The word of the month is “boost.” By the end of this read and listen, you’ll see and hear it a few times. And if you’re an organizational news publisher, you’re gonna feel it – that raw, publishing power! There, too, are a few other key words in the month of July… like “collapsible” and “edit” and “custom”…
Yes, July 2021 brought some great new offerings: SharePoint news boost, collapsible page sections, edit pages and news articles in Teams, custom list templates, suggested attachments in Planner, SharePoint Server Subscription Edition (preview), 'post on-behalf' in Yammer, and more.
You’ll find details and screenshots below, including our audible companion: The Intrazone Roadmap Pitstop: July 2021 podcast episode – all to help answer, "What's rolling out now for SharePoint and related technologies into Microsoft 365?"
In the podcast episode, I chat with Nancy Handa (LinkedIn | Twitter), our SharePoint program manager focused on pages and news innovations - including work that brings them to life in Microsoft Teams. We chat about recent experiments and data-driven decisions that have led to the refinement of pages and news, including web parts, sections, and usability beyond SharePoint. You’ll hear about what rolled out during July, “Edit pages and news in Teams,” plus a few hints as to what's coming next.
All features listed below began rolling out to Targeted Release customers in Microsoft 365 as of July 2021 (possibly early August 2021).
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.
Boost SharePoint news
Last month, we talked about the release of the auto news digest - including ways the email can be customized to your organization… well, it's time to give all that a boost, a big boost, a big ol' news boost!
The SharePoint news service delivers an intelligent view of news, meaning it's targeted to you based on factors like your role or location, and further personalized based on signals in Microsoft Graph about where, how, and with whom you work. And now, for those special, priority announcements, ones that need a boost of visibility, you can push through the AI algorithms and give them a bit of the ol' human prioritization vim and vigor that can't be missed or is less likely to.
Now you can prioritize important news and announcements, so they appear at the top of employee news feeds across Microsoft 365. You can boost the visibility of a news article for a set time, until an employee has seen your content, or until a viewer has seen the item in their feed a set number of times.
Note: This applies only to news posts published within organizational news sites. It does not apply to team news.
Modern pages are getting collapsible sections
Peek’a’boo isn’t just a kid’s game anymore. You can show page sections in an accordion view (collapsed or expanded). And you guessed it, when you make sections collapsible, you save space (on the page or in your news article).
It also makes it a lot easier to navigate dense information. You can give each section a header and set the default of each section to be expanded or collapsed. For your readers, it's a simple click or tap to expand or collapse.
Teamwork updates across SharePoint team sites, OneDrive, and Microsoft Teams
Microsoft 365 is 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.
Edit a page or news post in Microsoft Teams after you've added it as a tab in a Teams channel.
When you add an existing modern SharePoint page or news post as a tab in a Microsoft Teams channel now you can edit it without leaving Teams. This continues the modern pages evolution and truly paves the way for what comes next.
By empowering you to use your SharePoint pages and news posts within Teams, it makes working with your team or coworkers more efficient. Whether working on a status report or planning an event together or working on a page for an upcoming project deadline, editing of pages & news posts within Teams will be of great value.
As a page author you will now be able to add or edit content, images, and any other SharePoint web part. We have also made it easier to stay in Teams by enabling people viewing the page or post to navigate using SharePoint links right within Teams.
Review Nancy's recent tech community post, "Edit a SharePoint page or news post in Microsoft Teams" that dives into full detail.
Microsoft Lists: Custom list templates
Today, we have several ready-made List templates designed to make it easy to get started tracking and managing information – like events, issues, and requests. We’re pleased to announce that we support custom list templates. So you can create prescriptive methods for tracking your information.
Like deploying custom site templates, you will create and manage custom list templates using Microsoft PowerShell - leveraging the Add-SPOSiteScript cmdlet. When users create new lists, they can select one of your custom list templates from the new "From your organization" tab. This new tab will appear next to the "From Microsoft" tab that showcases the out-of-box ready-made templates from Microsoft.
Custom list templating enables your organization to create repeatable list solutions - in SharePoint, Teams, and within the Lists app itself. Note, like when someone creates a new site from the SharePoint start page, you will be able to manage which templates are available to which people, based on their job role when they create a new list.
This has been an often-requested feature and we can't wait to see what you customize.
The last feature for teamwork, Suggested attachments in Microsoft Planner
When you want to add attachments to a task, Planner will now show you a list of related files. No more hunting through your folders, servers, or cloud storage to find the right one. Suggested attachments show you a list of files that are based on the title and description of your plan and task, as well as the members assigned to the task and files that have been shared with you.
This is another great example of Microsoft Graph powering simple actions to make them more relevant and targeted - the main goal being to save you time. In this case, helping you smartly discover files stored in SharePoint and linking them to tasks.
SharePoint Server Subscription Edition (SPSE) [Preview]
On the horizon of on-premises, this is the next step for SharePoint Server.
The 'Always up to date' design means new levels of reliability and performance, delivering features and capabilities that simplify administration, protect communications and information, and empower people in your organization to achieve more- with the flexibility to tailor deployment based on your unique business needs. Which means, you 'Upgrade from where you are' - you will be able to upgrade directly from SharePoint Server 2016 without having to first upgrade to SharePoint Server 2019.
And one last call out about SPSE - it will support OpenID Connect (OIDC) 1.0 making it easier to integrate applications and devices with your organization's identity and authentication management solutions. For example, you can enforce authentication policies such as multifactor authentication (MFA), conditional access policies based on device compliance, and more.
Post ‘on Behalf of’ in Yammer (GA)
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, impersonation on behalf of another in Yammer is flattery in its most productive form.
We’re excited to announce that users can now post on behalf of another user in Yammer. Once approval is granted, internal communicators can use this feature to share news and updates as well as reply to comments on behalf of leaders and their teams. This is not limited to Yammer admins - any user can choose to delegate access to any other person within the network.
This is a really great feature for people to able to scale their reach, especially when they have a great team supporting their internal communications day in, day out.
Watching Stream videos on Office Mobile for Android
Whether it’s a training video, a recorded work meeting, an idea pitch from a colleague, or an executive conference, you want the right tools so you can access and play videos with ease. With the new Stream player embedded in Office Mobile for Android, you can seamlessly find, access, and view your organization's videos any time you want from within Office Mobile.
Office mobile on Android isn't just for documents anymore.
Get nostalgic, some fun new Microsoft Teams backgrounds await
Because a little trip down memory lane can be good for the soul, and because after well over a year of remote and hybrid work, we could all use some excitement on video calls, we asked our designers to give a few memorable Microsoft moments their debut as Microsoft Teams backgrounds.
So, if you like fun backgrounds behind you:
August 2021 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 – July 2021 (blog/podcast). We are 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 those questions that haunt you. 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.
Mark “Boosted” Kashman – senior product manager (SharePoint/Lists) | Microsoft)
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