Microsoft 365 monthly update – December 2020

Happy Holidays everyone! The Microsoft 365 monthly update includes updates and recently recent features across all of Microsoft 365.

Press a button to read about an individual technology or continue reading for more. You can take a look back at previous monthly updates here, plus take a look at our weekly roadmap roundup.


In SharePoint: updates to site header, send Pages to Yammer, “SharePoint success” site template, new destinations in Migration manager, add Teams to SharePoint updates, Microsoft Lists adoption center

SharePoint site header updates

The SharePoint team have made some changes to the site header in modern sites, including changing the default to the compact header instead of the standard header.

Additional header options are also available within “Change the Look”, including minimal and extended header options. Minimal header has a reduced height and extended includes an optional background image, expanded site logo widths, and options for logo alignment – left, middle, right.

New header layout options under “Change the Look”.
Extended header
Example of the extended header layout in a modern SharePoint site.

Find out more:

Send SharePoint pages to Yammer

You can now send articles from SharePoint directly into Yammer and include questions, polls, praise, and rich text. It’s also possible to upload images and files to the post linked to the share.

thumbnail image 3 captioned The SharePoint Send-to-Yammer dialog provides a rich preview for media and the ability add text to the post.

Find out more:

“SharePoint Success” site template

The “SharePoint Success” site template is another great offering from the Microsoft Look Book. The “SharePoint Success” site template is a ready to deploy, customizable SharePoint communication site that comes pre-populated with site creation inspiration and training on how to create high quality and purposeful SharePoint sites. You’ll find Microsoft maintained SharePoint training content feed, success stories, and site creation guidelines.

thumbnail image 4 captioned Make this site your own to establish a learning destination to help everyone make SharePoint a success for your organization.
“SharePoint Success” site template

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New destinations in the SharePoint Migration Manager

The Migration Manager now has been updated to include OneDrive & Teams as migration destinations. SharePoint admins can enter OneDrive usernames or URLs and/or select various Teams team and channels as migration destinations.

thumbnail image 5 captioned When moving files and folders into Microsoft 365 from on-premises file shares, admins choose OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams as destinations.
Select a destination in Migration Manager has been updated to include OneDrive & Teams.

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Add Microsoft Teams to a SharePoint site – wizard updates

Microsoft wants to make it easier to use the connected value of SharePoint and Teams. When you connect SharePoint to Teams, you can choose what lists, libraries, and pages you want to bring into Teams as tabs in the new, default General channel.

NOTE: By default, your team site home page will be selected, but you can change it to suit your needs. You can fully navigate the primary document library from the Files tab – just follow the new folder breadcrumbs from the channel folder up to the root of the library.

thumbnail image 6 captioned Choose what SharePoint lists, libraries, and pages to bring into Microsoft Teams as tabs in the new, default General channel when adding Teams to your SharePoint team site.
Choose what SharePoint lists, libraries, and pages to bring into Microsoft Teams as tabs in the new, default General channel when adding Teams to your SharePoint team site.

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Microsoft Lists adoption center

Microsoft have created adoption materials to help onboard employees at scale while being confident that you are improving the employee experience. In the adoption center there is an adoption playbook, day-in-the-life guides, a quick start guide, a look book, internal communication templates, pointers to documentation and training, plus materials to help build an internal Lists champion program within your organization.

Find out more:


Microsoft Teams (all), Teams (Education), Teams (Government)

Microsoft Teams

Virtual breakout rooms

Breakout rooms are now generally available in Microsoft Teams! Breakout rooms allow organizers to divide the meeting into sub-groups to facilitate discussions and brainstorming sessions.

Meeting organizers can create up to 50 breakout rooms and choose to automatically or manually assign participants into rooms. Breakout rooms can be started within a Teams meeting or a Teams channel meeting.

Master virtual breakout rooms in Microsoft Teams meetings.

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End-of-meeting notifications

Now, Microsoft Teams notifies the participants in a meeting when there are five minutes remaining in the scheduled meeting time. The notification appears on screen for 10 seconds and disappears without any user action. Notifications are triggered for all scheduled private and channel meetings and does not cause the meeting to end automatically.

thumbnail image 1 of blog post titled 
							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | December 2020
End-of-meeting notifications in Microsoft Teams Meetings.

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Teams meeting pre-join experience

The Teams pre-join meeting experience has been updated to including easier discovery of audio, video, and device configurations before joining a meeting. Previously, you had to go to settings to change meeting devices, but now these can be easily adjusted prior to the meeting in the pre-join experience.

thumbnail image 2 of blog post titled 
							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | December 2020
Teams meeting pre-join experience.

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New languages supported for real-time translation in live events

Live event attendees can view live captions and subtitles in up to six languages in addition to the language being spoken. Event organizers can select the languages from a list of over 50. New languages supported include: Japanese, Korean, French, French-Canadian, Spanish, Spanish-Mexican, Traditional Chinese, Swedish, Dutch, Italian, Hindi-Indian, Portuguese-Brazilian, and Russian.

Find out more:

Live events limit increases extended until June 30, 2021

Microsoft have extended limit increases for live events through to June 30, 2021. Increases include:

  • Event support for up to 20,000 attendees
  • 50 events can be hosted simultaneously across a tenant
  • Event duration of 16 hours per broadcast
Live events in Microsoft 365.

Additionally, events for as many as 100,000 attendees can be planned through the live events assistance program.

Find out more:

Multiple Number Dialing

With Teams Calling, you are now able to see a split button in the chat header for audio/video calling. This displays multiple numbers for a single contact making it easier to view available numbers to initiate a call.

thumbnail image 3 of blog post titled 
							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | December 2020
Multiple Number Dialing in Teams Calling.

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Live Captions for 1:1 Calls

Live Captions display the text version of the audio in a Teams call. Admins can disable this capability if desired, and users have control to turn these off. For the most accurate captions possible, it is recommended to speak clearly into the microphone and avoid having multiple people speaking at the same time.

Live Captions for 1:1 Calls.

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Microsoft Teams Rooms on Windows updates

Microsoft Teams Rooms on Windows version is now available in the Teams Admin Center. The latest update includes the following new capabilities:

  • Cortana Voice Assistance (Preview): In-room meeting attendees can now use voice assistance powered by Cortana to join and end their meetings without touch. Using natural language, people can simply state “Cortana, join/end my meeting” for a seamless hands-free experience.
  • Control Spotlight from console: People in the meeting room can now control the Teams meeting Spotlight feature from the Teams Rooms console control. Once enabled, the individual identified as the spotlight will be the main video shown to all participants in the Teams meeting.
  • Share HDMI audio: Users connecting to a Teams Room via HDMI can now share their PC audio into the Teams meeting.
thumbnail image 4 of blog post titled 
							What’s New in Microsoft Teams | December 2020
Microsoft Teams Rooms on Windows version is now available in the Teams Admin Center.

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Enhanced meeting experiences on Teams phones

Teams phones now support new video layouts such as 3×3 gallery view, large gallery view for more participants and Together mode. Several other updates have been released for Teams phones including meet now, screen sharing and spotlight.

thumbnail image 1 of blog post titled 
							What’s new in Teams Phones | December 2020
3×3 gallery view on Teams phones.

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Improved Search relevance in Teams messages

Now when searching for messages in Microsoft Teams, the top 3 messages are generated and ordered by a newly developed relevance model – previously messages were ordered chronologically with the most recent messages at the top of the search results.

Keyword search results in Teams
Improved Search relevance in Teams messages

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Offline files on iOS

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

Find out more:

Improvements to video playback experience

Now included in Teams is a faster-loading experience for embedded videos. You will now experience up to 25% reduction in the time it takes a Stream embedded video to load, and up to a 90% reduction in the time it takes for the video to start playing. This means a much faster Stream video playback experience within Teams.

Find out more:

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

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

Find out more:

Manage Teams displays in Team Admin Center

Teams Displays are the latest device you can manage from the Teams Admin Center. You can view and manage the device inventory for your organization and do tasks such as update, restart, and monitor diagnostics for devices.

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New lobby setting – People I Invite

A new lobby setting – called “People I invite” is being added as an option to the “Who can bypass lobby?” setting. Once enabled, only the participants invited by the organizer in the meeting invite can join the meeting directly. Everyone else is sent to the lobby.

New lobby setting – People I Invite.

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Customer Key for Teams (public preview)

Customer Key is built on service encryption and provides an added layer of encryption at the application level for data-at-rest and allows you as the organization to control the encryption keys. Already available in Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive, Customer Key is now available in Microsoft Teams as a preview.

Find out more:

Teams (Education)

Virtual breakout rooms

As mentioned above, Breakout rooms are now generally available in Microsoft Teams! Read more about breakout rooms here.

Teams for Education policy wizard

With the new Microsoft Teams for Education policy wizard, T admins can now easily apply education tailored policies for a safe learning environment.

With the policy wizard you can easily apply the most relevant set of policies for students at a global (Org-wide default) level and apply a custom policy set to a group of educators and staff tailored to their needs. Expected availability, along with more details, will be available on January 7th.

Teams for Education policy wizard.

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Classroom Drop-in app

The new Classroom Drop-in app template for Microsoft Teams lets school leaders create “drop ins” to add a user to a Team without the need to bother IT or the instructor. The dropped in user can then check in on conversation, assignments, grades, class meetings and more!

IT admins can setup and install the Classroom Drop-in app from GitHub.

Classroom Drop-in app.

Find out more:

mConnect app

The mConnect app by Skooler lets you use Moodle inside Teams to organize your courses and use Teams to learn and work together. The mConnect app allows you to:

  • Have one workspace with access to Moodle courses, topics, assignments, and calendar in Teams
  • Stay organized with collaborative Learning tabs in Teams channels
  • Save time and be more in control with automated team and membership creation
mConnect app in Microsoft Teams.

Find out more:

Teams (Government)

Virtual breakout rooms

As mentioned above, Breakout rooms are now generally available in Microsoft Teams! Read more about breakout rooms here.

Teams meeting pre-join experience

The improved meeting pre-join experience is now available for GCC customers. Find out more about the updated experience here.

PowerPoint file sharing

Available for GCC and GCC-High, PowerPoint file sharing in Teams allows you to share a PowerPoint file within a Teams Meeting without having to use Desktop or Window sharing. Participants can view the presentation at their own pace, navigate through slides on their own and sync back to the presenter at any time. 

Find out more:

Multiple number dialing

As mentioned above, GCC customers can now see a split button in the chat header for audio/video calling. Find out more here.

Inline message translation (DoD)

Inline message translation is now available for DoD customers so that people who speak different languages can fluidly communicate with one another by translating posts in channels and chat.

Set presence status duration (GCC)

Let others know when you are available in Teams by managing your presence status. GCC customers can now change their presence status for a specific period.

New offline presence status (GCC)

GCC customers can now change your presence to “Offline”. This allows you to have full access to Teams while signaling to colleagues that you are unavailable.

Linux Client available (GCC-High)

The Microsoft Teams Linux client is now available in GCC-High.

Data loss prevention for Microsoft Teams

Data loss prevention (DLP) capabilities in Microsoft 365 government clouds is now extended to include Microsoft Teams chat and channel messages, including private channel messages. 

GCC support for devices management in Teams Admin Center

Device management support in Teams Admin Center is now available in the GCC cloud environment. Admins can now control the entire lifecycle of their Teams devices, which include an increasing variety of supported device types – IP Phones, Collaboration bars, Teams displays, and Teams Meeting Room devices, all from one place.


In OneDrive: Live photos in iOS, Add to OneDrive GA

Live Photos for OneDrive iOS

The OneDrive team have announced that the OneDrive iOS app now uploads and supports Live Photos. When you take a Live Photo, you capture a still image along with several seconds of before and after video.

OneDrive now stores and plays back the full motion and sound of your Live Photos, bringing your memories to life.

							Live Photos come to OneDrive

Find out more:

Add to OneDrive generally available

The Add to OneDrive feature is now generally available. Add to OneDrive makes it easy to add a shortcut to the shared folders directly to our OneDrive. Shared folders include content that others have shared with us through their OneDrive, which surfaces in the “Shared with me“ view or content that is a part of a shared library in Microsoft Teams or SharePoint.

thumbnail image 1 captioned Add to OneDrive makes it easy to add a shortcut to the shared folders directly to our OneDrive
Add to OneDrive makes it easy to add a shortcut to the shared folders directly to our OneDrive.

Find out more:

Power Apps

In Power Apps: AI Builder capabilities now GA, Dataflows Power Automate Connector preview, Power BI dashboard in a model-driven app GA, Power Apps portals capacity consumption reporting, Dataverse support for Power BI Direct Query GA, new way to configure Azure AD B2C provider for portals

AI Builder capabilities now generally available

The Power Apps team have announced that two AI builder preview capabilities are now generally available; multiple outcome prediction and numerical prediction. Both are children of the Prediction model card in AI Builder, but enhance the model substantially. For example, multiple outcome prediction can be used it to predict more than 3 outcomes, like will a shipment arrive early, on-time or late. You can also predict a number, like how many days it would take to close a customer ticket.

Multiple outcome prediction in AI Builder.

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Dataflows Power Automate Connector public preview

Now in preview, the Power Automate Dataflow connector comes with templates and sample scenarios that let you get started right away. The new connector provides a new way to react to dataflow events to take action on dataflows.

Dataflows are a self-service, cloud-based, data preparation technology available in Power Apps, Power BI and Dynamics Customer Insights products and portals. ataflows keep your data up to date, so it can be leveraged by Power Apps applications, Power BI reports and Dashboards, Dynamics Customer Insights and many more products and solutions that leverage Data stored in Dataverse or Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 accounts. 

Trigger dataflows and Power BI datasets sequentially with the Dataflows Power Automate Connector.

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Power BI dashboard in a model-driven app now generally available

The Power Apps team have announced the general availability of Power BI reports as system dashboards in model-driven apps.

System and user dashboards in model driven apps support specific reporting features with predefined visualization and are more suited for transactional data that needs to be updated directly on the report, an action occurs on a record or fields are updated on a record in real time.

Power BI reports bring a host of visualization and data manipulation that we have all become accustomed to using with a Power BI report. The ability to quickly build reports using the Power BI tools, publish those reports and extend them to model-driven apps makes it easy to provide your organization with data in one place, removing the need to go outside your model driven or Dynamics application.

Power BI embedding in Power Apps builds on existing capabilities giving users access to shared reports governed by you through standard Power Bi practices that include who you share the report with and licensing.

Power BI report in model driven app.

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Power Apps portals capacity consumption reporting

Power Apps admins can now get visibility of their Power Apps portals logins and page views consumption by downloading new reports from the Power Platform admin center. These Excel-based reports allow you to look at the capacity consumed in a 30-day period preceding the selected date.

Power Apps portals capacity consumption reporting is now available.

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Microsoft Dataverse support for Power BI Direct Query

The Power Apps team have announced that Microsoft Dataverse support for Power BI Direct Query is now generally available. With the combination of the new Dataverse connector for Power BI and tabular data stream (TDS) endpoint Power BI users have more options when connecting to Dataverse environments, including Dataverse for Teams.

The new connector supports Direct Query providing real-time data and support for the Dataverse security model. In addition, complex data types, such as lookups, choices, and currency are flattened for easy consumption in the model.

Microsoft Dataverse support for Power BI Direct Query is now generally available.

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New way to configure Azure AD B2C provider for portals (preview)

Now in preview, A unique preview experience is available now to setup Azure AD B2C with portals using a wizard for a quick and complete configuration directly from the Power Apps portals authentication settings. With the new configuration wizard you are able to choose to add an Azure Active Directory login provider, create or select existing Azure AD B2C tenant, register your portal as an application (new or existing) with the selected tenant and Configure Sign-up & sign-in and Password reset user flows (new or existing).

Configure Sign-up & sign-in and Password reset user flows (new or existing) in the new experience.

Find out more:

Power Automate

In Power Automate: Process advisor (preview), RPA enhancements to Power Automate Desktop, planning a Power Automate project, Power Automate Desktop December release, invoice processing in AI Builder (preview), 8 new connectors

Process advisor (preview)

Process advisor is a process mining capability in Power Automate that provides a deeper understanding of how people work and provides insights about time-consuming processes best suited for automation. With process advisor, you can visualize, identify bottlenecks, and gain insights into the various processes being created across your organization.  

In process advisor you can run simple process recorders, create rich process maps and get in-depth analytics simply and easily.

Analysis of a process with Process advisor
Introducing process advisor (preview).

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RPA updates to Power Automate Desktop

With Power Automate Desktop becoming generally available, several robotic process automation enhancements have also been released, including:

  • Role-based sharing: Organizations can share desktop flows across multiple users to derive value from RPA. 
  • Lifecycle management: Manage end-to-end creation and movement of desktop flows across any tenant environment.  
  • Setting execution priorities: Prioritize which desktop flows to run on your machines first based on importance. 
  • Real-time run and queue monitoring: Oversee the health and success of your desktop flow runs with real-time monitoring. 
Priority can be configured at the Desktop flow connector level.
Set execution priority for desktop flows—in preview.

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Planning a Power Automate project

The Power Automate team have launched a series of documents to help understand how to automate business processes with Power Automate. In the articles, you’ll learn about the five basic steps of automating with Power Automate, using the best practices and knowledge from Power CAT (Customer Advisory team).

The articles focus on the non-technical aspects of automating business processes with Power Automate, such as how to plan your Power Automate project, how to discover automation areas, how to assess business value, etc.

Find out more:

Power Automate Desktop December 2020 release update

The December 2020 release of Power Automate Desktop is now generally available. This month’s update has several updates including; Execution logs are now available for console runs, input variables of sensitive text type availability, password fields now support the use of variables plus lots more!

Sensitive text input variables
Input variables of sensitive text type are now available to be used in Power Automate Desktop (December 2020 release).

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Invoice processing with AI Builder (preview)

The Power Automate team have announced the introduction of a new prebuilt AI model in AI Builder: Invoice processing. With the new AI Builder invoice processing prebuilt model, you can minimize pain points usually found in traditional invoice processes and speed up your invoice processing time, delivering real value back to your business. 

AI Builder Invoice Processing samples
Invoice processing with AI Builder (preview)

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8 new connectors released in November 2020

November 2020 saw the launch of eight new connectors to the platform that cover a wide range of industries, from communications, security, and more. 

Find out more:

Power BI

In Power BI: Quickly create reports in Power BI service (preview), Datasets Hub (preview), Anomaly detection (preview), Power BI December 2020 feature summary, DirectQuery for Power BI datasets and Azure Analysis Services (preview), Small Multiples (preview), Information Protection Sensitivity Labels in Power BI Desktop (Public Preview), Admin APIs and Service Principal authentication, on-premises data gateway December 2020, large model support in Power BI Premium GA, Full report attachment subscriptions in Power BI Premium, upgrade classic workspaces, Automate configuration of a template app installation

Quickly create reports in the Power BI service (preview)

The Power BI team have announced there is a new way to quickly create reports in the Power BI service. Rather than downloading Power BI Desktop and importing the data, you’ll now be able to paste data straight into Power BI on the web and have visuals automatically generated for you.

Gif showing the enter quick create process. Steps are described in text in the below blog post.
Quickly create reports in the Power BI service (preview).

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Datasets Hub (preview)

The new datasets hub makes it easy to find, explore, and use the datasets in your organization. It provides information about the datasets as well as entry points for creating reports on top of those datasets or for using those datasets with Analyze in Excel.

You can now open Datasets directly from Teams.

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Anomaly detection (preview) now supported in Power BI mobile apps

Report consumers can now view and understand anomalies directly from the Power BI mobile app. This capability is available on all apps (iOS, Android, Windows), in all supported form factors (phone, tablet, iPad, and laptop/desktop, including Surface Hub).

When you view a report that has anomaly detection enabled, you’ll see the same detected anomaly indications on the visual that you see in the Power BI service and in Power BI Desktop.

Anomaly detection (preview) is now supported in Power BI Mobile apps.

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Power BI December 2020 feature summary

This month’s Power BI feature summary is out now and includes updates in data preparation, data connectivity as well as some new visuals and template apps.

Power BI December 2020 feature summary.

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DirectQuery for Power BI datasets and Azure Analysis Services (preview)

The Power BI team have announced that DirectQuery for Power BI datasets and Azure Analysis Services is now in preview. This new feature allows report authors to use DirectQuery to connect to Azure Analysis Services or Power BI Datasets and, if they want to, combine it other DirectQuery and imported data.

There is also an updated Power BI Desktop version 2.88.702.0, released on December 18, 2020 that addresses some common issues.

Introducing DirectQuery for Power BI Datasets.

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Small multiples (preview)

Small multiples, or trellising, splits a visual into multiple versions of itself, presented side-by-side, with its data partitioned across these versions by a chosen dimension (e.g., splitting a “sales by category” column chart across product lines or country). This feature is now available in preview.

Small multiples (preview).

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Microsoft Information Protection Sensitivity Labels in Power BI Desktop (Public Preview)

The Power BI team have announced that they have extended Power BI’s sensitivity label capabilities by bringing Microsoft Information Protection sensitivity labels into Power BI Desktop, allowing creators to apply sensitivity labels just as they start building their datasets and reports in Power BI Desktop.

Apply a sensitivity label in Power BI Desktop.

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New Admin APIs and Service Principal authentication

The Power BI team have announced that now release new Power BI Admin APIs along with a .NET SDK that enable administrators to create their own custom-made solutions based on Power BI metadata and lineage.

They have also added service principal support for the scanner Admin APIs. Service principal is an authentication method that can be used to let an Azure AD application access Power BI APIs. With this authentication method, you no longer have to maintain a service account with an admin role. Rather, to allow your app to use the Admin APIs, you just have to give your approval once as part of the tenant settings configuration.

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On-premises data gateway December 2020 now available

The on-premises data gateway December 2020 update is now available for Power BI. This months release includes; Azure Cosmos DB connector on Gateway, December Version of the mashup engine, .Net Framework Update plus lots more.

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Large model support in Power BI Premium generally available

Power BI Premium support for large models is now generally available. With large model support, a dataset in Power BI Premium is limited in size only by the Premium capacity that hosts the dataset. Excluding memory for query execution and processing, this typically means a dataset can grow up to 70-80% of the capacity’s total memory.

Enable large dataset slider
Enable large datasets in Power BI.

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Full report attachment for subscriptions for Power BI Premium

You can now now subscribe to any Power BI report in a premium workspace or app and choose to include the full report as a PowerPoint or PDF attachment. You can either create a new subscription for your report or simply update an existing one. 

Subscription mail with attachment
Full report attachment for subscriptions for Power BI Premium reports now available.

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Upgrade classic workspaces in Power BI

Earlier this year the Power BI team announced a roadmap for upgrading classic workspaces to the new workspace experience. Now, Workspace upgrade has reached general availability, with tools being rolled out to Power BI admins to upgrade classic workspaces. The Power BI team are also providing a roadmap, including dates for removing the ability to create, update, and use content packs in classic workspaces.

Power BI Admins can upgrade workspaces.

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Automate configuration of a template app installation

A  a new capability is coming to Power BI that enables template app publishers to automate the configuration of a template app installation for their customers. Template app publishers can preconfigure the template app installation, making life much easier for your customers by eliminating that frequently encountered source of frustration.

Automate configuration of a template app installation.

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Microsoft 365 monthly update – 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


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
The SharePoint Migration Tool now includes support for SharePoint Server 2016.

Find out more:

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.

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!

Find out more:

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.

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.

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

Find out more:

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.

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

Find out more:


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. 

multi-window meeting and calling.png
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.

Student Lobby option - available now.png
New lobby setting in Teams Meeting Options: “only me”.

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Microsoft Teams Rooms, app version 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

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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

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

Direct Guest Join with Webex GIF smaller file.gif
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. 

LabelsInAction Teams.gif
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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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:


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.

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.

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.

Find out more:

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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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.

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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Microsoft 365 monthly update – June 2020

Here’s an in-depth look at what’s been released and upcoming through the month of June 2020:

SharePoint acronym answers, enable modern comms site experience on team sites, site analytics, cumulative analytics for hubs, new migration manager landing page, teal default site theme, fluent design updates, quick edit updates, bulk edit in forms, connected web parts, SharePoint Starter Kit v2

Teams7 x 7 + large gallery view, breakout rooms, multi-window meetings & calling, meeting attendee limit increase, new experience for launching instant channel meetings, organizer joins meeting directly, safe transfer calling, session border controllers, priority notifications, pulse surveys

Teams (cont.)Bose teams peripherals, Teams phones updates, new features for Surface Hub, schedule meetings in Teams free, Teams mobile on-demand chat translation, Teams PowerShell, incoming webhooks, class insights (Education), updates for US GCC

OneDrive add to OneDrive, update to sharing links, synced metadata, open in review mode, Teams sharing experience, move and keep sharing, comment notifications, address bar sharing, sync admin reports, enhanced file protection, streamlined admin experience

Power Apps convert add-on portals to new license model, new AI Builder models enter GA, dynamic schema

Power Automate RPA (UI flows) in a Day, UI flows June update, six new connectors, AI Builder dedicated actions

Power SSO, enhanced connectivity for Snowflake, new looks for getting apps, on-premises data gateway update, data protection capabilities GA, dark mode iOS, desktop feature summary June, updated mobile authoring

FormsForms in Excel, specific user sharing, individual responses no longer limited to 300, one-click recycle bin, detailed mobile view for text questions,

Relatedtemporary live attendance increase in Yammer extended, Poll in Outlook, PowerPoint Presenter Coach, updated Groups management features


Acronym answers now available with Microsoft Search in SharePoint

Acronym Answers allows Search administrators and editors to create definitions for commonly used acronyms and abbreviations to help people discover their meaning – be them new or unfamiliar.

Acronym answers are configured in the Microsoft Search admin center.

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Enable the modern communication site experience on classic sites

This PowerShell cmdlet allows SharePoint admins and site owners to the modern communication site experience on any classic team site that meets the requirements, including the root site. 

To start, run the “Enable-SPOCommSite” PowerShell cmdlet. This action does not change any site permissions or remove any content, nor does it create a new Microsoft 365 Groups membership. 

Demo showing how to enable the communication site experience for a classic SharePoint team site.

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SharePoint site usage analytics

Site usage is getting a new report that details the average time spent per user. You will see a trend line for the time people spend on site pages and news posts for 7-day and 30-day periods.

Note: the report does not yet include time on lists, in documents, site admin pages, or when pages are viewed via mobile.

New reports on the site usage page in SharePoint detail the average time spent per user.

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Cumulative analytics for Hub sites

Hub site owners can now analyze aggregate usage analytics for their SharePoint hub sites, including all associated sites. This report displays usage data (including total visits, unique viewers, top sites, popular content) for all associated sites in the hub.

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New Migration Manager landing page

Microsoft have consolidated their migration tooling with a one-stop-shop for access to Migration Manager for file share and Box migrations as well as the SharePoint Migration Tool and Mover.

The new, consolidated page for Migration in the SharePoint admin center.

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Updating the default site theme from blue to teal

SharePoint’s new teal theme will automatically update new and existing communication sites and team sites. Group connected team sites, and sites that have been customized, will not be impacted.

Moving forward, new sites will automatically default to the new teal theme. The new teal theme can be changed to the former blue theme at any time in the Change the look panel.

SharePoint communication site with the new Teal site theme.

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Fluent design updates

The Fluent design system is being applied to SharePoint which will result in some visual changes like larger and bolder typefaces, increased opacity for drop shadows, and rounded corners for square graphical elements.

Find out more:

Improvements to the Quick Edit experience for SharePoint lists and libraries

Several new features have been added to the Quick Edit experience for lists and libraries in SharePoint, including:

  • Save a view in Quick Edit – Users can save a view in Quick Edit for any SharePoint list or document library. Roadmap ID: 64229
  • Quick Edit page size expanding from 30 items to 101 – Users will now see up to 100 items per page on their document library or list when using Quick Edit. Roadmap ID: 64231
  • Create all column types directly within Quick Edit – Users will now have the ability to create all column types directly from Quick Edit. Roadmap ID: 64171
Create all column types directly from Quick Edit.
  • Open a list or document library item within the view form from Quick Edit – Users will see their list and document library view forms inside of the Quick Edit experience. Roadmap ID: 64230
  • New hyperlink field and date column editors in Quick Edit – Now when you add a hyperlink and text to an item or add or update it’s date and time, you’ll have a much better experience doing it.  Roadmap ID: 63275
  • Create a new list item via a form in Quick Edit – Users will see the “New” button on their command bar in lists when they are in Quick Edit to create new items via the default form. Roadmap ID: 64232
View and edit items in forms inside of Quick Edit.

Bulk edit your list items and file properties in the form

You can now select multiple items and edit their list items or documents properties at once in the form.

Once you select multiple items in a list, you’ll see it reflected in the form where it says “Edit 3 items” and it shows only the fields that can be bulk edited.

Find out more:

List and library web parts consume dynamic data

Dynamic filtering allows you to filter the contents of a list or library web part on a page depending on a value selected in another list or library web part on that same page. Think of one being a source and the other being a way to visualize the item details.

The List web part on the left is connected to the Document Library web part on the right.

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Updated sharing links that block downloads for PDFs, images and audio files

You can now create sharing links that block the download of Office files. This sharing link allows recipients to read the file, but not download it.

Note: admins can control whether the “block download” setting appears only for Office files or whether it will allow additional file types by editing the BlockDownloadLinksFileType setting in the Set-SPOTenant or Set-SPOSite PowerShell cmdlets. The options are “enable for only Office files” or “enable for all supported files” (now the new default).

Find out more:

SharePoint Starter Kit v2

This is a comprehensive solution designed for SharePoint in Microsoft and SharePoint 2019 which provides numerous SharePoint Framework (SPFx) web parts, extensions, and other components, as well as PnP PowerShell driven provisioning which you can use as an example and inspiration for your own customizations.

Find out more:


Coming to preview this month large gallery view expands the Teams grid view to 7×7, which will accommodate up to 49 participants at once on a single screen.

Large gallery view in Microsoft Teams meetings showing 49 participants at once on a single screen.

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Virtual breakout rooms

Coming later this year, Breakout Rooms allow meeting organizers to split their Teams meeting participants into small groups. Teams facilitates this by assigning participants into a requested number of rooms, whether automatically directing people or prompting them to join.

Organizers can jump in between meetings on their own, or when requested by a participant, provide announcements to the individual rooms, and recall everyone back to the meeting at any time. Any collaboration and coauthoring done during the breakout can be shared back to the larger meeting once everyone is back together. 

Find out more:

Multi-Window for Meetings & Calling

Multi-window experiences are coming to Teams meetings and calling. You will have the ability to pop out meetings and calling into separate windows to help them optimize their workflow. These experiences can be turned on directly within Teams for PC and Mac clients.

Multi-window capability coming to Microsoft Teams meetings and calling.

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Meeting attendee limit increases to 300 participants

Now generally available, Microsoft have the maximum number of participants allowed in a Teams meeting to 300.

Find out more:

New experience for launching instant channel meetings 

The 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 a channel meeting.

Meet Now buttons can now be found on the right side of a Channel header in Microsoft Teams.

Find out more:

PSTN participant phone numbers masked from external users

For customers with Audio Conferencing enabled for Teams meetings, PSTN participants’ phone numbers will be masked to all users who have joined from outside of your organization.

Find out more:

New lobby setting: only the organizer joins the meeting directly

A new lobby setting is coming to Teams. Microsoft 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. 

Find out more:

Safe Transfer

You will now be able to transfer a call safely to any other user in your organization. Safely means that if the target user does not answer the call, it will ring back to the transferrer.

NOTE: The person transferring the call must be a Teams user and the person the call is being transferred to must be either a Teams or Skype for Business user in the same tenant or in a federated tenant.

Find out more:

New Session Border Controllers (SBC) certified for use with Microsoft Teams Calling

Microsoft have announced that both Cisco and Avaya will join the list of Session Border Controllers certified for Direct Routing.

Find out more:

Priority notifications

Priority notifications for Microsoft Teams grants you the ability to continually send notifications that repeat every two minutes for up to 20 minutes on all messages marked as urgent.

NOTE: Priority notifications are not currently available for GCC, GCC High, or DoD customers, however this is on the Microsoft 365 Roadmap for next month.

Priority notifications can be found in the message actions tray.

Find out more:

Pulse survey templates

We have designed several Microsoft Forms templates for sentiment, employee issues, challenges, and health status surveys and more. These surveys can then be deployed via Teams channels.

Find out more:

New Bose noise cancelling headphones Teams certified

Bose have released the new Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 UC as part of the Teams peripheral offering. With a USB Bluetooth adaptor and a Teams Button that lets users launch Teams to join meetings or check voice mails, NC700UC Teams certified headphones allow users to have reliable and instantaneous connection to Teams. Available August 2020.

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 UC

Find out more:

New capabilities on Microsoft Teams phones

Several new features and capabilities on Microsoft Teams phones were released this month, including:

  • People App for Microsoft Teams phones – allows you to easily connect and collaborate with teammates, colleagues, friends, and family.
People (left) and create contact or contact group (right).
  • Live Captions – Microsoft Teams phones will now present real time captions in meetings and group calls.
Microsoft Teams phones will now present real time captions in meetings and group calls. 
  • Raise Hand – You can raise a virtual hand from your Teams phone to let people know you want to contribute without interrupting the conversation.
You can now use the raise hand feature on Teams phone.
  • Transfer to Contacts – When transferring a call, Microsoft Teams phones will now suggest frequent contacts to easily transfer calls with a single touch. 
  • Seamless Lock/Unlock with your PC – With this new feature, your Teams phone and Teams PC client will have a coordinated and seamless lock and unlock experience.
  • Auto Dismiss “Rate my call” and “Call ended” Screens – Support to auto dismiss “Rate my call” and “Call ended” screens for users to continue with their productivity after completing the call.
  • Teams and Skype Interoperability – Users will be able to make and receive audio and video calls from Skype for Consumer (SFC) through Microsoft Teams phones.

Find out more:

New Teams features on Surface Hub

With the latest Surface Hub app update 0.2020.13201.0 there are several highly requested features to the Teams experience on Surface Hub:

  • 3×3 gallery view – view up to nine meeting participants simultaneously in full screen mode, in the new 3×3 video grid
  • External user search – Through the “Meet Now” feature on Surface Hub, you can now search and initiate 1:1 calls with federated Teams or Skype for Business users
  • Incoming PSTN calls – in addition to making outgoing PSTN calls through Teams, Surface Hub you can now receive incoming PSTN calls

Find out more:

Scheduled meetings coming to Teams free

You can now schedule meetings and send out invitations in advance in Teams free. You will have the option of either copying the meeting link to send or you can send the meeting invite via your Outlook or Google calendar.

Microsoft Teams free users can schedule meetings and send out invitations via your Outlook calendar.

Find out more:

Teams Mobile On-Demand Chat Translation

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

On-Demand Chat Translation has already been available on desktop and web, and now will be available on iOS.

Find out more:

PowerShell improvements for Teams

Two improvements to the Teams PowerShell modules have been released this month:

  • Moving Teams Beta module to production gallery
  • Refined technical documentation set

Find out more:

Incoming Webhooks for Adaptive Cards

Incoming webhooks in Teams now support Adaptive Cards and is generally available. Developers will now be able to take advantage of the rich and flexible capabilities within Adaptive Cards to send content via incoming webhooks in Teams from their web service. 

Incoming webhooks in Microsoft Teams now support Adaptive Cards.

Find out more:

Class Insights

Now generally available, Class Insights enables educators to see and understand student engagement using intelligent data analytics. You can see grades and track engagement in meetings, communications and assignments from the whole class or an individual student.

Class Insights dashboard in Microsoft Teams allows educators to use intelligent data analytics to understand student engagement.

Find out more:

Teams updates for US Government

Here are the new capabilities for US GCC customers:

  • Live captions in Teams meetings
  • Enable organizers to change lobby settings for PSTN meeting participants
  • Announce when PSTN participants join/leave the meeting
  • Shifts in Teams now available for GCC customers

Find out more:


Add to OneDrive

Rolling out in public preview Add to OneDrive makes it easy to add shared folders 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.

Add to OneDrive is now in public preview.

Find out more:

Teams sharing integration

Microsoft are beginning to roll out a unified file sharing and access control experience to Teams, that you will already be familiar with in other apps like OneDrive or Outlook.

So when you go to share a file from within Teams, you’ll have the option to create sharing links that provide access to anyone, people within your organization, people with existing access, or specific people, including those in a private or group chat.

The file sharing experience in OneDrive and Outlook is coming to Teams.

Find out more:

Synced metadata

This is a big update for you SharePoint buffs! Currently shared libraries with mandatory metadata synchronizes as read-only.

Microsoft have announced that in the next few weeks they are rolling out an update to the OneDrive sync app supporting read and write sync for shared libraries that contain required metadata. This will enable business users to edit content in their synced libraries while working from their desktops.

Find out more:

Move and keep sharing settings

Coming later this year, business users can move files to shared libraries without affecting the files original access.

This means all business users who had original access to a file will be re-added to it if that file changes shared library locations. Those users will now receive a new link maintaining the same permissions they had before and receive a notification about the move.

Find out more:

Comment notifications

Also coming later this year, you will be able to have the option to turn off comment notifications for individual files. Doing so will only affect that file, not the entire files library.

Find out more:

Address bar sharing

If you access or work on a file in a browser, you’ll soon be able to share links copied from your browser address bar with your internal colleagues (if admin-enabled). These URLs will respect all sharing policies, empowering natural and easy collaboration within your organization.

Sync admin reports

Sync admin reports allow you to do just that by providing visibility and insights on adoption and health of the OneDrive sync app across your organization. Use this new dashboard to check sync app versions, sync status, and top sync errors on individual devices.

You can even monitor deployment progress of Known Folder Move, which we recommend implementing to help redirect your users’ known folders (Desktop, Documents and Pictures) on Windows to OneDrive.

Enhanced file protection and governance in OneDrive and SharePoint

Microsoft recently announced several features entering general availability for file protection and governance in OneDrive and SharePoint including Microsoft Information Protection sensitivity labels with protection, automatic classification with sensitively labels, sensitivity labels for SharePoint sites, and information barriers.

Additionally, admins will soon be able to implement automatic expiration of external access, multi-factor authentication policies, like prompting one-time passcodes (OTP), as well as extending continuous access evaluations to OneDrive and SharePoint.

Find out more:

Streamlined admin experience

Later this year, all OneDrive admin capabilities, including controls for sharing, access, sync, and storage, will be available in the SharePoint admin center, consolidating admin tools in one place. 

A new OneDrive admin experience is coming to the SharePoint admin center later this year.

Find out more:

Update to sharing links that block download

Microsoft are expanding 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.

Block download for more file types in OneDrive.

Find out more:

Open in “Review mode” in Word Online

Users can now choose to share Word documents with the new “Open in Review mode” option. When enabled, recipients can only open the Word file in the Word web app with the “Reviewing” mode enabled.

Find out more:

Power Apps

Convert existing add-on portals to new capacity-based licensing model

This feature allows users to seamlessly migrate from their portal add-on licenses to the new capacity-based licensing model. If your portal uses add-on based license, you’ll see “add-on” suffix to your portal type. You can check your portal type from the Portal Details page.

How to check what license model you are in within PowerApps Portals.

Find out more:

Three new AI Builder models now generally available

Three AI Builder preview model types are now generally available:

  • Entity extraction prebuilt model – The Entity extraction prebuilt model identifies and classifies key elements from text into pre-defined entities.
  • Entity extraction custom model – The Entity extraction custom model enables you to identify and classify key elements from text into your domain-specific custom entities that you define.
  • Category classification custom model – The Category classification custom model helps you classify text into your own domain-specific categories. You can train the model with a small set of examples.

Find out more:

Dynamic schema in Power Apps formulas

The Power Apps team have announced the experimental feature release of the ability to work with dynamic schema in Power Apps formulas.

Now, as part of the formula authoring experience when a formula author encounters an warning indicating the return schema of a call is dynamic, an author may “capture schema”.

Turn on the “Dynamic schema” switch in the PowerApps Advanced Settings.

Find out more:

Power Automate

Microsoft RPA (UI flows) in a Day

The Power Automate team have announced the availability of Microsoft RPA (UI flows) in a Day. This beginner-level training is designed to on-board and train everyone on how to get started with UI flows in Microsoft Power Automate.

Find out more:

UI flows update June 2020

The June 2020 update for UI flows is now available. Here are the main features as part of June’s release:

  • UI flows for GCC/ GCC High – UI flows are now available in Government Community Cloud (GCC) and GCC High.
  • Retry/ timeout policy configuration from the portal – his feature provides the ability to configure timeout and retry policy for an individual step within UI flows. 
  • New WinAutomation connector in UI flows – Now you can have a cloud orchestration experience on WinAutomation Process from Power Automate.
  • GetText action fix – fixed an issue where the GetText action in UI flows within (If-Else) Condition block fails when more than one Get Output actions were added in a nested scope.

Find out more:

Six new connectors released May 2020

With an additional six connectors released in May, there are now over 345 connectors available in the Power Automate platform. Here’s a look at the new comers:

  • Azure IoT CentralWith the IoT Central connector, you can trigger workflows when a rule has fired, and take actions by sending commands, updating properties, getting telemetry on devices, and more.
  • EduframeThis connector opens up the opportunity to easily integrate your existing software applications with Eduframe, like your CRM and accounting software.
  • LIFX – The LIFX connector builds upon existing functionality to offer an even wider range of options than ever before, empowering you to leverage Power Automate and automatically tap into the extensive possibilities of your LIFX smart lights. 
  • Microsoft 365 message center – This connector enables you to sync your M365 admin center messages to Planner, helping you stay on top of your messages.
  • Office 365 Groups Mail – This connector allows users to work with data located in an Office 365 Group mailbox. 
  • Virus Total – With this connector you can automatically leverage the power of Virus Total in your flows to help identify malicious content to keep you and your organization safe.

Find out more:

AI Builder dedicated actions in Power Automate

Released in May 2020, the Power Automate team  introduced dedicated actions for AI Builder. You can find these actions when you search for the type of action you want to automate.

Find out more:

Power BI

Single sign on to

Navigate to your Ideas, connect with your Power Platform Community and other Power Platform sites using one identity. ow you can use your Active Directory (Work or School account) to connect across the entire Power Platform!  

Find out more:

General Availability of enhanced connectivity for Snowflake

The Power BI team have announced the enhanced capabilities added recently to the Power BI Snowflake connector are now GA, including the ability to connect to Snowflake without an on-premises data gateway as well as support for Azure Active Directory (AAD) authentication and SSO in DirectQuery mode in the Power BI service.

Find out more:

New look for Power BI apps

There is now a new, unified view for Power BI apps. When you press Get apps (on the Power BI apps page) you will land in a brand-new gallery experience where you can get apps both from your organization and from the AppSource marketplace.

Check out the new, unified view for Power BI apps.

Find out more:

On-premises data gateway June 2020 update

The Power BI team have announced the release the June update for the On-premises data gateway (version 3000.45.7). This months update includes an updated version of the Mashup Engine, which will match the Power BI Desktop June update.

Find out more:

Power BI data protection capabilities generally available

The Power BI data protection capabilities are now generally available, meaning it’s now possible to:

  • Classify and label sensitive Power BI data using the familiar Microsoft Information Protection sensitivity labels used in Office.
  • Enforce governance policies even when Power BI content is exported to Excel, PowerPoint, or PDF, to help ensure data is protected even when it leaves Power BI.
  • Monitor and protect user activity on sensitive data in real time with alerts, session monitoring, and risk remediation using Microsoft Cloud App Security.
  • Empower security administrators who use data protection reports and security investigation capabilities with Microsoft Cloud App Security to enhance organizational oversight.

Find out more:

Dark mode for the Power BI iOS app

The Power BI team have added dark mode support to the Power BI iOS app. To change this setting go to the app’s Settings page, tap on Appearance, and choose your preference: Dark, Light or System default.

Dark mode is now available for Power BI iOS.

Find out more:

Power BI Desktop June 2020 Feature Summary

Several features are generally available as part of this months release including:

  • Automatic page refresh
  • Hierarchy slicer
  • Modern ribbon, and;
  • AI insights

Plus several new features and updates to improve your reporting: many enhancements to mobile layout authoring, visual updates and more! 

Find out more:

Updated mobile authoring in Power BI Desktop

A new mobile layout authoring experience has been released in Power BI Desktop introducing new features such as the phone emulator and canvas grid, an updated visualization pane and overlaid visuals.

A new mobile authoring experience is now available for Power BI desktop.

Find out more:


Forms in Excel now general available

Previously in preview, Forms in Excel is now generally available. With the GA release there have been additional improvements to the performance and reliability of the app. 

Forms in Excel is now generally available.

Specific user sharing for collaboration

There’s now a new option to let you specify specific users or groups within your organization to collaborate with.  You are able to specify one or more co-authors using their email address. 

As this is more restrictive than existing collaboration styles, this setting is optimal for forms with more sensitive content.  You do not have to worry about the collaboration URL getting loose as it will not work for anyone outside of the list you’ve specified.

Specific user sharing for collaboration in Microsoft Forms.

Find out more:

Individual responses no longer limited to 300

The Forms team have announced the drop-down view for individual responses is no longer linted to 300. Users can now review, print or delete any single response, no matter how many responses they received.

Find out more:

One-click empty recycle bin

An update to the previous annoying process of deleting individually, you ca now empty your Forms recycle bin with just one click.

One-click empty recycle bin is coming to Microsoft Forms.

Find out more:

Detailed mobile view for text questions

The Forms team have enabled an option to double-click on ‘text’ based responses. Visit the response page, find the text question or text option, then click the “See all responses” link to review all the responses. Users can also sort the responses from newer to older, and vice versa.

Find out more:


Temporary increase to 20,000 attendees for Live Events in Yammer extended

Microsoft announced earlier this year that a temporary limit increase would be enabled for Microsoft 365 live events to help better support customers, through to July 1, 2020. This will now continue to support until October 1, 2020.

Support for for up to 20,000 attendees for Live Events in Yammer has been extended to October 2020.

Find out more:

Poll in Outlook

Now you can create a real time poll in seconds when composing an email in Outlook. Once sent, recipients vote directly in email or click on an included link and vote in a browser window.

You can then check poll results in real-time using the voting card. Poll is now pre-installed to your Outlook mailbox so you no longer need to install the add-in yourself.

Poll in Outlook.

Find out more:

PowerPoint Presenter Coach for Android

Microsoft have we are announced that Presenter Coach for web and Android is now generally available – in both the PowerPoint app and the new Office mobile app.

Presenter Coach uses artificial intelligence (AI) to provide on-screen guidance on your pacing, use of inclusive language or profanity, and use of filler words and culturally insensitive phrases.

PowerPoint Presenter Coach in Android.

Find out more:

New Microsoft 365 Groups management capabilities

Microsoft have released several updates this month to improve the management of Microsoft 365 Groups, including:

  • Team creation experience – an enhanced the team creation experience with an updated user interface and improved error messages.
  • Group information – group information, including the Group ID, name, alias, and description, can now be exported as a .csv file using filtered properties or search results.
  • Edit Group email addresses – email addresses for a Microsoft 365 Group can now be edited, enabling group names to continue to evolve as needs change. 
  • Restore deleted Groups – you can now restore a deleted group directly from the Deleted Groups page.
New management capabilities in Microsoft 365 Groups.

Find out more:


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 & updates, Win7 end of support


SharePoint page version history

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

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

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:


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.

Find out more:

Colleague joined Team notification

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

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

KPI visual formatting settings

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

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

Find out more:

Conditional formatting for buttons

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

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

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

New DAX function: Quarter

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

Find out more:

Data profiling enhancements

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

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

Find out more:

.pbids file format

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

Find out more:

Performance improvements for modeling operations

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

Find out more:


Office 365 Video retirement

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

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

Find out more:

Office 365 app launcher and 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 This change unifies this, meaning users will see the same set of apps through both the app launcher and

Find out more:

Windows 7 End of Support and Office 365 ProPlus

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

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

Find out more:


Microsoft 365 update for August 2019

In this month’s update:

SharePointSite swap, site owners can join to hub sites, activity highlights in file hover card
OneDrivePopular around me, comments on non-office files, Samsung + OneDrive
TeamsFocus time, content cameras, meetings first, share audio, partner provided calling plans for Japan, audio conferenceing via direct routing GCC High & GCC DoD, Personal apps (developer preview), enhanced assignments Teams for Education
PoweAppsOctober PowerApps release wave videos, publishing changes to Portals, PowerApps CLI, new functions, provisioning/ admin updates, inline navigate, SharePoint declaration improvents, data source experience & CDS views, share canvas apps with guests
RelatedWork-in-progress slides in PowerPoint, direct links to PowerPoint slides, enhanced Yammer mobile experience


Site swap

Finally, you can make your root site a modern communication site or a modern team site! Using the new PowerShell cmdlet: Invoke-SPOSiteSwap, switches the location of a source site with another target site.

Note: the source or target sites cannot be “associated” with an Office 365 group or connected to a hub site.

         -SourceUrl <string>
         -TargetUrl <string>
         -ArchiveUrl <string>   
Find out more:

Site owners can assoicate sites to a hub

Site owners can now associate their sites to a hub they have permissions to join. Previously this ability required site collection level admin privileges.

Find out more:

Activity highlights in the File Hover Card

The activity highlights shows you if someone you work with edits, comments, or @mentions you on files you’re working on. This is displayed in the File Hover Card, with a link to the relevant activity.

Recent activity in the File Hover Card
Find out more:


Now you can find relevant content at the top of the Shared with me view in OneDrive. Files which are recommended based on your working relationships will surface to help you find trending information faster and discover new content.

The new popular around me view in OneDrive
Find out more:

Comments on non-Office files

You can already comment on Office docs in Office on the web, but now you can comment on other file types in OneDrive on the web such as PNGs, JPGs, or PDFs. You can also comment while using the viewer in OneDrive.

Comments on non-Office files in OneDrive
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Samsung + OneDrive

OneDrive will be natively integrated into the Samsung Gallery app, providing automatic syncing of your photos and videos and enabling new protection and cross-device experiences. The Galaxy Note10 will be the first to get the OneDrive integration, with more Samsung devices to follow.

Find out more:


Focus time

When you schedule “focus time” through MyAnalytics, Teams will automatically help you stay focused by changing your presence to “focusing” and silencing all notifications during the focus period (based on your priority access settings).

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Content cameras & intelligent capture

The Microsoft Teams Room app has been updated to include a “content camera” feature. This detects the whiteboard in the room, crops and frames it, and shares the content with remote participants.

Microsoft Teams Rooms
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Meetings first

Meetings First is a configuration mode that allows organizations to continue to use Skype for Business Server for their chat and enterprise voice needs, but move their meetings workload to the cloud.

Any version of Skype for Business Server is supported, though more recent clients will have a better coexistence experience. In addition, organizations need to be licensed for Teams, including Audio Conferencing if PSTN dial-in/dial-out functionality is required.

Teams Meetings First
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Share audio in Teams

Now, you can share your audio during a Teams meeting, so all participants can hear whatever media you’re presenting.

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Partner provided call plans for Japan

SoftBank has released their UniTalk calling plans to Office 365 customers in Japan. The Softbank Calling Plans enables SoftBank to sell and support PSTN calling services specifically for the Japanese market.

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Audio Conferencing via Direct Routing for GCC High and GCC DoD

  • o Conferencing via Direct Routing for GCC High and GCC DoD

This feature enables participants to join your organization’s meetings using a standard phone number. Configuring this feature requires your GCC High or GCC DoD organization to use its own numbers for dial-in access and all meeting dial-outs to phones are via Direct Routing.

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Personal apps on mobile (developer preview)

Currently in developer preview, Personal apps can extend and customize Microsoft Teams for your organization. It provides a capability for people in your organization to use 3rd party apps within Teams.

Personal apps in developer preview has been rolled out, with a a broader target rollout in the last quarter of 2019.

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Enhanced assignment tab in Teams for Education

The enhanced Assignments tab now shows a clear view of what’s coming up next, when creating a class assignment, educators can add resources from your Staff or PLC team. Simply select Add resources on your assignment and choose it from the file picker. You no longer need to move your content between teams.

Add resources in Teams for Education
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PowerApps October release wave updates!

In August the PowerApps team added videos to the release notes show casing upcoming innovations as part of the wave 2 releases. You can see the video below:

PowerApps 2019 release wave 2 overview
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Publishing changes to PowerApps Portals

PowerApps Portals now uses the selective entity caching approach to improve reliability and performance of your portal. With this update, you can now see changes reflected on the portal immediately.

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New features for the PowerApps CLI

PowerApps component framework can now see changes in the test harness as they are made and push components directly into an org using the CLI.

The push capability will make you more efficient because it bypasses the custom component versioning requirements and does not require you to build your solution in order to import into your development environment.

The watch capability removes the need to reload your test harness after every change is made.

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SetFocus function

The SetFocus function gets data entered faster by having the app position the cursor in the input field where we should begin. When you go to validate, the app will take you directly to the offending entry, even if it scrolled off screen.

SetFocus function in PowerApps
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With function

You can now simplify large formulas by dividing them into named sub-formulas, eliminate redundant sub-formulas, and easily work with functions that return records.

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Provisioning & administration updates for Power Platform admin center

Several changes were rolled out in August to the Power Platform admin center, including:

  • Provisioning environments
  • Provisioning based on available capacity
  • Administrators can view all environments in the admin center
  • Simplified license requirements to administrator environments
  • Top table trend is now available in the capacity report.
Power Platform admin center
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Inline navigate to all of our modern model-driven designers

To reduce the amount of clutter within your browser while building apps, Microsoft have introduced an option to open the modern view and form designers inline. To get back, you can simply press the back button in the designer.

Inline navigate for modern model-driven designers
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Improvements to SharePoint delegation

Delegation of SharePoint complex objects and Query and filter operations on objects such as Person and Choice is now supported in PowerApps.

In addition, the DateTime and Date values are still not yet delegable, but a null value can be delegated for a DateTime and Date field.

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Data source experience & Common Data Service views

New data source experience and Common Data Service views that allow adding data sources into the app, or creating new connections without inserting a control have been updated.

Also updated is enabling a Common Data Service entity view that can be selected in the property pane and the Items property.  The property pane will update the Items property to add the Filter function taking the the view name as the filter.

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Share canvas apps with guests

Now in public preview, this feature enables canvas apps to be shared with guests of your organization! This enables teams of individuals made up of different organizations participating in a common business process to access the same app.

Sharing canvas apps with guests of your organization
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Please note: there are also several updates for the PowerApps Unified Interface that I haven’t been able to list here, but you can find all the details from the link below:


You can now transform standard shapes in PowerPoint, Word, and Excel into rough outlines that look handdrawn and convey a sense of in-progress work. Sketched Shapes is perfect for building wireframes, drafting designs, or adding an artistic touch.

Work-in-progress diagrams and slides in PowerPoint
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You can now get a link to an individual slide from PowerPoint and share it with recipients. This will help others land on the most relevant information without having to find what you were trying to show them through a stack of presentation slides

Find out more:

Recently announced, a new Yammer mobile experience to iOS and Android devices. Some highlights include a modernized feed experience that reduces visual clutter and delivers improved readability, live events, and townhalls that you can view on the go; Seen Counts to let you know how many people have viewed your messages; and group search to cut down on search time and find the information you need.

Find out more:

Links and resources

Fun with PowerApps part 4: Creating a custom PowerApp

This is the final part in my fun with PowerApps series, in this post i’ll go through the steps involved in creating a new PowerApp from scratch and highlight some of the difference with using a template or generating a PowerApp from a SharePoint list.

You can read all the other parts in this series below:

Part 1: setting up the default gateway
Part 2: creating a data connection
Part 3: my first powerapp

Creating a PowerApp from scratch

So far we have generated our very first powerapp from a SharePoint list or library, but now we want to take it a step further and create a brand new PowerApp from the beginning to enable us to create a desktop experience.

To create the bespoke PowerApp we will need to begin in the PowerApps studio, the steps below walk through creating the bespoke PowerApp:

  • Navigate to
  • In the Home screen, select Start from blank – make sure the desktop view is selected – Press Make this app

The PowerApps studio will give you some useful tips on how to create forms or galleries which are definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already!

  • On the canvas, press Connect to data
  • In the Data window, select the data connection we created earlier

  • Enter the URL of the SharePoint site you want to access
  • Once entered, you will see all the available lists and libraries you can use as the primary data source, select the one you wish to use


And there you are your custom PowerApp is all set up and ready to go! Of course this is just the very beginning and you now have the fun bits to come like adding all of the elements that will make up your PowerApp but from my experience I think there are a few approaches to achieve this.

My idea was to create and open up the template helpdesk PowerApp side-by-side with my custom one to get a better understanding of how to re-produce things like the totals across the top and some of the finer details that make up the PowerApp. I think doing it this way is much easier than trying to pick apart the templates as you are starting with your own data source rather than the static ones provided within the templates.

As well as the desktop and mobile experiences you now have the ability to create list forms using PowerApps too, so now there is even more fun to be had with PowerApps!


Thanks for reading 🙂

Fun with PowerApps part 3: my first PowerApp

This is part three in my fun with PowerApps series where I’ll go through my personal experience of creating a new PowerApp from scratch and go through step-by-step for each part of the process…

You can read all parts of this series below:

Part 1: setting up the default gateway
Part 2: creating a data connection

Carrying on from my last post – creating a data connection, we are now good to go and begin to build our first PowerApp!

Just like setting up the data connection, creating a PowerApp can be a really simple thing to do.

However, I’ve found either creating a PowerApp from the SharePoint list or library is really quick and easy, but it doesn’t necessarily give you the most flexibility when it comes to wanting to do it your own way…

Creating a PowerApp

You can create a PowerApp from a list or library literally from the push of a button! Its as simple as:

  • Create your list or library, add all the associated columns and data you wish to be displayed in your PowerApp
  • Press the ‘PowerApps’ button on the list menu, then press ‘Create an app’

  • You’ll then be prompted to create your app, start by giving it a name and press ‘Create

After a few moments your app will be created! It will open in the PowerApps web editor and you should see your list columns and data displaying in your shiny new PowerApp!

You can also take a look at the app in the preview to get a good look at how it operates and how the data is displayed…


That’s it! Your all set…but if you’re like me you’ll have some questions. Like, what if I want a desktop app and not a mobile one?

Well for that you’ll need to build an app from scratch, I’ll be going over creating a new PowerApp in the next part of this series so hold on as i’ll be posted the next part very soon!

Fun with PowerApps part 2: creating a new data connection

This is part two in my fun with PowerApps series where I’ll go through my personal experience of creating a brand new PowerApp from scratch and go through step-by-step for each part of the process…

You can read part 1 of this series below:

Part 1: setting up the default gateway

Continuing on from my previous post – setting up the default gateway, we should now be in a position to create a new data connection within PowerApps. On the surface this is pretty easy to do, all that’s needed is to choose the connection type – press create – authenticate – job done!

However, when we need to create a data connection for an on premise SharePoint environment, its a little bit of a different story. Here are the steps involved for setting up a new data connection for a SharePoint on premise environment:

  1. Go to
  2. Under Connections – press New Connection

  3. In the search bar, search for “SharePoint” – press the plus icon

  4. The SharePoint data connection popup box should appear, under “how do you want to connect to your data?” select Connect using on-premises data gateway
  5. Set the authentication type to Windows and then specify your username and password (you may need to include a domain name as part of the username)
  6. I used credentials of a user that had owner permissions for the SharePoint environment I connected to, it makes sense to me that the account you specify here would at the very least need to be able to read/write to the SharePoint list that acts as the data source.

  7. Choose the gateway we set up in part 1 of this series, if you can’t see it you might need to install it again or refresh the list until it displays.
  8. I actually had to create the default gateway using a different account than the one I created my first PowerApp with, so it wouldn’t show for me initially. I had to share the gateway I created and set my PowerApps user as an admin for it to show in this list.

  9. Press Save

You will now see your newly created data connection appearing in the connections list! Your able to edit and delete the data connection at any point and can also check who the owner is, the connection name and crucially the status of the connection under the details button.


There is also this article from Microsoft talking through connecting to SharePoint from PowerApps that lists the known issues with certain column types:

Fun with PowerApps part 1: setting up the default gateway

I’ve recently been playing with PowerApps for the first time, I set myself a challenge of creating an IT service desk in PowerApps using a SharePoint 2016 on premise environment as the main data source.

So before I start going through all the steps I found were needed for me to setup the default gateway, this article from Microsoft is a great place to start and contains most of the steps I’ll go through below:

Setting up the default gateway

  1. Download the gateway installer here
  2. Run and begin the install of the default gateway, this can be installed anywhere that is able to connect to the server name provided. Press Next
  3. Specify the install location for the gateway and accept the terms of use. Press Install

  4. Enter the email address you wish to use with this gateway. On the next screen of the wizard, press Sign in

  5. Select Register a new gateway on this computer, press Next

  6. Give your new on-premises data gateway a name, enter a recovery key and confirm it. Press Configure

  7. In the PowerApps Studio, under Gateways you should now see your Gateway listed

I found that the internal firewall where I had setup the gateway was blocking connections, in my case the system admin allowed these connections and it worked a treat!

I also found that the 365 account used to register the default gateway needed a Power BI license assigned to it to be able to connect to a SharePoint on premise data connection.

I’m planning on doing a series of posts over the next few weeks on my fun with PowerApps so part 2 will be coming soon!