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SharePoint Roadmap Pitstop: July 2023

You can always rely on July to bring goodness to for SharePoint and Microsoft 365: New SharePoint site creation experience, Viva Pulse GA, Viva Connections platform updates, new Search layouts for results, OneDrive: Simplified sharing, Lists UX update, Stream playback in Teams chat and channels, AAD > MSeID, Inspire announcements highlights, and more.

In the podcast episode, we also hear from our friend, Chris McNulty, about the Microsoft 365 Backup and Archive announcements – from MS Inspire. Last, stay to the end for a bonus love song all about OneDrive, “King of the Cloud.”

Chris McNulty, Director of Product Marketing (Syntex – Microsoft) announcing Microsoft 365 Backup and Archive during the Microsoft Inspire 2023 event.Chris McNulty, Director of Product Marketing (Syntex – Microsoft) announcing Microsoft 365 Backup and Archive during the Microsoft Inspire 2023 event.

All features listed below began rolling out to Targeted Release customers in Microsoft 365 as of July 2023 (possibly early August 2023).

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.

SharePoint: New site creation experience

The intent is to ensure you are informed about what you create – before you create it. With this update, you choose a site template based on your scenario. Before clicking “Create site”, you see what the template does for you, a visual preview, a list of site capabilities, and a list of pages and other features that come with each template… aka, guidance and clarity to future site owners.

Updated SharePoint site creation experience in Microsoft 365.Updated SharePoint site creation experience in Microsoft 365.

As a part of this update, we renamed a few templates to clarify their purpose. For example:

  • “Standard team” – the new name for the default team site template (formerly “team collaboration”).
  • “Standard communication” – the new name for the default communication site template (formerly “Topic”).
  • “Training course” – the new name for the template used to present training courses (formerly “Training and courses”).

We are also updating the content in the following site templates: Organization home, Event, Human resources, Volunteer center, and Crisis management.

We hope you like taking the guess work out of SharePoint site creation. It’ll save you both time and aspirin. Fewer site headaches – that’s the goal!

Viva Pulse – Now generally available

Viva Pulse empowers managers and projects leads to easily request regular, confidential feedback, so they can understand their team needs and act using team and project-based surveys available in the flow of work with Microsoft Teams and web app experience.

Choosing a template when creating a new Viva Pulse survey.Choosing a template when creating a new Viva Pulse survey.

You can request ad-hoc feedback on topics to better understand their team’s needs and address them in the moment. Pre-populated, research-validated survey templates help zero in on important topics such as change management or work situations. Managers and leads can also customize templates to meet their unique team needs.

It’s important to know, when you request or provide feedback, Viva Pulse protects employee privacy. You may choose to share feedback you have received with others directly or through connected experiences your organization has enabled. However, feedback and reports that identify you as the author will not be shared without your action.

FYI | Updates on the Viva Connections platform/extensibility

We are excited to announce the introduction of the new Microsoft Viva Connections card layout options: Card components, as part of our latest SPFx 1.18 release (currently in public preview). Card components are powerful engines that provide Viva Connections developers with unparalleled flexibility.

In addition to the card layout work, we also added a new element, the text input component, that allows users to enter text data on the card view. And, with the goal to empower developers to create dashboard cards that drive engagement, we also delivered our first scenario specific card template: Search – also released as part of the SPFx 1.18 release.

You can see it all in action in a new video with Alex Terentiev and Vesa Juvonen: 

Manage layouts for SharePoint results in Microsoft Search

This update will allow Microsoft Search administrators to change result layouts for select SharePoint content using adaptive cards with Result Type feature in Microsoft Search administration. This enables a richer display with useful information in the search results so users can quickly find the information they need – beyond title and thumbnail.

The default result layouts for SharePoint sites, pages, list items and Portable document format (PDF) results can now be replaced with layouts built using adaptive cards. The changes can be made for Organization level search applicable to Office.com and SharePoint home. Note: Changes for Microsoft Search in Bing and site level search on SharePoint sites will roll out soon.   

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.

OneDrive: Simplified sharing

As you know, sharing and collaboration are at the heart of Microsoft 365, so you can work seamlessly with coworkers and partners on files and documents. We understand the importance of file sharing, and that’s precisely why we’ve focused on refining and improving the experience.

The new Simplified Sharing in Microsoft 365 applications makes file sharing easier and faster than ever before.The new Simplified Sharing in Microsoft 365 applications makes file sharing easier and faster than ever before.

When you click the “Share” button, the Share Dialog box pops up. It’s this experience, used over eight hundred million times each month — across Microsoft 365 applications, that we set out to improve. We’re thrilled to announce that the Simplified Sharing experience is available across more than fifty Microsoft 365 applications on all platforms: Web, Desktop, and Mobile. Additionally, when you select “copy link” you get a clear, on-screen confirmation that the link has been copied, and the confirmation self-dismisses.

Microsoft Lists user experience (UX) update

Whether you’re driving Lamborghinis or Lists, performance is the ultimate feature. So if you stop reading here, and don’t change a thing about how you work with Lists, you’re still going to enjoy a summer of lightning-fast views, forms, and fields.

Microsoft Lists Image fields now support drag and drop.Microsoft Lists Image fields now support drag and drop.

These performance updates are coupled with a bunch of optimizations to the user experience that put people, content, and essential actions front and center. You can now enjoy new features that make lists more interactive and collaborative:

  • Add ratings to any list to give feedback or rank items
  • Drag and/or paste images directly into a list
  • See who is collaborating with you in real-time to avoid conflicts and confusion
  • Switch views by clicking tabs to easily change how users see their data

You may have seen some of these if you’ve been testing out the Microsoft Lists – MSA Preview, and we’re thrilled to be bringing the goodness to the commercial side of Lists. A list is a list is a list – and you’re going to like these list updates.

Related technology

Microsoft Teams: Stream Preview and Playback in Teams Chat and Channels

You can preview and play Stream videos directly in Teams Chat and Channel without having to open them in a browser and going to Stream. Woohoo! Stream videos that are saved in OneDrive and SharePoint are now embedded in chat and channels enabling users to preview and play them directly in Teams without the need to open a browser window. It makes it so much easier to retain the context of the chat + the value of the video.

View Stream videos inline in Microsoft Teams chats and channel discussion - without leaving Teams.View Stream videos inline in Microsoft Teams chats and channel discussion – without leaving Teams.

Azure Active Directory is becoming Microsoft Entra ID

Yes, we are moving your cheese: AAD > MSeID. The name change to Microsoft Entra ID represents the evolution and unification of the Microsoft Entra product family, and a commitment to simplify secure access experiences for everyone. And: No changes to capabilities. No changes to licensing. No changes to pricing, terms, or service level agreements – SLAs. I repeat the collective: “Features and capabilities of Azure AD will continue to be available in Microsoft Entra ID.”

Service plan display names will change on October 1, 2023. Microsoft Entra ID Free, Microsoft Entra ID P1, and Microsoft Entra ID P2 will be the new names of standalone offers, and all capabilities included in the current Azure AD plans remain the same.Service plan display names will change on October 1, 2023. Microsoft Entra ID Free, Microsoft Entra ID P1, and Microsoft Entra ID P2 will be the new names of standalone offers, and all capabilities included in the current Azure AD plans remain the same.

To make the transition seamless for you, the Azure AD URLs, APIs, and authentication libraries are staying the same, as are developer experiences. We know name changes can be hard, and we’re here to help one identity at time (if need be).

Twitter web parts in SharePoint may appear empty

When you select the Twitter web part in SharePoint for Microsoft 365 to see tweets from a specific user or a collection, no results are displayed. Instead, you see the following message: “Something went wrong.”

SharePoint Twitter web part shows the error message, SharePoint Twitter web part shows the error message, “Something went wrong” — due to the change in X’s (formerly Twitter) authentication policy.

The Cause | On June 30, 2023, when it was Twitter, now X, changed its terms of use for third-party access. The company now requires users to be authenticated to view timelines and tweets. Additionally, Twitter has limited the amount of content that users can access daily. This change affects our ability to support Twitter services within SharePoint. To work around this issue, SharePoint admins can opt to remove the Twitter web part from affected pages.

 

Not ideal. We hope you knowing now helps minimize the not knowing. And hey, they may change their mind.

Microsoft Inspire 2023 news

So, you are more in the know about what’s coming, here’s the good stuff from this year’s Inspire show. And let me note up front that there’s a great article by Frank Shaw – Chief Communications Officer at Microsoft: “Microsoft Inspire: Accelerating AI transformation through partnership

You can view all within Satya Nadella’s full Microsoft Inspire 2023 keynote: 

… and here are the top five Inspire 2023 announcements:

  1. Microsoft 365 Backup and Microsoft 365 Archive | Microsoft 365 Backup provides recovery of your OneDrive, SharePoint, and Exchange data at unprecedented speeds for large volumes of data with a restore service level agreement (SLA) — while keeping it all within the Microsoft 365 security boundary. Microsoft 365 Archive gives you a cold data storage tier that enables you to keep inactive or aging data within SharePoint at a cost-effective price point matching the value of that data’s lifecycle stage. Because the content is archived in place, it retains Microsoft 365’s valuable security, compliance, search, and rich metadata.
  2. Bing Chat Enterprise gives your organization AI-powered chat for work with commercial data protection. With Bing Chat Enterprise, user and business data are protected and will not leak outside the organization. What goes in—and comes out—remains protected. Your organization’s chat data is not saved, Microsoft has no eyes-on access to it, and it is not used to train the models. 
    • Try it in preview today at Bing.com/chat – And in the future, it will be available as a stand-alone offering for $5/user/month, plus technical documentation to learn more:  https://aka.ms/Bing-Docs.
  3. Announcing Microsoft 365 Copilot Pricing | We’re pleased to announce pricing for Microsoft 365 Copilot. It will be available for $30/user/month for Microsoft 365 E3, E5, Business Standard and Business Premium customers when generally available. The article I link to shares more information about Bing Chat Enterprise and Copilot.
  4. Empowering sellers and customer service agents with AI | Sellers need to have as many options in their toolboxes as possible. So, we’re adding more functionality to Microsoft Sales Copilot directly within Dynamics 365 Sales, such as AI-generated opportunity summary, contextualized email drafts and meeting preparations. This empowers sellers to improve productivity and close more deals with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) task automation (including Salesforce), actionable real-time insights, and AI-assisted content and recommendations to personalize customer interactions at scale. 
  5. Meta and Microsoft partnership | Meta and Microsoft have announced support for the Llama family of large language models on Azure and Windows. As part of this announcement, Microsoft will be Meta’s preferred partner as they release their new version of Llama 2 to commercial customers for the first time.

That’s it for the Inspire 2023 highlights. Hit up Frank’s post for the broader view and links to depth content per announcement.

August 2023 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…

  • Teaser #1: New Search experience within chat and channels [Roadmap ID: 122550
  • Teaser #2: Meet App on Microsoft Teams [Roadmap ID: 122540]

… shhh, tell everyone.

Events and helpful, ongoing change management resources

  • Follow me to catch news and interesting SharePoint things: @mkashman; warning, occasional bad puns may fly in a tweet or two here and there.

Thanks for tuning in and/or reading this episode/blog of the Intrazone Roadmap Pitstop – July 2023. 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 ahead. And thanks for listening and reading.

Thanks for your time,

Mark Kashman – senior product manager (SharePoint/Lists) | Microsoft)

The Intrazone Roadmap Pitstop - July 2023 graphic showing some of the highlighted release features.The Intrazone Roadmap Pitstop – July 2023 graphic showing some of the highlighted release features.

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