Yammer Roadmap Session #msignite

A small post to go over the Yammer Roadmap session and to highlight the key parts.

New Features:

Single Sign On (Future)

A major investment coming soon is Single Sign On with the rest of Office 365.  You can already link your Active Directory accounts but currently Single Sign On is not implement.  Watch out for this feature soon.

External Messaging (Available Now)

You can now invite any external user into your Yammer conversations by simply adding their email address as part of your post (section at the bottom).

  • When you do this, a small yellow dot icon is next to the name to signify that it is external
  • The post button has a small globe next to it to show that it is now interacting with external users.

Once you post the message it appears in the external users yammer private message inbox (assuming they have one) and an email is sent to their inbox with the ability to sign up if they need to.

They can reply via email or via the yammer private message system.

The author of the conversation has the ability to take the external user out of the conversation at any point.  The private messages are deleted out of the users inbox and they can no longer reply.

If you wish, you can stop external messaging across your organizations Yammer tenant within Administration settings.

Compliance (Future)

Currently Microsoft is working hard to move Yammer into their own infrastructure and once it has done, compliance will be a priority.

Group Focus (Future – Coming Soon)

Improved focus on Groups within Yammer (not to be confused with Office 365 Groups)

  • Navigation for creation of groups as well existing groups has moved from the Top Navigation to the Side Navigation.
  • New users will be able to search for new groups as soon as they sign up, helping to improve the overall experience.

Delve Cards (Mostly available now / when Delve is in your tenant)

Watch for a different post on what Delve is… but in the meantime…

Yammer “signals” are built into the Delve boards, allowing you to start a discussion from any article or item that appears within Delve.

Next to the icon, notification counts show others discussing the item in Delve within Yammer (Please note this relies upon Single Sign On being implemented in the future)

image image

Mobile App Improvements (Coming Soon)

  • Notifications are being added to iOS and Android clients with swipe actions to take you straight into the discussion within the app
  • Inline @mentions within the discussion rather than a separate list at the bottom of the discussion post
  • Photo publisher within the app with annotation capability
  • New mobile experience and UI will surface important content first by group (with number of items not seen).  This is designed to ensure you always see the latest content without missing a thing!


Office 365 Group Sync (Far Future)

Towards the end of the session a number of people asked about integration with Office 365 Groups.  It was mentioned that this is in the road map but not timeline could be confirmed as they are working hard at bringing Yammer into the Microsoft infrastructure.

Download all the PowerPoint and Videos from #msignite

Just a quick post to spread the word.  This awesome PowerShell script (which is currently running on my server!) downloads all the content from this years Microsoft Ignite 2015 conference.

Blog Announcement: http://absolute-sharepoint.com/2015/05/the-ultimate-script-to-download-microsoft-ignite-videos-and-slides.html

Script Download: https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/all-the-Ignite-Videos-and-b952f5ac

Thanks goes to Vlad Catrinescu…


Categories: Work Tags:

Using your phone to take notes at #msignite or the conference / meeting of your choice

Ok… so you’re at a conference… you need to take notes and capture your thoughts as the presentations go.

Yes, you can download the Presentations and Video’s later but what do you do, when you are in the moment, listening to the presentation.

Pen and paper I guess is a possibility, but we are techies! There has to be a better way… and there is!  (Besides, I don’t know about you but the more I work in IT, my handwriting has got worse and worse…)

OneNote coupled with Office Lens!

Now that Microsoft is supporting multiple platforms, I use my trusty iPhone 6 with OneNote to write the notes and I use Office Lens to take screenshots of the presentation on the screen.  The results are impressive! Very impressive.

OneNote is of course excellent at taking notes and synchronizes back to your OneDrive / OneDrive for Business

IMG_0784 IMG_0785

OneNote is of course excellent at taking notes and synchronizes back to your OneDrive / OneDrive for Business

Office Lens allows you to take photos at different angles (use the document feature against the presentation screen) and it sorts it all our for you.


Import into OneNote and you are done! (I tend to save in my phone’s photo library and import exactly where I want it in my notes)

IMG_0789 IMG_0791

So there you have it… easy notes that sync back home and ready to send out to people when you get back to work!

Office Lens links:

Overview: http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/news/features/officelens-031714.aspx

You can download from all modern app stores (iOS, Android & Windows Phone)

Till the next time…

#Microsoft #MSIgnite Day 3 #Office365 #Cloud #SharePoint #ProjectOnline #Apps / #Add-ins

Paul Mather
I am a Project Server and SharePoint consultant but my main focus currently is around Project Server.
I have been working with Project Server for nearly five years since 2007 for a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner in the UK, I have also been awared with the Microsoft Community Contributor Award 2011.
I am also a certified Prince2 Practitioner.

This article has been cross posted from pwmather.wordpress.com (original article)

Day 3 of Microsoft’s Ignite conference I went to sessions covering what’s next for SharePoint 2016 for an IT Pro, a session on App /Add-in provisioning and deployment, planning for Internet performance and capacity, how to deploy Project: online and server and the final session was on a developer session for Project.

The first session of the day was on what’s was new for SharePoint 2016 for an IT Pro covered all of the new features and changes in SharePoint 2016 that will improve the performance, deployment and availability of SharePoint. As most of you know, my focus is Project / Project Server / Project Online (the site title gives that away :)) so I was keen to hear about what was going to change in the SharePoint world as that will directly impact Project Server too. All of these great new features that the SharePoint product team are introducing in SharePoint 2016, Project Server 2016 also benefits from these.

The key changes mentioned this morning were that SharePoint 2016 requires Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows Server 10 for the OS and SQL Server 2014 SP1 x64 or SQL Server vNext x64. SharePoint 2016 no longer supports a standalone install using SQL Express, SQL Server will need to be installed on the box. The upgrade path from previous version is the database upgrade approach. If the SharePoint farm is earlier than 2013, the databases will need to be upgraded to SP 2013 before SP 2016.

SharePoint 2016 uses a MinRole approach for User roles / services, Robot services and cache services. The user services are for all user generated requests such as page loads, project, excel and one note etc. The robot service all for all system generated requests such as timer jobs and provisioning. I’m sure you can guess what the cache role is for :). The roles are setup on the install using the configuration wizard, you can choose whether the server is a web front end, application server, search, distributed cache or a specialised role. The specialised role option enables you to determine the server role by starting / stopping the services running on the farm (like 2007, 2010 and 2013). There is a new health analyser for the MinRole feature. This health rule will check that the correct services are running on that server based on the role selected on the install. If the specialised role is selected that particular server will be ignored by the new health check.

Patching of SharePoint 2016 has greatly been improved as mentioned here. There is now zero down time for build to build patches with SharePoint 2016 as this a an online process where as before the process took services offline. The patches are also a lot smaller, with a lot less MSI and MSP files so the patching process is quicker.

The software boundaries have not yet been confirmed but will be increased, the indicated boundaries are content DBs in the Terabytes, 100,000 site collections per content DB, the list threshold will be great than 5000, the max file size has been increased to 10 GB and character limit restrictions removed, index items increased to 500 million items.

Other key changes include, a change to the user profile service to remove the built in FIM service, this is now possible to use an external FIM server. The Project Server database has been merged into the SharePoint content DB but it is still licensed separately. Links are now durable so that if a link to a document is emailed to a colleague then at a later date the document name changes or the document is moved in 2013 the link would be broken but in 2016 the link would still work as the links are based on resource ID based URLs. There are options to view how the systems is used, browsers, sites accessed etc. to give you insight and have a better understanding of trends. There are improvements to the “Follow” functionality so that it works across on-premise and online. Hybrid deployment configuration is now possible via the UI rather than PowerShell.

The second session I went to was around app / add-in provisioning and deployment, nothing new here in the technology just an overview of what can currently be done. Only new (ish) change is the name, apps are now known as add-ins.

The third session I went to was planning for Internet performance and capacity with Office 365. This session covered the things your network admins should be aware of. If migrating from on-prem to Office 365 (or any cloud based solution for that matter), it is key that you have good baseline information for the network bandwidth usage so that you can work out if you need a more bandwidth. For Exchange / Outlook: http://bit.ly/1DTlD5j for Skype for Business (Lync): http://bit.ly/1zNKIUf for OneDrive for Business: http://bit.ly/1DTlD5m. Other general recommendations for SharePoint are around caching with proxies, also considering using WAN accelerators and for working with documents using the Office Web App rather than the rich clients. For Outlook it is recommended to use Cache mode and by pass any proxies and also use the latest version of the Outlook client.

The fourth session was on Project Online and Project Server – an intro into deployment for both environments.

The last session of the day for me was the developer session for project. This covered general best practice for developing add-ins for Project and Project Online. A demo of the new Project client JavaScript APIs that now allow you to write back to the project plan from the task pane – a great improvement for the task pane add-ins for Project. You can also get all tasks in one go too which is.

This evening finished with an MVP social event at the House of Blues which was great.

That’s it for today.

Categories: Paul Mather, Work Tags:

We found a specialist in the battle between #sharepoint and #yammer social!!! #msignite


Categories: Work

The #msignite experience from the view of a customer–SharePoint 2016

Putting things in context…

If you have followed this blog over the last few years, you will know that I am no longer part of the Microsoft Partner Network and I now find myself working on the other side of the fence.

Rather than looking for the very latest technologies and keeping myself up to speed to aid my customer’s requirements, I now have a specific customer in mind, with specific requirements.

Right now I manage a team of .NET and SharePoint developers and contractors with a heavy emphasis on wanting to know how to develop in cloud based technologies such as Office 365, Azure etc.

Anyway, so lets talk about the sessions (multiple blog posts to come) and discussions at the Office Expo area (vendor stands)

SharePoint 2016 Roadmap and New Features

Delve and the Office Graph API

So they are bring SharePoint 2016 to the On-Premise environment with the key feature that Microsoft is bringing down is Delve and along with that the office graph API.

For those not in the know… Delve has been around for little in the Office 365 space but this will be the first time bringing the technology to the On-Premise environment and if you are to believe the hype in the conference… Delve and more to the point the Office Graph technology is the future in bringing disparate information to the end user from most technologies in the Microsoft Online space.

So lets talk about the Office Graph API… essentially it is the API to their machine learning engine behind the scenes, designed to bring together the information that is relevant to you!

Delve is the current front-end view of this API that surfaces the information from SharePoint, OneDrive, Search, Office 365 Video, & Exchange for now… but the API is in place for you to add your own custom apps!

New Blog Experience / Next Gen Portals

Along for the ride is new terminology called Next Gen Portals.  Designed to be a single consistent experience for a particular piece of functionality.

For example,

  • Blogs with the ability to drag images into the page that automatically get uploaded and stored
  • Knowledge Management portals
  • You Tube like Video Portals (O365 Video API’s are coming we are told!)
  • New Personal Profile (as part of Delve) – the Me Contact Card

The theme being very much, why do all this customization to your portals, the 1st class experience is available out of the box and will be available On-Premise as well as on Office 365.

Hybrid Cloud Search

Introduced with the 2016 release will be a new Managed Service that will allow us to combine Office 365 Search and On-Premise Search into a single set of results (yes, all refiners will work across both indexes!).  This is to help with Office 365 adoption in hybrid scenarios.

This coupled with the fact that the Office Graph API (built on top of search) essentially means you can inject search results and have them surface up in delve makes the whole proposition very powerful.

This hybrid Managed Service capability is also coming to SharePoint 2013 later this year!

Document ID’s

The Document ID is no longer limited to a Site Collection and now works across the Farm.  This is now known as Durable Links.

The User Profile Service is dead! long live the User Profile Service!

So what on earth do I mean by that?  Well it will no longer be a Managed Service within SharePoint 2016.  AD Import will still exist within SharePoint but if you want to still use the User Profile service, you will need to setup FIM (Forefront Identity Manager) as a separate server outside of the SharePoint Farm.

Personally I believe this is a good thing… FIM was cut down within SharePoint caused no end of troubles!

Testing / Reliability

Also highlighted was the amount of testing that has gone into SharePoint 2016.  It is clear that this version is only a step change compared to SharePoint 2013 but as a result, we have better experiences that are well tested from the various learning and implementations of the Office 365, SharePoint Online solutions.

Distributed Cache has been vastly improved in reliability.

As part of this, there is a solemn promise that One Drive for Business Sync will be improved with a brand new version coming soon.  (Thank goodness for that – no more Groove / SharePoint Workspace related products please!)

Installation and setup changes

You can now build servers with specific roles from the Product Config Wizard… this includes roles such as:

  • Web Front-end
  • Search
  • Application
  • Distributed Cache
  • As well as other, depending on your need.

This is designed to minimize workloads for specific purposes and although you could do this before… it certainly makes life easier!

Zero downtime patching

It has been recognized that patching is a nightmare nowadays with the bi-monthly patches often being bigger than SharePoint’s initial install to allow for differences in patch versions.

Install’s are long and the farm is out of commission whilst doing so.

It is also recognized that patches need to be tested thoroughly still, due to the amount of changes inside them.

So to help improve this situation for On-Premise… they introduced the idea of Zero downtime patching with SharePoint 2016.  Patches can be applied without downtime of the servers.

Not too much more was said about this during the roadmap session but I suspect to learn more throughout the week!

Release Schedule

Lastly, what we all really wanted to know and confirm!  The release schedule for SharePoint 2016

  • SharePoint 2016 Beta 1 – Q4 2015
  • SharePoint 2016 Release Candidate – Q1 2016
  • SharePoint 2016 RTM (Release To Manufacturing) – Q2 2016

Ok that’s it… more to follow when I get time…

#Microsoft #MSIgnite Day 2 #Office365 #Cloud #Office #SharePoint #ProjectOnline #PowerBI

Paul Mather
I am a Project Server and SharePoint consultant but my main focus currently is around Project Server.
I have been working with Project Server for nearly five years since 2007 for a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner in the UK, I have also been awared with the Microsoft Community Contributor Award 2011.
I am also a certified Prince2 Practitioner.

This article has been cross posted from pwmather.wordpress.com (original article)

Today was the 2nd day of Microsoft’s Ignite conference, a summary of my 1st day if you missed it can be found here: http://bit.ly/1OWSimb – one thing I did miss off this was the end of the day keynote that gave details into Microsoft Research – a great summary here.

So today started out with the Project Portfolio Roadmap, this session announced some key changes for Microsoft PPM – these were highlighted in a blog post yesterday: http://bit.ly/1GMDm0n so i won’t cover these again. Look out for blog post covering these topics in detail soon.

The next session I went to was the Power BI overview where some improvements were discussed around new visualisations, content packs and the Power BI designer. Power BI is a great data visualisation tool!

The 3rd session of the day for me was the Tools and Tips for administering Office 365. This session demonstrated some great new report dashboards and Power BI content packs for visualising usage data for Office 365. There will also be workload specific roles in Office 365, so not just the usual Global admin, billing admin etc. there will be SharePoint Admin, Skype for Business Admin etc. Also improvements to the Office 365 Admin mobile app such as push notifications were on the roadmap. It was also clear PowerShell will still play a key part in Office 365 admin. A blog post can be seen here: http://bit.ly/1JpQWtu

The final session of the day for me was Building Solutions with Office Graph. Office Graph is very exciting and opens up a lot of opportunities to be able to map the relationships between people, content and interactions from all of the Office 365 workloads.

Walking around the Expo hall I came across the MVP wall which was cool:


That’s it for now until tomorrow.

Categories: Paul Mather, Work Tags:

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