I hope everyone is staying safe and connected amid the change of work and life. We know there is new uncertainty and wish to continue the conversation to keep you informed. We want to let you know that the SharePoint team continues to balance service uptime and release updates to maintain reliability and improve your intelligent intranet.
This past month brought multi-lingual publishing, wiki-linking for pages, custom theming for the SharePoint mobile app, updated “add a tab” experience in Microsoft Teams, conditional formatting for lists and more. Details & screenshots below, including the audible companion: Intrazone Roadmap Pitstop: March 2020 podcast episode – all to help answer, "What's rolling out now for SharePoint and related technologies into Microsoft 365?"
In the podcast episode, I interview Matt Mooty (LinkedIn), senior software engineer who works on multi-lingual support within the SharePoint-powered, intelligent intranet. Matt and I talk about designs of the past - SharePoint variations - and how the team moved forward with a modern design that solved past problems and opened up new opportunities globally distributed companies face today.
All features listed below began rolling out to Targeted Release customers in Office 365 as of March 2020 (possibly early April 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.
Multi-lingual publishing for pages and news in communication sites
Organizations with diverse users benefit by having content throughout their intranet sites available in multiple languages. With this new feature, site owners can extend inclusive experiences within SharePoint communication sites for their globally diverse workforce.
Site owners will see new language settings under site settings, that once set enable translation of pages and news. They will also be able to assign individuals as translators per language. Translators get notified via email when there is a new default language page created or when an existing one is updated by the original content author. Translators are responsible for adding their language’s content. People visiting the site will automatically see pages and news in their preferred user language when available.
NOTE: This feature is shipped OFF by default. Site owners are the ones that need to take action to enable this feature.
New publishing commands have been added to SharePoint Pages library
You'll see them show up in the command bar at the top of the library or within the file card that appears when you hover over a page's title. There will be visual cues that a file has changed (either content or metadata) and any related messaging - with the call to action to publish or republish the page. This makes things more visual and possible to take multiple actions across numerous pages.
The SharePoint mobile app will adhere to customized tenant themes and branding
Admins configure the various options from within the Microsoft365 admin center. From here, they can assert a logo image, navigation bar color, text and icon color and accent color. Once set, the SharePoint mobile app per each of your users within that tenant will be closer adherence to your company theme and brand.
This soon applies to both the iOS and Android versions of the SharePoint mobile app.
SharePoint root site swap no longer restricted to customers with 10k users or more
AKA, it's now available to all.
We have enabled the ability to swap the location of a SharePoint root site with another site - most often a communication site - using the PowerShell cmdlet, Invoke-SPOSiteSwap.
So swap away! Do it. Do it today. Invoke-SPOSiteSwap and do not delay.
Wiki notation for page links
Add links even faster within the text web part of your pages and news. Type [[ where you want a link to appear, and you'll be able to select from a list of pages on your site. Or, you can enter a link by typing [[your link name | URL]].
We know this is one people have been looking forward to. I say what's all that bracket?!? Now there are multiple ways to add a hyperlink to your pages and news posts.
[Update from previous roadmap pitstop] Pausing and reverting roll out of the updated SharePoint start page experience
As announced via Message Center post #192001, we are pausing the roll out of the updated SharePoint start page experience. After April 1, 2020 all users who may have received the updated experience will revert back to the current experience as documented here: Discover content with SharePoint start page. Our internal metrics data indicated that users were not finding all their sites as easily with the updated experience as they were in the previous design of the page, hence the roll back. We are actively exploring bringing the home site shared branding/navigation experience with the previous start page design. We don’t have am expected timeline to share at this point but please look for updates in our Microsoft 365 roadmap.
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.
Redesigned SharePoint Pages and Lists app for teams, plus a new standalone SharePoint pages app
You'll see both app choices when you click the "+" button in a Teams channel to add new content. Using the original SharePoint app, your members and owners can now create a tab in their Teams channels that makes a page or list from any SharePoint Team site visible and useable within Teams. In addition, your end users can use the SharePoint Pages app to easily find pages and news posts. They can also use this app to tab pages or news posts from any SharePoint Team site by pasting a link URL.
Note: this feature has no impact on page or list permissions. Users who did not have access to a page before it was added as a tab will continue to be unable to access the page in Teams.
And a reminder: when you add content like this in Teams, it's a reference to the content where it lives - it's not a copy, and our focus is to make it appear in full fidelity and be feature rich.
Edit metadata from within the SharePoint Document Library and List View web parts
People will soon be able to open and edit file or list item properties directly from the document or list view web parts. They no longer need to navigate to the actual List or Document Library to update things. Just click the Info or “More” under item properties wherever that web part has been added.
SharePoint lists - conditional formatting rule builder with new rich-text capabilities
People can use If/then logic to format rows and columns based on attributes like numerical, date, etc. to apply color formatting across SharePoint lists and libraries. You can add several variable conditions, so the data does or does not get formatted based on the rules you've defined. The result is an experience that calls attention to specific data, missing data or recent changes to the data. You, too, will have greater flexibility for how your text appears within your items by using the enhanced rich text editor – to bold, color, underline, etc. more closely to how you wish your text to appear.
"Happy Birthday" to Microsoft teams who recently turned three
The Teams team published a huge 3rd anniversary *what’s new* in Microsoft Teams blog.
A few of the feature highlights are:
Lots more in the "What’s New in Microsoft Teams: 3rd Anniversary Edition" blog post by my peer, Marissa Salazar.
Put Stream Videos in PowerApps & Microsoft Forms
Your company’s favorite Power Apps for travel, training and more now support Stream videos; bring all your company videos into custom productivity apps to improve engagement and knowledge retention.
This is another great Maker feature to expand the art of the possible, the art of engaging, multi-media experiences.
Producing Live Events in Yammer just got easier
Now Yammer community admins can schedule, produce, and broadcast a live event in just a few clicks. Attendees can access the event page in Yammer and participate in open discussion before, during, and after the event.
Presenters can monitor the conversations happening in Yammer without having to leave Microsoft Teams. There are a number of Yammer integrations with Teams, like adding a Yammer community as a tab in Teams; And the real design value is how the technology is taking a scenario-first approach - to keep you from bouncing through various apps and experiences - opting rather to keep you where you started with intuitive options to accomplish numerous tasks.
April 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 – March 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 “WFH in Sammamish, WA” Kashman – senior product manager (SharePoint/OneDrive | Microsoft)
And if you made it this far, thought I'd put a "living life" plug for a few things I've latched on to for entertainment during the current crisis - as you, like me, might be doing a few more things from home these days; you can work from home, and don't forget to home from work just the same:
Movies and series I've recently consumed and would recommend:
For background music that supports work & life - when it's your turn to control the tunes:
And last, in the evening hours - I'm determined to finish a random paperback book I grabbed when I traveled to New Mexico last month; I grabbed it from the back shelves of the Black Cat Books & Coffee in Truth or Consequences:
I'm interested to know what books, movies and activities are helping keep you connected and sane. Let me know on Twitter, @Mkashman.
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