New Version is Persistent and Delivers More Data
Microsoft originally published message center notification MC221432 covering the introduction of a new format for Teams meeting attendance reports in September 2020. On February 5, they released an update to say that the long-awaited feature is ready to ship and will roll out in mid-February with worldwide completion at the end of February. This is Microsoft 365 roadmap item 66459.
Update March 25: The new-format attendance report is rolling out and deployment should be complete by the end of the month.
The original attendance report was limited in terms of the data it provided. But even worse, the report was only available while a meeting was in progress. Once the meeting finished, the report vanished. Many meeting organizers forgot to grab the attendance report before closing off a meeting and lost the information.
Moving Processing to the Backend
The root cause was that the Teams client used by the meeting organizer generated the meeting report and never saved the data. Clearly, this was an unacceptable situation. The solution is to treat the attendance report like the other meeting artifacts like the transcript and recording and process the information on the backend. This makes the data more accessible and persistent.
Table 1 compares the old and new attendance reports.
|Feature||Old Attendance Report||New Attendance Report|
|Source||Teams client||Backend service|
|Available in||Meeting people pane||Meeting chat (private meetings) or channel (channel meeting)|
|Available to||Meeting organizers||Meeting organizers|
|Available as||Downloadable CSV file, but only while meeting is active.||Downloadable CSV file, generated post-meeting and available thereafter.|
|Data included||User email address, action type (join, leave), timestamp||Display name, email address, start time, end time, duration, role|
In addition, the attendance report notes the number of attendees and the actual start and end times (rather than the scheduled times). Figure 1 shows a typical example of a meeting attendance report.
Accessing the Meeting Report
Teams meetings are divided into personal and channel. Personal meetings are owned by the person who creates the meeting and the attendance report is available as part of the meeting recap. Attendance reports for channel meetings are posted as a reply in the chat created for the meeting. Figure 2 shows how an organizer can download the report for a channel meeting.
One important note is that meeting attendance reports are not indexed and available for eDiscovery.
Enabling Meeting Attendance Reports
When Microsoft rolled out the original attendance report in May 2020, they emphasized that the feature is disabled by default. If you want meeting organizers to generate attendance reports, you must update the meeting policy assigned to their accounts to ensure that the AllowEngagementReport setting is Enabled. This setting can only be updated with PowerShell using the Teams module. In this example, we connect to Teams, then set up a new session to the management endpoint before updating the default Teams meeting policy to allow any account assigned this policy to create meeting attendance reports.
Connect-MicrosoftTeams -Credential $O365Cred $SB = New-CSOnlineSession Import-PSSession $SB -AllowClobber Set-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy -Identity Global -AllowEngagementReport "Enabled"
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.
This is a good change. In particular, education tenants will enjoy the ability to download attendance lists after a class completes. However, I also think it will be popular with organizers of large meetings in enterprise tenants who often have the need to know who attended something like a product briefing. Or even attending the ever-popular HR briefings for new health and safety regulations…
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