It’s been such a long(er) February, a longer February than it’s been in (3) years! And hey, that means more refinement and release of SharePoint and related tech features and updates. Within this extra time, our engineering teams have opened up Mover worldwide, pushed out a new Live Events support program, added the SharePoint admin global reader role, unblocked desktop OneNote files from moving to the cloud, brought more of the Power Platform to the government cloud, and more.
Consider this the all-inclusive, end-of-month release recap, plus an embedded audible companion: Intrazone Roadmap Pitstop: February 2020 podcast episode – all to help answer, "What's rolling out now for SharePoint and related technologies into Microsoft 365?"
To answer that question, listen and scroll below (info, links and screenshots galore) to stay informed on what features and updates arrived this past month - plus a few teasers of what's to come next month:
In the podcast episode, I interview Chakkaradeep (Chaks) Chinnakonda Chandran (Twitter | LinkedIn), a senior program manager at Microsoft. Recently, he and team completed the additional compliance work to enable Power Apps and Power Automate for our government cloud customers; a capability our commercial customers have been using for a number of months now. We chat both about the scenarios this unlocks, plus the process of moving a feature through to the various Microsoft 365 customer offerings.
We also want to put out a round of “Happy Birthday” to any and all Leapsters out there celebrating February 29, 2020. :birthday_cake:
All features listed below began rolling out to Targeted Release customers in Office 365 as of February 2020 (possibly early March 2020).
Inform and engage with dynamic employee experiences
Build your modern intranet on SharePoint in Office 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 and welcoming nature of your intranet.
Mover migration now available worldwide
Since Microsoft announced the acquisition of Mover, our migration specialists have been working hard to bring the migration service, including admin-led and self-service offerings, to more customers as demand to move content to the cloud continues to grow.
Mover helps make it easier than ever for customers to migrate files to Microsoft 365 – for free. Mover supports migration from over a dozen cloud service providers – including Box, Dropbox, Egnyte, and Google Drive – into OneDrive and SharePoint, enabling seamless file collaboration across Microsoft 365 apps and services, including the Office apps and Microsoft Teams.
Note, this is not yet for government cloud customers.
Microsoft 365 Live Events Assistance Program Public Preview is now available
Microsoft 365 is launching the public preview of a new support service for customers to help deliver live events using Teams, Stream or Yammer. The new program provides assistance to help customers better understand functionality, and assist with the setup and delivery of live event broadcasts - to help you get more familiar with setting up and running a live event or even be available during your live event to help if any questions or issues come up.
During preview, the assistance program is free to customers using Teams, Stream or Yammer to deliver their events.
Global reader experience is now available in new SharePoint admin center
Users who are assigned this role will have read-only access to all info and settings in the new SharePoint admin center. This feature is related to the global admin role introduced in September 2019 about support throughout all workloads in Microsoft 365.
Global reader is the read-only counterpart to the global admin role to help reduce the number of global admins in your organization. To use the program, Assign the global reader role instead of the global admin role to users who need to view all your organization’s settings but not edit them. For example, to plan, audit, or investigate. Use this and other role assignment to best delegate administration to who can do what and what they are able to do.
We're gradually rolling this out to commercial clouds now, and government clouds in early March 2020.
Updating the sharing page in SharePoint admin center
We’ve brought all the sharing settings from the classic sharing page, making it now apear on the modern sharing page in the SharePoint admin center. This makes it easier to set up and configure external sharing for OneDrive and SharePoint. Key settings include the ability to configure who is allowed to share externally as well as default link permissions for your organization. You can, however, further restrict sharing for each individual site and individual people's OneDrive.
The full-featured Sharing administration page now appears within the new SharePoint admin center.
Note: Should you need to visit the classic sharing page, you can switch the SharePoint admin center back to classic view.
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 – and is integrated with Microsoft Teams, OneDrive, Yammer, Stream, Planner and much more.
Updating classic SharePoint team site home pages to the modern template
With this update, classic SharePoint team site home pages that have not been customized will be automatically updated to a modern home page template. If your site contains only out-of-the box default web parts such as getting started, document library, and newsfeed - it will get updated.
The new home page for your team site makes it easier to post news and to use the site on mobile devices. End users will see a modern home page on their first visit after this feature rolls out. On that first visit, SharePoint will walk people through the new capabilities.
Classic team sites that contain customized content will not be automatically updated. Note: this update does not create an Office 365 Group for the team site, which would happen with the creation of a modern team site in SharePoint.
Site collection admins or site owners can choose to revert to their previous classic home page. If you do nothing, your classic SharePoint team site home pages that contain only out-of-the box default web parts will automatically be updated to the modern home page template. You may also choose to upgrade other home pages that weren’t part of the automatic modernization. If you would like to disable this upgrade on specific sites, you may do so by using a SharePoint Patterns and Practices (PnP) PowerShell cmdlet.
Per-Site Sharing Links can now default to people with existing access
SharePoint administrators can set the per-site sharing links default to the "people with existing access" setting. Prior to this change, SharePoint Administrators could choose either "Anyone", "People in my organization", or "Specific People" when setting the default sharing link on a per-site basis.
Once set, users who click on the Share button or Copy Link will receive an existing access link that does not change the permissions on the item. Additional link types are still available in Link Settings if needed, and this update does not change any existing default settings. This feature is initially configurable via PowerShell but will be customizable in the modern SharePoint Admin Center in the future.
SharePoint Integrations with Power Automate and Power Apps to GCC Tenants
For government customers that fall into the "maker" persona, this update enables you to create and manage custom workflows with Power Automate and custom forms with Power Apps combined with both SharePoint lists and libraries.
We're excited to push this one out beyond the commercial clouds, into more maker hands.
Microsoft Office app is available for Android and iOS
If you installed the public preview of the Office app or the Office Mobile app (exclusive to Samsung mobile devices), you will receive an automatic update. The new Office app has all the capabilities of the existing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps and requires significantly less phone storage than installing all three apps.
It integrates Office Lens technology for converting images into editable Word and Excel documents and scanning whiteboards. It has an Actions pane for common mobile tasks such as creating and signing PDFs or transferring files between devices; and it adds Sticky Notes for capturing ideas on the go.
We will continue to support and invest in the standalone Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps for customers who wish to continue to use them. Installing the Office app will not affect existing installations of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
OneDrive - Support for migrating OneNote via KFM (aka Known Folder Move)
One of the most awaited features is finally here! You now have agility to migrate local OneNote notebooks to OneDrive via PC folder backup (aka, Known Folder Move (KFM)). OneNote’s will now be automatically backed up as a part of the PC Folder Backup move.
That's it. It's that simple. No more "OneNote cannot be moved" errors. And a OneNote notebook off your desktop and in the cloud is like a breath of fresh air… truly.
Last, a bit of Microsoft Office humor thanks to a recent The Verge article referencing a recent democratic debate…
At one of the Democratic debates, Sen. Elizabeth Warren described Pete Buttigieg's healthcare plan as, "just a PowerPoint.” In reply, Buttigieg responded by saying “I’m more of a Microsoft Word guy.”
This spawned a satirical article by the Verge, where if Pete claimed Word, then:
Fun to see their satirical reasoning and laugh a little, "Which Microsoft Office product is each Democratic presidential candidate?" Which Office product are you? [I’m SharePoint ;)]
March 2020 teasers
Psst, still here? Still scrolling the page looking for the rolled out goodness? If so, here’s 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 – February 2020 (blog/podcast). We’re open to your feedback in comments below to hear how both the Roadmap Pitstop podcast episodes and blogs can be improved over time.
Engage with us. Ask questions. Push us where you want and need to get the best information and insights. We're 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.
Cheers and thanks,
Mark Kashman – senior product manager (SharePoint/OneDrive | Microsoft)
And if you made it this far, a little historical nugget about the first project Chaks and I worked on, to highlight the value of the classic SharePoint publishing capabilities – before there was modern. Chaks and his company at the time (Intergen) helped create an awesome SharePoint Server 2010 Fabrikam portal demo that we made available to all our Microsoft field and partners to demo this capability to our customers both on-premises and online; long before Contoso was a Microsoft customer. ;) Kudos to Chaks’ work then, and certainly to the work he does now to contribute to the value and flexibility of productivity apps:
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