Tony Redmond is an independent consultant who specializes in Microsoft collaboration technology. He runs his own consulting company and advises many companies on how to best develop, use, or exploit Microsoft technology, He has written 15 books and is the lead author of the "Office 365 for IT Pros" ebook.
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Lots happens in a month within Office 365. I can’t possibly write an article about every change in SharePoint, Teams, Exchange, etc. released by Microsoft,, so sometimes I need to publish a catch-up (or catch-up) post. Here are ten things that I think are interesting enough for you to know about.
Microsoft has updated the Hybrid Configuration Wizard (HCW) to transfer some Exchange on-premises configuration settings. That’s nice, but possibly too little and too late to make any real difference. Office 365 has moved on, most people who wanted to configure hybrid connections are now in the cloud, and the settings aren’t all that exciting.
The Office 365 Audit Log holds lots of interesting information about how people share information. In this article, we explore how to use the audit log records to discover the document sharing habits of users, including the documents shared with guest users and people outside the tenant.
I don’t consider backups to be a necessity for Office 365, but ISVs continue to offer these products and customers continue to buy, so I chatted with Spanning to find out what’s happening in the Office 365 market, who’s using cloud backups, and why. We also spoke about the challenges that backup vendors continue to have in coping with some of the unique aspects of Office 365.
Many Office 365 Groups and Teams have external guest members.Part 2 of our series about external access to documents in Office 365 explains how to use PowerShell to query groups about external guests so that we understand where the guests come from and what groups and teams they can access.
Teams is now able to capture compliance records for contributions to private chats by guests or on-premises users in a hybrid Office 365 organization. The new mechanism uses “phantom mailboxes” in the cloud to hold the compliance records for on-premises users. You must register your tenant to be able to get an updated GUI for the Security and Compliance Center, but PowerShell can find these records now.
It’s a good idea to understand whether any external people have access to documents in your Office 365 tenant. There’s no option on the Office 365 or SharePoint Online consoles to tell you what access external users enjoy to SharePoint sites, so we must use some PowerShell to interrogate SharePoint and see what that reveals.
Microsoft says that SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business offer secure collaboration within Office 365. Good auditing is part of the reason why, but because SharePoint is so chatty when it comes to generating audit records, you might need some help to filter what’s in the audit log to see what’s really important.
GDPR Article 17 allows individuals to request an organization to erase their personal data. Now that GDPR is in effect, what are the practical steps to take to process an erasure request against Office 365 data? As it turns out, the answer is not straightforward.
Planner now supports guest user access to its plans. Office 365 tenants will celebrate this feature because they’ve been waiting for it to arrive. It’s curious that it has taken Microsoft so long to upgrade Planner for this feature given that Groups and Teams have had this capability for a while. But it’s here now, so enjoy.
Outlook.com (premium) now boasts two new protected email features taken directly from Exchange Online. It’s an example of how the shared Office 365 infrastructure enables Microsoft to make functionality available to users of its consumer and enterprise platforms as they want. OneDrive Restore is another example. In both cases, the features aren’t available to free seats.
Many Office 365 tenants use Planner for group-based task management. Generally, the application is OK and has been getting better. Now it can connect to Outlook to synchronize tasks into a user calendar, which then allows users to see tasks alongside their other commitments and print details off if needed. It’s an imperfect but acceptable solution to the lack of print capabilities within Planner.
Microsoft Teams now shows team owners when their team is going to expire – that if, if you use the Office 365 Groups expiration policy. But tenant administrators don’t have a report showing them when groups expire, so we wrote one in PowerShell for you to use (and improve).