[MVP Blog] Provisioning an Office 365 group with an approval flow and Azure functions-part 1


Tags:- Setup.office.com ,  office.com , office.com/setup

Office 365 groups span over various Office 365 services and provide a great way for collaborating. By default, every user can create an Office 365 group. While self-service is a good thing and many businesses adopted into that direction, some companies still prefer the controlled approach.

In real world environments, organizations usually want to restrict the group provisioning so that IT can control the wild growth of groups. This article series shows how to create an Office 365 group with an attached approval process with SharePoint Online, Flow and Azure functions. See how this works here!

This is part 1 of a 3 part series. This article series was written by Martina Grom and Toni Pohl.

For showing all the technics behind that requirement we developed a demo scenario showing all necessary steps. You need to have a SharePoint Administrator, a Flow license and an Azure subscription and some basic knowledge about web technologies. There are some steps required, but the process is simple. Follow these steps to get your solution up and running.

The scenario

The following graphics delivers the planned steps for the approval workflow. The blue steps require a user interaction, the orange ones are automatic processes. Green and red show an accept or deny decision.



If a user requests to create an Office 365 group (which can be requested f.e. in a PowerApp or in a SharePoint list) and it gets accepted, the function provisions the group and the initiator gets a notification email. In this sample, we start with the base part that does the work: provisioning the Office 365 group, first as a demo, then in part two the code follows.

First, see how group operations work with Microsoft Graph Explorer

Open developer.microsoft.com/graph/graph-explorer, sign in and accept the consent for the Microsoft Graph App.




Now, try to access the Microsoft groups with a GET request of this URL:

If you get an error as here, your account (even if it’s the global administrator) does not have the necessary permissions.


The error says “Authorization_RequestDenied”, and “Insufficient privileges to complete the operation.”

You need to modify the permissions. Open the link in the red message box (or on the left below your account). In the Modify Permissions dialog, click “access to your entire organization” and confirm the “Modify Permissions” button. Alternatively, you can add the required permissions “Read and write all groups” manually.


Then, sign in again (which happens automatically that you get redirected to the login page again). Now, you get a new consent with all possible permissions. Accept the new consent for your organization.


Another box informs about the newly granted permissions, and yes, it can take some minutes before the consent takes effect, but mostly it works instantly.


We’re done with the permissions for our administrator user.

Update December 2017: All App permissions

Since we got some feedback on the required permissions for the app, see the following screenshots for all activated permissions of that app:

For AAD, the following app permissions were used:


For Graph, these permissions have been set.



We hope, this clarifies the permissions.

Acessing groups through the Microsoft Graph API

Ok, now we should be able to use the API for Office 365 groups. For our demo, we are using Microsoft Graph API version 1.0 (which is the current version). The next attempt against https://graph.microsoft.com/v1.0/groups works as expected: We get all groups of the tenant – which is one single existing Office 365 group in our sample.


Since the API represents an OData interface, we can use expressions as filtering, paging and more. Here we reduce the output to the relevant properties with $select as parameter:



For a list of more OData options, see Use query parameters to customize responses and Supported queries, filters, and paging options | Graph API concepts.

Create a new Office 365 group with the Microsoft Graph API

We can create a new Office 365 group with a POST operation and the necessary data as follows. First, we simply copy the JSON output from above and adapt it as needed. We create a new group “My Demo 1” with some description and the necessary properties as here:

"displayName": "My Demo 1",
"description": "This is a demo group",
"groupTypes": ["Unified"],
"mailEnabled": true,
"mailNickname": "mydemo1",
"securityEnabled": false

An Office 365 group is defined by the group type “Unified”. This JSON-description must be pasted into the “Request Body”. So, let’ s execute this operation against https://graph.microsoft.com/v1.0/groups with a POST as here:


You should get a HTTP status code 201 (which means Ok, the request has been fulfilled and has resulted in one or more new resources being created.) and the runtime of the operation and some output.

To see, what properties can be used for a POST operation and what properties are read only check out the list at group resource type.

Set the owner of a group

When we create a new group with the Global Administrator with Graph Explorer, that user is automatically owner of the new group which is fine. If we do it (in part 2) with an app, there is no owner set. This means, that the user who requested the new group will not be able to access or to manage it. So, it’s essential, that we are able to set the owner of a group programmatically as well.

The good story is that we are able to do this with the Microsoft Graph API. See https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/graph/docs/api-reference/v1.0/api/group_post_owners how this works. Basically, we need to get the User Id of the owner first. We can get it by asking for the user by his UPN:



In our sample, the User ID is be2cab0f…

Also, we need the Group ID. To get a quick list of all groups, use this GET query:


…and copy the Group ID from the output as we did before with the User ID. Here it’s 79744859…

Now we can add that User Id to the list of owners. Create a POST operation in Graph Explorer wit the address of the desired group as follows:


The Request body needs to contain the JSON data of our new owner (the user’s address endpoint):

{"@odata.id": "https://graph.microsoft.com/v1.0/users/be2cab0f-1891-41d3-b153-ad15a62d68c9"}

This sets the owner of the new group to a specific user. We also need to add the owner as a member of the group. This is exactly the same method (the same JSON body with the same user), just the endpoint is members instead of owners:


The owner now can fully manage the group container object.

Create a new Office 365 group with PowerShell

Of course, we can use PowerShell as well. First, we connect to Exchange Online.

Connect-MsolService -Credential $cred
$session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange `
-ConnectionUri https://ps.outlook.com/powershell/ `
-Credential $cred -Authentication Basic -AllowRedirection
Import-PSSession $Session -AllowClobber

To see a list of all existing Office 365 groups, use Get-UnifiedGroup.

Now we can create a new group as described in https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt219359%28v=exchg.160%29.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-21472173… . There are a bunch of possible options, but this basic syntax is sufficient for the new group:

New-UnifiedGroup -DisplayName "My Demo 2" -Alias "mydemo2" `
-PrimarySmtpAddress "mydemo2@M365x127892.onmicrosoft.com" `
-Owner "admin@M365x127892.onmicrosoft.com"

The group gets provisioned in the same way as before with the Microsoft Graph API.

Check it in Outlook

Open https://outlook.office.com/ and discover the modern groups. “My Demo 1” should show up in the list of Office 365 groups.




It worked! The mail nickname is the email address with the primary domain defined in that Office 365 tenant. The email address can be changed later with PowerShell. To do that, see the details at Why we moved away from Exchange distribution groups to Office 365 groups and “Setting custom email addresses for the Office 365 group”.



Get an Office 365 group with Microsoft Graph

To access one specific group, we can filter that easily: To identify one group, the ID is added to the request. So you can get the ID from the Graph Explorer Request above.


So, in our case that’s an operation as here:


…and we get just this group.


Delete an Office 365 group

Now, deleting that specific group is easy. The HTTP operation is changed to DELETE.

When the query is executed, it delivers HTTP status code 204 (The server has successfully fulfilled the request and that there is no additional content to send in the response payload body).


The group has been deleted and should no longer be present in Outlook.



Deleted Office 365 groups are (nowadays) soft deleted. This means, you can undelete a group with the Active Directory Module and the PowerShell Cmdlet
Restore-AzureADMSDeletedDirectoryObject -Id <objectId>
as described in Restore a deleted Office 365 Group.

Source : techcommunity.microsoft.com

Microsoft Bookings now has multi-day bookings and customizable time increments


Tags:- Setup.office.com ,  office.com , office.com/setup

Keep in mind that when using the all-day and multi-day feature, the Office 365 calendar availability for your staff members does not work like it does for shorter services. We assume that you want your customers to be able to book you for valuable, longer-term services even if key staff have short, personal conflicts on a day that a customer needs you. This means that staff members can be booked for that service even if they are busy with short, personal appointments.

All day image 1.4.PNG

We’ll start rolling out these new features in the next week and we hope they help you deliver a better online booking experience to your customers and make Bookings a more powerful scheduling solution for your business.

Source : techcommunity.microsoft.com

New features in Microsoft Forms for educators at BETT 2018


Tags:- Setup.office.com ,  office.com , office.com/setup

Teachers use Microsoft Forms to create quizzes, polls, or surveys. They can quickly create a survey or quiz in just a few minutes, send to students to fill out on any device, and see the results in real time. Listening to millions of users’ voices, and leveraging latest Microsoft technology, we improved Microsoft Forms to be more collaborative and productive, by adding the following top-requested capabilities:

  • New question types: Teachers can ask students to correctly order items in a list, ask students to self-report, or develop and iterate through a grading rubric using our new ranking and Likert controls.
  • Education Resources (preview) in Microsoft Forms allows teachers to use professionally-created, standards-aligned assessments in their classes.
  • New collaboration features allow easier viewing and sharing of the Forms created in through Microsoft Teams or SharePoint Office 365groups.
  • Integration with PowerPoint (under development): Forms’ integration in PowerPoint will allow teacher to easily insert a quiz to a Power Point deck, adding to Forms’ integration with Excel, One Note and Sway.
  • Administrator control: Administrators will have clear controls over sharing Microsoft Forms outside the organization.
  • All.png

    Source : techcommunity.microsoft.com

Insider Fast: Outlook for Mac now supports creation of Office 365 Groups!


Tags:- Setup.office.com ,  office.com , office.com/setup

The Outlook & Groups team is hard at work to continuously bring new Office 365 group capabilities to Outlook for Mac. You can now create a group, starting with the 16.9 (171226) release! Groups in Outlook for Mac is only available to Office 365 subscribers.

The create group command can be found in the Outlook menu, under File > New > Group.


You can create a group in 3 easy steps:




Note that this feature respects the company policies set by your administrators. If you cannot find the create group command, then this capability might not be enabled for you. Please talk to your IT department for assistance.

We would love to hear from you, so please do provide feedback and report bugs, via Help > Contact Support. If you would like to see enhancements and additions to this feature, (or Mac Outlook as a whole), please vote for the idea on our UserVoice site (Help > Suggest a Feature)

Source : techcommunity.microsoft.com

Changes to Office and Windows servicing and support


Tags:- Setup.office.com ,  office.com , office.com/setup

Delivering a secure and productive modern workplace is a top priority for many of our commercial customers, and we’re committed to help. Last July, we took a big step forward in this journey with the introduction of Microsoft 365, a new product suite that brings together Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security.  Many customers are in the process of moving to one or more of these products, and they’ve asked us to clarify a few key points to help them with their upgrades.  Today – two years before the end of extended support for Windows 7 and Office 2010 (January and October 2020, respectively) – we’re announcing servicing extensions for Windows 10, changes to the Office 365 ProPlus system requirements, and new details on the next perpetual release of Office and Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) release of Windows.

Servicing extensions for Windows 10

Windows 10 is being adopted rapidly by organizations of all sizes, and as customers deploy the product they are implementing a modern servicing methodology we refer to as Windows as a service.

Many customers – including MARS, Independence Blue Cross, and Accenture – have made significant progress in moving to Windows as a Service, but some have requested an extension to the standard 18 months of support for Windows 10 releases.  To help these customers, we are announcing an additional six months of servicing for the Enterprise and Education editions of Windows 10, versions 1607, 1703, and 1709. (Additional servicing for Windows 10, version 1511 was announced in November.)  This extension will be offered via normal channels.  The chart below outlines the impact of these extensions for each of the last four Windows 10 releases.

Release Release date End of support End of additional servicing for Enterprise, Education
Windows 10, version 1511 November 10, 2015 October 10, 2017 April 10, 2018
Windows 10, version 1607 August 2, 2016 April 10, 2018 October 9, 2018
Windows 10, version 1703 April 5, 2017 October 9, 2018 April 9, 2019
Windows 10, version 1709 October 17, 2017 April 9, 2019 October 8, 2019

We will also offer additional paid servicing options for Windows 10 Enterprise and Education releases starting with Windows 10 version 1607. For more information, contact your Microsoft account team.

Updates on the Office 365 ProPlus system requirements

Office 365 ProPlus delivers cloud-connected and always up-to-date versions of the Office desktop apps. To ensure that customers get the most secure and efficiently managed experience from ProPlus and Windows 10 together, we are providing updates on the Windows system requirements for Office 365 ProPlus.

  • To clarify our current support practices for ProPlus running on Windows 10, ProPlus will not be supported on Windows 10 Semi-Annual Channel (SAC) versions that are no longer being serviced.
  • Effective January 14, 2020, ProPlus will no longer be supported on the following versions of Windows. This will ensure that both Office and Windows receive regular, coordinated updates to provide the most secure environment with the latest capabilities.
    • Any Windows 10 LTSC release
    • Windows Server 2016 and older
    • Windows 8.1 and older

We recognize that some of our customers deliver Office to their users via Remote Desktop and VDI. Later this year, Microsoft will deliver new Remote Desktop and desktop virtualization capabilities within the SAC release cadence of Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows Server. Join the Windows Server Insider program to get early access to these capabilities.

To learn more about these updates, visit the support page.  And to ask the experts, visit the Office Apps Tech Community page.

New details on the next perpetual release of Office and LTSC release of Windows 10

We recognize that some customers aren’t ready to move to the cloud and will instead choose to deploy on-premises or hybrid architectures.  For those customers, we’re announcing new details on the next perpetual release of Office and LTSC release of Windows 10.

Office 2019

Last year at Ignite, we announced Office 2019 – the next perpetual version of Office that includes apps (including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, and Skype for Business) and servers (including Exchange, SharePoint, and Skype for Business). Today we’re pleased to share the following updates:

  • Office 2019 will ship in H2 of 2018. Previews of the new apps and servers will start shipping in the second quarter of 2018.
  • Office 2019 apps will be supported on:
    • Any supported Windows 10 SAC release
    • Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2018
    • The next LTSC release of Windows Server
  • The Office 2019 client apps will be released with Click-to-Run installation technology only. We will not provide MSI as a deployment methodology for Office 2019 clients. We will continue to provide MSI for Office Server products.

Modern software not only provides new features to help people do their best work, but also new, more efficient manageability solutions and more comprehensive approaches to security. Software that is more than a decade old, and hasn’t benefited from this innovation, is difficult to secure and inherently less productive. As the pace of change accelerates, it has become imperative to move our software to a more modern cadence. In the past, perpetual versions of Office were released under the Microsoft Fixed Lifecycle Policy, with a term of 5 years of standard support and 5 years of extended support. Office 2019 will ship under a separate term with a reduced extended support period:

  • Office 2019 will provide 5 years of mainstream support and approximately 2 years of extended support. This is an exception to our Fixed Lifecycle Policy to align with the support period for Office 2016. Extended support will end 10/14/2025.
  • There is no change to the support term for existing versions of Office.

Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2018

The next LTSC release, Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2018, will be available in the fall of 2018.  In keeping with the previous Long-Term Servicing Channel releases, this release will have the same features as the Windows 10 Semi-Annual Channel release made available at the same time – with the usual exceptions (including apps that are often updated with additional functionality, including the in-box apps, Microsoft Edge, and Cortana).  This new release will also add support for the latest generations of processors, per the standard silicon support policy.  This release of Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC will be released under our fixed lifecycle policy with a term of 5 years of mainstream support and 5 years of extended support.

At Microsoft, we’re committed to helping our commercial customers deliver a secure and productive modern workplace – and that means helping them get current and stay current on Office and Windows.  Many customers are already in the process of planning their upgrades, and today’s announcements address feedback we’ve heard from them over the last few months.  Servicing extensions for Windows 10 will help customers who need a little extra time to implement Windows as a service; changes to the Office 365 ProPlus system requirements provide clarity for new ProPlus deployments; and Office 2019 and Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2018 will give customers who aren’t yet ready to move to the cloud a valuable set of new security and productivity features.


  • Announcement: Office system requirements
  • Announcement: Windows 7 support will end on January 14, 2020
  • Announcement: Windows 10, version 1607 Semi-Annual Channel end of servicing
  • FAQs: Serviced versions of Windows 10

Source : blogs.office.com

setup.office.com : Blogs

New administrator setting to manage external sharing of Microsoft Forms


Tags:- Setup.office.com ,  office.com , office.com/setup

We are pleased to introduce better administrator control over Microsoft Forms external and internal sharing. Administrators can now turn off or turn on the ability to send a form, share a form for collaboration, share a form as a template, or share form results with users outside of your organization.

To make changes to these settings in the Office 365 Admin center, go to Settings > Services & add-ins > MicrosoftForms. After a setting is turned off, only people in your organization will have access to that option, and only when they sign in.


This feature is under rolling out to all Office365 commercial tenant users soon by February 2018.

Source : blogs.office.com

setup.office.com : Blogs

Use Groups in the Outlook mobile app; Outlook Groups app is retiring


Tags:- Setup.office.com ,  office.com , office.com/setup

Last April, we introduced native support for Office 365 Groups in the Outlook mobile app. We’ve been improving the group experiences in the Outlook mobile app ever since, and today we’re pleased to share some new ways to get more done with Office 365 Groups right from Outlook.

  • In the next few months, we’ll be bringing you the ability to access all files that are stored in groups’ document libraries inside the Outlookmobile app.
  • We’ll also be bringing roaming favorites so you can pin groups, folders, and more to your navigation pane for easier access across Outlook in all your devices.

These enhancements complement the work we’ve been doing over the past nine months inside the Outlook mobile app, including group creation and editing, which shipped late last year, as well as the ability you see your groups’ recent files, which we introduced earlier this year. This work is a part of our continuing efforts to advance Microsoft 365 as the universal toolkit for teamwork and complements similar investments that we’re making in Teams and Yammer.


By embedding groups functionality into the Outlook mobile app, we’re investing in group experiences to make teamwork effortless, while removing the need to install and use a separate app. Office 365 customers who are using the standalone Outlook Groups app should make plans to transition away in the next few months. In mid-March 2018, the app will be removed from the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, and Microsoft Store. Then, the app will stop working on May 1, 2018. Between mid-March and May 1, users that have the app may continue using it, but after May 1, the app will not function.


For more details about the retirement of the app, please refer to this article. If you are an admin and received a notice today in the Office 365 Message Center, it means one or more people in your organization are using the Outlook Groups app. If you didn’t receive a notice in Message Center, you don’t need to take any action.


Thank you to those of you who used the Outlook Groups app over the years. Your feedback has helped to shape the Groups experience in Outlook—and helps us understand many other ways we can improve Groups experiences across Office 365. Please keep the suggestions flowing over in our UserVoice site.


Source : blogs.office.com

setup.office.com : Blogs

Announcing the February Teams Localization Contest on the Tech Community


Tags:- Setup.office.com ,  office.com , office.com/setup

Hi Office International Community! We’re looking for feedback on how the localized (non-English) version of Teams is landing in your market. We’re running a contest from February 12th to February 23rd to find language issues on localized versions of Teams and are giving away a $100 Amazon voucher to the top 3 contributors for highest creation of new, original posts.


Here’s how to enter:

  1. Using any browser, visit https://teams.microsoft.com or use the free Teams app from the App Store, Play Store or Windows Store. If you are new to Teams, have a look at the help content from Teams Help.
  2. Set your language: in Teams, click on your picture (right top corner or left bottom), select Settings, and in ‘Language’ select your native language.
  3. Use the meeting scheduling scenarios in Teams
  • Click on menu option Meetings (left bar menu, 4th option)


  • Click on Schedule a new meeting:


  • Schedule a one-time meeting and a repetitive meetings (click on Repeat and try different options):


  • Use the Scheduling assistant to change the time:



If you see anything you think should be fixed or improved, submit your entry by selecting  “start a new conversation” in the Competitions space with as much detail as possible:

  • Language
  • Description of issue
  • Steps to reproduce your issue
  • Device/OS/Browser
  • Current translation
  • Suggested translation
  • English text (if known)
  • Reason why you feel it should change
  • Screenshot


Competition Rules

Full details of the competitions, eligibility and rules are available in this post. Note: U.S. export regulations prohibit the export of goods and services to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria. Therefore, residents of these countries/regions are not eligible to participate. 

Thank you for supporting Teams, we encourage you to submit your feedback and contribute to improving the localization quality!

Source : blogs.office.com

setup.office.com : Blogs

Cortana helps you discover skills naturally, so you don’t have to remember the invocation phrase


Tags:- Setup.office.com ,  office.com , office.com/setup

Cortana as a personal digital assistant is great at keeping you on track with your commitments or reminding you about your mom’s birthday. These capabilities are surfaced very naturally because of Cortana can understand user’s intent. To invoke third-party skills on Cortana, users had to say a special phrase, called an invocation phrase, like “Open Domino’s”, or “Ask Darksky for the weather next weekend”. This is not a good user experience for an assistant because users often forget how to invoke a skill. We are happy to announce that users can invoke third-party skills on Cortana in a very natural way.


“Breaking barriers… Pushing boundaries”

Cortana can now intelligently suggest 3rd party skills when a user asks her for something. By leveraging the power of Bing Search and our years of investment in AI, relevance, and ranking, we have brought a more natural experience to Cortana users. Now users can naturally discover a wide range of 3rd party Cortana skills and accomplish those tasks with Cortana’s help.


So, if you want to find some brunch recipes or ask Cortana to help you find live music events, just say “Hey Cortana, can you help me find some brunch recipes” or “Hey Cortana, find live music events” and Cortana will recommend relevant 3rd party skills that can help you with the task at hand.


Rather than remembering the invocation phrase for a skill, users can now just speak naturally, and Cortana will recommend relevant 3rd party skills to complete the taskRather than remembering the invocation phrase for a skill, users can now just speak naturally, and Cortana will recommend relevant 3rd party skills to complete the taskThe experience is currently available for voice queries on Cortana for Windows and will very soon light up on other Cortana endpoints like our mobile app, the Harmon Kardon Invoke Speaker, and so on.


“What’s in the Box for Developers?”

For developers, it is a great opportunity to have your skills get discovered by more users who are trying to complete a task. Here are some things that you can do to improve discoverability of your skills:

  • Make sure your skill title and descriptions are indicative of your skill’s functionality.
  • In the skill publication process, we ask for metadata about your skill. Make sure you provide information which is comprehensive and accurate.
  • Work to ensure your skill is of high quality. Our ranker will consider skill quality and usage patterns when recommending skills to users.

    Source : blogs.office.com

    setup.office.com : Blogs

Mac Outlook adds multiple time zones features – available to Insider Fast with O365 subscription



Tags:- Setup.office.com ,  office.com , office.com/setup

Outlook for Mac just gets more powerful for you to manage your time across different time zones. We have just shipped two of our most-requested calendar features: display second time zone on Calendar grid, and allow setting of start/end time zones in events.


These features are now available to Insider Fast in version 16.11(180214) and after. Enabling second time zone in Calendar grid requires an O365 subscription.


You can new add a second time zone on the calendar grid so you can easily refer. To show the second time zone, go to Outlook Preferences > Calendar, or by right-clicking the grid to see the second time zone options :Second TZ.png


To schedule an event with a start time and end time being in different time zones (for example, a flight across time zones), simply toggle on the “Time Zone” option via Ribbon, or via menu Message > Time Zone:



We would love to hear from you, so please provide feedback and report bugs via Help > Contact Support. If you would like to see enhancements and additions to this feature, (or Outlook for Mac as a whole), please vote for the idea on our UserVoice site (Help > Suggest a Feature).


Q. I am on the latest version of Outlook for Mac 16.11 (180214), but I am not seeing the new features.

A: We are gradually rolling out the release of second time zone on Calendar grid, it will be fully released to all Insider Fast soon. So stay tuned if you don’t see the new feature for now. Also make sure you activated Outlook for Mac with an O365 subscription license

Source : blogs.office.com

setup.office.com : Blogs