How to add guests to business process apps with canvas PowerApps?

In this post I describe what Microsoft provides with canvas apps in PowerApps (in preview, August 2018) to add guests (people not within your company) so that guests can collaborate and work with you on a business process (app) within your Office 365 tenant.

Basically you’ll be able to share canvas PowerApps for guests. What do I have to do?

  1. Create a canvas app in PowerApps
  2. Add guests to your Azure Active Directory
  3. Assign licenses to your newly added guests
  4. Share the (canvas) PowerApps (https://make.powerapps.com)
    Guests will receive a mail notification that they are invited.
  5. Guests can access the shared app via (Browser, iOS, Android)
  6. Collaborate with guests on your business processes apps based on PowerApps
  7. Provide feedback to Microsoft to improve services (see link at the bottom)
Source: https://pixabay.com/illustrations/feedback-confirming-businessmen-2990424/

Conclusion, opinion and summary

The Microsoft PowerPlatform evolves steadily and new capabilities are added to ease collaboration within the Microsoft Cloud as well as with stakeholders external to your cloud tenant. This is a really impressiv journey for all of us.

  • It adds more possibilities to your business, your clients and partners.
  • It enables you, your clients and partners to get things done together within your business processes/es.
  • There are almost infinit opportunities to design your business processes and interactions for business processes by utilizing the PowerPlatform.
  • You can allow collaboration internal as well as external to for your company’s business processes built on (canvas apps) in PowerApps based on the PowerPlatform.
  • You can start with codeless or low-code apps to get things started and also done in little time.

Additional resources

How to enable external users to access PowerApps?

In this post I describe what Microsoft provides with PowerApps Portals (in Preview, August 2018) to enable external users (not within your company) to access your PowerApps-based business apps.

What’s PowerApps at all?

Microsoft PowerApps is basically an app toolbox which you can use to quickly build business apps without being a developer because you can build a business app by clicking it together. It’s part of Office 365 and allows to use what you’ve already got there (Office 365, Dynamics 365 …) or (partially) elsewhere.

What’s PowerApps Portals?

Before the introduction of PowerApps Portals all users need to be within your Office 365 tenant to access your PowerApps-based business apps. PowerApps Portal is a game changer it let’s external users access your business apps via WWW on a public accessible website. You can also control access to the portal, e.g. anonymously, LinkedIn, Microsoft ID, Azure AD account, SAML2, OpenId Connect or else.

Source: https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/introducing-powerapps-portals-powerful-low-code-websites-for-external-users/

Conclusion, opinion and summary

PowerApps Portals is very handy for you if you need to build a business app which is not only accessible for your employees or users which are member of your Office 365 tenant. To enable a wider accessibility to PowerApps can enable more interaction with external users to your company.

Additional resources

Microsoft Flow Online Conference 2019

In this post I like to inform you about the upcoming Microsoft Flow Online Conference 2019. The free (~8-hours) online conference starts at September 10th, 2019 at 9 AM (EST), 15 PM (CEST).

The focus of the online conference is to show how to automate processes and tasks easily (with no or little code) by using Microsoft Flow and related technology from the Office 365 stack and more. And if you might wonder what about Teams integration? Can I automate things in Teams by using Flow? Of course, you can integrate and use Flow in conjunction with Teams. So you can automate processes and integrate it within Teams as your hub of modern teamwork.

Source: https://flow.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/register-for-the-microsoft-flow-online-conference-2019/

Conclusion, opinion and summary

First of all, I already like the format, because it’s an online conference and I do not need to travel far, catch any plane, stuck in any traffic jam or else.

The agenda and list of content looks pretty nice! There’s something for everyone, you can find sessions if you are completely new to Flow but also if you are a bit more advanced and automated some processes and tasks.

Additional resources

Microsoft Teams gets Private Channels in September 2019

Microsoft plans to roll out private channel in Microsoft Teams in September 2019. This is one of the most requested features in Teams.

Finally, this enables to manage and control access to channels in Teams. So only defined users can access a Teams channel within a specific Team.

Source: https://admin.microsoft.com/AdminPortal/Home#/MessageCenter

Conclusion, opinion and summary

I’m looking forward to this feature update because this brings more manageability for team owners within a [Teams] team, if required. Especially, if you have a project team with external guests you might want to have an internal project-related conversation or data exchange, too. So, by secure private channels you have [soon] the option to define such “internal” channels for a project team within a [Teams] team. There’ll be no need to create an extra Team for this use case, just as one possible use case, e.g. you do not need to create two project Teams for [internal] and [external] collaboration. Instead you can utilize secure private channels and avoid creating duplicate Teams due to access-control needs for project contents and collaboration.

Right now ( 8th August 2019) I’m not aware of plans if the feature will come to existing [Teams] teams or only to newly created ones. I hope that it will apply to existing [Teams] teams but we’ll see in September 2019.

Additional resources

B2B Sync with OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online

In this post I like to highlight a highly handy feature update “B2B sync” regarding Microsoft OneDrive for Business for “inter-org collaboration”.

B2B sync enables users to sync not only OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online data of their organization but of other organizations, too! This means that your collaboration experience becomes much better because if you are a guest of an external Team, which is of course hosted in another Office 365 tenant, you’ll be able to sync files from this SharePoint Online, too.

Source: https://pixabay.com/illustrations/download-cloud-icon-network-2013195/

Conclusion, opinion and summary

I like this feature because this enables you to have much more synced data exchange and collaboration with external parties also having Office 365 incl. SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business. So, you do not need to down-/upload files via browser.

Additional resources

Manage discover of private Teams

Microsoft rolls out a new feature which allows to manage the discovery of private Teams.

Source: Microsoft 365 Roadmap (August 2019)

Conclusion, opinion and summary

To manage the discovery of private Teams allows that Teams are listed and searchable like public Teams. However, an user cannot directly join a Team he/she need to get approved by a Team owner in order to join.

You’ll be able to manage this per-Team either via PowerShell or in the Teams GUI.

Addition resources

Skype for Business Online End of Service 2021

In this post I like to highlight a very special date, the 31st of July 2021. The date marks the end of an era of the communication and collaboration with Skype for Business Online.

Microsoft officially announced the retirement of Skype for Business Online by 31st of July 2021.

Source: https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2016/07/28/23/39/cottage-1550083_960_720.jpg

Conclusion, opinion and summary

We had a great time Skype for Business Online. Thanks. However, time changes and so do people, technology and work. Therefore, Microsoft Teams enables ways of modern communication and collaboration which Skype for Business (Online) did not. The retirement date is not that close. So, you’ve got a time frame which should provide sufficient time to plan and migrate to Microsoft Teams.

Additional resources