New Version Release of Collaboration Manager 365: Full Provisioning Engine for Teams and more!

On April 29, 2019 we released an update for our provisioning solution Collaboration Manager 365. 

Here you can find an overview of the new features and bug fixes.

Features:

  1. New provisioning engine for Microsoft Teams. It supports creating, saving, deleting and uploading Teams Templates as well as creating, deleting and synchronizing Teams Workspaces. We also provision the built-in tabs of templates (e.g. pre-configured Planner, Stream, Forms, OneNote). See limitations; this functionality will be published as a BETA feature

  2. Templates of type “Modern Site without Group, Group, Microsoft Teams and Communication Site” now show a banner which indicates that the site collection is a template. This feature requires the Collaboration Manager 365 to be reinstalled and existing templates to be saved again

  3. Improvement to the capability of installing apps from the App Catalog. SharePoint Framework Webparts and SharePoint Hosted Apps from the App Catalog will be installed faster than with the old logic for app installation. Other app types such as Provider Hosted or apps from the SharePoint store won’t be affected by this update. This feature only applies for templates of type “Modern Sites without Group, Group, Microsoft Team and Communication Site” 

  4. New Template Description column in the Templates list. Column will be filled in during template creation. Existing Templates must be updated manually 

  5. New Team Url column in the Templates list. Templates of type “Microsoft Team” will fill in this column when Teams are successfully created. Existing Templates must be updated manually 

  6. New Template Type column in the Templates list. All Template types will fill in this column during template creation. Existing Templates must be updated manually 

  7. New Team Url column in the Workspaces list. Workspaces of type “Microsoft Team” or “Group” will have this column filled in when a new Team is created or a Group is converted into a Team. Existing Workspaces must be updated manually 

  8. Supporting provisioning of Listitems for Templates of type “Microsoft Team, Group, Modern Site without Group and Communication Site”. This functionality will be released as a BETA feature. See limitations

  9. Supporting provisioning of Folders for Templates of type “Microsoft Team, Group, Modern Site without Group and Communication Site”. This functionality will be released as a BETA feature. See limitations 

  10. Supporting provisioning of Documents for Templates of type “Microsoft Team, Group, Modern Site without Group and Communication Site”. This functionality will be released as a BETA feature. See limitations

  11. Supporting Collaboration Manager 365 installation in Modern Sites (Group), Communication Sites and Modern Sites without Group 

  12. Supporting Top links provisioning for Templates of type “Microsoft Team, Group, Modern Site without Group and Communication Site”

Bug Fixes:

  1. Renaming applied to Microsoft Graph consent button. Button name changed from “Allow modern sites” to “Grant Graph permissions” 

  2. Renaming applied to Private field description in the Workspaces list. Description changed from “You cannot change the privacy setting after the group is created.” to “You can change the privacy setting after the group is created.” 

  3. Collaboration Manager 365 Log page now shows the content correctly 

  4. Members and Owners can now be added to Team during Workspace creation 

  5. SPFx web parts can now be provisioned in modern pages. Consider synchronizing affected workspaces in order to solve the problem 

  6. Workspace creation for Teams template does no longer end up with error when Titel does not equal Mailnickname 

  7. Navigation entry for Notebook now refers to the correct Group workspace notebook (instead of the template’s notebook). Consider synchronizing affected workspaces in order to solve the problem 

  8. SharePoint permission groups are now longer in usage in workspaces of type classic site when they have been deleted in template. Fix only applies to new workspaces 

  9. Collaboration Manager 365 installation no longer breaks with Access Denied error

There are some known issues as well as limitations. You can find more details on those here:

 

Visit our Knowledge Base to learn more about Collaboration Manager 365.

If you have any questions regarding the update or our products, don’t hesitate to contact us: support@solutions2share.net

Possibilities with Microsoft Teams – Using Bots

Teams is a messaging tool that enables text communications between users, whether they are in the same office or work remotely. It supports group chat rooms with threaded conversations, as well as private messages between individuals. Users can jump from instant messaging to a video call at the push of a button. Teams also comes with the possibility of implementing bots, helping to make collaboration more efficient.

When you open Teams, you see a left-hand rail that includes the Activity, Chat, Teams, Meetings and Files tabs. Click into a tab to see the different channels and files within the subgroup. Teams lets you silo topics within a channel in order to help you manage conversations.

Whenever you are mentioned directly anywhere in Teams, a red alert pops up on the Activity tab and directs you to your destination. You can customize your alerts to notify you only when you are mentioned directly, or you can set alerts for specific rooms. You can also mark activities as ‘read’ and ‘unread’.

You can perfectly schedule video calls by viewing someone’s Outlook calendar to determine a suitable time. Users can view and edit a document or application while having a conversation. Teams meetings provides Meeting Notes tab, which gives you the possibility to create and edit visible discussion notes for all users in real time.

At the top of every channel you can see a list of service and tools that provide more context to the channel. Tools like Zendesk, Microsoft Power BI and Excel are easily accessible so users can view third-party tools or external data within the channel. All cloud-based tool that update in real time will update in the feed. For example, you can plug a Twitter feed or Facebook page into a Teams channel.

 

No chat app would be complete without its unique bots. For example, Teams integrates with Polly-Bot. Polly allows you to easily take polls within a channel. By integrating polls in the conversation, your workflow is no longer interrupted. Polly comes with a lot of functionality, like commenting or scheduling polls and votes on multiple options.

T-Bot allows you to query automated answers about the Teams application. It can answer many of your questions in a chat-based interface in your Microsoft Team app. By using natural language inquiries, just like talking to another person, ask T-Bot questions about the task, feature or other items you are looking for help on. T-Bot will try to provide you the best possible answer based on the content of your question and has a built-in feedback system to learn when an answer is on the right track or not related to what you asked about. That feedback loop will help T-Bot become better at responding to your questions over time and improve the service. If you ask e.g. what a channel is, the bot will show you content to help you.

Another interesting possibility is Who-Bot. The Who-bot has been around for quite some time now and helps you find employees or specific information about an employee. Just ask a question like: ‘Who am I?’, and the Who-bot will gives you all basic Information about you.

You can also find topic experts, someone’s collaborator, direct reports, manager and peer group as well as people you emailed or messaged about a specific topic.  Additionally, Who-bot gives you a organization chart and an overview of upcoming meetings as well as who is owner or member of the meeting.

At the end of the day, bots are only one component of apps for Teams, but what makes bots unique is that they bring intelligence to chat within your Teams channel or to your own personal conversation with a particular bot. Bots appear just like any other team member in your organization, except their avatar is a hexagon instead of the traditional circle, and they are always online. They can make working with Teams more efficient and be an real enrichment for your company.

Simplify Teams app package creation with Gulp

Our senior developer Jarbas Horst created a gulp task for creation of Teams app package!

Since SharePoint Framework v1.7 it’s possible to implement Microsoft Teams tabs using SharePoint Framework. Software houses can now support both SharePoint and Teams with the same SPFx web part. In order to simplify the Teams tab development, SPFx v1.7 creates a Teams folder in the solution structure. During development, you must create the Teams app package. Since the process of app package creation isn’t automated, our senior developer Jarbas Horst created a gulp task which does it for you. In his new blogpost, he shows you how to use it!

 

>>Visit Jarbas’ blog to learn more!<<

Office 365 Groups

What are Office 365 Groups?

Office 365 Groups are groups of both internal and external colleagues as well as a collection of resources that differ based on your requirements. The basis of an Office 365 Group is a SharePoint Site Collection. Office 365 Groups connect regular SharePoint groups with collaboration tools like Planner or OneNote. You can create Office 365 Groups with Outlook, Planner, Yammer, Teams, Stream, SharePoint, Admin Center and our Collaboration Manager 365. In the following we will take a look at how Office 365 Groups are created with Outlook, Teams, Admin Center, SharePoint and the Collaboration Manager.

Create Office 365 Groups with Outlook

If your conversations happen primarily per email, Outlook should be preferred to create Office 365 Groups. Outlook provides a mailbox for the Group where emails are shown with all the responses. Your Office 365 Group also includes a SharePoint Document library integrated into Outlook, a shared calendar and OneNote as well as a complete SharePoint Site Collection.

Create Office 365 Groups with Teams

You should create Office 365 Groups with Teams if your conversations happen primarily per live chat and online meetings. Teams provides live chatrooms where you can create channels to split conversations on specific topics. Meetings support both audio and video with the chat being saved. Chatbots are also a possible addition.

Create Office 365 Groups with the Admin Center

You can create an Office 365 Group through the Admin Center and add other tools later.

Create Office 365 Groups with SharePoint

If you are already using SharePoint, you can create an Office 365 Group through SharePoint and add other tools, like Planner, later.

Create Office 365 Groups with Collaboration Manager

Creating Office 365 Groups is also possible using our Collaboration Manager App for SharePoint. You can simply create an Office 365 Group by choosing O365 Group as a Content Type and filling in the form. You even have the option of migrating it directly to Microsoft Teams.

Tools included in Office 365 Groups

Office 365 Groups mostly include the same tools, Office 365 Groups created by Yammer are currently an exception. Outlook mailbox and calendar for managing meetings and events, a fully functional SharePoint Site Collection, Teams Chat if the Office 365 Group is private and has less than 600 users, Planner for managing tasks, OneNote for keeping notes and if the Office 365 Group is created by Outlook or Teams an integrated Document Library. An Office 365 Group created with Yammer doesn’t include Teams Chat, an integrated Document library or Outlook.

Office 365 Group Visibility

When creating an Office 365 Group there are a few things to keep in mind. For example, there are two different visibility options available: public and private. In public Office 365 Groups everyone in your company has access to the content and any colleague can join. If the visibility is set to private, only the members of the Office 365 Group can see the content and only the owner can invite other members.

The default visibility is based on the tool used to create the Office 365 Group but can be set while creating. Outlook apps, Planner and Yammer create public Office 365 Groups, while Outlook on the web, SharePoint, Stream and Teams create private Office 365 Groups.

Default Permission Groups

There are three different default permission groups. Owners are like moderators. They can add and remove members, delete Chats and change Office 365 Group settings like description and name. Members can see all the content and can invite Guests but can’t change settings. Guests are external colleagues and have the same permissions as Members. You can of course add your own permission group and configure the permissions for each one.

Provision Office 365 Groups

There are two ways of provisioning Office 365 Groups. Office 365 Groups are “open” per default. Therefore, all members can create new Office 365 Groups. The other option is “controlled” which means that only a security group can create new Office 365 Groups. Controlled provisioning is especially helpful to keep an overview of the created Office 365 Groups.

Manage Office 365 Groups

To manage Groups, you can use the Microsoft 365 Admin Center, Microsoft Azure, Collaboration Manager or PowerShell. In the Admin Center you can change the general settings of the Office 365 Group like name and description and add members and owners to an existing Office 365 Group.

Deleting an Office 365 Group

Because there is no automatic way to delete Office 365 Groups, you can manually delete them through the Admin Center or the Collaboration Manager. You have to delete Office 365 Groups separately in the Admin Center, while you can delete multiple Office 365 Groups simultaneously through the Collaboration Manager.