When you are creating or updating “Microsoft 365 ownerless groups policy” – you can customize email template subject and message body.
Message body size is limited to 1040 symbols, so not much you can put there. Which means you’ll probably need to share the link to some page in SharePoint where you can provide users more information – explain everything – why it is happening and what are the actions need to be done with screenshots etc. So you’d need a link here – clearly visible in the e-mail body (OotB “Policy guideline Url” appears at the end of the email barely visible).
You’d also emphasize some elements of the message… but how? It seems like e-mail template does not support HTML tags…
I found out that although policy e-mail template does not support markup, you still can use some tricks as long as e-mail client understands it. Specifically, you can use GitHub-style formatting as described here.
In my experience – both – outlook web-client and outlook desktop app interpret GitHub-wiki-style markup well. I.e. you can use headers, bold/italic text, lists/bullets, links and images.
Here is admin editing e-mail experience:
Here is user getting e-mail experience:
[Link Text](Url) - will look like a link # will look like a header # Please refer to a GitHub formatting syntax for a full syntax
N.B. if you forward the message – you’ll loose formatting.
What is the Microsoft Search KQL query field limits for a verticals? Is there limited number of characters or lines?
You know what is Microsoft 365 Search Vertical and what is KQL query in vertical configuration, right?
Under Microsoft 365 admin center Search and intelligence you can configure search verticals. There are some out-of-the-box verticals – like All, Files, Sites, People and you can configure custom one.
As a part of vertical configuration – you can specify KQL query – if you want e.g. limit search with some sites or content types etc.
The question is – how many sites I can specify in this query field? E.g. can I specify 1000 sites? 10k sites?
And the answer is: It does not matter, because the limit is not in number of characters or lines.
In my dev environment I was able to save 50,000 lines (~3M characters). But attempt to save 100K lines (6M symbols) has failed (due to timeout, I believe:
Again, as I said the problem is not here.
The problem is time required for search to apply query. I.e. when you ask search to bring you something – after it gets results from index and before display results to you it applies KQL query configured for the vertical. And this time is the bottleneck.
Here is what I got measuring search response time depending on query size:
response time, seconds
KQL query # of lines
KQL query size, # of symbols
100,000 (can’t save KQL query
6,000,000 (can’t save KQL query)
Which means that after ~ 1000 lines (50,000 characters) KQL query size – query becomes too slow, and after ~3000 lines (180k chars) – can fail (due to timeout I’d say).
Microsoft recently implemented “Adaptive” retention policies. At step 2 of “Create retention policy” you’ll be asked “Choose the type of retention policy to create”: “A policy can be adaptive or static. Advantage of an adaptive policy will automatically update where it’s applied based on attributes or properties you’ll define. A static policy is applied to content in a fixed set of locations and must be manually updated if those locations change.”
And if you selected “Adaptive” – on the next step you will need to provide the adaptive scope (so at this moment you should already have created your adaptive scopes):
So, let us create your adaptive scopes. What type of scope do you want to create? SharePoint sites…
And then you’ll have nothing more then set of conditions:
where you can use objects: “Site Url”, “Site Name” and “Refinable String 0″..”Refinable String 99”. Conditions would be “is equal to”, “is not equal to”, “starts with” and “not starts with”. Or you can select “Advanced query builder” and enter KQL query.
Advanced query builder
Advanced query builder allows us to use more site properties then “Site Url”, “Site Name” and “Refinable Strings” and more conditions than “is (not) equal to” and “(not) starts with”.
E.g. we can use “Title”, “Created”, “Modified” site properties and “=”,”:”,”<“, “>”, “<=”, “>=” conditions.
Working queries examples:
created>12/31/2021 AND modified>=7/31/2022
Not working queries examples:
RefinableString11 = Birds # (do not use spaces in advanced query)
Query against custom site property (aka property bag value)
You can create custom site property and assign value to the property with Set-PnPAdaptiveScopeProperty or Set-PnPPropertyBagValue. Property must be with “Indexed” parameter. Once the property is set up, m365 search crawls site and creates crawled property. Then you map crawled property to some pre-created refinable string managed property. You can assign alias to this managed property.
In my test scenario I used RefinableString09 with alias SiteCustomSubject.
Site property value
does not work
does not work
does not work
does not work
Query against multi-value property.
Site property value
RefinableString09 = ‘TestA TestB’
does not work
??? RefinableString09=’Test10 Test5′
does not work
does not work
does not work
(basic) RefinableString09 starts with test
What is the takeaway from this for SharePoint administrators? We would be asked to configure SharePoint the way compliance/retention people can use Refinable Strings.
Will be saving gotchas on Microsoft 365 External Access and Guest Access in SharePoint and Teams
We configure external/guest access in AAD, m365 Admin Center, Teams Admin Center, SharePoint Admin Center, specific Group, Team or SharePoint site.
We can configure external guest access directly, or can configure sensitivity labels and policies in Purview (Compliance Admin Center). Configuring sensitivity labels for sites/groups we configure external guest access settings. Configuring sensitivity labels policies we apply labels.
beware that “Connect-AzureAD” works only in Windows .net framework – i.e. PowerShell 5.1 if you try to run it in PowerShell 7 – you can get “Connect-AzureAD: One or more errors occurred. (Could not load type ‘System.Security.Cryptography.SHA256Cng’ from assembly ‘System.Core, Version=220.127.116.11, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089’.)” Error. (check Connect-AzureAD Could not load type ‘System.Security.Cryptography.SHA256Cng’ from assembly)
Configuring Sensitivity Labels
Sensitivity labels are configured under Microsoft Purview (Compliance Center), Solutions, Information Protection. You’d need a global admin or “Compliance Administrator” or “Azure Information Protection Administrator” (?) role:
Since we are talking sensitivity labels for SharePoint Sites (not documents), we define label scope as “Groups and Sites”: “Configure privacy, access control, and other settings to protect labeled Teams, Microsoft 365 Groups, and SharePoint sites.”
Then we define which protection settings for groups and sites we should configure on the next steps: – Privacy and external user access settings – Control the level of access that internal and external users will have to labeled teams and Microsoft 365 Groups. – External sharing and conditional access settings – Control external sharing and configure Conditional Access settings to protect labeled SharePoint sites.
If we selected previously “Privacy and external user access settings” – now we need to select group/team privacy (These options apply to all Microsoft 365 Groups and teams, but not standalone sites). When applied, these settings will replace any existing privacy settings for the team or group. If the label is removed, users can change privacy settings again. You can also allow external user access – if group owner will be able to add guests:
Next step – define external sharing and conditional access settings. Specifically, if the content of the SharePoint site can be shared with Anyone (anonymously) or with authenticated users (new or existing) or no external sharing is allowed:
And you can either control the level of access users have from unmanaged devices or select an existing authentication context to enforce restrictions:
Configuring sensitivity labels policies
Sensitivity label policy is basically which label should be available to apply for what users and some other settings like – do users need to provide justification before removing a label or replacing it with one that has a lower-order number or – will users be required to apply labels and optionall the default label
View existing sensitivity labels
“Global reader” role allows view existing sensitivity labels configuration:
Wording would be a little different, but all aspects of the label configuration will be mentioned. E.g. when editing GUI says label scope is “Groups & sites”, read-only label summary defines Scope as “Site, UnifiedGroup”.
Applying sensitivity labels programmatically
To apply a label to a m365 group or Teams site with a group behind: MS Graph API support only Delegated permissions.
“Set-PnPSiteSensitivityLabel” works in the current site context. Description says “If the site does not have a Microsoft 365 Group behind it, it will set the label on the SharePoint Online site and will not require Microsoft Graph permissions and will work with both delegate as well as app only logins.” In fact (7/22/2022) app permissions are not working. This cmdlet can assign label to a standalone or a group-based site only with delegated permissions.
“Set-PnPTenantSite” allows you to remove or apply site sensitivity label to both standalone and group-based sites with app permissions. Furthermore, group and team settings respect this. I.e. if you apply label to a group-based site – group will pick this up.
Q: What permission or role is required to get search Usage analytics reports A: To see Microsoft 365 Search and intelligence usage analytics reports you’d need “Global reader” or “Search editor” role.
Q: What permission or role is required to get access to Search Feedback under Microsoft 365 admin center – Settings – Search & intelligence – Insights – Feedback A: You’d need at least “Global reader” or “Search editor” role.
Every team in Microsoft Teams or a Microsoft 365 group or a SharePoint site must have an owner/owners. Otherwise to whom we communicate on any question – site/group permissions, membership, site/group/team retention policy, content classification etc. Who will be responsible for team/site/group content and configuration and who will provide access to this site for other users.
MS: A team in Microsoft Teams or a Microsoft 365 group and its related services can become ownerless if an owner’s account is deleted or disabled in Microsoft 365. Groups and teams require an owner to add or remove members and change group settings.
Recently Microsoft implemented a new feature: a policy that automatically asks the most active members of an ownerless group or team if they’ll accept ownership. Very important feature. TY Microsoft!
The configuration via wizard is straightforward and intuitive.
But still we have some questions regarding the policy.
Q: Why it is important? A: Because many other “governance” activities (e.g. permissions attestation, retention policies) rely on site/team ownership. I.e., before we notify site owner that the site is going to be deleted due to inactivity – we want an owner present.
Q: Is it about groups ownership or sites ownership? A: Group ownership and group-based sites ownership (teams, yammer etc.). Non-group based aka Standalone sites (e.g. communication) are not in scope of this feature/policy.
Q: Who can configure this policy? What kind of permissions required to create/update policy? A: Microsoft says “Manage Microsoft 365 groups” permissions required – e.g. admins with Global admin or Groups Admin roles required. “Teams administrator” or “SharePoint Administrator” cannot configure the policy.
Q: How about group with no members? What if somebody created a group but did not add any members? A: Assuming somebody created a group and left company. In this the policy will not work – as there is nobody who can be a new owner. This kind of groups must be handled manually, as no owners no members does not mean nobody uses related SharePoint site.
Q: How do we know the group is ownerless? Only if owner has been deleted from AAD? What if an owner is just blocked or unlicensed? A: blocked or unlicensed users are still users; so the policy will be triggered if the group owners list is empty.
Q: We have implemented Azure AD Settings “EnableGroupCreation” and “GroupCreationAllowedGroupId” (as per Microsoft: Manage who can create Microsoft 365 Groups), so not everyone can create m365 groups. Would this impact ownerless groups policy? In other words – if a user cannot create group – would this keep user from being assigned as a group owners? A: No. Microsofts’ Manage who can create Microsoft 365 Groups trick regulates groups creation only. Later – when a group is created – nothing prevents such user to be added as a group owner.
Q: I support a large Microsoft 365 environment and we already have hundreds of ownerless groups. I’m concerned how users might react and whether our helpdesk support teams are ready for new type of tickets etc. Implementing the policy in test/stage environment does not make much sense, since there are no really active users etc. So, can I test this policy in production – on real users, but pilot it within a small number of users or ownerless groups before applying to all groups in the environment. A: Yes, you can do a test or pilot implementation in production limiting the impacted users or groups. – if you need to limit users who will be getting notifications a “pilot team” – during Step 1 “Notification Options” under “Specify who can receive ownership notifications” you can select “Allow only certain active members” and under “Specify security groups to allow members” you can select a security group – so only members from the specified security group will be sent ownership request. Microsoft 365 groups do not work here.
another option – you can test the policy on a several selected m365 groups:
Q: I know the policy is applied to Microsoft 365 groups only. But I have many standalone sites with no owners (no site collection administrators). How do I deal with ownerless SharePoint sites? A: How about converting standalone sites to Microsoft 365 group-based sites (TBC)?
Q: What happens to group that become ownerless after the policy is created? A: The policy will be triggered against this group – so next day the most active group members will receive invitation.
Q: What happens if several of the notified members accepts the ownership request? A: Two first served basis. As per Microsoft, only two members can be assigned to group owners via the policy. When a group got two owners – invitation message actionable item for the rest will be converted from “Would you like to be a group owner?” to “MemberName1 and MemberName2 have already agreed to become group owners.” with no “Yes” and “No” buttons.
Track the ownerless group policy in action via Audit Log
How do I, as an Microsoft 365 administrator, know if the policy works or not, are the emails sent or not and how many (if any) users are accepted “Would you like to be a group owner?” invitation?
Microsoft 365 Audit Search under Microsoft Purview (Compliance center) should help.
OwnerlessGroupNotificationResponse – “Responded to ownerless group notification”
Record Type (AuditLogRecordType): 126
It seems like event is not added to the Audit log when a policy is created or updated.
Some more findings:
If a public group does not have an owner – all requests to joint the team will be declined with “The team does not have an owner” message: (that means no new members, i.e. no new contributors, but read-only visitors access is sill available for everyone, as group is public):
Users can go to My Groups to see groups (Teams, Yammer communities and SharePoint Sites) they are members or owners of.
Proposal to be a group owner lasts forever. So if a user after some time finds an email that asks him “Would you like to be a group owner?” and clicks Yes – he/she will be a group owner, even if the policy is already updated or removed.
As per Microsoft, only first two members can accept the ownership of an ownerless group. No additional members are allowed to accept ownership. If either one or two members accept ownership, other members won’t receive further notifications.
Q: Can I customize an ownership notification? A: Yes, but – E-mail message body is limited to ~1040 character – Policy does not provide any WYSIWYG rich text format, but you still can format it – headers, bold/italic, links, bullets/lists: more on email template format.
A member can forward invitation message, but recipient will not see actionable “Yes” “No” buttons.
Who can create Microsoft 365 Groups
It is possible to limit users – who can create Microsoft 365 Groups (please refer to Microsoft: Manage who can create Microsoft 365 Groups – there is a guide and PowerShell code sample). This might help to keep the environment under control – let say, “only managers can create groups”, or “contractor should not be able to create teams”.
It would be good if the configuration would be consistent in terms “if a user cannot create a group – user cannot be a group owner”. Unfortunately, with current configuration options (Aug 2022), this is not the case. Azure AD Directory Setting “GroupCreationAllowedGroupId” works only for creation. Later, when the group is create – it is possible to add to group as a group owner those who is not able to create group.
“Ownerless group policy configuration failed” error message. And “Failure in configuring ownerless groups policy” and “Please try again.” – seems like a permission issue. SharePoint admin, Teams admin or Group admin roles: cannot configure Ownerless Groups Policy. Global admin: yes, can configure Ownerless Microsoft 365 Groups Policy. What is the minimum role required? According to a recent update of the Microsoft’s article – “A Global administrator can create a policy…”