List of new Office 365 features announced in SharePoint Conference 2018 at Las Vegas

Hi Folks ,

Please go through the images below to have a sneak peek of the new features in Office 365 that was announced in  the SharePoint Conference at Las Vegas .Just in case you have missed to see the SharePoint Virtual Summit you can view the recording from this link .

Note : Most of these features that you see below are yet to be released and few of them are already avaiable for you to use in Office 365 .


Good luck in adopting these new features in Office 365 …..Happy SharePointing!!!


Recording of SharePoint Virtual Summit 2018 :

For all those folks who missed the live streaming of the SharePoint Virtual Summit yesterday , here’s the link to view the recording . #SPC2018


Good luck with all the new features in SharePoint Online & OneDrive for Business ….Happy SharePointing!!!!

Recording of our webinar on “Deep Dive into the new Features of SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business -Part 1 ” by Jayanthi


Webinar Recording :_


Link to the PPT Slides :_

Please keep checking my blog site for more webinars and useful articles .

Good luck with the new features in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business !!!

Co-authoring in SharePoint & Why Check out a document is necessary in SharePoint?

In this article I will discuss about what is co-authoring in SharePoint & why we require to check out a document in SharePoint. SharePoint is the platform where multiple users can work on the same document at the same time.Co-authoring in SharePoint helps multiple users to access a document or edit a document simultaneously.

So let’s get started.

What is Co-Authoring?

Co-Authoring can be defined as several people working on a document at same time. This helps organizations to remove barriers to server-based document collaboration without any server setup which improves user experience & provides consistent access to up-date versions of documents.

What is Required to Co-Author a document?

A )The following locations requires to store a document for co-authoring:-

  1. SharePoint Online.
  2. SharePoint Server.
  3. One Drive for Business.
  4. One Drive Consumer.

Note:-In SharePoint Online co-authoring is enabled by default.

B) Co-authoring Supported apps:-

  1. Excel mobile apps and excel 2016 with O365.

Word and PowerPoint on all devices and versions more recent than Office 2010 that supports co-authoring.

C) Files to be co-authored:-

The following four files can be co-authored:-

  1. Word
  2. Excel
  3. PowerPoint
  4. OneNote

D) Permission Levels:-

For co-authoring a document users must have permissions to access & edit the documents.

How Co-authoring Works with Word & PowerPoint in SharePoint?

  • Co-authoring With Word Document

The following steps illustrate how to co-author with word documents:-

a. Create a team site as shown below.

Co-authoring With Word Document.png

b. Upload the word document as shown in the below screenshot:-

word document.png

c. Open the document in word which you saved & leave it open. Refer below screenshot:-

Word Documents.png

d. Open the same document from another computer which is having office 2013 as well. The below screenshot shows the person editing the document. Here it shows Swati Smita Biswal is the editor of the same document at the same time.

Document Edit.jpg

Notification always appear on the upper right hand corner when another user edits the document at the same time.

  • Co-authoring with PowerPoint

The following steps shows how to co-author with PowerPoint:-

a. Upload the ppt to the SharePoint team site created as shown below.
upload PPT.png               b. Open the ppt and leave it open. Refer below screenshot:-

Open PPT.png                  C. Open the same ppt from another computer .The below screenshot shows the person editing the document. Here                          it shows Ambuja Kulkarni is the editor of the same ppt at the same time appears on the top right corner.

Demo PPT.png

  • Co-Authoring with Excel

The following steps shows how to co-author with Excel Web app:-

a. Upload the excel sheet to the SharePoint team site as shown in the below screen shot

Excel demo.png

b. Open the excel sheet and leave it open. Refer below screenshot.

Excel sheet.png

C. Open the same excel from another computer .The below screenshot shows the person editing the document. Here it shows Ambuja Kulkarni is the editor of the same excel sheet at the same time appears on the top right corner


When edits made to excel cells they happen live & changed cells will be highlighted.

  • Co-Authoring with One Note

Co-Authoring in OneNote works both with browser editing & native application. Notification will appear on the top right corner same as word & excel when another user edits at the same time. This works same as word & excel co-authoring.

Co-authoring works with visio same as with other word/excel/one note.

Check out a document in SharePoint

Check Out in SharePoint Stands opposite to Co-Authoring. Check Out in SharePoint restricts multiple users to make changes/edit the document at the same time. This prevents other users to make any changes in the document until the user check the document back in.

Benefits of Check-Out a Document

The following shows the benefits of Check out a Document:-

  • Helps to find out who is currently editing this document.
  • Control Version Number with each save.
  • Allow only one user to edit the document at a time unless it is released by the user.
  • While the document/file is checked out the changes made by the user are not visible to the others.
  • This prevents conflict where multiple people want to edit the same piece of content at the same time.

How to check out a Document

Document checkout enables the user to check out from the document automatically. Below are the steps for check out a document:-

a. Go to the document library & select the respective document library as shown in the below

Sharepoint Library.png

b. Select the library and click on library settings from the top as shown in the below screenshot

Sharepoint docs.pngSharepointDocs.png              c.  Select “Versioning settings” as shown in the below screenshot:-

Sharepoint docs settings.png            d. Select require check out option to “Yes” & click ok:-


What Happens when a document is checked out?

When a document is check out other user will able to view only the document in read only mode as shown in the below screenshot. User will not be able to edit the document.

Microsoft Online.png

So in this way we can implement Co-authoring & Checkout in SharePoint.

General Availability of the Microsoft SharePoint Migration Tool :


Couple of months back I wrote an article on the Microsoft SharePoint Migration Tool when it was newly introduced , today I’m really happy to see that Microsoft has announced the General Availability of this tool .

Please go through the article below to read in detail about this :_

Happy SharePointing !!!

How Email notification works in Microsoft Planner?


Disclaimer: The contents mentioned in this article below describes the current functionality of Microsoft Office 365 Planner and may or may not change in the mere future.

You can read this complete article on HubFly blog site as well where it’s published on two parts from the link given below .

Microsoft Planner is a planning application available on the Microsoft Office 365 platform. Planner enables users and teams to create plans, assemble and assign tasks, share files, communicate and collaborate with other users, and receive progress updates via various means on the Office 365 platform. It makes it easy for your team to create new plans, organize and assign tasks, share files, chat about what you’re working on, and get updates on progress.

With that being said, in this article I’ll be explaining how the email notification works in Microsoft Planner as this has been bit confusing to understand for beginners.

Planner helps to stay on top of your work and you can also receive email notifications from Planner when the below conditions are met.

  1. When you create a Plan
  2. When you’re added as a plan member
  3. When a task is assigned to you by the owner
  4. When any plan member adds a comment to a task that you’ve commented on.
  5. When the owner of a plan has turned on task activity notifications in a plan that you’re a member
  6. When you have checked the Subscribe new members to notifications email option while creating a Plan

Although, these are the criteria’s for receiving email notifications, it’s confusing when you see these things in action. So, let me try to go through all the criteria’s here and help you understand how this works as a Plan owner and as a member of a Plan.

Let’s begin with seeing the different ways of creating a Plan in Office 365 Planner first

1. From the Office 365 App launcher:

a) Navigate to the Office 365 App launcher and you can access Planner from there to create a Plan.


b) Once you’re in the Planner hub you can create a Plan by using the New Plan button as shown in the image below.


Note: Creating a Planner would create an Office 365 group on the back-end as a Planner is officially backed up by an Office 365 group.

2.By creating a Team in Microsoft Teams:

When you create a Team in Microsoft Teams, it creates an Office 365 group on the backend and in addition to that it also creates a Plan in Microsoft Planner.

For instance, please check the image below where I’ve created a Team named as “Planner Test” in Microsoft teams and it has created an Office 365 group as well as a Plan in Microsoft Planner.


Corresponding Office 365 group:

5Corresponding Plan in Microsoft Planner:


3.By accessing the below URL:

When you access it takes you to the below seen sign-in page and you can access Microsoft Planner from here.

7Alright, now let’s get into the main agenda of this article. As already described above you would receive email notifications from Microsoft Planner when either one among the below mentioned criteria’s are met.

  1. When you create a Plan
  2. When you’re added as a plan member
  3. When a task is assigned to you by the owner
  4. When any plan member adds a comment to a task that you’ve commented on.
  5. When the owner of a plan has turned on task activity notifications in a plan that you’re a member
  6. When you have checked the Subscribe new members to notifications email option while creating a Plan

Now, let’s take a look on all these criteria’s….

  1. When you create a Plan:

As already mentioned above, creating a Planner will create an Office 365 group on the back end and you would get a welcome email to that Office 365 group as show in the email below.


The intent of this Office 365 group from a Planner perspective is to receive email notifications for all the activities that happens in the Plan.

Note: You would receive this welcome email notification even if you’re the one who created the Plan and in addition to that all the members of Plan would receive this welcome email.

2.When you’re added as a plan member:

When you add a member to this plan, even in such case the member would receive this welcome email from the Office 365 group which is tied to that Plan.



  1. When a task is assigned to you by the owner:

Whenever a task is assigned to a member of a plan, an email notification will be sent to the Office 365 group conversation as shown in the image below.

Note: You would receive this notification on the Office 365 group conversation even if the task was not assigned to you and was assigned to a different member.


However, this functionality of receiving email notification for task assignment is turned off by default in the Plan. You need to go click on the ellipsis above then go to Edit Plan –>Check the “Send notifications about task assignment and task completion to the Plan’s conversation feed” as shown in the image below to receive email notifications.

Note: This won’t be checked by default.

12Once this option is activated, notifications about task creation, assignment and completion will be sent to the Plans conversation (in the Office 365 group conversation) and not individually for each user. Currently planner does not send e-mail notification directly to the user’s inbox, rather it sends updates about the plan only to the Office 365 groups conversation.

If the user(s) want to receive notifications directly into their inbox, they need to be subscribed to the plan (Open the plan in Planner -> click on ellipses -> click on Follow plan inbox). This feature will allow users to receive email notifications right into their inbox, but keep in mind, that even if a task was assigned to another user, they will still be notified about this. Basically, every notification from the Group conversation will also be sent to the users that are subscribed to the plan. Please check the image below for reference.


Once you’ve clicked on “Follow plan in Inbox” as shown in the image above you will receive the notifications directly in your personal inbox as well as in the Office 365 group conversation as shown in the image below. The follow feature will send the notifications that are incoming to the Office 365 group mailbox, to the personal mailbox as well.

In my personal inbox:

14.pngIn the Office 365 group conversations:


You can also verify whether you have followed the plan successfully by doing the same step once again as described and this time you will see “Stop following the plan “instead of seeing “Follow the plan” which confirms that you have successfully subscribed to receive personal email notifications as shown in the image below.


Note: If you are the one that assigns the task to someone (even to yourself) you will not receive the notification in your personal email. It is considered unnecessary as you were the one who assigned it so Planner considers that you are already aware of this.

The email notification which you receive in your personal inbox may not be instant and you need wait for some time to receive it. However, that’s not the case for Office 365 group conversations where you would be receiving notifications from Planner instantly.

4.When any plan member adds a comment to a task that you’ve commented on:

So, every time a comment is made by a plan member on a task that you’ve commented on then you would get a notification for that as well.

Email notification for a comment in Office 365 group:


Email notification for a comment in personal inbox:


Note:  You can reply to the comment from the Office 365 group conversations /personal inbox itself, but it wouldn’t be reflecting as a “comment” inside the Plan.  

5.When the owner of a plan has turned on task activity notifications in a plan that you’re a member:

This option is something that I’ve explained before, where you as an owner of a plan can go to Edit Plan –>Check the “Send notifications about task assignment and task completion to the Plan’s conversation feed” as shown in the image below to receive email notifications.

Note:  This won’t be checked by default.


6.When you have checked the Subscribe new members to notifications email option while creating a Plan:

As shown in the image below, you would be get an option which says “Subscribe new members to notifications emails “while creating a plan as shown in the image below.


At the moment this functionality of this feature is not yet functional and hence enabling it will not have any difference. However, the main reason why this feature is visible is because of the upcoming changes that will be implemented in Planner.

This feature will automatically subscribe every new member to the notification emails – basically, they would not need to go and manually “Follow the plan” as I described above. It will already be set as following by default.

If you still want to use this feature, you can do so from the Office 365 Admin centre, by doing the following steps:

  1. Create the plan in Planner
  2. Do not add any members just yet
  3. Navigate to Office 365 Admin Centre -> Groups -> select the Office 365 Group (Plan) that you’ve created -> click Edit in the top right corner -> and set the “Send copies of group conversations and events to group members’ inboxes.” to <ON>
  4. Once done, you will see the following changes:


5. If you go back to Planner and start adding new members to the Plan, they will already have the “follow plan in inbox” feature set.

Note: Keep in mind that you will still need to have the Notifications set ON from the (i.e. Plan -> Edit plan):


Note: The catch here is, you won’t be able to make the above said changes with your Global admin account if you don’t have Exchange Online license assigned to it. If you attempt to do so, you would end up getting the below seen error.


Also, please be informed that if you’re doing this modification in an Office 365 group which is tied to a Team in Microsoft Teams then there’s no situation where Teams sends a notification to the Office 365 group. It only has notifications within teams, which can be configured in various ways, but none of them goes to the Office 365 group mailbox and this has already been tested

There might be changes in the future (not documented anywhere just yet) but as of now, there is none.

Also, as you probably know there is a “follow this channel” feature available within teams. This feature is not changed by the “subscribe” checkbox from Office 365 admin center.

Thanks for reading this post …. Good luck with Microsoft Planner!!!




Part 1: Everything you want to know about SharePoint 2016


SharePoint 2016 –The new kid in town. Well I hope you won’t mind when I say that SharePoint 2016 is the new kid in town considering the fact that it has been more than a year since Microsoft has released SharePoint Server 2016 and it has also announced the release of SharePoint Server 2019 a month back at Ignite Conference.  However, there’s reason for me to still call SharePoint 2016 as the new kid in town because it still remains to be a cutting-edge platform for many SharePoint professionals out there and I’ve seen many organizations actively working on adapting SharePoint Server 2016 as the modern collaboration platform for their IT workspace.

So, in this article I’m going to help you with some good amount of information that should help you in planning the SharePoint Server 2016 Implementation in your organization. Alright, let’s get started ….

So, these are the topics I’ll be discussing in detail in this article …

  1. Evolution of SharePoint
  2. Software & Hardware requirements for Implementing SharePoint Server 2016.
  3. Pre-requisites for SharePoint server 2016.
  4. Supported browsers for SharePoint 2016.
  5. Boundaries and Limits in SharePoint 2016.
  6. Focus areas of SharePoint Server 2016
  7. What’s new and what’s been deprecated in SharePoint Server 2016?
  8. Migration approach to SharePoint 2016
  9. Deployment guidelines & best practices for implementing SharePoint 2016
  10. Feature Packs
  11. MinRole in SharePoint 2016
  12. Converged codebase in SharePoint 2016
  13. Zero downtime patching in SharePoint 2016
  14. Hybrid Features in SharePoint 2016
  15. SQL Server Best Practices for SharePoint 2016


  1. Evolution of SharePoint:


The above-mentioned image should give you a detailed overview about the evolution of SharePoint. I personally remember starting my career with SharePoint 2010 6 years back and at that point of time I’ve seen many experienced SharePoint folks really getting excited about the rich and cool UI of SharePoint 2010 and its rich capabilities.  It has indeed come a long way since then and has grown very rapidly compared to its competitors and still remains to be the most preferred solution for Enterprise Content Management. As SharePoint grew, the range of problems businesses could solve with SharePoint grew wider, and changes in technology and business models brought customers new problems as well as new opportunities.   Microsoft kept investing in SharePoint, creating a well-rounded collaboration platform that meets the needs of businesses and – most importantly – has the ability to grow and adapt when new challenges are presented. So, with that being said, let’s dive bit deeper and see what the latest version of SharePoint on-premises (i.e. SharePoint 2016) has for us and how it can help to enhance our business.

2. Software & Hardware requirements for Implementing SharePoint Server 2016:

Every time Microsoft introduces the next version of any product the software and hardware requirements for implementing that product keeps changing and that remains true for SharePoint 2016 as well. So, what should I have in terms of software and hardware for implementing SharePoint Server 2016? The details are as follows ….

Software Requirements for SharePoint 2016:


3. Pre-requisites for SharePoint 2016:

SharePoint 2016, the prerequisites are almost essentially the same as they were for SharePoint 2013, with one or two differences (e.g. .Net Framework 4.5.2). The following is a list of all the SharePoint 2016 Prerequisites components you need to download if you are doing an offline installation.

Note: If your machine is connected to the internet, the prerequisite installer module of the SharePoint 2016 media will automatically take care of downloading and installation of prerequisites, so you don’t need to manually download them all.

4. Supported browsers for SharePoint 2016:


5. Boundaries and Limits in SharePoint 2016:


6. Hardware Requirements for SharePoint 2016:



7. Hardware Requirements for Min Role Architecture:

Note: I’ll be explaining in detail about the Min Role Architecture later in this article


8. Focus areas of SharePoint Server 2016:


Being a cloud-born on-premises platform, SharePoint 2016 focuses on the above-mentioned areas …

  1. Improved User Experiences:
  2. Cloud-Inspired Infrastructure
  3. Compliance and Reporting

a) Improved User Experiences:

Making decisions faster and keeping in contact are the most critical responsibilities for increasing effectiveness in any organization. Users’ ability to access information while on the go is now a workplace necessity. SharePoint Server 2016 will provide improved mobile access to content, people and applications along with touch-based experiences across devices and screen sizes. It will make file storage and document collaboration more people-centric. And it will also enable improved user experiences and capabilities derived from innovations in Office 365, available either as part of your on-premises deployment or through a hybrid implementation of SharePoint Server 2016 and Office 365. As a result of this, users will be able to quickly discover contextually relevant information and data that is stored across both on-premises and cloud environments powered by Office Graph and Delve.

b) Cloud-Inspired Infrastructure:

SharePoint 2016 is the first on-premises server release representative of our experience running SharePoint at scale in Office 365, bringing Microsoft’s own internal investments to the customer’s datacenter that improve performance, reliability and scale as well as enabling true hybrid scenarios that can enrich the customer’s existing on-premises investments.

In addition, with an improved, simplified user experience and integration with products such as the next release of Windows Server, the next generation of SQL Server, and Exchange Server 2016, SharePoint Server 2016 will simplify end-user training and support for IT.

c) Compliance and Reporting:

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) is non-negotiable, and overexposure to information can have legal and compliance implications. SharePoint Server 2016 will provide a broad array of features and capabilities designed to make certain that sensitive information remains protected with investments in DLP, new scenarios to enable data encryption, and compliance tools that span on-premises servers and Office 365 while providing a balance between enabling user self-service and ensuring content usage adheres to corporate and security policies .This ensure that the privilege you have doesn’t become intrusive to security and compliance .

 9.What’s new in SharePoint Server 2016?

Microsoft never fails to excite its customers by releasing many new features in the new release of every product it develops and SharePoint 2016 is no bar for that. The below mentioned image gives a complete overview of all the new features that has been released in SharePoint 2016.

Note: When I say new features, they might be newly introduced with this release of SharePoint or might be the enhanced version of a feature/service application in the previous release.


As you can see in the image above, SharePoint 2016 comes with almost close to 28 new features.

10.What has been deprecated in SharePoint 2016?

Of course, Microsoft removes few features too which was available in the previous versions of SharePoint and the reason for this is because Microsoft keeps listening to its customers through many user voice channels and based on the feedback given by its customers it either deprecates certain features or tries to enhance a specific feature and releases it once again as a new feature in the next new release or through service packs /CU’s etc.

So, listed below are the features that has been deprecated in SharePoint 2016,


11.Migration Approach to SharePoint 2016:

The below mentioned image depicts the Migration approach to SharePoint 2016.


So, the good news is if you’re running SharePoint 2013 you can directly migrate to SharePoint 2016 and the bad news is you can’t directly migrate to SharePoint 2016 if you’re running SharePoint 2010 version in your environment. However, please note that using third party tools like Share Gate and Metalogix you can migrate from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2016 and even from any legacy version to SharePoint 2016.

Note: To upgrade from SharePoint Server 2013 to 2016, minimal build SharePoint Server 2013 SP1 + March 2013 PU, build number (15.0.4481.1005)

Steps to plan the migration:

  • Version to Version upgrade
  • All Site Collections must be in 15 modes
  • Database attach upgrade (content only)
  • Create new SharePoint 2016 farm and attach SharePoint 2013 databases to SharePoint 2016
  • SharePoint Server 2016 does not support SharePoint 2010 mode (i.e., compatibility level 14) site collections.
  • SharePoint Server 2016 supports an upgrade from SharePoint Server 2013 with Service Pack 1 (SP1) with March 2013 PU, version 15.0.4481.1005 or higher

The below mentioned image should depict the overall upgrade process:


12. Feature Packs in SharePoint 2016:

With SharePoint 2016 the big new is Microsoft won’t be releasing Service Packs anymore, Feature packs would be taking over Service packs from SharePoint 2016 onwards. However, the release cycle for Feature packs differs from Service packs and let’s talk in detail about that.

The below mentioned image should give you a complete overview of the patching cycle for SharePoint 2016.


So, this is what the image says, Microsoft shipped SharePoint 2016 from March 2016 onwards and as per their normal patching cycle every month they would be releasing a Public update (i.e. Cumulative update) and what happens in this process is, in a specific month’s CU Microsoft would roll out all the new features/fixes etc. and that would be called as a Feature Pack. So, unlike the previous version of SharePoint where Microsoft releases all the new features/services in the form of Service Packs such as SP1 & SP2, for SharePoint 2016 it would be Feature Packs. However, the catch here is that, Microsoft won’t be releasing a specific package once in a year as Service packs instead all the new updates/features would be rolled out in a specific month’s CU and that will be called as a Feature Pack

As of now, Microsoft has released two Feature packs (i.e. Feature Pack 1 & Feature Pack 2). So, before we jump in and talk a look at what’s available in these Feature Packs, let’s try to understand what a Feature Pack is all about.

So, what’s a Feature Pack in SharePoint 2016?

Unlike previous versions of SharePoint, release-to-manufacture (RTM) did not define the end of innovation, but the beginning. As Microsoft continued to develop SharePoint Server 2016, they’ve paid close attention to customer feedback, trends in content management, team collaboration, user experiences across devices, and how the cloud can be blended into existing on-premises scenarios in new and compelling ways. Feature Packs allow us to accelerate delivery of cloud-first features to our Software Assurance customers of SharePoint Server 2016 outside of the traditional 2- to 3-year release cadence.

So, to make this simpler to understand, Feature Pack is an innovative step taken by Microsoft to add new features to SharePoint Product line which were not really announced as part of the initial Product release. Earlier a new feature made its way to SharePoint only as part of Product Launch which happened in three years interval. SharePoint Team will now be taking feedbacks and new features will be deployed as feature packs to SharePoint Server at regular intervals. This will keep SharePoint Server updated with new Cloud features introduced in SharePoint Online

Alright, so this covers Part 1 of “Everything you want to know about SharePoint 2016 “. Will see you all soon in part 2 of this article. Stay tuned!!!

Happy SharePointing!!!…Thanks for reading this post and good luck with your SharePoint 2016 implementation