Microsoft 365

My Favourite Microsoft Teams Hidden Features

Microsoft Teams is a very big program, essentially combining together equivalent functionality to Skype, Slack, Zoom, Google Drive, VOIP phone systems, and a few more all into one… plus the ability to develop your own apps for it. New features keep coming at a rapid pace. That makes it easy to miss some of the helpful little things that Teams offers. I’ll have more posts soon about organization admin settings and policies for Teams, but here are a few of my favourite tricks that most typical users can take advantage of in their own workflows but may not be obvious.

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Google vs Microsoft Handling of Personal and Business Accounts

I recently started doing an email migration into Google Workspace. As I was creating the users, I encountered a wrinkle: one of the email addresses already had a personal Google account associated with it. Google gave me two options:

  1. Notify the user of the personal account, prompting them to allow the account to be claimed by the organization.
  2. Create a different user.

There was no option to allow the email to be associated with both a personal and a business account at the same time.

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Movie Directory Part 4: Import

This continues a short series about a movie directory personal project exploring Power Apps and Dataverse. In the first three posts, I’ve laid out the data structure in Dataverse and the app itself. This post will tackle how I was able to quickly fill in the 300+ movies in our collection converting from our previous system, files on a computer arranged for use on a Plex server. This will all be done in Power Automate.

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Microsoft Excel vs SharePoint Lists

I’ve been asked the question before: when should I use Microsoft Excel and when should I use SharePoint lists? At first I didn’t have a great answer, but I thought about it, looked into it a bit more, and this is what I settled on:

Excel is better when you need to do operations on the whole data set. SharePoint lists are better when the list items stand more-or-less as independent objects.

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Movie Directory Part 1: The Data

I recently decided to do more experimentation with Dataverse (formerly Common Data Service) in the Power Platform. I did this by making myself an app to solve a need I have myself: a movie directory app. I wanted to be able to:

  • Track in what formats I own a movie (Blu-ray, DVD, digital)
  • Link to JustWatch to find where I could stream a movie
  • Assign a movie to different lists
  • Streamline a process for grabbing the movie cover image
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Overriding a SharePoint Site’s Home Page

This post continues a series on SharePoint site provisioning, unpacking some of the problems I’ve faced and overcome in building SharePoint site provisioning solutions.

At this point in the series, we’ve now created new SharePoint sites and applied temporary site scripts and site designs. There is one big feature missing from site scripts and site designs, though: templating the home page. You can’t simply say that a project site design should always contain a home page with these specific web parts. This may not be true forever – Microsoft is steadily improving site templating – but as of working on this project a few months ago, it required a bit of a workaround.

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Microsoft Cloud App Security

If you’re an IT admin, do you know what apps users are putting on devices alongside company data? Do you know all the apps that they are directly putting company data into, thinking it helps solve a problem for them? This is the problem of “Shadow IT.” If it’s a personal device, it’s even worse, as they might be installing all kinds of insecure apps without IT approval and it wouldn’t take much to make a mistake like copying and pasting company data or uploading a file into the wrong app.

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