Author: Tony Redmond

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 is the lead author of the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook, the only constantly-updated book covering Office 365 and associated technologies. You can buy a copy of the book at (Gumroad.com – EPUB/PDF version) or (Amazon – Kindle).

The Need to Manage Office 365 Feature Deprecations

by Tony Redmond

Everyone gets very excited about new Office 365 features, but how do we handle the dark side of change - deprecated features and functionality? The answer is that we probably don't do such a good job of managing features out of tenants. Maybe it's not the most exciting topic or work to do, but the simple fact is that deprecations happen and will continue to happen.

Outlook Flaw Compromises Exchange Online Native Data Protection

by Tony Redmond

A bug in Outlook desktop's implementation of the MAPI over HTTP protocol allows users whose mailboxes are on hold to remove attachments from messages. The removal is not captured by the copy-on-write feature of Exchange Online Native Data Protection, which potentially compromises the ability of Data Governance managers or eDiscovery investigators to recover information needed for compliance purposes. All in all, it's a mess that Microsoft needs to clean up quickly.

Exchange Online Calendar Auto-Processing Vexes Some Users

by Tony Redmond

A recent change made to the way that Exchange Online processes notifications for calendar meetings has upset some Office 365 users because they don't see the email. Instead of leaving the notification email in the Inbox, Exchange processes the update in the calendar and moves the notification to the Deleted Items folder, meaning that it might be missed. Which makes some people mad.

Office 365 Successes and Failures Since 2011

by Tony Redmond

Office 365 has experienced great success since its launch in June 2011, but it's also had its share of failures as well. This article considers the most important technical advances in Office 365 and the most important parts of the ecosystem as well as some places where things didn't go quite so well as either Microsoft or tenants would have liked.

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    Microsoft Plans to Disable SMTP Authenticated Submissions in Exchange Online

    by Tony Redmond

    Microsoft is doing its level best to remove SMTP basic authentication from Exchange Online as quickly as possible. Basic auth for SMTP connections will disappear gradually as time goes by. Tenants can make accounts more secure by removing SMTP authentication from accounts, something that Microsoft will do in the future when these connections are not used. An exception exists (for now) for SMTP client submissions, but these might also be affected in the future.

    Speedy PowerShell Access to Office 365 Groups with Get-ExoRecipient

    with 2 Comments by Tony Redmond

    The new Exchange Online Management PowerShell module has cmdlets that are faster than their older Remote PowerShell equivalents. Converting scripts to make the new cmdlets work takes some effort because the REST-based cmdlets have their own little quirks that need to be understood and mastered before scripts work properly. This example explains some of the issues met when converting code to report the Inbox sizes and items for Office 365 groups.

    Analyzing the 2019 Numbers for Different Office 365 Workloads

    by Tony Redmond

    Microsoft is notoriously careful at giving out usage numbers for different Office 365 workloads.We know what the overall count is and now we have numbers for SharePoint Online and Teams. Some glances into a handy crystal ball and some inspired guesswork allows us to calculate likely numbers for Exchange Online, Yammer, and Planner and paint a more comprehensive picture of what's happening inside Office 365.

    Exploring the Office 365 Substrate

    by Tony Redmond

    The Office 365 Substrate is a poorly understood part of Microsoft's Cloud Office system. The substrate is a critical part of enabling services that run across different applications like Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Teams, and so on. Functionality like search, information protection, data governance, and eDiscovery is a lot harder when you have multiple moving parts. The substrate gives cohesion and coherence to what could otherwise be a tangled mess.

    Teams Doesn’t Need Two PowerShell Modules (But Why Two Exist)

    with 2 Comments by Tony Redmond

    If you work with Teams through PowerShell, you'll know that you sometimes need to open the Skype for Business Online module. It's a royal pain in the rear end to deal with two inconsistent modules. It would be much neater if everything was gathered into one coherent module. However, that's not going to happen much before Skype for Business Online retires in 2021. In the interim, here are seven sets of policy cmdlets that you'll probably need to use to assign policies to multiple users at one time.

    Tracking Anonymous Access to SharePoint and OneDrive Documents

    with 1 Comment by Tony Redmond

    Cloudy attachments are an excellent way of sharing documents through email without attaching files. Behind the scenes, an anonymous link to the document is sent to recipients, who can then use the link to open, edit, or download the document (depending on the assigned permission). Office 365 tenant administrators don't have great visibility into what kind of anonymous sharing happens, but they can with a little bit of PowerShell and the contents of the Office 365 audit log.