April showers rained a whole lot of goodness into SharePoint and related technology. A nice blooming of features and updates for improving broad employee experiences and teamwork.
April 2022 brought a lot of new tech to Microsoft 365 - for SharePoint and related tech: Viva Topics in Outlook for the Web, Viva Topics insights, Microsoft Stream: Comment on a video or audio file, Create directly from the SharePoint app bar, Microsoft Lists for Android, Create and manage Power Apps from Microsoft Lists within Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Lists Calendar view: 'Unscheduled' Pane, OneDrive: Access your Teams standard and private channel files, OneDrive: Pin shared libraries to Quick Access, Viva Insights: Shared focus plans, Microsoft Purview, Bookmarks in New Yammer, Whiteboard files stored in SharePoint, and more; all listed below with screenshots and links to more details.
You’ll also hear from two Microsoft Viva product leaders, related to a few of the feature releases this past month. Naomi Moneypenny shares Viva Topics progress plus its latest feature in Outlook for the Web. And Erik Anderson gives a great overview for Viva Insights, including the value for individuals, team leaders, and the full organization.
The Intrazone by Microsoft
All features listed below began rolling out to Targeted Release customers in Microsoft 365 as of April 2022 (possibly early May 2022).
Inform and engage with dynamic employee experiences
Build your intelligent intranet on SharePoint in Microsoft 365 and get the benefits of investing in business outcomes – reducing IT and development costs, increasing business speed and agility, and up-leveling the dynamic, personalized, and welcoming nature of your intranet.
Viva Topics in Outlook for the web is now at GA
You can manually use hashtags to attach topic cards to any message. Viva Topics can then display those to your readers with suggested additional topics in the message pane.
Viva Topics insight analytics
As soon as Viva Topics is activated for your Microsoft 365 tenant, you will see a count of the files processed and topics that are discovered from those files. As more topics are discovered, and your knowledge managers and users are engaged, you will see a visible topics count and a breakdown of the topics discovered, created by users, hidden by settings and removed.
To access these new insights: In the Microsoft 365 admin center, expand Settings and select Search & intelligence. On the Insights tab, select Viva Topics.
It's a great way to stay informed about the work Topics is doing on your behalf and its impact in the day-to-day experience of your business colleagues.
Microsoft Stream: Comment on a video or audio file in SharePoint and OneDrive
This feature allows you to have threaded conversations on a video or audio file saved in OneDrive or SharePoint through a cohesive and familiar commenting experience like the one used in Lists, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
And in similar fashion to the broader commenting services, from an IT perspective, there is an existing tenant level control setting to disable comments altogether (see "CommentsOnFilesDisabled").
Video is a special kind of file type from the breadth of content it holds, but the value of having AV files stored in the SharePoint files platform means they get all the valuable benefits as any other document - how you can share them, who you can share them to, how you collaborate around them, how they are manageable and governable, and so much more.
SharePoint: Create from the SharePoint app bar
This new feature allows you to create sites, files, and lists right from within the SharePoint app bar. Select the Create command (the plus sign) on the app bar and then select an option from SharePoint sites, Microsoft Lists, or Office files (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote).
As users create each of the different assets included in the panel, they will launch the create experience for each format. Note: The new create command cannot be disabled or customized. However, if you have previously disabled self-service site creation, the option to create a site will not appear on the create panel.
And to get a sense of what happens with the various content types…
Teamwork updates across SharePoint team sites, OneDrive, and Microsoft Teams
Microsoft 365 is designed to be a universal toolkit for teamwork – to give you the right tools for the right task, along with common services to help you seamlessly work across applications. SharePoint is the intelligent content service that powers teamwork – to better collaborate on proposals, projects, and campaigns throughout your organization – with integration across Microsoft Teams, OneDrive, Yammer, Stream, Planner and much more.
Microsoft Lists for Android
First there was Lists for iOS - designed for iPhone and iPad. And now for all you Androids out there, introducing Microsoft Lists for Android - now available in the Google Play Store.
With this new app, you can access your lists on the go anytime, anywhere. Manage events, track issues and assets, help with new-employee onboarding, and keep coordinated across inventory. With access on the go, easy sharing, and quick photo capture, you can keep everyone connected with the latest information using Microsoft Lists.
Note for clarification: The app is currently available to members of an organization that has an Office 365 or Microsoft 365 commercial subscription - one that includes SharePoint. You sign in with your OrgID (your Azure Active Directory credentials). This app does not yet work with Microsoft accounts - your MSA - meaning you cannot login with your MSA to access the Microsoft Lists - MSA preview.
Get the app in the Google Play Store: type in https://aka.ms/MSLists/app/Android on your Android device and enjoy lists at your fingertips.
Create and manage Power Apps from Microsoft Lists within Microsoft Teams
Build low-code, mobile-friendly apps from Lists directly inside of Teams via a new integration with Power Apps. A published app can be added as a tab in a Teams channel and shared with the rest of your team, while maintaining its connection to the list as a source of data.
This feature has been around for a while in SharePoint user experience, and the value now is you can go from your lists that you created or added as a tab in Teams and take advantage of creating an app experience all within Teams… without leaving teams. That's huge innovation coming together for you to have a more unified creation experience.
Head over to the Integrate drop-down menu when viewing you list in a Teams channel tab, select Power Apps, and then click Create an app. You'll then be taken to the Power Apps designer within Teams, while remaining connected to your list.
Microsoft Lists Calendar view experience: 'Unscheduled' Pane
You will see a new 'Unscheduled' tab within the events pane to the right within a list Calendar view. The items with missing start and/or end dates and those with start date later than the end date would appear on this pane. You can then select the items to open the edit form and make appropriate edits to schedule these items.
This feature follows the logic and experience of document library "Files that need attention" - you get a visual cue that something is missing, you fix it, and bam - all is right in the world.
OneDrive and SharePoint: Access your Teams standard and private channel files
A lot happens in SharePoint as you create and use various types of channels in Teams - primarily the associated Files tab in each channel creates a unique folder or site for the files of that channel.
So, when a person navigates to the document library of a SharePoint site associated with a team, there is now an “In channels” section visible and collapsed by default.
This “In channels” section includes all standard and private channels content within the Team, and private channels - if you have permissions to them - will be distinguished with a specific icon. The “In channels” section will only appear when a user navigates to the default document library of a SharePoint site that’s connected to a Teams team.
Two quick notes: The “In channels” section will not be visible if the SharePoint site is not connected to Teams. And when shared channels become available, they will also appear in this new section.
OneDrive: Pin shared libraries to Quick Access
We’re adding the capability to pin shared libraries to the Quick Access section in OneDrive Web to easily find and access the places where you regularly work. We’re also surfacing a list of your recently used shared libraries in the “More Places” page within OneDrive to help you find the places that you’ve recently opened files from.
Pinning a document library will add it to the top of Quick Access section - very similar to the "Pin to Quick Access" feature within Windows File Explorer. Users will be able to un-pin the document libraries from the Quick Access section as well. This command will only appear at the document library level and will not be available when you navigate into a folder or subfolder in a site.
Viva Insights: Shared focus plans
Last month we talked about focus plans for individuals. Now, Viva insights is releasing new capabilities to help teams protect time for focused work. The shared focus plan will enable managers and team leads with a Microsoft Viva Insights license to foster mutual productivity norms and drive a positive team culture by inviting teams to coordinate focus time for uninterrupted work.
An enrolled manager can invite their team to book daily, uninterrupted focus time to get their work done. A shared focus plan helps your team build a shared productivity habit.
Microsoft Purview: Your home for Microsoft 365 compliance solutions
As of April 19th, 2022, Microsoft 365 compliance solutions will be consolidated under the Microsoft Purview brand name. This change will bring together Microsoft 365 compliance solutions and Azure Purview into a single portfolio and will align the naming of various solutions for consistency with other offerings.
To give you a sense of what this all implies, here are a few of the previous and current name pairings:
There is a lot of SharePoint technology in the Microsoft 365 Security and Compliance portfolio like Information Barriers, Labels, eDiscovery, Data Loss Prevention, and more. Much value and benefit that underlies Microsoft Purview carries forward the core security and compliance technology of premium SharePoint content services with the goal of providing strong compliance and security innovation to the content you trust and use in Microsoft 365.
Bookmarks in new Yammer
Based on user feedback, we are making it easy to get back into those important conversations. You're now able to bookmark any conversation in Yammer for future reference and access & manage bookmarks from their profile page in Yammer.
It's easy to bookmark a discussion, just go to the upper right of the individual discussion, click the vertical ellipses menu and select "Bookmark" - and when you no longer need to reference, you take this same action to "Remove bookmark".
Whiteboard files now will be stored on the SharePoint files platform
This is a new day for Whiteboard. Going forward, when you create a new Whiteboard, it'll be a .whiteboard file for the first time - that's a huge deal! Whiteboard now in SharePoint and OneDrive so you can manage & organize your boards like the rest of Microsoft 365 files like Excel, OneNote, and more.
Whiteboards are now searchable in Microsoft Search, appear in your Office.com experience, are easy to share, collaborate, and meet the rigors of IT compliance.
May 2022 teasers
Psst, still here? Still scrolling the page looking for more roadmap goodness? If so, here is a few teasers of what’s to come to production next month…
… shhh, tell everyone.
Helpful, ongoing change management resources
Thanks for tuning in and/or reading this episode/blog of the Intrazone Roadmap Pitstop – April 2022. We are open to your feedback in the comments below to hear how both the Roadmap Pitstop podcast episodes and blogs can be improved over time.
Engage with us. Ask those questions. Push us where you want and need to get the best information and insights. We are here to put both our and your best change management foot forward.
Stay safe out there on the road’map, and thanks for listening and reading.
I appreciate your time,
Mark Kashman – senior product manager (SharePoint/Lists) | Microsoft)
You must be a registered user to add a comment. If you've already registered, sign in. Otherwise, register and sign in.