Office 365 Update: Simple sharing links now visible in Office 2013 and 2016

An update in our Office 365 tenant: Simple sharing links now visible in Office 2013 and 2016! Message from Microsoft:

We’re updating SharePoint and OneDrive, so simple sharing links will be visible within Office 2013 and Office 2016. This feature will begin rolling out May 23rd.

How does this affect me?
Currently, Office 2013 and Office 2016 do not display a simple sharing link (a link that anyone inside your organization can access) when organizations have anonymous links disabled in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business. With this change, Office clients will display simple sharing links if they have this setting enabled. This will be true, even if they have anonymous (guest) links disabled.
What do I need to do to prepare for this change?
For the most part, you will not need to take any action for this change. If you have disabled anonymous (guest) links, you may want to review the impact of this change, with your company security policies. Update your external sharing settings for your SharePoint Online environment, as appropriate. Please click Additional Information to learn more.

Office 365 Groups: Bulk addition of members of a Distribution List or Office 365 Groups

Today a new feature has been announced for one of my favorite services from Redmond: Office 365 Groups! Hereby the official statement from Christophe Fiessinger:

“Office 365 Groups owners can now easily add all members of an existing Distribution List (DL) or from an existing Office 365 Group to an existing or new group from Outlook on the Web. See this document for more details. Note we’ve also published these scripts and guidance to help you migrate DL to Groups.”

I am very happy to see so many useful new features being announced for Groups recently. Go Microsoft!


Yammer External Groups are here!

Great news from the Yammer front! External Groups are announced:

Whether you need to work closely with customers, vendor partners, or suppliers, there will be times when you need to collaborate with people outside your organization. To help improve the way these extended teams get work done, we are very pleased to announce a new feature that will allow users to create external groups in Yammer.

External groups provide a seamless and secure way to collaborate across organizational boundaries, allowing members from outside your company access to all conversations and content in the group.

We’ve added several key features to ensure security of network data is maintained. These include:

  • Creating a separate section for all external groups
  • Requiring group admin approval for external members to join
  • Providing the ability to implement Exchange Transport Rules (ETRs)
  • Using clear indicators in the UI that alert users to the presence of external team members
  • The data export tool includes additional functionality to help verified admins see which files and conversations are accessible to external users

The external groups feature will begin rolling out to Yammer networks this week.  Below we have compiled some of the most frequently asked questions. We also have additional support documentation with more in-depth materials on how to create and manage external groups in Yammer.

FAQ and Additional Resources

Q: Can users add external people to existing groups?

A: No, external groups must be created as a new group.  We’ve done this to clearly separate out external groups from other groups in Yammer.

Q: I don’t want External Groups enabled for my network. What options do I have to disable it?

A: The best way to control external messaging in your Yammer network is by choosing your Yammer Network to enforce your Exchange Transport Rules in Yammer. For more details on how this works, please see Control external messaging in a Yammer network with Exchange Transport Rules. If you don’t want to use Exchange Transport Rules to block users you will need to contact support to opt out from external messaging and groups.

Q: Our company has opted out of External Messaging. Can we still use External Groups?

A: Because external groups are built on the same architecture as external messaging, external messages must be enabled in order to receive the external groups capability.

Click here to learn more.



Video Portal – Optimizations & Fixes to Embedded Video Player

Optimizations & fixes haven been announced for the awesome Office 365 Video Portal:

We just pushed live a 4 fixes and optimizations to the embedded video player. Let me know if you find any issues or problems.

1. We now attempt to “silently” login from within the embedded player iframe

Previously there were scenarios where a user was already logged into O365 (Yammer, Outlook, Sway, or some SSO cases) but they hadn’t visited SharePoint Online, as such we showed the login button to the user instead of the player.

Now we attempt to do a silent login if we don’t have all the auth cookies we need to render the player. If we succeed in the silent login we’ll auto refresh the player to show the video.

This may help in some of your SSO cases where before you saw a login button instead of the video.

We are hoping this lessens the amount of times that users see login buttons on embed when they really are auth’d.

2. We fixed a bug where subtitles weren’t showing on the embedded player

If you had subtitles for a video we had a bug recently introduced last week that caused the subtitles not to show up. That’s fixed now.

3. We don’t render the player until the user clicks play

Previously we’d render the video player right away on embed if you are logged in. We had some issues where videos would auto-play or play for a split second before pausing on IE11 / Win 7 /Flash.

Now we just show a thumbnail for the video and a play button. When you click the video we load the player and start playing. This avoids the auto-play issues we were seeing previously.

4. You can embed O365 Videos in Sway now

If you grab an embed code and put it into your Sway it’ll work!

Click here to learn more.

Video Portal – First Release – Custom Guidelines Links

A new feature has been announced for the awesome Office 365 Video Portal:

This small new feature gives the video portal Admin the ability to add links to guidelines, help documents, or other information directly on the video portal itself. 

This has been requested by many of you as a way to get your IT help documentation and guidelines directly into the video portal.

Try it out! As a Video Portal Admin…

Go to the video portal home page > Portal Settings > Links to guidelines > enter your links

You can specify a different link to show up on the video portal home page and the upload page.

Then go to the home page of the video portal and the upload page to see the new buttons that got added. The buttons when clicked will open up your link in a new tab.

Click here to learn more.