Tag Archives: Office 365

Long-running PowerShell Office 365 reports

(WIP)

PowerShell is our best friend when it comes to ad-hoc and/or scheduled reports in Microsoft 365. PnP team is doing great job providing more and more functionality with PnP PowerShell module for Office 365 SharePoint and Teams.

Small and medium business organizations are mostly good, but for large companies it might be a problem due to just huge amount of data stored in SharePoint. PowerShell reports on all users or all sites might run days… which is probably OK if you run this report once, but totally not acceptable if you need this report e.g. daily/weekly or on-demand.

How can we make heavy PowerShell scripts run faster?

Of course, you start with logic (algorithm) and leveraging full PowerShell functionality (e.g. PowerShell 7 parallelism or PnP batching).

(examples)

What if you did everything, but it still takes too long? You need something like brute force – the closer your code runs to your tenant – the better.
What are the option?
– Automation account runbook (+workflow)
– Azure Function Apps
– Azure VM in the region closest to your Tenant

Automation account runbook (+workflow)

Seemed like a good option, but not something Microsoft promotes. Even opposite – automation accounts support only PowerShell 5 (not 7), no plug-ins for VS Code and recently there were messages on some retirement or smth.

Meantime, I tested it – and did not find any significant increasing in speed. In a nutshell, what is behind this service? Same windows machines running somewhere in Azure .

TBC

References
PnP PowerShell

Exact Location of your SharePoint Online Microsoft Office 365 tenant

Quick answer: spin-up a few VMs in different Azure regions, then ping your SharePoint tenant. The moment you see 1ms ping you know the tenant exact location.

Full story

Microsoft says: “Customers should view tenant specific data location information in your Microsoft 365 Admin Center in Settings | Org settings | Organization Profile | Data location.
And it might look like:

That’s accurate to the geography (e.g. US, UE, AP), but not to the region (for instance – “Central US”, “UK West” or “Australia Southeast”).
In other words, If you know your data are in the US, you do not know where exactly – East/West/Central or South US.
Meantime when you create an Azure resource (e.g. Virtual Machine) – you can select specific region.

How do I know – where is my Microsoft 365 tenant actually located?

Can we just ping the tenant, analyze result and find Office 365 tenant region?
Luckily, SharePoint tenant is pinging with just
PS>ping tenantName.SharePoint.com
I have tested 5 regions and 4 different tenants:

ping from/to (ms)tenant 1 (US)tenant 2 (EU)tenant 3 (US)tenant 4 (US)
North Europe731796101
East US1833931
Central US221142323
West US631463633
South Central US3111211

So I figured it out:
My o365 tenants #3 and #4 regions are South Central US (Texas, San Antonio),
tenant #1 resides in East US.

Why do I need this?

Imagine you are running heavy reports against your tenant.
So probably you want your code running as close as possible to your tenant.
For this, you can spin-up a VM in Azure or use Azure Functions – just select proper region 🙂
(please check also “Long-running PowerShell reports optimization in Office 365“)

References:
Where your Microsoft 365 customer data is stored

Office 365 Search scopes

Search is everywhere in Microsoft 365. You can search from SharePoint, Teams, Delve, Yammer etc.

But! From SharePoint you cannot search for Teams chats (*1).
From Teams you cannot search for regular (no-group) sites.
Sites descriptions are totally out of search (including Yammer groups, Teams and regular sites).

So, what are the scopes of each search entry point in Office 365 and is there an entry point you can search for everything?

Search scopesSharePoint
Search center
SharePoint home
Office portal
Office desktop app
Delve
TeamsBing
SharePoint contentYesYesYes
Teams contentYesYesYesYes
Teams chats(*1)YesYes
Yammer contentYesYesYes
Yammer chat(*1)Yes
User profilesYesYes
Email
(*1) Microsoft announced they are working on bringing conversations (both Teams chats and Yammer) to SharePoint landing page first, then to Office home page.

Detailed:

ScopeOut of Scope
SharePoint Search Center– all sites content
(Teams, Yammer, regular),
– user profiles
– OneDrive
Teams chat
Yammer chat
SharePoint Landing Pagesame as SharePoint Search center
but Teams chats and Yammer Conversations are coming
same as SharePoint Search Center
Office.comsame as SharePoint
(Teams chats and Yammer Conversations are coming after SharePoint)
same as SharePoint
Delve
TeamsTeams content
Teams chat
OneDrive
Yammer
User Profiles
regular SharePoint sites
BingEverything* * except people profiles content
(e.g. about me)

Seems like the only tool you can search for EVERYTHING with is Microsoft Bing:

After Microsoft add Teams chats and Yammer conversations to SharePoint landing page search scope (then to Office home page) – it’ll be the best place to search from for everything.

More on Microsoft Search vs SharePoint Search and Microsoft Search RoadMap

Microsoft Office 365 Search: Find what you need with Microsoft Search in Bing

It is possible customize Modern Microsoft Search pages with PnP Modern Search

How to create a Sub-Site if subsites creation is disabled

Microsoft recommend “flat structure”, i.e. no subsites. So SPO admins are disabling subsites creation at tenant level. Did you know that you still can create subsite? Let me explain how it is done.

If creation subsites is allowed, you should be able to see it like this:

But actually subsites are not always best practice. Microsoft recommend “flat structure”, i.e. instead of subsite you should have a separate site collection, and if you need a hierarchy and navigation – use Hub sites. So, in Office 365 SharePoint admins usually “disable” SubSites creation:

Now, you see, SubSites are not really disabled, but only the button to create subsites is hidden: “This controls whether the Subsite command appears on the New menu on the Site contents page”.

Anyway, the result is: you are not able to create a SubSite (web) in SharePoint Online:

Actually there are at least 3 options to create a SubSite:

Option 1. Create a SubSite in Classic mode.

Step 1: Select “Site Contents” page
Step 2: Click “Return to classic SharePoint”
Step 3: Create SubSite

Option 2. Create a SubSite from “Sites and Workspaces” page

Step 1: Go to “Site Settings”
Step 2: Select “Sites and Workspaces” page (site/_layouts/15/mngsubwebs.aspx)
Step 3: Create a SubSite

Option 3: use PowerShell PnP

Step 1: Install PowerShell PnP
Step 2: Connect to your site with PnP
Step 3: create a SubSite

Install-Module SharePointPnPPowerShellOnline
Connect-PnPOnline -Url <your site Url> -UseWebLogin
New-PnPWeb -Url "<new Web Url>" -Title "MySubSite" -Template "STS#3"

References:

See also: How to create a SharePoint Site in Office 365 if site creation is disabled

How to find a public team by name (in Microsoft Teams)

Quick and simple answer: use SharePoint Search center or Microsoft Search, (or Bing if it is integrated).

Detailed explanation on how to find a public Team

In Microsoft Office 365, under MS Teams, there are 3 team types:

  • Private team
  • Public team
  • Org-wide team

Private team: you can only join the team if you are invited or know the team code.
SharePoint site behind the private team is shared only to members – not for everyone. You cannot see team name or description or content until you are team member (details). You are not able to search for the team name or content.

Public team: you can join the public team if you wish. The site behind the public team is shared with everyone except external users, so you can see public team name and description, but from MS Teams (desktop or web application) you cannot see public team content until you are team member.

Org-wide team: you are joined the team automatically (details)

From Teams – you can click on “Join or create a team” and you should be able to see some public teams (but not all):

See how Microsoft describes it – Find and Join a team

There is a “Search teams” box at the top right,
so what if you are looking for a specific public team (not in the list) …

Scenario 1

You know exact team name or at least some first letters.
Solution: You are lucky. Just start typing team name in search bar at top right and hit “enter”- you will see shortened list of public teams matching your search criteria:

NB: do not use wildcards, it will not work:

NB: do not use top search bar, it will not work:

Scenario 2

You want to join a public team, but you do not know exact team name.
You know (or guess) something about the team, like

  • part of the team name
  • part of the team description
  • some keywords from team content files

Unfortunately, in this case both great Microsoft technologies – Search and Team – fail. You will not be able to find a public team:

Solution: use SharePoint search
SharePoint site is created once a team is created.

For public teams – SharePoint site has “Everyone except external users” by default in “Members” group:

which means literally “Everyone except external users” has access to the site with “Edit” permissions.

SharePoint search is security-trimmed, i.e. you will see the site content in search results only if you do have access to the site. So just go to the SharePoint or SharePoint search center and search for what you know or guess about the team:

You can use all the power of SharePoint search (wildcards, refiners, keyword query language KQL etc)

Once you found something – you can go to the SharePoint site:

Now from the site – look at the site name and hover the mouse over the site name – you’ll see pop-up window.
Now you know exact team name – and you can search for the team under Teams,
or, if you are so lucky you see “Join” button – just join the team.click site title or hove over the site title:

One moment – you cannot see team’s chat messages in SharePoint, as chats are kept in Azure. But you can search for chat content after you joint the team.

Somehow both – SharePoint Search and Teams Search are not working against site/team description. Hopefully this bug will be addressed.

You can also search for site Url in teams.
When you create a team – Office 365 generates a short team name (removes spaces and adds numbers if the team name is not unique; e.g. if the team name “Test” you might have “test381” as a short name, but if the team name is “This Is My Unique Team” – short name might be “ThisIsMyUniqueTeam”).
After you can change team name and/or SharePoint site name.
Team search under MS teams work for both names – short name initially assigned (kept as site specific Url) and new team name. But only starting with the beginning of the string.

Related articles:

p.s. Thanks to “Birds of Kazakhstan” for pictures

btw, there is a good video tutorial on how to find a public team in Office 365 using full-text search

Create a SharePoint Site in Office 365 when it is disabled

By default site creation is enabled and anybody can create a new site collection from SharePoint start page :

with two options: “Team site connected to an Office 365 group” and “Communication site”

SharePoint administrator might disable Sites creation. In Office 365 under SharePoint Admin Center -> Settings -> Site Creation there is “Let users create sites from the SharePoint start page and OneDrive”:

Under classic settings page -> Site Creation it is called “Show the Create site command” with explanation “Display the Create site command on the SharePoint home page and in the sites list in OneDrive so users can create new sites”:

If site creation is disabled, user will not see “+ Create site” in SharePoint landing page:

The fun part is users are still able to create a new Office-365 group based site collection
as “Let users create sites from the SharePoint start page and OneDrive” means literally “from the SharePoint start page and OneDrive” and does not mean you cannot create a site from other places. The same with “Show the Create site command” as it is literally about “Show…command” but not “disable … command”.

Option 1: from OneDrive, using “Create shared library”:


Option 2: using direct link:

Use Direct link: https://changeThisToYourTenantName.sharepoint.com/_layouts/15/CreateGroup.aspx
e.g.
https://contoso.sharepoint.com/_layouts/15/CreateGroup.aspx

Option 3: from teams:

and worth to mention that from Teams anybody can create a Team and a corresponding SharePoint site:

Unfortunately, if sites creation is disabled, you cannot create a communication site.

How to disable self-sites creation for real

The only way to limit self-site creation is using PowerShell:
– create a security group
– add to this group users who will be able to create sites
– via PowerShell Set-AzureADDirectorySetting command set “GroupCreationAllowedGroupId” property
Microsoft: “Manage who can create Groups

Office 365 DSC

(WIP)

Let me do some quick PoC on Office 365 DSC in my Office 365 Dev environment…

So far it is not working…

I have created a simple configuration:

Configuration o365DSC_Config_Tenant
{
    param(
        [Parameter(Mandatory = $true)]
        [PSCredential]
        $credsGlobalAdmin
    )
    Import-DscResource -ModuleName Office365DSC
    node localhost
    {
        SPOTenantSettings MyTenantSettings
        {
            IsSingleInstance                              = "Yes"
            GlobalAdminAccount                            = $credsGlobalAdmin
            PublicCdnEnabled                              = $false
            PublicCdnAllowedFileTypes                     = "CSS,EOT,GIF,ICO,JPEG,JPG,JS,MAP,PNG,SVG,TTF,WOFF"
            NotificationsInSharePointEnabled              = $true
            OwnerAnonymousNotification                    = $true
            LegacyAuthProtocolsEnabled                    = $false
            Ensure                                        = "Present"
        }
    }
}

and ran it with

$adminAccountCred = Get-Credential -UserName $adminUPN -Message "pw pls"
$mPath = 'C:\scripts\o365\Office365DSC'
$cd = @{
    AllNodes = @(
        @{
            NodeName = 'localhost'
            PSDscAllowPlainTextPassword = $true
        }
    )
}
o365DSC_Config_Tenant -OutputPath $mPath -credsGlobalAdmin $adminAccountCred -ConfigurationData $cd
Start-DscConfiguration -ComputerName 'localhost' -Wait -Verbose -Path $mPath -Force

the error I got:

VERBOSE: [VPC]:                            [[SPOTenantSettings]MyTenantSettings] Test-TargetResource returned False
VERBOSE: [VPC]: LCM:  [ End    Test     ]  [[SPOTenantSettings]MyTenantSettings]  in 11.4040 seconds.
VERBOSE: [VPC]: LCM:  [ Start  Set      ]  [[SPOTenantSettings]MyTenantSettings]
VERBOSE: [VPC]:                            [[SPOTenantSettings]MyTenantSettings] Setting configuration for SPO Tenant
VERBOSE: [VPC]:                            [[SPOTenantSettings]MyTenantSettings] The use of the public CDN is not enabled, for that the PublicCdnAllowedFileTypes par
ameter can not be configured and will be removed
A parameter cannot be found that matches parameter name 'Ensure'.
    + CategoryInfo          : InvalidArgument: (:) [], CimException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : NamedParameterNotFound,SharePointPnP.PowerShell.Commands.Admin.SetTenant
    + PSComputerName        : localhost
 
VERBOSE: [VPC]: LCM:  [ End    Set      ]  [[SPOTenantSettings]MyTenantSettings]  in 3.7290 seconds.
The PowerShell DSC resource '[SPOTenantSettings]MyTenantSettings' with SourceInfo 
'C:\scripts\o365\Office365DSC\o365DSC_Config_Tenant.ps1::12::9::SPOTenantSettings' threw one or more non-terminating errors while running the Set-TargetResource 
functionality. These errors are logged to the ETW channel called Microsoft-Windows-DSC/Operational. Refer to this channel for more details.
    + CategoryInfo          : InvalidOperation: (:) [], CimException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : NonTerminatingErrorFromProvider
    + PSComputerName        : localhost
 
VERBOSE: [VPC]: LCM:  [ End    Set      ]
The SendConfigurationApply function did not succeed.
    + CategoryInfo          : NotSpecified: (root/Microsoft/...gurationManager:String) [], CimException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : MI RESULT 1
    + PSComputerName        : localhost
 
VERBOSE: Operation 'Invoke CimMethod' complete.
VERBOSE: Time taken for configuration job to complete is 15.486 seconds

More to come…

Office.com OneDrive icon

OneDrive vs OneDrive vs Personal Site

 

Microsoft sells OneDrive as a personal cloud storage service… But There are actually two separate products behind the service, and each product provides more than “personal cloud storage service”…

What is OneDrive? What is the difference between OneDrive and Personal SharePoint site? Let’s see…

When you login to Office.com, you can click on OneDrive icon:
Office.com OneDrive icon

and you will found yourself at OneDrive site, so

one OneDrive is a SharePoint Personal site:

OneDrive - SharePoint Personal Site

The other OneDrive is a desktop application

i.e. program that runs in the background and synchronizes files from your personal SharePoint site (“first OneDrive”) to your local machine and back:

OneDrive as a desktop application - installed

OneDrive as a desktop application - running OneDrive as a desktop application - running in the background

Below is OneDrive desktop application in Windows File Explorer. Please notice how “test 01.txt” file and “test 02” folder are synchronized to first OneDrive.

OneDrive desktop application syncs data from Personal SharePoint Site

Confused? No? Wanna more?

Here are some more confusing details…

Using OneDrive desktop application you can synchronize your regular SharePoint site library with your desktop computer.

Here is a regular SharePoint site (Test23) with a LibUnderSharePoint library. You can click on the “Sync” button:

SharePoint site Library - Synchronized to Onedrive

and see the magic! Now you have another folder on your local Windows machine:

OneDrive Syncs SharePoint site

– but this time OneDrive synchronizes it to regular SharePoint site.

 

There is also a “Personal OneDrive” – the same as regular OneDrive but free…
(again, do not be confused: initially there was just OneDrive – free personal version and OneDrive for Business – version you could have with Office 365 subscription; now they are Onedrive and Personal OneDrive 🙂 )

OneDrive is a Microsoft thing. 
Google has “Drive File Stream” (Google drive)
Dropbox – Dropbox sync 

 

Search-for-a-crawled-property

Search schema: Search for a crawled property name wildcard

 

If you are managing SharePoint search, specifically if you are customizing SharePoint search schema, especially in SharePoint Online (Office 365) – you know how slow it works and how tiresome it is to “Search for a crawled property name”.

Search-for-a-crawled-property

Recently I found out that wildcard works. No, even two wildcards work

In this example I need crawled property started from ows and contains doc and type:

SharePoint search through crawled properties