Thursday, May 16, 2019

Document ID for Record Management in SharePoint Online


As you know that SharePoint Online can be used as a document management platform and with the help of Document Id's you can effectively manage your documents by providing an easy way to track irrespective of their location. Document Id's are automatically assigned to the documents uploaded on document or record management platform.

Before using the Document ID features for our document management system, you must enable it for each site collection in which your documents are located.

You must be a Site Collection Administrator for enabling this feature in SPO.

Activate, enable and configure Document ID's:

  1. Go to the top-level Site collection > Site Settings.
  2. Under Site Collection Administration, click Site collection features.

  3. Next to Document ID, click Activate. Activate icon will appear and the feature is activated.

  4. Go back to the Site Settings page and under Site Collection Administration, select Document ID settings.

  5. You will have to assign a prefix for the Document ID's and the prefix should be between 4 to 12 characters with no special character.

  6. If you want all the documents within the Site Collection, to be assigned with a Document ID with the specified prefix, check the box "Reset all Document ID's" (See above image).
  7. Once this feature is enabled, any new document created or uploaded to any document library in this particular Site Collection received a unique Document ID.

  8. Document Id's can be viewed from the document properties, these are the hyperlinks that you can copy and use it to open a document in Office.

Moving and Copying a file with a Document ID:

When you move a file in SharePoint Online, Document ID will move with the file. It basically depends on whether the service is enabled or not at the destination site. So, if the service is not enabled at that site then the document will no longer have the Document ID.

When a copy of the document is made, a new Document ID is created for the copy and obviously, the service needs to be enabled at the site where you are copying the file.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Manage Microsoft Teams through PowerShell (Microsoft Teams PowerShell Module)


In this article, we are going to take a quick overview of the Microsoft Teams PowerShell module and will cover few things which we can perform in Microsoft Teams with the help of PowerShell.

There are two different PowerShell modules to manage Microsoft Teams.

  1. Microsoft Teams PowerShell Module – You can get this module from here
  2. Skype for Business PowerShell Module – You can download it from here
Teams PowerShell module contain all the cmdlets needed to create and manage teams whereas Skype for Business the module contains the cmdlets to manage policies, configuration, and other tools.

Connecting to Microsoft Teams PowerShell:

  1. Install the Microsoft Teams PowerShell Module. Open Windows PowerShell and run command “Install-Module -Name MicrosoftTeams” and then enter Y.

    The module was already installed on my system, that’s why I get the messages in highlighted in the above image. The version was old, so I re-entered the command and added the -Force parameter “Install-Module -Name MicrosoftTeams -Force
  2. Connect with Microsoft Teams. Run command “Connect-MicrosoftTeams” and enter the credentials.

    After login, you will be able to see your tenant details.

    1. After the PowerShell Module relates to your Microsoft Teams, you can use the cmdlets for creating and managing teams.

      For e.g, To get all your teams list, run command “Get-Team

      For creating a new team, run command “New-Team

      For managing Team users, run a command “Add-TeamUser”. You will be asked to provide GroupId.

      After providing the GroupId, it will ask to provide the user, which needs to be added to the team.

    2. Similarly, you can remove the user from a team, create new channel or remove any team channel or else remove any group, etc. All these cmdlets can be run as end users, but it will only work for the teams you own, or you are a member of but as a global admin, you will be able to act on all the teams.

    Managing MS Teams policies via PowerShell:

    1. Download and install Skype for Business PowerShell Module.

    2. Connect with Skype for Business PowerShell Module. Open Windows PowerShell and run the following commands:

             Import-Module SkypeOnlineConnector”
        “$userCredential = Get-Credential”

             “$sfbSession = New-CsOnlineSession -Credential $userCredential”
             “Import-PSSession $sfbSession”

      Now you are connected to Skype for Business PowerShell Module.

    3. There are basically 5 commands to manage the policies.
      ·         GET – Get the details of the policy.
      ·         NEW – Create new policies.
      ·         SET – Lets you set particular values on a given policy.
      ·         REMOVE – Delete the customs policy.
      ·         GRANT – Assign the policy to a particular user.

      For e.g, you want to get the details of all the meeting policy, run command “Get-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy

      You will be able to get the details of all the meeting policy whether it has been created by Microsoft or it is a custom policy that will be shown.

      Similarly, for Messaging policy run command “Get-CsTeamsMessagingPolicy

    Managing configurations via PowerShell:

    1. Connect to Skype for Business PowerShell Module. You have seen above how to connect to Skype for Business PS Module.
    2. Run command “Get-CsTeamsClientConfiguration”. This is basically your Teams settings in the admin center.

    Monday, April 22, 2019

    Using Microsoft Support & Recovery Assistant for Outlook issues

    Many times you find issues like one of your users is unable to set up their Office 365 Email account in Microsoft Outlook or Outlook suddenly stopped working or it is taking too much time to setup account after the credentials are entered. What will be the steps you will be performing at that time to resolve that issue?

    The best and very simple solution, in this case, would be to run Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant. I was facing one similar issue one day. Let me go through the steps below which I performed and the issue what I found and how easy it became to resolve the issue.

    Before I proceed, let me provide you some info on SARA tool and how to install. Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant work by running tests to figure out what’s wrong. It can fix many problems or can tell you how to fix them. SARA can fix several issues such as Office setup, Outlook (for MAC as well), Exchange Online, OneDrive for Business, etc.

    Installing SARA:

    1. Go to Outlook Support Center, click Download now.

    2. Click RUN when you are prompted on your system and then click Install.

    3. SARA will get downloaded. Click on I Agree after you have read the service agreement.

    4. And now you are ready to use the tool.

    How I resolved the Outlook issue for one of my users?

    1. Open SARA application or if you had just installed select Outlook and then click NEXT.

    2. You will be asked to confirm that you are on the affected machine, select Yes and click NEXT.

    3. You will be asked for the user credentials, enter the Office 365 account credentials and then click NEXT. After the validation process, the scan begins automatically.
    4. Below is the screenshot my Outlook scan results on the affected system.

    5. You have seen how I got the issues found with the help of SARA. So, in this case, the issue was that the “Use a proxy server for your LAN” option was checked on this system and I fixed that. After doing the same my issues got resolved.

    What if you are unable to understand the issues after scanning?

    SARA also provides an option to view the detailed report of the issue and if you are unable to understand the issue, you can always raise a support ticket with Microsoft. SARA also provide you with the feature of sharing your scan results to Microsoft. So, if you are working with Microsoft support engineer, this option is very helpful.

    What if I am using other email system and not Office 365 with Microsoft Outlook App?

    Sara also provides support to accounts who don’t have Exchange Online, instead they are using some other email system with Microsoft Outlook app. You will be able to authenticate and start the scanning for your Outlook app and can view the issues or detailed report.
    The only difference is you won't be getting an option to share your data with Microsoft instead you can share the logs with the person who is responsible for your Outlook issues, for example, your helpdesk person. 

    Friday, March 29, 2019

    Expiration Policy for Office 365 Groups and Teams


    In Microsoft Teams we create several teams, managing teams and channels is also very important so that you can work in a compliant way. When you create a team a SharePoint site and an Office 365 Group is also created.  With the increased use of O365 Groups, admins and users must have some way to clean up unwanted or unused groups. Here comes the need of setting up Team or Group Expiration Policy from Azure Active Directory and as you know Teams is based on Office 365 Groups, it is influenced by Group Expiration Policy

    In this article, we will see how we can effectively manage teams with the help of Group Expiration Policy.

    Let's get started:
    1. Go to Microsoft 365 Admin Center > Azure Active Directory.

    2. In Active AD, go to Groups > Expiration Policy.

    3. You can then set an expiration policy for a group by providing Group Lifetime.
    4. You can set a default group expiration as 180 or 365 days else you also select custom and enter the number of days as per your requirements, but it should be more than 30 days.

    5. When the expiration policy is in place, once a group ages to 30 days before their lifecycle period lapses, group owners receive notifications for renewal. If it is renewed the lifecycle extends for a defined period and if not renewed O365 soft-deletes the group when it expires.

      If there are no owners of that group, you can provide an email Id of someone who will be receiving the notifications.

      Note – Owners can recover the soft-deleted groups during the next 30 days.

    6. Select the groups and save the policy by hitting the Save button.

    Is Group Expiration Policy available with a free or basic subscription of Azure AD?
    Answer – Group Expiration Policy is a premium feature and is only available with Azure AD Premium subscriptions.
    What happens if a Team or Group owner fails to check the expiry notifications?
    Answer – Teams also shows the expiry information on Teams settings. Open the team for which you are the owner and select manage team and then go to settings. At the bottom, you can see Team Expiry option.
    In addition,  If O365 soft-deletes the team or group, owners have 30 days to recover the group and when a team is expiring, a warning triangle is displayed alongside the team name which is only visible to team owners.


    In this way, you can effectively manage your team or groups. The policy helps to remove inactive groups from the system and make things cleaner.

    Thursday, March 28, 2019

    Comparing Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Teams Free


    Since the release of Microsoft Teams on March 2017 which was designed for business for all sizes, it is now being used by almost 500,000 organizations worldwide. MS Teams is a big hit in the messaging app market after having such huge competitors like Slack, Facebook, Google, etc.

    Microsoft released its free version in July 2018 which is designed for small businesses or groups of people within a company who doesn’t have commercial Office 365 subscriptions or a couple of people working together.

    In this article, we are going to discuss the feature comparison between MS Teams with commercial O365 subscription and MS Teams Free version. I have written several articles on Microsoft Teams which comes with Office 365 subscriptions, and I was asked by many users to provide some info on Microsoft Teams free.

    1.       Sign Up for MS Teams – Any person with corporate or consumer email address can sign up for Teams. People who have commercial O365 subscription will already have access to MS Teams and those who don’t have the commercial subscription can sign up for the Microsoft Teams Freemium from this link -

    2.       Maximum no. of users – Free Teams brings up the features for up to 300 people. This number is similar for the commercial subscription as well, excluding Enterprise plans for which the max no. if users are unlimited.

    3.       Online Apps in MS Teams – Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote are available online with the free version of Teams. With Office 365 commercial subscriptions the desktop versions of apps are available for Office 365 Business Premium and Enterprise plans (excluding E1). Like the premium MS Teams, the free version of Teams can also be integrated with more than 140 different apps.
    Note – Office 365 services like SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, and other Office 365 services will not be available with free MS Teams as it doesn’t have Office 365 subscription.

    4.       Guest Access – This is a very awesome feature introduced by Microsoft in Teams with the help of which you can collaborate with external contacts, clients or with partners. Guest access is available with MS Teams free version as well. We can invite users with corporate or consumer email address and the users with commercial Office 365 subscriptions using Teams as well.

    5.       Audio & Video calls, Screen sharing and chat – Audio, video calling, screen sharing, and one to one chat are some of the key features any communication and collaboration platform. So, of course, these features are available with Microsoft Teams free version as well otherwise what would be the use of the free version.

    6.       Scheduling meeting and Audio conferencing – Feature of Scheduling meetings, Audio conferencing and then depending upon your SKU, things link phone number calling and dial-in conferencing is not available in Microsoft Teams free version which we get with the paid version of MS Teams.

    7.       Security and Compliance – Paid version gives you a full set of powerful IT capabilities, compliance and security controls and developer options to manage and scale Teams all as part of Office 365. Plus, you also get support and guaranteed uptime which you don’t get in free MS Teams version. Of course, security features such as Data Encryption and region-based data residency is available with free Teams, but we don’t have features like MFA, Auditing, reporting, etc which are there with a paid subscription.

    8.       Custom status message – Presence status we can set in free MS Teams version which is awesome, but we don’t have an option to set custom status message compare to that we have in paid Teams.

    In this article, we are going to discuss the feature comparison between MS Teams with commercial O365 subscription and MS Teams Free version. I have written several articles on Microsoft Teams which comes with Office 365 subscriptions, and I was asked by many users to provide some info on Microsoft Teams free.


    Microsoft Teams Freemium is an awesome way for the people to start using Teams whether they are a couple of co-workers, small business or a group of people working together. It is easy to use and has all the major functionalities a messaging and collaboration app should have but if you want all the features with discussed above you can of course upgrade to the paid version and have a commercial Office 365 subscription.

    Hope this article helps you to understand the differences between Microsoft Teams ‘Premium’ and ‘Freemium’.

    Friday, March 8, 2019

    Secure your SharePoint Online documents with the security features in Office 365 & SharePoint Online

    Security nowadays is always a concern because of the cloud service and that too keeping your business documents on cloud raises many concerns about security. In this article, I am highlighting some of the key features available within SharePoint Online and Office 365 Security & Compliance by means of which you can secure your documents.

    If you know, you can also integrate Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement entity records with SharePoint Online for managing D365 documents Integrating Dynamics 365 and SharePoint Online.
    These documents also need to be secure.
    Let us see how we can secure these documents with below features: -

    o   Using Permission Level: - Microsoft already provides a set of default permission levels which is very useful, but you can also create new permission levels in SharePoint Online. You can then create Groups for that Site Collection for e.g. (root site), associated with the permission level. For e.g., you can create a permission level called Contribute (Not delete) which means the users associated with this permission level will not be able to delete anything.
    Note – Never modify or delete a default permission level.

    o Retention policy from Office 365 Security & Compliance center: - Create a Retention Policy for all or chosen SharePoint Online sites, so that if accidentally or by purpose if the documents are deleted from SharePoint Online it can be recovered.

    o   Restricting access for certain records: - You might not want that all the users should have access to all D365 for Customer Engagement records. You can basically customize permission for that SharePoint Document library to achieve the same. By default, all sites, list, libraries within a site collection inherit permissions from the parent site break the inheritance from library settings and then add only those users whom you want to provide access.

    o  Alerts: - Alerts can be set in two ways for SharePoint Online.

    a.       a.   Setting up alerts from SharePoint Online – You can set alerts for a specific document library within SharePoint Online, so if there is any modification or deletion you can get email or SMS alert.

        b.  Alerts from the Security & Compliance center in Office 365: – Here we can set alerts whenever there is any activity in SharePoint Online defined by you. We can only get Email notifications in this case and not an SMS, unlike SharePoint Alerts.

    o Audit in Office 365 Security & Compliance center: - With the help of Audit you can search for Users and Admin activities. Before you can start searching for the audit logs it needs to be turned ON. To turn it ON, just click Start recording user and admin activity on the Audit log search page in the Security & Compliance center.

    Here, we can get the audit logs for the activities defined by you.

    • o    Access Control in SharePoint Online admin center: - With the help of access control, you can restrict or allow all the users to access SharePoint Online contents on basis of network location, which can do in just a few clicks.
      This helps to prevent access from untrusted locations.


           o    Conditional Access using Azure Active Directory: - You can either restrict access or enforce Multi-Factor Authentication for specific users or group of users whenever SharePoint Online is accessed from an untrusted location.
    Note: - This method requires Azure AD Premium license for users.
     If you want to simply restrict all the users from accessing SharePoint Online on the basis on a network location, you can simply use Access Control in SharePoint Online Admin Center.

    • o   Manage Sharing from SharePoint Online admin center: - External sharing is one of the key features to collaborate. However, this increases the possibility of data loss. According to the organization requirements, you can select from the given options for e.g. you may choose that only authenticated users who can sign in to Office 365 can access the content which is shared with them. There is a lot of other option available to narrow down the sharing restrictions for external users, which helps you to secure your environment.


    While I have explained this in a detailed manner, there are lots of other ways where SharePoint and Dynamics 365 compliment each other. Security is just one aspect. I shall be listing other such features ahead in my blogs.
    Hope the above information helps!

    Document ID for Record Management in SharePoint Online

    Introduction: As you know that SharePoint Online can be used as a document management platform and with the help of Document Id's yo...