Office 365 Updates: November 2018

Javascript React framework 16.3.2 is coming to SharePoint Online In order to improve your SharePoint Online experience, we're making an update to one of the underlying components that powers SharePoint framework solutions on modern pages. This only impacts solutions that leverage the React Javascript framework. Microsoft started upgrading the React version from 15.6.2.

AMT’s Monthly Office 365 Updates keep you up to date with new features and important announcements from Microsoft. Office 365 has a continuous roll-out of changes. We filter out the announcements that we think will be most relevant to our customers and send them out in an easily digestible form. Here are the Office 365 November updates.

Read October’s Office 365 updates here.

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Office 365

Microsoft Stream intelligence capabilities available in additional Office 365 plans 

Microsoft’s commitment is to empower people and organisations with AI solutions. As part of this, they are expanding the availability of intelligence capabilities in Stream to additional Office 365 plans.

The following Stream features will be automatically applied to new videos in your tenant:

– Speaker timelines that use face detection to indicate every place that a person appears within a video so viewers can easily navigate to each speaker in the video.

– Speech-to-text and closed captions that capture spoken dialogue in a readable form and make content more accessible for everyone.

– Transcript search and timecodes that let viewers quickly search and find moments that matter in a video Additionally, speech-to-text transcription that enables closed captions. Deep search will be applied to existing videos in Stream.

Roll out will start at the end of this month.

Additional information

New feature: Compliance Control Information added to Microsoft secure store 

Microsoft are pleased to announce that Compliance Control Information has now been added to Microsoft Secure score. Controls in Secure Score will now include information on how they map to GDPR, ISO, NIST and other compliance regulations. This feature is not yet available for Microsoft sovereign cloud organisations.

New feature: New authoring experience for custom sensitive types. 

Custom sensitive type authoring is a new Office 365 feature. It enables you to create custom sensitive types right from the Security & Compliance Centre.

Office 365 includes many sensitive information types that are ready for you to use. These built-in types can help identify and protect credit card numbers, bank account numbers, passport numbers, and more. But if you need to identify and protect a different type of information, you can create a custom information type. For example, an employee ID that uses a format specific to your organisation.

Before this change, you could create a custom sensitive type only using an XML rule package. This feature allows you to create a custom sensitive type right from the Security and Compliance Centre. It also lets you test and fine-tune the sensitive type as a part of the creation experience.

Microsoft have gradually rolled this out and will now be available.

Updated feature: Manage Access in OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online 

Microsoft are rolling out the new Manage Access experience. This is to better align with how users expect to manage links and permissions on individual files and folders. They’ve updated the experience to easily distinguish between users who have direct access and users who access via links. Most importantly, this will enable users to add and remove individual users on links that only work for specific people.

This will be gradually rolled out to all customers in mid-November, and the rollout will be completed worldwide by the end of December.


New Outlook for Windows diagnostic information collection tool 

Microsoft are introducing a new tool in Outlook for Windows. This tool is designed to collect computer log files to help resolve authentication and other technical issues.

This new tool is designed to gather information about Outlook for Windows and the resident Windows operating system. It collects the diagnostic information and saves it to the computer downloads directory when the command is initiated by the Outlook for Windows user. This change does not affect any of the features and functionality of Outlook for Windows.

This tool will help resolve authentication issues more quickly. Once the user runs the tool and grants permission to collect this information, Administrators or Microsoft Support will have a consistent place to retrieve this information.

At this time, the information is stored locally. It can then only be accessed when a user grants further permission to their administrator. Alternatively, they can also give permission to Microsoft Support to remotely retrieve it.


New feature: Create an associated site from within a SharePoint Online hub site 

The ability to create a new associated site from within an existing SharePoint Online hub site is a new Office 365 feature. The rollout will start soon.

After this change takes place, you’ll be able to create associated sites from within an existing SharePoint Online hub site. By clicking the ‘new site’ button in the hub site itself, you’ll experience the normal new site creation process and the site will be automatically associated with the hub site. Only users who have access to join the specified hub site will have this option available to them. This feature respects the global site creation setting.

Rollout will begin with Targeted Release organisations in mid-November, and the rollout will be completed worldwide by the end of December.

Microsoft are releasing a number of updates to SharePoint Online pages and webparts in Office 365 

Microsoft are bringing out multiple new features in the next few weeks. These changes are for pages and web parts in SharePoint Online. The list of feature updates is quite long, so follow the link below for full details.

This will be rolled out gradually to Targeted Release ‘selected users’ in mid-November and will be completed worldwide by the end of February.

Additional information

New feature: Location columns for SharePoint Online lists 

Location Column is a new SharePoint Online feature. Location Column allows you to add rich location data from Bing Maps or your organisations directory to any SharePoint Online list or library. You can then filter, sort, and search by any aspect of the location data such as address, city or state.

The will gradually be rolled out to Targeted Release organisations at the end of November, and roll out will be completed worldwide by December 14th.

Updated feature: we’re rolling out new SharePoint Online site branding and navigation features 

Microsoft are updating the ‘change the look’ settings with additional options to enable customisation of select site brand elements. Specifically, header layouts, footer layouts, and navigation menu options. In addition to setting the theme and header background, site owners will now be able to switch the site header layout to two other layouts, each changing the position or displaying of header elements. The new mega menu navigation layout is only available for horizontally-orientated navigations and allows for a panel display of links up to three levels. The footer setting is initially only available for communication sites, displaying a footer that can host a logo, links and label.

We’ll begin rolling this out to Targeted Release organisations at the end of November, and the rollout will be completed worldwide by the end of December.

New feature: @mentions in comments in SharePoint Online 

When you comment on a document or presentation and use the @ sign with someone’s name, the person you mention receives mail with a link to your comment. Clicking the link brings them into the document and into the conversation.

Currently, the feature is available in Word and PowerPoint, and is coming soon to the new comment experience in Excel (available only to Office insiders for now).

Roll out had begun to Targeted Release organisations, and roll out should be completed in the next few weeks.

Once the rollout is completed, users will receive a notice within the comments pane informing them of the @mentions feature.

Additional information

Javascript React framework 16.3.2 is coming to SharePoint Online 

In order to improve your SharePoint Online experience, we’re making an update to one of the underlying components that powers SharePoint framework solutions on modern pages. This only impacts solutions that leverage the React Javascript framework. Microsoft started upgrading the React version from 15.6.2 to 16.3.2 on the 27th November for Targeted Release customers.

Additional information


New feature: mobile capture scenarios for OneDrive on iOS and Android 

New mobile capture scenarios for OneDrive on iOS and Android is a new Office 365 feature.

Microsoft are extending the scan functionality in the OneDrive for business apps to make your experience even better. You can use the OneDrive apps to scan documents, whiteboards, images from the field, a site visit and much more…With the new mobile capture feature, you can now add custom metadata to anything you scan with the app. Simply start the scan from the Library you want to add it to, and after capturing the scan, the metadata fields will appear for you to edit in the app. The image and metadata will both be added to the library you’ve selected.

The rollout has begun and will be completed worldwide but the end of the month.

 Additional information


Update: Microsoft Teams for commercial cloud customers is now available. 

As Microsoft communicated recently (May), they are releasing a free 1-year trial of Microsoft Teams for any user of Office 365 or Azure Active Directory, even if the user is not licensed for the service. Microsoft heard your feedback, made some modifications have now announced that this trial is available.

Admins have requested the ability to control when trials are available for their users. So there is now a new administrative control to manage the ability for users to claim trial apps and services within your organisation.

Additional information

New feature: Scoped Directory Search in Microsoft Teams 

Scoped Directory Search is a new Office 365 feature. Organisations can provide customised views of the directory to their users in Teams with support for Exchange Address Book Policies. Once enabled, the results returned when searching for others, trying to initiate chat, or adding members to a team will be scoped as per the applicable policies. Furthermore, users will not be able to search or discover and join new teams.

This feature is available for all Microsoft Teams organisations.

Additional information

New feature: Create an org-wide team (for up to 1,000 users for Microsoft Teams 

Microsoft Teams now supports an easy way for your organisation to be a part of a single team for collaboration with the new org-wide team type. With this new functionality, up to 1,000 active users will be added as team members automatically. This functionality is only available to global admins or users with administrator permissions.

The org-wide team type automatically keeps membership up-to-date. This is done with your organisation’s Active Directory as users are added or removed from your organisation.

If your organisation has no more than 1,000 active internal users, you’ll see a new org-wide team option under Privacy in the team creation dialogue of the Teams desktop app and web app. If you don’t see the org-wide option when creating a team, the feature might still be rolling out or your organisation may have more than 1,000 members. Microsoft are looking to increase this limit in future.

Updated feature: Users can now customise their private discussions in Teams with tabs. 

You can now customise tabs in private chats within Microsoft Teams.

Leverage the power of tabs to make it easy for participants to access frequently used content or services with just one click within your 1:1 group chats. To add a tab, simply click the ‘+’ icon in the top navigation bar, select the desired app, and finish the corresponding setup.

Roll out is expected by the end of November.

Social Engagement

Social Engagement updates 

Microsoft have released a long list of new updates for Social Engagement this year, however the latest feature brings in new search rules for Instagram and removes Instagram keyword search. Find out more.

Additional information