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What’s New in Microsoft 365 | Sept 2021

The big news in the Microsoft 365 space last month had little to do with the Message Center, Tech Community, Microsoft 365 Roadmap, or even the end of IE 11 support in Microsoft 365 on August 17th. These were all overshadowed by a new post on the Microsoft 365 blog on August 19th titled: “New pricing for Microsoft 365”. We strongly urge readers to check what their pricing will look like after the changes take effect on March 1st, 2022. While reading, please note that there is an upside for quite a few organizations…within the same article Microsoft announced unlimited dial-in capabilities for Microsoft Teams coming in the next few months.  

The settings that allow users to create groups in the Azure portal have been improved

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This message will only apply to a very small portion of organizations using Microsoft 365, but it’s a potential settings change so it’s worth checking out. In May 2021 there was a “transition period of a few weeks” where you could select your preferred default values before the new settings took effect and if you did that you may need to do it again. In the Azure portal, if you set either Security Groups or Microsoft 365 Groups to No, your settings may have been updated to Yes.  

Here are the previous settings:

Group creation setting before

Here are the new settings:

Group creation setting after

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SharePoint updates to options for disabling subsite creation

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We’ve had the ability to hide the subsite creation option through administrative settings in SharePoint Online for quite some time. However, little did users know that this was  simply hiding that ability, not actually disabling it. This update will be disabling subsite creation along with providing the ability to only allow subsite creation in Classic Sites. If you have some entrepreneurial users within your environment that figured out how to bypass the setting using a specific URL or API endpoint, they are going to be in for a shock as their workaround will no longer work!

Improved API support for working with files in the SharePoint recycle bin

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The SharePoint Recycle Bin is likely one of the most misunderstood pieces of technology in the Microsoft 365 suite of tools. Many folks believe it functions in the same manner as the Recycle Bin on their Windows devices (it does not), and it only gets more confusing when organizations have retention policies which leads to items being sent to Preservation Hold Libraries. These fundamental misunderstandings combined with it being extremely easy for folks to bulk delete files from SharePoint Online, Microsoft Teams and OneDrive for Business can result in time-sensitive IT Professional or Developer assistance. If you fall into either of those two categories we highly recommend checking out the details on the SharePoint Developers blog post titled: Improved API support for working with files in the SharePoint recycle bin.  

Microsoft 365 roadmap site updates

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We are frequent visitors of the Microsoft 365 Roadmap.  And while not specific to functionality within Microsoft 365, this is an important update for anyone managing Microsoft 365, nonetheless. There are quite a few changes coming to the roadmap site, but what we are most excited about is being able to sort by preview date or general availability and the addition of category name prefaces in the API. Preview date is probably the biggest enhancement for most folks. The feature cards update is a much nicer visual experience than the existing table format but from a purely functional standpoint preview and general availability dates being displayed are the big win in our eyes. 

Tenant setting to disable the creation of new SharePoint 2013 workflows

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There is now a PowerShell command parameter that will enable administrators to disable the creation of SharePoint 2013 Workflows through a SharePoint tenant, while allowing the existing workflows to continue functioning. Administrators have had the ability to block SharePoint 2013 workflows for quite some time, but that resulted in issues with existing workflows. This update allows administrators to overcome those issues. While this is a welcome update we would be remiss if we did not mention we have been urging folks to transition SharePoint 2013 workflows to Power Automate sooner rather than later. Power Automate is the path forward for business process automation in Microsoft 365/SharePoint Online, and it is only a matter of time before SharePoint 2013 workflows become a thing of the past. 


As always, there are a lot of things happening in Microsoft 365, so be sure to check out the Tech Community Blogs and the Microsoft 365 Roadmap for more of what’s new.  

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