Populate the Membership of a Teams Shared Channel for All Users

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.

Teams Native Files Policy Disables SharePoint and OneDrive Access

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.

Microsoft Forces Backup Vendors and Customers Toward Teams Export API

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.

Teams Files Channel Tab Keeps Improving

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.

Teams to Auto-Terminate Stale Meetings After 10 Minutes

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.

Viva Topics Stretches to Teams Chat

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.

Teams and its Unwanted SharePoint Online Channel Folders

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?

Disabling Chat Write Access in Teams Meetings for Anonymous Participants

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.

How the Language for Teams Meeting Invitations is Set by Meeting Policy

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.

Microsoft Stresses Software Dependencies for Teams Meeting Add-in

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.

Don’t Get Stuck in the Teams Meeting Lobby

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.

Microsoft Teams Launches Chat with Self Feature

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.

Don’t Give Up on Azure AD Guest Accounts

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!

Microsoft to Close Teams Compliance Gap with Reactions

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.

How Many Teams Compliance Records Are in Your Tenant?

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.

Monetization Opportunities Open Up for Teams App Developers

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.

Users Can Request Access to Teams Store Apps

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…

Teams Introduces a Team Owners Tag and Smart Replies

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.

Why Loop Components Have Some Compliance Problems

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.

How to View LinkedIn Contact Information in Microsoft Teams Chats

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!

Why the Admin Teams App Isn’t as Good as It Seems

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.

Teams Live Streaming Isn’t Difficult, Even for Video Novices

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.

How to Report Team Archive and Restore Events

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.

Archived Teams Pose Visibility Challenge for Shared and Private Channels

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?

Post to Teams Channels Using Azure Automation Runbooks

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.

New Microsoft Teams Filters Enhance Personal Appearance in Video Meetings

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.

Per-Team Activity Data Available via Graph API

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.

SharePoint’s Document Library Dropdown Menu

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.

Why It’s Difficult to Transfer Membership Rules from Exchange Online to Azure AD

It seems like it should be possible to transfer a membership rule from an Exchange dynamic distribution list to a dynamic Microsoft 365 group/team, but it’s not. Different directories, schemas, properties. and syntax conspire to stop easy conversion. It’s a pity, but that’s the way life and technology sometimes go…

How to Create a Report About Teams Tags

Teams tags appeared in early 2020 as a method to address subsets of a team membership in channel conversations. Microsoft doesn’t provide a method to report what teams use tags and what those tags are, but we can find out using the Graph APIs. In this article, we show how to use the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK to create a report of all teams which use tags, the names of the tags, and the team members assigned the tags.

Converting Dynamic Distribution Lists to Microsoft 365 Groups and Teams

This article explains how to create a new Microsoft 365 group and team using the membership and properties of an Exchange Online dynamic distribution list. The process is reasonably straightforward, but as always with PowerShell, there are some interesting turns and twists that must be navigated en route.

All About the Microsoft 365 Groups and Teams Activity Report

The Microsoft 365 Groups and Teams Activity report is a PowerShell script which tries to work out if groups and teams are inactive by checking various usage indicators. Because it’s written in PowerShell, tenants can change the script as they like, perhaps even adding some extra turbocharging to the ideas we’ve incorporated into the code.

Remote Connectivity Analyzer Diagnoses Teams Connections to Exchange Hybrid

Microsoft’s Remote Connectivity Analyzer (MRCA) utility is now able to run diagnostics to check connectivity between Teams and an Exchange hybrid organization. MRCA was in the doldrums for several years because no one inside Microsoft had any interest in providing funding for its development and support. Now the utility is roaring back with a set of new tests covering different aspects of Microsoft 365. Recommended!

Working Around the Teams Meeting Co-Organizer Role Limitations

The Teams meeting co-organizer role helps to run smooth meetings, but co-organizers can’t do everything an organizer can. How to get around the limitations? Well, one way is to use an old technique to schedule important meetings using a special account. There might be others, but that’s the one described here.

Teams Shared Channels Bring Their Own Challenges

Teams Shared Channels will be available in public preview in March. Exciting as it is to get new functionality, shared channels come with their own challenges. For example, how do organizations deal with the fact that compliance processing occurs on the tenant which owns a shared channel? Backup is another challenge. Teams has always been complex to backup, but how will backup vendors handle the new channels?

How Microsoft Teams Displays Local Time in Profile Cards

A new Microsoft Teams feature means that local time zone information appears on user profile cards. While it seem simple, the feature is very useful when arranging meetings because you know up-front about the working hours of your colleagues. It’s a detail that makes sense!

Fluent Emojis Arrive in Microsoft Teams

Microsoft has released a new set of over 1,800 fluent Teams emojis for use in chats and channel conversations. Soon you’ll be able to use Teams emojis as reactions in chats. Teams emojis are different from Windows emojis, but you can use the Windows emojis in channel names to highlight and emphasize the reason why the channel exists. All in all, the new emojis are a good thing and will be popular with many users.

Microsoft 365 Search Experiences Upgraded to Include Teams and Outlook Messages

An update to Microsoft Search means that search results available in SharePoint Online and Office.com now include Outlook and Teams messages. Microsoft has also updated Microsoft Search in Bing to include Outlook messages. All in all, these changes make Microsoft Search the go-to location when you need to find mailbox and Teams messages.