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What’s New in Microsoft 365 | April 2022

The Microsoft 365 Conference (formerly SharePoint North America Conference) is being held April 3rd through 7th in Las Vegas, Nevada. We’re excited in-person conferences are resuming, but unfortunately we personally won’t be able to attend this year. Hopefully conferences will continue to offer blended onsite and offsite experiences for those folks who can’t make it in-person. One thing we did find a bit odd about the web address Microsoft is using for the Microsoft 365 Conference is they kept the SharePoint North America URL!

As noted in our previous post, we anticipated there would be quite a lot of “updated” messages in March and we were proven correct on that. Please check on those in your message center to see if they impact your organization.  We would be remiss if we omitted a shout out to the Microsoft Cloud Show. Andrew Connell and Chris Johnson officially ended their run in March after 450 episodes. Their contributions to the Microsoft community are numerous and their off-topic discussions were always worthwhile. We wish them the best of success in their future endeavors, and thank them for sharing their knowledge with us over the past 8 plus years.  

Workflows in Teams app store for messaging

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Despite the message title, this is just another way to introduce Power Automate Flow to the folks utilizing Microsoft Teams. Within Teams, users that click on the Teams Store in April will see a filtered view of Power Automate Flow templates. We strongly suggest checking out the support documentation on this feature, as the “Workflows” can only be created after Power Automate has been added to their Teams experience. 

Fortunately, availability of this feature is managed through allowed access to Power Automate, and the organization’s current settings for Power Automate will be honored. Admins can turn off the capability by using an app permission policy or by blocking Power Automate for their organization from the Manage apps page. 

Microsoft 365 Information Governance – Announcing General Availability of retention policies for Yammer messages

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Any organization using Yammer should check this out as soon as possible. 2020 may have been the “Year of Yammer,” but this is one feature that we have been holding out hope for since then. If you are using Yammer Enterprise within your organization and wish to set retention or deletion policies, you will be able to target Yammer communities and users with new or existing retention policies. Please be aware that your Yammer Enterprise Network must be in Native Mode to take advantage of this functionality, and your account must have the appropriate role assigned within the Microsoft 365 Compliance Center to create compliance policies.  

Large Folder Delete on OneDrive and SharePoint Document Libraries on Web

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By early April, users will be able to delete large folders from OneDrive and SharePoint libraries on the web.  If a user tries to delete a shared folder that another user has already started deleting, they will see an error message, “This item is already being deleted.” Deleted folders will still be available in the site Recycle Bin. Previously if a folder contained over 10,000 items, users would be forced to go into subfolders to delete items or an administrator would create a PowerShell script to delete the content. 

The positive side of this is we’ll not need to use those PowerShell scripts anymore. The downside is there is the potential to need PowerShell scripts to restore massive amounts of accidentally deleted content.  Microsoft does a good job of providing the additional “Are you sure?” prompt but it’s been our experience that folks will just click the button when in a hurry. We are curious to see how this one plays out over the long run but will be making sure our restore scripts are up to snuff just in case.

SharePoint app bar – Temporary window to disable is extended

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This one is a bit of a surprise for us. There were two previous announcements about the SharePoint App Bar, and this one is extending organizations ability to temporarily disable it through September 30th 2022.  We are assuming enough large organizations asked for additional time to handle this from a user rollout perspective, or so many folks pushed back on it that Microsoft decided to delay it being required. In either case this is a rare instance where Microsoft, due to feedback, is delaying a feature they really want rolled out. Nice to see, but we are suspecting it has something to do with the myriad of “notes” listed in the Microsoft Docs article on the SharePoint app bar.

Pin shared libraries to Quick Access

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By late April, users will be able to pin shared libraries (Teams and SharePoint) to the Quick Access in the left navigation of OneDrive for Business for the web. In addition to the pinning functionality, users will also see a “More places…” link in the left navigation to provide users a listing of recently interacted with shared libraries.  It’s important to note that this will only be applicable at the document library level, which means users will not be able to pin folders to their Quick Access section. This may cause some confusion for users. It would be wise to run through this change with your support staff or better yet, send out a communication about it if your organization is actively using OneDrive for Business on the web.

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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