Blog

  1. Creating a Dynamic Office 365 Group for Global Administrators June 27, 2019 7:21 am - A reader asks if it's possible to create a dynamic Office 365 group for global administrators. Well, it is and it isn't. Azure Active Directory doesn't give us the ability to execute the right kind of query to find global administrators, but with some out-of-the-box thinking, we can find a way to accomplish the task.
  2. New Teams Files Channel Tab Solves View Limit June 26, 2019 3:51 am - A reader reports that the Teams Files channel tab is only able to display 300 items from a large SharePoint folder. Three hundred seemed like an arbitrary limit, but as it turns out, the new Files channel tab fixes the problem and all will be well once Office 365 completes the deployment to get the new Files Channel tab to all tenants.
  3. Microsoft Reveals Secrets of SharePoint Online Storage June 25, 2019 7:32 am - Have you ever wondered how Microsoft secures SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business data? Well, a recent article explains it all, and it is fascinating reading. Chunks and keys and blobs and encryption. A must-read article for anyone interested in SharePoint security.
  4. Microsoft Opens New Middle East Office 365 Datacenter Region June 24, 2019 7:01 am - Office 365 is now generally available from datacenters in Dubai and Abu Dhabi to serve Arabian Gulf and Middle East customers. Microsoft hasn't said what services are being delivered from the new datacenters, but it's likely that they will begin with Exchange Online and SharePoint Online.
  5. Stopping New Employees Appearing in Org-Wide Teams June 21, 2019 8:03 am - Org-wide teams are great because they feature automatic membership management. But sometimes you don't want new Office 365 accounts showing up in org-wide teams. The solution is to create the account with some dummy details to mask the identity of the real person and update the account after they join the company.
  6. Important Change to SharePoint Online Retention Policy Processing June 20, 2019 7:49 am - Microsoft is changing how the removal of an Office 365 retention policy affects the data held in the SharePoint Online Preservation Hold Library. Instead of an immediate purge, data will be kept for a period to allow administrators to recover it. Sounds like a good idea and it should help people rescue a situation when someone removes a retention policy in error. That is, if they notice that the policy is no longer in effect for a site.
  7. Removing Office 365 Accounts Fast June 19, 2019 8:33 am - Removing Office 365 accounts is easily done through the Admin Center. You can also restore deleted accounts within 30 days, but what if you want to remove accounts in such a way that they can't be restored? The answer is that it can be done using a two-stage process. And if the mailboxes belonging to those accounts are on hold, they are kept as inactive mailboxes.
  8. Three New Themes Available for Office 365 June 18, 2019 6:24 am - Much to our surprise, this blog is covering the availability of three new Office 365 browser themes. We're only doing this so that we can avoid including it in the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook. We know this will upset some people, especially fans of the unicorn theme, but we really have to draw the line somewhere when deciding what should be in the book.
  9. Tweaking Stream Video Transcripts June 17, 2019 4:15 am - Microsoft Stream, the video service for Office 365, is about two years old and the work that the developers have done in automatic transcription is showing some benefits. We took some videos filmed last week and put them through Stream to discover just what automatic transcription can do - and how useful transcript search is.
  10. Talking Office 365 at ShiftHappens Conference June 14, 2019 12:57 pm - A quick visit to Washington DC included speaking at AvePoint's ShiftHappens conference and taping some videos about Office 365 for Petri.com. The conference was small enough to encourage real interaction between attendees and overall was a very enjoyable event.
  11. Teams Adds Announcement Posts June 13, 2019 1:09 pm - By the end of June, Office 365 tenants around the world will enjoy the chance to use the new announcement post type in Teams. I'm not altogether sure that the new post type will make our lives more productive, but it might brighten some of the boring announcements organizations are prone to make,
  12. No Fun for Users in Yammer Migration to SharePoint Files June 12, 2019 11:46 am - Microsoft says that the migration of Yammer storage for new files in SharePoint will restart in June and finish worldwide by the end of July. That's great, but the migration of existing files is a manual process that can only be described as tiresome and error-prone. But it adds to the allure of Yammer and increases its prestige in the ranks of Office 365 apps. Or maybe not.
  13. Fifteenth Update Released for Office 365 for IT Pros (2019 Edition) June 11, 2019 7:11 am - The 15th update for the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook is now available for download by subscribers. This is the last update before we switch focus to the 2020 edition, due for release on July 1, 2019. We didn't make many changes in this update because we're busy writing for the 2020 edition, but the changes we did make are important and we'd like people to download and use the updated files.
  14. How to Add Shared Mailboxes to Outlook Mobile June 10, 2019 7:19 am - Microsoft has announced that it will deploy the ability to add shared mailboxes to Outlook Mobile by the end of July. But if you want to see the feature early, you can join the Testflight program and install the beta version of Outlook mobile. Using Outlook for iOS with Testflight also forces the upgrade of your Office 365 tenant to the Microsoft Sync Technology.
  15. Shared Mailbox Support Soon for Outlook Mobile June 7, 2019 6:49 am - Microsoft has announced that Outlook Mobile (iOS and Android) will include support for Exchange Online shared mailboxes "in the next several weeks," which probably means early July 2019. The update comes as good news for many people who have been forced to use an IMAP4-based workaround to access shared mailboxes. Microsoft is also making some other changes to improve the Files view and calendar sync in Outlook mobile.
  16. Outlook Increases 500 Shared Folder Limit to 5000 June 6, 2019 8:21 am - Microsoft has implemented a new synchronization mechanism in Outlook ProPlus to deal more efficiently with shared folders. The new approach increases the limit from 500 to 5,000 folders and is a more elegant and precise solution. Users who manage other peoples' mailboxes will appreciate the change after they install build 11629.20196 or later.
  17. New OWA Includes Office 365 Groups Management Interface June 5, 2019 6:40 am - The new version of OWA boasts new abilities for owners to manage Office 365 Groups. The new UI is pretty slick and a welcome upgrade to the previous capabilities. You'll still need to revert to PowerShell to manage some aspects of Office 365 Groups, but not as many times as you used to.
  18. Microsoft Refreshes Teams Files Channel Tab to Expose More SharePoint Features June 4, 2019 7:50 am - Microsoft has refreshed the Files channel tab to expose more functionality for Teams users when working with SharePoint Online document libraries.Office 365 commercial tenants should see the new UI in June 2019. The new Files channel tab is almost at feature parity with the functionality available through the SharePoint browser UI, but it still lacks the ability to expose and edit document properties.
  19. Office 365 for IT Pros (2020 Edition) is Coming June 3, 2019 7:36 am - The Office 365 for IT Pros eBook writing team will soon launch the 2020 edition of the only book that is continuously updated to keep track of developments inside Office 365. Existing subscribers will be able to upgrade to the new edition for $14.95, and anyone who buys a full-price copy in May or June 2019 will receive a free upgrade to the 2020 edition thanks to sponsorship from Quadrotech.
  20. Office 365 Data Governance in Oslo May 31, 2019 9:05 am - A busy week included speaking engagements in Germany and Oslo. The Experts Live Norway event saw Tony talk about Office 365 data governance, a topic he thinks he knows well. You can grab a copy of the presentation he used in Oslo from this post.
  21. Managing Office 365 Group Membership with PowerShell May 30, 2019 2:46 pm - A reader wants the benefits of dynamic Office 365 groups without having to pay for Azure AD premium licenses. It's relatively straightforward to maintain the membership of a group with PowerShell. That is, if your directory is accurately populated and the right results are returned when you look for who the set of group members should be.
  22. Handling Calendar Appointments for IMAP4 Clients May 29, 2019 7:45 am - Despite the age of the protocols, you can cheerfully connect a wide range of IMAP4 and POP3 clients to Exchange Online. If you do, you might need to consider how to handle calendar appointments, and if you want to use iCAL, you'll need to make some adjustments with PowerShell.
  23. Excluding Inactive Mailboxes from Org-Wide Retention Holds May 28, 2019 7:05 am - Exchange Online supports inactive mailboxes as a way to keep mailbox data online after Office 365 accounts are removed. Inactive mailboxes are available as long as a hold exists on them. You can update mailbox properties to exclude all or some org-wide holds. If you exclude holds from a mailbox, you run the risk that Exchange will permanently remove the mailbox. If that's what you want, all is well, but if it's not, then you might not be so happy.
  24. Add Teams Channel as an Exchange Mail Contact May 27, 2019 7:18 am - Teams allows users to send email to channels via special email addresses. Those addresses aren't very user-friendly, but you can add them as mail contacts so that channel addresses show up in the Exchange GAL. It's easy to do and makes it much easier for people to email Teams channels. That is, until someone removes the channel email address...
  25. Using PowerShell to Add Teams to the Groups Expiration Policy May 24, 2019 7:30 am - How best to add every team in your tenant to the Office 365 Groups Expiration Policy? Well, one way is to check all groups for Teams. Another is to use Get-Team to return the set of teams and process those. But then you should think about how to mark the teams that are in the policy in such a way that you don't process them again. It's easy to do this with one of the Exchange Online custom attributes.
  26. Using Teams App Setup Policies May 23, 2019 10:32 am - Teams App Setup policies allow tenant administrators to modify the set of apps shown in the Teams navigation bar,. You can add your own apps and move apps around and then assign policies to select groups of users individually or using PowerShell. This is part of a set of features designed to make apps more manageable within enterprises. The next step will be Teams app permission policies (not yet available).
  27. Detecting Offensive Language with Office 365 Supervision Policies May 22, 2019 8:09 am - Office 365 supervision policies can now make use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to detect offensive language in email and Teams communications. The data model covers a wide range of problematic language, but only in English. You can go ahead and cheerfully continue to swear in French, German, and other languages with no danger of being detected by policy.
  28. Report Puts Azure Availability Behind AWS and Google May 21, 2019 6:02 am - A recent report puts the availability of Azure behind Google and Amazon Web Services (AWS). Office 365 tenants depend on Azure in a variety of ways. The recent problems occurred in a variety of places and there's no common thread connecting the different issues. It seems like Azure has had a run of bad luck, so let's hope that the bad days have passed and reliability improves.
  29. Planner Posts Notifications to Teams Activity Feed May 20, 2019 5:20 am - If you've integrated Planner into Teams by creating channel tabs for plans, users are now notified when they are assigned new tasks.The notifications turn up in the Teams activity feed. Why? Well, the Planner bot sends messages to people about new tasks, so its chats as treated like new messages in a personal chat.
  30. CISA Report Only Scratches Surface of Securing Office 365 May 17, 2019 9:28 am - The CISA report titled "Microsoft Office 365 Security Observations" makes five recommendations to improve security of an Office 365 tenant. The recommendations are valid, but competent administrators won't take long to implement them. In fact, the worst thing is that consultants brought in to help organizations didn't seem to have much expertise in securing Office 365.
  31. Office 365 Groups Naming Policy Now Configurable in Azure Active Directory Portal May 16, 2019 8:38 am - The Groups section of the Azure Active Directory portal now includes a preview of a feature to configure the Office 365 Groups naming policy without going near PowerShell. Although those proficient with scripts and GUIDs will lament this sad reduction in standards, the normal administrator will welcome the chance to forget some obscure syntax.
  32. May 2019 Update Available for Office 365 for IT Pros eBook May 15, 2019 8:52 am - The writing team has released update 14 for the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook. Fifteen out of twenty-four chapters are updated, so the new files should be downloaded and used to make sure that you have the latest content. This is the last major update for the 2019 edition as the writing team is now focused on creating the 2020 edition for publication in July.
  33. Teams Increases Group Chat Limit to 100 Participants and Improves Shareable File Links May 14, 2019 7:29 am - Two Office 365 Message Center notifications bring news about an increase in the number of participants for a Teams group chat to 100 and improvements in shareable links for files. Moving the limit from 50 to 100 for a group chat makes these conversations more flexible. Adding permissions to the sharing links used by Teams gives users more control over how they share information with others.
  34. LinkedIn Connector for Office 365 Uses Group to Control Users Allowed to Access Contacts May 13, 2019 7:47 am - The LinkedIn connector for Office 365 now uses a group to control the set of user accounts allowed to connect their accounts to LinkedIn. It's a good change because it makes the connection easier to manage. Even so, you might still need to use PowerShell to manage the membership of the group, especially if you want to add multiple people to the group at one time.
  35. The Sad Case of Truncated Office 365 Audit Events May 10, 2019 10:54 am - On May 7, Microsoft eventually fixed a truncation bug that affected group events (creation, add member, etc.) ingested into the Office 365 audit log. The fix took far too long coming and the overall response is certainly not Microsoft's finest hour. Audit events, after all, are pretty important in compliance scenarios and it's not good when those events are incomplete.
  36. Limiting SharePoint Storage for Teams May 9, 2019 8:44 am - One of the great things about Teams is the way that it orchestrates Office 365 resources like SharePoint Online sites. The downside is that a tenant's valuable SharePoint storage quota might be absorbed by a profusion of Teams. To offset the problem, you can apply lower limits to sites belonging to Teams and the best approach is to use PowerShell for the job.
  37. Publishing Planner Tasks to To-Do May 8, 2019 7:59 am - From version 1.56 on, you can synchronize your My Tasks list from Planner to To-Do. The integration works well and it's easy to manage Planner tasks in To-Do. Some of the more advanced actions aren't available in To-Do, but a quick link to Planner solves the problem. Planner tasks are also accessible in the To-Do mobile app.
  38. Quantifying the Value of Collaboration with Teams May 7, 2019 8:14 am - Microsoft commissioned Forester Consulting to write a total economic impact study of Teams. As you'd expect, the report says that Teams is a good deal. But like any consulting report, you need to question the findings and assumptions to figure out where the truth lies. In some cases, I simply disagree with the underlying logic for a conclusion. In others, I think the authors are mistaken. It's up to you to make your own assessment.
  39. Outlook Mobile Gains Ability to Create Teams Meetings May 6, 2019 1:33 am - Outlook Mobile clients can now schedule Teams meetings, even if your tenant isn't using the newer version of Outlook's mobile connection architecture. The Office 365 tenant setting for Skype for Business Online co-existence mode has to be configured to use Teams, and once everything is in place Outlook is happy to schedule Teams meetings.
  40. Great Little Technology Conferences (for Office 365) May 2, 2019 11:16 pm - Over the next few months, Tony will speak at a number of small but intense technology conferences. The nice things about these conferences is that attendees and speakers mingle much more than they do at the uber-conferences. If you feel like coming along to The Experts Conference, ShiftHappens, the European Collaboration Summit, or Experts Live Norway, you can learn more about Office 365 and associated technologies without going through the wildness that Ignite can be at times.
  41. SharePoint Online Can Now Rename Site URLs May 2, 2019 8:48 am - The modern SharePoint Admin Center introduces the ability to rename the URLs for SharePoint site names. This responds to a longstanding customer request and makes it possible for site names to reflect what users see elsewhere in Office 365 groups or Teams. It's a small but welcome change in the fit and finish category.
  42. Outlook Mobile Adds Office Lens May 1, 2019 8:33 am - Microsoft has integrated its Office Lens technology into Outlook for iOS to give users the ability to capture and include an image in messages in a very easy manner. Office Lens is more than another camera app as some Microsoft Research smarts are used to smoothen and clarify images before saving in a variety of formats, now including an Outlook message.
  43. The Complexities of Office 365 Tenant to Tenant Migration April 30, 2019 10:54 am - Depending on your tenant's configuration and the applications in use, the prospect of a tenant-to-tenant (T2T) migration might be appealing or a horror story. Applications like Quadrotech's Cloud Commander are designed to help move data between tenants. In this video, Tony Redmond and Mike Weaver discuss some of the complexities involved in T2T projects. The program is 15 minutes long.
  44. Adding a Teams Chat Link to Your Email Signature April 29, 2019 10:25 am - Teams deep links are probably not something you chat about a lot, but they can be used to start off a personal chat. In this post, we discuss how to insert a deep link in an Outlook or OWA signature so that recipients can contact you to follow up a topic started in email. It's a quirky detail about Teams that might be interesting for you.
  45. The Side-effects of Using Address Book Policies to Limit Teams Search April 26, 2019 12:32 pm - You can use Exchange Address Book Policies (ABPs) to limit the ability of Teams users to chat with each other. Everything works as expected until you look for some new teams to join only to find that Teams can't suggest any teams to you. The problem seems to be with filtering the set of teams returned by the Microsoft Graph to take account of the scope applied to the user. At least, that's what I think is going on.
  46. Office 365 Reaches 180 Million Monthly Active Users April 25, 2019 12:29 pm - At their Q3 FY19 earnings call, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that Office 365 is now used by 180 million monthly active users. Office 365 is now growing at more than 4 million users per month. The earnings call also noted success for Enterprise Mobility and Security and the Outlook mobile client, both of which are now used by more than 100 million people.
  47. Teams Can Now Remove Users from a Group Chat April 24, 2019 8:32 am - The latest build of the Teams clients (desktop, browser, and mobile) include the ability to remove a participant from a group chat. This is a much-requested feature that's taken surprisingly long to deliver, but now you can have fun adding and removing people to your heart's desire. It's nice to have a chat and it's even better if you can control who you chat with.
  48. Outlook’s Option to End Appointments and Meetings Early April 23, 2019 6:53 am - Outlook for Windows (ProPlus or click to run) now boasts settings to allow users to schedule meetings and appointments to end some minutes earlier than expected. Brian Reid is very excited by the prospect, but we're not sure if this qualifies as one of Ståle Hansen's famous lifehacks. In any case, ending meetings early won't solve the problem of badly-organized or managed meetings or how people behave during meetings, but it might give you a quiet feeling of satisfaction to have a neater calendar.
  49. The Changing Role of Office 365 Admins (Video) April 19, 2019 8:25 am - No one can say that the role of an Office 365 admin is static. In fact, it changes all the time as new technologies appear or Microsoft changes existing applications. This video featuring MVPs Paul Robichaux and Tony Redmond explores the changing role of Office 365 Admins, and sometimes it even makes sense.
  50. Unified Labelling Version of Azure Information Protection Client Now Generally Available April 18, 2019 7:55 am - Microsoft has released the GA version of the Azure Information Protection client, which reads information about Office 365 sensitivity labels and policies from the Security and Compliance Center. It's one more step along the path to making it easy for Office 365 tenants to protect their data. Work still has to be done, but at least we can see light at the end of the encryption tunnel.
  51. Microsoft’s “New Migration Experience” from G Suite to Exchange Online April 17, 2019 10:07 am - Microsoft announced a new migration experience from Google G Suite yesterday, which is nice. Under the covers, the venerable Mailbox Migration Service (MRS) does the work to extract mailbox data from Gmail using IMAP4 and moves it to Exchange Online. But after the move is done, there's still lots of work to do to help users make the cultural change to their new mailbox in the cloud.
  52. Teams Hides Underused Clutter From User View April 16, 2019 6:59 am - Office 365 notification MC177587 tells us that Teams will soon start to move underused teams to the More section of the teams gallery, letting users concentrate on the set of teams that they really use. Background agents do the work of detecting teams that haven't been accessed in 45 days or so and users get the chance to reverse the process. But it's a good idea to let users know what's coming, just in case they panic when they can't find a moved team.
  53. Office 365 for IT Pros April 2019 Update Available April 15, 2019 10:42 am - Update #13 for the Office 365 for IT Pros (2019 edition) eBook is now available for subscribers to download from Gumroad (EPUB and PDF) or Amazon (Kindle). This update features changes in 14 of the 24 chapters, so it's substantial. Just like Office 365, the book keeps on changing to keep track with new developments, best practice, and information released by Microsoft.
  54. OWA’s ThirdPartyFileProvidersEnabled Setting April 12, 2019 10:01 am - The ThirdPartyFileProvidersEnabled setting in OWA mailbox policies controls if Exchange Online mailboxes can access services like Drop and Dropbox for attachments. Office 365 tenants need to decide if they want to allow this kind of access. There's both good and bad in the feature, but it's easily turned off if you feel the need.
  55. Users Can Propose Others for Membership of Private Teams April 11, 2019 10:55 am - Office 365 notification MC177013 gives the news that team members can now nominate other people to join a private team. Teams routes the requests to team owners, who approve or deny access. It's a small but useful update.
  56. Teams Admin Center Adds Delete and Archive Capabilities April 10, 2019 7:53 am - The Teams Admin Center now boasts the ability to delete teams and (if you don't want to get rid of them altogether) archive teams. And unarchive teams back into use. All is good, even if Microsoft is making slow progress at building out Teams management functionality. Some of the slowness is due to dependencies, some because of other factors.
  57. Outlook logo Outlook’s Background Moves April 9, 2019 5:55 am - It's hard for a program that's been around for 22 years to surprise, but Outlook has done it by introducing background moves. The implementation is good and it closes a gap that's existed in Outlook for a very long time. So long that most Outlook users probably assumed that the program would never mend its ways. But then again, because people don't move items between folders like they used to, perhaps no one cared.
  58. The Case of SharePoint Online’s Missing Retention Labels April 8, 2019 10:11 am - Sometimes Office 365 can be infuriating. My latest tribulation came in the form of missing retention labels, which disappeared from SharePoint Online without any reason for two weeks. Some labels returned due to auto-label policies, but any applied to documents manually had a vacation somewhere in the bowels of the services. It wasn't a good experience.
  59. Office 365 for IT Pros 5-star rating Ratings and Reviews for the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook April 5, 2019 9:18 am - The Office 365 for IT Pros writing team don't pay too much attention to ratings we receive on different sites. However, we love getting comments to tell us how we can improve. If you've got something to share with us, please send a comment on this site or on Facebook.
  60. Microsoft Halts Deployment of MailItemsAccessed Audit Records April 4, 2019 9:53 am - Announced in January, paused in March - that's the fate of the MailItemsAccessed audit record generated by Exchange Online for the Office 365 audit log. Microsoft found some problems that they are fixing, which is good (because you want audit data to be reliable). And when the fixes are available, the deployment of the new audit record will restart.
  61. Microsoft 365 Security and Compliance Centers Now Generally Available April 3, 2019 1:34 pm - The Microsoft 365 Security and Microsoft 365 Compliance Centers are now generally available. The new consoles will eventually replace the Office 365 Security and Compliance Center (SCC) but some work is needed to fill out their functionality and make the switchover possible. In the meantime, the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook writing team will stay focused on the SCC. And when the time's right, we'll switchover.
  62. Why Teams Doesn’t Delete the SharePoint Folder When Removing a Channel April 2, 2019 6:28 pm - The tabs in a Teams channel can be associated with many different forms of data. When you delete a channel, you only remove the conversations for that channel. Any other data is left intact, including files in the folder in the SharePoint site used by the team. To fully clean up a deleted channel, you must therefore check what tabs exist and what data is accessed through those tabs.
  63. The Irritation of Exchange Online’s Inconsistent Mail Tips April 1, 2019 10:15 pm - MailTips are a pretty useful way of drawing the attention of users to potential issues with email. Exchange Online supports several MailTips, but Outlook clients insist on supporting MailTips in different ways. It's a small but irritating part of Exchange Online that could be done better.
  64. Teams Praise Rolling Out to Bring Happiness to All March 29, 2019 1:07 pm - Office 365 Message Center update MC176548 says that Teams has started to roll out "Praise" a way of sending another user a graphical reminder of how much you appreciate their work. Undoubtedly, praising people in Teams will make the world a happier place.
  65. Adding Multiple Office 365 Users with the Microsoft 365 Admin Center March 28, 2019 10:07 am - The Office 365 Admin Center offers the option to bulk-create user accounts. Loading up a CSV file with details and having it processed is simple enough, but the resulting accounts need some work before they are fit for purpose and ready for people to use. Here's how the bulk creation process works and why we think it has some flaws.
  66. Finding the SharePoint URLs for Teams March 27, 2019 12:09 pm - Every Office 365 group (and team) has a SharePoint site. But how to find the URLs of all the sites used by teams in a tenant. One PowerShell answer came from Syskit, but it's an old technique and we can do better now by fetching a list of teams in the tenant and then retrieving the URL for each team-enabled group.
  67. Making Sure Everyone’s Covered by an Office 365 Supervision Policy March 26, 2019 9:33 am - Although Office 365 supervision policies are intended to monitor a subset of user communications, usually involving specific groups of people, you might want to use a policy to monitor all email. In that case, how do you make sure that your policy has everyone in scope? The problem is that supervision policies don't support dynamic distribution lists, so you need to do some work to build and maintain a distribution list containing all user mailboxes.
  68. Office 365 Exposed Episode 14 Now Available March 25, 2019 9:21 am - Last week, we taped episode 14 of the Office 365 Exposed podcast in Building 27 of Microsoft's HQ in Redmond. Topics covered include battling attacks on Exchange, the need to upgrade old Exchange versions, Teams announcements at Enterprise Connect, and how the base Office 365 workloads handle retention storage. We think it's an interesting episode. Get it from iTunes now!
  69. Using Teams External Access for Federated Chats March 22, 2019 4:26 am - Teams supports federated chat with other users in Office 365 tenants using a feature called external access. It's similar to the way that Skype for Business federated chat works, except that you can't use emojis. Generally things work very well, which is nice when you want to reach out and communicate with someone externally.
  70. Using Office 365 for IT Pros with Google Play March 21, 2019 2:41 pm - A subscriber reported that he couldn't use the EPUB version of Office 365 for IT Pros with Google Play. We can make the EPUB work, but only by converting it to MOBI and back to EPUB. It's better to use the PDF version with Google Play. This works and you get better formatting of tables and code examples.
  71. Office 365 Content Search Actions and Hard Deletes of Mailbox Items March 20, 2019 3:03 pm - Office 365 content searches now support a hard-delete (permanent deletion) option for the purge action, but only for mailbox items. You can purge up to 10 items at a go. If you have more to purge, you just have to keep on purging until everything is gone. Or use the Search-Mailbox cmdlet, which keeps on proving its usefulness to administrators who need to remove lots of mailbox items quickly.
  72. Teams Usage Hits Half Million Organizations March 19, 2019 5:39 pm - At the Enterprise Connect conference, Microsoft announced that Teams is now used by 500,000 organizations. That's a jump of 80,000 since the last data given in January. They also said that 150 organizations have more than 10,000 users and that Teams is used by 91 of the Fortune 100. All in all, some impressive numbers.
  73. Eliminating Basic Auth for Exchange Online with AAD Conditional Access Policies March 18, 2019 2:08 pm - Exchange Online protocol authentication policies control what protocols a user can connect to mailboxes with, but it would be much better if we didn't have to worry about some old and insecure protocols. Azure Active Directory gives Office 365 tenants the chance to clamp down on IMAP4 and POP3 connections and close off some of the holes that attackers try to exploit. Microsoft says that this can lead to a 67% reduction in account compromises, so that's a good thing.
  74. Office 365 for IT Pros March 2019 Update Available March 15, 2019 10:24 am - The March 2019 updates for the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook are now available for EPUB/PDF and Kindle versions. EPUB/PDF subscribers can download the updated files from Gumroad. Getting the updates for Kindle is slightly more difficult, but it's possible and explained in our FAQ. Twelve of twenty-four chapters are updated in this release, so please take advantage of our work and download the updates now.
  75. Viewing a set of flagged messages in Microsoft To-Do Flagged Messages Might Make To-Do a Great App March 14, 2019 10:28 am - Microsoft To-Do now boasts the ability to process messages flagged by Outlook as tasks. It's a great way to handle complex tasks that arrive in email, so Office 365 users might like to give To-Do a second look. The steps feature makes it very easy to build checklists of stuff that needs to be done to accomplish tasks.
  76. Sharing SharePoint and OneDrive Documents with LinkedIn Contacts March 13, 2019 2:52 pm - A new feature makes it easier for Office 365 users to share documents in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business libraries with LinkedIn first-degree contacts. The LinkedIn folks are now included in the suggested people list. It's much easier to pick someone from a list than to look for their email address (which might be out of date). Before you can share with LinkedIn, your Office 365 tenant and user account must be configured to support the connection.
  77. Planner Can Now Copy Plans March 12, 2019 3:38 pm - Microsoft has announced that Planner now boasts the ability to copy a plan. Apparently, the idea is to save time by setting up plan templates that you can reuse. Office 365's task management app might not get as much love as other apps, but this is a useful set forward. Only users who are allowed to create new Office 365 groups can copy plans.
  78. Office 365 Groups Naming Policy Now Generally Available March 11, 2019 11:32 am - The Office 365 Groups Naming Policy is now generally available. The policy has taken nearly two years of preview to not get very far, but at least it's now an official part of the service. Microsoft considers the naming policy to be an Azure Active Directory Premium feature. Many customers might think differently, especially because the naming policy must be implemented through PowerShell and can easily be mimicked through PowerShell. And of course, Exchange Online's distribution list naming policy is free.
  79. Marking External Email with an Exchange Transport Rule March 8, 2019 11:55 am - Helping Exchange Protect Users from Bad Email Given the amount of spam floating around today, it comes as no surprise that many organizations deploy an Exchange transport rule to mark inbound external email with a suitable warning. This is a straightforward rule to configure and it can help stop users being fooled by bad messages …
  80. The End of Teams Following and Favorites March 6, 2019 7:22 am - Microsoft announced that the era of favorites and following is over for Teams. The new way is to show or hide teams and configure notifications for channels. Apparently, people found the old terminology confusing. Hopefully the new world of Show/Hide and Channel notifications will be more reassuring.
  81. New Office 365 Admin Center Offers to Create DLP Policy March 5, 2019 11:14 am - In a sign of how automation based on signals gathered by Office 365 will emerge to help administrators do a better job, the preview of the new Admin Center offered to create a DLP policy to protect some sensitive information that I had clearly overlooked. Well-intended as the portal was, its efforts to create the new policy failed. That's not really important - it's the glimpse into the future which is.
  82. Teams and Slack competitive data Teams User Count Outpaces Slack and Workplace March 4, 2019 11:12 am - New data about the number of Slack and Workplace usage gives the chance to compare how Microsoft is doing with Teams. And the answer is that things seem to be going well, largely because Teams is growing off the huge Office 365 base. With 155 million users (the last figure) and 3 million more added monthly, Teams has a lot more to go after in the Office 365 installed base.
  83. Configuring PowerShell for Office 365 March 1, 2019 3:13 pm - If you work with Office 365 through PowerShell, you probably have your own script to connect to the various services. If you don't want to write your own script, you can download one from GitHub or the TechNet Gallery. This article covers two that you might like to try, including one with a GUI to choose which Office 365 services it should connect to.
  84. Automating Office 365 with PowerShell and Flow February 28, 2019 8:09 am - PowerShell is hugely useful when the time comes to automate Office 365 processes. Other tools exist that can help, including Flow. Maybe it's the right time to consider Flow, especially when it is highly capable of knitting together different Office 365 components to get work done.
  85. The Great SharePoint Online Recycle Bin Fallacy February 27, 2019 11:36 am - If you're interested in deploying backups for SharePoint Online, you might be doing so to prevent data loss through accidental user deletion. However, Office 365 retention labels and policies can help prevent accidental deletion too. And the best thing is that retention policies and labels are part of Office 365 E3, so you don't have to pay more to get protection.
  86. Office 365 Sensitivity Labels: Auto-Label and Updated Client February 26, 2019 2:44 pm - Microsoft released an update for the unified labeling version of the Azure Information Protection client needed for Office 365 sensitivity labels, which now boast auto-label support. Solid progress is being made to move sensitivity labels to the point where they are considered to be generally available, probably later this year. In the meantime, pay attention to the premium features like auto-label which require more expensive licenses.
  87. Azure Information Protection and Office 365 New Information Protection Service Plans for Office 365 February 25, 2019 2:11 pm - Microsoft announced that the Office 365 E3 and E5 plans will receive new Information Protection licenses. They're preparing for the introduction of sensitivity labels and the increased use of encryption to protect access to content in Office 365 apps like SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, OneDrive for Business, and Teams. You don't have to do anything to prepare for the new licenses, but it's nice to know what they are and how the licenses are used.
  88. Publishing News in Office 365 with the SharePoint Online News Digest February 24, 2019 11:07 am - SharePoint Online supports the ability to create and publish a news digest from news items published on a site (or sites associated with a hub site). It's a great way to spread information within an Office 365 tenant.
  89. Microsoft Launches Series of Outlook Mobile Seminars February 22, 2019 6:46 am - Microsoft will deliver a set of five seminars about Outlook Mobile starting on March 14. It's always good to gain some knowledge about an important technology. Outlook Mobile is important to Office 365 because it is the most functional email client available. If you don't believe me, attend some of the seminars and make your own mind up.
  90. Teams problem TM173756 Analyzing the Teams Outage of 18 February 2019 February 21, 2019 12:06 pm - Microsoft Teams suffered its first major worldwide outage on 18 February 2019. Users reported a failure to connect because Teams couldn't authenticate them. The Post-Incident report for TM173756 revealed an issue with the Azure Key Vault. What's more interesting is that the issue affected users in multiple Office 365 datacenter regions, which is not good.
  91. Phishing: Your Document Has Been Completed February 20, 2019 12:43 pm - Phishing attacks through email happen all the time. A new relatively crude one arrived today. It's easy for the trained eye to detect phishing, but do your Office 365 admins know how to use the tools available in Exchange Online Protection to suppress malware, and do your users know the signs of bad email? In this case, it's an invitation to click to get to a PDF document to bring you to digitaloceanspaces.com. Some interesting things might happen afterwards, but I really don’t want to find out what occurs when I click the link.
  92. Office 365 Audit Log Search Office 365 Captures Audit Records for Teams Compliance Items February 19, 2019 2:40 pm - In one of those interesting (but possibly worthless) facts discovered about Office 365, we find that audit records are captured for Teams compliance records written into Exchange Online group mailboxes. The Search-UnifiedAuditLog cmdlet reveals details that we can interpret using some techniques explained in Chapter 21 of the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook.
  93. Office 365 for IT Pros Office 365 for IT Pros February 2019 Update Released February 18, 2019 1:59 pm - Update #11 for the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook is now available. Subscribers can download updated files from Gumroad or Amazon Kindle (depending on which version you bought) and benefit from the 16 updated chapters. ePublishing is the only way to keep up with the volume of changes in Office 365, and Office 365 for IT Pros is the only book that keeps up. But you know that anyway because you're reading this site!
  94. Who Will Lead Your Office 365 Deployment? February 17, 2019 8:46 pm - A recent Petri.com article set out the case that the technical lead for Office 365 deployments is best found in the ranks of people experienced with Exchange.The uphot was a flurry of tweets where people who worked with SharePoint and Skype explained their (strong) feelings on the matter. The upshot was an online debate to explore the attributes of people who lead successful Office 365 deployments. You can listen to a recording online.
  95. Microsoft 365 Licensing, Yammer and Teams, Office DPIA, and Exchange February 15, 2019 1:30 pm - Office 365 changes all the time, which is good because it keeps the Office 365 for IT Pros writing team busy and happy. Discussions this week included Microsoft's response to a Dutch DPIA, the effect large Teams have on Yammer, how Exchange Online validated a fix to a security problem, and graphics to help understand the components of the Microsoft 365 E3 and E5 plans.
  96. It’s Now the Teams Admin Center… And Some New Teams Usage Reports February 14, 2019 12:30 pm - The Teams Admin Center has been renamed to remove any reference to Skype for Business Online. The console now includes a set of new Teams usage reports. The reports differ from what's available in the Office 365 Admin Center and aren't quite as powerful, but we can expect Microsoft to improve and refine these reports over time.
  97. Azure Active Directory Still a Weakness for Office 365 February 13, 2019 10:49 am - The January 24-25 Azure Active Directory outage demonstrated once again how important AAD is to Office 365. Microsoft's Post Incident Report tells us what happened to deprive 1% of the users in Europe of service. That doesn't sound a lot, but you'd be mad if you were affected.
  98. Using Search-Mailbox to Process Multiple Mailboxes February 12, 2019 12:14 pm - The Search-Mailbox cmdlet is a very powerful weapon for Exchange administrators. It has some quirks, but the Invoke-Command cmdlet helps us get around one, which is how to use a different search query for each mailbox processed in a set of mailboxes.
  99. Setting Free-form Status Messages for Teams Users February 11, 2019 11:05 am - Teams users can now set their own status message to inform co-workers about what they're up to for the next few hours, days, or on an ongoing basis. It's a small but useful feature that seems to have crept into Teams without much publicity!
  100. Office 365 Exposed Episode 13 Now Available February 8, 2019 9:34 am - After a brief hiatus, the recording for episode 13 of the Office 365 Exposed podcast is now available. We think it includes some interesting topics and the arguments aren't too heated. See what you think and let us know in the comments.
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