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.
Office 365 Groups are the reason why many SharePoint Online sites appear in tenants. If you’re on the Pacific coast of the U.S., the regional settings are OK. But anyone else in the rest of the world who uses the SharePoint browser interface will see times and dates in that instead of the local format. You can change the regional settings for a site, and now you can make sure that new sites have the right settings.
It is nice to have an Azure Active Directory Expiration Policy for Office 365 Groups, but it’s not so good that the policy functions exclusively based on age. Another problem is that administrators have no way of knowing when groups will expire. So we take out PowerShell, write a script, and hey presto, we have a report. We still need to solve the problem of creating a policy that functions based on activity rather than age, but that’s another day’s work.
Microsoft has released some useful updates for the Office 365 Planner app, but external access is still not there, which is baffling. On the other hand, you now have an OWA-like schedule view, filters to suppress tasks that you don’t want to see, and better notifications to tell you when you must do some work. And an iCalendar feed is coming soon to allow you to clutter up your Outlook calendar with even more stuff.
You know that Office 365 Groups have a mailbox and that the mailbox holds conversations and the group calendar. But many other folders exist in a group mailbox. Some are used for internal purposes, some by clients. And sometimes you want to look to see what those folders hold, as when some mail might have been misdirected to Junk Email.
Lots of good things happened in the world of Office 365 during 2017. More people than ever before use the service, new applications and functionality appeared, and Microsoft delivered a robust service. On the other hand, a few lows happened as well, as sometimes bad decisions and miscommunication soured the experience. But overall, 2017 was good and laid a great foundation for 2018.
Microsoft clarified what AAD features need premium licenses at Ignite. Tenants need many of those features to control Office 365 Groups and Teams, and some of the listed features are surprising. Did you know that the group creation policy is a premium feature? Or adding a default classification. The chosen set of features seems odd, but at least Microsoft is now clear about what you must license.
Day 2 at Ignite featured news about SharePoint, Exchange, Office 365 Groups, and Teams, And on a personal note, I had the chance to speak twice. That was nice, but I’m exhausted and there’s still three days to go.
On August 9, Microsoft launched the Office 365 Groups expiration policy into preview. It expires groups after a set period and helps keep the spread of groups under control. All sounds good, but the new feature needs an Azure Active Directory Premium license, which isn’t so welcome.
Microsoft has launched a new external sharing policy for groups that allows tenants to set allow and block lists for domains. The new policy is due for use with Teams, Planner, and other applications that need to block external users from specific domains. It’s a set along the path to getting full external access for Office 365 apps.
The news that Teams won’t support external access when they planned is not a shock. But what is needed is a common external access mechanism that can work for all of the Office 365 applications. Let’s not reinvent the wheel!
In this series, Jeff Hicks continues looking at ways to use the Active Directory Searcher with PowerShell.
As part of the Office 365 data governance framework, tenants can now create retention policies that apply to the mailbox and team site belonging to Office 365 Groups. The process is quite straightforward, but some gotchas exist that you need to think about!