New Office 365 Service Health Dashboard Generally Available

Visio Online—anywhere, anytime access to your diagrams, Outlook 2016 for Mac adds support for Google Calendar and Contacts. Office 365 administration Service Health Dashboard reaches generally availability.

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Office 365 Service health dashboard is now availble to all customers providing an even deeper level of personalized service health insights for organization to help admins stay on top of service incidents and improve internal support experience and Office 365 users' experience.

To access new Service health dashboard, just click Service health in the left navigation menu in the Office 365 admin center.

Microsoft has made several improvements to the dashboard over the past few months, including an "incidents and advisories" view that makes it easy to identify issues needing immediate attention.

The new summary view surfaces the most relevant and critical details in two short sentences, and a display showing the number of impacted users. "This functionality is currently available for Exchange Online related incidents," but will extend to other workloads over time.

Incidents and Advisories in Office 365 Service Health Dashboard
Incidents and Advisories in Office 365 Service Health Dashboard

For additional details, just go to more detailed view for information, including workarounds and message history. You can also access a history of incidents and advisories that occurred in the past 30 days.

Additionally, a new rating option enables administrators to provide feedback on the accuracy and usefulness of each post on the dashboard.

Microsoft notes, following enhancements will available in coming months:

Service health dashboard will enable signing up for notifications via text and/or email, to help you monitor the service and track issues through prefered channel.

In addition to number of impacted users, "access to a full list of impacted users will help you drive more targeted communication and support."

On-demand user health monitoring will enable proactively monitor specific users and help to find possible health issues affecting users right away.

In-product messaging will enable users aware of service incidents and inform them about possible workaround solutions.

Impacted users in Exchange Online
Impacted users in Exchange Online

Here's a summary additional February Office 365 administration updates:

  • Weekly Message Center digest provide Office 365 admins a summary of their Message Center notifications via email. The weekly digest capability is currently available to Office 365 admins who are set to First Release in tenants with more than 50 subscribed users. It will become available to all customers over time.
  • Office 365 Message Center Digest
  • Message Center can be access via admin center, admin mobile app and Office 365 Service Communications API.
  • Azure AD tenant restrictions in preview available to Azure AD Premium P1 subscribers and all Office 365 customers, enables organizations to control access to SaaS cloud applications, based on Azure AD tenant the applications use for single sign-on.
  • To make use of this feature, Office 365 subscribers must enable Modern Authentication as default authentication protocol for cloud service and access the service using a Modern Authentication–enabled client.
  • Office 365 admin center learning page makes it easy to understand key management scenarios through a series of short, easy-to-follow videos.
  • New Power BI admin role in Azure AD help admins assign users to be Power BI admins within the Office 365 admin center or via PowerShell script. Once assigned, Power BI Admin portal ca be accessed along with tenant-wide usage metrics and be able to control tenant-wide usage of Power BI features.
  • Power BI admin role in Azure AD
    Power BI admin role in Azure AD
  • Office 365 admin app now supports cert-based authentication and multi-factor authentication.
  • New tile for admin center dashboard, enable admins to manage Office 365 more efficiently.

Finally, Microsoft notes, that more reports, focused on clients used to access SharePoint and OneDrive for Business will be adding over the coming months.

Also, Ofice 365 adoption content pack in Power BI and new public APIs will be available to all customers to help programmatically access the usage data and integrate it into custom applications, like a company reporting portal, writes the team.

Visio Online gives you access to diagrams anywhere, any time is now generally available to almost all Office 365 commercial users. In addition, also released today, is the "JavaScript APIs for IT professionals" that extend Visio capabilities to meet specific user needs.

"Microsoft Visio Online, enables users to share and view Visio diagrams in high fidelity from almost any device on their favorite browser."

Since Nov 2016, Visio Online now support VSD file format and users of Exchange Online, Outlook.com and Hotmail. Commenting for Visio Online, giving teams a place to review and discuss process flows, shape data and more without switching windows is available too.

Add comments to Visio diagrams from a browser
Add comments to Visio diagrams from a browser

Additionally, using the new APIs, IT professionals can now build rich mashup solutions to meet their organization's specific needs. While, developers can use the APIs to interact with Visio diagram elements—like pages and shapes—expose diagram data, write custom handlers for mouse events, create visual mark-ups on the diagram canvas and more, writes the Office team.

The APIs also enable programmatic access to embedded Visio Online diagrams in a SharePoint Online page.

Visio Online is available for 18 different commercial Office 365 SKUs, including Business, Business Essentials, Business Premium, Education, Education E5, ProPlus, Enterprise E1, Enterprise E3, Enterprise E5, Government E1, Government E3, Government E5, Enterprise K1, Government K1, OneDrive for Business Plan 1, OneDrive for Business Plan 2, SharePoint Online Plan 1, and SharePoint Online Plan 2.

You can find out more at Microsoft's FAQ for the product.

Outlook 2016 for Mac adds Google Calendar and Contacts support for the Office Insider Fast community.

This rollout will happen over the next several weeks for Insiders, before becoming broadly available to all Office 365 customers later this year.

With today's updates, Outlook will now sync Google calendars and contacts as well as connecting to Gmail, with support for all core actions such as add, delete, edit time and location. All changes will update back and forth with Gmail or Outlook for iOS and Android, "so everything is in sync across all your devices," says the team.

Outlook 2016 for Mac support Google Calendar and Contacts
Outlook 2016 for Mac support Google Calendar and Contacts

Additionally, several Outlook's advanced features including Focused Inbox and richer experiences for travel reservations and package deliveries are availble to Gamil account.

More advanced features will become available with broad launch of the product. If you're not already an Insider, "simply open Outlook, then click Help -> Check for Updates and then follow the directions."

Existing Insiders, will be receive a prompt to add Google account, when the feature becomes available. Those, who have already connected their Google account to Outlook, can remove it after setting up the new experience. Also, you can add a Google account at a later time by going to Tools -> Accounts.

Outlook features in Gmail account
Outlook features in Gmail account

Editor pane added to Office 2016 Fast level builds for Office Insiders with the new 16.0.7920.1000 version of the Office 365 client.

The Editor pane, replaces the Proofing pane in Word 2016 and Outlook 2016, will improve upon the Editor Tools released to Office 365 Insiders in September.

Access to the new editor features requires an active Office 365 subscription on the Insider Program.

February Insider update of Office 2016 for Office 365 to "Slow audience" version 1702 build 7870.2013 released today bring following changes:

, can be install by opening an app and clicking File -> Account -> Update Options -> Update Now.

  • PowerPoint QuickStarter gives you research ideas and design suggestions for a presentation on a subject of your choosing. Just choose the QuickStarter template from File > New, and specify the subject you want to study.
  • PowerPoint QuickStarter
    PowerPoint QuickStarter
  • On touch devices, Ruler on the Draw tab of the ribbon to draw straight lines or to align a set of objects. The Ruler pivots to any position you want: horizontal, vertical, or anything in between: it has a degrees setting so that you can set it at a precise angle, if necessary. (We're rolling out this feature gradually, so if you don't see the Ruler button on the Draw tab right away, don't worry. It's coming soon.)
  • With additional intelligent services built-in, Editor is better able to recognize your words in context and offer the right spelling suggestions. Look for these improvements in Word and Outlook.
  • In Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, we've made it easier to remove and edit the background of a picture. You no longer have to draw a rectangle around the foreground of your picture; instead, the app will automatically detect the general background areas. In addition, the pencil for marking areas to keep or remove can now draw free-form lines, rather than being limited to straight lines.
  • Move pages from side to side: In Word, navigate pages in Print Layout view by sliding them side-to-side like a stack of paper. To try it, click View > Side to Side.
  • Move pages from side to side n Word
    Move pages from side to side n Word
  • Take snippets of a Visio drawing and export them as slides to PowerPoint. To get started, open a diagram and click View -> Slide Snippets Pane. In the pane, click Add to snip portions of your diagram and Export to send your slide snippets to a new PowerPoint slide deck.

Word for iPhone and iPad Office Insiders build 1.30.1 (170222) is now available in the Fast Ring brings following listed changes:

  • You can now add Dropbox in Add a Place, so you can open and save your documents in Dropbox. Note: only one Dropbox account at a time can be used, but we're working on adding support for more. Stay tuned!
  • Ink and drawing fixes to the eraser and other improvements
  • Comments and Track Changes stability

If you are not already an Office Insider, you can enroll here.

About The Author

Deepak Gupta is a IT & Web Consultant. He is the founder and CEO of diTii.com & DIT Technologies, where he's engaged in providing Technology Consultancy, Design and Development of Desktop, Web and Mobile applications using various tools and softwares. Sign-up for the Email for daily updates. Google+ Profile.