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Benoit s Corner

Benoit's corner

Feb 27
Windows Phone – OneDrive mobile application get updated with some cool stuff

I usually do not post about mobile application updates but this is one is interesting.

The OneDrive mobile application has been updated on Windows Phone to include, after integrating Office 365 OneDrive for Business, the ability to logon to OneDrive with more than one Microsoft account – yep, that’s right, we are finally able to logon to multiple OneDrive account at the same time within the app.

Also, a new security feature has been introduced: PIN Code to secure the access to your OneDrive through the application

I’m not listing here all the new features but these 2 ones are quite good

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Add another Microsoft Account

If you want to add another Microsoft account, just hit the Add Account button shown the first time you launch the application after the update (or using the Settings button) and follow the wizard

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You can add both Microsoft Account or Office 365 Account

Setting up PIN code

To setup a PIN code, same thing as for adding another account; just hit Turn on PIN on the What”s new page which is displayed the first time after the update or through the Settings\Options menu

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Then just you 4 digits PIN code

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After that, the next time you will start the OneDrive mobile application you will be asked to enter this PIN code

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Feb 24
Office 365 – Exchange Hybrid Configuration Troubleshooting tool

Microsoft has announced and delivered a tool to help in the Exchange Hybrid Configuration troubleshooting process.

As you may know, the Exchange Hybrid Configuration allows a simple way to move mailboxes between on premises Exchange and online, share the free/busy details between online and on premises, mail flow security with antispam/antimalware (if going through Exchange Online)….

The process to implement such hybrid configuration has been well improved with Exchange 2013 but there was something missing here to help if something was going wrong during the configuration steps (error messages too vague, difficulties to understand the log files…)

So, the Exchange team has worked hard and now this troubleshooting tool is available.

To run the tool, just go to http://aka.ms/HCWCheck from the Exchange server on which the HCW (Hybrid Configuration Wizard) failed and follow it.

Keep in mind this is a first version of such tool and also a first step in the HCW troubleshooting; more has to come such as troubleshooting for free/busy or OAuth issues (maybe one very difficult to troubleshoot and solve Open-mouthed smile)

If you want to share feedback or ask for more feature, feel free to reach the team at HCWCheckFeedback@microsoft.com

When you start the troubleshooting tool, the first thing is to be authenticated to your Office 365 tenant

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Then you can start running the tool to check what is happening

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It will then download and run a small applet

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As part of the verification process, the tool checks your internet domain configuration, certificates settings and services assignment or the federation configuration or Exchange web services web site

It may takes several minutes to complete

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And then, once completed, it provides you a results report with the issue(s) found

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As you can see, it goes very deeper as it found on my server an issue with the power plan currently set – it is not set to High performance; ok this one may not be a big deal but anyway Smile

You even have (when available) a link on the right to help you solving the issue found (which open the related KB article), run the tool again or even (if the issue still persist or is not covered by the tool) to open a service request (which redirect you to the service request page on your Office 365 administration page)

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Feb 17
Office 365 / Azure AD – Force a synchronization with Azure Active Directory Connect

As you may already know, Microsoft has released some time ago a new tool – AAD Connect for Azure Active Directory Connect – to manage on premises Active Directory with Office 365 and Azure Active Directory tenants.

This tool is intended to replace the existing Directory Synchronization (DirSync) tool for Office 365 in a few weeks (see the end of this post http://blogs.technet.com/b/ad/archive/2014/12/15/azure-ad-connect-one-simple-fast-lightweight-tool-to-connect-active-directory-and-azure-active-directory.aspx).

Apart of this replacement, it provides ability to synchronize multiple AD Forest, and additional automatic configuration (see for more details about the tool http://blogs.technet.com/b/ad/archive/2014/12/15/azure-ad-connect-one-simple-fast-lightweight-tool-to-connect-active-directory-and-azure-active-directory.aspx)

But this is not the objective of this post. With DirSync it was simple to force the synchronization between the local AD and Azure AD using a PowerShell command (Start-OnlineCoexistenceSync with the –FullSync if you wanted to run a full synchro).

But with AAD Connect, this PowerShell command does not exist anymore.

Ok, so how can you manually start a synchronization with AADConnect?

Simple, open a command prompt with the run as adminitrator.

Then reach the C:\Program Files\Microsoft Azure AD Sync\Bin directory and run the DirectorySyncClientCmd.exe file. And if you want to run a full synchronization, just add the initial parameter (which looks like DirectorySyncClientCmd.exe initial)

And there is no need to open the MIIS console to see the progress as the progress will be shown in the command prompt Smile

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Feb 17
Yammer – Finally Yammer is using Office 365 authentication

It has been announced some time ago, and now the roll out seems in a good progress.

Yammer is finally now using your Office 365 tenant authentication scheme – be careful this will not work if you already have a federation with Yammer.

This means when a user try to sign in to Yammer using one of your domain, he will be redirected to your Office 365 sign page. The good thing here is if you are using federation with Office 365, it will use your federation with Office 365 and redirect to your ADFS sign in page.

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However, in the context of ADFS use, it seems the user name field is not automatically prefilled with the email address used when trying to logon to Yammer

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Feb 13
Windows Phone – Windows Phone Recovery Tool

Following the announcement of the Windows Phone 10 Technical Preview for a subset of devices (see my previous post http://t.co/ClVYPLlvXu, Microsoft has also published a recovery tool to let you roll back to Windows Phone 8.1 if you are not happy or experience blocking issue with this preview.

You can download the tool from http://download-fds.webapps.microsoft.com/supportFiles/phones/files/recovery/WindowsPhoneRecoveryToolInstaller.exe

In some way, we could say this is what we had with Windows Phone 7 and the Zune client to update our devices.

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Then, just install the tool (use the computer you already used to link your phone with – it will be better)

The installation process is very simple, you just have to follow the wizard with no specific settings to define

Important note, this can be installed on a Windows 10 Technical Preview too Smile

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I strongly recommend to check the option to create a shortcut on the desktop

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Then you just have to launch the application (or at a later time just use the shortcut created on the desktop)

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The first thing is the tool will check if there is any updates available for the tool

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If your phone is not connected, you will have to connect it

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If you hit the My Phone Was Not Detected it will force a device discovery

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If your phone has been connected when you launched the application it will be displayed – it seems there is some sort of bugs here as the phone detected here is not my Nokia Lumia 1020

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If you hit your phone, the application will gather some details about the device

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And finally display the results which then will allow you to check/confirm you are running the latest available version for your device and if needed to rollback to a previous version

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Feb 13
Windows Phone – Windows Phone 10 Preview is now available... but not for all

For those who want to start playing with the next version of Windows Phone; Windows Phone 10, a preview is now available.

To get your phone updated with this preview, you need to have the Phone Preview app – which by the way has been updated to be called Windows Insider.

By the way, for those who were already running advance release of the current Windows Phone version using the Preview for developer application this will NOT help you to get this preview.

To get the Windows Insider app, just go to the Store and look for WIndows Insider from your phone or use this link http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/windows-insider/ed2b1421-6414-4544-bd8d-06d58ee402a5

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Then, once you have the application, just start it and Get preview builds

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BUT wait, this is NOT available to all Windows Phone 8.x devices. For this first release, only Nokia Lumia 630, 635, 636, 637, 730 and 830 devices can get this first release. Other devices may get it when future releases will be delivered.

The official statement of Microsoft about this discrimination is

“For this technical preview, we need to start with a small subset of devices in order to isolate OS issues from hardware or board support package issues so we can stabilize the platform. Some context on why we chose these and not higher end phones like the 930/Icon or 1520: We have a feature that will be coming soon called “partition stitching” which will allow us to adjust the OS partition dynamically to create room for the install process to be able to update the OS in-place. Until this comes in, we needed devices which were configured by mobile operators with sufficiently sized OS partitions to allow the in-place upgrade, and many of the bigger phones have very tight OS partitions.”

So if you don’t have a device listed earlier, you still have to wait Sad smile

Feb 10
Office 365 / SharePoint Online – The NEW button finally shows the custom content type

UPDATED 11/02/2015

It has been a long wait and lot of pain, but finally we got it!!! The NEW button on a document library now shows the custom content type you may have defined for this document library.

UPDATE if you have enabled custom type (and so display these content type in lieu of the defaults one), the New Folder option which is available with defaut content type disappear. The SPO support engineeer explained to me that the custom content type replace what is displayed; so if you want to have a New Folder option available when you are using custom content type, you need to create a new site content type for the folder too

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Until then, the only way to get the custom content type was to use the NEW button from the Ribbon.

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BUT, wait, there is still an issue Sad smile; if you display the content of the document library using a webpart on a web page (let say the home page), the NEW button does not show (yet?) the custom content type – I have raised a ticket for this (as I did for getting the content type using the NEW button)

Feb 10
Office – Office 2016 Technical Preview now available

You can now enroll and start playing with the new release of Microsoft Office – called Office 2016.

To do so, just reach the Connect directory page and enroll for the  Microsoft Office Consumer Technical Preview.

https://connect.microsoft.com/directory/non-feedback

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Feb 10
Azure – Azure Active Directory security question option for self service reset password

Since the introduction of Microsoft Azure Active Directory, Microsoft has introduced many features to simplify both IT management and end-user experience.

And it continues with the self service password reset feature.

Until then, there has been 3 options to allow to identify an end-user asking to reset his password through the self-service portal:

  • Office Phone
  • Mobile Phone
  • or Alternate email address

Now, Microsoft is introducing a well known feature to these 3 existing: the security question.

Enable security question password reset option

To enable this feature, logon to you Azure management portal (https://manage.windowsazure.com) and reach out the Active Directory section

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Then open your directory and reach the Configure tab

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Then, below the User password reset policy section, enable the Security Questions option

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You then have to define how many security question are needed to identify the user, the number of security question the end-user needs to answer and finally define the security questions and save your modification

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Use security question option to reset your password

Instruct your end-user to reach this page http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=309629 to register themselves to the self service password and answer the security question you have defined

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This is it; then if an end-user needs to reset his password (the Can’t access your account? link below the authentication form) he will be able to use the security question option to be identified and reset his password (and if he has answered the security question)

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Feb 09
Office – InfoPath is dead

Microsoft has finally officially announced that InfoPath – the XML form solution – is now dead.

InfoPath 2013 is the last edition of the product while the server side component – known as Form Server, separate solution with SharePoint 2007 and integrated with since 2010 – will be maintained in the next release of SharePoint (currently known as SharePoint 2016) and Office 365 until further notice.

To know more about this announcement see http://blogs.office.com/2014/01/31/update-on-infopath-and-sharepoint-forms/

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 About

Benoit is specialized on Microsoft infrastructure (Active Directory, Azure, ForeFront products, Hyper-V, Identity Management, System Center, Windows) and collaboration (BPOS, Exchange, Office 365, SharePoint) technologies.

He has been awarded as Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 2002 - on Windows, then SharePoint and finally Office 365. Ha has been recoginzed as Microsoft Community Contributor for his work on the Office 365 community in 2013 and 2014.

He has been involved in early stage of testing phase for many Microsoft products - from Windows to Office 365, including Exchange, SharePoint or Office client and WindowsUpdate.

He has participated as speaker or Ask The Expert (ATE) at many Microsoft or Quest events. He also participed in writing several books on SharePoint (2003 to 2010).

With more than 10 years of professional experience, he has a deep knowledge of the Microsoft market and his competitor.

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