Microsoft Releases Version 5 of the Microsoft Teams PowerShell Module

Major Update for the Get-CsOnlineUser Cmdlet

I don’t normally write about a new version of the Microsoft Teams PowerShell module and confine myself to updating the post covering recent module updates. However, the release of a major version is worth comment, which is the case with V5.0 of the Teams module, now available from the PowerShell Gallery (Figure 1).

V5.0 of the Microsoft Teams PowerShell module

Figure 1: V5.0 of the Microsoft Teams PowerShell module

Over the past few releases, Microsoft concentrated on “modernizing” the policy management cmdlets that Teams inherited from the Skype for Business connector. Modernization is a term to describe updating the cmdlets to recent standards to make them more reliable and robust. The Get-CsOnlineUser cmdlet is the focus for the V5.0 release.

The Use of Get-CsOnlineUser

Get-CsOnlineUser fetches details of user accounts enabled for Teams. I only use this cmdlet when I need to view details of the Teams policies assigned to accounts as I prefer using the Get-MgUser cmdlet to retrieve information about user accounts. The Get-CsOnlineUser cmdlet can return details of the Teams service plans assigned to an account (like the MCO_VIRTUAL_APPT and TEAMS_WEBINAR service plans assigned to accounts with the Teams Premium license), but these are also retrievable with Get-MgUser.

In the past, Get-CsOnlineUser hasn’t been very performant or flexible when retrieving accounts. Microsoft says that they’ve improved performance, especially when using filters to find accounts. In addition, a set of new filterable properties are available (Alias, City, CompanyName, CompanyName, HostingProvider, UserValidationErrors, OnPremEnterpriseVoiceEnabled, OnPremHostingProvider, OnPremLineURI, OnPremSIPEnabled, SipAddress, SoftDeletionTimestamp, State, Street, TeamsOwnersPolicy, WhenChanged, WhenCreated, FeatureTypes, PreferredDataLocation, andLastName).

Changes to Filtering

Another improvement is in the support of filtering operators to bring the cmdlet in line with other cmdlets that fetch user information like Get-ExoMailbox. This is server-side filtering, meaning that the server only returns items that match the filter. It’s faster to retrieve data with a server-side filter than it is to fetch items and then apply a filter on the workstation (client-side filtering).

For instance, this use of the like operator now works:

Get-CsOnlineUser -Filter {City -like "*York*"} | Format-Table DisplayName, City

DisplayName   City
-----------   ----
Terry Hegarty New York

Previous versions of the module generate the error: Get-CsOnlineUser : The filter attribute ‘city’ is not supported.

Get-CsOnlineUser now supports use of the gt (greater than), lt (less than), and le (less than or equal to) operators to filter against string properties. For instance, this works:

Get-CsOnlineUser -Filter {DisplayName -gt "James"} | Sort-Object DisplayName | Format-Table DisplayName, City

DisplayName                             City
-----------                             ----
James Abrahams                          Foxrock
James Ryan                              Foxrock
Jane Sixsmith                           Dublin

The contains operator now supports properties that contain arrays. For instance, this command returns the set of accounts enabled for Teams:

Get-CsOnlineUser -Filter {FeatureTypes -contains "Teams"} | Format-Table DisplayName

The ge operator supports filters against Teams policies (previous versions only support the eq and ne operators):

Get-CsOnlineUser -Filter {TeamsFilesPolicy -ge "*NoSP*"} | Format-Table DisplayName, TeamsFilesPolicy

My attempts to use the cmdlet to filter against the Teams Channel policy failed. I also saw inconsistent results when filtering against other policies. For instance, this returns no accounts:

Get-CsOnlineUser -Filter {TeamsMessagingPolicy -ge "B"}

Adding wildcards generates some results, but it’s hard to accept that a policy called “Advanced” has a name greater or equal to “B”:

Get-CsOnlineUser -Filter {TeamsMessagingPolicy -ge "*B*"} | Format-Table DisplayName, TeamsMessagingPolicy

DisplayName                 TeamsMessagingPolicy
-----------                 --------------------
Jane Sixsmith               Advanced
Marc Vigneau                Advanced

Interestingly, a client-side filter has problems too:

$Users = Get-CsOnlineUser | Where-Object {$_.TeamsMessagingPolicy -ge "B"} | Format-Table DisplayName
Where-Object : Cannot compare "Advanced" because it is not IComparable.
At line:1 char:29

I might be doing things in a way unanticipated by the Teams PowerShell developers, but I have been around PowerShell long enough to know when things don’t work quite the way they should. Some tweaks might still be necessary to make sure that filters work against all Teams policies in the same way.

Soft Deleted Users

Apart from the filtering changes, Get-CsOnlineUser now returns details of unlicensed users for 30 days after license removal and indicates soft-deleted users (accounts in the Azure AD recycle bin awaiting permanent removal) by showing the date and time of deletion in the SoftDeletionTimestamp property. You can find the soft-deleted users with:

Get-CsOnlineUser -Filter {SoftDeletionTimestamp -ne $Null} | Format-Table DisplayName, SoftDeletionTimestamp

DisplayName SoftDeletionTimestamp
----------- ---------------------
Ben James   04/03/2023 23:11:41

Work Still to Do

Get-CsOnlineUser is an important cmdlet used in many scripts to automate administrative processes. It’s good that Microsoft invested effort to make the Get-CsOnlineUser cmdlet work better, even if some issues still exist. Crack out the update procedure you use to refresh Microsoft 365 modules (or use my script, which handles Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK too) and upgrade to V5.0 of the Microsoft Teams module.

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