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Microsoft Plans To Axe Office 365 Delve Blogs

Microsoft recently revealed its plan to disable Office 365's Delve Blogs feature starting in December.

Update 12/2: Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVP) last week described tools to address Delve Blogs migrations. MVP Beau Cameron published a PowerShell script to find the blogs, or the SharePoint Modernization Scanner tool (version 2.7) can be used for the purpose. MVP Antti K. Koskela described using PowerShell to migrate the blog content to a SharePoint Modern Site or export it to a comma-separated value (CSV) file. The latter tool is based on a blog search script by MVP Drew Madelung.

The Delve Blogs feature lets Office 365 users create personal blogs. Microsoft described its impending end in a Nov. 22 Microsoft Premier Support response letter that was published by a customer. The customer's case had involved a linking problem, but instead of offering a fix, Microsoft described Delve Blogs' coming shut-off.

Here's that portion of Microsoft's response letter, where the blogs are said to be getting deleted on April 17, 2020, and disablement happening earlier:

Delve Blogs to be Retired
Delve blogs are being retired. Delve blogs will no longer be available for creation, and existing blogs will eventually be removed.
Delve Blog retirement schedule:

  • Beginning December 18th, 2019, tenants will not have the ability to create new Delve blogs.
  • Beginning January 18th, 2020 the ability to create new posts in existing Delve blogs will be disabled.
  • Beginning April 17th, 2020, existing Delve blogs will be deleted and removed from Delve profiles.

Plan to use alternative methods of blogging. We recommend creating Communication sites using News, Yammer, and Stream as a modern way of engaging with your audience. To learn more about how to setup a great blogging site, please review Creating a blog with communications sites and news posts.

Update 12/9: Microsoft has pushed out the retirement dates by a few months. Here are the revised milestones for Delve blogs users, according to a Dec. 4 Microsoft Message Center post:

  • Beginning January 18th, 2020, tenants will not have the ability to create new Delve blogs.
  • Beginning February 18th, 2020, the ability to create new, or edit existing posts, in existing Delve blogs will be disabled.
  • Beginning July 17th, 2020, existing Delve blogs will be deleted and removed from Delve profiles

The revised dates were noted by Vlad Catrinescu, a Microsoft MVP, in a blog post. He added that the SharePoint Modernization Scanner tool has been updated to help modernize Delve blogs.

System administrator Tim Milan had posted a copy of Microsoft's support note and issued a Twitter post about it.

Microsoft's Delve Blogs retirement message also arrived earlier this week for administrators via the Office 365 Message Center, according to a blog post by Catrinescu. He commented that Microsoft's deadlines are "quite aggressive" for organizations, but added that Delve Blogs was likely getting axed because too few organizations were using the feature.

Catrinescu wasn't surprised by the change, but he rued Microsoft's communication approach.

"I was personally hoping to learn this from the Tech Community, or official channels, and not on twitter or from clients sending me this message center e-mail while freaking out a little bit," he noted in his post.

Nate Chamberlain, another Microsoft MVP, had spotted Milan's post about the coming end of Delve Blogs. In a blog post, Chamberlain noted that the "future of Delve" has been a subject of debate by perplexed IT professionals for about two years, as illustrated in this Microsoft Tech Community thread. They got two oblique Microsoft responses over that time span.

So far, there's hasn't been any apparent public communication from Microsoft that Delve itself will be going away.

Delve is an Office 365 capability associated with the Office Graph that's designed to surface relevant information for end users. They can access Delve from the Office 365 App Launcher.

Chamberlain noted that Microsoft's suggestion of using Communications Sites in SharePoint as a substitute for Delve Blogs isn't necessarily a good plan for all organizations because "not all users can create sites for themselves." To address the coming deletion of Delve Blogs, end users could start saving their blogs as document files, he suggested.

"No matter what you choose, there's no easy way forward," he added.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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