Last year I did a blog on enabling public preview for Microsoft Teams. In all fairness it was a few very straightforward steps insofar as going into the Teams Admin Centre, setting the update policy; then enabling the preview in the Teams desktop client for users scoped within that policy. Not a big deal in terms of effort to get great functionality like native Windows notifications, or Dynamic View, or Chat Bubbles, or Paging on Large Gallery in order to test them out before they went GA. To follow on from this Microsoft have now released the ability to align Microsoft Teams Preview to the Office Current Channel Preview. In other words, a Teams Service or Global Admin can set it so only users with the Office Current Channel Preview (A channel to preview new functionality after Beta but before Current Channel which is the first channel in General Availability) can access the Teams Public Preview. This makes a lot of sense for both administrators and testers because it means testing is aligned and the tester has the same level of insider access across the services. From the admin specifically - less management; less bother; the user or users on Teams Preview are likely to be one and the same on the Office Preview. Right. So let's check it out and apply it.
y organisations have already signaled that they have learnt absolutely nothing from their experience of the pandemic. They have survived. And as soon as these organisations can they will try to have all their staff back in the office, and many will operate as if the pandemic had never really happened at all. Now, Microsoft has been really serious this past year about change. About concepts such as building resilience, working towards net sustainability and digital optimism and if you follow along with Envision, or look at Microsoft's Work Trend Index then you will see that these are the subjects which will underpin what this Inspire will be ultimately about. This is about moving away from a response period into one of recovery setting the stage for being able to reimagine an alternative future: one that many of us have actually been living for a while but without many of the restrictions currently in place. From Microsoft's perspective an optimal recovery is one that embraces hybrid working, asynchronous working and digital optimism which drives digital intensity and speeds up digital transformation. We'll see a lot on Teams. We'll see a lot on Security, on Azure and Azure Virtual Desktop. We'll see a lot about Endpoints. But the most important takeaway of all will be Microsoft's ask of it partners: are you with us in this new world? Can you be that advocate of change? Will you be responsible for helping to ensure that a recovery constitutes learning from what has occurred the past 18 months and when, not if, this happens again we'll be in a stronger position, a more resilient position to deal with it. This is not just an opportunity to transform digitally, but culturally too - reframing the very way that we work. We have the technology for that. We have that technology now
The TV is on. The Euro 2020 finals between England and Italy has just kicked off. But Sunday nights are blog nights: and so trying to get the best of both worlds I will be writing a short blog about a granular but useful addition to functionality which came along for the approvals app this week. This is the ability to use generic links. Up until this point, we've had the ability to upload documents from a local machine; we've had the ability to add a document from OneDrive. But nothing regarding SharePoint; nothing about something other than a document. Now, we know that support for SharePoint - here meaning a dedicated option within the approvals app along with a site and file picker, is on its way. This is within the item on the Microsoft 365 roadmap - RID 70787. However, being able to use a generic link we don't have to wait for that. Indeed, generic links are really flexible insofar that we can start to review and approve anything which has a URL. This opens up some interesting scenarios
To all my friends and readers from the US - happy independence day! And to everyone else I hope you are enjoying the summer. It's nearly time for a break. But unlike my Scandinavian friends Vesa Nopanen and Adam Deltinger who are taking a month off - a month! (they tell me it's cultural), I still have a few weeks of grafting. Well, not all graft since Microsoft Inspire is here on the 14th and since I am going as an attendee it'll be enjoyable to just kick back and watch some sessions; something I have rarely done the last few years as I have been doing lots of speaking and moderating. So after focusing on Stream and the new web experience last week I am going to jump back into Teams this week. I originally thought about writing on Teams Meeting Recordings since I have an upcoming talk at the end of the month on exactly this. Yet something caught my eye in the Teams Admin Centre (TAC) and you know me...I thought I just have to write it TMR's can wait. Now this functionality is called Org Wide Admin Consent to an App. Sounds abstract right? Yeah. In layman's it's all about allowing apps permission to do what they need to do in your environment on behalf of users. Examples would include the ability for an app to read information stored in a team, for an app to read a user's profile, for an app to send an email on behalf of users and so on. Typically, when a user adds an app from the Teams App Store or starts using a custom or third party app, they have to grant the app permission. So administrators doing it on their users behalf can be beneficial. Why? It saves time, potentially a lot of confusion and makes the process of adding an app much more user friendly. Secondly, for the admin it gives them more control of apps and another tool alongside blocking, app permissions and custom app configuration. Third, users may not even be allowed to give consent as the admin may have locked this down already in Azure AD as part of their enterprise app configuration. Now, some things to know right off the bat is that org wide admin consent to an app can only be done by a global admin - not even the Teams Service Admin can do it. Secondly, it applies only to custom and third party apps. Microsoft's are exempt. Finally, org wide admin consent to an app is a much broader brush than resource specific consent (RSC) which is granular and applies to specific teams, so careful review has to be given before applying it. Sound good? Let's get going
given that I pretty much liked everything about Stream: the web experience, the mobile experience. Both were easy to use and did what it said on the tin. It had started to have great features like trim and screen capture. It could be brought into Teams in a number of ways - and kudos has to go to the Stream Team for how hard they must of worked on it; creating a strong app which was really taking off and really focused bringing out the best in video. However, on the other hand whilst recognising all of this; pivoting made a lot of sense. There was a growing amount of noise and frustration from the tech community about not being able to share video externally, about not being able to apply common compliance functionality such as retention. Since Stream had it's own completely separate storage many things had to be developed separately. Whilst I know there was plans to do this - ones which were very near to completion since I was involved in roundtables previewing the functionality; in a world where apps like Microsoft Lists were being designed to work right across the stack leveraging existing storage on SharePoint and OneDrive and existing security and compliance functionality; Stream felt outside of that almost moving in the opposite direction. So 'bringing it into the Microsoft 365 stack', the idea that a video 'is a file just like any other file' won out. And what did that mean? Stream 2.0 would pivot to become the player across the Microsoft 365 stack. SharePoint and OneDrive would house video files. There would be a new personal web app, a new player and video 'portals' which could be created on SharePoint. Now, in the time between Ignite 2020 and now much has focused on things such as recordings, changing the default location to SharePoint and OneDrive and CDN support. We know that the new player is coming soon due to it hitting the message centre. However not much has come out officially about the web portal and when we can start using it. Tonight, out of sheer curiosity I had a go at amending an URL since this worked previously for Lists via OneDrive. The new Stream portal is already there. This wasn't in a TAP or preview ring. This was in a Ring 4 GA tenant. Let's see what we can do