Microsoft 365 update for July 2019

In this months update:

SharePoint

Page/ news authoring improvements

Several updates will soon be available for page and news authoring:

  • Drag and drop files to the canvas – authors will be able to upload images to the canvas using drag and drop. They will automatically add the file viewer and upload the file to the document library
  • Link preview – rich preview for links pasted into the text editor to embed videos from Stream/ YouTube links or images with title and description from other links
  • On-page anchors – support for anchor links, allowing readers to jump to a specific parts of the pages
  • Undo/Redo – authors will have the option to undo changes prior to saving/ publishing
  • Vertical sections – vertical sections will be able to be added to client-side pages
SharePoint news in Office 365
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Communication sites will soon have an out-of-the box footer control, which can be controlled using the change the look panel or by using PowerShell [FooterEnabled]. The site footer supports following elements: 8 links or labels, logo and name.

Collaboration site footers in modern SharePoint
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Site usage updates

An improved user experience for the site usage pages in SharePoint, including new “Unique Visitors” and “Site Visits” charts, plus more.

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Preview 360-degree images

You will soon be able to view 360-degree images interactively, directly within SharePoint and OneDrive.

360-degree images in SharePoint and OneDrive
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Quick edit improvements for libraries & lists

New features available when in quick edit mode for libraries and lists such as filtering content, dragging & dropping column widths, showing all view and column formatting and improvement support for user/ choice fields

Improvements to quick edit mode for SharePoint libraries and lists
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Bulk approvals for SharePoint lists/libraries

Soon will soon be able to select multiple items and have the ability to approve/reject them in one go. You can also add optional comments to the approved or rejected items and the Flow will send them out to stakeholders.

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Presevation hold library updates

New 30-day grace periods are being introduced for the release of SharePoint Online holds, preventing the hold from being immediately released. Whilst within the grace period, any deleted item will continue to be preserved in the preservation library until the hold is removed.

Items in a preservation hold library are now moved into the “second stage recycle bin” before being purged.

Diagram of a preservation hold library process flow
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Per-site anyone link expiration policies

Currently, anonymous sharing links can be set to expire after a set number of days (between 1 and 720). This new setting will allow admins to cahnge the expiration policy length on a per-site basis, overriding the tenant level policy.

This will only be available via the SharePoint Online Management Shell as part of the inital release, but will be apart of the SharePoint admin center soon.

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OneDrive Azure Active Directory (AAD) business-to-business (B2B) sync (preview)

Currently in preview, this integrates external sharing in SharePoint and OneDrive with Azure AD B2B. This includes external sharing of files, folders, list items, document libraries and sites.

When a user shares an item in SharePoint or OneDrive with an external user, a guest account is immediately created for that external user (if one does not already exist).

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Teams

Read receipts & priority notifications

Added in July were read receipts and priority notifications to make sure time-senstive message are received and prioritised.

For a limited time, unlimited priority notifications will be made available for all customers. This promotion runs from July 2019 to December 31, 2019.

Priority notifications in Teams
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@-less mentions

Now simply start typing a person’s name (starting with a capital letter) as to tag them by name. They will receive a notification, which they can click to go directly to the point in the conversation where they were mentioned.

@-less mentions in Teams
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Channel moderation

Channel moderation gives team owners and moderators, exclusive rights to create new posts in the channel and control whether team members can reply.

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Teams live events captioning

Currently in preview, live captions and subtitles allow attendees to read speaker captions in real time – improving accessibility for meetings and live events.

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Usage reports for live events

Available now, usage reports help you easily identify trends across your organisation including event status, views, scheduler and more.

Live events usage reports in Teams
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Network planner (preview)

The Network Planner calculates your network requirements for deploying Teams and cloud voice across physical locations. You only need to provide your network details and Teams usage.

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Time clock in Teams Shifts

The new time clock feature in Teams Shifts allows workers to clock in and out right from their Teams mobile app. Managers have the option to geo-fence a location to ensure team members are at the designated worksite when clocking in or out.

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Skype for Business Online will be retired on July 31, 2021

Skype for Business Online will be retired on July 31, 2021 and after that date the service will no longer be accessible.

Please note that the Skype Consumer service and Skype for Business Server will both be unaffected by this announcement.

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OneDrive

More updates are rolling out to the file card experience for both OneDrive and SharePoint:

  • Inside look – get even deeper information about a file such as “key points, and the average time to read. “Key points” is only available in North America and on Word documents
  • Activity highlights – shows relevant activities related to the files you’re working on. Includes edits, comments and @mentions
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Full support for Intune for OneDrive

Announced in July 2019, Intune has released administrative templates. With the templates, admins can now configure over 2500 settings supporting the management of Windows, OneDrive and Office in a similar user interface to group policy editor.

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OneDrive mobile app updates

  • Design refresh for iOS app – latest update brings the iOS app in-line withthe suite of other Office apps
  • Recent view includes PDFs and scans – uploaded scans and recently viewed PDFs automatically surgace at the top of the “recent” list
  • PDF annotation experience – more intuitive and touch friendly markup experience with lightweight notes, with other improvements to the annotation and signature experience
  • OneDrive powered file picking experience in Outlook for iOS – Consistent “recent” list of files and folders through the OneDrive app, email attachments and shared libraries
  • Revamped settings page – Improved usability of the settings page for OnDrive on iOS
Refreshed design for OneDrive app on iOS
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Personal vault

OneDrive personal vault is a protected area that you are only able to access with a strong authentication method or two-tep identity verification.

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PowerApps

PowerApps Portals now in public preview

First announced in July, the public preview for PowerApps Portal is now open to everyone. PowerApps Portals are low-code, responsive portals that allow external users access to interact with data stored in the common data service.

PowerApps Portals now in public preview
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PowerApps ISV Studio in public preview

Also annouced in July was the public preview of the PowerApps ISV Studio, the Power Platform destination for independent software vendors (ISV) to monitor and manage their applications.

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AppSource certification readiness

With the public preview annoucement of PowerApps Build Tools, this includes an Azure DevOps Build task (PowerApps checker service) that validates your app against the AppSource certification criteria.

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Right-click and keyboard shortcuts

The PowerApps design canvas now responds to right-clicks to perform key actions like copy, paste, reorder and align. This same menu is also available in the tree view.

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Manage gateways through Power Platform Admin Center

If you are a gateway admin you will now see all data gateways (standard and personal mode) that you have admin privileges over. This view will allow you to manage gateway admins, as well as search on cluster names and contact info.

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Share canvas app data using the common data service with Azure AD Security Groups

Canvas apps using the common data service can be shared with Azure AD security groups, and data permissions for these groups can be set using the PowerApps.com sharing experience. This streamlines the process of sharing apps with several users, rather than on an individual basis.

Sharing a PowerApps canvas app using the common data service with Azure AD security groups
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Updates to the on-premises data gateway

The on-premises data gateway is now built using .NET 4.7.2 framework, so some operating systems may no longer be supported.

With July 2019 update, if you don’t have .NET 4.7.2 framework or higher but are using a supported OS version, the gateway install will prompt the .NET framework install. If you choose not to install the .NET framework, the installation will fail.

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Flow

New SharePoint connector actions

Several highly requested features have been added to the SharePoint connector:

  • Work with folders – you can now directly create folders in a document library. Extracting .zip files into a folder is also supported
  • Use check in / out – you can now use Check in, Check out and Discard check out when working with document libraries
  • Work with Permissions – you can grant access to an item or a folder in SharePoint to specific people, or delete all links giving access to an item or a folder and remove all people with direct access except owners
  • Modern Document Sets – Document sets will appear in the file picker for the When a file is created in a folder and When a file is created or modified in a folder action triggers.
Modern document set actions in Flow

Use Flow with Azure DevOps

Now in public preview, the PowerApps and Flow Build Tools are now available for download. As Flow expands across Microsoft 365, the automation of the lifecycle of Apps and Flows grows also, plus managing them through source control and versioning leveraging DevOps for deployments.

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Guest user support

Now in public preview, guest access enables users to assign approvals to guest users who are not full members of the tenant. Support includes the SharePoint and Approvals connectors for building automated, instant or scheduled flows.

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Flow authoring improvements

One powerful aspect of automating flows is that any action can use data output by any trigger or action above it in the Flow. This can be a challenge if you want to change a step earlier in the Flow, which other actions depend on.

Now, you are able to delete or rename actions one which other steps depend. Flow checker can be used to fix any issues that arise.

Previously, there were restrictions for classic CDS workflows around editing a running, automated flow – in which you had to first disable it. Now, this restriction has been removed, meaning you can now edit running flows.

New connectors

There were four new connectors released throughout July 2019, such as:

  • Corda Blockchain – Corda is a smart contract distributed ledger. With the Corda connector, you can perform actions such as submitting transactions and reading contract state.
  • LiveTiles Bots – Let people focus on the work that matters most. Automate mundane, repetitive tasks. Create personal, team, enterprise and external assistants with a range of abilities
  • Projectum Present It – Fill data dynamically into your documents
  • Serverless360 BAM & Tracking – ServerLess360 Custom connector helps you track your business processes
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Now when you paste a link for a OneDrive or SharePoint file in a message, it will replace it with the name of the file and the corresponding Office app icon. That link will also allow you to manage permissions for the file using a new sharing dialogue.

New file sharing experience in Outlook for the web
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Microsoft have annouced they are retiring the “Online” branding for Office web apps. The user experience will reflect this change soon.

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Microsoft Forms continues to improve and help create forms faster and more professionally. Here’s a round-up of the latest feature releases:

  • Branching – available early August 2019, branching provides more flexibility to manage survey strutures with conditioning questions supported
  • Theme recommendation – theme recommendation intelligently suggests designs based on the user input title
  • Quick poll add-in for Outlook – you can now create real time polls in seconds without having to leave the email app
  • Quizzes from Office.com – now users can create a new quiz, directly from the O365 homepage
Quick polls for Outlook
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Links and resources

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