Part of Skype for Business Online Retirement Process
As has been well advertised, Microsoft will retire Skype for Business Online on July 31, 2021. Organizations should now be well on the way to deploying and using Teams to replace Skype for Business Online. Or, if they’re really brave, moving to a different communications platform.
The Skype for Business Connector includes the New-CsOnlineSession cmdlet, used to establish a new remote connection to the Skype for Business Online endpoint. Once a connection is made, the cmdlets used for policy management can be imported into a session and used. Documented in Office 365 notification MC230065 on 15 December, Microsoft will retire the Skype for Business Online connector on 15 February 2021.
Time to Check Scripts
Teams shares a common policy framework with Skype for Business Online, which means that to interact with Teams management policies through PowerShell, many scripts use the Skype for Business Online Connector.
Before the Connector is retired, organizations need to check any PowerShell scripts used to manage Teams management policies, such as:
- Bulk assignment of policy settings to user accounts.
- Managing Teams app setup policies.
- Controlling the background effects people can choose in Teams meetings.
- Allowing users to record personal meetings.
Teams PowerShell Module Replaces Connector
The Teams PowerShell module replaces the connector. Launched in September, version 1.1.16 and future versions contain New-CsOnlineSession and other cmdlets previously found in the connector:
Get-Command -Module MicrosoftTeams -Name *-Cs* CommandType Name Version Source ----------- ---- ------- ------ Function Get-CsBatchPolicyAssignmentOperation 1.1.6 MicrosoftTeams Function Get-CsGroupPolicyAssignment 1.1.6 MicrosoftTeams Function Get-CsUserPolicyAssignment 1.1.6 MicrosoftTeams Function New-CsBatchPolicyAssignmentOperation 1.1.6 MicrosoftTeams Function New-CsGroupPolicyAssignment 1.1.6 MicrosoftTeams Function Remove-CsGroupPolicyAssignment 1.1.6 MicrosoftTeams Cmdlet Get-CsOnlinePowerShellEndpoint 1.1.6 MicrosoftTeams Cmdlet Get-CsPolicyPackage 1.1.6 MicrosoftTeams Cmdlet Get-CsUserPolicyPackage 1.1.6 MicrosoftTeams Cmdlet Get-CsUserPolicyPackageRecommendation 1.1.6 MicrosoftTeams Cmdlet Grant-CsUserPolicyPackage 1.1.6 MicrosoftTeams Cmdlet New-CsBatchPolicyPackageAssignmentOperation 1.1.6 MicrosoftTeams Cmdlet New-CsOnlineSession 1.1.6 MicrosoftTeams
To use the cmdlets used for Teams policy management, you don’t need to connect to Teams before connecting to the Skype for Business Online endpoint; all that’s necessary is to install the latest version of the Teams PowerShell module and run these commands (Figure 1):
$TeamsPolicySession = New-CsOnlineSession -Credential $O365Cred Import-PsSession $TeamsPolicySession -AllowClobber
Update March 6, 2021: Microsoft has updated the Teams PowerShell module to V2.0. In general, it’s best to use the latest version of a module but test it first! This version doesn’t require using New-CsOnlineSession to connect to the management end point.
Once a remote connection is made and the cmdlets are imported into a session, you can use policy management cmdlets like Get-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy and Cs-TeamsMessagingPolicy. Updating scripts should be a matter of making sure that the cmdlets are loaded from the Teams module and removing any reference to the Skype for Business Online connector.
The Missing Enable-CsOnlineSessionForReconnection Cmdlet
The Teams PowerShell module doesn’t currently feature the Enable-CsOnlineSessionForReconnection. This cmdlet enables a session connected to the Skype for Business endpoint to reconnect it it times out. A timeout can happen at random intervals. In most cases this isn’t a problem as the interaction with Teams policies and other cmdlets accessed through this endpoint is often brief. If you work with the policy and management cmdlets for extended period, consider using this script to mimic the functionality of the Enable-CsOnlineSessionForReconnection cmdlet. Run it in your session after importing the Skype for Business Online cmdlets.
It’s easy to miss out on small but important details like the retirement of a connector. Other books don’t cover stuff like this because they are written once and then published. The Office 365 for IT Pros eBook is refreshed with changes and republished monthly to our subscribers.