Teams Real Simple with Pictures: Using List Rules and Exchange to keep the Team up to date on changes

This blog is part of a series on Teams. For more articles, check back often

Written: 17/03/2021 | Updated: N/A

It feels good to be back on a somewhat even keel. Winter has been absolutely crazy – and after the Microsoft Teams Winter Tour and Ignite I had to take a short break to play what I call the containment game. You know the one. Batting everything out whilst simultaneously closing everything down. It’s stopping that accumulation of work from getting out of control. I am happy to say that’s now done. I won. It’s back to business as usual. So what should we talk about first? There is a lot of things given that Ignite is now over – and if I were others maybe I would go for the latest and greatest, yet having wanted to discuss it since it’s recent release and having had no bandwidth to do so I have settled on List Rules and how we can notify the Team of changes to the list. Something straightforward and doesn’t take long to write home about. So Rules. Rules are defined by Microsoft as having the purpose of ‘automate [ing] tasks such as sending someone a notification when data changes in the list’. In other words, they are very likely replacements for Alerts which have been around a long time and are legacy functionality stretching back to classic SPO and SPO Lists. Now, this blog won’t cover every possible scenario for a rule. There’s no point – it’s super simple and as you go through this blog you’ll see how easy it is to implement rules. What I am more interested in is notifying the team of changes rather than individuals: either in Teams or via email. What’s that? This can be done by Power Automate and we could create a flow and do it that way. Absolutely. Yet this would suggest whoever is implementing it knew how to do that and had the time and inclination to do that. For me, a lot of what I hear is people want to just do things there, on the List. So Rules for simplicity, Power Automate for anything more

Rules are only currently available in the core web app experience of Lists, however, will be coming to Teams itself per the announcement at Ignite. Keep an eye on Roadmap ID 70749

This blog will cover

  • Ensuring email for Teams channels is turned on
  • Creating the rule to notify in Teams
  • Creating the rule for multiple people to notify in Outlook
  • Modifying and deleting rules

Pre-requisites

  • Teams Admin Permissions or Global Admin to check email integration for Teams
  • Teams/SharePoint/Outlook licence (In an Office/Microsoft 365 Subscription)
  • Edit permissions on the List (Read-Only permissions will not allow the creation of rules)

ENSURING EMAIL FOR TEAMS CHANNELS IS TURNED ON

1.) As an administrator, log into https://login.microsoftonline.com

2.) Select Admin

3.) In the Microsoft 365 Admin Navigation select Show All and then select Teams

4.) In the Microsoft Teams Admin Centre select Org-wide Settings then Teams Settings

5.) Ensure Allow users to send emails to a channel email address is turned on

CREATING THE RULE TO NOTIFY IN TEAMS

1.) Log into https://login.microsoftonline.com and select Lists

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2.) Click on the List to add the rule to

3.) In the list navigation select Automate and then Create a Rule

4.) There is a few rules to choose from including

  • A rule if a column changes
  • A rule if a column value changes
  • A rule if a new item is added
  • A rule if an item is deleted

The List used within this blog is a List of Sessions at a Technical Event (see screenshot directly above). The requirement is for the team to be notified if a speaker changes on any session. The rule A column changes would fit this

5.) Now complete all the elements of the sentence using dropdowns or typing in the value to complete the rule. The requirement is to notify the team if any speaker changes for any session, therefore speaker (the column) is chosen from the drop down

6.) But how do we get the email address for a Team and how do we get it into the rule? The rule only allows users not groups or contacts, or channel email addresses. Go into Teams, select the channel required for notifications from the rule, select More Options (…) and then Get Email Address

7.) Copy the email address and make a note of it (everything within the less-than greater than <> symbols)

8.) Now, back in the Microsoft 365 Admin Centre Navigation select Show All and then select Exchange

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9.) In the Microsoft Exchange admin centre, Select Recipients, then select Contacts

10.) Select Add a Contact

11.) Add a Mail Contact and in the contact details add the Teams Channel Email Address. Once done, select Add

12.) The mail contact has now been created

13.) Now select Mailboxes and then Add a Shared Mailbox. Here one has been created called MS Lists. Select the shared mailbox to open the flyout

14.) Select Manage Mail Flow Settings

15.) On email forwarding select the Edit button

16.) Forward all emails sent to this mailbox (swipe on), add the mail contact previously created and select Save

17.) Now, return to Lists and complete the rule with send mail to [Shared Mailbox] and select Create

18.) Rule is now created

Our job here is done. When a speaker name is changed in the core web app experience

Or in the Lists App in Teams

Or from the Lists mobile app, the end result is going to look like this with the notification from Lists posted into the Team channel. Note, this screenshot is from a different tenant as the test tenant I use is blocked from sending email with a 5.7.708 (common in test tenants to protect against spamming).

CREATING THE RULE TO NOTIFY MULTIPLE PEOPLE IN OUTLOOK

Two ways of doing this, the first is to add multiple people to the rule itself in the Lists web app

Second way is to use the method above and forward to a Distribution List (creating one in Exchange Online)

MODIFYING OR DELETING THE RULE

1.) In the List navigation within the the core web app experience select Automate and then Manage Rules

2.) Swiping the rule will disable/enable it, however to edit or modify the rule click on it’s name

3.) To edit, select a highlighted word in the sentence which will trigger a drop down, and once amended select Save. To delete select delete rule in the bottom left corner