Microsoft 365 monthly update – October 2020

In this month’s update we take an in-depth look at all the recently released features for all the products within Microsoft 365.

SharePointSharePoint Syntex, organization chart web part, admin controls for Lists, Lists – commenting

Teams Tasks in Teams, New file sharing experience, live captions, spotlight, prevent unmuting, advanced production for meetings, read-only Whiteboard, recordings in SharePoint, download participant report, incoming IP video policy, appear offline, language-aware proofing, Teams templates, SharePoint pages app, global notification settings, Off-shift access controls

Teams (Education) Anonymous grading & marking, view all class assignments

Teams (Government)Priority,notifications, read receipts, file viewer upgrades, together mode, large gallery view, meeting notes improvements

Power AppsOffline apps, custom API preview, portals ID provider GA, relevance search API, app usage analytics in ISV studio

Power Automate Desktop update, RPA playbook for SAP, AI Builder capabilities GA, nine new connectors, action analytics, DLP capabilities GA

Power BICertified & promoted reports, Azure Databricks connector, report server feature summary, enhanced compute engine, publish to web, ‘new look’ Power BI service, personalize visuals GA, October 2020 desktop feature summary, on-premises data gateway

RelatedOneDrive widget for iPhone, Productivity score, Forms from the Office mobile app

SharePoint

SharePoint Syntex

Now rolling out worldwide, SharePoint Syntex amplifies human expertise, automates content processing, and transforms content into knowledge. Syntex mainstreams machine teaching, enabling your experts to capture their knowledge about content in AI models they can build with no code.

SharePoint Syntex.

Find out more:

Organization Chart web part

This web part allows page authors to generate an organization chart based off of a specific individual – just by typing their name. The page author will have the option to determine how many levels up this org chart goes, and as you navigate, you’ll see who reports to who.

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Organization Chart web part.

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Control settings for Microsoft Lists

Some new PowerShell based admin capabilities are being added to Microsoft Lists, including:

  • Control the creation of personal lists – a disable control, and;
  • Manage the built-in, ready-made templates – so that only the ones you wish to be available to your people will appear
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Control settings for Microsoft Lists.

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Microsoft Lists – commenting

You will soon be able to add and delete comments on list items. Users can view all comments on a list item and filter between views that show comments or activity related to an item.

Information on how and where comments are stored:

  • Comments follow the permission settings inherent in SharePoint and Microsoft Lists
  • Users with read-only permission can only view comments. Those with list edit permission can make comments as well as delete comments; editing comments is currently not possible
  • Comments are stored in the schema for each list, which is based on the SharePoint storage platform
  • If you are using a classic list template, it will not have this commenting feature
  • Commenting on lists in Teams is not yet available; currently leverage Teams chat for lists in Teams
  • Comments are not indexed by Microsoft Search
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Add and delete comments on list items in Microsoft Lists.

Find out more:


Teams

Tasks in Teams

Tasks in Microsoft Teams lets you manage your team tasks from Planner and individual tasks from To Do in your hub for teamwork. Tasks in Teams is now generally available for all non-government tenants.

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Tasks in Microsoft Teams.

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New file sharing experience in Teams

You can now create a shareable link for any file stored in Teams and directly set the appropriate permissions. Additionally, you can also set permissions for files stored in SharePoint or OneDrive while composing a private chat or starting a channel conversation.

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New file sharing experience in Teams.

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Live Captions with speaker attribution

Microsoft Teams added speaker attribution to live captions so that you can see who is speaking along with what’s being said, making meetings more inclusive and easier to follow along.

Live Captions with speaker attribution in Teams.

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Spotlight an individual video

Presenters can now pin an individual video feed for all attendees to see during a Teams meeting. Once pinned, the individual identified as the spotlight will be the main video shown to all participants.

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Spotlight an individual video participant for all attendees in a Teams meeting.

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Prevent attendees from unmuting

Meeting organizers and presenters can now prevent attendees from unmuting during the meeting and enable specific attendees to unmute when they raise their hands.

Prevent Unmute.png

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Advanced Production for Teams Meetings

Transform your Teams Meeting into a virtual stage with a new advanced production option for broadcasts. Network Device Interface (NDI) support for Teams allows event producers to convert each participant’s video into a discrete video source that can be used in the video streaming production tool of your choice.

This functionality enables you to use Teams meetings in new ways, including bringing speakers into Together Mode or customized views, to deliver professional broadcasts to the end point of your choice and reach audiences wherever they are.

Find out more:

Microsoft Whiteboard read-only mode

Microsoft Whiteboard read-only mode is available in Teams allowing for more flexibility for you to either present the digital whiteboard in read-only mode, or to allow others to edit and collaborate when given access.

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Microsoft Whiteboard read-only mode is available in Teams.

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Meeting & Calling recordings stored in OneDrive and SharePoint

Teams meeting and call recordings can now be stored in your OneDrive for Business or in SharePoint, providing the ability to share recordings with guests or external users, access meeting recordings faster, and manage recordings with security and compliance controls available to other file types in Microsoft 365.

Teams Admins can select their recording storage location by updating policies using PowerShell.

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Teams meeting and call recordings can now be stored in your OneDrive for Business or in SharePoint.

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Enhancements for downloading participant reports in Teams meetings

Now you can easily download a participant report after the meeting within the meeting chat. Microsoft have also added new data into the report that allows you to better manage your attendance.

image shows download attendance list icon in Microsoft Teams Meeting

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Changes in Incoming IP Video policy (New Audio and Video Policies)

Microsoft have extended the Allow IP Video policy to prevent both outgoing and incoming video as needed. Tenant administrators can use this policy to manage bandwidth.  Current policy can only be set to prevent outgoing video.

Find out more:

Appear Offline status

You can now change your presence to “Appear Offline”. This allows you to have full access to Teams while signalling to colleagues that you are unavailable.

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Appear offline status in Teams.

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Language-aware proofing

If you write different messages in different languages, you now see spellchecking relevant to the language you use when typing a message in the Teams desktop app.

Find out more:

Teams templates

When creating a new team, you can now choose from a variety of customizable templates including event management, crisis response, as well as industry-specific templates like hospital ward and bank branch. 

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Templates in Teams.

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Updated SharePoint pages app in Teams

The updated SharePoint pages app in Teams lets you add published SharePoint pages or lists as a tab in a Teams channel. SharePoint pages let you share ideas using images, video, links, and documents.

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Updated SharePoint Pages app in Microsoft Teams.

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Simplified global notification settings

You can now change your notification settings through an updated notification settings section. To access, go to your profile picture > Settings > Notifications.

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New and simplified global notification settings in Teams.

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Off-shift access controls

Off-shift access controls allows IT admins the ability to configure Teams to alert you when you are accessing the app on your personal device outside of working hours.

The feature does not require active usage of the Shifts app, but it does require Shifts being configured and schedule data being inside the app; either added natively with Excel import or including workforce management API connectors.

Off shift access picture sub.JPG

Find out more:

Teams (Education)

Anonymous grading and marking in Assignments

Anonymous grading, when enabled in the assignment detail view removes students’ names and avatars are temporarily removed, presenting a random list of students. This allows you as an educator to review work with identities hidden, no shuffling of paper involved.

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Anonymous grading and marking in Assignments.

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View assignments across all classes

Now both educators and students can once again view upcoming and turned in assignments by class or view them across all classes. Just visit Assignments in your app bar on the left-hand side of Teams to view assignments across all classes.

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View assignments across all classes in Teams for Education.

Find out more:

Teams (Government)

These features currently rolling out to customers in US Government Community Cloud (GCC), US Government Community Cloud High (GCC-High), and/or United States Department of Defense (DoD).

Priority notifications (GCC, GCC High, and DoD)

Priority notifications alert a recipient of an urgent message on their mobile and desktop devices until a response is received, every two minutes for up to 20 minutes. IT admins can manage this feature as part of messaging policies in Teams.

Find out more:

Read receipts (GCC, GCC High and DoD)

Read receipts in private chats allow senders to know that a message was read by the recipients. IT admins can configure messaging policies from the Microsoft Teams admin center to enable or disable this feature for users.

Find out more:

File viewer upgrades (GCC, GCC High and DoD)

Teams file viewer is being upgraded for Gov clouds from legacy to OneUp for non-Office file types and to unified app for Office file types (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.

Find out more:

Together mode (GCC)

Together mode, now available in GCC, uses AI segmentation technology in meetings to digitally place participants in a shared background, making it feel like you’re sitting in the same room with everyone else.

Find out more:

Now available in GCC, Large Gallery view provides a new way to view video up to 49 participants at once on a single screen (7×7).

Find out more:

Improvements to meeting notes (GCC, GCC High, and DoD)

Meeting notes now support 100 users by default. Also, if anyone joins your meeting past after it is scheduled and, doesn’t have access to notes, they can now request access from the note’s owner in one click.

Find out more:


Power Apps

Mobile Offline for Power Apps

Makers and administrators can now configure apps to be available offline on a user’s device, and users can continue to complete their tasks against the local cache on their phone even with intermittent or no network connectivity. When the network is re-established, the users’ changes are seamlessly synchronized back to the cloud.

Mobile Offline for Power Apps.

Find out more:

Custom API (preview)

Custom API is a new code-first approach that extends the concept of Custom Actions to provide capabilities that will make life easier for developers.

With Custom API, there is no workflow and some of the limitations of Custom Actions can be avoided providing new capabilities for developers. Instead, Custom APIs require that the developer create a plug-in which will provide the main operation for the message.

Find out more:

Power Apps portals simplified identity provider configuration

Now generally available, Microsoft 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 to do this quickly and reduce common configuration errors. 

Simplified identity provider configuration in PowerApps portals.

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Relevance Search API, now available for Common Data Service (CDS) environments provides access to exciting new search capabilities in environments with Relevance Search enabled. Three types of search experiences can be powered by the API, including; search results page, Suggestions-as-you-type and autocomplete.

Suggestions
Suggestions using Relevance Search API.

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App usage analytics in ISV Studio

Now in public preview, app usage analytics now allows ISV to monitor your published applications. With the release of this feature, in addition to seeing the total number of installations a user will now be able to see the Monthly, Weekly and Daily active usage of their app.

App usage analytics in ISV Studio

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Power Automate

Power Automate Desktop update – October 2020

The Power Automate Desktop October 2020 update is out now and includes several new productivity enhancements.

Error notifications are available in the console
Error notifications are available in the console.

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RPA Playbook for SAP GUI Automation with Power Automate

The Power Automate team have released the first enterprise automation playbook for Microsoft Power Automate – SAP GUI Automation.

The playbook show you how to apply simple to advanced, no-code to pro-code SAP automation techniques, leveraging Power Automate, UI flows and the recently announced public preview of Power Automate Desktop.

Basic SAP automation use case
Sample Use Case API & RPA based flows.

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New AI Builder capabilities generally available

Microsoft have announced several AI Builder preview model types are now generally available. These include: explicitly tag fields in form processing, text translation, predict a number, realtime prediction, receipt processing (preview) plus many more.

Explicitly tag fields in form processing.

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Nine new connectors in Power Automate

Nine brand new connectors were released for Power Automate through September 2020, taking the total number of connectors to 400! Here’s what was released:

  • Azure AD Identity Protection – Azure AD Identity Protection is a tool that allows organizations to discover, investigate, and remediate identity-based risks in their environment.
  • CDK Drive Customer – CDK Drive Customer is an API published by CDK Global to help you manage your CDK Drive Dealer Management System (DMS) customer records.
  • CDK Drive Service Vehicles – This connector will help you maintain vehicle details on the service vehicle record and keep it up to date.
  • Cloudmersive Video and Media – Cloudmersive Video and Media Service was created to enable customers to effortlessly convert videos, audio files, and media between different file formats at scale and on-demand. 
  • GetAccept – The GetAccept sales enablement platform can help sales teams close more deals faster with AI powered dealscore and sales coaching, coupled with sales automation and e-signing. 
  • IN-D Payables – IN-D Payables is an AI-based invoice processing bot that can smartly extract things that matter most, like PO number, invoice number, and more, from millions of invoices in no time. 
  • Microsoft 365 compliance – Microsoft 365 compliance solutions help you discover, protect, and govern your data, address regulations and standards, and mitigate insider risks. 
  • MotaWord Translations – MotaWord enables professional translation of your documents into 95+ languages with blazing speed. It’s a pioneer of collaborative translation and works with 18000+ professional translators to empower your business in the international stage.
  • Nitro – Nitro Sign is an eSigning tool that allows you to get your documents electronically signed faster and more securely.

Find out more:

Action analytics in Power Automate

Action analytics is an update to flow analytics that will make it easier for users to understand how many actions your flow is executing every day.

For flows with a lot of daily activity this feature helps users understand how many actions are running each day.

Introducing action analytics in Power Automate.

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Data Loss Prevention capabilities now generally available

A range of new Power Platform Data Loss Prevention (DLP) policy capabilities are now generally available, including; a new enhanced user interface in the Power Platform 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.

Find out more:


Power BI

Certified and Promoted reports and apps

With the rise of the need for standardized, authoritative data across organisations, the Power BI team recently released endorsements for datasets and dataflows. This has now been extended to provide similar endorsement capabilities for reports and apps.

Certified and Promoted reports and apps in Power BI.

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Power BI Connector to Azure Databricks Public Preview

In September, the Power BI team announced the availability of an enhanced Connector to Azure Databricks in Power BI Desktop in public preview. Now the Azure Databricks connector has also been deployed to the Power BI service.

Azure Databricks is an Apache Spark-based analytics platform optimized for the Microsoft Azure cloud services platform. It can consume data at cloud scale from multiple data sources such as Azure Blob Storage, Azure Data Lake Storage, and Azure Cosmos DB. And thanks to the enhanced Azure Databricks connector, you can now deliver breakthrough insights at cloud scale in a self-service fashion in Power BI.

Power BI Connector to Azure Databricks Public Preview.

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Power BI Report Server October 2020 Feature Summary

With October’s Power BI report server feature summary, several new features have been released including the modern ribbon, slicer improvements, enhanced dataset metadata and more.

Modern ribbon in Power BI Desktop.

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Enhanced compute engine now enabled by default

To improve the scale of dataflow analysis in Power BI, Microsoft are turning on the enhanced compute engine for all new dataflows by default in all new capacities provisioned. This premium dataflow feature allows you to:

  • Speed up refresh operations when computed entities or linked entities are involved
  • Enable DQ connectivity over dataflows leveraging the compute engine
  • Achieve improved performance in the transformation steps of dataflows when entities are cached within the compute engine

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Power BI Publish to web updates

The Power BI team have announced several updates to the Power BI publish to web functionality including improved web dialog experiences, ability to add a placeholder image, a new data refresh experience plus many more.

New publish to web dialog and experiences.

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The ‘new look’ of the Power BI service begins rolling out soon

All the improvements of the ‘new look’, from navigation updates to the simplified action bar for reports and dashboards, begins rolling out next week and will be generally available to all tenants and users by early November.

new simplified report action bar in the Power BI service
The ‘new look’ of the Power BI service begins rolling out soon.

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Personalize Visuals general availability

Personalize visuals are now generally available, this new feature can can empower your end-users to explore and personalize visuals all within the consumption view of a report. For example, your end-user can change a measure, a dimension, or the visualization itself.

Personalize Visuals in Power BI.

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Power BI October 2020 Feature Summary

Several updates are included in this months Power BI feature summary including new visuals, the introduction of canvas watermarks, new icons plus much more.

Power BI October 2020 Feature Summary.

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On-premises data gateway October 2020 update is now available

The October update for the On-premises data gateway (version 3000.63.6) is now available. Updates include OAuth Support for the gateway, Google BigQuery Connector on Gateway, Performance Monitoring On By Default plus many more.

Google BigQuery Connector on Gateway.

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Related

OneDrive widget for iPhone

ow, when you run iOS14 on your device, you can add a OneDrive widget to your iPhone home screen. The widget displays your photo memories “on this day” across previous years. 

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OneDrive widget on iOS14.

Find out more:

Productivity Score

Microsoft Productivity Score can help measure and improve how your organisation uses Microsoft 365 by giving you visibility into how your organization works, insights to identify where you can make improvements, and actions you can take to update skills and systems so that everyone can do their best work.

Screenshot of Teamwork Productivity Score
Microsoft Productivity Score.

Find out more:

Create Forms from the Office mobile app

You can now easily create, share, and analyze your forms, alongside your other Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files, all from the Office mobile app.

Forms creators can easily create and send out a form, and from the “Home” page of the app, quickly check to see the number of respondents and insights from the information collected. 

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Create forms easily on-the-go in the Office mobile app.

Find out more:


Microsoft 365 update – September 2020

In this month’s update we take an in-depth look at all the recently released features for all the products within Microsoft 365.

SharePointGhosting drag & drop web parts, expiring guest access, Power BI results in search

Teams Performance updates, large gallery view, new meeting pre-join experience, reverse number lookup, Teams phones updates, Teams Rooms updates, reflect extension, Lists in Teams, Whiteboard updates, Walkie Talkie, Teams – RealWear, custom praise badges, share share from chat policy

Teams (Education) “Only Me” admin policy, SEL stickers, presenter mode in Whiteboard, Focus mode, Assignments grading history, SMART learning suite,

Teams (GCC, GCC-High, DoD)Instant channel meetings GCC, custom apps & sideloading GCC, DLP for Teams in Gov Clouds

OneDrive New widget for iOS, updates to comment notifications, mute comment notifications, Surface Duo app

Power Apps Power BI as system dashboard, GitHub actions (preview), Power Platform in Teams, new solution import experience & environment variables

Power Automate 9 new connectors, Power Automate Desktop, UI Flows August update, connection references

Power BIOn-prem data gateway Sept 20 update, new experiences for Teams, feature summary, deployment pipelines, smart narrative, Power BI HoloLens 2, ‘new look’ updates, Power Automate actions, paginated reports updates

Power Virtual AgentsPVA in Teams, health information compliant bots

Project Cortex SharePoint Syntex

SharePoint

“Ghosting” drag & drop effect for web parts

When you are in page edit mode and you choose to move a web part from one portion of the page to another, you’ll now see a ghosting effect of the web part you grabbed, as a reminder of what you’re moving.

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New ghosting effect when dragging & dropping web parts in modern SharePoint pages.

Find out more:

Manage default policy duration for expiring guest access

Rolling out now, admins will be able to create policies to revoke guest access to SharePoint sites and individual OneDrive’s after a defined period of time. Site admins will also receive notifications via email of upcoming guest user access expirations.

NOTE: this policy does not apply to guests who already have access to sites, documents, and files before this setting is applied. After a guest loses access to a site, any user with the ability to share content externally can re-invite the guest to each document or item as needed.

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Expiring guest access for SharePoint and OneDrive.

Find out more:

Power BI results in Microsoft Search

Microsoft Search in SharePoint and Office.com will now include results from Power BI. This means search results will show Power BI reports, dashboards, and workspaces, which can be important content to be discovered.

NOTE: Microsoft Search administrators can disable this feature in Microsoft Search settings through the Microsoft 365 admin center.

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Power BI results in Microsoft Search.

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Teams

Updates to Teams performance

Microsoft have increased their efforts to improve the performance of Teams to allow it to continue to scale across devices and differing levels of internet connectivity. Here’s a summary of the updates:

  • Offline support in desktop
  • Improved desktop launch time
  • Video rendering optimizations in desktop
  • Battery life optimizations in iOS
  • Low bandwidth optimizations for Android

Find out more:

This feature was rolled out as part of the new multi-window experience. In order to take advantage of this new view, users will need to turn on the new multi-window meeting experience.

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Large gallery view in Teams is now available in the new multi-window experience.

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New Teams meeting pre-join experience

Microsoft have improved the pre-join meeting experience for Teams meetings including easier discovery of audio, video, and device configurations before joining a meeting.

Find out more:

Reverse Number Lookup Enhancements

As part of the latest enhancements to reverse number lookup in Teams, the caller name will also show up in your activity feed, call history, and voicemail.

Find out more:

New features for Microsoft Teams phones

Microsoft have announced a series of new feature updates to Microsoft Teams phones that are available now in version 1449/1.0.94.2020071702:

  • Redesigned Home Screen: A new, simple view providing up-to-date information about your calling and meeting activity, reminders of your current and upcoming meetings, and access to quick actions like replying to missed calls and listening to voicemail.
  • Customize Quick Access to Apps: Set the default views for your phone by pinning and re-ordering your apps suited to your needs.
  • Auto accept incoming meeting and call requests: Teams phones can now be provisioned to automatically accept incoming meetings nudges and calls, allowing instant, hands free connection to incoming join requests.
  • Dedicated Teams button: new and upcoming Teams phones will have a dedicated Teams button to quickly launch Teams app on the device home screen.

Find out more:

Teams Rooms updates

Updates for both the Windows and Android versions of the Teams Rooms app, including:

Microsoft Teams Rooms on Windows, app version 4.6.20.0 now available

  • Live captions: Meeting participants joining from a Teams Room can now view live captions turned in a Teams meeting. In-room participants can also turn live captions on or off from the center of room console. Captions will appear at the bottom of the meeting experience shown on the front of room display.
  • 3×3 gallery view: Meeting participants can now view up to nine participants in the meeting gallery view, shown on the front of room display.
  • Direct Guest Join with Zoom Rooms (Preview): Teams Rooms and Zoom Room devices can now connect to each other’s meeting services via embedded web technologies. This will reduce the friction you experience when trying to join calls from external partners or clients who may not be using the same meeting service.

Microsoft Teams Rooms on Android, app version 1.0.94.2020062501 now available

  • Pin video: Now you can pin the video stream of a meeting participant from the Teams Rooms device, keeping the pinned user’s video visible in the gallery. This “pinned view” is only applied to the gallery view in the meeting room and not to other meeting participant’s views.
  • Support for structured meeting role and roster controls: Allows meeting organizers to assign meeting roles (presenter and attendee) from the Teams Rooms experience, enabling participants to take specific actions associated with those roles (e.g. mute participants, present content, etc.)

Find out more:

Reflect messaging extension

Managers, leaders or teachers now have an easy way to check in with how their team or students are feeling — either in general, or about a specific topic like work-life balance, the status of a project, current events, or a change within the organization.

IT or Teams admins can install the Reflect extension from GitHub and make it available to their users in the message extension menu.

Reflect messaging extension for Microsoft Teams.

Find out more:

Microsoft Lists in Teams

Last month Microsoft announced the general availability of Microsoft Lists. Now, Lists can be created directly in Teams as a channel tab.

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Microsoft Lists in Teams.

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Microsoft Whiteboard improvements

Microsoft Whiteboard is integrated within every Teams meeting, enabling meeting participants to join in. Recent updates include the ability to add sticky notes and text to a canvas, making it easier to contribute if you’re using a device without a digital pen, and added the ability to move and re-order objects on the canvas through a simple drag and drop gesture.

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Improvements to Microsoft Whiteboard.

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Walkie Talkie for Android

Walkie Talkie is a push-to-talk experience that enables instant and secure voice communication over the cloud, turning your personal- or company-owned Android smartphones and tablets into a walkie-talkie. It reduces the number of devices you need to have while providing clear communication free of radio interference, static and no distance limitations in range. 

walkietalkieandroid1.gif

Find out more:

Teams and RealWear integration

Integrations between Teams and RealWear allow field workers to remain 100% hands-free using a voice-controlled user interface while maintaining situational awareness in loud and hazardous environments.

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Teams – RealWear integration.

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Customizable Praise Badges

You can now can create customized Praise badges to express their culture and values when recognizing successes and fostering comradery. Praise badges can help improve workplace culture and job satisfaction, from corporate headquarters to Firstline Workers. 

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Create a custom praise badge in the Teams admin center.

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Screen share from chat policy governance

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

This will now be governed by the ScreenSharingMode policy.

Find out more:

Teams (Education)

“Only Me” Admin Policy for all Organizer Meeting Options

IT Admins can apply a policy that defaults “Only Me” to allow only educators (or the meeting organizer) to enter the meeting and keep students in the lobby until the educator admits them. 

Find out more:

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) connections in the digital classroom

Now with Social and Emotional Learning badges in Praise and new SEL sticker pack for OneNote, educators can encourage the development of these critical life skills while in a remote or hybrid learning environment. 

NOTE: The SEL sticker pack for OneNote is available now, SEL badges in Praise coming soon.

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Social and Emotional Learning badges in Praise and the new SEL sticker pack for OneNote.

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“Presenter” mode in Whiteboard

Educators now have the option to choose a presenter mode in Microsoft Whiteboard in Teams. This allows for more flexibility to either present the digital whiteboard with Read-Only access for students, or to allow (or adjust) student access when it’s time to have the whole class collaborate.

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“Presenter” mode in Microsoft Whiteboard.

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Focus mode

Now students will be able to hone-in on the materials being presented in their online class. When a teacher is sharing their screen, students can choose “Focus Mode” from the “…” menu so that only the content shows without any distracting videos.

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Assignments Grading History

See all of the submission and return history of Assignments in Teams, all in one place. Easily track Assignments over time.

Full view of Grades tab
View Assignment Grade History in Teams.

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SMART Learning Suite

The SMART Learning Suite app gives teachers the power to create, edit, deliver, manage and share interactive lessons directly within Microsoft Teams, enhancing instruction from the platform and workflows they already use.

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SMART learning suite in Microsoft Teams.

Find out more:

Teams (GCC, GCC-High & DoD)

New experience for launching instant channel meetings for GCC

Meet Now buttons in Teams channels have a new home. You will soon find them in the Channel header where you can easily find and launch the meeting.

Find out more:

Custom Apps and Sideloading in GCC

Sideloading and custom (line-of-business) apps are now available in GCC. GCC tenant administrators can decide whether to upload a custom app to their tenant environment and publish it to their tenant app catalog.

Find out more:

Teams Data loss prevention for Government Clouds

Data loss prevention (DLP) capabilities in Microsoft 365 government clouds will be extended to include Microsoft Teams chat and channel messages, including private channel messages.

If your organization has DLP, you can now define policies that prevent people from sharing sensitive information in a Microsoft Teams channel or chat session.

Find out more:


OneDrive

New OneDrive widget & home screen for iOS

A new home screen for the OneDrive iOS launched this month. The new home experience will help you quickly pick up where you left off on recent and offline files and easily re-discover memories from the past.

OneDrive widget & home screen for iOS.

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Comment notification updates

Users who create or upload Word, Excel, PowerPoint or any other type of file to OneDrive or SharePoint will now get email notifications whenever someone else leaves a comment on their file.

Find out more:

Mute comment notifications

Microsoft are enabling users to be able to turn off comment notifications for individual files in the details pane. This feature is also incorporated in sharing emails as an actionable message action.

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Mute comment notifications in OneDrive.

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OneDrive app for Surface Duo

With the Surface Duo now generally available the OneDrive app is now also available for the device. Surface Duo and OneDrive enhances multitasking with drag-and-drop functionality as well as the built-in PDF editor for book-like reading and mark-up experience.

Drag and drop.gif
OneDrive app for Surface Duo.

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Power Apps

Power BI embedded as system dashboard in model-driven apps (preview)

Power BI embedded as a system dashboard in the Power Apps model-driven app is now in public preview. This enables adding a reference to an online Power BI report or dashboard as a system dashboard. 

Power BI embedded as system dashboard in model-driven apps.

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Power Platform GitHub actions now in preview

Now in public preview, GitHub actions will allow developers to create their own software development lifecycle (SDLC) workflows when building Apps, Flows, Virtual agents, connectors and other assets backed by the Common Data Service on the Power platform.

GitHub actions now in public preview.

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Customize Teams with built-in Power Platform capabilities (preview)

Teams customers can make and use custom tabs, personal apps, chat bots, and more using a powerful onboard data platform and approachable low-code tools from the Power Platform.

The public preview of embedded Power Platform capabilities in Microsoft Teams is now open.

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New solution import experience with connections and environment variables

The Power Apps team have announced a broad set of new ALM capabilities for importing solutions. In addition to these modern new interfaces, now you can establish connections as well as set values for environment variables while importing solutions.

Environment variables are now generally available.

New solution import experience with connections and environment variables.

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Power Automate

Nine new connectors released in September 2020

Last month, Power Automate saw the introduction of nine brand new connectors to the connector line-up, taking the total to 400 out of the box connectors!

  • Azure AD Identity Protection: Azure AD Identity Protection is a tool that allows organizations to discover, investigate, and remediate identity-based risks in their environment.
  • CDK Drive Customer: CDK Drive Customer is an API published by CDK Global and can be used it to search, view and update existing records, or create new customers.
  • CDK Drive Service Vehicles: CDK Drive Service Vehicles is an API published by CDK Global and the connector will help you maintain vehicle details on the service vehicle record and keep it up to date.
  • Cloudmersive Video and Media: The Cloudmersive Video and Media Service was created to enable customers to effortlessly convert videos, audio files, and media between different file formats at scale and on-demand.
  • GetAccept: The GetAccept sales enablement platform can help sales teams close more deals faster with AI powered dealscore and sales coaching, coupled with sales automation and e-signing. 
  • IN-D Payables: IN-D Payables is an AI-based invoice processing bot that can smartly extract things that matter most, like PO number, invoice number, and more, from millions of invoices in no time. 
  • Microsoft 365 compliance: Microsoft 365 compliance solutions help you discover, protect, and govern your data, address regulations and standards, and mitigate insider risks. 
  • MotaWord Translations: MotaWord enables professional translation of your documents into 95+ languages with blazing speed. It’s a pioneer of collaborative translation and works with 18000+ professional translators to empower your business in the international stage.
  • Nitro: Nitro Sign is an eSigning tool that allows you to get your documents electronically signed faster and more securely.

Find out more:

Power Automate Desktop

Announced at Microsoft Ignite 2020 but now in preview, Power Automate Desktop enables coders and non-coders alike to automate processes and tasks across desktop and web applications, bringing the value of Softomotive capabilities directly into Microsoft Power Automate.

How to automate desktop-based tasks with Power Automate Desktop.

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UI Flows August 2020 update

Several updates are included in the August 2020 release of UI Flows, including:

  • Cancel UI flow runs that are in progress
  • Add and edit Image Recognition actions that are part of a Remote Desktop or Citrix recording
  • Native support for recording actions and data from SAP
  • Do Until feature to have more control over how UI flows execute
Add and edit Image Recognition actions that are part of a Remote Desktop or Citrix recording.

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Connection References

Now in public preview, Connection References is a new concept that makes it easier for customers to maintain a level of abstraction between flows and the connections used by them. Connection references are particularly useful when moving flows across environments, updating flow definitions, automating deployment pipelines for secure, and healthy Application Lifecycle Management.

Example of Flows with Connection References.

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Power BI

On-premises data gateway September 2020 update

The September 2020 update for the On-premises data gateway (version 3000.58.6) includes updates for the Mashup Engine, .Net Framework, dprecation for Kerberos SSO and more.

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New Power BI experiences in Microsoft Teams

The Power BI team have announced new Power BI integrations for Microsoft Teams to make it easier to discover and use data within your organization, including:

  • New Power BI App for Teams that helps you view and work with Power BI content
  • New Teams Search experience to find and open Power BI content
  • New Teams Chat experiences to quickly find and share Power BI content
Using the Power BI app for Microsoft Teams to view a report, find an insight, and start a chat about the data with a colleague.

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Power BI September 2020 Feature Summary

Several updates in this month’s feature summary including updates for analytics, reporting, mobile, service, modeling, data connectivity plus many more!

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Deployment pipelines general availability

Deployment pipelines is now generally available, with some new additional features: incremental refresh support and the creation of pipelines from the workspace page.

Deployment pipelines in Power BI.

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Smart narrative

Now in preview, smart narrative visualizations help you quickly summarize visuals and reports by providing relevant out-of-the-box insights that are customizable.

Using this feature creators can add narratives to their report to address key takeaways, point out trends, edit the language, and format it to fit a specific audience.

Smart narratives in Power BI.

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Power BI App for mixed reality now available for HoloLens 2

The Power BI app for mixed reality is now available, running on HoloLens 2 it is capable of:

  • A unique visual display system which makes holograms even more vibrant and realistic.
  • Improved performance.
  • Completely refreshed ways of interacting with holograms.
Power BI app for mixed reality.

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‘New look’ experience updates

More changes are being made to the ‘new look’ of the Power BI service, including navigation updates to give you more space to work with your content, provided options for report authors to configure their page navigation, updated the action bar for quicker access to common actions, and more.

A new, simplified action bar within Power BI is just one of the ‘new look’ updates.

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Power Automate actions for Power BI exports

Two new actions are available for the Power BI connector in Power Automate. Now, you may easily leverage the Power BI export API for either Power BI reports or paginated reports in your Power Automate workflows.

These new actions make it easy for anyone to quickly export their Power BI content in a variety of supported formats and scenarios.

Picture of Power BI actions for Power Automate
Export to file for Power BI Reports (preview) and Export to file for Paginated Reports (preview) are available now.

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Power BI Paginated Reports August 2020 Updates

Several updates are being rolled out for paginated reports in Power BI, including new authentication type support for Azure SQL DB and Azure Synapse, Common Data Service data source support, improved multi-value parameters support for DAX and more.

Relational Query Designer
Common Data Service data source support.

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Power Virtual Agents

Power Virtual Agents within Microsoft Teams (public preview)

The Power Virtual Agents team have announced the Public Preview of deep integration between Power Virtual Agents and Microsoft Teams. Users can easily create their own digital assistants within Teams and make them available to their colleagues to chat with.

And better yet, this functionality is included with your existing Teams licenses and the bot creation experience is embedded within Teams itself – empowering all of your employees to easily build and share bots within Teams.

Power Virtual Agents within Teams (public preview).

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Power Virtual Agents is HIPAA, SOC, ISO, and CSA compliant

Power Virtual Agents is now covered under HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) BAA (Business Associate Agreement) and is a Core Online Service in the Microsoft Online Services Terms (OST).

Power Virtual Agents also acquired System and Organization Controls (SOC), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) certifications which are required by enterprise customers.

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Project Cortex

SharePoint Syntex – General Availability

The first product from Project Cortex – SharePoint Syntex is now generally available. SharePoint Syntex uses advanced AI and machine teaching to amplify human expertise, automate content processing, and transform content into knowledge.

SharePoint Syntex.

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Resources

Microsoft 365 monthly update – Ignite 2020 special!

Well Microsoft Ignite 2020 has not failed to disappoint so far with cool new and innovative announcements across Microsoft 365 cloud. I’ve decided to do a special edition M365 monthly update covering all the announcements so far. I’ll keep updating this post as Ignite week goes on.

SharePoint SharePoint Syntex, Project Nucleus, SharePoint app bar, recordings powered by SharePoint, news boosts, share news across M365, built-in templates, communication insights, admin center improvements, auto expiration of ext. access, ext. sharing policies, governance insights, DLP blocking anyone links, endpoint DLP, session sign-out, information barriers

Teams Home sites in Teams, Teams templates, info pane, search results, Lists app iOS, Lists offline mode, together mode scenes, custom layouts, meeting recap, webinar registration, calling experience, 25K members, approvals, wellbeing insights & Headspace, custom apps in teams meetings

OneDrive Add to OneDrive, mobile improvements, move and keep sharing, offline support in iOS, sync admin reports, KFM improvements

SharePoint

SharePoint Syntex

One of several exciting announcements coming out of #MSIgnite2020 is that of SharePoint Syntex. Syntex uses advanced AI and machine teaching to amplify human expertise, automate content processing, and transform content into knowledge. Syntex will be available from October 1, 2020.

SharePoint Syntex.

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Project Nucleus

Project Nucleus will use intelligent sync to a database to keep a cache on the client that our web apps use to deliver a leapfrog in performance. Project Nucleus will allow you to accomplish common tasks, like column sorting and grouping, at blazing fast speeds and even enable you to work offline, with all changes synced when you reconnect to the internet.

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SharePoint app bar

In what appears to be the answer to a global hub site navigation menu, the SharePoint app bar allows you to create a consistent navigation experience to every site in your intranet, bringing in tailored related information.

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The SharePoint app bar.

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Meeting recordings & Stream powered by SharePoint

Microsoft Teams Meetings recordings and Microsoft Stream will be built on new storage innovations in SharePoint in the near future. SharePoint will bring consistent capabilities for sharing, search, analytics, compliance, and developer extensibility to these experiences. Your employees will be able to easily access their recordings in OneDrive after the meeting.

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Boost news in SharePoint

Prioritise important news and announcements to appear at the top of news feeds across Microsoft 365 with news boosts in SharePoint. You can boost the visibility of a news article for a set time, until an employee has seen your content, or until a viewer has seen the item in their feed a set number of times.

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News boosts in SharePoint.

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Share news across email, Teams and Yammer

You will soon be able to share a news article from SharePoint directly to your audience’s team, community, or inboxes.

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Share news to email, Yammer and Teams.

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Built-in SharePoint templates

Templates have been readily available from the SharePoint look book for some time. But now you can easily select and customize built-in templates, right from within SharePoint and apply them to any existing SharePoint site to give it new superpowers and a beautiful design.

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Built-in templates in SharePoint.

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Communication insights

Understand your reach, impact, and engagement across Microsoft 365 by using new analytics in SharePoint, such as dwell time on content, heatmap views of interaction, and automatic analytics digest powered by AI. Combined these insights with analytics in Yammer, such as enhanced Community Insights, Live Events, and Question and Answers.

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Communication insights in SharePoint.

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SharePoint admin center improvements

Several improvements have been announced around the updated admin center homepage and actionable insights, site visibility improvements, additional migration options and bringing OneDrive settings to the SharePoint admin center.

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The new SharePoint admin home page showing several cards: Site search, Active users, and Service health.

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Automatic expiration of external access

At Ignite, Microsoft announced the general availability of automatic expiration of external access, roll out starting today (22 September, 2020).

You can now simply set an expiration, say 30 days, for external access in your organization. From the day an external guest user got invited to a site or a file, the timer starts and the access is automatically revoked upon expiration. 

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SharePoint site collection admin manages the external access expiration for a site.

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External sharing policies with Microsoft Information Protection sensitivity labels

Also announced are external sharing policies with Microsoft Information Protection sensitivity labels, coming soon in public preview. You can now associate external sharing policies to the sensitivity labels making it even more powerful to achieve secure external collaboration with frictionless experience to your users.

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Microsoft Information Protection sensitivity labels with external sharing policies.

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Governance insights for files in SharePoint, OneDrive, and Teams

You can now see access centric insights for your top sites with most sensitive documents and over shared sites. Insights allow you to validate the access policy settings such as unmanaged device and external sharing are appropriate for your security posture and as needed take actions and tweak them in SharePoint admin center.

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SharePoint admin center and data access governance insights.

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Data loss prevention (DLP) policy for blocking anyone links for sensitive content

Microsoft have announced a new DLP policy rule to block anyone with the link option for sensitive content, generally available now. Administrators can now configure DLP rules with an action to block sharing and access to the sensitive content using anyone with the link.

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Microsoft 365 DLP policy blocking ‘anyone with the link’ sharing option.

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Endpoint data loss prevention (DLP)

Now in public preview, endpoint DLP helps you to protect and avoid leakage of sensitive content at all end points on Windows devices.

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Microsoft 365 compliance admin editing the end point DLP policy rules.

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Unified session sign-out

Powered by continuous access evaluation, unified session sign-out is now in public preview. With one click in Microsoft 365 admin center, you can now sign out a user instantly from all their sessions on all devices, including both managed & unmanaged devices.

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Microsoft 365 admin signs out a user from all sessions on all devices.

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Information barriers for OneDrive and SharePoint

Now generally available, information barriers for SharePoint and OneDrive allow you to but arriers in collaboration and communication between certain set of users in your organization to avoid conflicts of interest.

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SharePoint admin experience to manage information segments for sites.

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Teams

SharePoint home sites in Teams

The new home site app brings the power of the SharePoint home site and an organization’s intranet directly into Teams. Coming later this year, the app name and icon match the brand for the users organization and can be pinned to the app bar in Teams.

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SharePoint home sites in Teams.

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Teams templates

Now generally available, Teams templates let you choose from common business scenarios and industry-specific templates to get started with teams quicker. Administrators can also create custom templates for your organization, helping you standardize team structures, reveal relevant apps, and scale best practices.

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Templates in Teams.

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Info pane, pinned posts and new conversation button in channels

Available now, the channel info pane provides an at-a-glance summary of active members, important posts pinned by members, and other relevant information in each channel. Changes are also being made to new channel conversations versus replying to existing ones more intuitive with the new conversation button.

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The info pane in Teams.

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A new search experience in Teams, powered by Microsoft Search and available late this year, will make finding messages, people, answers, and files faster and more intuitive. 

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New search experience in Teams.

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Microsoft Lists app for iOS (preview)

Brings mobile access to the lists you own and the lists others share with you. Create new lists, edit list items, and easily share lists with other people. The Microsoft Lists app for iOS also supports offline and Dark Mode.

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Microsoft lists – offline mode

View and edit your lists, regardless of whether you’re connected to the internet. With offline mode, you can instantly sort, filter, group, add, and adjust items—especially long lists—with performance gains all around.

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New Together mode scenes

With new Together mode scenes coming this calendar year, you can transport your team to a variety of settings that can help set the tone and create the experience for your meeting, whether it be an auditorium, a conference room, or a coffee shop.

Together mode scenes in Teams.

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Custom layouts

Coming later this year, custom layouts allow for a more dynamic content viewing experience and enable presenters to customize how content shows up for participants during a meeting.

Custom layouts in Teams.

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Meeting recap

Meeting recaps help teams stay on track and keep work moving forward after a meeting for both participants and for those who were unable to attend a meeting. Coming this year, a recap with the meeting recording, transcript, chat, shared files and more will be automatically shared in the meeting Chat tab and viewable in the Details tab for each meeting. 

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Meeting recap in Teams.

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Webinar registration and reporting

For more structured meetings, such as customer webinars, meeting organizers can use event registration with automated emails to make it easier to manage attendance. And after the meeting, view a detailed reporting dashboard that will help understand attendee engagement. 

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Webinar registration and reporting in Teams.

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New calling experience & collaborative calling

Microsoft are simplifying the calling experience with a streamlined view that shows contacts, voicemail and calling history at once, making it easier to initiate or return a call with a single click.

Also coming soon, collaborative calling enables customers to connect a call queue to a channel in Teams.

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New calling experience in Teams.

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25K member teams

While there isn’t a limit on the number of people in a Teams tenant, team membership is currently limited to 5,000 members. Later this year we’ll increase this to support up to 25,000 members per individual team.

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Approvals in Microsoft Teams

Approvals will become generally available in October enabling user to easily create, manage, share, and act on approvals directly from Teams. Approval flows can start from a chat, channel conversation, or from the Approvals app.

Approvals in Teams.

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Wellbeing and productivity insights

Wellbeing features and productivity insights – powered by MyAnalytics and Workplace Analytics – are coming to Microsoft Teams starting in October. Additionally, new personal wellbeing experiences including a virtual commute to add structure to your remote work day and Headspace guided meditations to help you unwind will be available in the first half of 2021.

Wellbeing and productivity insights in Teams.

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Meetings extensibility with apps in meetings

Developers will soon be able to integrate their apps into Teams meetings and create scenarios that have deep awareness of the meeting context – including roster, roles, and permissions. 

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Meetings extensibility with apps in meetings.

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OneDrive

Add to OneDrive

Add to OneDrive, a much-awaited feature that we’re rolling out in public preview with the option to opt-out. Now, when someone shares a folder with you in OneDrive, Microsoft SharePoint, or Microsoft Teams, you can easily add a shortcut to that shared folder, either from Shared with me or your shared libraries, in your OneDrive to easily find it later. 

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Add to OneDrive.

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Mobile app improvements

Updates have been made to OneDrive home for iOS and Android, as well as for the Surface Duo.

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OneDrive app on the Surface Duo.

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Move and keep sharing

You can now relocate your file from an individual OneDrive site to a SharePoint shared library to extend its reach to a broader group of collaborators.

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Move and keep sharing in OneDrive.

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Offline edit support for Office docs in OneDrive for iOS

e will soon be supporting the ability to edit Office documents you have marked for offline use in OneDrive mobile app for iOS. Once offline, simply tap ”Edit” or “Open in Word” to start editing. Then, pick up right where you left off once online. This feature will be available later this year.

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Sync admin reports

Admins will soon be able to monitor sync adoption and health. With the sync admin reports, admins will have access to machine sync insights on a per user basis and can check sync status and sync app versions of individual devices.

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Sync admin reports in OneDrive.

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Known Folder Move improvements

Several updates for Known Folder Move have been announced, including:

  • Selective sync removed as a blocker
  • Admins choose which known folders (Desktop, Documents, or Pictures) they would like to move to OneDrive
  • A new policy to allow you to specify a file name or file extension you’d like to exclude

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Microsoft 365 update – August 2020

In this month’s Microsoft 365 update we take an in-depth look at all the recently released features for all the products within Microsoft 365.

SharePoint Azure CDN caching for video, download site usage data, updated list & list item sharing, improved image columns, move files & keep sharing, education site templates

Teams Tasks in Teams, New features in Whiteboard, Real time presence, meeting recording storage, optimized Teams experience VMware, new Teams devices, S4B PowerShell consolidation, Teams App Submission API

Teams (Education)SDS & OneNote Class Notebook, channel specific content spaces, Teacher Only area, detect/ delete inappropriate messages, education apps

Teams (Government)organizer joins meeting directly, instant channel meetings experience, improved meeting join launcher, prevent upload of profile picture policy

Power Apps Troubleshoot Forms in a Model Driven App, improvements to Cascading Merge Transactions, Power Apps checker now analyzes modern web syntax, Power Platform Build Tools GA

Power Automate New “when an item or file is modified” trigger, Delay, Command-Line Arguments &Copy-Paste UI Flows, flows from any message in Teams, 7 new connectors

Power BIOn-premises data gateway, AutoML support for PQO, data protection updates, mobile app headers/ navigation, block classic workspace creation, multiple data lakes support

Power Virtual AgentsShare your bot

Related Provision users to Azure AD from SAP SuccessFactors, Edge improvements, FastTrack streamlined process

SharePoint

Azure CDN video caching for SharePoint and OneDrive

Microsoft have introduced improved streaming perofrmance for videos stored in SharePoint and OneDrive. Frequently accessed videos will be streamed from the Azure Content Delivery Network (CDN)closest to the user to optimize the playback experience. At all times data will remain within the Microsoft 365 compliance boundary.

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Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) in Microsoft 365

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Download SharePoint site usage data in Excel

Site owners can now export their site’s 90-day usage data in an Excel report from the Site Usage page.

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SharePoint site owners and members can download their site’s 90-day usage data in an excel report, directly from the Site Usage page.

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Updated list and list item sharing experience

Site owners, members and visitors will now see a Share command when they are viewing a list, even when they do not have any list item selected.

Site owners can grant other users access to the list and can specify whether what permissions to grant. Other users (e.g. site members and visitors) cannot directly grant other users access to the list, but they can use the dialog to send an approval request to site owners if the site is set up to allow access requests (enabled by default).

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Improved image columns in lists and libraries

Several improvements have been made to the image column, including the ability to add an image to a list or library using the list itself or a library form. Also, when users are browsing the list on a mobile device, they will be able to upload an image – including taking a photo with the device’s camera.

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Add an image to a list items using the improved Image column capabilities.

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Move files and keep sharing

When you move a file to a new location in Microsoft 365, you will have the option to continue sharing the file from its new destination. A simple pop-up to confirm and keep moving forward.

The new link match permissions just like the source location and we send your collaborators an e-mail that notifies them that the file has been moved.

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When you move a file to a new location in Microsoft 365, you will have the option to continue sharing the file from its new destination.

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SharePoint site templates for Education

Made available through the Microsoft Look Book, these SharePoint site templates are designed for schools and universities. Each brings together news, events, highlighted content, quick links and more, pre-configured and designed with a specific scope and audience for a variety of Education scenarios.

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SharePoint site template: “School home page” – across several screen sizes.

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Teams

Tasks in Teams

The new Tasks app in Teams provides a new unified view of tasks and assignments from across Microsoft To Do, Planner, and Outlook, helping you consolidate and prioritize your tasks.

there is also an added, new List view with the ability to edit multiple tasks at once, Graph API and Power Automate integrations, and task publishing capabilities to come.

An image of the Task app in Teams.
Tasks in Teams.

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New features in Whiteboard for Teams

Microsoft have added new features to Whiteboard in Teams to make it easier to keep the creative process moving forward virtually. You can now quickly add sticky notes to a canvas, making it easier to contribute if you’re using a device without a digital pen.

You can now also move and re-order objects on the canvas through a simple drag and drop gesture.

An animated image showing updates to Whiteboard in Teams.
Microsoft Whiteboard in Teams.

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Real time presence

Stay focused throughout the day with Microsoft Teams. Whether you are free for a quick chat or presenting in a meeting, real time presence increases the accuracy of your status so others know when to reach out.

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Meeting recording storage for areas where Stream is not available

A new admin setting will allow you to turn on meeting recordings if Microsoft Stream data residency is not yet in country. If this setting is turned on, Teams meeting recordings will be saved in the data center closest to the region.

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Optimised Microsoft Teams Experience for VMware Horizon 8

VMWare Horizon 8 now offers enhanced audio and video experience for Microsoft Teams. The optimization pack helps provide better user experience and improved productivity for those leveraging Microsoft Teams across Horizon virtual desktop (VDI) and published application environments.

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New Teams devices

First, The Windows collaboration display by Avocor is the world’s first and only Windows collaboration display certified for both Microsoft Teams and Azure.

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Avocor’s AVW-6555 provides seamless integration with Microsoft Teams video and audio-conferencing capabilities immediately with a Teams-enabled computer.

Then we have new offerings by Logitech, who now have products that support Microsoft Teams Rooms powered by HP.

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Logitech now offers Microsoft Teams Rooms powered by HP.

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Skype for Business Online connector consolidating to Teams module

Microsoft are simplifying the Teams administration experience with a single PowerShell module that includes complete management capabilities for Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business Online, by introducing full functionality of Skype for Business Online Connector into the Teams Module.

This means that Skype for Business Online Connector in the Skype for Business Online PowerShell, which has been a separate product that contains many cmdlets needed to manage Microsoft Teams, now has been consolidated into a single PowerShell module.

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Teams App Submission API

Microsoft have announced that the Teams App Submission API is now generally available. This new Graph API allows all users at any organization to develop on the platform of their choice and submit their apps into Teams with zero friction.

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Teams App Submission API is now generally available.

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Teams (Education)

Roster updates from School Data Sync automatically update the Class Notebook roster

Now, School Data Sync (SDS) updates automatically flow to the OneNote Class Notebook! Previously when SDS made roster updates, they would not happen until the educator went and clicked on the “Class Notebook” tab in the Class Team.

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Set channel specific collaboration and content spaces

Available now, educators can set Channels in class teams to create sections in Collaboration Space or Content Library, which is especially helpful for educators who like to use channels as separate units. While in a class team, go to the Class Notebook and click “Manage Notebook” to choose which channel a new Section will go.

This allows the educator to create a “read-only” Content Library or student editable “Collaboration Space” specific to each unit and channel.

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Now an educator has the option to set Channels to create sections in Collaboration Space or Content Library.

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Reduce clicks to get the “Teacher Only” area

Now in the OneNote Class Notebook or the Staff Notebook, the “Teacher Only” section group will be enabled by default. This saves some extra clicks for this more private view.

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Detect and delete inappropriate messages

IT admins can leverage communication compliance policies and AI models to automatically detect inappropriate content, then review and choose to delete.

Messaging containing offensive or harassing language and adult, racy, or gory images can be automatically flagged then removed from the Teams chat or channel by the IT Admin. This is not supported in private channels or in communications sent by guest users.

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Automatically detect inappropriate messages and choose which ones to remove.

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Build an interactive classroom with education apps

There are several third party apps that can be used within Teams to assist in finding ways to keep students engaged and learning throughout the day. All the available apps for engagement, communication, content creation and content & curriculum can be found below.

Prezi Video is an example of one of many apps available for Teams to quickly create engaging live or recorded class presentations.

Find out more:

Teams (Government)

New lobby setting: only the organizer joins the meeting directly for GCC

A new lobby setting is coming to Teams Meeting Options. We are adding “Only me” as an option to the “Who can bypass lobby?” setting. Once enabled, only the organizer will be able to join the meeting directly. Everyone else, including people from within the same organization, will be sent to the lobby.

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New experience for launching instant channel meetings for GCC

Meet Now buttons in Teams channels will have a new home. You will soon find them in the Channel header where you can easily find and launch the meeting.

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Improved Teams meeting join launcher experience for GCC

When you click on a Teams meeting join link, you will now see an optimized and improved join experience. You will be prompted with an option to join on the web, download the Teams client, or join with the native Teams client. This will result in faster and more confident meeting join.

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New policy to prevent upload of profile picture for GCC, GCC High, and DoD

Teams desktop and web experiences will honor the Outlook on the Web mailbox policy setting that can control whether users are able change their profile pictures. This applies to GCC, GCC High, and DoD tenants.

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Power Apps

Troubleshoot Forms in a Model Driven App

You can now get information about issues you encounter when working with related tables, entities, controls and components on a form by accessing the Monitoring Tool inside your model driven Power App.

The tool can help identify if the issue you are seeing is designed out of box or is due to a customization in the application and provide details that can help you understand why there are issues. To launch the tool just log into your Dynamics or Model Driven app and add &monitor=true to the end of your URL. This will add an icon onto the app header toolbar. Click on the icon that looks like the one in the circle below.

Troubleshoot Forms in a Model Driven App.

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Improvements to Cascading Merge Transactions

After making improvements to the cascade assign and delete options last year to reduce timeouts, the Power Apps team are making similar improvements to merge operations.

Just as with assign and delete, merges will happen in the background. When a merge operation is run, if you are on build 9.1.0000.20463 or greater, instead of waiting on the submit screen until the job is completed which can take several minutes, you will instead be informed this will be handled in the background.

Find out more:

Power Apps checker now analyzes modern web syntax (up to ES9)

To ensure Power Apps checker continues to broaden analysis coverage as languages evolve, we recently migrated our web language rules to an ESLint plugin and now offer support for ECMAScript 2018 (ES9) syntax plus ES6 globals.

Find out more:

Power Platform Build Tools now generally available

Now generally available, Power Platform Build Tools allows anyone to setup DevOps for low-code and pro-code application development for Power Apps, Power Automate, Power Virtual Agents and other components supported by CDS solutions.

The GA release also introduces support for Multi Factor Authentication with the introduction of Service Principal Authentication.

Microsoft Power Platform Build Tools.

Find out more:


Power BI

On-premises data gateway August 2020 update is now available

The August update for the On-premises data gateway (version 3000.54.8 ) includes an updated version of the Mashup Engine, which will match the Power BI Desktop August update.

This will ensure that the reports that you publish to the Power BI Service and refresh via the Gateway will go through the same query execution logic/run-time as in the latest Power BI Desktop version.

Find out more:

AutoML now supports applying models in PQO Function Browser

Analysts can now apply any Power BI AutoML model to entities in any dataflow in the same workspace using PQO function browser. With this new capability, users don’t need to be an owner of the dataflow that has the model.  They can use models created by others in the same workspace.

AutoML now supports applying models in PQO Function Browser.

Find out more:

Power BI updates for Microsoft Information Protection sensitivity labels

Power BI have announced several additional sensitivity label features now in production:

  • Excel file to inherit the Power BI dataset’s sensitivity label when using a PivotTable connection
  • Sensitivity labels in embedded reports and dashboards – public preview
  • Label inheritance upon creation of new content
Excel files to inherit the Power BI dataset’s sensitivity label when using a PivotTable connection.

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Header/ navigation improvements in the Power BI Mobile apps

The Power BI team have announced improvements to the navigation in the Power BI mobile apps to make it easier for our users to understand their content hierarchy and to navigate between items quickly, aswell as making it easier to share relevant content with colleagues.

Improvements to the header in Power BI mobile apps.

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Block classic workspace creation

The Power BI team have added a new tenant setting for Power BI admins to choose if users can create classic workspaces. This helps organizations control workspace creation more effectively and prevent unwanted workspaces from appearing in Power BI when Office 365 groups are created.

Screenshot of a Power BI Admin portal tenant setting allowing organizations to block the creation of classic workspaces.
Allow Power BI Admins to block classic workspace creation.

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Multiple data lakes support inside Dataflows in Power BI

The Power BI team have announced improvements to Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 (ADLS Gen2) support inside Dataflows in Power BI.  This includes support for workspace admins to bring their own ADLS Gen2 account, improvements to the Dataflows connector in Power BI, take ownership support for dataflows using ADLS Gen2 and also minor improvements to detaching from ADLS Gen2.

Multiple data lakes support inside Dataflows in Power BI.

Find out more:


Power Virtual Agents

Share and collaborate on your bot with subject matter experts

Power Virtual Agents now allows you to share your bot with your teammates, allowing multiple contributors to edit and manage your bot.  Subject matter experts in a team can collaborate together on a bot.  For example, a customer support bot can now have different subject matter experts working on refund related topics vs. topics related to membership.

Share and collaborate on your bot with subject matter experts.

Find out more:


Power Automate

Run a flow when a SharePoint column is modified

One of the most common requests for Power Automate is to enable a way to trigger a flow when a column is modified in SharePoint. That wish has now been answered as the Power Automate team have announced the new “When an item or file is modified” trigger.

The “When an item or file is modified” trigger that lets you filter to just the list or file modifications, making it much simpler to create a flow that’s tuned to the right events.

The new “When an item or file is modified” trigger in Power Automate.

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Delay, Command-Line Arguments, and Copy-Paste Features for UI Flows

Microsoft have announced the availability of Delay, Command-line argument, and Copy-paste features in Power Automate UI flows.

  • Delay: The Delay action can be added as an explicit action anywhere in UI flow. 
  • Command-line arguments: The Command-line argument feature is available in the launch action’s advanced options. 
  • Copy and paste: You can copy any action or scope and then add it from My clipboard
Selecting the Delay action in UI flows
Delay action in UI Flows.

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Trigger flows from any message in Microsoft Teams

The Power Automate team have announced the new “for a selected message” trigger enables any Teams user to create a custom message action to start a flow from any message in Teams.

Trigger flows from any message in Teams.

Find out more:

Seven New Connectors Released in July 2020

July 2020 saw seven new connectors added to the Power Automate platform, with now more than 20 new connectors added to the ecosystem in the last three months!

July saw the addition of IN-D KYC India, CPQSync, Motimate, SMSAPI, Pure Leads, AXtension Content Gate and SMSLink.

Find out more:


Related

Several improvements to Edge

Microsoft have announced several improvements to the Edge browser last month, including:

  • Collections now allows you to export to OneNote
  • Picture Dictionary to Immersive Reader
  • 5 different highlighter colors, support for screen readers, and the ability to view and validate digital signatures to the built-in PDF reader
An animated image of improved readability in Microsoft Teams.
Collections now allows you to export to OneNote.

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Provision users to Azure AD from SAP SuccessFactors

With the integration between Azure AD and SAP SuccessFactors, you can now automate user access to applications and resources so that a new hire can be up and running with full access to the necessary applications on day one. The integration also helps you reduce dependencies on IT helpdesk for onboarding and offboarding tasks.

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Manage and secure all your SAP apps from Azure AD.

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Streamlined process for FastTrack for Microsoft 365

Microsoft have streamlined the process for requesting assistance from FastTrack for Microsoft 365. FastTrack is a benefit that comes with your Microsoft 365 subscription, at no additional cost, for customers with eligible plans of 150+ licenses.

An animated image of FastTrack as part of a Microsoft 365 subscription.
Streamlined process for FastTrack for Microsoft 365.

Find out more:


Microsoft 365 monthly update – July 2020

In this month’s Microsoft 365 update we take an in-depth look at all the recently released features for all the products within Microsoft 365.

SharePoint Employee onboarding hub, hub visitor permissions, SPMT support for SharePoint Server 2016, Lists rollout, quick edit improvements, image column updates, rename title column, keyboard shortcuts for Pages, block external access via DLP

TeamsMulti-window meeting & calling, “only me” lobby setting, Teams Rooms app, direct guest join, Teams Rooms standard/premium, contextual search, Visio files as tabs, Enhanced device management, Create, manage & deploy chatbots, new BI app, SSO support for tabs, Teams toolkit for Visual Studio, User attribution for bot messages

Teams (Admin)App configuration, Advisor, sensitivity labels in Teams, app lifecycle updates, policy management updates

Teams (Firstline Workers)Time clock on web/desktop, new policy packages, shift activity search

Teams (Education)Large lectures, custom video background policy, delete cross-posts, assignment languages, class materials on Android, student lobby, school data sync team creation,

Teams (GCC)300 participant attendee increase, 9 simultaneous videos, raise hands, PSTN numbers masked, multi-window chat, priority notifications, channel info pane

OneDrive Add to OneDrive, sharing links that block download

Power AppsDataflex, portals caching changes, ThisRecord, monitor mode for model-driven apps, column comparisons

Power AutomateVariable support for UI flows, process receipts/ translate text models in AI builder, loop/ array input support, Office scripts

Power BIOn-prem data gateway July 2020, React component, external tool support, July 2020 desktop feature summary, contact list/ allow contributors to update apps

Power Virtual AgentsManage chatbots in Power Apps, release wave 2

RelatedRemove background noise in Stream, on-demand training, Endpoint Data Loss Prevention (DLP), Azure Sentinel, universal print


SharePoint

New employee onboarding hub from the SharePoint look book

The new employee onboarding hub is a template provided by the SharePoint team that aims to provide resources, support and general information to aid new starters.

It’s available from the SharePoint Look Book site and takes about 20 minutes to provision.

Find out more:

Centralised management for hub permissions

This optional feature allows hub site permissions to be synced to associated sites. Hub site owners can specify access by individuals, security groups, or Microsoft 365 groups.

Find out more:

SharePoint Migration Tool (SPMT) supports migrating content from SharePoint Server 2016 

Now generally available, the SharePoint Migration Tool now includes support for migrations from SharePoint Server 2016. This now means that the SPMT now supports migrations from:

  • SharePoint Server 2016
  • SharePoint Server 2013
  • SharePoint Foundation 2013
  • SharePoint Server 2010
  • SharePoint Foundation 2010
  • Network and local file shares
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The SharePoint Migration Tool now includes support for SharePoint Server 2016.

Find out more:

Microsoft Lists begins roll out

Microsoft have recently announced the roll out of Lists beginning in July and the new app comes with 8 pre-made templates to choose from.

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Microsoft Lists began rolling out in late July.

P.S. if you don’t yet see the Lists app in your list of available M365 apps and you are on first release, open your OneDrive and replace onedrive.aspx with lists.aspx!

Find out more:

Quick edit improvements

Several improvements have been made to the quick edit experience in SharePoint lists. Take a look at them all below:

Fixed row heightWhen in Quick Edit, you will see a new layout option “Fixed Height” within the view drop-down menu.Roadmap ID: 64867
Improved row selectionWhen in Quick Edit, people will see an updated way for selecting single or multiple items in a list or files in a library.Roadmap ID: 64868
Visual updatesIncludes new grid lines, an improved on-hover experience when using your mouse around the grid, themed color bars on the side of list items – including error messaging, a “Create New Item” button at the bottom of quick edit for creating new items inline, and updated column header drop-downs.Roadmap ID: 64871
Sticky columnAs users scroll horizontally across a list in Quick Edit mode, the far-left column remains in place – improving context while viewing and editing.Roadmap ID: 64866

Updates to the image column

Microsoft have improved the image upload experience – including mobile camera support. This is a default column when using the new Asset manager template, and is a column type that can be added to any list or library.

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The new image upload experience for lists items.

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Rename the title column

You can now rename the default title column in SharePoint and the change will be reflected everywhere – in quick edit, on the associated view, and in the list form.

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Keyboard shortcuts for SharePoint Pages

Much of Windows and Microsoft 365 is navigable via keyboard, and this month, SharePoint pages joined in.

Microsoft have introduced keyboard shortcuts for SharePoint pages. You can see all the available keyboard shortcuts by pressing Shift + ? when editing the page.

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When in page edit mode, click Shift + ? to bring up the page keyboard shortcuts.

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Office 365 Data Loss Prevention treats files as sensitive by default until fully scanned

You can now enable Data Loss Prevention (DLP) to automatically block external access to new files in SharePoint and OneDrive until they have been fully scanned by the service for sensitive information.

If the file has no sensitive content based on the DLP policy, then guests can access the file. If the policy identifies a file with sensitive content, then guests continue to be prohibited from accessing the file.

To mark new files sensitive by default, you will need to change a tenant property using PowerShell and a cmdlet.

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Create and manage DLP policies on the Data loss prevention page in the Microsoft 365 Security & Compliance Center.

Find out more:


Teams

Multi-window for meeting and calls

Microsoft have announced that the new multi-window meeting and calling experiences has started rolling out. This new experience is the foundation for not only pop-out meetings and calling, but for Together mode and Large gallery views. 

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New multi-window meeting and calling experiences in Teams.

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New Teams Meeting lobby setting “only me”

A new lobby setting has launched for Teams Meetings that gives you greater control over who can enter your meeting. An “only me” option has been added to the “Who can bypass lobby?” setting.

Once enabled, only the organizer will be able to join the meeting directly. Everyone else, including people from within the same organization, will be sent to the lobby.

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New lobby setting in Teams Meeting Options: “only me”.

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Microsoft Teams Rooms, app version 4.5.35.0 now available

The latest Teams Rooms app is out now! Updates include:

  • Support for video gallery-only layouts: For meeting room configurations with a single front of room display, you can now switch between viewing the video gallery or presented content.
  • Raise hand: During a meeting, you can raise a virtual hand from the center of room console to let people know you want to contribute without interrupting the conversation.
  • Default speaker volume settings: From within the Teams Rooms settings, device administrators can now set a default volume level for in-room conferencing and system speakers.
  • Direct guest join for Cisco Webex meetings and devices: Now Teams Rooms and Cisco Webex meeting room devices can connect to each other’s meeting services via embedded web technologies.
  • Auto-enrollment and device management from Teams Admin Center: Microsoft Teams Rooms have been added to the list of devices that can be managed through the Teams Admin Center.
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Microsoft Teams Rooms, app version 4.5.35.0.

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Direct guest join

Microsoft have announced that direct guest join has reached general availability and is available through the latest Microsoft Teams Room app, version 4.5.35.0.

The direct guest join capability enables meeting room devices to connect to meeting services from other vendors via embedded web technologies.

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Direct guest join is now generally available.

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New options to enable and manage Microsoft Teams Rooms devices

Microsoft Teams Rooms Standard and Teams Rooms Premium are the new tiers to manage Teams Rooms devices:

  • Microsoft Teams Rooms Standard: Formerly known as the Meeting Room SKU, this enables inclusive meeting room experiences across Teams Rooms, collaboration bars and Surface Hub. Standard provides the necessary licenses for Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business Online, and Intune management.
  • Microsoft Teams Rooms Premium: Includes all the licenses that come with Microsoft Teams Rooms Standard while providing additional value through a cloud-based remote management service.

Find out more:

Contextual search

You can now search for content in a specific channel or chat by pressing CTRL + F. Search results will only contain messages and files found in the selected chat or channel.

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Contextual searching in Teams channels and chats.

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Microsoft Information Protection sensitivity labels in Teams

Sensitivity labels for Teams, SharePoint sites, and Microsoft 365 Groups is now generally available. You can now associate a sensitivity label with policies related to privacy, external user membership, and unmanaged device access. 

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Sensitivity labels for new Teams.

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Access and manage Visio files in Microsoft Teams with tabs

With the new Visio as a tab feature, you can create a tab from any Visio file (new or existing) in Teams with a single click. Adding a tab in Teams is now available to all Teams users.

NOTE: Editing is only available for those with a Visio Plan 1 or Plan 2 subscription.

Find out more:

Teams (admin)

Enhanced device management capabilities in Teams Admin Center

New device management capabilities in the Teams Admin Center make it easier to deploy and manage a fleet of devices, with improvements across device set-up, bulk management tasks, and health monitoring. And now you can manage your Microsoft Teams Room devices in the same place as your collaboration bars and IP phones.

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Manage Microsoft Teams Rooms and other Teams devices using enhanced device management capabilities in Teams Admin Center.

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Configure apps from the Teams admin center

You can now configure your applications from the same Teams Admin Center portal, without the need to jump between portals to the application store to perform the changes.

Find out more:

Advisor for Teams

Now generally available, Advisor for Teams is a new onboarding tool that offers recommended plans and a collaboration space for the deployment team to streamline the roll out of all the Teams workloads, including messaging, meetings and calling and Skype for business upgrade workloads. 

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Advisor for Teams.

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App lifecycle announcements

Microsoft have announced the following new capabilities to ensure that users can more easily leverage the key business apps they use every day inside of Microsoft Teams:

  • Custom apps Submission to Approval: You will now be able to submit Teams apps through any of these clients and trusted sources (e.g.: Visual Studio Code, Power Virtual Agents, Power Apps and more) via our App Submission Microsoft Graph API – streamlining the process of submitting apps directly to the Teams Admin Center for IT admins to review and approve.
  • Custom app publishing: You will be able to leverage a streamlined process to manage – review, approve and publish custom apps directly from the Teams Admin Center. An admin can view the custom apps publishing status, manifest details, and update their status from ‘submitting’ to ‘publishing’ so that end users will be able to access those apps.
Custom app publishing in the Teams admin center.
  • Install app to a team from Teams Admin Center: To create a customized, more productive environment for the users, you can now install an app for any team in your organization.
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Add an app to a team from the Teams admin center.
  • Application monetization and bringing the purchase to Team Admin Center: A new third-party subscription purchase experience will enable you to view and purchase subscriptions associated with the 3rd party Teams apps.
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App monetization in the Teams admin center.

Find out more:

Policy management updates

Several enhancements in this area to help IT admins assign policies to users in Teams, including:

  • Package batch assignments: now generally available, bulk policy assignment in PowerShell now supports:
    • Policy assignment to O365 groups
    • Batch assignment of policies (up to 5K users)
    • Batch assignment of policy packages (up to 5K users)
  • Changes in Incoming IP video policy: Microsoft are updating meeting policies to allow you to prevent both outgoing and incoming video as needed.
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Changes in Incoming IP video policy.

Find out more:

Teams (Dev)

Create, manage, and deploy Power Platform apps and chatbots

With the advent of Microsoft Dataflex – a built in relational database for Teams – makers can build, deploy, and manage these apps using Power Apps and chatbots using Power Virtual Agents to simplify and digitize their everyday work.

Create, manage & deploy chatbots from within Teams.

Find out more:

New Power BI app

The new Power BI app for Teams enables you to access reports and dashboards in Teams to easily find insight in context and collaborate.

This app also helps you make data-driven decisions at scale with confidence and provides new ways to connect insight to action through sample reports, automation, and easy sharing functionality.

The new Power BI app for Teams.

Find out more:

Single-Sign On (SSO) support for Teams tabs with Azure Active Directory

Teams tabs now support single sign-on (SSO) with Azure Active Directory for both desktop and mobile. Developers can now build their apps to sign-in their users using the same account they are using to sign into Microsoft Teams.

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Single-Sign On (SSO) support for Teams tabs with Azure Active Directory.

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Microsoft Teams Toolkit for Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code

Microsoft Teams Toolkits for Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code provides developers everything they need to jump start their Teams app development journey. From code through publish, these toolkits provide a frictionless and enjoyable experience building Teams apps.

Find out more:

User attribution for bot messages

In scenarios where a bot sends messages on behalf of a user, attributing the message to that user can help with engagement, showcase a more natural interaction flow and helps condense the card design.

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User attribution for bot messages.

Find out more:

Teams (Firstline Workers)

Time clock now available on Web and Desktop

Time clock provides a hybrid clock in and clock out experience so Firstline Workers can start their shift from wherever their work is, whether remote or at the job location, all with the geo-fencing capabilities.

Now, employees will be able to clock in and out of Shifts directly from web or desktop with Time clock along with the existing mobile experience.

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Time clock now available on Web and Desktop.

Find out more:

New policy packages for Firstline Worker and Managers

Firstline Worker and Firstline Manager policy packages for Teams provide IT administrators with pre-defined policies and policy settings tailored for their entire Firstline Workforce. Policy packages simplify, centralize, and help provide consistency when managing policies for Firstline Workers and managers across your organization.

NOTE: These new policy packages will be available by default in the Admin Center and in PowerShell. 

New policy packages for Firstline Worker and Managers.

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Search for Shifts activities in Teams Shifts Audit Logs

Audit logs for Shifts provides IT admins a unified view and search functionality to help monitor and keep track of activities. Staying on top of employees clocking in and out and making edits to shifts is critical to ensuring smooth and compliant operations.

Find out more:

Teams (Education)

Allow more students to join large lectures

Beginning in July 2020, Teams meetings are now available for up to 300 attendees (up from 250), with support for up to 1,000 students coming by the end of the year.

When you want to bring in more students or faculty to watch a presentation or discussion, Teams will also support a view-only meeting experience for up to 20,000 participants.

Find out more:

Roadmap ID: 64225

Student Lobby

To prevent uninvited students in class, Student Lobby – which keeps students in a lobby until invited in by the educator, is now available. This tied to the “only me” bypass lobby feature detailed in this post.

Find out more:

School Data Sync (SDS) team creation again available

Admins can (once again) automatically bulk-create both Microsoft 365 Group and class Teams for their educators. This helps to save educators time and makes a new team “locked” and inaccessible by students until educators unlock the team.

Find out more:

Teams (GCC)

Microsoft Teams meeting attendee limit increases to 300 participants (GCC, GCC-High, and DoD)

To help customers meet rapidly changing communication and meeting needs, Microsoft have increased the maximum number of participants allowed in a Teams meeting to 300.

Find out more:

Increase in the number of simultaneous videos in Teams meetings (GCC-High and DoD)

Microsoft have increased the number of participants who can be viewed simultaneously on 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.

To provide a high audio and video quality experience, the layout logic will consider user bandwidth and alter the number of videos shown to provide the best meeting experience.

Find out more:

Raise Hands (GCC, GCC-High, and DoD)

The raise hands feature allows meeting attendees to identify that they wish to speak by toggling the hand icon in the meeting control bar, making it easier to actively participate in meetings.

Raise hands is available for both PC, Mac, and web-based clients to start, with mobile applications quickly following.

Find out more:

PSTN participant phone numbers masked from external users (GCC)

For those with Audio Conferencing enabled for their Teams meetings, Microsoft will mask the PSTN participant’s phone number to users who have joined from outside of your organization.

Find out more:

Multi-Window Chat (GCC, GCC-High, and DoD)

You can now pop out individual Teams chat conversations into a separate window, to help them streamline their workflow and more easily move between ongoing conversations.

Find out more:

Priority notifications in Gov Clouds (GCC, GCC-High and DoD)

Priority notifications alert a recipient of an urgent message on their mobile and desktop devices until a response is received, every two minutes for up to 20 minutes. IT Admins can manage this feature as part of messaging policies in Teams.

Find out more:

Channel info pane (GCC)

Selecting the “Channel info” icon in the channel header will display summary information related to that channel including the description, a list of recent contributors and members, as well as system messages.

Find out more:

Custom video background policy

IT admins now have the opportunity to create a custom video background policy for Teams meetings. The setting controls whether users can customize their video background in a meeting.

Find out more:

Team owners can delete a cross-post

If a student gets a little too enthusiastic and posts inappropriate content across multiple channels, a team owner can now delete cross-posts.

Find out more:

More languages supported in Assignments

Assignments is growing even more globally inclusive with additional languages supported including Croatian, Estonian, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Romanian, Slovenian, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese.

Find out more:

Class Materials now available on Android

With students working from a variety of devices, including many mobile devices, it’s important that they have access to the core curriculum. To make learning more equitable, the Class Materials folder is now available on Android.

Find out more:


OneDrive

Add to OneDrive

This enables you to add shared folder shortcuts directly to your OneDrive. Shared folders include content that others shared with you through their OneDrive or content that is a part of your shared library in Microsoft Teams or SharePoint.

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Add to OneDrive.

Find out more:

Update to sharing links that block download

Microsoft have expanded the list of supported file types that users can create block download links for. This update includes support for PDF files, Images, Audio, and other non-text and non-video file types.

Update to sharing links that block download.

Find out more:


Power Automate

Variable support in UI flows

Microsoft have announced the availability of variables inside UI flows. With this feature, users can add variables to perform multiple actions within your UI automation. You can use variables for data types such as integer, float, array or string.

For example, you can use a variable to count how many times an operation was performed in a loop. Or you can use variables to create a string array with screen recordings done in a UI flow loop.

The append to array variable action inside UI flows.

Find out more:

Process receipts and translate text with AI Builder

Two new prebuilt models for AI Builder have been released in preview by Microsoft – receipt processing and text translation.

Receipt processing lets you read and save key information from common sales receipts to automatically pre-populate expense reports simply by scanning photos of your receipts. The prebuilt model uses optical character recognition (OCR) to extract both printed and handwritten text from receipts. You can retrieve valuable information such as the merchant details, transaction date and time, list of purchased items, tax, and totals.

Receipt processing in AI Builder.

Text translation can be used to process text in real-time from different languages from your customers worldwide, for internal and external communications and to keep language consistency in the text data that you store. Now available in preview, no trial or subscription required to try this feature.

Text translation in AI Builder

Find out more:

Support for loop & array inputs in UI flows

Loop and array inputs are now available inside UI flows. With this feature, you are able to add a loop to your UI automation as a post-recording activity.

You will be able to pass an array object as input variable from an API flow to a UI flow, and then create a loop within UI flow script to perform repetitive action within your UI automation.

Set up array inputs in UI flows.

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Support for Office Scripts in the Excel Online (Business) connector

Now in public preview, Office Scripts are now supported within the Excel Online (Business) Connector. Office Scripts allow you to accomplish a vast array of tasks and complex sequences of actions. Effectively any operation possible in Excel for the Web is now achievable programmatically. 

Run script action (preview) within the Excel Online (Business) Connector.

Find out more:


Power Apps

Microsoft Dataflex

Microsoft Dataflex, the new name for the Common Data Service is a “low-code data platform for Teams, and provides relational data storage, rich data types, enterprise grade governance, and one-click solution deployment”.

Microsoft Dataflex for Teams is being rolled out as part of existing Microsoft 365 subscriptions, but there is also Dataflex Pro, which offers wider integrations to Microsoft and other non-Microsoft products.

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Microsoft Dataflex for Teams.

Find out more:

Caching changes for Power Apps portals version 9.2.6.x or later

As a part of July release (version 9.2.6.x), the Power Apps team are unifying caching approach for capacity-based portals and add-on portals.

After changes in this release, you won’t have to manually clear configuration entity cache for capacity-based portals. Additionally, high load portals should see improved performance and a reliable data cache refresh.

Caching changes for Power Apps portals version 9.2.6.x or later.

Find out more:

ThisRecord, As, and Sequence formulas

You can now refer to the whole record in ForAll and other record scope functions with ThisRecord. With this change you can name records with the As operator, allowing you to clarify formulas and work with all the records in nested ForAll and Gallery controls.

The Power Apps teams have also added Excel’s Sequence function to generate a table containing a sequence of numbers, perfect for iterating a specific number of times with ForAll.

ThisRecord in action within a collection in Power Apps.

Find out more:

Monitor tool now supports model-driven apps

The monitor tool is now available to support model-driven apps. Monitor tool provides a way to view a stream of events from a user’s session in order to diagnose an issue.

The latest build currently supports:

  • KPI for page loads, command executions, and other major events
  • Network request details
  • Warnings for synchronous XHR’s
  • Custom script errors (e.g. onload, ribbon rule evaluation)
  • Form execution event details (e.g. onload, onchange)
  • Form visibility reasons for controls and related menu items
  • Power BI control failure and performance events
Monitor mode for model-driven apps.

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Column Comparison through FetchXML, SDK, and OData

The Power Apps team have announced the availability of column comparison in CDS-based queries. Column comparisons will allow you to use FetchXML, SDK or OData to perform column comparisons for the Common Data Service.  Column comparisons will also work in the Power Apps expression language with CDS version 9.1.0000.19562 or later.

Find out more:


Power BI

On-premises data gateway July 2020 update

The July update for the On-premises data gateway (version 3000.51.7) is out now. The latest update includes:

  • OAuth support via the gateway
  • Set your own Azure Relay for the data gateway
  • July  Version of the mashup engine
OAuth support as part of the July 2020 on-premises data gateway.

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React Power BI component

The new React Power BI component supports both JavaScript and TypeScript and will help you embed your analytics in a React web application. Using the React component you can now get up and running quickly with embedded analytics in your application.

React demo application
The new React Power BI component.

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External tool support in Power BI Desktop (public preview)

The Power BI team have announced the public preview of external tool support in Power BI Desktop providing:

  • BI professionals a range of additional semantic modeling features, DAX query/expression optimization and authoring, and application lifecycle management (ALM) capabilities.
  • An extensibility model empowering customers to build their own tools to extend the core functionality of Power BI Desktop for their own needs.
External tools ribbon
The External Tools ribbon contains buttons for external tools installed on the machine and registered with Power BI Desktop.

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Power BI Desktop July 2020 Feature Summary

July’s desktop feature summary includes several enhancements to Q&A, gradient legend support, ability to further customize slicer header text and the general availability release for both relative time filter and model view enabled for live connect, plus lot’s more!

Power BI July 2020 desktop feature summary.

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Contact list for Power BI apps & allow contributors to update

Two new enhancements in Power BI that are available now. First, the new contact list for apps makes it easier for app users to get help when they need it and for app owners to receive notifications about the app. 

Also, a new option to allow contributors to update app content helps workspace admins manage access more effectively. A workspace Admin will find the Allow contributors to update the app for this workspace option in the settings pane for a new workspace experience workspace.

Screenshot of the Allow contributors to update the app for this workspace setting
New option to allow contributors to update app content in Power BI apps.

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Power Virtual Agents

Create & manage chatbots from Power Apps

Power Apps users can now access a Chatbots component in the Power Apps maker portal in order to create and manage their Power Virtual Agents bots.

Once you create the bots in your environment, you can easily manage them from the Chatbots > List view.

You can now create and manage chatbots within the Power Apps maker portal.

Find out more:

Power Virtual Agents 2020 release wave 2 notes available

Information around the features planned to be released as part of the 2020 release wave 2 are out now. Some planned features include expanding capabilities in the authoring experience from deeper Microsoft Teams integration, tools to create richer content, Adaptive Cards capabilities, authentication improvements, improved Power Automate integration, plus more.

Find out more:


Related

Remove unwanted background noise from videos in Stream

Noise suppression in Stream can be turned on by video owners to allow viewers to isolate speech from other sounds and music during playback.

Noise suppression can be switched on or off for each newly uploaded video.

IZ-RP-21_July2020_015_Stream-background-noise-suppression.jpg
Noise suppression in Stream.

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On-demand training sessions for SharePoint, OneDrive, Teams, Yammer, and Stream

A series of training videos covering the recent updates across SharePoint, OneDrive, Microsoft Lists, Microsoft Teams, Project Cortex, Yammer, and Stream  – including information for employees, admins, and developers can be found below:

Microsoft 365 Collaboration [keynote]OneDrive powers intelligent file experiences across Microsoft 365Collaboration & external file sharing across Microsoft 365
Microsoft Lists – Share and track information across Microsoft 365Design productivity apps with SharePoint lists and libraries, Power Apps, and Power AutomateKnowledge and Project Cortex – the Microsoft 365 Vision
Connect the workplace with engaging, dynamic experiences across your intranetThe New YammerMicrosoft 365 Live Events and remote work
Architecting Your IntranetMigration to SharePoint, OneDrive, and Microsoft Teams in Microsoft 365, free and easySharePoint developer overview
Jumpstart your projects with community projects from Patterns and Practices (PnP)Security and compliance in SharePoint and OneDriveView and share all via the “SharePoint, OneDrive, Teams, and Yammer training – 2020-H2” YouTube playlist

Find out more:

Endpoint Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

Now in public preview, Endpoint Data Loss Prevention (DLP) extends data loss prevention to devices. Building on Microsoft Information Protection, Endpoint DLP extends the existing DLP capabilities in Microsoft 365 to your devices, helping you to meet compliance requirements and protect sensitive information.

An image show how quickly you can ID and detect insider threats.
Endpoint Data Loss Prevention (DLP).

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Azure Sentinal

Several new third-party connectors have been introduced across Microsoft Azure Sentinel to simplify gaining security insights across many leading solutions and partners, including networks, firewalls, endpoint protection and vulnerability management.

Azure Sentinel lets you build a more complete picture of the threats that your organization faces, conduct deep threat hunts across your environment, and use the power of automation and orchestration in the cloud to help free up your security analysts to focus on their highest-value tasks.

Find out more:

Universal print

Universal Print, a cloud-based print infrastructure that creates a simple, secure print experience for Microsoft 365 customers, is now in public preview.

With Universal Print, organizations no longer need to maintain on-premises print servers or install printer drivers, reducing the time and effort needed by IT to maintain the print environment.

An animated image showing how you can simplify your print infrastructure with a cloud-based print solutio
Universal print in Microsoft 365.

Find out more:


Resources

Microsoft 365 monthly update – June 2020

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

SharePoint acronym answers, enable modern comms site experience on team sites, site analytics, cumulative analytics for hubs, new migration manager landing page, teal default site theme, fluent design updates, quick edit updates, bulk edit in forms, connected web parts, SharePoint Starter Kit v2

Teams7 x 7 + large gallery view, breakout rooms, multi-window meetings & calling, meeting attendee limit increase, new experience for launching instant channel meetings, organizer joins meeting directly, safe transfer calling, session border controllers, priority notifications, pulse surveys

Teams (cont.)Bose teams peripherals, Teams phones updates, new features for Surface Hub, schedule meetings in Teams free, Teams mobile on-demand chat translation, Teams PowerShell, incoming webhooks, class insights (Education), updates for US GCC

OneDrive add to OneDrive, update to sharing links, synced metadata, open in review mode, Teams sharing experience, move and keep sharing, comment notifications, address bar sharing, sync admin reports, enhanced file protection, streamlined admin experience

Power Apps convert add-on portals to new license model, new AI Builder models enter GA, dynamic schema

Power Automate RPA (UI flows) in a Day, UI flows June update, six new connectors, AI Builder dedicated actions

Power BIideas.powerbi.com SSO, enhanced connectivity for Snowflake, new looks for getting apps, on-premises data gateway update, data protection capabilities GA, dark mode iOS, desktop feature summary June, updated mobile authoring

FormsForms in Excel, specific user sharing, individual responses no longer limited to 300, one-click recycle bin, detailed mobile view for text questions,

Relatedtemporary live attendance increase in Yammer extended, Poll in Outlook, PowerPoint Presenter Coach, updated Groups management features

SharePoint

Acronym answers now available with Microsoft Search in SharePoint

Acronym Answers allows Search administrators and editors to create definitions for commonly used acronyms and abbreviations to help people discover their meaning – be them new or unfamiliar.

Acronym answers are configured in the Microsoft Search admin center.

Find out more:

Enable the modern communication site experience on classic sites

This PowerShell cmdlet allows SharePoint admins and site owners to the modern communication site experience on any classic team site that meets the requirements, including the root site. 

To start, run the “Enable-SPOCommSite” PowerShell cmdlet. This action does not change any site permissions or remove any content, nor does it create a new Microsoft 365 Groups membership. 

Demo showing how to enable the communication site experience for a classic SharePoint team site.

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SharePoint site usage analytics

Site usage is getting a new report that details the average time spent per user. You will see a trend line for the time people spend on site pages and news posts for 7-day and 30-day periods.

Note: the report does not yet include time on lists, in documents, site admin pages, or when pages are viewed via mobile.

New reports on the site usage page in SharePoint detail the average time spent per user.

Find out more:

Cumulative analytics for Hub sites

Hub site owners can now analyze aggregate usage analytics for their SharePoint hub sites, including all associated sites. This report displays usage data (including total visits, unique viewers, top sites, popular content) for all associated sites in the hub.

Find out more:

New Migration Manager landing page

Microsoft have consolidated their migration tooling with a one-stop-shop for access to Migration Manager for file share and Box migrations as well as the SharePoint Migration Tool and Mover.

The new, consolidated page for Migration in the SharePoint admin center.

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Updating the default site theme from blue to teal

SharePoint’s new teal theme will automatically update new and existing communication sites and team sites. Group connected team sites, and sites that have been customized, will not be impacted.

Moving forward, new sites will automatically default to the new teal theme. The new teal theme can be changed to the former blue theme at any time in the Change the look panel.

SharePoint communication site with the new Teal site theme.

Find out more:

Fluent design updates

The Fluent design system is being applied to SharePoint which will result in some visual changes like larger and bolder typefaces, increased opacity for drop shadows, and rounded corners for square graphical elements.

Find out more:

Improvements to the Quick Edit experience for SharePoint lists and libraries

Several new features have been added to the Quick Edit experience for lists and libraries in SharePoint, including:

  • Save a view in Quick Edit – Users can save a view in Quick Edit for any SharePoint list or document library. Roadmap ID: 64229
  • Quick Edit page size expanding from 30 items to 101 – Users will now see up to 100 items per page on their document library or list when using Quick Edit. Roadmap ID: 64231
  • Create all column types directly within Quick Edit – Users will now have the ability to create all column types directly from Quick Edit. Roadmap ID: 64171
Create all column types directly from Quick Edit.
  • Open a list or document 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
  • New hyperlink field and date column editors in Quick Edit – Now when you add a hyperlink and text to an item or add or update it’s date and time, you’ll have a much better experience doing it.  Roadmap ID: 63275
  • 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
View and edit items in forms inside of Quick Edit.

Bulk edit your list items and file properties in the form

You can now select multiple items and edit their list items or documents properties at once in the form.

Once you select multiple items in a list, you’ll see it reflected in the form where it says “Edit 3 items” and it shows only the fields that can be bulk edited.

Find out more:

List and library web parts consume dynamic data

Dynamic filtering allows you to filter the contents of a list or library web part on a page depending on a value selected in another list or library web part on that same page. Think of one being a source and the other being a way to visualize the item details.

The List web part on the left is connected to the Document Library web part on the right.

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Updated sharing links that block downloads for PDFs, images and audio files

You can now create sharing links that block the download of Office files. This sharing link allows recipients to read the file, but not download it.

Note: admins can control whether the “block download” setting appears only for Office files or whether it will allow additional file types by editing the BlockDownloadLinksFileType setting in the Set-SPOTenant or Set-SPOSite PowerShell cmdlets. The options are “enable for only Office files” or “enable for all supported files” (now the new default).

Find out more:

SharePoint Starter Kit v2

This is a comprehensive solution designed for SharePoint in Microsoft and SharePoint 2019 which provides numerous SharePoint Framework (SPFx) web parts, extensions, and other components, as well as PnP PowerShell driven provisioning which you can use as an example and inspiration for your own customizations.

Find out more:


Teams

Coming to preview this month large gallery view expands the Teams grid view to 7×7, which will accommodate up to 49 participants at once on a single screen.

Large gallery view in Microsoft Teams meetings showing 49 participants at once on a single screen.

Find out more:

Virtual breakout rooms

Coming later this year, Breakout Rooms allow meeting organizers to split their Teams meeting participants into small groups. Teams facilitates this by assigning participants into a requested number of rooms, whether automatically directing people or prompting them to join.

Organizers can jump in between meetings on their own, or when requested by a participant, provide announcements to the individual rooms, and recall everyone back to the meeting at any time. Any collaboration and coauthoring done during the breakout can be shared back to the larger meeting once everyone is back together. 

Find out more:

Multi-Window for Meetings & Calling

Multi-window experiences are coming to Teams meetings and calling. You will have the ability to pop out meetings and calling into separate windows to help them optimize their workflow. These experiences can be turned on directly within Teams for PC and Mac clients.

Multi-window capability coming to Microsoft Teams meetings and calling.

Find out more:

Meeting attendee limit increases to 300 participants

Now generally available, Microsoft have the maximum number of participants allowed in a Teams meeting to 300.

Find out more:

New experience for launching instant channel meetings 

The Meet Now buttons in Teams channels will have a new home. You will soon find them in the Channel header where you can easily find and launch a channel meeting.

Meet Now buttons can now be found on the right side of a Channel header in Microsoft Teams.

Find out more:

PSTN participant phone numbers masked from external users

For customers with Audio Conferencing enabled for Teams meetings, PSTN participants’ phone numbers will be masked to all users who have joined from outside of your organization.

Find out more:

New lobby setting: only the organizer joins the meeting directly

A new lobby setting is coming to Teams. Microsoft are adding “Only me” as an option to the “Who can bypass lobby?” setting. Once enabled, only the organizer will be able to join the meeting directly. 

Find out more:

Safe Transfer

You will now be able to transfer a call safely to any other user in your organization. Safely means that if the target user does not answer the call, it will ring back to the transferrer.

NOTE: The person transferring the call must be a Teams user and the person the call is being transferred to must be either a Teams or Skype for Business user in the same tenant or in a federated tenant.

Find out more:

New Session Border Controllers (SBC) certified for use with Microsoft Teams Calling

Microsoft have announced that both Cisco and Avaya will join the list of Session Border Controllers certified for Direct Routing.

Find out more:

Priority notifications

Priority notifications for Microsoft Teams grants you the ability to continually send notifications that repeat every two minutes for up to 20 minutes on all messages marked as urgent.

NOTE: Priority notifications are not currently available for GCC, GCC High, or DoD customers, however this is on the Microsoft 365 Roadmap for next month.

Priority notifications can be found in the message actions tray.

Find out more:

Pulse survey templates

We have designed several Microsoft Forms templates for sentiment, employee issues, challenges, and health status surveys and more. These surveys can then be deployed via Teams channels.

Find out more:

New Bose noise cancelling headphones Teams certified

Bose have released the new Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 UC as part of the Teams peripheral offering. With a USB Bluetooth adaptor and a Teams Button that lets users launch Teams to join meetings or check voice mails, NC700UC Teams certified headphones allow users to have reliable and instantaneous connection to Teams. Available August 2020.

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 UC

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New capabilities on Microsoft Teams phones

Several new features and capabilities on Microsoft Teams phones were released this month, including:

  • People App for Microsoft Teams phones – allows you to easily connect and collaborate with teammates, colleagues, friends, and family.
People (left) and create contact or contact group (right).
  • Live Captions – Microsoft Teams phones will now present real time captions in meetings and group calls.
Microsoft Teams phones will now present real time captions in meetings and group calls. 
  • Raise Hand – You can raise a virtual hand from your Teams phone to let people know you want to contribute without interrupting the conversation.
You can now use the raise hand feature on Teams phone.
  • Transfer to Contacts – When transferring a call, Microsoft Teams phones will now suggest frequent contacts to easily transfer calls with a single touch. 
  • Seamless Lock/Unlock with your PC – With this new feature, your Teams phone and Teams PC client will have a coordinated and seamless lock and unlock experience.
  • Auto Dismiss “Rate my call” and “Call ended” Screens – Support to auto dismiss “Rate my call” and “Call ended” screens for users to continue with their productivity after completing the call.
  • Teams and Skype Interoperability – Users will be able to make and receive audio and video calls from Skype for Consumer (SFC) through Microsoft Teams phones.

Find out more:

New Teams features on Surface Hub

With the latest Surface Hub app update 0.2020.13201.0 there are several highly requested features to the Teams experience on Surface Hub:

  • 3×3 gallery view – view up to nine meeting participants simultaneously in full screen mode, in the new 3×3 video grid
  • External user search – Through the “Meet Now” feature on Surface Hub, you can now search and initiate 1:1 calls with federated Teams or Skype for Business users
  • Incoming PSTN calls – in addition to making outgoing PSTN calls through Teams, Surface Hub you can now receive incoming PSTN calls

Find out more:

Scheduled meetings coming to Teams free

You can now schedule meetings and send out invitations in advance in Teams free. You will have the option of either copying the meeting link to send or you can send the meeting invite via your Outlook or Google calendar.

Microsoft Teams free users can schedule meetings and send out invitations via your Outlook calendar.

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Teams Mobile On-Demand Chat Translation

Inline message translation ensures that everyone has a voice and facilitate global collaboration. With a simple click, people who speak different languages can fluidly communicate with one another by translating posts in channels and chat.

On-Demand Chat Translation has already been available on desktop and web, and now will be available on iOS.

Find out more:

PowerShell improvements for Teams

Two improvements to the Teams PowerShell modules have been released this month:

  • Moving Teams Beta module to production gallery
  • Refined technical documentation set

Find out more:

Incoming Webhooks for Adaptive Cards

Incoming webhooks in Teams now support Adaptive Cards and is generally available. Developers will now be able to take advantage of the rich and flexible capabilities within Adaptive Cards to send content via incoming webhooks in Teams from their web service. 

Incoming webhooks in Microsoft Teams now support Adaptive Cards.

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Class Insights

Now generally available, Class Insights enables educators to see and understand student engagement using intelligent data analytics. You can see grades and track engagement in meetings, communications and assignments from the whole class or an individual student.

Class Insights dashboard in Microsoft Teams allows educators to use intelligent data analytics to understand student engagement.

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Teams updates for US Government

Here are the new capabilities for US GCC customers:

  • Live captions in Teams meetings
  • Enable organizers to change lobby settings for PSTN meeting participants
  • Announce when PSTN participants join/leave the meeting
  • Shifts in Teams now available for GCC customers

Find out more:


OneDrive

Add to OneDrive

Rolling out in public preview Add to OneDrive makes it easy to add shared folders directly to your OneDrive. Shared folders include content that others shared with you through their OneDrive or content that is a part of your shared library in Microsoft Teams or SharePoint.

Add to OneDrive is now in public preview.

Find out more:

Teams sharing integration

Microsoft are beginning to roll out a unified file sharing and access control experience to Teams, that you will already be familiar with in other apps like OneDrive or Outlook.

So when you go to share a file from within Teams, you’ll have the option to create sharing links that provide access to anyone, people within your organization, people with existing access, or specific people, including those in a private or group chat.

The file sharing experience in OneDrive and Outlook is coming to Teams.

Find out more:

Synced metadata

This is a big update for you SharePoint buffs! Currently shared libraries with mandatory metadata synchronizes as read-only.

Microsoft have announced that in the next few weeks they are rolling out an update to the OneDrive sync app supporting read and write sync for shared libraries that contain required metadata. This will enable business users to edit content in their synced libraries while working from their desktops.

Find out more:

Move and keep sharing settings

Coming later this year, business users can move files to shared libraries without affecting the files original access.

This means all business users who had original access to a file will be re-added to it if that file changes shared library locations. Those users will now receive a new link maintaining the same permissions they had before and receive a notification about the move.

Find out more:

Comment notifications

Also coming later this year, you will be able to have the option to turn off comment notifications for individual files. Doing so will only affect that file, not the entire files library.

Find out more:

Address bar sharing

If you access or work on a file in a browser, you’ll soon be able to share links copied from your browser address bar with your internal colleagues (if admin-enabled). These URLs will respect all sharing policies, empowering natural and easy collaboration within your organization.

Sync admin reports

Sync admin reports allow you to do just that by providing visibility and insights on adoption and health of the OneDrive sync app across your organization. Use this new dashboard to check sync app versions, sync status, and top sync errors on individual devices.

You can even monitor deployment progress of Known Folder Move, which we recommend implementing to help redirect your users’ known folders (Desktop, Documents and Pictures) on Windows to OneDrive.

Enhanced file protection and governance in OneDrive and SharePoint

Microsoft recently announced several features entering general availability for file protection and governance in OneDrive and SharePoint including Microsoft Information Protection sensitivity labels with protection, automatic classification with sensitively labels, sensitivity labels for SharePoint sites, and information barriers.

Additionally, admins will soon be able to implement automatic expiration of external access, multi-factor authentication policies, like prompting one-time passcodes (OTP), as well as extending continuous access evaluations to OneDrive and SharePoint.

Find out more:

Streamlined admin experience

Later this year, all OneDrive admin capabilities, including controls for sharing, access, sync, and storage, will be available in the SharePoint admin center, consolidating admin tools in one place. 

A new OneDrive admin experience is coming to the SharePoint admin center later this year.

Find out more:

Update to sharing links that block download

Microsoft are expanding the list of supported file types that users can create block download links for. This update includes support for PDF files, Images, Audio, and other non-text and non-video file types.

Block download for more file types in OneDrive.

Find out more:

Open in “Review mode” in Word Online

Users can now choose to share Word documents with the new “Open in Review mode” option. When enabled, recipients can only open the Word file in the Word web app with the “Reviewing” mode enabled.

Find out more:


Power Apps

Convert existing add-on portals to new capacity-based licensing model

This feature allows users to seamlessly migrate from their portal add-on licenses to the new capacity-based licensing model. If your portal uses add-on based license, you’ll see “add-on” suffix to your portal type. You can check your portal type from the Portal Details page.

How to check what license model you are in within PowerApps Portals.

Find out more:

Three new AI Builder models now generally available

Three AI Builder preview model types are now generally available:

  • Entity extraction prebuilt model – The Entity extraction prebuilt model identifies and classifies key elements from text into pre-defined entities.
  • Entity extraction custom model – The Entity extraction custom model enables you to identify and classify key elements from text into your domain-specific custom entities that you define.
  • Category classification custom model – The Category classification custom model helps you classify text into your own domain-specific categories. You can train the model with a small set of examples.

Find out more:

Dynamic schema in Power Apps formulas

The Power Apps team have announced the experimental feature release of the ability to work with dynamic schema in Power Apps formulas.

Now, as part of the formula authoring experience when a formula author encounters an warning indicating the return schema of a call is dynamic, an author may “capture schema”.

Turn on the “Dynamic schema” switch in the PowerApps Advanced Settings.

Find out more:


Power Automate

Microsoft RPA (UI flows) in a Day

The Power Automate team have announced the availability of Microsoft RPA (UI flows) in a Day. This beginner-level training is designed to on-board and train everyone on how to get started with UI flows in Microsoft Power Automate.

Find out more:

UI flows update June 2020

The June 2020 update for UI flows is now available. Here are the main features as part of June’s release:

  • UI flows for GCC/ GCC High – UI flows are now available in Government Community Cloud (GCC) and GCC High.
  • Retry/ timeout policy configuration from the portal – his feature provides the ability to configure timeout and retry policy for an individual step within UI flows. 
  • New WinAutomation connector in UI flows – Now you can have a cloud orchestration experience on WinAutomation Process from Power Automate.
  • GetText action fix – fixed an issue where the GetText action in UI flows within (If-Else) Condition block fails when more than one Get Output actions were added in a nested scope.

Find out more:

Six new connectors released May 2020

With an additional six connectors released in May, there are now over 345 connectors available in the Power Automate platform. Here’s a look at the new comers:

  • Azure IoT CentralWith the IoT Central connector, you can trigger workflows when a rule has fired, and take actions by sending commands, updating properties, getting telemetry on devices, and more.
  • EduframeThis connector opens up the opportunity to easily integrate your existing software applications with Eduframe, like your CRM and accounting software.
  • LIFX – The LIFX connector builds upon existing functionality to offer an even wider range of options than ever before, empowering you to leverage Power Automate and automatically tap into the extensive possibilities of your LIFX smart lights. 
  • Microsoft 365 message center – This connector enables you to sync your M365 admin center messages to Planner, helping you stay on top of your messages.
  • Office 365 Groups Mail – This connector allows users to work with data located in an Office 365 Group mailbox. 
  • Virus Total – With this connector you can automatically leverage the power of Virus Total in your flows to help identify malicious content to keep you and your organization safe.

Find out more:

AI Builder dedicated actions in Power Automate

Released in May 2020, the Power Automate team  introduced dedicated actions for AI Builder. You can find these actions when you search for the type of action you want to automate.

Find out more:


Power BI

Single sign on to Ideas.PowerBI.com

Navigate to your Ideas, connect with your Power Platform Community and other Power Platform sites using one identity. ow you can use your Active Directory (Work or School account) to connect across the entire Power Platform!  

Find out more:

General Availability of enhanced connectivity for Snowflake

The Power BI team have announced the enhanced capabilities added recently to the Power BI Snowflake connector are now GA, including the ability to connect to Snowflake without an on-premises data gateway as well as support for Azure Active Directory (AAD) authentication and SSO in DirectQuery mode in the Power BI service.

Find out more:

New look for Power BI apps

There is now a new, unified view for Power BI apps. When you press Get apps (on the Power BI apps page) you will land in a brand-new gallery experience where you can get apps both from your organization and from the AppSource marketplace.

Check out the new, unified view for Power BI apps.

Find out more:

On-premises data gateway June 2020 update

The Power BI team have announced the release the June update for the On-premises data gateway (version 3000.45.7). This months update includes an updated version of the Mashup Engine, which will match the Power BI Desktop June update.

Find out more:

Power BI data protection capabilities generally available

The Power BI data protection capabilities are now generally available, meaning it’s now possible to:

  • Classify and label sensitive Power BI data using the familiar Microsoft Information Protection sensitivity labels used in Office.
  • Enforce governance policies even when Power BI content is exported to Excel, PowerPoint, or PDF, to help ensure data is protected even when it leaves Power BI.
  • Monitor and protect user activity on sensitive data in real time with alerts, session monitoring, and risk remediation using Microsoft Cloud App Security.
  • Empower security administrators who use data protection reports and security investigation capabilities with Microsoft Cloud App Security to enhance organizational oversight.

Find out more:

Dark mode for the Power BI iOS app

The Power BI team have added dark mode support to the Power BI iOS app. To change this setting go to the app’s Settings page, tap on Appearance, and choose your preference: Dark, Light or System default.

Dark mode is now available for Power BI iOS.

Find out more:

Power BI Desktop June 2020 Feature Summary

Several features are generally available as part of this months release including:

  • Automatic page refresh
  • Hierarchy slicer
  • Modern ribbon, and;
  • AI insights

Plus several new features and updates to improve your reporting: many enhancements to mobile layout authoring, visual updates and more! 

Find out more:

Updated mobile authoring in Power BI Desktop

A new mobile layout authoring experience has been released in Power BI Desktop introducing new features such as the phone emulator and canvas grid, an updated visualization pane and overlaid visuals.

A new mobile authoring experience is now available for Power BI desktop.

Find out more:


Forms

Forms in Excel now general available

Previously in preview, Forms in Excel is now generally available. With the GA release there have been additional improvements to the performance and reliability of the app. 

Forms in Excel is now generally available.

Specific user sharing for collaboration

There’s now a new option to let you specify specific users or groups within your organization to collaborate with.  You are able to specify one or more co-authors using their email address. 

As this is more restrictive than existing collaboration styles, this setting is optimal for forms with more sensitive content.  You do not have to worry about the collaboration URL getting loose as it will not work for anyone outside of the list you’ve specified.

Specific user sharing for collaboration in Microsoft Forms.

Find out more:

Individual responses no longer limited to 300

The Forms team have announced the drop-down view for individual responses is no longer linted to 300. Users can now review, print or delete any single response, no matter how many responses they received.

Find out more:

One-click empty recycle bin

An update to the previous annoying process of deleting individually, you ca now empty your Forms recycle bin with just one click.

One-click empty recycle bin is coming to Microsoft Forms.

Find out more:

Detailed mobile view for text questions

The Forms team have enabled an option to double-click on ‘text’ based responses. Visit the response page, find the text question or text option, then click the “See all responses” link to review all the responses. Users can also sort the responses from newer to older, and vice versa.

Find out more:

Related

Temporary increase to 20,000 attendees for Live Events in Yammer extended

Microsoft announced earlier this year that a temporary limit increase would be enabled for Microsoft 365 live events to help better support customers, through to July 1, 2020. This will now continue to support until October 1, 2020.

Support for for up to 20,000 attendees for Live Events in Yammer has been extended to October 2020.

Find out more:

Poll in Outlook

Now you can create a real time poll in seconds when composing an email in Outlook. Once sent, recipients vote directly in email or click on an included link and vote in a browser window.

You can then check poll results in real-time using the voting card. Poll is now pre-installed to your Outlook mailbox so you no longer need to install the add-in yourself.

Poll in Outlook.

Find out more:

PowerPoint Presenter Coach for Android

Microsoft have we are announced that Presenter Coach for web and Android is now generally available – in both the PowerPoint app and the new Office mobile app.

Presenter Coach uses artificial intelligence (AI) to provide on-screen guidance on your pacing, use of inclusive language or profanity, and use of filler words and culturally insensitive phrases.

PowerPoint Presenter Coach in Android.

Find out more:

New Microsoft 365 Groups management capabilities

Microsoft have released several updates this month to improve the management of Microsoft 365 Groups, including:

  • Team creation experience – an enhanced the team creation experience with an updated user interface and improved error messages.
  • Group information – group information, including the Group ID, name, alias, and description, can now be exported as a .csv file using filtered properties or search results.
  • Edit Group email addresses – email addresses for a Microsoft 365 Group can now be edited, enabling group names to continue to evolve as needs change. 
  • Restore deleted Groups – you can now restore a deleted group directly from the Deleted Groups page.
New management capabilities in Microsoft 365 Groups.

Find out more:


Resources

Microsoft 365 monthly update – May 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Power Virtual Agentslow-code bots in Teams

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

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

SharePoint

Home sites generally available

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

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

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

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

Find out more:

Save for later web part

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

The save for later web part for modern SharePoint pages.

Find out more:

Yammer conversations web part updates

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

IZRP-May.2020_005_Yammer-Conversations-web-part.jpg
The Yammer Conversations web part, shown above on a SharePoint home site.

Find out more:

Scheduling pages and news posts

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

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

Find out more:

Pre-publish panel for pages and news

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

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

Find out more:

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

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

Find out more:


Teams

Templates in Teams

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

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

Find out more:

Microsoft Lists in Teams

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

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

Find out more:

Increased capacity in group chats and teams

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

Find out more:

Pop-out chats in separate windows

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

Find out more:

Improved Teams meeting join launcher experience

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

Improved Teams meeting join experience.

Find out more:

Easily access meeting options during a Teams meeting

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

Easily access meeting options during a Teams meeting.

Find out more:

Download a participant report in a Teams meeting

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

Download a participant report in a Teams meeting.

Find out more:

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

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

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

Find out more:

Background effects policy for tenant administrators

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

Find out more:

Screen share from chat policy governance

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

Find out more:

Teams and Skype for Consumer Interoperability

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

Find out more:

Reverse number lookup enhancements

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

Find out more:

Microsoft Teams Rooms, app version 4.4.41.0 now available

The latest update, app version 4.4.41.0, is now available on the Windows store and is coming to every Teams room over the next few weeks. New features include: Modern authentication support, New application splash screen, Ability to project content to a single display when using a HDMI cable in a dual display configuration, Support for dynamic emergency calling, and more.

Find out more:

New Skype for Business to Teams Upgrade Advisor

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

The Skype for Business Upgrade plan.

Find out more:

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

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

Find out more:


OneDrive

OneDrive file detail pane

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

Image 2.png
Introducing the OneDrive file detail pane.

Find out more:

Improved activity feed

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

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

Find out more:

Multi-page scanning for OneDrive personal accounts

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

Multi-page scanning for OneDrive personal accounts.

Find out more:


Power Apps

Manage the Power Apps Portal from the Power Platform admin center

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

Manage the Power Apps portal using environment view.

Find out more:

Notify timeout and Exit sign out formulas

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

The notify timeout formula in Power Apps.

Find out more:

Launch to self and Self operator formulas

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

The new launch to self formula in Power Apps.

Find out more:

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

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

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

Find out more:

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

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

Find out more:

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

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

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

Find out more:

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

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

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

Find out more:

AI Builder now supports predicting multiple outcomes (Preview)

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

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

Find out more:

AI Builder Invoice Processing Automation Starter Kit available on App Source

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

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

Find out more:


Power Automate

UI Flows – May 2020 update

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

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

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

Find out more:

Microsoft acquires Softomotive

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

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

WinAutomation console.
The WinAutomation Desktop UI.

Find out more:

Enhanced workflow automation with Teams

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

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New business process scenario templates built for Teams.

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

Find out more:


Power BI

Power BI Dataflows Direct Query Support (Preview)

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

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

Find out more:

Report server May 2020 feature summary

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

Slicer hierarchy in Power BI.

Find out more:

Page view for paginated reports

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

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

Find out more:

Shared and certified datasets in Power BI enters GA

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

Find out more:

Azure Synapse Analytics (Public preview)

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

Power BI integration within Azure Synapse.

Find out more:

On-premises data gateway May 2020 update now available

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

Find out more:

Refresh summary for premium capacity admins

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

The Refresh Summary page in the Admin Portal.

Find out more:

Desktop feature summary – May 2020

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

Power BI desktop update – May 2020

Find out more:

Power BI deployment pipelines (Preview)

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

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

Find out more:

Automation of Data Gateway Installation (Public Preview)

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

Automation of Data Gateway Installation (Public Preview).

Find out more:

Timely Premium Capacity Overload Alerts

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

Power BI Premium Capacity Overload Alerts.

Find out more:


Power Virtual Agents

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

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

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

Find out more:


Project Cortex

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

New developer experiences for Project Cortex at Build

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

Find out more:

Office Hours

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

Find out more:

General availability of Microsoft 365 Records Management

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

  • Classify, retain, review, dispose, and manage content without compromising productivity or data security
  • Leverage machine learning capabilities to identify and classify regulatory, legal, and business critical records at scale
  • Demonstrate compliance with regulations through defensible audit trails and proof of destruction
IZRP-May.2020_014_RecordsCenter.jpg
Records management in Microsoft 365.

Find out more:

Related

Microsoft Lists

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

Find out more:

Record your screen on Microsoft Stream

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

IZRP-May.2020_013_Stream-screen-record.jpg
Record your screen in Microsoft Stream

Find out more:

Fluid Framework components and workspaces in Outlook and Office.com

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

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

Fluid components and workspaces in Outlook and Office.com.

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

Find out more:

Save keystrokes in Outlook

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

Save keystrokes in Outlook.

Find out more:

Sidebar search & automatic profile switching in Microsoft Edge

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

Sidebar search in Microsoft Edge.

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

Automatic profile switching in Microsoft Edge.

Find out more:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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Resources