Viva Connections Overview/Update
Viva Connections is a marketing term that is being used as a collection of functionality. It isn’t a SKU that you can purchase like some of the other Viva components like Topics. Viva Desktop is one of those pieces of functionality that is available for you to enable in your tenant.
Viva Desktop was formally called the Home Site app because it allows for personalization in your tenant. It is accessed as an icon in the left rail in Teams. It includes links to your Home Site, News, and your most recently used documents. You can also configure it to show global navigation based off of your Home Site.
Another new feature is a new page layout called the dashboard page layout. This page layout is available for organizations that were in the Viva Connections Preview. It is currently not in General Release, but it is coming soon. This will allow you to configure a new application type using SPFx called active card extensions, or ACEs. You can build ACEs with SPFx or leverage out-of-the-box ones. There’s also Dashboard Web Part that displays the dashboard page that’s in the same site collection anywhere you put the dashboard web part. Unfortunately, the dashboard page is not available with any tenants unless you’re part of the private preview.
Viva Desktop Set Up
To set Viva Desktop up, there’s some configuring that needs to be done. Luckily, Microsoft has provided a PowerShell script to do this. This PowerShell asks you some questions, takes your answers and generates some JSON and then zips the files. It also generates a Teams App that you then upload to Teams.
There’s a little bit of prep before doing the PowerShell part. Before you turn on the Global Nav remember you need to have a site designated as an official Home Site.
Case Study Project
Bob German mentioned a project idea he had. A World Clock to assist with working with a geographically diverse team. It was always a struggle to know what time it was for each member of the team and then try to find a common time that didn’t mean one group was up in the middle of the night. We worked with Microsoft to create a sample app using Teams that solved this problem as well as leveraged the new ACE functionality for Viva Connections. The video contains a demo of the application. The source code is also available in GitHub.
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