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.

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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
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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
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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.

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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.

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Spotlight an individual video participant for all attendees in a Teams meeting.

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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

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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.

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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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Off shift access picture sub.JPG

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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).

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:


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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Suggestions
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.

Basic SAP automation use case
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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:


Power BI

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.

Find out more:

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.

Screenshot of Teamwork Productivity Score
Microsoft Productivity Score.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:


Microsoft 365 update – September 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.

SharePointGhosting drag & drop web parts, expiring guest access, Power BI results in search

Teams Performance updates, large gallery view, new meeting pre-join experience, reverse number lookup, Teams phones updates, Teams Rooms updates, reflect extension, Lists in Teams, Whiteboard updates, Walkie Talkie, Teams – RealWear, custom praise badges, share share from chat policy

Teams (Education) “Only Me” admin policy, SEL stickers, presenter mode in Whiteboard, Focus mode, Assignments grading history, SMART learning suite,

Teams (GCC, GCC-High, DoD)Instant channel meetings GCC, custom apps & sideloading GCC, DLP for Teams in Gov Clouds

OneDrive New widget for iOS, updates to comment notifications, mute comment notifications, Surface Duo app

Power Apps Power BI as system dashboard, GitHub actions (preview), Power Platform in Teams, new solution import experience & environment variables

Power Automate 9 new connectors, Power Automate Desktop, UI Flows August update, connection references

Power BIOn-prem data gateway Sept 20 update, new experiences for Teams, feature summary, deployment pipelines, smart narrative, Power BI HoloLens 2, ‘new look’ updates, Power Automate actions, paginated reports updates

Power Virtual AgentsPVA in Teams, health information compliant bots

Project Cortex SharePoint Syntex

SharePoint

“Ghosting” drag & drop effect for web parts

When you are in page edit mode and you choose to move a web part from one portion of the page to another, you’ll now see a ghosting effect of the web part you grabbed, as a reminder of what you’re moving.

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New ghosting effect when dragging & dropping web parts in modern SharePoint pages.

Find out more:

Manage default policy duration for expiring guest access

Rolling out now, admins will be able to create policies to revoke guest access to SharePoint sites and individual OneDrive’s after a defined period of time. Site admins will also receive notifications via email of upcoming guest user access expirations.

NOTE: this policy does not apply to guests who already have access to sites, documents, and files before this setting is applied. After a guest loses access to a site, any user with the ability to share content externally can re-invite the guest to each document or item as needed.

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Expiring guest access for SharePoint and OneDrive.

Find out more:

Power BI results in Microsoft Search

Microsoft Search in SharePoint and Office.com will now include results from Power BI. This means search results will show Power BI reports, dashboards, and workspaces, which can be important content to be discovered.

NOTE: Microsoft Search administrators can disable this feature in Microsoft Search settings through the Microsoft 365 admin center.

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Power BI results in Microsoft Search.

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Teams

Updates to Teams performance

Microsoft have increased their efforts to improve the performance of Teams to allow it to continue to scale across devices and differing levels of internet connectivity. Here’s a summary of the updates:

  • Offline support in desktop
  • Improved desktop launch time
  • Video rendering optimizations in desktop
  • Battery life optimizations in iOS
  • Low bandwidth optimizations for Android

Find out more:

This feature was rolled out as part of the new multi-window experience. In order to take advantage of this new view, users will need to turn on the new multi-window meeting experience.

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Large gallery view in Teams is now available in the new multi-window experience.

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New Teams meeting pre-join experience

Microsoft have improved the pre-join meeting experience for Teams meetings including easier discovery of audio, video, and device configurations before joining a meeting.

Find out more:

Reverse Number Lookup Enhancements

As part of the latest enhancements to reverse number lookup in Teams, the caller name will also show up in your activity feed, call history, and voicemail.

Find out more:

New features for Microsoft Teams phones

Microsoft have announced a series of new feature updates to Microsoft Teams phones that are available now in version 1449/1.0.94.2020071702:

  • Redesigned Home Screen: A new, simple view providing up-to-date information about your calling and meeting activity, reminders of your current and upcoming meetings, and access to quick actions like replying to missed calls and listening to voicemail.
  • Customize Quick Access to Apps: Set the default views for your phone by pinning and re-ordering your apps suited to your needs.
  • Auto accept incoming meeting and call requests: Teams phones can now be provisioned to automatically accept incoming meetings nudges and calls, allowing instant, hands free connection to incoming join requests.
  • Dedicated Teams button: new and upcoming Teams phones will have a dedicated Teams button to quickly launch Teams app on the device home screen.

Find out more:

Teams Rooms updates

Updates for both the Windows and Android versions of the Teams Rooms app, including:

Microsoft Teams Rooms on Windows, app version 4.6.20.0 now available

  • Live captions: Meeting participants joining from a Teams Room can now view live captions turned in a Teams meeting. In-room participants can also turn live captions on or off from the center of room console. Captions will appear at the bottom of the meeting experience shown on the front of room display.
  • 3×3 gallery view: Meeting participants can now view up to nine participants in the meeting gallery view, shown on the front of room display.
  • Direct Guest Join with Zoom Rooms (Preview): Teams Rooms and Zoom Room devices can now connect to each other’s meeting services via embedded web technologies. This will reduce the friction you experience when trying to join calls from external partners or clients who may not be using the same meeting service.

Microsoft Teams Rooms on Android, app version 1.0.94.2020062501 now available

  • Pin video: Now you can pin the video stream of a meeting participant from the Teams Rooms device, keeping the pinned user’s video visible in the gallery. This “pinned view” is only applied to the gallery view in the meeting room and not to other meeting participant’s views.
  • Support for structured meeting role and roster controls: Allows meeting organizers to assign meeting roles (presenter and attendee) from the Teams Rooms experience, enabling participants to take specific actions associated with those roles (e.g. mute participants, present content, etc.)

Find out more:

Reflect messaging extension

Managers, leaders or teachers now have an easy way to check in with how their team or students are feeling — either in general, or about a specific topic like work-life balance, the status of a project, current events, or a change within the organization.

IT or Teams admins can install the Reflect extension from GitHub and make it available to their users in the message extension menu.

Reflect messaging extension for Microsoft Teams.

Find out more:

Microsoft Lists in Teams

Last month Microsoft announced the general availability of Microsoft Lists. Now, Lists can be created directly in Teams as a channel tab.

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Microsoft Lists in Teams.

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Microsoft Whiteboard improvements

Microsoft Whiteboard is integrated within every Teams meeting, enabling meeting participants to join in. Recent updates include the ability to add sticky notes and text to a canvas, making it easier to contribute if you’re using a device without a digital pen, and added the ability to move and re-order objects on the canvas through a simple drag and drop gesture.

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Improvements to Microsoft Whiteboard.

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Walkie Talkie for Android

Walkie Talkie is a push-to-talk experience that enables instant and secure voice communication over the cloud, turning your personal- or company-owned Android smartphones and tablets into a walkie-talkie. It reduces the number of devices you need to have while providing clear communication free of radio interference, static and no distance limitations in range. 

walkietalkieandroid1.gif

Find out more:

Teams and RealWear integration

Integrations between Teams and RealWear allow field workers to remain 100% hands-free using a voice-controlled user interface while maintaining situational awareness in loud and hazardous environments.

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Teams – RealWear integration.

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Customizable Praise Badges

You can now can create customized Praise badges to express their culture and values when recognizing successes and fostering comradery. Praise badges can help improve workplace culture and job satisfaction, from corporate headquarters to Firstline Workers. 

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Create a custom praise badge in the Teams admin center.

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Screen share from chat policy governance

Screen share from chat allows you to immediately start sharing your screen in a one-to-one or group chat. This entry point was previously governed by the AllowPrivateCalling policy. If this policy was disabled, users weren’t able to screen share from chat.

This will now be governed by the ScreenSharingMode policy.

Find out more:

Teams (Education)

“Only Me” Admin Policy for all Organizer Meeting Options

IT Admins can apply a policy that defaults “Only Me” to allow only educators (or the meeting organizer) to enter the meeting and keep students in the lobby until the educator admits them. 

Find out more:

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) connections in the digital classroom

Now with Social and Emotional Learning badges in Praise and new SEL sticker pack for OneNote, educators can encourage the development of these critical life skills while in a remote or hybrid learning environment. 

NOTE: The SEL sticker pack for OneNote is available now, SEL badges in Praise coming soon.

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Social and Emotional Learning badges in Praise and the new SEL sticker pack for OneNote.

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“Presenter” mode in Whiteboard

Educators now have the option to choose a presenter mode in Microsoft Whiteboard in Teams. This allows for more flexibility to either present the digital whiteboard with Read-Only access for students, or to allow (or adjust) student access when it’s time to have the whole class collaborate.

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“Presenter” mode in Microsoft Whiteboard.

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Focus mode

Now students will be able to hone-in on the materials being presented in their online class. When a teacher is sharing their screen, students can choose “Focus Mode” from the “…” menu so that only the content shows without any distracting videos.

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Assignments Grading History

See all of the submission and return history of Assignments in Teams, all in one place. Easily track Assignments over time.

Full view of Grades tab
View Assignment Grade History in Teams.

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SMART Learning Suite

The SMART Learning Suite app gives teachers the power to create, edit, deliver, manage and share interactive lessons directly within Microsoft Teams, enhancing instruction from the platform and workflows they already use.

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SMART learning suite in Microsoft Teams.

Find out more:

Teams (GCC, GCC-High & DoD)

New experience for launching instant channel meetings for GCC

Meet Now buttons in Teams channels have a new home. You will soon find them in the Channel header where you can easily find and launch the meeting.

Find out more:

Custom Apps and Sideloading in GCC

Sideloading and custom (line-of-business) apps are now available in GCC. GCC tenant administrators can decide whether to upload a custom app to their tenant environment and publish it to their tenant app catalog.

Find out more:

Teams Data loss prevention for Government Clouds

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.

Find out more:


OneDrive

New OneDrive widget & home screen for iOS

A new home screen for the OneDrive iOS launched this month. The new home experience will help you quickly pick up where you left off on recent and offline files and easily re-discover memories from the past.

OneDrive widget & home screen for iOS.

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Comment notification updates

Users who create or upload Word, Excel, PowerPoint or any other type of file to OneDrive or SharePoint will now get email notifications whenever someone else leaves a comment on their file.

Find out more:

Mute comment notifications

Microsoft are enabling users to be able to turn off comment notifications for individual files in the details pane. This feature is also incorporated in sharing emails as an actionable message action.

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Mute comment notifications in OneDrive.

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OneDrive app for Surface Duo

With the Surface Duo now generally available the OneDrive app is now also available for the device. Surface Duo and OneDrive enhances multitasking with drag-and-drop functionality as well as the built-in PDF editor for book-like reading and mark-up experience.

Drag and drop.gif
OneDrive app for Surface Duo.

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Power Apps

Power BI embedded as system dashboard in model-driven apps (preview)

Power BI embedded as a system dashboard in the Power Apps model-driven app is now in public preview. This enables adding a reference to an online Power BI report or dashboard as a system dashboard. 

Power BI embedded as system dashboard in model-driven apps.

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Power Platform GitHub actions now in preview

Now in public preview, GitHub actions will allow developers to create their own software development lifecycle (SDLC) workflows when building Apps, Flows, Virtual agents, connectors and other assets backed by the Common Data Service on the Power platform.

GitHub actions now in public preview.

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Customize Teams with built-in Power Platform capabilities (preview)

Teams customers can make and use custom tabs, personal apps, chat bots, and more using a powerful onboard data platform and approachable low-code tools from the Power Platform.

The public preview of embedded Power Platform capabilities in Microsoft Teams is now open.

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New solution import experience with connections and environment variables

The Power Apps team have announced a broad set of new ALM capabilities for importing solutions. In addition to these modern new interfaces, now you can establish connections as well as set values for environment variables while importing solutions.

Environment variables are now generally available.

New solution import experience with connections and environment variables.

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Power Automate

Nine new connectors released in September 2020

Last month, Power Automate saw the introduction of nine brand new connectors to the connector line-up, taking the total to 400 out of the box connectors!

  • 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 and can be used it to search, view and update existing records, or create new customers.
  • CDK Drive Service Vehicles: CDK Drive Service Vehicles is an API published by CDK Global and the connector will help you maintain vehicle details on the service vehicle record and keep it up to date.
  • Cloudmersive Video and Media: The 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.

Find out more:

Power Automate Desktop

Announced at Microsoft Ignite 2020 but now in preview, Power Automate Desktop enables coders and non-coders alike to automate processes and tasks across desktop and web applications, bringing the value of Softomotive capabilities directly into Microsoft Power Automate.

How to automate desktop-based tasks with Power Automate Desktop.

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UI Flows August 2020 update

Several updates are included in the August 2020 release of UI Flows, including:

  • Cancel UI flow runs that are in progress
  • Add and edit Image Recognition actions that are part of a Remote Desktop or Citrix recording
  • Native support for recording actions and data from SAP
  • Do Until feature to have more control over how UI flows execute
Add and edit Image Recognition actions that are part of a Remote Desktop or Citrix recording.

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Connection References

Now in public preview, Connection References is a new concept that makes it easier for customers to maintain a level of abstraction between flows and the connections used by them. Connection references are particularly useful when moving flows across environments, updating flow definitions, automating deployment pipelines for secure, and healthy Application Lifecycle Management.

Example of Flows with Connection References.

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Power BI

On-premises data gateway September 2020 update

The September 2020 update for the On-premises data gateway (version 3000.58.6) includes updates for the Mashup Engine, .Net Framework, dprecation for Kerberos SSO and more.

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New Power BI experiences in Microsoft Teams

The Power BI team have announced new Power BI integrations for Microsoft Teams to make it easier to discover and use data within your organization, including:

  • New Power BI App for Teams that helps you view and work with Power BI content
  • New Teams Search experience to find and open Power BI content
  • New Teams Chat experiences to quickly find and share Power BI content
Using the Power BI app for Microsoft Teams to view a report, find an insight, and start a chat about the data with a colleague.

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Power BI September 2020 Feature Summary

Several updates in this month’s feature summary including updates for analytics, reporting, mobile, service, modeling, data connectivity plus many more!

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Deployment pipelines general availability

Deployment pipelines is now generally available, with some new additional features: incremental refresh support and the creation of pipelines from the workspace page.

Deployment pipelines in Power BI.

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Smart narrative

Now in preview, smart narrative visualizations help you quickly summarize visuals and reports by providing relevant out-of-the-box insights that are customizable.

Using this feature creators can add narratives to their report to address key takeaways, point out trends, edit the language, and format it to fit a specific audience.

Smart narratives in Power BI.

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Power BI App for mixed reality now available for HoloLens 2

The Power BI app for mixed reality is now available, running on HoloLens 2 it is capable of:

  • A unique visual display system which makes holograms even more vibrant and realistic.
  • Improved performance.
  • Completely refreshed ways of interacting with holograms.
Power BI app for mixed reality.

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‘New look’ experience updates

More changes are being made to the ‘new look’ of the Power BI service, including navigation updates to give you more space to work with your content, provided options for report authors to configure their page navigation, updated the action bar for quicker access to common actions, and more.

A new, simplified action bar within Power BI is just one of the ‘new look’ updates.

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Power Automate actions for Power BI exports

Two new actions are available for the Power BI connector in Power Automate. Now, you may easily leverage the Power BI export API for either Power BI reports or paginated reports in your Power Automate workflows.

These new actions make it easy for anyone to quickly export their Power BI content in a variety of supported formats and scenarios.

Picture of Power BI actions for Power Automate
Export to file for Power BI Reports (preview) and Export to file for Paginated Reports (preview) are available now.

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Power BI Paginated Reports August 2020 Updates

Several updates are being rolled out for paginated reports in Power BI, including new authentication type support for Azure SQL DB and Azure Synapse, Common Data Service data source support, improved multi-value parameters support for DAX and more.

Relational Query Designer
Common Data Service data source support.

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Power Virtual Agents

Power Virtual Agents within Microsoft Teams (public preview)

The Power Virtual Agents team have announced the Public Preview of deep integration between Power Virtual Agents and Microsoft Teams. Users can easily create their own digital assistants within Teams and make them available to their colleagues to chat with.

And better yet, this functionality is included with your existing Teams licenses and the bot creation experience is embedded within Teams itself – empowering all of your employees to easily build and share bots within Teams.

Power Virtual Agents within Teams (public preview).

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Power Virtual Agents is HIPAA, SOC, ISO, and CSA compliant

Power Virtual Agents is now covered under HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) BAA (Business Associate Agreement) and is a Core Online Service in the Microsoft Online Services Terms (OST).

Power Virtual Agents also acquired System and Organization Controls (SOC), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) certifications which are required by enterprise customers.

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Project Cortex

SharePoint Syntex – General Availability

The first product from Project Cortex – SharePoint Syntex is now generally available. SharePoint Syntex uses advanced AI and machine teaching to amplify human expertise, automate content processing, and transform content into knowledge.

SharePoint Syntex.

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Resources

Microsoft 365 update – August 2020

In this month’s Microsoft 365 update we take an in-depth look at all the recently released features for all the products within Microsoft 365.

SharePoint Azure CDN caching for video, download site usage data, updated list & list item sharing, improved image columns, move files & keep sharing, education site templates

Teams Tasks in Teams, New features in Whiteboard, Real time presence, meeting recording storage, optimized Teams experience VMware, new Teams devices, S4B PowerShell consolidation, Teams App Submission API

Teams (Education)SDS & OneNote Class Notebook, channel specific content spaces, Teacher Only area, detect/ delete inappropriate messages, education apps

Teams (Government)organizer joins meeting directly, instant channel meetings experience, improved meeting join launcher, prevent upload of profile picture policy

Power Apps Troubleshoot Forms in a Model Driven App, improvements to Cascading Merge Transactions, Power Apps checker now analyzes modern web syntax, Power Platform Build Tools GA

Power Automate New “when an item or file is modified” trigger, Delay, Command-Line Arguments &Copy-Paste UI Flows, flows from any message in Teams, 7 new connectors

Power BIOn-premises data gateway, AutoML support for PQO, data protection updates, mobile app headers/ navigation, block classic workspace creation, multiple data lakes support

Power Virtual AgentsShare your bot

Related Provision users to Azure AD from SAP SuccessFactors, Edge improvements, FastTrack streamlined process

SharePoint

Azure CDN video caching for SharePoint and OneDrive

Microsoft have introduced improved streaming perofrmance for videos stored in SharePoint and OneDrive. Frequently accessed videos will be streamed from the Azure Content Delivery Network (CDN)closest to the user to optimize the playback experience. At all times data will remain within the Microsoft 365 compliance boundary.

Office 365 CDN conceptual diagram
Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) in Microsoft 365

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Download SharePoint site usage data in Excel

Site owners can now export their site’s 90-day usage data in an Excel report from the Site Usage page.

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SharePoint site owners and members can download their site’s 90-day usage data in an excel report, directly from the Site Usage page.

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Updated list and list item sharing experience

Site owners, members and visitors will now see a Share command when they are viewing a list, even when they do not have any list item selected.

Site owners can grant other users access to the list and can specify whether what permissions to grant. Other users (e.g. site members and visitors) cannot directly grant other users access to the list, but they can use the dialog to send an approval request to site owners if the site is set up to allow access requests (enabled by default).

IZ-RP-21_August-2020_022_005_Share-list-list-items.jpg

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Improved image columns in lists and libraries

Several improvements have been made to the image column, including the ability to add an image to a list or library using the list itself or a library form. Also, when users are browsing the list on a mobile device, they will be able to upload an image – including taking a photo with the device’s camera.

IZ-RP-21_August-2020_022_006_Image-column.jpg
Add an image to a list items using the improved Image column capabilities.

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Move files and keep sharing

When you move a file to a new location in Microsoft 365, you will have the option to continue sharing the file from its new destination. A simple pop-up to confirm and keep moving forward.

The new link match permissions just like the source location and we send your collaborators an e-mail that notifies them that the file has been moved.

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When you move a file to a new location in Microsoft 365, you will have the option to continue sharing the file from its new destination.

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SharePoint site templates for Education

Made available through the Microsoft Look Book, these SharePoint site templates are designed for schools and universities. Each brings together news, events, highlighted content, quick links and more, pre-configured and designed with a specific scope and audience for a variety of Education scenarios.

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SharePoint site template: “School home page” – across several screen sizes.

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Teams

Tasks in Teams

The new Tasks app in Teams provides a new unified view of tasks and assignments from across Microsoft To Do, Planner, and Outlook, helping you consolidate and prioritize your tasks.

there is also an added, new List view with the ability to edit multiple tasks at once, Graph API and Power Automate integrations, and task publishing capabilities to come.

An image of the Task app in Teams.
Tasks in Teams.

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New features in Whiteboard for Teams

Microsoft have added new features to Whiteboard in Teams to make it easier to keep the creative process moving forward virtually. You can now quickly add sticky notes to a canvas, making it easier to contribute if you’re using a device without a digital pen.

You can now also move and re-order objects on the canvas through a simple drag and drop gesture.

An animated image showing updates to Whiteboard in Teams.
Microsoft Whiteboard in Teams.

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Real time presence

Stay focused throughout the day with Microsoft Teams. Whether you are free for a quick chat or presenting in a meeting, real time presence increases the accuracy of your status so others know when to reach out.

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Meeting recording storage for areas where Stream is not available

A new admin setting will allow you to turn on meeting recordings if Microsoft Stream data residency is not yet in country. If this setting is turned on, Teams meeting recordings will be saved in the data center closest to the region.

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Optimised Microsoft Teams Experience for VMware Horizon 8

VMWare Horizon 8 now offers enhanced audio and video experience for Microsoft Teams. The optimization pack helps provide better user experience and improved productivity for those leveraging Microsoft Teams across Horizon virtual desktop (VDI) and published application environments.

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New Teams devices

First, The Windows collaboration display by Avocor is the world’s first and only Windows collaboration display certified for both Microsoft Teams and Azure.

Avocor.png
Avocor’s AVW-6555 provides seamless integration with Microsoft Teams video and audio-conferencing capabilities immediately with a Teams-enabled computer.

Then we have new offerings by Logitech, who now have products that support Microsoft Teams Rooms powered by HP.

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Logitech now offers Microsoft Teams Rooms powered by HP.

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Skype for Business Online connector consolidating to Teams module

Microsoft are simplifying the Teams administration experience with a single PowerShell module that includes complete management capabilities for Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business Online, by introducing full functionality of Skype for Business Online Connector into the Teams Module.

This means that Skype for Business Online Connector in the Skype for Business Online PowerShell, which has been a separate product that contains many cmdlets needed to manage Microsoft Teams, now has been consolidated into a single PowerShell module.

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Teams App Submission API

Microsoft have announced that the Teams App Submission API is now generally available. This new Graph API allows all users at any organization to develop on the platform of their choice and submit their apps into Teams with zero friction.

App Submission API.jpg
Teams App Submission API is now generally available.

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Teams (Education)

Roster updates from School Data Sync automatically update the Class Notebook roster

Now, School Data Sync (SDS) updates automatically flow to the OneNote Class Notebook! Previously when SDS made roster updates, they would not happen until the educator went and clicked on the “Class Notebook” tab in the Class Team.

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Set channel specific collaboration and content spaces

Available now, educators can set Channels in class teams to create sections in Collaboration Space or Content Library, which is especially helpful for educators who like to use channels as separate units. While in a class team, go to the Class Notebook and click “Manage Notebook” to choose which channel a new Section will go.

This allows the educator to create a “read-only” Content Library or student editable “Collaboration Space” specific to each unit and channel.

Manage Notebooks - set Channel Default.png
Now an educator has the option to set Channels to create sections in Collaboration Space or Content Library.

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Reduce clicks to get the “Teacher Only” area

Now in the OneNote Class Notebook or the Staff Notebook, the “Teacher Only” section group will be enabled by default. This saves some extra clicks for this more private view.

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Detect and delete inappropriate messages

IT admins can leverage communication compliance policies and AI models to automatically detect inappropriate content, then review and choose to delete.

Messaging containing offensive or harassing language and adult, racy, or gory images can be automatically flagged then removed from the Teams chat or channel by the IT Admin. This is not supported in private channels or in communications sent by guest users.

Detect inappropriate messages.png
Automatically detect inappropriate messages and choose which ones to remove.

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Build an interactive classroom with education apps

There are several third party apps that can be used within Teams to assist in finding ways to keep students engaged and learning throughout the day. All the available apps for engagement, communication, content creation and content & curriculum can be found below.

Prezi Video is an example of one of many apps available for Teams to quickly create engaging live or recorded class presentations.

Find out more:

Teams (Government)

New lobby setting: only the organizer joins the meeting directly for GCC

A new lobby setting is coming to Teams Meeting Options. We are adding “Only me” as an option to the “Who can bypass lobby?” setting. Once enabled, only the organizer will be able to join the meeting directly. Everyone else, including people from within the same organization, will be sent to the lobby.

Find out more:

New experience for launching instant channel meetings for GCC

Meet Now buttons in Teams channels will have a new home. You will soon find them in the Channel header where you can easily find and launch the meeting.

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Improved Teams meeting join launcher experience for GCC

When you click on a Teams meeting join link, you will now see an optimized and improved join experience. You will be prompted with an option to join on the web, download the Teams client, or join with the native Teams client. This will result in faster and more confident meeting join.

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New policy to prevent upload of profile picture for GCC, GCC High, and DoD

Teams desktop and web experiences will honor the Outlook on the Web mailbox policy setting that can control whether users are able change their profile pictures. This applies to GCC, GCC High, and DoD tenants.

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Power Apps

Troubleshoot Forms in a Model Driven App

You can now get information about issues you encounter when working with related tables, entities, controls and components on a form by accessing the Monitoring Tool inside your model driven Power App.

The tool can help identify if the issue you are seeing is designed out of box or is due to a customization in the application and provide details that can help you understand why there are issues. To launch the tool just log into your Dynamics or Model Driven app and add &monitor=true to the end of your URL. This will add an icon onto the app header toolbar. Click on the icon that looks like the one in the circle below.

Troubleshoot Forms in a Model Driven App.

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Improvements to Cascading Merge Transactions

After making improvements to the cascade assign and delete options last year to reduce timeouts, the Power Apps team are making similar improvements to merge operations.

Just as with assign and delete, merges will happen in the background. When a merge operation is run, if you are on build 9.1.0000.20463 or greater, instead of waiting on the submit screen until the job is completed which can take several minutes, you will instead be informed this will be handled in the background.

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Power Apps checker now analyzes modern web syntax (up to ES9)

To ensure Power Apps checker continues to broaden analysis coverage as languages evolve, we recently migrated our web language rules to an ESLint plugin and now offer support for ECMAScript 2018 (ES9) syntax plus ES6 globals.

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Power Platform Build Tools now generally available

Now generally available, Power Platform Build Tools allows anyone to setup DevOps for low-code and pro-code application development for Power Apps, Power Automate, Power Virtual Agents and other components supported by CDS solutions.

The GA release also introduces support for Multi Factor Authentication with the introduction of Service Principal Authentication.

Microsoft Power Platform Build Tools.

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Power BI

On-premises data gateway August 2020 update is now available

The August update for the On-premises data gateway (version 3000.54.8 ) includes an updated version of the Mashup Engine, which will match the Power BI Desktop August update.

This 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 latest Power BI Desktop version.

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AutoML now supports applying models in PQO Function Browser

Analysts can now apply any Power BI AutoML model to entities in any dataflow in the same workspace using PQO function browser. With this new capability, users don’t need to be an owner of the dataflow that has the model.  They can use models created by others in the same workspace.

AutoML now supports applying models in PQO Function Browser.

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Power BI updates for Microsoft Information Protection sensitivity labels

Power BI have announced several additional sensitivity label features now in production:

  • Excel file to inherit the Power BI dataset’s sensitivity label when using a PivotTable connection
  • Sensitivity labels in embedded reports and dashboards – public preview
  • Label inheritance upon creation of new content
Excel files to inherit the Power BI dataset’s sensitivity label when using a PivotTable connection.

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Header/ navigation improvements in the Power BI Mobile apps

The Power BI team have announced improvements to the navigation in the Power BI mobile apps to make it easier for our users to understand their content hierarchy and to navigate between items quickly, aswell as making it easier to share relevant content with colleagues.

Improvements to the header in Power BI mobile apps.

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Block classic workspace creation

The Power BI team have added a new tenant setting for Power BI admins to choose if users can create classic workspaces. This helps organizations control workspace creation more effectively and prevent unwanted workspaces from appearing in Power BI when Office 365 groups are created.

Screenshot of a Power BI Admin portal tenant setting allowing organizations to block the creation of classic workspaces.
Allow Power BI Admins to block classic workspace creation.

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Multiple data lakes support inside Dataflows in Power BI

The Power BI team have announced improvements to Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 (ADLS Gen2) support inside Dataflows in Power BI.  This includes support for workspace admins to bring their own ADLS Gen2 account, improvements to the Dataflows connector in Power BI, take ownership support for dataflows using ADLS Gen2 and also minor improvements to detaching from ADLS Gen2.

Multiple data lakes support inside Dataflows in Power BI.

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Power Virtual Agents

Share and collaborate on your bot with subject matter experts

Power Virtual Agents now allows you to share your bot with your teammates, allowing multiple contributors to edit and manage your bot.  Subject matter experts in a team can collaborate together on a bot.  For example, a customer support bot can now have different subject matter experts working on refund related topics vs. topics related to membership.

Share and collaborate on your bot with subject matter experts.

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Power Automate

Run a flow when a SharePoint column is modified

One of the most common requests for Power Automate is to enable a way to trigger a flow when a column is modified in SharePoint. That wish has now been answered as the Power Automate team have announced the new “When an item or file is modified” trigger.

The “When an item or file is modified” trigger that lets you filter to just the list or file modifications, making it much simpler to create a flow that’s tuned to the right events.

The new “When an item or file is modified” trigger in Power Automate.

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Delay, Command-Line Arguments, and Copy-Paste Features for UI Flows

Microsoft have announced the availability of Delay, Command-line argument, and Copy-paste features in Power Automate UI flows.

  • Delay: The Delay action can be added as an explicit action anywhere in UI flow. 
  • Command-line arguments: The Command-line argument feature is available in the launch action’s advanced options. 
  • Copy and paste: You can copy any action or scope and then add it from My clipboard
Selecting the Delay action in UI flows
Delay action in UI Flows.

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Trigger flows from any message in Microsoft Teams

The Power Automate team have announced the new “for a selected message” trigger enables any Teams user to create a custom message action to start a flow from any message in Teams.

Trigger flows from any message in Teams.

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Seven New Connectors Released in July 2020

July 2020 saw seven new connectors added to the Power Automate platform, with now more than 20 new connectors added to the ecosystem in the last three months!

July saw the addition of IN-D KYC India, CPQSync, Motimate, SMSAPI, Pure Leads, AXtension Content Gate and SMSLink.

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Related

Several improvements to Edge

Microsoft have announced several improvements to the Edge browser last month, including:

  • Collections now allows you to export to OneNote
  • Picture Dictionary to Immersive Reader
  • 5 different highlighter colors, support for screen readers, and the ability to view and validate digital signatures to the built-in PDF reader
An animated image of improved readability in Microsoft Teams.
Collections now allows you to export to OneNote.

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Provision users to Azure AD from SAP SuccessFactors

With the integration between Azure AD and SAP SuccessFactors, you can now automate user access to applications and resources so that a new hire can be up and running with full access to the necessary applications on day one. The integration also helps you reduce dependencies on IT helpdesk for onboarding and offboarding tasks.

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Manage and secure all your SAP apps from Azure AD.

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Streamlined process for FastTrack for Microsoft 365

Microsoft have streamlined the process for requesting assistance from FastTrack for Microsoft 365. FastTrack is a benefit that comes with your Microsoft 365 subscription, at no additional cost, for customers with eligible plans of 150+ licenses.

An animated image of FastTrack as part of a Microsoft 365 subscription.
Streamlined process for FastTrack for Microsoft 365.

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Microsoft 365 monthly update – July 2020

In this month’s Microsoft 365 update we take an in-depth look at all the recently released features for all the products within Microsoft 365.

SharePoint Employee onboarding hub, hub visitor permissions, SPMT support for SharePoint Server 2016, Lists rollout, quick edit improvements, image column updates, rename title column, keyboard shortcuts for Pages, block external access via DLP

TeamsMulti-window meeting & calling, “only me” lobby setting, Teams Rooms app, direct guest join, Teams Rooms standard/premium, contextual search, Visio files as tabs, Enhanced device management, Create, manage & deploy chatbots, new BI app, SSO support for tabs, Teams toolkit for Visual Studio, User attribution for bot messages

Teams (Admin)App configuration, Advisor, sensitivity labels in Teams, app lifecycle updates, policy management updates

Teams (Firstline Workers)Time clock on web/desktop, new policy packages, shift activity search

Teams (Education)Large lectures, custom video background policy, delete cross-posts, assignment languages, class materials on Android, student lobby, school data sync team creation,

Teams (GCC)300 participant attendee increase, 9 simultaneous videos, raise hands, PSTN numbers masked, multi-window chat, priority notifications, channel info pane

OneDrive Add to OneDrive, sharing links that block download

Power AppsDataflex, portals caching changes, ThisRecord, monitor mode for model-driven apps, column comparisons

Power AutomateVariable support for UI flows, process receipts/ translate text models in AI builder, loop/ array input support, Office scripts

Power BIOn-prem data gateway July 2020, React component, external tool support, July 2020 desktop feature summary, contact list/ allow contributors to update apps

Power Virtual AgentsManage chatbots in Power Apps, release wave 2

RelatedRemove background noise in Stream, on-demand training, Endpoint Data Loss Prevention (DLP), Azure Sentinel, universal print


SharePoint

New employee onboarding hub from the SharePoint look book

The new employee onboarding hub is a template provided by the SharePoint team that aims to provide resources, support and general information to aid new starters.

It’s available from the SharePoint Look Book site and takes about 20 minutes to provision.

Find out more:

Centralised management for hub permissions

This optional feature allows hub site permissions to be synced to associated sites. Hub site owners can specify access by individuals, security groups, or Microsoft 365 groups.

Find out more:

SharePoint Migration Tool (SPMT) supports migrating content from SharePoint Server 2016 

Now generally available, the SharePoint Migration Tool now includes support for migrations from SharePoint Server 2016. This now means that the SPMT now supports migrations from:

  • SharePoint Server 2016
  • SharePoint Server 2013
  • SharePoint Foundation 2013
  • SharePoint Server 2010
  • SharePoint Foundation 2010
  • Network and local file shares
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The SharePoint Migration Tool now includes support for SharePoint Server 2016.

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Microsoft Lists begins roll out

Microsoft have recently announced the roll out of Lists beginning in July and the new app comes with 8 pre-made templates to choose from.

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Microsoft Lists began rolling out in late July.

P.S. if you don’t yet see the Lists app in your list of available M365 apps and you are on first release, open your OneDrive and replace onedrive.aspx with lists.aspx!

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Quick edit improvements

Several improvements have been made to the quick edit experience in SharePoint lists. Take a look at them all below:

Fixed row heightWhen in Quick Edit, you will see a new layout option “Fixed Height” within the view drop-down menu.Roadmap ID: 64867
Improved row selectionWhen in Quick Edit, people will see an updated way for selecting single or multiple items in a list or files in a library.Roadmap ID: 64868
Visual updatesIncludes new grid lines, an improved on-hover experience when using your mouse around the grid, themed color bars on the side of list items – including error messaging, a “Create New Item” button at the bottom of quick edit for creating new items inline, and updated column header drop-downs.Roadmap ID: 64871
Sticky columnAs users scroll horizontally across a list in Quick Edit mode, the far-left column remains in place – improving context while viewing and editing.Roadmap ID: 64866

Updates to the image column

Microsoft have improved the image upload experience – including mobile camera support. This is a default column when using the new Asset manager template, and is a column type that can be added to any list or library.

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The new image upload experience for lists items.

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Rename the title column

You can now rename the default title column in SharePoint and the change will be reflected everywhere – in quick edit, on the associated view, and in the list form.

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Keyboard shortcuts for SharePoint Pages

Much of Windows and Microsoft 365 is navigable via keyboard, and this month, SharePoint pages joined in.

Microsoft have introduced keyboard shortcuts for SharePoint pages. You can see all the available keyboard shortcuts by pressing Shift + ? when editing the page.

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When in page edit mode, click Shift + ? to bring up the page keyboard shortcuts.

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Office 365 Data Loss Prevention treats files as sensitive by default until fully scanned

You can now enable Data Loss Prevention (DLP) to automatically block external access to new files in SharePoint and OneDrive until they have been fully scanned by the service for sensitive information.

If the file has no sensitive content based on the DLP policy, then guests can access the file. If the policy identifies a file with sensitive content, then guests continue to be prohibited from accessing the file.

To mark new files sensitive by default, you will need to change a tenant property using PowerShell and a cmdlet.

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Create and manage DLP policies on the Data loss prevention page in the Microsoft 365 Security & Compliance Center.

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Teams

Multi-window for meeting and calls

Microsoft have announced that the new multi-window meeting and calling experiences has started rolling out. This new experience is the foundation for not only pop-out meetings and calling, but for Together mode and Large gallery views. 

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New multi-window meeting and calling experiences in Teams.

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New Teams Meeting lobby setting “only me”

A new lobby setting has launched for Teams Meetings that gives you greater control over who can enter your meeting. An “only me” option has been added to the “Who can bypass lobby?” setting.

Once enabled, only the organizer will be able to join the meeting directly. Everyone else, including people from within the same organization, will be sent to the lobby.

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New lobby setting in Teams Meeting Options: “only me”.

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Microsoft Teams Rooms, app version 4.5.35.0 now available

The latest Teams Rooms app is out now! Updates include:

  • Support for video gallery-only layouts: For meeting room configurations with a single front of room display, you can now switch between viewing the video gallery or presented content.
  • Raise hand: During a meeting, you can raise a virtual hand from the center of room console to let people know you want to contribute without interrupting the conversation.
  • Default speaker volume settings: From within the Teams Rooms settings, device administrators can now set a default volume level for in-room conferencing and system speakers.
  • Direct guest join for Cisco Webex meetings and devices: Now Teams Rooms and Cisco Webex meeting room devices can connect to each other’s meeting services via embedded web technologies.
  • Auto-enrollment and device management from Teams Admin Center: Microsoft Teams Rooms have been added to the list of devices that can be managed through the Teams Admin Center.
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Microsoft Teams Rooms, app version 4.5.35.0.

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Direct guest join

Microsoft have announced that direct guest join has reached general availability and is available through the latest Microsoft Teams Room app, version 4.5.35.0.

The direct guest join capability enables meeting room devices to connect to meeting services from other vendors via embedded web technologies.

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Direct guest join is now generally available.

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New options to enable and manage Microsoft Teams Rooms devices

Microsoft Teams Rooms Standard and Teams Rooms Premium are the new tiers to manage Teams Rooms devices:

  • Microsoft Teams Rooms Standard: Formerly known as the Meeting Room SKU, this enables inclusive meeting room experiences across Teams Rooms, collaboration bars and Surface Hub. Standard provides the necessary licenses for Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business Online, and Intune management.
  • Microsoft Teams Rooms Premium: Includes all the licenses that come with Microsoft Teams Rooms Standard while providing additional value through a cloud-based remote management service.

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Contextual search

You can now search for content in a specific channel or chat by pressing CTRL + F. Search results will only contain messages and files found in the selected chat or channel.

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Contextual searching in Teams channels and chats.

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Microsoft Information Protection sensitivity labels in Teams

Sensitivity labels for Teams, SharePoint sites, and Microsoft 365 Groups is now generally available. You can now associate a sensitivity label with policies related to privacy, external user membership, and unmanaged device access. 

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Sensitivity labels for new Teams.

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Access and manage Visio files in Microsoft Teams with tabs

With the new Visio as a tab feature, you can create a tab from any Visio file (new or existing) in Teams with a single click. Adding a tab in Teams is now available to all Teams users.

NOTE: Editing is only available for those with a Visio Plan 1 or Plan 2 subscription.

Find out more:

Teams (admin)

Enhanced device management capabilities in Teams Admin Center

New device management capabilities in the Teams Admin Center make it easier to deploy and manage a fleet of devices, with improvements across device set-up, bulk management tasks, and health monitoring. And now you can manage your Microsoft Teams Room devices in the same place as your collaboration bars and IP phones.

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Manage Microsoft Teams Rooms and other Teams devices using enhanced device management capabilities in Teams Admin Center.

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Configure apps from the Teams admin center

You can now configure your applications from the same Teams Admin Center portal, without the need to jump between portals to the application store to perform the changes.

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Advisor for Teams

Now generally available, Advisor for Teams is a new onboarding tool that offers recommended plans and a collaboration space for the deployment team to streamline the roll out of all the Teams workloads, including messaging, meetings and calling and Skype for business upgrade workloads. 

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Advisor for Teams.

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App lifecycle announcements

Microsoft have announced the following new capabilities to ensure that users can more easily leverage the key business apps they use every day inside of Microsoft Teams:

  • Custom apps Submission to Approval: You will now be able to submit Teams apps through any of these clients and trusted sources (e.g.: Visual Studio Code, Power Virtual Agents, Power Apps and more) via our App Submission Microsoft Graph API – streamlining the process of submitting apps directly to the Teams Admin Center for IT admins to review and approve.
  • Custom app publishing: You will be able to leverage a streamlined process to manage – review, approve and publish custom apps directly from the Teams Admin Center. An admin can view the custom apps publishing status, manifest details, and update their status from ‘submitting’ to ‘publishing’ so that end users will be able to access those apps.
Custom app publishing in the Teams admin center.
  • Install app to a team from Teams Admin Center: To create a customized, more productive environment for the users, you can now install an app for any team in your organization.
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Add an app to a team from the Teams admin center.
  • Application monetization and bringing the purchase to Team Admin Center: A new third-party subscription purchase experience will enable you to view and purchase subscriptions associated with the 3rd party Teams apps.
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App monetization in the Teams admin center.

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Policy management updates

Several enhancements in this area to help IT admins assign policies to users in Teams, including:

  • Package batch assignments: now generally available, bulk policy assignment in PowerShell now supports:
    • Policy assignment to O365 groups
    • Batch assignment of policies (up to 5K users)
    • Batch assignment of policy packages (up to 5K users)
  • Changes in Incoming IP video policy: Microsoft are updating meeting policies to allow you to prevent both outgoing and incoming video as needed.
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Changes in Incoming IP video policy.

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Teams (Dev)

Create, manage, and deploy Power Platform apps and chatbots

With the advent of Microsoft Dataflex – a built in relational database for Teams – makers can build, deploy, and manage these apps using Power Apps and chatbots using Power Virtual Agents to simplify and digitize their everyday work.

Create, manage & deploy chatbots from within Teams.

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New Power BI app

The new Power BI app for Teams enables you to access reports and dashboards in Teams to easily find insight in context and collaborate.

This app also helps you make data-driven decisions at scale with confidence and provides new ways to connect insight to action through sample reports, automation, and easy sharing functionality.

The new Power BI app for Teams.

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Single-Sign On (SSO) support for Teams tabs with Azure Active Directory

Teams tabs now support single sign-on (SSO) with Azure Active Directory for both desktop and mobile. Developers can now build their apps to sign-in their users using the same account they are using to sign into Microsoft Teams.

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Single-Sign On (SSO) support for Teams tabs with Azure Active Directory.

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Microsoft Teams Toolkit for Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code

Microsoft Teams Toolkits for Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code provides developers everything they need to jump start their Teams app development journey. From code through publish, these toolkits provide a frictionless and enjoyable experience building Teams apps.

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User attribution for bot messages

In scenarios where a bot sends messages on behalf of a user, attributing the message to that user can help with engagement, showcase a more natural interaction flow and helps condense the card design.

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User attribution for bot messages.

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Teams (Firstline Workers)

Time clock now available on Web and Desktop

Time clock provides a hybrid clock in and clock out experience so Firstline Workers can start their shift from wherever their work is, whether remote or at the job location, all with the geo-fencing capabilities.

Now, employees will be able to clock in and out of Shifts directly from web or desktop with Time clock along with the existing mobile experience.

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Time clock now available on Web and Desktop.

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New policy packages for Firstline Worker and Managers

Firstline Worker and Firstline Manager policy packages for Teams provide IT administrators with pre-defined policies and policy settings tailored for their entire Firstline Workforce. Policy packages simplify, centralize, and help provide consistency when managing policies for Firstline Workers and managers across your organization.

NOTE: These new policy packages will be available by default in the Admin Center and in PowerShell. 

New policy packages for Firstline Worker and Managers.

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Search for Shifts activities in Teams Shifts Audit Logs

Audit logs for Shifts provides IT admins a unified view and search functionality to help monitor and keep track of activities. Staying on top of employees clocking in and out and making edits to shifts is critical to ensuring smooth and compliant operations.

Find out more:

Teams (Education)

Allow more students to join large lectures

Beginning in July 2020, Teams meetings are now available for up to 300 attendees (up from 250), with support for up to 1,000 students coming by the end of the year.

When you want to bring in more students or faculty to watch a presentation or discussion, Teams will also support a view-only meeting experience for up to 20,000 participants.

Find out more:

Roadmap ID: 64225

Student Lobby

To prevent uninvited students in class, Student Lobby – which keeps students in a lobby until invited in by the educator, is now available. This tied to the “only me” bypass lobby feature detailed in this post.

Find out more:

School Data Sync (SDS) team creation again available

Admins can (once again) automatically bulk-create both Microsoft 365 Group and class Teams for their educators. This helps to save educators time and makes a new team “locked” and inaccessible by students until educators unlock the team.

Find out more:

Teams (GCC)

Microsoft Teams meeting attendee limit increases to 300 participants (GCC, GCC-High, and DoD)

To help customers meet rapidly changing communication and meeting needs, Microsoft have increased the maximum number of participants allowed in a Teams meeting to 300.

Find out more:

Increase in the number of simultaneous videos in Teams meetings (GCC-High and DoD)

Microsoft have increased the number of participants who can be viewed simultaneously on the Teams meeting stage from 4 to 9. This new experience optimizes for attendees who have enabled video and places the remaining audio-only participants below the meeting stage.

To provide a high audio and video quality experience, the layout logic will consider user bandwidth and alter the number of videos shown to provide the best meeting experience.

Find out more:

Raise Hands (GCC, GCC-High, and DoD)

The raise hands feature allows meeting attendees to identify that they wish to speak by toggling the hand icon in the meeting control bar, making it easier to actively participate in meetings.

Raise hands is available for both PC, Mac, and web-based clients to start, with mobile applications quickly following.

Find out more:

PSTN participant phone numbers masked from external users (GCC)

For those with Audio Conferencing enabled for their Teams meetings, Microsoft will mask the PSTN participant’s phone number to users who have joined from outside of your organization.

Find out more:

Multi-Window Chat (GCC, GCC-High, and DoD)

You can now pop out individual Teams chat conversations into a separate window, to help them streamline their workflow and more easily move between ongoing conversations.

Find out more:

Priority notifications in Gov Clouds (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.

Find out more:

Channel info pane (GCC)

Selecting the “Channel info” icon in the channel header will display summary information related to that channel including the description, a list of recent contributors and members, as well as system messages.

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Custom video background policy

IT admins now have the opportunity to create a custom video background policy for Teams meetings. The setting controls whether users can customize their video background in a meeting.

Find out more:

Team owners can delete a cross-post

If a student gets a little too enthusiastic and posts inappropriate content across multiple channels, a team owner can now delete cross-posts.

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More languages supported in Assignments

Assignments is growing even more globally inclusive with additional languages supported including Croatian, Estonian, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Romanian, Slovenian, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese.

Find out more:

Class Materials now available on Android

With students working from a variety of devices, including many mobile devices, it’s important that they have access to the core curriculum. To make learning more equitable, the Class Materials folder is now available on Android.

Find out more:


OneDrive

Add to OneDrive

This enables you to add shared folder shortcuts directly to your OneDrive. Shared folders include content that others shared with you through their OneDrive or content that is a part of your shared library in Microsoft Teams or SharePoint.

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Add to OneDrive.

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Update to sharing links that block download

Microsoft have expanded the list of supported file types that users can create block download links for. This update includes support for PDF files, Images, Audio, and other non-text and non-video file types.

Update to sharing links that block download.

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Power Automate

Variable support in UI flows

Microsoft have announced the availability of variables inside UI flows. With this feature, users can add variables to perform multiple actions within your UI automation. You can use variables for data types such as integer, float, array or string.

For example, you can use a variable to count how many times an operation was performed in a loop. Or you can use variables to create a string array with screen recordings done in a UI flow loop.

The append to array variable action inside UI flows.

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Process receipts and translate text with AI Builder

Two new prebuilt models for AI Builder have been released in preview by Microsoft – receipt processing and text translation.

Receipt processing lets you read and save key information from common sales receipts to automatically pre-populate expense reports simply by scanning photos of your receipts. The prebuilt model uses optical character recognition (OCR) to extract both printed and handwritten text from receipts. You can retrieve valuable information such as the merchant details, transaction date and time, list of purchased items, tax, and totals.

Receipt processing in AI Builder.

Text translation can be used to process text in real-time from different languages from your customers worldwide, for internal and external communications and to keep language consistency in the text data that you store. Now available in preview, no trial or subscription required to try this feature.

Text translation in AI Builder

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Support for loop & array inputs in UI flows

Loop and array inputs are now available inside UI flows. With this feature, you are able to add a loop to your UI automation as a post-recording activity.

You will be able to pass an array object as input variable from an API flow to a UI flow, and then create a loop within UI flow script to perform repetitive action within your UI automation.

Set up array inputs in UI flows.

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Support for Office Scripts in the Excel Online (Business) connector

Now in public preview, Office Scripts are now supported within the Excel Online (Business) Connector. Office Scripts allow you to accomplish a vast array of tasks and complex sequences of actions. Effectively any operation possible in Excel for the Web is now achievable programmatically. 

Run script action (preview) within the Excel Online (Business) Connector.

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Power Apps

Microsoft Dataflex

Microsoft Dataflex, the new name for the Common Data Service is a “low-code data platform for Teams, and provides relational data storage, rich data types, enterprise grade governance, and one-click solution deployment”.

Microsoft Dataflex for Teams is being rolled out as part of existing Microsoft 365 subscriptions, but there is also Dataflex Pro, which offers wider integrations to Microsoft and other non-Microsoft products.

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Microsoft Dataflex for Teams.

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Caching changes for Power Apps portals version 9.2.6.x or later

As a part of July release (version 9.2.6.x), the Power Apps team are unifying caching approach for capacity-based portals and add-on portals.

After changes in this release, you won’t have to manually clear configuration entity cache for capacity-based portals. Additionally, high load portals should see improved performance and a reliable data cache refresh.

Caching changes for Power Apps portals version 9.2.6.x or later.

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ThisRecord, As, and Sequence formulas

You can now refer to the whole record in ForAll and other record scope functions with ThisRecord. With this change you can name records with the As operator, allowing you to clarify formulas and work with all the records in nested ForAll and Gallery controls.

The Power Apps teams have also added Excel’s Sequence function to generate a table containing a sequence of numbers, perfect for iterating a specific number of times with ForAll.

ThisRecord in action within a collection in Power Apps.

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Monitor tool now supports model-driven apps

The monitor tool is now available to support model-driven apps. Monitor tool provides a way to view a stream of events from a user’s session in order to diagnose an issue.

The latest build currently supports:

  • KPI for page loads, command executions, and other major events
  • Network request details
  • Warnings for synchronous XHR’s
  • Custom script errors (e.g. onload, ribbon rule evaluation)
  • Form execution event details (e.g. onload, onchange)
  • Form visibility reasons for controls and related menu items
  • Power BI control failure and performance events
Monitor mode for model-driven apps.

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Column Comparison through FetchXML, SDK, and OData

The Power Apps team have announced the availability of column comparison in CDS-based queries. Column comparisons will allow you to use FetchXML, SDK or OData to perform column comparisons for the Common Data Service.  Column comparisons will also work in the Power Apps expression language with CDS version 9.1.0000.19562 or later.

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Power BI

On-premises data gateway July 2020 update

The July update for the On-premises data gateway (version 3000.51.7) is out now. The latest update includes:

  • OAuth support via the gateway
  • Set your own Azure Relay for the data gateway
  • July  Version of the mashup engine
OAuth support as part of the July 2020 on-premises data gateway.

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React Power BI component

The new React Power BI component supports both JavaScript and TypeScript and will help you embed your analytics in a React web application. Using the React component you can now get up and running quickly with embedded analytics in your application.

React demo application
The new React Power BI component.

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External tool support in Power BI Desktop (public preview)

The Power BI team have announced the public preview of external tool support in Power BI Desktop providing:

  • BI professionals a range of additional semantic modeling features, DAX query/expression optimization and authoring, and application lifecycle management (ALM) capabilities.
  • An extensibility model empowering customers to build their own tools to extend the core functionality of Power BI Desktop for their own needs.
External tools ribbon
The External Tools ribbon contains buttons for external tools installed on the machine and registered with Power BI Desktop.

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Power BI Desktop July 2020 Feature Summary

July’s desktop feature summary includes several enhancements to Q&A, gradient legend support, ability to further customize slicer header text and the general availability release for both relative time filter and model view enabled for live connect, plus lot’s more!

Power BI July 2020 desktop feature summary.

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Contact list for Power BI apps & allow contributors to update

Two new enhancements in Power BI that are available now. First, the new contact list for apps makes it easier for app users to get help when they need it and for app owners to receive notifications about the app. 

Also, a new option to allow contributors to update app content helps workspace admins manage access more effectively. A workspace Admin will find the Allow contributors to update the app for this workspace option in the settings pane for a new workspace experience workspace.

Screenshot of the Allow contributors to update the app for this workspace setting
New option to allow contributors to update app content in Power BI apps.

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Power Virtual Agents

Create & manage chatbots from Power Apps

Power Apps users can now access a Chatbots component in the Power Apps maker portal in order to create and manage their Power Virtual Agents bots.

Once you create the bots in your environment, you can easily manage them from the Chatbots > List view.

You can now create and manage chatbots within the Power Apps maker portal.

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Power Virtual Agents 2020 release wave 2 notes available

Information around the features planned to be released as part of the 2020 release wave 2 are out now. Some planned features include expanding capabilities in the authoring experience from deeper Microsoft Teams integration, tools to create richer content, Adaptive Cards capabilities, authentication improvements, improved Power Automate integration, plus more.

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Related

Remove unwanted background noise from videos in Stream

Noise suppression in Stream can be turned on by video owners to allow viewers to isolate speech from other sounds and music during playback.

Noise suppression can be switched on or off for each newly uploaded video.

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Noise suppression in Stream.

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On-demand training sessions for SharePoint, OneDrive, Teams, Yammer, and Stream

A series of training videos covering the recent updates across SharePoint, OneDrive, Microsoft Lists, Microsoft Teams, Project Cortex, Yammer, and Stream  – including information for employees, admins, and developers can be found below:

Microsoft 365 Collaboration [keynote]OneDrive powers intelligent file experiences across Microsoft 365Collaboration & external file sharing across Microsoft 365
Microsoft Lists – Share and track information across Microsoft 365Design productivity apps with SharePoint lists and libraries, Power Apps, and Power AutomateKnowledge and Project Cortex – the Microsoft 365 Vision
Connect the workplace with engaging, dynamic experiences across your intranetThe New YammerMicrosoft 365 Live Events and remote work
Architecting Your IntranetMigration to SharePoint, OneDrive, and Microsoft Teams in Microsoft 365, free and easySharePoint developer overview
Jumpstart your projects with community projects from Patterns and Practices (PnP)Security and compliance in SharePoint and OneDriveView and share all via the “SharePoint, OneDrive, Teams, and Yammer training – 2020-H2” YouTube playlist

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Endpoint Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

Now in public preview, Endpoint Data Loss Prevention (DLP) extends data loss prevention to devices. Building on Microsoft Information Protection, Endpoint DLP extends the existing DLP capabilities in Microsoft 365 to your devices, helping you to meet compliance requirements and protect sensitive information.

An image show how quickly you can ID and detect insider threats.
Endpoint Data Loss Prevention (DLP).

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Azure Sentinal

Several new third-party connectors have been introduced across Microsoft Azure Sentinel to simplify gaining security insights across many leading solutions and partners, including networks, firewalls, endpoint protection and vulnerability management.

Azure Sentinel lets you build a more complete picture of the threats that your organization faces, conduct deep threat hunts across your environment, and use the power of automation and orchestration in the cloud to help free up your security analysts to focus on their highest-value tasks.

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Universal print

Universal Print, a cloud-based print infrastructure that creates a simple, secure print experience for Microsoft 365 customers, is now in public preview.

With Universal Print, organizations no longer need to maintain on-premises print servers or install printer drivers, reducing the time and effort needed by IT to maintain the print environment.

An animated image showing how you can simplify your print infrastructure with a cloud-based print solutio
Universal print in Microsoft 365.

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Resources

Microsoft 365 update for January 2020

In this month’s update:

SharePoint page version history, custom search pages, resize images, team site next steps panel,

Teamsread receipts, colleague joined team notifications, voice admin, Lenovo ThinkSmart, Poly CCX, Teams installed in semi-annual channel, safe links, cloud communications API, class insights, website tab for GCC & DOD, 3rd party apps in GCC

Power Appscenter of excellence starter kit, deprecation of regional discovery service, SAP ERP connector, test studio, Stream inside canvas apps

Power Automatesimplified AI Builder, UI Flows Jan 2020 update, adaptive cards actions, simplified number formatting, Flow cookbook

Power BIexport data from visual, table column/ matrix value custom URL, KPI visual formatting, conditional formatting for buttons, load more for analytics insights, DAX quarter function, data profiling, .pbids, modeling operations improvements

Relatedend of O365 video, O365 & Office.com updates, Win7 end of support

SharePoint

SharePoint page version history

This feature will allow page editors to access the version history by clicking into page details. There, they have the option to:

  • Highlight changes between the current and previous version
  • Delete older versions
  • Restore from older versions
View SharePoint page version history in modern SharePoint

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This feature gives admins or site owners the ability to build a custom search results page. Custom search results pages can be built using  open-source search web parts from the SharePoint Patterns and Practices community or any custom web parts developed using the SharePoint Framework (SPFx).

Custom search results pages in SharePoint Online.

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Resize images within the image web part

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

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

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

Find out more:

Next steps panel improvements for SharePoint team sites

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

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

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Teams

Read receipts in private chats

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

Read receipts in Microsoft Teams chats.

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Colleague joined Team notification

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

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Voice administration in Teams admin center

Voice Administration has been added to the Teams Admin Center. If you have a Microsoft Calling Plan you will be able to search, acquire, and assign phone numbers to users. Admins will also be able to set the emergency addresses for those end-users.

Find out more:

Lenovo ThinkSmart View Joins Teams phones

Lenovo ThinkSmart View is a dedicated personal business communications device that allows users to manage their audio and video calls through a dedicated desktop device. It will now allow for conducting Microsoft Teams audio and video calls.

Find out more:

Poly CCX for Teams phones

The Poly CCS Series is a new range of native Teams phones to help users transform the way they communicate.

Find out more:

Teams installed as part of Office 365 ProPlus for customers on the semi-annual channel

The desktop Teams client will be downloaded by default for existing users with Office 365 ProPlus, Microsoft 365 Business, and Microsoft 365 Business Premium apps for customers on the semi-annual channel. With this change your users will no longer need to do a separate installation of Microsoft Teams.

Find out more:

Office 365 ATP Safe Links is now available in Teams to help protect you from accidental or malicious unsafe links by providing time-of-click verification of web addresses (URLs) in email messages and Office documents.

Office 365 ATP Safe Links is now available in Teams.

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Cloud Communications APIs now available

Last month Microsoft announced that the MS Graph Cloud Communications APIs are now available, enabling calling and online meeting capabilities.

Find out more:

Class Insights in Teams for Education

Class insights is a new experience that allows educators to gain insight into student performance. By adding the new Class Insights tab

They can see average grades, on-time assignments, average return time, and conversation activity for their class over time.

Class Insights in Teams for Education.

Website Tab available in GCC High & DOD

Users in the GCC High and DOD tenants can now add a website tab in Teams. Leveraging this tab, users will have the ability to pin URLs as well as SharePoint links etc. for easy access to their content.

Find out more:

3rd Party Apps now in GCC

GCC customers can now use 3rd party apps in Microsoft Teams – check out the library to see if apps you already use are available to integrate. By default access to 3rd party apps is turned off.

Find out more:

Power Apps

Power Platform Center of Excellence starter kit update

Updates have been announced for the Center of Excellence (CoE) Starter Kit – a set of templates that are designed to help get started with developing a strategy for adopting and supporting the Power Platform, with a focus on Power Apps and Power Automate.

The starter kit is now split into three components: Core Components, Compliance (Audit and Report) Components and Nurture Components.

Microsoft PowerApps: Tried and tested techniques for establishing a Center of Excellence.

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Deprecation of the regional Discovery Service

Microsoft have announced that all regional endpoints for the Discovery Service and the Discovery APIs in the Organization Service (SOAP endpoint) will be deprecated and shut down. They are replaced by a single global discovery service accessed through the existing ‘discovery’ OData V4 RESTful endpoint. 

Find out more:

SAP ERP connector (public preview)

A new SAP ERP connector for Power Apps and Power Automate is now in public preview. It allows you to connect your flows and apps to an SAP ERP system – either SAP ECC or SAP S/4HANA.

NOTE: The SAP ERP connector for Microsoft Flow and PowerApps requires the on-premise data gateway as well as the SAP .NET Connector 3.0 SDK from SAP.

Overview of the SAP ERP Connector.

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Test Studio

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

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Microsoft Stream videos/ channels in canvas apps

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

Microsoft Stream videos inside canvas apps.

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Power Automate

Simplified AI Builder in Power Automate

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

Form processing example with AI Builder.

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UI Flows January 2020 update now available

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

Find out more:

Adaptive cards actions update

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

Next generation Adaptive Cards for Power Automate.

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Simplified number formatting

The format number action enables you to perform a variety of number formatting options painlessly, and by leveraging number formatting patterns which exist across Power Platform services.

Simplified number formatting in Power Automate.

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New Power Automate Cookbook!

There is a new gallery available in the Power Automate Community where you can download flows that other people have built. Similar to the Power Apps App Gallery, the Power Automate Cookbook allows you to upload a .zip file of your flow, with screenshots and extra information.

Find out more:

Power BI

Export data from a visual

The Power BI team announced last month that you will be able to export data from a visual the same way you can do it today in the Power BI service. To export the data, just like in Power BI, select More options (…) from the upper right corner of the visualization and then choose Export data.

Exporting data from a visual in Power BI.

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Setting a table column or matrix value as a custom URL

A new conditional formatting option that allows you set a table’s column or matrix’s value as a custom URL. You’ll find this new option under the conditional formatting card in the formatting pane.

Setting a table column or matrix value as a custom URL.

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KPI visual formatting settings

Several new formatting options have been released for the KPI visual including

  • Indicator text formatting (font family, color, and alignment)
  • Trend axis transparency
  • Goal and distance text formatting (label text, font family, color, and size)
  • Distance text formatting (label text, positive direction, font family, color, and size)
  • Adding a date label with formatting (font family, color, and size)

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Conditional formatting for buttons

You can now dynamically set formatting for the following button properties:

  • Button text font color
  • Button text
  • Icon line color
  • Outline color
  • Fill Color
  • Button tooltip (under the action card)

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Load more for analytics insights

When running the Analyze feature to find insights in your data, such as Explain the increase, we only run the ML models for a period of time to show you insights in a timely manner.

Load more for analytics insights.

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New DAX function: Quarter

There is a new DAX function: Quarter. The Quarter function returns the quarter corresponding to a specified date.

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Data profiling enhancements

Some significant enhancements to the data profiling capabilities in the power query editor, such as:

  • Multiple grouping options for the column profile pane value distriction visual
  • Filtering options within callouts for each distribution chart value

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.pbids file format

Microsoft are releasing a new file format: PBIDS, to streamline the “Get Data” experience for report creators in your organization.

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Performance improvements for modeling operations

Performance improvements have been made to the Analysis Services engine to speed up modeling operations such as adding measures or calculated columns and creating relationships.

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Related

Office 365 Video retirement

O365 video is being retired with the iOS video app retiring on April 1 2020 for customers in all regions, then the web portal for all regions (except Government Community Cloud, & national cloud regions Germany & China) will be retired on March 1, 2021.

Microsoft confirm that most regions can migrate O365 video to Stream using the administration tool, find out which regions can migrate below.

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Office 365 app launcher and Office.com updates

Currently, when people go into the Office 365 app launcher, pinned apps can be managed on an individual basis. However, these apps will not necessarily be the same from Office.com. This change unifies this, meaning users will see the same set of apps through both the app launcher and Office.com.

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Windows 7 End of Support and Office 365 ProPlus

Windows 7 is now out of support as of January 14, 2020. Because Office 365 is governed by the Modern Lifecycle Policy, customers are required to stay current as per the servicing and system requirements for the product or service. This includes using Office 365 ProPlus on a Windows operating system that is currently in support.

Using Office 365 ProPlus on older, unsupported operating systems may cause performance and reliability issues over time. If your organization is using Office 365 ProPlus on devices running Windows 7, it’s recommend your organization move those devices to Windows 10.

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Resources