When SharePoint users share information, Office 365 captures events in its audit log. By analyzing the events, we can build a picture of how people share information. The sad thing is that the audit events logged when someone extends the validity of a sharing link doesn’t contain as much information as you might like. Even so, we can still analyze the sharing events to build a picture of what happens in an Office 365 tenant.
The SharePoint Online expiring access policy controls how long external users can use a sharing link. You don’t have to use this policy, but it’s a good idea to configure it. And once the policy is active, users will see notices when their sharing links approach expiration. The process to renew (extend) sharing links is quick and easy. And if you want even more protection, consider combining this policy with sensitivity labels.
Teams meeting recordings can contain a lot of confidential information. It’s a quick and easy task to create a Data Loss Prevention (DLP) policy to stop people sharing these files externally, In this post, we show just how simple the required policy is, and just how effective it is at stopping external sharing.
To help you recover from the blizzard of Microsoft 365 information released at Fall Ignite 2021, here are some notes about features and functionality you might have missed. Like any list created by a conference (virtual) attendee, it reflects my interests and what I was looking for. Feel free to disagree on the importance of any or all of the topics discussed here… and suggest some of your own in the comments.
Users attempting to delete SharePoint Online files assigned Microsoft 365 retention labels are blocked. That is, until a change arrives in November to make SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business behave in the same manner. It’s a good change because it avoid the scenario where users remove retention labels to delete files, which undermines the organization’s compliance strategy. Now, deleted items go into the preservation hold library and stay there until their retention period expires. My only complaint is that the control over the mechanism is not as simple as it should be, but that’s a small and relatively unimportant flaw in the overall scheme of things.
The preservation hold library is an important component of SharePoint Online retention processing. A change coming in November should simplify file handling and reduce the amount of storage taken up by retained files in the library. Basically, instead of storing multiple versions of a file, SharePoint Online will hold a single file containing all the updates. It seems like a good change to make. We’ll know more when it rolls out.
Microsoft has simplified Microsoft 365 administration by moving controls from the OneDrive for Business admin center into the SharePoint Online admin center. It’s a good step because the two workloads are really two sides of the same file and document management function within Microsoft 365. With many apps moving storage of their data to OneDrive for Business, its role is becoming increasingly important. Even so, OneDrive doesn’t deserve a dedicated management portal.
Teams-based webinars are a popular way of hosting events like product briefings or announcements. Behind the scenes, the Microsoft 365 substrate stores information about webinar speakers, attendance, and event details as lists in the meeting organizer’s OneDrive for Business account. The information stored in OneDrive is indexed and available for eDiscovery. It’s a great example of the Microsoft 365 ecosystem in action.
Adding the ability to search for spoken text in Teams meeting recordings is just one of the new features added after Microsoft moved storage for meeting recordings to OneDrive for Business. A new video viewer and support for 27 additional languages (some different variants of a base language) are also important developments. In this article, we explore how Exchange Online captures the text spoken in Teams meetings, how OneDrive for Business links the text with the video, and how Search can find spoken text from the transcripts.
The OneDrive for Business sharing control (also used by SharePoint Online) now shows thumbnails of the set of people who already have access to an item. The idea is to give owners of information an at a glance view of who has access. It’s a nice change which adds something that probably no one thought was missing, The little things add all the difference!
Microsoft’s Whiteboard app is moving its storage off Azure to OneDrive for Business. The switchover will happen in October 2021, but tenants can opt-in to use OneDrive storage from the end of August. Some Whiteboard clients won’t be able to cope with OneDrive then, but Microsoft says that everything will be straightened out for the switchover in October. As we explain here, it’s a good idea (for many reasons) to move Whiteboard storage to OneDrive.
In September Microsoft will introduce a new auto-expiration feature for Teams meeting recordings stored in OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online. By default, recordings will be moved to the recycle bin 60 days after creation (30 days for users with Office 365 A1 licenses). Tenants can control the default expiration period using Teams meeting policies while users can override expiration for individual files. And if you use retention policies to control Teams meeting recordings, their instructions take precedence over auto-expiration.
A change being made to SharePoint Online in August will make the deletion process for files with retention labels consistent with OneDrive for Business. The intention is to achieve consistency across the two browser interfaces and to remove a little friction for users who might become confused when they SharePoint Online stops them deleting labeled files. Everything will happen in August. We wonder if anyone will notice?
Two Microsoft 365 message center notifications covering Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) for OneDrive and Lists are interesting, but the news of the arrival of the new Nucleus synchronization engine within the OneDrive sync client (for Windows) is even more interesting. Together, the combination of PWAs and Nucleus make OneDrive and SharePoint data more accessible to users.
Microsoft will soon impose a limit on the number of PST versions kept by SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business. PST files have no business being in cloud storage, so this is a reasonable step. People shouldn’t keep PSTs in SharePoint or OneDrive document libraries and organizations shouldn’t let them. In fact, you should block PSTs from OneDrive synchronization and make plans to eradicate these pesky files.
Microsoft has announced that Whiteboard will move its storage from Azure to OneDrive for Business. It’s a good move because it addresses several important issues. around search, eDiscovery, compliance, and data governance The switchover is due in October 2021, but Office 365 tenants will get an opt-in choice to move earlier.
OneDrive for Business now stores Teams meeting recordings. You can protect files with sensitivity labels, but does this have any side effects for Teams? As it turns out, it does because the protective wrapper which encrypts the recording breaks the link to Teams. This might not be important if you need to protect a confidential recording and restrict access to a known set of users, but it’s something to consider before applying any labels.
Teams Data Loss Prevention (DLP) policies help to stop users sharing confidential information through chats and channel conversations. A recent update means that accounts to be included or excluded in DLP policies can be specified using distribution lists or mail-enabled security groups. While this doesn’t sound very exciting, it is if you need to deploy DLP policies to targeted sets of Teams users.
Feb 24 2021 Update: The picker used for OneDrive for Business accounts will support distribution lists and security groups in March.
Storage for videos stored in the new Stream will be charged against SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business accounts. This shouldn’t make much difference for Teams recordings, as there’s plenty of storage available for OneDrive accounts. You can increase the default amount to 5 TB in enterprise tenants, and that should be enough for even the most copious of Teams meeting recorders.
Microsoft is rolling out an update to remove the Everyone Except External Users (EEEU) permission from OneDrive for Business accounts created before August 1. They’re also doing a permissions reset of lists created in those accounts, meaning that some folks might lose access to lists. It’s hard to know how much impact this will have on Office 365 tenants, but it’s probably a good ideas to ask.
Microsoft’s service description for OneDrive for Business promises “beyond 1 TB, to unlimited” storage. In reality, most enterprise Office 365 accounts have 5 TB storage and won’t need to go further. But you can… first to 25 TB and then even more in the form of SharePoint sites. You just have to talk nicely to Microsoft support.
Do you need to find out who updated a SharePoint Online or OneDrive for Business document? Use PowerShell to search the Office 365 audit log for document events and the complete history is available. Well, at least the last 90 days’ history – or 365 days if you have the necessary licenses.
PowerShell modules are often updated regularly to add new features and functionality. When the time came to update the Azure Active Directory preview module to 220.127.116.11, things didn’t work so smoothly because the files for the previous version of the module had ended up in OneDrive for Business. The moral of the story is that there’s a reason why the Scope parameter exists for the Install-Module cmdlet.
Word users range from casual to professional writers. Those involved in collaborative co-authoring can now @mention others in comments. The feature is available in Word and PowerPoint (click to run) and the Office Online apps now and Excel desktop is due to get it too. Documents must be stored in SharePoint Online or OneDrive for Business to allow @mentioned people access the files.
The OneDrive development team has announced that the roll-out of differential sync is now complete. Large files can synchronize without difficulty because only the changed bits need to be transmitted to the server. This isn’t an excuse to start uploading MP4 files to OneDrive, but you can now do it more easily.
We all store lots of information in the cloud and sometimes it is hard to find work that needs to be resumed or finished. OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online now boast the ability to mark files and folders for later. The two apps share a common list and make it easy for users to find work that they need to return to.
You can use PowerShell to configure a customized per-site Anyone sharing link period for different sites. Public sites might have a 365 day period while more confidential sites might have a more restricted period. All it takes is the Set-SPOSite cmdlet to set the necessary properties and you have a customized policy.
OneDrive for Business owners could exclude their sites from Office 365 searches but they can’t any longer after Microsoft acted to remove the capability from OneDrive site settings. All OneDrive for Business sites are now indexed and available to Office 365 searches.
Lots of announcements and other news flowed at the Microsoft Ignite 2019 Conference. Here’s a YouTube playlist for four short videos about interesting topics from the conference. We cover Office 365, Exchange Online, OneDrive for Business, and the famous “Office 365 substrate.”
OneDrive for Business now allows users to generate an external sharing report. The report is designed to help people understand what files are shared in their account. The report generates a CSV file that has lots of data, but you need to understand how to make sense of the data.
It used to be more difficult to generate a report about the storage used by OneDrive for Business sites in an Office 365 tenant. Now it takes just a few lines of PowerShell. Here’s an example of a simple but powerful script to do the job.
If you want to include SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business locations in an Office 365 content search, you need to know the URLs of the target sites. Finding the URLs can be problematic, but here’s some easy ways to do the job. PowerShell, as usual, comes up trumps…
SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business support the ability to protected Anyone links with passwords. The idea is good and the feature works well, but some Office 365 tenants have problems with the idea of using Anyone links because, as the name implies, anyone who has the link can use it to open a document.
Microsoft says that they’re bringing Fluent Design to the OneDrive for iOS mobile app. Designers might be excited by the prospect of the new graphic elements, but being able to markup PDFs is easily my favorite feature. That’s supposed to be even better in the update and that, more than even the revamped camera settings, is what I am looking forward to.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Microsoft is now rolling out the “Recent” view in OneDrive for Business to expose the set of recently-accessed documents for a user.
Microsoft says that they will soon send email to users when Office 365 detects a higher than normal number of file deletions in SharePoint Online sites and OneDrive for Business accounts. There’s no real detail provided as to what counts as a high volume or why Microsoft is sending the notifications.