Office 365 Planned Service Changes for 2017 – Admin Action Required


The goal of this post is to compile all announced Office 365 service changes for 2017, that may require admin action, into a single reference. Most of these changes have been communicated via Message Center and are listed below in chronological order, based on the “Action Required” date. Additional information and resources related to these changes are provided where applicable. Updates will be made to this post as new service changes are announced.

Note: All changes may not have been communicated to your tenant / environment. Example: If you are currently using Azure AD Connect, then you would not have received the notification regarding the deprecation of the DirSync tool.


Update Log:

2017-03-10

  • Moved Office 365 ProPlus 2013 Availability & Supportability to Archive
  • Moved Removal of Site Mailboxes in SharePoint Online to Archive
  • Added Change to unused anonymous links
  • Updated Active Directory Synchronization (DirSync) Deprecation
  • Added Update to Client Access Rules for Office 365 customers
  • Updated SharePoint and Exchange Online eDiscovery Transition

2017-02-21

  • Updated Project Online requirements are changing – deadline extended to June 30, 2017
  • Updated SharePoint Online Public Websites are going away – action now required by April 30, 2017

2017-01-31

  • Updated Important notice for O365 email customers who have configured connectors – deadline extended to July 5, 2017
  • Added Removal of Site Mailboxes in SharePoint Online

2017-01-30

  • Added Important notice for O365 email customers who have configured connectors
  • Updated Active Directory Synchronization (DirSync) Deprecation
  • Added SharePoint and Exchange Online eDiscovery Transition

Change to unused anonymous links

Status: Active

Action Required by: March 30, 2017

Details: On March 30, 2017, we are adjusting how anonymous access and internal links (people within my organization) are used in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business – to improve reliability and manageability. We are standardizing how sharing links are used and registered in the system to offer you the greatest levels of creation, visibility and control. On March 30, SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business will adjust aspects of anonymous access and internal links (people in my organization) that may impact any links generated before May 2016. Any links created before May 2016, and not used since, may no longer work and the owner will need to recreate a new anonymous link and share it again with the invitee. If a link had been generated AND used before May 2016, it will continue to work after this change. If you have any unused links that you want to continue to work, you just need to click on the link before March 30, 2017.

Message Center: MC94822 – Feature Update: Change to unused anonymous links

Posted: February 28, 2017

Additional Information: Share sites or documents with people outside your organization


Active Directory Synchronization (DirSync) Deprecation

Status: Active

Action Required by: April 12, 2017 at 5:59 PM UTC

Details: As we communicated, in April 2016, via MC45036, we will be removing the Windows Azure Active Directory Synchronization feature from Office 365, beginning April 13, 2017. Azure Active Directory (AD) Connect is the best way to connect your on-premises directory with Azure AD and Office 365. Azure AD Connect is replacing DirSync and Azure AD Sync and these two older sync engines were deprecated from April 13, 2016, reaching end of support April 13, 2017. You are receiving this message because you are using DirSync, Azure AD Sync, or an Azure AD Connect installation released before 2016. After April 13, 2017, you will no longer be able to open a support case without first upgrading to Azure AD Connect. [Previous: We will be removing the Windows Azure Active Directory Synchronization feature from Office 365, beginning April 4, 2017. You are receiving this message because our reporting indicates your organization is using Windows Azure Active Directory Synchronization. When this change is implemented, administrators will no longer be able to synchronize their Active Directories. Instead of using Windows Azure Active Directory Synchronization, use Azure Active Directory Connect.]

Message Center: MC45036 – We are removing Windows Azure Active Directory Synchronization from Office 365 / MC94732 – Reminder: We are removing Windows Azure Active Directory Synchronization from Office 365

Posted: MC45036 – April 13, 2016 / MC94732 – February 17, 2017

Additional Information: Upgrade Windows Azure Active Directory Sync (“DirSync”) and Azure Active Directory Sync (“Azure AD Sync”)


SharePoint Online Public Websites are going away

Status: Active

Action Required by: April 30, 2017 at 5:59 PM UTC

Details: As we originally communicated in March 2015, new Office 365 subscription plans no longer include the SharePoint Online public website feature. We notified all Office 365 customers that currently use this feature that they could continue using this feature for a minimum of two years. Beginning May 1, 2017, existing SharePoint Online organizations will no longer have access to the public website feature. Then, on September 1, 2017, we will be deleting the public site collection in SharePoint Online. Beginning May 1, 2017, people outside your organization will no longer have access to your public facing website. People inside your organization may be required to login to view your website. On September 1, 2017, when we delete the public site collection in SharePoint Online, you will no longer have access to the content, images, pages or any other files that reside on your public website. You are receiving this message because our reporting indicates your organization has the SharePoint Online public website feature enabled. Alternative public website solutions from industry leaders are now available, and you should begin investigating these alternatives to integrate your public presence within the Office 365 environment. Do this prior to May 1, 2017. Before September 1, 2017, you should make a backup copy of all your public website content, images, pages and files, so you don’t lose them permanently. If you need more time to move your public website, you have a one-time postponement option for up to one year. You must select the postpone option by May 1, 2017. [Previous: As we originally communicated in March 2015, new Office 365 subscription plans no longer include the SharePoint Online public website feature. We notified Office 365 customers who currently use this feature could continue using this feature for a minimum of two years. Beginning March 2017, existing SharePoint Online organizations may no longer have access to the public website feature. You are receiving this message because our reporting indicates your organization has the SharePoint Online public website feature available. Beginning March 2017, your customers may no longer have access to your public website. In January 2017, we will have a process in place allowing you to postpone the removal of your SharePoint Online public website. We will communicate again in January, via Message Center, with more details. Alternative public website solutions from industry leaders are now available, and you should begin investigating these alternatives to integrate your public presence within the Office 365 environment.]

Message Center: MC88504 – SharePoint Online Public Websites are going away / MC93898 – REMINDER: SharePoint Online Public Websites are going away

Posted: MC88504 – December 9, 2016 / MC93898 – February 17, 2017

Additional Information:


Update to Client Access Rules for Office 365 customers

Status: Active

Action Required by: May 31, 2017

Details: Microsoft is making a change that will impact how Client Access Rules (CAR) work in Office 365. We will be adding support for managing the REST API with Client Access Rules. Previously, the predicate for ExchangeWebServices (EWS) applied to both the EWS protocol and REST API. The upcoming updates to Exchange Client Access Rules will allow for these connection types to be managed independently. This update will be particularly important to those who are looking to deploy or currently using Outlook for iOS and Android, as those apps use REST APIs to sync mail, calendar and contact information with Office 365. On June 1, 2017, 60 days after REST is available and independently manageable, Microsoft will disable the ability for Outlook for iOS and Android to use EAS in favor of REST. Over the next several weeks, you will start seeing the REST predicate added to your existing CARs that include EWS predicates. This change will be visible on your existing CARs in Windows PowerShell. The changes will not affect the behavior of your existing CARs. If you are blocking EWS and want to use Outlook for iOS & Android, you will need to ensure that REST access is allowed by June 1, 2017, so that users do not lose email access in those apps.

Message Center: MC95023 – Update to Client Access Rules for Office 365 customers

Posted: March 2, 2017

Additional Information: Update of Client Access Rules for Office 365 customers


Project Online requirements are changing

Status: Active

Action Required by: February 28, 2017  June 30, 2017

Details: Beginning June 30, 2017, Project Online will require the latest version of Project to connect to Office 365. We are making architectural changes to features in Project Online which impact older versions of Project, connecting to Project Online. Originally, we communicated this would happen on February 28, 2017, but have extended the deadline to June 30, 2017. We made this change based on customer feedback. If you are using Project 2016, you need to be on a supported build to connect to Project Online. For Project Professional 2016 customers, the RTM build (16.0.4266.1000) is the minimum build. For Office 365 customers using the Project Online Desktop Client (the subscription version of Project Professional 2016), you need to be on the previous Deferred Channel build (currently build 16.0.6741.2088) or any other build that is more recent. If you are using any prior version of Project, you will encounter issues connecting to Project Online. This change will not affect you if you are not connecting to Project Online. Make sure you’ve upgraded to a supported Project 2016 build, by June 30, 2017, to continue connecting to Project Online without interruption.

Message Center: MC89200 – Project Online requirements are changing

Posted: December 19, 2016 / Updated: February 2, 2017

Additional Information: Using Project Online? Time to be sure you upgrade the client software


SharePoint and Exchange Online eDiscovery Transition

Status: Active

Action Required by: July 1, 2017

Details: On July 1, 2017, we are disabling the ability to create new In-Place eDiscovery searches and In-Place Holds (*-MailboxSearch) in the Exchange Admin Center in Exchange Online, as well as the creation of new cases in the eDiscovery Center in SharePoint Online. Scenarios dependent on these features have been transitioned to the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center. In both cases, you will still be able to edit and run existing searches in the Exchange Admin Center and work with existing cases in the SharePoint eDiscovery Center. You are receiving this message because our reporting indicates your organization is using one or more of these features. Beginning July 1, 2017, we will disable the ability to create new In-Place eDiscovery searches and In-Place Holds (*-MailboxSearch) in the Exchange Admin Center in Exchange Online in addition to the creation of new cases in the eDiscovery Center in SharePoint Online. You can continue to interact with all existing searches and holds in the Exchange Admin Center, or eDiscovery Center in SharePoint Online. We are only removing the capability to create new searches. Where possible, discontinue use of existing eDiscovery and Holds using the Exchange Admin Center and eDiscovery Center in SharePoint Online. Start using the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center today. These changes only apply to the Exchange Admin Center in Exchange Online and the eDiscovery Center in SharePoint Online.  On-premises and dedicated deployments of these tools will continue to be supported.

Message Center: MC94780 – Changes to In-Place eDiscovery searches and In-Place Holds with Exchange Online and SharePoint Online

Posted: February 28, 2017

Additional Information: Microsoft Tech Community: SharePoint and Exchange Online eDiscovery Transitioning to Office 365 Security & Compliance Center


Important notice for Office 365 email customers who have configured connectors

Status: Active

Action Required by: February 1, 2017  July 5, 2017

Note: The original deadline to implement the necessary changes, outlined below, was moved from February 1st 2017 to July 5th 2017. This deadline was changed in order to accommodate customers who required additional implementation time. Both the blog post and KB article have been updated with the deadline changes, as well as with new content on the scenarios and resolution steps so please be sure to review them.

Details: Beginning July 5, 2017, Office 365 will no longer by default support relaying messages for the specific scenarios detailed below. If you’re an Exchange Online or Exchange Online Protection (EOP) subscriber and you have configured connectors, this might impact your organization. To make sure that your mail flow isn’t interrupted, we strongly recommend that you read the blog post and KB article and take any necessary action before the deadline (July 5th, 2017).

  • Your organization has to send non-delivery reports (NDRs) from the on-premises environment to a recipient on the Internet, and it has to relay the messages through Office 365. For example, somebody sends an email message to john@contoso.com, a user who used to exist in your organization’s on-premises environment. This causes an NDR to be sent to the original sender.
  • Your organization has to send messages from the email server in your on-premises environment from domains that your organization hasn’t added to Office 365. For example, your organization (Contoso.com) sends email as the fabrikam.com domain, which doesn’t belong to your organization.
  • A forwarding rule is configured on your on-premises server and messages are relayed through Office 365. For example, Contoso.com is your organization’s domain. A user on your organization’s on-premises server, kate@contoso.com, enables forwarding for all her messages to kate@tailspintoys.com. When john@fabrikam.com sends a message to kate@contoso.com, the message is automatically forwarded to kate@tailspintoys.com. From the point of view of Office 365, the message is sent from john@fabrikam.com to kate@tailspintoys.com. Because Kate’s mail is forwarded, neither the sender domain nor the recipient domain belongs to your organization.

Message Center: n/a

Posted: August 23, 2016 – Exchange Team Blog

Additional Information: KB3169958: Important notice for Office 365 email customers who have configured connectors


RPC over HTTP Deprecation

Status: Active

Action Required by: October 31, 2017 at 5:59 PM UTC

Details: On October 31st, 2017, Exchange Online mailboxes in Office 365 will require connections from Outlook for Windows use MAPI over HTTP, our new method of connectivity and transport between Outlook for Windows and Exchange. In May of 2014, Microsoft introduced MAPI over HTTP as a replacement for RPC over HTTP. RPC over HTTP was a legacy connection protocol that is being deprecated from Exchange Online. Beginning October 31, 2017, Outlook for Windows clients using RPC over HTTP will be unable to access their Exchange Online mailbox. The necessary action depends on the version of Outlook in use in your organization. If you are using Outlook 2007 or earlier, you need to upgrade. Outlook 2007 does not contain support for the MAPI/HTTP protocol. We encourage you to update to the Office 365 ProPlus subscription, or access Outlook via the web browser (which is included in your current subscription plan). Outlook 2010-2016 customers will need to ensure their version of Outlook for Windows is set up to support MAPI/HTTP. At a minimum, you should ensure you have installed the December 2015 update. Lastly, ensure your Outlook clients are not using a registry key to block MAPI/HTTP.

Message Center: MC85988 – Potential service disruption for Outlook for Windows users

Posted: November 16, 2016

Additional Information: KB3201590: RPC over HTTP deprecated in Office 365 on October 31, 2017


2017 ARCHIVE


Office 365 ProPlus 2013 Availability & Supportability

Status: Archive

Action Required by: February 28, 2017

Details: Office 2016 is the recommended version of Office 365 ProPlus and includes all the latest upgrades and new features. As we announced in September 2015, when we released Office 2016, beginning March 1, 2017, the Office 2013 version of Office 365 ProPlus will no longer be available for installation from the Office 365 portal. Beginning March 1, 2017, your users will no longer see Office 2013 as an option for download through the Office 365 portal, and admins will no longer have the option under Software download settings in the admin portal to choose to enable Office 2013. In addition, we will no longer provide feature updates for this version, nor provide support. We recommend you install Office 2016 as soon as possible to have the latest and greatest features and support.

Message Center: MC81842 – Removing the Office 2013 version of Office 365 ProPlus

Posted: October 19, 2016

Additional Information: KB3199744: Support for the 2013 versions of Office 365 ProPlus ends February 28, 2017


Removal of Site Mailboxes in SharePoint Online

Status: Archive

Action Required by: March 1, 2017

Details: Beginning March 2017, new SharePoint Online organizations will no longer have access to the Site Mailbox feature, existing SharePoint Online organizations will no longer be able to create new Site Mailboxes; however, any Site Mailboxes provisioned prior to March 2017 will continue to function. In September 2017, we will have a process in place allowing you to transition your existing Site Mailbox site to an Office 365 Group. We will communicate again in June 2017, via Message Center, with more details. If you are using the Site Mailbox feature in SharePoint Online, you should consider transitioning to Office 365 Groups, to support email-centric collaborative scenarios.

Message Center: MC92090 – We’re removing Site Mailboxes in SharePoint Online

Posted: January 31, 2017

Additional Information: Learn about Office 365 Groups

 

Comments (2)

  1. Dean Gross says:

    This is fantastic, thank you very much

    1. My pleasure, Dean! Thanks for the positive feedback 🙂 Glad it is proving useful to the O365 community!

Skip to main content