Across Office 365 and SharePoint we have a great tradition of taking technologies that required specialized expertise and making them mainstream. This morning at SharePoint Conference 2018 we introduced Microsoft AI in SharePoint with cognitive services, data management and analytics. These aren’t just for developers any more – they’re for everyone, thanks to SharePoint.
Also, millions of users rely on SharePoint lists every day to keep track of critical business data. From T-shirt sizes to issue management to public health programs, SharePoint lists can do it all. We’ve done a lot to make Flow and PowerApps work well with lists. This year, SharePoint lists will get even better – easier to build, easier to edit, and easier to share and analyze.
Here’s a summary of our announcements:
• Flow for Cognitive Analysis - Process any text for sentiment, key phrases, translation or moderation [Available Now]
• Row Formatting - Create immersive formatting for any list or library with scripting [Available later 2018]
• Image Analysis - Create immersive formatting for any list or library with scripting [Available now]
• AI for Images - Teach the cloud to recognize new objects for auto-tagging [Available Now]
• New ways to create lists - Create lists based on Excel, templates, or other lists [Available later 2018]
• Quicker list editing - Edit list content in place, and paste data from other sources [Available later 2018]
• Link list items - Connect list items to Planner, Outlook calendars, locations, and more [Available later 2018]
• Realtime list updates - See updates to lists and libraries instantly without refresh [Available later 2018]
• Analyze lists with Power BI - Connect list items to Planner, Outlook calendars, locations, and more [Available later 2018]
• Build Microsoft Flow workflows with Visio – Model a new process in Visio and export it to Microsoft Flow to activate and run custom processes [Available July 2018].
• Add file upload to Microsoft Forms – Add a custom question to allow users to supply a file to upload to SharePoint
Let’s look in more detail.
Cognitive Analysis with Flow
Our cognitive services engine can take any text input and analyze it for sentiment, key phrases, translation, and moderation. And all that AI is connected directly to Microsoft Flow. That makes it simple for anyone to get a sentiment score for any text, like a tweet, for further action.
In the example above, we are using the new row formatter. Like the column formatter released in 2017, the row formatter provides a way to use scripts to define conditional formats to be applied to an entire row. The formats can also take over a full screen in a responsive design, as shown below, for a complete app solution.
Any image file loaded into Office 365 is automatically scanned for object recognition – like receipts, people, whiteboards, business cards and more. We also identify geolocation data and any extractable text images. These are tagged in metadata columns on each document library, as shown below, for ease of searching and filtering.
Later in 2018, we’ll also make these tags processable – you’ll be able to trigger a Flow any time image analysis result in a tag contains “France” for example.
Custom Image Models
Recognizing business cards and receipts is helpful for search. But you may have thousands of custom images to sort for custom objects, like logos or designs. Cloud cognitive services is available now at https://www.customvision.ai to let you build, test and deploy custom models to add visual AI to your content and processes. And it’s easy to invoke a custom model on any Office 365 file using Flow.
Build new lists
Great processes need a great place to centralize essential business data. We’re making it easier to build new SharePoint lists – by copying from other lists, by importing form Excel, or by reusing published templates for common data used in your organization.
Edit in place
You can move data from Excel to SharePoint and keep the same ease of use. Our new edit in place feature is as simple as clicking on a value to edit it – without moving in and out of “edit mode” or relying on a properties page.
Office 365 integration and real time updates
We’re also making it easier to link list items to other Office 365 apps, such as Planner, Outlook calendars, locations and more. And with real time updates, your views of lists (and libraries will also be current without needing to manually refresh the screen to see the latest changes.
Power BI Integration
With so much critical, real-time data in SharePoint lists, you need a way to build c=great visualizations and insights against that data too. Power BI integration lest you automatically mine that data for patterns and charts. And those insights can be easily pinned to the home page of your list for easy access across the team.
Design and automate business workflows using Microsoft Flow and Visio
Microsoft Visio enables enterprises to capture their business processes using its rich modelling capabilities. Anyone who creates flowcharts or SharePoint workflows can now use Visio to design Microsoft Flow workflows. You can use Visio’s sharing and commenting capabilities to collaborate with multiple stakeholders and arrive at a complete workflow in little time. With a single click, you can publish the workflow to Microsoft Flow, then supply parameters to activate it.
Many processes share a common model but have minor variations throughout an organization. This allow an organization to create a master workflow model and adjust instances with specialized parameters.
This feature will be available to Visio Online Plan 2 subscription users. Office Insiders can expect early access in July 2018. In the future, you’ll also be able to export existing Flows and modify them in Visio. Follow the Visio team on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter for the latest news.
Microsoft Forms File Upload
Coming this summer, you’ll be able to let Forms users upload a file where they submit their responses. Forms designers can limit the file types - for example, only PDFs or images. Files are stored in the SharePoint library for group connected forms. By year end, we aim to bring similar capabilities to anonymous forms as well.
SharePoint lists to empower you to do more. With Microsoft Forms, PowerApps and Flow, you can build better business apps than ever before. And with lists coming to Teams, you’ll be able to bring your data to more places than ever.
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