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Groups are a core underlying feature of user access control and email delivery in the modern Microsoft world, in much the same way they have been in Active Directory and Exchange for the past 20 years.

In the Microsoft suite of online products, there are four core groups types available, each has different features and limitations which can make it hard to understand which one to use.  On top of this, there are multiple places and APIs to manage groups across even more Microsoft 365 admin portals.  Groups can be surprisingly confusing!!

The table below summarises the core group types and some of the places where they are used.

We are in the final stages of releasing a management feature for Groups within Atria. This has taken a bit of time to produce due to the many different API’s, performance of APIs.  This is a bit more challenging when you want to make this work from a partner perspective.

Behind the scenes, we have built an API for group management which abstracts the complexities needed to connect to all the different Microsoft interfaces.  On top of this, we have built a single UI from which to manage all four group types found across Azure AD, Exchange Online, and Microsoft 365.

The group management page shows a simple searchable list view of all of the groups for the currently selected tenant.

The new group form adapts based on the group type selected.

Key features in the initial release


  • Support for Microsoft 365, Distribution Lists, Security and Mail Enabled Security Groups
  • Read-only view for groups which have been synced to Azure AD using Azure AD Connect
  • Create new, update, delete groups
  • Manage Owners
  • Manage Members
  • Control Internal/External access
  • Manage email aliases
  • Audit trail – changes made to groups are recorded, who made the change, when it was changed, what was changed.
  • Delegated Admin – allow resellers and customers to manage their own groups
  • RBAC roles for controlled or custom access

Group management will be available shortly to Atria 12.13.x as an update to the Microsoft Online Service.

Atria makes it faster for your helpdesk to solve common support requests, without needing to be trained across many Microsoft PartnerCenter tools or needing highly privileged accounts.

If you are a Managed Service Provider and are looking for better ways to support and deliver your Microsoft 365 customers, find out more about our Microsoft 365 management features.