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Understanding Office 365 Groups Limitations and Technical Boundaries
Understanding Office 365 Groups Limitations and Technical Limitations

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Hi everybody! Today we’re carrying out a deep dive into understanding Office 365 Groups technical limitations and limitations, and providing a couple of guidelines to help you overcome!

Office 365 Groups also it Governance

Microsoft defined a brand new collaboration milestone with Office 365 Groups – it’s the glue that connects all of your Office 365 services. Whenever you enable Office 365 Groups,  companies as well as their employees collaborate more proficiently by integrating multiple services in a single interface. Soon, just about everything should be a Group and can use SharePoint as central data repository. Microsoft managed to get simple to create new Groups just about everywhere at work 365, which makes it quite simple for workers to produce and test out such groups.

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What does all this mean for governance across all individuals services? Native Groups settings assist you to enforce certain policies, for instance protecting your Group’s content against unauthorized access. However, the default settings aren’t enough to make sure comprehensive governance controls.

While using the default settings, there’s certain to be chaos, and it’ll lose the control of shared data. To prevent this, I wish to cause you to conscious of the default settings as well as their limitations, which should be supplemented to attain strong Office 365 Groups governance.

1. Understanding Office 365 Groups Limits

Automatically, each and every user has the capacity to create as much as 250 Groups. This limit, however, doesn’t affect Office 365 managers. The whole tenant can host as much as 500,000 groups total. This might seem like a wide array, but is simple to achieve when workers are tinkering with Groups –  simply developing a new plan in Microsoft Planner results in a new Office 365 Group.

We lately saw this the following at AvePoint. A regional salesforce accidentally produced two Groups for the similar exact purpose coupled with to delete one – however they deleted the incorrect one. When you delete an organization, it’s gone forever. However, soft delete is on Microsoft’s roadmap.

2. Understanding Public or Private Groups

While developing a new Office 365 Group, the requester has careful analysis declare the audience as private or public. The default value is public, meaning all tenant users are instantly granted permission into it. It is simple to change this value to personal, but consider how frequently employees will forget that.

Microsoft states the information is protected and no-one can can get on if they doesn’t have permission to do this. Essentially, that’s correct, however this concept is dependant on SharePoint permissions. If every tenant user will get use of each public Group automatically, they may also view and open all of the data in individuals Groups.

Just a little secret exists behind the curtain and it is accessible via PowerShell with regards to Office 365 Groups permissions. You should use the HiddenFromAddressListsEnabled  cmdlet and hang it to ”True“. This can hide the audience in the organization’s public directory, providing you with yet another layer of security and control which are more sensitive Groups.

Understanding Groups

3. Understanding Office 365 Groups Permissions

Bear in mind that tenant users will obtain access to each new public Office 365 Group. A whole lot worse, they can also get edit legal rights towards the entire Group site collection and can change increase documents. People from the owner‘s Group may even become site collection managers. What this means is they’ll obtain access to all of the special features like Audit Logs, Site Collection Features or they even delete this website collection. Is that this intended? In SharePoint directly, we’re extremely worried about extremely high privilege roles.

With many controls left for your finish users, how will it manage Office 365 Groups?  We’ve another really good blog that can help answer this thorough by supplying Office 365 Group administration methods that are offered natively at work 365.

4. Understanding Groups Discussing Permissions

Even when a workplace 365 Group isn’t public, people may have the capacity to talk about this Group with anybody –  even with exterior people, if configured within the tenant. So, what goes on towards the sensitive data, which the organization most likely has shared within Groups?

5. Understanding Office 365 Groups External Users &amp Collaboration

Another default Office 365 Groups setting is the opportunity to share an organization with exterior those who are already indexed by the organization directory. Which means exterior individuals with a workplace 365 account out of this tenant is going to be regarded as internal, and for that reason can further share permissions with anybody, even when discussing with “real” exterior users is illegitimate.

6. Understanding Groups Storage

Office 365 Groups Site Collection won’t come in the central SharePoint Online administration, which his significant simply because they can’t be managed after that through the interface. And automatically, there’s no storage limit for Office 365 Groups. Thus, it is simple to achieve the SharePoint storage limit.

Your Office 365 Groups Questions Answered by AvePoint

Whenever we now re-think each one of these default values, we understand the next problems:

  1. Group sprawl
  2. No access control towards the Groups content for internal and exterior colleagues
  3. Rapid data growth without limitation

With this thought, it’s better to configure governance policies to get back control of Office 365 Groups for tenant managers. You can’t cover every governance wish you’ve, but a minimum of you need to use the accessible abilities.

Ok, so what can we all do?

  1. If you want greater than 500,000 Groups, you are able to give Microsoft a ask and call for any greater limit.
  2. If you wish to set the default Groups category to ”Private“ or get rid of the “Public” option entirely, you’ve got no choice.

Nevermind! Fortunately, we are able to configure settings #3 through #6 and for that reason address the 3 pointed out problems.

1. Overcoming Group Sprawl

Limit the audience of colleagues who are able to create Office 365 Groups:

A very suggested method of overcome this issue may be the limitation of permission to ensure that its not all user has the capacity to create Groups. This can be accomplished by altering work 365 Groups template and developing a dedicated security group, which provides coverage for all qualified Group creators. This really is only possible via PowerShell and will also be described in high detail inside a later technical publish.


Basically allow the development of Office 365 Groups just for a particular security group, will i should also add some managers for this group to allow them create Office 365 Groups?


It depends. This will depend on how you feel an “administrator.” In addition, some built-in managers is going to be qualified to produce Groups, many others won’t. The list below of managers can create Office 365 Groups, individually to be person in the pointed out dedicated security group or maybe Groups are deactivated entirely:

  • Global Managers
  • User Management Managers
  • Mailbox Administrator
  • Partner Tier1 Support
  • Partner Tier2 Support
  • Directory Authors

Best Practice:

Let merely a couple of people create Office 365 Groups or disable creation entirely. The above mentioned pointed out managers it’s still in a position to create Groups through the Office 365 Admin Center or via SharePoint (only).

Group Classification:

To be able to set up a better summary of all existing Office 365 Groups, you are able to classify all of them with  metadata. Within this situation, you are able to configure via PowerShell (only) a summary of keywords, that a Groups creator can pick while creating a new Group. The important thing word will end up a house of the Group. This is comparable to the already known property bag values for any site collection.

Understanding Office 365 Groups metadata

The Great: I’m able to add or alter the Groups classification for existing Groups.

Unhealthy: This really is the best metadata tag we are able to add.

The Ugly: Selecting configured keywords for any new Group is just obtainable in the SharePoint interface, although not in almost any other Group creation access point.

Best Practice: Consider adding keywords for your Office 365 Groups to be able to structure them. To do this, use SharePoint just for Groups creation or PowerShell after creation. Third-party tools will also help.

Groups Naming Policies:

Additionally towards the classification abilities, we are able to also define prefixes and suffixes for Office 365 Group names to be able to classify them. Several prefix or suffix can be done. One prefix or suffix could be just text, or also let Office 365 read out account attributes in the user, who produces the Group. This is actually the &ltDepartment&gt within the screenshot below for example.

Understanding Groups naming policies

You may also define a “blacklist” of words or figures which are allowed for Group names. If this type of word can be used for any new Group, the consumer will receive a corresponding dialogue box.

Understanding Office 365 Groups

Be cautious: Naming policies is only going to apply when designing a brand new Office 365 Groups through the Office 365 Admin Center as well as in the Mail or People view, although not in SharePoint and Planner.

Best Practice: Use naming policies for the Office 365 Groups to be able to separate them from standard SharePoint sites or email groups and reserve certain names, that are planned for use for other purposes.

Monitoring Group Sprawl:

For that easiest summary of all of your Office 365 Groups, I suggest the central group view at work 365 Admin Center. We are able to manage and delete all groups after that. In addition, this method is suggested, because:

  1. The Particular Groups site collections aren’t visible within the SharePoint Administration Site
  2. As A Swap administration, Groups produced within Planner or SharePoint aren’t visible
  3. The ”Discover” view in SharePoint may not be user-friendly with lots of Groups

PowerShell can also be always a choice, although not as simple to use because the central Group view at work 365 Admin Center.

Restrict Permissions:

For permissions and discussing with internal and exterior colleagues, there’s also a few PowerShell configurations and workarounds obtainable in SharePoint. For that Office 365 Groups template, we are able to configure the next three qualities:

  • AllowGuestsToBeOwner
  • AllowGuestsToAccessGroups
  • AllowToAddGuests

If these choices are disabled – or at best partially disabled – the safety of recently produced Office 365 Groups is going to be much more powerful. However, we can’t manage granular permissions – with a brand new Group, there are only visitors, people and proprietors.

Furthermore, we are able to define URLs, which result in webpages, where one can share usage guidelines for internal and exterior colleagues. This can drive user awareness about shared Groups content, that could be sensitive.

  • GuestUsageGuidelinesUrl
  • UsageGuidelinesUrl

For existing Office 365 Groups and share permissions, I’m able to only recommend the manual workaround: Manage the member’s permissions within the Group’s Site Collection or use PowerShell.

Guidelines: Limit the permissions of Group people using the available template options. Address individual needs following a Group’s creation via Office 365 Groups PowerShell or use third-party tools to handle granular permissions proactively.

Limit the Group’s Storage:

The 3rd issue is manageable via SharePoint Online PowerShell cmdlets. We are able to think about the Group site collections as standard site collections and give a storage quota. The requirement of manual quotas can also be manual storage management, which you’ll configure in SharePoint Online settings. Although this is an excellent and simple method of limit the storage growth, it’s still merely a workaround, because we can’t configure Group quotas proactively with native abilities.

Best Practice: Monitor the information growth for the SharePoint and Groups storage.

Understand Groups storage.

If storage keeps growing quickly, I suggest configuring manual SharePoint storage management and apply quotas for the Groups later on.

Summary: The default Office 365 Group settings aren’t enough for solid data governance. However, Microsoft already delivers a few options, which just require your configuration to be able to increase security and structure. Nonetheless, these options cannot satisfy complex governance needs, so we also identified inconsistencies when it comes to classification or naming policies.

You don’t need to worry though, because Microsoft is continuously increasing the Office 365 features as well as share its Office 365 Groups roadmap around. Possess a consider this or seek third-party tools to get rid of any security concerns and begin using the advantages of Office 365 Groups.

Happy “SharePointing“!

If you are interested and searching to learn more about the objective of Groups and why you need to care, read this great video publish by Dux Raymond Sy, where he interviews Microsoft’s Program Manager for Groups, Christophe Fiessinger.

Understanding Office 365 Groups

Understanding Office 365 Groups