Blog

  1. Best and Most Comprehensive Office 365 Book Updated Again May 1, 2021 1:09 pm - The May 2021 update for the Office 365 for IT Pros (2021 edition) eBook contains changes to 20 of the 24 chapters. The changes cover many topics from Microsoft's FY21 Q3 results to new sensitivity labels settings for Outlook. Now spanning over 1,300 pages, Office 365 for IT Pros is packed full of practical and most importantly, up-to-date knowledge and guidance about Office 365, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, Teams, Planner, Azure AD, PowerShell, the Microsoft Graph, and many other topics.
  2. Teams is the Most Difficult Office 365 Application to Backup June 10, 2020 1:28 am - Because it sits on top of so many Microsoft 365 components, Teams is easily the hardest Office 365 workload to backup. You can try to backup Teams by copying its compliance records stored in Exchange Online, but that's only a partial (and bad) solution that utterly fails to take the full spectrum of Teams data into account.
  3. How to Create an Azure AD B2B Collaboration Policy May 10, 2021 1:20 am - Azure B2B collaboration is used by Microsoft 365 Groups-based apps like Teams, Planner, and Yammer to create new guest accounts. You can update settings in the Azure AD portal to stop new accounts from specific domains or restrict guests to a list of known domains. But before you go ahead and update the settings, it’s a good idea to know where existing guest accounts come from. It’s easy to create a report with PowerShell. The next step might be to remove guests from offending domains.
  4. Microsoft Tightens Control Over eDiscovery Limits May 8, 2021 4:03 pm - Microsoft 365 eDiscovery features will respect documented limits from May 10. The changes are likely made to conserve resources consumed by searches against the massive amounts of data now found in Office 365 tenants. The changes probably won't affect eDiscovery investigators except in reminding everyone that the items shown in search preview are only a representative sample of what can be found by a full search.
  5. Understanding Who Can Bypass the Teams Meeting Lobby May 7, 2021 1:54 am - Teams meeting organizers can control which participants can bypass the meeting lobby to join automatically, Microsoft has increased the set of available lobby options to handle a range of conditions from all-comers calls to those to discuss sensitive and confidential information. Here's a quick review of the available options and what each does.
  6. Why Messages in Your Exchange Online Inbox Are So Large May 6, 2021 2:43 am - Exchange Online assigns large mailbox quotas to users. These quotas are needed to cope with the volume and size of modern email. What used to take 2 KB in 1996 now consumes 60 times more. And while email is more graphical and prettier to look at, you'd wonder if the value of the actual content has changed much, if at all.
  7. Teams Boasts New Capabilities for Meeting Polls May 5, 2021 1:25 am - Organizers of Teams meetings can create polls to use during their event. The polls now boast some AI capabilities to help organizers choose the right questions. Organizers can also create and launch polls using the Teams mobile client. This seems to be taking mobility a little further than you might want to use it, but I guess some people run meetings from large iPad devices.
  8. Microsoft Releases V2.3.0 of the Teams PowerShell Module May 4, 2021 1:00 am - Without any fanfare, Microsoft released V2.3.0 of the Microsoft Teams PowerShell module on April 30. The new module contains some fixes but little extra functionality. Essentially, this release is all about clearing the decks to prepare for the retirement of Skype for Business Online on July 31, 2021. Those who use the old Skype for Business Online connector need to upgrade their scripts before it stops working on May 15, 2021.
  9. Microsoft Whiteboard Moves its Storage to OneDrive for Business May 3, 2021 3:12 am - Microsoft has announced that Whiteboard will move its storage from Azure to OneDrive for Business. It's a good move because it addresses several important issues. around search, eDiscovery, compliance, and data governance The switchover is due in October 2021, but Office 365 tenants will get an opt-in choice to move earlier.
  10. OWA’s New Calendar Board View Is a Version of Project Moca April 30, 2021 1:00 am - Microsoft is rolling out a new calendar board view for OWA. The new board looks very similar to a Project Moca board, which isn't surprising because it's a customized Moca board tailored to focus on the calendar. There's no news yet when Project Moca might exit its current preview status, but maybe the new view will help by convincing people about the worth of configurable boards.
  11. Microsoft Brings the Top Senders and Recipients Report Back from the Dead April 29, 2021 1:32 am - For whatever reason, Microsoft decided to cancel plans to remove the Top Senders and Recipients report from the SCC, citing customer feedback as the reason. The thing is that the SCC report and its underlying cmdlet use an old data source. The Microsoft Graph Reports API is the modern approach and an adequate replacement usage reports is available in the Microsoft 365 admin center. I really can't understand why anyone would want to keep the old report as it's not very good at all.
  12. Teams Daily Active User Number Hits 145 Million April 28, 2021 9:39 am - In their FY21 Q3 results, Microsoft announced that Teams now boasts 145 million daily active users. That's a growth of 30 million over the last six months. Office 365 now has nearly 300 million paid seats. A paid seat is different to an active user, but Microsoft loves to mix up its data so that people believe what Microsoft wants them to think. In any case, the numbers are impressive.
  13. How to Review and Clean Up Azure AD Integrated Apps April 28, 2021 1:55 am - Over time, a Microsoft 365 tenant might accumulate many Azure AD integrated apps. Do you know what these apps do or who uses them? It's good to do a regular audit and cleanout of unwanted apps left behind for tests, trials, or expired applications. We use a script published on Practical365.com to grab the data from Azure AD and then import it into Microsoft Lists. The results we got might surprise you.
  14. Q&A: How to Send Email Using Proxy Addresses with Exchange Online April 27, 2021 5:20 am - Exchange Online supports the ability to send email using any SMTP proxy address assigned to a mailbox. Following the announcement of the feature, users had many questions including what clients can be used. Here are some common questions and answers about the feature, including some PowerShell to report the set of proxy addresses assigned to user mailboxes.
  15. Teams Gets Expanded Emoji Set. Enterprise Users are So Pleased April 26, 2021 1:06 am - The Teams developers are very proud that the new emoji picker expands the set of available emojis from 85 to over 800. No doubt some will welcome the increase. It will leave others cold as they wonder why Microsoft uses development resources to fill what seems to be an unimportant gap. In any case, the new emoji picker comes to Teams near you sometime soon. Enjoy!
  16. SharePoint Online Teamification Can Expose Site Resources as Channel Tabs April 23, 2021 3:56 am - SharePoint site owners can teamify (team-enable) their site, which is nice, Now you can create channel tabs based on site resources during the team enablement process. It's a nice new feature but you must remember that a new team only has a General channel, so site resources will end up in a place where they might necessarily not end up in the long run.
  17. How Shortening Outlook Meetings Might Give Users a Break April 22, 2021 8:51 am - Microsoft introduced a new organization setting for Office 365 tenants to have Outlook shorten meetings automatically. The idea is to create a break between meetings to give people time to decompress and prepare for their next call. It all sounds good and it makes sense to build buffers into your calendar during busy days. The problem is that other people might come late to a meeting, start it early (without you), or prolong it into your carefully scheduled buffer. Technology can help humans do the right thing, but in this case it's strictly advisory.
  18. Yammer Support for Guest Access Reaches General Availability April 21, 2021 8:26 am - Yammer networks configured in Microsoft 365 mode now support Azure B2B collaboration guest users. Which is nice, if it worked. But it doesn't for me. Guest access worked for me during the testing phase but now that the feature has reached general availability, it won't - using the same accounts. It's odd. Yammer's implementation of Azure B2B Collaboration has some other quirks too, all of which mean that it's not very usable.
  19. How to Customize Responses to Calendar Meeting Requests for Conference Rooms April 20, 2021 8:45 am - Exchange Online's calendar assistant is good at responding to meeting requests for rooms. It can be even better with just a little customized text to remind those who book the rooms about meeting etiquette. Even though we might never get back to physical meetings in conference rooms, some face to face gathering will happen in the future, so now's the time to prepare for bookings to be handled in a nicer fashion.
  20. How to Drag and Drop Messages from Outlook to Teams Channels April 19, 2021 8:40 am - Teams supports several methods to import email. Outlook for Windows can drag and drop messages into Teams conversations. It's a quick and easy way to move the focus of a conversation, but there are some downsides to be aware of.
  21. Teams Usage Data is Finally Obfuscated in Reports in the Microsoft 365 Admin Center April 16, 2021 2:38 pm - The Teams usage data reported in the Microsoft 365 admin center can now be obfuscated. Teams is the last workload to support this facility. It's all very well to anonymize, deidentify, or obfuscate user data to protect individual privacy and it's appropriate to do so in the Microsoft 365 admin center where people with several roles can access the data, but having a single on/off switch for data obfuscation for the Microsoft Graph Reports API is a real pain.
  22. How to Update Your Guest Account in Another Microsoft 365 Tenant with a Photo April 16, 2021 1:04 am - Office 365 administrators can update Azure AD guest accounts with photos. Guests can do the job themselves using three PowerShell commands. Other approaches work too, but this is the easiest and quickest method to do the job, especially if you have guest accounts in multiple tenants.
  23. Get a Test or Development Office 365 Tenant to Try Out New Features April 15, 2021 1:20 am - Given the amount of change inside Office 365, it can be hard to test everything before new software appears in production. Which is why you should have a test or development Office 365 tenant. You can check out new features in safety, or run code downloaded from the internet like PowerShell scripts or new versions of PowerShell modules. All in all, it's a great idea.
  24. How to Control Updates for User Photos in Microsoft 365 Apps April 14, 2021 1:00 am - Organizations can choose to control updates of user photos by policy in their Office 365 tenants or allow users to go ahead and use any image they like. In this article, we explore the value of having a user photo for every Office 365 account (and Teams and Groups too) and the choices organizations must make when they decide whether to control user-driven updates.
  25. Choosing a background image on the Teams iOS client Custom Background Images Available for Teams iOS and Android Clients April 13, 2021 1:12 am - Users of the Teams mobile clients can now choose background images for their meetings, including custom backgrounds from their device's camera roll. The implementation works well as long as the image you want is in your camera roll. Not being able to browse other repositories is a small gripe about a feature that many users will welcome.
  26. Microsoft Would Like Office 365 Tenants to Use Bing More – So Here Comes Microsoft Rewards April 12, 2021 1:00 am - Supporters of the Bing search engine will be delighted that Microsoft 365 can link Azure AD accounts to to personal accounts to accrue Microsoft Rewards. A tenant org-wide setting is available to control the feature. Whether this is enough to convince organizations and individual users to switch allegiance to Bing from another search engine is debatable.
  27. One Outlook Brings OWA Components to Desktop Clients April 10, 2021 8:01 am - Microsoft's One Outlook program aims to rationalize the current client set. The Edge WebView2 component allows Outlook desktop to reuse OWA features, which is why Microsoft now distributes WebView2 with the Microsoft 365 apps for enterprise (desktop apps). We're now seeing signs of reuse with an obvious example being the appearance of OWA's room finder in Outlook for Windows.
  28. Using the Teams Private Preview Camera Function in Meetings April 9, 2021 1:38 am - Teams meetings include a neat Private Preview feature to allow users to see what their video feed will look like if they enable their camera. All good, except that a strange blog post feels that user privacy might be compromised. In my opinion, that view is a load of rubbish. Private Preview is a very worthwhile feature and a little training can make sure that no one is ever surprised by their video geed appearing unexpectedly in a Teams meeting.
  29. New Invoice Payment Phishing Attack April 8, 2021 9:12 am - A new phishing attack is circulating from an Office 365 tenant. The attack attempts to lure recipients into clicking a link to download a document. The phishing email is not quite as crude as other attempts and might lure users into doing the wrong thing, especially as the message is delivered to inboxes.
  30. Teams Live Events Support Anonymous (External) Presenters April 8, 2021 1:02 am - Teams Live Events now support anonymous external presenters, defined as people who don't have Azure AD or MSA accounts. It's a useful change because many large public meetings (the natural ground for Live Events) involve external presenters brought in because of their expertise in the meeting topic. The update is rolling out in April 2021.
  31. Teams Meeting Breakout Rooms Get Persistence and Timers April 7, 2021 1:17 am - Teams breakout rooms are a popular method to split meetings into smaller discussion groups. Microsoft has improved how breakout rooms work, notably by adding a countdown timer. The settings for breakout rooms and the assignment of users across rooms now persist across sessions. These small but important improvements reduce the friction of running meetings with breakouts.
  32. Share to Teams from Outlook Gets a Refresh April 6, 2021 1:14 am - Microsoft has refreshed the Send to Teams option in Outlook for Windows, OWA, and Outlook for Mac. You might not notice the change, but it's a little faster and works better. Software engineering changes like this happen all the time in the cloud to speed up performance and improve reliability. We keep an eye on stuff like this to make sure that we understand what's happening across Microsoft 365. It's just what we do...
  33. Why Typed Variables Matter When Using Microsoft 365 PowerShell Cmdlets April 5, 2021 1:45 am - PowerShell pros know the secrets of typed variables and why this matters when cmdlets return data, but some of us have been doing things wrong for years. Which is why I spent a couple of hours contemplating the differences between typed and untyped variables when handling items returned by cmdlets. They say that old dogs can't learn new tricks. I beg to differ...
  34. Why the Group Membership UI in the Microsoft 365 Admin Center Sucks Dirty Canal Water April 2, 2021 1:13 am - The Microsoft 365 admin center UI to manage group memberships might look pretty, but it's not as functional as it could or should be, especially for large groups. The lack of search, sorting, and filtering capabilities is OK when a group has fewer than 50 members, but once past that number these features matter. It's time for some TLC for group management.
  35. Microsoft to Push Ads for Teams Personal to Corporate Users April 1, 2021 10:04 am - Microsoft plans to push ads for Teams for personal life into the activity feed of Teams mobile clients used by enterprise accounts. It's a daft idea. Unsolicited communication is never welcome. This is a bad example of a company abusing its position to advance its own interests without asking whether their paying customers want this kind of communication.
  36. Office 365 for IT Pros April 2021 Update Available to Subscribers April 1, 2021 1:13 am - The April 2021 update for the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook is available for download by the book's subscribers. Every chapter received updates in April, making this month's update the broadest revision we have ever delivered. It all underlines the amount of change which occurs within Office 365 and why a book that's republished monthly is so valuable.
  37. Microsoft Ships Teams DLP Policy Recommendation Widget March 31, 2021 2:00 am - Microsoft 365 organizations which use Teams but don't have a Teams DLP policy will see a Compliance Center widget recommending the creation of a DLP policy. Sounds good, and the policy covers the most common sensitive data types that people worry about. The downside is that Teams demands Office 365 E5 licenses for DLP policies. You might not know that, but you will if you accept the recommendation.
  38. How to Create a Report of Managers and Their Direct Reports from Azure AD March 30, 2021 4:20 am - Azure AD holds information about managers and their direct reports. It's easy for that data to go out of date, so we create a report to tell us who are the managers and how many direct reports they have. Azure AD has some cmdlets to retrieve information about managers and direct reports, but as it turns out, the older Get-User cmdlet is the best way to proceed.
  39. How Sensitivity Labels Control the Sharing Capability of SharePoint Online Sites March 29, 2021 1:13 am - The latest update for sensitivity labels allows them to control the sharing capability of SharePoint Online sites. It's a powerful example of policy-based management in action and demonstrates just how useful sensitivity labels will be as Microsoft steadily builds out the set of controls available through labels.
  40. How to Find a Microsoft 365 Tenant Identifier March 27, 2021 5:32 pm - Every Microsoft 365 tenant has a tenant identifier. Sometimes you need to know what the identifier is, so here are several options to find it from PowerShell to the Azure AD portal to an external service. Tenant identifiers are public and need to be, otherwise apps wouldn't be able to find the data they want.
  41. Microsoft Adds Power BI Premium and Power Automate (with RPA) to Self-Service License Purchases March 26, 2021 12:30 am - Microsoft 365 tenant users can look forward to an increased range of self-service license purchases with the addition of Power BI Premium and Power Automate with RPA. Nine products are now eligible for self-service purchases, unless a tenant administrator decides that this kind of thing is nonsense and uses PowerShell to disable self-service purchases for all or some products.
  42. Exchange Online Block for BCC Messages Sent to Distribution Lists March 25, 2021 6:17 pm - You can configure Exchange Online distribution lists so that they reject messages sent to them as BCC recipients. I'm not sure how much use this feature will get, but it's nice to have it anyway. PowerShell is the only management tool to configure distribution lists for the new block until Microsoft gets around to updating the Exchange Admin Center.
  43. How to Decrypt SharePoint Online Documents Using PowerShell and the Graph API March 25, 2021 12:43 am - Sensitivity labels are a great way to protect confidential documents stored in SharePoint Online. Sometimes the documents must be decrypted. This article explains how to build a PowerShell script which uses Graph API calls to navigate to a folder in a SharePoint Online document library and decrypt the protected documents found in the folder.
  44. Using an Auto-Claim Policy for Automatic Assignment of Licenses to Teams Users March 24, 2021 12:03 am - A new Microsoft 365 admin center feature allows tenants to create an auto-claim policy to assign licenses when users sign into Teams for the first time. It seems like a good idea, but it's limited by the fact that only Teams supports the auto-claim policy. No scoping exists either, which will disappoint those who like to manage licenses on a granular level. There's some work to do before these policies will be right for everyone.
  45. Enhanced SharePoint Online/OneDrive for Business Sharing Control Now Available March 23, 2021 12:01 am - SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business have a new sharing link control which highlights the permissions assigned to sharing recipients. It's a minor tweak which is actually a pretty good idea as the last iteration of the sharing control buried permissions behind the scenes. And as we all know, permissions are important to IT resources.
  46. Resetting the Sign-In Address for an Azure AD Guest Account March 22, 2021 12:05 am - A new preview feature allows the resources available to an Azure AD guest account to be reassigned to another email address. It's a nice feature, but Teams has some problems with it at present. On the upside, everything works great with SharePoint Online and Planner, and we're sure that Microsoft will fix the problem with Teams soon.
  47. Preparing for Planner’s New Roster Containers March 19, 2021 1:13 am - Microsoft will soon introduce roster containers to Planner. These are plans without Microsoft 365 Groups that apparently are tied to some mysterious new functionality. Because we have no idea what this functionality will be, we decided to disable it using Planner's odd approach to PowerShell. Suffice to say that it's not straightforward. Now if only someone had a plan...
  48. Teams Desktop and Browser Clients Can Update User Out of Office Notification Settings March 18, 2021 12:01 am - Microsoft has released the public preview of the ability to set the Exchange out of office (OOF) auto-reply from the Teams desktop and browser clients. OOFs set in Teams are synchronized back to Exchange using EWS so that the new auto-reply configuration is picked up by clients like Outlook and OWA. It's a small but useful update.
  49. OneDrive Sync Client Has Meltdown During Azure AD Outage March 17, 2021 12:18 am - The OneDrive sync client is an important Microsoft 365 component which underpins features like autosave and coauthoring of Office documents. During the March 15 Azure AD outage, the client had a meltdown and removed all the local copies of files stored in a SharePoint Online folder, seemingly because it couldn't authenticate. The problem was easily fixed, but it's a bad example of handling what could be a transient authentication issue.
  50. How to Use Sensitivity Labels to Protect Teams Meeting Recordings March 16, 2021 1:06 am - OneDrive for Business now stores Teams meeting recordings. You can protect files with sensitivity labels, but does this have any side effects for Teams? As it turns out, it does because the protective wrapper which encrypts the recording breaks the link to Teams. This might not be important if you need to protect a confidential recording and restrict access to a known set of users, but it's something to consider before applying any labels.
  51. Accenture Releases Numbers for a Huge Teams Deployment March 15, 2021 1:43 am - Microsoft and Accenture have published a case study including some interesting statistics about Accenture's Microsoft 365 usage. Some interesting headline numbers are cited, but the more interesting detail about how Accenture manages such a large tenant isn't discussed at all - and that would be very interesting to know.
  52. New Reduced Data Usage Mode for Teams Mobile Clients March 12, 2021 2:04 am - The Teams mobile clients (iOS and Android) benefit from a reduced data usage mode during video calls. The new mode can cut the amount of cellular data consumed significantly. We ran a simple test of a ten-minute meeting involving a shared PowerPoint slideshow and saw data usage reduce by 71%. That's not a bad outcome!
  53. How to Enable and Use Exchange Online’s External Email Tagging Feature March 11, 2021 1:00 am - Exchange Online tenants can activate external email tagging, which causes Outlook clients (not desktop yet) to highlight messages received from external domains. The feature can replace custom implementations to mark external email, usually done with transport rules. It's easy to implement and control, but the mail tip offering to block an external sender seems a little over the top.
  54. Microsoft Updates Teams PowerShell Module to 2.0 March 10, 2021 1:40 am - Microsoft has released V2.0 of the Teams PowerShell module. It brings some welcome improvements, notably the inclusion of all the management cmdlets, but has a downside too. The new cmdlets for managing teams templates are not easy to use and some authentication issues affect the Connect-MicrosoftTeams cmdlet after a change in authentication libraries. Microsoft has some work to do to improve this version of the module.
  55. Killing Its Mobile Clients Marks the Demise of Delve March 9, 2021 1:04 am - Microsoft is retiring the Delve mobile apps. That's not a surprise because Microsoft hasn't put much effort into Delve for the last few years. The question is when the Delve browser app will get the bullet. Call me cynical, but Microsoft has bigger concerns in areas like Search, SharePoint Syntex, and Viva Topics that mean Delve is unlikely to receive any tender loving care in the future.
  56. Microsoft to Install Edge WebView2 Runtime on PCs with Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise March 8, 2021 1:00 am - Microsoft will include the Edge WebView2 runtime with Microsoft 365 apps for enterprise version 2101 or later. This doesn't mean they install Edge; it's simply a software component to make it possible for Outlook desktop to run features developed for OWA. You can block the deployment if you like, but there's really no good reason to do so.
  57. Dynamic View and Other Improvements Coming for Teams Meetings March 5, 2021 1:00 am - Microsoft plans to make the Dynamic View feature available for Teams meetings in mid-March. The signs are that the enhanced presentation of meeting content will make attending meetings a tad more engaging. Not much can be done with visual tweaks to rescue boring meetings where presenters drone on about stuff they should cover in a few minutes, but maybe the changes made by Dynamic View will brighten attendee spirits, We can but hope.
  58. The Goodness or Otherwise of Live Reactions in Teams Meetings March 4, 2021 1:36 am - Attendees of Teams meetings now have the ability to share their opinion of the proceedings through live reactions, a set of emoticons ranging from thumbs-up to laugh. Reactions appear on attendee cards or float up from the bottom of the screen when material is beiing shared. Tenants can disable reactions uising Teams meeting policies, but meeting organizers can change meeting settings to allow reactions in specific events. Although it seems like a feature that doesn't add much for a business user, reactions have their place - if used intelligently!
  59. Overflow Capability to View-Only Attendees Available for Large Teams Meetings March 3, 2021 2:12 am - Now deployed to Office 365 tenants, large Teams meetings can support up to 20,000 view-only attendees, if an organization chooses to update its Teams meeting policies. Interestingly, this is a feature which Microsoft originally planned to license under its Teams advanced communication add-on, but the growth of large meetings in organizations might have forced their hand to bring the feature to mainline Teams.
  60. Teams Desktop Client Gets New History Menu March 2, 2021 7:54 am - Teams desktop clients are being updated with a new history menu to reveal the last 20 locations visited by a user in their Teams session. It's a much faster way to get back to something than the older back arrow method. Another example of how Microsoft is refining the Teams client UI to remove little bits of friction and make everything work more smoothly. Or so they say.
  61. Office 365 for IT Pros March 2021 Update Available March 1, 2021 1:24 am - The March 2021 update for the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook is now available. Office 365 for IT Pros is the only book updated monthly. which covers Microsoft's cloud office system. This update covers 23 of the 24 chapters and is packed full of new information and insights covering anything from Teams to Stream to Exchange Online and SharePoint Online.
  62. SharePoint’s Cryptic Sharing Errors and Removing the Outlook Send Link Option February 26, 2021 3:42 am - If you encounter an error when sharing a SharePoint file, you might see an error code like OSE204. What do these mainframe-like codes mean and why does SharePoint show them? Or more importantly, how did the sharing capability of a site change through administrator incompetence? And why is Microsoft removing the option to send a sharing link via Outlook (OWA)?
  63. Microsoft Imposes Consistency for New Teams Settings February 25, 2021 1:18 am - Microsoft is changing the way new teams are created in the Teams admin center to make sure that their settings are consistent with teams created in other interfaces. It's a good idea because it means that all teams are then created equal. Organizations who wish to use different settings can update teams once they're created using either PowerShell or the Graph API.
  64. Fluent Version of Teams Desktop and Browser UI Rolling Out February 24, 2021 3:22 am - Microsoft is giving the Teams desktop and browser clients a makeover with their Fluent design system. If you look closely, you'll see some changes in app icons, but the other changes are too subtle for many, including me. Up on the upside, while those of us who write about Teams will have to refresh some illustrations, the documentation for the Fluent design system is an interesting read. Well, it is late at night when you've nothing better else to do...
  65. How to Create a Report About the Membership of Microsoft 365 Groups (and Teams) February 23, 2021 1:45 am - There are many examples of PowerShell scripts which create reports about the membership of Microsoft 365 Groups. Most are slow. This version is faster because of its per-user rather than per-group approach to processing. The output is a nice HTML report and two CSV files containing a list of memberships in Microsoft 365 Groups and summary data for each user in the tenant.
  66. Blocking Download Permission for Teams Meeting Recordings February 22, 2021 12:35 am - Microsoft has announced that recordings of Teams meetings stored in OneDrive for Business will be blocked for download by anyone except the owner. The change will roll out in mid-April and should be complete by mid-June. Microsoft's post draws attention to the fact that you shouldn't use channel meetings to discuss confidential topics. It's all to do with the Microsoft 365 Groups membership model.
  67. Printing a Report of Microsoft 365 Group (Team) Membership February 19, 2021 8:15 am - Many people want to print off membership details of Microsoft 365 groups, which makes it curious why Microsoft doesn't support the option in Teams, OWA, or other applications. Fortunately, it is very easy to extract and report membership with PowerShell. Here's how to generate a HTML report with a CSV file on the side.
  68. How to Discover New Audit Events in the Office 365 Audit Log (Including App Consents) February 18, 2021 3:03 am - The Office 365 audit log is packed full of information about what happens inside workloads. New events show up all the time. The question is how to understand what actions these events relate to. We outline a simple procedure to discover the presence of new audit events and dive into the investigation of an event called Consent to application, which is pretty important in the context of recent high-profile attacks.
  69. Exchange Online Clamps Down on High-Volume Mailboxes February 17, 2021 1:03 am - From April 2021, Exchange Online will apply hard limits for the number of messages a mailbox can receive per hour. The limit remains the same (3,600), but now Exchange will block the mailbox receiving any more email for an hour. The new version of the Exchange Admin Center (EAC) promises to highlight problem mailboxes so that admins can ask owners why their mailboxes receive so much email.
  70. How to Report Audit Events Generated for Sensitivity Labels February 16, 2021 1:53 am - Audit records are a great way to gain an understanding of what happens inside Office 365. We use PowerShell to report actions taken with sensitivity labels such as protecting files and containers. The latest development is the addition of support in the Microsoft 365 apps for enterprise (Office desktop) to log audit events when users interact with sensitivity labels. Unsurprisingly, more events are often logged by the desktop apps than their online equivalents.
  71. Teams Desktop and Browser Clients Get Offline Sending Capability February 15, 2021 2:43 am - The Teams desktop and browser clients are gaining an offline send capability. Messages sent offline are queued locally and go when the network reappears. Connectivity must be resumed within 24 hours. If not, users need to review the messages to make sure that it still makes sense to resend them.
  72. How Edge Sleeping Tabs Affect SharePoint Online and Other Pages February 12, 2021 1:02 am - Microsoft's Edge browser recently introduced sleeping tabs to conserve resources. Although this is a good idea, putting SharePoint Online tabs to sleep stops them reconnecting. I suspect it is because a refresh token times out and isn't renewed. The solution is to add SharePoint Online sites to the list of sites that don't sleep. Always-on document management is the best approach.
  73. Teams App Messages Captured by Microsoft 365 Substrate for Compliance Processing February 11, 2021 1:00 am - The Microsoft 365 substrate now captures Teams app card data in compliance records to make the data available for eDiscovery, content searches, holds, and retention. The compliance records are stored in user and group mailboxes. Audit records for card interactions are also logged in the Office 365 audit log. Using compliance records means that some app data context is lost, but at least you can find the information.
  74. How to Run a Trial of Viva Topics February 10, 2021 1:32 am - Viva Topics is one of the four modules in the Microsoft Viva employee engagement platform. You can run a 25-user trial for 30 days to create some topics and see how things work. A trial should help an organization decide if they want to pay the $5/user/month Microsoft asks for Viva Topics licenses - and everyone needs a license to see topic cards, which is the point of Topics.
  75. Microsoft Changes Storage Location for Email Sent to Teams Channels February 9, 2021 1:06 am - A change made to the storage location in SharePoint Online for email sent to Teams channels caused problems for people who created Flows based on a known location. Instead of having one big folder for email messages sent to a folder, it seems like Microsoft plans to use a new folder for each month. There's nothing wrong with this approach, but it would have been nice if Microsoft warned people using the folder for automated processing that a change was coming. They didn't.
  76. New Format Launched for the Teams Meeting Attendance Report February 8, 2021 1:05 am - Microsoft has updated the format of the Teams attendance report to include more data about who attends meetings. The new report is persistent and available after a meeting ends. The new format will no doubt be popular with teachers who need to track who attends their online classes, but it's likely to be also popular in the enterprise for those who organize meetings with mandatory attendance.
  77. Exchange Online Adjusts Schedule for Removal of Basic Authentication February 5, 2021 1:02 am - Microsoft wants to remove basic authentication from Exchange Online connection protocols. But pressures have forced Microsoft into a new strategy and away from the mid-2021 date for deprecation of basic authentication for five protocols. Instead, Microsoft will disable basic authentication for protocols where it's not used, include four addition protocols in its target set, and pause action for tenants where basic authentication is in active use. When they restart, Microsoft will give tenants 12 months' notice that basic authentication will be blocked for a protocol. You can argue that Microsoft should have pressed ahead with their original plan, but would widespread disruption of service be worth the benefit gained from blocking vulnerable protocols? Balancing risk versus reward is often not easy.
  78. Understanding the Good and Bad of Teams Meeting Notes February 4, 2021 2:19 am - Teams meeting notes are a form of the Teams wiki with much the strengths and weaknesses of the wiki. Good enough for small meetings but limited for larger gatherings when you'll probably want to capture details using a tool like Word or OneNote.
  79. Yammer Launches Inclusive Reactions February 3, 2021 8:06 pm - Yammer now boasts inclusive reactions, the ability to select a person-appropriate skin tone for thanks and like reactions. The feature is only available in the new Yammer UI. Being able to select a skin tone for reactions is not a new idea and now that Yammer has it, Teams can't be far behind.
  80. New Format Rolls Out for Incoming Webhook URLs Used by Teams and Groups February 3, 2021 2:12 am - The inbound webhook connector used by Teams and Microsoft 365 Groups to accept information from external sources is getting a new format. Existing connectors must be updated by April 11, 2021. If not, data will stop flowing into the target channel or group, and that would be a bad thing.
  81. Teams Gives Meeting Organizers More Granular Control Over Meeting Chat February 2, 2021 1:22 am - A new control over Teams meetings allows meeting organizers to choose if participants can chat before, after, during, or not at all. Stopping people chatting during online meetings is one way to try and keep their attention, but this feature is likely to be more popular in education than in the enterprise.
  82. February 2021 Update Available for Office 365 for IT Pros (2021 Edition) February 1, 2021 5:10 am - The February 2021 update for the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook is now available for subscribers to download. Office 365 for IT Pros is the only book with monthly updates covering the Office components of the Microsoft 365 ecosystem. Subscribers to the 2021 edition can now download updates PDF and EPUB files from Gumroad.com.
  83. Tip: Set a Daily Teams Status to Keep Co-Workers Updated January 29, 2021 2:24 am - Setting a daily status message in Teams is a great way of keeping your coworkers informed about your overall availability during the coming day. Another tip to consider is to advise people who want to chat with you that they should start the conversation in a meaningful way by setting the context. Don't start chats with Hi or Hello.
  84. Office 365 Insights from Microsoft’s FY21 Q2 Results January 28, 2021 1:00 am - Microsoft released their FY21 Q2 results on Tuesday. Buried in the details were several nuggets relating to Office 365.. Here are the interesting bits including some detail on the penetration of Teams into large organizations and a new number for Azure AD users.
  85. Use Distribution Lists or Security Groups to Add Accounts to DLP Policies January 27, 2021 5:24 am - Teams Data Loss Prevention (DLP) policies help to stop users sharing confidential information through chats and channel conversations. A recent update means that accounts to be included or excluded in DLP policies can be specified using distribution lists or mail-enabled security groups. While this doesn't sound very exciting, it is if you need to deploy DLP policies to targeted sets of Teams users. Feb 24 2021 Update: The picker used for OneDrive for Business accounts will support distribution lists and security groups in March.
  86. Use the Graph API to Work with Azure AD Access Reviews January 26, 2021 1:19 am - You can create an Azure AD Access Review for all guests in teams and groups in your tenant and then see what's happening with the Graph API. In this case, we use PowerShell with the API to grab the access review data and create a report about the overall status of the review in a tenant.
  87. How to Use Lobby Bypass for Teams Meetings to Admit “Only the People I Invite” January 25, 2021 4:55 am - A new setting for Teams meetings allows organizers to limit the ability to bypass the meeting lobby to people explicitly invited to the meeting. Precise control is important when you set up meetings to review confidential or sensitive data. After all, you don't want anyone who gets a copy of the meeting link turning up to listen in to what's going on.
  88. Designer Generates Smart Backgrounds for Planner January 22, 2021 1:00 am - The ability to assign "smart backgrounds" generated by Designer to a Planner plan is now rolling out to Office 365 tenants. The smart part of the background is that the plan name is used to generate the image. Any plan member can change the background, which should lead to some entertaining conflicts when people differ over the choice of background.
  89. Introducing the Office 365 for IT Pros GitHub Repository January 21, 2021 1:00 am - Need a PowerShell script to do something with Office 365? You might find a script or at least an idea - in the Office 365 for IT Pros GitHub Repository. We have created over 80 scripts as examples and demonstrations of how to get stuff done in an Office 365 tenant with PowerShell. You're welcome to use anything in the repository and especially welcome to fix our bugs.
  90. How to Rebuild Delegate Access for a Calendar with PowerShell January 20, 2021 9:08 am - Sometimes delegate access for an Exchange Online calendar goes awry due to corrupted items in the mailbox. To help sort out problems, Microsoft has upgraded the Remove-MailboxFolderPermission cmdlet to do the work that used to be done by a multi-phase fix performed using the MFCMAPI or EWS editor utilities. The nice thing is that this method is quick, simple, and works well.
  91. How the Teams Meeting Recap Highlights Important Meeting Resources January 19, 2021 10:25 am - The Teams meeting recap feature highlights some of the important resources which can be generated for meetings. The recording, transcript, and attendance report are displayed under the Details tab for meetings accessed through the Teams calendar app.
  92. How to Create Exchange Dynamic Distribution List with Custom Recipient Filters January 18, 2021 9:02 am - Exchange dynamic distribution lists allow messages to be sent to sets of recipients determined by a query against the directory. A custom filter is a powerful way to find the right set of recipients. In this case, we want to find mailboxes with certain job titles whose Azure AD accounts are not blocked for sign-in. Here's how to create the filter, make sure it works, and create the DDL.
  93. How to Use Microsoft 365 Priority Accounts for Access Checks January 15, 2021 2:02 am - Microsoft 365 priority accounts are a way to mark accounts for special processing. Microsoft is building features to exploit priority accounts, but they can be used for other purposes, like checking if an account has account to a resource. Of course, multiple other methods exist to do the same job, but that's not reason to exclude priority accounts from the mix.
  94. Why New TLS Requirement Stops PowerShell Scripts Sending Email January 14, 2021 2:00 am - Exchange Online now insists on TLS 1.2 connections between email clients and servers. PowerShell scripts using the Send-MailMessage cmdlet will fail. The problem is easily solved by forcing PowerShell to use TLS 1.2 to connect, but it does mean that some work is needed to check scripts (before they fail).
  95. Outlook for Windows Gets Meet Now Button for Microsoft Teams January 13, 2021 9:58 am - Outlook for Windows is gaining a new Meet Now button in the Teams meeting add-in. You can use the add-in to launch impromptu private Teams meetings. That is, if the settings in the Teams meeting policy assigned to your account allows. And guests better not try to Meet Now when they're signed into a host tenant because they'll probably end up frustrated down a black hole, which is a horrible place to be.
  96. How to Retrieve Information About Microsoft 365 Service Incidents January 12, 2021 9:56 am - All services suffer outages or incidents. The Service Communications API allow Office 365 tenants to retrieve information about incidents programmatically and report details in whatever way they want. In this post, we show how to use PowerShell to fetch service messages with the API and filter for recent incidents. After that, it's just a matter of presenting the details.
  97. Teams Channel Calendar App Makes Channel Meetings Easier to Access January 11, 2021 12:08 am - The Teams channel calendar app highlights meetings scheduled for a calendar and makes it easier for team members to attend these events. Meetings for all channels in a team are stored in a single calendar, so the app applies a filter to display the meetings belonging to the channel it is installed into.
  98. Finding the Version and Location of the Teams Meeting Add-in for Outlook January 8, 2021 2:19 am - The Teams meeting add-in allows users to schedule online Teams meetings from Outlook. While you might know that the add-in exists, do you know how to find its version number and where the add-in DLL is stored? These questions and others are answered in this post.
  99. How to Share Files in Teams Meetings – It’s Different to Outlook January 7, 2021 1:37 am - Long-term Outlook users have probably noticed that they can't attach files in events created as Teams meetings. Teams like cloudy files, not email attachments, so if you want to send some important information along with a meeting invitation, you can include links to the data or paste it into the body of the invitation. And once the meeting is created, you can share files with meeting participants, which is really the Teams way of getting the job done.
  100. Microsoft Releases New Sensitive Information Types January 6, 2021 10:30 am - Microsoft has released a set of new sensitive information types, used to locate sensitive data by Microsoft 365 DLP policies. Many are country-specific versions of previous generic types (like passports or identity cards). The recommendation is to consider upgrading DLP policies to use the new types to get better (more accurate) matching.
  101. How to Make Teams Online Meetings the Default in Outlook for Windows January 5, 2021 1:48 am - Outlook for Windows has the option to make Teams online meetings the default for all new meetings. Users can edit meeting settings through Outlook too. Unlike the other Outlook clients, Outlook for Windows depends on a registry setting to control whether an online event should be created. And there's no support for third-party meeting platforms.

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