Microsoft 365 monthly update – August 2021

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.


SharePoint

In SharePoint: Teams meetings saved to SharePoint/OneDrive, SharePoint spaces text/ annotation styles, new SharePoint store/ app catalog, Lists iOS column width, Lists iOS scan QR code

Teams meeting recordings are now saved to OneDrive and SharePoint 

With this switch away from storage in Azure Media Services, meeting recordings become more integrated with Microsoft 365, which equates to faster availability of the meeting on-demand playback, improved sharing controls including external sharing capabilities, improved video management, advanced compliance, and more.

Find out more: Use OneDrive for Business and SharePoint or Stream for meeting recordings

SharePoint spaces text and annotation styles

SharePoint spaces is an immersive page style which lets you create and share, secure and extensible mixed reality experiences. The SharePoint spaces Text web part now has a broader canvas for you to adjust the look and feel of your text. You can now choose from various styles, bold it, adjust colors, alignment, and more.

thumbnail image 2 captioned Adjust SharePoint spaces text and annotation styles.
SharePoint spaces text and annotation styles.

Find out more: Add text to a SharePoint space

Modernized experience for SharePoint Store & apps/ app catalog

It is now easier to both acquire and deploy apps in SharePoint. The modernized experience for SharePoint Store and acquire experience on the SharePoint side makes it easier and faster to get apps from a variety of sources. You can easily find more popular apps built on SharePoint Framework on the store homepage. You can also search for an app in the search bar or select a category on the left to scroll through available apps.

thumbnail image 3 captioned The new tabbed layout for apps in the SharePoint Store.
The new tabbed layout for apps in the SharePoint Store.

Find out more: Explore and deploy SharePoint Framework solutions from partners in SharePoint (Microsoft 365)

Adjust a columns width in Microsoft Lists for iOS

The resizing of columns gives you the ability to control the information density on your iPhone or iPad screen. Simply tap and expand or contrast the width to see more, or less, information.

Microsoft Lists for iOS: Resize column widths.
Microsoft Lists for iOS: Resize column widths.

Search via QR code in Microsoft Lists for iOS

This enables a unique way to discover more about an item – say something like a mouse you want to check out from your IT team. Just start up the Lists app for iOS, go to the list, search for that item by scanning the device QR code, the corresponding list item gets highlighted, open the item, and update the entry.


Teams

In Teams: Reporter/ side-by-side options, additional languages for live captions & live transcripts, start recording & live transcript, dual-tone multi-frequency support, Teams Rooms update on Android, Teams panel updates

Teams (Education)

Teams (Government)

Teams

Reporter/ Side-by-Side options in Presenter Mode for desktop and window sharing

In addition to the previously offered Standout option, two new presenter modes are available when sharing your desktop and window in the Teams desktop app. Reporter mode places content as a visual aid above your shoulder like a news story. Side-by-side mode displays your video feed next to your content.

Reporter/ Side-by-Side options in Presenter Mode for desktop and window sharing.

Find out more: Engage your audience with presenter modes

Live Captions and Live Transcript in additional spoken languages for Teams Meetings

Meetings held in one of the supported languages are now also supported by real-time captioning and transcription. Microsoft have expanded to 27 new spoken languages including German, Portuguese (Brazil), Japanese, and Hindi.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | August 2021
Live Captions and Live Transcript in additional spoken languages for Teams Meetings.

Find out more: Live Captions and Live Transcription

Starting recording and live transcript simultaneously

Teams now automatically also start live transcription for you when you start recording. To ensure this works for your users, both Allow Transcription and Allow cloud recording policies must be turned on. After your meeting, the recording and transcription continues to be accessible through the Recordings & Transcripts tab of your meeting details.

Transcription on right of screen
Starting recording and live transcript simultaneously.

Find out more: View live transcription in a Teams meeting

Dual-tone multi-frequency support for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (Citrix Workspace-only)

Dual-tone multi-frequency (DTMF) dialing is now available for Teams users within the Citrix Workspace app. DTMF enables the Citrix Workspace user to be admitted into the meeting using the Teams dial pad as an alternative to clicking the “join” link.

Find out more: DTMF interface in Exchange Online

Teams Rooms update on Android

The latest app update for Microsoft Teams Rooms on Android, version 1449/1.0.96.2021070803, is now available in the Teams Admin Center. This update includes a New remote provisioning and sign-in experience, support for sharing via HDMI ingest, Auto answer for Meet Now and 1080p resolution for outgoing video.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | August 2021
Microsoft Teams Rooms on Android.

Find out more: What’s new in Microsoft Teams devices

Teams panels updates

Teams panels have recently received updates including extensibility/ line of business app support, remote provisioning and sign in, plus the ability to hide meeting names for sensitive spaces.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | August 2021
Microsoft Teams panels.

Find out more: Teams Extensibility and Line of Business apps, Provisioning Microsoft Teams Devices

Teams (Education)

Create, edit, and join Microsoft Teams meetings in Canvas

Educators and students can access and edit Teams meetings for their courses directly from their Canvas course. You’ll be able to view past and upcoming meetings at a glance on your agenda and schedule, edit, and join meetings from within your LMS course. Plus, you’ll get all the great capabilities available in Teams, including security and meeting settings that help you create a safe and focused classroom environment.

Using these capabilities depends on per-user meeting policies set by your IT administrator and will be supported across desktop and web.

thumbnail image 2 captioned Access and edit Microsoft Teams meetings from Canvas.
Meetings and class teams in Canvas.

Find out more: Partner Listing: Microsoft Education

Communicate and collaborate with class teams from Blackboard

Microsoft Teams plays an important role in student-educator collaboration, and up until now there has been no easy way for educators to create a team for their LMS course. Educators can now create class teams based on the enrollment roster of their courses with appropriate user roles.

Educators and students can navigate to their respective class teams directly from their Blackboard courses using desktop, mobile, or web platforms.

thumbnail image 3 captioned Easily create and communicate with a class team from Blackboard.
Class teams in Blackboard.

Find out more: Microsoft Teams classes Integration

Reading progress

Reading Progress enables readers to practice their skills in a safe, student-centric environment. Educators pick a reading passage and can choose to assign it to the entire class, a specific reading group, or an individual student. After the student reads the passage aloud, educators review the recording and either manually identify and code errors or use the Auto-detect feature to identify and code potential errors.

The recordings grant students and educators more flexibility to practice remotely or in the classroom. This helps bring the right support at the right time to each learner and makes it easier to plan regular reading fluency checks.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | August 2021
Reading progress in Microsoft Teams for Education.

Find out more: Reading Progress in Microsoft Teams to improve student reading fluency – now rolling out globally!

Simplified navigation in class teams

Now educators can easily access Assignments, Grades, Class Notebook, and Insights from any channel within a class team. Just open up your class team and you’ll see the updated-and-improved navigation. You’ll still be able to add tabs to the General channel and other channels you create.

This new view is available for all educators and students using our grid view layout for teams, and IT Admins will have the option to remove any of the pre-pinned navigation. (Students will only see Class Notebook, Assignments, and Grades, not Insights.)

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | August 2021
Simplified navigation in class teams.

Education Insights

With Education Insights built directly into your digital classroom, you can. Make informed instructional decisions with data such as online class attendance, assignment engagement, class activity, and more. 

thumbnail image 6 captioned Insights is now included in class teams.
Education Insights.

Find out more: Introduction to Education Insights in Microsoft Teams

Teams (Government)

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).

Reporter and Side-by-Side Presenter Mode in desktop or window sharing
Two new presenter modes are available when sharing your desktop or window in the Teams desktop app. Reporter mode places content as a visual aid above your shoulder like a news story. Side-by-side mode displays your video feed next to your content. You can now select a mode that fits your needs and promotes a more engaging presentation and experience. Available in GCC. Learn more.

Breakout Room Timer, Room Retention, and Participant
You can now set a timer from 5 to 60 minutes for Breakout rooms from the Breakout Room settings. Once the timer has expired, rooms are automatically closed, and participants are returned to the main meeting. Organizers can also reassign participants when rooms are opened. Breakout room assignments now persist over multiple sessions. These features are useful for efficiently managing discussions and ensuring the right participants are in each breakout. Available in GCC-High. Learn more.

Live Captions and Live Transcript in additional spoken languages for Teams Meetings
Meetings held in one of the supported languages are now also supported by real-time captioning and transcription. We have expanded to 27 new spoken languages including German, Portuguese (Brazil), Japanese, and Hindi to name a few. This provides flexibility and additional clarity for your participants to engage in the meeting. Available in GCC. Learn more about Live Captions and Live Transcription.


Live Transcription with speaker attribution in Teams Meetings
Live transcription allows you to follow conversations (in English-US) alongside the meeting video or audio in real time, promoting inclusivity for participants who are deaf/hard of hearing or different levels of language proficiency. Attendees who joined late or missed the meeting can easily catch up by reading what was discussed and searching the transcript by speaker. Admins must turn on Allow transcription policy to enable this feature. Available in GCC. Learn more.

Starting recording and live transcript simultaneously
When you turn on recording, Teams now automatically also start live transcription for you. this conveniently captures the discussion and detailing what was spoken in the transcript with one click. To ensure this works for your users, both Allow Transcription and Allow cloud recording policies must be turned on. After your meeting, the recording and transcription continues to be accessible through the Recordings & Transcripts tab of your meeting details. Available in GCC. Learn more.

Lower all raised hands
When at least one hand is raised, meeting organizers and presenters can now lower all raised hands with a single click. Simply navigate to the participant pane and click on the Lower all hands option. This helps quickly lower all hands when associated questions have been resolved to make way for new raised questions. Available in GCC and GCC-High. Learn more.

Include computer sound when sharing on Mac
Mac desktop users can now include audio when sharing their desktop or window during a Teams meeting. This is great when sharing a video with voiceover and music. It allows everyone to watch simultaneously without echoes or sync issues. You can find this setting in the share content. Available in GCC and GCC-High. Learn more.

Updating settings for attendees’ video
We have added additional ways to manage attendee audio and video permissions in Teams meetings to help prevent disruptions and create a safer meeting environment. Now, you can configure the permissions to have all attendees’ camera-enabled or disabled before the meeting. You can also enable or disable the ability for individual attendees to use their cameras. Available in GCC and GCC-High. Learn more.

Dual-tone multi-frequency support for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (Citrix Workspace-only)
Dual-tone multi-frequency (DTMF) dialing is now available for Teams users within the Citrix Workspace app. DTMF enables the Citrix Workspace user to be admitted into the meeting using the Teams dial pad as an alternative to clicking the “join” link. Available in GCC. Learn more about DTMF.

Windows 10 Native Notifications in Teams
You can now choose the style of your notifications: built-in Teams or Windows native notifications. The latter brings a suite of benefits, like respecting focus assist mode which enables you to avoid distracting notifications when you need to focus, and integrating with Windows 10 action center to helps you review your notifications in one place. If you have a Windows build 10.0.17763.288 or higher, you can make this change in Teams notifications settings. Available in GCCH and DOD. Learn More.

MacOS native notifications in Teams
Users can now choose to deliver Microsoft Teams notifications, either via Teams built-in notifications or via macOS native notifications. When choosing native notifications, Teams inherits the OS notifications settings and supports quiet hours, action center triaging and more native features. This is only available on MacOS 10.15 or later.  Available in GCC and GCCH. Learn more.

Chat preview notification settings
Have you ever shared your screen, or had someone looking over your shoulder at your screen and you found yourself wishing you could hide your notifications? Now, you can change your settings and control whether the message previews show up on your screen. Available in GCC-H and DoD. Learn More.

Customize your organization’s apps store in Teams for government clouds
Now you can customize your organization’s apps store in Teams with your company branding by adding your logo, custom backgrounds, and custom text colors to make it more inviting to end users. Available in GCC.

Device management capabilities
Device management capabilities in Teams admin center are now included in the DoD environment.


Power Apps

In Power Apps: In-app notifications in model-driven apps, Sample custom connector for ServiceNow, Power Apps Ideas public preview, connection references support in Power Platforms Tools public preview, canvas components app scope, Int, Trunc, WeekNum, and ISOWeekNum in Power Fx, ILogger Interface, VNet Connectivity for Power Platform Dataflows, Power Apps October release wave 2, Application Insights (Preview)

In-app notifications in model-driven apps (Public Preview)

Model-driven apps now have the ability to notify users while working within the web or mobile app.  You will see all received notifications in a notification center with an indication of new notifications shown on the bell in the header and a new notification count.

When new notifications arrive, the a badge count is shown on the bell icon in the header. Clicking the bell icon opens the notification center to show latest notifications first. To enable this feature, makers need to opt-in to show the notification center and toasts to users for each model-driven app.

Public preview for in-app notifications in model-driven apps.

Find out more: Announcing public preview for in-app notifications in model-driven apps

Sample custom connector for ServiceNow using OAuth authentication

The Power Apps team have created a sample Power Apps canvas application and Power Automate flow that show how to use the custom connector. The sample custom connector for ServiceNow that provides OAuth authentication and support for attachments. You can find the source code for the sample custom connector on GitHub. The sample custom connector supports OAuth authentication, attachments, and CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) operations on an example entity.

A sample canvas app and custom connector for ServiceNow using OAuth authentication.

Find out more: A sample custom connector for ServiceNow using OAuth authentication

Power Apps Ideas (Public Preview)

Announced at this year’s Microsoft Build conference, Power Apps Ideas, an AI-powered assistance to help anyone create apps using natural language is now in public preview. Power Apps Ideas lets you tell Power Apps what you’d like to see—for example, “show me customers from the US whose subscription expired”—and a set of formulas will be presented along with an explanation of how they work. Simply select one to apply the logic to your app.

PowerApps can automatically generate Power Fx formulas based on natural language input
Power Apps Ideas, now in public preview.

Find out more: Writing Power Fx formulas with natural language

Connection references support in Power Platform Build Tools (Public Preview)

The Power Apps team have announced the July refresh for the Power Platform Build tools and the Public Preview for the connection references and environment variable support in the Power Platform Build Tools and PAC CLI. The July refresh includes changes to solution pack & unpack, pac auth create and pac plugin int.

Connection references and environment variables support: Public Preview.

Find out more: Announcing the public preview for connection references support in Power Platform Build Tools

Canvas components can now access app scope directly

The Power Apps team are enabling a canvas component to directly access variables, collections, controls, and tabular data sources from its host app.  No longer do you need to pass everything in and out through component properties.

Until now, canvas components have been properly encapsulated and could not access information and resources from the app.  Everything needed to be passed in to the component through input properties. But sometimes you want to define a component just for this app. There is a newly introduced component setting that does exactly this Access app scope.

Canvas components can now access app scope directly.

Find out more: Canvas components can now access app scope directly

Power Fx: Int, Trunc, WeekNum, and ISOWeekNum functions

The Power Apps team have added four new functions to Power Fx formulas, straight from their definitions in Excel:

  • Int and Trunc fill out our rounding functions.  These are common functions in Excel that until now one would need to translate to one of our Round functions.  They are the same for positive numbers, but for negative numbers Int rounds away from zero and Trunc rounds toward zero.  For example, Int( -2.4 ) returns -3 while Trunc( -2.4 ) returns -2.
  • WeekNum and ISOWeekNum have been common customer requests.  These functions return the week number in the current year which is helpful for many business date calculations.   WeekNum starts with the week containing January 1, while ISOWeekNum starts with the first Thursday of the year.  For example using August 11, 2021, WeekNum( Today() ) returns 33 while ISOWeekNum( Today() ) returns 32 as we haven’t made it to Thursday of this week yet.

These functions are rolling out now and are available in version 3.21074 or later.

Find out more: Power Fx: Int, Trunc, WeekNum, and ISOWeekNum functions

Write Telemetry to your Application Insights resource using ILogger

When you opt-in to the Application Insights integration described in the earlier Announcing Monitor model-driven apps using Application Insights (Preview) post, you can also use the new Microsoft.Xrm.Sdk.PluginTelemetry.ILogger Interface in your plug-in code.

You should use ILogger because it allows telemetry for events that occur within a plug-in to be integrated with the larger scope of data captured with the Application Insights integration. When you use the ILogger interface, the telemetry is written directly to the same Application Insights resource that you choose to have your Dataverse and model-driven app telemetry exported to. The plug-in telemetry you write is never sent to Microsoft. If you use ILogger in a plug-in that is not running in an environment using the Application Insights integration, nothing happens.

Find out more: Log plug-in telemetry to your Application Insights resource

VNet Connectivity for Power Platform Dataflows (Public Preview)

Earlier this year, we introduced VNet (Azure Virtual Network) connectivity for Power BI Datasets and we are now excited to announce the public preview of VNet connectivity for Power Platform Dataflows. The new VNet connectivity feature enables secure outbound connectivity from Power Platform dataflows to data sources within your Azure VNet.

VNet Connectivity for Power Platform Dataflows.

Find out more: Announcing VNet Connectivity for Power Platform Dataflows (Public Preview)

Power Apps October 2021 Release Wave 2 updates

The Power Apps October release wave 2 makes discovering data much easier and comes with enhanced UI experiences that are modern; take advantage of these now for your Model-driven apps. Updates include:

  • Discovering data: new global search, advanced lookup, Power Apps grid,
  • Usability improvements: accessibility updates, sharing records, bulk edit, app-level panes
  • Modern experiences: custom pages, app designer, modern browsers
App Designer as part of the Power Apps October 2021 Release Wave 2 updates.

Find out more: 2021 release wave 2 features available for early access

Monitor model-driven apps using Application Insights (Preview)

Now available in the Power Platform admin center, this new Data Export option is geared towards those customers interested in directly interacting with the service telemetry data. This option offers customers an all-encompassing Self-Serve solution for monitoring user activity, diagnosing performance issues, and troubleshooting errors.

Use Application Insights to monitor & analyze service telemetry data produced by UCI page and form loads, Platform API calls, custom plug-ins, and more.

Find out more: Preview: Set up exporting to Application Insights


Power Automate

In Power Automate: Desktop update, 13 new connectors, add code to your custom connector

Power Automate Desktop August 2021 update

The August 2021 update of Power Automate Desktop has been released! You can download the latest release here. Here is a summary of the new features in this release:

  • Actionable connectivity error messages in console and designer
  • Introduction of new Excel related actions
  • Improvement of the action ‘Set screen resolution’
Connectivity error
Actionable connectivity error messages in console and designer.

Find out more: Power Automate Desktop August 2021 update

13 new connectors

Microsoft partnered with thirteen new partners to include their services in Power Platform in July, here’s a look at the newly added connectors:

  • HR Cloud – Use this connector to easily connect the employee data from HR Cloud with other applications that support Power Automate integration and vice versa.
  • DeskDirector – Use the DeskDirector connector to automate the creation and processing of our native Tickets, Forms, Chat sessions, Email, and more.
  • nps.today – nps.today binds customer loyalty insights and NPS surveys together across all your tools and platforms so you always have the full customer overview at hand with a single unifying platform. 
  • Lang.ai – Lang.ai is a no-code platform for free text classification and auto-tagging. Thanks to our patented unsupervised AI algorithm that learns only from your historical data, ang.ai makes it incredibly easy to customize a model for your own business and use case.
  • Secplug Scan – The Secplugs Malware Scan connector lets you scan files, URLs and emails to identify and block malicious content. Integrate at your workflow boundaries to ensure your cloud storage/application remains secure. 
  • Gratavid – Gratavid is a tool for collecting and sending personalized videos via email and text. The Gratavid connector allows organizations to send video thank you cards (i.e. – Gratavids) based on events in their CRM or other apps. 
  • Assently E-Sign – With Assently E-Sign on the Microsoft Power Platform you can automate e-signature workflows on documents, forms, and smart contracts. 
  • WenDocs Linker – WenDocs is a brand-new force growing from the traditional CCM/CEM (customer communication/experience management) domain. We provide a professional-level template designer and a lightweight publishing service to increase your document productivity. 
  • Harness PDFx – Harness PDFx is a SaaS platform, automating the extraction of data from the most complex and varied PDFs in the commercial real estate and financial services industry. 
  • Document AI Konfuzio – Build Document AI with Konfuzio to categorize and extract information (such as first name, last name, or date of birth) from any document or image. 
  • LAWLIFT – LAWLIFT offers its customers one of the simplest ways to automate documents, use them and update them with ease.
  • Waaila – We have one goal with Waaila – give everyone the tools needed to raise the standard of online marketing data quality. 
  • IN-D Face Match – Detect human faces and match it against the photos from ID cards for identity verification process in onboarding.

Find out more: July Updates on Power Automate Partner Connectors

Add code to your custom connector

Custom connector developers can now add C# code directly within the Custom Connector wizard! Now available in public preview supports more transformation scenarios without having to worry about hosting your code. Some examples include:

  • sending external requests to fetch additional data
  • complex body, query, header, and status transformations
  • handling pagination
Add code to your custom connector in Power Automate.

Find out more: Create a custom connector from scratch


Power BI

In Power BI: Admin APIs to Determine Access Rights, visualise SharePoint lists now GA, July 2021 Feature Summary, PivotTable refresh, Streaming dataflows in Power BI premium, On-premises data gateway July 2021, free virtual workshops

Expanded Feature Availability for Power BI Free License Users

Microsoft have announced that in the coming weeks they are expanding the availability of Power BI and Excel connected features such as PivotTables from Power BI datasets and Organization data types to Power BI free license users.

Users who have a Power BI free license can connect from Excel to datasets hosted in a Power BI Premium workspace. These users can now:

  • Build PivotTables connected to Power BI datasets, including certified and promoted datasets, from the Data ribbon in Excel
  • Lookup and refresh values in Power BI datatypes from the Data Types gallery.

Find out more: Power BI and Excel: Expanded Feature Availability for Power BI Free License Users (Coming Soon)

Goals for Power BI Mobile

Goals is a great addition to Power BI. Built directly on top of Power BI data, Goals provides a data-driven, collaborative, adaptable way of measuring and tracking progress on key business metrics. Now, Goals is enabled in the latest update of the Power BI mobile apps!

Having Goals in your Power BI mobile app lets you monitor the health of your business directly from your smart phone, no matter where you are. You can also check in and update progress for goals from the app, helping you to ensure that the status of your KPIs are always up to date.

Power BI Mobile apps now support Goals.

Find out more: Power BI Mobile apps now support Goals!

Automatic aggregations (Public Preview)

Automatic aggregations in Power BI Premium are now in public preview! Unlock massive datasets without having to copy large volumes of data or manage data loads. Automatic aggregations are managed automatically by Power BI, accelerating time to insight, and reducing TCO.

Aggregated caches and queries

Find out more: Announcing public preview of automatic aggregations!

Default sensitivity label policies, plus other Information Protection features added to Power BI (Public Preview)

The Power BI team have announced the public preview of default label policies in Power BI Desktop together with some of the top asked MIP features in Power BI:

Default label policies in Power BI.

Find out more: Announcing Default sensitivity label preview and other top asked MIP features in Power BI

August 2021 on-premises data gateway update

The Power BI team have announced that they have released the August update for the On-premises data gateway (version 3000.93.3). This version of the gateway will ensure that the reports that you publish to the Power BI Service and refresh via the Gateway will go through the same query execution logic/run-time as in the August Power BI Desktop version.

Find out more: On-premises data gateway August 2021 update is now available

Premium Metrics App (Public Preview)

The Power BI team have announced that the all new metrics app for premium capacities is available here as public preview. The new app is built to serve as an out-of-the-box one-stop-shop for whatever capacity admins will need to know in order to manage their Power BI Premium capacities.

New Premium Metrics App preview now available.

Find out more: New Premium Metrics App preview now available

Automated statuses and improved filtering for Power BI Goals

Scorecard authors are now able to automate status updates based on rules that govern that goal or subgoal. By entering the edit experience and navigating to the status rules tab of the settings pane, users will be able to precisely set when goals are on track or falling behind.  

The Power BI team have also improved filtering so that users can easily view all the goals labeled as a particular status by clicking on the summary cards at the top of the scorecard, making it easier than ever to see at a glance what’s at risk and what’s on track.  We have also included a keyword search, making it easy to search for specific goals and see how they’re doing at a glance, without losing context of the parent/child relationships. 

Automated Status Rules in Power BI Goals.

Find out more: Announcing automated statuses and improved filtering for Power BI Goals

Scanner API now generally available

The Power BI team have announced that the Scanner APIs for extracting tenant-level metadata using Power BI Admin REST APIs are now in general availability (GA). Power BI Admin APIs, along with a .NET SDK, enable administrators to create their own custom-made solutions based on Power BI metadata and lineage.

Find out more: Scanner API is now in GA

Enhanced experience for browsing visuals

The Power BI team have introduced a new look for the Power BI in-product store coming with August desktop release.  In the store you can browse all the visuals authorized by your organization. The store contains:

  • AppSource visuals: more than 300 stunning visuals created by Microsoft or partners.
  • Organizational visuals: private or AppSource visuals managed by your Power BI admin.
  • A unified view (“All visuals”) where you get access to all visuals available in your organization in one page. 
Enhanced experience for browsing visuals in Power BI.

Find out more: Enhanced experience for browsing visuals

Power BI August 2021 Feature Summary

The August update for Power BI Desktop update and includes enhancements for Q&A as well as for Shapes, plus automatic aggregations for DirectQuery.

Find out more: Power BI August 2021 Feature Summary

Power BI Angular Component

The newly released Power BI component for Angular lets you easily embed your Power BI reports, dashboards and more into your Angular web application. Using this library, you can embed Power BI reports, dashboards, tiles, visuals, Q&A and paginated reports. You can also optimize your report’s performance using the available bootstrap integration or phased embedding, set and edit event handlers, and take advantage of the available client-side APIs.

Embedding a Power BI report in an Angular application.

Find out more: Announcing Power BI Angular Component

Refresh history updates for models utilizing XMLA endpoints

The general availability of read/write XMLA endpoints in Power BI Premium enables customers to leverage enterprise BI tools directly on Power BI datasets. In addition to the existing data refresh features listed in the documentation, the data refresh history view will reflect changes made utilizing XMLA endpoints.

For a dataset updated via XMLA endpoints, the Power BI service will display last updated date, timestamp, duration, and status in the following locations: datasets contents list, overview page, settings page, refresh history, lineage view, report header, and report information cards.

Refresh history updates for models utilizing XMLA endpoints.

Find out more: Refresh history updates for models utilizing XMLA endpoints

Power BI REST API support for DAX Queries (Public Preview)

The Power BI team have announced the public preview of a new REST API to query datasets in Power BI by using Data Analysis Expressions (DAX). The new DAX REST API avoids dependencies on Analysis Services client libraries, requires no connection to XMLA endpoints, and works in Power BI Premium as well as in Power BI shared capacity.

Power BI REST API support for DAX Queries.

Find out more: Announcing the public preview of Power BI REST API support for DAX Queries

Data gateway support for Single Sign-On (SSO) with Azure Active Directory

The Power BI team have announced General Availability (GA) for Single Sign-On (SSO) through the data gateway to cloud data sources that rely on Azure Active Directory (AAD)-based authentication. In addition to Kerberos-based and Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML)-based SSO to on-prem data sources, you can now get seamless AAD SSO connectivity to Azure-based data sources, such as Azure Synapse Analytics (SQL DW), Azure SQL, Azure Data Explorer, and Snowflake on Azure through an on-premises data gateway. 

Find out more: Announcing data gateway support for Single Sign-On (SSO) with Azure Active Directory

General availability of backup and restore for Power BI datasets

Backup and Restore for datasets in Power BI Premium and Premium per User (PPU) are now generally available. Whether you are migrating Azure AS workloads to Power BI or must consolidate Power BI tenants due to a merger or acquisition or simply want to backup Power BI datasets on a regular basis to meet the data retention and disaster recovery requirements of your organization, you can now rely on the Backup and Restore capabilities of Power BI as a fully supported feature.

Backup and restore for Power BI datasets

Find out more: Announcing general availability of backup and restore for Power BI datasets


BONUS! Even more updates!

Congratulations if you have made it this far through the monthly update! For getting to the end you will be rewarded with other related titbits from around Microsoft 365…

Windows 365 generally available

Now generally available, Windows 365 combines the power and security of the cloud with the versatility and simplicity of the PC. From contractors and interns to software developers and industrial designers, Windows 365 enables a variety of new scenarios for the new world of work.

Find out more: Welcome to your Windows 365 Cloud PC

Microsoft Bookings with Microsoft Teams in all Microsoft 365 for frontline workers product licenses

To help healthcare workers schedule and manage virtual appointments more effectively, Microsoft have added Microsoft Bookings with Microsoft Teams in all Microsoft 365 for frontline workers product licenses. For example, with the Bookings app in Microsoft Teams, healthcare workers can easily schedule, manage, and conduct virtual visits for simple telehealth workflows. 

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							Simplify virtual health workflows for your frontline healthcare workers
Microsoft Bookings with Microsoft Teams.

Find out more: Virtual visits are now even simpler with Microsoft Bookings

Q&A in Microsoft Teams meetings

Microsoft are bringing a new experience for questions and answers in meetings with the Q&A app, which allows meeting organizers and presenters to add open or moderated Q&As to any Teams meeting. The Q&A app enables attendees to ask and reply to questions before and during a meeting.

Organizers and designated presenters can mark best answers, filter responses, moderate and dismiss questions, and pin posts. Responses to questions are threaded in a conversation with the original question. Designated presenters can act as co-moderators to help screen questions.

Add moderated Q&A to any Microsoft Teams meeting.

Find out more: New communities experiences bolster employee engagement in the age of hybrid work

New Communities app in Teams and Outlook for web

The Communities app for Microsoft Teams helps you stay connected to what’s happening in your communities, tap into knowledge across teams and departments, and crowdsource solutions and best practices from frontline workers. And in the coming weeks, we’re updating the app to inherit Microsoft Teams styling, further incorporate notifications and deep-linking, and include new capabilities like suggested communities.

The updated Communities app for Microsoft Teams brings a fully Yammer experience into your hub
New Communities app in Teams and Outlook for web.

Find out more: Enhancements to Communities app for Microsoft Teams

Speedy events in Outlook

Speedy events automatically sets events to start “late” or end “early,” helping people carve out essential breaks between back-to-backs meetings. This month, we are expanding support to the new Outlook for Mac.

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							New settings in Outlook give everyone a break between meetings
Speedy events in Outlook.

Find out more: New settings in Outlook give everyone a break between meetings


Microsoft 365 monthly update – July 2021

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.


SharePoint

In SharePoint: Boost SharePoint news, collapsible sections, custom list templates, SharePoint Server Subscription Edition

Boost SharePoint news

The SharePoint news service now lets you can prioritize important news and announcements, so they appear at the top of employee news feeds across Microsoft 365. You can boost the visibility of a news article for a set time, until an employee has seen your content, or until a viewer has seen the item in their feed a set number of times.

  • You can boost news posts from organization news sites only.
  • Boosted news posts are currently shown in auto news digests only.
  • A maximum 10 news posts can be boosted at one time.
  • You must have edit permissions on the organization news site to boost news posts.
thumbnail image 2 captioned Boost important news and announcements from your organization to prioritize their visibility and increase readership.
Boost SharePoint news.

Find out more: Boost news from organization news sites

Collapsible sections

Collapsible sections allow users to show page in an accordion view (collapsed or expanded) or as tabs.

NOTE: The accordion view will be collapsed by default, but can be set to show expanded.

thumbnail image 3 captioned Make SharePoint page sections collapsible - supplying a section display name and choosing its default display (expanded or collapsed).
Collapsible sections on modern pages in SharePoint.

Find out more: Roadmap ID 67147

Custom list templates

Microsoft Lists now supports custom list templates! You can create and manage custom list templates using Microsoft PowerShell – leveraging the Add-SPOSiteScript cmdlet. When users create new lists, they can select one of your custom list templates from the new “From your organization” tab. This new tab will appear next to the “From Microsoft” tab that showcases the out-of-box ready-made templates from Microsoft.

The "Contoso customer tracking" template on the "From your organization" tab of the Create a list dialog box.
Custom list templates in Microsoft Lists.

Find out more: Creating custom list templates

SharePoint Server Subscription Edition

SharePoint Server Subscription Edition represents the next step in the SharePoint Server journey emphasizing the specific needs of our on-premises customers. This new way of staying up-to-date with SharePoint Server means new levels of reliability and performance, delivering features and capabilities that simplify administration, protect communications and information.

thumbnail image 8 captioned SharePoint Server Subscription Edition [Preview] information.
SharePoint Server Subscription Edition.

Find out more: A new day for SharePoint Server


Teams

In Teams: Find recordings based on what was said, lock meetings, slide translate, auto recording, video gallery paging, org-wide backgrounds, real-time telemetry, related content for mobile, hard audio mutes PSTN, Human Interface Device support, call transfer, speed dial, emoji picker, immersive reader, inline message translation, Headspace integration, share-to-stage support, app risk evaluation, multi-geo support, safe links

Teams (Education)

Teams (Government)

Teams

Find a meeting recording based on what was said

You can now find meeting recordings in Microsoft Search based on the meeting transcript. This feature is available to all users by default and makes it easier to find videos in Microsoft 365. You can access this feature through the search bar in Teams you use to find other file types.

Find out more: Teams cloud meeting recording

Lock a meeting from additional joins

You can now choose to lock their meetings to prevent subsequent join attempts. Anyone attempting to join a locked meeting from any device is informed with a message that they are not able to join as the meeting is locked. This helps avoid distractions from late joiners during the meeting. This feature is currently available in Desktop app only.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | July 2021
Lock a meeting from additional joins.

Find out more: Manage meeting settings in Microsoft Teams

Slide translate in PowerPoint Live in Teams

Make your slides more inclusive with slide translate in PowerPoint Live in Teams. This private setting allows you to see a personalized view of the slide where text is translated in your chosen language. Now you can better understand the presented content privately. This feature supports 19 languages with more to come.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | July 2021
Slide translate in PowerPoint Live in Teams.

Find out more: Share PowerPoint slides in a Teams meeting

Meeting auto recording

Meeting organizers are now able to set a single meeting occurrence or series to auto-record by enabling the “Record automatically” setting from Meeting Options. The meeting automatically starts recording once the first participant from the same organization joins the meeting. The recording is saved to initiator’s OneDrive (privately scheduled meetings) or SharePoint (channel meetings).

This feature is available in Desktop and Mobile and not available to an A1 user.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | July 2021
Record meetings automatically in Microsoft Teams.

Find out more: Manage meeting settings in Microsoft Teams

Paging on video gallery

When you are in gallery view mode, and there are more videos than what can be shown at once on the meeting stage, navigation controls < and > now appears below the Video Gallery. You can use these controls to view more video participants. The maximum number of videos on the meeting stage can vary depending on your device configuration and internet bandwidth.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | July 2021
Paging on video gallery in Microsoft Teams.

Find out more: Using video in Microsoft Teams

Organisation wide backgrounds

You can now tailor your Teams meetings background to your organization. To enable this feature, simply upload images in the Microsoft Teams Admin Center under Meeting policies and they are available to all your users. You can add up to 50 images.

NOTE: Organization-wide backgrounds is now temporarily available and will require an Advanced Communications license when it becomes generally available by the end of the year. 

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | July 2021
Org-wide backgrounds in Microsoft Teams.

Find out more: Change your background for a Teams meeting

End user real-time telemetry for meetings

Call health panel provides Teams end-users functionality that helps identify issues during a Teams meeting or a VOIP call. This empowers your users with diagnostics to investigate audio, video, content sharing or network related issues.

The real-time metrics are updated every 15 seconds, providing the ability to trace issues as they occur.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | July 2021
End user real-time telemetry for meetings.

Find out more: Monitor call and meeting quality in Teams

Related meeting content on mobile

Related Content makes meetings more effective by providing you with important information from your mailboxes, OneDrive for Business, and SharePoint sites. This helps you prepare before meetings by offering content you haven’t had a chance to read or may want to revisit. You can find this content on the Meeting Details page.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | July 2021
Related Content for Teams Meetings for mobile.

Find out more: Set up your Teams mobile apps

Hard audio mute includes PSTN attendees in meetings

Meeting presenters and organizers can now prevent PSTN participants from unmuting during the meeting and enable specific attendees to unmute when they raise their hand. The PSTN participant can request to speak by raising their hand in a meeting via dial-pad command (press *5).

Find out more: Manage attendee audio and video permissions in Teams meetings

Support for Human Interface Devices on Windows Virtual Desktop

Now you can connect external devices like a headset or mouse to interact in Teams on the Windows Virtual Desktop platform. For example, if you have a mute or unmute button on your headset, the controls are now recognized when using it in a Teams meeting in WVD.

Find out more: What is Azure Virtual Desktop?

Transfer Calls between desktop and mobile

Teams makes it easy to place and receive calls from several different endpoints, including desktop and mobile devices, but sometimes you need to move locations or devices to finish your call. The new endpoint transfer capability allows you to seamlessly move your calls between different devices, such as from your laptop to mobile phone, without any interruption in call service or quality.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | July 2021
Transfer Calls between desktop and mobile.

Find out more: Join a Teams meeting on a second device

Speed dial for mobile

Calling users on mobile devices can now access their Speed Dial contacts that were available on Mac, Windows and Teams devices. You can also add or remove speed dial contacts. This feature gives mobile users one tap access to reach their most important contacts.

Teams-Contacts button-435

Find out more: First things to know about calls in Microsoft Teams

Expanded emoji picker

Now with more than800 emojis, select a category and easily find the emoji you need and use the skin tone selector to pick an emoji that better represent you. Quickly add emojis directly when composing a chat, use the short code picker to add emojis using text.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | July 2021
Expanded emoji picker in Teams.

Find out more: Send an emoji, GIF, or sticker in Teams

Immersive reader support for Mobile

Immersive Reader, which uses proven customization techniques to support reading across ages and abilities, is coming to Teams iOS and Android apps. You can now hear posts and chat messages read aloud using Immersive Reader on the Teams mobile apps. This functionality was previously available only on the web and desktop apps.

Select Immersive Reader from the More options menu.
Immersive reader now available in the Teams mobile app.

Find out more: Use Immersive Reader in Microsoft Teams

Inline Message Translation in channels for Android and iOS

Inline message translation in Channels lets you translate Channel posts and replies into your preferred language. To translate a message, press-and-hold the channel post or reply and then select “Translate”. The post/reply will be translated to your UI language by default. If you want to change the translation language, go to Settings > General > Translation.

Find out more: Translate a message in Teams mobile

Headspace integration with Microsoft Viva Insights

A curated set of guided meditations and mindfulness exercises from Headspace are now available in the Viva Insights app in Teams to help you start your day grounded, relax your mind before a big presentation, or disconnect from work in the evening.

Headspace integration with Microsoft Viva Insights.

Find out more: Mindfulness content from Headspace

Share-to-stage support for meeting apps

Developers can now configure their Teams meeting apps to use the “main stage” – enabling several collaboration scenarios. This integration allows the app content from the meeting side panel to take full screen and allow users to interact with it. 

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | July 2021
Share-to-stage support for meeting apps.

Find out more: Configure your app for meeting scenarios

App risk evaluation

Teams admins are now able to view the security, compliance, and data privacy details for apps coming from Microsoft Cloud App Security. This helps Teams admins save time on security reviews and enable a more focused selection-based security specifications, resulting in increased app quality.

Find out more: Ensuring security of your Microsoft Teams apps with Microsoft Cloud App Security

Multi-Geo support

To help customers meet data residency requirements, Microsoft 365 Multi-Geo has been extended to include Microsoft Teams. This allows organizations to specify where their Teams core customer data sits, down to the team and end user. 

Find out more: Multi-Geo capabilities in Microsoft Teams

Safe links in Teams

Safe links are now available to protect users in Microsoft Teams. You can enable or disable Safe Links protection for Microsoft Teams within Safe Links policies. Specifically, you use the Select the action for unknown or potentially malicious URLs within Microsoft Teams setting.

Find out more: Safe Links settings for Microsoft Teams

Teams (Education)

Class Teams from Canvas

Educators can now create class teams based on the enrolment roster of their courses in Canvas. Each class team will have the appropriate user roles and students and educators can navigate to their respective class teams directly from their Canvas courses using desktop, mobile, or web platforms.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | July 2021
Class Teams from Canvas.

Find out more: Teams integrations with Canvas and other Learning Management Systems

Group assignments

With the new group assignment feature, groups of students can work together to create, collaborate, and submit one assignment for the whole group. Educators can give individual comments and grades or group grades, and all students in the group will receive credit. This makes it easy to encourage student collaboration and for the educator to grade group work. 

Group assignments in Teams for Education.

Find out more: Assignments and grading class work

“Return for edit” Assignment option

Now, educators can return an assignment to students for edits. This way it’s easy to share feedback and allow students to learn from and incorporate that feedback into the original assignment. If you’re an educator just select the More options next to return and select “Return for edits”.

Find out more: Grade, return, and reassign assignments

Filter assignments by class in main assignment view

Now educators and students can filter their Assignments by the class in the main assignment view. It’s a small tweak, but a great one if you like things organized and visible by class.

Find out more: Assignments in Teams for Education

Teams Advisor Education deployment

For IT admins looking to set up Microsoft Teams in their tenants for the first time, now there is an education tailored plan in Teams Advisor. The Teams Advisor helps IT plan their overall deployment, and helps bring the project team together to create a cohesive strategy to deploy Teams in their education institution.

Find out more: Use Advisor for Teams to help you roll out Microsoft Teams

Education policy wizard now automatically incorporates new features and policies

IT admins can now easily apply education tailored policies for a secure learning environment for students, educators and staff in few clicks. With the new improvements, whenever a new feature is added to Teams, the appropriate policy for that feature will be automatically added by default without any admin’s intervention.

Find out more: Introducing new policy wizard to easily apply admin policies in Teams for Education

Cortana for Education

Cortana voice assistance is now available in the Microsoft Teams for Education mobile app. With this new capability, you can perform a variety of tasks with the click of the microphone button and a voice command such as check your class schedule, join a class and much more.

Find out more: Cortana voice assistance in Teams

Suggested Replies in chats now available for educators

Now, educators using the Teams mobile app can easily see up to three recommended responses to choose from while in chat, helping you save time and respond quickly. This is enabled by default for educators and faculty and disabled for all students.

Find out more: Use suggested replies to respond to messages without typing

Teams (Government)

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).

Virtual Breakout Rooms – Breakout rooms allow meeting organizers to divide the meeting into smaller groups to facilitate discussions and brainstorming sessions. 

Guest Access – You can invite users in other DOD tenants to collaborate on documents in Teams channels, resources, chats, and applications while still maintaining control over your data.

Together Mode for Teams Rooms – Together Mode for Teams Rooms uses AI segmentation technology to digitally place participants in a shared background, making it feel like you’re sitting in the same room with everyone else in the meeting or class. Available in GCC-High.

Teams Meetings Auto Recording – Meeting organizers are now able to set a single meeting occurrence or series to auto-record by enabling the “Record automatically” setting from Meeting Options. Available in GCC.

Live reactions in Teams Meetings – All attendees can now use emojis to react during a meeting. Available in GCC and GCC-High

End user real-time telemetry for meetings – Call health panel provides Teams end-users functionality that helps identify issues during a Teams meeting or a VOIP call. Available in GCC, GCC-High, and DOD.

Spotlighting multiple users in a meeting – Organizers and presenters can now spotlight up to 7 participants simultaneously during meetings. Available in GCC.

Organization-wide background – You can now tailor your Teams meetings background to your organization. Available in GCC.

Live Events with Live Caption – You can now schedule and host a live event in the DOD environment – broadcasting video and meeting content to large online audiences. Available in DOD

Large meeting support – Hold interactive meetings and webinars with more attendees—up to 1,000 people, including chats and polls. Available in GCC-High and DOD.

Windows 10 Native Notifications in Teams – You can now choose the style of your notifications: built-in Teams or Windows native notifications. Available in GCC.

Chat preview notification settings – Now, you can change your settings and control whether the message previews shows up on your screen. Available in GCC.

Missed activity email – You can now continue and monitor your Teams’ notifications via email. Available in DoD.

Device management capabilities – Device management capabilities in Teams admin center are now included in the GCC-High environment.

Tags – Tags in Microsoft Teams let users quickly and easily connect with a subset of people on a team. Available in GCC-High. 


Power Apps

In Power Apps: Command designer with Power Fx (preview), custom pages, performance insights, Portals & Power BI enhancements, multi-table lookups, pricing changes

Command designer with Power Fx (preview)

You can now customize command bars in model-driven apps without code! These new capabilities play a major role in the convergence of canvas and model-driven apps. These new capabilities are built on a new, modern infrastructure that’s conducive to both model-driven and canvas app technologies and will scale into the future. Key improvements include:

  • Enhances custom pages (or the convergence of canvas and model-driven apps), open custom pages as dialogs, trigger cloud flows from a button
  • Power Fx support for visibility and action logic, or use JavaScript for advanced logic
  • Command designer simplifies customization – whether low-code or pro-code
  • Better ALM support along with standardized localization and presence in the solution interface
  • Better app level control – commands are applied to individual apps
  • Simple, flat data model
  • Classic commands remain supported, Apps can run both classic + modern commands side by side

Commanding GIF
Command designer with Power Fx (preview).

Find out more: Announcing command designer with Power Fx (preview)

Custom Pages for converging model-driven apps and canvas apps

Custom pages are now in public preview. A custom page can be used in places where all pages are supported including main area, dialogs, and the new app side pane. This allows scenarios like a pixel perfect landing page with data pulled from across the organization, data driven pages that use a record’s data to change the experience, dialog designed to optimize specific business actions, and productivity tools that support the main tasks for the app.

App designer live preview of custom page and runtime navigation
Custom pages.

Find out more: Announcing public preview of Custom Pages for converging model-driven apps and canvas apps

Performance Insights (preview) for Model-driven apps

Performance Insights, now in preview is a self-service tool for enterprise app makers that analyzes runtime user data and provides a prioritized list of recommendations to help improve the performance of Model-driven apps. With this feature, raw telemetry data is converted into actionable work items for you to tackle.

Performance Insights (preview) for Model-driven apps.

Find out more: Introducing Performance Insights (preview) for Model-driven apps

Power Apps portals/ Power BI integration enhancements

Power Apps portals has native support for Power BI reports and dashboard. Portals with version 9.3.4.x have additional support for more Power BI functionality, including:

Portals with version 9.3.6.x or later support the following capabilities:

  • Azure AD guest user support for “Embed for organization” access type (i.e., authentication_type:”AAD”)
Power Apps portals/ Power BI integration enhancements.

Find out more: Power Apps portals and Power BI integration enhancements

Multi-table lookups (preview)

Multi-table lookups are now available in preview for use via API. Multi-table lookups (also sometimes known as polymorphic lookups) allow the creation of a lookup in one table that looks up records in multiple other tables at once.

With multi-table lookups, you can perform a lookup on 2 or more tables at the same time and locate the record you want from the referenced tables. For the current preview:

  • Lookups can be constructed and managed through API only
  • Model driven apps currently provide the best experience with the lookups

Find out more: Multi-table Lookups

Updates to Power Apps pricing and licensing

Microsoft have announced the following changes to Power Apps pricing and licensing coming into effect on October 1, 2021:

  • The Power Apps per user plan will be priced at $20 per user/month, a decrease from the previous price of $40 per user/month. The plan will be available across Microsoft’s commerce channels – Volume Licensing (VL), Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) and web direct – without license minimums or other purchase requirements. Plan entitlements remain unchanged, including the ability for users to run unlimited apps and portals.
  • The Power Apps per app plan will be priced at $5 per user/app/month, a decrease from the previous price of $10 per user/app/month. Like the per user plan, the per app plan will also be available across the same commerce channels without license minimums or other purchase requirements.

Additionally, Microsoft are simplifying entitlements for the per app plan by providing users with the ability to run one app or access one portal, in contrast with the current entitlement of two apps and one portal. This approach more directly aligns with the plan’s intent of providing flexibility for customers seeking to license users one app at a time. Customers with existing per app plan subscriptions purchased prior to Oct 1, 2021 will maintain the current entitlement for the duration of their agreement term.

Find out more: Pricing and licensing updates coming to Power Apps


Power Automate

In Power Automate: Desktop update, new connectors via independent publisher program, 7 new connectors, AI Builder update

Power Automate Desktop July 2021 update

The July 2021 update of Power Automate Desktop has been released and this month’s offering includes the following new features and updates:

  • Silent registration for machines
  • Automatic detection of Windows proxy settings
  • Ability to remove unused UI elements and images from a flow
  • Introduction of new action ‘Take screenshot of UI element’
  • Improvement of the action ‘Convert datetime to text’
  • The ‘Set variable’ action now supports multi-line text input
Take screenshot of UI element
Take a screenshot of a UI element in Power Automate Desktop.

Find out more: Power Automate Desktop July 2021 update

New connectors through the Independent Publisher connector program

Independent Publisher connectors are connectors developed, tested, published, and supported by connector developers that are independent from the end service or API. Independent Publishers include Microsoft employees, MVPs, developers, and other community members focused on helping the community make the best use of Microsoft Power Platform connectors. 

As part of the new Independent Publisher connector program, you can view and use connectors to the following services: Airtable, HubSpot Marketing, Jira Search plus more.

Independent Publisher connector program.

Find out more: New connectors through the Independent Publisher connector program

7 new connectors

7 new connectors were released in July 2021 for Power Automate, including:

  • Amazon S3 – Amazon S3 Connector provides connectivity to the Amazon S3 API, enabling processes to interface with Amazon S3 to store objects, and build applications that require internet storage.
  • Amazon SQS – Amazon SQS connector will connect to the Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS) Service provided by Amazon Web Services, allowing queue management, push and get messages.
  • CardPlatform – CardPlatform allows users to send Adaptive Cards to Outlook inboxes, other email platforms, as well as service desks and ServiceNow. 
  • Elfsquad Data – Elfsquad CPQ enables sellers, or even end-customers to configure complex products. Using the Elfsquad Data connector you can easily integrate your internal IT-systems with Elfsquad.
  • Alemba ITSM Azure Connector – Alemba Service Manager is a leading IT Service Management (ITSM) platform that leverages the Azure ecosystem to provide product extensibility and enhanced customer experiences.
  • Lasso X – Lasso X makes it easy to connect to Danish public data sources, delivering information about companies and their finances, properties, ownerships, and much more. 
  • IN-D Aadhaar Number Masking – Use IN-D Aadhaar Number Masking connector in your process to eliminate risks and ensure compliance by redacting first eight digits of Aadhaar Number and QR Code from Aadhaar images.

Find out more: Introducing Seven New Connectors

AI Builder July 2021 update

Several new capabilities were added in this months AI Builder update, including:

  • Invoice processing – Read and save information from invoices which now also include the ability to extract line items.
  • Receipt processing – Read and save information from receipts, with support now for sales receipts from Australia, Canada, United States, Great Britain, and India.
  • Identity document reader – Read and save information from identity documents.
Invoice processing is now generally available in AI Builder.

Find out more: AI Builder July 2021 update


Power BI

In Power BI: Admin APIs to Determine Access Rights, visualise SharePoint lists now GA, July 2021 Feature Summary, PivotTable refresh, Streaming dataflows in Power BI premium, On-premises data gateway July 2021, free virtual workshops

Admin APIs to Determine Access Rights (Public Preview)

Now in Public Preview, a suite of new admin APIs that provide much-enhanced visibility into user access and permission levels. These new APIs allow you to programmatically retrieve user and permission information for most Power BI assets (reports, dashboards, datasets, dataflows, workspaces, and capacities), or asset permission for any user or security group. 

Additionally, Microsoft are enhancing the read-only scanner admin API by including user permission information in the scan results. With these versatile new tools, you will be able to easily produce access reports for various Power BI assets on demand.

Find out more: Announcing Admin APIs to Determine Access Rights (Public Preview)

Power BI – SharePoint list visualisation available to all users

A few months ago Microsoft launched a new Power BI integration for visualizing SharePoint lists. This feature is now available to Standard release users and is now accessible to everyone! This experience empowers SharePoint list and Microsoft List users to easily explore your data. With just a couple of clicks, you’re able to go from looking at a list of data to interacting with an auto-generated report. You’ll find this new option under the Integration menu on any list.

Find out more: Visualizing SharePoint lists now available to all users

Power BI July 2021 Feature Summary

The Power BI July 2021 feature summary includes making small multiples generally available, as well as the new model view and sensitivity labels in Desktop plus lots more:

Find out more: Power BI July 2021 Feature Summary

PivotTable refresh in Excel for the web now available

PivotTable refresh in Excel for the web is now 100% available to all eligible Office users. This feature is part of a broader investment to enable seamless and secure data sharing and collaboration with Power BI data in Excel for the web.

Connected PivotTable refresh in Excel for the web allows users to work with PivotTables connected to Power BI in a web browser just like in Excel desktop. With the Microsoft Information Protection (MIP) label integration, you can control sharing while keeping your data secure in Excel as an MIP label applied to a Power BI dataset is inherited in Excel.

Refreshing connected PivotTable in Excel for the web.

Find out more: Connected PivotTable refresh in Excel for the web is now 100% available to Office tenants

Streaming dataflows in Power BI premium

Streaming dataflows in Power BI premium is now available in public preview. Streaming dataflows allow authors to connect to, ingest, mashup, model, and build reports but based on continuous streaming, near real-time data. This is done directly in the Power BI service with beautiful, drag and drop, no-code experiences.

Graphical user interface, application Description automatically generated
Streaming dataflows in Power BI premium now available in public preview.

Find out more: Streaming dataflows in Power BI premium now available in public preview

On-premises data gateway July 2021

The July 2021 update for the On-premises data gateway (version 3000.89.6) has been released. This month’s updates include:

  • FHIR and Amazon Athena connectors available via the on-premises data gateway
  • Compatible with the July PBI desktop
FHIR connector available via the on-premises data gateway.

Find out more: On-premises data gateway July 2021 update is now available

Virtual workshops and training to get started with Power BI

Microsoft have announced a series free 60-minute trainings where you will be able to follow along with live demonstrations and ask Microsoft trainers questions in real time. This training is open to anyone curious about Power BI.

There are no required pre-requisites and courses are offered at least once a week. This training provides an overview and demo of Power BI to show how you can get maximum value out of your data in a way that was previously not possible.

Find out more: Virtual workshops and training


BONUS! Other related updates

Congratulations if you have made it this far through the monthly update! For getting to the end you will be rewarded with other related titbits from around Microsoft 365…

Organisation Explorer

he new Organization Explorer in Outlook allows you to find, discover, and explore people and relationships through a new organizational browser experience. Find colleagues, discover team relationships, explore their skills, see their current availability, and more right within Outlook. Organization Explorer is now in preview and available for Office 365 Insiders. 

thumbnail image 1 captioned Org Explorer screenshot
Organisation Explorer in Outlook.

Find out more: Visualize and contextualize people and teams with a new organization browser in Outlook

New Microsoft Graph connectors for Microsoft Search

New Microsoft Graph connectors for Microsoft Search enable your organization to bring in information from systems like ServiceNow, so you can find what you need wherever you’re working, whether in one of your favourite productivity apps or one of the many Microsoft 365 services such as SharePoint or Office.com. Connectors are now generally available and can be installed in just a few clicks in the Search and intelligence admin center.

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							What’s new and what’s next for Microsoft Search
New Microsoft Graph connectors for Search.

Find out more: What’s new and what’s next for Microsoft Search

New features for Microsoft Bookings

There are now stricter administrative controls to help ensure each user within Bookings has the appropriate level of access and control. Additional customization and branding options for company logos, coloured themes, and a rich text editor to customize confirmations, cancellations, and reminders have also been added.

Finally, improvements have been made to the appointment scheduling to provide a simpler experience with easier calendar switching, more filtering options, and more. To try out the new experience, toggle on the Try the new Bookings switch on the top right corner of the Bookings web app.

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							A new, more powerful, and customizable Microsoft Bookings is here
Try the new Microsoft Bookings experience.

Find out more: A new, more powerful, and customizable Microsoft Bookings is here

Automatic meeting scheduling with Scheduler

Scheduler is a new Microsoft 365 service that works with Cortana to automate meeting scheduling. Just add Cortana to your email and ask something as simple as “Cortana, please find a time to meet next week.” Cortana will then work with the Scheduler service to find times that work best for everyone and send out invites.

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							Scheduler, a new Microsoft 365 service, makes scheduling meetings easier and faster
Microsoft Scheduler.

Outlook extension for Microsoft Edge

The Outlook extension in Microsoft Edge to quickly read, send, and receive emails, manage your calendar, tasks, and more in any browser tab, no need to go back to Outlook.

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Outlook extension for Microsoft Edge.

Find out more: Microsoft Outlook extension for Edge

New features in Microsoft Forms for Education and Government

The Microsoft Forms team have announced five new features for both education and government customers:

Education – Launch Multiple Choice Quizzes in Microsoft Teams meetings, Create and edit a quiz directly from a Microsoft Teams assignment, Analyze responses with word clouds, rich text formatting in Forms & Send and share your forms more smoothly.

Government – Add a File Upload question to your form, Send a form using a shortened URL, Launch Polls in Teams Meetings, rich text formatting in Forms & Access your forms in a new interface

thumbnail image 1 captioned Multiple Choice Quiz in Teams Meetings
Launch Multiple Choice Quizzes in Microsoft Teams meetings in Forms for Education.

Microsoft 365 monthly update – June 2021

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.


SharePoint

In SharePoint: Auto news digest, new info columns in SP admin center, homepage insights dashboard, Internet Explorer 11 EOL, @mentions in comments, delete from within page details

SharePoint Auto News Digest updates

You can now brand your news digest with your organization’s theme colours and logo. If your organization site is already branded, that branding will automatically be applied to automatic news digests. The news digest uses built-in Intelligent ranking so that users see the news most relevant to them. The news digest is sent on a weekly basis, displaying only published news posts. If there are no news posts that are relevant for the user then no email gets sent to the user.

The SharePoint auto-news digest sends an automated, customized email to users about the latest news posts that are relevant to them, but that they may not have viewed yet.
The SharePoint auto-news digest sends an automated, customized email to users about the latest news posts that are relevant to them, but that they may not have viewed yet.

Find out more: Automatically sending news post digests

New information columns on Active sites page in the SharePoint admin center

In the SharePoint admin center, the Active sites page will provide new informational columns. The “Created from” column will show the apps that were used to create sites. And the “Teams” column will show which sites are connected to Microsoft Teams. The “Created from” and “Teams” information will also be available in the details panel when you select an individual site.

The ‘Created from’ and ‘Teams’ status columns provide key information for admins directly on the Active sites page.
The ‘Created from’ and ‘Teams’ status columns provide key information for admins directly on the Active sites page.

Find out more: SharePoint admin and migration announcements at Microsoft Ignite 2020

New homepage insights dashboard in the SharePoint admin center

Take an administration-at-a-glance approach with actionable charts and insights as cards on the SharePoint admin center homepage. And it’s customizable—you can add, remove, and rearrange cards to suit your needs.

As a SharePoint or Global admin, you can choose to see and use new cards such as:

  • SharePoint storage usage
  • SharePoint site usage
  • SharePoint file activity
  • OneDrive usage
  • OneDrive file activity
  • Search active sites
  • Sensitivity labels
  • Term store operations

You can also add relevant cards from the Microsoft 365 admin center, such as:

  • Service health
  • Message center
  • Microsoft 365 active users report
Examine OneDrive and SharePoint usage and activity via insightful cards on the SharePoint admin home page.
Examine OneDrive and SharePoint usage and activity via insightful cards on the SharePoint admin home page.

Find out more: What’s new in the SharePoint admin center

Reminder – end of support for Internet Explorer 11 August 17, 2021

Microsoft 365 apps and services will no longer support Internet Explorer 11 (IE 11) after August 17, 2021. This means SharePoint and OneDrive will not be supported on IE 11. After this date, customers will have a degraded experience or will be unable to connect to Microsoft 365 apps and services on IE 11.

While we know this change may be difficult for some, we believe that they will get the most out of Microsoft 365 apps when using the Microsoft Edge browser. Microsoft 365 users will be well served with this change through faster and more responsive web access to greater sets of features in everyday toolsets. 

Find out more: Prepare your SharePoint environment for the retirement of Internet Explorer 11 for Microsoft 365 apps and services

Microsoft Lists – @mentions in comments

“Mention” people you work with while adding a new comment to a list Item. As a result, the person will receive an email notification with a direct link to the list item. It’s a terrific way to notify, share and collaborate directly from within the list itself.

In the list item’s Comments box, type @ and a name, then pick the name you want.
In the list item’s Comments box, type @ and a name, then pick the name you want.

Find out more: Add and reply to comments in list items

Delete from within page details in SharePoint pages

Instead of going several clicks in beyond the site contents page and into the Pages library, now you can click the Page details button at the top of the page or news article and delete in one click from within the page details pane.

thumbnail image 7 captioned Click the Page details button at the top of the page or news article and delete in one click from within the page details pane.
Click the Page details button at the top of the page or news article and delete in one click from within the page details pane.

Find out more: View, edit, and add page details

Headspace mindfulness content comes to Microsoft Viva Insights

You’ll start to see a curated set of guided meditations and focus music from Headspace. The goal is to help disconnect from work in the evening, relax your mind before a big meeting, or find focus before starting an important project. In just a few minutes a day, meditation and mindfulness with Headspace can help users lower stress, increase focus and ease teamwork.

Introducing Headspace, a new focus mode, and quiet time settings with Microsoft Viva InsightsHeadspace integration with Viva Insights is rolling out default on and, unless disabled by admin, the curated set of Headspace mindfulness content will be available to any user with the Viva Insights app installed.

Find out more: Introducing Headspace, a new focus mode, and quiet time settings with Microsoft Viva Insights


Teams

In Teams: Attendance dashboard, integrate meetings with Dynamics 365, lower all raised hands, chat bubbles, inking & laser pointer PowerPoint Live, updated large gallery view mobile, include device audio mobile, Access files offline on Android, live transcription for additional licenses, Large Gallery for VDI, free audio conferencing, Microsoft 365 Business Voice promotion, 1:1 PSTN Call Recording, Approval Templates, macOS notifications, trackable tasks, Whiteboard updates, App risk evaluation, Device management automatic alerting, app compliance

In Teams (Government)

Attendance Dashboard

After finishing a meeting or webinar, organizers can view an attendance report that helps you understanding how many registered vs. attended, who attended the meeting, and whether they engaged for all or part of the meeting. This is now embedded directly within the Teams UI for your reporting and analytics needs.

Attendance Dashboard in Microsoft Teams
Attendance Dashboard in Microsoft Teams.

Find out more: View and download meeting attendance reports in Teams

Teams Webinars integrate with Dynamics 365 Marketing

You are now able to follow up with webinar participants through the attendance tab after a webinar, if you as a webinar organizer have a Dynamics 365 Marketing license. From there, you can export your attendance data into Dynamics 365 Marketing, so you can create customer journeys and send personalized follow-up emails to your webinar attendees.

Teams Webinars integrate with Dynamics 365 Marketing
Teams Webinars integrate with Dynamics 365 Marketing.

Find out more: Participant attendance-based communication for online events powered by Microsoft Teams

Lower all raised hands

When at least one hand is raised, meeting organizers and presenters can now lower all raised hands with a single click. Simply navigate to the participant pane and click on the Lower all hands option. This helps quickly lower all hands when associated questions have been resolved to make way for new raised questions.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | June 2021
Lower all raised hands in Microsoft Teams.

Find out more: Raise your hand in a Teams meeting

Spotlight multiple users in a meeting

Organizers and presenters can now spotlight up to 7 participants simultaneously during meetings. Previously, while an attendee can pin multiple participants for their own private view, only one participant can be spotlighted for all attendees.

Once a single participant has been spotlighted, simply click on the context menu of your additional participant(s) and select Add Spotlight. For meetings that have multiple speakers or presenters, this is great to focus all attendees’ view on those specific video feeds. Feature is available in both Desktop and Mobile.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | June 2021
Spotlight multiple people’s video in a Teams meeting.

Find out more: Spotlight someone’s video in a Teams meeting

Chat bubbles

Chats sent during a Teams meeting now surface on the screens of all meeting participants, making the chat more central to the conversation. You no longer need to manually open the chat window within a meeting to see what participants are typing. This feature is on by default. To turn off this feature, select Don’t show chat bubbles under more actions.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | June 2021
Chat bubbles in Teams meetings.

Find out more: Introducing Chat Bubbles in Microsoft Teams meetings

Inking and Laser Pointer in PowerPoint Live in Microsoft Teams

Virtual laser pointer and ink annotations are now available in PowerPoint Live. Presenters can engage more with their audience by drawing attention or clarifying certain sections of the PowerPoint deck.

Just as you would use a physical laser point in a room, PowerPoint Live allows you to effectively point at different places in the presentation so the audience can easily follow along what’s on the slide. Only the active “in control” presenter is able to see and make annotations via the annotation toolbar. 

Inking and Laser Pointer in PowerPoint Live in Microsoft Teams.

Find out more: Laser point or draw on PowerPoint slides in a Teams meeting

Updated Large gallery view on Teams mobile

When selecting Large gallery in meetings, we are introducing a mobile-optimized layout for Teams mobile users that allow you to swipe through all the participants in a meeting. With up to 10 participants per page on your screen, you can now see all participants clearly on your mobile device.

Note: This is available in iOS 13+ and Android OS 9+ or any version with more than 4GB RAM. All other devices continues to see the current Large gallery experience.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | June 2021
Updated Large gallery view on Teams mobile.

Find out more: Download the Teams mobile app

Include device audio when sharing on iOS and Android

Now you can include audio when sharing on iOS and Android devices during a Teams meeting. This is great when sharing a video with voiceover and music. It allows everyone to watch simultaneously without echoes or sync issues.

Note: You can find this setting under More actions, Share screen with audio. It is available to devices with Android 10+ or iOS 13+.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | June 2021
Include device audio when sharing on iOS and Android.

Find out more: Download the Teams mobile app

Live Transcription with speaker attribution for additional licenses

Live transcription allows you to follow and review conversations (in English-US) alongside the meeting video or audio in real time. Attendees who joined late, or missed the meeting, can easily catch up by reading what was discussed and searching the transcript by speaker.

This feature was initially available to users with Office 365/Microsoft 365 E3/E5, Microsoft 365 Business Standard, and Microsoft 365 Business Premium licenses. This feature has been now expanded to users with Office 365 E1, Office 365 A1, Office 365/Microsoft 365 A3/A5, Microsoft 365 F1, Office 365/Microsoft 365 F3, and Microsoft 365 Business Basic licenses.

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							Live transcription with speaker attribution now available in Teams meetings for English (US)
Live Transcription with speaker attribution for additional licenses.

Find out more: Live transcription with speaker attribution now available in Teams meetings for English (US)

Access files offline on Android

The Teams mobile app on Android now allows you to access files even when you are offline or in bad network conditions. Simply select the files you need access to, and Teams will keep a downloaded version to use in your mobile app. You can find all your files that are available offline in the files section of the app.

Note: This feature was made available earlier this year for iOS.

MacOS native notifications in Teams

Users can now choose to deliver Microsoft Teams notifications, either via Teams built-in notifications or via macOS native notifications. When choosing native notifications, Teams inherits the OS notifications settings and supports quiet hours, action center triaging and more native features.

Note: This is only available on MacOS 10.15 or later.

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Change your notifications style in Teams.

Find out more: Change your notifications style in Teams

Large Gallery for VDI

The Large gallery feature is now available in Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). Now VDI users are able to expand their gallery, viewing up to 49 participants on the same screen during a Teams meeting.

Find out more: Optimization for Microsoft Teams (citrix)

Get Audio Conferencing for free

Join Microsoft Teams meetings on the go with a global dial-in number or dial out to help others join a meeting with Audio Conferencing. Eligible customers purchasing Microsoft partners and web can take advantage of the free Audio Conferencing offer now extended through December 31, 2021.

Find out more: Audio Conferencing in Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 Business Voice promotion

Business Voice is a cloud-based telephony solution built into Teams that combines essential telephony components into a single package. It is designed for businesses with up to 300 users and includes a phone system, audio conferencing and a domestic calling plan.

Through December 31, 2021, Microsoft customers can purchase Business Voice at a 25 percent discount for 12 months.

Find out more: What is Microsoft 365 Business Voice?

1:1 PSTN Call Recording

Microsoft have changed how 1:1 Call recording is enabled. By creating its own policy, Administrators can now delineate recording configurations between meetings and calling.

Previously, 1:1 Call recording has been controlled by the CsTeamsMeetingPolicy / AllowCloudRecording attribute. Now, it is controlled by the CsTeamsCallingPolicy / allowCloudRecordingForCalls attribute. This feature is only available via PowerShell.

Find out more: 1:1 Call Recording in Microsoft Teams Deep Dive

Approval Templates

To streamline workflows, new out of the box templates provide a repeatable structure for common approvals like filling out expense reports or requesting overtime. Admins and team owners can use these as is, customize, or create new templates for their organization and teams to use.

Use the structured form to input all the necessary information and eliminate back and forth on missing data for a faster approval.

Find out more: Streamline requests with new approval features in Microsoft Teams

Create trackable tasks from your ad hoc Teams messages

Tasks happen everywhere – in an email threads, working on files, or within team chats. And before you forget to make a note of a task, simply click in, and create tasks from Microsoft Teams messages on desktop and web. Like you’ve seen for emails in Outlook and comments in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint docs.

Converting a Teams message into a task on desktop or web is super easy: hover over the message, select the ellipses (…) from the pop-out menu > More actions > Create task.
Create trackable tasks from your ad hoc Teams messages.

Find out more: Create trackable tasks from your ad hoc Teams messages

Microsoft Whiteboard updates within Microsoft Teams to support hybrid work

The new Whiteboard is now integrated into more areas across Microsoft 365 – now available in Teams channels and chats. Start a collaborative whiteboard for everyone in the meeting with just one click. You can also pre-prep or reuse whiteboards across multiple Teams meetings.

This update brings a lot of great user interface capabilities: improved real-time collaboration to make it easier to follow along with what others are doing, new interactive content with sticky notes, fluid components, and insert images and documents via new sharing controls connected to OneDrive. Plus, a lot more.

Find out more: Meet the new Microsoft Whiteboard designed for Hybrid Work

App risk evaluation

Teams admins are now able to view the security, compliance, and data privacy details for apps coming from Microsoft Cloud App Security. This helps Teams admins save time on security reviews and enable a more focused selection-based security specifications, resulting in increased app quality.

Find out more: Microsoft Teams App Security and Compliance

Device management automatic alerting in Teams Admin Center

The feature enable IT Admin to identify devices issues by triggering notifications on device problem and device health check status that can be turned into an immediate correction action.

Find out more: Microsoft Teams device health monitoring

Security, compliance, and data protection capabilities for apps

For Microsoft 365 Certified Teams apps, admins can view security, compliance, and data protection capabilities in a new tab on the app’s detail page in the Teams Admin Center. This transparency gives Microsoft customers trust in the applications that run their organizations and ISVs an opportunity to showcase their hard work in becoming M365 Certified.

3 Tier Approach to App Compliance

Find out more: Microsoft 365 App Compliance Program

Teams (Government)

Here are the features released this month for customers in in US Government Community Cloud (GCC), US Government Community Cloud High (GCC-High), and/or United States Department of Defense (DoD):

  • Together mode: Together mode scene selections to transport your team to a variety of settings. Choose a scene to set the tone and create a unique experience for your meeting, whether it be a smaller conference room meeting, or an all-hands meeting held in an outdoor amphitheater. Available in GCC and GCC-High.
  • Updating settings for attendees’ video: Meeting attendees can turn their camera on or off to share video by default, plus configure to have all attendees’ cameras disabled, also reverse it and set it enabled/ disabled for individual attendees.

Power Apps

In Power Apps: Image display from Lists, GitHub actions GA, canvas app layout containers GA, NFC tags on iOS/ Android, image/ file support for Dataverse CMK, VS Code extension + Power Platform command line, rename action-based data sources, Power Apps component framework for canvas

Power Apps can now display images from Microsoft Lists

This improved experience allows images stored in Image columns in Microsoft Lists can be displayed when designing custom forms in the Power Apps design canvas. You can choose to display the images in four sizes: small, medium, large, or full.

If you add one or more images to your list, you can show individual images directly in Power Apps – here using a Power Apps app to customize the view form.
If you add one or more images to your list, you can show individual images directly in Power Apps – here using a Power Apps app to customize the view form.

Find out more: Image control in Power Apps

General Availability of GitHub Actions for Microsoft Power Platform

GitHub actions for Microsoft Power Platform are now generally available. This capability expands the coverage for enterprises that want to implement CI/CD with Power Platform Applications driven from a source code first view. To support fully automated build/ release pipelines, this capability was first released with the Power Platform Build Tools, an extension for Azure DevOps – and now as part of GitHub Actions for Power Platform.

GitHub actions for Power Platform.

Find out more: GitHub actions for Power Platform

Canvas app layout containers generally available

The container, horizontal container and vertical container layout controls in canvas apps are now generally available. These controls help you automatically reflow and resize controls within them to enable easy, no expression layouts in canvas apps. Containers make responsive apps much easier.

Get started with these controls by navigating to “Insert” under the Layout category, to insert these controls into the canvas. Navigate to Settings, select Display, and turn off the Scale to fit setting to enable your canvas app to be responsive. Responsive expressions with X, Y, Width and Height will continue to play a complimentary role in the building of responsive apps.  

GIF showing adding a text input, gallery, form and icons, and using layout container properties to make a responsive app
Canvas apps layout containers in Power Apps.

Find out more: Building responsive canvas apps

Read NFC tags with Power Apps on iOS and Android

Power Apps already offers robust, camera-based barcode scanning when running in the Power Apps Mobile app for iOS and Android, but barcodes are often only useful in clean, well-lit consumption scenarios. Power Fx now supports reading NFC and HF-RFID tags when running in the Power Apps Mobile app for iOS and Android.

Power Fx is now able to read the first record from a NFC standards-compliant tag, support Text and URI datatypes and provide record type information.

Find out more: ReadNFC function in Power Apps

Image and file data type support in Dataverse customer managed key (CMK) environments

Dataverse customer managed key (CMK) environments can now support the use of the Dataverse file column (a.k.a. File data type) and image column (Image Data Type) as of version: 9.2.21052.00103. Files and images uploaded will be encrypted at rest and secured using the customer’s provided key.

Note: At present, files within CMK environments are limited to a maximum size of 128MB per file. All files within CMK environments will be stored in the Dataverse data storage, instead of Dataverse file blob storage. This will be enabled by default if you have a CMK environment with a version equal to or greater than 9.2.21052.00103, and you have provided a key.

Find out more: New support for image and file data types in Dataverse customer managed key (CMK) environments

Power Platform VS Code Extension and the Power Platform CLI

The Power Platform team have announced an update to the Power Platform VS Code extension, launched as public preview on May 25th and the updated Power Platform Command Line (CLI). The canvas pack and unpack commands have been updated in the current update, plus several updates to the PCF.

Find out more: Announcing updates to the Power Platform VS Code Extension and the Power Platform Command line

Rename action-based data sources

Power Apps action-based data sources can now be renamed. This feature can help avoid an extensive rename of formula referenced data sources in a Power App.  The feature will reach all regions by the end of this week June 18, 2021.

Rename action-based data sources in Power Apps.

Find out more: Rename your Power Apps action-based data sources

Power Apps component framework for Canvas apps GA

The Power Apps component framework for canvas apps is now generally available. Now, pro developers can not only utilize power and flexibility of modern web technologies, but also can include their existing IP and external third-party libraries to  seamlessly extend industry leading Low-Code Development Platform for Professional Developers

Find out more: Code components for canvas apps


Power Automate

In Power Automate: Desktop update June 2021, four new connectors

Power Automate Desktop June 2021

The June 2021 update of Power Automate Desktop is out now. In this months release, there are several new features and updates, including:

  • Ability to run desktop flows from another desktop flow
  • Auto-switching to image based recorder upon detection of RDP and Citrix environments
  • Improvements in configuration of Windows-related actions
  • Deprecation of action ‘Create MODI OCR engine’
Run desktop flow action
Ability to run desktop flows from another desktop flow in Power Automate Desktop.

Find out more: Power Automate Desktop June 2021 update

Four new connectors released in May 2021

Four new connectors were released into the Power Automate ecosystem this past May. Take a look at the latest connectors:

  • Mavim iMprove – The Mavim iMprove connector empowers organizations to create and re-use all process-related content (such as process flows, goals, KPI’s, risk, controls, people, supporting technology) through Power Automate workflows, PowerApps and Azure DevOps.
  • Ordnance Survey Places – Ordnance Survey Places provides the latest details of over 40 million addresses across the UK connecting the existing OS Places API service to your app.
  • DocJuris – DocJuris is the simplest way to empower everyone in your company to quickly and consistently close contracts at scale.
  • Service Objects – The Service Objects’ connectors deliver contact data validation to the Power Automate ecosystem. In real-time, verify and correct your contact record’s name, phone, address and email while appending critical location and device details, ensuring you have genuine, accurate and up-to-date information for every customer. 

Find out more: Four New Connectors Released in May


Power BI

In Power BI: Admin APIs to Determine Access Rights, visualise SharePoint lists now GA, July 2021 Feature Summary, PivotTable refresh, Streaming dataflows in Power BI premium, On-premises data gateway July 2021, free virtual workshops

Microsoft Teams with Power BI activity feed notifications

Power BI is integrating with the Microsoft Teams activity feed. In Teams, you’ll be notified when someone shares a report to you or requests access to a report you own. This helps you get more done without leaving Microsoft Teams or hunting through your emails.

The activity feed notification capability has started to roll-out to commercial cloud customers. Users need to install the Power BI app for Microsoft Teams to receive the activity feed notifications.

Power BI report sharing notification in Microsoft Teams activity feed.
Power BI report sharing notification in Microsoft Teams activity feed.

Find out more: Announcing: Collaborate faster in Microsoft Teams with Power BI activity feed notifications

MIP sensitivity labels in Power BI (Preview)

MIP labels are available both in the Power BI service and in Power BI Desktop (Preview). Microsoft have developed industry-leading data-classification inheritance capabilities, including the labeling and protection of files when data is exported from Power BI,  inheritance of MIP labels from Synapse (preview)inheritance of labels when creating new content, and downstream inheritance (preview).

Animated gif showing application and persistence of sensitivity labels
Sensitivity labeling in Power BI.

Find out more: Now organizations can require users to set MIP sensitivity labels in Power BI (Preview)

Scanner API (Admin REST APIs) enhancements

Microsoft announced new Scanner APIs for extracting tenant-level metadata using Power BI Admin REST APIs in December 2020. Microsoft have now announced further enhancements that includes the items our customers have been asking for most – now, as part of the API response, you can get the metadata of dataset tables and columns, measures, DAX expressions, and mashup queries.

Scanner API (Admin REST APIs) enhancements.

Find out more: Announcing Scanner API (Admin REST APIs) enhancements to include dataset tables, columns, measures, DAX expressions, and mashup queries

Power BI June 2021 Feature Summary

June’s Power BI feature summary includes updates to connectors, plus DirectQuery support for Dataflows, preview release for the paginated reports visual plus many more!

Find out more: Power BI June 2021 Feature Summary

Power BI report action bar available in SharePoint Online webpart

You can now do more with the Power BI webpart in SharePoint Online with the addition of the Power BI report action bar. With the action bar, users can now easily Analyze in Excel, Export to PowerPoint, and Export to PDF.

Power BI action bar in SharePoint Online.

Find out more: The Power BI report action bar is now available in the Power BI SharePoint Online webpart

Long-term usage and performance insights (public preview)

The Power BI team have announced the availability of detailed historical activity information and analytical insights on Power BI operations. This new capability gives you full visibility into Power BI usage and performance so you can confidently manage your environment and comply with organizational policies. 

Once user activities and metrics are enabled, Microsoft will provide a Power BI report template allowing you to:

  • Visualize historical data over long periods to observe usage trends, spot periods of unusual load, and identify performance degradation.
  • Isolate activities by time range, capacity, dataset, user, report and more.
  • Investigate internal operations within a query or dataset refresh to see where time is being spent.
Long-term usage and performance insights (public preview).

Find out more: Announcing long-term usage and performance insights (Public Preview)

Updated timeline for upgrading classic workspaces

The Power BI team are extending the timeline for upgrading classic workspaces to new workspaces. The Power BI team are now targeting automatic upgrade of classic workspaces to new workspaces by April 2022.

  • July 2021
    • ‘Upgrade all’ workspaces tool within Power BI Admin portal released to all tenants
      • Update as of 7/21/2021 – We are ahead of schedule and ‘Upgrade all’ has been released and is available to all tenant admins.
    • Ability to create classic workspaces removed for all tenants
  • April 2022
    • Automatic upgrade of all classic workspaces to new workspaces will be performed by Microsoft

Find out more: Updated timeline for upgrading classic workspaces

Paginated report visual for Power BI reports (public preview)

The Power BI team have announced that the public preview of the paginated report visual for Power BI reports is now available in the June release of Power BI Desktop. For the first time, this native Power BI visual allows you to render any paginated report you’ve uploaded to the service in a Power BI report.  

Paginated report visual for Power BI reports is now available in public preview.

Find out more: Paginated report visual for Power BI reports is now available in public preview

On-premises data gateway June 2021

The June 2021 update for the On-premises data gateway has been released (version 3000.86.4).

Find out more: On-premises data gateway June 2021 update is now available

Embed Power BI in Salesforce

There are new developer samples for embedding Power BI analytics in Salesforce. You can embed Power BI report, dashboards and more in Salesforce for your organization or for your customers. By embedding Power BI in Salesforce, your users will have access to Power BI interactive data visualizations that can be connected to all the data sources that are supported by Power BI.

Salesforce plus Power BI
Embed Power BI in Salesforce.

Find out more: Embed Power BI in Salesforce

Email notifications for non-owners of dataflows

The Power BI team have announced the availability of email notifications to non-owners in your organization. This addresses concerns from customers around limitations related to ownership in Dataflows being restricted to one user only. 

Email notifications for non-owners of dataflows.

Find out more: Announcing email notifications for non-owners of dataflows

Power BI Report Builder June 2021

The June release of the Power BI Report Builder includes a number of new features designed to improve your paginated report authoring experience, plus the addition of the Power BI Report Builder as an app in the Microsoft Store.

New Data tab in Power BI Report Builder.

Find out more: What’s new in the June update of Power BI Report Builder


Microsoft 365 monthly update – May 2021

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.


SharePoint

In SharePoint: Immersive reader, migrate from Dropbox & Google, export to CSV, new sharing experience for Lists, turn on/off comments in Lists, Yammer conversation insights

Immersive Reader is now available

The Microsoft Immersive Reader technology, currently built into Word, OneNote, Outlook, Teams, and other Microsoft apps, will soon be available for documents stored in SharePoint. The Immersive Reader uses proven techniques to improve reading and writing for people regardless of their age or ability.

thumbnail image 3 captioned Open Word documents and text files directly into Immersive Reader from OneDrive and SharePoint libraries.
Immersive Reader is now available in OneDrive and SharePoint for documents.

Find out more:

Migrate content from Dropbox & Google Workspace with Migration Manager

After the release for migrating Box content into Microsoft 365, now you can migrate your Dropbox and Google Workspace folders and files into OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams in Microsoft 365 using the Migration Manager within the SharePoint admin center.

Migration Manager lets you scale your migration project as much as you need. Located in the modern SharePoint Admin Center, Migration Manager guides you through the setup of your agents and the creation of your tasks.

Find out more:

Export lists to CSV in Microsoft Lists

Export to CSV is an additional export option now available for Microsoft Lists. Lists has always had, and maintained, integration with Excel – to either bring table data in, or to export to analyze your list data back in Excel. The limiting factor was the different experience for Mac – which, for some time, was not an option.

For Windows you can export to Excel or CSV, for Macs, you can only export to CSV.

Note: The export to CSV is currently only supported inside Lists; the team is aware of this design issue and working on it.

thumbnail image 7 captioned The Export to Excel button has been changed to say Export, with two options: 1) Excel Workbooks, and 2) CSV.

Find out more:

Updated sharing experience for Microsoft Lists

Users can now share entire lists using sharing links with more granular control options, leveraging the same sharing capabilities you might be familiar with when sharing files and folders, which brings to Lists the ability to share with everyone, only certain people, view/edit and the ability to set sharing expiration.

Note: The same admin controls that manage sharing for files and folders will also apply to lists and list items.

thumbnail image 8 captioned Updated sharing options when sharing lists or list items.
Updated sharing experience for Microsoft Lists.

Find out more:

Turn on/ off comments in Microsoft Lists

This new feature will allow you to turn off/on comments for individual lists. Any user with manage list permission on the list will be able to access this setting in Advanced settings. Admins can already turn off or turn on comments for their entire organization in the admin center.

Specify whether users can comment on list items.

Find out more:

Yammer conversation insights

Yammer conversation insights empower authors and community managers to measure the reach of their conversations and announcements – to understand what content resonates best, and what doesn’t.

As you analyze these insights, you’ll see discussion impressions and engagement more clearly, you’ll recognize trends, and see how people react specifically and over time.

thumbnail image 2 captioned For important internal conversations in Yammer, get better insights into impressions, engagement, trends, reactions and more.
Yammer conversation insights.

Find out more:


Teams

In Teams: Dynamic view, presenter mode, large meeting support, custom attendee registration, improved exp for sharing content, include computer sound Mac, breakout room timer, Edge/ Chrome browser meeting updates, updated settings for attendees video, AI-based noise suppression Mac, improved participant list, updates to Microsoft Forms Poll in Teams Meetings, new calling exp, Teams casting, external group chat, Adobe approvals

Teams (Government)

Teams (Education)

Dynamic view

Dynamic view automatically arranges the elements of your meeting for an optimal viewing experience. As people join, turn on video, start to speak, or begin to present in a meeting, Teams auto-adjusts and personalizes your layout.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | May 2021
Dynamic view in Microsoft Teams.

Find out more: How to present in Microsoft Teams meetings with dynamic view

Presenter mode

Presenter mode empowers presenters to customize how their video feed and content appear to the audience with powerful professional layouts. The first layout, Standout, is now available to show the speaker’s video feed as a silhouette in front of shared content. That way, you can easily direct your audiences’ attention through hand gestures and facial cues, without making the viewer choose between the speaker and the content. Stay tuned for the next two layouts coming soon: Reporter and Side-by-side.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | May 2021
Presenter mode in Microsoft Teams

Find out more: Preview exited, now GA: PowerPoint Presenter View in Teams

Large meeting support

Hold interactive meetings and webinars with more attendees—up to 1,000 people, including chats, polls, and Live Reactions. If you go over that limit, your meeting seamlessly scales to accommodate up to 10,000 people in a view-only experience. During this time of increased remote work, you can take advantage of view-only broadcasts for up to 20,000 attendees through the end of this year. 

Find out more: Teams view-only meeting experience

Custom attendee registration

Add a custom attendee registration page to your meetings or webinars to better manage attendance before your virtual event starts. You can add custom questions and images to learn more about your audience and promote your brand. Once your attendees finish registering, they’ll automatically receive a confirmation email with a calendar invite to join the event.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | May 2021
Custom attendee registration in Microsoft Teams.

Find out more: Introducing custom registration pages for Microsoft Teams meetings

Improved experience for sharing content in a meeting

The new share content experience helps presenters find their desired content more quickly and easily. Windows are consolidated into a single bucket to provide a concise view and all PowerPoints are automatically organized to present with PowerPoint Live. Now you can focus on the content of what you’re sharing instead of rummaging through the correct content to share in your meeting. 

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | May 2021
Improved experience for sharing content in a meeting.

Find out more: Share content in a meeting in Teams

Include computer sound when sharing on Mac

Mac desktop users can now include audio when sharing their desktop or window during a Teams meeting. This is great when sharing a video with voiceover and music. It allows everyone to watch simultaneously without echoes or sync issues. You can find this setting in the share content.

Find out more: Share sound from your computer in a Teams meeting or live event

Breakout room timer

Organizers can now set a timer for Breakout rooms from the Breakout Room settings. Once the timer has expired, rooms will automatically close, and participants will return to the main meeting.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | May 2021
Breakout room timer in Microsoft Teams meetings.

Find out more: Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings

Edge and Chrome browser meeting updates

Edge and Chrome browser users are now able to change the Teams meeting layout to 2×2 Gallery view, Together mode, and Large gallery. With the ability to see up to 49 participants in a single screen, you can enhance your virtual meeting experience where participants feel closer together even when you are apart.

Updated settings for attendees video

There are three new ways that you can now manage your attendees’ camera:

  1. Meeting attendees are able to turn their camera on or off to share video by default. You can also configure to have all attendees’ camera disabled by setting Enable camera for attendees to Off from the Meeting Options web page before the meeting.
  2. Once this new setting is turned Off, you can also reverse this setting during the meeting to allow all attendees to turn their camera on.
  3. Finally, you can also enable or disable the camera for individual attendees

Note: that these settings do not automatically turn on attendees’ camera or affect presenters and meeting organizers. This feature aims to focus on attendees to prevent disruptions during a meeting and help create a safe meeting environment.

Find out more: Manage attendee audio and video permissions in Teams meetings

AI-based noise suppression for Mac users

AI-based noise suppression is being expanded for Mac users. Real-time AI noise suppression feature automatically removes unwelcome background noise during your meetings. Your audio feed is analyzed to filter out the noise and retain only the speech signal. You can also control how much noise suppression you want, including a high setting to suppress more background noise. This feature is now available for all Mac users except devices with M1 ARM processor.

Find out more: Reduce background noise in Microsoft Teams meetings with AI-based noise suppression

Improved participant list

The participant list is now broken out into three sections: Lobby, Presenters, and Attendees. For Lobby, you can now review the full list of people waiting before admitting them all into the meeting. Attendees are sorted in alphabetical order and those who raise their hands are elevated to the top of the participant list.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | May 2021
Improved participant list in Microsoft Teams.

Updates to Microsoft Forms Poll in Teams Meetings

Two updates have been released for Microsoft Forms Poll in Teams Meetings. Firstly, within the Polls tab of your Teams meetings, you now receive intelligent suggestions for polls to launch during your meeting.

Secondly, you can launch multiple-choice quizzes (previously known as “Correct Answer Choice”) in your Teams meetings. For this new type of poll question, perfect for trivia questions or knowledge checks, you can mark one or more choices to be correct. After your meeting participants vote, the correct answer(s) to the multiple-choice quiz are shown in the Results card. 

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | May 2021
Updates to Microsoft Forms Poll in Teams Meetings.

Find out more: Poll attendees during a Teams meeting

New Calling Experiences

Simplify the calling experience with a streamlined view that shows contacts, voicemail, and calling history together. Previously, you had to select each of these in different tabs. Now, it is consolidated in the same screen, making it easier to initiate or return a call with a single click.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | May 2021
New calling experience in Microsoft Teams.

Find out more: Understand calling in Microsoft Teams

Call merge

Call Merge gives end users the capability to merge their active 1:1 call into another 1:1 or group call. For example, during a call with someone (or a group), you need to ask someone else a question. With this feature, you may add them directly into the first conversation seamlessly. This applies to Teams VOIP calls and PSTN calls. 

Find out more: Merge calls in Teams

Microsoft Calling Plan expansion

Microsoft Teams Calling plans provide a fast and simple way to deploy calling in Microsoft Teams with no on-premises equipment. We have expanded our geographic coverage to nine new markets including New Zealand, Singapore, Romania, Czech Republic, Hungary, Finland, Norway, Slovakia, and Luxembourg. This means that customers in 27 markets can now use Microsoft-provided calling plans to place and receive PSTN calls in Teams.

Find out more: Calling plans in Microsoft 365

Branch Office Survivability on Teams phones

With this new capability, users in a Branch Office can continue to make PSTN call on Teams phones to other users even if the Branch office loses internet connectivity. This is beneficial for the continuity of communication and adds a layer of confidence that information can be conveyed even when connectivity may be jeopardized.

Find out more: Survivable Branch Appliance (SBA) for Direct Routing

Teams casting with Mobile Phone for Microsoft Teams Rooms

For quick ad-hoc sessions that don’t necessarily require setting up a formal meeting, people can use Teams casting to wirelessly connect to a Teams Room running on Windows, and display content from their mobile phone. Users can broadcast their screen and cast content stored locally on their device or accessible via Office 365.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | May 2021
Teams casting with Mobile Phone for Microsoft Teams Rooms.

Find out more: Cast content from a mobile device to a Microsoft Teams Room

Group chat with external users

Chat with up to 250 participants across multiple organizations in a single chat. This makes it easy to start a chat with external partners, just like how it’s done today within an organization. External group chat is expanding on the existing ability for Teams users to find, participate in 1:1 chat, calls, and set up meetings with external Teams users in federated organizations.

This feature is part of Microsoft Teams Connect, which enables users to share a team with guest users, and share channels as well as chat with people from multiple organizations right from their own tenants.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | May 2021
Group chat with external users.

Find out more: Microsoft Teams Connect aka Shared Channels Coming Later in 2021

Adobe Sign Integration in Approvals App

There may be times when you need something approved and recorded with more formal attestation and adding signatures to the approval process is necessary. With the new Adobe Sign integration, you can create an approval request with a natively integrated electronic signature. Once submitted, signers are notified with an email and can easily review and sign. Approvals keeps track of the entire workflow right in the context within Teams.

Find out more: Chat, collaborate, share and sign with Adobe Sign and Microsoft Teams

Teams (Government)

The following updates were announced forTeams Government Community Cloud (GCC), US Government Community Cloud High (GCC-High), and/or United States Department of Defense (DoD):

  • Breakout room timer
  • Polls in Teams Meetings
  • Updates to Data loss prevention (DLP) for Microsoft Teams
  • Team templates

Teams (Education)

The following updates were announced for Teams Education:

  • Supervised chat: Supervised chat grants designated educators permissions to start chats with students and blocks students from creating new chats unless an appropriate educator is present. Find out more.
  • Career Coach – Microsoft Teams for Education app powered by LinkedIn: Career Coach is a Microsoft Teams for Education app powered by LinkedIn that provides personalized guidance for higher education students to navigate their career journey. Find out more.
  • Add assignments to Office 365 calendar: This is a setting that educators can select for individual assignments or turn on in Assignments Settings for their whole class. Once toggled on, the calendar feature adds an entry at the due date and time for that assignment on Teams and Outlook calendars for both educators and students.

OneDrive

In OneDrive: Immersive reader, link settings to the Quick Permissions, external expiring access, exclude files from sync Mac, PDF viewing updates for iOS/ Android, Request Files GCC/ DoD

Immersive reader

Users can now open documents directly in the Immersive Reader from inside OneDrive and SharePoint and leverage learning tools to change the appearance of your document by using Text options, set Text Size, Spacing, Font, and Themes that suit your learning needs , select Play at the bottom of the window to hear your document read aloud and to see the text highlighted simultaneously change the fonts , etc.

thumbnail image 2 captioned Open Word files directly into Immersive Reader from inside OneDrive and SharePoint.
Immersive reader in OneDrive and SharePoint.

Find out more: Learning Tools in Word

Link settings to the quick permissions

Quick Permissions are a more intuitive and discoverable drop-down menu to help you easily select permission levels ( Can edit or Can view). Microsoft are now adding an additional entry point to Link settings from the Quick permissions dropdown that provide more granular sharing control, so you easily can change link types and sharing permissions.

thumbnail image 3 captioned Intuitive access to link settings for updating sharing permissions.
Link settings to the quick permissions in OneDrive.

Find out more: Share OneDrive files and folders

Expiring access for external users

To protect shared files, administrators can set a mandatory expiration period to ensure access doesn’t last forever and help avoid leaking organization data by accident. This policy can be enabled in the SharePoint admin center (both modern and classic) and applies to both OneDrive and SharePoint. Once the policy is implemented, external users will automatically lose access to content on the site-by-site level (or OneDrive-by-OneDrive level).

Note: SharePoint site administrators and OneDrive owners will have the authority to extend or remove access for the selected users. 

thumbnail image 4 captioned Admins and end users can expire shares to external users
Expiring access for external users.

Find out more: Set an expiration date for Anyone links

Exclude specific files from sync on macOS

Microsoft have enabled functionality in OneDrive for macOS that allows IT admins to prevent the OneDrive sync app from uploading certain files to OneDrive or SharePoint. IT admins who are managing macOS devices in their organizations can enable this setting using the prescribed plist file entry to prevent users from uploading specific file types such as .exe or .mp3 when they sync their OneDrive files.

When this setting is enabled, the sync app doesn’t upload new files that match the specified keywords, and the files remain in the local OneDrive folder. In Finder, the files will appear with an “Excluded from sync” icon in the Status column, and users will see a notification in the OneDrive activity center explaining why the files aren’t syncing.

thumbnail image 5 captioned Exclude files notification in Finder and Activity center.
Exclude specific files from sync on macOS.

PDF viewing updates on iOS and Android 

Several updates have been released around PDF viewing for iOS and Android:

  • Jump to Page for PDF viewing: Users of OneDrive for iOS and Android will be able to to navigate quickly to specific pages in PDFs.
  • Outline for PDF viewing: Outline creates a clickable table of contents to help people who use OneDrive on iOS and Android to quickly navigate PDFs.
thumbnail image 6 captioned Jump flow on iOS.
Jump to Page for PDF viewing in OneDrive.

Request Files for GCC High and DoD

The Request Files feature is now available for GCC high and DoD.  With “Request Files” users can collect data from internal and external stakeholders using an upload-only link.

thumbnail image 8 captioned Request files via upload only link
Request Files for GCC High and DoD.

Find out more: Create a file request


Power Apps

In Power Apps: Edit portal VS Code extension, PVA integration, Power Apps Ideas, Power Fx integration with model-driven apps, new Power App solutions, canvas apps in Teams, SAP ERP connector GA, Portals support for CLI, alternate key limits, custom pages & modern app designer

Edit portal with Power Platform VS Code Extension (public preview)

The VS Code extension for portals adds the capability to configure portals using VS Code and utilize the built-in Liquid language IntelliSense enabling help with code completion, assistance and hinting while customizing portals interface using VS Code. In the preview capabilities:

  • Power Apps CLI support from VS Code terminal
  • Portal’s file icon theme
  • Autocomplete support
Edit portal with Power Platform VS Code Extension (public preview).

Find out more: Use the Visual Studio Code extension (Preview)

Power Virtual Agents integration using “Chatbot” component (public preview)

Power Apps portals allow you to add a Power Virtual Agents chatbot to answer questions posted by a visitor on your portal page. A chatbot (bot) configured with different topics, and trigger phrases, can automatically respond to questions posted by a visitor in a chat conversation. In the preview capabilities:

  • Add bot from Dataverse environment
  • Add bot to all pages
  • Add bot to specific pages

Note: That your portal version must be 9.3.4.x or later and Starter portal package version 9.2.2103.x or later for this feature to work.

Power Virtual Agents integration using “Chatbot” component (public preview).

Find out more: Add chatbot to a page (Preview)

Power Apps Ideas

Introducing Power Apps Ideas: AI-powered assistance now helps anyone create apps using natural language. The Power Apps team have fine-tuned one of the most advanced natural language AI models on the planet, a model known as OpenAI GPT-3, to automatically generate Power Fx formulas based on natural language input.

The Power Apps team are also adding GPT-3 and other Microsoft AI technology directly into Power Apps Studio in a way that will help every maker quickly build the apps they need and more easily learn advanced concepts in the process.

PowerApps can automatically generate Power Fx formulas based on natural language input
Power Apps ideas.

Find out more: Introducing Power Apps Ideas: AI-powered assistance now helps anyone create apps using natural language

Power Fx integration with Model-driven Power Apps commanding and Dataverse calculated columns and rollups

Power Fx will be a great language for a wide spectrum of makers, from no code seamlessly through pro code. The Power Apps team have also been working hard on integrating Power Fx with more products across the Power Platform and beyond:

  • Model-driven commanding.  No longer do makers need to learn and write JavaScript to create their own commands!  The same Power Fx formulas used in canvas apps can be used to test and modify Dataverse data.
  • Dataverse calculated columns.  Use Power Fx formulas for calculated columns and rollups in Dataverse, a more modern and powerful alternative to existing facilities.
  • Acumatica.  Reaching beyond the Power Platform and even Microsoft, Acumatica has integrated Power Fx for calculated fields on forms, that can both reference other fields and do aggregate calculations on related tables.
Model-driven commanding in Power Apps.

Find out more: Power Fx coming to Model-driven Power Apps, Dataverse, and more

Profile+, Boards, and Perspectives – three new Power Apps solutions

The Power Apps team have announced the preview release of three new Power Apps Solutions on Dataverse for Teams: Profile+, Boards, and Perspectives. These template solutions are helping organizations accelerate their journey to digital transformation by integrating Line of Business applications directly into the collaboration fabric of Teams.

  • Profile+: The Profile+ solution helps you quickly look up colleagues, understand org structure and roles, and learn about open positions
  • Perspectives: The Perspectives app is a place to listen and be heard in your organization. Start a discussion on any topic by simply posting a question or a conversation starter
  • Boards: With Boards, you can create shared space to collect Information and resources relevant to a particular topic and organize them by categories

Find out more: Three new Power Apps Solutions to enhance information discovery and create more inclusive organizations

Add canvas apps in Teams

The Power Apps team have simplified the “add to Teams” command in Power Apps to make it even easier to add your existing Canvas apps to Microsoft Teams. The new interface adds a new “Add to Teams” button along with the “Download app” button in the side panel.

Add to Teams side panel
Add canvas apps in Teams.

Find out more: Add your canvas apps to Microsoft Teams

SAP ERP connector GA

Last year, Microsoft announced the public preview of an SAP ERP connector for Power Apps and Power Automate. Now, the SAP ERP connector in Power Apps and Power Automate has reached general availability (GA). Microsoft have fixed many issues to improve the error handling, diagnostics, stability around authentication, data types and other issues that have been reported by customers.

With this release, customers can use the SAP ERP connector in production workloads. The SAP ERP connector is certified by SAP for integration with SAP S/4HANA and SAP ERP.

SAP ERP connector GA.

Find out more: General availability of the SAP ERP connector

Portals support for Power Apps CLI (public preview)

With this feature, Microsoft Power Apps portals supports Power Apps CLI to enable CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment) of portal configuration. You can now check-in the portal configuration to source control and move portal configuration to any environment using Power Apps CLI. In the preview release:

  • List all portal websites from the connected Dataverse environment
  • Download portal website content
  • Upload portal website content

Find out more: Portals support for Microsoft Power Platform CLI (Preview)

Increased alternate key limits

The Power Apps team have announced that they are increasing the the number of Alternate keys that can be used in a table in Dataverse (Alternate keys were previously known as Entity keys). All tables use the Primary Name as a lookup to locate records, this is a string value.

Alternate keys let a user specify additional columns that can also be used to retrieve records. This is useful if you need to look up records based on something other than a string (for example an Order ID number, or a Case ID). Alternate keys also enforce record uniqueness on the column(s) that are part of the key.

Find out more: Work with alternate keys

Custom Pages and the Modern App Designer

As announced at the Microsoft Business Applications Summit, the unification of canvas and model-driven apps continues to grow with two new capabilities:

  • Custom Pages: Custom Pages, backed by the full flexibility of the Power Apps canvas to craft pixel-perfect UX, connect to over 400 data sources, and leverage Power Fx for approachable low-code logic, will now be able to embed seamlessly within model-driven applications.
  • Modern App Designer: Assembling a fully responsive application backed by Dataverse takes just a few clicks. Drop in robust, declaratively-generated grids and forms simply by selecting a table. Preview the running app live in the designer, and craft custom pages right inline.
Custom Pages and the Modern App Designer.

Find out more: Better together: introducing Custom Pages and the Modern App Designer


Power Automate

In Power Automate: Process advisor GA, 6 new connectors, desktop update, new machine management for desktop flows, Adobe

Process advisor for Power Automate now generally available

Process advisor, now generally available, is a process mining capability that provides insights into how people work and takes the guesswork out of automation. You can now map workflow tasks, discover organizational bottlenecks, and identify which time-consuming tasks are best suited for automation—all from within Power Automate. 

Application aAnalytics creates simple charts to see usage, time spent, actions, and more.
Process advisor now generally available.

Find out more: Process advisor

6 New Connectors in April

Another six connectors were added in April, including:

Find out more: 6 new connectors in April

Power Automate Desktop May 2021 update

The May 2021 update of Power Automate Desktop has been released! New features and updates have been added, with a summary below:

  • Update notifications are now available in Power Automate Desktop
  • Additional resources are now available under the ‘Help’ menu option
  • A timeout parameter has been added in ‘Launch browser’ actions
  • Localization work has now been completed for Power Automate Desktop

Find out more: Power Automate Desktop May 2021 update

Connect directly to machines and new machine management for desktop flows

Previously, you needed to install and configure an on-premises data gateway to trigger your desktop flows from the cloud. The Power Automate team have announced that Power Automate Desktop can now connect your machine directly to the cloud and run desktop flows without the use of a gateway. Also announced are new machine-management capabilities to help scale your robotic process automation (RPA). 

New machine-management capabilities in Power Automate desktop.

Find out more: Connect directly to machines and new machine management for desktop flows


Power BI

In Power BI: Admin APIs to Determine Access Rights, visualise SharePoint lists now GA, July 2021 Feature Summary, PivotTable refresh, Streaming dataflows in Power BI premium, On-premises data gateway July 2021, free virtual workshops


Microsoft 365 monthly update – April 2021

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.


SharePoint

In SharePoint: Immersive reader, audience targeting for events, site templates, iPad support for Lists, InTune policies for Lists, visualize Lists with Power BI

Immersive reader for SharePoint pages and news posts

Immersive Reader, currently built into Word, OneNote, Outlook, Teams and other Microsoft apps, will soon be available for SharePoint pages and news posts.

Immersive Read is now available for SharePoint pages and news posts.

Find out more:

Audience Targeting for Events Web Part

You now have the ability to target specific audiences per event within the SharePoint Events Web Part. Meaning you can target specific events to different audiences – aligning with in-place options to personalize your intranet experience.

thumbnail image 3 captioned When you turn on audience targeting, you can make it so certain events within the Events web part appear, or don't, for certain people and/or groups.
Audience Targeting for Events Web Part.

Find out more:

SharePoint site templates

This new SharePoint release of scenario-based site templates will help you expand what’s possible with content, pages, and web parts while helping you quickly get started building your own site. Each template contains pre-populated content and web parts that are fully customizable to meet the needs of your organization.

NOTE: This currently does not include a way to save a customised site as a template, to create custom site templates (aka site designs, or site scripts click here).

thumbnail image 4 captioned You'll find Microsoft-provided templates when you create new sites in Microsoft 365, alongside any custom templates you may have deployed.
SharePoint site templates.

Find out more:

iPad support for Microsoft Lists for iOS

Microsoft have announced Lists for iOS now supports iPad. AKA, no more Lists at 2x. You’ll get a beautiful native experience to track, manage and share your information.

thumbnail image 5 captioned Microsoft Lists for iOS on an iPad, showing the main home screen with Search, and Favorites and Recent lists (left), and working on an individual ‘New Candidates’ list (right).
iPad support for Microsoft Lists for iOS.

Find out more:

Manage Microsoft Lists for iOS using InTune app protection policies (APP)

The Microsoft Lists iOS app is now configurable as a public app in Intune app protection policy (APP) through the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center.  This allows app to be targeted to ensure that the data accessed is protected by app protection policies.

Find out more:

Visualize List data with Power BI

Microsoft have announced the arrival of a new guided experience in Lists that will make it easy to create business intelligence reports in Power BI using your list data as your source.

  • NOTE: Users with a Microsoft 365 E5 license or Power BI Pro license will have access to the full report authoring and viewing experience.
  • Users without either of those licenses will be prompted by Power BI to sign up for a 60-day free trial of Power BI Pro when they attempt to save a new report or edit or view an existing report. Users with a Power BI free license may only visualize their list data but cannot publish nor view reports.
Visualize list data with Power BI.

Find out more:


Teams

In Teams: Breakout room retention/ participant reassignment, invite-only meeting options, Polls updates, creation/ expiration policies, audio permissions, external presenter in Live Events, custom backgrounds in iOS, casting, product feedback, native notifications, app updates, preconfigured website tab, app customisation, new reports, frontline worker updates

In Teams (Government): Meeting options updates, audio permissions, Planner labels, update Teams Rooms app, out of office

Breakout room retention/ participant reassignment

Organizers can now reassign participants even when rooms are opened. Previously, you could only reassign when rooms were closed. Breakout room assignments also now persist over multiple sessions. These features are useful for efficiently managing discussions and ensuring the right participants are in each breakout.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | April 2021
Breakout room retention and participant reassignment is now available in Microsoft Teams.

Find out more:

Invite-only meeting options

A new meeting setting is now available in Teams meeting options that automatically sends those who were not originally invited by the organizer to the lobby. For example, if an invitee forwards a meeting invitation to a colleague, when that person tries to join, they’ll be directed to wait in the lobby until the host selects to admit them. 

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | April 2021
New invite-only meeting options are now available in Microsoft Teams.

Find out more:

Polls in Teams meetings has advanced capabilities for expanded options, intelligent suggestions and analytics

Attendees and guest attendees on mobile devices can now participate in Polls in Teams meetings. Also, discover intelligent poll suggestions to prepare relevant poll questions quickly and analyze responses to take swift action post-meeting.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | April 2021
Polls in Teams meetings has advanced capabilities for expanded options, intelligent suggestions and analytics.

Find out more:

Enhanced meeting creation and expiration policies

For added security and compliance, Teams meetings and join links are disabled for users whose scheduling permissions have been revoked. Previously, a user could continue to reuse their old meeting join links after their scheduling capabilities have been disabled. This policy update automatically expires those old meeting links so they can’t be reused.

Screenshot of the Renew Now button to renew a team in team settings
Team expiration and renewal in Microsoft Teams.

Find out more:

Improvements to audio permissions settings for attendees

As a meeting presenter and organizer, you can now manage attendee audio permissions with greater flexibility. Attendees no longer need to request to speak for you to allow them to unmute, and you also have the ability to prevent individual attendees from unmuting.

Allow attendees to unmute toggle
Improvements to audio permissions settings for attendees in Teams Meetings.

Find out more:

External presenter support for Live Events

For Live Events created in Teams, you can allow anonymous users who do not have an Microsoft Service Account (MSA) or Azure Active Directory (AAD) identity to be a presenter. You can now also manage a live event as a Producer in a separate Teams window, so you can simultaneously support the event, while still collaborating with others on Teams.

Select Allow external presenters under Invite presenters
Allow anonymous presenters in a live meeting.

Find out more:

Custom Backgrounds on iOS for Teams meetings

Custom backgrounds are now available on iOS. Select from Microsoft provided backgrounds or one of your own directly from your iOS mobile device. Now you can make your video meetings more fun and personal while you’re on the go.

The options available for backgrounds on mobile video
Custom Backgrounds on iOS for Teams meetings.

Find out more:

Teams casting from Android and iOS Teams App

For quick ad-hoc meetings that don’t require a formal scheduled meeting, users can leverage Teams casting to wirelessly connect to a Teams Room and display content from their mobile device. Users can broadcast their screen and share content stored locally on their device or accessible via Teams or OneDrive.

Tap Displays
Cast content from a mobile device to a Microsoft Teams Room.

Find out more:

Product feedback tool in Microsoft Teams

Teams automatically reviews the feedback that you submit, and provide help documentation related to the topic, if available. Additionally, once enabled by Teams administrator, you have the option to share your email address when submitting feedback in Teams, to allow for Microsoft to follow-up with you.

Windows 10 native notifications in Teams

You can now choose the style of your notifications: built-in Teams or Windows native notifications. The latter brings a suite of benefits, like respecting focus assist mode which enables you to avoid distracting notifications when you need to focus, and integrating with Windows 10 action center to helps you review your notifications in one place. If you have a Windows build 10.0.17763.288 or higher, you can make this change in Teams notifications settings.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | April 2021
Windows 10 native notifications in Teams.

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Update to Microsoft Teams mobile app on Android and iOS

Visual updates: The Teams mobile app has a new visual look and feel that delivers new headers, icons, and styling along with the ability to automatically switch to dark theme when you set your device to dark.

Organize chats in mobile app: In the Teams mobile app, you are now able to pin chats and filter the Chat list. This is great for when you quickly want to get back into important conversations! Pinned chats are also rolling out on Android shortly.

Emoji library and GIFs in mobile app on Android and iOS: In the Teams mobile app, there is an expanded library of emojis, and the ability to trim GIFs directly in the app.

Visual update to Microsoft Teams mobile app on Android and iOS.

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Preconfigured website tab in Team Templates

As an admin you can now add a URL of your choice to the website tab in a team template. When the end-user creates a team using the pre-built template, it will include the preset website you specified, making it easier to distribute standardized content to the entire organization.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | April 2021
Preconfigured website tab in Team Templates.

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App customization and branding

App developers are able to specify if they want to provide the option for their customers to customize the app. If the developers provide this option, admins are able to customize app properties like app name, descriptions, icons and more to deliver a branded app experience right within Teams.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | April 2021
App customization and branding in Microsoft Teams.

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New usage reports

Teams user usage report: The Teams user usage report provides you a view into your Teams activities and usage. You can generate insights and metrics on a per-team and cross-team basis to understand your interaction with peers and across the organization. 

Anonymous user usage reports: As a Teams admin you have the option to anonymize user data, protecting user privacy while viewing, downloading, sharing, and accessing the Teams usage report data. Once enabled, personally identifiable information like username, email addresses, and Active Directory IDs are anonymized.

Screenshot of the Downloads tab showing exported reports to download
New usage reports in Microsoft Teams.

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Updates for frontline workers

Time Clock APIs: New APIs (Application Programming Interface) for Time Clock allows integrations into your organization’s Time & Attendance system. to enable rules for how early or late someone can clock-in/out and new processes like a health screening survey that must be completed before clocking-in for the day. 

Learn more

Shift Settings & Permissions: With the Teams Shifts Policy, an organization can now allow users who aren’t the owner of a Teams site to be able to edit and manage Shift schedules, approve swaps, and authorize time off requests. 

Learn more

Enhanced tasks publishing capabilities: Microsoft have enhanced task publishing so operations and corporate teams can more clearly manage and plan their task distribution to frontline locations. As a member of a publishing team you can now see separate Drafts, Published, and Unpublished sections to easily see which task lists are at which stage of their lifecycle. 

Learn more

Teams (Government)

Manage meeting options
Organizers are now able to modify the user experience across desktop, mobile, and web by using the new Meeting Options to customize their meeting safety and security settings. Meeting Options can be accessed in the Teams meeting invitation details in Outlook and Teams Calendar. Available in GCC-High.

Invite-only meeting options
A new meeting setting is now available in Teams meeting options that automatically sends those who were not originally invited by the organizer to the lobby. For example, if an invitee forwards a meeting invitation to a colleague, when that person tries to join, they’ll be directed to wait in the lobby until the host selects to admit them. This helps prevent those uninvited from joining the meeting. Available in GCC. Learn more

Enhanced meeting creation and expiration policies
For added security and compliance, Teams meetings and join links are disabled for users whose scheduling permissions have been revoked. Previously, a user could continue to reuse their old meeting join links after their scheduling capabilities have been disabled. This policy update automatically expires those old meeting links so they can’t be reused. Available in GCC.

Improvements to audio permissions settings for attendees
Meeting presenters and organizers can now manage attendee audio permissions with greater flexibility. Attendees no longer must request to speak for the organizer or presenters to allow them to unmute, and presenters and organizers can prevent individual attendees from unmuting instead of all attendees at once. Available in GCC. Learn more

More labels in Planner
Labels are a quick, visual way to categorize similar tasks in Planner and we’ve increased the number of labels to help you get even more organized. You can now add up to 25 labels in all different colors to your tasks in Planner web, mobile, and in Microsoft Teams. Available in GCC, GCC-High and DoD. Available for GCC, GCC-High and DoD. Learn more

New way to update the Teams Rooms app
You can now use Teams meetings and calling functionality in your Teams Rooms on Windows. IT Admins can easily perform a manual update. Simply download and run an offline app update PowerShell script to your Teams Rooms devices. Follow the steps in this article to get started. Available in GCC-High.

Out of Office Setting
Let others know that you are not available by scheduling your Out of Office in Teams. During this time, your presence status changes to “Out of Office” and your status message is displayed when someone reaches out to you via chat. Additionally, your Outlook calendar and automatic replies are updated accordingly. Available for GCC.


OneDrive

In OneDrive: PDF Bookmarks on Android, Page rotation for PDF viewing on iOS and Android, 64-bit OneDrive, Dialog on First-Time deletion of File(s)

Bookmarks for PDF viewing on Android

etting back to your important PDFs in your mobile devices just got easier. Use the new bookmark option in OneDrive for Android to add bookmarks to your important content so you can pick up where you left off. 

Now when you open a PDF on your Android device you would be able to add or remove bookmarks by  tapping the bookmark icon (on the top of your screen)  or by long-pressing anywhere on the page you want to tag. 

thumbnail image 3 captioned Access bookmarked pages in the thumbnail view
Bookmarks for PDF viewing for OneDrive on Android.

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Page rotation for PDF viewing on iOS and Android

You can now leverage the page rotation tool to rotate one page or multiple pages so you don’t have to switch your device’s screen orientation when reading a document in OneDrive.   

thumbnail image 4 captioned Rotate PDFs on iOS and Android
Page rotation for PDF viewing in OneDrive for iOS & Android.

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64-bit OneDrive (Public Preview)

64-bit OneDrive sync client for Windows is now available as a public preview! You can now for use with OneDrive work, school, and home accounts.  

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Dialog on First-Time deletion of File(s)

When a user deletes a file(s) for the first time, they will be shown a dialog to educate them that their file is in the OneDrive recycle bin where it can be restored. This will show up on subsequent deletes until the user checks the box stating they do not wish to see it again. Admins can turn off this notification all together with a group policy setting.

Dialog on First-Time deletion of File(s) in OneDrive.

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Power Apps

In Power Apps: Azure File Storage/ Excel Online (Business) Connector upgrade, F&O apps ISV Studio, data source environment variables, code components in Portals, mixed reality components GA, quick actions

Updates to the Azure File Storage and Excel Online (Business) connectors

Microsoft have announced improvements to the Azure File Storage and Excel Online (Business) connectors to make them more useful and robust. Additionally, the features between these two connectors have been re-arranged for greater clarity and ease of use.

Azure File Storage Connector: The Azure File Storage connector allows users to interact with their files in an Azure Storage account. Microsoft have removed the “blob” designation from this connector. This designation blocked Power Apps users from getting at the actions available for the connector. 

Excel Online (Business) Connector: The Excel Online (Business) Connector allows users to work with Excel files in document libraries that are supported by Microsoft Graph (OneDrive for Business, SharePoint Sites, and Office 365 Groups). 

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F&O apps now available in ISV Studio

The ISV Studio team have announced the release of F&O application telemetry in ISV Studio! ISV Studio is a technical benefit of the ISV Connect program and is designed to be the platform that allows an ISV to monitor the success of their published apps by providing telemetry into:

  • Usage analytics (Monthly/Daily/Weekly active usage)
  • Total Installs by Tenant/Date/Geo
  • Install Failures (Power Platform/D365 CE only)
F&O apps now available in ISV Studio.

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Data source environment variables

Microsoft have announced a vast new set of capabilities that provide enterprise grade application lifecycle management for the data sources that canvas apps and cloud flows connect to. Environment variables are a powerful tool for a variety of ALM scenarios as they allow you to externalize input parameters from the components that use them.

Environment variables are now natively built into authoring experiences across canvas apps and cloud flows as well as solution authoring and solution import experiences

Data source environment variables gif
Data source environmental variables in Power Apps.

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Code components within Power Apps Portals (preview)

Support for code components within Power Apps portals is now available with portals version 9.3.3.x and package version 9.2.2103.x. as these updates are rolling out. In this preview release the feature provides support for Field type of code components allowing fields on portal forms to be replaced with code components.

Code components in Power Apps Portals.

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Power Apps Mixed Reality Components General Availability

Microsoft have announced the general availability of mixed reality (MR) features in Power Apps, which include the View in 3D, View in MR, View Shape in MR, and Measure in MR components. You are able to leverage low-code development to drag-and-drop these mixed reality capabilities directly in your apps today from the Media and Mixed Reality sections of the insert pane.

Power Apps Mixed Reality Components General Availability.

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Quick actions are now customizable in model-driven Power Apps

Quick actions are commands that help you complete your task without losing context of your work. New capabilities released around search, starting with a search bar in the front and center of model-driven Power Apps. This search bar is powered by Dataverse relevance search, that shows results as you type and has robust intelligence built in.

For usability reasons, quick actions are capped at FIVE commands per table. Quick actions show up only in the context of search – alongside suggestions and in results page on the primary column.

Quick actions in model-driven apps.

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Power Automate

In Power Automate: Dataverse integration, Direct purchase RPA, trigger flows from Power BI, AI Builder update, Power Automate Desktop update, 11 new connectors, process advisor updates

Changes to Power Automate’s native integration with Microsoft Dataverse

The Common Data Service (current environment) connector, featuring a native integration between Power Automate and Dataverse, will now be known as Microsoft Dataverse, and appear with the new icon and color shade as shown below. Now we know that old habits die hard – and that’s why you will still be able to search using the old name for a while. Lastly, the names of triggers and actions, and their options and descriptions will be updated to match the revised terminology.

The new Microsoft Dataverse connector.

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Direct purchase on Power Automate RPA attended is now available

You can now directly purchase the Power Automate per user plan with attended RPA for yourself, or even for all members in your team without need to be an M365 tenant/org admin! Anyone who has a valid organization email account is now able to purchase RPA directly.

Power Automate per user plan with attended RPA.

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Trigger flows from Power BI reports

There is now a new way in which you can combine Power BI data and flows by allowing users to manually trigger a flow from any Power BI report. This new capability uses the Power Automate visual in Power BI and a new “Power BI button clicked” trigger on the Power BI connector.

Get the Power Automate Visual
Trigger flows from Power BI reports.

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AI Builder April 2021 update

Several new additions have been announced for Microsoft AI Builder which improve document automation capabilities and extend Microsoft’s footprint across products and geographies.

  • Improved table extraction in form processing
  • Support of table data in document automation
  • Identity document reader public preview release
  • AI Builder in Teams
  • Availability in India, France, Germany, and UAE
Improved table extraction in form processing in AI Builder.

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Power Automate Desktop April 2021 update

Several new features and updates are included in the April 2021 update for Power Automate Desktop:

  • Refresh button is available in console
  • Save as new flow functionality is available in the flow designer
  • The action copying mechanism has been improved
  • Desktop recorder now supports image-based recording
  • Improved interaction with Java-based apps and applets
Save as functionality
Save as new flow functionality is available in the flow designer.

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11 new connectors released

11 new connectors have been released for Power Automate, offering connectivity to services that offer company financial data insights, IoT devices, and task management – taking the total number of connectors available on the platform to near 500.

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Process advisor updates

Several enhancements to Process advisor in March 2021 to improve process creation including a guided first run experience, recording improvements, manage activity names plus more.

Guided first run experience in process advisor.

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Power BI

In Power BI: Admin APIs to Determine Access Rights, visualise SharePoint lists now GA, July 2021 Feature Summary, PivotTable refresh, Streaming dataflows in Power BI premium, On-premises data gateway July 2021, free virtual workshops

On-premises data gateway April 2021

Microsoft have announced the April update for the On-premises data gateway (version 3000.79.6). This release includes:

  • Test single sign-on (SSO) configuration
  • GA -SSO for Refresh and DirectQuery
  • PowerShell enhancements
  • Compatible with the April PBI desktop

Find out more:

Power BI April 2021 Feature Summary

In this month’s Power BI feature summary there are updates for the preview Power Automate visual, previews for Small Multiples and DirectQuery for Power BI datasets and Azure Analysis Services are getting some new features plus lots more!

Power BI April 2021 Feature Summary

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Charticulator visual (Public Preview)

Microsoft have announced a new custom visual in AppSource: the Microsoft Charticulator visual. Previously to use Charticulator, a user would flip between the web app at charticulator.com and Power BI (PBI). Now, users can create a wide range of custom chart designs right within PBI using our brand-new Microsoft Charticulator custom visual.

Announcing the new Charticulator visual (Public Preview).

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Object-Level Security (OLS) is now generally available in Power BI Premium and Pro

Object-level security (OLS) enables model authors to secure sensitive tables or columns from report viewers– sensitive data, for example includes personally identifiable information (PII). This added layer of security prevents users without the appropriate access levels from discovering business critical or sensitive personal information. 

Configure object-level security using the tabular editor.

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New sharing experience for Power BI reports

Sharing reports in Power BI will be as easy and familiar as sharing in Office. Microsoft are introducing a new sharing capability in Power BI that will allow reports to be shared via links in addition to direct access sharing.

New sharing experience for Power BI reports.

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What’s new in Dataflows April 2021

Several new features have been announced in Dataflows allowing users to more seamlessly ingest, prepare, and refresh data that can be widely reused by others across the Power Platform and Azure.

Dataflows authoring page
Terminology updates for Dataflows.

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Microsoft 365 monthly update – March 2021

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.


SharePoint

In SharePoint: App bar, focus mode, events web part, page analytics, lists new integrate menu, improved person column, migrate content from Box

SharePoint app bar

Modern SharePoint communication and team sites are beginning to feature the SharePoint app bar which provides quick access to customizable global navigation as well as other intranet resources – all accessible for users wherever they might be in SharePoint.

Image of the SharePoint app bar
Introduction to the SharePoint app bar.

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Focus mode for modern SharePoint pages

Focus mode enables SharePoint page authors and viewers to focus on a greater amount of page content by hiding the site header, site navigation, and global navigation bar with one click. Another click brings back all when you ready to un-focus and move on.

thumbnail image 3 captioned Make all your cares, and navigation elements, disappear with Focus mode, on the left. And on the right when you click out of Focus mode.
Focus mode for modern SharePoint pages.

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Images in the SharePoint Events web part

SharePoint page authors who use the Events web part can enable an image to show per event. The image is derived from the image used in the title area of the Event page.

NOTE: Existing Event web parts will not be updated. However, new web parts added to pages and news will default to show images.

thumbnail image 4 captioned If you have images in the header of your event, they will now come thru into the Events web part.
If you have images in the header of your event, they will now come thru into the Events web part.

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SharePoint page analytics updates

Microsoft are introducing analytics for SharePoint pages and news articles. You’ll be able to see the number of viewers, in addition to seeing information about how users interact with your page or news.

thumbnail image 5 captioned See the number of viewers and how users interact with your SharePoint pages or news.
See the number of viewers and how users interact with your SharePoint pages or news.

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New Integrate drop-down menu in Microsoft Lists

Microsoft are introducing a new top-level menu item labeled Integrate. This is the home for features that help extend list experiences. The existing command buttons for Power Apps and Power Automate will move into this new top-level drop-down menu.

thumbnail image 6 captioned The new Integrate drop-down menu provides unified access to Power Platform app integrations for Power Apps and Power Automate, and soon Power BI.
The new Integrate drop-down menu provides unified access to Power Platform app integrations for Power Apps and Power Automate, and soon Power BI.

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Improved Person columns in Microsoft Lists

Microsoft are improving the behaviour of Person columns in lists by making the suggestions that appear when you type more relevant. When you type in the people picker, the autofill suggestions come from Microsoft Graph.

thumbnail image 7 captioned The new people picking experience in Microsoft Lists is now based on Microsoft Graph making is more relevant to who you work with most often.
The new people picking experience in Microsoft Lists is now based on Microsoft Graph making is more relevant to who you work with most often.

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Migrate content from Box to Microsoft 365

This new feature gives SharePoint and Microsoft 365 admins streamlined support to migrate content from Box into Microsoft 365; that’s Box files and folders as well as conversion of Box notes into Word documents – to where you choose as destination into OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams.

thumbnail image 8 captioned Start your Box content migration into Microsoft 365 directly from within the SharePoint admin center Migration Manager console.
Start your Box content migration into Microsoft 365 directly from within the SharePoint admin center Migration Manager console.

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Teams

In Teams: live transcription, meeting recap, meet now in Outlook, meet now from calendar, mask PTSN numbers, bypass lobby, outgoing video in Safari, Touch Bar controls on Mac, dynamic meetings on Android, Live Event presenter iPad, CVI support, GoLocal Data Center Support, On-Demand Chat Translation Android, Voice-enabled channels, SBA, multi-account settings, 250GB upload support, Viva Connections, Viva Insights

PS support for templates, template policies, new file share exp, add Teams to SharePoint, 10K users in org-wide Team, 25K person Teams, OOO, history menu, queue sent messages, Planner labels, Restrict managed device sign-in, manage Teams displays, simple periodic review, assign policy package, unified creation exp, sensitivity label changes

In Teams (Government): click here for all Teams Gov updates

Live transcription with speaker attribution

Live transcription allows you to follow and review conversations (in English-US) alongside the meeting video or audio in real time. Attendees who joined late, or missed the meeting, can easily catch up by reading what was discussed and searching the transcript by speaker.

NOTE: Tenant admins have to turn on the Allow transcription policy to enable this feature.

Live transcription with speaker attribution in Teams Meetings.

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Meeting recap

Meeting recap helps teams stay on track and keep their work moving forward after the meeting is over. It includes meeting recording, transcript, chat, attached files and more. The recap is shared with participants in the meeting Chat tab and viewable in the Details tab. Those who missed the meeting, joined late, or want to revisit what was discussed, can play the recording, or review the transcripts respectively.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | February and March 2021
Meeting recap in Microsoft Teams.

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Meet Now in Outlook client for Windows

You can now start an instant Teams meeting from the Calendar tab in Outlook for Windows by clicking Meet Now. To enable this feature, tenant admins just have to set the Allow Private Meet Now policy option to True in the admin console.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | February and March 2021
Meet Now in Outlook client for Windows.

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Get a Meet Now meeting link from the Calendar

Users can now copy a Meet Now meeting link from the Calendar and share it out with others without starting the meeting. If you are in an email, chat, or channel conversation and agreed to meet at a certain time, this is an easy way to copy a meeting link and paste it into the conversation.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | February and March 2021
Get a Meet Now meeting link from the Calendar.

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Masking PSTN participant phone numbers

For customers who have Audio Conferencing enabled for their Teams meetings, their tenant administrators now have the ability to define how their participants’ phone numbers appear in the roster view for meetings scheduled within their organization. The options include masked to external users, masked for everyone, or off (visible to everyone). This provides flexibility in securing PSTN participants’ phone numbers.

NOTE: This feature is currently available through PowerShell cmdlet.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | February and March 2021
Masking PSTN participant phone numbers.

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New bypass lobby option

The Teams meeting policy has a setting that allows certain groups of users to bypass the meeting lobby and join the meeting directly. This update includes two additional options: “People in my organization” (which excludes guests) and “People in my organization, trusted organizations, and guests.” This provides another level of security and flexibility to Teams users.

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Outgoing participant video in meetings in Safari browser

Outgoing video in web meetings is now available to Safari users. Simply click the camera icon to start a sharing your video in the meeting. This requires Safari 14 or higher on MacOS BigSur.

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Touch Bar meetings controls on Mac

MacBooks with Touch Bars now have Teams Meeting controls that quickly allow users to access controls without clicking into the window. Users can open the ‘view participants’ panel, open meeting chat, use raise hand, enable video, mute/unmute, open shared tray, and leave the meeting from one place.

microsoft teams spotlight
Touch Bar meetings controls on Mac.

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Dynamic meeting experiences on Android

New meeting experiences on Android devices enables participants to view content, speakers, and attendees all on one screen. Attendees are now able to see up to 20 participants on mobile devices and up to 30 participants on tablets. In addition, attendees are able to view shared content and a spotlighted participant simultaneously, and no longer have to choose between content being presented or pinned speakers.

Dynamic meeting experiences on Android.

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Live Event presenter for iPad

Sales teams, executives, and other iPad users now have the ability to present live in Teams Live Events. Just open the Teams for iPad app, join the Live Event as Presenter and broadcast your video or screen share to your audience.

Live Event presenter for iPad.

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Cloud Video Interop (CVI) support for Teams Live Events

Join Teams Live Events on non-native Teams devices via Cloud Video Interop (CVI) with support for Microsoft partner meeting room devices.

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Teams Live Event GoLocal Data Center Support

Microsoft are now enabling local data centers for Teams Live Events in the following countries: France, Germany, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, and United Arab Emirates. Any user with the eligible SKU and the appropriate IT admin policy is able to schedule a live event.

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Voice-enabled channels

Voice-enabled channels allow connecting a call queue to a channel in Microsoft Teams. Users can collaborate and share information within the channel while taking calls in the queue. This feature is ideal for scenarios such an IT help desk or HR hotline. IT admins can quickly connect call queues to specific channels, and team owners can manage the settings.

Voice-enabled channels in Microsoft Teams.

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Survivable Branch Appliance

To support the most critical conversations in the event of an outage, a Survivable Branch Appliance (SBA) allows users to place and receive PSTN calls even in the event of a network outage. During an outage, the Teams client switches to the SBA automatically and ongoing calls continue without interruptions and no user action is required. Once the Teams client identifies that network connectivity has been restored, normal call functionality is resumed, and any call data records are uploaded to the cloud.

Find out more:

Android On-Demand Chat Translation

Inline message translation helps ensure that every worker in the team has a voice and facilitate global collaboration. With a simple click, people who speak different languages can fluidly communicate with one another by translating posts in channels and chat.

Find out more:

Additional settings for multiple Accounts and Organisations

You can now in the Teams desktop client add a personal account, along with one work/school account, change your profile picture, and switch between accounts and orgs through Settings.

Find out more:

250 GB file size support in Microsoft teams

Microsoft have now increased the upload file size limit for Microsoft Teams from 100 GB to 250 GB. This also applies to all other Microsoft 365, services including SharePoint and OneDrive. You are now able to easily share large files like a 3D model of a new building, a client commercial shot in 8K video, a large dataset for a vaccine trial or research projects or large videos for educational projects.

Find out more:

Viva Connections on Teams desktop

Viva Connections is your gateway to a modern employee experience. It is personalized and appears in the apps and devices your employees already use every day, such as Microsoft Teams. Viva Connections gives people a curated, company-branded experience that brings together relevant news, conversations, and other resources.

Image of global navigation icon in the Teams app bar
Viva Connections on Teams desktop.

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Microsoft Viva Insights

Viva Insights gives individuals, managers, and leaders personalized insights and actionable recommendations that help everyone in an organization thrive. Discoverable directly in the Teams app bar by selecting the ellipsis (…) – Viva Insights makes it seamless for users with Exchange Online mailboxes to strengthen relationships with key people, follow up on to-dos, and protect focus time to work uninterrupted. 

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							Personal productivity and wellbeing - what's next with Microsoft Viva Insights
Microsoft Viva Insights.

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PowerShell Support for team templates

Admins can now manage team templates at scale with templates cmdlets in PowerShell. With this new set of templates cmdlets, admins are able to get a list of all available templates within their tenant, get details of a particular template, and create, edit, and delete a team template.

Find out more:

Manage team templates with template policies

Admins can now choose which team templates are shown to the end user. In the Teams Admin Center, admins can create teams template policies and designate which team templates to hide or show. Once the policy was created, assign users to it so that each user sees only the team templates tailored to their role.

The template policies is selected and Add is highlighted
Manage team templates with template policies.

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New file sharing experience

Microsoft have streamlined file sharing in Microsoft Teams. You can now create a shareable link for any file stored in Teams and directly set the appropriate permissions. Additionally, you can also set permissions for files stored in SharePoint or OneDrive while composing a private chat or starting a channel conversation.

New file sharing experience in Microsoft Teams.

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Add Microsoft Teams to SharePoint

Microsoft are making it even easier to bring SharePoint content into Teams, in the same motion of adding Microsoft Teams to your team site, aka #teamify. As you connect SharePoint to Teams, you choose what lists, libraries, and pages you want to bring into Teams as tabs in the new, default General channel.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | February and March 2021
Create a Microsoft Team from SharePoint.

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Up to 10,000 users in an org-wide team

You can now create an org-wide team to promote collaboration and communications across the entire organization. Administrators who manage tenants that have less than or equal to 10,000 members can now create an org-wide team, which automatically syncs all the tenant’s members with the team.

Screenshot of the Org-wide option to create an org-wide team

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25,000 person teams

Team membership limit is increasing to 25,000 per individual team. With millions of employees working remotely or in hybrid environments, it’s more important than ever for employees to feel connected. Teams makes it easier to collaborate with others, chat, meet virtually, and integrate your business solutions, all in a single platform. 

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Out of Office

Schedule an Out of Office message in Teams. This helps set expectations with your colleagues, letting them know that you won’t be able to respond during this time and allows you to take the time off. During this time, your presence status is changed to “Out of Office” and your status message is displayed when someone reaches out to you via chat. Additionally, your Outlook calendar and automatic replies are updated accordingly.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | February and March 2021
Out of Office in Microsoft Teams.

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History Menu

The History Menu for Teams desktop clients displays your recently visited locations when hovering over the backward and forward navigation options. Using the menu you can quickly jump back to previous locations, making it much easier to quickly get back to nested locations like tabs or documents. The menu is also accessible via keyboard shortcut.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | February and March 2021
The History Menu for Teams.

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Queue sent messages when offline

When attempting to send messages while offline, Teams queues messages and send these once a network connection is re-established. This help ensure that your messages get to your recipients. If the message is in an unsent state for more than 24 hours, the message fails, and the user is prompted to resend or delete the message.

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More labels in Microsoft Planner

Labels are a quick, visual way to categorize similar tasks in Planner and we’ve increased the number of labels to help you get even more organized. You can now add up to 25 labels in all different colors to your tasks in Planner in Microsoft Teams and Planner across web and mobile.

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							Add up to 25 embedded, editable labels to your tasks
More labels in Microsoft Planner.

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Restricting Windows and Mac managed device sign-in to specific tenants

You are now able to restrict Teams sign-in for Windows and Mac managed devices to ensure that employees cannot sign-in to another organization’s tenant using the other tenant’s credentials from the device they are authorized to use for work. This policy can also be used to configure access to personal accounts.

Find out more:

Manage Teams displays in Team Admin Center

Microsoft are adding one more device category, the Teams Display, to the device portfolio that can be now managed within Teams Admin Center. This allows IT admins to simplify, customize, and automate Teams panel devices as well.

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Simple Periodic review for guest users

Microsoft have added scheduled access reviews for guests across all Teams and Groups by default. The system automatically schedules periodic guest access reviews across Teams, delivering better identity security hygiene.

Find out more:

Assign policy package to a group

Admins can now can easily assign a policy package to a group such as an entire retail workforce. This helps making your work more efficient in a simple friendly step.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | February and March 2021
Assign policy package to a group.

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Unifying the experiences of creating teams

Microsoft have aligned the experience of creating a team via the Teams Admin Center to the experience of creating a team in the Teams client, both on the desktop and web, to provide a unified experience when a team is added, regardless of interface.

Teams create a team from scratch
Create a new Team from scratch.

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Microsoft Information Protection: changes in display of sensitivity labels for Teams

For Teams with hierarchical sensitivity labels applied, the channel headers only displays the parent label instead of showing the child label. For example, with a parent sensitivity label such as Confidential and a child sensitivity label of Finance, Teams only shows “Confidential” in the channel header.

The sensitivity label appears on the team
Changes in display of sensitivity labels for Teams.

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Teams (Government)

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 Defence (DoD).


PowerPoint File Sharing
PowerPoint File Sharing allows you to share a PowerPoint file within a Teams Meeting without having to use Desktop or Window sharing. Available in DOD.


Multi-Window Meetings and Calling experiences
Multi-window experiences are coming to Teams meetings and calling. Users will have the ability to pop out meetings and calling into separate windows to help them optimize their workflow. These experiences can be turned on directly within Teams for PC and Mac clients. Available in GCC-High and DOD as opt-in.


Add a shared calendar to a Teams channel
Create and share a calendar with members of a specific channel. When a channel meeting is created, Teams automatically creates a new post in the channel’s activity feed. Users, who have notifications turned off, will see the event only when they open the channel’s calendar. Once a channel event is posted, you can add it to your personal calendar. This feature provides all members within the channel, except guest users, visibility to upcoming events. Available in GCC and GCC-High

Virtual Breakout Rooms
Breakout rooms allows meeting organizers to divide the meeting into smaller groups to facilitate discussions and brainstorming sessions. A breakout room can be created in a Teams meeting or a Teams channel meeting, allowing greater flexibility on how you want to meet. Organizers can easily jump in between breakout rooms, deliver announcements to all breakout rooms at once, and bring everyone back to the main meeting at any time. Available in GCC and GCC-High.

Outgoing participant video in meetings in Safari browser
Outgoing video in web meetings is now available to Safari users. Simply click the camera icon to start a sharing your video in the meeting. This requires Safari 14 or higher on MacOS BigSur. Available in GCC.


Touch Bar Meetings Controls for Mac
MacBooks with Touch Bars now have Teams Meeting controls that quickly allow users to access controls without clicking into the window. Users can open the view participants panel, open meeting chat, use raise hands, enable video, mute/unmute, open shared tray, and leave the meeting from one place. Available in GCC, GCC-High, and DOD.


Live Reactions in Microsoft Teams meetings
All attendees can now use emojis to react during a meeting. These reactions help promote inclusivity in meetings and keep things upbeat and interactive. Available in GCC.


Get a Meet Now meeting link from the Calendar
Users can now copy a meeting link from the Calendar tab and share it out with others without starting the meeting. If you are in an email, chat, or channel conversation and agreed to meet at a certain time, this is an easy way to copy a meeting link and paste it into the conversation. Available in GCC.


Masking PSTN participant phone numbers
For customers who have Audio Conferencing enabled for their Teams meetings, their tenant administrators now have the ability to define how their participants’ phone numbers appear in the roster view for meetings scheduled within their organization. The options include masked to external users, masked for everyone, or off (visible to everyone). This provides flexibility in securing PSTN participants’ phone numbers. This feature is currently available through PowerShell cmdlet. Available for GCC. Learn more


Enable tenant administrators to configure masking of PSTN participant phone numbers
If a customer has Audio Conferencing enabled for their Teams meetings, their tenant administrators now have the ability to define how their Audio Conferencing participants’ phone numbers appear in the roster view for meetings scheduled within their organization. The options include masked to external users, masked for everyone, or off (visible to everyone). This provides flexibility in securing PSTN participants’ phone numbers. This feature is only available through PowerShell cmdlet at this time. Available in GCC. 


Live Event Presenter for iPad
Live Event Presenters can now join and share content from their iPad. Select ‘Join as presenter’ to start broadcasting content to your audience. Available in GCC.

Set Presence Status duration for Government clouds
Manage your availability with the new status duration option in the presence menu allows users to set a certain status for a specific period of time. For example, they will be able to set their status settings to “Do not disturb” for 30 minutes, one hour, two hours, or the entire day or whole week. 


Offline Presence Status for Government clouds
You can now change your presence to appear offline, signalling to colleagues that you are not available, while having a full access to Teams. The Offline presence status comes in handy for people who want to access Microsoft Teams outside of working hours and users who simply want to focus on their work. 


Location picker support for security groups and distribution lists
Data loss prevention (DLP) for Microsoft Teams will now support security groups and distribution lists as part of the Teams location picker, enabling more granular control of DLP policy scope (i.e. to include/exclude particular departments, business units, geo-specific security groups, etc.). Available in GCC.


Data loss prevention for Microsoft Teams
Data loss prevention (DLP) capabilities in Microsoft 365 government clouds will be extended to include Microsoft Teams chat and channel messages, including private channel messages. If your organization has DLP, you can now define policies that prevent people from sharing sensitive information in a Microsoft Teams channel or chat session. Avaliable in GCC-High.


Channel notification settings updates
Manage your notification settings to get only the notifications you want, and better manage your time. Through the teams and channels list or from the channel header, the users can quickly manage their notification settings by the means of a new fly-out design. Users can turn on all activity on or off with a single click or diving deep into custom to set their preferred permutations. Available in GCC.


Polls in Teams Meetings
Forms polls for Teams meetings provides an easily discoverable and seamless experience that will help you conduct more engaging and productive meetings. With Forms polls, meeting presenters can prepare, launch, and evaluate polls before, during, and after meetings, respectively, all from one place under a tab in the Teams meeting. Avaliable in GCC.

Share from Microsoft Teams to Outlook
Sometimes not all your audience is in Teams. Leverage the information discussed over Teams messages and continue the conversation, without losing context, in email. Send a copy of a Teams chat message or an entire channel conversation into Outlook. The message will include rich text support. Available in GCC.

Meeting recordings saved to OneDrive and SharePoint
Ability to save Microsoft Teams meeting recordings to OneDrive and SharePoint for improved sharing capabilities, basic governance, automatic retention labels, go local, bring your own keys and, more that comes from recording video files and storing them in SharePoint and OneDrive. Avaliable in GCC, GCC-High and DoD.


Walkie Talkie
Walkie Talkie, a push-to-talk experience that enables clear and secure voice communication over the cloud, enables teams to communicate instantly and always stay on the same page. This native built-in app in Teams turns employee or company-owned Android smartphones and tablets into a walkie-talkie, reducing the number of devices employees must carry and lowering costs for IT. Available in GCC.


Simplified Global Notification Settings
Government users can now configure and customize their notification settings through a newly designed notification settings section. Available in GCC.


Follow or Mute Conversations
This feature will empower users to have finer controls at a conversation thread level within a channel. Available in GCC.


Low data mode
Whether you want to preserve data or are just in a location with a poor or limited network connection, sometimes it’s helpful to limit the amount of data you’re using during a video call. A new low data mode is now available, allowing users to cap the amount of data that will be used during Teams video calls as well as establish different settings based on network availability so that the setting can be turned on always, or only while on cellular networks. Available in GCC, GCC-High, and DOD.


Reporting and analytics in the Teams Admin Center for GCCH
The reporting and analytic section in the Teams Admin Center was added in the left navigation bar, to enable them generating Teams usage reports. Available in GCC-High.


OneDrive

In OneDrive: dark mode for web, “at a glance” summaries, PDF bookmarks on iOS, DWG file support

Dark mode for web

The OneDrive team are rolling out Dark Mode for OneDrive web, for both commercial and personal accounts. In addition to its aesthetic appeal, Dark Mode also reduces eye strain and improves the battery life of your devices.

thumbnail image 1 captioned Turn on Dark Mode in OneDrive for web.
Dark mode for OneDrive web.

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“At a glance” summaries in sharing emails

When users share Word files, the sharing e-mail will now include new information like estimated time to read as well as key points in the document. This will help recipients decide how to engage with the shared document. 

NOTE: Files that have been marked as sensitive by DLP will not include this information. Admins who do not want this new functionality can disable it using the SharePoint Online Management Shell by running “Set-SPOTenant – IncludeAtAGlanceInShareEmails $false”

thumbnail image 2 captioned Quick summary of the shared document in the sharing email.
“At a glance” summaries in sharing emails.

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Bookmarks for PDF viewing on iOS

Now when you open a PDF on your iOS device you would be able to add or remove bookmarks by tapping the bookmark icon(on the top-right corner) of the page or by long-pressing anywhere on the page you want to tag. 

thumbnail image 5 captioned View all the pages bookmarked in a single view.
Bookmarks for PDF viewing on iOS.

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Support for DWG file version in sync

Microsoft are updating OneDrive Sync client to support Version History for DWG files. This change fixes a known issue where Version History is missing for DWG files backed by Sync client.

Find out more:


Power Apps

In Power Apps: Power Fx, print(), portals web API support, code review tool, formula bar changes, ALM updates, XML Diffing, Dataverse custom API GA, visual data prep GA, ISV studio read-only,

Microsoft Power Fx

Microsoft Power Fx is an open source formula language for low code that’s based on Microsoft Excel and is exciting for these three reasons:

  • Power Fx is open source. The future of programming is open. Microsoft has embraced the pace of open innovation that has accelerated the adoption of languages like C# and Typescript. With Power Fx, we’re now bringing that same open approach to the low code world. Microsoft will open-source Power Fx, making the language available for open contribution by the broader community on GitHub.
  • Power Fx is based on Microsoft Excel. Using formulas that are already familiar to hundreds of millions of users, Power Fx allows a broad range of people to bring skills they already know to low code solutions. Power Fx becomes a common ground for business users and professional developers alike to express logic and solve problems.
  • Power Fx is built for low code. Power Fx is already the foundation of the Microsoft Power Apps canvas. We’ll soon extend its use across Power Platform to Microsoft Dataverse, Microsoft Power Automate, Microsoft Power Virtual Agents, and beyond, making it even easier for everyone to get started with low code tools.
Introducing Microsoft Power Fx.

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Print() screens in your canvas app

Using the new print function: Print(), you can now open the current screen of your app in the default browser print dialog where the app is played. This function will allow app users to print content to printers in their network or save to PDF through the capabilities of their browser.

Power Apps editor showing adding an icon and the print function, and printing
Print() screens in your canvas app.

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Power Apps portals web API support general availability (GA)

The Power Apps teams have announced the General Availability (GA) of Power Apps portals Web API support with portal version 9.3.3.x that was introduced in August 2020 release as a preview feature.

The portals Web API is built for creating a rich user experience inside portal pages. It isn’t optimized for third-party services or application integration. It is recommended to use Microsoft Dataverse OData Web API for third-party services or application integration use cases.

Power Apps portals Web API support.

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Power Apps Code Review Tool

With the Power Apps review tool, you can conduct app reviews more efficiently thanks to a customizable checklist of best practices, a 360 view of your app through app checker results, app settings and a free search code/formula viewer.

The Checklist in the Power Apps Code Review Tool.

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Formula Bar changes

After the recent introduction of the “Enhanced Formula Bar” for Canvas apps, many of the experimental features have now been merged into the “standard” formula bar that everyone uses, notably:

  • Enter key adds a newline.  Not only does Enter add a newline, but Shift-Enter does as well (the previous way it was done in Power Apps) as well as Alt-Enter (the way Excel does it).
  • Tab key adds a tab more often.  In other words, we are less aggressive with suggestions.  Previously, we would show suggestions for a blank line, which would insert the first suggestion on a Tab key press, making it very hard to add a Tab at the front of a line. No longer. 
  • There is now a scrollbar.
Formula Bar Changes.

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Key ALM updates

The Power Apps team have announced several application and environment lifecycle management improvements during the month of March, including:

  • ALM improvements for canvas apps
  • ALM improvements for model-driven apps
  • Environment operations now supported for canvas apps and flows
  • Solution API improvements
Button triggered flow
Key ALM updates in Power Apps.

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XML Diffing

The Power Apps team recently added Smart XML Diffing to Power Apps that can be a real time-saver for you and your development team. The tool is a quick gateway to review the changes between component solution layers.

XML Diffing in Power Apps.

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Microsoft Dataverse Custom API General Availability

The Power Apps team have announced that the Custom API for Microsoft Dataverse is now generally available. Custom API is a new code-first approach that provides developers a better way to create APIs in Dataverse to perform operations on the server.

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Visual Data Prep general availability (Diagram View in Power Query Online)

Within Power Query, the Power Apps team have reimagined query authoring, and now provide an interface to easily create your queries and visualize your data preparation process using ‘Diagram View’. The Diagram View feature within Power Query Online (e.g. within Power Platform dataflows) is now generally available.

Visual Data Prep general availability (Diagram View in Power Query Online).

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ISV Studio: Read-only access

A new feature in ISV Studio now allows publishers to give more users access to ISV Studio without also giving access to the publishing process in Partner Center! Up until now all users accessing ISV studio had to be an owner or contributor of a publisher account in Partner Center to get access. With this new capability, access can now be given directly from ISV Studio for additional users.

Find out more:


Power Automate

In Power Automate: Extract identity document information, desktop updates March 2021, 11 new connectors, flow templates for educators, approvals in teams new features, Power Automate Desktop now free

Extract identity document information using AI Builder

The new AI Builder ID reader prebuilt model allows you to extract information (such as first name, last name or date of birth) from passports from all over the world and state-issued driver’s licenses. AI Builder makes it easy to read and export this data in your business processes if you use either passports or driver’s licenses as proof of residency or for hotel check-in purposes, for instance.

Extract identity document information using AI Builder.

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Power Automate Desktop March 2021 updates

March 2021 saw two releases of Power Automate Desktop, new features including enhancements to the flow designer, ‘Get last error’ & ‘Get password from CyberArk’ actions, variables can be used during web/desktop recording plus lots more!

Variables in recorders
Variables can be used during web/desktop recording in Power Automate Desktop.

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11 new connectors released in February 2021

February brought with it eleven new connectors to Power Automate, offering functionality across security, form management, plus many more! 

Find out more:

Flow templates for educators

Power Automate can be a useful tool that takes everyday tasks and automates them through various “flows.” Like a “flow chart” from which it gets its name, a “flow” is a series of steps that run in order. It can look up rows from a table, send emails, create files, and even play back a set of recorded clicks and keystrokes for desktop automation.

Find out more:

Additional features for Approvals in Microsoft Teams

The Power Automate team have added lots of new capabilities to make creating, managing and sharing Approvals even easier. Features include:

  • Create an Approval template for your organization
  • Create an Approval Request from a Template
  • New attachment capabilities
  • Markdown support
Create an Approval template for your organization.

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Power Automate Desktop for Windows 10 – no additional cost

Microsoft have announced that desktop automation in Power Automate Desktop will be available to Windows 10 users at no additional cost. Windows 10 users can harness the power of low-code RPA by downloading Power Automate Desktop on March 2, and it will be included in Windows Insider Preview builds in the coming weeks.

Build personal desktop flows with easy drag-and-drop capabilities in Power Automate Desktop.
Power Automate Desktop.

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Power BI

In Power BI: Admin APIs to Determine Access Rights, visualise SharePoint lists now GA, July 2021 Feature Summary, PivotTable refresh, Streaming dataflows in Power BI premium, On-premises data gateway July 2021, free virtual workshops

New deployment pipelines capabilities

The Power BI team have announced the release of some new features that allow teams to leverage deployment pipelines including paginated reports management, data protection, deploy and update datasets plus much more.

Deployment pipelines is a Premium feature, now available to all PPU-licensed users, a license that recently became generally available.

Paginated reports management inside deployment pipelines in Power BI.

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Power BI inheritance of MIP labels from Azure Synapse Analytics (Public Preview)

The Power BI team have announced a public preview of Power BI MIP label inheritance when import data from Azure Synapse Analytics and Azure SQL Database. This capability will help you to ensure your data remains classified and secured across its data journey from Azure, through Power BI and to Office.

Power BI inheritance of MIP labels from Azure Synapse Analytics (Public Preview).

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Support of external tools in Power BI Desktop now generally available

Introduced last year, support for external tools within the Power BI Desktop authoring experience is now generally available. External tools integration enables you to leverage a wide range of additional semantic modeling features, DAX query/expression optimization and authoring utilities, and application lifecycle management (ALM) capabilities in Power BI Desktop to boost your productivity as a world-class Power BI solution creator. 

Support of external tools in Power BI Desktop is GA.

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Power BI March 2021 feature summary

The Power BI March 2021 feature summary see’s several new features released by the Power BI team including DirectQuery for Power BI datasets and Azure Analysis Services, Small Multiples, and the Model View UI.

Power BI Update – March 2021.

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On-premises data gateway March 2021

The Power BI team have announced the March update for the On-premises data gateway (version 3000.77.7) is now available.

Find out more:

ODBC support available for Paginated Reports in public preview

Power BI paginated reports will be able to connect through the on-premises data gateway to any data source with an ODBC option in Power BI Report Builder in public preview. This will allow you to migrate your reports from SQL Server Reporting Services to the Power BI service with the availability of a wider range of ODBC data sources.

ODBC support available for Paginated Reports in public preview.

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Power BI as a superset of Azure Analysis Services

Azure Analysis Services (AAS) and SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) are based on mature BI engine technology used by countless enterprises. The same technology is also at the heart of Power BI datasets. The Power BI team have taken great strides to bring AAS capabilities to Power BI.

Find out more:

Premium Gen 2 Autoscale Preview

The Power BI team have started to roll out the preview version of the autoscale add-on capability for Gen 2 Premium capacities worldwide, first announced in November 2021. The autoscale add-on preview lets you use as much computing power as you need when you need it, by allowing your capacity to grow its amount of cores when the cores it has can’t supply the needs of your business.

Premium Gen 2 Autoscale Preview.

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Premium Gen2 utilization analysis app now available

The Power BI team have released the new self-service app for understanding your utilization of premium gen2 capacities – the most important tool to manage premium gen2 capacities. This app surfaces simple to understand utilization data that will highlight the drivers for your capacity’s utilization, help you plan your capacity needs and respond to changes in demand with confidence.

Premium Gen2 utilization analysis app now available.

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VNet Connectivity for PBI Datasets (Public Preview)

The Power BI team have announced the public preview of VNet Connectivity for Power BI datasets. Virtual network (VNet) data gateways (Microsoft-managed) eliminate the overhead of installing, updating, and monitoring on-premises data gateways for connecting to data sources associated to a VNet.

VNet Connectivity for PBI Datasets (Public Preview).

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Power BI embedded analytics playground (preview)

The new Power BI embedded analytics playground is the home for Power BI embedded analytics, where you can get hands-on coding experience, embed your own reports, and interact with our client APIs to see instant results. In addition, you’ll find there our interactive showcases to get inspiration regarding how you can apply these features in your applications.

Power BI embedded analytics home
Power BI embedded analytics playground.

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Microsoft 365 monthly update – January 2021

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.


SharePoint

In SharePoint: OneDrive settings in SharePoint admin center, 250GB uploads, Lists iOS app, List rules, List form customisation

OneDrive settings move to the SharePoint admin center

All OneDrive admin capabilities, including controls for sharing, access, sync, and storage, are now available from within the SharePoint admin center, consolidating admin tools in one place.

thumbnail image 4 captioned Examine OneDrive usage and activity along with SharePoint storage and site usage. along with SharePoint.
The OneDrive admin center will now be consolidated within the SharePoint admin center.

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File upload limit increases to 250GB

Microsoft have increased the upload file size limit for Microsoft 365 from 100 GB to 250 GB – which includes uploads of files into SharePoint, Teams, and OneDrive.

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Microsoft Lists app for iOS

Microsoft Lists helps you track information and organize work. List is simple, smart, and flexible, so you can stay on top of what matters most to your team and will now be available on your iPhone and soon your iPad.

Microsoft Lists app for iOS.

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Microsoft Lists: Rules

Create simple if/then rules, based on changes to list information, to set reminders and send notifications. Users with edit permissions on the list can create and manage rules. Users with read-only permissions can’t create or manage rules.

thumbnail image 7 captioned Click the Automate drop-down menu, and then select “Create a rule” to begin creating rules for your list.
Rules in Microsoft Lists.

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List form customisation: footer, header & body text with JSON

You can configure the list form in a list or library with a custom header, footer, and the form body with one or more sections with fields in each of those sections. The form configuration does not change the data in the list item or file; it only changes how the form is displayed to users who browse the list or library.

Anyone who can create and manage views in a list can use form configuration to configure the form with header, footer, and body with sections.

thumbnail image 8 captioned A Microsoft Lists form configured with a custom header (the calendar icon plus text incorporating Title field), a custom layout (expanded left-to-right to show more), and a custom footer (here adding a link to a related site). Small meta-note: this is the list item from our internal roadmap list to track this exact roadmap feature and Chakkaradeep Chandran is our lead PM.
JSON list form customization: footer, header, body text.

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Teams

In Teams: Approvals, Yammer notifications, task publishing, offline autosend, 10K org-wide team members, Meeting chat moderation, shared calendars, Teams UI Design Kit & Library, Education policy wizard

Approvals in Teams

Approvals in Microsoft Teams enables everyone, from frontline workers to corporate headquarters employees, to easily create, manage, and share approvals directly from your hub for teamwork. You can quickly start an approval flow from the same place you send a chat, in a channel conversation, or from the Approvals app itself. 

Approvals in Microsoft Teams.

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Offline autosend

The offline experience for Microsoft Teams chat and channels helps you to continue be productive even without a network connection. Offline autosend identifies when Teams messages are sent or edited while the user is offline. These messages are automatically sent once the device is back online.

Find out more:

Up to 10,000 users in an org-wide team

Administrators who manage tenants that have less than or equal to 10,000 members can now create an org-wide team, which automatically syncs all the tenant’s members with the team.

Screenshot of the Org-wide option to create an org-wide team
Org-wide Teams now support up to 10,000 members.

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Meeting chat moderation settings

Meeting organizers can now choose from three chat settings to help create a safe and inclusive meeting environment.

Chats can be “Disabled”, preventing the organizer and participants from using the meeting chat. Alternatively, they can be set to “Only during the meeting”, allowing participants to send messages only during the meeting and the organizer to send messages at any time. Lastly, the default will be set to “Enabled”, allowing chats for all meeting attendees at any time.  

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | January 2021
Meeting chat moderation settings in Teams.

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Add a shared calendar to a channel in Teams

You can now create and share a calendar with members of a specific channel. When a channel meeting is created, Teams automatically creates a new post in the channel’s activity feed. If users don’t have notifications turned on, they will see the event when they open the channel’s calendar. Once a channel event is posted, you can add it to your personal calendar.

thumbnail image 2 of blog post titled 
	
	
	 
	
	
	
				
		
			
				
						
							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | January 2021
Add a shared calendar to a channel in Teams.

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Yammer community notifications in the Microsoft Teams Activity feed

Microsoft released the Communities app for Microsoft Teams in 2020, bringing all your Yammer communities and conversations into Teams. Now you will receive Yammer notifications in the Teams Activity feed on web, desktop, and mobile.

You can then like, read, respond to the post, and react with our new inclusive reactions – without leaving Teams.

Notifications coming from your Yammer communities while in Teams.

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Task publishing in Teams

Task publishing is now generally available. Your leadership can create tasks centrally at the corporate level and publish them to targeted frontline locations like stores, clinics, or factories. Tasks can be assigned to all frontline teams or specific locations based on customizable publishing characteristics like size or layout.

thumbnail image 9 captioned With task publishing in Teams, leadership can create tasks centrally at the corporate level and publish those tasks to targeted frontline locations like stores, clinics, or factories.
Task publishing in Teams.

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New Teams UI Design Kit and UI Library

The new Microsoft Teams UI Kit and Microsoft Teams UI Library helps designers, product managers or developers quickly understand the key design considerations for making quality Teams apps and also simplify the process by providing templates and tools to use.

thumbnail image 13 of blog post titled 
	
	
	 
	
	
	
				
		
			
				
						
							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | January 2021

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Teams Education policy wizard

With the new Microsoft Teams for Education policy wizard, you can easily apply education tailored policies for a safe learning environment. The policy wizard allows you as an IT admin to quickly and easily apply the most relevant set of policies for students at a global (Org-wide default) level and apply a custom policy set to a group of educators and staff tailored to their needs. 

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | January 2021
Teams education policy wizard.

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Teams (Government)

The following features have been rolled out this month to customers in US Government Community Cloud (GCC), US Government Community Cloud High (GCC-High), and/or United States Department of Defense (DoD):

  • Together mode: Together mode reimagines meeting experiences to help participants feel closer together even when you are apart. Find out more.
  • Multi-Window Chat: You can now pop out individual Teams chat conversations into a separate window. Find out more.
  • Multi-Window for Meetings and Calling: Users will have the ability to pop out meetings and calling into separate windows to help them optimize their workflow. Find out more.
  • Meeting recordings saved to OneDrive and SharePoint: You can now save Microsoft Teams meeting recordings to OneDrive and SharePoint. 
  • Simplified way to manage your channel notification settings: Through the teams and channels list or from the channel header, the users can quickly manage their channel notification settings by the means of a new fly-out design.
  • Targeted communications: Targeted communication allows team members to message everyone in a specific role at the same time by @mentioning the role name in a post by using tags. Find out more.

OneDrive

In OneDrive: Full fidelity shared libraries, create shared libraries, exclude specific files from sync

Full fidelity shared libraries in OneDrive web

Not only can you sync these shared libraries from SharePoint and Microsoft Teams to your PC or Mac using OneDrive, you can now view shared libraries with full fidelity from within the OneDrive on the web. This means you can create new documents, pin important ones to the top, add shortcuts to your OneDrive, create views, manage metadata, share and more. 

thumbnail image 2 captioned View, access and manage shared libraries from within OneDrive on web.
Full fidelity shared libraries in OneDrive web.

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Create shared library in OneDrive web

It’s now easier and simpler to create new shared libraries from OneDrive on the web. The new streamlined experience backed by an Office 365 group, allowing you to specify the people you want to share with – and the new shared library appears immediately as a new content collaboration space for your team files.

thumbnail image 1 captioned Create shared libraries from directly within OneDrive on web.
Create a shared library in OneDrive web.

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Exclude specific files from sync

OneDrive admins can now specify a file name or file extension you’d like to exclude from the OneDrive sync at the device level. This setting lets you prevent the OneDrive sync app (OneDrive.exe) from uploading specific files to OneDrive or SharePoint.  No errors appear for the skipped files, and the files remain in the local OneDrive folder.

So now as a part of “Known Folder Move” if you need to move a Desktop folder which might consist multiple shortcut files, just add .lnk files to the list of the excluded files and prevent them from syncing. End users will be notified about the exclusion in the activity center and will be able to recognize these files with “do not enter” status in the File Explorer.

thumbnail image 3 captioned End user notification regarding the excluded files. This change is visible to end users via a new excluded icon and will not result in a red X error.
End user notification regarding the excluded files. 

NOTE: You can find the new setting in the admx/adml files that ship with OneDrive version 20.201.

Find out more:


Power Apps

In Power Apps: Intelligence in relevance search, Geospatial features GA, source code files, Innovation Backlog, model-driven apps push notifications, Monitor GA, share Dataverse for Teams apps more broadly, simple image control, new model-driven app controls

Relevance search is becoming more intelligent through the infusion of machine learning. Moving forward, relevance search results will improve over time, thus making it easier to find the data you’re looking for.

Some of the new capabilties include:

  • Spelling check
  • Recognizing common abbreviations and acronyms
  • Better understanding through common knowledge & synonyms
"Improve Relevance Search results" setting in Power Platform admin center
Introducing intelligence in relevance search in Power Apps.

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General Availability of Geospatial Features in Power Apps

The Power Apps team have announce the general availability of geospatial features in Power Apps, which include both the Address Input and the Interactive Map Component. Geospatial features empower app makers to introduce location-based capabilities into their apps to visualize and update geospatial data using tools they are already familiar with.

New Geospatial features in Power Apps.

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Source code files for Canvas apps

The Power Apps team have announced the experimental release of source code files for Canvas apps. Source code of a Canvas app to be effectively managed in GitHub or Azure DevOps.  Diffs, pull requests, and comments can be based on lines of formula text rather than .msapp blob files.

Source code files for Canvas apps.

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Innovation Backlog

Innovation Backlog is a new app that’s part of the Center of Excellence (CoE) Starter Kit that gives your business users a place to record and prioritize their wish list of digital innovations. Your teams can use this app to submit ideas for apps and flows and describe pain points with the current process. 

Innovation Backlog - Browse Ideas
Innovation Backlog in Power Apps.

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Model-driven app push notifications

You can now send push notifications to model-driven apps using Power Automate! With the updated Power Apps Notifications connector, you can direct users straight to a specified page or section of your app – like the relevant entity view or form.

Model-driven app push notification demo
Send push notifications to model-driven apps using Power Automate.

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Monitor in Power Apps now generally available

Monitor enables Power Apps makers to start viewing a stream of events from a user’s session to diagnose and troubleshoot app behaviour during development in Power Apps or to monitor published apps during runtime.

Now generally available (GA), the Power Apps team have introduced a new collaborative troubleshooting capability “Connect User” in Monitor to better facilitate team collaboration and troubleshooting.

Invite Users
Recipient users can use the link to open the Monitor and connect to your Monitor session.

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Broad distribution apps within Dataverse for Teams

Previously, apps built on Dataverse for Teams could only be used by other members within a team. The Power Apps team are introducing broad distribution apps within Dataverse for Teams which allows you to take an app that was built within a Teams team and share it with others inside of your company.

This makes it possible for a centralized development team to build an app on top of Dataverse for Teams and then share it with a bunch of users who don’t belong to the original development team.

Built by your colleagues
apps shared with colleagues will appear in the Built by your colleagues section within the Teams app store.

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Simple Image control for model-driven apps

The simple image control for model-driven apps consists of a file picker button, thumbnail along with open and delete buttons.  The open button will retrieve the full photo in a new browser tab. This experience simplifies the UI for users and saves additional overhead for displaying the larger images within the form.

Simple image control for model-driven apps.

Also included as part of the simple image control is the preview for our image annotation control, which allows for images to be added to a form and then the ability for them to be marked up with any additional information.

Find out more:

New Toggle & Calendar model-driven apps controls + deprecation of old controls

Two new controls are coming to model-driven apps in Power Apps, plus some older controls are being depreciated. Firstly, the new Toggle control will replace the current Flip Switch control, with many of the properties being the same as the Flip Switch, except for additional support for nulls  “—”.

The new Toggle control will replace the current Flip Switch control in model-driven apps.

The new Calendar control V2 brings a much needed refresh to UCI vs the existing calendar (Calendar Control V1). The new calendar control is also accessible, mobile and allows for items to be created directly from the control.

The new Calendar Control (V2) in model-driven apps.

As well as the depreciation of the Flip Switch and Calendar Control (V1), the Power Apps team will also be deprecating some gauge controls, Linear Slider, Radio Knob, Arc Knob, Linear Gauge; along with the Website Preview control and the MultiSelectPicklistControl (v1).

Find out more:


Power Automate

In Power Automate: Desktop update Jan 21, in-product help, 11 new connectors, import from GitHub

Power Automate Desktop January 2021 update

The January 2021 Power Automate Desktop update has been released with several new features and updates added, including:

  • Variable value viewers available in the flow designer
  • Connection strings can now be built via Data Link Properties in SQL actions
  • Several performance improvements in Power Automate Desktop
  • Internet Explorer automation does not require disabling Protected Mode
Variable viewer dialog
Variable value viewers are available in the flow designer in Power Automate.

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In product help for Power Automate

The Power Automate team have announced the availability of a new Power Virtual Agents-based chatbot and contextual help while building flows. A new set of documents by curating customer support asks and community asks to help you learn how to automate with top connectors in Power Automate has been launched that are accessible whilst building flows.

The team have also launched an assistant for Power Automate to aid in authoring workflows in the form of a Power Virtual Agent bot (PVA bot) that provides the next level of assistance for customers in a question/answer interaction format. 

Get contextual help for Power Automate plus the addition of a dedicated chat bot.

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11 new connectors for Power Automate

December 2020 saw the addition of 11 new connectors in Power Automatem including:

  • Adobe PDF tools – The Adobe PDF Tools Connector brings the power of Acrobat into automated document workflows without writing any code.
  • Africa’s Talking Voice – Africa’s Talking Voice is a platform that allows developers to build scalable, dynamic, fully-featured voice applications that reside entirely in the cloud.
  • AgilePoint NX – The AgilePoint NX connector opens up two-way communication between Power Automate and the AgilePoint digital process automation platform.
  • Bitvore Cellenus – Bitvore Cellenus is a groundbreaking AI-powered platform that delivers leading indicators of business performance for companies, industries, markets and municipal obligors to the Financial Services industry. 
  • Boomapp connect – Boomerang provides fully automated communication workflows seamlessly through boomapp connect, allowing intelligent messaging on the Microsoft Power Platform, without the end user having to change their behaviour.
  • Cloud BOT – Cloud BOT is a cloud RPA that makes the web automation robot possible with no code. This connector allows you to pass data to the robot, or return data after the robot finished.
  • Expensya – Expensya is a next-generation spend management service for B2B customers, offering the most advanced OCR and Approval Workflows. 
  • Kanbanize – Kanbanize helps managers gain visibility across all projects, connects planning with execution, and guides the continuous optimization of the delivery workflows.
  • LatinShareSHP Permissions – The LatinShare SHP permissions connector allows you to manage SharePoint security in a custom way at the site, list, and item level. Users will be able to assign, remove, and restore permissions to specific groups or users.
  • Power Query Dataflows – Dataflows are a self-service, cloud-based, data preparation technology available in Power Apps, Power BI and Dynamics Customer Insights products and portals.
  • Transform2All – With the Transform2All connector the transformation between data structures can be simplified to a single action in Power Automate.

Find out more:

Import a connector from GitHub as a custom connector

The Power Automate team have announced you can now import a connector from GitHub from the Power Platform connectors repository and deploy the connector as a custom connector all from the Custom connectors page.

Import a connector from GitHub as a custom connector.

Find out more:


Power BI

In Power BI: Admin APIs to Determine Access Rights, visualise SharePoint lists now GA, July 2021 Feature Summary, PivotTable refresh, Streaming dataflows in Power BI premium, On-premises data gateway July 2021, free virtual workshops

Paginated Reports Feature Summary January 2021

Several exciting updates are rolling out this month for paginated reports,  including  an improved publishing experience in Power BI Report Builder, additional sample reports, Microsoft Dataverse connectivity and much more! 

Additional paginated sample reports are now available.

Find out more:

Power BI Report Server January 2021 Feature Summary

Several new features are included in the January 2021 update to Power BI Report Server, including: visual zoom sliders, custom publish message and ArcGIS for Power BI support, plus more.

ArcGIS for Power BI support.

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Step Folding Indicators for Power Query Online

The Power BI team have announced they are now previewing step folding indicators in Power Query Online. These indicators will allow you to understand which steps fold, and which steps don’t. When you make a change that breaks folding, it will become obvious.

This allows you to resolve issues more quickly and easily, avoid performance issues in the first place, and have better insight into your queries.

Step Folding Indicators for Power Query Online.

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General availability of read/write XMLA endpoints in Power BI Premium

Power BI inherits a large ecosystem of developers, partners, BI tools, and solutions built over the years. XMLA endpoints provide access to the Analysis Services engine in the Power BI service, allowing customers to leverage enterprise BI tools directly on Power BI datasets.  

Read/write XMLA endpoints introduced many additional enterprise BI scenarios for dataset management, application lifecycle management, governance, complex semantic modeling, debugging, and monitoring— all within Power BI!

Read/write XMLA endpoints in Power BI Premium.

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Microsoft 365 monthly update – December 2020

Happy Holidays everyone! 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.



SharePoint

In SharePoint: updates to site header, send Pages to Yammer, “SharePoint success” site template, new destinations in Migration manager, add Teams to SharePoint updates, Microsoft Lists adoption center

SharePoint site header updates

The SharePoint team have made some changes to the site header in modern sites, including changing the default to the compact header instead of the standard header.

Additional header options are also available within “Change the Look”, including minimal and extended header options. Minimal header has a reduced height and extended includes an optional background image, expanded site logo widths, and options for logo alignment – left, middle, right.

New header layout options under “Change the Look”.
Extended header
Example of the extended header layout in a modern SharePoint site.

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Send SharePoint pages to Yammer

You can now send articles from SharePoint directly into Yammer and include questions, polls, praise, and rich text. It’s also possible to upload images and files to the post linked to the share.

thumbnail image 3 captioned The SharePoint Send-to-Yammer dialog provides a rich preview for media and the ability add text to the post.

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“SharePoint Success” site template

The “SharePoint Success” site template is another great offering from the Microsoft Look Book. The “SharePoint Success” site template is a ready to deploy, customizable SharePoint communication site that comes pre-populated with site creation inspiration and training on how to create high quality and purposeful SharePoint sites. You’ll find Microsoft maintained SharePoint training content feed, success stories, and site creation guidelines.

thumbnail image 4 captioned Make this site your own to establish a learning destination to help everyone make SharePoint a success for your organization.
“SharePoint Success” site template

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New destinations in the SharePoint Migration Manager

The Migration Manager now has been updated to include OneDrive & Teams as migration destinations. SharePoint admins can enter OneDrive usernames or URLs and/or select various Teams team and channels as migration destinations.

thumbnail image 5 captioned When moving files and folders into Microsoft 365 from on-premises file shares, admins choose OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams as destinations.
Select a destination in Migration Manager has been updated to include OneDrive & Teams.

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Add Microsoft Teams to a SharePoint site – wizard updates

Microsoft wants to make it easier to use the connected value of SharePoint and Teams. When you connect SharePoint to Teams, you can choose what lists, libraries, and pages you want to bring into Teams as tabs in the new, default General channel.

NOTE: By default, your team site home page will be selected, but you can change it to suit your needs. You can fully navigate the primary document library from the Files tab – just follow the new folder breadcrumbs from the channel folder up to the root of the library.

thumbnail image 6 captioned Choose what SharePoint lists, libraries, and pages to bring into Microsoft Teams as tabs in the new, default General channel when adding Teams to your SharePoint team site.
Choose what SharePoint lists, libraries, and pages to bring into Microsoft Teams as tabs in the new, default General channel when adding Teams to your SharePoint team site.

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Microsoft Lists adoption center

Microsoft have created adoption materials to help onboard employees at scale while being confident that you are improving the employee experience. In the adoption center there is an adoption playbook, day-in-the-life guides, a quick start guide, a look book, internal communication templates, pointers to documentation and training, plus materials to help build an internal Lists champion program within your organization.

Find out more:


Teams

Microsoft Teams (all), Teams (Education), Teams (Government)

Microsoft Teams

Virtual breakout rooms

Breakout rooms are now generally available in Microsoft Teams! Breakout rooms allow organizers to divide the meeting into sub-groups to facilitate discussions and brainstorming sessions.

Meeting organizers can create up to 50 breakout rooms and choose to automatically or manually assign participants into rooms. Breakout rooms can be started within a Teams meeting or a Teams channel meeting.

Master virtual breakout rooms in Microsoft Teams meetings.

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End-of-meeting notifications

Now, Microsoft Teams notifies the participants in a meeting when there are five minutes remaining in the scheduled meeting time. The notification appears on screen for 10 seconds and disappears without any user action. Notifications are triggered for all scheduled private and channel meetings and does not cause the meeting to end automatically.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | December 2020
End-of-meeting notifications in Microsoft Teams Meetings.

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Teams meeting pre-join experience

The Teams pre-join meeting experience has been updated to including easier discovery of audio, video, and device configurations before joining a meeting. Previously, you had to go to settings to change meeting devices, but now these can be easily adjusted prior to the meeting in the pre-join experience.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | December 2020
Teams meeting pre-join experience.

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New languages supported for real-time translation in live events

Live event attendees can view live captions and subtitles in up to six languages in addition to the language being spoken. Event organizers can select the languages from a list of over 50. New languages supported include: Japanese, Korean, French, French-Canadian, Spanish, Spanish-Mexican, Traditional Chinese, Swedish, Dutch, Italian, Hindi-Indian, Portuguese-Brazilian, and Russian.

Find out more:

Live events limit increases extended until June 30, 2021

Microsoft have extended limit increases for live events through to June 30, 2021. Increases include:

  • Event support for up to 20,000 attendees
  • 50 events can be hosted simultaneously across a tenant
  • Event duration of 16 hours per broadcast
Live events in Microsoft 365.

Additionally, events for as many as 100,000 attendees can be planned through the live events assistance program.

Find out more:

Multiple Number Dialing

With Teams Calling, you are now able to see a split button in the chat header for audio/video calling. This displays multiple numbers for a single contact making it easier to view available numbers to initiate a call.

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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | December 2020
Multiple Number Dialing in Teams Calling.

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Live Captions for 1:1 Calls

Live Captions display the text version of the audio in a Teams call. Admins can disable this capability if desired, and users have control to turn these off. For the most accurate captions possible, it is recommended to speak clearly into the microphone and avoid having multiple people speaking at the same time.

Live Captions for 1:1 Calls.

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Microsoft Teams Rooms on Windows updates

Microsoft Teams Rooms on Windows version 4.7.15.0 is now available in the Teams Admin Center. The latest update includes the following new capabilities:

  • Cortana Voice Assistance (Preview): In-room meeting attendees can now use voice assistance powered by Cortana to join and end their meetings without touch. Using natural language, people can simply state “Cortana, join/end my meeting” for a seamless hands-free experience.
  • Control Spotlight from console: People in the meeting room can now control the Teams meeting Spotlight feature from the Teams Rooms console control. Once enabled, the individual identified as the spotlight will be the main video shown to all participants in the Teams meeting.
  • Share HDMI audio: Users connecting to a Teams Room via HDMI can now share their PC audio into the Teams meeting.
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							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | December 2020
Microsoft Teams Rooms on Windows version 4.7.15.0 is now available in the Teams Admin Center.

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Enhanced meeting experiences on Teams phones

Teams phones now support new video layouts such as 3×3 gallery view, large gallery view for more participants and Together mode. Several other updates have been released for Teams phones including meet now, screen sharing and spotlight.

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							What’s new in Teams Phones | December 2020
3×3 gallery view on Teams phones.

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Improved Search relevance in Teams messages

Now when searching for messages in Microsoft Teams, the top 3 messages are generated and ordered by a newly developed relevance model – previously messages were ordered chronologically with the most recent messages at the top of the search results.

Keyword search results in Teams
Improved Search relevance in Teams messages

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Offline files on iOS

The Teams mobile app for iOS now allows you to access files even when you are offline or in bad network conditions. Simply select the files you need access to, and Teams will keep a downloaded version to use in your mobile app. You can find all your files that are available offline in the files section of the app.

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Improvements to video playback experience

Now included in Teams is a faster-loading experience for embedded videos. You will now experience up to 25% reduction in the time it takes a Stream embedded video to load, and up to a 90% reduction in the time it takes for the video to start playing. This means a much faster Stream video playback experience within Teams.

Find out more:

Restricting Windows and Mac managed device sign-in to specific tenants

You can now restrict Teams sign-in for Windows and Mac managed devices to help ensure that employees cannot sign-in to another organization’s tenant using the other tenant’s credentials from the device they are authorized to use for work. This policy can also be used to configure access to personal accounts.

Find out more:

Manage Teams displays in Team Admin Center

Teams Displays are the latest device you can manage from the Teams Admin Center. You can view and manage the device inventory for your organization and do tasks such as update, restart, and monitor diagnostics for devices.

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New lobby setting – People I Invite

A new lobby setting – called “People I invite” is being added as an option to the “Who can bypass lobby?” setting. Once enabled, only the participants invited by the organizer in the meeting invite can join the meeting directly. Everyone else is sent to the lobby.

New lobby setting – People I Invite.

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Customer Key for Teams (public preview)

Customer Key is built on service encryption and provides an added layer of encryption at the application level for data-at-rest and allows you as the organization to control the encryption keys. Already available in Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive, Customer Key is now available in Microsoft Teams as a preview.

Find out more:


Teams (Education)

Virtual breakout rooms

As mentioned above, Breakout rooms are now generally available in Microsoft Teams! Read more about breakout rooms here.

Teams for Education policy wizard

With the new Microsoft Teams for Education policy wizard, T admins can now easily apply education tailored policies for a safe learning environment.

With the policy wizard you can easily apply the most relevant set of policies for students at a global (Org-wide default) level and apply a custom policy set to a group of educators and staff tailored to their needs. Expected availability, along with more details, will be available on January 7th.

Teams for Education policy wizard.

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Classroom Drop-in app

The new Classroom Drop-in app template for Microsoft Teams lets school leaders create “drop ins” to add a user to a Team without the need to bother IT or the instructor. The dropped in user can then check in on conversation, assignments, grades, class meetings and more!

IT admins can setup and install the Classroom Drop-in app from GitHub.

Classroom Drop-in app.

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mConnect app

The mConnect app by Skooler lets you use Moodle inside Teams to organize your courses and use Teams to learn and work together. The mConnect app allows you to:

  • Have one workspace with access to Moodle courses, topics, assignments, and calendar in Teams
  • Stay organized with collaborative Learning tabs in Teams channels
  • Save time and be more in control with automated team and membership creation
mConnect app in Microsoft Teams.

Find out more:


Teams (Government)

Virtual breakout rooms

As mentioned above, Breakout rooms are now generally available in Microsoft Teams! Read more about breakout rooms here.

Teams meeting pre-join experience

The improved meeting pre-join experience is now available for GCC customers. Find out more about the updated experience here.

PowerPoint file sharing

Available for GCC and GCC-High, PowerPoint file sharing in Teams allows you to share a PowerPoint file within a Teams Meeting without having to use Desktop or Window sharing. Participants can view the presentation at their own pace, navigate through slides on their own and sync back to the presenter at any time. 

Find out more:

Multiple number dialing

As mentioned above, GCC customers can now see a split button in the chat header for audio/video calling. Find out more here.

Inline message translation (DoD)

Inline message translation is now available for DoD customers so that people who speak different languages can fluidly communicate with one another by translating posts in channels and chat.

Set presence status duration (GCC)

Let others know when you are available in Teams by managing your presence status. GCC customers can now change their presence status for a specific period.

New offline presence status (GCC)

GCC customers can now change your presence to “Offline”. This allows you to have full access to Teams while signaling to colleagues that you are unavailable.

Linux Client available (GCC-High)

The Microsoft Teams Linux client is now available in GCC-High.

Data loss prevention for Microsoft Teams

Data loss prevention (DLP) capabilities in Microsoft 365 government clouds is now extended to include Microsoft Teams chat and channel messages, including private channel messages. 

GCC support for devices management in Teams Admin Center

Device management support in Teams Admin Center is now available in the GCC cloud environment. Admins can now control the entire lifecycle of their Teams devices, which include an increasing variety of supported device types – IP Phones, Collaboration bars, Teams displays, and Teams Meeting Room devices, all from one place.


OneDrive

In OneDrive: Live photos in iOS, Add to OneDrive GA

Live Photos for OneDrive iOS

The OneDrive team have announced that the OneDrive iOS app now uploads and supports Live Photos. When you take a Live Photo, you capture a still image along with several seconds of before and after video.

OneDrive now stores and plays back the full motion and sound of your Live Photos, bringing your memories to life.


	
	 
	
	
	
				
		
			
				
						
							Live Photos come to OneDrive

Find out more:

Add to OneDrive generally available

The Add to OneDrive feature is now generally available. Add to OneDrive makes it easy to add a shortcut to the shared folders directly to our OneDrive. Shared folders include content that others have shared with us through their OneDrive, which surfaces in the “Shared with me“ view or content that is a part of a shared library in Microsoft Teams or SharePoint.

thumbnail image 1 captioned Add to OneDrive makes it easy to add a shortcut to the shared folders directly to our OneDrive
Add to OneDrive makes it easy to add a shortcut to the shared folders directly to our OneDrive.

Find out more:


Power Apps

In Power Apps: AI Builder capabilities now GA, Dataflows Power Automate Connector preview, Power BI dashboard in a model-driven app GA, Power Apps portals capacity consumption reporting, Dataverse support for Power BI Direct Query GA, new way to configure Azure AD B2C provider for portals

AI Builder capabilities now generally available

The Power Apps team have announced that two AI builder preview capabilities are now generally available; multiple outcome prediction and numerical prediction. Both are children of the Prediction model card in AI Builder, but enhance the model substantially. For example, multiple outcome prediction can be used it to predict more than 3 outcomes, like will a shipment arrive early, on-time or late. You can also predict a number, like how many days it would take to close a customer ticket.

Multiple outcome prediction in AI Builder.

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Dataflows Power Automate Connector public preview

Now in preview, the Power Automate Dataflow connector comes with templates and sample scenarios that let you get started right away. The new connector provides a new way to react to dataflow events to take action on dataflows.

Dataflows are a self-service, cloud-based, data preparation technology available in Power Apps, Power BI and Dynamics Customer Insights products and portals. ataflows keep your data up to date, so it can be leveraged by Power Apps applications, Power BI reports and Dashboards, Dynamics Customer Insights and many more products and solutions that leverage Data stored in Dataverse or Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 accounts. 

Trigger dataflows and Power BI datasets sequentially with the Dataflows Power Automate Connector.

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Power BI dashboard in a model-driven app now generally available

The Power Apps team have announced the general availability of Power BI reports as system dashboards in model-driven apps.

System and user dashboards in model driven apps support specific reporting features with predefined visualization and are more suited for transactional data that needs to be updated directly on the report, an action occurs on a record or fields are updated on a record in real time.

Power BI reports bring a host of visualization and data manipulation that we have all become accustomed to using with a Power BI report. The ability to quickly build reports using the Power BI tools, publish those reports and extend them to model-driven apps makes it easy to provide your organization with data in one place, removing the need to go outside your model driven or Dynamics application.

Power BI embedding in Power Apps builds on existing capabilities giving users access to shared reports governed by you through standard Power Bi practices that include who you share the report with and licensing.

Power BI report in model driven app.

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Power Apps portals capacity consumption reporting

Power Apps admins can now get visibility of their Power Apps portals logins and page views consumption by downloading new reports from the Power Platform admin center. These Excel-based reports allow you to look at the capacity consumed in a 30-day period preceding the selected date.

Power Apps portals capacity consumption reporting is now available.

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Microsoft Dataverse support for Power BI Direct Query

The Power Apps team have announced that Microsoft Dataverse support for Power BI Direct Query is now generally available. With the combination of the new Dataverse connector for Power BI and tabular data stream (TDS) endpoint Power BI users have more options when connecting to Dataverse environments, including Dataverse for Teams.

The new connector supports Direct Query providing real-time data and support for the Dataverse security model. In addition, complex data types, such as lookups, choices, and currency are flattened for easy consumption in the model.

Microsoft Dataverse support for Power BI Direct Query is now generally available.

Find out more:

New way to configure Azure AD B2C provider for portals (preview)

Now in preview, A unique preview experience is available now to setup Azure AD B2C with portals using a wizard for a quick and complete configuration directly from the Power Apps portals authentication settings. With the new configuration wizard you are able to choose to add an Azure Active Directory login provider, create or select existing Azure AD B2C tenant, register your portal as an application (new or existing) with the selected tenant and Configure Sign-up & sign-in and Password reset user flows (new or existing).

Configure Sign-up & sign-in and Password reset user flows (new or existing) in the new experience.

Find out more:


Power Automate

In Power Automate: Process advisor (preview), RPA enhancements to Power Automate Desktop, planning a Power Automate project, Power Automate Desktop December release, invoice processing in AI Builder (preview), 8 new connectors

Process advisor (preview)

Process advisor is a process mining capability in Power Automate that provides a deeper understanding of how people work and provides insights about time-consuming processes best suited for automation. With process advisor, you can visualize, identify bottlenecks, and gain insights into the various processes being created across your organization.  

In process advisor you can run simple process recorders, create rich process maps and get in-depth analytics simply and easily.

Analysis of a process with Process advisor
Introducing process advisor (preview).

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RPA updates to Power Automate Desktop

With Power Automate Desktop becoming generally available, several robotic process automation enhancements have also been released, including:

  • Role-based sharing: Organizations can share desktop flows across multiple users to derive value from RPA. 
  • Lifecycle management: Manage end-to-end creation and movement of desktop flows across any tenant environment.  
  • Setting execution priorities: Prioritize which desktop flows to run on your machines first based on importance. 
  • Real-time run and queue monitoring: Oversee the health and success of your desktop flow runs with real-time monitoring. 
Priority can be configured at the Desktop flow connector level.
Set execution priority for desktop flows—in preview.

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Planning a Power Automate project

The Power Automate team have launched a series of documents to help understand how to automate business processes with Power Automate. In the articles, you’ll learn about the five basic steps of automating with Power Automate, using the best practices and knowledge from Power CAT (Customer Advisory team).

The articles focus on the non-technical aspects of automating business processes with Power Automate, such as how to plan your Power Automate project, how to discover automation areas, how to assess business value, etc.

Find out more:

Power Automate Desktop December 2020 release update

The December 2020 release of Power Automate Desktop is now generally available. This month’s update has several updates including; Execution logs are now available for console runs, input variables of sensitive text type availability, password fields now support the use of variables plus lots more!

Sensitive text input variables
Input variables of sensitive text type are now available to be used in Power Automate Desktop (December 2020 release).

Find out more:

Invoice processing with AI Builder (preview)

The Power Automate team have announced the introduction of a new prebuilt AI model in AI Builder: Invoice processing. With the new AI Builder invoice processing prebuilt model, you can minimize pain points usually found in traditional invoice processes and speed up your invoice processing time, delivering real value back to your business. 

AI Builder Invoice Processing samples
Invoice processing with AI Builder (preview)

Find out more:

8 new connectors released in November 2020

November 2020 saw the launch of eight new connectors to the platform that cover a wide range of industries, from communications, security, and more. 

Find out more:


Power BI

In Power BI: Admin APIs to Determine Access Rights, visualise SharePoint lists now GA, July 2021 Feature Summary, PivotTable refresh, Streaming dataflows in Power BI premium, On-premises data gateway July 2021, free virtual workshops

In Power BI: Quickly create reports in Power BI service (preview), Datasets Hub (preview), Anomaly detection (preview), Power BI December 2020 feature summary, DirectQuery for Power BI datasets and Azure Analysis Services (preview), Small Multiples (preview), Information Protection Sensitivity Labels in Power BI Desktop (Public Preview), Admin APIs and Service Principal authentication, on-premises data gateway December 2020, large model support in Power BI Premium GA, Full report attachment subscriptions in Power BI Premium, upgrade classic workspaces, Automate configuration of a template app installation

Quickly create reports in the Power BI service (preview)

The Power BI team have announced there is a new way to quickly create reports in the Power BI service. Rather than downloading Power BI Desktop and importing the data, you’ll now be able to paste data straight into Power BI on the web and have visuals automatically generated for you.

Gif showing the enter quick create process. Steps are described in text in the below blog post.
Quickly create reports in the Power BI service (preview).

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Datasets Hub (preview)

The new datasets hub makes it easy to find, explore, and use the datasets in your organization. It provides information about the datasets as well as entry points for creating reports on top of those datasets or for using those datasets with Analyze in Excel.

You can now open Datasets directly from Teams.

Find out more:

Anomaly detection (preview) now supported in Power BI mobile apps

Report consumers can now view and understand anomalies directly from the Power BI mobile app. This capability is available on all apps (iOS, Android, Windows), in all supported form factors (phone, tablet, iPad, and laptop/desktop, including Surface Hub).

When you view a report that has anomaly detection enabled, you’ll see the same detected anomaly indications on the visual that you see in the Power BI service and in Power BI Desktop.

Anomaly detection (preview) is now supported in Power BI Mobile apps.

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Power BI December 2020 feature summary

This month’s Power BI feature summary is out now and includes updates in data preparation, data connectivity as well as some new visuals and template apps.

Power BI December 2020 feature summary.

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DirectQuery for Power BI datasets and Azure Analysis Services (preview)

The Power BI team have announced that DirectQuery for Power BI datasets and Azure Analysis Services is now in preview. This new feature allows report authors to use DirectQuery to connect to Azure Analysis Services or Power BI Datasets and, if they want to, combine it other DirectQuery and imported data.

There is also an updated Power BI Desktop version 2.88.702.0, released on December 18, 2020 that addresses some common issues.

Introducing DirectQuery for Power BI Datasets.

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Small multiples (preview)

Small multiples, or trellising, splits a visual into multiple versions of itself, presented side-by-side, with its data partitioned across these versions by a chosen dimension (e.g., splitting a “sales by category” column chart across product lines or country). This feature is now available in preview.

Small multiples (preview).

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Microsoft Information Protection Sensitivity Labels in Power BI Desktop (Public Preview)

The Power BI team have announced that they have extended Power BI’s sensitivity label capabilities by bringing Microsoft Information Protection sensitivity labels into Power BI Desktop, allowing creators to apply sensitivity labels just as they start building their datasets and reports in Power BI Desktop.

Apply a sensitivity label in Power BI Desktop.

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New Admin APIs and Service Principal authentication

The Power BI team have announced that now release new Power BI Admin APIs along with a .NET SDK that enable administrators to create their own custom-made solutions based on Power BI metadata and lineage.

They have also added service principal support for the scanner Admin APIs. Service principal is an authentication method that can be used to let an Azure AD application access Power BI APIs. With this authentication method, you no longer have to maintain a service account with an admin role. Rather, to allow your app to use the Admin APIs, you just have to give your approval once as part of the tenant settings configuration.

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On-premises data gateway December 2020 now available

The on-premises data gateway December 2020 update is now available for Power BI. This months release includes; Azure Cosmos DB connector on Gateway, December Version of the mashup engine, .Net Framework Update plus lots more.

Find out more:

Large model support in Power BI Premium generally available

Power BI Premium support for large models is now generally available. With large model support, a dataset in Power BI Premium is limited in size only by the Premium capacity that hosts the dataset. Excluding memory for query execution and processing, this typically means a dataset can grow up to 70-80% of the capacity’s total memory.

Enable large dataset slider
Enable large datasets in Power BI.

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Full report attachment for subscriptions for Power BI Premium

You can now now subscribe to any Power BI report in a premium workspace or app and choose to include the full report as a PowerPoint or PDF attachment. You can either create a new subscription for your report or simply update an existing one. 

Subscription mail with attachment
Full report attachment for subscriptions for Power BI Premium reports now available.

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Upgrade classic workspaces in Power BI

Earlier this year the Power BI team announced a roadmap for upgrading classic workspaces to the new workspace experience. Now, Workspace upgrade has reached general availability, with tools being rolled out to Power BI admins to upgrade classic workspaces. The Power BI team are also providing a roadmap, including dates for removing the ability to create, update, and use content packs in classic workspaces.

Power BI Admins can upgrade workspaces.

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Automate configuration of a template app installation

A  a new capability is coming to Power BI that enables template app publishers to automate the configuration of a template app installation for their customers. Template app publishers can preconfigure the template app installation, making life much easier for your customers by eliminating that frequently encountered source of frustration.

Automate configuration of a template app installation.

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Microsoft 365 monthly update – November 2020

In this month’s update we take an in-depth look at all the recently released features for all the products within Microsoft 365.

SharePointSite performance, my feed web part, lists undo/redo

Teams SharePoint tab, Forms for polls in Teams, polls/ surveys/ checklists, AI-based noise suppression, Together mode scene selection, full screen support, instant meeting from mobile, updated iOS meeting layout, pinned posts, set presence duration, Android on-demand chat translation, Power Apps in Teams GA, Power Automate in Teams, Power Virtual Agents in Teams GA, Teams apps for meetings GA

Teams (cont.)Call merge, survivable branch appliance, Ericsson Session Border Controller certification, Teams displays, new features for Teams Rooms/ Surface Hubs, SSO for bots, device management automatic alerting, Shift schedule assistance

Teams (Education)Class insights & spotlight student activity, prevent students from unmuting, delete meeting recordings, updated assignment settings, add your favourite apps to virtual classes and courses

Teams (Government) Full screen support, OneNote (DoD), Prevent attendees from unmuting

OneDrive Create shared library in OneDrive, file sharing in Teams, Known Folder Move in FRE

Power AppsManage page permissions from portal studio, Dataverse GA, Azure API Management connector, new layout containers in canvas apps, what’s new Power Query & Dataflows, RTE control, new search experience in model-driven apps

Power AutomateRPA UI flows analytics, Power Automate Desktop update, 24 new connectors, view app install failures in ISV Studio, train form processing models with different layouts in AI Builder, AI Builder consumption reporting

Power BINew export settings, on-prem data gateway update, November feature summary, anomaly detection, Power BI Premium, paginated report feature summary

Related At-a-glance/ key points in emails, capture and share in Edge

SharePoint

SharePoint site performance page

The new site performance page gives insights into the what impacts the viewing experience on a given page, as well as getting actionable feedback on things like how certain page or site assets would benefit from a content delivery network (CDN), what web parts and their usage might be impact page load times etc.

IZ-RP-25_002_Site-perf-page_1.jpg
SharePoint site performance page.

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My feed web part

The my feed web part shows a mix of content from across Microsoft 365, based on what’s likely to be most relevant to the current user at any given time. The feed is personal. Different users will see different content.

The my feed web part in SharePoint Online.

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Microsoft Lists: Undo / redo

As you work across rows and columns within Microsoft Lists, mistakes will happen and it needs to be easy to recover information. Similar to how you can remove sentences and phrases in a Word document, you will be able to do this in Lists by using the undo button. The same is true in reverse if there was something in a field previously that you want to bring back – just click the redo button.

IZ-RP-25_005_MSLists-undo-redo.jpg
Click Undo or Redo to revert changes or remove mistakes within Microsoft Lists.

Find out more:


Teams

Updated SharePoint tab app

You can now use the SharePoint tab experience to pin any page, news, list or document library as a separate tab in their Teams channel. Just go to the “+” button from any channel in Teams, select SharePoint and start pinning resources that your team needs to collaborate better.

IZ-RP-25_007_SP-tab-app_Teams.jpg
The updated SharePoint tab experience when adding pages, lists or document libraries to a channel in Teams.

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Microsoft Forms for polls in Microsoft Teams meetings

Forms polls for Teams meetings provides an easily discoverable and seamless experience that will help you conduct more engaging and productive meetings. With Forms polls, meeting presenters can prepare, launch, and evaluate polls before, during, and after meetings, respectively, all from one place under a tab in the Teams meeting.

Polls in Microsoft Teams.

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Additional options for polls, surveys & checklists in Teams

There are now new templates for polls, surveys, and checklists in Teams from the OfficeDev GitHub repo. Once installed and configured by the Teams administrators, these messaging extensions provide a simple and intuitive experience for users across all platforms without the need to use 3rd party apps.

Easily create surveys to gather feedback to improve your processes.

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AI-based noise suppression

 The AI-based noise suppression analyzes your audio feed filtering out the noise and retaining only the speech signal. You can also control how much noise suppression you want, including a high setting to suppress more background noise. 

Noise Suppression Settings in the Teams profile
AI-based noise suppression in Teams.

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Together mode scene selection

Microsoft have introduced new Together mode scene selections to transport your team to a variety of settings. Choose a scene to set the tone and create a unique experience for your meeting, whether it be a smaller conference room meeting, or an all-hands meeting held in an outdoor amphitheater.

TogetherMode.png
New Together mode scene selection.

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Full screen support in new meetings experience

With full screen mode on Windows the meeting window fills up the whole screen, removing all other screen elements, including the title bar on the top and task bar on the bottom. On Mac OS, full screen mode maximizes the meeting window and the title bar is hidden. This helps you to reduce distractions and focus your attention.

fullscreen.png
Full screen support in new meetings experience.

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Instant meetings from mobile devices

The Meet Now icon is now available on mobile devices from the calendar tab and in the Teams channel helping you connect with your team instantly.

Once you start your meeting, you can use any messaging app on your mobile device to share the invite or add participants directly to the meeting, and anyone in the Teams channel can join without an invite.

InstantMeetingMobile (1).png
Start an instant meeting from your mobile device.

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Updated layout for meetings on iOS 

Microsoft have improved the Teams experience on iOS devices with a new presentation mode, the ability to see more participants, and the ability to see shared content and a spotlighted participant concurrently.

Meetings on iOS.png
Updated layout for meetings on iOS.

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Pinned posts

You can pin any message in a channel, and it appears in the channel information pane for all members of the channel to see.

Pinned Post.png
Pinned posts in Teams.

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Set presence status duration

Let others know when you are available in Teams by managing your presence status. Users can now change their presence status for a specific period.

Duration on status menu
Set your presence status duration in Teams.

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Android On-Demand Chat Translation

Inline message translation gives all your team members a voice and facilitates global collaboration. With a simple click, people who speak different languages can fluidly communicate with one another by translating posts in channels and chat.

Find out more:

Power Apps in Teams generally available

The new Power Apps app for Teams is now generally available. It allows you to build and deploy custom apps without leaving Teams. With the simple, embedded graphical app studio, it has never been easier to build low code apps for Teams.

The new Power Apps app for Teams can be backed by a new relational datastore – Dataverse for Teams.

Build solutions with Power Apps in Teams.

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New Power Automate App for Teams generally available

The new app makes it easier than ever to automate workflows within teams. With the simplified flow designer, you can easily build flows by selecting from a number of templates and simply selecting your options from drop down menus.

The new Power Automate app for Teams is now generally available.

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Power Virtual Agents (PVA) for Teams generally available

Power Virtual Agents (PVA) for Teams is now generally available. Microsoft are also providing additional features including native authentication, where bots can be designed to provide information to users based upon their identity. You can now also easily make your bot available to your teammates and have admin approval to make it available for the whole organization.

Power Virtual Agents (PVA) for Teams is now generally available.

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Teams apps for meetings now generally available

Teams apps for meetings are now generally available with nearly 20 new apps in the Teams app store, such as Asana, HireVue, Monday.com, Slido, and Teamflect, as well as familiar Microsoft apps such as Forms. Learn more. If you’re a developer, learn more about creating Teams apps for meetings.

Teams apps for meetings now generally available.

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Call merge

Call Merge gives end users the capability to merge their Teams VoIP and PSTN active 1-1 calls into another 1-1 call or another group call. You can merge your calls, simply by choosing the “…” (more actions) button from the call controls and select “merge calls”. 

Call merge button in menu
Call merge in Teams Calling.

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Survivable Branch Appliance

To support the most critical conversations in the event of an outage, the new Survivable Branch Appliance (SBA) allows you to place and receive PSTN calls even in the event of a WAN outage. This SBA is now available to certified Session Border Controllers (SBC) vendors, allowing SBCs to link with the Teams client in the event the client cannot reach the Microsoft Calling network.

Find out more:

Ericsson Session Border Controller certification

Ericsson has completed the Session Border Controller (SBC) certification process, which ensures that their SBC supports Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams, joining the list of certified SBCs.

Find out more:

Microsoft Teams displays

Microsoft Teams displays is a new category of all-in-one dedicated Teams devices that features an ambient touchscreen and a hands-free experience powered by Cortana. These devices seamlessly integrate with your PC, providing easy access to Teams chat, meetings, calling, calendar, and files. 

ThinkSmart.png
Microsoft Teams displays.

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New features rolling out to Microsoft Teams Rooms and Surface Hub

The latest app for Microsoft Teams Rooms on Android, version 1.0.94.2020102101, is now available through the Teams Admin Center.  New features have also begun rolling out to Surface Hub, including:

Microsoft Teams Rooms on Android:

  • Support for dual screens: Now you can use Teams Rooms on Android in spaces with a dual screen configuration.
  • New gallery views: Teams Rooms on Android now supports the 3×3, large gallery, and Together Mode gallery views.
  • Auto-answer for meetings: Now, Microsoft are providing a setting that allows calls to be answered automatically. This new feature can be enabled through the Admin settings.

Surface Hub:

  • Together mode: view meeting participants in the new Together mode, which brings everyone into a shared virtual space.
  • Large gallery: view up to 49 meeting participants simultaneously in full screen mode,
  • in the new 7×7 video grid.

Single Sign-On (SSO) for Bots

SSO authentication in Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) minimizes the number of times users need to enter their login credentials by silently refreshing the authentication token. If users agree to use your app, they will not have to consent again on another device and will be signed in automatically.

Bot SSO at runtime diagram
Bot SSO at runtime.

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Device management automatic alerting in Teams Admin Center

Device management automatic alerting provides more efficiency in identifying devices issues by triggering notifications that can be turned into an immediate correction action.

Device management automatic alerting in Teams Admin Center

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Shift schedule assistance

Shifts schedule assistance will alert managers if conflicts occur anywhere in the schedule and they will receive conflict warnings when approving schedule change requests. This alerting saves managers time, makes shift scheduling more efficient and reduces inaccuracies that lead to employees not turning up for their shift.

Shift schedule assistance.

Find out more:

Teams (Education)

Insights across classes and spotlight student activity (Education)

New capabilities in Insights helps you as an educator to understand engagement and progress of students over time and across your classes. Now, educators can see high-level trends across classes, like inactive students, active students per day, missed online classes and missed assignments.

And within a class, new spotlight cards show trending student behaviours an educator may want to take action on.

Insights in Microsoft Teams for Education.

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Prevent students from unmuting during class

Meeting organizers and presenters can now prevent attendees from unmuting during their online class and enable specific attendees to unmute when they raise their hands. This can be helpful in class where you want to be in control of who’s speaking when.

PreventUnmute.png
Prevent students from unmuting in Teams meetings.

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Delete meeting recordings in Teams

Now the recording owner (either the person who started the recording or any additional owners named) can delete the recorded class or lecture.

Find out more:

Updated Assignment Settings

Assignment Settings allow educators to set default due times, set preferences on what happens when a new student is added to the class, change the default location where notifications for an assignment will be posted (like an Assignments specific channel), and turn off turn-in celebrations if they’re not age-appropriate for older students.

The Parent /Guardian Weekly Email setting has also moved from the Teams Settings to Assignment Settings. (Settings changes will apply to new assignments created after the updated setting selection has been saved.)

New Assignment Settings.png
New Assignment Settings give educators more control.

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Add your favourite apps to virtual classes and courses

ow you can use some of your favorite apps before, during and after your virtual classes. Educators can incorporate Buncee and Wakelet and have students work together on content, share and discuss topics, and ask questions during class.

Discover How to Add a Buncee as a Tab in Teams Meetings, Ask Questions, and Save them in Buncee.

Find out more:

Teams (Government)

Full screen support in new meetings experience

With full screen mode on Windows the meeting window fills up the whole screen, removing all other screen elements, including the title bar on the top and task bar on the bottom. On Mac OS, full screen mode maximizes the meeting window, and the title bar is hidden. This helps you to reduce distractions and focus your attention. GCC only in November.

Find out more:

OneNote in Teams DoD

You can now add new or existing OneNote Notebooks tab to your Teams channels if you’re a DoD customer. You can also go to Files or add OneNote Personal App to open your OneNote notebooks directly.

Find out more:

Prevent attendees from unmuting in Teams Meetings

Meeting organizers and presenters in the US Government Community Cloud can now prevent attendees from unmuting during the meeting and enable specific attendees to unmute when they raise their hands.

Find out more:


OneDrive

Create shared library in OneDrive

Microsoft are updating the existing experience of creating new Shared Libraries from OneDrive on the web. The end goal being a simpler and easier way to create collaborative spaces for your shared files and folders for team members to access and collaborate on files from anywhere on any device.

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Create a new shared library from OneDrive.

Find out more:

File sharing in Microsoft Teams

Users will now be able to set familiar sharing and access controls directly in Teams with the added option to share a link with a specific private or group chat. This means only people in that chat have access to the shared content. Shared links intelligently reconcile to file name and all sharing follows the admin settings and configured policies. 

teams sharing blog.gif
Sharing integration in Microsoft Teams.

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Known Folder Move in first run experience (FRE)

The new first run experience in OneDrive now allows you to select which Windows known folders you would like to sync to OneDrive. Moving your important folders to OneDrive allows you to have the power of cloud in your most productive folders on Windows.

MicrosoftTeams-image (3).png
Known Folder Move in the first run experience in OneDrive.

Find out more:


Power Apps

Manage page permissions from Power Apps Portals Studio

The Power Apps team have recently announced a new and improved way to mange web page permissions from within the portals Studio. Now, you can do so with just a toggle to either allow anonymous access for everyone or restrict access to users in certain web roles only.

Page permissions overview
Manage page permissions from Power Apps Portals Studio.

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Azure API Management connector on the Power Platform

Microsoft are introducing Azure API Management connectors as a way to quickly publish Azure API Management backed APIs to the Power Platform for easy discovery and consumption, dramatically reducing the time it takes to create apps connecting to Azure services.

Developers can leverage Microsoft Azure API Management in Dataverse for Teams, which will further amplify their pro-code component and unlock access to any Microsoft cloud hosted Service with just a few clicks.

Developers can now leverage Microsoft Azure API Management in Dataverse for Teams.

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Microsoft Dataverse for Teams – generally available

The Common Data Service has been renamed Microsoft Dataverse. The low-code data platform is now generally available and comes with a suit of embedded Power Platform tools that make it easy to be apps, automate processes and build chatbots without leaving Teams.

Save time with Power Apps in Teams.

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New Layout containers in canvas apps

Now in preview, horizontal and vertical container layout controls help automatically reflow and resize controls within them to enable easy, no expression responsive layouts in canvas apps. These are available in mainline and Teams authoring experiences.

GIF showing adding a text input, gallery, form and icons, and using layout container properties to make a responsive app
New Layout containers in canvas apps make responsive apps easier.

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Power Query and Dataflows in Power Apps updates for November 2020

The Power Apps team have released several new features for Power Query and Dataflows, to help bring data into Microsoft Dataverse.

Diagram View, now in Public Preview is just one of the features coming to Power Query in Power Apps this month.

Find out more:

New rich text editor (RTE) control

The Power Apps team have announced the release of the rich text editor (RTE) control, which can be used for any multi-line or single-line text field across Dynamics 365.

New rich text capabilities in model-driven apps in Power Apps.

Find out more:

Now generally available, the new intelligent search experience in model-driven Power Apps includes a series of usability enhancements and core relevance search improvements to deliver quality results quickly. Usability improvements for things such as the search bar, suggested results, results page enhancements just to name a few.

Suggested results, as you type are just one of several improvements made to the search experience in model-driven Power Apps.

Find out more:


Power Automate

Power Automate Robotic Process Automation (RPA) UI flows Analytics

The Power Automate team have announced there are now two different options to monitor the analytics for RPA UI flows, either from the Power Platform Admin Center or using the Center of Excellence (CoE) Starter Kit.

Usage reports show you which UI flows are being used most so you can get a good idea about your automation inventory.

Find out more:

Power Automate Desktop November 2020 update

November’s Power Automate Desktop update was released last month with several updates for productivity, development and accessibility.

Run flow when designer is open
Running a flow from the console is now possible when its flow designer is open.

Find out more:

24 new Power Automate connectors!

24 new connectors were released through October 2020 for Power Automate. Too many to list below but some to look out for I think include the Azure Communication Services SMS, Power Apps Notification V2 and AvePoint Cloud Governance.

Find out more:

View app install failures in ISV Studio

New to ISV Studio is a feature which allows SVs to view failures their customers encounter when installing an app via AppSource. Once logged into ISV Studio, a user can see a summary of the recent failures for all their apps on the home page.

View app install failures in ISV Studio.

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AI Builder form processing models train using documents with different layouts

, You can now create a unique form processing model that will extract the same information from up to 100 different document layouts in AI Builder. To get started, just create a new Form Processing model and gather at least five sample forms for each layout that you want to process.

Upload documents
Upload at least five sample forms to get started with the form processing models in AI Builder.

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AI Builder consumption reporting is now available

AI Builder credit consumption reporting lets you choose the date of a report and download an Excel file showing the consumption in your tenant by environment, during the 30 days preceding the selected target date.

Download consumption reports in the Power Platform Admin Center.

Find out more:


Power BI

In Power BI: Admin APIs to Determine Access Rights, visualise SharePoint lists now GA, July 2021 Feature Summary, PivotTable refresh, Streaming dataflows in Power BI premium, On-premises data gateway July 2021, free virtual workshops

New export settings in the Power BI admin portal

The Power BI team have announced new admin settings which provide more granular control over export options in Power BI, and extend export settings to control also export from paginated reports.

Download report – Controls downloading .pbix files and paginated reports.

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On-premises data gateway November 2020 update

The November update for the On-premises data gateway (version 3000.66.8) is out now. Included in this month’s release are updates to the Hive LLAP Connector on Gateway, November’s mashup engine plus lots more.

Find out more:

Power BI November 2020 Feature Summary

Another month, another jam packed Power BI feature summary! This month’s update includes a preview of the new Field List and Model View as well as the Visual Zoom Slider.

Power BI November 2020 Feature Summary.

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Anomaly detection (preview)

Now in preview, anomaly detection helps you enhance your line charts by automatically detecting anomalies in your time series data. It also provides explanations for the anomalies to help with root cause analysis.

Anomaly detection (preview).

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Power BI Premium per user public preview now available

Now, Power BI users have access to all the Power BI Premium capabilities, on a per user basis, for the entire public preview period for free. The public preview of Power BI Premium per user has been enabled in all public tenants that requested priority access, and will be rolling out to all tenants worldwide throughout the month of November.

This is a picture of the capacity settings page
Turn on Power BI Premium per user.

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Paginated Report November 2020 Feature Summary

Several updates have been released for paginated reports in Power BI for November 2020 including new paginated reports samples, in-product parameter updates and more.

Paginated report sample reports in Power BI.

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Related

At-a-glance and key points in sharing emails

When users share Word files, the sharing e-mail will include information about the estimated time it will take a user to read the document as well as a list of the key points in the document. People will now see a short three-bullet point summary of the document, helping them quickly determine if the file is relevant to them.

IZ-RP-25_006_At-a-glance-emails.jpg
At-a-glance and key points in sharing emails.

Find out more:

Capture and share web content in Microsoft Edge

Web capture in Microsoft Edge lets you easily capture and mark up web content, and then save or share it—simply drag a box to select what you want to capture even if you need to scroll. Another improvement to Edge is the a new “My Feed” section within the enterprise new tab page.

To capture content on the web, just click on the pull down menu on the right gutter to select Web capture, select your content and highlight with the Draw function found at the top of your capture then click Share button found in the upper right corner.
Capture and share web content in Microsoft Edge.

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Microsoft 365 monthly update – October 2020

In this month’s update we take an in-depth look at all the recently released features for all the products within Microsoft 365.

SharePointSharePoint Syntex, organization chart web part, admin controls for Lists, Lists – commenting

Teams Tasks in Teams, New file sharing experience, live captions, spotlight, prevent unmuting, advanced production for meetings, read-only Whiteboard, recordings in SharePoint, download participant report, incoming IP video policy, appear offline, language-aware proofing, Teams templates, SharePoint pages app, global notification settings, Off-shift access controls

Teams (Education) Anonymous grading & marking, view all class assignments

Teams (Government)Priority,notifications, read receipts, file viewer upgrades, together mode, large gallery view, meeting notes improvements

Power AppsOffline apps, custom API preview, portals ID provider GA, relevance search API, app usage analytics in ISV studio

Power Automate Desktop update, RPA playbook for SAP, AI Builder capabilities GA, nine new connectors, action analytics, DLP capabilities GA

Power BICertified & promoted reports, Azure Databricks connector, report server feature summary, enhanced compute engine, publish to web, ‘new look’ Power BI service, personalize visuals GA, October 2020 desktop feature summary, on-premises data gateway

RelatedOneDrive widget for iPhone, Productivity score, Forms from the Office mobile app

SharePoint

SharePoint Syntex

Now rolling out worldwide, SharePoint Syntex amplifies human expertise, automates content processing, and transforms content into knowledge. Syntex mainstreams machine teaching, enabling your experts to capture their knowledge about content in AI models they can build with no code.

SharePoint Syntex.

Find out more:

Organization Chart web part

This web part allows page authors to generate an organization chart based off of a specific individual – just by typing their name. The page author will have the option to determine how many levels up this org chart goes, and as you navigate, you’ll see who reports to who.

IZ-RP-24_003_Org-chart-web-part.jpg
Organization Chart web part.

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Control settings for Microsoft Lists

Some new PowerShell based admin capabilities are being added to Microsoft Lists, including:

  • Control the creation of personal lists – a disable control, and;
  • Manage the built-in, ready-made templates – so that only the ones you wish to be available to your people will appear
IZ-RP-24_004_MSLists-IT-control-templates.jpg
Control settings for Microsoft Lists.

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Microsoft Lists – commenting

You will soon be able to add and delete comments on list items. Users can view all comments on a list item and filter between views that show comments or activity related to an item.

Information on how and where comments are stored:

  • Comments follow the permission settings inherent in SharePoint and Microsoft Lists
  • Users with read-only permission can only view comments. Those with list edit permission can make comments as well as delete comments; editing comments is currently not possible
  • Comments are stored in the schema for each list, which is based on the SharePoint storage platform
  • If you are using a classic list template, it will not have this commenting feature
  • Commenting on lists in Teams is not yet available; currently leverage Teams chat for lists in Teams
  • Comments are not indexed by Microsoft Search
IZ-RP-24_006_MSLists_commenting.jpg
Add and delete comments on list items in Microsoft Lists.

Find out more:


Teams

Tasks in Teams

Tasks in Microsoft Teams lets you manage your team tasks from Planner and individual tasks from To Do in your hub for teamwork. Tasks in Teams is now generally available for all non-government tenants.

IZ-RP-24_008_Tasks-in-Teams.gif
Tasks in Microsoft Teams.

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New file sharing experience in Teams

You can now create a shareable link for any file stored in Teams and directly set the appropriate permissions. Additionally, you can also set permissions for files stored in SharePoint or OneDrive while composing a private chat or starting a channel conversation.

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New file sharing experience in Teams.

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Live Captions with speaker attribution

Microsoft Teams added speaker attribution to live captions so that you can see who is speaking along with what’s being said, making meetings more inclusive and easier to follow along.

Live Captions with speaker attribution in Teams.

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Spotlight an individual video

Presenters can now pin an individual video feed for all attendees to see during a Teams meeting. Once pinned, the individual identified as the spotlight will be the main video shown to all participants.

spotlight.png
Spotlight an individual video participant for all attendees in a Teams meeting.

Find out more:

Prevent attendees from unmuting

Meeting organizers and presenters can now prevent attendees from unmuting during the meeting and enable specific attendees to unmute when they raise their hands.

Prevent Unmute.png

Find out more:

Advanced Production for Teams Meetings

Transform your Teams Meeting into a virtual stage with a new advanced production option for broadcasts. Network Device Interface (NDI) support for Teams allows event producers to convert each participant’s video into a discrete video source that can be used in the video streaming production tool of your choice.

This functionality enables you to use Teams meetings in new ways, including bringing speakers into Together Mode or customized views, to deliver professional broadcasts to the end point of your choice and reach audiences wherever they are.

Find out more:

Microsoft Whiteboard read-only mode

Microsoft Whiteboard read-only mode is available in Teams allowing for more flexibility for you to either present the digital whiteboard in read-only mode, or to allow others to edit and collaborate when given access.

Whiteboard.png
Microsoft Whiteboard read-only mode is available in Teams.

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Meeting & Calling recordings stored in OneDrive and SharePoint

Teams meeting and call recordings can now be stored in your OneDrive for Business or in SharePoint, providing the ability to share recordings with guests or external users, access meeting recordings faster, and manage recordings with security and compliance controls available to other file types in Microsoft 365.

Teams Admins can select their recording storage location by updating policies using PowerShell.

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Teams meeting and call recordings can now be stored in your OneDrive for Business or in SharePoint.

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Enhancements for downloading participant reports in Teams meetings

Now you can easily download a participant report after the meeting within the meeting chat. Microsoft have also added new data into the report that allows you to better manage your attendance.

image shows download attendance list icon in Microsoft Teams Meeting

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Changes in Incoming IP Video policy (New Audio and Video Policies)

Microsoft have extended the Allow IP Video policy to prevent both outgoing and incoming video as needed. Tenant administrators can use this policy to manage bandwidth.  Current policy can only be set to prevent outgoing video.

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Appear Offline status

You can now change your presence to “Appear Offline”. This allows you to have full access to Teams while signalling to colleagues that you are unavailable.

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Appear offline status in Teams.

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Language-aware proofing

If you write different messages in different languages, you now see spellchecking relevant to the language you use when typing a message in the Teams desktop app.

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Teams templates

When creating a new team, you can now choose from a variety of customizable templates including event management, crisis response, as well as industry-specific templates like hospital ward and bank branch. 

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Templates in Teams.

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Updated SharePoint pages app in Teams

The updated SharePoint pages app in Teams lets you add published SharePoint pages or lists as a tab in a Teams channel. SharePoint pages let you share ideas using images, video, links, and documents.

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Updated SharePoint Pages app in Microsoft Teams.

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Simplified global notification settings

You can now change your notification settings through an updated notification settings section. To access, go to your profile picture > Settings > Notifications.

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New and simplified global notification settings in Teams.

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Off-shift access controls

Off-shift access controls allows IT admins the ability to configure Teams to alert you when you are accessing the app on your personal device outside of working hours.

The feature does not require active usage of the Shifts app, but it does require Shifts being configured and schedule data being inside the app; either added natively with Excel import or including workforce management API connectors.

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Teams (Education)

Anonymous grading and marking in Assignments

Anonymous grading, when enabled in the assignment detail view removes students’ names and avatars are temporarily removed, presenting a random list of students. This allows you as an educator to review work with identities hidden, no shuffling of paper involved.

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Anonymous grading and marking in Assignments.

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View assignments across all classes

Now both educators and students can once again view upcoming and turned in assignments by class or view them across all classes. Just visit Assignments in your app bar on the left-hand side of Teams to view assignments across all classes.

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View assignments across all classes in Teams for Education.

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Teams (Government)

These features currently rolling out to customers in US Government Community Cloud (GCC), US Government Community Cloud High (GCC-High), and/or United States Department of Defense (DoD).

Priority notifications (GCC, GCC High, and DoD)

Priority notifications alert a recipient of an urgent message on their mobile and desktop devices until a response is received, every two minutes for up to 20 minutes. IT admins can manage this feature as part of messaging policies in Teams.

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Read receipts (GCC, GCC High and DoD)

Read receipts in private chats allow senders to know that a message was read by the recipients. IT admins can configure messaging policies from the Microsoft Teams admin center to enable or disable this feature for users.

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File viewer upgrades (GCC, GCC High and DoD)

Teams file viewer is being upgraded for Gov clouds from legacy to OneUp for non-Office file types and to unified app for Office file types (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.

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Together mode (GCC)

Together mode, now available in GCC, uses AI segmentation technology in meetings to digitally place participants in a shared background, making it feel like you’re sitting in the same room with everyone else.

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Now available in GCC, Large Gallery view provides a new way to view video up to 49 participants at once on a single screen (7×7).

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Improvements to meeting notes (GCC, GCC High, and DoD)

Meeting notes now support 100 users by default. Also, if anyone joins your meeting past after it is scheduled and, doesn’t have access to notes, they can now request access from the note’s owner in one click.

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Power Apps

Mobile Offline for Power Apps

Makers and administrators can now configure apps to be available offline on a user’s device, and users can continue to complete their tasks against the local cache on their phone even with intermittent or no network connectivity. When the network is re-established, the users’ changes are seamlessly synchronized back to the cloud.

Mobile Offline for Power Apps.

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Custom API (preview)

Custom API is a new code-first approach that extends the concept of Custom Actions to provide capabilities that will make life easier for developers.

With Custom API, there is no workflow and some of the limitations of Custom Actions can be avoided providing new capabilities for developers. Instead, Custom APIs require that the developer create a plug-in which will provide the main operation for the message.

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Power Apps portals simplified identity provider configuration

Now generally available, Microsoft 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 to do this quickly and reduce common configuration errors. 

Simplified identity provider configuration in PowerApps portals.

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Relevance Search API, now available for Common Data Service (CDS) environments provides access to exciting new search capabilities in environments with Relevance Search enabled. Three types of search experiences can be powered by the API, including; search results page, Suggestions-as-you-type and autocomplete.

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Suggestions using Relevance Search API.

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App usage analytics in ISV Studio

Now in public preview, app usage analytics now allows ISV to monitor your published applications. With the release of this feature, in addition to seeing the total number of installations a user will now be able to see the Monthly, Weekly and Daily active usage of their app.

App usage analytics in ISV Studio

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Power Automate

Power Automate Desktop update – October 2020

The Power Automate Desktop October 2020 update is out now and includes several new productivity enhancements.

Error notifications are available in the console
Error notifications are available in the console.

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RPA Playbook for SAP GUI Automation with Power Automate

The Power Automate team have released the first enterprise automation playbook for Microsoft Power Automate – SAP GUI Automation.

The playbook show you how to apply simple to advanced, no-code to pro-code SAP automation techniques, leveraging Power Automate, UI flows and the recently announced public preview of Power Automate Desktop.

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Sample Use Case API & RPA based flows.

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New AI Builder capabilities generally available

Microsoft have announced several AI Builder preview model types are now generally available. These include: explicitly tag fields in form processing, text translation, predict a number, realtime prediction, receipt processing (preview) plus many more.

Explicitly tag fields in form processing.

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Nine new connectors in Power Automate

Nine brand new connectors were released for Power Automate through September 2020, taking the total number of connectors to 400! Here’s what was released:

  • Azure AD Identity Protection – Azure AD Identity Protection is a tool that allows organizations to discover, investigate, and remediate identity-based risks in their environment.
  • CDK Drive Customer – CDK Drive Customer is an API published by CDK Global to help you manage your CDK Drive Dealer Management System (DMS) customer records.
  • CDK Drive Service Vehicles – This connector will help you maintain vehicle details on the service vehicle record and keep it up to date.
  • Cloudmersive Video and Media – Cloudmersive Video and Media Service was created to enable customers to effortlessly convert videos, audio files, and media between different file formats at scale and on-demand. 
  • GetAccept – The GetAccept sales enablement platform can help sales teams close more deals faster with AI powered dealscore and sales coaching, coupled with sales automation and e-signing. 
  • IN-D Payables – IN-D Payables is an AI-based invoice processing bot that can smartly extract things that matter most, like PO number, invoice number, and more, from millions of invoices in no time. 
  • Microsoft 365 compliance – Microsoft 365 compliance solutions help you discover, protect, and govern your data, address regulations and standards, and mitigate insider risks. 
  • MotaWord Translations – MotaWord enables professional translation of your documents into 95+ languages with blazing speed. It’s a pioneer of collaborative translation and works with 18000+ professional translators to empower your business in the international stage.
  • Nitro – Nitro Sign is an eSigning tool that allows you to get your documents electronically signed faster and more securely.

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Action analytics in Power Automate

Action analytics is an update to flow analytics that will make it easier for users to understand how many actions your flow is executing every day.

For flows with a lot of daily activity this feature helps users understand how many actions are running each day.

Introducing action analytics in Power Automate.

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Data Loss Prevention capabilities now generally available

A range of new Power Platform Data Loss Prevention (DLP) policy capabilities are now generally available, including; a new enhanced user interface in the Power Platform 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.

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Power BI

In Power BI: Admin APIs to Determine Access Rights, visualise SharePoint lists now GA, July 2021 Feature Summary, PivotTable refresh, Streaming dataflows in Power BI premium, On-premises data gateway July 2021, free virtual workshops

Certified and Promoted reports and apps

With the rise of the need for standardized, authoritative data across organisations, the Power BI team recently released endorsements for datasets and dataflows. This has now been extended to provide similar endorsement capabilities for reports and apps.

Certified and Promoted reports and apps in Power BI.

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Power BI Connector to Azure Databricks Public Preview

In September, the Power BI team announced the availability of an enhanced Connector to Azure Databricks in Power BI Desktop in public preview. Now the Azure Databricks connector has also been deployed to the Power BI service.

Azure Databricks is an Apache Spark-based analytics platform optimized for the Microsoft Azure cloud services platform. It can consume data at cloud scale from multiple data sources such as Azure Blob Storage, Azure Data Lake Storage, and Azure Cosmos DB. And thanks to the enhanced Azure Databricks connector, you can now deliver breakthrough insights at cloud scale in a self-service fashion in Power BI.

Power BI Connector to Azure Databricks Public Preview.

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Power BI Report Server October 2020 Feature Summary

With October’s Power BI report server feature summary, several new features have been released including the modern ribbon, slicer improvements, enhanced dataset metadata and more.

Modern ribbon in Power BI Desktop.

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Enhanced compute engine now enabled by default

To improve the scale of dataflow analysis in Power BI, Microsoft are turning on the enhanced compute engine for all new dataflows by default in all new capacities provisioned. This premium dataflow feature allows you to:

  • Speed up refresh operations when computed entities or linked entities are involved
  • Enable DQ connectivity over dataflows leveraging the compute engine
  • Achieve improved performance in the transformation steps of dataflows when entities are cached within the compute engine

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Power BI Publish to web updates

The Power BI team have announced several updates to the Power BI publish to web functionality including improved web dialog experiences, ability to add a placeholder image, a new data refresh experience plus many more.

New publish to web dialog and experiences.

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The ‘new look’ of the Power BI service begins rolling out soon

All the improvements of the ‘new look’, from navigation updates to the simplified action bar for reports and dashboards, begins rolling out next week and will be generally available to all tenants and users by early November.

new simplified report action bar in the Power BI service
The ‘new look’ of the Power BI service begins rolling out soon.

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Personalize Visuals general availability

Personalize visuals are now generally available, this new feature can can empower your end-users to explore and personalize visuals all within the consumption view of a report. For example, your end-user can change a measure, a dimension, or the visualization itself.

Personalize Visuals in Power BI.

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Power BI October 2020 Feature Summary

Several updates are included in this months Power BI feature summary including new visuals, the introduction of canvas watermarks, new icons plus much more.

Power BI October 2020 Feature Summary.

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On-premises data gateway October 2020 update is now available

The October update for the On-premises data gateway (version 3000.63.6) is now available. Updates include OAuth Support for the gateway, Google BigQuery Connector on Gateway, Performance Monitoring On By Default plus many more.

Google BigQuery Connector on Gateway.

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Related

OneDrive widget for iPhone

ow, when you run iOS14 on your device, you can add a OneDrive widget to your iPhone home screen. The widget displays your photo memories “on this day” across previous years. 

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OneDrive widget on iOS14.

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Productivity Score

Microsoft Productivity Score can help measure and improve how your organisation uses Microsoft 365 by giving you visibility into how your organization works, insights to identify where you can make improvements, and actions you can take to update skills and systems so that everyone can do their best work.

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Microsoft Productivity Score.

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Create Forms from the Office mobile app

You can now easily create, share, and analyze your forms, alongside your other Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files, all from the Office mobile app.

Forms creators can easily create and send out a form, and from the “Home” page of the app, quickly check to see the number of respondents and insights from the information collected. 

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Create forms easily on-the-go in the Office mobile app.

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