Blog

  1. Microsoft Announces New Yammer Administrator Role August 12, 2022 1:00 am - A new Yammer administrator role is available in Azure AD. Assignees of the new role become Yammer verified admins and can make changes to both native and non-native Yammer networks. It's nice to see the new role appearing in Azure AD and no doubt it will be useful to Microsoft 365 tenants that use Yammer, but why did it take so long to happen?
  2. Using the Get-AssociatedTeam Cmdlet to Report Team Memberships August 11, 2022 1:00 am - The Get-AssociatedTeam cmdlet is part of V4.6 of the Microsoft Teams PowerShell module. It reports the membership a user account has in teams, including where the account has direct membership of shared channels. The cmdlet makes it easy to generate a report of teams membership, and the PSWriteHTML module makes it easy to output nice PDF reports.
  3. Microsoft Reducing Recovery Time for ex-Inactive Mailboxes to 30 Days August 10, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft plans to reduce the recovery period for inactive mailboxes newly released from retention holds and policies from 183 to 30 days. The change will be implemented worldwide by the end of September. The reduction in recovery time sounds seriously but it's really not. If you haven't figured out that you need to recover some data from an old inactive mailbox within 30 days, the data probably isn't needed. And anyway, if you really want to, you can keep inactive mailboxes forever.
  4. Populate the Membership of a Teams Shared Channel for All Users August 9, 2022 1:00 am - This article explains how to populate the membership of a Teams shared channel using PowerShell. The idea is to create a shared channel that's used for organization-wide communications, like a HR questions and answers channel. Alternatives like using a dynamic Azure AD group with a filter to find Teams users are also considered.
  5. Upgrading the Microsoft 365 User Activity Report with a 180-day Lookback Period August 8, 2022 1:00 am - A new version of the Microsoft 365 user activity report PowerShell script is available. This version extends the activity lookback period to 180 days, which is helpful when assessing if user accounts are active when people might be on parental leave or sabbaticals.
  6. Microsoft Revamps Its Guidance for Data Lifecycle and Records Management Licensing August 5, 2022 1:00 am - In a welcome move, Microsoft has revamped its guidance for Microsoft 365 compliance licensing, specifically for Data Lifecycle and Records Management. The new text is much clearer about when different licenses are needed to use a feature, which is goodness even if you disagree that a feature should need a high-end license. Now if only Microsoft could do the same for the rest of its documentation...
  7. Microsoft Releases 42 New Sensitive Information Types August 4, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft has released 42 new sensitive information types (SITs) in preview. The new SITs cover credentials used in services such as Azure, GitHub, Amazon, and Google, and can be deployed in Purview solutions like DLP and auto-labeling policies.
  8. Using the Get-TeamAllChannel Cmdlet August 3, 2022 1:00 am - Version 4.6 of the Microsoft Teams PowerShell module includes the Get-TeamAllChannel cmdlet. As the name implies, the cmdlet returns details of all channels in a team (regular, private, and shared). To see what it does, we wrote a script to report all the channels in teams in a tenant.
  9. OWA Calendar Supports Display of Varying Time Increments and Time Zones August 2, 2022 1:00 am - The OWA calendar has gained some new features to help users see more detail about events. Users can choose different time slot lengths from 5 to 60 minutes. They can add time zones to the calendar display, and they can choose a different color for events. Nothing earth-shattering, but the changes will please users.
  10. Office 365 for IT Pros 2023 Edition August 2022 Update Available for Office 365 for IT Pros August 1, 2022 1:00 am - Subscribers to the Office 365 for IT Pros (2023 edition) eBook can download the updated files for the August 2023 release. Twenty-one of the 23 content chapters are updated, something that's pretty normal for an Office 365 for IT Pros book update. Lots more change is coming, all of which will be covered in future updates.
  11. Word’s New Can Review Sharing Permission July 29, 2022 1:00 am - Word review mode has been available for a couple of years (online app only). Review mode is a good way of guiding people to do the right thing when they review documents, and now Microsoft is upgrading the Sharing Link dialog UI with a new "Can Review" permission to make it easier for people to use review mode.
  12. $100 Billion Landmark Reached for Microsoft Cloud July 28, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft's FY22 Q4 results didn't reveal too much in terms of real numbers for Office 365 users, or usage of individual workloads like Teams or SharePoint Online. We do know that the Microsoft Cloud segment reached the landmark of $100 billion in annualized run rate ($91.2 billion actual). How much of that is down to Office 365? That takes some guesswork, but we've done our best.
  13. Teams Native Files Policy Disables SharePoint and OneDrive Access July 27, 2022 1:00 am - The Teams Files policy gives a way for administrators to control if users see the Teams Files tab in every channel and Teams chat, and if they can access OneDrive and SharePoint to upload files. The policy exists for organizations that have standardized on other file storage systems such as Box or Dropbox.
  14. Microsoft Forces Backup Vendors and Customers Toward Teams Export API July 26, 2022 1:00 am - In a July 12 announcement, Microsoft says that they will restrict the use of Exchange Web Services to access Teams message data from September 30. Microsoft wants customers to use the Teams Export API instead. All that's fine, but it means that customers have to change their Teams backup product to one that uses the new API - and they'll be charged for the privilege of using the Export API.
  15. Using the Outlook Booking with Me Feature July 25, 2022 1:00 am - Outlook's new Booking with Me feature is rolling out worldwide. Any user with an Exchange Online license can create a personal bookings page to allow other internal and external people to book meetings with them. It's a nice idea and a good example of how Microsoft can use its software toolkit to create new solutions.
  16. How Microsoft Bookings Uses Scheduling Mailboxes July 22, 2022 1:00 am - The Microsoft Bookings app is available to many Office 365 users. The app is designed to host a shared calendar for a group of people. The calendars are in special scheduling mailboxes that are created by the Microsoft 365 substrate. Appointments in the calendar can be scheduled by people through a bookings page, which can be on the internet or confined within an organization. It's a neat way to run an online business - if only Bookings could take in some money for all that scheduled work.
  17. Why Microsoft’s Slowness in Delivering Outlook Roaming Signatures Affects OWA July 21, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft promises they will deliver the long-awaiting Outlook roaming signatures feature in October 2022. There are signs of progress in Outlook beta builds, but the development of the feature has caused some disruption for Microsoft 365 tenants because it broke the cmdlet that updates HTML signatures for OWA. Oh well, it will all be OK in October. At least, that's the plan.
  18. Reporting SharePoint Online External Users with PowerShell July 20, 2022 1:00 am - There are many versions of PowerShell scripts to report SharePoint external users online. Most don't handle team-connected sites, so we take the time to explain the oddities of the Get-SPOExternalUser cmdlet and create some data that we can report using the PSWriteHTML module. All in day's work with Microsoft 365.
  19. Microsoft Graph Support for SharePoint Online Tenant Settings July 19, 2022 1:00 am - The new tenant admin Microsoft Graph API allows access to read and update SharePoint Online tenant settings. Although the API offers limited capabilities for now, it marks the start of Graph support for tenant settings that are currently managed through admin portals or PowerShell. It's a welcome development.
  20. Teams Files Channel Tab Keeps Improving July 18, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft has improved the functionality of the Teams Files channel tab since its introduction. The most recent update adds SharePoint's Grid View and Details pane, and the net effect is that the Files channel tab is now almost as functional as the SharePoint browser interface.
  21. Teams to Stop Auto-Provisioning Wiki Channel Tab July 15, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft has announced that Teams will no longer provision the Teams Wiki channel tab for newly created channels. The change goes into effect in mid-August. It seems like not many people like the Teams Wiki, but it does its job and deserves a little respect - or does it?
  22. Connecting IMAP4 Clients to Exchange Online with OAuth 2.0 July 14, 2022 1:00 am - The imminent deprecation of basic authentication for 7 Exchange Online connectivity protocols mean that client updates need to be considered. If you use IMAP4, the Thunderbird client does a good job, but will other clients be able to cope? It's a good question to ask.
  23. Teams to Auto-Terminate Stale Meetings After 10 Minutes July 13, 2022 1:00 am - Stale Teams meetings have just one participant and last more than 10 minutes past the scheduled end time. Soon, Teams will end these meetings automatically. It's a small but useful change that will prevent Teams meetings lingering on in cyberspace long after anything useful ceased happening in the gathering.
  24. Loop Components Appear in OWA July 12, 2022 1:00 am - Loop components are now supported in OWA. The implementation is reasonably close to that of Teams chat, but has some essential differences due to the nature of email. The current state of Loop components mean that they are highly suited for internal communication but not for collaboration outside an organization.
  25. Use the Debug Parameter for Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK Cmdlets to Expose Graph API Requests July 11, 2022 1:00 am - Cmdlets in the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK module can interact with many types of Microsoft 365 data using Graph API requests. Adding the Debug parameter gives you an insight into what happens when SDK cmdlets run Graph requests. The knowledge can help you write better code and avoid mistakes, and that's always a good thing.
  26. Pace Heats Up as Microsoft Stresses Need for Email Client Updates July 8, 2022 1:00 am - A new Software Updates page in the Microsoft 365 admin center is intended to help tenant administrators keep an eye on what Office and Windows software people are using. As you'd expect, the page offers no details about non-Microsoft clients connected to Microsoft 365. That's OK, except when work is needed to make sure that clients can cope with the effects of a massive change, like the October retirement of basic authentication for seven email connection protocols.
  27. Viva Topics Stretches to Teams Chat July 7, 2022 1:00 am - Two recent and useful enhancements for Viva Topics are rolling out to Microsoft 365 tenants. You can now include topic cards in Teams chat messages and knowledge managers can add external references (website links) to topic cards. Neither might seem terribly important, but both changes make Viva Topics more useful and usable.
  28. How to Report Azure AD Admin Accounts Not Protected by MFA July 6, 2022 1:00 am - Many example PowerShell scripts exist to report Azure AD accounts and their MFA status. Most of the scripts use the old MSOL module. Now we can use the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK and some Graph API requests to do the same job, This article explains how, including how to highlight unprotected Azure AD accounts that hold administrative roles.
  29. Imminent Deprecation of Azure AD PowerShell Modules Creates Knowledge Gap in Documentation July 5, 2022 1:00 am - Time is ebbing away and the date when the Azure AD PowerShell modules will start not to work is approaching. Microsoft wants customers to upgrade to the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK or Graph API requests. That's fine, but a knowledge gap exists because most of the examples - including in Microsoft's own documentation - for how to interact with Azure AD via PowerShell use the old modules. And then every other blog on the planet (with some notable exceptions) does the same. So we have work to do to bridge the knowledge gap and help people to make the transition.
  30. Microsoft Launches IMAP4 and POP3 Application Access to Exchange Online Mailboxes July 4, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft has launched application access to Exchange Online via IMAP4 and POP3 using modern authentication. The approach Microsoft takes is reasonable and pragmatic and should be simple enough for app developers to implement. However, with an eye on the future, maybe this isn't the best strategic choice to make. Moving to the Graph APIs will take more work, but it's a better long-term solution.
  31. Announcing Office 365 for IT Pros (2023 Edition) July 1, 2022 12:01 am - The ninth (2023) edition of the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook is now available. Totally refreshed end-to-end and packed full of new examples and information about Office 365 technology, Office 365 for IT Pros is the ultimate guide to understanding and managing Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Teams, Planner, Azure AD, and more within the Microsoft 365 ecosystem. The book is packed full of practical examples of using PowerShell and the Microsoft Graph to automate operational processes. Best of all, Office 365 for IT Pros is updated monthly to make sure that its information remains current.
  32. Stream on SharePoint is Fundamentally Different to Stream Classic June 30, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft's work to create Stream on SharePoint continues unabated, and a handy spreadsheet is available to check features against Stream Classic. One thing's for sure. Stream on SharePoint (or Stream 2.0) is very different to the Office 365 video portals that have gone before. It's all about video management services and leveraging SharePoint storage now.
  33. Teams and its Unwanted SharePoint Online Channel Folders June 29, 2022 1:00 am - Teams likes to control the channel folders it creates in SharePoint Online, which is why it removes the Delete and Move to options from the folder menu. But once Teams removes a channel permanently, shouldn’t it allow the SharePoint folder to be removed?
  34. SharePoint Online Loses Its Inside Look June 28, 2022 1:00 am - Surprisingly, Microsoft has decided to retire the SharePoint Inside Look feature. This is where background processes extract three points from the text of Word documents and use them to help users understand the essence of the document. The text is also used in SharePoint sharing notifications. It's a pity that the feature is going, but it's English only and the resources needed to accommodate other languages might be too much for the predicted return.
  35. Microsoft Graph Explorer Boosted by New Features June 27, 2022 1:00 am - The Microsoft Graph continues to grow in importance, as do tools like the Graph Explorer web application. The Explorer has received a couple of new and useful features recently, including the generation of PowerShell code snippets. This doesn't work for every Graph API, but it's a start and a great enhancement to what's already a very useful tool.
  36. Disabling Chat Write Access in Teams Meetings for Anonymous Participants June 24, 2022 1:00 am - A new feature allows administrators to block the ability of anonymous participants to send chats during Teams meetings. They can still read chats, but can't send messages. Microsoft calls this write access to chat, which I guess it is. In other news, the new browser interface for Teams meetings is arriving in tenants and it's much better than the old one.
  37. How the Language for Teams Meeting Invitations is Set by Meeting Policy June 23, 2022 1:00 am - A new setting in Teams meeting policies allows administrators to control the languages used to generate Teams meeting invitations. The policy setting takes precedence over the language used by the user who creates a new Teams meeting. You can select up to two languages.
  38. SharePoint Online to Apply Default Sensitivity Labels to Modified Documents June 22, 2022 1:00 am - An update for SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business means that the Office desktop apps (Windows and macOS) will apply default sensitivity labels to documents that aren't already labeled. This is a good change because it helps to close a gap for organizations that want to be sure that every document is labeled.
  39. How to Create Mailbox Exclusions for Microsoft 365 Sensitivity Label Policies June 21, 2022 1:00 am - The GUI of the Microsoft Purview compliance center doesn't support the exclusion of selected mailboxes when the special All target is used. However, you can use PowerShell to add mailbox exclusions to sensitivity label policies, including adding the members of a group as exclusions.
  40. How Working with Protected PDFs in Microsoft 365 is Becoming Easier June 20, 2022 1:00 am - Some recent announcements will make it much easier to work with PDFs protected with sensitivity labels. Adobe is now bundling the MIP plug-in with the Acrobat installer and has plans to allow users to apply sensitivity labels within Acrobat. But the big news is the change in Office applications to generate protected PDFs when saving, exporting, or sharing protected documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.
  41. New Stream Client Worth Checking Out June 17, 2022 1:00 am - The new Stream client contains some useful new features. However, the client is still in preview and is missing other features, like the ability to manage sets of videos through Microsoft 365 groups. Even so, there's enough available now to demonstrate the wisdom of moving to the ODSP platform for video storage and management.
  42. Microsoft Stresses Software Dependencies for Teams Meeting Add-in June 16, 2022 1:00 am - Message center notification MC392289 highlights the need to keep the .NET Framework and the Edge WebView2 components updated to make sure that the Teams meeting add-in works with "degradation." No further information is offered as to why Microsoft needs to sound this warning several years after introducing the Teams meeting add-in.
  43. Don’t Get Stuck in the Teams Meeting Lobby June 15, 2022 1:00 am - It's easy to create a Teams meeting from Outlook, but it's also easy to create a Teams meeting in the wrong calendar. This can lead to the "message of doom" when you try to connect to the meeting and end up in the Teams meeting lobby with nowhere to go. Apart from being careful about which calendar a meeting is created in, it's a good idea to add an organization logo to Teams meeting invites so that if you create the meeting when signed into the wrong organization, you'll get a visual clue.
  44. Switch User Focus to the New SharePoint-Powered Stream June 14, 2022 1:00 am - A new SharePoint Online setting allows tenants to switch the target for the Stream tile in the app launcher to the new Stream. The intention to is have users become accustomed to the features of the new GUI and the way that Stream can manage video content anywhere inside Microsoft 365. The downside is that migration from Classic Stream isn't available yet. It's coming, just like Christmas.
  45. Microsoft Teams Launches Chat with Self Feature June 13, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft Teams users can use the chat with self feature to create a special chat designed to take notes and capture other information someone might want. It's similar to features that exist in other messaging platforms, so it's likely that the Teams chat with self capability will be well-accepted by users, especially those with secrets to share with themselves.
  46. The OneDrive for Business Recycle Bin, Searches, and Holds June 10, 2022 1:00 am - For whatever reason, Microsoft documentation says that items in the OneDrive for Business recycle bin are not indexed and cannot be discovered. They're wrong. Searches can find items which end up the in OneDrive for Business recycle bin and any holds that applied to those items are respected. Maybe it's just a matter of phrasing, but this proves once again that documentation can be incorrect. Just like blog posts!
  47. Microsoft Introduces Control Over Delegated Access to Encrypted Email June 9, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft is introducing new controls for delegate access to encrypted emails accessed via Outlook clients other than Outlook for Windows. The controls are implemented in three new PowerShell cmdlets which can block, validate, and allow delegate access to encrypted messages. It's nice to see some coherence being introduced for almost all the Outlook clients, even if Outlook for Windows does its own thing.
  48. Microsoft Previews Nested Dynamic Azure AD Groups June 8, 2022 1:00 am - A new preview feature supports the creation of dynamic Azure AD groups based on the membership of other groups, including dynamic groups and distribution lists (aka nested groups). It's a nice feature that adds value, even if dynamic groups require Azure AD Premium P1 licenses.
  49. Guest Accounts Can’t Update Their Photos with the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK June 7, 2022 1:00 am - The Azure AD PowerShell module allows guest accounts to sign into target tenants and update their account photo there. The Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK includes a cmdlet to do the job, but it doesn't work when connected to a target tenant. Permissions are the reason why, which is what we explain in this article.
  50. Don’t Give Up on Azure AD Guest Accounts June 6, 2022 1:00 am - Despite the advent of shared channels in Teams and the wonders of Azure AD Direct Connect, the chances are that Azure AD B2B Collaboration (Azure AD guest accounts) will remain the predominant method for external collaboration for the immediate future. That's not so bad, as long as you maintain good guest hygiene!
  51. Microsoft to Close Teams Compliance Gap with Reactions June 3, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft will soon make an update available for Purview Premium eDiscovery to reveal Teams reactions to chats and channel conversations when investigators review the results of searches. The information comes from Teams rather than the compliance records stored in Exchange Online. The new feature isn't coming to Standard eDiscovery.
  52. How Many Teams Compliance Records Are in Your Tenant? June 2, 2022 1:00 am - The Microsoft 365 substrate captures Teams compliance records for chats and channel conversations and stores them in Exchange Online. How many do you have? Although you might not care, sometimes it's good to know (like a tenant to tenant migration), so we explain how to count Teams compliance records for chats and channel conversations.
  53. Office 365 for IT Pros June 2022 Update is Available June 1, 2022 1:00 am - The Office 365 for IT Pros team is delighted to announce that the June 2022 update is now available for subscribers to download. this is update #84 in a series going back to May 2015. A new edition is on its way and will be released on July 1.
  54. Comparing Shared and Inactive Mailboxes May 31, 2022 1:00 am - Exchange Online tenants have a choice between inactive mailboxes and shared mailboxes when the need arises to keep "leaver" data like that belonging to ex-employees. Inactive mailboxes are essentially a compliance tool and sometimes shared mailboxes are better choices. We explore both in this short article.
  55. Monetization Opportunities Open Up for Teams App Developers May 30, 2022 8:29 am - The Teams platform is an attractive target for developers, especially now that Microsoft supports monetization opportunities for Teams apps. In other words, ISVs can make money by selling licenses for their apps or through in-app purchases. That's a good thing from an ISV perspective, but it's yet another factor for administrators to factor in when deciding to unblock apps for users.
  56. Users Can Request Access to Teams Store Apps May 27, 2022 1:01 am - A new feature allows Teams users to request access to Teams Store apps that are currently blocked. Administrators review requests and decide to release or continue blocking the app. Microsoft says that seamless communication happens between users and administrators. That's not what I experienced...
  57. Why Teams Sometimes Won’t Allow External Users In May 26, 2022 1:00 am - Teams supports external access through guest account membership in teams and external sharing of shared channels. Sometimes, things go wrong and sharing can't happen. In this article, we explore some common reasons and explain the solutions. And the need for patience!
  58. Outlook Org Explorer Gives More Reasons to Pay Attention to Azure AD User Data May 25, 2022 1:00 am - Outlook's Org Explorer (available in Insider builds) brings together information from multiple Microsoft 365 sources to help users understand the people they work with in an organization. It's like an Office 365 profile card on steroids, but only for user accounts as guest accounts and other external people are ignored. In other news, roaming signatures for Outlook desktop are getting closer as OWA now supports the creation and use of multiple web signatures, all of which can be used by Outlook desktop.
  59. New Messages Search Vertical Available in Office.com May 24, 2022 1:00 am - If you run a search in Office.com, Microsoft Search now includes Teams and Outlook messages in its results. This is similar to the capability exposed when Bing.com connects Microsoft Search to include work items in its results. Loop components are also available in search results.
  60. Graph X-Ray Tool Helps PowerShell Developers Master the Graph May 23, 2022 1:00 am - The new Graph X-Ray extension available for the Chrome and Edge browsers gives developers an insight into how the Azure AD admin center uses Graph API commands to retrieve user and group objects. The insight is invaluable when teasing out some of the syntax needed to get work done with the Graph. It's much appreciated.
  61. Microsoft Reveals Audit Gap for Delegate Send Actions May 20, 2022 2:23 pm - On May 19, Microsoft disclosed that a problem had stopped audit events being generated when people used the Exchange SendAs and SendOnBehalfOf permissions to send email for other mailboxes. Microsoft says that the problem is now fixed, but as it turns out, some issues still exist with capturing audit records for SendAs events.
  62. Using the Graph API to Generate Mailbox Folder Statistics May 19, 2022 1:00 am - A reader asked if it's possible to use PowerShell to return the unread count for the Inbox folder in user mailboxes. The standard Exchange Online PowerShell cmdlets tell you a lot about mailbox folder statistics, but they can't look inside a folder. But the Microsoft Graph APIs can, so a combination of PowerShell and the Graph deliver a solution to the problem.
  63. Basic Authentication Deprecation Can Stop Exchange Online Scripts Working May 18, 2022 1:00 am - The upcoming removal of support for basic authentication in seven Exchange Online connectivity protocols could mean trouble for some Office 365 tenants if they don't take care to ensure that modern authentication is used for PowerShell connections. The old-style Remote PowerShell connection must be replaced with the Connect-ExchangeOnline cmdlet from the Exchange Online management module (aka the V2 module). Apart from anything else, this should improve the performance and robustness of scripts, especially after Microsoft finishes the work to remove the WinRM dependency for older cmdlets.
  64. Use Azure AD Access Reviews to Check for Inactive Guests May 17, 2022 1:00 am - A new feature for Azure AD access reviews allows Microsoft 365 tenants to check for inactive guest accounts in group memberships. It's useful functionality if your Microsoft 365 groups are used for Teams rather than Outlook groups. Email activity is ignored by these access reviews, so all guest members are deemed to be inactive!
  65. SharePoint Online Growth Boasts Big Numbers May 16, 2022 1:00 am - A recent session at the Microsoft 365 conference offered some insight about the growth of SharePoint Online in both storage and sites. Adding 100 petabytes of storage monthly is a lot of data, but about a third of it could be consumed by Teams meeting recordings. And the 8 million sites created each month is large, but maybe not so big when you consider the reasons why Microsoft 365 tenants create sites. Teams, including private and shared channels, drives a lot of the growth in sites.
  66. Teams Introduces a Team Owners Tag and Smart Replies May 13, 2022 1:00 am - Two new features are available to Teams users. The Teams Owners automatic grouping (tag) allows users to address channel messages to the owners of a team (but not in private or shared channels),. Teams desktop clients catch up with their mobile counterparts by supporting suggested replies in 1:1 chats. Neither are particularly earthshattering features, but both are useful in their own way.
  67. Why Loop Components Have Some Compliance Problems May 12, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft Loop components are available now in Teams chats and will soon become available in OWA. Loop components are a new way of collaborative working that some will find very attractive. However, under the covers, some compliance issues can block organizations from allowing the use of Loop components. This post explains the issues involved in eDiscovery and export of items containing Loop components.
  68. Why PowerShell Scripts Might Need Updates After Microsoft Changes the Name Property for New Mailboxes May 11, 2022 1:00 am - The Exchange Online name change for mailboxes will roll out at the end of May, 2022. The change only applies to new mailboxes, but its introduction creates some interesting challenges for PowerShell scripts that process mail-enabled objects, including some good side-effects. In this post, we discuss some of the issues we've already encountered.
  69. ImportExcel PowerShell Module Worthwhile Addition to Microsoft 365 Admin Toolkit May 10, 2022 1:00 am - The ImportExcel PowerShell module is a useful addition to any Microsoft 365 tenant administrator's toolbox. Although standard cmdlets exist to interact with spreadsheet data, they are limited to CSV files and can't exploit the full power of Excel in the way that ImportExcel can do, all without needing to install the Excel application on a workstation.
  70. Project Monarch “One Outlook” Build Leaks May 9, 2022 1:00 am - A leaked build of Project Monarch's "One Outlook" client created some excitement last week, but when you examine the details of the client and what it can do, it's really just a prettier version of OWA for Exchange Online. That doesn't mean that Microsoft hasn't done a bunch of software engineering to prepare the ground to accelerate progress toward the final client. Microsoft has also provided a way to block people using the client, with promise of an official beta soon.
  71. Countdown Accelerating to the Big Basic Authentication Turnoff May 6, 2022 1:00 am - October 1, 2022, is when Microsoft begins the final process of removing support for basic authentication for 7 email connection protocols from Exchange Online. The process will take several months to complete, and when it's done, Office 365 will be a safer place that attackers will find more difficult to penetrate. But it's time for tenants to prepare, if you haven't already done so, and we highlight some critical points from Microsoft's most recent post on this topic.
  72. How to View LinkedIn Contact Information in Microsoft Teams Chats May 5, 2022 1:00 am - Outlook users have been able to see LinkedIn profile information for several years. Now Teams chat has the same kind of LinkedIn connection to expose profile information of people you chat with. Because Teams is more internally-focused than email is, the integration might be less useful than it is in Outlook. Then again, you might need to find out some information about people you work with!
  73. New Control for Loop Components in Microsoft 365 Apps May 4, 2022 1:00 am - A new control in the SharePoint Online configuration is available to enable or disable Microsoft Loop components in Microsoft 365 apps, just in time for their introduction in OWA and Outlook for Windows. However, before we get all excited, there are some important issues with loop components when exported in eDiscovery search results that might make tenant administrators ponder. Just a tad...
  74. Comments for Stream Files Stored in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business May 3, 2022 1:00 am - A new capability is available for users to post comments to Microsoft Stream videos stored in OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online. By itself, this doesn't sound like a great feature to have, but it means that Stream video and audio files are treated in the same way as other Office formats, and it delivers a feature available in other video platforms like YouTube and Facebook.
  75. May 2022 Update Available for Office 365 for IT Pros May 2, 2022 1:00 am - The Office 365 for IT Pros team is delighted to announce the availability of the May 2022 update. Subscribers can download the updated files from Gumroad.com or Amazon. Among the many improvements made this month was a big effort to remove typos and grammatical errors using Grammarly. This worked well, as long as sensitivity labels didn't get in the way.
  76. Account Switcher Available for Microsoft 365 Apps April 29, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft is rolling out the necessary bits to applications to support the Microsoft 365 web app account switcher. The account switcher allows users to move between accounts in different Microsoft 365 tenants, or to their personal Microsoft Services (MSA) accounts for apps like Outlook.com and OneDrive (consumer). The account switcher works, but only when all the necessary code is available. When that happens, all should be well, but in the interim, maybe it's wise to wait.
  77. Office 365 Reaches 345 Million Paid Seats April 28, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft's FY22 Q3 results disclose a ton of success for the Microsoft Cloud, with revenues now approaching an annualized run rate of $100 billion. We got a new number for Office 365 users too and learned that Microsoft has 345 million paid seats for Office 365. Good progress too for Enterprise Mobility and Security and Azure Active Directory. All in all, great results.
  78. New Sensitivity Labels Setting Controls SharePoint Site Sharing Permissions April 27, 2022 1:00 am - A new sensitivity label setting is available (in preview) to control site sharing permissions for SharePoint Online sites. The new setting is an advanced setting, meaning that it can only be set using the PowerShell Set-Label cmdlet. It's a welcome addition to the control sensitivity labels can exert over containers.
  79. Outlook’s Dislike for Moderated Distribution Lists April 26, 2022 1:00 am - I'm not sure people use moderated distribution lists with Exchange Online all that much, but those who do might be frustrated by a client inconsistency between OWA and Outlook. OWA can expand the membership of a moderated distribution list; Outlook for Windows cannot. It's a small point. Maybe Project Monarch will help...
  80. Why the Admin Teams App Isn’t as Good as It Seems April 25, 2022 1:00 am - On the surface, the Admin-Microsoft 365 Teams app seems to offer a lot of promise. However, its functionality is disappointing and anyway, do you really want administrators performing tenant management through Teams when they're signed into their personal accounts? Some will like the app, but I'm not a fan.
  81. Microsoft Purview Rebrand is a Royal Pain April 22, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft marketing folks are no doubt very pleased with their latest branding success in introducing the Microsoft Purview suite. Others aren't quite so thrilled, especially anyone who writes about technology and now has to update text to match the desires of the brand police. On the upside, there's some good new functionality coming for different products in the suite.
  82. Exchange Online Plans Changes to Make Mailbox Identification More Effective April 21, 2022 1:00 am - Exchange Online plans to change the format of the Name and Distinguished Name mailbox properties. The idea is to make these properties unique and improve synchronization with Azure AD. It all sounds like a good idea, but these properties have been around in Exchange for a long time, and any change will surface in unexpected places - like the output of many Exchange cmdlets. Which is why Microsoft has paused the plan for further reflection.
  83. Viva Topic Cards Available in OWA April 20, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft announced that OWA supports Viva Topics, meaning that users with Topics licenses can add topic cards to messages, and those who receive the messages will see topic cards if they also have licenses. Support is coming soon for topi cards in Teams chat. Being able to use topic cards in mainline applications increases the attractiveness of Viva Topics a lot. Whether it's enough to convince more Microsoft 365 tenants to plunge into knowledge management with Viva Topics remains to be seen.
  84. Teams Live Streaming Isn’t Difficult, Even for Video Novices April 19, 2022 1:00 am - A new capability for Teams meetings allows streaming of content using RTMP to platforms like YouTube. To Microsoft's credit, they've built a feature that even video novices can use. The possibilities to live stream in scenarios like webinars and product announcements are endless.
  85. If You Use Office 2013, It’s Time to Move April 18, 2022 1:00 am - Time is running out for Office 2013. In April 2013, Microsoft won't provide security updates for this venerable software any longer. It's time to move, and if you're a Microsoft 365 user, our recommendation is to use Microsoft 365 apps for enterprise because it's the most functional version. If you can handle the change, it's the right decision.
  86. How to Report Team Archive and Restore Events April 15, 2022 1:00 am - It's a good idea for administrators to know when people archive or restore teams, just in case users lose access to private or shared channels. This article explains how to search the audit log to find records for these actions, extract the relevant data, find information about channels belonging to the teams, and create a report.
  87. All About the Get-MailTrafficSummaryReport Cmdlet April 14, 2022 1:00 am - The Get-MailTrafficSummaryReport cmdlet gets a lot of praise in some quarters. I am not so impressed. The Exchange Online cmdlet is useful, but it's now showing its age in a world when better data to create a view of user activity is available elsewhere, notably in the Microsoft Graph. This doesn't mean that the cmdlet doesn't do a good job; it's just that it hasn't received much love from Microsoft since 2015.
  88. Use Message Tracing to Report Exchange Online Email Sent to External Recipients April 13, 2022 1:00 am - A management request came in to report email sent by some users to external recipients. Although you might not agree that this is the right thing for any organization to do, it's very possible by exploiting the message trace information retained by Exchange Online for 90 days. As a bonus, we email the report generated from message tracing data to the requesting manager. Isn't PowerShell just wonderful?
  89. Archived Teams Pose Visibility Challenge for Shared and Private Channels April 12, 2022 1:00 am - When a team owner or administrator archives a team, any shared or private channels in the team along with their SharePoint Online sites are archived and become read-only. This is fine if the team owner realizes the effect on these channels and their users, but problems might happen when team owners aren't members of the channels and therefore don't know of their existence. Unless of course they take the time to check using the Teams Admin Center or PowerShell, which is exactly what happens when archival occurs - or is it?
  90. How to Find Unused Exchange Online Mailboxes April 11, 2022 1:00 am - Finding and removing unused Exchange Online mailboxes used to be a good way to keep Office 365 licenses costs under control. Given the widespread use of Exchange Online as part of bundles like Office 365 and the effect of Teams on email for internal communication, looking for unused mailboxes might not be so important now. In any case, the techniques of looking for evidence of mailbox under-use are interesting and useful for tenant administrators to understand, which is why we have this article!
  91. Post to Teams Channels Using Azure Automation Runbooks April 8, 2022 1:00 am - Sharing information generated by a PowerShell script running in Azure Automation can be a challenge. Some time ago, I wrote about creating an output file in a SharePoint Online document library. Here I explore how to do the job by posting to a Teams channel using two different methods.
  92. New Microsoft Teams Filters Enhance Personal Appearance in Video Meetings April 7, 2022 1:00 am - Two new filters available for Teams video meetings promise to help participants look their very best. The brightness filter projects a soft light onto the face of participants while the soft-focus (aka Botox) filter reduces the effect of facial wrinkles and cease lines. Although no miracles are promised, the new filters should help everyone look a little better the next time they turn on video during a Teams call.
  93. Per-Team Activity Data Available via Graph API April 6, 2022 1:00 am - A new Microsoft Graph query makes it easy to fetch per-team activity data for reporting. You can also fetch the data with the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK. The data goes back a maximum of 90 days and is at least two days old when you fetch it. Those facts are easy to live with. What's not so good is that the activity data focuses exclusively on channel activity and avoids everything else which happens in Teams.
  94. Why It’s Important to Read Message Center Notifications April 5, 2022 1:00 am - The message center notifications posted in the Microsoft 365 admin center are an invaluable source of information about change in a tenant. It's curious that some administrators don't think they have the time to keep abreast of the changes reported in these notifications. Microsoft is steadily improving the quality of what's posted, but delayed features remain and issue.
  95. Office 365 for IT Pros April 2022 Update Available April 4, 2022 1:00 am - The Office 365 for IT Pros eBook team is delighted to announce that the April 2022 update (#82 in the series) is now available for subscribers to download. This update includes a major revision for our PowerShell content as we start the process of removing Azure AD and MSOL examples and replacing them with the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK. Alongside all the other change happening inside Microsoft 365, we have plenty of updates to process.
  96. SharePoint’s Document Library Dropdown Menu April 1, 2022 1:00 am - Sometimes useful features show up in a Microsoft 365 app long after they should have been there. This is the case of SharePoint Online's document library dropdown menu, which is very helpful in navigating sites with multiple libraries. Unfortunately, not too many sites have multiple libraries because most are Teams-enabled and have a single library. Teams is another app where features show up after they should. The listing of the teams a user belongs to in the Teams admin center is a good example.
  97. Track User Access to Teams Shared Channels with Azure AD Sign-In Logs March 31, 2022 1:00 am - Teams shared channels are now in public preview, meaning that many organizations are trying them out to see how effective a means of collaboration these channels are. One of the administrative challenges of implementing shared channels for cross-tenant collaboration is knowing who uses the channels. An answer can be found in the Azure AD sign-in logs, but only after you go looking.
  98. Assign Azure AD Roles to User Accounts with the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK March 30, 2022 1:00 am - Assigning Azure AD roles to user accounts is the way users receive permissions to perform certain administrative actions. You can automate these assignments using cmdlets from the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK. That is, until the time comes to remove assignments.
  99. Basic Azure AD Group Management with the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK March 29, 2022 1:00 am - The Microsoft Graph SDK for PowerShell includes cmdlets for management of Azure AD Groups. The cmdlets work, and in some places they are screamingly fast compared to Exchange Online or Azure AD cmdlets. In other places, the cmdlets are a tad bizarre and expose a little too much of their Graph underpinnings. Oh well, at least after reading this article, you'll know where the holes lie.
  100. Customer Lockbox Support Arrives for Microsoft Teams March 28, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft is deploying an update to extend support for its customer lockbox feature to Teams user content, like chat or channel messages. Customer lockbox is part of the Office 365 and Microsoft 365 E5 products. It's a useful control over the access Microsoft support personnel can get to user content, but it seems like this feature should be included in lower-cost products like Office 365 E3. Not that this will happen...

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