SharePoint Online

The PowerShell Mess in the Microsoft Cloud

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.

Important Office 365 Announcements from the SharePoint Conference

with 1 Comment by Tony Redmond

Microsoft made a ton of announcements at this week's SharePoint conference in Las Vegas. If you're an Office 365 tenant administrator, the health of SharePoint Online and what it and OneDrive for Business can do is important to you. Among all the fluffy stuff about intelligent intranets, there was some good news about improvements in administration, security, and network utilization, all of which will help other Office 365 apps too.

Bringing Microsoft Search by Bing to Office 365

by Tony Redmond

You can now connect Office 365 sources like SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, Teams, and Yammer to Microsoft Search and have Bing reveal results from those sources in its searches. It's a useful trick, as long as you use Bing as your search engine. And there's the small matter that Microsoft has left Exchange out of the list of connected sources, which seems to reduce the usefulness of searches a tad.

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    SharePoint Launches Files Restore and New Admin Center

    by Tony Redmond

    Microsoft announced the Files Restore feature for SharePoint Online on April 22. It's the kind of news we can expect as the SharePoint conference draws near, and it's good news for Office 365 tenants. Some backup vendors might not be so keen as Files Restore makes it a tad harder for them to sell their backups. Small Office 365 tenants also got the news that the new SharePoint Admin Center is becoming the default. The new portal might even be ready soon.

    How Retention Impacts Office 365 Storage

    with 2 Comments by Tony Redmond

    Office 365 retention policies help organizations keep information for as long as needed. But retention consumes storage. This isn't a problem for Exchange Online, but it is for SharePoint Online, because files held in the Preservation Hold Library are charged against the tenant storage quota. This isn't a reason to not use retention policies, but you should be careful.

    Bringing Intelligence to the Office 365 Substrate

    by Tony Redmond

    Artificial intelligence is of major interest to Microsoft right now, so it really shouldn't be a surprise that Jeffrey Snover, one of their technical chiefs, is now heading the charge to bring AI to the Office 365 substrate. Quite what this means for the internal operations of Office 365, applications and clients, and customers is to be seen, but some interesting times lie ahead in the evolution of Office 365.

    Planner Does Multiplan

    by Tony Redmond

    Microsoft has announced the ability of the Planner web app to create multiple plans for an Office 365 group. This is a useful feature that Teams and SharePoint Online (the Planner web part) can already do, but some extra work was needed to break the connection between a plan and a group, and that's what Multiplan means. Or it means a spreadsheet.

    Groups Membership Model Makes Teams Private Channels Hard to Implement

    with 4 Comments by Tony Redmond

    Secure (or private) channels is the biggest user request to the Teams development group, possibly because Slack has this feature. The only problem is that the Office 365 Groups membership model doesn't allow for filtering within a group, so introducing elements available to a selected set of members might create all sorts of difficulties for how Teams interacts with the rest of the Office 365 ecosystem.

    Using Document IDs with SharePoint Online

    by Tony Redmond

    Most Office 365 users might be unaware of SharePoint's Document ID service, which generates unique document identifiers for documents in a site. That's OK, because records management is not the kind of subject that turns everyone on. But business situations do occur when document IDs might be useful, which is why I went looking at how this SharePoint feature works.