With the first month of 2022 in the books, we are looking forward to continued growth in the Microsoft 365 space and the first major conference of the year Microsoft Envision on February 8th. The biggest news last month out of Microsoft surprisingly had little to do with their business divisions, as Microsoft announced their intent to acquire Activision Blizzard for a rather large sum of money. Even with all the excitement around the gaming divisions of Microsoft (or dread depending on your stance) there were still plenty of feature enhancements in the world of Microsoft 365 worth noting in January.
For most of the people checking out the Microsoft 365 Message Center, this message probably doesn’t seem like a big deal but as a developer this is a great feature. The ability to use Microsoft’s existing APIs when building custom solutions significantly lowers the barrier to entry for integrating Teams Templates in our solutions moving forward. The expectation is this will be rolled out completely in early March, and we cannot wait to take advantage of this feature.
This one is finally available in our target release tenant, and we can confirm it does work as expected! As consultants we are often in numerous customer tenants for a couple days or weeks as guests, then no longer requiring access. Prior to this update, we were unable to leave the tenant without contacting the organization and requesting our account be removed, which resulted in our Guest Orgs list being much longer than it really needed to be. Anything that cleans up the user experience is a win in our book. Per the updated announcement this should be available for standard release tenants by the time this post is published!
This feature sure seems like it will be another scenario where we will have to really think through the requirements short and long term prior to deciding on when to use what functionality. Ironically, the screen shot provided in the message and the bullet points summary could be used to show off Planner as well.
There are a lot of benefits of using a SharePoint List for this type of functionality, especially when it comes to building automation scenarios with Power Automate or full-on SharePoint Framework applications. However, if we can now do this type of thing through SharePoint lists, why would we want to have folks use Planner? Probably something we will have to work through in February😉.
If you’ve been around Microsoft technology long enough, you likely already know that the one constant is change and often that change is a “rebrand.” This appears to be one of those cases. If you’re an admin in your tenant and you pop into your Security Center, you’ll notice “Welcome to Microsoft 365 Defender” on the landing page…get used to seeing that everywhere. Most of the technical and licensing documentation has already been updated accordingly.