We built a PowerApp to keep track of updates to Microsoft 365. The app allows users to tag specific team members or flag specific roadmap items for follow-up.
The Microsoft 365 roadmap is a plan that outlines the development and release of new features and updates for Microsoft 365 products and services. The roadmap is updated regularly to reflect the latest developments and to provide users with information about what to expect in the future. It is a central location for users to see what is coming.
The Microsoft 365 roadmap website (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/roadmap) provides information about the development and release of new features and updates for Microsoft 365 products and services. The roadmap is updated regularly to reflect the latest developments and to provide users with information about what to expect in the future.
To view the roadmap, users can go to the website and use the filters to select the specific products or features they are interested in. The roadmap will then display a list of the relevant items, along with details such as the status of the item (e.g., in development, rolling out, or available), the expected release date, and a brief description of the feature or update.
Users can also use the search bar to find specific items on the roadmap. Additionally, users can sign up to receive updates about the roadmap via email. This can be helpful for keeping track of new developments and ensuring that users are aware of any changes that might affect them.
Building our Microsoft 365 Roadmap PowerApp
The limitation with the existing web functionality is that we can not tag individual items for further follow up or review. As a consulting organization we may be interested in items that do not directly impact our tenant but would be interesting or important for our clients. We wanted an ability to assign specific roadmap items to individuals within our organization and to assign them a status such as “Marketable” if we think that item is something we can bring to our clients. As such we at Kiefer Consulting created a Power App to help sort out upcoming features. Any user in the organization can use the Power App to check for new features from any device.
Overall, we created a Power App to:
- Improve efficiency: Power Apps automatically loads the
enew and upcoming features. We used Azure Data Factory and Microsoft SQL server to download the Microsoft RSS feed and re-structure the data for our uses.
- Customization: We customized the application to tailor how we wanted to see the items.
- Accessibility: Power Apps can be accessed from any device with an internet connection, which allows users to work from anywhere and be more flexible.
- Integration: Power Apps can be integrated with other Microsoft products and services, such as Teams and SharePoint. We pinned the App to our Teams instance so anyone can view the app in one click from the Teams application they always have open.
Because we have the Roadmap items saved in our environment and tagged appropriately, we are also able to create a Flow with Power Automate to notify any individuals who have been tagged as interested in the item’s development. Using the Email value of the tagged Person object we can query Azure SQL server for the Roadmap item IDs that those individuals are interested in and if there is a change in the items status we can notifying them automatically. This means they do not need to ever need to check back on existing tagged items until there is a change in their status. Once the individuals are alerted they can take whatever action they would like.
It is important to note that there is a Microsoft integrated option to view these Roadmap items. The Message Center is a one-stop-shop for keeping track of updates and announcements from Microsoft 365. It provides a centralized location for administrators to stay informed about new features, updates, and any potential issues that may affect their organization.
The message center allows only admins to view new and upcoming features that may be coming into their tenant. It is a built-in feature that requires no code to integrate. Message center posts will sync to one plan in Planner, and into one bucket of that plan.
It can be difficult to keep track of the tasks that need to be completed in response to these changes, as well as to track the progress of these tasks. However, by syncing messages from the Microsoft 365 Admin Center to Microsoft Planner, it is possible to better organize and manage this information, including making notes and tagging items to follow up on later.
However, there are some limitations because it is an out of the box solution. Users are not able to tag items from the message center. Unless it is sent to Planner, users are not able to customize the additional tags and comments users usually like to add. Also, is it only able to sync new features within the last 28 days. If the information is older than 28 days, it is not able to be automatically imported into Planner and will need to be done manually.
It is also important to note some message center items could not even pertain to the organization. The roadmap in the message center shows all of the features that are available, but does not let us filter what tenant it will be available in.