The first thing we want to bring to everyone’s attention this month is Microsoft’s announcement that they are temporarily pulling back some features in order to better serve their customers during these unprecedented times. Despite how that sounds, Microsoft is still hard at work releasing new and updated features. We will learn about the new feature that allows users to edit metadata from within the SharePoint Document Library and List View web parts as well as the feature that allows for audience targeting in site, footer and hub navigation. Another new feature will allow Teams users to pop their chat conversations into separate windows. We will also dive into the updates to the Microsoft Secure Score and updates to the Office 365 Message Encryption (OME) that will enhance email authenticity.
Right now, many individuals and companies are grappling with transitioning to remote work and are looking for guidance on successfully navigating this new way of working and collaborating. There are many questions around staying connected, continuing effective and efficient collaboration, sharing information and documents, and keeping this information/content secure. Another important factor to consider, especially given the suddenness of many organization’s transitions to remote work due to the rapid spread of COVID-19, is ease of adoption. Microsoft Teams has you covered.
What is Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft Teams is a communication and collaboration platform that allows users to virtually chat, use and share files, hold meetings and much more all from the same window. Teams is a part of Office 365, so if your organization is licensed for Office 365, you already have it. If you don’t have it, Microsoft is currently offering a 6 month free trial of their Office 365 E1 license.Continue reading “Why Use Microsoft Teams for Remote Work”
This month we are highlighting some new features in SharePoint and Teams, a new option for receiving Service Health Notification emails, and reminding you of the changes that went live in January for Power Platform Self-Service. Lastly, there is the news of Microsoft forcing users to use Bing Search by default even in Chrome. As always, there are a lot of things happening in Office 365, so be sure to check out the Tech Community Blogs and the Microsoft 365 Roadmap for more of what’s new.
It’s a new year, a new decade (depending on your point of view), and we have some new Office 365 features to tell you about. Most of these features aren’t beginning rollout until mid-January, but that will be here before you know it. As always, there is some great content being shared on the Tech Community blogs, so check them out when you get a chance. The updates we are covering in this post are from the Office 365 Message center.
Microsoft Search Change to suggested Q&A
Action required by Jan 10, 2020
Yep, you read that correctly. Microsoft is at it again – changing the licensing for PowerApps and Flow. Even though they just changed the licensing in February of 2019, they are making significant changes that will be launching in October. These changes come on the heels of the launch of PowerApps Portals, which are low-code websites for external users. Although I understand the need to add new/different levels of licensing for this new feature, it seems like overkill to change all the licensing just 5 months after a major overhaul. Furthermore, the changes could have significant financial implications for some, and the announcement has left the community up in arms.
I attended the Azure Virtual Day Camp put on by the Power Platform Users Group earlier this week. I registered for sessions from two different tracks (Developer and Architect); but in the end, they only registered me for 3 sessions in the Architect track (some of which were sessions for which I had not even registered). I was a bit disappointed, because I really wanted to attend the Developer sessions. The saving grace is that they sent me the recordings from the Developer sessions. Hopefully, I can find some time to watch them.
Developing with PowerApps, Flow and Azure Cognitive Services
My first session by Mariano Gomez was the most interesting. Mariano walked us through developing a Conference Badge Scanner App. The app scans a badge, converts the data to text, and sends an email to the badge owner. This same technology could easily be used to scan business cards and send them to a contacts list/data base. The App uses PowerApps, Flow and the Computer Vision API. Mariano demontrated building the app during the 45-minute session. That is how easy it is to leverage the power of the power platform. Continue reading “Azure Virtual Day Camp Review”
I’ve been working on a solution for a customer that utilizes SharePoint Online lists and libraries, PowerApps, Logic Apps, and Azure Functions. The solution works something like this: Project documents are stored and updated in a SharePoint Library by office staff. The shop floor needs to access the documents and know at a glance when documents have been updated. The PowerApp displays a count of the most recently updated documents by project and document type, and also displays the documents. A SharePoint List is used to store the counts of the most recently updated documents. The Logic App and Azure Function work together to update the SharePoint List with the counts from the SharePoint Library.
As part of the solution, we wanted a way to be notified if the Azure Function threw an error. This is where SendGrid comes in. SendGrid is a third-party email delivery service. Azure Functions support an output binding for SendGrid, which makes it very easy to integrate into your solution.Here is a grand overview of how my solution (just the Azure Function and SendGrid piece) will work – If my Azure Function throws an error, it will send the error message to Azure Queue Storage. The error message will be stored in Azure Queue Storage until another Azure Function (2) comes and picks it up. Azure Function (2) will use SendGrid to send an email containing the error message. Easy-peasy. You can use SendGrid to send emails for all kinds of reasons – when a customer places an order, you can send a confirmation email with the details of the order; when someone clicks a button on your site to request information, you can send an email with the requested information; the options are endless.