Office 365 for IT Pros (2024 Edition): The Ultimate Guide to Mastering Microsoft's Cloud Office System

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Why buy separate books to learn about Microsoft 365, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, OneDrive for Business, Microsoft Teams, eDiscovery, Information Protection, Compliance, and PowerShell? Office 365 for IT Pros covers all these topics and much more.

Intensely practical and offering the most up-to-date coverage of its topics, Office 365 for IT Pros (2024 edition) is essential reading if you want to maximize your use Microsoft 365. Because of the large number of updates Microsoft releases monthly for Azure AD, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Teams, OneDrive for Business, and the rest of the Office 365 ecosystem, we publish a new book every month and make the book available to our subscribers. Each monthly update we deliver to subscribers is a completely refreshed and up-to-date book.

The Main book was last updated on 1 May 2024. Subscribers receive monthly updates for the main book and updates for the companion volume as we release them. We're currently at monthly update #107, so we think we've mastered this process!

Two books are included in this package in both EPUB and PDF formats. You'll get the main book and the companion volume. The companion volume covers topics that used to be in the main book (in previous editions) together with other information that we can’t fit into the main book but still consider interesting and valuable. Many of our readers convert the EPUB version to MOBI to read the book on Amazon Kindle devices.

Hundreds of Updates Annually

Satya Nadella, the Microsoft CEO, acknowledges that Microsoft ships hundreds of updates for Office 365 apps every year. When you take Entra ID (Azure AD) and other Microsoft 365 components into account, a tenant administrator might have to cope with five hundred individual changes annually. Office 365 for IT Pros is the only book that covers changes on a monthly basis. Until we publish the next edition, your subscription allows you to download monthly updates to keep pace with developments in Office 365, meaning that Office 365 for IT Pros continues to be a valuable reference long after you first read it. To give some insight into the volume of changes we process, the Office 365 for IT Pros team processed over 400 major updates to chapters for the last edition.

Subscribers can download the latest files from their Gumroad account or by using the link in the receipt issued on purchase. For more information, see our FAQ. Full details of changes made to the book are in our change log.

Tracking Cloud Developments

Written by a team of highly experienced authors, most of whom are Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs), Office 365 for IT Pros (2024 edition) is a practical, hands-on reference, based on years of hard-won experience from real-life projects since Microsoft launched Office 365 in June 2011. Because we keep an eye on what Microsoft does, you don't have to worry about making decisions based on outdated material - we do the work for you. We explain how the technology works and why it works as it does, including when new technology like Microsoft 365 Copilot comes along.

And because we’re always up-to-date, Office 365 for IT Pros is totally unlike any printed technical reference you’ve ever used.

The Massive Scale of Microsoft Cloud Services

In October 2023, Microsoft reported that they have sold over 400 million paid seats for Office 365 (enterprise plans). At the same time, Teams had 320 million monthly active users. Office 365 for IT Pros (2024 edition) includes in-depth coverage of essential business productivity features such as Teams, Microsoft 365 Groups, Stream, Planner, Power Automate, Power Apps, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Viva Engage, and OneDrive for Business. You'll learn about the Microsoft Purview solutions like eDiscovery, data lifecycle management (retention), and data loss prevention. We explain how to exploit the audit log to understand what's really happening inside a tenant. A chapter on Microsoft Information Protection teaches you how to protect messages and documents with sensitivity labels.


Office 365 for IT Pros chapters are:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Managing Identities: Without an identity, no one can access or use a Microsoft 365 service. This chapter dives into the role of Entra ID, including hybrid directories and authentication, exploring topics like conditional access policies and cross-tenant access policies.

4. Managing Tenants: Covers the basics of managing a Microsoft 365 tenant.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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

8. 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. Microsoft makes the point that Microsoft 365 Copilot depends on “a rich abundance of data stored within Microsoft 365 repositories.” Make sure that SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business work by absorbing the knowledge from this chapter.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. Teams Architecture and Structure: Now with more than 300 million monthly active users, Teams is the third core Microsoft 365 workload. Teams consumes 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.

13. 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.

14. 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.

15. 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.

16. Managing Devices with Intune: Microsoft Intune allow organizations to manage devices connected to Microsoft 365. This chapter covers how to approach mobile device management.

17. 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.

18. 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.

19. 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.

20. 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).

21. 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.

22. 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.

23. 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.

Across the book, you’ll find in-depth instructions (including over a thousand examples of using PowerShell and the Microsoft Graph) for provisioning, exploiting, and administering Microsoft 365 workloads.

24. Sponsor content: CodeTwo sponsors Office 365 for IT Pros and helps us keep the cost of the book to 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.

It might take you more than 30 hours to read the 660,000+ words in Office 365 for IT Pros (2024 edition), but those hours will save you so much time in deploying and managing that the effort will be well worthwhile. After all, hiring a consultant to explain any of the topics covered in Office 365 for IT Pros will likely cost you twice what we charge for the book, so subscribing is really a great deal!


Note: This is a subscription service. When you buy this book, you receive a subscription covering the current version of the book plus all updates we issue until the 2024 edition is superseded by the next edition. We anticipate that this will happen in July 2024. At that time, we will make upgrades to the next edition available to current subscribers at a reduced rate.

For more information about Office 365 for IT Pros, please visit our web site or our Facebook page.


Two books: the main Office 365 for IT Pros eBook plus the companion volume. Both books are in EPUB and PDF formats

Office 365
Microsoft 365
Exchange Online
SharePoint Online
Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Planner
OneDrive for Business
Microsoft Stream
Viva Engage
Microsoft 365 Groups
Microsoft Graph
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Office 365 for IT Pros (2024 Edition): The Ultimate Guide to Mastering Microsoft's Cloud Office System

60 ratings