OneDrive copy to Team Sites arrives


If you select a file in your OneDrive for Business and then select the Copy option you’ll find some new abilities.


You’ll now see that you get the ability to copy to a SharePoint Online Team Site. You can read more details about this ability at:

Copy files and folders from OneDrive for Business to a SharePoint Site

Note – Scripting must be turned off for personal sites If scripting is turned on for personal sites in your organization, the Copy command is restricted to copying within your OneDrive.

At this point in time the functionality is only available with Copy and not the Move command. Also, at this point in time the ability is not available in Team Sites.

Thus, for the time being, you can now Copy (but not Move) via a browser, files and folders from OneDrive for Business to a Team Site (but not the reverse). Hopefully, the other abilities such as Move and inside Team Sites also is not far away.

Providing admin access to OneDrive for Business

When a new Office 365 user is created they normally get provisioned with their own OneDrive for Business location. This is basically a dedicated SharePoint Site Collection per user into which they can upload and share their own private documents.

Each user is the only Site Collection administrator for their own OneDrive for Business location. This means, by default, even a global administrator doesn’t have access to a users OneDrive for Business location.

Of course, in a business, there can be the need for others to have admin access to a users OneDrive for Business, typically for compliance or even once the user has left the organisation. There are a number of ways of granting this access.

All of these methods will require you to have SharePoint administration rights in your tenant and then navigate to the SharePoint admin center.


Probably the easiest way to gain access to any existing user OneDrive for Business is simply to assign the appropriate administration user Secondary Site Collection rights to the site:

http://<tenant name>

You do that by firstly selecting the appropriate site in your list from the available Site Collections like so:


Once you place a check mark to the left of the OneDrive for Business Site Collections you will see a number of buttons become available to you on the Ribbon Menu across the top.


Select the Owners button.


Then select the Manage Administrators from the menu that appears.


As with any SharePoint Site Collection, you’ll see both the Primary Site Collection Administrator as well as any Secondary Site Collection Administrators. Remember, you can only have one Primary but many Secondary Site Collections administrators. So add the desired user in as a Secondary Site Collection Administrator field and then select OK.

The permissions for all the user OneDrive for Business sites will now update and when complete the added user will be able to access all users OneDrive for Business locations (typically by navigating directly to that URL).

Another way to achieve the same result, but for new or deleted users, is to navigate to the user profiles area from the menu on the left hand side of the SharePoint admin center.


This will take you to the following screen:


Here select Setup My Sites from the My Site Settings group at the bottom of the page.


Scroll down the list of options until you find My Site Cleanup


Here you can again effectively enter a Secondary Site Collection Administrator but for OneDrive for Business Site Collections where the user has been deleted.

If you continue to scroll down you will find a section called My Site Secondary Admin.


Here you can again effectively enable an automatic Secondary Site Collection Administrator to be allocated to a OneDrive for Business location when a new user is created.

Although really a double up from the first option shown is also worthwhile doing as a backup to ensure you cater for all new and any deleted users

The final way is of course to use PowerShell to enable permissions on users OneDrive for Business but I’ll leave that for a future article.


Beware that by adding additional Site Collection Administrators to a users OneDrive for Business users may see these additional admins as already having access as shown above when they go to share documents. It is recommended that you communicate this to your users in advance so they are aware of their compliance requirements.

So, in summary, remember that by default only the user has access to their OneDrive for Business location. You can easily assign rights for other users to access a users OneDrive for Business information using the methods outlined above. Once these rights have been assigned you can navigate to these locations using the URL for each users individual OneDrive for Business location.

CIAOPS Online training special offer

With 2016 drawing to a close, I thought I’d do a special offer on the Complete Course Catalogue for my online training academy you can find at:

The Complete Course Catalogue is an annual subscription that gives you access to every course I have created (including courses on Azure, Office 365, Yammer, SharePoint and more) and will create. Thus, if you sign up today you get access to the 25+ courses I have already created PLUS you’ll also get access to all the new courses I have in the works for 2017.

So the deal until December 25 and for a strictly limited number of takers is:

10% discount off the first year’s subscription ($60 value)

– a 1 hour remote consulting call with me that you can use for training, business mentoring or the like ($275 value)

– access to the private CIAOPS Facebook tech community to discuss and ask your questions in and share with other members ($120 value)

– free Getting Started With Skype for Business eBook ($10 value)

– free Beyond the Basics with SharePoint Online eBook ($10 value)

That’s over $450 in value plus what you’ll get from the online courses that include video lessons, downloadable notes, links and more.

As I said, this offer is strictly limited until the 25th of December 2016 or until sold out, so don’t delay. Sign up today to take advantage of this strictly limited learning opportunity.

To take advantage of this deal use the code MERRY2016 at checkout or click this link:

I look forward to seeing you in the CIAOPS Academy and Facebook Tech group.

Creating a new permission level in SharePoint Online

When users are given access to SharePoint Online they are typically given the ‘edit’ permission. The ‘edit’ permission allows users to not only create and edit documents but also to delete them. In some cases it may not be appropriate to do this. Luckily, with SharePoint you can easily create a new permission levels that is exactly like the edit permission, just without the ability to delete. Here’s how to do that.


Firstly, visit the location where you wish to create the new permission and select the COG icon in the top right hand corner of the screen.

From the menu that appears select Site settings. If you don’t see this option then you most likely don’t have the appropriate permissions to make these changes.


In the Site Settings page under the Users and Permissions section in the top left, select Site Permissions.


From the menu that appears across the top of the page select Permission Levels on the right.


You should now see a list of all the different existing permission levels available as shown above.

You could select the Add a Permission Level option from the menu across the top but that would require you customising a new permission from scratch. It is much easier to copy and then modify an existing permission to the level that you desire.


Since the Edit permission is the closest permissions level to the one we desire, select that to display its current settings as shown above.


If you now scroll to the bottom of this screen you will find an option to Copy Permission Level, which you should select.


This will now create a new permission level for you but copy over all the existing permissions as shown above. Enter a new name a description for this permission. In this case I will call call it Edit no Delete.


Make the desired changes to the permissions listed by simply checking or unchecking the individual permission. in this case I have unchecked the options to Delete Items and Delete Versions as shown above.

Scroll to the bottom of the page and Create the new settings.


You should now see the new permission level displayed in the permissions list as shown above, here Edit no Delete. If you need to edit this further, simply select the permission name.


Now, when you visit a location and want to set the permissions you will see your custom permission level as shown above that you can select and apply.

SharePoint gives you the ability to create as many custom permission levels as you desire. The trick is that it is easier to copy and modify an existing permission, rather than create a new from scratch. This article has shown you how to do just that.

Software will eat the world

This is the fifth part of my presentation “Making money from the cloud”. You can find the full slides at:

and the previous parts are at:

We live in exponential times

Consider the following

Major Trends

Macro Trends


If you consider all the trends in the changing IT environment the next questions that results is ‘Where should I invest for the future?’. Luckily, the answer to that is pretty simple. Software.

Marc Andreessen wrote an article back in 2009 entitled:

Why Software Is Easting the World

that I encourage everyone to read. In essence, it is saying the the IT world of the future is all about software. Every business, whether they are in IT or not will effectively become a software company given the amount of data it needs to analyse. Software provides automation, reducing costs. Software provides efficiency and a competitive edge, etc., etc..

Some other articles that echo this are:

Hardware is sexy, but it’s software that matters

from Seth Godin

Software is still eating the world

from Techcrunch

How robots, drones and artificial intelligence will change everything

from the Financial Post.

Those who only have on premises IT skill sets are fast being left behind by those who have embraced the world of IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) thanks to Azure, AWS and the like. However, the journey does not cease there. It will continue from IaaS to Platform as a Service (PaaS) and to Software as a Service (SaaS).

The reasons for retaining a complex system such as an email server on premises are pretty minute these days in the face of the pricing of global services like Office 365 Exchange Online. It makes more sense for the creator of something like Exchange to set it up, manage and maintain the system then sell it as a demand based service per user per month. Global corporations like Microsoft can get economies of scale that no one else really can, effectively making many computing services simply a utility much like electricity.

That trend means there is less need for Exchange engineers and technicians on premises. What happens to these people? Simple. If they don’t skill up they are going to struggle big time.

IT Professionals increasing face an environment that is all about DevOps. That is the intersection between being a developer and managing operations of computing resources. However, the key skill for that role is clear. It is software and more so coding. If you can’t code to some extent going forward you are not going to have a skill set sought by employers or businesses.

The classic example I see in the Microsoft eco-system is the lack of skills IT Professionals have with basic tools such as PowerShell. You should be using PowerShell to manage your on premises networks TODAY. You should be using PowerShell to manage Office 365 TODAY. You should be using PowerShell to manage Azure TODAY. Write once, run many should be the mantra of today’s IT Professionals but sadly it isn’t. The excuse is normally that ‘I don’t have the time to learn PowerShell’ to which my response is ‘your problem is NOT a time issue, it is a priority issue’.

The world of DevOps doesn’t mean you have to spend your whole day writing code or diving deep into APIs. What is does however mean is that you need to have a balance of skills in the software world, whether that is PowerShell, JSON, Visual Studio, or whatever. Software skills are mandatory for the future of the IT industry because that is the basis on which our future is built on. Software.

Just about every system we interact with today is done via the web. HTML, CSS, Javascript, etc are again key technologies I see few IT Professionals actually possessing or seeking to develop. Even automation tools as simple as If This Then That, Zapier, Microsoft Flow, etc are things most IT Professionals have NEVER seen, let alone used. These tools are the future of the IT Professional and a key skill that must be acquired because they are all the solution of some business problems simply created by connecting available software services together. You don’t need to writing C sharp code to be considered a developer by any means!

The great thing about software is that is all about the creativity of the human mind. That’s why software skills will always be in demand, because it is hard for a ‘machine’ to be artistic. Good software is an art and there is a shortage of good artists because so many have failed to update their skills and embrace the new world of software. Those that have now have a vehicle they could potentially use to develop mobile applications that could be sold to just about everyone on the planet with a mobile device, all without stepping outside their office. You can’t do that with hardware!

The take away here is that our world today and increasingly of tomorrow, is going to be dominated by software. If you can’t do software then you are going to be consigned to an unskilled role that it isn’t even worth a machine doing. There has never therefore been a better time than now to invest in software skills. Learn PowerShell. Learn how to deploy Azure JSON templates via scripts. Go and develop a mobile app using Microsoft PowerApps and Flow for starters. There has never been more opportunity for those who are willing to embrace the tenant that ‘Software is eating the world’ and a greater warning for those who ignore it.

Need to Know podcast–Episode 123

Marc is joined by Daniel Apps to talk all about the differences between the Microsoft monitoring products of System Center Operations Management and Operations Management Suite. Which is better? Is OMS replacing SCOM? Listen in for insight from Daniel Apps.

Marc and I also cover the latest Microsoft Cloud news in what will be out finale for 2016. Merry Christmas to all our listeners. Thanks for tuning in. We’ll see you all again in 2017.

You can listen to this episode directly at:

or on Soundcloud here:


or subscribe via iTunes at:

The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:

Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send us any feedback or suggestions you may have for the show.





Azure news from Marc

Calendar help preview

SharePoint smart filters 

OneDrive for Business admin console rolling out


Microsoft has commenced the roll out of a dedicated OneDrive for Business administration console as you can see above. You can read more details about this here:

New OneDrive Admin Center Preview


To access the new console you’ll need to have set your Office 365 tenant to first release and then visit:

As you can see from the screen shots here the console is currently divided into a number of menu options.

The Sharing option allows you control who outside your tenant can receive shared files.


I like the option here that allows an administrator to set options such as how long anonymous links remain.


The Sync option controls the sync client.


The Storage allows you to manage the default storage allocated to each user along with the retention time of deleted user’s OneDrive information.


The Device Access tab allows you to control access based on network location as well as controlling OneDrive policies on the mobile devices.


At the bottom you’ll also find the option to control how long data is retained when a device is offline.


The final tab allows you to control the Compliance of OneDrive for Business.

This new admin center for OneDrive for Business is still in preview but we expect to see more and more options become available with the eventual integration into the existing Office 365 admin center.

If you have Office 365 first release enabled, go and take a look!