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2019/11/18 13:52 1 Comment

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How To use a Public MS Team

Recently I wanted to create a Release Calendar team. En users had to be able to subscribe to the release calendar team themselves, I needed a way to send all subscribers an email and interested subscribers should be able to receive all Release Calendar events in their calendar as well. Read below on how this works in Microsoft Teams.

Create a Microsoft Team

  • Go to the Teams Admin Center and login as an administrator
  • Go to Teams → Manage Teams
  • Click on “+ Add” to start creating a new Team
    • Provide a Name and an optional Description
    • The account you're creating the team with is automatically added as an owner, and you can add additional team owners if needed
    • Set privacy to Public
    • Click Apply to create the team
  • Once the team is created click on the team so you can note the team's mail address
  • Click on Edit in the upper right corner, as this is a public team you want to keep a few things under control:
    • Under conversations, set all options to off
    • Under Channels, set all options to off
  • Then in Teams itself go to the Team and from the menu click “Manage Team”
    • Go to Settings → Member Permissions and deselect the remaining allowed options
Note: This way we limit some of this functionality to team owners, while disabling some of this functionality to everyone. For example, as a team owner I can still manage tabs and channels, but I can't edit or remove messages. End users can't do any of these anymore.

Modify the Group

If you create a team a few other things are created on the background as well, and of these things is a Microsoft 365 Group (previously known as Office 365 Group). This group has an inbox and a Calendar, and we need to change a few settings here as well.

  • Go to the Exchange Admin Center and login as an administrator
  • Under recipients click groups
  • Select the group which was created on Team creation and click the pencil icon to edit the group
    • Under the General section deselect the “Subscribe new members” and decide if you want people outside of your organization to send emails to the group. I'd recommend to only enable this in case external project managers and team members do not receive an internal organization account
    • Under membership you'll notice that the team owners you assigned during creation of the Team are not added as a member on group level. Add all the group owners as a member here as well.
    • Under Group Delegation, add the team owners under “Send As”
Note: as seen above, Team owners are not automatically added as a group member. You can workaround this by first adding team owners as a member and then changing their role to owner within Teams.

Change Group Visibility in Exchange Address Book

We want end users to be able to find the group to include events on the Calendar so the group must be listed in the Exchange Global Address book. Unfortunately, this is not a setting that can be set using the portal, we must use the Exchange Online PowerShell tools:

Install and test the Exchange Online PowerShell Module

install-module ExchangeOnlineManagement
import-module ExchangeOnlineManagement
$UserCredential = Get-Credential
Connect-ExchangeOnline -Credential $UserCredential -ShowProgress $true
# Now test using Get-Mailbox
# Not test the created group and members
Get-UnifiedGroup -Identity "Release Calendar" | Select -ExpandProperty EmailAddresses
Get-UnifiedGroup -Identity "Release Calendar" | Select PrimarySMTPAddress
# Note that the next command only shows the members, if you haven't added the owners as members as well in the group as explained above and no additional members have been added this will be empty
Get-UnifiedGrouplinks -Identity "Release Calendar" -LinkType Subscribers
Note: currently (27-8-20) not supported onPS7

Change Visibility

Set-UnifiedGroup -Identity "Release Calendar" -HiddenFromExchangeClientsEnabled:$false
Set-UnifiedGroup -Identity "Release Calendar" -HiddenFromAddressListsEnabled $false

Add the Calendar to the Team as a Tab

Now you as a owner has access and all other settings are setup as well you can add the Calendar as a tab to the team:

  • Open a browser and go to to access your personal Outlook Online Mailbox
  • On the left column, under Groups, select the group you created
  • You will now see the inbox with in the top an icon to open the calendar
  • Now format the view to your preference, the default is a month view but if required you could change that to a week, work week or day view
  • Now copy the full url from the address bar of the browser, it should be something in the line of:
  • Now go to teams and access the team you created.
    • Click on the + icon on the tabs and select website
    • Provide a name and paste the link you just copied in the URL field and click Save

The Calendar is now added as a tab on the team.

Generate a Code

For easy access for users so they can subscribe themselves you can generate a code:

  • In Teams, rightclick the team and go to Manage Team
  • Go to Settings → Team code and click “Generate”

A code will display which you can distribute among your users so they can subscribe themselves.

As an alternative, you can also provide a link to the team:

  • In Teams, rightclick the team and select “Get link to team”

An url will be shown which you can distribute among your users.

User Instructions

Subscribe to the Team

There are several ways to subscribe to a team:

Using a Code

If you have a team follow these steps:

  • In Teams, go to the Teams section, and click on “Join or create a team” at the bottom of the screen
  • In the “Join a team with a code” tile, enter the code and click “Join team”

If you have a link to a team follow these steps:

  • In a browser, paste the link in the address bar, or simply click the link to automatically open a browser
  • Teams will open as a Web App or as the desktop App depending on your preferences and will display the Team with a “Join” button for you to click

Searching for the Team

If you know the name of the team, and searching for teams is not disabled you can follow these steps:

  • In Teams, go to the Teams section, and in the top right corner you can type the name for the team and press Enter
  • From the results, move your mouse over the Team you want to join and click “Join Team”

Subscribe to Events of the Team

Note: By default, new members are only subscribed to receive replies to their own posts and group events.

As configured above, new members of a team are not automatically subscribed to a team, but they can do so themselves.

  • In Outlook Web Access, select the group you want to change in the left panel
  • Click on the three dots at the top the messages to go to Settings
  • A new panel appears to allow you to select your own preference.
  • In Outlook Desktop client, select the group you want to change in the left panel
  • From the menu ribbon, click Group Settings
  • From the drop down menu select your own preference

Use the group to send all subscribers an email

In the instructions above the owners are added as a “Send As” delegate. To send an email to all subscribers follow these steps:

  • In Outlook Web Access click new message
  • If not yet done, click the three points in the top to enable “Show From”
  • In the from field use the name of the group
  • In the to field also set the groupname and expand the group, otherwise people who has disabled to follow the group won't get the email

Add an Event to the Calendar

Everyone can add events to the Release Calendar, but the Change manager is ultimately responsible for the events, so use the following guidelines:

  • In outlook select the Group calender and an event as you would normally
  • Use the following color categories:
    • DTA-DEV: red
    • DTA-Test: orange
    • DTA-PA: green
    • Production: Blue (standard default)

Make sure new employees are automatically added to Calendar

Even though you can add for example distribution groups to a team so the members will join, this is a one time action, meaning that new members of the distribution list will not be automatically added to the team as well. If you want that, please follow the procedures inside your company to have them added as they join specifif departments.

Leave the Team

If at any moment you'd decide you don't want or need access to the Team anymore and the corresponding calendar you can simply leave the team by rightclicking the team in Teams and selecting “Leave Team”.

The Fun Part

You can add a logo to the team:

  • In teams, go to the team and click the three dots to select Manage Team
  • Hover over the default image in the top left corner and click the pencil
  • Upload a new image



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publicmsteam.txt · Last modified: 2020/09/09 09:59 by sjoerd