Tuesday, August 25, 2015

How To: Office 365 Group Administration #Office365

At Ignite this year Microsoft finally released a set of cmdlets that can be used to manage groups within your tenant. Here is a quick primer on the available cmdlets that can be used to manage group administration within your company. I'll add additional cmdlets and administration tips as I run across them.

After connecting to Exchange Online you can use the Help unifiedgroup cmdlet to see a list of what is available. This is a great way to see quickly what is available to you within the shell to manage your groups.

The Get-UnifiedGroup cmdlet will help to bring back more information about a group.  For instance, you may want to display a listing of all the groups within your tenant along with the alias. To do this you would need to use the following cmdlet (Get-UnifiedGroup | ft Displayname, Alias):

A new group can be created within PowerShell using the New-UnifiedGroup  cmdlet. You can use the following cmdlet to create a new group called Cedar Park Sales with the alias of CPSales:
New-UnifiedGroup -DisplayName "Cedar Park Sales" -alias "CPSales"

The Add-UnifiedGroupLinks cmdlet is available to help add or remove members from an existing group.
Add-UnifiedGroupLinks CPSales -LinkType members -Links jharris, lryan

How do I restrict  group creation?

You can restrict who can create groups through the use of a new OWA mailbox policy. You may have a subset of users that have been identified that should not have the ability to create groups. You can handle this requirement with the following PowerShell cmdlets:
  1. New-OWAMailboxPolicy -Name DisableGroupCreation
  2. Set-OWAMailboxPolicy -Identity DisableGroupCreation -GroupCreationEnabled $false
  3. Set-CASMailbox -Identity lryan -OWAMailboxPolicy DisableGroupCreation

Be prepared to wait 5-10 minutes for the new OWA mailbox policy you created to propagate and take effect. In the cmdlets above we removed the right for the user lryan to create new groups. In the screenshot below you will see that this user had the ability to create a new group which is indicated by the plus sign.

After the new OWA mailbox policy is synchronized the ability to create groups for the user lryan has been removed as show below.

The administration story for groups is no where near complete and is definitely a work in progress. Microsoft understands the current state of group administration and is making great strides to improve the group experience for both the end user and for the administrator. 

Stay tuned for further updates this fall!


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