Author Archives: Sheryl Darroch

What’s New in Microsoft 365 (May 2021)

In this month’s post we are talking about a few new SharePoint features that will be available in the coming months: one that deals with SharePoint document library folders that are connected to a Teams channel, a new SharePoint App Bar that features global navigation, and SharePoint Spaces being added to the New menu – this one requires Admins to take action prior to June 1. In addition, we will tell you about a new One Drive sync client 64-bit that will be available soon for Windows, and a new feature that allows Admins to de-identify PII (personally identifiable information) in Teams usage reports. As a bonus, we’ll throw in a little story about the SharePoint Framework version that lasted all of 5 days before it was deprecated.

Folders Connected to Teams Channel Clearly Identified in SharePoint Library

This new feature will make it easy to tell which folders within your SharePoint library have a Teams channel associated with them. This is a good one. We’ve had many clients completely confused by the new folders that arrive in their SharePoint library when their existing SharePoint site is associated with Teams. Some have even tried to delete or rename these folders, which leads to another set of problems. This new feature will not only clearly indicate that the folder is associated with a Teams channel, but it will also give users the ability to easily move from a SharePoint folder directly to the corresponding Teams channel (see image below). As a result of this change, users will be unable to delete or rename folders that are associated with a Teams channel. Hopefully this new feature will help clear up the relationship between Teams and SharePoint for users who continue to be confused, and make working with the two more seamless. Rollout is planned to begin in late May and be complete by late June.

SharePoint App Bar that Features Global Navigation

If and when this is rolled out, it will be the answer to so many customer’s requests. Unfortunately, Microsoft has postponed the rollout with no word on when it is being rescheduled. However, I still thought it would be of interest to share. The SharePoint App Bar will provide quick access to a customizable global navigation as well as other intranet resources, but will only be available on modern sites. The SharePoint App Bar will be in the upper left side of modern sites (see image below). Although the global navigation is customizable, the sites, news and files are not. These are driven by Microsoft Graph and personalized for the logged-in user.

The plan is to have the SharePoint App Bar appear by default. Until customized, the global nav entry point will refer users to their SharePoint start page. It will be possible to temporarily disable the SharePoint App Bar using PowerShell. Customizing the global navigation requires that you have an organization home site.

Learn more

SharePoint Spaces to be Available by Default in New Menu

Action required by Jun 1, 2021

SharePoint Spaces became generally available in October 2020, and it allows the creation and sharing of immersive or browser-based mixed reality environments using assets such as 3D models, 360° images and videos, and 2D content such as videos, images, and office documents. Soon (by early June) SharePoint Spaces will be available in the site level +New menu by default (see image below). Admins will have the ability to turn this off at the tenant level, or allow site owners to turn it off at the site level.

For more information on the PowerShell command to disable this feature, click here.

OneDrive Sync Client 64-bit Update Available for Windows

The new 64-bit version of the OneDrive Sync Client is a long awaited update that will make life easier for users who have lots of files or large files. Microsoft will be silently updating devices from the 32-bit version to the new 64-bit version of the OneDrive Sync Client. The rollout will follow the normal OneDrive sync app update process and was scheduled to be complete by the end of April.

De-Identify Personally Identifiable Information in Teams Admin Usage Reports

This change will de-identify the personally identifiable information in the Teams user activity report & the Teams device usage report based on the de-identification setting in the M365 admin center. Only users with the Global administrator role have access to this setting and are able to toggle it. The setting’s default is OFF, which means personal information will be displayed in clear text by default.

As always, there are a lot of things happening in Microsoft 365, so be sure to check out the Tech Community Blogs and the Microsoft 365 Roadmap for more of what’s new.  

What’s New in Microsoft 365 (November 2020)

As usual, we are still seeing a flood of new features and other announcements as a result of Microsoft’s Ignite Conference. We have done our best to curate a handful of the most interesting or impactful ones. Before we dig in, just another reminder that SharePoint 2010 workflows are no longer functioning as of November 1, 2020 AND Teams will no longer be supporting IE 11 after November 30, 2020.

This month we have a few new things happening in Teams: virtual break out rooms, transfer meetings between devices, and meeting recordings now saving to OneDrive and SharePoint; a couple SharePoint announcements: new required properties for SharePoint pages and personal search query history; and one tidbit for Forms: choose specific users/groups to respond to forms.

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Microsoft Lists: What’s All The Hype About?

Honestly, I can’t really tell you, because although Microsoft claimed that Lists would be available in targeted release in late July, we still have yet to see it in our tenant. Let me step back a minute in case you haven’t seen all the marketing that Microsoft has been doing to push Microsoft Lists. Some of you may be saying what is Microsoft Lists?

According to Microsoft, “Lists is a Microsoft 365 app that helps you track information and organize your work. Lists are simple, smart, and flexible, so you can stay on top of what matters most to your team. Track issues, assets, routines, contacts, inventory and more using customizable views and smart rules and alerts to keep everyone in sync. With ready-made templates, you can quickly start lists online, on our new mobile app, and directly from within Microsoft Teams. And because it is part of Microsoft 365, you can rely on enterprise-grade security and compliance.”

The truth is Lists is the same old SharePoint lists re-branded with some new added features like templates that have “pretty” user interfaces. Don’t get me wrong, the new features seem like they will be helpful and will definitely enhance the user experience. I’m just annoyed that they are making it sound like they created this whole new thing  just to attract new business.

While we are talking about being annoyed – let’s talk about how Microsoft has been out in the public talking up Lists like crazy, but they have been pretty tight lipped in the Message Center. In fact, there was only one message back in early July, and it wasn’t the hyped up story that they are selling out in the world. With as hard as they are pushing it out in the wild, you would think there would have been much more communication about it in the Message Center. Silly me for thinking logically.

Long story short, if you are interested in learning more about Microsoft Lists, don’t ask us. We don’t know anything more than you can learn online. See the links below for what Microsoft has to say.

Announcing Microsoft Lists

A first Look at Microsoft Lists

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