Azure Active Directory

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.

Office 365 Group Expiration Policy Auto-Renews Based on User Activity

by Tony Redmond

The original Office 365 Groups expiration policy was pretty good. It helps tenants keep control of potential group sprawl by removing old groups based on age. Now the policy takes user activity into account. While still not perfect, the new implementation makes the group expiration policy even easier to use because owners don't have to do anything to renew their groups if the groups remain in active use. You might debate the set of activities chosen by Microsoft to represent a good signal of group activity, but not the way the policy now works.

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    The PowerShell Mess in the Microsoft Cloud

    with 1 Comment by Tony Redmond

    PowerShell is a great way of automating common administrative Office 365 operations. That is, if you know what module to use and how to use the cmdlets in that module. Unfortunately things are a bit of a mess with too many modules and inconsistent behavior in areas like error handling. With so many development groups working on Office 365, the PowerShell situation might be inevitable, but it needs cleaning up.

    Microsoft Enables Longer Azure Active Directory Passwords

    with 1 Comment by Tony Redmond

    You can now protect your Azure Active Directory account with a 256-character password, including spaces. This news will bring much joy to Office 365 administrators and others who hated the previous 16-character limit, but please don't rush into forcing users to change their passwords without taking the time to pause and consider how best to proceed. Longer passwords are good, but they should be only one part of a strategy to protect user accounts.

    Microsoft Previews Azure Active Directory Entitlement Management

    by Tony Redmond

    Microsoft launched the preview of Entitlement Management, a new part of their Azure Active Directory Identity Governance program. The idea is that you can manage access to resources via policy, which seems to be a good thing, especially in large organizations where objects like Office 365 Groups, SharePoint Sites, and Teams might just get a little out of hand. The preview is interesting, but like all previews, it needs some work to be ready for prime time.