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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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Teams

Outlook & Teams integrated experience is now available

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

New Outlook & Teams integrated experience is now available.

Find out more:

Targeted communication

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

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

Targeted communication in Teams.

Find out more:

Automatic creation of an org-wide team

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

Find out more:

New Files Experience in Teams powered by SharePoint rolled out worldwide

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

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

Find out more:

Live captions in Microsoft Teams meetings now generally available

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

Live captions in Microsoft Teams meetings now generally available.

Find out more:

Manage the App Catalog in the Teams Admin Center

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

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

Find out more:

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

Find out more:

Communication Compliance

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

Find out more:

Phone System Additions for GCC

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

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

Find out more:

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

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

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

Find out more:

Introducing Microsoft Teams QBot!

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

Introducing Microsoft Teams QBot!

Find out more:

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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.

Find out more:

Conditional access for macOS

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

Find out more:

Single Sign On with Office for macOS

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

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

Find out more:

Update to email notifications for shared content

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

Find out more:

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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.

Find out more:

AI Builder feature updates

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

Manually enter objects for Object Detection

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

Manually enter objects for Object Detection in AI Builder.

New fields recognized with Business Card Reader

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

Find out more:

AI Builder in the Power Apps canvas studio updates

Styling and control reset

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

Interact with detected text in Text Recognizer

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

Confidence scores and bounding boxes in Form Processor

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

Confidence scores and bounding boxes in Object Detector

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

Find out more:

AI Builder flow templates

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

AI Builder flow templates.

Find out more:

AI Builder prediction now supports related entities and filtering

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

Find out more:

Public preview of multiple image attributes in Power Apps

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

Find out more:

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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

Find out more:

18 new connectors added to Power Automate

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

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

Find out more:

Built-in validation for custom connectors

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

Find out more:

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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.

Find out more:

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

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

The new Power Virtual Agents Connector.

Find out more:

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

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

Find out more:

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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!

Find out more:

Reporting – Hierarchical slicer (preview)

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

Hierarchy slicer is now available in preview.

Find out more:

Updates to the new ribbon (preview)

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

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

Find out more:

Modeling – new DAX functions

The PowerBI team have announced two new DAX functions:

  • FirstNonBlankValue
  • LastNonBlankValue

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

Find out more:

Visualization updates

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

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

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

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

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

Find out more:

Template Apps

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

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

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

Find out more:

Data preparation

Non-admin support for query diagnostics

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

Find out more:

Data connectivity

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

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

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

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

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

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

Find out more:

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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.

Find out more:

Microsoft 365 Live Events Assistance Program Public Preview is now available

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

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

Find out more:

Reply to an Office comment from Outlook using actionable messages

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

Reply to an Office comment from Outlook using actionable messages.

Find out more:

Coauthor Visio drawings

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

Coauthoring in Visio for web.

Find out more:

Improved text-to-speech recognition in Word

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

Find out more:

“What’s New” management

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

Find out more:

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Resources

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.

Find out more:

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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.

Find out more:

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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.

Find out more:

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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.

Find out more:

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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.

Find out more:

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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.

Find out more:

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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.

Find out more:

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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.

Find out more:

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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.

Find out more:

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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.

Find out more:

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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. 

Find out more:

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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.

Find out more:

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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.

Find out more:

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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.

Find out more:

Adaptive cards actions update

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

Next generation Adaptive Cards for Power Automate.

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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.

Find out more:

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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)

Find out more:

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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)

Find out more:

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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.

Find out more:

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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.

Find out more:

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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

Find out more:

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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.

Find out more:

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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.

Find out more:

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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.

Find out more:

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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.

Find out more:

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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.

Find out more:

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Resources

Microsoft 365 update for September 2019

A look back at all the latest updates and releases in the past month. in this months update:

SharePointpage diagnostic tool, new web parts, CAD file preview in GA, activity highlights, site permissions panel, per site anyone link expiration policy, sharing reports

OneDrivepersonal storage options, differential sync for all files, OCR scan support in iOS

Teamsfilter chats, mute conversations, secondary ringer, cloud voicemail, reverse number lookup, calling in Chrome, phone updates for GCC, meet now with no invite, pin participant, missed meeting, meeting capabilities for more browsers

RelatedTo Do updates, multi-language support for Forms, Visio-Flow export, user templates in M365

SharePoint

Updated Page Diagnostic Tool

The diagnostic tool is a browser extension for Chrome and Microsoft Edge that helps identify modern/ classic Site Pages in SharePoint Online that may not be delivering optimal performance.

By comparing characteristics of a site page to known best practices, the tool provides remediation guidance, leading to suggested fixes across three analysis results: Attention required, Improvement opportunities and No action required.

Adding the Page Diagnostics browser extension, to seeing it work in action
Find out more:

New/ updated web parts

Lots of new and updated web parts are coming to SharePoint Online, here’s a look at them:

  • Button & Call To Action – engage your page viewer by providing focused text on and above a button
  • World Clock & Weather – add individual cities or a group of locations to highlight local times and weather
  • Divider – put a line in between sections and web parts, choosing the width and thickness
  • Highlighted Content adds Custom Query – use custom CAML or KQL queries to display precise sets of content, with the ability to combine filters using AND, OR, and NOT operators
Find out more:

CAD file preview enters GA

Utilising AutoCAD technology, you can now preview rich DWG files inline for OneDrive, SharePoint and Microsoft Teams.

Autodesk AutoCAD for file previews in OneDrive, SharePoint and Teams
Find out more:

Activity highlights in the file card

The file card now shows relevant file activities, like if someone you work with edits, comments, or @mentions you, that activity is displayed with a link to take action.

Find out more:

Manage sharing/ access request settings from site permissions panel

Sharing and access requests for a SharePoint site have moved. Now located in the “Change sharing settings” link, site owners can use the new panel to allow only owners to share files, folders, and the site – restricting everyone else from sharing.

Find out more:

Per site anyone link expiration policy

Admins will now be able to customize the expiration length on a per-site basis for Anyone or anonymous sharing links. Admins can now override the tenant policy and set a more or less restrictive expiration policy for specific sites.

Note: This functionality will only be available via the SharePoint Online Management Shell.

Find out more:

Sharing reports

Site owners can now get a CSV file report to see all the items in their site that have been shared with any user, both inside and outside the organization. Useful for providing external sharing reports, the export can be filtered to only show content from the “Shared with External Users” option to view every unique user, permission, link, and item that has been shared externally.

From the site usage page, you can see recently shared items, with an option to run a report
Find out more:

OneDrive

More personal storage options

You can now add more storage to your existing Office 365 subscription (Personal or Home) in 200 GB increments, starting at $1.99 per month.

Note: the 200GB incremental additional storage plans are only available for Office 365 subscribers. The Basic plan is free and offers 5GB, and non-subscription paid is $1.99USD/mo. and offers 100GB.

Overview of OneDrive storage plans
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Differential sync for all file types

Differential sync brings the ability to sync only the parts of large files that have changed, not the entire file. The ability to leverage differential sync to all file types, stored in OneDrive and SharePoint is being rolled out this month.

Note: differential sync is already available for Office file types.

Find out more:

iOS app OCR in scan support

The OneDrive mobile app already has built-in scanning capabilities for scanning documents, whiteboards, business cards to name a few, as well as converting them into an easy-to-read PDF format. Scans taken for iOS 11.1.5 or later are now available for optical character recognition.

Find out more:

Teams

Filter chats

Newly released filters added in Chat and Teams help you filter more than just your activity. In chat, type a person’s name to filter for every group, meeting, or one-on-one chat you have with them.

Fitler Chat in Teams
Find out more:

Mute conversations

Now you can mute a conversation in a channel. Alternatively, when you want to follow a conversation in a channel you’ve hidden from your list, all you need to do is turn on notifications.

Turn off notifications in Teams
Find out more:

Secondary ringer

With the secondary ringer functionality, if you wear plugged in headsets you will still be able to hear an incoming call ring from your computer.

Find out more:

Cloud voicemail improvements

You can now directly transfer a call to Cloud Voicemail. You can also now configure call answer rules, choose the greeting language, customize the TTS for the standard greeting and the ‘out of office’ greeting, and choose when you want your ‘out of office’ greeting to be played.

Find out more:

Reverse number lookup

Now when you receive a call, Teams will display the PSTN Caller’s name based on Azure Active Directory data and/or the Telco provided display name. Available now on the desktop, and coming soon to Teams mobile.

Calling in Chrome

If You use Teams on the web, you can now add Google Chrome to your list of browsers that support making calls from your web browser.

Find out more:

Telephony updates for Microsoft GCC

Several updates are coming to Microsoft Government Community Cloud (GCC) this month, such as:

Call Handling Enhancements, Teams Calling improvements for VOIP users, Group Call Pickup (GCP), phone number blocking, Multiparty Calling without Conference License, Call Park (CP), and Shared Line Appearance (SLA).

Find out more:

No invite required for Meet Now

The “Meet Now” feature on desktop allows you to skip the invitation and instead go straight to in a new meeting. All you need to do is go to Calendar on the left side of Teams, then select Meet now in the top right corner and add the people to the meeting.

Pin a meeting participant

You can now choose which meeting attendees to “pin” to create your own personal view.  Right-click on a meeting participant and select “pin” (or unpin) to create your own custom layout of meeting participants.  Note that this view is your own and does not impact other meeting participants.

Pin a meeting participant in Teams

Missed meeting-add notifications

Now you will see a notification in the Teams activity feed to notify you that someone tried to add you to a meeting, and if the meeting is still going on you can join directly from there.

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Light weight meeting capabilities for Internet Explorer, Firefox & Safari

With the new light-weight meeting join capabilities, users can jump straight into a Teams Meeting in Internet Explorer 11, Safari, and Firefox browsers. Meeting audio is delivered via Audio Conferencing, so meeting organizers will need the respective license.

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New version of Microsoft To Do

Microsoft unveiled a new version of To Do this month with a new look and new features. You can change the experience and background (includes dark mode) to suit your needs. To Do can now integrate with other Microsoft 365 apps to create a central view of your tasks.

Microsoft To Do
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Microsoft Forms now offers the option to create surveys in multiple languages without having to merge separate documents.

Multi-language support for Microsoft Forms
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Export Visio diagrams to Flow

Now you can easily create new flows in Visio and export them as a fully functioning workflow to Microsoft Flow. Built-in Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) stencils have sharing and commenting capabilities, simplifying development and collaboration.

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New user templates to create users in M365

You can now create and use a template to save time when adding multiple users. Templates are particularly useful if you have users who share many properties, like those who work in the same role and the same location.

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Resources

Microsoft 365 update for August 2019

In this month’s update:

SharePointSite swap, site owners can join to hub sites, activity highlights in file hover card
OneDrivePopular around me, comments on non-office files, Samsung + OneDrive
TeamsFocus time, content cameras, meetings first, share audio, partner provided calling plans for Japan, audio conferenceing via direct routing GCC High & GCC DoD, Personal apps (developer preview), enhanced assignments Teams for Education
PoweAppsOctober PowerApps release wave videos, publishing changes to Portals, PowerApps CLI, new functions, provisioning/ admin updates, inline navigate, SharePoint declaration improvents, data source experience & CDS views, share canvas apps with guests
RelatedWork-in-progress slides in PowerPoint, direct links to PowerPoint slides, enhanced Yammer mobile experience

SharePoint

Site swap

Finally, you can make your root site a modern communication site or a modern team site! Using the new PowerShell cmdlet: Invoke-SPOSiteSwap, switches the location of a source site with another target site.

Note: the source or target sites cannot be “associated” with an Office 365 group or connected to a hub site.

Invoke-SPOSiteSwap
         -SourceUrl <string>
         -TargetUrl <string>
         -ArchiveUrl <string>   
      [<CommonParameters>]
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Site owners can assoicate sites to a hub

Site owners can now associate their sites to a hub they have permissions to join. Previously this ability required site collection level admin privileges.

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Activity highlights in the File Hover Card

The activity highlights shows you if someone you work with edits, comments, or @mentions you on files you’re working on. This is displayed in the File Hover Card, with a link to the relevant activity.

Recent activity in the File Hover Card
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OneDrive

Now you can find relevant content at the top of the Shared with me view in OneDrive. Files which are recommended based on your working relationships will surface to help you find trending information faster and discover new content.

The new popular around me view in OneDrive
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Comments on non-Office files

You can already comment on Office docs in Office on the web, but now you can comment on other file types in OneDrive on the web such as PNGs, JPGs, or PDFs. You can also comment while using the viewer in OneDrive.

Comments on non-Office files in OneDrive
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Samsung + OneDrive

OneDrive will be natively integrated into the Samsung Gallery app, providing automatic syncing of your photos and videos and enabling new protection and cross-device experiences. The Galaxy Note10 will be the first to get the OneDrive integration, with more Samsung devices to follow.

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Teams

Focus time

When you schedule “focus time” through MyAnalytics, Teams will automatically help you stay focused by changing your presence to “focusing” and silencing all notifications during the focus period (based on your priority access settings).

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Content cameras & intelligent capture

The Microsoft Teams Room app has been updated to include a “content camera” feature. This detects the whiteboard in the room, crops and frames it, and shares the content with remote participants.

Microsoft Teams Rooms
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Meetings first

Meetings First is a configuration mode that allows organizations to continue to use Skype for Business Server for their chat and enterprise voice needs, but move their meetings workload to the cloud.

Any version of Skype for Business Server is supported, though more recent clients will have a better coexistence experience. In addition, organizations need to be licensed for Teams, including Audio Conferencing if PSTN dial-in/dial-out functionality is required.

Teams Meetings First
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Share audio in Teams

Now, you can share your audio during a Teams meeting, so all participants can hear whatever media you’re presenting.

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Partner provided call plans for Japan

SoftBank has released their UniTalk calling plans to Office 365 customers in Japan. The Softbank Calling Plans enables SoftBank to sell and support PSTN calling services specifically for the Japanese market.

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Audio Conferencing via Direct Routing for GCC High and GCC DoD

  • o Conferencing via Direct Routing for GCC High and GCC DoD

This feature enables participants to join your organization’s meetings using a standard phone number. Configuring this feature requires your GCC High or GCC DoD organization to use its own numbers for dial-in access and all meeting dial-outs to phones are via Direct Routing.

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Personal apps on mobile (developer preview)

Currently in developer preview, Personal apps can extend and customize Microsoft Teams for your organization. It provides a capability for people in your organization to use 3rd party apps within Teams.

Personal apps in developer preview has been rolled out, with a a broader target rollout in the last quarter of 2019.

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Enhanced assignment tab in Teams for Education

The enhanced Assignments tab now shows a clear view of what’s coming up next, when creating a class assignment, educators can add resources from your Staff or PLC team. Simply select Add resources on your assignment and choose it from the file picker. You no longer need to move your content between teams.

Add resources in Teams for Education
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PowerApps

PowerApps October release wave updates!

In August the PowerApps team added videos to the release notes show casing upcoming innovations as part of the wave 2 releases. You can see the video below:

PowerApps 2019 release wave 2 overview
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Publishing changes to PowerApps Portals

PowerApps Portals now uses the selective entity caching approach to improve reliability and performance of your portal. With this update, you can now see changes reflected on the portal immediately.

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New features for the PowerApps CLI

PowerApps component framework can now see changes in the test harness as they are made and push components directly into an org using the CLI.

The push capability will make you more efficient because it bypasses the custom component versioning requirements and does not require you to build your solution in order to import into your development environment.

The watch capability removes the need to reload your test harness after every change is made.

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SetFocus function

The SetFocus function gets data entered faster by having the app position the cursor in the input field where we should begin. When you go to validate, the app will take you directly to the offending entry, even if it scrolled off screen.

SetFocus function in PowerApps
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With function

You can now simplify large formulas by dividing them into named sub-formulas, eliminate redundant sub-formulas, and easily work with functions that return records.

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Provisioning & administration updates for Power Platform admin center

Several changes were rolled out in August to the Power Platform admin center, including:

  • Provisioning environments
  • Provisioning based on available capacity
  • Administrators can view all environments in the admin center
  • Simplified license requirements to administrator environments
  • Top table trend is now available in the capacity report.
Power Platform admin center
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Inline navigate to all of our modern model-driven designers

To reduce the amount of clutter within your browser while building apps, Microsoft have introduced an option to open the modern view and form designers inline. To get back, you can simply press the back button in the designer.

Inline navigate for modern model-driven designers
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Improvements to SharePoint delegation

Delegation of SharePoint complex objects and Query and filter operations on objects such as Person and Choice is now supported in PowerApps.

In addition, the DateTime and Date values are still not yet delegable, but a null value can be delegated for a DateTime and Date field.

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Data source experience & Common Data Service views

New data source experience and Common Data Service views that allow adding data sources into the app, or creating new connections without inserting a control have been updated.

Also updated is enabling a Common Data Service entity view that can be selected in the property pane and the Items property.  The property pane will update the Items property to add the Filter function taking the the view name as the filter.

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Share canvas apps with guests

Now in public preview, this feature enables canvas apps to be shared with guests of your organization! This enables teams of individuals made up of different organizations participating in a common business process to access the same app.

Sharing canvas apps with guests of your organization
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Please note: there are also several updates for the PowerApps Unified Interface that I haven’t been able to list here, but you can find all the details from the link below:

https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/august-2019-updates-for-microsoft-powerapps/

Related

You can now transform standard shapes in PowerPoint, Word, and Excel into rough outlines that look handdrawn and convey a sense of in-progress work. Sketched Shapes is perfect for building wireframes, drafting designs, or adding an artistic touch.

Work-in-progress diagrams and slides in PowerPoint
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You can now get a link to an individual slide from PowerPoint and share it with recipients. This will help others land on the most relevant information without having to find what you were trying to show them through a stack of presentation slides

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Recently announced, a new Yammer mobile experience to iOS and Android devices. Some highlights include a modernized feed experience that reduces visual clutter and delivers improved readability, live events, and townhalls that you can view on the go; Seen Counts to let you know how many people have viewed your messages; and group search to cut down on search time and find the information you need.

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Links and resources