Let say you administer Microsoft 365 SharePoint Online and you want to get a list of new SharePoint sites (e.g. sites created recently – during last day/week/month).
With GUI it’s done easily: SharePoint Admin Center -> Active Sites -> sort based on “Date Created” – done.
With PowerShell – not so simple. “Get-PnPTenantSite” cmdlet returns a site object but the object does not have “Created” field. It’s a web property. But to get a web object – you have to connect separately to each site and get root web object to check when the web was created. For small environments it is possible, for large environments it can take days… And still not nice. “Get-PnPTenantSite” with “-Filter” option would help, but “…Currently, you can filter by these properties: Owner, Template, LockState, Url.”
Get-SPOSite – similar experience.
Microsoft Graph API helps. It returns result in seconds and you can sort or filter results based on created date . Below are two methods: Option 1 is based on Search and filtering and Option 2 is based on Sites Search and sorting. So there are some pros and cons for each method.
Microsoft Graph Search API allows KQL in queries. So we can form a query with something like “created>=1/1/2021” and use entity type = ‘[“site”]’. Search should return only sites created after Jan 01, 2021.
This option is also based on Microsoft Graph API, but sites entry point, which allows search too and sort results by property “createdDateTime”. So we will just search for everything and select how many results we need based on createdDateTime property.
Scenario: you administer SharePoint Online Microsoft 365 tenant business asks you to remove mobile phone numbers from SharePoint User Profiles:
As a SharePoint administrator, you can do it: 1. Start Microsoft 365 SharePoint Admin Center 2. Navigate to More Features -> User Profiles -> Manage User Properties
3. Under “Contact Information” -> Mobile phone -> Edit
4. Uncheck “Replicable”, Save, wait a minute or two 5. – Select “Default Privacy Settings”: “Only Me” – Uncheck “User can override” – Uncheck “Allow users to edit values for this property” – Uncheck “Show in the profile properties section of the user’s profile page” – Uncheck “Indexed”
Note: Microsoft implemented new MS-Graph API that adds or deletes profile card custom properties using the profile card API in Microsoft Graph
Other combination of authentication options ( -interactive, -clientId, -Token, -SPOManagementShell, -PnPManagementShell ) – worked well, but only for /_api endpoints, and gave me “401 UNAUTHORIZED” against system/site pages. Unattended authentication (with clientId, clientSecret and certificate) – same.
Legacy PnP module SharePointPnPPowerShellOnline did not work at all: “EXCEPTION,PnP.PowerShell.Commands.Admin.InvokeSPRestMethod”.
I tested it with – SharePointPnPPowerShellOnline v 3.29.2101.0 (under Windows PowerShell 5.1) and – PnP.PowerShell 1.8.0. (both Windows PowerShell 5.1 and .net core PowerShell 7.1.5)
Office graph = codename for collective set of services and insights we generate on top of the infrastructure that fast office graph group developed = social Intel concepts (SharePoint home, Delve, OneDrive Discoverview) are derivatives of Office graph
Microsoft Search API provides one unified search endpoint that you can use to query data in the Microsoft cloud – messages and events in Outlook mailboxes, and files on OneDrive and SharePoint – that Microsoft Search already indexes.
Turing technology – understands you, answers your question e.g. hover over doc -> doc summary (based on “deep speed” AI model) announcement at Ignite Spring, more on Ignite Fall 2021
Modern Search: MS nailed the fundamentals, now start bringing it everywhere – to Teams first, then SharePoint (said Nov 2020).
Modern Search Customizations – we’ll take the best from Classic SharePoint Search, a lot will retire – investing in more flexibility
Bill Baer: “People use search in a different ways 1) you have organisations who have a well-established intranet built around set of governance controls, a very clean architecture and they want to build a search into that intranet scenario; that’s why a lot of SharePoint capabilities are going to come along with Microsoft search for that particular endpoint 2) then you have other people who live their day in teams“
Shared search engine results page (developed once – transitioned everywhere) Ctrl-F to search through teams (chats?) (contextual search) Natural language search (starting from Outlook) Image search (before eoy), +
Metadata content type search Syntex customers will be able to use content type to search in the advanced search flyout in document libraries that contain content types beyond the default types. Syntex only.
Conversations: teams chats, outlook groups conversations, yammer conversation can be found under Conversations vertical in Bing search. Later – in Office.com and SharePoint landing page. E-mail messages are added to Conversations vertical in Bing search
Bookmarks (new promoted results), acronyms, Q&A – all under “Answers”
BookmarksTargeting – for the specific audience based on device/OS, Country/Region, security groups…
SharePoint Search Admin Center -> will be migrated from SharePoint admin center to to Microsoft Search Admin Center transitioning (Search and Intelligence Admin Center) – long-running project custom dictionaries, spelling suggestions – will retire, (move to a graph-driven speller)
+ Viva Topics – based search capabilities
Create Topic Answers with Microsoft Viva Topics to bring together people, content, and information (including synonyms and acronyms)
Knowledge answers provide a direct answer to questions authoritative information in an organization across SharePoint and OneDrive content
Graph Connectors Graph Connectors are generally available (ADLS – Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2, Azure DevOps, Azure SQL and Microsoft SQL Server, Enterprise websites, MediaWiki, File share, Oracle SQL, Salesforce, Jira, Confluence, ServiceNow + 100+ from partners; New connectors coming to Microsoft Search: Jira Graph connector, Confluence Graph connector).
Graph Connector allows to connect external source of information to Microsoft 365 and makes that data available across all m365 apps and services so you can find what you need wherever you’re working, whether in one of your favorite productivity apps or one of the many Microsoft 365 services such as SharePoint or Office.com
Graph Connectors roadmap:
Actionable experiences Search results on select Graph connectors will soon support actions that will allow users to interact with the result and perform changes to the Connector content within the Search application.
Results clusters The results shown in a result cluster are grouped together based on the search vertical configuration.
Profile Query variables Define any attribute from the user’s Profile, as a query variable and it would be resolved during query evaluation (This feature is currently in preview)
Profile enrichment with Graph connectors …you will soon be able to enrich Microsoft 365 profile properties like Job title, Phone numbers, Skills etc. with data from HRMS systems using graph connectors. …then surface this rich profile information on people experiences like profile cards.
Search Federation federation capabilities will allow enterprises build and integrate their custom LOB search experiences, customized search providers, into the overall Microsoft Search. With federated search, you can make information from systems where the data cannot leave the systems boundaries available to search across in Microsoft 365 productivity apps and services, without indexing its data with Microsoft Search.
Standalone Search – AAD identity – Graph connector – Ingest your data – use Search = in Windows 10, Office.com ( e.g. for those who have their data in other productivity suite, have no intent to use m365, but want to search)
You have got a Microsoft 365 subscription with SharePoint Online. You use PowerShell, PnP.PowerShell module and MS Graph API to work with SharePoint under current user’s credential. So you need to authenticate to SharePoint Online via Connect-PnPOnline and to Microsoft Graph API interactively on behalf of a user.
Unfortunately, both “Connect-PnPOnline -Interactive -Url <siteUrl>” or “Connect-PnPOnline -UseWebLogin -Url <siteUrl>” might fail with something like “Need admin approval”, “App needs permission to access resources in your organization that only an admin can grant. Please ask an admin to grant permission to this app before you can use it.” or similar
A pop-up window will appear to authenticate interactively. If you are already authenticated with another credentials (or single-sigh-on) – an interactive window might pop up and disappear – that prevents you enter your other id. To ensure Connect-PnPOnline prompts you for your credentials – use ” -ForceAuthentication” option.
If you are a SharePoint tenant admin – you can connect to a tenant with:
By default token expires in ~ 1 hour. But you can refresh it silently. This helps you in long-running PowerShell scripts that takes hours to complete. So you can include something like this in the loop:
Somehow using Connect-PnPOnline with AccessToken option did not work if the token was acquired with MSAL.PS interactively. But it did work when you get msal.ps token unattended (using App credentials). So…
If you can get an Application (non Delegated) permissions to your azure-registerd-app, you can use msal token to connect to site with PnP
NB: For delegated permissions, the effective permissions of your app are the intersection of the delegated permissions the app has been granted (via consent) and the privileges of the currently signed-in user. Your app can never have more privileges than the signed-in user.
Developers in the organization can use both – Azure Apps and SharePoint Apps to work with SharePoint sites in their “daemon” applications.
It is recommended to use Azure apps so, you want to know – what are SharePoint Apps registered and their owners, who registered SharePoint Apps. Eventually you would disable SharePoint Apps-only principal but before that you’d move Devs from SP-App-only to Azure App (see Disable Custom App Authentication).
(SharePoint App-only service principals aka SP-App-Only are SPN or App registered from within SharePoint using AppRegNew.aspx system page).
One of the approaches – track Apps/Owners with Unified Audit Log
returns events with operation = ‘Add service principal.’ Nice, but… if an app was registered in Azure – event contains an UPN under UserIds property:
Unfortunately, in case with registering app in SharePoint, an audit log event will be like:
i.e. UserId registerd is “email@example.com”, so we do not know who registered a SharePoint-only app
In theory – we could use events recorded immediately before and after “Add service principal” event to track a user and site who has registered a SharePoint-only app… But for me it seems like too complicated for automation.
Instead we can do simple search through audit log for events “AppRegNew.aspx page visited”. This gives us a good approximation of who registered SP-App-only principal. Worst scenario – we reach more people than we really need (including those who started registering sp-app-only but did not complete) but all of them would be definitely our target auditory.
this would give you all users who loaded “/_layouts/15/appregnew.aspx” page
Update: Sites.Selected API MS Graph permissions was introduced by Microsoft in 2021. It was a good move towards site-level development, but still developers were limited with only what MS Graph API provides for SharePoint dev. So devs had to use AppInv.aspx at site level to provide ACS permissions to their apps to be able to use SharePoint CSOM and REST APIs. Recently Microsoft introduced Sites.Selected SharePoint API permissions for registered Azure Apps! So now devs should be fully happy without ACS-based permissions.
You have a list in SharePoint Online. You want list items be visible to specific users only. You want to leverage Item-Level Permissions under List Advanced settings: “Read access: Read items that were created by the user”. But the problem is it was not users who created items. E.g. the list was imported from excel file or created programmatically or migrated.
PnP.PowerShell helps. Using “Set-PnPListItem”, you can re-write “Author” field in the list item.
There is a known problem in SharePoint – complicated permissions system. Site owners/administrators provide access, site contributors upload documents and nobody knows – who has access to their sites. As a result – sometimes sensitive documents become overshared (over-exposed).
The biggest concern is sites content shared with “Everyone”. How do we find sites shared with “Everyone” in a large Microsoft 365 environment?
NB. When I say “shared with Everyone” – I actually mean 3 possible “everyone” logins:
Everyone except external users
Approach #1 (Brute force)
We can get full permissions report at tenant level (or permissions provided only to “Everyone”). There are 3-rd party tools (e.g. ShareGate, SysKit, AvePoint, Metalogix etc.), or you can run PowerShell script…
Sounds easy? Well, if you have less than 1000 sites – probably it will work. But if your environment is 10K+ sites – it will take forever. Permission report might run hours for an average site with site/subsite, list/library and list item details level. So the approach will not work for large enterprise environments.
One might say – we can limit report with root web permissions only to get it faster. But this would not be accurate. And what is not accurate in the IT security – lead to even bigger risks. So, we need report detailed up to every item level deep, as even one file with sensitive info shared with everyone can cause security issue. (3-rd party tools usually by default limit it to libraries level.)
Ok, if this approach is not really working – what’s working?
Approach #2 (Search)
Clever idea: why do we need to iterate through all the tenant documents/items if all the content is already crawled by search? Search is also respect permissions. Can we just use search to get files shared with Everyone? Let us see.
What if we use some dummy user account with no specific permissions provided and no group membership and try to search content on behalf of that account. The idea is if this user can see data – it means that data is open for everyone.
Check this and this articles. Can we get results programmatically (e.g. with PowerShell)? Can we use Microsoft Graph search API? Sure. Check this article “How to search against SharePoint Online Content with Microsoft Graph search API with PowerShell”.
But! We have some problems here.
Search Problem #1. Again, for small environments or if there are not much “Open” sites – it would work. But for large enterprise environments the problem is the same as in “brute force”. Search returns too many results – it’ll take weeks to get all of them. (There are team sites “legally” shared with everyone, public Office 365 group based sites, communication sites… ).
Search Problem #2. Even if we get all search results – we do not know – at what level permissions are provided to everyone. So we will need to build list of sites based on the search results – ant then still need to run permissions report against these sites.
Search Problem #3. We are getting results with paging. But recently Microsoft started limiting number of returning results. E.g. your search request result might say like “there are 3659735 total hits” but after result number 1000 it just stops returning anything, even with paging.
Approach # 3 Hybrid
The idea: why do we need to get all search results if even one result from a site would be enough to add the site to the list of sites require permissions review. In other words, we do not need all results from site, we only need one to know the site is open.
So, consider (imho, the best) approach (Solution):
You get list of all sites in tenant.
You run search request against each site in the loop (e.g. consider KQL option “Site: https://yourTenant.SharePoint.com/sites/YourSite”. If at least something found in the site – add the site to the “Open Sites” list. With this approach you will get list of sites shared with “Everyone…” in a couple of minutes.
Run permissions report against this shortlist
Note: consider there are resources like “Styles Library” shared with everyone by default.
Note: You can refine the list you get at step 1 – e.g., excluding sites connected to public teams or known communication sites…
Note: consider implementing sensitivity labels. At least you can start with high-sensitive sites. Site owners/member will know – what kind of site they are working on.
Pros and cons of the Approach # 3 Hybrid
Pro: the only fast and accurate enough to rely on
Con 1 : crawling and indexing takes time, so search-based reports can miss recent changes in data and permissions
Con 2: this approach cannot be automated (since we need an interactive authentication).
How to communicate to site owners
The Next step would be “How to let site owners know that there are resources shared with Everyone… on their sites”.
The code must run without user interaction (unattended, aka daemon app). Sometimes this is also called “SharePoint Automation”.
The solution is based on a new Graph API feature – Sites.Selected and a classic SP-Only app.
Register an Azure App and configure it as usual. Select API Permissions blade and add two permissions: – Microsoft Graph -> Applications Permissions -> “sites.selected” – SharePoint -> Applications Permissions -> “sites.selected“
Request “Grant admin consent” from a tenant/global admin
Request SharePoint admin to run PowerShell code (e.g. this one) to assign proper permissions to your azure app for a specific site collection (consider site owner consent)
(optionally) Provide SharePoint API permissions: (require Site Collection Owner/Admin account) – use https://YourTenant.sharepoint.com/teams/YourSite/_layouts/15/appinv.aspx to add SharePoint API permissions to your app. E.g. full control permissions to site collection would be
Sites.Selected API MS Graph permissions was introduced by Microsoft in 2021. It was a huge step forward, but still devs were limited with MS Graph API against SharePoint. So devs had to use AppInv at site level to provide ACS permissions to their apps to use SharePoint CSOM and REST APIs. Recently Microsoft introduced Sites.Selected SharePoint API permissions for registered Azure Apps! So now devs should be fully happy without ACS-based permissions AppInv.aspx. (See more here on disabling SP Apps Only SPNs)