution chart value

Find out more:

back to top

.pbids file format

Microsoft are releasing a new file format: PBIDS, to streamline the “Get Data” experience for report creators in your organization.

Find out more:

back to top

Performance improvements for modeling operations

Performance improvements have been made to the Analysis Services engine to speed up modeling operations such as adding measures or calculated columns and creating relationships.

Find out more:

back to top

Related

Office 365 Video retirement

O365 video is being retired with the iOS video app retiring on April 1 2020 for customers in all regions, then the web portal for all regions (except Government Community Cloud, & national cloud regions Germany & China) will be retired on March 1, 2021.

Microsoft confirm that most regions can migrate O365 video to Stream using the administration tool, find out which regions can migrate below.

Find out more:

back to top

Office 365 app launcher and Office.com updates

Currently, when people go into the Office 365 app launcher, pinned apps can be managed on an individual basis. However, these apps will not necessarily be the same from Office.com. This change unifies this, meaning users will see the same set of apps through both the app launcher and Office.com.

Find out more:

back to top

Windows 7 End of Support and Office 365 ProPlus

Windows 7 is now out of support as of January 14, 2020. Because Office 365 is governed by the Modern Lifecycle Policy, customers are required to stay current as per the servicing and system requirements for the product or service. This includes using Office 365 ProPlus on a Windows operating system that is currently in support.

Using Office 365 ProPlus on older, unsupported operating systems may cause performance and reliability issues over time. If your organization is using Office 365 ProPlus on devices running Windows 7, it’s recommend your organization move those devices to Windows 10.

Find out more:

back to top

Resources

How to set the default value of a lookup field

(this post was written using a SharePoint 2010 environment)

If you are using lookup columns in your SharePoint environment, one thing you may want to do is set the column that appears first, or is the default value in the lookup list when a document is uploaded into a library.

Now this solution is not a no code solution, but it requires very little code and is really straight forward to read and understand…

Step one – prerequisites

My setup to achieve this contained the following:

  • A custom list with each lookup value as a seperate list item (name stored in Title column)
  • A document library with a lookup column looking at the title in the custom list

Step two – configure the edit form

  • Open the list which is using the lookup column, make a note of the display name of the column

NOTE
This caught me out while configuring, I naturally took the field name of the column from the URL string as opposed to the column name displayed in the edit form, make sure you use the latter as the field name won’t work.

  • Navigate to the lookup list where the lookup column is pointed to
  • Open the item in this list that you wish to be the default value
  • Open an item in a new window, in the address bar look for ID= and make a note of the number value as this is used for later
  • Navigate to the libraries edit form (just add /Forms/EditForm.aspx after the name of your list or library)
  • Press Site Actions > Edit Page
  • Add a web part > add a content editor web part to the page
  • Click inside the content editor web part > Under Editing Tools > Format Text press the HTML, Edit HTML Source button

Step three – add the code

  • In the HTML Source window, paste in the following:
<script src="https://code.jquery.com/jquery-1.11.0.min.js"> </script>

<script type="text/javascript">

$(document).ready(function() {

$("select[Title='lookup']").val('1');

});

</script>
  • You will need to change the [Title=’lookup’] to be the name of the lookup column as described earlier
  • You will also need to edit the number after .val to be the ID number of the lookup list item we made a note of earlier
  • Under the Page Tab > Press Stop Editing, make sure to save your changes

Test your changes!

Now when you upload a new document, your lookup column will default to the value we have specified!



How to group by date chronologically for library views

(this post was written using a SharePoint 2010 environment)

So here’s the scenario, we have a document library that contains agendas, minutes, reports and other files related to meetings. The document library has a custom column called ‘Meeting Date’, a date column that is mandatory for all files that are uploaded.

We are required to create a view that is grouped by meeting date, sorted chronologically. Let’s give it a go!

Step one – prerequisites

My setup to achieve this was as follows:

  • A document library
  • An additional date column ‘Meeting Date’

Step two – configure the library

  • Navigate to the document library
  • Create a new calculated column called ‘Month of Meeting’
  • In the Formula section, add the following:
=IF([Meeting Date]="","Empty",("0"&MONTH([Meeting Date])&"/"&RIGHT(YEAR([Meeting Date]),4)))

NOTE
This formula basically states that if Meeting Date is blank, show Empty, if the meeting date has a value format it as MONTH (0 in front of the month number) / YEAR (yyyy).

  • Make sure the data type returned is ‘single line of text’
  • Press OK

Test your changes!

Now we have created a calculated column, we can test our changes by adding the column to a view and checking the Month of Meeting column has values.

Step two – create the view

Now we have verified our formula is working, we can start building out our view based on the requirements.

  • Navigate to the document library
  • Under Library Tools > Library > Create View
  • Scroll down to Group By, then group by Month of Meeting in ascending order
  • Press OK

NOTE
In the Group By section, you can set whether the groups are open or closed by default by choosing either collapsed (closed), or expanded (open).

You can also change the default number of groups to display from 30, but beware of slower page loading if you set it too high.

Now our view is configured we can take a look at it in all its chronological glory!

If you want to find out more about using group views, take a look at another post I wrote on ways around the 10 item limit in choice columns.