Beginning Office 365 Groups Administration

Author by Drew Madelung

Office 365 Groups are a solution provided by Microsoft that are providing a new way for your team to work and collaborate. They focus on the people first experience and not the supporting technology. Groups are not a destination but a collaboration experience across Office 365. In this year’s Future of SharePoint event, Jeff Teper made a strong statement that some of their core pillars moving forward are Groups, Graph, and Governance.

That means that if you are on Office 365 and not utilizing Office 365 Groups, you will be missing out on key innovations Microsoft is bringing to their cloud service.

** Note: This is being written in July 2016 and is subject to change as Office 365 evolves **

As someone who has helped many clients with Office 365, Groups can be a daunting conversation. When Groups first rolled out they had basically 0 administration capabilities. Over the past year things have improved to the point that I thought it would be good to put together some broad information about where and what you can manage with Office 365 Groups. Microsoft recently put together a helpful interactive guide for administering Office 365 Groups here and their admin support page is here. Each administration area currently has specific tasks that you can only perform there.

Where you can administer Office 365 Groups

  • Office 365 Admin Center
  • Azure AD Portal
  • Office 365 Admin App
  • Outlook Groups App
  • Client Applications
  • Powershell - (most powerful)

Office 365 Admin Center

This area will most likely be your initial starting point for Groups administration. The actions you can perform here are:

  • View all
  • Create
  • Edit
  • Delete
  • Set Exchange Naming Policy
  • Set Exchange Blocked Words

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Azure AD Portal

Currently the Azure AD portal still uses the classic Azure portal view. The actions you can perform here are:

  • View all
  • Create
  • Edit
  • Delete
  • Configure Dynamic Membership

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Office 365 Admin App

For the use cases when you need to do high level group management via a mobile device.

  • View all
  • Create
  • Edit

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Outlook Groups App

If you want to modify groups that you are an owner of you can use the Outlook Groups app.

  • View your groups
  • Create
  • Edit
  • Delete

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Other Applications

As groups spread across technologies you can perform group administration actions within dedicated applications.

  • Outlook on the Web
  • Outlook 2016
  • Planner
  • PowerBI

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Powershell

If you are in charge of managing Office 365 it is a requirement that you can work with Powershell. The majority of the advanced and new administration for groups is available via Powershell first. The available cmdlets for managed groups all used the *UnifiedGroup naming scheme. Depending on the type of action that you want to perform you will use one of 2 available subsets. If you want to add/edit/delete a group itself you will use the *-UnifiedGroup cmdlets and if you want to edit users within a group you will use the *-UnifiedGroupLinks cmdlets.

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I have put together a collection of scripts for all kinds of administration available on Github here.

Some of the things I have included in this script are:

  • Create a group
  • View all subscribers, members or owners
  • Show detailed information for all your groups
  • Setup Azure AD Group restriction creation
  • Configure multi-domain support
  • Set access type (private or public)
  • Add quota settings for group sites
  • Hide group members unless you are a member of the private group
  • Find out which groups do not have owners
  • Get all storage being used by groups

There are more included but please feel free to contribute to this collection of scripts!

 

Author

Drew Madelung

Technical Architect