MS wants me to maintain two records for each Contact in “People” as workaround to multiple issues that, at the root of the problem, are problems with how Exchange works on Mac. One contact in the admin side as external user, and the other in People as a Contact. I simply can't do it. I don't have the time, or resources. This is the ultimate ‘workaround’ for the following chain of design flaws, bugs and inadequate pre-release testing (imo):
Categories can not be used in Office 365 Basic. Therefore, one is to use Outlook Premium, installed locally. The problem with this first ‘workaround’, is that Categories does not work on Mac. There’s a known issue and there is no update/fix in sight, although MS says they are looking at ways to resolve this
As my own workaround, I assigned the contacts in People to various “Contact Lists” as needed (Newsletter, Followup Needed, Do Not Contact, and about 10 others). A volunteer admin person was then going to do a bunch of backlogged data entry, adding contacts and assigning them to these Contact Lists. After many hours of pain sharing my address book/Contacts to her (because, again, Mac users can not run the powershell scripts required, cannot install VM, cannot install powershell for Mac), I learned the Contact Lists can not be shared AND they do not get refreshed when the Contact’s info changes.
The workaround to the workaround to the work around is:
A) in tech console
Go to – Exchange, Recipients, Contacts
Create external users (Tech Admin)
Create Distribution List (Tech Admin)
B) Add contacts
Go to - – Exchange, Recipients, Groups, Distribution
Add the external users to the distribution list – manually*
Add internal users, too, if you wish. *To do this via batch upload – create Excel and follow directions but ONLY if you have a windows machine.
The required names for the .csv file column headers for a batch upload to a distribution list are:
Note – 3 types – security group, distribution list and office 365 group
^^^ Sounds ok, right? Unfortunately, no it is ins't ok. Now, I have to maintain those Contacts in TWO places. One in People, and the other in Exchange. I am a volunteer and I do not have the time to do this. The process is tedious, time consuming and sets us up to make errors that could have asignificant impact, such as not supressing a contact who has said “do not contact”. That could land us in court. All of these problems are due to Office 365 bugs and design flaws that make it impossible to do admin work. The real workaround I'm asking for, which would significantly reduce Microsoft’s costs in support calls and the like, is to send each of us who have logged this issue a Windows machine, and to keep doing this for other admins, until the problem is resolved. PLEASE Microsoft. I need your help.