What’s New in Office 365 (February 2020)

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.

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What’s New in Office 365 (September 2019)

As a regular user or admin of Office 365, you are no doubt aware that Microsoft is always making changes, upgrading, and adding features to Office 365 products. It is nearly impossible to keep up to date on all of them. This is our attempt at highlighting the ones we think will impact you the most and make your life/work easier. This month we talk about new templates for creating users in the Microsoft 365 Admin Center, Private Channels in Teams, Site Swapping, and Priority Notifications in Teams.  We also throw in bonus information like a heads up on a free online Microsoft Flow conference coming up on September 10.  Don’t forget to check out the Microsoft 365 Roadmap for a full list of all that is happening with Office 365. Continue reading “What’s New in Office 365 (September 2019)”

New Licensing Options for PowerApps and Flow

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.

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Azure Virtual Day Camp Review

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.

Session Reviews

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”

What’s New in Office 365 (January 2019)

Happy New Year! January is here – new year, new you, right? Personally, I don’t believe in all that new year’s resolution stuff. Every day is a new opportunity to live your best life. How about we stick to new year, new updates for Office 365? There are some changes that will increase security, a change that may affect network traffic, best practice guidelines, and as always, an exciting new feature to highlight.  Regarding security, Microsoft is retiring 3DES in Office 365, and sharing links that block download have begun rolling out.  If you have configured your network to restrict resource access to Azure AD IP address ranges, make sure to read the piece on Azure AD updating IP Addresses. PowerApps users will be happy to see the release of a white paper on coding guidelines and standards. And finally, the exciting new feature we are highlighting this month is reminders in SharePoint.   

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Restricting Users from Creating Office 365 Groups

Microsoft is very permissive when it comes to creating Office 365 groups. The default is that everyone can create Office 365 groups. Users can create groups from several different applications, and each user can create up to 250 groups. With this kind of freedom, things can get out of control pretty quickly. Before you know it, your environment can have a plethora of Office 365 Groups that may not be useful or even used. Sometimes the old adage is true – just because they can, doesn’t always mean they should.

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Office 365 Licensing Finally Got Me

I’ve been working in SharePoint for an eternity and in Office 365 long enough to know better yet here we are.  We had a customer request a dirt simple MS Flow to dump an Excel from SharePoint to a local file share on their network so that it could be pulled into a 3rd party tool.  We had just done something far more complex for a similar size/type of customer, so I just glanced at the Flow Pricing page to make sure the on-premises data gateway was listed for Office 365 as I’m always paranoid about licensing, sure enough it was there.  Verified permissions were good to go and I was confident we could knock this thing out in an hour…wrong! Continue reading “Office 365 Licensing Finally Got Me”