Hello from the Office 365 Groups Engineering Team


Hi everyone!  I am the Group Engineering Manager for O365 groups.  I will be encouraging more of my engineers to participate in this forum  to help answer questions and share solutions.  


Let the fun begin!

60 Replies

Personally I am struggling to understand when you would use Groups over a team site over a Yammer group.


I was under the impression creating a Group would create a team site and a TeamSite would create a group (moving forward). I also understand that Groups are simply a SP team site dumbed down that also takes a little of other features from Office 365.


In order for me to be fully sold on groups I want to know where groups will be in 6 months time. Will they be fully fledged team sites with SPO feature set or are they going to be there own entity completely. Issue being silo'd information and how content can flow from Group to TeamSites so content is surfaced through aggregation or search.


We need a way to have quick creation of areas for collaboration on a team level (Co-Authoring, conversations, etc) then a way to make that flow to a Global area (Global INtranet made of Team sites) for the consumption across the Organisation. My first thoughts were Teamsites at a Global level, then below the Team site with a Yammer group attached etc giving the conversation function through the Yammer embedd/App on phones. Then by simply having a IA implemented using that and Approval workflows to push content up.


I would love to hear any input the community can give me, I am all ears because I really want this to work based on the Business Requreiments and not what we want the Business to use (Technology lead). Althouh Office 365 is the Platform we are going to use or already using :).


Many thanks and I look forward to your constructive feedback.



catching up after vacation, I can respond to this:

>>When will we be able to see and manage the site collections created by office 365 groups?


right now!  You can use SharePoint Online PowerShell commands Get-SPOSite and Set-SPOSite to see any site, including those created as part of a group.  The actions on these sites are limited today to only setting storage, because other options (owners, guest policy, delete/un-delete) are controlled by the group object in AAD.


We are working on also making these sites appear in the SharePoint Tenant Admin web interface.


Always happy for feedback on how we can improve manageability!

@Jeremy Mazner  @Jim Van Eaton



We chose to disable Groups for 365 rather then put up with this half baked implementation you guys are rolling out that does not allow for the sites to follow our companies governance model...

In regards to Delete/undelete do we have a solid timeline on when we're getting soft delete features for 365 groups? it's the terrifyingly big elephant in the room that accidently(or maliciously) deleted groups will be gone forever.



we have been using the MS cloud offering since BPOS times. We're a system integrator. Our work is customer / project centric and becoming more more recurring. We're in the midst of our digital transformation.

We're a 60+ employees company in 4 locations in Germany. Our main customer base ranges between 1000 and 30.000 seats and is usually resembled internationally. Our revnue is 60% cloud based. Just to give you some background information for context reason.


Our users are using mordern groups as project spaces, departmental or team spaces, technical spaces or just topic based spaces. Most of our customers in Germany are still stuck on single Office 365 services. So the need or the ability to use Modern Groups doesn't exist. Unfortunately! Personally as a long time SharePoint architect I'd propose to use the same methodology for planning an information architecture as we've been using it for SP for years. I'd love to see parameters that give us the ability to create modern groups modular. For example just the modern group without ODFB or Yammer or Planner, because I agree that finding the information you need is still key when thinking about where to put the information in the first place.


Just some thoughts from my side


k. g.




is it possible to create modern groups without an Exchange mailbox or calendar? I'd love to see the possibility to seperate different parts of modern groups.


k. r.



Not possible, Groups is based on Azure AD, EXO and SPO and you need the three blocks to have them working

@Ladislau Conceicao Hi, is it possible to let us know status of the Office Groups Guest access for Planner? I understand that its not part of current rollout so is this matter of weeks, months? just curious and also wanted to say big thanks for this long awaited feature.


best regards


EDIT: Please ignore. Restarting my Outlook web session made the popup menus on the three dots activate instead of opening the side bar.



Hello @Jim Van Eaton,


With the new people "side panel" I cannot remove people from a Group. If i click on the three dots menu, the sidebar opens with the persons profile. There is no Remove command that I can see.


I am using Safari on MacOS.


Am I missing something?

too easy! thanks for sharing the update Rob and keep using Groups and share you feedback

Not sure if this group conversation is still active? There are suggestions in this group conversation to use Set-UnifiedGroup xxxx -CalendarMemberReadOnly however is appears that parameter does not currently work. I raised a support request and was advised it was not working as this time. Is this currently a known bug and being worked on or is the documentation wrong and the feature not implemented yet?

It's a while since the topic was discussed, but I believe that Microsoft withdrew the parameter to improve how it worked. As you note, the parameter has not yet reappeared.

"CalendarMemberReadOnly" Functional description:
This functionality was built for education, where in a classroom students do not have the ability to move events or appointments that a teacher adds in the group. Any member can still create a meeting event and send to the group, however they cannot add an appointment in the group calendar or edit any existing meetings or appointments added by their teachers. Currently this feature works only in Outlook for Web (OWA) which is the prominent app that is used in education, especially by students.


To set this property, run this command -
Set-UnifiedGroup <group_smtpaddress> -CalendarMemberReadOnly:<$true/$false>

To view whether this property is properly set, use this command -
Get-UnifiedGroup <group_smtpaddress> -IncludeAllProperties | fl *calendar*


Please let us know the use cases you would like to have this functionality for, and the clients you would like to have it, so it will help us prioritize future developments on this better. 

The case for me that is most important is Education, I imagine I will have some companies with this need as well. Scenarios is Sales and Project teams where members should not ne anle to delete meetings only the manager and an assistant.

Greetings, not sure where to how to post in the regular blog. 


My questions does the next version of Office 365 (2019) bring GAL support to Outlook for Mac?


Oulook 2016 does now support GAL access on Mac. 


Open Outlook 

Click the Contact Search button in the ribbon at the top. 
(You can also use the address book icon when composing an email)


Make sure either All Folders or "Account Name" Directory is selected, and enter your search query. 

Sorry I did not explain the concern correctly. When comparing Outlook Windows / Mac, the Windows version has always had the ability to open the contacts section or click on the address book icon and see the whole GAL if the user has the GAL as the default address book. The Mac, uses EWS (Exchange Web Service) You have to submit a query to get a result.


So my question should be, when will MS meld both products Outlook Windows and Mac so that they work the same at functionally. As our Org grows, it would sure be nice to be able to scroll down the address book and see all the company employees, conference room, groups etc. 

This has been a request since at least Office 2011

Hi @Jim Van Eaton - When I describe O365 Groups and how they related to other services that depend on  O365 Groups I say that an O365 Group object is created in Azure Active Directory and this triggers the creation of an associated SharePoint site, Exchange Online Mailbox and an instance of Planner or at least a 'slot' for a future instance of Planner. I say that about Planner because of the differences in Planners created with an O365 Group (e.g. they are listed when you select Planner on the App Launcher)  vs. Planners created on channels in MS Teams.  My two questions are:  1) Does each O365 Group get a Planner or is the idea of a 'slot' for a Planner more accurate?  2) Is the O365 Groups team and the MS Teams team going to make the Planner experience consistent across O365 Groups and MS Teams?  Thanks - Greg