Exchange Server

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.

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.

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    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.

    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.

    Can Exchange Online Really Recall Messages?

    by Tony Redmond

    Outlook users are more than aware of the problems involved in message recall, a feature that's only available in Outlook desktop and has a nasty habit of not working. The reasons why the feature fails are well known, but soon might be addressed by a new Exchange Online implementation that promises to work for all clients and across Office 365. Time will tell if careers and love can be rescued by the new message recall.

    No Surprise That Exchange Online Uses Windows Server Core

    by Tony Redmond

    A recent Microsoft post contained the news that Exchange Online uses Windows Server Core. That might be news to some, but not to anyone who's been following the advice of the Exchange product group. Exchange Online doesn't use virtual servers, follows a preferred architecture, wants to reduce the potential attack surface, and extract as much CPU as possible out of its servers. All good reasons why Windows Server Core helps.

    Making the Exchange – Azure Active Directory Connection More Reliable

    by Tony Redmond

    Microsoft posted an odd blog on September 9 to announce improvements in the relationship between Exchange Online and Azure Active Directory. Many Office 365 tenants might have ignored the post, but it's actually about a piece of important work to help the service run better. Many updates happen to Exchange Online objects that need to be replicated to Azure Active Directory and onward to other Office 365 app directories. This work means that changes show up faster, which is good, but there's a small downside to note.

    Microsoft Gives Exchange 2010 Nine More Months

    with 2 Comments by Tony Redmond

    In a surprising but welcome announcement, Microsoft moved the end of extended support for Exchange 2010 to October 2020. This version of Exchange was the most technology-rich and significant in the product's history, which might be the reason why so many organizations still depend on Exchange 2010 for email. Better options exist, and Exchange Online is the natural place to go... if your network and applications allow the move.