The Microsoft 365 monthly update includes updates and recently recent features across all of Microsoft 365. Press a button to read about an individual technology or continue reading for more. You can take a look back at previous monthly updates here, plus take a look at our weekly roadmap roundup.
In SharePoint: AAD dynamic groups for audience targeting, custom search verticals, lookup columns in Lists, manage connected teams + channels in admin center, markup ink for Edit HVC
Azure Active Directory Dynamic Groups for SharePoint audience targeting
Newly released support for dynamic groups gives you more control over how you target your SharePoint audiences. You can start to add them from the audience picker in the areas where targeting is supported in SharePoint, including navigation and selected web parts.
Custom verticals in Microsoft Search
Search verticals are tabs on the search result’s page that show results of a specific type or from select sources. New support for custom verticals in Microsoft Search allows you to customize out of the box verticals for Microsoft Search and add new verticals based on your SharePoint content.
Microsoft Search has two types of verticals, out of the box or default and custom verticals. The default verticals, such as All, Files, and People, create easy access to the most used search results.
Find out more: Manage search verticals
Improved lookup columns in Microsoft Lists
Lookup columns, a stable part of any SharePoint list for time immemorial – have been given a fresh coat of paint by way of the modern UI and can now be configured without going to the classic settings page.
Find out more: List and library column types and options
Manage Teams and channel connected team sites from in SharePoint admin center
Now, when you go to a teams-connected site in SharePoint admin center, you see all corresponding channel sites and can ensure that right optional security policies are inherited from the parent site. With this release, that means:
- A new Teams view that filters the sites list to only sites that are Teams connected.
- A new column identifying the site is connected to teams.
- A new column identifying the team connected site has also
Markup Ink for Edit HVC (high-value Controls)
With markup(ink), users can draw and add notes on their photos to convey their messages and reveal the pattern and information perhaps unclear in an initial, surface look when self-teaching and even more important when sharing photos.
Find out more: Roadmap ID 88481
In Teams: Important update for Teams Android app, order of raised hands, meeting recordings, Operator Connect Conferencing, alt text for images in chat, E2EE for 1-1 calls, Dynamic E 911, SIP Gateway, Teams Rooms updates, new Teams App Store
Important update for the Microsoft Teams Android app
Recently, an Android operating system issue was encountered that had the potential to impact emergency calling. An investigation was conducted and found that the issue, which is caused by an unintended interaction between the Teams app and Android operating system, is only present on a small number of devices with the Teams app installed when the user is not logged in. Microsoft has collaborated closely with Google to resolve this unintended interaction.
Microsoft have released an update to the Teams app, which is now available to all Android users, that keeps the app from triggering the underlying issue in the Android operating system. Google also plans to roll-out an Android operating system update in January. Any Android users with the Teams app installed take the latest update (1416/220.127.116.111194504) that has been published via the Google Play Store. Note that this may require user action if app auto-updates are not enabled.
Order of raised hands
Now you can know the order of who to call on first to speak so that no participant is missed. Simply click on the Participants panel to see who raised their hand and in what order.
Find out more: Raise your hand in a Teams meeting
Teams meeting recording improvements
As well as shifting Teams meeting recordings to OneDrive and SharePoint to provide better control and sharing options, Microsoft have also added a number of improvements including:
- Multi-speed playback – Now you can watch recordings at slower and faster speeds (0.5x up to 2x)
- High-quality transcripts – Transcripts now have speaker attribution for meetings that have Teams Live Transcription turned on
- Indexed recordings – Recorded meetings are indexed into easier-to-consume segments based on slide transitions
- Auto-recording – Meeting owners can set meetings to automatically start recording
- Auto-expiration – Coming soon, admins will be able to set a default number of days after which newly created Teams meeting recordings will be sent to the recycle bin.
Find out more: Record a meeting in Teams
Operator Connect Conferencing
Operator Connect Conferencing is now generally available. Using the same administrator interface as Operator Connect, this service allows tenant admins to add participating operator dial-in numbers to a Teams audio conferencing bridge. You can keep your existing contract with any of the participating operators or select from a list of partners within the Operators tab in the Teams admin center.
Add alt text to images in chat
Similar to adding alternative text in Outlook, you now can add descriptions to images in Teams chat messages by right-clicking on the image and selecting “Add alt text.” This enables people who use screen readers to understand the full content of your message, even if they can’t see the image.
Find out more: Send and read messages in Teams
End-to-end encryption (E2EE) option for one-to-one Teams calls
End-to-end encryption (E2EE) for Teams calls is now generally available. IT admins will have the option to enable and control the feature for their organization once the update has been received.
By default end-to-end encryption will not be available to all users within the tenant. Once IT has configured the policy and enabled it for selected users, those selected users will still need to turn on end-to-end encryption in their Teams settings.
Dynamic E (emergency) 911 for US-based users
Teams Phone now supports dynamic E911 for U.S.-based users, allowing for auto-detection of their locations, or the ability to provide editable locations to alert personnel in the event of an emergency.
Administrators must enable the dynamic E911 policy for the user, and users must consent to location detection to enable. Users who have not turned on location detection can continue to add a dynamic emergency address manually.
Customers who are looking to leverage their existing telephone hardware as they move to Teams Phone can use SIP Gateway to enable core Teams calling functionality on compatible SIP phone models from Cisco, Poly, Yealink, and AudioCodes. Supported core Teams calling functionality includes inbound and outbound calls, call transfer, meeting dial-in and dial-out, device-based “do not disturb,” and voicemail with message waiting indicator.
Teams Rooms updates
Several updates for Microsoft Teams Rooms have been released this month, including:
- Meeting room capacity notifications for Microsoft Teams Rooms on Windows
- Split video layout across multiple screens for Teams Rooms on Windows
- Hot Desking on Teams display
Find out more: What’s New in Microsoft Teams | December 2021
New Microsoft Teams Store
Microsoft have rebuilt the Teams Store from the ground up, designing it with your needs as the priority – and centered around experiences that make discovering and installing apps them into your teams, chats and meetings simple.
These features currently available to Microsoft’s commercial customers in multi-tenant cloud environments are now rolling out to our customers in US Government Community Cloud (GCC), US Government Community Cloud High (GCC-High), and/or United States Department of Defense (DoD):
Breakout room managers’ support
By taking control from the breakout rooms management panel, appointed presenters will be able to perform breakout room operations as managers or meeting organizers and join rooms as a breakout room manager. Only participants who are named as presenters can be appointed as breakout room managers. Previously available in GCC, this feature is now coming to GCC-High and DOD.
In Power Apps: Microsoft Dataverse choices columns support, Power BI in model-driven apps, Power Platform Developer Tools: November Refresh
Power Apps portals : Support for Microsoft Dataverse choices columns (preview)
The Power Apps team have announced support for Microsoft Dataverse choices columns in Power Apps portals with version 9.3.11.x (Note : Updates are currently rolling out).
Choices control on a page allows users to select multiple options from a pre-configured list. Portals makers can design web pages with lists and forms that use the choices control to provide create, edit, and view experience for end users on this column type.
Find out more: Configure choices column on portals (preview)
Visualize data in model-driven apps with Power BI (preview)
The Power Apps team have announced Power BI quick reports in model-driven apps in preview. This update combines the capabilities of Power Apps, Power BI and Dataverse in a seamless way to help you visualize and understand your data – with one click.
While charts and custom components allow you to create specific, custom visualizations in Power Apps, Power BI quick reports generate a report automatically based on the page context, combined with an understanding of underlying data types, with no prior set up required.
Find out more: Visualize data in model-driven apps with Power BI (preview)
Power Platform Developer Tools: November Refresh
The Power Apps team have announced the November refresh for the Power Platform CLI to1.10.4, plus the previously announced deployment settings support for connection references becoming generally available.
Find out more: What is Microsoft Power Platform CLI?
In Power Automate: 27 new connectors, collaborative comments, Power Automate Desktop – December 2021 update
27 new & updated connectors in Power Automate
The end of 2021 saw the launch of 27 new and updated connectors. The release included 11 new connectors and 16 updates, and all of these updates have been submitted by the owners of these APIs. Here are the 11 new connectors:
- ArcGIS – The ArcGIS Connectors for Power Automate connects your automated workflows to resources from your ArcGIS Online subscription. The actions allow users to leverage their ArcGIS Online identities to geocode addresses, enrich data with demographics, perform point-to-point routing, get data or geometry from hosted feature layers, and create new feature layers.
- ArcGIS PaaS – The ArcGIS PaaS Connectors for Power Automate connect your automated workflows with the ArcGIS Platform. The actions allow users to leverage an API key to find address candidates, enrich data with demographics, and generate point-to-point routing.
- Airmeet – Airmeet offers a virtual venue that allows your participants to navigate across multiple sessions, networking lounge, and exhibition booths to have meaningful interactions.
- Spring Global – Spring Global enables users to serve with ease, monitor & control field execution, and leverage a single app with a 360° view for all.
- Recorded Future V2 – Recorded Future integration with Microsoft Azure Sentinel helps to automatically detect risky IOCs and respond quickly with transparency and context.
- Secure Message Delivery – The DataMotion Connector for Power Automate allows you to utilize DataMotion’s secure message delivery API within your workflows.
- Dynamics 365 Commerce – Ratings and Reviews – Dynamics 365 Commerce offers Ratings and Reviews as an omni-channel solution.
- Dynamics Fraud Protection – Dynamics 365 Fraud Protection (DFP) connector enables customers who use PowerApps Portal to run their business online to integrate with fraud protection.
- Ideanote – With the Ideanote connector for Power Automate you can build automated innovation workflows that streamline the way you collect and manage ideas across your teams, your customers, and your company.
- Robots for PowerBI – Robots for PowerBI is a connector that allows DevScope PowerBI Robots clients the execution of simple actions like enable, disable, or execute Playlists configured in the application.
- Spinpanel – Spinpanel enables organizations to sell, deploy, manage, and automate Microsoft 365 and Azure solutions.
Now, you can at-mention your co-workers in your comments and have others receive email notifications when you do so. As multiple users work on automating a business process, these capabilities will be critical in helping makers collaborate seamlessly and efficiently. We believe that these would result in helping build complex automations faster.
Find out more: Add comments to actions and triggers
Power Automate Desktop update December 2021
Power Automate desktop (version 2.15) has been released and includes the following new features and updates:
- The web and desktop recorders are now unified
- Tenant picker is now supported in the console (Preview)
- Create a copy of a desktop flow through the console
- A new action ‘Recognize entities in text’ is now available
- Syntax highlighting in scripting actions
- Clear last error in action ‘Get last error’
- Capture unexpected errors in action ‘On block error’
- Save an Excel workbook in Binary format
- Window element has been added as parameter in action ‘Send keys’
- The Windows OCR engine is now supported in OCR actions
Find out more: Power Automate for desktop – December 2021 update
In Power BI: On-demand load capabilities, asynchronous refresh, Hybrid Tables, Power BI feature summary, on-premises data gateway, data protection update, CustomData feature, Power BI app for Teams in US GCC, visualize data from Power Apps & Dynamics 365, Power BI APIs .NET SDK v4
On-demand loading capabilities for large models in Power BI
The Power BI team have announced on-demand load capabilities to further ensure highly performant and reliable large datasets. With the new capability, relevant data pages are loaded on-demand (paged-in to memory) during subsequent query or refresh. Evicted datasets are then made available for queries more quickly and reliably.
Find out more: Large datasets in Power BI Premium
Asynchronous refresh (public preview)
The Power BI team have announced asynchronous refresh capabilities for Power BI Premium, Power BI Premium per User, and Power BI Embedded. As Power BI becomes a superset of Azure Analysis Services, the asynchronous refresh REST API for Power BI brings built-in features for reliability, such as auto retries and batched commits.
Hybrid Tables in Power BI Premium (public preview)
The Power BI team have announced Hybrid Tables in Power BI Premium, which enables us in turn to announce an equally exciting and ground-breaking enhancement to incremental refresh – incremental refresh augmented with real-time data. Support of hybrid tables in Power BI Premium offers the following benefits:
- Blazing fast performance in import mode
- Latest updates from the data warehouse always included
- Better resource utilization especially for very large datasets
- Incremental refresh policies with real time support
Power BI desktop feature summary December 2021
This months feature summary includes a new Sparklines preview feature, several new Format Pane updates, e-mail subscription access via Admin API plus many more features:
Find out more: Power BI December 2021 feature summary
On-premises data gateway December 2021
The December update for the On-premises data gateway (version 3000.110.3) is out now.
Power BI data protection updates
The Power BI team have announced the general availability of two new features: Mandatory MIP label policies and Default MIP label policies. Mandatory label policies enable organizations to ensure that MIP sensitivity labels will be applied to new content when it is created in or uploaded to Power BI.
Default label policies enable you to define a baseline level of protection to be applied to Power BI files and in the Power BI service. This capability is now generally available.
Find out more: Power BI Data Protection December announcements
CustomData feature is now generally available
The capability to pass custom data for row level security is now available in Power BI Premium, Power BI Embedded, and Power BI Premium per User. You can natively utilize the CustomData feature to add row filters that pass free text (strings) to leverage dynamic row level security in embedded reports, dashboards, and tiles.
The Power BI app for Microsoft Teams now available in the US Government Community cloud
The Power BI app for Microsoft Teams is now available in the US Government Community cloud (GCC). This enables organizations in GCC to use Power BI as a data hub, enables users to find data without context switches, and to bring data into more collaboration to help make better decisions.
Visualize data quickly from Power Apps and Dynamics 365 apps (preview)
There a new way to visualize your model-driven Power Apps and Dynamics 365 data stored within Dataverse. With a single click, Power BI automatically generates a set of visuals for you to explore and find insights within your data. This integration is great way to take advantage of the full power of the Power Platform.
Power BI APIs .NET SDK v4
The new SDK version provides clarity on the properties of Power BI artifacts returned by various APIs and makes it easier to understand which properties are returned by each API. The new SDK version provides clarity on the properties of Power BI artifacts returned by various APIs and makes it easier to understand which properties are returned by each API.
Find out more: Announcing Power BI APIs .NET SDK v4