Tag Archives: apps

“Bundle” the Biz Apps Summit with P3 Training Classes!

Why Fly Home Tuesday Night? Make it an epic week.

Hi folks, in what’s become a tradition, we like to teach classes in Seattle and schedule them consecutively with Microsoft’s biggest annual Power BI conference.

Well this year will be no exception.  Let’s get after it.

1) Register for the Microsoft Biz Apps Summit.  Last year’s similar conference sold out QUICKLY, so you should move fast.  We had a lot of people want to “double up” last year who got locked out of the MS conference.

2) Register for our Power BI Foundations and/or Power Query classes.  These will be held on Microsoft campus in Redmond WA.

3) Consider whether you want to then stay on in Seattle for the weekend.  As a former resident of the Puget Sound from 1996-2009, take it from me:  there is no better time to visit beautiful Seattle than late July.

Yep, it’s like that.
(Photo credit: Getty Images)

Also consider arriving a day early and catching me at my Biz Apps conference pre-day workshop, titled “Get immediate business impact with Power Pivot Modeling in Excel.”  If you plan on attending Power BI Foundations later in the week, you might also consider one of the 13 other pre-day workshops (or just join me twice and REALLY get “dosed.”)  See the whole list here by filtering Session Type = “Pre-Day Workshop.”

Q: Who’s actually teaching?

A: I’m going to be teaching both the Pre-Day workshop at the conference AND the Power BI Foundations classes.  I’ll be assisted at times by members of the P3 team, because they’re the ones in the trenches every day soaking up the latest developments and it would be a shame to deprive you of their knowledge, but yes, I’m doing the bulk of the teaching.  The Power Query class will not be taught by me, but I WILL be in the room that day.

Q: The P3 Classes are Being Taught on Microsoft Campus?

A:  Yep.  In fact, you will get to meet about a dozen members of the Microsoft Excel software engineering team, who will also be attending.

Q:  So if I’m doing both Biz Apps and P3 training, should I consider booking different hotels?

A:  Probably, yes.  The conference is in downtown Seattle, and our classes will be across the lake in Redmond, which can be a tricky commute. We’ve had people stay in Seattle the whole time in the past and not complain, so this is not a must – purely a convenience tradeoff.

Q:  I have a different question not answered here.

A:  Throw it in the comments and we’ll respond!

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Authentication to Dynamics 365 using Azure Apps

accounting 3175108 960 720 300x225 Authentication to Dynamics 365 using Azure Apps

There are many scenarios where you might need to make a connection to Microsoft Dynamics 365 from an outside source whether it be a single page application, a mobile application, or within some other service. In almost all these situations, authenticating to Dynamics 365 can be a bit challenging. That is until now!

Let’s face it, nobody wants to deal with messy SOAP handshake protocols or developing/hosting/managing middleware just to establish a connection to Dynamics 365 from your latest mobile app or through new code running in some website backend. With the help of Azure Apps, we can drastically simplify the development of applications that need a connection to Dynamics 365 (or any other Microsoft Services).

You can perform all of the following steps by creating a trial Dynamics 365 account from Microsoft (did you know that you can access Azure AD without putting in your credit card info?) Below are some high level steps to set up an app in Azure, get a token using that info from C# code, and using the token from a simple JS code to access Dynamics 365.

Setting Up an App in Azure

1. Navigate to Azure Active Directory > App registrations > Click + New application registration

051818 1710 Authenticat1 Authentication to Dynamics 365 using Azure Apps

2. Now fill in the required fields as shown below and hit Create. Note that the sign-on URL only matters for something like a single page application – otherwise just putting a localhost URL is just fine.

051818 1710 Authenticat2 Authentication to Dynamics 365 using Azure Apps

3. Awesome! Now you have successfully created an Azure app. Double click the app and you will see its details as below.

051818 1710 Authenticat3 Authentication to Dynamics 365 using Azure Apps

4. Our next step is to give permission to the app to access Dynamics 365. Navigate to Required permissions and click +Add. Then select Dynamics 365 Online API.

051818 1710 Authenticat4 Authentication to Dynamics 365 using Azure Apps

5. Make sure to check the Delegated Permissions checkboxes as shown below. Also, click the Grant Permissions button for the changes to take effect.

051818 1710 Authenticat5 Authentication to Dynamics 365 using Azure Apps

6. We have one more thing to setup! Navigate to Keys, create a new key, and copy the value ASAP, be sure to save it somewhere (as it will be hidden in future).

051818 1710 Authenticat6 Authentication to Dynamics 365 using Azure Apps

7. Navigate to Endpoints in the App registrations list view and copy the OAUTH 2.0 AUTHORIZATION ENDPOINT URL that you will need in the code later.

051818 1710 Authenticat7 Authentication to Dynamics 365 using Azure Apps

Setting Up the Application user in CRM

Now that we have our Azure app set up complete, we’ll move on to creating an application user.

1. Once you create the app user, make sure to give it a custom Security role that has the access you want this user to have.

2. Navigate to your Dynamics 365 org > Settings > Security. Change the view to Application Users and then click +New.

051818 1710 Authenticat8 Authentication to Dynamics 365 using Azure Apps

3. This will show you a new user form (make sure to change the form to “APPLICATION USER”) where you will only need to fill the “Application ID” field. Use the application ID you created from your Azure app in the previous steps.

051818 1710 Authenticat9 Authentication to Dynamics 365 using Azure Apps

Sample C# code for testing above configurations

Now let’s look at the C# code that uses this app to retrieve an Authentication token. We are using the sample code that you can get here.

1. You will need to get the client Id, secret key value, resource URL, and OAUTH 2.0 Authorization Endpoint as described in the previous steps to successfully get the token from the C# code below.

051818 1710 Authenticat10 Authentication to Dynamics 365 using Azure Apps

2. We have shown the token in Visual Studio’s immediate window, but this token string is what your C# app will return. For the demo, we used the console app but this console app can be hosted in something like an Azure function so that it can be called from anywhere and isn’t too difficult to retrieve the Dynamics 365 authentication token.

Sample JS Code for Connecting to Dynamics 365 using the Token

Now that we have the token, let’s use it in a simple JS code. We generated a simple rest call snippet using CRM Rest Builder and we’re running the JS code inside jsfiddle. As you can see in the screenshot below, we have successfully sent the WhoAmI request to the Dynamics 365 org and retrieved the values as shown in the alert boxes below.

051818 1710 Authenticat11 Authentication to Dynamics 365 using Azure Apps

We hope this method will save some of the CRM developers out there some time and effort when dealing with creating custom third party applications that need to talk to Dynamics 365.

For more helpful Dynamics 365 tips and tricks, be sure to subscribe to our blog!

Happy Dynamics 365’ing!

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PowerObjects- Bringing Focus to Dynamics CRM

5/17 Webinar: A look at the Common Data Service for Apps, Common Data Service for Analytics and Power BI Insights Apps

On March 21st the Business Applications Group announced a couple of new technologies: Common Data Service for Apps, Common Data Service for Analytics and Power BI Insights Apps.

In this demo heavy webinar Microsoft program managers, Charles Sterling and Matthew Roche, will take a tour of the Common Data Service for Apps, Common Data Service for Analytics and Power BI Insights Apps.  Demos to include creating PowerApps Canvas based application that put data into the Common Data Service, a Model Based PowerApps application that is built on top of the Common Data Service, creating a Common Data Service Analytics Data Pool with online Power Query, creating reports with Power BI Desktop against a Common Data Service Analytics Data Pool and finally showing how to get instant value from Common Data Service Analytics using Power BI Insight Apps.

When:  5/17/2018 10AM PST

Where: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lYcHgDllxE 

 5/17 Webinar: A look at the Common Data Service for Apps, Common Data Service for Analytics and Power BI Insights Apps

Presented by Mathew Roche and Charles Sterling

Matthew Roche is an experienced program manager, data architect, software developer, trainer and mentor with over two decades of experience in the Microsoft data platform and developer ecosystem. His current role as Senior Program Manager on the Microsoft Cloud & Enterprise team allows him to extend the features and influence the direction of Microsoft Business Intelligence, Data Governance, and Information Management products and services. 

Before joining Microsoft in 2008, Matthew was a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for SQL Server. Matthew holds a wide range of professional certifications including Microsoft Certified Trainer, Microsoft Certified Database Administrator, Microsoft Certified Solution Developer, Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist, Microsoft Certified Professional Developer, Microsoft Certified IT Professional and Oracle Certified Professional.

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Microsoft Power BI Blog | Microsoft Power BI

Power BI Workspaces, Apps, and Ensuring Smooth Updates to Reports

2 Space Banner Idearv3 1024x580 Power BI Workspaces, Apps, and Ensuring Smooth Updates to Reports

Today, we’ll look at Power BI workspaces, apps, and how to keep changes from mucking up reports. In the software development lifecycle, a distinct space to test new reports ensures consistent results. Moreover, it’s part of good governance. This post builds on: How to Get Power BI Service to Work for You. Thanks to Krissy and Nar for prodding me to go further! Around here, we don’t require pre-publication peer review.  But we do learn from each other.

Note: This article requires the use of Power BI Pro, Office 365, and SharePoint Online. It’s ok if SharePoint on premises is your main intranet.

Two Issues with Power BI Workspaces and Apps

First, reports in Power BI workspaces and apps share a single dataset. And this data is updated whenever the workspace is updated. Second, workspaces and their apps have the same access. So, creators can publish reports without review.

1. The Power BI workspace and app share the same dataset.

When the publishing changes to the workspace, the data for the app changes too— even without updating the app. As a result, changes to the data model risk breaking the report. Also, you need to refresh the data before uploading or right after, so that stale data doesn’t replace fresh data.

Shared data in Power BI Service is by design, even if it has unplanned results. It reflects certain assumptions about self-service BI that doesn’t align with the real world. In this ideal, creating a report means applying visualizations to a stable dataset from a data warehouse. Even if you have a data warehouse, you still must refresh the report at the time of updating to avoid stale data. So, I added an item at ideas.powerbi.com to make updates upon changing a report.

2. A second issue is the partial separation of creating from testing.

As designed, the shared dataset does not deliver this separation.  It’s too easy to make changes. If there are few creators and report consumers, this can work. As more people use Power BI, stable processes are a must. See Rob’s Power BI Adoption Curve.

A Two-Space Solution for Power BI Workspaces and Apps

To get the benefits of a testing space, you need a second workspace. If the production space is Contoso Reports, the second space would be Contoso Reports-BETA. Report creators need editing rights on this workspace.  While the workspace is for development, the app of the beta space is for testing. Once changes are ready, publish the app to a group of users for testing.

How to move reports from development to production?

  1. In SharePoint Online, copy the pbix file from BETA to production team sites.
    The report in the Power BI workspace updates automatically if you sourced it using Get Data from the service.
  2. Refresh the report in the service.
  3. When refresh is complete, update the app to republish.
    In this process, there are two manual steps: copying the file and republishing the app. Report creators don’t need access to the production team site or workspace.

What did I miss? 

Dashboards. No way yet to move dashboards between workspaces. In fact, let’s add some steps.

Create a dashboard in the beta workspace, documenting the fields used and any slicers. When updating the report in the beta workspace, testers need to review the dashboard. If the dashboard breaks during development, the creator needs to change the dashboard and keep a list of changes.

After the report is in the production workspace, the publisher needs to pin similar tiles to the production dashboard (and fix any broken tiles before republishing the app).

Let’s look at the process.

Power BI Workspaces Apps Power BI Workspaces, Apps, and Ensuring Smooth Updates to Reports

Better living through syncing.

This chart shows syncing. First, there’s syncing between the PC and the SharePoint Online Team Site. Then, there’s syncing from the team site to the Power BI workspace. This syncing is done with Get Data from the service. Details on setting this up are in the post: How to Get Power BI Service to Work for You. However, moving files from beta to production is manual. And, publishing from Power BI workspaces to apps is also manual. Thus, these steps ensure stable results for report readers.

Wait, is this agile BI? 

Agile is all about flexibility: ways to respond to changes and support individuals and their interactions. So, in my chart, I show report creator and publisher. In a small company, one person may wear both hats. Let me put on my publisher hat to push out this report. In some places, it could be an admin from the business side. In other groups, it could be a Power BI team leader. Similarly, report creators could be business users and/or full-time Power BI developers. Further, testing would mean business users and developers working together to lay out acceptance criteria. After all, “everyone is responsible for quality.” Then, both groups test results at the same time while the report is in beta.

So, this is one way and not the only way to reach the goal. Let me know what you think.

More Resources for Power BI Workspaces, Apps:

We “give away” business-value-creating and escape-the-box-inspiring content like this article in part to show you that we’re not your average “tools” consulting firm. We’re sharp on the toolset for sure, but also on what makes businesses AND human beings “go.”

In three days’ time imagine what we can do for your bottom line. You should seriously consider finding out 🙂

* – unless, of course, you have two turntables and a microphone.  We hear a lot of things are also located there.

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Hide System Views, Forms, and More via Custom Apps!

Dynamics 365 300x225 Hide System Views, Forms, and More via Custom Apps!

A great benefit of Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the ability to store all of an organization’s data in a single system that allows multiple user groups to work together using the same data.

Most users, depending on security structure, are presented with every entity along with every system view in Dynamics 365. This leads to patchy user adoption along with frustrated end users attempting to scan through pages or lists for only the items that are relevant to them. These frustrated user groups want to see just the entities and information that pertain to their work.

The Dynamics 365 App Designer is a great feature that allows for the creating of custom apps that define which components of Dynamics 365 will be presented. Additionally, there are components within an entity such as Views which may not apply to all users.

In our scenario, we have a group of users (front-line support) who mainly work with servicing an account and utilize the Account and Case entities. They do not have any sales responsibility. Let’s use the Account entity and remove unnecessary System Views so users will only see the views they need to service their customers efficiently.

The Account entity comes with these System Views by default. Clearly, there are many views that do not apply to our front-line support users!

051118 1810 HideSystemV1 Hide System Views, Forms, and More via Custom Apps!

Create a Custom App

To remove or “hide” the views from users, a custom App called “Front-Line Support” will be made specifically for them and the Views will be removed. For instructions on creating the app, please check out how to create a Custom App in Dynamics 365. After following the instructions in the link and adding the Account entity to your app’s entity view and sitemap, navigate to My Apps and select the newly created app.

Go to Settings -> Application -> My Apps

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Open the “Front-Line Support” App.

051118 1810 HideSystemV3 Hide System Views, Forms, and More via Custom Apps!

Update Account Entity Views

Click on the Views component in the Account row.

051118 1810 HideSystemV4 Hide System Views, Forms, and More via Custom Apps!

Select Active, All, and Inactive Accounts views.

051118 1810 HideSystemV5 Hide System Views, Forms, and More via Custom Apps!

Publish updated App and verify changes

Save then Validate and finally Publish your changes.

051118 1810 HideSystemV6 Hide System Views, Forms, and More via Custom Apps!

Now open the Front-Line Support app and navigate to the Account entity.

051118 1810 HideSystemV7 Hide System Views, Forms, and More via Custom Apps!

Check out the new shortened Account View list! And using ZERO code!

051118 1810 HideSystemV8 Hide System Views, Forms, and More via Custom Apps!

Additionally, you can isolate the Front-Line Support app so that only our front-line support users who are assigned the “Front-Line Support” security role can see the app (as will System Administrators and Customizers).

051118 1810 HideSystemV9 Hide System Views, Forms, and More via Custom Apps!

Conclusion

As demonstrated, Custom Apps can be very powerful in reducing the amount of clutter presented to a user – all while using tools that are out of the box! The scenario used in the post relates to System Views however, this can be expanded to also hide or show Forms, Charts, Dashboards, and even Business Process Flows. An advanced solution can even direct user groups directly to their custom App without ever having to see a “full” version of Dynamics 365.

For more updates and guides to Dynamics 365 – subscribe to our blog!

Happy Dynamics 365’ing!

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PowerObjects- Bringing Focus to Dynamics CRM

Highly Available Data: Why High Availability Is Not Just for Apps

High availability is a buzzword in IT today. Usually, it refers to applications and services that are resistant to disruption. But it should also apply to your data. Here’s why.

Highly Available Data Why High Availability Is Not Just for Apps banner Highly Available Data: Why High Availability Is Not Just for Apps

What Is High Availability?

High availability refers to the ability of an application, service or other IT resources to remain constantly accessible, even in the face of unexpected disruptions.

In an age when a cloud service that fails for even just a few hours can significantly impact the ability of businesses to maintain operations, and when vendors typically guarantee certain levels of uptime via SLA contracts, maintaining high availability is crucial.

Unlike in the past, when users expected infrastructure to fail from time to time, downtime is unacceptable in most contexts today.

In reality, virtually every type of service or resource will fail occasionally. 100 percent uptime is not a realistic goal; even the best-managed services go down sometimes. But uptime on the order of 99.99 percent or higher (AWS famously promises “11 9s” of availability for its S3 storage service, for instance) is now standard. That’s the type of high availability that organizations strive for today.

High Availability for Data

In most cases, when people talk about high availability, they’re thinking about applications and services. Using automated server failover, redundant nodes and other strategies, they design systems that allow applications and services to continue running even if part of their infrastructure fails.

Yet the high availability concept can and should be extended to data. After all, without data to crunch, many applications and services are not very useful. If you plan a high availability strategy that addresses only your applications, you fall short of ensuring complete business continuity.

Achieving Data High Availability

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What does high availability for data look like in practice? All of the following considerations should factor into a data high availability strategy:

  • Servers that host data need to be resilient against disruption. You can, as noted above, achieve this by using redundant servers to host your data, and/or automated failover.
  • Databases should be architected in such a way that the failure of one database node won’t cause the database to be inaccessible. Databases should also be able to restart themselves automatically if they do crash, in order to minimize downtime.
  • If you rely on the network to access data, which you probably do, network availability is an important component in data high availability.

Highly Accessible Data

Data high availability can be taken a step further, too. In addition to keeping your data infrastructure and services up and running, you can build an even more effective high availability strategy for data by ensuring that your data is highly accessible.

Highly accessible data is data that you can work with readily. It’s quality data that is consistent and available in the format or formats that you need it to be in order to work with it. It’s data that is compatible with whichever tools you are using for analysis and interpretation.

By aiming for high data accessibility as well as high availability, you ensure not only that you can always reach your data, but also that the data is ready to use.

To learn even more about the state of disaster recovery preparedness in organizations today, read Syncsort’s full “State of Resilience“ report.

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Drill Down & Up in Power BI Mobile apps

You asked, and we built it! Now in Power BI Mobile app you can continue to analyze your data and gain even more insights by using drill down and drill up in your report’s visuals.

New tooltip experience

To enable drill down and up, we rebuilt and improved our tooltip experience, and built into it the infrastructure for drill down/up. The new tooltip is screen wide, and allows scrubbing, so you can drag your finger across the visual to explore details about each data point along the way more easily.  

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Drill Down & Up in Mobile

The new tooltips paved the way for on data point interactions, the first is drill up/down, which we know you were waiting for quite some time.

Power BI reports allow multiple hierarchies of data to allow maximum insight. Using drill up/down on your data point you can explore more details about your data making it more useful – even on the small form factor of the phone. And now you can use the drill down/up capability just by tapping on a data point in a report visual to show the tooltip and if drill options are available, then you will see the down and up arrows in the bottom of the tooltip box. Tapping on the down arrow, will bring you the next level in the hierarchy related to the selected data point.

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“Show next level” and “Expand to next level” are still available for report visual under “Expand to focus mode” > “Explore”:

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Remember, to enjoy all these drill options in the app, drill needs to be defined when you build your report in Power BI Desktop or in the web. Follow this link for additional information on how to enable drill down for in report.

Next in our backlog is Drill Through. Stay tuned.

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Microsoft Power BI Blog | Microsoft Power BI

Week 4/11 Webinars: Load Testing Power BI Applications with Visual Studio Load Test and Getting Started with Model Driven Apps in PowerApps

Load Testing Power BI Applications with Visual Studio Load Test

In today’s cloud-centric and security-aware culture, proper capacity testing and application optimization is often complex and daunting. This is especially true with many of Microsoft’s SaaS offerings, like Power BI Premium. There are a number of tools available to help with functional testing and user acceptance testing, but none of these are designed to apply the necessary load for stressing the services.

The proper way to handle driving load against these services is by using a protocol level traffic generator, like Visual Studio’s Load Testing Framework. However, building reliable webtests to use in the Load Tests requires a knowledge of HTTP level authentication schemes and an understanding of the service’s API schema, among many other things.

Luckily, Visual Studio’s Load Testing Framework is highly extensible and offers a way to automate many of the steps required to prepare webtests for proper execution. Join us as Geoff Gray (CTO of Gray Test Consulting) shows us how to design and use a webtest recorder plugin to build webtests that will work against Power BI Premium portals. As a bonus, you will also have access to some sample code that you can use to build your own recorder plugin.

When: 4/11/2018 10 AM PST

Where: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFbCh5TaR4w

 Week 4/11 Webinars: Load Testing Power BI Applications with Visual Studio Load Test and Getting Started with Model Driven Apps in PowerApps

I am a Senior Load and Performance Test Consultant with a degree in Computer and Electrical Engineering and extensive experience helping companies in the IT industry improve their applications’ stability, maintainability and performance while also teaching them how to manage these environments moving forward.
I specialize in short-term, mission-critical, high-visibility efforts, navigating through unknown issues and driving discovery and remediation of complex issues across multiple teams to meet tight deadlines. I also focus heavily on training and knowledge-transfer, ensuring that all of my work and processes are clearly understood by the people I am helping. I believe strongly in “teaching people how to fish.” Much of my experience was earned during my 24+ years working for Microsoft in technical delivery roles

Getting Started with CDS for Apps based Model Driven Apps

Work along with Adrian as he walks you through the basics of how to get started with Model Driven Apps. He will help you to understand:

  • What types of apps are prime candidates for Model Driven App Builds
  • How to build your first Common Data Service Database
  • How to navigate the user interface and designer components to build an quick app survey
  • How to share and test your new model driven app

When: 4/12/2018 10AM PST

Where: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buDDSzJTgns

 Week 4/11 Webinars: Load Testing Power BI Applications with Visual Studio Load Test and Getting Started with Model Driven Apps in PowerApps

, Principal Program Manager

With a 25 year history delivering high performance software and a background including: Engineering studies at North Dakota State Univerity, a Technical Manager at Accenture and a Technical Manager at Navitaire. This 12 year Microsoft veteran is now a Principal Program Manager at Microsoft in charge of enabling business analysts to create and deliver enterprise-grade applications with the Common Data Service for Apps. In his down time you can find Adrian on the slopes snow skiing with his kids or helping out with the latest Boyscott Troop 279 charity event.

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Microsoft Power BI Blog | Microsoft Power BI

Google: 60.3% of potentially harmful Android apps in 2017 were detected via machine learning

Google released its Android Security 2017 Year in Review report today, the fourth installment of the company’s attempt to educate the public about Android’s various layers of security and its failings. One of the most interesting learnings to come out of the report is that 60.3 percent of Potentially Harmful Apps (PHAs) were detected via machine learning.

The detection is done by a service called Google Play Protect, which is enabled on over 2 billion devices (running Android 4.3 and up) to constantly scan Android apps for malicious activity. Play Protect uses a variety of tactics to keep users and their data safe, but machine learning is particularly effective in helping catch PHAs.

Automatic and manual scanning

When Google shared earlier this year that more than 700,000 apps were removed from Google Play in 2017 for violating the app store’s policies (a 70 percent year-over-year increase), the company credited its implementation of machine learning models and techniques to detect abusive app content and behaviors such as impersonation, inappropriate content, or malware.

But the company did not share any details. Now we’re learning that 6 out of every 10 detections were thanks to machine learning. Oh, and the team says “we expect this to increase in the future.”

Every day, Play Protect automatically reviews more than 50 billion apps — these automatic reviews led to the removal of nearly 39 million PHAs last year, Google shared. Play Protect automatically checks Android devices for PHAs at least once every day, but users can conduct a review manually if they want:

Until only recently, Play Protect required devices to be online. When Google found that nearly 35 percent of new PHA installations were occurring while a device was offline or had lost network connectivity, it moved to develop a new feature to address the problem. In October 2017, Play Protect got an offline scanning feature, which has since prevented 10 million more PHA installs.

Google Play versus third-party app stores

Android devices ship with the Google Play store, which in most countries is where users get their apps. In some countries, however, third-party Android app stores are the only option or a popular alternative, or users share apps directly between themselves. Google revealed in its report that Android devices that only download apps from Google Play are 9 times less likely to get a PHA than devices that download apps from other sources, as you can see below.

In 2017, 0.56 percent of all Android devices scanned by Play Protect had installed a PHA, compared to 0.77 percent in 2016. Furthermore, the annual probability that a user downloaded a PHA from Google Play was 0.02 percent in 2017, down from 0.04 percent in 2017.

But the real progress was made with Google’s desire to protect Android users regardless of where they got their apps. Play Protect can remove any PHA from the Google Play store, but of course it can’t do the same for third-party app stores. Play Protect can only warn an Android user that an app is a PHA, although in the case of ransomware or banking phishing apps, it can also block the installation. Google thus tracks installation attempts for apps installed from outside of Google Play to see if Play Protect is having an impact.

Play Protect prevented 74 percent of PHA installation attempts with warnings and protections in 2017, compared to 55 percent in 2016. Google did not break out the remaining 26 percent between PHAs that were installed before Google identified them as threats and users who decided to ignore Play Protect’s warnings to install the PHA. Still, 1.22 percent of all app install attempts from outside of Google Play ended with a PHA installation in 2017, compared to 3.32 percent in 2016.

Given that Play Protect doesn’t just secure Google Play, it seems like a more apt name would be Android Protect. The report also talked about rewards given out by Android’s bug bounty programs, though the high-level results were already shared earlier this year.

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Automatically install apps

I’m excited to announce the ability to automatically install apps for end users, making it easier to distribute the right apps to the right set of people.

Apps deliver data that your end users need to do their jobs. Now you can automatically install these apps in the Apps content list rather than the user having to find the app in Microsoft AppSource or follow an installation link. This capability makes it easier for you to roll out standard Power BI content to your users.

How to enable pushing apps

Your tenant admin enables the ability to push apps. This is done in the admin portal (part of the Power BI service) on the Tenant settings tab.

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Switch the setting to Enabled and then specify who gets this capability (entire org or specific security groups). Remember that tenant setting changes can take some time to take effect, usually around 15 minutes.

How to install an app automatically for end users

Once the admin has enabled it for them, app publishers will have a new option available to install the app automatically. When the box is checked and the application publisher selects Finish (or Update app, for existing apps), the app will be pushed to all users or groups defined in the Permissions section of the app on the Access tab.

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How users get the apps that were pushed to them

After you push an app, it will show up in the Apps list automatically. You can curate the apps that a user or job role in your organization need to have at their fingertips. We hope this feature makes distributing content to Power BI users much simpler.

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Considerations

Here are some things to keep in mind when pushing apps to end users:

Pushing an app to users can take time. While most apps will install immediately for your users, pushing apps can take time. It depends on the number of items in the app and the number of people given access. It’s recommended that you push apps during off hours with plenty of time before users need it. Verify with several users before sending broad communication about the app’s availability.

Refresh your browser. Before seeing the pushed app in the Apps list, the user may need to refresh, or close and reopen their browser.

If the user doesn’t immediately see the app in the Apps list. they should refresh or close and reopen their browser. Please wait 24 hours before reporting to an issue Microsoft.

Don’t overwhelm users. Be careful not to push too may apps so your users perceive the pre-installed apps are useful to them. It’s best to control who can push apps to end users to coordinate timing. You can establish a point of contact for getting apps in your organization pushed to end users.

Next Steps

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