Author: Tony Redmond

Latest Articles

Scheduler for Microsoft 365 Debuts 2 Comments
Using Cortana and Scheduler for Microsoft 365 AI voice command

Scheduler for Microsoft 365 Debuts

Scheduler for Microsoft 365 is a new meeting scheduling service launched with a $10/month price tag (per user). Scheduler and Cortana work together to find the most suitable meeting times for participants to get together. Scheduler works for any kind of attendees (as long as they can receive email) and the big pay-out is that you can ask Cortana to set things up and leave the meeting for artificial intelligence to sort out. Sometimes things don't work out and humans need to get involved, and that's when privacy concerns come into play. If you can cope with the issues and have a lot of meetings to organize, Scheduler for Microsoft 365 might do a job for you.

June 17, 2021

Creating Personal Contacts in User Mailboxes with PowerShell and the Graph

An earlier article explained how to create organizational contacts in user mailboxes with Graph API calls. This article builds on that idea with three improvements. First, we select target mailboxes for update by looking for those added in the last month. Second, we allow any mail-enabled recipient to be added as an organizational contact. Third, we incorporate some code to check if a contact already exists in a mailbox. Like anything with PowerShell, this code can be improved..

June 15, 2021

Microsoft Delays June 2021 Cumulative Update for Exchange Server

Microsoft has delayed the release of the June 2021 cumulative updates for Exchange Server for two weeks to integrate the Windows Antimalware Scan interface (AMSI). The change will allow Exchange 2016 and Exchange 2019 servers running on Windows Server 2016 or later to integrate antimalware engines to check HTTP requests for potential problems. If ever there was good reason to delay an update, this is it.

June 12, 2021
How Outlook’s Room Finder Uses Metadata from the Places Service 66 Comments
Microsoft Teams Rooms

How Outlook’s Room Finder Uses Metadata from the Places Service

The Outlook Places service uses metadata stored for conference rooms and room lists to help users find suitable meeting places. The metadata surfaces in Outlook's Room Finder component (shared between OWA and Outlook desktop). Obviously, the better populated the room metadata is, the more useful it will be, once we all start meeting in conference rooms again!

June 9, 2021
Moving on from Send-MailMessage: Sending Email from PowerShell using the Graph API 36 Comments
PowerShell Microsoft Graph

Moving on from Send-MailMessage: Sending Email from PowerShell using the Graph API

Many PowerShell scripts use the Send-MailMessage cmdlet to send mail. That's fine, but if you want to remove basic authentication to improve tenant security, you need to stop using Send-MailMessage. One solution is to move to use the Graph API SendMail call. This works fine, but it creates some new security issues that need to be thought through. In this article, we explain how to use the Graph to send email and some of those security considerations to ponder.

June 8, 2021
Getting Exchange Online Distribution List Membership Counts with PowerShell 15 Comments
Exchange Online Powershell

Getting Exchange Online Distribution List Membership Counts with PowerShell

It's important to know if a tenant has any very large distribution lists as these might be the source of reply-all mail storms. An old article explains how to report the membership counts for distribution lists on an on-premises Exchange server. Life is different in the cloud, and we need to take a different approach. This article explains how to use different calls in a PowerShell script to create a nice report about distribution list memberships.

June 7, 2021
Deploying Custom Teams Group Policy Assignments
Microsoft Teams

Deploying Custom Teams Group Policy Assignments

Microsoft Teams uses an array of policies to control the features available to end users. Group policy assignments make it easier to assign packages of policies to groups of users. Microsoft provides a set of policy packages out of the box, and organizations can create custom packages. That is, if they have the Teams Advanced Communications license. Demanding a special license for functionality which helps tenants manage Teams better seems excessive, especially as you could relatively easily recreate policy assignments with PowerShell.

June 3, 2021

Upgrade Your Exchange Online Scripts to Use the Get-EXOMailbox Cmdlet

Many Exchange Online scripts use the old Get-Mailbox cmdlet to fetch mailbox data. It's time to change these calls out and replace them with Get-ExoMailbox. The new cmdlet is faster than the old and more resilient in its ability to handle server glitches. There's no reason to continue using the old Remote PowerShell cmdlets unless you like slowness and errors.

May 26, 2021
Talking Teams with Rish Tandon
Microsoft Teams

Talking Teams with Rish Tandon

Tony Redmond sat down (virtually) with Rish Tandon, Corporate VP for Microsoft Teams Development, to discuss how Teams has evolved over the last few years. The conversation was wide-ranging and covered many topics, including the operationalization of Teams to create a service capable of running at massive scale, client performance, compliance, backups, people, the effect of Teams on other Microsoft 365 workloads, and more.

May 24, 2021

Microsoft Extends Teams Retention Policies to All Licensed Office 365 Accounts

Microsoft announced a bunch of changes for Microsoft 365 records management on May 19. The most interesting changes are allowing all licenses Office 365 accounts to use Teams retention policies and the advent of adaptive scopes for retention policies, both of which should be useful for many tenants. The announcement also covers multi-stage disposition reviews. If you know what that means, you'll be excited. If not, you won't.

May 20, 2021
Microsoft Updates Outlook to use Advanced Settings for Sensitivity Labels 24 Comments
Sensitivity Labels

Microsoft Updates Outlook to use Advanced Settings for Sensitivity Labels

Updates to Outlook clients (desktop, mobile, and OWA) respect the advanced settings in label policy which previously needed the deployment of the unified labeling client. Many organizations want to use mandatory labeling, but have been frustrated because of the lack of support in the Office applications. Now support is available, so it's time to label that email!

May 19, 2021