In the Collaboris Collab365 Teams Guest Group someone came with the question how to test new releases beforehand and first deploy to a test environment before activating it on a production environment.
So here it comes. Your production/live environment = your test environment. (Unless you have 2 Office365 tenants and can use 1 solely for testing)
what does this mean?
Go with the flow is what it means to be in the cloud.
So I can not test beforehand? Yes you can!
Lets see what Microsoft says about it…
“A good practice is to leave majority of users in Standard release and IT Pros and power users in Targeted release to evaluate new features and prepare teams to support business users and executives.”
When a new function or app can be shut off/disabled and I conclude its really needed due to circumstances, I prep to do so as soon as the update gets to the world wide standard release stage. (happens seldom I do so)
Mostly I just make sure to know what is needed for the available setting options and I am able to explain the new functionality to the users/organization.
What makes life easier is..
Get the organization to understand the continuous update logic of cloud applications and let them embrace it for it provides constantly new features and options to improve the daily work.
For the Classic SharePoint environment you can opt for the creation of dedicated Site Collections for testing, as playground and special development.
Note: You will need to consider here how you are going to move all your development work to your live collections ones your are happy with the result. For me I learned I better directly build my ideas on the place to be and regulate the audience from testing to go live simply via the permission settings.
This blog post will summarize some of the main sites provided by Microsoft towards end-users and administrators to find your way witin the Office 365 platform and its apps. This include the training and learning sites and feedback portals
So lets start the list. I included a dedicated section towards Microsoft Teams. My total vision on why Teams is the central future application I will do in a separate post but for now enough to say that Teams is combining several apps into a “persistent chat”-based central portal and gets an enormous focus from Microsoft and from the users and administrators community. The potential of this app is great and changing the way of working landscape.
“We’ve seen the impact that teamwork has had on our world, but what if teams could achieve even more? What if they had the space to be themselves, to share ideas freely and organically across geographies and generations?”
User Voice – Customer Feedback for Microsoft Office 365 – “We love hearing from our customers. If you have suggestions for how we can improve, please share them with us here or at one of the related sites listed on the right. While we can’t respond to every suggestion, we are committed to reading every post.”
Office 365 Roadmap – “The Office 365 Roadmap lists updates that are currently planned for applicable subscribers. Updates are at various stages from being in development to rolling-out to customers to being generally available for applicable customers world-wide.”
Microsoft Mechanics (YouTube) – Microsoft’s official new show to keep you up to date on our latest tech.”
GetStartedSharePoint (YouTube) – “SharePoint Online and Office 365 for enterprises as well as Office 365 for small businesses and professionals ”
Office 365 is in the end a Do It Yourself platform. Meaning the end-user is encouraged to install, manage and use the available applications included in the platform, like the user is used to do on a personal smartphone. Either when using the corporate Office365 platform out of the box or with some or more customizations the applications interface and features are promoted by Microsoft towards the end-users interaction and so it is mandatory that the same user can find up to date information on these applications and features.
These links should give you a good starting point in finding your way around Office 365.