Office Training Roadmaps for 6 Office Apps and New Office 365 Roadmap Site is Live Now

New Office Training Roadmaps and Quick Start Guides, Office 365 Roadmap Site goes Live. Six new data transformation, connectivity features for Get & Transform in Excel 2016 and Power Query add-in.

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Thursday, Microsoft released a new Office Training Roadmaps aimed at helping companies set training expectations and track progress for six Office apps including: "Office 365, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Word and Access 2016."

The training roadmaps which help you quickly find what you need to learn are available both online and as printable posters.

Also, for getting started with Office apps, the Quick Start Guides are now expanded to include Excel, Outlook and Sway, says office team. All of these free resources can be found at the Office Training Center.

In addition, the new Office 365 Roadmap site which is moved to a new home is live today, Microsoft says it'll better serve users' needs with improved experience across a range of devices.

"By popular request," said Brian Lenenson, "the items on the roadmap will also include a unique ID, which will be used in the Message Center communications as well." He noted that Microsoft has also made it "easier to quickly review details of roadmap items."

Levenson added that they "made an emergency decision to proceed urgently with the new site", due to an unspecified issue with previous version. The new site isn't yet feature-complete, but Microsoft promises that "accessibility fixes and ongoing improvements" are on the way.

The site includes details of new features in development, as well as those currently rolling out, and those previously been released, or cancelled.

See more at the new Office 365 Roadmap site.

office training roadmaps
Office Training Roadmaps

Microsoft made the January 2017 updates for Get & Transform in Excel 2016 and the Power Query add-in availabe for download—includes a powerful set of features providing fast, easy data gathering and shaping capabilities and can be accessed through Get & Transform section on 'Data ribbon'.

Today release introduces following six new data transformation and connectivity features:

New OLE DB connector enables connectivity to OLE DB drivers. This new connector can be found under Data -> New Query -> From Other Sources -> From OLE DB.

These updates are available as part of an Office 365 subscription. To get these updates for Excel 2010 or Excel 2013, you can download the latest Power Query for Excel add-in.

Enhanced "Combine Binaries" experience when importing from any folder, "allow users to easily combine all binaries within a folder if they have a homogeneous file type and column structure," writes the team. "Users can also easily apply additional transformations by modifying "exemplar query" without having to worry about any additional function invocation steps, as they're automatically generated for them," the team said.

With this enhanced approach:

  • Excel analyzes the input files from the Folder query and detects the right file format to use (i.e., Text or Excel Workbook).
  • Users can select a specific object from the list (such as a spreadsheet name) to use for data combine.
  • Excel automatically creates the following entities:
  • An example query that performs all required transformation steps in a single file.
  • A function query that parameterizes the file input to the exemplar query created in the previous step.
  • Excel then applies the created function query on each file from the original Folder query and expands the resulting data extraction as top-level columns.
Enhanced Combine Binaries in Excel 2016
Enhanced Combine Binaries in Excel 2016

The Navigator and Query Dependencies dialogs (activated from Query Editor) which already support window resizing by dragging bottom-right edges of the dialog. Now, can be maximize/restore through the new Maximize and Restore icons in top-right corner of the dialogs.

Support for percentage data type can be easily used in arithmetical operations for Get & Transform scenarios within a spreadsheet, the Query Editor or the Data Model. "Besides automatic type recognition from non-structured sources (such as Text, CSV or HTML), users can also convert any value to percentage using the Change Type options in the Query Editor," the team says.

This can be done on Query Editor Home tab, on the Transform tab, by clicking Data Type -> Percentage, or right-clicking a column and then selecting Change Type -> Percentage.

Percentage support for data type in Excel 2016
Percentage support for data type in Excel 2016

Improved "Function Authoring" experience without the need to maintain underlying M code. Here's how it works: "Create a function based upon another query using "Create Function" command by right-clicking Queries pane inside Query Editor. A link will be created between original query and newly generated function. This way, when the user modifies the original query steps, the linked function will be automatically updated as well. When using Query Parameters, creating a function out of a query will allow users to use Function Inputs to replace parameter values in the generalized function query," the team explained.

Improved performance for OData connector feed with added support for pushing Expand Record operations to be performed in underlying OData service.

The OneNote REST API now supports application-level permissions, and enables your application now to support scenarios that do not require a user to be signed in!

With OneNote API application-level permissions support, "many new scenarios that weren't possible earlier are now enabled," writes the team. Here're some example scenarios include:

  • Analytics (based on OneNote metadata and content exposed by the OneNote API).
  • Dashboards (based on OneNote metadata and content exposed by the OneNote API).
  • Background provisioning of OneNote content.
  • Background update of OneNote content.

"Creating a new application or updating your existing application to use new application-level permissions support for OneNote API requires just a couple of additional (relative to using user-delegated permissions) steps," the team said.

This availability also now help solution providers, ISVs and IT admins to access important usage data about OneNote across a tenant, including:

  • Teacher usage of Class Notebooks.
  • Student usage of Class Notebooks.
  • Information about specific pages, sections or notebooks.
  • How many pages were touched and last time each page was touched.
  • Information about the Collaboration Space usage in the Class Notebook.
  • Information about OneNote Page content, including paragraphs, tables, images and attachments.

See this detailed OneNote app-only API documentation on MSDN for step-by-step instructions.

Office for Android Insider Preview build version 16.0.7830.1002, contain some new features listed below:

  • View PDF files in Word Open and view portable document format (.pdf) files on your device.
  • Open more file types in Excel We heard your feedback! Now open files that contain scripts as well as files including Query tables with parameters.
  • Make your pictures pop in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint Add Shadow and Reflection effects to enhance pictures in your Office documents. You can insert an image, select the image and select the desired effects from the picture tab.

The ability to open more files in Excel was also listed last month, as well as Shadow and Reflection effects for pictures in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. PDF files in Word should be new to everyone though.

Finally, in this episode 117 of Office 365 Developer Podcast, hear about Microsoft Teams and extensibility—