Microsoft 365 update for July 2019

In this months update:

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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
Find out more:

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
Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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
Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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
Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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
Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

Links and resources

Microsoft 365 update for May 2019

I decided to hold fire on posting a full write up from the SharePoint Conference to create a bumper edition of this month’s update.

I’ll include several of the bigger announcments coming out of SPC19, but ill include a full list of links to all the annocument recaps coming out of the event for more information.

In this month’s update:

SharePoint

SharePoint home sites

One of the most requested features of the modern experience for SharePoint is the ability to have the default or ‘root’ SharePoint site in the full modern experience. Home sites can be any commication site in your environment, that come with ‘superpowers’ such as:

  • News from home sites becomes organisational news
  • Search from home sites becomes tenant wide
  • Shared branding with the SharePoint start page
  • Unique mobile app experience

SharePoint home sites are being targeted to be rolled out around Q3 2019.

Find out more:

Sensitivity labels for SharePoint sites

Currently in private preview, Sensitivity Labels allow you to apply consistent security and access policies to SharePoint sites based on the sensitivity of the site.

Sensitivity labels with protection now supported

You can now experience the same collaborative capabilities for Office files protected with sensitivity labels in Microsoft 365 in SharePoint and OneDrive as files with no protection applied. Files with labels applied will be encrypted on upload by Azure Information Protection and understand the policies applied to the document by the label.

External access expiration

Tenant-scoped external sharing expiration allows admins to specify how long external users can have access to sites and their contents. Once the maximum period of time for external sharing links has been met, access if revoked unless extended by the administrator.

Find out more:

SharePoint admin center improvements

There have lots of improvements since the new SharePoint admin center was released to preview earlier this year. Here are some major updates from this month:

  • Classic features now available in new admin center
  • Support for performing bulk actions against a collection of sites
  • Ability to rename sites (GREAT NEWS!)
  • Improved sharing controls
  • Windows PowerShell cmdlet (invoke-spositeswap) that allows you to replace the root site within a tenant with an existing site (ALSO GREAT NEWS!)
Find out more:

Data bar formatting for number columns

Column formatting in SharePoint lists & libraries continues to improve, you can now format number columns with chart-like data bars!

Find out more:

DLP for restricted access

A new security control (in private preview) that blocks external sharing of files in OneDrive and SharePoint until a DLP scan has been completed. This prevents overexposure of sensitive information and compliance with policies set by the tenant administrator.

DLP for restricted sharing

Another new security control (coming to private preview Q3 2019), that coincides with easy sharing with anonymous links, but once files are scanned by DLP and flagged as sensitive, anonymous access to the file is blocked.

Find out more:

App Pages and Teams tabs

Now in GA with SharePoint Framework 1.8, app pages make it possible to add full-page tools in SharePoint. Available through a new create page experinece, team members can add application pages to existing sites.

You can also add more Teams tabs directly into your SharePoint sites.

Find out more:

SharePoint Migration Tool updates

SharePoint 2013 full site migration GA

Announced earlier this year, full site migrations for SharePoint server 2013 now enters GA. This includes migration support for the following:

  • Document lists and libraries
  • SharePoint list templates (see full list here)
  • Out of the box sites (sites not utilising any code or 3rd party tools)
  • Navigation & icons
  • Site descriptions
  • SharePoint web parts (see supported web parts here)
  • Pages (including site asset library pages)
  • Managed metadata (including content types and term stores)

Additional language support

The migration tool is now localised for 11 different languages, support for Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish & English.

SharePoint 2010 migration support

Huge news for those of us still toiling away on SP2010 😀 with end of extended support for SharePoint 2010 less than 15 months away, you can now start to migrate content from SharePoint 2010 to Office 365.

Find out more:

SharePoint Server improvements

Announced at SPC2019, SharePoint Server 2019 provides more flexible deployment options to include support for Azure Stack and SQL Managed Instances.

A managed instance in Azure SQL Database is a fully managed SQL Server Database Engine Instance hosted in Azure cloud. Support is also being extended for deploying SharePoint Server 2016 (SharePoint Server 2019) on Azure Stack so you can build and run SharePoint environments using consistent Azure services on-premises.

Find out more:

Teams

Proximity-based meeting join

Proximity-based meeting join for Microsoft Teams Rooms means that the Teams app on your desktop or mobile will find a Teams-enabled room for you to use that is nearby and available. Available now for your desktop and mobile clients, and will start working automatically. 

“Meeting started” notifications on your phone

You can now receive “meeting started” notifications on your phone when someone joins a Teams meeting on your calendar. You can join the meeting right from the notification, and skip searching for the correct meeting in your calendar.

Find out more:

Busy-on-busy signals

Busy on Busy is a feature that allows callers to know a user’s status when contacting them. When a user is already in a call or meeting, this setting alerts the caller that they are on another call by playing a busy signal. This feature is automatically available in your Teams experience.  

New Calls App

Voice over IP (VOIP) enabled users will now see the Calls App in the App bar in the Desktop and Web Clients, with voicemal coming soon. There is no change in functionality for existing users or calling policy configuration.

Call Me functionality

You can now join meetings through a “Call me” functionality both from pre-join screen and during the meeting. To use this feature, you need to provide a phone number where you can receive a phone call.

Find out more:

Read-only material with Class Materials

The new Class Materials folder in the General channel of Microsoft Teams for Education allows you to share files with students, without the ability to edit.

Find out more:

Manage membership on mobile

Manage your team and add new members straight from the Teams app on your phone. Invite guests from outside your organization via their email address using your mobile app.

Export reporting data from the admin center

You can now export Teams usage reports to CSV files for offline analysis. After selecting a report in the Analytics and reports section of the Microsoft Teams admin center, click Export to Excel.


OneDrive

Full-fidelity experience for shared libraries

You can now view shared libraries with full-fidelity from the OneDrive UI on the web. This means you can create new documents, pin important ones to the top, create views, manage metadata, share and more.

Full-fidelity experience for shared libraries
Find out more:

Preview more files than ever before

You can preview more than 320 file types in OneDrive, including 360-degree images and AutoCAD DWG files.

Comments on non-Office files

Collaborators can now add comments to any of the 320+ file with new support for comments on non-Office files.

Animated image of a comment left in a Word document stored in OneDrive.
Find out more:

New records management capabilities

You can now use native connectors to import non-Microsoft 365 data, like data from Facebook and Twitter into the 365 cloud for archival purposes. A new records management solution helps you easily manage business, legal, and HR records in a single location.

Find out more:

Quizzes, polls and forms in Stream

You can now add quizzes, forms, or polls directly into Microsoft Stream videos. The Forms integration into Microsoft Stream helps presenters interact with their audience and gives them a way to solicit feedback.

You can also now securely record, upload, and share video from the Microsoft Stream mobile app.

Animated screenshot of a video being played in Microsoft Stream.
Find out more:

Question and answer feature in Yammer

The new question and answer feature allows you toask a question, then you or a group admin can mark the best answer – making the knowledge easier to share and reuse in the future. Additionally, a group can feature intelligent, bot-like responses to frequently asked questions.

Animated image portraying Yammer question and answer functionality. A cursor clicks "mark best answer" on a person's reply.

Geo-data storage capabilities in Yammer

Microsoft are accelerating availability of in-geo data storage for Yammer in the EU, available now. This means that now Yammer messages and files attached to Yammer messages will be stored at-rest in our EU datacenters, for new Yammer networks in the EU.

Find out more:

Microsoft Search enters GA

Microsoft search is now generally avalible, offering a unified, consistent search experience to help you discover relevant people, content, commands, and activities across all the Microsoft 365 experiences you use daily.

Find out more:

Block downloading option for sharing links

The sharing links feature that blocks downloads is being updated. The updated feature will block downloads, disallow printing, or copying of a file. Block download is now available when using the “Specific people” sharing link type.

Users will be able to create “block download” links from File Explorer, Office apps, and the rest of the apps which use the common Office 365 file sharing experience.

Find out more:

Planner and To-Do intergrations

You can now see all your tasks across Microsoft 365 in To-Do, including flagged emails in Outlook and tasks assigned in Planner. View your tasks, deadlines, and details, and plan to get more done throughout your days.

Animated screenshot of Microsoft To-Do and Planner integration.
Find out more:

Microsoft Graph data connect enters GA

Announced this month, the general availabity of Microsoft Graph data connect. This service helps bring together productivity data from the Microsoft Graph with business data and derive deep insights about effective work patterns.

Find out more:

Links and resources


If you’ve made it this far…wow well done! Apologies this was such a long update, I wanted to make sure I included all of the updates from the SPC19, plus the various pitstops and what’s new blog posts for each of the products we cover in our monthly update.

Finally, the main inspiration for this monthly update, Jim Naroski’s new in 365 video series seems to have changed – with no more Jim. This change for me is definately for this worst, as expressed in the comments section too by the looks of it. Hopefully its a one time thing, but if not Jim’s personal touch to delivering all the latest 365 news spurs me on to continue my own series.

#bringbackjim

Microsoft 365 update for April 2019

Another bumper post for April, in this months update:

Let’s get started!

SharePoint updates

Files restore for SharePoint and Microsoft Teams

Files restore offers a self-service recover solutionthat allows administrators and site owners to restore files from any point in time during the last 30 days. Look for a new “Restore this library” option within the library settings panel.

Files restore example for SharePoint document libraries
Find out more:

Modern Document Sets

Long awaited modern document sets will update the user interface to bring them inline with modern sharepoint. Document sets allow you to group related documents together using shared metadata. Modern document sets also unlock the same intuitive user actions like drag and drop content, link to content that lives outside the document set, pin files and much, much more.

Modern Document Sets in SharePoint
Find out more:

News Audience Targeting

Audience targeting is a new feature within the news and highlighted content web parts that enables authors and site owners to tag news articles with Azure Active Directory groups to filter content through web parts to people within those groups.

Find out more:

Author reply emails for comments, replies and likes

Now when someone comments on your page or news post, SharePoint notifies you via email. Multiple comments will be batched so that you receive a single email. This feature will start rollout to targeted release in April, with worldwide rollout currently scheduled to be completed in mid-June 2019.

Find out more:

Connected web parts for SharePoint

Coming soon are three new connected web parts for SharePoint Online that allow you to display data from list and library web parts. With the List Properties, File Viewer and Embed web parts you can now connect to a data source and interact with lists and libraries in new ways.

Find out more:

Multi-Geo in SharePoint Online and Office 365 Groups

SharePoint Online and Office 365 Groups now joins Exchange Online and OneDrive in having the ability to enable where SharePoint sites and their content is stored.

Multi-Geo in SharePoint and Office 365 Groups enables global businesses to control the country or region where shared resources like SharePoint Team Sites, Office 365 Groups content (associated SharePoint Sites and Groups mailboxes) are stored at-rest.

Introducing Office 365 Multi-Geo
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Autodesk AutoCAD integration for SharePoint and OneDrive

New integrations with Autodesk connect OneDrive and SharePoint to the drafting tools available through AutoCAD. As you work with DWG files across these applications, you can open and edit them in the AutoCAD desktop application, the AutoCAD mobile app, and the new AutoCAD web app.

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You can now use larger, more flexible image types to upload your company logo in the Office 365 navigation bar. You will be able to upload a custom logo of any file size/ format via a URL in order to improve the clarity of the logo image that your users see.

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Office 365 Group card enhancements

Improvements to the Office 365 group “hover cards” so that you can act on the group within the context of what you’re doing, rather than going to a separate page. You can search through all group members, renew the group per any set expiry, and approve pending members.

Office 365 Group card enhancements
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Microsoft Teams updates

Praise badges

Praise in Microsoft Teams is the new way to show your appreciation and encourage each other at work. Send in a 1:1 chat or post it to a channel for the entire team.

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Teams PowerShell module GA

The Teams PowerShell module is now generally available. This PowerShell module allows you to manage the lifecycle of teams within your organisation.

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Request to add on behalf of

You can now request on behalf of someone else to join a private team. Teams can be created as either private, where admins control membership, or public, where anyone in the organization is welcome to join.

Increased member limits

Organisation wide teams now have higher size limits, so they can have up to 5000 members in a team. Global administrators can easily create a public team that pulls in every user in the organisation and keeps the membership up to date with Active Directory as users join and leave.

Org-wide teams now have higher size limits

Show/ hide teams

It’s now much easier to keep your teams list tidy. What used to be Favorite and Remove from favorites is now Show and Hide. Choose which teams and channels you want to show in your teams list and hide the rest. You’ll still get notified when @mentioned, they just won’t clutter your teams list.

Hiding a team from a list view
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OneDrive updates

Golden folder icon design

OneDrive is introducing golden folders with subtle, yet noticeable clues emblazoned on the icon to remind you of the contents and sharing status of each folder. Golden folders are being rolled out across mobile and web in OneDrive, SharePoint and connected experiences in other apps.

Golden folders in OneDrive and the OneDrive mobile app
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OneDrive sync client improvements

The OneDrive sync client lets you can access and share all your files directly from your desktop in Windows File Explore or macOS Finder. Some new updates for the sync client include:

  • Self-help option: “Illegal files names not syncing” 
    A new in-app resolution to sync errors – like when using an Asterix “*” symbol or any file name starting with “~$” – to help avert and solve naming blockers, to then rename the file and continue with upload
  • Request assistance
    Look for a new “Get Help” option in the OneDrive activity center on your desktop. This enables people to initiate a support ticket.
  • Prompt for pending uploads
    And one last “wait, before you go” feature… the OneDrive sync client will also notify users when they have pending uploads when the computer is shutting down or going into standby
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Block download option for specific people sharing link

You are now able to use the “Block download” functionality that allows people to block recipients from downloading, copying and pasting shared content when using the “Specific people” style sharing links.

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Office client apps – required document properties updates

Users will now be able to save Office files with missing required properties. This change only applies to the Office files synced by the OneDrive sync client. Additionally, users can add, or update required properties for a document by navigating to the file in the SharePoint document library and entering the appropriate value.

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Other, related updates

Yammer conversations & highlights web part

The Yammer conversations wep part enables you to integrate topics, groups or users into SharePoint. This combines the social nature of learning across organizations with the content and knowledge management powers of SharePoint.

The Yammer Highlights web part, provides a quick overview of active conversations and a targeted portal to specific groups or conversations in Yammer.

Microsoft Search in Bing Preview includes Yammer conversations ​

Yammer conversations or conversations between co-workers will now start appearing Microsoft Search in Bing. Microsoft Search will only return information and files that you have permission to see.

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New icons in Office 365 apps

Microsoft have updated their available icon set, with nearly 350 new icons being added to choose from. You are able to rotate, resize, and recolor the icons without any loss in the quality of the image. You can also separate the icon into its components and use only the pieces you want.

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Power BI web by example connector

The Power BI web by example connector allows customers to scrape data from HTML pages. It supports ingesting any data element on the page, beyond just HTML tables. You can now automatically suggest Power BI tables based on HTML element repetition patterns.

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Custom assessments in Compliance Manager

Compliance Manager now allows you to create custom risk assessments of any application used in your organization. This customised assessments capability enables IT to import their own security and compliance controls into Compliance Manager, including those for corporate policy, local law, and industrial standards.

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Security Policy Advisor

Office Security Policy Advisor is a new intelligent service, now available in preview, that uses behavior-based analysis to help IT admins to quantify the risks and benefits of applying a tailored policy, and monitor policy health over time, for their Office clients.

Admins can now deploy policies with a single click and easily update, or even roll back, policies.

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Links and resources

Microsoft 365 blogNew in Microsoft 365 – April 2019
New in Microsoft 365 video – April 2019
SharePoint Roadmap Pitstop –
April 2019
What’s new in Teams –
April 2019
OneDrive Roadmap Roundup –
April 2019