The Sad Decline of Printing
One of the most common requests I get is “how can I print off the membership of a group or team?” On one level, it’s a rather old-fashioned request. Much to the chagrin of printing companies, people don’t print as often as they used to. When I worked at HP, I sat through many presentations about the wonders of printer technology and how ink jets work, but all that business about super-heated injection through microscopic holes of ink configured to an exact chemical specification isn’t quite as popular (or exciting) anymore.
How Apps List Group Membership
Applications list the membership of a Microsoft 365 group in different ways. OWA has quite a nice way of displaying group membership (Figure 1) but misses out that all-important print option.
Teams takes much the same approach in its Manage team option (Figure 2) and also neglects to include a printing feature. It’s a little surprising that Teams doesn’t support printing off membership information seeing that so many education establishments use Teams for classes. Then again, Teams pretty well eschews printing everywhere (clearly a member of the anti-ink faction) and leaves it to other apps to print off files like meeting attendance reports.
Neither OWA nor Teams reveal much about the members. Some details are exposed, like title and location (Teams), but not a lot.
The solution is to write some code to create a report about group membership. You could do this using PowerShell or the Graph API. There are many examples of PowerShell scripts to attack the problem that can be found on the internet (like this mega-script by Vasil Michev), but there’s always room for another.
The things to remember about Microsoft 365 Groups are:
- An owner must be a member.
- Owners and members are stored in two lists. Each list is a set of links back to individual accounts. Dynamic Groups also have two lists; the sole difference is that Azure AD periodically calculates the membership of each list by querying the directory.
- Microsoft 365 Groups support only tenant accounts and guest accounts as members. No nesting is allowed, probably because of the complexities it might introduce for applications which use Groups as a membership and identity service.
The setup of Microsoft 365 Groups mean that they are much easier to process than Exchange distribution groups. We need to:
- Fetch all the members and fetch the properties of each member that we are interested in.
- Do the same for the owners.
- Generate a report.
In my case, I decided to generate a HTML format report (Figure 3) and a CSV file. The report is for printing, the CSV file is to analyze membership as needed. Because we’re using PowerShell, it’s easy to include or remove properties for each member. I chose to include name, user principal name, email, title, department, office, city, post code, country, type (tenant or guest account), and member type (owner or member). The bottom of the report contains some summary detail such as the number of members, owners, and guests, the description of the group, and when it was created.
You can download the script from GitHub. The code is very straightforward. Feel free to improve it as you wish. And if you want a report detailing all the Microsoft 365 Groups and Teams in your tenant, check out the Groups and Teams Activity Report.
And if you’d like to create a report of the membership of every group/team in your tenant, check out this article.
Want to understand how to use PowerShell with Microsoft 365 Groups and Teams? Read Chapter 13 of the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook!