What’s New in Copilot for Microsoft 365

What’s New in Copilot for Microsoft 365

This article is contributed. See the original author and article here.

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Welcome to the first edition of What’s new in Copilot for Microsoft 365. We are continuing to enhance Copilot to provide deeper experiences for users and tighter integration with your organization’s data to unlock even more capabilities. Whether you’re a Microsoft 365 admin for a large enterprise or smaller company or someone who uses Copilot for Microsoft 365 for their daily work, every month we’ll highlight updates to let you know about new and upcoming features and where you can find more information to help make your Copilot experience a great one. In addition to these monthly posts, we’ll continue to provide updates through our usual message center posts and on our public roadmap. 


 


Today, we are highlighting Copilot support in 17 additional languages, expanded resources and coming features in Copilot Lab, the updated Copilot experience in Teams, Copilot in the Microsoft 365 mobile app, and a new feature that provides a single entry point to help you create content from scratch. We’ll also take a look at updates to Copilot in OneDrive, Stream, and Forms plus a new feature that generates content summaries when you share files with coworkers. Finally, we’ll share a bit on what’s new in the Copilot for Microsoft 365 Usage report for admins. Let’s take a closer look at what’s new this month: 


 



  • Experience Copilot support for more languages 

  • Begin your Copilot journey and build new skills with Copilot Lab 

  • Copilot now available in the Microsoft 365 mobile app 

  • Introducing Copilot in Forms 

  • Extract information quickly from your files with Copilot in OneDrive 

  • Include quick summaries when sharing documents 

  • Get instant video summaries and insights with Copilot in Stream 

  • Try new ways of working with Help me create 

  • Draft emails quicker and get coaching tips for your messages with Copilot in classic Outlook for Windows 

  • Experience the new Copilot experience in Microsoft Teams

  • Check out the improved usage reports for Microsoft Copilot in the admin center   

  • Catch up on the Copilot for Microsoft 365 Tech Accelerator


 


Experience Copilot support for more languages  


We are adding support for an additional 17 languages, further expanding access to Copilot worldwide. We will start rolling out Arabic, Chinese Traditional, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Hebrew, Hungarian, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Portugal), Russian, Swedish, Thai, Turkish and Ukrainian over March and April. Copilot is already supported in the following languages: English (US, GB, AU, CA, IN), Spanish (ES, MX), Japanese, French (FR, CA), German, Portuguese (BR), Italian, and Chinese Simplified. Check the public roadmap and message center to track roll out status. 


 


Copilot in Excel (preview) is currently supported in English (US, GB, AU, CA, IN) and will be supported in Spanish (ES, MX), Japanese, French (FR, CA), German, Portuguese (BR), Italian, and Chinese Simplified starting in March. 


 


Begin your Copilot journey and build new skills with Copilot Lab 


Copilot Lab helps users get started with the art of prompting and helps organizations with onboarding and adoption by providing a single experience that meets Copilot users where they are in their journey. Today, we’re expanding Copilot Lab by transforming the current prompts library into a comprehensive learning resource that helps everyone begin their Copilot journey with confidence and to take greater advantage of Copilot in their daily work.  


 


Start your Copilot journey with ease. We’ve learned from our earliest Copilot adopters that working with generative AI requires new skills and habits. Copilot Lab already shows up in Copilot for Microsoft 365, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote via the small notebook icon that suggests relevant prompts to inspire you. Now, we have consolidated our best resources, training videos, ready-made prompts, and inspiration to make Copilot Lab the single resource to help you get started. To do this, we’ve brought together our own internal best practices, insights from our earliest customers, findings from the Microsoft Research team, and thought leadership published on WorkLab. 


 



 


Achieve more together by sharing your favorite prompts. With Copilot Lab, we are making it even easier to create, save, and share your favorite prompts with colleagues inside your organization. Now you can share prompts with colleagues to prepare for a customer meeting or to generate ideas for a new product launch. And leaders across your organization can showcase how they’re using Copilot by sharing their favorite prompts to save time or tackle any task at hand, to help improve personal and team productivity and encourage community-centric learning and adoption. This feature is integrated into the Copilot Lab website and in-app experiences will begin rolling out by this summer.  


 


 


 


 


 


 


 



 


You can access Copilot Lab today at copilot.cloud.microsoft/prompts or directly in app by selecting the notebook icon next to the Copilot prompt window. 


 


Copilot now available in the Microsoft 365 mobile app 


We’re extending Copilot to the Microsoft 365 mobile app and to the Word and PowerPoint mobile apps. With the new Microsoft 365 app look and feel, you can easily find Copilot alongside your content, apps, and shortcuts. You can use it to: 


 



  • Bring your content into Copilot to complete tasks on the go. Summarize documents, translate, explain, or ask questions, and have your answer grounded in the content you select.  

  • Start generating content wherever you work based on your ideas and existing information, and hand over to Microsoft 365 mobile apps to continue working.  

  • Interact with Copilot in Word mobile and PowerPoint mobile to comprehend content better and skim through only the most important slides on the go (requires a Copilot license).  


 


The Microsoft 365 mobile app complements the Copilot mobile app rolled out earlier this month, and licensed users can continue to use the Copilot mobile app to have responses grounded in both web or work data. IT admins can easily deploy both the Microsoft 365 mobile app and the Copilot mobile app to corporate devices using Microsoft Intune or a third-party tool, or users can simply download the Microsoft 365 mobile app on any supported device and sign in. 


  


Copilot integration in the Microsoft 365 mobile app and the Word and PowerPoint mobile apps is rolling out now. You can learn more here 


 


The iOS layout of the Microsoft 365 mobile app, showing Copilot available on the taskbar.The iOS layout of the Microsoft 365 mobile app, showing Copilot available on the taskbar.


 


 


Create compelling surveys, polls, and forms with Copilot in Forms 


Use Copilot to simplify the process of creating surveys, polls, and forms, saving you time and effort. Go to forms.microsoft.com, select New, and tell Copilot your topic, length, and any additional context. Copilot will provide relevant questions and suggestions, and then you can refine the draft by adding extra details, editing text, or removing content. Once you’ve created a solid draft with Copilot, you can then customize the background with one of the many Forms style options. With Copilot in Forms, you’ll effortlessly create well-crafted forms that capture your audience’s attention, leading to better response rates.  


 


Copilot in Forms will be available in March. You can learn more here 


 


An image of a form draft with Copilot prompts displayedAn image of a form draft with Copilot prompts displayed


 


 


Extract information quickly from your files with Copilot in OneDrive 


Copilot in OneDrive gives you instant access to information contained deep within your files. Initially available from the OneDrive web experience, Copilot will provide you with smart and intuitive ways to interact with your documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and files. You can use Copilot in OneDrive to: 


 



  • Get information from your files: Ask questions about your content using natural language, and Copilot will fetch the information from your files, saving you the work and time of manually searching for what you need. 

  • Generate file summaries: Need a quick overview of a file? Copilot can summarize the contents of one or multiple files, offering you quick insights without having to even open the file.  

  • Find files using natural language: Find files in new ways by using Copilot prompts such as “Show me all the files shared with me in the past week” or “Show files that Kat Larson has commented in.” 


Copilot in OneDrive will be available in late April on OneDrive for Web. You can learn more here 


 


 


 


 



Alt text: Video showing Copilot in OneDrive with a prompt to extract information from a collection of resumes. 


 


Include quick summaries when sharing documents   


Add Copilot-generated summaries when you share documents with your colleagues. These summaries, included in the document sharing notification, give your recipients immediate context around a document and a quick overview of its content without needing to open the file. Sharing summaries helps users prioritize work, increases engagement, and reduces cognitive burden. 


 


Sharing summaries will be available in March 2024, starting when sharing a Word document from the web, with support in the desktop client and the mobile app later this year. Learn more here. 


 


  


GIF showing AI-generated sharing summary when sharing a Microsoft Word doc.GIF showing AI-generated sharing summary when sharing a Microsoft Word doc.


 


 


Get instant video summaries and insights with Copilot in Stream 


By using Copilot in Microsoft Stream, you can quickly get the information you need about videos in your organization, whether you’re viewing the latest Teams meeting recording, town hall, product demo, how-to, or onsite videos from frontline workers. Copilot helps you get what you need from your videos in seconds. You can use it to:  


 



  • Summarize any video and identify relevant points you need to watch 

  • Ask questions to get insights from long or detailed videos 

  • Locate when people, teams, or topics are discussed so you can jump to that point in the video 

  • Identify calls to action and where you can get involved to help 


Copilot in Stream will be available in late April. You can learn more here. 


 


Copilot in Stream can quickly summarize a video or answer your questions about the content in the video.  Alt text: Screen shot showing Copilot in Microsoft Stream.Copilot in Stream can quickly summarize a video or answer your questions about the content in the video.  Alt text: Screen shot showing Copilot in Microsoft Stream.


 


 


 


 


Try new ways of working with Help me create 


In March, we’re rolling out a new Copilot capability in the Microsoft 365 web app that helps you focus on the substance of your content while Copilot suggests the best format: a white paper, a presentation, a list, an icebreaker quiz, and so on. In the Microsoft 365 app at microsoft365.com, simply tell Help me create what you want to work on and it will suggest the best app for you and give you a boost with generative AI suggestions. Learn more here 


 


 


Help me create dialog box in the foreground, with the Microsoft 365 web app create screen in the background.Help me create dialog box in the foreground, with the Microsoft 365 web app create screen in the background.


 


 


 


Draft emails quicker and get coaching tips for your messages with Copilot in classic Outlook for Windows 


Customers of the new Outlook for Windows have been enjoying Copilot features like draft, coaching, and summary which we announced last year. Since November last year, summary by Copilot has also been available in classic Outlook for Windows. Soon, draft and coaching will be coming to classic Outlook too. 


 


Draft with Copilot helps you reduce time spent on email by drafting new emails or responses for you with just a short prompt that explains what you want to communicate. Because you are always in control with Copilot, you can choose to adjust the proposed draft in length and tone or ask Copilot to generate a new message – and you can always go back to the previous options if you prefer.  


 


Coaching by Copilot can help you get your point across in the best possible way, coaching you on tone (for example, too aggressive, too formal, and so on), reader sentiment (how a reader might perceive your message), and clarity. Copilot can provide coaching for drafts it created or drafts you wrote yourself. 


 


 Coaching will start rolling out in early March and draft by Copilot will start rolling out in late March 


  


An image of a message composed in the classic Outlook for Windows with the Copilot icon being clicked to reveal options for draft and coaching.An image of a message composed in the classic Outlook for Windows with the Copilot icon being clicked to reveal options for draft and coaching.


 


 


Experience the new Copilot in Microsoft Teams 


We have recently enabled a new Copilot experience in Microsoft Teams that offers better prompts, easier access, and more functionality than the previous version. Copilot in Teams will be automatically pinned above your chats, and you can use it to catch up, create, and ask anything related to Microsoft 365. Learn more about the new Copilot experience in Teams here. 


 


An image of the Copilot experience in Microsoft Teams, responding to a question based on the user's Graph dataAn image of the Copilot experience in Microsoft Teams, responding to a question based on the user’s Graph data


 


 


 


Check out the improved usage reports for Microsoft Copilot in the admin center 


The Microsoft 365 admin center Usage reports offer a growing set of usage insights across your Microsoft 365 cloud services. Among these reports, the Copilot for Microsoft 365 Usage report (Preview) is built to help Microsoft 365 admins plan for rollout, inform adoption strategy, and make license allocation decisions. 


 


The report now includes usage metrics for Microsoft Copilot with Graph-grounded chat. This allows you to see how Chat compares with usage of Copilot in other apps like Teams, Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote and Loop. You can review the enabled and active user time series chart to assess how usage is trending over time. The new metric has been added retroactively dating back to late November of 2023. To access the report, navigate to Reports > Usage and select the Copilot for Microsoft 365 product report. Learn more here. 


 


An image of the Copilot for Microsoft 365 Usage report highlighting the addition of a new metric for Microsoft Copilot with Graph-grounded chatAn image of the Copilot for Microsoft 365 Usage report highlighting the addition of a new metric for Microsoft Copilot with Graph-grounded chat


 


 


 


Learn more about the use of Copilot for Microsoft 365 in the Financial Services Industry  


Today we are releasing the new white paper for the financial services industry (FSI) with information about use cases and benefits for the FSI, information about risks and regulations, guidance for managing and governing a generative AI solution, and more information about how to prepare for Copilot. Read the paper here. 


 


Catch up on the Copilot for Microsoft 365 Tech Accelerator 


In case you missed it, you can catch up on all the sessions from the Copilot for Microsoft 365 Tech Accelerator via recordings on the event page. The event covered a range of topics including how Copilot works, how to prepare your organization for Copilot, strategies for deploying, driving adoption, and measuring impact, and deep dives on how to extend Copilot with Copilot Studio and Graph connectors. Chat Q&A is open through Friday, March 1, 12:00 P.M. PT, so watch the recordings and get any questions you might have answered. 


 


Did you know? The Microsoft 365 Roadmap is where you can get the latest updates on productivity apps and intelligent cloud services. Check out what features are in development or coming soon on the Microsoft 365 Roadmap. All future rollout dates assume the feature availability on the Current Channel. Customers should expect these features to be available on the Monthly Enterprise Channel the second Tuesday of the upcoming month. 


 


 


 

Introducing Microsoft Copilot for Finance: Transform finance with next-generation AI in Microsoft 365

Introducing Microsoft Copilot for Finance: Transform finance with next-generation AI in Microsoft 365

This article is contributed. See the original author and article here.

The finance department is the heart of the organization, juggling a myriad of critical, yet complex tasksfrom quote-to-cash processes like credit and collections to risk management and compliance. Financial teams are not only responsible for these mandatory, labor-intensive operations, but are increasingly tasked with real-time insights into business performance and recommendations for future growth initiatives. In fact, 80% of finance leaders and teams face challenges to take on more strategic work beyond the operational portions of their roles.¹ On the one hand, teams are poised and ready to play a larger role in driving business growth strategy. On the other hand, however, they can’t walk away from maintaining a critical and mandatory set of responsibilities. 

Microsoft is introducing a solution to help finance teams reclaim time and stay on top of the critical decisions that can impact business performance. Microsoft Copilot for Finance is a new Copilot experience for Microsoft 365 that unlocks AI-assisted competencies for financial professionals, right from within productivity applications they use every day. Now available in public preview, Copilot for Finance connects to the organization’s financial systems, including Dynamics 365 and SAP, to provide role-specific workflow automation, guided actions, and recommendations in Microsoft Outlook, Excel, Microsoft Teams and other Microsoft 365 applications—helping to save time and focus on what truly matters: navigating the company to success. 

Animated personal budget donut chart

Copilot for Finance

By harnessing AI, it automates time-consuming tasks, allowing you to focus on what truly matters.

Leveraging innovation to accelerate fiscal stewardship 

Finance teams play a critical role in innovating processes to improve efficiency across the organization. As teams look to evolve and improve how time is spent to support more strategic work, it’s evident there are elements of operational tasks that are more mundane, repetitive, and manually intensive.  Instead of spending the majority of their day on analysis or cross-team collaboration, 62% of finance professionals are stuck in the drudgery of data entry and review cycles.² While some of these tasks are critical and can’t be automated—like compliance and tax reporting—we also hear from majority of finance leaders that they lack the automation tools and technology they need to transform these processes and free up time.¹

With the pace of business accelerating every day, becoming a disruptor requires investing in technology that will drive innovation and support the bottom line. In the next three to five years, 68% of CFOs anticipate revenue growth from generative AI (GenAI).³ By implementing next-generation AI to deliver insight and automate costly and time-intensive operational tasks, teams can reinvest that time to accelerate their impact as financial stewards and strategists. 

Microsoft Copilot for Finance: Accomplish more with less

Copilot for Finance provides AI-powered assistance while working in Microsoft 365 applications, making financial processes more streamlined and automated. Copilot for Finance can streamline audits by pulling and reconciling data with a simple prompt, simplify collections by automating communication and payment plans, and accelerate financial reporting by detecting variances with ease. The potential time and cost savings are substantial, transforming not just how financial professionals work, but how they drive impact within the organization. 

Users can interact with Copilot for Finance in multiple ways. It both suggests actions in the flow of work, and enables users to ask questions by typing a prompt in natural language. For example, a user can prompt Copilot to “help me understand forecast to actuals variance data.” In moments, Copilot for Finance will generate insights and pull data directly from across the ERP and financial systems, suggesting actions to take and providing a head start by generating contextualized text and attaching relevant files. Like other copilot experiences, users can easily check source data to ensure transparency before using Copilot to take any actions.  

Copilot for Finance connects to existing financial systems, including Dynamics 365 and SAP, as well as thousands more with Microsoft Copilot Studio. With the ability to both pull insight from and update actions back to existing sources, Copilot for Finance empowers users to stay in the flow of work and complete tasks more efficiently. 

graphical user interface, application, table

Built for finance professionals

Copilot for Finance is well versed in the critical and often time-consuming tasks and processes across a finance professional’s workday, providing a simple way to ask questions about data, surface insights, and automate processes—helping to reduce the time spent on repetitive actions. While today’s modern finance team is responsible for a litany of tasks, let’s explore three scenarios that Copilot for Finance supports at public preview.  

Copilot for Finance can also help financial analysts to reduce the risk of reporting errors and missing unidentified variances. Rather than manually reviewing large financial data sets for unusual patterns, users can prompt Copilot to detect outliers and highlight variances for investigation. Copilot for Finance streamlines variance identification with reusable natural language instructions in the enterprise context. A financial analyst can direct Copilot to identify answers for variances, and Copilot will gather supporting data autonomously.  

Audits of a company’s financial statements are critical to ensuring accuracy and mitigating risk. Traditionally, accounts receivable managers were required to pull account data manually from ERP records, reconcile it in Excel, and look for inaccuracies manually. With Copilot for Finance, these critical steps are done with a single prompt, allowing AR managers to act on inconsistencies and any delinquencies found with Copilot suggested copy and relevant invoices.

“Finance organizations need to be utilizing generative AI to help blend structured and unstructured datasets. Copilot for Finance is a solution that aggressively targets this challenge. Microsoft continues to push the boundary of business applications by providing AI-driven solutions for common business problems. Copilot for Finance is another powerful example of this effort. Copilot for Finance has potential to help finance professionals at organizations of all sizes accelerate impact and possibly even reduce financial operation costs.”

—Kevin Permenter, IDC research director, financial applications

graphical user interface, text

The collections process is another critical responsibility as it affects company cash flow, profitability, and customer relationships. Collection coordinators spend their time reviewing outstanding accounts and attempting to reconcile them in a timely manner. This often means phone calls, emails, and negotiating payment plans. With Copilot for Finance, collection coordinators can focus their time on more meaningful client-facing interactions by leaving the busy work to Copilot. Copilot for Finance supports the collections process end-to-end by suggesting priority accounts, summarizing conversations to record back to ERP, and providing customized payment plans for customers.

graphical user interface, text, application, email

 Copilot for Finance can also help financial analysts to reduce the risk of reporting errors and missing unidentified variances. Rather than manually reviewing large financial data sets for unusual patterns, users can prompt Copilot to detect outliers and highlight variances for investigation. Copilot for Finance streamlines variance identification with reusable natural language instructions in the enterprise context. A financial analyst can direct Copilot to identify answers for variances, and Copilot will gather supporting data autonomously.  

graphical user interface, application, table

Copilot will suggest financial context contacts and will provide auto summaries for streamlined tracking of action items and follow ups. Copilot for Finance can generate fine-tuned financial commentary, PowerPoint presentations, and emails to report to key stakeholders. 

Our journey with Microsoft Finance  

Microsoft employs thousands across its finance team to manage and drive countless processes and systems as well as identify opportunities for company growth and strategy. Who better to pilot the latest innovation in finance? For the first phase, we worked closely with a Treasury team focused on accounts receivable as well as a team in financial planning and analysiswho need to reconcile data as a part of their workflow before conducting further analysis. After trialing the data reconciliation capabilities in Copilot for Finance, the initial value and potential for scale for these teams was clear.

“Financial analysts today spend, on average, one to two hours reconciling data per week. With Copilot for Finance, that is down to 10 minutes. Functionality like data reconciliation will be a huge time saver for an organization as complex as Microsoft.”

Sarper Baysal, Microsoft Commercial Revenue Planning Lead

“The accounts receivable reconciliation capabilities help us to eliminate the time it takes to compare data across sources, saving an average 20 minutes per account. Based on pilot usage, this translates to an average of 22% cost savings in average handling time.”

Gladys Jin, Senior Director Microsoft Finance Global Treasury and Financial Services

Microsoft Copilot for Finance availability 

Ready to take the next step? Microsoft Copilot for Finance is available for public preview today. Explore the public preview demo and stay tuned for additional announcements by following us on social.

Explore more Copilot offerings for business functions across your organization

Copilot for Finance joins other Copilot offerings designed for business functions, including Microsoft Copilot for Sales and Microsoft Copilot for Service, both now generally available.  

For research insights on the future of work and generative AI, subscribe to WorkLab.


¹ Microsoft Future of Finance Trends Report, 2023
² Metric of the Month: Time Allocation in Finance, CFO, Perry D. Wiggins. December 7, 2020.
³ Accelerating the GenAI Journey with Use Cases in the Functional and Application Areas, IDC, Mickey North Rizza. February 2024.

The post Introducing Microsoft Copilot for Finance: Transform finance with next-generation AI in Microsoft 365 appeared first on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Blog.

Brought to you by Dr. Ware, Microsoft Office 365 Silver Partner, Charleston SC.

Updates to Configuration Analyzer in Microsoft defender for Office 365

Updates to Configuration Analyzer in Microsoft defender for Office 365

This article is contributed. See the original author and article here.

Configuration analyzer in Microsoft Defender for Office 365 helps you find and fix security policies that are less secure than the recommended settings. It allows you to compare your current policies with the standard or strict preset policies, lets you apply recommendations to improve your security posture, and view historical changes to your policies. 

 

We are excited to announce several updates to Configuration analyzer. This update includes:


  1. New recommendations covering more scenarios.

  2. New flyout which adds more context around the recommendations.

  3. New export button which lets you easily export recommendations to share with your partners.


New Recommendations:



  1. Safe links Policy: Create Custom safe links policy.

  2. Outlook: Configure External tag in Outlook.

  3. Anti Phishing Policy: Enable First contact safety tips.

  4. DKIM: Configure DKIM and SPF for your domains.

  5. Built-in Protection Policy: Remove Built-in protection exclusions.


New Flyout Experience:



  • Clicking on a recommendation will now open a flyout that has brief detail about why we are making the recommendation as well as targeted links to documentation to learn more about.


NithinNara_0-1706600758999.png

 



Exporting the Recommendations:



  • A new Export button should appear when you select one or multiple recommendations. Clicking on the Export button will download the selected recommendations as a CSV file which can be shared with your external partners who might not have access to your environment.


NithinNara_1-1706600759001.png

 


Check out our documentation to get started: Configuration analyzer for security policies | Microsoft Learn


 


If you have other questions or feedback about Microsoft Defender for Office 365, engage with the community and Microsoft experts in the Defender for Office 365 forum. 


Migration of Apache Spark from HDInsight 5.0 to HDInsight 5.1

Migration of Apache Spark from HDInsight 5.0 to HDInsight 5.1

This article is contributed. See the original author and article here.

Azure HDInsight Spark 5.0 to HDI 5.1 Migration


 


A new version of HDInsight 5.1 is released with Spark 3.3.1. This release improves join query performance via Bloom filters, increases the Pandas API coverage with the support of popular Pandas features such as datetime.timedelta and merge_asof, simplifies the migration from traditional data warehouses by improving ANSI compliance and supporting dozens of new built-in functions.


In this article we will discuss about the migration of user applications from HDInsight 5.0(Spark 3.1) to HDInsight 5.1 (Spark 3.3). The sections include,


1. Changes which are compatible with minor changes 


2. Changes in Spark that require application changes 


 


Application Changes with backport.


The below changes are part of HDI 5.1 release. If these functions are used in applications, the given steps can be taken to avoid the changes in application code.


 



  1. Since Spark 3.3, the histogram_numeric function in Spark SQL returns an output type of an array of structs (x, y), where the type of the ‘x’ field in the return value is propagated from the input values consumed in the aggregate function. In Spark 3.2 or earlier, x’ always had double type. Optionally, use the configuration spark.sql.legacy.histogramNumericPropagateInputType since Spark 3.3 to revert to the previous behavior.


Spark 3.1 (pyspark)


ApurbaSR_115-1709029868259.png


 


 


ApurbaSR_116-1709029868280.png


 


Spark 3.3:


ApurbaSR_117-1709029868307.png


 


 



  1. In Spark 3.3, the timestamps subtraction expression such as timestamp ‘2021-03-31 23:48:00’ – timestamp ‘2021-01-01 00:00:00’ returns values of DayTimeIntervalType. In Spark 3.1 and earlier, the type of the same expression is CalendarIntervalType. To restore the behavior before Spark 3.3, you can set spark.sql.legacy.interval.enabled to true.


ApurbaSR_118-1709029868335.png


 



  1. Since Spark 3.3, the functions lpad and rpad have been overloaded to support byte sequences. When the first argument is a byte sequence, the optional padding pattern must also be a byte sequence and the result is a BINARY value. The default padding pattern in this case is the zero byte. To restore the legacy behavior of always returning string types, set spark.sql.legacy.lpadRpadAlwaysReturnString to true.


> SELECT hex(lpad(x’1020′, 5, x’05’))


 0505051020


 


SELECT hex(rpad(x’1020′, 5, x’05’)) 1020050505


 



  1. Since Spark 3.3, Spark turns a non-nullable schema into nullable for API DataFrameReader.schema(schema: StructType).json(jsonDataset: Dataset[String]) and DataFrameReader.schema(schema: StructType).csv(csvDataset: Dataset[String]) when the schema is specified by the user and contains non-nullable fields. To restore the legacy behavior of respecting the nullability, set spark.sql.legacy.respectNullabilityInTextDatasetConversion to true.


 


ApurbaSR_119-1709029868394.png


 


ApurbaSR_120-1709029868445.png


 



  1. Since Spark 3.3, nulls are written as empty strings in CSV data source by default. In Spark 3.2 or earlier, nulls were written as empty strings as quoted empty strings, “”. To restore the previous behavior, set nullValue to “”, or set the configuration spark.sql.legacy.nullValueWrittenAsQuotedEmptyStringCsv to true.


Sample Data:


ApurbaSR_121-1709029868455.png


 


Spark 3.1:


ApurbaSR_122-1709029868478.png


 


 


 


 


Spark 3.3:


ApurbaSR_123-1709029868496.png


 



  1. Since Spark 3.3, Spark will try to use built-in data source writer instead of Hive serde in INSERT OVERWRITE DIRECTORY. This behavior is effective only if spark.sql.hive.convertMetastoreParquet or spark.sql.hive.convertMetastoreOrc is enabled respectively for Parquet and ORC formats. To restore the behavior before Spark 3.3, you can set spark.sql.hive.convertMetastoreInsertDir to false.


Spark logs:


ApurbaSR_124-1709029868520.png


 


 INFO ParquetOutputFormat [Executor task launch worker for task 0.0 in stage 0.0 (TID 0)]: ParquetRecordWriter [block size: 134217728b, row group padding size: 8388608b, validating: false]INFO ParquetWriteSupport [Executor task launch worker for task 0.0 in stage 0.0 (TID 0)]: Initialized Parquet WriteSupport with Catalyst schema:{  “type” : “struct”,  “fields” : [ {    “name” : “fname”,    “type” : “string”,    “nullable” : true,    “metadata” : { }  }, {


 


 


 


 



  1. Since Spark 3.3.1 and 3.2.3, for SELECT … GROUP BY a GROUPING SETS (b)-style SQL statements, grouping__id returns different values from Apache Spark 3.2.0, 3.2.1, 3.2.2, and 3.3.0. It computes based on user-given group-by expressions plus grouping set columns. To restore the behavior before 3.3.1 and 3.2.3, you can set spark.sql.legacy.groupingIdWithAppendedUserGroupBy


ApurbaSR_125-1709029868547.png


 


 



  1. In Spark 3.3, spark.sql.adaptive.enabled is enabled by default. To restore the behavior before Spark 3.3, you can set spark.sql.adaptive.enabled to false.


In Spark3.1, AQE is set to false by default.


ApurbaSR_126-1709029868550.png


 


       In Spark3.3, AQE is enabled by default.


ApurbaSR_127-1709029868552.png


 


Adaptive Query Execution (AQE) is an optimization technique in Spark SQL that makes use of the runtime statistics to choose the most efficient query execution plan, which is enabled by default since Apache Spark 3.3.0. Spark SQL can turn on and off AQE by spark.sql.adaptive.enabled as an umbrella configuration. As of Spark 3.0, there are three major features in AQE: including coalescing post-shuffle partitions, converting sort-merge join to broadcast join, and skew join optimization.

https://spark.apache.org/docs/latest/sql-performance-tuning.htm



  1. In Spark 3.3, the output schema of SHOW TABLES becomes namespace: string, tableName: string, isTemporary: boolean. In Spark 3.1 or earlier, the namespace field was named database for the builtin catalog, and there is no isTemporary field for v2 catalogs. To restore the old schema with the builtin catalog, you can set spark.sql.legacy.keepCommandOutputSchema to true.


In Spark3.1, Field is termed as database:-



       


ApurbaSR_128-1709029868574.png


 


In Spark3.3, Field is termed as Namespace: –
      


ApurbaSR_129-1709029868575.png


 




We can restore the behavior by setting the below property.


ApurbaSR_130-1709029868590.png


 


 



  1. In Spark 3.3, the output schema of SHOW TABLE EXTENDED becomes namespace: string, tableName: string, isTemporary: boolean, information: string. In Spark 3.1 or earlier, the namespace field was named database for the builtin catalog, and no change for the v2 catalogs. To restore the old schema with the builtin catalog, you can set spark.sql.legacy.keepCommandOutputSchema to true.



Show similar screenshot details in both spark-sql shell for spark3.1 and spark3.3 versions.


ApurbaSR_131-1709029868691.png


 


 


In Spark3.1, Field is termed as database:
      


ApurbaSR_132-1709029868693.png


 


In Spark3.3, Field is termed as Namespace: –


ApurbaSR_133-1709029868695.png


 


We can restore the behavior by setting the below property.


ApurbaSR_134-1709029868697.png


 


 



  1. In Spark 3.3, CREATE TABLE AS SELECT with non-empty LOCATION will throw AnalysisException. To restore the behavior before Spark 3.2, you can set spark.sql.legacy.allowNonEmptyLocationInCTAS to true.


In spark 3.3, we are able to CTAS with non-empty location, as shown below


ApurbaSR_135-1709029868703.png


 


In spark 3.3 also we are able to create tables without the above  property change


ApurbaSR_136-1709029868711.png


 


 



  1. In Spark 3.3, special datetime values such as epoch, today, yesterday, tomorrow, and now are supported in typed literals or in cast of foldable strings only, for instance, select timestamp’now’ or select cast(‘today’ as date). In Spark 3.1 and 3.0, such special values are supported in any casts of strings to dates/timestamps. To keep these special values as dates/timestamps in Spark 3.1 and 3.0, you should replace them manually, e.g. if (c in (‘now’, ‘today’), current_date(), cast(c as date)).


In spark 3.3 and 3.1 below code works exactly same.


ApurbaSR_137-1709029868714.png


 


 


 


Application Changes Expected


There are some changes in the spark functions between HDI 5.0 and 5.1. The changes depend on whether the applications use below functionalities and APIs.



  1. Since Spark 3.3, DESCRIBE FUNCTION fails if the function does not exist. In Spark 3.2 or earlier, DESCRIBE FUNCTION can still run and print “Function: func_name not found”.


 


Spark 3.1:


ApurbaSR_100-1709029777744.png


 


Spark 3.3:


ApurbaSR_101-1709029777776.png


 



  1. Since Spark 3.3, DROP FUNCTION fails if the function name matches one of the built-in functions’ name and is not qualified. In Spark 3.2 or earlier, DROP FUNCTION can still drop a persistent function even if the name is not qualified and is the same as a built-in function’s name.

  2. Since Spark 3.3, when reading values from a JSON attribute defined as FloatType or DoubleType, the strings “+Infinity”, “+INF”, and “-INF” are now parsed to the appropriate values, in addition to the already supported “Infinity” and “-Infinity” variations. This change was made to improve consistency with Jackson’s parsing of the unquoted versions of these values. Also, the allowNonNumericNumbers option is now respected so these strings will now be considered invalid if this option is disabled.


 


ApurbaSR_102-1709029777801.png


 


 



  1. Since Spark 3.3, when reading values from a JSON attribute defined as FloatType or DoubleType, the strings “+Infinity”, “+INF”, and “-INF” are now parsed to the appropriate values, in addition to the already supported “Infinity” and “-Infinity” variations. This change was made to improve consistency with Jackson’s parsing of the unquoted versions of these values. Also, the allowNonNumericNumbers option is now respected so these strings will now be considered invalid if this option is disabled.


 


Spark 3.3:


ApurbaSR_103-1709029777820.png


 


Spark 3.1:


ApurbaSR_104-1709029777836.png


 


 



  1. Spark 3.3 introduced error handling functions like below:


TRY_SUBTRACT – behaves as an “-” operator but returns null in case of an error.


TRY_MULTIPLY – is a safe representation of the “*” operator.


TRY_SUM – is an error-handling implementation of the sum operation.


TRY_AVG – is an error handling-implementation of the average operation.


TRY_TO_BINARY – eventually converts an input value to a binary value.


Example of ‘try_to_binary’ function:


When correct value given for base64 decoding:


 


 


When wrong value given for base64 decoding it doesn’t throw any error.


 



  1. Since Spark 3.3, ADD FILE/JAR/ARCHIVE commands require each path to be enclosed by ” or ‘ if the path contains whitespaces.

    In spark3.3:
    ApurbaSR_105-1709029777838.png

     




    In spark3.1: Multiple jars adding not working, only at a time can be added.

    ApurbaSR_106-1709029777839.png

     




 



  1. 16.In Spark 3.3, the following meta-characters are escaped in the show() action. In Spark 3.1 or earlier, the following metacharacters are output as it is.


n (new line)


r (carrige ret)


t (horizontal tab)


f (form feed)


b (backspace)


u000B (vertical tab)


u0007 (bell)


In Spark3.3, meta-characters are escaped in the show() action.


                              


 


 


        


In Spark3.1, the meta-characters are actually interpreted as their define functions.


 


                               



  1. In Spark 3.3, the output schema of DESCRIBE NAMESPACE becomes info_name: string, info_value: string. In Spark 3.1 or earlier, the info_name field was named database_description_item and the info_value field was named database_description_value for the builtin catalog. To restore the old schema with the builtin catalog, you can set spark.sql.legacy.keepCommandOutputSchema to true.


In Spark 3.1, we see the below headers before we set the property to false and check.


ApurbaSR_107-1709029777851.png


 


 In Spark 3.3, we see the Info name and Info value before we set the property to true.


ApurbaSR_108-1709029777859.png


 


 



  1. In Spark 3.3, DataFrameNaFunctions.replace() no longer uses exact string match for the input column names, to match the SQL syntax and support qualified column names. Input column name having a dot in the name (not nested) needs to be escaped with backtick `. Now, it throws AnalysisException if the column is not found in the data frame schema. It also throws IllegalArgumentException if the input column name is a nested column. In Spark 3.1 and earlier, it used to ignore invalid input column name and nested column name.


ApurbaSR_109-1709029777872.png


 


 



  1. In Spark 3.3, CREATE TABLE .. LIKE .. command can not use reserved properties. You need their specific clauses to specify them, for example, CREATE TABLE test1 LIKE test LOCATION ‘some path’. You can set spark.sql.legacy.notReserveProperties to true to ignore the ParseException, in this case, these properties will be silently removed, for example: TBLPROPERTIES(‘owner’=’yao’) will have no effect. In Spark version 3.1 and below, the reserved properties can be used in CREATE TABLE .. LIKE .. command but have no side effects, for example, TBLPROPERTIES(‘location’=’/tmp’) does not change the location of the table but only creates a headless property just like ‘a’=’b’.


In spark 3.3 we got the same parse exceptions, post setting the property we were able to create the table


 


ApurbaSR_110-1709029777883.png


 


 


In spark 3.1 , we didn’t get any exceptions or errors:


ApurbaSR_111-1709029777893.png


 


 



  1. In Spark 3.3, the unit-to-unit interval literals like INTERVAL ‘1-1’ YEAR TO MONTH and the unit list interval literals like INTERVAL ‘3’ DAYS ‘1’ HOUR are converted to ANSI interval types: YearMonthIntervalType or DayTimeIntervalType. In Spark 3.1 and earlier, such interval literals are converted to CalendarIntervalType. To restore the behavior before Spark 3.3, you can set spark.sql.legacy.interval.enabled to true.


In spark 3.3, post setting up this spark.sql.legacy.interval.enabled to true
these literals are converted to ANSI interval types: YearMonthIntervalType or DayTimeIntervalType.


ApurbaSR_112-1709029777895.png


 


In Spark 3.1, there are no changes due to the change in property.          


ApurbaSR_113-1709029777897.png


 


 



  1. In Spark 3.3, the TRANSFORM operator can’t support alias in inputs. In Spark 3.1 and earlier, we can write script transform like SELECT TRANSFORM(a AS c1, b AS c2) USING ‘cat’ FROM TBL.


In Spark 3.1 we are able use direct transforms but ,
In spark 3.3, direct transform is prohibited , but  can be  use with below workaround
.


ApurbaSR_114-1709029777900.png


 


 


 


 

Empowering Business innovation for modernizing Retailers and manufacturers with Copilot: Unleashing Dynamics 365 Commerce investments for 2024 Wave 1

Empowering Business innovation for modernizing Retailers and manufacturers with Copilot: Unleashing Dynamics 365 Commerce investments for 2024 Wave 1

This article is contributed. See the original author and article here.

Editor: Denis Conway

Introduction:

Dynamics 365 Commerce is a comprehensive omnichannel solution that empowers retailers to deliver personalized, seamless, and differentiated shopping experiences across physical and digital channels. In the 2024 release Wave 1, Dynamics 365 Commerce continues to innovate and enhance its capabilities to improve store associate productivity and meet the evolving needs of customers and businesses. Here are some of the highlights of the new features coming soon:

Copilot in Site builder is going global and multi-lingual:

Copilot in Site builder is a generative AI assistant that helps users create engaging and relevant content for their e-commerce sites. Copilot uses the product information and the user’s input to generate product enrichment content that is crafted using brand tone and tailored for targeted customer segments.

graphical user interface
Image: Copilot Site Builder

In the 2024 release wave 1, Copilot in Site builder is expanding its language support to include support for 23 additional locales including German, French, Spanish, and more. This feature demonstrates Microsoft’s commitment to making Copilot accessible globally and empowering users to create multilingual content with ease and efficiency.

Strengthening our dedication to creating a comprehensive B2B solution for Digital Commerce by supporting B2B indirect commerce

Dynamics 365 Commerce supports both B2C and B2B commerce scenarios, enabling retailers to sell directly to consumers and businesses. In the 2024 release wave 1, Dynamics 365 Commerce fortifies its B2B investments by introducing support for B2B indirect commerce, which enables manufacturers selling through a network of distributors to get complete visibility into their sales and inventory.

graphical user interface
Image: New distributor capabilities

New distributor capabilities enable manufacturers to provide a self-service platform that simplifies distributor operations and builds meaningful, long-lasting business relationships through efficient and transparent transactions. Distributors can access product catalogs and pricing specific to their partner agreements, manufacturers can place orders on behalf of their customers with specific distributor, and outlets can track order status and history.

Dynamics 365 Commerce also streamlines multi-outlet ordering, enabling business buyers that are associated with more than one outlet organization to buy for all of them. Commerce provides the ability to seamlessly buy for multiple organizations using the same email account, enabling buyers to be more efficient.

graphical user interface, website
Image: Order for Organizations

Additionally, Dynamics 365 Commerce supports advance ordering, which is a common practice in some businesses to order products in advance to ensure they have adequate stock when needed. This feature enables customers to specify the desired delivery date and include additional order notes.

Also, introducing support for a promotions page on an e-commerce site that serves as a hub to showcase various deals and promotions that shoppers can take advantage of. The promotions page can display active and upcoming promotions.

graphical user interface
Image : Promotions Page
Adyen Tap to Pay is coming to Store Commerce app on iOS

The Store Commerce app is a mobile point of sale (POS) solution that enables store associates to complete transactions through a mobile device on the sales floor, pop-up store, or remote location. The Store Commerce app supports various payment methods, such as cash, card, gift card, and loyalty points.

a hand holding a remote control
Image: Adyen Tap to Pay

In the 2024 release wave 1, Dynamics 365 Commerce is introducing Adyen Tap to Pay capabilities into the Store Commerce app for iOS, so that retailers everywhere can accept payments directly on Apple iPhones. Adyen Tap to Pay enhances the utility and versatility of the Store Commerce app, as it eliminates the need for additional hardware or peripherals to process payments. It also enables retailers to offer a more customer-centric and engaging in-store retail experience, as store associates can interact with customers anywhere in the store and complete transactions on the spot.

Speed up your checkout process with simplified and consistent payment workflows for different payment methods on Store Commerce app

Efficiency and predictability are key to the smooth operation of a point of sale (POS) system, especially when it comes to payment processing. When store associates can process customer payments across a variety of payment types with minimal friction, customers spend less time waiting and more time shopping.

In the 2024 release wave 1, Dynamics 365 Commerce is improving the POS payment processing user experience to create more consistent workflows across payment types. The new user experience simplifies the payment selection and confirmation process, reduces the number of clicks and screens, and provides clear feedback and guidance to the store associate. The new user experience also supports split tendering, which allows customers to pay with multiple payment methods in a single transaction.

graphical user interface, application, Teams
Image: Check out process

The improved POS payment processing user experience will contribute to efficiencies in the checkout process and more satisfied customers. It will also reduce the training time and effort for store associates, as they can easily learn and master the payment workflows.

Enabling retailers to effectively monitor and track inventory of Batch-controlled products via Store Commerce app

Batch-controlled products are products that are manufactured in batches and associated with unique identifiers for quality control and traceability. Batch-controlled products are commonly used in food, chemical, and electronics industries, where the quality and safety of the products are critical.

graphical user interface, application, Teams
Image: Batch Control Products

In the 2024 release wave 1, Dynamics 365 Commerce enhances the Store Commerce app to support batch-controlled products. This feature enables store associates to scan or enter the batch number of the products during the sales or return transactions and validate the batch information against the inventory records. This feature also enables store associates to view the batch details of the products, such as the expiration date, manufacture date, and lot number.

With these new features, Dynamics 365 Commerce aims to provide you with the best tools and solutions to grow your business and delight your customers. Whether you want to create engaging and relevant content for your e-commerce site, automate and integrate your order management workflows, expand your B2B commerce opportunities, or improve your payment processing and inventory management, Dynamics 365 Commerce has something new for you.

To learn more about Dynamics 365 Commerce:

Learn more about additional investments and timeline for these investments here in release plans.

Visit our website on commerce today.

The post Empowering Business innovation for modernizing Retailers and manufacturers with Copilot: Unleashing Dynamics 365 Commerce investments for 2024 Wave 1 appeared first on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Blog.

Brought to you by Dr. Ware, Microsoft Office 365 Silver Partner, Charleston SC.