Microsoft 365 roadmap roundup – w/c 15 June 2020

Microsoft 365 roadmap roundup

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

SharePoint

🍾 LAUNCHED

  • Microsoft Information Protection: Exact Data Match supported for SharePoint Online – Organizations will be able to use EDM (Exact Data Match) to better protect content on SharePoint online. Roadmap ID: 64558
  • Navigation update for narrow screens – In SharePoint and OneDrive, the location of the hamburger navigation menu is being moved to the header area for your site and command bar for files instead of in the suite bar. Roadmap ID: 62448

🚂 ROLLING OUT

  • Acronyms answers with Microsoft Search – Organizations don’t always have a single reference for their standard terminology. Lack of a single reference makes it hard to find definitions or expansions for these acronyms. Microsoft Search solves that problem with Acronyms. Roadmap ID: 64865
  • Audience targeting in site navigation – Filter items within the navigation menu based on people and groups. This applies to communication sites and hub sites. Roadmap ID: 34251
  • Shy header – Modern SharePoint site and hub site header states will collapse upon scroll. Roadmap ID: 62754

⌛ IN DEVELOPMENT

Release – June 2020

  • Enable modern communication site experience on classic sites – Using PowerShell, admins can now enable the modern communication site experience on any classic team site, including the root site. Roadmap ID: 46338
  • Microsoft Lists: visual updates for Quick Edit – In Quick Edit, you’ll see new grid lines, an improved on-hover experience, themed color bars on the side of list items, a “Create New Item” button and updated column header drop-downs. Roadmap ID: 64871
  • SharePoint lists and libraries: Sticky column in Quick Edit – As 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
  • SharePoint lists and libraries: Fixed row height in Quick Edit – When in Quick Edit, you will see a new layout option “Fixed Height” within the view drop-down menu. Roadmap ID: 64867
  • SharePoint lists and libraries: updated Quick Edit row selection – When 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
  • Microsoft Search in classic SharePoint sites – Microsoft Search in classic SharePoint sites brings the Microsoft Search experience to classic SharePoint sites and moves the search box to the application header in Office 365. Roadmap ID: 57131

Release – July 2020

  • SharePoint lists and libraries: Save a view in Quick Edit – People can save their view in Quick Edit for any list or document lib in SharePoint for Microsoft 365. Roadmap ID: 64229
  • Fluent design coherence updates for SharePoint – Fluent will be applied to modern SharePoint which will result in some visual changes i.e. larger/ bolder typefaces, opacity etc. Roadmap ID: 63777

Release – August 2020

  • SharePoint lists and libraries: Improved Image columns – Upload a new image – including mobile camera support. You can add a new Image column to lists and libraries. Roadmap ID: 64872
  • SharePoint Online search query volume limits when using app-only authentication – When this change is implemented, queries using the Site.Read.All permissions level or greater will be throttled at 25 QPS. The search query will return with a 429 response and you can simply retry the query. Roadmap ID: 64963

Microsoft 365 roadmap roundup – w/c 8 June 2020

Microsoft 365 roadmap roundup

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

SharePoint

🍾 LAUNCHED

  • Auto classification with sensitivity labels – Now in public preview, auto classification with sensitivity labels is now available in OneDrive, SharePoint and Exchange Online. Roadmap ID: 57312
  • Edit metadata from within the Document Library and List View web parts – You can now Now edit item metadata properties displayed in a library or a list from within the corresponding web parts: the Document Library and List View web parts. Roadmap ID: 61030
  • SharePoint Integrations with Power Automate and Power Apps to GCC-High Tenants – Enables you to create/manage custom flows and forms/apps with Power Automate and Power Apps. Roadmap ID: 62437
  • Extended layout for site footer – Modern communication sites will now include a new layout option, extended, to show more content in the footer section. Roadmap ID: 61063
  • SharePoint Recommendations – You will see SharePoint Recommendations at the bottom of pages and news posts to help users discover new content powered by machine learning. Roadmap ID: 52604
  • Site owners can now associate their sites with a SharePoint hub – Now site owners are able to associate their sites to a hub, this was previously only available to site collection admins. Roadmap ID: 53903

🚂 ROLLING OUT

  • Schedule SharePoint pages & news posts – You will be able to schedule a page or news post to be published at a specific date and time in the future. Roadmap ID: 62892
  • SharePoint news email notifications – Receive notifications for comments, replies and likes via email from SharePoint news. Roadmap ID: 49603
  • Save for later web part – New web part to display a user’s saved for later items. Roadmap ID: 57810
  • Conditional show or hide columns in a form – This feature allows users in lists and libraries to show or hide columns in a list form based on another column’s value by specifying a formula. Roadmap ID: 63518

⌛ IN DEVELOPMENT

Release – July 2020

  • Microsoft Lists: Lists app in Microsoft Teams – Team members will be able to both create new lists and add existing ones as tabs in Teams’ channels. Roadmap ID: 64162
  • Microsoft Lists: forms customization – Adjust what information shows on the out-of-box forms and include custom header and footer imagery and information. Roadmap ID: 64165
  • Microsoft Lists: calendar view – Visualize any list with items that use date column information in a calendar view. Roadmap ID: 64167
  • Microsoft Lists: sticky first column – As you scroll left and right, the first column of your list remains in place; similar to the sticky header that is already a part of Lists. Roadmap ID: 64168
  • Active time spent reports on SharePoint Site Usage – You can now get reports with aggregated data on the amount of time that users are spending on your intranet sites. Roadmap ID: 57159
  • Cumulative analytics for Hubs in SharePoint – Hub owners can now analyze aggregate usage analytics for their SharePoint hub sites, including all associated sites. Roadmap ID: 57160
  • New SharePoint admin center home page – Updates to the SharePoint admin center to align it to the Microsoft admin center, including more tiles and graphs. Roadmap ID: 57318

Microsoft 365 roadmap roundup – w/c 1 June 2020

Microsoft 365 roadmap roundup

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

SharePoint

🍾 LAUNCHED

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

🚂 ROLLING OUT

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

⌛ IN DEVELOPMENT

Release – June CY2020

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

Release – Q4 CY2020

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

Microsoft 365 roadmap roundup – w/c 25 May 2020

Microsoft 365 roadmap roundup

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

SharePoint

🍾 LAUNCHED

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

🚂 ROLLING OUT

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

⌛ IN DEVELOPMENT

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

Microsoft 365 roadmap roundup – w/c 18 May 2020

Microsoft 365 roadmap roundup

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

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

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

SharePoint

🍾 LAUNCHED

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

🚂 ROLLING OUT

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

⌛ IN DEVELOPMENT

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

Provisioning the M365 learning pathways solution

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

Contents

Overview

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

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

Official Microsoft resources

Tenant admin or global admin?

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

Google search of an O365 tenant administrator.

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

Create an app catalog site

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

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

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

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

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

Check global admin is app catalog site collection admin

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

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

Initialize the CustomConfig List & assign owners

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

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

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

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

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

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

Issues & troubleshooting the learning pathways solution

1. Configuration issues within learning pathways site

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Unfortunately your site provisioning at least partially failed!”

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

How to permanently delete sites in modern SharePoint.

3. Multi factor authentication enabled for the provisioning account

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

“Unfortunately your site provisioning at least partially failed!”

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

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

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

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

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

How to create a custom ID for lists and libraries

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

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

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

="REQ-00"&[ID]

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

Custom ID column – modern SharePoint

1. Pre-requisites

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

2. The setup

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

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

3. Build the Flow

Flow action: when a new item is created

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

Flow: update item

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

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

Step 2 of the Populate Solution Request Flow

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

Modern SharePoint list with Flow that populates Request Number

Finding the task properties pane in SharePoint 2013 workflows

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

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

The scenario

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

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

The problem

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

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

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

The hidden task properties pane

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

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

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

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

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

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

Microsoft 365 update for January 2020

In this month’s update:

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

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

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

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

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

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

SharePoint

SharePoint page version history

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

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

Find out more:

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

Custom search results pages in SharePoint Online.

Find out more:

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Resize images within the image web part

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

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

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

Find out more:

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Next steps panel improvements for SharePoint team sites

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

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

Find out more:

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Teams

Read receipts in private chats

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

Read receipts in Microsoft Teams chats.

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Colleague joined Team notification

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

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Voice administration in Teams admin center

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

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Lenovo ThinkSmart View Joins Teams phones

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

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Poly CCX for Teams phones

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

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

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

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

Office 365 ATP Safe Links is now available in Teams.

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Cloud Communications APIs now available

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

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Class Insights in Teams for Education

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

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

Class Insights in Teams for Education.

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Website Tab available in GCC High & DOD

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

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3rd Party Apps now in GCC

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

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Power Apps

Power Platform Center of Excellence starter kit update

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

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

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

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Deprecation of the regional Discovery Service

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

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SAP ERP connector (public preview)

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

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

Overview of the SAP ERP Connector.

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Test Studio

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

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Microsoft Stream videos/ channels in canvas apps

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

Microsoft Stream videos inside canvas apps.

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Power Automate

Simplified AI Builder in Power Automate

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

Form processing example with AI Builder.

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UI Flows January 2020 update now available

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

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Adaptive cards actions update

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

Next generation Adaptive Cards for Power Automate.

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Simplified number formatting

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

Simplified number formatting in Power Automate.

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New Power Automate Cookbook!

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

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Power BI

Export data from a visual

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

Exporting data from a visual in Power BI.

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Setting a table column or matrix value as a custom URL

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

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

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KPI visual formatting settings

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

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

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Conditional formatting for buttons

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

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

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Load more for analytics insights

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

Load more for analytics insights.

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New DAX function: Quarter

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

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Data profiling enhancements

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

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

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.pbids file format

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

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Performance improvements for modeling operations

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

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Related

Office 365 Video retirement

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

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

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Office 365 app launcher and Office.com updates

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

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Windows 7 End of Support and Office 365 ProPlus

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

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

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Resources

How to set the default value of a lookup field

(this post was written using a SharePoint 2010 environment)

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

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

Step one – prerequisites

My setup to achieve this contained the following:

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

Step two – configure the edit form

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

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

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

Step three – add the code

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

<script type="text/javascript">

$(document).ready(function() {

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

});

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

Test your changes!

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