Another great management option for Office 365 is to use PowerShell, a command line interface that connects to Office 365 via the Internet.
Whilst it may seem daunting to people unfamiliar with working on the Command Line, it is simpler than it seems. This blog post will guide you through the basics of connecting to PowerShell.
Set up your computer to use Office 365 PowerShell
Firstly, you need to set up your computer with the necessary PowerShell modules. This only needs to be done once, however you need to have administrative permissions on the computer. Unfortunately, Microsoft has made this part very confusing, as there are multiple versions of the PowerShell module available.
The newest version is known as the Azure AD PowerShell module and is distributed via the PowerShell Gallery. This unfortunately means that you cannot download the module directly. Instead, you will need to use the PowerShellGet module, which might not be available on your system. In this case, you will have to install the module by using one of the methods detailed in this article.
An older version of the module, known as the Windows Azure Active Directory PowerShell or MSOnline module is also available. Like the Azure AD module, it is also being distributed via the PowerShell Gallery, however an MSI installer version can be downloaded from here.
Both the Azure AD and MSOnline modules also have a Preview version, further contributing to the confusion. What is even worse, some functionalities are only available in specific module versions, thus it might be necessary to have multiple versions installed and to use them interchangeably.
Connecting PowerShell to Office 365
Regardless of which version of the module you install, connecting to Office 365 is performed by executing a cmdlet. To connect via the Azure AD module, use:
To connect via the older MSOnline module, use:
You will be prompted for credentials. Enter the full UPN (User principal name) value of your Office 365 administrator account as well as your password. Depending on the settings you have configured, you might be asked to perform additional verification via Azure MFA.
Connecting PowerShell to Exchange Online
To connect PowerShell to Exchange Online, you will need to configure the execution policy to allow execution of signed PowerShell script. You can find detailed steps in this article. You need to perform them only once on each machine you will be connecting fromOnce the execution policy is configured, you need to create a connection to Office 365. You can do this by typing (or copying/pasting) the following into PowerShell.
NOTE: To paste into PowerShell you use Right Click. Here is a video on how to use Copy and Paste in PowerShell.
$Session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri https://outlook.office365.com/powershell-liveid/ -Credential (Get-Credential) -Authentication Basic -AllowRedirection
Once this is in the PowerShell window, press Enter to execute the command.
Now you simply type in the username and password for an Administrator account in your Office 365 and click OK. You may see some warnings, but they are part of the process.
You are now authenticated into Office 365 and have a session open. The last step is to fetch all the available cmdlets by using the following PowerShell command:
You should now be connected.
Now you have gone to all the trouble of connecting to PowerShell, you should run a task to prove that it works. Type the following into the PowerShell window and press Enter:
You should now see a list of all the users in your Office 365 account that have mailboxes.
This section will explain the process you will need to follow in order to setup Nova for SharePoint Online reports. The process will take you through granting the existing Nova Reporting service account permissions to read SharePoint data and setting up the Site Collection reports with the Nova application.
Granting access to the Nova Reporting service account
1. Log into the Office 365 portal.
2. In the navigation pane on the left, under Admin centers, select SharePoint. This will take you to the SharePoint admin centers in a new window.
3. In the Admin center, click on Sites and select the Active sites button.
4. An active site need to be selected from the list in order to display the information blade. Once site you would like to add into Nova Reporting is selected, choose Permissions and then Manage.
5. A new blade window will come up with two options. In the search box search for the name of the Nova Reporting service account you used when you initially signed up for Reporting, add the account and click on Save.
NOTE: If when you signed up you chose Automatic Signup' then the service account will be called 'RadarReporting'
6. The permissions should now be applied to the service account.
NOTES: Sometimes issues in the back-end replication can lead to this not always being the case. To confirm that all has been applied correctly on Microsoft's servers, navigate to your site collection's Administrator Management page. The service account should be listed in the box with the other admins.
Adding in your site collection in Nova
NOTE: You must have the Radar Classic or System Administrator roles to complete the following steps.
1.Log into Nova, and go to Settings (the cog icon in the top right corner)
2.From the menu, select Reporting from the Application Settings section
3.Select SharePoint Reports and add add the Site Collection(s) you granted access in steps above. You can do this by either:
a.Entering the SharePoint admin URL for the tenant and clicking Update. This will collect all of the site collections automatically (recommended), or
b.You can add one or multiple Site Collections manually by clicking Add Site Collection, and entering the URLs. Then click Add Site Collections.
4.If the rights are granted correctly the status will change from Pending to Verified after next collection.
After successfully adding your service account, the dashboard will be the first screen you will come across. Here, you will see a variety of widgets already pre-built into Nova.
Dashboards give you a high level insight into your Office 365 data. Here is an example of a dashboard that shows information about an Office 365 tenant:
See dashboards in action in this video by clicking here.
NOTE: The initial look of your dashboard will depend on your role within Nova. For more on roles, read the Quadrotech Nova User Guide.
Many of the charts allow you to hover on segments and drill down to get more detail. For example, for the Top Mail Recipients widget, selecting a bar and clicking View Data will give you additional data on the widget, including department, and messages received in the past 7 and 30 days.
For a pie chart, hovering over a section will give you specific data also. For example, the Inactive Mailboxes widget will show the number and percentage of active and inactive mailboxes, as seen below.
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