Exciting news from the Microsoft 365 Roadmap: new messaging extensions for Checklists and Polls are coming to Microsoft Teams:
Messaging extensions are a way for developers to add additional capabilities to the Teams UI. When composing a messaging, the buttons underneath the compose box (where you can add images, GIFs, etc) can be augmented with these messaging extensions. It’s actually really good to see Microsoft using the same extension points that are available to developers to extend the product, rather than relying on secret internal hooks.
The ability to poll users for feedback is already provided by a third-party application called Polly which is very popular. It will be interesting to see how the built-in Microsoft provided version fares and compares. Maybe I’ll do a comparison review
Even if the Microsoft offering ends up being the default favorite, Polly have already diversified with an offering called AgilePolly which is aimed at streamlining the agile standup process for teams, using Microsoft Teams. Polly is also available on a number of other platforms as well.
For Checklists, it will be interesting to see if this is standalone to-do type application or whether there is any integration with existing to-do solutions Microsoft already has in the Office365 suite, such as Outlook Tasks or Microsoft ToDo.
Both new extensions have a forecasted release date of April 2020, so hopefully we’ll get to play with them both in the near future.
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On March 10th, Drew Madelung and myself had the pleasure to host a webinar with Senior Program Manager Divyachapan (DC) Padur, and Senior Software Engineer Matt Mooty from Microsoft.
Multilingual in modern SharePoint Online is a brand-new feature that just came out, so we had over 300 attendees and a ton of interesting questions on the feature, so make sure you watch the webinar, and also check out the Q&A below. I highly recommend you watch the webinar and the demos inside before the questions, as some of the questions might not make sense if you have never seen the feature before!
Modern SharePoint Multilingual FAQ
Q: What is the timeline for the Global Rollout of this feature?
Targeted release tenants will see this option starting in March 2020, and it will go in General Availability starting with May 2020.
Q: What can we do to get the feature faster in our organization?
The fastest way to get the feature is to make sure that your Office 365 tenant is set in Targeted Release
Q:Will the modern SharePoint Online Multilingual feature work for Team Sites as well, or only for Communication Sites?
In this first release of multilingual, it will be only for communication sites. If you have business cases for it to work on Team Sites as well, please add it / vote for it on UserVoice and let Microsoft know it’s important!
Q: Once we create a site in SharePoint Online with a certain language as the default, can we change the default language?
Q: Is this going to be available on-premises in SharePoint 2019, or online only?
Online Only. It remains to be seen if it will be included in a potential SharePoint Server vNext, but it will not be available in SharePoint 2019.
Q: Will we be able to enable this on existing communication sites, or only new ones?
You will be able to enable it on any existing / new communication site in SharePoint Online
Q: What languages will be available with this feature?
All of the different languages supported in SharePoint Online will also be supported for SharePoint Multilingual
Q: Will this work for languages written from right to left as well?
Q: Will content be deep linked? Meaning if I am on Page XYZ in English and I switch to French, will I be redirected to the linked page, or to the home page of the French site?
Content is deep linked, so you will be redirected to the version of that page in French
Q: Where are pages created / what is the general information architecture for SharePoint Online Multilingual?
Insite the SitePages folder, there will be one folder per language that you enable for that multilingual site.
Q: I am currently using the SharePoint Online PnP multilingual solution. What is the migration path to go to this out of the box version?
There is no official migration path, but the PnP team might be working on documentation to allow you to migrate. As this relates to PnP best to ask directly on the PnP Github on the multilingual solution.
Q: Can the translator of a page be an Active Directory Group instead of only a user? Can it be a guest user if the translator is external?
The translator can be set to an Active Directory e-mail enabled security group, or a guest. You need to make sure to also give contribute permissions to the group/guest as setting a user as a translator does not give them any permissions at all, it’s simply for notifications.
Q:Is machine translation supported? Can we automate any translation of the content or is it all 100% manual?
All translation is manually done by a user, there is no integration with any automatic translation service.
Q: Are there any Power Automate ways to interact with this feature?
Not at this time
Q: Will the SharePoint mobile app be aware of the translated pages and behave the same way? So a user would see the news from a site in their preferred language
That is planned but there is no release date set.
Q: What happens if a page is simply updated?
The translators will receive an e-mail notification that content might need updating, and they can use the version history to see what was changed in the original language, and decide if they do the update in their own language or not
Q: If a user goes to the root of a multilingual site, will they be shown the default language or their preferred language?
Q: What happens if a user’s preferred language is French, but the site is only in English (default) and Spanish?
The user will be redirected to the default language of the site.
Q:Can we hide content that hasn’t been translated yet from users?
When a page is created in a new language it will be in draft mode by default. End Users won’t see it until it gets published by a user with the appropriate rights
Q:Will the translators receive the e-mail notifications in their preferred language?
The translators will receive notifications e-mail in the default language of the site
Q: Can there be content differences between translated sites, so only specified section of the site get translated?
Translation is done on a page by page basis, so if you translate some pages but not others you can have only parts of a site translated. There is no restriction that translation pages have similar content.
Pages not translated into a user’s preferred language will be available in the site default language.
Q: Can the navigation be translated as well?
The navigation (both site and hub) can be translated the same way as the rest of the content. Even when switching language in the content (ex: Spanish user going to English page) the navigation will be shown in their preferred language.
Q: Can we have different navigation items per language?
No, the navigation will show up in all languages, so you cannot have a different amount of headers per language.
Q: What about translation of the non-page content? Content Types / List & Library Titles / Column Names / Documents?
A huge thank you to DC and Matt for taking the time not only for the webinar, but also to help answer the questions below! To view all the information on Multilingual from Microsoft you can also check http://spo.ms/mlp
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Miken’s client, a financial services organization, had been leveraging Slack for over a year in conjunction with G Suite before considering Office 365.
“When Microsoft revealed Teams, our client’s interest in Office 365 peaked. Why would you continue using Slack if you can have all of that real-time collaboration tied into the pure integration and immersion of Office 365?” said Chief Technology Architect Jason Robison, Miken Technologies.
During their client’s consideration and evaluation of Office 365, Miken found this to be a suitable time to leverage Microsoft’s Customer Immersion Experience. Through this hands-on involvement; Miken’s client was able to step into the shoes of an Office 365 owner and feel the seamless collaboration, notably with Microsoft Teams.
“The Customer Immersion Experience really pushed this company in the direction of Office 365,” said Robison.
Natively migrating a G Suite to Office 365 requires an app password to be created for each individual account and a 2-step verification to be turned on, making a native migration very time intensive.
In order to make Office 365 a viable option, Miken would need to not only migrate 220GB of their client’s G Suite content, but also their Slack environment to Microsoft Teams while maintaining all prior conversation records.
This quickly ruled out natively migrating from Slack into Teams, which is where Miken’s expertise in finding and evaluating a third-party solution was key.
Using AvePoint Elements FLY, the time devoted to the entire project was reduced by approximately 40 hours.
Robison explains, “We did look at a few other providers. However, they did not cover both the full G Suite and Slack to Teams migrations. Only AvePoint could complete both.”
The most critical piece of the puzzle was ensuring that their Slack conversation history stayed intact.
“Our client really needed to be able to see their Teams conversations just as they were in Slack. AvePoint really stepped up to the plate and was able to make that happen. This was the overall deciding factor,” said Robison.
While making the final decision, Miken didn’t hesitate in putting their faith into the AvePoint product and services team.
Robison explains “When relying on a third-party company, it’s hard to gauge how that partner’s solution will perform. But because of AvePoint’s reputation and how close they are with Microsoft, it was easy to trust them.”
The Bottom Line
After working closely with AvePoint’s Services team to plan and execute a migration, Miken is very satisfied with the process and result of their client’s move into Teams.
“AvePoint is a partner that does what they say. They will ride that ship from beginning to end and make sure that your mutual customer is happy. Between the sales process and execution, the project flowed well and ended with a happy customer,” said Robinson.
“Moving to Microsoft Teams from Slack provided a single pane of glass for compliancy within Office 365. We are no longer required to make changes in two separate products.”
For over 30 years, Miken Technologies has been providing solutions for IT and business communications as well as project management services. They partner with major software/hardware vendors and integrated solutions providers while working closely with clients to both develop and deliver solutions.