3 recommended updates: Microsoft retiring SharePoint 2010 workflows

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Version 20.07.16

Microsoft MVP Jasper Oosterveld on the retirement of SharePoint 2010 workflows, new language-aware proofing in Microsoft Teams, and the ability to automatically block guest access to new OneDrive and SharePoint files until scans are complete.

ShareGate's easy-to-use SaaS tools enable organizations to achieve more than ever before with Microsoft cloud technologies. In our ongoing series, Jasper Oosterveld brings you up to speed on the latest and greatest from the world of Microsoft 365.

I hope you enjoyed the last one—where I discussed the ability to set default page templates in SharePoint, two new analytics features for SharePoint, and an increase to the file upload limit for SharePoint, OneDrive, and Teams files.

Let's move on to the latest installment!


In this release, you'll find my opinion on the retirement of SharePoint 2010 workflows, new language-aware proofing in Microsoft Teams, and the ability to automatically block guest access to new OneDrive and SharePoint files until scans are complete.

Without further ado, let's take a closer look at the 3 recommended updates I think you should know about now.


Microsoft is retiring SharePoint 2010 workflows

There is a time for coming and a time for going. Well, the time has come for SharePoint 2010 workflows to go.

This shouldn't really be a surprise. For many years, there haven't been any investments in SharePoint 2010 and 2013 workflows; instead, Microsoft has been investing in Power Automate as the universal solution for quite some time. Power Automate is the way forward—time to board the Power Automate train!

Power Automate user interface.

Are you still running SharePoint 2010 workflows? Then you should act immediately, because starting August 1st, 2020, SharePoint 2010 workflows will be turned off for newly created tenants. And as of November 1st, 2020, Microsoft will begin removing the ability to run or create SharePoint 2010 workflows from existing tenants. That's only four months from now!

As part of the evolution of the Microsoft 365 service, we periodically evaluate the capabilities of the service to make sure that we're delivering the utmost value to customers. After careful consideration, we concluded that for SharePoint 2010 workflows, Microsoft 365 customers would be better served by modern workflow solutions.

Microsoft support documentation for SharePoint 2010 workflow retirement

To understand if your organization is using 2010 workflows, or to begin planning your migration to Power Automate, Microsoft recommends customers run the SharePoint Modernization Scanner tool to identify legacy workflow usage in their tenants.

The Workflow Report generated by the scanner tool can help customers understand the following:

  • Distribution of legacy workflows across SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 workflows
  • Distribution of out-of-the-box and custom legacy workflow usage
  • Which sites and lists use legacy workflows
  • Their Power Automate upgradability score, indicating how well the detected actions are upgradable to flows with Power Automate

Additionally, Microsoft recommends reviewing their documentation for guidance on migrating from classic workflows to Power Automate flows and SharePoint 2010 workflow retirement. These resources have all the information you need to prepare for and execute your transition from SharePoint 2010 workflows to Power Automate.

Good to know:

  • SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013-based workflows will continue to be supported for on-premises SharePoint 2016 and SharePoint 2019 Server platforms until 2026.
  • You'll want to notify your users, workflow developers, and site owners of this change. Update your user training and prepare your help desk.

Language-aware proofing in Microsoft Teams

We live in an international world where working with multiple languages is the default. Personally, I use Dutch with the teams at InSpark, but I'm also part of Microsoft and other international teams. Currently, the Microsoft Teams application only allows for one app language:

Language settings in Microsoft Teams.

This is annoying when you want to use the spell check option. I've tried switching between app languages, but this requires a restart every time. This is time consuming and annoying.

Communicate using multiple languages in Microsoft Teams.

Microsoft 365 Roadmap, Featured ID: 65446

Thanks to this update, Microsoft Teams users can more easily communicate using multiple languages. Users who write different messages in different languages will now see spellchecking that's relevant to the language they are actively using when they type a message in the Microsoft Teams desktop app.

This is a key improvement to the existing Teams desktop spellchecking feature! This update will make Teams "language-aware" and improve the overall messaging experience for bilingual and multilingual users around the world.

Good to know:

  • Spellchecking will default to the active keyboard language, and if the user switches their keyboard language, spellchecking will switch to that language as well.
  • If a user writes enough messages in a different language within a single chat or channel conversation, spellchecking will automatically switch to the relevant language (in this case, a user might see a notification UI letting them confirm/revert the switch).
  • This is an improvement to existing spellchecking in the Teams desktop client. Spellchecking itself can be toggled on/off by users in Teams App Settings > General.
  • Language auto-detection for messaging occurs client-side—meaning no keystrokes/writing is sent to, processed by, or stored on any web server.
  • The "language-aware" spellchecking will initially be available for the Windows desktop client and the General (public cloud) only.
  • Support for Linux and Mac desktop clients is under active investigation.
  • Support for customers in the Microsoft 365 Government clouds (GCC, GCC-H, DoD) is also under investigation.
  • Start updating your user training and documentation and prepare your employees by sending out a news post announcing this update and its benefits.

Microsoft started rolling out this feature at the end of June 2020 and expects rollout to be completed by the end of July 2020.


Automatically block guest access to new OneDrive and SharePoint files until scans are complete

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) is designed to prevent the sharing of sensitive information with colleagues or guests. Some of the most common examples include social security numbers, credit card numbers, and bank numbers.

DLP can be applied to content shared in SharePoint, OneDrive, and even chat messages in Microsoft Teams. Below is an example of a DLP policy whereby sensitive content is prevented from being shared with guests:

DLP blocking sharing.

When new files are added to SharePoint or OneDrive in Microsoft 365, it takes time for them to be crawled and indexed. It takes additional time for the DLP policy to scan the content and apply rules to protect sensitive content.

Until recently, if external sharing was turned on, sensitive content could be shared and accessed by guests before any DLP rule completed its processing.

Office 365 Data Loss Prevention will be able to treat files in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business as sensitive (by default) and therefore block external access until the file has been fully scanned for sensitive information.

Microsoft 365 Roadmap, Featured ID: 34247

By treating all new files as sensitive until they have been scanned, this feature gives Global and SharePoint admins the ability to block guest accounts from accessing files until the DLP completes its scan.

Good to know:

  • If the file has no sensitive content based on the DLP policy, then guests can access the file.
  • If the policy identifies a file with sensitive content, then guests continue to be prohibited from accessing the file.
  • To mark new files as sensitive by default:
    • You'll need to change a tenant property using PowerShell and a cmdlet.
    • You need to enable at least one DLP policy covering all SharePoint and OneDrive content.
  • There is no change to existing restrictions on guest user access to sensitive files.
  • Check out the official Microsoft documentation to learn more about data loss prevention and how to create and activate a DLP policy.
  • Start updating your user training and documentation and prepare your employees by sending out a news post announcing this update and its benefits.

Microsoft started rolling out this feature at the end of June 2020 and expects to be completed by the end of July 2020.


Start preparing for the switch to Power Automate

We close the month of July with another series of great updates and new features. The Microsoft 365 update train is not slowing down at all!

My personal favorite is the language-aware spellchecking feature for Microsoft Teams, since this update will have a positive impact on my daily interactions in Teams.

The update with the most impact would have to be the retirement of SharePoint 2010 workflows. I know for certain there are a lot of customers out there who will be impacted by this news. For those customers, my best advice is to follow the guidelines laid out in the resources included in this article to prepare for the change.

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