Microsoft 365 update for April 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Power Virtual Agentsfeature wave 1 summary

Project Cortexoffice hours, demo – content capture, modernized MMS

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

SharePoint

Stock images

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

Stock images in SharePoint.

Find out more:

Modernized filtering & tagging in the Managed Metadata Service

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

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

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

Find out more:

Site navigation & footer now has audience targeting

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

Find out more:

Shy header for modern & hub sites

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

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

Find out more:

SharePoint spaces enters preview

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

SharePoint spaces is now in preview.

Find out more:


Teams

Up to nine simultaneous videos in Teams meetings

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

This feature is currently rolling out world-wide.

Find out more:

Raise hands feature

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

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

Find out more:

Background effects

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

Background effects in Microsoft Teams.

Find out more:

Background blur for iOS

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

Live captions for iOS and Android

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

Find out more:

Limit increases for Live Events

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

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

This temporary increase will be in place until July 1.

Find out more:

Share system audio in Live Events

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

Share system audio in live events.

Find out more:

End meeting for all participants

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

End meeting for all participants in Teams meetings.

Find out more:

Recording for 1-1 calls

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

Find out more:

New Yammer app for Teams

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

The new Yammer app for Teams.

Find out more:

New praise badges

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

Three new praise badges are now available in Teams.

Find out more:

Edit cross-channel posts

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

Find out more:

Teams meetings for remote learning (Education)

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

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

Find out more:

Live events for A1 faculty licenses

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

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

Find out more:

Private Channels for GCC

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

Advisor for Teams GCC (preview)

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

Meetings dashboard for Teams admins

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

Teams meetings dashboard for admins.

Find out more:

Local media optimization

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

Find out more:

Policy to prevent upload of profile picture

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

Find out more:

New app analytics and reports experience

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

Analytics and reports in Teams.

Find out more:

Batch policy assignment

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

Find out more:

New meeting controls for Teams admins

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

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

OneDrive

Sensitivity labels in OneDrive

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

Sensitivity labels for Office files in OneDrive and SharePoint.

Find out more:

Version history via file browser on desktop

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

Version history for the OneDrive desktop client.

Find out more:

Delete a locked file

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

Ability to delete a locked file in OneDrive.

Find out more:

Sync app updates

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

Find out more:


Power Apps

Simplified identity provider configuration (public preview)

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

Simplified identity provider configuration in Power Apps portals.

Find out more:

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

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

Power Apps portals now has additional global entity support.

Find out more:

Simplified themes in portals studio (public preview)

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

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

Find out more:

New data loss prevention policy capabilities (public preview)

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

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

Find out more:

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

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

Find out more:

AI Builder numerical prediction (preview)

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

Find out more:

New geospatial features coming to Power Apps

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

Interactive maps in the Power Apps studio.

Find out more:

Connector certification in ISV studio

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

Find out more:

New prediction model performance page in AI Builder

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

Find out more:

Teams context variables for Power Apps

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

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

Context variables for Teams in Power Apps.

Find out more:

Mixed Reality in Power Apps (preview)

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

Introducing mixed reality in Power Apps.

Find out more:

UX enhancements to model-driven apps on mobile

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

  • A prominent header
  • Navigation
  • Commanding

Find out more:


Power Automate

Approval workflows for adding a site to a SharePoint hub site

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

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

Find out more:

Robotic process automation, UI flows generally available

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

Robotic process automation in Power Automate with UI flows.

Find out more:

Six AI builder model types now generally available

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

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

Find out more:

15 additional Power Automate connectors

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

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

Find out more:

Changes to the Gmail connector

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

Find out more:


Power BI

Service and Mobile February/ March 2020 feature summary

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

Find out more:

Shortcuts available in the Power BI Android app

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

Find out more:

Custom navigation builder enters GA

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

Custom navigation in Power BI is now generally available.

Find out more:

New features in paginated reports

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

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

Find out more:


Power Virtual Agents

Power Virtual Agents feature summary wave 1

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

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

Find out more:


Project Cortex

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

Example of a knowledge center in Project Cortex.

Project Cortex Office Hours

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

Find out more:

Demo – content capture in Project Cortex

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

Find out more:

Modernizing SharePoint Managed Metadata Services (MMS)

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

Find out more:


Related

Open in review mode only – Word for the web

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

Open in review mode only in Word for the web.

Find out more:

Conversations in the file card experience

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

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

Find out more:

New & updated usage reports in Microsoft 365 admin center

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

Activity graph in Office 365 active users report.

Find out more:

O365 Groups to become Microsoft 365 Groups

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

Find out more:

Microsoft 365 update for March 2020

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

Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis management resources

In this month’s update:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SharePoint

Multi-lingual publishing in communication sites

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

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

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

Find out more:

Company branding now supported on SharePoint Mobile App

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

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

Find out more:

SharePoint root site swap restrictions lifted

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

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

Find out more:

Wiki notation

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

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

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

Find out more:

Microsoft to pause/ revert the updated SharePoint start page experience

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

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

Find out more:

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

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

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

Find out more:

Rich-text capabilities in the conditional formatting rule builder

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

 Conditional formatting rule builder with new rich-text capabilities.

Find out more:

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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.

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Resize images within the image web part

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

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

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

Find out more:

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Next steps panel improvements for SharePoint team sites

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

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

Find out more:

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Teams

Read receipts in private chats

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

Read receipts in Microsoft Teams chats.

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Colleague joined Team notification

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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Test Studio

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

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Microsoft Stream videos/ channels in canvas apps

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

Microsoft Stream videos inside canvas apps.

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Power Automate

Simplified AI Builder in Power Automate

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

Form processing example with AI Builder.

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UI Flows January 2020 update now available

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

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.

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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
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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
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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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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>]
Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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).

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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
Find out more:

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

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

Links and resources

Microsoft 365 update for July 2019

In this months update:

SharePoint

Page/ news authoring improvements

Several updates will soon be available for page and news authoring:

  • Drag and drop files to the canvas – authors will be able to upload images to the canvas using drag and drop. They will automatically add the file viewer and upload the file to the document library
  • Link preview – rich preview for links pasted into the text editor to embed videos from Stream/ YouTube links or images with title and description from other links
  • On-page anchors – support for anchor links, allowing readers to jump to a specific parts of the pages
  • Undo/Redo – authors will have the option to undo changes prior to saving/ publishing
  • Vertical sections – vertical sections will be able to be added to client-side pages
SharePoint news in Office 365
Find out more:

Communication sites will soon have an out-of-the box footer control, which can be controlled using the change the look panel or by using PowerShell [FooterEnabled]. The site footer supports following elements: 8 links or labels, logo and name.

Collaboration site footers in modern SharePoint
Find out more:

Site usage updates

An improved user experience for the site usage pages in SharePoint, including new “Unique Visitors” and “Site Visits” charts, plus more.

Find out more

Preview 360-degree images

You will soon be able to view 360-degree images interactively, directly within SharePoint and OneDrive.

360-degree images in SharePoint and OneDrive
Find out more:

Quick edit improvements for libraries & lists

New features available when in quick edit mode for libraries and lists such as filtering content, dragging & dropping column widths, showing all view and column formatting and improvement support for user/ choice fields

Improvements to quick edit mode for SharePoint libraries and lists
Find out more:

Bulk approvals for SharePoint lists/libraries

Soon will soon be able to select multiple items and have the ability to approve/reject them in one go. You can also add optional comments to the approved or rejected items and the Flow will send them out to stakeholders.

Find out more:

Presevation hold library updates

New 30-day grace periods are being introduced for the release of SharePoint Online holds, preventing the hold from being immediately released. Whilst within the grace period, any deleted item will continue to be preserved in the preservation library until the hold is removed.

Items in a preservation hold library are now moved into the “second stage recycle bin” before being purged.

Diagram of a preservation hold library process flow
Find out more:

Per-site anyone link expiration policies

Currently, anonymous sharing links can be set to expire after a set number of days (between 1 and 720). This new setting will allow admins to cahnge the expiration policy length on a per-site basis, overriding the tenant level policy.

This will only be available via the SharePoint Online Management Shell as part of the inital release, but will be apart of the SharePoint admin center soon.

Find out more:

OneDrive Azure Active Directory (AAD) business-to-business (B2B) sync (preview)

Currently in preview, this integrates external sharing in SharePoint and OneDrive with Azure AD B2B. This includes external sharing of files, folders, list items, document libraries and sites.

When a user shares an item in SharePoint or OneDrive with an external user, a guest account is immediately created for that external user (if one does not already exist).

Find out more:

Teams

Read receipts & priority notifications

Added in July were read receipts and priority notifications to make sure time-senstive message are received and prioritised.

For a limited time, unlimited priority notifications will be made available for all customers. This promotion runs from July 2019 to December 31, 2019.

Priority notifications in Teams
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@-less mentions

Now simply start typing a person’s name (starting with a capital letter) as to tag them by name. They will receive a notification, which they can click to go directly to the point in the conversation where they were mentioned.

@-less mentions in Teams
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Channel moderation

Channel moderation gives team owners and moderators, exclusive rights to create new posts in the channel and control whether team members can reply.

Find out more:

Teams live events captioning

Currently in preview, live captions and subtitles allow attendees to read speaker captions in real time – improving accessibility for meetings and live events.

Find out more:

Usage reports for live events

Available now, usage reports help you easily identify trends across your organisation including event status, views, scheduler and more.

Live events usage reports in Teams
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Network planner (preview)

The Network Planner calculates your network requirements for deploying Teams and cloud voice across physical locations. You only need to provide your network details and Teams usage.

Find out more:

Time clock in Teams Shifts

The new time clock feature in Teams Shifts allows workers to clock in and out right from their Teams mobile app. Managers have the option to geo-fence a location to ensure team members are at the designated worksite when clocking in or out.

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Skype for Business Online will be retired on July 31, 2021

Skype for Business Online will be retired on July 31, 2021 and after that date the service will no longer be accessible.

Please note that the Skype Consumer service and Skype for Business Server will both be unaffected by this announcement.

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OneDrive

More updates are rolling out to the file card experience for both OneDrive and SharePoint:

  • Inside look – get even deeper information about a file such as “key points, and the average time to read. “Key points” is only available in North America and on Word documents
  • Activity highlights – shows relevant activities related to the files you’re working on. Includes edits, comments and @mentions
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Full support for Intune for OneDrive

Announced in July 2019, Intune has released administrative templates. With the templates, admins can now configure over 2500 settings supporting the management of Windows, OneDrive and Office in a similar user interface to group policy editor.

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OneDrive mobile app updates

  • Design refresh for iOS app – latest update brings the iOS app in-line withthe suite of other Office apps
  • Recent view includes PDFs and scans – uploaded scans and recently viewed PDFs automatically surgace at the top of the “recent” list
  • PDF annotation experience – more intuitive and touch friendly markup experience with lightweight notes, with other improvements to the annotation and signature experience
  • OneDrive powered file picking experience in Outlook for iOS – Consistent “recent” list of files and folders through the OneDrive app, email attachments and shared libraries
  • Revamped settings page – Improved usability of the settings page for OnDrive on iOS
Refreshed design for OneDrive app on iOS
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Personal vault

OneDrive personal vault is a protected area that you are only able to access with a strong authentication method or two-tep identity verification.

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PowerApps

PowerApps Portals now in public preview

First announced in July, the public preview for PowerApps Portal is now open to everyone. PowerApps Portals are low-code, responsive portals that allow external users access to interact with data stored in the common data service.

PowerApps Portals now in public preview
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PowerApps ISV Studio in public preview

Also annouced in July was the public preview of the PowerApps ISV Studio, the Power Platform destination for independent software vendors (ISV) to monitor and manage their applications.

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AppSource certification readiness

With the public preview annoucement of PowerApps Build Tools, this includes an Azure DevOps Build task (PowerApps checker service) that validates your app against the AppSource certification criteria.

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Right-click and keyboard shortcuts

The PowerApps design canvas now responds to right-clicks to perform key actions like copy, paste, reorder and align. This same menu is also available in the tree view.

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Manage gateways through Power Platform Admin Center

If you are a gateway admin you will now see all data gateways (standard and personal mode) that you have admin privileges over. This view will allow you to manage gateway admins, as well as search on cluster names and contact info.

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Share canvas app data using the common data service with Azure AD Security Groups

Canvas apps using the common data service can be shared with Azure AD security groups, and data permissions for these groups can be set using the PowerApps.com sharing experience. This streamlines the process of sharing apps with several users, rather than on an individual basis.

Sharing a PowerApps canvas app using the common data service with Azure AD security groups
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Updates to the on-premises data gateway

The on-premises data gateway is now built using .NET 4.7.2 framework, so some operating systems may no longer be supported.

With July 2019 update, if you don’t have .NET 4.7.2 framework or higher but are using a supported OS version, the gateway install will prompt the .NET framework install. If you choose not to install the .NET framework, the installation will fail.

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Flow

New SharePoint connector actions

Several highly requested features have been added to the SharePoint connector:

  • Work with folders – you can now directly create folders in a document library. Extracting .zip files into a folder is also supported
  • Use check in / out – you can now use Check in, Check out and Discard check out when working with document libraries
  • Work with Permissions – you can grant access to an item or a folder in SharePoint to specific people, or delete all links giving access to an item or a folder and remove all people with direct access except owners
  • Modern Document Sets – Document sets will appear in the file picker for the When a file is created in a folder and When a file is created or modified in a folder action triggers.
Modern document set actions in Flow

Use Flow with Azure DevOps

Now in public preview, the PowerApps and Flow Build Tools are now available for download. As Flow expands across Microsoft 365, the automation of the lifecycle of Apps and Flows grows also, plus managing them through source control and versioning leveraging DevOps for deployments.

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Guest user support

Now in public preview, guest access enables users to assign approvals to guest users who are not full members of the tenant. Support includes the SharePoint and Approvals connectors for building automated, instant or scheduled flows.

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Flow authoring improvements

One powerful aspect of automating flows is that any action can use data output by any trigger or action above it in the Flow. This can be a challenge if you want to change a step earlier in the Flow, which other actions depend on.

Now, you are able to delete or rename actions one which other steps depend. Flow checker can be used to fix any issues that arise.

Previously, there were restrictions for classic CDS workflows around editing a running, automated flow – in which you had to first disable it. Now, this restriction has been removed, meaning you can now edit running flows.

New connectors

There were four new connectors released throughout July 2019, such as:

  • Corda Blockchain – Corda is a smart contract distributed ledger. With the Corda connector, you can perform actions such as submitting transactions and reading contract state.
  • LiveTiles Bots – Let people focus on the work that matters most. Automate mundane, repetitive tasks. Create personal, team, enterprise and external assistants with a range of abilities
  • Projectum Present It – Fill data dynamically into your documents
  • Serverless360 BAM & Tracking – ServerLess360 Custom connector helps you track your business processes
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Now when you paste a link for a OneDrive or SharePoint file in a message, it will replace it with the name of the file and the corresponding Office app icon. That link will also allow you to manage permissions for the file using a new sharing dialogue.

New file sharing experience in Outlook for the web
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Microsoft have annouced they are retiring the “Online” branding for Office web apps. The user experience will reflect this change soon.

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Microsoft Forms continues to improve and help create forms faster and more professionally. Here’s a round-up of the latest feature releases:

  • Branching – available early August 2019, branching provides more flexibility to manage survey strutures with conditioning questions supported
  • Theme recommendation – theme recommendation intelligently suggests designs based on the user input title
  • Quick poll add-in for Outlook – you can now create real time polls in seconds without having to leave the email app
  • Quizzes from Office.com – now users can create a new quiz, directly from the O365 homepage
Quick polls for Outlook
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Links and resources

Microsoft 365 update for June 2019

Better late than never 😉 here’s a round-up of all the latest news, enhancements and feature updates for June 2019…

In this month’s update:

SharePoint

Organizational assets

Organization assets lets you register one or more document libraries via PowerShell as a special source for images, such as photos and logos, across all sites. The Organization assets libraries are available when you add images to page headers, galleries, or other web parts.

Organization assets in SharePoint
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SharePoint hub sites limit raised to 2000

A hub site brings together numerous other sites, and now the number of hub sites you can create in your tenant has increased. As announced at SPC19, the number of SharePoint hubs that you can create per tenant will go up from 100 to 2000.

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Adobe Document Cloud integration

Adobe Document Cloud also now supports single sign-on with Azure Active Directory, dramatically the simplifying log-in process. Now you’ll be able to work with PDF files on the web and in the context of SharePoint & OneDrive, with features like inline commenting and drawing.

Inline commenting and drawing will now work in the context of SharePoint
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Easily tell if a SharePoint document library folder is connected to Teams channel

It’s now easier to tell which folders within your library have an associated Teams channel. Chat capability associated to it is visible and actionable right from within the SharePoint user interface. SharePoint helps users understand that actions like delete or renaming a channel-connected folder need to happen through the Teams app.

Easily tell if a document library in SharePoint is connected to Teams
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Teams

Teams desktop rolling out toO365 ProPlus & Microsoft/Office 365 Business/Business Premium

Starting in July 2019, if you’re using Monthly Channel, then Teams will be added to existing installations of Office 365 ProPlus (and Office 365 Business) on devices running Windows when you update your existing installation to the latest version.

If Teams is already installed in a user’s machine, they are not impacted by this change.

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Information barriers

Information barriers will help avoid conflicts of interest within your organization. This can help limit the disclosure of information by controlling communication between the holders of information and colleagues representing different interests.

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Team channel announcements

You can now post an “announcement” complete with a headline and background image, to ensure that your post catches your readers’ eye.

Annoucements in Teams
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Group chats now accomodate up to 100 users

Do you need to have an ad-hoc discussion with a large number of people? Group chats can now accommodate up to 100 users.

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Discover Private Teams more easily

Admins and team owners can now control whether they want to allow private teams to be discovered by Teams users. When a private team is discoverable, it shows up in search results and is included in suggestions in the team gallery alongside public teams.

Discover private teams
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Aid automation with Azure Pipelines

Launched in June, Microsoft releasued the Teams app for Azure pipelines. Azure pipelines allows you to automate customer builds and deployments, so you can spend less time with the nuts and bolts and more time being creative.

Azure Pipelines for Teams
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Meeting Options in Teams

You now have even more control over the design of your meetings in Teams! Meeting organizer’s can now control the lobby setting of any scheduled meeting. Settings can be found in the “Meeting options” link from the “Meetings” tab.

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Single toolbar for controls in Meetings and Calling

Teams session controls will now be unified into one toolbar at the bottom of the screen. This will affect Windows, Mac, and web clients. There is no impact for mobile or Microsoft Teams Room (MTR) devices.

While joining Teams Meetings on the Chrome browser, you can now share your own video and receive video of others.

Single toolbar in Meetings and Calling
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OneDrive

Password protected anyone sharing links

Now in OneDrive, you are able to set custom passwords while sharing a file or folder with anyone links to their colleagues within or outside their organization.

You can share the password separately with your intended recipients and they will be required to enter the password in order to access the shared content. If they accidentally forward or re-share the shared link, anyone without the password will not be able to gain access.

Password protected anyone sharing links in OneDrive
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External sharing with B2B integration (Preview)

The Azure Active Directory Business to Business (B2B) platform enables external users to exist in your Azure AD directory as “Guests” and can be managed in the way you are already familiar with.

External sharing with B2B integration joins external sharing in SharePoint and OneDrive with Azure AD B2B. It includes external sharing of files, folders, list items, document libraries and sites. The integration also expands the one-time passcode authentication experience to SharePoint sites and lists when sharing with external recipients who don’t already have a work, school or a Microsoft account (MSA).

With the integration turned on, when a user shares an item in SharePoint or OneDrive with an external user, a “Guest” account is immediately created for that external user (if one does not already exist). As a result, any sign-in or conditional access policies in place in your organization will take effect on those external users as well.

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OneDrive sync client B2B Sync – sync content shared internally or externally

Mirosoft are adding capabilities to the OneDrive sync client that lets users sync libraries or folders that have been shared from other organizations. You can now can sync content shared not only by peers within your own organization, but also by partners outside your organization that you regularly collaborate with.

This feature works in tandem with the external sharing with B2B integration feature and requires recipients to have a “Guest” account in Azure AD to make B2B collaboration possible.

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Microsoft Search in OneDrive

Microsoft Search is now in OneDrive. A new search box will appear at the top of the page in the OneDrive suite header and provide a consistent place to access the search functionality making it easy to discover all files and folders.

Search in OneDrive
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Inside Look for .docx file types in hover cards

There are a few new features being rolled out as part of the improved File Card experience. Now you will see a “time to read” estimate, plus the “at a glance” feature which will show key sentences from within the Word document.

Hover cards in O365
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Automatically sync your SharePoint team site shared libraries with OneDrive team site automount

This feature offers admins the ability to automatically connect and synchronize specific SharePoint team site document libraries as part of a OneDrive deployment. To help configure a team site to sync automatically, Microsoft provide a new group policy (“Configure team site libraries to sync automatically”) for admins to deploy.

NOTE: these are the document libraries within group-connected team sites that appear under the “Shared libraries” list within a person’s OneDrive user interface.

OneDrive team site automount

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Yammer Q&A

Question and answer in Yammer enables you to start a conversation in the question format from the browser or mobile app. Unique styling helps everyone identify which posts need answers. In the coming weeks, you’ll also be able to filter to see only questions and unanswered questions.

Q&A feature in Yammer
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Yammer local data residency

Yammer now offers local data residency to help organizations in the EU meet data residency requirements. This feature is available to all new Office 365 customers associated with a tenant in the EU.

Coming soon, Yammer content will also show up in eDiscovery searches, bringing advanced security and compliance capabilities to Yammer groups connected to Office 365 Groups.

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Cloud App Security

Discover the apps and services that are running on top of your IaaS and PaaS subscriptions, whether they are running on Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, or Google Cloud Platform. Gain visibility into those apps and services, including which users are accessing them, transactions, IP addresses, and how much traffic is being transmitted.

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Azure AD conditional access policies

Annouced in June, Azure AD Conditional Access policies help you maintain control over your Office 365 environment and how your company resources are accessed. For example, you can define a conditional access policy that evaluates sign-in connections from mobile devices to Exchange Online, and requires employees use Outlook for iOS or Android to successfully access their work email and calendar.

Azure AD conditional access policies
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Version history in Office for Web

Version History is coming to Office for the web, enabling you to see what changes have occurred and revert to an earlier version if necessary. Version History is rolling out now, starting with PowerPoint on the web.

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Links and resources