WHAT’S NEW IN OFFICE 365 (August 2018)

With a little over 6 weeks to go until Ignite and the Business Application Summit last month we are sure to be getting some new features and enhancements galore over the next couple months.  As an FYI: Microsoft has made most of, if not all the Business Applications Summit sessions available on demand. If you’re thinking about how your organization can take advantage of the Microsoft Power Platform (Power BI, PowerApps, Flow and Dynamics 365) it’s worth looking through the sessions.

Business Applications Summit Flow Highlights

  • MS Flow for Excel Preview is available for those folks that are too attached to Excel to use anything else😉
    • Note that it’s in preview and only works if the file/s are stored in OneDrive for Business or SharePoint but it’s still good news for quite a few Excel enthusiasts…learn more about the preview here

FLOW in Excel Preview

  • Business Process Flows in MS Flow
    • If you’ve been working with Dynamics 365 you may already be familiar with the concept behind Business Process Flows but until recently we could not take advantage of these with MS Flow…that’s changed.
    • There are some caveats to using Business Process Flows to be aware of such as the potential of additional licensing fees and the need to upgrade your Common Data Service(CDS)…but you’ll know right away if you need to upgrade the CDS as this page greets you if you haven’t upgraded

CDS Upgrade Notification

  • Although this wasn’t a feature announcement or upgrade if you are interested in learning more about MS Flow’s advanced capabilities it’s probably worth checking out the Advanced Expressions for MS Flow session

Site Pages Approval coming to Modern SharePoint Sites

With Modern Sites becoming more widely adopted in SharePoint Online, Microsoft has realized that there is a need to ensure that updates to Site Pages go through an approval process.  If you were not aware in Classic SharePoint sites the Members group was granted Contribute permissions by default, in Modern SharePoint sites the Members group is granted Edit permissions. This means that Owners and Members can change page layouts and navigation items in Modern SharePoint by default.

There are workarounds to revert permissions back to the same as the Classic SharePoint experience but the built in “Configure page approval flow” Microsoft is rolling out might be the best bet. Expect to see this in your tenant by August 30th if you haven’t already got it.

TLS 2.0 Move Coming Soon

Although this isn’t necessary an easily relatable topic to everyone it is one of those things that folks in Information Technology deal with that goes until something goes wrong. TLS stands for Transport Layer Security and is a protocol that enables communications between applications to be private and maintain integrity.

It’s important to note that certificates are not dependent on the protocols aka you should not need to go around updating your web sites SSL Certificates😉. However, on 11/1/2018 if you still have applications utilizing TLS 1.0 or TLS 1.1 there will be connectivity issues with Office 365 sites and applications. As GI Joe taught us…” Knowing is half the battle”.

Classic SharePoint is Dead Like Latin

During the 7/10/2018 episode of the Intrazone podcast hosted by Mark Kashman titled The Great Classic-to-Modern Evolution,Chris McNulty confirmed what most of the Office 365 community already knew. If your customers want the latest/greatest product features and enhancements, go modern with your SharePoint environment. I may be paraphrasing Chris so please feel free to check out the show for yourself, but he said something along the lines of “Classic is dead like Latin. We will fix bugs, but we won’t make any improvements to it”.

Don’t worry if you are on classic…this doesn’t mean that Classic SharePoint end of life is coming soon. As recently as June 2018 Jeff Teper (affectionately called “The father of SharePoint”) has stated Classic SharePoint will be supported for the long haul. However, if you are looking to take advantage of the latest/greatest tooling you should seriously consider making the move to Modern SharePoint.

As always, please check in on the Rolling Out and In Development sections of the Office 365 Roadmap regularly to get an idea of what new features, updates and enhancements are in the pipeline😊.

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