I am happy to announce the release of the 2024 edition of Office 365 for IT Pros. This is the 10th edition of the book, and I am humbled to have been a part of it since the 8th edition. It is an honor to continue the legacy of what Tony Redmond, Paul Cunningham, and Michael Van Horenbeeck started 10 years ago.
This book is a must for anyone working in the Office 365 space, and I am not just saying that because I am an author. Prior to being an author, I was a reader, starting with the very first edition, published back in 2015, up to the seventh edition.
The reason I state this book is a must is because, as an IT professional, I find it increasingly difficult to wrap my arms around all the additions and changes occurring in Office 365. This book (originally consuming as a reader and now an author) helps me keep up a handle on everything going on in Office 365. I think it will help you too.
Unlike the limitations of traditional publishing, we update this book monthly. Every month a team of seven authors and one technical editor curates all the additions, changes, and deletions from Office 365 into this book. So if you purchase the tenth edition, you will receive monthly updates through June 2024. Believe it or not, this release is our 97th monthly update of this book.
The majority of the authors are also consultants, helping companies implement these solutions into their business. This brings a lot of real-world experience into the book. So we are not only sharing the “how” but also the “why”.
While this book is massive, at around 600,000 words and 1,300 pages, it can be consumed in a few different ways. For someone looking to dip their feet in Office 365, this book can be read cover to cover and used as a practical learning tool. For an experienced Office 365 IT Professional who needs to brush up on a specific technology (and draw on the experience of some consultants), you can use this as a reference guide and jump into the chapter or section you need. Consume this book in whatever way benefits you the most.
When you purchase this book, it also ships with a Companion Volume. The Companion Volume covers valuable topics that used to be in the main book but no longer fit. An example of this is mailbox retention policies. While mailbox retention policies are still available in Exchange Online, all development is being directed toward Microsoft 365 retention policies, which protect data across all Microsoft 365 workloads, not just Exchange.
So what is in this book? Below is a summary of each chapter:
- The Microsoft 365 Ecosystem and Office 365: Outlining the role Office 365 plays in the Microsoft 365 ecosystem, how Microsoft’s data centers and networks serve users, and the commercial success of the service.
- Embracing the Cloud: Discusses the factors surrounding the movement of work to the Microsoft 365 cloud, the issues that might occur, and how you mitigate any potential problems to ensure a successful deployment.
- Managing Identities: Without an identity, no one can access or use a Microsoft 365 service. This chapter dives into the role of Azure AD, including hybrid directories and authentication, exploring topics like conditional access policies and cross-tenant access policies.
- Managing Tenants: Covers the basics of managing a Microsoft 365 tenant.
- Managing Users: A deep dive into how Azure AD user accounts work within a Microsoft 365 tenant and how to manage accounts during their lifecycle.
- Managing Exchange Online: Exchange Online is one of three core Office 365 workloads. This chapter covers details of how to manage Exchange Online and the differences between it and its on-premises counterparts. We explain what apps store in Exchange Online mailboxes and how to make use of functionality like archive and inactive mailboxes.
- Managing Mail Flow: Exchange Online processes a huge volume of inbound and outbound email. This chapter covers how to manage mail flow, connectors, transport rules, Exchange Online Protection policies, Microsoft Defender for Office 365 policies, email attack simulations, email investigations, threat explorer, and more. It also delves into topics such as DANE for SMTP, MTA-STS, Sender Rewrite Scheme, DKIM, and SPF
- Managing SharePoint Online: SharePoint Online is the second core workload delivering a document management service to Office 365 apps like Teams, Planner, and Viva Engage. It also encompasses OneDrive for Business, used for personal user storage. This chapter also reviews important components associated with SharePoint Online, like Microsoft Search, Syntex, and Viva Topics.
- Managing Microsoft 365 Tasks: Tasks span anything from personal tasks created with Outlook or To Do to group tasks created in Planner (and maybe even Project). Microsoft 365 treats tasks as a common object type supported by multiple apps, so we dive into the creation and management of tasks in Planner, Outlook, and Teams, including the plan-only versions used by Microsoft Loop task list components.
- Managing Video: Office 365 has long boasted a video portal. The current implementation is called Stream on SharePoint and reflects the use of SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business to store videos. This chapter explains how Stream works and how to tweak the Stream web app and player.
- Managing Groups: Microsoft 365 groups is a core identity and membership service used by apps like Teams, Planner, and Viva Engage. This chapter reviews how the Groups service works and covers details of other groups used by Microsoft 365, including distribution lists, dynamic distribution lists, and dynamic Azure AD groups.
- Teams Architecture and Structure: Now, with more than 300 million monthly active users, Teams is the third core Microsoft 365 workload. Teams consume services drawn from across the Microsoft 365 ecosystem to deliver its mixture of messaging, meetings, voice, video, and app services. This chapter describes the architecture and structure of Teams and the fundamentals of how Teams works.
- Managing Teams: Nice as it is to have everyone collaborating and connecting in Teams, the app needs to be managed, especially in large deployments. This chapter discusses the essential management tasks needed to keep Teams in good working order.
- Managing Teams Voice: Many organizations use Teams and the Microsoft Phone system as the foundation for their voice and calling infrastructure. This chapter covers how Teams voice works and how to select, deploy, and manage devices used with Teams.
- Managing Clients: This chapter tells you how to manage the different clients used by Office 365 applications, including Microsoft 365 apps for enterprise, Teams, and mobile clients.
- Managing Devices with Intune: Microsoft Intune allows organizations to manage devices connected to Microsoft 365. This chapter covers how to approach mobile device management.
- Managing Compliance: Compliance is a big topic. Office 365 E3 and E5 plans (and other Microsoft 365 licenses) enable functionality like data lifecycle management (retention labels and policies) and information barriers, both covered in this chapter, along with the legacy (but still powerful) Exchange Online mailbox retention policies.
- Managing eDiscovery: Once information is under control, it’s nice to be able to find data when you need it. This chapter covers how content searches, Microsoft Purview eDiscovery standard, and Microsoft Purview eDiscovery premium work.
- Managing Data Loss Prevention: Information leakage is a terrible thing. Data Loss Prevention (DLP) policies help users inadvertently share confidential or sensitive information when they shouldn’t. This chapter explains how DLP works in Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and Teams and how to build custom sensitive information types for use within Microsoft 365 compliance solutions.
- Managing Information Protection: Since 2016, Microsoft has invested heavily in building out an information management framework to allow Microsoft 365 tenants to protect email and documents with rights-management-based encryption. We explain how sensitivity labels and Microsoft 365 message encryption work and how to use sensitivity labels for container management (teams, sites, and groups).
- Managing Reporting and Auditing: In any reasonably-sized tenant, users generate tens of thousands of actions daily, most of which are captured as events in the unified audit log. This chapter discusses how the audit log works and, more importantly, how to retrieve and make sense of the audit events found there to answer questions about who did what and when. Office 365 Cloud App Security is also covered, along with lots of recommendations about how to generate reports about user activity.
- Managing Power Platform: The Power Platform is a great way to automate common user and administrative operations. Although designed to work without anyone needing to write any code, Power Automate needs to be understood. We explain how to exploit the major features of Power Automate and Power Apps here.
- Managing Tenants with PowerShell: Much, but not all, of Microsoft 365 can be managed using PowerShell. This chapter reviews the different PowerShell modules used to manage anything from mailboxes to licenses. It also dives into details of the Microsoft Graph API and how to use Graph API calls in PowerShell scripts to achieve even better automation, including how to use the cmdlets from the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK.
- Sponsor content: CodeTwo sponsors Office 365 for IT Pros and helps us keep the cost of the book at the same price it’s been since 2015. As a major independent software vendor (ISV), CodeTwo has many products designed to help Office 365 administrators. This chapter explains how CodeTwo software helps to deliver effective deployments of Office 365 and its associated technology.