Tag: Office365

Did you know … Teams can automatically record meetings you schedule?

I don’t record all of my meetings — I probably don’t even record most of my meetings. But I schedule the occasional training session. And it really sucks when no one remembers to start recording … and we realize we missed the first fifteen minutes or so. Luckily, Teams has added an option to automatically record a meeting when it starts. No needing to remember to click record. No worrying that no one else thinks to kick off the recording if you are a bit late. When scheduling a meeting through Teams, there are a few settings on the right-hand side of the new meeting form. Simply toggle ‘Record automatically’ to on.


Voila — when I start the meeting, it immediately starts recording.

Using Excel to turn week of month and day of week into actual dates

Our patching schedules are algorithmic – the 1st Tuesday of the month, the 3rd Wednesday of the month, etc. But that’s not particularly useful for notifying end users or for us to verify functionality after patching.

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Long term, I think we can pull the source data from a database and create appointment items each month for whatever list of servers will be patched that month based on a relative date (so no one has to add new servers or remove decommissioned servers). But, short term? I really wanted a way to see what date a server would be patched. So I created a but of a convoluted spreadsheet to produce this information based on a list of servers and patching schedule patterns.

There are two “extra” tabs used – “Dates” used to say what month and year I want the patching dates for

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And “ServerData” which provides a cross-reference between the server names and a useful description.

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There are then a series of formulae used to add columns to our source data. First, the “Function” is populated in column G with a VLOOKUP =VLOOKUP(B2,ServerData!A:B,2,FALSE)

Columns I and J break the “1st Saturday” into the two components – week of month and day of week –

I =LEFT(C2,3)
J =RIGHT(C2,LEN(C2)-4)

Columns K and L then map these components into numeric values I can use in a formula:

K =IF(I2=”1st”,1,IF(I2=”2nd”,2,IF(I2=”3rd”,3,IF(I2=”4th”,4,”Unscheduled”))))
L =IF(J2=”Sunday”,1,IF(J2=”Monday”,2,IF(J2=”Tuesday”,3,IF(J2=”Wednesday”,4,IF(J2=”Thursday”,5,IF(J2=”Friday”,6,IF(J2=”Saturday”,7,”Unscheduled”)))))))

And finally a formula in column H that turns the week of month and day of week values into an actual date within the month and year on the “Dates” tab:

H =DATE(Dates!$B$2,Dates!$A$2,1+7*K2)-WEEKDAY(DATE(Dates!$B$2,Dates!$A$2,8-L2))

Voila – I have a spreadsheet that says we should expect to see this specific list of servers being patched tonight.

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Did you know … you can chat with yourself in Teams?

I’ll admit it — I send myself emails. And text messages. And, back before smart phones, I sent myself voice messages too. That was one item where Teams was as step backwards — I had to make my own Teams space (with just me as a member!) in order to send myself notes here. But not anymore …
You can finally chat with yourself! Note that retention policies may be shorter in chats than Teams spaces … so you might still want to go the route of creating your own Teams space to ensure that note you send yourself for an end-of-the-year task or a list of accomplishments for your annual review are still around when you need them. But for quick notes so you remember something tomorrow (or next week, or three weeks from now), chatting with yourself is perfect for holding short-term reminders.


Did you know … Teams shows timezone offsets for individuals

Teams now shows the timezone offset and local time for individuals — because it’s always 2AM somewhere!

The contact card that comes up when you click on a user in Microsoft Teams now includes the current local time and time zone offset information for the individual — very useful to avoid ringing someone up at 2AM.

Did you know … You can (kinda) pin Microsoft Teams messages?

You can pin messages … but I wouldn’t say pinning a message has the result I’d expect. First, how to do it. On any channel message, you can click the ellipsis to access a menu. Select “Pin”.

You’ll get a warning that the message will be pinned for everyone … sounds good, right? If you want everyone to read the rules of the Teams space or to read the “NDA Applies To These Discussions” notice, you want the message pinned for everyone. Click “Pin” to continue.

Aaaand … everyone sees the message highlighted (and a little pin icon). The message is not, however, pinned to the bottom of the conversation list where everyone is sure to notice it. It is not displayed at the top of the current page where everyone is sure to notice it.

But there is a way to quickly view pinned messages in a channel. In the upper right-hand corner of the channel’s conversation list, find the little info icon. It’s the one you’ve never noticed because it didn’t do anything too useful … right next to the ‘meet’ button. Click it.

Scroll past the ‘About’ and ‘Members’ section of the info, and you will see any pinned posts.


Microsoft Teams Pinned Channels

“Pinned” channels are basically links to channels that get a listing at the top of your Teams list for quick access. The way they list the pinned teams is kind of backwards in my mind — the big text is the channel name and the small text is the team name. So I’ve got a channel named “IT Maintenance and Outage Notifications” in the “NBI/NDI” team.

If you don’t want them pinned to the top, hover your mouse over the listing and an ellipsis will appear to open more options.

Click on ‘unpin’, and the pinned link to the channel will go away.


New Microsoft Teams Feature – Dragging Attachment from Outlook to Teams

Can’t say I’ve needed to get an Outlook attachment into Teams myself – I try to store my files in OneDrive and e-mail links instead of e-mailing a copy of the file. When I need to update something, there’s no need to send an updated copy; and no one needs to figure out if they’re looking at the “right” version. Click the link now, and you have the right version. But there are certainly scenarios where you’d have attachments to share in Teams – especially if you interact with people outside of the organization. And you used to have to save the attachment and then share it into Teams. Not anymore – you can now drag attachments directly from Outlook into Teams (this works with the Teams web client too – but you cannot use the Outlook web client for this method. The message with an attachment needs to be opened in Outlook).

If you’ve got multiple monitors, this is easier … but, if not, shrink the Outlook window so you can see both the message and Teams. Then drag the attachment icon into the message composition box in Teams. You’ll see text that says “Drop your files here” appear in Teams.

Release the mouse, and the file will be uploaded to Teams.


New Teams Features for Developers

Two new features announced that might be of interest to developers — the first one might provide a mechanism to move (well, copy) content between Teams spaces. You can read channel messages from a Teams space, analyze it, then use this new API to mirror the content into a new Teams space.

Importing third-party platform messages to Microsoft Teams is now available in beta

These new capabilities give you the ability to import channel messages into a new team, specify the message sender and timestamp and link to files. These capabilities are built with scale in mind. At a high level, the import process consists of the following:
• Create a team with a back-in-time timestamp
• Create a channel with a back-in-time timestamp
• Import external back-in-time dated messages
• Complete the team and channel migration process
• Add team members

Teams Meeting Scheduling Link Template

With the new Teams Meeting Scheduling Link Template, developers can embed a meeting link generator directly into their scheduling platform–providing an easy way for users to create Teams meeting links and share them directly with participants.