Re-awarded as an MVP for the 11th Year

MVP_Logo_Secondary_Blue288_RGB_300ppiFor the last 10 years July 1st has always been a day that I both looked forward to and dreaded.  I’ve looked forward to it because its anniversary of the day that I was awarded the honor of being named as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for the first time. But I’ve also dreaded it.  Because no matter how many presentations you’ve made or how much you’ve answered questions on the forums or active you’ve been in the community, you always wonder if its been enough. But then sometime around mid-day the email arrives saying that you have been re-awarded for another year as an MVP.  That email arrived for me today around 11:40 AM (9:40 AM Redmond time). So for the 11th year Microsoft has decided that my contributions to the SharePoint and Office 365 community were sufficient to earn  me an MVP award again for the category of “Office Servers and Services”. 

But this coming year will be a little different than previous years because I plan to move towards partial retirement from my consulting career. Before you get the idea that I’ll be less involved as an MVP, think again. Being an MVP has always been about your contributions to the technical community over and above your regular job. So in the past I often took vacation time to speak at conferences or spent time on the forums before and after work.  Since I won’t be focusing on “earning a paycheck” anymore I’ll be able to devote even more time to community activities. I’m expecting my contributions to the community will go up as I move to retirement, not fade away.

So, I make this offer to Community Leaders

If you are looking for a SharePoint or Office 365 speaker for your event, and you can help me defray travel expenses, I will be willing to travel almost anywhere, at anytime to share what I have learned over the years.

SharePoint, Office 365, and Dynamics CRM are subjects that I’m passionate about. And my moving towards retirement is just a partial thing. I still plan to continue to do consulting and training for many years to come. If consulting/training opportunities come my way I will continue to work. Because that’s now I keep learning new things. But if paying jobs don’t happen to come my way then I’ll live off my retirement savings and spend even more time speaking and answering questions. 

So here’s to another year as an MVP. I think it will be an exciting one.

Presentation to Cincinnati SPUG: Protecting Your Content with SharePoint DLP

security and compliance centerLast week I presented a talk to the Cincinnati SharePoint User’s Group entitled, “Protecting your Content: Demystifying Data Loss Prevention (DLP)
in SharePoint 2016
”. I couldn’t make it to the user group in person, but they were nice enough to let me present it via Skype. At the end of the talk I promised to post my slides.

You can download a read only copy of the slides from the talk using the link below:

Protecting your Content: Demystifying Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

Changing Default Permissions in Office 365 Group Sites

CloudLockChanging the permissions assigned to the default Owners, Members, and Visitors groups in a SharePoint site is easy.  You just navigate to Site Settings > Site Permissions.  Then select the group whose permissions you want to change and assign them a new permission level using the Edit User Permissions button in the Ribbon.  But that won’t work in the Site created behind an Office 365 Group.  When you try to use the same procedure you find that the Edit User Permissions button is greyed out if you select any of the built in administrative groups.  (See the Screenshot below.

EditGroupPermissions

The problem is that Office groups are created when you create a Security Group in Office 365. By default that security group is added to the built-in Members group of the Site Collection.  To make sure that you don’t inadvertently lock users out of the site Microsoft disables your ability to change the permission on the default Administrative groups when using an Office Group based site. 

But there is still a way to modify the permissions for the users in the groups.  If you navigate to the home page of the site and select Site Permissions from the Settings menu (the gear) you will see a panel open on the right hand side of the browser window.  Under Site Members you will see the security group that provides the basis for the Office group you created. If you select Edit under that group you can change the permissions for the members of the group to either Read or Full Control. However, instead of changing the permission level for the group it will actually move the security group to either the Site Visitors or Site Owners groups respectively.

O365Change Group permissions

But what if I want to change the default group’s permissions to Contribute instead of Edit? To do that you’ll need to use two different SharePoint groups. 

  • First, use the Site permissions panel to move the underlying security group from the Site Members group to the Site Visitors group.  This will give all your users Read permissions to the site.
  • Second, click on the Advanced permissions settings link at the bottom of the panel.  This will take you to the regular site permissions page that you are used to.  Now you can create a new SharePoint group and assign it whatever permission level you want.  After you create the group add the same security group you moved above as a member of the new SharePoint group.  Since SharePoint permissions are additive this will give all your users both Read permission and whatever new permission level you assigned, for example Contribute.

I hope that clarifies how to manage Permissions in the new Office 365 group sites.  Since Team sites are based on Office Groups, the same procedure applies to any Team sites you’ve created.

Dogfood 2017 Conference Slides

Dogfood2015_thumbI really enjoyed my time at the Dogfood Conference in Columbus on Friday. The attendees were great and my talk on OneDrive Sync was well attended. There were lots of questions, but I was still able to power through my slides and the demos.  I want to express my thanks to the conference organizers and the attendees for the wonderful conference. I really enjoyed myself and I hope to be invited back to speak again next year.

I promised attendees that I would post the slides, so I’ve uploaded them here.  If you didn’t get a chance to respond to the survey I posted you can also find a link to that here:

Slides – Intro To OneDrive Next Gen Sync: What is it, how does it work, and can I manage it?

Short Survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZZPWVN6


OneDrive Sync Now Supports ONLY NTFS

OneDriveNextGenSyncAn update to the OneDrive Next Gen Sync client that rolled out beginning in early January has limited where you can place the sync folder for your OneDrive files.  The target is now required to be a New Technology File System (NTFS) formatted drive.  When commenting on this Microsoft says that non-NTFS drives have never been supported, but that the client didn’t check in the past.  The change, according to Microsoft, is just tightening up the error checking in the OneDrive client and not implementation of a new feature.  According to Microsoft that’s why the change was released with no notice. It should be noted that OneDrive system requirements don’t list the NTFS limitation.  Resilient File System (REFS), Microsoft’s newest formatting, is also not supported.  User’s should plan to update the format of their drives to NTFS if they plan to use the OneDrive Next Gen Sync client.