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 BIideas.powerbi.com 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

SharePoint

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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:


Teams

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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:


OneDrive

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 Ideas.PowerBI.com

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

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:

Related

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:


Resources

Microsoft 365 update for January 2020

In this month’s update:

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

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

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

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

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

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

SharePoint

SharePoint page version history

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

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

Find out more:

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

Custom search results pages in SharePoint Online.

Find out more:

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Resize images within the image web part

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

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

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

Find out more:

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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:

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Teams

Read receipts in private chats

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

Read receipts in Microsoft Teams chats.

Find out more:

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Colleague joined Team notification

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

Find out more:

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Voice administration in Teams admin center

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

Find out more:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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Cloud Communications APIs now available

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

Find out more:

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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.

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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:

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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:

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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:

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Deprecation of the regional Discovery Service

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

Find out more:

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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:

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Test Studio

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

Find out more:

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Microsoft Stream videos/ channels in canvas apps

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

Microsoft Stream videos inside canvas apps.

Find out more:

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Power Automate

Simplified AI Builder in Power Automate

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

Form processing example with AI Builder.

Find out more:

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UI Flows January 2020 update now available

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

Find out more:

Adaptive cards actions update

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

Next generation Adaptive Cards for Power Automate.

Find out more:

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Simplified number formatting

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

Simplified number formatting in Power Automate.

Find out more:

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New Power Automate Cookbook!

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

Find out more:

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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:

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Setting a table column or matrix value as a custom URL

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

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

Find out more:

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KPI visual formatting settings

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

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

Find out more:

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Conditional formatting for buttons

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

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

Find out more:

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Load more for analytics insights

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

Load more for analytics insights.

Find out more:

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New DAX function: Quarter

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

Find out more:

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Data profiling enhancements

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

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

Find out more:

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.pbids file format

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

Find out more:

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Performance improvements for modeling operations

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

Find out more:

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Related

Office 365 Video retirement

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

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

Find out more:

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Office 365 app launcher and Office.com updates

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

Find out more:

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Windows 7 End of Support and Office 365 ProPlus

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

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

Find out more:

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Resources

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

SharePoint

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.

Invoke-SPOSiteSwap
         -SourceUrl <string>
         -TargetUrl <string>
         -ArchiveUrl <string>   
      [<CommonParameters>]
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:

OneDrive

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
Find out more:

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:

Teams

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).

Find out more:

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
Find out more:

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
Find out more:

Share audio in Teams

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

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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
Find out more:

PowerApps

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
Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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
Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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
Find out more:

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
Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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.

Find out more:

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
Find out more:

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:

https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/august-2019-updates-for-microsoft-powerapps/

Related

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
Find out more:

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 https://web.powerapps.com/
  • 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

Conclusion

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!

Source: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powerapps/customize-list-form

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…

Conclusion…

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 web.powerapps.com
  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.

BONUS

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

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powerapps/connections/connection-sharepoint-online

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
NOTES

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!