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Brian Levenson
Microsoft

We are making some improvements to the Office 365 Roadmap (roadmap.office.com) and wanted to share it here first!

 

By popular request, we are introducing unique Feature IDs to roadmap items. These will be displayed on the Office 365 Roadmap website, and we'll include the relevant Feature ID in associated Message Center notifications. This is possible because we are also migrating the site from the Fast Track Center to products.office.com. (Don't worry, we will redirect the URL and provide you with the new one.) By changing platforms, we have greater control and flexibility with the roadmap website.

 

While moving the website, we're also taking the opportunity to refresh the interface and improve the mobile experience. It is familiar enough to be intuitive but different enough to be refreshing. We hope you like it.

 

The site transition will occur in early December, but no action is required in advance since we'll put a redirect in place. As soon as the new URL is defined, we'll share it as well.

42 Replies
I like the new UX...are you going also to link the ID in the message center with the roadmap item?

Please add RSS Feeds to Roadmap.

+1 to this suggestion!
looks very nice!

Looks good, thanks for the heads up.  Pleased to see the service move away from FastTrack, which didn't seem the best fit.  

 

Correlating items via Feature IDs to the Message Center notifications is a good step.  Ultimately I'd like to see the roadmap be tenant-specific, though I appreciate the technical complexities around that.

 

Native RSS features would be a popular inclusion, some of us use unofficial alternatives to stay up to date, which does a great job but many people won't know about.

Thanks for sharing.

Please make sure that the new ui does not do a Post back after every key stroke when trying to enter filtering criteria. That currently causes a horrible user experience.

 

Also, when will the Whats new Page in the O365 Admin Center get updated? It has not changed since June.

Some nice improvements for sure.

How about adding filters for Business, Education, and Government tenant "classes?"

What is pushed out to Business today, may be months or years coming to Education and / or Government. It would be useful to know what is coming my way in the near term for my tenant (Government). Right now the Roadmap is of little use to me due to the lag time (which can be years) when many features actually make it to my tenant.

Juan Carlos Gonzalez Martin: We do intend to include the Feature ID on the roadmap as well as in the Message Center posts. It may take a little bit longer to build this into the Message Center after updating the Roadmap site, but it is a priority that we’re actively pursuing.

 

Vinod Poojary and Juan Carlos Gonzalez Martin: An RSS feed is a common request, and it is a feature that we’re seeking to deliver. I am working with the web team to define requirements and timelines. Although I’m optimistic that it is feasible in the short term, I will need to follow up before committing to timelines. Would you prefer an RSS for the Roadmap site or an RSS/export function from the Message Center?

 

Cian Allner: You’re absolutely right that we face very complex challenges in providing a per-tenant release roadmap. However, we are working hard to provide relevant information and controls that allow organizations to manage their users, their business, and their content appropriately. First Release/Select Users is one example of how we’re seeking to address the scenario. Your feedback is helpful – please keep it coming! – and we’re not done tackling this need. I would love pointers towards any other SaaS solutions that do a good job of this.

 

Dean Gross: Great feedback on the search. I’ll confirm with the team to ensue it’s considered. I will also reach out to the Admin Center team to learn more about the What’s New page.

 

Cary Siemers: Your suggestions are well aligned with our long term intentions. For full transparency, we need to upgrade the backend data base and publishing system in order to include all the necessary fields and data to accomplish this. That is in progress but taking a while. In the meantime, we do have an EDU filter on the roadmap, and I’ve started entering US Government (GCC) items with a “US Gov” tag. We can also start a separate thread to discuss. Coincidentally, the two areas that I cover within Office Product Marketing are change management and US Government.

The Azure Portal has a What's New item pop up when I login that tells me about new updates. It is simple and effective.

 

PowerBI has a nice page at https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/powerbi-service-whats-new/

Hi Dean,

the recently updated page is now updated. Thanks for being patient with us.

Thanks,

Anne

Thanks for implementing and following up. Hopefully, this will stay on someones to-do list

FWIW, I wrote about this topic today. I know that all of the U.S. contingent are happily contemplating turkey at present, but some of us have to work...

 

https://www.petri.com/microsoft-overhauls-office-365-roadmap

Thanks for sharing, Tony! I think you captured the immediate plans and directional intention well. Hope you don't mind that I posted it to LinkedIn.

We've encountered a scenario that required a change to schedule. The roadmap site migration is postponed for a few weeks, while we ensure the design is accessible to people of all abilities. Thanks for your patience!

Do we have a list of roadmap items somewhere while site is in transition? I need to look at the roadmap items even if it is plain text.

Good question, and I should have mentioned that... There is currently a live site issue affecting the roadmap website. It is currently broken but unrelated to the planned migration. We have devs engaged and troubleshooting and hope to have the site up again shortly.

Ahh! Thanks @Brian Levenson - You have answered my post on a different thread as well :)  https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Office-365/Issue-with-Office-365-FastTrack-roadmap/m-p/43870#...

The roadmap website has been fixed, and we are also expediting the transition to the new location. Thanks for the ongoing feedback!

There are multiple versions of the same post, eg. Try One Notes new design.

 

Many of the items don't have links to get More Info, is that expected behavior?

In the case of the OneNote items, and I suspect others, they are the same feature and description but different platforms. It took me a few minutes to figure it out, but there are three - one each for Mac, iPad, and Windows Phone.

 

A lack of additional information link does not indicate that something is broken, but I also wouldn't say that it is intended. Best practices are for the feature owner to include a link to a blog article or technical documentation. If one is not provided, the additional information link does not appear.

 

Capture.JPG

Thanks for doing that research,

 

Another question, the Roadmap has an item for "Plan creation restriction and Naming policy", do you know where I can find the supporting article? I did a search for this phrase in blogs.office.com and did not find anything.

I strongly suspect that this is linked to the introduction of a naming policy (including barring specific words and phrases) for Office 365 Groups. Right now, this is done through an Exchange distribution list policy that's part of the organization configuration and is ignored by group-enabled applications like Planner. According to Ignite sessions, the plan is to expand the AAD policy that currently controls group creation, available classifications, etc. with the naming policy and then have all clients and apps pick that policy up.

Are you refering to the policy described at https://technet.microsoft.com/library/ff459233(v=exchg.141).aspx?

 

I get to that from https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Manage-Group-membership-in-the-Office-365-admin-center-E186....

 

If so, that article is from Exchange 2010, does it still apply? has nothing changed ?

Yes, that's the one. It is the now-old distribution group naming policy that was introduced in Exchange 2010. If set, this policy applies to all Office 365 Groups and distribution groups created using OWA or Outlook. Groups created by admins are not affected.

Based on this discussion, I reached out to my peers who cover Planner and hope to have an update soon. They have confirmed that the feature you mentioned is not actually rolling out at the moment, and we are evaluating the most appropriate way to correct the status on the roadmap without making it disappear on people.

 

For full transparency, there was a shift in people on the Planner team, and this particular item and miscommunication was a casualty of that transition. Since I took over marketing responsibility for our release and change management processes a few months ago, this is the first time I've encountered this scenario. I hope it never comes up again, and we are being deliberate to set a good precedent in how we handle it.

Brian, I would like to suggest that when a presentation containing a Roadmap slide is done at a conference like Ignite, then everything on that slide be included in the roadmap website.  Below is an example of what I am refering to. When I search the public roadmap, I don't get any results for publishing or CDN which is not what I expectSPRoadmap.pngProvide by Mark Kashman

 

I just asked similar question to @Christophe Fiessinger on twitter about the AAD Naming policy update. He mentioned, rough estimate was May-June time for the AAD Naming policy, while everything on the public roadmap about 90days out.

 

You can catch conversation here. https://twitter.com/alisalih/status/828585186107518978


@Brian Levenson wrote:

The roadmap website has been fixed, and we are also expediting the transition to the new location. Thanks for the ongoing feedback!


I really like the roadmap item itself has been updated to reflect a change in timescales (I'd like to see more of this in general).

 

Office365 Roadmap2.png

I think that's an interesting point @Dean Gross.  Another example is Microsoft Flow or PowerApps from both our slides, that isn't on the roadmap that I can see.

 

Taking a step back what constitutes a roadmap item and how many underlying changes could that item relate to. Looking at these SharePoint changes for example, how much of this would be distinct on the roadmap or rolled into an overarching change, if that makes sense.  

 

Should the roadmap be more granular (making it easier to track individual changes), for example, the "SharePoint - modern team sites plus Office 365 Groups integration' item must represent many individual changes?

 

Also, when do items get added to the roadmap, shouldn't they always be added when they are in development but there are examples of item beeing added as Rolling Out, Launched, Previously Released status?

 

SPRM1.png



Solution

All: We encountered an issue with the roadmap website, as many of you noticed, and that led us to expedite the new version. We will be making accessibility fixes as quickly as possible but needed to stabilize the platform immediately. Check it out here: https://products.office.com/en-us/business/office-365-roadmap

 

Dean: This is good feedback, and what you described is our best practice. I've reached out to Mark to make sure the info he shared is accurately reflected on the roadmap.

 

Cian (first message): I also agree with you. The only caveat is that Flow and PowerApps are technically outside of Office 365 (with deep integration of course), and should appear on the Azure roadmap. You can find information on those services here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/cloud-platform/roadmap-public-preview

 

Cian (second message): Thanks! I personally own that item on the roadmap and believe that I need to set a good example. I appreciate the feedback and will use it to show my colleagues how we can communicate well.

@Brian Levenson I am totally confused by your statement to Cian that PowerApps and Flow are not part of O365.  From my persepctive, everything that has a license controled throught the O365 Admin Center is part of O365, i.e., if we can license it in the O365 admin portal, then changes related to that license are candidates for the O365 Roadmap.

 

AFAIK, the Azure Portal does not contain any administrative controls for PowerApps or Flow (am I missing something?). I do understand that the technical underpinnings of these services are hosted in Azure (Flow is build on Logic Apps), but that is a fairly subtle point that is primarily of interest to developers and software system architects (which I dabble in :))

 

My review of the Azure Roadmap at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/cloud-platform/roadmap-recently-available finds PowerBI, but no mention of PowerApps or Flow. In fact, it does not have anything for Logic Apps

 

It would be helpful to have a link between these 2 roadmaps to help people find the other roadmap and/or to have links in the actual  O365 announcements that point to related announcement in the Azure roadmap.

Agree with Dean...any service integrated with Office 365 should be mentioned in the Office 365 Roadmap if there are changes that affect an Office 365 deployment

Not sure what's happening today with the Roadmap but I keep getting a redirect to here:Roadmap-redirect.PNG

normally it goes to:

https://fasttrack.microsoft.com/roadmap 

 

The redirect from previous URLs was overwritten temporarily, and I've helped a few folks clear their browser cache. Hopefully this is now resolved, and please let me know if not.

 

Thank you for the continued feedback! Moving the site on an emergency basis was unanticipated and earlier than we had planned. I promise that the team is working hard to stabilize and improve the experience. 

A few other quick updates based on progress and feedback:

 

  • Many of the filters have been recreated (ie. Education)
  • The "how can I help you?" pop-up has been suppressed
  • Redirects for non "en-us" pages have been corrected
  • Feedback has been and continues to be consolidated and triaged

 

Keep the suggestions, requests, and issues coming!

You know what would be useful with the Roadmap, is a "last updated" Date ... and be able to filter by that. And, I realise that its hard to give a due date but it would also be useful to have an estimated due in say quarters ... ie. due 3rd quarter.

Thanks for the suggestions, Stephen! I'm curious how you would use a last updated filter. Do you want to know new additions, when the content of an item changes, or both? Would you want it to be represented the same way or differentiated somehow?

 

I can't provide committed timelines yet, because there are a combination of technical and policy challenges to work through. However, I think you're going to be pleased with the direction we're heading. You're right that a precise tenant-specific date may be difficult, but we can and should be more transparent than we are at the moment.

 

The most difficult thing to work through is the right now is upgrading the legacy tracking and publishing system. At the moment, we can see when an item was last updated, but that includes various automated updates that have nothing to do with the release status, description, or any other visible information. We've already designed requirements for the new system to track when a feature is added to the roadmap, though.

Mostly I want to know when an item was updated, its useful because I'm searching for new features to tell my users about and whats coming up. Mostly I'm trying to build expectation and a bit of hype, I perfer to communicate its coming soon than I don't know when its coming . But at the moment I can't tell if its been there for days or months or in some cases a year or more (hmmm maybe thats an exageration ;) ).

 

Just a simple date on the entry to start with. Filtering ... well it could be something like "this week", "this month", "this year" or After this Date ... 

 

Sounds like some good things coming ... looking forward to it.

Brian: I just noticed the US Gov tag for the O365 Roadmap. Thank you!

Is it possible to have someone go in and add some of other the lagging items that are in general release but not Gov tenant release - like Sway, Flow, PowerApps, Planner, etc.?

It would be super helpful to have some sense of where all the big feature products are on the map.

Thanks again!

Hi Kathleen,

 

This is a great suggestion and something that I'm working on. I've been waiting until I can do a bunch at once rather than trickle them out, and we're going through an exercise to get timelines from each feature and product team. There's an added nuance now that we have US Gov Defense offerings, and I need to make sure I apply a tag that is obvious and clear as to which offering.

 

We're actually going through an infrastructure upgrade this week and next. The data base and application we use for the roadmap entries and publication is moving to a newer system. At that point, I'll have greater control to tweak some of these things.

 

(P.S. Sorry to anyone who saw Teams as being cancelled. We ended up with a duplicate, and I couldn't detele it due to weirdness with the old system that we're migrating away from right now.)