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Office 365 User Tracking Improvements Arriving This Month

Microsoft is rolling out tracking and reporting improvements for subscribers to its Office 365 services, starting this month.

Three improvements are arriving, and there's a new API preview available, according to Microsoft's announcement. The improvements include a new "Office 365 activity report," a PowerShell cmdlet that can be used to search activity logs and broadened user-activity tracking capabilities. In addition, Microsoft is releasing a "preview" of its Office 365 Management Activity APIs.

The new APIs are for use by organizations or software firms that want to tap activity data associated with Office 365 services. The APIs can be used to pull activity information into reporting and compliance-monitoring solutions, although there's a consent process involved to make that work. The Office 365 Management Activity APIs are available currently as a "limited" preview, with sign-up available at this page.

The new Office 365 activity report feature works by compiling user activity across "SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, Exchange Online and Azure Active Directory." File use also can be tracked. The search output gets downloaded as a comma-separated values (CSV) file for further analysis. Microsoft is currently rolling out this feature to its Office 365 subscribers, and IT pros will see a link to the Office 365 activity report in "the Reports section of the Admin Compliance Center" when it arrives.

IT pros can also use a UnifiedAuditLog PowerShell cmdlet to search Office 365 activity logs. They can scope the search and send the results to a file.

Microsoft's announcement also indicated that it is making the tracking of user and admin activity more comprehensive across its Office 365 services. Currently, more than 150 events can be searched, but Microsoft is planning to expand that number in the future. Activity tracking currently works across SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, Exchange Online and Azure Active Directory. Microsoft expects to add tracking across Skype for Business and Yammer in a future Office 365 release.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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