Version 19.09.18 is now available.
In this bi-weekly blog series, Microsoft MVP Jasper Oosterveld turns his Dutch directness to up-to-the-minute industry news—bringing you honest content about the current and future state of Microsoft and Office 365.
Published on September 18, 2019.
Welcome back to 3 recommended updates, a new blog series where I bring you the latest and greatest from the world of Microsoft and Office 365.
I hope you enjoyed the last one—with my opinion on the "new" Yammer profile, OneDrive as the new default save location, and Microsoft Teams 'Meet now'—and are ready for the sixth installment!
3 recommended updates series:
- Version 19.07.10: org-wide channels, page recommendations, and Q&A in Yammer
- Version 19.07.24: channel cross posting, organization assets, and updated site usage analytics
- Version 19.08.09: Skype for Business, Save for later, and Teams gets private channels
- Version 19.08.21: add comments to non-Office files, new web parts in modern authoring, and swap sites in SharePoint Online
- Version 19.09.04: Yammer using Office profiles, OneDrive default save, and Microsoft Teams 'Meet now'
In this release, you’ll find my thoughts on priority fields for Planner tasks; managing the sharing and access requests from the SharePoint Site permission panel; and the Microsoft Teams recording tab in Microsoft Stream.
Without further ado, let's take a closer look at my 3 recommended updates you need to know about now.
Priority field for Planner tasks
Planner has got to be tied with Yammer for having one of the slowest development cycles of new features and updates within Microsoft 365.
The service has been around for years, but it was only in recent months that we finally got features like:
- Export to Excel
- Copy tasks
- Integration with To-Do
Nice! Now where are sub tasks, an improved comment system (e.g. integration with Teams), or the ability to upload files to a folder of my choice?
That said, I do really like Planner because it offers a lightweight task management solution for projects and teams—personally I'm a huge fan of the the integration with Microsoft Teams. All of our customers at Insight are using a tab within their Teams app to integrate Planner.
A new feature I didn’t realize I needed until now? The ability to prioritize all of my tasks!
I really like the icons Microsoft picked for the new Priority field. It’s often the small details that count. Talking about small details, look what happens when you mark a task as important:
A little red clock is now displayed within the card for that task. Cool!
Good to know:
- Users can group and filter tasks by priority level.
- No additional action is required to receive this update, although Microsoft advises that you update your adoption materials.
- You should communicate the change to all your users.
Want to learn more about Planner? Find tips for admins using Planner in the official Microsoft support documentation. And if you have your own ideas for improving the service, share your thoughts and suggestions in the official UserVoice forum.
Microsoft has been gradually rolling this out to production customers since the end of August. Worldwide rollout should be completed by the end of this month.
Manage sharing and access request settings from the Site permissions panel
A little while back I wrote a very critical article about SharePoint permissions within Office 365.
Although this update doesn't totally fix the mess I described, I do appreciate the effort to put important permission features in plain site instead of hiding them away in the background.
The site sharing setting used to be here:
This has now moved into the Site Permissions menu:
The ability to add a custom message to the request access page is also awesome!
Good to know:
- No further action is required, but you may consider updating your user training and notifying your organization's help desk.
- There are no new settings being introduced in this change. Site owners who are already familiar with using the Advanced page for managing sharing and access request settings can continue to do so.
Want to learn more? Read all about SharePoint Online external sharing features in the official Microsoft documentation.
Microsoft is currently in the process of rolling this out to customers, with rollout expected to be completed worldwide by the end of September.
Record a meeting in Teams
The integration between Stream and Microsoft Teams is truly wonderful.
The initial release of Teams allowed members to instantly start a digital meeting. When I showed a demo of this functionality, an immediate question was asked: "When can we record our meetings?"
That update arrived last year. But once you started to record meetings, it was very tricky to actually find the recording in Stream. This is now a bit easier:
All of your meeting recordings are now available as a filter. Nice!
Good to know:
- This feature is available to all Office 365 and Microsoft 365 plans that include both Stream and Teams.
- This message does not apply to customers who are part of GCC-High or DOD.
Microsoft has already started rolling out this feature, with worldwide rollout expected by the end of the month. Learn more about finding meetings in Stream in the official Microsoft documentation.
My favorite update is the new site sharing menu in SharePoint. No more hiding the background, but available in plain site—giving you more control over the sharing of your site and its content.
Personally, I would allow all members to share content and the site. But that being said, I do understand that might be ideal when storing confidential content. In that case I would only allow owners to share the content or site.
Either way, this feature aligns with Microsoft's self-service vision for the modern workplace—giving users and owners more leeway when it comes to managing their own resources.
This is the last update for the month of September! Hope to check in with all you lovely people in October.
Want to learn how to keep your Office 365 environment tidy and secure? Download our curated guide, Office 365 Groups Governance, for practical tips on achieving a balanced approach to Office 365.