SharePoint Roadmap Pitstop: March 2019

This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: Microsoft SharePoint Blog articles.

SharePoint is racing to the close of the first quarter of calendar year 2019 (CY 19 Q3) - so hang on! The SharePoint and related teams have been hard at work with numerous updates that rolled out in March 2019. This is the comprehensive recap for all things SharePoint and related technology, plus the Intrazone Roadmap Pitstop: March 2019 episode – a bonus monthly audible companion to help answer, "What's rolling out now for SharePoint and related technologies into Office 365?" Our goal is to provide change management excellence, with clear, concise and timely resources.


Listen and scroll below (info, links and screenshots) to stay informed on what features and updates arrived this past month - plus related technology and a few teasers of what's to come:



In this podcast episode, I, too, talk with Rachel Lambert (LinkedIn), program manager on the SharePoint engineering team who has focused on all things page templates; you’ll hear how she and the team approach the design, development and deployment of this oft requested feature.


Intrazone_Roadmap-Pitstop_Mar-2019_001_RachelLambert.jpgRachel Lambert - program manager (SharePoint/Microsoft) [Intrazone guest].

All the features listed below began rolling out to Targeted Release customers in Office 365 as of March 2019 (possibly early April 2019). “The engines are hot. The flag drops. And off we go!" – Me. ?

Inform and engage with dynamic employee experiences

Build your modern intranet on SharePoint in Office 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 and welcoming nature of your intranet.


Organization news [ID #30547]

Open, transparent communication is critical to employee engagement. For nearly two decades, employee communications have centered on company-wide emails. Now, you can communicate your message with rich, compelling, and interactive content including documents, video, polls and surveys -- dynamic data dashboards. SharePoint news is a content distribution system that works across personal, team and organizational news. News articles and links can be composed on browser or mobile platforms, and are easily surfaced in portals, Microsoft Teams, email, Microsoft Search and more.


To date, new SharePoint news capabilities have offer approval workflows, image and description metadata, content filtering, News web part improvements, save for later, @mentions, and more. In March 2019, we released the following new capabilities:


Organize news in a custom order (pinning)

Within the news web part, you can now organize your news posts to appear in custom order. This means you can highlight high-value content knowing it is more visible among articles published on a site, or let it flow chronologically or via the Microsoft Graph based on the user that is logged in.


Intrazone_Roadmap-Pitstop_Mar-2019_002_news-pinning.jpgSelect which news articles appear first and in what order per each News web part you use.


Make a site an "Authoritative news site"

Create sites that deliver authoritative news across your organization. When you post news from these sites, they are interleaved throughout all news posts displayed for users on SharePoint home in Office 365, or via the news tab in SharePoint mobile. They are distinguished by a color block (badge) on the title as a visual cue. Admins can manage news sources using simple PowerShell commands; use this cmdlet to make a site an authoritative news source: Set-SPOOrgNewsSite.


Intrazone_Roadmap-Pitstop_Mar-2019_003_news-sites.jpgSample Contoso news site showing authoritative organization-wide news configured across several News web parts uniquely configured to display news for everyone in the way you design. The “News @ Contoso” badge distinguishes news that comes from the authoritative news site.


Share and coauthor documents with LinkedIn connections

We are rolling out a new feature to OneDrive, SharePoint, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel Online powered by LinkedIn to enhance the way users connect and collaborate with people outside their organization. Users will be able to find many of their first-degree LinkedIn connections as people suggestions when sharing files or folders from the OneDrive and SharePoint websites, or from Word, Excel, and PowerPoint Online. This makes it easier for employees in your organization to collaborate with people outside your organization without needing to know their email addresses.


Intrazone_Roadmap-Pitstop_Mar-2019_004_share-with-LinkedIn.jpgCo-author documents with many of your first-degree LinkedIn connections in Word (as shown above), Excel, and PowerPoint, and send emails to them directly from Outlook, without needing to have their email addresses stored in your contacts.

Both administrators and users have control over this experience. Information for administrators is here: LinkedIn integration, including how to disable. End users with enabled accounts must opt-in by securely connecting their LinkedIn and Microsoft accounts before they can use this feature. Connect your LinkedIn and Microsoft accounts has information for end users about how to connect, what is shared, what’s not shared, and an FAQ.


Page templates

You've created a great page, and you want to make it available for others to use as a starting point for their pages. Or, you need to create a page, but aren’t sure where to start.  Page templates help save time. Initially, we’ll ship three page templates – basic, text-centric and visual, as shown below. You can also create your own templates from existing pages. Once a page is saved as a template, it can be chosen from the Template gallery as users create pages and new articles.


Intrazone_Roadmap-Pitstop_Mar-2019_005_page-templates.jpgSharePoint page templates help save time and keep consistent over time and across contributors. When you click New > Page, you’ll see both the out-of-box templates and your own once you ‘save as’ template.

Teamwork updates across SharePoint team sites, OneDrive and Yammer

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 powers teamwork – to better collaborate on proposals, projects, and campaigns throughout your organization – and is integrated with Microsoft Teams, OneDrive, Yammer, Stream, Planner and much more.


Updated sharing page for the SharePoint admin center in Office 365

As part of our efforts to update the SharePoint admin center in Office 365, we are proud to announce that the new sharing page is now available. This page has been re-designed from the ground up to be easier to use and understand and we’ve made some fantastic performance improvements as well. We’ll continue to improve this page (including introducing the last few settings that are still available only in classic).


Intrazone_Roadmap-Pitstop_Mar-2019_006_sharing-admin-page.jpgChoose the right level of access for external users to your sites – for all or on a per site basis. You must be a global or SharePoint admin in Office 365 to change the external sharing setting for a site.


Yammer tab in Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams users will be able to add a Yammer tab to their Teams channel that loads a specified group or topic feed from Yammer. This new feature will allow members follow and share conversations in Yammer without having to leave Teams.


Intrazone_Roadmap-Pitstop_Mar-2019_007_Yammer-in-Teams_pt1.jpgSimplify your workflow by adding a tab for a Yammer group in Microsoft Teams. Your team members can participate in the Yammer conversation, right from Teams, or discuss a Yammer conversation in Teams before posting a reply to the wider Yammer group.

Your team members can participate in the Yammer conversation, right from Teams, or discuss a Yammer conversation in Teams before posting a reply to the wider Yammer group. When a Teams member goes to the Yammer tab, they are authenticated again by Yammer, so that they only see Yammer content that they have access to.


Intrazone_Roadmap-Pitstop_Mar-2019_008_Yammer-in-Teams_pt2.jpgSimplify your workflow by adding a tab for a Yammer group in Microsoft Teams. Your team members can participate in the Yammer conversation, right from Teams, or discuss a Yammer conversation in Teams before posting a reply to the wider Yammer group.


Planner updates

Copy a plan

You can now create a new plan by duplicating an existing one. From the Planner hub, simply select “Copy plan” under the “…” menu on the plan you'd like to copy. You can also copy a plan from the "..." menu when looking at a specific plan. Save time by using previous plans as templates; that’s future plan’ning.


Intrazone_Roadmap-Pitstop_Mar-2019_009_Planner_copy-plan.jpgWith Planner's copy plan feature, you don't have to create perfect plans from scratch anymore. You can create a copy of the plan so you can reuse it, or you can copy individual tasks.


Planner now in Microsoft Teams for M365 GCC plans

Microsoft Planner's popular integration with Microsoft Teams is now available for all Microsoft 365 Government GCC plans. This integration will be coming to GCC High and G4 plans in the coming months as well.


Sticky headers for lists and libraries

Libraries and lists can get extremely large – up to 30 million items in a single list. As you scroll down through ever-larger lists, SharePoint keeps the column headers pinned at the top. This helps you identify list values as you move vertically and horizontally through the view. Column headers will also remain in place inside the list and library web parts, too.


Intrazone_Roadmap-Pitstop_Mar-2019_010_list-sticky-headers.jpgAs you scroll down your list, you keep context of each column header (above showing the “O” section of the list as it’s ordered alphabetically).

Important, related technology

Microsoft 365 "Live Events" [GA]

Microsoft Teams turned 2 this month - "Happy Birthday, Teams!" And they unloaded a slew of innovation - including one that's close to our SharePoint hearts that combines the best of Microsoft Teams, Stream and Yammer for broader all hands meetings across the organization. It’s easy to schedule, produce and attend via Teams or simply via a Web browser. When you schedule and produce live events, you’ll see how the power of video, audio, desktop share, Q&A and good moderation tools combine right at your fingertips.


1Intrazone_Roadmap-Pitstop_Mar-2019_010_Teams-live-events.jpgYou can produce an event directly within Teams. You control presenters’ video and content before and during the live event. Get setup, press Start – “Go live.”

  • Roadmap ID: 24216; learn more
  • Plus a unique Intrazone episode we did with Christina Torok - senior product manager and Amit Rajput - senior program manager, Microsoft experts on Live Events, "Going live in 3, 2, 1"


Windows Virtual Desktop (public preview)

This is a service that delivers simplified management, a multi-session Windows 10 experience, optimizations for Office 365 ProPlus, and support for Windows Server Remote Desktop Services (RDS) desktops and apps. With Windows Virtual Desktop, you can deploy and scale your Windows desktops and apps on Azure in minutes and enjoy built-in security.


Intrazone_Roadmap-Pitstop_Mar-2019_011_Windows-Virtual-Desktop-OneDrive.jpgFiles are not stored on your actual hard drive. OneDrive in Microsoft 365 works with Windows 10 Enterprise Multi-Session to support OneDrive Files On-Demand (FoD) in the Windows Virtual Desktop environment.

As a solution to extend Windows Virtual Desktop, Microsoft acquired FSLogix, a next-generation app-provisioning platform that reduces the resources, time, and labor required to support desktop and app virtualization. FSLogix technologies enable faster load times for non-persistent users accessing Outlook or OneDrive.


The new Microsoft 365 admin center

The new Microsoft 365 admin center offers new levels of efficiency and insight, customizable for the unique needs of each role, team, and organization.


One powerful update helps empower teamwork governance via the new Office 365 Groups management console. Office 365 Groups powers the modern workplace as a centrally managed and governed membership service that enables users to work collaboratively with tools like Teams, Outlook, and SharePoint. Office 365 Groups is managed in the Groups section of the admin center alongside security groups (for access control) and distribution lists (for emailing lists of people). We’ve redesigned the workflow to make it easier to see all your organization’s groups in one place, check the status of important settings like privacy, and take quick actions like managing membership and ownership.


Intrazone_Roadmap-Pitstop_Mar-2019_012_M365-admin_manage-Groups.jpgOffice 365 Groups management has been simplified and centralized in the updated Microsoft 365 admin center to make you more efficient so that you can focus your time on strategic initiatives.

April 2019 teasers

  • Thing 1 - Connected web parts for SharePoint [Roadmap ID: 33133].
  • Thing 2 - News audience targeting [Roadmap ID: 30695].


Helpful, ongoing change management resources


Thanks for tuning in and/or reading this episode/blog of the Intrazone Roadmap Pitstop – March 2019 (blog/podcast). We’re 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 questions. Push us where you want and need to get the best information and insights. We're here to put both our and your best change management foot forward.


Stay safe out there on the roadmap -- and thanks for listening and reading.


Happy now and future trails,


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