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Microsoft Adding Yammer Auditing Capability Next Month

Microsoft plans to add auditing and reporting capabilities to its Yammer enterprise social networking service, starting as early as next month.

When these capabilities are added, it will be possible for IT pros to view transactional information from Yammer users and administrators via the Office 365 Security and Compliance Center, which will display "a single searchable log." The information in the log file comes from "25 different Yammer operations spanning five categories," namely Users, Groups, Files, Admins and Network Settings, according to Microsoft's announcement.

Management Activity API
The reporting is enabled through the use of the Office 365 Management Activity API. This REST-based API is already used with the "SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Azure Active Directory" services to surface transactional information. The API is flexible enough to be tapped by organizations or the applications of independent software vendors. They can surface information into various monitoring and reporting tools.

The audit log history gets retained for 90 days, but IT pros can export it into a CSV (comma separated values) file. Tools such as Excel can be used to chart the information.

Microsoft typically rolls out new Office 365 features gradually to its subscribers. The new Yammer auditing and reporting capabilities will arrive in November at earliest. To use it, IT pros will need to turn on a setting called, "Start recording user and admin activity," as described here.

Yammer Standalone Going Away
In other Yammer news, Microsoft gave notice that it plans to "retire" its Yammer Enterprise Standalone subscription plan by January 1, 2017. New subscriptions and new seats can be added until Dec. 31, 2016 under most Standalone plans. After that point, existing subscribers can use the Yammer Enterprise Standalone service until Dec. 31, 2017.

The timeline is slightly different for Microsoft's Cloud Solution Provider partners. Sales end on June 30, 2017 for them, with the service terminating on June 30, 2018.

Microsoft typically has bundled Yammer with other applications available in its various Office 365 subscription plan offerings. The Yammer Enterprise product will continue to be available in those Enterprise plans. The Standalone version is getting axed because Microsoft wants to develop the integrated version going forward.

"We seek to unleash the power of Office 365 modern collaboration tools within Yammer, and we do so by strengthening Yammer integration with the broader Office 365 suites, and making it available as part of Office 365 suites offering," Microsoft's notice explained.

The Standalone plan also likely wasn't widely used. "Most customers will not be affected by this change," the notice stated.

Organizations can move to a new plan at any time and won't lose content in the transition, Microsoft is promising. However, IT pros will have to reassign the licenses. It can be done manually or in bulk using Office 365 PowerShell.

About the Author

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

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