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).

Microsoft Launches Preview PowerShell Module for Graph

by Tony Redmond

Microsoft has made a preview PowerShell module for the Graph available for developers to play with. Being able to use PowerShell with the Graph exposes a lot of data to play with, so it's a great addition to the administrator toolkit. To see how things worked in practice,, I convert a script to report Teams channels that are email-enabled to use the Graph module. Things worked out pretty well, but as you'd expect, some rough edges exist that need to be smoothed.

Microsoft Closes Outlook Copy-On-Write Flaw with Exchange Online Fix

by Tony Redmond

Microsoft fixed the copy-on-write bug in Outlook for Windows in Exchange Online. The fix stops users removing attachments from sent or received messages. A strong case can be made that the fix should have been present from the start to stop any possibility that clients could comprise Exchange Native Data Protection. Microsoft doesn't think many people were affected and they could be right, but that doesn't make the problem any easier to swallow.

Managing OneDrive for Business File Upload Requests

with 1 Comment by Tony Redmond

The new Request Files feature in OneDrive for Business is great for users but comes with no admin controls. You can block the feature completely with a kludge and use Office 365 audit records to know when people are requesting files. However, Microsoft could make the feature so much better by extending some existing controls to make requesting files work better and more securely.

Microsoft Tries to Boost Microsoft Search in Bing with Chrome Extension

by Tony Redmond

In a January 22 post, Microsoft announced a plan to boost Microsoft Search in Bing by including an extension to make Bing the search engine for Chrome for Office ProPlus users. Obviously no one outside Redmond thinks that this is a good idea as forcing users to embrace Bing is unlikely to be popular. But it might happen in mid-February when the next Monthly Channel update for Office ProPlus lands. Stay tuned for developments.

OneDrive for Business Makes It Easy to Request Files

with 1 Comment by Tony Redmond

The OneDrive for Business Request Files feature is a quick and simple way for users to ask others to upload files to a target folder using a special sharing link. Request files is now available within Office 365. The process is straightforward and might even help to stop people sending some attachments around in email. No admin controls are available for Request files, which is a nagging concern that deserves some consideration.

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    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.

    Office 365 Has Changed Enormously Since 2011

    with 3 Comments by Tony Redmond

    Microsoft launched Office 365 in June 2011. Since then, the cloud office suite has matured nicely and now serves over 200 million monthly active users. Looking back as we enter a new decade, the fears that people had about going to the cloud have been dealt with and the Office 365 record of cost, reliability, and security holds up to close examination.

    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 3 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.

    Identifying Obsolete Guest User Accounts in an Office 365 Tenant

    with 1 Comment by Tony Redmond

    Many Office 365 applications now create Azure Active Directory guest accounts. What's the best way to discover if the accounts are active and in use? This PowerShell script uses the Office 365 audit log and message trace data to figure out what guest accounts are active and outputs a CSV file for your review and analysis. Like any other PowerShell script, it can be adapted to suit your purposes.