Outlook for Windows has supported Microsoft 365 Groups since 2015. The developers chose a seen/unseen model for Groups, but now Outlook has switched to a read/unread model, meaning that the unread counts for Groups can suddenly seem much higher than before. It’s a one-time change that aligns Outlook desktop with OWA and Outlook Mobile and there’s an easy way to set all unread items to be read. But you might want to tell people that this change is coming!
You can use Microsoft 365 Groups and distribution lists to schedule meetings in the Teams calendar app, but sometimes you can’t schedule meetings with Teams. That sounds odd, but it’s because of the way that Teams selects groups from the Exchange Online GAL to show to users in the “picker” control to select meeting attendees. You can make changes to have Teams show up in the GAL, but that might not be enough if you want everyone in the team to receive meeting invitations.
Office 365 Groups (and their underlying teams and sites) can be removed by user action or automatically through the Groups expiration policy. By examining records in the Office 365 audit log, we can track exactly when groups are soft-deleted followed by permanent removal 30 days later. All done with a few lines of PowerShell and some parsing of the audit data held in the records.
After a couple of years, it’s time to update the Office 365 Groups and Teams Activity Report script. Written in PowerShell, the script analyzes the groups in an Office 365 tenant to figure out if each group or team is in active use. Because it’s a PowerShell script, you can amend the code to your heart’s content.
At the Ignite 2019 conference in Orlando, Microsoft announced that Office 365 Groups will soon support sensitivity labels, but only to mark group containers with levels of sensitivity. The actual content of the containers, like the messages in Outlook Groups or Teams, will remain unaffected by the labels. For now.
Teams supports federated guest access for Gmail accounts using the identity provider framework of Azure B2B Collaboration. Office 365 tenants must first decide if they want Gmail accounts as guests in all or some teams before going down the federation route. Why Teams and not other Office 365 apps? It’s all to do with the endpoint used by the client to connect. If it can handle federation, all good. If not, it’s standard Azure B2B Collaboration.
You can configure Send As and Send on Behalf of permissions to allow Exchange Online users to send messages for an Office 365 Group. All is well if the messages arrive, but if they don’t, the NDRs might not get to where you think they should go, such as a folder in the Recoverable Items structure. That’s OK if the sender was told that a problem exists with a message, but they don’t know anything happened.
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.
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.
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.