Application Modernization Industry Quick Guides
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Video Portal was announced back in November with initial push to “first release” customers and a global deployment available by early 2015. This portal powered by Azure Media Services provides adaptive streaming optimized for video playback for the device it’s being viewed on. Leveraging Office Graph, simple drag and drop interface, discover ability across enterprise search and Delve, integration with yammer conversations, and sharing capabilities on mobile makes this an intuitive and engaging knowledge management add in.
Below is a summary of Video Q&A with Microsoft team, MVPs, and community members:
Why does Office 365 Video need Flash installed?
Microsoft is working to add HTML5 video playback support in a future update. This will remove the current Flash dependency. For the initial release, we prioritized security of the videos’ playback stream. We are working with Azure Media Services on new player and detection tech that can get the right player (native, HTML5, or flash) and the right stream from Azure media services, so that we offer both adaptive streaming and security on latest mobile devices and browsers. For native iPhone app, we are using Azure Media Service SDK to support HLS. Browser playback doesn’t work currently for mobile devices because of flash.
What about mobility?
We are also working on responsive pages and will be addressing that as soon as possible. This is our first iteration and we hope to improve on it as quickly as possible to provide the broadest mobility reach possible.
Where I can read what the supported upload formats are and what the out quality is?
It’s all here: http://support.office.com/en-us/article/dd1af01c-fd8e-4640-b… MOV files are a container, and H264 movies are supported and will transcode, but some MOVs won’t work – we’ve a fix in play on this. The ones that do work, which is the majority, get treated like MP4. Once we’re fully cleared on all MOV types, we’ll then list it along with others. The beauty of the service is that it will adapt. As the journey begins we pay attention to fail points, preferences and trends all the same. Thanks for the weight of issue emphasis, helps us understand priority and sentiment to move forward and prioritize.
Is 96 Kbps the max audio rate?
That is the audio setting as of now. We’re open to feedback, and it appears the group consensus is that 128Kbps would be ideal. Consider it passed along to the Azure team to consider.
Are file sizes larger than 2GB possible for O365 Video?
The current upload limit is 2GB, and this applies to SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business and Office 365 Video. We are aligning with the broader motion that is in development to go beyond 2GB, of which you may have seen the OneDrive (consumer) announcement
What is the storage quota for the Video portal?
Each channel you create adds a new site collection to your tenant. By default no quota is set, rather based on usage by default. More here regarding the usage model: http://blogs.office.com/2014/08/18/sharepoint-online-simplif…. This does apply to Office 365 Video created channels, aka individual site collections in SPO admin center. This is not fully rolled out, but when you have it you can choose to continue to manually associate quota, or simply let it more auto-grow based on usage/need.
How about the storage on the back-end?
Storage is leveraged out of SharePoint Online team site allocation, not OneDrive for Business. We are offering O365 Video at no additional cost as part of an Enterprise suite license, and the service does count uploaded videos being stored in SharePoint Online. We do not count any of the videos generated in Azure for adaptive smooth streaming – that cost is embedded in your overall Office 365 investment.
I read in the documentation that the file is first stored in SharePoint before being uploaded to AMS. Where is it stored in SharePoint? And is the location accessible to us via the OM?
Each channel is technically a site collection in the backend of SharePoint. So yes the original file is there and you should be able to access it with the OM. More here on what happens to a video file in Office 365 Video file: http://youtu.be/HXSZ0jYBKlM
Can we embed an Office 365 Video outside the security ecosystem of our tenant so we can use this as both our intranet video and Internet video platform?
Not at this time. Office 365 Video is currently scoped to intranet. Hence we don’t yet support extranet or internet. We do have technology we can tap into once we feel the system is ready to support these scenarios. For extranet we have external sharing in SharePoint Online that we will consider, and the Azure team is considering the ability to have public/private switch capability – again something we can consider.
How does it work with local charsets? Like ÅÄÖ?
You can create a channel using different charsets with no problem. Office 365 Video supports the same languages as SharePoint Online – in the same manner.
When you comment on a video it makes a new yammer post each time and not a thread of comments? Is this on purpose or something we can change?
We adhere to Yammer’s tech, this is the same Yammer Conversations you leverage for Documents. The player page where you see the thread is a roll up of all threads, but yes, when in Yammer UI or apps, you’ll see the discussion only for that group on that video.
I just uploaded a video to one of my Channels. Is it possible to use it in a Yammer post?
You can start a yammer conversation for the video and that would include a link. It is the pane on the right of the screen on the video playback.
Are “views” tracked using SharePoint 2013-based usage/analytics/search functionality? If so, is there any way to “move” a video and have its views follow it?
Yes, “views” are tracked based on search functionality. However, we currently don’t support moving a video among channels.
We are looking for the ability to include supporting documents with our videos, including Transcripts, Presentations, Contracts. Is this on the roadmap for integration? We are looking for the feature set of the existing Video DocSet with the backend of Azure
At the moment we don’t have an option to include an attachment. We are thinking about ways how we can include that type of content with the video. For today, you could post those files as part of the Yammer conversation on the fly out. We have SharePoint technology today called “Document Sets” that may be where we tap into to enable the association of other materials, plus we’re working with the Delve team on new tech that enables new ways to ‘collect’ items … stay tuned.
Can you block a user so they are unable to comment on videos at Yammer?
There is not a way to block comments on individual videos at this time, but it is a feature request we are looking at. Also, note that commenting on videos with Yammer would require Yammer Enterprise to be enabled for the tenant.
Is there a document that describes the specific usage analytics that will be available in this release? If there is not (yet) then will it track views? View-to-completion (or something similar)?
In v1, we only offer view counts and it is already in the portal. We have plans to support more analytics depending on users’ feedback.
Is there a way to customize UI look and feel? What about custom features like tagging a video? Can we enforce metadata addition on upload as with all other 365 files?
Not at this time, but please add your feedback here: https://office365video.uservoice.com/forums/273864-general/suggestions/6737667-allow-custom-metadata-fields
Is there official guidance on migrating from other video services like YouTube to Office 365 video?
At this stage it would be a manual process. We are working on prioritizing the backlog and two items that are related to your question that we would consider for the future:
1) Ability to bring in YouTube, Vimeo, etc and have them “playable” and searchable in our user interface, but to actually not move the file.
2) Enable bulk upload so you can introduce a lot of new files (think of event capture where you have 300 sessions recorded), and then be able to apply basic metadata about all.
The space that shows used in SharePoint admin of a channel, is that the space of the files that we upload or the space of the transcoded/converted files takes up?
We are storing the original file in SharePoint for later retrieval purpose.
Can we dump the ingested source and just retain the delivery viable transcodes to manage tenant storage costs.
For now our work flow picks up from the uploaded video, which as you can infer then triggers the copy to be sent to Azure Media Services. We certainly will take this into planning meetings to best understand the impacts, benefits, pros, cons etc. Right now we are keeping the original video file in SPO and it counts against your quota. We are doing this to put a bit of a cap on it, but are open to feedback.
Does deletion of the ingested master therefore trigger deletion of transcodes. It simply defines our need to manage upload behaviors to avoid unnecessary storage costs.
Yes, delete from Office 365 Video UI does delete both SPO stored copy and versions in Azure used for adaptive smooth streaming playback.
Can I integrate this to on-prem intranet (sp13)? Will there be an app/webpart?
We are considering hybrid option with on-prem in the future but don’t have any committed plans. If we did it, the idea would be that you can link up your on-prem SharePoint with a video portal in the cloud. We haven’t addressed this yet in the service but are discouraging people from using the existing video features in SPO and want to avoid people having mass amounts of people watch videos directly from SPO.
What are the REST / OfficeGraph API endpoints to pull the videos for a specific channel? Is this documented anywhere yet?
The REST APIs for O365 video is public already but not documented yet. We have that on our list to do. The API has the ability to do just about everything on the video portal, get channels, get videos, upload videos, get/set settings, etc.
The apis are off the /portals/hub site collection…
We also have an api off the root site collection to find the url to the hub…
We are testing and uploaded five videos so far, but only one is actually viewable by everyone. For the people who uploaded the video, they can normally view their own video. Is this normal?
Videos don’t show up on the rest of the portal until search indexes them. You can only see them in “My Videos” until search picks them up. It should be indexed normally within 15 minutes, however in extreme cases it could be longer.
Step 1 is you upload a video to the channel. The video is preserved in SharePoint database. You will see the video in “My Video” tab, which renders using SharePoint database.
Step 2 is behind-the-scene: search crawls SharePoint database periodically (ideally every 15 minutes) to update search database with the updated list of videos. We render “Popular” and “Newest” tab based on search database. They should show all videos uploaded to the channel with a delay (because of the periodical crawl). Thus, ideally, you should be able to “spotlight” all videos uploaded to a channel within a couple of minutes. However, search performance is not as good as we are expecting. That’s maybe why you see a longer delay here.
We do have a bug where videos with certain file extensions (.mov and others) won’t be able to be indexed. We checked in a fix a while back but search DB upgraders haven’t run yet.
How long after upload is a video first available at upload point and subsequently how long before the video is globally viable through Azure Media Services?
We are at about 1-2x the length of the video as a rule of thumb. SP has to upload it to Azure and then Azure has to notify SP its done transcoding. At that point you can play it from the “My videos” pivot in a channel. You still have to wait for search indexing before it shows up in rest of the video portal.
Is there any way to include ‘legacy’ videos that we already have scattered about in our tenant or do we have to ‘move’ them all to the new Video hub/channels?
Hello Jim, this would need to be a manual process. The reason being is so that they are processed by Azure, making them much better for playback.
I created a channel and cannot delete it and now errors out but still appears as a selectable channel. Why?
It is deleted in SharePoint DB but search indexing has a delay so you still see it in the channel list. However, if you click it, it shouldn’t exist anymore. We do need to design the deletion UI clearer.
Will the “Videos” search vertical in SharePoint’s Enterprise Search Center template crawl the videos that are uploaded to Office 365 Video? In other words…can I find videos in Office 365 Video from SharePoint Search by default, or do customizations need to be done, or is it not possible at this time?
Yes. Search from the Office 365 Video portal is scoped to videos within the portal. If you search outside the video portal, from the search center, then yes, the videos from Office 365 Video will also appear. And extra credit, Office 365 Videos also appear in people’s Delve view, now with a new video card layout.
Users will need to visit the video portal to view the video, right? Or will there be a web part to embed a video within other sites in SharePoint Online?
Correct. From enterprise search clicking the video will bring you to the player page of the video portal. We know embed into the rest of SharePoint will be important. It’s at the top of our backlog along with better mobile playback. You will be able to on-hover playback the video from Search Center search results page, click the “…” of the video in results and hover over, it’ll start playing.
Can you include a link to a video direct in a mail like you can do with OneDrive now?
If you are in the portal, you can grab the link and share it in an email just as you would with OneDrive. Note that the recipient has to be internal. It’s a great ask for the future. We have worked hard on the ability to easily share inline via Yammer (Yammer Conversations fly out per player page). And the ease of adding a video from the Outlook side of the house is very palatable. We’re working on new experiences to create new pages in SharePoint, and grabbing a video and including it in a new entity is in the works. We then would need to connect with Outlook to review how we might get into their picker, like OneDrive does for “Smart Attachments.”
Created two channels this morning but neither one of them ended up in the channel tab. The direct link works but forgot to copy the first one so don’t know how to get to it again. Do I need to worry about the SharePoint site it creates, as it has no space or resources? And there was a standard channel from the beginning and what site is that connected to? What about duplicate names?
We will look at the duplicate name issues. We made a change recently to that part of the code and may have introduced some bugs. Unfortunately the channels don’t show up in the channel page until they have been indexed by search. This sometimes can take a while. If you don’t see channels show up after a while let us know, but they should show up in the list after search indexes them.
We provision a “Community” channel out of the box so people can upload to that right away. It’s the /portals/community/ site collection.
Among my channels there is one called Point Publishing that I have not created. Does anyone know why?
There is nothing special about it. We just automatically created a “Community” channel with open permissions so people could start uploading videos right away. Our translation on the channel name aren’t great. Sorry. It will delete the corresponding site collection when you delete the channel.
Can you specify which are the open permission versus the permissions automatically assigned to newly created channels?
When you make a new channel we set the permission to be as follows:
Can Edit – Person who created the channel.
Can View – Everyone except external
For the pre-provisioned Community Channel we set the permissions to let everyone have Can edit…
Can Edit – Everyone except external
Can View – Everyone except external
If you have Can Edit permissions it means you can upload to the channel, set permissions on the channel, spotlight videos, delete the channel.
Will there be a way to grant users the ability to upload videos to a channel without giving them all the rights encompassed by the Edit permissions? I’d like to create a channel for user-submitted videos without giving uploaders the ability to blow away the channel.
We tried to simplify the permissions model and ended up on just the two “can edit” and “can view”. If you can edit the channel you can upload and you can do all the channel admin operations. We could consider adding a 3rd permission level for “Contributors” or “Uploaders”.
If global-admin can’t access every channel – regardless of permissions – then how do we monitor them?
This was by design, but maybe we should revisit that. How do you normally handle this in general? Do you always just trust your admins and assume they will do the right thing and not look at what they likely shouldn’t? The thought was that if you wanted a truly private channel you wouldn’t want global tenant admin to have access.
Is there a way to set this portal to allow anonymous access resembling a public facing site for all to see without having to log in. I set the external and anonymous settings alright but wondering if it can be set as a public tenant?
Right now this is not for public consumption. It’s meant for internal users within an organization.
We don’t have a billing model or plan for how we’d pay for public use. We built O365 Video to be used internally in an organization, not to setup an external public facing video service.
Can an external user (without the need of an O365 account) use a link provided by the organization, to access essentially a FTP site to upload their videos to that would then be available for viewing by the organizationally department that set up the “share”, and published the link to the external user?
We do not support external users on the Office 365 Video portal, or any channel that gets created since these, too, are site collections of their own. It is under consideration for the future, and dependent on us being able to recoup costs from the service when a free person consumes compute and playback resources.
For an external audience, is Azure media services is still the best path to take?
Certainly. Azure Media Services supports a number of custom approaches. They are a world class service that has powered the Olympics in 2012 and 2014, powers NBC.com video playback, Xbox used them for launch, etc. It’s why we were excited to partner with them for this offering to Office 365 customers.
Are there plans to make the video service available to view (but not contribute) for kiosk licensed users?
Our business planning team is certainly aware of this ask, and in concept if they were to be enabled in the future, a kiosk worker would most likely remain a consumer as we have the Kiosk plan defined today (able to view, but is not enabled to upload or be an channel owner).
Any guidelines on the use of this service compared to SharePoint media asset libraries?
Yes… We would like encourage people to use O365 video instead of the existing SP media asset libraries. Asset libraries only do progress download of the videos that you uploaded. So people have to download the full sized video. We’ve had instances where lots of people watching the same video at the same time at an organization have caused big issues. O365 Video is adaptive streaming so you only get a size of video that your bandwidth can handle. And it is streamed out of Azure Media services and has no impact on SPO farms. When you use the video portal you get all the power of Azure Media Services. The overall experience for your users will be much better with the video portal.
Can the Video portal can be turned off?
There’s a good all up admin article here. Enable/disable is outlined at the end of the article: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Manage-your-Office-….
Will there be embed code or links available for individual videos or channels so they can be surfaced on other site pages?
This is a feature request we are getting. It is currently not supported in v1 but is our top priority moving forward. We are looking at much smarter and finer integration with SPO pages.
Will the ability to add other metadata columns be available? Such as Publish Date (for uploading historical videos) or Enterprise Keywords?
Right now, only video title and video description are configurable metadata. However, we are actively looking at supporting more metadata.
Are any metrics coming soon to the application?
We’ve heard this from many customers and it’s on the list. We know analytics will be important. Feel free to add this to user voice and vote it up.
Will the “cloud video” content type be available for other site collections outside of the video portal?
Right now it will only be available to the Video portal channels. We are looking in the future how to integrate this back into the rest of SharePoint and OneDrive for Business but don’t have any committed plans at this time.
What about video to be embedded in the page of content (text and interactive content), so my audience doesn’t need to visit another site?
It is a very legit feature request and it is in top of backlog. We are actively looking into the solution.
Could be integration with eternal video resources like YouTube?
We are looking at doing that. It’s not top on our list but it’s on our list. We’d eventually like to be able to grab an embed from YouTube or Vimeo, etc. and have that show up like any other video in the channel.
Is there a webpart coming so the spotlight videos could be shown dynamically on our Intranet site?
This is one of our top things to work on. We’d like to be able to support embed to other SPO sites.
Any plans to add thumbnail capability?
Yes we’d like to add “choose your own thumbs” in the future. Right now it’s on the middle of our list, but feel free to add this to user voice and vote it up.
Any plans to customize the layout of the spotlight template?
This is in the original designs but ended up needing to cut it to get out sooner. We don’t have plans right now to add it. But add it to user voice and vote it up.
Is there a plan for a player studio, of sorts where customization of playback skin for branding can be added?
We really aren’t considering customized player options at this time.
Is there a way to embed a channel or video in a SharePoint Site? Either O365 or on-prem server version?
Not yet. Up vote that request here: https://office365video.uservoice.caom/forums/273864-general/s…
ETA on an iOS app?
We’ll share more as we solidify our plans. No specific ETA yet.
How will the new Office Sway comes into play with the O365 Video?
Nothing to share at this point, however it is something to look for in the future.
Are there any plans to support synchronized PowerPoint slides and video playback?
We will have Office Mix integration soon, read more here: http://blogs.office.com/2014/11/18/office-mix-office-365-video/. Help us record/vote the feature requests on our User Voice site: http://aka.ms/O365VideoFeedback. That way we can actively re-ordering our backlog according to user requests.
Do you have plans to include Cortana?
Good feedback. Cortana would be smart as an office assistant. Audio-to-text and associated search-ability are in our backlog.
We are unhappy with the delete process, are there plans for a better tool?
Yes, we are aware that this is sub-optimal right now.
Is there an ETA on fix for this? http://www.benstegink.com/office-365-video-portal-major-bug-…
We have a script that we will be running against effect tenants this week (or a long as the script takes to run) to resolve this issue. If your tenant has this issue is should be fixed soon. [UPDATE: this is now complete].
Will the non-Enterprise plans (standard Business, etc) ever see this feature?
At this time it’s an enterprise only offering, also for Education and Government, with GCC coming soon early next year. The reality of this solution is that it’s embedded into the overall cost of the Office 365 E, A, G investments. The business modeling as of yet does not enable us to recoup per projections of costs for Business, Kiosk, standalone or external users. We are working on ways we can reduce overall costs so that we can pass the value onto to new Office 365 plans/users.
Source: Office 365 community network