Office 365: Fluid Framework

Office 365 Fluid Framework preview is now available to anyone who has an Office 365 Enterprise subscription. O365 Fluid Framework will enhance user collaboration across apps, and being web-based, it will provide interactive and shared experiences through a componentized document model.

What is O365 Fluid Framework?

Housed in GitHub, O365 Fluid Framework is described as an open platform that is accessible for use by developers. Generic tools for web applications is available in the software development kit.

On a user level, O365 Fluid Framework enables user collaboration across applications, including co-authoring in Office applications and the ability for multiple users to ink documents. Artificial intelligence is also leveraged to enhance collaboration, such as simultaneous text translation into other languages. Crowdsource meeting agendas, minutes, note-taking, and managing projects with multiple stakeholders will be a breeze with O365 Fluid Framework’s flexibility.

In the O365 Fluid Framework preview, users will be able to create, edit, and share their Fluid Framework canvases. In Fluid Framework, end-users will not only be able to collaborate on Fluid Framework documents, but they will also be able to use Office 365’s @mention to send instant messages.

What is in the O365 Fluid Framework Preview?

As mentioned above, the O365 Fluid Framework is accessible for those who have an O365 Enterprise subscription. To begin accessing your preview, sign in at the O365 Fluid Framework preview with either your work or school account.

Once signed in, creating can begin:

1. On the left-hand side, choose to Create New;

2. Add a Title; and

3. Save your project but note that the project cannot be saved locally. The project location for saving must either be in OneDrive for Business or in SharePoint.

As you create, you can invite others to collaborate with you on this project by clicking the Share () button to grant access to your colleagues. You can also copy the URL. Another way to share your project is to use the @mention. By tagging your colleague, if they have access, they will be notified. If they do not have access, a pop up will appear, allowing you to easily grant them access while you keep working.

Connected and live, collaboration on fluid canvases is nearly instantaneous. All users who have access to the file will be able to immediately see edits.

In O365 Fluid Framework, components are added, and these components represent the types of content that can be used to customize the workspace. To add components, either type the plus “+” sign or, on the left side of the page, choose the “+” icon. Currently, in the preview, the following components are available:

1. Action Items: track, in a table, tasks, timelines, and assignees;

2. Mention: tag colleagues with “@name” anywhere in the content so that they can easily find relevant content;

3. Table: create and customize a table;

4. Date: add dates to track upcoming deadlines and to highlight overdue tasks; and

5. Check List: as items are completed, check them off.

Though Fluid Framework canvases are not the documents that we are familiar with, canvases can still be formatted. To format Fluid Framework canvases, right-click within the section that you want to format. A pop-up will appear and within this menu are contextually relevant options for areas of text and tables.

1. Text Area: text formatting options include those in the image below:

2. Tables: table formatting options include those in the image below:

On the left is a navigation pane which provides quick and useful access to:

  1. – quickly access recent projects;
  2. – quickly scan mentions;
  3. – easily start a new project; and
  4. – easily share suggestions and feedback.

As with all Microsoft products, there are keyboard shortcuts for the O365 Fluid Framework. These keyboard shortcuts are:

Keyboard shortcut Action
@ Tag and notify a person
+ Opens the Discover Menu with component options
Shift + F10 Opens the Commanding Surface with formatting options
Ctrl + Alt + 1 Heading 1
Ctrl + Alt + 2 Heading 2
Ctrl + . Creates bulleted List
Ctrl + 1 Creates a checklist, checks off an item, or removes a checklist

Supported Browsers for Preview:

1. Microsoft Edge;

2. Safari (Mac only);

3. Chrome; and

4. Firefox.

Note that only the latest versions of these browsers are supported.

Office 365 Fluid Framework is a flexible, live, and real-time application that enhances team collaboration with a blank fluid canvas that is customizable for each user through the addition of components for a variety of content types. Breaking down app barriers, O365 Fluid Framework provides multi-users the capabilities to co-author document and web content with speed and at large scale. Because O365 Fluid Framework is a componentized document model, authors can deconstruct content into collaborative blocks. These building blocks can then be used across applications, and by doing so, a new, flexible document is created. The power of the O365 Fluid Framework is further fueled with intelligent agents, translating text, suggesting edits, fetching content, performing compliance checks, and more.

Though this is still in preview, O365 Fluid Framework is providing us some insight as to the direction that Microsoft is headed towards with content collaboration between users. O365 Fluid Framework has great potential to become the freeform collaboration tool.

  • Saturday, March 14, 2020 By : Mike Maadarani   

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