Office Scripts in Excel and more
The final breakout session of the weekend for us was on Office Scripts in Excel. This is a relatively new feature that helps automate tasks, both inside Excel, but also outside of the context of an Excel file. In our opinion, these Scripts are an underutilized capability.
These Scripts are like VBA scripts in many ways but do have differences. As noted by the speaker, they are not yet on parr with the capabilities of VBA but are tracking to reach parity in the near future. Where they really shine is in integration with Power Automate. A common example would be formatting an Excel based report that is generated every week. The Automation detects when the report was received via email, saved to the proper SharePoint folder, and then runs the Office Script to properly format, filter data, and even generate pivot tables and charts.
There were a couple of other exciting improvements. First was the general release of Power Automate buttons within Excel. This will run very similarly to the instant flow triggers that can be found on a SharePoint list. We think this will be useful, but once again, it will temp everyone to create Excel files that really should be replaced with a Power App.
Another exciting one is a new Power Automate Excel automated trigger. This trigger would be activated when a particular range in an Excel file is modified! It will use a named range, and there are some things to still be figured out by the engineering team. Powerful? Yes! Tempting to turn Excel into an app again? Yes!
The Conference closed out with a fitting keynote that provided tangible advice on change management, adoption, and engagement. Dan Holme, the Microsoft product leader for Viva Engage, led the keynote with grounded advice that unified best practices that any business could benefit from, with the Viva platform.
Before the conference we were not as excited or informed about Viva as we are now. Yes, it is a newer service that is still maturing, but it is clear that internal company communications, community, and culture can be cultivated with its help. We’d encourage you start exploring Viva one module at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed. For example, start with Viva Connections or Viva Engage. Get to know it and share with others what you think is actually helpful.
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