Reminder: End of mainstream support SharePoint 2013

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Just a heads-up in case that you still have SharePoint environments running on SharePoint 2013:

Mainstream support for SharePoint 2013 will end on April 10th, 2018:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/lifecycle/search?alpha=sharepoint%202013

After this date only security fixes will be provided for SharePoint 2013. Regular hotfixes can no longer be requested.

If not already done we recommend to start planning the migration to SharePoint Server 2016 as soon as possible.

Or Office 365 and SharePoint OnlineJ

Source : https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/stefan_gossner/2017/10/11/mainstream-support-for-sharepoint-2013-will-end-in-6-months/

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Microsoft Office 365 April Updates

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If you are in the Office 365 world, you know that it is continuesly bein updated.

In the past few weeks Microsoft has announced multiple updates to Office 365 (Microsoft Teams, SharePoint Online, Stream and Azure AD sign-in experience). Some of these updates will affect the end users.

In order to avoid some surprises to your users, you should plan to communicate these changes to your users.

Here is a list of some of these updates :

What’s new in Microsoft Teams – April update

  • Skype for Business contacts are coming to Teams – All your contacts and groups that you created in Skype for Business will show up in Teams under your contact list
  • Unified Presence between Teams and Skype for Business – Presence states for users (i.e. available, busy or in a call) will now be aggregated between Teams and Skype for Business
  • Out of office message – Your out of office status and message will now show up in Microsoft Teams when people hover over your people card.
  • Skype for Business Interop with Persistent Chat – added the ability for Teams users to communicate with other users who are using Skype for Business (both online or on-prem)
  • Improved notifications about calls – If you have a missed call or a new voicemail, you’ll start seeing a notification in your Activity feed
  • Support for new languages – now support Indonesian, Romanian, and Vietnamese
  • Collaborate securely with anyone in Microsoft Teams with guest access – rolled out the ability to add anyone as a guest in Microsoft Teams. Read the full announcement for all details.
  • More channels per team – now able to create up to 200 channels per team
  • New Microsoft Teams & Skype for Business Admin Center including Messaging Policies – The new admin center provides you with additional functionality including the ability to manage messaging policies on a user level. Read the full announcement for all details.
  • Retention policies – With retention policies for conversations, chats, and channel messages, you can decide proactively whether to retain content, delete content, or both, and then retain or delete the content based on a time duration. Read the full announcement for all details
  • Install Microsoft Teams using MSI – Admins can now use MSI files (32-bit and 64-bit) to remotely deploy Microsoft Teams so that users do not have to manually download the Teams app. Read the full announcement for all details.
  • New features available on Teams iOS & Android apps – The features Skype for Business Interop with persistent chat, unified presence between Teams and Skype for Business as well as contact groups have started to roll out on mobile clients as well.
  • Guest access on mobile – Guest access and account switching is now available on iOS and Android, and on unmanaged and managed devices

Upcoming improvements to the Azure AD sign-in experience

  • Updated layout and styling of UI elements
  • Moving all screens to the new sign-in experience
  • Updated ADFS web theme so you can update your ADFS servers to have a consistent look across federated sign-ins

In June 2018, we’re making changes to the native social capabilities in SharePoint Online

Beginning in June 2018, the company feed will be set to read-only for existing Tenants and the option to implement the Newsfeed capability will be removed for new Office Tenants. For customers using the company feed we recommend considering options such as Team News, Communication Sites, and/or Yammer.

New Stream Features – April 2018

  • Tier-C compliance – Stream is now certified to be a Tier-C compliant service in the Office 365 compliance framework. This includes certifications for compliance standards like SOC 1, SOC 2, ISO 27001, HIPAA, and EU Model Clauses.
  • Spotlight videos on Home page – This enables admins to highlight (or spotlight) videos on Stream to raise visibility on those and bring them to employees. (Ability for group owners to spotlight videos to their group coming soon).
  • Cloud recording for meetings in Microsoft Teams (coming soon) – Stream enables recording of meetings in Teams and making those available for consumption after the meeting.
  • More seamless SSO with Teams – Stream now supports seamless SSO for Stream videos and channel embedded in Teams when using the Teams desktop client.
  • Edit transcripts and people timelines – Customer can edit automatically generated transcripts and curate face timelines. (E5 or Stream Plan 2 licenses only)
  • Splitting who can create channels and who can upload videos – Admins can now specify a different set of people who can upload videos to Stream from those that can create company wide channels.

PowerApps

Announced 3 additions to the PowerApps Office Template Series: Meeting Capture, QuickTask, and Company Pulse

Microsoft Group Forms

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Microsoft Forms is a great tool to create fast and re-usable forms or Quizzes.

Description from : https://support.office.com/en-us/forms

« With Microsoft Forms, you can create surveys, quizzes, and polls, and easily see results as they come in. When you create a quiz or form, you can invite others to respond to it using any web browser, even on mobile devices. As results are submitted, you can use built-in analytics to evaluate responses. Form data, such as quiz results, can be easily exported to Excel for additional analysis or grading. »

It is important to understand that when a user creates a new form by accessing the form service from Office.com or from the App Launcher, it will create a personnal form.

Important : All personal forms will be deleted when the user account is deleted.

New Group Forms

We can now create Team or Group Forms, that will be attached to the Group (not just the user)

Group Forms will not be deleted when the user account is deleted.

A Group form can be created from:

Microsoft Teams Client

  • Click on a Team
  • Click on a Channel
  • Click on Files
  • Click New
  • Click Excel
  • In Excel online click Forms
  • Click New From ( I know, it’s not very intuitive at the moment, but it’s in preview)

  • The Excel document will be stored in the groups SharePoint document library

Group forms can also be created from the SharePoint site that is tied to the group

  • Access the SharePoint site
  • Go to the document library
  • Click New
  • Click forms from Excel
  • The Excel document will be stored in the groups document library

Note: At the time of writing this article, forms for Excel are not available Communication sites. They are only available in Microsoft Teams, In SharePoint site tied to an Office 365 group or Team, or from OneDrive For Business (personal forms)

Where do I find my group forms

From the Forms service you can now see the personal forms (My forms) and the group forms (Recent group forms).

Note: Under Recent group forms, you will see only the group forms that you have edited or created.

Information on how to create a form: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/create-edit-and-collaborate-on-a-form-in-microsoft-teams-333b97a3-41d9-48bc-a1cb-84a96bd44e14

Microsoft Forms is in public preview mode, this means that it can cane without notifications.

This article reflects the state of group forms as of March 28th 2018.

Happy Form!

Excel Co-authoring requirements

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Microsoft Excel (Desktop application) allows to have multiple users to work on the same document at the same time (co-authoring). This is a great feature, but it might not be available for you…

What you need to co-author?

  • You need an Office 365 subscription.
  • You need the latest version of Office installed. (Important)
  • You need to sign in to Office with your subscription account.
  • You need to use Excel Workbooks in .xlsx, .xlsm, or .xlsb files. If your file isn’t in this format, open the file and then click File > Save As > Browse > Save as type. Change the format to Excel Workbook (*.xlsx). Please note that co-authoring does not support the Strict Open XML Spreadsheet format.

Latest version of Office

Excel co-editing was introduced in July 2017. This explains why Excel co-authoring might not be available for you (if you don’t have the right version).

On top of the version number,
Co-authoring and autosave are not yet supported for customers who are on the FRDC or SA (semi-annual) release channel. These features are only available for customers on the current channel (CC).  (Even if your Office version is higher than 1707.8326.2058…)

To see the the type of update that your office subscription is on :

  • Open Excel
  • Goto Files
  • Click on Account
  • Look for Subcription product

If you are on Semi-annual Channel, Excel desktop application Co-authoring will not work.

You have to be on Current Channel

The update channels can be controlled by your Administrator, you might not have to option to change this.

More information on update channels

Version and build numbers of update channel releases

Hope this helps you understand.

New Yammer Group Categories

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Microsoft is planning to add categories to Yammer groups.

During the creation process of a Yammer group, you will eventually be able to add a category to your group. It’s not clear as to what categories are going to be available as there are two different articles from Microsoft showing two different types of categories. And it’s not clear yet as how you will be able to manage the categories.

Source : https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Define-Your-Yammer-Group-s-Purpose-2818fea9-16ff-477f-b7fc-dee4764f2587

Source : https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Define-Your-Yammer-Group-s-Purpose-2c5f4de7-20a5-4b3b-9202-83a70065991b

The categories will make it easier to find the type of groups you are looking for.

The category will be shown in the left navigation bar and on the group header. (see image below)

For more information see these two articles :

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Define-Your-Yammer-Group-s-Purpose-2818fea9-16ff-477f-b7fc-dee4764f2587

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Define-Your-Yammer-Group-s-Purpose-2c5f4de7-20a5-4b3b-9202-83a70065991b

Visibility of Private Microsoft Teams

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You will have to be carefull if you think that a private Team should be private, meaning that no-one should see it. A user needs to be invited or approved to see the content of a private Team. A new change to Office 365 will make the private teams discoverable via search and Suggested Teams. If you have private teams with sensitive information in Nams or Description you might want to tell your users to rename them. See below.

Note : It might be already like this on your tenant…

Major update: General Availability rollout started

Applied to: All customers

 

Starting March 23, 2018, private teams will be searchable in Microsoft Teams. This feature update will make it easier for people to share and join Teams.

[How does this affect me?]
Until now, it was not possible for users to find and request access to a private team in the Teams app. Users had to either be invited to a team or search for the underlying group in Outlook in the Outlook app.

Now, private teams will be discoverable via search and the Suggested teams gallery, making it easier to share and discover private teams across an organization. If a user requests to join a private team, the team owner will receive a notification and can approve or deny the request directly in Teams.

[What do I need to do to prepare for this change?]
We recommend that you inform team owners about this change. If team names or descriptions include sensitive information, team owners may want to update them before this change occurs on March 23, 2018.

If you wish to hide a private team or group, Office 365 admins can use the Set-UnifiedGroup PowerShell cmdlet to hide specific groups or teams
(in Outlook, Outlook Web App, and Microsoft Teams). Specifically, use the HiddenFromAddressListsEnabled parameter, which you can apply to individual groups. For further instructions, please click Additional Information below.

Azure AD Guest Limited Access or not?

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This is a first of a few article that I will write about Office 365/Azure AD Guest Access.

Allowing access to Office 365 content (OneDrive, SharePoint, Teams, Groups, Planner, PowerBi, etc) is a cool, but it can become a nightmare when you deal with highly confidential or sensitive documents.

Don’t get me wrong some people were making nightmare about these documents before the venue of Office 365.

In the series of article, I will try to demystify guest access and help you understand the different settings/options available to grant access to Office 365 to Guest or External Users.

Let’s start with guest access control in Azure AD.

In the Azure Active Directory Admin Center, you have some control of what External users/Guest can do.

One of the setting allows you to make sure that Guest users permissions are limited.

The description says:

Yes means that guests do not have permission for certain directory tasks, such as enumerate users, groups or other directory resources, and cannot be assigned to administrative roles in your directory.

No means that guests have the same access to directory data that regular users have in your directory.

.

In fact, an administrator can go to Azure AD and assign an administrative role to a guest even if you say Yes to Guest users permissions are limited.

I have opened a ticket with Microsoft Support and they told me that this is a design behavior as of now.

Don’t be mislead by this setting and make sure your Azure AD administrator understand that it does not do as it says, yet…

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