Auto-Acceleration for SharePoint Online

Working with one of my colleagues recently, we were tasked with implementing Smart Links to speed up the login processes for a client’s SharePoint Online implementation.
The client was working towards replacing their on-premises implementation of SharePoint and OpenSpaces with SharePoint Online. The issue they faced was that when when a user tries to access a SharePoint Online site collection and is not already authenticated with Office 365, the user will be directed to the default Microsoft Online login page.… [Keep reading] “Auto-Acceleration for SharePoint Online”

WPAD and Proxy Auth Cause Exchange HCW to Fail

A recent conversation with a colleague reminded me of an issue I’ve faced a number of times (and forgotten to blog about) when running the Exchange Hybrid Configuration Wizard (HCW) on Exchange 2010 or 2013 in an environment where Web Proxy Autodiscovery Protocol (WPAD) is used.

The Problem

The most common scenario where I’ve seen this come into play is along the lines of this:

  1. WPAD is used to distribute Proxy.PAC to client machines
  2. Customer permits direct connection from Exchange servers to Internet
  3. From an elevated command prompt, run “netsh winhttp reset proxy” to ensure a direct connection
  4. Change Internet Options settings from “Automatically detect settings” to “Disabled”
  5. Browse to a site restricted by the proxy to confirm proxy bypass is working
  6. Can connect to Exchange Online using Remote PowerShell
  7. Run the HCW but it fails with the following error in the logs:
    ERROR : System.Management.Automation.RemoteException:
[Keep reading] “WPAD and Proxy Auth Cause Exchange HCW to Fail”

Azure Backup for Azure Resource Manager VMs

One of the really promising announcements to come from the recent Microsoft Build 2016 conference is the release of Azure Backups for Resource Manager Virtual Machines into Public Preview. This has been an area of concern for many when weighing up whether or not to deploy their Azure infrastructure into ARM or Classic. There haven’t been any announcements on the heavy hitters, like Azure Site Recovery for ARM, but it’s a great first step. In this blog I’m going to walk through how to set up a Recovery Services vault and then setup a backup job.… [Keep reading] “Azure Backup for Azure Resource Manager VMs”

Azure Classic vs Azure Resource Manager

On a recent customer engagement, one of the questions that came up was “Should we use Classic mode or should we use the new Resource Manager?”. The guidance from Microsoft is to deploy all new workloads into Azure ARM, however after scratching the surface, it’s not quite so cut and dry.

Some Background

Azure is a platform that is currently undergoing a significant transformation and as a result, confusingly, there are two deployment models supported by Azure public cloud: Classic and Azure Resource Manager (ARM).… [Keep reading] “Azure Classic vs Azure Resource Manager”

Yammer Activation in All Eligible Tenants

In an effort to drive the collaboration experience and further the adoption of Yammer, Microsoft announced on the 2nd of February that Yammer now meets all of Office 365’s security and compliance requirements and Yammer will be activated across all Office 365 tenants that contain a Yammer subscription. This will be a retrospective activation as well as being enabled by default for any new tenants. The rollout will be in three stages:

  • Wave 1 has commenced as of February 1, 2016 and includes Office 365 customers with a business subscription who purchased fewer than 150 licenses that includes Yammer and who have zero or one custom domain for Yammer.
[Keep reading] “Yammer Activation in All Eligible Tenants”

Hybrid Exchange Migration: Mailbox to Mail-User Conversion Fails

Occasionally after migrating a mailbox from an on-premises Exchange server to Exchange Online the user is unable access their mailbox using Outlook, however the Office 365 Outlook Web Access (OWA) application is functional. Often (but not always) the migration batch report will contain users that have “Completed with Errors” or “Completed with Warnings”.

Commonly this is caused by the migration process failing to update the on-premises object and convert it into a mail-enabled user, often due to issues with inheritable permissions or unsupported characters.… [Keep reading] “Hybrid Exchange Migration: Mailbox to Mail-User Conversion Fails”

Unable to Activate Office 365 ProPlus

I recently came across an issue with Office ProPlus on Windows 8.1 when working on a Click to Run deployment where it wasn’t possible to activate the Office product with the Office 365 service. Instead of being prompted for credentials, a dialog window opened stating “This feature has been disabled by your administrator.”

All well and good, apart from the fact that there were no policies in place to actually enforce this and as a result Office will operate with reduced functionality until it can be activated.… [Keep reading] “Unable to Activate Office 365 ProPlus”

Extending Yammer SSO to Support Users Without an Email Address


Yammer Enterprise is offered through the Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise plan. Deployment of Yammer Single Sign-On (SSO) for Office 365 users with a valid primary email address is a relative simple and well documented process.

One of our customers had a requirement for Yammer as a social platform, however a large percentage of their workforce are not enabled for email services. In the ‘SSO Implementation FAQ‘ published by Microsoft, it suggests that it is possible to configure SSO support for user accounts that do not have an email address associated with them, however there isn’t any supporting documentation to go with it.… [Keep reading] “Extending Yammer SSO to Support Users Without an Email Address”

Add-AppvClientPackage Fails with Office 365 ProPlus C2R and App-V 5.0

I’ve been working a bit lately with Office 365 ProPlus Click to Run and recently one of my customers was wanting to deploy their C2R packages using App-V. The process itself is pretty straightforward and quite similar to the process described in my previous blog on building a redistributable package for OneDrive for Business using the Office Deployment Tool.

Using the latest Office 365 ProPlus package for September 2014 would seem like the logical approach and my configuration.xml… [Keep reading] “Add-AppvClientPackage Fails with Office 365 ProPlus C2R and App-V 5.0”

OneDrive for Business Redistributable Installer using the Office Deployment Tool for Click to Run

I’ve recently been working with a customer to deploy OneDrive for Business where Office 2010 is deployed in the SOE (OneDrive for Business is included as part of Office 2013). One of the issues that we faced is that unlike with the old SkyDrive Pro application, there is no offline or redistributable installer package for OneDrive for Business. When deploying to thousands of devices using a tool like SCCM, this is a problem.

There are two obvious ways to install OneDrive for Business:

  • “Click to Run” through Office 365
  • Upgrade the SOE Office version to Office 2013

While it is possible to scour the Internet and download what appears to be a deployable package, it is actually nothing more than a Click to Run stub loader that executes the Office 365 ProPlus installer.… [Keep reading] “OneDrive for Business Redistributable Installer using the Office Deployment Tool for Click to Run”