The blog of Wictor Wilén

  • What’s new on the Office Roadmap – 2016-01-14

    Tags: Office 365

    Hello and welcome back to an awesome new year – 2016 is here and we have our first Office Roadmap update. First things first; the Office Roadmap URL has changed. Ye olde Roadmap siteThe new home for the Office 365 Roadmap is: As usual when it comes to changes on the Office level - the communication is kinda poor. Ye olde URL just now gives you an error. Didn’t someone think about having a redirect or something from to the new home at Anyways, let’s take a look on what has changed since the last post in December.

    Changes 2016-01-14

    Now Launched

    • Inline OneDrive attachment preview for Outlook on the web: this really nice feature, which makes Outlook on the web more and more attractive than it’s big brother Outlook not on the web (aka outlook.exe). From rolling out

    Rolling out

    • Auto Generated Project IDs in Project Online: “Just” a name change on this one. From “Unique Project IDs in Project Online”
    • Next-generation OneDrive for Business sync client (PC & Mac): Live MeshThe new amazing, working, fast and exciting OneDrive for Business sync client is rolling out. Isn’t this great? I can hear the angles crying of joy. NOT! Well it is a new sync engine, it’s based on the OneDrive for consumer sync engine instead of old Groove. And yes, we have selective sync. But that’s it. The OneDrive for consumer sync engine isn’t that fast, I still have errors and collisions, I knew people who lost files. AND we still need the Old-generation sync client to sync SharePoint sites, other than OneDrive. Oh, this is new on the Roadmap.
    • Yammer service on by default: No description of this one. But from the title you can see that Yammer is enabled by default. Personally I do think that this is stupid. No services, unless they are security or compliance, should be turned on by default. Espeially now when I see more and more customer considering not going for Yammer. I guess they are trying to survive. New on the roadmap.

  • Summing up the year of 2015 and embracing 2016

    Tags: Personal

    Wow, 2015 has been one really interesting year for me! For the 9th year I will do my summary post (here’s the olde ones:  2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006).
    2015 started really cool with me joining Avanade here in Sweden and boosting the Collaboration efforts. It is an incredible team we have here and some amazing customers and opportunities ahead and I don’t regret this move for a second. And now in December I internally switched role to an even more interesting position – Nordic Digital Workplace Architect. Avanade has really understood what a Digital Workplace is and I’m really looking forward to focusing even more on this. Enough of Avanade talk, but if you’re interested in working in the front line of the future Digital Workplace and with us, contact me!


    Over the years I’ve done less writing about technical stuff, partly because I’m not that deep into this as I once was but mainly due to the fact that I’ve been bored about what has happened in this space over the last few years. BUT – as you will notice within a few months, things are happening! *wink, wink*

    This year I started a new series of blog posts called What’s new on the Office Roadmap. It’s a direct result of Microsoft being unable themselves to communicate their plans. The current roadmap site is despite all the feedback a disgrace. I’ve logged and blogged 31 changes since March – which is awesome, there are some really nice things coming and I do look forward to seeing this running in my clients tenants. Office 365 is killing the competition now when it comes to collaboration and productivity.

    The most read articles, from this year is:


    Also this year I’ve been invited to speak at conferences. Actually I’m invited to way more conferences than I can speak at, which is cool. Thank you! You can find all my presentations at this page


    For the sixth time I was awarded the Microsoft MVP award. Thanks Microsoft. I love the interaction we now have with the SharePoint and Office 365 teams!!!


    Last year I didn’t have any specific predictions more than 2015 would be about services. I think we’ve seen this happen; Windows 10 is almost like a service, Office 365 is expanding more than ever, Azure is kicking some serious butt.

    What about 2016? I think 2016 will be mainly two things:

    • Microsoft will be cool again. I’m not talking about ninja cats or things. Microsoft is once again driving and inventing the future. Microsoft is doing a lot of things right at the moment (well except for Windows Phone, 2016 might be the last year unless they do something revolutionary)
    • It’s all about the users. Users doesn’t care about tech, well at least not the majority. The users choose the servvice, technology, product, app, hardware they like – coporate policies or not, IT departments just have to understand that. Consumerization of Enterprise IT has been  on the wall for some time and next year it will happen.

    Happy new year

    Happy new year to all my followers and readers. 2015 was great but 2016 will be awesome. I haven’t been this excited about what is going to happen since…I don’t know when.

  • What’s new on the Office Roadmap – 2015-12-18

    Tags: Office 365

    A christmas update to the Office Roadmap! It looks like Microsoft has abandoned their bi-weekly update schedule and is now updating whenever they can (please, I got a job to do!). This time it’s a few new thingies but mostly a clean up of old released stuff.

    Happy holidays everyone!

    Changes 2015-12-18

    Now Launched

    • Analyze Office 365 data with Equivio Zoom: the eDiscovery features now allows you to integrate Equivio machine learning capabilities. This is some cool stuf that I need to experiment with. The compliance and eDiscovery fetaures of Office 365 is just getting stronger and stronger. (From in development)
    • FastTrack | Improving Intune onboarding with MDM: Get on board the Office 365 train even faster with improved Intune onboarding stuff (from in development)

    Rolling out

    • Office 365 Protection Center: The Compliance center is renamed to Protection Center. A very good move since the features of the Compliance center is expanding so much. Also a new and improved UI is on the way. (New)
    • Removal of Delivery Reports from Outlook on the web: Delivery reports of mail will be removed from OWA. It will remain in the Outlook client though. I don’t mind if they kill of this feature totally. It’s just annoying and since you can always decline to send a delivery report it has no purpose. (new)
    • Unlimited storage for OneDrive for Business: Unlimed, limited, unlimited…the story goes on. Read the full post here. That post is written by the Office chieftain Jeff Teper, compared to previous OneDrive posts, so it might be true… (from in development)
    • Work Management in Office 365: Planner is rolling out to all First Release customers. Wohoo. Note that it is a preview rolling out. More info. (from in development)

    In Development

    • Manage Yammer licenses in Office 365: Yammer licensing on a per user bases. I interpret that as we can turn off Yammer for most of our users. This is not a new thing or changed thing, just a rename of the title and description.
    • New Yammer User Onboarding and Sign Up Experience: Yet another of the things we complained about for years are now being fixed in Yammer. Somehow I think the Yammer team are feeling how they slowly are being drowned and now finally with the last bits of air they have are trying to get their head over the surface, trying to survive… (new)
    • Office 365 Groups: Outlook on the Web and Outlook Groups app user interface improvements: A better UX for Groups – very welcome, especially for large organizations (new)
    • Real time presence for PowerPoint: No description available (new)
    • Real Time presence in PowerPoint for desktop: No descriotion available (new)
    • Skype Meetings: This one is interesting. “Free online meetings from Skype for Business…”. What does this mean? At least I can set up meetings using Skype today…Anyone? (new)

    Moved off into the Previously Released list

    • Add-in deployment via Click-to-Run
    • Automatic Relationship Detection
    • Automatic Time Grouping
      Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) integration for Click-to-Run
    • Click-to-Run manageability gaps addressed for IT pros
    • Clutter for your inbox on by default
    • Create and collaborate on Visio diagrams using Office-like experience
    • Create and Edit Comments in Excel Modile for iPad
    • Custom Tiles
    • Deferred Updates
    • ExpressRoute for Office 365
    • FastTrack | Providing the customer success service
    • FastTrack | Request Service Onboarding
    • Getting started experience in Visio
    • Improved sync slider and lean storage footprint on small devices in Outlook 2016
    • Information Rights Management (IRM) protection now added for Visio files
    • Keyboard access for Pivot Tables and Slicers in Excel
    • Keyboard access for Shape Panel in Visio
    • Mark emails as Clutter in Outlook 2016
    • Modern Attachments in Outlook 2016
    • New and Modern Charts
    • New capabilities for Yammer iOS app
    • October 2015 Improvements in Excel Mobile for Windows
    • October 2015 Improvements in Excel Online
    • Office 365 Groups: mobile app
    • Office 365 Help Pane
    • Office 365 Notification Pane
    • Office 365 Video
    • Office 365 Video – Embed
    • Office 365 Video Update
    • OLAP Connection Support in Power View
    • Optimized file picker in Outlook on the web
    • Organization support card
    • Outlook for Android opens IRM protected emails
    • Outlook for iOS opens IRM protected emails
    • PivotChart Drill-Down Navigation (this one was never on the list previous to this)
    • PivotTable Field Search
    • Producer controls for Skype Meeting Broadcast
    • Purchase & Subscriptions Experience Refresh
    • Quick data linking in Visio
    • Real-time Co-authoring in Skype for Business
    • Real-time Yammer group activity indicators
    • Refreshed stencils and smart shapes in Visio
    • Search Refiners in Outlook Web App
    • SharePoint Online will start to transition to using TLS to send email securely in our datacenters
    • Skype for Business for iOS
    • Smart Rename in Power Pivot
    • Subscription Management Experience refresh
    • Support for small screen portrait layouts in Outlook 2016
    • Sway for Windows Document Import
    • Top teacher-requested features added to OneNote Class Notebooks
    • UserVoice coming to Outlook on the web
    • Video Based Screen Sharing
    • Yammer for Apple Watch
    • Yammer Next Group Notifications
    • Yammer to use Azure Media Services for Video Encoding

  • What’s new on the Office Roadmap–2015-12-11

    Tags: Office 365

    Third update in about a week on the Office Roadmap, and just as the last update this one isn’t that big. A couple of “fixes” and two new things

    Changes 2015-12-11

    Rolling out

    • Multi-select Attachments in Outlook 2016: This was “Launched” a couple of weeks ago, but now it’s not. Perhaps a new category – “Rolling Out”? (from Launched)
    • Public Folder eDiscovery & In-Place Hold: Compliance search on public folders. Wasn’t public folders dead? (from In Development)

    In Development

    • Office 365 Connectors: One of my absolute favorite new features as of lately. I blogged about this one a couple of weeks back. Keep an eye on this one peeps! (new)
    • Yammer user profile update from Azure AD: “All key properties from Azure Active Directory users will be one way synchronized to Yammer. “. I quoted it directly. So, is this a one way, as in one time, or can you override the profile properties? At least they are listening on stuff we asked for years ago… (new)

  • What's new on the Office Roadmap - 2015-12-09

    Tags: Office 365

    More updates on the Office Roadmap! This time around just a few ones but also some interesting things to notice. But before we list the updates let's take a look at the actual roadmap site that has received an update which should make it easier for you to filter and find out what's new.

    Office Roadmap filters

    This is a very welcome update and could possibly make the roadmap site useful, but I'm sad to say unless they have a proper change log. I'm not going to bother that much but instead rely on my own blog :-)

    So what's new…

    Changes 2015-12-09

    Now Launched

    • First Release: Office 365 ProPlus and Office 365 Business: Allow users of your organization to enjoy the first release program of Office is now launched. I really recommend reading this article about the Office update branches. (New)
    • PowerPoint Online: Ongoing improvements: better formatting etc is now launched (from rolling out)
    • Word Online: Improving feature capabilities: almost same as above, more cool Word online features rolling out in a steady pace (from rolling out)

    Rolling out

    • First Release: Select People support for SharePoint & OneDrive for Business: The SharePoint team and OneDrive team has finally jumped aboard the First Release train (New)
    • Message Center in Admin Center Preview: the new admin center receives more updates, this time time focused on the Message Center. Looks good! (New)

    In Development

    • Office 365 Admin app - Push Notifications for Message Center filters: Configurable Push Notifications for the Admin App. Good stuff (New)
    • Office 365 Groups: creation policy in Azure Active Directory: Las week this new feature popped up in the Rolling out category, turns out it is not. I guess Microsoft don't want to scare the AD admins, we all know they are a bit sensitive, aight! (from Rolling out)

    Other interesting finds…

    When stuff is to old to be on this list they are moved into the previously released category or if stuff is cancelled they are moved into the Cancelled bucket.  Two items has mysteriously disappeared from the Cancelled list, just if they never ever existed - wonder why? This happened once before, with "Forms on SharePoint Lists" in April. Well, we shouldn't speculate to much, it's likely normal clean up…

    • Document Conversations for OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online
    • Evolving the Outlook Web App options page

  • What's new on the Office Roadmap - 2015-12-04

    Tags: Office 365, Office 365 Groups

    December updates incoming! The Office Roadmap has once again been updated and this time with quite a few new additions to the roadmap. Note that there is very anticipated and important updates to Office 365 Groups - have a read and enjoy!!

    Changes 2015-12-14

    Now Launched

    • Capacity Management capabilities in Project Online: Colored heatmaps and stuff in Project Online (from Rolling out)
    • Compliance Search Conditions: Improved search experience in the compliance center (from Rolling out)
    • Data Loss Protection (DLP) for Office desktop: Data loss prevention features in the Office client (Excel, PowerPoint and Word). Cool! (from Rolling out)
    • DKIM Outbound for Exchange Online Protection: outbound validation of e-mails (from Rolling out)
    • FastTrack | Data migration to OneDrive from Google Drive: Fast track center now offers migration from Google Drive to OneDrive (from In Development)
    • FastTrack | Skype for Business Onboarding Expansion: onboarding guidance for PSTN Conferencing and Calling Plans, Cloud PBX etc (from In Development)
    • FastTrack | Azure Rights Management Onboarding: RMS Onboarding, isn't this just checking a check box? (from In Development)
    • FastTrack | Project Online Onboarding: Get them projects in the cloud (from Rolling out)
    • New per-user licensing for Sway: license Sway per user! Which essentially means, we can now shut down Sway on a per user basis. (from In Development)
    • Office 2013 Windows client modern authentication public preview: ADAL based sign in for ye old Office client (2013) is now in PUBLIC PREVIEW.  (From Rolling out)
    • Office 365 Groups: auditing: Office 365 audit reports now includes changes in Office 365 Groups. This is huge in making Office 365 ready for enterprises. Go Groups! (NEW)
    • Office 365 Groups: Support compliance requirements: Another awesome Groups update. You can now put holds on Groups - which will put a hold on mailboxes, files, calendars etc in the Group! (From In Development)
    • OneNote Online: Record Audio clips & Insert File: OneNote Online is a bit more pimped with Audio clips (NEW)
    • Project Online content pack for PowerBI: Project Online data in PowerBI - a match made in the clouds (from In Development)
    • Resource Engagement Workflow in Project Online: improvements for Resource Managers in Project Online (from Rolling Out)
    • Sway admin controls over Insert tab content sources: Important enterprise focused update of Sway that allows admins to control from where the Sway users can insert data (from In Development)
    • Sway in Service Health Dashboard: Sway traffic lights in the admin portal (from In Development)

    Rolling out

    • Multiple timeline bars in Project Online: a new and pimped and more efficient timeline bar in Project Online (from In Development)
    • Office 365 Groups: creation policy in Azure Active Directory: A new policy option in Azure AD that allows admins to restrict group creation to certain users. Previously this could only be controlled through the Exchange policy settings - but that policy only affected creation through Exchange, Outlook and the Outlook Groups app. This new policy applies to all endpoints (read Microsoft Graph, PoSh etc). (NEW)
    • Office 365 Groups: dynamic membership: AWESOME! We will be able to create Office 365 Groups and base them on dynamic memberships, for instance have all users with the value "Project Manager" in their title in one group etc. (NEW)
    • Office 365 Groups: naming policies for aliases: the naming policies only applied to the display name of the group previously, now it will also apply to the e-mail alias. (NEW)
    • Office 365 Multi-Channel Catalog Support:: Improvement to the Education, Government (Public), and Charity sections allowing them to purchase any commercial service (NEW)

    In Development

    • FastTrack | Office 365 ProPlus Upgrade Assistance: Onboarding center will help ProPlus customers to upgrade to the 2016 version. **giggles** (NEW)
    • Office 365 Admin app - Group functionality: Group Administration is coming to the Admin App (from In Development, previously this one was called Office 365 Admin app updates October 2015)
    • Office 365 Admin app - Push Notifications for Message Center: opt-in or out to push notifications (NEW)
    • Office 365 Groups: data classification & extensible policy: This one is HUGE folks. And it just explains how important Office 365 Groups is for Microsoft and Office 365. This update states that we will be able to classify Groups (secret, confidential, unclassified etc) AND we will have the option to specify an endpoint that is called whenever a Group is created! BOOM! Take that Yammer! (NEW)
    • Office 365 Groups: deletion recovery: get them Groups back from the dead with a single click (NEW)
    • Office 365 Groups: expire inactive groups: Awesomeness just keep coming! (NEW)
    • Office 365 Groups: files quota management: Get better control of the amount of data your groups use (NEW)
    • Office 365 Groups: general usage reporting: Usage and Engagement reports in the Admin Center (NEW)
    • Office 365 Groups: hidden membership support: Currently the membership is open, this update will allow you to have hidden memberships, very good for privacy reasons (NEW)
    • Office 365 Groups: mobile application management: The Outlook Groups app will be a managed app in Intune (NEW)
    • Office 365 Groups: multi-domain support: This one has been high on my whish list. Have control of the e-mail domain used by the Groups (NEW)
    • Office 365 Groups: naming policy in Azure Active Directory: the description on this one is a copy of the dynamic membership one, see above, but I do think it is about having the naming policies not only in Exchange but also in AAD. (NEW)
    • Office 365 Groups: Office Delve discovery & insight: Groups in Delve! Can't beat that! (NEW)
    • Office 365 Groups: usage guidelines: Better options for you to have guidelines about the usage of Groups within your organization. I'm thinking like the TOU in Yammer. So one more feature from Yammer is moving into Groups (NEW)
    • Outlook on the web: Addition of “Distribution Groups” Option and Removal of “Other” link: Just a re-org of the menus in OWA. (NEW)
    • Per user licensing for Yammer: I see this as we can now turn of Yammer and only let the handful of people that still likes it use it… (NEW)
    • Project Online - Portfolio Dashboard: More reports based on best practices and industry standards (NEW)
    • Project Online - Portfolio Dashboard for iPad: Same as above but for the illiterate. (NEW)
    • Skype for Business Mac Client Preview: Them Appleheads will love this, we gotta give them a chance to participate in our meetings sometime :). (NEW)

  • What's new on the Office Roadmap - 2015-11-20

    Tags: Office 365

    Updates! Yes, updates! After some awesome announcements at the Connect(); 2015 conference the Office Roadmap is updated with some news, and a decent bunch of additions, specifically some nice new stuff in the In Development bucket. Love the Yammer updates - looks like someone has been listening after all, or have they - read the fine prints…

    Changes 2015-11-20

    Now Launched

    • Contact sync for Outlook for Android: Outlook for Android now syncs contacts to the native contacts application. Finally, this is great news. (New)
    • Enforce Office 365 Identity in Yammer: An important and long anticipated (it only took a couple of years) update to Yammer and identities. No need for separate Yammer SSO settings. Click here for more information. (New)
    • EU Model Clauses and HIPAA BAA Availability for All Yammer Customers: Another Yammer update, also this one is VERY important. With this update Yammer is getting aligned with the rest of Office 365 in terms of customer data protection. (New)
    • Outlook +1Likes Coming to Outlook on the web: No more +1 e-mails? We're certainly on the right path at least (From Rolling out)
    • Mentions Available in Outlook on the web: Make it possible to @mention people in OWA. (From Rolling out)
    • Multi-select Attachments in Outlook 2016: Surprised this feature actually wasn't in there. Use Ctrl to multi select attachments (New)
    • Persian calendar support in Outlook 2016: More calendar options, now with Persian support (New)
    • Set Automatic Replies in Outlook for iOS & Android: You can now set Automatic replies in Outlook on your fruitphones or droids. (from In Development)

    Rolling Out

    • Designer: Described as "a feature that will essentially allow you to deliver beautiful and impactful presentations with little to no experience". This is a bit weird, it is the same description as the new "PowerPoint Designer - Desktop"  feature below. (New)
    • New Office 365 Admin Center Preview: The new Admin center rolls out. For more info see Marcs great post on IT-Unity. (From Launched!)
    • November Improvements in Excel Mobile for Windows: This is something you don't see often, updates to mobile apps on Windows (New)
    • Office 365 ISO 27001 and 27018 Audit Report: information  security reports. I doubt any other cloud productivity provider are even close to what Microsoft and Office 365 is doing now (New)
    • Office 365 Video - Yammer settings per channel: Finally! No more posts of secured video details onto public Yammer groups… (New)
    • PowerPoint Designer - Desktop: The PowerPoint people get some love, it's not all Sway yet. For more information see (New)
    • PowerPoint Morph - Desktop: The second part of the new PowerPoint awesomeness. For more information see (New)
    • Preview_Office 365 Customer Security Considerations Refrence Guide: A new part of the Service Trust Portal in form of a security considerations reference guide. (New)

    In Development

    • Add-in only authorization policy for Project Online: AppOnly policies for Project Online. This opens up quite a few new Project Online opportunities. (New)
    • Archive button in Outlook 2016: The Outlook 2016 client will get the same nifty archive button as the mobile Outlook clients have.
    • Browse and join Groups in Outlook 2016: You will in the future not only see your Groups in Outlook 2016. You will now also be able to see the ones you have not joined, and then join them. Hooray! (New)
    • Circular Yammer User Profile Pictures: One of these important Yammer updates! I'm glad they are spending money on A/B testing a circular picture instead of a square one. Seriously, just do it and move on with more important stuff, such as USING THE PICTURE FROM OFFICE 365!!! (new)
    • Dark theme for Outlook 2016: Get your darker sides on in Outlook 2016. (New)
    • Directory pictures in Outlook 2016 search suggestions: This is a nice feature, see profile pictures when searching for people (New)
    • Exchange Online Protection- Zero Day auto-purge: The Exchange team continues to impress with handling different kind of threats. (New)
    • New Yammer group experiences: More Yammer UX updates. Each Group will now have its own inbox - wow… (New)
    • Office 365 Video - Analytics, phase one: Insights on your videos - awesome (New)
    • Office 365 Video - Channel Recycle Bin: Channels are just site collections and we will be able to recover the channels just as normal site collections
    • Office 365 Video - Choose Your Own Thumbnail: choose one of several auto-generated thumbnails or upload your own (New)
    • Office 365 Video - Deploy in US Government zone (GCC) & China datacenters: China and US Government can soon build their own Video portals. (New)
    • Office 365 Video - Improved upload experience: The video portal will get a centralized upload center, with more details about the upload (New)
    • Office 365 Video - Owner and People Metadata: This will be great improvement to the service and hopefully make search even more interesting. (New)
    • Office 365 Video - Upload your own subtitle files: Subtitles! Office 365 Video is becoming a real video portal (webvtt format). This will also be integrated with search so you can search in videos. Cool! (New)
    • Optimizing Yammer Inbox for Team Collaboration: Yammers attempt to change the way the inbox works. Removal of the "Mark as Unread" and replace it with a "Read Later". Holy crap! So they didn't listen to the massive feedaback on a "Mark all as read" feature. I think I just the last little hope for Yammer… (New)
    • Sites Tile Page Update - Recent and Suggested Sites: The Sites tile in the App Launcher and Sites page will get a long anticipated face lift with the inclusion of a "Recent sites" feature. (New)
    • Yammer Group Administrator Onboarding: A Yammer group admin guide. Is this really necessary? If it is needed then something else in creating a group is wrong. (New)
    • Yammer Group Inbox View: Third update on basically the same topic. Yammer is redoing the Inbox… (New)

  • Enhancing your Office 365 Groups using custom Connectors and Cards for Groups

    Tags: Office 365, Office 365 Groups

    Wow, what a day for developers in the Office 365 land! Tons of new features was announced at the Microsoft Connect(); 2015 virtual conference. We've seen the GA of the Microsoft Graph and a bunch of new API's added to the Microsoft Graph beta end-point and more. One of the features that I really have been waiting for is the Office 365 Connectors for Groups and the  Office 365 Connector Cards.

    The Office 365 Connectors for Groups allows users of Office 365 Groups to add integrations to their Office 365 Groups. Connectors can be seen as services and events that you subscribe to and then the services when certain events happens posts information to the Group activity feed. There are a set of pre-configured Connectors that anyone can add or you can create your own Connector and customize it for your needs. For instance there are built-in Connectors for Twitter, Github, RSS feeds and Trello. The possibilities for this is endless!

    In this post I will show you how to create your own Connector and Connector Card. In this sample we assume that we have a CRM system that monitors incoming requests, such as RFI's and RFP's, and we want these events to be posted to a Group in Office 365.

    Enabling Connectors

    First of all, the Connector framework are in preview so in order to start working with them we need to enable this preview. This is done by navigating to a Group in Office 365 and then append &EnableConnectorDevPreview=true to the URL.

    Enabling Connectors

    Once we have enabled the Connector preview you will find a new option called Connectors under the "…" menu. Click on that to start configuring your Connectors. In the task pane that is shown you can see all the different default Connectors which you can add and configure without doing any kind of development.

    The Connectors

    Creating an Incoming Webhook

    In our case we want to do a completely custom Connector. We create these by choosing the "Incoming Webhook" Connector and then click Add.

    Incoming Webhook

    To configure our Incoming Webhook we need to give it a name and optionally add an image for the Connector. Once that is done we need to click on Create to create the Webhook. When it is created you will see an input box with a URL in it. This is the Webhook and we need this URL in our custom Connector handler. The URL is unique for this Group and Webhook and we can of course remove the Webhook if we want to disable it.

    Note that when the Webhook is created a notification of this will be sent to the Activity feed, the notification contains the Webhook URL.

    Posting a message to the Webhook

    Once we have the Incoming Webhook URL we can build our own custom solution that posts messages to the Activity feed within the Office 365 Group.

    All we need to do is to issue a POST request with JSON payload to this URL. There is no need for authentication - we assume that this URL is as unique and no one figures it out :) It is a Guid folks!

    The JSON payload describes the Connector Card. The Connector Card can have simple properties such as title, text, images and a color and more advanced properties such as actions and sections with facts. The image below shows a Connector card with (1) the Connector info, (2) the Connector card title and text, (3) a section with activity details and (4) facts connected to the section and finally (5) actions.

    Connector Card

    This Connector card can be added to the Office 365 using any kind of tool that can send a post request. Let's see how it can look like when doing it using Node.js. You can find a more exhaustive example at

    var request = require('request')
        method: 'POST',
        uri: '',
            'content-type': 'application/json',
        body: JSON.stringify({
            'title': 'New RFI added to CRM',
            'text': 'A new RFI from [Contoso]( has arrivied',
                "@context": "",
                "@type": "ViewAction",
                "name": "Lookup Contoso in CRM",
                "target": [""]
    }, function(error, response, body){

    We create a new HTTP POST request and as URL we use the Webhook URL that we generated previously. Then we need to make sure that we use application/json as the content type for the request. The body of the request is a JSON formatted payload. In the example above we provide a title and a text (note the Markdown formatting) as well as an action. The JSON payload is thoroughly described in the Outlook Dev Center, so there is no need to delve into that to much. When the request is sent it will return a status code of 200 if successful. If not successful you will see response code 400 if you have used the wrong format, 404 if you specify the wrong Webhook URL and you can even get throttled (429) if you send to many requests.


    That was so easy! With just a few lines of code and a simple configuration we can make the Office 365 Groups experience into something integrated into your or your customers organization. Imagine the possibilities with this.

    I'm really impressed with how Microsoft build their products and services now, how they adhere to modern development techniques, how they innovate and how they make my job so much more fun! I've said it before - Groups are here to stay and they do it big time!

  • What's new on the Office Roadmap - 2015-11-05

    Tags: Office 365

    Office Roadmap updates again! This time I'm reporting this from the MVP summit in Redmond. A couple of new and exciting things added to the In Development list!

    Changes 2015-11-05

    Now Launched

    • Clutter for your inbox on by default:  For tenants/users that have the Clutter feature it will from now on be on by default
    • Create and collaborate on Visio diagrams using Office-like experience: Visio is getting even sexier with dark themes, Delve and High DPI support
    • FastTrack | Providing the customer success service: Get Microsofts help to start your Office 365 experience
    • Getting started experience in Visio: Visio n00b improvements
    • Information Rights Management (IRM) protection now added for Visio files: We now have direct support in Visio to protect our most valuable assets
    • Keyboard access for Shape Panel in Visio: use F6 to work faster in Visio
    • Optimized file picker in Outlook on the web: Pretty soon OWA will be favored over Outlook
    • Outlook for Android opens IRM protected emails: Really important feature rolled out for Android
    • Quick data linking in Visio: Make your Visio diagrams rock
    • Refreshed stencils and smart shapes in Visio: New and slick stencils for architecture draqwings
    • SharePoint Online will start to transition to using TLS to send email securely in our datacenters: internal service change but a really important one
    • Sway for Windows Document Import: Something with Sway
    • Yammer to use Azure Media Services for Video Encoding: Ooops, a Yammer update

    Rolling out

    • Compliance Search Conditions: Improved Compliance search is rolling out
    • Delve People Experiences - Praise: The Praise features is now rolling out in the Delve experience.
    • FastTrack | Project Online Onboarding: FTC will now start onboarding Project projects
    • Inline OneDrive attachment preview for Outlook on the web: Awesome new OWA features
    • Mentions Available in Outlook on the web: Another of the social features are now in OWA
    • Office 365 detailed usage reports: Even more detailed reports are rolling out. I can't wait to see how we can use this to improve the adoption rate
    • Office 365 My Account updates: The new My Account page gives you great details and control of you Office 365 accounts
    • OneNote Online: Record Audio clips & Insert File: New OneNote features are being rolled out. New on the Roadmap
    • PowerPoint Online: Ongoing improvements: New on the road map and it promises to make formatting better, include more symbols and faster slide interaction
    • Word Online: Improving feature capabilities: Also new on the road map. Improvements in Word that includes image resize handlers, improved autosave and more, but most interestingly a lot of improvements in co-authoring performance

    In Development

    • Delve Analytics: Brand new addition on the road map and a really cool one. For E5 customers (or E1/E3 with an add-on) you will get awesome analytics on how you organization collaborates
    • FastTrack | Data migration to OneDrive from Google Drive: New option get the h**l out of Google Drive
    • FastTrack | Data migration to OneDrive for Business from File Shares: New FastTrack migration option from file share to users OneDrives
    • FastTrack | Data migration to SharePoint Online Team Sites from File Shares: Same as above but for Team Sites (Groups?)
    • FastTrack | Improving Intune onboarding with MDM: FastTrack will support Intune when doing onboarding.
    • Multiple timeline bars in Project Online: I have no idea how this is supposed to work but it looks like you can add heatmaps and other stuff… (was previously called New Timeline view in Project)
    • Project Online content pack for PowerBI: Bring Project Online data directly into PowerBI. Sounds neat
    • SharePoint/OneDrive for Business file activity report: Admin reports that allows you to see what your users do in SharePoint and OneDrive for Business


    Moved off into the Previously released list

    • Inline Service Health for Support Request Creation
    • Proactive notification of Outlook version - weird, this is moved from In Development! Did it ever roll out?

  • Announcing gulp-spsync - A Gulp plugin that syncs local files with a SharePoint site

    Tags: Visual Studio Code, Gulp, SharePoint Online

    I have to admit it I have succumbed to Visual Studio Code and now also Gulp tasks, well almost at least. I was working the other day with some display templates and page layouts and needed a more efficient way than uploading the files to SharePoint Online. Open with Explorer could have worked, but since I used a customers Office 365 tenant I did not want to store credentials and do all the required voodoo to get that to work. Instead I decided to explore Gulp and see if I could automate this, and the result is a Gulp plugin called gulp-spsync.

    You can find gulp-spsync in this Github repo: 

    For you who have not used Gulp, the short description is that it is a task runner that runs tasks on command or at build. In this case it will copy local files to a SharePoint site.

    This is how gulp-spsync looks like in practice in Visual Studio Code. As soon as I edit one of my files and saves it, the file will be uploaded to SharePoint. In the sample below it is a Display Template html file, once saved it will be uploaded, and then in SharePoint converted to the .js correspondent file.


    To use this you need a copy of Visual Studio Code and full access to a SharePoint Online Site Collection. How to configure it all is documented in the repo, so I will not rehash it. But the basic outline is that you open up a folder on your local machine. Create a folder in that one where you create sub folders representing the sites libraries and catalogs. Then comes the tricky part, this task requires that you register an App in the Site Collection and give that App permissions. Once you have the App details you install the gulp-spsync plugin and then configure Gulp. All that then is left is to start working with your files.

    I hope more people than me get some use of this one and any feedback is welcome.

About Wictor...

Wictor Wilén is the Nordic Digital Workplace Lead working at Avanade. Wictor has achieved the Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) - SharePoint 2010, Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM) - SharePoint  and Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) - SharePoint 2010 certifications. He has also been awarded Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for seven consecutive years.

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