3 recommended updates: SharePoint sensitivity labels, file hover card conversations, and File Requests in OneDrive

Version 19.11.13 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 November 13, 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 thoughts about activity-based Teams renewal, form customization in SharePoint lists and libraries, and live captions for Teams meetings—and are ready for the ninth installment!

3 recommended updates series:


In this release, you’ll find my my opinion about SharePoint and OneDrive support for sensitivity labels; an update for the file hover card; and the ability to request files within your OneDrive.

Without further ado, let's take a closer look at my 3 recommended updates you need to know about now.


SharePoint and OneDrive support for sensitivity labels (preview)

Over the last few years, our customers moved their data into Office 365. This offered them an array of new advantages—varying from access to their files from any device or location to an improved set of collaboration tools.

Although people need to have access to the sensitive content stored in Office 365, once the content leaves Office 365, all control is lost. Companies have no idea who is accessing these files and where it's being stored.

SharePoint and OneDrive now support sensitivity labels with protection i.e. Microsoft Information Protection-based encryption setting can be associated with a sensitivity label.

microsoft 365 roadmap, featured id: 57311

This is where sensitivity labels play an important role. These labels protect your data from unauthorized access. Unfortunately, applying labels up until now had a negative impact on the user and admin experience; Co-authoring, eDiscovery, Data Loss Prevention, search, Delve, and other collaborative features no longer worked.

Formerly, applying labels negatively impacted the user experience.

This preview fixes that! SharePoint and OneDrive can now support sensitivity labels with protection—i.e. Microsoft Information Protection-based encryption setting can be associated with a sensitivity label. The encrypted files are treated much like regular files in the sense that users can open and edit them in Office 365 and get modern productivity experiences like co-authoring.

Good to know:

  • This feature is turned off by default. A global or SharePoint admin has to enable it using PowerShell.
  • Are you still using Azure Information Protection labels? You can convert them to sensitivity labels to enable these features for new files that you upload.
  • Three new audit events are available for monitoring sensitivity labels:
    - FileSensitivityApplied
    - FileSensitivityLabelChanged
    - FileSensitivityLabelRemoved
  • For this preview, use the OneDrive sync app version 19.002.0121.0008 or later on Windows and version 19.002.0107.0008 or later on Mac. After you enable this preview, users who run an older version of the sync app will be prompted to update it.
  • Be warned: The preview comes with a series of limitations. Learn more about what these limitations are before you start your preview.
  • Be cautious: This is a preview. Applying preview functionality within a product environment comes with a risk. You don’t have a guarantee features aren’t part of final release.  

This preview is accessible to everyone. Check out the official Microsoft documentation for more details on how to enable this preview within your Office 365 tenant.

File hover card - conversations

I really like the concept of the file hover card because it gives me quick insight into the usage and content of files that matter to me. I can see the activity (viewers & views), the reading time, and keywords.

The file hover card gives quick insight into file usage and content.

This is now being extended with the inclusion of conversations!  When someone sends an email, a Teams message, or a meeting invitation that references a file from SharePoint or OneDrive, that conversation will be displayed in the file card with a link to the conversation(s). 

This new file hover card feature, alongside file details and actions like ‘Inside Look’ and ‘Activity,’ will show relevant emails, meetings and Teams conversations to the individual reviewing the file hover card information.

microsoft 365 roadmap, featured id: 56183

A great new addition to the file hover card, this allows me to quickly decide if this is important to me or I can move on to the next one—increasing my productivity and saving me valuable time.

Good to know:

  • The conversations displayed on the file card will only be visible to the users who took part in them.
  • This new feature is enabled by default. I highly recommend communicating the arrival of the new feature to your end users. Focus on the advantages, and happy faces are guaranteed.

Microsoft is gradually rolling this out in early December. The roll out is expected to be completed worldwide by the end of February 2020.

File Requests in OneDrive for Business

I have some mixed feelings about this feature.

Yes, OneDrive can be used to temporarily store content belonging to a group of people. For example, if you're a marketing manager preparing a new presentation, you don’t want to share the presentation with all of your colleagues. By using this feature, you can request additional files for this temporary situation.  

OneDrive users can request files from others by sending an upload-only link.

microsoft 365 roadmap, featured id: 27020

I'm afraid this feature makes it more interesting for people to keep content in OneDrive instead of moving it towards a communal SharePoint team site. I would have to try this out for myself and explore this with my customers. There is now news if this feature is also coming to SharePoint in the near future.

Good to know:

  • After the recipient clicks on the invitation link, they select which files to upload. The original requestor will be able to see all the collected files, but recipients will only be able to upload files—they won’t be able to access any content within the selected folder or modify their own uploads once the upload is submitted.
  • The original requestor will get an email when recipients submit files to the folder.
  • People who respond to your request can only upload files. They do not have view or edit access to your OneDrive.
  • This feature is enabled by default for tenants that have anonymous sharing enabled. I would advise reading the official Microsoft support documentation to update your communication and training materials.

Microsoft is gradually rolling this out to customers in early November, with worldwide rollout expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Next step: making sure your data stays secure

For years, my career has consisted of helping clients build, adopt, and govern intranet and collaboration portals. And I have truly enjoyed this experience!

Recently, I've started my interests and activities have grown to include data compliance and classification, as well—particularly in combination with intranet and collaboration Portals. It has never been easier to access data, whether it's from mobiles, tablets, desktops, or laptops. That's why it's time for the next step: making sure our data stays secure—no matter the device!

Suffice it to say that I'm very happy about the SharePoint and OneDrive support for sensitivity labels (preview). I can’t wait to try this out in a proof of concept with a couple customers.

Exciting times are ahead of us! Ignite in Orlando had tons of amazing sessions this year, and many new features and updates have been announced. Keep an eye out for more information on the ShareGate blogs!

Until next time!


Want to learn how to keep your Office 365 environment tidy and secure? Download our curated guideOffice 365 Groups Governance, for practical tips on achieving a balanced approach to Office 365.

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