Microsoft Introduces Location Based Conditional Access for Office 365

Office 365 has always had a concept of access controls based on users and groups.  Microsoft has now taken the concept much further to restrict access not just based on identity but also device profile and location.

Using a set of policies in Office 365 that control access to SharePoint and OneDrive documents, Administrators will be able to restrict access to documents based on IP address or network location.  For example, this would allow administrators to restrict sensitive documents from access outside of the corporate network.

Enhanced conditional access controls encryption controls and site classification in SharePoint and OneDrive 2

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Microsoft Driving to Cross Platform .NET Standard 2.0

Microsoft has had evolving variations of the .NET framework over the years targeting specific platforms.  Even within Windows, there were multiple .NET framework platforms depending on whether you were targeting ASP.NET, Windows Desktop, or Windows Phone. 

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When Microsoft bought Xamarin, they also inherited MONO, the UNIX implementation of the .NET framework. 

Microsoft is now going to standardize the .NET framework across these variations in a new framework called .NET Standard.

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This will provide a core set of libraries, APIs, etc. across platforms and workloads. 

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Using this approach, Microsoft is targeting library developers who want to create libraries that will work equally well across devices and operating systems through a common standard.

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Office 365 Site Collection Limit Expands to 25 Terabytes!

Microsoft has announced the increase of the site collection size limit from 1 TB to 25 TB for Office 365.

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A Site Collection in SharePoint is an important logical boundary in that it provides a separated zone for sites and content.  The Site Collection in SharePoint controls a number of settings, taxonomy features, permissions and navigation concepts. 

In previous versions of SharePoint, the Site Collection size was limited by the size of the content database.  Content databases were stored in SQL Server and the recommended limit for SharePoint 2007 and 2010 was 100 GB in order to facilitate easy backup and restore of the database.  In SharePoint 2013, the recommended limit was increased to 200 GB with no hard limits on the database size.  In SharePoint 2016, the content database can be 1 TB or greater, with the limitation being your backup/restore solution’s ability to manage the size of the database.

With smaller Site Collection boundaries, organizations were sometimes forced to carve up their collaboration sites into multiple site collections in order to fit within the recommended size limits.  This created some odd governance issues as organizations split up site collections by department, function, etc. without understanding the complexity of doing so.  In many organizations where conduct migrations from previous versions, we found hundreds of site collections. 

With Office 365, Microsoft is now raising the bar again so that a single site collection can store up to 25 TB.  This should simplify collaboration site deployment in particular so that all site collections can be managed within a single site collection if desired.  Given files are also increasing in size (for example, with large video files or engineering files that can take up hundreds of megabytes) the additional room will be welcome to some organizations.

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