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SharePoint Roadmap Pitstop: December 2019

It’s the ho ho holidays and the SharePoint team has been in the giving spirit throughout the entire month of December (2019)….

Now Audience targeting! Now Files in Forms! Now Root site swap and alternate rows!

On SharePoint admin center! On people cards! On, column totals and a list RTE that glows!

To the top of the customizable navigation, to the launch of the OWA PWA app,

Now dash away, dash away, dash away and take a year-end tech nap.

OK, sleigh bells have rung and the new year ringing is about to commence. So, consider this the all-inclusive recap of all recent releases and updates, plus the embedded Intrazone Roadmap Pitstop: December 2019 podcast episode – the bonus monthly audible companion – all to help answer, "What's rolling out now for SharePoint and related technologies into Microsoft 365?"

In the podcast episode, I interview Kaarin Shumate (LinkedIn), senior content developer who focuses on the strategy and management of SharePoint help documentation, UX writing to ensure accessibility for the global IT SharePoint admin community – on-premises and in Microsoft 365. You see much of her work within the SharePoint admin center - all the words to help guide and define all the button and clicks as you manage your intelligent intranet. Kaarin has a wealth to share about behind-the-scenes working closely with engineering and continuously reviewing customer feedback.

Kaarin Shumate, senior content developer (SharePoint/Microsoft); LinkedIn profile picture on the left, at Microsoft Studios on the right; Intrazone guest.

We also have a festive audible treat baked into this episode – a holiday parody rendition of “Up on the Cloud Top” with special musical guests: The KashKids – Sophie on lead vocals and Eli on cello – with me nearly a’tuned keeping up with both of them for a lil end-of-year holiday musical fun; full song embedded within the Roadmap Pitstop: December 2019 edition with lyrics at the end of this blog post + in-studio pics.

OK, onto the tech; all features listed below began rolling out to Targeted Release customers in Office 365 as of December 2019 (possibly early January 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.

Audience targeting in SharePoint organizational news in Microsoft 365

You can show content to specific groups of people. This allows page authors and site owners to tag pages and news posts with Azure Active Directory (AAD) groups, and filter content within these web parts to people within those groups - to target them with relevant content.

After enabling the audience targeting feature, target news posts to specific audiences from within the Site Pages library.

From within the News web part, Megan (on the left), who works in HR, sees the two news posts targeted for the HR Members group, where Nestor (on the right), who works in marketing, sees the two posts targeted for the Marketing Members group. They both see not targeted content - the "Travel Updates Coming Soon!" news article.

The SharePoint start page, news on the mobile apps, and the News web part with audience targeting enabled, now show filtered views. Note: You can set one or more groups as the audience for any file.

File Upload for Microsoft Forms

Build a form in minutes and now include the ability for people to send content as a part of their submission. This new feature allows form designers to choose a new question type, File Upload, which enables respondents to attach files as part of their response. Files can be accessed in either SharePoint or OneDrive in Microsoft 365, depending on the form type; group forms use SharePoint, while personal forms use OneDrive. Form creators can limit the number and size of files as well as specify file types. 

A new question type for Microsoft Forms, File Upload. Question #2 above shows a respondent uploading a PNG image as a part of their survey submission.

Note: File upload is not available when the form is shared externally. Change your form setting to “Only people in my organization can respond” within the “Send and collect responses” section under the form’s Share button.

Multiple updates to the SharePoint admin center

We’re continuously updating the experience to allow additional admin controls (like viewing and managing permissions of a site), as we align the admin experiences across the different Microsoft 365 admin centers. This month, SharePoint admins can better replace their root site without PowerShell, adjust permissions, see people cards on-hover and more.

Replace root site – You can replace your root site with another site from the SharePoint admin center. The original root site is moved to a different URL and can be restored, if necessary.

You can now swap the root site with the site of your choice directly from within the SharePoint admin center.

Permissions panel – You can now see the site Owners, Members, and Visitors. If it’s an Office 365 Groups-connected site, you can see the group owners, and add or remove additional site admins if needed.

Manage site permissions from within the site information pane – to adjust site admins, site owners, site members and site visitors.

On-hover people cards – Hovering over the name of a user (on the Active sites list or in the details panel) lets you see details about the user - the same pervasive people card experience you see throughout Microsoft 365.

View an individual's people card right from within the Active sites information pane.

Customizable navigation pane – You can hide items you don’t use or collapse the navigation menu to see more content on the page.

Uncheck Sharepoint admin center left-hand navigation items so they do not appear. Easily check them again to bring them back.

More features page – The “Classic features” page has been renamed to “More features,” and all classic features are shown on the page so that you don’t need to click “More classic features” to see them.

Access more features, like Term store, User profiles, BCS and more, right from the "More features" page without having to go to any other classic settings page.

Additional site-level sharing settings – For all sites, you can now limit sharing by domain, set the default sharing link type, and set default sharing link permission, (Previously, you could only do these tasks for classic sites on the classic site collections page.) You can also make “Anyone” links expire. Additionally, the External sharing column is now included when you export your site list as a .csv file.

Design updates

Details panels have been widened, to provide space for future enhancements and match the design of other Microsoft 365 admin centers. And the Settings page has been redesigned as a list that lets you see the current value for each setting.

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.

New modern list features released in December 2019

The SharePoint team has been ramping up investments in lists this last year. And as this month’s latest releases, they are certain to continue to deliver the value for how you best represent and track your data. Below are the three latest list innovations… SharePoint makers, are you ready?

Column totals settings – Show totals, or not, it is your choice – and easier than ever to accomplish. Users will be able to enable and disable column totals in the SharePoint list experience; previously this was only achievable when in classic mode. You’re able to display column totals and subtotals in the footer of a group or a list/library view. Custom views allow you to add calculated fields, such as totals or averages, to the footer of a group or the entire list. And, totals also appear in List and Library web parts.

Choose to display column totals, or not, for SharePoint lists and libraries.

To adjust Totals for a particular column of a SharePoint list, click the down-facing arrow to the right of the column header > select Totals > and then select your preferred Totals type.

Rich text formatting – Beyond standard column formatting, you now have a rich palette off which to design more visually meaningful, actionable list items.

You’ll then see all Format options available to reflect more visually the meaning of each word or status of the column(s) – including the ability to adjust Font (bold, italicize, underline), Icon, Borders (style and color) all while seeing a real-time preview of your design.

Use the built-in rich text editor (RTE) to design how you want your text and icons to appear in your SharePoint lists or libraries.

To adjust how text appears for a particular column of a SharePoint list, click the down-facing arrow to the right of the column header > select Column settings > Format this column > click Edit styles and then click the pencil icon to the right of an item choice and click More styles.

Alternate rows – Users will be able to create a document view for list data that features column formatting and/or alternating colors by row.

Add alternating row color within your SharePoint lists and libraries. The above list shows both column formatting and alternate row formatting.

To apply alternate row formatting to a SharePoint list, click the down-facing arrow to the right of the top All Items list header option > select Format current view > then click Edit row styles. Here you can then adjust the row font, colors, border style – all with a real-time preview of your design.

Learn more about upcoming list innovation and how to guidance:

Retirement of SharePoint classic and Delve blogs

This one comes as an FYI with guidance. SharePoint classic blogs and Delve blogs are being retired. Existing SharePoint classic blogs will continue to work as expected, including the ability to create new posts, but you will not be able to create new blog sites after a period of time. Delve blogs will no longer be available for creation, and existing blogs will eventually be removed, after an extended period of read only access.

We recommend creating Communication sites using News, Yammer, and Stream as a modern way of engaging with your audience.

  • Related resources

  1. Modernize Delve blogs and classic blogs [includes the community supported PnP Page transformation tool]

Related technology

Microsoft Flow is becoming Microsoft Power Automate

As announced at Microsoft Ignite 2019, Microsoft Flow is being renamed to Microsoft Power Automate to better align with the Microsoft Power Platform.

Microsoft Flow is now Power Automate. In the context of a SharePoint document library, you'll now see the "Automate" drop-down menu to create and configure flows.

You will start to see Microsoft Flow be replaced by Microsoft Power Automate throughout the service. These changes will start to become visible in Microsoft documentation, Admin center, etc. in the near future. And for OneDrive and SharePoint, you'll see this primarily in lists and libraries.

Outlook on the web as a progressive web app

With this update, your users will be able to install Outlook on the web as a progressive web app in Chromium-based browsers. PWAs are websites that that provide native app-like features on supporting platforms and browser engines. When Outlook is installed as a PWA, users can launch it from the Start menu, pin it to the Taskbar, or run it in a standalone browser window that removes standard browser interface elements. Microsoft will continue to update Outlook on the web with additional app-like capabilities.

You can install the web version of Outlook—either Outlook on the web or—as a progressive web app in the new Microsoft Edge Edge icon and Google Chrome.

It's the best of OWA - where Outlook often ships the latest features, like the new files experience for Groups, tasks powered by To Do built in, a nice Unsubscribe button for unwanted newsletters, nicer previews of attachments - esp. images, and more.

Been using it a week now to try it out, and think I'll keep it as my daily mail and calendar driver.

January 2020 teasers predictions

Psst, still here? Still scrolling the page looking for the rolled out goodness? If so, here’s a few predictions of what’s to come to production next month…

  • Prediction #1: Custom search results pages for SharePoint Sites [Roadmap ID: 32738]

  • Prediction #2: SharePoint page version history [Roadmap ID: 57813]

… shhh, tell everyone.

Helpful, ongoing change management resources + the top support articles Kaarin mentioned on the podcast

  • Recommended by Kaarin Shumate, senior content developer from the SharePoint team:

  1. Install the Office 365 admin app; view Message Center posts and stay current with push notifications.

Thanks for tuning in and/or reading this episode/blog of the Intrazone Roadmap Pitstop – December 2019 (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 Happy New Year,

Mark Kashman – senior product manager (SharePoint | Microsoft)

Bonus lyrics to “Up on the Cloud Top” by Eli, Sophie and Mark Kashman

Up on the Cloud Top

[a holiday parody song within The Intrazone SharePoint Roadmap Pitstop – December 2019 edition; sung by Sophie Kashman and Mark Kashman; Eli Kashman on cello]

Up on the cloud top, a fruitful loft,

Out jumps good old Microsoft.

Updating tenants with lots of features

All for us collaborative creatures.

Ho, ho, ho! who wouldn't go?

Ho, ho, ho! who wouldn't go?

Up on the mouse pad, point and click

Down through the wifi

Comes good St. Mic'

First comes the portal

Of our HR crew

Oh, dear Office make it new

Give them org news that's

Personalized and nice,

News that will open on

Any device.

Ho, ho, ho! who wouldn't go?

Ho, ho, ho! who wouldn't go?

Up on the mouse pad, point and click

Down through the wifi

Comes good St. Mic'

Next comes the

Teams chat & sharing files

Oh to imagine co-authoring smiles

Here is a Teams tab with a list that grows

Powered by Power Automate business flows

Ho, ho, ho! who wouldn't go?

Ho, ho, ho! who wouldn't go?

Up on the mouse pad, point and click

Down through the wifi

Comes good St. Mic'

Now SharePoint! Now OneDrive! Now Teams and Planner!

On Outlook! On OneNote! On, Stream and Yammer!

To the top of the app launcher, to the top of the cloud

Now dash away, dash away, dash away tech crowd!

Happy holidays, all.

Left-to-right: Eli Kashman – lead cellist, Sophie Kashman - lead singer, and Mark Kashman - out-of-tune composer co-singing with Sophie.



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