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Archives / 2015 / August
  • What's new on the Office Roadmap - 2015-08-13 (Yammer Edition)

    Tags: Office 365

    Updates to the roadmap, again! This time around it is all about Yammer. This major update of Yammer features that's already rolled out or in development just shows how disconnected the Yammer and Office 365 teams are.

    Changes 2015-08-13

    These are the changes since yesterday.

    Now Launched

    • New Capabilities for Yammer iOS app: better photo and file sharing, better search, better this and better that. Directly to launched
    • Real-time Yammer group activity indicators: a feature that's been rolling out for a while, but still new on the roadmap. Tiny profile pics when people post stuff in groups. Directly to launched
    • Yammer Next Group Notifications: another thing that's been out there for a while, but new on the roadmap. Directly to launched

    Rolling Out

    • Yammer for Apple Watch: if I had a Apple Watch this is one of the things I would never install on it. Most likely for all the cool kids (new)

    In Development

    • Group Updates feed for Yammer mobile apps: Mobile Apps = Android or iOS, not win phone. This update allows for better possibilities to catch up on conversations
    • Groups in Office 365 for Yammer: the long rumored Yammer integration with Office 365 Groups. One really interesting new thing that I for sure will keep an eye on!
    • New capabilities on Yammer Android app: "…new capabilities that boost team collaboration". If they say so,.., (new)
    • Office Online multi-user coauthoring in Yammer: sigh - thou shalt not store and edit documents in yammer. (new)
    • Yammer Discovery Feed: smells like Facebooks (annoying) algorithm to surface relevant conversations. (new)
    • Yammer External Groups: allows you to invite external users to a group. Nice improvement, way better than external networks or the flexternals. (new)
    • Yammer Group UI Redesign: "cleaner look to focus attention on high impact activity..:", overall a good thing (new)

  • What's new on the Office Roadmap - 2015-08-12

    Tags: Office 365

    We have updates, and quite a few of them, to the Office Roadmap. Some clean up, some awesome Visio features rolling out and a set of new features in the In Development segment. Also noticeable quite a few of the "refresh" features and one cancelled item.

    Changes 2015-08-12

    Now Launched

    • NDR backscatter protection: has been rolling out for a while
    • Office 365 Admin Center June Updates: the June stuff is launched
    • Office 365 Store: launched. Verdict from customers - why does it have to be there, can't we remove it?
    • Office Online Edit in Yammer: Really dump feature that allows users to edit documents in Yammer - documents should never ever be stored in Yammer to start with!
    • Public Folders: adding and removing favorites in OWA: Public folders? Didn't someone say they were to be removed :)

    Rolling out

    • Adding IRM protection to Visio file: sweet feature that now is rolling out and allows to protect your most important files. Coming from In Development
    • Create and collaboration on Visio diagrams using Office like experience: more of them Visio goodies rolling out
    • DKIM Outbound for Exchange Online Protection: better protection in ExO by digitally signed message headers
    • Getting started experience in Visio: Visio, nuff said
    • Office 365 Domain Purchase Experience: from in development
    • Office 365 Settings pane: the third "pane" to be rolled out (Help, Notification and Settings). I just wonder when we are allowed to hook into these?
    • Office 365 User Purchases: just buy it yourself if your IT department says no. From in development.
    • Office 365 Video Embed: I don't know about you but I'm getting confused. Rolling out, Launched, Rolling out…
    • Purchase & Subscriptions Experience Refresh: a new user experience for the purchase and subscriptions pages are rolling out. Personally I had hard to find what I needed…
    • Rapid data connectivity in Visio: Now, if only everyone had access to Visio
    • Refreshed stencils and smart shapes in Visio: Metro? From In Development.
    • Search Refiners in Outlook Web App: make it easier to find your stuff using refiners in OWA
    • Search Suggestions in Outlook Web App: more OWA search goodness

    In Development

    • Auto-Expanding Archives: new item on the roadmap that allows archives to automatically expand as needed. No mention of any specific service but I guess it is an Exchange Online thing :)
    • Major update to Outlook Web App: Outlook Web App, or should I say Outlook on the web, will have major UX update coming (new)
    • Mobile PDF annotation support for iOS: offline access and PDF editing support on iOS - those fruit fone users get all the fun… (new)
    • Office 365 Admin app updates:  focus this month is on… GROUPS! I've said it before - Groups is the future folks! (new)
    • Office 365 app launcher refresh: New on the list! App launcher will be more like the Windows 10 Start menu with different sized tiles.
    • Save to OneDrive for Business in Outlook for iOS and Android: new on the roadmap, wonder if these things get added to the Modern Mail client in Windows 10 (phone)?
    • Subscription Management Experience refresh: even more modern design I presume… (new)
    • Supervisory Review for financial and regulatory compliance: Wow, really cool and scary. This feature will allow auditors to look into a subset of users communications. (new)
    • Uservoice coming to Outlook on the web: a link directly in OWA, sorry Outlook on the web, so users can give feedback to the OWA, sorry Outlook on the web, team.

    Cancelled

    • Evolving the Outlook Web App options page: added in April, but no info on why this is cancelled

    Moved off the list into the Previously released

    • Azure AD Reports
    • Disable OneDrive for Business sync for unmanaged PCs
    • Exchange Online Advanced Threat Protection
    • MDM for OneDrive for Business
    • Mobile device management
    • Office 365 Groups: Dynamic CRM integration
    • Office 365 Groups: files improvement
    • Office 365 Groups: improving visibility and management
    • Office 365 Groups: adding Like to Conversations
    • Office 365 services hosted in Microsoft Australia datacenters
    • Office Online Preview in Yammer
    • Quarantine Message Body Preview
    • Skype for Business Online
    • Unified OneDrive API

  • Take control of your Office 365 Theme!

    Tags: Office 365, SharePoint Online

    It has been a while since Office 365 introduced the suite wide themes. These themes are applied on all services within the Office 365 suite, or at least the ones using the Suite Bar navigation. Up until the very last few weeks the suite wide theme has been something you can set but your SharePoint site owners and all end-users has been able to override them. Finally these things has been resolved and fixed (no info about this on the Office Roadmap, hence this blog post)!

    In this post I will walk you through how the Office 365 Theme can and should be controlled and what specifically to think of.

    Create you suite wide Office 365 Theme

    Of course, the first thing you need to do is to create your Office 365 Theme. This configuration is very logically located under the Company Profile in the Office 365 Admin Portal. Once you choose "Company Profile" in the left hand menu you then choose "Custom theming".

    Office 365 Custom Theming

    There are a couple of things you can configure here.

    Images

    Custom logo

    The custom logo is a picture shown on each and every page, in the middle of the suite bar. It has to be 200x50 pixels and in either JPG, PNG or GIF format and it must not be larger than 10kb.

    URL for clickable logo

    You can also set a URL for the custom logo. Having it point to tenant.sharepoint.com is a kinda good thing - since there is still no way to "force" an "Intranet" tile into the App Launcher.

    Background image

    This is a background image that will be shown in the suite bar. The size should be 1366x50 pixels and in JPEG, GIF or PNG and not larger than 15kb. (The error message says 250x30 and less than 10kb though).

    Colors

    You have three color options:

    The Accent color determines the color of the App Launcher box (red in the image below).

    Nav bar background color is the background color of the suite bar (green in the image below)

    Text and icons is the color of the text and icons (blue in the image below)

    The last option is the App Launcher icon where you have three colors to choose from; the Text and icons color, white or black.

    Office 365 Theme color cheat sheet

    Note: Please be patient when applying a theme or updating a theme. The suite bar takes some time to trickle out to all services and it's also cached "hard".

    Prohibit end-users to overwrite your Office 365 Theme

    On the Custom theming page there is one really important check box, that should be checked on each and every tenant: Prevent users from overriding custom theming with their own theme.

    No more kittens!

    When this checkbox is enabled users cannot on their Office 365 settings page override the theme you have created. Think of in a corporate world where you have a nice theme and your end-users overrides it with cute kittens or whatnot.

    SharePoint themes does not longer overwrite the Office 365 Theme

    So, what about SharePoint and the SharePoint themes? Up until very recently as soon as you applied a theme to a SharePoint site, that nuked the Office 365 theme on that site. Over the last few days a fix has been rolled out so no matter what despicable built-in SharePoint theme you apply, the Office 365 Theme will be there.

    Green theme!

    Summary

    All this might be old news to some of you, but from the Twitter streams (SMS Rob?) I've seen that not everyone is aware of all these features.

    Note: you might not have all these features/fixes in your tenant, as it takes a while for everything to roll out.

  • Office 365 Groups for Admins - simple reporting using PowerShell

    Tags: Office 365, Unified Groups, PowerShell

    In this post, in the Office 365 Groups for Admins series, I will leverage what we learned in the previous posts, combine it with some PowerShell magic and create some basic reports. You can use these reports as a base for your Office 365 Groups reporting in your organization.

    Note: all these reports require that you have connected to your Exchange Online tenant with appropriate permissions, see this post about more details.

    List all Groups

    The most simple and most obvious report is of course to use the Get-UnifiedGroup cmdlet. That one gives you the basic details such as group names, creation dates etc:

    Get-UnifiedGroup | Format-Table Alias, PrimarySmtpAddress, WhenCreated, WhenChanged

    Simple Group report

    Show some more details

    Most often you need more details, specifically with the member details. Here's how you can combine the Get-UnifiedGroup cmdlet with the Get-UnifiedGroupLinks cmdlet to show how many members and owners each group have:

    Get-UnifiedGroup | 
        select Id,Alias, AccessType, Language,Notes, PrimarySmtpAddress, `
        HiddenFromAddressListsEnabled, WhenCreated, WhenChanged, `
        @{Expression={([array](Get-UnifiedGroupLinks -Identity $_.Id -LinkType Members)).Count }; `
        Label='Members'}, `
        @{Expression={([array](Get-UnifiedGroupLinks -Identity $_.Id -LinkType Owners)).Count }; `
        Label='Owners'} |
        Format-Table Alias, Members, Owners
    

    Another Group report

    This command might take a while if you have many Groups and many members. So if want to do some operations on this you should store it in a local variable.

    You can also use this result and store it in a file (or upload it to SharePoint) if you would like to compare how your Groups change over time. For this I prefer to use the Export-CliXml and Import-CliXml cmdlets to persist the data as an XML file and then the Compare-Object cmdlet to find differences. You can do something like this to compare Groups from one day to another:

    # Get Group data (using the command above)
    $allGroups = Get-UnifiedGroup | select ...
    
    # Get previous days Groups
    $previousData = Import-Clixml -LiteralPath c:\temp\groups-data.xml
    
    # Compare the results
    Compare-Object -ReferenceObject $previousData -DifferenceObject $allGroups `
        -Property Members,Owners -PassThru | `
        Format-Table  Alias, Members, Owners, SideIndicator
    
    # Export the new data
    $allGroups | Export-CliXml c:\temp\groups-data.xml 
    

    Comparing Groups

    The SideIndicator indicates the changes; => is new stuff and <= is old stuff. In the picture above you can see that the Members and Owners properties of one Group has increased to 3, from 2. And we also have one brand new Group, with 1 member.

    Finding users in Groups

    Sometimes you need to find out which users are members or owners of certain Groups. Of course you can use Azure AD cmdlets to find memberships but another way is to use a modification of the command above:

    $allGroupsObj = Get-UnifiedGroup | 
        select Id,Alias,  `
        @{Expression={Get-UnifiedGroupLinks -Identity $_.Id -LinkType Members | `
        select Name}; Label='Members'}, `
        @{Expression={Get-UnifiedGroupLinks -Identity $_.Id -LinkType Owners | `
        select Name}; Label='Owners'}
    

    This allows you to find out which Groups a specific user is Member and/or Owner of. To find which Groups Katie Jordan is owner of you fire off a command like this:

    $allGroupsObj | Where-Object{$_.Owners | Where-Object{ $_.Name -eq 'KatieJ'}} | `
        select Alias
    

    KatiJ is the owner

    Summary

    I hope this post showed you how you can create reports of your Office 365 Groups, in wait for Microsoft to provide us with better tools. And I hope you actually do reporting on your Groups, since that is an essential part of your Office 365 Governance and your understanding on how your users work.

About Wictor...

Wictor Wilén is the Nordic Digital Workplace Lead working at Avanade. Wictor has achieved the Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) - SharePoint 2010, Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM) - SharePoint  and Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) - SharePoint 2010 certifications. He has also been awarded Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for seven consecutive years.

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