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

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

Multi messenger Franz 5

In this post I present Franz, a multi-messenger for Windows, MacOS and Linux to you. How many messaging services are you using? Probably more than three, right? It’s a common challenge to cope with several services on several devices, everywhere it rings, you get popups and notifications.

Franz could help you, at least on Windows, MacOS and Linux. You can have a single-pane of glass, one app to deal with all your messaging services (Whats App, Skype, Hangouts, Slack, ICQ, Gmail, Outlook for O365, LinkedIn, Teams, and many more), see below and on the website.

Screenshot Franz 5 on Windows (available services, just a few)
Screenshot Franz 5 on Windows (available services, e.g. Microsoft Teams)

What feature does Franz offer?

Just to name a few, Franz offers the following features and messenger capabilities:

  • Unlimited amount of services
  • Desktop notifications & notification management
  • Workspaces to order/group/control your services
  • Multi-language support / availability
  • Cloud synced
  • Multiple instances
  • Extensible

How much is it?

There are basically two options available

  • Free (adverts, no team & workspace features, …) 0 €*
  • Premium (ad free, team & workspace features, onprem/hosted services, …) 4 €/month or 36 €/year*

* Prices are subject to change at anytime. Prices here are just a indication and not binding at any time.

Conclusion, opinion and summary

Great concept, great idea, I really like the idea of combining every messaging service into a single app instead of multiple apps. That’s really a hub for messaging. Although it’s a great tool I’m missing a app for mobiles, e.g. iOS and Android.

In my opinion Franz is very nice solution to cope with many messaging services in one tool on your Windows, MacOS and Linux desktop.

Additional Resources

AI Builder & Microsoft Power Platform

In this post I like to share exciting news on a low-code AI service for your starting to enable AI for your company using Microsofts Power Platform.

In June 2019 Microsoft launched the AI Builder preview. This AI builder enables your users to build easy Power Platform-based business solutions enriched with artificial intelligence (AI).

What is the Microsoft Power Platform?

The Microsoft Power Platform offers capabilities to build solutions to solve business problems without coding or with little coding skills. It includes mainly the following services:

  • Microsoft Flow –> to automate processes
  • Microsoft Power BI –> to visualize data
  • Microsoft Power Apps –> app platform to build apps for input and output
Source: https://powerplatform.microsoft.com/en-us/

I’ll not dig deeper into a detailed explanation, therefore I add some links at the bottom of this post for your self-study and to get started.

What’s AI builder?

As the name already tells, AI builder offers to a service to build an AI-enriched solution in conjunction with the Power Platform. So? Well, what can I do now? As of now you can use the following AI capabilities:

  • Object detection –> e.g. identify and track your products
  • Prediction –> e.g. predict / forecast business outcomes based on as-is and historical business data
  • Text classification –> e.g. map text input of a customer feedback to a value
  • Form processing –> e.g. extract form-based inputs within a flow an process it
https://flow.microsoft.com/en-us/ai-builder/
AI Builder (preview) in Flow –> Prediction
Source: https://flow.microsoft.com/en-us/ai-builder/

Conclusion, opinion and summary

In my opinion AI builder is a great option to get started with building AI enriched business processes to increase your business process efficiency. The most meaningful advantages of AI builder are:

  • Easy to use (no or low code, “click it together”)
  • For every skill level
  • Extensible (integrate/use with Microsoft Power Platform & Dynamics 365)

Additional Resources

Microsoft Teams Federated Chat Experience Update 06-2019

In this post I like to highlight news about an long awaited feature for your federated chat experience.

Today (June 2019), if you have federated chat with external Team (only) users (no guest, no Teams Team, other tenant) it’s a limited chat experience because you can have plain chat, video and audio.

The item on the roadmap now tells us that we can expect a richer experience within federate chat between Teams-only users to be released in July 2019. What does this mean? Well, as it reads on the roadmap is seems that Microsoft will provide the same rich chat features as today available for internal Teams chat.

Source: Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 52394

Conclusion, opinion and summary

Yey, I’m looking forward to this update. I communicate with many different external users (suppliers, customers, partners) via Teams. However, not all the time communication and collaboration is required within online meetings or a dedicated Teams team/O365 group. That’s why I often tend to use the plain 1:1 chat or 1:n chat for a nice and easy communication.

I’m looking forward if the as-is federated chat experience will be enhanced with features and capabilities which are available for non-federated Teams chat today.

Additional Resources