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
With Microsoft’s Ignite Conference right around the corner, it is typically tough to find exciting content for this month’s blog post. That is NOT the case this year. We have big changes to announce, some have already caused controversy with IT Admins, others have the potential for causing controversy, and still others are sure to make some end users’ lives a bit easier. We will be covering the unveiling (somewhat unceremoniously and with little heads up) of the self-service purchase capabilities for Power Platform products, and the end of support for Windows 7. New features that may excite IT Admins, or not, include form customization in SharePoint Lists and Libraries and the ability to rename SharePoint Site URLs. The new feature that is sure to delight many end users is live captions (English-US) in Teams meetings.
Self-Service Purchase Capabilities for Power Platform
Once again Microsoft has been rolling out updated and new features at neck breaking speed. While it’s hard to argue with their numbers I cannot help but agree with some of the sentiments put forth by Andrew Connell in his SharePoint Framework Summer 2019 Wish List post on September 4th. If you’re a developer doing any work with the SharePoint Framework the article is a must read. If you’re not, just know that the gist of the article is “New stuff is great but how about we clean up what we already have rolled out”. Again, hard to argue with Microsoft’s results but Andrew’s logic is spot on as usual. With that diatribe out of the way here are some other notable happenings in Office 365 in the past month.
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.
There are thousands of articles, blog posts, videos and other information being generated every month for Office 365. It’s impossible to review them all but we are going to be posting our top “good reads” for Office 365 content monthly. There may be one or two items from the Office 365 Message Center in this list occasionally but for the most part we are going to stick with community contributions that we feel may provide value for our customers and our employees. Without further ado, please find our “good reads” for January 2019 below😉. Continue reading “Office 365 January 2019 Good Reads”
We recently were engaged on a project where we were utilizing PowerApps to present documents to employees via a kiosk application. The employees needed the ability to edit the documents and be able to open them in Office Online by default, but during testing we noticed that employees were unintentionally modifying files in Office Online. The PowerApp was for a heavy industrial fabrication shop and the target users were often wearing welding equipment and various other safety gear so asking them to be more delicate with the tooling wasn’t really a reasonable request. Continue reading “Open Documents Read-Only in Modern SharePoint”