Planner now supports guest user access to its plans. Office 365 tenants will celebrate this feature because they’ve been waiting for it to arrive. It’s curious that it has taken Microsoft so long to upgrade Planner for this feature given that Groups and Teams have had this capability for a while. But it’s here now, so enjoy.
Microsoft has released some useful updates for the Office 365 Planner app, but external access is still not there, which is baffling. On the other hand, you now have an OWA-like schedule view, filters to suppress tasks that you don’t want to see, and better notifications to tell you when you must do some work. And an iCalendar feed is coming soon to allow you to clutter up your Outlook calendar with even more stuff.
Now that Microsoft has shipped external access for Teams, it is obvious that they have some work to do to smoothen access and increase functionality. Although access works as long as guest users have accounts in other Office 365 tenants, areas like switching, auditing what external users do, compliance, and blocking deserve some consideration. Here’s what we know from the last week.
Microsoft has launched a new external sharing policy for groups that allows tenants to set allow and block lists for domains. The new policy is due for use with Teams, Planner, and other applications that need to block external users from specific domains. It’s a set along the path to getting full external access for Office 365 apps.
The news that Teams won’t support external access when they planned is not a shock. But what is needed is a common external access mechanism that can work for all of the Office 365 applications. Let’s not reinvent the wheel!
Ignite is fast approaching and I have an impossible schedule at the event, so I’ll be viewing a lot of Channel 9 videos afterward.
Microsoft has put a huge amount of emphasis on Office 365 Groups as the basis for team-based collaboration for its cloud service. Collaboration often requires input from external people and that hasn’t been possible until now. The announcement of external user support for Office 365 Groups is welcome, even if it is restricted in part.