imageCheck out this Meetup with special guest Hasan Savran: “Azure Cosmos DB SQL Studio is a hidden gem, waiting to be discovered by you!”

From Hasan:

Azure Cosmos DB SQL Studio is a free tool to query Cosmos DB directly from VsCode. I built it for CosmosDB Community. Please join us to see in action. I will be happy to get your feedbacks and ideas to make it even better. I hope to see you there!

Register today!

imageIt should never be enough that a user that has a user name & a password immediately gets to access to resources in your infrastructure.

  • Should we require MFA?
  • Should they be working from a IT-managed device?
  • Do they need to be in the United States?  Can they be connecting in from Russia or North Korea?
  • Does their PC have to have the latest anti-malware on it?
  • Can they have an unpatched computer to connect in?

Enterprises with Azure Active Directory have great power over whether or not authenticated users get access to resources.  Here are some common Conditional Access policies set by Azure AD administrators.

Note: Conditional Access policies requires at least Azure Active Directory Premium P1 licensing for all users in your organization.

Read more about Common Conditional Access policies here:

imageQ: Have you ever run into Notebook/Section size limits of OneNote?

At some juncture, OneNote stops syncing when a Notebook or a Section is too large. (I think the limit is 2GB) 

Usually it’s because of attachments or media files you have in your pages. The problem is… how do you know what pages have the biggest attachments on them so that you can clean them up/delete them to make space?

Here’s a tool called "OneNote Batch" that works against OneNote Desktop & will sort through & find:

  • All your attached files & allow you to sort them by largest to smallest

  • All your media files & allow you to sort them by largest to smallest

I bought the tool ($28) but the demo version is free & perfect for one-time discovery of the big attachments & media files in a notebook you have that are making it too big to sync through OneNote.

Posted by: kurtsh | July 16, 2022

RELEASE: OneNote search extension from PowerToys Run

PowerToysOneNoteYay! Microsoft PowerToys now has a OneNote search extension for the PowerToys Run tool:

  1. Download PowerToys .60 from Github at
  2. Turn ON the OneNote extension from the PowerToys Settings panel.
  3. Hit Alt-Space & type:
    O:<stuff you want to search for>

Done!  And it’s free!
(Note: This only works with OneNote for Desktop)

Posted by: kurtsh | July 16, 2022

RELEASE: Windows Autopatch now Generally Available!

Stop managing your own Windows updates & outsource it to Microsoft engineering at NO COST to Windows Enterprise E3/E5 customers.  Windows Autopatch is now generally available!

Windows Autopatch is a free service that allows Windows E3 and E5 customers to automate updating for Windows 10/11, Microsoft Edge, and Microsoft 365 apps.  Watch this video to learn about Autopatch in 40 seconds:

Microsoft configures the policies and deployment service of Windows Update for Business on your behalf. What you see are updates and patches that get rolled out progressively through testing rings that we create for you and get paused or rolled back if there are issues.

    You can save time and money by enrolling endpoints in Windows Autopatch. The time is saved by not having to define testing rings, schedule deployments, and essentially stop your normal activities every Patch Tuesday to plan and manage updates.  It should lead to fewer support tickets related to updating, and to more productive uptime for enrolled devices.
    From a security perspective, making sure your devices are always up-to-date and have the latest updates is an important aspect of securing devices.  A broader benefit however of Windows Autopatch is peace of mind:  Not only are there expert Microsoft engineers running the Autopatch system, but the FastTrack team is ready to help you get enrolled at no additional cost. With the App Assure promise, you can be sure that should an issue arise, Microsoft has your back.


Posted by: kurtsh | July 16, 2022

INFO: Overview of Teams and SharePoint integration

imageCustomers often ask what is the integration between Microsoft Teams & SharePoint Online.  We all know that SharePoint Online is the file storage service underlying Microsoft Teams – but what else is shared between the services?

Here’s the documentation on how these two services work together.  Educate yourself about this integration in this article here:

Posted by: kurtsh | July 16, 2022

NEWS: New SQL Server Blogging Series

imageWe’re excited to introduce the SQL Server 2022 blog series!

From product insights to best practices, you’ll learn about SQL Server 2022 directly from the engineering team that built it.

Read more about the subtopics this series will cover:

In our upcoming SQL Server 2022 blog series, you will learn about new innovation, discover best practices, and gain product insights from the engineering team who built it. Our product team members are lined up to share specifics from their respective areas of expertise.

The series will cover:

  • Performance and scalability, including buffer pool parallel scan.
  • Security and governance, including SQL Server Ledger and Microsoft Purview.
  • Query processing, including Intelligent Query Processing Next Gen.
  • Analytics, including Azure Synapse Link.
  • T-SQL enhancements, including JSON data support.
  • Availability, including the new link feature in Azure SQL Managed Instance.
  • Deployment options, including SQL Server on Linux and Containers and SQL Server on Azure Arc–enabled servers.

Bookmark the SQL Server 2022 Blogging Series page to follow along and see future blog posts.

Wanna use Azure AD Access Reviews to identify old, stale accounts?

imageI’m excited to share with you the public preview of access reviews for inactive users, part of Azure Active Directory Identity Governance. We have seen an explosion in collaboration growth over the past two years, both within and between organizations. While this growth has been great for productivity, it’s also expanded the likelihood that “stale” accounts—accounts that were needed at one time, but not any longer—might be lurking in your environment.  Examples include former employees who have left the organization, or contractors whose assignments have ended.  It’s an easy but powerful way to reduce security risks by uncovering these stale accounts, and removing them if they truly have no purpose going forward.

The public preview of access reviews for inactive users enables administrators to review and remove stale accounts that have not signed in for a certain number of days.  Both interactive and non-interactive sign-in activities are covered under sign-in activity.  As part of the review process, stale accounts can automatically be removed. This, in turn, improves your organization’s security posture.

Want to help reduce the risk of inactive users? Try the access reviews now. You can specify an inactive duration for up to two years for guest users, or all users. 

Read more here:

imageGovernments are increasingly taking steps to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions, working to manage energy costs and invest in renewable energy. Prioritizing these initiatives is the first step in reaching a net-zero future. 
In this webinar, learn how to create that better future by harnessing the power of new and emerging technologies.

  • Use the lens of sustainability to reimagine government processes while meeting the needs of the planet. 
  • Reduce your carbon footprint and promote sustainability with Microsoft products, services, and devices. 
  • Prioritize the adoption of technologies with built-in benefits for sustainability to help reduce your agency’s environmental impact. 
  • Empower employees to work remotely, encouraging reduced travel—including daily commutes—which can help curb carbon emissions and combat climate change.



imageEver wanted an animated background in your video during a Microsoft Teams conference call?  Rogier Dijkman figured out how to do it – here’s a quick synopsis:

  1. Take any animated GIF file, such as ANIMATED.GIF & rename it to ANIMATED.PNG. (You can convert any video file to animated GIFs at
  2. Make a copy of ANIMATED.PNG & call it ANIMATED_thumb.PNG. (Add the text “_thumb” to the end of the file name in lowercase or this won’t work)
  3. Copy BOTH files to:
  4. Start a Teams meeting & turn on your camera. Click the Ellipsis (…) & select “Apply Background Effects”.
  5. Select the Animated Background to enable it.

I’ve created a collection of 10 animated backgrounds for Microsoft Teams to get you started:

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