Feb 25
SharePoint Online – Postpone the public website deletion

If you are an early customer of Office 365, you probably are using the public website.

As you are (or should be) aware, public website are no longer offered with Office 365 and existing public sites are going to be deleted.

That said you can postpone this deletion until March 31, 2018 – giving you one additional year to move from Office 365 public website to a different hosting service.

Microsoft should come later with some migration scenario/recommendations.

To postpone the public website deletion, go to your SharePoint Online administration portal and reach the Settings section and select I'd like to keep my public website until March 31, 2018

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Feb 25
Azure / Office 365 – Group based licensing is now available in preview

This has been a long waited and requested feature: being able to automatically assigned licenses to user based on their group membership.

Good news, this is now available in preview Smile

To try the preview you will need to have an Azure EMS trial but when it will become generally available it will be included with Office 365 E3 and similar.

Also if you have an Azure Premium P1, you will be able to take advantage of the self-service portal.

I would recommend to setup dedicated groups to manage the automatic group based licensing; you can also even use dynamic groups.

Assign the license

  • Logon to you Azure AD directory using the new Azure management portal (https://portal.azure.com)
  • Access your directory and reach out the Licenses section

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  • Then click on All products

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  • Select the product you want to enabled for group based licensing and access the Licensed Groups section; as this the first time you are going to use this feature, you should not see any licensed groups

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  • Click the Assign button and follow the wizard to select the group(s) you want to use

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  • Then select the product(s) to enable for this group

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  • Then the selected group(s) will appear in the list and the state shows Change pending while setting up

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  • Once everything is ready, the state changes to Active

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  • Finally if click on the group you will be able to check who is member of this group, which services are enabled… and update if required

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If already have an Azure Premium P1, you can also take advantage of the dynamic group to grant the licenses; the process is similar, except off course you have to create the dynamic group prior

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NOTE if you are running an Exchange or Skype for Business Hybrid configuration, I would recommend to use dynamic group for license assignment and use the advanced rule to exclude users hosted on-premises to not enable Exchange Online or Skype for Business Online services for them

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Once this done, you then will be able to see in the Licensed Users section all users enabled for the service and the assignment set to Inherited (<the name of the group used to assign the licenses>)

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Feb 21
Exchange Online – You now make a pool when setting up a meeting

Setting up a meeting is always a challenge with some people, they are always busy Smile

Sometime ago I wrote a post about FindTime, an add-on for Outlook or Outlook on the Web (OWA).

Now, Microsoft has integrated a similar feature in Exchange Online.

When you create a new meeting request when using Outlook on the Web (this is not [yet?] available with Outlook client) you can use the Make a pool feature

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This will allow you to define different time slot before sending the meeting and then let the recipients to choose when they are available

When you enable the Make a pool feature, an additional ‘free/busy’ window is shown on the right side to let you select different time slot with one click

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Once you send the meeting, the recipient will then be able to choose when they are available and In your calendar, the options are marked with an HOLD prefix

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Recipients can choose their time slot by hitting the Choose time link which redirect them to the Outlook Scheduling site

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The organizer will not get any notification (as it is usually the case when accepting/declining meeting) but the tracking status is updated with the answers.

You can also check the pool results from Outlook on the Web with the view pool results link

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Using the same link you then will be able to finalize the meeting request

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Once you hit the Send action to finalize the meeting request, all HOLD meeting in your calendar are removed and the final request meeting is sent.

Jan 29
OneDrive for Business – The long awaited unified client is now GA

After being announced in April last year and in preview for some months, the new unified OneDrive for Business client is now available.

Get started by downloading the new client here https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=248256

Jan 24
SharePoint Online – Copy files from a site to another

After rolling out the Copy/Move button on OneDrive for Business,the feature is now getting available also on SharePoint Online sites (if using the Modern UI).

You can select multiple files or folders from a SPO site and copy/move the content to another SPO sites

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Jan 24
SharePoint Online – Download multiple files at once is finally here

Following the announcement of an incoming update for SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business to allow multiple files download at once, I’m happy to announce this is finally here.

As usual,First Release tenants are getting it first

Nothing to do on your side – except may be some end users communication. Then you just need to select multiple files from the document library and hit the Download button to get a ZIP file generated.

Keep in mind you may have to turn off your pop up blocker or allow your SharePoint Online tenant to open new window

Jan 02
Exchange Online – You can undo a sent email

This happen all the time, you are sending an email and by the time you hit the Send button, you realize you have sent it to the wrong recipient(s).

With Exchange we all know (or should know) the recall feature but there is an important limitation: this works ONLY if the recipient(s) is/are hosted in the same Exchange organization and the message is not yet read.

So, what do we do if the message has been already processed and sent out; you try the recall (which means the recipient will receive the automatic message saying your tried to recall) but it will failed anyway to remove/delete the message.

Now, with Office 365 / Exchange Online you can undo a sent email for up to 30 seconds. Which means the sending action will be delayed up to the period defined.

To enable this new feature, logon to Outlook on the Web (formerly known as Outlook Web Access) and go to your settings to reach the Mail\Automatic Processing\Undo sent and select the time to allow the cancellation.

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Once you have activated the Undo sent feature, next time you will send an email, the mail will not be sent immediately, instead it will be saved in the Draft folder for the period you have defined and only once the delay has been reached it will be sent.

This means if you want to retract this mail, you just have to go to your Draft folder and hit the Undo action button shown on top right of the folder view, which then will convert the mail to a draft.

IMPORTANT this works ONLY from Outlook on the Web

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Dec 28
SharePoint 2016 – Site collection disappears during content database upgrade

While upgrading my SharePoint environment from 2013 to 2016, I ran into an interesting issue with content database upgrade.

I have deployed a fresh new SharePoint 2016 running on Windows Server 2016 and then perform the classic detach/attach upgrade process to migrate the content from the SharePoint 2013 environment.

One of this content DB is hosting only one site collection, but this site collection is NOT a root site collection.

When running the attach command on SharePoint 2016 (Mount-SPContentDatabase) which performs the upgrade to 2016, I got no error but there was no site collection available.

After some time, tests and research, I found that if the content database does not contain a root site collection, then the attach/upgrade process makes the site collection unavailable.

As solution, create a temporary web application on you SharePoint 2013 environment, attach the content database to it and create a root site collection. Then on SharePoint 2016, create another temporary web application and then run the Mount-SPContentDatabase. Once completed, you can delete the root site collection and detach the content DB to attach it to the appropriate web application.

Dec 27
Office 365 – Microsoft Teams is now user based licensed

When Microsoft has introduced Microsoft Team, this was only manageable at the organization level.

Now, Microsoft Teams is now user based licensed; meaning you can now enabled/disable it on a per user basis

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And if use a PowerShell script to automate (or bulk update) licensing options, the service plan is TEAMS1

Dec 26
Announcement - Upgrade to SharePoint 2016

Dear reader

as of today, my hosting platform is now running on SharePoint 2016.

You should not notice any change

Thank you

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 About

Benoit is specialized on Microsoft infrastructure (Active Directory, Azure, ForeFront products, Hyper-V, Identity Management, System Center, Windows) and collaboration (BPOS, Exchange, Office 365, SharePoint, Lync/Skype for Business) technologies.

He has been awarded as Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 2002 - on Windows, then SharePoint and finally Office 365. He has been recoginzed as Microsoft Community Contributor for his work on the Office 365 community in 2013 and 2014.

He has been involved in early stage of testing phase for many Microsoft products - from Windows to Office 365, including Exchange, SharePoint or Office client and WindowsUpdate.

He has participated as speaker or Ask The Expert (ATE) at many Microsoft or Quest events. He also participed in writing several books on SharePoint (2003 to 2010).

With more than 10 years of professional experience, he has a deep knowledge of the Microsoft market and his competitors.

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