Microsoft Announces Office 365 E-Discovery Changes, Plus New WebParts and Yammer Capabilities

Microsoft used its Microsoft Tech Community forums this week to announce Office 365 product changes and additions.

One change will affect electronic search-and-discovery operations for organizations that use SharePoint Online and Exchange Online. Microsoft will be "decommissioning" new searches and holds via the SharePoint Online and Exchange Online management portals, starting on July 1.

The policy change will affect using the eDiscovery Center in SharePoint Online and the Exchange Admin Center for electronic compliance searches and legal holds on content. On July 1, users of those management portals won't be able to initiate new searches or place new holds, according to Microsoft's announcement.

Microsoft is directing organizations that use the eDiscovery Center in SharePoint Online and the Exchange Admin Center to use the Security and Compliance Center in the Office 365 management portal instead for conducting new searches and placing new holds after June 30. The Security and Compliance Center is viewed by Microsoft has having greater capabilities than the other two portals.

Organizations can still access and modify their existing searches and holds that were created with the two management portals after June 30. They just won't be able to create new searches and holds after that date.

"All new cases should be created in the Security & Compliance Center," Microsoft's announcement clarified.

In addition, cases that were created using the two portals can't be migrated to the Security and Compliance Center, as the portals all have different architectures, Microsoft explained.

The use of the Security and Compliance Center requires having Office 365 global administrator role permissions in place. It's possible, though, for those administrators to assign access rights to the center. The center can be launched via the Office 365 App Launcher or via this URL.

New SharePoint Online WebParts
In other Office 365 news, Microsoft added three new WebParts for SharePoint Online tenants this week, although they are just accessible now to organizations that elect to get "first release" preview releases, and it's only rolling out to "10% of First Release customers," according to Microsoft's announcement. The new WebParts are a new "Image gallery," "Bing maps" and "Quick charts." They will show up in toolboxes when users create a Team News article or a Modern Team Site page.

The Image gallery WebPart is a graphical drag-and-drop file picker from a collection of images. It just works with the images that have been loaded to, or are already located on, a SharePoint Online site. The Bing maps WebPart lets users drop maps into pages. The Quick charts WebPart lets users create a chart from data and then publish it.

Yammer Device Use
Microsoft also announced this week that Office 365 reports will now show "Yammer device usage activity" in a dashboard or chart form via the Office 365 Admin Center. Organizations can see which devices types are used with Yammer, as well as their frequency of use. Yammer is Microsoft's enterprise social networking application that comes with many Office 365 subscription plans.

The announcements above all came via the Microsoft Tech Community, which Microsoft has previously described as a place for Q&A discussions with Microsoft personnel and subject experts. Lately, Microsoft has been announcing product changes there, too. Previously, Microsoft had used Yammer for its Q&A forums, but it switched to the current format to make the content show up better in searches.

Still, the Microsoft Tech Community may be obscure to organizations. The public can find more information about how to use it at this page, which contains video links.

When first announced in July, Microsoft had named it the "Office 365 Network," but later switched the name to the "Microsoft Tech Community."

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.


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